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Parenting Issues Message Board

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I am very confused as I said. I think he is highly manipulative. I remember when he left me it was sudden and totally unexpected like this. He also cried and behaved in much the same way. He also turned it around and made it all my fault. He was good at it and I really believed it was me for a long time. I found myself appologizing to him and felt terrible guilt for hurting him etc.
Yet, he left me with no money and 2 kids. My car was repoed and my house foreclosed on. I didn't know how to feed kids. I was a stay at home mom...struggled since daycare needed up front money so didn't know how to get a job w/o child care. Anyway, I'm not going into all that. We survived. I put myself through college and got us out of that situation.

I was 20 when I married him and 24 when he left. I was very naive and still am somewhat. I am good at seeing things in other peoples lives but mine is not so clear.

The girls make some comments from time to time about not feeling comftorable. They have come home upset and irritable at times. When I try to find out what is wrong they can't really explain it.
They say that their dad does what his wife wants and that upsets them. For example he would allow the girls take turns picking out a restaurant they want to eat at. It was my oldest daughters turn and she chose a place. His wife was with them and she said no that she was not going there so their dad went where she wanted to go.
Sometimes they say they like their step-mom and how "she's being really nice right now". Other times they don't seem to like her but don't want to talk about it.
I tend to get bits and pieces at a time and never quite get the hole story. I dont' ask them too many questions as I don't want to make it more difficult for them. I only ask when they are obviously upset and only ask why they are upset.
One other example that comes to mind is that they like to play the slug bug game. My oldest daughter called slug bug and her step-mom said it doesn't count because she didn't see the slug bug until after my daughter called it. her dad was in the car and did not stand up for her...which seems to typically be the case.

He's been with this woman since the girls were very little so she's all they've known.

He is the youngest child in his family and he's the only boy. My ex does no wrong in his families eyes. Everything always came easy for him.

He doted on the girls when we were together. He was calm and layed back and rarely got angry.
However, looking back I can see how he was kiniving (sp?) and manipulative and sneaky etc.

My youngest keeps asking to call him. She keeps saying how she feels so bad about him crying and she can't stand it. She said that is the first time she's ever seen him cry. I told her that we need to wait a week or 2 and let him cool off. I don't want to deny her that, but I also don't want him causing further harm to her either. I don't trust him after what I witnessed yesterday.

During our divorce he told everyone that I was emotionally abusive to him. He cried and talked about how much I hurt him and that's why he was leaving me. I really believed I must have really hurt him. I am a very strong willed person and a very tenasious person. I did push him as far as career and schooling goes. He was very resistent to this from me. I wanted to go to school and he would just tell me that I would never finish and he doesn't want to put out the money etc. I wasn't happy just staying at home. I loved being with my kids but I wanted more than just being a mom. I know many woman are made for that but I'm not one of them.

I let go of my anger and hurt towards him to do what's best for our girls. I informed him of all parent/teacher conferences, all doctor appts., open houses etc. He never showed up. He has never met any of their teachers etc.
Now he's telling the girls I never notified him. That is BS. He brought all this up not me. I didn't even defend myself because I wanted to de-escelate the situation for the girls. I could see on their faces how uncomftorable they were.
ALso, due to my relationship with the girls there is no need to defend myself. They know that I am honest, trust worthy and they know that I've always been there for them.

Ultimately he left because he found another woman. He told me at the time that he would tell the girls how emotionally abusive I was towards him.

I have NEVER and NEVER WILL tell the girls that their dad and step-mom cheated on me.

I suspect he is doing this in an attempt to make the girls think I am to blame for his problems and the divorce etc...which is so dumb since he left 10 years ago.

THe girls know me and know I am not emotionally abusive to anyone. I am strong willed and I do stand up for myself and stand up for them. I am not mean or cruel.

I initially felt bad for him when he cried yesterday. Later after thinking back I see he was manipulating them and that makes me very concerned.

Is it more harmful to have him in their life or not have him in their life???? I have worked so hard to provide them with a good loving and stable home life. I don't want him screwing with their minds.
I have never had a man in my house with my girls present. I have always put them first.

It does hurt that he doesn't see that I do the best I can for them and I always put them first. I am not perfect and have made mistakes but I do the best I can.

I don't want to do the wrong thing and cause them harm. I dont know what's best for them now. I've always known before and this is all so confusing.

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