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.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Holy shit! When I made that joke about Cousinfucker having a law degree from Imaginary U I didn’t think he actually believed it. Oh, but he did!

My lawyer has finally found a moment to get our support modification papers together. It turns out Cousinfucker’s lawyer is no longer representing him. I don’t know if she canned him or he fired her. Either way he is now representing himself which means my attorney gets to deal directly with his special brand of douchbaggery.

Let’s review. To begin we will go back to August or September of 2015, shortly after I found out my life was blowing up in my face. He sends me a text letting me know how much money I will be receiving per month and then proceeds to break it down by each child’s graduation. Surprisingly child support did not decrease by 50% in his initial calculations. Back then.

Part 2 is also important. Part 2 is when I attempted to let him know that child support did not decrease by 50% once Rock Star graduated. That’s when he informed me there was no separate order for child support; therefore, he would now one half of what he had been paying. Then after contacting my attorney to see if that was indeed accurate he invited me to that UFC match.

The final piece of the puzzle is when he sent me child support the next time after this had all gone down. He made mention of the Potato Chip Squire and told me he would not pay me another dime until my lawyer contacted him with the new figures.

This is all important because he crafts a response to my attorney. It is brilliant in its sociopathy and condescension. One of the gems?

You have the facts correct as to the date of the change in the amount of child support owed. Specifically, the Last Name’s daughter graduated high school on June 7, 2018. I had not been previously informed that the amount for one child was not simply one half of the amount for two children and that is specifically why I began to pay [half]. When I learned that the amount was to be different in July 2018 I merely asked what the new amount was to be and until yesterday I had not been informed of the new amount.

Can we start with the obvious? He refers to his daughter as the Last Name’s daughter. He couldn’t use her fucking name! Oh, that’s right! Because now he’s a lawyer.

Secondly, this is the smartest man we’ll ever meet and yet he had no clue how child support worked, despite man-splaining it to me in the very beginning?

Third, can I paraphrase the judge and say that his story of merely asking what the new amount was hurts his credibility in light of the nasty texts I have? I told him on two different occasions that this was not correct and let him know he should contact his lawyer to get it modified. When he found out he was incorrect and that half was not the correct amount he basically called me a fucking cunt. He then informed me he would not be paying another cent until he heard from my lawyer and accused me of wanting more money so that I could meet up with the mobster, or as he likes to call him, The Potato Chip Squire.

You’d think he was done, but you would be wrong. He goes on to let her know that her figures seem to be correct but he has a newer version of the form.

Then he gets down to the nitty gritty. He wants to see my documentation of my income (of course he does) and of the health care insurance he apparently thinks I’m faking carrying. Because, “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.”

The amount my attorney had calculated for medical and dental insurance “seems high” to him, almost twice the average for the state of Indiana, according to him. Yeah, I’ve got shitty insurance. I pay $188 per paycheck to cover myself and my two kids. If I was only covering myself I would be paying $44. And yes, I realize he no longer has any responsibility towards Rock Star but for him to be acting like I’m somehow ripping him off is insulting.

Unlike him I didn’t wait until the moment she graduated and then declare, “You’re on your own, kid!” I also didn’t get to march into HR and demand I be allowed to take her off of my insurance. You know, since he was no longer responsible for that. No, I’m still paying for insurance for her. I also told my attorney I wanted that noted so I have it in black and white that he doesn’t give a shit about his kid and what she needs. It’s always about fucking me over and never once thinking about his own children and what the extra money might mean for them.

This had to be the best part though: On your arrears calculation sheet you state that “he did some strange calculation.” Let us remain professional please and keep the comments to ourselves and not on our documentation.

Oh. My. God. That motherfucker actually thinks he’s a goddamn attorney!

Cousinfucker is calculating child support for his daughter, or The Last Name’s daughter, down to the very half hour she graduates and he is offended by my attorney not understanding how he came up with those numbers and referring to it as strange? I think my mother nailed it. How dare anyone criticize him?

I’m sure my lawyer is much more professional than I would be but I do so wish she would reply, “I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years. I don’t need you telling me how to behave professionally. If you were a real lawyer instead of pretending to be one you would know that we lawyers speak freely amongst one another when trying to reach agreements; and truly, if noting that your strange calculation is indeed a strange calculation hurts your little feelings you would never actually make it as a real attorney. I don’t come to your plant and tell you how to make boxes so why don’t you give me the same courtesy and stop trying to tell me how to be a lawyer?”

Naturally, he does not agree with the figures. I can almost guarantee that he is going to argue my insurance coverage should be calculated at the higher amount (which is double the plan I could have been on if it had only been me) because those are the figures given. He’s also not agreeing to pay the legal fees. Surprise, surprise! He argues, “I have no input into Ms. Awesome’s business affairs including the hiring of you, nor do I have any control over how long it takes you to do certain tasks. If she wishes to hire you that is her business and hers alone and has nothing to do with me.

What a fucking asshole! Of course the whole reason I’m having to hire her is because of him. This whole thing could have been settled in less than an hour way back in June or July. But no! He had to play high and mighty. No one tells him what to do.

Ugh! I’m so sick of him. Day 1 he really got to me. By Day 2 I was telling myself it was just money and even if I have to pay my own attorney fees it will be worth it. Some moments I’m tempted to just put it on the damn docket and let the judge decide. Other moments I tell myself to keep a cool head. Once I have this modified I can garnish him and then I don’t ever have to deal with him again. Merry Christmas!

I Sometimes Know What I’m Talking About

We all remember the post asking for opinions, right? I thought what went down was a bit disrespectful of our relationship and that it trampled all over good boundaries. I pointed out that while I had no fears he would up and leave me, or rekindle their relationship, she was batshit crazy and who the hell knew how she would interpret the day’s events. You’re going to agree to escort this woman who has made a sport of entering your home when you’re not there and removing whatever she wants whenever she feels like doing so? You’re going to play nice and pretend you’re a happy couple with this woman who has been known to hoover around whenever her boyfriend is off fighting fires and she’s lonely? You’re going to hold her hand and pose for pictures and sit with her throughout the wedding and dinner after she’s accused you of abuse and has exhibited lots of crazy behavior even before that? Yeah, I don’t think that’s wise. You need to maintain boundaries made of titanium steel with a person like this. You are not friends. You are not a happy couple. You are in the middle of a contentious divorce.

While many people did say some of the actions went a bit too far they also were of the opinion that it was the couple’s big day and they should have whatever they want. I heard a lot of, “It’s for his son and daughter-in-law,” and, “I would grin and bear it; it’s one day and I’d do my best to appease my kid,” and the ringer, “He’s just being a good dad.” One commenter said, and I’m paraphrasing slightly, “It was what, five minutes of hand holding and 30 minutes of being together tops? He told you about it so what’s the big deal?”

Remember those boundaries I talked about? That was the big deal; boundaries are the big deal. And they got trampled on. Since that day she called the following Monday. She showed up at his house the following Saturday, according to his tenant; he wasn’t home so he was able to avoid her. She called again about a week ago. When he finally bit the bullet and called her back because he thought she wanted to talk about the divorce (ROFL) she snarled at him, “That was last week. I don’t need a ride anymore.” Yes, you did read that correctly; she had the lady balls to call him up to ask for a ride. They did end up talking a little bit about a settlement and now this week she is sending him text messages. So far it’s been, “I’ve been sober ever since I left you but I miss the hell out of you,” and, “I know you don’t care but you’ll always be a part of me.”

Huh. Ain’t that a bitch? Turns out I do sometimes know what I’m talking about. She did interpret the day’s events as, “Oh my God, he wants me! How could he not? Everyone wants me! I’m the most desirable person in the whole wide world!” She now thinks they’re back together or at least that she has a shot. I mean, in her mind, if he’s willing to hold her hand, walk down the aisle with her, sit with her during the wedding and dinner, who knows what else he might be willing to do?

I know; I know. As Reformed Cad pointed out, she thinks of me as the other woman. You are not telling me anything I don’t already know. Hell, I’ll go one further. You’re not telling me anything that I didn’t predict. I told the mobster waaaaay back when we first started talking that two things would happen. #1- She had never experienced any consequences for her bad behavior. After all the shit he put up with from her she didn’t think he would ever really wash his hands of her. So when she finally realized he had moved on she would start hoovering around, trying to ensure that he remained her Plan B. Yep, that happened. Most definitely. It didn’t work but she tried it. And #2- She would change the narrative and I would be the other woman and why they weren’t happily married. Like CF, she is always the victim. Things just happen for no reason. Forget the fact she was cheating on him- again. Forget the fact she would disappear for a few days at a time and not feel like he had any right to know where she was. Forget the fact she had left him and abandoned their kids. Forget the fact she moved in with her boyfriend (you know, the one she was cheating with). Forget the fact that they had already held an intervention and everyone in the family pretty much told her to either get help for her drinking or to leave the house. Hell, forget the fact that he had already attempted to file for divorce through an online lawyer. No, the real reason they weren’t back together was because I was the horrible other woman who moved in on her husband.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. I don’t give a shit if she does think of me as the other woman. She looks like an idiot crying about me when she’s shacked up with her boyfriend. I know the timeline of events. Everyone who has read his blog knows the timeline of events. I know she had already moved out before I ever knew he existed. And as the mobster always points out she never actually says she’s sorry or asks him for another chance. It’s all little pieces of bait thrown out there, seeing if he’s willing to take any of it. I miss you; don’t you miss me, too? You’ll always be a part of me; won’t I always be a part of you, too? Wouldn’t it be so easy to tell me how you’ll always love me?

