Divorcebusting.com
Posted By: ScottB WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/16/21 04:38 PM
There was a lot of good discussion happening on my last thread, but I know they were going to cap it soon.

Here is a link to the last one: https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...amp;Number=2920358&nt=11&page=12
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/16/21 04:42 PM
I saw this on instagram recently and it reminded me of the conversation we were having here. This really resonated with me:

When relationships end we often blame ourselves and say “I’m the problem.” Or we take no responsibility and say “I’m perfect. Their loss.” The hard truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

In the Comments: Until recently, I believed that if I just tried a little bit harder, I could get someone to like me or understand me.

There are so many amazing communication skills and tactics being shared out there. But it can also keep you stuck in this cycle of self-improvement that says “If I just work a little bit harder….this relationship will improve or they’ll finally understand me.”

You can do all the work in the world and there will still be people that are committed to misunderstanding you.
There will still be people that don’t agree with you.
There will still be people that deny your reality.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to learn and improve! But, it’s important to know that sometimes it’s not you. Sometimes you’ve done all the work and you know you tried your hardest.

You know when you’ve done the work.
Have you read about communicating better?
Have you consulted with any therapists or other “experts”?
Have you been practicing?
Do you have deep relationships with other people?
Have you asked for feedback from other people?
Have you reflected on your role in the situation?
Have you been consistently working on your own inner stuff?

If you’ve practiced the scripts, read the books, consulted with the experts, asked for feedback, etc. and the relationship still isn’t improving…take a pause. Maybe you can see that this pattern isn’t showing up in your other relationships. You’ve reflected on what your part is and taken ownership of it. Is the other person doing this too?

Not every relationship can be improved or fixed. Not every relationship is a two-way street. Sometimes it’s one person doing all the other work.

This is just your friendly reminder that sometimes it’s ok to call it quits. It doesn’t mean you failed. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong.
Posted By: SteveLW Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/21/21 05:31 PM
Scott, good post. Cannot really disagree with any of this.

Would like to add. My favorite bald, Texan TV psychologist likes to say: "If you improve as a spouse, your spouse will more than likely respond positive to it." In other words, improving as a spouse cannot hurt your MR, and it more than likely will improve it.

However, in the situation where you work harder, try to improve as a spouse, and become the best version of yourself that you can be, and your spouse continues to want to leave, or not work on the MR, or be a lousy spouse themselves, more than being ok calling it quits, why would you still want to be with that person?

I think this is one of the keys to DBing. The LBS is in "hold on as tight as I can mode". DBing teaches you to look at things more logically, less selfishly, and objectively. Without that most human-beings will be against anything that results in change they are not in control of.
Posted By: BL42 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/22/21 01:18 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
When relationships end we often blame ourselves and say “I’m the problem.” Or we take no responsibility and say “I’m perfect. Their loss.” The hard truth is usually somewhere in the middle.
True, but where in the middle. Is it always 50/50? Sometimes is 60/40 or 80/20.

[quote=ScottB]This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to learn and improve! But, it’s important to know that sometimes it’s not you. Sometimes you’ve done all the work and you know you tried your hardest.
Very true. A balance between self-reflection and improvement, and also recognizing that in some cases it's more about the other person than you.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
However, in the situation where you work harder, try to improve as a spouse, and become the best version of yourself that you can be, and your spouse continues to want to leave, or not work on the MR, or be a lousy spouse themselves, more than being ok calling it quits, why would you still want to be with that person?
It's not always about still wanting to be with that person anymore as much as not wanting to be in the resulting situation their actions caused. I guess turning the attitude around and embracing the sitch and making the most of it anyway is the key.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
I think this is one of the keys to DBing. The LBS is in "hold on as tight as I can mode". DBing teaches you to look at things more logically, less selfishly, and objectively. Without that most human-beings will be against anything that results in change they are not in control of.
Letting go can be tough. It can be emotional and scary. Probably best in the end.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/23/21 12:12 AM
Originally Posted by ScottB
IWhen relationships end we often blame ourselves and say “I’m the problem.” Or we take no responsibility and say "Their loss.” The hard truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

There are so many amazing communication skills and tactics being shared out there. But it can also keep you stuck in this cycle of self-improvement that says “If I just work a little bit harder….this relationship will improve or they’ll finally understand me.”

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to learn and improve!

This is just your friendly reminder that sometimes it’s ok to call it quits. It doesn’t mean you failed. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong.
Amen. My XGF and I didn't work because I had unresolved baggage about my past, a disorganized home, control issues, an anxious attachment style, and she was most of my social network. BUT, it also didn't work because she vented her frustrations with life at me, wasn't reliable, had an avoidant attachment style, had control issues, and was suffering from a neurodegenerative disease. It's okay to let go. Keep improving and showing those improvements in interactions with them and others so we don't end up with similar dynamics with them or another in our next relationship. Reality usually lies in the middle.
Posted By: Sage4 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/23/21 05:02 AM
I am really enjoying the continuation of this conversation.

I had an epiphany today while speaking to my L about some details in our D. My H has some serious cognitive dissonance, to the point where I am concerned about there being a legitimate mental health issue running the cogs behind the scene. I could have spent some time explaining to my L where my concerns were and what I believed was going on, but in the end, no matter how disordered, mentally healthy or unhealthy another person is, the reality is that the truth still lays between their narrative and yours. Whether evenly in the middle, or only one degree off, anything but complete agreement of the facts is going to skew the actual truth. Which left me with the realization that it just doesn't matter how far off-base a person is, we can only work with what is in front of us, whether 99 degrees or 1 degree off, it's still off and we have to meet them where they are at.

Which then leads full circle back to the only person you can control is yourself. So, tell me how do you want to live your one wild and precious life? (Mary Oliver)

Personally, I want to grow from this situation that broke my heart in a million pieces, irrevocably changed the course of my future and that of my children, but I also choose life. And for me, life is more than reflecting on the past and how I could be a better person in my M with H, bean counting the (ever changing) degrees of differences in our narratives and truths, as I was wont to do in an attempt to better myself. For me, life is choosing to take a forest view of the trees and say 'hmm, other people have also said they struggle with me in this arena, I should pay attention' and leave the rest behind as an opinion of one and stop allowing H to define the degrees of differences between us. This allows me the space to just live my way into the answers, allows H his truths and me mine, without conflict or animosity.

For me, this is true detachment. I used to believe detachment meant I wouldn't care at all what H thought or felt. I know now that for me, this may never be true. I may always care, always feel. But if I can separate me and mine from him and his, truly listen and take the truths that I need to accommodate, and leave the rest, I will be able to move on confidently into healing and finding happiness.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/23/21 07:13 PM
Originally Posted by Sage4
For me, life is choosing to take a forest view of the trees and say 'hmm, other people have also said they struggle with me in this arena, I should pay attention' and leave the rest behind as an opinion of one and stop allowing H to define the degrees of differences between us. .

I agree with this. I think our spouse / ex-spouse can be a mirror for us, BUT when listening or taking feedback, we shoudl also consider whether or not we are getting similar feedback from others. If it really is isolated, then it might not be something we stew over for too long.

Recently my counselor recommended a book called "What Matters Most" by James Hollis. Its hitting me at a good time as I continue to work to think about the next chapter and what I (underlined and bold I), what I want. Not my kids, colleagues, parents, or ex. I'm only three chapters in but I'm finding that it to be a good read.

