Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm standing in the kitchen, in a bathrobe, and suddenly realize I am leaning on the counter for support or I will fall, and that I have been staring at the same spot out the window for the past 5 minutes.

It's quiet today. My five year old is home, playing happily in the living room with makeup and toys and singing to herself. My husband is in his office working. I should be working. But I am not, because it is too quiet, and I feel it bubbling, about to boil over.

My husband, who is taking a break from his work, walks into the kitchen and finds me there, staring, still in my bathrobe at 12:30pm. I meet his eyes, waiting to see disgust or question or puzzlement. But my eyes are met with recognition, with sadness, with helplessness.

"What can I do for you?" he asks as he pulls me into his arms.

I look up at him and wish I had an answer. He has done everything he can, this wonderful man who adopted so much baggage by choosing me as his wife. He has held me and told me it will be ok. He paid for the lawyer that I could not afford on my own. He reassured me when I questioned myself. He believes in me, in my goodness, and knows that I tend to believe and stress over what others say about me.

"I wish I weren't like this. So weak and pathetic." As I speak, I remember back to all the hardships I have been through-my dad's surgery, my divorce and all leading up to it, my parents' divorce. I remember friends and even strangers commenting to me how strong I am. I realize now, as I stand here in my bathrobe, that I am ridiculously weak....not strong at all. Not even close. When the going gets tough...I can't function. If being strong means just continuing to be alive everyday, then sure, call me strong.

He kisses me softly, and releases me back to my leaning. I continue to stare out the window, unable to move, because moving would not only hurt, but it would interrupt the battle raging in my head. Am I asking for too much support? What do I actually need? Am I being money hungry? Did I do the right thing? I know I'm not a C word or a bitch, but am I wrong? Does he have a point? Should these rules apply to him? Should I have at least tried to work it out first?

I answer myself with common sense. My common sense is in control in all of my actions. I let the lawyer file the petition and send my ex the waiver. I cooperate with everything that I know is right. But my thoughts: they are at war.

The next morning, the texts and emails begin to flood in. He has been contacted by my lawyer, and he is freaking out, combative and irrational. I am awoken to emails from the lawyer saying that he has been calling, that he wants a transcript of our conversations, that he will be hiring his own lawyer, that he'll be seeking joint custody. My texts are a barrage of guilt and threats and It's Not Fair's.

I want to answer every text. I want to EXPLAIN why I had to resort to this. He thinks I am being greedy and immature. I want to tell him that I have spent the last 3 years waiting for him to contribute his financial half. That I cannot go by his promises anymore, only his actions. That if he had been paying his half of everything like he had promised before, things would be different now. That it's not fair to me to have to beg and plead for him to pay me for his children all the time.

But I don't. I refer him to my lawyer, and then I sit on my feelings and my answers. And this causes me great stress, and turmoil, and I end up back in my bathrobe...this time curled up in the fetal position on our outdoor couch, which I now feel guilty for having.

I wonder about my best friend, whom I have watched endure a similar situation for the past couple of years. I text her and ask, how in the hell did you do this? How do you not answer when your intentions and integrity are attacked? But I already know the answer, because I watched her put her head down and protect herself as best she could. But I'm even more in awe of it now that I am living it.

So I come here to write, in my bathrobe. I realize that most who will read this are friends or friends of friends and will get it. But I want my voice to be heard somewhere. So I release these answers to the universe and hope that maybe someday they will reach his head and his heart.

I AM NOT A BITCH. I am the mother of your three children, and they are my whole world and purpose for everything in life. EVERYTHING.
I have paid for everything, you have paid for almost nothing, despite your promises to do so in the beginning.
I am not ok with splitting expenses because you promised to do the same thing last time, and you did not follow through. Actions speak louder.
You not having money is your own problem and your own foolish choices. You are insanely irresponsible with money. Cigarettes and happy hours and lunches and dinners out are your priority, not paying the bills for your kids. And you know it.
Having them 50/50 would mean you either pick them up from school on Wednesdays and Thursdays (and every other friday), or having them in daycare. How do you plan to pay for that, if you don't think you can afford child support???
And by the way, NO WAY IN HELL I'M LETTING YOU HAVE THEM 50% OF THE TIME. I spend enough time undoing your brainwashing and damage as it is.

Back to sitting on my hands and waiting for this nightmare to be over.


