Painful but… here goes.

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TeacherShelly, May 18, 2014.

  1. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 20, 2014

    Let yourself greive. This is a death of sorts. Don't be afraid to let your girls see you cry. And... don't be afraid to laugh at something silly. Sending many many hugs and prayers your way!!
     
  2. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    May 21, 2014

    :thumb:

    That's excellent advice Christy. When i came through my own similar storm, I thought I was being strong by holding it all in, but looking back I can see I was busting at the emotional seams.

    You're making the right choice to talk to a counselor and working through your feelings. I know it's hard and scary, but you'll find you are stronger than you think. I won't lie and say it was easy when I worked through my feelings, but i feel stronger and more grounded now.

    Much peace, love and blessings sent to you.
     
  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 21, 2014

    I've posted here before but when the right amount of time has passed for you to start feeling back to our old self, I wish you & your daughters much contentment & many fun times. Start with a bang reinventing life!
     
  4. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 21, 2014

    Runsw/scissors, your friend sounds a little like me. I was different in that I'd go do social things with our friends by myself. He would stay home. I was also hanging on to hope he would change, but he never saw his behavior as a problem. Not until he exploded.
    Christy, you are almost quoting my counselor. She said it is like a death. I guess I can predict the process I'll go through, then. Thanks for your words.

    Ms.I, thank you for your ideas, too. I'm committed to being myself and creating contentment and fun times with my girls right from the start. On the other hand, they will see me cry, and that's good for them, too.

    Tonight I have to go to my daughter's choir concert. I'm so looking forward to it - she got a solo! - but I have to see my husband, sit with him, and be cordial and friendly. I'll do it for my kids.

    ETA: ^^^ That sounds so victim-like - I edit that to say, I'll do it by focusing on the good part! :)
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 21, 2014

    I think you can do this. You are a strong person who stands by her convictions. You can stand with your estranged husband to stand by and for your daughter.
     
  6. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 21, 2014

    Great wording, that really helps, thanks, Cat!

    Stand with (him) to stand by and for (my daughters).
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 21, 2014

    [​IMG]
     
  8. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 21, 2014

    Cat, love it.

    The choir concert was excellent. The kids amaze me with their ability to open their mouths and move me with their music. They surprised the parents with a mashup of Love Train and Put a Little Love in Your Heart. Awwww….

    And Cat'n'fiddle's words were on my mind as I stood with my husband to stand for my girl. It must have been the music, but I felt at peace, like everything was fine. It was almost as if things were back to the old days, but a more nostalgic, sentimental version of those days.

    I guess this was one of those "good days," in the saying, "you'll have good days and bad."
     
  9. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    May 24, 2014

    Shelly, as I read the other posts, I have to say that you are one STRONG woman. You will survive through this difficult time. As one poster said, take the time to grieve, but know that there are good days and times ahead. Don't lose your faith! You are much loved and respected on this forum. We are all here for you!
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    May 25, 2014

    :hugs: Shelly. You are a strong woman, and I am proud of you. Much love and prayers sent your way.
     
  11. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 25, 2014

    Thanks, Chebrutta & Knitter63, your words make me feel better. In many ways, this forum is better for me to vent to because I don't have to worry about running into you in Target or something :) . Anonymous social media is awesome. ASM = awesome.

    I hope everyone knows it's a two-way street. I have the highest respect for the members of this forum, and cherish the online friendships.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 25, 2014

    I'm so sorry you and you're girls are going through this, TeacherShelly. I've been through the same thing, so I understand the pain and betrayal you are experiencing. Keeping a journal or log was one of the best things I did during the first couple of years of the divorce. Not only did it give me an outlet for venting my personal feelings, it also gave me documentation of her actions (minus the personal narrative) for my lawyer to use. And you do need to retain a good lawyer for advice on how to proceed from here regarding custody, child support, etc.

    As for the co-parenting concept? I'm not a believer or a fan of it. I have to admit I was outraged the first time my ex (who was the one cheating on the marriage) told me I was NOT "invited" to my own son's birthday party. :eek: I thought "How DARE she deny my son, as well as me, that experience" :mad: But I just had a party of my own for him at my house and that's what I've done for the boys ever since.

