BoundaryBuilder and nomudnolotus. Wow. Just wow. I have been so focused on not tearing the holidays apart for my children. I wanted to save them from having to have two. Save them from that hurt. We had said it from the beginning, back before he got so emotionally abusive, and I think I got it stuck in my head. Doing the big stuff together as a family was the ultimate co-parenting goal. If we did that, we would be doing it right. I wouldn't fail. Fail my kids, myself, him, others' judgement, I'm not really sure? But it was so stuck in my mind that this was the right thing to do for my kids, that it would hurt them the least.
Gaslights your kids - as they get older they'll see the real him with more clarity. They already see him abusing you NOW. He won't be getting a personality transplant anytime soon. Raising kids is not easy! As the kids get older, some of his abusive behaviors may extend to THEM
THIS! I am terrified of my kids learning this behavior from their dad. His own dad was emotionally abusive while they were growing up. (He has since gotten help and has gotten better, he is a wonderful grandpa.) I want to end the cycle. My hope is that divorcing him will help. But I want to do everything in my power to show my boys how to be real, stand-up good men.
-One big happy family on holidays scenario serves his image management. What he did can't be that bad 'cause hey, we're one big happy family! Is he pushing for this even though he doesn't seem capable of following through on it? If so, you can bet it's all about image management for him.
This makes total sense too! He is allllll about the image! I think that's the only reason why he's giving me so much money right now. So that he can tell everyone what a good guy he is. I think he legitimately thinks that what he did was not that big of a deal. He thinks it's not that bad. He's confused why everyone is still hung up on it and is acting like he did something wrong.
-You may muddle through with this forced scenario for a while. BUT Your STBX seems like the type that will bring another woman into the picture ASAP.
I haven't even thought about this. I should have though. I don't think I could sit there and play "happy family" with this OW. It would be one thing if he left and then met someone new and had a legit healthy relationship. But the woman who knows what he did, what he was doing, and choose to stay with him? I don't think I could do it.
As the child of divorce, I can also say that it isn't fair to your kids. It's confusing, and they can feel the tension, so every single holiday will have a cloud of doom hanging over it.
I don't want that for my kids. I want them to be happy, not to dread holidays and big days because they know it's going to be filled with tension. I would hate even more if they started to feel guilty or responsible (mom is sad on the holiday because dad is around and she's only inviting him for my sake). I'm not a child of divorce. I don't have that perspective at all. It's hard for me to figure this all out. What I initially thought would be best for them might not be after all.
If I do split the holidays though, it's going to have to come from me. And it's one more thing that he'll be able to say is my fault. He TRIED to do them together. He WANTED to make it work. I'm the b!tch not letting him see his kids on holidays.
I don't think he will ever see what he is losing, at least not for a long time or he really hits rock bottom. I don't think thats happened yet. It's not in him to anyways to be what you wanted him to be. The person you are now seeing is who he his; a cheater, liar and emotionally abusive and very emotionally immature.
I think you're right. He is a completely different person now. Most recent example: we finally had good weather this weekend. I spent hours and hours redoing the flower beds outside our front door. Lugging dirt, rocks, lots of hard work. I was thrilled with the result and can't wait to keep going. His response when he saw them dropping off the kids: PISSED! He was so insulted that I hadn't done that work the four years that we lived here, and that I only did it now. He was so self-absorbed and selfish that he only saw me doing this as an insult to him. WOW. He really is a selfish person when it comes down to it.
I was talking to a friend and telling her about a situation that had happened that he was acting controlling. She asked me if I thought he did it on purpose. And I don't think he did. I think that, he was just being selfish, and thinking about what he wanted and how to get it. He didn't think about my needs/feelings. He didn't think about how if he did it, it would be controlling. He just thought about what he wanted. He would never see himself as controlling or manipulative because that honestly wasn't his intention. So can you still get mad at someone for being controlling and manipulative if they didn't do it "on purpose"?
I know that someone asked you if your WH was an alcoholic. I don't think I saw a response from you.
I know that he's been drinking more ever since he moved out. I don't think he's an alcoholic. I think he's a narcissist.
I do have more concerns about holidays, and would love any advice. In the time that we've been together, I've grown really close to his family. While I'm getting back to being closer to mine too, they live 13 hours away. So for holidays, we always just go to his family. If we're splitting holidays, does that mean I don't get to spend them with his family either? His family will be so upset! So for Thanksgiving for example: years that I have them, we either somehow go to see my family, or just spend it at home ourselves, and years that he has them they get to go to the big family (his side) gathering? That sucks. Does divorcing him mean I have to divorce his family too, even if neither of us want that (me and his family, not me and him)? And what about birthdays? Do they really get two separate parties? And Christmas morning? My kids are still so young, they believe in Santa, and want to wake up to presents under the tree! Does that now rotate houses and I only get to see it every other year? Is this what is best for them? If it is, I will do it. I will put them first. I just hate the idea of missing so much. Divorce is so much harder than it seems. As soon as you get yourself to accept one part and be ok with it, something else that you didn't think of pops up and throws you for a loop again. I'm heartbroken and I hate him for doing this to us.