Ex dh is divorcing again. DD losing stepmom.. Its Monday!! Party time! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 84 Old 10-27-2007, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow--sometimes these things really DO have happy endings!
I've been reading along and when I first read this I had red flags in my head for the husband's soon to be ex. But I guess she really will stay out of the way--yes? I mean, she isn't related to the child in any way, so she can't step back in somehow, can she? I would just hate to see your famiy, OP, get blindsided by some freaky back door thing.
I am so glad for you...and how sweet to hear that your dd will be there for the birth of the new baby.
I really think you have had your dd's best interests at heart--and it looks like the universe worked in your favor due to the positive energy you've been putting out there.
No, she's not related to my dd in any way at all. I had been open to the idea of her still being in her life somehow, just not a shared visitation thing with her. However, my dd really wants nothing to do with her. I can understand her anger, stbx stepmom didn't just walk out on my ex.. she walked out on my daughter too and it really hurt her.

In this situation there were really just too many players involved. If the families could have gotten along, and included me and respected me as dd's mother.. it could have worked fine and been much happier the past 5 years. But I had to constantly try to squeeze myself back into dd's life, and the step mother fought to squeeze me out. I really saw it as a chance for her to have MORE people to love her and care for her, but her stepmother didn't see it that way I guess.

I don't foresee any problems arising from her though. If in the future she and my ex husband and my dd decide they want her to have some sort of relationship based on what they had.. I will not oppose it. As long as its not taking time away from her life here like it was. (when I had her weekends, and the step mother had her all week even though she didn't live with my ex anymore. LOL That was crazy.) And of course, as long as its something my dd wants.

I just got off the phone with my ex and confirmed that tomorrow night I'm going down there to pick up dd's things. He sounded happy on the phone. Go figure. All my worry for nothing.

You can tell I'm a mother I guess.

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#62 of 84 Old 10-27-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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Nature, I am so happy for you.. you got the ending that many in this situation never get. I know you are probably feeling like a kid in the candy store at the moment.

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#63 of 84 Old 10-27-2007, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nature, I am so happy for you.. you got the ending that many in this situation never get. I know you are probably feeling like a kid in the candy store at the moment.

Shay
I am!

And thank you so much.. You don't even know how much of a comfort you've been to me in the past.

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#64 of 84 Old 10-27-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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Great news, nature!!!
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#65 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I promised you a party on Monday if everything went according to plan.. Dd started at her new school 45 minutes ago. She loves her teacher, and a cousin is in her classroom. I feel really great about this, and can't wait for life to settle down and we find our new "normal."

Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts, your reassurance that I did need to step up and do something, and helping me gain the confidence that I
needed to face my ex.

On to party time!

::
:
:



I wanted to add, we did go up and get her things last night. My ex appeared to be in a good mood, he helped me go through dd's things and basically he wanted me to take everything. He only asked for a few things to stay there, but I insisted on leaving him a lot more. After all, I felt like crap when he did that to me. No need to do it to him.

He said he'd bring her bike up when he comes next. He said he can't take her this coming weekend overnight because he has plans, but that hopefully he can come see her during the day and go do something.

I had him write down his email address, and gave him hers. I told him that I'm going to let her call him whenever she wants to, so if there is a time he doesn't want to be bothered.. like when he needs to be sleeping... to put it on silent so that she doesn't keep waking him up.

For the first time in 5 years I was allowed inside his house.. and I was a bit surprised. His attitude has always been holier than thou. He makes more money so therefore he has more stuff, more things, happier life, etc... and what I found was.. my daughter had a bedroom in an unfinished basement. There were leaks in the roof everywhere, buckets of stagnant water to catch it. A gun cabinet in her room. (now the years of nightmares about guns make sense...) the laundry room was part of her room down there. Cement floors. My ex and his wife lived upstairs in this house and my dd... downstairs.

The attitude he gave off for so long just didn't match the reality.

Sure, they have a morgaged house.. and I live in an apartment. But once you get past the exterior differences... the inside of where we live is a whole lot nicer. My roof doesn't leak, we have carpeted floors, walls, and doors. I mean.. I grew up in a house that was crappy with leaks everywhere. I honestly don't care about that. What I was shocked about was.. for years he acted like he was above me. More than me. I was less than. A nothing. A low income loser. When the reality is.. he is more human than he wanted me to know...

It was eye opening. I've felt less than for years.. for no reason at all.

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#66 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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:::jam min: Woohoo! I'll party, too!

