Just wanted to check in, I have been lurking around for a while but not posting much these days since most days I feel happy about my new life.
Its been 5 years since the bomb and I can say 90% of the time I feel like the bomb was the best the thing that ever happened to me. It has taken me a looong time to get to this point, I was devastated for 2 years. I think what set me back the most was how evil he made me out to be. It was very had for me to except my faults but also to learn that his crisis had nothing to do with me.
The gaslighting is the hardest part of the whole thing especially because friends don't understand it, so there are only a few same places to talk it. These boards and also Alanon for me.
It is amazing what a rich and wonderful life I have today and how I really feel like a truer version of myself.
My ex dropped a new bomb this week. He says he is moving across the country to L.A. in mid June. His reason - he can't afford to live in NYC and pay all this child support. This is complete B.S. - he and his girlfriend (she has a good job) who I assume he splits the rent and household bills with, live in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan. There are other neighborhoods that are a lot more reasonable and safe. And seriously he thinks L.A. is going to be cheaper then NY plus all the flying back and forth.
He is still running.
Obviously this has nothing to do with child support, I receive the standard NY State percentage for 2 kids. Probably has to do with his girlfriend wanting to start a family, maybe she doesn't like living in my shadow. (Btw this is the woman that contributed to the breakup of my marriage - and really she was just an easy escape as my ex was having a mental breakdown)
So this is what I am doing now, (Warning: I am sure will not be approved by many vets but I am following the advice of my father who is not only a divorce lawyer and child right advocate attorney but also my main confidant through all of this.)
I have offered to take a deferred reduced child support rate indefinitely as long as he stays in New York. He would owe me the $$ deferred when the kids turn 21 and he no longer owes me support.
My father thinks our #1 priority must be the well being of the kids. And the girls will benefit substantially from a consistent relationship with their father.
The past six month has been the longest period in the 5 years since he left that my ex has exercised his right to bi-weekly visitation. Generally he spends 7-8 months a year working out of town.
Again running away.
I feel stronger then ever. And these current negotiations with him make me realize just how far I have come and how far down he is headed.
I do pray for him. He has missed so much time with his children already. Time he will never ever get back. I hate to brag but I have the two most beautiful and sweetest little girls you can image and watching them grow has been the greatest joy of my life.
Peace to everyone hear. It does get better.
---- M 39 H 35 D5,D4 M 4 T 9 ILYBNILWY 5/18/11 Left 7/11/11 Divorced 12/1/13
When are you going to offer him the deal? Make sure it's in writing and both of you sign it w/a notary present. Or, is this something you will need to go through the legal system to have stamped w/approval by a judge? You don't want him backing out of this agreement at a later time.
Ok, I have to admit my first reaction to your post was "Oh He!! no!!
I actually can't believe your father suggested this.
First of all - you've already established that he doesn't HAVE to move to L.A. - he could simply move to a less expensive area of NYC. So the bottom line is, he's moving because he WANTS to, not because he HAS to.
Second - if he stays just because you give up support for your kids,he'll just look for other ways to cheat you as well. As for the deferred payment - he's not going to have the money when the time comes. You'll have to spend money to take him to court. And you would need to have a life insurance policy on him to pay it off if he died.
Third - you can't force or bribe him to be a good father. It's sad for your kids but bribing him to stay in NYC is just going to generate resentment and doesn't ensure he won't just drift off from his fatherly duties anyway.
I completely understand how you want your ex in your kids lives. I look at all the wonderful fathers everywhere who fight for time with their kids and really use their time wisely. My ex fulfills his obligations, but just obligations. I'm cool with it because of course it's what's good for our daughter.
If you ex was really truly moving because he couldn't afford to live here with the child support, I would honestly say go for it. But as we all know, only the rich survive in manhattan, and we also know there are other more affordable boros. LA ranks up there in pricing with Manhattan. So if he is using that as an excuse to run away from responsibilities, there really isn't much you can do. Exactly like Ellie said, you cannot bribe a good dad. You intentions towards your kids are admirable, but the outcome will most likely not be the one you envisioned depending on his true reasons for moving.
Just ponder, what if he takes the deal, but makes excuses for not seeing his children? You in turn get less money, and he still is not present for his kids. You and the kids will lose in that situation.
Like I said, your intentions are admirable, and your kids are lucky to have a mother like you. Just be really honest with yourself.
