When your kids' dad disrespects you

Sara - posted on 01/28/2012 ( 198 moms have responded )

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How do you handle it when your children's dad is disrespectful of your parenting, either by ignoring your rules or outright insulting you? I'm struggling with this one -- my ex is one of those who has to tear others down to build himself up, and while he's been hostile...well, all along, he's recently started doing openly disrespectful things like insulting my parenting and having our 8-yo to bring expensive things I've bought her over to his house without consulting with me first.



He's resistant to mediation and counseling, but luckily our decree lets me order it. The bummer, of course, is that nobody can make the guy be cool and respectful. He's careful not to cross lines by running me down to our daughter, but he's happy to treat me like crap. I've finally told him he can't come into my home anymore because he's so hostile, but I wish I didn't have to do that; it really just hurts our daughter.



I'm stuck too on explaining some of these things to my daughter when her dad's disrespect leads me to say "no" to some things, like having him in the house or allowing him to keep items. It'd be easy to just let everything go, but I don't want to teach her to let men disrespect her. I don't want to leave her in the middle or run her dad down to her, either. Any thoughts are welcome.

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Sara - posted on 01/29/2012

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Yeah. You know, I remember the "someday they'll get it" talk from when I was going through my divorce...and it's true, they do get it, do see it. And eventually they ask, "Why did you put up with that?"



I think breaking this cycle is a good idea. You see it go generation to generation: Couple divorces, guy treats the woman like crap, and she sucks it up for the kids. The kids learn that this is the way to go. They get married, divorce, etc. I think it's bad for women, bad for girls. I don't want to teach my girl to do this, to let a man treat her like shit for the sake of the children. On its face, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense to do -- why would "for the sake of the children" involve supporting a relationship with a disrespectful, hostile man? He may be their dad, but fostering a relationship with a guy who can't treat people well...no, that seems to me perverse.



I'm thinking there's a way of protecting children while still making it clear that respect is foundational, and that without that first step, much will not happen. That disrespect is not something either to reward or lie down for. I've already learned to block his attempts at making revisions to plans that involve me, or to visitation hours, by going through our daughter or just making unilateral changes. I just say, "No, I'm sorry, that's something for your dad to discuss directly with me. Do you want to put him on the phone?" (And then, if the situation warrants, I tell him he may email or call me and ask me about it after our daughter is in bed, but that it's not appropriate to talk about these things in her presence.) or "No, I'm sorry, Daddy hasn't discussed that with me. He needs to talk to me about things like that first, otherwise my answer is going to be no," or "No, I need to hear about that from Daddy, sweetie, not you. When he calls me, we can talk about it then." And if he doesn't, he doesn't, and the plan's not going to happen.



There's a lot that we just put up with, and I don't think it's necessary. The guys are essentially being bullies, and they'll stop a lot of the bad behavior if it's clear there are consequences. My question's about how to go about it while minimizing the effects on the kids.

Jodi - posted on 01/28/2012

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First things first, you can't control the rules in his house, just as he can't control the rules in yours. So I guess that is the first thing to accept. It seems like you kind of realise this.



Secondly, her things are her things. She should be able to take them to dad's (even if you don't approve) if they are her things. She just has to learn that if she leaves them there then she just won't have them when she is at your house. Make sure SHE is responsible for bringing them home, or she simply misses out. Unless we are talking about essentials (such as clothes, shoes, etc) in which case, it isn't fair that you have to replace these things at your house.



Anyway, that's how we deal with it. My ex is entirely disrespectful of me, and hasn't been allowed near my house in a long time (about 8 years to be exact). But it is my son's choice as to what he does with his things. And the rules are different whenever he sees his dad. But he has a full understanding of the expectations in this house too. I don't care that such-and-such is the way dad does things, in our house, we do it this way. Period.

~Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2012

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....I guess you never figured out that the reason he acts like a douche is simply to piss you off, take up your free time hauling his ass to court every couple of weeks and make sure that he's a constant part of making your life miserable (and that's exactly what he's doing if he's the douchebag you say he is)



Thanks, but I'd rather walk away from the stupidity and immaturity of my ex and live a good life....and let him watch from afar. I don't allow him to take up that much of my time. He's not worth the effort.



...and let me add one thing. You say you want your daughter to see that she or you need to be treated with respect, and I agree with that....but you're using her FATHER as the example, so either, she's seen or been told by you what a shit he is....or she hasn't seen it and hasn't been told by you- so it's a non issue.

...most likely the first scenario.

So what are you really showing her?



You can complain about the ex all you want, but when it comes down to it....you're the one that picked him.

Amie - posted on 01/29/2012

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Alright, I want to make sure I've read all this right.



You want to break of him acting like a douche, so you're going to treat him the same way? < Do you see the immaturity in that statement?



You honestly think that your child will grow up and thank you for blocking access to her father because he is an ass to you? < Not to her, to you.



I have an ex. He is a major douche bag. My relationship with him is separate from the one he has with our children. I can separate the two (as can the other posters, as they've tried to point out), it doesn't appear that you can.

