My husband and I are separated and I am initiating the divorce but papers have not been filed, yet. So, we don't have any court- ordered custody rules to go by. The kids are with me and he sees them every day. We live in the same town as my husband's parents. I am planning to have Thanksgiving with my family. My eldest does not want to be around/ with my husband on Thanksgiving and chooses to be with me and my family. My youngest is angry with me for "making" his dad leave, and if given a choice, I believe he will choose to go with his father and his family (although I think he would prefer to visit with my family because of the cousins attending that are his age).
I don't think my husband (nor his parents, for that matter) is a good role model because of the things that he has done and the choices that he is making at this point, and I don't even think he should have visitation- supervised or not. But, I will concede if he is supervised, only for my youngest son's sake (he's thirteen) not wanting to further damage our relationship- forcing him to come with me. My eldest is sixteen and because of his age and the animosity he feels right now- early in the process, I think it's best if we not force him to go with his dad.
My husband called me and wants/ insisting to have both kids for Thanksgiving because normally we alternate between my family and his, and it is his family's turn. I was invited to attend, but because my husband will be there, I obviously don't want to be there- a blowout will undoubtedly occur with him and his parents and there will be other guests. I have plans to visit with his side of the family (brother- in- law, sister- in- law and children) on a separate day that same weekend so that the kids can visit with their paternal side.
What would be the fair thing to do this year for the holidays? We will have the same concern for Christmas. It's my family's turn. We try to visit with both sides anyway, but choose one or the other based on turns for the specific day. Yes, his parents (mother) are very picky about the specific day for each holiday. It has to be on that day, no exceptions or its a big deal.
I believe that at a time of such stress, we all need to be able to feel comfortable wherever we decide to go, and I feel that at 16, my son is old enough to decide one way or the other. My husband asked me to think about it the other way around- if the tables were turned. But, it wasn't me that did all those terrible things. And, I am willing to compromise by allowing my youngest to chose whether to go with him as long as he is supervised. I don't think that forcing my eldest will make anything better. More than likely he will resent it and think worse of his dad for it.
What do you all think? Are there some unwritten rules to follow? Am I being fair and do I have to be?
HI Sunsetnan, it has been awhile since I went through seperation and divorce. It was very hard on me but mostly on the children, as they never see what we see in our spouse whicb is natural, after all both of us will always be thier parents, nothing can change that not even death.Prior to the court ordered living arrangemets for my children, I tried to be civil. Keeping in mind the children love the other parent also. If the kids are at an age where they can make up thier own mind about where to be for 1 holdiay then do it, trust me it will do more good then haram, and make sure you have a set time to get them or the one chidlen back, Then they can go to your side of the family also if it is close enough. I would also suggest possible family counsliung for the children. My X tried to do a number on me via the kids with telling them lies. I would always tell the truth on what ever the "new" lie was and then tell them.... "look your dad loves you in his own way" but dont listen to what he says about me because it is lies. Just ask him not to talk about your MOM cause you love me. and I never spoke bad about him to them. BEcause the divorce was not about them it was about him and I. Back to Holidays, Christmas was the easiest to split up for us. He had the kids every christams eve as his side always had a big family Party. I had them Christmas Day. Plus I worked retail back then and I worked till 8pm x mas eve. There are no un written rules to how to handle this unfortunately, we all just do the best we can. MY best adivce for a happy family during seperation and divorce and over holidays is to listen to the childrens needs. after all they came from the love of 2 parents.
Thank you for your answer. I got some advice from my attorney so as to have a favorable outcome. This is still new, and unfortunately I am still angry and bitter. I will try to keep in mind your suggestions concerning trying to be civil.
The following user gives a hug of support to Sunsetnan: teeha (11-10-2010)
I remember that feeling well. It took me 5 yrs for a no fault Divorce due to his Games. Seriously he even tried telling the kids he could not buy them anything because I was taking all his money for child support. Yes one day they came form from his house asking me why was I doing that. So I took out the child support check should them exactly how much is was, and asked them how much thier dad made at work, they looked at me and said it was more then that check was. I told them look I know your dad loves you both very much in his own way, but he should not be talking bad about me to either of you. I am not talking bad about him. And trust me I could have said alot. Now my kids were 8 and 10 at that time. Sit down and tlak wiht the kids let them know that they can tlak to you about what is happening, you may even consider counseling for them. Divorce is always hardest on the kids because it effects them soo much and it is not about them. They need to know what is expected of them as far as not allowing either of you to talk bad about the other around them. If they cant tlak to you about what they are felling make sure they have someone they can confide in. I am always here for you to talk to also. The bitterness does diminish with time, I cant say it will go away totally, but I can now talk wiht my X when it concerns the children and family since they r growing up and are now 19 and 21.
