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Thread: Not sure what I want to do

  1. #1
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    Not sure what I want to do

    I'm a female and have been in a relationship for around 7 years, not married.
    I've been dealing with an insane amount of stress regarding a custody situation with my S/O's kids. I'm looking for advice that goes beyond the easy and simple answer of "just leave". Although, if you feel there's no other alternative, then I'd still like to hear it.

    The custody situation mentioned has been going on for almost 3 years now. My S/O is attempting to gain custody off of his kid's grandmother, whom took the kids after the passing of their mother. Long story short, grandma and aunt are crazy and manipulative. They've constantly been speaking bad about my S/O in front of and to the kids. They've made up lies to the point where everything is his fault. Couldn't get new glasses? It's because you can only do that on the weekends when you see your father. And other similar things. My S/Os daughter gets significantly more attention than his son over the grandmother's house since they two of the have essentially bridged the relationship that the mother of the kids was filling. Meaning, grandma calls her by the deceased mother's name and my S/Os daughter says grandma is her new mother. Cue the custody "battle". After grandma realized she wasn't getting anywhere near full custody, she had my S/O's daughter lie about physical and sexual abuse (which before you ask, yes, I KNOW it didn't happen). We weren't able to see either kid for a year and a half while investigations were happening. We still aren't able to see his daughter yet until she gets enough therapy, which, she also attends therapy sessions more frequently for victim services for the false allegations, so I don't have much hope that the once-a-month court-ordered therapy for the relationship between him and his daughter will go well. The grandmother and the aunt are constantly fighting against us and nit-picking anything. Their list of witnesses for whenever we have to go back and redo our custody hearing is impressive.

    That was a whole lot of text about parent-child relationships that I thought was necessary to include so that it is maybe easier to understand why exactly I'm so very very stressed. There's not a day that goes by where I don't think about this issue and get stressed. I've been having stomach issues since last year, more frequent heart palpitations, etc. And gosh, I'm still young! Lately, this has been way too overwhelming and I don't think this will ever end until the grandmother passes, which might not be anytime soon. Part of me wonders if leaving the situation is the best thing for me. But part of me also thinks I might not be able to live with myself. We live in a house under my name only. He moved an hour and a half away from his family and hometown for me. With his income only, there's no way he could afford to live on his own and take care of the kids. I feel like I'd be screwing him out having better chances with custody, or maybe any chances. But if I stay, I'm not sure what I can do to help with the stress. I spoke with one of my best friends, who said that it sounds like there's more reasons for me to stay then to go. Which, if that's the case, alright, but I definitely need some way to deal with this daily stress. My S/O is kind and matches my personality well, besides a few downfalls, such as laziness and not always having good common sense. At this point, I've grown comfortable and attached to him, and I've started to enjoy a life with children. I didn't like the idea of having kids before.

    So: 1. Should I stick with it? 2. How do I cope?

    Sorry, I'm rambling and stressed. I probably left out a lot. Please feel free to ask any questions. Thanks

  2. #2
    Platinum Member gsxr104's Avatar
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    How well do the children get along with you?

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    Platinum Member shellyf62's Avatar
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    Why did the children go to the Grandmother & not their Father when their Mother passed away?

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    Originally Posted by gsxr104
    How well do the children get along with you?
    They are fine with me. His son had a brief moment the week after his mother's passing where he was upset because he thought I was taking the place of his mother. But, that was years ago, and since then, the relationship has been well. There talks, hugs, nicknames, story time, etc. Based on his past comments, I believe he views me more of a friend than a guardian figure, though. As far as his daughter, before the false allegations came up, I would have even said that she liked me a bit more than my S/O. Now it's a touchy subject to think about who she likes at this point.

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    Originally Posted by shellyf62
    Why did the children go to the Grandmother & not their Father when their Mother passed away?
    I believe the grandmother thought the kids were the last thing she had of her daughter and wanted to take them. It was never discussed with my S/O beforehand, but given that she argued that he doesn't have any right to the kids since he wasn't on the birth certificate, I don't think she believed my S/O had any right to them, even though he had been seeing them every weekend since he split with the mother. The grandmother lived in much closer distance to the mother, so that she could keep them in the same school district, and they also all lived together for a period of time, about a year before her passing. The goal was to have them finish out the school year with the grandmother and then bring them with us, but custody papers were issued before hand. There was a bit more to it, but in the end, that's the big picture of what happened.

