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Examples of unconventional family living

Examples of unconventional family living

Old Jun 27th 2020, 1:20 am
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

I really enjoyed dbd’s post, having become familiar with his style and standpoint, a little, over a number of years, I feel that everyone was probably well served and happy in the situations they found themselves in...not surprising, but something we should all be aiming for perhaps?
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Old Jun 27th 2020, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
I really enjoyed dbd’s post, having become familiar with his style and standpoint, a little, over a number of years, I feel that everyone was probably well served and happy in the situations they found themselves in...not surprising, but something we should all be aiming for perhaps?

I agree. I have come to appreciate dbd's post style and turn of phrase very much. His is a helpful post to this thread as he has been open and honest about his family dynamics.

I am not sure what the OP is looking for here . Is it the possible psychological impact that not being brought up in what society sees as 'normal'? I believe my parents respective disfunctional upbringings or lack thereof impacted on me and my siblings.
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Old Jun 27th 2020, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post

I am not sure what the OP is looking for here . Is it the possible psychological impact that not being brought up in what society sees as 'normal'?

I believe my parents respective disfunctional upbringings or lack thereof impacted on me and my siblings.
Hi Bevs, Yes I guess this is partly one of the reasons behind my post. Suppose I am clambering to find some sort solution to this mess I find myself in. And with the advice given (in the real world and on this forum) that I "need to go back home" I am concerned about the effect it would have on my kids, myself and obviously the realistic outcome on my wife and I.

Me going back to the UK, (to get some sort of security back) whilst my wife and kids live in the gta, pretending we are in some sort of long distance relationship, I think we would be kidding ourselves on.
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Old Jun 27th 2020, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

When dbd and his first wife split they all lived within a short distance of each other - a 'transit ride' away and the children were able to commute between the 2 of them -- that's not possible when one is on the other side of the atlantic ocean. - Subsequent moves were when the children were much older - adult or near adult.

Sadly the situation for the OP wouldn't be similar unless they can persuade the other half to be more understanding and considerate - and consider a move to another location where the OP might be able to be happier - a compromise, in effect, to save the family from being split up and the subsequent possible issues for the children.

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Old Jun 27th 2020, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

I remember one family on here that split up with the wife moving back to the UK with one child and the other child staying in Ontario with the father. Ive lost contact know but I know that she settled back well, the children were happy with their choices.
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Old Jun 27th 2020, 9:42 pm
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

The OP has not yet answered my question as to whether he or his wife have consulted the children to see what they think, and would like to do.

Even children as young as 7 can have VERY adult-like ideas and hold conversations about their likes and dislikes.

Have you talked to the children, with only them and you present?

If not, I suggest that you do.

Then you and your wife need to talk to the children together.

Then you might need to go to a family counseller where you can have joint, children only and parents only consultations to sort out differences.

I will say that I am constantly amazed at how much more adult in the thoughts and the conversations that my now 10-year old grandson is able to carry on, and has done so since the age of 6 or 7.

Much more advanced than my daughter was at that age, and everyone thought she was advanced for her age.

Please don't ignore my comments, and do talk with the children.
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Old Jun 27th 2020, 10:32 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
Hi Bevs, Yes I guess this is partly one of the reasons behind my post. Suppose I am clambering to find some sort solution to this mess I find myself in. And with the advice given (in the real world and on this forum) that I "need to go back home" I am concerned about the effect it would have on my kids, myself and obviously the realistic outcome on my wife and I.

Me going back to the UK, (to get some sort of security back) whilst my wife and kids live in the gta, pretending we are in some sort of long distance relationship, I think we would be kidding ourselves on.

OK. So are you looking for examples of impact re absent parents ? Hence mentioning the forces. This thread and method may well be a vehicle for you to work through your dilemma.

