Hi all

My XW and SD got back last week from a 4 week holiday. Saw XW on the weekend when getting my son. Enthusiastically invited in to sit down and told about the holiday, reno dramas, new tatoo, unwelcome tax surprise, o/seas medical costs etc. I displayed polite, interested indifference, asked no questions, and left at the earliest opportunity.

Emails yesterday about ongoing parenting arrangements, as we have nothing formalised. XW wanted more time since getting back, with the inference being I've had S for a month thus she wants a little more to make up for that. I ignored that self serving comment, and told her I'd need time to consider (the old me would have dropped everything and responded immediately). SMS this morning wanting my reply, and I said I'd email her later. Instant reply with 'that doesnt sound good' 'its a yes or no answer' etc. I ignored, and simply said "I'm out walking" - "ok, sorry", then "FYI my phones being fixed so I wont see your email til I get it back" - no reply from me.

I've since emailed back, in my own time, accepting her proposal with conditions for some time with my S interspersed. I told her my conditions, rather than asking if they were ok. Also, I used her first name for the first time since BD. I hadnt called her by her name since I cant remember - we always used terms of endearment. I know that sounds weird that I hadnt used her first name since now - I think it's a significant step in cutting the rope for me though.

Her bday is coming up - I'd been asked to come twice months ago in a roundabout way. She's not mentioned it again, other than wanting our S that day. I've not mentioned my attendance either, nor will I.

If I go, I'm thinking to give her a gift voucher and just a plain card with the words 'Happy Birthday (XW) - congratulations on your milestone - have a wonderful day - Regards, D". Thoughts on this message?

All previous cards were large and extravagant and I'd written poems, witty or romantic messages, love hearts etc, basically filling all the space with messages she loved to see.

If I don't go, I'll just send an sms with the same message.

Regardless, there'll be a lovely card and expensive gift voucher from my son to her.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, D

Me: early 40's
XW: nearly 50
T: 15
M: 5
BD: Jan 19
S:10 SS: 22 SD: 24