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To continue with my last post. At this point this order/motion is almost guaranteed to happen if I want to put it in, I just need to do it. W really has no choice in it and I'm not sure how she will react. Everyone I have spoken to agree the order is whats best for the kids right now. While speaking to the L I realized much more about the D process and I now know W is completely over her head and will become overwhelmed. Shes dragging her feet just CONTACTING a mediator right now to start that process, which is required to start before our first court date at the beginning of June. I asked her what the deal with it was and she gave me some excuse she doesn't know when I'm available. The whole point is she contacts mediator to see when they are available and then gives me a mediator and time to agree with
Anyway, I don't believe W is prepared for any of this. It took her more than a year to file the D paperwork because it was difficult to figure out when in the end it was a simple automated program online that took 5 minutes. The other paperwork will not be that simple. I think in her mind she believes the mediator is the path to doing this on our own. I now know the phone book of documents she has to fill out(not given by mediator) and the sign offs she has to do at the court house even if we do agree on everything.
L basically basically said he sees this all the time that its usually one person who ends up taking charge of these things and its usually the one who was responsible for doing it in the M, that doesn't change. The longer this drags out the more complicated it will be and with her not being able to see her BF around kids I'm not sure what she will do. Most of me is just ready to tell her about the order and let things go, let her struggle and figure it out. She wants the D she can figure it out and do whatever. It may hurt me later but I'm doing whats best for my kids now.
So then I got to thinking about what the L said and a path started to formulate in my mind that may have a solution for many things. Since I have a strong feeling shes planning on moving in OM2 and his kids (not that she can anyway) I have a solution that may work for her and give me power to avoid any issue with the revolving door of relationships she may find herself in toward the future.
Basically this is the deal. I get sole physical and legal custody of the kids. The children no longer sleep at her house but she gets visitation. She has nearly the identical time during the week she has them now but without the sleeping at night. OM2 and his kids can move in if that was their plan and I don't put in this order where he legally cant be around them. However, her time with the kids will be mostly her time with the kids. So realistically say 1/2 the time she has with them he will not be around. Child support will be mostly waived and only a small number agreed on to be paid to me to offset the pickups/drops off that I will likely be doing. She pays me $1000 to offset lawyer fees and I hire my lawyer to complete all the legal paperwork so we can move the D on. We could be D'ed in just a couple months since the judge will waive part of the min waiting period. I also give her my word I will never use the sole custody in a way to manipulate her or punish her. That I can no longer trust her doing whats best for the kids so that will be the only reason I would use that against her in the future. Other than that its just a signature on a piece of paper and the kids don't sleep at her house. She gets everything else she wants and can live her life.
I also now know she was uncomfortable and jumped through hoops to change schedule around because she thought I was having a new woman babysit the kids. So I will also give her my word, in writing if needed, that I will not have any woman sleeping over my apartment while I have the kids with me(which will be every night) for a period of 1 year after the D is final. Again, she gets everything she wants. The D not messy, still able to see her kids, still able to have her BF, no embarrassment of people knowing what she did, no court battle with lawyer. She just has to suck up her pride with giving me legal custody.
I don't like this for many reasons but I do believe it could be whats best for the kids long term. If her and OM2 work out then so be it, that's not the point anymore. If they don't and she does continue with R after R then I have the power to reasonably protect my kids from that situation in the future after we D.
This just puts an enormous strain on me in many areas and I basically put my personal life with any new R on hold or limit it to being very slow. Which may work out for the best long term. Part of me believes if W is planning on having him move in this may give her an option to avoid a big fight and get mostly what she wants so its possible she might accept it.
So that's where I'm stuck. I have an issue with doing the work for this D and really could just let her do it and figure it out but this is going to happen so why am I letting that little bit of pride stop me from pre-positioning myself in a place where I can ensure my kids are protected later.
At the same time I think W really needs to understand the world doesn't work the way she wants it to work in her favor. By giving her all of this I feel almost like I'm enabling her also and delaying realizations she needs to have. If I do put this order in and its almost guaranteed to be signed W could face jail time for contempt of court if she continues to bring the BF around the kids.
Right now I'm leaning toward just telling W about the order, explaining why and what it is and letting go. Not in a punishing way but just stating I'm leaving whats best for the kids up to the court and they are deciding it will be no BF.
I might add, I was ready for this D and accepted it was happening. I accepted I would be fine and would not only survive this but flourish. I was happy and moving forward with my life, enjoying being single and who I was. Now I get sucked back in with something that was already dealt with. Something I shouldn't be having to deal with if someone had some moderation in their actions. You give way more than an inch and they still take a mile.
