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Comment: I love you. Thank you for being there for us. I will take your advice. I have your contact info and will be contacting you soon. Your understanding has just given me strength and has probably saved my children's mental/emotional lives.
My ex husband is a millionaire . He travels the world and pops in and out of our daughters lives about every other week. He is very condescending, belittles their accomplishments or does not consider everyday routine things in their lives that are important to them important. For example, my youngest daughter is a cheerleader, on a varsity competitive team for 7 years. He won't even acknowledge that because he is not and has told her he is not interested in cheer leading and wont make time to watch her even if he is in town. Now track is here and he has kicked in. Of course my daughter is furious and doesn't want him to go to the meets. He informed her that as her father he will go to whatever he wants when he wants. When he shows up he talks on his cell loudly and adds comments to her about her performance that really shut her down.
My older daughter who is nineteen and in college is at the end with him. He has her self esteem so low about herself whenever he is around. She is by the way, a straight A student at a very good college, has a three year relationship with a great guy, has an apartment, a car and lots of good friends.
Here's the question. He pays me alimony, the girls child support, and helps if he feels like it on other items. Not that often. My girls who are great athletes, state champ levels, great students, funny young women sure getting bashed by this guy with real problems. I feel like I am just sitting by and letting the abuse happen. If my children don't do what he wants, when he wants he withholds money, threatens to repo cars, stop college funding, etc. We are an affluent,"nice family" with all this huge mental abuse...............what should I do?
You are right you are allowing this and this kind of behavior is going to impact all of you for a very long time. You are fortunate in that your daughters are acting out by having to be the best at everything however I have deep concerns they about how they feel inside. In my experience it is the extremely good kids that sometimes have the most amount of isolation and feelings of vulnerability inside.
I have 3 suggestions:
1. Talk to you attorney and tell him about the threats to cut off the financial support. He will cost himself more in the long run especially if the attorney modifies the order to include penalties for late payment.
Next, ask your attorney about limiting or refusing him access to the children.
2. RUN to family counseling. Get them in so they can heal, you can heal and you can document the effects his selfish and emotionally abusive behavior has had on all three of you.
3. Start keeping a journal if you haven't already.
Lastly, Get on Oprah's website and read about this week's appearance by Suze Orman. It was all about what women put up with when they feel financially dependent on a man.
If you read the article then click on her list of suggestions I think you will see if you take control of your finances you will become fearless and free from him. He is controlling you with his emotional abuse and financial blackmail.
Being affluent just means you probably don't get the emotional support you need. People tend not to see what is happening because they are blinded by your status or the don't see the problem because you are receiving money. I know how you must feel like you are living in a cage in a situation like this. You owe to yourself and your girls to get out. They are watching you, what your life is and where it goes is just what they will eventually recreate. Girls get their self esteem from their mom and their relationship skills from their dads.
Feel free to call me I am available for private, confidential sessions. As it says on my site you can reach me one of two ways:
http://www.ingenio.com/Family SolutionsInc or 1-888-INGENIO begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-INGENIO end_of_the_skype_highlighting extension - 081865.
I would love to forward Suze Orman's new book to you which was downloaded for free this week from Oprah's site. (don't believe that is available any longer however I have it and would gladly forward it to you).
You are your children's biggest advocate and they need you now and they will always need you in a different way when they are all grown up.
M Kay Keller