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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 02:00 PM
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Well, that worked for 1 week. I picked up the kids, took them to dinner, dropped them off at a reasonable time, she didn't come to pick them up on my week, and when I tried to follow up the week after, it fell through.
Its very hard to make casual arrangements in a high conflict situations. You may be getting recommendations from counselors but unless its written into an SA, I would highly doubt you're going to get much traction with these types of things.

You need to either get a modified court order...or move on and follow the one you have in place.

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I know I can't make her read it. I know I can't make her do anything. But, I try to be civil...I've written so many poisoned letters that found their way to my garbage can before I sent them out. I also understand that it's not about us anymore, as there's no us. I gave up on us the moment she walked out the door? Why? How could I ever trust anyone ever again after walking out?
Lots and lots of emotion here...a really unhealthy level of attachment. Have you sought out some therapy to work through some of this?

I have a complete feeling of detachment from my ex and the idea of writing anything to him or giving a rat's ass about what he's thinking, feeling, or doing is absolutely ridiculous to me.

I think what you need to probably work through is that you're never going to get closure with this person. They never understood you or cared about you in marriage....never heard or comprehended a word you said...and it sure as hell ain't gonna happen now that you're divorced.

You are divorced because of a incompatibility issue which made neither of you able to empathize with, respect or understand the other. It will always be that way. She will never have an "AHA" moment...and the real problem is that you still care if she does.

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So there wouldn't be so much tension during drop offs, and so we could communicate things, such as, "Daughter's interested in choir, meetings on are such and such a night. If you can't take her, I can." Or, "I'm going to be out of town this weekend, would you mind taking the kids early?"
Many people on the forum have extremely hostile situations with their ex...its par for the course. You didn't get what you wanted in marriage...and you most likely won't get it in divorce. Worry about what IS within your power to control...not what isn't. You're stressing about so many things you can't control and its very detrimental to you and your children.

The post-divorce relationship is usually never what you'd hope for...much like your marriage wasn't..lol.
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And to admit that (not to sound boastful) I am a good dad to those kids.
In my opinion, this was one of the most revealing things about your post.

Let me ask you, why the hell do you care if she admits that you're a good dad? Why is that even in your mind or important to you? Why do you require validation from her on any level about anything?

In my opinion, this is exactly what your problem truly is. You are wayyy to emotionally involved with your ex. You're not the only one on this forum in this condition and its going to really cause you a lot of grief and compromise you moving in the right direction. You need to deal with this...either on your own...or with some outside help.

In the meantime, continue to do the right thing...send the books, the notes, even if they don't get read. Manage the drop-offs/pick-ups to the best of your ability. And when the kid are with you, enjoy them and provide a loving, stable home for them.

What she does, feels, or thinks...forget about.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 02:15 PM
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Good points...things I need to work through. I never really thought that I need her validation, more that I want her to realize what's right for the kids.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 02:17 PM
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And, I don't even know where to begin to look for therapy. I was in an unhealthy relationship for 16 years, dealt with a lot of emotional abuse and manipulation, and I tried to tough it out. Now, 2 years later, I know I should have sought counselling when she left, but here I am...
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 02:40 PM
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Good points...things I need to work through. I never really thought that I need her validation, more that I want her to realize what's right for the kids.
The relevant things is that you recognize what's right for your kids and do what's in your power to ensure they have good lives.

Understand that negative role models in kid's lives provide as much value as the positive ones. You learn as much (if not more) from the incompetent people in your life that you learn from the competent ones. Eventually you decide what you want to be and who you want to spend your time with.

Kids grow up and start making their own decisions. Worry about providing them a healthy, whole, great role-model that they can choose in their adulthood. She's a jerk and probably making her future with her kids very limited but that's her problem.

You cannot teach her to parent your children the way you want (and vice versa)...control what's in your power.

Quote:
And, I don't even know where to begin to look for therapy. I was in an unhealthy relationship for 16 years, dealt with a lot of emotional abuse and manipulation, and I tried to tough it out. Now, 2 years later, I know I should have sought counselling when she left, but here I am...
Truthfully, I'm the wrong person to discuss therapy with because I've never been to one and not a big fan. Most therapists I know as friends are nutty as fruitcakes...but that doesn't mean there aren't great ones. I'm just a skeptic.

