Advice Requested Please

advicerequestedplease

Dear Divorced Parents,

Advice needed.  Help wanted in co-parenting please.

I’m trying to be all zen about the divorced co-parenting situation with my Ex.  But honestly, I have to say that it’s surreal to me that there’s been no response from him in over 12 hours for the text I sent.  There’s been no communication from him to our child either.

I texted him that our son had a minor accident yesterday.  I was brief because I know my Ex is busy.  I kept it simple – telling my Ex that our kid was fine, but that he’d had a minor accident with the car.

CRICKETS….nothing, nada, no response.

Not even a text or call to our son!  What is he thinking?  Or better question, Why isn’t he responding?  And what am I to do next?

Our son is fine which is all that counts in this crazy world.  Sure, he was upset and I calmed him.  Frightened, worried and embarrassed, we worked through the all the emotions until he was calm and able to see the big picture.  In true Mom fashion, I didn’t flip out.  I held his trembling body while he sobbed and I wished for a moment that he was little so I could cuddle him in my lap again.  Instead, I stood there in the parking lot, wrapped my arms around his waist, as tears wracked his body against mine, bending his head down onto my shoulder.  (And yes, the shoulder of my shirt was wet when he was done).  But, did I mind?  No, not one bit.  I was ever grateful that he was ok, nobody was hurt and that I was able to get to him quickly.

I’m grateful that I’m home to our kids.  I am grateful that they know that when they call, I answer and we are connected.  I am happy that I can be here for them, although I am so not that helicopter mom type.  But I’m here when needed, supportive, loving and the disciplinarian.  But above all, they know I love them and they can count on me.

So how do I handle my kid’s disappointment that his dad hasn’t reached out at all to him?  Is there anything I can say to ease the pain?  Or is it the lesson my kid has to experience as the relationship with his dad strains even more?

It’s so hard to co-parent with a man who lives  in the nothing box.  Any advice??

 

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32 Responses to Advice Requested Please

  1. TJ Fox says:

    All you can do is what YOU can do. Be there for him. Comfort him. And yes, let him see his dad for who he is. There is no excuse and making them doesn’t make anything better, so it is a waste of breath to try. Give him what he needs from you and be content that you are the best parent you can be. It sucks and is frustrating that you can do nothing about the lack that comes from the other side. Just keep being you and doing what you need to do for you kids. Help them handle the fallout when their dad, once again, falls short, because you know he will. His lack is on him. Yes, it is really hard on the kids, but we cannot always protect our kids. Life is going to be hard and it is going to be painful at times. Knowing they have you as their safety net, their home and giving them that space they need with you will help them be better able to deal with life as they get older.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks TJ. You are so right! I am here. I am home and they know it. EX hasn’t been great at communicating for a bit now so they are as used to it as they can be, even though they are hurt. It’s just sad. I don’t know how you can walk away without staying in touch, but he has done it. It makes me sad because kids and I remember a different man long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TJ Fox says:

        I think coming to terms with the fact that there is nothing you can do is sometimes the hardest.

        Like

      • janieleeds says:

        Oh indeed it is especially for me because I’m a fixer if I possibly can so it’s terribly frustrating. But I am trying my best to be zen and allow whatever happens, to happen, without my fixing because there’s a lesson here to be learned by all and my fixing only prolongs the lesson to come up again. Thanks for understanding TJ!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Create Space says:

        I’m not in the same circumstances but learning to accept a very difficult situation and realise that it was something that was outside my control was a turning point for me, within a very short space of time things were looking a lot more positive!

