Co-Parenting: Another Approach

I learned my lesson, people. The last time I saw someone give what I thought could be potentially harmful co-parenting advice I titled it, More Bad Advice. This time I shall label it, “Another Approach”. Perhaps people will not call for my head this time around. I’m also not going to link to the article this time so that should help as well.

Tip #1

The relationship is over. It is not your job to “ruin” the life of your ex. Please refrain from gossip that may harm the image of your child’s other parent. Remember that is still their parent and you chose them. Taking the high road, especially when you’ve been handed the short end of the stick, will go a long way in establishing a dynamic that is good for all parties.

First of all, who has said anything about ruining another person’s life? If by “ruining” you mean “imposing consequences” then I’m all for it! Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener. Sometimes when you act like a jackass people aren’t willing to help you out.

As far as gossiping goes I do my best to follow Chump Lady’s lead. I report the facts. I do not editorialize. If the facts lead others to believe you’re a shitty person… what can I say? If you wanted people to speak more kindly about it perhaps you should have acted better.

I always find it remarkable that the person who is shit on is the one being given the advice. Hey, even if your partner has completely fucked you over, take the high road. That’s what good people do. You want people to think you’re a good person, don’t you? Do you want people to think you’re bitter and angry? Then you’d better smile and be willing to work with fuckwits. Otherwise everyone is going to know you’re a horrible person who deserved whatever injustice you’ve been dealt.

Tip #2

When you start dating, vet your dates. If a person shows major signs of distrust or envy when it comes to your ex, they may not be mature enough to handle a healthy dynamic. For example, if they cringe at the thought of the two of you going to an event to support your in common child, sincerely take that as a red flag.

Vet your dates? Are there a lot of people out there who don’t do this naturally? Oh him? He was my prison pen pal. I’m sure he’ll be great around my kids. Sure, I had a little bit of a setback with that hitchhiker I picked up last summer… Like I knew he had a head in the duffel bag! But this guy is different. He wasn’t even in on murder. And he’s innocent! It was all a big conspiracy! He was framed! 

All snark aside, I think this can actually be very good advice. If your new partner becomes a green eyed monster whenever you and the ex need to have a conversation about your shared child, or throws a fit if you say hello when you bump into one another at a kid’s event, you probably need to examine that. This is probably not a good pick for a future partner, especially if you have young children and will need to co-parent for a while.

Similarly, I would be leery of the exes that do everything together. If you, new partner, think it’s weird for them to go to brunch every Sunday to discuss little Sydney, or think it’s unnecessary for them to co-chair the big spring carnival, or wonder why they still go to the movies together, this might not be a good relationship for you. They seem a little too entwined to me.

With that said, if you decide you want to act like one big happy, polygamous family, good for you! I won’t fault you for that. I, however, do not wish to hang out with the ex at every event. I prefer cordial when necessary. Not buddies. Not spending vacations together. No hanging out. Then again, that’s my line. You are certainly free to draw a different one.

Tip #3

When separating from the ex you share children with, you should consider it your job to assist when possible the betterment of that ex. What’s that mean? If you learn about an opportunity they could benefit from like a job, let them know about it. Or maybe you were their transportation before the break and they still need you to maintain employment, just do it. For as long as you can. And give a warning before you cease. Be the bigger person. Your kids are watching.

Give me a break! It is not your job to assist them. That stopped being your job when the relationship ended. How crazy would it be if we quit an actual job and people continued to tell us it would behoove us to continue to do that job? Listen, Gloria, I know you quit your job at the bank but don’t you think you owe it to us to come in and assist our customers? If you don’t do it, who will? Here. Just sit down right here at this desk. Turn on that computer. Maybe throw a loan or two together. Open up an account. You owe us that much. It’s your job to do your job that you quit. What kind of a person are you? Are you a quitter, Gloria? Are you?  A little warning that you weren’t going to continue to do this after you left the bank would have been nice.

You want a warning that I’m no longer going to continue to do things for you? Here’s your warning- I’m divorcing you!

Jesus Christ on crutches! It reminds me of Jackass and him asking me if we were still going to have spaghetti for dinner after I told him I knew he was fucking Harley. Gee whiz! I can’t think of a single reason I wouldn’t want to. Oh yes, except for that whole, “You’re fucking a whore!” thing. That makes me not want to cook for you anymore. FYI: Spoiler alert! I won’t be doing your laundry anymore either.

And always with the ominous warning: Your kids are watching!  Oh no! You mean my kids might actually see me standing up for myself? They might actually see me refuse to take any more shit? How awful! My God, they may not grow up to be co-dependent people; they might actually develop a backbone.

Generally I try to be open minded. I try very hard not to tell people what to do. But I’m begging you. Please, please don’t take this awful advice and continue to prop up someone who shits all over you. It is NOT YOUR JOB! Why? Because this person FIRED YOU FROM YOUR JOB! That’s why!

With that said if you were the asshole then I suppose it’s fine to continue to help out. Perhaps it will ease your guilty conscience.

The author goes on to say that she knows some of these examples are far fetched but implores the reader to hear her out. Too often when we split we want to make sure life is not better for our ex’s without us. It’s true. We all like to think we are the best thing that has ever happened to anybody we’ve come in contact with.

Eh. I don’t think CF deserves to have a wonderful life after what he’s done to me and our kids. I think the life he’s living is far better than the life he deserves. I definitely don’t think it’s my job to make sure his life hums along and that he has everything he wants. I owe him nothing. And quite honestly, I don’t have to do anything to make his life miserable. He’s done a fine job all on his own.

Instead, she wants us to get to what’s important. The children. Apparently, if you speak negatively about the other parent that is going to trickle down onto the child and damage their fragile psyche. If Mommy’s a bitch that must mean I’m a bitch. If Daddy’s an asshole, then I must be an asshole. Or so goes the conventional wisdom. The author points out that even if what you are saying are all facts you shouldn’t speak them because you could traumatize your children with that information.

