adultery, affair, Betrayal, cheating, children, divorce, ego, ex spouse, family, graduation, hypocrisy, Janice Andrews, marriage breakdown, separatiion, the other woman

What Reality do they Live–Parallel Universe?

Parallel Universe:

To say there was angst amongst our family prior to the grad is an understatement.

My grad daughter wrote a very mature group email to her dad and me simply expressing her wishes for the day and asking about the plans. Instead of responding to her direct questions my ex started to talk about me “suing” him; the “utter crap” I write in my blog; stating that I have “lied to the kids for years to gain favour”; that I have “lied for financial gain at (his) expense”; that “(his) parents are well aware of (my) actions and they have no interest in spending a second with (me)”;  that “you are disgraceful and will never sit at a table with my family again.” There is much, much more but you get the gist of his rant.

On top of this, I went to his place in person to talk to him.  He saw me and knew I was there yet he sent Janice to answer the door.  I asked to speak with Dave and she said, “No!” She shut the door and walked away. I simply left.  I have never gone to his place in 6 years to talk to him about anything.  As soon as I got home my grad daughter texted me asking if I went to Janice’s place to “confront” her.  Firstly, I didn’t know it was Janice’s place and that he moved in with her, neither did my kids. Secondly, confront her about what? Thirdly, my ex and/or Janice texted my child to involve her in something she didn’t need to know. He put our child in the middle yet again.  They told my grad daughter that I only knew he moved in with Janice because I hacked into one of his accounts. Then they texted my younger daughter accusing her of brining me to Janice’s place.  She knew nothing about it so now both my kids are terrified I am dying or something as they would never think I would go there unless it was a matter of life or death. Not only that, Janice Andrews called the police to report an “incident”. They wanted the police to call me to say that I wasn’t welcome at their place.

My kids were losing sleep, crying and extremely stressed over this entire grad fiasco. And yet when it was all over what does my ex write to both my children?  This:

Below was a post I read from a woman I’m a friend with on FB. Couldn’t have been said any better. 

When Mike and I divorced things weren’t pretty, feelings were hurt, on both sides…one thing I knew was in-spite of how we ever treated each other, or how ugly things got between us…I took a vow on the day I got married…”in good times and bad”. The bad had happened we divorced our family unit split up…why should that vow cease to matter in divorce? Ego should never be bigger than the love for our children and what is best for them…we don’t have the right to make them uncomfortable, or choose, or see their other parent painted in a bad light fueled by our hate.  I had an amazing day spent with my ex husband sharing “our” daughters graduation.  Family came together… My ex Father in Law and Mike’s ex Mother in law and we sat after all of us and enjoyed a meal together and family photos…creating more memories for our daughter to take along with her for a lifetime. It was her day..she earned it, worked for it…and that’s why we were there to celebrate her and that our efforts combined as her mother and father helped get her there and not create unnecessary obstacles and emotional long term damage along that journey of her life.  I am fortunate to have married a man that in divorce has been able to also put ego aside and love his daughter first and foremost and be a supportive ex husband and friend. Just because. Marriage ends a family does not…relationships don’t end, they change. Their dynamic changes…and we have to ask ourselves what you want that dynamic to look like and is my ego really more important than my child’s overall well being for a lifetime to come…do I want a life time hating and fighting and never winning battle. No body wins…not him, not me, not the children when you spread hate. Just because an ex may have been a bad wife, or bad husband doesn’t mean they are a bad parent…focus on rebuilding even better and not what was lost.  Thanks Mike for being an amazing dad and friend!”

Janice Andrews responded: “Beautiful” with a heart beside it.

My kids did not respond.

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adultery, Betrayal, cheating, children, divorce, hypocrisy, in-laws, Janice Andrews, parenting after separation, relationships, single parent, the other woman

“You will always be our daughter-in-law”

Oh, the sentimental cliché that was uttered to me by my mother-in-law in the weeks following her realization that her son had in fact been cheating on me with another woman and had walked away from me and our children to pursue a relationship with Janice Andrews.

Fast forward 5 1/2 years and in that time there has been one phone call by my mother-in-law with my father-in-law on the other end and they brought me a birthday gift when they were in town 4 months later to see my daughter dance.  Then…crickets. I reached out once by email to my in-laws, including my brother-in-law, about my ex’s disturbing behavior and my concern but no response. They have been to visit their son at least once/year and never once have they called or wanted to see me. I have seen them in passing at my daughter’s dance recitals during their visit but that was it.  My father-in-law, in particular, especially during his visit this year, was extremely cold.

