Cutting A Parent Out Of Their Lives

Christina - posted on 04/23/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

1,513

28

142

I am posting this in two circles, so if anyone is thinking, WTF? I just read this, that is why.

I am a mom to five amazing children, four of them are biologically mine and one is my stepson. I have a fantastic relationship with my oldest son's father and his step-mom. My son has free reign to stay at either of our houses, and he goes and comes as he pleases between us.
My three younger children, however, it is a different story. I am ready to cut their dad out of their lives completely. My ex-husband lost a lot of rights during our divorce and is only allowed to have restricted visitation with his children, the first, third, and fifth sunday of every month between noon to six pm. He lives about 1400 miles away from us and so has yet to even attempt visits with my children. The courts took his rights away because he did something illegal and my children's safety is in question if he is alone with them. Right now, he calls his kids once every 2-3wks. For a long time he was only calling them every 4-8wks. Two of my kids have autism and change is very difficult for them. They don't hear from him for weeks, and forget he exists, then he calls them and tells them he loves them so much, makes them tons of promises that of course he can't follow through on. My current husband has taken up the role of dad in their lives, and we have a perfect happy family until he calls again.
I am seriously considering NOT letting him talk to the children any more on the phone. Legally, the only thing I have to do is allow him to see the children on his specified dates every month (which has yet to happen) and give him information on their school, health, and well being if he asks (which he never asks about!) Every time he calls, my autistic 5yr old son has meltdowns and tantrums for days on end afterwards. It takes my husband and myself about 7 days total to get his behavior back on track, then a week later, he calls again and we start over. My autistic 8yr old really could care less about talking to him. She mainly feeds of her siblings behaviors and will act up because they are acting up. My 7yr old daughter is made to feel like crap by her dad because she calls my husband, "Daddy." He makes her feel like she doesn't love him because she calls another man dad, and she will lash out at her siblings because of it.
Is it really awful of me to want to cut off his phone contact completely with my children? I've been waiting for two years for him to go to therapy and correct his life, and it hasn't happened yet. The courts took away almost all of his rights, and all he is doing is causing my children pain.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ez - posted on 04/23/2011

6,569

25

237

Wow well that changes everything. That is more than him being irresponsible and selfish. And the fact you say he is specifically targeting your 7yo daughter is disconcerting. I would definitely cut contact in this case.

Christina - posted on 04/26/2011

1,513

28

142

Thanks everyone. He flipped out on me on Easter. I did let him talk to the kids (only because they were running around having an Easter Egg hunt and didn't care he was on the phone.) Figured it was best to end contact after the holiday was over. He started telling me that it wasn't his fault the kids acted up after talking to him. And his dumbass little 20yr old girlfriend was in the back ground making comments. I wanted to smack them both.
Today I am helping with funeral arrangements (my husband's dad passed away yesterday) and it is the perfect excuse to go few weeks or so without answering the phone. I'm so mentally exhausted from what he's done that the next time I talk to him, I'm going to tell him to call back AFTER he has finished therapy.

[deleted account]

I agree with everything said so far and I empathise to an extent but your situation sounds more cut and dry and I think you've made the logical and best choices thusfar. I would like to add though something that helps me with my son's situation and I think might give you some comfort in your choice. I've had two fathers, my bio one was mentally ill and my mother kept him from me to spare me with the hopes that one day he'd get better and I could have a relationship with him. It was very hard for her and on me as a young child. My stepfather was an abusive ass and lived with us for years and at the end of the day now at 23 years old I can say with certainty I am grateful for my mother's choice to protect me as a young child and really wish that she hadn't subjected me to what I went through with my stepfather for the sake of me having a male role model. Simple fact my bio father is well now, we have a relationship and though it sucks we missed out on so much time there's not a doubt in either of our minds my mother's choice was the right thing to do and we are both better for it. My stepfather I hope burns in hell and I regret him being in my life, he hasn't been since I was old enough to move out. So yes abandonement sucks, cutting a parent out sucks, but at the end of the day I love my father even though he couldn't be around, I hate my stepfather because he caused me nothing but damage by being around, and I love and appreciate my mother because and despite the choices she made :)

At the end of the day hun you're in charge of their safety, stability, and happiness first and foremost. So which would you rather them talk about as adults in therapy...that they have abandonement issues because their mother kept them out of harms way or that they have a billion other issues because their mother subjected them to a potentially dangerous man for the sake of parent-child relationship?

