So it has come to this… my kids are torn, they want to see their dad, but they don’t want to see him too. Why you ask? Because my Ex and his girlfriend are forcing the boys to bond as a family. The girlfriend is pushing herself into every aspect of their relationship with their dad and bringing her daughter along for the ride as well. Now don’t get me wrong they love their dad and want to be with him (something I encourage them to do), but they want to be in his apartment not forced to spend 100% of their weekend (including sleeping) at the girlfriend’s house.
It is now to the point where my kids are begging me NOT to tell their dad about their events/activities because they don’t want her to come along. My 9yr old actually cried last night begging me not to tell his dad about something that is happening in a few weeks. I told him it would be hard to not tell dad as the event takes place on a night they are supposed to go to dad. He then begged me to make an excuse that we had something else to do and would have to go to him late. He said he did not mind if his dad came but that he did not want the girlfriend and her daughter there. (Apparently he also begged them not to go to an event earlier this week, but they came anyway).
My 8 yr old and 6yr old are upset as well. They miss having one-on-one quality time with their dad. While the girlfriend swears they get that at her place they really don’t. They are very upset that they alway have to stay at the girlfriend’s house. My 8yr old is so torn. He is debating if it is even worthwhile to go to dad at all. I find this very sad. My 6yr old cries at least 2-3 nights a week over this. Telling me he hates it there, that he never gets to talk with daddy because daddy is always talking to the girlfriend.
While I am very sad about this and have tried to facilitate the discussion with both the Ex and the girlfriend it has gotten no where. My kids are beside themselves and I am upset for them. What I don’t get is why are they trying too hard to force the issue? Don’t they understand that for the sake of the kids you need to go slow and let things develop naturally? Why don’t they listen to the kids when they kids clearly say what they want? (And yes I have heard them say exactly what they want to their dad and he blows them off).
My kids are struggling with loving their dad, wanting to be with him, yet hating him for how he wants to be with them and not wanting to see him at all. But then the thought of not seeing him hurts them so bad they cry. But then the thought of another weekend at the girlfriend’s house also makes them cry.
So what it comes down to is this… the kids are slowly turing their frustrations with the situation into genuine hatred for the girlfriend and her daughter (who has an obvious crush on my 9yr old though the Ex and the girlfriend deny it). Eventually this will all come to a head where they will state that they hate the girlfriend and her daughter and don’t want to see their dad if they have to see him there.
Sad part is that this could all have been avoided if they just listened to the kids and stopped forcing the issue. Taking things slow would have helped. Now it’s too late, the ball is rolling toward a massive explosive end. The Ex and the girlfriend could still stop it and save they day, but they won’t. They think they know what is best, they think the kids are happy, they are delusional and live in their own world.
So I will do what I always do for my kids. I’ll be there to pick up the pieces. To hold them and tell them how much I love them and care for them. to explain to them yet again that their dad loves them, he just can’t show it in the way they want. But most of all, I will be there to listen and acknowledge their feelings cause that’s what a loving caring parent does.