Should I be Talking to the Ex


Since Madalyn has not been going back and forth from my house to her moms she really seems to be doing so much better. Yet I am concerned because I know that her chances will be so much better if her mom and I can co-parent her in a healthy and kind manner. My ex will no longer talk to me because her new husband thinks we are having an affair which is totally rediculous. Because of this I feel that Madalyn is missing out so I made 2 mistakes that I am aware of recently:

1) I told my ex to call and talk to her daughter every night. She was only doing it once a week and I just don't think that is right. That pissed her off because I was being controlling - so I am told.

2) When her mom does call that one time a week Madalyn asks her "why are you calling?" and often times says she doesn't want to talk to her. I expressed to Madalyn that it is important for her to talk to her mom and stop what she is doing.

I mentioned this to a coworker and was quickly reprimanded for what I had done. Stating that I should not force Madalyn to talk to her mom if she doesn't want to. It isn't that she doesn't love her mom but she is getting to the age where she sees the difference between her mom and I and how we treat her. She knows that I am going to talk to her pretty much every day because that is what I have been doing for the past 3 years. Her mom on the other hand isn't quite that way. Anyhow does anyone have an opinion on the matter? Should I encourage Madalyn to talk more with her mom or should I just hope that someday her mom will let go of whatever is holding her back from taking a bigger part of Madalyn's life?


Vivian said...

Mmmm (This is Vivian ... Just changed the "name" because my kids post a blog too ... so does the dog ... don't ask haha)

Well, I've had this issue with Charles and his dad. Beth is ok with talking on the phone with their dad but Charles has issues. About a year ago, it got to the point where he'd utterly refused to talk. I'd encourage him to at least say "Hi". He too would ask "What do you want?" or "Why are you calling?" As much as I hated to make him talk on the phone, I knew I was doing the right thing. I felt like it was what God wanted.

Even though he (the dad) is a jerk, he's still their father. According to God's word, we are to honor father and mother. Matter of fact it is in the 10 commandments. I've come to realize "honor" doesn't mean we have to roll over and be a door mat. It has more to do with the child's character. My character in relationship with my mother. My children's character in relationship with me. It has to do with honesty, fairness, beliefs, and actions. So, I teach Charles that just because his dad acts like a jerk, doesn't mean he (Charles) needs to act like a jerk. I teach him that his dad just might meet Jesus through him because his actions show Jesus. It's taken a year but Charles is now more willing to talk on the phone when it does happen to be his dad.

Through out our lives we have to deal with people who refuse to hold themselves accountable. We have to learn how do our job around them, worship in the same pew with them, and love them just like Jesus loves them. I see this time in Charles' life as training ground for later. He's learning how to communicate with someone who is difficult to have a relationship with. It is hard.

I think you are doing the right thing. It's hard to walk that balance. It will set the example to your daughter later ... "Hey, Dad never discouraged me from having a relationship with Mom." It may seem like torture to her now but later on ... it will bring you honor.

Marja said...

Here's my take...and this is a bit different...kind of.

I tend a little girl. Her dad works away for 2 weeks of the month. I have her while her mom works. Mom/Dad are divorced. When her dad called she never wanted to talk. Always was busy playing, talking to my kids, just kid stuff. Her dad was hurt by it. Then I moved away and the little girl had to go to another sitters house. She didn't like this sitter much, no one to play with, it wasn't a fun place to be. All of a sudden the girl whom I tend wanted to talk to daddy for 45 minutes at a time. Dad realized that he'd rather have her happy and not be super interested in talking to him than sad and bored and wanting to talk to him all the time.

Someday Madalyn's mom will discover the same thing....hopefully.

I moved back, started tending the little girl again and she is back at her super quick ultra preoccupied discussions with her dad. He'll take it. She's happy.

Jason said...

I know the feeling, I used to feel terribly hurt when I would call and Madalyn didn't want to talk. In the beginning it was even harder because I was 'scared' of my ex and didn't want a confrontation. I think by being consistent that Madalyn realized that I am not going to take up much of her time and I typically could get a 30 second conversation out of the deal most of the time.

Jason said...

I think I am going to mention to Madalyn to give her mom a call. I taught her our phone numbers so she can do it any time she wants however, she isn't planning ahead so I can pass along the hint to call when she isn't preoccupied. I think it is important for her mom to be involved and if I can help that a bit then I know it will benefit Madalyn.

Vivian said...

That's a good idea! That way she has a choice to call her Mom and at the same time she'll see that you feel her relationship with her mom is important. I'd wish ya luck but I think praying works better. :) hehe We're praying for you.