His definition of a life together is now suddenly different from mine. He didn’t say exactly what the difference was. I thought we were on the same page. I thought the goal was for us to spend as much time together as possible without me losing my spousal support. I think it mostly came down to him wanting me to push the boundaries when it comes to risking said spousal support. He always said he understood and that he didn’t want me to lose it but he also said, “I always thought we were willing to push the boundaries for what was allowed.”
I was willing to move down there for fuck’s sake! I was willing to stay with him 5 nights out of 7. That apparently wasn’t enough.
He would frequently tell me he had an apartment with its own separate address I could move into. Jerry Lee couldn’t do anything about it because they were two separate addresses. I wasn’t living with him.
No, I’m living in an apartment above his garage. Maybe that will be enough. Maybe it wouldn’t be.
What’s $300,000 or so when it comes to love, am I right?
Oh wait! I forgot. Me losing out on $300,000 is no big deal but him having to pay out $20,000 or so is a huge deal! He shouldn’t have to pay out a dime to his ex but I should be willing to move in with him, risk my spousal support and then, after co-mingling funds with him or buying a house together or some shit like that, I can also risk losing my shit to his ex-wife in their divorce or if he dies. That sounds fair.
Yes, I guess our visions of a life together are different. As long as he was married I was not willing to move in together. I was not willing to give up spousal support for a man who was still married to his wife. I was not willing to share finances or buy a house together as long as he was still married. I’ve been divorced. I know how lawyers will tell you one thing in the beginning and something completely different when you are going to court or trying to reach a settlement. I wasn’t going to let her come in and tear away even more shit from me. I wasn’t even willing to take the chance.
I was the one who had already lost everything in my divorce. He hadn’t lost a damn thing and yet he still felt it was fine for me to lose even more while he kept everything intact for himself.
I feel like maybe when he realized I was willing to move down there but I was planning on moving an hour or two away he realized I did not want to move to his town. Realistically being an hour away meant we would spend every weekend together but we probably wouldn’t be able to spend most weeknights together. Unless I worked remotely from his house.
That comes with its own set of problems. Like, what do I do with my dog and 2 cats? His dog would eat them. I would also need to buy a docking station and two monitors so I could work from his house.
I think he wanted me to come down and actually do that while I was living here in Indiana. Again, it would be possible but I would need to spend a couple hundred dollars in order to get set up there and someone else would have to take care of my pets.
The funny thing is I was actually thinking of doing that once my mom went down to Florida. Picasso could have taken care of my cats and dog for 2 weeks. But I never got the chance.
And again, it all boils down to, “How many concessions are you willing to make for me? How far out of your way are you willing to go to make me happy?” Nothing about my happiness. Nothing about doing anything for me. Oh, sure he promised up and down for four years that he was going to move up to Indiana and build a life together with me up there. And you’ve got to give him credit for the three months that he spent trying to make it work. After that, however, it all falls on me. I get to travel. I get to uproot myself. I get to risk spousal support. I get to pay out hundreds of dollars so that I can work from his house. Sounds really fair.
Ultimately I think his vision of what a future together looks like is I move into his house and I live with him, just crossing my fingers that Jerry Lee never finds out. I live in his teeny tiny town despite telling him from the start I had no interest in moving there. His vision is I come in and settle nicely into his life and he never has to give up a damn thing. He gets everything he wants and I risk losing everything.
He also mentioned how he used to think that I was joking when I said my son would probably be living with me forever. Now he’s not so sure. He thinks I enable my son and he believes he’ll always be living with me. That’s not what he envisioned. He envisioned us living together and living life together, the two of us. Not the two of us plus Picasso.
That’s not really true though, is it? Our lives would have always revolved around his kids and what they wanted to do.
You know what? That would have been fine as long as he was willing to let me put my kids and their wants ahead of him just like he did with his kids and me.
Again though the rules are different. One of the very first big fights we ever got into occurred when I realized that Jerry Lee had stopped payment on three separate checks he had sent me for support. Matt had been out to a ballgame with his kids and they had spent the entire day together. I make this discovery about the missing $1500 or so from my bank account in the early evening and I was so upset. I called him around 6, which was very unusual. We almost always talked later on in the evening right before bed. I told him what happened and began to vent and he says to me, “I promised T I would watch a movie with her. She’s waiting for me. We can talk about this when I call you later tonight.”
He had spent the entire day with his kids and now when I needed him for possibly an hour, maybe less, he couldn’t support me because he needed to watch a fucking movie with his daughter. Apparently their Netflix subscription didn’t come with the pause feature.
He wouldn’t sell his house because his daughter didn’t want to move. He kept it for her which meant he had no money for a down payment on a house in Indiana. But he thought my son should get his own apartment. Be independent.
Hmmm… his daughter was splitting the expenses with a roommate. His mortgage was just over $400 a month. All together his daughter was probably spending $400 or less on the mortgage and utilities. A one bedroom apartment in this town is around $900 a month. If Picasso found a friend who could split rent with him he would still be looking at more than $600 just for the rent. I don’t think that even comes close to being the same.
