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I didnít want to believe it...but here I am again

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ChangeMaker posted 5/22/2019 12:08 PM

Hi HIP,

I can't really make this any easier for you other than to remind you of the Long Game.

It hurts like hell now... I know. We all do. But, there's a lot of time in front of you and your kids. That time will heal you. It will let you SEE (it already has), and it will let your kids SEE too. They're clever little beasties, these children.

I advise you to play the long game. Your kids will piece together a startlingly accurate picture of him as they go along. They will learn who they can trust. It's unfortunate that they can't trust him, but they can't - he's to fucking dumb to realize you can't let children choose for themselves - they'd eat candy at every meal!

He will punish himself in his relationship with his kids.

By way of example - my XWW is being dominated by my oldest because XWW always wants to be the good guy, the buddy, the fun one. But the older daughter is very smart, cunning, and powerful in character - she's found the buttons and switches and pushes and pulls them at every opportunity.

She is amazing at my house. Very well mannered, well behaved, curious and engaged. I am no tyrant, but I am no pushover either. I'll let her shave half her head and dye the rest green, but I'd better not have to ask her to go to bed twice!

The younger one is clever too... she waits for the inevitable clash between her mother and sister, then cashes in, cuddling up to Mommy as sweet as sugar in honey.

My kids ALWAYS come to ME for things that are important to them - school projects, repairs, planning - whatever, because they KNOW I'll deliver. Then all I have to do is smile at the "poor me, I've been excluded" texts from their mother.

I know it's hard, but the important thing here is that your kids feel safe and loved. You don't want to make them feel that they can't talk about OW or they won't, then you won't know if she's treating them right. If they seem to genuinely like her, then you can be reasonably sure they're safe... I know first hand that this is hard to do. If she is not treating them right, you want them to feel safe in telling you that too - and they'll usually do it in a round-about way that only casual conversation can reveal.

I hope this all makes sense and helps you in some way.

MamaDragon posted 5/22/2019 13:28 PM

The kids want to make you both happy - they probably only agreed to meet the OW because they were afraid to disappoint Dad.

Then they are afraid to hurt you by letting you know that the OW is ok. It sucks that you are the one being an adult and he is acting like everything is kosher.

It is not and your kids will know and realize this in the long haul. Unfortunately that is a way in the future.

I'd suggest sitting the kids down and explaining that you are mad at Daddy, mad and hurt because he choose to have a relationship with the OW before you and he divorced but that it is in no way reflective of the relationship he has with them. That it is ok if they like the OW and as long as they are being treated fairly and not in any danger, it is all good. Stress to them that they are the most important thing in your life and while you cannot be friends with their Father, you can be a co-parent. They don't have to know the details of why you are divorcing, eventually they will put two and two together and understand. They will also respect you because you were not a doormat and didn't put up with a man treating you like dirt.

I would strongly suggest you get them in IC. It will help with communication and give them a place to vent where there is no pressure to think as their parents. (not that you would do that but he might - cause he doesn't want to be the bad guy)

Your STBXH is trying to come out smelling like roses. Trying to downplay his actions that resulted in the marital breakdown - so he is trying to spit shine the situation by 'showing' his girls that he is trying to be friends with Mom but she won't budge. Explaining to them why Mom can't be friends with Dad will go along way to them understanding. Seeing you not allowing someone who hurt you greatly will teach them that they don't have to keep toxic people in their life. Stay strong my Friend. It will get better.

Western posted 5/23/2019 07:22 AM

Keep fighting.

Keep to your gameplan and when you get angry, vent here but also use that anger constructively to rid yourself of the disease he has become and spread to your family.

Heartinpain posted 5/27/2019 21:16 PM

Coming here to vent. Iím sure all of you BS have dealt with this, but I am pissed. Iím mad that my DDís age 8 and 11 donít really get it, and WH is still lily white in their books. I know thereís nothing I can do about it, and I know better than to try to ďsway them to my side.Ē But it pisses me off to listen to them be all excited to talk to him, and be sweet, etc. I just want to scream from the rooftop ďguess what? He lied to all of us! And he walked out on everyone in this house, knowing damn well it was going to adversely effect you, his children! And he did it anyway, over and over again!Ē
Then, yesterday, WH was talking to girls on the phone, and told them they could get ears pierced with him next weekend, as long as mom says itís ok. Now mind you, he did not ask me first. So now if I say no, Iím the bad guy. And I donít really care if they get them pierced, itís just the way he went about it. And his response when I told him to talk to me first before saying anything to the girls? ďI donít get much time with them, so when Iím with them I want to do things that are memorable.Ē Translation= I want to be the fun parent. You are the parent of chores and responsibility, getting out the door in the morning, having a bedtime, breaking up sibling fights, consequences for actions, etc, etc and I want to do things that are ďmemorable.Ē Ugh! So pissed I could scream. I need to set up a punching bag in my garage...guess whoís face Iíll picture while Iím pummeling it?