Overall I feel like I'm in the middle of a good run. Work is going better - I'm feeling my limits and paying attention to them so that I don't take too much on. Socially I'm doing good, finding healthy outlets. I'm really enjoying going kayaking when I can get out. Workouts are going well. I had the entire inside of my house repainted and and I'm redecorating everything. A couple of rooms are done, and my favorite thing is that I added a cool mid century modern desk that I use every night to journal, read some poetry, and spend time to think.

The divorce is at the 1 yard line. At this time we've made all the decisions we need to make. I would think the paperwork is all set any day and ready to be signed and submitted. I'm sure that day will be a hiccup. And I'm sure the hearing will be a hiccup. But I'm continuing to work to take steps to stay mentally healthy.

I hope everyone is well.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/23/21 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
BUT when listening or taking feedback, we shoudl also consider whether or not we are getting similar feedback from others. If it really is isolated, then it might not be something we stew over for too long.
Agreed. How long and well they've known you are also factors to consider. It can be especially challenging to objectively consider a claim made by a divorcing partner. In retrospect, there are few complaints from my XGF that I disagree with, although my prioritization of addressing issues is not hers.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/23/21 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by CWarrior
I had unresolved baggage about my past, a disorganized home, control issues, an anxious attachment style, and she was most of my social network.
For example, how many friends or acquaintances could judge these attributes of me in a romantic relationship in the last decade? WAS (separate from WWS) are rarely angels or demons. They may exaggerate or ignore positives, but there's often truth behind most complaints.
Posted By: OnlyBent Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/24/21 09:56 AM
Scotty, you seem like you're in a better place. Your posts seem to be less focussed on her and everything she did wrong and you're seeming more introspective and looking to improve. Its good to read, keep it up mate.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/28/21 02:34 PM
Thanks OnlyBent. I'm starting to sort through what my purpose is and doing some soul searching. My wife was my purpose (and my family). Obviously that is not good - you should not make a person your purpose.

So now I'm trying to do the work to figure it out. We'll see if I get anywhere with it, but I think the journey, the question asking, and the searching is a significant start.
Posted By: Thornton Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/28/21 03:41 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
Thanks OnlyBent. I'm starting to sort through what my purpose is and doing some soul searching. My wife was my purpose (and my family). Obviously that is not good - you should not make a person your purpose.

Yep. A lot of us can relate to this, Scott.

I always felt proud by identifying as a family guy, I didn't know that making my partner and family my purpose was a bad thing.

I now realize that balance is critical, and finding our purpose within ourselves is even more important.
Posted By: BL42 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/28/21 03:49 PM
Sage4,
Originally Posted by Sage4
the reality is that the truth still lays between their narrative and yours. Whether evenly in the middle, or only one degree off, anything but complete agreement of the facts is going to skew the actual truth.
True, always in-between but to your point is it 50/50 or 90/10 in one direction in the other? From a lot of the sitches I've read here, it seems like most cases the responsibility lies more than 50% on the WS/WAS than the LBS, but the LBS spouse takes on more than 50/50 of the burden initially and usually (at least at first). Whether that's the inherently biased angle in the stories the LBS tells here, or the fact that the folks on here are the ones seeking answers and trying to to fix things, it's important (imo) for some folks to realize it can very much be more about the WS/WAS than the LBS.

Originally Posted by Sage4
Which then leads full circle back to the only person you can control is yourself. So, tell me how do you want to live your one wild and precious life? (Mary Oliver)
Also true. Only thing we can all do moving forward is to improve ourselves for the future.

ScottB,
Originally Posted by ScottB
Recently my counselor recommended a book called "What Matters Most" by James Hollis. Its hitting me at a good time as I continue to work to think about the next chapter and what I (underlined and bold I), what I want. Not my kids, colleagues, parents, or ex. I'm only three chapters in but I'm finding that it to be a good read.

Overall I feel like I'm in the middle of a good run. Work is going better - I'm feeling my limits and paying attention to them so that I don't take too much on. Socially I'm doing good, finding healthy outlets. I'm really enjoying going kayaking when I can get out. Workouts are going well. I had the entire inside of my house repainted and and I'm redecorating everything. A couple of rooms are done, and my favorite thing is that I added a cool mid century modern desk that I use every night to journal, read some poetry, and spend time to think.
I agree w/OB. Sounds like you're doing well and focused on the right areas. Love the talk about self-reflection and reading, work, socializing, workouts, house improvements...etc.

Originally Posted by ScottB
The divorce is at the 1 yard line. At this time we've made all the decisions we need to make. I would think the paperwork is all set any day and ready to be signed and submitted. I'm sure that day will be a hiccup. And I'm sure the hearing will be a hiccup. But I'm continuing to work to take steps to stay mentally healthy.
Keep us posted on the D finalization. Heads up...it could be an emotional day despite the progress (at least it was for me).
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 10:05 PM
Just got this text from my STBEx:

“There has been something that has really been weighing on me and I have debated if and how I should share it with you. I’m sure someone has said something to you about NEIGHBOR and me. You have no reason to believe me and I understand that. NEIGHBOR and I were friends. He was nice enough to tell me about the rumors that were being spread about me years ago and that is what developed the friendship. His dad had dementia so I would often ask him questions regarding that. Looking back maybe the friendship was too much and there are some things I guess that could be considered shady. For that I am sorry to you and any pain that may have caused. I’m not even sure what HIS WIFE thinks happened between NEIGHBOR and I but it is not good and I am now in another awkward situation. I get that I am an easy target but that doesn’t make what she has said to me ok. She is now working at SALON and DAUGHTER and I saw her tonight and it was super weird. I wouldn’t think much of it but I caught looks from DAUGHTER and FEMALE NEIGHBOR which makes me think more people have heard her side of the story. I would like nothing more to move on with my life and not see any of these people ever again but that’s not possible. Anyways for what it’s worth, I’m sorry and if you have heard stuff and want to hear my side, I’m happy to tell you. Don’t always believe everything you hear.”

So I’m theory this would be a second other man. What’s funny is I remember feeling uncomfortable with their relationship too. And we kind of had a big fight about her reaching out to him to help with something instead of me.

Throw that one on top of another rumored affair right before she moved out. It’s almost funny if it wasn’t sad and didn’t impact my kids.

Anyhow, this is a funny twist. Thoughts? How do I respond to this one?
Posted By: 97Hope Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 10:15 PM
I think you don't respond. If it's brought up again, you simply tell her it's none of your business. Because it truly isn't.

You know what you know and that's enough. Do you really want to hear her side? I think it would be very bad and not helpful in your healing journey.

My view from the cheap seats.

x
Posted By: Gigi123 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 10:47 PM
I think i agree with hope, as in i wouldnt push for her side of the story. But if she ever brought that up again and wanted to tell you then i would listen and validate.

Would it make any difference? What if she told you her side of the story? Will you life or how you feel change at all?

I would either leave it at that, or respond with something neutral like that must have been uncomfortable for you, i understand. Hopefully things will settle with time.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 10:52 PM
Let me add, this happened two years ago when we were still married. And we actually had a confrontation about it between the two of us. It also came up in counseling. She accused me of emotional manipulation related to it.

I never heard any rumors about it, but I was uncomfortable with how close her and this guy were getting.

Anyhow, hearing that in the “community” people were talking about it, feels like it validates my POV. Like having someone tell me, yet again, “you’re not crazy.”
Posted By: 97Hope Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 11:10 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
Let me add, this happened two years ago when we were still married. And we actually had a confrontation about it between the two of us. It also came up in counseling. She accused me of emotional manipulation related to it.

I never heard any rumors about it, but I was uncomfortable with how close her and this guy were getting.

Anyhow, hearing that in the “community” people were talking about it, feels like it validates my POV. Like having someone tell me, yet again, “you’re not crazy.”