Hang in there
The Following User Says Thank You to teeha For This Useful Post: Sunsetnan (11-11-2010)
I think it would be easier if he wasn't squatting in our trailer on the side yard. He makes excuses to come in the house and ends up harassing me. I finally went to my room to get away from him.
I could get a restraining order, but I know it will only make things worse, and my youngest will blame me for not seeing him. Right now, I can at least keep an eye on them and make sure he's not up to no good.
Now, he wants to take our youngest (thirteen) to go camping alone for the weekend. I don't trust him and don't get what the big deal is. He's already living in the trailer- camping in our side yard. I get that he wants to get away- but he always seems to get into trouble because he makes poor choices. He really needs to start going through his things and getting them packed up so he can be on his way.
I don't know about my sixteen year old. He isn't getting the attention like the 13 yo who can be manipulated so easily. He considers his brother as defecting and I'm sure it's hard. He's old enough to understand the bad things that his father has done and how mentally unstable his father is and won't cave in to his manipulation. Like you said, playing games.
I try to be the voice of reason, allowing my youngest to have access to his father all the while, trying to deflect the lies. But, it's hard to not take my son's behavior personally. He can become disrespectful and defiant at times. He's so sensitive and yet so strong willed. But, he's being manipulated and I know at some point he will be hurt. I know my husband is only giving him this attention because he's the only one he hasn't alienated. When he gets tired of it, and goes back to being the absent father, my son will be hurt.
thanks for the offer to vent. I know better times are ahead and that this is the hard part.
Last edited by Sunsetnan; 11-12-2010 at 12:10 AM.
I feel your pain--I too am recently separated and I did finally file the divorce papers. I left my husband on 12/29/09 because of his very bad choices. I have been dealing with his bad choices for the last 8 years, however, the last 2 have been extremely bad. I actually waited 6 months to see if he would actually get the big picture that he needed to change his ways if he wanted my daughter and I to return. He never once actually tried to help himself in those 6 months. We have not even talked about the holidays, maybe because he knows that she and I will be with some of my family members. He can demand all he wants, however, I obtained temporary sole physical and legal custody of our daughter (she is 14 and wants nothing to due with her father anyway) my temporary order also mentions visitation at the discretion of the minor child. It was told to me that even if visitation was ordered, you really can not force a teenager to visit a parent if they do not wish too.
Unfortunate for my husband, he still has no idea what he did wrong and insists that I left and abandoned him.
This is a very hard time for you and the boys and unfortuanately, you are the one who will have to deal with their ever changing moods during this time of unrest. (thank god you have boys, my daughter not only gets angry with the situation at times, but I must also deal with the monthly hormone wars)
You also need to take care of yourself, emotionally and physically. I have using these boards for other health issues and was really happy to see this board pop up. Do not let your frustrations simmer, use this board or a close friend to vent.
I hope your family is as supportive as mine has been to my daughter and myself.
I have placed my daughter into therapy in hopes that she can tell someone what she will not tell me. (she has been seeing this person for the last 5 months, and she still will not discuss her father. I hope that changes soon.) Maybe that is something worth thinking about with your sons, maybe sessions with the two boys together and individual sessions for each of them.
Getting throught these next 6 weeks will be tough, hang in there and I will be thinking of you.
Thank you so much for your reply. It is comforting to not feel like I am the only one going through something like this. Your suggestion for counseling is a good idea. I have set up an initial counseling appointment for myself in a couple of weeks. The therapist that my insurance covered was booked until then. I hope to talk with her about getting my sons in to see someone as well as how to handle these touchy situations.
