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So let me ask you this...
July 5, 2007
4:55 pm
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glittered when he walked
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How much of your time/life/and love would you want to spend with someone who when talking about your relationship with them, they saw fit to tell you (about 80 "this is what is wrong with you and this is how you should fix it?"

I'm curious...cuz with my stbx it used to be nearly a daily dose of character assassination. and let me tell you after a while..I didn't feel loved or respected. Instead i was pummeled with "why don't you love me?, 'youre so stupid" names, labels...oh what a victim the stbx was.

I'm hurt, annoyed, and sad and today just sucks and somedays i swear I wish she had just died when she OD'd. I know that's wrong, that's just how frustrated I feel when i must deal with her iraationality and childish behavior. Now i see that she is starting to withhold the children from me...all because she's angry with me. she better fly right in that regard or by Christ I will go to legal war and seek primary custody.

July 5, 2007
4:57 pm
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eurogurl
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why would u go for primary custody? just to punish her? I dont see any mention of the children, and the children are better off with their mother, so dont bring them into your angry debate.
to wish death upon anyone, especially the mother of your own children, is scary and sick

July 5, 2007
5:03 pm
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glittered when he walked
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actually eurogirl, I consider myself a better parent than she is, and most of the members of HER family do too. the idea the children are ALWAYS better off with the mother is foolhardy at best. I am very much a hands on father..always have been. she is an addict. i am not.

she brought them into the debate...not me. she's harming them by denying my influence in their life.

I explained that someday i wish she had died when she OD'd...and yeah that is wrong...but try walking a mile in my shoes before you judge me. Now..should i go back to your earlier thread of what you bf/ ex, and oldest son say of you?

July 5, 2007
5:05 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I think frustration can lead us to want bad things, even if it's not right.

I do understand your frustration.

And I don't think it's right that she is using the kids as a pawn. But I also agree with eurogurl that you shouldn't use them as a pawn either.

IF you go for primary custody, be prepared to prove why she is an unfit mother. and be prepared to make it NOT about YOU and her relationship. Yes, she treats you unkind, but in court, you will have to prove that her actions are unsafe or unhealthy for the kids.

I do know the whole story here...so I know what you are going thru and why you are so frustrated.

In the end tho, the courts really look favorably on the mother, so you must be prepared for a LOGICAL reason why the kids are better with you, not an emotional one based on how she treats you.

Her mental health (and suicide attempt) may be reason to question her ability to care for them.

In the end, it doesn't matter how much you guys hurt eachother, it only matters how much the kids are hurting because of this.

Also know that in most states, if she witholds the kids from you, it MAY be grounds for custody to be revoked...look up noncustodial parental rights...I was reading for someone else that if a parent withholds a relationship or talks badly of the other parent, it is hurting the kids and could be grounds for revokation of their guardianship.

Again, try to keep this about the kids tho...and keep your own personal fights with her separate.

July 5, 2007
5:19 pm
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glittered when he walked
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grrr..look i would only seek primary custody because she's being an unfit mother by denying my positive influence in their lives. i don't want to go to war and nor would i deny my children time with their mother...but she's so nuts.

DON'T I HAVE A RIGHT TO SEE MY KIDS? If that is denied of me maliciously by her is that good for the children? is it? is that what is best for them? wouldn't they be better off with a parent who didn't do that sort of thing?

I will not use them as a pawn, but i won't allow them to be raised primarily by an unhealthy parent either.

July 5, 2007
5:57 pm
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Honolulugal
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Hi Glittered!

Wow, since I believe in accentuating the positive and trying to eliminate the negative, I have to say that I would spend -0- amount of time with someone who was a "put-down artist" as my Mom says. Sheesh!

Gently pointing out an area where improvement could occur is one thing. Constant berating is quite another.

I get your frustration. I know you want what is best for your kids. Maybe some distance from this female would help? You sound like a very centered guy who's getting fed up, to me.

I certainly haven't walked a mile in your moccasins, so can't judge. I just feel for ya!

