Today was a looonngg day driving so we had a fairly uninterrupted 8 hours to talk…and talk we did. We discussed rules, what’s working, what’s not, where to go from here. Probably the best thing we did was literally make a list of what would need to happen to make this work with Colada and me. We talked a lot about what an ideal situation would be for him and for me – and then broke those goals down into ways to get there. For example, one thing we discussed is the difference between a primary and secondary. We talked about whether or not it is possible for a wife to be secondary because of the house, financial, and child care issues. We decided that it might not be possible in the fully traditional sense – in other words, one still has to meet those obligations so the wife has to be involved – but at the same time, nowhere does it say that she has to be in charge of said responsibilities entirely. We decided that it would certainly be reasonable, assuming Colada wanted the role, for her to be involved financially, with the house chores, and with helping Piper manage his life with her and with the kids. It would also be possible for her to be heavily involved with the kids – if she wanted to of course. The one point on which neither of us waivered is that I wouldn’t ever give up or defer Mommy duties – I like those, I like my kids, and above all, I find being a Mom the greastest thing in the world so I’m not giving it up, no way, no how, not ever.
The rest, however, is negotiable.
Then we discussed what it would be like if I were primary or if she were. I said if I were, then I would expect her to take a true secondary role – almost a submissive one, but not quite. In other words, I would expect us to be an intact family and all the responsibilities that come with it would be ours (Piper’s and mine). If, and only if/when those needs/responsibilities were met, then he could go see/be with her. In reality, it would probably translate to once or twice a month. And since she isn’t willing to meet me, she, by her own choosing, has removed herself from being able to be involved with Piper when he’s around the family so she’d be excluded from quite a bit of time. That would possibly change in the future. I’m not sure Piper liked my conceptualization but I am unwilling to shoulder all the current responsibility and then add the time/extra responsibility that falls to me when he’s with her just so that he can spend time with her. Basically, it translates to me being his babysitter and housekeeper. I’m too tired at the end of all of that to compete with her being fun so she would get his ‘down time’ and ‘fun time’ and I would get the middle of the night baby wake-up calls, the house chores, his cranky moods, in-house dates, bills, duties, the left-overs. Who agrees to that???? And that brings me to why I moved down stairs. Things need to change. We just need to figure out how.
Rule #5: Avoid being defensive if I happen upon private information. While I understand you may have private stuff with your GF, yelling at me when I happen upon something makes me feel like you’re hiding something from me that you shouldn’t. It makes for a very distrustful state.
Task #5: Start to think about your what you want life to be like in a year – and then work backward to what that would look like today.