    On the rare occasions when she did attend one of boys' events, I did NOT sit with her or near her. We may have a connection with the children, but we do NOT have a connection with each other anymore.

    As for Match.com and the other sites, I agree you don't need that right now. The last thing you need is a rebound relationship. As for all those "exciting activities and exotic locations" all the other women brag about, I personally found those to be a big turn-off. To me it sounded like they were saying "I like to travel to lots of places and I want to find a man to PAY for the trip". That may be completely wrong, of course, but that is how it came across to me. Personally, I would MUCH rather find a woman that was interested in crocheting and would be especially excited to find a woman who is an avid reader. Maybe we could explore new books together.

    As for your ex being the "fun father", don't worry about that. It might last for awhile, but the fact he would rather spend time with biker Sarah than come to their birthday party will show his true character to them..and all the "fun stuff" in the world won't erase that. In the meantime, you can also be the "fun mom" as well as the mature mom. You have the weekends together and will soon have the summer to plan "fun activities" of your own to do with the girls.

    I've developed a love for walking and hiking, so this summer, I'm planning a series of day trips with my boys to different hiking trails with scenic waterfalls and rivers to enjoy. In the meantime, we go to see movies almost every time they come to my house. Maybe you could find some books for you and your girls to read together or have a "girls night out" with them.

    Just know that, as painful as this experience is, it WILL make you a stronger person as you go through it. It will also make you a strong model for your girls to follow as they grow into young women themselves. You are showing them the value in setting limits on how someone is allowed to treat you and they will be stronger women themselves by having your example to follow.
     
  13. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 25, 2014

    Ah, more tears. Reading your words, Cerek, make me feel understood and in for more bad times. Just now, for example, I had both girls swimming at our townhouse pool and he asked if he could run errands while we swam. Sure! Then four hours later when the swimming was finished, he doesn't answer his texts because he is "working on the motorcycle." I assume it's his motorcycle ("the" not "her" again) (which by the way I purchased for him, a Ducati, for his 40th birthday, but I digress), but no, he's been at Sarah's the whole time. Ugh.

    He also left our daughter at his apartment to go work on the motorcycle, as he calls it, while she was having her week with him. Well, so long fun father!

    I called our counselor and she agreed he was being disrespectful of the girls by having this new person in his life so soon. I told him I know I can't control what he does, but would he please think of the kids and not put this person into their life so soon. He thought "not introducing" a new person meant literally bringing her to his apartment and saying, "Sarah, this is my daughter; daughter, this is Sarah." You have to be so literal with some people. No, don't put the idea in their minds that mom and dad are divorcing and immediately there is someone new for dad. Geez.

    I realize I'm jealous and am doing my best to remain focused on the kids and what's best for them. Just between us, though, I am so mad he has another person in his life already. Just so hurt and mad.
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    May 25, 2014

    It's hard to watch our exes move on-- it can be brutal! But Cerek is right about everything he said. Your daughter is learning through you the kind of woman she should be when someone she loves hurts her. Your actions will guide her in her relationships with men for years to come, much more so than her father's. Show her, then, what it looks like to get through something like this with grace, dignity and self respect.

    As for this other woman, the harlot, if she's willing to be with a man who will put her above his children, well then you know she has no character or moral fiber. So don't be jealous, be grateful that the selfish brute is with someone just as shallow as he is instead of continuing to hurt you. Relationships like theirs don't last long, and even if they do, who wants to be partnered with someone like that?

    You're going to take your time to grieve and heal. You're going to be the most constant support your children have, and they are going to be so thankful for it when they're older and can see things through adult eyes (probably even sooner). You're going to get yourself healthy, your kids well adjusted, and then, the person you deserve will come into your life. But be patient. He needs you to take care of you and your children so that he can be your companion, not your savior. He will come when it is time.
     
  15. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 25, 2014

    Bandnerd is absolutely right. You are showing your girls how to handle incredible deceit, pain and unfairness with strength, class and dignity. Your girls will see your true character through this. Sadly, they are also seeing their dad's true character as well. His actions are showing them that his own pleasures are more important to him than theirs. They are seeing it first-hand, and that knowledge will stay with them a lot longer than Sarah will stay with dad.

