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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  
Old 08-15-2019, 03:57 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default How to resolve doubts about your agreement?

We're *this* close to finalizing parenting stuff.

I'm not elated by the schedule, and neither is my ex...so according to my lawyer- that usually signals that it's a good agreement.

While my ex is still supposed to go to therapy - in our co-parenting sessions he just comes back and tells me how he was justified in his actions. It's all just the bullshit stuff that abusive partners always come back with- lack of insight, lack of ownership of their behaviour and blaming their behaviour on everyone else.

Here's the thing- he was abusive. I'm not going to explain or justify this. He was.

I'm afraid for my daughter. I don't mind if he's an asshole or incompetent dad (at the moment)...Like Janus says- anyone can LEARN how to parent. So he can learn to parent her- make her food, treat her skin, etc etc...that is not my concern.

My concern is- how do I resolve my fears about the person he IS? The abusive person. The guy that loses his shit when he's angry- and throws things- or belittles and tries to intimidate people. What if he calls her all the names he's called me? What if he cocks his hand back near her head like hes going to hit her? What if he gets pissed off at me and takes it out on her? She's still SO young. When she's older- she'll tell me. But she's not even 3 yet.

I've tried to put in as many safeguards as I can in the agreement. I'm requesting that we continue to see our co-parent therapist once a month during the transitional phase of the schedule (we basically agree to keep adding time, then days, then nights over the next 1.5 years). And at least once a year thereafter.

I know if I don't find a balance through compromise- I face the chance the courts will give me a shittier schedule. But I just don't know how to resolve this fear. I know it's *MY* fear. But that's because I know the person he can be.

Settlement conference on Monday.
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2019, 07:14 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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You don't want the kid to be terrified all the time she is with her father.

Nowadays there are many wonderful electronic devices and toys. A very young child can learn how to use a cell phone. Perhaps you could have just one or two numbers programmed into it. Set up a schedule when she calls you every day with whatever works for you. You don't want the kid to be isolated (abusers like to do that). Even if it makes you puke, I'd try to buddy up to new g/f so that you have peace of mind that someone else in his home is looking out for your kid.

I don't think it is a stretch to be fearful of his previous pattern of abuse with you eventually being directed to your child. My ex was abusive to me (broke my nose one night when I came home late). The next year, in a fit of rage over something very small, he picked our son up and threw him on the front marble entryway breaking his arm. Doctor gave him a warning. Years later my ex came at me. I had a safety plan and a very good security system when I had him removed from the home.

Hey... you never know. He might turn out to be absolutely wonderful with child. Perhaps once you get everything resolved his demeanor will change and he may become a decent human being again!
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:05 PM
tunnelight tunnelight is offline
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[QUOTE=iona6656;237504
My concern is- how do I resolve my fears about the person he IS? .[/QUOTE]

By doing the same thing he's doing and going to therapy.

When my ex was trying to use alleged fears to withhold access, after I had done EVERYTHING the ex had asked of me, the judge accused her to her face in front of her lawyer that she had anxieties.

YOUR fears of him are in your head. In a form of anxiety.

Last edited by tunnelight; 08-15-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:08 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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thank you arabian for your candid post.

I never picked that up from your previous posts. About the abuse. This was your first husband (your son's dad)? As opposed to the idiot who keeps dragging you back to court?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
You don't want the kid to be terrified all the time she is with her father.
No, I don't. She is not now. I do not speak negatively about her dad, ever. Because no matter what else happens- she is half of him, and I wouldn't want her disliking any part of herself.

What was harder to control at first is what my family said when we first separated. You can imagine because of what he said about her- and me- and what he did to me...they are no big fans of him. But luckily she was very young- and I never let them drag him within her earshot. But now- as time as passed, things have mellowed. My ex is who he is. You cannot expect a cat to bark like a dog. They don't talk about him now.

