How do I get my child's father to respect my wishes regarding her care?
November 29, 2016 9:28 PM   Subscribe

My child's father and I recently had a disagreement about when to start solids. I told him I didn't think child was ready; he said everyone thought I was wrong and planned to start them anyway. I asked for advice elsewhere about being okay with him starting before I felt she was ready and was told that as the child's mother, it is my right to decide how she is cared for. How do I get Father to understand that?

My child is soon to be 6 months old. Imo, she is not yet showing all the signs of being ready for solids. I told Dad this, and he said that his Mom thinks she is ready. I later told him that there's no harm in waiting until we both feel she is ready, but that there could be harm in starting too early. I listed the reasons why, and he said ultimately he's going by what the doctor said (4-6 months). I told him that some doctor's advice is outdated, not all doctor's agree (some feel 6-8 months is best) and that I'd been doing research about the matter online using scientifically validated articles. He said "what doctors, "online" doctors?" He said he was going to stick to what the doctor said because she's a specialist, and that we're inexperienced parents and don't always know what's best for her, that his Mom had raised two kids and thinks she's ready and is surprised she hasn't started already. I told him his Mom isn't her Mom, I am and he needs to respect my wishes to wait.

I then told him this is a decision we need to make together, and we should not start solids until we both agree. He kept insisting, so I told him "I'm saying no. Point-blank." He kept insisting after that, so I told him I was suspending unsupervised visits until I was certain she was ready for solids, because I couldn't trust him to respect my wishes on the matter and that he obviously didn't see this as the partnership that it should be.

He then said okay, he wouldn't start solids, but that he couldn't believe I was being stubborn after everyone he'd asked disagreed with me (FWIW, everyone I've asked agreed with me, but I didn't mention that because I don't think that matters). He also accused me of using our child as a bargaining chip, and said he hopes every time we have a disagreement I'm not going to "hold her hostage." From what I've researched, there is considerable risk in starting solids too early, and I wasn't going to take that chance. (So please no advice about whether or not it's time to start solids, thanks!) I also sent him the articles, complete with links to their sources and to the list of professional/medical/physician-run organizations that advise against ~6 months and say to wait until the child shows signs of being developmentally ready. I could understand if he felt there was risk in *not* starting solids now, but he mentioned no concerns like that.

This isn't the first time something similar has happened; usually when I make decisions regarding her care that he disagrees with I get hit with "you are not an expert and are being selfish", "come back to me when you have a psychology degree like I do," or he thinks I have some ulterior motive other than doing what's best for her.

How do I get him to understand that as her Mom, my wishes matter? I wouldn't make a decision like that if he wasn't on the same page, and I'd like him to afford me the same respect. But I don't know what to do. I have full custody of her and there doesn't seem to be much I can do legally; I got some free legal advice awhile ago and the lawyer basically said that as the custodian I can do whatever I want. He is on the birth certificate and I do not get child support; he sees her as often as his schedule permits with 1 overnight a week. I also spoke to my therapist about this, but she did not give any specific advice about how to get him to change and just said it's my right to make the decision as custodial parent. Even though I know I have final say, I would like for us to make decisions together and don't really want to play the "as the custodial parent, I make the final decision" card.

I just want him to listen to me. I try to give him as much time with her as possible and include him in on her care or any major decisions regarding her. FWIW, he was like this before the child as well. Is there any changing a person like this? What is it about me that he does not respect my opinion/seem to think my opinion is valid? I am normally a meek person, hate confrontation and when it came to my own needs, I would go ahead and let them go. So I think that's part of the reason why. I feel bad about myself that he apparently thinks so little of my ability as a Mom that he's just going to override any decision I make that he doesn't agree with. Our child is healthy, thriving and happy, and I've been busting my butt to take care of her, work and go to school at the same time. So I know I'm doing a good job as a Mom. How do I get him to respect me as her mother?
posted by Autumn to Human Relations (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I remembered your username from previous questions. You got REALLY good advice in this question about how to set boundaries. I'd advise you to re-read those answers.

As to the current situation...

Frankly, I find one overnight away from mom at SIX MONTHS OLD to be absolutely, completely unreasonable. Is this something you want? I understand if it's to give you a break, but it's also putting you in the eye of the storm constantly.

