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Eveningstargazer, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 155
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
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I have a great friend. She is 30, never married, with two beautiful,

Customer Question

I have a great friend. She is 30, never married, with two beautiful, amazing, daughters. She has always been a single mom because the girls father is an addict, alcoholic, and just recently, an abuser. He moves in, and out, of their lives two, or three times per year. He cannot hold a job, and, his verbal abuse just recently escalated to shoving her, and spitting in her face, in front of the children. She threw him out, as usual. Here we are two months later. She is communicating with him again, the inevitable will happen soon, he'll move back home. My friend swears she only allows him back in to their lives, "for the girls sake, they need their daddy." I have told her, too many times, the girls need a POSITIVE father figure, NOT their father. I believe the older the kids get, 6, & 8 now, the worse things will get for them. My friend was abused as a child, and is now being abused as an adult. I think to allow the father back in the girls lives is child abuse. With THAT kind of "father", they will be tattooed, on the pole, and pregnant before they are 20. What articles, what experts can I print, to give to mom, to show her that the WRONG male influence is NOT better than NO male influence. I'm 61, no kids, but my friend asks my advice, and has listened, and done well, concerning every topic but this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Eveningstargazer replied 2 years ago.
Hello and good afternoon, I will be doing my best to assist you with your concern. First: I appreciate the effort through which you are going in order to protect these girls. It is important that their mother has someone like you to rely on for support. Below, I have included a list of relevant articles below, but putting this information in front of her is unlikely to yield results. The best first step is to explore with her why she places herself in this negative cycle, despite her desire to have a "daddy" for her girls. Although I am not familiar with her exact situation, I have unfortunately seen this many many times with the women I work with. Without knowing her history, I am making some assumptions here, but you did mention that her relationship has very poor boundaries. When a pattern like this happens, it starts from the very beginning of the relationship. This is something that both of them will need to be motivated to change in order to make any progress including some sort of arrangement about when he is/is not allowed to see the girls (i.e. when he has a stable living environment, etc.). The first step will be for her to reflect on what she really needs from this relationship and can he meet those needs. Most likely the answer will be no as he is unable to serve as a positive male role model for her girls. The next step is to create a really safe environment in which to have a realistic and firm discussion about what her emotions are. I'm sure she has tried this but a lot of things need to be in place in order for it to work well. If she can't create a safe environment in which to discuss this, she won't be able to verbalized what is happening, he will never understand, and she will continue to feel hurt, harassed and continue taking punches to your self esteem and wellbeing and model a negative relationship for her daughters. Please see below for additional resources regarding the importance of positive male role models and the impact of negative ones:
Expert:  Eveningstargazer replied 2 years ago.
Good Morning, If there is anything else I can assist you with, please let me know. As a gentle reminder, please accept my answer in order to signify that I have provided you with satisfactory assistance and am compensated for my time.
Thank you!