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High Drama, Need Reblanacing

Old 10-14-2014, 07:43 AM
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High Drama, Need Reblanacing

Some things are making me feel sketchy and reactionary this week.

A) Family is triggering me hard. My oldest sister is probably getting a divorce after finding out her husband of 25 years is cheating on her. It's a long, very dramatic story, but the gist is that the rest of my family, mom and other sister in particular, are flipping out and texting and calling me with all the latest gossip about their split. I need to reduce contact with those two while the crisis plays out. I've been in contact with my oldest sister and she seems pretty satisfied with her decision to leave him, and I'm fully supportive of that. Mom and other sister are trying to encourage them to get back together. They are trying to attribute his cheating on a sudden mental breakdown, which, well, regular people cheat and lie about it all the time. It doesn't take certifiable mental illness for cheating and lying to happen. I'm standing back, shaking my head and trying not to get involved. It's hard not to.

B) A friend told me they saw XAH last week.
1) He has a new job, which he hasn't told me about yet. This irritates the crap out of me. I'm legally obligated to know if his employment status changes and what his new hours are so we can iron out visitation and whatnot. I have vacation out of the country planned for later this year, and he agreed to watch DD3 (supervised, per our custody agreement) for that time. He's being shady and it's triggering my codie crazy.

So I emailed him last night asking for the information, he said no, and I emailed back and said, okay, if I don't have it by the end of the week I'll have my lawyer get it. Then I emailed his dad and said, hey, since we all know you're paying for his lawyer, XAH is refusing to communicate his work information, which I'm entitled to by law, I'd like to avoid lawyers, and all this requires is a little communication. I know this was out of bounds to contact his dad, but I would REALLY like to avoid lawyers. I cashed out my 401K so I could pay for the divorce and I have no safety nets left. Another big bill will put me over the edge.

I should not be surprised at all that XAH is lying, hiding information, and being generally shady about his business. It still ticks me off because it affects me and/or could affect me, and I despise getting blindsided by someone else's irresponsibility. I know I can't manipulate outcomes and maintain any semblance of sanity, but I still feel like I need to stick up for myself on this front. I am almost 100% solely responsible for the well-being of DD3 and I really resent being treated like the enemy by her POS father and his enabling family.

2) My friend smelled booze on him. Said it was very, very strong. He's still telling everyone he's sober and AOK. I knew he wasn't, but this was the first validation I've had outside of gut feelings.

Some common reflections or new angles would be helpful. Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:51 AM
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Florence, this all stinks. I am so sorry you are dealing with all of this.

I would tell your family that you support your sister in whatever she decides and that you really don't want to get into their business. If that does not work, step back a little.

As far as your XAH, expect the worst from him. While it had to be hard to tell his dad, maybe that will save you some legal bills. I think you are doing all you can with that.

I remember when my X started openly drinking when I kicked him out. It took me a while to process that. Now he has lost his job, my kids are afraid he will just drink all day. I am afraid of that too, for them. So now a whole new level of me checking to make sure he is sober will have to happen, and that positively sucks.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you lots of love and hugs today!
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:52 AM
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ON A HIGH NOTE, however, I planned and led a biking and camping trip in this weekend for about a dozen friends. We biked about fifty miles through Amish country, looking at leaves, rivers, and farms (and the Amish!), then camped out in darling little cabins. It was cheap, fun, and a great time outdoors.

Keeping my perspective, I never thought I could do something like that, and I know I never would have even tried before my divorce. For all the negatives, there are real positives too. I'm changing and growing, getting braver.

I just need help on these triggers and knowing where to draw the line. I can't do everything through a lawyer going forward. BUT I do feel like, if XAH wants to be a part of DD3's life, that basic exchanges of information should not requires thousands of dollars or acts of God. I don't know what that looks like on my end though.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:57 AM
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Are you sure the father will be able to keep the kid/kids when you are leave? Should you have a back up plan for that? Did he tell you his hours need to be changed with DD3? If he backs out of her life, that's on him. Do you have back up babysitting if he isn't there?
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:03 AM
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Are you sure the father will be able to keep the kid/kids when you are leave? Should you have a back up plan for that? Did he tell you his hours need to be changed with DD3? If he backs out of her life, that's on him. Do you have back up babysitting if he isn't there?
He agreed some time ago when he was still unemployed. He lives with his parents, and they do the supervision. I trust them well enough, even if I really disagree with their dynamics.

