Well, without disclosing too much, I think it is safe to say that the EE is back to pushing buttons again. This time he is using the daughter as a pawn. Instead of following the parenting plan, he arbitrarily took advantage of some vagueness in the language of the parenting plan and decided without discussing things in advance and without any warning to keep my daughter instead of bringing her home as stipulated. Now, I could have called the authorities and had them enforce the thing, but I’ve been part of that nightmare, and have seen the damage done to a child when a parent puts the child in the middle like this. I decided to meet with my attorney instead.
Now, I don’t have a problem with him wanting to spend time with her or her him. I have a real problem with the very selfish and inconsiderate manner in which he did this. Instead of discussing it in advance and planning ahead, he takes her, keeps her and by so doing completely thwarts any plans or life I might have going on at this end. Of course, what can I expect from a man who, when we were married, would intentionally pack up our one vehicle with all the kids and take off just moments before I was going to head out the door to do something that I’d put on the family calendar weeks in advance. Or who would make plans a month ahead for a particular holiday, requiring me to orchestrate a major adjustment in my children’s schedules and then completely do something totally different and unexpected (read usually something we had no desire to do and which cost me money, because he certainly wasn’t bringing anything into the family coffers). I could go on, but to do so would only make me feel really unhappy, and really foolish for ever having married the guy in the first place. He really is an ass-wipe is all I can say. He is an evil and unkind and, yes, abusive man. And he is really, really good at making people around him think he is wonderful. He’s not. He’s really icky.
I say all that to say, that after spending some good money for a consultation with a very excellent attorney, I found that there is really not a whole lot I can do unless I want to spend a great deal of money for next to no results. Well, essentially, no results. My attorney thought that as it turned out, there is some vague language in our plan and I might want to go back and deal with that. However, the downside to this is that he, then brings to the table all the stuff he wants to fix. We won’t agree. (We never have and he lies, so even if we did agree, it wouldn’t matter. He does what he wants to do and the rules just don’t apply to him.) So the thing will end up in front of a judge. Now, I’m reasonably certain that I won’t lose out much except financially if that happens. As my attorney stated, “You really can’t change your ex. If it goes before the judge, what can he really do? He’s not going to change your ex to keep him from being the jerk to you that he is. So, if you can let some of this roll, as long as she’s not in imminent physical danger, you might get more mileage out of just not fighting back. And…if it were to go to court, you’d end up with a plan that isn’t a whole lot better than what you have now and might even be a great deal worse.” So, my decision is to be the adult here and walk away.
I have no idea how long he’ll keep her. He mentioned until Saturday. However, I have a deep and growing dread that Friday night, he will bail out of town to the coast and I won’t see my daughter at all during Spring Break. In anticipation of just this, I asked my attorney about it. The response? I could call the cops…or I could let it go. (The court in this area really hates when people get into the calling the authorities thing.) If he doesn’t return her to school then I call. If he just keeps her for two weeks at Spring Break, I just write the extra week back into the summer schedule, somewhere.
I have 7 years left until my daughter is 18. If I can hang in there taking his low-grade button-pushing power-playing BS until then I’m golden and that’s what I’m going to try to do. It is unfortunate that he is unable to negotiate anything. It’s his way or the highway, which means I will always lose out and he will always push the envelope to get things his way, but when it comes to being flexible or considerate of my schedule…it’s not a two way street at all. He’s working her now, though, to come live with him as soon as she wants. Of course, I’m the sole legal and physical custodian, so he’s going to have a huge lawsuit getting that to change and he won’t be successful, however, he’s working her and playing every angle. This is just part of that.
It really hurts.
I can’t do anything about any of it.
He’s not going to change and he’s never, ever going to be kind and thoughtful of me. That’s why I left him.
If any of that happens, there’s nothing I can change by worrying about it now. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it.
I think my attorney is right: The judge won’t be able to change the Evil Ex, so what would be the point of taking it back to court. He’d just find some other loophole in the plan to exploit.
So, we won’t be going back to court at my initiative, but let him beware if he ever tries to take me back. I’m going to be so ready.