Wow, this has really been an emotional process for all of you! I'm so glad she's with you now, and you can all start a new process of healing and settling. I'm sure these first weeks will have some surprises and pain, but I think you're on the brink of a whole new life with your DD. I know it's bound to be bumpy for her, but it sounds like this is really a major blessing for her, to go where she's deeply, deeply wanted. (Not that her dad didn't want her; I have no way of know that. It just sounds like his actions weren't communicating very good stuff to her!)

Congratulations! Here's hoping her first day at her new school goes smoothly!

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#67 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post

For the first time in 5 years I was allowed inside his house.. and I was a bit surprised. His attitude has always been holier than thou. He makes more money so therefore he has more stuff, more things, happier life, etc... and what I found was.. my daughter had a bedroom in an unfinished basement. There were leaks in the roof everywhere, buckets of stagnant water to catch it. A gun cabinet in her room. (now the years of nightmares about guns make sense...) the laundry room was part of her room down there. Cement floors. My ex and his wife lived upstairs in this house and my dd... downstairs.
Document, document, document. Consider telling your lawyer this right away.

Well, immediately after the PARTY that is!
::

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#68 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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[quote=Nature;9570149]


For the first time in 5 years I was allowed inside his house.. and I was a bit surprised. His attitude has always been holier than thou. He makes more money so therefore he has more stuff, more things, happier life, etc... and what I found was.. my daughter had a bedroom in an unfinished basement. There were leaks in the roof everywhere, buckets of stagnant water to catch it. A gun cabinet in her room. (now the years of nightmares about guns make sense...) the laundry room was part of her room down there. Cement floors. My ex and his wife lived upstairs in this house and my dd... downstairs.
/quote]

I'm sorry, but WTF?

How is it that he did that and she never mentioned it? That makes me really angry. I'm so glad you have her with you now.

What the hell is wrong with your ex and his STBX?

You're already a bigger person than me for not exploding right there. Document that little tidbit and file it away just in case.

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#69 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[quote=bigeyes;9572671]
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post


For the first time in 5 years I was allowed inside his house.. and I was a bit surprised. His attitude has always been holier than thou. He makes more money so therefore he has more stuff, more things, happier life, etc... and what I found was.. my daughter had a bedroom in an unfinished basement. There were leaks in the roof everywhere, buckets of stagnant water to catch it. A gun cabinet in her room. (now the years of nightmares about guns make sense...) the laundry room was part of her room down there. Cement floors. My ex and his wife lived upstairs in this house and my dd... downstairs.
/quote]

I'm sorry, but WTF?

How is it that he did that and she never mentioned it? That makes me really angry. I'm so glad you have her with you now.

What the hell is wrong with your ex and his STBX?

You're already a bigger person than me for not exploding right there. Document that little tidbit and file it away just in case.
I think because it was all she knew? I dunno. Like I said, I grew up in conditions kinda like that and I didn't realize how subpar it really was.

When I saw her in that environment she seemed comfortable. At home. So my guess is she was just really used to it. As for knowing the difference because she sees my house, I really think that maybe her fathers attitude has shaped how she sees things. For instance, she herself has told me before, "Ya but you rent." Her father really puts monetary things above everything else and clearly that has rubbed off on her a bit. Ahh.. the things I get to try and undo.

So, I don't have a lawyer on retainer. 5 years ago I had a free lawyer. I could probably contact her and let her know whats happening, but I really don't want anything legal happening right now. Could I document his house in just writing for myself in case I need it?

I really don't forsee him pulling anything. Honestly. She is so much older than she was. The novelty has worn off. He's ready to be responsibility free. And he no longer has anything to prove because his wife left him.

Points for him today though, he called me earlier to see how her first day of school went. She had a half day today (perfect first day! ) and she had a blast. One of her cousins is in her class, she saw 3 kids she knows from gymnastics at school, and her other 2 cousins at lunch. She said she already made a ton of friends, and theres this boy that is being really "weird" because he's too nice and wants to do everything for her.
She talked to her dad on the phone for a few minutes and let him know she had a great first day and things were good.

So.. at least he called. Props to him for that.

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#70 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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I am so not surprised reading about your ex's house. The first time I came to Maine 9 years ago my ex and ds were living up north and the place was a frickin disaster.. I won't even get in to it but I took some quick photos that ended up being the leverage to get joint custody. My ex has continued to live in a manner that frankly is appalling to me and that's even now that he has a lady friend. My ds always comments on how normal things are at my house to the point that this summer was the first time he had friends over at all since at his Dad's house he never wanted them to come over.

I am just so happy for you and your girls. I imagine its gonna be an adjustment but its a good adjustment.

Shay

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#71 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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Nature, write down what you saw inside that house, print it out and post it to yourself. Then keep the envelope unopened. It'll be proof that you recorded these thoughts at this moment in time, even though it's your word against his.

