Social Question

cazzie's avatar

How often would you phone home?

Asked by cazzie (24503points) April 26th, 2013

Guys: Say, you had a wife, perhaps you weren’t all that fond of, but you also had a young boy, 8 years old, who you knew was having a difficult time and was undergoing some medical assessments and treatments. You leave the country and you know you are going away for several weeks. Do you call, A) Daily B) Every few days C) Once a week or D) only once during the whole 5 weeks away?

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36 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

Everynight before going to sleep, should be reasonable.
Is this only for guys to answer?

cazzie's avatar

@Inspired_2write Well… i am trying to get a ‘travelling fathers’ type of perspective. I would expect women to keep in closer contact with their young offspring, but that is my own sexist bias, based on my own experience, but I am looking for what any sort of feed back, in regards to what people feel is reasonable. I think I have lost all touch with what other people thing normal and reasonable is, so I could really use all the feedback I can get.

marinelife's avatar

I think daily would be de rigeur.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My husband had to work in California (we live in Texas) for the better part of nine months when our daughter was three. She didn’t have any medical things going on like you mention, but he called at least once a day. Usually two or three times a day.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Call at least every other day. AT LEAST. You should call daily.

cazzie's avatar

So… you think that less than once a week is bit…. well… lame? He has been gone since the 10th and he has phoned and spoken once to his son. Same thing went for the last time he was gone for 7 weeks and he phone 3 times, but didn’t talk to his son every time, just once or twice, I think. I just need to put my feelers out there, because I am being made to feel like I am being unreasonable… when I really don’t think I am…. Thanks for any and all feedback… Please, keep it coming.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Less than once a week? Unfeeling asshat. And that’s me attempting to be polite.

chyna's avatar

I think someone not calling to check on his S/O and child daily is showing his true feelings…none.
I’m not going to be as polite as @WillWorkForChocolate. Stop being his doormat.
He is out having the time of his life and you are home taking care of the kids.
If that is the life you choose, then that’s fine. If not, you probably should be rethinking this relationship.

glacial's avatar

Unless he can’t physically get to a phone… something is not right there. He should, at the very least, want to talk to his son more frequently – especially if he has been sick.

cazzie's avatar

Umm..nope.. he has a cell phone that works where he is and he is posting frequently to Facebook…. so….

cazzie's avatar

@chyna our legal separation became formalised on the 10th of April. I no longer am his doormat, officially.

SpatzieLover's avatar

^^^Yippee! for that!

I would expect a dad to want to speak to his son regularly while on the road….with or without the son needing or wanting him to.

That said, you have seen the example your husband set with his older son. How often does he call him?

Your soon-to-be-ex sounds as though he has a low emotional maturity (maybe 15yrs old tops, IMO) and also seems to be narcissistic. I highly doubt he will ever change. If this were my son, I would present him with the facts of this gently and regularly.

My father & step-dad were both much like the father of your son. The sooner I understood the reality, the better I could adjust my expectations.

Aethelwine's avatar

He does not sound like a devoted father. I know there is no way in hell my husband wouldn’t call every night to say goodnight to our 9 year old daughter. He has kissed his children goodbye every morning before he goes to work. He doesn’t miss a day. He even did this when our sons were in high school. He’d kiss his finger and touch their forehead before he left for the day.

You are a good mom and it sucks you have to deal with this man.

Bellatrix's avatar

Under normal circumstances where the family is intact, I would expect a parent to call home every day.

However, if you are now separated, does he see the child every day when he is in the same country? How often does he phone then? I would expect him to maintain that schedule.

If your son is going through some unusual stress, a caring father would call more often.

How often did he phone home before you separated? Did he call home once a day and speak to you both daily then?

SavoirFaire's avatar

Daily, even without the special medical circumstances.

whitenoise's avatar

I normally call once of twice a day. Or send a text. Some times I’m too busy and skip a day. Then I’d just text “XXX – goodnight.”

Jeruba's avatar

Hurrah for you, @cazzie, for taking that huge step to change a way of life that has been so painful for you.

cookieman's avatar

Were it me, I’d want to say “good morning” and “good night” every day.

ucme's avatar

Whenever i’m away from my kids for any prolonged period, especially when they were real little, I feel incomplete & have genuine feelings of seperation anxiety, not so i’m popping pills or anything, but they’re never far from my thoughts. Photos in my wallet & daily contact by phone are absolutely essential to allow peace of mind & make the time go by quicker.
Yes, i’m a sappy wuss when it comes to my kids, but I don’t care see :-)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@cazzie Wait… this is your husband we’re talking about that calls his son less than once per week? That knowledge, and my loyalty to jellies cancels out my politeness. He is no longer an unfeeling asshat. He is a fucking deadbeat douchebag!!!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Back when it was expensive to make international calls from overseas, I sent a Fax home every night. Now it is so easy to send an email with a picture I would figure a daily note is minimum. A call every 2 or 3 days is pushing it as a bare minimum.

janbb's avatar

Since yo are now separated, I wouldn’t expect him to behave more caring to your son than he was when you were together. This is something I need to keep reminding myself too; the flaws are not likely to change when the marriage is over.

cookieman's avatar

^^ If anything, I’d imagine they enhance.

Buttonstc's avatar

Admittedly, this is kind of a last ditch try for the sake of your son.