A lot of posters have sought out help and can maybe give you some references if you give them a general location. In addition, sometimes if you ask at work, they have places to go through your health care plan.

I don't think it matters when you go. Sometimes just having someone to vent to and to help you work through closure issues, at whatever point, can probably help a lot. Its probably a really good to do so you can spend more of your emotional energy on your kids.

Best wishes..and again, my condolences. I know how tough it is to finally come to the conclusion that your ex is a non-reformable jackass.
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 02:48 PM
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Thanks muchly. I can already see which way the kids are gravitating, and it's heartbreaking to watch them have to endure all this.

Right now, I just try to love them as much as I can. I try my bestest not to drag them into any of this, and I keep it all away from them. I'm just a bit of an impatient feller, and long for the day when they realize they can stand up for themselves. I'll be waiting at their doorstep with the car running.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 03:18 PM
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Believe me, I'm in the same boat and waiting for the same thing.
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 03:42 PM
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She's terrified that I'm trying to "take the kids away" from her (because, then she wouldn't get support payments), but if she wasn't the kind of mother who stared at her 2 year old after he did a faceplant into pavement, or let a heavy door slam in his face because she wasn't watching, or get drunk in the middle of the afternoon with her boyfriend while she was supposed to be watching the kids, or, or, or...there wouldn't be a problem here. I wouldn't feel like so much injustice had been done.
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 04:34 PM
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Just want to second all the good advice Pursuinghappiness has given. I'm in a similar situation with a hostile and vindictive ex who sounds not unlike yours.
I've also found myself wanting to create a better parenting relationship, have better communications, just be able to be more like two civilized adults. Several posters to this forum have pointed out to me (fairly bluntly) that working towards this is a waste of time, and that holding onto those hopes keeps me engaged with the ex in a way that I don't truly want to be engaged. They're right.

It's hard when you're dealing with an overtly angry and sometimes irrational person directing all of this emotional energy at you to not mirror it with anger and anxiety of your own, even if you don't express this openly. It takes a lot of effort (and reminders) to detach, disengage, and expect nothing, but ultimately it's the only thing that will let you move on.

Work on having the best relationship you can with your kids. Work on creating a good life for yourself. You've got a new lease on life after a 16-year mistake - what are you going to do with it? With your ex, unless you have very strong evidence that the kids are in danger when they're in her care, leave it alone. Their relationship with you will give them the resilience and strength to handle the chaos they meet in the days they're with her. They will see the contrast between their parents and understand it. If they have one loving, strong, consistent parent, that will be enough for the long term.

Your ex is never going to validate your parenting, let along be friendly or co-operate with you. There's no closure, just forward motion. If you catch yourself thinking "I wonder how ex is going to react to this or that...?" that's a red flag that you're thinking about her too much. Get her out of your head. (Easier said than done, I know ...).
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 05:10 PM
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Very easier said than done. LOL

I try to be a nice guy, and I gave in a lot over the years...I just don't want her to see me as a pushover when she comes flying in with some cockamame demands, and I say, "Ok..." just to keep the peace. Give them an inch and they take a mile. That was my issue with the whole drop off thing. If I give in to that, she'll find something else to erode. She's moved out of the school district, so I'm just waiting for the day when she says, "I'm registering the kids at such-and-such school."

Then a whole new set of drama.

"I have changed their family doctor."

"I'm getting married and bf is adopting them, they're changing their last names to X."

We went on a field trip to the States last week, and she was absolutely livid because she had to give the school their birth certificates (she has the originals). She demanded that the school give them back to her and her only.
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 09:21 PM
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Wow. No wonder you want to vent. I worked my a$$ off when we were married with not only working in over a half dozen businesses. I raised our kids, did all the housework and cleaning, etc. while he practically ignored our kids. He didn't ever change even one diaper let alone do any cooking and laundry. He never even made me a cup of coffee (or tea).

All the best to you. You certainly sound like you deserve it.
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