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HammerDad 10-15-2019 09:45 AM

So she said it....
 
I was driving my D14 home yesterday and during the ride her mother and her got into a spat (texting back and forth). My D14 just had a great weekend with me and my family for thanksgiving and was having fun with the neighbourhood kids and made a bunch of new friends. But then her mom was getting on her about a nothing issue and it put her mood in the toilet.

My D14 then asked if she chose to live with me, would I move to her town. I was dumbfounded. I never thought I would hear that from her. Mom has always been her number 1, the preferred parent. My ex has done a bit of work trying to alienate me, but I am doing a good job in undermining her efforts in that regard. My ex doesn't know that I have the password to D14's phone, and I review the text history to see what is said and then passively fix the issue and communicate with D14 so she is comfortable.

We discussed it, and I said I couldn't move to her town. It would put me commuting 2+ hours each way, and my wife commuting 1+ hour as D14's town is the opposite direction of work. I explained that she would have to change schools and there would be a lot of life changes. That if she was really serious, I would do everything I could to make it happen, but that she had to be aware of realities and repercussions of that decision. She seemed to understand, and that having already made new friends at my place would likely take some of the sting off moving.

Anyway, I was shocked. D14 went on about how they always fight, that the ex is never happy. The ex puts her own issues on the kid, like going on how she will always be single, that she will be old and alone, or puts her financial struggles on the kid. I explain that the ex's problems are her own, that D14 isn't the problem and reassure her in general. And just otherwise be an ear for D14 to express her feelings without judgement. D14 has said it is easier to talk to me than the ex, because I don't judge. I feel like I am regularly building her back up after the ex beats her down. The kid really enjoys coming to my place because it is low stress. Frig, I spilled my drink at dinner as I was helping open a bottle for the kid. I got up and cleaned it, no fuss. D mentioned that it was nice to see someone not freak out over a spill/accident.

I am not shrink, and have no education in the matter, and Tayken will likely give me the gears for doing this, but the ex (to me) is a typical narcissist. Nothing they do is wrong, nothing you do is right. She makes you feel bad for her mistakes in life, while taking no blame for herself. Then, she tries to buy your affection and gives you those few days of good times in the middle of all the bad, that you yearn for the good times. I know what it is like, as I lived it. It took me a long time to realize how I was supposed to be treated after being with her. The passive aggressive anger is palpable most days. And she is the most 2 faced person I know, cutting down everyone around her to justify or empower her own sense of superiority.

But yeah, the kid said it. I am not holding my breathe that anything will come of it. My kid is attached to her mom, albeit in an unhealthy way because of how the ex is. The kid is resilient and sees how things are different in the households, but that is still her mom. Personally, I don't know how seriously to take it, as it was a 1 time thing in the midst of an argument. Should it become even marginally apparent that this is her actual wants, I will do everything in my power to make it happen.

But yeah, it was a shock.

rockscan 10-15-2019 09:55 AM

Well the good news is that at 14 she can see through a lot of the bs. It is nice that she can compartmentalize and have a good time with you.

I dont think it is wrong to be happy about this. Naysayers will do their thing. Enjoy that she sees a healthy living situation and is mature enough to sort through her feelings.

Keep giving her the emotional support and keep encouraging her to be assertive with her mother. Its tough to be in that situation. My mother used to say I cant have a life because I have kids and it would really anger us because we were self sufficient and took care of the house. We realized it was HER problem not ours. Kudos to you and your daughter for seeing that at the age of 14!

HammerDad 10-15-2019 10:33 AM

She is a bright, good kid. It is easy to feel the differences in homes just being around her. When I pick her up, for the first 5-10 minutes, I have to break through the barriers she seems to put up by relaxing her and joking around. She is stress ball most days when I pick her up.

She does see the differences in parenting. The ex lives far from D's friends, but rarely is willing to drive her to see them. So D kinda lives on an island and can only communicate with her devices. Me? I drive her, pick her and just otherwise do what I can to let spend time with her friends and do what normal teenagers would do. That was how I was raised and allowed to live. I want her to enjoy the same life experiences and lifestyle. I am certain the ex also drives, but hearing it from D, it sounds like it is like pulling teeth to get it to happen.

The door is open should D want to move in. I would make it happen. I am certain she would thrive with me, as she does with my ex notwithstanding all the tension.

My ex needs to take a real hard look at herself. She is managing to push everyone away but fails to see that she is reason for it. Until she takes that hard introspective view of herself and her own actions, I don't see how she ends up happy in life.