I say, once again, if learning the facts about what you are doing would traumatize your children then YOUR BEHAVIOR is what is wrong. You can’t argue that cheating is okay or beating your partner is okay or gambling away your paycheck is okay or whatever behavior is okay, but actually telling your kids the truth about that behavior is traumatizing and never right. No, no. If it’s okay to do it then it’s okay to talk about it.

She goes on to tell a fun little story about her ex never paying child support. The man was $22k behind. Hmmm…. sounds familiar. Due to circumstances beyond her control he still wound up in front of a judge who was only too willing to throw him in jail for failure to pay. But Your Honor, this is a man who, despite being a deadbeat, sees his children every chance he had and his children appreciate that. His presence is so much more important than the money it takes to raise them. She decided to withdraw her petition for support and forfeited the past due amount. She didn’t want to be left having to explain why dear ol’ daddy had to “go away” for a year.

You know what? Good for her if she can forgive that debt and be completely fine without his financial help. Not everybody can, though. I sure as hell can’t say, “Hey, Cousinfucker, don’t worry about support. I’ll forgive it all. We’ll make it work on my hefty $28,000/year. I love the fact that I don’t make enough to have a home of my own. I enjoy sleeping on the couch. You and the whore take your combined $180,000 and go have yourselves a real fun time. You deserve it!”

Something tells me, though, that this woman always worked. She wasn’t a stay at home mom who followed her husband across the country. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she had been the primary breadwinner. I would also be willing to bet that if she wasn’t the primary breadwinner, that she at least made close to, if not equal to, what the father of her kids made. God bless those who are able to support their kids on their own. Sadly, not all of us can. And if you’re one of those who can’t you shouldn’t be made to feel as though you’re doing something wrong by insisting upon child support being paid.

I would LOVE to find a job paying me $60-$80,000 a year. I would LOVE to be able to tell Cousinfucker to fuck off, that I don’t need his goddamn money and he will NEVER be able to influence my life again. Alas, I doubt that will ever happen so I do the only other thing I can. I hold his feet to the fire. If necessary, I’ll throw his ass in jail.

What would I tell my kids if their dad went away for a year? Well, for starters it wouldn’t be a big change. But even if it were they are old enough that I would simply tell them the truth. Your dad owes thousands in back child support. The state takes his obligation to support his children seriously. He’s going to jail for a year as a consequence for not paying his child support, just like he could go to jail if he had been caught driving drunk or if he robbed a store. Honestly, I think that explanation is simple enough even for a young child. But if you think that’s too complicated try this: You know how when you do something you’re not supposed to, or I tell you to do something and you don’t do it so then you have to go to time out? When adults do things they’re not supposed to, or don’t do things they are supposed to they have consequences, too. Daddy’s going to an adult time out. We call it jail.

She goes on to say that the look on the judge’s and sheriff’s faces made it all worth it because they thought of him as cheap labor. That wasn’t going to happen on HER watch. He was her kid’s hero. I need them to see him as SUPERMAN. Really? A deadbeat is their hero? A man who leaves their mother to not only physically take care of them but also financially bear the entire burden? That is one awesome example.

She ends it by saying she needs her kids to know that both of their parents love them, emphasis on both. She wants them to have another person to run to if she’s not available. I need them to receive all the love God has made for them, even if it comes from their dad’s new love. She is in my place when I’m not there so she is important and is to be respected. She is important because she is there to enhance his happiness so we need her on board with the co-parenting dynamic so she doesn’t disrupt the flow of things.

Oh. Hell. No. For the record, I have no objection to them running to the other parent; however, the “new love” is not my replacement. She is not “the momma of the house”. She is not their momma. Period. She can be pleasant. She can be nice. She can take them to the movies. Hell, my wallet would appreciate it if she would take my daughter shopping. But she does not take over as momma. Even when I’m not there. Even when I’m dead she will not be momma.

Plus, I thought it was important to vet your dating partners. Why is her participation necessary for their co-parenting dynamic? How can she disrupt the flow of things? It is my belief that the other parent might be a little less than stellar if she has that much influence. Then again the man didn’t believe in paying child support so…

Also, she advises that you never be envious of the new love because “he/she is your ex for a reason.”

Sometimes that reason is because your ex is a lying cheater who tries to skirt child support. Sometimes that “new love” is the whore that knowingly fucked your then partner with absolutely no regard for you or your children.

She does wisely advise those who are dealing with a physically abusive person not to try to follow along with this. I think it should go even further.

You are not a failure as a person or a parent if you do not have the blended, happy model that is portrayed on television comedies. You are not a horrible person if you don’t want to pose for “divorce selfies” (dear sweet baby Jesus, yes, that’s a thing) on the courthouse steps. You do NOT need to get together with your ex and the new love to discuss “your” children. You no longer need to behave as your ex’s secretary; it is not a failing to say, “No more.” Your kids will be fine if Mommy and Daddy don’t vacation together or spend the holidays together. You don’t need to fool the world into believing you’re still a happily married couple even after you’ve divorced. You can have your own schedule, parent your own way, have your own set of cleats or tennis rackets or school uniforms and learn to rely on a new support system. That’s all fine if that’s what you want. Hell, I would encourage it.

I’ve also said many times that if being cooperative works in your situation then excellent. I’m happy for you and would never try to talk you into being uncooperative just for the sake of screwing with your ex. HOWEVER, what the author preaches is not the gold standard for co-parenting. Sometimes it’s just not going to work. Sometimes you are co-parenting with a person who does not have your best interest at heart and certainly doesn’t have the kids’ best interests at heart. Sometimes you are dealing with a person who hates you more than they love their kids. And sometimes you’re dealing with a person who just doesn’t care and doesn’t place a priority on their kids. Figure out if you’re in one of those situations and take it from there.