The hard part hasn't happened yet, however. My husband is withholding his paycheck from us, so the house mortgage payment won't be made. He is doing this to prove a point that I cannot make the house payment on my own. He's playing mind games and his kids will suffer. I told him that if he doesn't help pay then he will force me and the kids to move. If we have to move, we will go back to the city we used to live in that is closer to my family.
I know it will be hard for them to move once again, leaving their friends, home, and classmates. But, in the long run, it will be better without the threat of harassment looming over me and the kids. Yeah, not only has he emotionally abused me, made poor choices, and cheated on me more than once, but he also continues to harass me and tries to control me even now. He just doesn't seem to get the concept of a separation and pending divorce.
I know that this stress is not helping my health any. I do have good friends and family who have been very supportive and that has made things easier. I started to think that God had abandoned me to a miserable marriage. But, now that the divorce is on it's way, I feel as if it has become my salvation and freedom. God is helping me find the right path and has heard my prayers. Thanks for your encouraging words. We will get through this, and will be stronger for it.
I receive child support via a temporary court order that is enforced by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. They take the support directly out of his paycheck and they direct deposit it into an account for my daughter. I tried having him give me money every two weeks, but he always found a reason why he forgot, so now he has no reason because he has no control. I am sorry to say, but it is now time to file your papers to get the ball rolling.
I understand the mortgage, we have not paid our mortgage since July 2010 and I am not proud, however, it is mortgage or a roof over my daughters head.
Contact the mortgage company now because it is going to be a long process to see what programs they can offer you within your income bracket.
I know for a lot of people in our position, it will not be the happiest holiday, however, for me and I hope you, it will be a little less stressful and relaxing.
Hang in there, we will get through this maybe a little scarred but I believe a whole lot healthier.
Thank you so much for your kind words and suggestions. It's exactly what I need right now. I got the ball rolling with the divorce a week ago. The atty is preparing the papers for custody right now. The next step is to review and approve the papers when they are completed so that they can be filed.
I am getting conflicting information about what to do about the mortgage. My sister says to wait until I get a late notice for payment before I contact the mortgage company. I've heard of this before, saying they couldn't do anything until you were actually late in making the payment. It will be considered late tomorrow, and I won't get a late notice until the end of the month.
When my husband refused to contribute to paying the mortgage, I gave him the statement and told him it was up to him to pay. After all, I used up all my Social Security income paying the other bills. So, he's been working extra for his father, so don't know if he is trying to make enough money to pay it or not.
I don't doubt I will have to have the court order that the child support be taken from his paycheck. Will they do this from the beginning? Or do they wait until he doesn't pay?
I'm hoping that getting away for the holiday will give me a little respite from all the drama. However, I get little bits of snide remarks about my husband here and there, even now. I just hope people will keep their comments to themselves, come Thanksgiving. Although, I typically agree with them, I feel as if it is a reflection on me and my choices. Like, I should have chosen better. I shouldn't have let him use me as a doormat. I should have left him years ago. I suppose I could always say, "I left him when it was right for me and my children and not a moment sooner or later."
Things are calm for the moment. Everyone is getting used to their new role. I'm not getting dirty looks from my mother-in-law when I don't sit with my husband at church. I haven't got lectures on the phone answering machine message lately from his father. My youngest hasn't given me the cold shoulder the last several days. And, my husband has left me alone without too many arguments lately. Things are looking up.
Thanks for your support and letting me vent.
It was not your choice that was bad, it was the choices that your husband made after you were married. I will not say that I do not have guilt feelings from my head to my toes. Every time I look at my daughter, I feel guilty for having to put her through all of this, however, she is the one who told me that she has been waiting for me to come to my senses for the last four years. She tells me "I do not know what you have been thinking, but I knew four years ago that he had no intention of changing for you, me or anyone else." She was right and still is right, he has not changed even after she told him that she hates him and never wants to see him again. That was a few months ago, she now speaks with him for a few minutes on the phone. She still does not want to go anywhere with him without me present.
I come from a family of 10 and I am the only one who chose the wrong man. He did do one great thing for me during our 15 years of marriage, he did help produce a beautiful wonderful and loving daughter. That will be the only thing I will forever be grateful to him.
