How Disappointing

Rosy #2

This weekend started out fine, but it ended quite disappointingly. There was soccer galore. The boys both played in a soccer tournament. One of them managed to beat a team they have never beaten in many outings. It was fun to see them overcome that obstacle. They were in a tough division. All the teams finished 1 and 2. The part where the weekend went south started with my youngest daughter’s coach. He decided as they were pummeled by another team that he needed to bench my daughter. Understand she is in second grade. He had her on the bench for the majority of the second half. She was embarrassed. Her feelings were hurt, and she didn’t understand what she had done wrong. I have always understood that in competitive soccer my kids may not get the most playing time if they aren’t performing, but to bench a kid when no one is performing well and the game is over before the second half even starts, and to bench the only child who figured out how to score a goal in the entire game seems harsh, especially at this age. She is the youngest on the team, and he has had two different standards on the team. The standard for her is that when she fails it is indicative of the gap of her skill to other girls. The other girls are allowed to not treat her as a team mate. They can choose not to pass the ball to her, and to run her off the ball. These are things that will not be tolerated if they were done to other girls on the team.

The next thing that was disappointing is for the three day weekend I asked her if she wanted to have a girls day, and boys day. I though the girls would stay overnight with her, and the boys with me. We could do things each would like. Well overnight became she would come get the girls in the morning, and then it became 2PM. My youngest was getting mad and I was having to find ways to explain why mom was not going to come earlier while I had no idea myself. I wish she had just said no she didn’t want to do it, because both my girls felt cheated with the abbreviated day, and so did the boys.

The good part is the boys and me got to go frisbee golfing, and the girls did get to go get their nails done with their mom. There was a soccer practice in their for my older daughter, then they had dinner. I am glad that it worked out, but I don’t understand why she doesn’t value every minute she has with kids.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Hoovering and Projecting

The Movie: Borderline Biennial / Abode of Chaos 09/09/09 - BLB-999-Abode-of-Chaos-23

I find that I am constantly struggling to understand what it is that she is up to. I have come to the conclusion that she is much more intentional in the things she does than I have ever given her credit for. I have also come to the conclusion that she is a much better actress than I would have given her credit for. Vox Day has pointed out on multiple occasions that just because women are more emotionally driven than men, does not mean that they are not extremely calculating and willing to wait for the “right moment.”

Hoovering

First lets define this. In the BPD survivor world this is a term for when a BP person tries to draw you back into their life. They do the things that they know make you feel good. It is all for show, and it only lasts as long as it has to. It is usually the same things that drew you to them to begin with. So my wife knows that little flirtatious touches draw me in. She has been touching my chest as she approaches, and resting a hand on the center of my back. As we sit at some event for our children she will brush her foot lightly against my leg. She stayed to watch me play soccer the other night. She also has asked more about my father recently than she did any other time in the last year. It is so tempting to be sucked in by these actions, but resisting them generally frustrates her, and I get to see her rage flare up against others, so I am reminded of what I no longer have to live with.

Projecting

This is another BP trait, and it is one that most BPs are extremely convincing at. They project their feelings, actions, emotions, and motives onto someone else, and seem to be able to get others to believe it. Sometimes even the person they are projecting these things onto. Just today she quickly got angry with my middle son over not seeing his grade card. She then got mad when his feelings were hurt that she never acknowledged him getting into the geography bee. It moved from him to my older son, because he defended me for throwing out my youngest daughter’s grade card after seeing that she had a nearly perfect first semester of second grade. She then turned things around as the boys left, and cornered me asking what all the hatred is all about from the boys, and what happened to make her deserve that. It makes me sad to watch. They are angry. Angry about her being angry all the time. Angry about her destroying our family. Angry most of all that she blames them for her anger, though she has been angry most of her life. I don’t know what she expects to gain from this. My suspicion is she will eventually discard the boys in the same way she did me. She will make it their fault, and I will have to put them back together after their mother is done. I only hope it happens sooner than later, so I have more time to put them back together before they have to enter the hard world out there on their own.

