2019.08.18On Kiddo's Relationships

I share my daughter with another dad. I moved my family to Texas over a year ago. Before moving, the other dad essentially sued my wife for custody of kiddo. It was a waste of resources -- both his and ours. Had he simply talked with my wife instead of throwing his laywer at us, he likely would have arrived at a very similar arrangement we currently have. Our arrangement essentially involves her traveling up to see him over long weekends, some holidays, and over the majority of the summer.

Kiddo's extended family is comprised of her dad, his wife, and her teenage son. The boy hasn't had an easy life -- he lost his father at a young age, and has -- or had -- nothing but resentment for his mom's new husband.

This summer, kiddo had a few hiccups and we had to end her vacay early so she could have some medication issues worked out. Since then, kiddo's relationship with her extended family has been strained. She has come to feel that his stepson takes precedent over her; kiddo feels like a second- class citizen when she visits.

Distance hasn't made the heart grow fonder. Since school has started, she has hung up on him on a few calls.

My feelings aside, I can tell that kiddo is looking for closeness right now. She needs reassurance that her place is solid and her (other) family dynamic is strong. So I've been working extra hard to provide that for her.

Although I have no standing in the matter, I feel --- having been a child of divorce too --- that she shouldn't have to make the trip to see him if she doesn't want to. I don't dare actually suggest it, though.

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