So Much This

I go round and round trying to put this into words and someone from Chump Lady comes along and puts it so much better than I’ve been able to.

 

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As a person who did get a divorce in Virginia I believe he nailed it. I used to be one of those people who believed you were married until the divorce was final. You’re married or you’re divorced; there is no in between.

Then you get abandoned by your cousin fucking husband in a state that requires a year of separation before you can divorce. He’s off living his best life ever, or so he believes. He opens a joint bank account with her even while I have no idea he’s cheating, stops putting his pay check into our joint account, buys the twat an engagement ring less than a month after he’s found out, quits his steady job of 15 years, moves out of state and moves in with the whore. Never sees his kids. Doesn’t even bother to tell you he’s done any of this. I’m supposed to be faithful and loyal to that? Why? The marriage is over. He’s living with another woman. He’s engaged to another woman. Why am I held hostage to his games?

Or you chase after your alcoholic wife, hoping against hope that you can control or at least contain her drinking. You make excuses for her. You protect her. You exhaust yourself trying to keep your family together. Despite the fact that she cheated on you, leading you to give up everything that you held dear. You sell your business and your home, relocate your family, and move to a different state. And then she disappears for days at a time. She’s cheating on you again. One day she moves out without saying a word to you or your kids. One minute she’s there; the next minute she’s gone. She moves in with the new man. Brings him to the kids’ sporting events. Makes it a point to try to make you look like the negligent husband and he’s the knight in shining armor. So you file for an online, no fault divorce. She refuses to sign the papers. She refuses to tell you what she wants. Your divorce is at a standstill because she doesn’t want a divorce but she also doesn’t want to give up the boyfriend. You later find out she’s been spreading rumors about how you abused her, you were controlling, you’re emotionally abusing your teenage daughter, the one she left behind to be with her new love. You’re supposed to put your life on hold until you can convince a crazy woman to sign divorce papers, or until you can get in front of a judge a year later? Why? She cheated and her life isn’t on hold. Why are you, the cheated on one, the actual victim, expected to put everything on hold until the divorce is final? She’s living with another man. What is there to hold together?

To me cheating involves lies and deception. Cheating is when your spouse lies and deceives an innocent partner who believes they are part of a monogamous, loving relationship. They haven’t consented to opening up the relationship. They don’t know their spouse is off fucking someone else. They don’t know they’re being lied to. They don’t know the extent of the deceit. To paraphrase the above commenter, cheating is abusing the fact that your partner trusts you and is invested in you and your relationship.

When I met the mobster my husband was living with another woman hundreds of miles away. I hadn’t laid eyes on him in over a year. I was not telling him I loved him. I wasn’t going on family outings with him. I wasn’t making plans for the future with him. I wasn’t telling him I wanted to have another baby with him. I wasn’t telling him he was my rock and my savior. I didn’t let him think we were a normal, married couple while I fucked around behind his back. Our relationship was over. Our marriage was dead; we were simply waiting on the death certificate.

The same could be said for the mobster. He was finished the day she showed her ass up in the bleachers while attending a game for one of their kids. He told her he was filing for divorce; it was not a shock when she got those papers. I can believe she didn’t think he’d go through with it but that’s on her. He wasn’t telling her he loved her. He wasn’t planning a future with her. He wasn’t begging her to come back or telling her he would wait forever. He finally accepted this was who she was and he had finally had enough of the hell she put him through. There was no deception. There was no sneaking around behind her back. When we did finally meet there was no lying about who I was. He never tried to hide my existence or convince her I was just a friend. Hell, he straight up told her he loved me and even though I thought he was crazy he was going to marry me one day. She ended their marriage when she moved out of the family home and in with another man. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the official declaration.

