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Stuck in the middle, how do I get out?

How can i get myself out of this current drama?

My friends, the same ones whose daughter got hit by a car right in front of me, and who has had CPS called on them, may be divorcing now.

According to him, she decided she didn't love him anymore and is possibly leaving him. They are separating for this week and all I can see the shit hitting the fan. He has asked that my husband and I not do anything to help her this week. No rides to places, no watching kids. I'm not sure I can keep doing this.

I want out of the middle, but don't see a way out because I'm friends with both of them. I think he's the better parent, and does more to see that they're safe and healthy.

Answer Question
 
Rosehawk

Asked by Rosehawk at 9:38 PM on May. 6, 2013 in Relationships

Level 39 (107,893 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • I would just simply say that you refuse to be put int he middle of their dispute. You want to be there for the kids and if she needs a ride or help and it would benefit his kids that you will do so as her friend and his.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:42 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • Is the guy hoping if you don't give the kids rides this week, then she'll take him back because she needs a chauffeur? I'd tell both of them you don't want to be in the middle of their dispute, but you want to be there for the kids as they adjust to their new difficult reality. Then make your own decisions about what you'll do for the kids.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 10:19 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • The rides would be for her to get to odd jobs she's taking with ex-boyfriends, knowing full well he has tendencies towards paranoia and jealousy. I'd be babysitting while they both were working until he got home.
    Rosehawk

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 10:29 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • So would he expect you to help him during this separation period?
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:46 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • I do not either.
    I think I would seriously suggest counseling because a trauma like having your daughter hit by a car is something so horrible that it is very hard to get through it without some sort of help.
    I think I would tell him that you love both of them and can not agree to doing anything differently than you have in the past for either of them. Tell him that you will not take sides in this and that you are sorry than you can ay for the pain thet they are both in.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:48 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • I'd refuse to get caught in the middle. I'd tell him that I would do whatever was best for the kids - whether he (or she) agrees or not. If he doesn't like it, too bad.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:42 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • Tell him NO that you're not getting in the middle of things.
    LostSoul88

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 10:00 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • Pretty sure he would QuinnMae.

    From watching them with their kids, I think he is the better parent. He gets up at 4am to go to work, comes home at 5pm. Even though he's exhausted from work he still finds time to play with his kids and give them the attention they want. She stays home all day, can't get the house clean, can't keep it clean when others help out, stays up all hours of the night and is barely conscious in the morning when it's time to get the 6 year old to school.

    The day their child was hit by a car, she had sent the child to me to take too school because she was too tired to get up and do it herself.

    This probably sounds like me whining right now. As frustrated as I am with they way they parent their kids, I don't think they're bad people. I DO think they are very young (he's 26, she's 24) and overwhelmed by how many kids they have.
    Rosehawk

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 10:48 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • I don't think it's about who's the better parent (unless you are saying that maybe you should "side with" him & comply with his requests, since you agree with him more or see him more favorably? Then you ARE in the middle, lol)
    Staying out of the middle is about knowing your personal limits & having boundaries. Getting clear about how to respond to a person's requests helps.
    I suggest that you validate his feelings & empathize (assuming you can; it sounds like you do relate to him & understand his perspective) but don't assume that means agreeing to his terms or complying with his requests. Have a clear boundary so that NOT complying with his wishes doesn't equal "taking sides against" him, to yourself. It's like having a limit with a child; you can empathize with their feelings & see their wishes/requests as valid without needing to grant every demand! He may be upset (so might kids!) but YOUR clarity about it is what counts.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:03 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • Let him know you understand his feelings & they totally make sense to you, and that you are going to decide what to do on a case-by-case basis. Acknowledge that it's not what he wants to hear (if that seems to be the case) and let him know you do care, but want to proceed with integrity & that's based on what you perceive as right in a given situation!

    I dislike articulating it in a "stubborn" kind of way, like "I'm not getting in the middle of this" or "I'm not taking sides, here" because it can seem (and feel) like a cop-out. It's basically the truth, but I'd articulate it more deeply, with understanding for the person & explicit self-responsibility. It's not like you're washing your hands of it all or "not caring" about his point of view or his concerns. Rather, you're articulating & maintaining clear personal limits & taking responsibility for your choices (by being clear that you ARE making choices.)

    It can be done!!
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:12 PM on May. 7, 2013

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