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Dear Chump Lady, Should my cheater be in the delivery room?

deliveryDear Chump Lady,

My ex cheated on me throughout the entire duration of our relationship, including through my pregnancy and the birth of our first child, With randoms online, randoms in bars, randoms in general. But then also with his ex before me – and she was the ongoing emotional affair that ultimately culminated in the worst of the pain. I called him on my way into labor & delivery and the first thing he did was tell her he was about to be a dad and he proceeded to talk to her the whole trip to the delivery room. After our child’s birth, he contacted her again immediately and they began talking about their relationship together. She told him he should get a paternity test and he told her he agreed. He then told her that it should be her. I am angriest about this comment over anything else that occurred.

Brings me to today. I was the on-the-fence chump. Tried to make it work, despite all signs telling me he wasn’t truly remorseful or humbled. And he stayed in contact with her on and off, claiming I don’t respect their “history” and their “friendship.” He maintains now he hasn’t spoken to her in months but, then, how many times have I heard that.

I could go on so much more about the cruelty and disrespect, but I don’t need to. I’m about to have our second child (conceived during “reconciliation”). I don’t want to invite him to the birth. I don’t want to give the child his last name. I don’t want him texting his OW about MY labor and delivery when she is not a part of this family, nor is she entitled to this information. She knew about me the entire time. Her family told her she was being inappropriate and needed to butt out. Her new boyfriend left her for the messages she was sending my ex. Am I being petty or is it reasonable to not call until after the birth? And to give the child my last name?

He’s an okay father. He loves our daughter, he cares for her. He’s never paid a dime in child support (then, she’s only 18 months old) and he does not make sacrifices for her. He’s had the pleasant distinction of two separate lives — daddy days (two days a week scheduled visitation) and then his bachelor days. But that may also be how custody works. I get her every other day, I get custody — I’m grateful for that and it’s worth the sacrifice.

I don’t know how much of this is pertinent. My main question is — am I out of line to not let him in the room for the birth of our second child? He makes me uncomfortable and anxious and, as I recently initiated no-contact and broke it off for good, wounds of his most recent betrayals are fresh. This isn’t about me or him or her, it’s about bringing a new life into the world. I don’t know whether or not I’m being childish or chumpish.

(Not Creative Enough for Nick Name)

Dear Not Creative (but procreative),

No. You’re not out of line to banish this guy from the delivery room. The only people you want in a delivery room are people who love you and people with drugs. (And frankly, you won’t care about the former as much as the latter.) He’s worse than useless — he’s a source of pain. And when you’re pushing 8 pounds of baby through your nether regions, you don’t need more pain.

Reading your letter, I don’t see mention of marriage or divorce lawyers, so I’m assuming you are unmarried. Please listen to me carefully here — YOU STILL NEED A LAWYER. Just because you don’t need an attorney to dump his cheating ass, you DO need a lawyer to work out visitation and child support. You’ve got an 18-month old child that he pays ZERO support on? Oh darling, that shit stops RIGHT NOW. You call that child support office IMMEDIATELY and you get the support your child deserves.

You also need a lawyer to work out custody. I’m very confused by your letter. He sees the 18-month old two days a week? Every other day? You have custody? What’s the deal?

This is what I’m sensing — you have “custody” in the sense that you pay for everything and do all the child rearing. He has “daddy time” when it suits him. Quit being a chump and get a FORMAL, legally binding agreement in which he pays SUPPORT and visitation is clearly spelled out, including holidays, medical insurance, extras, etc. and you have PHYSICAL custody.

If you have some kitchen table agreement and you think he’ll agree because gosh, you’re the mother of his children? Put down the hopium pipe. He’s a cheating, lying asshole. Call a lawyer NOW. Protect those babies. They get your loyalty, not him.

Also, in my opinion, 18-month old babies should not be in every other day custody arrangements. Hell, I’m not even sure about overnights. You deserve a break, but not a 50/50 split with a man who does jack shit and expects you to foot the bill.

Let me say it again — CALL A LAWYER. A lawyer can also help you with new baby concerns, like does the asswipe’s name go on the birth certificate? If you can afford it, consider formally making him persona non grata. No support, but no sharing your child with a fuckwit. Anyways, these are legal issues, and you need LEGAL HELP.

I’m just an advice columnist who decodes mindfuckery. Let me help there.

She told him he should get a paternity test and he told her he agreed. He then told her that it should be her. I am angriest about this comment over anything else that occurred.

It should be her. She deserves every ounce of misery this fuckwit has put you through. Please let her have him. I think she needs to be in a delivery room having his baby while he texts someone else and questions the paternity of her child. She deserves that plus three days of back labor without an epidural and an elephant-sized baby with a two-foot head circumference.

Tried to make it work, despite all signs telling me he wasn’t truly remorseful or humbled. And he stayed in contact with her on and off, claiming I don’t respect their “history” and their “friendship.”

Fix your picker, NC. You weren’t in reconciliation, you were in a pick me dance, which resulted in another child. You will never regret your child, but you will suffer a lot of consequences from breeding with a fuckwit. Your child is an innocent. You owe it to your kids to wise up, get smart, and protect them, because their father sure as hell will not.

You didn’t “respect” his history with the OW? Bullshit. He doesn’t respect ANYONE except the greedy little whims of his dick.

He’s an okay father. He loves our daughter, he cares for her. He’s never paid a dime in child support (then, she’s only 18 months old) and he does not make sacrifices for her.

He’s not an okay father. He does NOT love your daughter. Love is showing up. Love is COMMITMENT. Love is paying child support. Love is not hurting his children’s mother. Love is making sacrifices.

Do not raise another generation of chumps. Don’t let them accept crap behavior and tell them it’s “love.” YOU love your children. He is a sperm donor. As such, in the delivery room, he gets all the rights and privileges of a human turkey baster. Which is to say, leave him alone in a drawer. Frankly, you’d get more loving support from a turkey baster. Good luck.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Grrrrr this makes me angry. It’s YOUR pregnancy and YOUR labour! My ex husband wasn’t allowed at the birth of our second child. I made it very clear to him that I needed people who love and respect me there. He didn’t listen, he got into the labour ward and knocked on the delivery room door! He was quickly escorted off the ward. No midwife on this planet will go against a mother’s wishes. Stand firm, be strong and tell him to f**k off!!

    • Yes! You are mega-mighty! I don’t know how I would keep a father from being present during the birth of his child, but I’m so glad you did. Because new mothers deserve peace (especially during delivery). Cheaters deserve consequences.

      If the marriage vows (or terms and commitment of the relationship) don’t mean the same thing to him as they do to you, what are the chances conceiving a life and bringing a baby into the world do?

    • You are awesome! I’ve felt this way since I found out I was pregnant, essentially. That he wasn’t entitled to be there after what he did during our daughter’s birth – after tainting the experience and making it a part of the ongoing pain and drama he inflicted, making it about his OW rather than recognizing it as a family moment, as something she absolutely was NOT party to.

      I think any mom who keeps their shitty ex out of the room is entitled to that, despite what anyone else thinks or says. Because you want to bring the baby in to an environment of love, not toxicity. And if he had any respect for that child or for that child’s mother (you), he wouldn’t have treated you the way he did.

      I’m sorry you went through that, but I think it’s admirable you stuck to your guns and put yourself and your baby first!

      • Thank you OP! It took alot of strength to say it, mean it and stand by it. I had his family trying to give their opinion. I now have NC with them.
        Do what is best for you because you are the most important person in your child’s life! Happy mummy=Happy children.
        If he doesn’t like it, tough! He chose a whore over his unborn child. I kept that thought in my mind and the anger that gave me made me stronger.

      • OP, what this scumbag has been doing is worse than not loving you and cheating. It’s disrespect on a monumental scale. And you have accepted it over and over again,As for the “ex”, she’s a disgrace to her gender. Take it from someone who was naive enough to put up with similar cruelty and disrespect from my traitor and his “ex” who, I believe, never really was his “ex”.

        When you are dealing with people like that, you are being preyed upon by a pack of hyenas.

        We didn’t have any children, I had 6 miscarriages with him. Before I knew what he had been doing, I was able to grieve in peace for my unborn babies. Now I don’t even have that. It’s tainted, because he lied all the time, and she knew what I was going through. These people rejoice in your misery, it’s a turn on. It’s beyond the usual self serving idiocy. It’s sadism.
        It’s worse when another woman is knowingly attacking you like this. I get that.
        I can’t even begin to imagine what stress having that scumbag in the delivery room would cause you. You might as well invite Maleficent there.

        As for you legal position, you absolutely need a lawyer. It’s clear from your letter that you don’t know how to defend yourself. You need a pro, and a very good one.

        Where is your family in this? Are you isolated? Who is fighting in your corner, while these 2 are ganging up on you? You need a team, your own pack, to defend you. Please get help.You have 2 children now and you sound like you are all alone while these 2 monsters carry on pissing on you. GET HELP!!! If you have no money and no family of your own, talk to a women’s refuge to point you towards a specialist lawyer. You can’t do this alone anymore.

        The karma bus wouldn’t be good enough for those 2, only a slow and painful death for the years of torture they have put you through. I am so sorry, OP. Make it stop now.

        • Those two are absolutely psychotic and I’m sorry you had to endure that. It is absolutely not fair and it is absolutely sick. The only positive side is you realize how much better off you are without him and you don’t hold any illusions about what “could have been.” When you’re dealing with a nasty SOB, they make moving on from them at least a little easier, even if they don’t remove themselves from your lives as easily. They cling like some fucking nuisance lint just to watch you suffer.

          My father is helping out with my daughter (especially being in my eighth month of pregnancy now – I need help!). My grandparents are also relatively close. I have a good group of friends who, while they liked him at the time, saw what he put me through and hate his guts now. All very supportive.

    • Oh dear. So unfair. Who are these ruthless OW who think this is okay??? I’m fuming for you. Sever. Cut. Purge. He’s a colossal douche. A troglodyte of epic proportion. NO CONTACT is inevitable. Sigh. Hugs and best wishes for your strength. Eject this blivet from your reality.

    • MsMeh2016, your ex is such a drama queen! He made sure he won’t be present during delivery. What a POD

  • Pretty galling to have that conversation on the way to the delivery of the first child!! Holy crap. Definitely need to keep him away from any further delivery room experiences, and better yet, stop having kids with this guy.

  • My understanding of Not Creative’s custody schedule is that the father sees the 18 month old two days a week, while she has custody all the rest of the time (i.e. the other days). But even if I’m wrong, everything CL says still stands.

    The idea that while he has not paid any child support yet, but it has only been 18 months, is very disturbing. ONLY 18 months? Paying all bills is a tough habit to get started. For some reason, child support is an even tougher habit for many parents. The longer he goes without paying support, the more this will feel normal and “right” to him. This man needs to understand immediately that he has a long term financial commitment (soon it will be two commitments). He must start paying now.

    Name your child whatever you like. I am a firm believer that the person who bears (or adopts) the child gets to choose the child’s last name, even when a couple is married (though discussing how to use last names prior to marriage is a good idea). And when a man is so disrespectful to you that he voices slurs about the baby’s paternity to please his new girlfriend, why would you even want the child to have his name? The only reason I’d even consider using the father’s name is so that both siblings would share a name, but that is something you’d have to value for it to affect your choice.

    • That comment irked me too ‘only 18 months’! Only 18 months of responsibility he’s manipulated himself out of.
      As for naming the child, I gave my son his brothers name. It wasn’t about his father and I’ve kept my married name, again it’s my sons name.