He didn't tell me that anything would be changing -- he didn't tell me anything at all! When I asked him, he told me he couldn't tell me anything yet -- including who he works for and how to contact him during work hours. I'm like, are you dealing drugs? Distributing stuff that falls off of trucks? But unless he got a 8-5 office job, which I basically guarantee he isn't qualified to do, our visitation hours will change. Lots of manufacturing, warehousing and food service around here, irregular hours, and that will more than likely be what he gets. Right now the visitation hours are scheduled around a standard work schedule.

Yes, thankfully I have back-up babysitting, short and long term.
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:07 AM
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Florence, that sounds like so much fun! I want to go visit Amish country, I would love that! And to bike and stay in cabins and be around friends, fun! Good for you!
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:17 AM
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Well, he is shady isn't he. I would feel frustrated too. I am not sure you have any recourse formally to deal with his secretiveness other than through the court system since he is court ordered to tell you. It honestly sounds like more of a hassle to pursue it than to just let him do his thing. At least you have fun outlets.
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:34 AM
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My thoughts,

Re: Your sister. She has every right to decide her own life. Be supportive to her, and if rest of family bothers you about this, just don't discuss it with them.

Re: Possible employment. Will this possibly increase child support? What or how may you benefit?
Visitation, if he is working at night, and he chooses less time with DD, then so be it, even if DD is then being cared for by his parents. You did say that you do trust them with her.

If things get out of hand and you do need the information for being in violation of the divorce decree, keep everything documented regarding how many times you have tried to get this info.

Look at your divorce papers. Mine has a clause in it that states, "Should either party fail to abide by the terms of the Agreement, then the defaulting party will indemnify and hold the other harmless for all reasonable expenses and costs including attorney's fees and disbursements incurred in successfully enforcing this Agreement".

Meaning that if he refuses to cooperate, you can file a Motion for Contempt of Court, and he would be liable for your attorney fees also. To do this without a lawyer for right now, you can do the contacting, but make sure everything is documented.

((((((((((hugs)))))))))
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:46 AM
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I really wish I could give you some sage wisdom here. It sounds like you're feeling the affects of the lack of control? Things had been settled down for a while & now there's a change & that ruffles feathers sometimes even when we think we're prepared for anything.... and the idea of another financial obstacle when I'm out of options makes me insane sometimes.

I think if it were me I might move Plan B up to Plan A.1 & start getting that option figured out just in case.... & let XAH know (eventually) that since he is refusing to comply with providing you the information as per your legal right you are working on other arrangements. Is there anything in your divorce decree that states what will happen when he refuses to comply?

Are you SURE he's being honest with your friend about even HAVING a job? Could he be blowing smoke here & just fabricating a story?

Drinking again? No surprise there, right? Nothing's really changed just like you knew it wouldn't.

FWIW I don't think the sister thing would trigger you AS badly is you weren't feeling off about these developments with your XAH. I think you see the drama there & are already side-stepping as much as you can.

(((((HUGS)))))
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:25 AM
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WTF. He just emailed me back saying that he doesn't actually have a job. Last night he said he was "in training," and last week he told our friend outright that he had a job.

I guess I know what I need to know. Still a mess, still unreliable.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:33 AM
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I recommend the serenity prayer. Every hour if you need to. The serenity prayer centers me every time.

Here are my thoughts....

ie sister. I'm very passive so in similar circumstances I have just let my family member talk and talk and I simply do not respond with more than a nod or 'hmmm' but I do not engage because I do not agree with her - and there is for sure no point in trying to express my views - it is an argument or hurt feelings and I don't have a dog in the fight so to speak. She's talking about other people (which I also don't engage in with her - good or bad). If I was more of a stand up person I'd tell her that I'm unwilling to discuss and leave. I'm not there yet I'm also not willing to sacrifice the relationship with her. She is 71 years old and isn't changing and I'm not leaving her so I practice the hula hoop stuff a lot and do not participate (in thought or deed) with the crazy.

ie - your ex. :sigh: I can see how triggering this is. Serenity Prayer. If you trust his parents and have back up plans for your trip in any case, I'd totally let it go. As long as you are getting your child support and have that trip covered - just step away, for your own sanity. It is his business/obligation to adjust visitation if needed. If he makes no adjustments, so be it. The drama of forcing him to divulge and do the right thing would just not be worth it to me as long as the above was covered. You already suspected he was drinking so getting that validated is not new information right? Just a reminder that you should not relax on the supervision requirement.

