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Am I wrong to cut ties with my son's dad?

 
 
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2018 08:34 pm
My son's dad has never been very helpful at all. He lives with his mom 2 hours away, and for more than two years, I had been driving my son back and fourth so his dad could have time with him. There was an understanding that it wouldn't last forever, and I assumed that he would get his act together and get a car. He's had a job this entire time.

Anyway, he has not done anything at all to get his act together. I was so desperate, and my car was falling apart. I put 30,000 miles in less then a year on my car, so I dropped everything, left my friends and family, and moved in with my son's dad and grandma so I could make a new life in another city and not have to do this anymore!

Shortly after I moved in, his mother practically started stealing my son away everyday, and I would have no idea where she took him and she would never answer her phone. AND she had the nerve to call CPS on me all of a sudden, claiming I left a mark on his arm, but when I looked, there was no mark at all, and I had not harmed my son by simply moving his hand away from my face and telling him "no." when he tried to slap me. (He was 1 1/2 at the time.) It was horrifying. She's also said I'm on drugs several times which I am absolutely not. I felt completely betrayed, considering I had been driving my son over so she could see him, and could not fathom a reason why she would turn on me all of a sudden. I moved out the day after.

Now, I was once again stuck with the drive and the gas and the car repairs. And again, my son's dad never offered me any help, calls me names when I become upset, and would not even be able to get here in an emergency situation when he is needed.

So I cut him off. I blocked him. I can't stand my life with all of this stress. He is free to drive here and see him whenever he wants, but I cannot keep making everything convenient when all I get is bs from both my son's grandma and dad.

He is not a bad father when he is with my son, he loves his son, but am I wrong to cut him off?
 
glitterbag
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2018 10:16 pm
@ashesama,
He needs to step up if he wants to seen his son. It sounds as if you've been very accommodating, doesn't anybody in his clan have a car he can borrow? Does he pay support for his son, or does he just buy diapers every once in a while? Get back with your family and stop being manipulated by devil Granny.
glitterbag
 
  4  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 01:25 am
@glitterbag,
Tell baby-daddy he needs to travel to see his child. An 18-month old toddler can't be shlepped hither and yon. He will come when he wants to see his son, I hope he figures out how to do it quickly.
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 06:03 am
@ashesama,
It's ok to not want a relationship with your child's father but you do have to figure out how to successfully co-parent. A child needs both mom and dad in their life and isn't fair to them if their parents can't get along.

You need a Court ordered Parenting Plan and Child Support Agreement. This means making a petition at Family Court. An initial consultation for an attorney is free and guidance from CPS is free as well. There's a plethora of online resources that show different types of parenting plans.

Set up liberal terms for weekend and holidays because there is a 2 hour drive. Each parent is responsible for their own parenting time so that means he picks up the child and you go get them. There's no arguing or hard feelings because it's a fair arrangement.

Your x doesn't need to offer help to you, he needs to support his child. That's it. Don't make a child a pawn between you and their father or grandparents. The thing with CPS should show you two things: 1, Don't mess around with CPS, they can make your life difficult and 2. You'd better on the up & up since they now have a complaint.

There's a saying in the divorce community that says, "Love your child more than you hate your x." It takes awhile to fully understand the impact of that statement and even longer to be ok with it. Always put your child's best interests first and your's second. That's what it means to be a good parent.
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 07:34 am
@neptuneblue,
neptuneblue wrote:

A child needs both mom and dad in their life and isn't fair to them if their parents can't get along.


You're saying that all widows and widowers are terrible parents.
0 Replies
 
ashesama
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 08:01 am
@neptuneblue,
Thank you, I appreciate your answer.

The only issue is that weather or not I make my son's dad responsible for picking him up, doesn't mean he will. Even if we had a court order, I would still be doing all of the transporting because he does not, or chooses not to own a vehicle. It would never be a fair arrangement, no matter how hard I try to reason with him.

I know not to mess with CPS. That was a nightmare, but the case was dropped quickly, as they could see I obviously do not abuse my son.

