Divorce Decree and children asking for time/to go to events
So tonight DD called me on WW's phone and was with siblings, AP, and WW. All going to get ice cream. I'm thinking I'm going to have to suggest that phone calls from WW's phone are for emergencies only or scheduled phone calls with DD.
DD was asking me if she could go to a company picnic (I don't know if it's AP's company or WW's. likely it's AP's) This is the second time WW has used daughter to ask for something during my time. First time was Aunt was picking up DD from school, WW saw it and got mad at me, saying I 'went behind her back' and other stuff. Then she used DD to ask again. DD asked me a few days later "Can Mom pick me up from school some times on your weeks, she wanted me to ask." DD was calling from WW's car, AP was in the car and I kept catching glimpses of AP's stupid face as DD walked into ice cream shop so they could all get ice cream together. WW basically replaced me with AP and it makes me sick when I have to see DD in these 'family' situations. I'm doing my best to move on, but WW still shows no respect for boundaries, or decency towards me.
Divorce Decree specifically references not using our child as a go between on parenting issues.
Am I wrong for thinking it's not right for her to have my daughter call me, asking for my time with DD to be sacrificed so DD can spend time with WW/AP. If I say no on the video call, it puts me in a lose/lose situation. Not to mention I had to see the AP in the background while I'm talking to my DD.
I feel sick now. I spend effort to make sure this isn't affecting DD, I don't want her to suffer because of WW's actions, OR mine. But WW makes it difficult at every step. I'm trying to pick my battles, but I don't want to continue to be taken advantage of for the rest of my co-parenting life.
8 comments posted: Friday, April 14th, 2023
Coparent phone call length & frequency
WW called unexpectedly the other day and what I figured was going to be a 5 minute good night phone call turned into a 30 min reading of a book. Disrupting DDs time with me and our bedtime routine.
We have 50/50 joint custody. My time with DD already goes by so fast during my week and my focus is quality time w DD.
30 mins every day feels excessive, especially given 50/50 custody and shared time. I emailed WW and ask that such long book readings be reserved for her weeks. She responded saying 30 mins was suggested by co-parenting sites and linked 5 websites. None of the links reference times, but supported my argument that co-parents should respect the other's time.
WW operates on give me an inch and I'll take a mile.
She doesn't respect my boundaries, it took the lawyer intervening when she used DD as a go between because she didn't like an aunt picking up DD from school.
It feels like she tries to do everything she can to disrupt my time with DD and manipulate DD.
I allowed a scheduled conversation tonight, gave DD privacy, I walked in at the end of their phone call and WW said, "ok, our 30 mins is up" and DD asked why, instead of giving a neutral answer WW said because that's all the time she was allowed.
WW is so subtly manipulative I don't know what to do. I can't afford to keep hiring a lawyer. And I'm ok with occasional calls. But 30 mins every day is disruptive.
The articles I read suggested letting the child decide, but also paying attention to attention span. WW has no respect for boundaries...none, so I can't trust her judgement.
Divorce decree has no guidelines on phone/text time. I don't have much evidence that she's overstepping, but I can already tell she's trying to plant seeds in DD's mind that they'll have 30 min book reading time daily during my time.
2 comments posted: Thursday, April 6th, 2023
Divorce final, custody agreement done, still selling house
Divorce was finalized about two weeks ago. I kept all of my retirement savings, 95% was invested pre marriage anyway. My pension she could have gotten $200 per month but I left it off the table and offered up front alimony. WW took everything that was 'ours' and only left my clothes, desk, PC and stuff that was 'mine' that she didn't want. It feels rotten to be the one who was trying to do the right thing and she contributed very little, put us in significant debt, cheated, and comes out more financially ahead. But I think she'll blow thru that money.
She folded a bit on ROFR, she wanted it all the time. I said no, not during work hours, and my lawyer added a 4 hour window. So if family wants to see my DD outside of my work hours, anything less than 4 hours I can not be around. Like if family wanted to take my daughter to a movie and I needed to run an errand, I don't need to ask WW for ROFR.
