Of course, this makes him mad... what do you mean, you're not going to be my secretary!!?!? So, he slaps back:
I would like to see receipts going forward for the kids medical expenses, so please provide them. I will make payments for those receipts I receive by the end of the month along with child support. Please send them to me directly, as the kids should not be intermediaries.
Um... I have offered to give him the receipts EVERY SINGLE TIME I have notified him about a medical request. He has NEVER asked me for any. I find his tone offensive-- as though he's been asking me to provide receipts, and I keep ignoring him. I also find his "kids should not be intermediaries" request offensive. Is this referring to the one time I asked DS #1 to ask his stepbrother about what time the middle school bus comes? When he emailed me a slap for that, I made sure never to do anything like it again. Now, does this count for everything? If the kids leave a toy at my house that is normally at his, does His Royal Assness expect me to hand deliver it to him?
When I mentioned the concert and said that I'd be there with my family (as a heads up to him-- my family wants nothing to do with him), he writes:
I assume that your family will attend all future concerts as they are able. You can expect [CommandOwife] and I to also be in attendance.
Wow, really? Of course you're going to be there. You take EVERY opportunity to perform some splashy display of parenting. I wouldn't expect anything else from such a shallow and cliched couple of losers.
Then, he ended his condescending, holier-than-thou missive with this comment about some cutesy note he sent to DD that got lost:
To follow up on our earlier conversation regarding the note we sent in DD's bag that was dropped off at [the elementary school] with her blanket and puppy. While there appears to be no explanation for the note's disappearance, I am confident that you would not do anything to hinder my communication with the children and their ongoing education.
I'm not sure what a cutesy note has to do with our DD's education. Unless he's referring to the fact that he's hoping to brainwash our kids into accepting his moral depravity and total lack of character, I fail to see how that has anything to do with her schooling. But, you know, I'm just a teacher and all...
Isn't it amazing how adversarial they become? They shit the bed, and now they expect us to clean it up. When we don't, they turn us into Public Enemy Number One. I mean, where does he think he's going with this kind of communication with me? Does he think I'll be cowed? Humbled? Desperate to win his pseudo-friendship back? Where did he ever get the idea that these rude lectures are constructive and helpful not only to our parenting relationship but to our children? At least I am cordial with him; the only time I sent him some sort of admonitions were the underwear and sledding incidents because I felt that both situations lacked incredibly poor judgment, and the sledding could even have been fatal!
I guess this makes him feel better about himself. He thinks he can wipe the slate clean because he's such an involved and caring parent. It's almost absurd how much he's contorted himself to fit this new role. I wonder how long he can stay twisted in that pretzel before he breaks?
Someone ought to tell XWH that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Just sayin'.
He honestly is one of the most pompous, petty, boneheads I've ever heard of. You are absolutely right in that he does all of this show boating to make himself feel better, to try to make himself and OW feel a million times more important than they are, and to continue to try to knock you down so he can build himself up. Was he picked on as a kid? He just seems like one of those kids who was given countless wedgies in the hallway and who was laughed at in the gym shower.
Eff him 40 ways until Sunday.
If you can, see if the school will mail him any notices regarding the kids activities so that you no longer have to deal with him. Or, try and set up one of those online calendars so he can check it when he wants. Don't give him any more heads up about you and your family attending events. He's at least smart enough to know to stay away from everybody.
As far as the medical receipts go, if he wants to act like a big bad rich dude over a $10 receipt, go for it.
I'm sorry he finds ways to piss you off so much and annoy you, but he really is a dolt. He is just one of those small minded morons who is going to puff out his chest every chance he gets. He's nothing but a blow hard and OW must be putting the pressure on him to continue to make her an important part of everyone's life, hence, the controversy over the note that "we" sent.
I discovered a co-parenting website that allows you to enter in expenses, like medical, and attach scanned files to it. There is also PROOF OF RECEIPT of said items. Woo Hoo!
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
He's creating a paper trail that can be used against you.
First, I have all of my emails that mention medical expenses. Literally, in every single one, I state, "Please let me know if you would like the receipt" (or something to that effect). He has never asked for them until now.