H-gal

July 5, 2007
8:50 pm
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fantas
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Hi Glittered, Wow, what a rollercoaster you find yourself in. Is your wife as critcal you the children as she was with you? Is she still using drugs or is she sober? I really don't feel that the kids are better off with her given her history. However, the courts are biased this way. Is she is going against the visitation order by nor letting you see the kids, she will eventually loose custody. I think if you give her enough rope she may hang herself without you having to get into a war with her. It would be hard not to get frustrated with her. Do you see a therapist or some place where you can vent? Perhaps alanon?

Hang in there! keep posting!

July 5, 2007
9:18 pm
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atalose
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glittered,

How frustrating this has to be for you. When you say she almost OD'd was that from regular drug use?

When you say she denies you a positive influence on the kids how do you mean that?

I am sorry if I am not familiar with your whole situation.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

July 5, 2007
10:34 pm
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Matteo
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If she is a user, you should absolutely seek sole/primary custody; it's strange that you don't.

My father didn't divorce my mother most probably because of me and although she didn't have drug problem I would chose him over her anytime and I would be way better off with my father.

July 6, 2007
10:46 am
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glittered when he walked
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OK..some background info. she was an opiate addict. worked around a hospital and had access to medically pure drugs.

she's been sober for about 3 years...one relapse that doesn't really count because it pain medication for a serious injury. she's clean again. she is working a recovery program..and has indeed changed, but she exhibits many of the dysfunctions associated with borderline personality disorder.

she OD'd at work. As a mother, she does love the children, but she is lacksadasical (sp?) ...err..let's just say that I, and others (including most of the people in her own family) , have noted that she should provide a safer and more stable environment for the kids. Typically i was the one who prepared meals for them, did the school stuff, and the other non-fun duties. She did mostly quality time...fun time.

bottom line..I don't think she's so bad of parent that I would minimize her time with the kids...she does need to improve on many things though.

She finally simmered down enough so that I will be having the kids this w/e...but when she feels hurt or angry she can lash out like a child...and she was minimizing my contact with my kids a few days ago. and that is something I'd never do to her unless she were unhealthy for them. ya know.

yeah...i have a therapist and i do vent there. he's on vacation tho. I went to some alanon meetings a few times but wasn't getting a whole lot out of the experience. I mean it was supportive, but i guess i wasn't quite of the mindset to pour myself into it. They push so heavy on the spiritual stuff esp in regard to "christ" and frankly that's not my strong suit..i have some resentment over organized religions that i need to put to bed. maybe I'll give it another shot.

July 6, 2007
11:13 am
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risingfromtheashes
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find another alanon group to attend.

they should NOT be pushing organized religion or christ...it should simply be a higher power, tho many will call their higher power God, christ or something out of an organized religion. There should not be any push for you to adopt "their" higher power as yours...it should be a higher power of YOUR understanding.

As for your post about keeping her away from the kids.

I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say.

My point was that SHE could lose custodial rights if SHE continues to keep you from your visitations, or badmouths you to the kids or tries creating a negative opinion of you to the kids.

I was NEVER implying you would lose visitation or that you would deny her rights.

I was simply trying to explain that you could legally have a case for fighting for primary custody based on her current actions, should they keep up.

Here's the reality - she is a "decent" mom with room for improvement...the reality is - the improvement may never happen.

Sooooooooo, the question is - will your children suffer long term from her lack of appropriate care? from her less than wonderful care?

That's ultimately the question. You can't force her to change. And it will only drive you insane trying, or worrying about it constantly.

So, the question becomes - overall, who would be the better PRIMARY caregiver and who the better secondary. I don't think she needs to be cut out...but maybe not have the total responsibility?

As I said, I really was only trying to show you that you may already have a case against her based on her actions...even tho she gives you visitation at the end, once she calms down...the games are wrong and a decent argument against her stability.

The other question is - how can you "dis-engage" from her, so that during the week, you aren't getting "into it" with her, and going thru all the roller coaster rides leading up to visitation day? Maybe that's something to work on?

What did she get her knickers in a twist over this time? Why was she threatening to not give you your visitation?

how can this be avoided? if at all?