In terms of mother-in-laws, well she supports my decision because she knows her son exhibits the same bad qualities that her husband had, she was just to stubborn to leave him. She of course had some bad habits that he tolerated, so you can say they were a match made in heaven. Her husband died seven years ago and she moved North to live with us. She is now in a nursing home (mean daughter in law placed her there after 3 years in my house) and she is very happy. She says I take better care of her than her own children.
In terms of child support, it took about 6 weeks to set the whole thing up. My husband was suppose to send a check to the Department of Revenue every other week until the process of direct deposit was sent up. He of course did not (claimed he did not understand the process), however, I did have a choice of requesting full services, which would have allowed the DOR staff to contact my husband and enforce the order. I think if I ever have to do this again (which I will never) I may choose to request the full services.
My husband still gives me remarks that I was the one who left, I just agree with him and when he least expects it, I remind him of why I chose to leave with our daughter. I also remind him of why his daughter has very little contact with him and why he really needs to start being honest with himself.
You can not let him get to you. Just take one day a time, deal with the day to day problems and do not let what others think influence your decisions.
Please feel free to vent whenever the need arises. I am here and really do feel your pain. Thank you for being on the receiving end for my rants.
Six more weeks and this years holidays will be behind us and the New Year will be upon us. I know that next year will be better for both of us and our kids.
Last edited by shisslak; 11-14-2010 at 06:59 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to shisslak For This Useful Post: Sunsetnan (11-16-2010)
vent away it helps you. Sometimes you have to let the kids do things that you know will hurt thier feelings in the end so it can help them grow. This is the hardest kind of love there is. It called Tough Love. Yes it also hurts you seeing them go through it. My Daughter , the one who stood by me the whole time gave me the most problems then also. Nothing is a guarentee as to how things will turn out.All we can do is our best to teach them right from wrong, and stand by them in the end even if it is in court because they messed up. Its not about cleaning up the mess for them. No she never ended up in court TG! but she could have. I would in a heart beat call the cops and have the X removed for camping outside the house...this is the actions of a vagrant. And it does not help matters how he is doing this, espically how it effects your youngest. I mean camping this time of yr? Please give the kid pheniuma (sp?) for christmas... he is insane.
Keeping good thoughts for you and the kids. Keep your chin up.
Thanks Brenda and teeha for your replies. It's helpful to be able to "talk" with others who are going through or have been through this situation.
I talked a little more with my youngest son about the holidays, but I'm not sure how it will end up. I am totally against this camping trip, but that doesn't stop my STBX (soon to be ex). He does whatever he wants. They would be in our 5th wheel trailer that has a heater- so they would at least be warm, but if you don't venture out- why bother. And if they do venture out, it will be too cold. I think he just wants to get away for Thanksgiving because no one wants him to be with them or he is avoiding them because he knows that they will call him out on the carpet for his actions.
I have been struggling with whether to get a restraining order or not against my STBX for the emotional harassment and stress he causes, but I don't want him to retaliate (harassing/ getting back at me). So, I will put up with it until the court gives a judgment- hey I've had put up with this and more for the last twenty years to the day. Yes, today is our 20th wedding anniversary and the bum had the gall to sing the anniversary song and ask me if I wanted to go out to dinner! What a jerk!
Tonight, my sons and I talked a bit about moving and how it will affect us. My eldest wants to move back to the city we moved from four years ago. My youngest does not- he's made lots of great friends here. He has some friends back there, but if we move back, he won't be going to his old school, and he was upset about that. It was a private school, and I won't be able to afford it, even with child support. I tried to get my son to think of this as an opportunity to make new friends, and get together with old ones. At least he realizes it's a reality, and that's progress.
I was wanting the kids to finish out the school year, but I don't think that I will be able to take being around my future ex. for that long. Once I file, then I can move if I want out of the county. We'll need to get past the holidays, and I will be able to get some part time income to supplement my Social Security after the new year and that will help.
Well, It took six months to make plans for our wedding. I guess it will take time to make plans for our divorce, too.
When I left my husband last December, I moved back to the town I grew up in and enrolled my daughter into the public middle school. She started her first day on January 4th. She was a little nervous and scared, however, she returned home happy and relaxed. The homeroom that she was assigned had placed a sign on the Power Point Board welcoming her to the school. A few girls took her under their wing and made sure that she found her way to her classes and that she had a seat at a table in the cafeteria.
