One of the things that the new attorney told me was that in cases like this, the high conflict ones, there’s always one parent who is more flexible, end of story, period. It is rare, very rare, where she has seen a divorce and both parties are flexible on the same level. I’m sure this sounds familiar to some of you divorced parent veterans out there. I guess it’s no surprise to me, either.
When the Ex’s extended family showed up from out of town—and with two days notice--I was asked if the girls could come and have dinner with them. How did I respond? Of course. (Like I would withhold the girls from their extended family.)
When his best friend’s kids have birthday parties over the years, and he wants to swap time, what have I done? Of course let’s swap time.
When he had to travel for business and needed to give up part of his week end, again with not too much notice, who agreed to this, in hopes of fostering a more amicable atmosphere in the future, even when two years ago I was not given the same respite or consideration?
Yep, I’ve been flexible. I’ve traded and swapped time for things, and made requests of the same nature, and given him MORE time than what was swapped, in the interest of the children, to eliminate the back and forth that is so difficult on the girls, especially baby sister.
And now, looking back on it all, and seeing how he continues to encroach, stretch the limits, attempt to control, I think I’ve had enough.
No, he doesn’t get to dictate what activities I choose for the girls, and no, he doesn’t get to pick and choose what he supports. No, he doesn’t get away with not paying the children’s copays and his share of said activities for 2 years (and guess who shells out a check whenever it’s his activity?).
Flexibility, to a certain extent, has been good for the girls, but it also hasn’t improved our lives that much. Come to think of it, these events are what I remember lately: a text war in a parking lot where he says, “I don’t want you to think you have the kids all day,” rather than agreeing to meet without incident and letting the girls have fun at a birthday party without the drama. Leaning on DD1 so much that she tells me she dropped out of the brownie Christmas parade because “daddy loves me too much to let me get hurt.” The girls telling me that “daddy gets jealous” when they talk on the phone to me from his house.
Flexibility—an effort to compromise and work to co-parent for the better of the girls, has been more or less one-sided, and done zilch to lessen the drama and ridiculous shenanigans of late.
I’ve been patient, flexible, overlooked the nasty jibes and comments, and finally, I’m done. He has the end of the month to pay his copays and respond about the activities. I’m mulling over whether or not to enroll DD2 into private school, weighing the pros and cons. I think she needs the two-teacher per class ratio there for her first year of “school,” and it’s not nearly as expensive as the other private schools in town. So…it may be time to dust off the gunpowder. Like my new attorney said, sometimes bullies need to be pushed back. DD1 should get to do the things that she wants to do; and DD2 deserves her shot at school, too.