Wish I could be excited as DH

ashley1979June 2, 2010

Text conversation with DH:

DH: Guess who's in town?

Me: Who?

DH: SD :)

Me: Oh yeah?

DH: wants to go eat tonight.....not sure how long she is here for/staying/etc.

Me: K

Me: What do you want to do?

DH: Not sure yet....I'm at a meeting now....so until I can get more info from SD I'm not sure what is going to happen.

I am sooooo mad right now!!!!!! Just Monday DH talked to SD for the first time in 2 weeks. She said they were house-hunting for a house with a pool. Didn't they just buy a $1/2 Million house like 2 years ago??????

DH said that since her camp was a different time of year than last year there shouldn't be any problems going with us to DH's son's wedding. She said "I don't know; I'll have to check my calendar". Huh? She's 15! This is her brother's wedding!

So here's the reason I'm having such a hard time with this: she came this exact same week last year and stayed for about 36 hours. BM and SF and sister brought her on the way to visit SF's parents. After all that's happened (or not happened) with SD this year, the LAST thing I can handle is hearing that BM is so gracious to come through our area so SD can see DH on their way to see SF's parents. I don't think I can see her (even though I want to)!

I seriously can't handle that. It seems that since they are coming through on a weekday, and didn't give DH any warning, that dinner is all he's gonna get. How inconsiderate to just pop in and not give DH the opportunity to take off work to be with her!!!!!!

How is it that SD can go on vacation with BM and SF to go see SF's parents, but can't miss even 1 cheer event to see her own father?!?!?!?

Who's the real father here?????? I guess the one that gets treated like a father. Sure isn't DH.

OMG! I need a valium and a cigarette and a drink!

Would this p*ss any of you off?

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Yeah. :( It is really sad....for DH. But if it doesn't seem to bother him, then let him be okay with it. I think the poor man is so desperate (understandably so) to have a relationship with his daughter, that at this point, he is happy to take what he can get.

I think you are just p*ssed because it is hard to see the people we love treated badly. You love DH and it's hard to see him being treated like this. You're right, he is not shown the love and respect a father should have, even though he's given as much as he can of himself to his DD. And that is sad for him. :(

I kind of think you are mad on his behalf if you kwim.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 3:46PM
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I agree with lovehadley. It's got to be really upsetting for you watching him being so excited because he's being thrown a crumb when he deserves so much more. Try to remember that a lot of this may not be SD's doing; in fact, she may have gone through hell with BM and SF to even get one dinner with her dad. And after you're done agreeing with DH about how wonderful it was to get to see his daughter for 90 minutes, you can come back and vent to us. :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 3:58PM
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What kind of drink would you like love? (gurgle gurgle splash!) Here you go (hands Valium). And is this brand of cigarette ok? (click-whoosh!)

Ok, are you comfy? now we can talk :)

BM did the same thing to us this summer. Drove right past us, called on the day they were leaving- didn't even give us a chance at dinner.

Now summer is booked. Wants us to go out there, get hotel, spend money, to see SD during the days. No, she can't stay at hotel. I'm so mad I could pop.


Here's to our DH's.... may they grow a pair!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:06PM
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Silver---are you guys going???

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:11PM
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It isn't just stepchildren;
my brother used to pull this nonsense on my mother all the time, & she absolutely fawned over him.

I'll lift a glass with you, & I'll enjoy your company from "upwind" as you smoke, but you don't need the valium & it just can't be good for you.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:11PM
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LOL. Of course we're going!!! It's his DD!!!! He will take any scrap she throws and wiggle his little puppy tail. But I was going to their town anyway to visit a girlfriend. So, this first time we're going together. After that... he's on his own.

Sylvia, cigarettes, alcohol and depressants are not good for a person. Neither is stress. I'm sure Ashley isn't going for the prescription bottle as we speak, but it's nice to be able to just let it all hang out every once in a while.

*Ashley, if you're done with that glass, go ahead and throw it against the fireplace. Hans (yes, the one with the fabulous legs and incredible eyes who wears a bathing suit far too skimpy to be straight) will clean it up and bring you another.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:29PM
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that's a shame! She did not even call ahead of time? How awful, I cannot imagine going to ex's town with DD and not call ahead of time. Really, this is mom's fault. unacceptable.

drink sounds good, sometimes I wish I enjoy drinking, I know how you feel..

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:46PM
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Love - you are so right! I hate seeing him being treated like this, but there's nothing I can do other than be as supportive as I can and keep my comments to myself.

Mattie - thanks for the support! I did exactly what you said. DH told me last night "Thanks for being such a good wife". LOL! I wasn't sure whether to be flattered or offended, but I chose the flattered route :)

Silver & Sylvia - Thanks for the virtual smoke, anti-depressant and drinking buddies! Believe-it-or-not, it really did make me feel better because I laughed so hard!

