Quarantine Craziness, Part 3

Normally I would have a knee jerk reaction to this and say, “This whole idea of being civil and doing things that are way out of my comfort zone ‘for the kids’ is bullshit! It would never work. Some people you cannot do this with!” But, I mulled this over with a clearer head. I slapped down that knee jerk response and pondered the idea for a moment. Write this down, folks; it might be the only time you ever hear me ask this. What if I’m wrong?  What if a cordial, friendly relationship with Jerry Lee is possible?

Maybe my approach has been all wrong and if only I were a little nicer to him we could have conversations about our kids, he’d be up here visiting, he would be generous with his time and money. His kids would never want for anything. Maybe, when he came up, all four of us could go and do something together! Go out to dinner, catch a movie, go bowling.

<<You now see Sam over in the corner laughing hysterically.>> Oh my God, that was a good one!

That. Will. Never. Happen. Do you know why?

Well yes! Because you’re a mean bitch who won’t give him a chance!

No! I mean, I am a mean bitch who won’t give him a second chance but that’s not the reason why.

It will never happen because he is a toxic person who must always play the victim. He tells bald face lies and believes them. He honestly thinks I have done him wrong.

You cannot have a conversation with him where you are not fawning over him. You must avoid any criticism whatsoever because he takes that as a full blown attack. He is the smartest man in the world and he knows everything so please don’t even try to tell him what you think should happen because you are wrong and he is doing everything perfectly.

Every time I attempt to engage with him I go out of my way to be as non-confrontational as possible. Granted, it’s almost always about money so he’s not happy to hear from me. Doesn’t matter how I phrase it. He’s snide, dismissive, arrogant, and condescending.

You’ll get your “well deserved funds” in plenty of time.

Greedy much?

Since you like to keep a close eye on MY money I thought you might like to know your lawyer has given me permission to access MY money.

Don’t sweat it. You’ll get your money.

Thanks for the condolences by the way.

You need to read the court order. It says no separate orders for child support. Therefore, $XXX for two children, $XXX/2 for one child.

Again I will point out that I did not harass him, stalk him, scream at him, attempt to kill him, throw his shit away or on the lawn for all to see. I did not go to his workplace and embarrass him by leaving all his crap in the parking lot in front of his car with a big sign that said, “I moved my wife and kids 2000 miles across the country so I could have an affair with my cousin.” I even let that motherfucker move back into our home after he accused me of stealing every dime he made. Yet when I said, “Hey, you’re living here. You need to come up with half of the money for the household bills,” his response was, “I don’t have it.” His attitude was, “I’ve got $750 I’m willing to put towards the $5000 it takes to run this household each month. Take it or leave it.” That was the thanks I got for letting him move back in. But to hear him tell it he paid all the bills and in turn was terribly mistreated by us.

All those months I sat by quietly, pinching pennies and denying my kids, while he and Harley blew through over thirty thousand dollars? Didn’t result in one positive thing. In fact, it ultimately cost me thousands of dollars. He never had to pay that back as a cash payment; instead he rolled it all up into the 401k.

This is a man who has consistently lied about me and things that I have done. How can you have any kind of a relationship with a liar? I’ve tried before and it’s impossible. You are always on guard because you never know when they’re telling you the truth and when they’re making shit up.

He has called me a disgusting whore and a cunt. My friends don’t describe me like that. And quite honestly, he has no reason to. I didn’t cheat on him. I was faithful to him for twenty years.

He treats me with utter contempt. I do not deserve to be told anything. He enjoys blindsiding me, I think.

He moved out of our family home and out of the fucking commonwealth without saying a word to any of us! He didn’t even take all of his clothes. I finally realized about six, seven days later that he probably wasn’t coming back. Of course, I was the one that got to break it to our kids. Little did I know that he hadn’t just moved out of the house. Oh no! He’d  resigned from his job of fifteen years and moved 6 or 7 hours away to a completely different state. I was left to figure that one out on my own as well, which I did when I realized the direct deposit from his company hadn’t gone into my account as scheduled.

He lost his job, sent me a two line text, and I never heard another word from him. It was seven months later before I found out he hadn’t been locked up in a psych ward again; he’d checked himself into the VA hospital for drinking- for three days. I was told nothing. Never once did he check up on his kids. Never once did he send a dime to help out with them. Instead he drained a $10,000 401k and spend it all on himself, the whore, and her kids- all while claiming to be completely dependent upon his “fiancee”.

Then again in March of 2019 I find out, only after asking him if he has a plan to catch up on spousal support since he only sent half of it in February, that he’s “lost” his job. Not another word from him. Not even when he conveniently got himself another job. Or when he moved yet again to yet another state. I mean really, what business is it of mine whether or not he has a job?

For four months he played me, acting like he was sending what he could when the reality was he had a job. If I had to bet I would be betting that this new job paid even more than the old job, and yet he was sending me less money.

And now once again he has up and moved without saying a single word. I’m sure there has been yet another raise but it was only once he realized I was taking his ass back to court that he finally started paying what he owed in spousal support.

I know that without court intervention he will never pay me the original court fees he owes me. I know that without court intervention he will never pay the spousal support arrears. He figures it’s all my loss unless I force his hand.

He hacked my Facebook. He contacted the mobster insinuating that there were naked pictures of me all over the Internet. When he first began sending me my support checks he would stamp the envelopes with the Grinch, a robber, or an adulterer. He sends obscene emojis and snide messages almost every time he Venmos me the money he owes me.

Child Support (Original Amount 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.

What’s it for? That doesn’t even deserve an answer. Everyone knows why this money is changing hands. Because the party of the 1st part needs to supplement the inability of the party of the 2nd part to live on her own merits.

Alimony bitches

Alimony- grateful or otherwise

Because sometimes the pay cycles are off and you happen to be 6 days off on paying. Grow up.

He threatened his sister and one of his friends from high school, simply for supporting me (which he found out when he hacked my Facebook).