[This message edited by Heartinpain at 9:44 PM, May 27th (Monday)]

sassylee posted 5/27/2019 21:33 PM

HiP, your boys know you are the stable, solid parent. But dad? He walked out on them. They are doing the pick me dance with him right now. ďSee me dad? Iím lovable and sweet and a good boy...donít forget about me!Ē Iíve seen many kids do it to get a not-so-present-parent even without a divorce in play. Iím glad they are in counselling. Keep being the good mom you are. It hurts to see them fawning over him like that but just remember why they feel the need to do it. Dadís not there. They feel disposable and their desperate to prove their value to him. They already know how much you value and cherish them and sadly, thatís often taken for granted. Hugs HiP. You will come through this stronger than ever. Youíre taking all the right steps. I canít wait to read your update in 2 years. Itís going to be magnificent!

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:34 PM, May 27th (Monday)]

minusone posted 5/28/2019 05:34 AM

I don't know....maybe it's my mood.

But I say.... fuck him.... If you are okay with getting their ears pierced go take them yourself.... You could always say.... Why Wait.... Let's go do it now so I can be sure that you know how to take care of your ears so they don't get infected. or something like that.

((HIP))) he is going to piss you off because it's all about him. They will realize one day what's going on. Just provide a safe home filled with love and protection. Your kids will need that.

You are surviving and YOU will survive..... one day at a time.

CometGirl posted 5/28/2019 05:55 AM

This!^^^^^^^. Take them yourself so youíll be the cool parent and teach them how to care for them.

ChamomileTea posted 5/28/2019 09:09 AM

I wasn't allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 12. My mom figured by that time, I'd be able to decide if I really wanted the piercings and to take care of them myself so as to prevent infection. More importantly though, she liked to set these little benchmarks in order to keep us from acting more grown up than we actually were.

"No" is a complete sentence, and one that you're going to have to use quite a bit from here on out. So, if you don't want him taking them for ear piercings, you can say so. You're their mother.

If it's an experience that you'd like to share with them yourself, by all means, go ahead and say that too. But don't send the message that they can get you to agree to things by getting their no-account father to give permission first. They'll learn to manipulate you pretty quickly.

And as far as them thinking their dad can do no wrong, were they told the truth? I mean, in an age appropriate way? Do they know that married daddies aren't supposed to have girlfriends and that's the reason you're getting divorced?

k94ever posted 5/28/2019 11:52 AM

HiP.....play the long game.

The kids don't need to know about their scumbag dad yet. As good as it would feel to tell them now, let them figure it out on their own. They will figure out YOU are their safe parent and their dad is not.

People down in Divorce/Separation will help you figure out a plan to deal with your Ex in a healthy and win-able manner.

Long game girl......long game.

k9

STLLOST posted 5/28/2019 12:07 PM

(((((((HIP)))))))

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I know how hard all of this is and how you want to just let your kids in on the "secret" of their dads new "friend".

I'm sure it was incredibly hard for you to hold your tongue when he said he doesn't get to see them very often so when he does he wants to do something memorable....Makes you want to scream WHO'S FAULT IS THAT???

I hope things get easier for you. At least if you're mad you aren't sad.

1girlsmom posted 5/28/2019 20:54 PM

Hey HiP,

Been where you are, seen the ending.
I can't say that for WSs kids, their mom was like your WS.
My kids are great now & have not faultered in fulfilling the expectations put upon them.
I didn't play the games being thrown at me & they knew where they stood.
Go with your gut.
Their dad is not doing what's best for them, you know it.
They'll be fine & I agree, counseling would give them a neutral venting ground with suttle guidance on where to put their anger.
I just found out that I have been plan "E" so i feel for ya.
This ain't easy.
Sorry everyone's had to come here but thank goodness for everyone to have a place that KNOWS.

gmc94 posted 5/28/2019 22:11 PM

HIP:
Sounds like WH wants to be a "Disneyland Dad".
I get it. What I've learned is that eventually the kids grow up and realize who was the parent and who was an idiot that really only wanted to be their "friend". You be the PARENT to them and they will figure it out.
I KNOW it ain't easy in the meantime. My ex was a Disneyland Dad. Around the time he graduated from high school, DS figured out that his mom was the stable person and the one who loved him for him - not for her own frigging ego kibble. Now, he rarely speaks to his father, and I can't remember the last time DS said a kind word about him. I had plenty of "ammo" to share with DS about what a scumbag his father is. I could have prevented bio dad from ever even seeing DS (long story) - but I didn't. Hard as f*ck... but was the right thing to do in the long game. Now, I have a marvelous son.... I suspect his father will die alone with his toys.