My son will never be a pawn, that was never my point or goal in any way. But the fact that I have bent over backwards for years and received no help at all means that now, I'm putting the responsibility of ALL transportation to his father, and am in no way limiting or keeping my son from him. He only limits himself by not being a responsible adult, and I choose to let that problem pass to him, and not to me.

I do have my son's best interest in mind at all times, and if his father wants to be in his life as a good example, he can figure out how to do everything without me, and be that good example as a responsible adult who will help with 50% of everything.

You are right about my son needing both parents though, and this whole things saddens me. I do agree that a court order might be necessary, I just don't know beneficial it would be in reality.
ashesama
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 08:23 am
@glitterbag,
He can occasionally borrow a car, but it's very few and far between. He has 2 past DUI's and a suspended license for the entire time I've known him, but he doesn't drink anymore, thank goodness. This is what I thought he would take care of for the past 2 years. He hasn't done one thing to fix it. He usually leaves me three or four diapers in the diaper bag, that's it. He pays me no support.
ashesama
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 08:24 am
@glitterbag,
Agree. It was stressful for my son to have to get used to being yanked back and fourth, and his adjustment period for a couple days is very difficult.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 08:36 am
@ashesama,
The purpose of a parenting plan is much more than transportation. It's a way co co-parent effectively, having set rules in place. If he (or you) doesn't (or can't) abide by the agreement, well then, that's just too bad.

Sample Parenting Plan:
https://www.lawhelp.org/files/7C92C43F-9283-A7E0-5931-E57134E903FB/attachments/DC2D2B18-62C2-4878-9532-9BFFD60C3CAD/custody_parenting_plan1011.pdf

http://www.divorcehelpforparents.com/parenting-plan-worksheet.html

Being divorced and remarried, I certainly understand where you're coming from. I think you need to rethink a legal court order. Your child is young now, but school years will be coming soon enough. It's best to already have a plan in place instead of a "he said-she said" kind of arrangement.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 09:02 am
@ashesama,
You don't need to cut him off - you just need to stop helping your son's dad.

At this point - you just need him to allow to visit his son whenever he wants/can. If he really wants to see his son, he will make it happen. It is crazy that you are driving so much and there is no need. Your son's dad is an adult and should be a responsible adult.

Does he pay any child support? If not, I would contact a lawyer - he should be helping to support his child. (I am assuming no - just because of what you are writing here).
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 09:07 am
@ashesama,
Quote:
Even if we had a court order, I would still be doing all of the transporting because he does not, or chooses not to own a vehicle.


Not necessarily - the court order should have something in place where he would expected to drive to see his child 0r the very least he would either pick up or drop off.

If he chooses not to have a vehicle then he would need to pay you for transportation fees or arrange the use of a vehicle. The court would ensure this is fair for both of you.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2018 09:09 am
@ashesama,
ashesama wrote:

He can occasionally borrow a car, but it's very few and far between. He has 2 past DUI's and a suspended license for the entire time I've known him, but he doesn't drink anymore, thank goodness. This is what I thought he would take care of for the past 2 years. He hasn't done one thing to fix it. He usually leaves me three or four diapers in the diaper bag, that's it. He pays me no support.


You need to go to court - this is crazy - he does not pay child support! Try to get a lawyer - you might be able to get one at little or no cost if you do not have much finances.
0 Replies
 
TMiles
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 04:30 am
@ashesama,
Just ask yourself - what is this man can give your son?
And make some conclusions!!!
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 07:15 am
@ashesama,
Let me add the perspective of a divorced dad.

I have a two bedroom apartment where my daughter lives with me half of the time. I take my daughter shopping and buy her clothes, I spend time with her. I have work for, and built a respectful relationship with her mom (after the legal battle) where we share responsibility and even cover for each other (when she needs time off during her days, I take care of my daughter). And yes, I do at least half of the driving.

In a co-parenting relationship, both sides need to do the work.

I think it is completely reasonable for you to set limits. If the father of your child wants to be a part of a co-parenting relationships, he needs to do his part.