Silver, I can really empathize with you and your DH. Why is it that the good daddies get screwed? Oh wait! I know why! It's because they put their kids' happiness high on their priority list and the BMs take advantage of it and use it against them. So, really, the old cliche "nice guys finish last" is really true. I am grateful for the 2 hours we got last night because it could've been that they never even contacted us.

DH reminds me of an abused dog. They don't have the sense enough to fight back; they just continue to let the master beat them, but they still stay loyal to the master.

FD - yes...this is technically BM's fault, but her brainwashing is pretty-much complete so she really can say SD is making the decisions.

The night went a little better and a little worse than expected. Come to find out, SD had come to town the day before to go see a musical with BM and sister while SF went to play golf with friends.

DH picked up SD at 6:30PM from the hotel and was ordered to have her back by 10 PM because they had to leave early in the AM. Not sure why she couldn't spend the night and DH take her back on his way to work this morning, but my guess is DH didn't ask.

We went to dinner and DS and SD giggled and laughed the whole time. DH said later on that he hadn't heard DS laugh that much in months. DS really does love SD like a sister (they've known eachother most of their lives now). It was so great, but hurt my heart at the same time, kwim?

The good news was that they were headed back to their state and not to SF's parents house. Whew! That would've made it worse.

DH said something weird...he said SD told him she was mad at herself for giving up on the surprise too early. I asked what she meant by that and he said she wanted to just show up wherever he was, but she didn't know how to find out where he would be. I told him that she had already been here for a 1 1/2 days and she was kinda running out of time. But she could've always asked me...not sure why she didn't.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:28AM
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"got the day before and did not call..."

if DD did this to me I would be devastated. I cannot imagine how your DH feels...

do you think it would ever be any different?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 8:28PM
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I do think that it will be different when she is older. Right now DH is hurt, but trying to stay happy that at least he got to see her a little. It's hard for him to understand how BM can make that drive to see a musical and not give him anymore time than a couple hours with her.

You know who was the most devastated? DS. I know he doesn't have any blood bond to her, but he can't remember a time without her in his life. He said to me "why can't she stay longer? Doesn't she want to see us?" I said "I'm sure she does." He said "But, Mom, I never get to see her anymore!" I said "I know, neither do we."

Here's something DS told me last night. At dinner, SD was sitting next to DS. DS said she was texting her mom at dinner. I asked him how he knew and he said "Well, Mom, her phone was like right by my knee and i could see when I glanced down to see what she was doing under the table." He didn't see what she said, but it really doesn't matter anyway.

Why does BM need to be texting SD when she hadn't even been gone from her for 2 hours at that point and was due to be back to her in an hour?

I have a feeling that it's the same thing that was going on when she did the whispering thing at the cheer competition. IMO, BM is trying to keep SD and DH from having any emotional conversations, or even conversations where SD might reveal some lies or DH might reveal some truths. And if she only gives us a couple hours alone with her, she knows we won't want to "ruin" it.

I really wouldn't be surprised if she was recording or playing our conversation for BM. It wouldn't be the first time. That came out last summer.

SD says things to intentionally be hurtful. She talks bad about our weather, state, city, schools (that she used to go to) and sports teams. She told us the other night that the only thing bad about her new boyfriend is that he's a Cowboys fan. I asked her why that was bad because she used to love the Cowboys. She said not anymore; she's a Cardinals fan now.

I was thinking about how she seemed to have no problems leaving us. She treats DH like he's some uncle she only sees a couple times a year; not her father. And I'm sure that's the way she sees things now. She has her family...BM, SF & sister, and DH is just some relative she visits when passing through the area.

One other interesting tidbit I received last night. When we went to visit her a couple days before her b-day, BM & SF told us all they were giving her was driving lessons for her b-day. Come to find out, the trip to see the musical was her b-day gift, and the musical has been sold out here for months. So they knew then they were coming here.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:28AM
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But does she know how DH feel? Is she too young to understand? I wonder when she gets older would he be able to explain and reconnect? I hope so.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:36AM
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We are leaving this Friday for DH's son's wedding.

We've known the date for months and have known the wedding was coming for over a year now. When we visited SD in April, we told them the dates (sitting in their living room) and plans. DH has been prepping BM and SD for this for months, and has been leaving voicemails, emails and text messages trying to confirm plans and such for weeks now. This is totally out of charachter for DH since he is not usually a planner, but he is in the process of mending fences (that SD's mother tore down) with his son and wanted to make sure BM couldn't mess it up.

The plan has always been to drive to SD's city, spend the night, pick her up, drive to son's place, spend a week, head back to SD's city the day after the wedding, spending the night, and heading back home. So no effort or money will be needed from BM. Just to open the door to let SD out when we get there.

Well, wonder of all wonders, SD called last night...5 days before we are supposed to pick her up. She said she doesn't think she can go because BM and SF MIGHT be splitting up and they MIGHT have to move into an apartment because they won't be able to afford the house.


