Am I wrong?

Started by Assault, Apr 25, 2005, 04:50 PM

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Ok, this may be a touchy subject for some people, but I honestly would like some feedback.

When dealing with my children, my policy has ALWAYS been about being honest and open about everything that affects them in thier lives. If they ever had a question about something, they knew if they asked Dad, he would give them an honest no-bullshit answer.

Having said that, I have been honest with my children through my divorce ordeal and the events that happened. Including, me slapping thier mother once, her falsely accusing me of all sorts of heinous things, why thier mother simply left one day for a month, etc.,

I've been chatting with my daughter through e-mail, and I've noticed I haven't been getting responses for tha past few months. I suspected that my ex wife was erasing my communications with my daughter.

Here's is my latest e-mails from my daughter and I;

hi dad. my competion in kingston is in may. can you come? how have you been. I have been fine. i would really like it if you could come see me. wanna konw my results for my last competion. i got 1st on floor, 5th on vault, 6th on beam, and i got 8th on bars. hope you can come. buh bye

And my response:

Wow! Congratulations! That's pretty awesome that you did so well, I'm proud of you!

I'd love to come watch your competition in May, but I can't come if your mother is going to be there. I don't want her to be making up lies and calling the police on me again. Someday I'll explain everything to you and you'll understand why I don't trust your mother at all.

So, if your mother's gong to be there, then I won't be. If she's not going to be there, then I'll come.

I miss you Taylor. You should have seen me about a month ago, I shaved my head right BALD!!! HA ha!! It was great! I'm letting it grow back for now, but I really liked it bald, and it felt awesome.

See you

Love Dadinator

I then recieved this from my ex wife:

she won't be seeing this email, just like the last one you if you'd like to respond to her in a mature way w/o your bullshit...I'm sure she'd love to hear from you...if not, fuck off

I sent this exchange to my probation officer (Who I don't get along with at all) and he sent me this in reply;

I would have sent the same reply.

You e-mailed your daughter, filled it with still unresolved venom, and you tried to use your child to direct anger at her mother.  Now you e-mail me perhaps expecting that I might see that Leah had done something wrong.  Grow up.  

Your daughter reached out to you in her e-mail. She's proud, happy and wanting to share her accomplishments with her dad.  You respond by calling her mother a liar, while putting out a whopper of a lie yourself.  I don't think you have any intention of seeing your daughter's competitions.  If you did, you'd reply differently.  You'd contact me to see how a thing like that might possibly be arranged.  You'd make an ounce of an effort to see how your attending a gymnastics competition might somehow be arranged in a way that didn't breach probation and didn't ramp anger up between you & Leah further.  You'd have already taken steps to get a separation agreement worked out that would specify your access.  But you don't.  You just send back messages you know only Leah will read so you can keep making everyone sick with your anger.

So, my question is, am I in the wrong here? I think I'm just being honest, but I'm getting confused. And as for my probation officers response, I have no idea what the hell he's talking about! I don't know what lie I told, and as for a seperation agreement, we're divorced. Our terms have been spelled out for two years! I don't know what the hell he's saying. :?

So, give it to me honestly. Am I being an asshole? :roll:
Feminism is the product of female selfishness, compounded by male chivalry.

- Peter Zohrab -


You're not being an asshole...

BUT, you did not keep the focus on the prize:  your daughter and the relationship that is being built, brick by brick.

A sense of fairness/unfairness is often at the root of behavior, especially anger and it's offshoots.  But, fairness is an abstract concept we men invented!  It is UNFAIR that your ex is a festering sow... your daughter should remain unsullied by your feelings.  She is unique.

Honesty can be like anything:  too much of a good thing can be damaging to all concerned.

You want to tell her "someday" about the whole bizness with the ex.  That says to this 'bot that you are aware that the time is not yet ripe?  Then why make reference to it now?

She need not share in your pain, only your love.  She will come to her own conclusions about her mother - AND her father.  In her own way and in her own time... don't rush her or try to force a decision.

And again, you are NOT an asshole!  :)
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  - Winston Churchill
"Get Angry...Get Loud... GET UP off your KNEES!"

The Biscuit Queen

Assault, I have to give you credit for putting this out there. It shows how much you love your daughter.

I do not agree with your probation officer about your intentions, but I agree about the content.

