Need Help Coping

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Need Help Coping

Unread postby LovingDadof2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:52 am

I really could use your help putting this all in perspective. To recap, I was divorced last month and have two young children under 10.

Ex was supposed to move out after end of month (spend last holidays together). She pulled a fast one and the movers actually came late last week. Fortunately, I was home at the time. It was a hot mess but she's finally out. Garage doors re-coded, alarm and passcodes changed, just need to finish changing door locks today.

Our parenting schedule kicked in immediately and now I am a 50-50 Dad (I know I am more fortunate than many on this board but that doesn't make the loss any easier). I thought I would be spending the next few months mentally adjusting and dealing with this new life (50%) reality. But that's not the reason I am reaching out...

My Ex immediately introduced her Mr. W. (found out it's been a multi year affair - got tested yesterday) to both my kids as her boyfriend the very same day she moved out. She didn't even have the courtesy to tell me in person first - this was a big discussion point between us beforehand to help prepare the kids and ourselves for their questions.

My kids didn't get to spend a single evening alone with her in her new home. In fact, my kids haven't been alone with her yet (Mr. W is always there). Of course Ex and Mr. W are playing Disneyland parents - taking them to all these cool places for dinner, playing inappropriate video games, etc. I get it, he's trying to win over my kids affection (they already asked if Mommy is going to marry this guy?) Mr. W offered to talk with me, I instinctively told my Ex no. I am not interested in hearing him tell me how good he will be to my kids.

In my opinion, she should have ensured they felt secure, helped them transition/adjust and convinced them that they are the center of her universe before introducing Mr. W. She couldn't wait a moments time before adding this additional drama into their lives. It's just despicable in my opinion. I find it probably the most selfish thing she has done in a very, very long time (I am surprised that I am even surprised.)

Here I thought I was going to be adjusting to my time alone during the holidays and now I have to deal with this new dynamic. I knew this would eventually happen, but I was not mentally prepared for her to move out before the holidays and have Mr. W. living with my kids on Day 1.

To make matters worse, Mr. W is a decade younger (he's a damn kid) than my Ex, smokes pot daily and has a previous record (still trying to determine what for). I was so sure Ex would go (monkey branch theory) opposite direction - older and more financially secure.

If I connect the dots, I don't see this relationship lasting very long. I am sure he'll get tired of the responsibilities fast as the mystique of the affair wears off. And that's the thing, a quick relationship imploding is not good for my children. It goes without saying, my home will have zero drama. I bought out the home so they will hopefully adapt quite easily. It will be my kids safe sanctuary. Just kids and Superdad.

Please help me cope with this new dynamic:
How do I convince myself my kids will be resilient and make it through if relationship ends quickly?
How do I quickly educate my kids about what this stranger can and cannot do?
Was I wrong to decline speaking to Mr. W?

I was doing so well mentally, but this is a huge setback. I sure could use a good ole Forum pick me up right about now...
Last edited by LovingDadof2 on Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby massdad1234 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:22 am

I feel ya brother. Just reminder yourself, this relationship is fleeting, chances are they won't be together by next year. Chances are this won't be the first Mr. W your ex parades around in front of your children.

1. Always be there dad and let them know that your place is a safe place where they will be loved and prioritized.
2. Act like it doesn't bother you (don't let her find any evidence of your goat)
3. Document as needed.

You knew this was more than likely an avenue based on your reading here. Have you ever slept with a women with kids? Did you want to sexually abuse them or cause them harm? Chances are this dude is just thinking with his little man and your kids are the furthest thing from his mind(s).

It sucks, and this is why the board preaches 1 year after divorce is final for the reasons you outlined above.

How has your emotional intelligence work going? Perfectd opportunity to put it to the test.

Not only that, but now would be the perfect time to give your ex and Mr. w, lots of more time on their hands to bang each others brains out. Make yourself the path of least resistance - anytime, anywhere, no questions asked. Find ways to give her more time with this dude.
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby madalex » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:26 am

Been there and know exactly how you feel.

