Here’s a hypothetical question for you all. I’d really like to hear from the guys on this one because I am perplexed.
There’s this ex husband #2 (ok, so it isn’t really hypothetical) he was laid off a couple of weeks ago and the prospects in this area are not very good. He has been given an opportunity through his union to go to Vegas to work possibly until January.
I have no problem with him going, I think he should go where the jobs are.
I do have a problem with him just dumping everything in my lap. Specifically what he intends to do about the time he is supposed to be with his child, the daughter.
This is not the first time he has left the state to work, during our two year long divorce he left the state for at least a year to work. The daughter was much younger then, obviously.
I asked ex #2 to fix my broken water pipe last week. My brother had already said he would do it but he never does those kinds of things for me so I wanted to cover all bases. Ex#2 also owes a boatload in back child support since he didn’t bother to pay it for the first two years we were separated and divorced. Just for the record I was a stay at home mom when he walked out. He did not want the daughter in daycare and did not want me to work. Crazy since he wasn’t all into paying child support and it is hardly enough to live on anyway. I don’t know what he was thinking and I still don’t get it but it is water under the bridge now except for the arrears.
Back to the pipe. He said he would fix the pipe if I paid him or I gave him a boat motor that is at the cabin. Apparently he has a boat and needs a motor. The motor at the lake hasn’t been used in a while which is why he asked for it. I have no idea what the motor is worth but he figured $400.00. I told him no thanks. Maybe not in those words but close. When he borrowed my truck last year he got a parking ticket which he never paid, by the time I found out about it it was $75.00. He refused to pay it. I won’t even bother going into the why because it didn’t make sense to me that he could actually justify not paying it.
He called me at work to tell me about the Vegas thing. Later in the day he stopped by the house to drop off the girl’s backpack. He could have just left it on the porch but he waited for me to get home. He said he was planning on going and would be leaving in two weeks. I casually asked him what he planned to do about his weekends and midweek visits.
“Nothing” he answered.
I expected that answer but pressed on.
“What can I do?” he explained.
I tried to explain to him that while I understood he needed to go where the work was it would be nice if he at least humored me by saying something like “hey, I realize that this will be a challenge for you and that you will have to rework your schedule, and I really appreciate it“.
He just looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted a third eye.
January! No more weekends until January. He doesn’t get it. I know it sounds pissy and like I don’t want to spend time with my kid, but sometimes I like when they are gone. I can actually do Jen things. I also work on the weekends that he is with her so I asked how I was supposed to deal with that? He said he didn’t have an answer.
“So, I’m supposed to deal with it?” I asked.
I got that third eye look again.
He doesn’t understand what he is asking me to do. I don’t even know how to explain it to him. He went on and on about how his time was worth something and if he stayed here he’d go broke. I get that. I really do. But isn’t my time worth something?
He didn’t say no but he didn’t say it was either. I’m the mom and it’s my job to take care of the kids. I asked him what he thought my time was worth and he couldn’t come up with an answer. then asked if it was worth a broken pipe. And he said this:
“I’m happy to fix your stuff but I don’t get paid anything” (remember he owes me $12K) “If I fix your pipe I have to drag out my tools and bring them over here and then fix it and then put the tools back, it’s a pain in the ass” ( I just put my head in my hands at this point).
I’m not his wife anymore. I’m not getting sex, I’m not getting extra child support, I’m hardly getting what I’m supposed to get. Why is this my problem? I know it’s my daughter and I will handle it but is it so hard to even be a little appreciative and to at least fix things when they break?
Can one of you guys explain to me what is going in his head? If I am just being difficult I’d like to know. I really want to understand how he thinks. And yes he is one of those guys who thinks that the child support he does pay really just pays for my shoe habit or manicures. He has no idea what it costs to clothe, feed, pay for all the school activities, etc… I don’t want anything from him except an acknowledgment that what I am doing has some value, that while he is gone I am losing a very precious thing to me, time and maybe the comfort of knowing that when something breaks he will fix it without gouging me.
