If you are divorced, did your ex act better or worse than you expected? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 02-13-2010, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've heard both-- that divorce can be a real wake-up call that turns uninvolved parents around, and that decent parents fade away when they're "set free."

I didn't expect stbx to go to either extreme-- he's a man of inaction, usually. Yet, he's surprising me, and not in a good way.

He hasn't put a drop of increased effort into the dc, but says he wants to do EOW (a significant increase in his time with the kids).

He tends to be very passive and take ages to start anything-- yet despite maintaining that he didn't want a divorce, he has a lawyer on retainer, and has already refinanced the house.

I thought he would at least put on a show of being fair about money, but he's keeping the house, while the kids and I will have to move to a crappy apartment. He also wants to give me only half the money I should get from the house refi, and was pissy and vaguely threatening when I complained.

Is this typical? I wish I could see the future, so I could know how he's going to act!
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#2 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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worse. much worse. best to be prepared for him to be on his worst behavior, in any case. if I had listened to any of the advice that I got in the first few weeks after my x told me he wanted a divorce, it would have been that -- to prepare for things going very very badly, and plan accordingly.

sorry.
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#3 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 04:34 AM
 
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Way worse. I think on some level he has psychologically decompensated. He has always had an external locus of control and it's worse than ever, so that basically means that he blames me.

For everything.

I've had to grow a major backbone and a Teflon shell, quickly. It's hard to see someone that you used to love, turn around and devalue and hate you so much, and become hell-bent on destroying you. He's always been black-and-white, though, so is it much of a surprise?

The good news is, that this has been an incredible catalyst for my own personal growth.

and hang in there, mama.
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#4 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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Totally agree with the PP's. I was stunned by how my X behaved. He did things I NEVER thought he was capable of. And it made the whole thing worse because it's terrible to watch someone you used to love, and who is the father of your kids being so mean spirited and deliberately hurtful, and dragging the kids in the middle. A friend of mine suggested he was like a wounded animal just lashing out at everything and that did seem to be the best analogy.

I have seen some couples divorce and they both remained adults and considered the best interests of the child. So hopefully yours will be like that. But I agree that you need to plan for the worst and be prepared for it to turn badly.
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#5 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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honey where money is concerned. hah!!!!

it is a place where i was in a lot of turmoil. till i decided enough was enough. stopped pursuing CS. it brought back the peace in our lives.

with me - ex has been horrible. just like pp's said. however i overlook that. he is a 4 year old and i see that as a typical child's behaviour.

i ignore all that - because i see he IS trying to be the best father for dd. parenting does not come easy to him. he is not a intuitive parent - nor does he really wanna be a parent. however he loves his child and tries his best.

just him and me. after 6 years. still bad. a lot mellowed but still bad. the first two years were BAD. called CPS on me. you name it - he has done it.

HOWEVER when dd's teacher spoke directly to him and asked him to stop badmouthing me in front of dd, of yelling at me - he has stopped. i AM grateful he has stopped. i mean hello he has the IQ of a genius. he was in GATE and beyond. and yet he NEVER got this? someone else had to tell him?!!!!! hah!!! what's the point in having that intelligence?!!!!!

however he cant control me. and things get bad when he tries and cannot. however today i am a place where i cant have anything but compassion for him. i get mad sometimes when i see it affecting dd. but otherwise i feel i am at such a better place - inside and outside and he is still in such inner turmoil that i really feel sorry for him.

on the other hand in some ways his not wanting to really be a father and yet want to be a father has really worked to dd's benefit. the fact that she spent one over night with him, instead of two or 3 or more was better for him as a father. he could earlier handle dd in small doses. he also worked with transitioning dd slowly to overnights.

so i will say there was a lot of good and a lot of bad. the good was good but the bad was reaaaaaaaaly, reaaaaaaalllllly bad.

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#6 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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Worse than I expected. He basically regressed to acting like a 17yo!

BUT, four months down the track, things have evened out an he is much, much better! There is hope that he will turn things around once he gets over everything a little bit!

It's complicated.
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#7 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Neither. He remained the same he always had, passive aggressive, unwilling to discuss anything of importance, talking loudly to anyone who would listen about how much he missed his kids - then turning around and taking minimal visitation, pawning them off on his parents, etc.

The only time he really got excited was when I got my lawyer to draw up the original agreement. He made a big show of having a friend read it over with him (while he declined to obtain legal counsel himself) and nit-picking over these teeny-tiny areas that I thought would be of no interest to him.

In terms of money, I never would have rolled on support. My attorney wanted me to go for spousal support, but I didn't want his money for that. He is paying full pop for child support though. His kids are entitled to that, and I would have gone to the wall to make sure that it was in place.

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#8 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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My ex has been 10x worse than I could have ever imagined. In the year and a half that we've been separated , he has done a lot of amazingly cruel things. He's a narcissist and I am finally learning to expect the worst from him...and UAV that he is, he always delivers.
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#9 of 17 Old 02-15-2010, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes. Did anyone's partner act like a decent human being after the split? Anyone??
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#10 of 17 Old 02-16-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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Based on stories from dh's experience with family law and my other lawyer friends, in the majority of cases one or both parties tend to turn absolutely evil during divorce, no matter what their personalities beforehand. This is part of the reason that dh switched careers. He was always coming home from work depressed.

