More Bad Advice

My apologies in advance. I’m not completely familiar with this blog so I’m not sure if cheating was a part of this story or not. I’m not sure it really matters in regards to the overall advice, but it definitely doesn’t fit when you’re dealing with a cheater.

A while back I read an article entitled: The 7 Life-Changing Benefits of Treating My Ex-Wife Well After Divorce. Hmmm… sounds like something Cousinfucker needs to read. And therein lies the problem. I suppose it could be great advice if you’re dealing with someone normal. Unfortunately, there are many of us out there that aren’t dealing with normal.

My first objection was when he talked about the worst day of his life being the day he found out his wife was in a new relationship. Now, I’m not sure how long after she packed her stuff and left him this was but I keep going back to the whole, “Just because we’ve had children doesn’t mean we don’t have human emotions anymore.” Jeez Louise, we are human beings! We are imperfect. I would imagine that if someone has just ripped your heart out of your chest, cut your time with your child in half (at least!) and is now happily moving on with someone else, even potentially someone he/she began “dating” while you were still married, the first thought in your mind wouldn’t be, “Oh, I’m so happy for my ex! They’ve got someone new while I cry myself to sleep every night. Well, that’s only fair and right. After all, they deserve to be happy and I deserve to be miserable.”

No! You’re probably going to think bad thoughts. You might even hope bad things happen to that person. You know what? That’s okay! As long as you don’t have the power to make things happen just by thinking them you’ve done nothing wrong. And if you do have the power to make things happen just by thinking them please think that I’ll soon buy the winning Powerball ticket.

My second objection came when he said that usually the first or only “bad” thing he learns when dating a fellow single parent is how much of a dick the father is to the mother. That alone wouldn’t have raised my hackles. It’s when he goes on to say: Fair or not, marrying and conceiving children with someone capable of THAT much assholery reflects poorly.

Ummm…. excuse me but when I married my own asshole he wasn’t an asshole. I married a man who had graduated from an extremely prestigious school. He had been a standout in football, a wrestler, a baseball player supposedly who caught the eye of a major league team, a team captain in multiple sports, a certifiable genius. He was described by others as shy, introverted, geeky even. He didn’t come across as arrogant or an asshole.

These guys are good at what they do. They know how important it is to put on an act until their victim is firmly entrenched and has nowhere to go.

Yes, it was my fault I rushed into things. I thought I was far enough along in life that I knew what I wanted and that we were a perfect match. And to be fair to him, although he definitely had his little quirks throughout all of our marriage he wasn’t completely bad all the time. Even the things I bitched about in my Bitch List Parts 1-14 didn’t come along until much farther into the relationship. Him being a complete and utter lying, cheating cousinfucking piece of shit didn’t come until he began his affair and he lost control of me and my reactions.

I digress. Here is his list of the 7 benefits and why I think most of them don’t amount to a hill of beans in my situation.

  1. Reciprocated cooperation is very helpful.

Oh, I’m sure it is. And I would never suggest to someone to not cooperate just for the sake of not cooperating. Like the author says, your best friend or sister is having a wedding and it doesn’t fall on your weekend, how great for you and the ex to be able to exchange weekends. If the kid needs to go see a doctor or dentist and you can’t take him or her, how great if you and the ex can coordinate schedules so that the appointment is taken care of and your child gets whatever care he or she needs. It’s fantastic if little Hayden leaves his soccer cleats over at Dad’s house on Mom’s time and Mom can just call up Dad and swing by, or have Dad swing by her house. Awesome!

It’s also not the end of the world if that doesn’t happen. Mom buys a set of cleats; Dad buys a set of cleats. Appointments aren’t made if that parent can’t get it done. Or instead of relying on the ex to step in and do it, maybe you depend upon a relative or a friend.

Again, I think cooperation between divorced parents is fantastic. I also fully believe that even if Cousinfucker still lived in the same town (or hell, at this point even the same state!) there would be no cooperation because he can’t and won’t face his kids. Cooperation would look like this:

Please, Cousinfucker, I’m begging you! Can you please take off from work to take Rock Star to her doctor’s appointment? I have no vacation time left after all of our court dates and she needs to see someone ASAP. Please, for the love of God, would you do something for your children just once?

And he would look at me and reply: It’s not my problem. You’ve turned them against me. You deal with it all.

Because that’s who he is. He didn’t help out with them when we were married. I’m sure as hell not expecting any help now that we’re divorcing. Plus, there’s that pesky little problem that he moved 6-7 hours away from his kids so even if I were to debase myself and ask him for help he wouldn’t be available because he’s too busy playing daddy of the year to her kids.

In the final analysis I will concede that point to him. Cooperation is very helpful and if you can cooperate that’s a beautiful thing. Good for you. However, don’t feel guilty or like you’re a bad parent if that’s not possible in your situation. I would even go so far as to say if you are repeatedly knocked down whenever you try being civil and cooperative, STOP IT!