You do not need to act like a doormat in order to co-parent. I would argue that modeling such behavior is actually harmful to your children. You teach them to let people walk all over them. You teach them their needs are not important. You teach them that pleasing others is so much more important than anything else- like standing up for yourself or your principles, or demanding what is rightfully yours.

Remember, cooperation and civility are nice bonuses, but they aren’t necessary in order to raise some damn fine children. If you are willing and able to do that with your ex, good for you. But if you’re dealing with a toxic person there is no shame in walking away and letting them pick up their own mess.

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.

A Word About Being Bitter

Bitter is just one of those catch all words they use to make you shut up.

I read that one time by a commenter over on Chump Lady. I paraphrased a bit but the message is the same. I think it’s very true. I’ve also pointed out before that people are uncomfortable with people being angry. You can be sad. For an appointed amount of time. You can be upset or distraught. Also for a pre-determined length of time. But anger is a no-no. People don’t know how to react and they get uncomfortable. Then they try to shut you down.

I won’t be shut down. I’m righteously angry and I’ll get over it when I’m damn well ready to. I’m in the fight of my life right now. I don’t have time to pretend that everything is sunshine and rainbows and unicorns eating fairy dust mixed with golden nuggets.

With that out of the way I have to say I’m amused at how many of the “new” commenters on my blog the other day referred to me as “bitter”, “filled with rage”, and “angry”. Honestly, I felt kinda like I did that night when I read Cousinfucker’s texts to Jezebel, telling her that I wrote horrible things about him and said he was annoying me and wasting my time. I couldn’t believe I had written such vile things about him; when I looked back it turned out I hadn’t. It was a figment of his imagination. Completely. I had written nothing during this time he said I was maligning him. I did the same thing this time; I had to go back and re-read because I thought I had gone kind of easy on the original author. I thought, “Maybe I’m crazy and I really did do a hatchet job.” But no. It was pretty tame compared to some of what I write. I did concede to one commenter that I probably could have picked a better title. Perhaps, “Another Option” or “A Different Path” might have been a better title than “More Bad Advice”. It would have suited it better seeing as how I didn’t think his advice was totally off the wall insane and horrible.

I mean, I dared to tell people that might not have the fuzziest of feelings towards their ex that it wasn’t the end of the world. That it was normal and they shouldn’t beat themselves up. I even made a joke about it not being as if they actually had the power to do something by simply thinking about it and if they could then to please think about me buying the winning Powerball ticket. Funny stuff. Not angry. Not bitter. Not raging.

I did take issue with this idea that somehow I was to blame for picking an asshole to father my children. He wasn’t an asshole when I married him. Or at least he hid it well. I never in a million years would have pegged him as a guy who would cheat on me. I thought maybe he would leave me one day but I never thought he’d cheat. Jeez freakin’ Louise, I had one of his friends tell me CF would never cheat. He was supposedly too loyal. I also never thought he would abandon his children or flat out refuse to pay child and spousal support. Joke’s on me because he’s done all three of those things.

I dared to suggest that planning events on your own time, or finding a support system that doesn’t include your ex, or buying another whatever item is needed is a perfectly legitimate way to navigate this divorced parenting situation. How horrible! I didn’t say DON’T cooperate with one another. I said, “Hey, don’t feel guilty if that doesn’t work for you. Instead of kissing your ex’s ass, especially if the ex is an ass, think about these alternatives.” But apparently that is talking out of both sides of your mouth. You know, you agree that something can be good or at least not harmful and then suggest an alternative.

I also said I had no problem with parents sharing information and that I think it’s a shitty thing to do to your kid when you won’t let them contact their other parent. But apparently the fact that I no longer consider myself CF’s personal secretary is an affront to everyone who loves being buddy-buddy with their ex.

I will say again it’s not a side effect of treating your ex well that should insure you know about doctor’s appointments and school happenings and athletic events. In some cases, your ex should be telling you regardless. Kinda like what I did when I let CF know about Rock Star’s injuries over the summer. I told him despite the fact that he hasn’t seen her in over a year. Not because we’re best buds, not because he treats me well, but because he is her father and as the default custodial parent I have an obligation to share.

I also ventured forth with this radical idea of actually talking to your child to get information. That, apparently, is bitterness speaking because anyone with an ounce of common sense knows you can’t ask your own child what they are up to. <<< BTW, that was sarcasm in case you couldn’t catch it.

I said repeatedly that most of the things he views as a perk for treating your ex well could very easily be seen as treating your child well. It hurts your child when they are prevented from talking to the other parent. It hurts your child when they’d like to see their favorite cousin who is in town for the weekend but can’t because the parents won’t switch weekends or give extra time- just because.

I dared to speculate that some of those kids who aren’t healthy and happy aren’t healthy and happy because of the other parent’s behavior and not because their parents aren’t acting like they’re best friends despite the divorce. I’m sure any issues my friend’s daughters may have is not due to the fact that their mom doesn’t want to sit next to their father at a school or sporting event. More than likely it’s due to the fact that he is an out of control alcoholic who attempted to strangle one of them. But I could be wrong and maybe everything would be fine if only Mommy and Daddy would be best friends. <<< more sarcasm

I also suggested that maybe you need new friends if you have to continue to act like everything your ex does is wonderful, even when it’s not wonderful. I guess that’s the bitterness talking. Or maybe the rage. I tend to think it’s practical. They’re not really your friends if they’re fine with someone gutting you. I prefer my friends be loyal to me, not my spouse who left me. Your mileage might vary. But what do I know? I’m the person that has pretty much cut off everyone in CF’s circle if they support him and the whore. Self-preservation and sanity are such frowned upon commodities!

