Being a Rule Follower

I am a rule follower. Some of my friends tease me about that. If a sign says, “No one admitted beyond this point,” I don’t go beyond that point. If they say, “No food or drink,” I don’t bring any food or drink. It’s not that I don’t have a rebellious streak. It’s simply that I always get caught so I figure it’s easier to just follow the damn rules.

I remember one time in college a friend was talking about scamming the people at food court. He bought a chicken sandwich and told the cashier it was a hamburger, which was cheaper. Well, yours truly tried that a day or so later, and I got caught. Somehow the cashier knew it was chicken and not beef. Lesson learned. I follow the rules.

Back in January when I found out the state of Indiana would go after CF for the full $1800/month in arrears (so really $900 for each month he had “self-modified”) I debated making him an offer instead of going after the full amount. I felt bad letting the state go after him for the additional $900 when I felt like I was really only entitled to the additional $200 or so. But I didn’t. I figured I would let the chips fall where they may. Sucks to be him and all that. It was his responsibility to get it modified after all.

I should have made him a damn offer because it’s all coming back to bite me in the ass, just like I feared it would. I even said I don’t gloat because it never works out for me.

The caseworker contacted me last week. After talking to her supervisor she said it might be possible that Kentucky would enforce the spousal support order but there were no guarantees. She also said that more than likely the judge in Kentucky would use his current salary instead of the higher wages imputed by the Virginia judge. It was possible the judge would impute, but not guaranteed. She didn’t sound like it would even be likely.

End result? The rule follower is going to get fucked up the ass once again and the goddamn cousin fucking piece of shit gets to do whatever the fuck he wants to do with no consequences.

I told the caseworker I was withdrawing my case. I am NOT going to go through the hassle of getting him imputed so that I can actually save that asshole money! I didn’t seek a fucking modification for his benefit. According to the support calculator he will end up paying me $200 less than what he is voluntarily paying me now with his self-modified support. It’s about $400 less than what he is supposed to be paying.

In the end, if I go along with the caseworker I will actually owe him about $1400, or two month’s worth of child support. I am not assured of getting spousal support, which is 75% of what he owes me. And I am not even guaranteed arrears for the months he refused to get the order modified.

Now I’m back to relying on my lawyer to get this damn thing done. More than likely he will refuse to sign the new papers because he doesn’t have a job, as far as I know.

I will continue to be at his mercy for the next fifteen years. He gets to continue to pay spousal support whenever he wants. He gets to continue to pay child support whenever he wants and he gets to cut it off whenever he wants as well. Once again that fucking asshole gets to calculate child support down to the fucking half hour when his son graduates.

I was going to conclude this rant with questions of why couldn’t I have been a widow, but that wouldn’t have been nice. It would have been true, but it wouldn’t have been nice. Instead I’m going to once again tell myself that I have choices. None of them are palatable but I have choices. I merely have to be content letting him get away with murder. And that pisses me the fuck off!

Seriously. He cuts child support in half, refuses to get it modified, tells me if I want it I’m going to have to force him and pay for it, and in the end, he gets away with all of it.

My lawyer will take probably another six months to get anything before him. I’ve already lost money yet again because I’ve had two raises (small raises- less than $1/hour combined) since the last time she calculated the child support. He’s lost his job, supposedly not due to his own incompetence, which makes things a little tricky. Plus, I can’t really hold him in contempt because he is doing as I asked and paying something, even if not the entire amount.

It’s not like the last time where he just said, “I lost my job. I won’t be sending you anymore money.” He’s paying his self-modified child support. He’s even sending additional money for spousal support.

The state of Indiana, who was supposed to hand his ass to him, is basically going to be cutting him a huge break because they’re turning it over to Kentucky. Kentucky will more than likely say, “Oh, you poor thing. The mean old judge in Virginia imputed you. We’re going to only count what you actually make. You shouldn’t be forced to get a comparable job to support your kids. True love and fucking your cousin is so much more important!” And that’s with the supposition that they will use his former salary and not use $0 since he’s no longer got a damn job!

So I’m back to my lawyer in Virginia, taking forever while she charges me $300/hour to do so.

Of course, I could always say, “Fine. Pay me whatever you deem acceptable, Cousinfucker.” Then I’m only out the original amount of money I paid my attorney to get this shit modified. Is approximately $185 more per month really worth it? Hell, at this point it could be even less. It undoubtedly is.

Then he wins. I hate it when he wins. I feel like this entire time he’s been winning. I know; I know. My kids love me. I’m the real winner. But that only means something if he lost something he actually cared about. He doesn’t care about his kids. He wouldn’t have done what he did if he cared about his kids. He doesn’t value the same types of things that normal people do. So, he’s won.

He won the entire time leading up to our temporary support orders. Blew through more than $30k and never had to account for a penny. At least not a penny I saw. It all got wrapped up in the settlement. Speaking of which, he won in the settlement. After being told that since the money I took and used to support us was spent on the household I wouldn’t have to account for it, I had to account for it. He took on 60% of the marital debt which he never plans on actually paying, but it sure did cut him a break on what he had to pay out. He won after the divorce as well. He has absolutely no responsibilities as far as our kids go. He still is able to make good money. His lifestyle hasn’t changed a bit. He lives in his own home. He’s remarried. He’s got two replacement kids.

I, on the other hand, live with my mom. I have all the responsibilities of our kids. My lifestyle has changed dramatically. I will never be allowed to remarry unless I would like to be completely dependent upon another man because I make shit money and cannot support myself without the child and spousal support he’s ordered to pay me.

It’s times like these I have to tell myself to let it all go. It is what it is. No use in tilting against windmills, right? That in itself is a giant shit sandwich I am forced to swallow. People like them never suffer the consequences.

Me? I deal with the consequences every single day. I’d love to know when it will finally be my turn.

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 3

We’re up to the fifth and final hurdle. This ended up being a new one for me. I never anticipated having breakfast with her.

Fifth hurdle- breakfast the day after the party. Oh, Jesus, help me! Her sister apologized profusely the night before. She (the sister) had wanted to get together with her niece and nephews for breakfast because they were going to be taking off the next day. BSC heard them making plans and invited herself on over for breakfast with them.

I have to admit, for a small window of time I was kinda pissed at the mobster that he didn’t text her and flat out tell her not to come. You are not invited! You are not welcome. Stay away.

I got over it. I did not, however, make breakfast. Yeah, no. I’m not cooking breakfast for that woman. Instead, Mobster and his brother-in-law made breakfast.

It turned out to be a very interesting morning. I’m glad it happened because I learned a lot.

When I first came out of the bedroom BSC was sitting at the table with her sister. A’s girlfriend asked me how I was and I replied, “Fabulous,” and went about my business of grabbing a cup and making my coffee.

Thankfully, she spent most of her time outside with her sister. Hooray! I spent it inside (in the air conditioning) with the sons’ wife and girlfriends. Very interesting stuff.

I’m going to call the oldest son’s girlfriend Little Miss Sunshine, because that girl is so sweet and loving. I’m going to call the middle son’s wife CeeCee, because his first name begins with a C and her first name begins with a C, making her C’s C. The youngest son’s girlfriend I will refer to as The Dog Lover. Honestly, all three of these young women are dog lovers, but the other two have other nicknames from me. Now for the stories.

Story #1- A, the oldest, was asking Little Miss Sunshine what his mother was doing here. She told him she had no idea. I raised my hand and said I knew. I asked him if he wanted me tell him, which he did. So, I told him about her overhearing her sister when she was making plans for breakfast with them and her inviting herself over for that. He shook his head in amazement.

At another point C had to go outside and say hello to her. CeeCee was like, “Better him than me.”

It’s sad when your kids feel that way about you. Which brings us to Story #2.

I have to say I really enjoyed spending time with C and CeeCee this time around. Not that I didn’t enjoy it before. This time it felt more authentic, I guess. I learned a lot more. I feel like more barriers were down. I think CeeCee is just a much more reserved person. I think both her and The Dog Lover are a bit reserved, unlike Little Miss Sunshine who is bubbly and overflows with sweetness and kindness.

