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No consequences

JanaGreen posted 10/23/2020 11:31 AM

Very long story, but to hit the high points, my ex took the kids on vacation last week and my parents happened to be staying nearby, around 20 min away. My parents took the kids Thursday night and were bringing them back to him Friday evening. His fiancee went home Friday for a family thing and they got into a fight on the way to the airport. After he dropped her off, he went to a bar near his rental house and started drinking.

He called me about an hour before my parents were supposed to bring the kids back, supposedly to talk about concerns with our son, but it was more just rambling repetitive incoherence, and I pretty quickly deduced that he was drunk. So I talked to him for a while telling him he needed to stop drinking, and he told me he was, but when he told me to "hold on" and then I heard him not only try to order three shots, but then also get denied service, I told him I was hanging up with him and calling my parents to tell them to take the kids back with them.

So they had been sitting at his rental house trying to call him and text him, and my daughter was upset and worried. I got in touch with them, and unfortunately they decided to go in and get more clothes for the kids and he showed up while they were there. He scared my daughter because he kept telling her he loved her soooo much and crying. He had an absolutely bananas conversation with my dad about how upset he was about an argument he had with my sister 11 years ago (which he then called me and yelled about after they left). Just ridiculous behavior.

Next day he called my parents and apologized and then called me. He said, "This us why I don't drink anymore." And USUALLY he doesn't and I've never known him to drink around the kids. I think for most normal people, you can think, I have a few hours to myself, I'm going to have a glass of wine or three, but I cant get too crazy because I have to be responsible for my children later. But he very, very often turns into the drunkest guy in the room when he drinks.

So now we are reeling from this experience and he says he doesn't even remember it. I have all these things in my mind that he said, plus the terror of being in another time zone and helpless to protect my kids. My parents have this drama in their minds. My daughter saw her dad blotto. And her birthday party is this weekend. So we all have to suck it up and smile. I'm so mad because things are hard enough, I'm trying to deal with all kinds of early intervention stuff for my epileptic son, my daughter is struggling with online learning and missing her friends. There's so much unavoidable stress and he chose to just take a big old drama dump on everyone and it could have been avoided.

I was venting to my boyfriend about it and he said, "It's just like everything else in his life, he has no consequences." And it's true.

But am I the one who should impose consequences or does that just hurt the kids? My lawyer friend's advice was to document everything that happened that night, which I did, but one incident doesn't make a pattern and won't be grounds for a custody change. There was one incident two years ago where he was supposed to pick up the kids and "accidentally" got too drunk and didn't come. But they were in my care and we didn't have a custody schedule then.

Not even sure what I'm looking for here. I'm angry. Really angry.

HalfTime2017 posted 10/23/2020 12:43 PM

I would document this event, and any future events of this kind to take full custody of the kids. That would be an incredible consequence to a parent. Document the text, the exchange with the kids and put the guy on notice.

hcsv posted 10/23/2020 13:02 PM

Get your parents to document their interaction with him that night, also.

BrokenheartedUK posted 10/23/2020 16:20 PM

Ugh. This sounds like my Ex but our kids are older so when/if he gets like that theyíre like ďnope.Ē And they leave or hang up the phone or whatever.

Iíd wager that your Ex drinks more than you probably know. If he gets blotto when he does drink thatís a bad sign that thereís a problem.

Iíd read him the riot act in no uncertain terms if he usually isnít drunk around the the kids threatening legal action (even if you canít make a case) and prepare your children for contingency plans should this happen again.

FWIW if he does have a problem he will start to suffer consequences. My Ex certainly has (lost his driverís license for 11 months with a DUI, lost his kids respect, bad judgement exercised when drinking ie the affair all had in the end severe consequences). Itís annoying AF to be tethered to someone like this because of the children but you donít owe him staying on the call when heís drunk. I feel you.

twicefooled posted 10/24/2020 09:35 AM

You've been heard. I think our exes are very similar.

Mine has been battling addiction (to any drug he can get his hands on) for a lot of years now.

My kids are now older but they were young when we split (was 6 and 9, now 14 and 17).

The consequences of their actions come later in life with their kids. My kids don't want to be around their dad when he's high (sometimes he's "sober" (ie not using but not in treatment). The kids refuse to deal with him if he's not sober.