I was right about the boundaries. Whether it’s a wedding day, Christmas day, or an ordinary day you have to have iron-clad boundaries with people like this. It’s like giving a mouse a cookie. Before you know it… well, I don’t really remember what all happens in that story, but I know it quickly got out of hand.

Thankfully in my story, “When You Hold Your STBX’s Hand,” things aren’t getting out of hand (pardon the pun); it’s merely an annoyance. The bottom line to this story? I knew what I was talking about. Tell Miss Cleo she’s got some competition!

My Reply to Your Opinions

First, I want to say thank you so much! I figured I would get maybe 5-8 responses. Instead they kept pouring in. It definitely gave me a lot to think about and gave us a lot to discuss. I appreciate all of you who took the time to respond. I didn’t respond as each one came in because I wanted people to be able to comment without any interference from me. I didn’t want to make excuses or defend my actions. I thought that by offering up counterpoints to anyone I didn’t agree with it would water down the conversation. I wanted opinions and I didn’t want anyone to feel that they had to debate me in order to get their point across.

Second, I am doing fine. To those of you who wondered how I was doing I say again, “Thank you!” I am sincerely touched that you care enough to wonder how I’m doing after a post like that.

Where to begin after getting the formalities out of the way? Well, I suppose I should start with an update. The mobster and I are still together, if any of you had any doubt. We have talked and talked about this. Just the other night he read the comments and we ended up talking about it some more- for around three hours.

Also, regarding the hand holding… We have come to a consensus. He agrees that he shouldn’t have agreed to it.

Now, for a few clarifications:

  1. While they did indeed take a picture of just the two of them, as he describes it everyone who walked down the path stopped at the bridge for a moment while the photographer snapped a picture. They were not off on a private photo shoot.
  2. When they did the unity ceremony he told her she could just go ahead and dump the dirt, so they didn’t actually both dump the dirt in together. I don’t know why I felt that was a necessary piece of information but I’ve already typed it out so it’s staying.
  3. I did not create a huge scene or throw out hypothetical situations before his son’s wedding. The hypothetical situations came about after the wedding when we were talking about this. They came about because of this idea that it was all about the bride and groom and what they wanted. If that’s true then I think it’s only fair to ask what else could they have asked for that he would be willing to do? Fuck her on the altar? Kiss her because the bride’s parents are going to kiss? End things with me? Recite their vows at the front of the church? Spend the night with her? Accompany them on their honeymoon as a couple? Dance with her all night long? I did not start off with, “Oh my God! Would you have done this?”  I also did not ruin anything for anyone. The bride and groom did not know, nor would they have cared, that I was upset. They got exactly what they wanted; they had a perfect day, as they should have. The mobster did not realize I was as upset as I was so I didn’t ruin the wedding for him either. He went to the wedding and made the best of it. He thought it was actually an amazing wedding despite the awkwardness that his STBX brought to the event (and that was how he put it; that’s not me “painting a picture” of her as being batshit crazy or making things awkward). I’m pretty sure he had a good time and enjoyed himself immensely. It wasn’t until he wanted to tell me all about it that he realized I was upset and angry.
  4. Regarding the issue of jealousy. After I reread that I realize it seems like he tossed out, “Oh, you’re just jealous!” That’s not what happened. We were calmly talking about this and this conversation happened after the situation had been diffused. He didn’t understand why I had a problem with any of what had happened because it was done for his son and his son’s wedding. He asked me, not in a judgmental way, but as more of a exploratory way, if I thought maybe it was due to jealousy. He never meant to imply that the only reason I was upset was because I was jealous, and I never meant to convey that he had tried to pull the ol’, “You’re just jealous,” routine with me. It wasn’t like that at all.
  5. His kids did not know about the countersuit and allegations of abuse from their mom. The mobster did not tell them any of that. I know some people talked of the kids being so used to craziness, or wanting to pacify her, but they were in the dark about her allegations.
  6. And finally, just so it’s clear, I was fine with him walking up beside his STBX. I was fine with him dumping his dirt in and then her dumping hers in. I was fine with family photos. I knew all of that was going to happen regardless of whether or not I liked it. Like it, hate it, didn’t matter. I fully expected it. They are both his parents. To a certain extent I was okay with them sitting in the same row, although etiquette books all say that when you are dealing with separated/divorced parents who don’t get along you sit the mother in the front row and the father behind her. I think whoever set that arrangement up had absolutely no empathy for their situation and was much more concerned with what was easy and what looked good. What upset me was him “escorting” her like they were together. That was before I even found out they actually held hands (and again, he has admitted that shouldn’t have happened and will never happen again). I was also not real happy with the fact that someone decided they should be seated at the same table for dinner as well. I was not upset at him, however, because he didn’t control where he was seated. Again, it displays an astonishing lack of empathy.

I’m not going to go into detail about everything we’ve discussed. I will share this: He does care deeply about how I feel. He wanted me to know he never wants me to feel disrespected or dismissed. I care very much about how he feels. I don’t ever want him feeling like he has to walk on eggshells around me.

You all gave me a lot to think about in regards to peacekeeping, boundaries, and being married to an alcoholic for many years. I really appreciated that. It made a lot of sense to me. I also took to heart Jojobee’s declaration that you start in the way you want to go forward. That is so true.

So many of you had such great insights. I took to heart many of the points that you made. I appreciated those of you who examined this from a very even handed point of view. It wasn’t a right or wrong thing. It was quite comforting to feel understood and have others empathize with me, and then point out another way to think of things. Everyone seemed to realize that the mobster is a good dad who was trying to do the right thing for his son and the wedding.

I do agree with those who said the marrying couple should have discussed their wants with him far before the week of the wedding. I think this is where the peacekeeping comes in. I know he doesn’t want to burden his kids with the divorce stuff. I know he thinks they will cringe if he ever outright asks questions about whether or not she will be someplace he has to be, or whether or not her AP will be there. I can’t explain it but basically he feels like his kids don’t ever want to discuss their mother with him regardless of the situation. I think he feels awkward bringing it up because in his mind her presence should be no big deal at all. I think he has every right to ask those questions and be prepared. But he wants to spare his kids all of that so he doesn’t.

I also think that getting married doesn’t entitle you to be an ass who forces people into uncomfortable situations. I’m not saying that his son and DIL were asses, but I saw a lot of, “It’s all about the happy couple,” and “It’s their day; it all comes down to what they want,” in the comments.

It’s your wedding and you want all of your guests to wear purple? Fine. You want to ban the color blue at your wedding? Knock yourself out. Don’t want certain songs played? No alcohol aside from beer? No vegetarian choices? No plus one for the single guests? No kids at the wedding? All good. It’s your wedding, your party, you call the shots. But you don’t get to demand things like, “You must play happily married couple with my other parent today,” or “Break up with your partner because it’s not convenient for me,” or “French kiss whomever you’re escorting once you’re on the bridge.”

Ask for civility? Sure. You may not stab my other parent. I don’t want there to be any knockdown drag out fights at my reception. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Please don’t call the AP your pet name for them to their face. Do not pour drinks or food on one another.

Seriously, it was never about me wanting him to shun her or to not be anywhere near her. I am aware of the fact that they have children together and that in most cases those children will want both of their parents there. As I said above I fully expected them both to be in pictures with the bride and groom. I fully expected that they would both participate in whatever ceremony the couple had planned. I also don’t think expecting him not to hold her freaking hand was too much to ask. Thankfully, he agrees.

Ironically, I would say that the comment from InsistOnHonesty was one that made a huge difference. It was her saying, “I think there are better people out there for each of you,” that had a huge impact on me. I felt gutted reading that. But I realized, no, there really isn’t a better person out there for me. He is an amazing man. He is so good to me. When I try to think of life without him I can’t imagine myself dating again. I wasn’t looking when I met him; I definitely wouldn’t be out there looking if he left me. As I told him once I haven’t been this happy since I was 17 years old and in love with Todd. It took me over 30 years to find someone who could make me that happy again. I would be a fool to give this up. So, no matter the trials or tribulations I’m not walking away. We’ll work through it. And really, we’re going to toss away an amazing relationship over one disagreement? So thank you; the thought of ending things over this made me miserable. Ultimately though it reaffirmed the fact that he is the one I want to be with.

I also want to be clear that I did not “rage” at him. He asked me what was wrong and I told him. Believe me, he prefers that over getting the cold shoulder. I was not yelling or screaming at him. We were having a disagreement. We used our words. I had a relationship for over twenty years where I was never allowed to be upset or angry or unhappy. I have no desire to go back to that. I deserve much better. If something upsets me I’m going to tell him. If he disagrees with me he can tell me. And vice versa. Together we can work through it.

