I was going through my first divorce and was traveling for work when I was taking one of my training class attendees to dinner. I mentioned something having to do with my eight year old son having a cell phone and why it may sound pretentious and very ‘privileged’ but in reality it was very much the opposite. It was a small added expense that I shouldn’t have taken on but I needed to do so, so that I could talk with my boys without having to talk to their father first. I avoided a lot of conflict this way. The recipient of this information had been cordial to me until I said this and then the flood gates opened.
When I was sharing this piece of information with this associate, it became an open door…an open door that apparently she needed. She was under so much stress about the custody and time sharing of her children that we connected as soon as she realized we had a lot in common when it came to our personal lives, especially because her kids played hockey too.
Her children’s father was trying to intimidate her into giving him all of the time sharing that he wanted because…he was the original ‘bread-winner’. That he could pay for hockey; that he could pay for school; that he could create his work schedule to adhere to theirs; that he was forcing her back into the workforce after years and she would have to bend in order to keep her kids lives the same. How sad. How incredibly manipulative. How pathetic of a man to think that he could continue to control a woman’s life and their children’s lives because of money. To think that money is what makes a child well rounded. To think that money is what makes you more powerful. Pathetic.
And this is why I started this blog.
Within my circle, I was very open about what I was going through but publicly I tried my best to keep my drama to myself. If you knew/know my ex-husband then you know a smidge of what I went through. I wasn’t shy about sharing much…if you asked.
So I decided to open up, publicly, to help others in the same shoes, to feel empowered. This is my life story and if someone can get something positive out of it then more power to you and I want to be the one to help. I want you to know that you can get through this and you WILL get through this…no doubt about it. I want women to feel empowered and not bullied…as so many do when they go through this process.
From my observations from many friends going through the same thing, when men feel out of control of a situation, they resort to bullying.
As I opened up about something that I thought would be so embarrassing (my divorce), I came to find that there are a lot of women out there just like me. Strong women, sometimes the bread winners, sometimes the stay at home moms, but left to figure this out on our own. Our married income showed that we did well, yet on our own, we were a little screwed. And that’s all that matters on paper in A LOT of cases. Government anything, scholarship anything, tuition anything, financial anything…we were dependent on our spouses. Regardless of who screwed up.
The divorce process for me became a cat and mouse game…who could prove more about a certain financial situation than the other. Isn’t that sad? And now I’ve been on both sides of the fence.
During the Big D #1, I was the financial supporter and I was the one that called it quits because of his mistakes. I was screwed in the end because I did well for myself even though I have more custody. I still pay child support…makes sense, right?? Not to me…but now to the Big D #2…
During the Big D #2, I have had no income for the past year because we decided as a ‘husband and wife’ for me to leave work. And HE cheated. Twice. And HE decided that he wanted a divorce, and HE left me…with every bill. And what do I have left to argue with…just ‘what is right and what is wrong’ and he argues with ‘I do what I want’ and ‘if you don’t do what I want then I won’t pay anything’. Sounds fair, right??
When I left my ex-husband, I supported the kids, I kept the kids housed, I paid for everything even when he kept draining the checking account, I kept the kids lives as close to ‘normal’ as possible.
When my current husband left me, he moved out, left me with no expectation of if I would be able to pay the bills to keep the kids lives the same and now he only shows up in the little red-heads life when he wants. He will call me (because I refuse to answer texts any longer) and demand to FaceTime with her when he’s ready to do so. Sounds about selfish, right?? Seriously, he hasn’t been in contact with me for numerous days, yet he demands that I, and she, drop everything that we were doing and adhere to his schedule.
Who are these men that think that they can bully a woman into their lifestyle? Who raised them to think that this was ok? Who are they raising to think the way that they think?
I know what I will teach my boys. I know that they will be stronger after this. I know that they will know that they need to learn that even though the ‘right way’ may not be the easiest, that they will do the ‘right thing’ always. It’s as simple as that. It’s pathetic that there are women out there that call themselves mothers that will bail their sons out of turmoil at age 39 and still blame the entire situation on the wife that was ‘abused’ in some way shape or form(s).
So tonight, when I received the phone call about FaceTime and then the follow up, abusively manipulative bullying texts trying to get me to adhere to his schedule, I…ignored all of them. I answered his call, hung up on him when he didn’t like my answer and then ignored all of his text messages.
It’s sad that he thinks that a daughter, or anyone, should be dependent on his schedule, but that’s who my soon-to-be-ex-husband has become. I just refuse to allow my daughter to be used to make his ego bigger.
Spouse’s going through this…don’t let the other spouse bully you. You have just as many rights as they do. Just because they are the ones that add to the income every two weeks, doesn’t mean that they can tell you what to do during the divorce process. Remember the common sense that you have…take care of your kids…and remember that at this point, it’s all about keeping the kids safe, secure, happy, healthy, and progressing to the next ‘checkpoint’ in life. That’s what makes a difference. Not money.
Just because someone is the loudest doesn’t make them the smartest.
There have been a quite a few of you reach out to me because of similar situations in your life or a friends life…so I’m starting a prayer list. Because sometimes, that’s all you have. I’d like to extend this invitation to you – if you have something that you need a prayer for please go to the ‘contact’ page and in the comment section on the contact page, give me the details that you’d like for me to know, if any, and I’ll add it to my prayer each morning.
You will get through this. I promise and God promises.