2. I get to know things I wouldn’t and freak less

The author seems to think that the only reason he knows things about what goes on with his child when he’s not around is because he communicates with his ex. He also lists his ex being willing to spoon feed him the dates of sporting and school events as a perk of treating her well.

I have definitely heard of parents who refuse to let their kids speak to the other parent when said kids are with them. I think that stinks. I applaud those parents who will let the other parent have unlimited access to them on their time. But that has nothing to do with treating your ex well. It has to do with treating your child well. Sure, when your child is crying because he or she doesn’t get to talk to you whenever they are with the other parent it must destroy something inside of you. The reality though is your ex is hurting your kid every bit as much as they’re hurting you. I guess I don’t look at that as treating your ex well. I look at it as respecting your child and being sympathetic to their needs.

I’m also going to be very blunt and say that playing secretary to my ex is no longer in my job description. Either he needs to tell his whore to get on the website and keep track of that for him because he’s far too important to do such menial tasks, or he can figure it out himself. OR, and here’s a really radical idea, he can talk to his children!!!! I know. Mine are a bit older. They are 15 and 17. I’m going to go out on a limb though and say even a child younger than that can offer up such helpful tidbits as, “I’m playing soccer!” or “I started swimming lessons!” or “We’re having a big program at our school. We’ve been rehearsing every day for two weeks now.” It’s amazing the things kids will tell you when you talk to them.

I think that gets to the heart of it. Even at a young age if being an involved parent is important to you then you’ll figure out a way to get it done. You’ll talk to your child. Even a very young child can tell you what they’re doing or going to do. I’m sure that even at four or five, if they know they’re going to the zoo or an amusement park or some other big trip that they’re excited about they can tell you they’re looking forward to it. They may not have all of the details but they can certainly let you know something is about to happen. At that point you may want to follow up with the other parent. Or not. If I found out through my kids that good ol’ Daddy was planning on taking them to the zoo one weekend what more exactly do I need to know?

Most of his concerns seem to revolve around things that parents either have no obligation to report or should be sharing with the other parent regardless of how they feel about one another.  Here’s a quick for instance for you- when Rock Star hurt herself this past summer I let CF know. I didn’t do it because we have a cooperative relationship. I didn’t do it because he treats me so well. Hell, you all know he treats me like crap. I did it because it was the right thing to do. Because even though he’s a shitty father who hasn’t set eyes on his kids in over 18 months he is her father and I thought he had a right to know. Furthermore, I felt I had an obligation to inform him. Period. It had nothing to do with our relationship.

3. Being together isn’t the worst time ever

Apparently, one of the benefits of treating your ex well is that when you have to be together because your child is involved in activities it’s FUN! If you didn’t treat each other well then maybe one of you would end up skipping out on events and that would make little Amelia sad.

He goes on to say that he and his ex are often in the same place at the same time. They are both there to support him. In fact, many people probably don’t even realize they are no longer married because they are such great friends and treat each other so well.

I admit I’m being a smart ass and this guy probably doesn’t deserve it. This type of thinking, however, drives me batty! I do not need to like my ex nor do I need to have a supportive relationship with him in order to attend my kids’ events. I’m going to be there come hell or high water. I don’t need to talk to him. I don’t need to sit with him. And I can assure you that if he were ever so stupid as to bring the whore or any of her kids with him when he came to “support” his actual children I would not be schmoozing with any of them. We would not carry on as one giant, happy family. No, I am not friends with my husband’s whore. I am not friends with the woman who fucked my husband and helped cause the destruction of my family. I am also not friends with the man who was supposed to be my partner in life, who I was supposed to grow old with, and who ended up lying to me, gas lighting me, and making a complete and utter fool out of me. I call those people enemies. I don’t choose to share my life with those types of people.

Yes, I realize it’s always easier when everyone gets along and there is no stress or strain. Unfortunately, that’s not how it always plays out. So grow up, put on your big boy pants and get to the ball game or the concert or the school assembly and support your kid. Not because you’re absolutely giddy at the thought of getting to spend some quality time with your ex, but because you want to be there for your child. You don’t need to sit with the other parent. You don’t need to talk to the other parent. You just need to be there for your kid.

4. Our son is happy and healthy

Yes, none of us with less than stellar relationships with our exes have happy, healthy kids.

And once again there is more of this, “If you speak or behave in any way that is hostile or otherwise shitty to your ex-spouse, your children will know it and feel stressed and generally uncomfortable any time you’re all together, or even just in phone call situations. Being intentionally shitty to your ex is in many ways being intentionally shitty to your children.”

Oh please! My kids are stressed out because their father is a liar and a cheater who deliberately and with no thought of them whatsoever, destroyed their home and their lives as they knew them. They are stressed because we were forced to move out of our family home and they had to leave behind yet another set of friends. They are stressed because they had to start all over. They’ve gone from having a mom who stayed at home and was available to them all the time to having a mom who at one point was working two jobs and was very rarely available to them. They’re stressed because their dad refuses to pay his court ordered child and spousal support which allows me to keep their lives somewhat stable.

