Five years ago today, I was so excited to achieve a major milestone in my adult life. I closed on this house with my then boyfriend of nine months. It was so surreal to say I was a homeowner. It was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Some friends thought it was very bold us to take that leap and purchase a house together when we weren't married. I told them it was like a business investment. We could always just divide the house and get our money back if we break up.
So five years later, I am here in this house with my one year old and three other roommates. Bella's dad has been staying with his new female friend since end of January. He told me in exchange for my request of him not moving back into the house, August will be the last month he contributes to the mortgage payments. Also, he mentioned it is my fault that I have been delaying the divorce paperwork, so he felt I was taking advantage of him. I don't care as long as he is not moving back into the house. I notified all my roommates that I will be increasing their rent beginning October. I listed my fourth room for rent at a higher rate than it was previously rented. This will help me cover Bella's dad's share of the mortgage and the utilities.
Last week, I mentioned to Bella's dad to look at this pamphlet about a brand new daycare for two year olds. He saw the price was too high so he said no. Then a couple days past and he sent be an email to re-address the topic.
i think i owe you a correspondence on addressing her school. I have no problem on the school you pick for her. It's just that you need to balance your budget better and come up with the finance to back the choice.
Anyway, i emailed this to avoid any unexpected confrontation with you."
I felt he was so condescending. He continues to tell me what to do without realizing divorce means he will have no control over me. There are so many things wrong with his email. I am sure you notice all the same obvious ones. In addition, I noticed he learned I am raising rent. Probably that same guy roommate told him. I did not let this email throw me off my peace. I did not respond.
On Monday, when Bella's dad came to spend time with Bella, from the moment he walked in, he went through the fridge and negatively commented on all the food I had prepared for our daughter. He said the rotisserie chicken is old. Four days old is too old. Why isn't there pasta? I told him he is welcomed to make some. He asked what other food are there for her and wanted to know what percentile Bella's weight was in because she doesn't look like she eats enough. I told him, Bella eats chicken, bananas, broccoli, butternut squash, blueberries, sweet potatoes, carrots and peas. There are puree pouches if that is not enough. He kept complaining. Then he asked when was the last time the doctor weighed her and what did the doctor say about her weight? I told him the doctor always said Bella was very healthy. He has no idea that Bella is the best eater out of any child her age. She sits and eats solids by herself. She eats protein, whole vegetables and fruit. I leave because I don't want to answer subject myself to anymore of his moodiness.
When I returned, he stopped me ask me if I had time to talk. Here we go. He asked how I was doing and if I am overwhelmed. I told him no. He said he is assessing if I am being a good mom. He hopes I am but not sure if I am. He said that maybe I can't handle the upkeep with the house so I don't have time to focus on Bella. How infuriating. I am so insulted. I put being a mom first and absolutely do a damn better job than he could ever do. He said the rotisserie chicken bag was opened and it there was mold on the chicken. This is not true because I did not see any mold. My roommate and I even ate the chicken later and we were fine. I think he thought a speck of black pepper was mold. He also said there was mold on Bella's hair brush that I use in the bath. He says I am not paying attention to Bella. He says he doesn't understand why I have time to bake and no time to make Bella fresh food every day. He said Bella hasn't been eating a lot. She also doesn't like the formula. She threw up at dinner. So he is attributing everything to I must not be feeding her correctly. WTF! Maybe he doesn't know how to feed her so he is a horrible father? I never tell anyone he's a bad father. No matter how much I hate how he acts around me, I never question if he would be a good dad. I don't spend the time to wonder what he is doing every minute with her. If he is doing everything correctly and how I would do it. Because he is her dad and he will do what he thinks is best at the time. He is overstepping his boundaries by questioning what I do with my time with Bella. First of all, Bella is teething and she may not want to eat. Second, she is a baby and may change her mind about food at anytime. Third, she is a baby, you can't force her to eat more than she wants to eat.
He told me over the weekend, he went to our mutual friend's beach party and a couple there talked to him about how I asked them if I could stay at their house. They talked to him about him forcing me out of the house. I cut him off but I now I wish I didn't. I now want to hear where he was going with this. So I told him, yes, I told this couple and our other couple friend who have a house. These were my backups if I had to move out at the drop of a dime. I had no one else to ask. Anyways, I felt so betrayed. These friends don't know that they are not helping me. Talking to him about what I said about him does not help me. He interprets everything negatively and I cannot predict how it will affect his mood and how it will come back to bite me in the ass. It just adds drama and stress. He also told me that he knows I am raising everyone's rent. I asked him if it was the guy roommate. He said the guy asked him if it was because of him. Then he told him, no, it is not because of him. WTF. Yes, partially, it is because of him not paying into the mortgage anymore so I need to come up with the extra money. He hasn't even been splitting the utilities with me. Maybe he is going with the angle that I don't want him to move back, therefore, it is not his fault.
Bella's dad reiterates that he is questioning all my decisions. He doesn't think I am well. If I cannot put Bella first to his satisfaction, then he might take back the house or sell it. I told him, I am doing fine. I have not asked him for anything. I am making my own decisions and he does not need to worry. It really isn't any of his business what I will do to make ends meet. He certainly has horrible judgment of character, especially when it is about me. He is the one that bailed on this family. I am doing everything for Bella. I let him be around me for Bella's sake. I am suffering because I choose to put Bella first. I could agree to sell the house but then Bella wouldn't have this home anymore. She wouldn't have this space to grow up in. The easy way out is to just sell and divide. I am choosing the hard way. The route where he will always weasel his way into having some say in the property and anything happening on the property. I am trying so hard to hold it together. If I survive the divorce and buy him out from the house at our agreed price, then I will come out on top. Everything will be ok. Actually, we could also sell and divide and I wouldn't care either. Just that keeping the house would be most ideal to raise Bella given the current housing market.
