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Must've forseen my own stupidity

Lifer33's picture

Is why I've been quiet on here. 

After my last blog I found a place to live and put down the actual deposit, good to go. The only reason I wasn't 1000pc was I was worried about the effect on bd5 emotionally, and she'd be leaving the nice only home she knows for well not the nicest. Cue dh bawling his eyes out and begging us to stay. Wasn't moved by that, but was actually moved when he promised to sort all the issues himself, for good, and phoned a mediator the very next morning.

So I've sat in a weird limbo, missed my deadline to move and waited, kinda knowing it was a mistake. Due to covid it's taken ages. He did his by phone, bm did hers after her holiday n every other excuse. She then decides to mediate, course she does, loves an audience. So, today is the big day. Call me cynical but I can read it like a book, dh forgetting n flapping about the issues he wants to raise n her shouting the loudest if not crying herself for attention. So last night I asked him if he'd made notes to help himself. He said only the email I sent to mediator weeks ago. Well it was a pretty bad jumbled mess tbh. I said why don't you do bullet points with numbers, in order, with the mobile phone at the top then lesser issues. In his version he is essentially begging the ex to keep ss mobile at home n look the bad guy, not gna happen. He says what would you say, I said I would say its not beneficial to his time here, its a distraction, and it's not safe. We have no idea who he's talking to on what media so, code please, if not we confiscate it bar he can say night to his crowd over there. Whelp dh not only didn't like it, he starts with the whole 'you've never liked my son' thing, which he hasn't done in years. I'm so disappointed n tired. I stayed calm and said OK so in 2 years when bd is 7, are you happy to hand her a mobile phone with no parental control? There's zero safety, and in our case a world of emeshment and alienation to boot, but I hate your son? Whatever. I dnt hate the kid, I've just totally lost interest, didn't stand a chance from the start and put that on his and his ex there and then, went to bed.

So now, whatever the outcome of today, I'm annoyed we are in the same old blame game, sounds like all the issues are my fault again, rocking the crappy boat. Mentally I'm more than I have ever been done  On one hand I wish to god I moved out. But, on the other, and my friends and family with me, why should I. We've only as recently as this week sealed some major investments, that were meant to complete last year. in 2 yrs if I can Hold out we can buy a nice home each, or at least 1 keep this house. And bd would be around 7 to 8, older and more Able to comprehend a split. I guess the reason for my blog is has anyone managed to bide their time that long? in a non violent, but worn out disinterested family unit?

Dh came up this morning n gave me a heavy kiss, I was pretending to be asleep, maybe his way of trying to apologise, but I'm truly over it. 


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

My marriage was aweful and I reached my breaking point during my pregnancy. It was over. That being said I wasn't going to trust ExH to care for an infant or toddler and I wasn't going to he away from my young child for even a minute. So I stayed. We slept in separate bedrooms. It was aweful, and my anxiety was through the roof because I couldn't even stand to look at him. But one day when DS was 6 and I looked at him and saw him chewing on his shirt and seeing how anxious he was from being in that toxic environment. I packed two suitcases and left. 

We moved into a small 1 bedroom apt. Where we lived for 3 years, until I could get through the divorce and put away enough to buy our current home 

Those years in that small apartment where the best years for me and DS we struggled with all sorts of issues but we also made so many great memories. 

Being so young DS doesn't even remember me and his dad living together and doesn't have any issues regarding our divorce. He is a pretty well adjusted kid.

Lifer33's picture

So much for your incite, and I'm so sorry you had such a terrible time Sad it's a job to know what to do here as ss has loads of issues, esp anxiety which I'd like to blame on their split, but think it's just been exacerbated ever since, and even he's been given too much input, exposure to adult choice and decisions. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

Your 100% correct. I sheltered my son from anything that had to do with our split and made everyday seem like a new adventure. I was firm with him when he acted out, put him in counseling when he needed it and wouldn't let him believe it was a bad thing his dad and I weren't together or let him use it as a crutch.

ESMOD's picture

There are things your DH can do.. and things he cannot.  He cannot control his ex.  He can't even really "MAKE" her follow the custody order... t hough there can occasionally be consequences for a BM.. it's not common.  

He cannot control whether BM thinks it's ok for a 10/11 yo to have a phone.  What he can control is whether he allows free access to the phone when he has custody time with the boy.  He cannot demand that BM keep the phone....  he can't make her keep it... he just doesn't have that control or ability.  He may be the bad guy for taking it away unless he is supervising the boy's use... but he would be the bad guy anyway if BM kept it because she would clearly tell the boy that dad made the request.

The trip is somewhat disappointing in that you spent money on some things for the boy that cannot be used if he doesn't show up.  But.. why not see the silver lining of having a nice couples trip now.  Or dad could ask the boy if he would like to go on the trip.. and he can return to friend's home after his weekend?  I know you wanted it to be a surprise.. but in steplife.. sometimes things can't be as super spontaneous and special surprise because of these kinds of issues.  BM may have known it was her Ex's birthday.. but she has zero way of knowing you planned a trip.. or that anything special was going to involve the kid.  She likely did not allow kid to make this change on her end to "mess with" you or your DH.. she did it for her own convenience and gave zero thoughts to how it might or might not impact your household.

Look, I get it that having a toxic EX and a skid under her control and rules can be difficult.  I also appreciate that sometimes it is not easy for a bio nonprimary father to truly "stand up" to the ex and changes on their terms... there is risk of their ability to see their child.  Check out JustMakingTheBest's situation.. a bad BM can really screw things up seriously.

If you are truly unhappy and unable to get any peace of mind in your home or over the situation.. then your plans to leave may be the better choice.

tog redux's picture

But not standing up to BM because you are afraid of losing your kid is toxic to everyone involved, including the kid. It means you are living in fear and letting someone abuse and control you - it also usually results in the kid learning how to abuse and manipulate that parent themselves.

But I agree that if he is too weak to stand up to her, then the OP should leave. 

ESMOD's picture

It also becomes a point of what battles do you pick.. and when to pick them. 

The phone?  The easiest solution is to simply confiscate the phone when it is at his home.  If he wants to allow the child to earn time with it fine.. if he wants to allow limited phone calls to BM or a friend? that is also his option.  He doesn't have to ask BM's opinion or permission to do this.  She can bluster all she wants.. but she can't require him to allow the phone with the child 100% of the time he is with his dad.  What dad can't do is draw a hard line with BM to require her to keep it... or to tell her that he doesn't want the kid to have the phone.. she gets to make that decision when the child is with her.

He can.. though.. draw the hard line with visitation.  he can tell his kid.  Sorry.. we have plans this weekend.. so I will be picking you up.  THAT is a battle to fight.. because she should be obligated to follow their custody order.


tog redux's picture

I agree on all that. I just don't feel that these men should be excused for their inability to set limits on their ex out of fear. Fear is a lousy reason not to do something. And as we've seen time and again, while they may still have contact with their kids if they kowtow to BM, that contact is superficial and often based on what the parent can do for the kid, rather than any sense of caring for the parent.