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How it impacts the kids to stay w an A

Old 11-20-2013, 06:42 PM
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Even at their age I'm sure your daughters know that your ex is insane. After following your story it seems that your husband has the whole court system in his back pocket. Like you said, he drinks with the local police. He seems like he is a real charmer. Almost sounds like a sociopath. Thank goodness, you left when you did as you may not be here today writing if you stayed. I would press to have 100% custody of the kids because what you describe is just a dangerous situation.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:43 PM
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Another thing that hurts kids which I dislike hearing about occurring is parents who vilify the A to their kids. My kids know their dad is an A and have seen him be abusive BUT Ill be damned if I am going to make my kids listen to me or anyone else put their dad down.
Same.

My XAH screws up and can't pay (the minimal private agreement) child support. It burns me up. I almost BURST wanting to rant about it to the kids about what an ******** their father is and how he can't even pay his rent let alone the $25 a week for each kid. But I shut up.

Some nights, when he has money on his phone and can be bothered to call the kids, I can tell he is drunk and been using drugs - just from the crazy conversations I hear the kids having with him. Those nights I tell the kids: You realise he is drunk don't you? And that's all I say, the rest I keep to myself.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:16 AM
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I have a question to everyone here. I DO NOT trust my AH during his time w/my children. That is the reason I stay. At least now I have some control during those times. If he chooses to drink, I can either make him leave or can pick up my kids and leave. He is not some awful person and does not drink all the time. Definitely not defending him, just it is what it is. Our kids love him to pieces.

They cannot always tell he has been drinking. Just last week I made him leave for the night b/c he had been drinking, they truly did not know. He takes strong Rx medicine so even if he drinks 1 beer he is impaired but in denial so even he thinks he is fine. My biggest fear in life is that he will drive them somewhere and it will hurt them. That is why I stay, because I am AFRAID for my kids and do not trust the system to protect them.

How do you all get past that? Any advise? We are strapped for $ so some gadget that costs a thousand bucks a month is not the answer. Also..he is a sneaky devil.

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:21 AM
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Hopeful4, you decide whether or not living with a dangerous drug and alcohol user is worthwhile for whatever reasons, or you decide it's worthwhile to get the kids away from his dangerous drug and alcohol abuse by living someplace that's comparatively stable and letting him visit them in a controlled environment where his drug and alcohol abuse doesn't affect them as much. There's no rule book that says he has to live with you.

I DO NOT trust my AH during his time w/my children. That is the reason I stay.
In my world, that was the last reason I needed to leave. I could put up with a lot, but the fact that I was keeping my kids in the chaos because of my own fears was too much to bear.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:25 AM
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I agree, but how do you go about making sure he can only see them in that environment? I have spoken to one of the best attorneys around here, he basically told me that he will get custody on every other Wed and every other weekend and that definitely his behavior is not bad enough to warrant a judge giving him supervised visitation unless he screws up with the kids with him. My sister is a Sgt. w/Highway Patrol in this area, she confirmed that once he is off probation that the only way the police are going to get involved is if I can actively PROVE his is drinking AND driving them while in his care. Just because he drinks while in his custody will not mean a thing and even if it does, the police will not intervene.

So there I go. I let him drive them around and hope he gets caught? Risk their lives?
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:30 AM
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In that case you have to take the risk, let go or be dragged. You're choosing a life of hell and codependency because of what might happen.

I do best when I base my life on the facts, and not on my hopes or fears. That's me.

My lawyer put me on the stand and had me recount the numerous drunken incidents, rehab stays, job losses, suicide attempts, etc. We had to have a long talk about facts vs hearsay because there was SO MUCH and only some of it was permissable. None of these things involved the police. You're asking the experts about how to keep him from driving them around. The better question would be, how do I make sure he has supervised visitation? I'm still mid-divorce and we only have supervised visitation as a temporary order. Something the judge will have to consider is the age of the children -- are they old enough to make a sandwich or make a phone call? If not, a good judge will err on the side of caution.

It might be hard, you might not win. But are you all really better off staying?
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
In that case you have to take the risk, let go or be dragged. You're choosing a life of hell and codependency because of what might happen.

I do best when I base my life on the facts, and not on my hopes or fears. That's me.

My lawyer put me on the stand and had me recount the numerous drunken incidents, rehab stays, job losses, suicide attempts, etc. We had to have a long talk about facts vs hearsay because there was SO MUCH and only some of it was permissable. None of these things involved the police. You're asking the experts about how to keep him from driving them around. The better question would be, how do I make sure he has supervised visitation? I'm still mid-divorce and we only have supervised visitation as a temporary order. Something the judge will have to consider is the age of the children -- are they old enough to make a sandwich or make a phone call? If not, a good judge will err on the side of caution.

It might be hard, you might not win. But are you all really better off staying?

