Monday, February 04, 2008

Aftershocks

I want him out of my house as soon as possible. I would like to know, however, what his plans and intentions are. If it weren’t for N it would be a moot point, for the most part. I wouldn’t care if he walked out the door never to be seen or heard of again. However, we do have N, OUR son, not my son but our son.

Apparently, the fact that he is still in the house has no bearing on whether or not he has responsibility for N anymore. Apparently, N is now virtually 100% my responsibility and 0% his. Did he tell me this up front? Oh no, of course not. He just didn’t do any of the things this morning that he usually does. The division of labor in the past has been that while I was responsible for getting myself ready for work in the morning, W would do the things that it took to get N ready for school. This morning W did nothing for N, nothing at all. Oh he got up just as he would if he were responsible for N, but he did nothing. . . except get in my way as I tried to do all the things he wasn’t doing. At one point, I stopped him in the hallway and confronted him, asking him if N was now all my responsibility, explaining that I need to know so that I can adjust my work schedule if need be and arrange after school care. Silly me, to ever have assumed that W would want to continue being a father to N was foolish. His reply to me was (after thinking on it for some moments) that until he moves out of the house he will continue to make sure N gets to school in the morning and to pick N up from school each day and watch him until I get home from work. That’s as much as he is willing to do for N at this point. Everything else is on me. He also made sure to remind me that once he moves out it will all be my responsibility because he may not be staying in the area.

I know what he is trying to do. He is trying to get me to back down. He is trying to use N as a way to get to stay in the house and in the marriage. It won’t work. If it is his choice to make himself non-existent in N’s life then that is his choice, a choice that will hurt N, and to a lesser extent me, but his choice and his alone. I have told him that I would like for him to stay in N’s life, to continue to work on bettering the relationship between the two of them, but I have no control over what W chooses to do. I am hoping that if I call his bluff that he will eventually come around and have a desire to maintain some level of father son relationship with N, but if he doesn’t then I will just have to help N through one more heartache.

N had tears in his eyes when we (or really I, with W sitting across the room, again his choice as to how to handle it) told him of the impending divorce. Later, when W had wandered back down the hall to the office N asked me a few questions, and expressed the common childhood belief that the divorce is his fault. I explained that it isn’t, but he is stubbornly hanging onto that belief. I asked if he would like to talk to a counselor about it, and N said yes he would. I promised him that I will call the EAP today and see if I can get an appointment for him this week. I think it will help him far more to hear that he isn’t at fault from a neutral third party than from anyone else so I’m glad that he wanted the counseling when I offered it.

I had just a glimmer of hope last night as W sat down with me and we discussed very civilly a few practical issues like tax returns for 2007 and him continuing to use the house as a mailing address for a while until he gets permanently settled somewhere. Is it too much to hope that we will get to a place where we can discuss issues regarding N in the same way?

4 comments:

Bunny said...

If W doesn't find someplace to live very soon, you need to get moving on filing for divorce and moving for exclusive use of the marital home - i.e., ask the court to order him to move his butt out. It's harsh, but it has to be done. By filing for divorce you can get squared away on temporary custody and, if necessary, temporary spousal support. Even if W gets social security or disability or something, he may ask the court for spousal support since you clearly are the breadwinner. Don't be shocked if he does and if the court orders some sort of temporary support. Just be sure to fight to make sure any such support is only until he gets on his feet and ends when the divorce is finalized.

Good luck. I hope N feels better after talking with a counselor. Hugs to the little fella.

Nancy said...

I'm echoing Bunny . . . file first. The person who files first gets everything their way, at least for a while until the other answers the filing, etc. I don't know how you have your joint money set up, but make sure he can't just empty an account when you're not looking.

Trueself said...

Bunny - I have an appointment with my attorney tomorrow afternoon to get the ball rolling on the divorce. Whatever I have to do to make it happen I am determined to do.

Nancy - I've been squirreling away funds of which he isn't aware so he can't possibly get away with it all, but yes I want to file fast so he has little chance to grab anything.

Val said...

Yes (late to the party but agreeing w/Bunny & Nancy) -- here's another assertion that he/she who files first generally gets it their way...