All of the stress they’re experiencing is because of their father’s behavior; it is not because we are not best buddies. Their father has done everything in his power to make us miserable and to make things difficult for us. There really isn’t a whole lot I can do except keep trudging along, being the sane yet impoverished parent.

I do my best not to put him down. In fact, I have gone out of my way to remind them of the good things he’s done in the past. If you ask my mother she will tell you that I have shielded them way too much from his shitty behavior. But I will not lie to them. If they ask me a question I’m going to answer truthfully. There is a difference between being shitty and being honest. Sadly, too often when cheaters (and I’m not calling the author a cheater; in fact, I don’t think he is) speak of not tearing them down in front of the kids what they really mean is, “Hey, I need you to lie for me! Keep up my good guy image so they don’t know what a shitty person I am. And if you won’t then I’m going to accuse you of damaging our kids.”

Generally speaking the people I know of who have kids who are struggling don’t have struggling kids because the parent isn’t speaking highly of the other parent. They are struggling because of something that other parent is actually doing.

5. You preserve important friendships

Apparently, the author believes that you should treat your ex well so that all of your friends will still like you. Because they have conflicting loyalties and if you’re honest about the ex’s bad behavior that may make them uncomfortable and they won’t want to be your friend.

Oh no! Whatever will I do when someone tells me they can’t choose sides and they love us both? What should I do when someone wants to support us both even when I’ve done nothing to deserve the abuse my ex is heaping upon me? I know! I’ll get new friends! Problem solved.

It might be an overly simplistic way to look at it but when you’re going through a divorce, even one that doesn’t involve infidelity or abuse, you need support. The last thing I’m going to worry about is whether or not my so called friends are offended by my vitriol towards this person who has caused me immeasurable pain. In fact, if they are offended by this because they think my ex is so wonderful then they are not my friends. They’re my ex’s friends.

I’ve heard it said before that divorce shows you who your true friends are. Maybe that is true and in that case you probably should weed out those who feel no loyalty whatsoever to you. It’s good to know where you stand and who has your back.

6. You’re not a messy, walking contradiction

Alright, full on honesty here. This is the one that really made my jaw drop. I will quote this since I’m not sure my paraphrasing can do it justice:

Don’t act like you didn’t love- or don’t still currently love- your ex-spouse. It’s a lie and you can’t trick yourself no matter how much we’d all like to.

He goes on to say:

If you want to live a balanced, healthy life where things aren’t constantly shitty and dysfunctional, it’s important that your actions reflect your true values and feelings. When you dislike someone but act like you like them, it becomes this gross, slimy, fake and all-around inauthentic display that most healthy people can identity right away…

You’re always going to feel just off if you spend your life doing things that don’t reflect your true feelings and intentions.

So. Just own it. You loved, and to some extent, still love the person you chose to marry and have children with.

What. The. Ever. Living. Fuck. I almost have no words. Almost.

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if I loved him or not. What matters is now. We could argue that at one point John Wayne Gacy was a cute little boy and his mother loved him so much and he had so much potential. Yeah. But the reality is he grew up to be a serial killer and that’s what we’re dealing with now. Memories are great, but not when they obscure reality. We need to deal with what is and not what was.

I have said many times I lost every feeling I ever had for Cousinfucker when I found out what he was doing. It doesn’t matter that I loved him once. What matters is that he moved me and our kids across the country and then after buying a brand new house, a brand new car, brand new furniture to fill the brand new house, and a brand new $57,000 inground swimming pool he began lying to me and cheating on me with the skank again. I’m not going to dwell on my feelings of love or the nice things he did 15 years ago. I’m going to focus on the fact that he started taking money out of our marital bank account and giving it to his whore, all while lying to me and telling me he was sending it to his mom. Or that when he was telling me he was buying new phones for his mom and stepdad he was really buying them and paying the bill for his whore and her daughter. I’m going to focus on the fact that he forced us out of our home after losing his job and has never consistently paid his court ordered support since then. I’m going to focus on the fact that he abandoned his children without saying a word to them. He moved out of the house and out of the state and didn’t blink an eye. He can’t do enough for four children who don’t belong to him and who have a loving, involved father while he neglects his own. He never did even half of what he does for the whore’s kids for his own. Those feelings I once had for him? Aren’t going to do shit for me now. That person I loved is gone. He was replaced by a known liar and cheater. I Do. Not. love him. I don’t even like him.

There is absolutely no contradiction in my feelings at all. Just because I married someone and had children with them doesn’t mean my feelings can’t evolve and change due to their shitty behavior. Believe me, I get the whole, “I’ll always have fond feelings for this person,” sentiment. That’s not for people who have napalmed your life. CF has done so many awful things to me and our kids in the last two years the only contradiction would be if I claimed I did still love him in some way. I can assure anyone reading this that I am not the least bit moved by the fact he is, unfortunately, the father of my children. The only feelings I have towards him are anger and hatred. I am eagerly awaiting the day when I feel nothing at all, one way or the other, towards him. When he registers as nothing more than any other stranger on the street.