Here's why I say don't listen. It doesn't matter. It's in the past, and by listening, she has a chance to justify or deny or any manner of things. It won't help that "you're not crazy" feeling. It could possible cause more self doubt, at the least, or worse, you might start to get angry at listening to her twist the truth.

At any rate, you were uncomfortable with the relationship. It hurt you. She didn't help you with your feelings. Rather, she turned it on you by accusing you of "emotional manipulation". Does that sound like fun? Do you want to go back?

Like GiGi said, do you need to hear her side of the story? At this point in your journey, time to focus on what will bring healing and growth. So do what will help you attain that.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 11:13 PM
I don’t plan to ask for her side, I don’t really care. It’s in the past and doesn’t matter. I’ll reply with something similar to what Gigi said and move on. I feel sorry for my kids though. [censored] that they have to see that kind of thing happen.
Posted By: LH19 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 11:24 PM
Do not validate BS behavior! Do not respond!

Your STBX has now been at minimum 3 inappropriate relationships with other men while you we’re together plus cheated on her BF with you.

She’s a serial cheater and consider yourself lucky to be rid of her!
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 11:27 PM
I agree. Don't respond.
Posted By: BL42 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 09/30/21 11:53 PM
Do not respond!

Her reaching out is at best inconsiderate to your feelings, and more likely manipulative. She is divorcing you yet feels the need to reach out so you not think ill of her? That's BS.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/01/21 02:24 PM
Then you would the follow up text several hours later:

"BTW, SON's grades are sh!t and he is giving me total attitude about it. I know we disagree on how we parent about school but I really would like him to care more about his grades. Cs and Ds for him are unacceptable to me."

I responded:

"I agree. He needs to do better than that. It's disappointing. It will be interesting to talk with him to hear what going on with school."

Not sure how I'll get graded on my response but a couple of things:

Last week I saw the two of them interact and he pays he no mind. She would ask him a question and he wouldn't answer. I have thought all along he knows something about the affair, but now hearing that people are talking about another possibility, it seems all but certain. I don't know how to help him through what I perceive as his anger. It doesn't come out around me.

Second, I feel like that text gives insight into her dealings with him and her dealings in general.

And lastly, I'm really worried about my kids. On the service they seem fine but I feel like things are happening underneath. I'm worried about my son and what I perccieve as his disdain for his mother which seems to transfer to others at times (specifically he has a real issue with feeling "disrespected" by teachers and it seems to be women more specifically). I'm worried about my daughters moral compass as her mom talks about sleeping on some guys boat and normalizes that behavior.

And then LH just made me realize that my STBEx would have been having sex with me and her ex back in college. That never went through my mind before but at this age, that seems kind of gross. It also points to the fact that she sees that as acceptable. I don't know, something new I had never thought about before (and not entirely relevant).
Posted By: LH19 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/01/21 02:52 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
"I agree. He needs to do better than that. It's disappointing. It will be interesting to talk with him to hear what going on with school."
This is a good response just make sure you follow through and try to find out what's going on.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Last week I saw the two of them interact and he pays he no mind. She would ask him a question and he wouldn't answer. I have thought all along he knows something about the affair, but now hearing that people are talking about another possibility, it seems all but certain. I don't know how to help him through what I perceive as his anger. It doesn't come out around me.
Talk to him. Find out what he knows or doesn't know. He's probably dying to get it off his chest.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Second, I feel like that text gives insight into her dealings with him and her dealings in general.
Not necessarily. She's probably just worried about his grades.

Originally Posted by ScottB
And lastly, I'm really worried about my kids. On the service they seem fine but I feel like things are happening underneath. I'm worried about my son and what I perccieve as his disdain for his mother which seems to transfer to others at times (specifically he has a real issue with feeling "disrespected" by teachers and it seems to be women more specifically).

Do you have him in therapy?

Originally Posted by ScottB
I'm worried about my daughters moral compass as her mom talks about sleeping on some guys boat and normalizes that behavior.
She tells your daughter she's sleeping on some dudes boat? In what context?

Originally Posted by ScottB
And then LH just made me realize that my STBEx would have been having sex with me and her ex back in college. That never went through my mind before but at this age, that seems kind of gross. It also points to the fact that she sees that as acceptable. I don't know, something new I had never thought about before (and not entirely relevant).
I think she may have a problem with monogamy.
Posted By: wayfarer Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/01/21 03:32 PM
Look I get this stuff is hard, especially when it's fresh. And all of this anger of mine isn't pointed directly at you Scott but some of the newly divorced parents around here including yourself are really struggling with some things that you shouldn't be struggling with. So that being said, please know that all of the below is to address what you said, but the whole thing isn't pointed directly at you. It's also addressing in a broad sense some of the things you brought up that I see a little too much of for people who have access to the internet and search engines.

Children ignore their mothers in perfectly happy healthy 2 parent no A, no D homes. When it's the voice you hear the most it's the easiest to tune out. When it's the one telling you no the most you stop hearing the nos. When it's the one telling you when and how to do things the most inevitably it will sound like white noise. Also kids start showing open defiance and testing boundaries with there parents in their tweens. You're describing perfectly normal developmentally appropriate behavior and attributing to your own problems because it's one more thing to blame or shame exW for.

And I swear to god if another man comes on here and compares his daughter to his exW or says he's worried about her modeling her behavior after her mother because of the affair I'm going to scream. Don't project your problems with your exW's behavior on your daughter. Get your head out of your back side and stop creating imaginary future issues that don't actually and likely won't exist. You want your daughter to understand what healthy behavior is in a relationship? You model it for her. You want your daughter to know what kind of behavior is becoming of a future mate? Show her. Your daughter has 2 parents.

Keep your side of the street clean, and mind your own business. What happens in mom's house is mom's business. What happens in your house is your business. If the children aren't in harm's way or fearful they needn't share what happens in each other's household. You and exW really need to develop some much more healthy and more rigid boundaries. You are far too enmeshed at this stage in the game. Two households. Two lives. You parent side by side until you have enough time and distance from the marriage to parent cooperatively.

Next on to detachment, and control. Detachment is a process you should always be working on with your ex. It doesn't stop because you aren't trying to save the marriage any more. You can't control what exW does. You can't control what she did. You can't control how she is with the kids. You can't control what the kids think or feel about her. You can't control what behaviors, thought processes, ideals or beliefs that they will get from their mother, or you for that matter. The only thing you can do is control yourself. You be the best you, you can be. You be the best dad you can be. In the future you be the best boyfriend and maybe someday husband you can be. That's all you can do.

Children are not an extension of their parents. They are their own people, with their own thoughts, coping mechanisms, and life experiences shaping them. They won't be carbon copies of either of you. They will only be themselves. They also won't ever share the same world view as you, because the world looks different to them. Even if you do agree on many things as they age you will still never think or feel the exact same way about anything. The sooner you fully understand that and accept that the better.