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    Platinum Member gsxr104's Avatar
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    I can understand the boys sentiments. I've been there and know that feeling well. Children thrive on the feeling of security and having a home. They can sense more things than most give them credit for. My thoughts are this ... As you know, this isn't going to be an easy haul for you with all of the legal matters that are in process. If you have established a relationship with these children, it very well could be a major part of their "Safe Zone". I'm not sure how old they are but if they're too young to define it in their minds, they will definitely express it when they get older. You've made no secret as how you feel about your S/O (and I probably don't need to say this) but you also need to consider if you have the will and desire to raise them as your own in that "friend" image they have of you right now, as you go through this legal battle. You don't need to answer out loud but when you look at them do you get a feeling of happiness, neutral sense or dread, inside? That I think will give you the answer you're looking for. As far as coping with one decision or the other, I'm afraid it's not as easy as 1,2,3. You'll just have to take day by day, but I wouldn't spend too much time dwelling on it either way and giving you more unnecessary physical complications. Try to focus on the positive things especially when you're going to sleep. Your subconscious mind will be programmed with whatever you load into it as you drift off. When you wake in the morning your conscious mind will migrate towards that program. You put negative stuff in, you get negative stuff out.

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    Silver Member Skeptic76's Avatar
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    You sound like a great companion and you seem to embody a great blend of logic & heart.

    Have you ever tried meditation? I have a medical condition that is greatly exacerbated by stress, and so began researching ways to cope with the stresses of modern adult life. Diet, exercise and talk therapy were among the things I incorporated into my stress reduction mission...but nothing was as powerful as a daily meditation practice.

    In the beginning I read an article online about the basics and set a timer for three minutes each morning. It was enough to fundamentally change my outlook on life and today colleagues, friends and family all compliment me on my serenity and positive contributions to group situations... Probably sounds like Iím bragging but my intent is just to share my experience.

    Best wishes!

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    Platinum Member shellyf62's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ubiquity
    I believe the grandmother thought the kids were the last thing she had of her daughter and wanted to take them. It was never discussed with my S/O beforehand, but given that she argued that he doesn't have any right to the kids since he wasn't on the birth certificate, I don't think she believed my S/O had any right to them, even though he had been seeing them every weekend since he split with the mother. The grandmother lived in much closer distance to the mother, so that she could keep them in the same school district, and they also all lived together for a period of time, about a year before her passing. The goal was to have them finish out the school year with the grandmother and then bring them with us, but custody papers were issued before hand. There was a bit more to it, but in the end, that's the big picture of what happened.
    Thanks for the info.
    So has your SO had a DNA test, and is there any reason he isnt on the children's birth certificate?

    You sound like a very caring lady & the children are lucky to have you in their lives.
    IM not sure how I would proceed though, as it sounds like a very messy issue

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Does he pay child support?

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by gsxr104
    I can understand the boys sentiments. I've been there and know that feeling well. Children thrive on the feeling of security and having a home. They can sense more things than most give them credit for. My thoughts are this ... As you know, this isn't going to be an easy haul for you with all of the legal matters that are in process. If you have established a relationship with these children, it very well could be a major part of their "Safe Zone". I'm not sure how old they are but if they're too young to define it in their minds, they will definitely express it when they get older. You've made no secret as how you feel about your S/O (and I probably don't need to say this) but you also need to consider if you have the will and desire to raise them as your own in that "friend" image they have of you right now, as you go through this legal battle. You don't need to answer out loud but when you look at them do you get a feeling of happiness, neutral sense or dread, inside? That I think will give you the answer you're looking for. As far as coping with one decision or the other, I'm afraid it's not as easy as 1,2,3. You'll just have to take day by day, but I wouldn't spend too much time dwelling on it either way and giving you more unnecessary physical complications. Try to focus on the positive things especially when you're going to sleep. Your subconscious mind will be programmed with whatever you load into it as you drift off. When you wake in the morning your conscious mind will migrate towards that program. You put negative stuff in, you get negative stuff out.
    The kids have had to adapt to a lot of people coming and going with the mother changing boyfriends, houses, pets, etc. Unfortunately, in this case, it seems that they feel the safe zone is mostly with their grandmother. Which, she exhibits enough abnormal behaviors and has even verbally put his son down, so it sort of astounds me. But, I suppose they're still more used to living with her then with us and they likely don't know enough about what normal behavior is since they seem to stay at home often. It's a lot to think about. And yes, unfortunately coping won't be as easy as I'd like. Thanks for the response.

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