Stop Feeding Your Kids Shit Sundaes, Part 3

Now, about that child and/or spousal support… What is the big deal with this? On the other board I frequented there were many debates about child support, dads not getting credit for what they did, and how maybe more dads would step up if they were able to buy directly for their kids.

Hmmm… so when Dad’s money goes to buy the new cleats and pay for the class trip you’re supposed to make sure the child knows that it was Dad that made it possible. Yet, if Dad doesn’t send child support you’re supposed to shut up and take the blame for any of the things your kid misses out on or can’t have. I think we call that having your cake and eating it, too. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say Daddy gets all the credit when he sends child support but then turn around and say you should never mention child support if it’s not appearing.

Again, I’ve been honest with my kids. They’re teens. They’ve been raised a certain way. For all of their life, up until the time their dad decided to fuck his cousin, whenever they needed something I was able to go out and buy it. No questions asked for the most part. No tough decisions to be made. Oh, you like both of those? Go ahead and get them both. When I used to take them shopping I didn’t really have a budget in mind. The same could be said about our outings. You want an ice cream cone? Sure. You want a bucket of fries? Of course! You want a souvenir from our trip. Why not? So, when the money tree dried up and I suddenly had to budget I let them know we couldn’t do those things anymore. There were no more shopping sprees. No more expensive makeup. No more game systems. We didn’t go to very many places. Our big outing was generally lunch after church on Sunday back when we still lived in Virginia.

Later, when I was working two jobs and still didn’t make enough to rub two nickels together I told them we were dirt poor and I didn’t have it. No, I can’t take you shopping. No, we can’t go to the movies. No, no, no. I also told them that things might change once he finally began paying support; until then, when he wasn’t paying a dime, I did indeed let them know our finances were extremely limited. Why? Because I didn’t make very much money and Dad wasn’t paying anything.

I have let them know my job pays my bills and that is it. I have told them that their dad’s child and spousal support lets us do everything we are able to do. It allows me to buy the things I buy for them. The way I see it I give CF all the credit. Conversely, he gets all the blame when he decides to play games and send his support whenever he feels like it. Sweetie, I’ll help you with books when your dad pays me. I can get you a new pair of sneakers when your dad sends me some money. Once your dad sends his final support payment I can pay your tuition. I can’t pay your sorority fees right now because I haven’t received my spousal support. I’ll give you your allowance once your dad sends me what he owes me. I’m low on funds until your dad comes through.

I believe I’ve pointed it out before but I have never once complained about the amount of support I receive, nor have I ever asked him for additional money. I have also never said, “Go ask your dad for the money for that.” I plan around what I’ve been court ordered to receive. In none of those instances do I ever say, “Well, I would do x, y, and z but your dad doesn’t pay enough support so we can’t.” I’ve been very honest, though, about my dependence on him and the support he pays. I think of it no differently than my paycheck.

I don’t think anyone would have a problem telling a kid, “I can’t go buy a new pair of sneakers for you until I get paid on Friday,” or “You’ll get your allowance when I get paid.” Yet for some reason it’s a horrible thing to say that about spousal and/or child support. I see no difference.

I’ve never understood the big secrecy regarding child support. Now if I were to go on and detail all the money that he spent/spends on the whore and her kids… Eh, facts are facts. I figure so long as I’m not editorializing I’m golden; however, I would not do that. Not because I’m protecting him or think I owe him or even because I don’t believe you should discuss such matters with the kids. I wouldn’t do it because it would only hurt my children.

Yes, I know. It does seem that I’m somewhat talking out of both sides of my mouth. I do believe you should be honest with your kids. I do believe they are owed the truth. I don’t think you should cover for the other parent, or lie to them. I also think that you don’t have to go out of your way to tell them every horrible thing their other parent did. I believe there’s a big difference between having honest conversations and simply blurting hurtful facts out.

