Seeking Advice


#1

I guess its only fair that I tell you all a little about my life before I ask for advice. I am a 35 yr old man. I was married to my first wife back in 1994. In 1998 she passed away in a car wreck. She left me a-then 2 yr old boy (he is now 14). After my first wife passed away, I began experimenting and using alcohol and drugs. This went on for about 2yrs. Eventually I began going to mass again, going to confession, and taking communion and I stoped the drugs. After 3yrs I re-married to my now ex-wife. We were marred in 02 have one child together and divorced in09. Our marriage was very rocky thoughout the marriage, but I did love her. We would argue about the smallest things at times, and sometimes the arguments would even escalate in to violence (mostly on my part). After about 5 yrs of my marriage, I started drinking and using again. Until one night I was high, I thought my wife was cheating on me, and I became violent. I grabbed her and shook her. I was arrested that night and taken away. This was in `07, I confessed to her about the drinking and the drugs. I went into an outpatient rehab and I attended domestic violece type classes. My wife supprisingly took me back after a lot of begging, pleaing, and persuasion. I swore I would never even raise my voice again… and I meant it. But slowly the arguing returned and so did the shouting and name calling. In October of 08, after an argument (no violence) she placed a restraining order on me and kept me from seeing or speaking to my kids for over 2 months…even my oldest son. Eventually I had to take her to court in order to get custody back of my oldest and get visitation rights with my little one.
So there…there is the backround. First of all let me start off with saying that its not easy for me to admit what I did. I am very ashamed of putting my hands on my wife. My wife was by no means easy to get along with… she is a very stubborn, amongst other things. Not that there is ever any excuse to ever physically hurt anyone else.
Now for my dilema… Since the divorce she moved to PA from TX, and has deliberately kept my son from contacting me. I don’t have a telephone number to call, and she wont return any of my mail or emails to my son, so I dont know if my son’s even getting the mail. I have even tried going up there to see him for my Thanksgiving visit…but she hid him from me. I miss my son so much… I don’t understand why she is doing this. She was perfectly fine with me caring for my sons the day before we separated. I have always been a good father… I coached tball, soccer, and football teams for my kids. I love my children with all of my heart. Now, all want is to be part of my son’s life. I have no choice but to take my ex back to court and seek enforcement…which means she will probably be fined and maybe even jailed. I wonder if this will help or worsen my situation. Is there anything else that I can do or try? A big problem is that she will not speak to me or even read my letters regarding my son. What should I do?


#2

I think only a lawyer could help you in the legal parts.

But, have you tried certified registered signature receipt mail to your oldest son?
It would also help if you ever needed proof of your trying to contact him ].

You might try getting two cell phones with advanced minutes subscriptions and registered certified signature packaged Fedex or something ] to him. You control how many minutes per month and load it ].

ALWAYS keep the receipts of the delivery signatures....phone minute loads etc. You might need them legally, later.

I hope this helps


#3

full disclosure: me-- sober 26 years.

before we get to talking about how to make another person do what you want them to do (and having a relationship with your kid is extrmemely important) let’s talk a little bit about whether or not you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

with this list, i’m not suggesting you ‘earn’ you kid back, only that your own housekeeping is in order. so here goes:

*so, you’ve been sober since 07? that’s at best 4- 3 years?
*how are you staying sober-- do you go to meetings regularly?
*do you have and use a sponsor?
*are you working 12 steps in order with a sponsor that has worked 12 steps in order?
*are you in (or successfully completed) anger management or other therapy? i urge this because your anger problems began OUTSIDE of drug and alcohol problems. you may fix the booze, but you’ll still have unfixed anger problems.
*do you pray every day?
*do you pray every day prayers other than “Lord please… send my kid back, make my ex agreeable, fix my finances etc…”
*do you go to Mass and Confession regularly?
*do you pray for the specific spiritual well being of your ex every day?
*are you living chastity according to God’s laws as taught by the Church?

if you’re not doing those things already, start. when you get good at doing all those things, begin to offer every Mass, daily prayers and novenas for your child, for his mother, for God’s love and graces in their life. that way, 2 things happen:
*they receive extra graces. everyone needs graces.
*you’ll be helping your kid in POWERFUL ways even while you’re waiting

by the time you get good at all of the above, you will know your motives are pure, your love is strong, your emotions and reactions can be trusted and that you’re steeped in GRACES.

then get a lawyer. consider relocating to PA.

and begin today to write a journal for your separated child. write thoughts, hopes and especially prayers. that way, someday (hopefully soon) your child can see you’ve been thinking about and praying for him every (or nearly every) day.

may God bless you and your children (and in whatever way HE wills it, your ex wife) with astonishing graces and re-unity.