After he leaves, I talk to the guy roommate again. I told him clearly not to tell Bella's dad anything relating to me, Bella, this house, or anything that happens in this house. It creates unnecessary drama and I have been working so hard to move forward with my life. I told him, the rent is none of Bella's dad's business because I am the new landlord. I am trying to make ends meet and make decisions on what I see fit. Bella's dad will have no say. If I am not the landlord, then we will sell the house and everyone will move out. I told him, I don't feel comfortable talking to him and then he telling Bella's dad what we said. I told him, he has no idea what is happening in our divorce. He has no idea the drama I have to deal with and I don't have to tell anyone about it. So don't add to it. I could make it all easy and kick everyone out and sell the house. Easy. I am choosing the hard route and don't make it more difficult for me. He told me that he saw Bella's dad here once in a while so they would chat. I told him, yes, he will be around. He is Bella's dad so I want him here to visit her and spend time with here. I am doing my best to keep him involved. He will try to make casual conversation and he is good at getting information out of people. So I told him to be mindful to not say anything related to me, Bella or this house. He said he won't tell him anymore. He will stick to only talking to about Basketball.
It is so frustrating to tell people to keep their mouth shut.
I thought about it. I would like to be at another level of enlightenment, where whatever Bella's dad heard and repeats back to me, I will not be bothered. Because it is the truth. I only speak of the truth so he will only hear the truth. I have nothing to hide. I am just not there yet. I cringe at his every accusation. He just knows how to twist words and find a way in to blame me for everything.
I know I am a good mom. I have enough people telling me. I have my own mom guilt and he does not need to add to it.
This house, this home, has so many good and bad memories. I am a fighter. I am strong. I will survive.
I was looking through pictures on my external hard drive and saw photos of my honeymoon. Bella's dad decided we needed to wait a year after our wedding to go on our honeymoon because we needed to save up for it. I had never been to Europe, he had, but was willing to go again to show me around and we would also hit some cities he had never been to before. We went to London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Florence and Bologna. We flew, took the underground metro and trains across the countries. We ate paella and drank sangria while looking at the sea. We took a cooking class and made pasta in Italy. So many firsts.
Bella's dad planned most of the trip and was annoyed that I wanted to see the "touristy" cities. I had never been to Europe before so I wanted to see all the main attractions before seeing the smaller "local" spots. I had learned that planning with him was impossible so I just let him plan it. It also saves me a lot of time and energy. Whenever I planned something for us, he would eventually override it. So, I had grown accustomed to letting him run the show, however, I remember on this trip I would ask him, 'so where are we going tomorrow?' He would tell me he was 'not sure' and will 'look at it tomorrow.' Then, when tomorrow came, he would say 'hurry, we need to make it here at a certain time.' Then when we rush there he would tell me to slow down because we had time. Then he would get frustrated and say I didn't help plan and that he did all the work- it was a cycle of that. I feel a lot of our travels were this way. Maybe he felt that he was burdened by making all the decisions himself, but he wasn't good at planning with me either so I'm not sure what he wanted. This constant emotional rollercoaster is something I will not miss.
Today, travel is another animal to discuss in co-parenting.
I received the following email:
He: Can you give me notice when you plan to take her out outside LA/OC area as well as outside [home address] more than a day? And let me know what is the means of communication and expectation during the time.
(ugh...this is because I mentioned that my family is visiting soon and wanted to take a cruise to Mexico, and now he's thinking more about restrictions)
Me: Sure. No problem. Please give me the address where you take her for the overnights. Just so I have it. Thank you.
(oops, I had a feeling I should have asked for the address in a separate email. His question prompted me to think about how I should know her whereabouts too. Especially where she spends her overnights. But I knew he would feel this is a "tit for tat" kind of statement.)
He: Okay. I will when we settle. Are you planning to take cruise with her soon?
(wtf? "when we settle?" He won't tell me the address until the "divorce is final? That's crazy.)
Me: Same as you need to know where she is. I need the address where she sleeps over at. I have not booked anything yet or decided when. As soon as I get more information I will tell you.
He: I am referring when you take her on trip.. not asking which hotel u are staying and such...
And sure will share when we settle
( so annoying )
My new strategy is to engage less. Just agree with him and move on, or don't respond. I should not have even asked for the address. He's probably afraid that I would show up to that woman's house because he is still living there. I won't but it would be nice to know where she lives. In all seriousness, I should know the address my daughter is staying overnight, but I can't argue with a narcissist. It's a waste of time.
I didn't respond to his last email so he wrote me a new one three days later...
He: When you plan to take Bella out of CA? We can learn from this sample, tell me what you think?
Trips out of California shall be pursuant to prior written consent of the non-traveling parent or by court Order. The non-traveling parent shall not unreasonably withhold consent. The
traveling parent shall provide no less than 14-days’ notice of travel to the non-traveling parent concerning the Minor Child's travel schedule.