Anyway, CeeCee began talking about BSC. I forget what led to it, but basically she has no tolerance for her. She hates the way she manipulates her kids, especially C. As she put it, “She’s always the victim.” Exactly! That’s what we’ve been saying! Not that we’ve ever said that out loud to the kids, of course. She went on to say that it would be nice if she could take a step back and look at what she’s done to her kids, and see that maybe the reason her kids don’t want to have a whole lot to do with her has to do with her own behavior. She gave the example of BSC texting C late at night to tell him she got kicked out of the house and she was living in the woods. She said he would get upset and worried about her while CeeCee tries to remind him that it’s all lies.

I am a bit proud of this girl because she knows in her early twenties something that a lot of people don’t figure out until their forties or fifties. You can’t have a relationship with a toxic person. She said that. She even mentioned that she’s not sure she would even want BSC around her children, and cited that as a major reason they’re not sure they want kids.

At one point CeeCee said that BSC doesn’t like her and never has. She talked about how frustrating it was that BSC didn’t come to her bridal shower or anything else having to do with the wedding, but then showed up at the wedding, drinking, dancing, whooping it up and acting like nothing was wrong. Preach it, girl!

I took that opportunity to tell her that yes, I did actually have Garth Brooks’ concert tickets, but once I found out she was going to be there I decided not to come, or at least that had been a huge part of my thinking the entire time. I flat out told her I was worried that she would have shown her ass and I didn’t want them to have to worry about that on their big day. She agreed with me and said that’s probably exactly what would have happened. She also said BSC didn’t bother to show up until right before the wedding began.

I think this may have led into Little Miss Sunshine telling her that BSC had glommed onto her at the wedding and was trash talking her and A’s ex-wife. Seriously, who does that? You don’t go to a wedding and trash talk the bride! You may not care for the bride or groom, but you don’t pick their wedding reception as a chance to vent your frustrations to their other guests!

In addition to telling Little Miss Sunshine how much she disliked V and CeeCee and that Little Miss Sunshine was the only good girl in the family, she also took that opportunity to steal sips out of her drink. Like, she would reach over, take a sip, and put it back in front of her.

When BSC finally decided to leave the house and head back to her own place she came inside to say goodbye. We were sitting and standing around the table. I think C was there. A. Little Miss Sunshine. CeeCee was sitting on the end. I was beside her. Rock Star beside me. I think maybe the brother-in-law was next to her. Possibly the grandson. L was sitting slightly behind us, on the barstool and The Dog Lover was sitting next to him.

She hugs C. Hugs A. Hugs Little Miss Sunshine and makes a big deal of saying goodbye to “baby girl” and telling her to keep in contact and be sure to send those pictures of the grandson. She turns around, completely ignoring CeeCee, myself, and Rock Star. Pats L on his cheek before giving him a hug. Ignores The Dog Lover. Hugs the grandson and the brother-in-law and then heads out. Wow!

Come to think of it, after she left I looked at Little Miss Sunshine and remarked, “You must be something special. She didn’t say bye to CeeCee or me!” That may have been when she launched into her story about the wedding and all the trash talk.

Either way, this is your daughter-in-law. Your son has chosen to marry her. I’m not saying you have to hug her and love on her and act like you think she’s the best thing ever. But is it asking too much to say goodbye, maybe even a, “Nice to see you again,” regardless of whether or not it’s a lie? The brass balls on this woman is astounding.

When I look back on this weekend I will be able to say that it was a great weekend, despite BSC’s presence. For the most part we stayed away from each other. When we had to be close by, even passing right by one another, we didn’t look at each other and we didn’t speak.

His kids were amazing about accepting Rock Star into the fold. She was frequently called out to be on a team for volleyball. At one point she told me, “God, I always said I wanted a big brother and now I’ve got 3.” She’s not real sure about that.

The night after graduation we went over to C’s, as I mentioned, and we had a fantastic time. I know the mobster just enjoyed having all of his kids together. All his baby birds in one nest.

Saturday was spent at the house, enjoying the graduation party.

Sunday after the disastrous breakfast the “kids” all played volleyball, then we (C, CeeCee, A, Little Miss Sunshine, the grandson, Rock Star, Mobster, and I) went to grab snow cones. The mobster and I left the snow cone shack to meet his brother and sister-in-law at a winery here in town. My daughter left to go put gas in the car and buy herself a new pair of swim bottoms. The last remaining members went to play pinball and arcade games, although CeeCee went home to shower and do some homework. T, who didn’t go with us to get a snow cone, met her two brothers at the arcade. Then we all met up for Mexican food around 5:30.

I heard some incredibly funny stories about their childhood while we were there. The evening could be summed up as a lot of laughter.

We all went over to C and CeeCee’s house after dinner. They played yard games and volleyball. There was some more drinking, although not a lot.

For me, I felt like I really connected with his kids this weekend. A was very warm and welcoming. He is his father’s mini me. The mobster always said it was C, and while C never seems to meet a stranger much like his father, A is a carbon copy. Holy moly!

I felt very accepted and welcomed by C, and this was the most I have ever spent talking to CeeCee. She’s a very sweet girl. She loves C very much and I know she hates what he’s gone through. She’s a good wife. Very loyal to him. I’m sorry I missed their wedding and I wish I could have been there, although I absolutely know it was the best decision.

Monday morning A and Little Miss Sunshine were up around 5:30 to get the car packed and get back on the road. I got up with the mobster to send them off. I got hugs from all three of them, which was nice. A said, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you again sometime soon,” which was also nice.

To sum up, there was a little drama but it was definitely outweighed by the goodness of the weekend. As always I bow to the mobster. He is the smartest man alive.


Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 2

I’ve crossed the first three hurdles. They ended up being surprisingly easy. This next one, though… it was a little tougher. Little more drama. I took my first drink (punch spiked with vodka) around 1 and kept on drinking until late that night. Thankfully, it was spread out over 8-10 hours so I never even got buzzed, despite having 3 drinks in hand at one point in the afternoon!

Fourth hurdle- the graduation party. Sweet J nailed it. She absolutely, positively did show up. She was there all freaking day! The party started at 1 and I don’t think she left until 6 or 7. It might have been later. So much for not being able to bear seeing the mobster with me, huh?

Oh, and for those who doubt she’s batshit crazy and I’m just interpreting things from my point of view? She’s batshit crazy. 11:00 the night before the party she texts the mobster, “I hope you go to hell!” Who does that?

To her credit though she did bring 16 hotdogs and 2 packages of hot dog buns. Plus a watermelon. And maybe some potato salad, but I’m not sure.

Even better, at the graduation she tells one of his sisters that she dislikes the mobster immensely, but then shut her pie hole when her sister came up. Can’t let anyone see that she’s the instigator, of course.

Thankfully, her sister had already told Mobster that she recognized BSC always played the victim. It’s always someone doing something to her. It’s never her fault. In fact, later that evening after she went over to see where she was living they went by the site of her accident last year. She pointed it out and was laughing about it.

On top of all of that, according to various sources she spent a great deal of the party crying. Someone told the mobster the day of the party his ex was in the house crying and two days later someone else told me she had been bawling and carrying on pretty much the entire party.

Okay, the person who told me was the mobster’s mother. And the story I heard was that for some reason BSC yelled, “You don’t love me!” to her and then apologized for her behavior as she was leaving. Mobster’s mom said she was surprised because BSC had never raised her voice to her like that before.

There’s a very good chance she was drinking, though. She and the boyfriend’s sister kept going up to the car that was parked behind the house.

I have no idea what she was crying about and so far I have yet to hear a good explanation from anyone who might have been near her.

She is the one that was cheating. She is the one who left. She is the one who moved straight in with her boyfriend. You would think with all her crying and poor little me attitude that I was the other woman who had moved in on her husband while she was none the wiser and thought they had a blissfully happy marriage. Nope, not how it played out.