    I have ZERO respect for a parent (dad or mom either one) that do not put the needs and wants of their children first. I don't want to make this about "me", by any means, but I hope some of my own experiences will help you endure what you are going through.

    My ex was cheating on our marriage (more than once, as I learned) and she wasted no time having he boyfriend (who was also married) over to the house, even when the boys were there. On the other hand, in the 8 years since the divorce, I've never had a single date when it was my turn with the boys. In fact, even though they know I have had dates, they have no idea who any of the dates were with.

    As for Biker Sarah, it's a toss-up as to who will get tired of the relationship first. Now that you and he are officially "over" (according to him), it won't be too long before Sarah gets tired of just being a boot y-axis and will start wanting a little more bonding and commitment from him. That's when he will start looking for someone else or she will get fed up and look for something else herself.

    Shortly before we split, my ex said she was tired of me only giving her attention when I wanted sex (which wasn't true, but she claimed it was). Meanwhile, she's begun a side relationship where that IS all he was interested in. She was convinced he would leave his wife for her. I have to admit I felt some sadistic glee when he found a new boot y-axis and dumped her like yesterday's news. Same thing will happen with Sarah, one way or the other.

    My ex also accused me of just doing "fun things" with the boys during the custody hearing. But when my lawyer asked "Well, what fun things do you do with the boys?", she couldn't list a single thing. That's because she has NEVER done anything with the boys. I even told her about a year before we split that she needed to be more involved and do things with them. I told her "If you don't do things with them now, they won't have anything to do with you when they're grown...and then it will be too late for you to change it." And that is exactly what's happening. Every time they leave my house, they don't want to go and can't wait to come back.

    So do as much as you can with the girls. They will remember every moment. They will also remember that dad was too "busy" to spend time with them. So when they're grown with kids of their own and he wants to see them, he shouldn't be surprised when they tell him they're too busy to see him, but maybe he could call Sarah to see if she still needs help with her "bike".
     
  16. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 29, 2014

    This forum is so wonderfully supportive. Here I am again. All day I've been shaky and crying half the time. It's the last day of school and I've probably cried five times so far. Now I'm shaking, crying, and feel like I'm going to throw up, but there's a party to go to. People are retiring and it's the end of the year and I should be happy and going to the party. I genuinely want the support of friends and coworkers, and isolating myself is not good for me, but I am seriously sunk here.

    I found out yesterday that after knowing her for 16 days, my husband and Sarah are "intimate." Geez. He's really moved on, and it hurts. It's an ache like if you were stabbed in the stomach with a stick and it was still there. You can't pull it out or you might die, but it is killing you being in, too.

    On the bright side, I am surrounded by people who care and love me. That will make all the difference over time. That's the thing, though, time is so slow. I feel like it is going by so slowly that I experience every second excruciatingly slowly.

    My husband and I are going to talk tomorrow about a lot of things related to the divorce. I just have to get through that talk without breaking down and wanting him back. My brain knows what to do - let it go, leave, move on; but there is something weird in me that wants to just put the pieces back together and fix it, mend it, tend it, put the world back in order. I know I can't do that, but it is a really strong feeling. Does anyone understand wanting someone back when you know better? Ugh.
     
  17. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    May 29, 2014

    :hugs: I totally understand how you feel, Shelly, and it's normal to feel that way. Just remember that you deserve better. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. :hugs::hugs::hugs:
     
  18. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 29, 2014

    It's only natural to feel that desire to want someone back when they've been you're partner in life for such a long time, but you do absolutely deserve better!!!!!!

    Even if you did get back together, you could never completely trust him again. Once that trust has been betrayed, it is almost impossible for it can never be fully restored. There will always be a small, nagging doubt in the back of your mind. Any time he had to run an unusual errand or came home later than normal, you would have to wonder if he was with Sarah or someone else.

    It IS very hard to be lonely and alone sometimes, but it is far worse to be with someone and still be lonely because they don't give you the attention and devotion you deserve. You do deserve better than that. :hugs:
     
  19. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 29, 2014

    Bandnerdtx & Cerek, thank you for saying it's normal. I think I figured out what is causing me to feel like I want to sweep up the pieces and put them back together: fear of the unknown. It is scary to go it alone into an unknown territory. Of course I would like to go back to a simpler time, but not only was it never really simple, there is no way I want to go back at all. I only want to go forward.
     
