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  #151  
Old 04-23-2013, 04:52 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Morning, morning, morning.

I am getting ready for a morning yoga session and a two hour session at the gym. I have slacked off on my working out, and I need to step it up. I am not trying to lose weight, but I do want to stay toned and fit. I have a Zumba session tonight, too. My best friend seems to think I am obsessing over working out because my weight is one of the few things I can control these days. Working out is my stress reliever.

I am having breakfast with my daddy before I go to work. I want his take on this situation. He is an unbiased party, and I know that he will tell me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear.

I am thinking about spending the weekend by myself. I have yet to take time to process everything that has happened. I have been going non-stop. My hubby has been encouraging it. I just keep putting it off. The trip to Bali did not count. I was focused on my best friend and her big day. Now, I can focus on me. I do need to take care of myself. A weekend for one is in order. I just want to lounge somewhere, turn my iPod on, and read a book.

When I get off today, I will start researching to figure out where I want to spend a weekend. I need to run it by Matt to make sure my plans do not cross with his. At this point, I need some alone time.

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday. Class starts in 30 minutes, and I am still not ready. Woke up early only to still be late. Leave it to me.
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  #152  
Old 04-23-2013, 05:17 AM
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It's too bad Matt and Si don't have opposite work schedules, then she could see the kids when he was at work anyway. I wish I knew what to suggest, hopefully your talk with your dad will help.
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  #153  
Old 04-23-2013, 02:13 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Well, my chat with my daddy was actually helpful. Daddy has a way of being insanely blunt while maintaining tact. Perfect balance.

Apparently Matt has talked to my daddy. I did not ask for specifics because that was their private conversation. Basically, my daddy called me out. He was like I know you probably do not want to hear this, but you created this. I did. I should have listened to Matt in 2008 and again in 2012 when he expressed how he felt about their being another person. I was so concerned with my happiness and having an interdependent model that I forgot the most important piece: their father and my husband.

Daddy suggested we do a co-parenting agreement. Matt has already said there was no way in hell he would have even agreed to a co-parenting agreement then, and he is not going to do it now either. That is out.

There were several key points:
  • He and my mother always valued opinions from my grandparents, their friends, their siblings, and extended family, but what the two of them decided was always the final say.
  • He may not have always agreed with my mum regarding us, but he still took the time to listen, and they compromised.
  • He suggested that I swallow my pride, admit fault, and apologise to Matt for limiting his rights because without his microscopic contribution, our children would not be here. I cannot argue with this because truth of the matter is, he was not heard, and he did come to me many times. I can see how he felt that Si was trying to take his place and undermining his role as my husband and the father of our children. No sense in denying it because that is what happened.
  • I have to separate our children from Si because if I do not it will detonate in a manner worse than the first time. Daddy said that while Matt loves you and is in love with you, there is no love like what a parent has for their child(ren). Parents go into protective mode, and when they feel threatened, they will attack. He said that I can keep pushing Matt, but I will regret it.
  • He said that treating it like co-parenting during or after a divorce is probably not the best model to follow. There was no love between them and no shared biological ties to the children, so the empathy that is required to be at least tolerant is not present. In the case of divorce, it is assumed that at some point you loved this person enough to create life with them, so there is that respect factor. It is assumed that you respected and loved them enough to conceive a child. No part of him sees her as a mother or an equal parent. Matt was trying to see it from the POV of our daughter. Si is someone she looks up to and cares about. He has said, "That is not enough." Matt is in counselling with me, but he is also going on his own.

For the time being, since I am in the spot of the peacemaker, I am saying no to her spending time with them. I am removing the choice from both sides. I will explain it to her the best way I can and be mindful of her feelings. It is counterproductive to go against Matt when this continues to be one of his biggest issues and a spot of contention. I would be out of my mind to continue doing this when I know he is not okay with it and is likely going to blow a fuse if it continues.

The parenting issue is one of the most important pieces of why he will never trust poly again. For almost five years, he has had to share responsibilities with someone that he never wanted to. Now, he has a voice, and he is utilising it and letting it be heard. He felt that she was taking away precious one-on-one bonding time by being a co-parent and a constant presence. He feels that she was trying to undermine him and usurp his power. He felt like she was trying to take his place and replace him because he was pushed out of the picture. The way he described it was someone coming into your lane in traffic and causing you to veer off the road. The lane then and now is the lane of parenting and bonding with his children.

To my knowledge, Si has not apologised for any of the above, and that could be why his heart has not softened. Matt's apology to Si was an apology for HOW he handled things. He only said that he wishes he had handled it better. No apology for WHAT was said has been issued, which means he still feels the same way. Si's apology was a surface apology, too. One that would enable them to get on for the sake of our children and not move a step further.