Sweet baby Jesus! Who wants to hang around someone like this? Why would I want to spend Christmas morning with this?

It never gets better. You might think it will but it doesn’t. You might think treating him with respect and kindness will work, but it doesn’t. I reached out to him for Rock Star’s graduation. I will admit I fully expected him to tell me to fuck off or that he didn’t need my help or to admonish me that he didn’t need me to micromanage his relationship with his daughter. So I was rather surprised when he texted back and was cordial, grateful even that I was offering him a ticket. You might have thought a corner was turned but you’d be wrong. He barely acknowledged me when I handed him the ticket and he promptly cut his daughter off, prorating child support right down to the minute she graduated.

I’ve heard people say that having a cordial relationship with an ex sometimes mean you do things even when that person hasn’t behaved their best. Quite honestly I think that’s crazy. At some point you need to stop beating your head against a brick wall.

I love my children. I’m not willing to unnecessarily degrade myself for them. I’m not willing to put myself in emotional distress for them just because. I’m not going to help them deny reality and play happy family with their father and perhaps their father’s mistress.       

In my case I suppose it’s a moot point because he never sees his kids so they can’t tell me they really wish we would be civil towards one another and act like one big happy family.

But if he did? I’d be telling them to suck it up. There’s nothing to work with. I don’t believe in modeling being a doormat for your kids. I’m not going to bend over backwards and turn the other cheek constantly while he spits in my face. Divorce ends families. As much as people try to peddle the bullshit of, “We’re still family; it’s just in a different form!” it’s not true. You are no longer family. That is a consequence of fucking around on your spouse and ending up divorced.

I’m sure there are people out there who divorce for reasons other than infidelity, addiction,  and abuse. If they can work things out to the point no one knows they’re divorced, good for them. If they want to invite their exes over for graduation and goodbye parties, be my guest. If they want to spend every holiday together, go out to dinner, have sleepovers, go on vacation together, etc. have a ball. But for the love of God please stop telling people who don’t do this, who CAN’T do this, that being friendly and doing everything together is the only way to do things. In my situation it will never be possible.

Let me be clear. I can be civil. I won’t be coming at him or Harley with knives or anything. More than likely I would be ignoring them but if I couldn’t avoid it I can be civil. We will never be friendly though. He’s done way too much and he’s demonstrated his lack of respect for me at every turn. I’m not friends with people like that.

Quarantine Craziness, Part 2

I realize Chump Lady has a niche audience. She’s amassed an incredible following and it can be very easy to dismiss them as a bunch of rabid, group thinking know it alls who only preach divorce, distance, and disdain. However, what most of them (us) have in common is that we’ve already been through this and it didn’t end well.

When the people tell newbies who are trying to figure out whether they should leave or try to work things through, they’re telling them to get out because they’ve already tried the reconciliation thing. There are very few people on that site who kicked the cheater out immediately after finding out about the infidelity. Almost all of them are repeat chumps. They tell the newbies to get out because they’ve been there. They’ve forgiven the cheater who wasn’t sorry. They’ve forgiven the cheater who lied and made promises, only to find out they took it further underground. They’ve endured the repeat D-Days, some of them coming 2… 7… 10… 20 years later. They can tell the newbies their stories of all the humiliating things they did while doing the so-called “pick me dance”. So many who say, “I can’t believe how I gave and gave and gave, how I made my needs smaller and smaller, for a person who didn’t care.”

The people that seem to find her are the ones who forgave their cheater, who thought they had the exception, only to find out the cheater was only buying time to set them up. Drained college funds. Drained retirement funds. Switched jobs to decrease their income. Used them until the money dried up and then moved on to greener pastures. The people who are screaming, “Don’t trust him/her!” are the ones who will never be able to afford to retire because they trusted a cheater.

When they urge the newbies to protect themselves- to get a post-nuptial if they’re going to stay, to do a credit check, to verify accounts- it’s because they learned through financial devastation about the need to do those things. When they say don’t quit your job, don’t move across the country, don’t take on their debts, don’t declare bankruptcy with them, don’t give them second and third and fourth chances, don’t take pity on them it’s because they’ve done those things and they have lived to regret it.

When they tell the newbies to maintain no contact or gray rock it’s because they’ve already learned the hard way. They came to realize the first step is creating space between you and the cheater; it’s difficult to fall for their bullshit when they’re not around. They’ve learned that contacting the employers, the in-laws, the affair partner’s family, generally doesn’t pay off. They’ve learned that any kind of interaction gives the cheater kibbles and maintains their centrality. They know that phoning or texting or emailing angry or maudlin outbursts is not going to benefit you; if anything, it’s going to make you feel worse. They know that begging your ex to take an interest in their children or to do as they promised does nothing except infuriate you because it sure as hell doesn’t change the cheater’s behavior. They realize that trying to figure out why the cheater did something is pointless. They know that arguing with them or trying to reason with them is a waste of time. They know this because they’ve lived it. It’s not because they’re angry, bitter people who want everyone around them to be just as miserable. They’re trying to save people some grief and misery.

Imagine this. I have an office building that overlooks an isolated sandy beach. The sand is white and pristine. The waters are a deep blue. It’s very inviting. As I stand there, looking outside my window, I see someone venture onto the beach. I see that person wade into the water. That person is swimming happily, minding his or her own business. Suddenly, from out of nowhere a shark attacks the person, throws him up in the air, and then gobbles him down in one bite. Naturally, I would be horrified. I call the police. They investigate. No body, no crime. They don’t see the shark. No signs are posted. I’m just a crazy woman.

A few days later I see another person venture onto the beach. Again, the person goes into the water, is having a great time and then BAM! Shark attack. Person devoured.

It happens again and again.

I start posting banners outside my office window, “Don’t go into the water! Shark!” People continue to dismiss me and they continue to get eaten.