I strongly, strongly suggest you take a co-parenting class. I think it would also help if you picked up a book or two or just read a few articles online about child development so you can understand better what typical and what is atypical behavior. What you should worry about, and what you need to learn to roll with the punches. Lastly, I strongly, strongly suggest you get into IC if you aren't in it already. You need the tools to separate your issues with your exW from your issues or potential issues with your children. You need some tools to process this so you aren't projecting your issues on to your kids. You're going to need some tools to parent as the kids get older that you probably haven't thought of. We should all be striving to be the best parent we are capable of. And with IC it would really help you to have an unbiased sounding board process the D and the future of co-parenting.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/01/21 04:26 PM
Originally Posted by Scott
I agree. He needs to do better than that. It's disappointing. It will be interesting to talk with him to hear what going on with school.
Scott, it's a fine response, short and to the point--we don't always need to validate. (:

I agree with many of Wayfarer's points. She says, "Kids start showing open defiance and testing boundaries with their parents in their tweens." In another thread, an LBH asks how their daughter's day was, and he attributes the short answer of "Fine" or "Good" to parental alienation. D probably has an effect, but these aren't unusual teen behaviors. If you haven't talked to your kids much about the D, that is something worth talking about. There are good books on the topic to help you cause more ease than unease. I read one by Mr. Rogers which was appropriate for my kids' ages. Talking to him about what's going on at school is a no-brainer. Bringing up an affair they may not know about seems like extra baggage they don't need.

Originally Posted by Wayfarer
Keep your side of the street clean, and mind your own business. What happens in mom's house is mom's business. What happens in your house is your business.
Posted By: Ginger1 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/01/21 04:54 PM
Wayfarer, I could not agree with you more.

I am a mom to a teen daughter . It’s rough at times. Is she rough at times because she is “modeling my behavior”. NO! It’s because she is a teenage girl navigating her way and becoming her own person! When she’s being a bit$h is it because I’m a bit&h? NO!!!

I have heard far too many LBH start to say as their daughter exhibit normal age appropriate ( which is not always desirable) behavior, that they are scared they are becoming their “mom” and are “afraid”
Come on now. It’s so easy to blame on the walk away spouse. But really not fair to project on to the child.

Things happen in my ex’s house that I’m not fond of sometimes. But I instead my daughter the tools to cope If she asks .

My ex boyfriend used to think his sons bad behaviors at pre school were due to something his ex wife must be doing. After my observation, it was easy to see those behaviors had nothing to do with her and due to him giving him 24/7 undivided attention . But he said his mom must not pay enough attention to him

In the beginning it’s raw and painful and people just want to blame everything on the wall away. There is only so much you can.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/01/21 08:34 PM
I agree with Wayfarer.

One thing that I could have done better was "Date my daughter" more. Go do things with her. Show her how she should be treated by a man.



Originally Posted by ScottB
"BTW, SON's grades are sh!t and he is giving me total attitude about it. I know we disagree on how we parent about school but I really would like him to care more about his grades. Cs and Ds for him are unacceptable to me."

I responded:

"I agree. He needs to do better than that. It's disappointing. It will be interesting to talk with him to hear what going on with school."

Not sure how I'll get graded on my response but a couple of things:

Your response was fine.

This is my thought process:

"Thanks for sharing. I believe D's and F's are unacceptable. I will speak to him again. I will be restricting some of his privileges until his grades improve. I will let you know what the outcome is."
Posted By: wayfarer Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/04/21 02:40 PM
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Wayfarer, I could not agree with you more.

I am a mom to a teen daughter . It’s rough at times. Is she rough at times because she is “modeling my behavior”. NO! It’s because she is a teenage girl navigating her way and becoming her own person! When she’s being a bit$h is it because I’m a bit&h? NO!!!

I have heard far too many LBH start to say as their daughter exhibit normal age appropriate ( which is not always desirable) behavior, that they are scared they are becoming their “mom” and are “afraid”
Come on now. It’s so easy to blame on the walk away spouse. But really not fair to project on to the child.
I'm a mom to a 19 year old and a bonus parent to a 17 year old. I had my daughter as a teen. I was a nanny for a long time. I worked in courts for a decade almost exclusively in juvenile justice. I think it's safe to say anyone who's had to raise a teenage girl truly understands the concept of loving detachment....lol.

However, I've noticed people who aren't around kids much outside of their own kids don't generally get that defiance is normal. And it's actually a desired trait. It means your kid won't just drink the kool-aid or jump off the bridge. But humans by nature are either conflict adverse, or incapable of not engaging. There's very little middle ground unless you've been in therapy for ages. So I do understand why it can be an emotional landmine but what I don't get is why parents let it continue to be one. Teens and tweens are hard to parent for everyone.

More people just need to understand that some times even really exhausting behavior is normal. More people need to understand parenting isn't as instinctual as they'd like to believe there are experts and resources for a reason. Also learning to pick your battles, finding healthy coping mechanisms and communication techniques, and knowing what is within the realm of typical so you can address atypical behavior with intervention are the only ways to the other side of these years. And thankfully there's almost always an other side with trying kids.
Posted By: SteveLW Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/04/21 03:12 PM
I will add to the chorus of not responding to the post about the neighbor. I like the response about your son's grades.

One thing about cheaters....they will not admit to cheating until the evidence proving it is insurmountable. I know people that were pretty much caught (they were seen going into a hotel room with another person) that to this day have denied cheating. Most cheaters will lie, avoid, deflect, explain and come up with crazy stories to deny they have actually cheated. Short of pictures or video of them in the very act they will attempt to deny.

I say all that to say, in case you were even slightly tempted to hear her side of the story, that you will never get the truth from her. And even if you do you cannot trust that it is the whole truth. This is her guilt coming back on her. Innocent people rarely feel the need to prove their innocence. People that are trying to hide things are the ones that insist on their innocence.

The bottom line is that now none of this matters. You are moving forward with your life without her. Her past transgressions are no longer your problem.
Posted By: ovrrnbw Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/05/21 12:47 AM
Originally Posted by ScottB
Then you would the follow up text several hours later:

"BTW, SON's grades are sh!t and he is giving me total attitude about it. I know we disagree on how we parent about school but I really would like him to care more about his grades. Cs and Ds for him are unacceptable to me."

I responded:

"I agree. He needs to do better than that. It's disappointing. It will be interesting to talk with him to hear what going on with school."

Not sure how I'll get graded on my response but a couple of things:

Last week I saw the two of them interact and he pays he no mind. She would ask him a question and he wouldn't answer. I have thought all along he knows something about the affair, but now hearing that people are talking about another possibility, it seems all but certain. I don't know how to help him through what I perceive as his anger. It doesn't come out around me.

Second, I feel like that text gives insight into her dealings with him and her dealings in general.

And lastly, I'm really worried about my kids. On the service they seem fine but I feel like things are happening underneath. I'm worried about my son and what I perccieve as his disdain for his mother which seems to transfer to others at times (specifically he has a real issue with feeling "disrespected" by teachers and it seems to be women more specifically). I'm worried about my daughters moral compass as her mom talks about sleeping on some guys boat and normalizes that behavior.

And then LH just made me realize that my STBEx would have been having sex with me and her ex back in college. That never went through my mind before but at this age, that seems kind of gross. It also points to the fact that she sees that as acceptable. I don't know, something new I had never thought about before (and not entirely relevant).
Your response seems a bit canned, IMO.

Your son may need to talk about something, yes, but that is no excuse for piss poor effort in school. I don't care what the situation is, the right thing is the right thing. Kids will look for excuses and people are giving too many excuse, generally speaking, and not enough direction.

Teach him how to deal with adversity. The hard path is the correct path, do not avoid it, seek it out and overcome it.
Posted By: OnlyBent Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/05/21 09:38 AM
Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
Teach him how to deal with adversity. The hard path is the correct path, do not avoid it, seek it out and overcome it.

Straight from the Stoic playbook Ovr, I like it. I hope you can find the time to post more often.
Posted By: Ginger1 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/05/21 10:43 AM
So, your ex told you that your son’s grades were bad. Did you know this before she came and told you?
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 04:30 AM
Ginger, I was not aware of his grades before her text. But I did talk with him about them and he seems to be making an effort.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 04:37 AM
I don’t know how much background to give in this one, but I’ll try.

