I must admit there are times I absolute hate my ex-husband! Times when my daughter acts entitled and as if the rules just not apply to her. It has always been a challenge parenting with such an uncooperative ex-husband. I am fully aware that children will play both parents even if the parents are not divorced. It is just so difficult when an ex-spouse is doing all they can to be the “good” parent while making you look like the “bad” parent. When my daughter gets in trouble she does promptly call her father or go over and complain about what she perceives as unfair. My daughter has the habit of blaming things on others or having excuses for everything.
Example, just this weekend I let her stay at her friends house and then they asked me if she could stay one more night. I agreed as long as she was home at 9am on Sunday. So today, I get a call from my daughter at 9:20am saying her parents have passed right by our house and she wouldn’t be home until after church. It is important my daughter does what we agree to so I can trust her. Her response was that it wasn’t her fault. It doesn’t matter why you were late, you are responsible and have to own it. I gave her the example if you were supposed to get a ride to work and they don’t show up, work could care less what your reasons are for not showing up on time.
Although I do not regret meeting my ex-husband, because I have my daughter as a result of that. There are times I regret just not telling him I was pregnant with our daughter. Perhaps we would have traded off years of hell in trade for my daughter not knowing her father? I know it does no good to wish for things you cannot change, but there are times the regret just sneak in there.
My daughter’s therapist once said that the problem with my ex-husband’s house was it was a “house of excess”. She said they allowed her excessive everything from junk food, shopping, television, etc… She also said it was a house of excess without rules. This always made the transition periods difficult for my daughter going to visit a house where rules do not exist which makes our household seem strict in comparison. I do not believe we are overly strict, in fact, I probably need to move more towards and autocratic parenting style.
Plus, my ex-husband is the king of manipulation and never says anything directly. He always comes about saying something rather indirectly. Many years ago I couldn’t figure out why my daughter was reacting to me the way she was. Eventually, it came out that he wasn’t telling her I was mean but was saying “your mom is going to get mad at you” or “you are going to get in trouble.” Everything he has ever done comes in sideways like that which would make it really hard for a child to realize they are being manipulated.
My daughter is 16 now and I remember being an awful teenager at that age with my mother. You see I too grew up with at father that was just determined to make me hate my mother. The one big difference between my father and ex-husband is my father was always more direct with his negative comments about my mom. He would just tell me my mother was promiscuous or that she was not going to go to heaven. My ex-husband says things like, “you know you only have one dad and it is not your stepdad”. I am not sure how this was received, but this makes my daughter exhibit signs of guilt and perhaps feels she is betraying her dad.
I haven’t written as often because my life has been somewhat more peaceful since we moved further away from my ex-husband. At least now my ex-husband’s wife is less involved with my daughter’s school. The school is in a completely different district and I guess it is too much trouble for them to stay involved like they were. School always has its own drama and I am grateful there is no more added difficulty as there was five years ago (read What a Tangled Web They Weave).
On many levels, my daughter is doing better but we have some disobedience going on and it is a challenge for sure. One day my daughter said that she wanted to go to her dad’s house and they never yell at her. I wrongly replied by saying “they have no rules, what would they yell at you about?” This comment from her came after a conversation that she had 5 failing grades at school and she was angry that I took her phone privileges away. I had also received calls from 2 teachers and the AP at school who all said that my daughter shouldn’t be hanging out with “that girl”. There is a girl at school my daughter knows and she does seem like troubled soul. Wearing the dark black eyeliner and they recorded a video of this girl ‘pretending’ to be high. The only reasons I know
I had also received calls from 2 teachers and the AP at school who all said that my daughter shouldn’t be hanging out with “that girl”. There is a girl at school my daughter knows and she does seem like troubled soul. Wearing the dark black eyeliner and they recorded a video of this girl ‘pretending’ to be high. My step-daughter refers to this kids as the raccoons because of their excessive eyeliner thing. It seems that my daughter could be heading down a wrong path. I know I certainly did when I was her age. The only reasons I know she was pretending is how lucid she was at the end of the videos. There was also another video of a boy pushing this girl’s head suggestively towards his lap. These kids are only 15/16 years old
Anyway, all this stuff is a challenge on its own and it make is extra hard when you have a parent working against you. Unfortunately, my daughter is just a pawn, and this parenting style is not really in her best interests. I will say that kids don’t think so much these days on their recording and posting online, kind if leaves a timeline print of their activities. My ex-husband says I shouldn’t keep on her because I will just push her away. So what I should just let her do whatever she wants by his standards.
“Co-parenting” with an uncooperative ex can be such a nightmare. But hang in there. My sons and daughters (2 of each) all went through the same sorts of things, and finally sort of out-grew their dad (my ex) and his manipulations and lies about me. You have limits and boundaries, and it’s good for your daughter to know them, especially because they are meant for her best interest and not just what is easy for you. It’s never easy to be a mom for a 16yr old girl, especially when her dad is not standing with you and does whatever is easy for him. Your work is not to make her happy all the time, it is to raise her to be a strong, self-sufficient adult. And if she gets mad at you and goes to his house, enjoy the break that gives you and get some rest. Seriously, take care of yourself. You have the most stressful job on the planet right now.
Thank you for your comment. You are right, teenagers are tough enough without extra drama with uncooperative ex-husbands.