Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TeacherShelly, May 18, 2014.
May 30, 2014
MUCH love and strength to you today as you have an awful conversation, but one you need to have.
So sorry you are going through this Shelly. Just remember you are not alone and you won't have to go through this alone. You have your daughters, loved ones, friends and us
Shelly - I haven't commented, but have been following. I don't have any words of wisdom to contribute. But, your strength and goodness rings so clearly in your posts. You will not only recover from this, you will rejuvenate in ways you don't yet know.
I'm thinking of you Shelly. It will probably be really tough for a while, but you deserve so much more. I wish I had more to say to help you!
Sending you hugs. I don't know what your home situation was like prior to this, but I was actually relieved when my parents separated - life was much calmer.
Hang in there!
Sending you lots of hugs and good vibes. It sounds like you're better off without the ex, and you have the right attitude, you're setting the right example for the girls, and you're going to get through this with some tears and some hard times but I bet you'll wake up one day relieved.
May 31, 2014
Thanks everyone! Cat, TeacherNY, KU_Alum, FFH, Missy, teachinnola, and everyone who reads without posting (I feel your hearts), thank you!
Today was hard with a capital H. And crazy, too, like surreal. The talk was long and peppered with crying jags. We agreed on a lot of financial stuff. Then I found out he wants to move in with Sarah. I was beyond disbelieving my ears. Yes, she needs to move out of her shared house with her boyfriend (they are breaking up) and he needs a bigger place, so naturally the solution is to move in and share a bed! I had to beg him not to do this to our kids. He doesn't seem to understand that this is not the time to introduce new significant others into the girls' lives. He questions me when I tell him it's not right for them. Yes, it is convenient for the adults to share rent, get a nicer place, have 24 hour access to the love of our lives, but no, it's not in the kids' interest at all. He asked me how I know they are not ready for a new mother figure. OMG.
He finally agreed not to talk with our girls about it or move in with Sarah without talking with me first. Then later, he said he'd been thinking about it and really does want to move in with her. I told him to consider giving me the kids for the summer, the whole summer, if he really needed to be with Sarah. He is going to think about it.
So after our long agonizing talk, I went home and called some friends to make dinner plans, not wanting to sit home alone. Then i got a text from one of my girls saying Dad is mad and I don't know what to do.
I talked to her, and him, and got back in my car to go up there and keep my kids safe. WHen I got there, he told me this long diatribe calling one of the girls all kinds of horrible names saying she was the one who started it and why is she such a @#$%^. I was scared so I finally got him to agree to let me take them out to dinner so he could have a break.
When we were at dinner, they told me how scared they are. Not that he will hurt him but that he wants to scare them. I'm going to see an attorney on Monday.
Things are getting crazier and crazier.
I would definitely try to get full custody of the girls at least until he can get his act together. Stress the best interests of the child. A judge might not really care about a new girlfriend in the picture, but verbal and emotional mistreatment of the kids is an absolute red flag.
Has anything happened with him lately (health issues, etc), to make him so irrational? Not prying, just giving you something to think about before your Monday meeting.
Wish I could be there to help!
Missy, I took your advice and documented everything. Thanks for thinking of that, and posting.
Two big things I need to get off my chest: Sarah does not like kids. She doesn't ever want kids, and doesn't like other people's kids. She doesn't "even really want to meet our kids," according to my husband. And he wants her to LIVE WITH THEM? Mind blowing. I guess it's the one thing she doesn't like about him, that he's a father. And he's 100% unaware that maybe he should not be OK with that. Ouch.
Also, I was successful in talking him into letting me keep the kids for the summer. This is selfish on his part but I really needed to get the kids away from him. He is dangerous when he feels cornered, and he was cornered between Sarah and our kids. He wanted to pick Sarah but didn't want the kids to think he was turning away from them. When he agreed, I felt so relieved. I am talking with a friend who is a lawyer tomorrow, and she is going to give me a referral to someone who specializes in family law. I hope to consult with someone on Monday.
I'm so worn out. I just shake all the time, and feel like I'm about to throw up. I can't believe I went from wanting a way to ease the pain of him being with someone else to practically pushing her into his apartment for the summer in two days. Surreal.
By choosing Sarah, he IS turning away from his kids. He knows and they do too. The fact he is willing to go ALL SUMMER without seeing them just so he can live out his fantasy of "playing house" with Sarah will tell them very clearly who is more important to him and they will realize he has betrayed them just as much as he betrayed you.
Definitely document EVERY conversation and interaction you or the girls have with him. By happily giving up ANY visitation with the girls for the entire summer, he has made it that much easier for you to get full custody with only minimal visitations. Family court generally favors custody to the mother anyway (as I learned from personal experience) and your ex is just making it that much easier for the courts to choose in your favor. I don't the age of your girls, but I assume they will be old enough to let their voices be heard as well when it comes to custody.
As for your ex, he obviously cannot think above his waist right now and, in the end, that will just lead to even more problems for him.
In the meantime, you should keep the girls away from Sarah as much as possible and document any incident that does occur between them and Sarah, no matter how trivial or small it may seem.
Prayers and hugs continuing to go out to you as you work through this one day at a time.
I'm glad your girls have you.
Jun 1, 2014
More hugs, Shelly. So glad that you have the girls for the summer. They will recognize that he is putting someone else ahead of them and will respect the way you are dealing with all of this.
Shelly - while I am relieved you are looking out for your girls so wonderfully, don't forget yourself. Could the girls go to camp or grandma's for a few days to give you some time to process? Can you seek out a counselor for yourself?
Not trying to pry, just worried with all of this hitting you out of the blue, you might forget you need taken care of, also.
Yes, Shelly, do take care of yourself or you will be no good to anyone. You need some time to decompress as well. I like the idea of sending the girls to spend a week at Grandma's (or some other family member). You might want to be careful about sending them off to camp. They probably want to be close to people who love them and not surrounded by a bunch of strangers right now, especially if they haven't done overnight camps in the past. A day camp might work though.
Thanks, ladies, for the great advice about caring for myself. My husband told the three of us that one reason he wants the summer off is because he doesn't have time to do anything fun anyway. "I just rush home, make you dinner, make sure you shower and get you into bed, then do it all again the next day! All I get to do is the (finger quotes) work!"
Sounds familiar - except - a parent makes time during the routine parts of the day to connect. What does he think I do with them?
He said to them that he only has time on the weekends, so he would see them every weekend. Then a minute later, he changed it to "about twice a month," and then, "we'll plan it." I'm not so sure he will see them at all - but for their sakes I hope he does plan some time with them.
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