My Ex is manipulating My Daugher

Renee - posted on 01/21/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My daughter, Kyra, loves to gossip about the other parent and I know she talks a lot about me and my boyfriend of 2 years to her father.



Last week, BF picked up Kyra from school and took her to a movie. When Kyra went to her father's that weekend, she told him about it. Ex called me and told me that I was crossing a line, that there was no need for BF to be picking up Kyra from school, and that he didn't ever want Kyra to be alone with BF. I asked him why and he couldn't explain anything, just stating that he didn't want that.



My response was that Kyra wasn't in any danger, I have her best interest at heart, I wouldn't purposely put her in harm's way, and if he trusted me, he should also trust my judgment.



EX didn't care about any of that, he wasn't budging from his position. As it turns out, it wasn't so much about Kyra, it was about him, because somewhere in the conversation, he asked me why I didn't as HIM to pick up our daughter from school instead. (EX was already mad and I lied by saying that BF was just doing me a favor because I was working late.)



I started getting frustrated because he wasn't willing to compromise or be reasonable, I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong or hurting our daughter and I didn't think it was fair that he tries to dictate what I do. And then Ex threatened that if Kyra is alone with the BF again, the BF would get hurt, and he openly admitted that he would manipulate Kyra into hating my BF. She's 6 and very impressionable and she loves her father so much.



I'm not sure what to do here?? HELP



**** EDIT *********



Just to clarify, I told my ex that I was working late and asked my bf to pick up my daughter, but that wasn't true, my bf picked her up to see a movie.. but since we were already arguing, I didn't want ANOTHER argument if he knew my bf picked her up just to see a movie and for no real good reason.



Also, I have full custody and there is a visitation order and her dad only has her on the weekends, not weekdays.



You're right, I can't stop my Ex from saying things to my daughter, and she will figure things out on her own eventually. I just hate that he'd even stoop that low.

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Renee - posted on 01/21/2010

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Um.............. wow. Laura, you must be really f'ed up if you think the only reason a man would take a child to the movies is to be alone with them in the dark.

Ganesa - posted on 01/21/2010

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Wow, that really sucks. The assumption that there's something wrong or weird about a man in a committed relationship taking steps to become closer to and build a relationship with his spouses child shows what kind of a world we live in. I have been with my husband for almost 7 years, got married after 2 and you know how many times he has taken his stepchildren on outings? LOTS! Before and after we were married. He has taken them shopping, to lunch, out fishing, hunting, to his families house for gatherings, to the lake to catch minnows, swimming, to play hockey...all kinds of things. And 2 of my kids are girls. He wanted a bonded and close relationship with them, how is that weird??? I think it's more strange that your BF has no interest in doing so with your kids...

The fact is some men are bad, some are fathers, some are friends, some are teachers, some are strangers! We have to be careful and exercise caution with our kids but my goodness, the assumption that this man is "weird" because he wants to spend time with a child he knows and loves is paranoid! Renee, follow you heart. Your ex has no right to run your life or make decisions for you while your daughter is in your care.

Tamara - posted on 01/21/2010

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I agree with Michele and Ganesa. I think your ex is showing signs of jealousy and you just need to let him know up front what's going on and what you expect of him as a parent. @Sara and others while that is so very true that their are men that get with mothers to molest the children, let's be honest, their are some fathers who molest their daughters. So, I feel you shouldn't just characterize the BF because the father may be doing something to the daughter and he may think that the daughter has a close relationship with the BF and disclose some things that happen to her to the BF. I know what I'm talking about because I have a friend that has happened to.

[deleted account]

Do ya'll not realize that some men get with women that have kids so that they can get to the children?!?.....The kids do NOT always tell you what is going on, I was molested by a foster boy(who was old enough to know better) and I never told my mother...to this day she doesn't know about it(because it would make her feel like a failure)....Another thing, I don't think that it is gossiping if a child talks to their parent...she should be able to talk to BOTH of you about ANYTHING!!!!!

Wanda - posted on 01/21/2010

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Because it sounds like this is EX's first time acting this way, I would ask Ex to pick up Kyra before asking BF. That way he feels respected. To me it's not about pandering to him or anything like that but more about keeping Kyra as the #1 priority. Like most kids, she will do whatever it takes to get her the most attention. But just to keep everything peaceful that would be my first thought. However, if he goes overboard with threatening the manipulation, I would be more concerned with him spending time along with her.



At some point Kyra & BF will need to spend time together if you are planning to have a long term relationship with him. Maybe talking to Ex about the amount of time she spends w/him first will help ease the transitions.



Good Luck!