I may never know her drivers. I may never understand why she does what she does. I am not sure she knows or understands herself. I will have to deal with it, because like it or not, once there are kids involved marriage is forever in some form or other.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Things Change…

Crysalis

Things change, perspectives change, desires change, and feelings change. This is no large epiphany, even for one like me. I couldn’t imagine a year ago that I would be sitting in my own place typing a blog about the demise of my marriage, and the ongoing saga of taking care of my kids, and managing my wife. A year ago I was scrambling to save my marriage. I was appeasing her whims, and she was drinking it up like a little princess, but she wasn’t being convinced that anything was worth staying for. A year ago I hugged my wife and was crying over the fact my father was near death from lung cancer, and was left feeling worse for the lack of the simplest empathy I received from her. It was cold. It was the moment I realized that there wasn’t really any hope. Shortly after this she looked at me in a store, and said “So, do I get a new ring if I decide to stay.” Further confirmation that she no longer cared to honor her vows, but might take a bribe to stay a little longer. I continued to try, but I also had to begin thinking of what life might be like a part. A year ago I valued my marriage for the commitment, the promise to her before God, and the family it provided for my children. A year ago I believed that she would grow up and be a big girl and honor our vows, even if it required a new agreement of what our relationship would look like. A year ago I would have believed that my children were better off if we were together, and that I was a better father married to their mother.

Now I am piece by piece separating our lives. I am working on having as many details figured out and working before we go through the process of divorce. I am putting back together my reputation at work that has suffered while I was floundering to save my marriage at home. I entertain only the whims of my wife that give me even more time with my children. Now, I hug my friends and cry to them as we have to deal with my father’s brain cancer, and hope that it too can be treated. I play soccer every week now, something I never was given time to do before. I spend my time wondering why she stayed to watch the game when she dropped off the kids. I am starting to have a vision of life with her on the periphery, while I do my part to raise my kids, and love them to the best of my ability. I try to buffer the damage of her constant rage with with the kids. I am rebuilding relationships that were lost in the isolation of my marriage. I no longer believe that our children are better off with us together, because I was not a better father married to her their mother.

Changing Perspectives

I am a believer in marriage as God created it. I believe even with the fallen state of man, because God created it for fallen man. My perspective has changed, because we no longer have marriage. With the constructs that we call marriage today, what we have is some strange dating ritual people enter into often after some long period of traditional dating, but that is not required. Divorce is something that has always been a part of marriage, but it has always had shame and consequences for the parties involved attached to it. The current state of things clearly has taken away any real consequence for women. The power women have in marriage and divorce destroys the credibility of modern marriage. Men are relegated to some sort of servant status in both situations should the woman choose to pull the triggers that make it happen. Not all women do, but they all can.

I believe that two parents working together as a married couple to raise children is the absolute best situation the kids. What I am struggling to believe is that it is good for my sons to see me treated as something a step above the family dog. I also struggle that it was better for my relationship with my kids to be constantly trying to mediate the tension of an angry woman and hurt children, and to meet out the punishment so that their mother could cool off, because she would continue to escalate the situation. The children would probably have a better relationship with her if we stayed together, but they would lose the influence I have on them now, because I had no time to do anything other than be in the middle. The additional stresses on my children make me sad, and if both of us were willing to work on the marriage to make it healthy, then being married and in the same home would have been better. Amazingly, my parents, my best friend, my sister, and our friends have all pointed out that I and the kids are probably better off over time in this. What is surprising is all these people I think of are strong Christians who are quick to condemn divorce, and generally actively work to preserve marriages. I had no idea how my marriage looked to others. That is new perspective.

Changing Desires

I used to desire marriage. I wanted what my parents had. I was willing to work for it. I thought I chose someone who also valued those things. I overlooked a lot of things that I now know should have been red flags. Now my desires don’t include a wife. Not just the one that I have had, but any wife. I love women. I love how they feel. I love how they talk. I love how they make me feel when they care. All of that doesn’t matter anymore. I can have that in small doses, so long as it doesn’t interfere with me and my kids. My kids don’t need a stepmother to mess with their lives and to compete for my attention. Perhaps my desire will change in this, but for now all I desire is to do some of the things I gave up, so I could have a marriage. I desire to write a book. It doesn’t have to be published or even read by anyone else. I just want to write one for the pure enjoyment of writing. I want to spend more time doing photography. I have enjoyed the art of photography since high school, but I gave that up because it took time away from my energy sapping marriage. I will write the system configuration documentation and change software that I have drawn up on paper now at least 30 times. I know that’s not sexy, but its something that I have a vision for and want to see working.