This morning the kids and I made brunch as a family. My daughter ate some bacon but didn’t eat her waffle and got up to go play. My son and I finished eating and talked for a bit. I got up to clean up and since they had helped cook I decided to clean up on my own. As I’m almost finished my daughter comes I to the kitchen and says she is hungry. I expressed frustration in saying that she didn’t eat her breakfast and I was still cleaning eat up from that meal. She complained saying we did t have apples or beef sticks and there was nothing to eat. She left for a bit.

So later I saw on her phone that she had texted my ex that she wants to live with her and not me any longer. I know this is somewhat typical behavior, I know she’s coping with the divorce and she’s 10. But it still hurts. Especially because I’m trying real hard with her. Anyhow, not a lot of places I can share that so I thought I’d put it here.
Posted By: OnlyBent Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 08:33 AM
Just keep showing up as the best Dad you can be Scotty, that's all you can control. Make sure you are listening to her and validating where appropriate. Consistency is key.

Can understand how hurtful that must have been to see regardless.
Posted By: BL42 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 08:52 AM
ScottB,

Sorry man, that's rough. I can imagine that stung. Just keep reminding yourself she's young and processing through everything. If you keep being the best dad you can be she'll likely recognize that in time.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 04:34 PM
Hi Scott,

I think most of us have confronted some variation of this scenario.

Choosing to not eat breakfast, then being hungry an hour later is called a "natural consequence". Kids learn from consequences. A 10 year-old can survive being hungry for 1-2 hours. It sounded like a rough day, so I'll share how this might have played out differently at my home--

1) You responded to her feeling hungry with frustration. Remember validation and active listening? I deploy it not only on ex's, but also friends, family, and on a good day myself. Aren't they even more deserving? As you practice this skill, it will come more easily, and it will sound more natural.

2) It sounds like you didn't have food she could get herself when she was hungry. I have fresh fruit on hand most of the time but it doesn't always happen. When it doesn't, my pantry has fruit cups in natural juices. When that doesn't happen (fail, lol), I'd put her leftovers in the fridge (even if they rarely eat them).

You: "Oh, your waffles are still here if you want them."
D: "I don't like cold waffles."
You:"Yeah, they do taste better when they're warm."
D: "I don't want them."
You: "I respect you're not hungry enough to eat cold waffles." (If you have time) "You know, if you'd like, I'd be happy to teach you how to heat up those waffles."
D: <frustrated> "I just want apples."
You: "I get you want apples more than waffles. Waffles are what we have now. I'm going shopping today. You can help me pick out fruits so we have some on-hand that you like?"
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 05:18 PM
Wow--the comment about wanting to live full-time with mom would be a punch to the gut, for me as well. Does she know you read your texts? I wonder if, after you expressed your frustration at her, it was simply a safe way for her (unequal in power dynamics) to respond by expressing her frustration at you.

At 10, the decision isn't something she controls. You have years to improve your relationship before she's at any point where she could make a choice, and hopefully, you and your XW continue to get along such that neither of you undermines each other on this journey of learning to be good single parents.
Posted By: BL42 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 05:33 PM
Originally Posted by CWarrior
Wow--the comment about wanting to live full-time with mom would be a punch to the gut, for me as well.
Yeah, that's tough to hear but keep in mind her age - she might just be venting frustration and not really mean it. Unfortunately a D makes it easier for the kids to play the parents off each other; it's harder for the parents to keep a united front on parenting.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Does she know you read your texts?
I'd be careful with this. If she does not not you have access or are reading her texts she might see it as a betrayal of her trust if you explicitly bring it up the texts with her.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 05:54 PM
Originally Posted by BL42
If she does not not you have access or are reading her texts she might see it as a betrayal of her trust if you explicitly bring it up the texts with her.
I assumed he’s been up-front that he may monitor texts such that this is “monitoring” and not “snooping”. I agree, if he’s reading messages between D and Mom where D expected privacy, that would probably be interpreted as a betrayal, and would be good to resolve before it bites him.
Posted By: Ginger1 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 06:14 PM
It’s painful to hear those comments. Kids together or apart play off their parents.

My ex boyfriend would give into anything his son wanted. We all went on vacation as a family, his son refused to eat dinner before we hit the boardwalk. We get there and of course he’s hungry and he wants pizza. So everyone had to wait while ate. His kid got what he wanted because he wanted to be the favorite parent. I don’t play that.


Next time, maybe a “when I am done, I’ll heat up your waffles and you can have them”
Posted By: Gigi123 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 08:23 PM
Its not pleasant to read or hear that, it is in many ways normal. Even when both parents are together kids play them off against each other. Its generally a good cop/bad cop scenario depending on the situation. I know it wont bring you comfort, but my 6 year old said to me the other day, i dont care about you, papa is the only important person to me. I mean did it sting….yes….and in that moment he probably felt it. He later apologised and said its not true. But nonetheless when they are upset they will say things and in that moment they do feel those emotions. Naturally you want to rectify the situation and as tempting as it is, its also important to have discipline at home and enforce it with the kids.
Posted By: ovrrnbw Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/10/21 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
I don’t know how much background to give in this one, but I’ll try.

This morning the kids and I made brunch as a family. My daughter ate some bacon but didn’t eat her waffle and got up to go play. My son and I finished eating and talked for a bit. I got up to clean up and since they had helped cook I decided to clean up on my own. As I’m almost finished my daughter comes I to the kitchen and says she is hungry. I expressed frustration in saying that she didn’t eat her breakfast and I was still cleaning eat up from that meal. She complained saying we did t have apples or beef sticks and there was nothing to eat. She left for a bit.

So later I saw on her phone that she had texted my ex that she wants to live with her and not me any longer. I know this is somewhat typical behavior, I know she’s coping with the divorce and she’s 10. But it still hurts. Especially because I’m trying real hard with her. Anyhow, not a lot of places I can share that so I thought I’d put it here.

That's normal kid behavior.

"You get what you get and you don't throw a fit".

There are literally millions of kids on the Earth TODAY who don't get to eat today or maybe they scrounge up a little bit of stuff your daughter wouldn't like.

Choice >>>>> Consequence. She chose to be hungry.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/11/21 03:44 PM
I agree with all the above.

One of my challenges has always been that my ex gives in on anything the kids want. That's why she also thinks they take advantage of her. But, from a kids perspective - more specifically my daughters, she likes her mom because she always gets what she wants. Historically, when we were together, it always forced me to be the "bad guy."

Now I've taken a step towards center; giving in more and letting things go, because if I play "bad cop" I'll just lose the kids.

Daughter has always been closer to her mom and I think this is just her expressing her sadness with the situation. Over the past 4 weeks I've noticed transitions to my house have been getting harder for her.

I also, unwittingly, peaked her anxiety at breakfast when I asked her if she would like to work on not being scared of dogs anymore. She has a phobia that is really becoming severe and beginning to impact her life. She told me a couple of weeks ago that she was invited to stay the night for a slumber party and told the girl that invited her that she didn't want to go, but later relayed to me she didn't want to go because of their dog and that she has become embarrassed to tell people that.

Anyhow, with this reaction and everything else going on I guess its obviously not time to work on the dog thing. I freaking hate the impact this is having on my kids. That makes me really angry and sad for them.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/11/21 04:18 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
I also, unwittingly, peaked her anxiety at breakfast when I asked her if she would like to work on not being scared of dogs anymore. I guess its obviously not time to work on the dog thing
It sounds like an area to tread lightly if simply asking if she'd like to work on it triggers a strong emotional reaction rather than a "No." I don't know that I'd give up, but remember you have years and years to try to slowly and gradually address this before she's an adult. The more urgent (if less pleasant) issue demanding attention is her waning desire to visit you vs. visiting mom.


