In the years following my divorce from an abusive husband, I’ve tried to navigate the relationship so that my children are as far removed from the pain and suffering as possible and are unaffected by the results of a horrible marriage and challenging divorce.
However, that sea has been a lot rougher than I had expected.
My ex-husband still wants control, hasn’t sought help to deal with his abusive nature, and is complicating his life more and more…. a bad sign.
He wants his life the way that he wants it and he doesn’t like it very much when anyone gets in the way of that. Today, my ex doesn’t hit me, I don’t give him the chance, but he does use a lot of the tactics off the power and control wheel I wrote about earlier to try to keep me in line with what he wants. When I don’t stay on course, he gets upset.
His latest issue with me is how much time he spends with the children and he wants more. In all honesty, this makes me nervous that he is really angling for custody of the children. Nevertheless, I have reached out to him in order to accommodate this. I have invited him to my son’s birthday party, help coach my son’s basketball team, invited him to the house to see the kids after we returned from a trip and adjusted the schedule to get the kids to his house earlier than planned.
On top of that, he is a sports writer, which means that he travels for a living and changes his schedule frequently. In the last year, he cancelled his visitation 25 times because of business and personal travel. This is a schedule that the kids and I are quite used to. It has been this way since they were born and we adjust each time without a hitch. To the kids, their Dad works a lot. To me, well, I’m happy to be there for my children and grateful that I have them another day.
However, the way my ex sees it, we should adjust to accommodate his schedule without complaint and we should not be scheduling anything that interrupts his time with the kids. My point of view is that we should be respectful of scheduling changes and focus on creating the best childhood we can for the kids. But my fear is always the same, that his anger over scheduling changes is going to fuel a fight for custody, a threat he has made more than once.
Those are choppy waters.
But a good friend of mine today, a lawyer and spiritual person, helped me calm my fears today, so that I could think more clearly and rationally. He said, spend the next 24 hours praying prayers of gratitude for my circumstance, my life, and even my ex-husband, and see how you feel at the end. Immediately, I knew I liked the idea.
So for the next 24 hours, that is just what I’m going to do and I must say already the fear is fading. I know that I can’t control what my ex-husband does. If he takes me to court, so be it. I will continue to do my part in working with my children’s father and helping to keep my children’s relationship good. And the rest I leave up to God.