Sophia, I love you. You are such a spitfire. I’m sorry you feel CF and the ExWife won. I’m not sure how CF got in the game, but the fact of the matter is there was no way that the ExWife wasn’t going to win. It’s her kid. If both of us can’t be there then the one that shouldn’t be there is me. I accept that. What I don’t accept is this idea that they should behave as a couple because their kid is getting married.

I felt that me being there would be very uncomfortable, what with them not knowing how she would behave. At one point we thought she would be in jail during the wedding so that kind of paved a way for me to attend. Ultimately though, most of her sentence was suspended and days she served prior to her court hearing counted towards her time so she was out in time for the wedding. As I said in my previous post had I been there I’m not sure how she would have reacted and any bad behavior on her part would have undoubtedly been pushed my way.

I’m a Pisces but I still don’t want to mess up anyone’s wedding. If she’s at the next three weddings and my presence will cause her to act like an ass I will once again remove myself from the day. Hell, come to think of it his daughter graduates this spring and I don’t know how that’s going to work out. I know we have a good relationship and she likes me, but if only one of us can attend without a horrible scene, then it should be her mother.

Ultimately, I am doing as most of you suggested and moving forward. We are moving forward. We have talked about it; we have drawn boundaries. Things are good. They’re back to normal.  I’m going to be seeing him this weekend so I will definitely be giving him a kiss and making up.

Opinions Wanted

This is going to be an interesting post to write. Before I begin I want everyone to know that this post was the mobster’s idea. He wanted me to write it. Thought it would be good to get other people’s opinions. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

The mobster’s son got married on Saturday. Those of you who have been reading for a while may remember that I removed myself from the situation back in February or March. For those of you who are new here is the backstory.

Basically, he and the mobster were talking about the wedding and his son told him that he and his fiancee were still trying to decide if they were going to give both of his parents a plus one, or if neither one would receive one. He also made mention of the fact that they had arranged with other guests to remove people who got out of line.

I let the mobster know that he could tell his son he needn’t worry about my presence. I would not be attending. It was Rock Star’s senior year and vacation was in short supply. I decided I was not going to stress over keeping a day open for a wedding where I was clearly not wanted. I was also smart enough to know that if Batshit Crazy showed her ass it would undoubtedly be blamed on me and the fact that I was there. I opted not to attend so the happy couple did not have to worry about anything spoiling their wedding. With me not there there should have been no awkwardness, no fights breaking out, no angry words, etc.

I did have a moment of weakness in late September and asked the mobster if it was too late to change my mind. He had been telling me for months that it wasn’t too late and I could still go, despite the fact that he hadn’t spoken to his son about it. I asked him on a Sunday and the very next day my mom called me at work to tell me she had bought Garth Brooks’ tickets for us. I then had to tell him that I would be sticking with the original plan and wouldn’t be going to the wedding.

Everyone following so far? Excellent. Fast forward to the week of the wedding.

Tuesday his oldest son flies into town for the wedding along with his girlfriend and his son. I know that this is going to mean the mobster and I won’t be spending much time talking because he will be busy with his kids and grandson. There was lots of quality time spent with his three sons, their girlfriends, his daughter and his grandson. Through this quality time he finally learned that his STBX was indeed invited to the wedding (there was a point where the bride and groom were upset enough at her stealing T’s television and then damaging it that they weren’t going to invite her). I don’t think he ever found out whether or not her AP was invited, despite the fact that I was not going. He also began learning about things they had planned for the wedding, like the unity ceremony.

Wednesday she answers his divorce petition by asking that it be thrown out and her own counter suit for divorce be granted. She accused him of physically and mentally abusing her, and followed that up with claiming he had tossed all of her things into a garbage bag and told her to “Take her shit and get out!” while she begged him to let her stay because she had nowhere to go.

Thursday he tells me that he has told everyone involved in running the wedding that he is willing to go up and do this unity ceremony with her. C and C wanted her siblings and his siblings to dump a vial of dirt into a planter, and then her parents and his parents to do the same, followed by them. He agreed to do so although he told them he didn’t want to walk arm and arm with her and didn’t want to hold her hand while they dumped the dirt. He also told them he didn’t want to escort her to her seat.

I am perfectly fine with this. They are both his parents. Walk up, she dumps dirt, he dumps dirt, they return to their seats.

Friday evening he calls me after the rehearsal dinner. He tells me he has agreed to escort her to her seat. He will walk her across a bridge, stop for a minute so the photographer can take pictures of the groom’s happy parents, and then apparently go on up to do the unity ceremony. He has also agreed to have both of them use a single vial of dirt and both dump it into the planter together. They sat together in the same pew and were seated together for dinner- him, his parents, their daughter, her, and her parents. I later find out that he didn’t “escort” her across the bridge and to her seat. They held hands as they walked.

Important to note is that the bride’s mother had a contingency plan in place if he refused to do any of the above. She had a fifth vial for dirt so they could each have their own. Her husband was going to escort the groom’s mother to her seat.

Also important to note is that neither the bride nor the groom actually told him what they wanted him to do. He admitted later maybe he should have asked them if any of this was important to them.

Still following? Great, because this is where you and your opinion comes into play.

I was absolutely furious. I told him I felt like he was playing happily married couple and I had been completely disrespected and dismissed. I asked him what the hell he would have done if I had attended the wedding, and let him know I would have been beyond humiliated had I been there. The bottom line for me was that I felt like they were presenting themselves as a couple and it was inappropriate. He’s the father. She’s the mother. They do not need to be walking hand in hand and posing for pictures together when they are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce. If you bother to google where to seat divorced parents you come up with multiple options, all which are a much better plan than the one the dipshit wedding planner managed.

He was gobsmacked by my anger. He said he did what he did for his son and he had no regrets. He has no desire to get back together with his wife. He was not playing happily married couple and it was actually a very awkward situation for him. He didn’t want to be around her; he didn’t talk to her aside from replying, “Fine,” when asked how he was. He believes this was simply a transition time what with them not divorced yet and that I won’t ever have to deal with this again because none of the other kids would ask him to do anything like that. He thinks I go to extremes and came up with outlandish examples, i.e. If they wanted you to renew your vows with them would you do that? If they wanted you to fuck her on the altar to show you’re a happily married couple, would you? If they wanted you two to pose together, all comfy and cozy, and coo over a new baby along with them and her parents, would you? What if they wanted you to dance together? What if they wanted you to honeymoon with them; would you do that, too?

Yes, I know. I can get outlandish. I was simply trying to establish where the line in the sand is for him. No, I don’t necessarily see any of the above happening. However, to me that’s not the point. The point is what would he do if it were asked of him? He’s not saying he wouldn’t do it again. He’s saying that none of the others would ask.

The bottom line is he doesn’t think there was anything wrong with walking hand in hand with his STBX, posing for pictures with her, pretending to be a happy couple for the sake of his son. In fact, he says that wasn’t what he was doing at all. Remember, it was very awkward. He also says it’s not about me or us or even her. It’s all about the newly married couple. He did what he did to keep the peace and make the wedding planner happy. As someone who agreed with him asked, “Why is she upset because you walked with the mother of your son?”

I, on the other hand, feel like I didn’t exist that day in order for the wedding to look picture perfect. Divorced people spoil so much. I guess I don’t understand it because as I told him, “I would never in a million years walk hand in hand with CF. Not because I’m a terrible mother who doesn’t care about her daughter (or son, as the case may be), but because we’re not a couple and I would never do that to you.” Also, he’s done horrible things to me and I don’t want him touching me. My kid getting married doesn’t erase all the shitty things he did.

The best explanation I’ve heard is this: I can understand his point of view. He wants to be a good dad and do right by his son. But in doing that he did something very intimate with another person who wasn’t his partner.

At one point he suggested that I was jealous of her and that was the root of the problem. I told him I had no worries about him leaving me to go be with her. I trust him; I trust what we have. And honestly? If he wants to give it another shot with the alcoholic, lying cheater, I can’t stop him. I also know he would regret it in no time. And no, I would not be willing to give him a second chance once he realized he fucked up.

She, on the other hand, I pointed out to him, is batshit crazy and who the hell knows how she will interpret the events? And wouldn’t you know, she ended up calling him this week. She’s blocked so he only got a notification and she didn’t manage to make contact but she attempted it. He thinks maybe she called to talk about the divorce but ultimately says he doesn’t care why she called; he just wants to be divorced from her. I think she called because she thinks they’re back together. Or she thinks he’s at least willing to consider fooling around with her behind her AP’s back.

Right now we are pretty much at an “agree to disagree” truce. I’m not sure he will ever understand how I feel, and why I feel it, although he did say had I been there he might not have agreed to do pretty much everything he did. To be fair, I don’t understand why he made the choices he did, although I comprehend the words, “I did it for my kid.” As I said above, I would never make those same choices so it’s hard for me to understand why he did.

He said he wondered how others would feel and suggested I write this post to see what your thoughts are. He thought it would be a step up from, and an improvement over my post entitled, “Happy International Fake Happy Couple Day” which I wrote in a fit of anger. I thought long and hard before hitting “Publish” and I probably should have thought some more because it was mean and uncalled for. I took it down and I have apologized sincerely to him. I felt it was important to mention that post though because it explains why he suggested I write this one. I didn’t want people wondering why on earth we’re asking the blogosphere to moderate our disagreements, or thinking that he’s just leaving it up to all of you.

