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#2883352 01/31/20 03:27 PM
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unchien #2883356 01/31/20 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FlySolo
I completely get you. It still hits me too. The loneliness. The emptiness. Like you I am a big fan of meditation. Live in the present, right?. But, sometimes, just sometimes, I miss making plans. My H and I had so many plans. Then I push the thought to the side, and try and come back to the present. But it creeps back.

The choice as to whether it's a major turning point (or not) is yours. You can continue as you are or you can choose to let go. If you do your co-parenting relationship will take a hit, but it will equalise once again in time.

I also miss those plans we had. It is hard to let go.

Meditation does help live in the present, but my enthusiasm for meditation centers around the fact that it is so frustrating and maddening and yet... it leaves space for just that. I really enjoy the guided meditations and how they help develop self-compassion. Sometimes sitting and meditating is the last thing I want to do. It can be so NOT calming. Yesterday's meditation theme was "I don't want to be meditating right now." It was fantastic. It was 14 minutes of squirming around hating it, and 1 minute of really enjoying a moment of tranquility.

Originally Posted by IronWill
Do you think you will ever become fully detached? I think this is something we all focus on, and strive to, but - especially if you have kids together - it will always be there in the background.

I think about this alot. It is a goal that I have in mind that I know is not fully achievable, but still a goal worth striving towards.

On the anxiety ~ co-dependency is a tricky subject with a lot of gray area too. Even the healthiest relationships involve helping each other out. Sometimes I think of my issues and try to differentiate between having a shoulder to lean on or using a crutch. Either way, that shoulder/crutch is gone now.

I am quite mind-f*cked by the entire last year plus. I know I have issues, but so does everybody else. My W has pathologized and dissected and categorized me. She works in the mental health field. I don't want to exaggerate it, but I do think it's THAT specific aspect of our situation that has traumatized me. It's going to take me time to disconnect from it.

Originally Posted by IHCLACS
Ever notice all throughout most of our lives and experiences, the greatest ones are when we are in the moment, out of our own heads, and in someone else's? Or out of our heads, and in an experience with someone or something else? Or enjoying the present and planning for the future, and when those planned future events come to pass, having gratitude and doing it again.

Absolutely. It's all about seeking and creating more of those opportunities.

unchien #2883535 02/01/20 05:41 PM
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I found out today W has consulted with a L with a highly litigious reputation. Big law firm, known for spending both parties into the hole. Known for aggressive tactics.

Iíve also heard of cases where law firms can put a lien on your house then draw off the equity. Given my W is attached to the house emotionally, and is not financially savvy, I worry about her falling for this kind of tactic.

Iím trying to stay calm as I think she was directed to this person and never bothered to shop around. There are ethical complaints online about this individual, claiming they are in cahoots with local judges. Like... first page of web search results, it doesnít take any digging. If I were going to retain somebody I would have seen these red flags and taken a pass.

I canít tell if she is naive and only consulted one L. I think that is the case - before I moved out I found this personís name on a note.

The Cold War comes to mind. Two sides afraid of the other, if one side flinches all h3ll may break loose.

Anyways... Iím still hoping to avoid the courtroom route. Should know more in the next week. Iím aware the above is all about my W but Iím trying to work through my fears that she is going to do something like L up, file, and get aggressive. I have taken some steps to protect myself while still leaving open the possibility we can work this out.

unchien #2883539 02/01/20 06:35 PM
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Hi Unchien,

Do you have an attorney you trust? When my ex-wife first obtained an attorney I was worried. I retained good counsel and those worries melted away. There is a balance point--the norm for divorces in your state for your custody %s. The other side can spend hours on a crazy proposal, and mine spends 15-30 minutes finding a good response, e.g. "They'll win that, go with it." or "They're blowing smoke, ignore it."

Originally Posted by unchien
Iíve also heard of cases where law firms can put a lien on your house then draw off the equity.
"Mr. Attorney, the house is 50% mine. Do I need to do anything to protect my half?"

Originally Posted by unchien
There are ethical complaints online about this individual, claiming they are in cahoots with local judges.
If favors are part of your area's court system, ensure your attorney's plugged into that, too? wink



Traveler #2883589 02/02/20 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Hi Unchien,

Do you have an attorney you trust? When my ex-wife first obtained an attorney I was worried. I retained good counsel and those worries melted away. There is a balance point--the norm for divorces in your state for your custody %s. The other side can spend hours on a crazy proposal, and mine spends 15-30 minutes finding a good response, e.g. "They'll win that, go with it." or "They're blowing smoke, ignore it."

Hey CW ~

I have good counsel at the ready (and I have the same mindset as you for the type of attorney I would like to have).

I'm giving mediation one chance, going in with an open mind, but I am expecting after the very first session I will have a good idea if it has a chance of working out and can decide accordingly then. Short leash.

One day I will post here more details about some of the more recent things that have happened. Stopping MC (a.k.a. "child safety class") was one of the best decisions I have ever made. One unfortunate (or maybe fortunate) side effect is that communication has ground almost to a halt (not that our communication was great beforehand). W is asking me to agree on crazy things... schedules for the next full calendar year, some wild financial proposals, etc... and I keep responding (e-mail or text "I prefer to discuss this in mediation." On the other hand, she has ignored simple requests I have made for things in the next 2 weeks. It's frustrating but for now I'm deferring it all to mediation.

It is a weird tenuous peace right now. I have less time with the kids than I want, and financially this is an absolute running disaster that is eating up our assets. We communicate here and there but it's just not great for the kids. My W has some fairly lopsided views of what the D outcome will look like, which worries me, because I can't gauge whether or not she's going to go full legal when she realizes her fantasy is unrealistic. I have chosen to defer these discussions to mediation, because in the past she has said I was "out of control" or "angry" or "delusional" in conversations where I was completely calm. So I haven't really revealed much about what I want. I feel like I have been muzzled with all the lingering threats in the last year, and so it may surprise her when I ask for what is basically your standard average agreement.

I think it's pretty simple though. I'll try mediation. If we are far apart, or if she is employing certain tactics, I will choose a different path. I can't be worried about her choice of counsel, or her decision-making. I can't be worried about being the villain any longer -- pretty sure that will be the case no matter how I conduct myself.

unchien #2883597 02/02/20 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by unchien


I am quite mind-f*cked by the entire last year plus. I know I have issues, but so does everybody else. My W has pathologized and dissected and categorized me. She works in the mental health field. I don't want to exaggerate it, but I do think it's THAT specific aspect of our situation that has traumatized me. It's going to take me time to disconnect from it.


I think sometimes we analyze people and we are some amount of right; but mostly we do it to get a handle on our feelings. If we can label someone and objectify them, we can feel better that something is wrong with them and it's not us. So I am guessing she is doing this for that reason. She needs is to be your fault, because you are x label, and its not her.


the best apology is changed behavior.
***************
me: 45 h: 48
m: 23 T: 26
DD1:19 DD2:16 DS:11
BD1: PA for 2 yrs 08/2016
BD2: OW is one of my closest friends 12/2016
BD3: H wants a D 11/2019
unchien #2883649 02/02/20 05:08 PM
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Uchien I hope you lawyer up soon. Your wife has the advantage and she may come out way better than you imagine. You need a litigator yesterday. They sit quietly by but are prepared to strike the minute you give the order. I lawyered up before H did. We now have equally matched lawyers and Iím prepared to go to trial. Hope for the best prepare for the worst. I donít trust your wife at all.

unchien #2883822 02/03/20 06:13 PM
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kas ~ I have a plan Iím comfortable with. I try not to operate out of fear that the worst will happen, although it certainly could.

I still have slim hope we can mediate - we both do - but we are far apart on almost every issue. I get dispirited. We donít actually have agreement on a schedule right now, we are just leaving everything to mediation. We are basically month-to-month and itís all tenuous and not in writing.

I lean towards L-assisted mediation (where we avoid court but let the Lís do the negotiating). I believe that would be the best approach for both of us. I really donít know... Iíll stay open minded about mediation but Iím not overly optimistic either.

unchien #2883850 02/03/20 09:13 PM
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Unchien

Your plan sounds like a good one - one that tries to stay true to your values. I would however just make sure you know up front what you want to get out of mediation. Things that are non-negotiable, things which you are willing to move on etc.

[Quote = unchien] W is asking me to agree on crazy things... schedules for the next full calendar year, some wild financial proposals, etc... and I keep responding (e-mail or text "I prefer to discuss this in mediation." On the other hand, she has ignored simple requests I have made for things in the next 2 weeks. It's frustrating but for now I'm deferring it all to mediation. [/quote]

Think of this as a god send, these are little windows into your W's thinking. It will show you what's important to her - so you know what you are in for and better prepared. I am not saying be mercenary. Just like any other negotiation, it is good to know what things the other party values.

We have spent a lot of time on the fence, waiting, watching, hoping. This is when all that meditation, all those breathing excercises will come to the fore. The discussions will be emotional. It will help if you are not.

Oh, and be fair, she is the mother of your children and you will be in each others lives FOREVER but also don't take any crap.


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

BD Oct 17
Moved out Mar 18

unchien #2883870 02/03/20 10:48 PM
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My friend did the L-assisted mediation in CA. It worked well for her, and her exH is a controlling, narcissistic d*ck. She didn't love the process but believes it was better than going to court, and having the L help with the mediation cut out a lot of the garbage he was trying to pull. And they had a number of relatively complicated assets and debts.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
unchien #2883965 02/04/20 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by FlySolo
Think of this as a god send, these are little windows into your W's thinking. It will show you what's important to her - so you know what you are in for and better prepared. I am not saying be mercenary. Just like any other negotiation, it is good to know what things the other party values.

We have spent a lot of time on the fence, waiting, watching, hoping. This is when all that meditation, all those breathing excercises will come to the fore. The discussions will be emotional. It will help if you are not.

I completely agree on the little windows. Her reasoning may be convoluted but I think I understand what her stance will be. It also helps me detach further, realizing she has such little respect for my role as a father. It paints a lot of our marital history with a gray tinge -- fair or not -- but that's how I feel right now.

I am definitely more worked up the last few days than I have been in months. It is not a good feeling. It reminds me how I used to feel. It feels a bit like regressing. But I know I am better equipped to breathe, stay calm, and focus on the big picture. I'm sure it's normal to get stirred up at a time like this.

Originally Posted by FlySolo
Oh, and be fair, she is the mother of your children and you will be in each others lives FOREVER but also don't take any crap.

I intend to be fair but firm. Whether or not it makes her life harder, I cannot accept the status quo, nor do I think it is best for the kids.

Originally Posted by may22
My friend did the L-assisted mediation in CA. It worked well for her, and her exH is a controlling, narcissistic d*ck. She didn't love the process but believes it was better than going to court, and having the L help with the mediation cut out a lot of the garbage he was trying to pull. And they had a number of relatively complicated assets and debts.

I'm open to trying without L's first but I have a short leash on it... I think L assistance may save us both time and money in the end (provided of course that we both have L's who support mediation).

My W is controlling for sure. I don't think she will play games (who knows?) but I think she feels entitled to certain things that are not realistic. Once that fantasy bubble pops, I have no clue how she will react. I also don't know if the bubble will pop immediately.

unchien #2884234 02/06/20 02:05 AM
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Rough day today. The start of mediation.

I'm trying to step back and realize the mediator just makes suggestions. No decisions. Suggesting all kinds of options, some of which are completely unpalatable. It feels like trudging through quicksand.

It's hard to sit and negotiate your entire life -- time with your kids, assets, money. All of it. With the one person you thought would be there for you.

Emotionally I'm sucked back into the anxiety vortex and it s*cks. It feels like moving out and working FT are suddenly bad things... reasons to have less time with the kids, reasons to pay more support money. I understand my W probably has her own anxieties. I also feel taken advantage of. I'm sure she feels screwed over by moving here and our lives falling apart due to UC's issues.

As always in these situations, Option C was the result today. Not Option A (Mediation is working!) or Option B (Mediation is not working!). Just Option C - I guess we are mediating now and it feels like no progress was made.

Why do I keep posting on a DB website at this point? I have no clue. I feel better prepared to handle my emotions due to this place, and it has been a major support network for me. I know I've stated these feelings in the past and people encourage me to keep posting. It's probably time for me to ramp down and consider moving to D support networks, and check in here from time to time like many others do.

unchien #2884238 02/06/20 02:26 AM
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Hey... I was just reflecting on what I just wrote on my own thread, and that maybe I should add a caveat to any newbies out there-- red alert, I'm not really DBing right now, don't do this at home. Maybe you're thinking the same thing now that you have started mediation and want to move over to D networks because you're not really DBing. I totally respect that and you should probably check it out.

