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Some advice is needed regarding kid's father

Started by StPaulieGirl, Dec 31, 2003, 11:35:31 AM

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Oh this is going to take forever to type.

Quick backround:  My ex and I were married for 19 years, and have 4 kids who are 24, 21, 16, and 9.  It was hell on earth for all of us, except the youngest one.  It took me 7 years to get away from him. Their father devalued the 2 oldest, while spoiling the 2 youngest.  Well I finally called the cops on him, and he moved out.  He fit the clinical definition of a sociopath years ago, and now exhibits Narcissistic Personality Disorder behaviors.

I won't address his constant cheating while we were married, however after we separated he had a different woman every time the kids saw their father.  The now 16 year old boy (unfortunately I believe he has the same problems as his father) exploded one day in a rage, and called his father a slut.  This was in front of two of his sisters and brother in law.  The boy proceeded to wreck some furniture.  Yes, I've tried psychiatrists and psychologists after the separation, but it's too late.

After dating countless numbers of women, he found one and moved in with her, her parents, and her kids.  She, unfortunately is an enabler.  He fed her some of the most absurd lies, which caused her to call Social Services on me.  Unfortunately for my ex, the boy spilled the beans on him, citing his personality change(talks different, dresses different, got rid of all his possesions, gave the bongs to the 21 yr old, got rid of a 35 yr old record collection, etc) upon announcing his decision to move in with his now wife.  The kids had only met her once before, before he made this decision.  Basically the kids blew the whistle on him.  The social worker barged into my house, which I now know is illegal, and basically told me I needed some moral support.  I called the worker several times about the conditions in their father's new residence, until finally a man called me back and told me to seek legal help regarding my ex, and that they were closing the investigation.  This took place 2 years after our divorce.  I'm trying to do this chronologically, but it's hard.

We went through mediation, and my attorney tried to set up a fair visitation schedule for him.  I found this attorney through the local domestic violence shelter, and she understood that I was scared to death of him.  I was so disgusted with him at that meeting, that I went outside and had a cigarette.  You see, he's too busy and important to stick to a regular visitation schedule.  My attorney gave him 2 weeks in the summer anyway.  Later she told me that in all her years of practice, she's never seen a father behave like that.

Those 2 weeks every summer?  It's been 3 years since our divorce was final, and guess how many weeks he's taken?  ONE!  Look, I think he's emotionally damaging the kids, and would prefer that he fall off the face of the earth, but the 9 yr old, until recently, thought the sun rose and set on daddy.  So we all tried to keep our mouths shut about his outrageous behavior.

The latest thing to hit the fan has all the kids angry at him.  Here's what he wrote to me November 2nd:

"I will be out of town Dec 19-26, so can I please have the kids for xmas after the 26th for a week.  I cannot change my plans and would appreciate the switch in days.  Pleas let me know so I can plan accordingly.  Please write and let me know.  Thanx ****"

That was his scheduled time for Christmas visitation this year.  Why didn't HE PLAN ACCORDINGLY?  

You'll all just love this:  He sent postcards to the kids.  Bass Lake is absolutely beautiful.  He sent a scenic pic to the 9 yr old girl, and a pic of 3 lovely ladies in teeny bikinis to the 16 yr old boy.  The 9 yr old balled up her fists, and started screaming about him not taking her there.  I had kind of lied and said that he might be out of town on a business trip, so when she saw that postcard she knew that he was having a beautiful vacation without her.  The older kids were equally pissed off, because daddy never took us anywhere like that.  Like I said earlier, he underwent a personality change.  The 21 yr old started calling him "the artist formerly known as daddy".

My oldest and her husband agreed to drive the 2 youngest kids to their father's house on the 27th.  The kids will stay there until the day before school starts, or he gets tired of them.  They spent the night, then continued on to see the 21 yr old, her bf, and their baby.  I got an earful when the oldest and my son in law came over the next evening.  Understand that we lived like refugees.  I could never understand how a mfg engineer working for Northrop Grumman made such little money that we couldn't afford curtains or decent carpet.  Nevermind the leaky water heater and dangerous electric wiring.  My girl told me that he basically rubbed her nose in it.  His 269,000 brand new home, his paintings, all he did was talk about all his bling bling and how much everything costs!  My girl started crying at that point because he didn't even ask them about how they were doing, and why does he hate us so much?  