By even bringing it up, you have set your daughter to have to choose to only have one of you there, you or her mother. Maybe as a rational adult that seems untrue, but to a teen girl in the midst of an ugly divorce it is.

By bringing up the lying, you have asked your daughter to believe either you or her mother.  

You have set her mother up to be the bad guy, by making it her fault if you will not come. I worry this will backfire on you, making her resent you.

I guess I would have either called or had the probation officer call your ex and ask if she is going. If she is, ask the probation officer if there is any way to set it up with a third party present to be witness. Only then, once I had an answer, would I tell your daughter either yes or no.

And if no, you just say you cannot come.  She does not need to know why. I would, if her mother is preventing contact, keep a journal of your dealings with her. Then, if your daughter ASKS you why things went the way they did, you can show it to her, when she is older.   IS there a restraining order, or are you trying to avoid her to keep her from ling again?

If your ex is continuous in disrupting your relationship, you would have cause bring it up sooner, but if you are able to have a good relationsip with her now there is no reason to drag her mother into it. Let her mother show her true colors on her own.

All this said, your ex is a viscious bitch who does not deserve to ever see your daughter again, let alone have custody. I have zero sympathy for her. I do, however, have great sympathy for your daughter, and want to see you able to spend more time with her. By leaving mother out of this, you can have more communication. If she asks about it, you can talk to her in person.

Please tell us how things go. Is it too late for you to go to the meet?


Oh, and I would send a very short message to her saying "I will let you know if I can come in a few days." Just so she doesn't think you are ignoring her, since her mother has not given her the e-mails.
he Biscuit Queen

There are always two extremes....the truth lies in the middle.


The first rule:
"Protect yourself at all times."

NEVER provide evidence of your anger, however justified, to your ex or PO.  
There's little I can add to what the others have said concerning your relationship with your daughter.

Alpha Male

Your PO sounds like a prick but if he says that he can advise you on how to make it happen then put him on the spot and use him to your advantage. Make him help you or tell him to STFU.

I'd make the attempt to go. It's about your daughter and that relationship. Leah can rot in hell for all you care. Find a respectable witness that will be willing to stick with you so that no false accusations can be made.

You aren't an asshole. You simply understand you need to be cautious. And you daughter is definitely worth the effort.
ies come in three types: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics


Assault, I'm going to be completely honest with you, because I think that's what you want.  I agree with you that your ex's e-mail, and your PO's e-mail were both uncalled for, but when you frequently bring up how much you dislike your child's other parent to them, this can really put pressure on them to try and play diplomat, especially if they think that their other parent's presence in their lives will somehow prevent you two from bonding, and your e-mail to her almost sounded as if you were giving an ultimatum of some kind (if your mom's coming, I'm not).  

    Since you've told her that you can't come if her mother shows up, she may feel like she has to choose sides, and a child should never have to do that with their own parents.  There's no limit to the damage this can do to a child (or even a teenager) emotionally and psychologically.  I'm not trying to tell you how to parent, because God knows how hard a job this is, and I probably wouldn't be that great at it, but it would really be great for your daughter's self-esteem if you could somehow bring yourself to attend her competition anyway.  At that age, they really need their parents' approval and praise.  I hope I didn't overstep my bounds in being candid with you.  This is just what I would do, and I'm sure that you know what's right in your own situation.

    Okay, now that that's out of the way, your PO is really a jerk, and if I were you, I'd ask for a new one!  How does he get the notion that you were lying in your e-mail?  Does he know your ex personally?  If not, I don't think he has any right to say what's true or not.  You lived with this woman, and if she has any major character flaws, you're the guy who knows about them.  Is it possible that your PO is a feminazi?  Maybe they make those guys take "sensitivity training" or some other such nonsense nowadays.


Thank you for your input. I guess I am giving my daughter too much information. It just pains me to see what's happening.

Again, thanks.
Feminism is the product of female selfishness, compounded by male chivalry.

- Peter Zohrab -


Assault,  I know you already got a bunch of answers, but I just felt I should add my take on it.

I don't know how old your daughter is, mine is 10. I too always try to be honest with her, and give her no bullshit answers. However I draw the line at saying anything about my ex-wife. Children don't need to know the ugly details about a breakup.

I have to say that I think in your mail you have tried to press your agenda, whether intentionally or not.

The important thing is seeing her, just don't even mention the ex.

