Sad realisation

There’s been a turn of events that have made me acknowledge something I’ve struggled to truly accept.  There’s been a small part of me that, despite what I’ve done to him and what he’s done to me, has thought that for our kids and for ourselves, we should get back together.  I know, crazy, right?!

The hatred.  The tears.  The pain.  The confusion.  The exasperation.  All of it.  Completely hiding an underlying thought that we were/are meant to be – we worked for 15 years.  How can that not say anything?  No-one’s put up with me like he has.  And I’ve been there to pick up his slack.  There’s a reason we got together and that tiny little thought has stuck around ever since we split (although some days, I definitely can’t hear that thought over my yelling “I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU!”).

But a couple of nights ago, I got a text from a friend (it was after getting back from M10’s dinner at AH’s).  There’d been a party the weekend I left and AH and another mum in the circle of friends had been cosying up and, though she couldn’t say what might have gone on, they left together (despite her coming from town and staying at her ex sister-in-law’s house, who was still at the party, she left with AH).  Alarm bells ringing.

You see, back in July (only 4 months after he called time), at another party, she went out the back and after a couple of minutes, he followed.  I wondered then already if: (a) either he was smoking again, as she’s a smoker; or (b) had they gone for a smooch?!  Why would I jump to this conclusion?

Well, after we split in March last year, he went to Cape Town for a cousin’s wedding in May.  We had said we’d try to reconcile before he left, and once he got back, we both still agreed that’s what we wanted.  The weekend he got back, there was a party [jeepers, we party a lot (another reason I want to get away from here)].  I let him stay and went home to relieve the babysitter.

Next day, I’m sent a photo of AH, with his top open.  With this woman licking one nipple and another friend on the other side.  I’m told I’m overreacting when I say it’s inappropriate .. it was just drunken fun, after all.

I’m such a mug.  From that, to seeing an email from him to his brother in October saying “he should just acknowledge his marriage is over”, to being told that he was getting close with another married mum in the group after the friends’ Xmas party last year … and I still thought we could work.

And that little voice still says “he needs to come back and I need to take him back”.

But not now.  I asked him when he came to get some stuff for the kids for their camping holiday (about 10 families have gone – I’m not invited but he is … and this woman will be there too) if he’s kissed her.  He could only repeat “why” and “it’s not relevant”.  He said ‘no, he hasn’t’, but I know him very well and if it wasn’t an out-and-out lie, he had simply missed stating the word “YET”.  He’s completely oblivious to the pain this is causing.

She was supposed to be a friend.  She is part of the party group that we BOTH hung with.  I’ve stepped away from that group, yes, but he is getting close with her at parties that other friends are at … and making me look like an utter idiot.

I probably shouldn’t have had the wines the following day – as I rung her and she confirmed that something has happened and that he’s basically a free agent and her getting with him is no issue.  Well, that’s a great reflection on her.  As the mother of 3, whose husband left her for someone else, if she couldn’t have had the decency to do what she could to protect my kids, well who would?  I hate that they’re there together over New Years.  He couldn’t even stand up to say Happy New Year to me last year – I had to prompt him.  Yet, as with any new relationship, there’ll be a massive snog this year.  In front of half the community.  And he sees nothing wrong.

I called his auntie (who raised him once his mother died) as I can’t carry this alone.  I’m viewed as the bitch but I’m so hurt.  And emotionally lacking in the skills to release, rather than react.  She’s devastated.  She tells me the whole family want us to get back together (I very much doubt the brother and Sputnik would agree with her).  Apparently divine intervention is what’s needed.  Sorry but Almighty God hasn’t done so well for me this year, so please excuse me if I don’t agree.

But it’s too late.  Fight? I’m tired of fighting.  Flight?  He won’t let me take the kids.  Acceptance.  It’s all I can do.  And it breaks my heart.

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… Christmas

I can’t say what word needs to go in front of it. ‘Happy’? … no; ‘merry’? … no; ‘joyous’? … hell no!

