Good juju sent your way, bud.
I'm sorry, Chris! Mojo being sent your way!
I'm sorry Chris. I hope everything works out and you get the time with your little girl.
I've had friends go through this as parents. And when I was younger it seemed everyone around me was going through it as kids.
It does get better. Best of luck.
I feel for you brotha, and you know that. Hang in there man, I can't imagine how hard this is on you, and as we talked a few days ago, Kate is worth every penny.
My boys and I pray for you guys every night before bed, because I know how much she means to you and I would HATE to see her have any less time with you.
"He's kind of like a bear at a campsite...you think he's cute and kind of want to hug him, but in the end you know he's dangerous and is going to stomp on your tent and eat all your food..." - martysnarf
I'm sorry to hear this, Chris. Best of luck with everything, man.
Life really does suck sometimes,Chris.Keep your head up and best of luck to you and Kate.
My experience, for what it's worth, (probably nothing since no two situations are alike) ended up where I wanted under the circumstances, specifically because I chose not to fight (I think). My daughter was about the age of what your daughter looks to be when I separated (14 years ago now...) Started out OK as we had an informal agreement where we split 50/50 custody, but when we went to formalize things suddenly my wife decided that she needed full time custody with an every other weekend deal for me. I think that the reality of it sets in, and the societal pressure for women in that situation makes them feel like they "just should" have full custody. Sounds miserable, right? I could have chosen to fight (knowing that she'd take it to the mat if I did) but in my case at least, I knew that whatever our problems, she wasn't pure evil, and I'd get more flies with honey. So, I rolled over, told her that she could have whatever she wants, but that my desire, regardless of what is formally decided was to have my daughter as much as possible, and way more than just every other weekend....but that she got to choose. Within about 2 weeks, we were back to 50/50. In our case, there weren't any other dudes (or chicks) involved, which helps keep things from getting dirty I think. And, I made the comittment to myself that I'd always live within 5 miles of my ex-wife, so that I'd be around even for the nights that my daughter wasn't with me, to pick up or drop off at school, help with homework with, etc. After a very short period of time, my ex-wife really relied on my to take my daughter more and more (her career started to take off) and to help out with driving / sports / homework even on my off days.
Every situation is differnt, and this only works in the case that the ex is a decent person deep down (in spite of what may be spewing out of her at the moment...) Food for thought anyway. My daughter is 17 now, just left for college this fall, and both my ex-wife and I are stumbling around figuring out where the hell all the years went with a smile on our faces from all of the good memories. It can work out for all involved is what I'm saying I guess.
In any case, best of luck with it, and even if it does get ugly now, it'll get better....
Thanks a bunch guys. I really really tried to keep it from getting ugly and had given in on more than I was comfortable with just to keep it as peaceful as possible. But I can only be pushed so far. Then I have to push back. I want nothing bad for my wife. I just want Kate in my life more than my wife does. That can't happen without me doing whatever I can to keep my time with my girl.
Thanks again for all the kind words & prayers.
Chris...you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have two little boys 5 and 2.5.....don't know what I would do if someone tried to tell me where and when I could see them. Do everything you can but I would do my best to keep things civil and try to reason as kindly and with as much empathy as you can...until you have no other option..I don't have experience with this but I like the others am here for support.
That sux all around. Mostly for lil Kate. Being a child of divorce (3yrs when it happend, 40's now) - I can still categorically say it sucked big turds and they only thing my sister and I wanted was the parents (besides getting back together) to just sort it all out and leave us out of it. Point there is make sure that the both of you agree not to put each other down in front of or to the wee one. Even though you're getting divorced you're both still parents first and need to be a united front in her upbringing. As fars as your time together... you've got it great now = 4 days out of 7. So I can see why your soon-to-be-ex would want that changed. My situation was that we only got to go with my father every other full weekend, but he always had Sundays, and he had first choice on holidays (but we always split holidays between homes). If it's the weekends you're ex is looking to claim you might counter-offer something more reasonable like switching weeks...
even weeks you get Thurs - Sun (4 days)
odd weeks she gets to pick a weekend day (Sat or Sun) or chooses not to... (3 days possibly 4)
If you're schedules are flexible enough and the back and forth travel isn't a burden on the wee one - then something like that is the best from an equal time pov. Also, it will force you and the ex to communicate these plans - which for a kid, to see the parents discussing things (not fighting about them) is a really powerful statement and goes a long way to helping that child feel secure in the world. Which is really what any child needs.
Just my 2pence - hope it works out.
It does suck most for Kate. She will never see any problems from myself or my wife. We agreed upon that from the beginning. My time now is technically more than most dad's get. It's really 3 days to Kim's 4 if you count where Kate falls asleep. I even gave up virtually all weekends so I could have her that much. Now don't get me wrong, I don't feel as if Kate is a hassle or anything by filling my weekends. I just know that at some point in my life, I might like to HAVE a life again. I am still trying hard to be as nice as I can about the situation and will continue to do so. But unless I get un-biased, doctors telling me Kate is better of with my wife's suggested plan, I'm gonna forge ahead & try to keep my girl on virtually the same schedule. I do want to get some weekends back though so we are working on a "block" type schedule. Anyway, it all boils down to what is best for Kate. Always will be too!
Thanks again guys for all the support and advice. It means a lot.
Chris, you are absolutely doing the right thing! I have a daughter too and there is nothing I wouldn't give up of it meant time with her... Hopefully your wife will understand the importance of a father/daughter relationship on her future. Good luck bud!!!