Facebook misdeeds and affairs of the heart

It’s been a full on Christmas. It’s been a full on year. I still haven’t got much to show by way of progress on the divorce. The courts will have received the petition and as far as I know there is nothing to hinder them from rubber stamping for a Decree Nisi at this point, however, we are just at the beginning of our negotiations around finances and I’ve no idea how long this part will take.

My solicitor has asked for another three valuations on the jointly owned house (I got three valuations back in June but there’s been too much of a time lapse). This is onerous because I can’t see the husband pulling his finger out to organise a damn thing. As such I’m ringing around the same estate agents to ask if they can re-evaluate based on market fluctuation without having to re-attend. No idea if this is acceptable but it’s something.

In the meantime I am without a child maintenance payment for either December or January due to what I believe is a poorly worded letter from the Child Maintenance Service indicating that he could skip two months payments.

I’ve had to withdraw half of one savings account to compensate for January and allow me to pay both childcare and bills. I told him that no matter what the CMS says he has a moral responsibility to his children but he wouldn’t listen to me.

In other news, my new relationship is blossoming. We’ve been seeing each other since mid-October and due to his current flexibility with work we’ve managed to get together at least three times a week. He’s such a good person compared to the husband – such a good partner. He knows what it is like to be a parent – he has three of his own (fully grown) and spent Christmas Day with them, his brother and mum at his house where he cooked them all Christmas dinner. That in itself speaks volumes – they are a close family and the role he plays is a caring one – he’s a feeder and he behaves the way I expect a good dad to behave.

We hadn’t spent much time around my boys up to this week – he often visits me in the evening after the children have gone to bed – and we make the most of the days and nights when the husband has the children. We’ve been to Christmas markets, one of our more local seaside towns, meals out, meals in (cooked together – we’re both foodies and have introduced each other to various delicacies – another thing that is completely alien within my marriage to a fussy, picky eater), been to the cinema and he’s read and enjoyed a book that I bought him.

We exchanged a pile of Christmas pressies but we kept it real with relatively low end goodies – chocolates, novelties, bath bombs, stuff for the kitchen, that kind of thing. Neither of us is a huge spender – I think we both know that love isn’t something bought through shiny expensive trinkets and he’s made more romantic gestures to me over the course of the past ten weeks than I think the husband ever did – from little surprise cards on my pillow to a single red rose (I know cheesy but I still loved it ūüôā ).

So this Tuesday (Christmas bank holiday) it was a bright crisp icy sunny day and we decided to get together with my kids in order to get them some fresh air and exercise after a, frankly, anguish inducing Boxing Day where boredom and sibling rivalry kicked in big time!

We met up at a National Trust outdoor play trail up in Box Hill, Surrey and from start to finish it was really a day full of fun and joy. The boyfriend is a natural with kids and they seemed to get on with him so well. We were outside for hours and afterwards took them down to the local bikers café for a cheeseburger before going our separate ways.

When I got home I sent him a text saying “We’re home darling. I really enjoyed today. I love you ‚̧ Xxx”. I hit send and almost immediately I knew I’d made a huge mistake – instead of the boyfriend, the text pinged off to the husband.

I couldn’t take it back so I just had to steel myself to the backlash.

What happened next was unexpected. I received a message from one of my best friends asking if I’d been onto Facebook. The husband had taken a screenshot of my text and posted it on his timeline. A string of comments ensued -everything from hilarity to sympathy for him to digs about me and how it was, in some unknown way, ‘karma’.

This is a prime example of the petty type of behaviour the husband will stoop to. We have been separated for nearly a year. He started a relationship about six weeks into our separation and just because that appears to be foundering, it doesn’t negate the fact that he fully admitted it, brought his girlfriend to our son’s fourth birthday party, took the kids to stay at her house overnight without ever asking me if I’d like to meet her first and has allowed me to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery (his).