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be
Re: Decisions to be made (15)
#2671265 04/24/1605:37 AM04/24/1605:37 AM
My thoughts...take the kids and whatever extra 'hassle' that comes with them...honestly, if i was in your shoes and if i had the chance to take them as prime custody i would not look back. You are more than capable of it and are a great father. Your aupport network that you started to build last summer with SIL and such will continue to grow and grow.
If i am reading between the lines it seems like youve already come to the same conclusion...and somehow want someone to talk you out of it??? This IS something you are capable of.
Ive seen your growth and maturity over the last year and it is stunning. These kids deseve to be with a parent who is capable of showing them all you have been and no less, someone who can raise them into strong adults. Your wife will see them, yes but for now ahe is not that person who can do this for them.
Put the order through but leave the rest of the paperwork to W. Your end game would stii be sole custody of the kids and what you've proposed when the D goes through. I am thinking that you shouldn't help W at this juncture. She wanted the D so she should see it through.
You can call me Dory/ Grl.
As a wise fish once sang,"Just keep swimming!"
It's no use to go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.
Re: Decisions to be made (15)
#2671333 04/24/1612:05 PM04/24/1612:05 PM
Its interesting to see how much my thoughts have changed on this in 2 months time. Here's update with ex and legal process.
We ended up having one mediation session that was two hours long. We actually came to agreements on everything during the meeting. I was mostly comfortable with it but we didn't sign anything yet. She was respectful and we discussed everything, her entitlement didn't come out too much. She seen some issue with my transporting the kids and understood I was costing me extra money, she even offered to pay some gas money. She did try to aruge a point about somehting else from our M, thinking she deserved more than was fair. I explained my position (regarding my student loans and taxes) and stood firm on what I felt was fair. I let go of the bf being around the kids, its done and happened, no point in fighting about it now. Should her relationship with him end the kids have already bonded with him and his kids so at this point it doesn't matter.
We did talk about him not sleeping over until January 2017. That was something we agreed on and I felt it was fair to keep in. She made the agreement and went back on it so this is a point of trust and co-parenting. I cant make agreements with her knowing she will go back on it the second it suits her, which she has always done. It came out in mediation shes planning on getting a house and soon, with him.
The day after mediation ended she emailed mediator and tried to get wording changed so she can have him sleep over sooner. I guess she in her mind 6 months is too long to wait and needs to move in with him soon rather than later to "move on with her life". I said no to the wording change, again, principle of her keeping to her word.
Mediator suggest we come in again to work it out, that was 6 weeks ago. She said she wont have the fund until the middle of this month and we can wait.
We went to our first pre-trial date also earlier this month. She decided bringing S3 was acceptable to divorce proceedings. The judicial assistant repeated 3 times how this was not a place for a 3 year old to be. We didn't even see judge as most of our concerns were agreed on(just not in writing) so we set a settlement date in 2 months. The lady asked what our issue were as maybe she could help. Ex said the dating clause, she looked at me confused as she didn't understand the problem, almost as if I was the one dating. I said I thought it was reasonable that either of us wait to expose our kids to outside relationships and sleepovers. Lady shook her head and repeated how it was a good idea to keep kids away from dating like it made perfect sense but confused as she didn't understand the issue. Ex said kids have already been introduced to someone. The lady looked like a deer in headlights and had nothing to say for several seconds. Then she starts repeating "that's a huge concern....yeah, huge concern". Don't think ex even realized what she meant by it. Lady slowly looked at me like she knew what could happen and waited for me to respond. I said the introductions have already happened and no point in fighting over it, the damage was done there but that we should limit overnight stay overs for a time. Ex said "yeah and he doesn't sleep over at all when I have the kids blah blah blah" for a minute explaining it. Lady seemed happier and shook head like that made sense until I chimed in "anymore...". She rolled her eyes and looked down at the table. I could tell she was trying her best to remain neutral but I did look at the window away from ex and couldn't control a smirk.
Maybe 3 weeks ago she got super pissy with me over stupid [censored]. We have issues with communication on her schedule and kids/babysitters. She just slowly slips into not telling anyone anything and assume they should know. Shes mostly burned the bridge of her sister being our primary babysitter now, she will only do it once in a while, which is fine. I found a new babysitter that's working out, she just started last week.