If I were in your shoes, I would want something in writing. I agree with Neptune about a parenting plan. My advice is for you to leave the door open, but stop going out of your way.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  0  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 04:04 pm
@neptuneblue,
Quote:
Always put your child's best interests first and your's second. That's what it means to be a good parent.
Just be aware that this can be interpreted this in an unhealthy way by some people.

I would have said rather "always be aware of the lessons you are teaching your child'. This means putting the interests of your child's learning before any negative feelings about your ex.....

....which can can also mean showing your child:
- how to handle conflict (in a positive way)
- that people are allowed to stand up for themselves (respectfully),
- that you are allowed to seek equal/fair treatment, and
- that relationships (of any sort) involve give and take, not just take.

Although Always put your child's best interests first and your's second. That's what it means to be a good parent is well intentioned, the above skills (and their complementary attitudes) I listed can get lost in interpretation.
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 06:54 pm
@vikorr,
I understand your point but almost anything can be interpreted as unhealthy. Even the interests of children's learning may become a source of contention if parents cannot agree what objective should be taught.

My x believed in the School of Hard Knocks where he deliberately gave the kids wrong answers to their math homework, stating it's good for them to question adults, authority, and achievement. I felt this set the children up to fail and unnecessarily caused poor scores in math. Fast forward 10 years and our son is now a math wizard, focusing on a degree in Applied Mathematics, his father's methods propelled him. However, our daughter struggles with math and wants nothing to do with the subject. She sparks his temper about it and it's a big source of strife in their relationship. When both parents are math majors, it's a hard pill to swallow.

I can cite 5-6 more examples where being aware of the lessons you are teaching you child may not always be good. So, you see, some lessons may or may not be in the best interest of a child.

The four things you listed are great - that's exactly what the x tried to do. However, it wasn't always in the BEST interests of each and every child.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 07:28 pm
@neptuneblue,
Quote:
I understand your point but almost anything can be interpreted as unhealthy.
I think perhaps, this conversation relates to context. What are the likely problems the OP faces with her ex, and her child? The context I see relates to:

- western society that values 'putting others first' (where those that adhere to it are often walked over, submissive, etc), and in the context of her situation:
- where she has bent over backwards, doing all the driving, and making all the sacrifices (so showing large signs of the above)
- her as a single parent, separated ex, and the conflict that usually entails

Your advice (that I quoted) could easily be interpreted in the 'make all the sacrifices' way. Others, who know how to stand up for themselves, would not interpret it that way. So I was clarifying a specific risk that our OP is likely to face in interpreting your advice (that I quoted).

For my rewording - I did clarify the sort of lessons I was referring to. Other lessons may be more contentious Very Happy
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 08:29 pm
@vikorr,
So you equate making sacrifices for your children as being walked on, submissive and don't know how to stand up for themselves?

I totally disagree.

I think, if you talked to a majority of divorced parents, each one would tell stories about how an x screwed them over. But, how does that equate to the best interest of a child? Sure, some days you're the bug, other days you're the wind shield wiper.

OP's situation is not unique. It happens countless times when children are involved. OP needs a parenting plan with spelled out expectations for the both of them. Being flexible with an x and yes, sacrificing for the sake of the children is a better way to raise happy, self-sufficient young adults.



vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 10:39 pm
@neptuneblue,
Quote:
So you equate making sacrifices for your children as being walked on, submissive and don't know how to stand up for themselves?

I totally disagree.
I disagree also, making sacrifices for your children does not (of itself) equate to being walked on etc. So it seems we both agree that your above interpretation, is wrong.

It seems once again, that this conversation has arisen from removing or missing context. As you are showing an inability, in this thread, to read a conversation within context...is there a point in continuing?
glitterbag
 
  4  
Reply Mon 16 Jul, 2018 10:54 pm
You are not actually cutting ties with the child's father....rather the father is not interested enough to come after his child. He's lazy, he will always be lazy and if he wants to see his child he needs to become responsible.....He's not a grandfather, he's the father.....my Dad would have walked thru hell for us. Your child deserves that kind of Dad. I'm truly sorry you are dealing with this deadbeat. You can't think of it as cutting ties with the Dad, because Dad has already decided he doesn't need to lift a finger in order to take care of that child.
0 Replies
 
 

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