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Ex's attempts to manipulate are working

Old 07-20-2013, 02:56 PM
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Ex's attempts to manipulate are working

My exAH recently white-knuckled it though 3 weeks of abstinence (drinking again this week, my daughter drove down to see him today planning to swim but turned around as he was blackout drunk at noon).

During his brief dry drunk period he called with a tearful apology for all the pain he caused (that part is new), misses me, wants to spend time together (that part isn't). Hello, I did not divorce you after 2 decades of marriage in order to spend some quality time with you.

I remain on good speaking terms with him for the sake of our two teenage children, or try to. I can't cut off all contact because lurking in the background is financial support (my oldest's college tuition), which he holds over both of our heads if we aren't nice enough to him. Did I mention he's self centered? He plays the self-pity card, says we only care about him for his paycheck and maybe he won't contribute for the expensive college education after all, how about transferring to community college, and so on. This to a child who grew up worshiping the father who gradually stomped her heart into little pieces.

His calls and emails to me are manipulative and controlling. He says "can we hang out? want to come over for a movie?" I say thanks but no, then he responds with something like this:

"Why do you hate me this much? I miss you, and wish we could spend some time together from time to time. I guess I am dead to you now right?"

After 2 blissful years not living with him, I want nothing more than to ignore this man. But there's a tuition bill coming and I soon will have to ask him for a large sum of money. I can't believe he can still cause this level of stress
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:02 PM
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His responsibility for supporting his child does not depend on whether you are "nice" to him. He may have the right to have some input into the child's choice of college, but if he is difficult, you can go back to court to enforce the support order.

If you ever want peace in your life, I suggest you avoid all unnecessary contact with him. I understand that it would be nice to be "friendly" for the sake of the kids, but he's the one making that impossible.

He can't manipulate you if you refuse to play.
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:10 PM
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He may have the right to have some input into the child's choice of college, but if he is difficult, you can go back to court to enforce the support order.
Unfortunately my state has no statute to compel payment of college tuition by a noncustodial parent. Therefore there is nothing in our divorce agreement that compels him to pay it, and he was adamant on that point.

He did make a verbal promise to our daughter, which figured into her choice of college and which he honored last year, but as I said, he likes to hold it over our heads.
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:37 PM
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it may behoove you both (you and daughter) to come up with a plan B so that her education isn't interrupted or derailed. how awful for a parent, any parent, to mess with a kid like that. I AM sorry. my ex and I co-parented and each took loans in alternating years for Renee's education (pricey Jesuit college, LMU) - then sadly he died of cancer. his estate, such as it was, allowed Renee to pay off one year, she is now responsible for the other, and I am paying on the other two. she graduated "cumlaude" with two majors and a minor in 2004...I will paying on these loans for the rest of my natural born days.......she is not in a place of financial wealth to take on more debt. that was my commitment to her education which I shall bear willingly.
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:54 PM
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it may behoove you both (you and daughter) to come up with a plan B so that her education isn't interrupted or derailed
I've been thinking about this for several reasons, one being his manipulations; two that he was fired from one lucrative job this year and looks like he is working on getting canned from the other (daughter saw on his computer screen this afternoon a draft drunken email calling his boss an @sshole); and three that he's close to end stage as far as I can tell (confirmed by doctor who according to ex told him he'll be dead in a year if he doesn't stop drinking).

I hope he's been keeping up with his term life insurance premiums, it wouldn't be a fortune but it would help his kids finish school. We have another child still in high school.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:05 PM
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Sorry for the less than helpful suggestion. I live in NJ where divorced parents ALWAYS or (virtually always) are obligated to pay for the kids' education--sometimes even post-graduate education (which I don't necessarily agree with--not when non-divorced parents don't have the same obligation).

I think a "Plan B" is a very good idea, and I think to make nice with someone so he doesn't threaten you is kind of creepy, to say the least.

You might want to talk to a lawyer about whether his verbal promise to his daughter, which she relied upon in choosing the school, might not be enforceable. Legally, gifts can sometimes be enforced when the recipient changes position in reliance on the promised gift.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:21 PM
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ooh gosh, i would hate to have the CARROT swaying in my face...

something else has to plan out to stop this behaviour....
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:58 PM
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E-mail only communication perhaps? I'm sorry to hear that he just cannot find a recovery path for himself.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:18 PM
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Not too popular when I mention this in these circles . . .

But about the ONLY way out from being dependent on an Alcoholic . . . is not depend on them.

Seems to hit women harder than men in that regard, at least financially, but when/if you are independent of them, you are pretty much free.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:15 PM
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^ I know, I really do. If it weren't for my daughter that would be so much easier. Why should these two kids be punished more than they already have...I have thrown myself on the mercy of the financial aid office but do not know if that will bear any fruit.

And yes we do communicate largely by email, I usually ignore his calls and texts and have him blocked from my Skype contacts.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:45 AM
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Well, there are ONLY two directions you can work on when dealing with lack v. surplus.

Income and Outgo.

You know "bathtub economics" theory? Two things to work with. The filler and the drain. If you want a full bathtub (i.e., money in the bank, etc.) you can EITHER:

Have more coming in (turn on the water -- increase income) OR
Less going out (close the drain -- reduce spending) OR
BOTH . . . but doing neither will get you nothing.

Might have heard some variation of this?

(From Charles Dickens, "David Copperfield)

Wilkins Micawber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

the Micawber Principle, based upon his observation:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery."

It really is [y]our choice.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:49 AM
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Just wanted to say that you all have helped me with this. I am letting go of trying to control him/the situation. This morning I sent my ex the fall tuition bill and let him know the due date for his share. Period. I'm working my head around how to manage with loans etc. if he doesn't pay. I believe I'll be able to simply the delete the snide and taunting emails when they arrive (which they will). I feel better. So thank you.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:42 PM
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You did the best thing. Keep it simple....send the bill and let him know when his payment is due. You can't make him a good Dad. If he refuses to help, then he refuses. But don't let him make the money based on conditions. Don't give him that kind of power over you OR your daughter.

I would move forward as if there will be no money. Look into all other options. That way if he does pay, it's a bonus.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:48 PM
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Good! Call his bluff. If he refuses to pay, your daughter (who is legally an adult, yes?) can tell him that she is transferring to a community college because he isn't contributing to her education.

Frankly, if it were me, I'd probably want to go that route anyway, only -- as Hammer says -- to be free of his influence completely.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:52 AM
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As expected, my neutrally worded note to my exAH...here is the tuition bill, it is due next month, please send your part as soon as possible....resulted in a truly nasty response in which I was called a miserable witch only interested in status and money and he is done paying for it. I did not respond to him, but I did tell my daughter we will have to tighten our belts, a lot, and we will work this out so you can remain in school.

Just feeling very discouraged. She went though so much in high school; clinical depression and debilitating anxiety around our family situation, yet she still managed to keep her grades up and gain admission to a top university. She said to me last night, why did I put myself through that for him to pull the rug out from under me after freshman year, it was all for nothing, I hate him so much.

I don't want her to hate her father, but it is so hard to hold compassion for him in my own heart. I am so tired of the way he jerks the kids around because that is the one and only way he has left to hurt me. He's in the third stage of alcoholism, and the only reason I care whether he lives another day is for our kids.
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