Co-Parenting, or lack thereof can be trying for all of us. I am on your Twitter, so I see so many of you struggling on this front with your baby daddies, or your baby mamas and I am just appalled that people believe that their actions are okay. In my situation, I am co-parenting with a narcissist. That may apply to you, and it may not, but my ex is a narcissist so that coupled with technology, and a new spouse who may feel threatened by your mere existence is a recipe for DISASTER.
Things between my ex and I have not always been as they are now. We were divorced in 2016, but continued to date around and date each other until my significant other walked into my life. I knew what I had just been given (a complete gift from God) and so I stopped the toxicity and cycle that I was caught up in with him. This happened on April 15th, 2017. He still was trying to make his gallant return to my children after almost two years of coming in and out of their lives, and in his words “trying to be a better father” and I was hopeful for a wonderful co-parenting relationship. On Father’s Day 2017, he came over and tried to come on to me by giving me a massage. I had been pretty clear on no more since April, and after I turned him down that night, (he was already dating his new girlfriend) that was the end. As business picked up in their relationship that was really the end.
What do I mean by the end? Well, If I needed a co-pay or something like that from him as we are to split the medical bills, he would say “no problem I will get it to you by the end of the week”. When she came along, he stopped paying his half of the bills and told me it was “to be sure he wasn’t being taken advantage of” I still have $900 worth of co-payments that are held up in court along with my child support. Ordered to pay $1260, he did that for a month and then petitioned the court to begin paying less. He has now been paying $558.78/month for two years. He promised once he returned to a real job that he would pay more towards child support. We now have a hearing pending because for two years he has been back to making 75K and has not paid anymore than the $558.78 for both children.
You know what he has done? Had a 10k wedding, covered ALL of her children including the one currently expecting on his insurance, (when I have had to continue to cover my children on my insurance) and anytime that I try to have a conversation with him via phone, He screams into the phone so loud that it could perforate my eardrum. In text, he will anger me and enrage me until I start being as petty as he is, and then in email, where he just doesn’t even respond. This to me is the biggest asshole move on both him and his wives part, as they asked for all communication to go through both of them.
Recently, he has increased his activity with Emma. This was after causing a scene, hiring a lawyer for more time with her, and putting me in a financial hardship because I had to hire a lawyer too, to be awarded 8 extra visits, and then took none of them. I still have to be excited though that he was at least making a better attempt, Right? He came to the house the other day and our new puppy simply went ape. I have never seen the dog bark and carry on like that but still the interaction was decent, and he and Emma went and got her drivers license.
Two days later, I found inappropriate material on my 13-year old’s phone, strictly by accident. She had only had her phone back for two days, went over to her dad’s where she is completely unattended and there she was role-playing with her girlfriend, recording anime porn from her computer onto her phone and sending it out. I was appalled. So I contacted her dad and stepmom via email and asked that they check the computer at their house. The first email was that they do monitor her computer use and they assure me that everything was fine. I emailed back. No, it wasn’t that she had screen recorded the porn on her phone, and that I still parented my children by the rules he and I both had set for them, nothing had changed. I got nothing in return.
Parenting is already frustrating enough without the added insult of having a co-parent, or co-parents spouse who will not allow a relationship between the co-parents to exist. In my case, I feel that a lot of it is just to hurt or punish me as the parent, instead of doing what is actually the overall best for the children. This begins with communication. Not feeling like everything that the other parent says while their hearts are hurting because of the actions of their child, and they are talking to you in a state of upset is about you, or how you interpreted it. It is to get you to sit up and listen and take note that the children are hurt and wounded and acting out and they need BOTH parents to come together at all costs and have a united front. Kids crave structure, and they want the same structure provided when the other parent was in the home.
My challenge for each of us is to find a way to be able to communicate with the other parent and find a way to get on the same page. Divorce is already hard enough where children are involved, and it’s up to us as their parents to set the example that you still love and respect one another as the father/mother of that child. I have tried every way possible to be able to get back on a level of communication with my children’s father, and I am still hopeful that one day that will exist. Hopefully it isn’t before all of our children are grown and he has missed all the best parts of their lives.