I empathise with you when it comes to the pop in and out of life game with an autistic child and the damage it causes, I get told I'm controlling and overprotective by my ex and his mother because they try to do this with my son and I'm not allowing it anymore. 3 years was enough for me. They don't know nor do they care the effects their games have on him and bottom line yes having as much of his family involved with him as possible is the best thing for him...if their presence is going to benefit him. When they are doing nothing but causing him separation anxiety, meltdowns, regressions, and God knows what kinds of emotional chaos then they are not whats best for him and they need to either be involved or stay the hell away. When his safety is in question I'm fine with being the 'bad guy' in order to ensure my son makes it to his next birthday intact. My ex also has lost most of his rights, first courtdate ever it was determined I would have sole custody and he has right to information and one visit a week supervised which he doesn't bother to maintain. I'm usually very against cutting a parent out but when they aren't being a parent in any sense of the word and pose a threat to the child in question I think thats the time to look at it in a different way. Safety first and foremost. If you are cutting contact though make sure you do it legally I'd hate to see someone in a situation where they are court ordered to send their child somewhere unsafe and then face charges if they try to prevent that on their own. And for an autistic child anything that is causing problems with their developement and emotional well-being does become a safety issue especially if their meltdowns are violent and can cause them physical harm I'm sure your children's doctors would agree. I still can't get over the charges you mentioned and the fact he is targeting your one daughter specifically, and the age and everything, that alone I would think would be enough for a court to say you know what yeah there is more than enough legit concern here to stop contact.

I wish you and your family the best and hope everything gets resolved.

19 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

No it isn't wrong of you to do that and if the welfare of the children are at stake, even mentally, then I would suggest you follow your instincts and take steps to have him permanently removed. IMO

Bonnie - posted on 04/24/2011

4,813

22

262

I definitely wouldn't be asking the kids to talk with their dad if they don't care to or flat out don't want to. It is very wrong that he is showing favourtism towards your 7 year old. The others must feel so left out. And the child pornography situation is just a whole other story. I think just from what you are saying, the kids are better off without him IMO.

Jenn - posted on 04/24/2011

2,683

36

96

Go with your heart Christina. I read this earlier and had to think about it, because there are times when I think "I wish (my son's Dad) would just fuck off and go away." He doesn't come around often (calls on average once every 6-8 weeks), doesn't pay a cent in child support (he currently owes me over $7K), and is useless in my eyes. But I couldn't bring myself to stop them from talking or seeing each other, unless my son didn't want it. BUT - now that I read your updated situation - go with your heart. Limited access - without a doubt.

Christina - posted on 04/24/2011

1,513

28

142

Thanks Tracey. From experience, I know it is better to have no contact than limited contact. It is only a matter of time before he gives up and signs his rights away to the children. He is going to get tired of paying for them when he can't see them.
Right now my daughters know daddy made some bad choices and he looked at bad pictures. They use to be so angry at him because he hurt mommy and he made us leave. With my new husband in the picture, the anger has lessened.
I remember my dad being in and out of my life. It did a lot of emotional damage to me. My husband keeps reminding me that when I end phone contact, I can't restart it back up. It makes me feel bad but I know that it is not my fault that he did this. I just have to clean up after the tornado. My heart tells me to end contact, and I think I really need to go with my heart.

Sneaky - posted on 04/24/2011

1,170

33

131

I hope it helps you to know - I think you have made the right decision.

And I would never, ever trust him with any of those children - court ordered or not. After two years with limited contact (and no visits) is there anyway you could have the court order changed so that he can not even have restricted visits? I've never been through the custody ringer but logically I would think that you could document the upheaval he causes with just a phone call, and specifically the 'targeting' and 'grooming' of your seven year old and make a case for him to have no access at all? (Wouldn't that be nice in a perfect world!). Regardless, I think you are doing the best you can to protect your kids.

Oh, random thought - you might want to seek out a counselor or child psychologist so you can devise a plan about how to explain to your kids (now and in the future) why you choose to limit the access that they had with their biological father. You certainly do not want rebellious teenagers in the future that strike off on their own to find a fairytale dad when one does not exist or to resent you.

Good luck Christina, I hope it all works out for you and your family, soon.

Christina - posted on 04/24/2011

1,513

28

142

I like that Tracey. And I feel so guilty because I know to protect my kids in the long run I have to hurt my kids a little now.

