They're Right Here, Dad; Why Can't You Call Us?
July 25, 2011 11:17 AM Subscribe
Is there anything a divorced mom with primary custody of three kids could say to their dad to get him to pay attention to his kids?
posted by kinetic to human relations (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Briefest of overviews: Married for 17 years, divorced for the last 8; had three kids together (19 girl, 17 girl, 13 boy), after initial separation my ex moved down the street with our eldest's best friend's family (she also has three kids). This is noted for the ick factor this caused for my daughter but also to note that he lives a mile down the road.
The marriage ended because over the course of several years he became hostile to all of us and then ultimately violent towards me a few times and the kids (it just took one time and it was all over).
We had a standard visitation agreement: Wednesday dinners, alternate weekends and he had them for 2 weeks annually for vacations.
In the past four years, he has seen them once. He doesn't call them, etc. Nothing.
The kids have been in therapy about this and have basically come to the conclusion that it's not them; it's him, and that he's just kind of an a**hole.
(If this sounds familiar, I was a mefite with dzaz as my name, I'm back with a new name. Hi, everyone. Missed ya.)
Over the weekend, my 13yo son saw that his dad had called and he did this little tough guy thing, "Oh hey, Dad called." Me: "Gonna call him back?" Him: "Nah." But I could see he was pretty devastated when he checked the voicemail and realized it was an accidental butt-dial. And I just wanted to cry.
Here's the question: over the years, I've tried calling (he won't answer or return my calls) and emailing (he doesn't respond) to ask if he'd like to see the kids; if there's anything I could to facilitate a visit, etc.
Can I do anything? If not, how can I talk to the kids but also, how can I not let it cause me so much pain? And an aside, can someone explain to me what the heck is going on in his head that he can have three kids that he completely ignores?