But when the world shifted on its axis and my kids orbits suddenly had large periods of time on the dark side of the planet, Thursdays became my joint-custody Standard Possession Order day of the week. You’ll get to know and love the language. SPO – standard possession order. And First, Third, and Fifth is another common process. And your attorney will probably want to start with the SPO and make variations from there. It’s all been worked out ahead of time for our benefit.
No sarcasm meant. But there’s no way to be grateful under the circumstances. But the kind counselor we went to for Divorce Counseling was happy to tell me, “It’s a pretty good deal for dads.”
Not being up on the literature or common practices I had my heart set on 50/50 down the middle, rotating the kids out very other weekend. This other 1, 3, 5 seems to be easier for some reason, but it does cause some unexpected problems. The minute you look to enter the kissing pool again, you’ll discover that if every dad has the kids 1-3-5, then the divorced moms have their kids exactly opposite. (grin)
So you want to date someone. Um, every single weekend you have OFF she has kid duty. I think back to that moment when Dr. Knows Better kept saying, it’s easier for everyone. I kept asking “WHY, what makes it easier?” If you have the same feeling, you might keep asking until you get an answer, or you and your soon-to-be ex decide on an alternative. Sure it made it easier on the doc, but now it’s a bit complicated if I want to meet someone after work for drinks.
The corollary to this law is kind of funny and painful at the same time: When your ex starts asking for changes in the schedule, it means they’re fucking somebody. Excuse me, “dating,” somebody. I mean, think about it, are you going to get into it with your ex over switching up the schedule if there isn’t some damn compelling reason?
I’m just pissed it’s happened twice from her side so far and nonce from mine. But I’m over all that jealousy stuff. Really. Over. It. She can DO who ever she pleases at this point, I’d rather DO someone else as well. So best to take my bitterness and get in better shape.
Oh that’s the one great thing Dr. You’re Getting a Divorce did set up. In our plan we cannot introduce a “dating” partner to our kids until the “relationship/dating” has been steady for six months. That’s awesome right. It sure helped my piece of mind when my ex-y started a rebound screwing of a plumber from a few towns over that first month after the divorce was final. At least she waited until it was final. I spewed a few spiteful barbs at that time. And thank goodness I got my ass into a divorce recovery class soon after.
Another funny moment happened about three months ago, my daughter was playing with my iPhone. She loves them and was looking at my pictures and stuff. (No surprises there. Think twice about taking those candid shots on your phone, won’t you?) And she noticed a few TXT messages coming in from a *Debbie.* And at one point she squealed , “SWEETHEART.”
Um, I had some explaining to do.
So I talked it out with them and now it’s sort of a running joke. “If I had a girlfriend, which I don’t, I couldn’t tell you anyway, but this woman, is not my girlfriend.”
At this point they roll their eyes. And one of them will say something like, “Yeah Dad, we don’t believe anything you say about that anyway. Because you can’t tell us.”
It did give me some satisfaction txting the ex-y, “I had the 6 months chat with the kids. It went well.”
Of course the hidden message was, “Cause there’s someone else…” But I left it unspoken.
And that’s the final piece of advice on this subject. NEVER fire the sharp barbs at your ex-y. They never hurt her as much as they hurt you. Being mean or mad at her is only a symptom of your unfinished emotional work. It never helps. Yes, I know, sometimes it feels good.
And that one I sent in regards to the plumber (nothing against The Plumber with the Dragon Tattoo) “WTF? Do you think this is a rebound? He’s not even in our TRIBE.” All I could think of inside was, “Thank god she can burn through this one without having to bring the kids into it.” And sure, it was over in less than a month, but I was hurt and freaking out a bit. And living at my sister’s house, for crissakes. Not a happy situation.
So the email arrived today for the happy hour tomorrow night, and I had a moment where I contemplated getting a sitter… And then I smiled and thought about my HAPPIER HOUR. With my kids.
The Off Parent
- The Divorce Library (reading list)
- Songs of Divorce (free listening library – youtube sourced songs)
- Laugh It Off (building a resource library of funny videos and other diversions)
- Facebook (follow us on Facebook and keep up with all the conversations)
- The 5 Love Languages (a book on love styles by Gary Chapman)