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Divorce/Separation :
Kids want to go to Dad’s house

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 FuturewasStolen (original poster member #74119) posted at 6:54 PM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

How do you all deal with when the kids want to go to the other’s house?

My kids are 2, 4, and 5, all boys. Right now their dad has them over the weekend, I have them during the week. We are still early in the divorce process and have no written custody terms.

My house has remained as normal as I can do. Same rules apply, bedtimes, mealtimes, snacks, baths, the whole thing. His house is a different story. As far as I can tell it’s pretty much a free for all. McDonald’s weekly. Chuckie Cheese weekly. Stay up watching tv until you sleep, sleep wherever you want. Giant water slide bouncy castle outside.

I’ve heard in the long run they will see through all that. That I should do my best to stay stable and keep the discipline as normal. I told myself that they’re so young, they don’t mean to hurt me when they say they want to go over there. That it’s even a good thing because I want them to have a good relationship with their dad. But ever since summer break started it’s been everyday that they want to go over there, all three of them. And it really hurts.

I guess I’m looking for people who have been in my shoes. Give me some hope?

Me: BW (33) Him: WH (34) Married 6 years Dday 1: 2/25/20 Affair for 1 year; Started R for real: 6/1/20 Three boys together: 5, 4, 2 Dday 2: 11/28/21 Affair for 6 months Don't know how many other girls he was "just talking to"

posts: 99   ·   registered: Mar. 30th, 2020   ·   location: Michigan
id 8739206
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:24 PM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

They only know one thing. FUN!!!

They are three little boys who are not choosing mom vs dad. Please stop feeling hurt by their desire to go to their dad’s house.

Instead continue to do what you are doing. Keeping them grounded and letting them know there are rules and regulations- school, homework, bedtime healthy meals, etc. at your house.

This is so new the novelty for him being Disney Dad will wear off at some point.

In a few years if they get involved in sports or activities they won’t have time to go to dad’s house.

They love you both. Just know that.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12339   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8739213
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 8:16 PM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

I share custody. Here's my advice: Make a fairer schedule with your ex- this one is a bad schedule.

A custody schedule is best split with you having at least two full weekends per month, so that you have time for fun with the kids, too. Dad can also have some time with them during the week, so he will get the same number of days. Will dad complain and not like that idea? Sure. He doesn't want responsibility. He wants it easy. Tough. It's wrong for you to get stuck with all of the work and none of the fun. Don't stick with a dad-every-weekend schedule, or your kids will inevitably see you as the drudge and him as the fun. That is manipulation on your ex's part that can damage your relationship with your children if it becomes set in stone long-term. Do not allow that to become the official custody schedule. If you're religious, him having every weekend also means they'll never attend services with you. Every weekend with dad is not a fair custody schedule. This is definitely something worth fighting for if needed. It's more important than money.

Once you have a better schedule in place, do not respond to the kids' requests to go to their dad's. They will see him often enough as the schedule indicates. This is one place that sticking to the orderly discipline in your home will be useful. Once they realize that asking to go to dad's will have no effect, the requests will quickly taper off.

Don't worry, your kids love you and always will. Ignore what they report about dad's house. "That's fine when you're at your father's house, but we have a different way of doing things here" is all you ever need to say in response to comparisons. They'll figure out as adults that you're the primary reason why they are educated, employable, have social skills, etc.

One caveat, don't feel like you don't need to ever do anything fun because they seem to have lots of fun with their dad. You need to make fun memories with them, too, for your sake as much as theirs. So schedule fun things with them as much as you would have before the break-up. But you'll need the time available to have fun, which is why you also need two weekends per month with them.

Fight for two weekends per month. Even if dad declines to have them at all during the week, then okay, but you're still getting your two weekends per month. You MUST have your regular weekends with them. It isn't just about fun. It's about having uninterrupted time to bond. It's crucial and weekdays are too busy, especially when they're in school and have homework, etc.

[This message edited by morningglory at 9:26 PM, Wednesday, June 8th]

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739221
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 8:54 PM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

I agree with everything MorningGlory has said. You need to set up a parenting schedule. I would find out what is customary in your jurisdiction and set up something similar. They're young, so every other week for a full week probably wouldn't work. I would have them have a set overnight with dad once a week and you switch weekends. You need to be having fun time with them too, and you cannot do that if you don't have weekend time with him.