7. You get to be you again by healing much faster

You’re going to have to read this for yourself because I’m not entirely sure what he’s getting at here. I suppose it’s more of this enlightened thinking where he has found happiness and purpose by putting aside all thoughts and feelings of anger and unhappiness towards his ex. By treating her with love and respect and reframing their divorce as a “new type” of love he can successfully navigate the murky waters of divorced parenting. It’s more of the, “Let go of the anger and bitterness” advice. Be buddies with the person who gutted you and then you’ll once again be happy.

He mentions in the beginning that his divorce could be a lifelong prison sentence if he chose to be super involved in his kid’s life and a massive asshat to his child’s mother. Again, I think that’s short sighted. If you want to get along with your ex, if they haven’t done something egregious to you, or if you just like getting kicked in the throat repeatedly, go for it! There is another alternative, though. You can be super duper involved in your kid’s life, not be a massive douche but also not be friends with your ex.

You’re cordial if necessary. You cooperate if possible. You provide necessary information. But you also stay on your side of the bench. You don’t go out for drinks afterwards. You aren’t buddy buddy. You don’t call each other up and chat for hours. It’s almost like a client relationship. You are cordial. You take care of business. And then you go on your way.

He also talks about how he found meaning in the truth and in the meaning he found forgiveness and in forgiveness he found the big one- love. He goes on to say:

It looks nothing like the love we’d promised each other standing on that alter, young and ignorant. But I’m pretty sure it can be enough. In fact I think it already is.

Again I have no feelings of love for my STBX. I don’t want to feel any feelings of love towards him. I wouldn’t be interested in dating a man who said he still loved his ex. I don’t understand why we’re trying to get to a consensus of some sort of love between exes. You’ve discarded the relationship. You don’t get to whine that they no longer love you. Yeah, we know! If they did they’d still be married to you. Is it not enough to simply respect the relationship your children have with the other parent and to get on with your new life which doesn’t involve the ex in any way? Is it not enough that we’re not interfering in or trying to make things more difficult in the ex’s life? Must we now profess to be buddies and have to hang out and talk to each other all the time? I kinda think if that’s what my ex wanted then he shouldn’t have cheated on me. If that’s what some non-cheating ex wants then maybe they shouldn’t have ended the marriage.

It’s the end of a marriage, the end of a relationship. You don’t get to end it and then cry foul when that person wants nothing to do with you. You especially don’t get to whine and cry when you’ve lied and cheated and done other horrible things and the person you’ve abused, for lack of better word, no longer wants to be around you or have anything to do with you.

I realize even the author and some of his commenters mention that this advice is only helpful when you are dealing with someone else who is sane. Sadly, I think it’s almost a foregone conclusion that if you really need his advice you’re not going to take it. The cheater in my situation will never recognize himself in any of that. He’s perfect. I’m the problem.

If you don’t need it then you’re going to experience some guilt because you’re not doing any of those things. You might feel like you are somehow failing your kids. If only I could just eat this one last shit sandwich then things would go better for them. If only I could humiliate myself one final time then my ex would do the right thing.

The problem is so many people see this and they begin to feel guilty that they can’t or won’t do these things. Here’s the truth: You are not obligated to be friends with your ex. You are not obligated to have any kind of a relationship with them. The only thing you are responsible for is not thwarting a relationship between him/her and the kids. Too often those of us who have already been kicked repeatedly while we’re down are expected to just take some more abuse in the name of the children. Meanwhile, the people that really need that advice go along their merry little way, doing whatever their little heart desires. I’m not down with that. I plan on helping to write a new narrative. One that says speak your truth and take no shit!

23 thoughts on “More Bad Advice

  1. I was the child in a divorce situation where my parents were unkind to each other. I can tell you first hand, that mixing your adult issues with your childrens issues is not going to bear out well for you in the future. Your relationship with your husband and theirs is two completely different things. I feel sorry for you. I truly hope you can resolve some of the anger you are dealing with before it swallows you whole. I could not even read all of your post. Having gone thru divorce, having been cheated on and also having been the child in a divorce have made me much more introspective. I hope you find some peace.

    Like

    1. I can assure you, kim, I have not been unkind. In fact, he has gotten away with far more than he should be allowed to. He has no relationship with his children by his own choice. He abandoned them. He lived in the same house with them for 6 months post discovery and couldn’t be bothered to talk to them even though he walked right by his son’s room every night. He went to work one morning, passed right by his daughter and said not a single word, and then after work moved OUT OF THE STATE. How on earth is any of that my fault? He moved to get closer to his affair partner, not because of me and anything I did or didn’t do.

      You seem to be confusing being unkind to someone with refusing to kiss their ass. I have been an amazing STBX as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t yelled and screamed, I didn’t interrupt his weekend getaways with her, I haven’t had the kids call and beg him to come home, I didn’t drive down there and confront him with them in the car, I didn’t toss all of his crap out onto the lawn, or rent a billboard or confront him at work or out him on Facebook or any of the other many things I could think of or that others were encouraging me to do. I’ve kept my mouth shut and kept my distance. When he has asked for things I have provided them immediately. I have even pointed out the good times we had as a family to his kids who are beyond pissed at him.

