adultery, affair, cheating, children, dance, divorce, ex spouse, father/daughter, parenting after separation, separatiion, single parent

Fifteen–The age to stop showing your child you care

My 15-year old daughter has a week of open house at her dance studio where we can go in and watch her classes.  The warm up,  the technical exercises, the teaching method, the relationship between the dancers and the dancers and teacher gives you an appreciation of the work ethic, attitude, skill and effort it takes to put a dance together.

The Company group that she is involved with holds a fundraiser at this time; the dance studio provides coffee, tea and treats; and they take up a collection for coats and food for the local food bank.  It is a great way to build community and to get to know my daughter’s friends, the parents of the friends that she spends the majority of her time with every week and her teachers.

I went to every one of her open house classes. I took photos and video. I contributed to the treats, volunteered to clean up one night and set up the coffee room another day.  I helped sell popcorn for the fundraiser.

I know my ex gets the emails and information about the events at the studio and he has attended at least one of her classes during open house in the past.  There is only one more day left this dance season for my ex to see our daughter in class. I asked her if he was going to attend. Her response was a look and, “What do you think?”  She continued, “He said he didn’t understand why parents of kids my age would go to open houses especially when they will see the dance 5000 times.”

I have not been the only parent attending her classes. After she told me what her dad said I counted at the next class–9 dancers (2 were absent at a school Xmas band concert), 10 people watching both dads and moms and one sibling. Regarding the 2 kids missing–I sat beside the dad and mom of one dancer the previous night so I am sure they would have been there if she was dancing.  The other dancer at the Xmas concert had a mom who was so sick. The mom texted me that she couldn’t go to the band concert (her dad was going) because she would be coughing all the way through it and she didn’t want to ruin the performance for everyone. She texted that she definitely shouldn’t be a the studio either but her other daughter wanted her to see her dance (especially since her dad was going to be at the concert) so she was going to pop in for a bit.  I watched parents split up and take turns dividing their time in each class when they had more than one child dancing.

There is another group of dancers my daughter’s age that run parallel classes. Their ballet and jazz classes are too big so they created 2 separate classes.  Others take classes that my daughter dropped–Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.  I saw parents of those 15-year olds going into their classes as well.

I  know parents have commitments and may not be able to make it but there was a lot of support for 15-year old children.   It is nice to know that the majority seem to believe there is no age limit to your children benefiting from feeling like their parents love and support them and care about what they are doing.

My ex will not get to see our daughter dance any of the dances she is learning in these classes until March. The open house isn’t about watching the dance. They spent the last 2 minutes showing us the dance they are working on but those aren’t even completed yet. In her ballet class they performed a Xmas Nutcracker dance they worked on specifically for the open house.

Anything can happen. Living in the now is all we have.  It is just more insight into my ex’s thinking–“I will support you in 3 months time but not right now. Maybe if you were younger you would get my time now.”  Although history proved that wasn’t reality either.

 

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abuse, affair, Betrayal, bullying, cheating, children, cruelty, difficult personality, divorce, domestic abuse, ex spouse, infidelity, other woman, parenting, single parent, unfaithfulness, verbal abuse

Ask and You shall Receive…an Insult

I asked my ex tonight if he was able to pick our daughter up from the ferry on Sunday, October 2 at 5:30 p.m.  He responded, “Sure”.  I was surprised not only that he responded to my request but that he responded so positively and so quickly.

Just when I started to text a thank you back I immediately received another response from him that is much more typical, “Oh no wait I’m away I cant”. Then he sent another saying, “That’s your weekend I believe”.  He knew all along he wouldn’t do it but thought he would play with me by saying ‘yes’ to start.

I responded, “Okay. Thank you for considering.”

His response: “Well thnka s for offering”.  (yes that is how it was received, same with the last text spelling.)

I mentioned however how the month of September has been going for seeing his children:  “I didn’t know we had weekends.  You didn’t see (daughter’s name) when it was “your” weekend and then you didn’t see her the next weekend to make up for it.  We just figure it is always my weekend unless you make plans to see her.”  It has actually been 3 weekends in a row he hasn’t seen our daughter.

His response:  “Whatevs tubs. Go eat some cheese cake and chocolate cookies.”

I didn’t respond and had no interest in communicating further.

His next text: I have plans…as usual you’re last minute Larry…if you asked sooner might have been able to do something for you.”