I would just suspend all visits until he stops being a dick. And yes, he's acting like a total dick here. He's not paying child support and he is DEMANDING to be able to decide on major things like introduction of food? Lol, no.

I also would like to gently suggest that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change this man. You've tried - and it seems like you've tried for a LONG time, and at great personal cost. This dynamic, where you feel steamrolled and disrespected (and gaslit, honestly), is toxic. Add that to having an infant, and school and work...God, I admire the shit out of you for just getting up every morning.

That takes some MAJOR strength. You ARE doing a great job. So disengage from this nightmare as much as possible and forget trying to logic him into doing the right thing. That just won't work. You can't logic crazy. I'm sorry. You aren't going to get a co-parent out of this without him having a total personality transplant. I think it's time to resign yourself to truly being a single parent and making sure to draw boundaries hard and fast. Don't engage the back-and-forth about peer-reviewed articles, etc. You said "this is what happens with my child" and his job is to voice disagreements politely and calmly, have a discussion, and either agree or disagree. But even in disagreement, he should respect you enough to not go against your hard-and-fast boundaries.

He doesn't respect you though, and that rational situation will never happen.

As one internet stranger to another, I wish you all the best. This situation sucks.
posted by guster4lovers at 10:02 PM on November 29, 2016 [42 favorites]


. How do I get him to respect me as her mother?

Honestly? I don't think you can, and I don't think you should. As you have full custody, there is presumably a reason for that, you get to make the decisions full stop. He's not even paying child support, for criminy's sake.

As a child of divorce I totally support the principle that it's better when parents don't hate each other and mostly agree.

However. I think you are chasing rainbows here, and better for you, your kid - and possibly even him and his relationship with his daughter - if you nip that shit in the bud right now.

You have full custody: if he wants a say in how she is raised he can revisit custody arrangements, including child support. His say in parenting was given up, or taken away.

Forget about his respect, why do you want it, why are you still chasing it? You don't need it, you probably can't get it, spend that energy on respecting yourself. Don't bother trying to convice him going forward, it's not your job.

Best of luck, I'm sure you're doing a great job.
posted by smoke at 10:07 PM on November 29, 2016 [22 favorites]


You have full custody? Then this is a health and welfare decision and you get to draw the line, at least where I live. You are not denying him his child. You are ensuring health and safety, at least under the guidelines where I live. I would suggest getting the advice of a lawyer because, if this is coming up now, it is going to come up again.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:41 PM on November 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


I then told him this is a decision we need to make together, and we should not start solids until we both agree.

In your given example there is no difference between "until we both agree" and "when I say so". I know you don't want to play the "I'm the custodial parent" card but at the same time you are and you already have your hands more than full between raising your child, work and school. I would say you should keep your mental energies focused on those three things and not care so much about what the father thinks.

FWIW with both of our kids I felt that my wife was going to slow with things like introducing new foods, but she's the one who is home with them and knows the situation best so she gets the final say.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:45 PM on November 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fuck him and his mother and his non-payments of child support. They have zero rights here, where do they get off?

By-pass all this bullshit and talk to a lawyer about how to enforce your boundaries with these two. I don't think you can or should trust them with unsupervised visits and you really need to stop caring about making this seem OK when it's actually incredibly dysfunctional. Stop being nice to them, start being professional. Create professional distance towards them with your demeanor + an attorney's advice.

This man is the one using your daughter as a mechanism to fuck with your head. Put a stop to this immediately by getting legal advice and following it to the letter. He doesn't have custody and he doesn't pay child support. It's really as easy as enforcing your boundaries.

Now. You need to be clever, too. You don't want retaliation or escalation. How long until you finish school? Because you should (with the advice of your attorney) plan to move far away from this drama as soon as you can. Stop being tied to crazypants drama. You and your daughter do not need a lifetime of this, so make plans.

