Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 7:23 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023
Hugs to you, Landslide. I can tell you really, really understand how I am feeling because, unfortunately, you are feeling so much of it too in your situation. Our STBXs sound like twins. Selfish, weak twins who have thrown others in front of the bus to ensure they come first.
I am so sorry that you are dealing with so much. Infidelity, the seeming lack of remorse, the lazy attempts at R, the halfhearted "work" to try for the family. It is a shame, isn't it. When cheaters keep cheating -- something we have each had to deal with in our marriages -- they continue to show how little they truly care for the ones they claim to love the most. It is super sad when little kids are involved. Just unfair. Their whole worlds are blown up and we have no clue how these events will imoact them for the rest of their days. And same goes for teenage step kids, who have been through this before and now have to do it all over again. I hear you big time and send SO much positivity your way that you can keep managing to stay afloat while dealing with the fallout of your husband's bad decisions.
I appreciate your kind words. It is hard to know that you are going through this too but helpful to know others feel the way I feel. It can help knowing the mix of emotions -- missing the past, being angry, feeling unsettled and wistful, wanting to both run to him and float him out to sea forever -- are valid, if nothing else. And we have such good support here, don't we? Nice, thoughtful, completely normal people who innocently became victims in a cheater's long game. And kindly offer wisdom to "newbies" like us who find ourselves in this mess.
Thinking of you and thank you for your support.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:19 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023
Posting an update that doesn't have much substance but I'm having one of those days deep in rumination so thought I'd post.
Yesterday marked exactly four weeks since the kids and I moved across the country. We are as settled as we need to be and while it does not feel like a home to me, the kids are comfortable and happy. For me it is like a Hotel California type of scenario: that we are living in a random Airbnb, and I want to pack our bags and go home but we have no home to go home to any more.
We have another week left before school begins and I am counting the days so hard. It has been a stressful month/summer and I really need the structure of school/activities in place so I can focus intently on my employment search and prep, managing my emotions and starting to actually begin to try to heal, and getting some time each day to clear my head. I have been managing everything OK, but nothing has been getting my undivided attention and full effort, and it is not a great feeling.
I am still in limbo with the things that matter: employment and my divorce. I'm waiting to hear the yay/nay on the job I had a done a second interview for. Either they are very slow or I did not get it. I checked back in last week and it has been crickets. In the meantime, I interview for a contract position (low hours/pay) this week and will be bidding for others. My STBXH's attorney has had the draft decree for one week. I have anticipated that this is where we could have some delays, as I have made some changes from what was set forth in the temporary orders, so it is not surprising. But the waiting -- will it be good news or bad news -- on both the job situation and the divorce has me feeling anxious and unsettled. Par for the course, I know.
If there is a "good" in any of this it is that now that I am physically not under the same roof or even in the same time zone as my STBXH, I feel like I have been able to make a tiny exhale. It is a relief that I do not have to see him or speak to him. He phones the kids twice a week and they know how to use FaceTime on their ipad so I don't have to get involved. In four weeks I have only communicated once with him, emailing a form he had to sign for the local school. So it is good not to be in contact but also is really really freaking sad at the core, right? That such a short time ago we were trading kid photos and anecdotes and chatting about plans all day long and spending dinner/evenings/weekends as a regular family. And now several weeks later it has all been detonated and we have no contact. Just such a spectacular fall of everything I had built. The big castle of wooden blocks that has been toppled without a second glance back. And I feel resentful for so much.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 7:44 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023
I always do look out for your updates. So do keep updating about how you are doing.
It’s only been 4 weeks and you are feeling a tiny bit of relief not seeing him. Even though you don’t feel it, this is progress.
I hope you get some down time for yourself once school starts. Are you taking care of yourself amidst all this chaos? Being a single parent to young kids full time is tough. Your STBXH has washed his hands off the parenting responsibilities very conveniently, leaving you to bear the brunt of everything. Just for that don’t let him get away with anything in the divorce agreements.
Going to keep my fingers crossed for the job applications! Take care !!
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 7:58 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023
I agree with Abalone. I think you are steadily making progress after having this bomb thrown in to your life such a short time ago. I would be reeling!
Please do keep posting because I very much want to see you happy and thriving.
Continuing to send hugs and good wishes. ❤️
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 8:53 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023
Thanks for reaching out, Abalone and BeachGirl. Means a lot to me.
