Travis - posted on 12/12/2013 ( no moms have responded yet )
I'm sorry but I'm actually a divorced Dad; I'm not a Mom. However, I've been reading some of these topics and I figure I'll get better answers from you Moms vs. my ex-wife. I'm not bitter towards my ex-wife but she seems to be towards me. She has custody where I get my two children every other weekend and one day after school each week. My 13 year old daughter does not want to stay with me at all so I have not forced her to since August and now it's almost Christmas- 12-12-13. I am about to enact my rights and "force" her to start spending time with me based on the divorce decree. I've pleaded with my ex but she says my daughter and I need to go to counseling at $150 per hour otherwise my daughter doesn't want to come over. I told my daughter I don't believe we need counseling; we just need to talk to each other and she needs to share with me what her issues are. I have told her she can have her friends stay the night with her at my home; plenty of room in our 4 bedroom marital home where she was raised for 7 years before the divorce. I only want whats best for my children, regardless how bitter my ex-wife is to me. I don't understand why she is still bitter; we've been divorced for 3 years and I'm not dating and have not dated since. I want to focus on me and my issues as well as the children and that's it for now besides trying to keep up with all the debt that comes with divorce. My ex-wife has had a boyfriend for over a year and are talking marriage so I don't know what else she wants from me? Can anyone help me with 1) should I enforce the divorce decree and start having my daughter spend time with me? If not, how do I win her heart back or is it impossible since she's 13? 2) What activities can I do with my daughter where she wants to spend time with me? 3) How can I improve my co-parenting relationship with my ex-wife? She does everything in her power to keep the kids from spending time with me every chance she can get; i.e. my schedule is flexible so I can pick up kids from school at 3pm and ex works until 5pm. I ask if I can pick them up but she always has them going to her mother's or other friends; anyplace but going with me. What is that about? How can I change that without involving attorneys and courts; I do not want to go the legal route? Please help if you have any insight or experience with my kind of situation. I'm a strong Christian Dad and know that I am definitely not perfect but I want to be a better Dad and ex-husband as well as set a clean, Christian example to my children and not fight with my ex nor talk bad about her to their mother. I'm sorry this is long but I love my children and it hurts my heart deeply when I can't see them. They're growing up and I don't want to lose the time I could be spending with them in order to form bonds as their father so when they're older, they have good memories about their childhood. I do NOT want to be that 1970's every-other weekend Dad who was not around. I know that creates abandonment issues later on in their adult lives. I know because I have that issue because I grew up in a divorced home. Thank you for your interest and hopefully honest, true and tough feedback for me.