Rash Decisions Early in Separation

Decisions, Decisions

My life came crumbling apart. My hopes and dreams were being destroyed forever. I was being faced with a life that I never wanted for me or my children. This was a life that I had clung to far beyond its reality. The reasons and much of the process are recorded in the blog. If you are interested read them. Much of my writing come out of my tears and anger, and the process of clearing myself of these emotions to move forward to the next steps in my life. These are processes that most men have to do on their own when they face the same problems in life.

My first reaction was to cling too hard. I thought a lot of “if only” thoughts. I fought to get her to stay. This was a purely emotional response. Men need to understand that by the time she has told you she wants a divorce, she has at the very least had fantasies of the moment. She is firmly planted on the idea. She more than likely has a plan and she may go along with you for some of these things, but she will execute the plan. Mine had not planned much beyond getting out of the house with me. She went to counseling and all the other things I asked, but she still moved out on her original schedule. The right thing to do when she says she wants a divorce is not to panic. It is simply to ask what her plan is, and remain as disinterested as possible. It is unlikely anything that you do at this point fixes your marriage, but if there is any hope of re-capturing her heart, it is in showing that you are going to be just fine without her. Marriage counseling is generally for chumps. It isn’t effective, and the advice you will usually get comes down to you aren’t doing enough things she wants you to do, but if you look at your lifestyle, she determines what you do most of the time. Man up and do what you want to do. Set boundaries while you are still in the house, and take charge of how your family is going to split. If she is truly determined to leave, then you will have some control of the process. If she is not determined to leave, then you are showing the masculine traits she needs to see to be attracted to you.

We lived twenty miles outside the nearest suburb. She wanted to move into the suburbs when she left. She changed the kids schools and moved. I probably could have stopped her, and maybe I should have. That doesn’t matter so much as I didn’t even evaluate what was best for me and the kids. I could have made a lot of choices here. Changing schools is a joint decision. I could have immediately gone to court for temporary orders to require them to stay in their current schools. Maybe I should have. I won’t know the answer to that, but I didn’t even think about it. I was responding to her plan and actions. I saw some value in the move. All the kids activities were too far away from home. We had talked about moving before we talked about divorce, so it was reasonable. Boy what a trap that can be. Try arguing with a reasonable suggestion. Its tough. Its hard to argue that because of this change, I don’t want to do the other thing that we already agreed might be good.

I tried parenting from this town, but it was hard. I was scattered, and she spent the mortgage to move without telling me. I could have negotiated a new deal with the bank, and maybe I should have. I would have a house that is large enough for me and my girlfriend and all of our kids. They could all have their own room, which is an amazing thing. I loved the house. It fit my personality. If I had known she would move again a year later, I probably would have. I should have guessed that she would, but I wasn’t thinking much about things. I was just reacting. The bank would have offered me a new loan that is cheaper than anything I can rent now.

I tell you this, not so much because I regret the decision, but because I want men to think before the act. Stop reacting, and start making decisions based on the new circumstance. Don’t get railroaded by a woman who has been plotting for six months or more for this moment. She has the edge because of this, so slow down and really think about it. It is too late to save your marriage, so don’t run down that path, because it wastes precious time. If there is a chance to save the marriage, it will happen by you being assertive and direct in handling this circumstance. She says she wants a divorce, so go get a lawyer. File temporary orders that grant you equal time, the house, reasonable child support payments or none if you think you can make that work with her. Take charge and get the ball rolling. Don’t play softball, be a man. The divorce ball doesn’t need to run any faster after that, but now you have sure footing guaranteed by the courts. None of this prevents her from false abuse allegations, and if she is of that low of a character, then good luck. You can only hope that she is terribly inconsistent and you will prevail in court.

Once you have the first pieces in place, then take your time and do as much as you can without lawyers. This will save a fortune. I didn’t get those things in place, and when she filed, she tried to extract a large amount of child support. Thankfully the courts don’t respond quickly, so even though the orders were in place we negotiated a different deal that will hold from here on out. In the final orders any arrears can be cleared with a court order.

She had the first choice of stuff as she moved out. She didn’t take the newer furniture, and is pissed she made that decision, but we each got enough stuff. I don’t care if it was fair or not. There was no making both of totally happy. When I moved there was a ton of things left at the house. We took our time and took things as we saw the need. Ultimately she took more than me, but on the first move, I got what I cared about. Our stuff is thus divided with no real arguments. A few complaints, but no arguments. We will codify that in the divorce decree and its done.

I have written this over a course of a few days. It may not be totally congruent, but I am going to end it here. Slow down fellas, and make sure you are acting not reacting through the end of your marriage.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Catching Up

Catching Up with a Cup of Tea

Its been a long time since I posted anything. I haven’t lost interest, but my life has consumed my time almost completely. I haven’t had the downtime to address things on here. My last post was a time that I had my oldest son full time. That came to an abrupt halt as my mother needed help as my father took a rapid downturn in his health. This is going to be a long post, and will cover the gaps from October to now.

My Father

My father died of brain cancer on November 8, 2012. He had suffered from lung cancer that metastasized in his brain. He was a strong man who fought every moment in the end to retain his mental capacities. He managed to make most people not even realize that he was being affected as badly as he was with his quick wit and ability to steer the conversation as he pleased. Him and my mother just missed their 40th wedding anniversarry by a couple of weeks.

