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my ex and are try to get along but it is frustrating that we still have alot of the same issues to deal with after separating. he is not working alot now and not able(?) to help me financially, and the kids are with me most of the time. he takes the older two 2-21/2 days and the little one while i work(usually 7 hours two days a week) i try so hard not to feel like the stereotypical single mom who has no help, i try to appreciate what he does(working with me to arrange transportation, mostly for the little one while i work beacuse neither of us have a vehicle, consistently taking the older ones each week, being somewhat accomodating if there is something i need to do where i would need him to take the kids) and know that it is unrealistic to expect perfect equality(how would you measure that anyways?
) . i cant really talk about how i feel to anyone, well i do have a few people, but most automatically assume they know how it feels to be me and dealing with someone like him, y'know, like sometimes i feel like im reading about myself in a magazine article or something it is a story weve all heard before, but godammit i want to write a new ending. i want to have realistic expectations and i want him to have a chance at something better too. but i want him to give more and realize that i cant wait for his help. my brother suggested that I sit down and figure out the bare minimum of what i expect from him. bare minimum. but i always think in terms of what he can give. for example right now he is tattooing 2 days a week, he lives way off a bus line, out in the (almost) country, no car so i realize that it may take some time for him to get to the point where he can help me with money, but am i being too soft? i mean why am i worrying about him when ive got my own worries? i care and i dont want to fight and i really do want us all to be happy. i just dont see how me being a hardass will help the situation and i also do not know what i have the right to expect. thanks for listening. guess i really need to do some hardcore thinking about this.
 

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Sounds like you do need to sit down and really think about what you want and expect from him. It's hard to let go and not "worry" about someone you used to care so much about ... I know I had a hard time not taking care of my x after we seperated too.

I knew from the start that I expected my x to pay a certain percentage of his salary in child support and to visit his son on a regular basis. Unfortunately it took a court order for the child support, and he's just in the last 6 weeks or so started being responsible about visitation. It's frustrating, I know first hand.

I try to keep things pleasant when we do have to talk or meet, but we end up arguing most times, even if it's only a few mins. I've found that keeping contact with him to a minimum helps a ton.

I hope you get things worked out, it sounds like all the pressure and responsibility is on you right now and I know that's got to be so stressful.
 

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Quote:
i dont want to fight and i really do want us all to be happy.
Thay may be *your* priority, but not necessarily his. If you want "no conflict" more than you want, say, a certain guaranteed amount of $support, then you are taking the right approach. But if there are things you -- or more importantly, your kids -- *must* have, then you may need to "fight" for them.

Quote:
i just dont see how me being a hardass will help the situation
Well, again, if your main goal is not fighting, then being a hardass won't help. If, on the other hand, you want specific things to help your children, then you may need to be a hardass and stand up for them. To me -- this is just *my* opinion -- that's a necessary part of parenting: doing uncomfortable stuff, from smelly diaper changing to confrontation with our kids' fathers/schools/bullies, to benefit our kids. Fortunately, that's what court orders and wage garnishments are for, to put muscle behind our standing up.

Quote:
and i also do not know what i have the right to expect.
I think that's the ultimate Q, and A, to your issue. In your place, I'd start by going to websites to discover what child support my kids are entitled to -- so that would be a minimum, no-compromise demand. Then I'd make a list of what other things my kids needed: time with their father or grandparents, to stay in the home they know, whatever. Can you start with that?
 

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ITA with Seasons. (Very nicely written, Seasons!)

I took the non-hardass approach with my ex, only because I knew that I would be moving back to the US within a few months and I wanted to keep things "kosher" until our departure.

Even if you decide to take the non-hardass approach, be prepared to have to deal with all the resentment that WILL build up (towards your ex) because of his actions, behaviors and lack of responsibility. If not dealt with, it will seep into our aspects of your life and/or result in a GIANT blow-out between the 2 of you.

Best of luck! It is not easy, but you will do what is best for your situation and children!
 

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For me, it was a lot easier to when I quit looking at us as equal parents. We weren't. The bulk of the work, responsibility, etc. is all mine and that's just reality. Wanting him, expecting him, whatever, has led me to more misery than I needed. My life changed a lot when I accepted this.

The kids are really my responsibility. I need to find a way to support us, care for them alone & with the help of others (family, friends, etc) and realize that this is our life. Then, anything my ex does is now an "extra" and that's way easier for me to handle than constant disappointment.

You can probably handle more than you think. I know that has been true for me. I relied a lot on my husband when we were married & I initially after we split. But now, I do it on my own & whatever he throws our way is just a little better for everyone.
 
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