But in terms of still posting here-- for me, I still see so much value in learning from others and hearing their experiences and perspectives no matter where they are on the path. D or R or limbo forever, I really appreciate hearing where folks are along the journey. In your case, know that hearing what it is like to go through mediation is helpful for those of us for whom it is a strong likelihood on the horizon. So I hope you do keep posting.

Also, FWIW, you have a lot of people here who support you and are rooting for YOU, not for your M but for YOU.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
unchien #2884243 02/06/20 03:28 AM
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Well unchien, you've posted some very insightful things to me, and for that I'm grateful. I vote that as a reason you might consider staying, as long as it is beneficial in some way to you.

Most folks here talk about DB as if it's this cut and dry thing and I am of the mind it is NOT. It's a few guidelines to help you retain your sense of self with the hopes of improving your R. I posted a rant a long time ago about how there are some here who imply that if you don't DB "correctly" (according to????) you have a lower chance of reconciling. Hogwash. Maybe the real value of these boards is not to adhere to a specific set of rules, but to simply have a live sounding board of folks who have lived it along side you.

I stayed on the boards despite my disagreement with many here. Because there are some really cool folks, and hopefully you've identified a poster or two that just kind of gels with you and the approach you choose to take. Some people who can help you talk through your emotions which change every two seconds. It's way cheaper than therapy (though that's important in many cases as well).

Some might say this is a marriage-saving board. It is. Until it isn't. There are times when stepping away is the best thing to do. I honestly believe the reason I don't hate my XW is because I walked away relatively early when I saw that was her choice. I wasn't going to chase her. If I kept fighting the inevitable I think I would have grown to resent her. Now she's just someone who isn't in my life anymore. But the future? Who knows. It is 100% unwritten. I loved her once, who knows what I might feel for her 5 years from now, but honestly that doesn't take up my brain-space. Right now I only care about 2020 and all the amazing things I'm going to bust my behind to accomplish.

All this to say...this online space is what you want it to be. Make the choice that resonates with you.

unchien #2884254 02/06/20 05:37 AM
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Unchien I am already divorced and have thought the exact same thing as you. I don't usually chime in or offer much advice on your sitch but I do read it each time it is updated and for some reason it helps. It helps knowing that I am not alone in this world of pain and confusion. I have gone over to divorce type forums and have left most of them because the ones I found were filled with a lot of bitterness. This forum seems to concentrate on personal growth which is exactly what you are going to need post divorce.

Unchien know that even though we have never met, I Care.


1st BD December 26, 2008
PA admitted to by XW December 29, 2008

2nd BD May 23, 2019
Daughter confirms EA
Divorce Finalized July 18, 2019
Yail #2884273 02/06/20 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by unchien
It's hard to sit and negotiate your entire life -- time with your kids, assets, money. All of it. With the one person you thought would be there for you.


Yeah it is downright unpleasant. I'm sorry you have to go through this. It does get better once you get everything nailed down though. Not knowing the outcome is what ate me up. How much will I owe? How much custody will I get? How long is this going to drag on? Once it's all on paper, even if it's not exactly what you want at least it's known, defined, unambiguous. And that gives you power over your life again. Just try to remember that no one is "made whole" in D. Both sides want to be made whole, but both have to compromise, and both typically feel they got screwed in the end.

Quote
Why do I keep posting on a DB website at this point? I have no clue. I feel better prepared to handle my emotions due to this place, and it has been a major support network for me.


Sounds like you answered your own question smile

Originally Posted by may22
Also, FWIW, you have a lot of people here who support you and are rooting for YOU, not for your M but for YOU.


Exactly right. A lot of broken marriages do end up reconciling, but that's not really the point of these forums. The point is to take broken PEOPLE and make them better, stronger and more resilient. To turn them into the best version of themselves, and into spouses only a fool would leave. Then if their spouse leaves anyway, well then they are a fool and who wants to be married to a fool?

Originally Posted by Yail
Some might say this is a marriage-saving board. It is. Until it isn't. There are times when stepping away is the best thing to do. I honestly believe the reason I don't hate my XW is because I walked away relatively early when I saw that was her choice. I wasn't going to chase her. If I kept fighting the inevitable I think I would have grown to resent her. Now she's just someone who isn't in my life anymore. But the future? Who knows. It is 100% unwritten. I loved her once, who knows what I might feel for her 5 years from now, but honestly that doesn't take up my brain-space. Right now I only care about 2020 and all the amazing things I'm going to bust my behind to accomplish.

All this to say...this online space is what you want it to be. Make the choice that resonates with you.


Well said. What does it mean to "reconcile" anyway? My XW despised being around me, had nothing good to say about me, said terrible things about me to others. Now we do things together, she asks me for help around her house, she tells others what a great man I am. We're not intimate and we're still divorced, but our relationship is vastly improved over what it was and a lot of that is due to DB'ing. And I tackled many demons I struggled with towards the end of our M. My NGS tendencies, the passive-aggressive habits, the lack of respect I showed towards others, the selfishness. The people here on the DB boards helped me navigate all of that. So I didn't reconcile my marriage, but I did reconcile my relationship with my XW, and I reconciled my life. And that, to me, is the definition of successful DB'ing.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
unchien #2884287 02/06/20 02:49 PM
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It's probably time for me to ramp down and consider moving to D support networks, and check in here from time to time like many others do.


I'm not divorced yet and I'm ready to move to a D support network I just haven't had time to find an active one. Some D forums are geared towards those who wanted the D. That would make me worse.

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unchien #2884292 02/06/20 02:59 PM
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Thanks may, Yail, rooskers, AS ~ You've all pointed out in different ways about the allure of DB'ing. It truly is about saving myself. And the lack of bitterness is refreshing.

The first mediation session was frustrating. I don't think it's wise to share many details here. My take was that the mediator talks through the options, and will gently nudge one of us in a certain direction as needed. It was hard to tell, and sometimes I felt completely unsupported. Maybe I'm reacting too emotionally. I don't know.

I didn't come in overly strong. This is private mediation... the point is not to get the mediator to agree with me, it's for my W and I to work towards agreements. My W (predictably) wants to stay in the house and have maximal time with the kids. I (predictably) want more time with the kids, and to stop effectively over-paying support. I felt like the burden was on me to prove (with my FT job) that I can work a schedule where the kids can stay in their after-school activities. I

The details of the house situation make it frustrating but I don't really want to share. There are ways she could keep it, but I take some risk. I do think the kids staying there is just fine, and would be better for them, if she could swing it on her own at no risk to me. But realistically I am going to have to bend quite a bit to help make that happen.

On the flip side, I felt very little willingness by my W to agree to give me extra time with the kids. She offered an after-school time slot (no over night) on a weekday.

My anxiety has been a steady 8 to 9/10 the last 2 days. Last time I felt anxiety this high was 7 months ago when I thought my W was going to withhold the children from overnights at my house. 9/10 means forget meditation or exercise. I went for a walk when I got home last night which helped some. I'm waking up in the middle of the night for good, and appetite has fallen to zero.

One of my friends last night told me, "I wonder how long you can keep going like this." (Meaning, trying to mediate F2F). This was only the first session, but it has the potentially to eat me alive. My work performance suffers. My self-care suffers. Part of it is the situation, and part of it is my own anxiety and my own difficulties working through things.

My thoughts easily spiral into doom and gloom. Example train of thought: I'm still operating in NGS mode. I still want an agreement where we maximize our joint happiness. I want to be pleasant. I want to fight for myself too. But I can't figure out where to draw that line, because of my NGS and upbringing. Kids are involved. How will this impact them? What is best for them? What sort of man am I? What is the "right" thing to do? If I hand this off to a L, am I escaping my own demons by not handling my things like AMOAFWL? Am I a coward? Am I a bully? Am I too stuck in my head? (yes, obviously).

I understand now why many fathers in the FT/SAH dynamic give up on the process (not here at DB forums, but in general). It would be easy to accept an "every other weekend" set up. It's easy to start doubting myself... am I really capable of being a 50/50 dad while working FT? Can I handle that? Is that better for the children? Is their mother going to be able to handle this? They need her to be strong too.

Ugh...

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Hey U -

Just wanted to chime in with some words of support. I cannot offer much in the way of wisdom as I am feeling low at the moment and I've decided for once to let myself feel that way instead of ignoring it.

I'll say that I think the others are right - posting here has helped you greatly.

So why stop?

I'm right there with you on the anxiety and obsessive thinking. It's my greatest 180 challenge. It's a helluva challenge too. It takes everything I've got sometimes, so I understand what you are talking about.

Take care of yourself, man. smile

unchien #2884388 02/06/20 11:58 PM
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Thanks IW ~ I'm pretty sure I'll keep on posting. Let's not kid anyone, I can't help myself laugh

I notice the swirling thoughts and emotions, and then notice when they start to settle. The swirl is a familiar feeling. I don't want to eat, I'm jittery and tired, exhausted yet wide awake.

Awareness is the one thing that seems to reduce my anxiety. The one skill I've worked on that seems to matter more than anything right now. Those little sliver moments of recognition that I'm repeating an old pattern, exaggerating, catastrophizing, trying to solve problems that are unsolvable. I feel the momentary dip from a 9/10 to a 7/10. It is a relief.

The thoughts come wave after wave like an all-out brain assault. It takes a relentless awareness to disposition them or they worm their way right back into the familiar old grooves.

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A note on eating -

Like most folks here, I had a period of being unable to eat. I lost 15 lbs which is a lot for me. I was nauseous all the time, holding my stomach, trying to keep food down. Dizzy, agita.

We can't fight it all, but food is one thing we can control in caring for ourselves. Do your very best to try to eat something - even something small - regularly. At this point it barely matters if it's healthy as long as it's food. When we stop eating all together it kicks off a really bad chain reaction of nausea which perpetuates the non-eating. Then it messes with our stomach/gut. You know the drill. It's hard to recover from.

It's awful and I know it. Eating when not hungry is no fun. But do try because it's one way we can actively take control over our emotions and keep our blood sugar stable, and our energy stable and our organs in working order.

I had the flu last week and food just looked unappetizing despite my stomach being otherwise unaffected by the illness.But that nauseous feeling was with me for a week and it took me right back to when I was not eating due to my sitch. It takes a long time to get back on track, and that reminder was unwelcomed.

unchien #2884421 02/07/20 03:58 AM
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U, man, I get why you'd head over to others boards with all you got going on. Just wanted to chime in myself and say that reading your sitch and how you're getting through anxiety is helping me and likely others with theirs as well.

I hope no matter what, you keep the hard earned changes you've achieved and find happiness.


H37, W37
D4, S2
ILYBNILWY 9/19
BD 9/19
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Currently in limbo, no D or S process initiated
unchien #2884437 02/07/20 10:01 AM
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I get severely depressed, headaches, unmotivated, lethargic and hungry if I don't eat every 3 hours. Your thoughts at least for me, do change when your body doesn't feel 100% You feel less capable, less motivated, lose cognition. So yes to all please force yourself to eat if you have to. Every 3 hours have a light picking of something of substance and healthy. Your brain stomach muscles, and mood will thank you for it.

unchien #2884609 02/07/20 10:24 PM
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I won't go into the physical symptoms I experience with anxiety, but yes, eating is hard, sleeping is hard. Exercise would help with both areas, but it's hard to exercise when you feel lousy. Chicken, egg.

unchien #2884611 02/07/20 10:36 PM
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I do the seven minute exercise app. No excuses because it literally only takes 7 minutes but that is 7 minutes not thinkin about your sitch and getting your blood flowing and your muscles stronger. Definitely recommend! Also, drink a TON of water.

Hang in there. Is there anything else you can do just to escape for a little, like go to a movie?


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
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unchien #2884828 02/10/20 04:23 PM
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Thanks may for the idea. I went to 2 movies this weekend - so much better than streaming at home, it was a great break.

A year ago, I would be in more of an emotional tail-spin than I am today. I am still struggling, though. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. I have a lot to work through in IC and on my own.

My big decision is whether to stick with the private mediation process or not. I know in my heart what I should do. I'm not naive. I know it will be a massive BD into my situation if I go that route, because I have been so timid with my W during our separation about communicating what I want (for good reason IMO).

