How do I make my almost ex husband understand that parenting time is suppose to be for him, not 90% to 99% with his parents?

Lana - posted on 11/02/2008 ( 14 moms have responded )

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my almost ex is a over the road truck driver, he never knows when he will be home, when he gets our daughter, he may or may not even be there, he is usually working. He tells me that I just have to deal with it, & that his mother & step-dad have every right to have his parenting time with her. Is that correct or not, I don't know...please help?

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Nichole - posted on 12/11/2010

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I am in the SAME boat honey! I feel that my son has more of a relationship with his grandparents than he does with his father.
I havent read all the replies sent to you through here, but here is my piece of mind that I have come to believe.
Your child(ren)-talking to anyone else with this issue-They WILL grow up and make their own opinions of their surroundings and situations that they are put in.
It is not OUR job to baby sit our ex husbands for what they lack. We ARE mothers...we ARE feminine...we have the compassion and the reasoning in our minds of what we want for our children. Now not ALL men are like what we are experiencing right now, not by FAR. But we have divorced them for a reason...and all we can do is love our child(ren) when we have them. Do what we do best and keep it constant for them, so at least in one part of their life they know what they come home to. My son has NO pre school schooling when he is with his father, but has been in day care with ME ever since he was born...his father was suppose to have health insurance for our son, but he failed to do that too, so I got health insurance for him. So dont feel that you have to HELP your ex, I still tell myself that today!, they are grown men and they will do what they want when they want as long as its possible. My son is watched now by 2 senior citizens, one on dialysis and one just has major back surgery, or when my ex's girlfriend is home then she will watch our son. So I have alot on my plate that I have had to over come, but I am picking and choosing my battles. I make sure MY HOME is a good home for him, I make sure I spend AS MUCH TIME POSSIBLE with him. I take him to special events, shows, games, places, and just make it FUN for him!

So dont waste your breath on trying to make your ex see what is wrong with his picture cause he will not listen or learn anything until it bites himself in the butt.

I hope you were able to read all this haha sorry its so long but I am on the same boat as you. I hope I helped a little. I try not to be bias to all men with his problem, but not ALL men are like this and they WILL eventually learn...keep your head up!

Eileen - posted on 11/06/2008

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You aren't going to like this answer, because I didn't like it when I heard it, either. He is an "almost ex" - which means he will be your ex - you can't make him do anything. In fact, he probably enjoys that part of being the ex - you can't tell him what to do anymore. I had some of the same issues, and people told me to just let it go.



You cannot control him, and even scarier you can't control what he does when he has your daughter. Try replacing your criticism with positive comments like, "I'm sure she enjoys the time you do get with her, even if it's not as much as I think it should be." It sounds so strange coming out of your mouth and it will probably shock him, too. But what a great pattern to get into, especially as your daughter gets older and watches the relationship between her parents.



Focus on the positive - at least he's working - lots of divorced moms have bigger problems with ex's who don't work at all. OTR driver is a hard job to have with a family, and it's something you will have to work around. He also seems willing to take her, which is good. Maybe over time he will make adjustments in his life to make parenting more of a priority.



Bottom line - he's right, you do have to deal with it. As long as she's safe, let it go. Be glad there are people in her life that love her enough to want to spend time with her. And take the few hours of freedom and do something relaxing for yourself. :)

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Evelyn - posted on 12/07/2012

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Ex or almost ex, it does not matter. But you can not tell him how to live his life now that you two have parted ways. And it is his time with his child. But if he does not take advantage of it and spend it with her....years later its going to be his loss.

Lily - posted on 12/04/2012

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Bring it to the court. You do not have to share custody with your in laws. Ask for right of first refusal. That means if you ex is unavailable to watch the children then you are offered the time with them before a sitter or grandparents are called

Chrissy - posted on 01/17/2011

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I went thru this for a year with my oldest's father. She would go to her Grandma and Grandpa's every other weekend instead of his house the entire year last year.....his choice to NOT to see her. Unless there is a reason why you wouldn't want his parent's to spend time with them, what's the harm?

Sharon - posted on 12/16/2010

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Hun my advice to you is just let him get on with it as i have one just the same . because at the end of the day the kids will see him for what he is like and it will be his fault somewhere down the line when they dont want anything to do with him i know its hard but chin up hun i have been there and still go through it at xmas and birthdays when he doesnt send cards or gifts for them xx hope that helps alittle

Michelle - posted on 12/13/2010

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Point 1 you need to know who is looking after your child.
Point 2 yes Grandparents do need time with their Grandchildren but it should be arranged with you.
Point 3 If you live in Australia organised a meeting with Relationships Australia with you, father and Grandparents so that the conversation can be mediated.

Gwen - posted on 11/04/2008

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gee, I sense a common theme here, ex's who only show up to take thier children because they know it'll piss mom off. my Brick Wall has done this for 5 YEARS. And there's not a damn thin I can do about it, believe me i've tried. My DS has been left with various girlfriends for the weekend, with his grandmother 2 hours away (and his only dad time was on the car ride there and back, assuming Wall even bothered to do the driving). Currently it's the GF of one year who keeps my child when dad has better things to do and DS isn't allowed to call me to pick him up. But guess who is going to be pretty opinionated about this in a few years, when he is allowed to decide where he wants to spend HIS time...