I stand by my suggestion that even if you can’t stand your ex that you can still show up at child related functions and support your kid. You don’t need to sit next to the ex. No one needs to be fooled into thinking the two of you are still married. Why is that so freaking important if you wanted a divorce anyway? You put on your big boy or big girl panties and you go and support your child. I’ll put forth an even more radical notion. If you simply cannot bear to be around the ex it’s fine to skip an event or two, or to even take turns going. Your kid is not going to die or suffer some sort of self-esteem issue if both Mommy and Daddy are not at every single function the kid has. My first choice, of course, would be to just go and deal. It’s usually a pretty big space so you shouldn’t have to see or interact with the ex anyway. But if it is that unbearable don’t go. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible parent if you don’t go. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible person if you don’t go and hang out with your ex.

I will vehemently oppose this idea I need to accept the fact that I loved, or still love him in some way in order to feel better about myself. And the idea that we now have a new kind of love along with a brand new family model.

No, I don’t love him. I don’t even like him. The fact that I loved him at one point in time is irrelevant. At one point in my life I wanted to be a veterinarian. That does not mean I am one now. At one point, not that long ago, CF was depositing his entire paycheck into our joint checking account. That’s not happening anymore either. The fact that it used to doesn’t mean shit; it certainly isn’t paying my bills.

I’m not rejecting any sort of reality by realizing that the marriage we once had is now over. I’m not rejecting any sort of reality by recognizing that the person I thought my husband was does not exist; in fact, he may never have existed. I’m sure as hell not rejecting reality by not wanting to be best of friends with the disordered, lying, cheating sonofabitch. He’s not a good person. I like to hang around good people.

We do not have a new kind of love and we do not have a brand new family model. Divorce ends families. It does not create a new, better kind of family. It reminds me of that crap he tried to pull shortly after I discovered his affair. He was all, “Let’s build a new relationship built on happiness for one another; let’s show our kids that happiness is vital for our well being.” Fuck you, Cousinfucker! That’s easy enough for you to say. You’ve got your new life all mapped out. You did it before you ever left. You’ve got a new whore, new kids; you’re looking for a new job and are planning on moving to a new state. And what do I have? I’m destitute, being left to raise two kids who have lived a life of privilege. I don’t have a new man. I don’t have a fucking job. And I’m the one being left to pick up all of the pieces of the family you’ve broken while you go along your merry little way without taking a second glance back. If that’s rage or bitterness talking, well, I’m okay with that.

Once again, I think it’s being practical. I think you end up being a hell of a lot better off not thinking that your ex owes you anything. I’ll go so far as saying you end up faring a hell of a lot better when you don’t rely upon them. You never know when the new family will take precedence, when the new girlfriend or current mistress will get upset with something you’ve tried to work out together, when it will simply no longer be convenient for your ex to assist you. Stepkids or new babies can easily become the priority. What happens if the ex moves with the new family and now he or she is no longer there to help out with your shared child? You’re kinda screwed; instead of cultivating a new support system, one that doesn’t include the person who made vows to you and then called, “Take back!” at best, who lied and cheated and has attempted to destroy you at worst, you’ve relied upon your ex. You relied upon the very person you shouldn’t have because they’ve already shown you that they don’t keep their word. Why?

Because the Internet is full of people who will tell you to stuff down shit sandwich after shit sandwich for the good of the children. It’s full of people who will tell you that if you’re not “friends” with your ex then obviously you are bitter and angry and can’t move on. And that makes the children sad.

I was also amazed at all the concern over my children finding my blog and being hurt by what they read, and this idea that there was no way I could keep my feelings from my kids.

First, as I already pointed out, the Internet is a very big place. I highly doubt they will stumble upon it. Second, if they did come across it I’m not writing about anything they haven’t already lived through. They are fully aware that their father deserted them. They are fully aware of the fact that he’s having an affair with his cousin. They are fully aware that everyone in his immediate family is perfectly fine with his affair and that they think it is wonderful. They are also fully aware of the fact that we had to move out of our home and out of the state because he lost his job and made absolutely no attempt to pay support. My daughter is fully aware of the fact that she had to switch high schools right before her junior year and that she didn’t get her license until she was almost 17 because she had to start all over with a learner’s permit a month before she was due to get her license.

I chose not to lie to my kids. They were 13 and 15 when this happened. When they asked where their dad was after yet another disappearing act on his behalf I answered honestly. He’s in his home state with his girlfriend. Remember, this is the same man who couldn’t go out to dinner with us. He couldn’t go out to dinner with his own kids for their birthdays because he was “afraid” of breaking down. He stayed secluded in the bedroom and couldn’t go out. Naturally they are curious as to how it is that he is suddenly taking off for the weekend every time they turn around. I was honest. I wasn’t going to try to gaslight them or fall on my sword for the lying jackass. When they asked me if everyone down there knew about the affair I replied simply, “Yes.” When her voice got higher and she asked, “And they’re okay with it?” My answer once again was a simple yes.

I’m also perfectly capable of not talking to my kids about everything I might talk to another adult about. There are so many awful things that he has done that my kids have no idea about because I didn’t share it with them. $30k blown on the whore and her kids on such important things as sporting equipment, eye care, Vera Bradley, and numerous restaurants? Didn’t tell them. Him accompanying her youngest to show and tell? Never said a word. Him donning a t-shirt with her daughter’s school mascot and going to her cheerleading competition? Didn’t mention it. Spending just as much, if not more, on her kids for Christmas? They have no idea because I never told them. The engagement ring he bought the whore? The puppies (yes, plural) he bought her kids? The promises of a car to her oldest? They know nothing about any of that. Talking about how much the whore misses having him in her bed when he returns home after a long weekend? Again, not me talking about it. Him moving into a new house that looks almost exactly like our old home? Have not clued them in. Would you like to take a guess as to who it is that posts all that kind of crap over Facebook? Harley and CF!