Finally, I go down to the beach myself. When someone dares to dip their toes in the sand and head towards the water I implore them not to get in the water. “There’s a shark in there. It’s killed dozens of people in the last month. DO NOT GO IN! You are going to die!”

Am I telling that person not to go in the water because I’m a heartless monster who wants to prevent people from enjoying a refreshing swim? Am I trying to deny them their bliss? Am I angry or jealous that they don’t have to be stuck in an office all day and can take time off to swim?  NO! I know there’s a fucking shark in the water and this person is going to be chum. I’m trying to prevent a death, not stop them from having fun.

That’s how I view the fans of Chump Lady. They’ve seen the shark. They know the danger.

I think also that what some people don’t get is that for many of her followers the concept of a tidy, mutual conscious uncoupling has not been possible. It’s not because we are bitter bunnies who refuse to seek “a future relationship where we can both be happy for each other and our children and show them happiness and being whole are vital to a person’s future.” It’s because the people we are divorcing suck!

As one person put it: He tried to kill me so that’s going to be a hard no on any interaction.

I have a friend who had a police officer pull her aside and tell her, quite bluntly that her address was flagged as a frequent domestic violence call and when it came up they treated it as a potentially fatal call. They even told her, “One day we’re going to get that call and when we show up we’re going to find he’s killed you or one your girls.”

This man attempted to strangle one of his daughters. He’s a violent alcoholic who indulged in a three year long affair. She does not need to share birthday dinners with him. She does not need to model gracefully moving on or civility towards him. She needs to get the fuck away and stay the fuck away. Period. And she has.

The mobster has dealt with his STBX telling people that he was controlling, he made her dress a certain way, and that he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her and towards their kids. Why would he want to maintain a friendship with someone like that? Why would he want to share holidays or care one little bit about how she’s doing?

In my own situation I can still clearly remember Jerry Lee coming downstairs after I had given him a bill for the monthly living expenses. After telling me he couldn’t pay his half (yeah, when you blow over four grand on an engagement ring for your whore cousin it can be difficult to pay your share of the household bills) he told me he could give me $750, take it or leave it. Then he so graciously let me know that this could all still be civil.

The jackass was living in the family home. He cut me off financially and gave me only what his lawyer had told him he would have to pay. I got less than 50% of his paycheck and I was responsible for 100% of the bills. We had a $2100 monthly mortgage, utilities that ran around $400-$500 per month, and multiple credit cards. Plus, a pool loan. The money he was told he would end up paying me didn’t always fully cover the household bills. Meanwhile, he had approximately $5000 a month to blow on Harley and her kids. He didn’t give a fuck if his own kids went without.

I never yelled at him. I never dumped his shit on the front lawn. I never showed up at his place of employment, screaming and outing him as the lying cheater he was. I didn’t harass him or her. As far as I’m concerned I was the perfect STBX. I took care of the bills and the kids. Never bothered him. Never made life miserable for him. He, on the other hand, used our house as an extended stay hotel while he left every weekend to go fuck his cousin and played the sad sausage to everyone who would listen.

How much more civil could I have been?

We’ve seen this rouse time and time again; that’s why we don’t buy it. It’s why we urge others who are new to this to step away and refuse to engage. We’ve experienced giving them an inch and them taking a mile. We’ve experienced reaching out and doing something kind or thoughtful and having it thrown back into our faces. Apparently, some people love that shit! Abuse me some more! I want to show people what a great person I am!

For others it’s simply recognizing that this person is toxic and you need to get away. There’s nothing to work with. Nothing you say is going to make a difference. Nothing you do is going to make a difference.

I think for most people it’s very difficult to go against our basic instincts. We have been conditioned to give chance after chance. We want to try, try, and try again. We feel it’s our duty to exhaust every potential solution. What if I don’t forgive my cheater and this time, the ninth time, is the time it finally stops and we end up happily married for the rest of our lives? If they’ve already cheated nine times I’m pretty sure your chances of discovering it a tenth time are pretty high, but so many are determined to give one more chance. Chances one through eight notwithstanding. I also think it’s very scary to realize you don’t control anything. You can forgive until your brain malfunctions, until your heart stops beating, until your eyes glaze over, but it doesn’t mean a thing in a lot of cases.

Yet, it’s still pushed. You’re doing your kids a disservice if you aren’t friendly towards one another. Your children will be scarred for life if you aren’t sitting together at their concerts or school plays or football games. We took smiling divorce selfies at the courthouse because even though we’re divorced we are still family and that will never, ever change- even when one or both of us gets remarried, even if one or both of us goes on to have more children, even if one of us moves away with the new, improved family. No one can even tell we’re divorced because we do everything together- parent teacher conferences, volunteering, extracurricular activities; we’re the envy of everyone! I let my ex live with me on the weekends for the sake of my children and I accompany them on all of their outings like we’re still one big happy family even though he has a mistress and a love child six hours away in the town he moved to away from his original children. Only bitter exes who can’t get over the divorce refuse to host joint birthday parties, vacation together, go out to dinner together, and spend the holidays together as one big happy family. I’m sorry you’re not demonstrating to your children how to gracefully move on and let someone go; they’re probably going to be in dysfunctional relationships and will never forgive you. My children admire me because they can see all the sacrifices I have made for them, and how I will always put their comfort and needs ahead of my own, even if that means every time my ex asks me for something I jump up immediately and make sure it’s done. No matter how humiliating, painful, or debilitating the request may be I will always do it and I will never think about my own physical or emotional well-being. Because I’m a good parent. Unlike you, you bitter bunny who can’t move on.

To be continued…

Quarantine Craziness!

If any of you read Chump Lady then you probably saw Thursday’s post about Bruce Willis self-quarantining with his ex wife, Demi Moore, and their three adult children. If you’re familiar with Chump Lady then you can probably guess her reaction. She thought it was crazy and stupid.

