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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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Old 09-01-2014, 07:07 PM
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Default Visitation frustration

This is a bit of a vent hence the posting in the support forum. We've tried everything we can think of. Working together, giving lead time, letting kids choose, trading off special holidays for added days later etc.

Once again the visitation interference battle reared its ugly head. Partner has been fighting for two years to have access to his kids and his ex causes a problem, denies access, or interferes every time. We've actually clocked it. If there isnt a fight right before the visit, theres a fight during. Then theres constant calls to the cell phones or the house.

At the beginning of the year, after three months of difficulty scheduling and a missed seat sale (causing a bitchfest about how horrible it is to take the bus), my partner asked his ex if they could work together to set up some sort of a schedule so that everyone knew what weekends were when and where and tickets could be booked, kids' work schedules could be sorted out etc. No dice. Then he tried during the last two weeks of each month asking mom and kids to decide what weekend the next month would work. No dice again. Then it was he has to involve the kids in the decision and when he does its you have to only talk to ex about it because kids arent telling her hes coming. Even when hes driving the five hours to them it was a fight. His oldest has a job and ex refuses to allow the 14 yo to travel alone (even when he meets the conditions set out by via rail). Back in the spring work time didnt get booked properly so he was out two non refundable tickets. Then a five day visit was scheduled a few weeks ago and cancelled when ex got the oldest all fired up about the unequal percentages for university.

This weekend we had planned to go away to visit friends. We were staying about an hour from his kids but he knew if he tried to get time it wouldnt happen. Then he gets a request for money for school supplies from the 14yo. He calls to find out whats happened with the child support and it was discovered its being used for tuition. He offered to take kid shopping but got "we're busy". He finally had it and said he hadnt seen them and was upset. It was agreed with mom (he could hear kid talking to her) that they would have dinner sunday night after dropping 19 yo off at uni. Then kid called back and offered sat morning too. He agreed and picked both of them up. Ex saw him when she got the kids home from errands and she knew they were with their dad. The calls started about 30 mins after they left. He asked them to turn off their phones so he could have an uninterrupted visit. That lasted about an hour. He was told they were leaving for drop off at 7 am the next day and he could pick kid up at five. Next day he gets a call at 11. They havent left and wont be back until 6:30. When he asked to speak to mom he finds out she wasnt ready to leave, wanted to visit friends and didnt even know he was in town. All excuses and lies. No visit.

He was so upset last night and wanted to send a nasty email. He understood it was a bad idea and wouldnt make a difference so he didnt. He also realizes this is a game she plays because she knows it upsets him and its all she can do. Still doesnt make him feel better. As he said last night he doesnt know if he was being played by all three or if his kids had no idea and didnt want to throw mom under the bus. He sees a therapist about it so he knows what to say and how to act to keep the lines of healthy communication open and he saw a lot of progress Saturday but then it just gets thrown out the window once they go back to mom. He said he felt like all they wanted was his money and thats why they were being nice to him. It really screws with him.

He realizes they're teenagers and they have lives etc. but then he gets the "you dont love us" or "you care more about your gf/friends than us" or "you moved on and forgot about us" meanwhile hes begging them to spend time with him or communicate. Its just so frustrating. He calls, texts, begs to skype, tries to set up visits...and its always an excuse--computer broken, no text plan, not home, off to see moms family so no free weekends. When does dad become a priority?
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:17 PM
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So he saw them Saturday morning? And then Sunday got messed up and he didn't see them? Did he give the kids money on Saturday?

Just curious.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:24 PM
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He took them shopping. He was planning a little celebratory dinner with the younger one Sunday because all the attention had been on the older one going away. 14 yo starts high school and he was planning to have dinner and celebrate but it was all changed because of moms revised schedule and desire to visit with friends instead of sticking to a schedule she agreed to with the kid.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:25 PM
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Is there a court order for access in place?
If so, does it have a set schedule?

I'm sorry to hear that this is happening to him. It isn't right and even if the kids are teens, he is still their father and they still need to have a relationship together.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post

He realizes they're teenagers and they have lives etc. but then he gets the "you dont love us" or "you care more about your gf/friends than us" or "you moved on and forgot about us" meanwhile hes begging them to spend time with him or communicate. Its just so frustrating. He calls, texts, begs to skype, tries to set up visits...and its always an excuse--computer broken, no text plan, not home, off to see moms family so no free weekends. When does dad become a priority?
Even kids from "normal" families will use the guilt thing to get what they want, be it material or emotional. They all try it - some more than others. When it's a divorce situation it gets even worse. Dad has to be mindful of this and set his limitations as kidlets will divide and conquer

I doubt that letting them decide is the way to go. He should stick to a firm schedule unless there's a VALID reason for doing otherwise.
It's all about boundaries - rather than begging them to share some time with him, perhaps he should do the opposite - back off somewhat. They won't expect that, it just may make them think a little? Distance makes the heart grow fonder ....
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Even kids from "normal" families will use the guilt thing to get what they want, be it material or emotional. They all try it - some more than others. When it's a divorce situation it gets even worse. Dad has to be mindful of this and set his limitations as kidlets will divide and conquer

I doubt that letting them decide is the way to go. He should stick to a firm schedule unless there's a VALID reason for doing otherwise.
This I agree with

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rather than begging them to share some time with him, perhaps he should do the opposite - back off somewhat. They won't expect that, it just may make them think a little? Distance makes the heart grow fonder ....
This is a very bad idea!
Your partner would effectively be appropriating their behaviour by doing the same thing himself, and it teaches them nothing aside from affirming their accusation that "he has left" or worse yet, that he has "given up" on them.
Please do not suggest this to him, or support his decision to do such a thing, if the though comes to him on his own.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Even kids from "normal" families will use the guilt thing to get what they want, be it material or emotional. They all try it - some more than others. When it's a divorce situation it gets even worse. Dad has to be mindful of this and set his limitations as kidlets will divide and conquer

I doubt that letting them decide is the way to go. He should stick to a firm schedule unless there's a VALID reason for doing otherwise.
this I agree with wholeheartedly!

