When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent

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Up Up and Away

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When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« on: March 21, 2017, 11:01:26 PM »
My husband and I separated but he feels he should have the kids 50% although he works full time and travels often for business. I have been a SAHM and was basically a single parent within our marriage. I have been looking at jobs that will allow me to be home when they get out of school. Since I filed for divorce he's bent over backwards to be involved with the kids which is the total opposite of how he's acted their entire lives. He now goes to school events, allows them to have friends over, takes them out to do things and watch gobs of TV. Expensive gifts and I'm sure a puppy is in the works.  This is a man who not long ago would tell the kids to go sit in front of a bus and constantly insult their looks and hobbies.

How long does this SuperDaddy thing generally last? It is so ridiculous and superficial though the kids are loving all the attention. I don't know if I should fight the 50% - my lawyer says the best I can do is 60%, or just accept that once the novelty wears off the kids will inevitably be spending more time with me. Already he needs someone to watch them a few times a week so he can go out during "his" weeks and weekends. Right now I am being the free babysitter.

I'd like to think is that he cares and is trying hard, but, realistically I think it has a lot to do with 1. Showing me he can do what I did, only "better." 2. He wants to win them, like they are a prize for his shelf 3. Kids provide great opportunity for drama. My daughter's teacher was not impressed that he participated his first ever parent teacher conference though he made a huge show of it. Also it was a new venue for him to complain about me, in front of me! 4. He does not want to pay child support and thinks this will excuse him from it.

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Whiteheron

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 12:20:17 AM »
Ooh. We are in similar situations. I have no advice, but I can sure relate. We are not separated (living in the same house). Since I filed, mine has been spending a lot more time with the kids. It's all playtime. He doesn't know what a good dad looks like, so he unable to fully immerse himself in that role. He doesn't want them to have friends over, or to play with each other for that matter, he wants all the attention himself. He thinks that sitting in the same room on his tablet makes him an involved father. Then when he feels like it he'll play rough with them for about 15-20 minutes, then back onto his tablet. He tries to take them places, but they tell him no. He has been absent from activities and school conferences. He is hellbent on attending the next one though. (Not sure how that makes up for years of missed conferences).

DD loves the attention and is just eating it up. DS sees right though it, and has told me, "mom. we've been though this before, it's not going to last and soon enough he will be ignoring us as usual. then we'll have to deal with an upset DD."

I would add a #5 to my list (#1-4 are perfect!). He needs to keep up the illusion of "good dad" for gf and show her how much his kids love him and want to be with him so he can maintain the great-all-round-guy facade. (He's awesome with her kids...so naturally, he should be equally as awesome with ours  :roll:).

Mine is demanding 50%. He is pushing me to sign documents stating this. I refuse. He is beside himself. I will fight for what I think is right for the kids. If he ends up with 50%, at least I can say I did all I could do. I haven't been told what my max % would be. I do know that DS is within months of the age he can choose for himself.

I honestly don't know how long they can keep up the act. Mine has been going strong for I think a month now. There are a few cracks starting to show. Not sure if that means we are getting near the end, or if there is more to come. If he actually had the kids without me present I think things would self-destruct a lot sooner. He has no idea how much work is involved in raising kids and being a responsible parent. He only knows how to play.
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WesternLover

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 02:46:25 PM »
Oh I feel for you both! This is such typical narcissistic behavior  :wacko: It gives me hope that your DS can see through it Up Up and Away. My son's uNPD and uASPD father  is very much like this as well. He is an absolute monster to me and the angel / Super Hero dad to our son. Whiteheron I think your reasons 1-4 are spot on, and one thing I'd like to add is that narcissist parents always have this pathological need to turn it into a competition on who can be the best parent. It's like there's not enough room in your kids' hearts for both of you, so they must squeeze you out. I think all of this steams from the narcs black and white thinking that you are either for or against them. You are either good or bad, and if you are bad, it's because you are against them. Therefore you must be destroyed. Also it's either control or be controlled in the world of the narcissist and if they can't control you, the will try to control others opinions of you and turn people against you, and unfortunately it's easier to do this with children than it is adults. I think narcissist are also particularly vested in their children in sick ways even though they neglect them half they time and it's very important to them to steer the opinion of the other parent in the minds of their children.

Fortunately for me, it's harder for my sons father to do this living across the country, but simultaneously it really does allow him to play the role of Disneyland dad since everytime my son has spent time with him it's been like a vacation. Even though, for the most part, he's put on a good front for his son, PD dad's family did confess to me that he was vexed by having to do the grunt work of parenting and trying to find a babysitter to watch our DS so he could go to work.