I also know what the easy decision would be. I know why some fathers accept the every-other-weekend situation when they would rather have more of a 50-50 split... it can be the easy choice, the choice that avoids ugliness, the choice that appears easier on the kids and their mother. Things seem pleasant lately.

I have fears: Fear that I am going to be up on a stand in a courtroom, being pressed by an attorney aiming for my jugular. Fear that my W will go into a tail-spin and my kids will suffer. Fear that I am not truly ready for what I think I want.

Fear that I am making the wrong choice. Always that fear. Fear that I am hurting others by either being decisive or indecisive. No matter what I choose, it seems unavoidable.

Analysis paralysis is my MO. One reason I tout meditation here is that it is runs completely against the idea of thinking through your problems. I've been trying to think through my problems all my life. It's time to go with my heart and my gut. But I've always lacked self-confidence in my feelings, so this is difficult for me. I grew up in a household where my feelings were ignored, where my M's feelings ruled the day and everyone tiptoed around trying to placate her and avoid her moodiness. I don't trust my feelings. I don't trust other people, but I also don't trust my feelings. Meditation has given me a tiny seed of confidence, and I hope with time that seed grows.

I'm not the only poster here to talk about the impact of CEN as an adult. I can so easily subjugate my own feelings and just "go along" with whatever somebody else wants. Heck I don't even know what I want sometimes.

Thank you for reading.

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unchien #2884938 02/11/20 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by unchien

A year ago, I would be in more of an emotional tail-spin than I am today. I am still struggling, though. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. I have a lot to work through in IC and on my own.


Right there with you, U. I'm still reading, even though I've pulled back a bit from posting. Still very low but still fighting. Keep going, man.

Originally Posted by unchien

My big decision is whether to stick with the private mediation process or not. I know in my heart what I should do. I'm not naive. I know it will be a massive BD into my situation if I go that route, because I have been so timid with my W during our separation about communicating what I want (for good reason IMO).

I also know what the easy decision would be. I know why some fathers accept the every-other-weekend situation when they would rather have more of a 50-50 split... it can be the easy choice, the choice that avoids ugliness, the choice that appears easier on the kids and their mother. Things seem pleasant lately.


Maybe do a pros and cons list for every decision. Write it down on paper - you've got the time to think about it, may as well use it. smile Then you'll be at least somewhat prepared and maybe it'll help slow down some of the spinning.

Originally Posted by unchien

I have fears: Fear that I am going to be up on a stand in a courtroom, being pressed by an attorney aiming for my jugular. Fear that my W will go into a tail-spin and my kids will suffer. Fear that I am not truly ready for what I think I want.

Fear that I am making the wrong choice. Always that fear. Fear that I am hurting others by either being decisive or indecisive. No matter what I choose, it seems unavoidable.


Something will happen, no matter what. Sometimes not doing anything is just as effective as doing something, especially if you are not sure what you want or need to do.

Originally Posted by unchien

Analysis paralysis is my MO. One reason I tout meditation here is that it is runs completely against the idea of thinking through your problems. I've been trying to think through my problems all my life. It's time to go with my heart and my gut. But I've always lacked self-confidence in my feelings, so this is difficult for me. I grew up in a household where my feelings were ignored, where my M's feelings ruled the day and everyone tiptoed around trying to placate her and avoid her moodiness. I don't trust my feelings. I don't trust other people, but I also don't trust my feelings. Meditation has given me a tiny seed of confidence, and I hope with time that seed grows.

I'm not the only poster here to talk about the impact of CEN as an adult. I can so easily subjugate my own feelings and just "go along" with whatever somebody else wants. Heck I don't even know what I want sometimes.

We are very similar in this regard - we had similar upbringings. I unwittingly continued with my childhood development patterns right up into my MR. I didn't even know I was doing it. But I can't go back and change it, and I wasn't that way because I wanted to be that way. Neither were you. How could we, if we didn't realize that's how we were?

Trusting people right now is at an all time low. That is by necessity I think. When the person closest to you, who you trusted the most, drops that kind of bomb on you, it sends you into a tailspin. That's normal. So then we pull way back and reassess.

A lot of my preconceived notions about humans - male and female - are getting a serious rethink here. I think that's also why the vet DBers here reiterate to focus on yourself so much. It makes sense now - if you cannot trust anyone other than yourself, and you are even doubting your own self now due to the BD - then it is essential that you pare everything down to the simplest possible thing and the only thing you have control over - yourself.

The only way through this is through it.

Take care man - stay strong smile

unchien #2885184 02/12/20 03:11 PM
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I am feeling at wit's end.

Mediation session #2 is upcoming.

W has asked to put one of the kids in an expensive activity next school year. I feel like she uses the kids' activity schedules as an excuse to withhold parenting time. She has not demonstrated any plan to return to work more than one day per week which is unrealistic. She asked for extra money for spring break travel with the kids. We are overspending by a ton, and I feel like I deserve more time with the kids. Everything is so frustrating... I don't express this to her in any way. I get that she doesn't have work, doesn't know where she is going to live if the house has to sell, but I also need to live my life. I am compassionate, but I need to be self-compassionate also.

That, and when I do stand up and request increased parenting time, she alludes to things she is not comfortable texting about, or that we need to discuss with legal advisors. I think this is a huge red flag. Plus, I don't think it creates a fair negotiation atmosphere.

I don't know... I wonder if anyone has successfully mediated in a situation like mine...

The options are not great.

1) Continue with mediation and accept that incremental progress is going to take a long time, and will assuredly end with less than 50-50 parenting long-term. My W will be more "amicable". Mediation is not cheap, and will take a long time.

2) File. Have someone else help me deal with some of this stress so I can focus on self-care, work, and the kids. My W will likely have a very strong reaction, accuse me of giving up on mediation, not being amicable, etc. It might be a very difficult few months or year. Face whatever she wants to accuse me of -- the worst case outcome is probably the same as #1, and best case is much better.

Filing doesn't mean (to me) going to court. The L's can still hash it out, or we can do shuttle mediation with the L's. I just don't think my W and I 1:1 are going to mediate an outcome that I am willing to accept.

3) ??

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unchien #2885241 02/12/20 06:39 PM
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Hi U,

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I obviously have zero experience here and hopefully folks who have gone through D/mediation/custody issues can chime in. That being said, here are some questions to take or leave:

-- IIRC, you did have some vets chime in a while back, who basically said lawyer up and hold on to you hat because this isn't going to be pretty. If you received similar advice right now, what would your reaction be?
-- Do you need to decide about the expensive after school activity now? Can you just say I don't think it is an appropriate time to be making these decisions until we figure out what is going on with money and schedules?
-- is she taking the kids on spring break without you?
--Can you wait until after the next mediation session to make up your mind? Are there certain things you might watch for specifically that could help you make up your mind? Not having been through these I don't know what it is like, but I'm wondering if you can state up front that you're concerned about the pace of progress and how very far apart you are, and that for you to feel safe about continuing in the process (since she's throwing around that kind of language, fair game for you too) you'd like to see some progress on one element so that you can trust she's open to true compromise?
--Have you been able to say what you want yet in meditation, or was it just her saying what she wanted and you listening?

As an outsider, my impression is this:

Originally Posted by unchien
That, and when I do stand up and request increased parenting time, she alludes to things she is not comfortable texting about, or that we need to discuss with legal advisors. I think this is a huge red flag. Plus, I don't think it creates a fair negotiation atmosphere.

I agree. This is a huge red flag.

Originally Posted by unchien
2) File. Have someone else help me deal with some of this stress so I can focus on self-care, work, and the kids. My W will likely have a very strong reaction, accuse me of giving up on mediation, not being amicable, etc. It might be a very difficult few months or year. Face whatever she wants to accuse me of -- the worst case outcome is probably the same as #1, and best case is much better.

Filing doesn't mean (to me) going to court. The L's can still hash it out, or we can do shuttle mediation with the L's. I just don't think my W and I 1:1 are going to mediate an outcome that I am willing to accept.

It sounds like you've thought this through pretty well, and the fact that the worst case outcome of #2 is the same as #1 makes it seem like not too difficult of a choice. And truly, will the time be more difficult than what you're doing now? It also has the potential of speeding up the pace of this as you might need to get to this point anyway. And the shuttle mediation or the Ls hashing it out seems like a good option. I think you are much better served with someone 100% on your side that knows your rights inside and out and can help you stand up for what is best for you and the kids. And, she needs someone by her side just as much to help her see what is and is not realistic. Good lawyers who aren't in this for the money will do their best to avoid going to court, and have seen it all... they'll also have advice on what they've seen that is more or less difficult for the children.

In terms of your W... I feel a bit as though she's a wild animal and you're circling her, giving in to her little demands (though not happy about it), testing her, wondering if you just do X or do Y she'll calm down and eat from your hand or go through the gate you want her to go or whatever. (Bad analogy, I know.) But... you can't control her and you definitely can't control whatever she has built up inside her head. You can file, you can not, you can give in to spring break, you can not... but ultimately, I doubt that anything you do will materially affect her thinking and behaviors. You need to figure out what is best for YOU and then just do it. If she flips that is on her and you couldn't have prevented it.

In honor of... I think it was Yail, who pointed out that the third, unknown option always ends up what happens... I think you are someone who *is* always open to the unknown and I would just encourage you to remain open to the possibilities as they may arise. And, trust yourself. You'll make the best decision you can, in the best interests of your kids and yourself, and with compassion for your W. That is a good thing.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
unchien #2885338 02/13/20 01:22 AM
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unchien, your note about understanding why some fathers settle for less than 50-50 was eye opening to me.It is very much not a perspective I had heard before. Thank you for sharing it, I think you hit on something key. I feel it will serve me well in my future to be more understanding and supportive of this fact.

Originally Posted by unchien
I am compassionate, but I need to be self-compassionate also.

Yes, yes yes. I hear you. This is such a delicate balance.

Originally Posted by unchien
That, and when I do stand up and request increased parenting time, she alludes to things she is not comfortable texting about, or that we need to discuss with legal advisors. I think this is a huge red flag. Plus, I don't think it creates a fair negotiation atmosphere.


Without knowing your W or really understanding your dynamic I wish to play devil's advocate on this part, just to see if it resonates with you. It sounds from this paragraph that perhaps W is getting legal advice that she shouldn't put anything in writing (text included) unless formally negotiated. This is self-protection, and isn't necessarily the worst stance for her to take. It sounds less like an offensive move, and more like a defensive move. Is that possible?

for context on why I say this, I had a non-combative D. XW and I did not fight over things, but still I would not put anything in email/text/writing. I just wouldn't do it in case anything turned sour later and she chose to use it against me. Perhaps this is W's thinking as well - just being extra cautious?


I appreciate you having an option #3 with a question mark. I don't know what that one is either. But I'm sure there is a viable option that lives there as well.

From your options I can't say what I would suggest. It's a tough call, and honestly filled with nuance to the timing and how you and W communicate and what your limits are. I hope you are able to focus on getting the care you need during the process that will take far to long, no matter what course you choose.

unchien #2885339 02/13/20 01:26 AM
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Yail ~ Thank you for thoughtful response - I want to respond in more detail to you (and may) later when I have more time.


Real quick though... when my W alludes to things she doesn't want to write about, what she means is her "child safety" concerns. "Things that happened". etc. She probably means she wants me to develop a "child safety" plan similar to what she insisted on when I first moved out.

I am not playing that game anymore.

Otherwise, she does negotiate over text willingly.

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Thank you for the clarification. Yes, that is a completely different context than I was initially thinking.

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I and others have commented to you before and told you where you are headed, and my advice remains the same - cancel mediation immediately, retain a lawyer to either file or mediate for you, and limit all communication to child logistics in writing only.

But, Im pretty confident that you wont do any of this. Instead, you will continue to do what you have done this entire time - do everything you can to try to keep yourself in this situation forever.

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Originally Posted by fade
I and others have commented to you before and told you where you are headed, and my advice remains the same - cancel mediation immediately, retain a lawyer to either file or mediate for you, and limit all communication to child logistics in writing only.

But, Im pretty confident that you wont do any of this. Instead, you will continue to do what you have done this entire time - do everything you can to try to keep yourself in this situation forever.


I'm not sure that I feel unchien isn't listening. Or in denial about anything. The fact of where "this is headed" can be set in stone, but we all choose which path we take to get there.