If you can't reach him at work, than I guess that is his loss to not know what is going on with his kids. Your kids will probably be visiting their grandparents and not him - but honestly that sounds like that won't be anything new either.

Keep on keeping on. Don't borrow worry and trouble. His crazy life is his. Your centered life is yours.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:37 AM
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I planned and led a biking and camping trip in this weekend for about a dozen friends. We biked about fifty miles through Amish country, looking at leaves, rivers, and farms (and the Amish!), then camped out in darling little cabins. It was cheap, fun, and a great time outdoors.

Keeping my perspective, I never thought I could do something like that, and I know I never would have even tried before my divorce. For all the negatives, there are real positives too. I'm changing and growing, getting braver.


And you're handling your ex's stupidities with poise -- even if it doesn't feel that way on the inside. Go you!
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:43 AM
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Can I come on the next amish country bike tour? Sounds amazing.

Your xAH being shady with his info sounds so familiar... And it leaves me unsettled when mine does this too I am not great at being able to not let it upset me so I have little advice... When I can manage to say "I dont care and I am not going to inquire/respond" and manage to do that, I am more at peace than when I get caught in the crazy of expecting him to be reasonable and communicate like a sane person would.

Your FOO and the drama with your sister is ALSO familiar... Im so sorry... Your family sounds like a perfect recipe for disaster
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:03 AM
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The family drama has been kind of instructive. My mom and dad have always put my BILs on a pedestal, even kind of putting down their own daughters, like why would these great men stoop to our levels? Be grateful, girls! Any guy I brought home -- well, is he as good as BIL1 and BIL2?

Also their eagerness to attribute his cheating and lying behavior to something that is a) fixable and b) excusable. He's having a mental breakdown, they say, and he just needs to be medicated. Then Sister can take him back and we don't have to change.

The endless conversation and frantic texting about the latest news.

Also my mom's sudden physical ailments and taking to bed with painkillers that coincide with the onset of this information.

Really one of the most instructive things about this whole process with my XAH and splitting with him was learning that a lot of my perceived weaknesses were just part of a dysfunctional family structure, and that I had to option of opting out of their dynamics if I wanted. And how to opt in if I want to participate on my own terms.

I'm still drawing boundaries with them, but it's much easier today to see the dynamics for what they are and maintaining a distance instead of buying into them wholesale.

**

As for XAH, who knows. I wonder if I'm "happiest" (it's not the right word) or most settled with him struggling and laying low. It's not that I want him to fail or have a bad life, but that him taking steps to be a part of DD3's life is so nightmarish, knowing he's never really been sober despite purporting to be sober and in recovery for several years now. If he were sober and demonstrably in recovery, I feel like it would be obvious and I could make more solid decisions around his words and actions. Today it's same-old, same-old, I guess. Still lying and exaggerating! So weird.

His employment status doesn't directly affect me unless he becomes totally unavailable for visitation, and unless I want to pursue additional child support. I don't know that that's the route I would take, but it's an option and I want to know my options especially if he's required by law to share that information.

Anyway, thanks to all for the support.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:42 AM
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he still lives with mommy and daddy....how precious is that? and mommy and daddy have to babysit him while he visits with his child. and he still feels the need to either exaggerate or outright lie about his employment status and life in general. what a champ.

for you own sanity, i'd suggest at least considering to find other childcare arrangments OUTSIDE of the court ordered visitation. so that you are not relying upon them for anything related to any plans that you have. and should he actually GET a job, any changes to visitation are his problem.

the only bit that concerns me florence is how quickly you jumped in based on third party heresay.

BUT I do feel like, if XAH wants to be a part of DD3's life

and that sadly may be a somewhat faulty premise. how you feel he SHOULD act really has no bearing. he's been showing you just how important that is to him....he's still taking no responsibility, he's taken no initiative to get himself straightened out, make a respectable indedendent life, rise to the call of BEING a FATHER. he "should" be willing to crawl uphill, over hot coals, naked, to have his child in his life, to SHARE that life, to be engaged, participate, love, PROTECT, encourage, educate. his child "should" be the driving force here, and him pulling out all the stops for the child's health and well being.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:05 AM
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the only bit that concerns me florence is how quickly you jumped in based on third party heresay.
Agreed. In my defense, I heard this from a long-time friend (10+ years) who cuts his hair. He must have lied to her. She said he'd obviously been drinking too.

I don't know why I jumped all over it though. It was a HUGE trigger, thinking he was pulling something over on me. It doesn't even affect me that much. Even with the scrambling I did -- this was me holding myself back!
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