For example, the first month after Cousinfucker and Harley were discovered Cousinfucker cashed in almost $6200 worth of stock, took out a $5000 loan on his 401k, and now had $5000 a month just for shits and giggles. He put it all into their joint account. That first month when I asked for more money in order to buy Rock Star’s Homecoming dress (less than $100, btw) he told me he didn’t have it this month. Yet, he bought the whore a $4200 engagement ring. He put down payments on not one, but two, puppies for her kids. She spent almost $200 at Vera Bradley, over $400 at a sporting goods store (for her own kids, I’m assuming), and hundreds of dollars on eyewear that month. In addition, a few months later a dress was purchased for just over $300 for Harley’s daughter.

Did I run out and tell my kids all of this? No. Why not? Mainly because I didn’t know any of this for certain until I opened the American Express bills or he was forced to turn over his bank records. Her husband had talked about her wearing a new diamond ring and him putting a down payment on the dog he promised her kids, but I didn’t have proof until later. When I did have proof I didn’t blurt it out because there was no context behind it. Oh my God! That sonofabitch! Can you believe all the money he spent on his whore and her kids? Let me run down the list for you!

No, that did not happen. However, when Rock Star began talking about buying her next Homecoming dress online from China because she could get it for a really cheap price I did tell her not to worry about. Her dad would buy her a damn dress. If he could buy Harley’s daughter a $300+ dress he could damn sure buy his own daughter something decent. Yes, I did tell her that.

Another time she threw something in his face about her being “his real daughter”, or something like that; I know it had to do with the fact that now he had a “replacement daughter”. His response was that he and the whore’s kid weren’t that close. I remarked, “Wow- maybe you should go for a ‘not that close’ relationship. He paid for her truck to be repaired, offered to buy her a new car, bought her a puppy, got her a new iPhone and paid her cell phone bill, and spent over $300 on a dress for her. Must be nice to be ‘not that close’!”

I suppose for me the line is this: Does this information add anything to the story? Does it substantiate whatever is being said, or being felt by my kids?

It’s one thing for me to find out my daughter is trying to get the cheapest dress possible because she’s worried about me not being able to afford anything and telling her “No, you are not going to buy some $40 dress because you’re worried about money. You go to your dad and you tell him exactly what you want. If he can spend all that damn money on some teenage girl that he’s not related to and has known for less than a year, he can damn sure as well buy his own daughter a decent dress.”

It’s a completely different thing to just out of the blue tell either of them, “Oh my God! Did you know your dad went on vacation with his new family? Why couldn’t he do that with you two? Oh yeah, that’s right; he did go with us a couple of times, didn’t he? I wonder if he ruined their vacation, too.” Or, “Hey guys, look at the fantastic new house your dad and his new family live in! We live with Nana because he let our home go into foreclosure, and they have a pool and a clubhouse.”

That’s my line. Yours might vary. Regardless, don’t be afraid to tell your kids the truth. You aren’t the villain because you refuse to cover up their cheating parent. Being honest doesn’t make you a bad person. Put down the shit sundae. Grab a juicy burger or a big slice of chocolate cake instead!

Finally! Christmas Comes For Picasso

It’s only two weeks after Christmas. My son finally got a card from his dear old dad. At least he didn’t neglect entirely, I suppose. Thank goodness for small favors.

Is it me? Am I really expecting too much to think that a person might send Christmas cards to both of his children at the same time instead of sending one card and then waiting another two weeks to send the other? He did this at least once before. I find it bizarre.

I can understand the Easter thing. You go online and order something for one kid from one site; then you order something different from a different site for the other kid. You have no control over how quickly each package reaches the child. But this isn’t something purchased online. This is a Christmas card with a Visa gift card tucked inside. How difficult is it to put a stamp on both of them and drop them off at the mail box together? I will never understand it.

I asked him if his dad wrote anything to him. He said that he did. He mentioned something about him writing that he would like to see him or talk to him again. I asked Picasso if he ever thought about doing so. He quickly replied, “Nope.”

There was no anger. No bitterness. No hesitation. Just, “Nope.”

A Tale of Two Christmases, Part 1

Another Christmas has come and gone. Another chance for the ex to do something nice for his kids. Another fail on his part.

He managed to get a card and a gift card in the mail. For Rock Star only. Apparently, he doesn’t have his son’s address either. Hmmm….