One of the mobster’s sisters swears she’s unhappy with her life and wants to come back to him and that’s why she’s acting like this.

I think she simply can’t believe he moved on. He was supposed to always stick around and be waiting, and he didn’t. She pushed him too far this last time and he was done.

But what would I know? We stayed in separate areas the entire time. Well, almost the entire time. At one point I was outside underneath a canopy with Mobster’s brother-in-law (not the one married to BSC’s sister) and a few other people. Mobster was playing, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Motley Crue, and I was singing along. I was sitting in this comfy adirondack chair, my eyes closed, drink in hand. Someone called out to T and asked her to come over to where we were. I am singing the chorus: Girl, don’t go away mad. Girl, just go away. I happen to open my eyes, thinking T had come over, and who should appear but BSC. Oops!

I remained composed. It wasn’t intentional but it sure as hell was funny. The brother-in-law was looking at me like, “Oh shit!” Eh. She went away. Just like the song suggested.

Most of the time though if she was outside we were inside. Or, she was underneath a tent and Rock Star and I were in the garage.

The same brother-in-law who ended up enjoying my concert later, sat with me in the garage while we ate and asked me if it was awkward. I told him it was okay. He then went on to say she was walking around like she still owned the place. I wouldn’t know because I didn’t pay much attention to her.

I think when she first arrived she did come into the house with her boyfriend’s sister. We would just walk by one another. Never said a word to each other. His sister was plenty nice though and offered to help.

At one point Mobster and I drove up to his parents’ house because his son had inadvertently taken T’s phone with him. He agreed to turn around and drop it off at his grandparents’ house and Mobster would go pick it up.

When we came back we parked up behind the house. “That looks like David’s truck,” he says to me as we were walking back to the house. “It wasn’t here earlier.”

“Surely she wouldn’t attempt to bring him to this party,” I told him. I was thinking there was no way their balls were that big.

Alas, I was wrong and Monica nailed it. I’m not sure how we got separated but I walked into the house and saw him standing with her on the enclosed porch. I’m pretty sure my eyes got wide and I was thinking, “Oh shit! Mobster is going to lose his mind.”

I do remember walking into the house and preparing the Jell-O shots (not alcoholic; they’re actually pudding and Jell-O topped with Cool Whip.) and when his sister-in-law came up I said he was going to be pissed and then asked what the fuck was wrong with some people.

I shouldn’t have worried though because the mobster handled it like a champ. I think she wanted the drama and he didn’t give it to her. He ignored it all (aside from passive aggressively playing music). We didn’t even do grand gestures of affection in front of her.

At one point I know we were outside sweating our asses off while she and her boyfriend enjoyed the air conditioning inside.

There is a juvenile, petty side of me that would have loved to have seen the boyfriend escorted off the property, or for the mobster and I to have been kissing and hugging and making a scene. But, as the mobster kept saying, “It’s T’s party. It’s all about her today. I don’t want to ruin her party.” And he was correct.

Had we done either of those things it would have been playing into BSC’s hands. We would be seen as the unstable ones, the unreasonable ones, while she comes off looking like the victim. Sometimes you’ve gotta eat a little bit of shit, I guess. Really, it wasn’t that difficult. We stayed away from them. They stayed away from us. Although, there was a point where I told him I was going to go up to the two of them and ask them if they wanted to play cornhole. I didn’t.

Three other small things: #1- at the beginning of the party T came up to the mobster and I and put her arms around us both. She said thank you for her party. I told her she was welcome but that it was all her dad’s doing. Just between us, yes, I helped decorate but he bought all the decorations. I made Scotcheroos, beer bread, taco dip and Jell-O shots, which she requested, but he bought the hotdogs, the hamburgers, the buns, and the 6 ft. sub. Her grandmother brought potato salad and really cute sweet treats. T’s sister-in-law brought a pasta salad. We all pitched in a little to help him out but he did the majority of the work.

The mobster did mention he wondered if she did that to piss her mom off. I have no idea. I prefer to think it was genuine and that she was really grateful for the awesome party her dad put together and that I helped with.

#2- Later in the afternoon I was passing out the Jell-O shots when one of T’s friends piped up with, “Wow- Sam’s the good mom!” Disclaimer: This happened in the house in the living room. Mom was safely outside.

To be honest I was a little taken back. More like a deer in headlights. Oh shit! What do you say to that? All of her friends know the story but I wasn’t expecting that. I know there was a time when she had a few friends over and her mom was also over getting something and they all made it a point to say hello very loudly to me. I probably didn’t handle it the best way. I probably should have said, “Well, yes, I am a good mom, but that’s because I’m a good mom to my own two kids.” I guess that could have made things really awkward though. Instead I laughed it off.

His oldest son, the one I had just met the day before, was there in the living room, playing video games with the other kids, and he pretty much laughed it off as well and told her friend, “You know, in “The Good Mother” the mother actually wasn’t good so that’s not really the compliment you think it is.”

Then we both laughed about it and I made a lame joke about being evil.

#3- As I mentioned a moment ago I made beer bread. Turns out C is a huge fan. I’ve written before how I sometimes feel like some of Mobster’s kids don’t like me. This time though C looks at me and asks, “What kind of bread is that?” I told him it was beer bread. I was thinking he was going to tell me he was allergic or something and run to spit it out, but instead he got a big grin on his face and said, “I love beer bread. You’re the best!”

Yes! Success! Sam came. She baked. She conquered!

Into the Bowels of Hell, The Recap, Part 1

First, the good news. I survived! That’s awesome, isn’t it? Did you doubt me? I’m a plucky little thing.

Second, there is so much to recap that I’m going to have to do this in three parts, or you’ll be here reading for a good 30 minutes.

To summarize, when I last left off I had five hurdles to navigate. #1- meeting the oldest son, his girlfriend, and the grandson, #2- meeting the sister and brother-in-law, #3- meeting the son placed for adoption, #4- the graduation, and #5- the party.

As it turns out the adopted son did not attend. Something about he doesn’t have a license so he was going to fly but then nobody heard from him. Regardless, I didn’t meet the son placed for adoption.

Funnily enough I still ended up with five fucking hurdles. I got blindsided with a breakfast at the house with her on Sunday. Fun, fun!

Are you ready?

First hurdle to navigate- meeting the oldest son. He and his girlfriend were delightful. If they hated me they are very good at covering it. I jest. We had a great weekend together. His girlfriend is just the sweetest thing ever! She immediately went to hug me and then stopped herself. “Is it okay if I hug you?” she asked. Of course I said yes.

I think it was later that night someone was talking about what he should buy his girlfriend. I piped in with, “You could buy her a hot tub.” Now, there was a purpose behind this. It wasn’t as random as it sounds in this post, but I can’t remember what we were talking about. He replied, “I might be able to do that. It’s better than what most people tell me I should buy her. They’re always telling me I should buy her a ring.” Immediately I reply, “Well, you should do that, too.” This brings me to the point of this whole paragraph. He says, “Wait a minute! You’re supposed to be on my side!”

I thought that was cute. It was like we were a team already.

Second hurdle- meeting the sister and brother-in-law. What can I say? The mobster is the smartest man in the world. He’s getting a bit cocky with it now because this last time I admitted it he asked me, “So when are you finally going to start listening to me?”

They couldn’t have been nicer and more welcoming. His brother-in-law, upon meeting me, asked, “Is this Facebook Sam?” Yes, yes it is.

Later that night, after the graduation, he put his arm around me, leaned down and told me it was nice to see the mobster smiling again.

Her sister was super helpful the day of the party. She helped decorate and was always asking if there was something she could do.

They taught us how to play new board games, invited us both up to New Hampshire, and gave us hugs when they left.

They were both fantastic. It didn’t feel awkward at all.

Third hurdle- graduation. She showed up. Several people, including her sister, said she either looked or sounded drunk.

Thankfully we didn’t sit together. There were over 20 of us there for T’s graduation and we didn’t even all sit together. It was so hot and humid. Of course it was outside, which worked well for the graduates as far as not having to limit the number of people they could have. It was hell for the audience, though.