Tracey - posted on 04/24/2011

1,094

2

58

My husband works away from home during the week and we found the following helps my autistic son (physical age 12 , mental age 4 - 5)



1. Wherever he is we tell my son that Daddy is in the same place all the time.

2.We have a social story about Daddy being away with a calendar so he can mark the home and away days.

3. We have scrap book with photos of a hotel, rooms, garden, restaurant, work building, office, and brochures of the area so my son can look at the pictures to see what it is like where Daddy is.



If your ex does want to retain some form of contact (and I agree with banning phone calls if it upsets the kids) could he send letters every month for a year or so that you can read them to your kids at a time when they are calm, and so they can go back and refer to the letters when they want to,which puts contact on their terms and allows them some control over the situation.

[deleted account]

Oh my, Christina I'm so sorry this drama is happening to you and your family. From the sound of things, it sounds like you need to tell him to take a long walk off a short pier, and that you will no longer take his calls except to do the reporting you are obligated to do, but under NO circumstances are you going to allow him any other contact than what you have to do legally. That's what I would do. If you tell him you won't allow him to talk to the kids, he may just stop calling.

I hope you can get the unwelcome drama out of your life.

[deleted account]

Well, my original opinion definitely stands. If you don't HAVE to do it (re:court order), don't. I'd keep that man as far away from my kids as possible. If he ever comes for his visit.... I guess you'll have to deal w/ that, but otherwise.... bye bye Mr.!

Christina - posted on 04/23/2011

1,513

28

142

From the responses, I figured I need to be blunt, lol.

Yeah, I think I'm just going to stop answering the phone. I'm so sick of him playing games that I'm done. He refuses to get help for himself and his 20yr old little girlfriend he has been with for almost two years is living with him and thinks that he has done nothing wrong (even though she knows what he did.)

And he is targeting my 7yr old daughter. He has asked me more than once to GIVE him my daughter!!!! He will sign his rights away AND still pay me child support if I will just GIVE HIM Ciarabel! I'd rather burn in hell!

Janessa - posted on 04/23/2011

444

38

28

Christina that is disgusting and I agree with you because as a parent we have the right to choose what is the best for our children. What he did is so wrong and disgusting he should never have contacts with them ever until there can make decisions on there own. He does not care or show he cares for them he sounds selfish.

Christina - posted on 04/23/2011

1,513

28

142

Screw it all to hell! The reason we left IMMEDIATELY and the reason he has restricted visitation was because he was downloading child pornography, of a 7yr old little girl.

Christina - posted on 04/23/2011

1,513

28

142

It helps that I'm a nurse as well.
The kids want to talk to him when he calls. Sometimes. Usually at least one wants to yell at him because they feel he doesn't love them. But they don't ask me to call him. They know that any time they want to talk, Mommy will pick up the phone and call, but they haven't asked me to do that in over a year. And he favors my 7yr old daughter. He will buy her birthday presents and not buy any for the other two. He will call her princess and tell her she is daddy's little girl, but doesn't do that with the other two. He is picking favorites and it is causing some major trauma. I instructed him months ago to call on the same day every week. He picked Saturdays between 10am-2pm. He doesn't do it. Now mind you the past few weeks I've been ignoring every other call he makes. He was suppose to call today and didn't.
I talked with my oldest son's father, and he told me he completely agrees with my decision to cut him out of their lives. Jaydn's dad drove the 1400 miles to pick up my children and myself after I was forced to move out with no notice.

Ez - posted on 04/23/2011

6,569

25

237

Do the children want to talk to him on the phone? Because if they don't, I sure as hell wouldn't be forcing them. That would be an easy one. If they do in fact want to talk to him, that is a harder decision.

It sounds like he is a douche, who is totally out of touch with the realities of the special needs of your kids. You are right to want to protect them from further distress. Maybe you could speak to the children's doctors about it? They may have a professional opinion on what is the best way to go here. And at least then you will have some official documentation of your children's reaction to these phone calls.

Christina - posted on 04/23/2011

1,513

28

142

Nope, there is nothing in there about me allowing him to talk to the kids on the phone. I am required to answer his questions about their health, education, and well being, but he could care less. In the two years that we've been gone, he has yet to ask me about their education. Or their health, and the two have medical issues related to their autism!

[deleted account]

Is there anything in the court order about phone calls? By reading what you've written it doesn't sound like there is.... I just want to clarify.

IF he is upsetting your children as much as it sounds like he is.... the only thing he would be getting is what the court order specifies and no more.

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