Earlier this evening I had to go and pick the children up from him after a three day stay. They were supposed to be with him but apparently spent both nights at his parents house whilst he went out and all of this morning whilst he was off doing goodness knows what. He was, as expected, aggressive and moody and despite me asking him relentlessly for his next list of child contact dates (I’ve been asking since the 15th December) he said he hadn’t had time.

He came up very close to my face and told me he hopes I get “what’s coming to me”. It was intimidating.

I am so gutted that I have to keep seeing this man – that he is the father of my children, but I’m also hopeful that, in time, we can forge a new step family life that involves love, respect, mutual admiration and lots of fun and laughter. Whatever happens I will never regret making the decision to leave.

Emotional rhino hide…

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here and I guess the reason for that is that, for the most part, I’ve been pretty happy in my new love bubble. It’s been two months and still going strong. And yes, I’ve had some unpleasant exchanges with the ex but it has really helped to have someone completely neutral (well, totally on my side obviously!) to let me cry on their shoulder and get it all out. And that despite the fact that I expressed my concern to him that I was off-loading a little too much but he is so wonderful and supportive and just knowing that he’s there for me has given me extra strength to bat off the negative stuff being lobbed my way.

It also helps to have someone other than my parents to talk to when I’m feeling stressed and under attack because they are far too closely connected to the situation to advise me in the most calm and unemotional way.

Having said that there is the occasional sleepless night after an abusive phone or text exchange which inevitably breaks down from the practical to the downright mentally unstable as far as he is concerned.

Just last week, and bearing in mind I left him mid February and our divorce proceedings are well under way, plus the fact that he’s had a girlfriend since at least April, he texted me to ask about picking the kids up from school and proceeded to practically beg me to consider getting back together with him.

When I point blank refused to entertain the notion telling him that it’s not something I believe can be repaired (and let’s face it, his abusive behaviour over the course of the past ten months has hardly sold the concept of reconciliation to me!) he then resorted to name calling, I’m controlling, I’m selfish and I should be ashamed of myself apparently. He insisted that I pick the children up from him the following day rather than him dropping them back to me so I had no choice.

In the event it was not worth the energy I expended worrying as he was relatively cheerful when I collected the boys and nothing further was said on the matter.

The latest flare up came tonight. He phoned me demanding on the voicemail that I call him back about ‘childcare this week’. He is due to have the boys from Tuesday afternoon through to Wednesday afternoon (I’m at work all day Wednesday). As far as I can see from his work duties he is on rest days Monday through Thursday.

For whatever reason he was in a bad mood this evening, full of bile, ¬†and he was abusive to me on the phone telling me that I must now drop the children to his parents on Tuesday and when I explained that my parents have the children between now (Sunday) and Tuesday he became downright rude “I hate your fucking parents” etc. I put the phone from my ear and told him I would call his parents rather than listen to anything further from him and hung up.

I then phoned his parents expecting to at the very least arrange the handover of the children amicably, if not express to them my distress at hearing him denigrate my own mother and father. What I wasn’t expecting was more abuse from his father, who was very short with me, sarcastic and essentially hung up on me before I could even discuss the time I would be arriving with the children.

From an outsiders perspective it would appear that I must have behaved very badly for these people to treat me with such contempt and disrespect but actually, all I’ve done is make the decision not to put up with a life of misery and walking on eggshells with a man who I believe to be personality disordered.

I know that they blow hot and cold – as I said above I’ve expended far too much energy at times worrying about moments of future conflict – particularly when I know I will be forced to face him (or now in this case, his parents) in person. It makes me feel so trapped knowing that I can’t escape these people because they are a part of my children’s lives but really, at the end of the day someone has to be the stable one for the sake of those two little boys and I just have to continue to develop a nice thick skin for their sake.

His previous ex seems to have managed to do it and yes, I know he holds her beneath his contempt but eleven years have gone by and not only does his behaviour have very little impact on her life now, but his 12 year old daughter appears to want little to do with him which massively mitigates the need for any contact between any of them.

So there’s my answer – time –¬†and in the meantime: emotional rhino hide.