She was hugging on all of the mobster’s family. So great to see them all, I’m sure.

At one point her sister was waving to someone and it caught my eye. I looked up and happened to lock eyes with BSC for a moment. That was uncomfortable.

After the graduation we all went out onto the field to take pictures with the graduate. Naturally, BSC was close by, hugging people, and just generally acting like Mother of the Year.

We ignored each other, which suited me fine. T came up to me and told me she wanted to get a picture with me. She had already taken one with Rock Star.

The mobster’s family all came up and said hello to me and made sure to keep me included.

After the graduation we bought pizzas and went over to C’s house. There was eating and drinking and a bonfire. She was not invited. We were out until after midnight. It was worth it though. I know the mobster enjoyed being around all of his kids.

To be continued…

Into the Bowels of Hell

I’m writing this as I’m on my way to Virginia to watch Mobster’s daughter graduate from high school. My daughter is driving and scaring the crap out of me.

I swear, she’s a worse driver now than when she was first learning! And I say that knowing she ran into the garage door at about 2 mph before she got her learner’s permit. If I even make it to the hotel tonight it will be a fucking miracle. Plus, I’m being subjected to rap music on the first part of this journey.

So… on my way. Bowels of Hell. Hmmm…. Why the bowels of Hell, Sam?

Oh, you know. Being introduced to a bunch of people I don’t know, many of whom are her people. Her sister and brother-in-law. Her son she placed for adoption. Potentially spending the day with Batshit Crazy. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she had invited CF and Harley and they were both in attendance. Finally meeting the oldest son and grandson.

Honestly, it’s the title I came up with a few weeks back and I didn’t want a good title to go to waste. I’ve calmed down quite a bit.

The mobster assures me I will not encounter another child who, while cordial, wants nothing to do with me. He tells me that his oldest has always been supportive of his relationship with me. Still, I’m dealing with the nerves.

What if he hates me? What if he can’t figure out what on earth his dad sees in me? What if he thinks his dad can do so much better?

It doesn’t help that I am currently going through an intense ugly phase. I may not actually be ugly but I am feeling ugly. I’m fatter than I’ve ever been and it doesn’t seem that anything I do to my face or hair helps me look one bit better. I try to take solace in the fact that the mobster always thinks I’m beautiful. I guess that’s going to have to do it for now until I get out of this slump.

About those other people… Currently BSC’s sister, her husband, and son are all staying at the house with us. Ironically, I am Facebook friends with the brother-in-law. I don’t remember how that happened, but I know he sent me a friend request.

I am told they are both very chill people and have tried to remain neutral. Maybe I’m making more of a big deal of this than I should. It just seems weird to me to be spending the weekend with the STBX’s sister and brother-in-law.

I’m not sure if BSC’s other son will be there or not now. Once again the mobster is excited to introduce me to him and thinks I’ll really like him. I’m sure he’s amazing. However, she’s his biological mother. I’m the woman dating her STBX husband.

As far as she goes, well, I’m not at all excited about the prospect of spending the day with her. I know she’s made very unkind comments about me and my body and with me feeling the way I’m feeling the last thing I want to do is give her fodder for her insults.

A few months back Mobster had talked about possibly throwing the graduation party at his son’s house. I told him then that if it was there then she would undoubtedly be there because one of his sons would insist upon inviting her. Eventually he decided to have the party at his house. Only T’s half brother planned to come to the graduation and where he goes, his mother goes. So… we’re right back to her being at the house and at the party.

I seriously considered not going for a week or two. I ended up telling him to ask T how she felt about it and if she would be uncomfortable having both of us there. She didn’t hesitate. Of course I was invited and if her mother couldn’t behave she would be escorted off the property.

Originally when he told her that I would be at the party she shrugged it off for the most part. Said it was no big deal and mentioned that maybe her boyfriend could come, too, then.

More recently, however, she said she would just drop off the hotdogs and buns. Seems she’s now not going to attend the party because she “can’t bear to see him with his girlfriend.” That’s me. “Yeah, because it was so much fun seeing you and David together at all those soccer and softball games,” was his response.

That’s right, folks. She’s living with her boyfriend. Has been since the day she walked out on him and their kids. But she can’t bear to see him with me.

I know I caught flak for referring to her as batshit crazy, but she is. Truly. On one hand she is now accusing him of breaking her back (yes, really!), saying first it was when he pushed a bookcase over on her and then when he was sitting on top of her and pouring alcohol down her throat. On the other hand, the night she told him she wasn’t coming to the party she told him she missed him and missed his laugh.

Their divorce is postponed right now because her lawyer has asked to be recused from the case. Her lawyer was appointed a judge, and will step into that role in July. Apparently this fine, upstanding person who wouldn’t tell a lie if her life depended upon it, is not returning her lawyer’s calls so she is unable to finish up the case before her appointment.

Once her lawyer is recused Mobster’s lawyer can reach out to her and offer to write up the paperwork and get this finished. Of course, I fully believe she will ignore her as well, which is why I told Mobster he should do one of two things.

Option #1 would be to tell her if she doesn’t want to get divorced, that’s fine. He’ll sell the house, take all the proceeds and move to Indiana. He only has to share with her if they actually divorce. I’m not completely serious about that but hopefully it would light a fire under her ass.

Option #2 is to tell his lawyer to reach out to her with their offer and give her a two week deadline. After that set up a damn court date with a judge.

For whatever reason she doesn’t want a divorce. Living with one man while she’s married to another is perfectly fine with her.

I’ve been told by friends and family not to breathe too easily with the news she won’t be attending. As Sweet J said, “Oh, she’ll show up. Expect her to make a scene.”

Yes, that’s what I’m afraid of. Into the bowels of Hell I go. Wish me luck.

Always Something There To Remind Me, Part 2

I don’t know why I’m shocked by this but it’s been almost four years since my life exploded. Well, that’s not accurate, is it? My life didn’t mystically “explode”. It wasn’t something that just “happened”. Oops! My husband of twenty years deliberately firebombed my life.

Some days I feel stuck. I feel like I shouldn’t ever give him a single moment of headspace. He should be a distant memory. Who?

Some days I feel like I haven’t accomplished a damn thing in those four years. I mean, look at me. Aside from the mobster, who is a definite upgrade, what have I done with my post-divorce life? I’m working for less than $30,000/year. I still live with my mom. I still don’t have a room to call my own. I’m still poor and I still depend upon him to pay child and spousal support in order to live anywhere close to a decent life.

It’s easy to beat myself up about this, to think I should be further ahead, to think he should never cross my mind and to never have imaginary conversations with him, or be testifying in court in my mind.

Jenny put it so well when she wrote (and I’m paraphrasing slightly) that even though the divorce was final in 2006 it didn’t really end in 2006.

Preach it, sister!

Yes, I found out almost four years ago that CF had firebombed my life but that wasn’t the end of it. It wasn’t even close. Hell, I kicked his ass in court in November and the divorce was final in December 2017. That wasn’t the end of it either. It’s always something with that disordered nitwit.

It’s been that way since the evening I was told my husband had been spending his weekends with his cousin. BAM! Knocked right off my feet. After telling myself he couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to move his family across the country, buy a new house, fill it almost completely with new furniture, buy me a new car, and put a $57,000 pool in the backyard, I found out he really was that stupid! On top of that brash move he had also been siphoning off money from our account to give to her and her kids. I steadied myself, called the attorneys for the consult, found out what I was entitled to… I’m on solid ground again. Feeling better.

WHAM! I find out in quick succession that the phones he purchased for his dear old mom and stepdad were actually phones for his whore and her kid. I had been the one getting online and paying the damn bill. He had cashed in the remainder of the stock. He had a secret bank account I knew nothing about. He had been taking money out of our savings account to fund his trips to see her. He had taken a $5000 loan out of his 401k. Oh, and he had gotten engaged. I’m taking hits once again.