This was my first Xmas without him for 15 years.  We’ve always spent Christmas Eve (in the German tradition), with closeness and love; and of course presents.  Xmas Day has also been a day for extended family.

This year, I was at my parents’ with the kids.  He wasn’t.

I LOVED being away from here.  I LOVED catching up with friends of old (no, they are definitely not ‘old friends’, as that would make me old too).  I LOVED seeing my family.  I HATED seeing my brother and sister who lost their daughter in so much pain.  I LOVED him not being there to complain about having to see my friends and wanting to leave before time (completely forgetting that that’s what I have to do while in his stomping ground).

But my father was grumpy (he’s 82 now).  And Mum can’t fathom comfortable silences (and, at the end of a day, I’m a big fan of them!).  So by the end of the 8 days, I was ready for a break.

I had to come home on Boxing Day so we could spend M10’s birthday on the 27th together.  I had gotten M10 to ask AH if he wanted to join us at the beach once we were back (and had a chance to unpack the car) and he said he would.  Wasn’t impressed that he turned up at the house minutes after we’d got home, asking if he could take them for ½-an-hour.

NO!  No, you can’t.  I’m wanting them to help unpack the car and then meet you at the beach as  arranged.  Why does he think he can change these plans?  

Told him what beach we were going to and he met us there.  Each of them got a writing book and $40 cash as a Xmas present then he left, without any discussion on how the following day would work.  Seriously?!  We’re in a face-to-face situation … why would you not stick around to find out important details, like timings, food, etc.

That went ok but things still very stilted between us.  Once the dinner and cake had been and gone, I left, and he now has the kids for 10 days.

I’m going to relish not playing referee but I will miss those cuddles so much.  Hope to get some things done around the house and get away camping for a few nights … and even read a book.  Perhaps one that isn’t even related to how to parent children 🙂

It’s such a catch-22 feeling.  And not one I particularly like.  Oh well, suppose the first year is always going to be the hardest.

Positives:

  1. mini-golfing with Mum and the kids;
  2. re-connecting with many friends who I’ve neglected;
  3. this gorgeous country we live in.  A long 6-hour drive but the scenery makes me remember how lucky I am!

His proposal

Boy, I’ve been slack.  The evenings have disappeared on me.  Thankfully, the ‘ignoring as far as possible’ technique seems to be working as I’m not getting so much grief.

This ‘ignoring’ thing works both ways as I have to keep my mouth shut.  As much as I’d like to reply to his emails and state my point-of-view, I haven’t.

His email from last Sunday (when M10 was in tears feeling torn about not spending time with AH), ended with:

You are manipulating them.  In order to stop them from being hurt further, how do you propose we get to this better place?

I’m tired of being the one who makes suggestions.  I’m tired of being the organiser and he just jumps on board (then calls me ‘controlling’).  It’s time he brings something to the table … and I ask him what he proposes.

Here’s his response … together with what I stopped myself from saying back.

I would like Monday nights dinner to be back on and would also like to be able to see the children more

NO!  Having you in my house while there’s so much venom between us is not good; not for the kids to be subjected to and not for me personally.  It’s emotional abuse.  Until you can give me verbal answers to emails (rather than the finger), pay me the $100 shortfall you owe and start open communication rather than jumping to conclusions, these dinners cannot happen.
I feel like everything I do is not good enough for the children – I have not put them in harms way and I make sure I try to get them in bed at a reasonable time.
I don’t feel your standard is ‘good enough’.  The kids don’t get enough sleep.  They’re fed takeaways and sweets WAY too often, get little fruit offered, don’t do anything stimulating (they’re either on screen or around at AH’s mates) and “making sure you try” … WTH?!
I also need to be able to socialise, and there is nothing wrong with the children seeing me play sport. I dont play the late Thursday night game. Friday nights they are in bed around 8.30.
No problem with socialising – but not every time you have the kids.  No problem with the kids seeing you play sport – shame you didn’t do it while we were together … or, here’s a suggestion … take them to the park and kick the ball around WITH THEM, rather than YOUR mates.
For us to move forward, I need to feel that there is a give and take. When I asked if you would swap these 2 Saturday nights you said no.
I said no to swapping with a Sunday and explained the kids have school on Monday so didn’t want them starting the week tired.  It’s important they get that wind-down on the Sunday.  If you had taken my comment without the preconception that I’m only out to cause pain, you might have seen that “Sunday” was the issue – not the swap, and suggested another day.
I dont want to be in this space with you for all our sakes What do I need to do to get us past this?
I think my biggest issue with his email is that what was meant to be discussed was ‘what needs to be done to stop hurting the kids’.  Yet all I can see from his email is what is hurting HIM and what needs to make HIM feel better (he’s long had a victim mentality, which I can’t abide).  I appreciate he asks what can he do, yet we’ve had this conversation many a time … and it never goes anywhere other than to finger pointing (horizontal rather than the vertical he prefers at the moment).
So I sent nothing back.  I shut my mouth and said nothing.  And hardly haven’t since.  Enjoying the peace and quiet … but nothing’s getting sorted.  Oh well.  Let’s not rock the boat 🙂