      As for your concern about my anger issues and your hope that I’ll find peace, thanks but it’s not necessary. I am very happy right now. I have met a great guy. My kids seem happy and somewhat stable after three years of nonstop upheavals. I’m down to working only one job and not having to get up at 3:30 in the morning and working before I go into my full-time job.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You must not have read much of Sam’s blog or you wouldn’t think she was being unfair to her asshole stbx. It’s wonderful to see a woman supporting another woman. NOT! You should be ashamed of yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I feel like this is all on her ex. If you read more of Sam’s blog you would see that she tried really hard to do everything possible for her children. I’m sorry your parents did that to you. I worry about my children as well and I try my very best to swallow all my hurt and anger and deal with him as their father. I can’t make him be what they deserve though. I can only be the best mother I can be.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You seem exceptionally angry and not a little bitter which is understandable in your situation. Matt has been extremely helpful to many people. I’m sorry that his insights don’t apply to your life because you were quite unfortunately married to a giant douche canoe. What I don’t understand is, your apparent desire to tear him down. If it doesn’t apply to you or your situation, don’t read it. It’s simple. There’s simply no need to refute his points as they valid and well meaning. I get that your sorting through your pain in your own way but why be a jerk to someone just because someone has been a jerk to you?

    Like

    1. Who is the jerk here? Matt has his point of view but Sam can’t have hers? And you call her a jerk? Another woman supporting a sister. Wonderful!

      Like

    2. I’m not tearing him down. I am offering another option. Why? Because I follow his blog. When I read that one of the first things I thought was, “Is this really all my fault? Maybe if I just let him kick me a few more times things would be different. Maybe I’m not doing enough. Maybe there is something else I could be doing.” And you know what? That type of message gets plenty of play. As others pointed out, the ones who really could stand to read that won’t, and those of us for whom it doesn’t apply will end up wracked with guilt, thinking it’s geared towards us.

      For the record, I didn’t tear apart all of his ideas. I quite clearly said I had no problem with people cooperating with each other and I thought it was stupid to not cooperate simply to not cooperate. I also said there’s nothing wrong with having to buy two of everything or planning any big events on your own time. Because that’s the reality a lot of people have. Instead of making them feel guilty about it (Come on! If you were just a little nicer to the ex then they wouldn’t act that way.) why not let them know there’s nothing wrong with a different path?

      I also said when you won’t let your kids talk to their other parent when they’re with you it is a shitty thing to do. Regardless, I stand by my statement that NOT doing that shitty thing has more to do with being kind to your *children* and not your ex. And as Janelle pointed out, a lot of those things that he chalks up to rewards for treating your ex well are actually things you could do just because you’re a decent human being, or because you’re eventually going to want a favor yourself.

      I will concede that perhaps I could have come up with a better title. Instead of More Bad Advice I should have called it Another Option.

      Like

  3. Funny, but I didn’t recognize the blogger you were talking about until I got to the comments. Funnier still, he was the first blogger I ever followed, and I am happily married a second time and have been for a very long time.

    When my kids’ dad and I split up and divorced, we kept our marriage/divorce stuff separate from our children after the initial separating happened. The divorce did not have to happen, but my ex lost control and decided to hit me – in front of our children – when I asked for a separation. Marriage was over with the first punch.

    However, we are both adults who love our kids. We cooperated. We kept our divorce feelings as private as possible and were at least civil during hand offs and events where we were both present. In the age before the internet, there were phone calls, voice messages, photocopies of calendars of events. Both of us were invited to parent-teacher conferences, and sometimes both of us went together. If he couldn’t make it, I called and talked to him about what was said, so he’d know what was going on with our children. It’s part of being a grown-up and a decent human being and a responsible parent. I didn’t always like him or his behaviors and decisions, he didn’t always like me and mine. But unless I thought it was dangerous for our kids, there has to be agency for him to be a parent as well. Time passed, we both remarried, and what drove us apart became just a part of our history. Because we’re mostly functional adults. Neither of us got extra parental benefits for being considerate of one another; it just made life infinitely easier for all of us. To this day – and we’ve been divorced more than 28 years – we are still family. At my son’s wedding last year, my husband and I sat at the same table with my son’s dad, his parents and siblings, and we all had a great time. It was wonderful to catch up in-person with the rest of the extended branch of the family tree.

    Granted my ex is not a douche, nor am I a terrible ex-wife. We were just kids when we got married, but adults when we divorced. Mistakes were made on all sides because of the former, and our now adult children have good relationships with both of us because of the latter.

    Finally, this is just my personal opinion, but as Matt’s audience and blog have grown, I feel like he has lost some of his authenticity. A shame really.

    Like

    1. I think it’s great that you and ex could get along so well. Honestly, if CF had ever hit me I don’t think I’d ever forgive him so you’re a much better person than me.

