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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2016, 12:34 AM
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Unhappy Am I a bad dad?

Long story short, my STBX moved with my kids an hour away to be with her boyfriend, I can't move there because financially I can't afford her area and she lives in a very rural area. Because of the distance, the court decided its in the childrens best interest that I no longer have joint physical custody and see them on Wednesdays and every other weekend.

The boys are now enrolled in hockey in her area, practices are at 8am meaning the kids have to wake up at 5:30am to be there, games are a bit later however its still over an hour drive. They have to do that drive 4 days in a row when I have them (pickup, game, practice, drop off) its a lot of stress on all of us. The boys hate the 8a.m practices so I have only been taking them occasionally.

Due to the distance, we have always done things separately with the boys, for example, I signed them up in tennis, soccer and martial arts and she has always refused to take them during her time. I even signed them up in tennis near her area but she never took them and I never made a fuss about it.

My eldest loves playing hockey and she has been manipulating him lately, I made her aware that they didn't go beforehand yet she calls and asks them how the game went and if he got breakaways and scored goals making him feel bad. I also know from the boys that she has conversations with them saying that I need to take them to hockey and making him cry. Then she keeps texting, emailing and calling saying that your son is crying because you wont take him to hockey, you need to answer the phone and talk to him. They are fine when they are with me but I feel like such a horrible dad. Now she is telling them if you guys were with me I would always take you to hockey and I will even come to your dads to take you to your hockey game.

My time with them is already reduced, I go an entire week without seeing or even talking to them (because she ALWAYS forgets her phone in her purse) and now she is trying to reduce it further. I financially cant afford all the driving, I am even wondering how am I going to afford my rental in two months. Also, i'm afraid if I allow her to come take them during my weekend she will legally fight to take them away or take custody away because she has always wanted that. She even offered me once saying that I wouldn't be financially liable if I sign a paper giving up my rights to my boys and never contact them again.

Am I a bad dad? Because I feel like a horrible and selfish one.
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:40 AM
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You are not a bad dad. Your time with them is just that, your time. Ask your ex if next year they can play hockey in your area and she can drive them on her days. That way the kids get to play hockey and the problem is solved if she thinks it is so important.
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Old 11-25-2016, 09:51 AM
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Unless your sons are heading to a early NHL signing be realistic. It's supposed to be fun. So if they do not go on your weekend it should not be a big deal. Many kids miss a game.

As long as when they are with you you are 100% focused on them and doing good stuff with them you are doing good.

Put your ex on ignore. State very clearly that she has signed up the boys formhockey without considering how it affects your limited time with your boys and you will try to get them there, but if not it's because you are spending quality time with them.

She is trying to manipulate you. Do not let her take the boys to,hockey on your time. Next she will want to keep them overnight because they are tired from hockey.

Wake up and get involved with your boys. Play street hockey on your weekends, do "Dad" stuff.

You only get one shot at being a Dad so get totally involved and committed to it.

It's not about money, it's about time. Also suggest you call the boys during the week to keep on contact.
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:04 AM
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Prioritizing your time together over an activity doesn't nake you a bad parent. The time is important to all of you, use it as you wish.
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:06 AM
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You're not bad, you're just not exceptional which what it takes today to be a a normal father to your children in today's society - where your children can pretty much be taken away from you because somebody got bored.
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Old 11-25-2016, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyof2 View Post
Am I a bad dad? Because I feel like a horrible and selfish one.
You're not a bad dad at all, though I do question why you didn't block her from moving the kids away from you. Your current situation is a direct result of you letting that happen, and a common peril of letting the children move. Unfortunately, that mistake is in the past and would be very hard to correct now.

But you are co-parenting with a bad mom. A good mom would support her children's relationship with their father, and not manipulate them the way she is doing.

All you can do is tell them that time spent being with their father is more important than hockey, and make their weekends with you good times together. If your kid loves hockey, take him to whatever there is in your area on your time. Hockey is everywhere. Which means his mom could have found something alternative for him to do that didn't fall on your time.

Don't let her manipulation work on YOU, and do your best to counteract what she's doing to them.
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:35 AM
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I may have missed it. How old are the kids?
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Old 11-26-2016, 09:27 PM
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Ignore her/her calls/texts and do what you/the kids feel like doing.
People go nuts about hockey. Don't give in to the pressure.
The kids miss hockey? and so what? Let them be kids.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:21 AM
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The boys are 7&8
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:44 AM
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Thank you all for your support, I really needed it.
@Rioe I did object to her move and took her to court, she said her parents are kicking her out of the house and can only afford to live with her bf and since she is still within the boundaries of the city of Ottawa they allowed the move.
An update, I sent her lawyer a nice letter stating how hypocritical it is of them to be okay with the kids traveling that long for hockey but not for access visits (as their claim its too hard on the kids) and I haven't heard anything since but I did give in and switch weekends so the boys can go to their tournament, in the end I want the boys to be happy.
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