He is a teenager, and like any teenager, he will need firm boundaries and guidance in order to navigate him through the next few years.

Look at it this way; if left to his own devices, would a 14 year old go to bed at 10pm or would he stay up until he got bored/burnt out enough to have to sleep? Would he do his homework without prompting or without having the expectation that homework be done having been instilled him, or would he just hang out with friends or play video games all night? Would he even get to school without the expectation and assistance of such?

Children need boundaries, expectations and guidance at this age. If your partner is having a hard time getting the child to spend time with him, try inspiring the child to want to spent time with dad by doing something completely focused on the child and/or something newly unique.

What are this kids passions?
Who are his friends?
What does he like to do both alone and with friends?
Can you incorporate his passions and/or friends into some of the time that dad gets to spend with junior?

Remember that at 14 you're not only being challenged by the divorce, you are also fighting against the teen need (which is valid) to be social with others in his peer group and experience his passions and interests to the fullest! Use these things to cater the time with him to him.

It doesn't have to cost a lot of money, or any money all the time; but you do have to work with the child's personal needs and interests in order to encourage the desire to spend time with dad because believe me he wants to!!!
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:52 AM
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Stacy, think about it, I'm suggesting to Op to back off somewhat, not to cut the ties in any way shape or form. A parent must ALWAYS strive to keep the relationship as strong as possible. In this case Dad is feeling like an ATM machine. He has to ''beg'' for more time with his kids? This is not the way to go about it IMO. The teens are old enough to make some kind of effort in their dealings with Dad.

Last edited by Janibel; 09-06-2014 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:13 AM
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And another thing to consider in this: It's something that we all need to learn eventually - you have to put some kind of an effort into a relationship for it to work. If a person expects unconditional love - better buy a cat or a dog. Teens need to understand that parents have feelings too.

Dad has been bending over backwards to have some time with them - and what are the results? The kids and Ex are doing whatever they want ... I still say Dad should let the teens meet him halfway - by all means keep the lines of communication open, just don't be a doormat.

I'll step down from my soap-box now ....
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Stacey, think about it, I'm suggesting to Op to back off somewhat, not to cut the ties in any way shape or form. A parent must ALWAYS strive to keep the relationship as strong as possible. In this case Dad is feeling like an ATM machine. He has to ''beg'' for more time with his kids? This is not the way to go about it IMO. The teens are old enough to make some kind of effort in their dealings with Dad.
I'm sorry I don't agree.
As someone with a bit of background in developmental psychology, I can tell you that what you're suggesting, even if it be on an interim basis, is not healthy to the child.

The boy is 14, and while I have no idea of his personal background and upbringing, at this stage in his life he is finalizing the psychological aspects of what he will ultimately be as a man.
What you need to realize is that the human brain does not stop developing at the age of 13, or even 18; the full maturity of male mind is not complete in biology and psychopathology until approximately 22- 24 years of age.

Right now, at 14, this boy will be learning the fundamentals of relationships, conflict resolution, many different aspects of basic and complex ethics and all while struggling within a world filled with the need to be accepted and appreciated by those who he both values and cares about.

This is why "peer pressure" becomes such a huge issues in the teenage years because kids struggle to gain acceptance; it is the unconditional love and acceptance of the family (whether single, split, married or blended) which gives the child the rooted stability they need to remember who they are, and what's expected/acceptable by the actions and values displayed by the parents.

Why do you think teenagers tend to be so difficult?
Because they are in a constant state of internal conflict between what they want vs. what the parents expect vs. what the peers find to be acceptable vs. what society will allow vs. what they admire in those they see as role models vs. this vs. that vs. the other...



Pulling away from him right now, or waiting for him to "put in the effort" sends the message that dad has given up, kid is not worth the aggravation, and so, so much more which could create all kinds of issues for this boy...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
And another thing to consider in this: It's something that we all need to learn eventually - you have to put some kind of an effort into a relationship for it to work. If a person expects unconditional love - better buy a cat or a dog. Teens need to understand that parents have feelings too.

Dad has been bending over backwards to have some time with them - and what are the results? The kids and Ex are doing whatever they want ... I still say Dad should let the teens meet him halfway - by all means keep the lines of communication open, just don't be a doormat.

I'll step down from my soap-box now ....
Yes, please do because you are giving advice which is not in the best interest of the child, and which could in fact cause damage to the child, which is not good advice for anyone reading your posts.

Children do NOT have to "put in effort" to meet any of our adult wants or needs. We do however have to put in the work, effort, suffering and sacrifice to meet all of their needs; most especially those they don't even realize they truly do need for their own wellbeing.
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