My kids went on a mini vacation with their father, the slunt, and the slunt's kids. This is the one where they took the train for several (I mean, double digits) hours to get to their destination.
I talked to DS today and he did not gush about all the fun they are having. In fact, he said today - the last day there - did not include a lot of plans, just a lot of swimming in the hotel pool. So, that leads me to believe that they are either out of money or they are finding it way too difficult to take these kids around a big city to sightsee.
In any event, DS was telling me about the fact that there was a dining car on the train. I asked if he and his sister also ate the snacks that I packed in their carry on bags. Now, I packed each of them enough snacks so that they certainly could have shared with the other kids. I wasn't going to be nasty enough to pack them each just a few single-item things.
DS tells me that his father took my snacks out of the bags. He said that he and the slunt had enough snacks and that "your mother didn't need to do that". DS said he told his father, "Dad, mom was nice enough to do pack those for us."
Now, the only silver lining to this whole thing is that I believe my little snacks caused a pre-vacation squabble between douche and the slunt. Had he really given a shit about me packing a few snacks, he would have told me not to do that since I told him I was going to give them some things to keep them occupied and a few things to munch on. He also would not have gladly agreed to borrow their luggage and to ask me to pack a few items of warm clothing for them in case the weather turned.
So, my guess - and I hope SI can confirm this for me - is that the slunt is so intimidated, jealous, and insecure, that she's going to flip out over a few chips and granola bars just because they came from my house. And, the douche is too weak and stuck to tell her to go eff herself. The fact that DS has not gushed about this vacation - that says it all.
Please let me know your thoughts. The whole thing pisses me off.
My opinion, they don't think about you nearly as much as you seem to be thinking about them. At the end of a vacation my kids sometimes want a day to just hang out and swim. Not for lack of funds or because I can't handle our six kids.
You are looking for every sign that they are unhappy, miserable, and are going to fail. Instead of focusing on making sure you are not unhappy and angry.
The truth, they probably had a great vacation with some small hiccups just like everyone's vacations.
Focus on you!
I don't talk to my exWW as you know. I'm the king of NC. I back this up further by not talking to my son about his vacation trips with his mother or whatever they do together, unless it's abuse or school related for instance. It's too much pain to gather for me. If he needs to talk about something that is really hurting him, well that's different. But all you seem to do with your children and them is invite the Drama Lama into your house for a visit and you start petting it. Let it go Indiana. Worry about YOUR relationship with the kids, not the assholes' so much. Things have a way of working themselves out.
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley
I get it. I hated my stbxww for a long time. I am just getting to the point where I no longer hate her. She didn't stay with her AP but she damn sure got a boyfriend really quickly and brought him around the kids. I don't forgive her but it just took to much energy to care and eventually I said fuck it. I don't ask the kids anything about what they do when they are at their stbxww's house. They sometimes offer up information and I listen because they are genuinely happy or excited about something. When I talk to them on the phone during thei week with stbxww I don't ask what they are doing. Oddly enough stbx ALWAYS asks what they did when they are with me. Even to that I say who cares.
My point is we all go through the phases differently. Some take longer than others. took me 3 years to stop the hatred and it wasn't because I willingly tried to stop. I just got burned out on it and decided to move on. I had a ton of anger from the M and the aftermath that I had to get out. It just took me awhile. You will get there to. In the meantime if you need to vent then vent away. That's what we are here for.
PS: FTG for not letting your kids eat the snacks.
But, I don't ask the kids questions. I never ask about weekends - just a simple did you have fun. Hell, I never even ask to talk to them over the weekends. I text the ex to have him tell them goodnight for me. I don't want to interfere and I keep a distance when he has his time. I haven't talked to DS since Thursday night so this was the one time I had to talk to him during his vacation. I didn't ask any questions, except whether he was okay, whether his sister was okay, and whether they were they having fun. He mentioned the dining car on the train and I said, "Oh, did you guys eat your snacks too?" That's all. DS was the one who mentioned that his father took them out of the bags before they left. I never said a word in response. I certainly will not say a word about this to his father.
It just rubbed me the wrong way because I didn't pack snacks with an ulterior motive. I did it because I wanted my kids to be comfortable on a very long ride. My DD is still only 6.
The state of their "relationship" is always going to be a niggle in the back of my head and, certainly, a vacation is a trigger. What has upset me more over the last many months though is not how he is with her - it's how she treats my kids. Remember, that she is not shy about showing everyone that her kids count more. It's how he never sticks up for his own kids with her. I know, I know - it's the way it is and it isn't going to change, but when their selfish, stupid ass actions continue to hurt and/or confuse my kids, that's when it's hard to control my emotions.
The 2x4s are because the douche and slunt are too self-absorbed to realize how their actions look, and it's needlessly hurtful to you.
However, your kids will see this, and understand.
"Dad, mom was nice enough to do pack those for us."
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
I guess I'm just not as good at NC as I thought. My kids are still pretty young - I figured I was doing well with just texting a good night and not having spoken to them until today. I know there is work to be done in my own mind and that's why I come here, but I really believe that I appear pretty indifferent to people in the outside world.
It's been the hardest part of this mess and with staying NC-- I can't truly be NC because my kids want to talk to me, and they'll probably tell me some shitty things since I'm dealing with a self-absorbed asshole as my co-parent, and it makes me mad.
I wish I had some really enlightening advice for you. Coming here to blow off steam is good; it sure as hell helps me. I think we have to bide our time (though it sounds like your DS is already finding his voice, which is good). Our kids are still little, still want to idolize their daddies, and will still put up with crap that we don't want them to have to put up with. I think that a lot of that will end as they get older. Unfortunately for our kids, they will either push back, or they will say that they want less visitation or no visitation. It sucks for them because they deserve dads who love them and are involved with them because of that love, not because it helps the cheaters preserve their images as "caring dads" or feel better about themselves.