I would agree with keeping dialogues to be children logistics only, and writing is preferable. Mediation vs no mediation does seem to be the current decision being made.

unchien, I need to spend time reviewing your history/sitch. I know I read most of it, but I'm not not remembering clearly. I hope to do so in the upcoming days, and to be more engaged with your process.

may22 #2885551 02/14/20 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by may22

-- IIRC, you did have some vets chime in a while back, who basically said lawyer up and hold on to you hat because this isn't going to be pretty. If you received similar advice right now, what would your reaction be?

I have a L at the ready, and I expect things will likely turn ugly.

Originally Posted by may22
-- Do you need to decide about the expensive after school activity now? Can you just say I don't think it is an appropriate time to be making these decisions until we figure out what is going on with money and schedules?
The deadline is tomorrow to sign up. I think the money/schedule issue is a big problem. But we are going to face many of these decisions while we sort out the details of the D, and can't punt on them all.

Originally Posted by may22
-- is she taking the kids on spring break without you?
No, the kids get 2 breaks. I am taking 1, she takes the other. She wanted a special travel budget for the breaks, I said no because we are spending way above our means and I think it is irresponsible.

Originally Posted by may22
--Can you wait until after the next mediation session to make up your mind? Are there certain things you might watch for specifically that could help you make up your mind? Not having been through these I don't know what it is like, but I'm wondering if you can state up front that you're concerned about the pace of progress and how very far apart you are, and that for you to feel safe about continuing in the process (since she's throwing around that kind of language, fair game for you too) you'd like to see some progress on one element so that you can trust she's open to true compromise?
It sounds like the earliest we can meet with the mediator again is 3 weeks from now, for boring reasons I won't explain.

I know it's only been one session, and we barely scratched the surface, but the longer this goes:

- the longer our existing situation establishes "precedent"
- the longer I go seeing my kids less than I feel is right
- the longer I go over-spending money and not moving on with my life

On the flip side, my W has little reason to push things forward.

I know that filing does not necessarily speed things up. If things really blow up and we go to court, it could slow things down.

Originally Posted by may22
--Have you been able to say what you want yet in meditation, or was it just her saying what she wanted and you listening?
Mostly the latter.

When I said I want more time with the kids, she offered a few hours on a weekday afternoon. And only if my boss signed off on the flex time for me, that I dropped the kids off later that evening, etc.

Originally Posted by may22
In terms of your W... I feel a bit as though she's a wild animal and you're circling her, giving in to her little demands (though not happy about it), testing her, wondering if you just do X or do Y she'll calm down and eat from your hand or go through the gate you want her to go or whatever. (Bad analogy, I know.) But... you can't control her and you definitely can't control whatever she has built up inside her head. You can file, you can not, you can give in to spring break, you can not... but ultimately, I doubt that anything you do will materially affect her thinking and behaviors. You need to figure out what is best for YOU and then just do it. If she flips that is on her and you couldn't have prevented it.

This is a good analogy. I think she truly believes I am a safety risk and she doesn't trust me (like a wild animal). I just think trying to appease her is doing no good.

So maybe I need to separate my desire to do this a respectful and honorable way (i.e., try to mediate amicably) from appeasing her. I find it REALLY hard to determine where that line is drawn. Food for thought I guess.

Originally Posted by may22
In honor of... I think it was Yail, who pointed out that the third, unknown option always ends up what happens... I think you are someone who *is* always open to the unknown and I would just encourage you to remain open to the possibilities as they may arise. And, trust yourself. You'll make the best decision you can, in the best interests of your kids and yourself, and with compassion for your W. That is a good thing.
Yup, the illusion of control. The fact is, this whole thing could blow up and my kids may resent me. Or things could turn out great. I have to be okay with whatever happens and enjoy my life regardless. I've been struggling with that lately.

unchien #2885554 02/14/20 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by unchien

I know it's only been one session, and we barely scratched the surface, but the longer this goes:

- the longer our existing situation establishes "precedent"
- the longer I go seeing my kids less than I feel is right
- the longer I go over-spending money and not moving on with my life

If it were me and I was looking at these three, the first two are big issues. The over-spending $$ could be an issue, depending on your situation. Not moving on with your life... well... you'll do that eventually.

But, I see the first two as major reasons to speed things up from where I sit. #1 would terrify me, honestly. #2 makes me mad on your behalf (also your kids). The idea that offering a few extra hours on a weekday afternoon *if* your boss signed off on flex time is just ridiculous. I know a few other posters have mentioned the "right of first refusal" so that definitely might be something for you to be thinking about-- you get 50/50 straight custody and she can choose to pick them up from school and bring them to your house at 5 pm or whatever rather than have them be in after school care. I think I mentioned this previously, but my neighbors do this-- the mom's work schedule is shifted a lot earlier than the dad's, so she picks them up from school, brings them to his house and actually feeds them dinner before he gets home on some of his nights. Otherwise, they stay in after school care and he gets them on his way home from work.

I guess I'm still not seeing how having Ls involved if you stick in the mediation route, just L-assisted, is not respectful or honorable. I mean, if you get a good attorney, this is their JOB. This is what they do for a living all day long. And they have seen it all and should be able to advise both of you appropriately. It seems to me like tapping into that expertise (again, as long as it is the right person with a mindset you agree with) is only a good thing, especially in your situation where you are just so, so far apart in the first place. If you guys were both talking about 50/50 split and needing to sell the house, she just needed a few extra months of spousal support while she found someplace new-- OK. Mediation sounds dandy. Where you are right now... I just don't see how it is honorable or respectful, honestly, to either of you to pretend like mediation is going to get you to the end zone on its own.

All that being said, I think it is very important that you make your own choice on this. I know you describe yourself as having a tendency to over-analyze things and have a hard time making a decision. I get this. is there some way you can help yourself to make that decision? This might be silly but maybe draw out a logic model or flow chart of decisions and potential outcomes or make a pros/cons list to your various options... anything to help you maybe visualize your options in a different way.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2885620 02/14/20 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by may22

If it were me and I was looking at these three, the first two are big issues. The over-spending $$ could be an issue, depending on your situation. Not moving on with your life... well... you'll do that eventually.

I agree, if things were set with the kids I would be feeling a lot better. The money part is much less important, but still important.

Originally Posted by may22
But, I see the first two as major reasons to speed things up from where I sit. #1 would terrify me, honestly. #2 makes me mad on your behalf (also your kids). The idea that offering a few extra hours on a weekday afternoon *if* your boss signed off on flex time is just ridiculous. I know a few other posters have mentioned the "right of first refusal" so that definitely might be something for you to be thinking about-- you get 50/50 straight custody and she can choose to pick them up from school and bring them to your house at 5 pm or whatever rather than have them be in after school care. I think I mentioned this previously, but my neighbors do this-- the mom's work schedule is shifted a lot earlier than the dad's, so she picks them up from school, brings them to his house and actually feeds them dinner before he gets home on some of his nights. Otherwise, they stay in after school care and he gets them on his way home from work.

#1 does terrify me. She confuses me. She says I'm a safety risk, yet I have them 4 straight nights every 2 weeks. Back in December I thought we had an agreement to have 2 more nights a month, and she backed away quickly and said she never agreed.

I might consider 50-50 with the right of first refusal. I'm not sure though. She has mentioned that before. I think some baseline trust needs to be established. As it stands, the safety risk talk and other things with my kids worry me a lot. I'm not sure I want her coming to my home regularly. I don't see why I can't have them in an after-school program 1 day every 2 weeks if I need a couple hours of help.

Originally Posted by may22
I guess I'm still not seeing how having Ls involved if you stick in the mediation route, just L-assisted, is not respectful or honorable. I mean, if you get a good attorney, this is their JOB. This is what they do for a living all day long. And they have seen it all and should be able to advise both of you appropriately. It seems to me like tapping into that expertise (again, as long as it is the right person with a mindset you agree with) is only a good thing, especially in your situation where you are just so, so far apart in the first place. If you guys were both talking about 50/50 split and needing to sell the house, she just needed a few extra months of spousal support while she found someplace new-- OK. Mediation sounds dandy. Where you are right now... I just don't see how it is honorable or respectful, honestly, to either of you to pretend like mediation is going to get you to the end zone on its own.

I have no problem with L-assisted mediation. I think filing *and* going for support orders will come as a shock to my W and could light a fuse. I don't know. It doesn't prevent L-assisted mediation. I also would like to protect myself and still try to handle this amicably.

Your points about the effectiveness of mediation are exactly how I feel. We have only gone to 1 session. But MC for 6 months last year was effectively a form of mediation - working out a parenting schedule, some financial temporary agreements, etc. I just realized this is what is frustrating me so much... we have in a way been mediating for 7 months, and I'm not happy with the outcome. The first 6 months involved mediating with a counselor who wanted me to be soft and gentle and hope that my W would trust me over time. I feel "coached" to be submissive and passive.

Ugh... as much as I've learned here the last 9 months, I feel like I've learned nothing.

Originally Posted by may22
All that being said, I think it is very important that you make your own choice on this. I know you describe yourself as having a tendency to over-analyze things and have a hard time making a decision. I get this. is there some way you can help yourself to make that decision? This might be silly but maybe draw out a logic model or flow chart of decisions and potential outcomes or make a pros/cons list to your various options... anything to help you maybe visualize your options in a different way.
I really appreciate you saying this. I come here not to outsource my life decisions but to get feedback. Obviously everyone here knows I have major issues being decisive, and I know it frustrates some of the vets. It is my life and I have to live with my decision.

But to be honest, what is holding me back is worrying about HER reaction and worrying about how that may impact my kids. Maybe they will resent me if they see what happens to their mother. I know I cannot control those things, but it is really hard to let those go. Harder than letting my W go. The thought that I am not doing right by my kids keeps me up at night.

unchien #2885696 02/14/20 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by unchien
#1 does terrify me. She confuses me. She says I'm a safety risk, yet I have them 4 straight nights every 2 weeks.

I think the safety risk thing is BS. And she clearly knows it is BS or she wouldn't be OK with this arrangement. You have to just stop worrying about this because she's using it as a weapon to get you to do what she wants.

Originally Posted by unchien
But to be honest, what is holding me back is worrying about HER reaction and worrying about how that may impact my kids. Maybe they will resent me if they see what happens to their mother. I know I cannot control those things, but it is really hard to let those go. Harder than letting my W go. The thought that I am not doing right by my kids keeps me up at night.

This is super hard and I just don't have any advice for you. I think about this a lot too, like wouldn't it be in my best interest to remain BFFs with my H if we D for the sake of our children (he has said this to me a lot... like you say you'll do *anything* for them but if that is true, why won't you consider this?). And yet. I do think there is a good deal of research out there about the importance of having both parents play a major role in the lives of the children, especially for boys to have their dad be very present. Maybe you can do some research around some of these studies to help your decision, knowing that the data show this will be best for your kids in the long run, even if it is more difficult in the short term.

Hang in there and hope you have a great day and weekend and can take a little bit of mental time away from this issue. You know you're an amazing dad.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2885733 02/14/20 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
I think the safety risk thing is BS. And she clearly knows it is BS or she wouldn't be OK with this arrangement. You have to just stop worrying about this because she's using it as a weapon to get you to do what she wants.

I know we're not supposed to mind-read and all but I have to indulge.

I don't think she thinks it is BS. I don't think she sees the inconsistencies. I don't think she sees how "stability" and "what's best for the kids" just happen to align exactly with what is in her best interest. She thinks I'm unsafe with the kids, the MR failure is my fault, and SHE is the one sacrificing.

How does she pull this mind-trick? It doesn't matter. Does she recognize the cognitive dissonance? Unlikely. I mean, EVERYBODY justifies what they do (self included) even if it is illogical and contradictory sometimes. It is the human condition. I think I've been patient enough by now. She is not approaching mediation with any openness to what I want.

Example circular logic:

Today, for instance, (via text) I said no to the special kid activity, for precisely the reasons you stated may (we shouldn't be making big decisions that affect schedule and money right now). She came back with how great it would be for them, how she was not okay with any alternative proposal, how stability was key for the kids, how the kids needed to know where they will live (um, I moved out and that didn't seem to be concerning), how she can't go back to work without knowing where she will live. She said all the professionals we have talked to point to the importance of stability in our kids' lives. (No they are just listening to what she says -- stability includes a balanced relationship with BOTH parents, right?) I responded that we are over-spending by a ridiculous amount and I go long stretches without seeing the kids which I felt was wrong. She said well we can talk about that in mediation. She is "happy to work on things." I said I wanted more time with the kids. She said I had been "assigned" actions to confirm work flexibility with my manager. I said I already had that, and asked exactly what she was looking for in order to change our schedule. She said, "We can talk about that in mediation, I'm not okay to text about that. Really looking forward to figuring out where the kids will live".