    • That’s the only thing I’m considering – I’d like my two children to share a name, but I don’t want the asswipe to get the entitlement to it. I casually mentioned that I was planning on giving my daughter her grandfather’s name (my last name). He was livid. But my father is a better man. He has helped to raise my daughter, making the necessary sacrifices. He raised my brother and I, his adopted children, after he became a widower at 35 and has made every sacrifice for us. That’s a name to pass down, not the name of someone so toxic. The fact that he feels so entitled to it and just assumes I’d still give this child his name – the man who doesn’t respect me even as the mother of his children, the man who is so selfish and sick he can’t see past himself – this fact alone makes me want to ensure that his son doesn’t pass on his name. I want my son to know what a man is and what he isn’t. I also think he still thinks I’m wrapped around his finger and will just do whatever he wants to appease him, because I did it for so long. I made so many sacrifices. And it needs to be clear that that is over.

      • Change your firstborn’s name to match you and child #2. It shouldn’t be that difficult to do at 18 mos. Your Ex might try to fight it, but he doesn’t have some god-given right to her having his last name.

        I would think long and hard about seeking support. I don’t know what state you live in but I can tell you here in CA it is very difficult to enforce payment. My knowledge is through my hairdresser, whose baby daddy was cheating and gone before the birth. The child is about to enter kindergarten. He is $40,000 in arrears. However, she has to share custody and custody isn’t dependent on payment. It is a nightmare. And every time she tries to take him to court he pays something like $60 and the courts look favorably on him. He is fully employed.

        The minute you seek money, he will force the issue of SHARED custody and will get it. At this moment, you might be able to get him to give up legal and physical custody claims if you don’t seek money from him. If you can afford to do that, it is worth considering.

        You are in for 18 years of high drama, conflict, and shit sandwiches – for you and your children. I’m so sorry. Stay mighty.

        • When my daughter was born I was married and had no clue ex-douchecanoe was cheating on me. We were going to hyphenate our daughter’s last name to mine (I kept my maiden) and his. At the last week I changed my mind and decided upon just his.

          In the divorce I asked that I be allowed to hyphenate our daughter’s name. She was only 3, and it would be a simple process. I said I would incur the costs and responsibility, I just asked for his consent. He, of course, denied me. Funny how it was the plan and then he changed his mind once he knew it was important to me. My lawyer said it was unheard of to change a child’s name in divorce. I pressed the issue for a while, but I knew I had no recourse or legal precedent.

          Joke is on him though because I always just write her last name as a hyphenated his-mine and I know it pisses him off. She is in school, dance, girl scouts, etc, all with a hyphenated name even though it isn’t legally changed. She thinks her name is hyphenated, too.

          • That is amazing and just as should be (short of removing the hyphenated jackass’ name completely). My ex’s brother was a shitty daddy too and his kid is a teenager and his jersey has his mom’s name on it. When my ex’s family asked his mom about it, she said he chooses to use it. He hasn’t seen his dad since he was a kid, he doesn’t want to use his name – birth certificate be damned. His school and his extracurriculars are perfectly fine with it and he’s been doing it for years.

            • We (me mostly) angsted (it’s a word, OK? ?) about surnames. I ended up choosing my surname as all three kids’ middle name. My Dad is gay and cheated on my mum. So my surname is not that special either. But it is who I am, cheating dad be damned. Sometimes I wish I’d stuck to my guns and given them my surname! But TBH my guys dad is quite a decent dad – bar the fucktardery of his cheating period! I didn’t want hyphenation because what happens to the next generation? Three hyphens?

      • Sorry OP, I was so angry reading your letter I didn’t read further down that you dad has been helping you. I am so glad you are not alone. Now stand up for yourself and get a lawyer.

      • Yes! This is the right thinking. You’re on the right track. Keep it up and you’re going to be OK. The more you hang around us seasoned, hard-line, no BS chumps, the louder and stronger that little voice in the back of your head will get. Eventually you’ll stop asking permission to listen to that little voice, and instead you’ll shout it out!

      • Change it and give your 18 month old your father’s name. My child is 18 months. She doesn’t know her last name yet and neither does yours. Then both your kids will have matching names.

        Do not let your ex in the room. Mine came, then immediately emailed the OW with pics and the baby’s name (along with all our friends) and she was the first to respond about how much she “loved” the name I picked. Totally ruined it for me forever.


        • That’s sick. How dare these cheaters make the birth of a child about them and their other women, rather than allowing it to be a family moment as it should be. It’s so incredibly selfish. She is not the one carrying or delivering your child. She has no right to know when you’re in labor, when you give birth, or anything about the child whatsoever until she’s got a ring on her finger. And, even then, she doesn’t get a say. It’s not her family. It’s such a huge boundary violation. But, then, what cheater knows the first thing about boundaries?

          That’s how he ruined mine too. And since he was talking to her on the way to the hospital, I’ve always wondered if she picked our daughter’s name. He called me an asshole for asking. (We didn’t have a name 100% picked out in advance; he walked into the room with one we’d never discussed previously and I loved it – how naive. He’d been on the phone with her for the last hour, showed up just in time for me to deliver his child. Not there for the epidural, not there for the transition, not there at all in the end.)

      • Ideally you would give your son what name you wish. It’s easier than try to change it later. Get a lawyer.

        I think not naming his children after him it’s an act of castration. The ultimate revenge. I also feel it’s just, since one cannot be bothered to pay child support or talks about paternity of his child in the delivery room.

        • I want to castrate the asshole too! I just strongly want my kids to be connected through their last name. It’s the only part of me that hesitates on the name. Also? If he refuses to sign the BC when he has no say in the name, better for everyone involved.

    • In Australia, if you want the child support, the father’s name has to appear on the birth certificate.

      • Well my ex signed an ROP on the first (he was also on the birth certificate). So, even if I’d given our daughter my last name, he’d still be on the hook because he signed a legally binding recognition of parentage (basically, accepting and acknowledging paternity) in front of a notary the day she was born.

        Here, we have the ROP for unmarried parents and for if the husband isn’t the father (otherwise, husband is always the presumed father but, in the case of an affair, AP can sign the ROP). They will also do a paternity test in-house immediately following the birth if the father doesn’t want to sign without one.

  • This letter reads like its written by someone who’s trying to escape from an aspiring cult leader. I hope she gets that lawyer and some therapy, and I hope she and her babies have supportive family and friends to lean on.

    Monsters are real.

    • And those monsters are not under your bed. They’re right there in bed next to you. Aaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!

  • I almost left my STBX right before I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child. Instead I spackled like crazy. I regret the last 11 years with every fiber of my being.
    If I could go back to that time and gone no contact when I first caught a glimpse of the monster behind the mask, I would have. And my kids and I would be a lot better off.
    Procreative, you are fully aware of the monster. YOU DO NOT WANT HIM THERE.
    He is a sperm donor – not a good father.
    Have a friend or family member with you instead.
    Inform the hospital that he is estranged and you do not want him there.

    • “He is a sperm donor – not a good father.” — Exactly.

      I don’t have kids. As a longterm CL reader (and in real life), I am amazed how easily some men can walk away from their own offspring, both emotionally and logistically. Just like, “I don’t want these anymore.” Either that, or they behave with their kids the way XH did with our dogs: Use them as props when it’s “fun” or “cool,” then expect to stuff them into a closet (i.e., pretend they don’t exist, provide no care or attention) the rest of the time.

      Children are little human beings, and in my childless opinion, any parent who can just turn on & off their love for their own children is beneath the lowest of the low. This is how the world ended up as fucked up as it is, whole new generations of kids who were raised with angst & trauma from diapers to denim. Stop the madness. Love your children. Draw your boundaries. This guy is bad news. Lawyer up, ditch this idiot and start making a newer healthier life for yourself and your beloved kids.

  • Two things still amaze this jaded heart:

    1) The jaw dropping cruelty of people who chose to cheat.

    2) The hair on your neck brilliance of Ms. C Lady’s responses to these letters.

    To the poster, it makes my heart break for you that you would have a moment’s confusion on this issue. Any man that texts a vicious whore while you are in labor needs both his kneecaps broken and then the bat shoved up his ass. Him being allowed to witness a life being brought in the world?

    Come on. This shows how deeply you have been mind fucked. He doesn’t deserve to pump your gas.

    • Kendal K

      Yes to all of the above. Especially the kneecap part and the consequent positioning of said bat.

      What a monumental fucker this one is.

      • Creative
        You can do this. If I can do it, you can do it.

        Until you leave his presence, you will not be able to think clearly. Even if you read all these comments and your smart brain is nodding, Go Girl!, your ancient brain will scramble back to his abuse and second guess yourself. It is called trauma bonding.

        I am so sorry he ruined your first baby’s delivery. He is not going to ruin your second. Change your phone number. Move. Get away from this demon.

        When we are living with an abuser, we cannot think right. It is like rolling in a mud puddle in a white shirt and hoping it will stay clean. Don’t think. Just run from him like you would a flesh eating zombie. Every part of your life will start to improve. I hope he gets rectal and stomach cancer and dies in a gutter. I hope you and your children soar with the sparrows. (((Hugs)))

        • And by “living”….I mean ANY CONTACT.

          He wants to see the first child? But not paying? Too bad. As Ms. C Lady said, Get a lawyer and have them rip out his intestines with a dull spoon.

          I know when you are pregnant, all those motherly, weepy feelings come out but we need you to get nasty. Get gangster. Get medieval.

          You are a Momma Bear, out on the Denali plains, and he is drunk, vile, body odored poacher who wants to hurt your cubs. Hire a lawyer that will disembowel him.

          (Yep, I am enraged for her, you, me and all of us on this Gondola Ride from the Ebola Estuary, the Salmonella Stream, the Rotten River.)

          • Just a warning–I was privy to judicial decision making when I was called for Jury Duty on an Infidelity Case involving custody 11 days after d-day (you can’t make this shit up; the world has a dark sense of humor).

            Custody is not affected by cheating nor by whether a fuckwit pays his/her child support. Courts want a child to grow up with both parents. So, be prepared for a possible legal battle over custody and simply try and get AS much as you can (90/10, 80/20); unless said fuckwit agrees, sole custody is very rare, even under horrific circumstances.

            You might even consider listing father as “unknown” on the birth certificate so that fuckwit has to launch a legal battle himself even to see the kid.

            • OP,
              I want to second this. I have seen courts give unsupervised visitation to felons even. They take no consideration whatever of infidelity. The courts don’t care if he physically abused you, they will let him see the kids regardless. And every asshole who is ever ordered to pay child support immediately wants 50/50 so they don’t have to pay. The same jerks who never paid a dime, showed any interest, and consistently missed scheduled visits. GET A LAWYER, but not for child support. Have the lawyer do the math for maximum child support, then (if your state allows)show him those figures and offer to forego child support if he signs off his parental rights. My state did not allow this so I had the order written that I waived child support in order to be allowed to move with my children and have full PHYSICAL custody (what really counts). I knew he would be too lazy or cheap to travel to see them (I moved across country) or pay to have them travel to see him. This kind of jerk will never pay support anyway and the courts most likely will let him see his kids despite knowing what he is whether he pays any ordered support or not. Get the best lawyer you can, cut a deal to get him out of your life. Then NO CONTACT whatsoever. His money and freedom mean much more to him than his kids ever will. Leverage his selfishness against him. Don’t leave a door open. Don’t give him a toe hold. Get away. It’s difficult to raise kids without financial help, but you won’t get financial help anyway. The most important thing is to keep this disordered abusive ass away from you and your kids. I’m no lawyer, but I had to come up with this plan. The lawyers I talked to were fixated on support orders (like you can get anyone to enforce one, Ha!). They thought I was crazy, but it worked ( several lawyers said “no parent will agree to that”, BUT he jumped at the chance, and I raised my kids without his addicted, abusive, mental mindfuckery.

              • For a situation like this–great idea. My former daughter-in-law had a child with a non-paying fuckwit. She figured it was just the cost of not having him around her child.