I could have fought for the whole house. She quit deeded her share to me when we bought it 4 years ago. But it likely would have been court and a coin toss.
I have 50/50 joint custody physical & legal. She has backed off since my last post. No more pushing to pick up my daughter after school on my weeks, I think it's just going to be more sneaky methods vs the blatantly wrong stuff she was doing before. Especially since my lawyer sent her a warning letter.
I haven't heard much from her anymore. I'm still angry. All the lies, manipulation, gaslighting, replacing me with the AP. Even putting DD in the middle and manipulating her. I nipped that in the bud hard. But I had a really rough week last week of wanting to disappear from existence. But I love my DD and absolutely don't want to ever hurt her. Or leave her in my WW sole care.
Tonight my WW called and read a 30 min book chapter to my DD. Which begs my next question. When does stuff like that start to cross lines into interference with my time w DD.
WW has no concept of boundaries. Otherwise we wouldn't all be in this position. After seeing other posts here. I feel like I came out relatively well. I can start a new life and leave the metaphorical garbage on the curb. I did chuck anything real that she gave me in the trash. Going back to early dating days too.
8 comments posted: Monday, April 3rd, 2023
WS bringing AP to daughter's medical appointments
My daughter was getting her cast off today and I arrived at the appointment time. WS was not in the lobby so the front desk showed me to the room and WS/AP were sitting in there with my daughter.
I think it's EXTREMELY disrespectful of WS AND AP to have him in our daughter's medical appointments. WS and I are getting a divorce, but he's no relation to my daughter and even if he becomes her step-dad, he has ZERO say in my daughter's upbringing, by the court order.
I want to tell WS that AP has no place being the rooms when our daughter has an appointment. She may have had an affair, but I am my daughter's father, I will ALWAYS be her dad, and I am NOT being replaced...ever.
AP can wait in the waiting room. He's NOT family. I think it's also confusing for our daughter...WS and AP are pushing this on my daughter and the whole situation was unhealthy from the start. WS had an emotional affair, lied about what was going on between us to friends/family and the truth finally came out. I think WS and AP still think they didn't do anything wrong and it blows my mind.
Am I wrong in thinking AP has no place in my daughter's medical appointments? Seriously, WTF is wrong with my WS? Who does something like this and thinks it's ok?
13 comments posted: Saturday, March 18th, 2023
WS manipulating daughter to ask for 'time' during my custody weeks.
Tonight after I picked my daughter up from my wife for my custody week, my daughter and I were talking about school and my daughter said "Is it okay if WS picks me up from school some days this week instead of aunt or grandma. WS told me I should ask you because she wants to spend time with me after school." This is RIGHT on the heels of my WS blowing up at me last week when my SIL picked up my daughter from school and WS texted my daughter asking her "who picked you up from school?" and replying with "That's shitty, I would have liked to have seen you." And WS telling my daughter "I'm mad, but I'm not mad at you" like I did something wrong. She also called and I answered in the car and she tried to belittle me and talk down to me while she was on bluetooth. I told WS she was ON bluetooth and she ignored me, saying it was nothing she couldn't say in front of our daughter. Basically trying to exhibit dominance over me. I just want what's best for my daughter and for WS to stop encroaching on my custody time because she doesn't work and won't get a job.
Our divorce decree isn't filed yet, but it has a right of first refusal clause in there, basically for times over 4 hours and outside of work hours+commute.
I KNOW my WS is WAY out of line here. I emailed my lawyer, waiting to hear back from him. My WS has no respect for boundaries, our daughter's well being, or anything. I can NOT believe she's using her daughter like this.
11 comments posted: Saturday, March 18th, 2023
Finally confirmed in January, just found this website
This is a lot longer than I expected. Sorry.
How it Started:
Middle of the year in 2022 WS reconnected with what she said was a childhood friend. She had never mentioned him, but he lived on the east coast and we lived close to the west coast. She would just watch his twitch stream occasionally and sometimes played games with him. They started playing Sea of Thieves together, and I wanted to check it out too, so I joined them sometimes.