(ughh...... He's using official legal terms with me now. He is either getting it from his divorced girlfriend or he Googled it. "Breathe.... count to 10. Don't respond right away.")
Me: I have not had time to look at the trip yet. The text sounds good. Do you want more time? More than 14 days?
He: i think it's reasonable. perhaps anything over 5 days will need more a month?
Have you thought about going to school period?
(ugh.... this will never end. So I stopped responding.)
First, I think I did an okay job not responding negatively. I did not let him trigger me into reacting to his thoughts. Second, I think we are transitioning and dealing with some real co-parenting details because he feels the divorce is coming closer to the end, now we have to deal with the "real stuff." I keep wanting this to be over but I don't know if I am ready to decide all these things. How do other people do this?
I have always wanted to make my kids' birthday cakes. I want to be the "crafty mom" that bakes for birthday parties and school bake sales. I want to be the mom who creates the cake to match whatever theme her kids dream up. I want to be the mom who makes costumes for halloween or their school play. I made the cake for my baby shower and the cake for my daughter's 100 day celebration, but her first birthday was where I was going to test my skills.
This past year has been so crazy, I felt like I needed to celebrate that I made it. I should pat myself on the back for doing so well, given the circumstances. So, I decided I would go all out and have the kind of party that I would anyways if we were still a married couple, only now I don't have someone stressing me out about planning the party and I could focus on the execution. For a long time now I've seen Instagram and Pinterest photos of unicorn cakes and cupcakes and thought, 'this is what I want to do for Bella's first birthday.' The unicorn's horn was the one. I had never used fondant before but watched a few YouTube tutorials and it looked like I just needed to use the fondant to cover the cake, make ears, eyes and the horn. The rest is just frosting. Sounded easy enough.
It was a success! Most thought that I bought the cake.
That unicorn cake and cupcakes were for Bella's birthday party. On her actual birthday, I made another cake for "cake smash photos." It was very pretty. If I were to do it again, I would take the cake out of the fridge for a while so the frosting softens before I take the cake smash photos. Note to self: let the cake warm up. Overall, the photos came out cute, so I'm happy. Another pat on the back to myself.
I promise I'm not going to begin ALL my blog posts with "Not So Happy" this and that. It just happened to be my daughter’s first birthday today and it's the first time the word 'birthday' has a whole new meaning to me. It's also my birthday- the day I gave birth. I think back to where I was a year ago. I remember the night before I gave birth I was in an argument with Bella’s dad and per usual, he would say it had to do with my "crazy temper", somehow he doesn't know a pregnant woman can't control her hormones. I remember that I wanted to take a shower but he wouldn't leave me alone and kept bothering me with a conversation that kept infuriating me. He wouldn’t even let me shut the shower door, so I sprayed him with water from the shower head. I remember I had sciatica pain that day and had turned down going to get acupuncture. I was not due for another two weeks but the doctor had scheduled me to get induced the following week because Bella was going to be too big for me to deliver. With all that going on, I remember Bella’s dad going to bed angry because he couldn’t deal with my crazy anymore. I had calmed down a bit but then I noticed some blood in the toilet. I felt random gushes of fluid down below so I woke him up to take me to the hospital. Turned out my water broke- now that I think about it, maybe the stress broke my water- who knows?
Fast forward through that crazy year- it had been the best and worst year of my life. There were so many ups and downs. Being a first time mom is hard enough but nothing I read prepared me for being 100% responsible for a tiny fragile human being. No one told me the hard truth about nursing every few hours and then pumping and saying goodbye to sleep. Also, nothing prepared me for not having a supportive husband through the first year of my daughter’s life. Nothing prepared me for losing what felt like everything. I remember I was in so much pain and crying all the time. I didn't know what to do, who to tell, but I had to hold it together and continue my mom duties, 24/7. I had been doing a lot of therapy and finally had the courage to stand up for myself and chose my daughter and I over him. I feel like I have come a long long way and am very proud of myself.
Bella’s first birthday was going to be fabulous and I was excited to celebrate our wonderful year together. She is such a happy-smart girl and has brought me so much joy during me hard times. I also felt like having a party to showcase how well I'm doing on my own and how happy I am, given what I've been through. To save money, I decided to have the party at my house and did most of the decorations myself with a bit of help from some of my friends. The most important must-haves was an amazing backdrop for photos and an awesome cake. I decided, when I was pregnant, that I would make Bella’s birthday cake every year. A tradition I'm happy to begin. I made the baby shower cake and now it was game time. The week before the party, I was not that stressed. I felt very mellow and everything was falling into place. The year before, when I had the baby shower, I was extremely stressed and asked for a lot of help. This year, I paced myself and put up the decorations on my own and didn't feel stressed. Probably because Bella’s dad was no longer breathing down my neck about me wasting time and energy on "meaningless superficial party things."
Thursday, right after I told my therapist that all party planning was underway and going as planned and I did not feel stressed, then came an email from Bella’s dad. I briefly skimmed it and tried my best to brush off any anxiety that was creeping up from reading it. To summarize, the email was about how he has put a lot of thought into what to do moving forward and how to best provide for Bella. So he thought it was best if he bought me out on the house, he keeps it, and raises Bella, rather than our previous agreement- I buy him out. His email goes on and on and I felt, 'of course he would send me an email while I was busy setting up for the party to rattle me.' I don’t even think he does this consciously. I took a breather and then thought of the perfect response- I told him thanks for putting in so much thought and that I would look into it next week, since I'm busy with Bella’s upcoming birthday. Also, that we should focus on completing our disclosure forms and when all the papers are submitted, then dividing property will be the next topic. So he replied that we would regroup on it later. Great, I controlled my response and had not reacted negatively, crisis adverted.