Originally Posted by ScottB
Now I've taken a step towards center; giving in more and letting things go, because if I play "bad cop" I'll just lose the kids.
Yes, don't play "bad cop" or any other negative role. If you tend to be a disciplinarian, really dig into what rules you're enforcing and why. This may end up being an advantage of single parenting. You can't get away with playing unidimensional roles, but have to be a whole parent.

A couple of stories. I have a friend whose XH allows her kids unlimited screen time. She believes screen time should be limited. Since he gets so much there, she decided to play "bad cop". She disallowed any use of phones, computers, or TVs in her home. This became a key factor when her kids turned 16 in their leaving her to live full-time with her XH. (I personally limit screen time when they're here exactly the same as I would if they were here 100%--no "penalty" for time with my XW.)

On the other hand, my XW decided to feed my kids only ice cream as a way to curry their favor. I continued with my normal path of proteins, vegetables--and weekly desserts. No, I did not lose my kids, and they saw through "all ice cream" as quickly as any Disney Dad. On good days my D realized I was the one there when she had school projects or needed to figure out tampons and even told me I didn't give into peer pressure. If you're a firm but loving dad, they will see it over time.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/11/21 07:40 PM
"Parenting with Love and Logic" was the foundation of my parenting style after my D. Definitely different than my X wife's parenting style. Different parenting styles is OK, but the more you can be on the same page the better. Can you and your X talk civilly about parenting issues?

Originally Posted by ScottB
I saw on her phone that she had texted my ex that she wants to live with her and not me any longer. I know this is somewhat typical behavior, I know she’s coping with the divorce and she’s 10. But it still hurts. Especially because I’m trying real hard with her. Anyhow, not a lot of places I can share that so I thought I’d put it here.
Originally Posted by ScottB
Now I've taken a step towards center; giving in more and letting things go, because if I play "bad cop" I'll just lose the kids.
I can relate.

The parents job is to set boundaries. The kids job is to test boundaries. The parents job is to enforce boundaries. This makes the kids feel safe.

I did my best to discuss our emotions AFTER we had a chance to "Cool down". I made our house a safe place to vent emotions. You might want to breach the subject with D. "You appeared frustrated about breakfast the other day. Is that how you felt?"
Posted By: SteveLW Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/12/21 03:24 PM
I like the advice from CW and R2C. I would also suggest you do not overthink things. I think you had a pretty good handle on parenting before the D, right? So why change things drastically after D?

I also do not see a problem with you offering to get your daughter help. I probably would have worded it differently than you did. "Working on it" in her mind may have meant to her you thought you guys should go after breakfast and have her pet a dog. So be clear:

"I understand you feel embarrassed because of your fear of dogs. If you would like, at some point when you are ready, we can look into resources that might help you with that fear. We can look over options like counseling, etc, and if you are comfortable with any of the options we can look into it."

Let her be in charge of the if, when, what, where and how. That why you are supportive, but she gets to decide.

Scott, you are a good guy doing what you feel is best for your kids. I have documented my strained relationship with my daughter here before. Our relationship is really good now. I wasn't perfect, but I tried to always do right by my daughter, and now that she is in her late teens she is starting to see that. So do not judge your relationship with her in a specific point in time. Let her see you constantly keeping her best interest in mind, and eventually she will come around.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/12/21 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by SteveLW
I wasn't perfect, but I tried to always do right by my daughter, and now that she is in her late teens she is starting to see that. So do not judge your relationship with her in a specific point in time. Let her see you constantly keeping her best interest in mind, and eventually she will come around.
Same here.


Always do your best. Keep learning new parenting skills. Hone your communications skills with your kids. It is not an easy, job, but the most important one you have.
Posted By: SteveLW Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/13/21 02:17 PM
Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Originally Posted by SteveLW
I wasn't perfect, but I tried to always do right by my daughter, and now that she is in her late teens she is starting to see that. So do not judge your relationship with her in a specific point in time. Let her see you constantly keeping her best interest in mind, and eventually she will come around.
Same here.


Always do your best. Keep learning new parenting skills. Hone your communications skills with your kids. It is not an easy, job, but the most important one you have.

Bingo!
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/26/21 03:29 PM
Every single week brings something.

I believe I mentioned the text my STBEx sent me three weeks ago about the "rumors" of her and one of my neighbors. Well, last week my STBEx sent me a spreadsheet of 500+ rows of all the money I owed her going back to 1/1/2021. There were charges of $4 and $10 at amazon and Target as well as larger ones. We agreed that I would pay 70% and she would pay 30% of kids expenses related to school and healthcare. Well she sent all the bills and then some over. Recognize that we are 50/50 custody, and that she works making over $140k per year. She also fought for child support in the settlement and spousal support which comes to over $3k per month and I owe her money, because I had to buy my business of $6k per month. So she is not hurting by any stretch.

And I buy the kids things and haven't sent her a receipt. Shoes, snowboards, ski passes, clothes, etc.

So the 500 rows and charges that are as low as $4 really bothered me. It made me wonder what our marriage was about. She seems to be coming after all the money - literally nickels and dimes.

So I text the woman who was mentioned by my wife in the rumors she said she would be glad to talk with me. Both her and her husband came over to my house.

He apologized for inappropriate behavior. He hid his relationship with my wife; sounds like another EA, and I don't think it went beyond that. They have now been in marriage counseling since she found out last year. Of course I was used to my STBEx hiding things from me and I knew she was too emotionally involved with this guy, but I guess it went on about a year longer than I was really aware.

Anyhow, my STBEx had him put my gun in his gun safe when she took it out of our house at some point. And this past September she wanted it back, but he had blocked her on his phone. So she texted his wife and she didn't respond, because first she didn't know they had my gun and seconed her take was that it was mine and if they were going to give it to some they would give it to me.

So then my Ex got another neighbor woman involved to attempt to retrieve my gun (which had been a gift from her father). And when that didn't work she cornered the husband and threatened them via text saying "If you don't give me my F-ing shotgun I will be calling the police on you."

So my neighbors left it on their porch and told her to get it. Crazy stuff.

And then today I got all the documentation to sign and send off to the attorney's to file.

And when I got in this morning I had 7 emails from my ex. 3 of them related to expenses I owe her for now. And she's keeping a spreadsheet.

I'm spiraling a bit with all of this, which is why I came here to write.

The newly revealed EA is just par for the course. She was friends with the wife, never apologized, and doesn't seem to care at all who she hurts. So that is oddly validating for me. Also, my ex had told me that my uncomfortable feelings about the husband and my STBEx's relationship were BS and accused me of being a bad jealous husband.

I want this over with. But now, it feels like I'm going to be getting hit with nickel and dime expenses for the next 8 years until the kids turn 18. I just want this behind me. I want to move on. It all makes me feel sick.

This day will be behind me soon. It will probably be a bad week or so. I'll need to figure out how to get the ex off of my back with the expenses. And then there will probably be another couple bad days or weeks as we move through the dissolution process in the courts.

I'm so angry about all of it. Sorry for the long emotional venting post, I could probably go on for days.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/26/21 05:15 PM
My X had the spreadsheet as well. I got limits put in place. items needed receipts. All items needs to be submitted by a deadline. We had a financial mediator to help resolve disagreements (Never used him).

Here is the last Email regarding this topic:
Quote
Hi X,
It appears there is still confusion between the two of us regarding our last agreement signed on 1/14/16, particularly section D.