Next mediation session may be a month out...

Anyways, I normally avoid these text exchanges with her, but I'm not going to wait a month for a mediation session to figure out she won't budge. It's pretty clear that we aren't going to get anywhere that I want to go via mediation. She knows what I want, she's just not budging.

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unchien - you sound like you're doing this - but just a reminder that you should be extra careful about what you put in writing to W. She sounds like she will misinterpret and later down the road might try to get a L to "misread" what you write. You're doing well, just keep this in the forefront of you mind.

Similarly, you being nothing but level-headed and asking logical questions via text and continuously stating you wish MORE time with you kids is something you should document. I don't know if any of it makes a difference legally. But it doesn't hurt, and I think you should be documenting in this time period.

I'm sorry for your sitch.

Yail #2885806 02/15/20 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Yail
unchien - you sound like you're doing this - but just a reminder that you should be extra careful about what you put in writing to W. She sounds like she will misinterpret and later down the road might try to get a L to "misread" what you write. You're doing well, just keep this in the forefront of you mind.

Similarly, you being nothing but level-headed and asking logical questions via text and continuously stating you wish MORE time with you kids is something you should document. I don't know if any of it makes a difference legally. But it doesn't hurt, and I think you should be documenting in this time period.

I'm sorry for your sitch.

Thanks Yail. I've been very careful what I write (in text or otherwise) ever since I wrote the apology letters almost a year ago now. Things were very intense around the time we separated. I recall before I moved out that I said I didn't want to move out without a parenting schedule in place. I thought it was a fair request. She texted back, "Are you threatening me? You are threatening me!"

Right now our F2F interactions are limited to mediation and kid exchanges. I refuse to discuss things in front of the kids. Text is about all we have. We don't talk on the phone -- we do allow the other parent to video chat with the kids regularly, but the two of us never have discussions during those times. I am extremely careful in text, but I also feel if I don't bring up certain items to gauge where she is at, then I am waiting for mediation sessions which could be spaced a month apart.

Feeling both nervous and strong at the same time...

unchien #2886278 02/19/20 05:17 AM
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Some things I believe:

- our MR deteriorated when we moved 3 years ago and even some beforehand

- my W was unhappy and depressed once we moved

- I was also unhappy and felt emotionally shut out

- we both contributed to the gradual erosion. I accept my part and regret a lot. Mostly Iím trying to take those experiences and work towards a healthier approach to life - self differentiation, getting out of ďpeople pleasingĒ mode, focusing on connecting with my kids more.

- once I grabbed my sonís leg in the car a couple years ago, my W had the ďreasonĒ she was unhappy all along. It was me. I think she was looking for a reason (maybe subconsciously).

Iíd like to say I tried every reasonable way possible for a 50-50 arrangement. For the sake of my kids. But it doesnít seem possible with my Wís mindset. So I am coming to peace with that conclusion. I could keep trying to mediate on and on but at what cost?

Iím on a mini 2 day winter break vacation with the kids. Booked it at the last minute, packed up the car, and away we went. Showing them new places, playing outdoors. Just an awesome 2 days. I feel calm and I think Iím finding some sort of closure that Iíve done what I can. Of course I could keep sticking it out but the ďproĒs list for that one is short.

unchien #2886295 02/19/20 10:47 AM
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U,

Stop bsing yourself. If you want 50/50 then go for 50/50 and stop being afraid of what your W thinks is best. Nothing less then 50/50 was acceptable to me. I work full time and have them 50/50. Not a big deal. You make it work.

Are you afraid of you'll piss her off? Who gives a fuch? If you want to attract her back then show her you're not afraid of her anymore and tell her this is what I want. Anything less I'll see you in court.

When you say sticking it out. What does that mean? I can 100% guarantee you she's not changing her mind prior to divorce.

This board sometimes forgets that is about supporting what's best for the LBS and sometimes that's divorce. Poor KAS got shamed of the board because she did what was best for her and her family by filing.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2886302 02/19/20 11:42 AM
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Iíd like to add..... do you feel 50/50 is truly whatís best for your kids? No for your W, not for you, but your kids????

Because if you do, then you donít quit.

Iíll be honest, my ex and split when my daughter was 6 months old. I did not feel 50/50 was best. And I told him if he was going to ditch his family for a woman like that and give up time with his newborn daughter to be this woman, well, he isnít getting 50/50. He didnít want it and he didnít fight me.
Time went by...... I did think more time with her dad would have been good for her when she got older. But he actually took a day away from himself when I got a new job. Then I actually had to ask him to pick up 2 more nights a month ( Sundayís on his weekend) because my daughter didnít understand why she didnít get more time with her dad. I didnít want to give it up, but it was best for HER.

There are some generally uninvolved fathers who come to this board all of a sudden wanting 50/50. Sometimes because they legit realized what was important, other times for selfish reasons. I always think the best route is the one that is truly beat for the kids.

Sometimes divorce is necessary to protect your finances and your custody and itís completely reasonable .

The most important beings in this world are your children, hands down.

unchien #2886308 02/19/20 12:45 PM
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My one regret through my D process is that I did not immediately D my xw and get her out of the house with 3 weeks of her wanting out. It would not have changed things but it sure would have made her a lot more uncomfortable

You are going to get D'd. Your wife is not waking up any time soon.

This board is more of a support system through the process. 99% of the women dont just wake up and even the men on this board that are still together with their wives walk around on egg shells, wondering if it's going to happen again.

Who gives a fuch what your wife wants. What do you want? If you want your kids half the time then dont settle for anything less.


Married 14, Together 17
M: 44, W: 43, D: 8, D: 6
M: 46, W: 45. D: 10. D: 8 (CUR)
Bomb Dropped: 5/28/2017
Separation Date: 6/17/2017
Divorce Filed: 2/7/2018
Divorce Final: 4/12/2018
unchien #2886351 02/19/20 04:10 PM
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LH, TB, agreed on all points and thanks for the direct honesty.

Ginger - I know the advice is to forget about the % and focus on what is best for the kids.

So what is best? My youngest is 4 and will hit K in 2021. All 3 are in a ton of activities - I think they are overloaded. My W thinks it is best if youngest does a part time preschool next year, and if I canít pick up the kids after school and it impacts one of their activities then I should not have that time.

And my W constantly nods subtly to ďsafety concerns.Ē That pretty much forces my hand here, as many including LH and TB have pointed out. She can take me to court if she wants, but I wonít mediate with this tactic being used.

My W has not started working yet - her plan is to work ONE day a week while the kids are young. (We have not had a discussion about how this impacts support - she implies she will live as frugally as possible to maximize her time with the kids regardless).

I also think activity schedules should not dictate parenting time. I think we can easily work out a 50-50 schedule that works for everybody and keeps the kids active. It might not be exactly what they do now. Personally I think dance class is not as important as quality parenting time.

My hesitations about 50-50 are simple: I work FT. It may impact what my kids can do after school. I have 3 kids bunched in age. Iím not used to being the sole parent but in the last 8 months doing 30-70 Iíve learned that yes I can do this. There are easy solutions, after school programs, I can hire help to shuttle them to their sports practice one day a week. These are simple solutions that many married working parents use. My W may resist anything that involves letting go of her control but those solutions are not inherently ďbad.Ē

So what is best for them? What if I said I would stop working for the next 4 years and live off my savings? Do I deserve more than 50-50? That is basically her stance.

Itís easy to get into circular thinking but I think whatís best for the kids is 50-50 provided both parents want involvement and it is possible to work out a schedule. Just because my W is reluctant and has a fantasy scenario that she works barely at all, keeps the house, and volunteers at school doesnít mean it is best for the kids. That is an idealized life that we used to have.

This post has become more rambling than I intended. I think the house and my Wís reluctance to renter the work force make it really hard to discuss whatís best for the kids. Courts would look at all these factors and want a plan to restabilize our new separate lives. It is not reasonable for her to hide behind those excuses IMO.

Incidentally 2 months ago I thought my W and I had agreed to a 40-60 schedule that would have had ZERO impact to the kids schedules (other than where they sleep some nights). My W had agreed - I posted about how elated I was at the time - then she went back on it.

Anyways all the above being said, Iím happy to do whatís best for the kids but my W is not the judge and jury. I know what is best is somewhere between 40 and 50 for me. Probably time to aim for what I think is best rather than aim low.

unchien #2886360 02/19/20 04:35 PM
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Go for the 50-50. I have seen numerous studies indicating that is what is best for the kids as long as both parents are wanting to be involved in their kids' lives. You seem like a good dad that is willing to make the necessary adjustments and sacrifices to give your kids what they need and want...

I'm just guessing here, but I think your W wants a greater amount of time because she wants a bigger check from you for child support. She's using the kids as an excuse to not work and wants you to front the bill. In her mind, she would rather have the kids and work one day a week than for you to have them half the time and have to go out and get a job...


Me: 38
W:31
Kids: S16(mine from previous R), D10, S9, S4
M: 10 years
T:12 years
BD:Jan 3, 2018
W moved out: Apr 13,2018
Filed for D: Jun 2018
D final: Sep 2019

"Surrender to the Flow"...
unchien #2886363 02/19/20 04:37 PM
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I work full time, take my kids to school every morning and pick them up every night after school. I wake up every morning, feed them breakfast, get them dressed and out the door we go. I pay for them to go to after school care at their school and they are their until I get off of work and can pick them up. I take them to all of their basketball and soccer practices when it is my week as well. At night I make dinner, give them showers, do homework and put them to bed.

You can make it happen if you want to!

I left work yesterday at 4:25 so I could get my youngest to soccer practice at 5 and my oldest to her practice at 5:30. We didn't get home until 7:15 but after showers and Chicka Filet they were in bed at 8:30

The less she works and the more custody she has the more you are going to pay! You have more control over your money when you have 50/50.

I have a buddy that pays his XW 2300 per month and she barely works, kept the family home and drives around in a brand new Benzo.

How bad would that piss you off???

think bro!


Married 14, Together 17
M: 44, W: 43, D: 8, D: 6
M: 46, W: 45. D: 10. D: 8 (CUR)
Bomb Dropped: 5/28/2017
Separation Date: 6/17/2017
Divorce Filed: 2/7/2018
Divorce Final: 4/12/2018
unchien #2886366 02/19/20 04:41 PM
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Holy $hit U I want to choke you through the board.

I donít give a $hit what your W thinks. I want to know what you think. Whatís more important especially for your son, time with his father or after school activities? If your son spends the majority of his time with his two sisters and a domineering woman well guess what itís not gonna turn out well for future relationships for him.

Fuch her safety concerns. Tell her you are done listening to that BS.

Take this weekend to figure what you want and then go out and get it.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2886378 02/19/20 05:10 PM
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Unchien this should not be about what your wife thinks, feels, assumes, or wants. This is about what you want and what is best for your children. As of right now her manipulation, accusations, and fantasy life is more harmful to the children than what ever you did in the past from what you have written. The children need to see someone that is strong, stable, hardworking, honest, loving, caring, and doesn't take a victimization approach to life. Maybe your wife needs to go back to work/school and learn to start taking care of herself because if you are divorced that is exactly what she is going to need to do. If that is the case then maybe you should have more custody than her because you already have the job and stability for the children and she will not. Have you ever thought maybe you could be the better provider for the children's emotional, physical, and spiritual needs? Just trying to open your eyes to the possibility that maybe you are what the children need right now.


1st BD December 26, 2008
PA admitted to by XW December 29, 2008

2nd BD May 23, 2019
Daughter confirms EA
Divorce Finalized July 18, 2019
unchien #2886386 02/19/20 05:37 PM
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TBS, LH - I actually do have things in motion towards my goal but come here to sort out my feelings. The whole safety narrative will undoubtedly affect my kids, directly or indirectly, and I can only control myself. You know about my apology letters. My W has choices to make. I wish I could make the one decision that would allow for my kids to get through this transition as best as possible but I cannot control it. I wish we could mediate like civil adults towards mutually respectful goals. Iím not seeing it. I know itís frustrating to hear how I just wonít make the decision. I wish there was another way. I donít have faith in the mediation process working with her mindset. Itís hard to let go of that because I do see myself as a reasonable person ready to work through difficult issues - but the reality is I often accomplish that by caving into others. I can mediate and end things civilly but accept less than I really want. Thatís the deal. Itís not a matter of me standing up to her in mediation. I understand that is an option but what is her motivation to change anything?