The birthday party was for women and children only. I didn’t want to double the amount of guests by having significant (male) others hanging around doing nothing. I invited old friends and some new mommy friends, I just wanted to be around people that made me feel comfortable since I had not publicly announced we were getting divorced. I'm sure some people know by word of mouth but I'd still rather just invite the friends I had told. I also tried to do the right thing and invite Bella’s dad. I didn’t want him to impact how I was going to carry out the party but he didn't feel comfortable how I didn't consult with him about having a party at "his" house and tell him who's attending. He felt that he wasn't involved or a part of the party. He found it suspicious that I didn't invite other guys and he wondered if it was because I might "upset someone." Anyways, I told him he was welcomed at the party but he felt a big party was not how I should celebrate with Bella. That it should just be the three of us celebrating. It was MY party. He can have is own party. But again, he can't help but dictate everything. I told him that he was going to see Bella on her actual birthday and can do whatever he wants. He told our co-parenting therapist that he was new to this co-parenting thing so he didn’t know if parents had two separate birthdays for their child. OMG. So I agreed to help him get a cake and told him I would stay for a little bit and take a family photo, for Bella’s keepsake. No biggie.
Saturday, Bella was going to stay with her dad overnight for the second time. The night before I extended his invite to bring his girlfriend along if he wanted. He said he had not planned on bringing her and asked why? He asked me if it was because I wanted to bring "someone special." He said the focus should be on Bella and that he just wanted to know why I didn’t invite any guys, even though we had mutual guy friends. Ugh, he is still over-thinking this. I just didn't want so many people around. But I told him to bring his girlfriend if he felt uncomfortable, besides, wouldn’t it be great to have all my mom friends finally put a face to this home-wrecker? That would be a nice treat. Anyways, he told me he felt uncomfortable because of our past and he's afraid that he might have a breakdown. He said he would think about all the good times we had, all the parties, and that it would very hard for him, knowing that we'll no longer have those- I was so tired of this. So I told him, "then just don’t come." Seriously, I am having a party to celebrate my first year with Bella and how even after all the b.s. he put me through, I still came out alive and happy. So I didn't need him crying in a corner hoping that someone will console him- he brought this on himself. I told him, "it is not about you and how you feel." So if you can’t pull it together, don’t come. Just get your picture on Wednesday. Then he told me (referring to his girlfriend), "she’s just a friend of mine. I pay rent and stuff." Great.
Friday night, (the night before the party) I stay up super-late setting everything up and baking. I planned it all out- I bake the cakes and cupcakes, put them in the fridge and then the next morning I'll just decorate. I was very excited to make the unicorn cake and unicorn cupcakes. I studied the youtube videos and it would be my first time using fondant but I accepted the challenge. It was all very doable and I wanted to do this and make it amazing.
Saturday morning, Bella’s dad is about 15-20 mins late. I prepped Bella with all her necessities, clothing, toys, medicine and instructions. She was dressed with a fresh diaper- I wanted to hand her off without him coming in- didn't want him seeing all my decorations. I just didn’t want to hear any criticism. He could sense it though so he made an excuse to come inside and said he had to use the bathroom. Then when he came in, he said, "I am going to take a look around and see who is here." WTF? I asked him, what do you mean? Who do you think is here? He said, "relax, I just wanted to see your reaction." So infuriating. I hung up photos of Bella over the past year, he asked why he wasn't in any of them. Honestly, I stopped for a second when I was hanging them up and noticed I didn’t print any with him, then thought, 'so what?' But, obviously, I don't need to have photos of him. This was my party and I don’t want to be reminded of the person who made my life so difficult. I continued to ask him to leave and reminded him that he was late and messing up my schedule. The more I wanted him to leave the more he made excuses to stay. He said he didn't have to leave because this was his house too. He said he was going to take a look around and see if the house needed any maintenance, suddenly after 6 months he cares about maintenance? He said that I should admit I didn't want him at the party. I said he was in my way and I needed to work on baking. He said he was not in my way. OMG. I was so frustrated, I lost my cool a little. I knew the more I wanted him to leave, the longer he would stay. It was too late. He knew he got to me. Then the doorbell rang but he said he was going to get it. WTF? You don’t live here anymore, why would you go answer the door? He must think "my lover" is coming but it was my girlfriend, she was just stopping by to drop off a gift for Bella. But she wanted to see Bella too, so I told her, great, she was just on her way out with her Dad. So he had to bring her down to the front door and let her hold her for a bit. She left quickly because she could feel the tension. He told me to shut the door and he wasn’t done talking to me. UGH…. Just leave already. There is something about his tone of voice. It is a mixture of being condescending and passive aggressiveness. I finally gave up and started mixing my ingredients to make frosting. He pretended to make another round around the house then came back and said that he is declining my invite to the party. He felt that weren't ready to attend a party together and today was an example of how I would behave. When he left, one of my roommates came out of her room and told me that he was "such an ass." She was mad at the way he was talking to me and wanted him to leave so badly too. Then I heard the door and he was still in the house and heard her comments. Hahaha. Oh well. Good!
It was nice to get validated that I'm not crazy.