Is it possible that your xh is using the move to LA as a ploy to get you to jump thru hoops to lower the child support payments? Manhattan is an expensive area and so are some parts of LA. I honestly do not buy his sob story of having the relocate because of expenses. He has choices to make and he's made some bad ones. I'm sure if he and his ow looked around, they could find more suitable housing that will more than fit within their budgets. If two people are working, they have to be able to afford something cheaper than where they are.
I have to agree w/kml and Ginger, you can't force him to be a good father and be there for his children. The more you try to fix the situation, the worse it's going to get.
If you are seriously thinking of going thru w/what your father suggested, I hope that you will think about everything. The less money you receive for your children, the less you'll have to give them the things that they need and/or require. Sure, you work and have a good job...but the girls are growing up by leaps and bounds and will require a lot more in the way of funds as they get more involved in activities, etc. If your h truly, and I mean truly, wanted to be father of the year, he would be jumping thru hoops to see his children. Right now, it's all about money I think he's going to try to get the child support lowered and use the threat of moving away to do so.
There is more to this story than meets the eye. If you do go thru w/your father's suggestion, please make sure it is all documented and signed by all parties...but I don't think this is the right thing to do...but that's my personal opinion.
Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to. The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
Thanks for posting an update. It's always good for those of us living through this to hear from those who have survived it.
I have to say, before you make any decisions, consider the sources. You are dealing with a person who wants to move away (cross country) from his own children! That, in and of itself, cues me to the fact that he is crazy! What would it take for you to move away from your girls? You wouldn't. Period.
Secondly, he is involved with a woman who chooses to be with a man who would walk away from his own children. So she is nuts, too. As, of course, if he can do this once he can certainly do it all again to her if she has children with him. These two are about as warm as icebergs.
Sometimes, we have to take the bird in the bush. And maybe the bird in the bush for this situation is the money. And maybe that's just all he can give? And perhaps it's best to take what you can get.
To me, these two are angling for a different life. Protect yourself and your girls as best you can.
Me 41, H 47, M 15 yrs, S11, S13 BD 1: 11/4/14 we work on it; really I pretzel myself BD 2: 3/31/15 H goes down to "dorm room" 8/15: H back to MBR 10/15: H back in dorm room 1/18: H files, now divorced
I know there are some strong reasons behind supporting time together... However...
In my honest opinion, I think my girls have somewhat benefited from Matt being AWOL. When addiction is involved, spending time together can mean belittling and negativity and who knows what else. My girls are really brimming with self-confidence and I don't honestly believe that would be the case had he been in their face more.
It's not ideal. It's not what I imagined for my girls. HOWEVER... this is is HIS choice. His consequences.
And, truly, what will help them become better, functioning adults... Especially girls??? At this point, I'd say money to help them get the support, counseling and education they need to thrive. He has made himself somewhat expendable at this point.
Just my two cents.
"You know, it's times like these when I realize what a superhero I am." Tony Stark/Iron Man
“Focus on what you can do, then do it with all your heart.” Lois Wilson
Thank you all all all for your support and kind words. It was nice to see.
I have already made him the offer - 2 daysago - to which he has not responded.
I truly doubt he will take my deal, he really just wants to move and is probably very annoyed that I have said anything at all trying to stop him. He wants to able to forgot about this family and start a new one.
Job, I don't think this is a ploy for more $$, I think it is another way of running from the pain. My ex is deep deep into some crazy pain, so much so that he can't even see the love he has from his daughters right in front of him.
I myself thought of so many of the points that you guys have listed above before making the offer but ultimately I listened to my father. He is a divorce attorney and child advocate for 40+ years. My father is also 20+ years in AA and believes that you can not change the harvest but that you should weed the fields.
My father thinks my ex will not take this offer but he believes I need to be able to tell my girls in 20 years that I did everything I could to try to keep their father present in their lives.
My father has been my main confidant and guide over the past 5 years so I trust his advice even when it goes against the grain. He is a smart smart man.
KML, Any deal would be done with a legal document. Also my ex and I both have life insurance and are the beneficiaries of each others policies. Yearly we submit to each other our taxes and proof that or insurance polices are active.
My ex is the opposite of my father - my ex as you noted HaWho is insane.
My ex has yet to respond. I am sure he is fuming at me.
Either way the girls and I will be good and have a good life.
---- M 39 H 35 D5,D4 M 4 T 9 ILYBNILWY 5/18/11 Left 7/11/11 Divorced 12/1/13
Thank you for posting, it is good to hear that you feel stronger after what happened. I agree that you should do everything possible to allow your children regular access to their dad, but, I don't think he will take your deal.
"There's nothing sadder than a conman conning himself"
“There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”