My no contact stinks. You have discussed no contact in your book and on your website. Many of the CN regulars speak of NC in the comments and have given sound advice. It sounds great, I don’t know how this is accomplished with my situation.
My cheater ex works as a physician and I work in law enforcement. Our work situation is very dynamic and takes some “teamwork” to coordinate our schedules for childcare. I have 50/50 child custody and my boys are 8 and 9 years old. So far we have been successful in this coordination. Unfortunately, that coordination has come at the cost of nearly daily contact.
So what’s my grievance? I hate texting with my ex! (my only form of contact) (emphasis added to hate!!!!) I dread it because every time we communicate (schedule only), she is in my head. And, when she is in my head I start to think about “us.”
“US” is the devil’s hopium and I know I can’t subscribe. The way I see it, I have a parole-able life sentence with the ex (10+ years of prison). I currently can’t imagine sucking it up for the next 10 years. This seems like an impossible task to maintain my sanity. Every time I think about it, I get depressed. 10 years? My god, will it ever end? You get it…
I’m curious your thoughts and WTF can I do to maintain some semblance of a sane life?
P.S. I discovered that I wasn’t as average as I thought. I have a law degree. I have an amazing job. And, as it turns out, I’m actually in great shape and attractive. I thought all the opposite when I was married to my negative life force.
Two words: Virtual assistant. Get one. What’s your sanity worth? How much time on this do you actually spend a week texting with your ex? For $25 an hour, you could be outsourcing this.
“Please direct all child scheduling communications to my assistant, Betty.”
Don’t like that idea? Too cumbersome? Hey, your ex thrills to triangles!
You just need to remove yourself from the equation and add a buffer. Most people accomplish this with scheduling software developed exactly for these
hostage drop-offs coparenting situations. Here, Parents magazine reviewed 8 of them. Give it to the robots, Joe! Give it to Jesus. Really, hand it off to anyone but your ex.
There is no reason she needs to be contacting you every. single. day. Or you her. Unless your child has a major medical condition, or fell down a well, what requires so much communication? Your kids are still fairly young, but they can tell you if they forgot their shoes, or have a science project due, or have a playdate.
Are you sure this is complicated (ever shifting daily?!) work schedules, or do you just have shitty boundaries? Are you still playing the role of husband appliance?
I hate texting with my ex! (my only form of contact) (emphasis added to hate!!!!) I dread it because every time we communicate (schedule only), she is in my head. And, when she is in my head I start to think about “us.”
“Us” is over. If this is hopium, kick the habit. No matter how successful and attractive you say you are, your future relationships will be doomed if you can’t get over your ex, or manage strong boundaries. No healthy person wants to pick me dance.
Yes, you have children together. The kids are your focus, as they should be. And she’s their mother. But this doesn’t give her carte blanche access to your life. Reconsider your schedule. If it’s your week, it’s your week. So if you can’t cover something, or the “schedule shifts” you call another parent or a babysitter. Same thing on her week.
Then on your off week, attractive lawyer self gets a life. In between, attractive lawyer self uses scheduling software, or Betty the Virtual Assistant. Protect your burgeoning new life. You will indeed go insane if you have fluid, amorphous boundaries with your ex and not a firm firewall. Because just letting this person in your life — even in as significant a role as Mother of Your Children — is painful.
The contrast between what it is (this person cheated on you, traumatized you, and broke up the family in the worst possible way) and what is seems (a pleasant person exchanging pleasantries and cute little boys) is a mindfuck. It’s a hopium hallucination of One Big Happy Family. You’ve got to reframe this — you’re a happy family, you and your boys — and she is peripheral. Put DISTANCE between you and your business partner. Shove her OUT of your circle. (Betty wears pointy boots. She can help.)
Not every text requires your response. There’s a radical thought! Communication doesn’t have to occur through texting. There’s another radical thought! You don’t have to be the point person every time she “needs” something. Wow!
I know sharing parenting with a fuckwit is hard. It’s very, very hard. I won’t lie. But the cure is to build the strongest most independent life you can for yourself. You’ve got all the raw materials. Go be a smashing success.
And forward all your calls to Betty.