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Hey U, sorry to hear that youre upset. Your post on emotions and control have really resonated with me, keep all that youve learnt in mind. I hope things get better for you and that you truly dont have to deal with this forever.


Me: 40 W:41
T: 14 M: 11
S: 5

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

"What happened happened, and couldn't have happened any other way...because it didn't"
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Originally Posted by unchien
My youngest (D5) had a little meltdown before bedtime tonight.

As a brief recap, we all moved here (about half-day drive) about 3 years ago, away from where my STBXW's parents live and many of her friends. It was a hard but mutual decision. My W wanted a huge house in the best location, and I just could not find work to support that lifestyle. I felt immense pressure, and also did not have great job prospects in that town. My W also had put a 1-year ticking deadline on making the decision. I had even proposed we punt and wait another year given the intense pressure of an arbitrary deadline. But she wouldn't have it. So I found a great job in the place we originally met many years ago, one that would support the lifestyle my W wanted, and we agreed to move.

Somehow my W has a narrative that this move was entirely about my happiness. In fact, I would have stayed in our old town if she would have accepted living in a more reasonably affordable area.

My W was obviously unhappy with the move, would not admit it, and blamed me. At the time, I was trying so hard to make my W happy, and obviously failing. (As in, placing way too much pressure on her putting a brave face on things). Recipe for MR disaster.

Anyways, back to D5...

She was upset about moving away from the place "that was best for her" (when she was 2). She said Mommy told her we all moved because Daddy wasn't happy.

It really upsets me that she is writing narratives for the kids. I don't involve them in our issues. I just said tonight that there are grown-up issues sometimes, but the important thing is that I love her very very much.

I wish I could "solve" this problem, but I can't. One of my friends went to family reunification therapy after a nasty custody battle and suggests it, but in his case that was court ordered. I think my only option is to have faith that my kids will grow up and see things clearly.

I wish I could say I accept this, too, is out of my control. But it cuts deep. I want to just move on and be dad to my kids, and my X seems determined to involve them in her version of events. This is a lifelong battle. I know others here who have followed me have gone through similar, feels like I am doomed to a never-ending drama.


The best way to counter this is to use the truth.......THROUGH actions not words. When you are consistent in your positive behavior towards your kids, and that behavior is counter to what your W's "narrative" is, your kids one day will look back and realize that what their mother said was incongruent with who you are as a person based on your actions. I believe that truth will always win out over lies.


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M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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Hi U -

Sorry to hear of your troubles.

You are absolutely right. There's nothing you can do to alter what narratives your X gives to your kids.

I think I mentioned my parents' D in your thread before. It was an ugly nasty thing in which each side fed their warped narratives to us kids in an attempt to justify their actions.

You are also right that the best thing you can do is stay above that drama and do what you can to remove yourself and your kids from that as much as possible. It's not the easy path. Not at all. But it is the way that will allow your kids to see in their own time that there is incongruity between what they are being told and what is reality.

Its so tough but you're doing the right thing.

Take care man smile

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Update ~

In about a month I'll be stepping up to a full balanced schedule with the kids. I'm excited because I worked so hard to get to this point, but also a little nervous because it's a lot on my plate with remote schooling.

The holidays were great and things overall are good.

My D is dragging on and on, and will continue to do so for awhile. There are a lot of issues at hand that are still irritating, but they will get resolved eventually and the slow pace is outside my control. My X has been caught in a flat-out lie recently, and it points to what I would call her flexibility with the facts (when "the ends justify the means"). She used to do this in our MR from time to time, when dealing with other people. Never blatantly, and always in a way where she can keep spinning the narrative and defending herself. It's something I am extremely wary of, and probably always will be.

I have gotten a lot of flak (email, texts) from my X the past month about various issues. Lots of emotional bait, allegations that I don't have the kids' best interests in mind, etc. Always around something my X wants for herself. I mostly ignore or just respond firmly but professionally (like a business interaction).

I still pop in from time to time here, mostly in a passive role. I think I have a skewed perspective at this point and don't want to lead people in any direction.

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Hi Unchien,

Hey! Been wondering about you. So glad to hear about the full schedule!! Remote learning has been manageable for me. I realized, to be able to work, I couldn't answer my kids' questions "on-demand". What worked for me was a brief check-in before school, posted "office hours", and a brief check-in after I finished work for the day. I also separated our spaces as much as I could, to limit interfering with each other, and setup "noise cancellation" features in the headsets and/or software we used. You'll do great!



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Originally Posted by unchien
I still pop in from time to time here, mostly in a passive role. I think I have a skewed perspective at this point and don't want to lead people in any direction.

Hey U good to hear from you. I think I know what you mean and struggle with it at times. Take care of yourself. It has been a long road for you.


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

Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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Thanks CW, LH.

My X continues to be a challenge to deal with. I'm looking forward to the remaining aspects of our D to finalize -- unfortunately this is going to take several months because of some heel-dragging going on (plus the pandemic).

Some people have advised that things naturally thaw over the years as a rhythm of coparenting kicks in. I'm not sure that will happen in my case. I have seen her approach other difficult relationships in her life in a similar manner. She is at heart a very insecure person and uses control to deal with her insecurity. This comes across in a lot of ways. Badgering me about parenting constantly, saying negative and untrue or distorted things behind my back (I have many examples with evidence). Enlisting allies with subtle lies such as therapists, friends, family, etc. She has burned down the village so to speak.

I have zero trust. I know that's not a very DB thing to say, but my X has earned it. I may forgive in the future, but I will not trust without evidence it is safe to do so.

I've learned a ton about myself the past couple years. I know my challenge will be to manage the anxiety and stress when it peaks, as I tend to reach a tipping point where it can bring me down for a few days. I know the next couple months will be a high-anxiety period given some things that will naturally happen in our D process. I'm trying to focus on self-care, while also not being hard on myself if I have a tough day or two.

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Originally Posted by unchien
Badgering me about parenting constantly, saying negative and untrue or distorted things behind my back (I have many examples with evidence). Enlisting allies with subtle lies such as therapists, friends, family, etc. She has burned down the village so to speak.

I'm curious--why do you continue to have these conversations? Single parents I know with such adversarial partners.. cut them off. E.g., they don't do pick-ups or drop-offs anymore. I mean, it would seem whatever co-parenting benefits there are to be gained by communicating are lost via outweighed by what you mention.



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Actually we don't speak at all. The communications are electronic (e-mail of court-mandated app). Mostly I ignore but some items I cannot as we are moving through this legal process.

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Wow--many ex's back off when forced to use the court-mandated apps! She's really taking this far. Sorry to hear this. Stay strong, and thoughts and prayers your way.



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