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Can you tell me how crappy it is?

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LeftBehind08 posted 4/22/2013 23:33 PM

I always ask my DD and DS , “What fun did you have this past week?” I do this from a philosophy that even the mundane can be enjoyable / memorable. I ask the same question every evening when they are with me. Of course, on Monday’s I get what happened at their Other Family’s (Ex + OW/next wife + her DD).

My DS answers are cute and speak to playing with friends or a cool sword he figured out how to make in Legos. However, DD, her answers, I don’t even want to hear about post her being with their Other Family.

Tonight, it was how they are building an in ground fire pit. Ironically, DD said, “like the ones you have on Pinterst with the colored broken glass that is on fire.” I fake a, “oh, so cool. Do you like it too?”

A month ago, she told me that they have tickets to go to Bruno Mars and later to Pink, also. I didn’t even know Bruno Mars was coming to town.

Before that it was how her other family was going to Texas (and they did 8 days later)… You get the picture.
Next, I spend the rest of the evening (every other Monday to be exact) trying not cry because I am so jealous, because I know I cannot do those things with kiddos, because I feel like I am being held together with rubber bands and glue dots and they are so put together.
I am just not sure what to do anymore.

I really want to tell DD to stop telling me these things, but she is 13 and really just trying to share her excitement about things. I don’t ever worry that she doesn’t love me or loves them more. She is not trying to hurt me, yet, I just once would love for her to tell me something crappy.

okaynow posted 4/22/2013 23:59 PM

(((LeftBehind08))) I'm sorry about what you're going through. Please try to remember that things are not always as they seem on the outside. It is possible (and highly likely) that your WXH and OW are not nearly as put together as you think. And it is just as likely that YOU are far MORE put together than you think you are.

Sending you strength and hugs.

newlysingle posted 4/23/2013 01:10 AM

I agree with okaynow. I don't think things are probably as peachy as they appear on the outside, but I know how that must hurt. My STBX plans to move OW in with him soon and I'm sure I'll be feeling the same way.

Maybe this will be helpful to know. I've been attending a divorce support group here in my town. One woman in the group was the WW in her first marriage. She quickly divorced her BH and married the OM within a year. Well, she is now divorcing that OM five years later. She said that even after she married this OM she often missed her XH. She said she even cried herself to sleep at night sometimes wondering what she had done. She realized that she had made a rash decision leaving her family for this guy. She said it was no surprise her second marriage to OM failed.

So while our X's might appear to have it all together, they probably don't.

phmh posted 4/23/2013 05:23 AM

I'm a big believer in setting yourself up for success. It sounds like the feelings you experience are directly due to a question you ask your daughter. Could you switch up the question a bit? For example, "what was the most interesting thing you learned in school last week?" or "if you had to pick any 5 foods that would be all you could eat for the rest of your life, what would they be?" switch it up and don't ask a question you're pretty sure is going to bring you pain.

And, no, their life probably isn't as happy as they're making it sound. At least not if they're authentic people at all, because then they'd have to face the reality of who they are and what they did.

tesla posted 4/23/2013 06:15 AM

I so get this.

Try to think of it like this...your x and ow have to keep one upping themselves to continue to seem amazing. This is not the grounds for a good stable father-daughter relationship. Your daughter may feel bad somewhere inside that she can't do these things with you...hence the unabashed excitement in telling you all about the 'cool' stuff.

Let them waste all their still reap a benefit since your daughter is sharing her life and excitement and joys with you.


Survivor3512 posted 4/23/2013 08:58 AM

(((left))) I dread this- and it'll be coming soon. I agree with the other posters. Change how you word the question and try not to think too much about "them".

LeftBehind08 posted 4/23/2013 10:28 AM

I appreciate the responses from everyone. I do forget that life is not what people portray on the outside.

This will be the plan: I am going to try to ask DD the question a bit differently in two weeks. I am not sure how I will reword it, but if I just get a "yes" or "no" answer, I will still be staying with 'tradition' of the question, but not get the detail (which hurts me). DD can answer and hopefully, not add detail. (I have no interest in digging for detail either, so the urge to find out the fun or why there was no fun, is null). If that doesn't work, I am so going with a food question. She has to have eaten :) !!

From that point I can change the subject to music or sports (DD loves them). :)

I know I am still going to get some detail from their lives from their other family, but hopefully, in time, I will at least be better at redirecting the conversation.

katiesmom posted 5/14/2013 12:29 PM

I so get this. My ex and the OW, who he married three months after our divorce was final, are always taking my DD on trips to Florida, Disney World, water parks, etc. I

And it hurts because I cannot do this stuff with her because of money. It sucks mainly because I miss her so much, and also the thought of her spending so much time with that whore makes me sick. But I know why they do it. They do it to try to make up for the damage they did to DD. But my DD is smart, and she doesn't fall for it. She doesn't ever want to go on trips with them, but does just because she doesn't want to make him mad. So I may not be able to take her on expensive trips, but she knows that I am the one parent who is there for her, who takes care of her and would never hurt her. How do I know this? Because she tells me this. They are taking her on yet another Disney trip in a couple of weeks. And, by the way, how many times can you go to Disney World? I mean it's crazy! They have been together for three years and have been to Disney World four freakin times! And as the next trip approaches, I will go through my usual emotions and feelings of inadequacy, not to mention the disdain that the OW is there, spending time with MY daughter, but I know in my heart that my daughter respects and loves me. She does not respect or love (or even like) the homewrecker, no matter where they take her or what they buy her. And she certainly doesn't respect her father.

roughroadahead posted 5/14/2013 18:20 PM

I have no personal experience with this (WH has neither married the OW nor does he have the money totake trips either) but I can tell you about my cousin, now 17.

