Raising child and deadbeat dad

Sonja - posted on 05/06/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




Help! My son is 14 years old. I never married his father (by choice) and have had custody of my child since he was born. His father has never been a good influence, but I wanted my son to know him and make his own decision about the kind of person he is. His entire life his dad has basically been a deadbeat dad. He lies, doesn't pay child support, never takes him to sports practices, you name it he's done it. He's even awful to his own mother. He used to cuss me out in emails for asking about payments or because I wouldn't let him borrow a video game (as if we're childhood friends?!). Therefore, I have extremely minimal discussions with his dad. Most recently, his father filed to reduce his child support and is trying to game the system by filing for disability. He also wants his license back since it was taken away a year ago for not paying child support.. I have had to take off 5 days to go to court and have another court date in a couple months...not so that I can receive support...only for him to play games with the system and my life. My concern is that my child exchanges text with his dad and rather frequently lately. I think his dad is laying it on thick right now trying to look like an interested dad due to court. Anyway, this really gets to me emotionally. I don't know how to handle the pain of knowing that man is manipulating my child and lying to him. It's just a weird feeling to feel like your child isn't being loyal to you, the person that raised him, loved him and took care of him all these years. Any advice on how to handle my emotions about this? I try not to say bad things to my child about his dad and I also don't want it to drive a wedge between us, but it feels like it does anyway.


Jodi - posted on 05/07/2014




Your son is 14. You need to let him have the relationship he wants with his dad and not interfere. You shouldn't feel like your child is not being loyal to you - that means you are expecting your child to take sides, which is entirely unfair. You need to accept that his father IS his father, whether YOU like him or not. He may not have stepped up with his responsibilities, but you will find it much easier if you just accept that your son is part of both you and your ex and does not belong to you and you alone, child support or no child support, responsible father or not. He is not a deadbeat if he is involved in a positive way of some sort in your son's life. You need to stop viewing him that way.

And before you say anything like me not understanding....I actually know EXACTLY where you are coming from. The difference is that I've accepted that my son loves his father AND myself, and I have no right to interfere with that, nor begrudge him that.

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