Cheri - posted on 02/06/2012

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Instead of having "dad" pick up your daughter at your house, start having a more nutral place to meet him. A park, a restaurant, or even Division of Family Services office. This can make it harder for "he said/she said" private conversations and therefore he might be more civil. Also, by not meeting at your house, he can't send the girl back in to get XYZ. He either needs to make sure that what she needs has been packed before hand (like telling you to send a dress if she needs it for church/party/outing) or make do with what she's got. If he doesn't like the dress, for example, he can take her shopping for appropriate clothing for the occasion and it can stay at his house for the next time.

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Michelle - posted on 02/06/2012

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******* Mod warning*********



This seems to be going around in circles. There has been a lot of good advice though. I'm going to lock it up now.



Michelle.

WtCoM Mod.

Anisha - posted on 02/06/2012

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I'm going through something similar as you. My sons dad is exactly how you explained you ex. Luckily for right now they are at an age where they don't know what's going on as to having to explain to them. You have to do what's BEST for your daughter and up bringing. You are RIGHT, you do not need for her to feel that a mans behavior like that is acceptable PERIOD. Just keep ensuring her that what you are doing is in the best interest of HER and keep it moving. Keep doing what you do as a mother and when she gets older she will understand. Don't feel bad if you do about what you are doing in your household.

As in trying to regulate what goes on in his home, it's a lose lose. Just ensure she knows and follows the rules in your house and presence. That's just unnecessary stress, especially if you are going to let her spend time with him.

My sons have not seen their dad in almost two years because of his behavior exact like in your story and possibly worse. I REFUSE for my sons to be ANYTHING like him. Until he grows up or send me to court (which I am hoping for) it is what it is. We have ENOUGH adults right now in the world that are disrespectful/lack of morals, criminals, hookers, etc. I am NOT trying to contribute to the madness with my sons.

Just pray about it and remember you can ONLY control you and do your best to raise your daughter.

Bernie - posted on 02/06/2012

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You seem to have answered your question in a lot of posts. I think this thread should be closed.

Vickie - posted on 02/06/2012

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Pack her bag for her and when she wants to bring something over to dads house that you disagree with, tell her, I am sorry but this stays here for you to have at moms house, or inquire why she wants to take it to dads. If its because dad wants her to have it there, just tell her it is too expensive to take back a forth. As far as his disrespect to you about your parenting, most parenting plans state that the other one is not allowed to dictate that and if he is doing it in front of your daughter then follow the parenting plan that is in place. If he refuse to mediate or counseling, then you have no other choice but to file contempt charges after so many (depends on the state he can be given supervised visitation and a restraining order not to be with in so many feet of you). We are having this problem but it's not the father but is the mother.

Matthew - posted on 02/06/2012

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SOunds exactly like my wife plus accessories. She refuses to talk about a plan for separation, just keeps saying "we're done!" Great. Fine. Help us move to the next step, instead of insulting, accusing (falsely, I might add) and demeaning dad OR mom in front of the kids. I am in the unfortunate spot of having to stop the flow of vitriol and keep the kids from being involved. I have asked untold times to talk while they're asleep, mey EVERY time with "What's there to talk about? I want you gone!" What exactly did I do again? "Everything!"

And unfortunately in Texas, I have been informed by friends and colleagues that the judicial system (including jurors), law enforcement, or ANY kind of assistance are all geared toward the woman's story, which I understand in most cases. I have never and will never strike har, even while getting hit myself.

I wish you tons of luck, bedcause it sounds like our spouses have TOO much in common!

Amy - posted on 02/06/2012

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Teaching our children the golden rule, do unto thers as you would have them do unto you, is often difficult,maybe a simple posting in our homes...treat each other like we want to be treated.......would be an excellent reminder for all of us! I try to be a good example,and hope my children see the truth without me knocking them over the head with my own oplnion.....patience is a virtue.best wishes!'

Christina - posted on 02/06/2012

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Sara, my husband's ex-wife kept the boys (2) away from him as much as possible. Here, a man has a hard time getting custody of kids and I helped him and we won custody of his younger son (then 14) after years of letting mama nearly destroy his education. What visitation we got, she would try to take it away as well by lying that the boys didn't want to go to our house. What helped us was that the younger boy was failing in school. He has graduated high school thanks to us, but it was you know what to get him there. In my situation, it is the dad that was getting the bad dealings: ex badmouthing him, months to years of court battles, etc. My heart goes out to you. Maybe you should talk to your daughter and let her tell her dad that she doesn't want to hear bad things about mommy. I had phone calls from the ex and she would yell at me and just be plain rude. That is how I had gotten the order of protection: many episodes of harassing phone calls.

Sara - posted on 02/06/2012

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@Christina: I really don't want to move to reduce visitation unless he's obviously dangerous, and I think this is probably the best visitation deal we'll get anyway. Anything else would routinely leave her with him for days at a time, which I don't think is a good idea. The therapist suggests that maybe as she gets older she can see less of him, but that'll happen anyway, I think. As she gets older and is involved in more things of her own, she'll see less of both of us. This is actually one of the things I need to talk about with him in counseling: what are his guidelines for activities encroaching on "his time". Because we've been through some wrestling with that, and at some point he's gotta let go. And maybe even recognize that it's not all about him -- that it's her time, too, and she's growing up.