I had to point out: “Last minute?  It isn’t this Sunday it is next Sunday.  That is 10 days from now. Does that mean you will be having (daughter) this weekend?

His response:  “I’m not wasting my time conversing with you…good night and eat another piece of cake darling”

 

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abuse of power, adultery, affair, cheating, child support, children, divorce, Janice Andrews, other woman, separation, single parent

Meddling Other Woman Money Motivation

My older daughter returned from university at the end of April.

She lived with me for the summer last year and each time she returned from university she only stayed with me.  She decided that upon her return from university she would live with me for the 4 months she is home for the summer.

The other woman decided to discuss this with my daughter.  She tried to encourage her to live with her dad.  She said, “Your mom doesn’t even have a separate bedroom for you to stay in does she?”

My daughter was feeling very stressed by the other woman initiating this conversation with her.  I have no idea why she would get involved or even care.  When my daughter did live with my ex, she was left alone most of the time while my ex worked and then went to the other woman’s place afterwards.  Whenever I would drop her off there, no matter how late at night, his vehicle was never in the driveway and she always seemed to come home to an empty place. He would sleep at the other woman’s place and my daughter was by herself.

I suspect it is a money motivation.  I currently pay my ex child support for my older daughter as she lived with him for one school year following our separation.  As my ex has to pay more per child than I do based on his higher income level, he simply reduces his child support payment to me for our younger daughter by the amount that I owe him for our older daughter.

Now that it is obviously clear that both children are living with me full time, my ex is refusing to change the child support amount.  He initially tried to argue with me that our older daughter still hadn’t decided where she was going to live and she was just “visiting” me so she could see her pets and sister.  It has now been 1 month and she hasn’t stayed at her dad’s place once.  He argued that her resume had his address listed.  When she updated her resume, however, she listed my address and applied for jobs closer to my home. She obtained a full-time job and I am the one who drives her to work or gives her bus fare and I am the one who makes her breakfast before she goes to work, packs her a lunch and picks her up after work.

My ex said that if she does decide to stay with me he’s not saying he won’t pay support for her but it hasn’t happened yet.

He is now arguing that I don’t pay him support for our older daughter. This is his latest email to me on this topic:

” (Older daughter’s name) has not stayed with you full time since July 2015. (Older daughter’s name) primary residence has and remains as my place. Even her resume shows my address. Her mail is delivered to my address. Her belongings are at my place.

I’m not sure where you get the idea you pay support? You don’t pay anything. If so provide me with a copy of payments made to me? If you think that I don’t pay you any support for (older daughter’s name) is somehow you paying me, then you need to seriously rethink how you view things. And if you think you’ve paid for anything of (older daughter’s name) over the last two years other than a passport, again you’re seriously mistaken. I’m the one that she comes to and says Mom says it’s your responsibility to pay for things. You have a very strange way of viewing things at times.

I’m not continuing this dialogue with you. My lawyer has everything and it is up to the lawyers to communicate. If that hasn’t been done, then please have your lawyer follow up with (his lawyer’s name).”

We go back to court in June.  This is just another dispute to add to the list.

I did send the other woman an email to the work email address listed to contact her on her employment website telling her to mind her own business and to not interfere in trying to persuade my daughter where to live to suit her own agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, children, Christianity, divorce, God, infidelity, moving on, other woman, separatiion, single parent, unfaithfulness

Waiting

I feel like my life is on hold.

I have a cancer diagnosis hanging over my head.  My stitches were removed yesterday but the pathology report remains outstanding.  My doctor is watching for the results and promised to call me directly.

Even though the stitches are out the area will take a year to heal.  The doctor explained that there is a lot of repairing still to take place inside. The outside skin is very weak and the wound can reopen so there are still limitations in what I am able to do with my arm.

I usually start my run clinic at this time of year preparing for races.  This is the first time in 6 years I haven’t joined Sole Sisters.  When Dave and I initially separated he said he would pick up our daughter on Tuesday nights so I could continue to run with my group.  That was only because it worked for his schedule.  Now that it doesn’t, I am picking up my daughter from dance on clinic night.   I was going to join a different group on a different day or try training on my own or with a friend who used to coach running but with my 2 surgeries and diagnosis it seemed like a waste of money until I know if I will have to have further testing and treatment.

My ex is still fighting me on so many issues.  We are waiting for his compliance on the court orders before returning to court on outstanding issues and new ones. He did pay me the support arrears and court cost amount but he has several other orders with actions to complete and information to provide. As usual, the information he did provide is incomplete or insufficient so my lawyer has had to write to his lawyer again making further requests.