        Like

      • janieleeds says:

        Awesome news for you and a learning curve for me, but I will take your advice to heart and just do it! Thank you xo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a strange one, are you sure his dad got the text? Also my advice would be to tell your children that both you and their dad love them but because you don’t all live together you are the person who will always be there and you will make most of the decisions. I know it’s difficult but each event just brings the attention that their dad is not a particularly good dad and they don’t need that.
    Now maybe the time to stop expecting anything from him but the bare minimum. You can supply all the love they need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you Elaine. I was expecting him to contact our son, maybe not me because I’m the EX, but nothing. Sadly. But I can be mom and dad enough for the kids. Been doing it for awhile. Maybe EX just didn’t think an accident where there was no bloodshed was worthy of communication because kid wasn’t hurt physically. I just don’t know what goes through his head and I never will apparently. Maybe it’s better. I”m not sure I’d like to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hate to tell you this but 14 years on it still hurt when he lets our daughters down but they still love him and it’s his guilt to carry. I can only be the true constant in their lives. He will never change and probably neither will your ex ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • janieleeds says:

        Thank you. I am sorry for your daughters and for you. 14 years is a long time. But I love that WE are the true constant in their lives and they know that. I want my kids to still love their dad and I think they always will. However, it is hard to be ignored, but again, like you, that’s his guilt to carry if he has it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. M says:

    I am going to say it could be that your ex just forgot his phone or maybe is busy. I would just reassure your son to let me know that the both of you are there to help him and that everything is fine. I know with me I expect responses right away and I forget that my focus might not be the focus on the receiver of the text. Your ex might also be reassured that your son is fine and will probably contact him later when he has longer time to talk. Over keep being the great mother you are and reassure your son.

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you M. I have reassured my son, but we are now almost beginning the 3rd day after EX was notified and text was delivered and nothing. I always tell kids that both of us love them and are here for them. However, he has been MIA a few times before so they are seeing that and processing it. It’s sad because he has a new girlfriend and I think she’s taking up his time. He always has his phone on him, always, so I know he’s gotten the text. Thanks, I am trying very hard to be a good mom and to reassure my kids that they are loved and supported always.

      Like

  4. PaliMadra says:

    This is not excusable if your ex has received the text.

    If the text was received,dry which you should try and confirm, then stop expecting anything from your Ex and also groom the children to realize it.

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you for your advice. Text was delivered so it’s his choice. Children are realizing sadly. But they still have me so that’s good. This isn’t the first time he has been incommunicado either so it’s becoming a trend. But it hurts either way for them. They are not expecting as much from him any longer. But it still breaks my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • PaliMadra says:

        I can understand your predicament and it is fine to feel that way – because your dreams and ambitions have been dashed. You cannot give anyone else the ability to control your feelings if they do not care about your feelings.

        Believe me, it is time to let it go, you are too good for him.

        God Bless and best of luck.

        Liked by 1 person

      • janieleeds says:

        PaliMadra, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your comment hit me in a good way and I actually included it in my post today. I hope you don’t mind. xo God Bless You!

        Like

  5. I wish I had something to tell you. Sorry!

    Like

  6. L. Rorschach says:

    I would honestly be worried about my ex if he didn’t respond to something like that. Have you tried calling him??!

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      No, I haven’t tried calling him at all. I thought about it, but the text says delivered so he got it. His family would know if something was amiss I’m sure, especially his Mom. I thought about calling his Mom, but then it would be like tattling and I’m taking the high road. But yes, I was worried at first, then I thought about how many family members he has and I know it’s just him, being him. But it hurts my son which makes me sad. That’s the part that bothers me most. For me, I think it’s disrespectful to not say he received the text, but then that’s how it’s gone for the last few years.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear this has happened and also sorry to have a similar ongoing story of my own. I like what TJ Fox said above about only being responsible for your own behaviour and what you can provide for your children. My boys’ father does not have any responsibility for care or in their lives and will only consent to see them once a week for 5 hours. He is rarely there for any kind of emergency and NEVER to share the load. I have been a single parent now for 4 years and sometimes it gets very hard and I feel at my wits end, low on strength and emotional reserves. Mostly it gets to me a lot when it impacts on my ability to create a life for myself (including intimacy). My ex-husband behaves the way he does and refuses to give me respite at least partly (if not wholly) because he wants to make life as difficult as possible for me, and does not want me to find another partner or lovers. This controlling abject selfishness is something I just have to accept. I can’t force him to be a father and want to see his kids, and nor can I force him to take responsibility or give me respite. The only consoling factor is that I create opportunities through the week due to working part time, and that I am happier than he will ever be, and content with my life, such as it is. AT least HE is not in my house, even if I can’t sever the ties completely! Best of luck with negotiating life after divorce – there are not many fun bits. Thank you for sharing