This whole time he’s living it up with Harley and her kids. I’m watching American Express statements and can see the $300 he’s paid for a dress. The $4200 he’s paid for the engagement ring. The trips. The restaurants. The Christmas gifts. They blow through $30,000 in a span of four months while my kids and I are living off of savings. This entire period I’m biding my time and hoping I will be vindicated in court when we go for our temporary support hearing in December. Until then I have no idea what’s going to happen.

I steady myself again though. Can’t keep me down, you sonofabitch. Six months later our world is rocked once more by him when he takes off, quits his job of 15 years, and moves out of the fucking state! That was a fun week. I spent it crying and worrying myself sick over what was going to happen to me and my kids. Would we have to move mid-year? Was he going to continue to pay his court ordered support or did he figure he was safe from any consequence now that he no longer lived in the same state?

Got through that one. He finally starts sending his support checks again. Bills are paid. Kids are still in their schools. Things are gelling for all of us.

I’m six months out from D-Day at this point. I’m doing mostly okay, but every now and then he likes to throw a monkey wrench into things- like the whole up and moving without saying a word to any of us. I learned he had moved when my support payment wasn’t directly deposited into my account, and after I had to text his boss to see if he was still at that plant.

By May I’m feeling pretty good. I have a plan. My daughter is soon going to be able to drive, which means she can help transport her brother while I work. I have $10,000 in the bank for emergencies. If the furnace goes out I’ve got money for it. When taxes come due, I’ve got money for it. I even go to the Chump Lady book signing. I’m rocking the single life. We’re all doing fine.

Naturally, CF has to toss a grenade our way. Surprise! He’s “lost” his job. What exactly has happened? Is he in the psych ward again? Who knows? Because I’m certainly not entitled to any of that information. Why would I need to know any of that stuff? Like it really concerns me, right?

By the end of year one I had been forced out of my home, had to sell off almost all of my belongings, and move in with my mom in Indiana. I had to move my kids AGAIN, only two years after uprooting them from the only life they had really known.

Meanwhile, as the one year anti-versary crept up on me I was busy enrolling my kids in their new schools where they, or at least Rock Star, did not want to be, and applying for Medicaid seeing as how I had no job and no money coming in.

He firebombed my life, first with the affair and cutting me off financially, and then turned around and came back to do it again!

I can take a deep breathe and start all over, right? We’ll just call Year One a trial year. Year Two is going to be the real test. Now I can get on with my new and improved life. I’ll get that awesome job. Start dating an amazing man. My kids will blossom in their new environment. Right?

Wrong. On one hand, because he was no longer sending me any money he had no way to further fuck up my life. I think he was at least smart enough to know it would be a stupid move to try to go after my kids. Honestly though I think he didn’t give a flying fuck. On the other hand, I was desperately trying to find a job. I was on Medicaid. My kids were getting free lunches and textbooks. I was living off savings until I could find a job.

I found one job which covered my bills and nothing more, so then I found a second job. I began working 14-16 hour days, usually starting somewhere between 2 and 3 am, and making shit money. It was horrible. I finally get a full-time job but it, too, does not pay well. I continue to work two jobs- one full-time, one part-time.

Because I’m not digging this whole “working my ass off while I live in poverty while my STBX shacks up with his whore and spends his fucking days watching TV and sitting on the couch” I take the asshat back to court to get him to pay support. Just another “thing” to remind me. It’s always something. I’d love to get busy with that “new life” thing but I’m kinda busy trying to keep my head above water. Plus, I’m back in court. Hooray.

Technically, I “won” in court; however, I lost a big chunk of money. CF’s plea to have support modified was acknowledged and approved, despite the fact he didn’t bother to show up for the hearing. There’s another blow. $3000 a month wiped out. That caused me to wobble a bit.

As always I rise. I have no financial security. I have no idea what’s going to happen when we finally face off in court. Everything is up in the air.

I do get my back support but CF declines to pay any regular support now that it has been modified. I get a check here and there. It’s for various amounts. Whatever he feels like. Whenever he feels like it. Sometimes he puts a stop payment on it. Other times it outright bounces.

We’re almost two years out and I still wasn’t divorced and I still didn’t know what was going to happen. I lived in fear that he was going to get away with everything.

Even after I won in court the fight with CF still raged on. He hacked my Facebook. He tormented the mobster. He loved flinging insults my way, whether it was through nasty text messages, mean stamps on the support envelopes, obscene emojis, or snotty messages through Venmo. Remember, folks, he was the one that had the affair. He’s the one that left. He’s the one that had someone else from Day One.

He also continued to pay when he felt like it, and God help me if I mentioned he was behind.

I got a promotion but first the insurance premiums and then the extra taxes to account for spousal support ate up the extra earnings and actually ended with me bringing home less money than before the promotion.

There was also the fight about child support and how it was modified once Rock Star graduated. More legal fees. More of CF thumbing his nose at the courts and doing whatever the hell it is he wants to do. More shitty texts from him when he realizes he’s not going to get his own way.

And then there are the legal fees he has yet to pay. Hey, he just doesn’t have it, and according to CF, that’s how court orders work. If the judge tells you to pay something and you don’t have it you no longer have to pay. The end.

Even better, once I finally wised up and realized the games were never going to stop I began the garnishment process. Checkmate! Or so you would think. But no. He evades me once again by somehow losing his job.

So, I’m coming upon the 4 year anniversary of D Day and I feel like I’m right back at the beginning.

I’ve written this all out and yet I can sum it up in one short sentence: It never ends.

It’s difficult to move ahead and try to forge a new life when the ex continues to try to knock you off balance. You just start to hit your stride when something new pops up.

Is it that difficult to pay your damn court ordered support and go about your business? Is it that difficult to keep a fucking job? He managed to keep one for twenty years while he was married to me. I’ve had the same damn job for over two years now, which is no record by any means. It’s still longer than he’s kept a fucking job since we separated.

Logically I know I need to create a life that does not involve relying on him for anything. Realistically that’s a lot easier said than done. It’s not like people are lining up to give me great paying jobs. Hell, I’m finding it difficult to get a mediocre paying job! Right now I have a shitty paying job. And I’ve done the math dozens of times, especially when I figured he wasn’t going to part with a single dime. Even paying off all my credit cards and my car, plus canceling Hulu and my gym membership and then switching phone plans, I am only gaining $900 per month. Call me crazy. Call me cynical. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to pay a mortgage or pay rent, plus utilities, plus food, plus gas for my car, plus pet food, plus household supplies on only $900. Much less have anything left. Kid needs new pants? Too bad. Maybe we can find a pair at Goodwill for $5 or less. Kid needs new shoes? Sorry, there is no way I can help you with that. Kid needs college tuition money? Oh please! That is never going to happen.

Perhaps Year Four will be my year. Maybe he will get a damn job and the state will be ready to swoop in and garnish his ass. I won’t have to communicate with him. Maybe I’ll find an outstanding job that pays me enough to stand on my own two feet. Maybe I’ll be really smart and just stash away most of the money the state garnishes. I’ll live like a fucking pauper (unless I get that great paying job) so that the next time asshat loses his job I won’t be fucked. Maybe I’ll be able to take him back to court and get the judge to order him to pay me the $25,000 he owes me and he’ll actually do it. Maybe in Year Four he’ll decide to stop trying to mess with me. Perhaps the idea of torturing me will lose its luster. Maybe I’ll finally be able to stop paying my lawyer. That would be heavenly. Maybe I’ll finally find direction and discover my purpose.

I sure as hell hope so because I’m really tired of yet another thing. I’d love for this to finally be completely over. Sadly, I think as long as he has to pay me a single nickel he will be playing these games. It will never end.

Always Something There To Remind Me, Part 1

Jennifer Ball hit it out of the park last month with her blog post, Haunted (by) Houses. If you haven’t read her blog you should.

The inspiration for this post? Her desire to buy a home of her own and the realization that she probably never would be able to because of what her ex did to her when he left.