Anyway, we had a communication issue where she had to drive 5 mins more to pick up kids when she never communicated to me she was even picking them up, on a day she usually doesn't work. It messed up my mens group and her sisters therapist appointment, causing her to lose the therapist. I told her we needed to have a talk about her communication with kids in text and she spewed at me saying I was making her drive twice as far to get HER kids(she likes to say MY kids when in her pissy moods to me, asserting some kind of dominance) and she didn't have the money to pay for gas, that she had to pull money out of savings for groceries. She got there and we got into it, I reacted and she was irrational. I mostly stayed on topic of her communication issues but she kept bringing it back to other issues about her money and our M. I did say some things I shouldn't have reacting that somewhat threatened her with lawyers and what I could have done. She said I was being controlling and that's why she left me (when I said I could have put motions in to stop her bf from even being around, but didn't because I wanted to work with her and coparent). That went on for a bit, she reminds me of a rebellious teenager at times righting with her father. One of her texts to me even said something like "I told my managers I cant work Tuesday because you yell at me if I do!!!". She kept trying to make it seem like I was angry I missed my mens group but I calmly told her I understood she works in retail and has crazy schedules at times. I also said if I need to watch the kids and miss it then I do, I dont mind I just need her to communicate with me in a reasonable amount of time. Its difficult to keep the topic on whats the issue with her, she always directs to other things. She started making demands I schedule and pay for mediation (she originally agree to pay for it all). I said that's not on me and she replied "yes it is because I cant afford it" and left. She texted me 30 mins later saying if I wanted her to pay half of this mediation I needed to refund her half for the previous one. I didn't respond.
A week later she started being more polite in texts. Saying thank you to almost every text I sent about when I was dropping kids off when I wasn't even getting a reply at all before. She even went to her sister and apologized for how she was communicating with her, I guess some of my point got through even thought.
A week ago she dropped kids off and I asked her to talk about kids situation since they were getting out of school. She listened and was respectful, polite. We agreed on new babysitter I found and a schedule that works for me and my concerns with kids and her. I compromised on some things there and she listened to my concerns with communication with babysitter and I tried to put in boundaries with her where I seen issues. No dropping kids off unannounced, paying on time, making sure to text or call if going to be late, etc. She seemed receptive.
Then few days ago mediator emailed again asking what the status was on the dating clause (sleepovers) and what we were planning to do. I said I was more than willing to come to mediation again to find a solution we could all work with when ex had the funds to do so, as she originally agreed to pay for it. Ex immediately texted me like 4 times in a row saying if I wanted to go back to mediation and her pay for it she wanted the dating clause removed completely. That she was already behind in bills from last time we went to mediation and I was refusing to pay to it. I didn't reply. New babysitter who has only seen her twice told me later in the day she left quickly and seemed in a really bad mood. D5 also told me she was yelling and so angry, even yelling at om2's kids. She shuttles them around and babysits for them all the time that I see so new babysitter has already seen them also.
I realized this is our pattern and her MO also. She gets all tough and pissy with me and stands up irrationally. She makes demands of what I will do and like she has all the power, I don't respond to it. It slips away and she becomes fully rational and works with me where we both compromise and work together. Things are good for a while until she starts slipping and then turns that aggression back to me and gets irrational with her entitled selfish mindset that comes out. Thinking things all revolve around her, before the pattern repeats.
So right now I'm not responding to it, letting it go. Each cycle of this pattern it effects me less and less and I see it for what it is. Part of me does want to fix it and I feel the urge not to fight with her, the conflict avoider part. But I also recognize those thoughts and why they are there. I don't make decisions on them.
I'm sure Ill hear of this soon. She could try to make life miserable for us but if I look at our pattern together she will either come to me and try to get me to pay half or find the money and set it up. The fight does frighten me but my logical side knows I'm fine and she doesn't want that either. Shes just good and making it look like she could. I don't mind paying half to have this resolved in writing, its only $150. I just wont allow her to make demands of me or think I'm the one responsible for moving this forward.
Huge post so Ill leave this now. I have some updates on me and will do another post for those. Those are much better anyway than the garbage above anyway I'm in a really good place mentally, that's all that matters.
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be
Re: Decisions to be made (15)
#2687549 06/25/1601:53 PM06/25/1601:53 PM
Wanted to do another update sooner but Iíve been busy. Enjoy the novel.
In my last post I mentioned this pattern that happens between me and ex. Usually the issues come up in her irrational phase where she expects me to do more than I should as sheís only viewing things in terms of how it affects her. She seems to have all the power in the moment of these interactions, emotionally, but logically I know she doesnít and I mostly stand firm on my position. In the past I would cave immediately not wanting to rock the boat or upset her but I recognize this pattern now and if I stand up to it she backs down a few days later. Sheís like a puffer fish who looks deadly in the heat of the moment but if I stand my ground against it she deflates into a guppy. I let the texts go about her expecting me to pay all of mediation and wanted to test if I was right and she would see how irrational sheís being after she agreed to pay for it all. I figured eventually she would ask me in a respectful way to split the costs or find the money and schedule it.
