My Ex Wife and I have in our divorce decree the first right of refusal clause and there have been several times when she would take the the kids to her mothers or her sisters to stay the night without giving me the opportunity to have them. There have been several times she would say say was going somewhere and said she was taking them to a relative and I said no they will stay with me and she would say I was being selfish and blow up and say I was keeping the kids from seeing their grand parent or cousins. The last time she said from now on she would just not tell me and that has what she has done, Is there really any thing I can do to enforce the first right of refusal? I mean she is the one who wanted the divorce, not me and now I feel I'm being punished by only seeing my kids half the time. When there is an opportunity to see my kids on "her" days, I will take that opportunity. But if I don't know beforehand then what is a guy to do?
That's a tough one. I can understand your pain (as a single dad), but I can understand letting the kids spend time with the grandparents or cousins. After all, that's something the kids would be doing if you were still together, no? We did that when I was married.
I would be a lot more on your side if she was having the kids babysat by someone outside the family or in a day care. That's where the first refusal would come in, for me. But like I can understand and appreciate your point of view too.
How often is "several times", and in what time frame?
My kids call me and tell me they're getting shipped to grams. The message looks s/t like this ~ "HELP!! Mom has plans w/ dilrod and we're being forced to spend time @ Grams!! Send the Monty Carlo SS QUICK!!!!" I then call the X and remind her she's in contempt, she'll hollar, p!ss and moan but hey, isn't that what Xs are 4?
my ex asked me to take our son next week on her birthday, and she wanted to swap by taking him on one of my days this week, I told her I would take him next week on that day and that she doesn't need to swap I will keep him on my day.
Well yesterday she basically tells me she's taking him this week on my day, I think she's afraid of me having him in my custody too much then applying for sole custody if it works out to be too much. Anyways it's not what I want, to have to give up a day with my son every time she wants to use me as a sitter as per the first refusal clause, however in this instance I think its in my son's best interest because otherwise he will go 6 days without seeing his mom - the five day stretch is long enough, both with my son and without, so I think today I will tell her I'm ok with her having him this week.
I feel like I want to play my power, its especially annoying because she will claim that she booked the day/evening off work just to be with him, even though I was saying all along I still wanted to keep him on my day this week. But my tactics in this case would not be about my son getting the best time with both his parents. On the other hand it is a break in routine for him, though I can't tell if that is really detrimental or not. It's a frustrating relationship this whole divorced parents routine.
Elegirl, yes sometimes I have to be at work at 5:30am when I have them and I always ask if she wants them to stay with her the night before, that way I am not dropping them off at 5:00 in the morning somewhere or taking them to stay at my parents.
Pbear, it is not like they don't see their cousins or their grandparents. They see them frequently, but I understand your point, but I didn't ask for the situation of seeing my kids half the time, so if the opportunity is there for them to stay with me then I want the opportunity. My son said the last time for sure that he asked his mother, "why can't we go to dad's?" her reply was I've already had this planned and this is how it is going to be. Then she told my son "I don't want you to lie to your dad, but you don't have to tell him."
Love Mouse, I feel your pain!!
Lon, yes the co-parenting sucks, especially for the kids, I hate it for them. I want what is best for my kids for sure and this just is not what I envisioned.
Yeah, mental judo her @$$ and agree with her a cheerful 100%. Now hear me out!
Simply put you apologize (even though she's wrong in this case) about acting "selfish" and trying to "control" her and give her exactly what she's been asking for, use her words exactly and be sincere. You can even go as far as to apologize for causing so much unhappiness in your marriage and keeping her from finding someone more deserving.
Again pure bullsh!t and she secretly knows it but it's exactly what she wants to hear from you and will stop her from self preserving and attacking you. So long as you disagree with what she wants you're showing her you do not respect her decisions and therefore are attacking her pride. You'll also be seen as attacking her pride if you make fun of the boyfriend..... it's best to avoid this and smile all the while feeling sorry for their rebound relationship that's more of the same and doomed to fail.
Then how long do you think it will take before she gets sick of this routine and begins trusting you with the kids more when she feels confident you won't be turning the children against her. You can bet the OM won't put up with babysitting and the grandmother will get sick of enabling her daughter to use her for free daycare.
If you can behave yourself and avoid petty arguments, passing the marshmallow test, she'll find you more favorable when their sweetheart stages ends and jealousy rears it's ugly head with distrust and the OM or her becoming more controlling. If nothing else you can rest assured you'll have many chances in the future and be part of your children's lives.
I do agree with Nsweet. . .I am not sure being confrontational is the best idea in this case.
Let's dissect this.
The kids may really not want to go to "grams" (I'll admit, it sounds dreadful to me, like there's 12 TV channels and crocheting all around the house) but you ARE their father and sometimes kids have to go visit relatives they don't want to see and you should back her up and make them go and honestly, just use the free time to do something yourself - exercise, date, clean the house, scrape wallpaper, whatever. (thinking what I have to do today)
That being said, let the "b" continue to be the heavy and initiate every visit to "grams" or her "cousins" or whatever when they could have gone to dads, who would have them with open arms.
Soon those kids will be teenagers and soon those teenagers will be young adults.
Bide your time, my friend.
The last resort would be to an "end around" on her and make a call to "grams."
"Grams, do you think it's wise to be party to your daughter who is trying to keep her kids from seeing her father?"
I'll lay $1000 on the fact that "grams" isn't none to happy about having the kids all the time and wouldn't mind playing bridge a little more down at the senior center instead of having bored, grumpy, smart-butt grandchildren around all of the time, if this is the picture you are painting.
And maybe I seem a bit confused. . .but maybe, I got you pegged! Ha! Don't know what to do about those tossed salad and scrambled eggs. . .they're posting again. Scannerguard has left the building.