With thanks to StrongButBroken for the terminology.
I am struggling with the last grubby tentacles. Waffle is in waffling overdrive. The texts with only the most tenuous kid/finance connections aside, I met him 20 mins before DS7's IEP meeting today to be sure we were on the same page. Business-like meeting like in a neutral location. DS7 is having difficulty in several areas, plus the first meeting with the new post-S district, so it was a doozy. Waffle buys me a coffee, we sit down and have a perfectly reasonable conversation about DS7. We leave in separate cars (obviosuly) and then arrive at the school. He waits for me, we go in together.
Yesterday, he falls off his road bike and needs xrays and stitches. He calls me. I still had to squish the instinct to want to go pick him up and drive him to the hospital. He wasn't with MOW--there's no way that woman would be on a bike.
All else being equal, I am happy to go through days/evenings without saying a single word. I don't agonize over it. It is just when something unexpected happens, like the bike fall, or we're thrown together like the IEP meeting that I feel the grubby tentacle effect. He seems to act like a reasonable human being, and then I am thrown back into wondering how we got into this situation when he can act so "normally"
If he acted like an asshole, or at the very least stop fucking waffling, it would be so much easier to cut those last ties.