Kids big problem

Hi I have a problem that I just want to tell someone, my wife is supportive but it just bugs me and hurts so much.

I was divorced back in 2000, have joint custody of the 2 from that marriage and we visited quite often during the years that led up to medical school, then things changed, I had to take the ex to court twice over visitation she thought was optional, well when I went to Medical school in 05 the first time she then decided that since I was overseas then I gave up visitation. It was so hard, I called my kids all the time but it was not the same as seeing them, I did not see both of them till Dec 06, my ex kept refusing visitation.

So here we are in 07 I have seen my oldest a lot since he started college near me and my youngest is here ( I have one with my current wife step son)the middle girl who is now 16 I saw once this summer and the ex is supporting no visit for Christmas, just too much a hassle! I’m so upset because my daughter is mad at me for going to medical school and being selfish, she wants a car and I cannot buy it for her, so she “Has to work” I keep telling her I love her and I want to see her and I miss her, I do not act angry just that I miss her.

Its so hard studying and trying to act like this does not hurt but truth is it hurts a lot!

Oh well thanks for reading.

Hi Bill,

Divorce is hard enough, but when kids are involved someone always gets hurt. The only solace that I can give you is that a 16 y/o will use any excuse to be made at their parents. Would your thoughts have been different about your daughter getting a car at 16 if you did not pursue medicine…I doubt it…if she wants a car so much now and feels that she is mature to have a car, well she should be mature enough to realize the financial costs of a car…from buying the car, to the maintenance, the insurance and the fuel. A job wouldn’t hurt.

Believe me, she’ll eventually come around…especially once she realizes that she’ll have a major cheerleader when she decides to pursue her dreams.

As great as the holidays can be, they can also be emotionally wrenching when families are separated for any reason.


Thank You, it just felt good to “Let it out” somewhere. I’m making sure that I’m not “mad” when I talk to her, but I do tell her calmly I’m disappointed because I miss her.

Hi there:

I agree w/Kriss that divorce is painful and hurtful for everyone involved. I’ve been through it as a child and as a parent. Believe me when I say I have plenty of mommy-guilt from my divorce. There will always be fallout of one thing or another. Having said that, I feel your ex is acting incredibly immature and using the children as pawns to continue to express her hurt/pain/hate/discontent over the divorce. Kids are easy to manipulate during a divorce and they are forced to feel as if they must choose sides.

Ok-now for the 16 year old. She’s 16. She’d be whining about a car if you and your ex never divorced. Don’t feel guilty about not delivering on the car and don’t feel sorry for her because she has to “work” to get it herself. She doesn’t see it now, but it will benefit her in the future. My ex purchased a car for our daughter a month or two after she graduated from high school. We’re not rich by any means, so the purchase (less than $3K) meant alot to her. My daughter works and goes to college full-time to keep her car up and pay for her car insurance. I personally don’t see why a 16 year old needs a car anyway - I didn’t have a car when I was 16 and I turned out all right…

Besides, you get her the car, then she’ll want something else. If you don’t get that for her, she’ll be upset with you. She’s making you pay for the divorce; for not being there; for hurting her mother… it goes on and on. You won’t be able to smooth that hurt with $$$.

There was tension after our divorce (and it lasted for a while), but I worked very hard not to use the kids to retaliate. It’s not easy by any means.

And, about the selfish thing. At one point you’re going to have not feel like you did the wrong thing - and - she’s going to have to get over it. One of the main reasons I didn’t move forward with my plans to become a physician 10 years ago was because of my children. I don’t regret that decision. But, it was one I had to make. She’s young yet and may be mad at you for a long time. My sister is still not on speaking terms with my dad - and she’s in her 30’s.

I don’t know if I said anything to help, but I will say I empathize with you concerning this dilemma.

Thanks, SHe has told me that she should be #1, ex told her “She lives for her children” and thats what a parent should do ( I know a lot of psych here).

My daughter is upset that I did not ask her permission to go to Medical school and to Marry my current wife ( she loved my current wife for a few years then things changed it seems) I have not done what a Parent should do in her mind I guess and I’m just broken hearted because I’m my mothers child also so I’m a Son, I have never thought of things like this, I want my mother to be happy and have a good life. I see big differences between my 2 children and me since my ex has had them full time.