Once you set up a parenting schedule, then you can say, "It's Tuesday, and your overnight with dad is tomorrow, Wednesday. You'll see him and get to spend time with him then."

Once you have something set up and a schedule to adhere to, it will be easier.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33095   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8739224
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:50 PM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Agreed with Morningglory and Cat. You're getting screwed on the schedule. If Uncle Daddy is having it rough making time in his work schedule, that's too bad. He's the one who broke up the family dynamic. He can figure out how to make it work. Consider also that while kids will always choose in favor of less discipline and more treats, that's not the best thing for them. Don't feel bad for a minute about loving them enough to raise them right.

((hugs))

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5767   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8739229
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 FuturewasStolen (original poster member #74119) posted at 12:57 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

I also agree with all of you! There is no way that I'm giving up every weekend in writing!! My oldest was only in preschool this year, but that was hard enough. It sucks having to be the parent to do all the hard stuff, and then he gets to be free-for-all weekend dad.

He works out of town all week long so this seemed like the most reasonable schedule for right now. And especially with summer break it seems to be ok. But even then, you think about events, parties, things like that all happen on the weekends. I want to have it in writing that weekends are split per month, even if I let him have extra time in reality. It is his fault that we're doing this in the first place, and if he can't see them during the week that's up to him too, but in the end, its my kids who will suffer from it. I do want them to have a relationship with their dad. They adore him. But during the school year it's not going to work.

I know that they love me. And I know that being the "fun" parent is only temporary - kids need a parent, not a friend. Thank you for the words of advice and the encouragement. They are so young; it's going to be a long road ahead of me of dealing with this.

Me: BW (33) Him: WH (34) Married 6 years Dday 1: 2/25/20 Affair for 1 year; Started R for real: 6/1/20 Three boys together: 5, 4, 2 Dday 2: 11/28/21 Affair for 6 months Don't know how many other girls he was "just talking to"

posts: 99   ·   registered: Mar. 30th, 2020   ·   location: Michigan
id 8739248
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movingonward ( new member #78412) posted at 12:59 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

You women make me laugh. Since when is having fun with dad such a bad thing? "Disney dad"…really? Lol. Dad’s make just as good of parents as mom’s do. Hopefully the courts start waking up to 50/50 custody.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8739249
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countrydirt ( member #55758) posted at 3:49 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

I have a couple of sets of friends that found that 7 days on and 7 days off works well. Both sets of friends had to change their work schedules to make it work.

Good luck to you.

[This message edited by countrydirt at 3:53 AM, Thursday, June 9th]

3 adult sonsMarried 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021

posts: 415   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8739266
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 4:11 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Disney dad is a real situation where one parent (in this case it is the father) just wants to be the fun parent w/no rules etc.

It’s just over compensating.

The term is often used for a parent who before the D paid little to no attention to the kids but after the D, all of a sudden they want to be an involved parent. And the fun "cool" parent.

Sorry if the term offended anyone. I just assumed people understood the implication. And it’s not restricted to just dads - it is used for moms too.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 11:49 AM, Thursday, June 9th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12339   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8739268
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movingonward ( new member #78412) posted at 5:21 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

It sounds like sour grapes to me. Different rules for different households. Isn’t that why people get divorced? To get out from underneath the other person’s thumb and to raise the kids the best way you know how…your way. I know it is for me. My kids wouldn’t know what a vacation was unless for me. That doesn’t make me a Disney dad. It offensive that some women think the only value that a father has to add is having no rules and making every minute ‘fun time’. There’s such value a father can add to a child’s life that a single mom just can’t. Especially in this post where there are three small boys involved. OP should embrace the fact that her kids want to spend time with both parents instead of complaining about it.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8739275
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 7:54 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

movingonward:

Actually, if you read futurewasstolen’s posts you would know that in this case she is getting divorced because her remorseless, cruel, serial cheating, deceitful, abusive, blameshifting WH led her on for months in false R, while cheating with the OW. He destroyed his boys intact family to move in with the OW and her two children. The OP’s pain is not sour grapes. Her WH traveled for work and used that time to have sex with other women, while she took care of the kids. Is it good that the children build a positive relationship with both parents? Yes. Does it hurt when you’ve been a faithful, loving spouse and terribly betrayed, then to see your cheating WH’s fake attempts to buy his children’s affection with no house rules and gifts? Of course.

