Last week was wonderful with Al and my kids. We mixed his kids in several times and that also went well. My kids loved his daughter, who is exactly one year older than The Boy and we celebrated both of their birthdays over the week. She went with us to a huge amusement park and they spent a long day together. The kids mixed really well together and sang and chatted all the way up and back in the car. Al and I sat together in the front and smiled to each other listening to them. That part was awesome. The only glitch was his daughter’s anxiety about where to drop her because “Mom doesn’t want dad to know where the new apartment is,” so, she was trying to get me to drop her at an intersection at 11 pm. and let her walk home. NO. I refused. We took her into the apartment compound, drove away, and she walked in to one of the apartments, with us having no idea which one. Healthy right? It isn’t as though he is a stalker or doesn’t pay child support. He is currently paying $1500 for one minor child. IKR?
His ex is crazy as shit. It is inexcusable that she would rather her 16 year old daughter walk home in the dark, in a city, than her dad know her address. BULLSHIT.
(She is a bad mother. Apparently she has never read one article about parenting after divorce and how you DO NOT put your kids in the middle because she does it constantly. )
Sentenced to Bad Mother Jail.
Also awesome was the night we took my 3, his daughter, and his son (who is well known to me now because he goes to college near me and I have transported him several times) and even his son’s girlfriend to dinner. That went swimmingly, happy smiles all around.
I was so happy I didn’t even get upset when Al accidentally called me his ex-wife’s name at dinner that night. He was mortified, totally mortified. His daughter told me over the table that he should be mortified, because I was nothing like her, she said, “You’re nice.”
See? It appears none of them like her.
So, if you have been keeping up with the math, that makes 5/6 kids that have intermingled happily.
His oldest, not so much.
At 22, she continues to be angry about his divorce. She refuses to meet me or acknowledge me and tells him she will never be okay with him dating. He was very close to her while she was growing up and waited to leave her mother until she graduated from HS. I think that she feels like he left her. Although that was precisely what he was trying not to do. It is just odd. So, their agreement has been that they don’t discuss his dating life at all. Therefore, she didn’t realize we were coming for the week. When she heard about it from her siblings, who were spending time with us, she felt like it was behind her back. We were at a ball game and he got a call from her crying because she found out we were in town.
Well, that made me feel like shit.
Also, it made me feel vulnerable and protective of my 3 kids who were just minding their own business on vaca with no knowledge of this person who wishes we didn’t exist.
Needless to say, Al and I had a big fight when we got back to his apartment. We were speaking and hissing under our breath in his small kitchen so that my kids didn’t hear. I feel like he has taken this whole idea of ‘not talking about his romantic life’ with her waaaay past the point of reason. She needs to have the information and deal with it. I could understand why she felt blindsided by the fact that we were there; she was. I think this whole thing should have been nipped in the bud a year ago. So, there were harsh words in the kitchen, I wanted him to say he would be direct with her about our relationship and where it was going, and he kept telling me how he was just honoring her wishes by not discussing it.
There was finger pointing like this.
Finally, we walked away. Me to the shower and him to the sofa. When I got out of the shower, he had the light out and was asleep. I went in there to get my phone charger, no signs of life, so I went and got in bed with Merlot. I was very upset. For the first time since our romance started, we went to bed without saying goodnight and I was only 20 feet away.
That, my friends, is bullshit.
As we say in the South, that pig don’t fly.
By this point my kids were asleep. I had no idea what to do. Going to sleep mad is a no go for me. BOINK. NO. I’m divorced, I’ve already been through a bad relationship (or 10) and I am not doing that again. Going to bed mad just means you wake up mad and even more resentful and I’m not doing it. Nope not signing up for that. I am not establishing patterns like that in a new relationship, no, not going to do it.
So, I got up early and got in the shower. I had decided that we could just be friends and I was going to go about my vaca with the kids. When I got out, he knocked on the door and asked if I would come out. He apologized profusely for going to bed on me, stated he just felt attacked by his daughter, and then me, and he ‘shut down.’ Okay, whatever, don’t do it again, ‘cuz I’m not playin. I was much more upset about the ‘process’ of the argument than the content by that point. Stanley abandoned me emotionally (even physically) constantly. I can’t handle it.
In my clinical practice, we talk about Family of Origin issues constantly. They are learned patterns of communication and behaviors that are so ingrained in you they are hard to break. Instead of Family of Origin issues, we have Relationship of Origin issues. In his 20 years of marriage, they hung up on each other, went to bed mad, etc.
No, Nope, Nope. I don’t care how good a lovah you are,
I’m not participating in that.
So, we made up, but were both slightly tender. We had a really good few days after that, he didn’t hear from his daughter again at all, and made the decision to sit on it until we were gone and then have a real honest discussion with her. All good, right? On our last day, we spent a relaxing day visiting a little village on the shore, taking a boat excursion and eating seafood. It was awesome after the amusement park, quiet and peaceful. We held hands and walked around, enjoying the kids, heaven.
Until his ex started ringing the phone off the hook. Now, again, bitch knew we were there. They were texting back and forth some throughout the day about the house closing next week. The marital home will be sold on July 7. Then she decided she needed to talk to him about money and tried to call. We were driving back to the apartment, it was 8 p.m. and there were 5 people in the car, 3 of them kids. He didn’t answer and sent a text that he couldn’t talk but would call her in the morning from work. She tried again, he didn’t answer. Then his daughter that likes us texted, ‘please call mom’. I pulled into the apartment, the kids went inside, his phone rang again, daughter #1.
“Can you not even be bothered to call the mother of your own 3 children back?!! She has been trying to reach you for a week!”
He was livid. He had been in communication with her the whole day about the move, and she had, again, involved the kids in trying to reach him, lied to them, making them upset with him.
He was very upset, told daughter #1 to get a grip, that he had been in communication with her mother nearly daily about the closing, and she hung up on him. That went well. Then ex-wife called and he answered. It was ugly and short. I think they hung up on each other. She said he left her ‘no choice’ but to use the kids. That chick is mental. The kids know it. Even daughter #1 knows it and has a very unstable relationship with her. When his daughter #2 said to me in a restaurant that him calling me by her name was “an insult because you’re nice,” well that speaks volumes.
The more I read here at Divorced Moms, the more I realize how fortunate I am to be co-parenting with Stanley. I don’t have to co-parent with a crazy person like so many here or like Al does. My relationship of origin issues are because of stupidity and avoidance, not pathology.
After witnessing that level of crazy last week, I see that Al has a lot of work to do before we can go forward. He has to make peace with his daughter. He goes weeks at home without hearing from his ex, she seems to save it for when he is with me. He has to set some limits there.
Or I can do it but it will leave a mark.