Let's just say theorhetically I moved back to the same town as my son's PD dad, and was in the same situation as you both. I estimate this Super Dad routine would last 3-4 months max before the narc reverted back to his old behavior. I really don't think they can keep up with this facade for long, because that's exactly what it is - a false front. Eventually it will get too exhausting and unpleasant to have to keep doing these things they normally care less about and require them to self-sacrifice. Although I do think they are capable of pulling out the super dad card and playing it at anytime. For instance I see your ex playing the super dad card anytime the new girlfriend is around and he has to focus on "impression management" as I have nicknamed it.

Eventually though the new girlfriend though will become the old girlfriend, and especially once he knows she is emotionally vested and at his disposal, he will treat her like he does everyone else and stop bothering with the impression management.

The battery on my phone is about to run out, so I have to go for now, but I hope it helps!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 02:51:11 PM by WesternLover »

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kazzak

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 04:08:05 PM »
The behaviors change but the PD is enduring, based on my experiences. Nothing stays the same.

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WesternLover

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 04:47:08 PM »
And sorry, I got your posts reversed in my mind Up Up and Away and WhiteHeron, but I think you know what I mean ;)

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Kit99

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 09:04:07 PM »
This post is timely! I was just wondering the same thing about my own exH and the "great dad" show he's been putting on the last 2 months. My son's therapist says he'll eventually revert back to old behavior and that it's easy to keep it together for short periods of time. He's showing off for his girlfriend too- playing happy family. It makes me sick because I know he's just manipulating them for his own means. 

I think your observations are spot on!

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Latchkey

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2017, 04:39:03 PM »
Hi  Up Up and Away and welcome!

I think it depends on many factors. What concerns me more is not the time percentage which can vary and often does drop off ....  but him trying to get out of paying child support, you being a SAHM, and he's already using you for kid sitting on his time .... The idea is to not get distracted by Super Dad behaviors but to keep your eye on getting the proper child support and spousal support you need to maintain the separate household. Have you retained a good attorney who understands PDs or High Conflict Divorce ? See Bill Eddy's web sites.

How old are your children? How are they doing with the separation?

Latchkey
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 04:41:48 PM by Latchkey »
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Stepping lightly

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2017, 05:56:01 PM »
Hi-

My DH's ex plays the "supermom" role.  It's interesting because when I first met DH she wasn't supermom- I remember her not even being able to get DSD to a dance class right around the corner from her....at all.  DSD would tell us about how BM could barely get them up in time to get them to school and DSD would have to scrounge for crumbs in the car for breakfast.  Then she found out things with DH and I were serious...and the switch flipped, she was Mom of the year.  She was all about their diet and their health, there wasn't  a season where she didn't enrolled them in activities.  Not only does she take them consistently on her time, she shows up EVERY single time during our time (even for just practices etc).  I wondered how long this would last- it's been almost 5 years.  It should be great that she was now invested in her kids, but it wasn't her kids she was actually invested in.....it was proving that SHE was the better parent than DH...and constant attacks came with the supermom routine. 

I'm curious though, she got full custody like she wanted, so now will she back off?  Kids are already doing worse in school and missed a season of activities.

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snoflinga

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 06:35:01 PM »
Ohhhhh yeah.  :roll: My therapist called this "Disneyland Dad." Apparently it's really common in divorce.

It's maddening because it's effective. All kids want to love and be loved by their parents, so even if a parent has a history of abusing them, they'll fall for this kind of behavior. And there's nothing we nons can do about it but grit our teeth and smile.

I think I am farther out than many on this board; BPDxh and I separated a little over 4 years ago and our divorce was final about 16 months ago. In our case, it settled down a LOT once the divorce was over and BPDxh's emotions calmed down. He did it as a way of soothing himself when he was stressed about the divorce. Once everything was settled and we weren't fighting or going to court all the time, so did his attempts to lure the kids in. He's still nicer to them now than he ever was during our marriage, but it's better. I can remind myself that it's good for the kids and roll with it.

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Up Up and Away

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 07:04:49 PM »
Just to mark the date I'll say DH gives up the act by June 15. School's out and he'll have the kids around a lot more, with no homework and getting booooorrrreeed.

Whiteheron  - Yeah mine has an ipad glued to his hands while watching the kids. I can only hope that whatever he is doing on it stays appropriate. He has had porn issues in the past. I think my kids do see through his BS somewhat -- it's not like they've forgotten who has been putting on the bandaids, arranging playdates, cooking and all that. I just dread the inevitable discard as they get older.

Latchkey -- I have pretty much zero expectations for financial support. He is the kind of man who would quit a six-figure job to avoid paying alimony. But you have a point. My attorney is not all that experienced but our situation is really straightforward. I read Splitting and am hoping to wrap it all up in mediation rather than trying to fight him in the courtroom. If it comes to that I will switch to an aggressive lawyer, plus I have a lot going for me documentation-wise, both of his abusive behavior and of his ability to pay. He is so angry I got a lawyer and did not want to do a DIY settlement, aka "What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine, too."