[This message edited by fareast at 2:15 AM, June 9th (Thursday)]

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3216   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8739285
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 10:43 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

It’s not a gender issue but a parenting issue. I think it’s more related to routine and adaptability than intent. Back in the "old days" the roles were clear – he worked, and you worked and managed the kids and home. He hasn’t changed his routine and adapted to a new reality. Maybe he can, maybe he won’t.

I would consult with an attorney because the behaviors over the next weeks and months will probably be the base for future custody. By default (in most states/countries) custody is 50/50. The division of that time is then decided by the parents. It’s generally week by week, but theoretically it could be half a year at dad and half a year a mom. In this instance it sounds like dad can only have the kids 2 days out of 7, making this 70/30 rather than 50/50.
Furthermore – a Judge acknowledges that weekdays are not all the same. Based on what you share then I doubt your ex would get more than every second weekend, so it drops to 15/85. The judge would clearly see this impacts your ability earn an income and that in turn will impact division of assets, spousal support and child support.

Like I said: Consult with an attorney. Don’t deny your kids access to their dad (that would be negative in court) but document in detail what time they are with you, with him and so on. Make a formal or traceable suggestion for alternative weeks or some other path that he can accept his 50/50, and then make him refuse it or not utilize it.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10828   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8739289
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 12:28 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

To piggyback onto what Bigger said, he is going to have to arrange his work schedule to be able to adhere to a parenting schedule. And if he doesn't want to put in the effort, he's going to have to pay more in support and possibly alimony.

My now-ex traveled extensively and I always picked up the slack. I got a nice settlement because of it. Again, document everything and I would definitely demand every other weekend. All of your parenting time should not be during the week when things can be rushed and chaotic.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33095   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8739301
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 FuturewasStolen (original poster member #74119) posted at 1:39 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Firstly, to 1stwife and fareast - thank you so much for your words and defending me. It feels amazing to have strangers over the internet care enough to speak out on my behalf like that!

Secondly, to movingonward. I think you may be one of two things: 1. someone who is just trolling around and trying to offend people, or 2. someone who is hurting themselves due to a similar issue and is taking their pain out on others. I really hope it's #2. Maybe you are a dad yourself and you are trying to have a relationship with your kids but you are meeting resistance of some kind. I don't know your situation. But whatever the case, it's not right for you to come on here and attack me or anyone else. This is a place where people come to be vulnerable with their feelings, pain, and fears. Yes, there is a time when tough love is appropriate, but that is not what you were giving. You were mocking and insulting. And if you even bothered to read my post, never mind any of my past posts, you would see that I mentioned that I want my boys to have a good relationship with their dad. I know that that is important and I want that for them. The post was not even about that. It was about my fear that my kids will be manipulated into wanting to be with their dad and not with me. So, if you are #2 and are hurting yourself, I would encourage you to make your own post. There are so many people here who will give you support. But hyjacking someone else's post with thinly-related nonsense is not appropriate. People are already dealing with enough pain from their wayward spouse. They are already dealing with enough bullying from them in most cases as well. They don't need more from you.


Anyway, I appreciate the other responses with advice and support. The main theme seems to be that the current schedule isn't fair and isn't going to work. I agree. It's going to be a hard transition figuring out a new schedule. As a stay-at-home mom I am used to adjusting my schedule to whatever best suited my STBXH and his schedule. I was always the one to change things or pick up the slack. It's been ingrained in me to make things easier for him. It got to the point where I definitely considered his time more valuable than mine. While this makes sense when you're married (again, to a point. I don't think it's healthy to the extreme that it became in my relationship), it's not necessarily how it should be now that we are separated. I need to start thinking a little more about my needs, and what will work for me too, not just him.

Me: BW (33) Him: WH (34) Married 6 years Dday 1: 2/25/20 Affair for 1 year; Started R for real: 6/1/20 Three boys together: 5, 4, 2 Dday 2: 11/28/21 Affair for 6 months Don't know how many other girls he was "just talking to"

posts: 99   ·   registered: Mar. 30th, 2020   ·   location: Michigan
id 8739306
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 2:47 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

I'd offer every other weekend and that would be that. He's working out of town. He's not in a position to argue with you. Bigger is right. When you do get to court, you'll already have a precedent set. Your boys will get used to the schedule.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5767   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8739317
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:53 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Quality time over quantity. Even having the kids M-th, after subtracting school, work, and sleep you are only getting a few of hours of quality time a night max. Like 9 hours total. And that's without subtracting for homework, baths, eating etc. He'll be getting close to 30 hours of quality time having them Friday to Sunday night. Balance the schedule now. Give him every other weekend and a few nights during the week. If he can't take them when scheduled, that's his problem. Just note which days he doesn't.