As per Scilly. Have you talked with your children at all ? Children gain a more complete sense of reasoning around the age of 7 & children are, for the most part, remarkably resilient and adaptable.
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Old Jun 27th 2020, 11:04 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

I was divorced when my children were ages 6 and 3. Both of us were US citizens and we lived within a short drive of one another. He got busy with his life and perhaps saw his daughters once every two months even though visitation was weekly and I honestly can say I never denied him access to the girls. He stopped paying child support within six months of our divorce and I became the sole financial support in our household. Within 18 months, he dropped out of the picture altogether and didn't see his children for nearly 3 years. When he resumed visitation it was to tell the now 11 year old never to buy drugs off the street. If she wanted any he would get it for her. WHAT!!!! Then he told the youngest daughter, "If I do more for your sister, it is because she was my first borne and I loved her longer than you." He remarried and his new wife didn't want the girls around so they never saw or heard from their father and now never will because he has died. Yes, I sent him fedex letters with updates of his kids and pictures. I sent him pictures of his grandchildren. Never ever a word. Do you know what the girls said when I told them their father had died? They said "So what. He didn't want to see us when he was alive so I don't want to go to his funeral. He was never a real father to us." Now that is only one story of divorce and kids. They considered the man I was engaged to for a long time to be their "father". He taught them to drive, went fishing with them, spent the holidays with them. When he died, they attended the wake and the funeral and cried real tears.

Talk to you kids about the divorce and your moving back to the UK. Ask their opinion and listen intently and answer their questions to the best of your ability. Having a third party sit with you, them and their mother, is the wisest move you can make. With you in another country, unless you are wealthy and can hop back and forth 4 or 5 times a year, you will not be an integral part of your children's lives. Their lives will continue but without you in it and slowly your relationship will become one other than of father. It is something you really need to acknowledge.
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Old Jun 28th 2020, 1:57 am
  #24  
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
OK. So are you looking for examples of impact re absent parents ?

As per Scilly. Have you talked with your children at all ? Children gain a more complete sense of reasoning around the age of 7 & children are, for the most part, remarkably resilient and adaptable.
Yes, I supppose trying to compare examples of others, and pretend to myself it is actually doable - if it ever really comes to that.

Have not had a 'serious sit down' with ourselves and the kids no. But enough has been said between my wife and I (loudly, in anger) over the course of time that they know what's been going on. Regrettably.
My wife has apparantly asked them on her own if they want "to go back", and the answer from the 10yr old is was no.
No surprise in my opinion, I mean a 10yr olds world is pretty much what is right in front of them. Our kids live a pretty sheltered life. Can we really expect them to grasp the thought of what is being asked and give a rational answer?
But the kids also said the same 4yrs ago before we left, (they said to the grandparents they didnt want to leave home - but in turn would say to us they did) So again, can we really base such a decision with very real, practical benefits on little people who still believe elf's come alive for 24 days in December?

Back before we left for here, we convinced them canada was a promised land of igloos, skating rinks and swimming pools in every back garden and where Justin Beiber was from..
So could we not tell them again the positives of going back home?