      As you know, in my case it really doesn’t matter because we don’t co-parent. He doesn’t parent at all; he’s abandoned them. Plus, my kids were older when all of this happened. At this point if he ever decided to be a part of their lives he can parent his little heart out without any involvement from me. All I ask for is a notification from my kids that they’ll be gone while they visit with their dad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Completely agreed, Sam. I was actually a lot surprised by some of the comments on your post. Having followed and read your blog in full, I think you’re practically a candidate for sainthood dealing with CF’s antics.

        Like

  4. Seriously. I didn’t marry that asshole
    either. He tricked me. What an insult…this guy. Also his ex wife feeds him dates and so forth because he refuses to do it and she’s trying to spare their son. Believe me I know and he COUNTS on it as a reason why he doesn’t keep up with it🙄. For the love of God, get a planner or download an app, dude.
    Love your response and cousinfucker….I hope his cousin cheats on him with a much younger cousin and kicks him to their grandmother’s house 😂! You are a queen 👸🏼 and btw…I spotted this on Facebook. The dude that wrote this posted it there.
    Crazy, huh?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Today I realize I wasn’t being any different than the way I interpreted (Matthew’s) his writing. He was lumping people in a generalized group, saying that if we all do right by our kids that we could co-parent better. When I stated he didn’t keep up with things because his wife did was comparing him to what I know. I grasp that he writes like that, as do we all. We only know what we know and as empathetic as I am I could still never truly understand someone else’s experiences. Just my own. People have a hard time grasping the lengths of which some personality disordered people will go to abuse, disvalue, ignore and ultimately punish you where it hurts the worst….through the kids. Unless you’ve experienced it you’d assume one of us on here are dramatic, holding on to anger, or that *we* could possible be making it difficult for them to coparent because of our anger based on their infidelity or what not. Which in fact we are just tying not to drown. We are trying to put on a happy face through the bullshit and hope that we are enough for our children knowing their other parent will always be exactly as they are. Mine is great in spurts and then neglectful and absent. None of which has anything to do with me.
      So Sam, if you get offended, I feel you. I get it. Sometimes on a bad day I get pissed too at other’s negativity toward a situation they know nothing about. Some people are good but there are some that are just pity seeking, lying, slandering assholes and the abuse we endured to get to where we’ve gotten is a healing work in progress. So get offended a pissed and call people out. If it heals you a little to get out some frustration then you’re one step closer. We all write and our stuff and put it out there to be criticized or to find some sense of commonality and not feeling so alone in heartaches. We are al just trying to do the same thing….be happy. I’m going to always be no matter what. Happy. It belongs to me even in my sadness. I mean come on….I have these two cutie pie kids….happiness everyday!

      Like

  5. I must admit that this is the only post of yours I’ve read so please forgive me if I’m way off base here,… But you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth. Have you ACTUALLY moved on? Are you REALLY in a happy place? Because this outrage against Matt’s personal experience and insIght is clearly fueled with bitterness. I mean….simply tracking the tones of each….they are markedly different. His seems, level and fair and yours is raging out hot….both to your ex AND to Matt. No reasonable person could discern that you have true peace. Outside if the fact that you claim to have it, this post evidences something to the contrary.

    I am five years out from my divorce …. he cheated on me….he cheated on me for the majority of our 16 year marriage. I searched the blogosphere exhaustively for stories like mine…of people who had walked the path before me…. and I found piles and piles of poisonous bitterness and anger (much like what I’m receiving from you). Even though HE (my ex) had cheated, I knew I had to look at myself….I knew that even though I was as “in the clear,” I’d given him reasons to cheat….I’m not excusing it….I just chose to own my part….You may believe that staying the course is “fine” and without repercussion….but consider what bitterness can do to the soul. And….it should also be considered that your children may very likely read these words someday. And whether they agree or not, the potential damage could be considerable.

    There is fruit from genuine peace and joy ~Perhaps accepting that there’s plenty of room for Matts advice …maybe even admitting that his way might actually be a “better way” ~whenever possible~….of course it’s not going to work for everyone but shouldn’t we, as women who have been wronged, wave the banner for something better? Doesn’t that make us better people too? I’m sorry your ex made so many terrible and selfish decisions and that your family is forced to figure out a new way on a treacherous road of broken promises. But…. When the dust settles, let’s be sure we are modeling something divinely hopeful… because kids have a unique way of sniffing out what is fake. You are either the person you claim to be here (the one who doesn’t unload all the ugly on the kids-the one who reminds them of dads good qualities), or you are the person who is raging out here (consistently referring to him In extremely unsavory terms). Which one are you?…I’m not sure you can really be both.

    Best wishes as you embrace the good ahead. 💛

    Like

    1. I don’t know what to tell you. Do you tell everything to your kids that you tell your friends or co-workers? Me neither. That’s how it’s possible to not go around telling my kids exactly what I think about their father while I vent away freely here. And what is it with everyone cautioning that “someday they may find your blog!”? The Internet is a really big place. WordPress is a really big place. The chances that they’ll find it are very unlikely. As for me calling the STBX “unsavory names”… oh please! The man moves his family across the country to get closer to his cousin/mistress, cheats, lies, financially strangles his family, abandons his kids by moving out the state he moved us to, and hasn’t seen his kids in 19 months but you get a case of the vapors at the thought of me calling him Cousinfucker? Yes, because that’s the real problem. Would you rather I just use his actual name? Might make finding my blog easier for my kids…. Just saying.