I am doing OK in general, still breathing. But I am run down. The kids came down with colds this weekend, and I feel myself getting sick. I got little sleep the last few days, compounding the last several months of very little sleep. My self care is minimum, but I am exercising, staying hydrated. Low appetite but not a terrible thing as I have lost pandemic and long held baby and IVF weight these last few months. It is just the constant upkeep that single parents are forced to do. I have a lot of experience as a solo parent due to my WH's prior work schedule but doing all of it -- kids, pet, house, bills, job hunt, errands, cleaning etc -- on my own is a lot. Can't lie.
But...not good news now. In the two hours since I posted I found out I did not get the job I had had the final interview with. It was a hail Mary as they required three years of experience in a particular channel that I did not have. I was able to crack through the 160+ applicants to a pool of 8 for the first round of interviews and then to the pool of 3 for the final round based off of general experience, skills, and enthusiasm. While the role was low pay and contract and TBH not something I was really excited about doing, it was very flexible, and the rejection stings as, if nothing else, it logistically would have worked well. They did say that they have future plans to hire another team member in the channel I have 15+ years experience in and want to stay in touch, but that may just be a some rejection padding.
So, back to square one and feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and pressured to get employment sorted as quickly as possible. And back to the chicken and egg thing where I can't get a "real" job because I don't have childcare outside of school hours and can't pay for childcare outside of school hours without having a "real" job (unless I drain savings). I will keep looking for remote contract work that will let me manage the kids, but ultimately puts my income under the poverty line. Even things like working retail or babysitting is not really an option because I can't do the typical hours (regular full day shifts, night shifts, or weekends) that businesses and families need employees for. It feels very defeating and I feel extremely limited in what I can do, what I am eligible for, and who would hire me. I have always had very strong professional confidence and a high work ethic, and had been planning on returning to work part time this year. It was just that the plan was my work would be a bonus and augment for our family, and the circumstances have changed so much that now I NEED income, desperately, and have to do it in whatever pockets of time I can get between suddenly being a single parent 95% of the time and running the household solo.
And it goes without saying that I feel resentful to my STBXH. He is still getting paid and not actually working, has no responsibility, no kids to care for, nobody he has to cook or clean or take care of but himself. He wakes up every single day with nothing to do but what he wants to do and money streaming into his bank account. Yes, he has an uphill legal battle and whatever demons he may or may not be fighting internally for how he destroyed the family and he is providing financial support to me, but I am already just a month in totally run ragged, stressed, and fearful. And he is off on a long weekend vacation at the end of the week, while I will be comforting sick kids and trying to figure out how I can work to make things work on my own in every way. Just more injustices and inequities I know we all have felt.
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 9:33 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023
I hear you, Fold, and understand. It’s really all so unfair…
One day at a time - you’ll get to a happier place.
homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 5:11 AM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
When married we had a house, boat, 4 wheelers, etc, and my husband had been at his job almost 30 years. I was stay/home Mom.
When we separated, I used all my savings on food for my kids and I. Then I found out that until we had a legal separation with guaranteed child support amounts, I was eligible for emergency SNAP-which was 580/mo, it’s probably a lot more now. Once I had the legal separation I still got a couple hundred monthly and my sons qualified for free lunch and free breakfast at school. The benefits were loaded onto their school lunch numbers so no one knew.
(I’m just throwing this out here so that you’ll know there might be some options for you. I never thought I’d need help, but I soon got money from my divorce and I was able to only have reduced lunches for my kids).
Hang in there, it will get better after the D is final and possibly you can claim Head of Household and Earned Income on your taxes. It’s kind of hard to explain, but you’ll get deductions for your children and possibly a lot of money in credits-more than your taxes.
Ex: let’s say my taxes are 1,000. But I have 2 children and I earned 15,000 on my job. When I file taxes I might get 4,000 in tax credits and that full amount is deposited into my checking account. People say they are getting a refund, but it’s actually tax credits the IRS gives to low income parents. Again, sorry to ramble on just wanted to let you know of things to check into.
[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 5:12 AM, Tuesday, August 29th]
Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
Thank you BeachGirl. You always have a kind word of support when I really feel like I need it,.
And thank you, Homewrecked, for your solid advice and for sharing your story. I tend to unravel sometimes emotionally these days and yesterday was a good example of that. Your support matters to me and I appreciate it.
