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Caught in a double bind

S Updated
I feel that since my ex and I split up I have taken the bad cop position with my daughters and he has taken the good cop. He is highly malignant towards me and defames me at every opportunity with the girls (19) and (21). I know because they ask me about certain misdeeds I have allegedly done. My younger daughter moved to the university recently in the town where he lives and he takes her out regularly. He has rebuilt his relationship with her and has become a prince in her eyes. She has become increasingly derogatory towards me. His girlfriend is very charming and buys my younger lots of gifts and I am told she is much more caring than I am. Meanwhile he spends money on treats with him at the centre but gives them no money for necessities, nor gets involved in delivery or collection to uni. Now, for example, even though I am 14k in debt and he has no debt, I'm going to collect my girls from their fathers as he said he has no money to drive them back. This then puts the pressure on me to act. My younger daughter broke her wrist yesterday ice-skating and my maternal instinct is driving me to collect her which he relies on. This pattern has developed over the year - I feel like Kreature in the Harry Potter films, I have become the unappreciated servant yet I can see that I try to help with their needs rather than win their hearts. I am just sinking with fatigue and don't want to withhold like he does, then they have two stubborn parents. Any thoughts from wikis would be greatly appreciated.

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Stem,I would look at the bigger picture, when your girls are a bit more mature they will see through the sugar coated behaviour by your ex.my kids both now see that this is the only way their father communicates , by bribery an that he isn't there when the going gets tough.kids can see the transparency in it all and milk it while it uits them, it will be you they have the most respect for in the long rung. hugs, i know its hard to swallow at the time.
T
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Stem ((())) I sympathise. So many of us have had similar experiences, sadly. Don't have any advice to offer since I am in a similar predicament myself... xxx
E
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stem x all I can say is I had the same with my son (16) he left me for a year to live with his dad, barely any contact either, but in the end his dad throwing money at him instead of everyday needs didn't work and he s now home.
But do be honest about money, my son finally realises why I couldn't get a mortgage, why money has to go towards bills first xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
R
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Kreacher is a great analogy - and don't forget Dobby who regained his independence and self-respect when freed from his abusive former masters :)
I agree with the others, perhaps you might have an honest conversation about your finances and pull back from helping out when your ex fails to do so. Maybe your 17 year old could look for a part-time job if she doesn't work already?
The comparisons with OW must be awful, I am so sorry to hear that. I would feel crushed if my boys said OW was nicer than me in any way, though of course I realise it's best for their well-being to get along OK. x
V
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Stem ((hugs))
Step back tell them the truth they will come back to you they have just got their rose tinted specs on currently
D
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oh Stem ginger. Your relationship with your girls reflects my own with my children in so many ways. I was just about to blog 'teenagers - aaahhh'. I have had to stand back. Where before I would have gone into 'I am mother extrodinaire - I have the solution' mode - I am now bad cop too.....and I am tired. But I have decided to be brave.....and say ......'this is your decision to make. If you would rather not be here that is fine' We are there for our children but they also have to be 'there for themselves' at this age/stage.

Your analogy of Kreacher absolutely struck a chord and made me laugh.

From Kreacher II

Take very good care Stemginger.
SF
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What Ignatz said. You need to tell them about your debts, there is absolutely no point in concealing them. And stop stepping up to the plate every time. Then he will either have to act or show himself up.

Get yourself some financial advice, debt management charity, the debt forum in money saving expert. It's time to take control.
P
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Are your children aware that you are seriously in debt? They are both old enough to be made aware of the true situation. Who provides the money for their necessities? Have you thought of putting it all in a spreadsheet for all to see and discuss?

I would imagine that your younger daughter will require collection from and to university if she lives away from you and there is inadequate public transport. If there is decent public transport, it is not a 'need' but a 'want'.

I suggest you take a holiday. The fulfilment of needs is usually appreciated once they are unfulfilled. If you suspect you are a doormat, stop acting like one. Ask your grown up children to hoover the doormat as part of their domestic chores?

And lots of luck..... and a Merry Christmas (ironic).
I