Sunday, party day, my friend who came to help me setup, saw Bella’s dad drop off Bella and leave in his “female friend’s” Porsche again. What a good girlfriend- always lending out her car. Luckily he didn't stay for the party but he left me with a cranky Bella because she didn't sleep well. He said she woke up from 3am-5am. Bella is usually very happy and good with people and during the party, she was so cranky. But the party was still a success. Everyone loved my Unicorn cake, cupcakes, entertainment and all my decorations. I was so happy. I felt like a supermom. A Pinterest mom. Pinterest win!
I knew that was just a high point. The day after was a low point. Monday, Bella’s dad watched her for a few hours. Then before he left he wanted to talk to me about moving back into the house. He said he would stay in the other room and also use the other bathroom. He would avoid seeing me. He can work with me on a schedule so there would be no conflict. He said he did not want to get back together and that he wasn't trying to get involved with my personal life. He also mentioned he was not getting kicked out of the other place, he simply thought maybe moving back would be helpful. He said he would help with Bella more. I asked him if this was really happening and when he anticipated moving. He said next week! OMFG!!!! This was a bomb dropping on me. It gave me so much anxiety. I felt the hairs on my arms stick up. I was so overwhelmed with how insane this idea was and how he actually felt like it was a good idea, it only proves out of touch with reality he really is.
I sat on it a little bit and began to get angry. Why does he get to choose when to ruin my life over and over again? Why does he get to decide which path we take whenever he feels like it? Every week is some crazy shit. Last week was he was going to buy me out, I can’t wait until next week when something else happens- he really tops himself every week. So I brewed and brewed until I couldn't take it anymore and texted him, telling him I didn’t want him to move back in.
Sorry, I know this blog post got really long but seriously so much happened, I didn't know where to begin. I don't want you to think I'm telling you things out of context. If I haven’t lost you yet, it is about to get good...
Me: BTW my parents and my niece want to visit soon and stay for 10 days.
Him: Okay..when? Thanks
Me: I don’t know. Now you want to come back and live here that’s so awkward. Are you trying to move back before next month’s rent?
Him: No.. we can discuss
Me: If I want to keep the house why don’t you just find an apt if you already pay rent? I don’t want to live with you. You are making everything so difficult for me. Everything is going in one direction and you keep changing your mind.
Him: I am not making decisions now. Wanna see how you view it.
Me: Are you testing me? To see my reaction?
Him: No.. I am not
Me: Well I don’t see why you think it would work. I don’t need you round the house. So it is not helpful to have you back. You should really ask to stay with a guy friend instead because me and Bella moving out takes more work than you staying somewhere else.
Him: Just a moment. Anna.. first, we are no longer like before that forcing one side out. That’s not the intention. U are welcomed to stay. Second I am not saying when and if I will for sure move back next week..It’s out of respect so get to know if you have people visiting this case, ur folks
Me: You get to decide when your one and go. You don’t care how you affect my life. We are working on the transition but you are going to change the transition to be convenient for yourself. Do you want me to buy you out right away so you have money to find an apt? I can’t even have a conversation with you for 10 mins. I cannot live with you. I don’t know how my you can possibly think it would all work. Just the other day you said we were not ready to be at a party together. It is not good for Bella that you move back. What is your reasoning for this? Or logic?
Him: My reason is simple. If I am homeless, how can I best find myself a place to care Bella. Anything else..I didn’t think much or consider.
Me: You are not homeless. You are capable to find a place to live. You can ask your friends until you rent an apt.
Him: Why I need if I have a house of my own to start with and my daughter is there? If all I need is to avoid you, I can totally do that..
Me: I’m just getting use to my life without you. Because we are working on a system. You are messing it up. You are so selfish. You did not consider how it would affect me.
Him: I am not asking u to work or deal with me
Me: How can you take care of Bella without seeing me? You will see me. You will see Bella. You will use the changing table, grab her toys, talk to the roommates and make them feel uncomfortable.
Him: I am considerate. This is why I have been avoiding staying unless now.
Me: It is so strange that you only see for yourself. You can’t even stop talking to me when I say stop I don’t want to talk. How can you avoid me? Who are you fooling?
Him: Anna.. Let’s not talk about it. I haven’t decided yet. But I am hoping to get message across tonight I might
Me: You know…if you talk to anyone other than your woman friend, maybe you will get some real advice or perspective on how fucked up you treat all this. You won’t be homeless. It is not just his house or her house.
Him: I am not interested in your personal life. And people getting divorced typically stay in their own room. From your perspective…?
Me: There is apt, hotel, motel, friend’s house. You figure it out. Who told you? How many ppl stay in their own house?
Him: I think you treat my avoidance as entitlement…
Me: How many men cheat on their wives and get a divorce and stay living together?
Him: Let’s not drill on this first
Me: Or they just don’t get along and get a divorce and stay living together?
Him: They live separate room…respectfully. Again, let’s not put too much energy on this first.
Me: No. I can’t stand you.
Him: Can you tell me when ur parents will be here?
Me: There has not been enough time or space between us
Him: (I know)
Me: It will be bad for Bella for us to live in the same house. If you MUST move back then I will move out with Bella.
Him: That’s ur perspective
Me: Isn’t this all your perspective the it will work?
Him: That’s your decision.. but u r welcomed to work out schedule with me to avoid each others
Me: Let’s sell the house. I need the money to move.
