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Sorta O/T: Marriage counseling

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I’ll preface this with I’ve always wanted us to go to marriage counseling, starting years ago.

I reached my proverbial tipping point a couple weeks ago and insisted that we go - preferably before the end of the year and especially before I’m forced to engage with DH’s parents on Christmas.

I hopped on Good Therapy, found a local therapist that met our crazy schedule needs and specialized in high conflict marriage counseling. I called and made an appointment.

Therapist wanted to do a solo appt each, with the third appointment being our first couple session.

Is BM back to her old self?

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Those of you who are familiar with my inlaw + step family dynamics will most likely follow my theory here the easiest.

Basically, my MIL acts as gatekeeper with skid’s visitation. Both she and FIL steamroll DH when it comes to communication with BM. In turn, BM sidesteps and flat-out ignores all communication with DH, when she can 100% get her needs met through his parent’s tolerance of her BS.

BM hates accountability and rules. 

It’s a Christmas miracle - Skid is NOT coming

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That is, unless something changes between now and a couple weeks.

DH spoke with skid last night and she said she is NOT coming for Christmas. And as I understand it, this includes after too.

The court ordered visitation states that skid spends every other Christmas with DH, with the alternating year flying out after Christmas on the 28th.

Well, for the last SIX YEARS straight skid has spent it with us. Generally from the 2nd week in December, all the way through the first week in January. She’s in private school, so extra long break. 

Can we revisit Skid journaling her visits?

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Because it really has me reeling lately.

MIL is really ramping-up her fake niceties with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner and all, wanting to ensure I engage with all of them, and it’s amplifying my anxiety that skid will be journaling DH’s (and mine?) every move, every word spoken, over Christmas.

FIL pawning DH’s guitar - part deux

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DH’s father recently asked if he could pawn his (DH’s) high end Martin guitar. DH stupidly gives him permission. A few days later, FIL shows-up at DH’s work, bearing gifts - expensive shoes for DH. Per DH, FIL also handed him a couple unused McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes & toys. You know... something for the kids. My kids don’t eat McDonald’s, but, uh, okay.

FIL pawning DH’s property

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... with DH’s permission, of course. A couple of high-end acoustic Martin guitars, to be exact. 

I guess it wouldn’t bother me too much if this wasn’t the same person that enables DH’s high conflict ex, the BM, by paying for plane tickets for visits that are against the court ordered visitation.

Or the same person that’s addicted to the puppy phase of dog ownership, and has 6 dogs to prove it.

DH’s half sister contacted me...

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about a week ago, and I just got around to reading her message.

I admit, I was leery at first, because we’re really not all that close. We’ve been around one another a couple times. She’s an attorney and she seems friendly and sweet enough. 

So, she inquired how we are, how the kids are, then just kind of went into what she wanted to share, and it was very step family related. 

This co-parenting question caught my eye

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on Facebook, in a science group, of all places. 

“Hey. In divorce situations I have heard people say when their parents maintained a goodnrelationship, doing activities together, etc it was confusing to the child and made them think they would get back together. It all seems so confusing. What is the healthiest balance for children for family relationships In a divorce?”

I *think* I know what advice I’d give, but I’m curious what your advice would be.

Meanwhile, it has been 39 days...

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since in-laws have seen our children.

That’s right! MIL and FIL have not seen or spoken to our children since skid left last month. My in-laws live 12 miles // 20 minutes away. 

These are the moments when disengagement is extremely difficult for me. If I were to point this out to MIL her response would be “Well, I know you don’t like us coming around, momjeans.”