Since we split I’ve been on countless holidays and I’ve moved out of our two bedroom flat and into a four bedroom townhouse. I have regular nails, lash, tanning and wax sessions at my local salon and I’m thinking of getting a tummy tuck. I know I’m doing ok since none of your monthly child support contributions pays for any of that.
We were together for 10 years, high school sweethearts but grew apart after having a son. Naturally, as we knew each other so well and split amicably we didn’t feel the need to divorce with the use of Solicitors or legal advice. We just sent in the forms and got it over and done with. He took what was his, I kept what was mine, we decided that our child should live with me and he said he would help me out with money. We both had credit cards and overdrafts before the split so we took out a joint loan to consolidate our debt. I didn’t work, so he said he’d pay off the loan and also give money towards our sons’ upbringing. I didn’t work, childcare wasn’t feasible even if I did, I’d simply be working to pay for childcare and have nothing left after that.
Things were fine, we discussed his ‘girlfriends’, I laughed off the fact that she’d friend requested me on Facebook and gushed to him about how ‘pretty’ I was. Obviously, I declined her request, that was the only uncomfortable bit of it all. Things only started turning sour when I met someone. He wanted to meet my new ‘friend’ as he wanted to know who was around his son, which of course is completely acceptable. I would expect the same. We no longer talked about each other’s new partners, I remember telling him that my new guy was in a band, he’d also shared some music with me in the form of a mix CD. That didn’t go down too well. Jealousy kicked in and he angrily shouted that he’d always tried to get me to listen to that type of music.
As time went on and me and new guy grew closer, we moved in together. He took an interest in my son, whilst my ex-partied and pursued his dream to be a DJ. It was time to visit nurseries, so I informed my ex, however, his response was quite disappointing to be honest, I thought choosing the right one would be important, exciting, a write of passage for our little one. But no, this just became an issue during the back and forth emails that ensued.
“The whole nursery situation wasn’t, and still isn’t a major deal in my eyes. Of course my attitude will be completely different when it comes to actually attending school, and I would want to be fully informed of the progress and situation.”
What a bizarre concept, his nursery was a part of the school, so why not be involved in the decision process? My current couldn’t really understand, so he asked if he could help and visit with me. He wanted to be involved with my sons’ important milestones.
This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship which blossomed into a father-son relationship. My son looked up to my new beau, he saw his friends interacting with their dads and I guess he wanted the same. My pregnancy cemented our union, my son would have a brother and we would be a family. We all wanted the same things, to love, to laugh, to grow up together and raise each other up.
The punishment began when I wanted to instil regular visits, fortnightly Saturday to Sunday. Copied as sent…
“u are actually just a manipulative fucking arsehole who will use our son as weapon at every given chance. ur an unbelieveable peice of work and u aint recieving another penny in child mainteance from me until i have my son back to the hours we originally talked about, i.e. all weekend one week and sat or sunday the next. all i want is to see my son and not be pushed out but ur making me fucking boil woman.”
Whilst wanting to instil “normality’, a home where rules were set and he had a male figure to speak to whenever he wanted, I tried to make sure that time away with his Dad was regular. As weekends became shorter as his Dad had DJ-ing gigs and brought him back earlier. As excuses were made because he didn’t have time off in half terms because he’d already taken holiday time to go to Ibiza with friends. His friends birthday celebrations fell on ‘his weekends’, I was even contacted by one…
“Was wondering if you could do “X” a favour and allow him to have next weekend off, taking the little man off his hands. Its my bday you see….. muchos luv x”
Whilst I’m not a babysitter, I thought these kinds of messages were inappropriate, disgusting and basically unfair to my son. I was being blamed for him not seeing him as much as he said he said he’d like to, but the excuses were in blue (Facebook messenger), black and white. Why am I the bad guy in this situation?
As the years went on, the emails became longer and it got to the point that I wanted less contact with my ex. I wanted to give him no reason or ‘power’ to financially punish me, so I contacted the Child Maintenance Agency to arrange payment schedules. He couldn’t threaten non-payment, he couldn’t tell me he was going to pay ‘XYZ’ because he didn’t like my attitude, he’d spend it himself. Fine. He proclaimed that I would get LESS than he’d arranged, but I didn’t care. He wouldn’t have any hold on me. This didn’t go down well, you see The CSA look into your earnings, and they calculated that he should actually pay me more. You’d think that I’d be happy, but this added fuel to the already blazing fire. I’d jokingly posted on my Facebook page about renewing my vows and wanting expensive shoes; Louboutins to be exact. There’s no way I could actually afford these, but a girl is allowed to dream… on her own Facebook page! As we were FB friends, he saw and commented.
“Well that’s child maintenance down the shitter.”
The last straw, I didn’t blow up, I merely explained that his payments didn’t go towards my expenses; our son needed school uniform, he did Karate, he was clothed, fed, watered, had a roof over his head etc, etc. These things he had no clue about as he’s never had to budget for a child. Ibiza, drinks and whatever else, yes. I ended up asking God to bless him, which received a few ‘LOL’s’ that obviously infuriated him, he didn’t embarrass me, he didn’t get the rise he wanted. So he wrote that he’d stop paying the loan that he’d agreed to when we split. Because I’m proud, because I refuse to let this guy punish me, I agreed. I immediately took over the loan repayments, and to be frank, I should have done it from the get-go so that he didn’t have anything to throw in my face. With every extra penny I made doing small jobs here and there, as a stay-at-home mum with two kids to look after, I did it. In the end, I paid half of that loan off, basically my half. Not earning more than 2K a year it was pretty rewarding to be so smug about the fact he could no longer complain or brag about the fact he was paying a loan off. He worked full time, I didn’t, that was my yes moment. No longer could I be punished, I’d rose above it and made it work. You’d think it would have all settled down as there was nothing that could be done to get to me, but alas, we have a child so I’m constantly battling with “tests”. But I guess, I’ll leave those other stories for another time…