3 days on …

… and I’m in a calm place right now.  I’m ignoring him completely.  Not responding to his emails and, insofar as possible, ignoring his texts.  It’s not like he’d have the nous to pick up the phone to call and discuss an issue; so at least I don’t have to filter that medium as well.

Had to text him at 08:12 on Sunday as he still hadn’t brought back M9 and Ms6 (and wasn’t answer my repeated calls to find out where they were.   Agreed at mediation was that the two kids he has on Saturday night are to be brought back between 07:30 and 07:45 on Sunday, so that I can have that ‘weekend’ feeling with them all).  He finally drops them back nearly an hour late; having walked them back as he left his car at last night’s party.

M9 asks if we can go get his teddy as it’s at Daddy’s, so I ask AH if he’ll just drop it into my letterbox.  As he walks off down the drive, he flicks me the bird.  Stay classy, AH.  Stay classy!

Off to the local Irish group’s Xmas party.  AH’s already there [groan!].  This community is way too small!  He leaves early thankfully.

On the walk home, M10 says something concerning:  AH had spoken with him on Sat morning about my wanting those extra three hours and how he’d miss out on that time as I wasn’t prepared to swap with the Sunday.  AH let him know in no uncertain terms how ‘unfair’ my expectation was.  M10, I believe, was meant to be guilted into choosing to not come with me.  It didn’t work (no doubt as I’d said I’d be bringing the tablet).

Get home and the landline starts to ring.  It’s AH.  He wants M10 to come to his to get Ms6’s school hat.   Thankfully I’d answered the phone.  He’s angry and questioning how long had we been home and why hadn’t we answered his phone calls [ummmm, because we’ve only JUST walked in the door].  I ask him about his conversation with M10, and he goes into one; peeved that I wouldn’t swap Sat for Sun (despite me already explaining why in email and text).  I get hung up on.

He calls back and I put him on to M10 to say goodnight.  AH apologises for making him feel bad, but then M10 starts saying he didn’t really have a good time at the jewellery party I’d taken him to and, as I’m in the room putting away clothes, I say that’s not true and he should be honest.  So he starts to cry so I take the phone and hang it up.

I’m not having that.  I’m not having my kids being guilted into lying or having to downplay their happiness, purely to not make him upset or angry.

He calls back and M10 lets him know that I’d hung up the phone.  M10 is pretty upset while AH speaks to the other two, and I try to find out what’s going on.  He’s not ready to speak, but eventually calls me in to chat.

I’m not going to let AH accuse me of manipulation so ask M10 if he’s ok if I video our chat on my phone (obviously, not telling him it’s to avoid finger-pointing from Daddy!).

This isn’t right.  I shouldn’t have to be documenting all of this.  Is it because of my insecurities?  Or because I know him too well?!?!?!?!

Ends up that M10 is feeling REALLY in the middle of things.  He is so aware of how he could potentially hurt AH or me by his reactions (although when he called AH this afternoon on his mobile, I pointed out that he’s using his credit, but he laughed this off.  He commented, “he would’ve make Daddy angry if he didn’t pass on the ‘tell Mama she has to call back on my mobile'”).

