10-15-2021 05:42 PM
Background; Hi, so my ex has a history of not wanting our daughter to sleep over. We separated when she was 3 yo, i expected to have 50% custody... Hahaha, NOPE.
Saturday only, no sleepover, even though this was her hope (mom moved out) and she was crying "i want to go home now"... NOPE. My ex is not a bad person,,, but she is a massive **bleep** retentive, counts every hair on our daughters head type of deal. A slightly disorganized and imperfect fathers house is no place for her daughter, that's for sure!
Anyway, after breaking many mediated custody arrangements i was eventually forced to drag my ex to court to get parenting orders in place. I was not greedy, i sort only every second weekend. By then my daughter was 7. It was difficult getting my daughter used to sleeping over, but eventually things were good
Now; Now my daughter is 9yo, and during covid my ex forbid me to see my daughter, this is despite the advice that parenting orders should be maintained during covid.
Anyway, 4 months have gone by without me seeing my daughter, oh well, i am not the only one this happened too during covid. but now covid lockdown in Sydney is over, and i am double vaxed.
The problem now is, my daughter is adamant that she does not want to sleep over anymore. I said to her no, she has to come. Now my ex has stepped up and said our daughter refuses to sleep over and is putting it on me to accept the situation and my daughter will come on Sunday only, no sleepover.
I have said that i do not accept this situation and that it is parental alienation, no further response.
So what do i do now? I have got this application for enforcement i can fill out, but i am not sure, since it is my daughters wishes?
I just don't know what to do? Honestly, i feel defeated, i don't even feel like i am a real father anymore, just an occasional babysitter.
10-16-2021 09:17 AM
Hi @Termitex2000 ! I'm very sorry to hear about the way this is being managed. Based on what you're telling me, its not surprising that you're feeling completely alienated. Regarding what your daughter wants - it sounds like a complex interpretation. On the one hand, a 9 year old isn't exactly in a position to truly know what's best for herself. I'm sure if you let her choose her dinner every night she would wake up with diabetes. On the other hand though, completely disregarding how she feels will do you a dis-service in the long run. From where i stand, it seems there is no clear cut right or wrong answer, and ultimately its up to you to decide if you want to challenge this... I would definitely encourage you to follow the appropriate legal course if you wish to challenge it. Legally speaking it sounds like she's in the wrong (i.e. breaking the orders) - however i think regardless it will be important for you to get some legal advice. And regarding making a decision herein, I think developing an accurate understanding of WHY your daughter doesn't want to sleep over will help most in legitimizing your decision. I hope you manage to figure it out. Let us know how things evolve, and be sure to reach out if you yourself are struggling with your metal health.
10-16-2021 09:58 AM
Thanks for your reply,
Some further detail, i have already spoken with my daughter about it on face time, she asked not to sleep over and i said firmly and calmly no. She said that she doesn't want to be away from her ipad and the things she loves doing.
But she seems to have developed the mindset that when someone says no, it does not mean no, it just means you have not convinced them to agree with you yet, but eventually you will get what you want. This is exactly the same mindset as her mother, and i never was able to breach that barrier! In the entire 10 years of the marriage, i was not once able to convince her to change her mind on anything, once her mind was made up, it was made up, and i can ether stay with locked horns forever or go with the flow, these are the only options.
As i mentioned earlier, i had to drag this woman to court just to get 2 weekends a month, whereas any normal mother would simply agree to it in the first place. So this is the type of mindset i have to deal with.
(Now that i say all this, i do realize i will have to fill out the enforcement form)
10-16-2021 04:17 PM
Hello @Termitex2000, sorry to hear about the difficult position that you are in at the moment. Not seeing your daughter for months must be so difficult. Sounds like things have been quite challenging for you for a while. You mentioned that you have been involved in court processes before, do you have any legal support that you could talk to? Could they assist you with the enforcement form process?
I’m also just wondering if you have any professional support around you that you can talk to about what you have been going through and it’s impact on you?
10-17-2021 12:12 AM
Bit of an update, i spoke with my daughter again today. She asked me why it was so important too me for her to sleep over and not just visit for the day. I was kind of surprised that she doesn't understand why that would be important too me. I know that if i was the primary career, i would be making **bleep** sure my child understood that sleeping over with the other parent was important, but since my ex hates our daughter sleeping over here, it is pretty obvious that has not happened.
Anyway, i think i got through to her a little bit, and she will sleep over again next weekend... well that is what she says today, after 6 days of mothers whispers in the ear, who knows if it will stick?
As for my emotional condition, well, i honestly have not felt like a real father ever since the debacle in the years prior to the court orders being in place. It concerns me that i seem to be lacking an emotional need to see my daughter, i could move overseas and never see her again and not shed a tear. I love her heaps but that emotional bond is not there... i guess i have been pushed out of the picture by my ex to such an extent that i just don't feel like i am needed or relevant. These are the things i feel, but in reality i choose to always try to be there for my daughter as much as i can... it would be easier if i was actually motivated by emotions towards anything at all in life instead of having to drag my body around by force of will alone, but that just seems to be the way it is these days.
10-17-2021 04:16 PM
Hi @Termitex2000 , it's good to hear that you have been able to talk with your daughter and that she plans to sleep over next weekend. I hope that she does end up spending next weekend with you . It really sucks that you have not felt like a father for years now, it sounds like things have been really tough for you and this has impacted the connection you have with your daughter. Do you have anyone (whether that be a friend or professional) that you can talk to about how this has impacted you emotionally?
10-18-2021 04:19 PM
Yes i have my loving partner and family for support.
Although, loving support translates as nagging - its a guy thing! lol