Bad-mouthing is a huge no-no to the courts here. I'd say they actually take that more seriously than they do physical abuse, which I think is crazy, but that's how it seems to go.

Christina - posted on 02/06/2012

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What does your lawyer say? If he keeps dogging you, you can take his visitation away for a while until he gets counseling. My husband's ex-wife kept dogging me and my younger step-son (be 20 in March) doesn't have anything to do with her and is close to me. He helped me get an order of protection against her a couple of years back. Eventually your ex will hurt his relationship with your/his daughter. Part of the custody trials we went through to get custody of my step-son, was to go to a parenting class. One rule was no bad-mouthing the other parent, and that can be held against that parent that does bad-mouthing.

Tamara - posted on 02/06/2012

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Oh wow, I've been in that situation before just not your same scenario. I don't know how religious you are but, I can only respond from that point of view. Pray about it and in the meantime, don't tolerate it. Don't allow him to make you lose your cool or character. A pleasant word calms a storm. It won't happen overnight but, eventually he will get the picture. I wouldn't worry about explaining things to an 8 y.o. that can't understand it right now. I would not allow him in my home or around the kids when he is hostile. I would let him know that when he starts being an adult and considering the kids, thats when you will start communicating with him other than that, say as less as possible and don't sweat it in front of him. Stand your ground:)

Barb - posted on 02/06/2012

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Just a comment on one aspect of the post... I don't see why you can't set limits on what she brings and what she doesn't bring with her when she visits her dad. Yes, they're HER things, but you're still in charge of them. Nine is plenty old to understand that certain things stay at moms and other things can go to dads. Especially if your situation is such that you can't walk thru his house to retrieve her items before she comes home.



Of course, that will change when she's at the point of having a cell phone or an iPod or other such "essentials" :) ... I doubt she'll be willing to leave those at home, but I doubt she'll leave those behind at dad's either.



Good luck!



p.s. there were too many posts to read thru them all so I apologize if I repeated someone else's advice.

[deleted account]

Sarah,

At some point you need to stand up forself.. Think if your child was being bullied at school at first you would say ignore the person but if it continues... what then... You have to inform the father that his disrespectful rants are just harming your child not you.



Even thoguh Ihate going to court for every thing if he still continues you can have it placed into your court agreement.

Sara - posted on 02/06/2012

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@Paula -- I just read your message. Hon, if you're hearing him talk disrespectfully to the kids about their mom, please take that seriously. Find someone better (and if that someone is yourself, on your own, take it). You'll come in for the same treatment. Really, I grew up thinking my dad could do no wrong, but after I was grown and saw how he treated his second wife, my jaw was on the floor. And I couldn't believe she was taking it. I've since told him off for treating her so badly, and he was in shock, then got furious at me. Of course, she eventually left him. But that's how guys are when they're willing to abuse women -- they can't believe they're doing anything wrong. It's a surprise every time when the women leave, and it's never the guy's fault.



I'm watching some of this fathers-rights stuff go on in my state, and on the face of it, they seem like caring guys getting a raw deal. It's total crap. It turns out these are guys with all kinds of convictions for violent offenses, the exes have restraining orders against them, they've got drunk-driving and contempt and public intox and assault, and they harass the women nonstop in court. That's why they don't have custody: they're dangerous. But they're convinced they're great guys and that the courts are horribly biased against men. They don't believe they've done anything wrong. Which is awful, because they try to associate themselves with guys who really are good dads, and make them all look bad.



Kat -- well, obviously, we disagree about what moms should take. But I did think about picking a neutral spot, like the police station. I decided against for two reasons. First, I don't want to send the message that her dad's dangerous (even though, frankly, I think he is potentially dangerous). She not only loves him, she has no choice about going with him. So I don't see any point in making her anxious about that. Second, it'd make her days awfully long, every day. It'd mean that when he drops her off in the evening, she still has yet another car ride before she's home. And, as my lawyer pointed out, he does know where I live. If he really wants to hurt me, there's not much I can do about it.



So I have him drop her off and pick her up in the driveway. It's been fine so far. For all I know he's relieved at not having to see me (or seethingly resentful at the closed door, who knows).



I really have no idea what he says about me when I'm not there. I assume he lies about me to adults -- he told me huge, nasty lies about his ex and parents and other people, he's made me out to his parents to be some malicious, mentally-ill fright, and he's said some just delusional things about me online. But I don't know if he'd say such things to dd, who's pretty sharp and who also repeats things that we say. He's afraid of me in court and I don't know that he'd risk it.



I mean I think when it comes down to it he's obviously ill, but also terrified, and a bully. In general he'll back down, but there's also always the potential for him to explode. The problem is there's no knowing at all what will set him off -- going by reason is totally useless with him. You can be totally nice, warm, friendly, etc., and he'll read it as aggressive and manipulative or hostile, and the reasons are from space. So minimal contact is probably best. I remember sitting here once with the baby and he said suddenly, "Do you hate me?" I thought he was just being insecure. Found out much later he thought I was conspiring with the baby against him.