I, personally, don’t care whether they’re all stuck together or not. Bruce and Demi have always had a crazy type of post-divorce relationship. They’ve always made a show of being a united front for their three girls, at least publicly. Hell, maybe privately too; I don’t know them so I can’t say with certainty. They were the supposed goal of post divorce relationships, even when she got together with the much younger Ashton Kutcher. It was all one big happy family with the girls calling Ashton “MOD”, or, my other dad. I did feel a bit vindicated when it was revealed after Demi and Ashton broke up that Bruce had always thought the guy was a jerk. I also feel fairly confident that “their other dad” doesn’t have much of a relationship with “his” daughters now that he has remarried and has two children of his own.

Tracy did bring up one valid point though, which I hadn’t really thought about. Bruce is remarried and has two young daughters with the current Mrs. Willis. Why is he not with them?

I don’t really care. Honestly. What I did find interesting in all the comments was someone who decided to chime in with the news that she had left Chump Nation because it felt like a cult. Despite being cheated on she and her cheater remain friendly and she felt like Chump Lady didn’t approve. She went on to say that Chump Lady wants everyone to hate their ex and basically shames those who don’t. Another commenter chimed in with, “Exes CAN be caring friends. It DOES happen.” And then went on to imply that Chump Lady wants everyone to be pissed off at their ex.

Um… no she doesn’t. She’s pretty clear on this. Does she want you to get angry and use your anger to propel you through the hard parts of this shit show? Absolutely! Does she want you to stay there and wallow in your misery and the unfairness of it all? Not at all. Her standard go to advice is that the pain is finite. It hurts like a sonofabitch but it will end. On some random Tuesday. Her goal for her readers? To reach Meh, that glorious state where you don’t care what your fuckwit is doing or who they’re doing it with. You’re not angry. You’re not vengeful. You are way too busy living your new amazing life.

I can believe she doesn’t see the point in remaining friends with your ex. Then again, her first ex, the father of her child, is a hoarder with mental issues who sued her pro se for custody continuously despite rarely seeing his own child and being financially negligent; and her second ex was a serial cheating sociopath. Not a lot to work with.

She’s also not a big fan of the whole “conscious uncoupling”. I’m right there with her. If infidelity wasn’t a part of your divorce I can see perhaps remaining friendly. Otherwise, my question has always been: Why would I want friends like these?

She firmly believes you don’t have a lot to work with when your spouse cheats. She doesn’t think most of them are genuinely remorseful; they just don’t like consequences so they’ll say or do whatever is needed to prevent said consequences. And she has said many times that cheating is not about the marriage rather it’s about entitlement and shitty character.

I understand she’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ll even let you in on a little secret: I don’t agree with everything she says. The Bruce and Demi self-quarantine? I don’t care. And despite her insistence that they’re probably having sex and the new wife should file for divorce, I don’t think that’s true. Her views on emotional affairs? Don’t necessarily agree, although she has changed her stance over the years. This idea that a 50 or 60 year old has just as much of a chance to find love again as a 20 or 30 year old? Nope. Don’t agree. I also don’t think she necessarily gives credence to all the different variables people have in their lives. It sometimes feels like it’s a one size fits all approach. I tend to think that obstacles facing a 60 year old whose marriage has disintegrated after 35 years are probably different from the 30 year old who is divorcing after five years. I tend to think that the woman who has been a stay at home mom for 15 years is going to find it financially more difficult than the woman who is the main breadwinner in her family. Despite my minor disagreements I’m not offended by her or her message. I take what I can use and I leave the rest. Her tag line is very clear: Leave a cheater, gain a life.

Apparently though there are some people out there that are very, very offended by the fact that Chump Lady exists. They’re offended by the fact that she preaches leaving instead of reconciliation. They’re offended that she doesn’t encourage friendship and “cooperation”, but rather gray rock and no contact. They’re offended at the thought of no longer untangling the skein, or giving up their spot on the marriage police. They also seem to be offended by the fact she believes instead of investing in a relationship with a person who has lied to you, cheated on you, and stabbed you in the back you should invest in yourself.

My first thought on the commenter who was complaining Chump Lady wants everyone to hate their ex and all of those who are offended by the fact that she doesn’t believe in reconciliation is, “Who the fuck cares?” Seriously! There are 11,569,214 websites out there devoted to reconciling with your lying cheater, aka your wayward spouse. There are almost as many blogs written by betrayed spouses who are reconciling after infidelity. Chump Lady is ONE website that doesn’t preach reconciling at all costs. Actually, if you read her you know she doesn’t preach reconciling at any cost. But it’s one website! One website out of millions. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find blogs written by divorced women? Most of the blogs I have found are written by women (almost overwhelmingly women) that are reconciling. Most websites are geared towards reconciliation. It’s a foregone conclusion that you want to save your marriage.

As for being friends with your ex? That is the message we are bombarded with every. single. day! Friendly exes are held up as the golden standard. Look, they vacation together! They spend holidays together! I believe in putting my children’s needs ahead of my own; that’s why I threw the OW a baby shower. We’re besties now- because it’s best for the children. I live with my ex on the weekends- for the children.

We get literally one website that tells us it’s okay to not be buddy buddy with someone who has abused you. One website that tells us it’s okay if we don’t want to double date with the ex and the replacement, or host parties together, or vacation together. We get one website that tells us it’s okay not to engage, to not waste our breath. One website out of 11,569,214 that tells us it’s not us, it’s them. That we don’t control them and there wasn’t anything we did or didn’t do to make them cheat on us. And even there you find people who want to talk about forgiveness and thinking of the children. Like those of us who aren’t willing to have our ex and the OW over for dinner must not love our children. Like those of us who would rather crawl through raw sewage than sit with our ex and the affair partner never think of our children or refuse to put their needs ahead of our own.

There’s a woman who is hosting dinner for her husband (not divorced yet) and his pregnant girlfriend/mistress because custody orders are still in place and if she does dinners with them then Daddy Dearest won’t push the issue and insist they transfer the child between homes during this pandemic. Many people have responded with, “No. Not gonna happen.” She continues to insist she is putting her child’s needs ahead of her own and doing what it takes to help her child be comfortable. Then along comes someone who tells her what a wonderful thing she’s doing, how it’s so great that she can put her child ahead of her own ego and anger.