Two things got me thinking about this phrase. Firstly, I had coffee this morning with a friend of mine in her late 70’s and her husband in his 80’s. I have know their son and daughter-in-law for over 20 years.  Their daughter-in-law had an affair on their son over a year ago and destroyed their marriage. There is no chance of reconciliation. Yet, even though their son was betrayed (and the details and consequences for him as a result of the affair were severe–he lead a church and lost his job) have indicated she will always be their daughter-in-law and they have proven it by continuing to have a close and personal relationship with her. My friend told me, “I forgive her.”

We talked about another couple that we both know, who are my age with 2 girls the same age as my girls. They are part of our little circle of church connections who migrated to Vancouver Island at the same time and who have also recently split.  She told me that my girlfriend told her mother-in-law (we are also friends with her mother and father-in-law) she was so afraid she would lose her in the split.  Her mother-in-law replied, “You will always be my daughter-in-law” and they continue to hike and kayak together even though her mother-in-law has fallen into a deep depression over the split and also as a result of her husband’s recent Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis.

My friend asked me this morning if I had a relationship with my in-laws.  They had met them at our house during one of their visits.  I told her that I did not.  She was sorry.  I didn’t cheat on their son so why did they betray me too? Why is that my friend is still able to embrace the daughter-in-law who has hurt her son and grandchildren and the rest of their family so cruelly and my in-laws don’t care about the mother who is trying so hard to raise their grandchildren despite everything their son has done to tear apart their lives.

Secondly, my ex sent me a bizarre email. This was a comment that he wrote at the end of a long rant about something completely unrelated:

Do you think (my mom’s name) would act or request the things you do? She was selfless and always acted with kindness and regard for others. She always made a point of being inclusive when others were trying to exclude, such as (my brother-in-law’s name). You should try acting and honouring your mother rather than being the antithesis of everything she was and stood for.”

I have no idea why my ex suddenly brought my mom into his email and I was trying to understand why he was feeling excluded.  He is correct that even after my sister and her husband separated my mom invited my brother-in-law to every birthday and special occasion dinner.  It caused tension sometimes, especially for my sister, but we all see now how beneficial it was to everyone in the family in the long run and how amazing my mom was to put her relationship with my sister on the line to do what she felt was right and loving for her grandchildren especially but for the family as a whole because we are all still family. My mom practiced love and would have without a doubt, if she was here, done the same for my ex.  I don’t think, however, he would have had the courage to step into her circle of love. A lot of my family did reach out to my ex after our split but he didn’t answer or return any of their calls.  My girls have asked him to do things with me and them together but he has always refused. I told my ex, I would do things with him and our girls and put everything aside for those moments they needed for their well-being but he would not even try. He excluded himself. If he loved my mom so much as he claims that he did, why isn’t he honouring her by acting the way he says she acted.  He loves to tell me what I “should” do and hold me to some standard while ignoring it himself. It is he who is the “antithesis”.

When I told my ex that I had no understanding of his comments about my mom and his feelings of being excluded in context to his email subject he responded:

“You’re exactly right you don’t understand. My point was that your mother didn’t take sides. She didn’t get caught up in the politics. She didn’t hold grudges. She didn’t try to paint people in a negative light. She looked for ways to try and draw people together despite difficult and challenging life situations. (My brother-in-law’s name) was a perfect example. He didn’t pay a dime of child or spousal support. Your sister didn’t want him around for family functions but your mother would always invite him. Make sure it was about the children and there being able to spend time with their Dad. Despite the fact that she may not have agreed or been happy with (my brother in-law’s name), she never spoke negatively in front of the kids and was trying to make the best of the situation. Completely opposite of what you have chosen to do.”

He praises my mom’s behavior but it is the complete opposite of what he and his family have done.  I have no intention of ever doing anything with Janice Andrews but I have offered on many occasions to do the “family” thing for my girls. Maybe my ex should be sending his praise of my mom’s nature to his parents.  After all, it was his mom that told my daughter this summer, “Your mom will always be our daughter-in-law but your dad is our son.”  In reality her words are backed up by “Your mom will always be our daughter-in-law but we choose to wish the mistress Happy Birthday on Facebook instead.”

 

 

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