There is a lot more laughter and music in my house than there ever was with him around, I take that as a sign the kids (8 and 10) are doing OK. However, they've also learned to stuff their emotions for survival and I don't know how much or what kind of help they need to undo that or if it's a matter of me being a better example and supporting them in a way I did not do with DH around. He was big on shaming DS when the kid has cried - even with serious injuries.

Stepping lightly -- Five years?!  Sorry to hear you have had to deal with that for so long. I guess on the good side she managed to feed the kids and get them to events for a while but it must be very sad for them to have to give up whatever activities and friends they used to do now that she's got custody. My understanding is that once the kids are teens they no longer rely on (or want, even) parents for those kinds of logistics. I have made an effort to put the kids in nearby activities with carpool friendly families. That way if I am busy or DH flakes they won't miss any games, but we are lucky to live in a safe area with recreation facilities just blocks away.

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Latchkey

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2017, 05:38:59 PM »
That's good to hear your kids are doing well. I think Super Daddy will come and go depending on his particular whims. Usually if a PD parent has a SO they are looking to impress they might up the ante with the kids to show off for them. Sometimes it is easier too if they have someone around to help. As kids get older they get more independent. This can go both ways with a PD parent. I've noticed with my PD ex's they pick favorites. They have one Golden Child and one Scape Goat.

My S5 from second marriage is somewhere between a Mascot and a Golden Child with his NPD/ASPD Dad. Their Dad does not hide his contempt very well for his other sons, my sons half brothers (and my former stepsons). My ex referred to my former SS12 the other day as an asshole. (The kid has serious behavior issues but I just am so saddened when I hear this) . Refers to his other S13 and S19 as crazy, nutty, off, weird, annoying etc etc. Seriously. It is upsetting but with my ex-- he shares with me this stuff because we parented together for 7 years. He knows I know he doesn't really like his kids. Meanwhile their BPD Mom picks favorites. So do their PD grandmothers..... Ex NPD/ASPD often tell me how he likes our S5 because he is so easy to deal with. It's really twisted but it's become so normal for me to hear this that I don't even flinch.

My Daughters now 20 and 17 were GC and SG with their BPD/ASPD Dad. I'd get your kids in with a good family therapist group. If your ex is shaming your S for crying that could mean your S is still getting more negative attention. I hope that is not the case but listen to your kids and what they tell you about their visits. Sometimes it takes a while for them to tell you so don't expect a full report every week. Usually with me-- it comes out randomly as the kids are doing something else and just start talking about what happened.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 05:47:18 PM by Latchkey »
Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.
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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
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Kit99

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 12:44:04 AM »
Snowflinga- your comment is so very true! I struggle because it seems like manipulation rather than authentic love. However, I suppose any positive attention is good for them... maybe?

"Disneyland dad. It's maddening because it's effective. All kids want to love and be loved by their parents, so even if a parent has a history of abusing them, they'll fall for this kind of behavior. And there's nothing we nons can do about it but grit our teeth and smile."

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redfish

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2017, 08:51:52 AM »
I'm curious about the time frame too. It's been almost five months of separation for me and our DD is only two yrs old. My Ex is still in Father of the Year mode. I don't know how long he will go on but I've seen other time frames with him,case far as 'punishing/smearing/silent treatment' of friends and family and those are 8yrs, 5yrs, 4yrs, and a bunch of 1yrs. As long as our Super Daddies are being rewarded I think they will persist, at least publically. I have my suspicions that mine is privately neglectful and just engages when he needs fuel. My perception is colored though, by his treatment of me and how little I observed him interact with her while I was still with him. I have discovered (someone told me) though that he blamed me for Dd's lack of attachment to him and I can imagine he's trying real hard to make her attached. I question his motivations.
Based on what I've seen and experienced my best guess is that when she starts being more independent and/or does not read his mind or respond to his dues then he will begin the devalue & discard' of her. Which I'm dreading for her sake.
So maybe a few years???
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Whiteheron

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Re: When does Super Daddy phase wear off? NPD Co-parent
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 09:10:12 AM »
redfish - mine also believes that I am the reason the kids don't want to go anywhere or do anything with him. He completely blames me. Even though I've pointed out how damaging his behaviors have been to the kids (in joint therapy), it's still my fault.

Since telling the kids about the divorce, he's kicked up his hoovering mode. Really burns me up, DS knows it's an act, but DD is eating it up, and it breaks my heart. DD is worried about taking the pets with us (she wants to take all of them), I told her, with stbx in the room, that we would take whichever pets she wanted (I do all the care for them)...and now? stbx is actually hoovering the pets! It's insanity!! I know that will only last a few days...as for the kids, who knows. There's only so much of the hoovering/ignoring back and forth they can take. He gets to hoover and spend time with them while I'm the one taking care of everything else that needs to get done. He's like a "fun time, no rules" babysitter.  >:(
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.