1) what does that have to do SD going on this trip;

2) I'm SO not surprised

3) they've known about this trip forever and she is just now calling us?

4) We haven't asked BM for anything

5) BM has never mentioned a word of this to DH

DH countered with something about her flying there instead of driving. SD said they wouldn't have the money since they may have to move. DH told her he pays CS and it is enough to fly her here and back 3 times a month. SD said that she thinks it goes into her savings account (doubtful since BM told DH a couple years ago she uses it to pay for SD's activities), and DH countered with "Well, then you have the money to fly then."

I was so proud of DH! He was calm and cool and said all the right things, but still told the truth.

SD continued to play the money card saying they would have to leave their house. DH told SD that BM had the same problem when he and her split and he actually gave her $25,000 cash so she wouldn't move SD, but then still did anyway. SD said she was happy where she is now and DH told her he was happy for her that she lives near family now, which she didn't have before, and proud of her for her accomplishments.

He also told her that he would be very disappointed if she missed her brother's wedding, and that she wouldn't dare miss her sister's or cousin's weddings. She responded with (wait for it; wait for it)...."It's not the same." DH responded that he knows it's not, but that's not her fault nor the son's; it's his and BM's fault, and the only reason it's different is because she never lived with him. He told her her brother is the same relation to her that her sister is and it would unfair to not show up.

He also told her he was unhappy with her choice to wait until 5 days before to talk to him about it, and that ignoring things doesn't make them go away; it just makes them harder to deal with.

I guess it ended well and, so far, so arguements from SD or BM.

We are going to be there Friday night regardless. It just so happens to be 20 miles shorter to go through her city than to go straight to son's htown (mountains I guess).

Here's what I think...I think this is just another ploy just like the wedding trip. I think SD has a lot of anxiety visiting us (because of BM) and this is a result of that anxiety. She is trying to avoid any uncomfortable situations.

I wish DH could file child cruelty charges on BM for forcing her kid to love SF, call him daddy, taking her away from her real daddy and taking her away from SF.

This makes my suspicion of abuse even stronger. I still believe that SD and BM act like they are hiding things, and this only serves to make those beliefs even stronger.

And I don't even want to know how much CS she would haul in from SF. He makes probably $150,000/year. She's already getting twice what I get for DS just from DH. Oh, but remember they have to sustain SD's and sister's lifestyles which means all the various activities and designer clothes they get.

I can almost guarantee she is cheating on SF and will get re-married within 2 years. It seems like the past is repeating itself with SD, why wouldn't it repeat itself with BM?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:37AM
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How old is SD? The whole thing sounds so manipulative.
DH's adult son manipulates him to the Nth degree. I completely checked out of any relationship with his kids at all and my life & our marriage is so much happier.

I think you handled it best and applaud you for being able to go & be with him for the visit. I think restraint and allowing DH to deal with the situation is best. Very sad, but it's out of your hands. Sometimes you just have to let go and move on with your life.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:17PM
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Thanks, Catt! I don't know how else to handle it.

I will have my son with me because I've made arrangements. That's all that is really my responsibility. Easier said than done, though, because I care about DH and hate this manipulative crap, but my brain needs to constantly tell my heart to stay out of it.

Since we are going to this wedding, DH wanted to scan some old pictures onto a CD to give to his son. There was quite a few so I offered to do them at a camera place that has a bulk scanner. I scanned 13 years of birthday, Christmas, weddings, and family gathering photos and came away with a great sadness; almost depression.

They looked so happy for first 10 years, but I could see the progression towards unhappiness, and it looked like it was around the time SD was born. Before that, BM, DH and his son always had big, genuine smiles and there were lots of hugs. After SD was born, his son started looking bored and sad and annoyed. It just makes me wonder what happened.

BM told SD she's "not happy." Happiness is fleeting. Marriage is not about happiness; it's about joy. It seems like everything revolves around BM's "happiness." And why should SD be responsible for that?

I got divorced because it was a violent relationship. I'm the one that initiated it and I will never regret it. DH got divorced because BM cheated and she cheated because she wasn't happy. How many lives does she have to ruin for her to finally find happiness?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Quick, brief update.....

SD did not go to her brother's wedding with us. We went there, DH got in a big ole fight with BM (she even cried), and us leaving without SD. We left SD on a good note, told her we would be back the next weekend and wanted to see her. DS was confused and upset. He said he couldn't figure out why she wouldn't want to see her brother and neice and nephew.

We had a great vacation. Just sucks that a piece of our family puzzle is always missing. Didn't get to spend much time with DH's son and grandkids because of all the other family and events going on. Guess we should've picked to stay the week after instead of the week before, but that is just another thing that got messed up because we plan everything around SD.