My aunt's husband left when the cousin was 6 weeks old. My aunt had to move in with my grandma, and money was really tight for her for a while. The ex, on the other hand, was apparently loaded (or indebted). He did not approve of cousin's Wal Mart (in the UK so Asda really) clothes, so he had a wardrobe of fancy kids clothes at his house for her. She wasn't allowed to take those clothes back to her mom's. He signed her up for ballet and swimming, but only on his weekends. They vacationed in the Seychelles and other far flung tropical locales.

Now? She doesn't have much to do with her dad. Her mom did remarry and her financial picture did improve. However, my cousin saw through her dad. Despited all the fancy things, he was and is an asshole, and wasn't really a good father in an emotional sense. My cousin picked up on that. She is really close with her mom. She understands which parent was there for her, and which was just all show.

Kids are smart.

Kajem posted 5/15/2013 08:25 AM

My kids have been down that road with XH and NW. 10 years later I get "Mom, you take the time to KNOW us. They don't." You spend time with us, they want bragging rights. "You support us, you talk to us, you listen. They just want us to look good and be a trophy kid."

Be the parent you KNOW your kid needs. Not the one that looks good to the general public. Real parents take the time to know their kids.

I know you know this... thought I would give you a glimpse into your future.



SBB posted 5/15/2013 09:05 AM


Kids have this amazing knack of smiling brightly to let you know they are OK. If they are OK be glad of it.

It won't always hurt like this. You'll feel stronger and stronger as the weeks and months go by. Remind yourself that there's always an upswing coming right after a downswing on this damned rollercoaster.

Disney parents are generally that way for a reason. They are not able to have real and meaningful relationships with their children so they shower them with 'stuff'. Quite frankly it is lazy parenting and kids see right through it.

I'm showering my girls with love, respect - my undivided attention. I am interested in them and their lives. They are a priority in my life and I make sure they feel it. I back up my words with actions - I am stable and consistent.

I show them every single day that I am the luckiest mummy in the world to have girls like them in my life.

When I'm feeling down I put on a brave face for them but I don't overdo it. I want them to see how healthy people cope in tough times. I want them to witness healthy coping mechanisms as a salve to the unhealthy coping mechanisms running rife in the other half of their lives.

Dawn58 posted 5/15/2013 11:11 AM

It may feel crappy and I think restructuring the questions will help.

What you have with your kids is *real*. You are there for them, you love them and you are the one that is giving them the solid foundation they need. He's just supplying some of the decoration.

Your kids know this.

tryingagain74 posted 5/15/2013 19:38 PM

I agree with SBB. They're Disney parenting. Mine hasn't taken the kids on any fancy trips (yet), but EVERY time he has them over the weekend, they come back with stuff. It isn't mountains of stuff, but he or the OW always get them something or take them somewhere "fun" (bowling, candy store, children's museum, etc.). My STBX never wanted to buy our kids things outside of holidays, and he always reluctantly went along when we did a family activity (even when I said he didn't have to come) while we were married. So, this sudden turnabout is clearly all about doing damage control and making a misguided attempt at parenting-- you know, win them over by buying their love instead of actually spending time with them, listening to them, learning about what they like (other than the superficial) and what they worry about, etc. He hides behind the trinkets, outings, and OW and her kids because I've always been the alpha parent, and he has always let me take the lead. Well, now it's his turn to take the lead, and he has no clue how to do it. I think that's why he wants to marry the OW so quickly-- he needs someone there to do the parenting for him.

It's sad, and it's hard, and I don't want the OW playing any sort of role in my children's lives either, especially while my children are young and see things like bowling, making treats in the kitchen, and getting little gifts and candy as fun, fun, fun! It's hard for me to hear about, but I know that I don't have any other choice at the moment, and I try to take some comfort in the fact that the OW is being nice to my kids for now. But it is important to acknowledge this sort of parenting for what it is-- shallow, misguided, and likely to backfire when the kids get older and can see the forest for the trees. Hang in there.


ManBearDivorce posted 5/15/2013 19:44 PM

I can attest to your thoughts but I know deep inside my XWW and OM are so deserving of each other. My XWW comes around sometimes with a bright smile and lovely dress but damn, the pictures of inside the apt. she lives in is a mess. Her car that I regularly put my daughter in when they get picked up, smells awful and is a pigsty. So it seems they are good on the outside but really a mess in the inside.

"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scens with everyone else's highlight reel"

-Steve Furtick

LeftBehind08 posted 5/15/2013 23:18 PM

Putting it perspective that they are Disney parents helps. I tell my kids to eat it up with a spoon, but be appreciative and grateful.

(my own t/j) That and it was great when I asked if they wanted to wish their other mom a happy Mom's day and my DS immediately said, "why?" and my DD said, "later (aka - I will conveniently forget)"

Be the parent you KNOW your kid needs... Real parents take the time to know their kids.


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