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#72 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nature, write down what you saw inside that house, print it out and post it to yourself. Then keep the envelope unopened. It'll be proof that you recorded these thoughts at this moment in time, even though it's your word against his.
Good idea! Isn't that like.. poor mans copyright law? Or something like that?

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#73 of 84 Old 10-29-2007, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so not surprised reading about your ex's house. The first time I came to Maine 9 years ago my ex and ds were living up north and the place was a frickin disaster.. I won't even get in to it but I took some quick photos that ended up being the leverage to get joint custody. My ex has continued to live in a manner that frankly is appalling to me and that's even now that he has a lady friend. My ds always comments on how normal things are at my house to the point that this summer was the first time he had friends over at all since at his Dad's house he never wanted them to come over.

I am just so happy for you and your girls. I imagine its gonna be an adjustment but its a good adjustment.

Shay
Yes, my dd did say she didn't have friends over. Oddly enough it wasn't because she was embarrassed though, it was because her father was. He knew that their house wasn't very great inside, so he went to great lengths to only allow my dd to make friends with people whom HE believed to be poor. Nice huh? So she identified her friends as the rich ones, and the poor ones.. according to her father. "Only the poor ones are allowed to have sleepovers, because dada knows their houses are worse than ours. My other friends that have money aren't allowed in." : So weird.


I am sooooooo pleased that she had a good day today! She was bubbling all about the new friends she made in just her first HALF day. She even has a boy thats smitten with her. She talked about how the class was doing a project about a book about a baseball player, and her teacher didn't make her do much because it wasn't fair since she just came today. But she said she learned a lot in circle, and that she probably could have done the assignment just fine. She went on and on about this book about a guy that I can't even remember, and she was just spouting off things left and right. So, her teacher is a great fit for her. A nice young one. Teaching only about 4 years, and she's also "cool"... which is important when you're 9.

She has a lot more self esteem and confidence than I did when I was her age.. thats for sure. She was barely nervous at all today, and laughed when I asked if she was sure she'd be okay when I left. "Mom...I'm NINE!" Oh right. Sorry. : I'm new at this..

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#74 of 84 Old 11-02-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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Nature, How are things going?

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#75 of 84 Old 11-02-2007, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nature, How are things going?
Things are going great! I'm a little bit : because there have been so many changes so quick, Halloween stress on top of it. But things with my dd are really going well. He came and saw her for a little while on Tuesday, and I don't believe he has any plans on seeing her this weekend. I guess we'll see if he calls or not. School for her is going great! She got 100% on the test this week, and she wasn't even there when they learned the material! She's made friends already, a cousin in her class, and a bit of a routine going on. It'll take awhile to fully get into the swing of things. We're trying. I've never had a school aged child 24/7 at home, so this is all new for me.

Its overwhelming. Almost like I have emotions that I should have had when she started Kindergarten.. only I wasn't allowed to participate back then. So I'm starting new. She's all like.."Mom! I'm 9 years old! I'll be fine!" and I'm fighting back tears.

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#76 of 84 Old 11-02-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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Things are going great! I'm a little bit : because there have been so many changes so quick, Halloween stress on top of it. But things with my dd are really going well. He came and saw her for a little while on Tuesday, and I don't believe he has any plans on seeing her this weekend. I guess we'll see if he calls or not. School for her is going great! She got 100% on the test this week, and she wasn't even there when they learned the material! She's made friends already, a cousin in her class, and a bit of a routine going on. It'll take awhile to fully get into the swing of things. We're trying. I've never had a school aged child 24/7 at home, so this is all new for me.

Its overwhelming. Almost like I have emotions that I should have had when she started Kindergarten.. only I wasn't allowed to participate back then. So I'm starting new. She's all like.."Mom! I'm 9 years old! I'll be fine!" and I'm fighting back tears.
I know how you feel though in our case my son started school with me and was uprooted. : I remember when I first moved to Maine to be closer to him and how strange it felt to see on weekends rather than longer stretches. Thankfully when we moved here it did allow me to be a part of his life on a regular basis and see what was happening with school and all that. Sometimes its amazing how good the seemingly normal parent stuff feels. I think you have to have been a non -custodial parent to really understand it.

So glad things are going well for you.

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#77 of 84 Old 11-02-2007, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes its amazing how good the seemingly normal parent stuff feels. I think you have to have been a non -custodial parent to really understand it.
Exactly! I'm sure that in awhile it will become routine and even at times annoying.. however for now.. even looking through homework, or packing her snacks for school make me feel giddy. I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.