Feelings Change

This is the one that I have learned the most about over the last year. I learned that if I put in the effort I could love a woman that does little but spew bile in my direction. I also learned that no matter what I do, I can’t change the feelings of another. Love is something that you have to decide to do, and it takes work. When only one partner does this, the marriage is constantly at risk. It can survive, but there isn’t much of value there. I have also learned that when there is desire for a relationship of both parties, one choosing to love can lead to amazing results. I have seen this with my kids. They respond to me so much differently than they used to. They show me so much more affection than they used to. They spend so much less time in fear of how I or their mother might react, because I am no longer being fed by her fire. I still have my moments, and I struggle to pull the kids out of the boxes that their mother put them, and constantly shoves them back into when they are with her. I am beginning to see them respond better to each other. She has fostered an environment that encourages them to back bite and fight. When they are with me, I have to actively discourage that, but it gets better faster every time they are with me.

So things change. Sometimes it hurts, but its also opportunity to make things better. I have learned that people don’t do what they say they will all the time, and that sometimes dreams won’t come true no matter how hard you try and wish. I am also learning to not begrudge those who have been able to live the dream I had. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, marriage was a gamble. It always has been, but in the modern world it is a bigger gamble than ever. I can’t say that I regret my marriage. We had some good times, and I have my kids. I might dream of how it could have been different with one of the other women that I dated and sought my attention, but I always come back to the fact I wouldn’t have my four kids. I can never regret that no matter how angry and hurt I am by her.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

What is Fair in Divorce

Divorced-Car

So many of our divorce laws are based on the idea that a perpetual contract is being violated, and not that it is now null, but now it is managed by the court, because the parties involved are unable to manage it. Once kids are involved there is no such thing as a split. This is a renegotiation between adversaries who might even be hostile towards each other. The general principal of fairness that is applied in an equal partnership is that each gets half. Since the partnership is managed by the court now, the court almost reflexively tries to maintain a 50/50 partnership through divorce. Each party gets half of the stuff, or at least as close as the court can get. Each party gets half of the money. This isn’t done at the time of divorce. Support payments and maintenance are used to keep this split over a prolonged period of time. In most cases it is the man who makes these payments. He will pay out a portion of his earnings to equalize the lifestyles of the two for sometimes the rest of her life. The ideas about child support are rooted in a philosophy that the child is due a portion of the parents earnings, and that too in a shared custody situation should be split 50/50, thus the higher earning parent now must pay the other parent to equalize this. In a sole custody situation this money transfer becomes large enough that often times the ex-wife now can maintain her lifestyle completely, and the ex-husband lives in squalor. His living arrangements now prevent him from gaining more time with his kids. This all makes sense to the courts, because they truly aren’t closing a contract between two equal partners, but they are now managing that contract.

We are now in an age when marriage is not even entered into as a permanent contract. Very few people enter into marriage thinking this will be forever. I see far more men duped by the idea that marriage is forever than women. Now legally marriage may be a 50/50 partnership, but we all know in truth it is not. The husband generally puts in more hours to earn the money for the family. The wife may work, but after kids come along, she will reduce her hours, and even change jobs to a job that allows her to spend more time with the kids. This all makes sense in the partnership. The man is willing to sacrifice his time to allow his wife to spend time with his kids. In modern marriages most men come home to a wife that then quits for the day. She figures he has been out of the house and now it is his turn. He takes over completely with the kids, and may even cook the dinner, and do the housework she didn’t have time to do while taking care of the kids or napping because she was exhausted from taking care of the kids. This may sound obnoxiously sexist, but just spend some time reading Facebook, and you will see moms posting about their naps and their hard days at the park with their friends and other taxing things like making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These women will often take off to have a social life once their husband is home, and leave him to take care of the kids alone. A true partnership would be one where when he arrived at home, they would parent together, and spend this time working together to finish what was unable to be done while he was at work.