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Shirlene - posted on 01/07/2012

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I don't think that that is wrong. I think that if you trust you BF & your daughter likes him, then whats the problem.
The problem is that daddy is insecure & feels threatened by the BF. Daddy should man up & meet with the BF & get to know him. Your daughter would certainly benefit by both of them getting along & being able to talk about what her & mom s BF do that she really enjoys.

Isobel - posted on 01/21/2010

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I think it IS weird that your boyfriend wants to pick your daughter up from school and take her to a movie for no good reason. I am divorced, my boyfriend has been with me for 4 years now and now lives with me. Want to know the number of times he has taken the children somewhere without me for no reason? NONE...I think the father is right...no normal grown man decides to pick a little girl up from school and take her to a movie...this sounds like an excuse to be alone with a child in the dark...WEIRD!

Amber - posted on 01/21/2010

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Sounds like a tough situation that is a lot like mine. You and your ex need to sit down and calmly talk about things and if he is that uncomfortable with your daughter being around your bf then maybe all 3 of you need to sit down and find out exactly what your ex doesn't like about your current. I know that my husband's ex hates me and to this day she won't tell us a good reason why but for a long time she wouldn't let their daughter come to our house to be with her daddy, it took a lot of convincing her to let us have her daughter once in a while. Even now we still have problems with her! Honestly if your ex can't give you a good reason then it may just be that he is jealous that you have moved on and he hasn't yet just like my husband's ex (that is the only thing that we can think of for her not liking me bcuz I have done nothing to her to make her not like me)!! I know all the drama sucks but just stick it out and hopefully you can figure out what the real problem is and things will get better for you. Just don't take it out on your daughter by keeping her away from her daddy. That is never a good way to go about solving things because then he will resent you and your bf even more and your daughter will be upset that she doesn't get to see daddy so she will take it outnon you for it.

Tah - posted on 01/21/2010

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I think that he may be worried about the fact his daughter was alone with the bf. as i'm sure you know we have to be careful with our children, esp with our daughters...now he should not have threatened what he did and sometimes it can be about control, i've had more than my share of my son's father trying to dictate what happens in my house and i think there may have been a element of jealousy there as far as being her father but also worry, so let him know that he can't dictate what happens in your house but, you will try to consider him first if she needs to be picked up from school. And please don't make your daughter think she can't talk about things with you, let her be open, my husband and i don't really argue but if we have any conversations that aren't appropriate for little ears then we take it to the bedroom or we talk about it on the way to walmart or the commisary. If my 8 year old is reporting anything it's kisses and laughs..ans she comes home and says things like my daddy kissed ms kiah(Her stepmother) so i have no question that she says those things to her father, and i just let her know that when people love each other and get married they kiss each other to show it sometimes, and she is 8 so they are gonna do this, just be mindful of what is said and done in front of her and as always pray that God puts his hedge of protection around her everyday, in this world of not knowing, how we can send our children out without it is beyond me...be blesses

[deleted account]

Your EX is jealous and angry. He probably knows he fu@&ed up when he lost you. He doesn't want your boy friend to have a relationship with her, but if you and bf have a good relationship and you trust him, why is it wrong to take your daughter to a movie just because?! its not bad. It shows that he is committed to you and wants to be there for you and your duaghter. But what EX is doing is wrong. It will hurt your daughter in the long run. I've been there! My ex did the same to my son. (He even tried to bribe my son with money to come see him more often. He is 9 now, and when my son got older he didn't want to see his father as much because "daddy" would stay away for months at a time and was only there when it was convenient for him.) True, your daughter should be able to talk to both of her parents about anything, but if EX already admitting he will manipulate you daughter right now! OK! He might have been angry and not really do anything. He obviously seems to care for your daughter and loves her, wanting only good for her. I would point out that both of you need to work together to make sure that she is happy and healthy, and any form of control or manipulation (playing with a 6 year olds feelings) is wrong and more harmful than beneficial. Another thing, Sweety: I understand why you may have been compelled to lie when EX was angry. (Soften the blow to EX's ego, right?!) But if you really believe you are not doing anything wrong, you should be able to tell the truth ALL THE TIME!!! You will feel so much better about your decisions, your parenting, and yourself if you commit to the truth.

With that said, Good luck. Failed relationships are hard, and even stickier with kids involved. I know!!!

Maggie - posted on 01/21/2010

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he probably feels that you are trying to let BF replace EX. He's trying to hang on to his relationship with his daughter any way he can. He already doesn't get to see her very often and that's hard for a parent who really loves their child.

That being said, it was wrong for him to threaten BF and it was also wrong for you to lie to him. BF is going to be around your daughter (is he living with you?) at some point but until she's older and/or you and he are more serious (like married) maybe he shouldn't be alone with her. I don't know anything about him or about your relationship but if anything were to ever happen between you and BFand then you split up think about how it would affect your daughter.