  20. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    May 29, 2014

    Shelly, I feel your pain ......... sent you a PM ..... :hugs::hugs:
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    May 30, 2014

    MUCH love and strength to you today as you have an awful conversation, but one you need to have.
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    May 30, 2014

    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 :hugs:
     
  23. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    May 30, 2014

    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.
     
  24. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    May 30, 2014

    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!
     
  25. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    May 30, 2014

    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!
     
  26. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    May 30, 2014

    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.
     
  27. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    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.
     
  28. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    May 31, 2014

    Document, document.

    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!
     
  29. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 31, 2014

    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.
     
  30. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 31, 2014

    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.
    :hugs:
     
  31. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    May 31, 2014

    Hugs Shelly.

    I'm glad your girls have you.
     
  32. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    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.
     
  33. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 1, 2014

    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.
     
  34. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    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.
     
  35. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    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.
     
  36. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2014

    Shelly - you seem to have a lot of information about "Sarah," and of course I am not asking for details of why, but just generally thinking if you know she doesn't like/want kids around then the girls will definitely pick up on it. I think the fact that the ex knows and STILL wants to live with her is sad and I agree with everyone else on that, your daughters will figure it out if they haven't already.

    I also think you should take a week for yourself as soon as you can. You have had to be the only adult and parent in this whole situation. You have been taking care of your daughters and making them feel safe/stable. Now that you have a little more room to breathe, I think it could be helpful.
     
  37. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Jun 1, 2014

    Someone mentioned keeping a journal. A journal is an excellent tool for getting out your frustrations, anger, thoughts, fears, and hopes. In about 6 months when you retread it you will see just how much you have grown and changed. In a year you will be blown away with how far you have come.
    Please keep it in a safe place where your children cannot find it and read it.
     
  38. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 1, 2014

    Teachinnola, he tells me a lot. I also ask questions, because not knowing makes me more uncomfortable than knowing ugly truths, I guess. He told me about her not liking kids because he didn't want me, "to write stories in my head" about what's going on. No one is trying to take my place.

    Loveslabs, I just figured out your name! You love labradors. Hah!
    I am keeping a journal, and that is great advice. I cringe that it might be a YEAR til I see changes, but I know what you're getting at. A year is not really that long to make peace with such a big change.
     
  39. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 1, 2014

    Shelly, I've been reading, but not posting, but there's a few things I wanted to add. Some of this might seem over the top, but everything I'm about to say is based on something that's happened to somebody I know, or myself.

    So, here goes. Go down to the courthouse first thing in the morning. Take the day off work if you're not out of school yet. File for emergency sole custody. Use the events of yesterday for cause. Here's why you SHOULD NOT DELAY...

    Right now, with no legal custody order in place, he can take off with those kids and prevent you from seeing them, and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO. The police won't help because they're his kids too. While you might be thinking to yourself that this sort of thing can't happen, his behavior has been surprising and erratic so far, so you can't guarantee anything right now.

    Cut off all unsupervised visitation. Your girls are scared of him right now. That's a more than good enough reason to do so. The same laws that would allow him to take the girls and prevent access to you give you the same rights. Use them.

    Whatever you do DO NOT LEAVE THE STATE. If you want to be really safe, don't leave the county. Crossing state lines can lead to parental abduction charges.

    Go to great lengths to be open and above board in your social life. See your friends in public. Don't go out alone with a male, even if he's just a friend. It kinda sucks, but if he decides to push an ugly divorce, the less you give him to twist, the better.

    Lastly, shut down the information train. Speak only through your lawyers. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a custody battle. Given his actions thus far, it's not a very far stretch to think he could use the girls as pawns. If you don't give him any ammunition, he's got less to work with, and he's likely to flounder if he tries.

    I really hope these sorts of precautions wind up being unnecessary, but I've seen far to many divorces turn seriously ugly.
     
  40. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jun 1, 2014

    I'll second the idea of trying to get sole custody, immediately. At this point, it is best for all involved... you, your children, AND your ex... that his contact with the children be kept to an absolute bare minimum.
     

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