There it is again. That assumption that people can’t let go, that they’re mired down by their anger. If only you would forgive everything would be wonderful. Adult children of divorced parents NEVER complain about their parents being civil to one another. They are only grateful Mommy and Daddy could put aside whatever petty issues they may have had which led to this divorce so that everyone could go to Benihana’s after the school play or they could have both of their parents there on Christmas morning.

Ah yes, the kids are rubbing the sleep out of their eyes as they roll out of bed in their matching pajamas. They run down the stairs to the sight of their giant Christmas tree decorated to the nines and full of blinking lights. Presents overflowing. There’s Mommy in her sweats and t-shirt. She’s been up all night getting things ready for the big reveal and has been busy making breakfast for everyone. And then there’s Daddy and his whore, both dressed in their Christmas finest, with her practically sitting on his lap, her hand firmly holding onto his as if to claim him. Mommy is dutifully serving Daddy and the whore that helped demolish her family like the good subservient loser that she is. They all laugh and coo over the kids as they open their gifts, patting themselves on the back because they’re so evolved and love their children so much more than those bitter exes that spend the holidays in separate homes. Then Daddy and the replacement say it’s time for them to go. Maybe they take the kids with them for more festivities. Maybe they head home to their own quiet, clean house to spend the rest of the day in bed, fucking like rabbits before going out for Chinese food and going to the movies. Meanwhile, Mom is left to clean up the kitchen and the mess of wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows and assemble the toys or find batteries. Wow- sounds like an amazing holiday.

The sad part is that this is the narrative preached by so many. This is the only way to teach civility, letting go, moving on, exhibiting grace. It’s also the only way you can demonstrate that your children’s well being is the most important thing.

You know what? I AM a child of divorce. I never once wanted those things. I never expected my parents to act as a unit now that they were divorced. I don’t know who all these kids are that think even though Mommy and Daddy are divorced they’re still going to do everything together. My dad cheated on my mom. For years my mother could not stand him… or her. I still remember after Rock Star’s fourth or fifth birthday party when everyone had gone home my mom telling me she had been talking to my dad and she had to find something else to do because she was having a good time talking to him and it almost made her forget how much she couldn’t stand him. They separated when I was in fourth grade. I had my first child at 31. This was twenty plus years later.

I’m not damaged by the fact that we didn’t spend holidays together or that my parents weren’t super chummy. It was just the way it was. My mother was civil when she had to be. She preferred to not be around him. He and the OW turned wife were invited to her home for my graduation party. I think that was probably the first time they were in the same space for a prolonged period of time. I’m not sure they said a single word to one another at my wedding. You know what? I didn’t even notice. It did not affect me or my big day. They were able to be in the same space when we started having kids and the kids had birthday parties. Again, she was civil when she had to be. She was not friendly. She kept people around her and kept busy when they were there in the same space. I’ve never had a problem with that. I’ve never thought less of her. I’ve never wondered, “Gee, why didn’t my parents take us on a family vacation after they got divorced?”

I have always believed you do not cease to be a person with feelings and emotions once you have children. Yet, so often what we’re told is good parents eat shit sandwiches. Good parents let people walk all over them for the sake of their children. You don’t get to feel hurt. You don’t get to feel angry. You don’t get to draw boundaries. You’re a parent. Whatever your kid wants you should give them. Don’t worry about the psychological toll it may take on you.

I say, “Balderdash!” I much prefer Chump Lady’s message. Let us have our ONE damn site out of millions. If we’re all wrong who the fuck cares? It’s not like there aren’t millions upon millions of websites and blogs that are going to push reconciliation and friendliness between exes.

To be continued…

Head Exploding, Part 2

I don’t think my head would have exploded had the author quit at this idea you can do divorce well and have a wonderful life post divorce with you being best buds and new kind of family with the ex.

But no, she has to go on and say this:

I do also understand not all divorces are wrapped up in a nice neat bow. Infidelity and lies do lead to harsh feelings – but even then, if we can take a step back and try to see the other human being as just that – a human being, and take our egos out of the equation then it’s possible to overcome this too. Stop asking, how could they do this to US? Why did he/she do that to ME? And instead understand that infidelity is less about us and more about them and their way of trying to figure out how to fill their own voids. We don’t have to agree with their decisions and we’re allowed to feel hurt but then at some point we need to brush ourselves off and make progress towards a better life and own OUR happiness. Everyone deserves to be happy. And not just happy on the terms that WE’VE given them. They need to find their own way, their own path. If it doesn’t include you then that’s ok. If their decisions bring them down the wrong path, that is their cross to bear. Not yours or your children’s. Your strength will get you through any hardships associated with their bad decisions and that strength will trickle down to your children as well. Your happiness has always been within you anyway.

I. Can’t. Even.  Really? Take a step back and try to see the other human being as just that? How about no? How about instead of seeing them as just human I see him as the manipulative, conning liar and cheater that he is? Why encourage people to open themselves up for more abuse? This is the problem. When we see monsters these days we are told they are not really monsters. Why lie to us like that? Why encourage us to lie to ourselves?

My life was napalmed. This wasn’t some small, innocuous thing. It was the systematic dismantling of my life as I knew it. My children suffered as well. They lost everything they knew and then once they finally began to get their footing he pulled the rug out from underneath them all over again. Harsh feelings doesn’t even begin to cover what I felt towards that bastard.

Sweetie, I assure you, my ego is not the problem. The problem is that I married and bred with a liar. My children’s father is a perpetual victim despite the devastation he has caused- both to me and my children.

