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Good Morning BL

I think I stated to you, and if I haven’t I am now, I will always give you the best advice I can and it will be for you.

My suggestion is to just to continue the minutes earlier teacher/parent conference regarding son. Just a few sentences to get to the door. A way to foster a cordial relationship and remove the awkwardness of a long silent walk. That’s for you. It will also help son. And yes, even XW will be influenced by such a gesture. It may even help her, which will also pay dividends to the people the advice is mainly for - you and kids.

On a personal note, I detest the idea of blended families. That is a magical Hollywood fantasy. Blech! I ain’t anywhere close to suggesting you and XW sing Kumbaya all together.

(My XW had her fantasy all laid out and explained as she was literally packing and leaving with OM out the door - we’d share blended Christmases and in the summer all drink mojitos on my deck. Lol. Such confusion.)

However, you and the kids definitely should sing Kumbaya! And I mean that literally. We’ve had many great campfires and continued them sans Mom.

You are doing great BL. Have a wonderful weekend.

D


Now: Me54 XW50 S24 S23 S21 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

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DNJ your posts are always carefully written and well spoken. Thank you for being respectful in your response.

DNJ and Ginger are right that cordial is where you want to get. My point was more that if you weren’t interested in idle chit chat that’s ok too.

It’s difficult to navigate early on. You are trying to do the right thing for your kids but even DNJ admits that should only go so far. If it was all about the kids then we would do blended families because that would be what’s in their best interest.


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Hi BL42,

There’s already been much discussion about goal posts for the future—I just wanted to note that you handled the current situation well. You didn’t mind read much where she’s at, and you were open to heading and considering her opinions during the conference.



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Good discussion on the parent teacher conference...

kml/DnJ,
Originally Posted by kml
Reading to and with kids is important. Since you may not be able to count on ex for that, make it a big part of your time together with S6.
Originally Posted by DnJ
I agree with kml. Making reading a fun time with Dad. Lots of benefits from that.
Couldn't agree more about reading. I'll certainly make it more of a priority. I've It's a little challenging as a single parent to read age appropriate for both 6.5yo and 3yo kids, but my parents are in town to assist as well which is great for the kids (and me).

Hallway Walk / Awkward Silence...

To LH & Vapo's point, I certainly did not want to talk to her. During the initial period of BD/OM1/IHS I was mostly stunned and sad and depressed and fearful of losing my family, but then OM2 and separation and D I'm more angry at her for breaking up our family and making kids go back and forth and moving OM2 in with the kids almost immediately. I've lost respect of her and now think of her as a woman of low integrity, and I wish this behavior was not being modeled for my kids.

But to Ginger & DnJ's point, maybe a brief comment or two regarding S6's schooling would've been warranted to break the ice, and would help the kids moving forward (though in this case the kids weren't around to witness). As I said, we were very cordial and business like during the conference with the teacher. We were "adults" so to speak.

And the after conference hallway walk was probably the first encounter we've had alone since maybe ExW moving out a year and a half ago. I don't know. It's tough. It's awkward and uncomfortable. I assume over time it will get easier. You'll all right in that my children are so young it's going to be a LONG road ahead.

Originally Posted by DnJ
On a personal note, I detest the idea of blended families. That is a magical Hollywood fantasy. Blech! I ain’t anywhere close to suggesting you and XW sing Kumbaya all together.
ExW told me when she was moving out that we'd still all go out for ice cream or walks and spend birthdays and holidays together (not that I'd want to), and then a few weeks or a month later had a separate party for then D2 with OM2's family and sneaking him over after even her dad and step mom left (they circled back and got his plates and did a background check on him...). So no chance of a blended family with ExW & OM2 anytime soon (again, no chance I'd want to regardless).

Originally Posted by LH19
I think BL deserves some slack for not wanting to have idle chit chat with a woman who is on OM2 before they were divorced. He’s a little over a year into it and it will take some time.
Originally Posted by Ginger1
I think you are doing just fine BL. It’s hard to navigate with young young kids. And if I can impart anything from what I did wrong or right, I will and you can take or leave any of my advice.
Originally Posted by DnJ
You are doing great BL. Have a wonderful weekend.
Originally Posted by CWarrior
There’s already been much discussion about goal posts for the future—I just wanted to note that you handled the current situation well. You didn’t mind read much where she’s at, and you were open to heading and considering her opinions during the conference.
Always appreciate the kind words. It's good to know others who have been through this think I'm doing well. I think I am too, but also think it takes time...


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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Pretty good weekend of GAL without the kids...

Friday met up with three buddies for happy hour and wings, and also applied for membership at a country club at which many of my best local friends are members. I spent a good amount of time there as a guest last Summer on my "off" weekends, and they've been at me to formally join, and I feel comfortable doing so now that my finances/expenses have settled post-D. I'll be able to take the kids to the pool when I have them and golf when I don't, and there are also social events like the "Mingle & Jingle" Christmas party next weekend which I'll go to with all my friends.

Saturday I met up for lunch with a buddy of mine and his wife and then we went to a casino to watch college football. I'm not much of a gambler like they are, but figured it was a day out and ended up winning some money at blackjack and even more at craps, so that was a plus.

This morning I played pickleball for the first time (I do play tennis, so it's right up my alley) and in the afternoon went by myself to open skating at a local ice rink and unexpectedly ran into several people I know (my neighbors, a dad & kid from S6's sports team I coach, and classmate I haven't seen in a awhile).

Tonight I'm going to submit the last homework assignment of the semester for my first grad school course and then start tackling the take-home final.


