When I started dating my now ex-boyfriend I was smitten. I was in love with him. A few weeks into the relationship I googled him and saw he was indicted on sexual charges against a minor. The charges were around lewdness where the article stated he exposed him to a teenage girl. I asked him why he didn’t disclose this information to me. He said that he was going to. He told me that the girl lied on him and that he was a really good guy. Blinded by love I believed him. We were together for a period of 2 years before getting pregnant with my now 3-year-old daughter. I called it quits with him when my daughter was 2. I love her to death and she feels the same way about her father. She adores him.
He lives about 90 miles away and visits my house every weekend, just the same way he did when she was a baby. I’ve never sent her to spend any time with him because I don’t trust him. I do’t trust him because I realize that he lies for the simplest things. Eg. My daughter came to me hysterically crying and said ‘ daddy squeezed my nose”. He said he didn’t do it. I give him a look then continued to probe. He finally said, “I did but it was soft”. That scares me because I am afraid he might do something to her then downplay it. I shared this concern with him and he apologized. Yesterday I was putting on her pullups for bed and caught him staring at her private area. He looked away the moment he felt my stareing. I’ve never seen him do that before and it prompted me to seek help on this platform.
Since he lives away and doesn’t generate much income I’ve allowed him to spend the weekends so he can spend time with her even though we are not together. I am starting to date online and I am not sure what to do if my relationship becomes serious. No one would accept that my daughter’s dad sleeps over at my house every weekend. Also, I don’t ever want to send her to spend weekends with him because I don’t want anything to happen to her. He is an awesome dad but I am not willing to take the chance. Please advise. (From the USA)
This is a difficult question because there may be legal implications. For those, you may want to contact a lawyer as to the rights each of you have as parents.
But the psychological side of this would involve having a therapist become involved with the two of you — and the parenting that is happening now and in the future. I would highly recommend you both sit down with a couple’s therapist to have the concerns and arrangements for these concerns reviewed by a professional. This allows the primary concern you have about him being alone with his daughter to be discussed in front of a professional who is in the position of helping to make recommendations.
My point is that this is going to be an on-going concern. It isn’t about you having a date learn of this or the unusual nature of the arrangement, but that this concern will be ongoing as your daughter matures.
The presence of a therapist in both of your lives seems like a very safe, respectful, and legitimate way to go now that you are beginning to date. The Find Help tab at the top of the page will help you find someone in your area.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2020). I Dont Trust My Ex Boyfriend around My Toddler. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/06/07/i-dont-trust-my-ex-boyfriend-around-my-toddler/
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020 (Originally: 7 Jun 2020) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 5 Jun 2020 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.