adultery, anger, children, divorce, Father/daughter relationship, selfishness

I know, don’t engage. I engaged.

My ex continued our email chain about bailing on our younger daughter to go to a company BBQ:

“The hypocrisy of your comments is really mind boggling at times. Don’t you have better things to do with your time such as writing blogs about me?

I had a Bbq that my company was hosting for 80 people, 2hrs away, that I was involved in the set up. So yes time was of the essence and I couldn’t show up later because (our daughter’s name) got the wrong time and didn’t bother to correct it until 11:45am when I was on my way to pick her up. (Daughter) told me (dance teacher’s name) could drop her off. I asked her to confirm, she said she did, so the fact that she didn’t do it and then had to take the bus is not my fault, otherwise I would have made sure she got home.

What’s interesting is despite your Superwoman statements, she didn’t call you when she needed a ride? Probably because she knew that once again she would get an earful from you, like everyone else does.

She’s 16 and can take the bus if needed. You haven’t dropped your yoga plans and made her take the bus so why is so much different for me other than you have this irrational thought process with everything that has anything to do with me?

Your emails are such a waste of time. Turn your attention to other things that has a more meaningful upside than constantly trying to pick fights with people.”

I know he will hate my response.  He will likely complain more that it is lengthy than the content but I responded.  I will give him credit that he picked her up from dance tonight at 6:45 p.m. and took her to dinner. I only thought of that after I responded but this was what I said:

“You had no intention of ensuring she got home. You wanted to be on the road by 1:30. She needed a ride home at 1:30 and she needed to eat before she started her third job of the day. Don’t change your story now. Why you made plans to see her for less than an hour when “time is of the essence” for you to be 2 hours away is mind blowing. You should have told her your big plans for the day that was designated as your weekend with her that didn’t include her at all. If there were 80 people at your company BBQ I am sure someone else could have helped set up. I am sure this was planned months in advance and that you could have checked your calendar and said, “Hey, I might be late. That is the weekend I spend with my daughter.” The fact that you were more concerned about being accountable to set up for a BBQ versus being accountable to your daughter speaks volumes. You care more that your coworkers find you to be reliable and helpful than you care what your daughter thinks about your reliability and helpfulness? You could have made plans to see her the weekend before. You never, ever change your social schedule for her. You don’t care what weekend it is. You went to Vancouver the last weekend you were supposed to see her and played in a golf tournament too so you didn’t see her at all over the 3 days of “your” weekend, that you chose to be your weekend. You never once have said, “Hey, I can’t make it this weekend, how about next weekend.” You just carry on like the next weekend is totally off limits because it isn’t “your” weekend when you know darn well you can see your daughter any time you can mange to make yourself available. You just never choose her over whatever else you do or don’t have going on. Maybe you should start considering those weekends as “her” weekends and try to make it special for her instead of for you.

In your mind, it really is all (our daughter’s) fault for the late notice. How silly of her to think that her dad would be available just an hour later to spend time with her. How many times after all have you told her you were going to have lunch with her and then changed the plans to be at 4:00 p.m. instead?

She did call me for a ride. She left a voice mail message and a text message. I felt terrible because, as I told you already, I was in a housing meeting with Adam Olsen and other municipal counsellors and mayors so I didn’t have my phone on. Any other time I am there to pick her up. Yes she can take the bus but she had no money with her and no bus ticket. If I am not able to drive her I pay for bus tickets for her and give her advance notice. I have NEVER not picked her up or changed my plans with her after I made arrangements with her to do that even if there is a mistake or delay with the time frame she gives me. I certainly have NEVER left her stranded.

Why would I give her an earful because she needed a ride? It certainly wasn’t because she was being inconsiderate and not planning in advance. She understands now that she always needs to have money with her and bus tickets just in case. I thanked (dance teacher) for lending her the $2.50 and I paid her back personally. I felt badly for her and I was sad that I wasn’t available to get her call or know that she needed a ride. I would have left my meeting to get her or called Tracey or Brent to see if they were around to get her.