I’ll go one step further. If Jerry Lee and Harley had imploded and Jerry Lee went on to find yet another person before we were officially divorced, I wouldn’t consider that new person to be the other woman. Not even if he found this new one before I found the mobster. Our marriage was over at that point. Him going behind my back, fucking Harley and betraying me and my kids was what ended our relationship- not a formal divorce. At that point, if he was no longer with her but not yet divorced, if he wanted to date every stripper at the strip club, or all the waitresses at Hooters, he would be free to. I’m not keeping the home fires burning for him. I’m not leaving the light on. That shit has been shut down already. Him no longer screwing Harley does not mean I suddenly want the job back. Nope. That door is closed. Forever.

I suppose for some people both parts- the religious and the legal- need to be there. At one point in my life I thought I would need both. Then I tried to extricate myself from an entitled, self-important, lying, cheating, perpetual victim who was doing his best to get a PTSD diagnosis so he could avoid spousal and child support. Turns out I quite like the above poster’s explanation. Jerry Lee killed our marriage with his lies and cheating. I just refused to let him keep me from living while I fought like hell to get what my kids and I deserved.

Guess Who Won the Weight Loss Challenge?

If you guessed ME you would be correct! I got the news today. I didn’t lose as much as I wanted. That weekend camping with the mobster and the kids really took a toll.

By Monday I had gained almost 5 pounds back. Wednesday I was down to only a weight gain of a little more than a pound. Then something went terribly wrong and the scales kept inching upwards. I don’t know why. I wasn’t cheating. And I ran four out of five mornings that week. Still, I was up by 2.2 pounds from my last weigh in.

I was so pissed! It’s the first time I’ve gained at a weigh in during the competition. Of course it had to happen at the last one.

Somehow though I held on for the win! The person who was right on my heels and we had switched first and second place several times in the beginning, ended up coming in third. She didn’t lose much if anything these last two weeks. One of the guys who was probably almost 5% behind her ended up making a surprisingly strong finish. For my efforts I am now $244.79 richer.

Despite being disappointed about the weight gain I’m still down almost 40 pounds. It fluctuates somewhere between 38 and 39+ pounds. I know that alone is a great achievement. Even without winning that would have been a win. I’m not stopping though. I’m nowhere close to where I want to be.  I’ve definitely been using this week to slow down, though!

We were supposed to go out for sushi for Picasso’s birthday on Friday. Those plans were interrupted and we ended up ordering in Chinese food. Definitely not on my list of low carb foods. Because I ordered plenty of it I had leftovers on Saturday. And Sunday. Plus, I had a couple of scotcheroos. They were delicious.

I have not been able to force my lazy ass out of bed before work so far this week, which means it is now Tuesday and I have not ran since Friday. I need to get up! But I want to sleep in!

I’m not sweating it. I’m beginning my next three months of weight loss. I’m eager to see where I am at the end of it. I know the results won’t be as stellar as they were for the first four months. Obviously I have less time this go round (3 versus 4 months), and any kind of weight loss seems to take off in the beginning and then slow down as your body adjusts. I lost almost 40 over four months; I think I would be okay with 20 over the next three.

Summer birthdays are over in my household. I’ve got another five days planned with the mobster. Hopefully I’ll be good. There’s no Blueberry Festival to gorge at over Labor Day weekend this year. Virtual races are where it’s at! Let’s get this party started!

My Evil Plan Worked!

I think I might have shared with you that Jerry Lee managed to send his daughter money for her birthday, along with a message on Venmo about how proud he is of her and what a lovely young woman she is becoming.

While driving with Picasso a week or so ago he asked how much he had sent her. I told him the truth. He replied that he wondered if his dad would send him anything. I told him that his dad seems to like Venmo so maybe if he had an account his dad would send him money through it. His next question was, “How would he even know I was on it? I don’t have contact with him and I’m not on Facebook.” I explained to him that his dad could see every transaction I made unless I chose to make it private. I let him know I would send him $5 just so that his dad could see that he now had a Venmo account. Maybe then he would treat his children equally. Perhaps pressing a couple of buttons might be easier for the poor dear than actually going out and purchasing something and then getting it in the mail. Stamps are hard to find, y’all.