So… how about it? How do you think it should have played out? Is it rational to expect a couple in the middle of a nasty, drawn out divorce to walk arm in arm, or hand in hand, down the aisle together? Pose for pictures together as an intact, happily married couple? Sit next to each other during the wedding? Be seated together at dinner? Would you do it? Would you want your partner to do it?

Am I overreacting? Is he totally oblivious? Am I a green eyed jealous monster? Would you have thought it was no big deal? Would you have been angry and upset in my shoes? Should he have said, “No, I’m not holding hands with my STBX; she just accused me of abusing her.” Or, is he just a really great dad who is willing to do whatever it takes to make his kid’s big day special?

AliMONY BITCHES

He has a way with words, doesn’t he? The above title was what he wrote in his comments section upon finally paying me half of his court ordered spousal support this month.

I so badly wanted to comment back: Does Harley know you no longer think her pussy is worth $2800/month?

Follow up question: How does she feel about you no longer thinking she’s worth the money you pay out every month?

Finally: Do you realize you could buy a high priced call girl for less than what you’re paying for Harley?

The real question is did he ever think it was worth $2800/month or did he simply think he was going to ride off in the sunset with the whore cousin and pay whatever he decided was fair?

I think we have a winner there. Poor Harley. He must be such a joy to live with. I wonder (only momentarily) how she feels about his ongoing obsession with me?

Douche, I mean dude, you’re newly married! You should be much more focused on your brand new, only slightly dented wife. Stop focusing on the ex and start focusing on all the wonderful things you’ve gained- like a cheating whore and children who already have a dad.

Then again, so long as he’s bringing in a paycheck she probably doesn’t care.

Dealing with him three years later is interesting. I couldn’t really say in the beginning, “I never thought he could do this to me!” because obviously he could. He had done it two years prior. I was surprised though at the depths to which he sank- the ease with which he told his lies, the vicious deceptions, the financial abuse, the cowardly behavior, the abandonment of his children. Then I found Anne and soon realized there was a whole other layer I had yet to explore. Now, I’m amused at how childish and petty he is.

I mean, for God’s sake, the man moved us across the country to get closer to the semen demon. He lied right to my face. He did awful things. He blew through more than $30k in four months, wining and dining the whore and having the time of his life while I pinched pennies and had to repeatedly deny our kids things. He turned his back on his kids and then preceded to act like he was the victim. He used our home as an extended stay hotel during the week and took off to be with the whore on the weekends- every weekend- for six months after I found out what he was doing. February 2016 he walked out the door like it was any other day. Went to work and afterwards drove to Kentucky and moved in with Harley. Never said a word. I found out when my support payment wasn’t directly deposited into my account. After I contacted his boss, of course. He then ends up losing his new job and doesn’t send a dime my way for the next ten months. I worked two jobs while he worked none. Then when he finally gets another job he moves the cunt face cum dumpster and her kids into a new home while declining to pay his modified support, instead choosing to pay only a fraction of what he owed. In all that time he never once bothered to drive to see his kids. Oh no, because once again he was struggling with anxiety and PTSD. Yes, once reality began to settle in somewhat he put on the performance of a lifetime in order to try to get out of paying decent spousal and child support.

If anyone should be bitter and angry and prone to petty, angry outbursts it should be me! But no. I’m happy as a lark. Doing quite well, thank you. Taking his money is like a salve on my soul.

He is living back in his home state, a place where he was dying to get back to; he is married to the whore, the one who made him so “happy”. He has new pets and new kids- all of which undoubtedly appreciate him in a way his old pets and kids did not. He left behind the job in Virginia, the one he complained about endlessly, and now has another six figure job. Because his kids were 15 and 13 when he pulled his disappearing act he will only pay child support for six years total and he has already received a cut in that support because Rock Star has graduated. He’s living in a brand new 2800 square foot home with the whore and her kids. They go out to celebrate birthdays as a family. They take family vacations. They fly off to Vegas for tacky weddings. By all accounts he should be happier than a pig in shit. But he’s not.

Instead he’s lashing out at me. Horrible, horrible me who has done nothing to him. The man who has everything he has ever wanted is unhappy and whining because… consequences. Oh the injustice! Hey Cousinfucker, you want some cheese with that whine?

The Cardboard King Vs. the Potato Chip Squire

Sweet baby Jesus! I just wrote a five part series about the beauty of maintaining no contact and now I need to remember that advice desperately; I need to commit that shit to memory. This is me taking my own advice. I’m going to tell you my story and get it all out here on my blog so I don’t say something to that colossal asshat I was once married to. Believe me I am dying to let loose on him.

“What’s happened, Sam?”, I can hear you all asking.

I don’t want to talk about it.

The End.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, you know me so much better than that. Of course I’m going to tell you.

CF, aka The Cardboard King, finally sent me child support for July. You know how it is. He sends it when he feels like. He is completely in control.

You would think he couldn’t really pull any stunts with Venmo. I mean, back in the good ol’ days of snail mail we had the catchy little designs on the envelopes, the stop payments, the bounced checks. It was always an adventure. Then we switched to Zelle and that was pretty low key. Probably too low key for an asshole like him. I simply got an email from the bank notifying me of the transfer. Thanks to Rock Star losing my debit card we’re now doing Venmo and boy, is he having fun. You can write little messages so that people know why you’re paying them. Usually you see things like, “Bridesmaid dress”, or “Soccer dues”, or “Dinner and drinks”. Not so with him. You can even use emojis. CF really likes the emojis.

He must be furious that child support is going the way I said it would and not the way he decreed it would be.

You will take half, and no more. Read the papers, you worthless peasant! I am your master. Bow before me!

I’m all like, “Yeah, that doesn’t really work for me. Let me get back to you on that.”

And I did get back to him on that. Or rather my lawyer did. Surprise! I was right and he was wrong! For my efforts he invited me to a UFC fight!

I had received alimony from him but I figured he wouldn’t send a child support payment until he had the new order. You know, because it’s so much better to be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars behind in child support rather than only a few hundred. He did surprise me, though. As I was leaving work, setting off to spend the weekend with the mobster I noticed he had sent a payment. Sometimes Venmo shows up on my home screen; sometimes it doesn’t. This time it didn’t and I happened to see it in email. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised, thinking he wouldn’t send another cent until he had a court order.

Then I see the message he wrote:

Child support July 2018 (original amount absent pending revisionist history).

Your attorney has not given me the new $$$ required to keep you and the Potato Chip Squire living comfortably and able to meet up. When that amount is determined… then the amount will change.

I will admit I completely missed the first line, which would have given me ample notice that this was not some joking around by the ex. Forgive me; I was distracted by all the emojis! The second line had me scratching my head. Nice little shield emoji but I kept thinking to myself, “Why is he calling Picasso the Potato Chip Squire?” My boy’s got a gaming problem but to the best of my knowledge he has no potato chip addiction. I had to read it two or three times before it finally dawned on me.

Oh! He’s referring to the mobster! My love!

Here’s the background: I was married to a man who would become a production manager at a corrugated plant. Corrugated, for those of you not in the know, is NOT the same as cardboard, which is why I’m referring to him as the Cardboard King. He HATES it when people call corrugated cardboard. For a quick lesson on the difference please refer to Google or Wikipedia. I’m not going into it. I do want to point out, however, that I was a dutiful wife and I listened to many stories over the years about corrugated, fluting, folder gluer machines, Flex-O machines, corrugators (not the same as corrugated) starch, and the like. I know the difference.

I am now dating a man who owns his own business. He has a route and sells crackers, chips, nuts and the like. Ergo, the Potato Chip Squire. If anything the man is more of a Pretzel Squire, I would imagine. Or maybe even a Knight of Crackers. Sir ToastChee has a nice ring to it, I think, although I am more partial to the peanut butter and honey combination.

How insulting! All of it- the implication that I use child support to go meet up with the mobster, trying to diss his job, accusing me of “revisionist” history.

So far I have let it go. I was going to reply as soon as I stopped for gas. But I have not. I keep repeating the mantra: Any kibbles are good kibbles to people like him. But I can reply here!

The problem with hitting him back hard is that I only get one shot, and as usual he has provided me with so much material.

Child support July 2018 (original amount absent pending revisionist history).

Revisionist history? Are you shitting me? Does the Boy Genius not realize that if child support was indeed supposed to decrease by half as he insisted it did that I would not be able to go back and recalculate it?

Hey, Dipshit! Yeah, you or any of your minions if they’ve managed to find my blog. Did you forget that you were imputed at $170,000? I know your law degree from Imaginary U must be stellar, but give me a minute to slowly explain something to you.

NOTHING has changed about our situation. There is no “revising history”. This is not me taking you back to court because you got a new job and make more money. You were never going to be allowed to simply cut child support in half. That is not the way child support works. You don’t pay $500 for one child, and $1000 for 2 children and $1500 for 3 children. Our incomes are added together, health insurance is thrown into the mix, and through the magic of court calculations a percentage of our income is allotted for child support. That’s for one kid. When you throw in a second kid you have a higher percentage going towards child support. But it’s never doubled or tripled or quadrupled, based upon the number of kids you have.

I will again point to Exhibit A, your own words, when you “man-splained” to me how support was going to work.

