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New Beginnings :
The Looming Train Wreck that is Moving Kid to College

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 Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 10:25 PM on Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

DD goes to college in two weeks. I am anxious how the dorm move-in is going to go because she invited XWH to help her move in addition to inviting my SO. She's been pretty cool to XWH the past few years but lately their relationship because he had an affair with and is still dating the family friend that broke up our marriage. That began nearly five years ago and through out that DD lived with me and XWH completely had his head up OW's skirt and barely parented. He would forget to pick DD up at school or was late, once even stole $$ from DD's checking account to take OW to the horse races (their couple thing is getting dressed up and hanging out at racetracks). Well, I guess DD has forgiven him because they are communicating more and. after stating flatly she didn't want his help, she's now accepting it.

First, I don't think it takes 3 people to move a kid into her college dorm. Second, I don't want to be around him, especially since he is not paying a cent of her tuition. He has not lived under the same roof as DD since he left to go live with OW. I am the one who helped her study, took her to doctor's appointments and got her through high school, paid for tutors and took her on college visits. The whole time he was preening around with OW, spending thousands of dollars on expensive suits (he's a carpenter) and fedora hats and betting on horses. I see the ridiculous photos on Facebook.

I am also paying the whole cost of the tuition according to the terms of our divorce settlement. Third, SO (who I really didn't want to come in the first place) is so flattered she invited him to help, he wouldn't miss it for the world, but my sense was she invited him impulsively and probably because she thought it would please me. The two have a good relationship and being that he's childless he has adopted DD as his own. If I asked him to stand aside he'd be really hurt.


Should I just let this train wreck happen? Any thoughts or advice would be deeply appreciated.

posts: 219   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8682657
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Palmetto9213 ( new member #71217) posted at 12:05 AM on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

Fablegirl, moving into college is a significant life event for your DD-one of many ( think wedding day, childbirth, grandkids birthday parties, etc) so it's to be expected that you will have more Train Wreck situations in the future and will have to deal with/interact with your ex.

You should be soooo proud of yourself- getting your child prepared for college academically, selecting the school, being financially savy enough to pay for it and all the other sacrifices you've made are going to be worth it!

Whatever her reason was, DD has invited both your ex and your SO to be part of the move in day, and I would let both men participate. Have you considered splitting the day into 'shifts' with you and your SO taking the first part of the day. That way, you could potentially leave before your ex arrives for his 'shift' and you wouldn't have to see him at all.

DD could either give the ex the items he will move in for her, or give him a list of things to buy that she still needs (Desk? Dorm fridge? Bedding?)

Hopefully, the day will go better than you envision and DD will thrive at college!

BS-59Y/O Female
WS-66 Y/O Male
Married 13 years
Divorce finalized 6-22-20

"Darling-that soft spot you have for broken things is going to make you bleed"....but I decided I was not willing to bleed to death!

posts: 42   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8682684
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freetogonow ( member #57821) posted at 4:01 AM on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

When you ask, "Should I just let the trainwreck happen", I'm not clear what you're asking.

Why would a trainwreck happen?

If it's about him disappointing her in some way, that's between them and is absolutely none of your business. It's not your job to manage their relationship nor mitigate pain to your daughter that her adult relationship with her father causes her. If that's what you mean, then yes, let the trainwreck happen.

If the trainwreck is going to happen because you cannot be coolly polite to him then...don't wreck your daughter's big event. He won't be hurt in the slightest by your antics but she'll never forget how you acted.

posts: 1738   ·   registered: Mar. 13th, 2017
id 8682749
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 1:02 PM on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

because she invited XWH to help her move in addition to inviting my SO

THIS is why you should let this happen with no reaction to your DD. For whatever reason, she felt moved to include him.

I get it. As a parent who is footing the bill for year #3 of college with no so much as a pencil contributed from her father.

I think there is a solution here. As I said above...I have done this multiple times and there is NO room in dorms! People are literally tripping over each other. As above poster suggested - split the time if possible. Maybe her father and SO go first and help her move everything in and take her to lunch. Then you come to help her unpack and get situated? There is lots of work to do for everyone.

If splitting the day (or days) is not possible, maybe just splitting out the tasks so you can not be face to face. Again...they lug all the stuff in and you are in the room wiping down and setting up? Or you carry in (CAUSE YOU WILL HAVE AN EXCUSE TO GO OUTSIDE FREQUENTLY...lol) and they unpack. Or you take the bathroom cleaning and set up (again....gives you an escape).

Has the college offered any covid guidelines? Some colleges restrict the number of helpers to two to limit mass amounts of people. They actually suggest splitting the day.

Worst case scenario, you are stuck with them. Remember this memory is to be ALL about your DD. So paint on a smile and pretend your ex is a non-entity.

That is what I do. I smile and answer if spoken too and just move along.