So my pain is that I on some level did make a choice but it was never between my children and Medical school, it was between my happiness and sanity the rest of my life. My children never was a question to me I love them forever.

So I try to remember that if I do not do any guilty stuff with them ( for like not seeing me) and just keep on that I miss and love them and want to see them all the time, then one day things may get better? By the way, my children could come to live with me at any time, anytime!

Hi Bill,

Thanks for sharing what I imagine is also a challenge for many of the OPMers.

And I hope your relationship with your kids is improving.

From reading your other posts, I think you are stateside now doing your clinicals?

Did you mention that you and your wife are raising a boy with you going to school?

Having a family myself, with two kids 4 and 7, and starting to take a serious look at Caribbean schools, I’m just wondering how severe the adjustment in terms of the move and settling into a new country and culture was for everyone, especially for your son?

I think our family is naturally more suited to diverse cultures and living arrangements than some. My wife is Colombian (kids are pretty much bilingual/bicultural), we have spent some time (a couple weeks) in Colombia with the kids and this was a tremendous experience for them in so many ways…but of course that was only a vacation.

Any of your thoughts and experiences on what kinds of impacts living in the Caribbean in general can have on the family, especially for younger children, I’d really appreciate if you could share.



Hi Bill,

I am sorry that you are having to go through such heartache. Hang in there. Pursuing the dream placed in your heart is not a selfish thing. It was placed there for a reason. But, I guess be thankful that you aren’t with your ex. If she is this unsupportive of medical school and you guys aren’t together, I shudder to think of trying to pursue your dream with her. You are trying to become a DOCTOR! You could be doing worse things.

I have experience from the step-mom perspective…I married a man with 3 children, currently 19, 16, 14. When we were dating and the kids were 13, 10, 8, we had fun, I got hugs, was talked about in school (positively), now as teenagers, I am the evil stepmom (“I can’t believe she won’t clean our room, pick up after me, let us eat out on a daily basis…”). They are nice to me in person and to Dylan (my husband & my child). But I hear conversations…Most of it is normal teenage stuff…

Be thankful that in your divorce agreement that college is not completely paid for (we each pay 1/2) and they have no responsibility. My oldest stepson has a full ride (by his parents) at a private, out of state school, with a car (given to him by his mother) as a freshman. My husband gave him a credit card for emergencies. The emergencies consist of Burger King, Sonic, McDonalds, filling up the car,…Even though he has been told it will be taken away if he doesn’t stop using it to go out to lunch everyday; he still has it and continues to use it for “emergencies.” He does not have a job (the ONE job he wanted) because it didn’t work out. He was able to work for 1 week as a coach, but skipped out on the last day so he could fly. Oh yeah, his mother has been supplying flying lessions this summer. she loves to pay for the fun stuff, but then “forgets” to pay her half of the important stuff (books, activities,…). The problem is that the kids know that they can not go to her, (“she gets tense”). They go to my husband, who will pay for it so they won’t be embarrassed. He says he expresses his displeasure towards the ex, and says that she knows she has to take care of it the next time, which she doesn’t. The thing is she makes a lot of money, probably more than my husband (both are experienced doctors).

The kids know how to manipulate my husband into getting what they want, especially the line “it’s too hard here!” Meaning they have to get up at 2pm, get rides into school because they sleep through alarms to stay up to play video games, text, watch TV,…, have no responsibilities,…If they do do something (fold laundry, put dishes away…) they get paid. They also get a weekly allowance, no responsibiltities attached.

My husband is a wonderful husband, but will not intervene because he is afraid the kids will go live with their mother full time. His fears should be alleviated since their mother has told him that she can’t take them full time because she is too busy. Busy is going away each w/e the kids are with us to the beach, skiing,…). There is a lot more, but I think that paints a big enough picture.

Don’t get me wrong, they are good kids; they just know how to manipultate the situation…I am sure as a teen if I could have I would have too.

Rachel Yealy, DO