Towards the end of 2022 I had another hobby take up my time, so I stopped playing SOT when them. But would still check in and see what they were up to. In January of 2023 WS asked about moving her parents into our house because they lived in a two story house and her mom was having issues going up and down the stairs. We had a downstairs bedroom and large house, and I didn't want her mom to fall and get seriously injured or worse. So I agreed.
Starting Red Flags
Around the same time, the AP said he would be at work, thinking about my WS and he couldn't wait to get home and hang out with her, and he wished it could be just the two of them. I told WS that bothered me, and it was a HUGE red flag. She laughed it off and told me not to worry. On top of that, my other hobby ended and they no longer invited me to join them to play games, they also started watching TV shows/movies late at night together on discord. OR they'd play so late into the night I couldn't join, because I had to sleep/work the next day. (WS didn't work, she was/is a stay at home mom. AP worked nights, and spend a lot of off nights w WS or days off talking to WS on discord/text)
2023 Fighting Over Boundaries and Gaslighting
This progressed throughout 2023, WS & AP playing games together and leaving me out, even games WS and I used to play together. I'd express myself how I was sad at being left out, and then I'd get annoyed 'pity' invites, which I hated. I could tell by the way WS invited me that she didn't want me there, so I didn't accept. On the nights I did accept WS would be mean to me, and AP would sorta ignore me, but WS and AP would act weird, like...intimate together. I brought this up and WS made it sound like I was the one being weird.
Often I'd go to bed by myself around 11pm and WS would stay up until 1am-5am, and sleep the next day after she dropped kids off at school, until she picked them up in the afternoon. She usually took care of cleaning the house, but she stopped doing that. She stopped doing most of her responsibilities and her energy was spent on hanging out with this AP.
I expressed how these things bothered me, the time spent with AP, and WS immediately got defensive and deflected everything back on me. I was called jealous, which I pointed out there was a healthy type of jealously. I asked to spend time with WS and AP because I didn't want to be a jealous/controlling partner. WS said she would play with me, or with AP, but she didn't want to play with both of us at the same time because 'the game was too hard that way' and this was the excuse for multiple games. So I constantly felt left out. WS also revealed she had been talking to AP about our relationship, I told her that wasn't okay with me, it let AP give/receive positive emotions and support, and all of the negative energy was directed towards me. The amount of conversations between AP and me were limited, and often he didn't reply for days, but he'd be chatting constantly with my WS. I didn't think much of it because I trusted her.
There was also gaslighting, where she'd change my words around on me and make me think things I said, or situations, were different than what actually happened.
We also had a mutual friend from another state who offered me counseling, because she dealt with veterans and I was slipping back into depression. That and some physical injuries affected my sex drive (along with WS not spending any time with me, and intellectual attention is important in attraction to me.) I was worried about it, but I accepted and spoke with her for a while, until a little after October.
October, the Visit
In October, AP visited for a week. I hung out with WS and AP for first two days, but at the end of the second day WS posted a picture of her and AP. Everyone was cropped out except AP and WS and it was the exact same pose/smile WS and I had taken a few years earlier, a time when I knew WS and I were happy. A few days later WS asked if she could get a tattoo because AP was getting one. (Just if we had the extra money) I said yes and when I got home I realized WS/AP had gotten matching tattoos in matching spots. (It was a shit looking tattoo also, but song lyrics that were kinda intimate).
I said that bothered me and WS ignored me. I talked to counselor friend and told her that how my WS was so giddy during AP's visit kinda 'hurt' me. I didn't know exactly how to process what was going on. I was hurting that my WS was so into this guy, and so dismissive of me. Counselor friend never had any good advice. She said "there would be two holes getting dug" if she was in my position. ALSO WS was love bombing me and super giddy after AP left. I told WS she was acting weird, and I can't remember the exact response, but it was lame. I felt like WS was compensating for being so giddy with AP, to reduce my suspicions.
