Thursday, December 04, 2008

Next Up: Peace in the Middle West

Regarding this post I want to do a little follow up. I’m not sure it all came across the way I intended, and even if it did I want to share a little of the conversation W and I had that night about the issues I had, and some I didn’t even know I had.

The parts about that previous post that I thoroughly enjoyed were (1) finding out that his financial life isn’t all that he makes it out to be and (2) sending the Credit Card Guy to calling him way earlier than he cares to be awoken in the morning.

There were plenty of parts I didn’t like such as (1) finding out that his financial life is as much a shambles as it would have been for years had I not been the one in our marriage to rein in the out-of-control spending so I fear he will be broke almost as soon as I pay him for his share of the equity in the house, (2) realizing just how important it is to legally rid myself of him and his money woes, and probably most importantly (3) finding out that N was privy to what I considered way TMI with regard to Q. In addition, N had talked to me just the night before about issues he has with W and Q. I told him he would need to take up those issues with W to which he replied that Q is always around so he can’t talk to W privately.

All of that led to my final statement of the post that if I didn’t get what I considered appropriate responses from W regarding my concerns I would head straight into my attorney’s office and start handling things on a whole new level.

At lunchtime that day I tried to call W and naturally got voicemail. No surprise there. I left him a message asking that we talk that evening by phone over some issues that N had raised with me that had me concerned. In the middle of the afternoon, W called me at work, oblivious that I’d left him a message, said he’d never gotten it, to tell me he and Q were going out of town for the afternoon/evening. (like I care; I am not sure his point here other than liking to rub my nose in the fact that he has someone now; truth be told I could care less what they do when or where as long as it doesn’t impact N, and he wasn’t scheduled to have N that day at all so there was no reason to tell me his/their plans; whatever) I told him that in the message I asked if we could talk later that evening after N was in bed or sometime the next day. He agreed to talk later that evening.

(Okay, okay, I know this is a lot of detail, probably more than you want to know, but I’m kind of using this blog as documentation for myself in case I need it later in the divorce proceedings so bear with me here. (I almost wrote “bare” instead of “bear.” Heh, heh. Now that could lead to something more interesting.))

Fast forward to later that evening following N and I attending a heartbreaking Illini loss to Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, returning home and getting N to bed. I call W. He starts the conversation by saying that he thinks he knows what I want to discuss. Really? He thinks it has to do with some bad language. I, having not a clue what he was referencing but assuming Q must have a mouth on her, played dumb and asked if N had been using language of which we don’t approve. Oh no, he assured me, N hadn’t said anything inappropriate. Ah, I said, so Q was the one? Yes, he explained that Q had used some language that has never been allowed in our family (at least in front of N) and that N had given W “the look” when it happened. W assured me that he had spoken to Q about it, and there would no longer be a problem. Okay, well there was one problem we had that I didn’t even know before, but at least it appeared to be resolved. (May I also say here and now that I have never had any problem at all with BJ acting and speaking inappropriately around N. BJ and I, when by ourselves, may talk with coarser language, but never in front of N. It wasn’t even something we ever had to discuss, ever.)

Moving on, I told W that wasn’t what I had wanted to discuss, but I was glad he shared it with me. I started with N’s complaint that he has no time when he can talk to W privately. I explained that I try to encourage N to take up issues he has with W or Q with W directly, but that N tells me he can’t because Q is always right there. W started to dispute that he and N have no time together without Q. However, he then went into how it will soon be better once she starts her job next week, and she won’t be around during the day so that when he has N after school it will be just the two of them. I told him that he needs to talk to N about it and provide N with a way to approach him to talk about things without Q’s participation. He agreed. (at least verbally he agreed, whether he follows through may be a very different story)

I then broached the subject of TMI being shared inappropriately. I told W that I have no interest in what his and Q’s relationship is or what other relationships Q may or may not have, but N needs to have good examples set for him. That may mean not talking about certain things in his presence. That may mean modifying behavior in his presence. It definitely means that I will not stand by and allow my son to be exposed to ideas and concepts that are beyond his years. While W argued that N misconstrued things that had been said (and I agree that N has a way of twisting things sometimes) I said that it is important that we help him understand when he misunderstands and do our best to keep his best interests as our #1 priority. He agreed. (at least verbally he agreed, whether he follows through may be a very different story)

My next issue for discussion was W and I needing to be able to discuss things related to N and our divorce without Q’s participation and input. I shared with him my discomfort when she was unable to stay out of simple discussions that take place when I pick N up at his apartment. I feel it is completely inappropriate for her to offer her input when W and I are talking about N’s welfare. I offered that perhaps it is because she doesn’t have children that she doesn’t understand boundaries (and that applies to most of the issues that I have with her). I also explained that if I am hesitant to engage in conversation with him in her presence that is the reason. I will no longer speak to him about such things in her presence and will defer any discussions that he tries to initiate in her presence. I reminded him that I always tried to stay out of his relationships with his first family, not interjecting into their discussions or disagreements. If I felt I had input to offer him I would do it only after the fact, in private just to him. I expect Q to show that same respect. He agreed and said he would address it with Q. (at least verbally he agreed, whether he follows through may be a very different story)

My final issue that I raised was Q living with W. I told him that it made me uncomfortable, particularly given the issues above. I told him that I have always made it very clear to N when he asks about BJ and me that I’m not willing to go there until the divorce is final. I told W that I think it is a very bad example to set for N to have a girlfriend (or boyfriend) move in when any of the parties are still married. At this point, W assured me that Q living with him is a temporary thing, until Q finds a place of her own. I guess I’m glad that this conversation was taking place over the phone so W couldn’t see my eyes rolling into the back of my head. I couldn’t help but think that when I moved up here it took me one weekend to find a place to rent. Of course, I was looking for cheap and temporary so it wasn’t quite the same thing. Even still she ought to find something in a couple of weeks I would think. We shall see.

I reminded him that I was trying to make this a cooperative thing, not an adversarial thing. Like it or not, we have to deal with each other for at least another eight years until N is no longer a minor.

The upshot is that W was cooperative enough (for now) to keep me from dragging the attorney into it (for now).

An uneasy truce has settled upon the land.


Oh, and as an aside, there were several points in the conversation where I got the feeling that there may be trouble in paradise over at W's place. Hmm, perhaps being together 24/7 this last week or so isn't all it's cracked up to be. Can't imagine why that could be. I mean, after all, they've known each other for at least a month. That should be plenty of time to decide to live together, right? /snark


Fusion said...

Love your labeling under "family fun"...

You have a warped sense of fun there True ;) heh heh

Hope he hold ups his end of the bargin...

Val said...

Heh heh, indeed...
Interesting times in my territory as well - my ex has been on what he calls an "extended vacation"; P's curiosity got the better of him & when he checked the company website, M's name was no longer listed. Hmmm, sounds suspiciously like pre-termination proceedings...

Cocotte said...

It's good to get this stuff documented.

Trueself said...

Fuse - If you were to look back in the archives most of my entries labeled "family fun" would be considered a sarcastic use of the label.

Val - Always beware the "extended vacation."

Cocotte - Yes indeed. Never know when it could come in handy.