C'mon. Change your mind and put yourself and your daughter first. I feel like everything is to coddle this guy and it's so unequal. Even if you can't make drastic changes to the interaction right away, I feel like you should be 100% clear about what is and is not OK. You still seem unsure and confused. How can you gain some clarity? Do whatever it takes to wrap your head around your rights and responsibilities. Start with good legal advice.
posted by jbenben at 11:24 PM on November 29, 2016 [24 favorites]


Reminders: He will not respect your wishes. You need to start enforcing boundaries. (Ask your therapist how! Or ask someone else -- you need outside help.) You may well need a lawyer.
posted by slidell at 11:28 PM on November 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


I too knew this was you from the first sentence in your question. Look you are just not going to get what you want here. Thank God you have full custody. You're never going to have the co-parenting relationship you want with this person while also being able to make sane and rational decisions about your daughter. It's not your fault, it has nothing to do with you, and there's no changing it but you do have to accept this. Your life will get a LOT easier when you do.
posted by bleep at 11:28 PM on November 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


If I were you, I would decide deeply: Do you trust your ex to keep your child safe or not? If you do, then I would go to: No discussion: Your house, your rules. My house, my rules. If you don't, you should not let your ex care for your child.

This is exactly the kind of discussion/fight which you don't need to have now that you are divorced. I understand that you have full custody. In that case, I propose:

1. You decide if how much often and how your ex can care for the child. If you need to define boundaries, then define boundaries, but in general, every rule you make is an open door for discussion.

2. If you don't want these discussions, then don't let your ex care for your daughter.

You have the ability to decide everything... when to start solid food, what clothes to dress your child in, what school, which doctors etc... But the only way to really efficiently decide these 100% is to limit the contact with him to nothing, which seems like not what you want.

In my opinion, in the grand scheme of things, starting solid foods a bit earlier or later may not be so critical. I would tell him: Your house = your rules. But, this isn't my choice to make...
posted by jazh at 1:05 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


You have all the custody, therefore all the control. Now you need the guts to use it. Why are you arguing with someone who will never listen and bulldoze through anyway? You don't have to. You are being nice to him at the expense of your daughter. If you really believe he is endangering her through feeding her too early, why would you ever let him do that? And if he will endanger her and you let him get away with that, what else will you capitulate on? Because this is how it starts, small. And he gets his way. And then it's something else he steamrolls you on until the issues are bigger. You are the only parent whose say matters. I know you could never stand up for yourself before. Please, stand up for your daughter. This guy is toxic. Cut him out and never look back. Your child will thank you.
posted by Jubey at 1:05 AM on November 30, 2016 [12 favorites]


This man is never going to respect your wishes or accept your judgement calls. I know it hurts to think about that, and it's easier in a way to hope that somehow if you just say the exact right words in the exact right way, you'll make him come around and see the light and then you can raise your daughter together. But that's never going to happen. As long as you continue to interact with him, you will keep having these power struggles and he's going to keep making you feel bad.

Setting a new boundary with someone is hard, because they usually push back like hell. And I know you probably don't feel like you've got a lot of extra energy right now because you're taking care of a very small baby. But if you can gather up the strength and reserves to tell this guy that you're done with him and you don't want to have any more contact with him--and then hold that line for as long as it takes for him to accept it and leave you alone--then your life is going to be immeasurably better. Imagine being able to make decisions about your kid all by yourself: no negotiations, no arguments, no insulting words making you feel bad. Just you doing research and talking to people you trust and then making decisions without having to fight anyone about it first. You can do this, but you've got to be brave.
posted by colfax at 2:36 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why isn't he paying child support?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:58 AM on November 30, 2016 [26 favorites]


You can't make him to do a anything. The family courts may be able to make him follow a court order and pay child support. The answer here is lawyer.

That being said, you are going to have to accept that fact that if the court orders you to to co-parent, then you have to co-parent. You're stuck with him for life, so you're going to have to figure out how to do so in as low-conflict a way as possible. Both for your sake and your child's. I'm not sure starting solids would be where I'd start that fight; baby will make it clear if it's too early. I'm not a lawyer but in general "I tried to foster a good relationship but it didn't work" goes over better in court than "I refuse to co-parent." Document everything, and talk to a lawyer, because "I withheld visitation because he wanted to follow medical advice I disagree with" could backfire badly. Lawyer and therapist, in that order.

I'm sorry he's so awful.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:32 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Look, there are going to be a MILLION of these types of decisions to make over the next 18 or so years, and if you are going to co-parent with someone, you have to trust them enough to make at least acceptable decisions regarding the child's care. There are going to be many times when you don't even have the chance to discuss your feelings on the matter and he is just going to have to make a decision that you will then have to live with the consequences of. I don't agree with every single decision my wife makes about parenting our daughter, but I know in my heart that she is doing what she thinks is best. If you don't think he is doing his best, and if you aren't willing to deal with the consequences of his mistakes, he should not be parenting your child. It sounds like you have the legal and ethical authority to remove him from his role as a co-parent, and I think it is in your and your child's best interest to do so.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:15 AM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Even though I know I have final say, I would like for us to make decisions together and don't really want to play the "as the custodial parent, I make the final decision" card.