I believe he holds you responsible for something. I can’t say what, and it may not be remotely rational. But it means something to him.
That’s not to excuse what he’s doing in any way, of course. I have an ex who just assumes I’ll pick up any slack, too, but she’s not anywhere near this bad about it.
My few pennies worth.
Erik, That’s an interesting idea. I still don’t get it but….Let me ask you this, cause he doesn’t see my side of this at all. Do you get what it is I want?
Uhhh, I’d love to help you out here, but I haven’t got a clue what he’s thinking. Was he always this generous and thoughtful?
Shawn, Yes. So it isn’t just me?
Uhm,of course I am a girl goat and will never understand what goes on in the mind of a man but he seems like
I really don’t want to finish the sentence ’cause I think we are developing a cyber friendship here and I don’t want to ruin it.
I will ask my hubby for his opinion. He is a man at least last time I checked he was….
I feel your pain.
Sorry I can’t help…I’m a woman, am (quite) happily married, and have a husband at home who can deal with the brats – I mean, kids — whenever I’ve had enough, which is actually quite often recently.
I’ll be keeping good thoughts, and hope it all works out soon.
Give it up. He’s not rational, he’s not responsible, and he’s not worth the hassle.
I know you’ll not have your normal weekends off, but it’s a small price to pay to get the jerk out of your life. Hopefully permanently.
Pricilla, you are free to call him names, I do myself all the time, I will not think less of you for it.
Mary, count those blessings! You are a lucky woman.
Mother, If I thought he would be gone permanently I wouldn’t be bitching about it, that would be a fair trade for me though not for my daughter. He will never be gone permanently…ever. I will have to deal with him for at the minimum twelve more years and I am sure more. I would just like to stop beating my head against a brick wall. I do understand that it is my choice to beat my head, I realized after I wrote this that I still want what I wanted while we were married and never got which is probably the underlying reason why we got divorced. If I hadn’t been such a bitch he might have stuck around, if he hadn’t been so illogical I might not have been such a bitch.
I see you have one of those Ex’s too. I feel for you because I am having issues with my ex and his obligations too. I hope everything works out. Have you hauled his ass to court over the arrears? Have you insisted that they throw him in jail? (Not that that would get you any money, but wouldn’t it at least be a little satisfying?).
*It’s kind of ironic, if you ask me, that the last part of the word in the word verification for my comment is “PRIC”. Seems fitting in this case…
Breath, Pric…hmmmm, who says Google isn’t watching? I was just over at Lola’s Diner after talking to her via email where I mentioned something about England. My word verification was inglad. See? There is a a conspiracy.
As for the courts..he is paying his obligation, as in minimal. The system sucks for both parties, no one is every happy. He is paying an extra 20% per month but when he gets laid off he ends up back where he started. Still his fault but he is trying…now, they took away his driver’s license and that had a big impact on his decision to make the payments, he decided it was a good idea to actually support his kid. He has been doing it for the last three years but still behind and at the rate he is paying the arrears will never pay it off.
OK, my husband read the post and his comment was he doesn’t understand what your ex is thinking because he has a sense of responsibility and has never walked away from anything. I can attest to this as he stuck with me even though I have broken down…
Sorry we were not much help.
Pricilla, you are much help. Thank your husband for taking a look. It’s nice to know there are men out there who are not…crazy/selfish/irresponsible/dumbasses/ stop me now please.
Some men just never grow up! He sees this job as an out for him. He is selfish. It’s a shame
Vegas has legal prostitution.
A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
Dizz, I agree that some don’t and he certainly hasn’t. It is a shame.
Moooog, Ex#1 would be all over that.
Well for sure he won’t need the motor for the boat in Vegas Baby. I don’t know how men think–he sounds like a real ahole and his non-consideration for his daughter shows him to be that. She is going to grow up knowing her father didn’t care much for her or not enough anyway. My ex lived only 4 miles away, but he was not into the obligatory every other weekend thingie. He once said, “It would be best if the kids never saw me again, easier for them.” Of course now, 20 years later, he wonders why his kids don’t communicate with him or want to spend time with him. Someday your ex might/will go through the same thing, but for right now…it is as it is and you have to deal.