#4

Thank you Kim and Monica for your responses. First of all Happy Mother's Day to you both and all of the rest of the mothers that may read this.
First of all Kim...I have tried writing him and sending him letters. I have sent airplane tickets via fed-ex and have been signed for...but she did not send him on the plane. He has a pre paid cell phone, which is the only number that I have for him. The phone is ALWAYS off. I have tried calling my ex in laws since they live next to my ex and my son... but they do not want to get involved.

I have had such bad luck with lawyers... you would not believe it, but I'll give you an idea. The first laywer, which is the one I trusted during the divorce, was the one that really let me down. I trusted him to look after my best interest, but it didnt work out that way. The only thing that I asked during the divorce is that my wife not be able to move my son out of state, or at least too far... that way I could still visit him weekly. I wanted nothing else. Well my attorney told me throughout the divorce due to the fact that I moved out of the county (only about 18 miles away), that I wasnt able to ask for a geographical restriction. Like I said, Im not an atorney, so I trusted him. It turns out that this is completely false. Anyway, after the divorce and after trying to keep me and my son's relationships alive and failing due to no fault of my own, I hired another attorney to help me modify orders and enforce visitation. Well this attorney, if you want to call her an attorney, did nothing. She pretty much took my money and did nothing for me. Never filed anything, never even drafted the motions. NOTHING. I was told by the state BAR that I could take her to small claims court for my retainer if I wanted.
So now I did my homework, and found a certified family law specialist... very expensive attorney, but she is very knowledgable and very good. God willing things will change for the better. I wish my ex would agree to attend some type of post divorce counseling in order to learn how to communicate.

As for me Monica....
well I can't say that I ever worked a 12 step program. I have been fortunate enough to see how much cocaine really hurt my life. I began attending mass, going to confession, reading self help literature, and have stayed clean since that horrible night in '07. I did attend an out patient rehab... I would go there for 8 hours every day and get counseling, join group sessions, read a lot and pretty much just stay clean. This is when I began to pray a lot. I also completed a "batterer's intervention program". Its a program geared towards abusive spouses. I really wanted to make my marriage work, for my kids, my wife, myself, and especially for God. I try to pray everyday, although I havent made it a habbit yet. I do pray for my ex. I want her to have peace in her heart, but the more that I read now, the more I believe that she had a personality disorder. She talks herself into believing a lot of things, and once she convinces herself, there is no way to change her mind. I really hope she finds peace. And as for chastity, I have had several opportunities to be in relationships with other women, but I know in my heart that Im not ready. We're still married through the church and until the marriage is anulled, I will not and cannot be in another relationship.

As for moving to PA... right now its not finacially feasable. But once my older son goes to college, I just might move up there on my own to be closer to my little boy bofore I loose out on too much of his life.

Im also asking anyone who reads this to please pray for my situation. My son's birthday is on Friday the 14th, and court is on the 26th of May. I haven't even talked to him since summer of last year. I've already missed Christmas and I wont get to talk or to see him for his birthday either. Please, please pray for me.


#5

First I would just like to say that you are a very good man to be able to admit to your mistakes. As for the legal aspect, I have no idea how to help you. But I do want to offer you some encouragement.

The sad truth is, society still favours the mother's rights over the fathers. And it will be an uphill battle. I pray God gives you strenght

CM


#6

Thank you very much for your words of encouragement CM. It really is not easy admiting to the awfull things I have done, but I have never been one to deny my guilt. I was brought up believing that if you do something wrong, admit it, ask for forgiveness, and don’t do it again. Easier said than done, but I try. I try to instill values like this into my 14 yr old son. Its amazing how much I have learned about myself just talking to my son.
As for society, yes it does favor the mother and rightfully so, I believe that children need their mothers, but the fathers should still be involved. With so many children with fathers that want nothing to do with them, and the kids craving and wanting to spend time with their dads… you would think she would be more understanding of our son’s wants and needs. I know my son misses me. We were very close up until the move. He’s my baby boy. Thank you for your prayers.


#7

Thank you very much for your words of encouragement CM. It really is not easy admiting to the awfull things I have done, but I have never been one to deny my guilt. I was brought up believing that if you do something wrong, admit it, ask for forgiveness, and don’t do it again. Easier said than done, but I try. I try to instill values like this into my 14 yr old son. Its amazing how much I have learned about myself just talking to my son.
As for society, yes it does favor the mother and rightfully so, I believe that children need their mothers, but the fathers should still be involved. With so many children with fathers that want nothing to do with them, and the kids craving and wanting to spend time with their dads… you would think she would be more understanding of our son’s wants and needs. I know my son misses me. We were very close up until the move. He’s my baby boy. Thank you for your prayers.


#8

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