Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I took STBEW to Subway for lunch today. I had coupons. It was a working lunch.

We needed to discuss the divorce. It all came down to one thing:


Even though she's got nothing except an apartment being paid for by someone else, she wants it. Actually, what she wants is joint custody, but I won't do that. I need to be as distant from her as I can possibly be. So it's either her or me.

One of the things that originally endeared me to her was her indomitable spirit. She would not back down, or give up. It enabled her to work her way up from a part-time data entry clerk, to a manager at the local PBS station in about five years.

Maybe it's perspective, or maybe it's something else, but that indomitable spirit seems to have turned to spite-filled stubbornness.

I asked her not to fight for custody. She would lose. All that would happen is that a custody battle would delay the inevitable, and she'd probably get less visitation than what I'm offering.

She said she will get custody because a) my son and daughter share a bedroom* and b) I kissed a girl.**

Umm. Yeah. That all you got?

I offered her quite a bit of visitation: every other weekend, alternating Christmas/Thanksgiving, alternating winter/spring recesses, three weeks in the summer.

Eventually, tearfully, she said she would consider a month in the summer and both recesses. I got one recess back, and agreed to the month in the summer. I wrote it up and emailed it to her and my lawyer.

Then she defiantly demanded that she be allowed to attend school functions, and be able to get the kids after school. I gave in on the first one.

"You're treating me like a common fucking criminal," she said.

I reminded her as gently as I could that in February, she was a common criminal.

I took no joy in any of this. My friend Mike, who is my sponsor in Alanon, went through all of this crap thirty years ago. He's been a great help in this. His view on divorce is that if you're enjoying it, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

I'm not enjoying this. Although the sandwich was pretty good.

I may not be the best parent in the world, but I'm here. I put in the effort on a daily basis. I've been doing it on my own for three years, and wish to continue to raise my children. And I don't want to keep her children away from her, despite what she might claim.

The problem is, she likes the idea of the kids much more than the kids themselves. And the problem is also that she won't admit it. Yes, she loves them. She's their mother. But that's not enough.

I don't know what the future holds. Maybe she'll get back into society and become a healthy successful person, entirely capable of holding down a job and raising the kids on her own.

Maybe, but that's not how the smart money's betting.


*Thre's actually two bedrooms available for them, but they've decided on their own to share one room, and make the other into a playroom. I've discussed splitting them up, but thre was much dragging of feet at the decision, so I've let them stay this way.

**Yeah, I told her. I told her the truth: that we were attracted to each other, so we decided it would be best for me to leave the group. I thought that partners were supposed to be honest with each other.


Blogger terry said...

desperate people can do nothing but grasp at straws. i'm sure that if she truly looked at all she's done, with a clear head, she'd be mortified.

and it's not going to be hard to show that you've been a single parent for a long time now.

hang in there..

2:26 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I know it sounds bad but what sandwiches did you have, I think it says a lot about someone; thei choice of sub.

I hope I never have to go through a custody battle.

Thoughts are with you.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

terry's right. she's grasping. stay strong, mijo. you are doing the right thing.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I think you've pretty much taken the high road all the way along. And I think most of us here would agree.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

I would hate to think there would be a judge that would award ANY custody to a drug addict who can't support herself, even if she is their mother. You are being very generous -- stick to your guns.

Hang in there. It'll be settled soon.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


11:36 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

DHG: She had a seafood salad wrap. I had a turkey sub, toasted, with lettuce, tomato, onion, black olives, light mayo, and provolone cheese.

I got some meatballs right here for you, pal...


12:55 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Ok I know this is sort of changing the subject (but Pirate you made me do it!)...

You can make anything sound naughty if you surround it with "I got your" and "right here"

G'head, try it:

"I got your _______ right here."

Better yet, "I got your _____ right here, BABY!"

Ok back to regularly scheduled programming. (Sorry.)

4:37 PM  

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