Why is it so much different for you, you ask? I happen to live with our child. I see her every single day. I see her every single morning before she goes to school. Pretty much every day I either drive her to the bus stop or to (best friend’s) house. I see her every night before she goes to bed. We eat together, watch TV together, walk the dog together, play with the pets together, shop and cook together. I know her friends, her friend’s parents, her dance teachers and I know what is going on at school. I know the courses she is taking, I help her with homework if needed and make sure she has the supplies she needs at home to do her courses. You haven’t even gone to any of her school performances since she has been in high school. I take her to medical appointments, physio, dental appointments. We spend special holidays together. I go to all of her dance competitions, festivals and pretty much anything where she performs. I know her dreams and what she wants to do for a career and post-secondary schooling. I have a relationship with her. I interact and engage with her more than an hour a week. If I only put aside an hour/week to spend with my child I would make it the best hour of my life and hope more that it was her best hour of the week. How much more so when you only put aside an hour every 2 weeks?

I have no interest in fighting with you. I am fighting for our child. I think she should have a relationship with her father and I am trying to shake you awake to give her what any child needs. I am just sad for you that you don’t care to have a relationship with her. She is getting busier and busier in life and you are letting your chance to know our daughter slip through your fingers.

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6 thoughts on “I know, don’t engage. I engaged.

  1. He is not a caring father. It is no longer your job to help him be anything or do anything. You’re a single mother. If you two worked well together at coming to agreement, you’d still be married. (And whether it’s ALL him to you or ALL you to him is irrelevant at this point. ❤ ) It is his duty to be a parent and not your duty to make sure he is. HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS CHILDREN IS NOT YOUR JOB. Be a kickass Mom. And that's it.

    "I've taken your informative suggestion into account. I will no longer contact you about arrangements that need to be made regarding Elder Daughter. The arrangements for Younger Daughter will continue per the court order."

    And then DO that. Gray rock. If he emails you about things like, "I have to go to/run a work BBQ with my Ho-Bag this weekend and cannot keep and/or take along Younger Daughter," you reply with a copy and paste of the court order, then ask for confirmation that he is not taking visitation on his scheduled time and Younger Daughter will remain in your custody for his scheduled visitation days. NO EMOTION. NO INFLAMMATORY REMARKS like, "So you can't even… blah blah blah of basic parental expectations/putting boats n'hoes before parenting, etc."

    You are their mother and you cannot force him to behave like you want a father to behave, EVEN IF YOU ARE 100% CORRECT. If your daughters ask and/or push back, you tell them the facts, as they are. "What Dad does is not something I can control and he is not open to any kind of input from me. If you need something from your father, you're going to have to ask him directly. Legally, I MUST follow the court order. I'm sorry that I cannot do more but these things are beyond my control."

    • Good advice.

      We don’t have a court order for custody though. He left and didn’t want to be a parent. The one time he did have my youngest for the weekend, she was 11, he left her alone and went out to party. She didn’t have a cell phone. He didn’t have a land line. She was terrified. She managed to get on his tablet and contact my older daughter through Facebook who contacted me to pick her up. It was 10:30 at night and he had been gone for 4 hours. I have never seen her so scared. She had been sobbing. She decided then she would never stay at his place again and she never has. He contacted me well after we were home, maybe around 11:30 pm asking if I had our daughter. He was livid and tried to say she was fine and he wasn’t gone very long. Again, his weekend with her and he went to do his own thing with no regard for her. Nothing has changed with him. My lawyer told me the best thing I can do with a dad like him is to accept that the kids are with me 100% of the time. It is exhausting and I can get resentful and ticked off that he does this to our children, Hence the emails.

      • No divorce agreement. No divorce. He keeps telling me the papers are coming. We have a mediation agreement around support payment amounts and division of assets. He didn’t even “maintain” his life insurance as we agreed. He dropped it by $500,000! He really doesn’t care about looking after his kids in this life or when he is gone. The mediation agreement was never finalized into a separation agreement and there is no details about custody. He claims that he is following the mediation agreement but he is not. We went to court in January 2016 and I received some court orders regarding payment and disclosure. 3 Issues are still considered live issues in court. We should be back in court again before year end as this man owes me way too much money. He decided he would see the kids once/week and every other weekend. I guess in his mind he set that as a loose idea of how much time he was prepared to spend with his girls but he couldn’t maintain that either. He is very happy for me to have custody (in his mind responsibility) of the girls. He hates the fact there is any legal obligation for him to pay support and he is not paying the legal requirement. I will file for divorce once everything else is in place.

  2. When people show you who they are, believe them.

    Start writing these letters and don’t send them. Just blog post them. Whatever. Be Teflon. He is never going to understand, he only speaks the language of ‘ME’. It’s not time well spent and he will continue to try to egg you on.

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