So the next weekend we come back through. She said she can't see us because she has practice the next morning. So DH made arrangements to see her at her school the next morning 30 minutes before practice. DS and I didn't go.

Get home late that night and guess what we have in our mail? A letter from the AGs office stating that (after 10 years) BM is requesting a review of CS.

DH's original plan was to get an attorney and change visitation and CS all at one time. I have no idea if he is getting an attorney or not. Just this very topic infuriates me to the point where I can't talk about it with him.

She's just padding her finances for her impending divorce. Although there has been NO sign of that whatsoever.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 6:22PM
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I was just thinking about you, ashley, the other day...you haven't been posting. This is all horrible, SD didn't go to the wedding, couldn't see him because of practice (wtf), BM wants more CS. That's just awful, now divorcing...

sorry you have to deal with this crap...

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:09PM
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I'm so sorry for you all. How awful that she missed her brother's wedding. That is something she will eventually regret very much.

BM may be the root cause but SD is old enough that she should not be so eager to burn bridges in the manner that she is. It's really unfortunate. DH may always love her unconditionally but she's got to be doing damage to other relationships. BM is doing her a huge disservice by allowing her to think that weddings and other family events are optional attendance.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 7:30AM
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I hope your DH gets one helluva strong WOMAN attorney.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 7:46AM
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Ditto the female attorney!

DH won residential custody AND got the no-drinking-order for BM with a woman attorney. Prior to that, he'd had a man and for whatever reason, the judge didn't seem to take that guy too seriously.

I don't know if the latter result was because he had a female attorney, or if she was just better, but I do think that a man being represented in a custody/child support matter by a WOMAN looks better.

I am so sorry for your family and DH especially. It totally sounds like parental alientation is what's going on here and that sucks.

"BM may be the root cause but SD is old enough that she should not be so eager to burn bridges in the manner that she is."

I disagree. Sort of. I agree *in theory* that SD should be old enough to look at the situation objectively but let's not forget that A) she lives with mom and B) she has been raised and conditioned by her mom all along. That sort of thing isn't just undone overnight. SD is what, 14? That's still pretty young and immature. IMO, she may at some point recognize the damage done to her relationship with her dad, but I am betting it won't be until she's older--and probably in college and out of mom's constant influence.

Sorry to be such doom and gloom. :(

TThis may sound terrible but part of me thinks your DH should just leave the situation alone; he should expect that DD will decline his visits, reschedule, not see him much, etc. Forcing it---at this point---will not do much good. I am NOT saying DH should give up on his DD by ANY MEANS, but that he should keep his expectations super low here.

From now on--don't plan your vacations or make other plans AROUND his DD. That is kind of like that saying: an expectation is a planned resentment.

You try to include her, form plans around her and then she disappoints, and DH is upset, you're upset and everyone is upset. Life is too short.

DH should continue to have contact with her, attempt to see her but not expect ANYTHING. As awful as it is, I think (at 14) there is not much changing the girl right now. SHE will have to decide as she matures that SHE wants a relationship with her dad. AS long as she knows he loves her unconditionally and will always be there, that's what matters.

But don't let a situation you/he can't change ruin your lives now.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 9:32AM
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"SD is old enough that she should not be so eager to burn bridges in the manner that she is".

I wasn't clear because I hadn't had enough coffee yet. I just meant that a young child really doesn't understand why, if she gets a better offer or an event sounds boring, she shouldn't just cancel. A teenager should have been brought up to understand that some events she should really not miss if at all possible, that she should RSVP one way or the other in a timely manner, and if she has accepted then she doesn't cancel barring dire emergency.

BM may be thinking that she is just trying to keep her away from part of her family, but she is doing her a terrible disservice by allowing her/encouraging her to do so at an event such as a family wedding. Manners and etiquette are not something one puts on like a hat, only if one feels like it. The fact that she is 14 and presumably thinks that it is fine to behave this way ever and not just in this particular circumstance is what I was referring to.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:00AM
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"The fact that she is 14 and presumably thinks that it is fine to behave this way ever and not just in this particular circumstance is what I was referring to."

Totally agree. Therein lies the problem--this mother has raised her DD in this manner, and that's why I think it will take a lot of maturing/growing up for this girl to change. I feel badly for her because it's not her *fault* but at some point---when she becomes an adult and realizes in the real world, you cannot treat people in this manner--she is going to be forced to change. Or not. And if she doesn't, if she keeps living the way her mom has conditioned her to live, she is in for a sad and lonely life.

It's a bad situation all the way around, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:23AM
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"SD is old enough that she should not be so eager to burn bridges in the manner that she is"

Mattie I totally agree with this statement, but this statement is also one of the reasons this situation hurts so much.

In my post on 7/19, I wrote "He also told her that he would be very disappointed if she missed her brother's wedding, and that she wouldn't dare miss her sister's or cousin's weddings. She responded with (wait for it; wait for it)...."It's not the same." DH responded that he knows it's not, but that's not her fault nor the son's; it's his and BM's fault, and the only reason it's different is because she never lived with him. He told her her brother is the same relation to her that her sister is and it would unfair to not show up."