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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Filling in those silent awkward spaces can be challenging in the beginning. Lots been already but here's what I did in the first few years when it came to teacher/parent conferences.

The kids would come with us and hang out in the back doing coloring or reading while we had the chat with the teacher. When we were done, kids would walk out with us and go with whichever parent had them for the night. This way, I could just talk to them for the 30 seconds walking out of the school, and then exchange a 'bye' with exW at the end.

The times when we had to be by ourselves, we'd exchange pleasantries and just let the silence happen. I got pretty comfortable with silence so it didn't bother me. If it bothered her, I dunno. I didn't really care to know. I just wanted to have the least amount of convo because she was always angry, or at least radiated a lot of anger. I didn't want to be her punching bag.

She's only softened this year and so we can have some basic conversation. But I still keep it about the kids and scheduling. any niceties on her part, I just reply with 'thanks'. keep it very short. I prefer to keep her on the periphery of my life and she only knows things if she needs to know them because it affects our parenting schedule - like if I need to switch days and vice versa. I don't see the need for anything more. I still believe in as much NC and being dark as possible - mostly for my own sanity and sustaining the work I've done to move ahead in my life.

I'm not into the whole blended families nonsense either - why go back in to a dynamic that you were fired from. And I don't mean it from an angry point of view, but I don't see any benefit in going beyond what's needed.


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Two post-D logistical questions...

1) Marital Last Name - ExW is still using my last name on things like school papers, kids activities, financials...etc. At this point I'd prefer she didn't; she clearly has no interest in being part of my family so why should she use our name? Perhaps she's holding out for an OM2 proposal to save an extra transition? I kid. Sort of. Anyway, understood it's out of my control but I'm tempted to send a note asking what the status is there (serving as a bit of a nudge). Or, do I just let it be?

2) Monthly Child Support Payments - 18 down, only 214 more to go! LOL. Unfortunately for me my state's laws have little bearing on the children's actual financial needs and are based mostly on the disparity of parental income, so despite ExW having a professional job and me caring for the kids 50% in agreement (and usually more in practice) I'm basically paying her mortgage & car payment. But, I digress. Support runs until age 21...so with S6 and D3 it's going to be a long road. Right now I'm writing physical checks monthly and just passing them over in a backpack or bag during a transition. Is there a better way to handle this going forward?


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Originally Posted by BL42
1) Marital Last Name - ExW is still using my last name on things like school papers, kids activities, financials...etc. At this point I'd prefer she didn't; she clearly has no interest in being part of my family so why should she use our name? Perhaps she's holding out for an OM2 proposal to save an extra transition? I kid. Sort of. Anyway, understood it's out of my control but I'm tempted to send a note asking what the status is there (serving as a bit of a nudge). Or, do I just let it be?
Sounds passive aggressive to ask her to change her name.

Originally Posted by BL42
2) Monthly Child Support Payments - 18 down, only 214 more to go! LOL. Unfortunately for me my state's laws have little bearing on the children's actual financial needs and are based mostly on the disparity of parental income, so despite ExW having a professional job and me caring for the kids 50% in agreement (and usually more in practice) I'm basically paying her mortgage & car payment. But, I digress. Support runs until age 21...so with S6 and D3 it's going to be a long road. Right now I'm writing physical checks monthly and just passing them over in a backpack or bag during a transition. Is there a better way to handle this going forward?
I have mine direct deposited from my check into her account. I just did the math I have less then 100. Wahoo!


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Originally Posted by BL42
Or, do I just let it be?
Let it be. What name she chooses is outside your control. My XW's motive for using "my" last name for the last 11yrs is so her last name matches the kids' last name, and simple laziness (name changes are complicated--new passport, driver's license, credit card, employee name, etc.) I certainly wouldn't want to go through more changes than necessary.



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So, about the last name. I understand why you would want her to change it. When I divorced, I kept my XH's last name, mainly because it was the name I was known by professionally and I, at least that time, wasn't planning on changing professions at least for the foreseeable future. Of course, then I did change AND move back to my hometown 2 years after the divorce. In retrospect, if I had known all that would happen, I would have gone back to my maiden name when I went through the divorce, but how could I know? My XH had this weird thing about how mad he got about his XW changing back to her maiden name when they divorced and I honestly didn't give a rat's @$$ if was mad at me for keeping or changing it. He fired himself from any position of giving a crap about anything related to me when he divorced me and his last name was also my LEGAL last name at that point, so honestly, if he had asked me to change it, I would've kept his just to spite him. Now, I'm not saying your XW would do that, but it IS her LEGAL name and it is also your children's legal name so I can see her wanting to keep it, at least for now. Like LH said, asking her to change seems a bit passive aggressive.

As far as the child support, I would figure out a way to directly deposit it to whatever account she wants it in, even if that means her opening a separate account just for that or whatever. Passing it back and forth doesn't leave enough of a paper trail for you to be able to say you gave it to her. Again, not saying she would try to screw you over because I don't know either of you, but I would just think for both of your sake you would want some sort of actual proof (other than just the check itself) that the money is changing hands. I only say this because when my XH and I first got married, he was paying his XW like you do, just giving her a check directly. She would occasionally take the check and hold it until she got the 2nd one for the month (we paid twice a month since that is how he got paid at work) and say that she hadn't received the first one and because she hadn't cashed it, of course, we had no proof that she had received it. Then, she'd be nasty and threaten to report him to child support office for not paying and all sorts of other drama.

Food for thought, but that is just my 2 cents, based on my own experiences.


Me 51, H53
Bomb drop 9/29/2014
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
6 grandkids
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