My 13 Year old Daughter wants out

Buserba - posted on 03/16/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I left my ex-husband 8 years ago, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars that I left. We have two wonderful daughters together. One is 13 and the other is 9. 6 years ago, I remarried and together, we have raised these girls the best way possible. My ex-husband lost our house due to foreclosure, and then was evicted from his apartment for non-payment of rent. At that point he disappeared to live with a buddy somewhere around an hour away from us. He only came around once every 6 weeks and was NOT active in the children's lives. A year ago, he started dating and moved in with this woman (who lives 2.5 hours away from us) at which point in time he started contacting the kids again and spent every other weekend with them. I was happy, for the kid’s sake, that he was back in their lives; however, it made it VERY confusing for them. After dating this woman for 3 months, I received notification that he was suing me for FULL custody of both girls. Long story short, the agreement was made OUT of court that I was Primary guardian and it was in the best interest of the children NOT to uproot them from what has been their stable lifestyle. I've recently noticed changes in my 13 year old daughter's attitude towards me. I have been writing it off as part of adolescence. This is a tough age for her and it's a time of self-discovery, find self-identity, and definitely pushing boundaries. We have argued A LOT! There is a lot of screaming, but it's ALWAYS about the same thing. Schooling and her grades. As a mother, I am very overbearing at times, and for me education is HIGHLY important. Last week she came home from her father's and in true form, homework was NOT done. So I made her sit and do it. This led to her screaming at me, saying she hates me, she hates my husband and she wants to move with dad because it's "fun" there. What doesn't make any sense (which leads me to believe that her father and this new girlfriend are feeding "stuff" into her head) is that when she is with us, she never mentioned being so unhappy. She calls my husband "Daddy Mike" and adores him, but now she says she HATES him? We sat and talked once she calmed down. She feels that moving in with him is better because all I ever do is yell at her about her homework. I recently spoke with her biological father about the situation (because co-parenting is important and with co-parent communication is key). He told me that the 13 year old has expressed the same to him and that her reason he gave him was because I only yell at her but she NEVER told him WHY I yell. I explained EVERYTHING to him about the grades. About how I communicate with the teachers. How I set her up with tutors. How she doesn't even turn in the homework. How she doesn't retake tests she fails even when the teachers give her the options. I could tell from his expression that this was new information and she had NOT told him any of this. Despite feeling the conversation was going well-he in turn dropped the bomb. He went behind my back and already told our daughter that after she finishes the school year here, he will move her in with him and enroll her in the local Catholic school near him.
I am conflicted about the whole situation. I have been there for her for EVERYTHING. Every tear, every milestone, every illness, every parent/teacher conference, every after school activity. I’m a mom in college and I always put EVERYTHING of mine on hold till late at night so I can get my kids stuff done and spend time with them, before starting my school work. This is what a REAL parent does. He disappears for 4 years and comes back and gets to be the "fun" parent and I am the mean one. I don't want her unhappy and part of me says, let her go, because I TRULY feel she would come back, but what if she doesn't? At the same time, I feel hurt and betrayed that her father would discuss this and make arrangement with her directly without discussing this with me.
I can already foresee court papers being filed and am well prepared to fight for my daughter. In the state of PA, at the age of 13, the judge will take her opinion into consideration, and I already know what she is going to say. I am so conflicted and my husband has been incredibly supportive through the whole thing. I don't know what i would do without him!
Does anyone have advice? I am desperate for any advice anyone could offer!

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Buserba - posted on 03/16/2015

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Evelyn, Thank you for your words of advise. I have given that so much consideration. Let her go and see how things are there. Right now she sees it as all fun and games because she is only there on weekends when there are no rules and there is only fun. Perhaps she will see it differently when she is there full time and then homework and the NOT so fun times take place in that household. I just have high doubts that her father is able to provide for her. He is a very "self centered" person and will always put his needs first and i'm afraid it will only set her back by going there. This is where I get so conflicted. Would it REALLY be the best for her?

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