(Just to be clear, I am not basing my desire to return to UK entirely on my 'emotions/homesickness') Alot of it is to do with practicality/economics. Alot of it is to do with the realisation that we are not doing as well or better off here as were, or could be back home.
Surely we aren't the only family in history to weigh up costs, sustainabilty, future security ect and make rational choices based on them?
Or should I just forget all that boring practical crap, and "just be happy" I get to 'exist' in glorious Oakville...
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Old Jun 28th 2020, 2:03 am
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
I was divorced when my children were ages 6 and 3. Both of us were US citizens and we lived within a short drive of one another. He got busy with his life and perhaps saw his daughters once every two months even though visitation was weekly and I honestly can say I never denied him access to the girls. He stopped paying child support within six months of our divorce and I became the sole financial support in our household. Within 18 months, he dropped out of the picture altogether and didn't see his children for nearly 3 years. When he resumed visitation it was to tell the now 11 year old never to buy drugs off the street. If she wanted any he would get it for her. WHAT!!!! Then he told the youngest daughter, "If I do more for your sister, it is because she was my first borne and I loved her longer than you." He remarried and his new wife didn't want the girls around so they never saw or heard from their father and now never will because he has died. Yes, I sent him fedex letters with updates of his kids and pictures. I sent him pictures of his grandchildren. Never ever a word. Do you know what the girls said when I told them their father had died? They said "So what. He didn't want to see us when he was alive so I don't want to go to his funeral. He was never a real father to us." Now that is only one story of divorce and kids. They considered the man I was engaged to for a long time to be their "father". He taught them to drive, went fishing with them, spent the holidays with them. When he died, they attended the wake and the funeral and cried real tears.
That's shocking. And from someone who's dad left when I was 2yrs old, never to be seen again.. I am fully aware of preventing any damaging abandonment issues to the children
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Old Jun 28th 2020, 2:27 am
  #26  
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
Yes, I supppose trying to compare examples of others, and pretend to myself it is actually doable - if it ever really comes to that.
Anything and everything is doable but life is rarely a win win. There is most always compromise .Sometimes there is personal sacrifice. Sometimes there is a need to self protect.

This thread is about unconventional family living so will leave thoughts on family dynamics and resolutions for your other thread.

We know a younger couple that years ago emigrated to OZ from the UK. She had a maternal aunt already there , he was incredibly keen to just leave the UK ( try something else/ UK grumbler) & had a sister living out there . The decision hit her Mum, my pal, very hard. However there was family already in Oz and the prospects were supposed to be better than for the UK. Off on that adventure they set as the young do.

After several years and two kids the marriage broke down. He had an affair. Eventually she left Oz and returned to the UK with her daughter. Her son , who is about 8 years older , stayed with his father. Each year the daughter spends her UK summer holidays in Oz and also every other Xmas. The son had a similar arrangement . He is a young man now and makes regular visits to the UK as and when. (COVID19 notwithstanding atm) Both kids are happy and balanced. That is down to their parents with the effort and compromise put in and to both extended families working together IMO. They both were and are in loving environments. Both have a relationship with both parents. Then of course there is the ubiquitous facetime,skype etc much peddled on BE as a way to stay in contact with family far far away.

So for them it is working. How their offspring talk and remember their upbringing themselves in the years to come is anyone's guess. Her son certainly doesn't have any angst & is doing well.

The key more than anything is an even happy nurturing environment . Not just for kids but also for adults too.


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Old Jun 28th 2020, 2:59 am
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
I get to 'exist' in glorious Oakville...

Oh do come on, I don't love Oakville but, as long as you're south of the QEW it's a pleasant enough suburb in the typically American manner, early seasons of "Desperate Housewives" exactly nail life there. There are way worse places than the land of ranch bungalows.

I think your problem is "just" money. We had a house in Lorne Park, it cost a bit less than $150,000 at a time when I earned $80,000/yr. By the time of the split it was worth $300,000 so I used "my" $150,000 to buy a house in the Beach, by then I was earning $120,000 so neither house cost more than two year's salary at the time of purchase. My wife used her equity in the original house to buy some houses along what's now the Jack Layton Parkway in the east end. By the time of sale all of these house were worth close to million dollars each and now they're worth more. Cobol programmers, such as I, still earn about $120,000/yr so the kind of "unconventional family living" Toronto once offered is gone.

Incidentally, my disabled daughter is autistic. In, or about, 1999, the Guardian launched a talkboard and I registered with my name. After one post I realized that my opinions were not acceptable in the work environment in Canada and there was a risk of exposure if I used my actual name in debates. I needed a pseudonym. The autistic daughter was flapping in the corner of the room and another one was at my feet. I was on the phone to their mother saying "no I am not willing to pay for the opinion of a second aromatherapist" ( the first one having failed to cure the autism) when the child on the floor looked up and said "you're such a dead beat dad". That was it! 33 was the first free dbd address at hotmail so I took that, registered with it, and here I am.