Sara - posted on 02/06/2012

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Oh, about all the "just try being nice to him" comments -- yeah, I tried that for three years. It wasn't till we went to counseling for the first time that I realized just how deluded I was in thinking that was working. He was seething, just full of rage, accusing me of all kinds of weird things. And I remembered how he'd talked about his first ex-wife, ran her down, said how much he hated her, and he hadn't even seen or spoken to her in years. Same with his boss, who was a good guy one day and a villain the next. He'd wanted a punching bag so he could take out his aggressions against the guy. At the time I didn't think anything of it, either -- just thought, "Huh, men," and "Be good for him to get some exercise anyway."



Ironic, really -- he has this thing about my being a huge control freak (once he went on disability, I was on him to stick with his treatment), but past suggesting that maybe there were other jobs he could apply for if this one was so bad, I totally wasn't interested in getting involved in his work problems. I'm so glad now that I didn't take what he said seriously about those people & try to intercede, I'd have looked a total fool. The real problem was he was in far over his head and couldn't admit it, just really didn't know how to do the things he'd been hired to do.



It's been helping to remember these things, as ugly as they are, because I realize that while he probably really does go right on hating on me and blaming me for his life, he's pretty much an ass to everyone. Almost ruined his brother's wedding and never apologized, never really kept friends from his past, gave me some of the seriously worst birthdays I've ever seen. And it turned out that while I was knocking myself out arranging his emergency psych care and taking care of a toddler and the money, he was looking for girls online.



Anyway. The thing is you'd never think these things about the guy when you met him -- he just seems mild, intelligent, gentle, maybe a little paranoid politically, but otherwise a nice guy. Ah well. But -- yeah. If he's gonna hate me, he can do it from a distance.

Sara - posted on 02/06/2012

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Hey guys --



Thanks for all the comments. I agree with you all that not running him down, and showing respect, are key. Gutter fighting helps no one.



That said, when things are at their worst, I do allow dd to see that I'm frustrated with her dad, or sad at how he's behaving, and also that I'm trying to change whatever can be changed. Never in a way that's disrespectful of him, though. One of the things she misses (not that she'd get it if my ex and I were still married) is seeing how functioning couples fight in an essentially friendly, respectful and loving way -- the way you fight with a friend, someone you love and care about. I think that's really important. Now and then I'll talk with her about that, and she'll be surprised, because she has the idea that if people don't fight, they stay married. So I ask her, "Well, what do you think would happen if you and your best friend lived in the same house? Would you always get along?" No. "So what would you do?" Not see each other if we're fighting, she says. Play with someone else. "But if you lived in the same house, how would you do that?" And so on.



Unfortunately a lot of guys who treat people badly just never are going to see or admit to what they're doing. If my ex wants our daughter to do something, and she doesn't want to, he'll lean on her like a teenaged boy, badgering her for reasons why and then taking apart her reasons till she gives in. I emailed him about why that's a dangerous lesson for her to learn, also brought it up in counseling. All it did was convince him that I'd poisoned the counselor's mind against him. So at this point all I can do with that one is describe it for her, point it out, give her language for what's upsetting her, and tell her that yes, I think it's wrong, and I don't know why her daddy does it, but here's what she can do. She's still way too young to stand up for herself when he gets like that, but I tell her that's fine too. Someday she'll be big enough. I'm just trying to plant the lesson now and let her know she's seeing something real. Maybe it'll save her some time and trouble when she's older.



She seems to have a very good head on her shoulders, and the older she gets the quicker she is at understanding people's limits. My guess is that before too long she'll come to understand that there are limits as to what she can expect from him.

Jennifer - posted on 02/06/2012

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Why can't you just "kill em with kindness". My ex is a jerk too but it bothers him more NOT to get reaction out of me so I just try to use that motto!

CHIKA ADAORA - posted on 02/06/2012

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Well I don't have an ex but I kind of think that u are handling the issue correctly and maturely. You don't need to bring ur self down to his level by running him down, just create ur rules in YOUR HOUSE and ensure that they ar kept to the later.

Christine - posted on 02/06/2012

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i would let ur child know that he has to ask before he takes any toys or anything out of the house. if you are having a hard time with the ex then i would just wouldnt talk to him. i would also explain to your son that had has rules in his house and they may be different in your but he has to listen to both. i think this might slove some of the problems

Loreal - posted on 02/06/2012

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I go through the same crap he wants my son to wear his Sundays best handheld too demands my son to bring his e

his PSP when I have to go through hell to get it back! He even went as far as disrespecting me in front of my grammar in her house wtf! Now he is no longer welcome. Now if he wants his kids we have to meet in a well lit area n I refuse to tell him where I stay! My dad said its because I have no man around.

Denise - posted on 02/06/2012

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It sounds more to me like there may unresolved issues between you and your ex. It doesn't seem like he is trying to undermine your parenting but until what ever issue you two have is resolved, the disrespect won't get better.

