Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
I'm going to get slammed by mentioning the ex-wife. People don't like when you talk poorly about ex-wives, especially when children are involved. But it's kind of like childbirth. No one can really explain to you what you are getting into just as they can't really tell you what you are getting into with a man who is battling, or in the midst of a divorce, with their ex. Every birth is different as is every divorce. I've been through a divorce. And, yes, I'm going to bitch about the ex-wife.
The ex came after me in the most ridiculous way. Not in calling me any names, but in, what I found, a completely surprisingly threatening way. Everyone knows, especially if you've been through a divorce that no one wins (except the lawyers.) You often know that your divorce is final not just by signing the legal documents but by walking out after signing thinking, "I'm not that happy with this outcome," while your ex is also thinking, "I'm not that happy with this outcome." When both parties are not happy with the outcome, then you know you've finished your divorce. There are no winners in almost all divorces.
People also don't like talking about money. I don't either really, but finances are a part of life and something that everyone worries about. Even Oprah once said she feared she would become a bag lady. In any case, I worked (and work) hard for my money. Often, I get up at five a.m. so I can get some e-mails sent out before my children wake up. Before our daughter was born – while my boyfriend was shelling out money to lawyers to get a divorce - I had saved up 20,000 dollars just for her future education. How? I cut back on non-necessities and put in more hours at the office. I never spend more than I can afford. I am not in any debt. So when my boyfriend's ex-wife threatened to bring my finances into their divorce I was incensed.
First off, it is not MY divorce. I've already been through one, thank you very much, and I don't want to go through another. Her argument is that her soon-to-be ex-husband "obviously" has a lot of money because he goes on vacations (most of the time with his children.) The fact is I usually pay for our vacations. I do not pay for him or his children's airfare, but I do pay for the hotel. That's because my one love is travelling and that's the one thing I generally save my money for. I'm not sure it's even legal for someone to bring in another person's finances into their divorce, but I'm sure it could be a possibility.
When my boyfriend and I got together, we decided that he will take care of his kids and I'll take care of my children’s clothing, activities and camps. For the daughter we had together 12 months ago, we would both contribute. So, for an ex-wife, a woman who has a good job, to come after me, or even mention me when it comes to THEIR divorce really gets to me.
I made an appointment with my lawyer immediately and am seeing her next week. I'm not sure what this ex wants. I provide, 50 percent of the time, a loving household for her children. They are fed. I drive them to their activities. I parent them. Not too long ago, one of my boyfriend’s children and my son were in the same play. It was me who suggested that their mother might want to see her. It was me who bought their mother a ticket (not expecting her to pay me back) and it was me who sent her the details of the time, date and place of the play.
I don't expect to be friends with this woman, but I don't want to be enemies either. I never imagined she would go after me. But now she's threatened me (and all that I've worked for) and I'm furious. It would be like me asking her, "Can I get a cut of your paycheck because I have also bought your kids school supplies and have taken them to the movies. And, by the way, I notice you drive a Mercedes. Can I see your bank account?"
Of course, the children know nothing about this, and nor will they. We never talk about his children’s mother in front of them, remaining silent even when one of them complains about her.
Blended families are difficult without the threat of me also having my finances brought into the equation. Like I said, this is not MY divorce. What I earn is none of her business, nor in fact is it any of my boyfriend’s business, unless I choose to tell him. It's actually nobody's business except maybe my accountant. And now a woman, who I have spent no more than 30 minutes talking to in two plus years is threatening to go after me because I save money?
When you love someone, as I do my boyfriend, it's painful enough to listen to his divorce going-ons. It brings up bad memories for me. I don't want to go through one again. And it's not like the ex can't take her children on vacation. She just chooses not to. Spend your time worrying about your kids, I think. Go ahead and fight for what you think is best for your children. But, lady, leave me (and my money) out of this one. This is YOUR divorce. Not mine. So back the fuck off.
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(photo: doomu / Shutterstock)