She KNOWS SHE IS WRONG! BM knows SD is wrong for not going! But that didn't stop them.

In her arguement with DH, BM said that SD is uncomfortable with DH's family and his son because she doesn't know them. DH responded that it was partially SD's fault because when they communicate with her SD doesn't respond back.

BM actually had the nerve to say that she befriended DH's family on Facebook, but deleted them because they never asked her about SD. Huh? Why would they do that? If they want to know about SD they would talk to DH or SD directly.

You also said "A teenager should have been brought up to understand that some events she should really not miss if at all possible, that she should RSVP one way or the other in a timely manner, and if she has accepted then she doesn't cancel barring dire emergency."

This has been my belief all along, and this is what I am teaching my DS (which is why he can't understand why she didn't go). It is also what BM teaches SD, but only when it comes to HER family.

I just don't know what to say or do or feel. That's why I haven't been posting because the situation seems to get worse.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:39AM
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SD is 15 now. She even has her own car already...how bout that?

You're right, it's a bad situation all the way around. What I can't believe is how BM's family can sit there and watch this happen and not think it's wrong! They even justify it!

DH meets with an attorney tomorrow. He's going with a law firm that specializes in dad's divorce. You may have heard of it because I think they are based in STL.

I like your phrase "an expectation is a planned resentment" and so true! I felt so bad for DH's son who was very disappointed to not see his only sibling at his wedding. DH tried to smooth it over, but he has a very, very, very small family. So missing even 1 person is missing a lot.

I also think you're right as far as the brainwashing. She has daily conditioning from BM which beats out any logic and reasoning DH has. He can't compete with that.

BM started crying when she told DH "I told you! I told you to spend time with her." Huh? Okay so when SD lived here, he had her every weekend (with nearly daily interruptions from BM, but he still saw her). Then BM moves her 600 miles away, and he's at fault for not spending time with her?

So then BM says SD doesn't want to talk to DH because he's always bugging her about when he's going to see her. DH says "When else am I supposed to ask her? You say it's all up to her, but yet she never answers my texts or calls, and when I finally do get her on the phone I have nothing else to talk to her about because no one tells me what's going on in her life." BM says that he has access to schedules and stuff that are online. DH countered with that schedules online aren't always up-to-date and BM doesn't send him updates or answer his e-mails.

Here's the best...after they had the arguement about SD feeling uncomfortable, DH says "well I know for a fact my mom sends her e-mails and texts" and BM says "well she doesn't check her e-mail much because she's so busy with cheerleading." How stupid is that reasoning?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:55AM
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People keep saying "sounds like a teenager" or "typical teenager stuff; she'll grow out of it." I just want to scream "NO IT'S NOT!" This is not typical and she won't just grow out of it. It is all the other stuff that is magnifying the "typical teenager stuff."

And the whole supposed reason for her not going was because she didn't want to be "uncomfortable". You know what I wanted to say (but didn't because I stayed out of it)? LIFE IS NOT COMFORTABLE! I'm so tired of my husband, my life revolving around SD "comfort level!" I could give 2 sh*ts how "comfortable" one of the kids is when it comes to doing the right thing. Most times the right thing to do is the most UNcomfortable option.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:01AM
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I don't understand what some people are thinking. No doubt BM will be so surprised when SD grows up, gets married, and decides to skip her husband's cousin's wedding because she doesn't really know them and they're not her family - and is honestly surprised when it leads to a huge fight.

I agree with Love; unfortunately I don't see this situation as changing anytime soon. I'd keep expectations super-low. I wonder, as well, if part of the reason is that BM and SD enjoy having DH beg for SD's attendance at things. I wonder if a more casual "sorry you can't make it, we'll miss you" attitude might be better all around. Regrettably it sounds like it would be better for DH and you, certainly.

It's just so disgusting that a parent is so willing to score points against the other parent that they apparently never give a moment's thought to how their behavior is shaping their child's future.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:12AM
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I am not excusing BM or SD at all, they are wrong on every level.

But I do think that dad had to be more proactive from the very beginning.

I think all discussions about visitations had to be between mom and dad. When my ex called DD, they would talk among themselves about whatever, then he would get me on the phone and ask to discuss visitations. If dates were confirmed then he and DD could talk about what are they going to do, but I think while children are still minors parents have to talk about visitations.

If parents could not agree (as BM and DH) then it has to go through court system, still not through child. 15 is not legal age, has a car or not, she is a minor child.

I had a situation once when I didn't want DD to go for one particular event due to some circumstances, so exDH called me 3 times a day and sent 2 emails a day asking to reconsider, he went on like this for 2 weeks. I finally agreed just because I got annoyed with ex LOL But never once he tried to manipulate DD into pressuring me to let her go. And I never prevented DD from going anywhere, it was just one specific time.