Rooskers - that post meant a lot. I have followed your sitch and I know you have dealt with so much hostility while also doing whatís best for your daughter.

unchien #2886415 02/19/20 07:57 PM
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U, I'll add my voice to the chorus here. Your youngest is 4. That means you have around 13 years until you're an empty-nester. I want you to really think about that. Your time with your kids is not infinite. Even 50-50 custody means you only see them half of their remaining years in the home. Once they move out whether that's to college or to a job somewhere you will see them MUCH less. So maximize the time you have left with them. Take it from a 58-year-old with two grown kids and one almost out of high school- the time passes very, VERY fast. And once they're gone you don't want to be looking back regretting that you didn't spend more time with them.

You've heard the old cliche' "they grow up so fast!" Well it is completely true, you'll find yourself looking back wondering what happened to those little kids you loved so much. Somewhere along the line they turned into adolescents, and then adults. And you still love them just as much, but they are different when grown. This is really hard to describe but once you go through it you'll understand. Your kids as the "young", innocent, wide-eyed versions of themselves are only here for a brief time. Maximize that time, it is something you will never, ever regret even if you have to fight tooth and nail for it.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
unchien #2886830 02/22/20 07:29 AM
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Minor journal entry ~

I am feeling strong and resolute about next steps. I feel like I've always been 3 steps behind the last 2 years -- behind in realizing our MR was eroding, behind in realizing I was going to be BD'ed, behind in realizing MC1 and MC2 were not really "marriage counseling," behind in realizing my W had no interest in compromising in a reasonable (IMO) way.

I know there will likely be some major blowback to deal with, and there will be some difficult periods upcoming. This is my one life to live and I'm going to fight for what I feel is fair and right, for me and for my kids.

Interactions with my W are down to a minimum. There are little co-parenting issues that annoy me, but I leave them alone. Sending messages through S7 rather than contacting me directly, that sort of thing. I suppress the instinct to address these things -- I know I'll get more of the same aggressive defensive responses.

unchien #2886839 02/22/20 11:13 AM
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U,

It's ok. Must of were behind in realizing a lot of things. Who cares if there's blow back. How does that effect you? If these issues are annoying to you then address them with her. You should be happy your interactions are at a minimum.

I know your kids are younger but I take the philosophy that I let my ex parent them her way when with her and I parent them my way when with me. It's really not that complicated.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2886872 02/22/20 03:37 PM
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LH ~ I agree on the parenting approach you describe. This week Iíve had the kids all week. My W would typically arrange for dinner parties with friends, I like to plan fun outings for the kids (zoo etc.) Both are okay and I like having my own approach.

I have a lot of bad dreams about the potential blowback. You know about my letters. I dream about being on a witness stand on court, about my in-laws harassing me, about life getting more unsettled than it is now, about my W moving far away juuuuuuust inside the limits but making it harder for me to do 50-50. About my W berating me about everything, accusing me, etc. On and on. Nothing that stops me from pressing forward. I know itís unpredictable how things will go.

unchien #2886876 02/22/20 03:55 PM
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U,

Most of what you are experiencing is catastrophic thinking. If she moves away that will make it harder on her. You control so much more than you think, you just have to have the balls to pull it off. You want 50/50 then get 50/50 fuch her. You want to be talk to like an adult. Tell her. Donít fuching talk to me like a child.

I nipped that in the but with my ex early on. She had the power and she new it because i didnít want D. One day she was talking down to me and I said that exact thing. She said ďoh okĒ all cocky. Then 15 minutes later she apologized and that was the end of that. Still Díd me but no longer talked down to me.

So much of this is your choice U.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2886877 02/22/20 03:59 PM
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As for the letters, I see that as a man trying to keep his family together. There is honor in that my friend!


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2886879 02/22/20 04:28 PM
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Agreed.

As far as standing up to her directly I am cautious. Just in the past two months she has called me angry, out of control, and delusional when I have calmly asserted my thoughts. I donít care what she thinks, but I do want to proceed with a bit of caution right now. None of our existing arrangements with the kids or finances are in writing.

unchien #2886881 02/22/20 04:47 PM
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Even more reason to D her a$$ and get some clarity. Iím really not sure what tour afraid of unless there is more to the child abuse and letters then you are telling us.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2886954 02/23/20 06:29 PM
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LH ~ there is nothing I am not telling you. I am conflict avoidant and the universe finally created a situation to force me to deal with it. Itís the right choice to move forward. L agrees.

That doesnít mean my W wonít exaggerate and spin tales. Iíve heard hearsay and slander are all acceptable in family court. But Iíd rather fight for whatís right than submit just to keep the peace.

It has taken me some time to decide mediation without Lís is a dead end. It will not get me anywhere near what I want (and what I think is fair) unless my W resets her expectations. That wonít happen just by me standing up for myself. I have yet to hear about a divorcing couple mediate successfully when they were so far off to start with. I wish that by saying what I want in simple terms I could reset the narrative, but it wonít.

Anyways things will start moving soon.

On the parenting front, Iíve had the kids for 8 straight days, longest stretch to date. It feels great and tiring at the same time. Youngest asked me when I am moving back home... really hard to hear but itís outside my control now. I accept that W and I are incompatible at this point and thereís no looking back. I love being dad on my own terms and finding my own parenting voice and style

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Hey U -

Seems like things are going well with you and your kids. That's a good thing smile

LH is right. You set your own narrative. You wrote apology letters - so what? You were doing everything you could to keep your MR together. That's what it looks like when you step out of your perspective.

If you choose to give those letters and pulling the car over power, they have power. If you see them for what they were - then their importance lessens.

I'm not saying you have to pretend things didn't happen. Acknowledge everything, accept that it happened, but also acknowledge that they were just normal things to do for someone who was under tremendous stress and desperate to save his M.

I think most people on the outside looking in would see that.

Take care man smile

IronWill #2887291 02/26/20 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by IronWill
LH is right. You set your own narrative. You wrote apology letters - so what? You were doing everything you could to keep your MR together. That's what it looks like when you step out of your perspective.

If you choose to give those letters and pulling the car over power, they have power. If you see them for what they were - then their importance lessens.

I'm not saying you have to pretend things didn't happen. Acknowledge everything, accept that it happened, but also acknowledge that they were just normal things to do for someone who was under tremendous stress and desperate to save his M.
Thanks IW.

I feel like there was a window of time where my W and I could have talked about these things. We went to MC for 6 months post-S, and in almost every session my W alluded to these things without directly talking about them. I listened non-defensively and validated and remained open. The C would point out to my W that I was open and honest and ready to listen - and she refused to go further. I am okay with that, it is her decision.

I gave it time.

Unfortunately, that window has passed. I can no longer continue losing out on time with my kids and losing out financially. It has taken me some time to accept that I need to move on (and yes I am aware I frustrate many on this board with my sloth-like expediency). The only reason to keep sticking it out would be if I had hopes for R in the short-term, and I do not. It would require my W to change in ways that, well, I'm not going to stick around waiting for her. I don't see it happening. I'll walk my own path and if she comes back somehow (which I cannot possibly foresee) maybe I'll be open. But I can't stick around waiting under the existing circumstances.

The passing of that window also means I need to move more to a protective stance. I don't want a nasty legal battle. I also am not going to acknowledge and validate certain things anymore. That ship sailed.

I still acknowledge privately, to myself, to my IC, here, what happened. I don't ignore those things. But there will be no more discussion with my W about them.

I am grateful for what I have learned from coming here so far. I don't see my situation as a failure... although at times I think I should have been *less* patient. There is a fine line between needing to validate and needing to set boundaries /stand up for oneself, and I think so many of us LBS's struggle and sometimes overcorrect ourselves into validation mode. I don't know. Or maybe I never found "what works" and my MR did actually have a chance.

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U~

I gave it 10 years after her first affair (talk about sloth-like expediency). During that time I thought we were in reconciliation but in all honesty she was just bidding her time until she found another person to leave me for. During that time she ignored me, treated me like I was nothing, admitted anything she was doing was faked, and treated D14 in a similar way. Many of the LBS do anything to save not just their marriage but their family. I wanted so bad for D14 to not have to be another statistic but in the end it takes more than one to save and become a family. A lot of veterans on this board say that you will know and feel when it is right and it sounds like you are there. It doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you realize her problems are not yours and until she deals with them you have to look after yourself and your children. I would recommend staying on the board because you are going to need the support. The roller coaster ride is just beginning a new phase.


1st BD December 26, 2008
PA admitted to by XW December 29, 2008

2nd BD May 23, 2019
Daughter confirms EA
Divorce Finalized July 18, 2019
unchien #2887299 02/26/20 05:23 PM
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U,

Ok U if I am reading this correctly you are ready to file. You are done trying to placate your W and are no longer going to validate her $hitty behavior. If this is correct I am in full agreement with you. Iím not going to lie, I do not like your W. Sheís not even a WW and I despise her for trying to portray you as abusive. To me that is the lowest of the low in WW land. Sheís manipulated you since day one to try to get everything she wants and her way. It doesnít work that way.

Everyone has to come to terms with things on their own timeline and it sounds like you are finally ready.

Good luck man!


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2887321 02/26/20 07:09 PM
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I agree with LH. We all come here wanting to save our M's, but eventually (after receiving many 2x4's) we learn that what we should REALLY be doing is saving ourselves. Once we save ourselves then whether recon happens or not becomes a secondary concern, because we learn that the primary concern is that we are happy, healthy, focused, strong, independent individuals. Because if we're not, then we are terrible spouses, parents and workers. Focus on yourself and everything else in life follows suit. Do what's right for you, even if that means D.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
unchien #2887443 02/27/20 04:52 PM
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Thanks all for chiming in.

Navigating the next steps is going to be tricky due to some of my circumstances, but I can't describe the level of relief I feel to have L advice. Rather than feel like I have either/or options (status quo, or flip the table over), I have an array of options across the spectrum. It gives me confidence, which also helps manage the day-to-day interactions I still have with W over little things.

On the journal side, for some reason I am on a mission to reorganize my house. My kids have a little play area which is just overflowing with little toys, 90% of which are stuffed in bins and never used. I am not a particularly neat person, but I do prefer not having excess clutter... it stresses me out!

Perhaps it is spring cleaning (I live in a warmer state, so yes, spring appears to be arriving). It feels good to be living a little more purposefully. I'm more focused at work. I have a little more bounce in my step, just a little. My mantra lately is: keep building. Work on building something new.

unchien #2887453 02/27/20 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by "Unchien"
My mantra lately is: keep building. Work on building something new.

Nice! I'm preferential to Dora's "Just keep swimming."



unchien #2887456 02/27/20 06:54 PM
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Wait... is that from Bob the... [facepalm]... Are my life choices influenced subliminally by kid shows?!

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Unchien - your last post about the spring cleaning was great. Nice to hear you have a bit of a bounce in your step. Hopefully you can continue this in general.


H 37
W 31
S 2

T: 7
M: 4

BD 12/18
Separated 2/19
Living back together 04/06/2019
W Moved out again 07/15/2019
unchien #2887477 02/28/20 12:20 AM
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Sounds so great, U! I third the spring cleaning... spent the weekend doing the same (still have a little more to go) and having the excess clutter gone is really so stress-relieving. Keep it all up!


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
unchien #2887484 02/28/20 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by unchien
Wait... is that from Bob the... [facepalm]... Are my life choices influenced subliminally by kid shows?!


Kids shows are the best when your life need guidance!!

Recently I was watching Pinocchio with my boys and I swear every line spoke to me.

ďAlways let conscience be your guide.Ē
ď Yep, temptations. Theyíre the wrong things that seem right at the time, but, uhÖ even though the right things may seem wrong sometimes, or sometimes the wrong things,[chuckles] may be right at the wrong time, or visa versa.Ē

Also my boys learned about mortgage by watching Teen Titans. Lol.


BD: Sep 2019
D in progress
unchien #2887491 02/28/20 04:07 AM
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Haha I like this thread:

Frozen 2: do the next right thing

unchien #2887496 02/28/20 05:48 AM
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Frozen: Let it go


1st BD December 26, 2008
PA admitted to by XW December 29, 2008

2nd BD May 23, 2019
Daughter confirms EA
Divorce Finalized July 18, 2019
unchien #2887520 02/28/20 04:21 PM
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Journaling ~

This house-cleaning fever I have lately feels new and strange.