What you want and need from him you aren’t going to get, apparently. Maybe he will stay permanently in Vegas and that might be the best for everyone?
My theory: It almost sounds like the arrears payment is aggravating him. He feels like he was trying, and had some hard times, and is now being punished. He blames you.
Not rational, but that is besides the point.
He feels wronged, so no sense of obligation exists. He is hurting his daughter, but doesn’t see that, he sees only that it is hurting you, which makes him feel justified.
If I were you, I’d give him the motor in exchange for fixing the pipe, unless you were sure the motor was easily fixed and you needed it. It sounds as if it may be junk, anyway.
I think the way you’re feeling is natural for the situation you’re in. He sounds like a total asshole!
I hope he changes his mind about visiting his daughter. As a child of divorced parents, you need to see both of em!
(He sounds a wee bit selfish–stand your ground.)
I was being a wee bit sarcastic when I said wee bit selfish. Didn’t want you to think I was clueless. I’m also on painkillers and wearing a neckbrace so bear with me. Sorry he’s being such a weiner!
He doesn’t appreciate you or your time as much as his own. Obviously, he doesn’t get it… probably never did, likely never will.
However, if he isn’t taking the kids on weekends because he is going where the money is, he should be sending more of that money your way so you can get a sitter once in awhile.
Gee, Jen, I am so sorry you have to deal with this. This a total no win situation, the only possible win being at least you are not still legally bound to him.
It would be easy for me to say cut you losses, don’t bother trying to prevail in an irrational argument and move on. But I am thousands of miles away and I have no ex fucking around with my life.
I think Joe has good advice. A repair in the hand is worth an engine at the lake. 🙂
Sending lots of positive thoughts that you will end up with some peace and resolution. ((hug))
I always think of the kids who get hurt in these scenarios. Hope it works out.
You’ve been tagged. Stop by and check it out:
Ex # 2 is what we in the Army would have called a DICK. No sense of responsibility, and thinks the world isn’t fair when he fails.
These guys think they are underpaid and under appreciated. What he needs is a good swift kick in the ass, not to mention a smack upside the head.
He is responsible for a little girl, and has failed in his responsibility to provide for her.
He has dumped the entire burden on you.
If anything, he should be begging you to let him do things free for you to help you get by.
He wants to get paid?! Is he F’n serious? You have my sympathy.
If he ever brings the tools over, grab the pipe wrench and give him a crack on the skull.
Don’t kill him, but God knows, it wouldn’t hurt, as thick as his skull must be.
Yes, I’m harsh, but I have zero tolerance for men who don’t support their kids.
O.M.G. I don’t know what to say – except I felt like I was reading something *I* wrote while reading this post.
I’m so sorry. I know what you mean about enjoying the occasional weekend when you can pee in peace. But my ex screams obscenities at me if I need to change a weekend (not to mention telling me he’s taking me back to court and is going to call Social Services…again) – but I should not say a word when he needs to.
I’m right there with ya. Hmmm Maybe we’re dealing with the same man? lol I just chalk it up to him missing a quarter of a chromosome. That way I blame genetics – and don’t fixate on…well, less than pleasant things happening to him. 😉
It is so NOT you. Ditto to what Shawn said – was he always this generous and thoughtful? (lol)
Hang in there xx
I’ve always been fighting with my ex to get MORE time with my kid. So basically I can’t relate.
These are tough times and I’m out of work myself… but I’ve limited my search to a range where I can still see my kid at least once a month.
What’s missing from both your thinking is: what’s the impact on your child of his disappearance? It sounds like he won’t see her til January, which is an eternity to a child.
And yes, I get your point, and if it were me I’d have asked “Would you rather I was around or employed?”… that is, I’d let your truly participate in the decision. You guys have a child together and your lives won’t be separate until she’s an adult.