It was a sappy card; there was a handwritten message inside where he tells her he adores her and that he hopes only for the best for her.

My son doesn’t know his dad sent something to his sister and nothing to him. I’m not planning on telling him either.

There is a part of me that says this is the hand he was dealt and he’ll just have to deal. I can protect him as much as possible but aside from that there’s nothing that can be done. His father’s an ass and he’s the one missing out. It’s his loss. End of story.

There is another part of me that is so fucking angry at him. How dare he treat my precious son like he doesn’t exist? That boy is amazing. He is sweet, thoughtful, funny, and smart. He’s quirky and so very literal. He’s an amazing musician and artist. He still loves hockey although he isn’t able to play anymore. He likes classical music and music from the 80s. He likes quirky t-shirts that mean something in his life. He’s a big Bob Ross fan.  Anyone who knows him is lucky to be included in his life.

For the last three years he’s gone hunting with my brother; he never got anything. In fact, last year they didn’t even see a deer. This year he finally shot a 17 point buck. My brother has been bragging about it to everyone he sees. The people at the processing plant were oh’ing and ah’ing over the size of it. Guys that had paid thousands of dollars to hunt in other areas were impressed with the size of it. The mobster showed it off to people who hunt and they commented on how it was “a kill of a lifetime”. They even went on to tell others about it. He showed it to his son who also hunts; he said it was a beast and was also quite impressed with it. My brother has warned him that he probably won’t get another deer like that again.

His father has no idea. He wasn’t there to take him hunting. He wasn’t there to hear about it afterwards. He wasn’t there to congratulate him.

For whatever reason he has completely disowned his son. Picasso no longer exists for him. I have no idea why; I only know it breaks my heart.

Is the Past Drifting Away?

Rock Star and I were having a conversation the last time I was with her. I forget how it came up; I must have told her once again I was sorry her high school experience was what it was, instead of what it should have been, and that she graduated here instead of in Virginia with all her friends.

She told me for the first time that she didn’t care where she graduated. It didn’t matter to her. Then she went on to say that in the end it all worked out for the best.

She is ecstatic with college living. She loves her college. She loves her sorority; she loves her “Big” and her “G-Big.” As she wisely pointed out to me, if she had graduated in Virginia she never would have ended up where she did. She really wouldn’t have. An out of state college in Indiana never would have been on her radar. She wouldn’t have pledged her sorority. She wouldn’t have met the people she has. Right now she can’t imagine life without them.

I have worried endlessly about both of my kids since moving them once again back in July of 2016. I’ve worried more about Rock Star because the move seemed to be so much more traumatic for her, and because Picasso seemed to adjust so well. My beautiful, outgoing, funny daughter went from being a super star to being nothing. She lost gymnastics for good. She lost great friends once again because of her dad’s selfish choices. She was a month away from driving solo when it was snatched away from her. She spent most of her last two years seemingly miserable and anxious. Friends coming over or even hanging out with friends was a distant memory.

It seems, however, the worry was for naught. All the pieces are finally falling into place. I’m not sure I can go so far as to say everything happened for a reason. There were a lot of things that really sucked. There were a lot of tears, disappointment, sadness, and loss. I don’t think CF needed to firebomb our lives, and yet…. if he hadn’t I don’t think we’d be here.

Yes, Rock Star would have continued on her life as a pampered daughter who wouldn’t have to do without. She would have got her license at 16 and 3 months, been given a car, and thought she had life by the tail. She would have continued on at her high school having an amazing high school experience. By virtue of being her younger brother Picasso would have had an easy transition into high school. Plus, he had already begun developing a close knit group of friends on his own. Neither kid would have wanted for anything. They would both still have a mom at home for them, available 24/7.

Rock Star would have gone to a different college and maybe she would have loved it there as much as she loves her current school. Maybe she would have pledged a different sorority there and loved those girls. I don’t know.