Stillbreathing 10-15-2019 10:57 AM

You should also have it in the back of your mind that kids will tell you what they think you want to hear. Im sure your daughter does see the differences between households, however she may simply be thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Fourteen is a difficult age. Its normal for them to distance themselves from parents. She may or may not be playing you. If she were to move in then things may not go as smoothly as you may hope as she may then begin testing limits with you after the initial honeymoon period of having mined in is over. Should she ask to move in with you then you and your ex need to come together in a united front to prevent her from moving back and forth between the two of you depending on what suits her better ( kids can be very manipulative).

Berner_Faith 10-15-2019 12:05 PM

My step son has wanted to move in for a couple years... he turned 14 in June... he told his mother he wanted to move in and she flipped... told him he was selfish, he had to think of how it made her and everyone else feel, not how he felt, that in four short years hell be moving out anyways so whats the point, that if he moves out he wont be allowed back, how just because he doesnt like something in life doesnt mean he gets to change it, etc... we had a big talk about it and in the end he said to us you make it easier to stay than she doesnt to move. At least you wont hate me if I stay. Im not ready for my mom to hate me

So he stayed... things are going okay, but he still prefers to be with us. Its very unfortunate when adults put their emotions on their children. He knows we support him regardless and well... Mom doesnt... so for him it was easier to keep mom happy than make the decision he wanted.

Good for you for supporting your daughter and being honest about the changes she would face. It will be a big change for her but with your support shell manage that change. She clearly knows how her Mom is and Im sure Mom will make it very difficult


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

HammerDad 10-15-2019 12:11 PM

I very much agree with that. This isn't a revolving door to go to whomever's house she feels is going to be easiest.

I doubt it would be a smooth transition. First, my ex would fight it tooth and nail. She would use every angle she could to prevent it. Second, change isn't easy for anyone. It would be a big adjustment for me as it would be for my D.

I also agree that she may be saying what I want to hear. I told her that it did make me feel good to hear she would consider living with me, but that it wouldn't be easy. That we both face repercussions of such a decision. I was honest about how I felt, and that I would support her. But I did so in a way that I felt wasn't putting my ex down. I have told my kid I would never talk negatively of her mom (to her), so I was trying to be supportive of her as well.

It is likely my kid was just reacting. She had a great time being a kid, hanging out with her friends, to being in the dumps when she should be happy to seeing mom and family. Her emotions may have got the better of her.

To be real, I doubt this is really a real consideration for her. I think it was just a reaction. But if it wasn't, I know I will need to be prepared for the realities that would arise (mentally, financially etc.) My house is set up for her, she has her own room and spaces, so that isn't a concern. It is all the other adjustments that would be needed that would need to be thoughtfully considered.

iona6656 10-15-2019 12:55 PM

This feels tough. Because I remember 14. I really did not like my mom. We were very very different. We still are. I always joke with her that if we were the same age and in highschool- we would NOT be friends. But I love her and respect her. There is something that kinda feels like teenage girl stuff about your daughter's reaction? I mean- I don't know your kid, you do. But Stillbreathing said it well.

That being said- my ex kinda sounds like yours. Every unhappiness in his life always boiled down to someone else (his best friend who's a real estate agent found him the wrong condo. I didn't transfer him/save enough money- so I was the reason we didn't have an investment property, etc etc etc). And the thing that scares me is the thought of him putting his bs on our daughter later. Even though I KNOW he loves her and wants the best. He's just too emotionally immature to realize that no one else is responsible for his happiness except him. Meh.

Question- how does your wife feel about this? Do you guys have other kids? If not- does she want to go from being a bff-mom to a mom-mom?

HammerDad 10-15-2019 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iona6656 (Post 238812)
This feels tough. Because I remember 14. I really did not like my mom. We were very very different. We still are. I always joke with her that if we were the same age and in highschool- we would NOT be friends. But I love her and respect her. There is something that kinda feels like teenage girl stuff about your daughter's reaction? I mean- I don't know your kid, you do. But Stillbreathing said it well.

I do feel there is more to it. My ex puts a lot on the kid, stuff the kid even says she doesn't need (ie. "I am only 13, I'm not supposed to be involved in sort of stuff", in regards to my ex's complaints about money). My ex involves my kid in everything, and has no problem calling putting me down (calling me a loser, cheap, that she is "her only parent" etc.)

I will work my D either way and will support her. I just want her happy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iona6656 (Post 238812)
That being said- my ex kinda sounds like yours. Every unhappiness in his life always boiled down to someone else (his best friend who's a real estate agent found him the wrong condo. I didn't transfer him/save enough money- so I was the reason we didn't have an investment property, etc etc etc). And the thing that scares me is the thought of him putting his bs on our daughter later. Even though I KNOW he loves her and wants the best. He's just too emotionally immature to realize that no one else is responsible for his happiness except him. Meh.

Nothing is my ex's fault, like ever. I lived through it. We didn't live together long as I wouldn't tolerate being treated like crap. But even being apart, she would continue. It really beat me down over the years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iona6656 (Post 238812)
Question- how does your wife feel about this? Do you guys have other kids? If not- does she want to go from being a bff-mom to a mom-mom?

My wife is fine with it. We spoke at length last night, and she would have her live with us in a heart beat. They are great together. She appreciates life as we know it would be put upside down for a long time, but she loves the kid and just wants her happy. She would support any decision that was ultimately made.

Now, will this materialize into anything? I doubt it. The amount of guilt that would be leveled upon the child would be insane. I think D would ultimately relent and stay.

I am just shocked that she said this...I did not see it coming.

calvinfive 10-15-2019 10:12 PM

No need to be shocked. It is expected when you are a good dad doing all of the right things. I expect to hear the same thing when my daughter turns that age. Only difference is, I won't be saying I can't because I have to commute. I will be saying, if that's what you really want, then let's make it happen.

You should plan out how to make it happen. I assume, the process has already started by your child stating her preference. Now you must do your part. Not sure if speaking to mom right away is a good first step. Maybe ask child if they will feel comfortable and okay with you speaking to mom about making these changes ?

(ultimate goal is to make mom agree without having to take her to court ) - if you must take mom to court - then child must know you are only doing it for her.

Tayken 10-15-2019 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HammerDad (Post 238800)
I am not shrink, and have no education in the matter, and Tayken will likely give me the gears for doing this, but the ex (to me) is a typical narcissist.

Strong term to use but... Let's discuss its use of the term in the context of your matter.

I wouldn't say you are dead wrong having knowledge of your matter. But, it lies more on the egocentric side of behaviour and not the extreme behaviour patterns that are "narcisitic" per-say. Narcissists are self-destructive generally. I suspect you are dealing with an egotist/egocentrist more than a narcissist. Very similar behaviour patterns but, with key differentiators.

To boil it down narcissists are dangerous and egotists are assholes.

calvinfive 10-15-2019 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tayken (Post 238846)
Strong term to use but... Let's discuss its use of the term in the context of your matter.

I wouldn't say you are dead wrong having knowledge of your matter. But, it lies more on the egocentric side of behaviour and not the extreme behaviour patterns that are "narcisitic" per-say. Narcissists are self-destructive generally. I suspect you are dealing with an egotist/egocentrist more than a narcissist. Very similar behaviour patterns but, with key differentiators.

To boil it down narcissists are dangerous and egotists are assholes.

There he is!! Where have you been all these years! LOL

HammerDad 10-16-2019 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tayken (Post 238846)
Strong term to use but... Let's discuss its use of the term in the context of your matter.

I wouldn't say you are dead wrong having knowledge of your matter. But, it lies more on the egocentric side of behaviour and not the extreme behaviour patterns that are "narcisitic" per-say. Narcissists are self-destructive generally. I suspect you are dealing with an egotist/egocentrist more than a narcissist. Very similar behaviour patterns but, with key differentiators.

To boil it down narcissists are dangerous and egotists are assholes.

Makes sense. I would say she has certain narcissistic traits, which I assume egotists would likely share.

I am going to give it a bit. This was one instance where it was said out of impulse due to her emotional state. It isn't a true sign of preference. Should she continue to bring it up, then I will start moving to make it happen.

rockscan 10-16-2019 09:31 AM

If it was a case of kid wanted to do whatever she pleased and not follow rules I would question her motive but she is tired of the drama from her mother. Some parents put their shit on their kids and it is so unfair because a) they dont deserve it and b) they arent emotionally able to process it. At least your child can understand and appreciate she has no role in it. Thats good parenting on your part.

tonytwist 10-23-2019 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HammerDad (Post 238800)
I was driving my D14 home yesterday and during the ride her mother and her got into a spat (texting back and forth). My D14 just had a great weekend with me and my family for thanksgiving and was having fun with the neighbourhood kids and made a bunch of new friends. But then her mom was getting on her about a nothing issue and it put her mood in the toilet.

My D14 then asked if she chose to live with me, would I move to her town. I was dumbfounded. I never thought I would hear that from her. Mom has always been her number 1, the preferred parent. My ex has done a bit of work trying to alienate me, but I am doing a good job in undermining her efforts in that regard. My ex doesn't know that I have the password to D14's phone, and I review the text history to see what is said and then passively fix the issue and communicate with D14 so she is comfortable.

We discussed it, and I said I couldn't move to her town. It would put me commuting 2+ hours each way, and my wife commuting 1+ hour as D14's town is the opposite direction of work. I explained that she would have to change schools and there would be a lot of life changes. That if she was really serious, I would do everything I could to make it happen, but that she had to be aware of realities and repercussions of that decision. She seemed to understand, and that having already made new friends at my place would likely take some of the sting off moving.

Anyway, I was shocked. D14 went on about how they always fight, that the ex is never happy. The ex puts her own issues on the kid, like going on how she will always be single, that she will be old and alone, or puts her financial struggles on the kid. I explain that the ex's problems are her own, that D14 isn't the problem and reassure her in general. And just otherwise be an ear for D14 to express her feelings without judgement. D14 has said it is easier to talk to me than the ex, because I don't judge. I feel like I am regularly building her back up after the ex beats her down. The kid really enjoys coming to my place because it is low stress. Frig, I spilled my drink at dinner as I was helping open a bottle for the kid. I got up and cleaned it, no fuss. D mentioned that it was nice to see someone not freak out over a spill/accident.

I am not shrink, and have no education in the matter, and Tayken will likely give me the gears for doing this, but the ex (to me) is a typical narcissist. Nothing they do is wrong, nothing you do is right. She makes you feel bad for her mistakes in life, while taking no blame for herself. Then, she tries to buy your affection and gives you those few days of good times in the middle of all the bad, that you yearn for the good times. I know what it is like, as I lived it. It took me a long time to realize how I was supposed to be treated after being with her. The passive aggressive anger is palpable most days. And she is the most 2 faced person I know, cutting down everyone around her to justify or empower her own sense of superiority.

But yeah, the kid said it. I am not holding my breathe that anything will come of it. My kid is attached to her mom, albeit in an unhealthy way because of how the ex is. The kid is resilient and sees how things are different in the households, but that is still her mom. Personally, I don't know how seriously to take it, as it was a 1 time thing in the midst of an argument. Should it become even marginally apparent that this is her actual wants, I will do everything in my power to make it happen.

But yeah, it was a shock.

I'm in the same boat, everything you've said resonates with me. My daughter is 13 and my ex has her completely tethered to her. I would thank the heavens if she said she wanted to live with me some day. For now, all I can hope for is that we continue to spend every other weekend together.

It's been trying the last couple of weeks as my ex has been interfering with access by planning outings and events on my scheduled time with my daughter. I've only seen my her for 4 days since the beginning of school in September.

rockscan 10-23-2019 03:17 PM

She shouldnt be planning anything on your time. You need to remind her that it is your time and if she is going to refuse to give you make up time then you will consider this denial of access.

You can also offer to take the child to the activities yourself as it is on your agreed upon time.

tonytwist 10-23-2019 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockscan (Post 239026)
She shouldnt be planning anything on your time. You need to remind her that it is your time and if she is going to refuse to give you make up time then you will consider this denial of access.

You can also offer to take the child to the activities yourself as it is on your agreed upon time.

She justifies it by saying that our daughter is a teen now and should not be governed by scheduled access times. Easy for her to say considering she has our daughter 90% of the time. My 10% is very valuable and I cherish every moment we can spend together.

I've offered to take our daughter to her activities but she prefers to go with her friends. Then I get an angry text/email with accusations of making our daughter "feel bad" and that I "don't respect her wishes". After the last fiasco at Thanksgiving where I only got to spend 1 day with our daughter instead of the scheduled 4, I thought long and hard about pursuing legal action. But then as time went on, I got cold feet and feared retaliation if I did. And so I did nothing.....again.

rockscan 10-23-2019 04:14 PM

My husbands ex pulled this. He reminded her that his time with the children is limited and he is more than happy to either reschedule his time and/or drive child to and from activities. The statement included encouraging time with both parents is beneficial to our children.

Offer to drive kid at other times. Sure as a teen they are going to have lifestyle changes but that doesnt mean you cant be involved.

tonytwist 10-23-2019 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockscan (Post 239034)
My husbands ex pulled this. He reminded her that his time with the children is limited and he is more than happy to either reschedule his time and/or drive child to and from activities. The statement included encouraging time with both parents is beneficial to our children.

Offer to drive kid at other times. Sure as a teen they are going to have lifestyle changes but that doesnt mean you cant be involved.

Thank you, I will try this the next time this happens and it will.

HammerDad 10-24-2019 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tonytwist (Post 239033)
She justifies it by saying that our daughter is a teen now and should not be governed by scheduled access times. Easy for her to say considering she has our daughter 90% of the time. My 10% is very valuable and I cherish every moment we can spend together.

I've offered to take our daughter to her activities but she prefers to go with her friends. Then I get an angry text/email with accusations of making our daughter "feel bad" and that I "don't respect her wishes". After the last fiasco at Thanksgiving where I only got to spend 1 day with our daughter instead of the scheduled 4, I thought long and hard about pursuing legal action. But then as time went on, I got cold feet and feared retaliation if I did. And so I did nothing.....again.

You need to remind her that it is not the child, but the parent that is responsible for maintaining the parenting schedule. That until the parenting schedule is changed either by agreement or court order, than the current schedule will continue.

Your ex has misconstrued the notion that a judge will listen to the child's wishes about the parenting schedule, with the child gets to decide.

My kid enjoys going out with her friends, which is about 45 minutes away. I've always told my daughter that I would never interfere with her spending time with her friends and not only that, I will facilitate it! I have no problem taking her to or from anything, as we are still able to spend time together. I've been saying this for years, so she knows being with me doesn't mean no friends.

But yeah, you need to nip this in the bud. If the ex says the kid wants to do something, you say sure and that you will ensure that you get her there. That your time together is important, but that so is her time with her friends. But these are not mutually exclusive and can be done as you are willing to facilitate it.

gettingexpensive 10-30-2019 12:55 PM

I'll chime in briefly on this one. I haven't read the full back story / your post history (but might) but..

If this is true "I am not shrink, and have no education in the matter, and Tayken will likely give me the gears for doing this, but the ex (to me) is a typical narcissist. Nothing they do is wrong, nothing you do is right.", and she is indeed somewhat of a narcissist (or cluster B personality disorder), this will be difficult for your daughter at her mom's place and she is now waking up to this. She can now see through the bullshit / smear campaign that her mom has been doing. She now slowly realizes that what she thought was "normal life at home" is not. And I'd venture to say that now that the ex cannot control you, she needs to control someone else.

Make sure your daughter doesn't mention any of this to her mom at this point because this could turn out explosive to say the least.. if there is indeed some personality disorder in there your daughter could move from being "the golden child" to "the bad child". She'll become her mom's scapegoat. She'll also be pissed of possibly losing out on child support.

As for living arrangements, I'd say look into it a bit more. Your ex will likely blame you for doing parental alienation even if it's not the case so you may have to go with OCL so your daughter's voice is heard. In the meantime, maybe try to maximize contacts and offer more visits? It would be a big move for her but may be something to consider at the end of the school year?

If there truly is a personality disorder involved, it's likely not sane for your daughter to stay there. She could end up reproducing this behavior down the road.

(background info: Wife has borderline personality disorder, kids and I are realizing how messed up this all is and the impact on their lives. they are 11 and 15..)

rockscan 10-30-2019 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gettingexpensive (Post 239145)
I'll chime in briefly on this one. I haven't read the full back story / your post history (but might) but..

If this is true "I am not shrink, and have no education in the matter, and Tayken will likely give me the gears for doing this, but the ex (to me) is a typical narcissist. Nothing they do is wrong, nothing you do is right.", and she is indeed somewhat of a narcissist (or cluster B personality disorder), this will be difficult for your daughter at her mom's place and she is now waking up to this. She can now see through the bullshit / smear campaign that her mom has been doing. She now slowly realizes that what she thought was "normal life at home" is not. And I'd venture to say that now that the ex cannot control you, she needs to control someone else.

Make sure your daughter doesn't mention any of this to her mom at this point because this could turn out explosive to say the least.. if there is indeed some personality disorder in there your daughter could move from being "the golden child" to "the bad child". She'll become her mom's scapegoat. She'll also be pissed of possibly losing out on child support.

As for living arrangements, I'd say look into it a bit more. Your ex will likely blame you for doing parental alienation even if it's not the case so you may have to go with OCL so your daughter's voice is heard. In the meantime, maybe try to maximize contacts and offer more visits? It would be a big move for her but may be something to consider at the end of the school year?

If there truly is a personality disorder involved, it's likely not sane for your daughter to stay there. She could end up reproducing this behavior down the road.

(background info: Wife has borderline personality disorder, kids and I are realizing how messed up this all is and the impact on their lives. they are 11 and 15..)



You should have read back and also HDs history. He has done a good job of listening and supporting his kid.

As a child of a BDP child myself, you can teach your kids how to manage and therapy is also very effective.

gettingexpensive 10-30-2019 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockscan (Post 239150)
You should have read back and also HDs history. He has done a good job of listening and supporting his kid.

As a child of a BDP child myself, you can teach your kids how to manage and therapy is also very effective.

Oh definitely! He seems to be doing a great job. I just wanted to be sure that he fully realizes the impact that he can have. His role as a father in this case is likely more important than he ever imagined if BPD/NPD is indeed involved.

HammerDad 11-01-2019 09:15 AM

Thanks. I try my best to stay supportive of my daughter, while making sure I do not bad mouth my ex. Though, my ex doesn't show the same level of respect. In reading my daughters phone there are messages from my ex say that she is "the only parent you have" to my daughter and that I am never around. Or telling her to call her "loser, el cheapo dad" because my daughter missed her school bus and the ex was upset about it messing up her morning to bring our kid to school.

Right now, I just want to give my kid a place she can come to knowing that she can relax and be a teen. Hangout with the local kids, chill upstairs or go do an activity together, I am cool with all of it. She doesn't get out much at my ex's place except for dance, so I want to have experiences that I had.

The topic didn't come up this weekend. I have a feeling it is one of those topics that will only arise when they are fighting, which according to both of them is pretty often. The ex will fight it to the bitter end should my daughter choose my place as it would be about a $2k hit to her budget (my cs of over $1k, her paying me cs and losing any tax benefit), notwithstanding the optics of it.

Should the kid bring it up again, I will let her know she has a home with me if she wants it. That I will support her no matter what though and simply go from there. This is a no pressure, no timeline type issue.

Ana Ana 11-03-2019 11:36 AM

If I can ask, is your daughter ok with you to go through her phone?

Berner_Faith 11-03-2019 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ana Ana (Post 239219)
If I can ask, is your daughter ok with you to go through her phone?



My children dont have a choice. They are not adults and therefore we will always check through their phones and social media. Its about keeping children safe.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

tilt 11-03-2019 12:25 PM

Hmmm, I checked my childrens phones/emails/social media when they were young to help indentify bullying and relationship power imbalances they may not have been able to articulate to me. I used it as an apportunity to have discussions about risk assessment, relationships, boundaries, healthy communication, what to say when someone you love says something negative about someone else you love etc (unfortunately there are a couple lose-cannon personality disordered individuals in my family). But a 15 year old deserves privacy (she is old enough to give consent to medical procedures so the law also recognizes maturity at 14).

If your concern is safety, you should not be reading her private txts between her and her mother - if you have serious concerns about her safety with her mother you should be calling CAS/the police.

Reading the txts is just prolonging the conflict between you and your co-parent and inserting your daughter in the middle. She is clearly learning to just go along to get along with both of you (completely disempowering her) and this WILL have lasting damage on your relationship once she is no longer financially/emotionally dependent on you.

This may have been motivated by wanting to protect her, but going through a 15 year olds txts (with or without her coerced permission) is controlling behaviour.

Berner_Faith 11-03-2019 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tilt (Post 239221)
Hmmm, I checked my childrens phones/emails/social media when they were young to help indentify bullying and power imbalances they may not have been able to articulate to me. I used it as an apportioning to have division about risk assessment etc. But a 15 year old deserves privacy (she is old enough to give consent to medical procedures so the law also recognizes maturity at 14).



If your concern is safety, you should not be reading her private txts between her and her mother - if you have serious concerns about her safety with her mother you should be calling CAS/the police.



Reading the txts is just prolonging the conflict between you and your co-parent and inserting your daughter in the middle. She is clearly learning to just go along to her along with both of you (completely disempowering her) and this WILL have lasting damage on your relationship once she is no longer financially/emotionally dependent on you.



This may have been motivated by wanting to protect her, but going through a 15 year olds txts (with or without her coerced permission) is controlling behaviour.



Still disagree... how many 15/16/17 year olds end up in the sex trade or wrapped up in illegal behaviour? They cannot get a cell phone in their own name until they are an adult, social media dictates a minimum age for use, until they are an adult I will always monitor what they do. And yes even skimming texts that appear to be to/from the other parent... you know how easy it is to change a name of a contact? If my children dont like the rules, well then they dont get their cell phones, social media, email, etc.


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tilt 11-03-2019 12:56 PM

Yep, ive worked with teens that entered the sex trade; in a majority of cases the parents are either too controlling or completely lax. You cannot expect that by invading a teens privacy at 15/16/17 and then suddenly they can adult (and have full privacy) at 18 and make good choices. You can have conversations about relationships and communication where you listen, really listen, in a non-judgemental way, to their concerns and guide them as a parent without violating their privacy. Disempowerment and learned helplessness in teens makes for unhealthy adults that fall into controlling relationships (usually where the partner is ALSO monitoring the txts and social media - see the repetition of the pattern?)

Berner_Faith 11-03-2019 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tilt (Post 239223)
Yep, ive worked with teens that entered the sex trade; in a majority of cases the parents are either too controlling or completely lax. You cannot expect that by invading a teens privacy at 15/16/17 and then suddenly they can adult (and have full privacy) at 18 and make good choices. You can have conversations about relationships and communication where you listen, really listen, in a non-judgemental way, to their concerns and guide them as a parent without violating their privacy. Disempowerment and learned helplessness in teens makes for unhealthy adults that fall into controlling relationships (usually where the partner is ALSO monitoring the txts and social media - see the repetition of the pattern?)



It is not invading a teens privacy to make sure they are safe. You cannot have conversations if you dont know situations are happening. You parent your way, but Ill continue monitor my childrens cell phones and social media accounts. You can have conversations until youre blue in the face but those who groom children/teens know how to do it without making them feel like anything is wrong. Sorry but I still disagree.


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HammerDad 11-04-2019 10:08 AM

My daughter doesn't know I am looking, but she does know her mother checks her phone regularly (including conversations between D and I). I check for both safety reasons and simply for info. I can't try to fix what I don't know about.

I don't let me daughter know that I know what is being said. I don't bring it up with the ex or let it create extra friction. This is simply information gathering and enlightening myself to what is being said. I am not one to get upset, by it helps me with my D to know why she may be upset.

HammerDad 11-25-2019 10:45 AM

Update - this last weekend was enlightening. My D and ex got into good argument on Thursday. It must have been one hell of a blow up as my ex was slamming doors and yelling. D was upset enough to text her grandmother confiding in her that they were arguing and that she was actually scared. My ex read the text the next day and started texting D in the middle of the school day attacking her saying she is airing their dirty laundry and all she could say was "wow" that D said she was scared. In the middle of school! She couldn't wait to have a talk when they got home, she had to put it on the kid while she was at school. And the kid knew what type of house she was going home to that night (until I picked her up).

We had a good talk on the drive to my place and she opened up about what her mom says about me and that they are fighting more often. She mentioned moving in again with me, or with her grandparents. She leans towards the grandparents because they live in the same town and she could continue at her current school. She did say that moving in with me, that she would make new friends and that wouldn't be too hard.

Sunday comes along and it is time to go home and I start mentioning to her to pack up her stuff, when she says she "isn't in a rush to leave". So I give her more time to relax, then drive her to the ex's talking about anything else to keep her relaxed. D could tell that mom was still upset as they texted a few times on the way home. We get to the ex's and D asks how she is supposed to go in there. Does she go in there all happy-go-lucky if the ex is upset, I tell her play it by ear. If it looks like another battle, just go to your room. Going inside the ex had that face on that she was still steaming, not acknowledging me or D. The lady is still pissed, 3-4 days after the fact. She can't get over it even though it is her daughter.

This was the first time I have ever felt bad about dropping her off. I know I left her in a hornets nest. I just hope they work something out, but the ex is more concerned about herself to look inward to wonder why D said she was scared. IMO she is too self-centred to see the damage she is doing to her relationship with her kid. All she is managing to do is push another person to closer her away.

I am starting to see the possibility grow of D moving in with me at some point. Until then, I am just trying to support her and help her with coping with the drama that her mother is.

iona6656 11-25-2019 11:01 AM

ugh. that is tough...I don't know what I would do...on one hand- that's her mom. And our job as a divorced/separated parent is to back the hell off and just support the other parent and their relationship with the kid...on the other hand- our job as a parent is also to help and protect our kid if possible.


how are you supposed to protect your kid from a shitty parent? not dangerous- just mean. i don't know.

sorry- nothing useful to add. but sorry all the same.

HammerDad 11-25-2019 11:19 AM

I am doing my best not to get involved with the ex. My D asked that I not bring it up with the ex, as she knows that will create WWIII in the house. I know it too, so I told I wouldn't say anything, I will just be there if she needs me for anything. I think she is beginning to trust me more and more that she can talk to me, and I won't say anything to the ex or start a fight.

I do support my ex, as I agree with her that D needs to keep her grades up and that she needs to respect her mom. I never talk bad about my ex to D, and D is thankful to me for it. My ex doesn't show the same restraint and D says it hurts her when the ex says mean things about me and others in D's life.

I find that more and more I pick up a stressed out teen, and return a relaxed, happy teen. But the teen does start to stress on the way home, and her coping mechanism with me is talking about funny stories in our lives, or upcoming fun events/vacations. She wants to think about good times, and not stress about what version of her mom she is coming home to.