My lawyer told me I’ll be paying you $X until Rock Star graduates. Then it will be $Y until Picasso graduates, and then I will pay you $Z.

Your own lawyer told you three years ago it wouldn’t decrease by 50%. Now because I tell you the same thing you’re suddenly rebelling. Or maybe you just thought you could fuck me over once more. She’s so stupid she’ll never realize it’s not cut in half; all I’ll have to do is say so and she’ll believe me.

Or how’s this for revisionist history?

Back in December, crying to Rock Star:

2f25bs

The minute Rock Star graduates:

2f2636

Is that revisionist history or are you just a liar?

How about we go all the way back to the early days after DDay when you told me:

I know you will take a hit financially but you will be well provided for, we both know that. My attorney has you covered for the rest of your life.

I’m not surprised that’s changed though. I don’t think you understand what a lifespan is, judging by how casually you toss out the phrases for life and the rest of my life.

Listen, Buckaroo, I’m sure you’re really disappointed that things aren’t going the way you thought they would. I realize you’ve got a whore to keep out of jail and she undoubtedly saw big dollar signs when your daughter graduated. $900 more per month for her to spend on her kids! Or on tanning! Or going on vacation! Or on a wedding! And then I have to come along and spoil it. #sorrynotsorry

Nice dig, trying to imply I’m extorting more money out of you (aka making you pay what you are legally required to instead of letting you call the shots) so that I can meet up with the mobster. Yes, because God knows it’s not like I now have to support two kids on less money. As I’m sure you know once Rock Star graduated she instantly became independent. A money tree sprung up in the backyard. Sadly, it appears to only let her pluck the bills off of it’s branches. I’ve got a goose that lays golden eggs and a pig that spits diamonds. We’ve also managed to find a tiny leprechaun that leaves gold coins on our pillows. I’d love to tell you more but I have to go feed my unicorn.

You know what the funny part is, people? I took a screenshot of his message and sent it to the mobster He had the exact same reaction that I did: Why is he calling Picasso the Potato Chip Squire?

We both were focused on the fact that child support is for the children. Not Cousinfucker, though. Nope, he’s all about keeping his money in his pocket. I couldn’t possibly be thinking about Rock Star and Picasso. Nope, it must be all about having enough money to meet up with the mobster.

With that in mind here are a few other retorts I would love to toss out. I chose to respond in meme.

2f27x6

2f285d

And my favorite (and the one I’m still debating replying with, sans meme, of course):

2f28tw

The mobster’s favorite retort to CF’s taunts?

2f2bfn

As for this nonsense: When that amount is determined… then the amount will change? 

Oh, Cardboard King, as my lawyer would say, you are cute as a button. Where did you get your law degree again?

I’m not a genius like he is but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that. First of all, despite what he believes he doesn’t get to modify child support based on his own whims. That brings us to the second point. If he hasn’t modified child support, legally, then doesn’t he still owe me the full amount? Isn’t it standard that until the new contract is signed the old contract is still in effect?

I was telling this story to my hair stylist today and one of her co-workers was listening in as I told her how he had calculated child support for Rock Star down to the half hour and had cut support in half once she graduated. The poor woman sat there with a stunned expression on her face.

“Doesn’t he know that’s not the law? That’s not how it works!”

I nodded sympathetically. His antics are unbelievable for the uninitiated; I’m a pro at it by now. Nothing he says or does shocks me. I assured her that he is the smartest man in the world; he knows everything. He doesn’t need no stinkin’ judge, or petty ass court order telling him what to do! He is in charge! He makes the rules and tells me how it’s going to be; I need to shut up, sit down and follow along with whatever he says.

2f2bla

.

Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn

A little while ago I wrote about my feelings of cognitive dissonance and how I felt like a huge hypocrite. I’m pretty much over that now.

It was shortly after writing that Chump Lady published a letter from a woman who was divorcing her lying, cheating husband. He had cheated many, many times throughout their marriage. The final straw was when she got a call from yet another OW while she was grieving the loss of her pregnancy. She packed her bags and moved away from the area, away from him, and was starting a cheater-free life. After a year of being a hermit (and almost 2 years after her final DDay) she had met someone, they clicked, and ultimately, she ended up pregnant. While there were a few people who tsk tsk’d the fact that she was still legally married and wanted to throw out the ol’, “You’re no better than your cheating husband; you’re cheating on him, too!” most people were incredibly kind and supportive. Some of the things that I read that really stuck with me were the following comments:

It is true that in many states (including mine), having sex with someone before you are legally divorced counts as infidelity. But my state also bans the Encyclopedia Britannica because it contains a recipe for making beer at home. So let’s take laws at face value.

The bigger issue is whether it is morally acceptable to have physical intimacy with someone before one is divorced. As long as the divorce is underway, the two people are living separately, and are not taking actions to reconcile (e.g., in active marriage counseling), that marriage is over, and both people are free to date IMHO.

Many of these narcs drag out divorce for YEARS, even after having wasted decades of our lives. Should chumps chastely sit home waiting for the cheater to FINALLY disclose his or her financials? Or hire a third lawyer because his/her first two lawyers grew weary of the delays and obfuscation? I know a man who, even after settlement obtained in an early October court trial, was not divorced by late December because the STBX refused to sign the decree to which she and her lawyer had approved months earlier. He had been out of the house and NC for 1.5 years.

Chumps waste a lot of time before gaining a new life out of concern for the cheater, whilst the cheater wasted no time boinking strange after the wedding vows. It behooves us not to rush into a relationship before our grief has ended, but I don’t think we should stall our lives again, nor allow the post-filing manipulations of cheaters to continue to control us.

 

And if the divorce takes 3 years, do you watch your life go by and live virtuously alone? What if you do actually want children (I understand this pregnancy was unplanned)? Must you wait until the courts say it’s okay, no matter how long that takes and no matter how obstructive your ex may choose to be?

 

Why allow this cheater and his manipulations to cause any more lasting damage? Why does the pace of a divorce, which he can control, allow him to keep her from ever having a child? Hell to the no!

To my mind, when there are no secrets, there is no obligation. It is all aboveboard. Cheater does NOT get to determine her life choices for one more nanosecond! The minute he broke his vows, he released her from the terms of her sentence.

All those comments boiled down to one theme: Why let the cheater waste one more minute of your life?

I spent a good 10 months wanting to die, thinking that life was never going to get any better. I was alone for almost 2 years after DDay and when I did find someone it wasn’t because I was out actively looking. My legally wedded husband had been living with another woman in another state approximately six hours away for well over a year before I met the mobster. When he lost his job and destroyed our lives I knew nothing about what was going on; Harley, however, was in the loop, playing the dutiful fiancee. The legal wife sat at home, stunned and wondering what the hell was going on.

That doesn’t even touch on Virginia’s archaic divorce laws which basically say you must be physically separated for a year and a day before you can file for divorce, but my “husband” is legally allowed to cut me off financially. He was allowed to buy an engagement ring for the whore and puppies for her kids and blow all kinds of marital assets on his cunt face cum dumpster because hey, we’re living physically separate lives. But, don’t have sex with anyone else if you want spousal support. And, as the mobster has experienced, if the cheating spouse wants to come on inside your house, the one they abandoned, and grab a few things or just look around, they can still claim marital assets and marital residence.

Prior to DDay I had spent many years with a man who was never happy. He was drinking more and more. I really believe that Blockhead telling him about my Facebook page was what sent him spiraling out of control. He couldn’t go anywhere with us. He cried constantly. He wanted to shut himself upstairs in the bedroom. It was horrible. Even before then he rarely did things with us.

The kids and I vacationed without him; we went on outings without him. I handled the day to day care of them pretty much without him. We didn’t do date nights. After all, as he asked me once when I suggested it, “Why would you want to do that with me?” We spent very little time together.

I am completely good when it comes to my decision to date before I was legally divorced. I didn’t rush it. I didn’t look for it. I certainly didn’t lie to and deceive CF in order to do so. Once again I will point out that he lived in another state hundreds of miles away with another woman.

I am also good with my decision to date the mobster even though he is still legally married. I read his blog. I know it was over. I know he filed for divorce before we ever knew the other existed. He filed because he was done. Period. Not because I was sitting there, batting my eyes at him. Not because he thought the grass would be greener over here with me. No, he didn’t know me. He was done because he could no longer tolerate her behavior.

I don’t believe I would have ever agreed to text if he had still been living with her. I’m not sure I would have agreed to it if he hadn’t already taken steps to end the marriage.

I don’t shout it from the rooftops that he’s married, but I also don’t feel I’m doing anything wrong. He wasn’t (and isn’t) sneaking around behind her back. He wasn’t lying to her or siphoning off marital funds to give to me. She, like my husband, had moved out of their home and in with her boyfriend. There was no marriage left to preserve.

As the commenters from Chump Lady ask: How much more of our lives are we supposed to allow them to waste? Why are we expected to uphold vows that mean nothing to them? Why are we supposed to sit on the sidelines, alone and broken hearted, while they run around with their new plaything, safe in the knowledge that we’re chastely waiting for them to return to the ruins of our marriage? Why are we expected to handle the day to day running of life and pick up the pieces of all the lives the cheater has ruined, alone, halo all shiny and straight, while the cheater makes a new life with someone else? Are we masochists? Martyrs?