The day after I wrote my last post she showed up at church to talk with me. She said she had the money for mediation but wanted to give it to my parents to help after a house fire. She said she wasnít sure what to do about mediation if she did give the money away and asked if we could sit down at a coffee shop and talk things out. She was very respectful and kind, tried to listen to me and work together, which is all Iíve ever asked for so I agreed. When sheís in this phase I donít have many problems working with her and things go smoothly. I just realized this is just a phase and she always reverts back through the cycle. Really respectful and thoughtful for a while. Then things begin to slip slightly until we have the irrational phase. At least I know what it is and each cycle affects me less and less. We still havenít done this meeting yet, another of her patterns. She drags her feet and does the minimal she needs to do to be able to move things forward. We have a settlement conference in 30 days and could be divorced then if we have the agreement signed and she gets all the paperwork through the courts done. I donít think she realizes how much work that will be but not my problem anymore.
As for me, Iím having a good time overall and feeling much better. I still go through the phases of emotions and get stuck in moods occasionally. I still somewhat self-medicate with at least two things that I could do better on. One of these is food where I get this intense urge to eat when Iím feeling lonely or the emotions get to me. Iíve said before itís like my body goes into auto-pilot and Iím along for the ride. This has always been an issue with me but I never realized it was the temporary instant gratification and comfort I was getting. Iím aware of how both things are me trying to escape the emotions and feel better in the moment. Similar to other self-medications, even Aís. We think we canít control it but we can, itís just very difficult. That urge to feel better and escape the pain, even if only for a moment, can be extremely powerful. Staying mindful is something Iím working on to combat this. Also sitting with those emotions and feeling them instead of reaching for food or other familiar comforts.
I also realized an important shift in my thoughts thatís happened over the last couple of months. I find myself being much kinder to myself than I ever have been in the past. Several months ago I was very angry with myself for how I was feeling. I was in a mood where all I could think about was ex and judging those thoughts as wrong and getting angry at myself. Then knowing I shouldnít judge my thoughts I did it again and judged the judging of my thoughts. I felt ridiculous at the time, like my mind was attaching itself. Last week I had a dream about ex that was pretty intense. A dream where I wanted her back, missed her, loved her. I was desperate in the dream and searching her home for signs she still cared about me and finding presents labeled ďto my favorite step son!Ē (om2 son). I woke up and didnít get angry at myself. If I get sad or angry about the situation and it comes up, I donít judge myself and think Iím not where I should be in this process. I donít judge my feelings as right or wrong. They are what they are. I still have a place in my heart for ex and love her. There are times I still want her back and want the family we could have and thatís ok. I am where I am right now, which is exactly where I should be.
Last thought for today. For a long time Iíve put a lot of effort into trying to understand when I might be ready to date again. Not so I can jump into a new R but so I donít repeat the mistakes of the past. I knew for my own growth this time alone would be very beneficial to me. I never had to live completely on my own so I am finding myself slowly. I am grateful for this as I do feel like a different person now. My issue with ex was I became too enmeshed with her and used her for all my needs in life. Iím aware of that issue now. As good as a new R would feel right now Iíve known I could easily get into that same situation. So part of my answer came to me questioning my current situation. If I were in an enmeshed and wrong R for me in the future, could I come back to being where I am now, single, and be ok with that? I think I could. Iím starting to see the benefits of being alone and reframe my perspective of being single. There are definitely positives to it. I still have that desire to be with someone and share my life, but it can wait. I donít need that to be happy. Iíve talked with IC about this also and he was the one to originally point out last year how I might jump into a new R and become enmeshed again, basically repeating all my issues or staying with someone who is completely wrong just because it feels good. Recently we talked about it again and he asked if I still had my plan to wait a year after the D to date. I told him my view on it is evolving now and Iím not sure. I said I donít plan to actively seek out dating as of right now for the year but if something comes along I may reevaluate things.
Then he said something that confused me but we were at the end of the session and had to wrap things up. He said heís not going to tell me not to date, even right now, thatís my decision. We knew this was a problem that could come up for me, a huge problem, but he didnít seem concerned at all with it. He has advised me in the past not to do things that could be problems for me. This jolted a thought about a previous concern I had a while back about something happening in the future. He suggested for that issue it wasnít a concern anymore because I was aware of it and for some things just being aware is enough. So again, maybe Iím further along than I realize in being ready to date. Iím not using that as justification to go wreck tinder right now, just an observation. Thereís no rush to being with another person for me. I can wait and anyone worthy of being with me can wait also. Iím worth it . The whole self-love thing is coming along. Could use more work but Iím happy with the progress so far. Like I said before with being kinder to my thoughts, Iím noticing I care more about myself than I ever have in the past.
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be