Heartinpain posted 6/5/2019 19:06 PM

I took the dissolution papers to the lawyer today to be filed. Struggling. Iím sad. Not that I want him back, but I guess Iím mourning the life I thought I would have. I guess Iím feeling a bit sorry for myself. Lots of bad thoughts...why wasnít I enough? What does she have that I donít? Why didnít 18 years of marriage mean anything to him?
I miss him. Not the asshole that he has become, but the old husband that I married. I donít know what happened to that person.

Lp0725 posted 6/5/2019 19:32 PM

Your STBX is a very sick man and he's obviously not thinking straight. Soon enough everything will come crashing down around him, but this time you won't be there to pick up the pieces for him. His AP is just as pathetic and sick as he is. Trust me, she has NOTHING on you, he's just using her to feed his ego. What kind of woman pursues a married man with a family? Only someone with severe self esteem issues and no self respect. There's no way this is going to end well.

ChamomileTea posted 6/5/2019 20:51 PM

...why wasnít I enough? What does she have that I donít? Why didnít 18 years of marriage mean anything to him?

She's not enough either. Nothing is ever going to fill the gigantic hole in this guy's character. And the only thing she's got that you don't, is an equally large character deficit. The guy is too wrapped up in himself value your marriage, or the contributions you made to it. He's essentially a Dark Hole, sucking in everything near him and crushing it to nonexistence.

I think it's just human to be sad on a day when you've had to file for divorce. It's normal to grieve the mate you thought you had. Be gentle with yourself.

((hugs))

pureheartkit posted 6/6/2019 07:22 AM

Hard that he wants to be fun dad but doesn't surprise me a bit. It's all about what's best or most fun for him. So frustrating but keep to your core about who you are and what you want them to learn from you. Kids like to be spoiled, sure but as adults we look back and appreciate the love and guidance we received. That's a long life of adulthood compared to the short time of childhood. Show your wisdom to them and as they grow, if he stays stuck in his immaturity and self centered ways, they will see it more and more and then he will lose his sparkle.

I'm so sorry HiP, I wish I could bring back the men they used to be for both of us. ***hugs***

Heartinpain posted 6/6/2019 20:05 PM

SI peeps,
I need your help and experience. In the dissolution papers, we had initially decided that I would have sole custody of the kids, with STBXH having visitation.
However, he is now questioning that. My lawyer told me that the courts actually prefer ďshared parentingĒ (previously called joint custody), unless there are extenuating circumstances deeming one parent as unfit.
So now Iím faced with allowing him to have shared parenting, and proceeding with the dissolution or fighting it and having to go the divorce route. I donít want this to be a long drawn out fight. My parents, while being helpful, are pushing for the fight. They want to bring up STBXHís mental health issues as justification for not allowing it. But since his hospital stay, he is on meds, going to therapy, and group sessions...seemingly stable. And Iím worried im not going to win it anyway. And I will end up spending a bunch of money and this taking forever. Not to mention, if I fight this, he will more than likely tell the kids, and then how will they view me? He will paint the picture that I am trying to keep them from him. And Iím sure if the kids were asked they would want theyíre dad to be an equal in this. I donít know what to do. Your experience and input has been pretty spot on up to this point, so please weigh in.

[This message edited by Heartinpain at 8:06 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]

The1stWife posted 6/7/2019 04:16 AM

Just because he is ďstableĒ now does not mean he will be six months from now. If he decides to stop his medication things will change.

Plus heís living with the OW / do you want your children exposed to that also?

I would not allow shared custody. Just in case he changes. How Long has he known the OW?

I would allow visitation that appears as though he sees them 50%. But at the end of the day they come home to you. The stable reliable parent.

OrdinaryDude posted 6/7/2019 05:12 AM

Do your kids know his history? His issues? His treatment?

If not then they should before he gets shared custody.

ChamomileTea posted 6/7/2019 06:47 AM

It's entirely up to you, of course. But if it were me, I'd insist upon the agreement which is already made or he'd have to fight me in court. Sometimes they really don't want to have to go before a judge and admit to their adultery and abandonment. They don't want to have their AP subpoenaed or their medical records introduced into evidence. And I'd be really saccharin-sweet about it, but I'd explain that I don't think he's well enough for 50/50, and that I'd have no choice but to give my attorney a full accounting of events. I'd say it would just be easier, less expensive for both of us, and more timely to work with what we already have.

It's best if you can get him to back down, but honestly if it were me and he didn't back off, I'd make him long for the days when a simple dissolution was all it took.

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