Too bad. It doesn't matter what you would like to have happen, because you don't get to control other people.

Stop dithering back and forth with her father. When you put your foot down, that was great! And look at how he responded - by acquiescing. When you offer reasonable explanations it just provides another opportunity for him to say "yeah, but..."

This guy doesn't pay you any child support - which, I just can't even think rationally about - AND he gets one overnight a week with her? Fuck that.

You are the child's mother. You have legal custody. It is your responsibility to do what's right for her - the court has told you that, I presume the people in your life have told you that, and now the internet has told you that. Please start believing it.
posted by lyssabee at 5:59 AM on November 30, 2016 [16 favorites]


How do I get him to understand that as her Mom, my wishes matter?

The traditional IT industry tool for obtaining understanding in the face of willful obstinacy is called a "clue-by-four".

It's obviously imaginary: smacking somebody upside the head with a two-by-four wouldn't actually make them more clueful. But oh, the sweet relief of thinking about it.

In any case, I don't believe that the main issue is in fact getting him to understand that as her mother your wishes matter. I think it's getting you to understand that as her mother and custodial parent your decisions are final and that this is how it should be.

You don't have to be nice to this prick. Not at all. Civil will do, if it makes you feel better, but if I were in your position I would be treating that as optional also.
posted by flabdablet at 7:23 AM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


How do I get him to respect me as her mother?

He's not going to. He's going to feed her solids on those overnights. He's going to let his mom tell him what to do, with her outdated information, and he's going to tell you what to do. He's not going to pay child support. He's not going to co-parent; he's going to do what he wants, because he can, because you're not sticking up for your daughter.

Child support is for your child's sake. You're letting him deprive his daughter of resources that she's legally entitled to.

Is there a support group for single parents on your campus?

I would like for us to make decisions together

Why? He's a dick.

I'm not usually this harsh, but your AskMes make me angry on your behalf, and on your daughter's behalf. You have to grow a spine and stop letting this man, and his mother, boss you around.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:32 AM on November 30, 2016 [35 favorites]


And another thing (because I've been stewing on this) -- what are you modeling for your daughter? That if a man shouts loud enough, you should do what he says.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he white and you're a person of color? So you're also showing your daughter, who is multi-racial, that you should give white people what they want.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:53 AM on November 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


Honestly, I'm kind of baffled by everything you've written, given the larger context that other people are filling in from previous AskMe's. You have full custody, he was abusive, he doesn't pay child support, and you're allowing him visits and arguing with him about what your child's care should be like? It sounds like you really want a good relationship with him, but that's never going to happen. It's just not.

This is like a messed up version of a Long Breakup, where people get back together and break up again, over and over, with varying degrees of "he's changed! we've changed!" and buckets of tears. I'm a big advocate of going Cold Turkey when you break up. It's really hard at first but saves you tons of time later. None of this back and forth and wasting more of your life and energy on someone you don't love or someone who doesn't care, respect, or love you.

Talk to a lawyer and do whatever you need to do to cut this dude out of your life forever. Your daughter deserves a better father figure than this. Not having a father figure would be better tbh. You also deserve better. Right now, your first responsibility is to your daughter though--both in what's best for her and what she will soon start learning about relationships, etc. from watching you.
posted by purple_bird at 9:04 AM on November 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


Nothing you can do is going to make him respect you. This isn't even about his respect for you; it's about him doing what he wants. He'd almost certainly be this way with anyone. He's going to push on the situation to get what he wants.

The best way for you to get respect is to give it to yourself. Respect yourself enough to get away from this man who doesn't respect you. Work with high-class professionals (e.g., a lawyer) to make that happen. (That doesn't mean expensive; some amazing professionals work at legal aid clinics.) You get respect by demanding it -- by walking with your head held high, and by walking right away from people who treat you the way he does.
posted by slidell at 9:31 AM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have a high-conflict relationship with my child's father, and it's sometimes come to a head over feeding issues.