      Have I moved on? No, I’m still in the middle of a divorce. Since you freely admit you haven’t read anything other than this one entry then you don’t know that just last week I had the privilege of discovering he had stopped payment on two of the very small support checks he has deigned to send. Checks he writes to taunt me, btw. Yep, the judge says, “Pay X amount,” and he says, “Nah, I think I’ll pay whatever I feel like.” And then he turns around and stops payment- costing me money and obviously resulting in me losing the money he supposedly paid me. He refuses to settle because he doesn’t think this divorce should cost him a penny. He shouldn’t have to lose his lifestyle but if the kids and I live on 10% of what we used to that’s fine by him.

      Am I truly happy? You bet I am! I’ve met a guy who is worth 10 of my STBX. But expecting me to just forget the hell CF has put me through because I’ve met someone new is kind of like telling a parent who goes on to have another child after losing a child that they shouldn’t be sad or miss their dead child anymore because now they have another child. I’d rather live in a one bedroom apartment with the mobster than live in my old 4000 sq. foot house with CF; that doesn’t mean I’m okay with what CF has done to me and my kids.

      Do I still worry about what’s going to happen to me even if I’m happy? Absolutely. He left me in a horrible financial situation. He moved us into a new house and started his affair less than a year later, which meant we had no equity in the house. Not that it would have mattered because it ended up being foreclosed on. He cashed in the majority of his stock for the swimming pool in the backyard that was being constructed while he was having his affair and the remainder he cashed in and put into his joint checking account with his mistress. He walked away from tens of thousands of dollars in restricted stock, a huge annual bonus, and a stable job of 15 years. I make $11/hour after staying home for 15 years, raising our kids and moving all over the country to advance his career and allow him to climb into the top 2% of wage earners. The only reason the kids and I aren’t living in a homeless shelter is because we moved in with my mom. I’m going to walk away from this divorce with probably $15k in legal fees and nothing to show for it except for half of his 401k and pension which won’t be a lot and I can’t touch for another 20 years or so. He’s trying to convince me to sign off on less than half of table support for child support and he wants to pay a pittance in spousal support. What can I say? If you’re the type of person that could just brush all of that off and talk about what a wonderful person your ex was despite all of that then you definitely have a much higher tolerance for bullshit than I do.

      Finally, when you speak of your ex cheating on you and you say on one hand, “I was in the clear” and then on the other hand claim, “I gave him reasons to cheat,” and then go back to “I’m not excusing him,” you are most definitely excusing him. I don’t care if I was the worst wife in the world. He had the option of leaving. He had the option of talking to me. He had the option of trying to fix it. He chose none of those. He chose to cheat. He chose to tear our lives apart after we gave up everything to follow him 2000 miles across the country. My part? Was choosing to forgive him after the first emotional affair with her.

      Like

    2. First of all – really you’re looking at yourself because he cheated? First of all cheating is a choice – if you’re unhappy in you’re relationship you either talk to your partner about it or leave the relationship – you don’t start having sex with someone else. You don’t begin another relationship until you end your current one period unless you have both willing agreed to have an open relationsihp.

      Secondly, yes if you’re dealing with someone who is an adult those things will work for you. However, most of the time from what I have seen happen to friends and family, it takes a while for the “adults” to act like adults. Instead, usually one party acts like a petulant two year old and doesn’t put the kids first and often uses the kids to “hurt” the other party.

      Thirdly, before you comment you need to read more than one entry if you’re going to tell someone they are wrong. She has been a SAINT in my opinion – if I were her I’d have done run him over like that dentist in Houston did when she found out he cheated.

      Fourthly, the truth will out – when a parent doesn’t support their own damn children you don’t cover that up – now you don’t have to shove it down their throats or talk about it 24/7 to the kids but you be honest about it. Yes it sucks that the kids have to learn that life is unfair and cruel but you know what – it’s better than letting them live in pretend land where everything is roses and rainbows because that’s what’s wrong with most kids today – they were raised in an artificial environment where everything is perfect and they never lose and they don’t know what 1st place is and everything has to be fair – real life isn’t fair and it’s never going to be unless you live in Utopia. That’s why all these kids are depressed and can’t deal with real life because they lived in bubble land. They don’t know how to deal with disappointment or sadness because mommy/daddy made life perfect (I am guilty of this myself) so now they get depressed just living normal life.

      So next time before you spout off – read more than one entry.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sam,

    I read Matt’s blog regularly. I think there is more going on there than anyone can tell from one post. I will say my stbx has a lot more in common with yours (as does my divorce) than Matt’s. I read there because I want to put the anger and bitterness behind me and a lot of what he writes helps me with that. I would not presume to tell anyone else what they should do with their emotions. That is just a choice I’m trying to make for me. I think I will be happier for it. It doesn’t mean that I am ever going to say or feel that what he did was ok. It wasn’t. It could never be – but I want it out of my head and heart.

