Last week I was presented with several challenges regarding my ex…
He started the week with this text “Good morning and Happy Sunday! Yes I am meaning to send this to you…” – is there another way to take this BESIDES a backhanded remark? I don’t endeavor to have that kind of relationship with him where we are sarcastic and joking with one another. Though I am a faithful sarcasm user…just trying really HARD to keep things superficial and emotionless.
Then my son was restricted from electronics for his suffering grades…my ex found him breaking that restriction while at his house, and he put a punishment in place (this was a complete surprise to me as he normally overlooks punishments I have placed – all the while saying he is “behind me 100%” at least when it’s convenient for him) – to read a book (biography on Theodore Roosevelt) and write a response. I had him finish his homework while with me for the first half of break, so his dad could see fit to effectuate the consequence he put in place during his time with our son. We’ll see if he follows through. That was always his downfall. (I actually think the consequence is decent enough)
Then he attended a field trip with my youngest (one I REALLY had been looking forward to attending, but my ex decided he wanted to go, soooo…)…which he sent me random joking texts while attending. I guess there isn’t the same background with the paramour so he couldn’t have sent the messages to her?
…so I received his jests…and he expects me to respond as though I don’t loathe him?
The same day he sent balloons to my other daughter’s school for her birthday. Without realizing his folly of getting them on the bus to bring home…he asked me to save the day.
I sent a bouquet of balloons to _____ to school today without realizing that she could not take them on the bus. THE SCHOOL closes at 4. Is there anyway u could pick them up before the school closes? I’m guessing no.
(my school dismisses at 3:50) and then…
She is going to be really upset. Any ideas to save me from this blunder is appreciated.
At first I ignored the texts…it’s not my job to rescue him…right? Then I got an email from her teacher. She would be happy to drop them off to me at the end of the day. I thanked her profusely. I let my ex know. Then the teacher informed me that my daughter had made the executive decision to just cut the balloons off and leave them, that her dog was deathly afraid of balloons anyway…
I forwarded the message to my ex…his response to me…
Could u please email back and NOT let ___ cut the balloons. I can save at my house. They cost a lot of money.
WHY IS THIS MY PROBLEM???
Ultimately he found another savior in a parent he was on the field trip with who also had a child in the middle school our daughter attended…a relative of theirs dropped the balloons off at my school so they could be retrieved.
My daughter’s response to the gesture…”he sent me a bouquet of balloons at school! It was embarrassing…and not in a good way.”
My daughter is a bit angry at her dad. She, of the three, is having the most trouble with everything. She has openly said she hates him. She even said once when my youngest pointed out that she “used to like Daddy a lot” – “things change”. She is thirteen now. She is battling hormones and the betrayal of her father leaving her (in her eyes)…and taking up with another family. While she doesn’t know how long the paramour has been in the picture, she also realizes that something isn’t quite right about their relationship and the timeline he asserts, or rather fails to assert. Not to mention, the two little ‘annoying’ girls (ages 4 and 7) that come with the new relationship package that has been thrust upon her and her siblings.
Top that off with her own self image issues!! My daughter is BEAUTIFUL…and I’m not just saying that because she’s mine…she has gorgeous long golden/strawberry blond hair and amazing golden hazel eyes. Unfortunately she was also gifted with a big frame. While she swims and is in excellent health, she also has broad shoulders. While all around her there are stick thin, petite young things, she is a tall, thick beauty. She laments her lack of skinny all too often. We work through these issues together on a daily basis. Many days, she is happy enough with the strengths and positive qualities she DOES represent. She even worked through finding a great swimsuit this week that makes her look great and she is comfortable in! (though she felt she needed to do bikini because that was “what everyone else wears” – I was able to direct her to a cute little tankini that she is fabulous in! 🙂 )
So now enter my ex. She hates him openly. She is down and depressed sometimes about her self-image (as most teenaged girls tend to be). He has decided that she needs to see a counselor. He is going to FORCE her to go. And while I can’t say that I think she needs it, as she is open and honest in dealing with things regularly with me, I can’t truly say ANYTHING because then I’m not open to “helping my daughter”…or providing her with “what is in her best interest”.
I don’t want my daughter to feel that she is somehow broken. That she needs fixing. And I realize that is not the position of the counselor, I believe that is the position of my ex. He wants her to behave differently toward him…to accept his overtures of atonement (aka buying her stuff she wants and laying on the loving comments). He is projecting on our daughter the belief he held about me throughout our marriage…
- after an empty compliment “why can’t you just say thank you?”
- after doing some random act that wasn’t solicited, even though about 20 others HAD been solicited “why can’t you just appreciate what I AM doing?”
- after purchasing a gift that didn’t fit my personality “why aren’t you more excited about what I did for you?”
But I am going along. She will see this counselor. And I hope that she, in some way, DOES help my daughter…
My son and I had a heart wrenching conversation about my ex this week as well.
While he is the most accepting of the three, he is also a boy and laid back. Getting in touch with his “feelings” isn’t always a comfortable place to go, so I think he just “goes with the flow” to ignore. I don’t allow that to be the case all the time. I challenge him to discuss his feelings and try to allow open space to voice them in a safe environment. During these times, I have heard that he sometimes thinks I am a bully, and I have also heard that he is coming to realize that what I do is sometimes in an effort to build him up to be a better man.
This particular conversation with my son revealed some feelings he is holding on to about my ex…that he doesn’t feel that they (he and his siblings) come first (his work does) and that he doesn’t respect his father. This assertion came with tears he quickly quelled and an end of the conversation in that direction. Before the end, he was open to say that he resents that his dad asserts that their time with him is of utmost importance and they are not allowed to do other things in place of HIS time (ie. see friends, attend events, choose to not go), yet he is constantly cancelling due to “work responsibilities” so my son sees it as he is required to respect his time, yet he doesn’t respect the time in return. Hypocrite in his eyes.
My children are so amazing. I hate that they have to deal with these issues…
…I struggle daily to help them realize the truth of life and deal with what it has presented them with…the good and the bad.
…and I will continue to the best of my abilities.
“I am my kids’ mom”