First of all, congratulations on the birth of your baby.
I am going to deviate from what the last person who posted said, although under different circumstances, I would wholeheartedly agree with that post–children should know and have access to both parents.
If this guy does not want to be a part of this child’s life, so what? He has threatened that he wants to terminate his parental rights? I don’t think that can be voluntarily done. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. That said, why would you want your child to have an ongoing relationship with a person who very obviously has personality defects, or disorders, or whatever the current term du jour from the esteemed mental health community is calling that stuff these days? The point is that this man is an ABUSER. Left to his own devices, one day, he’ll abuse your child.
Someone up in the thread said that "sticks and stones may break my bones . . . . " Right? We all remember that from childhood. But you know what? That’s not true. Verbal and emotional abuse can be every bit as damaging to the soul of your child as physical abuse. THAT is well documented in just about everything you can read regarding domestic ABUSE. What many people do not realize is that domestic violence INCLUDES verbal and emotional (and economic) abuse.
From the US Dept of Justice page on this topic:
Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair-pulling, biting, etc. Physical abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use.
Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
Economic Abuse: Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.
Psychological Abuse: Causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
Look at the last three items. Emotional–undermining someone’s sense of self-esteem. Economic–making or ATTEMPTING to make . . . . withholding . . . . Psychological–threatening physical harm to self, partner, family friends . . . .
Granted, from what you have written this guy has not YET done all of these things, but really, just how long do you think it’s going to take for him to get there? He’s an abuser. Your child deserves better. You both do. True, you’re done with him romantically, but he’s got some sort of access into your life, and your child’s life, so you are not done having to deal with this guy.
So what should you do? Never discuss anything with him. If you can afford an attorney, make him talk to the attorney. The very first time he gets out of line, and I mean in any way at all, see about getting a DVPO (50B or restraining order). Just do it. He’s unstable, obviously. Sticks and stones? Often follow the ugly violence that comes out of an abuser’s mouth. Don’t have a thing to do with him, other than what you legally have to. If you can’t keep paying the attorney to communicate with this guy, insist that all communication take place via email. Have nothing to do with him on the phone, in person, etc.
Don’t ever feel sorry for him. Abusers are not people who lose control; they choose their actions. Why waste sympathy on someone who has chosen to abuse you? You sent him photographs and such? Why? Cut the ties to this guy as much as you can.
If he doesn’t want to see your child, great. Use an attorney or use CSE to get what you can from him. But whatever the case, if he does not want to see your child, or even says he doesn’t want to, all the better. Your child deserves better than to be in the company of an abuser at all.
If you give an abuser attention, negative or positive, they get what they want: attention. Don’t give him any. Eventually, without attention he’ll have to try to gratify his emotional needs elsewhere.
You’ve also written that you believe he will use the custody process to prevent having to pay child support? Newsflash for him, which he’ll find out: The two are not interdependent, as any parent who has ever tried withholding visitation due to lack of child support. It works the other way around too. Custody and support are not intertwined like that. He’ll find out. And let him find out on his own. No need to warn him.
I am speaking from experience. I had one child from an early marriage. Her father was a ne’er do well, and I mean NEVER do well. I left him when she was two years old. I never got child support. He never saw her. I never, ever had to deal with that guy and his abuse after I left him. Sure, it was a drag sometimes, but in comparison the Mr. Money & Pilllar Of Society I chose the second time around, the first guy was a walk in the park. The second one started with verbal and emotional abuse, and eventually, yes, moved into economic and sometimes physical abuse. I never kept him from seeing the kids he said he loved so much. Never. Even when he was treating me terribly, even when he had walked out on them for some old girlfriend, I encouraged him to see them.
I was repaid by having this abuser snatch my kids, because I’d never gotten a custody order. I was naive and thought I had de facto custody or something like that. And now, he’s suing me for child support and custody. HE has an attorney, but claims he lives in the poor house.
It’s a god awful mess. I’ve been hurt and damaged. And so have my children. If I could have done this over, the first time this guy got nuts with me, verbally, and threatened not to support me? I"d have told him, “Good. I’ll just have someone contact you about support and we’ll leave it at that. Goodbye.” I didn’t, and I am now living one of the worst scenarios I could have written for myself.
My point is that you’re dealing with an abuser. As soon as you fully accept that, you will make better decisions for your child. Based on my experience, a child with an absent abusive parent is way better off, even without child support, than a child with a present abusive parent, who does pay support.
It’s just not worth it. Abuse is abuse is abuse. It’s all harmful. Every insult, every manipulative game (including the legal ones you’re now involved in), every holiday they manage to mess up, it’s all part of the abuse syndrome. Stop the cycle. Get out of the relationship–it’s a relationship, whether it’s romantic or not. If you have to deal with him at all, it is a relationship.
You were dead right when you wrote " . … thought it was a game to control my actions." YES. That’s what they want, abusers. They want control. They won’t control themselves, but they’ll do anything to control you. He’s making a pest of himself right now. Take my word for it, please. That merely annoying, aggravating behavior now can mushroom like you would not believe.
Your attorney is going to ask for a psychological evaluation? Make sure you find out everything you can about those and how people can manipulate them.
You’ve got an abuser in your life. Do everything you can to sweep him out.
And never, ever, ever listen to anyone tell you that you brought this on yourself. That kind of “therapeutic” psychobabble is so wrong. NO ONE asks to be abused, no one. I am so sick of hearing “Oh, but you let him.” Hogwash. I fell into a terrible relationship, believed things I had every reason to believe were true, and someone else decided to abuse my children and me. That’s not my fault. (This is directed not so much at the OP, but at the person who said that they will sometimes give themselves a hard time over it). No–abusers choose their actions. Victims are NEVER responsible for it, though many a counselor would have you examining your entire life with a magnifying glass, to “help” you figure out what you did to invite the abuse into your life. It’s time these therapists cut that out.
I’m just damned sick and tired of seeing these abusers get away with so much. THey are anti-life. They are bad people. They should not raise children, if we can prevent them from doing so. They need help, but no one can’t help someone who won’t even admit they’re wrong (honestly, that is … lots of them will admit it when they want you to take them back).
Get rid of the pest before he becomes a monster.