The Ex-husband makes things extremely difficult

I know dealing with Ex-anythings in a relationship can be difficult. But this is just freaking ridiculous.

I already discussed the stepmother (his wife) a bit in my last post, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to be a part of this situation with them involved.

From day one, it has been a struggle. Early on, it was not my place to get involved, but now that we are almost a year-and-a-half into this, my position on keeping my mouth shut has changed.

Olive’s ex-husband is very controlling, manipulative and emotionally abusive to her. On top of that, his new wife (the stepmonster, as I will refer to her henceforth) piles on and will actually lead the abusive attacks most of the time.

The one minor silver lining in her (the stepmonster) defense, is that she is the only parent in that household. The ex-husband is a deadbeat. He “claims” to only make $8/hr (when he actually has a lucrative consulting business) in order to pay the minimum amount of child support possible. Since he works from home and does not maintain proper business accounting, Olive has no real way to prove he is cheating the child support system. Yet, they live a very lavish lifestyle. She actually stays involved in Olive’s son’s health and school issues – almost too much – in the place of her husband, who really could care less. Plus, they routinely find ways to cancel or cut short their visitation times in order to do personal things. I could go on and on with stories, but I hope you get the point.

One other note about the ex-husband and the stepmonster: he was cheating on Olive, having an affair with the stepmonster and married her in Las Vegas less than a week after the divorce was official.

Moving on … Over the years (long before I came along), the established order of things was set. The ex-husband does something, Olive complains, the ex-husband and stepmonster gang up on Olive until she gives in and is left sitting in a pool of tears. Olive is not a very strong person when it comes to standing up for herself, nor is she well-skilled at debate or verbal confrontations. She is very unsure of herself, always second-guessing, and assuming the worst. She was this way before them, and all of the arguments don’t help.

So the routine is simple, berate Olive until she just gives in. This fosters an attitude of them thinking they can get away with whatever they want. Whether it is nickel and diming Olive over prescriptions, medical costs, school supplies and clothes. The owe her hundreds of dollars in costs they said they would (or are supposed to) reimburse her for. But they never do. She continues to pay for these things because she thinks they will try to use that as ammunition against her for not taking care of her child. Yet when she confronts them about the money, they just berate and bully her. She is afraid to take them to court for the money, afraid her ex-husband will try to take custody away from her. I have seen enough out of him to know (1) he really doesn’t want custody because it would interfere with their social and personal lives and (2) it would take an average lawyer 5 minutes to prove how unfit he is as a parent. Plus, during their divorce, the stepmonster actually took care of all the details and paperwork for him. He’s way too lazy to be able to do what it takes to fight for custody.

I’ve tried to be supportive. But I can only stand by and watch so much. I’ve tried giving advice, recommendations, tactics, etc. But that just backfires with her getting mad at me because, according to her, I’m just trying to get her put in a position to get bullied again. So she does nothing … except cry, bitch and complain.

My personal opinion is if you aren’t willing to do something about it, then accept it and stop complaining about it. And I find it very hard to stand by while continues to be a punching bag. But when I say something, it only makes things worse.

Like I mentioned in my last post, how would it be if we were married or living together? There is no way I’m sitting there watching that like a spectator ringside at a UFC fight. I’m stepping in. I’m putting an end to it.

I need a strong woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, who can take care of herself. And the aggravation with this constant issue is almost to the point of boiling over.

Now, she is to the point of sharing very little of what is going on with her and them because she knows how I feel about it. We’ve had numerous discussions about it. So that only adds to the continuing gap of things between us and the further distancing of our relationship.

I would really hate for the ex-husband to be a reason why this doesn’t work out, but it is really beginning to look that way. It’s a good thing I don’t see him very often, because I swear the next time I see him, it will be all I can do to not punch him in his fat face.

Enough ranting for one day.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you all again back here soon!

A whole lotta nothing … for 2 months now

Hello, I know it’s been quite a while since I last posted. But there has been a lot going on – with me – from graduating college to job hunting, finally getting a job and then getting into the swing of things at the new job. But things in the “personal life” department haven’t been so good.

I know my last post was a little pessimistic, but things have not improved since then. We haven’t broken up yet, but things definitely haven’t got any better. And it all really started unraveling in February, when my son was away at his mom’s for nearly a full week.

Here’s the 4-1-1:

Olive was over regularly during that week, but not as often as she usually was when my son would be out of town. Not a big deal, life happens. But the last night, we were in bed talking about things and she made a comment that really stuck with me.

Her son does not like going to spend his weekend’s at his dad’s. His dad is pretty worthless as a dad and not very involved, so the step-mother feels she has to overcompensate for his lack of parenting skills. So obviously her son does not like the step-mother.