Harley loves Facebook. She loves tagging her brand new love in all of her posts. She loves letting everyone know how blissfully happy she is now that she has cheated on her husband and is fucking mine! Why wouldn’t she? She gets major kibbles from all the sycophants around her, telling her how happy she looks and how she deserves it. I think she deserves a quick roundhouse kick to the head but that’s neither here nor there and we’re getting off track. The main point is it’s pretty silly to clutch your pearls and moan in despair that one day the children might read your blog when dear old Dad and his whore of a cousin post about that crap on a public Facebook page! Um, CF has sent a friend request to his daughter numerous times; I think she’s actually accepted it. So… maybe if knowing that her dad couldn’t be bothered to attend many of her sporting events while he hightails it to the whore’s kid’s events proudly wearing her high school colors might cause his own daughter pain then might I suggest he and the whore not post about that shit where she can read it? I can goddamn guarantee she can find her dad’s Facebook page (especially considering they are friends) a hell of a lot easier than she can find my blog.

I think my favorite part though was when it was suggested that my kids could sniff out fake-ness, suggesting that there was no way I could rage against Cousinfucker and call him “unsavory names” on my blog and yet still remind them of the (few) good things he had done, or try to recall the (few) good memories we had. Because again it’s almost impossible to vent in an anonymous blog and not say the exact same words verbatim to your kids… I have to wonder though, how authentic is it to force yourself to be friendly with someone who has walked all over you, humiliated you, lied to you, broken your heart, and shattered your life? Isn’t pretending that everything is just awesome and you love this new life that has been forced upon you fake?

Let’s Be Friends!

I hear this a lot from people who talk about their cheater’s reaction and from cheater’s themselves who think that once the divorce is over that they and the betrayed spouse will be best of buddies. “I’m hoping my spouse and I can be friends after the divorce. I think we will be. Sure, he/she will be mad for a little while but they’ll get over it. Maybe we can even double date sometime.” I guess it’s true what they say. Affairs really do cause people to lose their damn minds.

I’m not saying it never happens. On another board I frequently read there is a longtime poster who is friendly with her ex and his wife, who was the other woman. She even babysat their kids once upon a time and is known as Aunt to them. Hell, they vacation together! Another woman on that same board was cheated on by her husband of twenty plus years. She’s not friendly with the other woman turned wife, not even after all of these years, but she does consider her ex-husband to be a friend. She’s actually proud of the fact that they are friends.

Just in case anyone was wondering where I stood on the whole “friendship after gutting me, betraying me, lying to me and destroying my life” thing, I’m solidly in the corner of, “No fucking way.” I’m sure that’s shocking to most of you.

Look, the way I see it why would I want to be friends with someone like that? Or as someone over on Chump Lady once put it: You want to be friends after what you did to me as my husband?

This person has lied and cheated. Why would anyone believe that now that they’re “friends” this person won’t continue to lie and cheat, gaslight and betray? I depend on my friends to have my back, not stab me in it. I expect my friends to care about me and my best interests; someone who has cheated on me has demonstrated they don’t give one single solitary fuck about me or my best interests. I expect my friends to be loyal to me. A person who cheats on me isn’t going to be loyal now that we’re “friends”. Bottom line: I prefer friends who don’t lie to me. Actually, it’s not so much a preference as it is a prerequisite.

Okay, just for shits and grins let’s pretend that I actually buy this “friendship after an affair” bullshit. Let’s pretend millions of other betrayed spouses buy it, too. It sure sounds like a swell idea, Wally. So tell me, how’s it going to work?

Are you going to call me up on the phone and have long conversations with me? You didn’t want to do that as my husband so why are you so willing to do it now that we’re divorced and you’re fucking a whore? The same whore you left me for.

Are we going to text each other all day? First, what on earth would we talk about all day long? I find people who need to text each other constantly juvenile. Second, I’m not even able to text all day long. I’ve got this thing called a job. I’ve actually got two things called a job. And I can’t be on my phone while I’m working either of them. Maybe once you start making obscene amounts of money they don’t care how much you’re on your phone. Lord knows CF told me many times about how he played games all day long. But when you’re simply a mindless peon you have to put your phone away, which means I can’t text with you all day long to tell you about every minute of my tedious life.

Hey, I just cashed a check! Oh wow, I just cashed another one. Oh, this time it was a withdrawal. Holy shit! I just made a deposit. Oops, answered a phone call. Made another checking deposit. Cashed in some coins. I know; this stuff is fascinating.

Would we go out to dinner together? Would we catch a movie? Maybe go to the casinos or take a walk or see a play or sit down and watch television together? Hey, I know! We could go to the next Chump Lady book launch party together! I’ll introduce you to her. You’ll love her.

Seriously, what is this friendship supposed to look like? And do I have to hang out with your whore as well? Because that’s not happening. I’ll throat punch that bitch.

Don’t tell me how much you admire me and appreciate me. Don’t tell me how you want us to move forward into a new relationship that is defined by us being happy for each other in our new lives. I don’t give a shit about your new life. Your new life came at MY expense. Frankly, I hope your new life crashes and burns. I hope your dick falls off. I hope your whore dies a horrible death. I hope you’re miserable for the rest of your dickless life. Go fuck yourself and your happiness. You’re a liar and a cheater and I don’t wish to be friends with people who stab me in the back and betray me.

I’d no sooner want to hang out with the guy who cheated on me than I would want to hang out with the guy who kidnapped my kids or raped me. Sorry. You’re in that category now. If you wanted to be my friend you shouldn’t have cheated on me.

In the end I think it comes down to two primary motivations- image management and keeping the other woman (or man) on a short leash.

