Co-parenting my 10 year old son with ex

Leela - posted on 07/10/2013 ( 12 moms have responded )

222

0

30

Dear fellow moms,

I'm hoping you can help. I have a wonderful 10 yr old boy with my ex. We were never married. When I became pregnant,it was very painful since our relationship had ended a month before. He said that I was too 'black' for him despite the fact that we had been friends for over 10 years. He refused to acknowledge the child in any way and for 2 years I raised my son with the help of my family. He kept on partying, dating etc. After this period he indicated he wanted a relationship with his son. I allowed it as I felt it was in the best interest of his son. For another year his only contribution was to buy pampers every month. Note that I was struggling to make ends meet while he kept partying etc. I was extremely blessed to get a job that has made me financially secure, and I decided to work with him to co-parent. I want my son to know his dad. For the next 6 years he was involved with a woman who said she didn't want kids, didn't want my son around, didn't want my ex attending events etc unless she was present and would also hit my son and tell him abusive things in private (my son told us about it). She would text me and tell me to take care of my child and leave them alone, she didn't want either of us around (note I would wait in the car for pick ups and drop offs. His family would come out and talk to me and she insisted that stop). My ex missed my son's birthdays, didn't pick him up when he was supposed to, called my son a liar etc. However he says he loves his son, and his son definitely loves him. Our arrangements have been flexible since I work long hours and also study (note he would tell me he couldn't watch our son when I went to school because he had to work, yet I would see him and his gf out shopping). It was a really stressful time but because we have joint custody I'm not sure what to do. Note that my son wasn't even invited when they decided to get married. That relationship, thank God is over (I know that may sound mean).We rebuilt our friendship and decided to work together in the best interest of our son. He subsequently left 2 jobs and wasn't able to financially contribute for months (note he left the jobs because he was unhappy and did not have other job prospects. We have an arrangement where he is supposed to pay 50percent of all costs). I had to pay for everything during this period which was tough. Still I tried to be supportive - best interest of the child rite? Because of what happened last time he told me he would not lie to me anymore (yes I know I was a sucker) and that he would be upfront with me should he go into other relationships. I'm pretty paranoid that my son will get hurt again. Despite this, I found out this week that he has been dating a woman for a couple of months who is separated and going through a divorce. She has 3 kids, 11, 9 and 2 months. I think that's his business, he can date whoever he wants. He told me he's been taking it slow as he wants to be careful about the kids. However, my son told me that he's been going to this woman's house,going movies with them etc. My ex told me those were all coincidences. I don't know this woman and after everything we went through before I just want to protect my son. Obviously I don't trust my ex. What does piss me off is:
that he said he's broke so I've been picking up more expenses than I should - he can barely take care of the 1 he has!
The constant lying - he could have said something earlier. i hate the fact that all this is happening behind my back.
and most of all that he's been trying to sleep with me - thankfully I switched that off button a long time ago.
After 10 years, I need some peace of mind. I want my son to be happy and he really does love his father, but I am tired of the drama. My ex' s mother told me I am making a big fuss over nothing - I should get over it and trust her son to make wise choices. I agree about not holding on to the past, but I think I've been ridiculously patient and supportive. We are both now in our mid 30's and while I have had relationships I have never behaved like my ex. Sorry for such a long note.Any advice?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ev - posted on 07/10/2013

7,252

7

909

If you are so worried about him keeping his end of the bargain of support with your child's needs then maybe you need to go to court and set up an actual custody, child support and visitation settlement so that you can be getting what is needed for the child. As for his GF's he has, he is going to do what he wants no matter if your son is there or not. I can feel for you on this as my ex was dating before our divorce was final according to what I was told. And after that he had a GF every few months before he remarried after being divorced only 14 months but I could not tell him not to take my kids around her. He was married. After he divorced that one 14 months after being married to her; he met someone else and married her six months later. My point is his father is going to do what he wants, see who he wants, and there is not much you can do about it than to meet them when you are ready and talk to dad. But there is not much to do after that...oh you can ask for him not to have anyone he is not related to or married to around at night when your son is in the house to stay over. They can do that.

12 Comments

View replies by

Leela - posted on 07/11/2013

222

0

30

I am at the end of my rope. Just got news that my job is on the line. There have been rumors for a while. I'm scared about being able to take care of my son. I have no one in my family to help. I'm scared, frustrated. I guess I want to hear what other mom's did. I want to let go, just don't know how. Counselor is good but I keep thinking maybe if I reach out to others it won't feel so lonely. Btw I know very few single moms. In my area you're constantly judged about being a single mom so I don't have many people to reach out to. My heart and my spirit feels low. I'm hoping this is just a rough patch before I get up again

Jodi - posted on 07/10/2013

3,529

36

3906

No-one is asking you to be Superwoman. But he also doesn't have to consider your feelings in any of this. You are of no concern to him, just as he should be of no concern to you. If you are not willing to meet with this new woman in order to ensure your son is not going to be involved in yet another transient situation, then really, what more do you want? For someone to tell you that you can court order him never to have another woman in his life and accidentally introduce your son to her? That's just not realistic!

I am curious. If you are seeing a counsellor to deal with your anger, and you have already decided that you are no longer going to be the nice one, and you are over fixing things and explaining things to your son (which nobody has suggested you do) ....exactly what advice is it that you were after?

