Ladies, stop using your child against your ex

Something has been weighing on my mind lately that I just feel like I need to speak on. This may not sit well and you may not agree with me but this is what I’ve observed far too often with my friends and family which leads me to believe it’s likely fairly common. My observation is that women, all too frequently, use their children to try and hurt their exes. I understand being emotional and being angry with someone but I cannot understand using your child as a weapon against someone at your CHILD’S EXPENSE.

Now before you start telling me some line about how he is up to no good or he’s won’t provide a healthy environment for your child, I want you to really think about what you’re saying and what is actually real.  Could it be that you’re so caught up in being angry and hurt and wanting to get back to him that you’re sacrificing your child’s relationship (and arguably the most important relationship they will have in their life) with their father, just to get some kind of revenge on your ex? Sounds like to me you’re creating a pretty toxic environment for your child. Not only is it toxic, I would argue that it’s emotionally abusive to poison your child against their father.  Now I am sure this happens where father’s have custody in a reverse situation but we’re going to ignore that for a minute because I’m seeing this happen repeatedly with my male friends and I just can’t keep quiet about it anymore.

Let me give you something to think about. My children, ages 7 and 5, have only seen their father in supervised visitation since the summer of 2016. They can’t stay with him overnight. They can’t spend quality time with him. They can’t even share a simple meal with him! Now he put himself in this situation; if it were up to me, he would be able to see our children in an unrestricted environment and they would get to spend as much time as they could with him. So for me to sit back and have to watch these women take their children from men who are probably flawed (aren’t we all) but solid guys who really only care about providing the best for their children, for no other reason than they are being vindictive….it makes me see RED. When I hear my children cry at night and beg me for their Dad and I can’t do a single thing about it, it rips my heart out of my chest and I cannot imagine doing that to my child on purpose. It is wrong, plain and simple.

I have a friend, we’ll call him Jack (because I know he doesn’t want his business blasted all over the internet) who isn’t a perfect guy and admittedly was kind of a shitty husband. He and his wife divorced but he stays in the same area where she lives because he wants to be close to their daughter. After his divorce, he was left with no place to live, no furniture, she got it all. Full custody is awarded to the mother, and he didn’t fight it because he trusted her to do the right thing; not an ideal situation but he’ll make it work, right? He’s promised unrestricted access to his child but slowly it becomes apparent that he’s being pushed out of his child’s life and left out of any decisions regarding his daughter. Things are going along, he’s seeing his child and spending time with her and his ex decides to move over two hours away with less than a week’s notice. This is after Jack had moved to be closer to his child and at a reasonable distance from work and his ex admitted she’d been planning the move for several months.  At this point, he’s only seeing his baby girl four days a week and after a weekend visitation that ended in an argument, she decides to take out a restraining order on him. When he goes to the hearing, he didn’t get an attorney because he thought there was no possible way it would be validated when it was completely unfounded and without any evidence. He found out the hard way to never go to court without a lawyer, probably even more so if you’re innocent! Not only did he lose all rights to visit his daughter, he then had to fight for over a year to get the restraining order removed and he still has not been able to see his child or have any contact with her whatsoever. It makes me sick!

This is all too common and ladies, it needs to stop. My friend Aaron (again, not a real name to protect the innocent) recently separated from his significant other with whom he had a child. He also went to the custody hearing without a lawyer. In the temporary orders it stated he could not have his own child at his new residence (listed the address), he could not drive with her, could not have her around any significant others he may pursue a relationship with, must have a place for visitation where she would have her own room and cannot take her out of the county her mother resides in. How unfair is that?! Even though he has family that lives outside of the county, he cannot take his own child to visit his mother and even if he could, he couldn’t drive her because of this ridiculous court order. And in order to get this changed, he has to get a lawyer and return to court. Who has the money for that? Why any judge in their right mind would allow such nonsense is beyond me.

I’m angry about this and now that I’m going through this with my ex, I am even more angry because using my kids against him is not something that even crosses my mind. My priority is my children’s safety and wellbeing and part of that wellbeing is to have a good relationship with their father. Study after study has shown how important it is for a child to have strong male role models in their lives and as mothers, we should be encouraging healthy relationships with arguably the most important male influence, not hindering it. This is not to say you shouldn’t be protecting your child from abusive or dangerous situations. Obviously, I would always encourage you to err on the side of caution but at the same time, don’t allow your anger towards your ex to cause you to stunt the father’s ability to be a part of their child’s life.

Stay salty, friends.

Lacie

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