Hey, if someone cheats on their spouse and they continue to be friends that has got to be nerve wracking for the affair partner. This person was supposed to be so awful, so horrible, that their beloved was forced to cheat on them. If not for their egregious behavior the affair partner’s beloved would never have been tempted to turn towards another person. So how come they’re still friends? Why is he texting her (or why is she texting him?)? Why are they meeting for friendly dinners or lunches? This makes no sense. Maybe your soul mate isn’t going to leave behind the wretched spouse after all. By golly, you’ll just have to dance harder and prettier to make sure you’re still #1. Isn’t that a lucky break for the cheater? Yep, not discarding the former wife (or husband) sure keeps the mistress turned main squeeze/new wife in check. Maybe once those marriage vows were said they realized they married a person who doesn’t have a problem cheating on their spouse. And lying to them about it. Dance, dance, dance! A cheater’s got to keep his or her options open. If you won’t dance pretty they’ll find someone who will.

And if the betrayed spouse agrees to go along with the friendship bullshit then the cheater can say, “See? I didn’t do anything wrong. We’re still friends. Would we be friends if I had done anything horrible to my spouse? Of course not! So obviously we simply grew apart. There were problems in the marriage but now we’re going to go forward as best of friends who work together cooperatively for the sake of our children. No need to judge me or label me a low down yellow-bellied slime bucket cheater because my former spouse and I are friends!” Image management, people. Image management.

They can tell everyone that they’re still a wonderful person who refuses to be defined by their cheating, lying, backstabbing behavior. If they had any guilt the friendship assuages it. Again, what a lucky break for the cheater.

Personally, if someone wants to remain friends with their cheating ex I don’t care. Hell, they can make nice with the skanky ass ho, too, if it makes them feel better. I, however, have no desire to play nice with the ex and his whore. I will never be friends with either of them. They have absolutely nothing of value to add to my life. They’re manipulative liars with no conscience. I try to stay away from people like that. I would advise everyone else to do the same.

Dealing Gracefully With Infidelity (What a Load of Bullshit!)

Have you seen the article going around on Facebook about the revenge some betrayed spouses/girlfriends took? I’m pretty sure that all of them were very public outings of the cheater. Rented billboards. Yard sales with huge signs about everything being free because he’s a cheater. Writing on truck windows. Banners hung from porches or staked in the yard. The occasional graffiti job on a beloved vehicle. An ad in the paper congratulating the cheating husband and his mistress on their pregnancy. One person even did a treasure hunt.

I like to read the comments because I’m always amazed at the people who think the best thing to do is say nothing and to never take any kind of revenge. They call them crazy, say it’s no wonder they were cheated on, tsk tsk at the idea of airing their dirty laundry, etc. Of course, the number one comment seems to be that the best revenge is living well.

I think that’s all a load of bullshit. I’m tired of being told to keep my mouth shut. I’m tired of hearing someone shamed because they finally got fed up with their cheater and let the world know what they’ve been up to.

Why is telling everyone what they’ve done so bad? It’s not like the cheaters are ashamed of what they’re doing! I’m sure if you asked them they would tell you they are doing absolutely nothing wrong and they are entitled to this happiness. So what’s the big deal? Say it loud and say it proud! This is my whore and I love her! I left my wife and kids for this walking piece of shit! Isn’t she precious? Wouldn’t you abandon your family for her, too?

It’s another way to keep us in our place. Don’t say anything. Smile. Get on with your life. Don’t be bitter. Don’t talk about it. Don’t air your dirty laundry; what happened between the two of you is best kept between you two. Silence is golden. If you out him (or her) you’ll just make yourself look bad. Don’t talk badly about the cheater; you’ll look crazy. The best revenge is living well. Is it? I kinda think the best revenge would be watching the cheater’s life fall completely apart. Or attending his funeral and finding out there’s a million dollar life insurance policy on him which I get to collect on!

I say speak up! Don’t stay silent. That’s what cheaters count on. They count on everyone around you shaming you into silence. They count on you appearing as the crazy one when you out them. They get to skip merrily along, living their fraudulent lives, telling lies, fucking whores and you’re just supposed to sit there and smile. Keep their dirty little secrets. Well, no more!

We don’t owe it to them to be their PR agents. We don’t owe it to them to shut up. It’s time we stop letting them write the narrative. Stand up and tell people what they’ve done. Don’t let people bully you into silence.

They want us to stay quiet because the truth is uncomfortable. Being friends with someone who is chasing happiness doesn’t sound like a bad thing. Being friends with someone who has abandoned his wife and kids doesn’t sound as nice. Telling yourself that someone deserved to get cheated on because he or she is obviously crazy because, gee, look at how he or she talks about the ex, means that you’ll never get cheated on so long as you don’t act like that. If they allow you to tell your story, all of it with all the dirty details and all the horror of what you actually experienced, then it’s not as easy to whitewash infidelity and act like it’s no big deal, or something that is between the couple. Cheating is not some minor issue. It is brutal. It destroys families. It can be financially devastating. It sometimes leaves kids without a parent. It alters lives. There is nothing pretty or simple about adultery but as long as you don’t air your dirty laundry no one has to know that. I would go so far as to say some of those people are simply jealous because they didn’t have the guts to do something as creative or as bold when someone broke their heart.

I haven’t taken on any shame for being cheated on. He did it, not me. He’s the one with crappy character and entitlement issues. While I’ve privately told people what he’s done- my family, my friends, my closer friends on Facebook, right now I’m not taking my own advice because I’m sure I will have a court date sometime in the near future. I don’t want to give him any public ammunition. But after the court hearing, when the divorce is final? Oh, I plan to sing like a canary. And anyone who doesn’t like it can kiss my ass!

A Letter to My Kids

Hey Kids,

The time has come for you to find out that your mom is not all powerful.  That I am, in fact, human and I make mistakes.  So I want to apologize to both of you.

I’m sorry I picked such a wretched excuse for a human being to be your father.  He has failed you in ways I couldn’t even begin to imagine.  For years I listened to him whine on and on about his father and how he was rejected by him.  But you know what?  He always financially supported him and that’s more than I can say for your own dad.

