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Dad Crippled By His Own Selfishness

My ex-husband and I have been divorced since the kids were 3 and 5 years old, a girl and boy respectively. We divorced for numerous reasons, but one of them was that my ex had confessed to falling in love with a girl he met online.

Now 7 years later, my daughter still feels completely replaced. His “new” girlfriend was 17 at the time, but my ex-husband married her about 4 years ago.  This all might have gone better had step mom not had a 1 ½” year old baby when they met, which happens to be a girl.  My daughter has spina bifida, which has affected her lower body, but not her mind.  I have been trying to convince her for years that her step sister holds no blame for the way things went down, but my daughter feels like her dad left when the going got tough, and replaced us all with a new family, especially since he moved in with his young girlfriend three weeks after he left.   She has been rude to her step sister, really quite bratty. We have finally had a break through in her behavior, and she has started getting nicer.

Now to the idiot part… I have started dating a man who has custody of his mother (wheelchair bound, going through chemo) his 31 year old brother (autistic) and his 4 and 7 year old sons.  He is a fantastic, loving, and very tough man.  He takes care of everyone with grace, and has been fantastically kind to my children.  Both of my kids have been very positive about the new BF, and have been telling their dad about him.  He found out all of my new BF’s challenges, and started talking to me about how “crazy” the BF was to take care of people who needed so much assistance, and that if it had been up to him, he would have put the brother and mother in a home.  He said this unthinkingly in front of my daughter, who did not react well.

She suddenly blurted out in the middle of the conversation, “What if they were all healthy?”

He responded,  “Well,  then they wouldn’t have to be taken care of, but they aren’t. That is just why I would put them in homes. Too much work.”

She suddenly screamed, “Yeah we know you would have dad, that’s why you replaced me with step sister!” She burst into tears and went into the house and locked us all out. My ex just rolled his eyes at me and then GOT IN HIS CAR and drove away!!!

I called him and asked him if maybe he should come back and talk to his daughter, because I don’t believe that was what ended our marriage at all, but maybe she just needs to hear it from his lips. He told me, and I quote, “She is just being a drama queen and a baby, I am not going to pander to her temper tantrums, you can if you like.” And hung up.

Well, I unlocked the door and talked with her for a long time, several hours about everything, she was completely convinced that he just didn’t like handicapped people, and that he never has loved her. There is nothing I can say to change her mind, she doesn’t want to go back to his house or even speak to him. I don’t think she is really old enough to let her just write her dad off that way, despite him being insensitive. I have watched him improve and become a better father, despite some insensitivity, we went from supervised visitation, to over night stays, and he can now see the kids every 2 weeks for the entire weekend without his parents being there. I just feel like it would be tragic to let an 11 year old cut out her father. She is emotional, and a pre-teen. They have had some good times as well as bad, and she does admit to enjoying his company.

There is so much to this story, but I guess like her, I just wish he would make an effort to tell her he loves her and doesn’t care that she is handicapped.  0105-11

This is a good example of how etiquette is not all about you and one’s freedom of expression regardless of how that may affect others.   If Dad had a smidge of graciousness and self control, he would have kept his opinions to himself since he is neither part of the problem nor the solution in regards to how his ex-wife’s boyfriend cares for his family.   But hey!  Entitled, selfish people think the world needs to know their opinions on matters that are none of their business.

{ 105 comments… add one }
  • Maggie February 8, 2011, 3:58 am

    A bit late to the conversation but… I am pleased the OP has found someone caring. Her daughter can then know what it is to be part of a normal family – one that loves and respects you for you.

  • Ginger February 19, 2011, 5:13 pm

    Wow – honestly, I wouldn’t want someone in my daughter’s life that says such mean and insensitive things. OP’s ex is an a**. He doesn’t deserve to have his daugther in his life. She will get much more love from the OP’s new BF than from her own father – how sad and sickening. I guarantee when the daughter is old enough, she will have nothing to do with her father.
    Perhaps when the father is old and sick, he will placed in a home since no one will want to take care of him…it’s just too much work 😉

  • Lola March 5, 2011, 10:26 pm

    I wouldn’t want a statutory rapist anywhere near my daughter if I had one, whether or not he was her father.

  • slythwolf March 26, 2011, 7:56 pm

    I wouldn’t either, Lola, but we don’t actually know where the OP lives or what the age of consent is there. In Michigan, where I live, it’s 16.

  • J May 10, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Ditto Slyth. And the age of the ex is not given. What if he and OP married at 18 and divorced at 20? A 20-year-old dating a 17-year-old is not that bizarre. Jumping to conclusions about someone’s age because they have children is a common problem. This about when Jon and Kate divorced; everyone jumped to the conclusion that he was in his 40’s because they had 8 kids. So when he started dating a woman in her mid-twenties, people called him all sorts of names. He was actually only 32.

    Not saying that the guy in this story is anything but a complete jerk, but let’s not accuse and convict him of a legal crime in our minds without any details.

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