              • 100% agree – well played, Jojobee. I have full custody with zero child support, and I consider it my privilege to fully raise and care for my children. I understand others might not be in a financial situation that allows this, but if at all possible, it is so worth it. I also believe it’s important for kids to feel loved by both parents (shared custody), but if reality is that they’re not, then the lesser evil is to remove the constant reminder. The fact that Jojobee’s ex jumped at the opportunity for freedom speaks for itself.

                A friend had her child as a single woman and left dad’s name off the birth certificate. Whereas I have to travel with documents verifying sole custody, she just shows the birth certificate and she’s done. If child support is an issue, leaving dad off doesn’t help, but otherwise it’s much easier to start out alone.

            • Creative –

              I would second Tempest’s suggestion of thinking long and hard about allowing him in your life and in the life of your little ones.

              Child support with a fuckwit is a punishment that keeps on punishing, remember that in the case of personality disordered, like your STBX, fairness feel like oppression. Any actions you will take (legal or not) to have a fairer situation in which he becomes a more equitable parent, whether it is financially, or with regards to the time he spends with his kids, he will interpret as an unfair demand on his time, and energy.

              Think very carefully before you list that man as the father on your second child’s birth certificate. I would trade child support over a chance to parent alone in a heartbeat.

              He is all about image management, as shown by his double standards of wanting his kids to have his last name without paying any child support or having more time with them. His mother is too, as she might be find your backbone, she might not see much of her grandchildren.

              Think of your health and your kids’ well being first.

              Evict him from your mind, and focus on what is best for you. Ask yourself “what’s in it for me?” after you hear about any of his or his mom’s requests. If they are all about you accommodating them, then think twice about accepting.

              If they try to guilt you into anything, they reply something along the lines of “I hope he had thought of the consequences of having kids with me while having an affair with XZY”

              You are mighty for going through all this, keep putting your kids and your own well being first. He (and his mom) might whine, but this too shall pass, what counts is your ability to rebuild your self-esteem and go forward in your life without the huge burden of his presence in your life.


    • Amen to that.
      And how on earth is he an okay father if he pays fuck all for the care and upkeep of his own child.He sounds like a fucked up sociopath abuser you need to get the hell away from Not Creative.
      Made me so angry to read this.Lawyer up and run,run,run.

  • Part of this story is missing. Is the writer possibly the ow? If not, or if so, she got herself mixed up in some toxic shit. I’ll bet the ex is smoking the hopium pipe like crazy,
    This guy is like a magnet pulled across metal filings. He has that scary ability to pull all of you in. You need away from him.
    He is NOT a good daddy. He is enjoying parading his child around. Good daddies pay child support. Good daddies respect their child’s mother. So far he is 0 for 0.
    Consider him a sperm donor.

    • OP here. Not the OW, but definitely mixed up in toxic cheat. Tack on to the cheating the additional emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and physical abuse, throw it into a blender with his alcoholism and untreated manic depression, his dozen parole violations in two years (oh yeah, he’s a felon too – 5 DWIs in 7 years), his external locus of control, and his refusal to work through any of his own shit. Instead, he’s content blaming the world – every ex girlfriend is psychotic, every ex friend was toxic, anyone who holds the mirror up to him is awful. He talked just as much shit about his OW as he did me. And I imagine put her through the same crap, which is why their engagement (they got engaged a month after I left him the first time) lasted only a month or two. Some people are just so toxic, so selfish, and so heartless.

      • WTF? When did you realize he was a felon? OP, he’s a monster, and you have serious issues getting involved with him. It doesn’t sound like he was projecting respectability and stability or even commitment. Get to the bottom of WHY THAT WAS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU.

        You gotta do that work. Bring those babies up in a healthy environment. There are other fuckwits out there — the picker needs fixing. Boundaries need shoring up. It’s OKAY to have boundaries. Not everyone deserves your sympathy or your time.

        • I knew he had a DWI because he had an intoxalock installed in his car. The rest kind of trickled out six months to a year later. He would tell me so many stories about himself that seemed believable enough, which all turned out to just be his alcoholic ramblings. I saw the real him when we moved in together and I ended our lease early (no rental history dings, as I filed for imminent harm the last time he ever laid hands on me). At the time, I was dealing with my own insecurities. We met when I was 21, my entire teens were a rough patch, so it was my first “real” relationship. He was great at the love bombing, had me convinced I was the most amazing woman to ever grace this planet and my insecurity sucked it up. First time he betrayed me (which, upon going through his whole damn phone months later showed me he was betraying me from day one but, silly me, wanted to respect his privacy and not be one “those women” at the time), he had me convinced he was sorry. Begged me not to leave, told me I was the best thing that ever happened to him, he didn’t deserve me, he’s just a fucked up alcoholic, he’s sick, etc. First time he emotionally abused me? “Please, have patience with me. All the shit I say is really a reflection of how I feel about myself, not you.” Just seriously knew just the right words and my lack of experience told me I could “fix him” and he would be okay.

          And then he made my life a living hell as I got more comfortable. He became less sorry, everything was now my fault, he was less discrete about his infidelity, and the abuse got physical. He waited until I was already attached, already sucked in to show how he really felt about me and everyone around him – everybody sucks but him, everybody deserves abuse because he had a rough childhood.

          It took me so long to learn that I was worth something again. I felt like less than nothing two years into that relationship. Bending over backwards for him, taking on the responsibility of it being my job to “fix things” because all the gaslighting and isolation had me convinced I was just crazy and I was lucky he stayed with me. It was just completely sick. Since then, I’ve been through domestic abuse programs, currently involved in ALANON, and working on finding a good therapist.

          But, most importantly, moving him out of my house and gaining my life back brought me back to sanity and out of his alcoholic, abusive haze that he has everyone else entrapped in. He lost a lot of friends even while we were together and it was always because “they are untrustworthy.” But, really, it’s when decent people get sick of his indecent treatment – he ends up alone. And, of course, that’s the world’s fault too.

          • Girl, with all his baggage you have a good shot at full physical and legal custody. Go it alone. You might even get him to sign over his rights to the kid da if you catch him in the right get moment and promise him you won’t ask for child support. Hell, if you can offer him cash to bail. That’s what my aunt ultimately did to get custody of her daughter from my abusive uncle–she scrounged up $40k, which seems like an enormous amount but worth every penny IMO. It ain’t easy but you won’t be the first or last. Give your kids a shot at normalcy. This guy will destroy all of your lives. Best of luck to you.

      • I think you really need a strong dose of reality. This guy will never, all of a sudden, have an epiphany and realize how wonderful you are and how precious his children are and change his ways. The only change he’ll make is getting far worse than he is now. You may want to seriously consider having him sign off on his parental rights. This guy WILL NEVER pay child support and will only bring frustration and heartache to your children. Honestly the time and effort of trying to get a few bucks from him will be time wasted. The minute he realizes he has to cough up child support or have the option of signing off, he’ll sign off. If you can’t get rid of him for your own well being, please do it for your children’s.

        • I had that wake-up call when, after I left him and cut contact, he made false reports to CPS about me and effectively got our daughter removed from my home. I was willing to fight at trial (although getting a trial date was months out from when they took my daughter), until my lawyer informed me the same judge had taken a women’s children a week prior for a single report of domestic violence. So, despite the fact that we were no contact and I’d kicked him out months before CPS came knocking, they kept her in foster care. All the reports, all the classes could not put two and two together about what was stated about me – until they realized he was just an abuser using our child to cause further harm. Our daughter was in foster care for six months, because CPS has to take it all seriously. In our county, thousands of kids died a few years ago and they made the front page. They flat out admitted to me, “anywhere else, you’d have her back. But we can’t afford to make the papers again.” Thousands of dollars, tons of evaluations, tons of classes and groups later, moving out of my own home so my dad could stay there with my daughter, I got custody back. He was still on supervised visitation when the case closed, as he skipped all his UAs and completed approximately 8% of his case plan. Unfortunately, I took his very brief stint at sobriety as meaning all the rest of his fuckedupness would be resolved too. I very quickly learned that was not the case. And, to this day, if I’m not doing what he wants, he threatens to report me to CPS for some bullshit reason or another. And it’s actually a valid threat, now that I’ve seen how fucked up our county’s program is. Even outside of pregnancy, I don’t drink even the smallest amount of alcohol in case he reports me as an alcoholic and they take my daughter for it. It’s this constant state of fear. And this will he or won’t he in regards to how far he’s willing to go. I don’t think he’s a better person for me or her, but I think he’s selfish enough not to want to go through the system again.

          But, yeah, I harbor no delusions about who he is or what he’s capable of anymore. And I’ve seen very clearly that he hasn’t changed at all. Sobriety or no, he’s got a lot of issues. And it would take longer for him to work through those issues than time he has left on this earth at the rate he’s going.

          • Wow, 6 months of foster care for a non incident sounds fairly unprecedented, in any county. I don’t know you but I suspect there might be a little more to your story here? I hope things work out for you and you can make a functional life for your kids. We all have to make hundreds of choices everyday, which makes every day a new opportunity to improve on them. Our kids deserve safe, sane, and stable parents. Best of luck.

            • No more to the story. He reported I left her home alone to go out drinking and passed out drunk with her. All because, when they interviewed me, I admitted to them that we had smoked pot during one incident of DV. And he took that as me “throwing him under the bus” because I was trying to be honest with them when they came knocking. At the first court date, I read the report he filed. He stated I had multiple mental illnesses and the drinking stuff. The court was not willing to drop it because of those reports. I got all of it cleared up but it took months. The county was mad that I wouldn’t confess to being an addict and/or crazy. So first, I needed a mental health eval. It came back clean so then they wanted a psych eval. Came back, again, clean. Did parenting classes, went to treatment (despite having no substance abuse issues; so the treatment center released me early), went to DV counseling and finally we reached the date where I could go to trial and have it all dropped or settle. I was going to go to trial but, again, my lawyer told me I would lose because of the domestic violence. Even though I left. So I settled – I agreed my daughter needed to stay in county custody because we had domestic violence issues.

              I thought like you did before. I thought they’d have to prove the things in the report because they were so ridiculous. I had multiple witnesses and solid evidence that the things he accused me of and the dates in question didn’t line up. (Me leaving her alone to go out drinking? I was holding the door for my dad to bring out a box of my stuff while he was helping me leave his ass and he reported she was home alone. Because I let her stay in her crib while I was downstairs. And they took that at face value.) The system is not what everybody thinks it is – at least around here. He’s a sick, toxic, alcoholic who used our daughter to get at me. he didn’t think they’d take her either, he just wanted to scare me. But they didn’t need anything else – stating that I had a personality disorder and the alleged incidents got her removed. The fact that he had abused me kept her away. The judge ordered her back after six months because I passed every UA, did everything on the court order, and had more than proved the reports were false. But they have to assume everything in the report is true when they decide whether or not to remove your child before trial.

              They used to not play it as safe. But even the social worker and guardian ad litem admitted to me I would have had physical custody after a couple months if not for the fact that the county had so many issues and made national news for not being aggressive enough. They hired thousands of new workers and have overcompensated ever since. The whole situation was a complete shitshow.

      • This guy is on self-destruct. Do yourself a favor get some life insurance on him. And get him out of your kids life he will do nothing but destroy it .

        • I totally did not mean to make that sound like you should “get rid of him “. He’s doing that on his own . No help from you required.

      • You need to demand what your children deserve… even if you don’t think you deserve it for yourself: A stable life with a loving family, NOT visitation with a deadbeat felon/chronic drunk driver who happened to sire them.

        I can’t think of a single scenario in which he would get ANY visitation except supervised, at his own expense, in a family court. You have all the likelihood possible to get full child support/healthcare/childcare expenses without having to deal with that asshole on a personal level EVER again, and I include the fact that he will not have unsupervised visitation without some life-altering treatment/therapy/serious money spent on his part. You go ahead and name your child whatever you want… let him petition the court on his own dime to argue changing this child’s name. Make it COST him even more.

        You have the ability… all you have to do is DO it.