I’m sorry I chose to be a stay at home mom instead of working a job so that when this time came I could support you without his help.  Don’t get me wrong.  I loved being at home with the two of you.  I loved being the one to take you places and plan school parties and volunteer at your schools.  I loved going on field trips and being here at home at the end of day.  I loved being able to watch you at all of your meets and games, being the one to drop you off and pick you up, being able to travel with you.  I truly did.  In hindsight, though, I never should have done it.  I should have worked.  I should have told your dad that his career wasn’t more important than my own job.  I should have followed my passion and done something with my life aside from being your mom.  I know that sounds like a shitty thing to say and I don’t mean it to be because, again, I loved being here for you.  I still do.  But I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place now.  I’m sinking fast and I’m taking both of you with me.

I’m sorry I didn’t stand up to him more and baby and cater to him less.  Maybe if that had been the case he would have left sooner and I would have more options.  Maybe it would have helped and he never would have done any of this.

I’m sorry I can’t keep you here through graduation, Rock Star.  I cry every time I think about it even though everyone tells me you’re going to be fine.  I’m going to end gymnastics for you forever.  I’m going to take away you being captain for your team.  I know high school gymnastics was not what you wanted and won’t take you to college but it was better than no gymnastics at all.  I’m taking you from a place where you are a very big fish in a pretty small pond and I’m going to turn you into a goldfish in the ocean, if goldfish could survive in salt water.  I feel like I’m ruining your high school experience and I am so so sorry for that, my sweet girl.  Once again, I listened to your dad whine for years about how he was constantly moved as a child and never attended the same school each year.  He never switched high schools though, a privilege he is denying you.

I’m sorry I couldn’t do whatever it was that I needed to do to stay married and give you two a stable home, even if one of your parents wasn’t always sane or even around much.  If I knew what I did wrong, or what I didn’t do that he wanted me to do, I would have taken the appropriate action.  But I have no idea what it is I did or didn’t do that made your dad choose to have an affair.  Honestly, I know  that I can only be responsible for my own actions and he is responsible for his.  I am truly sorry, though, that I couldn’t make this marriage work.

Finally, I am so sorry I agreed to this move.  I am so sorry I tore your lives apart for this shit storm we are in now.  I’m sorry for the pool that we are probably never going to swim in even though we’ve spent a crapload of money on it.  I’m sorry about your friends and your sports and your schools.  I’m sorry about everything that you’ve had to lose and all that you’re still going to lose.  I’m sorry I don’t have a home of our own to move us to.  I’m sorry for all the dreams you have that aren’t going to come true because we have to leave.  I’m sorry for all the plans that you are making that aren’t going to happen.  I’m sorry we’re going to be poor and your lives are going to be turned so far around you aren’t even going to recognize them.  I’m sorry for everything.

Your uncle tells me every time I say that that it’s not me who is ruining your lives- it’s your dad.  I’m here, though, and he’s not.  So I’m the one who is apologizing.  I cannot apologize enough for what is going to become of your lives.  I would say I should have picked better but then I wouldn’t have you two.  At any rate, I failed you both, and for that I’m sorry.  I’ll do my very best to make it up to you somehow.  I promise.

Love,

Mom

“This Can Be Civil”

Another entry that was written a few months ago.  He has now been court ordered to pay temporary support so he doesn’t get to “decide” how much to give me.

Words to live by, huh?  This is what the lying, cheating douchebag of a soon to be ex (STBX) says to me after letting me know he doesn’t have money to pay his half of the household bills (and after informing me that he shouldn’t have to pay a cent for my cell phone.  Hey, let’s give him a break; he’s paying for his whore’s and her daughter’s cell phones so he really can’t afford to keep supporting his actual WIFE.)

This can be civil?  First, let me ask you what your definition of civil is because in my eyes I have been nothing but civil.  I haven’t screamed, yelled, ranted and raved, cried hysterically, begged you to take me back, blown up your phone with text messages or phone calls while you’re away every weekend with your whore and her kids, or encouraged our kids to do the same.  I haven’t bashed your head or testicles with a baseball bat while you’re sleeping, screamed obscenities at you, keyed your car or rented billboards to advertise your cheating with your whore of a cousin all over your home state, particularly in the towns you frequent.  I haven’t thrown all your possessions onto the lawn, or thrown them away, burned them, ripped them up or in any way trashed them.  I haven’t sold them online or donated them to Goodwill. For the love of all that’s holy I haven’t even thrown you out of the house!  You still have full access even though you don’t think you should have to pay half of the bills.  And when you banished your own self to a motel room for ONE WHOLE NIGHT in an astounding display of self pity I allowed you to move into the guest bedroom and told you I thought that was a wise decision.  I haven’t shown up at your place of employment with all your belongings and dumped them in the parking lot with a huge sign that reads:  I moved my entire family here one year ago and now I’m leaving them for my cousin!  I haven’t written the same on your car windows while you were inside either. And I haven’t shown up there and thrown an absolute fit about your abhorrent behavior.  I haven’t called your boss and informed him that you’re having an affair and all that vacation time isn’t being spent with family (oops, I guess it is actually!) but with another woman, a woman you’re leaving your wife of 20 years for.  I haven’t let him in on the fact that you’re interviewing for other jobs to get closer to your tramp.  I haven’t let the higher ups know that either.  I wonder what they would say after all that campaigning you did to get this plant…  Do you think you would remain the golden boy or would you be tarnished and dirty once they realized it was all a ploy to get near your cousin so you could start up another affair with her?  I haven’t let any of them know that you used your corporate card to conduct your affair so that I wouldn’t know what all was going on.  Or that you are using the company discount (if indeed there is a company discount and that wasn’t just another bullshit story told to me to cover your tracks) and your corporate card to pay her cell phone bill.  I could so easily start attending church where your boss does; he’s invited me several times, you know.  But I haven’t. I haven’t trashed you in front of our kids.  I haven’t told them how you’re interviewing for jobs in other states so you can get closer to your girlfriend.  I haven’t told them about the deposit you put down on a dog for kids that aren’t yours.  I haven’t told them your cousin is wearing a shiny new diamond ring despite the fact that you’re not even close to being divorced. Hell, the words, “Your dad loves you very much,” and “He did things with us as a family; don’t you remember our last two vacations together?” have actually passed through my lips.  So all in all I think I’ve been very civil. In fact, I’ve been told by many, many people that I’ve been TOO civil.