Him: I don’t know we haven’t tried. I only see you as Bella mother. Let’s calm down and sync in for a moment. I know and understand where u coming from. And I won’t be reacting to this..I would feel the same way..if that’s happen to me
Me: Get away from me. I am being so nice to just see your and interact for Bella’s sake.
Him: Please tell me when ur dad arrive..I will not interfere and can offer the room to them to stay
Me: Don’t move back here. I don’t want to see you. You don’t understand.
Him: I know..and I am not asking u to come back together. And u don’t need to see me.
Me: You make my life so hard. Don’t move back here. I see you too much already. I talk to you too much already. Will you just let me go in peace? Just let me be…Please
Him: Sometimes along the future.. u will start taking some part of where we are at today. I made misstep and we own the story. I am letting u go…anna. I am not interested to be part of ur life
Me: You see that’s what you don’t understand.
Him: We share moment with Bella. That’s all. (U need to know my right vs my nice)
Me: You always bring up how you want me to own up to my share of what brought us here. Yes it is your one mistake plus every mistake after that led us to this. Own up to your decisions. Stop trying to share the blame.
Him: Now I am planning if I no longer lie with anyone. I will simply go back where I could go. I took part of my responsibilities. I am sure u have yours but u don’t want or think so. So..let’s not talk about this
Me: You need to know how I am treating you is the nicest anyone would ever treat you given what has happened and you do not appreciate it and always ask for more.
Him: That’s also thousand cases out there end up reunion too..u cannot one sided.
Me: You should man up and find another place to go. You re a smart man. Spend your money somewhere else.
Him: Be positive. I am not fighting
Me: Yes because you want to get what you want. You can’t take no for an answer.
Him: I am.. That’s why I am moving home.. because you are stronger now
Me: You cannot live here. It is not your home anymore. You don’t fucking get it. You rather push me out with Bella than you go live somewhere else
Him: Let’s sell it if you cannot accept the fact I also own it. Nope. Anna..be rational a bit.. I am not asking u to leave
Me: You are asking to be in my face. Make me feel uncomfortable. I am going to cancel therapy.
Him: Anyways.. Let’s stop here.. and no need to use any bad words..
Me: I’m just going to get a lawyer. This is unacceptable.
Him: The question as uncomfortable I know. But I am not trying or threatening u in any kind
Me: You don’t get to decide to change everything when you feel like it. I’m done being so nice. You get your way so much in life. You have no respect nor know how to respect anyone.
Him: I am not making decisions..That’s why I wanna consult with you first. And u cannot just flat out no without reasons.
Me: The fact you don’t see why it’s a no is so crazy
Him: I am respecting u..this is why I left briefly so you can balance ur emotion. Now I thought the season help..this is why I revisit this. (He means he moved out for 6 months for me to balance my emotions)
Me: I wish you the best. I hope you see a therapist for your own good.
Him: Let’s stop arguing. I am asking to see if you can see this happening and find a list of boundary if u need to
(Oh like he can follow boundaries. He has never followed any boundaries)
Me: No. Do not move back.
Him: Why you get to decide on your own now? Do u want to discuss this over with middle person?
Me: No I said lawyer. Not mediator. You can go hire a lawyer. Think about if you will save on your rent or a lawyer.
Him: I can get one too but what’s the point? We pretty much settle. Are you threatening me?
Me: No. 1) we said I buy you out 2) Now you want to buy me out 3) Now maybe sell since you keep saying it’s your house too
Him: That’s not what I wanted to see ur reaction
Me: You do everything to see my reaction. Test. I’m so tired of you seeing my reaction
Me: My emotional state is rocked when you are around me saying crazy things to me.
Him: I am seeking balance and flexibility together. Middle ground. I am not asking u to come back.
Me: I am working so hard to move on with my life to be happy for myself and for Bella. Stop ruining my life. Stop it.
Him: I am not ruining ur life anymore
Me: I don’t want to see you around. I don’t want to work on another schedule with you. There’s enough coparenting and divorce stuff. Why why why why why
Him: That’s outside this topic
Me: Why do you hate me so much
Him: I will stop here. I will rethink
Me: Why do you want to hurt me over and over again
Him: I am not hate u
Me: You can’t even see through all your own actions
Him: Okay. I am not trying to
Me: What are you doing to me
Him: If that’s the case, I will stop now. Anything I said…u reject. Night
Me: Do not move back. You should put a lot of effort into finding another solution to your fear of homelessness
Him: Anna stop. Please. Sorry for making u this way. OK?
(Two hours later)
Him: Anna. Disregard what I said. Focus on what we decided on settlement and move on each other lives. Thought I was good intention to stay closer to Bella simply being a dad. It also debunk on when u said my so called inaction… U don’t even want that from the beginning. Also don’t use the word lawyer..I am living with one going through ugly divorce and the impact on child. Yet, I am also realize the details on the law side. You will be surprised how generous I am to you. 2 years of divorce cases I see it first-hand.. so stop making it worse for urself and Bella. I have been protecting you…u just think I am worst
I didn’t respond after that because he took too many jabs at me again.