One of his friends broke up with his gf and there was the issue of custody. Dh told them both flat out to be nice, sort their shit out as quickly as possible and to put their child above all the hurt feelings. They ignored that advice and now several years later their kid is totally messed up from being used as a weapon to beat each other down, they are still in court and they absolutely hate each other. Dh is no longer in contact with them because of their new personalities.

Sorry to be a downer.
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#11 of 17 Old 02-16-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darien View Post
Yikes. Did anyone's partner act like a decent human being after the split? Anyone??
I was the instigator, the primary income, the one with the knowledge of legal rights and the one with legal benefits through work...so admittedly, I hold a lot of the cards. But, we're playing like grown-ups. I'm being flexible around his schedule and he helps out when I need a hand. We're playing nicely with money. Heck, I'm fixing his laptop for him tomorrow and we tend to have a family meal every few weeks.

And, I am exceedingly grateful that he's going to willingly agree to my ability to leave the state for school or work and we'll have that as part of our original divorce documents with an outline of long distance visitation for when the time comes. (Moving is probably years away but a strong possibility.)

So yes...decent human being. We've both had times when we could have made things harder by being jerks...and we've made other choices and kept the well-being of our son at the center.
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#12 of 17 Old 02-16-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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Mine gets ugly once in a while, but for the most part he is easier to get along with than he was when we were married. Maybe because I no longer care if he pouts or pulls some mild passive aggressive move on me. As far as the big stuff, he's made threats, but never done anything nasty. He's always paid child support, even if he whines about it. He has expressed that he's afraid of things getting ugly because it would hurt the kids. lt never bothered him to be nasty when we were married- so I would have to say that I've been surprised by his willingness to put them first. It's been almost three years for us.

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#13 of 17 Old 02-16-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by darien View Post
Yikes. Did anyone's partner act like a decent human being after the split? Anyone??
Mine has! We get along SOOOO much better now that we aren't married. He has shown up for every visitation and even on days when the kids are with the other parent, we usually all do something together.

This past weekend was my weekend and I had planned to take the kids to a movie Sunday night. We usually like to all see movies together so I invited him along. He met us there, the movie was sold out so we went back to my place, had some dinner, and then went back to the movie at a later time. He then came back and put the kids to bed at my place and then left.

And on the weeknight visitations, he usually just hangs around at my house with the kids and then puts them to bed. I use that time to run errands, take the dog for a long walk, or sometimes we all eat and then play a game together.

We have been communicating really well too. We talked about DS playing football and he actually asked me what I thought and we had a great conversation about it and reached a decision together.

I have no desire to be back with him, but it is really nice that we can get along for the sake of the kids. I think it has been very good for the kids to not have us fighting all the time.

As a side note, there is no child support so we never have to discuss money. That has probably played a big part in us being able to get along well.
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#14 of 17 Old 02-17-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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my ex was fairly nice and agreeable for the first while. we negotiated together for custody pretty harmoniously and really tried to keep the kids' best interests as the top priority.

but then he got a girlfriend.

now he complains constantly about paying child support, refinancing the house, taking the kids on his days, all this. i predict that he'll just walk away from his kids in the next year or two. it will utterly break their hearts, but it seems inevitable.
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#15 of 17 Old 02-18-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NolaRiordan View Post
Totally agree with the PP's. I was stunned by how my X behaved. He did things I NEVER thought he was capable of. And it made the whole thing worse because it's terrible to watch someone you used to love, and who is the father of your kids being so mean spirited and deliberately hurtful, and dragging the kids in the middle. A friend of mine suggested he was like a wounded animal just lashing out at everything and that did seem to be the best analogy.

I have seen some couples divorce and they both remained adults and considered the best interests of the child. So hopefully yours will be like that. But I agree that you need to plan for the worst and be prepared for it to turn badly.
ditto to all of it. Including the analogy.
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#16 of 17 Old 02-21-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

I'm just starting down the divorce road. I "THINK" he's gonna play fair, so far, he's been fair or even more than fair in 99% of the situations we'd hit so far, but then something that I never would have guessed at or expected. I plan on fighting fair. It looks like, for the most part, he's planning on fighting fair. But if he doesn't... I've already got my defense lined up. Things change, people change. You never know, you only know you can count on yourself.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#17 of 17 Old 02-21-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Worse. Although I guess I can't say I *expected* anything of him. He went downhill after I left.

With DD, he just didn't come to see her at all at first. He did a week after her 1st birthday and then did not come back for 2 months. I told him he could see her any time. He cannot take her because she has a lot of health problems and he doesn't know how to do everything (oxygen, meds, tube feeds, ect) but I will allow him to come over to my house any time. He chooses not to. He's come by maybe 10 times in the last year and a half.

With DS, well he's still an active parent. In fact, DS spends more time at his house than at mine, but he's definitely gone over to the dark side....telling DS "Your mom is retrarded" (never mind that he has a developmentally disabled DD and still chooses to use that word ) and other offensive stuff. He buys DS all sorts of toys and spoils him to death but then comes to me when he can't afford food and yes I'm a sucker because I won't let my DS go hungry because his dad is an idiot.

He tells people I'm a horrible person but he doesn't even realize that people SEE that he's practically abandoned his disabled daughter. Yeah, real winner there.
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