I don't know. I am certainly willing to have a life of hell and codependency to keep my kids safe. And for today, I am accepting that it's ok that I don't know.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:51 AM
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Wow! Thank you so much for this post! My AH left me 2 weeks ago and while I was and still am devastated, I realize now that it was the best thing that could happen for me and my daughter. I'm still going through hell because now I have to file for divorce and he's doing his best to try to manipulate and hurt me, but I know I'll get through that and become a stronger, better person in the end. Your post really opened my eyes to the damage he was causing our household. I actually feel like a much "free-er" person now. Free to walk around without being afraid to shake the apple cart, free to be ME!! It's great. I wasn't the one who left and can only imagine how hard that is, but maybe your post will encourage someone else to do it too. Good luck to you and your children!!!
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I don't know. I am certainly willing to have a life of hell and codependency to keep my kids safe. And for today, I am accepting that it's ok that I don't know.
But the thing is, that doesn't actually keep your kids safe.

What was most striking to me here was all the folks whose well intentioned parent (the non A) kept the kids in the same home w the A and who now as adults have anger at that parent for NOT protecting them as kids bc living w an A means constant worry, unpredictability, fear, rules about keeping mum etc..,.

I too stayed bc I felt that was how I could best protect my kids.

In truth I wasn't protecting them at all by having them w an active addict.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I don't know. I am certainly willing to have a life of hell and codependency to keep my kids safe. And for today, I am accepting that it's ok that I don't know.
This was the choice my father made, and I really think he BELIEVED he was keeping us safe and taken care of by staying. The reality was (and this is absolutely just my ES&H here) all the "control" he believed he was maintaining by staying was an illusion. We were very damaged in that environment. Not all scars are on the skin. It took me a very long time to rebuild a life from the poisoned foundation I get from home.

On the other hand, had he made any decision just because someone told him to -- not because he was ready and prepared -- I don't think that would have been right either. I have lived with my disappointment that he did not seek help and honesty in his own recovery. That you are even asking these questions shows you are already leaps and bounds ahead of where he was.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:59 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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[QUOTE=hopeful4;4304160]I agree, but how do you go about making sure he can only see them in that environment?

You fight hard to protect your kids through legal means. And you might not have them 100% of the time which is heart wrenching and scary I know. But when they ARE w you you will now you have a peaceful home and not one ruled by the addict.


I have spoken to one of the best attorneys around here, he basically told me that he will get custody on every other Wed and every other weekend and that definitely his behavior is not bad enough to warrant a judge giving him supervised visitation unless he screws up with the kids with him.
Wed and every other weekend isn't so bad. And you will find as I have that even w limited time, he will find reasons to not exercise it. He may play the part of great dad for a few weeks but the kids will be in the way of his desire for free time and he will soon be back to making excuses to not have them. And once he does that even once you've got your track record of his not exercising time and you DOCUMENT it to the heavens.

Your kids would probably beg you I'd bet if they had a choice to have 6 days a week of peace. That's what him having wed nights amounts to. 6 days of peace. Currently they and you have 0.

My sister is a Sgt. w/Highway Patrol in this area, she confirmed that once he is off probation that the only way the police are going to get involved is if I can actively PROVE his is drinking AND driving them while in his care. Just because he drinks while in his custody will not mean a thing and even if it does, the police will not intervene.
It WILL mean something if you write it into the parenting plan that he is NOT to drink and if you even suspect he is that you have the right to come get the kids. That's in mine. XAH agreed to it bc to not agree makes him look even guiltier of
being a drunk.

There's plenty of ways you can protect your kids. It's the unknown that scared me most of all. Get a good lawyer and fight and you will be better for it. And your kids will be safer than they are now.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post
This was the choice my father made, and I really think he BELIEVED he was keeping us safe and taken care of by staying. The reality was (and this is absolutely just my ES&H here) all the "control" he believed he was maintaining by staying was an illusion. We were very damaged in that environment. Not all scars are on the skin. It took me a very long time to rebuild a life from the poisoned foundation I get from home.

On the other hand, had he made any decision just because someone told him to -- not because he was ready and prepared -- I don't think that would have been right either. I have lived with my disappointment that he did not seek help and honesty in his own recovery. That you are even asking these questions shows you are already leaps and bounds ahead of where he was.
Thank you. I can feel myself becoming stronger and more ready, just not there yet. The counselor grabbed me before walking out and said this and I agree, "No decisions to stay or go should be made while you are emoational. They should be thought out with a plan that you can both implement as coparents. There is no huge rush."

This lets me breathe a little as I am very emoatioinal right now and know I need to think it all out with my head, not my heart.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:06 AM
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[QUOTE=wanttobehealthy;4304212]
Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I agree, but how do you go about making sure he can only see them in that environment?

You fight hard to protect your kids through legal means. And you might not have them 100% of the time which is heart wrenching and scary I know. But when they ARE w you you will now you have a peaceful home and not one ruled by the addict.