Assuming you don't win the lottery then I think you have to look at this and say "how much am I willing to do for my children?" or to put it another way "how much of a shit am I willing to be to them?". If you put them first then you have to swallow your pride and live in Oakville until your wife tires of it. Property prices now don't allow you better options in the GTA and moving alone to the UK is abandoning them. Be glad she didn't choose Gary, IN or East Saint Louis.
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Old Jun 28th 2020, 1:59 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by no good name View Post
Has anyone experienced, either through their own childhoods or as parents, what could be described as an unconventional family set-up.

i.e. did your parents serve in the armed forces which caused you to be moved around alot as a child? Are/were you yourself in the forces, which caused you to be 'away' for continuous extended periods of time from your family?

Has anyone ever worked in a career in some other city/country causing you to be away for extended periods from your husband/wife/kids?
So I'll give it a go, though it may not be the kind of example the OP was looking for.

My old man had a white-collar job that was increasingly "on the road" as I grew up, first one week per month, then two, then three. He was addicted to the progression of his career, but actually hated the travel, the hotels, the restaurant meals, and took out his misery on us (his wife and children) when he came home. There was no substance abuse, or physical abuse, but he was an angry, angry man until he retired, and even today, our relationship is more civil than warm.

I started falling into the same pattern myself as an adult, albeit I was halfway into that travelling-for-work-and-career path already when I started a family. But a medical crisis with one of my children forced me to a point of realisation, that I didn't want to replicate my father's mistakes with my own family. I've since diverted my career into a home-every-night path, and while I do have personal regrets about one or two rungs in the ladder not taken, they are overwhelmed by the warm welcome I get at home (usually--there are now teenagers involved...). In any event, several years onward, I'm glad I made the choice to optimise for family harmony over ultimate personal interests, and I suspect it will feel like an even better choice down the road.

But I've seen the OP's other posts, so YMMV and all that.

Last edited by abner; Jun 28th 2020 at 2:12 pm.
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Old Jun 29th 2020, 7:26 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Examples of unconventional family living

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I effectively split with the mother of my children in the late 80s. We decided not to divorce as we thought that would cause lawyers to have all the money and we had children to support. We decided that we'd look into that when the children finished being educated. My wife retained the family home and I borrowed against it to buy another house. The children went to school quite near my place and drifted back and forth between the houses according to their schedule of extra-curricular activities and, later, evening work commitments. Since both locations are served by transit they got themselves around from the beginning of high school. I mainly worked away, primarily in the US but sometimes in other locations.

I lived with a couple of women, one after the other, for about seven years each. I imported one of them as a common law spouse from the US despite being married. One of the children is disabled and in the late 2000s it became obvious that she would soon age out of the support systems in Canada. She needed to go to Europe and, by implication, my wife had to go too. She was fine with that as she had no attachment to Canada anyway. The other children had by then grown up and moved away so we gave the lawyers their $100,000, divorced and I discovered how much money I had wasted on income tax for the previous twenty years. My taxes fell dramatically. In the course of the divorce I gave up my interest in the family home which, over the course of the separation had increased in value ten fold, that allowed the ex to set up in Europe.

Through the 2010s we, the ex, the children, the grandchildren, all met every couple of years at my mother's house in England. That didn't happen this year for obvious reasons. I can't say how the children would have turned out had they been raised in a respectable law abiding household. I can say that relentless exposure to alcohol, drugs and fornication caused them to raise their eyebrows and adopt a more conservative approach to life than that they saw before them.

How did I cope? I didn't have to cope. I had a blast. You should ask the woman who maintained the house, looked after the children and depended on her feckless husband for income about how one copes.
Dbd....didnt you end up with a poster off of here at one point ( Ireland2Canada or something like that ), nice lass ?
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