My understand is we equalize our reimbursements 4 times a year. Currently, we are equalizing during the first part of July for April, May and June expenses.

Part of the equalization is "proof of payment". Your spreadsheets and emails are not proof of payment. I did not see any attachments showing the invoices or the proof of payment.


Obviously I do not want to quibble, but I do want a copy of the documentation we agreed to supply each other for my records.

Best Regards, R2C


I highly recommend get this type of agreement with you X into your paper work.


Do not roll over like a puppy dog.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/26/21 05:38 PM
Here is the relevant part:
Quote
Commencing forthwith it is agreed:

A. Father agrees to increase his child support obligation, payable to mother to the monthly sum of XX Hundred (XXX.00) Dollars, payable directly to mother, until further court order. Mother and Father acknowledges that such increase in support may be a deviation from the child support guidelines, but the increase/deviation is in the best interests of all concerned, to avoid the ongoing disputes.

B. ln consideration thereof, mother shall be solely responsible to assume and pay whatever extraordinary expenses she may decide to expend on the children including but not limited to: motor vehicle insurance, acquisition/payment of a motor vehicle and the expense associated therewith; cell/smart phones; and the child(ren)'s extracurricular activities / expenses and father is "excused" from providing financial assistance for such costs...

D. Regarding any issue pertinent to uninsured medical, dental, therapy the parties on a quarterly basis (end of March, end of June, end of Sept. and end of December) shall submit: invoice, proof of payment, proof of insurance, and request for reimbursement; the other parent shall have 30 days in which to dispute and/or pay; in the event of dispute MEDIATOR shall be the master/arbiter of the issue; if the other parent does not dispute, in writing the reimbursement request then the same shall be paid forthwith. Any expense not requested within 20 days of the above "deadlines" shall be deemed waived. The definition of uninsured medical, dental, therapy, etc shall not be controlled by the statutory definition, i.e. since both parties are "custodial parents" the $250 annual deduction shall not apply, and the right to reimbursement shall still be Husband is responsible for XX% and mother YY% responsible.
Posted By: SteveLW Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/26/21 05:59 PM
Scott, what does your lawyer say about this?
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/26/21 06:34 PM
Hi Scott,

Ready2Change hit the nail on the head. You apparently agreed to pay for 70% of childrens' expenses, and allow submissions 11 months late. That's big money. She is probably as annoyed she has to itemize them, as you are annoyed at having to review $4 expenses and itemize them yourself. If itemization is frustrating you, the simple thing to do is to end it as he proposed above.

Itemize your childrens' expenses this past year. Now, what is the $SUM you owe for 11 months? She would probably be amenable to dropping the itemization and simply paying ($SUM/11) * 5% extra each month.

The only expense in my agreement where my ex and I split costs are mandatory medical expenses. These could be urgent and costly. In our agreement, receipts must be submitted within 30 days.

If you are paying more than child support guidelines, talk to your attorney.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/26/21 10:45 PM
Good advice. I hate taking to attorney because it is so expensive but I will need to on this.

On other note, emotionally 3 months ago all that has happened would have set me back pretty far for a couple of days and I’m actually feeling pretty good this evening. The hangovers from dealing with her are becoming shorter.
Posted By: SteveLW Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/27/21 01:54 AM
Originally Posted by ScottB
Good advice. I hate taking to attorney because it is so expensive but I will need to on this.

On other note, emotionally 3 months ago all that has happened would have set me back pretty far for a couple of days and I’m actually feeling pretty good this evening. The hangovers from dealing with her are becoming shorter.

That's good to hear. You've come a long way Scott.

And yes you need to consult an attorney. It's expensive, but so is being nickled and dimed by your ex.
Posted By: Thornton Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/27/21 06:33 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
Well, last week my STBEx sent me a spreadsheet of 500+ rows of all the money I owed her going back to 1/1/2021.

My ex did the same. She wanted me to reimburse her for the money she spent on groceries the entire prior year. That was literally her only financial contribution to our family. Comical.
Posted By: BL42 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 10/29/21 02:01 AM
ScottB,

Originally Posted by ScottB
last week my STBEx sent me a spreadsheet of 500+ rows of all the money I owed her going back to 1/1/2021. There were charges of $4 and $10 at amazon and Target as well as larger ones.
Charges of $4 and $10? That does seem petty considering the $3k/month child support. Ridiculous.

Originally Posted by ScottB
We agreed that I would pay 70% and she would pay 30% of kids expenses related to school and healthcare. Well she sent all the bills and then some over. Recognize that we are 50/50 custody, and that she works making over $140k per year. She also fought for child support in the settlement and spousal support which comes to over $3k per month and I owe her money, because I had to buy my business of $6k per month. So she is not hurting by any stretch.
Good for you though if she's making $140k and you still got her 7:3!

Originally Posted by ScottB
And I buy the kids things and haven't sent her a receipt. Shoes, snowboards, ski passes, clothes, etc.
Time to start keeping a spreadsheet. It's annoying, but if she's gonna be petty...

Originally Posted by ScottB
The newly revealed EA is just par for the course. She was friends with the wife, never apologized, and doesn't seem to care at all who she hurts. So that is oddly validating for me. Also, my ex had told me that my uncomfortable feelings about the husband and my STBEx's relationship were BS and accused me of being a bad jealous husband.
Sounds like she wasn't just a one-time offender. I can understand why that would be validating. As hard as it is, maybe it's best in the long run you're "getting out".

Originally Posted by ScottB
I want this over with. But now, it feels like I'm going to be getting hit with nickel and dime expenses for the next 8 years until the kids turn 18. I just want this behind me. I want to move on. It all makes me feel sick.
I hear ya. If it makes you feel any better "at least" you only have 8 years...I see your 8 years and raise you another decade! lol Unfortunately that's just the finances, but other stuff is going to go on our whole lives. Graduations, weddings, grandkids...etc. We'll always have some ties to our Exs.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I'm so angry about all of it. Sorry for the long emotional venting post, I could probably go on for days.
The anger is understandable. Good that you are venting. We're here for you.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 02:49 PM
The process is tough. Dealing with the loss - it’s not just the Ex, it’s the kids and the family. But I just spent some time going through all the notes on conversations I had with my Ex; reading through what she said and how I reacted. I know that I of course played a part, but the truth is that she is out of her mind. I don’t have another way to describe it.

And I would think that it would help me get through this time easier; and maybe it is. But the process of feeling these feelings, dealing with the sadness and loss, a day at a time - being present to it, it [censored].

I wish there was another way, but I don’t think there is. Through it seems to be the only good option.

And space. Reading the past, I would get so confused through my interactions with her that I couldn’t make sense of anything. For me to keep my head on my shoulders and move forward I need to maintain my space from her. Otherwise I fear I could get lost again.
Posted By: LH19 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 03:07 PM
Scotty B,

I am sorry to hear you are still struggling. You haven't lost your kids and your family. It's just different. You definitely need space from her for your own emotional well being. It gets better my friend you just have to trust the process.
Posted By: SteveLW Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 03:54 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
The process is tough. Dealing with the loss - it’s not just the Ex, it’s the kids and the family. But I just spent some time going through all the notes on conversations I had with my Ex; reading through what she said and how I reacted. I know that I of course played a part, but the truth is that she is out of her mind. I don’t have another way to describe it.

And I would think that it would help me get through this time easier; and maybe it is. But the process of feeling these feelings, dealing with the sadness and loss, a day at a time - being present to it, it [censored].

I wish there was another way, but I don’t think there is. Through it seems to be the only good option.

And space. Reading the past, I would get so confused through my interactions with her that I couldn’t make sense of anything. For me to keep my head on my shoulders and move forward I need to maintain my space from her. Otherwise I fear I could get lost again.