Quote:
Nowadays there are many wonderful electronic devices and toys. A very young child can learn how to use a cell phone. Perhaps you could have just one or two numbers programmed into it. Set up a schedule when she calls you every day with whatever works for you. You don't want the kid to be isolated (abusers like to do that). Even if it makes you puke, I'd try to buddy up to new g/f so that you have peace of mind that someone else in his home is looking out for your kid.
I hope he finds a gf, I really do. The only part of that that makes me want to puke is the uncomfortable feeling of ever wishing what I went through on another woman.

As to electronic devices. As she gets older. If I have concerns- then yes, document. If they turn out to be real, I will take him back to court to reassess access again.

Quote:
I don't think it is a stretch to be fearful of his previous pattern of abuse with you eventually being directed to your child. My ex was abusive to me (broke my nose one night when I came home late). The next year, in a fit of rage over something very small, he picked our son up and threw him on the front marble entryway breaking his arm. Doctor gave him a warning. Years later my ex came at me. I had a safety plan and a very good security system when I had him removed from the home.
His pattern of abuse will likely begin when she's older. If/when she doesn't fall in line with how he thinks women should act. If she's too opinionated. If she's not pretty or thin enough, etc etc...It's not going to be pretty if/when it happens. I'll be ready if it does. That's my job now.

Quote:
Hey... you never know. He might turn out to be absolutely wonderful with child. Perhaps once you get everything resolved his demeanor will change and he may become a decent human being again!
He can be a decent human being. As long as he gets his way. He's not inherently mean, just incredibly immature and selfish.

A friend of mine was trying to help me ease my fear of this- and she made an observation. The way we have set up his parenting time with D2- he gets to be fun dad. It's short periods of times- very frequently. He gets to build a relationship with her- without doing too much of the work. If he wants to do the work- yay, more power to him.

I'm heartened by him continuing with therapy (even if he does lie to his therapist. lol)...I'm continuing my therapy as well. I can't control his actions or behaviour. But I'll control my reactions to it. And be there for our daughter if she needs it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:24 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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Iona thanks for the Friday afternoon chuckle - I've only been married once. 30 years was enough. Looking back I'm surprised I didn't leave earlier. I was an avid golfer so I fortunately had a good circle of friends. I told my ex since we divorced that I wanted to remember the good times with him. Hard to do all the time though. When I read about the anxiety you are going through I can really relate. When our son was very young his father was wonderful and I didn't have a care in the world. I never hesitated to leave son with him for extended periods of time. I recall an instance when son was around 5? We lived close to an outdoor skating rink and son had gone with his father to learn to skate. Kid burst through the door in absolute tears with his father behind him shouting at him, calling him names. You see my son wasn't a natural skater. It was horrifying to see this adult basically bullying our son. This happened again when learning to ride a bike. Ex was a shouter. Son was ridiculed cruelly by his father for leaving the training wheels on too long. When we went out and socialized with people ex would bring it up to embarrass son. This went on and on for years. When I protested I was told to keep out of it... I was too overbearing, etc. Our son had no interest in anything mechanical as he grew up. This infuriated ex. Son had no interest in sports. This infuriated ex. They did play some video games together and surprisingly enjoyed golf sometimes. Every time ex tried to show son how to do something it was a shouting situation. Son was terrified of him.

I didn't grow up in a family of shouters. Ex did. I recalling my mother warning me early on before I was married to ex about his loud, abrasive mannerism. she pointed out the whole family seemed to be that way. I discarded the advice of course. Looking back now I know I should have heeded her advice. But what is done is done. Son travels back to Alberta to visit friends and his father once a year. I have pushed son over the years to maintain a relationship with his father. It hasn't been easy. Son witnessed, as an adult, the way his father treated me.

Fortunately you are not married to this man anymore. Your daughter will not be able to witness things that would skew her views on how men should treat women. That is a very good thing. You have done an amazing job at trying to foresee things and have done your best to keep your daughter safe. I think as your daughter gets older you will feel better with her enhanced communication abilities.

I agree with your friend - your ex is going to be the "fun dad" - that will take a lot of pressure off relationship.

My ex seems to have a very nice relationship with his skank. He treats her totally different than he treated me.

I am very content being single and plan to stay single.
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