There are many parents who keep their child(ren) from seeing the other parent as a form of punishment, to hurt and spite the other person for leaving them and being with someone else. For the 10% of parents that don’t allow the child(ren) to see the other parent because of the damage that it causes to the kid(s) and yourself, I sympathize and understand EXACTLY what you are going through….
For the last 4 years, I’ve been in an ongoing battle with my children’s father. I know what it’s like to grow up without your father in your life and having that positive father-child relationship, so I always ensured myself that no matter what happened I would encourage his relationship with them. Lately, I’m having to rethink that. For several different reason, but the main one being the dysfunction that seems to follow their father in every relationship that he’s in. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t give the kids a bath when they’re with him, he doesn’t do homework or encourage reading and writing, he doesn’t properly feed them, they come home sick and with ringworms, he hasn’t taken my son to get a haircut in almost 4 months (shout out to my current partner for picking up where their father falls short), he doesn’t pay for school tuition or trips, and whenever he gets mad at me he pulls them from their school and enrolls them into another one of his choosing. No, those weren’t the reasons why I’m forced to make such a decision, although there were valid reasons in and of themselves.
I am making the decision to be the bad guy because his home life is full of arguments, discord, and manipulation. He led me to believe that those things only happened in OUR relationship because I was the issue. Yet my children come home with behaviors that I, at first, had been brushing off as them being children. Until my oldest child’s teacher sent a note home stating that her behaviors at school have gotten worse as well. I phoned the teacher and spoke with her; she informed me that she could tell when my daughter is coming from her fathers house because her “behaviors are progressively getting worse”. She pulled my daughter to the side and asked her if everything was ok and my daughter told her that she was sad because “mommy and daddy keep fighting”. At first I became defensive because I am diligent about not fighting in front of them. Then, I remembered that they call his wife mom and a lightbulb went off in my head. My son has said at random times that “mommy _______ is sad because daddy keeps yelling and making her feel bad”. My daughter has told me that she’s sad because “mommy ______ left the house and went to her mommy’s house because daddy made her upset”. In just this past year, my children have told me that their step-mother has left the house on 4 separate occasions. Imagine the trauma it’s causing these children to have someone consistently walking out and coming back into their lives.
I had a talk with my daughter. I asked her if she was happy or sad when she’s at her dads house. She’s happy she’s with her dad, but sad that they always argue. She even told me 2 stories of arguments that happened; I’m assuming they stuck with her because they affected her.
My dilemma now is do I keep my kids with me where they’re safe from arguments, people walking away, and dysfunction and go through the drama of fighting with their father about it (even though I have full legal and primary custody of the kids so I have every right to make that decision), or do I allow them to continue to spend time with their father knowing the damage and psychological trauma that it’s causing. At this point, which evil is the most detrimental? I’ve had people say “why don’t you just try talking to him?” Well, you don’t know my children’s father. This decision that is difficult for me to make, he’s made with absolutely no effort in the past, on more than one occasion. The last time he kept the kids from me was for 2.5 months while we awaited our custody court date because “he was afraid I was taking the kids from him”. Did I mention that according to our order no party can move outside of the county that we live in without prior notification and approval of the courts and the other party? Yet he’s moved out of our county and has been telling our daughter that he’s transferring her into a new school in that new county that mom has no knowledge of. What does that sound like to you?
The logical part of me (my brain) says that this is an easy decision to make. The emotional part of me (my heart) is worried about how this too could affect the kids. I essentially have to choose between the lesser of two evils. I’ve been fighting with him for the last 4 years, so that’s not new to me. My children shouldn’t have to be in the middle of ANY fights, especially if it’s affecting them. I left him for that reason. Can you guess which way i was swayed?
Being a single parent is TOUGH! I made the choice to be a single parent when I walked away from my marriage with their father. I did it to give my children a better life- one with peace, stability, safety, and love. I’ve accomplished that. And I won’t let anyone (including their father) take that away from them. Being the bad guy in this situation is making me their hero. I pray that he can get his situation together so that he can spend time with his kids. They need him. But for now, they need peace even more.
Make wise decisions, especially with the person you think you want to have children with.
Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!