Vivien - posted on 02/06/2012

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Hi Sara... I can only imagine what you're going through. But take this small piece of advice from a daughter who grew up with a father who was a cheater and a jerk to my mother.... Of course I learned to BE like my mother in many ways and ended up marrying a man exactly like my father who is having an affair with some unscrupulous woman and who will probably end up being my son's step mother! Make sure your daughter learns to deal with what you believe is disrespectful so she can manage a situation one day, too. Good luck. xoxo

Lori - posted on 02/05/2012

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Geeeeeeezzzzzzzzzz, your not alone here. I have been dealing with my ex, since my son was only one. He is very disrespectful. What makes things worse, is his wife is the same way. Unfortunately I can't, and won't speak to them as I don't deal with people like that.



My son is 16 now. How I deal with it, is very minimal conversation. Only about my son. If my ex gets rude with me I cut him off and don't let him talk to me like that.



I'm sorry you have to deal with that, as I know all to well how that feels. Just know you are not alone.

Melanie - posted on 02/05/2012

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Sounds like a set of boundaries and rules is a good start. I have learned the past 9 years that you cant xhane anyone. But, you can chsnge tge way you respond to him. I have the same issue still, yet I am handling myself differently so that his behavior doesnt get in the way anymore. I accept him the way he is and because I have, that allows me to resolve issues in a non personal way. Look at your dealings with him like a business. Keeo him at a distance. No need for him to be invited into your home especially if he is disrespectful. I mean, would you invite a disrespectful coworker into your home?

Tinsley - posted on 02/05/2012

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I think what you're doing is only right, by teaching you're to have respect for herself and her things. I am very cautious about what I let my daughter take to her dads house. Because depending on how he feels about me at that moment he purposely forgets to return them, and then I'm left with an upset child.



You cannot control your daughters relationship with her father, but you can control who comes in and out of your home and what leaves your house. They're your daughters items, but you purchased them. And if you don't think that the other adult will respect those items as you do, then you don't allow those things to leave your house.



But it may take years before he'll commit to family counseling. I'm going through the same as you. Just continue to inhale and exhale. Oh never forget that God is on your side. Continue raising your daughter the best you can, never let her see you give in to her dad. And put your foot down on him disrespecting you. And like you said if you allow her to witness her fathers behaviors, she may expect this in men always. I think you're doing everything right. Good luck and don't give up on trying to help rekindle a better relationship between you and him. Do you it for your daughter, so she doesn't feel as she may have to pick sides one day.

Jean - posted on 02/05/2012

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I understand what you mean about things: clothes and shoes are expensive to replace, and as for toys... My ex husband tried to convince our daughter to try to bring the really expensive things that I had bought her over to his house for the weekends. I was okay with this, but she never brought them home. I found out he was selling her toys that I had bought for her. So, of course, she is no longer allowed to take anything over there. My ex is also very disrespectful of me, and I used to just take it, but I recently started standing up to him. He doesn't like it, but I finally realized that it doesn't matter, since I am not married to him anymore. My daughter and I share a bond stronger than anything he can break.

Aisha - posted on 02/05/2012

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No you can't make him be respectful, but you do control when he sees your daughter and where. Him being disrepectful bad parenting. And I would have a conversation stating "we dont have to like eachother, but we do have to agree on doing the best for our daughter". If that doesnt work then simply let him know that he will not see her.

Marie - posted on 02/05/2012

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When my marriage failed, my ex was brutal and bitter with his words. Finally, we agreed that he could see them only in a public place like a fast food restaurant with a play place. Another friend of mine arranged pick-ups and drop-offs at the local police station. That forced her ex to be punctual, polite and sober. My niece discovered the truth about her dad (my sister's ex) when a neighbor told her that her dad fed her cats to the alligators, and they didn't really run away. When confronted, he admitted it to her.



Developmentally, around the age of 9 years children begin to understand that there are different rules for different situations. A counsellor at her school or another agency may be able to help you explain to her that her father's rules are for his house, and your rules are for your house. If she sneaks toys out and they get 'lost', don't replace them. Wait until she asks for a new one, and allow her to earn either the $ or the privelege of having the item replaced.



I agree with the other replies that tell you not to run him down. Tell the truth, but vent the anger when she is not around. Good Luck, and God Bless!

Jessica - posted on 02/05/2012

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Just to interject a little. I used to have a bad relationship with my child's father too. He was very disrespectful to me, and I used to "fight" back. Things just got worse, since his tactic was the best defense is a good offense. So long as I acted just like him things were stressful, and I dreaded talking to him. Soon we only communicated in emails, and these where strictly business. As my son got older and there was time to get some distance, I've been able to talk to him more, and when we start to disagree, I lay on the regular relationship stuff that deflates most situations, like, "Oh, it doesn't matter whose fault it is about the schedule getting off track, I'll drive him over today if that makes things easier, etc." As soon as I started conceding things and being pleasant, like asking how he's doing, He started being Nicer to ME! Now we are really very friendly. It's much easier to retrain with niceness rather than, inflexibility and bad attitude. Took me 13 years to figure it out. It's the old addage, "you get more flies with honey than with vinegar". Consider whether what your doing now is working for you or your daughter. Just remember, when it comes to custody, it's not about you and if you take the high road, your daughter will see this in the long run.

Tyshieha - posted on 02/05/2012

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Your situation is not the worst. You need to sit down with your ex and talk to him. Let him know that what a child see's they imitate. For girls its differently then boys. with a girl they will date a guy that is disrespectful because they will think that is what a man is suppose to do and say. For a boy they will be the same way. Ask him if he wants his daughter to be degraded or disrespected by a man when she gets older. If it dont get any better you man want to take court action. The one thing you dont want is your daughter growing up thinking this is normal.

