A DESPERATE CRY!! My 11 yo. daughter wants to live with her dad
I'm very confused by my daughter who is 11. I have been divorced for 7 years and I have 2 children. My son, who is 16, lives with his father 3 states away. He went to live with him at age 12, it was a hard decision but it was the right decision. He has turned himself around in school, friends and activities. However, my daughter, who is 11, still lives with me. She has now decided she wants to live with her dad. She tells me its not fair that she's lived with me since our divorce and not her dad and that I should share. She says she misses her family there, her brother, and friends. I have increased and have been extremely giving when it comes to her visitations with her dad. To the point where he gets additional week at Christmas and now all summer. I allow her to miss school to go on mini vacations with them, taking in consideration she is an "A" student and she takes her assignments. I'm not and will never keep her from having a relationship with him, I understand her love for him and he's a good dad.
Here is where I'm confused. I can be the" worlds greatest mom and she wants to live with me until she wants to live with me until she's 30" She makes plans for the future here in Ohio, looks forward to her school next year, ect.....I support her, we spend quality time together, we have an open communication, ect... When she goes to her dads, she'll tell him incomplete truths that lead him to belive the negative. I do have her readdress her conversations with her dad to make them honest. (almost like playing dad against mom). She is expressing more and more interested in living with her dad, to the point that when I picked her up from spring break my ex, my son and my daughter put me on the spot and had a "family meeting" regarding a decision of her moving to her dads. Her father is married to a lady 18 years younger than he is. I remained calm, listened to what each had to say, which was all overwhelming. I told them all that I was not going to give a decision at that moment. My ex, since i wasn't going to give a decision, called me selfish, that I should think about our daughters feelings and request in front of my children. He said that I was going to turn my children against me.
I am getting ready to retire from the military in 10 months, I have picked up a part time job, only after, my daughter and I discussed this possibility and I let her know that I would not take it if she did not want me too I made a promise at my last duty station that my current duty station is my last so she would be able to grow up with friends, stability and consistency rather then the military life style. She will be staying at my best friends house if I have to work late, which she's like close Aunt to my daughter, plus she makes money babysitting.
I do have a boyfriend from the past 3 years. He DOES NOT spend the night when my children are here, we see each other about 2 times a week for about 3 hours each time. We both are single parents, full time working parents. He's never cross with my daughter, encourages and supports her. So i don't really think thats the problem.
My daughter has lots of friends her, she is a great student who always gets accolades in school for her behavior. She is an outgoing young lady. (this was opposite of my son before we made the decision to move him) She is involved in extra curriculars and never has given me an indication that she's unhappy because she's not living with her dad.
Please help me understand her? I don't have rule book to parenting. My closest friends and family tell me that I should keep her here. A part of me wants her to experience her dad while she goes to middle school and then return to me when she starts high school. I'm too confused about the whole situation.