July 6, 2007
11:20 am
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risingfromtheashes
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one more thing...you mention a few times the idea of a "safe" environment for the kids.

I know that in previous posts, your argument had to do with the men she brings around and chooses for care of the children.

Again, if the children are NOT safe, it gives you a case in court.

But know that there are many different opinions on what is "safe" and what is not.

And that may be something you need to adjust to. As what is not safe in your eyes, may be safe in the courts eyes. I think many parents don't see eye to eye on children's safety. Many differ on their views on dating, social activities...even some parents are overprotective about physical activities due to risk of injury.

Everyone has different views.

If the kids are in true jeopardy, meaning drugs in the home, abuse, or outright neglect (like leaving them home alone with NO caregiver, or leaving them with a registered sex offender), then the kids need to be removed.

But if it's a matter of different opinions of what is safe or not, you may have to rely on the courts to mediate that one.

Again, this is on the premise that you fight for custody.

Do you have a parent's advocate? Perhaps you can look into one? or a mediator? Sometimes they can help with the communication in these kinds of cases.

Overall, I think the less communication you have with her, the better, but given the ages of the children, I know you NEED to be in contact, so you can stay up on what is going on.

It's a tough situation. I give you credit for fighting the fight and staying in it for your kids. It WILL matter in the end, they WILL appreciate it someday.

July 6, 2007
12:57 pm
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lewis
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It's a shame that your wife uses the children like this, because at the end of the day they won't respect her for it.

Good luck

July 6, 2007
3:16 pm
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glittered when he walked
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Rising,

Thanks for your thoughts and support. I know I can't change her - nor am i trying to do so. But nor will i stay silent about how we should be raising our children. (not that I am saying that you said i should either - just want to be clear on my view). All I can do and have done is to tell her about things that i think are an issue. Whether she actually modifies that behavior is entirely up to her. and i accept that.

I'm all for having less communication with her. What precipitated her latest angry episode was her inquiring about how i felt about her. She wanted to hear 'i'm so sorry that i hurt you, i love you, and i will change and i want to work things out with you." she didn't hear that so she lashed out. I left her a voicemail about logistics and plans with kids and she texted me "how about No and go fuck yourself." last night she told me that I was responsible for 'almost killing" her (reference to her OD). When i called on eve of july 4th and wouldn't get into a discussion about "whats wrong with glittered" and asked to speak w/ my kids she hung up on me. i don't want to talk to her about our 'relationship" she's hurt me so deeply and doesn't feed my needs in our relationship, rather her favorite sport is basically to point out what she thinks is wrong with me - in a very negative and harsh manner.

In the end, it will likely wash out that she gets primary custody but i will continue to see my children very often (50% to 30% of the time). She has improved on her caregiving for the kids..she used to let them play (a toddler, a 5 year old and a 7 year old) outside while she slept and i was at work. Reports got back to me that my neighbors were talking about my children being unsupervised. She stopped doing that but she does leave the kids home alone while she works but my oldest is going on 13 and the youngest is almost 8. so technically it's not the best situation, but i don't think it's anything CYS would seize on.

July 6, 2007
4:34 pm
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thewall
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Why does she find so many things "wrong" with you? Its her way of avoiding taking a look at her own issues/charecter flaws. If I focus on how everything is your fault then I must be ok and not need changing.

I would suggest flipping thru the book "Understanding the Borderline Mother". Even though she isnt your mother, its a great book at explaining how many Borderline Personality's think, and some of their distorted ways of processing informantion. This will help you be informed of her ways so that you wont get caught off guard and will be better prepared for dealign with her. . Prepare for what she is going to do next before she even knows what she is going to do. it would be a great defense for yourself.

July 6, 2007
4:46 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I can understand how frustrating this is, you want to get on with things, put the past behind, focus on the kids, and she keeps dragging you back into the muck and mire.

That is no fair and hinders progress.

And I applaud you for not wanting to "engage" with her. It is sad that when you do, she reacts to badly.

She does sound borderline in alot of ways.

Like I said, if she makes life difficult, it could be ground for primary custody, if you want it. Otherwise, you may need to learn to end the convo when she starts, and later try again to reach the kids when the dust settles.

