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Newsflash: Mr. Furious finds raising a child "burdensome"!!!!!!


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#1 library_lady

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:47 PM

I had an enlightening discussion (well, I got browbeaten by Mr. Furious by some imagined unforgivable transgression, but I did at least get some interesting information out of it). He was talking about our neighbor, who has three kids. The neighbor told Mr. Furious that he spends a lot of time shuttling his kids to and from sporting events. Mr. Furious said that that is not his thing and that's why he doesn't do it. When I asked him what he meant, he said, "I find stuff like that burdensome."

The obvious unfairness of his attitude aside (because, truly, if I stopped doing the things I found "burdensome" e.g. laundry, cleaning the whole house, cooking all meals, grocery shopping, cleaning up vomit, nursing a sick and peevish child, driving to and from school, feeding the cats, the list is endless really...our lives would grind to a halt and we would live in a smoking pile of filth), it was so interesting to hear this on the same day that I started reading Lundy Bancroft's When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse. The following passage restates what Mr. Furious said:

(p. 48)
In short, the abusive man may want the status of father and the pleasures of having children, but he tends to lose interest rapidly when it comes to the hardships and sacrifices. He may be enthusiastically and proudly present when the baby emerges from the birth canal, he may jump to give the baby that exciting first bite of solid food six months later, or to be there for the drop-off on the child's first day of school. But he'll be much harder to find the third time somebody has to get up to feed or calm the baby in one night; or when a daughter or son needs some patient help with challenging homework; or when the transportation to school becomes a daily grind instead of an exciting event. At these times, his entitlement comes creeping in and he slips back toward his selfish and self-centered habits.

I've always wondered why I have all these photos of my husband feeding my son, posing with him on the first day of kindergarten, holding him at holidays and generally looking like a picture-perfect dad, yet I have zero memories of him changing diapers, staying home to take care of my son when he's sick (although I have memories of him yelling at me for being too soft on our son and not forcing him to go to school when he has a cold), getting up for late night feedings or settlings down (but plenty of memories of him screaming at me to quiet our son down), taking my son to doctors' appointments or friends' houses or even taking my son for a walk in the stroller. He has been the 1% and I'm the 99%.

I love being a mom, but I don't like being host to a parasite who is using me to raise his offspring while he acts with impunity and treats me like doo doo. The entitlement here is breathtaking. The main thing keeping me with him is that I'm afraid the courts will award this parasite 50% custody!

Thanks for letting me vent! I am pretty worked up.

Edited by library_lady, 26 March 2012 - 10:48 PM.


#2 DawnC

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:03 PM

Preach it, sistah! This is EXACTLY the kind of "dad of the year" / assholian bully do-nothing I live with.

The courts can be very unfair, but don't let your fear keep you from investigating your options. You may find he doesn't WANT 50/50...although you can bet he'll scream bloody murder about paying child support. Talk to a lawyer or legal aid about the laws in your state. I have felt many times that I am a single parent. Unfortunately, the breadwinner always felt he had the final say and likes to throw his weight around BECAUSE he thought being the breadwinner gave him more parental authority than the person who, you know, actually RAISED the kids.

I love my children. And I take full credit for them turning into such LOVELY people. It was NOT easy...and might have been better done alone than with Mr. Entitlement ruling the nest he did so little to maintain.

#3 library_lady

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:57 PM

Dawn,

It's good to know I'm not alone in this. We sound like we are in similar situations. I, too, feel like a single parent everyday. He has a good job, for which I'm grateful, but I work too, and I do all of the parenting, the shopping, the cleaning and the household economic management. I'm tired at the end of the day, and he sits on his butt and watches zombie movies on Netflix! I've learned not to ask for help, though, as the emotional cost (the bullying, the broken things, the accusations of nagging, the yelling) is just too high. I'd rather do it myself.

I will investigate legal avenues to help me. A lawyer I saw a few months ago said the courts would probably award primary custody to me as I have been a stay-at-home mom until relatively recently, and I only work while my son is in school. She said the courts would probably recognize that I already am the primary caregiver for my son. However, I have read so many horror stories here and in books about mothers having their children taken away from them for little cause; it really makes me fearful that my husband could sue for and win 50% custody. I don't know if my heart could bear losing my child for 50% of the time....

#4 thebewilderness

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:02 PM

This would be a good time to start a log, I think. When the time comes for custody discussions it is better to have a record of the behavior than for it to be a he said she said. It is a pesty thing to have to do, but we tend to exaggerate when we are frustrated and minimize when we are not, so a time log helps us see reality. It also helps the courts see reality.

#5 library_lady

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:18 PM

thebewilderness -

I have been keeping a log, and I keep photos of the things he has broken around the house. I've also kept some recordings of his rages that I made surreptitiously with my phone. Will these be admissible in court? Or would this be more for my own reference? I've even wondered if I should keep photos and receipts of the bottles of beer he consumes each night (he is a pretty heavy drinker).

What do you think?

Thanks!

#6 grammie

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:15 AM

Unfortunately, the breadwinner always felt he had the final say and likes to throw his weight around BECAUSE he thought being the breadwinner gave him more parental authority than the person who, you know, actually RAISED the kids.

I love my children. And I take full credit for them turning into such LOVELY people. It was NOT easy...and might have been better done alone than with Mr. Entitlement ruling the nest he did so little to maintain.