What about getting the boy a limited use cellphone? This way he could call him directly without having to go through you.

It removes any shred of excuse he could have for his neglect and he can’t continue lying to himself.

If his contact with the child doesn’t improve, then at least all the cards are in the table and it’s clear exactly how little he cares for his son.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I’d skype daily, and I would phone depending how much money you gave me for calls and how far that spreads, I don’t pay to talk.

cazzie's avatar

@poisonedantidote His phone is paid for by his company, so he can phone for free. Trust me, he uses it for personal stuff constantly. Also, there is no bloody way I, or any mother, would or should give the father money so he can phone. That is really twisted. It is not me who leaves. It is him. If it was me who was leaving with the child, I would do my best to make the distance less of a barrier, but I don’t know what else I can do. We have skype as well and so does he, so providing him with money??? to phone? nope.

@Buttonstc If he doesn’t want to go through me, he can buy the cell phone for his son. He literally earns more than 10 times what I do.

My son also has an email account he can send messages to. When we first did this, he was sending messages and even reading a book to him, but the book was giving him nightmares, so we had to stop and I asked him to chose a more age appropriate book, but I think he is just mad at me about it, so he stopped all together. Now, this trip, he only sent one short message.

Buttonstc's avatar

My suggestion was made ONLY for the sake of your son,regardless of which adult is at fault for what.

If he makes more money then I suppose that, TECHNICALLY SPEAKING, you win that point but it’s a Pyrrhic victory at best.

Ultimately, your son is the one who pays the price for it (not in money but in lower self esteem and possible future emotional problems) from the lack of contact with and guidance from his father.

If it isn’t already, at some point in time, his internal dialogue will be something along the lines of: “well if my own father can’t be bothered to even talk to me, then how valuable a person can I be.”

In any divorce or separation situation the children are the LEAST HARMED if each parent can base any of their behaviors upon how much they love the child RATHER THAN UPON how much they despise each other.

I’m not saying the kid needs an expensive smart phone with unlimited access to everything. A simple cheap Trac-Fone, Virgin Mobile or any other one without a monthly plan would get the job done.

And you can make it clear to him that this phone is ONLY FOR calls with his father (or genuine emergencies) He can’t call or text all his friends or anywhere else. Period. And obviously you’ll know from the bill if he violates that.

And that’s no guarantee that his father will call as often as you’d want him to, but at least it removes as many barriers as possible.

It also leaves your son the option of calling his father (independently of you) to let him know how much he misses him or for advice or help.

As I said, this is for your son’s sake and has nothing to do with how selfish his father is.

Every child of divorce has to navigate the tricky waters of divided loyalties. They feel that if they act positively toward one parent that it’s a betrayal of the other. That’s a tremendously difficult thing for an eight year (or any age) to handle.

The more that can be done by either parent to relieve that burden for him, the more emotionally healthy and internally peaceful he can be.

Theres no question that divorce is sometimes necessary. And divorce is traumatic, but it’s guaranteed that the children of divorce are traumatized far more than either of the adults. Whatever can be done to mitigate that damage is a wise decision.

If you can be the bigger person in the (relatively inexpensive) issue of a simple CELLPHONE, your son will be the beneficiary. And it’s certainly less expensive than therapy bills later on.

But. If you’re more interested in a victory regardless of the cost to your son, there isn’t a whole lot more to say.

You win. You have every right to stsnd on principle since he makes so much more money than you. The father is a total cad. The evidence is conclusive.

cazzie's avatar

His father isn’t away from us just now because we are separated, but he has always left for weeks at at time because of his job. This isn’t a ‘new’ development. All of my son’s life, his father has left for a week, two weeks, 6 weeks etc… It isn’t the divorce and separation now that has caused the lack of contact with his son. He has always been like this. Just to make this clear. This isn’t me being a bitch now because we are divorcing.

cazzie's avatar

So…. sure, I will probably end up buying my son a cheap cell phone, but keep in mind you can buy a kid a cell phone but you can not make the father phone, to recoin an old adage.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

This just keeps making me madder and madder. You want I should break his arms and legs? :D

cazzie's avatar

It’s now been over a week. My heart is breaking for my young son. He is going though such a tough time and his father is just… well… gone, disinterested and absent. How do I FIX THIS????

chyna's avatar

I feel so bad for your son and you.
You can’t fix bad parenting. You can try to keep your son busy and occupied so he doesn’t miss his dad so much.
When he asks about his dad, I wouldn’t lie, but don’t talk bad about him. If he wants to know where his dad is, you could just say you don’t know instead of “I don’t know where that rat bastard is.”
His little heart is breaking now, but you can’t fix it. Eventually he will understand what has gone on.

Bellatrix's avatar

Don’t you have his father’s number? Can’t you let your son call him or send him a text?

cazzie's avatar

@Bellatrix what do you think my son does when he misses his dad? Of course little man sends texts, emails and I even set up a Skype account. That was the last time they spoke, was last Saturday on the Skype I set up.

Bellatrix's avatar

I have no idea @cazzie. That’s why I made the suggestion. From your discussion here it sounds as though the child has been totally out of contact.

The reality is, this man isn’t going to change. He hasn’t been a hands-on father before you separated from what you’ve said here so you’re going to have to drive any contact or it’s not likely to happen.

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