Bea - posted on 02/05/2012

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First, I am sorry you have to go through this. Yet, the timing of this email has already been a blessing for me. We have similar struggles and I just know getting this now is a note to me that I am not alone, physically or spiritually, and really that is all anyone needs.



As for "advice" I will only say two things. Your happiness, health, etc. is the best thing you can demonstrate. Call a spade a spade. Your x is disrespectful, that is terrible, shouldn't happen. But you are not going to change him. When you are happy, joyful, etc. without him, your daughter sees how he has lost out to have lost you. Too bad he didn't learn to respect you.



Secondly, make sure you DO respect your husband. Point out all his great qualities. All the wonderful reasons you are happy to have had his child and simply NEVER stoop to his level.



God bless!

Rayne - posted on 02/05/2012

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I've read most of the comments, but not all of them. I'm not separated or divorced, but I do have a general idea of how it feels to be disrespected by your child's father (it doesn't happen anymore, just during our month long separation period).. Anyways, I am a child of divorce, 19 years old and also a mother, so I can sort of relate on both sides (parental and the child's). My entire childhood my dad treated my mom like complete crap. He cheated on her when they were together, he would leave to go for lunch with a friend and not return home for a week, and after they divorced, he was a complete ass to her. I saw my dad one weekend a month, sometimes every two months. I saw how my dad treated my mom, like she was a bad parent and person, and I loved my mom. I'd always beg my dad to get back together with her, because I thought that he was mean to her bc he still loved her (still do think that). Anyways, my point is, I always loved my dad more than my mom. Even though he was mean and rude, because I spent more time with my mom, I loved him more. Even now, at age 19, I see my mom every other day and I love her more than anything, I want to hate my dad for th way he treated my mom, but I can't. He's my dad. My boyfriends dad was abusive and a drunk, every second weekend my boyfriends little sister goes to visit him, he gets drunk and throws her around or slaps her, or kicks her out of the house, but she keeps going back because he's her dad and she loves him. Anyways, my point is, chances are your daughter will always love her dad, no matter what. She will grow up disliking the way that he treats you, and she'll try to put a stop to it, but in the end it will make her need his approval that much more.

Annette - posted on 02/05/2012

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"Because girls learn how men SHOULD treat them based on how their father DOES treat them and so I want their Dad to be as nice to them as humanly possible."



I did not learn how men should treat me based on how my father treated me, but how my father treated my mother, which was with kindness, love and respect.



I learned from both of my parents how I should treat others and how I should expect others to treat me.



Sadly, I don't have any advice because I am not in your situation except you can only show your ex that you wish him to show you respect by showing him respect. If he treats you disrepectfully, tell him you will not except being treated that way and you have nothing further to discuss with him until he can be respectful and walk away or hang up the phone. This is how my husband and I handle each other when we have a moment.

Allison - posted on 02/05/2012

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sweetie there isn't much you can do sadly. he wants to be a jerk then let him be a jerk. as long as he isnt a jerk about you to your daughter, or a jerk to your daughter or a jerk to you in front of her no one in the legal world cares. even if it was a dietary thing the law wouldnt care unless there was a real risk to her health.

all you can do is pick your battles. if she is taking stuff over there and its not coming home tell her to bring it home. or simply dont let her take the stuff. if he wants her to have one there he can buy one for his place. there is no reason why she cant have some clothes and a few toys that are strictly for his house that he is responsible for. i'm guessing most of her clothes go to and from your house. and on occasion i'm guessing they get filthy and he sends home for you to wash.

and like Tylinda said be constant. either he'll respect you sooner or later or hes gonna continue being an ass but at least you know your being firm.

TyInda - posted on 02/05/2012

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I have recently went through the same thing. I just made sure all of his stuff was ready when his father picked him up to spend time with him. I did not allow certain items to leave the house with out my son asking permission. I learned that the only one I wanted respect from was my son and I was not going to allow his father to disturb the order of my home. Yes it is hard and tough but just stand firm and consistent and it will pay off. Now his father shows respect and understand being welcomed in is a privilege.

[deleted account]

I used to be in the same situation and unfortunately it continues even now that the kids are adults and one is a parent to her own children. One of my kids has disowned me completely, my second daughter 'tolerates' me only because I help with her kids, and my son is the only one who can see through his father's 'great parent' image.



Try not to let it get you down, and, most importantly don't fall into his game by returning crap for crap. It's a hard position to be in, but I'm grateful that God has provided a whole new family for me amongst the street folk and homeless. God bless.

Lisa - posted on 02/05/2012

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I am right there with you! Battle for child support, then he talks badly about me in front of our son and tries to talk to me as if he (who sees his son maybe one weekend a month) is so much smarter and knows everything better. Meanwhile, he has been unemployed for a year and a half and living with his parents (he is 51) for 4 and a half years. I have also told him (after he walked in unannounced and uninvited) that he was not to approach the house, our son can meet him in the driveway. A little respect would go a long way.