And keep notes on all this. It may be needed down the road...if it ever comes to a custody battle.

July 11, 2007
10:40 am
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soprano2
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Glittered--

I have a friend that has been in your situation before. I have heard how difficult it is to deal with--especially when the traditional courts tend to favor the mother in most cases.

As far as the custody thing goes--it is very difficult to prove that a mother is unfit in the court system. There are basically two things that can do it--substance abuse or neglect. Both are very hard to prove when it is your word against hers. I would keep a journal about every contact and every thing that your older kids tell you. The journal will help you keep what happened straight and it will include dates and shown patterns if there are any.

As far as she goes, if you are still getting into fights with her about the matter of "us" (meaning you and her), you have the ability and power to stop them. I was very afraid of the "No Contact" because I have kids with my stbx as well. I finally got to the point with him that I had to say if you want to talk about the kids that is fine, but I will not talk about us anymore. And when he called to talk about the kids I would talk to him. If he went on to the topic of us, I politely told him that it wasn't a conversation I wanted to have and hung up the phone. It took some hard steps from me and a while for him to understand, but we have gotten along much better recently because he knows that I will not put up with it. He knows that the kids are okay to talk about and nothing else.

Good luck. I know that this hurts you.

By the way, my friend did win custody, and he still is raising his two teenage daughters. It has been hard for him, but he said all of the hard work was totally worth it.

July 11, 2007
11:15 am
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risingfromtheashes
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soprano...I think the hard thing glittered is facing is that SHE has primary custody.

So, if he cuts her off regarding convos about "us", she retaliates by telling him he can't see the kids.

In your case, you hold the cards, because you have the kids, so he can't keep the kids from you if you refuse to discuss "us" or hang up on him.

I think glittered mentioned that he HAS told her he won't discuss that, and in retaliation, she told him he can't see the kids over the weekend.

It's no fair when a parent uses the kids as pawns in their sick twisted game.

July 11, 2007
11:45 am
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jasminum sambac
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If I didn't miss something, glittered said that primary custody was being decided.

Glittered, it sounds like she's doing a whale of a lot of projecting on you, and probably will: it's all somebody else's fault, not hers, right?

No matter how the custody gets decided in the courts, you'll most likely still have to have this barrage coming at you because you're a father who isn't going to desert his kids, and will care in the future what happens to the kids (like whether they're home alone). I know you know this already, from how you write.

I don't know whether there's enough about her parenting that you could document, for now or the future, but it might, if you think she'll fail on some basic parenting, be worth keeping track, documenting.

Most of your problem, since you're not going to abandon caring for your kids, sounds like a question of how to handle your emotions (she'll likely keep projecting and trying to dump; no relief to be expected from her behavior) and tactics of communication. I know you know all this already; you're articulate about your dilemma.

You are going to have to get some new mental shields, both for you and for the kids. Therapy and therapeutic books tend to focus on honesty, on being who you are, on seeking sharing relations, that kind of thing, but if you're dealing with that kind of an assaultive person (that's how she comes through in what you wrote) who no longer has any reason to be nice to you (the marriage is over), it seems to me that you're set free to put some new buffers in your life, mental ones, I mean.

I wish I could suggest specific ones, but you'll have to see what works for you: schedule a workout after a conversation with her (which will likely have hostility from her in it, so you might as well go ahead and plan for it). I dunno; if she gets in the middle of a flame, maybe say 'scuse me, a call just came in on the other line, the pot's boiling over on the stove, a firetruck pulled up a the door, let me call you back in a minute, and disrupt her chain of thought. In other words, try operant conditioning, maybe, that business of giving the white rats pellets or withholding them, to teach them behaviors?

I hope this kind of suggestion doesn't sound cold, but if she's a borderline, and I trust that she's as full of vitriol and unreasonableness as you say, reasonable measures and expecting her to soften up aren't what's called for, regarding her flaming you.

I feel for you: your love and care for the kids is going to require you to learn some psychic judo throws. You're a good guy. Good luck.

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