I know there are people out there for whom it is extremely important to be able to say they didn’t date until the ink was dry on the divorce decree. Good for you. I used to be one of you. I also know there are people out there who would criticize people who did wait but began dating immediately after the divorce was granted, because hey, you didn’t wait long enough. Why aren’t you mourning? Why aren’t you concentrating on something else besides dating? There are definitely people out there who would get the vapors at the thought of someone dating a person who was not yet divorced. Where is your decency? Do you not value the sanctity of marriage? Furthermore, I have no doubt that CF and all those who run with him are calling me all sorts of names and convincing themselves that what I’m doing is no different than what he and Harley did. Eh- I’m over it. I really don’t care. I know the truth.

I don’t need a shiny halo either. After reading so many stories for years and years I’m beginning to think that the only thing keeping your halo shiny does is make you feel good about yourself. It doesn’t lend itself to a better outcome. Usually you end up putting up with copious amounts of shit while the cheater merrily skips along his or her cheating way, leaving a wake of destruction behind. But you can pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that you did things the right way. Turns out, I don’t need an untarnished halo to feel good about myself.

Much like I get no personal satisfaction from putting chairs together, or doing yard work, I also don’t get a great sense of satisfaction from being able to say, “I followed the rules precisely at all times.” That’s actually pretty funny considering the fact that if you asked anyone who knows me well they would tell you that I am a rule follower.

Years ago I would have said you shouldn’t date until you’re divorced. Of course, it’s one thing to make life rules for yourself when you think you’ll never be in that situation. You can safely judge from the sidelines. Honestly, had my divorce not taken more than two years I wouldn’t have dated before I got divorced. Unfortunately, little things like being forced to move out of my house and sell off all of my stuff (or leave it behind), finding out my husband was in the psych ward again (or so I thought), being forced to get a job and then two jobs, working 16 hour days and 20+ days at a stretch, feeling like a horrible mom because I wasn’t around for my kids anymore, wondering every day if he was going to get away with everything, having to procure an expert witness because my husband was claiming PTSD to get out of paying sufficient child and spousal support, paying out the ass for lawyer fees, and dreading every day I woke up, ended up taking precedence.

I lived in a state that required me to be separated from him for a year. Two months before I could file he went off the deep end and lost his job. I had no idea what kind of a settlement I could expect when he wasn’t even working. Truthfully, I think him getting a job and still not paying his modified amount of support for more than six months ultimately ended up working in my favor. I would have just been seen as a horrible, unsympathetic bitch if I had taken him to court when he had just lost his job and been hospitalized. I thought he was back in the psych ward. I thought he had had a nervous breakdown or could make an excellent case for PTSD because of his latest hospital stay. I wouldn’t find out for six months that he wasn’t suicidal or that it had nothing to do with PTSD. Only when I took him back to court for a show-cause hearing did I find out the truth- that he had been repeatedly drinking on the job and he had been forced to resign. And he had not entered a psych ward; he had gone to the VA and done a mere three day in-patient program. The rest of his time was spent in outpatient therapy and he didn’t even always attend those.

The mobster can say pretty much the same. He forgave her for her previous affair. He endured years and years of her drinking and lying about it. He put up with a lot of shit in order to keep his marriage intact and to give his kids a home with two parents. He suffered through a lot of humiliation in order to keep her happy and to make things work. Finally, she took up with yet another affair partner and eventually left him for that guy. But not before she introduced him as “a friend”. Not before the guy invited him up to join their volunteer firefighter department. Not before the guy gave the mobster’s daughter a ride on his motorcycle. Not before he got to watch his wife ride on the big, shiny firetruck with her “friend” in the Christmas parade. Not before she disappeared for days at a time. The mindfuck was strong with that one.

She made her decision and she doesn’t get to whine about him getting on with his own life. He is not an indentured servant. He does not have to sit faithfully waiting for her to return.

There has been a moment or two where I started to really feel like I was interfering and that if I wasn’t in the picture maybe they would reconcile. It wasn’t often and it’s non-existent now, but when those moments would come he would tell me pretty much the same thing: I am never going back to her. If you left me tomorrow I still wouldn’t go back to her. I am done with her. She is crazy. She is toxic.

He also reiterates that his kids don’t want them together. His oldest son told him when it first happened, “Dad, it’s been over for a long time. You just finally called it.”

Finally, he is very wise. The last time I brought it up he pointed out that despite what she says when she hoovers around, it doesn’t mean anything to her. If she really wanted him back she would take steps towards that, steps like ending it with the other man. Instead it is all talk and absolutely no follow through. She will tell him she will call him the next day, and she doesn’t. She will say she wants to talk but she won’t follow through. She tells him she misses his voice and yet, she’s still with her lover. She’s never made an actual move to go back to him. She merely dips the hook in the water to see if he will still take the bait. If he ever called her bluff and said, “Oh my God yes! I’m still crazy about you! I realize now how much I miss you and I will do anything to make it work!” she would have endless excuses for why now wasn’t the right time and why she couldn’t extricate herself from her relationship with her boyfriend in order to rekindle her relationship with her husband. She doesn’t want him; she just wants him to want her. She wants to keep her Plan B around in case the new boyfriend doesn’t work out.

He, too, lives in a state that requires a one year waiting period. Unlike me, he tried to do an online divorce and get things rolling (again- before we ever met). She refused to sign the papers. She refused to tell him what she wanted. She refused to discuss the divorce with him. Unfortunately for him, the online lawyer he hired only did uncontested divorces, so if she wouldn’t cooperate nothing would happen.

Approximately four months ago she informed him that she had a lawyer and she would be serving him with a divorce petition. They’ve never arrived. Around that same time she made a big show of calling him and yelling at him, telling him she wanted the house she had deserted, and custody of their daughter, a child she abandoned. Nothing has happened since except her continuing to come inside his house and randomly grab things. Sometimes those things were dishes or sentimental items. Another time she came in just to take a light plate. Other times she has taken things like the TV he bought his daughter for Easter. Yep, she took it right out of her kid’s room, and then had the audacity to say, “Did you see me take it? Did you see me walk out of the house with it?” That same day she took the blender he bought after she had already taken the one that was bought while they were married. Also found in her possession? Her son’s baseball mitt.

I can understand those who might think I wouldn’t want to involve myself in the middle of all that crazy, but I don’t understand people thinking that he needs to be faithful to that kind of crazy. She’s a horrible, despicable person. She steals from her own children. There is nothing to work with here, and I don’t think he should be coerced into trying.

With all that said I still think there are situations where you shouldn’t date. If you’re leading your spouse to believe that there is a chance your marriage can be repaired, you shouldn’t be dating.  If you’re in marriage counseling you shouldn’t be dating. If you’re still living with your spouse, you shouldn’t be dating. When you’re telling your spouse you love him or her and you just need some time to think, you shouldn’t be dating. Basically, any time you’re going through anything even resembling reconciliation I would say you shouldn’t be dating. I would even say that in a situation where you want out and there’s no one else, but your spouse is desperate to repair the marriage, you shouldn’t date. You leave your spouse for another person? Well, “dating” is a foregone conclusion although you shouldn’t. But if you’re the one being cheated on? Honey, you do you!

If you don’t want to give your cheater the satisfaction of saying, “He/she is dating, too! See! I’m not doing anything wrong,” then by all means stay single. I think you can live a very satisfying life without being coupled up.

I, personally, don’t need that kind of validation. I’ve come to the conclusion it wouldn’t have mattered what I did in my situation. I would always be the bad guy. And really, I’d much rather he be pissed off because I’m seeing someone, than for him and Harley to be laughing about how pitiful I am, all alone while I work two jobs. He’s going to hate me regardless so let’s give him something worth hating. I find that to be much more satisfying.

Quite honestly I feel like all of the above is way too much explanation for what I’m feeling now. I’m good with what I’m doing. I’ve done nothing wrong. I didn’t lie and sneak around to be with the mobster; he didn’t lie and sneak around to be with me. I was married in name only; I can say the same thing about the mobster. I didn’t destroy their marriage; he didn’t destroy mine. Our spouses did that all on their own when they cheated on us and then left us to be with their affair partners. The only thing we’re guilty of is not letting them steal another minute of our lives. My conscience is clear.

My Condolences, Asshole

No contact is so hard sometimes! There are times I would really like to let loose on CF but I don’t. It’s especially hard when I have people telling me I shouldn’t let him get away with saying the crap he says. I tell myself instead that the fact I won’t engage him makes him furious. I am frequently reminded over on Chump Lady that ignoring him and going on with my life without acknowledging him is the greatest insult I could lob at him.

What has brought this on, pray tell? I’m so glad you asked! It’s April 29th and CF still has half of my spousal support to pay. As of the 20th of this month he had paid one half of the child support. That was it. Two thirds of the way through the month and he had paid less than a quarter of what he owed. Call me crazy for worrying about whether or not it would get paid but the man doesn’t have a great track record. I don’t think I’m completely out of bounds for thinking this might be the month he decides not to pay.

