Communication

   For me, communication is the most difficult issue with my ex. In the beginning of our separation, we were still able to talk. But he overstepped his boundaries on a regular basis, and so I took steps to protect my boundaries and he stopped communicating with me.
   Our only source of communication is through text. I only text him about our daughter, or if his payment is late/I have mail for him, etc, so not very often. Many times, my texts go unanswered, or he replies days later. Sometimes, his girlfriend responds, pretending to be him.
   When I first saw my lawyer and we discussed the issues with communication, he told me about a website where we could set up a secure means of communication. At the time, I said no. Now, I am going to press forward with this idea. Every time my ex has to pay me more money, his girlfriend flips out and starts sending me nasty texts. I don’t need to deal with that, and I think it may be the only way around it.
   I am sure that she will flip out again when I re-open the child support case and they take child support payments directly out of his paycheck. But since he can’t manage his own finances, it’s the only to guarantee that I will get payments on time. I wish there was a way to do that with alimony as well.
   He’s complaining about not having any money, but what does he think that I have? His problem is that he can’t manage what he has, or live within his means. He never could. It never mattered how much he was making, we were always broke. If his girlfriend knew that, she might not be his girlfriend.

Middle of the Night Text

   When people hear that my ex has a live in girlfriend who is almost 15 years his junior, they often ask me “What’s she like?”
   I first have to make sure that my daughter or her friends are not in hearing distance, because I would never say the truth in front of her. She is a horrible, nasty, manipulative, aggressive, argumentative, self important, and lazy person. That is the truth, from my perspective.
   Of course, we’ve never even been officially introduced. My ex and I only see each other in person for legal matters. I had to ask that drop offs be done curbside, because he would come into my house and make himself at home in the recliner, or rifle through drawers/cabinets/the garage, looking for things. Things that he had ample time to come and get as he was moving out.
   So when he moved his girlfriend in with him, he didn’t introduce her or even let me know that she was moving in. Instead, when I filed for child support through the system; she pitched a fit and started sending me nasty texts through my exes phone. She upset my son so much that he rode his bike to my house to warn me that she was ready to come over and beat me up.
   Yes, this is the person that my ex chooses to share his life with. I got another one of her texts in the middle of the night last night. They are pretty much always the same…how dare I “take” money…from my husband of 20 years….I should get a job (which I have, and oddly enough neither she nor my 19 year old son are working)….and this one added that I am taking a college fund away from the kids, and food out of their “precious” mouths…
   What she doesn’t realize, is that even when we had all of my exes salary supporting one household, we never had a savings. It never mattered how much he made- he always spent every last cent. I love my kids, but they are hardly precious babies…they are teenagers, and they have plenty to eat. If she’s so concerned about it, she should get her own job and contribute to the household.
   I don’t reply….I won’t engage with her, for the kids sake. It’s frustrating, and when it comes up in court my ex acts like he doesn’t know about it and that he’s told her to stop. He acts like she hasn’t turned my son against me, which I believe is the case. He acts as if the whole thing has nothing to do with him, which is just not true.
   I’m not stealing money from my ex….this what the court has decided is fair. I didn’t have any more control over it than he did….and he willingly signed settlement papers which stipulate that alimony will go on indefinitely, so she had better get used to it.

Loose Lips Lose Jobs…

   For the last year, I have been doing a job that were this blog not anonymous, I would not even be able to talk about. It’s strange to have a job that you can’t disclose certain information about.
   Actually, it’s a strange job. It’s independent contract work, so I never know when I am going to be working, or where. Even after we find out when and where, we never know what exactly we’ll be doing, or who we’re working for until we actually get there.
   I love the travel aspect…even though the hours can be rough. I get to work with some great people, and some not so great….but the longer that I do this the more weird it gets.
   Even though this isn’t a job that I do every day, I work one of these events about once a month. We have a couple of clients that we work for repeatedly. I’ve been doing this for a year now, so I’ve gotten to know people. I always thought that networking  was a good thing…
   The last email that I got from my boss was outlining details for our next job. She says specifically that we are not to have ANY conversations with anyone other than the small group of us that are working for her. Now, I can’t go into much detail, but this is an environment where we are working for one company, who is working for another company, and several other groups are hired for different aspects of the job. Most of these other contractors are ones that we work with on a regular basis.
   It’s a little odd to be told that you’re not allowed to have a conversation with anyone that you’re working with, and frankly it worries me. I am the friend that you don’t want to tell your secrets to. I have the best of intentions, but secrets are too much pressure. The minute that I open my mouth, they all come tumbling out. I’m afraid that verbotin conversations will do the same thing, especially since we’re working with our chattiest client.

So….That Happened

   Court went pretty much as I expected it to today…they found that the Hasbeen wasn’t paying enough support and it got bumped up. The judge completely ignored his request for me to change my name, and we were set to move forward with our next appointment in April.
   Something must have finally clicked in the Hasbeen’s brain. Every time we go into that courtroom, he ends up paying me more money. I see it, the lawyers see it, I guess he finally sees it because as soon as we walked out of the courtroom he turned to my lawyer and said he was ready to settle.
   We signed the settlement papers right then and there. There’s still a few more forms to fill out and file, but…I’m divorced? After two years of fighting, a year of lawyers and three trips to the courtroom…. it’s over.
   I’m relieved…..not happy, but content to be able to move on with the next phase of my life. Whatever that is.

   Hope

No Green Beer for Me

   Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone who is anyone is out drinking green beer or Guinness. Not me. I’m home, picking out an outfit for yet another unnecessary court hearing about my divorce….the divorce that never ends.
   This will be the first time that I have legal representation with me. I am looking forward to having someone who knows what they are doing speaking for me. My ex had the luxury of that the first two times. 
   This is about money….it’s always about money. After 20 years of marriage and being a stay home mom, my ex believes that he should not have to financially support me. I left everything and everyone I knew to move away so that he could finish his degree. I supported and enhanced his career instead of my own because we were a team. I offered to settle out of court for less than what I believe a judge will rule for just to get it finished, and he would not agreewas
    His newest stunt is to ask that the court require me to change my name back. It’s ridiculous…. I have had my married name as long as my maiden one, and I see no reason to go through the hassle of changing it.
   Instead of mailing his response to me, he had his girlfriend bring it to my apartment….along with my son- the one that won’t speak to me. I don’t know what she thought she was going to say or do, but she froze and I had to ask for the papers. I’m hoping she doesn’t show up in court, but I have a good friend coming to sit with me. I just want all of this to be over!

How Do You Know?

   How do you know, at the beginning of a relationship, which things you can handle and which you can’t? In the long term, I’m talking. How can you tell if someone’s zealously religious mother will drive you over the edge, or if their easy going attitude will allow people to walk all over them  in a way that makes your head explode.
   I mean, let’s face it- nobody is perfect. We all have flaws, and by middle age you better have some baggage and some past experience….or there is something very wrong. But how can you tell what you will be able to deal with? And how do you choose what the trade off is? Is cooking and cleaning enough in my exchange for putting up with a micromanaging ex? Does amazing sex counter balance a big, noisy family?
   I guess that time is the only way to answer those questions. I am at the point now where I am starting to weigh the pros and con’s of my relationship. I’m not quite sure which side is winning