    I can relate to the rage I feel from your post (and because I can, I do wonder if I’m projecting a bit of my own on to your words – reading more anger than is actually there as it were.) A person who cheats causes enormous pain. A person who puts their own convenience and wants before their children’s needs is a crappy person as well as a crappy parent. I think if you (I) are trying to keep the majority of bitterness and rage you (I) feel from the kids, then you (I) are doing a good job. Pretending everything is sunshine and roses would be gas-lighting them. Lying to kids about what is going on is not helpful. Kids are not stupid. They know when someone is treating them like crap. Having the other parent deny what they are experiencing would just add harm on top of harm. And of course your stbx doesn’t like owning his own actions, neither does mine. Their discomfort at being seen accurately is not your or my problem, regardless of what they say.

    From the sounds of it, you are already doing your part to treat your stbx well, just as Matt proposed. You cannot make him “not an asshole” and I don’t think that is what Matt was trying to suggest. You (and I of course) can only do our best not to be an asshole back. As for getting to the point of being friends – well they would have to do their part for that to ever happen. IF my stbx could treat our son well, and even treat me decently I think I could do better than I do now. But given his behavior to his child primarily (and to me secondarily – I’m human and I dislike how he treats me but how he treats his son is the big issue) I’m already going more than half way. Sounds like you are too, and no one over at MBTTTR would expect you to do more. I’ve had more than one commentor – and Matt – tell me when I comment – that I can only do what I can do – to not try and do his part as well.

    Keep on as you are – protect your kids and validate their feelings while doing your best to not give them yours to carry too. It sounds like you are already doing your very best to not be a shitty ex. Unfortunately, like me, you have an ex who will probably never do their part.

    (oh, for what its worth, Matt acknowledges all the time that its his job to keep up with dates, events etc and that he sucks at it and that his ex is being very generous in helping with that when she has absolutely no obligation to do so. I also think he should just find a freaking way to do it for himself but I like that he at least acknowledges its a failing and is grateful for the help.)

    Like

    1. Sorry I kept you in moderation for so long. I thought I approved all comments when they came in.

      I appreciate your comments. For the record, I’m really not all that bothered by the fact Matt’s ex continues to keep him updated with dates and events. If she’s willing good for her. And good for him. In MY particular situation I have no desire or obligation to do so. In the very beginning I told him about the 2 upcoming events for our kids and I kept all of their practices and schedules up on the refrigerator (for my convenience, not his). He was free to access that at any point but chose not to. Now? Well, he lives 6-7 hours away and hasn’t set eyes on his kids in over 18 months so I think it’s a little pointless to spoon feed him dates and events.

      Like

      1. One of the things Matt said to me – when I commented on this post was – You are not the intended audience – your STBX is. That made it easier for me to read it and see how it might apply to me – like IF my STBX were to treat his son well, I might not mind not only telling him about important dates but reminding him as well. He doesn’t and so I send him one notification of things happening – Dr appointments, school functions. I see that as me doing my part to not be an asshole. The kid is with me during the school week. The notices for school come home in his back pack to me. I’m the one that sets up the Drs appointments because I’m the one that takes him, So I have the info and I share it. If he doesn’t remember them – not my problem. He puts the minimal effort in to see his kid once every other weekend. I put in the minimal effort to let him know important dates. In your case – he doesn’t even see or speak to his kids – why should you have to tell him dates etc. no less remind him? I’m willing to bet, if he were really good to the kids, even with all the shitty he is and has been to you – you would also be doing some additional stuff you are not willing to now. You would not be doing it for him – you’d be doing it for the kids. And just to take this way out into fantasy land – if our STBX’s were to actually apologize, acknowledge their wrongs AND treat us decently going forward – well then the burden of trying to have a friendly / positive relationship would be on us as well as them. Does’t sound likely for you, and I know there is no way its happening over here either.

        Like

      2. I read that comment and I agree. I even said that at the beginning of this post. But here’s where you and I differ. Even if he were being decent to his kids I wouldn’t be reminding him of dates, sitting with him at school functions or being “friends” with him. I much prefer Chump Lady’s goal- reaching Meh, and treating the ex like you would the tax collector: courteous, civil, and to the point. Granted, my kids are older so if he were having a good relationship with them I would expect that in the course of their conversations things like school events, concerts, sporting events, and even weekend plans would come up. It wouldn’t be necessary for me to remind him of anything. Ultimately I simply don’t think it’s a good practice to try to convince your kids that you should reward people who do grievous injury to you. Their father has done horrible things to me (and to them by extension). If I act like he’s my best friend despite everything he’s done then I’m teaching my kids that I’ll put up with anything; you can do anything you want to me, treat me any way, and I’ll put up with it because that’s what a good person does. I would rather teach them that I don’t choose friends who do horrible things to me.

        Like

    2. this was a good objective reply without attacking – I would have just liked it but I forgot my password so I couldn’t lol

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s