You should also stop her from gossiping about EX to you - teach her that gossip is not acceptable and she'll be less likely to gossip to EX.

[deleted account]

I understand that....my situation was used as an EXAMPLE. I have put in my opinion hoping that others might be able to see the other side of things and what can/might happen in the hopes that it will make other women use more caution when it comes to allowing their kids to stay with BF or anyone for that matter. I hope it helps someone....anyways that is all I wanted to say.

Renee - posted on 01/21/2010

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Just to clarify, I told my ex that I was working late and asked my bf to pick up my daughter, but that wasn't true, my bf picked her up to see a movie.. but since we were already arguing, I didn't want ANOTHER argument if he knew my bf picked her up just to see a movie and for no real good reason.

Also, I have full custody and there is a visitation order and her dad only has her on the weekends, not weekdays.

You're right, I can't stop my Ex from saying things to my daughter, and she will figure things out on her own eventually. I just hate that he'd even stoop that low.

[deleted account]

No, not every man is a predetor...Ganesa, I think that you are very lucky that you found someone that you COULD really trust....often times it is the ones that you trust the most that are the petifiles. I understand that there are different points of view and that is what I am trying to point out here. Regarless of whether or not the father was being jealous it does not change the inapproriateness of the situation! I stand by my previous posts!!! Regardless of whether or not I trusted BF I would never take the chance....my daughter is too precious to me. I have a tendency to look at things from ALL angles before putting myself or my child into a situation because you NEVER know. Miss Renee I think it would be great if you and your Ex sat down and set up some ground rules either in a private meeting or if it has not already been done then in court. I'm wondering if something like this has happened before or if your daughter said something to you that made you think he was manipulating her...don't get me wrong, it's not right for him to do that but it just sounds like he was upset.....I say a lot of things I don't mean when I'm mad(that's why I'm thinking that). I hope that it all works out for you and that you two can come to terms. Goodluck!

Carolee - posted on 01/21/2010

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Your ex is being childish, but he has a couple of genuine fears behind his actions.



First, how well does he know your boyfriend? Would you be comfortable with his girlfriend picking your daughter up from school? He's also probably worried about possible molestation (parents don't always know when this happens, especially if it's somebody close to them doing it).



He's also probably really worried about your boyfriend trying to "replace" him as a father. It may not seem rational to you, but that's probably one of his worst fears. If you can't have a normal conversation with your ex, go to counseling with him. You guys need to get along as well as you can for your daughter's sake!

Alina - posted on 01/21/2010

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I dealt with that a lot with my ex. He's probably feeling like someone else is taking his place as Daddy. I know it's sounds a little rude, but talk to him like you would your daughter and explain to him that no one could ever take his place and that no man could ever be a better father to his daughter than him. And explain the same thing to your daughter. Honestly, it doesn't matter what he says to your daughter. Assuming you and your boyfriend get married and he becomes step dad, in time your daughter will know who has been a better father to her over the years. My daughter is 3 and puts her step dad above her biological dad. It's sad that she does that, but at the same time, I'm glad she has a male figure that she can depend on.
This will work it's self out. You don't have to explain anything to you ex!! When she is with you, she is your responsibility, but that goes both ways, he doesn't need to explain anything to you either. If she has odd bruises, starts wetting the bed, has a dramatic behavior change, then I would start asking for explanations from dad (and he from you) and take a better look at bf (not saying he would do anything, just saying...example). Children are very influential and if anyone in the situation is/was hurting her, it would super evident in her behavior and/or physical appearance.
If dad does do anything to bf, then you should take legal action for that. Personally, I'd rather picking up be done by biological parents. Especially when pick up/dropping off for visitation. That way communication in done between the two of you and no lines are crossed. It is understandable that sometimes it can't always be that way. Pick up a copy of you state guidelines for parent visitation. I follow it to a T. If he wants to say anything to me I listen and don't say anything back. I know I am doing what I am suppose to do. If he wants to screw with me, I'll take him to court. I don't play games with him any more.
I know, it sucks, and honestly, it may never change. Do all you can do, stand your ground and don't let him see how it really affects you.

Lea - posted on 01/21/2010

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Sorry to tell you this but I think your ex has a point. He is her father and you should have asked him first. I think you should give him every opportunity to spend time with his daughter unless there is something wrong with him.

Samantha - posted on 01/21/2010

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i agree with Caitlin you should ask the father to pick up his child first and even before your boyfriend takes her to the movies, sometimes we think we know someone very well but there is always more that could be known and checked into!! me myself wouldn't let my child go to the movies with my boyfriend unless it was okay with her father as others said the father may know something about the boyfriend...

