So I live in a part of the country that never snows. My ex and and his soon-to-be Ho-Wife took my kids on a trip up north this weekend. My little girl just texted me that it is snowing. She has never seen snow in her life before now, and I am missing this moment.
This is the part of the whole thing I just can’t fucking get over. I can rebuild my life, I can find love again, and I have freedom to pursue friendships, pastimes and work that fulfills me. But some of the things he took when he destroyed our family, I can’t ever get back. I am a part-time mother, completely against my will. My children are having adventures and experiences without me, and there’s nothing I can do, because their father fired me from my job as full-time mom.
After two years on my own, my divorce was final earlier this year. I have gotten over him rejecting me as Spouse/Romantic Partner. It took a while to get there, but at this point, it’s pretty easy to see him for the lying self-centered fucked-up asshole that he is, to see that I failed to assess his character properly before I married him, and to understand that I am truly better off without him. He’s marrying the homewrecker this month and I’m not feeling particularly troubled by it.
But this stuff with the kids going off and being parented by and having adventures with my ex and the homewrecker hurts like hell. Every. Single. Time.
How can I make this eternal shit sandwich go down easier?
It’s not fair. It sucks. If shit sandwiches went down easily, we wouldn’t call them shit sandwiches, we’d call them ambrosia or something lip-smacking. No, shit sandwiches are for choking. The cheaters waltzing off to the snowy bunny slopes with your children SUCKS.
Gee Tracy, I wanted an answer, not validation of suckitude.
I’m sorry. I don’t have an answer to shit sandwiches and OW as step-mommies, except to say that it sucks. And it can be survived, as can every sucky thing that doesn’t kill you.
Let’s break this down and reframe it. That part I can help with.
She has never seen snow in her life before now, and I am missing this moment.
Struggling, you’re going to miss a lot of moments. You’re human. You can’t be everywhere. Kids have moments. Mine is off at college right now discovering libertarianism and I missed it. (Okay, his ridiculous flirtation with libertarianism can be missed… may he soon come to his senses…) Point is, kids are little creatures who are programmed to leave us. They have identities and experiences, even as little people, that don’t include us.
When your kids have experiences with the Other Parent and their Schmoopie that are shit-sandwichy, refer to the Cool, Bummer, Wow post. Keep things light and superficial.
I made a snow angel! Cool.
My brother hit me with a snowball. Bummer.
I got extra marshmallows in my cocoa! Wow.
And then change the subject. You are the Sane Parent. Duty prevents you from dissolving into a puddle in front of your kids.
I can rebuild my life, I can find love again, and I have freedom to pursue friendships, pastimes and work that fulfills me. But some of the things he took when he destroyed our family, I can’t ever get back.
Yes, divorce and betrayal are losses. It sucks. You can’t get some things back, that’s a fact. I lost the last years of my fertility to a cheater and I’m never going to have another child. I’m never going to enjoy a 50th wedding anniversary with my husband, because we misspent our youth on idiots. I’m never going to get the $100K back I spent defending myself from pro se custody lawsuits. I’m never going to get that remaining $7K I’m owed in child support either.
A whole buffet of shit sandwiches!
I bet you have a buffet too. And so does everyone who reads my blog, most likely.
You know what makes these losses — and they ARE losses — bearable?
I can rebuild my life, I can find love again, and I have freedom to pursue friendships, pastimes and work that fulfills me.
I’m far enough out — you aren’t — to say, my life is BETTER for having taken a couple tragic turns. Doesn’t make any of it right. My losses cannot be recompensed. But new people and new blessings entered my life BECAUSE those losses created vacancies and new opportunities.
The “gain a life” bit is really better than the cheater bit. Your kids are so much better off having you as the sane, respected parent who is modeling healthy to them every day, than they are witnessing the dysfunction and abuse of a cheating parent. YOU WIN. They cannot cover the stench of their character with snow holidays.
I am a part-time mother, completely against my will.
No. You are a FULL-TIME mother, because you are a MOTHER. That shit is for life. Did you just remember something your child needs to be doing, even though that child is thousands of miles away from you? HelloOoo. You are a mother. In 1988, my mother sent $30 to South Africa so I would get a haircut. The mother job never quits.
He’s marrying the homewrecker this month and I’m not feeling particularly troubled by it.
But this stuff with the kids going off and being parented by and having adventures with my ex and the homewrecker hurts like hell.
Uh-huh. Coincidence that he’s marrying the OW just as they’re all taking fabulous vacations together? I smell impression management. Get back to me in a few years on how interested he is in his children, especially if he has more with the OW. Chances are you’ll be begging for him to take his custodial time so you can catch a freaking break.
Call me cynical. I just read a gazillion of these stories each week.
You’re still healing. It takes time. Every time he does something fabulous and family-like with the OW, you’re going to wonder at some level — WHY NOT ME? How can he be Mr. Wonderful for HER, and not US? Remember, they don’t have character transplants. And you’ll also wonder if the kids are fooled. Will they be easily bought by a slushy snowball?
No. They won’t. You are the sane parent. You are mom and NO ONE takes that away from you. The best thing you can do is invest in your new life, try to enjoy the time off, and come back to your kids refreshed. Keep modeling mightiness. You’re stronger than any shit sandwich they can serve.