In Nov my family visited for the first time in 2 years and WS wasn't feeling well, WS barely spoke to my family and stayed hidden upstairs, spending time with AP on discord/texting. I focused on my family and then I started feeling bad, found out I had covid, caught it from WS. Family left town and eventually WS and I had a bad argument about how much time WS was spending with AP. WS wouldn't talk to me in person, was in another room texting me and I couldn't keep up. WS types faster than me and was changing my words around, putting lots of blame on me, deflecting, devaluing me, etc. I got fed up and walked into room WS was in by herself and startled WS at how quietly/quickly I approached. I whispered "FUCK YOU, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND I'M DONE WITH THIS CONVERSATION." Because I didn't want to yell next to my daughter's room. But nothing was resolved about how much time she was spending with him. I'd try to resolve it/resolve the fight, but WS was avoidant to talking.
I developed a bad cough from Covid which lasted weeks. WS used that as an excuse to sleep in another room, and piggybacked on our fight, saying she was scared of me. I've never done anything violent in our relationship, honestly WS and I didn't fight that much, usually over stupid stuff and it would be resolved quickly. (I'd ask for time to think/get over it, and WS would push for me to get over it immediately) NOW it was the opposite, I was trying to resolve issues and WS was asking for time. I respected WS request.
Eventually another issue came up, step son said he was thinking about hurting himself, he had tried to choke himself but couldn't. I was talking to WS about what was going on and she cut me off AGAIN, something she did a lot. I asked her to let me finish a thought and we had a small fight. I was upset because I was concerned about step son and WS was just deflecting and starting stupid arguments over inconsequential stuff. I was alone and broke a cheap broom over my knee because I was so frustrated after a year of arguing, being made to feel responsible and worthless, like my input didn't matter. I went and bought a new broom, told WS what happened to broom and why.
The Last Months
WS told me she needed time/space, but wouldn't tell me why or how much. Eventually said it was because of the "FUCK YOU" I 'screamed' in her face. (which I didn't scream) That she was scared of me from that, and the broom, put things on me about lack of intimacy, which I said it was hard to be intimate when she spent so much time with AP. She defended AP saying he was supportive of her, and even encouraged her to talk to me. I said AP shouldn't be involved in those types of conversations, that WS should be talking to me. When we were having talks, WS didn't even want to talk face to face to me. (I think because of the guilt of the affair)
I offered to go stay with a friend and WS agreed to do marriage counseling. 'It was the least she could do.' WS dropped hints saying it was too late, we should have done marriage counseling earlier, 'she asked me, but I said no' which wasn't true. I just said counseling was hard on me, but I never said I wouldn't go. About two weeks into counseling a mutual friend dropped off all my social media/friends lists on games. I asked what happened and WS acted confused and said he withdrew from her too...she said he had a crush on her and maybe those feelings were back. He answered my texts and said 'it's hard to want to interact with you because of everything going on between you and WS.' I was confused because he shouldn't have been any part of that, and our fights were marriage fights, nothing violent, nothing out of the normal. I was trying to establish healthy boundaries and I was being WAY too respectful of WS and AP. I said I was sorry he felt that way and hoped we could reconcile and that I valued his friendship, but that stuff should be between WS and me. I'll call him 'ghosted' friend.
During every counseling session I was blamed for all the problems, and WS didn't want to accept responsibility for anything. WS gaslit during one session and I called her on it. Counselor started agreeing with me about A LOT of issues. WS did NOT like it. Then I found out WS had dug information out of the 'friend' counselor and used that against me, acting hurt that I was 'hurt' by the Oct AP visit. I told WS that digging that info out was NOT okay, marriage counselor agreed and kinda shamed wife on that. I caught WS on doorbell camera leaving my meal delivery outside saying 'it's only BS's food, so I don't really care.' I told WS I saw it and she was caught off guard and apologized, but later in counseling she accused me of being creepy.