Second, I told him about the concert. I just made it clear that it is up to him to find out the details, which is done easily enough through the school. I'm not sure how anyone would think my behavior-- no longer wishing to be his secretary-- is inappropriate. I always sign off on the document I receive at the beginning of the school year that states that he should receive copies of everything at his home. Unfortunately, he still does not receive every document.
Third, the note he is referring to was apparently some "have a good day" or something like that note. I don't see how that connects to DD's education. He would not have any evidence to show that I'm preventing him from having access to their educations. He can make his own parent-teacher conference times if he wants. He gets all copies of their report cards sent to his home. All concert dates and times are listed in the school calendar, which is available at the beginning of September.
This looks like something I should remain crickets on. If any judge thinks I'm being a bad co-parent, I'll happily produce his many odd and rude emails, including the one where he demands that I send back old Ziploc bags. I will also bring the ones where I talk about how DD was sent to school without underwear and where she was allowed to sled in a very dangerous part of his yard.
I feel like any response from me will just add fuel to his "pay attention to me" fire. I can't see how it would be helpful.
I used to say the same...you get more with honey ....I teach my kids this. I also refused to be her go between on anything. I was fired from that job after the affair. Go F Y. On top of it, like you she hooked up with and will be engaged to a Disney a Dad who sees his kid on Fridays and Saturdays only to be returned during the week for the hard part.
Good luck blending families as I have at present 50 percent custody seeking more. It's how we react. School events are a cluster, but I won't get dragged into high school crap. Two peas in a pod, let the karma bus decide. I feel they are two teenagers i don't wish them anything.
[This message edited by Caretaker1 at 6:51 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday)]
Regarding who's going to the child's concert....crickets
Regarding the missing note....crickets
Don't tell him what you're attending and with whom or even where he can find the info. Why are you telling him about the concert at all of it is on the website?
Ignore his idiotic missives about the note. That is between him and DD. He didn't give you the note - you didn't agree to deliver it. It is not alienation to not give a flying fuck about his notes to his children.
He can prove none of this. Is he trying to create a paper trail to use against you? Yes. "Trying" being the operative word.
Use the mental image of him standing in court and saying "Your honour, I should have full custody because TA doesn't return zip lock bags to be for recycling" or "TA is alienating me from my children because she didn't provide photos of my whore and her spawn to my child - a requirement I myself was aware of prior but did not fulfil."
It is beyond ridiculous.
They'll try anything and everything under the sun - you can't go around jumping at shadows.
Start working towards as few words as possible in comms with him. Draft your notes then edit the hell out of them.
I know you want to right slights (boy do I understand the urge) but you have to remind yourself that HE DOESN'T MATTER. My view is that we are over - there is no need to fight with him anymore. I don't care if he thinks he 'wins' anything. I'm free - I win.
I still get sucked in every now and then but it is rare.
You keep on recording everything you can. He is jumping at shadows wondering WTF you have collated on him. Good. Keep on boxing with your shadow, idiot.
If I understand correctly, I hear you telling her send receipts going forward but not for prior expenses. Can she just send a phone pic of a receipt and text/email it each time she sends a text or email about expenses? To me it puts a time datestamp on the proof as opposed to giving hard copies, but IDK how all this plays in court.
I'm fine with sending the receipts. I have always offered, and my offer was always genuine. I'm just not fine with his borderline accusatory tone-- as though I'm not actually buying prescription medication or taking our children to doctor's appointments. His haughty tone makes it sound like I'm buying things for myself and passing them off as the kids' medical expenses.
Whatever. If he needs past information, I purchase everything on my medical flex plan. I've got receipts banked with them for everything. He can shove it.
As for the receipts...probably wouldn't hurt going forward that when you request his portion to automatically provide him with the receipt...has the added benefit of making the whole thing more business like.
He is an asshole.
And that bastard is going to keep revising the narrative to his liking up to and through his final breath.
I'm just not fine with his borderline accusatory tone
The sooner you accept that he is going to do this FOREVERRRRR the sooner you'll be able to start ignoring it completely.
Break that give-a-fuck. He doesn't matter, what he thinks doesn't matter.