By my ego I assume you mean my anger or my outrage. We can’t have any of that, can we? How can we possibly sell cheating and divorce as a good thing when people appear to be so angry over it? We can’t have the cheating spouse feel bad about themselves. If you would just please eat the shit sundae, stuff all of your feelings way down deep, and smile real pretty, this could be a real swell ride for you!

It’s all psycho-babble bullshit meant to ease the guilty conscience of a cheater. She paints it as some existential crisis: Stop asking how could they do this to US? Why did he/she do that to ME? And instead understand that infidelity is less about us and more about them and their way of trying to figure out how to fill their own voids.

Are you kidding me? If the cheater in my life didn’t do this to ME and to US and to OUR KIDS then who exactly did he cheat on and whose lives did he impact with his selfish behavior? I assure you that when he told me not to worry if I saw a wire on our bank records because he was sending his mom money for groceries that he most definitely was lying to ME and affecting ME. When he let me coach him to be able to drive to go meet up with his whore he most definitely was doing something shitty TO ME. When he lied about where he was going and tried to get me to send him naked pictures while he was with her that was something done TO ME. When he siphoned off over half of his paycheck and put it into an account with Harley so that she and her kids could have whatever her evil, shriveled little heart wanted, forcing my kids to have to do without, he did that TO US. Every shitty move he made affected us and was purposefully done to inflict the most damage.

Oh, but ignore that and focus instead on the fact that they were fucking strange because they needed to fill their own voids. Even though your life may have been gutted and irreparably damaged please try to remember this isn’t about you. It’s about the cheater’s journey of self-discovery. God forbid someone suggest yoga, or meditation, or journaling. Hell, maybe try a therapy dog. But don’t cheat on your spouse and then try to excuse it by calling it self-discovery. The only thing being discovered is that you’re a selfish, entitled asshole.

We don’t have to agree with their decisions and we’re allowed to feel hurt but then at some point we need to brush ourselves off and make progress towards a better life and own OUR happiness. 

Bless her Pollyanna-esque heart! I wonder if she has a timeline? Month 1- vomit, be unable to eat or sleep, lose twenty-five pounds, cry every day. Month 2- Resume old life, cry only once or twice a week. Month 3- Decide that this new life, sans life partner is absolutely terrific. Start telling everyone that your spouse’s affair was the best thing that ever happened to you and how you are so fortunate to be given this unique chance to start your life over completely from scratch. Month 4- Can’t even remember you were once married.

Thanks so much for giving all of us cheated on people permission to disagree with our partner’s choice to fuck another person and for allowing us to feel hurt for a moment. We sure do appreciate it.

I even understand, to a certain degree, what this author is trying to say. Yes, divorce sucks but we all have the power to make a new and better life. Well, at least a new life. I suppose better is in the eye of the beholder. And yes, we shouldn’t spend the rest of our lives reliving what happened and wishing it was all some nightmare we could wake from. But that doesn’t mean we need to forgive the person who gutted us, who betrayed us in the most intimate way. Getting on with our lives is not synonymous with forgiving or even getting along with the ex.

Everyone deserves to be happy. And not just happy on the terms that WE’VE given them. They need to find their own way, their own path. If it doesn’t include you then that’s ok.

I’m going to call a big load of bullshit on that one. No one deserves to be happy at another person’s expense. Period. And that is what cheating is. If you were to take a gander at Harley’s Facebook page she talks nonstop about how happy she is. She is happier than a pig in shit that she managed to snag her married man. Yep, she’s the luckiest gal in the world. Her brand new husband left his wife of twenty years and deserted his two children to be with her. What a prize! She is ecstatic! Over the moon! Everyone tells her she deserves it. She deserved another woman’s husband. His children deserved to be deserted so that they could live happily ever after.

That also seemed to be the overriding theme in CF’s life with his mom and sister telling him he deserved to be happy. Hell, his mom encouraged Harley to call him because he seemed so sad and miserable. Now he’s supposed to be happy. He’s turned his kids’ lives upside down. He’s pretty much turned his back on them. He put me through hell. But hey- he had a right to happiness no matter who suffered! Am I right?

Here’s the thing: I believe people do deserve to be happy. I also believe they have every right to decide you don’t make them happy. Furthermore, I believe and accept that they are free to end the relationship. Here’s the other thing: You do that shit before you go looking for another warm body. No one has the right to destroy another human being due to their selfish behavior in search of “happiness”. If you’re unhappy get out. Don’t waste your partner’s life while you search for love.

Sadly, I think the author is woefully misguided when she chimes in with: If their decisions bring them down the wrong path, that is their cross to bear. Not yours or your children’s.

CF’s decisions did end up being my cross to bear. It ended up being my children’s cross to bear. His decisions had far reaching consequences for us. We lost our home. We were forced to move 600 miles away. I lost almost everything I had ever owned in my life. It’s magical thinking to tell betrayed spouses that it’s not their cross to bear. There is almost no way that can be true. Actions have consequences and often those consequences are far reaching.

She ends with more psycho-babble: Your strength will get you through any hardships associated with their bad decisions and that strength will trickle down to your children as well. Your happiness has always been within you anyway.

That’s just another way of saying, “Play nice. Let bygones be bygones. Eat shit and smile pretty. Let’s all forgive and forget and be best friends once again.”

You know what? My strength did get me through the hell I lived in for over two years. I still remember that long period of time where I just wanted to lay down and die; I felt no joy, no happiness. I had no hope. My kids did see me as a kickass role model; I’d like to think my strength has trickled down to them. I’m happier now than I ever was with him, so yes, it has always been within me.

That doesn’t change the fact that none of this should have been done to me, or my kids. So no, there will be no playing nicely with the person who cheated. He might be a human being but he’s a shitty one. I do not forgive and forget. His happiness was not more important than mine or our kids’. Start telling that story instead of trying to package adultery up in a beautiful box with a great big bow.

 

A Word About Being Angry

Fellow blogger, Reformed Cad, just gave me a shout out on his blog. It was a very nicely done post and I very much appreciated it. I always like it when people take the time to reblog something I’ve written, or take the time to tell others about my blog. I think he has a closed blog so I’m not going to try to link to it. If he comes over and says it’s open to the public I’ll link to it, or he can link to it in the comments.