I try not to take it personally. The whores copy me all the time. They push their Brady Bunch agenda so hard that it makes me want to vomit. They treat co-parenting like a competition. But you know what? That's on them. I'm not competing. I'm not going to manipulate my children. I'm not going to behave in a hostile manner because they wear clothing home that CommandOwife bought for them or they talk about something nice they did with the Cheater Couple. If they want to behave that way, then they will have to live with it. I mean, seriously? That hobag is throwing a temper tantrum about SNACKS?!!? Seriously, Big Ugly Chicken has problems! Talk about insecure. Sending along some snacks is hardly sabotaging a vacation.
So just remember that-- you're the one who is decent and caring. It's not a competition for you. It's not about you trying to thwart their time together. You did something nice. THEY turned it into something unpleasant. That speaks of their lack of character and of how crappy their relationship is. No decent, secure person is going to treat stepchildren or the children of a significant other that way.
ETA: Just remember how I thought I was being nice by sending in those pictures of XWH and his family, and I got scolded because I left his sidepiece out. That's on THEM. I was being decent. THEY turned it into a drama and put my DS #1 in the middle. Ridiculous.
[This message edited by tryingagain74 at 11:26 AM, April 14th (Monday)]
My exWW recently bought my son a boat to fish with...yeah a boat with an engine and trailer! I wasn't consulted on the purchase and she did it of guilt still because he asked for it. He's had it about two months now and has only been out on it twice, for about a total of five hours maybe. She has no idea what's involved with a boat nor will she ever step foot on it. I was livid because boats can be extremely dangerous regardless of who drives them nevertheless 14 year olds. But I want nothing to do with it. My son initially thought I was going to take him out on it, trailer it all over town, etc. I didn't buy it, it's not mine to use as far as I'm concerned. If something happens I can say..."I told you so."
Anyhow I try to be Teflon Don and let it slide off of me. Fact is it's her money and she's going to spend it on him as she wishes. And there really isn't anything I can do about it but accept it and let it go. If something as simple as snacks are triggering you right now about exWH and OW's relationship, you're in for some serious heartbreak and torture as they get even older believe me.
So, as a snack-eater, this action of purposefully removing snacks strikes me as a sin worthy of entering one of the outer circles of hell.
Of course they already have a cozy spot on the inner circle.
Before my kids were old enough for their own phone we had it set they would call me. I also welcome their dad to call them whenever. No one is saying you can't talk to your kids.
Also the snack question may be innocent, however it makes you angry. The less you know and ask, even innocent questions the better. I don't ask the kids question when they are with their dad and if they volunteer stuff great. I say a lot of uh huh that's nice. My stepson however gets grilled as soon as he is picked up every time.
I would have taken the snacks away also. If there other kids. There May have been enough to share, but you need to let them handle those details.
I know it's hard but focusing on what kind of vacation they had only hurts you.
Don't feel beat up. It's difficult navigating these waters. I think it is natural to feel the sting of their behaviors, but it's our reactions/actions that we need to fine tune to get ourselves to a much healthier state.
But I can say that I have been doing this for a few years now, and sometimes kids convey the wrong message when they come home. Heck, my kids have repeated things to XH and given him the wrong impression of something I did or said. Because of this, I usually let the little stuff roll.
[This message edited by LisaP at 2:38 PM, April 14th (Monday)]
~Feel your emotions, but control your behavior~ Unknown
That is the part I was focusing on and everyone who posted on it seemed to be focused on the fact that listening to him constituted breaking NC and I should have cut him off and not heard it. I gave up and dropped the thread.
I'm still worried about DS's seeming total lack of emotion for xpos's situation and the vitriol with which he told it. I will be alert for anything I can observe in him in future contact (only by Skype) to evaluate if I think I should mention something to him or ask what someone else near him thinks, as he is not the only one to say something to me. Others only hinted but he came right out and said it.
I'm almost 5 years out. I could care less what he does, and with who. My kids are teens, and rarely go. Still, every once in a while, he makes, or the kids make some comment that just makes me think WTF??? It's normal.
WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.
You have littles. They are going to tell you about what they do with their dad, and unless you pretend not to hear them, a conversation IS going to occur. I certainly don't ask my son detailed questions about his time at dads, but if he makes a comment to wants to tell me something I won't just ignore him.
For what it's worth, I think your question was pretty tame. Don't sweat the small stuff!
I'm with norabird on this one. It is unkind to mess with someone's snacks. Period. Imagine if you sent you kid to school with a snack and the teacher took it away because "we have snacks here". And I am not talking about a snack that violates the rules like candy or peanut butter, but a decent snack. But the teacher (or scout leader or babysitter or whoever) decided that your elementary school aged child should not have that snack. Not because the child was eating it at an inappropriate time or refused to share, but just because. Most parents would be pissed about that. But because it was your X you should be ok with it? Um, no.
And the fact that he took the snack is just so petty. I can just imagine your little DS6 excited about the trip and saying "And Daddy, I brought snacks for the trip!" And your X says "No no, you cannot have that snack" Wow, really?
And there is no timeline for no longer getting pissed at your X for something. I am 9 years from dday and almost 8 from the D and I sometimes get pissed at X just because he exists. I get pissed when he contact DD and I get pissed when he does not contact DD. Yet I fell I am healed and well adjusted. Getting pissed when your X acts the jackass does not mean you are stuck.
BUT I think this is one of those types of things that you just have to learn to let go of when the kids are with XH. Presumably he is able to anticipate what they will need for their vacation. If he can't remember to pack snacks, that's on him. The kids won't starve. Worst case is they get a little grumpy from being hungry and that is for him to deal with.