        • I just got back on and a HUGE lightbulb just went on. Is this alcoholic driving with your child in the car !!??!!? Please make a tough decision about him. Your children could be at serious risk.

          • He can’t drink with her. He picks her up and drops her off each day he has her. He gets about a 4-5hr chunk of time with her, where 1.5-2hrs is driving time. He has an ignition interlock in his car until 2021, so he has to blow in it to start his car and every 10/20/30 minutes of driving (it’s pretty random, but goes off a lot).

            That said, he doesn’t have overnights and he never will on my watch. The event that triggered me to end our lease and finally leave him also included him passing out drunk in a bed with our daughter. She was 3 months old. I didn’t call the police because he had choked the shit out of me, I called them because my daughter was screaming and I was locked out. They broke down the door and took him straight to jail. This is included in the police report and it’s enough where, even if he did want to fight for custody, I’d pull it out and show the judge why he absolutely should never be alone with her without a guarantee he can’t drink – especially overnight.

      • Ok. I already left you a reply above before reading this. Now that I see this? His felon status, substance abuse, and mental illness in addition to abuse of you? Do not let your children be around him. Please. Do whatever is necessary to keep him out of their lives.

      • Do anything you can to get away from him and keep him out of your kids’ lives. If he drives drunk, he is dangerous to them.

      • Holy shit.
        NC you need to figure out what it is about YOU that led you to be involved with such a man.
        I had to do that too and it ain’t pretty.Very,very necessary though.

      • His record could certainly work in your favor for custody.
        Besides having someone else with you in the delivery room, can your dad be in the waiting room? He can run interference with your ex, call security if needed, document his crazy behavior.
        You definitely need a posse to have your back.

      • You may have a case for sole custody on the grounds that he is a danger to his children. It has been proven in court at least 5 times that he has driven a vehicle (a potential weapon) while intoxicated. You mentioned he is an alcoholic, so alcohol theoretically is in his system 24/7. How can you be sure your children will not be in danger in his care?? You can’t. I would hire a lawyer ASAP and use this as grounds for sole custody. He hasn’t earned the right to be in the delivery room, in fact he has proven he should most definitely be banned from it. Give your baby your last name. And apply for a name change for your first baby. I changed my kids last names after the fact. One of the best things I’ve ever done.

      • I wouldn’t let him within a mile of my cat, let alone a toddler or a baby. Or a teenager, for that matter.

  • There is so much legal complexity here. Any kind of law help, including pro-bono legal aid, would be good at this point.

    Also, you must be feeling so bereft right now — I really feel for you. Reading your letter, I think you already know that his presence there is bad for you and the child. It feels to me like you need support with that to muster up the strength to go through with it. You will find that here.

    Bear this in mind: He clearly has no integrity. God knows what the hell he is doing when he has his time with his child, what she is exposed to, and what he says to her in private. Both of your children need your critical situational judgment and protection from harm.

    It is my sincere hope that you have a friend who can support you through this. If you don’t, you might consider contacting a women’s support group – maybe even a domestic violence help number – to see what options you have. You may think that sounds dramatic, but your letter comes across to me as a list of examples of mental torture. No kidding.

    Optimally, your daughter won’t have to stay with her dad while you are in labor and delivery, and optimally, you will have an advocate by your side to walk you through the process. Hospitals where I live let the patient make a visitor list and anyone on it can’t come in. Maybe yours does that, too. Having an advocate with you will help with enforcing that boundary while you focus on having your baby.

    No child support is worth what this trained gaslighted is putting you and your children through in my opinion. He will do to them what he does to you and maybe more. Please consider doing all you can to remove him from your life. When the poison leaves, it is likely that the depth of your despair will leave with it. Ask us how we know.

    • All great advice, Amiisfree! I also hope Creative can find a way to remove him from her, and her kids, lives. He’s a FAKE daddy, not a good one.
      Of course, legally he has rights to his kids, so she will have go along with some visitation to begin with, but I’ll bet you a dollar he loses interest after a few months of that!
      Creative, let his Ex take him off your hands! The only ones allowed in the delivery room, are supporters (he’s not one, he’s a destroyer). Do you have a helpful girlfriend? A Mom or Aunt that loves you? Let them be your Birth Coach, it’s a privilege, and something they’ll cherish forever!

      • She may not have to give him visitation. Courts aren’t real big on handing toddlers over to felons.

  • Like Louisville Flower, I saw the monster behind the mask when I was pregnant with my second child. My now ex-husband turned into a totally different person when I was pregnant. Mean, cold and angry towards me. Joined a bowling league, out partying with a newly divorced guy friend, came home reeking of cigarette smoke (found out months later he started smoking) and coming home drunk. A totally different person than the person I married. At one point he said to me, “You and the kids will be fine financially without me.” So I’m sure he was having an affair as he sure acted like it! To this day I regret not leaving him and moving back to my home state. He didn’t give a crap about me or his children (or son was so cute and so much fun to be with at that time and he missed out on so much because he was either working or out with “friends”.) I could have easily moved away as he didn’t want anything to do with us. But instead I held out and things did get better, but never *great*. There’s always been “friends” in our marriage. I’m not sure what’s up with these cheaters who act weird when the wife is pregnant or is jealous of their newborn babies (ex was jealous of son when he was born, but not jealous of daughter.)

    I would definitely not have the cheater in the labor room. My now ex-husband was there and to this day I can see him sitting all the way across the room from me. There was no concern for me. He was totally checked out. I felt so alone. And after our daughter was born, back in my room, he yelled at me saying, “You got to name son! I deserve to name our daughter!” Yes, he yelled at me. His wife that just gave birth. That is the monster under the mask. The person that I only have seen. He would never act that way to anyone else. That’s why I’m sure a lot of people believe his story that he’s the victim of me and not the truth that I’m a victim of him.

    Not Creative, do everything that Chump Lady says. You are entitled to child support! And definitely NEVER sleep with this guy again! He’s a total loser! And definitely fix your picker. That’s what I’m working on. I’m not sure I’ll ever date again, because I have been so traumatized by what my ex did to me and I just don’t have any interest in men right now. I’m just trying to get myself back and she’s going to be a healthier version of the old Martha.

    • I’m so sorry you had to go through this during labor and delivery, having him there but withdrawn and unsupportive. That is emotionally devastating. Good for getting out and leaving that heartless loser behind!

      • Martha

        That description of your life at that time is so chilling. I’m beginning to think that the better person you are the harder you find it to see what these monsters are. That’s why so many end up staying – it’s so hard to wrap your mind around who this person actually is.

        I was lucky. I have you guys who set me straight quickly. I trusted here more than anything else, certainly more than what came out of his mouth.

        Happy that you got out from under but what a terrible ordeal.

        • Me too Capricorn. Chump Lady and CN got me straightened out real quick. Thank goodness.

        • Agreed, Capricorn. We just cannot fathom that we’ve married such an empty shell of a human being. So mind-boggling. I was duped for years because I couldn’t even imagine that he would – or why he would – cheat, lie, and steal. Didn’t cross my mind. I gave him (undeserved) credit for being the kind of person I was. Not that I thought I was *that* special, but surely honest, faithful, compassionate…Y’know: a decent human being. I made it so easy for him to be horrible (behind my back) by loving and trusting who I *thought* he was. Took many years for his mask to come off in front of me…and a few more for me to accept that that was the real him. I was pregnant with my third by then. Damn.

  • Don’t let the cheater in the delivery room. His presence will taint the memory of your child’s birth. Bring a trusted friend or family member that hasn’t lied to you into the room.
    My ex spent much of our son’s first day of life, texting his OW. I had no clue, I was in baby bliss, hopped up on pain meds from a c-section. He kept stepping out of the hospital room to grab food or get something to drink or his cell service wasn’t working in the hospital room (everyone else had cell coverage). Meanwhile my mom thought it was strange that he was gone for 4 hours getting food when I had just delivered a baby 5 hours before. She also thought it was weird that he was glued to his cell phone more than with me or the baby.
    The first day we brought our son home, he said he was tired and really needed to sleep. I felt bad for him so I told him to go upstairs and sleep, I would stay up with our 2 day old baby and figure out how to take care of him.. He spent the night texting and exchanging naked photos with his OW. Of course I didn’t find this out until almost 6 months later.
    On the 4th day of our son’s life he went to the store and didn’t come home for 8 hours. He had gone to get a new tattoo. His reasoning was that the baby slept all day and we didn’t really two people taking care of him.
    I put up with this as I was still in the dark making excuses. He was too busy with the OW to be there for me or our son. Had I know all this now he wouldn’t have been anywhere near the hospital when I delivered.

    • That’s pretty much what happened after our first child’s birth too and I am so sorry you went through that. It is painful.

      Mine never got up in the night with our kid, complained I was so lazy and worthless while on “vacation” (maternity leave, and sleep deprived from aforementioned no help with kid) and told his family all the things I wasn’t doing so they could confirm for him how terrible and lazy I was, texted other women every night, went out to bars every night. One time, when I caught him texting his OW, he told me “yeah I’ve also been up jacking off to pictures of other women at night because you can’t have sex. You mad about that too? You wanted honesty, right?” Knowing full well how neurotically insecure I already was with his history of cheating, and knowing full well “pictures” meant “pictures I solicited.” He lost his job one week and so I paid all our bills (although I had been for months) and he spent the money I gave him to care for our kid to solicit sex on Craigslist. Of course, I was then working night shift so it was my fault he was lonely. Oh, and I continued to be the only one getting up in the night with our baby because I “worked at night and didn’t have to get up in the morning so it was only fair,” according to him. Also got terrible mastitis and he told his OW all about it while I was crying hysterically every time I fed our child. It’s amazing what you repress.

      Some men are endlessly cruel and you will never see the full lengths – it either keeps getting worse or you leave.

      • All I can say is “YIKES”! Does he currently live with you? If so, throw the bum out. I may be stepping over the line here but you have taken victim hood to a new level. Get a lawyer, yes, but please line up a therapist so you never hook up with another loser sociopath again.

    • CocoVoe

      I am still surprised and shocked every day by stories that I read here. The utter contempt and cruelty inflicted by these dysfunctional monsters is just hard to swallow even though I am experiencing my own version of hell.
      CL must be made of some kind of special stuff to continue to process and confront these fuckers and to offer her massively broad shoulder in the shape of this site.

      CocoVoe – good luck with your new life. You deserve it.

  • I am raising two girls with an idiotic twat like this. In my opinion, real dads pay child support, whether it’s ordered or not. That’s not a woman being greedy. That’s a man knowing that even $20 helps buy a box of diapers or pays a gas bill or something and wanting to see his child taken care of.

    I was in a custody battle royale with Uncle Dad (I’ll explain why I call him that in a minute), when he called me on his visitation day saying our daughter was running fever and I needed to take off of my work to take her to the doctor.

    Ummm, no honey, you want visitation and partial custody, so if the kids get sick on your watch, that’s on you.

    Well, he did not take her to the doctor, and by the time I picked her up 24 hours later, she was running a 103.7 degree fever, and I had to take her to urgent care with no insurance. And pay for it.

    I went from January 2014 until January 2016 without a dime of financial support from him. I had to file for contempt of court 3 times because he refused to pay what the court ordered him to pay.

    I finally got an order for a garnishment for his paycheck, and when it was served, the garnishment order was served to his branch office where he and only 2-3 employees work. The main office, where HR is, says they never received it. He and his co-workers threw the paperwork for the garnishment away obviously.

    He owes me right at $10,000 in back child support right now. When I was awarded sole custody–because chump lady is right judges don’t give young children overnight visits to cluster b fucktards–he stopped giving a damn altogether. He gave my daughters’ room at his house to his new girlfriend’s kid, then the newer girlfriend’s kid, then the newer girlfriend’s kid, etc.