So she was talking about the recent round of incidents and how her son hates going there, and said that he doesn’t like the step-mother “because she it too strict.” And that really got me to thinking.

I didn’t say anything right away. But it ate at me for a couple of days. I mean, I’ve been “accused” of being a strict parent many times. I believe kids should be respectful, do what they’re told, and I believe in instilling some discipline, structure and responsibility in their lives. I don’t hit my kids, I’ve never had to. I just have to look at them sideways and they know things are about to get serious quickly. So I really don’t have problems with disrespect, attitudes, etc. I’m not saying I never have to deal with it, but it’s not very often. My boys are very well behaved, and I’m very thankful they’re so polite.

Finally, one night while we were on the phone, I brought it up. Because numerous times – I think I’ve shared this with you – she has thrown things in my face saying whatever was going on meant we didn’t have a future together or something along those lines. She has been very much about wanting to get married again, and I’m not as sure about that as she is. Nothing about her, just my opinion. But it’s almost like a hobby of hers to find things to use against me like I’m not serious enough her or finding reasons why we won’t ever be together every day.

And all I did was ask a very simple question about me and how her son feels about his step-mother: “If he doesn’t like her because she is too strict, have you thought about how that might affect us? I’m strict and know it, and am not ashamed about it. So what happens if we were married or living together? I’m not the type of person to let things slide when something happens in my house. Me ex-wife knows all about that.”

Instead of just thinking about, saying “no, I haven’t thought about that before,” or discussing it, she went immediately off the deep end. Literally, almost immediately. It went to a whole new level, with her accusing me of not liking her son, and saying I think she’s a bad parent, and on and on and on.

Without giving a play by play, let’s just say things got heated and it didn’t go well. No names were called or anything like that, but tempers were flared. However, one key item did happen. I mention this because it has been mentioned numerous times.

After nearly 2 hours on the phone, my blood pressure was rising with all of the accusations, compounded by the fact that every time I tried to say something, she would cut me off or talk over me. I offered several warnings about not talking over me so I could talk. After one such calmly stated warning, I started to explain something and she immediately began talking over me again. I lost it. I said “Shut the f— up! If you don’t want to let me talk, I’m done with this and hanging up!”

After that, things settled down and we talked for a while longer.

Since then, I have seen her about 5 times. FIVE! That was in mid February. We’re almost to May. We still talk about every day, and it’s very friendly and civil. But all of the “lovey dovey” stuff is gone. All of the “babes” and “I love yous” are gone.

While my son was at his mom’s over Spring Break last month, I went out with her to the bar after work one night to attend a function with her workmates. It just didn’t feel right. It was definitely odd and off. Since we drove separately, and nothing had been discussed, I asked if she was coming over. She begrudgingly said yes, even though she had packed bags in preparation to come over.

At my house, we spent most of the night arguing with the sequel to the original conversation we had in February. I was ready for it to be done at that point. And I told her exactly that. Once things calmed down, she ended up spending the night. But nothing happened. Nothing even remotely romantic or sexual happened.

That might be a first for me.

I have seen her once maybe twice since then. And I’m not really sure why I’m staying in this. Every time something ever remotely comes up, and we get to possibly arguing again, she likes to say “I don’t want to talk about it. because you’re just gonna tell me to ‘shut the f— up’ again.” She brings that up regularly.

I’m so frustrated with this. I’m getting nothing out it. Nothing emotionally, nothing sexually, nothing in the form of companionship. Nothing. And I’m not really bothered by it. Life goes on. I don’t stress about it. But I do wonder why I am continuing to go through the motions like this. It’s something I swore I wasn’t going to do again. I mean, I really do care about her, but no matter how much I try to talk to her about it or clarify things, it doesn’t help. She has been holding on to this grudge for 2 months now. And I’m ready to move on, one way or another, right now. EIther this gets better soon, or I’m cutting it loose.

I wish I had better news for you all, but I don’t. But maybe I’ll have more time to update you guys on what is going on in my life better than I have been recently.

As always, thank you for reading!

The End might be near, contemplating pulling the plug

Olive and I have been together over a year now. But things have been really odd over the last month or so.

Because of her work schedule, she wasn’t able to travel with me for Christmas with my family and I was gone over week. We had a good stretch of days (and nights) together in between Christmas and New Year’s. But then illness struck.

My son returned home from his mother’s with the flu, so we kept our distance to ensure she or her son didn’t get sick. But once that cleared up, her son had strep throat, keeping us apart a bit longer. Things looked to clear up and she was supposed to travel with me to go spend the extended MLK weekend at my parents’ while I visited my oldest son.