I am financially afloat so it is not as dire as I probably sound! I am financially conservative and it is just difficult to see only money going out when before we were able to save each month in my "past life." I am receiving child support and spousal support (August was first month for both) and that will cover my rent and most of my utilities. I am using savings to pay for what is not covered, incidentals, groceries, kid activities, and costs of moving/attorney. I have savings to cushion things, but can’t rely on that for living purposes without steady income to ensure I don’t go negative in a year. And now that I am responsible for my retirement (I’m not asking for a portion of his pension or 401k) and will be responsible for self paying health insurance as I will be cut from the family plan, it is weighing heavily.
I am not eligible for state benefits but if I am unable to secure decent income given the restrictions I unfortunately am facing I may wind up eligible down the line. I will be able to apply for financial aid for the after school care programs I am on waiting lists for so that would help if and when my kids can get a spot.
And I have researched the tax benefits too. It is such a good tip you included for those who may be in a similar situation! I’m actually crossing fingers that my STBXH doesn’t realize that there is NOT a clause in our draft decree pertaining to who claims the kids as it would default to me for perpetuity for the next tax year (this year neither of us actually can claim HOH as we don’t meet the three-pronged criteria). I purposefully ensured it was not included as he is kind of clueless about financial/legal matters. Now we will see how clueless his attorney may be….
I know I can make things work and am lucky I have been thrifty and kept a separate account all of these years. It is not a ton of money — I’ve lost about 1/3 between moving twice this summer and the attorneys fees — but it is a small safety net. Just a pity party about the job, to be rejected from a job I didn’t even want (and wasn’t an exact match for). But it would have been a starting point and it stings.
And then it makes me cycle back to feeling anger and sadness and grief that the whole reason I am being rejected from essentially a minimum wage job that I really needed is because my spouse cheated and destroyed our family, stability, and plans. I know we all have felt these things and it is nothing new. It just feels so unfair as juvenile as that sounds.
SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 2:22 PM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
I don't know if this is helpful, but I just saw this on Facebook and thought of you. I can't post links, but if you will search for "the mom project" you should find the website I found.
Best of luck to you! I wish I could help!
Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 4:26 PM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
Thanks, Sadie! Yes, I have a profile and resume on file with The Mom Project and view their listings each morning. It is such a helpful resource for job seekers wanting those elusive remote positions. I have 15+ remote job aggregators I monitor each day and I always start with The Mom Project :)
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 8:11 PM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
Hang in their Fold! Sorry to hear about the position but I think it’s really creditable that you had been shortlisted and interviewed amongst so many candidates. I see this as a positive sign and it’s just a matter of time before the right job comes along. I always look at every missed opportunity as something that wasn’t meant for me or even good for me in the first place.
You are not wrong to feel bitter about the fact that you are suffering the consequences of someone else’s selfish and foolish decisions. I feel it often not just with my marriage but even with my parents and siblings. The one that is thoughtful and mature bears the brunt of everyone else’s immaturity. It’s exhausting and very unfair.
I hope you and the kids feel better.I am not sure how young they are but I hope your family is close by and in a position to help you out in case you need to rest and recover. Take care .
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:36 AM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
Thank you, sweet Abalone.
The career is going to be the tricky part, but I know I have the necessary experience and skills for a number of things, and it may just take time to find something that works with my tricky logistical parameters. I'm pretty Type A so patience is not my best suit, but I keep (trying to) remind myself that so much has shifted that I won't have all the solutions to all of these new life problems that have surfaced right away. The pressure is all self-imposed. I need to better manage it.
My parents are a few states away so no nearby family help, but I have a number of friends in the area and people I can call on in a pinch. The sickness is fading now; much less sneezing and whining today than the past several days.
Your sentiment about bearing the brunt of negative consequences of somebody else's selfishness really resonated with me. It is so true. And it is just so unfair. None of us did anything wrong, none of us broke vows, none of us pushed apart families. The emotional, mental, and physical toll feels like the weight of one hundred elephants balancing on my shoulders. Or like the constant dull ache of a migraine. It is still so fresh that I continue to have these moments of disbelief that it has all happened. It does feel in some ways like my WH is off on a long business trip, but of course he is never ever returning. The kids don't ask after him really except when he calls, and that both feels "good" and sad at the same time. I have been the constant and will continue to be. I guess I just have moments still where I can't comprehend the relative ease with which he seemed to just walk away after his lying was uncovered. That he could look at me, the kids, our pet all snuggled up on the couch and think "absolutely not." I know you guys understand.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 4:32 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
Gah. Me again. Another set back. Just got the draft decree from the other side and he has struck so much we had agreed to.