Now splitting in divorce has become the tricky part. It shouldn’t be. Marriage is no longer permanent. This makes me sad, but it is a reality I am forced to face. I accept that the contract was 50/50, and that in the marriage the reality may not be anything of the like, so anything owned by both should be split in the most equal way possible. I would say this about retirement moneys earned by both during this time as well. What is fair payment after the divorce for support or maintenance, nothing. That’s right, nothing. The marriage is over. The contract is closed. There should be no support. A budget for the children’s necessities should be drawn up, and an account should be set up that is contributed to equally to pay for these things. In most custody, this would be medical and school expenses. Each parent can get clothes and food when they are together, and if dad can feed them steak and mom can feed them hot dogs, so be it. That is the cost she paid and passes on to her kids by the divorce. She would have steak with them if she hadn’t divorced their dad. The idea that the husband owes some amount for any amount of time after the divorce is antiquated. It should be cast off just like the idea that marriage is forever has been cast off. Those two ideas went hand in hand. It is not fair that one goes away, and the other has stayed. Anything extra for the kids can be negotiated between the parents or each parent can pay for what they care about. There is no reason for child support to do this.

Well that is my rant. I do understand that the biggest part of the inertia for change is the fact the government is trying to keep stupid people who divorce from entering the welfare roles. This should not be a part of our family law decisions. The husbands in large part are being punished in divorce, because the wives might not be financially prepared to go out on their own. Its time for fault based divorce to return to society or for legal marriage to go away. I am a fan of the government getting out of the marriage business, and marriage being left to the religious organizations or social clubs as people see fit.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Tears for My Children

Tears and Rain

So much of my anger and emotions are wrapped up in what this does for my children. As I have stated before, we adopted 3 children and had one of our own. Last night I cried for the first time in months. The last time I cried was because I was afraid of the effects on my oldest adopted son. He is so insecure in his home, and his value, and she has always been the one that creates more instability. This of course has caused more insecurity than ever. Yesterday afternoon she called telling me she couldn’t or wouldn’t parent him anymore. She told me to come pick up all the stuff he needed and to take him, while she took the other kids out with her to my daughter’s practice. I wrapped up at work, and came to get him. They had “made up” and he was going to stay for the night. I took him out to dinner, and we talked while the other’s were out.

It all started with her coming home, and immediately accusing him of a number of things as she came through the door. He being the child who always wants to please her was shattered. He had pulled a perfect score on a test in a class he has been struggling with. He lost his temper, and she chased him down the temper trail. He has learned to be very melodramatic from her, so he starts acting scared and yelling things like please don’t hurt me as she storms after him. The two of them become the perfect storm of manipulative anger. She is so afraid of being accused of abuse, that she will get rid of him before tat happens.

He learned quickly after we separated that I would not put up with that behavior, and he would have to endure his rage by himself. He also learned that two year old temper tantrums were punished as I would a two year old before we ever get to the root of whatever problem that is going on. I no longer have to deal with this kind of rage from him. Sure, he is still melodramatic about things, but no unchecked rage.

I cried a lot last night. I want to find a way to save my children from her. This attitude that she can throw a difficult child away will be seen by all of them, and they will be hurt badly by it over time. I know she has thought about abandoning them. Her step-sister dumped a difficult step-child back on the mother, who by all accounts was crazy. I almost wish she would just do it quickly, so I can pick up the pieces, and she can run away, and be the favorite aunt like person who comes into their lives in a rush, and showers them with affection. They will adore her most of the time, and her damage will be limited then.

I thought I was done shedding tears over her, but I guess that won’t come. I will always shed tears for my kids, and I can’t save them. I have to try that much harder to ensure that my house, and my time is good for them. I have already decided that I will do everything I can to remain in the place I am renting, so they have a stable place. She chooses to move a lot, and so I imagine that her home for them will change nearly every year as leases run out. I want so badly to be at the very least a safe place for all of them to come to, where they know they are loved, and that they always have a place that is their own.

Ten-Foured,

JeD