Wednesday, her actual birthday. One year ago, I did not think all this shit would go down. I love my daughter so much. Her smile is the best. Her giggles and laughs are to die for. So much pure happiness. I got him his cake. He was supposed to watch her at 6:30 and I stay for maybe 30 minutes (max) to take photos together. This was not for him, it was for Bella, so I was happy to do it. He told me he had a flat tire and was running late but would be there by 7:30 and if it was too late he would reschedule to come tomorrow. I told him "no" because today was her birthday. So I am already irritated that I had to convince him to still come. I had everything ready. Now I had to feed Bella because she was hungry. I hadn't eaten anything all day because I was running around with Bella doing other things. While I was cleaning up to prep for the photos, he said he was not in the best of moods because of the day he had. You should check that at the door. No one cares. He used to get home from work and tell me he had a stressful drive home so I should not irritate him. WTF. No longer my problem. I am just here to get the photos and get out. He tells me that he hopes I don’t feel like I am being nice for staying to take pics with him. I tell him I don’t want to discuss anything. He begins to tell me he doesn’t want me to be surprised if he moves back in if he doesn’t find another place to live. I asked him why he won't go stay at a friend’s place. Then he said why don’t you? OMG, the face he made…like a see my point? ugh. He said, see why would I need to move. I have been so nice to you. I pay half the bills and you want me to go out and pay rent. That doesn't make sense. He does not pay half the bills. He only pays a little bit of the mortgage because we have roommates that pay most of it. He brings up that my health insurance is covered by him and how I don’t acknowledge him for keeping me on it and that I'm taking advantage of him. He said that he doesn’t get why I keep saying I'm being so nice when it's him who's being so nice and I do not recognize that. He said I've also been spinning the story and that he cheated and he was so bad to me but it's really me who doesn’t want to get back together. I am the one that won’t give him a chance. Since I realized that the relationship was not working, I chose not to continue it. Now I keep painting him as the bad guy when he tried. He said that I am ruining his life.
OMG!!!! If I take step back, I can analyze this and see, this is a classic narcissist. He turned everything round on me. His mind has been thinking he has been so generous to me. He is seeking acknowledgment for all his generosity instead I keep saying he is mean to me. He truly believes that a lot of the blame is on me for not taking him back. That he is clean from all responsibility. He mentioned again that during the earlier times when he watched Bella, I never once stayed with him so we could talk. Why would I stay and talk to him? OMG. He just can't accept someone would say no. Someone else needs to tell him. I was so mad. I told him that I can buy him out sooner if the concern is money. He keeps saying this is his house too. So let’s buy you out and so you can move on. He said he would need more money now. WTF. I am so bad at this. I keep feeding the fire. It is so hard. I kept telling him to stop talking to me. This is a perfect example of boundary issues. I am not here to talk to him. I am here to take pictures with Bella. Again, he does not respect boundaries. He is too insane to describe.
So now I have just slightly more insight on how he really feels. I don’t know what to do. He is not going to change. I don’t know if I should move or call his bluff and have him move in.
I know next years birthday will be even better.
July 12, 2017 is my third and last wedding anniversary with Bella’s dad. We only really made it two and a half years before he gave up. I spent the day mourning the loss of what could have been. I was not sure how I was supposed to feel. I felt numb and not as sad as I thought I would be but then again maybe I am suppressing the feelings and it would pour out in tears later.
I thought the day would end in a mellow and sad way without any big emotional rollercoasters but I was wrong. Bella’s dad and I had co-parenting therapy today and afterwards he watched Bella for a few hours. I did my own thing and came home at the scheduled time.
Bella’s dad asked if I was in a good emotional state for him to speak to me. What a loaded question. Of course he is about to unload some upsetting feelings and thoughts he came up with in the past three hours after leaving therapy. Everything always feels like it is about him and what he wants when he wants it. I entertain the idea because I do not think he would just leave and not spew out all this thoughts anyways.
I play with Bella as he talked about how he does not feel I have been considerate of his feelings when rearranging things in the house. I did not consult with him first before having anyone over. I did not ask for his permission to have a party at the house. I turn around to not face him as he talked because I cannot control the faces I must be making at his insane accusations. In therapy this is called showing “contempt” and that is a bad form of communication. He has held this against me. So heaven forbid I roll my eyes, open my mount in shock, or furrow my brows in anger because I want to say, MEEEEEE???? NOT CONSIDERATE OF YOUR FEELINGS?
I want to yell. I want to defend. I want to make my points. I want to point out the flaws and hypocritical logic he has but in my head I hear the therapist telling me, not to defend, not to answer, not to engage but oh how the struggle is so so real!
He goes on to say he had previously agreed to let me buy him out on the house at what he considers a very generous bargain, now he wanted to change his mind because we had also previous agreed not to bring anyone we are dating over to the house because it is disrespectful. So he has held on to his end of the bargain and not brought his home-wrecker girlfriend over since we had that discussion. Although I did catch him face-timing her for help because he did not know how to calm our baby girl from crying.
Recap: Bella’s dad has not lived in the house since end of January and now it is July. He cheated on me when Bella was five months old, while he was on paternity leave and suggested that I quit my job. I compromised and switched to a 3 day weekend schedule and lost my health insurance and cancelled the daycare I had lined up to spend more time with Bella. He then met some random wealthy divorced older woman with kids and slept with her to get to her really good business connections. I am at home balling my eyes out like my world is now turned upside down and he tells me I am not the wife or mother he thought I would be and this is not the life he wanted for himself and proceeded to make my life miserable. He moved in with that other woman and is still dating her. He said to get a divorce and I was holding out for him to snap out of it, until I did a lot of therapy and support groups and realized, FUCK HIM. I deserve better.