I am, however, going to quibble with one thing he says. She is angry. And if you read her journal it becomes obvious why.

Let the record (or blog) show I am not angry. It always baffles me when people say things like that because I think I keep it pretty light hearted when it comes to my situation. I think if you asked my mother she would tell you I didn’t get angry enough. I did indeed get dealt a shitty hand.; however, it’s better than what some other people are dealt. He didn’t attempt to poison me (as far as I know). He didn’t try to pay someone to take me out. He didn’t get physically violent with me once the divorce began. He didn’t kidnap and kill my children. He didn’t threaten me with a weapon or set me up for a domestic violence charge. He didn’t leave me after I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease. He didn’t leave me with a nasty STD. And yes, I realize those are the extreme situations, but I’ve heard every one of those over on Chump Lady except the one about paying someone to kill me. I got that one off of ID TV, where it happens quite regularly.

He also didn’t fight me for custody of our children. Granted, that would have been a tough sell seeing as how he moved approximately 300 miles away from them and left them behind, but I know that others are having to fight for custody even when the only reason the ex is fighting is to reduce or eliminate child support.

And, while he did indeed cheat again I only lost two years of my life “wreck-onciling” with him, instead of five, or ten or twenty.

I know that I have written a lot about all that my kids and I have lost. That’s a fact. It has nothing to do with anger. He screwed us. We invested everything into this new life he said he so desperately wanted. He threw it away, and in the process the kids and I lost our home and were forced to move. Fact.

With my daughter graduating recently I was continually reminded of everything that we lost. Again, that’s a fact. It happened, and no matter how happy I pretend to be about everything that was lost, it doesn’t change that.

That’s not anger. If anything it’s sadness. Sadness that my kids had to go through that because of their dad and his crappy decisions.

I wrote the other day about the triggers that still come. It’s not anger. It’s continuing to mourn the life I had. Imagine spending twenty years with someone, living a certain kind of life, and then one day having that ripped away from you. I defy anyone to say it would be no big deal. It’s one thing to decide you are going to make big changes. It is a completely different animal when those changes are made for you.

Even when you’ve accepted that life is gone you still mourn at times. There are still things that smack you in the face and cause you to feel that loss. I’m not angry. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the life I lived for twenty years is gone, and that it was all a lie.

Do I continue to write about CF? Sure, I do. He keeps doing shitty things. I mostly shrug it all off. Nothing he says or does really angers me. Well, except for the fact that he has yet to acknowledge he has a son. That does piss me off. But the shit he says whenever he has to pay me? That’s comedy fodder for my blog. I give him about as much importance as I would a two year old throwing a tantrum.

I did ask my mom if I seemed angry because, as I said, it always perplexes me when people give me that label. She was pretty quick to answer. “No, you just call bullshit when you see it.”

That’s a pretty good explanation. I’m not angry or bitter about my situation. I continue to write because it does make me angry when I hear stories of others who are going through this same thing. It makes me angry when I hear about a spouse who is so desperate to keep a marriage together that they accept bullshit excuses and tolerate the so called “trickle truth” and evasion of questions. I know what I went through; I hate to see others go through that same thing. If I can be a sane voice out there asking, “Is this acceptable to you?” and leading someone through the dark I’ll keep writing.

As Chump Lady reminds her audience over and over, there are many avenues for those who want to reconcile. She is pretty much the only voice that tells people it’s not their fault their spouse cheated and there is a better life out there without a cheater. I don’t go so far as to encourage people to leave; I think that’s an individual choice and everyone has their reasons for staying or going. I will, however, point out when the cheater is blowing smoke up your ass. I’ll tear apart all the psycho-babble explanations for why people do the heinous things they do, and I’ll mock the “affair-y tale” love stories that mistresses share on a regular basis.

I will also never accept the idea that both parties had a part to play in an affair. Both of you were in the same marriage. Only one person cheated. I fully agree with Chump Lady when she says that you may have been the worst spouse on the planet; you may have truly, truly sucked. But you did not deserve to be cheated on and you did not cause your spouse to cheat.

Furthermore, I’m not one who believes you need to be a martyr for the sake of your children. You don’t need to celebrate birthdays with the cheating ex and the new spouse, or go on “family” outings, or look after your ex if they get sick. Your kids will survive even if you’re not pretending that the other parent is the best-est person in the whole wide world.

I’m willing to tell people you don’t have to, and in fact shouldn’t, gaslight your children. Tell them the truth in age appropriate terms. It’s not your job to be your cheating ex’s PR agent. If they didn’t want their kids to know they were lying cheaters maybe they shouldn’t have been lying and cheating. Nothing good ever comes from hiding the truth. It will always come back and bite you in the ass one way or another.

I let people know they don’t have to be friends with the ex. If that’s something you want I think you’re a little bit crazy, but okay. If it works for you more power to you. However, I refuse to perpetuate this idea that’s the way it should be. When you’re dealing with adultery you’re dealing with a person who lied to you and betrayed you. They were supposed to have your back and instead they stabbed you in it. Welcome home, Michael Myers! As Chump Lady always asks, “Would you be friends with the guy who mugged you?” No? OK, then why are you trying to maintain a friendship with someone who essentially mugged your life?

I advocate gaining a support system and leaning on them, instead of relying on someone who betrayed and abandoned you. Even in so-called “good” divorces I advocate for that because you never know how things are going to change once your ex partners up again.

I believe that no contact is a wonderful thing.

I believe that you can focus on gaining a better life without the person who cheated on you and hurt you while still remembering exactly who they are and what they did. Getting on with my life and living a much better life than the one I had with him does not equal forgiving him.

I don’t think that’s being angry. I think that’s using common sense and speaking the truth.

Well Said!