You think CF is bad? I think her ex has him beat. He left her with four kids and “a mountain of debt” for his secretary. They are now married with two children of their own. While he does on occasion see his children it’s at their discretion and as Jenny has noted, “They don’t have much time for someone who doesn’t have much time for them.”

Like CF, her ex had some difficulties with paying support. Apparently it’s hard deciding which Audi to buy, getting your pool fixed, AND paying support. Something had to go! Not only did he somehow manage to get out of paying child and spousal support for quite some time, when she finally got awarded child support again that motherfucker somehow managed to make it tax exempt for him which meant she had to pay taxes on it.

Like me she lost her home to foreclosure. Unlike me she did not have a mother to turn to. She’s worked three and four jobs at a time, shopped at the food bank, declared bankruptcy, and has lived in poverty, or pretty close to it, since her divorce. As she puts it:

Every time I get a little bit tucked away into savings there is something that needs to be taken care of: one of our ancient cars breaks down, a tooth cracks, someone’s tuition is due, we need heat in the winter, etc.

Her ex? He and the OW turned new wife bought or built a million dollar home shortly before his youngest child with Jenny turned 18 and aged out of child support. Some guy, huh? If it’s possible I think I hate him more than I hate CF.

She writes:

This is what I want to tell people who insist that I’m bitter. Who tell me to get over it, who shake their heads and say, “I can’t believe you still think about this.” Who look at my ex, in his million dollar house, livin’ the dream and then at me, livin’ the nightmare of financial insecurity and terror over things like, “where will I live when our sweet landlord gets smart and decides to sell?” and see nothing unfair or unjust.

“Jenny, he’s moved on. Why can’t you?”

Because there is a reminder. Some days I’m SO GOOD at ignoring them. I line up my blessings and kiss them on the forehead as I count them. I laugh and curl up with the good fortune I do have and the reminders slink away.

But the houses. Shit. The houses, they won’t be ignored (I wonder if they sound like Glenn Close). They are structures built of possibilities and dreams. They are carnies calling out to me as I try my hardest to just keep walking, eyes focused on the sidewalk, the sky, anything but these homes. “Step right up! Feast your eyes on this little beaut! Too bad you can’t qualify for a gd thing, Jenny! This coulda been yours if only you’d made some better life choices! If only you’d ignored that tall asshole singing along to REM at the bar that night!” (it was The End of the World As We Know It, hahaha) (cry)

I lost the home my dad bought and remodeled with his own two hands thanks to my ex husband’s fuckery. A home that welcomed our new babies, that was framed with plants and trees we put into the ground with love, that kept us safe and warm through seasons of cold and rain. A home I had planned on living in for the rest of my life. Gone, because some dude couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.

God, I get it, Jenny. I really do.

“He’s moved on and you should too,”? Really? These helpful “friends” don’t seem to grasp that subtle difference where our exes had their new lives all planned out before we ever got wind that anything was wrong with the old life.

Jenny and I were both stay at home moms. Our husbands both made decent money. So when they decided to “move on” it was quite easy for them. They weren’t suddenly going to wonder where the hell they were going to live. With the whore, of course! They didn’t have to worry about those pesky kids. They were our responsibility. We’d figure something out. Two, three, four jobs- whatever it takes.

Neither of our exes have dealt with the utter destruction we’ve been forced to face. They had jobs, new partners, new kids, new homes. Everything nice and new and shiny.

Their lives have gone on with very few missteps and when one occurred they’ve both managed to quickly turn it around for themselves.

It’s not so easy when you’re the dumped spouse, forced into an unforgiving workforce after many years of raising your kids.

CF had a twenty year head start on me when it came to being financially independent. I spent those twenty years following him around the country and raising his children. If someone offered me a job paying $100,000 like he was offered I would take it in a heartbeat (the usual disclaimers of no illegal activity and no killing or torturing animals apply). The reality is I’m a middle aged woman with very little recent job history and a useless, outdated degree. I can give myself pep talks about increasing my pay almost $3 more per hour in the two years that I’ve been with the bank, but $11/hour wasn’t enough to live on, much less support two kids, and $13.77/hour isn’t much better.

Move on? Oh, I think I have. But “stop thinking about all of that,”? Yeah, no. I’m not sure that will ever happen. I think it’s very easy for the person who was cheating to not look back. But in my case, and in Jenny’s case, our lives as we knew them were destroyed.

I lost my home. I had to go back to work. My household income plummeted. I farm out childcare duties because I can’t do them.

I don’t see myself ever being able to afford a home of my own. I will probably work until the day that I die, and I don’t see my household income increasing much from what it is now. I guess the good news is if I work until I’m 75 and get those huge 50 cent a year raises by the time I retire I’ll be making over $50,000. Of course, by then $50,000 will be equivalent to $35,000 today.

One day I was buying all new furniture for my new house and putting a $57,000 pool in my backyard. The next day I’m living off of savings and the day after that I’m forced out of my home, out of the state, and working two jobs.

CF’s new life? As my lawyer put it so brilliantly in court: You used to live in a nice big 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. You still live in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. You had a wife that cooked your meals and did your laundry. Now you’ve got someone else to cook your meals and do your laundry. You had 2 kids. You still have 2 kids. Not your two kids, but two kids nonetheless.

Nothing’s changed for him. What does he need to get over? What does Jenny’s ex husband need to get over? The fact they both cheated on their loyal wives or that they discarded their own flesh and blood? I don’t think it bothers them. They are far too entitled to ever feel guilt.

Both of them stepped right into ready made lives that were no different (although they might argue they’re so much better now) than the ones they had before. They just switched out their wife appliance.

I’m as over that piece of shit I married as a person can be. The thought of him touching me makes me physically ill. I realize he was a total mental drain. Hell, I was recording suicide messages for my loved ones after they found my body only four months before finding out about Harley the Whore. I’m completely over him. Don’t want him back. Not a bit jealous that she’s got him and I don’t.

She didn’t just take my husband, though. She took my life. She took my security and that of my children. She took our home from us and then took their mother away from them. I used to do everything for them. I used to be there for them. Anything that needed to be done, I did. Now that’s no longer true. I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t have the time or the money.

The two of them took everything that used to mean something to me and destroyed it. I enjoyed my life in Utah, and I was beginning to enjoy my life in Virginia, but those motherfuckers took that from me.

They took my identity, that of a mom, and crushed it, while they retained their own identities (those cousinfucking baboons). My life has completely changed and it’s a change that was forced upon me. It was not something I sought out.

The two of them irreparably damaged me. Maybe if I had been younger. Maybe if we had had more assets. Maybe if I had always worked and had an excellent career myself. Maybe then the damage wouldn’t have been so great.

I will adjust. I will acclimate. I will lower my expectations. I will endure. But it will never be okay and I will NEVER get over what those two assholes did to me or how much they took from me.

That sounds dark and angry, doesn’t it? I don’t mean to imply that there are no charms to this new life I’m leading. If not for him firebombing my life I would have never met the mobster. He is a gem; I have a much better relationship now. It has definitely shown me what was missing in my marriage and how dysfunctional both CF and the relationship were. I cannot stress how thankful I am that the mobster is in my life.

My kids both seem to be doing well despite my greater absence. Sometimes I forget to pat myself on the back for the things I do manage to accomplish in spite of no longer being a stay at home mom. I pick Picasso up from after school activities 2-3 days a week, and once a week I get him to cello lessons. I still attend his concerts. I’ve been at the family events that Rock Star has invited me to down at college. I’m told I’m an honorary member of her sorority because so many of the girls think I’m awesome. Plus, the entire four months my mom was gone I managed to do laundry, go grocery shopping, and cook meals for my son.

I have the opportunity to live close to my family again. While CF could manage to make his way back to his home state I don’t think he would have ever been inclined to make it back to mine. Or even close to it for my sake.

None of the above makes what CF did to me okay. He and his choices altered the course of my life. If you’re going to tell me I need to “get over it” then I think it’s only fair that you understand that.