In terms of restraining order--well it will force him to move out of your backyard. It will also speed up the process of you receiving full physical and legal custody. The court may even instruct him that he must keep up the mortgage payments. You are right thought, it will annoy him.
I am now using a lawyer to help finalize the divorce and she is going to make some needed adjustments to the stipulations my husband and I made in August. He is not happy that I obtained a lawyer and for once I have not heard from him in two days. Who knows maybe he will call today because today is my birthday. Of course that would be assuming he remembers and that is a stretch because for 14 years he has never remember my birthday. Only when I received cards in the mail from my family did the lightbulb go off in his head or my daughter reminded him. Your term "jerk" is appropriate.
Would it be possible for you to drive your younger son back and forth to school for the rest of school year. It may be worth the trouble since I am sure you have already paid the full tution and it may help him deal with the situation. It would also allow him to say good bye to all of his classmates. I know when I took my daughter out of her old school (private also), I ended up having to pay an additional $800.00 just to obtain her school records. I did later on find out that the school could not hold her records and I had to promise to pay the money just as soon as my tax refund was received for the records to be released.
Why must you file before you move out of the county? I moved and filed six months later. I of course had to file in the county of my old residence which was inconvient but as the saying goes "whatever".
You do need to slow down a bit though, you are going to overwhelm yourself. Prioritize your "to do list". Get through the holidays if you plan on staying where you are and then decide what you next step should be. Do you have family that you may be able to live with for a few months until you secure housing and income. I move into my brothers house. This enable me to enroll my daughter into school and gave me a chance to locate an affortable apartment. If you are on social security, than call the local social security office and see if they have a list of available apartments that you may be able to afford.
I still question myself on whether this is the right step for me and my daughter, but as I look back on the marriage, I can see that the only one who really worked to make the marriage last was myself. As long as I was willing to give,give, give than he was happy to take take take but do not ask him to give anything and that is not a marriage of partnership.
Thanks for continuing to write, I can tell you it is really helping me when I am feeling a little down and sorry for myself. Writing to you is like having group therapy.
Do something fun with the boys today to celebrate your soon to be new lives together.
Last edited by shisslak; 11-17-2010 at 07:45 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to shisslak For This Useful Post: Sunsetnan (11-20-2010)
Thanks, Brenda. Happy belated birthday.
Some new plans and problems have developed. This is long. I have been accusing my STBX that he has no backbone, but I'm wondering if all the years of his controlling has left me a wimp. I am the very honest, forthright, always do everything the right way type of person. So, I feel I have to be fair. I don't want to be revengeful, although this man has made me a doormat, and has abused every vow that I held dear. So, when the holidays were coming up, I was thinking of allowing my youngest to go with him, hoping that my son wouldn't think me the ogre for divorcing his father. I'm just letting my youngest manipulate me, maybe even being coerced by his father to do so.
Boy, you are right. That's not the way to go. If I give him an inch, my STBX takes a mile. We had a very long civil talk last night. He kept badgering me for information, and I have been working very hard not to give him anything so that he couldn't use it against me. He often does, and I regret it. It is very tiring to do this, especially when you have a chronic illness. And, he finally tore me down. But, I figured I would go ahead and tell him that I signed the papers to start the process for the temporary orders from the court. In my mind, I couldn't see anything that would go against me if I revealed that. I hoped that if I put up the white flag, at least maybe he wouldn't retaliate like he has been doing all along.
Just because I had talked to him about the possibility of him taking my youngest son for Thanksgiving, that didn't mean that I had agreed to it, but was open to it for my son's sake. Well, now plans have changed, and it is really his fault. Without asking me or getting my approval, my STBX went behind my back and invited my son's friend from another city to visit this weekend to do an activity that he knew I wouldn't want to participate in. So, I had to call the son's mother and explain our situation and what she would be coming into. It just so happens that she is going through the same situation and was very sympathetic. It ended up raining, so the activity wouldn't have been possible anyhow, but I just knew that my son would blame me for canceling things. So, I worked it out with the mother to visit before and after Thanksgiving as a get-togeter with our sons. He lives in the city that we will be moving to, so it's good if they can restore their friendship, and I will have a new support person in the son's mother. Great on that account!