What I do know is that she’s happy now. Where she is. Not just happy. She’s beaming. She feels like she’s found her tribe, her place.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to listen to “Best Day Of My Life” or “On Top Of the World” without feeling a twinge of regret, or a faint whiff of, “What if…?” Fortunately, I can take comfort in knowing it eventually had a happy ending.

My Reply to Your Opinions

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

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

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

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

Now, for a few clarifications:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

Another Round Of Parental Alienation

Yet another OW’s blog. Yet another accusation of parental alienation. By now everyone knows if the kids don’t come around it’s not because the other parent is an insensitive, selfish asshole; it’s because the custodial parent is alienating them.

I don’t know. Maybe most of these cheaters think they are so wonderful they can’t conceive of a situation where someone would choose not to spend time with them. Their insipid little cohorts are sipping the same Kool-Aid. “My bae is so amazing that, of course, his kids can overlook all of the selfish, shitty things he has done in the name of love. If they aren’t talking to him it’s because the horrible, mentally abusive wife has manipulated them. No, alienated them!”

Perhaps I take these articles personally because I know Cousinfucker has told people I’ve turned the kids against him. I saw the Facebook post where he was lamenting the fact his children “probably wouldn’t see this” (his post) but wishing them a happy Thanksgiving nonetheless and telling them how much he loved them. I saw the responses to that.

Hang in there!

One day they’ll be old enough to make up their own minds!

Just keep telling them you love them!

They’ll know the truth one day.

It fries my fritters when I hear that crap! My kids already know the truth. They know that their dad cheated on me. They know that while he lived with us for the next six months he didn’t bother talking to them. They know he walked out the door without saying a word to either of them. He didn’t bother to tell them he was moving out of the house, much less out of the state. They know he could drive to see his cousin/mistress every single weekend before he moved, and that he couldn’t be bothered to visit them even one weekend in more than two years. They know all of this because they lived it. And those are just the big things.

They have experienced the joy of leaving behind lifelong friends where they grew up. My daughter had the pleasure of giving up her dream of being a Level 10 gymnast, and my son gave up playing the only sport he ever liked- hockey- because their dad was unhappy in Utah and wanted this “dream job”.

We promised them a better life. We sweetened the pot, so to speak, with promises of a pool, a hot tub, a game room, a theater room. My son looked forward to working side by side with his dad, helping him build it.

Instead, they got a father who once again shut himself off in his room. They got a father who ended up in the psych ward. A father who couldn’t go outside supposedly. A father who couldn’t celebrate their birthdays with them.

And then they got to watch as this helpless father who couldn’t go anywhere could suddenly play the devoted daddy to children that weren’t his. He could attend their birthday dinners. He could walk the mall with their whore of a mother on Christmas Eve, shopping for gifts. He could make pancakes for them, and buy them puppies and phones and expensive dresses. He could even go on family vacations.

It didn’t stop there, however! They got the pleasure of moving out of their home, watching all their furniture be sold off, saying goodbye to new friends, and moving yet again- this time more than 600 miles away.

My son had a fairly seamless transition, but my daughter was miserable the first six months or so. She lost her place in the Sports Hall of Fame. She lost future Homecomings (my alma mater does not have a Homecoming dance). She lost gymnastics for good. She had been counting down the days until she could get her license and now she was told nothing she did back in Virginia counted; she would have to start all over and wouldn’t be eligible to get her license for another 6 months. She was devastated. She lost any desire to gain a new set of friends. My beautiful, vivacious girl who was surrounded by friends and a social butterfly, became withdrawn, anxious, and depressed. As she told me once, she went from being everything to being nothing.

My son hasn’t seen or spoken to his father since February of 2016. Cousinfucker was creeping around in the shadows at her graduation and didn’t show himself until we had all left. My wonderful, talented, soft hearted son was with my mom on his way to the restaurant so CF never spent a single second with him. He didn’t bother to make it a priority to say a word to his son. This year he sent Rock Star a birthday and graduation gift, but sent nothing for Picasso- not even a card. I doubt very much that he will attempt to reach out to ask for a ticket to his graduation in 2 1/2 years.