Just for the record, my ex has had partners come and go in his life over the last 14 years, and because my son has a perfectly stable environment right here in my home, he is honestly quite fine. Sure, I've had to explain why daddy moved interstate with no notice and didn't see him for 12 months, why he was still sitting on the doorstep waiting for daddy because daddy didn't show up, why daddy has NEVER (in all these years - he is now heading into his senior years) been to his school. I actually DO get it. I know you don't think I do, but I really do. I just CHOSE not to harbour any anger over it. Sure, yes, I do occasionally feel angry at my ex over it, but not to the point where it bothers me for more than a fleeting moment.

The more you focus on HIM and HIS behaviour, the more frustrated you will become, so instead, your only option is focus on you and how you respond to his behaviour.

Leela - posted on 07/10/2013

222

0

30

Jodi thank u for your comments. I decided to take that Superwoman label off my chest and not be the nice one. The one who runs to fix things. The one who has to explain why daddy didn't show up. I have done it for years and I'm tired. If that's being negative that's fine. But I am not jumping anymore for other people who don't consider me or my child. Your opinion is your own and we have to agree to disagree.

Jodi - posted on 07/10/2013

3,529

36

3906

No, I'm not trying to be judgemental at all and I certainly wasn't suggesting you keep your ex happy and forget your child! After all, I asked TWICE how your son was feeling, and this last post was the only time you revealed that information. How your son feels about all this is more important than how you feel.

I am trying to give you some advice to take a step back from the situation. If anyone is making judgements, it is you judging this new woman in his life. If you are not ready to meet her, this is YOUR issue, not his or hers. Damn straight I am telling you to get over it BECAUSE YOU CAN'T CONTROL IT!! By continuing to be angry and upset you are not doing anyone any favours. Not yourself, not your son, no-one. If anything your anger is having a negative effect on your son because you have decided you are not ready to meet with this woman. Well, guess what? If you want to do your son a favour and try to make this work, than you are going to HAVE to get over your anger and move forward. You can't change what your ex decides to do, but you CAN change your choices. Your posts tell me you want HIM to make different choices (which you have no control over) and yet you aren't really helping matters either. You have a right to feel angry, but when anger is affecting the way you are dealing with the situation in a negative way, then it becomes YOUR issue. It certainly isn't productive.

But then, what would I know, right? It's not like I've ever been through it.........(well, it is, but I'll let people who haven't give you the advice you WANT to hear instead of the advice you NEED).

I have nothing else to add.

Leela - posted on 07/10/2013

222

0

30

Wow Jodi - judgemental much? Firstly controlling is an incredible word considering half the time I don't know if he will show up. Ergo I have little control of my own life because of his actions. I haven't been asked to meet the new woman. In fact none of his family have. She's going through a divorce and it isn't in her best interest that its public that she's dating. I have said as well that I am not ready. I have been through a lot with this man and your tone is get over it. I never said I wouldn't meet her. I said I'm not ready - something my counselor has told me is fine. Yes I'm in counseling, obviously I cannot get over it as quickly as you would like. As for that 6 year relationship he was trying to sleep with me and other women, so yes it was 6 years - 6 years of hell. My son was very hurt by my ex and his former gf. He said he doesn't want to go through that again. I am trying to ensure it doesnt happen again. Then again he's only a child - lets focus on making my ex happy.

Jodi - posted on 07/10/2013

3,529

36

3906

You actually have no right to stop him seeing his dad just because his dad doesn't pay. Child support and visitation are two separate issues. That particular anger you have to get over. I understand how hard that is. My son's father has spent years not paying. I am lucky to see $30 a month for a 16 year old boy - we all know he eats that in a day (well, pretty much).

It just sounds a lot like you are trying to control you ex's life. Your ex was involved with a woman for 6 years. I get that you weren't happy with her, but it WAS a 6 year relationship. You are now assuming that this other woman will be in and out of your son's life and cause problems for him, but with your level of anger and refusal to get to know her, you can't know this.

Can I ask again if your son is unhappy in some way about this situation?

And have you considered counselling for your anger?

Leela - posted on 07/10/2013

222

0

30

Well I've never stopped him from seeing his son despite not living up to his financial obligations (children do need to eat, so do mom's actually - or is that not important?). I am angry at how my son has been treated by him. I am angry that despite my efforts he continues to lie constantly and I have had to mop up my son's tears when he doesn't show up when he's supposed to. As for this woman, It's his business as I said before. However he promised me that he would not bring our child into the situation until he discussed it with me. My anger is my own and I have tried my best to deal with it. As for my ex 's mother, he treats her like crap. She doesn't want any arguments as he tends to take his anger out on her.

Jodi - posted on 07/10/2013

3,529

36

3906

Ok, well you own your anger. You can't blame him for that.

My issue with your post is that you keep bringing the money into it. I am having difficulty connecting this with his contact/visitation with his son. What are you truly angry about? That he has another girlfriend/woman he has been seeing? That he isn't contributing financially as you believe he should? That he didn't tell you he is seeing this woman? Or all of the above? From your post, it sounds like the latter, in which case, I am kind of with your ex MIL on this one.....you may need to work through your anger.

Is your son unhappy somehow?

Leela - posted on 07/10/2013

222

0

30

Thanks Jodi. That's great advice. Emotionally though I'm not ready. I feel so much anger towards him and I don't think I can smile at this point. Ironically I understand that she doesn't allow her ex to do the same thing with her kids - yet it's ok for mine? She knows that I wasn't aware of the situation.

Jodi - posted on 07/10/2013

3,529

36

3906

My advice? Arrange a meeting with the new woman and keep an open mind and try to get to know her. You can't control what your ex chooses to do, so why not try to make lemonade?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms