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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 05-12-2014, 01:38 PM
momof2teenboys momof2teenboys is offline
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Default I'm in the house and he's at his sisters...

So here's the latest - thoughts and opinions appreciated
I'm in the marital home with the two boys (aged 16 and 13). He moved in with his sister until he can figure out a place on his own. We don't have any agreement signed or in any way figured out yet regarding visitation with the kids. Considering their ages - I suggested one night per week plus every other weekend just so we can plan/schedule and then go with the kids wishes (whether they want more or less - just to try to be flexible). He verbally agreed but that was a month ago. My ex has yet to spend any weeknight with the kids (we're really only a few weeks in to this) and hasn't taken them on a full weekend - I think he's taken them out shopping on one Saturday afternoon.
Well, this past weekend, accordingly to our flimsy schedule was mine. With Mother's Day it worked out well and if we stick to the plan this will also mean their dad will have all of father's day weekend with them.
I saw my ex today (scheduled work meeting) and asked him what night this week he was planning on seeing the kids -
"I haven't thought of it - but I was going to take D out shopping on Saturday".
My response was that he needed to start spending time with the kids
"I call them every day" that's great but not the same as face-to-face. What about the weekend?
"I don't have anywhere to take them - my sisters place doesn't have room" ugh...then take them BOTH out - EVERYDAY - they need to know you want to spend time with them. If they say no or have other plans that's up to them. He actually suggested I leave the house and he stays here for the weekend. Nope! Not going to happen - this is where I live and unless you're offering to pay for me spend a long weekend away - this is where I'll stay. UGH!
How does everyone deal with this in the early days? I want to be reasonable but I want to be smart too
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2014, 01:47 PM
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Janibel Janibel is offline
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It's good that both of you remain flexible. I don't think you need to pile on the guilt - let's face it your EX is not exactly all set up yet. Give him some time to secure a proper household and find his bearings.

Your children are old enough to understand the complexity of the situation. It's not easy, but eventually you will have some kind of workable routine in place. He does call every day.

The positive thing is that you are able to remain civil through all this. Best thing for the kids IMO.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:57 PM
stripes stripes is offline
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It sounds like you have three options:

1) Let him stay at the house for the weekend with the kids, as he suggested (this is actually not an uncommon practice)
2) Continue to nag him about spending time with the kids
3) Give up on the nagging as it isn't working, and just make sure he knows that the kids are available

If you don't like #1, your best bet is #3. #2, which is what you are doing now, won't work because you can't force someone to have a particular kind of relationship with his kids. Part of the deal with being separated/divorced is that you give up the power to influence what the other party does. He will parent how he chooses to parent, you can't force him to be closely involved with the kids' lives, especially if he is not residing with them.

If you're worried about his relationship with the kids deteriorating, I suggest you move as quickly as possible to get a signed agreement on access and custody, as well as encouraging as many calls and other forms of communication as possible.

If you are only just a few weeks into the separation, and if he is the one who moved out and has to live with his sister, he will still be in the process of getting his new life reorganized. Working out the details of his new living arrangement, finding somewhere more permanent to live, not to mention stocking up on everything needed to create a new household - it's a huge amount of work. I understand that you want him to spend time with the kids, but it sounds to me like you're jumping the gun a bit.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:05 PM
momof2teenboys momof2teenboys is offline
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Thanks - I will ease up. Just boggles my mind that he had months and months of planning to get out of the marriage yet really did no planning at all...
I've told him to call the kids and see about what they want to do - that I'm home if they want to spend time with their friends or are in/out at different hours, and that I'll be flexible otherwise but I need to be here at the house. I can actually be more civil with him through email that I am in person (I need to remember that!)
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:16 PM
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Janibel Janibel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2teenboys View Post
Thanks - I will ease up. Just boggles my mind that he had months and months of planning to get out of the marriage yet really did no planning at all...
I've told him to call the kids and see about what they want to do - that I'm home if they want to spend time with their friends or are in/out at different hours, and that I'll be flexible otherwise but I need to be here at the house. I can actually be more civil with him through email that I am in person (I need to remember that!)
E-mail is your friend lol, it's a wonderful tool especially in cases of 'lapse of memory'. Also there's usually less drama. Your separation is still fresh and the temptation to lash out all your frustrations and fears can be better contained.
Even with months of planning to get out of the marriage - one is never truly prepared for the chaos and feelings of confusion that separation brings with it ... it's never as simple as what we imagined it would be, is it?
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:20 PM
stripes stripes is offline
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It sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders. It's very difficult to be the calm, reasonable individual you really want to be in the early days of separation.

I too found that email was my friend - especially if you impose on yourself a mandatory hour or two between writing an email and sending it, so you can go back and look at it and take out anything which might make matters worse. You can't do that in a verbal conversation.

I think you're going to be fine.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:56 PM
takeontheworld takeontheworld is offline
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Do you have exclusive possession of the house?
Is his name on the lease?
How much do you want their father to be involved with them, honestly?

Personally, I'd leave for the weekend.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:28 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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If he just moved out a couple weeks ago and has nothing permanent, he may come back to the house, it is the mat home and without exclusive possession, he has every right to be there as you do.

Pretend you are him and you are staying at a relatives... where would you put the kids? Would you want him nagging you all the time?

This is new to everyone and the "nesting" arrangement is actually pretty common when couples first separate. Is there somewhere you can go? Family/friends for the weekend?
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:01 PM
momof2teenboys momof2teenboys is offline
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He has a lot of family close by (within 30 min away) and the kids have slept over for family events etc through the years. So there are plenty of options there for him. Not ideal - but an option if they wanted a full weekend together.
I don't have any family around - most are out of the country. It's a bit late to try for a friends couch/guest room. I actually made a couple of calls today and plans have already been made for the long weekend. Considering it wouldn't be a one-time favour I'm hesitant to beg for someone's couch at this point.
I guess I'm just a "start as you mean to go on" type. I think the longer he doesn't make an effort - or at least, show the kids he's trying to make an effort, then the longer they feel detached from him.
I'll keep encouraging without nagging (today was the first time I mentioned it since he moved out) but ultimately it's up to him.
If I were to put myself in his shoes...I would have been here a couple of times through the week to take them out for dinner (and check-in on them for myself) and we would be making plans to go out to the movies, mini-putt, throwing the frisbee in the park, visiting other family....I would have made plans and spent the time with them on the weekends. Even if it meant picking them up early and dropping them off late with no plans for them to sleepover. He just has to figure this one out for himself.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:16 PM
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Janibel Janibel is offline
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As Stripes wrote ^^^ earlier ''Part of the deal with being separated/divorced is that you give up the power to influence what the other party does. He will parent how he chooses to parent, you can't force him to be closely involved with the kids' lives, especially if he is not residing with them.''

You both have your own parenting styles/skills - and now that you are separated there's not much you can do about how or when your Ex chooses to spend time with his children. There's a lot of adjusting to this new way of life for all concerned.

Would it be such a big deal to let him spend some time at home with them while you remain there? Other parents have managed in-home separations. Unless you have a restraining order, there's no valid reason to deny him access to his own home. It may be awkward at first, but would be in the kids best interest?
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