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Its funny you choked back in to say that, U.

I first assumed you were joking, but then I thought, maybe I will actually say that.
Its true to how I actually feel, and that is what the real me who isnt trying to be so CAREFUL would actually say. Thats my personality.
I like it!

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Hi Hope,

I know it has been a few days... did you end up saying anything?

This is something I've thought about as my H and I often do text with the kids when we're apart. I think I'd get them a device of their own if we Sed. My Ds are older, but I just set up D10 with her own email account which she can access on my iPad (since they've been doing distance learning she has been on it a lot) and I have to say i loooooooove emailing with her. I guess if I were you I'd think carefully about it in case you want to reach out to her when she's with your H. If not, then I would tell him to knock it off either seriously or in a fun way as U suggests.

Hope you are doing OK!! Thinking of you.

xoxo May


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
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Hi May,

Thanks for checking in. I havent said anything, but have just been mulling it over for if/when it happens again.
I thought about it and did decide that I dont want to stir anything up. The simplest way to respond so as to not shoot myself in the foot in terms of communication with my daughter while she is with him is to go with the Ill let her know you said xyz route.

I realized when I thought about it more that this is one of the methods that he has utilized in the past to hook me back in and keep me attached. Hed send a message to our daughter, she/I/we would respond, then hed segue it into some banter. This solution does not open the door for that, so I think it works well for me.

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That didnt take long. This morning I got a text with a new proposal for a custody schedule. This is super frustrating, as we had a whole round of that last week that went pretty well, and that I left thinking that we had basically come to an agreement. Now hes coming back with something different. This happens each time we discuss it; I leave the conversation feeling like weve come to an agreement and then the next Monday he comes back with something new. He asked if we could discuss this tomorrow night. I replied yes, but after thinking about it, I dont think a face to face discussion about this is needed or a good idea. This topic is the hardest, most emotionally difficult and triggering part of all of this for me. I dont think it is possible for me to have that conversation without getting emotional, and I just dont want to do that with him. Im thinking that I will text him my response to his proposal, and make it clear that Im a willing participant in this discussion, but that text is working fine for me and I dont want to sit down and talk. Thoughts and/or advice?

After those texts, he texted hi and have a good day to D5. It felt very loaded and like a test. Gross. I just responded Ill tell her you said hi and he responded thank you so much!! It was so unnatural and unlike him and artificial feeling. Left a gross feeling.

FS, I keep hearing your words in my head: I will not fight against this tide. Thinking about a schedule with my daughter and consistent nights of not being with her triggers fear, anxiety sadness and pain to a degree that is unbearable for me. I would literally do anything to avoid this being a part of my life and my daughters life. But I have done all I can, and I can not control this tidal wave. Fighting against it will do me and my daughter no good. Im reaching way down deep to find a strength and a calm to hold on to while I face this head on. For so long I fought to avoid this and put it off in hopes that things would turn around before it got to this point. The hope for that is gone and I accept that my daughter and I are better served by getting this figured out and having that checked off the list. At this point, I need to have this part behind me. It doesnt feel survivable, yet I know I will not die.

Its just too much for me. Its so so so painful. Im really trying to be strong.


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Sometimes I think that some of the advice here re taking a hard line on communication (Yes, no, ignore) is, well a hard line. That position is absolutely necessary when our spouses/partners are spouting vitriol at us, or where we have expectations that being nice and engaging will somehow win them back, but honestly, when it comes to comms like "how are the kids" or "here's a picture of D10 feeding an elephant", sometimes, there is nothing malicious behind it. They aren't trying to wind us up, or annoy us or show that they're better parents than us.

Sometimes, it's just that they miss their kids (and this cannot be a bad thing).

There are limits though and you need to set your boundaries.Tone helps. A simple non engaging response like the one above. Thumbs up is a favorite (the most passive aggressive emoji ever) and I am partial to the very abrupt, thanks but I've got better things to do than write to you simple but effective "Cool". In person, body language is good. "Hi. She's ready. I'll get her for you". Quick, efficient and to the point.

Oh, and yes, I did totally misread your previous post and personally wanted to punch him when I thought he was sending you pictures of his GF smile


W40 (me), H40
M14, Together 16
D12, D9

BD Oct 17
Moved out Mar 18

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Hope, maybe I'm in the minority but I don't think you need to respond to messages intended for your daughter. He fired you as his wife and that is a wife job. If he asks if you passed on the message, then you respond in the affirmative. "Yes I did, I always do, she replied XYZ, etc". Until then, I would stay silent or do the thumbs up response that FS suggested. I know you are concerned about the same situation in reverse, that he might not respond when he has your daughter, but you can't control what he does by changing what you do. Do you trust that he will respond to anything urgent or important about your D? If so, then maybe you can put a firmer boundary in place with these messages. If you want to smile

Regarding the custody agreement, I'd suggest having these discussions over email, not text, and give yourself a lot of time to respond, at least 24 hours. You are not obliged to a sit-down talk if you're not comfortable. Here's a gentle 2x4: you don't need permission to do things that serve you and only you. You are a strong, independent woman. Believe in yourself and your integrity and your right to put yourself first. Negotiating custody is awful and your pain is valid. You will survive. Perhaps put a clause in your agreement that once finalised, it will be reviewed in 18 months (or whatever timeframe) and no sooner. Give yourself a bit of breathing room to relax. That was my L's advice to me.