PS - congrats on college! This is huge. We are hear to listen!!!!

posts: 6671   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8682790
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BrokenheartedUK ( member #43520) posted at 2:14 PM on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

I understand your feelings completely on this but as others have said it’s not about you and your daughter is trying to find a way to connect with her dad. Try not to personalise that. I’ve done all the move ins for my children and I can tell you from experience it sucks being completely on your own. When my oldest was going off to college he invited his dad to come over to help with the move but his dad managed to get arrested for drunk driving in the U.K. a few weeks before (seriously you can’t make this shit up) and we disinvited him as a result of that drama. I wouldn’t recommend that either. Sheesh. Anyway, try and keep your emotions on this in check, vent to your SO as needed and take a deep breath before saying goodbye. (((())))

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3339   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8682801
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 Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 3:55 PM on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

I really appreciate everyone's insight and advice. Splitting up the time and duties makes perfect sense. I re-read my original post and realize I have a lot of work to do in not personalizing DD's repair work with XWH. I guess I feel a bit threatened about it and protective at the same time. Thank you.

posts: 219   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8682828
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million pieces ( member #27539) posted at 9:12 PM on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

Where is your daughter going to college? Just mentioning this because things are a bit crazy with COVID surges. My son is entering LSU this fall, move in is this Saturday. JUST THIS WEEK they updated new COVID policies so you have only 15 mins to unload your car and your parents can only help you a 90min time slot. There is no way to divide this time. And they just put out an email yesterday at 4pm saying that all students regardless of vaccination status need a negative COVID test within 5 days of move in. Spent hours trying to find a rapid test site that doesn't require an appointment as all the appointments are booked through the end of the week and he starts driving with his father tomorrow morning.

Me - 49D-Day 2/5/10, separated 3 wks later Divorced 11/15/11!!!!

posts: 2002   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2010   ·   location: MD
id 8682923
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 10:10 PM on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

IMO, when it comes to kids and ex's, I do all I can to take the HIGH ROAD.

I've been there and know it ain't easy. Kids will figure out who is an arse and who isn't in their own time.

This is "about" your child... it is not "about" you or your anxiety or your SO, etc.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3430   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8682930
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 3:07 PM on Thursday, August 12th, 2021

I guess I feel a bit threatened about it and protective at the same time.

What you are feeling is totally normal!

I remember getting M and my mom saying "Why does your father get to walk you down the aisle? I AM the one who was here the entire time. He didn't even pay his child support!"

So girl - we do understand. And that is what we are all here for. You vent away!!! Get it all out here so you are equipped to deal with move-in day.

posts: 6671   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8683040
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Alonelyagain ( member #32820) posted at 4:39 PM on Friday, August 13th, 2021

I’m going through this same process right now too. I’m trying to accommodate the wishes of my DS18. Immediately after the HS graduation, he wanted a picture of him with just me and XWW, so we did that. At first XWW wanted to fly with DS and move him in by herself and then I would fly out the next day and take him to lunch. At the time, DS said at least you won’t be driving home 12 hours, alone in the same car as XWW. On July 4, DS got his move-in date which is this Sunday morning. I then made flight arrangements for just me to fly out on Saturday and return on Sunday. A few days later XWW asks if I made flight arrangements for DS and me, and threw a fit when I told her no, just for me, within earshot of DS. Later DS asked me why XWW and I can’t get along. I explained what XWW had previously said and he vaguely recalled her saying that, and that I had acted in accordance with her earlier stated plans. Nevertheless, I was able to get DS on my flight and in my hotel room, and XWW is on a different flight and at different hotel. Tonight, I’m taking DS out to a local restaurant with his two younger sisters for a farewell dinner, and have included XWW at DS’s nudging. Can’t wait until I’m on my separate flight home on Sunday afternoon.

posts: 384   ·   registered: Jul. 18th, 2011   ·   location: New Jersey
id 8683300
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 7:34 PM on Sunday, August 15th, 2021

Yeah, I get it. My situation was a bit different, both my sons went to D 1 colleges and played in huge marching bands. (No help from Dad-he tried to talk them out of college. shocked ). Their Dad never came-not to move in day, not to a single game, pep rally (free), on and on. He made it for grad -barely with my x friend, now wifetress.

So yes, I’d be so overwhelmed if I had to be in close quarters with xh, but for my amazing kids, I wish he had come to anything.

Try to block him out, and post here if you need support during the day. We care.

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5366   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8683652
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Alonelyagain ( member #32820) posted at 9:48 PM on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

My XWW and I moved freshman DS into his dorm at a huge D1 school on Sunday, and everything went fine. XWW and I generally see eye-to-eye on our three kids, and we were cordial over the weekend. It helped that we took different flights and stayed at different hotels. I’m on the freshman parents Facebook group for DS’s college and it’s been heartbreaking to read some parents’ posts about their kids being anxious and wanting to go home after just a few days! I strongly urge you to put aside your feelings towards your XWH, no matter how well deserved, and do whatever will make your DD happy and comfortable during this transition that can be difficult under even the best parental circumstances.

[This message edited by Alonelyagain at 9:50 PM, Wednesday, August 18th]

posts: 384   ·   registered: Jul. 18th, 2011   ·   location: New Jersey
id 8684252
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 1:35 PM on Thursday, August 19th, 2021

it’s been heartbreaking to read some parents’ posts about their kids being anxious and wanting to go home after just a few days!

It is such a tough thing....for everyone....kids and parents.

We leave tomorrow for move-in on year #3. But we were just talking about that first year move-in last night. So emotional (for all). It is so much easier after that first time. I think because that first year you are worried because you are leaving them in a new environment, new people, new everything. Whereas after that first year, your heartstrings tug but you know they are familiar with school, people/friends and how to navigate.

I remember they gave the parents all sorts of advice and the one thing was to not let them come home those first months. Even if you live within driving range. It is better for you to go visit them in their new environment. This helps force them to get more involved/acclimated to college. We did do that. We went there a lot those first couple months. Then Covid hit and it all went out the window. lol.

Thinking of all you first timers!

posts: 6671   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8684339
Topic is Sleeping.
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