It is disappointing that the exes behave that way, but there is unlikely to be any long term impact to your children when mom and the new guy break up. Your kids know the score and know they can count on you; you’ll be with them half the time and you will be a rock of stability and lack of drama for them. That will matter more than the transient guys in mom’s life.

I know how upsetting it is in the moment, but with the perspective of time (I’ve been divorced for 12 years), I know that this situation will ultimately be just a blip in your and your kids lives.
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby steelmark » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:57 am

You do you.

It takes time to adjust to actually worry only about the things you control, but it gets easier over time, and it takes practice.

My ex is on captain #2 in as many years, and rather than establish her relationship solely with the kids, this is how she chose to roll. I have no control and my opinion doesn’t matter.

I do my thing as dad because it’s all I can control and we’re doing fine.

You’ll get there.
Prepare and execute to win by a thousand miles, just to be in position to win by an inch.
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby BartSimpson » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:13 am

I am in complete agreement with you in not speaking to the douchebag. I wouldn’t even acknowledge him if I were face to face, except to ask “you hit bottom on that thing yet?”. He knows what he did was wrong.

Considering the good work you have done since engaging in this divorce, posting here and elsewhere to improve the lives of men going through a divorce - what would you advise another man in the same situation?
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby Phoenix853 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:39 am

100% agree with all comments.

The big fight it over, you made it. You survived and better than that you got your kids half the time. It's time to relax a bit and start enjoying life. Time to make new traditions and start up some old hobbies you've been meaning to start.

Eventually you'll stop watching her life and move forward with your own. As Steel said, it takes practice, but you'll get their.

You can take solace in that her relationship won't last, they rarely do. Just focus on you and your kids and you'll be just fine.
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby Havalu7 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:19 am

Hang in there brother.

Control what you can control; everything else is outside of your hula hoop.
That doesn't mean its easy, but your skin only goes so far.
"No." is a complete sentence.
Do not move out of your house.
What are you grateful for?
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby a dad » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:48 am

I was about where you are when my ex offered to have me speak with mr w since he supposedly knew how difficult it felt to see another man around your young kids so quickly.

I remember saying well why the eff did he do it then? That was the end of that.

They're so out of touch that they don't even know what they're doing.

They are still together though, over 6yrs later.

Regarding your kids, bite your tongue about anything negative or trying to get more details. Eventually you realize it really doesn't matter what they do as long as your kids know they can count on you.
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby LovingDadof2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:23 pm

Thanks for the replies and posts everyone - they really do help.

Bart - As I am sure you suspected, I knew the answer before posting. Everyone's posts helped reaffirmed my beliefs. In retrospect, it's really nothing I need to worry about until it is. Her life is her life and mine is mine. I need to simply ignore my Ex and focus on what I can control - me and my time with the kids.

What has me on edge is that I knew my Ex was getting high with this low life whenever they were together. Turns out he's a convicted felon for dealing drugs. Did I drop the ball during the divorce by not pursuing their getting high further? I couldn't imagine how she'd react if roles were reversed and I was dating a 13 yr younger, convicted drug dealing felon?

Letting go (of kids care when with her) is really the hardest part. As a father, I feel like it is my only responsibility in life to protect them. She has and will always continue to make self-centered decisions. She always has. It's just who she is. I blame no one but myself for choosing her as a mate.

If I was forced to find any positives, the losers conviction happened 8 years ago. Hopefully he's turned his life around... who am I kidding?
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Re: Need Help Coping

Unread postby massdad1234 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:29 pm

we talking smoking weed or actual drugs? :lol:

Personally, my stance on victimless crimes might be different than others, only you will know what is really going on. Your instincts have been good so far, if they didn't scream at you to make a deal of it during things, then it shouldn't be a deal on the other side.

If you get word they are doing it with kids around, different story, but what she does on her own time is her business.

So, what new hobby you going to pick up? Mine was sports and training for sports.
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