Of course the situation is different and DD never refused to see her father, she always wanted to see her dad as much as possible but still visitations discussion was always between me and dad. As soon as DD graduated high school and got to be of a legal age, dad and her make their arrangements when they want to see each other. I have nothing to do with it.

I think if dad and mom want to treat SD as an adult who makes her own decisions then I guess they have to respect that decision: if she does not want to see her dad or go to family events then they should comply with it. I personally think that children's decisions need to be respected but they are not ultimate decisions makers at 15.

When i was a teenagers, i was told to call grandma no matter comfortable or not. SD had to attend family event because that's what people do, comfortable or not.

If DD was told to attend mine or ex's family event/wedding and she said "no", she'd be in big trouble. Both i an ex are pretty lenient parents, but this would be a "NO" with us. I never even remember asking if DD WANTS to attend family event or not, she was going no matter how it made her feel.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:51AM
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"BM actually had the nerve to say that she befriended DH's family on Facebook, but deleted them because they never asked her about SD. Huh? Why would they do that? If they want to know about SD they would talk to DH or SD directly."

I don't care about FB, but I see how it is offensive if they never ask about SD. BM is the one who lives with SD, dad barely sees her why would they ask dad how SD is doing? And she is not an adult, it is appropriate to ask a parent about her. If exMIL never mentioned DD to me I would be offended as well. What else DH's family is supposed to talk about to BM, if not SD?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:58AM
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"He's going with a law firm that specializes in dad's divorce. You may have heard of it because I think they are based in STL."

Email me on facebook. I would love to know who DH is using--wondering if it's the same firm my DH used in his second court stuff. His attorney was GREAT!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Okie dokie :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 6:21PM
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Parent - I think the point I failed to make was that it's all about BM and always has been. BM said "I told you..." as if DH should've listened to HER all those years ago after she cheated on him, divorced him and used their daughter to manipulate him out of his home. And the Facebook thing is the same way. BM thinks that anyone's relationship with SD should go through her. She never posted any pictures or updated her status. There was never any communication from her to DH's family, yet she expects DH's family to communicate with her (and then "punishes" them when they don't by deleting them from her page). Plus, after all the things she's done to DH, his family doesn't want anything to do with BM more than civilized relations when they have to.

DH is SD's parent, too. Not just BM. BM has created a condition where she is the "gateway" to by changing her phone plan from ours to hers and putting SD in so many activities that she doesn't have time to communicate with anyone.

As far as not going through SD to make plans, I totally and completely agree with you. And that is how DH has tried to do it. But in reality it doesn't work that way. When DH tries to go through BM, she avoids his calls, e-mails and texts for a while. DH will mention it to SD (she should know what's going on), but SD will "forget" to talk to BM about it. SD and BM avoided all communications from DH for weeks until the very last minute.

In the case of DH's son's wedding, DH sent e-mails, texts and voicemails to both BM and SD periodically from June 09 to January 10 trying to get them to commit to a timeframe (we had to book our lodging since the area is a very popular vacation place in the summer). No responses. So we booked the lodging the week before the wedding since that seemed to be the time that would have the least impact on cheerleading and school (her school started the 2nd week of August). When we visited SD in April this year (see previous post), DH and I and BM and SF and SD all sat in their living room and DH proceeded to talk to them about the wedding. BM said it wouldn't be a problem since the cheer camp was at a different place this year, and on a different week. After that, DH e-mailed, texted and/or called to give timeframes for us picking SD up and bringing her back until SD called 5 days before we were to leave (see above July 19 post) when SD called DH to tell him she didn't think she could go.

So, tell me...how was DH supposed to handle that any different?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 1:30PM
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I totally understand you Ashley, unfortunately our situation is starting to look more like yours every day :-(

One of the big differences being BM lives nearby and we do see skids regularly, well, having said that...
Haven't seen SD14 for 6 weeks, but SD12 has been for a few days. We are going back to a counselor next week because it's just so hard and we don't know what to do anymore.

FD I hear what you're saying when you talk about how decisions should be made by adults, the kids should not be involved, and I'm sure we all agree with this. The problem is that if one parent ignores this it is virtually impossible for the other parent to put a stop to it. Dealing with a 'normal' person in a 'normal' divorce situation is a totally different thing to dealing with a parent who is manipulative (because of mental/other issues).

Manipulation is the key. We also deal with a BM who has manipulated SD's into making 'their own decisions'. It has taken years of subtle (and not so subtle) pressure, and now it's finally done. It all started with involving the kids in adult decisions. So for example BM wanted SD's on our weekend to take them to granddad's (even though he lives around corner and no special occasion). She'd give the girls the message to pass on and FDH would reply "I'll discuss that with your mum".