I'm the stable parent to them. I'm the parent they share their day with. I'm the parent they trust. I'm the parent they know will drop everything to be there. I'm the parent they are proud of.

THAT is my ex's consequences. And I don't have to dole it out - he did it to himself.

josiep posted 10/24/2020 13:13 PM

AlAnon for you, Alateen for the kids. Generally speaking, people who do what he did are considered alcoholics. The alcohol affects them so they don't remember what they did; it's called a blackout and many of the experts in the field believe blackouts are a prime indicator of the disease of alcoholism.

AlAnon is available online, on Podcasts, YouTube, their own website, etc. I highly recommend it. My life wouldn't be such a mess today if I'd stuck with it years ago.

JanaGreen posted 10/24/2020 13:28 PM

Josiep, the incident that brought me here initially occurred when he was in a partial blackout. I honestly think there's something weird about how his body processes alcohol. I've never seen him vomit from drinking. I'm not physically capable of getting as drunk as he does. My body would reject that much booze after a certain point. His never does.

Stinger posted 10/25/2020 07:46 AM

He is an alcoholic. I would endeavor to keep the kids away from him until he gets help.

My dad could drink incredible amounts like that, too. We were terrified of him.

truthsetmefree posted 10/25/2020 12:40 PM

First off Jana...I would look at this less as imposing consequences and more as a matter of setting/enforcing boundaries. HE is the one that decides if he will suffer consequences. In relation to him and as your role as mother, your job is to set boundaries that protect and provide for the best interest of your children.

I donít remember the age of your children but it may be time to have an age-appropriate conversation with them about how daddy behaves when heís had too much to drink - both in how to recognize it as well as some options of what they can do if they find themselves in that situation. Again, this would depend on their age. While there are avenues you can pursue through the courts to protect them, I think it also wise to arm them so they can play a role in protecting themselves..even if thatís just simply having a means and knowing who to call.

I donít blame you for being angry...for being really angry. Itís your kids.

Chrysalis123 posted 10/25/2020 13:52 PM

If it ever happens again and he has the kids or is about to get the kids, call the police for a welfare check. Explain to them what the custody order has and you would like a report on his condition. That way, you will have 3rd party police verification.

JanaGreen posted 10/26/2020 00:28 AM

Truth, they are 11 and 5. My daughter told me that she had never seen him like that before. She was very worried about him and kept asking if he would be ok. Which is terrible, but silver lining is that she hadn't seen that behavior before.

My son - he was oblivious. All he cared about was that he was with my parents and was thrilled to go back to my uncle's house because there was a pool and a cat there.

My daughter hasn't brought this incident up to me since she's been home. I kept the kids all last week and she seemed ok. My mom talked to her, her dad apologized to her, I talked to her on the phone. I'm sure we will talk about it soon but I'm letting her come to me. But she has a phone and I will let her know that she can call me if she ever feels uncomfortable or unsafe.

josiep posted 10/28/2020 11:29 AM

Another of the "parameters" used to "diagnose" alcoholism (which isn't for me to do which is why I try to be careful with my wording) is vomiting. Alcoholics rarely vomit and some say that if you do vomit from drinking too much that your body will never become alcoholic because it'll reject the alcohol before it can do the damage.

Alcoholism is a disease and the alcohol does affect them differently than it does people without the disease. My XWH told me that, in hindsight, he could see he was an alcoholic the first time he drank in H.S., that it affected him differently than the other guys he was with.

And this is where AlAnon would be so beneficial to you and your children because it helps us not get insane from living with the insanity of it all.

Believe me, no one WANTS to become an alcoholic but once a person is, it's very difficult to quit. And we can't understand it because we aren't alcoholic.

The best thing I learned in counseling:
"He's not an alcoholic because he drinks too much; he drinks too much because he's an alcoholic."

reborn07 posted 11/4/2020 00:19 AM

hey JG 👋🏻😊... i have been dying to post in NB. (u seem to be pretty seasoned here) iíve been hangin out in JFO tryna pull people out of the ditch, but i wanted to open up a dialogue in the land of the living .... youíre ex sounds like a douche, and you sound like a parent that cares. as long as you keep doing what youíre doing, your kids will accidentally distance themselves from your ex just because they know who has their best interest in mind 🤷🏻‍♂️ iím probably gonna start a thread here, maybe

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