    He was awarded visitation on Saturdays, but he never told the judge that he works on Saturday and requested another day, so of the 20 hours per month of supervised visitation, he literally gave away half without a word.

    He never comes to dance recitals, school events, doctor visits, tonsil surgeries, cavity fillings…nothing.

    He got really uppity one time telling me that I was doing a bad job as a mother because of something–keeping my 5 year old home from school with a fever if I remember right–and I told him not to lecture me on being a mom. I told him that he had all of the legal parental rights to my children of an uncle. That’s him, Uncle Dad.

    That was June. Six months ago. He hasn’t so much as texted me since. The only way I know he’s alive is that the child support checks which are garnished from his checks each week are delivered in the mail every Monday. It’s the best our relationship has ever been.

    • Who are these losers who won’t even take care of their own children? Garnishing his wages is smart. Chumps make their child’s needs a priority!

      • Garnishing wages is sad. I think it is a crying damn shame that a court of law says that the father of my children is so incredibly unreliable that the state has to order his employer to cut me a check along with everyone else who gets a cut of his gross earnings.

        I would be mortified if my employer got an order to garnish my check this way. But he’s all “Meh, whatever…”

        • Its the only way to get child support in many cases. There is no shame in it for me. I sleep peacefully at night knowing it is automatically sent to me. It ensures NC with his stupid ass.

          This is a man who paid for gas with quarters the other day with our son in the car. When my son asked him why he was using quarters, he said, “i have to pay your mom $xxx per month so i have no money.”. Bullshit. His live-in Whore just spent $250 on supplies to make fucking candy to sell. And they share a car because she got in an accident and the insurance didn’t pay her enough to buy another car (this story from my son so not sure what’s true). In the end, these dopes squander money and their children are their last priority.

          I mean, I just finished up in court 2 years after DDay getting a court order to make him take over half our marital debt. He seemed to think that he left and the credit card and personal loan weren’t in his name so he could just walk away. Um, no douchebag. He should have signed the separation agreement back in 2015, he would have come out better. But he’s not that smart.

          Garnishment is a great tool.

          • I agree that garnishment is a great tool. I never meant to imply that I didn’t. I just think that it is a shame that we have to have this tool in the first place. Why can’t people who make children support them willingly and enthusiastically?

            One of the first guys I dated post Uncle Dad was a military guy whose wife up and left while he was stationed overseas. He never said she was cheating, but I always suspected she was.

            In any case, from the minute they separated, he always eagerly supported his three small children. To my knowledge, they never had an ugly divorce battle. They decided on a support figure from the time they separated, and he paid it. No questions. No fights. If the kids needed something, he paid for it.

            I don’t understand why more people aren’t like this guy. My girls aren’t a burden. They are a complete joy. My girls entertain me every single day. I couldn’t imagine life without them. I couldn’t imagine not wanting to go to their school plays or dance recitals or doctor visits or whatever else.

            I couldn’t imagine a court of law saying that I was so un-trustworthy in paying for the needs of my children that the state was going to have to take the money to pay for my portion of my children’s necessities like health insurance and shelter and food. That my unwillingness to pay for my children matched that of my unwillingness to pay for things like taxes and FICA–whatever the hell FICA is.

            That was my point with my comments about being ashamed of having a garnishment.

          • Garnishment is also good for chumps who have to pay support–it eliminates wrangling over checks “lost in the mail,” late checks, etc.

        • I don’t think it’s an option in Texas. Wages are garnished even for the parents who are reliable at custody & support.

    • Kelli,
      I am angry for you and your kids as Uncle Dad sounds a lot like my STBX, who can earn up to $2000/DAY and pays for frequent vacations and the Partner of the Month but not support in arrears. (He even requested that the Court excuse him from paying support in arrears while he tells everyone I am an unfit parent.) I hope that someday, the government (especially judicial branch) creates a way for you, me, OP, and every responsible parent to receive a reasonable amount of support–without having to repeatedly fight for it.

      • Thanks, Rockstar. I really appreciate that. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never get enough child support. It’s just never going to happen.

        I have a special needs child. She was born 14 weeks premature. She has some developmental delay. We have been in Occupational therapy, speech, and physical therapy in one form or another since she was 18 months old.

        The latest development came about 2 weeks ago when the school nurse pulled me aside and asked if “we could talk.” Turns out, anyone who asks if “can we talk” is never a fun conversation–including the school nurse. My daughter, who is in kindergarten, randomly started writing upside-down and backward after learning to write correctly. She was on oxygen therapy for 62 days after birth, so she has some neurological problems, especially with her eyes. So, now, we get to go to a pediatric neurologist to have her optic nerves tested. Good times.

        But, I am the only parent who takes care of this stuff. Uncle Dad doesn’t know or care. How do you work that out in the child support worksheet? Can you put a price on that? Is there enough money in the world to even out the scales?

        It’s a split between the old adage of “life’s not fair” and the priceless value of the love that I get from raising my girls. I get all of the “I love you, mommys.” On the flip side, I also get to be the only one cleaning vomit out of my carpet at 2am, which happens way more than I would like. I am the one who gets to watch them succeed, but I am also the one who has to hold and console them when they fail. I get it all. There’s no price tag, big or small, that could be placed on that. So no matter what dollar amount the state gives me, it would never seem fair.

        My best advice is to be happy that you get anything approaching fair, and move forward. Let the anger and resentment go because the court system will never be fair or balanced. Uncle Dad should have been thrown in jail long ago (3 court dates for contempt of court alone!), but it never works out that way.

      • I had my cheater tell his own kids he was struggling to buy groceries whilst living in an expensive city apartment and leaving if his own accord…. Found out in court documents he was holidaying and spending like a millionaire and of course wining and dining the OW. Its OK kids dad was lying to you cos he needed to play the victim …extra points for suckering your own kids I suppose ?

  • Hey, OP here. Thanks for the straight forward advice, CL. I was binge reading through many of your articles yesterday.

    I’m trying to maintain a positive relationship with his family and keeping those lines open for our children, but he is incredibly toxic. His mother has been good to me and has acknowledged (for the most part, of what she knows) his shitty and unacceptable behavior. But she’s still his mother. She knows he’s still drinking, but also has no idea the worst of what’s happened or the fact that he hasn’t really changed. Despite the fact that she banned her, at the time estranged, husband from her third child’s birth (his, naturally.) I fear cutting them all out of the experience and how that will taint everything.

    I am definitely sick of the “pick me” dance. They can have each other.

    Did I mention he’s ten years my senior? He always said we have a maturity gap – sure do!

    I know how important and special it is to be in the delivery room for the birth of a child, but I also know how badly he violated that last time and he still denies his wrongdoing, stating he was “confused” and “didn’t mean it.” It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t fucking matter.

    Earlier commenter was spot on about visitation, while my email was a bit all over the place. I have full physical and legal custody, while he sees her two days a week (and no overnights, due to his alcoholism and history of domestic violence).

    Overall, you’re right. I have filed for child support as of a few months ago. The process is ongoing. Hopefully I’ll start receiving it for our first child before my leave with our second. I’m not too concerned about any potential custody battle he’d employ, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on (again, history of physical abuse towards me [documented, through police reports and pictures], alcoholism [ongoing], and CPS involvement [due to DV, again] where he did not cooperate with his case plan, but the case was closed as I completed mine and had full custody.

    Overall, I do now feel I have a right to keep him out of the room. I went into preterm labor with my first (unsurprising due to the amount of stress) and he screamed at me while I was hooked up to all the monitors about what a bitch I was, how I should drop dead like my mother, amongst other things. The nurses banned him from the room and then he called to tell me that it was all my fault because now he wouldn’t see his child’s birth. Because I was so combative. Child wasn’t born that day, but weeks later. I’m just anxious as to how he’s going to respond, how he’s going to retaliate, and the problems this is going to create navigating forward. But he created this mess. He made these choices. And I’m stronger because of that knowledge.

    /lots of venting as I navigate my thoughts.

    Thanks again, everyone!

    • Good luck OP, glad to hear you’re fighting back! If you’re worried of his reaction to him not being at the birth can you put it in writing? Or have someone with you when you tell him. Please inform your midwife too.
      All the best
      MsMeh x

    • Peace to you! That’s a lot to worry about when you’re pregnant. Just clarifying, are you married? It is good that you are seeking sound legal advice regardless.

      Also, domestic violence perpetrators are a special kind of vicious cheater. They are monsters.

      FWIW, my cheater was 12 years my senior. He is 32 years older than OW. Someone actually said to me regarding them that for some couples age is not an issue. Well, that big of a gap should be some kind of an issue. It’s pervy, but maybe he is finally with his maturity level! And to be honest, a dozen years felt like a considerable gap at times.

      • We are not married! Thank God!

        We had a maturity gap but it was that I was mature for my age and he was immature for his. The problem with the age gap for us was that there was a reason he was with a younger woman – most older women would have fallen for and put up with his shit in particular. He was full of red flags from the beginning. But I supported him – financially, emotionally, in every way – despite receiving nothing in return. Drove him an extra hour out of my way both ways to and from work while 3,6,and 8 months pregnant because he’d had his license cancelled yet again for some reason or another. Was deep in his addiction. It’s my built in codependency and inexperience that landed me here and got me so deep in. Most other women would have ran before they ever felt too attached. And that is creepy. He pursued me because of that innocence, because he knew I would love him unconditionally. Classic narcissism.

    • That’s awful. Dead stop, this guy can NOT be in the delivery room. You need to concentrate on bringing a healthy baby into the world!
      When I think about my crusty old ex husband making loud audible sighs during my three deliveries because the doctors and nurses gave zero fucks about his stress level it actually makes me laugh now.
      Then I imagine how much funnier it would’ve been if I’d driven that foot long epidural needle they buried in my spine each time straight into his cheating skull… Wait, I didn’t mean to say that out loud.

      Anyway, take care of yourself. Surround yourself in a bubble of loving friends and family and enjoy that babies birth and homecoming. I hope all goes well:)

      • Why are these guys such assholes in the delivery room? I had an un-medicated birth and sometime during active labour he said – and I quote – “Could you do this a little more expeditiously? I’m tired.” I should have shoved something big and bulky in his private parts – though he may have enjoyed it.
        If he is not going to be there to protect and support you (which, based on past history, isn’t his thing), I’d recommend a bouncer – or a feisty mid-wife – at the door.

          • I’m still horrified by the behaviour we have endured from our cheaters. Mine tried to avoid as much as possible of my first delivery – when I rang him the day after induction he was watching a movie. A few hours later, contractions getting closer – he’s still at home because he couldn’t find free parking &returned home. It seems so ridiculous looking back, what a selfish prick!
            They can’t handle the stress of having to pretend to support someone, especially when it goes on for hours & they are not centre of attention. Mine hated being around people in pain, it was like a pathetic character weakness to him. Bizarrely, he’s a surgeon, though of course they are not known for their empathy unless the patient is what he used to call a “yummy mummy”.

        • Haha mine complained to anyone who would listen ‘she had to have it (baby) on my side of the bed ugh!’ Not ‘ hey honey well done for giving birth to a 9 lb baby at home with no pain relief’ …thanks I’ll remember to clean up after myself …oh wait I did that too while he lay there watching 1/2 hour old baby sleep . why was I so surprised he was such a selfish fuck when he left us – me and 3 teen kids – with $200 and an explanation ‘dad is starting a new chapter of his life ‘ …see ya

    • Not creative.

      You said ‘ ‘I’m trying to maintain a positive relationship with his family and keeping those lines open for our children’ and also that ‘I fear cutting them all out of the experience and how that will taint everything’
      Seriously? You talk about how his mother banned her estranged husband from this fuckwits birth and how she doesn’t even know the depths to which he has sunk and I’m wondering what it is about this family that you want to keep that models anything about healthy relationships for your kids.
      Your bar for decent behaviour seems to be set dangerously low.
      There is a line between wanting to do what’s right and participating in your own abuse. You have a right to be free of anyone who isn’t good for you or your kids.

