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aftershocks, seven years later

The kids’ dad and I have been divorced for seven years.  I was shocked last night when my son told me that he often wishes that his dad and I were still married.  I mean, I know it’s not unusual for kids to wish for that, that they’d like to have an intact nuclear family, but I guess I hadn’t thought about how it effected him on a daily basis.  He said he really misses his dad and would like to see him more.  He thinks that the only way he’ll be able to see his dad more would be for us to be remarried.  Sadly, this is probably true, since XH hasn’t figured out the whole visitation thing.  He hasn’t had the kids for an overnight since summer of 2005.

Son said that he doesn’t remember us being married.  He was four years old when his dad left for the year tour in Korea where he met his wife (who was also stationed there for that year).  Our divorce was final about 6 months after he got back.

While I feel sad for my son and some guilt for him not having an intact nuclear family, I don’t feel badly enough about it to want to be married to XH again.  That relationship was not healthy for me and I know I’m a better parent, a better person, a healthier (emotionally) person when I’m not in a relationship with him.

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anniversary

Today is the seven year anniversary of my divorce.  I tend to look at today as the day my Do-Over began, a happy day,  a day of freedom.

YIPPEE!  Seven years.  WOO HOO!

Happy Anniversary to me!  🙂

You know, I didn’t always see this day as a happy day.  My view has changed over the past seven years quite a bit.  That old saying about time healing us is true in my case.  Time, distance, learning, friendships, and time are things that have helped change the way I see my divorce, how I see my ex-husband, and how I see myself.  I’ve changed, actually, a lot.  For the better, I believe. 

buying favor?

Ex-husband called the house yesterday to speak with the kids. He asked 13 yr old son to hand the phone to 14 yr old daughter at the end of the first phone call and she hung up the phone without speaking to him. She’s not spoken to him much for over a year because of some things that happened last March that added to the already strained relationship that was paved with broken promises and lies. Ex called back after she hung up to tell son that he won’t be buying 14 yr old daughter anything for camp since she won’t speak to him. Nice of him to send that message from one sibling to the other, huh? He has been telling son and 12 yr old daughter that he’ll buy them extra clothes and stuff for camp this summer.

Fourteen year old daughter told me last night that she doesn’t want him to buy her anything because what she needs from a dad cannot be bought. She said she needs a dad who spends time, who is interested, who cares, someone who knows parenting is not just about buying things.

I agree with her. Parenting is about a lot more than buying things.

shaken, not stirred

My apologies. The title is not a reference to a beverage. It’s a reference to my state of mind for much of today.

I don’t often feel belittled or so angry that I’m visibly shaking, but today I did. This morning when I was at work, the lovely ex-husband sent me a text message about our oldest daughter that was very mean. Cruel, in fact. After I responded, he sent a few more messages that were absolutely hateful and vile. I responded, but kept myself from typing the horrible things that were swirling around in my head. I was to the point, reminded him that he’s chosen to not be involved in their lives and has no right to insult me as a woman or as a mom, and told him to not contact me again unless it concerns the kids.

Even now, hours later, the words he texted keep playing in my head like the horrible things he used to say always did. It’s been a long time since anyone spoke to me like that. Actually, he’s the only person who’s shaken me to my core, planted seeds of doubt about who I am, what my family stands for and made me feel bad about who I am as a person. Ever.

He can be a nasty, controlling, small-minded, stupid man. The amazing thing is that he also can appear to be kind, fun and engaging… for a while, at least, as long as things are going his way. When the excitement has calmed and normal life ensues, as tends to happen in the real world, the mask comes off, the gloves go on. He fights dirty, fights to win at all costs, fights to protect his little ego by belittling the women woman in his life.

I’m so very glad to be divorced from him. On July 11, it will have been 7 years.

visit

My kids saw their dad today.  Well, two of them did.  Oldest daughter decided she didn’t want to see him, so she stayed in her room.  It was their first visit with him since mid-December 2007.  They saw him less than 4 hours.  6:30pm to 10:00pm.

I’m disgusted, but will refrain from saying more right now.

stepfamily book sale

I got this in an email and wanted to share in case any of you could use the information:

Looking for a gift for your favorite stepmother this Mother’s Day? The Center For Stepfamily Development is offering two books for the price of one for the entire month of May!

Buy STRENGTHENING YOUR STEPFAMILY for $20.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling, and receive a FREE autographed copy of I DIDN’T GROW UP TO BE A WICKED STEPMOTHER($10.00).

Send your check or money order for $23.00 (sorry, we don’t do credit cards) to Center For Stepfamily Development, 5460 Franklin Rd, Suite “F”, Boise, Idaho 83705.

If you need stepfamily counseling, call 322-2908 to set up an appointment.

Changes

are coming.  I like change sometimes.  At other times I am change resistant.

Right now, I’m feeling change resistant and a little nervous.

For the next few years (beginning mid-May), XH will be stationed nearby, within a two hour drive from here.  I would like to have a good co-parenting relationship that is healthy and positive for all involved, especially for the kids.  I don’t know if it’s possible, though.

During the past seven or eight years (since before the divorce), there’s been no co-parenting.  It’s just been me doing the parenting and XH jumping in and out of the kids’ lives at his convenience.  I feel an icky, jumbled feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about it, so I’ve been avoiding sharing for the last couple of weeks.

I don’t have high hopes, but am willing to keep an open mind.  I will keep you posted.