Repeat unti it sticks.
My favourite NIKism "They know exactly which buttons to press because they installed the fuckers!!!"
I feel like any response from me will just add fuel to his "pay attention to me" fire.
I'd send him every MF'ing receipt under the sun, for everything. I think this "receipt" thing is coming from OW. And I would never tell him about another school event ever again. There is no co-parenting with this asshole. If he is so inclined, he can check the school schedule. I'd go silent on his ass from now on. Fuck him.
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.
Break that give-a-fuck. He doesn't matter, what he thinks doesn't matter.
SBB, you're right. I feel like it's taken me my whole life to finally stop caring about what others think of me (with the exception of those close to me). I feel like I'm getting there with him, but I certainly haven't mastered it yet. I still feel indignant that after 17 years together, he would dare insinuate anything shifty or inappropriate about my parenting. When we were married, he left basically EVERYTHING having to do with parenting to me. He never questioned my judgment about anything when it came to the care of our kids. So, I'm still taken aback at times when he behaves in this manner. I get the whole "you were a bad wife" crap he spewed in light of his A, but this more recent "I don't think you know what's best for the children" tone he's been taking still offends me. I realize that he's the one who is the shitty parent, and I know he emails me these lectures from time to time because he's either unhappy and looking for someone to lash out at, and/or he uses them to make himself feel like he's being a good parent for being hyper involved about ridiculous things (like Ziploc bags). However, I won't deny that it still stings. I have to work on that.
Anyway, I didn't write him back. Many friends/family think I need to "stand up for myself" by emailing a slap back to him, but I know that would just be feeding the beast.
but this more recent "I don't think you know what's best for the children" tone he's been taking still offends me.
Many friends/family think I need to "stand up for myself" by emailing a slap back to him, but I know that would just be feeding the beast.
The best slap is ignoring it all and starving that fucker of ego kibbles. That is the best and most effective way of standing up for yourself. Getting down in the muck with him just covers you in muck and gives him something to do to distract himself from the pile of steaming shit he is standing in.
First you work hard to not react to him then you work on not reacting at all. Work on your internal monologue - whenever you feel judged or berated stop and consider the source. Who is he to judge you? Nobody, that's who.
He doesn't matter.
I haven't had as many idiotic missives as you but the ones I have had used to burn me. HOW DARE HE! Then I remembered he is the scorpion and I'm the frog - it is in his nature. My job isn't to try to correct him or to change him - my job is to not give him a ride across the river.
Please know I'm not saying it's easy. It is anything but easy. I'm saying it's essential. One day you'll just roll your eyes no matter what comes out of his idiot mouth.
Remember you cannot control his fuckery but you can control how much you let it impact you.
I said to him "first you tell me not to baby him and then you want me to baby him. You can see that with whatever I do, I am fucked either way".
And he finally got it.
Oh and here's another one: I took my kids to a potluck dinner that was hosted by one of my classmates. Stbx turned that into: I took my kids to a college drinking party.
For a really long time I thought that I needed to actively *combat* the blatant and veiled accusations. But after doing that for long enough, I started to see that it was just *drama*. My 'explanations' always fell on deaf ears and there was NEVER ONCE a time when he said "oh, yea, I mis-interpreted the conversation/situation"...because he thinks that if he says it, then that makes it *true*, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
I can totally see myself in your spot in regards to the receipt thing. In my case, I probably would have been sending the receipts.....but if there was 1 time out of 100 that I didn't, I can picture receiving some type of message like you got.
If you are still verbally communicating with this guy -- Stop.
Since he is so manipulative and self-righteous, every single word between the 2 of you needs to be memorialized.
One of my kids was in a sport and I received an email about a time change for a practice that was happening on stbx's day.....so I sent him a text about it. His response was that he gets the emails, too. Ok, fine. Note to self--assume that stbx has everything *handled* himself. No more *heads-up* reminders from me.
You are trying to co-parent. But you can't co-parent with a person who gets defensive and/or is always trying to twist situations around because s/he thinks it makes you look bad.
He doesn't appreciate your efforts, so don't bother.
(and btw....your ex's Ziploc antics were hilarious)
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.