      • It’s a complicated situation. Her first child died in a car accident a few years back, her second child is serving a life sentence for something terrible he did while deep in his alcoholism, and her third child – her baby – is my ex. It is all she has left. She works with troubled youth and she’s a very generous and empathetic person. I think it’s hard for her to see how dark her son’s actions are because she doesn’t want to see it. Because, on some level, she has lost all her children save for him. She puts him in his place about his drinking, his selfishness, and his behavior. She tries to understand why he is how he is but it’s beyond anything she can comprehend. She’s made it clear she will not support him if he’s using – and she’s opened the door for me to share that info. with him as he hides it. His brother’s first child’s mother maintains a positive relationship with her, despite her or her child not having any interaction with the brother in over fourteen years. Because she does care for her family and her grandkids. I don’t think his mother’s actually done me wrong or done me any harm and I think it would absolutely break her heart to not see her granddaughter. She’s done so much, offered so much support, and gone out of her way to accommodate and help me. She planned the baby shower, she’s already bought gifts for the new baby. She banned her (at the time estranged) husband from the delivery room because he was deep in his own alcoholism at the time. She straight our punted him out of her childrens lives, went to ALANON, and was a single mom for years. He cleaned up and has been sober for something like 30 years now and is the kindest, gentlest guy on the planet. It’s one of those instances where I don’t think the parents are the problem. I just wish I could keep that door open with her without having to explain my issues with him. Because she’s his mom and she will defend him and his right to see/engage with his kids. She agrees he shouldn’t have overnights with her, but he does love her to death. And I know it would be extremely painful to him – even with all his issues – to not see her. He’s the one who pushes for more time, he’s the one who drives to pick her up and drop her off, he’s the one who wants to video chat her every day he doesn’t see her. And she’s (our daughter) in love with him and would be absolutely devastated to lose the time she has with him. Things just aren’t so black and white in this area.

    • “he screamed at me while I was hooked up to all the monitors about what a bitch I was, how I should drop dead like my mother, amongst other things.” HOLY. SHIT. This is absolutely unacceptable. You have zero – ZERO – obligation to let him anywhere near you in delivery. And you need to stop feeling guilty about it. He fired you from the job of loving and protecting him, so please, PLEASE stop and keep him as far from your children as legally possible. I don’t agree with keeping children from safe parents, even when they’re cheating assholes. But this man is NOT safe, cheater or not.

      Why would you feel that you’re excluding his family by not letting him into he delivery room? A nice text with the birth stats and photo, followed by a visit to the hospital the next day to see the new grandchild is more than adequate. You need to stop, stop, STOP with the guilt. Stop it.

  • As a person who has worked in maternity for a number of years, I assure you, if you told that story to your labor nurse (which you likely wont since you will be in pain, she would try with every fiber of her being to talk you out of admitting him as a visitor. As a patient you have the right to privacy..dont go telling the world you are in labor on FB or telling friends who cant keep a secret.

    Your story is chilling, your “frog in a pot” state of being accustomed to abuse and neglect fro him is chilling…all the things you describe are blatant and horrible. Please purge this person from your life. After you have detoxed from him you will be astonished he ever held a place of importance in your life. All CLs advise was great, please follow it

    • Right? The nurses banned him from preterm delivery the first time. Shouting that you should drop dead and s history of domestic abuse? No, I think they will help keep him out. Great advice to keep it low key.

  • Dear Creative:
    My hope is that one day, you love your children fiercely enough for two parents, but you agree it “should have been her.”

    The Should Have Been happened to me. And while you do not deserve to parent alone, I can’t think of any punishment more befiting to the Howorker Sluterus than the fact that she’s raising my Wasband’s child alone while he fritters away his looming fifties with yet a third woman and stares down the prospect of his Social Security being funneled into child support from a shitty apartment in the flight path of the airport.

    And as a two time Chump who vows to never again be in that position, there is no such thing as an Okay Dad Who Doesn’t Provide a Dime. You’re two years into breeding with a moral vacuum. Let me tell you what the future holds for you. You should go to court and get a shared custody order, if you deign to be so benevolent and generous to a man who stole the Happiest Day of Your Life and made it into a Bonobo Free Love Circus. You could get a minimum child support order with an agreement to split medical and enrichment. Because you’re kind and reasonable even when he isn’t to you. Okay Dad will eventually become Ghost Dad. With virtually no consequences.

    When he does find the Next Suitable Uterus, it’ll be fine if he disappears off the employment rolls till he’s 18 months behind on his princely minimum CS sum. Which is nothing compared to the really glamorous deadbeats CSEA is chasing, so they won’t bother. Not paying half of medical and trumpet payments? Not helping with school lunches? That’ll cost you more to pursue in court than he owes. And he’ll know it. And rest assured that any ensuing love children he has will be used as an excuse to not provide for his older children. You’d never conceive telling your older child he should go without the basics simply because a younger child was born, but you don’t think like a cheater.

    Your Generosity? Your Mercy? Your scrambling to be humane? None of that gentle intent will be returned to you by this Fuckwit or the Cold World. And that, my dear Creative, is why you will need to become Creative, Resourceful, Independent, and Firm. This man belongs nowhere near your privates or your moment of joy.

    With kind regards,
    The 46 year old who just dropped a child support revision request that will triple his payment in the mail.

    • Luziana

      You are fabulous. Just read a post of yours in the archive and you changed my outlook this morning. As I sat in my car after dropping off kids and wondering how to bejazzle the crater that is my life right now I turned to the archives and read your post ‘How to suffer – a chump manual’. The cartoon ‘please don’t let this day be one of those character building days’ ‘made me laugh and your post was truly awesome.
      So. Huge thanks from me and lovely advice for today.

  • No, you don’t have to let him in. You are an adult and get to decide who is there and who isn’t. Tell him you are notifying the hospital that he is not to be there. Give them pictures of him to give to the security team. If he tries, have him arrested. You owe him nothing!

  • First off – hugs! Second off – you need to banish this lowlife POS from the delivery room and then straight to hell where he belongs. You might want to grab a ticket to hell for his ex (or should I say current girlfriend) too ?

    It sounds like you have filed for child support, good for you. Who supports you? What are you going to do when you have two toddlers and no money? Who is going to pay for childcare should you require it?

    This creep needs to start paying STAT! As for giving the baby his last name – speak to a lawyer, how does this affect paternity? Not that it matters but if he isn’t on the birth certificate what does that mean for you and the baby – he already said he should get a paternity test (as did his psycho “ex” girlfriend) – have them pay for it out of there delusional “fun” money that he saves for not suppprting his kids – yep real winner we have here.

    You and your babies deserve sooooo much better – time to make deadbeat daddy who has a problem making babies and not paying for them pay. What happens if he knocks up the “ex” girlfriend?

    Hugs to you – get rid of this loser as of yesterday!

  • Not Creative

    Just wondering what it is that keeps you within a million miles of this guy??
    You write that he is an ok dad but really? Have you read your own post? He is not a good human let alone a good partner and father.
    He treats you with such utter contempt and disrespect but you still seem engaged with him. Can you share why? Are you in therapy?
    Just an amazing tale of dysfunction and cruelty and yet you don’t seem to be trying to get very very very far away to protect yourself and your children. Please forgive me if this comes across as judgemental on my part. It is not at all. I just feel afraid for you and your kids. No one should be treated this way. You sound lovely. Good luck!

  • There is another good reason to keep him out of the delivery room–stress can lead to birth complications. It is not worth putting your you or your child at risk of an unnecessary C-section, or anoxia, or low Apgar scores because fuckwit wanted to be in the room. I cannot think of a more stressful thing than having a cheater in the delivery room when you are as vulnerable as a woman could possibly be at that time.

    Furthermore, there are legal precedents for keeping fathers out of the delivery room under such circumstances (though he may be legally able to see the baby once he/she is taken to the nursery).

    • I was going to point this out too.

      A woman is incredibly vulnerable when in labour. A lot of labours happen at nighttime precisely because at nighttime, women are usually relaxed, in a safe place to settle for the night and it’s dark – so ‘predators’ can’t see. It’s so important that labouring women are in a peaceful, relaxed environment and are as comfortable as they can possibly be (birth and pain anxiety aside!)

      And as you point out – stress can slow or inhibit labour – so much research on this. And once a labour is interrupted in some way, the greater the chance of medical intervention. And research has also shown that one intervention generally leads onto another. By intervention, I mean induction, episiotomy, forceps delivery, vontouse, c-sections etc

  • Not Creative,

    Not only should this douchebag not be in the delivery room, he should not be anywhere in your life. If I were you, I’d even change my first child’s name to match the rest of the family. And let me be clear the “family” is you and your two little ones.

    You need to lawyer up and make sure you have full legal custody and get child support. If it were me, I’d request supervised visitation, too. You toddler does NOT need to be handed over to an alcoholic felon.

    Then, once you have your ducks in a row for your babies, take at least a year off of dating and relationships and figure out why you chose this guy.

  • “This isn’t about me or him or her, it’s about bringing a new life into the world.” I appreciate your attempt to sound like the big person here, but it IS, in fact, about you, as it should be. It’s OK to have needs of your own and not excuse them away or couch them under someone else’s needs. It’s OK to say “This is about me. This is about me feeling safe and secure when I bring a new life into the world. This is what I need, and this is what I will insist upon.”

    The second issue: fuck his last name. Parents who are involved and responsible get a say in these things. He does not. My son has my last name, and that’s exactly how I want it. When we got married two years after our son was born, it was very important to ex that son and I both change our last names to his, despite my hesitation. So I decided to suck it up to make him happy, and we filed for a name change for our son. Stood in front of a judge, printed it in the newspaper, the whole kit and kaboodle. Luckily I hadn’t gotten around to filing it anywhere official, and it turns out the name change order was just *authorization* to change his name, not an actual name name change. So guess where that name change went when I found out ex was cheating shortly thereafter? In the trash. He was mad. Fuck him. I’m 100% satisfied with my choice, and so is my son, and frankly so is my dad, who was heartbroken that there would be no others after me to carry on the name. Not so now!

    Anyway. Start accepting that it’s OK to make the choices that are right for you. You need a spine, and this is the place to help you grow one.

    • Free Vixen, I totally agree. NC/OP needs to put her own needs way above this cheating Jackass sociopath. She will have two kids to support. She doesn’t need to waste a nanosecond on his poor sad sausage hurt feelings. Let along the feelings of the dirtbags who raised this monster.

  • I genuinely don’t understand this question. If you don’t want to have him in the delivery room, don’t have him in the delivery room! There’s no pettiness or anything involved! There’s no compulsion to have anyone there with you who you don’t want there.

    No means no. It’s your choice to make.

  • I’m sorry, please explain why you would like to make a relationship with this turd “work”. Let his special Emotional Affair true love have his nasty, cheating, lying slimy ass. Eeeewww. There aren’t any words strong enough for this loser. And for God’s sake, please stop screwing him. Not even one more time.

  • My NX asked the court to order that he be present at DD’s birth. The court declined.

  • The response you don’t want because it is the hardest path to take…

    1. See a lawyer today.
    2. Go grey rock on contact, but refuse visitation. You aren’t married, he isn’t paying support, he’s a REPEAT FELON. Consider a restraining order if necessary for “imminent harm” with his drunk driving.
    3. Get yourself to a good therapist to understand why you thought breeding with this exceptionally obvious fuckwit was all that you deserved. (Both you and your babies deserve so much more.)

    You have a long road ahead… keep coming back here, you’re not alone. You can do this.

