i'm not tough enough to stop being ex's mommy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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ex left a lot of stuff at our house when he moved out.  he didn't leave in a hurry - it was at least a month from when he started staying at his new place, until he said he was done moving and i could move back in.  he managed to take some of *my* stuff, yeah, but not some very important things of his . . . like his medications, his paintings, all his winter gear, musical instruments he had borrowed from other people.  weird.


so, occasionally he has asked me to bring these things to him (since he doesn't drive).  i've done that, when i'm dropping off our kids.  the most recent one was that he had a gout attack and needed his crutches, and he needed them that day, so i dropped them off on my way to work.


he also asks me all kinds of questions, like he recently needed the boys' social security numbers to waive health insurance for them, since they're on mine.  oh, he also needed a check-up, so i reminded him of his doctor's name (because he honestly doesn't know) and looked up the phone number for him.  that's where i start feeling like mommy and i resent it a little afterwards, but at the time, it just seems like the normal, helpful thing to do.


how would a normal person respond to this?  he moved out eight months ago.  i think at that time, when i was astonished at all the stuff he left, someone told me i needed to put it all on the porch and tell him to pick it up, or i was getting rid of it.  i never did that - i don't know why - but it still seems really harsh to me even though i know it's perfectly reasonable.  at this point there isn't much left.  should i just drop it all off? <--- okay i already know the answer to that is NO but this is the lack of toughness speaking.  i mean, since i drop the boys off anyway, what is my reason for insisting he come get his crap, when it's way easier for me to drop it off than for him to get it?  gah.

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#2 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 09:46 AM
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Well... I would struggle with the stuff thing too... I don't think I'd just throw it away... But I would get it out of my house.  If I had to pack it all up anyway so I could stop looking at it... I might as well just drop it off at EX's house since you are taking the kids there anyway.


It's still getting it out of the house.  I wouldn't spend time going through it or packing it with extra care and love or anything.  :P  If he wanted it that badly he should have taken it in the first place. 


But I don't think it's too out of the reasonable to just pack it up and drop it off at his place.  Don't help him unpack it or whatever, just drop it and get it out of your life.  Then he can't bug you about it anymore in this piece mail trips.


The doctor... too bad too sad for him.  He is a big boy and can learn how to use a phone book or google search a new doctor or hell, even read his prescription bottle HIMSELF. :P  You have ZERO obligation to help an adult get a number for a doctor.



One thing I did when I was disengaging from being my EX's Mommy... I'd first sit and think, "am I capable of doing this MYSELF?"  If the answer was yes, of course I'm capable of doing this for myself... then I wouldn't do it for him, because then he should be capable of doing it for himself as well... see what I mean?


Like, say you suddenly forgot the name of your doc?  Without any help from anyone, would you be able to locate it on your own?  Yes, I think you could!  ;-)  Even if your EX claims to not be the sharpest tool in the shed... it's still not your problem.  He is an ADULT, you are his EX... and you have zero obligation to cater to him in anyway shape or form.


I know you know all of this... and I know sometimes it's a lot easier said than done.  *hugs*  But, I will say it got a lot easier for me to be like, "NO!" when I thought about it in the sense above... Let him grow up or fail on his own accord.  And NO that does not make you a bad person or a heartless *bleep*... it makes you a reasonable person that is expecting an ADULT to be an ADULT and take care of their OWN responsibilities.  ;-)  *hugs*

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#3 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 09:58 AM
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I would pack all of his stuff in garbage bags (not very neatly either) and take over as much as will fit in your car when you drop of the kids, each time, until it's gone.  Then he won't keep asking you to bring things over randomly, and you'll have your space back.  Whether you put the stuff on the porch and wait for him to pickup, which he never will, take the stuff to goodwill, or put the stuff in your car, it's still work for you. 

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#4 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kryztuh View Post

I would pack all of his stuff in garbage bags (not very neatly either) and take over as much as will fit in your car when you drop of the kids, each time, until it's gone. 

Yup.  I'd probably pack them neatly because I'm OCD that way, but each trip, I'd bring a box or bag or two until it was all gone.  Then it's done.  And he'll start to get the hint.  No more random requests to run errands for him.


It took me most of a year to quit being XH's mommy--I stretched it that long because that's how long our finances were still mingled until our divorce was finalized.  It was in my interest to keep my hand in the money part anyway.  Even still it occaisionally comes up, but not too bad.  OMG he even managed to do his own taxes this year!  For the first time EVER I think!  It's hard to change that mind-set and took conscious effort.  I'm sure he thought I was being b!tchy at first, but he got the hint and started figuring things out (or at least found a new person to take care of him). 




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#5 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 12:28 PM
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Girl! Change your post title to "i'm not YET tough enough to stop being ex's mommy", for a psychological boost of hope.

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#6 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 01:35 PM
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Drop the stuff off if it's easy for you. If not ask him to come and get it. Don't feel weak for doing that. It's just a nice thing to do for another human. Same thing goes for the doctor's names and stuff. You aren't obligated, but if it's no sweat for you, why not do it? Eventually he will already know the answers to those questions and stop asking if you don't encourage it.

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#7 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 02:00 PM
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Yeah, I think packing it up -- as in, tossing it in garbage bags or whatever is easy -- and bringing it to him as it's convenient is maybe the easiest way to deal with it. You could throw it away if you wanted to, but I could see where it wouldn't be totally caving to take the high round and drop it off at his house as it's convenient.

I totally get it though. It can take so much effort to get comfortable saying no or being demanding. Case in point: ask me how much child support my ex is paying. And ask me what I've done to remedy that. Gah. I'm trying so hard to learn to take my own advice.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-01-2011, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the perspectives, ladies!

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#9 of 9 Old 06-05-2011, 04:58 PM
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Been there! On the advice of a male friend, I got his stuff outta my house because he said he did that on purpose (leaving his stuff, its like a man marking his territory). My friend told me it's better to clear his things out now and stop playing secretary before another man was in the picture. Otherwise, the ex would linger around.

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Update: Baby girl born Nov 19th!
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