My ex-wife suddenly vanished over 2 years ago to her native Asian country, leaving behind a son (then 1, now 3) and daughter (then 6, now 8). Contact was intermittent (sometimes once a week and sometimes every three months). I asked her to commit to a regularly scheduled call and she refused to do so. I also found the phone calls to be borderline abusive to my daughter (the daughter would ask, "Mommy when are you coming back," and the mother would reply, "When are you going to come see me?" which caused the daughter to feel responsible for her absence - or the Skype video chats where the daughter would have the camera on but the mother refused to do so). I have since cut off contact with the mother in order to protect my daughter, though wonder if it is the correct decision. [more inside]
The 16 yo daughter of a lady I am good friends with was contacted after an argument by the fiance of her ex-husband regarding how to deal with a borderline abusive situation at home. The discussion evidently even went to far as to see if the daughter could advise her whether to go to a hotel or home to sleep with him. My friend feels this very inappropriate. Is it a big deal? She is very upset and is contemplating a measured response and future plan to stop this from happening ever again. She would like to do so without alienating her daughter (who seems to enjoy the attention) or poisoning the future relationship with her daughters dad and soon to be stepmom. Her and I both agree that she is probably on track to become another abused spouse and ought to leave the relationship - but right now that will not happen. I know the mefi crowd is sensitive, smart, and probably a good place to get some input, any thoughts?
Now that I know I hate my abusive father, what can I do specifically to move forward? [more inside]
How can I help stop child abuse, other than writing a check? [more inside]
What leads to a child/young adult picking up a parent's behavior (good or bad), rather than rebelling against it? [more inside]
I was raised by an abusive father. Now in my early 30's I am looking ahead to the future when I may become a father. I am determined not to recreate the family environment I grew up in but know how these things sometimes turn out -- that people determined not to recreate something sometimes wind up doing so in an unforseen manner. I was in therapy for 2 years in my 20's to work on the issues but therapy is not an option now because of money. I have worked hard not to be my father, but part of me is afraid that I will wind up being like him as a parent. (In particular, I worry about being a father to a son because of my history). I am looking for information about the father-son relationship as well as information about how to be a good parent when you have a background like mine. Please offer advice, books, suggestions - anything that can help.