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Right of a parent vs right of a child

Posted by on Sep. 26, 2013 at 6:01 AM
  • 47 Replies

As many of you know, we've been separated for nearly 7 years. During most of the this time we had a 50/50, though given the fact that BF refused to see DD for a prolonged period of time, our CO is no longer valid as far as the custody split is concerned .... we pretty much sort the schedule via an Excel sheet, and currently I get her 8 out of 14 days (though I often cover for BF due to "business trips").

DD hasn't been happy at BF's for quite a while ... cramped living conditions (2 bedrooms for 5 people ... and one of the two rooms actually is barely the size of a wardrobe), very messy and chaotic, lots of pressure from BF to excel etc. etc. She doesn't want to stop going there altogether (mainly because BF gets almost suicidal since he is convinced she loves me more than him), but she was hoping that some miracle would happen and he'd ask for less contact again (as happened previously on several occasions).

Matters are getting worse and worse ... she barely talks to her stepsisters (the "bitches", as she refers to them), and her (previously amicable, as far as I know) relationship with SM is deteriorating rapidly, to a point where she hopes BF will divorce SM and find another woman "who truly loves him". As far as I'm aware, there haven't been any fall-outs or similar, and DD has never voiced her views to BF or SM ... she just stays out of everybody's way until her time with BF is up.

DD finished last school year with 8 A*s and 6 As ... no Bs or Cs. School started about 3 weeks ago, and her first two assignments in two of her favourite subjects were Cs. It isn't really tragic since they don't count for the final grade ... but I'd like to keep a close eye on things. Might be just a case of different expectations compared to what last year's teachers expected ... but might also be a trend.

DD is adamant that I am not to tell BF, since he has taken to shouting and cussing whenever she makes a mistake (e.g. forgets something). Last week, she sent him a text where she mistakenly wrote "too" instead of "two" ... and was duly ordered to do 30 minutes of reading each day (found that rather confusing, DD reads way more than 30 minutes a day when at mine ... she usually takes a book to bed). He is also very quick when it comes to threatening her with tutoring (even for the subjects where she has As as opposed to A*s), though all of her teachers are totally against her doing additional work.

He has already cut her days with her horse during his time because he considers it too stressful, and DD is worried that he'll blame her worsening grades on the horse (though she achieved last year's excellent grades despite (or maybe because of) the horse).

I know there is no way I can talk to him without DD ever finding out ... he'd throw a hissy fit along the lines of "you love your mom more than me because you tell her things, maybe it would be better if I was dead/you lived with your mom and just saw me for a coffee once in a while" ... and then he'd stop her from seeing her horse and would push her relentlessly ... studying, studying, studying.

I understand that as the father, he has a right to know ... but I feel my DD also has a right to me not betraying her trust. BF obviously has access to all of DD's school books, and to the teachers ... he eventually will find out ... but would you actively tell him?

by on Sep. 26, 2013 at 6:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
CampClan
by Bronze Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 6:08 AM
In this case? No. It seems it would do more harm than good. Not sure how old your dd is but it sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders & is mature enough to make a decision like cutting back time.
HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 6:14 AM
1 mom liked this
He has a right to know.

With that said...he is a big boy. He had access to all of the information and, theoretically, the intellectual capacity to find the information on his own to stay up-to-date. It is his responsibility to stay informed - your are her mum, not his.

Hopefully, by the time he discovers it, she will have brought them back up. I hope you are able to discover the reason she is struggling with her grades right now. I do not think there is any benefit to telling him - one, it adds to her stress level and, two, it is not your job.

As a side, there are so many things wrong with how he is handling her, but I do believe you know that. Just thought I'd toss it in there. Hugs to both of you!
Pero3
by Silver Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 6:17 AM

She is 13.

We are in the process of finding ways of destressing her life a bit (had quite a good system towards the end of last school year, but the long summer break messed us up a bit).

In principle, I do agree with BF that something needs to go ... unfortunately, BF and I (and DD) don't quite agree what.


Quoting CampClan:

In this case? No. It seems it would do more harm than good. Not sure how old your dd is but it sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders & is mature enough to make a decision like cutting back time.



Pero3
by Silver Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 6:23 AM

I'd love to share my views on this with him ... but again, it isn't really my place to do so.

I obviously only know DD's side of the coin ... but allegedly, the place is a tip (and mine certainly isn't spotless, so it must be bad). DD can't cope with mess ... she is one of those people who'll sit in the middle of it, clueless where to start ... getting more and more frustrated.

Ever since the older of her two stepsisters returned home from a two-year stay with her BF, there seems to be lots of bickering and fighting (between the two stepsisters, but it affects DD). This older stepsister also has a friend who is over at their house EVERY SINGLE DAY ... so even more people there. DD's stuff is taken, very little privacy ... which stresses her out, which then leads to her migraine attacks.

I am still surprised how BF can live like this ... he once was very much like DD, unable to deal with mess and crowded spaces.


Quoting HopesNDreams:

As a side, there are so many things wrong with how he is handling her, but I do believe you know that. Just thought I'd toss it in there. Hugs to both of you!



HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM
What options are there? How often MUST she be there? Would her dad be open to time spent together outside the home?

It sounds stressful! It also may explain some of her dad's weird behavior. If this environment is so completely counter to his comfort zone, it may be making him crazy and stressed too. He is taking it out on others. The hard part is helping him to see it in mending it.

Honestly, the solution will be found in talking about it in a quiet, orderly place - the kind if place that appeals to both of them and is so opposite to that chaos at home. BF is not one to go against his wife, but he may be willing to rebel against the chaos!


Quoting Pero3:

I'd love to share my views on this with him ... but again, it isn't really my place to do so.

I obviously only know DD's side of the coin ... but allegedly, the place is a tip (and mine certainly isn't spotless, so it must be bad). DD can't cope with mess ... she is one of those people who'll sit in the middle of it, clueless where to start ... getting more and more frustrated.

Ever since the older of her two stepsisters returned home from a two-year stay with her BF, there seems to be lots of bickering and fighting (between the two stepsisters, but it affects DD). This older stepsister also has a friend who is over at their house EVERY SINGLE DAY ... so even more people there. DD's stuff is taken, very little privacy ... which stresses her out, which then leads to her migraine attacks.

I am still surprised how BF can live like this ... he once was very much like DD, unable to deal with mess and crowded spaces.



Quoting HopesNDreams:

As a side, there are so many things wrong with how he is handling her, but I do believe you know that. Just thought I'd toss it in there. Hugs to both of you!




Tigress22304
by Platinum Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 7:01 AM
1 mom liked this
Pero I have quite a bit to say,so I"m marking my spot until I get on the computer. But I will say this: he is a big boy now and if he can't handle the simple truth about his relationship concerning his daughter that maybe he needs to be the one to seek counseling or some therapy.
Pero3
by Silver Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 7:20 AM

I don't know where to start, really!

I think ultimately DD cares very little about her stepsisters or SM ... when I say "cares little" I mean they wouldn't be in a position to ruin the relationship with her father, no matter what they did. But she says her dad is no longer the person he used to be, and that she wants that person back.

I think BF has not yet accepted that there is a lot wrong with his situation, and that it does affect DD. I think it would be simplistic to blame it on SM, or her kids ... it is simply a case of not being compatible on so many levels.

To be quite honest, in my opinion it would probably help if they no longer synchronised DD's and her stepsisters' schedules (which would mean less people in the house at the same time). They had 7 years to create a "family", they failed, it won't happen now. Unless moved to a bigger house, which was the plan about a months ago ... he now says it might not happen.

Another option would be to have an EOWE schedule ... though I doubt he'd agree to that ... he'd rather have no contact whatsoever.


Quoting HopesNDreams:

What options are there? How often MUST she be there? Would her dad be open to time spent together outside the home?

It sounds stressful! It also may explain some of her dad's weird behavior. If this environment is so completely counter to his comfort zone, it may be making him crazy and stressed too. He is taking it out on others. The hard part is helping him to see it in mending it.

Honestly, the solution will be found in talking about it in a quiet, orderly place - the kind if place that appeals to both of them and is so opposite to that chaos at home. BF is not one to go against his wife, but he may be willing to rebel against the chaos!


Pero3
by Silver Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 7:20 AM

He's been in therapy for years ... didn't work!


Quoting Tigress22304:

Pero I have quite a bit to say,so I"m marking my spot until I get on the computer. But I will say this: he is a big boy now and if he can't handle the simple truth about his relationship concerning his daughter that maybe he needs to be the one to seek counseling or some therapy.



Derdriu
by Gold Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM
2 moms liked this
Forget the grades. I can't get past comments like, "Maybe it'd be better if I was dead." He's abusive. I'd be back in court restricting his visitation to EOWE at the most. And that has a lot to do also with the way she is treated by SM, the lack of privacy, the stealing of her things, the sharing of underwear, etc. BD's home sounds like a hell hole, and he's such an emotionally manipulative bastard (as evidenced by previous emails to you) that I can't imagine he's a decent father, regardless of any claims otherwise. He's a sick man.
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Pero3
by Silver Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 7:43 AM

I agree with your statement that he is a sick man ... but he isn't a bad one.

DD is desperately worried that he will kill himself ... I know what she feels, during our relationship there were times I was worried that one day, I'd get a call from the police, saying there had been an incident.

Unfortunately,  DD's close friend's mother killed herself just last week ... which made DD even more anxious, because there were a lot of similarities between DD's and her friend's situations.


Quoting Derdriu:

Forget the grades. I can't get past comments like, "Maybe it'd be better if I was dead." He's abusive. I'd be back in court restricting his visitation to EOWE at the most. And that has a lot to do also with the way she is treated by SM, the lack of privacy, the stealing of her things, the sharing of underwear, etc. BD's home sounds like a hell hole, and he's such an emotionally manipulative bastard (as evidenced by previous emails to you) that I can't imagine he's a decent father, regardless of any claims otherwise. He's a sick man.



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