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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Advice on absent parents

    Hello all. I'm still quite new here, joined during one of my "down" episodes last month. While I'm rather chipper today, I do have an issue that I'd like some opinions on. Wasn't quite sure if it should go here or in the divorce category, but I'll try here. I'll give some background first... (I'm sorry, this will be lengthy)

    When I became pregnant, my boyfriend said we would get married and he was going to join the army for benefits and to make sure we were taken care of. So for the second half of my pregnancy, I was by myself. He was there for about a week, and had to leave again for training two days after our son was born. He went awol two months later and I had no idea where he was, all I knew was that I couldn't get in touch with him in any way and his phone was off. Finally, when his cell phone bill came in, I got in touch with the last person he had called before it was shut off, only to find out that he was in town and had been for a whole week. That's when I found out he had spent nearly $2000 on drugs and had been on a binge. We (myself and his family) contacted his base and had him sent back.

    A month later, he left again, and hid out at his friend's house for about a month. During this time, he occasionally came to my mom's house to see our son. He never wanted to really spend time with him, was always angry, and only wanted to use my computer. I fell out of love with him, wanted to divorce, but I was scared of him. I finally tried figuring out a way to turn him in to the army without him knowing it was me, but then he was arrested for grand larceny and spent time in jail for a couple months. After that, he was released back to the army, where they ended up simply discharging him (along with a friend of his, and they started doing cocaine). I finally told him I wanted a divorce, and he refused to sign papers. It took months before he'd sign.

    Somewhere in all of this, my son turned a year old (last December) and had barely ever seen his father.

    Several months ago, his dad came back to town, cleaned up, got a job, and finally started keeping our son on weekends. However, he then lost his job, and decided it would be better for everyone if he moved 1500 miles away. I've never received one cent from him for child support (or even when we were together, he literally paid for absolutely NOTHING at all), though it was taken out of his paychecks when he had a job (I still haven't managed to receive any of it yet though). He even tried to claim money that I got back on this year's tax return for expenses I had paid for daycare.

    Now FINALLY, down to the current situation (again, I apologize for how long this this). I live with my boyfriend, we've been together since February and have lived together since sometime in June or July. My son will be two this December, and obviously never sees his dad. His grandparents (on my ex's side) are not allowed to keep him, because his grandfather called him some ugly choice words one day while arguing with my ex. I don't care if he was angry, nobody says things like that about my son. His grandfather doesn't care anyway, he's never apologized. My son's aunts have expressed interest in seeing him, one of them has a daughter who is six months older than my boy. They've never tried to make any kind of plans though.

    Given all of the circumstances, should I bother trying to keep my son aware of his dad, or just let him fade from memory? I have no idea when he'll ever see him again, and my son never asks for him. He has abandoned my boy...I guess three or four times now, with this most recent also being the most permanent. He hasn't called since he moved. Also, should I let my ex's family spend time with my son? Again, they've never actually tried to make any plans, the only time I heard from any of them was when my ex's younger sister was seeing if I needed a babysitter for Halloween weekend (which I didn't). My son is obviously not nearly as important to them as their other grandchild. It's always been very obvious. Should I make an effort to keep them in my son's life, or just let that whole side of the family become more and more distant?

    I feel like some evil woman, keeping my kid away from his dad's family. But that's really not how it is...they just make no effort to be a part of his life. They don't even call to see how he's doing. I want my son to have people who love him and WANT to see him. Not all these people who leave him.

    This is really way too long. Sigh.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    At Home

    Re: Advice on absent parents

    First off welcome to Lifesupporters Railyn. I am sorry for your situation. And your post can be as long as it needs to be so don't be sorry. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, how you raise your son and who you let him come in contact with is your decision. Your ex made his choice and his family have no claim if they don't even show an interest. You know the people in his family well enough to know who is sincere and who is just talking. I wouldn't worry about not letting them see your son. Maybe send a card every Christmas so they can see him grow or something. Take care of you and your son in the best way you can. I hope you come back and keep us up to date on what is happening. There are lots of caring people here so keep coming back.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    The Cloud of Unknowing

    Re: Advice on absent parents

    I think the father of your son is out of the picture. In due time you may want to bring things up with your son. When he is more mature (at least in his teens), and can understand you on an intellectual level.

    With regards to the family on the father's side, I would simply not bother. Since there has been no real support (only abuse), no real interest in your son, you don't owe them a thing. I know it sounds harsh, but knowing some people who went through the same thing, it is better for you and your son that way.

    Also if your relationship with your current boyfriend works out, and if your current boyfriend is happy to act like a father to him, that counts for so much more than what the father of your son is doing.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: Advice on absent parents

    I don't think you should feel guilty about deciding who see's your son and who doesn't. That family obviously doesn't care right now, but they will eventually regret their actions. It may take years for them to realize what they've lost, but that's their problem.

    Aunts and Uncles really have no legal standing. Grandparents can file for visitation, but it is usually set for once a month and is supervised. If they want to see your son so bad one day, let them file for legal visits. Rest assured, given your ex's history, the judge will definitely want an eye kept on your son if visits are ever allowed.

    When your son starts learning about relationships and the big cold cruel world out there, he'll understand what you went through. That would be a great time to let him know what happened. Let him know that he was the absolute best that came out of that family and he is his own person. It doesn't matter who his real father is, your son is not destined to follow in his father's footsteps.

    All children really need is love. You're making the right decision.

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