As we took off for our weekend in Ohio Picasso got his Venmo account set up and a few days later I sent him the promised $5.

July 1st was his birthday. I texted him a happy birthday and when I came home he came out of his room and announced to me, “Your plan worked!” Stupid me, I had to ask him, “What plan?” And that’s when he told me, “Your plan to lure Jerry Lee from out of the shadows.”

He actually sent his son money for his birthday. On his actual birthday, too. Of course now I think it was just to butter him up before hitting us with the whole, “I don’t owe any child support anymore because he’s 18!” nonsense.

Happy Birthday, Picasso! You’re a man now. Be a better one than your dad.

The Beat Goes On

Happy Independence Day! I think I may almost be free of Jerry Lee’s stupidity. Here’s an update for anyone interested.

I did write my lawyer back and informed her that Picasso had not graduated from high school yet. I asked, “Doesn’t he have to pay until Picasso graduates from high school?” Yes. He’s going to have to wait to prorate child support down to the half hour until next June.

She wrote me back and let me know, to no surprise of my own, that what his lawyer was offering up was something that would happen anyway. In Virginia if your child has been emancipated and you still owe arrears you continue to pay those arrears in the form of your previously ordered child support. So whether he offered to do so or not, he would be ordered to continue paying child support until the arrears were paid off.

She told me that if we went to court he would probably be ordered to pay at least 25% towards his arrears in order to stay out of contempt. Why that would be acceptable is beyond me. He was given a year to pay the attorney’s fees; he was reminded at the one year point and his response was, “I don’t have it.” That was it. No, “Can we work together to come up with a plan?”. No offer to pay extra to meet that obligation. Certainly didn’t think to pay me a chunk from a bonus if he got one, a tax refund, or a stimulus check. Now it’s going on two years since it was due and the courts will only require him to pay 25%? Hard to believe, but that’s the information I’m being given.

With that in mind my attorney suggested we work towards getting a lump sum paid towards spousal support and then tacking on an additional $500 to his current obligation. Plus, he will continue paying child support and the extra $500 until he has caught up. By my calculations even if he begins paying the extra $500 in August it will still take him over two years to pay his arrears.

I let her know my problem with this is that Jerry Lee doesn’t follow court orders very well. I think that’s being generous. I told her I would prefer to see what he’s actually making and if there are any bonuses. I wanted to know if it could be written that he would turn over any bonuses and tax refunds to get his arrears paid off more quickly. I really do not like the idea of him having more than two years to play games with me.

Yes, the extra money would be nice but it’s not really extra money. That $25,000 was supposed to go towards paying off my remaining bills and going into a savings account to go towards taxes and possibly a house of my own. The $10,000+ he owes in spousal support will need to be set aside as well for taxes. And the child support? Well, that is extra money. It’s money I can use to help Rock Star while she’s in college. It’s money I can use to help Picasso buy a car once he gets his license. It’s money for Christmas gifts. It’s money for savings. It just seems to be easier when you collect it in one lump sum to put it away and do with it what you should. Getting an extra $500 a month requires discipline. Not that I don’t have it, of course. But, it’s also a matter of things taking longer as well.

Anyway, this is the best part. My attorney let his attorney know that Picasso was still in high school so his client would still be paying child support for him. At this news the opposing counsel  asked if it would still be possible to work out a deal and have his client continue paying support after his obligation would have ended. He asked about his client coming up with either a lump sum or a little extra each month for the next year and then putting the plan into place. So my attorney writes back and lets him know that currently his client owes me in excess of $50,000 and that’s BEFORE attorney’s fees related to this latest show-cause hearing. She even put before in capital letters. She gave him a proposal and told him that she did not think the judge was going to be happy with Jerry Lee seeing as how not only has he made no attempts to pay the original $25,000 he was ordered to pay, but also he has accrued more arrears.