He [at 10 years old], when I said AH couldn’t have them on a Sunday because they’ll be too tired for the start of the school week, asked [thinking outside of the box beautifully] “… well can he have us on a Monday or Tuesday …”.  Yes – absolutely yes!  My issue was that you didn’t start the week tired.  But you, as a 10 year old, open dialogue and give alternatives … compared to your victim-40-year-old father,  who can only ever see it as an outright, utter rejection!

Get M10 back to his laughing himself.  They’re all in bed .. then I see AH’s email.  But that’s for another post.

Coz I’m calm.  Remember!

How to Accept the Apology You Never Received

I need to learn from this! It’s very wise words ☺

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

In an ideal world, everyone that causes harm to another, either intentionally or unintentionally, would immediately offer up a genuine apology: accepting responsibility, acknowledging the pain, express empathy and remorse, immediately changing behavior and, if appropriate, making amends for the damage caused. But we know that rarely happens. And it never happens as quickly as we would like.

Instead, we receive a “sorry” tossed out with little thought and nothing to back it up. We hear, “I’ll do better” and better never comes. We may find that in place of an apology, we instead receive blame and misplaced anger as defensiveness leads instead of empathy. The apology may be discounted by the excuses that accompany it. We may see an utter lack of comprehension at the pain that was inflicted. Or we may just be listening to radio silence, waiting for an apology that never comes.

An apology that maybe we…

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Saturday nite’s alright

The days have flown by.  It’s hard to believe the weekend is half gone.

Off to the neighbours on Thurs once AH had picked up the kids.  (We don’t even have to see each other thankfully.  He gets Ms6 to give me my $100 cash.  Still only one week behind but grateful for this as there’s not enough to pay the mortgage due tomorrow as he didn’t pay that week).  Lovely dinner and, again, feel really lucky that B&R have moved in.

Short shift at work on Fri before lunch with other PIN mums (met them when M9 was born).  Really helpful as one of them’s divorce only came through a few months ago so she’s a wealth of sound advice (there’s nothing worse than being given advice by happily marrieds who have absolutely no feckin idea how awful this is).

Pick up kids as they’re walking home after school then off to my usual drinks – it’s been too long.  Text AH to let them know he needs to pick up the kids from there; they’ve hardly had a chance for a play before he turns up.  He greets the others but not me; which is fine, as I can’t even look at him.  Have a jewellery party to go to so am the first to leave.  Great night with others (the hostess and a couple of the others have never even met AH so nice not to feel as though I’m stuck with that crew from ‘us’).

M10 calls to say goodnight on his phone just before 9pm.  They’ve just got home from AH’s soccer (!).  He’s due for 1-on-1 with me so ask if he wants to come with me to a jewellery party tomoro.  He does.  Problem is, we need to leave here at 1pm, and I don’t get him until 4pm.  Get him to ask AH if that would be ok.  “I’ll think about it”, he says.  Speak to the other 2, then get M10 back on:

Daddy says I need to hang up now and you have to call back on his phone, as this is using my credit.

mcenroe

I paid for the recent top-up (well,  ½ and ½with M10: with his half coming from allowance I give him for cleaning the bathroom).  How DARE he tell M10 to hang up and make me call him back!  I ask to speak to AH.

Point out the above.  Also ask why he can’t let me know if I can get M10 three hours earlier.  “I’ll think about it”, I’m told.  “You didn’t want to help when I asked, so I’ll think about it”.

I’d taken the call into the kitchen when I got it, but by now a gaggle of the women had come out so he started to ask “where are you?  Are you still at [my Friday drinks]?  Are you going to let the others know how unfair I am?  You’ve told M10 you’re out tomoro and he’s getting a babysitter so I will think about it as you’re not even going to be there”.  Again, …

mcenroe

I’d moved into an alcove around the corner and let him know I’m NOT going out.  I AM coming home after the jewellery party and plan to have our usual, relaxed 1-on-1 with pizza, popcorn and a movie.  Not idea why he would simply take what M10 said, rather than ask me … oh, actually, wait!  I do have an idea:

IT’S WHAT HE’S ALWAYS DONE!!!  Jumped to a conclusion rather than ask a question.