One Step Forward, About 100 Steps Back

Let’s start with the good news first, shall we? First, CF has paid his self-modified child support every month since losing his job. My mom seems to think the email I sent did some good. Last month he paid approximately half of his court ordered spousal support, which pretty much means he’s finally caught up with February. He also sent me some money for spousal support this month. I hate to say it but he’s actually been doing better paying now than when he had a job. Perhaps the key is to let him pay whatever he feels like paying. Or, perhaps it is to be so desperate that when he actually sends half of what he’s supposed to you’re grateful. Needless to say, it has meant I haven’t had to take on a second job.

Second, I got a raise. It’s not much of a raise. I believe it comes out to approximately $11/week more. Of course, since CF lost his job I cranked up my exemptions claimed to get an additional $80/paycheck so now when I go back down I’ll actually take another pay cut!

Oh, how I envy those people who start a job and see pay increases over time. For me, it’s always been decreases. Get a paycheck. That’s your baseline. Then start contributing to a 401k. Boo! Less money in the paycheck. Get a raise. Hooray! More money. Start paying insurance premiums. Boo! Lot less money. Get another raise! Hooray! Little bit more money. Cut out all exemptions to cover taxes for spousal support. Boo! Lot less money. Get my annual review raise. Hooray! CF loses his job. Boo! I raise the number of exemptions paid. Kind of a win/lose situation for me, because I know it’s going to mean I pay taxes next April but it also means instead of $50 left over each month I have about $200. One day… Anyway, the good news is I got a raise and I am now making a whole $14.05/hour! College education and two years of relevant work experience gets me less than $30,000 a year. Better than a kick in the head, I suppose.

The bad news? Let’s just say I think CF is going to get away with everything. Along with those people who get a job and see only pay increases I also envy those people who have found the courts or child support offices to be helpful and easy to navigate.

I do realize my situation is a little different because I found out he was cheating in Virginia. I filed for divorce and intended to remain there. He hightailed it back to Kentucky, and soon after I was forced back to Indiana.

Thursday I emailed the caseworker. It has been more than 90 days since I had heard from her.

Back in March when we first began corresponding she made mention that they were waiting on, among other things, payment history from Virginia. I told her at that time there wouldn’t be any payment history because he paid me directly. There was never an order for him to go through the state. She then told me she would send me a direct pay affidavit once she received the necessary paperwork from Virginia.

When she replied Friday morning she let me know they had only received the certified orders the prior week because they had had to request them twice. She also let me know they still had not sent the affidavit of payments.

There isn’t going to be one! He paid me directly. I told her that back in March. She was planning on sending me a direct pay affidavit.

She asks me again if he paid me directly or if he had the payments sent to the Clerks and then distributed to me, or if there was a child support office involved.

Um, nope. He paid me directly. I don’t know how much clearer I can be. He. Paid. Me. Directly.

Finally, she tells me that if I’m unable to create this log of payments that it may stop the case from going forward.

Say what? If I don’t have a log of all his payments made to me I can’t get him garnished? That sounds stupid.

I write her back to let her know that I do indeed have such a log but it’s at home on my computer so I can’t get it to her until after work. I also tell her that according to him, he’s current as far as child support goes but our daughter graduated from high school last year and he never had the child support modified. I go into that whole long story about how I was trying to get support modified because he refused, how my lawyer was swamped and didn’t get new figures to him until December, how he refused to use those numbers, and how finally I talked to someone at their office who told me it was his responsibility and not mine to get the order modified so I dropped it.

She gets back to me again.

Unless the self- modified order has a Judge’s approval it does not stand.

Well, that sounds good. That was what I was told. Had it stopped there I would have been fine. But no. She goes on to tell me she needs a log of the child support portion only when I come in. She needs to set up an interstate appointment with me. At this meeting she’s going to generate the documents she needs to send to Kentucky.

It gets even better. Because Rock Star graduated she will need to send a request to modify to Kentucky. At that point she will be requesting that Kentucky take “controlling exclusive jurisdiction of the case” and it will then be them modifying, enforcing and registering the order. If for some reason they refuse the request (and she states that it is unlikely) then the case would revert back to Virginia.

Finally, she ends it with this:

You may choose to communicate with your attorney concerning the spousal support since we cannot address that matter.

Oops, she actually ends it by telling me that if I don’t have the payment history log she can’t move forward at the appointment.

At this point I’m spiraling into a meltdown. They want to hand the case over to Kentucky? I paid $35,000 for a divorce in Virginia because that asshole tried to convince the judge he had PTSD and shouldn’t be imputed at his previous wages. He offered me a whopping $700/month in spousal support and $800/month in child support. Yep, they could live on over $10k a month while I would live on about $2700. That sounds fair. I had to hire an expert witness. $8000 that could have gone towards my daughter’s college education but instead was spent fighting him.

Now I have to take my chances with a new judge? One that might sympathize with him and use his actual wages that he earns because he refuses to move out of Kentucky? He could move me and his kids all around the country but God forbid he leave the hills of Kentucky now that he’s fucking his cousin. Oh. Hell. No!

I am NOT going to hand that sonofabitch a substantial decrease in child support! I am the one who has done all the damn work. I’m the one who encouraged him to consult a lawyer. I’m the one that has paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $600-$1000 to get support modified because he wouldn’t. I’m the one who had to start garnishment proceedings because he couldn’t manage to pay on any kind of schedule- even when I told him he could choose whatever fucking schedule he wanted so long as he stuck with it! I’m the one who has kept on the caseworker and who wouldn’t sit by and let him pay nothing.

What has he done? He’s done what he’s done all along. Whatever the fuck he wanted.

Hey! You might want to consult a lawyer because child support has not gone down by 50%.
Hey! Seriously. Child support has not gone down 50%. It’s more like XXX.
No, it isn’t. I’m cutting it in half and there’s nothing you can about it.

And there pretty much isn’t.

I pay money I don’t fucking have to get it modified on my own. I’m called a cunt. My lawyer puts me on the back burner and takes forever to get a new order to him. Then he wants to argue the support amount. “If we are updating the child support amount owed, then we need to use the actual figures from today to make everything correct and proper.” At no point does my lawyer tell him, “Look asshole, unless she’s making 25% more you need to use the previous figures.” Instead, she says, “Oh yes, the judge would require that.”

Oh hell yes. If I’m making a dollar more per hour then he needs to make sure he’s not paying a single dime more than he should. Forget the fact that I’m still supporting his daughter- college tuition, car repairs, health insurance, car insurance, phone, sorority fees, food, allowance. No, instead let’s focus on the fact he’s only legally responsible for one child now. Obviously, if I get $100 more that he thinks I shouldn’t then it’s only going to pay for my nails and hair. Not his other damn kid.

For a year I went along with him paying whenever he wanted to pay. First it was divided up into four payments and then it went to six, before going back down to four again. But I rarely said a word. If he was paying I kept my mouth shut and dealt with the chaos. Then after finally saying, “Enough!” when I had only received one out of three payments from him in January by the 25th I called the Child Support Enforcement Office again.

I was so proud of myself for finally getting through to a real live person. Just as an FYI: It has never happened again. I was ecstatic to learn I could begin the process even though it hadn’t been modified. I was ecstatic to learn they would garnish him for the original child support amount because he hadn’t ever modified it. I was ecstatic to learn they would garnish spousal support from his check as well. That motherfucker had been playing games with me since June and finally he was going to get his comeuppance. Finally! For once things were going my way and he was going to be in for a very rude awakening. Checkmate, motherfucker.

But nope. After telling me it would take 60-90 days to get this done I later find out, after he loses his job, that it will take 60-90 days to get the information from Virginia, plus another 60-90 days to get it to Kentucky.

After I wait the first 90 days (because of course it’s going to be the full 90 and not the 60) she tells me they won’t garnish the spousal support, which is 75% of what he has to pay me. Even better, they’re going to hand the case over to Kentucky where a new judge will make all the modifications and enforce the order. And of course, if I don’t have a log of payments they couldn’t go ahead with the case anyway.