At that point, my son in law told me to take his ass back to court and to the cleaners.  He was furious when my girl/his wife started crying.  I'd rather not go back to court, at this time.

Well, I guess he can still make the older girls cry.  I won't go into how cruel he's been to the 21 yr old.  I've asked them to just quietly cut off contact, because it's hurting them.

Even though it's too late for the older kids(unless they seek it themselves), I'm wondering if therapy will help my youngest one.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle their father, I'd appreciate it.  One more thing...his lawyer told the judge, when asked who would take care of the QDRO, that they would take care of it.  I asked my tax advisor, who does both our taxes and decides who claims the kids every year, if I should do something about that.  He emailed me back and told me to do it yesterday.  He's plundering his retirement account, I guess.  One more lie he'll probably get away with.

Unfortunately I had several emotionally upsetting incidents last year, and my heart is kind of going bonkers.  I went to the doctor a couple of days ago, and my pulse was back up to 110.  The Prozac had brought it down to 89, so they doubled my dosage.  I just don't need this crap.


I'm not a counselor, but I'm sorry for what is going on in your life.  I'm glad two of your kids are adults and can make the choice to not be involved if they want (and are strong enough to do that).  My best wishes...always...nosonew

Dr. D

O.K. my friend, here goes.

Everyone needs to get some counseling....or some perspective.  It sounds like your ex - makes very bad choices and is quite hurtful.  HOWEVER, you all must learn, and yes the kids too, that he can hurt you only if you allow him to do so.  This is very difficult to learn and to accept.  Try to accept the facts:  1) you are no longer living in an abusive relationship, 2) you are now free to pursue any life you want, and 3) you have the chance to discover what you want (and don't) and to excel for yourselves.

As difficult as this is, EVERYDAY, as many times as needed tell yourself and others, you are free to pursue a great life.  You may not know what that is yet, but that is OK.

Let go of the anger and resentment and move on.  Help the kids move on.  Facing the reality that dad isn't a good person does not have to continue to wreck your lives.  The kids will come to terms with that in time.  It is also hard to watch kids suffer.  Tell them, daddy has some problems that only he can work through and resolve to be happy anyway.

What I am suggesting will seem impossible at times, but keep on keeping on.  Focus on what your new life can look like and move toward that.

I hope that 2004 will give you more.
Dr. D


Thank you :-)  The problem is that he keeps reeling them in.  To this day he sucks me into lies.  

This is really hard without therapy.  I wish the grown girls would see someone.  I would go if I could find someone I could afford.  

Something related to this came up over the last week.  I'll address the situation after I reply to Dr D :-(


Thank you for your reply.  It's not so much the older kids I'm worried about, it's the 2 younger ones.  Especially the 9 yr old.   How do I teach her how to respect her elders, when her father keeps lying to her, and hurting everyone? He will continue to hurt us as long as he is legally able to.  Here's an example:

My ex had the kids until yesterday.  He brought them back at 11 am, friday morning!  It's a good thing I was running late, because I had planned to go to the desert this last weekend.  He actually came to the door and was looking around.  The problem is that I purchased another vehicle, as my car blew another transmission.  When my mom passed away in September, I got another car, thanks to an insurance policy in my name.  My little girl told me last night that her dad kept asking her whose car that was, so she told him it was her taekwon do instructor's.  See?  She's already lying!  I told her that if her father has any questions, just tell him that he needs to ask me, and that you don't know anything.  Heck, when he dropped the kids off, he actually came to the door, walked in and was looking around.  

I talked to my son in law, and he said that he and my oldest girl would watch the kids for the weekend, so I could go out of town as planned.   The taekwan do instuctor?  He's my bf(he's the first bf since I met my ex when I was 18 ).  He lives next door to my 21 yr old, up in the desert.  He teaches taekwan do on the side, and my 9 yr old is already pretty good at it.