On Christmas week I stopped by (still not staying in my own house) and dropped off presents for kids. The friend who had the 'crush' and ghosted me was stopping by after me to hang out and watch a movie with WS and my kids. I checked driveway camera later because now I was getting suspicious. Caught WS and 'ghosted' friend hugging in driveway for about 1 minute. A LONG hug. Ghosted friend sidled up to WS weird and hug lasted WAY too long, WS looked awkward and Ghosted friend overstepped bounds. I showed wife video and said he wasn't allowed on the property anymore. Marriage counselor agreed with me about what happened, checking on cameras, inappropriate hugs, etc.
I also asked WS and AP to not talk about our relationship while we were in counseling, and respect that process. WS got SUPER mad at me, calling me controlling and saying she'd talk to 'who the fuck about what the fuck she wanted.' I brought this up in counseling and counselor supported my attempt to set boundaries again.
Jan 23 - The End and the Beginning
In mid Jan AP was coming to visit and so many red flags had popped up I told WS I didn't like it. I was going to move back into the house. WS asked me if I thought that was a good idea, I said yes. WS finally said 'this isn't working' and 'what now?' WS also claimed that as soon as marriage counselor said anything she didn't like, she was just going to leave. I told her that wasn't even trying then.
WS and I were discussing staying married so she could finish a degree that was available through some benefits of being married to me. AP was about a week out from visiting again, (AND I knew he was planning on moving out since his first visit in Oct), WS also admitted they were doing an overnight stargazing thing on a mountain. 'But it's okay, they'd be in a group of people.' I said it wasn't okay, none of those people knew me, WS, or AP. For all they knew AP and WS were a couple. WS finally caved and said she had feelings for AP, after I asked her one day. I knew in my gut stuff was off, I was just trying to save my family/marriage.
Originally the plan was MIL/FIL living in the house would buy me out of my share and WS/2 step kids/my daughter/MIL/FIL would stay in the house. I just wanted out, and to start a new life with my daughter. I felt bad about MIL/FIL because they didn't know what was going on, MIL did NOT like the AP, and I knew WS was going to move AP in as soon as she could. AP came out for the visit and was staying in my house, eating food I bought for my family, parading around town with my family. I had enough.
A few days earlier SIL (our realtor also) had called to get some paperwork done for the transfer of ownership. She asked me what was going on, and I told the truth, about everything. SIL said she knew something was going on. SIL passed info along to MIL, who passed it along to FIL. Around the same time I had enough, MIL/FIL had made up their mind, they weren't going to buy me out, they were going to buy a different house and move out. I encouraged them to do so and get away from everything.
FIL accidentally let it slip to WS they were looking at a house, WS panicked and told AP they were 'losing' the house, in front of my step kids/daughter. A night or two later (after a few arguments w WS) I went to my house and told AP I wanted him out of the house. WS and AP acted like I was crazy. AP asked 'what did I do?' like he was completely innocent. Blew my mind. I simply said "You both know what you did. I want AP OUT."
The next morning AP was gone, WS had a rental property ready and 'AP is helping me afford this house' still no admission of guilt about the affair. I still think WS believes her own bullshit about 'emotional neglect' and being afraid of me. But I've never even spanked our kids, I never really yelled or was angry until AP stuff was going on for a year and in DEC was when WS and I had bad fights. MIL heard us fighting but WS was lying to her about what was going on, and after SIL told MIL about the affair, MIL was 100% on my side. WS took most of the household stuff, leaving only stuff I had bought for myself, or things she didn't want.
I also found out WS was lying to our mutual friends and some family about what was going on. I lost 'friends' but I don't care, those people supporting my WS had no moral compass. Also they claimed they 'didn't want to be in the middle' but they were hanging out with WS & AP and liked AP. But I think WS had just lied so much and so well they bought her lies. They didn't care to hear my side of the story.
I've been living in the house since WS/AP left. I feel like I am starting to finally get my life back. WS was toxic and selfish during our marriage, she told me she wouldn't cheat on me when we got married. There are a few more things to the story, but it's so long already.
8 comments posted: Friday, March 17th, 2023