I really feel for you mate,  good luck in seeing her soon,


The Gonzman

Yiou're wrong only in that you are playing their game.  They hold all the trumps.  You're in "The System"

When your Daughter asks something you are tempted to say something about your ex about, just reply with "I'm not allowed to talk about that." "I could go to Jail."  "If we talk about that, they could make it so we can't see each other."

The absolute unvarnished truith.  And she will get the message you are being censored.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the MEANEST son-of-a-bitch in the valley.


The things that most pissed me off when I was a child was the information that was held from me, bacause I was not "old" enought to "understand" it. No, it was not Quantum Mechanics, Hydrodynamics or Theory of Relativity that they were hiding from me. It was much simpler things, easily understood and fairly easy to relate to when properly understood.

I think a child is very well capable of understanding that a parent is insane, alcoholic, dying or disappeared, if he is given a realistic explanation.

Anyway, I am quite happy for the insights my father gave me at young age about incompetence of adults in the professional roles, the arbitrariness of justice. Often he gave me as an excercise to figure out the details in many observed cases and to form my own opinions.

The Biscuit Queen

Assault, the most important thing she MUST know is that you love her. If she knows this without a shadow of a doubt, then a time WILL come when you can tell her everything.

But for now, just remember that your job is unconditional love and support for her.

This makes me want to go put your ex in a head lock and bash her noggin against a doorjam. Why are mothers so viscious, to cause fathers to have to make these decisions? You should only have to worry about loving your daughter, not protecting yourself from her mother everytime you speak to her.
he Biscuit Queen

There are always two extremes....the truth lies in the middle.


Personally Assualt I think you said exactly the right thing.

The problem is this mate - YOUR FEELINGS DON'T COUNT. You have to say nothing and wilt in the shadows. Well fuck your ex - you push you way into your daughters life if you have to. You do what you have to do as a father.

In a world full of chicken shit males (no offence)- I am lucky to know one man/father who didn't give up and has shown the rest of us what it means to have balls. I'll gladly put you in touch with him if you like. The guy is an absolute legend. He had fears too, especially after being put in jail twice, all his property stolen - being accussed of sexually abusing his children, and damn the list goes on. But he did what he had to - and now has custody of his beautiful twin daughters. He learnt the system and used it against the mad ex.

It's an amazing feeling to find your balls again.

The Biscuit Queen

Just remember guys, he has a daughter not a son. If he had a son, I would say that a different approach may work. But a daughter is going to try and play the peacemaker, and if she can't then she will want to blame someone. A teen or younger girl will not be able to separate herself from her parent's disagreements.

Never ask someone to make a choice when they may choose something you are unwilling to accept. Assault is unwilling, and rightfully so, to accept his daughter picking the mother over him. But if he asks her to pick, that is a possibility.

So I would not ask her to pick. Make your case FOR you, not AGAINST the mother. Be there, be consistant, be reliable, be loving, be patient, be insistant. Your daughter will judge your actions rather than her mother's voice.

And maybe this is more than you wanted, if so I am sorry to butt in. I just really want things to work out for you.

Any chance she can come to the conference with you in July? THAT may be an eye opener for her, my boys may come if there will be other kids there. I would be willing to organize some activities for them if more kids will come.
he Biscuit Queen

There are always two extremes....the truth lies in the middle.


Assault, I admire your courage and tenacity more than words could ever convey.

The only thing I can add to others' comments would be to wait before actually hitting that "SEND" key.  While it is not often possible to apply the three-day rule, it would really behoove you to perhaps save your replies and then re-open them a few hours later to see if they read well and will not be used to incriminate you.
quot;I can resist anything but temptation."

 Oscar Wilde

Alpha Male

One other thought...

I abhor when a woman is bad-mouthing the ex/child's father in front of the child. I think this is hurtful to the child because the ex being bad-mouthed is half of what the child is and the child knows it. Teach a child to hate his father and you are teaching the child to hate himself at the same time.

Intellectually as an adult you can pick this apart in a heartbeat. (I am not my father.) That doesn't describe a child though. Mom and Dad are your world as a child.

As such, I think bad-mouthing mom is a bad idea. Your honesty is to be admired, integrity is important, but discretion is not without merit. There will be a time and a place where your daughter will ask you "why". Save it for when she is ready.
ies come in three types: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

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