I am only staying in Victoria at this time because of my children.  I have tried for the last 3 years, in the midst of the destruction of our family and finances, to do what I could to keep the daily lives of my children stable. I don’t want to take our younger daughter away from her dad, her friends or her dance studio but we have talked about moving.  She said she would move if we could go to Florida.  I asked why and she said it was warm and she liked all the places we have stayed there. Both of her grandparents go there for the winter months and one of my best friends lives there. I told her that it is too difficult to get into the States to reside.  She suggested we move up island but I told her that I didn’t really see the benefit.  She wants us to have a house and our own space. Housing costs are less up island but I told her that if she was going to move hours away from her dad and friends the reality is that she wouldn’t get to see them very often.  We may as well go where we would really like to go or have a reason to go. She said she would move anywhere if her best friend and her mom came with us.  I said that all of their family is here and her best friend’s mom has a career so that was very unlikely to happen.  She mentioned one other dance friend and her mom who is my friend (even though there is a dad and 3 other siblings) that she said she would like to have move with us.

My older daughter has been staying with me during her Reading Week break from university. I talked about the possibility of moving with my older daughter as well.  She agreed that it made more sense for us to move to Vancouver or back to Ontario where more options exist for all of us and where we have family.  I told her that I don’t want to move away from her and that my thinking at this point is to wait until she is finished university (3 more years anyways) and for her sister to finish high school (4 more years). We also talked about the pets. As sad as it is to think about it, the reality is that our 12 year old dog would not have to be considered in a move 4 years from now. Flying for him, seven years ago, was so stressful that I wouldn’t put him through that again.

The three of us talked about a four year plan.  We discussed making the most of the next 4 years here by visiting places that are more easily accessible living on the west coast.  We talked about going to Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. We have already driven down the west coast to San Diego but there are some interior places that I would still like to visit in California.

At this point, there is no clear cross road in my path. If it was only about me, I would be gone.  So in the middle of waiting, I am going to try to live with a 4 year plan to help me prepare for next steps. I am going to register my younger daughter at two high school because she is currently undecided which direction she should follow. I am going to get divorced with an enforceable court ruling on payments owed by Dave and do whatever I can do to get him out of my life.  I am going to focus on my health. I am going to liquidate as much of my belongings as possible. I am going to try to rebuild my finances. I am going to plan trips.

Jeremiah 29:11 has always been one of my favourite scriptures and is impressed in my brain.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” So within my 4 year plan, I know God has a plan. It is probably the other way around. Within God’s plan, I am going to focus on my plan for me and my girls and he will handle the rest. I honestly believe it is all for my good. So, I wait.

 

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affairs, Betrayal, cheating, children, family, father/daughter, infidelity, loss, marriage breakdown, parenting, relationships, separation, single parent

The ex discovers I am dating

I’ve just taken out identifying names but here is a cut and paste from the email I received from my ex on January 20, 2015:

“I am concerned about (our older daughter who lives with my ex). But I’m also concerned about (our younger daughter who lives with me). You may be enthralled that someone is paying attention to you, but don’t forget your obligations to protect your daughters. Moving in with a guy you know nothing about after a few months is ridiculous. It again goes to show the lack of good judgment exhibited by you over the last two years. Get a grip on your emotions and start being a positive example rather than an embarrassment to your children. I’m happy that you’re dating someone, but keep a proper distance and allow yourself the time to get to know him before you introduce him to our children, let alone move in with him and tie yourself financially and emotionally. That’s all (our younger daughter) needs is for you to move in with someone and then 6 mths from now you realize he’s not all what you thought he was and you’re moving again.

He has his own issues to work out, such as his own divorce, so I’d like to think you’d consider that in your thought process before even contemplating things like this. It scares me to think that you’d even entertain this, let alone talk about it with the kids when our own situation is not resolved. You have no idea what the kids think of him, which as I understand it they are not over the moon about him. That should be your priority. Not having a companion to help with your bills and someone to sleep with.”

Wow, this coming from the guy who was lying to me and his kids while having an affair with a co-worker choosing to do things still with her or for himself instead of putting our children’s needs above his own. Is he really talking to me about “obligations”, “priorities”, being “an embarrassment” to my children, my need to be a “positive example”, “protection” and “lack of good judgement”?