As you might guess, I wasn’t the one who left me ex- either…
Until you accept that the world revolves around him, or he accepts that it doesn’t, you will always encounter these situations with him. He is self-centered and enjoys being a victim. You can’t change that, and there’s nothing to be gained except frustration if you think he will be different the next time you see him.
I would call the agency that oversees the child support to notify them of his plans to leave the state, and ask them how they coordinate child support payments with Nevada.
The main thing is that your daughter doesn’t get caught in the middle. She’s got one parent moving across country, and she doesn’t need the remaining parent to make her feel like a burden. I know you wouldn’t do that consciously, but kids pick up on our moods.
I’d consider giving him the boat motor “as is” in exchange for the home repair, but after that I wouldn’t depend upon him for a thing. The price you pay in aggravation and loss of serenity is absolutely not worth it. You don’t need an unreliable boat motor, so consider it a quick way to get rid of a liability.
p.s. my word verification is flogra, which sounds like a dandy name for the female version of Viagra.
This guy sounds a lot like my cousins’ dad, whose sense of entitlement and pride has led all of his three grown kids to disown him.
I’m afraid I can’t offer any insight into his thoughts, only advice on how to deal with him: Don’t.
Stay out of his life as much as possible. Leave him alone to self-destruct. Without your support he’ll probably be homeless before he turns 40, which may be harsh, but not your responsibility.
He isn’t, as far as I can see, capable or willing to deal with his responsibilities as a father, so don’t let him unless you absolutely have to.
If you ask me, you are essentially a single mother weither you and the nominal father want to acknowledge that or not. So I’d suggest, act like it.
Assuming of course that your kid is okay with it.
I really don’t know what you’re looking for here. There is nothing going on in his head. You’re assuming this is a person capable of a cognitive thought. His life sucks and he blames you and expects you to be forgiving and compromising when he can’t pull his own end and for you to pick up the slack and be both parents so he doesn’t have to deal with it. And every time he does something ‘extra’ to help you out, he can’t just be selfless about it, he’s got to be rewarded.
I’ve seen this type many many times and they’re all the same. He doesn’t care about his kid or taking care of her. If he could, he’d wash his hands of both of you and start over.
In no uncertain terms, he is a douchebag in the truest sense of the term (I can’t believe in 29 comments no one has said this) and gives single dads that actually give a shit about their kids a bad name. He is not a man. It’s because of assholes like him that guys like me have to fight like hell just to get a split custody arrangement.
I better stop now.
I deal with a “man” like this every two weeks. He is angry at me for being brave enough to finally get out, and so anything he can do to mess with me, he will. I’ve seen women do the same damn thing. Perhaps there is something to the idea that people need a license to breed.
Thanks everyone for commenting and being so supportive, sorry I let them get away from me.
An update, as of yesterday he says he is not going. That could change today so who knows.
Someone suggested he would be homeless by 40, he’s 41 or 42. He won’t be homeless ever but currently he is living in a relative’s basement.
I feel sorry for him, which is part of the reason I ended up with him. I picked up a lot of strays as a kid.
He isn’t the brightest bulb in the pack but he is not a bad guy either. But he is irresponsible and immature. My daughter does not want him to leave and if he were to go he says he would return once a month to see her. I just don’t see the point in that as it would cost a lot to do so. Moving out there is not going to solve his financial situation even if it is temporary as he would have to have a place to live, move out there, store stuff here, etc. But I do understand him wanting to go where a job is offered. And I respect that. It’s just that he is a douche when annoucing these plans rather than consulting me. I realize that I have to deal with him for the rest of our lives not just when our daughter turns 18. He doesn’t understand this or at least didn’t when he walked out but forethought was never his strong suit.
I’m not going to bash him upside the head with a pipe. And going to the county to raise the child support seems like a logical thing to do but it isn’t worth the aggravation I will have to endure from him. I know there is no answer but if I have to deal with him, and I blog, then you all have to occasionally. Thanks for all your suggestions, I really to appreciate them.