My mother is still relatively young. She grew up in the feminist expansion era of the 1960s. She would have graduated high school in 1972 if she had followed a normal path in life. She adored my father, and went to great efforts that even in his reduced mental capacity, he was able to be the leader in their relationship. It was something amazing to watch. She is the reason that I have such a hard time with most modern women. They say they want to be like her, but none really want to make the sacrifices that are necessary to be like her. They don’t see the rewards that come with those risks taken with a man they love. As much as I am aware of how the world has changed, I still hope that I may find a woman like her. A woman that understand men and women are different, and wants to say “fuck you” to the culture and do things our way.

His downward turn was shortly after my last blog post. His memory with me, my sister, and his seven grandkids will be a tribute to his life. He was a man who wore his emotions on his sleeve. You never were left wondering where you stood with him, and no one regrets the conversations never had with him. He helped rebuild a relationship between my mom and her older brother that had soured over a business deal between them and him. He had a childhood friend who gave him an ultimatum decades before and had walked out of his life, who heard he was dieing and returned in hopes of rekindling that relationship. This man hovered over my dad, and was willing to carry him if he had to just to spend time with him. My dad would complain that this man was hovering, but then with a smile say “but he needs to do this to close the gap in lost time.” My dad put up with his hovering to let this man heal the wounds created by his own decision to walk away decades earlier. He didn’t hold grudges, and he always thought of the other person. He was not a soft man. There were many times that he and I had ridiculous arguments, and yet we both walked away with a mutual respect for each other.

I loved my dad like I could love no other man. The only two grudges he held in his entire life were with my mom’s sister, who intentionally and continually hurt and alienated my mother, and my ex who isolated me from the rest of the family and has done so much damage to my oldest son emotionally without remorse. He actually banned them from his funeral. That was the only thing we did not honor of his wishes. I understood the feelings, but it was not the time to carry out his grudge. Both will fade from our lives forever over time. He held those grudges not for the harm they did to him, but the harm they did to those he loved most.

My Mother

My mother has needed some extra help, but not a lot. I worry about her far more than she needs me to. Going through the holidays has been tough for her. My dad loved everything about the holidays. She is glad to have spent those first close to his death. That they won’t drag out over the next year and catch her again a year later like he just died all over again.

My Dating

I was talking to a woman while my dad was in his last weeks. She was supportive. She was someone to talk to that seemed to get what was going on. Sadly she had some health problems, and turned out to be a flake. After not hearing from her for a while, I called it quits. That was followed with some panicked calls from her, but I don’t have the patience for someone who stops communicating with me. We haven’t talked much since then. I know she found someone to date. I think she just wanted a guy, and was scared that another one would not come along.

I met another woman very quickly. We have connected better than I imagined. Her story is similar to mine as a woman. I have let her be involved with my kids, something I have not considered with any of the other women that I have been involved with. I see some real oporunity here. I struggle with how the laws and the system works, but I am not going to be scared. I won’t be having kids with anyone anymore, so if I can find someone that I could spend the next 20+ years with, I would be happy. I don’t need that to be happy, but I do like the companionship of a wife. My standards are much different than before. My view of the world is much darker than it was before. I will cautiously move forward with this woman for now. She is the first woman to not be terrified of a man with 4 kids, who is actually involved in their daily lives, and who is probably going to seek full custody of the kids soon.

The Ex and Kids

She has become more aggressive in her behaviours with my oldest. This past weekend she scratched his neck during an argument. She blames me because I embarassed her by bringing my girlfriend to the kids games over the weekend. The kids had asked for her to be there. She said something within earshot of him after the game before he left with me. He was crying and I talked to him. Explained that my feelings weren’t hurt, and that he shouldn’t have had to hear it. She brought it up the next day as she was taking them to church. He called me to come get him. Before I arrived she had taken him to church. I have asked some questions and found out that she announced to the other kids he scratched himself. So they pipe in to defend her everytime he says something. I am starting to get together documentaiton of things to seek full custody of him, and by extension all of the kids when I file for divorce. I have reached my wits end on this. I have friends and family who will testify to how she treats the kids, and I have kept some logs of things as they happened to add to that. I hope that I can get a judge who isn’t stuck in the 1960s view of the world, and can get this thing done in the best interest of the kids.

DUI Fallout

There isn’t much. I show up every month and I talk to my CSO. I pee in a cup when they ask me too, and go on with life. I have been driving, but don’t have my license back. Thank goodness I drive like an old man anyway. I took the tint out of the windows, so no one has a reason to pull me over. I will be going in to get the ignition interlock and get my license back on a restricted basis soon, so I don’t have to be quite so careful, and so I have an ID to travel with, if I need to.

That is the condensed version of my life for the last few months. Its been a roller coaster. I will be blogging more, because its theraputic for me as well. I have some things on my mind to blog about. Some of them are the things mentioned above, and some are topics of interest I have.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Posts slow

Slow Down .......You Clown!!

The last post took me a long time to finish. I kept rethinking the details. So I just stripped it down to the basics. I have had a very busy time lately. My kids, dating, some other issues that I will talk about as time gives me some clarity on them. One if which is my father has been suffering from cancer, so that has distracted me a lot. I have plans to start posting more again. I will keep on writing. I enjoy it, even when you don’t. For those who do come to read me, thanks. I will give you more to read, and more substance in what I write.

Ten-Foured,

JeD