Sharing a Child With A Toxic Ex

Meghan - posted on 08/15/2018 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Today is my daughter’s first birthday. I had to pass off with her dad and was heartbroken. It’s such a special day and he does not care at all how it hurts me.

Back story... my ex is a Narc and when our daughter was 5 weeks old he broke up with me and left me with the stress of finding a new place to live (while on maternity leave with reduced income) while he bought himself a house. For the first 6 months of her life he was hardly around. He would maybe see her for a few hours here and there. He gave me financial support, but I was 5 weeks postpartum caring for a newborn completely alone and he made me feel like I was irrational for asking for help.

I had a legal parenting plan drafted and then he started watching her two days a week while I work. She is a year old and he still has no furniture or clothes for her. He pays for vacations for himself without trouble, but our daughter’s needs aren’t met at his place.

He constantly tries to fight with me and threaten to take me to court for more time with our daughter. I cannot do anything right for him. He’s constantly angry and I’m constantly wondering when he is going to try to use my daughter as a pawn against me.

Has anyone dealt with this? I’ve gotten over the heartbreak of loving someone who is so cruel, but struggle with having to deal with him and how he is going to impact our daughter. I’m terrified that I was too kind when I drafted the parenting plan and now he will be able to take my daughter and I do not trust him to do what is best for her.

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Michelle - posted on 08/17/2018

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You really need to have your lawyer involved and maybe even go to court instead of having a parenting plan. In the court orders you can stipulate that your daughter has to have her own bed, clothes etc.
Also, make sure you are getting the child support you are entitled to.

I will just make 1 comment about the start of your post, you make it sound like it's all about you and how it all affects you. It sounded very selfish. He is her Father so why can't he spend time with her on her birthday? Yes, he left while you were on maternity leave, it happens more often than you realize. The things you have said doesn't make him a narcissist, selfish yes.

Meghan - posted on 08/16/2018

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My lawyer has said that it is standard law that he must be able to meet her needs at his place. I’m ready to return to my lawyer but financially I have to wait a bit longer. I just fear how vindictive he can be and know that he will have no reservations in using my daughter for his benefit. I just pray for God to protect her heart

Meghan - posted on 08/16/2018

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Thank you so much! My daughter and I have a wonderful bond. I am a very empathetic person and I believe by seeing my compassion she will be caring as well. I’m learning to draw a line between being empathetic and still standing up for myself. I do believe I made many mistakes in trusting my ex, and often times I wish I’d never met him, but without that relationship I wouldn’t have my beautiful girl. It’s hard to find balance in that, but I will deal with anything for her sake! In this first year of her life I have come a long way and I know that will only continue and it will get easier to deal with her father as time continues.
I ultimately know that he would never succeed in court if he tried to take more time with her. Deep down he knows this too. The threats just get old and ignore anxiety in me.

Michele - posted on 08/16/2018

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Maybe you need to draft a new parenting plan and have it stipulate that he must have a bed, toys etc for her at his residence.

Beth - posted on 08/16/2018

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Meghan -
I was so sad to read this. It appears you made a mistake with him and, sadly once children are involved, those can be costly. But it sounds like you've taken positive steps. You worked out a parenting plan with him and, presumably, child support. These are things that will help protect your daughter.
I've not been through this myself, but I have friends who have; some as single parents, some as children. The children are remarkably resilient and, as they grow older, insightful. If you live and act the way you would want your daughter to see you, I expect she'll be fine. She'll need a role model. It might take her awhile, but she'll come to realize her father isn't a very good one. She'll need a very good one and it should be you.
I fear I haven't provided much practical help, but everyone here that reads your post will be pulling for you. Please let us know how you're coming and let us help you through the rough spots
Beth

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