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divorced and need advice for my relationship with my girls

Posted by on May. 16, 2013 at 8:49 PM
  • 11 Replies


I have two teenage daughters, 15 and 17.  My ex-husband and I have been apart since 2008 and divorced.  I remarried in 2011.  Last September, their Dad took a job traveling.  I have them 70% of the time now and he has them approx 30%.  Our court order is that we have 50/50 visitation with joint custody.  That changed when he took this job.  Our visitation schedule was a modified 5 and 2.  Our girls never spent more than 3 days away from any one parent.  However, now that his job takes him out of state and country, this has been a problem.  I stupidly agreed that when he was in town the girls could spend the time he had with them.  Now I wish I had said we would just go back to regular visitation when he was in town.  I go sometimes 10 days without seeing them.  The real issue is that everyday that he is away, they call him and text him and will turn off the TV to talk to him or go in their rooms to skype with him etc.  I am glad they have a good relationship with him.  However, when they are with him, they either don't answer my phone calls or make excuses to get off the phone quickly.  They text back sometimes, but very shortly and without emotion.  They never call me.  I thought I had a good relationship with them.  We have lots of love and fun and do many things together when they are with me. We laugh and joke and yes occasionally argue but not very often. Why the drastic difference in their communication with their dad and myself?  It hurts so much.  The sad thing is he never lets us know for sure when he is leaving or coming home.  He does say that the jobs are spontaneous.  He does badmouth me, make fun of me, and lie about me to my kids from the things I hear them say and things he says to me.  I do not talk negatively about him, because that is their other parent.  I just don't understand the cold shoulder I get when they are with him.  It even gets to the point of them disrespecting me if I really need an answer to a question that pertains to them or pertains to visitation etc.  Sometimes, they just totally ignore me.  When they come back home when he leaves town, they act excited to see me and I'm so glad but confused.  I just don't get it.  Anyone else ever get this treatment.  Any ideas?

by on May. 16, 2013 at 8:49 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on May. 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM

The difference is that they spend most of their time with you, so the time they have with their dad is more focused on him.

I think you are trying to read to much into this. From what you say they clearly love you and enjoy their time with you. Let it go, if you make this a big deal you are going to turn them away from you.

by on May. 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

How often would you suggest I call them or text them when they are with him.  Just now, I needed to talk to my older daughter because we have been working on a birthday present for my 15 yr old together.  When her sister told her it was me on the phone, she just kept yelling, I can't talk to her right now.  This went on for awhile with her little sister repeatedly saying, "she really needs to talk to you." Suddenly, she realized it was about the birthday present so she said, "Oh hang on a second.  Hi Mom. What did you need?  Is it going good?"  By that time, I was crying, so  I asked her the question.  After she answered, I told her I would talk to her later and hung up."    My 17 yr old has done this from the beginning of our separation and divorce when she saw us both equally.  My 15 yr old just started this in Sept.


by Kimberly on May. 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM

You are the reliable parent.... the one they have learned is always there.   Yes, they may take you for granted, but they appear to enjoy their time with you and love you!    

by on May. 17, 2013 at 12:15 AM
It's never good for the kids from parents separating and divorcing. Your oldest is acting out more and your dd15 is prolly learning from your oldest. I've done it for so long to my mom. But believe it or not she lives with me now. My dad was and is my fav parent even if I was with mom and sd 80% of the time
by on May. 17, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Its security. They know you are their security blanket. You will be there for them, they don't have to worry about you traveling for days and days on end.
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by Silver Member on May. 17, 2013 at 12:49 AM
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Is it possible that when they're with dad and they communicate with you, he then spends the next 10-15 minutes tearing you down and they're trying to avoid hearing it from him? Sometimes the easiest way to avoid unpleasantness is to make sure the opportunity for it doesn't arise.

I'd be far more concerned if there were problems when they were home with you.

by on May. 17, 2013 at 7:47 AM

thanks for all the replies. I am reading them and thinking about each one.

by Grumpy on May. 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM
1 mom liked this
I think maybe you should sit them down and talk to them about it. Don't make it a competition though. Just tell them, hey you know when you're with your dad, I miss talking to you, could you at least give me a call before you head off to bed? Or Skype with me so I can see you girls? I promise to keep it short.
by Susie on May. 17, 2013 at 9:58 AM
I agree with what has been said. Also Mom's and daughter relationships are different than Dad's and daughters.
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by on May. 18, 2013 at 6:22 AM

hugsI totally know what you are talking about....JUST REMEMBER THEY ARE TEENAGER GIRLS and at this point their dad is their interest....they are curious how men in general think, act, smell, etc. IT IS A NATURAL THING!  they know you more just for the fact you are female like them....IT IS JUST A PHASE....they do love you though.

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