I had the kids for a full week, ending a week ago. I felt like my kitchen was disorganized, counters covered with random stuff, and the play area for the kids was a disaster. I had "inherited" so many toys from the home, so many of them stuffed away in IKEA drawers, not being used. And with a week straight with the kids, things were strewn everywhere.

In the past, I would not have much motivation to overhaul things. Maybe a minor clean-up here and there. But every night this week I have dedicated a solid 2-3 hours to my project. I'm running 5 boxes of donations out this morning.

It feels less like spring cleaning, and more like defining my new life. I hope this mindset sticks, I like it, but it's only been a few days.

I'm not really a minimalist, but I do lean towards the "stuff owns you" mindset. It is stressful to me to maintain "stuff", where to put it, etc. I like keeping life simpler, and prefer spending money on experiences (like taking my kids on a 2-night trip when I had them). It's daunting how much there is left to do. But it feels cathartic to make little changes towards defining how I want to live my life.

Amid all this newfound energy, I've "leveled up" my self-awareness. It's so easy on these 10 day stretches barely seeing the kids to sort of just trudge along. Spend a couple nights bingeing TV. Leave the house a mess. Live without purpose, or just focus on some future goal of custody or finances. Who cares if I stay up late tonight, I can sleep in tomorrow. That sort of thing.

This week I have more purpose. When I feel that tendency to loaf around a little bit, I'm kicking myself in the butt to move. I'm on top of my game at work. My house is a work in progress but I'm liking the direction. I have a lot more to do, and I'll break off little chunks. I don't feel manic, or like I'm just doing all this to distract myself from the stress of my sitch, although that is a side benefit no doubt.

There has been quite a bit of communication with W about various issues. I'm keeping things vague on the board for anonymity at this stage. Some of those communications are challenging for me, I feel a flood of certain emotions. It requires an attentiveness -- filter the message... "OK this one is safe to respond to, this other one I need to think about, etc." Or "don't answer this question, it is bait". Or "I feel this is wrong, but perhaps now is not the time to address it amid all the other issues swirling around" Yesterday there will probably 10 different things. It's a lot.

One other update for the week... I told my IC I'd like to refocus on deeper issues from my childhood. Often our sessions involve me rehashing the recent past, discussing anxiety and how to deal with it, and I end the session feeling no less anxious. I realized I was just spending an hour venting... which is not all that helpful with my type of anxiety. I felt good about this conversation, and setting some focus moving forward.

I also may try going to IC less frequently. I am using some of my work flexibility to attend these weekly sessions, and I want to make sure I leave my flexibility open for more time with my kids. It's a tricky balance, but I'd like to try it out.

Thanks for reading.

unchien #2887543 02/28/20 07:07 PM
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Quote
There has been quite a bit of communication with W about various issues. I'm keeping things vague on the board for anonymity at this stage. Some of those communications are challenging for me, I feel a flood of certain emotions. It requires an attentiveness -- filter the message... "OK this one is safe to respond to, this other one I need to think about, etc." Or "don't answer this question, it is bait". Or "I feel this is wrong, but perhaps now is not the time to address it amid all the other issues swirling around" Yesterday there will probably 10 different things. It's a lot.


I completely understand where you are coming from. The emails we receive and respond to have a lot of potential lasting consequences both legally and emotionally. It is difficult knowing which ones should be answered and which ones should be left alone. It makes it even more difficult because the response has to be taken in terms of legal consequences and most of us are not lawyers and can't pay a lawyer to help us respond to each email. I am also finding I am getting better at keeping all emotions and feelings out of my responses but even that can convey a sense of coldness. I have to say ~U~ that the emotional drain on things like this can sometimes be overwhelming.


1st BD December 26, 2008
PA admitted to by XW December 29, 2008

2nd BD May 23, 2019
Daughter confirms EA
Divorce Finalized July 18, 2019
rooskers #2887545 02/28/20 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rooskers
I completely understand where you are coming from. The emails we receive and respond to have a lot of potential lasting consequences both legally and emotionally. It is difficult knowing which ones should be answered and which ones should be left alone. It makes it even more difficult because the response has to be taken in terms of legal consequences and most of us are not lawyers and can't pay a lawyer to help us respond to each email. I am also finding I am getting better at keeping all emotions and feelings out of my responses but even that can convey a sense of coldness. I have to say ~U~ that the emotional drain on things like this can sometimes be overwhelming.

It is absolutely a drain.

For instance, my W asked to shift our schedule for an upcoming weekend. My initial reaction was NO. Why should I put myself out? But I requested she give me some time to consider. I looked at it, figured out I would end up with some more time with the kids at the expense of using up a little bit of my work flexibility, and decided to say OK. I did not feel compelled to say yes or no based on her needs.

Great, right? But it's still exhausting to go through that process. Careful attention to every word. I guess in my case once I have a more formal legal agreement I will feel safer.

And it is frustrating to know if I asked for the same, I would get a hard NO.

Rather than aim for coldness, I aim to keep things business-like. Some of the advice in co-parenting is to use "I feel..." statements, but I think that doesn't work if the other person does not care about how I feel. (similar to validation here). I prefer to remain neutral and calm yet guarded.

unchien #2887581 02/29/20 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Unchien
I felt like my kitchen was disorganized, counters covered with random stuff, and the play area for the kids was a disaster.. In the past, I would not have much motivation to overhaul things.. But every night this week I have dedicated a solid 2-3 hours to my project. I'm running 5 boxes of donations out this morning.

Yes!! I went through a cleaning phase so *that* wasn't a reason she wouldn't return, so when she stopped by she'd see what she was *missing*. I'm now cleaning my home 100% for my own happiness.

Originally Posted by Unchien
It feels less like spring cleaning, and more like defining my new life.

I approve your attitude.. a shift from choosing what to discard based on what we longer need.. to choosing what to keep to best define the new life we want to lead. You have a Marie Kondo streak in you.

Last edited by CWarrior; 02/29/20 01:53 AM.


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Awake in the middle of the night again...

Sís birthday on Friday. Itís not my weekend but I met the kids and their mom for dinner on Friday. S brought a friend. They talked with each other the whole time. Itís okay, I get it. He opened my gifts in the parking lot. W talked about giving me time this weekend to spend 1:1 with him but in the end she planned events and it didnít work out. Parties 2 days, one with neighbors and one with friends. I wonít lie I am frustrated that she offered time with him this weekend but hanging out with the neighbors was higher priority.

And now I canít sleep.

I know what my plan is next. Itís not about that.

Itís feeling like Iím drifting apart from my kids. And I know every parent feels that way when their kids start growing up. But I also feel shut out. Iím upset. I was excited to spend that time with S. Instead Iím paying for parties that I canít attend at a house I pay for. Iím not there for my sonís birthday.

Also I feel a loss of community. My parents, my W. Iím living in a new place. I donít make friends easily and I feel alone and lacking support and lost much of the time.

Itís the middle of the night and I know these thoughts are irrational but itís what keeps me up at night.

unchien #2887657 03/01/20 01:43 PM
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U,

I sorry you are having a rough time.

I want you to write down this statement and put in on your bathroom mirror. "No one will ever do or say anything to me that I don't allow them to".

Don't allow her to take more then 50% of your kids time from you.

Don't allow her to prevent you from being at the party at the house you pay for.

Don't allow your timidness prevent you from meeting new friends.

U no one is coming to rescue from your problems. You're going to have to dig yourself out of this $hit show yourself.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2887684 03/01/20 07:40 PM
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Well put, LH19. Unchien, hope you get this sorted a.s.a.p. She shouldnít get more birthday time than you. She probably wouldnít have much luck pushing that point in a courtroom. Hope you were able to sleep in and rest a bit.

The kids arenít ďhersĒ. I wonder what stops you from politely asserting your rights.

Last edited by CWarrior; 03/01/20 07:49 PM.


unchien #2887686 03/01/20 07:54 PM
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Fear of them drifting away if you let her control and dominate custody is valid. You can see that happening in other situations here and offline. For some reason it seems more common for dads to allow that than moms.




unchien #2887731 03/02/20 07:27 AM
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Thanks LH and CW. I should have an update end of the week on my situation.

LH your words about digging out of this hole myself ring true. Not just the situation but feeling the lack of community. Only I can fix it.

CW I can see how some dads may give up in these situations to keep the peace. My own father did that in his first marriage (my mom was his second wife). He had a son and his XW made things miserable. I am not going to do the same.

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Feel like journaling a bit this morning ~

My L is on top of things and we have a mediation session Thursday. I have no idea which path things will take (i.e., whether mediation will even work). But I have a plan to stand up for what I want. The current situation must change and I can't keep waiting.

That being said... I feel like I have hit maximum frustration. I've been on DB forums for 10 months, I've learned how to manage my emotions, neither repressing them nor acting out on them. And I'm at this point where I am just p*ssed off the last few days. I'm not out-of-my-mind angry, but still... angry.

I used to have an analogy that my W leaving our MR was like a rocket ship launching into orbit. And she needed fuel for her launch. Everything became fuel for her anger.

I feel now like I am building my own rocket ship. And I am finding my own fuel. I don't feel good about it. But I must build this rocket.

I have so many strong conflicting feelings. Confidence and strength about doing what I think is right. But also aggravation and anger.

My son just turned 8. I barely saw him for his birthday. He is in therapy. My W has accused me of being the cause of his difficulties. He has a GPS tracking watch. She's living in a home I pay for and for some reason (possibly an OM, possibly her own internal fears) never wants to exchange the kids there. She doesn't work even though she rents office space. She paid for a house cleaner last week. I'm ticked off. I don't *like* being ticked off. I feel like I should have learned from DB by now how to manage that kind of feeling better.

I've read other people's sitches in my 10 months here. Sometimes I have been shocked by the anger and hurt -- "Why haven't they learned anything?" I sometimes thought.

Now I understand.

It's not a misogynistic anger. It's not blaming her for my problems. I allowed things to go on. I contributed to my MR erosion.

But I don't know how I'm going to get over the resentment. Other than taking steps to move on with my life and living with the consequences of that. She is manipulative and controlling and entitled, and I have allowed it to go on. If I press back on anything... ANYTHING... she immediately alludes to her "concerns." I don't like saying those things (manipulative, controlling, entitled), I resist labeling people and pigeon-holing them in a box, but there... it's how I feel, I'm not going to deny it just to act as if I'm really good at DB'ing. I've "allowed" her to manipulate and control, yes, but I'm not going to take responsibility for her part in this. I'm tired of empathizing with her struggle. I don't care. My empathy account is drawn down. The past year plus has been absolute h3ll for me and it was not necessary.

This doesn't mean I won't be pleasant and neighborly in our interactions. I can do all that. That has not been a problem for me.

My kids may end up resenting me. They may drift apart. I can tell my 8 year old is on the path now towards no longer being that little boy. They may feel like I ruined their M's life. I can't control them, I can only be there for them in the best way that I can be, flawed and all. I'm not a perfect dad. Sometimes I feel like I'm not connecting with them. But I'm doing the best I can.

I hope this didn't come across as an angry diatribe. It helps to get this stuff out rather than bottle it in.

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unchien- I donít have any wise words for you....just stopping by to show support. Iím so sorry you are feeling this way. I understand your frustration and anger, and I imagine that Iíd feel the same in your shoes.

Be the best dad you can be when you have your kids. They will grow up, and they will be able to think for themselves at some point. You do not need to be perfect, nobodyís perfect. 8 is still little. Kids may seem gullible, but they are observant. with time they will be able to make their own decisions of what kind of people daddy&mommy are.

Stay strong. It is good that you are being honest with your feelings.


BD: Sep 2019
D in progress
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I am actually glad you got to the pissed off stage. Use that anger to help you make smart choices for your future.

Get the best deal you possibly can for you and your kids. Don't let your W dictate the terms. Your kids are young, what you sign up for now will impact you for the rest of your life.

So far you have shown up to a gun fight with a stick. Time to turn the tables.


Married 14, Together 17
M: 44, W: 43, D: 8, D: 6
M: 46, W: 45. D: 10. D: 8 (CUR)
Bomb Dropped: 5/28/2017
Separation Date: 6/17/2017
Divorce Filed: 2/7/2018
Divorce Final: 4/12/2018
unchien #2887800 03/02/20 04:25 PM
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U,

This goes back to what I said earlier. No one will ever do or say to you what you wonít allow them to.

Iím not paying for an office you donít use
Iím not paying for a cleaner when you donít work
Iím not having my son wear a monitor when heís with me

What is behind your fear right now?