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June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Dec 2020 | Happily divorced
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HopeCA Offline OP
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FSI definitely hear what you are saying here. And I agree with you; I think in most cases when he does this it is because he misses D5. And today when he did it, the timing was weird and the vibe was just off. I dont know how to explain, but it rubbed me the wrong way, where typically its just his approach that annoys me. If I am missing D5 A when she is with him, well I typically deal with it on my own so as to respect his time with her. Beyond that, when I wish to make contact, I text H and ask directly to speak with her or for him to relay a message. His approach of texting D5 directly as if it is her phone is just weird and it does feel like it pushes my personal boundaries. And omfg, if he had the audacity to send me a picture of his GF, aside from being completely bizarre, I would put him right in his place, no holds barred. It would not be pretty.

I think that may speak to what you are saying, Scout. I dont take issue with the request for contact with his daughter. But his way of going about does feel like what a husband could do with a wife. I dont think I was able to pinpoint it before, but that is what annoys me about it. It is too intimate. Funny enough I was discussing it with my best friend today and she said the same thing, that it seemed like something her husband might do and is super weird considering the situation. I think you have nailed down what Im feeling, that he is trying to give me a wife odd-job after Ive been fired from my full-time role. Im not into it.
And your point that I cant control his behavior by changing what I do has merit. It hits home for me. He became such an unsafe person for me emotionally in our M that I did get into the habit of planning my actions in order to prevent him acting out. I think Ill gradually dial it back from todays response, to thumbs up, to silence unless asked for confirmation. I dont like the feeling that fielding these messages give me. You dont need permission to do things that serve you and only you. That is sound advice. Detaching for me means so much more than detaching romantically and emotionally from H. It also means detaching from my fear of what he may or may not do. That is extra hard to do when you do not fundamentally trust the person. (I imagine you can relate to that Scout).
I really like the idea of a clause to not revisit custody before X time has passed. I NEED a bit of breathing room around this. I need this decided and locked in for a bit. Thank you so much Scout, you have really helped me today.

I wish I could relax without worrying about what he will hit me with next. He has proven himself to be selfish, reckless and impulsive on his never ending Peter Pan quest for personal happiness. I feel like I cant take anymore hits, and I fear them in the coming months. Im going to find my equilibrium enough that if they do come, I dont get knocked down.

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Just journaling and venting.

Because of my pending divorce combined with Covid situation worsening in my area, Ive been feeling increasingly isolated and lonely. I do reach out to and safely visit with friends as much as I can. And now that Im employed Im exploring ways to start IC again.

There is a wildfire very close to where I live. Still distant enough to not be an immediate threat, but the threat of evacuation is looming. Im working full time from home while also caring for D5, and tomorrow I will be adding remote Kindergarten to the mix, somehow. Its a lot. Dealing with the threat of wildfire evacuation on my own has me feeling extremely lonely and depressed. Its not that I cant handle it alone; I have no doubt that I can. But having to deal with it alone is what pains me. It leaves me feeling alone and abandoned. Maybe thats irrational, but it is how I feel, and it is painful.

Before this point I really do feel like I had taken a big step up in my detachment process. Yes, it is difficult and slow for me, but I have made progress. Recently it came to light that my STBXH is dating someone that lives 2 blocks from me. My daughter and I see his truck parked there every weekend. I find it really painful and triggering to see, despite my knowledge that he has a girlfriend. I know that just means I have farther to go than I thought with detachment. I sincerely wish that seeing that wouldnt bother me. But it does. It just feels like a slap in the face.

Im just struggling. Im feeling very alone and in pain. Thanks for reading.

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(((Hope))))

Cant write a lot right now, but wanted to say you are an incredible, strong, caring, amazing mom and woman. I totally get how you are feeling. You have every right to feel the way you do and with everything else going it is overwhelming. Hang in there.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
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Hope, I am so sorry to read that you are feeling alone right now. It is totally understandable given what you are going through and you are certainly among others who feel the same way right now, both on this board and in the world at large. ((((Hope))))

Have you spoken to your doctor or a mental health professional about your feelings? You dont have to suffer these feelings alone and your doctor may be able to provide some additional tools or suggestions to help you navigate this season of your life. Pulling my doctor in the loop of my situation was one of the best decisions I made.

In the meantime, we are here for you.

Xx

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