Well, days before our trip, her son came down with a bad stomach virus which altered his plans to spend his normal weekend with his father, thus interfering with Olive’s ability to go with us for the weekend.

I tell you all of that boring background information to show that we’ve been missing a lot of time we would normally spend together over the past month or so. She was finally able to come over on Wednesday night, per usual, and I had been mentioning it all week that I was looking forward to seeing her Wednesday because it had been over two weeks since I last saw her.

But all week, she didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm. And then when she got to my house Wednesday, I was being more affectionate than usual because I hadn’t seen her in over 2 weeks. But she didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm and seemed almost bored or annoyed to be there.

On top of that, her attitude over the last couple of weeks has also been that of annoyance and disinterest. That worries me.

She has explained to me several times that when she is in a relationship and doesn’t feel things are progressing the way she thinks it should, she starts to pull away. I’m concerned that might be the case here.

The final straw was her reaction to me seeing the American Sniper movie today. I saw it this afternoon while my son was in school. She has expressed interest in seeing and every time I tried to find a way for us to see it together, she poo-poo’s it and says “you might as well just go see it without me, since we’ll never find a way to see it together. I’ll just have to see it when it comes out on RedBox or something.” There were possible options available, but she didn’t really ever want to hear them.

When I told her I was at the movie, she said she didn’t want to talk about it because “it was another reminder of another thing we can’t do together.”

We have had discussions numerous times about not being able to do things together because of her schedule with her ex, and his knack for bailing on his weekends, on top of my schedule with my ex. So there are few windows of opportunity for us to do things alone without involving sitters and such.

The Rub is; when we do have time together and i offer to do stuff, she says “we don’t always have to do something.” Even after I explain that she complains about not having chances to do stuff together.

And you women wonder why men have the opinion of women: “Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.”

So I think it’s time to have a heart-to-heart about this. I’m tired of getting the “bad boyfriend” vibe from her all the time. And if she’s starting to have those feelings of wanting out, then it’s time to just pull the plug and move on. I’m not staying in a relationship just to be in a relationship. Especially when the sex is this infrequent.

What do you think? And again, thanks for reading!

Is it wrong to ask for Christmas ideas?

This time last year, I was entering my dating moratorium for the Holidays. If I’m single, my vow is to not start a new relationship between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. It makes for awkward moments. Like what do you do on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, do you spend it together or will someone get upset if you don’t spend it together? Do you get them a Christmas gift? Is it OK not to get them a Christmas gift? What on earth do you get them for Christmas? And the same goes for my most dreaded holiday – Valentine’s Day.

But since it has been a year since Olive and I first started talking, and almost a year that we’ve been officially dating, I’m in a similar yet completely different predicament.

I’ve been trying to tell you women readers, and any women I talk to about dating, that men are really simple and not that hard to figure out. We like to keep things simple. Problems need solutions. Emotions only cloud things up. Regular sex and attention will keep a man happy and faithful. Simple stuff like that.

So when it comes time for Christmas, men are very simple. If you need an idea for a Christmas gift for someone, ask them. So that’s what I did. I asked Olive for some ideas for Christmas. She gave me this puzzled look, like I asked her her weight or if it was ‘that time of the month.’

She said she shouldn’t have to tell me what she would like, that I should “know” what she would like. That’s all fine and good, and under normal circumstances, that’s how I would operate. But I already tried that. I went over all the possibilities in my head and struck out. Nothing seemed to fit or work. So, Plan B is to just ask. In my opinion, I would much rather get a good gift, with some help, than guess and get it totally wrong. But, that might just be me.

Then she asked me to name some of her favorite things, and I nailed them. She’s a health and fitness nut, she’s addicted to Netflix, and she loves horses. She agreed that I pretty much hit the top 3. But there’s nothing in my price range this year that would work in the health & fitness department this year (and I’m not getting her a gift card to the Vitamin Shoppe or GNC). She’s already got the Netflix thing covered (obviously) and she doesn’t want anything horse related because she tries to avoid being associated as a cowgirl. So … I just had to ask.

It wasn’t until she talked to her coworkers that she finally came around to the idea. The guys at her work echoed what I had already said. They ask their wives and girlfriends because it’s better to ask and get it right then not ask and get it wrong. She she finally acquiesced and gave me some ideas.

By some, I mean two. Way to keep the element of surprise alive. It was pretty much the same scent products from either The Body Shop or Bath & Body Works. Real original. I really like gifts to be something special and meaningful. Maybe it will really mean something to her and she will love using it every day. Or maybe I shouldn’t have asked.

What are your thoughts? Not just on asking for ideas, but giving gifts in a rather new relationship.

‘Til next time … Have a great weekend and stay warm!