Caitlin - posted on 01/21/2010

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On one hand I think he is just being jealous. But you have to look at it from his point of view. How would you feel if it was his girlfriend spending alone with Kyra and she was bonding with her. I agree with Sara that you have to be careful who you let your kids being around. There are people out there who want to hurt our children. Sadly that is the world we live in. So my advice is to let your ex pick her up from school instead of your boyfriend that way he is more involved.

Cinda - posted on 01/21/2010

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Here's my opinion... I'm the step mother in my situation, but I WAS just a girlfriend. I would rather my husband have asked my stepson's mother to pick him up from school first. That way I'm not interfering, and I think it's important that the real parent spend time with the child. I understand how maybe he would feel that she was being taken away from him, he was being replaced, somehow. People get desperate when they feel that way. maybe you should try having the Daddy spend extra time with your daughter, go on "dates" and things of that nature. DO ask the Daddy first to do things with her, rather than your BF. If he can't do it, then ask your BF. You wouldn't be with him if you didn't trust him with your children, I'm sure. That being said, there is no reason for your ex to manipulate your daughter. Maybe you should have a meeting with him, a no stress type thing, a dinner or something, to talk it out.

Ganesa - posted on 01/21/2010

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Obviously we are aware of that happening. That is not what Renee asked though, and I know exactly what she means about kids "gossiping" about one parent to another. It has nothing to do with trust or making sure your kid(s) can talk to both sets of parents. Her daughter has not said anything to her father about not liking the boyfriend/being afraid of him/wishing to not be with him. I am so sorry that you went through something like that, but just because you did, doesn't mean it's happening ini this situation. My husband started out as my boyfriend 6 years ago and if need be he picked up my kid(s) from school, played with them and helped with day to day care. Like me, I 'm sure Renee feels confident that the man she loves and has her child exposed to is safe and loves her and her daughter. Not every man is a predator.

Michele - posted on 01/21/2010

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I understand what you are going through but by him saying that he will manipulate Kyra into hating your BF. Well that is just not right and for my perspective he is willing to hurt his own daughter not physically but mentally. By him telling bad things about your BF to Kyra, she is going to be sad because it seems that Kyra and BF have a good friendship. I would let him know that maybe he will back of. Does your EX have a GF because you could ask him if the tables where turned would he like the way you will be acting. Also he should stop acting like a child and grow up and be a parent. It also sounds like he is jealous. If it doesn't get better I would get a voice recorder and record every conversation with him and then if you ever need to go to court you have evidence about what he said. I had to use the voice recorder and it help me a lot in court and I think that is why I won full custody for my two boys.

Ganesa - posted on 01/21/2010

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He's jealous of a new relationship forming between your daughter and your BF. It's normal for him to feel threatened, especially if he hasn't started a new relationship of his own. While he may be saying it's about Kyra and her safety, it's likely that he's just jealous. If he knew something about your BF that was damaging or dangerous, he would say so. The only thing you can do is tell your Ex that your BF is in no way replacing him, that you are going to continue to make sure that Kyra's relationship with her Dad is important and you would never do anything to change the way she feels about her Daddy and neither would your BF. He's feeling insecure, and the best thing you can do is reassure him that he has no reason to.

If he is going to make threats, personal or otherwise, including manipulating your child I would be very clear with him that that is unacceptable behaviour from an adult, especially a parent and that you will take steps to protect your child from emotional warfare between adults. Kids are not pawns or objects and should never be used to hurt an ex. (I speak from experienece, I went through this 6 years ago and have built a very stable, cohesive relationship with my ex and his wife. My husband, me, my ex and his wife always put the KIDS first and our stuff last, it's the only way it works.)

Good luck. I hope it works out. :)

[deleted account]

First, you should try putting yourself in his shoes. He probably feels that if his daughter bonds with your b/f he will be taking his place. Second, what he said was in the heat of the moment, we all say stupid stuff when we are upset...he probably didn't really mean it. Third, your daughter is his daughter too and is very young and impressionable...he has every right to be worried that she is alone with your BF....I think that is a very inappropriate situation for her to be in. I would ALWAYS have the Ex pick OUR child up before I would ask anyone else....especially my BF. Believe it or not your Ex has her best interest at heart as well and I think that in this situation he was in the right...although his choice of words may have been wrong. Sorry, but don't ask if you don't want to hear the response!

Hayley - posted on 01/21/2010

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I don`t know you or your life but maybe your ex has found something on your BF. I mean you can search there name and find alot of stuff from the past and maybe thats why he dont want that. Or maybe he fells that your taking his daughter away from him.

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