Father’s Day Without My Kids Was Hard — I’ll Do My Best To Win Them Back

Rob Hourmont

It’s been 1 year since my two beloved kids stopped talking to me.

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My kids and meRob Hourmont

Your first thought is likely going to be, what on earth did he do for his kids to stop talking to him.

That’s a good question, with a complex answer, which I’ve spent the last year thinking about and trying to come to terms with.

As I sit to write this piece, I’ve realized it’s going to be tough. It’s time, however, to do so, for them and me.

I’ll start by saying I dearly love them both. We had a wonderfully perfect relationship, up until around late 2016. Dark clouds began to blow over what used to be a perfect family of four, as my ex-wife and I divorced.

It was a difficult divorce, and, naturally, the stress of it affected my kids.

Sadly, far more than I selfishly realized at the time. I was dealing with my trauma, stress, and depression instead of focusing on their needs and feelings.

At the time, my son was 15 and my daughter 11 — both were very mature, yet still at a tender age, which I forgot to take into account.

I guess the reason I didn’t think too much about how they felt was that my parents divorced when I was 13 and it didn’t really bother me. But of course, different stories and lives.

As I noted, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what I did wrong.

I involved my kids

As much as I loved them, I cared for myself and my own situation more. As I said, it wasn’t a pleasant divorce — but then, most aren’t. But I was a wounded wolf, and I drank too much to suppress my sorrows.

I thought they didn’t know that, but kids aren’t stupid, and they did. They were worried, perhaps even scared.

Instead of providing them with hope and confidence, I told them all that was going on during the divorce and bad-mouthed their mother.

I left the USA to work on my mental health, leaving my kids

Getting out of my situation by leaving my environment was vital to my mental health. So, I left and went far away to Bali, Indonesia.

My kids said they were ok with that, but probably, they weren’t.

All they wanted (I guess) was to have some peace and calm and not to witness all the shouting and drama. Me leaving was probably a relief for them.

Of course, I missed them terribly, and we spoke on video calls daily. I traveled back to the USA to visit them after one year. But then desperately wanted them to come to spend a few weeks with me in Bali.

I wished for them to spend time with me, and to give them an unforgettable experience in Bali. They wanted to come, of course, yet it didn’t work out. Next.

I tried to force them to visit me in Bali

That plan unleashed a whole new court battle with my ex-wife.

She was still mad at me due to my past behavior and kept saying I would kidnap the kids and keep them in Indonesia. She said she couldn’t trust me anymore. This accusation was shocking and extremely upsetting for me.

After all, we had spent 17 beautiful years together as a married couple, and she knew me well. She definitely knew I’m not a criminal and I’d never do anything to harm my kids.

My ex-wife’s reasoning was that Indonesia is not a member of the Hague Convention.

The Hague Convention regulates child abductions. If you take a child away from one parent, against their will, the Hague Convention ensures they are sent back to the parent who has custody.

My ex-wife’s thinking drove me crazy, as, of course, I’d never abduct my kids. But she thought anything is possible with my then state of mind and aggressive behavior.

I never even thought that my behavior may have been bad, instead, I only became angrier and more hostile towards my ex-wife, none of which helped my cause.

I understand all of that now, and her reasoning not to allow the kids to visit me in Indonesia. It seemed to pose too much of a risk at the time, especially as I wasn’t in a good place yet, mentally.

I involved my kids in my new relationship

I met a woman in Bali and married (only in a religious ceremony, not civil) her far too fast. Probably because I was alone and desperate to be with someone.

Predictably, just as my kids and parents warned me, it didn’t work out well. After 2 months massive arguments erupted and my kids were involved, again.

Stupidly, I had given my new wife their phone numbers. She misused that by texting them, complaining, and telling them nasty lies about me, to try to get them to side with her, which was crazy.

That was a nasty situation, for which I was very sorry, but it was out of my control.

Before I knew it, I was living my life with my 2nd ex via my son, who was in the middle trying to calm us both down and get us to reason. I should have put an end to it, but I allowed it to continue.

At the time my son was only 17.

That was an awful mistake. My children had already gone through so much pain with their mother and me divorcing, and then I dumped my new problems right on their heads.

It was simply wrong. But I didn’t appreciate that then, as I was lost and scared.

Final Thought

Today, some 2 years later, I have understood that all of this was clearly my fault.

Realizing that helped me tremendously, yet it made me feel sad and question my common sense.

As sad as this story is and my current situation with my kids, the good news is that I finally did come around to see my mistakes and stopped blaming my kids and my ex-wife.

I know I messed up badly, and at some point, in time my kids drew the line to protect their mental health. I also know they love me dearly, as I do them.

From here on all I can do is wait patiently and hope to slowly reconnect with my kids and show that I’ve changed.

I hope that will happen soon.

Rob

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