THAT is my children’s reality. THAT is their truth. And that is why my son has no relationship with his father and my daughter has a very superficial one. It is nothing I did or said. He did a much better job at alienating them than I could have ever attempted.

 

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.

October Triggers

I read a lot about triggers. Usually it’s the betrayed spouse who is trying to reconcile. Here is a lesser known fun fact: Did you know that you can divorce and still experience triggers?

October has been ripe with them. It’s probably not October, per se. It’s just that I’ve been out and about and well, it’s October.

People are starting to share senior pictures of their kids. The pictures are beautiful. The smiles are wide. The parents are so proud.

The mobster’s daughter is in full blown senior mode, making it a point to not miss one minute of her senior year. Last week was Homecoming and she and her friends were dressing up for Spirit Week. They had so much fun planning what to wear and picking out the outfits. She opted to go to the Homecoming game instead of a Kane Brown concert. She is loving every minute of her senior year. She doesn’t like talking about graduation because she doesn’t want it to end. I don’t blame her. She’s got a great life- fantastic friends and a full social calendar (plus an amazing dad!).

All of this makes me feel so sad for what my own daughter lost. Her senior year was nothing big to her. Unlike T, she couldn’t wait for it to be over. She was graduating with these people she had known a year, not six years. She didn’t have fantastic friends, or rather, all of her fantastic friends were hundreds of miles away. Her social life didn’t exist.

Maybe it’s all an illusion. Maybe if we had stayed in Virginia and she had graduated from her original high school she would have felt the exact same way. I don’t tend to believe that, though. She loved it there. She loved her friends. She loved cheering and competing in high school gymnastics. These would have been people she would have spent four years with, from freshman year through senior. She would have finished what she started. Instead she was moved and forced to start all over. She couldn’t have cared less about her senior year, and it makes me so sad because high school had started out so promising for her.

Fortunately, she’s happy now, and I am crossing my fingers that nothing will derail her at college. I am hopeful that college will be the amazing experience she should have had in high school.

You would think that would be enough as far the triggers go but you would be wrong. Starting in September, possibly earlier, the stores start hauling out their decorations- Halloween, fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Yeah, I can’t believe they have Christmas stuff out either.

I can tolerate the Christmas stuff. I’ve always decorated for Christmas, even when I had my own apartment years and years ago. But the Halloween and fall decorations always make my heart ache just a bit.

You see, I was very bored and lonely when we moved from Utah to Virginia. I had nothing to do so I decided I would decorate for the first time in our lives. Like, really decorate. It started off with me deciding to decorate the porch for fall and to decorate the inside with Halloween decorations for the first time ever.

I decorated the hell out of the house. I had different bathroom rugs for every holiday, every season. Different hand towels, too. My sofa table was where most of the decorations resided, but I also decorated in the dining room and the formal living room.

Now, every year I am bombarded with all the different Halloween and fall decorations and it reminds me of all I lost. I had a home to decorate and now I don’t. I spent all this money to make our house look lovely and in the end it was a waste of time and money because all of those things were sold off for pennies on the dollar.

I know I shouldn’t miss things, but I do. I do my best to focus on what the future will bring. I tell myself that I will once again have a home of my own and I can decorate that space from scratch. Nothing from the old life will taint the new. Best of all I don’t have to worry about losing it because it will be mine.

Nonetheless, those triggers are a bitch. Even when you’re divorced.

Hall of Fame

My daughter was a gymnast from the time she was three until we left Virginia when she was 16. Most of that time she was in the JO (Junior Olympics) program. The last two years she competed on her high school team and she spent one year competing as an Excel gymnast.

High school gymnastics is not as demanding as the JO program in many, many ways. The chief difference would be the time commitment. In her last few years in Utah she was at the gym 20-25 hours a week. She practiced every day after school for 4 hours; her last year out there she practiced five hours three days a week and four hours the other two. Summers she was at the gym 5 hours a day, five days a week. Although competition season is only approximately four months, you practice year round. In high school gymnastics you’re practicing 2-2 1/2 hours a day, five days a week. And only during season.

