“Carl” has asked to remain anonymous so all names in this story has been changed. Also, please be aware that there are profanities in this interview.
This is Carl’s story. Carl is in a relationship with Shannon, who has 2 children (aged 6 and 2) from a previous relationship. Carl currently doesn’t have any children of his own. Carl and Shannon are both struggling with issues to do with Shannon’s ex (John) and how he deals with the children.
John would attempt to aggravate Shannon with nasty emails before he would go over to pick his kids up.
“We already have the ex blatantly recording us when he comes to pick up the kids because he knows he’s been antagonizing us via email and wants to record a reaction from us. We also recently found out he’s been recording Miss 6 and coercing statements out of her.”
“Apart from the antagonistic, competitive bullshit, he’s just a shitty fucking parent. How hard is it when you’re a part time parent to do the right thing? At one point, he wanted the kids on random week nights and then would say things like ‘she doesn’t need to do homework at his house because it’s a fun house.’ Then we would have to try and get her to do double (of her homework) so she could catch up.”
“Lately, Mr. 2 has been potty training. We told John that he needed a potty at his house. We found out after three visits to his house, he still hasn’t bought one. It’s fucking $5. And then last time Mr. 2 came back, he would have an accident, which he started having a lot of, and then he would get really upset with himself. It’s just heartbreaking and frustrating watching him fall behind because his dad is too much of a cunt to buy a potty.”
“The whole ordeal just makes me so fucking frustrated and angry. Why doesn’t he just do what’s best for the kids? He’s a bully and I don’t think he’s dealing well with me stepping in now. I stayed passive in the background for as long as I could, but there’s only so many abusive emails your loved one can receive before you have to step in. I tried my hardest to remain impartial, after all, my parents separated. But the ex is a cunt, I just wish he wasn’t around. He’s not as bad as some, don’t get me wrong. But he loves causing drama and has said some fucked up shit to the kids. He’s so delusional that he doesn’t realize how much it’s going to hurt them. He just thinks he’s ‘beating’ us. Not that there is an ‘us’ when it comes to the kids, because apparently, I have nothing to do with them.”
“I’ve been told in an email I need to butt out because the kids don’t have anything to do with me, which is annoying at best. It’s also the same thing he told Shannon’s lawyer. That’s why I’ve stepped in.
At some point, it had to change from ‘oh that’s those two arguing about their past’ to ‘this is some dickhead abusing my partner’.”
“It’s getting better for now, I guess. The kids go there again this weekend. He actually asked about how to potty train Mr 2. I’m taking that as a small win. He has them every second weekend for a night. It’s been regular for the last few months which I’m taking as a massive win, considering his inconsistency when the parenting agreement was put into place. He used to ditch seeing the kids so he could go party. It’s heartbreaking for the kids, but it’s also frustrating for me in a selfish way. He could dictate when he could see the kids so he could party with his girlfriend. But our relationship didn’t have any such leniency when we were getting to know each other.”
I asked Carl what advice he would like to give to other men in his position.
“Nothing that shouldn’t need to be said. Don’t be a piece of shit and involve the kids. Also, you need to put yourself first sometimes. If you’re not happy, how can your kids be happy? Falling in love with someone that’s been emotionally manipulated and bullied can be hard. You’ll pay the price for the shit the ex has done, but they can learn to love again, really love, if you give them the time and help them to find the strength.”
“I would never have dated a woman with children before I met Shannon. It just didn’t fit into my lifestyle. But, when you meet the one…. Ya know? We’re not married, but it’ll probably happen at some point. It doesn’t bother me either way, but I think secretly it’ll mean a lot to her. Plus I’m a sappy romantic, so I’ll be able to plan some ridiculous and over the top proposal haha!”
Wow, Carl. Thanks so much for coming forward to telling your story. You have shown great strength in holding it together, not just for the love you have for Shannon, but also help take responsibility of her two children. You have shown, that you’ve not allowed external forces (the ex) to stop you from continuing to be a pillar of strength for Shannon and the kids. From what you’ve said, you seem like someone, despite how angry and frustrated you get with the situation, you are still walking right beside Shannon through it all to support her. You are indeed, a real man in my eyes. I wish you, Shannon and the kids all the best in the future.