Friday, March 26, 2010

Dr. Phil Helped Us

After Husband came home from spending time with Trouble a last night, we had a short but meaningful talk about why all of this is continuing and whether or not we felt there was anything more we could do about it. I had an epiphany, which I shared with Husband, which stems from this question: What are Trouble/The Witch/Husband and Stepped gaining from all of this? I remember Dr. Phil asking people that question on his show. He always wanted them to think about what their payoff was for whatever their issue was at the time.

Stepped: Control of my house. The adults run the show again and life is functioning much better.

Husband: Nothing. He is miserable.

The Witch: Validation that we are terrible, and she is a fabulous mother. Control over Husband.

Trouble: Constant attention from his mom.

He is the middle child, who is typically left out. The oldest is a girl, so mom does girl things with her very regularly, and the youngest is only two, so his basic needs warrant a lot of attention. Trouble... he rarely received any attention.

Husband and I used to talk about that and worried about him because his mom neglected him, even if she didn't mean to and I'm not saying that she did. I'm sure she never even noticed.

Now, The Witch talks to him every day about how he feels and if he's okay. She's been taking nightly walks with him around the neighborhood. She even got him into tutoring. (It's about time! The boy is 14 and still can't read. Hello. That is not normal. We've tried to work with her on this before, but that is another discussion.) They have been watching movies together regularly. She's been taking all of her kids out to do activities, where she only dropped off "Perfect" and Trouble in the past for them to do their own thing. They hang out now and are "buddies".

When he was acting up here, causing all kinds of problems, running away and playing an innocent victim, he got him mom's undivided attention. She came to his rescue each and every time. But it didn't stop there. She would sit with him and talk to him once they were home. Then the next time he came over here, she would call him and text him constantly throughout the day to check on him to make sure he was okay. She worried about him, and focused on him a whole lot more than she did for the first few years of our marriage when she was pregnant and had a newborn.

I wish Husband and I had noticed this before. Trouble needed attention from him mom!!

We thought Trouble was acting out because he wanted to hang with friends and get his way. But he isn't hanging with his friends when he's at his mom's house. And according to The Witch, he has no problem putting away his phone for dinner, when they are doing things as a family or at any time his mom asks him to put it away. He isn't even asking her to do all of the things that he's been fighting with us about. It never made sense to us why Trouble would get explosively angry over the simplest requests.

Now it makes so much more sense. When he has issues with his dad, and especially with me, he gets loads of attention from his mom. If he moves on from all of this drama, he will also be giving up his mom, and he is not going to do that.

Dr. Phil, you are so wise.

Family Outing with the Ex

I told Husband to grow a pair and start creating boundaries for the sake of our marriage and for his children. What I said wasn't so nice, and I don't like being the "mean" wife, but it seemed like he needed permission to be a man, so I gave it to him.

At first, Husband's reaction was "But I can't", meaning he can't tell The Witch no, which sounded kind of childish to me. Rather than picking on him anymore than I already had however, I decided to give him some power. I said "Of course you can. You are a smart man who can do anything you want to do. It's in the best interest of your children for you to stop giving into their mom because you don't want to cause friction. There is already friction and it's only getting worse. Tell her nicely and calmly how you feel."

Husband did tell her how he felt, and as luck would have it, it worked. What do you know?! There was no scene or argument. And Husband did NOT go out last night with The Witch. Yeah!

Instead, Husband and Trouble spent about an hour together. From what I can gather, it didn't go great or terrible, somewhere in the middle. It's a start I guess.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quick Update

Trouble had his appointment with the counselor. We got a two sentence email from the counselor which said "met with the kid and he is going to think about what we talked about". I take that to mean, he didn't like what he was told and that's the end of counseling.

Husband recently asked The Witch about future appointments, and she dodged the question.

The latest from Trouble is that he doesn't want to have a relationship with Husband. I guess that explains the counselor email.

The Witch is currently asking Husband to spend time with her and the kids. She has invited him to several events lately, including her nightly walk around the neighborhood and the circus this weekend. It makes me want to throw things. I thought Husband would tell her no way, but I see today that they are all going on a family outing Thursday night. Of course no one told me about it, I saw it in an email and I'm certainly not invited.

My true feeling is that my husband is stupid, the ex wife a controlling B and they are screwing up their kids by trying to act like a happy family that they aren't, which only makes it harder when the step parents are around because we mess up the happy family events that would have occurred if we just went away and died.