She also made mention that if I got a job working for the school or church for that matter, then the tuition would be discounted 50%. I might just be able to afford that. It would solve a lot of problems and make it easier on my youngest. Things are looking up. Kind of providential- hope there is some divine intervention going on in my favor. (I think I confused you. He is in a public school here, and wants to go back to the private school in the other city.)
But, like I said, with the plans changing, then it only makes sense for my son to come with me for Thanksgiving. In fact, in reality, my STBX should not be splitting up my sons just because he thinks he is due his time with him. The courts have not determined anything. He's the one who chose to not honor our vows, so why should he have his cake and eat it too? So, I told him that my youngest would be joining me and my eldest to our Thanksgiving with my family.
Of course, he said that I had agreed that he would have him on Thanksgiving, even though we were just discussing it and no decision had been made. I didn't want any stupid camping trip, or for him to be with him unsupervised, and having my son come with me is the perfect answer. My Thanksgiving would have been ruined with me anxious about the situation. I dreaded telling my son, but he actually didn't put up as much of a fight as I thought he would. He says that I am "forcing" him to go to Thanksgiving with me. But, in the same sentence he said that he would enjoy being with his cousins.
But, then my husband had a fit about it and I had to have a discussion/ argument with a man with no conscience to defend my position. Talk about a twisted mind! You can't reason with that. Then, in the talking, he started apologizing about all he had done (a first), and I thought maybe he might think we had a chance to get back together, and was regretting the discussion to talk. I told him point blank how much I despised him and that he needed to give me some room. I can't stand to see the man, much less have a discussion. Time will tell if it was a bad mistake.
This morning, even though I asked him to give me some space just last night, he came into the house and made some silly excuse to talk to me. I can't seem to peel this guy off my shoes. These next few months are going to be really hard until things are finalized. At least the paperwork will be submitted soon, and the temporary court order will get him away from here. Pray that the custody part goes in my favor. I can just imagine the angst I will feel if he takes my son(s) away for his visitation, not knowing what trouble he will get them into.
Thanks so much for your support, Brenda. I hope things are going well for you.
Last edited by Sunsetnan; 11-20-2010 at 09:03 AM.
Reason: added for clarification
I think that your youngest son does not want to let you know that he is happy that you will be taking him with you instead of leaving him with his father. I think he is trying to stay loyal to his father because he does not want to think badly, however, I get the impression that he is not comfortable being alone with him. So yes, I think he is going to fight you to make it look like he is upset that you are leaving his father, however, I think he is relieved.
My daughter and I are going to my brother's house for Thanksgiving. My husband did not even ask what are plans were. I found out from his mother, that he is going to a friends house.
He also called my yesterday at work--thought it was my Birthday, when I told him that he was incorrect, he than thought maybe it was on Thursday, when again I told him he was incorrect he ask me when was it, he knew it was coming up. I only told him that he missed it. He told me that he actually was not happy with me because I decided to hire an attorney to represent me. I think he knows that this attorney is not going to permit him to pay our agreed upon child support. I agreed to $500 a month and I just found out that the guidelines state that he needs to pay $1000 a month and my attorney is going to request that he be ordered to begin paying the guide lines. I can not say that the money would not come in handy. My daughter and I run out of money two days before my payday so having the extra money will hopefully allow me to not worry about finances. I actually submitted an application for part time work at McDonalds up the street because we could not live on my salary and his extra $500.
I am happy to hear that you will have another supportive mother dealing with the same type of situation. See if she is aware of any inexpensive apartments available for rent in the area. For you youngest son, this will also be great because your son and his friend can help each other out through out this process.
I know that this process is not going to be fun. It is only going to be very stressful, however, I just have to look at the smile on my daughters face. (That smile has been missing for the last few years) to know that I made the right decision. Now I just have to grin and bear the court procedures and go through the motions until the final document has been signed. I have a funny feeling that once all the papers are finalized, my husband will stop calling and visiting.
You have to do the same, there is a light at the end of this very dark tunnel and we are both strong mothers and we will get through this with the love of our children in tack.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and do not think about the process until after the holidays. I know that the New Year will be a good one for us. Could not be any worse than this year.