  • Not Creative-
    You say, “We’re not married! Thank God!” but I think you need to ask yourself what you mean, because it doesn’t sound like you feel (or have acted) any less enmeshed, obligated, or burdened because of this fact.
    “Most women would have ran before they ever felt too attached…”
    From what you tell us, and continue to add, he was bad, bad news from the very beginning. You’ve shared no redeeming qualities. (CL swiftly discredited your “okay dad” description.) Not even the charm of a narc.
    You need to ask yourself what is at the root of this attachment. You acknowledge your codependency, and also say that he knew you would love him unconditionally. Many of us here understand codependency. Also, we have come to understand that it was not the cheater that we loved. It was who we thought s/he was; it was the mask. It was what we misguidedly believed was the person’s highest potential. It was the love of a dream. But this is terribly unhealthy thinking…We were addicted to the hopium. And for some of us, it brought us to the depths of hell.
    You’ve come here for help and CL and CN have given you sage advice. Please follow it.
    I’m sending you hugs, truly…but also expectations. You need to be your own dear friend; stop loving the undeserving and start loving yourself.

  • Stop trying to do the right/fair thing to make your EX’s life better!!! STOP!

    Honey, you need to face the fact that you loved someone who is a lump of coal. No amount of wishing or polishing is going to turn that lump into a diamond. NEVER. The sooner this sinks in, the better. Your new life is as a single Mom with two beautiful kids. Focus on building this wonderful new life.

    In my experience – you need to start thinking differently. What helped me was to start asking myself — “is this healthy for ME / my KIDS?”. If no, then — “what will get me to healthy’? If you follow this line of thinking, clearly it is not healthy for you or the baby to have the EX in the delivery room. Do what is right for you. Do what is best for your kids — this means get child support, etc.

    You also need a short term plan to deal with your EX that is best for you and your kids — not for your EX . (See where I am going with with this?) Get HELP to make and enforce your plan: lawyer, family, close friends, etc. I say this because it sounds like your EX has more than the usual dose of jackass. This might also mean reading up on cluster B disorders (Borderline Personality Disorders) and/or addiction and attending some AL-ANON meetings. These folks do not follow any rules EVER and you need help in managing your life with them. There’s lots of good advice here and in the resource.

    Start with your “birth plan” (your Mom is in the delivery room, a designated family member calls EX once the baby is born, your best friend drives you home, etc., etc., etc.).

    You are mighty!

  • Umm…why on earth do you think for one second that you need to notify him of the impending birth? Just get ONE trusted family member or friend to accompany you when the time comes. Silence is golden…this is a good time to employ NC.

    You do not say if he actually LIVES with you.

    Does he?

    If not, then this will be easy to keep him away for the birth…if he DOES live with you, how far along are you? How about you go stay with relatives during the last weeks of the pregnancy and deliver without him knowing? You and he are not married…he cannot “legally” prove the child is his other than what YOU put on the Birth Cert, so, HE HAS NO RIGHTS until and unless paternity is proven.

  • My oversight…he has visitation for two days with your first child, so this means that he does NOT live with you. THAT makes it a simple thing to NOT NOTIFY him when you do go into labor. Stay OFF the social media so that your delivery will be private and he will not go barging into the hospital to try and muscle his way into the delivery room.

    The only thing you will have to decide going forward from the birth is what you will put on the Birth Cert and if you want child support from him. Given that you have just recently gone after him for your first child, do you REALLY want to include your second child in that mix with all the “rights” he will try to have when if you declare him to be the father???

    If it were me, I’d take advantage of not being married to this Jerk, and leave my second child unscathed by him. I’d forego the support in order to keep my child away from him and any Skank he hooks up with going forward. 18yrs is a LONG time to have to mix with this POS just because he donated sperm.

    • I agree. If you can afford it, you’re better off without having to work with him. He doesn’t sound like a good dad.

  • ChumpLady, I’m reading the letter as saying the mom has her kids every day except two days a week when the dad has a scheduled visitation. So it’s not every other day custody.

    By all means, get a lawyer and get their advice. It may be that this is a better deal than trying to get child support and have less control of your kid, but ask a lawyer.

  • First, get some therapy to help you see how deeply f***ed it is to have any contact with his guy or his family, given this statement of yours: his “history of physical abuse towards me [documented, through police reports and pictures], alcoholism [ongoing], and CPS involvement [due to DV, again] where he did not cooperate with his case plan.” You don’t have to be codependent. You can learn another way to move through life. Take a 2-year break from relationships. Get yourself on your feet emotionally and psychologically before you get involved with anyone else. Remember–if you ever want a healthy relationship, you have to be done with the bad one first.

    Second, child support is important, but more important is an absolute binding court order limiting the amount of visitation, supervised only, with no overnights and no APs to be introduced.Your visitation agreement should specify no driving with the kids, based on his alcohol abuse and driver’s license issues, which I take to be DUI related.

    Third, all contact should be through scheduling software. Do not talk to this guy. There’s no reasoning with a sociopath. There’s no fixing him, changing him, or making him acceptable.

    The fact that you would even consider having him near the birth of this baby is shocking to me. I would hire an armed guard to keep him out (my parents did that once, when an XH threatened me as I was going into surgery.) Yank your attention away from this dangerous fuckwit and put it on getting yourself to a point where you aren’t in danger from a disordered person.

    • And P.S.–If you fix your picker, and find a good man who will love your kids, and you, marriage can be a very good thing. You certainly deserve a man who thinks a permanent commitment of love and respect to the mother of his children is a good thing.

  • Hey Not Creative Enough, I’ve walked a mile in your shoes. I was six weeks pregnant when I caught Cheater #1 with one of the OW (yeah, I had the dubious joy of multiple OW, too). For the next 40 or so weeks of my pregnancy, I went back and forth over whether to leave C#1. Under pressure from my conservative, highly religious family (including uncle priest), I stayed “for the baby” , but did give him my last name. I grudgingly put C#1’s name on the birth certificate on the advice of my sister, who had a cheating husband with multiple out of wedlock children. She pointed out that I’d have to deal with C#1 for 18 years, but at least he’d be on the hook for child support. She also told me to have the state garnish his wages to ensure that the child support for. Best advice I got in a difficult time. FWIW, I finally left his useless ass for the last time when Jr. was 6 months old.

    Now, fourteen years later, I wish I had left him at the six weeks pregnant mark, not after the baby was born. Take my sister’s advice for yourself and get the heck out of Dodge now. You will be happier in the long run.

  • Do it your way. My son came a few days early and I had a c-section on my own. The husband (not yet divorced but living with MOW) was notified the next day, after friends and family found out. My Ob and all hospital staff were very supportive of me and my wishes. If I wanted him to leave, they’d help if needed!

  • I gave birth to my second child last fall. My now ex husband had started an affair when I was in my third trimester.

    He absolutely was not in the delivery room. He wasn’t at the hospital. I didn’t even tell him that the baby had been born for 2 days for various reasons.

    And it was the BEST decision I have ever made. I had some of the same fears: he was a giant source of stress, he would be updating the OW the entire time, possibly even bringing her to the hospital to see “his” baby.

    Even if you are married (I’m unclear on that), no one has a right to be there for a medical procedure.

    Make sure your doctor knows what’s going on. Have them put notes in your chart that he’s not allowed, make sure when you register that no visitors are allowed except people you specifically designate, and that there will be no disclosure of any information about your status to anyone. Make sure your family and friends know that there will be a social media blackout regarding your delivery.

    Please talk to a lawyer about the name issue. I Am Not A Lawyer, but in my experience: if you’re married, he can likely pursue it in court and have the last name hyphenated if you only give your name. Some states have a “presumption of marriage” law so that would apply even if you don’t put his name on the birth certificate. He may be able to do that much even if you aren’t married.

    And yes, talk to a lawyer about actual court orders regarding custody and child support. You’re in it for the next 18 years with this fuckwit. Legal orders will be your armor and your ammo when it comes to resolving issues. I would tend to disagree with those who say to not get a court order in place. Without court orders it’s basically impossible to make him return a child should he decide to keep them. It’s a shitty thing to have to coparent with assholes but you can be there for your kids. Document everything you can. Email is better than texting. The criminal stuff, especially if there are felonies involved, should go a long way in your favor.

    • Yes, you don’t want to be in a wrangle with this Jackass sociopathic cheater about having Christmas custody or coming over to watch the kids opening presents. You want full legal custody. Supervised visitation maybe one afternoon a week. No schmoopies. No overnight. No holidays. You pay, you get the holidays.

  • My STBX walked out after 20 years of marriage when I was 6 months pregnant. Soooo not planned and a result of wreckonciliation. He lied about a lot of things and led me to believe his first time being caught cheating was a one night stand. We managed to go through an intense marriage program, and he had better behavior for 18 months before reverting right back to past behavior. I was a chump who gave away forgiveness and trust to someone who did not deserve it.

    I had a c-section and did not have him in the operating room. I wanted my one person to be someone who loved and supported me (my mom). Very glad I did because I found out just 4 weeks after my daughter’s birth that he was screwing a former employee 21 years younger than him and had been while I was pregnant and still was.

    You owe him nothing and you are allowed to do whatever you need in order to heal and get stronger. Do NOT worry about hurting his feelings or harming his relationship with his kids. He did that all on his own.

  • Not Creative –
    I would have given my right arm to have the evidence you have on that monster to keep my children safe.

    You have power. Use it.

  • I am so glad mine missed two flights out of fear to face me, and thus did not make it to the birth. At the time I needed him there and was mourning he wasnt there even with all the shit he did while I was pregnant.

    Now I am SO GLAD he didnt make it. Has never met our now 20 month old daughter at all, hasnt SKyped for over year cause he cant handle seeing us.

    Fine by me by now.

  • My labor actually got triggered I think because the night before she was born I went to an evening in the hospital where you could watch a video about giving birth in said hospital and peek in the delivary rooms (empty ones).

    At that evening there were only happy couples and the whole fucking movie was full with happy couples I wanted to scream and run away it was barely 6 weeks after my DDay and my whole world was borken and I was in pain (not from labor). I was so upset on top of the sadness and stress I had been put through… I think it triggered my birth less than 12 hours later and I gave birth to an underweight baby for no reason at all then maternal stress. Luckily she gained weight quickly.

    Most beautiful experience of my life made into suffering. So glad I am passed all that.

    • Thanks for posting this. It will help a lot of women see the risks of dealing with disordered people during pregnancy and childbirth.

      • Yes, my advise now is: No Contact!!! Even during the pregnancy, as much as you can do the NC… its hard… because your heart needs more time to switch of the “love” button then your brain, especially when you are pregnant with their child and planned a happy family.

  • Since you live apart, the only way this turdblossom will know you’re in labor is if YOU tell him. So don’t! Problem solved. No Contact can be your best friend with this cretin. Never even initiate communication of any sort and see what happens. And ask yourself some hard questions:
    1) Would he visit with our daughter if I didn’t initiate it? My guess is that with his appalling history it is you packing a diaper bag of necessities and you doing the dropping off and picking up. Refuse to do it and see what happens. Will this “okay dad” step up? You have autonomy. You make the choices for your innocent child.
    2) Why do I think he is an “okay dad” and am I okay with just okay? What qualities do I like in my own dad that this guy shares? Am I okay with exposing my children to the things I have described here to my fellow chumps? If I am not okay with him as an adult, why do I choose to expose my helpless babies to him? And make no mistake, if there is no court ordered visitation, you ARE choosing to.
    3) Is codependency making me use our daughter to stay connected with him? Because, Jeezus eff, why would you want to?
    4) Is your toddler happy or even marginally safe when she is alone with this abusive, addicted, drunk? (Your own description) She can’t tell you herself, how would you know? Is he leaving her in soaked diapers? Ignoring her bottle in favor of his own? Is she in danger from drunk driving, substances left laying around, neglect? Picture him raging at her like he did with you. Picture her cowering with no defense against a grown man.
    5) Is your toddler safe with random other women? She can’t tell you herself, how would you know? Picture this woman feeding/bathing/mothering your daughter with hate in her heart. Picture this woman and your ex discussing you in front of her. Are you good with that?
    6) What’s in a name? Shame/parental disavowal/violence or mightiness/parental affirmation/nurture. Again, you are the only one who should make the choice for your second child, and who can redress the issue for your first.