He still refuses to answer yay or nay.  Prick!  So today:

cock

And I know full well that I’m not helping matters by pointing out his shortcomings.  But FECK ME, I asked if I could get my son 3 hours early and get a spiteful, downright nasty “I’ll think about it”; completely forgetting that I’m already looking after all three of them next week so he can go to AC/DC and not wanting anything in return.

I wonder what he’s thinking of asking for.  I’m guessing it will be week-on/week-off … but he can’t even do 3 nights … how will he possibly do a whole week?!

Positives:

  1. having great neighbours;
  2. getting M9’s teacher’s Xmas present today;
  3. M10 being so bloody fantastic while at the jewellery party.  Yes, he had a tablet the whole time, but he was still phenomenal!

Wednesday = bliss!

I love Wed.  It’s payday.  And, besides having to open the door to the kid coming back from 1-on-1 at his (then I hurriedly jump back under the covers), I don’t have to see AH.  Hurrah!

The boys are both still fast asleep when he drops back Ms6 so it’s a dump-and-run.  Perfect!

Interesting chat with M10 this morning: he called AH after school yesterday, before I got them, and AH was grilling him as to what questions I asked them (in particular re the school carnival on the weekend).  I had no idea what he was referring to and it was clear M10 had no idea either.  Apparently he said to AH “I don’t remember” so AH has now put the guilt-trip on him with:

it feels like when you say ‘I don’t remember’ that you are covering up

That’s not fair.  He’s 10!  He’s a male!  Chances are he wasn’t paying attention to the conversation in the first place, let alone committing it to memory!  [Not unlike your dearself, AH].

Let M10 know that if AH asks questions again that he can’t answer, he just needs to tell him to come to me.  I will give the answers he so desperately craves.

Another busy day at work which is great as time flies by.  I’m full of a nasal cold so not feeling completely on top of my game.  Got a couple of fun evenings coming up though (dinner with neighbours tomorrow then normal Fri drinks followed by a jewellery evening [read, wine and laughter with other mums!].  The rain is not set to clear so will take that as a sign to NOT get into the garden, but to read, call people and make some plans for the Xmas holidays.  Can’t believe it’s two weeks today until the kids break up for 6 weeks!!  EEK!

Two weeks tomoro until I head to my parents for nine days.  Then have to make the 7-hr drive back again on Boxing Day so that we can all be together on M10’s birthday, when we’ll make the changeover and I’ll then get a week to myself.  That bit fills me with more dread than anything: I don’t want to be alone for New Year’s but don’t want to be a gooseberry with others.  Shame I can’t get AH to come to Hamilton to pick up the kids and I could stay there … but suppose I do have a paying job to get back to.  Am sure it will all come together.  Karma won’t leave me hanging 🙂

Have had some contact with the 29-year old I met at a gig at my local a few weeks back.  Thought I saw him driving so got in touch to see if I was right.  Turns out it wasn’t him but he’s keen to meet for that drink.  So he says – yet won’t pinpoint a potential date to catch up.  Next text was asking me for a pic.  O.M.G.!  This is the new dating scene, isn’t it?  Facebook – selfies – dickpics.

I’m too old for that crap.  I’ve never liked having my photo taken; let alone sending a photo to someone I met once for 10 minutes in a pub.  No!  No!  No!  I might be out for a bit of harmless fun; but jeez … at least can we meet up for an evening to see if we have ANYTHING in common before even THINKING about sending each other photos?

And, truth be told, I never sent one to AH after nearly 15 years together … why would I send one to you after 10 minutes?!  Craziness!

Positives:

  1. ticking loads off the to-do list at work;
  2. you know, I can’t think of anything else.  I’m not down or hating on the day, but I don’t think I was ‘present enough’ to notice.  That has to change!presentmoment (1)