Firstly, I have been seeing this man for 8 months. My ex is only getting wind of him now because I have not talked about him or introduced him to my children or had him even know where I live until recently. My older daughter has only met him 2 times and that is because she chose to come into the house to specifically meet him when she saw his vehicle in the driveway when she and her dad were dropping her sister off. They exchanged hello’s and that was it.

The man I am dating is so respectful of my situation and of me being a mom first. He has never slept at my house except when I was called that my older daughter was in emergency. He was the one who drove my younger daughter back home from visiting her sister in the hospital. He came and picked her up after midnight. My ex would not do that. In fact, my ex was more concerned that he was at the hospital when he had a 7:00 a.m. hockey game. I had girlfriend coming to the hospital to pick my younger daughter up but when the man I am dating offered to get my daughter and sleep on the couch until I came home she chose that instead. My ex raised zero concern about an unrelated male driving our daughter and staying alone with her. Instead he jealously said in front of both our children that I could go and get our younger daughter’s bag from his vehicle as he didn’t want to interrupt my “love fest”. When I arrived home at 2:00 a.m. he stayed on the couch with me for 1 1/2 hours and let me talk about the situation and calm down so I could go to sleep and then he left.

I have met his parents and his 20 year old daughter. I like them all very much. Both his daughter and his parents know that he is 100% reliable and I have witnessed all the things he does for them. He is the one who picks his daughter up if she is out with friends on the weekend to ensure she gets home safely and to ensure she is actually home. I have been to his beautiful home and have seen the house that he built with his own hands. He’s invited me to visit him at work. He’s taken me out with his best friend. He rarely drinks and doesn’t do drugs or smoke. He is a coach and runs and cycles regularly. I continue to ask all of the hard questions. I have introduced him to 3 of my friends and their husbands/boyfriends who also have been brutal at times looking for deep sincere answers to their questions. He told me after our Super Bowl party that one of my friends talked to him when I wasn’t around. He said he knows what a valuable friend I am and how much I am cared for because of how they have pressed him.

However, I am not interested in anything other than dating this kind, gentle man who respects me. I have no intention of moving in with him. He was kind enough to offer us a home he recently bought near my daughter’s school, that he plans to fix up and flip, if I haven’t found a suitable living option when my house sells. My daughter knows this because she is feeling very insecure about having to move. She is afraid we will have to give up our dog and 2 cats. Knowing we have options has given her more of a feeling of security. Her dad has taken all her security away. She has no positive male role models in her life and the counselor has impressed it is really important to surround her with men who do not behave badly. Unfortunately her best friend’s dad did the exact same thing that her dad did so having a man in her life who didn’t use an affair to end his marriage and who actually wants to be with his own children and my daughter, too, is a big deal.

To address my ex’s concerns: I think our children have suffered far more damage by their dad moving out after living with them for 15 and 10 years than if I were ever to move in with someone and move out after 6 months. They were far more tied emotionally and financially to a dad who no longer provides or meets those needs and worse has crippled us in both of those areas. I think our kids have suffered far more by realizing we are being forced to move because it is their own father who is not the person we thought he was.

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Florida, loss, separation, single parent, vacation

Life of Pi

Before my husband and I separated, we had a family vacation planned to go to Florida. We were staying with my husband’s parents for 2 weeks in Englewood and then 1 week in Orlando at Disneyworld.

When I discovered my husband’s affair he sent me an email that read, “Cancel my flight.” The trip was planned for 7 days later. The girls and I still went. My older daughter’s friend ended up coming too. It was certainly not a vacation I would have purposely planned being a single parent taking along my two children and one of their friends. I had to get a rental vehicle on my own and we drove from Fort Meyers to Englewood; to Naples to visit some of my family; to Sarasota to visit my girlfriend and then to Orlando. I bought a GPS but it was an exhausting and stressful undertaking and I spent a lot of time lost.

I still hadn’t had any time to grieve the end of my marriage. There was so much to do to get ready for the trip and I had things to do in relation to my separation. I was very grateful for the time away with my kids and we did create some great memories. Two of my closest friends from Ontario even came down to see me while I was there to offer their support and I got to spend time with one of my best friends who lives in Sarasota.

On the plane ride home I watched the movie ‘Life of Pi’. I remember the words and the scene that left me sobbing uncontrollably. Yann Martel writes, “I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart.”

Nothing sums out how I feel any better than this. This was my exact experience.

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