There are also certain requirements you have to meet in order to move up levels. There are basically 10 levels and then the elite program. She was a Level 8 when we moved. She was doing fun stuff like giants on the bars, flicks on the beam, twisting fulls on floor, and a Yurchanko on vault.

High school gymnastics has its own difficulties. For starters, they compete on a dead mat instead of a spring floor. You know how when you watch the Olympics those gymnasts look like they’re getting eight feet off the ground? It’s because they probably are! Those spring floors are nice! You get a lot of height out of them and they help when you’re trying to gain height for a trick and flying through the air. I’m not saying it’s easy to throw a full on a spring floor, but it’s infinitely more difficult when you’re trying to do that trick on a dead mat.

A lot of high school teams have old, outdated equipment, too. Gymnastics equipment is very expensive and they just don’t have the support that other sports do. The bars at my daughter’s old high school were purchased in the 80s. The equipment is usually stored away and then brought out for practice and meets, too. This can lead to things not being put together quite as well as it should be. I don’t think I will ever forget Rock Star’s first conference meet where the beam collapsed in the middle of a girl’s routine. Thank goodness she wasn’t doing anything dangerous when it went down!

The biggest difference, and probably the most difficult part of high school gymnastics, is the fact that everyone competes against everyone. In JO, or team, gymnastics you reach a certain level and you compete at that level for the season. Every person in that level is required to have the same skills. There are some choices, of course, but everyone basically has the same set of skills, and as you gain more skills, you move up. Even within those levels you compete in an age group, so if you’re a 14 year old Level 8, you’re going to compete against other 14 year old Level 8s.

Not so in high school. Like I said, everyone competes against everyone. So, the girl that is trying gymnastics for the very first time is competing against girls who have competed for four years in high school and against club and Excel girls as well.

In some of the bigger cities in the state their gymnastics team is comprised mostly of girls who are practicing year round with their individual gyms. The girl that is having trouble doing a cartwheel or a hip circle is competing against a Level 10 who can possibly throw a double full on a dead mat and giants on bars.

Plus, they begin the scoring at what basically amounts to a Level 9 list of requirements, so a lot of girls aren’t even starting at a 10.0 start value.

And, just to add to the difficulty, unlike other sports where you compete in single A, doubleA, triple A,  4A, or 5A, gymnastics had no such differences, at least on the individual level.

Rock Star’s school hadn’t had a girl go to States in years. They didn’t have a competitive gym in the area (until about a year before we moved) and the majority of the girls were gymnasts during the school year only. I don’t think many of them even made it beyond the conference meet to Regionals.

Rock Star made it to Regionals the first year on three events, and barely missed out on going to States that same year. You had to place in the top 8 and she placed 9th, only .025 behind the 8th place person. Her second year there she qualified for Regionals in every single event and went on to compete at States on the balance beam. I believe she placed 17th out of the entire state, competing against Level 9s and 10s and Diamond Level Excel girls.

All of that explanation to get to this: Her former high school had a Hall of Fame. During Homecoming the new inductees would be introduced. To qualify you had to be outstanding in your sport. One of the last people to be inducted was the last female to have gone to States in gymnastics.

The day she qualified for States I remember looking at her and telling her, “You know you just made it into your high school’s Hall of Fame, right?”

I debated even writing about this because it’s been two years now since we left and it seems like such a petty thing in the grand scheme of things. There are worse things that could happen. Ultimately, she graduated from another school and is leaving for college in less than a month. This shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t even be on my radar. It’s in the past.

Yet it still stings. It is still a disappointment. She worked hard and she achieved something that not many people there did, and that probably not many will achieve again anytime soon.

Her father stole that from her. He fucked around on me with his cousin, ended up losing his job, and forced us to move. Even if she had never gone back to States she would have still made it in. His selfish behavior took that away from my baby and it still pisses me off.

Perhaps it wouldn’t have even mattered in her later years. Maybe when the time finally came and she was invited back to Homecoming and to be inducted she would have said, “No thanks, I can’t get away from my job.” Maybe at that point in time she would have thought it was ridiculous. I don’t really know. What I do know is she never got that chance. HE STOLE THAT!