For those keeping count, this would be the THIRD time he’s behind in support. He’s a goddamn West Point military graduate. They pound honor and duty into their heads the entire four years they’re there. Yet he regularly puts his cousin and her children, also his cousins, ahead of his own children and neglects to pay his support obligations in a timely manner.

She went on to tell him she thought that a negotiated settlement would be much better for him than facing the judge. As Bill Murray said in “Stripes”, “That’s a fact, Jack!”

Finally, she mentioned Jerry Lee potentially paying off larger chunks of his obligation with any bonuses he may receive, and suggested we exchange income information so that we can finally modify child support. Of course, Jerry Lee will be paying for this because he’s paying the legal fees for this latest go-round.

We’ll see if he takes the offer. Really I think I should have hit him harder but my lawyer jumped the gun a bit. I should have gone ahead and told her my proposal was that he pay the $25,000 in a lump sum. I would allow him to pay the back child support in regular payments after Picasso graduates. As for the spousal support he could either pay me in one lump sum, or he could pay me in payments with the caveat that if he chooses the payment plan, he will take the hit on the taxes, not me.

That would have been a much better plan, although I don’t know if he has $25,000 sitting around. Probably not because Harley likes to spend it as soon as he makes it. I try to be prudent instead of vengeful. I could demand the full payment but if even the courts wouldn’t make him pay it all in one lump sum I don’t know what good it would do. I’m just trying to get this done with the least amount of anxiety and money as possible. Of course, I’ll also be asking about some sort of clause we can put in there that says if he defaults on this for any reason something horrible happens to him- whether that’s we automatically go back to court and there will be no settlement talks, he goes to jail, or he faces an automatic fine. I’m tired of him playing these games and deciding on his own that he’s going to switch up the rules. Hopefully this puts an end to it.

Here’s What I’m Willing To Do For You!

I have court in a little less than 2 weeks. Supposedly Jerry Lee and his new lawyer were going to write up an offer. I haven’t seen one yet. I did get an email from my attorney today, though.

Apparently in reviewing his client’s file he “realized” that Jerry Lee was due a reduction in child support because Picasso had turned 18. Jerry Lee is generously willing to continue paying what he’s already paying and apply that to the balance owed. That’s his amazing offer so far.

Never mind the fact that yes, his son did turn 18 yesterday, but he just finished his junior year of high school. Never mind the fact that he won’t begin his senior year until next month. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t graduate until June of 2021. He’s 18 now so he’s on his own as far as Daddy is concerned. Oh, and never mind the fact that a quick Google search clearly spells out that child support stops at age 18 UNLESS the 18 year old is a full time student.

His big offer is he’ll stop paying legitimate court ordered child support on his son who has not yet graduated from high school in order to make up for the two years where he self-modified child support the moment his daughter graduated. It’s a two-for, if you think about it.

One, he gets out of child support actually being modified and reflecting what he should be paying for his son. Two, he gets to forego actually supporting his son and instead get a head start on those arrears he built up by being a stubborn, know-it-all ass.

Yeah, no. That’s not going to happen. I emailed my attorney back and informed her that Picasso was not due to graduate until next June. I’m not taking some half-baked offer to make his life easier. That man knows his son did not graduate, and he knows it’s not because he flunked his senior year. He is perfectly aware of the fact that we delayed sending him to school for an additional year. I cannot believe how stupid he is sometimes.

No, I can. He’s “conveniently” stupid. He doesn’t bother to research the law when it might not benefit him. He’ll just play dumb instead and see if I’m as dumb as he’s hoping I might be.

I am a little nervous about court. You never know how it will play out. I feel like I have the law on my side. Jerry Lee has not done the right thing at any point in this. But you never know. Cross your fingers for me, say a prayer, put it out into the universe, light a candle, meditate, do whatever you do to bring peace and luck to someone. Please and thank you!