He'd then ring BM himself, she just can't ring him, never has. Only to be met with raging, BM would go off topic, lay into FDH about not respecting girls' wishes, how I'm pushing his buttons, she IS their mom no matter how much he'd like it to be different blablabla. And nothing got resolved. After all BM did not ask FDH if it was ok to take kids, she announced she would because she did respect kids wishes, unlike him, and he could have make-up time later (which, no need to say, never happens).

Of course the skids feel anxious because FDH did not give them answer to take back to BM. They knew BM would be angry when they got back. They experienced FDH as difficult one, not BM. All BM needed to do is keep feeding that anxiety; confirming over and over to them that FDH does not respect them like she does, treats them like babies when clearly they're responsible girls, how he does not respect their wishes (after all they want to go and see granddad don't they?) and on and on.

Then you're left with the choice: enforce visitation by pointing out court order to BM, or letting them go (even though nothing was agreed on, BM would consider the announcement that she'd take them as a done deal).

-Enforcing: kids now really think that you are the inflexible one who doesn't care about them and who doesn't respect their wishes. And don't worry; BM will make sure kids know what they're missing..

-Letting them go even though BM never discussed it with FDH like she should have: Confirming to the kids that it is BM's godgiven right to take them on our weekend. And confirming to BM that she can use this tactic again.

If the manipulating parent does this long and often enough, chances are that the skids will be convinced they should be the ones who make the decisions. With the manipulating part being that they are so enmeshed with this parent, they don't realise 'their own decision' is really that parents' wish and not their own. A 'normal' parent will not manipulate kids to make decisions to please them.

A healthy parent will do the right thing by the kids, keeping them out of the middle of adult decisions, but respecting their wishes when appropriate, giving them responsibility when appropriate and involving them in decisions when appropriate. A manipulative parent does exactly the opposite, yet convinces the kids that they are the ones who do all the above.

I'm sorry to carry on, but I'm trying my best to explain what it's like to deal with a disordered parent, and why it's virtually impossible to change these dynamics because you cannot change the other parent or what they do. Going to court, not going to court, enforcing visitation or letting go, the kids are enmeshed with the disordered parent and nothing is going to change that.

Ashley, it's just incredibly hard and sometimes it just sucks. Your DH does the right thing by not giving up, always reaching out, and hopefully one day SD will be able to see a bit more clearly. Hugs to both of you >>

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 9:15PM
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I don't think your DH did anything wrong ashley. I think years ago he had to go through court system dealing with visitations and such..he trusted BM, she is not to be trusted

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:58PM
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I just said it before and I'll say it again: "Going to court, not going to court, enforcing visitation or letting go, the kids are enmeshed with the disordered parent and nothing is going to change that."

We did go to court, several times, BM can still manipulate kids, that can't be stopped through court. The outcome would still be that Ashleys SD feels these are her own decisions..
Some things can't be stopped by any court order..

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 12:54AM
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I agree but I think when kids are younger and they visit because they are told so (or because that's what court says) maybe they develop a bond with noncustodial parent over time. if visitations are not enforced, then they turn 14 and have no bonds with NCP and then of course they make their own decision not to see them. it is too late.

I don't think 4-year-old could make her own decision if dad picks him by court order and mom cannot prevent him or she will end up in court. if i prevented my ex from seeing DD, he'd made my life hell.

I know you've been to court yabber. ashley's DH didn't want to try through court as not to upset SD, and what now?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 1:06AM
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It's such a tough situation..
My FDH has always had a really good bond with his kids, has always tried to see them as much as he could. We had SD14 living with us 50% only last year! And still, the bond has changed even though it was very much established. It still happened..

I remember Ashley that you wrote how SD used to come around a lot and was really close to you guys before BM moved them away, right? I can understand avoiding court if the situation is good, who would have expected at the time that things would deteriorate that bad? I thought Ashleys DH had that close bond, and Ashley did as well.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 7:36AM
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I agree with both of you.

Parent-you are right...DH should've gone to court. It was September 07 when they started hinting they were going to put in for jobs in another state. DH let it go because they kept lying to him saying they didn't know if they were moving or not. He found out about the lies when they put their house on the market in January, but when he confronted them, they said they were just doing it to be ready. He wasn't told they were moving for sure until 2 weeks before they moved in the middle of March.

My point is that he had from September until March suspecting they would move. Plenty of time to have papers modified to protect himself.

There are two reasons he never acted:

1) we DID have a close relationship with SD. We always helped out at her extra-curricular activities, and saw her every single weekend. We did have problems with BM interferring, but at least we had the opportunity to spend time with her. DH NEVER imagined in a million years that his relationship with SD would end up like this. She was a daddy's girl through-and-through. As a matter of fact, we broke up for 6 months in 07 after having dated 4+ years because his relationship with SD was SO CLOSE there was no room for me. We never got to spend any time "dating."