On top of that April has been a bitch as far as finances go. I had to pay taxes this year. Quite a bit, too. Cheerleading fees for this month were out of this world high because of U.S. Finals and Summit coaching fees, plus required practice wear for Summit, in addition to the regular fee. I then had to pay an additional fee for her actually going to Summit which included her park pass and probably the entry fee for her. Picasso somehow managed to break his bed so that had to be replaced. I was supposed to buy plane tickets to Orlando for our Summit trip; at this point we are now driving the 17 hours. Thanks, Asshole. I needed to book a hotel for the same trip. Plus, as an additional bonus I found out that the final date to buy passes for the parks and the competition was April 23rd; he didn’t pay me again until the 24th. I will now have to pay more money to get into the parks and to the competition. Again, thank you, Asshole. I have to pay my CPA. I got yet another lawyer bill for over $400, seeing as how she’s finally getting me my share of the 401k and pension. Of course, she sends me the same damn shit three or four times and I pay for each and every copy, along with postage. My daughter has prom next month and still hadn’t bought a dress. Next month I’m sure I will be bombarded with prom expenses (shoes, hair, nails, etc.) and the following month is her graduation. I still need to buy graduation announcements because she decided she wanted to do picture announcements instead of the traditional ones. Plus, I am still planning on heading to Utah for a wedding in June, which will involve me buying three plane tickets. But who the hell knows when he’ll finally get May’s support to me?

Because he doesn’t have the greatest track record, and because I don’t want him to harbor any illusions that I’ll silently suffer through another ten months of little to no support, I texted him. I was polite and professional. I told him the month was almost over and he had only paid half of his child support so far; I then asked him if he had a plan for catching up.

See? Polite and professional.

He mulled that over for the weekend and decided to grace me with a response on Monday, later in the day.

Don’t stress yourself. The money will be paid.

What a condescending twat waffle! Don’t stress myself? Gosh, I can’t imagine why I would stress. It’s not like he’s ever not paid…. Oh… Wait…. My bad.

He follows that up with:

If you absolutely must know, I am catching up from funeral expenses for my mother. Thank you for your condolences and those of the children as well.

There is so much material here! Where do I even begin?

If I absolutely must know? Motherfucker, you owe me money! Damn right I must know. Don’t neglect your legal obligation and then act like you’re doing me some kind of a favor. If you want a break for paying your mom’s funeral expenses then perhaps you should contact me and arrange something with me. Would it be so difficult to say,”Sam, I’m helping to pay my mom’s funeral expenses. I’m a little short on cash this month. I’m going to pay you X amount this month and I’ll catch up next month,”? Or even, “I’m going to be paying later this month than I normally do.”

Of course it would! Who am I to request civility from this majestic god? He is so far above me. He owes me nothing and I should be grateful for whatever scraps he throws my way.

He would never do such a thing because it’s much more fun to leave me hanging in the wind, wondering when, or if, he’s going to pay.

I think he loves the game playing. He thinks he’s got all the power when he controls the money. He was ordered to pay on the first. Ooh, let’s see if I can get a toe over the line. He asked if he could pay every other week. Let’s see if I can get the whole foot across the line. Once I okayed that request he promptly shit all over it and decided to pay the full monthly amount but to switch it up and pay four times a month instead. Then he bounced a check, promptly paid what was due and began sending me money electronically. The catch? He now has to send the spousal support in two separate payments, so his total support payment is paid in six installments. Ah, more power.

If you must absolutely know I was catching up on funeral expenses for my mother.

I don’t care if I sound like a total bitch. You pay me and then you worry about your mom’s funeral expenses. When Jezebel and Pastor Fake ask you to contribute to the cause you tell them what you can contribute after you’ve paid your support. You have a legal obligation to pay me support; you have no such legal obligation to pay for your mother’s funeral. Ask your whore to forego tanning or a trip to the nail salon or some fantastic event for her kid so that she can pay a little extra towards the household expenses.

I’m curious as well. #1- If Pastor Fake had all this money to loan you while you were milking a PTSD diagnosis, and you drained your 401k and used it to pay him back instead of helping to support your kids, where did all that money go? Why couldn’t Pastor Fake foot the bill on his own? #2- If you hid the bulk of what I was supposedly looking for then why can’t you pay for your mom’s funeral and pay your support obligation? I would think with all that money you claimed to have stashed away you wouldn’t have a problem with paying all your obligations.

Thank you for your condolences and those of the children as well.

My condolences? You didn’t even bother to inform me that she had died, you asshole! I wasn’t worthy of being notified. I was nothing. So take your request for condolences and shove them up your ass!

You made a good show of playing the victim for Rock Star with your, “I know you hate me but your grandmother loves you like crazy and she’s done nothing to you. You don’t even have to talk to me. I’ll just put the phone up to her ear and you can say something,”. Quite honestly though once time of death had been called I don’t think you ever bothered to tell her, and you certainly didn’t tell your son seeing as how you don’t have his number and can’t think of any way to get it. You also never bothered to inform them of the funeral arrangements. Was that to save yourself the hassle of trying to figure out which kids to bring- your real kids or your fake kids? It might have been awkward, huh? Playing the fucked up version of the Brady Bunch at their grandmother’s funeral. Although to be fair, you do seem to think that a funeral is the place for public unveiling of salacious relationships. It might have been the perfect time to introduce your kids to their replacements!

That’s my long roundabout way of telling you to fuck off with your victim morphing and trying to lay a guilt trip on my kids.

Another question: Why in the hell are you referring to them as “the children”? That sounds more like Harley writing your texts for you. Is she upset she doesn’t have all of your money to play with? Must be a letdown for her. She thought she was getting an additional $5000 per month and it’s more like $2000. Still, not bad for lying on your back.

Furthermore, let’s not pretend that my condolences would have been graciously accepted if they had been extended. You just wanted me to tell you how sorry I was so that you could ignore me and show me how insignificant I am in your life. Or so that you could have told me my condolences were neither needed or wanted.

You’re pissed that I ignored you and didn’t cater to your image of victim.

Do you still not understand that we are not friends? I don’t like you. I don’t like anything about you.

Your mother refused to cut Harley off after your first affair, continued to interact with her knowing the damage she had done to our marriage, and then encouraged her to call you which resulted in you two dipshits reigniting your affair and you planning to leave me. Can’t say I’m much of a fan of hers either.

I know; it’s very upsetting when someone dies and certain people refuse to put them up on a pedestal and canonize them as a saint. Whatever misdeeds occurred before death are supposed to be forgiven. How dare I not humble myself before you and your family, all of whom have treated me horribly and haven’t treated my kids much better?

Finally, let’s not pretend that if it had been my mom you would have been there front and center, offering up condolences and sending flowers. You couldn’t be bothered to accompany me to either of my grandmothers’ funerals, and that was when we were married. I don’t see you spending one single minute trying to comfort me now. Again, we’re not friends. I could easily argue that me not offering up condolences, and you keeping your mouth shut had it happened to me, was actually the kinder thing to do.

I wouldn’t want a birthday card or a Christmas newsletter or condolences from my rapist. I don’t want anything from you either. Much like how you told me you were doing me a favor by setting me free from the burden of being your wife, I did you a favor by not intruding on your grief with my unwanted and insincere condolences.

You’re welcome.

My Life As a Hypocrite

For years I read a debate board for moms and step moms. Rock Star would ask me why I was reading it and I would tell her I was taking notes for when she got her own stepmom. Little did I know…

I was always solidly on the side of the moms. I had very strict lines drawn in my own imaginary life as a divorced mom with a step mom for my own children and a potential stepfather for my own kids.

I remember being amazed at the women who would admit that their step kids didn’t like them. I could never understand why they would put themselves through that. I told myself I would walk away because I didn’t need that kind of drama.

Or they didn’t like the kids. I found those women to be horrible, like they were putting up with the kid in order to get what they really wanted- the man.

I was disgusted by the men who would put the new wife or girlfriend ahead of the existing kids and I felt bad for the kids of the first marriage when they were replaced by the new family.

I always said I would never date a man if his kids didn’t like me. I refused to be the reason a father walked away from his kids, and I would never want to put someone in the position of having to choose between me and his kids.

I always said I would never date until I was legally divorced, and I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved with a guy who had only recently divorced, much less one who hadn’t even finished the process.

I still rail against cheaters who believe their happiness is the be all and end all, not caring at all about the damage left in their wake.

Yet, here I am. I began dating before I was legally divorced. Who the hell knew it was going to take over two years and three court dates before I would be free? The guy I ended up falling head over heels for wasn’t divorced yet; his own wife had left him and moved in with her boyfriend only two months before I met him.

Let me give you some friendly advice. Do as I say and not as I do! The beginning of our relationship was filled with insecurities for me. Chief amongst my worries? Was I a replacement? Was he comparing me to his wife, and if he was, did I come out ahead? Did he miss her? Did he wish I looked more like her? She may be a lying, cheating alcoholic who is batshit crazy but apparently she’s thin and petite.

I remember one particular afternoon he was having a meltdown over a picture that was posted on Facebook. She was floating down the river in a bikini (so I was told; I never saw the picture) and he was seriously losing his shit. I think it was because she was out enjoying herself while he was left with all the responsibilities but it’s been almost a year now so who knows? I cried myself to sleep that afternoon, thinking he wanted some alcoholic chic thin woman who could parade around in a bikini. That’s not me. It will never again be me. Who wants a faithful fatty when you can have hot, thin, and batshit crazy? They always say the crazy ones are the best, you know!