What have you done to be civil?  Make small talk?  Act like you care whether I live or die?  Make sure we continue to keep our standard of living?  Hell, have you even apologized for your inexcusable, boorish behavior and assured me that you’ll give me a more than generous divorce settlement?  Oh no, you started screwing your cousin and siphoned off thousands of dollars to give to her and her kids. From OUR account!  You opened a new account that I knew nothing about and cashed in the rest of your stock.  Then when you were discovered you started depositing the majority of your paycheck into said account, leaving me not even enough to pay the bills, much less buy food for your children.  Let’s not even get started on buying anything fun for them, or buying toilet paper or dog food, or any of those other pesky necessities that I so carelessly spent all “your” money on. The best part though? Or perhaps I should say the most civil? That must have been when you told me you were not going to let me continue to steal every dime you make!  And, hey, where do you live right now?  Oh, that’s right.  As discussed above you’re still living in the marital home (although you slink off every weekend with nary a word to me or your children to go fuck your whore) and yet you don’t think you should have to pay your half of the household bills.  You give me what your attorney told you you would be paying and you expect me to pay all the bills and take care of all of the kids’ and pets’ needs, while you take the rest of your check and blow it on the gold digging bimbo and her kids that talk about you behind your back.

That’s not even bringing up all the bullshit you’ve subjected our kids to!  Do you think it’s civil to not have a conversation with your daughter in over 3 months?  Do you think it’s civil to tell your son, in the one conversation you’ve had with him in 3 months, that you’re not going to deny you have a girlfriend but you’ve been very unhappy for years?  In fact, according to him, you told him we hadn’t had a happy marriage in a long time (LIE!) and that once we had kids we started to drift apart.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Do you even realize what you’ve just told him?  You’ve affirmed every kid’s worst nightmare that it WAS their fault.  Hey, if you hadn’t been born your mom and I might still be happily married.  Nice job!  Where do I send your nomination for Father of the Year?  I think my favorite part though was when you told him I took a lot of money from “your” account.  First of all, it was a joint account and everything you have is 50% mine.  Second, you forgot to mention the part where I switched it over to another account (one we’d had for years and that you knew about!) because YOU WERE GIVING ALL OF OUR MONEY TO YOUR WHORE!  When your daughter texts you to tell you that it’s very distressing seeing your mistress posting all over social media about how much she misses you being in her bed (wow- civil and classy!) did you apologize for your whore’s horrible behavior?  No!  You basically accused your daughter of lying or accused me of making shit up.  And turned it all around to how YOU are a victim.  You’re not welcome in the home even though you pay all the bills.  You starve while we eat.  Thankfully your smart daughter called you out on all your bullshit.  She even sent you a screenshot of the whore’s post.  Did you apologize then?  Oh hell no!  You simply told her you weren’t lying when you said she hadn’t done anything of the sort because you hadn’t seen that.  Do you want to take a guess as to how civil your whore was?  I’m guessing you must have told her what your daughter found because instead of writing a note of apology, letting her know how sorry she is for her sorry ass behavior, she does what she normally does and she blocks her.  I don’t think that’s very civil; do you?

But here’s the most pertinent question: How does being civil benefit ME?  What’s being civil going to get ME?  Does being civil mean that you’re going to help me keep this house so your kids don’t have to move again? Or does it simply give you an opportunity to tell everyone, “Look!  I’m not that bad of a guy.  Sam doesn’t hate me.  We’re civil!”?  Does being civil mean that you’ll work with me so that I don’t have to try to refinance the house and the kids can remain in their home until they graduate?  Or does it just let you off the hook for being the shit you are?  Does being civil mean that you’re going to pay the vet bill when it’s time for your daughter’s cats to be spayed and neutered?  Or does it simply mean you don’t have to worry that I’ll tell people how you’re fucking your cousin?  FYI:  I always make sure to include that tidbit.  It’s the best part of the story.  Does being civil mean that if the furnace goes out over the winter or the A/C goes out next summer that you’re going to help replace it?  Or does it mean you don’t have to feel guilty about firebombing our lives?  Does being civil mean that if I’m running low on money you’ll step in and help me out?  Or does it mean you can now tell everyone, “See, it really was for the best!  We just weren’t good for each other, but now we have a new relationship based upon being happy for one another in our new lives!”?  Does being civil mean that you’ll finally start paying your share of the household bills and marital debt instead of blowing all your money on your white trash whore and her kids?  Or does it mean you can feel better about what you did if I’m all smiles and giggles every time you’re around?  Hell, does being civil mean that you finally man up, stop throwing me under the bus, and own up to your own churlish behavior?  Or does it mean I bring you your dinner and do your laundry all week long while you run off and fuck a whore every weekend?  Does being civil even mean that you step up to the goddamn plate just once and be a father to your children who are SCREAMING at you to get you to pay attention to them?  Or does being civil mean I accept the fact that now you are lavishing all that time and attention (that you could never muster up for our kids) and spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every month on kids that aren’t yours because you want to impress them and their gold digging mommy?  I’m sure being civil means I then turn around and put a nice little spin on that for your actual kids.   I’m just curious as to what being civil gains me because as far as I can tell “being civil” just means I’m supposed to bend over, grab my ankles and take it any way you want to give it to me.