Careful what you wish for (Part 2)

So…you may be wondering…how did church go on Sunday…

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I showed up first and sat down.  He and the kids arrived a short time later and didn’t see me there until they had sat in the row in front of me and I tapped my son on the shoulder.  My ex saw me and politely asked me to come up and sit with them, which I did.  Each of us flanking the kids on either side.

I felt awkward.  Who sits with their ex in church?

Or maybe, who sits with their ADULTEROUS ex in church?

Two years after the split…

While he is still seriously “dating” her after the divorce is final…

I played nice.  I was polite in acknowledging him, as I always do!  We sang the songs, listened to the sermon, played all our “good divorced parents” parts.  All the while something between our end caps was brewing… The sermon was typical and luckily didn’t address the topic of adultery or marriage – unlike other times I have had to share space with him in church closer to the time of the split.  However, the pastor did use an analogy to explain “rule following” and why it was important – which included how he kisses the women in his life…”I don’t kiss other women (parents, sister, daughter, etc.) like I do my wife because there are certain rules governing those relationships.  If I kissed another woman like I kiss my wife, that relationship would be broken.” yada, yada, yada…

Ouch.

I felt it.

The slap of reality a bit too close to home.

My soon to be teenaged daughter who is having the most trouble with her dad’s relationship with the paramour felt it even stronger.  I could tell by the lower her head began to hang the farther into the sermon we got.  By the end of the service, she was visibly broken.  Her brother reached out to her to hug her and that was all it took for the flood gates to swing WIDE open…the tears.  The uncontrollable sobs.  The drippy nose.  My ex stood there dumbfounded.  He had absolutely no idea what to do.  She wouldn’t even acknowledge him and he didn’t know how to reach out.  I truly felt for him in some regards, but I’m sorry, I feel more for my daughter.  She is the one whose feelings are the mort important here.  She is a child.  She didn’t ask for any of this.  She shouldn’t have to feel the slap of her father’s change in life status in her sanctuary…with HIM standing right there…the source of all her pain.

Honestly, I don’t think it is a bad idea for him to be going to church with the kids.  But I think he should have started making it a priority back when the initial split occurred.  If they were already used to going with him, this wouldn’t be new and uncomfortable.  If he had put THEIR interests before his own, he would have found a church for them to ALL go to when he lived farther away, then it wouldn’t be him invading their “typically” mom activity, it would be them being able to do what they normally do already, just at “home” now since he lives here.

I don’t even know how to best handle this situation.  He has asked my “opinion” if he should take them again.  Truly, I don’t know.  Of course when I said as much, he was offended that I didn’t give him a straight answer.  I assume it is because he wants to be able to blame me…”see, your mom told me to ____ , it’s not my fault” when it doesn’t work out the way he hopes (whether I say yes or no to taking them) and because he doesn’t like making the hard decisions.  Which is why they were always historically my responsibility anyway.

When I asked the other two if they were okay with Dad being at church, they were both nonchalant about it and said they didn’t care.  When I asked my daughter, she just glared at me with no answer.  I’ll take that as a no.

So now what to do with this…I don’t think my daughter should have to feel uncomfortable, yet I also think that it would be a good idea for him to make this effort for the other two.

I think I liked it better when he wasn’t a part of MY community and he came and left on his scheduled times and I could carry on…

About Making Sense from MY Perspective

I have a problem...I see myself through the eyes of my ex...and his glasses are not really the most flattering. I really need to get my own glasses...so this is MY Perspective.
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