My ex and I are having a bit of a disagreement. He wants to see his daughter, I want us to see a counsellor so we can communicate effectively so I can tell him what he needs to know about caring for her. It’s become a bit of a stalemate.
He hasn’t seen her much in the last two years. For the first year or so he didn’t even try to. Things were ok between us though. Then he got a new girlfriend and things changed. He was more demanding, wanting his rights. I tried to be helpful, giving him times when she could have her and so on. No response came to that, probably because I asked him to get his girlfriend to back off. Apparently she’s supposed to be allowed to snark at me whenever she wants, because she’s his girlfriend. And me not wanting to deal with that was enough to make him not take advantage of the times that he could see his daughter.
So things were rocky. What followed was worse – abusive messages from the girlfriend, veiled threats of kidnapping. That eased off for a while, then came the text bombing of demands (followed closely by a new phone number on my part).
In summary, things went well until the girlfriend, and then it got bad pretty quick. His desire to see his child is variable, and his capacity to do so is unknown – this man got child services called on us because he neglected both kids while I was working long hours.
The one thing I have asked of him through this entire process was clear communication. At first I asked for a face-to-face meeting every so often to talk about our daughter, but he wasn’t happy with that. I suggested free counselling through the family court, but he’s not happy with that.
The only thing he needs to do to see his daughter is to agree to counselling or a periodic meeting to discuss things. He’s digging his toes in and saying that we don’t need to talk, which is a line I disagree with quite strongly. I think he thinks that if he makes me feel bad enough that I’ll just give in and do things his way.
I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing or not. Maybe it’s unreasonable to ask this of him. But then, if he wanted to see his daughter that badly, why not just go along with it, rather than spend months attacking me and demanding. How much is it about her and how much is just trying to gain some sort of victory?
I am very conflicted. He tells me that I’m just hiding him from her to make myself feel powerful. I don’t think so, but I’m not sure of myself any more.