[This message edited by grubs at 2:54 PM, Thursday, June 9th]

posts: 1265   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8739319
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 3:31 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

What everyone said!!! Go online and search your state visitation schedule.
Can you secretly go an atty and see what they suggest you do? In my situation, the atty said for me to not file right away bc he was paying the house payment and most bills. He also said to tell xh I want every other weekend, but to make sure I gave him unlimited access all the other times. He told me to keep a secret log of every time he called/texted the kids and got them.

He’s gonna be a baby about u getting your weekends, but don’t explain yourself. You’re entitled to every other weekend down time with your kids and I’m pretty sure every single state has LAWS backing this!!!!!!!!

My atty actually said not to email my xh, shocked but in your area, the atty might want paper trails of you trying to work with your xh, but getting your time with your kids.,

Fwiw it was pretty boring at my house, compared to Dads, but I tried to do free stuff with my kids. And your xh needs to see what he’s missing by choosing OW over having his children nearby every weekend. But most importantly, it’s your time and you’re setting a precedent by giving your weekend rights to your WS.

A side note-I was spending all my $$ on food, many months later I spoke to someone at SNAP-food stamps. She said when I didn’t have legal separation papers, I was eligible for full SNAP benefits. crying I would have gotten 580/month instead of having to use credit cards. She said their first priority is keeping children fed.

Keep posting here!!!!

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5427   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8739331
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 3:32 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

You women make me laugh.


It sounds like sour grapes to me.


Is there a way to report trolling/abusive threads on this forum?

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739332
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 3:44 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

I want to have it in writing that weekends are split per month, even if I let him have extra time in reality. It is his fault that we're doing this in the first place, and if he can't see them during the week that's up to him too, but in the end, its my kids who will suffer from it. I do want them to have a relationship with their dad.

Good to know that you're going to hold out for weekends with your kids in the custody settlement. Custody negotiations can be stressful, so stay strong on that point.

A couple of other notes based on my experience (have shared custody with a narc for over 10 years):

1. With a difficult ex (and yours is difficult), be careful about not letting yourself be pressured to go against the schedule all of the time. The beauty of a legal custody agreement is that once it's signed and sealed by the judge, you don't have to negotiate with your difficult ex anymore. Don't underestimate that luxury. If you get into the habit of giving him extra time, you'll find yourself communicating and negotiating with him a lot, getting mistreated by him and frustrated. Ask me how I know. Never be afraid to say, "No, we're going to stick to the custody schedule on that." Once it's signed and sealed, the custody schedule isn't just one option that the two of you have to agree to- it's a legal requirement that can only be sidestepped by your mutual agreement. Seems obvious, but when you have a narcissistic, abusive ex, it can be easy to get intimidated.

2. This is going to be hard for you to accept, but you really shouldn't take on the role of facilitator of your children's relationship with their father. The amount of time he wants to invest in them is HIS choice, and is ultimately a reflection of how much he cares for them. As a person with a child and a full time career I can tell you that no job would get in the way of me seeing my child regularly, so don't let that be the excuse for you to try to manage their relationship. Just let him be the dad on his own terms. Let the children experience the relationship with them that he creates, not you. The reason is that once they fly the nest, you won't still be managing their relationship, and you don't want them to suddenly be surprised that he isn't there for them (because you had always created the illusion to them that he was a great father, even though he wasn't). That would feel like a betrayal to them.

Maybe he is a very invested father, if so, great. If he is, he will invest the time needed during the week, changing jobs to a more family-friendly one if need be. Let him manage and maintain his own relationship with the kids.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739335
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Lalagirl ( member #14576) posted at 3:46 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Is there a way to report trolling/abusive threads on this forum?


Yes. Ask for a moderator - start a new post and put "Mod Please" as the thread topic.

Me-56 FWH-58 Married 38 years 9/2/2021 grown daughters-38&34 12yo GS,9yo GD & 7yo.GD (DD38) and 10yo GD & 5yo GD(DD34). D-day #1-1/06; D-day #2-3/07 Reconciled! Construction Complete. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant

posts: 8877   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2007
id 8739336
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