Scott, would you even still be open to R if she came back wanting that? If so, why?

I would hope by now that you would have shut that door after all she's done and put you through.
Posted By: wayfarer Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 05:30 PM
I'm fairly certain I've asked this multiple times and gotten a non-answer or no response entirely so I'll ask again. Scott are you in IC? If you are are you discussing these adjustment issues with your IC?
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 06:04 PM
Originally Posted by Scott
For me to keep my head on my shoulders and move forward I need to maintain my space from her. Otherwise I fear I could get lost again.
Space sounds wise--I was surprised initially by how much coordination you felt there needed to be between the two of you due to kids' activities. +1 wayfarer's advice for IC to help you adjust. This is a difficult situation to adjust to. You could process this on your own, but you'll experience a longer duration of unnecessary pain than you would with a bit of help. +1 LH's note that your kids are still your family, and that part will never change as long as you're there for them.
Posted By: ScottB Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 07:46 PM
Wayfarer: Yes, I've been in IC since 1/2020. I wasn't sure about it for a bit. Seemed expensive and not worth it but over time I feel like its really helped me do some good work in regards to feeling my emotions, its helped me cut myself some slack during these times and recognize that this is a hard time, I might have days when I just can't focus or I might need to take some mental health breaks. Its also helped me listen more to myself and my needs related to rest or sleep or time in nature, etc. And I hope the work will eventually help me think through and rediscover my purpose - I'd say that is something I'm thinking about and working on.


LH: I know I haven't lost the kids - but I have lost time with them, that's what I meant and it hurts. And my family has changed, I miss the feeling of togetherness as a family unit that used to exist. Its different now.


CW: The worst for me is that the kids consistently forget stuff at her house. Every time I have to drive over there or see her I basically start cussing her out in my mind and get pissed off. In time, I'm sure that will go away, but for now its a bummer of a way to start a day (she lives next to their school, so this often happens when I drop them off).


Steve: I think working through your questions is a part of the process for me. As I get space and can look back at things that happened I'm able to more clearly identify the insanity.

The part of me that would take her back gets smaller daily. When I look back I struggle to believe what I dealt with and what I tried to do to hold it together. I'm not sure anyone could have gotten through to me to let it go or for me to actually walk away from her.

Over the past year I have made a list of all the issues I have with her and what she would need to own and work on if she ever changed her mind. Its a long list.

Once the divorce is final, I don't think I will ever allow her back. I signed all of my paperwork - I assume she will sign as soon as she gets it and it will be submitted.

Then I will work diligently to go through my church for an annulment - I think I will be able to get one granted, though its never a sure thing. As each of these things happens it moves me further down the path to a healthier space.

For now, I've got to deal with what is in front of me which is sadness, grieving and mourning. And its not like I'm completely depressed, but I need to experience these emotions fully to move through it. I just wish there was a better faster way to do it. I think everyone just has to go through it at their own pace.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by ScottB
The worst for me is that the kids consistently forget stuff at her house.
I had a talk with my kids and told them they need to be experts at packing and moving the stuff back and forth. They are in charge of their stuff, not me, no their mother. They learned pretty quick not to leave things. If it was schoolwork, it was a big "energy drain" for me to help them go get it. Anything else, had to wait until the next exchange.

Parenting with love and Logic" was a good foundation for my parenting style. The "energy drain" statement to the children was great. Any thing that drained my energy made it extremely difficult do do things they wanted. "I don't know if I will have enough energy to take you to your friends birthday party" or "I don't know if I will have enough energy to allow your friends to spend the night" etc.
Posted By: CWarrior Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 09:50 PM
Originally Posted by Ready2Change
They learned pretty quick not to leave things.
Same. Part of our pick-up routine is them confirming they have everything. It's rare I return for something forgotten if they don't remember until I get home--maybe once in six months? The last time I had my son explain to his teacher that he left his textbook at home.
Posted By: Ginger1 Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/02/21 10:24 PM
I’ve been doing this for 14 years and I can count on my hands how many times we had to go back for forgotten items. We make sure our daughter has what she needs at both houses and the only time we go back for forgotten items is important must have school stuff
Posted By: ovrrnbw Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/03/21 02:56 AM
Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Originally Posted by ScottB
The worst for me is that the kids consistently forget stuff at her house.
I had a talk with my kids and told them they need to be experts at packing and moving the stuff back and forth. They are in charge of their stuff, not me, no their mother. They learned pretty quick not to leave things. If it was schoolwork, it was a big "energy drain" for me to help them go get it. Anything else, had to wait until the next exchange.

Parenting with love and Logic" was a good foundation for my parenting style. The "energy drain" statement to the children was great. Any thing that drained my energy made it extremely difficult do do things they wanted. "I don't know if I will have enough energy to take you to your friends birthday party" or "I don't know if I will have enough energy to allow your friends to spend the night" etc.
When I coached football it was always "you owe me a mile" if you forgot something and needed to borrow.

Parents and coaches have really gotten soft on things like this and it [censored] for parents and kids alike.
Posted By: Mumin Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/03/21 10:00 AM
In my case me and XW always pack everything and in terms of clothes/equipment I have made sure to have extras. When kids get older they will need to pack themselves.
Posted By: wayfarer Re: WAW Hired a Divorce Coach (Cont10.) - 11/03/21 02:01 PM
The switching is still relatively new so you as their parent need to be checking in with them before you drive off when picking them up. They aren't in the habit yet, these things take time. A little hand holding in the beginning here won't hurt anything. The other thing is their mother should be doing the same. Honestly it would be a really big thing if you could suck it up and have a grown up co-parenting conversation about this and get on the same page. The sooner you guys can establish a united front on things the easier it's going to be as the kids get older and the problems get bigger. Now based on my personal experience I know this isn't always possible through no fault of your own but you should at least try.

In my case both my ex and my H's ex were unreliable at best. We couldn't count on our exes to run through the check list before they picked them up or dropped them off so before they left us or if they got dropped off instead we'd run through the list so we could make sure they had everything and if they didn't prioritize pick up/drop off based on the need and how big of a fight one of our exes would make it to come and get it/drop it off.

As your kids aren't babies it would behoove you to have the conversation R2C's spoke about, that they are in charge of their own things and that they need to get better at this as it's going to get more and more complicated as they get older. They will need to transfer more and more things from one house to other: projects, laptops, extracurricular uniforms, phone chargers because they lost the one you or mom bought for that house, library books, etc. And eventually there will come a point where you have to say too bad so sad OR nope, see if mom will bring it to you because I already took you to go pick up something once/that's a want not a need/I've taken you back to get something every time you've been with me for the last 5 times you've been here/mom and I have been taking you to go get things or bringing you things for weeks now, we're done.

As to what ovr said, giving your kids grace with these things doesn't make you or them soft. It makes you understanding. Adults forget things just as often as kids. The difference is they can correct their own mistakes, pay for a solution or make the decision themselves as to if it's something worthwhile or not. But like everything else in parenting there has to be a limit. You just need to find your sweet spot. Until then guide them. Don't make the picking things up about your feelings about seeing your ex, make it about them learning a new routine and new responsibilities. You don't have to disregard your feelings here, but you should consider having them take a back seat. One because maybe it'll make this easier if you're thinking about how the kids are feeling about this and two because while kids are resilient, having to go from one house to the other is hard on them until it's become their new normal fully. Upsetting you because they forgot something is only going to make those big feelings even bigger for those kids. Like all this stuff you have to put their emotional needs before yours, and maybe that's the exact distraction you need.
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