However, I'm trying to convince myself that it's best for the kids if their parents get along, even if it means they go out and do things together where I am not invited. I'm glad they can be around one another without starting a war and maybe it will help Husband to work things out with Trouble.

Still, where the heck do I fit into all of that?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wonders Never Cease

Today, I received my very first email from The Witch. I know. I am shocked too!

She was totally insulting while asking for a favor, but who would expect anything different?! Still, despite the fact that she lives up to her nickname, I actually feel kind of happy. It's amazing to FINALLY be acknowledged as a person who plays a part in her daughter's life.

And thankfully, I had already taken care of the thing she was asking. Yes, I actually am on the ball as a parent. Even it I'm "only" the step-parent.

I wrote a simple two sentences back. The first confirming I had taken care of it and the second to thank her for her reminder.

I am learning ever so slowly to be a peacemaker in this battle.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stupid Jerk

I'm pissed off at Husband right now. I was working on fixing the gate latch in the backyard (totally a man's job but whatever, it needed to be done) and Husband says "I'm going to the bank."

Normally I would say "Okay" but it seemed strange. So I said "Why?"

He said "I'm going to refinance the car."

Um... okay. That is out of the blue and thanks for talking to me about getting a loan. I said "Thanks for talking to me about something like that."

He was totally defensive and going on and on about saving money and how I don't want him to save any money and blah blah blah. Stupid ass. That is NOT what I meant. It just seems like something he should at least talk to me about. He wasn't even going to say anything, just drive to the bank and refinance the car, then come home. I told him that he was wasting time yelling at me about it and to just go because his daughter is here and he doesn't need to give The Witch another occasion to use against him when he didn't spend time with his daughter.

I went inside to fix my contact which was bothering me, and he followed me in and continued to yell at me about it. He said that if he doesn't do the refinancing it's a waste of $80 a year. All of this insulting, yelling and being a jerk over a stupid $80?! I told him he should just go to the bank. Then he had the audacity to tell me that I was wasting HIS time. To that stupid remark, I turned around and went to another part of the house. He still followed me continuing to yell at me. I said once again to just go to the bank. Finally he left. Slamming the door of course.

What an ass. Seriously?! As if I was trying to impede him? It seems like marriage etiquette to at least mention to your spouse that you are taking out a loan before you go to the bank and sign on the dotted line.

It's stupid stuff like this that drives me so crazy. Why all the insanity and emotional crap? He follows me around yelling at me, when I never once raised my voice to him or tried to stop him in any way, then accuses me of getting in his way and not allowing him to do something he wants to do. I seriously believe that because he had so many financial issues with The Witch it gets taken out on me. I'm excellent with money and I am plenty reasonable. If we save money, great. But don't do it behind my back and then yell at me about it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Looking forward to the Weekend

Tonight I have a book club meeting. We read "These is My Words". It was a VERY good story. My kids even liked it. I'm really looking forward to meeting with my friends and chatting about this fascinating woman and her story. -- It's a mostly true story, set in Arizona before it was a state, 1890's.

I bought some supplies for a toffee caramel cheese cake. I'm hoping "Perfect" will bake it with me. Husband looked at me like I was a nut when I told him I planned to make the dessert with his daughter. I don't know what that means, but whatever. I think it will be fun.

Baby Boy has a soccer game on Saturday in the early evening, which means I can sleep in Saturday morning for once.

Soccer Boy has a choir deal Saturday afternoon as well, which involves lunch that I don't have to cook or clean up. Yeah!

Other than basic errands I think this weekend is open for fun! Maybe we will go see new the Alice in Wonderland. That could be fun. Or we could figure out something to do outside since we've been blessed with gorgeous weather.

I hope I didn't just shoot myself in the foot anticipating a nice weekend. What a pessimist I am.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nothing to Report

Life has gone back to little drama. What a relief. Months of threats, emails, counseling and so on has made me a lot crazy and stressed. Now that the worst is behind us, life feels normal. So, I've really had nothing to report.

I'm sure as the counseling with Trouble gets closer I'll be thinking about it more and will for sure post the aftermath.

Husband is doing great with finding little bits of time here and there to spend with Trouble, since he isn't coming over. And all of that is working out fine.

For now I'm reveling in the calm. Well, as much calm as a mother can ever have.