Co-Parent with HIM? Yeah, right.

Dear Readers:

I was going to use this for Friday Feedback but instead saw an opportunity to help someone in need, which as we all know is the driving force behind this blog.*

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Dear Robin:

I am a BIG FAN but I have to respond to your co-parenting blog and tell you my situation.  My ex-husband was CONTROLLING and MANIPULATIVE throughout our entire marriage.  We have been battling for over a year to finalize our divorce but he is COMPLETELY unreasonable when it comes to parenting time, child support and spousal support!  He CLAIMS to want the kids 50% of the time but believe me it isn’t because he loves them and can’t stand to be away from them, it’s because he doesn’t want to pay hardly any child support!!

He is already dating someone while I have done the right thing and remained single because HELLO???  I’M STILL MARRIED!!!  I think he is sending the wrong message to our kids!!!  And I am supposed to co-parent with this JERK?  And his new girlfriend??? No way!  I will fight to win the majority of parenting time and I don’t plan on making things easy for this ASSHOLE and his whore.

Love your blog but STOP and THINK – it’s not as easy for everyone to co-parent. Thanks for letting me vent!

-Anne

Dear Anne:

Good Lord, woman, stop shouting at me!  Did your husband cite “irreconcilable caps lock and punctuation abuse” when he filed for divorce?

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You didn’t ask me for advice but luckily for you, I’m going to give it to you anyway. First, I want to thank you for being so open and honest with me when we emailed last week.  I understand the pain you felt when your husband blindsided you with a divorce and I’m sure it is difficult to see him moving on with someone else.

Rejection is one thing but replacement is quite another, and when the two are combined the result can be the creation of a jealous, unreasonable, bitter and unrepentant bitch.  Now mind you, I’m not saying you are a bitch.  I’m just saying you are being a bitch.  Whether or not you decide to slip into this persona forever instead of just trying it on during this difficult time is up to you.

You told me your husband has been a very good and present father to the kids since they were born.  He has never abused or neglected them and they love their dad. When asked, they have expressed positive feelings about a 50/50 parenting time schedule.  So, Anne, what the fuck is wrong with you?

I got the sense when we emailed that you are actually enjoying this protracted litigation with your husband, especially when you feel you have “scored a point and kicked his ass,” as you so eloquently put it.  Perhaps this is your sick way of holding onto him, but have you considered the possibility that besides the obvious deleterious effect this is having on your kids, this divorce war is destroying you as well?

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While I appreciate you sharing all the dirty details with me, I must tell you your position on every point you are fighting over is unreasonable.  Let’s list them in order of importance:

1. Parenting time: there is no excuse for fighting to keep your children away from their father.  You are not a better parent because you abandoned your career to stay home for 8 years after your first child was born and your insistence that your husband not share custody equally with you is born out of your spite and anger, not a legitimate “best interests of the child” argument.

2. Child support:  you are demanding far more than the guidelines provide for and as discussed above, fighting for the majority of parenting time which of course increases child support.  In other words, you suck.

3. Alimony (sorry, I refuse to label this private court-ordered welfare program “spousal support”): you want permanent alimony for a ten-year marriage.  Before you “sacrificed your career”** to stay home with the kids you were a successful sales associate at an upscale retailer making a very nice living on your commissions that equaled and sometimes exceeded your husband’s income.

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(herewith please note: this is a sacrifice – your staying home was not)

There is no reason you cannot go back to work.  None.  I hate to break it to you, but being out of retail for a few years doesn’t really impact your career.  Your demand for lifetime alimony is ludicrous and speaks volumes about your plans for the rest of your life, which are apparently “none.”

I’m not trying to be hard on you, but rather using some tough language in hopes it may snap you out of your intransigent position and allow you to look at both the bigger picture (how you will either recover from or marinate in this pain) and the impact this is having on your children.

I asked you: if your children wandered into the street and you saw a car coming, would you give your own life to push them to safety?

“OF COURSE!!!” you said, “I wouldn’t even think TWICE about it!!”***

So noodle on this, Anne: you would die for your children’s sake, but you wouldn’t co-parent for them?

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Think about it, because you have no idea the pain you are creating for your kids and the impact it will have on their lives in general and their perspectives on relationships in particular.

Anne, you are standing at what could be the single most significant crossroads in your life.  If you continue in your current direction, you are letting your divorce define who you are and what your future holds and setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment, loneliness and anger.  Let it go.  Be fair.  Get back to work.  Let your children have their father.

And by the way, go get laid.  You seriously need it.

-Robin

*That’s not really true.

**The biggest crock of shit most alimony recipients try to sell us on.

***Jesus Christ on a crutch, again with the caps and exclamation points!

 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Alisa Whiting

    Anne – do you understand what accepting an alimony/spousal support/welfare check every month means? It means you can’t live without your ex in your life. You NEED him. He probably makes mocking remarks about how you can’t live without him. And certainly he is happily living life without you. Just a little something to think about…

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