Joy - posted on 02/05/2012

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One good thing is that you said he doesn't disrespect you in front of your daughter. My husband has done that on more than one occasion right in front of the kids by calling me dumb or stupid if he thought my opinion was stupid etc. It has caused me some problems with my kids respecting me at times so be glad he doesn't put you down in front of your kids!

Kat - posted on 02/05/2012

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@april, My sons father is the same, never rings to see how his son is, never makes any effort to see him and only started paying child support when they started docking it from his pya with a court order, but luckily enough my partner has been a great help and spent the last 3 years with us, which my son now under his own choice calls him stepdad, so I cant complain in the end my son has a better role model then his biological father

April - posted on 02/05/2012

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at least the dad wants to be in kids life. my sons `father` doesnt talk to about our son...ever. last text i got from him was christmas asking how logan was doing..i dont even remember last time he saw my son..who is 3yrs old and knows `daddy` isnt around...he just doesnt care bout his kid. it took contempt of court hearing to have him start paying child support and i found out that he got paid $440 and not once cent went to c.s. which he owes over $2000....if the `father` cant/isnt around i think its a good thing to have male role model if you have a son....i hate when parents talk crap about the other to the kid its not fair to them. i dont say anything negative to my son

Paula - posted on 02/05/2012

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I'm going against the grain here and saying Sara you need to nip it in the bud now.



I agree that this will effect your daughter and think that you should have a word with him about the things he says and does regarding you around his/your daughter.



Being the new partner I have heard some things my partner says to his kids about his ex that to them are innocent but have an underlying tone and also being the daughter of a man who constantly was disrespectful to my mum when they were together has affected my choice of partners now I am an adult (see above). I have gone from one bad relationship to another and before everyone jumps on the bandwagon I know I am just one person but what's to say your child isn't also that one.



I don't think being bitchy back is the way to go though as my mum was awesome and never said a bad word about my dad and I did discover what a prick he was on my own although it took me many years I do still have the utmost respect for her and strive to be that way with my girls and luckily they have seen it much earlier than I did.



I have always spoken to my ex about shit he says and does and although he doesn't like it, and his girlfriend hates it, I know that I have done my best to rise above their crap and that I am attempting to show my girls that it is not acceptable even if I can't change it.



Good luck with working it out

Kat - posted on 02/05/2012

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@sara, I think your a extremely spiteful woman, no one Hear has said roll over and take it, They have said to be the mature adult and Ignore it, i ignored all the crap I had to deal with when it came to my sons father, If you are over him being disrespectful etc Organise for your daughter to be picked up and dropped off at a neutral location like a police station etc, that way he cant make her go back inside and get things , she will only have what she has packed or you have packed for her.



YOU CANT CHANGE how he acts towards you and dragging it back to court constantly will make u look like a nasty bitter woman to your daughter in the long run, simple as that, you are NOT teaching her that people should have respect for her etc, you are teaching her to be spiteful towards anyone who doesnt have respect for he which is wrong. She needs to learn that not everything and everyone in life goes how she wants it.



Grow up accept and be RESPECTFUL of the advice people on here are giving you, Cause as far as I can see you ARE being a DOUCHE and DISRESPECTFUL to the advice women are givng you on here

[deleted account]

Sara,



You put into words far more articulate than I could manage,exactly what I feel.



From what I have read in your answers you are very intelligent and also mindful of your ex's and daughters relationship so go with your gut as far as minimising tension for your daughter is concerned.



I agree with you that as mothers we have the responsibility to show our children through our own relationships how to interact with others,what is acceptable treatment from others,how to deal with conflict etc and simply smiling sweetly while your ex walks all over you and abuses his position is not doing this.



So Sara,I am in agreement with you.I think you are handling things well,so just keep going on how you are.

Julie - posted on 02/05/2012

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Hey there, I have been there. Good for you for setting some boundries with your ex by not allowing him in YOUR house any more if he is going to treat you badly while he is there. Your daughter may not understand now but she will get it eventually. Because of your strong decissions by say no sometimes you are setting a great example that women are to be respected. If his behavior doesn't improve she will catch on to that too in time and form her own opinion of her father. It sounds to me that you are doing all the right things. After all you are the most important one to set examples of women hood to her. Stay strong! I promise you in time it will get better and your daughter will respect and understand your decesions. In fact some day she will thank you for making them. My daughter is 18 now and we went down the road you are on. Believe me when I say...This too shall pass and you will come out in the best light too your daughter. Take care and hang in there!!! :)

Sorry about the misspelling.

Jessica - posted on 02/05/2012

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First off sorry if I ramble a bit, this question really hits home with me. I would definately have a talk with him, have him meet you at a public place (ie: a restaurant for coffee or something) or better yet, meet together with a counselor and discuss with him that the way he treats you shows his daughter that it is ok for a man to treat a woman this way, is that what he wants for his daughter? Would he be ok with his daughter being treated like this by a man? Your daughter is old enough to be told the reasons for your rules, no you cannot bring that to your dads house because it cost a lot of money and I dont want it to dissappear, your father is not allowed in our home because he does not treat me with respect and that is not ok, etc. It would be easy to let it all go but what lesson would that teach your daughter, and isn't that your job, to teach your daughter important life lessons so when she goes out into the world she can make good decisions on her own.