  1. I have been following your blog for awhile. I am not your friend. I am a complete stranger, an nice stranger, but a stranger none the less. You are completely justified in your actions. You are not a C u next Tuesday. You are not a itchy B. You are an ADULT who is taking care of your responsibilities. Welcome to being a grown up! Why should it be any different for your ex? When you make the choice to have children, you make the choice to get to take care of them, even in divorce. Why should your ex husband get to abandon his financial responsibility to his children and get to go off and live the high life? You are not trying to take advantage of him financially. You just expect him to pay his fair share. If he hasn't already been doing that, he should. You should not feel guilty about it. Don't let him make you feel like a bad person or like you are doing the wrong thing. If anything, it is wrong of him to not provide for the needs of HIS children, too, in a fair, equitable fashion. It sucks that so many women (ME included, by the way) will feel bad, guilty, or try to avoid making others do the right thing because we don't want to cause a problem or be perceived as not being nice. It is not nice of him to get a nice raise and not share the rewards of that with the people he should love the most, his children. I wish you would not waste another minute of your day feeling guilty or bad about this situation, but I realize that this is easier said than done. Just know that you have a complete, but nice, not creepy stranger that is rooting for you!!! You are doing the right thing.

  2. You know what I hate the most? The feeling that my judgement is being questioned. I hate thinking that another parent can sweep in and change everything up in response of being held accountable by the parent that day in and day out is always there, always accountable. I worked hard to create a stable environment for my step daughter and show her how a loving family works and all of a sudden when the bio mother is asked to do right by her OWN child she questions me? I could go on but my point is I remember...those were dark times.
    I'm sorry.


  3. I love you. I'm here for you. You must do this because you are their mother, and it is the right thing to do.

    Someday, someday they will understand. They will understand what you sacrificed. That is my mantra. Hold fast to it on these days. Someday they will understand.

    1. Love you too. I would never get through this or anything without you T.

    2. Ditto what T said. Love you both.

  4. Friend of a friend here...and friendly neighborhood internet stalker ;-)(I kid...)

    NEVER doubt that you are strong...

    True strength is in asking for, and even more importantly, accepting help when you need it. The best way to multiply treasure is by sharing it. I know you *know* this, because you are quick to share your own treasure. It is time for you to allow your loved ones, your family, your friends, your internet stalkers (;-)) to grow their treasure by sharing them with you. Let them shore you up with what they have to offer.

    Know that you are modeling positive and healthy behaviors for your children, showing them that it is healthy, and right, and normal to count on others, and to let others help you when you need it.

    I wish you peace. (And that blogger actually *publishes* this comment this time, unlike the previous 3 attempts...)


  5. I am a stranger, too, but I wanted to confirm that your answers are 125% correct. Just keep reading them and repeating them to yourself. Even if you could say them to your ex, he wouldn't understand. He is too self-absorbed in his own world to understand. But, trust me, as Tracey said, your kids WILL understand and they WILL know that you do everything for them .. and that you fought for them .. and that you kept the high road for them. Sooner rather than later, they will understand. I speak from personal experience as a child who was in a similiar situation many, many years ago and my mom fought for us and kept the high road, even in the midst of some horrid situations.

    Glad you have a wonderful husband and wonderful friends. Keep leaning on them for support during this time. You'd do the same for them.

    PS I shut down, too, when I am emotionally overwhelmed. It is NOT a sign of weakness. Even the strong have to breakdown sometimes.

  6. You guys and your comments made me cry. Thank you for taking the time to help a "stranger".

  7. Another stranger, and I feel a little bad, because in my previous comment, I said "get a lawyer" four different times. People can be total idiots, and it sounds like being most charitable, that this guy doesn't really understand childsupport. That aside, my parents were divorced when I was two and my father's family did not like my mother and said very hateful things to me. I ended up not having a relationship with them, so your children will see through whatever is going on - stay on the road that's true to you.
    Wishing you all the best during this ordeal, C

  8. As someone who has been in your shoes, its not easy. Similarly, I do need to go back to a lawyer and get my agreement ammended, but it scares me. Hold your head high and know who you are. His threats are empty. He is trying to hurt you. He thinks if he threatens for joint, you will back down. But you wont. He will be lucky if he gets off NOT owing you back support and half of expenses that he has never paid.

  9. 10 years and counting...I have a normal teenager, an amazing life and dang it, I did it alone. Stand tall sister.

  10. I'm another stranger offering her support and the opinion that ohmygoodness yes, you are absolutely doing the right thing. I'm a people-pleaser too and hate to cause waves or have anyone upset with me. Except when it comes to my daughter. What is best for her (and FAIR for her) would supercede all else.
    I'm just looking in from the outside of course, but it doesn't surprise me that your ex is mad. He was in control. He decided what he paid. He could make you sweat it out. And now you've turned the tables and he's not making the rules anymore. Plus his new lifestyle is being threatened.
    You know it's right. You know it's fair. You know it's best for your kids. Just keep repeating that over and over.