My ex-husband is very stuck on this concept of “his time” with the kids. If they contact me, it gets him in a irked. If I go to a game or event that one of the kids are in (and I get there before him, which means he always sits far away from me…when I get there after him, I cut the problem out entirely and just sit near him and newly Wife of the Same Name) and one of them wants to sit next to me, he throws a fit and tries to tell them no because it’s his weekend. Even if I just ask them if they had a good weekend and did they do anything fun, he accuses me of “interrogating” them.
An example – a few nights ago during one of his 5-8 visitations, our daughter texted me that they weren’t going to be going to an event that our boys were involved in. I told her thanks for letting me know, so I didn’t show up and end up being the only parent with no kids there. So I mentioned to EX that I wish he’d have let me know they weren’t going, even though I was going to go late, I could have had my mom pick them up since she was going to the same place. My daughter came home after this and was upset because her dad and Wife of the Same Name decided to lecture her about letting me know the whereabouts of MY OWN KIDS. They told her that it was her dad’s time and that they were the adults there and should be allowed to have that time. She tried telling them that she told me so I wouldn’t show up to the activity and not find the kids, but they didn’t listen.
90% of the time anymore, I try to stay out of issues that occur when they are at their dad’s. I’ve found that when I try to do what I think is the right thing and let him know when there are issues, it makes his paranoia worse and he becomes obsessed with keeping our kids’ lives with him, secret. I’ve tried explaining to him that the only part I want to know is anything that affects them or me, but he doesn’t seem to get that concept. Instead, when I told him that our daughter came home, feeling that she had been wrongly lectured when all she wanted to do was let me know they weren’t going to be somewhere I was supposed to meet up with them, he responded this:
“Lectured may be a strong way of putting it. She was reminded that she is not the parent and it is not her place to inform you on every move I’m making when it is my time with my children.”
His children. His. That went through my heart like a stake. Wasn’t this the man that I was in a relationship with for 16 years? I had three children with him…and now they are his. He spends less than 20% of their time with them…and now they are his.
The thing is, I would welcome him to join in their lives a little more. If they want to contact him or he them during the other 80% of their time, MY time, I am more than happy to have that happen…but it never does.
The last time I checked, it was his and my life that separated, not the kids. They go back and forth, but that is their life. They live that with both of us and, although he and I are separate, that’s their continuous life. I just don’t know how to get that through to him.