There was a lot more crazy but this was supposed to be a quick recap and I am not good at summarizing. So once I realized I should take control of my life, everything was easier. I just made decisions and stuck with it. I had problems and I found solutions and just started getting things done.
He had just came back from a three week vacation in which he claimed was so refreshing for him and he reflected a lot. Now he is more calm and has so much clarity. He traveled with that woman and her kids. He said she had no choice and had to take her kids only part of the time thankfully. He realized that he demanded a lot out of me and that I was really flexible to accommodate him. He realized having kids created inflexibly. He told our therapist, he experienced being a family with this other family, playing the parent to another child who is about 4-5 years old and he said he can confidently say now that he would be a good dad. He thinks he will be able to handle it. Also he said in therapy, he now knows how to be a good husband. He knows what he needs to do to make the relationship work. He is now willing to do whatever it takes. He said before he was not ready. Now he is ready.
Is it just me or does that sound insane? That is so nice for you to have a break and go on vacation with another family to realize you can be a dad. It is so nice that you feel refreshed and you are ready to do what it takes to get me back. Why isn’t anyone else telling him this is insane? I told him in therapy today, NO. I do not want to get back. I do not want any confusion. He is crazy. Just a couple days ago, on Monday, it was his first day back watching Bella and he rolled into the driveway not in is Prius but in a Porsche SUV. Irritated right away, I ask him if he got a new car and he said no, he was borrowing it. Ugh, he borrowed that wealthy woman’s spare Porsche. Then he had the audacity to ask me if I had changed my mind and if there was a chance to work on things between us. He thought when he was away and asked for me to send photos of Bella and I sent him some photos of me and Bella, that it was a way to get him to miss me. OMG! Now that I am thinking about it, even if I wanted him to miss me, it would be the kind like, You Fucked Up big time and eat our heart out. Too bad. Live with this as your biggest regret.
Ok, let us jump back to he was handing over Bella at the end of his shift and he trapped me in a conversation where now he found dirt on me to begin turning the tables. He has not lived in this house since end of January. We filed for divorce. He goes on to say he paid part of the mortgage monthly, which is not a lot because we have roommates that pay most of the mortgage and we split the rest. He does not understand there needs to be less control from him. That is what divorce is. Just the day before he wanted to do something for our special day, meaning our anniversary. He sent me a message saying Happy 7/12! So crazy. No, it is not happy.
Now he is talking to me about selling the house, since he feels I am not putting Bella’s best interest first. What?! I told him I did not want to talk anymore. Please leave. Because that is what I learned in therapy. Do not have the conversation with him. He says he does not have to leave because this is his house too. He says he his happy that I am dating rebounds but I am not allowed to bring them to the house because that is what we agreed. I do not feel it is any of his business. He says he wanted me to tell him information about who I am dating, the background so that he knows, just like he told me the background about his girlfriend. I don’t know too much about her. She is in her 40s and divorced. Her husband left her for another woman. She is super wealthy and has a lot of powerful connections and has a Porsche SUV and that other Mercedes that I caught her in driving him home one time. That’s another story for another time.
He tells me that friends tell him that I have people over and that he tells them it is my right to do so. Then why the fuck is he saying I cannot now. I wanted to know who told him. He would not say but I know who. After he left I confronted my guy roommate and asked him if he has been telling Bella’s dad about my any guests I have over at the house. He was caught off guard and said, oh just that you had someone over for dinner. I told him, do not tell him anymore about any of my guests because we are getting a divorce and he is using it against me. Now that Bella’s dad wants to sell the house, without my permission, I should just go ahead and tell this roommate he has to move out anyways because of his actions now we are selling the house so you lose your room.
He was very calm and fake in his demeanor. He is able to turn everything around like I am the bad guy. I am the one who is not being fair or diplomatic. That I always use that he wronged me to play victim. He has done shit to own up wrong doing. He has done nothing to show his remorse. He blamed me for telling him no for his inaction. He could not act because I said no. He was also afraid to act and leave the other woman because then he will be homeless if I do not take him back. WTF! Because those are the only two options. He cannot find a place to live elsewhere. He cannot ask a friend to crash at their place. It is either home-wrecker, Jennifer’s house, or back with the real baby mama. This is a sign of a man who is always putting himself first.
How can he go from saying he wanted to work on things to then threatening me that he will take away the house which is half mine, unless I continue to honor this insane rule that only benefits him? I need to live my life. I am trying so hard to be nice and think of the bigger picture is this man will always be in my life because she is Bella’s dad. If I did not have Bella, I would not put up with this shit. See ya!
As he was leaving, he said, how can you be so evil, Anna? UGH!!!!! He knows exactly how to push my buttons.
Now that a few hours have passed, I realized I should not have given any kind of response. The whole point was he was hurt that I did not want him back and he is grasping at some way to get a reaction from me. Something or anything that he thought would make him feel better only it was just digging himself into a deeper hole. I am not going to get back with him and we will proceed with the divorce. Why would we want to make this experience any worse? Why would he want to kick Bella and I out? Maybe he was just saying it and in the end he will play the nice guy and say he will be generous and still honor the agreement even thought I did not honor our other agreement. Whatever. He is hurt and grasping and not knowing how to deal. I should know better, which is not to engage. Not to respond. Not to get angry. It is so much harder to do. I am so much better than six months ago. I am still on track to a better me.