If I felt talking to the ex would in anyway be helpful, I would. But I know the ex would come down hard on D for telling me what the ex is doing. So to protect my D, I have to sit on my hands and take whatever BS is the ex says about me. Luckily I have pretty broad shoulders and a good support system and I can take it. I also know my ex, so I brush most of it off and put it in the "stupid box" where it belongs. But my D doesn't have the same ability, and is stuck there day in and day out with a person whose mood changes faster than I can flip through channels.

gettingexpensive 11-25-2019 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HammerDad (Post 239577)
She leans towards the grandparents because they live in the same town and she could continue at her current school. She did say that moving in with me, that she would make new friends and that wouldn't be too hard.

I wouldn't do this to the grand-parents. The ex will likely lash on them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HammerDad (Post 239577)
This was the first time I have ever felt bad about dropping her off. I know I left her in a hornets nest.

And you must wonder how many times you did not see the signs... And definitely stay out of it with regards to discussing that with the mom. It won't go anywhere and she'll need a scapegoat.


This truly sucks but the bright side is that she is now old enough to voice her opinion and set some boundaries. Not sure what the best way out of this is..

Just yesterday I had to "force" my oldest (15) to email his report card to his mom. He did not want to do it, was stressed about it (he wants to be low contact) and ended up with stomach cramps, falling asleep at 2am, .. all because I tried to have him keep a relationship with his mom. I'm slowly turning into a believer that this may not be worth saving. I sure won't prevent it, but he'll get to decide a lot more. I'll have a chat with him tonight.

rockscan 11-25-2019 11:46 AM

I lived in that situation and had no grandparents or dad to run to. At some point we all ran away to get out of the toxic environment. Yes teenagers are a pain in the ass sometimes and yes they do have issues with behaviour, grades and rules BUT dealing with a difficult parent who is still mad several days after the fact is a bigger challenge than a teen should have to deal with.

Has your daughter ever talked about therapy for the two of them? How does mom react when kid stands up to her? Or what is said when kid tells her this isnt ok? Are the grandparents moms parents? If yes have they tried talking to her?

I can say from experience that it is super hard to live with a parent who treats you like this. They never get it. They continue to think it is ok as a parent to behave that way. Kids have enough on their plate as it is, dealing with a difficult home life makes it worse.

I wouldnt worry about saying anything to the ex. This is your child too and you were able to get out of the relationship with her. I wonder if it may be time to support your child taking a break from mom. Maybe a few weeks with grandparents to test it out?

HammerDad 11-25-2019 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rockscan (Post 239584)
Has your daughter ever talked about therapy for the two of them?

No she hasn't. It is something I was planning on bringing up next time I have her for my weekend.


Quote:

How does mom react when kid stands up to her? Or what is said when kid tells her this isnt ok?
D doesn't go into specifics. She talks that mom is mad, and that she says mean things. D generally tries to avoid conflict by retreating to her room.

Quote:

Are the grandparents moms parents? If yes have they tried talking to her?
The grandparents are the ex's parents. I am not aware if they have tried to speak to her. As much as we are polite when we meet, we don't really talk outside of that.

Quote:

I can say from experience that it is super hard to live with a parent who treats you like this. They never get it.
The ex doesn't get it. It is all about her, her image and her way. She is inflexible about so many things. And should D do anything to upset the ex, the ex attacks in the most hurtful ways she knows how.

Quote:

Kids have enough on their plate as it is, dealing with a difficult home life makes it worse.
Yup, which is why I try to keep it relaxed at my place. Homework must get done, and we go to her activities. But the pressure level differences between the households are worlds apart.

Quote:

I wonder if it may be time to support your child taking a break from mom. Maybe a few weeks with grandparents to test it out?
That is another thing I am going to touch on with D. The ex's parents are very local, so it won't upset D's life much by staying with them for a bit. However, I know the ex will take it as an attack on her and her parenting. She will hold it against D in future arguments. She did when I left her the first time, she never really forgave me or changed her ways. It was always brought up and used against me. It may be worth it though to give D some perspective and relief. Hopefully everyone could use that time to reflect on what is going wrong.

rockscan 11-25-2019 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HammerDad (Post 239586)
However, I know the ex will take it as an attack on her and her parenting. She will hold it against D in future arguments. She did when I left her the first time, she never really forgave me or changed her ways. It was always brought up and used against me. It may be worth it though to give D some perspective and relief. Hopefully everyone could use that time to reflect on what is going wrong.


She will never let it go and all it will do is affect your daughter negatively. Therapy will help her cope as well as understand the fault is her mothers.

Staying with the grandparents will only be temporary and your ex will go back to her attacks when kid comes back. You may need to prepare for a more permanent or longer-term situation. Thankfully she is almost old enough to go away to school.

The problem wont go away and as your daughter ages and extends her wings, her mother will escalate her emotional abuse. It is terrible and I truly feel for your daughter. Some people really suck at parenting.


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