You are on the right path by not cutting him down or stooping to his level in front of your daughter but given the circumstances you must continually discuss with your daughter how to properly respect people and that no one should treat anyone in such a manner, particularly that men should not treat a woman like this. Also be sure to use other examples from life, if you see a show on tv where someone treats someone wrong talk about it with her or if you see a man in a store cutting down his woman, when you leave earshot of the people mention to your daughter, did you notice that, do you think that is a nice way to speak to someone, etc. Contine to model good behavior, she will very soon come to her own conclusions about her father and she will have al the more respect for you for handling things the proper way. My ex was very abusive (physically and verbally) to me so I made a point to show my daughter every chance I got that it is not ok to treat people that way and that you never let a man disrespect you. Over the years my daughter has began pointing things out that she sees and sometimes she will come home and say Daddy said this to step-mom, that's not ok, right? When he puts down your parenting ask him how he would have handled whatever the situation is, if he has valid points tell him you will be sure to consider them in the future, if he has no suggestions then tell him politely that it was your decision to make and you made the best one you could think of and if he has constructive suggestions please share with you otherwise keep his criticism to himself and he can not continue to berate you criticize you or put you down in front of your daughter, otherwise you may need to ask the court for supervised visitation.



As for the girlfriend issue, I wish you the best of luck there, I had no problems with this myself as I made it perfectly clear to my ex that he was not to allow a girlfriend near our daughter until I got to know her or I would not allow our daughter to visit him anymore. Once I got to know his future wife I allowed her to meet our daughter and she has turned out to be a good step-mom to my daughter. My daughter has made the choice to rarely see her father as she does not like the way he treats me, her and her step-mother. It has severly hurt their relationship but I can honestly say that was purely due to his actions and I had nothing to do with it except to teach my daughter a very important life lesson, to not tolerate disrepect. I now have full confidence that when my daughter is older she will demand respect from all people particularly from men.

Heather - posted on 02/05/2012

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I am in the same boat. Honestly, there is not much you can do. It really stinks because I know how you feel, b/c mine does the same exact thing. I wish I had better advice. We have even gone to counseling, and he is just as rude there as he is in court and everywhere else. I just don't talk bad about him, and avoid him if at all possible.

Lois - posted on 02/05/2012

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I would remind him of the lessons that he is teaching his daughter regardless of whether he is trying to get back at you. The lessons being.

- its ok not to follow rules (because dad doesnt do it).

- it is normal for husbands/partners to be disrespectful to their wives/partners and therefore she will accept similar treatment from her future partner/husband.

Betsy - posted on 02/05/2012

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I think you are handling things very well. Unfortunately, we can only control our own actions which subjects us to the hostility of others. Maybe he is still hurt so he acts this way? Set him up on a date! Truly you owe him nothing, and ur daughter everything so remain strong and set boundaries. We as woman r queens and should b treated as such!

Elizabeth - posted on 02/05/2012

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Wow seems like you have a great mind set about it all though! I agree that you dont want to let your daughter think its okay for men to treat her like that. It's hard but at the same time how you handle it is how your teaching our daughter to as well. I would keep doing

What your doing. Stay calm and don't attack

Back but stay firm. "you are disrespecting me

So you are not allowed into

My house." or "I

Have asked you not to

Take

These things to your house and you did so ......" this is the consequence. By not going down to his lev

You are teaching your daughter that you are still respectful but strong. She will see that it's not

Okay how he acts when she sees

That you dont do it. I would also talk to your daughter. She is only 8 but 8 year olds are pretty smart. Maybe saying something like "your dad is a great man and loves

You very much but the way he handles things is not okay. Cutting over people

Down is how he deals with his own insecurity" saying things like this will help her deal with other people in her life or at school that act like this as well. Your obviously a great mom and don't second guess yourself.

Cassie - posted on 02/05/2012

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I would have your pick ex up/drop off be in a public place like a restaurant. Tell your daughter that she has to leave the things you have bought for her at home so they don't get lost or broken. If they doesn't work then try and have someone a friend or family member around when he picks up and drops off. You are right to not to want your daughter involved in this unfortunately he is going to bring her in. You can't control what rules he has but you can explan that you have rules at your house that will be different than dad's and that's ok. My husbands ex tried to make us enforce her rules but the judge and counselor told her that she couldn't do that. She has no rights in our house just like we didn't in hers. Since you have the right to counseling and mediation that I'd utilize both of them. He obviously has issues and he needs to deal with them. Your daughter will figure out soon enough that how he is treating you isn't right and she will form her own opinions and ask him why he does it at some point in time. All you need to do is be the better person and let her see how a real man treats the women in their lives by example of good relationships. Kids aren't stupid they are very observant and they pick up on things very quickly. My ex would constantly bash me to our kids and they finally told him to stop or they wouldn't see him anymore. My son did stop for a couple of years because he got tired of hearing it and told his dad that. My daughters have also told him they won't see him if he continues to bash me. They are all adults now and this happened when they were little. Their relationship with him isn't the greatest but that is his fault not mine.

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