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry you are dealing with so much. I am a single mom too obviously and he’s not around. And yes, it’s tiresome, I wholly agree. But they are only ‘home’ for awhile and my determination that being home is safe, happy and good for them is what I keep in my head at all times. It will be ME that they remember was the one who was there for them and who they can count on. Life is short. I want the memory of a loving Mom to shine within them when I’m dead. As for the EX, he is making his own relationship with the kids and that’s his problem. I’m sorry yours is so selfish. I am glad you have your part-time work week to help your social life. I don’t have one really either so I get it. And time is short. I’m getting older, but it’s ok. Right? xoxo P.S. LOVE the name of your blog! 🙂

      Like

  8. BeowulfSabrina says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t see this-I was mostly offline as the kids were here but I am SO SO sorry. Wow, a shell of a man. What an eye opener. You think that no matter what happens between a married couple, the bond/connection between a father and son is sacred but nope, once again he showed his true colors. I’m relieved your son is OK and so happy that he has a mother like you. You are what he needed, not a barely there detached fragmented self centered only half human.

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you. Back at you as I know yours is the same as well. Funny how they just lose touch. I keep saying I release you to the universe because I don’t want him back at all, but I’d like to have communication that isn’t fraught with disconnection.

      Like

  9. MoJo says:

    It’s a sad reality when you know that you are too good for the person you once loved. It’s exponentially more heart-breaking when you see the same happening to your kids. They deserve more than he has to give. To put it lightly, he’s extremely obtuse. To put it less kindly, he’s an asshole. Yes. That’s quite crass, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

    I know that you remember better times with a better man, but he lost his way sometime over the past few years. Or maybe he was always clueless and you actually found your path instead. Either way, you can’t make his choices for him. Your 110% love matters so very much more than a little bit here and there from two uninvolved parents.

    You give them what they need. They continue to see him for who he is now, but they continue to see your boundless love, too. I’m thankful that he was ok from the accident. He will be okay from the rest of this, too. Big hugs to all of you darling. Joanna

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Joanna. It’s just rearranging my mind to not expect that he would answer me (ok, I get it, he won’t), but at least reach out to his son. He finally did 4 days later with a quick text, glad you’re ok after you scratched your car. He’s clueless how our son cried copious tears because of the accident. First ones always tend to do that to you I think. It’s a good reality check and because he was embarrassed, upset, worried and scared, the tears were flowing! Thanks for the big hugs. Gratefully received and returned to you xoxo

      Like

      • MoJo says:

        I don’t think that there is any realistic way to avoid hurting in this kind of scenario. It’s unthinkable to us, but he’s checked out on so many levels. I feel certain that he cares. He just sucks hard core at showing it. Maybe he thought that it was no biggie and that car scrapes happen so no need to call. I can’t imagine not calling, but again, in his mind, perhaps he thought that y’all already said that it was totally fine. I dunno girl. You know me well enough to know that the truth is that I want to drop an acme anvil on his head. Like the roadrunner but with better aim.

        Like

      • janieleeds says:

        LOL I just feel like he’s so disconnected and doesn’t think of anyone but himself. That is sad for the kids, not so much for me necessarily, but I’m beating the dead horse with repetition. Acme anvil, huh? I just love your sense of humor!!

        Like

  10. My advice, since you’re asking, is to address your own disappointment with your ex’s lack of input. The more honestly you recognise your own feelings the easier your son will find it to handle his own. Keep an open mind about how your son feels. You sound understandably bewildered and deserted and upset but these are your feelings not your son’s. Allow yourself the freedom to explore how let down you feel without trying to feel differently or to coerce your ex into being different. Difficult work but really transformative. There’s a recent post on my blog about absent fathers if you’re interested.

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  11. Pingback: How To Move On From Divorce | Authentically 50 ~ Embracing Life's Changes

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