I've been doing the positive thinking route for years.  The crap just keeps snowballing.  The amount of bad luck, not even dealing with divorce and custody, has been unreal the last couple of years.  I just want to help the kids get through this in one piece.   I want to get through this, without ending up in the hospital.

 My 16 yr old son pulled a real good one, and everyone is telling me to get a lawyer, instead of having him arrested for credit card theft.  That would be a felony.  He lifted my ATM/Visa debit card and made an online purchase.  The dumbass used my email address!  I wanted to call the cops on him, but my bf told me to talk to a lawyer first, and so did my son in law.  I feel that, at 16 yrs old, he needs a good dose of reality.  Jail might wake him him up.  Thankfully it was only 35 bucks on the card-that I know about.  My son in law talked to him yesterday.  Gee whiz, the boy is actually going to do his chores!  I'm still going to consult with a lawyer.  That boy needs to go to boot camp.  Yes, I have seriously considered sending him back to his father.  Unfortunately his father buys him cigarettes and Playboy magazines.  Probably lets him drink beer, too.  

I'm hoping that 2004 brings us all peace and sanity.  Thanks again for the advice, Dr D....


It's so sad when so many fathers want to be so involved with their children and aren't allowed to see this - sorry for the pain you've had and your children's.

I'll just hit two issues which I am very close to. The QDRO needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Even if your Ex is plundering the account, the financial responsibility is still there. If your balance is not there, your Ex has to make it flush. No ifs, ands or buts.

I also don't understand the issue on your children and the tax deductions. If you have your children for the majority of the year (better than 1/2 of all overnights), it is your choice and yours alone as to who claims the deductions. You can take all and your Ex has no legal basis to argue upon. The tax code supports this also so it's not just some stranger providing advice.

Good luck with your children - the worst part of so many divorces is what does or doesn't happen to the children.

Dr. D

You truly need to encourage your daughter not to lie to your EX.  Let her know it is not her responsibility to lie to or protect you in this situation. If he is your ex.  tell him the truth or say, "it really is no longer your business and I'd rather not discuss it".  You do not owe him an explanation.  However, to lie to him may make him think YOU are doing something to turn his kids against him....Try to call a truce and keep a distance.

By the way, keep your daughter in karate.  Both of my kids are in it and it does them a world of good.  Not to mention, all the neat people they meet.

Dr. D


I can't stand liars, and don't want my kids to lie.  I've tried to tell them that if he wants to know what is going on with anything else but them, then he needs to ask me.  Just the other day, my 24 yr old offered to take my car home with her, then freaked out because my friend is supposed to come down for a few days, and this weekend is the ex's visitation.  That's when I decided the hell with this.  My ex and I have been divorced for over 3 yrs.  He has been remarried for a year, so if I date it's none of his business, to a point of course.  No hiding cars in the alley or at my girl's house.  

My little one really enjoys tae kwon do, and she's catching on quick :-)


I'm in probate court right now.  I think it's almost as bad as family court.  I'll take care of the QDRO when I can.  Right now I have my hands full of unnecessary bs.  My son in law(who has a BS in Finance) seems to think that I can demand my share now, then put it into my own 401k.  I think he is mistaken.  He isn't at all familiar with this specific issue.

My daughter(wife of son in law) jumped on me last week regarding the child credit.  The guy who has been doing our taxes, as a favor to me, handles this.  I don't make enough money for the child credit to make a difference, but he does.  This is one less thing my ex can harass me over.  When and if I make a decent amount of money, things will change.  They will also change if my ex uses a different tax preparer.


Check it out.  My tax guy was involved in an abusive relationship with a substance abuser years ago.  He ended up spending a night in jail, and she damaged his business.  He ended up writing a book about the financial abuse they (and sociopathic personalities-we've had some friendly arguments over this) do to unsuspecting people.  He's trying to cut down on the stress level on my side.  My ex is like a pitbull when he wants to get his way...especially when he's dead wrong.

I know what you're saying, but I need to stay as far away from my ex as possible, as a preventative health measure.

Thanks for your reply and concern, I appreciate it :-)

Dr. D

I agree.  Your children should not be put in the middle of you and your ex's feelings, thoughts, etc - rational or not.   After 3 years, you are entitled to privacy.  Good Luck.  Dr. D