Here's my hard-earned wisdom: unless you literally think it's a life and death safety issue, neither one of you can have a veto over a food issue. You're going to have to either come to a peaceful agreement, or you're going to have to let whoever is doing the feeding at the time make the decision. Where reasonable minds can differ (and they absolutely can differ on starting solids) then you are either going to have to come to an agreement, or defer to whoever is doing the parenting at the time.

At this point, I only make a stand if I think there's a choking hazard, or if he's being harmfully aggressive about trying to force certain foods.

Respectfully, my reading of your post suggests that you are in fact using the feeding decision as a power-play. Food can be highly emotional, and so you really want to be able to control a milestone like when your baby starts solids. Yet, I think if you think about it, you'll realize that this is an emotional/control issue for you, and not truly a safety issue.

Good luck, I know how hard it is to navigate this kind of parenting situation!
posted by mrs. sock at 11:55 AM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


You have full custody? Then this is a health and welfare decision and you get to draw the line, at least where I live. You are not denying him his child. You are ensuring health and safety, at least under the guidelines where I live. I would suggest getting the advice of a lawyer because, if this is coming up now, it is going to come up again.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:41 PM on November 29 [10 favorites +] [!]


Full custody does not necessarily mean she gets to make all parenting decisions. Barring some kind of agreement on feeding, this is something they have to negotiate between the two of them. I'm assuming he does have some kind of visitation rights, even without custody.
posted by mrs. sock at 11:58 AM on November 30, 2016


I am a stepmom. I see what happens when biological parents don't agree. I am a huge proponent of "mom doesn't know everything" (even as a biological mother myself). Child support shouldn't determine if a kid sees their dad or not. You are going to have many, many decisions like this in the future where you can't just pull your daughter away if you're disagreeing.

All that said - it's not that you're the kid's mom. Having a set of XX chromosomes doesn't make you any better of a parent. It's that you are the custodial decision maker, and as long as you are the custodial decision maker, you have to act like you hold the cards, because you do. Who cares if he respects you as their mom?

If you don't think he is acting in the best interest of the child - not you as the mom - but the child and is actively trying to harm her - remove him as a co-parent legally. Go through the process so that you're not banging your head on the wall years down the road when it's not about solids vs milk, it's the big questions like discipline tactics, religion, and values to instill in your daughter.
posted by skittlekicks at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Talk to a lawyer and do whatever you need to do to cut this dude out of your life forever. Your daughter deserves a better father figure than this. Not having a father figure would be better tbh. You also deserve better. Right now, your first responsibility is to your daughter though--both in what's best for her and what she will soon start learning about relationships, etc. from watching you.

Well, seen from another angle, the father has parental rights too. Based on everything written, I doubt that the father is going to have all of his parental rights terminated. So she/they need to figure out some way to make co-parenting decisions. It's not going to be practical to go to court or get an agreement that covers essentially differences of opinion, such as when to start solids ... particularly where it seems that infant's own pediatrician has OK'd it. I 100% get what she is going through here, but I think she's going to be better off internalizing that the father has rights, including to care for the baby in ways that she would not prefer (short of being dangerous/neglectful.) Would it be nice if he deferred to her? Certainly. But that's not the situation here.
posted by mrs. sock at 12:53 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


He isn't paying child support because I don't want to a) trigger him to go to court for joint custody and b) have him be able to say I can't support her on my own because he's paying child support.

He doesn't have any legal rights because in my state, when couples aren't married all the rights automatically go to the mother. The original issue was about choking; I had initially backed down and told him "I guess I can't do anything to stop you, but there's no harm in waiting until we both agree she's ready," but when I asked about getting over my worries I was informed that her not sitting up properly (we disagreed if she was or not) could cause her to choke. And I felt that because he only sees her about twice a week (because of his work schedule, not because I'm restricting him) that I would know better about whether she was sitting up well enough.

I do agree that going to supervised visits only (until I feel she is ready for solids) was a major move, but I felt that I needed to advocate for her in this instance. And it is true that part of that decision was to avoid him overriding my wishes in the future when it comes to other decisions; I want him to understand that coparenting is an equal partnership and that unless he is concerned for her health/safety, he cannot say "I'm going to go ahead and do this major thing against your wishes." At least, I don't think that's how it should go, but I've never coparented so I don't know if other people would have handled the situation by letting him go ahead and feed her solids. I acted on advice given elsewhere when it came to doing supervised visits only.