As for personal feelings.. I've found that I'm really confused through all of this. Its been so quick even for me, that I'm unsure if its stress, confusion, or happy tears that I'm crying half the time. Ever have those moments where you're just overwhelmed and you aren't sure? Thats where I've been. I am incredibaly happy!! But sometimes I feel more.. WOW. instead of just happy. Shock perhaps is a good word. Literal shock.

She's been here 9 days. Thats the most time she's spent here in a row.. in years. It feels, normal. And her sisters are no longer crying when she leaves, because they know she'll be right back after school or gymnastics. My 4 yo dd said today, "I'm happy that sissy stays here now.. but I was sad when she doesn't stay."

That pretty much sums up the last 5 years for me too.

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#78 of 84 Old 11-04-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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: I'm so glad things are going so well.

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#79 of 84 Old 11-04-2007, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I brought dd down to the dance studio that my 4 yo dd goes to for her creative movement. We sat in on a few classes, and she talked with the instructors. We agreed that in the beginning of December after her last routine, she will stop gymnastics and take up two dance classes. Either hip-hop and breaking, or breaking and jazz. (the time she is in gymnastics, the cost her dad covers, and the gas it takes to and from PLUS the competitive expenses are the reasons we decided together that she stop for now. Currently it runs 3 days a week, 9 hours a week.)

So, I can cover her dance classes.. but the costumes are 30 a piece and she needs two. Her sister already raised enough money for hers selling cookie dough. We only have one more day to sell it. So dd calls her dad and lets her know she's stopping gymnastics soon, and does he want to buy some cookie dough?
Does he?! He does! In fact, he's coming down tomorrow to get the paper from me so he can sell to everyone he knows so that dd can get her costumes and he said he'd probably sell enough to help some other kids in the class out too. He was totally okay with her stopping gymnastics.

Do the surprises never end? He was perfectly happy with her quitting gymnastics, and happy in her choice of classes because they used her gymnastics training too.

Pinch me please... is he being civil?!???

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#80 of 84 Old 11-04-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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She's been here 9 days. Thats the most time she's spent here in a row.. in years. It feels, normal. And her sisters are no longer crying when she leaves, because they know she'll be right back after school or gymnastics. My 4 yo dd said today, "I'm happy that sissy stays here now.. but I was sad when she doesn't stay."

That pretty much sums up the last 5 years for me too.[/QUOTE]

This is so wonderful, makes me feel teary, I hope things continue to go well for you. I keep coming back to see your updates, keeping you in my thoughts.

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#81 of 84 Old 11-05-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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What a wonderful turn of events for you and your DD, Nature! I'm glad you will be able to mother her primarily for awhile, especially at this vulnerable time for her. She is also entering that pre-teen phase when girls really need their moms in a special way!

My only comment about your situation is that it DOESN'T make sense to me that your exhusband would have her for more time just because he makes more money. In California where I live, child support, custody, and visitation are completely separated. Parents' incomes are not reasons for kids not to be with one parent more and another less, or not at all. There is a presumption of joint physical AND legal custody from the beginning as the natural best interest of the child. So I don't know about Maine, but why should you logically not have your daughter equally with your ex husband?

I guess that is water under the bridge for you, but in terms of the future, you can always go to the court and petition to change your divorce agreement. It is a living document. I have changed mine several times, with the agreement of my ex husband, as our child's needs have changed. Just know that you have every right to be your daughter's rock, her OTHER rock, and to care for her before anyone else does if her father isn't available.

Good luck with your new babe!!!

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#82 of 84 Old 11-05-2007, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In talking to other mothers in the area, and also professionals that see divorce and custody battles in my state a lot.. they all agree that here in Maine, money talks. The parent with the better lawyer and the higher income has a better chance coming out on top.

It states in our custody agreement, when my dd was given to him.. "although (mother) is creative, loving, and emotionally there for (minor child) and clearly bonded, at this time we find that what (minor child) needs more is the financial security that (father) can provide."

It doesn't get much more black and white than that.

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#83 of 84 Old 11-05-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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Wow...I am so shocked, as I am sure you were. How heartbreaking. Well you are perservering for your daughter and she will thrive because of it.

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#84 of 84 Old 11-05-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
In talking to other mothers in the area, and also professionals that see divorce and custody battles in my state a lot.. they all agree that here in Maine, money talks. The parent with the better lawyer and the higher income has a better chance coming out on top.

It states in our custody agreement, when my dd was given to him.. "although (mother) is creative, loving, and emotionally there for (minor child) and clearly bonded, at this time we find that what (minor child) needs more is the financial security that (father) can provide."

It doesn't get much more black and white than that.
I definitely agree with you about Maine. There are quite a few non-custodial Mamas in this state and I am talking good loving Mamas yet they had no money when they went to court. So kid goes to dad...its messed up.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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