That goes back to Yabber's point that "And still, the bond has changed even though it was very much established. It still happened." SD was 7 and DS was 3 when they met eachother. SD was 12 (almost 13) and DS was 9 when she moved away. We had all bonded in 6 years, and had spent a lot of time together. But that's all gone now, and doesn't mean anything. DH, DS, DH's son and I are no more her "family" than strangers are now.

2) SD begged him not to. BM drilled it into SD's head (and DH's for that matter) that courts are bad places. Well, they are if you're trying to screw someone out of their parental rights. SD cried and promised she would never stop seeing her "daddy." So he fell for it, hook, line and sinker, just like he did with his son. I warned him it would happen and begged him, myself, to go get the papers revised. But he didn't and this is where we are.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 10:19AM
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Ashley thanks for explaining, I was not aware of all this and understand FD's point a bit better now.

I still think that a court order would not have helped DH much. If one parent is @#!*% bend on alienating the other parent, the child does not have a good chance unfortunately. Manipulation is an awfully powerful tool.

BM can still get SD in a certain frame of mind, court order or no court order. So imagine that there was a court order and SD was supposed to visit: Possibly she'd be behaving like a prisoner around your house, feeling like you take her away from her mum and friends, keeping her there against her will. After all, how can a court decide what is best for her, they are a bunch of strangers who can't see inside her heart (just trying to imagine the sort of things BM would feed her). It would create resentment and the bond could further deteriorate, to the point of no contact as soon as she gets to have a say.

Or, other option, BM will ignore the court order and take her chances, saying that she can't force SD to go. So then you could take BM back to court for breaching court order (like we did) and I don't like your chances with that either. After all SD is not little anymore, will get to have a say and BM would have prepared SD well. I betcha any money no court is going to enforce visitation for SD at her age, we've been there.

Nothing can stop this BM from doing the damage she's doing, it's wrong, but what your DH does Ashley is what is advised in Divorce Poison, and that's a good book. I think we can all admire him for not giving up on SD and hanging in there, that takes a lot of strength.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:09PM
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Thanks, Yabber, for the encouraging words for a situation that seems hopeless.

Today is the day! Today is the CS review at the AG office.

Get this: yesterday DH had tons of meeting in the morning and thought the meeting was today. After his last meeting ended (after noon), he checked his phone. There were 2 calls from BM, one around 8:30ish and one around 10:30ish. There was also a couple of calls from a number he didn't know. Then there was a text from BM at 10:30 saying "HELLO???" Guess what? The review was actually YESTERDAY at 10:30 AM, and BM was on a conference call with the AG's office. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! My only hope was that she was sitting in her attorney's office and he was charging her for being there!

Here's a question...why did BM call DH at 8:30ish?

Also, I probably haven't told you that DH has not communicated in ANY way shape or form since Monday August 31. Weird, huh? I'd bet money it has something to do with the CS review.

DH will not sign anything today. So I'm sure BM will turn this around to SD that DH doesn't want to support her and blah, blah, blah. I'm sure that's why SD isn't communicating with DH. I guess we will see....

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 10:45AM
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Well, DH's review got canceled. BM requested it to be dropped. I only got a quick explanation from DH because I am at work, but, from what he told me, she is still not planning to send her to visit. Oh, but at least she is somewhat "sympathetic" to our financial situation. Psht! Yeah right! What-the-f*ck-ever!

I'm so fed up with this situation I could scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I wish this was all just a nightmare and I would wake up!

The thing is that we were really looking forward to a showdown so the truth would FINALLY come out. Now, we are just going to continue the cluster-f*ck that is DH's relationship with SD! UGH! I'm so tired of pretending!

One thing he did tell me was she said "I could've gotten more out of you in the beginning and everyone tells me that". Lady, that was 10 years ago! You can't re-do your divorce just because you didn't screw him over enough in the beginning.

DH pays $760/month without fail. His son was only getting $150/month. I am getting $292 right now from my X and we are barely making ends meet, if at all.

How in the hell does she think she's entitled to more money?

I know I should be happy that his CS isn't going up, but the issue of visitation still isn't resolved. And with BM giving in on this, DH will get less angry and be less-inclined to have papers revised. So here we are, back on the same merry-go-round.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 2:48PM
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Oh Ashley. :( It all sounds like such a manipulative mind f--k game. I'm sorry. :(

Personally--I think your DH should STILL proceed with the custody aspect. THIS is not working the way it is.

Has he thought of doing so?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:49AM
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I'm sorry Ashley. I know the SD issue, we are going through nearly the same thing. And DH is doing similar things too, doesn't want to make waves, doesn't want to fight... so BM "wins" and SD thinks no one cares on this side (or that her family here doesn't want her... yes, she actually said that!).

I tell my DH to fight for custody. But ultimately it's his decision. I just feel so helpless on the sidelines.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:43AM
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