    NC, ask me how I know these things to be true.

    I have been your child, and I grew up to be you. You are at a crossroads, and your children are waiting to see where you will lead them. They will have to live with your choice, so be mighty.

    Be mighty.

    • Deplete, so much to think about when you drop the focus on the cheater and focus on the important people (person) in your life, your child (children).

      OP, someone posted that it was time to start thinking about WHAT YOU WANT. Please want what is best for your kids, because this will make your life so much better. You will not have to see them suffer the useless things that your x will put them through on top of the “regular” things your kids will go through growing up. Give your kids a good, sperm donor free life.

  • Not Creative, he sounds like a first-class jerk. I’m sorry :/ All of us have been there to varying degrees. I share the concern expressed by some of the others here. He sounds like a sociopath, so I think you should assume the absolute worst about him at all times and literally NEVER give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s hard to think like these folks when you’re a nice person, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to study the mindset of such folks and act defensively (same thing as defensive driving, assume the other driver is an asshole). I know it’s hard to make this mental leap with someone you’ve loved and made babies with, but your survival (and your kids) depends on it. Sounds like you’re doing lots of the right things. Stay strong, and stay connected here! Hugs to you mama

  • Reading this letter, all I can say is WTF???

    You are wondering if he should be in the delivery room??? To get a repeat of his first round of humiliation?
    I would not call this bastard and tell him he’s a father! He practically denied that the first time, didn’t he?
    Doesn’t pay child support????

    Stop thinking of this dick and start thinking of your children. Get a lawyer!
    And for your children’s sake, if not own, stay away from this sub-human! Get your family close, you need all the support you can get!

  • Dear not Creative

    I have no kids with my narc thank goodness. But I have witnessed the relationship he has with his two kids from two different women from the past. Not good. Son is a narc already at aged 17, following daddy’s footsteps to the letter. Daughter is an empath who is already exhausted by her hopeless narc fathers manipulations and lies and let downs. She will probably end up with a narc herself and experience what we all have.

    There’s a lot to be said for getting children away from this toxic person to give them the best shot at life. Which is a parent’s job I believe.

    Read the following blog. It’s written by HG Tudor a self professed Narcissistic Sociopath. In fact read ALL of his blogs and get a real understanding of what and who you are dealing with. It’s helped me massively.

    Straight from the horses mouth, you will learn exactly what your ex really thinks about children, and knowing this is how they work, it will hopefully give you the strength to get your babies away from the MF.

    EVERYONE – especially fence sitter spackler extraordinaires should read what this bloke has to say. Chilling, triggering but ultimately empowering, like with CL, it will leave you in no doubt about what you have to do and to do it NOW.

    • This is brilliant. Starting to read the whole site. Blessings upon you for sharing this.

  • Not Creative,

    It is entirely your right to choose who is in the delivery room. I just did this 7 weeks ago. Neither the judge or children’s attorney would allow my STBX in the delivery room. It is your surgery. I told my doctor, medical staff, everyone who needed to know at the hospital.and they told security. Make them put it in your OB notes, be very clear, open and honest with them all and they will take good care of you. Make sure someone you trust is there with you, change your emergency contact if it’s him.
    I got lucky because my sister was available. My STBX is terrified of her and I had her at the hospital with me as much as possible. Surround yourself with good people. Tell everyone to help you out. Seriously! Be sure to ask for all the help you can get. Taking care of a newborn by yourself is hard, but it can be done. I called every support group I could think of and they all showed up, some at the hospitl, some at my home after.
    Make sure you have someone to contact in the middle of the night when you get lonely or overwhelemed with the baby (maybe another mom with a baby). If you can’t think of anyone, come to CL and post away in the general forum.
    You can do this. I just did. It was the hardest thing ever, but it is possible. Yes, you might feel guilty, sad, even angry, but you will survive without that asshat around the birthing experience. You might be surprised to have the support of a family member. My sister stood right next to me, cried and even cut the umbilical cord. She was very grateful for the experience and took awesome pictures too!

      • Thanks flutterby! I can’t believe it’s been 7 weeks already. Today was the first time I realized, I did it! I went and had this baby by myself. I had help, but I organized most of it. She is awesome ans adorable. I can’t believe I go back to work nexr week.

  • Absolutely not. You are in charge of your labor and delivery and who can be present!

    What a class a schmuck. Literally I have no good words for him. He does not respect you.

  • Wow, this is truly heinous. I hope that you pursue child support and get his wages garnished. Most women will be unhappy to be with a man who has to allocate a large part of his income to child support payments for another household.

  • Oh dear lord do not let this person near you….
    Whatever you want to think, he is NOT a decent person and never will be. Get a lawyer, a proper parenting plan and a CS order. Name your baby whatever you want. Let him go knock up anything he can – but he doesnt get to turn your birth into a ME ME ME show.

  • Wow, just when you think you’ve heard it all. What an asshole. NC, you are not being childish. He made the first birth about “them,” apparently as if you weren’t there. Make this a joyful memory of your own.

  • She deserves that plus three days of back labor without an epidural and an elephant-sized baby with a two-foot head circumference.

    Just magnificent!

  • I also was “the on-the-fence chump” when finally he jerked me around for the last time when I was about 7.5 months pregnant and I decided to get off the merry-go-round. I also struggled whether to have him in the delivery room. I sought the advice of someone who was in a similar situation. She had her cheating spouse in the delivery room and said she really regretted it. He was on the phone most of the time texting with the OW which was hard for her to deal with. I did not want him to ruin this too so I decided to get a doula and had my mom and my sister in the delivery room. I was so happy I did and can’t recommend it more. Also please listen to CL and get a lawyer asap. He is not an okay father.

  • OP, forgive me but I’m going to play barstool psychologist for minute. You said you were adopted and your adoptive dad has always been good to you. I was completely abandoned by my bio dad but had a loving and devoted mum. I can assess my value rationally but in practice I have never really asserted it. Instead I’ve looked for validation from others, especially men who don’t deserve me. You seem to be doing the same with that fuckwit. I understand your desire to maintain a relationship between your kids and their dad, in the light of your own history. I get that you would never want them to grow up feeling that their dad didn’t give a shit about them. And maybe he does care in his own way. But he is toxic to you. Extremely toxic. I think you can work a custody settlement where he sees his kids under supervision, and without having anything to do with you. Get good legal advice and enforce your boundaries.
    I don’t mean to offend you if I’ve got this all wrong, but it does seem to me your own history has made you vulnerable to this kind of man, so please look after yourself.

  • Also OP, hundreds of millions of men in other cultures are not allowed near a woman in labour. They are still devoted dads. Having dad in the delivery room is a recent development in western cultures, which is fine, but it is just a moment in history. Or are we saying that men have never bonded with their kids, that there are no good fathers in Africa, the Middle East, Russia?

    • It’s not a cultural thing. The whole world, not just the western world, used to forbid husbands from the delivery room.
      It’s more to do with practicality: most men don’t have the balls to witness labour. Period!
      So instead of having another fainting patient, it was common sense to keep them out.
      Another reason has to do with maintaining the image of the woman. Labour is…something else.

  • For the OP – 5 time felons don’t do parenting or responsibility. If they were capable of making good decisions, they wouldn’t be felons. Times FIVE. So what I’d do is lawyer up, cut a deal with the X to not pursue child support if he’ll sign away his parental rights, don’t put his name on the birth certificate, and cut 18+ years of hell out of your life before it can start. You know, deep in your heart, that he’s not going to pay you child support anyway. If he were the kind of guy that were going to, he’d have done so with the first one. You’re smoking hopium if you think any different. He’s shown you who he is and it ain’t gonna get any better.

    Now let me tell you what you’re in for, ’cause you’re still way co-dependent with him and his family (yeah, you’re gonna have to cut them off completely too, like they don’t exist, but you won’t). He’s gonna pull some serious shit. Supervised custody? He’s gonna worm his way into situations where that’s gradually eroded. Like instead of at a third-party facility where he’s supervised by licensed social workers, it’ll gradually become a situation where you leave the kids at his mom’s house (’cause it’s easier and cheaper) so she can supervise his time with them there. You’re gonna tell yourself it’s for the best; now they’ll both have time with the kids. But this asshole is all about THE RULES DON’T APPLY TO ME! And YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME! I’LL SHOW YOU! And for the icing on top of the cupcake, HE’S GONNA TEACH YOU A LESSON, BITCH! Sound familiar yet? I know you’ve already been through this, but wait… there’s more.

    My X#1 was like this. He was the kind of unconvicted felon that knocked up a 15 year old when he was in his early 30s. He was such an effective sociopath that he evaded prosecution! And was actually surprised when he didn’t get custody of the infant. Let me tell you what he did with my child. He wound up kidnapping her. Once when he first left, and a SUBSEQUENT time years later, at the urging of his then-wife who thought that it would be easy-peasy to get child support out of me instead of him having to pay, since that cramped their lifestyle so much. My daughter was so starved for his kibbles and parental approval that she went along with it. Years after that, she’s still co-dependent with him.

    As long as he’s in the picture, he will spend the majority of his waking hours thinking of ways to hurt you through the kids. He will take up with Schmoopie after Schmoopie, who will curry favor with him by also thinking of ways to hurt you because it pleases him so. He will be like a heat-seeking missile, targeting any real or perceived weaknesses, dragging you back into court with filing after filing, simply because it brings the focus back to him. It’s not ever about the good of the children.

    If you don’t cut and run, this is going to be your life for the next 20 years. Ask me how I know.

    We’ve got your back if you want to fight – for your future, for your children’s futures, for the sanity of your family. But you have to want to. Sending you all the love and light in the world, ’cause you’re gonna need it. XOXO, from someone who used to be you

    • Oh, Sunny, you’re an amazon! You were able to see the dark side and yet kept being on the bright side. Such an upbeat nickname you have!

  • So I might be hopped up on my independence hopium, but I just wanted to thank all for the love – even the tough love. Even the crunchy tough love which, despite the texture, carried the sustenance I needed.

    I feel very free today. I feel very confident in making my own decisions. I feel very confident in living my own life. And I’m going to offer him the “sign away your rights and never pay a dime” deal. Because I win. Because I might be broke as shit, tired as shit for a while but I win. Because from day one, I’ve been a single parent. And I’ve survived. And my daughter knows who she can count on, she knows where she is safe. And despite all my fears for the future – I know it’s gonna be just fine.

    I feel like my ex is a loser. And I think the resentment and bitterness has just left me playing the “pick me” game. Because you have to love someone enough to hate them. She can have him. Please. My ego was bruised when I found out he proposed to her a month after we broke up. The fact that he discarded her two weeks later didn’t set off any “loser” sirens for me then either. Just competitive ones. And competing for a loser makes you a loser.

    Maybe the grass is always greener because you’re setting fire to your own lawn. And when your diet consists of ego kiblets, you’re always starving. Committment is just out of the question.

    So I’m done being a loser fighting for a loser. And I thank you all! Because I’m writing this with a smile on my face and I think, this time, it’s here to stay.

  • My cheating first husband was in the delivery room watching foot ball. He got up to cut the cord and then said…hey I like this for a middle about bla bla..with drugs in me I said ok. Well it was his OW NAME!! The rest of my life there was OW in my baby’s name. He filed a few days later after my first D day. I’m telling you, he did not belong in the delivery room. I felt like a surrogate mom…him on the phone telling her my labor story. This was just before D day so i was clueless except he was so mean and abusive. It’s so sad that even today, 36 years later, when i see a pregnant woman, I say to myself, I hope he loves you.😔

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