I did email her back again closer to the end of the day. I asked her if we were talking about the same thing. I was speaking strictly of garnishment and wondered if she was speaking strictly to arrears. I made it a point to tell her that I specifically asked about garnishing spousal support when I called their office and was told they would indeed do that. I went on to tell her I had some serious concerns about handing the case over to Kentucky. Our judge knows who and what he is and what the story is. He imputed him because he refused to move to find a better paying job and he found the girlfriend to be a major cause behind his decision to quit his steady, well paying job of 15 years.

That’s where we are. If we are indeed talking about the same thing then he will get away with everything. It turns out he absolutely can self modify child support! What’s going to happen? Nothing. Either I turn it over to the state and end up with less child support or I drop the garnishment process and allow him to do whatever the fuck he wants to do whenever he wants to do it.

I’ve run the numbers. If they use his current salary and my current salary, plus my very generous $90 credit per month for the more than $400 I pay out for insurance premiums, he gets a $400 decrease from what he’s supposed to be paying. It’s still a $200 decrease from what he’s actually paying. So what good does it do for me to have him garnished? It benefits him and screws me.

Additionally, I will have to haul his ass back into court in Virginia once again in order to get the arrears and the $25,000 in legal fees he still owes. You know what that means? More fucking legal fees. I work almost 22 hours to pay for a single hour of my lawyer’s time. No problem. I just need to work for a full month to pay the next round of court appearances. Plus, I will probably still be screwed because I’ve had two raises (small ones- combined they don’t total $1) since the last time the damn support was figured.

If I choose not to do any of that? Well, then it turns out I’m a big, fat, fucking idiot who spent $35,000 on a divorce in order to collect spousal support for one whole year! One. Whole. Year. he managed to pay. And now he’s not, once again.

I’m so fucking pissed. I’m pissed off at him for never managing to do what it is that he’s legally ordered to do. I’m pissed off at my lawyer, too.

If she had put this order together back in July when she said she was going to all I would have to do is send the orders to Kentucky. Boom! We’re done! There would be no weighing the pros and cons of letting a judge in Kentucky decide because the order would already be amended. Instead I’m left freaking out wondering what this new judge will do and on top of all of that I’ve had two additional raises. What he will probably owe in child support, even if we get it modified in Virginia, won’t amount to anything substantial. I wouldn’t have gone to war over $50/month.

Bike Trails & Absolute, Pure Love

Dear Chump Lady,

You probably don’t remember me. I was at your book launch and had dinner with you and about 20 other people in DC back in May of 2016. I’m the one who told the story of putting in an insanely expensive inground pool only to find out six days later that my husband was cheating with his cousin. The cherry on top was when I admitted I knew he was fucking her and about 30 minutes later he texts me, wanting to know if I’m still making spaghetti for dinner that night.

I’ve been a faithful reader pretty much since the day I found out he was cheating. I’ve taken careful note of your advice to find someone who reciprocates, someone who gives just as much as they take.

As fate would have it thanks to my own blog I met an amazing man. Our stories are very similar, although she didn’t leave him for her cousin. He was a volunteer firefighter instead. In my first comment to him I told him that our exes could be twins. Both of us had long marriages (20 years for me, 25 for him). Both of our spouses moved out without saying a word. Both abandoned their kids (2 in my case, 4 in his). They also both love to play the victim.

When I met him he was still in the “I’ll love her forever” phase. I quickly pointed him in your direction and eventually loaned him your book. He is now a convert.

Sadly, he lost the book. Or it was stolen by an entitled cheater who did not think he should “leave a cheater, gain a life.” He contacted you to get a copy of your book for me for my 50th birthday to replace the lost/stolen one.

Not only did you sign another copy of your book for me but you also drew me a cartoon and sent along a birthday card. Inside the card you had written that he was a keeper. I like to tell him and everyone else that he is Chump Lady approved.

You have no idea, Tracy. This man has been amazing in our short time together. He writes love notes on the sidewalk in chalk for me. He read my list of 100 things I love, studied it, and bought me numerous items off of it the first time I drove down to his house. He listens to me talk about my job. He’s been there when I’ve complained about my life. He once listened to me intricately explain some of the finer points of Candy Crush. He bought us matching sequined elf slippers with bells on them, telling me that now we would always know where the other one is. He is incredibly romantic. He’s a fantastic father. He laughs at my jokes. He’s funny and he’s charming. He greets me with “Hi, beautiful,” or “Hi, cutie,” every morning. He’s even buttered my biscuit for me! Did I mention he cooks me breakfast? He has been so incredibly supportive. I finally know what it’s like to have a real partner. But all of that pales in comparison to what happened to me last weekend.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We are a long distance couple and we usually meet somewhere in the middle. This past weekend we decided to take a bike ride because he is really into bike riding. About two miles into this ride I feel a “growling” in my bowels. I’m two miles from civilization with only my legs to power me back. We had passed a port-a-potty a mile and a half back and once it became apparent I really needed to use the bathroom we headed back.

I made it to the port-a-potty and was silently thanking my lucky stars. I stepped off the bike. As soon as I did I felt it hit. I shit my pants. I wish there was a better way to say that, but it’s the God’s honest truth. I stepped off and my bowels had a mind of their own. I paused a moment, thought to myself, “I can save this situation,” and tried to get inside the port-a-potty. Before I could take another step I shit again. By the time I actually got inside and locked the damn door, I had pooped myself three times.

I was absolutely mortified. Horrified. I’m trying to clean myself up. I’m trying not to cry. He asks me how I’m doing and I tell him I am horrible. He inquires as to why. At this point I have to admit what has happened.

He could not have been more supportive. He assured me that if we needed to turn the bikes in it was no big deal. We’d just turn them in and go back to the room so I can clean up. We were 20 minutes into this two hour ride. After I told him I didn’t think I could even sit in the car and ride back to our Air BnB he asked me if I wanted him to see if there was water anywhere.

This amazing man looks around and finds a community garden with a water pump. He brings me a watering can filled to the brim so that I can rinse my underwear out and he offers to rinse out my jeans for me. That’s right. He took my shamefully shitty jeans and washed them completely out for me. He even accompanied me over to the pump so that I could rinse my underwear completely out and then found a plastic bag for me so I could throw them into it.

As I’m telling him I’m so embarrassed and thanking him profusely for rinsing my jeans out he tells me not to worry about it. “I’ve got four kids. I’ve changed plenty of shitty diapers,” he assured me.

“Were they 50 when you did it?” I asked.

Keep shouting it from the rooftops, Tracy. Leave a cheater, gain a life. I can’t imagine the ex in my situation ever doing anything like that for me. It was all about him. I was the giver. I was the caretaker. I once called him at work to ask him his opinion on two different expensive surgery options for our dog. His response was, “Why are you calling me at work about this? Isn’t this what I pay you for?” Another time our daughter smuggled her guinea pig into a restaurant in her little Dora the Explorer lunchbox. He freaked out, swearing up and down they were going to shut down the entire restaurant. We were going to have to pay the fines the health inspector would levy. We were going to have to pay for everyone’s dinner. I can only imagine what would have happened if this had happened with him. In his alternate reality we would have to buy the bike we rented (if not the whole damn bicycle shop), and our afternoon would have been shot.

In my new reality I put on my wet, clean jeans and we finished our 12 mile bike ride. After our bike ride we went to one of our favorite wineries and shared a bottle of wine out on the deck. We went to dinner and then came back to the room where I showered and changed into my jammies. We ended the evening watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. Ironically, she is yet another woman cheated on by her husband who decides to leave the cheater and gain a life.


Thank you. Thank you for your website. Thank you for my book. Thank you for advising people not to make their needs smaller and smaller while they serve partners who keep demanding more and more. Thank you for talking about reciprocity and how important it is in relationships. And thank you for recognizing I have a keeper. He is henceforth known as The Marvelous Mr. Mobster.

P.S. Hey, Mobster! You challenged me to write a post about our past weekend. Challenge accepted. Mission accomplished. You’re welcome.