If that’s not enough of a double standard, I’ve got another one for you. Matt spent approximately $15,000 refurbishing the apartment above his garage so he could rent it out as an Air BnB. He did surprisingly well with it. It was booked a lot. Last year around February or March his middle son asks his dad if he and his wife can live in the apartment for a few months while their house is being built. He even offers to pay rent. Matt turns down the offer for rent. No, he wants to “help him out” because he’s such a hard worker. So his son is living rent free despite the fact that he and his wife have a combined income that probably hits close to six figures, if it doesn’t exceed it. He is living rent free despite the fact that he and his wife sold their house during that crazy period of time when people were paying way too much for houses and made something like an $85,000 profit on a house they had owned approximately one year. This stay was supposed to be for six months. They are still there, unless they just moved out. For ten months that apartment that Matt spent fifteen grand refurbishing has not generated a penny in income. Meanwhile, his 21 year old daughter is splitting the mortgage with him and he thinks my son should be out on his own, fully independent.
He could cancel or change plans with me because his son wanted to show him his wedding venue or his daughter wanted him to go to her best friend’s graduation. Apparently the only time he could see the wedding venue was on a Saturday or Sunday when we had plans. No other times available. And daughter’s best friend’s graduation took precedence over us celebrating our one year anniversary of dating.
He was supposed to move up right after T’s graduation. Only she didn’t get the financial aid she was hoping for (and should have received as a straight A student) so she was going to go to the local college that had an extension program. That put off our plans for two years.
Did I threaten to end things with him? Absolutely not! I told him I understood. I told him he didn’t have to do this. I told him I was willing to do long distance forever if that’s what he needed.
Then she dropped out of college. He couldn’t move up right then and there because he had to make sure she was self-sufficient. He couldn’t just leave her there to fend for herself. Unlike my son who should be forced to sink or swim. And he couldn’t give her an ultimatum and tell her he was moving and she could either figure it out or move with him either. Like I did with my son when I told him I was going to move so he needed to step up or make peace with the fact that he was moving, too.
For a couple of months she did nothing. She wasn’t in school. She wasn’t working.
Did I tell him she needed to get up off her ass because we couldn’t be together until she was self-sufficient? No! Absolutely not. I was understanding at every fucking turn. I want to be perfectly clear that I love his daughter and want only the best for her. She’s a great kid. I do not fault her in the slightest.
I don’t think Matt could say the same in regards to my children.
I waited patiently and offered him an out all the time. You don’t have to do this, I would tell him. For three years I told him that.
I finally stopped after year three because we had been separated for 3 months thanks to the pandemic. Once I went down there he put the plans to move into high gear and I thought, “Oh, maybe he really does want to see me every day. He really does want to do this.” Because honestly, there were times I believed he would never move up to Indiana.
But when it comes to my kid? He’s manipulative. He’s conning me. He needs to be kicked out of the nest. We’ll never be together, free to live our lives together, because of him.
That’s such bullshit! I’ve always been free to do whatever with Matt. I’m not the one that has a problem telling my kids to deal with it. Just because I might go out and grab Picasso something to eat or I’ll run to the store for food instead of making him go doesn’t mean he came before Matt each and every time. I don’t believe I ever uttered the words, “I can’t do this because of my kid.”
He actually told me one time that Picasso is Jerry Lee all over again. That I miss the drama that came with him.
Interesting. Because I mostly ignored Jerry Lee when he acted like that.
He told me that I’m afraid to upset my son. That everyone in our house tiptoes around him.
That’s rich coming from the guy who didn’t sell his house because his daughter didn’t want him to and who canceled our plans for our one year anniversary because his daughter told him he had to go to her best friend’s graduation.
My son has some serious issues. He definitely has some of his dad’s traits but that is a huge reason I am trying so hard to get him help. I’ve told him many times I don’t want him to end up like his dad because his dad is miserable and I don’t want that for him.
Picasso deals with depression and social anxiety. He’s possibly on the spectrum. He probably has undiagnosed ADHD. He’s highly intelligent and very insecure. Unlike Matt’s kids my son does not have a significant other. He doesn’t have someone else that he spends every waking moment with. He’s not off living life with his significant other and their parents. He doesn’t have a combined income and someone that will be helping to shoulder the burden. And he hasn’t worked since September.
He has said before it is not the work itself that gets him. He actually enjoys that. It’s the people and how awful they are to him. He goes to work and feels himself slipping into this dark spiral and it takes him longer and longer to get himself out of it each time. He’s afraid one day he won’t be able to get out of that spiral and he’ll end up killing himself.
Is he manipulating me? Maybe. Am I willing to risk him killing himself? Absolutely not. I am doing everything I can to help him. He’s been in therapy for 3 years. He has a psychiatrist. He was accepted into vocational rehab. I plan on meeting with his therapist and with his new psychiatrist. I don’t want to enable him but I don’t want to end up with a dead child either. I don’t know where that line is between enabling and recognizing his limitations, and as always it’s so easy for Matt to say, “He’s faking,” because it won’t be his kid that is dead.
This is an area where we did not see eye to eye. It got to the point I didn’t even want to discuss it with him because he doesn’t seem to believe most of it is real. If I’m being very honest I think the real problem is Matt didn’t like it when he wasn’t coming first. His kids came first for him and yet he thought he should come first for me.