It was a messy summer. He left us without a vehicle for the fourth of July, so I had to rent one to get from place to place, and without my knowing, he had given our grill to a friend, so the backyard grilling I had planned for The Boy and I was almost derailed. But my mom suggested one of those “disposable”-type grills, and we were able to have our hotdogs and s’mores and watch the fireworks on our driveway. And we were OK.
I had waited so long at first because I had been raised Catholic – ’nuff said. And then I waited some more because I didn’t want to end up sharing The Boy. And then I waited some more because I wasn’t sure I could do it – be a single full-time parent to a child with special needs.
And then I realized I was already doing it all by myself. I didn’t have to share The Boy, and probably wouldn’t (I knew his dad would fail to keep his side of the parenting agreement). And frankly, religion had left me out in the cold with regards to my son and his needs. I knew he needed consistency. I knew he needed to not be yelled at, and not be spanked. I knew after the failed counseling that none of this would change, and even though I was scared to do it alone, our trip down south reminded me that it could be better.
The ex moved out at the end of the summer. We were arguing about who was going to pay what bills (I got stuck with piles of bills that had been left unpaid for years, he got stuck with an extra vehicle in his name). I attempted to buy a car and almost couldn’t because of the state in which he had left my credit. His mother attempted to sue me for money she had given us for my graduate school. It was a messy, horrible time.
And then he moved out of the state. And then he defaulted on the divorce papers. And then after four months, we were divorced – the judge waived the normal six month waiting period due to the fact that the ex hadn’t paid any support, and had already moved out of the state. And I had full legal and physical custody of The Boy.
Financially and emotionally, it was a difficult time. But I always knew I had made the right decision. And it just kept getting better and better. Yes, I still have to deal with the ex’s antics from time to time, but as my attorney recently pointed out to me, I can do whatever I want. And it is so much better at this end of the tunnel.
What is it with men who, when they leave their wife and children, take the only car? This happened to my wife when her first husband left. They had 2 kids under the age of 5, and he left her with a 2-seater Miata that barely ran.
This should be a theme taught to men at a young age: “If you’re man enough to leave, you are man enough to walk.”
Thanks for sharing your story, hard as it must be.
It’s a control thing, for sure. I like your quote — you should pin that somewhere… 😉 Thanks for your support, LBD!
It definitely is not easy dealing with an ex but we somehow manage to make it through standing on our own two feet don’t we? Glad I found your blog 🙂
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