Sorry, got off on a little tangent there, didn't I? Alll you can do is document, document, document, and hope you have a sympathetic judge who lets you add a 'first right of refusal' clause. BUT... you aren't legally obligated to send your DD with anyone other than the person who has visitation, unless you have it in a C/O somewhere that says something different. I'd be very careful with this one, though, because he can do the same thing!



And hey, look on the bright side, all those annoying things about your ex? your DD will never have to deal with them!

[deleted account]

If it is his legal parenting time, he has the right to CHOOSE to give it to his parents, if he is unavailable. Also, grandparents are very important people in the lives of our children, and there is no need to exclude them from taking up his parenting time as long as your child are not suffering from this exposure. Grandparents are great people who love their grandchildren. Believe it or not, they are just as torn up about your ex-husbands lack of quality time with his child as you are, but it may seem very awkward for that communication to take place between you, and often times, it won't.



When I met my fiance, Mike, Beka (Jayden's mom) hadn't called for almost a month. When Jayden was four or five months, she admitted that she'd never wanted children, wasn't mentally stable or selfless enough to handle her child, and moved out to live with someone else. When I became a part of their life shortly thereafter, she became territorial, realizing that some other woman was moving in and taking her place as a mother. Over the last year and half, she has struggled with her desire to be a part of her daugther's life, and her ability to be a mother figure. Her mother, Gma Cindy, has had Jayden every other weekend since she was born, and when we finally got legal documents laying out custody and visitation rights, Beka willing gave her time to her mother. Gma Cindy has since became a large part of our nuclear family, and keeps both Jayden and Zoe two days a week for me. Now, Beka is trying to be a bigger part of Jayden's life again, and asking for visitation. We told her to discuss it with her mother, because we as a nuclear family have already worked out visitation, and she gave it to her parents.

In the short term, your ex husband doesn't realize what he is losing, but it is not YOUR responsibility as his co-parent to make him realize what he is missing. It is your responsiblity to make sure that your daughter is healthy and happy, and just keep the plan the way it was. By all means, keep a record of when he sees and when the grandparents see her. But keep good face with her grandparents. If something falls through, or you do go back to court over visitation, there's a good possiblity that they will be on your side as long as you don't threaten to take away their time with their precious grand child.

Maria - posted on 11/04/2008

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My ex asks ME to take our daughter when he's off sailing or at a conference. So my opinion may be a bit different where i think if you make the time available, some day your children will know the difference. In some cases these men don't want to be bothered - so why force them and allow your children to suffer? If the grandparents are good people then I say there is no harm in them being exposed to additional family members who love them. Yes their Dads aren't fulfilling what we believe is their responsibilities - but unless your children are suffering, allow them time with that side of the family too. Again, one day your children will ask why - and you will be able to say "ask your father - I didn't stand in his way".

Katie - posted on 11/03/2008

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I am dealing with an almost identical ex! I finally gave up and told him he didn't deserve his wonderful daughters and made small comments about what my children said to me about him. My youngest asked me one day after picking her up from his house after 2 hours of daddy time why daddy's girlfriend got to stay with him but she didn't. I had her call her dad and ask him and it shocked him. The only thing you can do is be thankful you get the extra time with your daughter and be the bigger person. Tell him anytime his mother wants a visit she can but you will be doing the parenting from now on since your the only stable person/parent in her life.

Lisa - posted on 11/03/2008

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I've been having this same arguement with my ex. He has our children two nights a week and every other weekend. It seems that half of his weekends the kids are at his mothers. After months of trying to get him to understand that his time is HIS time and not his mothers time I've given up and decided to do what Theresa has suggested, keep track of how often this happens. Because I can't stop the marathon visits with the grandmother I try to relax for now and think that they're in good hands and they enjoy being there. And someday if we have to go back to court to argue the parenting plan I'll have evidence that their father isn't embracing all the time that he has been given with his children. Best wishes.

[deleted account]

When I filed for my divorce I had to go to a court ordered divorce class. In the class they said that the parents were the ones that should be spending the majority of the time with the kids. It is ok for the grandparents to spend time occasionally with the child, but the father should be there, too. They encouraged the mother to keep track of how often this happens so that if you ever have to go back to court and argue the parenting plan again, you have some record. If you are ok with his parents spending some time with her, let them, but it shouldn't be every time. Take care of yourself and have a break. I know it is hard to get used to being alone again. It has been 7 months for me and I still don't know what to do with myself sometimes. Hang in there...blessings.

Tara - posted on 11/02/2008

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I don't think his parents have the right to his parenting time but if during his time these r people u can trust with u daughter why not allow them the visit? It gives u some time to figure urself and ur world out, maybe catch up on some housework and dare I say maybe go out once in a while?!! Or if they want to work out their own time with u for visitation then by all means let them visit, but only if u trust them. U r the parent with primary care and control which means u get to set the guidelines, and as for granny she has no set rights, she has privilages which r provided by the parent(s). Good luck and stay strong!!

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