He got through their anniversary like a champ. That didn’t trigger him at all. Her birthday, on the other hand? I was once again wondering what the hell I was doing.

As I told him later, I knew what I was getting into when I started dating him. Although I wasn’t divorced I did have almost two years between D-Day and the time I started dating. I had already worked through many of the things he was now dealing with; I had to remind myself of that quite often.

Here’s a funny little story for you to add to the above. He recently learned that his STBX came over to the house on their anniversary and left him a note telling him that she loved him, along with a disc of old pictures. His son found it and took it because he figured his dad didn’t need to deal with the craziness.

Even now I wonder- why would he take it? Did he think his dad would run back to her? Did he think he would be heartbroken by the message? At that point we had been seeing each other for three months. Did he not see the changes in his dad? Did he not truly believe he was over her? Was there something there that told the kid if his mom opened the door his dad would rush right through in order to get back together?

This is why my advice to those of you freshly divorced or separated is to not date someone who is in the beginning stages of this shit show. Even as fantastic as the mobster is I was still flooded with insecurities and feeling like a replacement. It’s one thing to be told you are not a replacement; it’s another thing entirely to believe it. There were times, especially in the beginning, when I felt like I had absolutely nothing to offer and that everything I did offer she already did and did it better. When those triggers hit him it was hard to remain strong and have faith in what we had. It’s hard to “compete” with 25 years of memories, especially when a lot of that was spent as a happy couple and doing things as a family. Even now I sometimes think it would have been better if we had met this May instead of last May. It would have given him time to process this enormous loss and I wouldn’t have ever felt like a replacement. It would have given his kids more time to adjust to the idea of their father dating someone new. It would have “looked” better. I would have been completely divorced by the time I met him; he would hopefully have been in the process of it.

Really the kids have been the biggest issue. Specifically his kids. Maybe mine are just wired differently. At first I thought it was because they had had almost two years to get used to the idea that their parents were apart and dating, but honestly, within days of me making the announcement regarding the divorce my kids were asking me if I was going to start dating and if I was planning on getting remarried. They were also fine with me dating and not fine with their dad and Harley because they knew he had cheated and I had not.

His on the other hand? His oldest is fine with it. Of course, his oldest has also been through a cheating wife and being left, so he understands. His middle son originally was okay with it, or so we thought, and then decided he wasn’t ready to see his parents with other people. He also apparently was very concerned with whether or not I was fat.

Yes, his mother might have been a liar and an alcoholic who was passed out drunk most of the time. She may have cheated on his dad at least twice, brought her lovers around and passed them off as “friends”, and disappeared for days at a time this last affair. She may have thrown him under the bus during the intervention they held and texted suicide threats to him and his siblings. She may have told him numerous times that she was no longer his mom or that she was “done” with him. But by God she’s thin so that makes her a much better person than me, or at least a much better partner.

He’s getting married in October and after informing the mobster that he and his fiancee were still mulling over whether or not they were going to give both of his parents a plus one, or neither of them would be allowed to bring someone, I took myself out of the three ring circus and let the mobster know I wouldn’t be attending even if I were invited. There was more to it than just that. He had also let his dad know that they had people ready to escort anyone who was not behaving out and away from the reception. Yeah kid, I think you might have to worry more about your thin, alcoholic, crazy mom than your dad and his fat girlfriend. I know how to behave. She does not.

Ultimately it boils down to this: He doesn’t really want me there; they would both be merely tolerating me. And truthfully I do worry about Batshit Crazy causing a scene simply because I’m there. This will be one less thing they have to worry about on their big day. Thankfully they have bouncers in place in case anyone does act up.

Things aren’t much better with the youngest son which is a pity because he reminds me so much of Picasso. He has told his dad that he will be cordial to me (and he has been) but he wants no relationship with me.

Well that’s hurtful! I’m a divine person.

We were all together over New Year’s and I thought things were going well. I guess he told his uncle that it was “awkward”. I think the only thing I could have done to make it less awkward would have been to have not been there. Seriously! I am a low pressure kind of gal. It’s not like I was falling all over myself trying to make conversation and be relevant to his life. I didn’t urge him to sit on my lap and call me Mommy! I hung back. Made conversation when it was relevant. But that was awkward.

I do have one success story. His youngest, a daughter, started off not wanting to know my name. A few months ago she sent me a picture of her in her prom dress the day she bought it. A month ago she sent me a sweet message thanking me for everything I had done for her since I entered her life. I guess I’m not all bad.

This is where the cognitive dissonance comes in. I don’t want to be one of those women who causes a rift between a great dad and his kids. I don’t want his kids seeing me as the woman who took their dad away. I don’t want to be one of those women who only thinks of her own happiness and everyone else be damned.

I guess we could argue that the fact I even have these thoughts running through my mind means I’m not one of those women.

The reality is I no longer care what his kids think. Don’t get me wrong. There is still a part of me that wants everyone to be happy and get along. Note I’m not saying we would be one big blended family; I really think our kids were far too old for that to happen. I would like to think we could take a vacation together or spend a holiday together though. But the biggest part of me says: I’m over it. They can get on board or they can get left behind. I’m too old for this shit. I went through hell in my first marriage and for the last 2 1/2 years of my life. I’m not dealing with crap from anyone anymore.

That makes me feel guilty. Because I don’t want to think like that. I don’t want to be like a cheater who does everything according to what feels good and who thinks only of his or her happiness, never weighing the toll it takes on those around them. Yet at the same time what are my other options?

I could leave him. What would that accomplish though? I could be a martyr, sacrificing my happiness for his kids. He has already said he would be miserable. And his kids? The sad truth is it’s not like they would even care. The fact that I walked away because they weren’t comfortable would not even register with them. They certainly wouldn’t be shamed into feeling bad about the fact their behavior has led to their dad being miserable. Not to mention, they’re not around that often. Me leaving him wouldn’t suddenly result in either of his boys dropping by more often.

The other reality is his kids are not small children. They won’t be living with us. The middle son who finds it so difficult to not have his parents together and to see them with other people is engaged and getting married! He just bought a house. He rarely sees his dad- by his own choice. Because he’s always so busy. This is not some 13 year old who would be trapped with an evil stepmother.

I also know that he has practically begged his daughter to move up with him, and would take his youngest son with him in a heartbeat as well. His door is always open. They are the ones who don’t want to move. His son, in fact, is thinking about moving back to their home state where the oldest resides.

The other angle to this is that I didn’t do anything. I didn’t break their family up. Their dad wasn’t sneaking around behind their mom’s back to meet up with me. He wasn’t spending afternoons or weekends away with me and then going home to his clueless wife, telling her he loved her and wanted to grow old with her. She was living with her boyfriend at the time we met. She had already left.

Sure, some could argue that he wasn’t divorced yet and if I wasn’t in the picture then maybe he would have taken her back every time she attempted to keep him hooked on her line. What kind of life is that though? What kind of message is that? I think so little of myself that I allow my spouse to go off and fuck whomever whenever and when my spouse decides to come back home I’m always ready and willing to forgive and forget and take that lying cheater back. Until they go off and do it again. Of course, I’ll be here waiting because that’s my role in life. To wait patiently for my cheater to get bored of fucking strange people.

Then I look at CF, going to cheer competitions and show and tell. Her kids have accepted him and he broke up their family! A key difference could be he was buying them off…. nonetheless, he’s the cheater and her kids are fine with him.

I’m not the cheater. I’m a good person. I’m kind and funny. I’ve been told I have the patience of Job. His siblings see the difference in him. Why can’t his kids? He’s gone from being a heartbroken, sobbing mess into what he is today. My own daughter says, “What’s their problem? Why don’t they want their dad to be happy? I know when you are sad or stressed out it makes me sad and anxious. I prefer it when you are happy.” I’ve told him maybe he wasn’t miserable long enough. Or maybe he did such a bang up job of putting on a happy face and shielding them from the fallout of their mother’s behavior they didn’t realize how unhappy the union was.

I hate feeling like I’m coming between a man and his kids. I worry about how they might feel with him moving up here and hanging out with my kids. Will they think they’ve been replaced? Will they resent me for taking their dad away? That cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

At the heart of it all I just would like to be accepted. I’d like for them to get to the point where they realize I’m a good person and I make him happy. I’d like for them to wrap their minds around the fact that their dad is a more pleasant person to be around now that he isn’t trying to police his wife and keep her from drinking. He doesn’t wake up with a pit in his stomach because he has no idea how the day is going to unfold. Will she be drunk? Will she be sober? He doesn’t have to search the house for bottles of alcohol. He laughs. He’s in a good mood. He’s more patient. I’d like for them to think, “Wow, she’s a really funny, happy, awesome person. She’s always warm and welcoming. She never pushes too hard to be in our lives. She doesn’t try to be my mom. She doesn’t try to influence my relationship with my dad. She lets us solve our own problems between ourselves. She always buys great gifts at Christmas and has the cupboards filled with our favorite foods when we come to visit.”

Is that too much to ask?