I was reading the comments over on Chump Lady and this one pretty much sums up what I spent thousands of words trying to say.

“No matter how angry you are at me, it is important for our kids’ sake that we show them that we can get along. This is about what they need, not about what you need- you need to put them first.”

Despite stating the obvious, which was she had always put the kids first, the commenter asked for advice on how to respond to that drivel from her ex.

One person offered up this:

… there was no way in hell we were going to be “friends” after what he did to me. I’m not friends or friendly with people like him. And I won’t be friendly with him “for the kids’ sake”. I’m teaching my kids that it’s okay to have firm boundaries set up against abusive people.

I found another answer I liked even better:

“STBX, I think it is important for me to show them that reprehensible behavior has serious and sometimes life long consequences. I want to model healthy boundaries, and show them that they can choose to have healthy people in their lives and minimize or eliminate unhealthy people. I want to remind them that duty goes both ways, and that when someone you love betrays your trust so fundamentally, it is not necessary to keep loving them or to allow them to continue to abuse you. I will model polite cooperation, but I will not pretend to be a happy family or engage in social activities with you.

Let’s Talk About Entitlement

I’m still mulling over some of the comments from my infamous More Bad Advice post. I had so much to say I decided it would be easier to chop it up into smaller parts. Today we’re going to talk about entitlement.

I’m one of those that doesn’t believe you need to be friends. In fact I’ll go one further and say I think this obsession to push others to remain friends with a person who has betrayed them so grievously is pure entitlement. Basically it comes down to this: I want to leave you for someone else (or just leave you). I get to lie and cheat and humiliate you. I want to take all my money with me when I go, and leave you penniless and struggling. While Schmoopie and the new kids are spared no expense. But I think it’s best for the kids if you still pretend I’m a great person and we’re best friends. Except really my fuck buddy will be the love of my life and best friend and I’ll give you whatever crumbs are left over. But you MUST accept these crumbs of friendship or it just proves to me that you are a bitter, rage filled person who can’t move on!

Seriously, folks. One of the consequences (there’s that ugly word again) of ending a relationship is that the other person may not want to have anything to do with you anymore. Deal with it! They don’t have to! They don’t have to meet you for coffee once a week to go over schedules. They don’t have to spend hours on the phone chatting with you about the kid/s. They don’t have to sit with you and any of your minions at any event for your shared child/ren. They don’t have to catch up with you on what Aunt Myrtle or Uncle Fred are up to, or how your mom is having bunion surgery or your best friend is getting married in Antigua when you exchange the kiddos. They don’t have to spend birthdays or holidays with you for the sake of the children. They don’t have to meet you and the new fuck buddy for dinner a few times a month to coordinate schedules and talk about the kids because, you know, you’re all in this together.

It doesn’t mean they’re horrible people. It doesn’t mean they’re bitter, angry, raging people who haven’t moved on and aren’t happy with their lives. It doesn’t even mean things have to be uncomfortable for the kids. It simply means you are no longer their friend and not someone they wish to spend any time with. You can drop kids off and be cordial. You can exchange necessary information without exchanging pleasantries. You can both show up for an event for the kids without sitting next to each other. You don’t get to demand a divorce and demand their friendship at the same time. As I have pointed out before, I don’t choose friends who lie to me, cheat on me, and betray my trust. Those are really bad friends. Choose better! You wouldn’t keep in contact with your kidnapper or your rapist so why does anyone feel the need to guzzle down a shit sandwich and play friends with their ex simply because you had children with that person?

It’s image management, folks! As long as you’re spooning up that shit sundae with the spoiled whipped cream and rancid cherry on top then they can pretend that whatever it is that they did is all perfectly okay. Would Barbara be willing to host me and my new fuck buddy for the holidays if I had hurt her and the kids? Would Greg sit with me and laugh and reminisce if I were a cold-hearted whore who hurt him immensely? Of course not! Therefore, I’ve done nothing wrong. If Barbara and Greg can forgive their cheating exes, or perhaps simply the person who chose to leave them while they sobbed on the floor and wondered what it is they did wrong, then who are any of you people to say that I’ve done wrong?

I was asked to consider that maybe there was room for Matt’s advice, and that not only might there be plenty of room for his advice, but that it might actually be the better way. I was asked if we, as women who have been wronged, shouldn’t be waving the banner for “something better” because, hey, that makes us better people, too.

I much prefer Chump Lady and her state of Meh. You don’t care what the ex is doing. You focus on your own life. You’re not angry. You’re not bitter. And while you’re not engaging in screaming matches at drop offs, or sending drunk texts or scathing emails, you’re not friends either. You are business-like and professional. You keep it brief and as cordial as possible. You’re so busy with your new and improved life that you don’t know and you don’t care what the ex is doing. You don’t have time to be friends with this person who once wrecked such havoc on your life because you’re busy being fabulous.

Again I will say that if going on vacation with the ex and his/her new family is what makes you feel all peaceful and hopeful then you go for it! If you take pride in the fact that nobody can even tell that the two of you are divorced because you do everything together, show up at all events together, work so well together, then you do you, boo. You won’t ever hear me say you absolutely shouldn’t. You might hear me say I wouldn’t and that I have absolutely no desire to do so.

The reality is I don’t feel that’s always the best way. I think kids should realize that there are consequences to their behavior. I think it’s good to model to your kids that you have good boundaries and you won’t let people walk all over you, even if that person who is trying to walk all over you is someone with whom you had children. I think it’s good to show your kids that you can end toxic relationships; hell, it’s good to show your kids that toxic relationships exist! I think it’s good that kids realize cheating is a horrible thing to do to your partner, that it hurts families, that it destroys lives, and that it is morally objectionable. I want my kids to know that there are deal breakers and sometimes, when you step all over another person’s deal breakers then that person might not care to associate with you anymore. That is their right. You got to choose to disregard their feelings; you got to choose to behave badly. They get to choose whether or not they wish to continue to have you in their life.

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?