Dear Chump Lady,
We’ve been separated almost 10 months. He has a girlfriend and is still seeing her, as far as I know. He is emotionally constipated. We never talk about anything. He never expressed regret, never said he wanted to be with me. We have three kids, who live with me now. We started mediation last month because once I found out he took his girlfriend on vacation and used our money and credit cards to pay for it, the polite attitude of “no rush” ended and I want this marriage formally dissolved. (The vacation occurred two months ago).
After our second mediation session, he sends me an email with a link to an article about the happiest places to live. And writes,
“New Zealand is the place to be. I am amenable to moving to New Zealand if you are.”
He followed it up with a list of why NZ is so great.
This upset me in so many ways. First of all, the list is a different color font than the rest of the email, so it looks like he copied and pasted it in from somewhere else. (An email to his girlfriend?) Second, WTF is this shit? A way to say sorry and he wants me back? Not really me, though, just his life. And third, grow the fuck up! You can’t run from the shitshow you’ve created. This — right here — is your life, so stand up and deal with it.
I am trying to go grey rock as much as possible so I didn’t want to engage too much via email on this (and Lord knows we will never have a conversation about feelings) so after much mental tail chasing I finally just wrote,
“Think. Why would I want to go to NZ and know no one there but you? Why would you even ask that? It’s so off the wall. “
How deep is this guy’s denial? How deluded is he? How do I DEAL with this? I am trying so hard to move forward and create a new place of stability for myself and my kids and he is just… in another world.
How do you deal with this? Buy him a ticket to New Zealand. Maybe throw a couple “Flight of the Conchords” DVDs in the mix and send him on his way.
Consider that airfare is cheaper than a custody trial and solves the whole grey rock problem. You get a fuckwit-free life and he gets sheep shearing, or whatever it is they do for fun there in New Zealand. Kiwi watching? Lord of the Rings re-enactments? Rugby? Rugby while dressed as competing Lord of the Rings characters? (Orcs versus Ents!)
Obviously my knowledge of New Zealand is scant. But his is too! (Albeit, he has a list.)
I know my answer seems flippant, but listen, when a fuckwit wants to exit your life? — let them GO. Prepare the shuttle service to Planet Narcissist at once. Secure a generous settlement first, of course. Make him sign over the house, or custody, a hunk of cash. In his anxiety to escape, he may stupidly give you whatever you ask for. Take advantage of this window.
But he asked me to go!
No he didn’t. Not really. He knows exactly how responsible and sane you are. If his cut ‘n paste skills are any clue, he also asked the OW. This is one of those cheater ploys, like when they call you from a bar at 11 p.m. (knowing full well you go to bed at 9 p.m.) and invite you to “join” them. Clearly, you WON’T join them, but now the cheater’s got plausible deniability that you were being excluded so they could booze around with Schmoopie. Hey, I INVITED YOU.
Same deal here.
I am trying so hard to move forward and create a new place of stability for myself and my kids and he is just… in another world.
Let me tell you how this ends. You move forward and create a place of stability for yourself and the kids — and he is in another world.
You’re rightly upset. He’s essentially threatening to abandon you, and his responsibilities. But think about it. He’s already done this. You’re living that nightmare now in real time.
WTF is this shit? A way to say sorry and he wants me back? Not really me, though, just his life.
No, he’s not sorry. The only thing he wants back is cake. Not his “life” with you and the kids. A guy who just funded a paid vacation for himself and his fuckbuddy on marital monies is not telegraphing “sorry.” He’s telegraphing “It’s all about ME.”
And third, grow the fuck up! You can’t run from the shitshow you’ve created. This — right here — is your life, so stand up and deal with it.
The fuckwit has left the barn. He’s not going to grow up. If you want him to deal with the shitshow he created, you put the heavy boot of the law on his neck. (Does New Zealand have extradition treaties for unpaid child support? Look into this.) See above — generous settlement, asset in your name, lump sum cash buy out, you get full physical custody.
He cannot be relied upon. This — right here — is your life, so stand up and deal with it.
I’m sorry, it’s fucking unfair. But you need to put down the skein of WHY he’s is asking you stupid shit, and start protecting yourself from his idiocy.
Stupid New Life Plans are what cheaters do. Has the old life lost its sparkle? I know, CHIA PETS! It’s the future! Let’s put everything down on CHIA PETS! No. Damn. You have to water chia pets… Okay then, GRANITE COUNTERTOPS! Life would be perfect if they only had GRANITE COUNTERTOPS! What? What’s that you say? Granite is passé and it’s all quartz now? Mortgage grandma’s house, the fuckwit needs QUARTZ!
Do you see how this game is played?
I’m sorry you invested a life and three children in a fuckwit. But the good news is you get your life back and those three kids, for the low, low price of doing it all yourself. The law is not super terrific at forcing fuckwits to grow up and adult. (Ask me about my child support arrearages…) So I suggest you get that divorce finalized and forge bravely into your new life. Investing there pays dividends. Travel brochures to New Zealand, not so much.
Try not to engage. I’m sure another Stupid Life Plan will be along shortly. Meanwhile, remain the sane parent. He can go to hell… or New Zealand.