That is exactly the way it was at my house. I did all the work of raising our daughter but he sure took credit. I've always said that if he actually put as much effort into being a good husband as he did trying to make everyone else think he was a good husband then I would have been very happy - well the same goes for being a father. Now that our daughter is grown he always tells people what a great relationship they have - I wonder what he would do if he knew how she really felt about him.

#7 Kilroy

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:58 AM

I have an amusing memory of an occasion when my wife was about to change our daughter's diaper--she was somewhere close to two years old and talking very well at the time--and our daughter said "Want Daddy to do it!" I jokingly asked my wife if this was a "conspiracy." ;)

What bothers me about that remark of Mr Furious--"I find stuff like that burdensome"--is not just parenting as a "task," per se. When there's a so-called "traditional" division of labor, where a husband goes out to earn money and a wife looks after the home and children, the wife would usually do most of the parenting tasks because the husband has other work to do. Rather, what bothers me is the fact that a child is far more than a "set of tasks" to be done, as important as those are. A child is a person, and Mr. Furious doesn't seem to be taking any interest in his son as a person.

This conversation was with a father who "spends a lot of time shuttling his kids to and from sporting events." This is far more than just being a taxi driver. This sounds like a normal father who almost certainly takes an interest in his kids' sporting activities and achievements, and spends time with them for that reason. I'll bet he's out there with a video camera, and he very likely participates in more active ways with his kids as well. For instance, I visualize him shooting baskets with his kids in one of those basketball hoops that are a ubiquitous feature of so many suburban driveways. But Mr. Furious just isn't interested in his son. He's not much of a father.

Anyway I wouldn't let the fear of custody complications deter you from doing what you need to do. I think Dawn is right. Everything you've done so far pretty much guarantees you'll get custody of your son. You might end up having to share legal custody if Mr. Furious fights for it, but you shouldn't have any trouble getting primary physical custody. The courts can be unfair at times, but they're more often unfair to fathers than to mothers. I've noticed a good deal of exaggeration (especially by people like Bancroft) about how often mothers supposedly lose custody of children "unfairly." If that does happen there's often a good reason for it, but the militants making a big noise about it aren't telling us that!

For instance, I ran across a news article a few weeks ago where a woman was claiming she'd lost custody of her daughter through some supposed "legal chicanery" of her husband's. On investigation, it turned out she was lying through her teeth to cover up for her own misdeeds. She'd taken the child out of state, was not allowing the father his court-ordered visitation, and in addition was refusing to cooperate with the appointed guardian ad litem and repeatedly making excuses not to turn up for a court hearing. Finally she did show up--but without the child, who was still out of state. Naturally the judge got ticked off and she ordered the mother to turn the child over to the father for the time being. Subsequently this mother picked the child up from school without anyone's permission and took her out of state again! This time she was apprehended and charged with felony kidnapping, so now she's got a criminal record, and child welfare workers observing her behavior were very troubled by it. They clearly saw her as mentally unstable. Prior to this, she'd been firmly recommended to get primary custody of the child because she'd mostly been a stay-at-home mother like yourself. She only lost custody because of her stupid behavior. Now she's making herself out to be a "victim" of some kind of conspiracy when it's all her own fault and she's only got herself to blame. The moral is "Don't piss the court off. They don't like it!"

But I don't see any reason why you should have any trouble. Get a lawyer, keep logs, and all the other good advice from the good people here, and you and your son should be all right.

#8 claudifred

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:48 PM

Haha, my ex called himself "The Entertainment Director" of our children.
He was the fun parent, I did all the responsible stuff. And clearly, he had no problem pointing that out.

As soon as I left him, he put up a dating profile on a website and told a friend of mine that he "felt like less of a man without a wife."
He didn't miss ME... he missed having the STATUS of having a wife. Any wife will do.

My children and I were check boxes on his bucket list. House. CHECK. Car. CHECK. Wife. CHECK. Children. CHECK.
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#9 DawnC

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

After we got married, an acquaintance of my husband's made an off-hand remarkto me that didn't sink in until later. He said, "yeah, we all knew (husband) was hanging out for a wife." he had been engaged not long before he met me, to a woman who STILL freezes him out when their paths cross..now I know why! Lol but yeah, it didn't occur until later that I was a checkbox. And again ater, when I was trying various things just being my own person, he threatened to divorce me, screaming and pounding on the table "I WANT MY FAMILY! WHERE'S MY FAMILY?!" I quit my activities and shortly after, I got pregnant. Checkbox.

He has an idea of the American dream,never caring what was best for US, never mind what was best for me and the kids he claimed he wanted so much.

In recent years, he became more engaged with the kids, but in large part to make them surrogate figures to supplant the wife he rejected. A little creepy, though I don't suspect anything inappropriate.

The best "burden" that ever happened to him and he doesn't appreciate it.

#10 library_lady

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 09:32 PM

Kilroy,

It's really nice to get a man's perspective. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I, too, have had my reservations about believing the conventional wisdom about the courts being biased against women who are trying to achieve primary physical custody from an abusive man. As a former journalist, I always wondered what we weren't being told about these women. Granted, I'm sure there some horror stories that are true and appalling, but it's good to hear that someone else thinks we should view many of the claims of bias with skepticism.

I'm going to try for primary custody of my son. I'm not ready to leave yet as I'm getting my finances and professional life in order, but I do have a two-year plan. There is so much I can do right now to prepare for leaving. Thank you for the comforting words!




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