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
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ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2887806 03/02/20 04:40 PM
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LH - on the payment stuff our finances are merged. This is going to be addressed this week. One way or another.

unchien #2887807 03/02/20 04:43 PM
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I should add my L is helping with a strategy on the finances point because it can get complicated in my state.

unchien #2887808 03/02/20 04:47 PM
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Unchien, it doesn't come off as a diatribe. Anger is useful if it drives you to change--e.g., not allowing her to continue to dominate custody or take more than her fair share of your assets/income. Your messages read like you're playing a long game, trying to align the dominos just right. I hope you do act soon. wink

Originally Posted by unchien
My W has accused me of being the cause of his difficulties.

Ex says, blah blah blah - managing her feelings isn't your job.

Originally Posted by unchien
She's living in a home I pay for and for some reason (possibly an OM, possibly her own internal fears) never wants to exchange the kids there.

My ex and I exchange at school or outside our homes--I've never invited my ex inside MY home. It's a boundary. This is an easy one to let go. Plenty of single parents do McDonalds exchanges.

Quote
She doesn't work even though she rents office space. She paid for a house cleaner last week. I'm ticked off. I don't *like* being ticked off.

If you're paying her "market rate" alimony and child support, how she spends her money is her business. If you're paying more--well, that's silly. Don't make it even easier to move on. wink

Last edited by CWarrior; 03/02/20 04:48 PM.


unchien #2887824 03/02/20 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by unchien


I used to have an analogy that my W leaving our MR was like a rocket ship launching into orbit. And she needed fuel for her launch. Everything became fuel for her anger.

I feel now like I am building my own rocket ship. And I am finding my own fuel. I don't feel good about it. But I must build this rocket.

I have so many strong conflicting feelings. Confidence and strength about doing what I think is right. But also aggravation and anger.


Hey U - sorry you are having to deal with all of this. It [censored] - there's no 2 ways about it.

Many people here are going to disagree with what I post next. But it is the way I try to look at things. Note that I say "try" because I am not always successful at doing it. It is always a work in progress.

You do not have to build that rocket. You do not need to find fuel for anger. Those are consequences of a decision you are making, a choice to handle this situation with anger.

It is ok to be angry. It is a perfectly natural reaction to all of our situations. It is good to find an outlet for that anger.

But please, PLEASE do not involve your kids in this - at all costs. Even if W is doing all kinds of crazy things on her end, YOU be the rock. Be the immovable steadiness of a mountain made of granite.

Is this easy? [Censored] no. It is the hardest thing in the world to do.

You cannot defeat anger and hate with more anger and hate. The only way you can defeat anger and hate is with love. As ridiculous as that sounds, and as much flak as I will take for saying that - find a way, whatever that way is, to not translate that anger to your kids.

Anger is a very powerful emotion and it can grab hold of you and never let go. That's not what you want to show your kids and that's not how you want to live the rest of your life.

Originally Posted by unchien

But I don't know how I'm going to get over the resentment. Other than taking steps to move on with my life and living with the consequences of that. She is manipulative and controlling and entitled, and I have allowed it to go on. If I press back on anything... ANYTHING... she immediately alludes to her "concerns." I don't like saying those things (manipulative, controlling, entitled), I resist labeling people and pigeon-holing them in a box, but there... it's how I feel, I'm not going to deny it just to act as if I'm really good at DB'ing. I've "allowed" her to manipulate and control, yes, but I'm not going to take responsibility for her part in this. I'm tired of empathizing with her struggle. I don't care. My empathy account is drawn down. The past year plus has been absolute h3ll for me and it was not necessary.

This doesn't mean I won't be pleasant and neighborly in our interactions. I can do all that. That has not been a problem for me.

My kids may end up resenting me. They may drift apart. I can tell my 8 year old is on the path now towards no longer being that little boy. They may feel like I ruined their M's life. I can't control them, I can only be there for them in the best way that I can be, flawed and all. I'm not a perfect dad. Sometimes I feel like I'm not connecting with them. But I'm doing the best I can.

I hope this didn't come across as an angry diatribe. It helps to get this stuff out rather than bottle it in.


It is ok to vent. Again, this is perfectly normal. None of us haven't felt what you feel at one point or another.

As far as resentment goes, the way you get over it is you choose to.

You choose to forgive your W. Even if you never say it out loud. You choose to forgive yourself for what has happened. And you let go of that rope. Let W go live her life. That's what she wants, right?

I wish I had more concrete advice but the particulars are up to you. And you CAN do this. Look how far you've come already.

Take care of yourself, man - and stay strong smile

Last edited by IronWill; 03/02/20 06:15 PM. Reason: IronWill can't spell
unchien #2887835 03/02/20 06:56 PM
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IW - I respect what you are saying.

I will be able to work on the resentment once I have a stable situation. Right now I am sacrificing time with my kids and money for no good reason. I feel now is not the time for me to work through my resentment.

As for putting the kids in the middle, I mean, Iím going to fight for 50-50. That is just the right thing to do. Iíve taken classes and read books on how to minimize the impact of divorce on my kids and I intend to do my part to do this right. However... the ďeasyĒ thing to do for my kids would be accept less time with them and continue to provide a soft landing for my W. I am not going to play along anymore. I empathize with how difficult this transition may be for my W, but Iím no longer accommodating a lousy situation.

unchien #2887836 03/02/20 06:58 PM
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I feel like you have done everything humanly possible to make this as positive as it could be for your W and your kids. You have now come up to the realization that your W is incapable of working with you in this space. I think you're now taking the absolutely appropriate actions to protect yourself, your children, and quite frankly your W who seems to be going off the deep end. If she ever comes out of this fog she will be deeply ashamed for her behavior through all of this.

What is best for your kids? HAVING AN ACTIVE FATHER IN THEIR LIVES. Especially your son. There is so, so much data on this. It is NOT in their best interest for you to roll over and cave to their mom. It might feel easier on them in the short term, but it won't be in the long term. These are two little humans who you are responsible to raise and turn into kind and productive adults. I don't GAF how mad their mom is going to be and neither should you. You owe it to THEM to stand up for your parental rights and if anger helps you fuel that ship, I think it is OK. It is not a selfish anger. It is a just and terrible momma bear anger and you have it and you use it to help propel you to do the right thing.

To just push back a tiny bit on what IW says above... you aren't involving your kids in this. Your W is, by limiting your interactions with them. You are being the rock by protecting them and standing up for their rights to have both parents 50/50. Yes, it wouldn't be healthy to scream vitriol at your W in front of the kids, or let them see your anger. It is OK to let that anger be the fuel that lets to do difficult things. MLK Jr had a lot of anger. Of course he did. How could he not? His genius is that he channeled it into positive and productive actions and words and changed the world.

And once this is all done? Yes, forgive your W and love as hard as you can on your kids because they'll need it. That anger will no longer serve its purpose and you can let it go. But maybe you need it right now and that is okay.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
unchien #2887849 03/02/20 08:21 PM
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Thanks may. I agree. I donít think she will ever be ashamed and thatís fine.

W had offered me time with S last weekend to celebrate his birthday but then other plans were made. It really frustrates me to have that offered and then pulled back. Iím trying to get an hour for dinner with him this week. I do not like this feeling that there is a gatekeeper.

Lesson learned. She will accommodate to a small degree but not to a reasonable degree. Next birthday I will plan my own party and fun.

unchien #2887851 03/02/20 08:34 PM
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U,

Sheís the gatekeeper because you allow her to be. This needs to stop.


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ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2887852 03/02/20 08:36 PM
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Right but I need legal action for this to happen.

Last edited by unchien; 03/02/20 08:37 PM.
unchien #2887854 03/02/20 08:43 PM
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Can I ask why?


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ÔŅĹHappiness equals reality minus expectationsÔŅĹ- Magliozzi
unchien #2887856 03/02/20 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by unchien
IW - I respect what you are saying.

I will be able to work on the resentment once I have a stable situation. Right now I am sacrificing time with my kids and money for no good reason. I feel now is not the time for me to work through my resentment.


I humbly and respectfully disagree with you, U. There will never be "the right time". Things will always be in flux. Life is inherently not stable.

I know you have to do what you have to do. And I also respect your feelings and your thoughts. It's that I don't see things the same way. Maybe it is because I was raised in a dysfunctional environment that developed in strikingly the same way yours is right now. I see the parallels and it is eerily familiar.

I know it is not the same, no two situations are. But I would not want any child to have to go through what me and my siblings went through. And the alarm bells were blaring when I read your post.

I wouldn't have said anything otherwise - and like I said, I know others will disagree with me. That's fine. It's my opinion, from personal experience - and I thought it remiss if I said nothing.

Originally Posted by unchien

As for putting the kids in the middle, I mean, Iím going to fight for 50-50. That is just the right thing to do. Iíve taken classes and read books on how to minimize the impact of divorce on my kids and I intend to do my part to do this right. However... the ďeasyĒ thing to do for my kids would be accept less time with them and continue to provide a soft landing for my W. I am not going to play along anymore. I empathize with how difficult this transition may be for my W, but Iím no longer accommodating a lousy situation.


I'm not suggesting you lay down and give up or roll over, here. You of course have to stand up and fight for what you believe. Absolutely 100 percent. I'm also not telling you to provide any soft landing for W. I'm simply suggesting you do not react with anger through your L when the process starts. Take your time, let the emotions settle, think about if there are other options with your L. Knee jerk reactions here can have lifelong consequences.

Devils advocate here - you say you want 50/50. Assuming mediation is exactly what it's definition is, and a compromise solution is offered, would 40/60 be acceptable? Or is it worth fighting back and forth in court and potentially alienating your kids in that process for that extra 10 percent?

That's a real world scenario that actually happened in my life. My F fought for full custody, got 25/75, then M fought for more CS, then more custody, then full custody, then F fought for less CS and more tax deductions, then more custody then my M took F to court for failure to pay extra CS, then M put us in and took us out of IC, then F refused...etc etc etc ad nauseum. For almost 10 years this went on, who knows how many tens of thousands of dollars wasted, not to mention damage to all of us kids.

By the time it was all said and done, and the situation had "stabilized", 2 of us had grown up and moved out, the third was in third year of HS. And none of us wanted anything to do with our parents.

That's what anger gets you.

Something to think about anyway.

unchien #2887858 03/02/20 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by "LH19"
Sheís the gatekeeper because you allow her to be. This needs to stop.

Originally Posted by unchien
Right but I need legal action for this to happen.

It's not "Ex-Wife is gatekeeper until the courts weigh-in", it's "Unchien and Ex-Wife are equal gatekeepers until the court weighs in." If you both want to spend time with S on his birthday weekend, you are equally entitled. Possible exceptions--you've signed away rights, the court's already stepped in, the status quo is you don't see your kids on birthdays, your kids don't want to spend time with you.



LH19 #2887862 03/02/20 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LH19
Can I ask why?
Absolutely.

What we are doing now (W living in the house, me paying all the bills, 30/70 timeshare with the kids) is basically what we agreed to at the start of S. We negotiated these items in "MC" (you know my feelings on what happened in MC). Outside of MC, we have been unable to come to agreements and hold each other accountable. "I'm not okay with that" is the stock answer from W.

I stopped going to MC in December because it was "child safety class" every time we went. It would have been the one forum to make incremental changes.

I haven't been entirely mute asking for changes. When I do assert myself, she tends to raise her "concerns" and shut down the conversation. Again, "I'm not okay with that" and then her own reasoning for what she thinks is best.

So the question is how can I get changes to the 3 major items: custody/timeshare, finances, and the house.

I have mediation. That is one forum, and I am trying. I am also proceeding with L advice, as mediation to date has not been very productive.

Traveler #2887863 03/02/20 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by "LH19"
Sheís the gatekeeper because you allow her to be. This needs to stop.

Originally Posted by unchien
Right but I need legal action for this to happen.

It's not "Ex-Wife is gatekeeper until the courts weigh-in", it's "Unchien and Ex-Wife are equal gatekeepers until the court weighs in." If you both want to spend time with S on his birthday weekend, you are equally entitled. Possible exceptions--you've signed away rights, the court's already stepped in, the status quo is you don't see your kids on birthdays, your kids don't want to spend time with you.

Let's say my W wanted more time than she has now. I would be the gatekeeper.

We have established precedent during our S. I would like to change it, she wouldn't. Without 3rd party assistance we are unable to make changes. It just is what it is. I try, she shuts it down. If she tried to ask for more money, I would shut it down.

Hopefully we can have a productive mediation session this week.

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