Now stating he will provide alimony for 12 months only, and portion of it I have to pay taxes on. Says he will not contribute to kids’ college savings plans. Will give dollar value that equates to about 20% of costs of kid activities and childcare per month. Will not pay for kids’ medical coverage if he loses benefits due to his criminal case.
Will see them one weekend per month if possible while out of state and wants to choose the weekend rather than have it be set, but also wants to take them for 30 days over the summer if in the same state as me or 42 days if out of state. He is not neglectful but this man has never clipped their fingernails or cleaned their ears or taken care of them on his own for more than four hours. We discussed at the outset that I would not give them up for the summer and he could exercise every other weekend or give notice for two weeks and he agreed to it.
So livid. And will spend so much money on these iterations until I get what I need to get. I am willing to play dirty if I need to and am so upset that this awful person thinks any of this is "fair" after what he has done to us.
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 4:41 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
OMG! What a selfish jerk! I’m sure he’s just aiming high and will accept less. Maybe it’s time to notify his family on what he’s done and is doing to his children and you? What does your lawyer say?
I agree with you. Don’t give in! I’m angry for you!!
Stay strong! 🏋️♂️
[This message edited by Beachgirl73 at 4:45 PM, Wednesday, August 30th]
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 4:56 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
Thanks for the solidarity. Waiting to get conference call scheduled with my attorney.
I’ve been purposefully, waiting to contact his family to give them the whole scoop of details I know he has not told them until after the divorce is finalized. I still think that is a smart thing to do. They are not unreasonable people, but they of course are going to side with him, and they probably think that him paying the state minimum for child support is more than enough… it won’t get me anywhere, bottom line.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 8:35 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
Well this selfish man is hellbent on making your life tough. As if you don’t have enough on your plate already ! I am sure your attorney will guide you well here. Surprising ( or not) that a lot of the cutback is on things that benefit his own kids.
IMO , him taking them over the summer is important, he needs to put in some effort and take some responsibility as a parent besides the one weekend a month "parenting" he is doing. He seems to have been an absentee parent all his life, he needs to be with them one on one to see how difficult being a single parent is. Don’t let him get away with not experiencing this. This is also a chance for him to develop an emotional bond with them . He’s also more likely to be present in their life going forward. This could all be wishful thinking but I hope that is the case.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 10:43 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
I do see value in the kids spending time with their dad, but it’s just totally opposite from what we discussed, agreed to and is in our separation agreement. He willingly agreed he doesn’t have the time, interest, or desire to have access more than every other weekend (or about every six weeks while out of state). So this sudden interest is a flag to me.
I don’t think he will be neglectful but I know what happened when he had his eldest child for the summers when she was a minor (he would see her a few times per year other than summer). She had random babysitters before age ten or stayed home by herself (from age 10 up) while he worked and traveled for work. If he was away on overnights she had to go to a neighbors house. I can’t imagine what he would do taking care of the kids on his own and working (if he is working). They’re too young to leave alone with the wifi password and pizza money every day like he did with his first child. It is also such a long time to have them away from me when they are so young and I’ve been their stability. I’m sure I will lose on this angle.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 12:37 AM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
Ah! He’s not a safe parent at all then. He just seems to have gotten away with being a sloppy parent and husband. Twice ! Only because there were others carrying the burden of his sloppiness. What do you think prompted this sudden change in plans for summer? Will it help with his trial maybe?
Landslide1920 ( new member #83685) posted at 2:36 AM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
What a terrible update to hear! I'm sure you're incredibly stressed by all of this, as I know I would be. I would feel the same way as you in not wanting to have my kids away from me for that long in the summer. I'm sure you're talking to your lawyer. Maybe see if there's something else you can negotiate on to get him to let this go. It sounded like he didn't want to pay as much for childcare/summer camp. Could that be a negotiation point (or something else)? Could you bring his prior visitation (or lack thereof) with his older child up to support your case as well?
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:47 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
Abalone: I think it’s all financial. He wants to barter the kids to owe less. It will be messy and expensive but I will not concede to all of his changes. I can drag this out and wait him out if needed. A huge waste of money for both of us. I was up all night of course worrying. Meanwhile he is off on a vacation right now.