Wed and every other weekend isn't so bad. And you will find as I have that even w limited time, he will find reasons to not exercise it. He may play the part of great dad for a few weeks but the kids will be in the way of his desire for free time and he will soon be back to making excuses to not have them. And once he does that even once you've got your track record of his not exercising time and you DOCUMENT it to the heavens.

Your kids would probably beg you I'd bet if they had a choice to have 6 days a week of peace. That's what him having wed nights amounts to. 6 days of peace. Currently they and you have 0.



It WILL mean something if you write it into the parenting plan that he is NOT to drink and if you even suspect he is that you have the right to come get the kids. That's in mine. XAH agreed to it bc to not agree makes him look even guiltier of
being a drunk.

There's plenty of ways you can protect your kids. It's the unknown that scared me most of all. Get a good lawyer and fight and you will be better for it. And your kids will be safer than they are now.
Thank you for all of this. Question for you, around here the police will not get involved, you have to take someone back to court each time they do something outside of the parenting plan. Is that what you have experienced or is there another way. The police here just will not get involved, it makes me crazy. They say it is a civil matter (I have a friend going through this right now).
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:19 AM
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The police wont get involved here either if it is a matter of contempt. HOWEVER, if you write into the parenting plan that IF you suspect he is under the influence, you WILL call the police and have him given a breathalyzer, then they will have to be involved.

Im a little worried about your counselor suggesting your implement a plan as co parents as part of a plan to leave...

If I could have had a co parenting plan with my xAH that we came up with and agreed upon, that would have meant he could communicate, was willing to work together and cared equally about the kids.... Those were all the issues we fought about bc an A cares about an A and not all that "unnecessary communicating crap" (my xahs line).

So it seems na´ve on a counselors part to suggest that you delay leaving or asking him to leave until you establish a plan together.

I stayed and tried that for almost a year- I wanted to avoid using lawyers and having it be nasty and thought we could negotiate it together.... That did NOT work at all.

ONLY after I had a lawyer and we were in court and he saw I was serious about protecting the kids did he have any interest in developing a plan together and that I believe is ONLY bc he is now interested in his image to the court.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:36 AM
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I think the counselor was more saying look, you are both the parents of these children, it is better to split peacefully than be at each other's throat. I agree with him totally. Nasty divorces have destroyed children I know. No matter what happens, I don't want that. That is something we discussed right away as one of the goals of going to counseling in the first place at the first visit w/the counselor. Things were very emoational yesterday, I think he was scared we would go right outside and tell each other to cram it quite frankly, and that is no way to end a 16 year relationship. And in reality, the relationship never ends b/c you will both be the parents forever. So you have to find a way to communicate effectively together, married or not.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:38 AM
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hopeful, is your oldest daughter old enough to keep money and a prepaid cell phone on her during visitations? I don't remember who it was that suggested that in another post, but I think it's a good idea. If she notices him drinking or feels uncomfortable, she could call you. My kids are old enough that I don't have to worry about that. Plus, my husband is the drink at home type.

Even when you know it's the right thing to do, it's still just so hard to end it He was my best friend. We haven't been that close in a while but it's hard to imagine your life without this person who's been there (whether good or bad) for over half of your life.

I'm really sorry that you have to make these decisions, too Sucky choice one may be better than sucky choice two it still feels like a sucky choice. We can only hope that it's better on the other side. I'm holding fast to Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 3:20. Prayers & blessings.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:45 AM
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Yes, she has a phone it is just that they don't always REALIZE he has been drinking. Last week they did not know and I made him leave b/c believe me, I knew. It scares the life out of me to think he may be drinking and put them in the car and they would not realize it to call me.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:53 AM
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I know & I can't imagine how awful that feels The thing is, he could still do that while you're home unless you are at home with them 24/7. That's been one of the most difficult things for me - admitting that I don't have control over much of anything (except myself and not even always that.) I'm sorry, hopeful
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:01 AM
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That is what I currently do. One thing is good, I can ALWAYS tell he has been drinking even just by how he holds his hands and how he speaks. Even just 1 beer. So on the days he picks up my DD from school, I make him call me on the way there so I know. And no, I do not allow him to drive my kids at all unless I know. So I do not allow him to drive my DD to cheer practice b/c even though I may have known on the way there he was sober, what is he going to do while he waits for her for an hour? I dont know so I don't all it. I truly mean their safety is my #1. Years ago my neighbors had a depressed son who they did not believe if they went out for a little while he would do anything even though he was in a bad place in his life. They left to go to the store and he killed himself in that 15 mins they were gone. They never forgave themselves (although they clearly were not at fault). If something happened to my kids and I could have for one second prevented it I would never forgive myself. Maybe that is not rational but they are what I cherish the very most in life.

Maybe all of you strong people who have left have it all figured out, but unfortunately for me, I don't have that figured out yet. I don't trust the system AT ALL.
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