I'm not sure what my options are legally, so at this point I'll be going down to the court and getting their free legal help with filling out some type of formal visitation forms. I can express my concerns to them (I have other concerns but those won't be relevant until she's older), so at least it'll be on record if it escalates from there.

Thanks for the advice!
posted by Autumn at 12:55 PM on November 30, 2016


There's a lengthy history of this guy not respecting your wishes about anything, and the baby is a new arena for him to force dominance. He's such bad news. I'm half-wondering if this push for solids is to hasten weaning, opening up the floor for extended visits and custody on a more equal footing. Please be careful you don't end up paying support to him. Get as much in place legally as soon as you can.
posted by furtive_jackanapes at 2:20 PM on November 30, 2016 [11 favorites]


He doesn't have any legal rights because in my state, when couples aren't married all the rights automatically go to the mother.

I'm really not sure this is true. He likely still has parental rights; you never mentioned anything about them being terminated. If he was with you in the hospital, has been actively involved, and is on the birth certificate, he's her legal father and you likely can't just unilaterally stop letting him see her. I think you may need to be getting more specific legal advice here about the path to take.
posted by mrs. sock at 2:45 PM on November 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


Please, please see a lawyer. A lot of what you are worried about might not apply, while other stuff might.

I laughed out loud where you wrote you were afraid he'd be triggered and go for custody. I'm pretty sure he's only around because he doesn't have to be financially responsible. Like, if visitation were tied to child support (which I don't think works that way, but just pretend...) this guy would vanish from your lives.

He's only sticking around because it's easy. If he had real co-parenting responsibilities including financial support, he'd be long gone. It's true he would also blame you for "keeping him from his child," but he'd be long gone from your lives. I think you're maybe a little afraid of this outcome? Don't be.

Either way, you have nothing to lose by being professional towards this person from here on out. Please please see a lawyer.
posted by jbenben at 6:20 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Even though I know I have final say, I would like for us to make decisions together and don't really want to play the "as the custodial parent, I make the final decision" card.

You want to make decisions together. However, since he doesn't want to make decisions together, it's impossible for that to happen. Accept that fact. You can't change him. Making a decision unilaterally isn't "playing a card" in some underhanded way--it's literally the arrangement you have and should have. Believe what you know and act like you know it, not just in your mind but your actions. You have done the first part, which is to know what's true. Now live it out. You know what's right and your instincts are right on point in so much of this.

So I know I'm doing a good job as a Mom. How do I get him to respect me as her mother?

You don't. You can't. There is no way you can make someone else feel or want something. So you stop trying. You continue to tell yourself how awesome a job you're doing, all the affirmations you want him to believe, and you let it be enough that you know them to be true. Move this idea of approval from his control to your control.

Although, if anything is likely to help him change his thinking, I believe it will be you standing up, taking control, and making the final say on issues.

I want him to understand that coparenting is an equal partnership and that unless he is concerned for her health/safety, he cannot say "I'm going to go ahead and do this major thing against your wishes."

It sounds like you're trying to parent him and teach him or persuade him how to do things properly. Respect the fact that he is an adult with autonomy. You can't force him to understand anything. He has every right to not believe coparenting is an equal partnership, or to understand it differently from you. He can say that he's going to do something against your wishes. That's why you get yourself the right to make decisions alone.

I don't think he wants to coparent and you can't make him change his mind.
posted by ramenopres at 8:39 PM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


We have all told you this so many times but you really need to talk to a lawyer. I understand that living in limbo legally seems safer, but you at least need to know of your options and rights. Hugs to you.
posted by k8t at 10:11 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Talk to a lawyer and do whatever you need to do to cut this dude out of your life forever. Your daughter deserves a better father figure than this. Not having a father figure would be better tbh. You also deserve better. Right now, your first responsibility is to your daughter though--both in what's best for her and what she will soon start learning about relationships, etc. from watching you.
posted by purple_bird at 11:04 AM on November 30


I 100% agree. Get this man out of your daughter's life ASAP. Having him in her life will do nothing except screw her up mentally. It will teach her that physical abuse is acceptable. It will teach her that being treated badly by men is acceptable. It will teach her that it is a woman's responsibility to make a man happy, no matter how unreasonable he is being. Don't do that to her.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:16 PM on November 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


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