Dear Bossip, I need a little help from you and your readers. I divorced my husband 4 years ago and I’m just now getting readjusted to living the single life. There were a number of reasons why we ended up having to divorce, one being he was unfaithful on a number of occasions and the second is because he lacked the drive to make something of himself. We got married when we were 21 and I was in college while he was cutting hair here and there and dabbled in real estate. Well after we had our 2 kids before the age of 30, my husband decided he wanted to be a rapper and started hanging around in random studios and “touring” with another local rapper. Needless to say that got old pretty fast and I was wanting more. Mind you, in the meantime I got my Master’s, bought a house and was holding down the fort by providing and putting in the work hours. However, let me be clear, I didn’t do it for him I did it for my kids. After a while I really got tired of him not wanting more for himself and being a better example for our kids. I guess the problem was I grew up and he did not. Plus the women that were in his phone and calling all hours of the night was the last straw. Well it’s been 4 years since we split and I’m loving life and he immediately moved into a tiny apartment with one of his bust downs and that’s fine with me because I don’t want or need anything from him. I feel so free not having to deal with him and our kids are at an age where they can coordinate when they want to spend time with him without me having to be involved until they need to be picked up or dropped off. Where I think I’m messing up is I allow him to come over and spend time with the kids only because sometimes I feel more at ease knowing they’re home. But lately he keeps trying me and talking nonsense whenever I see him. He says things like “well, you need to give us another chance” or “all you have to do is say the word and I’m back” but I don’t want him! I’ve even grown to like his current girlfriend a little only because she’s good to my kids. What I don’t like is that when I tell him I’m not interested in getting back with him and that our time has run its course, he gets mad and takes it out on the kids by not calling or making good on his word to them. I think it’s disgusting that I almost have to play along and flirt with his little insinuations to get him to come through for the kids! I’m over him, I want him in the kids life but it seems like more of a hassle than anything else. Do you have any input or advice for situations like these?
Hello to you, sis! Thank you for writing in and sharing your story! Ahhh, the classic “you never miss a good thing until it’s gone” story at its best, right? And, sis, you have proven that another saying is also true, “success is the best revenge!” One can only admire the strides you’ve made and the example you’ve set for your children . . . and, obviously, your ex-husband is feeling the loss! If he has an ounce of intelligence, he’s probably wishing he had done things differently and could only hope for another chance with you but, in his heart, he knows he doesn’t have a fighting chance at this point unless he makes more than a few changes in his life. So far, “Easy Street” seems to be where he’s most comfortable, unfortunately. Without knowing the logistics of the divorce, he’s got it made in comparison to others in the same situation! All you ask of him is time and attention to devote to the kids and nothing more!
So, what it sounds like is, you’ve got troubles establishing solid boundaries at this juncture in your relationship. Although you two are divorced, you will have to deal with each other until the kids are grown, so it’s best to firmly enforce your boundaries and expectations without hesitation. If he’s talking slick to you and taking it out on your kids when you don’t entertain him, then that speaks volumes of his selfish character! Your romantic involvement, or lack thereof, with him should not, in any way, dictate his parenting! True, it’s awkward in times of transition but he’s had four years to adjust to the divorce and has moved on with his life! You’re deserving of the same freedom, so don’t even fool around with his shenanigans for a second! Divert any and all his innuendos and refocus the conversation back to the kids! All communication should be strictly business . . . i.e. the kids!
But here’s the deal, you clearly have a place in his heart and mind so use your position wisely. In most, cases, there’s normally a point or position that cannot be argued because it makes too much sense and you can’t argue truth and fact. Tell him straight up, “hey, you know what? Our marriage ran its course and I’m ready to move on with my life! You’ve moved on, so why can’t I?” Tell him the kids should not have to suffer because you don’t want to rekindle a romantic relationship with him and stress the fact that, at some point, he’s going to have to answer to his absence! Tell him he will no longer be welcomed in your house if he can’t adhere to the visitation schedule. Be firm in the idea that you want nothing from him outside of him being a father to the kids. But you must tell him without wavering . . . you have to be firm, ma, no “flirting!” He’ll come around to it in due time if you stick to your guns, so stay strong, sis! Stay strong and keep living!
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