The Angry Ex, 8 Years Later

numbers-time-watch-whiteIt’s been just about eight years since The Boy’s dad walked out and I filed for divorce. It’s been so long since The Boy’s dad lived with him, I wonder just how much he remembers from those years. He was only six, after all, when his dad first decided to live downstairs, and then decided to move four states away.

For a time, we were both angry. Then I lost interest, and he remained angry. But even if time doesn’t heal all wounds, it does mellow you out, a bit. I’m not going to say he still doesn’t have flashes of angry – it was only a couple of years ago that he cancelled the night before a visitation because he suddenly didn’t like our drop-off arrangements. And I wonder what will happen this spring when he realizes I really mean it that The Boy will not be flying by himself. I saw a flash of the old fire in his eyes when I told him that at drop-off a few weeks ago.

The truth is, probably nothing will happen. He may get annoyed, he may even get angry. But he probably won’t shout at me on the phone or send me a nasty text – both of which he loved to employ in previous years. Maybe he has reached a stage where he is indifferent, as well.

In any case, most of our dealings are what you could call “cordial”. Of course I wish he would make more of an effort with his son, but I realized a long time ago that I have no control over that, and it isn’t worth my energy. As long as it stays that way, “cordial” is just fine by me.

Threats and Knots

Binder's knotYou know how some people thrive on conflict, and when they can’t find any create some on which to feed?  Yeah, that’s not me.  When my parents (very rarely) argued when I was little, I would crawl under tables and hide in closets and they weren’t even shouting at each other.  Conflict ties my stomach in knots and makes me head for the bathroom.

The ex is one of those that thrives on conflict.  He also has anger issues, so things can escalate quickly, loudly, and threateningly.  Today, he has threatened to contest our move down south.  Not when I told him we were moving in December.  Not on February 10 which was the last time he spoke to his son until Monday.  Nope.  Today.  Why?  Because he isn’t happy that I am unable and unwilling to adjust my vacation plans (i.e. cut my vacation short by 2 days) to accommodate his inability to pick up his son in a timely fashion for his visitation on spring break.

Luckily, this escalation was all via text, and he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.  My side: all business (the parenting agreement states… I can meet you on these dates…  it is your visitation, so you need to make the arrangements).  His side:  all bluster (expletive… don’t you dare threaten me…  I will contest your move… you might be very nervous come this spring).  All in text, all documented.

And my stomach is in knots.

And I’ve contacted my attorney.

The Angry Ex: Personal Attacks

The ex hasn’t paid child support since November.  I know how the system works, and at the two month mark, I called our state system and asked what we could do.  The lady on the phone initiated action, and told me to expect notification of the action in the mail in four to six weeks.  In the meantime, the promises from the ex rolled in, explaining that he was supposed to get his tax refund, so I should see the full amount owed in the account as of this Friday (and to let him know when it posted).  And then it was, OK, it should be in there this Friday.  And then there was no text or phone call for a couple of weeks (and, funny enough, no money, either!).

Today, a payment of $100 showed as being posted.  I admit I poked the bear, but sometimes I have to tell it like it is.  I texted him, “So, not the full amount, huh?”  I just get tired of the incessant lies, and he did ask me to report about what was posted…

What came next was a barrage of personal attacks and excuses, trying to explain the various payments he claims to have made, and asking me if his girlfriend’s kids should suffer so that I could be more comfortable.  You know one of those “1 of 3” texts.

Oh, I was tempted to respond in kind, but instead, I stuck with the facts.  I reported to him that the money he said he had deposited hadn’t posted, and that we had only seen $100 on our end.

He retorted with even more personal attacks and excuses, and I didn’t respond (but I did take a screenshot of the texts!).

You see, even though the personal attacks were directed at me, they weren’t about me.  He has anger issues, he enjoys conflict, and is quick to blame anyone else besides himself for his situation.  This time it was his girlfriend’s car troubles.  Next time it will be something (or someone) else.  In any case, it’s not my problem.  He has a financial responsibility to his son, and that’s not going to go away.

And I got my copy of the notification of action taken against him today.  I’m so glad I’m not alone in holding him responsible.