I know this is going to hurt Si, but if I want to protect my children, this is for the best. In the cases of divorce, it is urged that parents be mindful of how they act around each other, what they say, and how they treat the other person. Children need to see them being respectful to one another and at the very least cordial. It is killing him to even be in the same room as her, and I know his body language speaks volumes. I know my daughter picks up on the tension. The last thing I want is for her to be harmed by grown-up affairs and issues.

Some level of respect and tolerance have to be part of it, or it will never click. He does not respect her role because to him it is not wanted, requested, and it was never needed. He cannot tolerate her because he does not trust her, like her, and is not willing to put on a game face for our children any longer.

Separating them is the only viable option. I cannot appeal to Matt by urging him to take her feelings into account because they do not matter to him. I cannot even trust Matt to just talk to Si and explain why he feels the way he does, so I have to do it. If I let him do it, things will happen just like the last time when it started with a level-headed open and honest discussion and ended with her storming out after being informed that she was never part of his family.

Seeing as how they have not resolved any of their issues, a forced face to face discussion is not the best idea.

I have made the final decision, and I will inform both. I have to get back to work.

Last edited by FullofLove1052; 04-23-2013 at 02:45 PM.
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  #154  
Old 04-23-2013, 02:46 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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"He felt that she was taking away precious one-on-one bonding time by being a co-parent and a constant presence. He feels that she was trying to undermine him and usurp his power. He felt like she was trying to take his place and replace him because he was pushed out of the picture. The way he described it was someone coming into your lane in traffic and causing you to veer off the road. The lane then and now is the lane of parenting and bonding with his children.

To my knowledge, Si has not apologised for any of the above, and that could be why his heart has not softened."

The thing is, how can you have an apology that goes deeper than the surface unless you believe you really did harm or wrong? From other stories here, I know it's possible to have more than two co-parents and not take away from anyone's "power" or bonding. Like, is a single parent more bonded to their children because there isn't a second parent drawing focus and time? Really, I think most busy professionals would be able to have better quality time with their kids if there was a third person pitching in, because they'd be less exhausted. Obviously that's not how it felt to Matt, I'm just musing over this question of an apology from Si...

If she was really actively trying to push him away so she could have more time with the kids to herself, a sincere apology would *certainly* be warranted. But, for me at least, if I'd been told I was a co-parent, treated like a co-parent, and then had acted with love and support, giving of my time and energy to make sure that there was always someone to be there for the kids... I could never apologize in a sincere way for that. Especially not if I'd had a "I'm breaking up with you, you were never wanted or needed or valued by me and I want you gone" thrown in my face by one lover, and a "I know you haven't had time to begin processing what just happened, but I'm breaking up with you too to focus on that person who just broke your heart" handed to me by another in short order.

I'm not sure why I'm saying this, exactly. Your decision is a hard one, I really do feel for you so much. It's just, it's only a few more months, really, until you all move, isn't it? And then they'll be functionally out of her life anyway. It seems so cruel to take away these last chances to say goodbye, on both sides (hers and theirs), when it still seems like it'd be possible to work something out where she and Matt can avoid each other but there can still be some time split. This may not be a traditional "divorce" in that she and he never had those bonds, but she and the kids did and that is real, despite the lack of biological connection. Adoptive parents and other non-biological parents ARE parents. If the kids did have some of her DNA, could you make this same choice? What difference does it made that they don't? Is their love less real? Isn't that what matters?

It just seems to me like, for all three of you, extreme responses come the most naturally. Matt cutting out Si so completely and irrevocably, Si refusing to speak to anyone or go to counseling, you breaking up with Si, and now this... I am putting in a word for a moderate approach, even though I know you're afraid of the tension that that would continue to allow to be in the air. Is that tension really going to be harder for your daughter than completely and suddenly losing Mom #2? I think tension, and even the occasional explosion, amongst parents is just a part of life for kids of divorce, to go back to that analogy, and yet, while it's unpleasant, I guarantee you those kids would prefer it over losing someone completely for reasons they couldn't possibly understand and will probably take personally.
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 04-23-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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  #155  
Old 04-23-2013, 03:57 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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I have two uncooperative people, and I am faced with an impossible decision. I am being neutral and not taking sides, but if anything that makes it all the more complicated because I empathise with both.

Their apologies scratched the surface. From his side, "I am sorry for how I handled it." That translates to: "I am sorry for how I acted, but I am not apologising for what I said. I will try to get along with you for our children, but this does not change anything between us." From her side, "I am sorry for how I reacted to the way you handled it." Translation: "I could have reacted better, but I, too, am not apologising for anything I said. I am willing to work with you on behalf of the children." They might as well have said, "I do not like you, and you do not like me. That is the way is, but it is not about you or me."

Matt's argument from day one has been I never wanted her to be a co-parent, still do not want her to be one now, and I feel forced into doing it now because I have to consider our children. Now that she is not an integral part of his life or part of his personal life, he is having to divide the time he has, and he resents it.

It has been discussed in and out of counselling. The balance was lost, and he was rather powerless. I have to admit it. He came out swinging and is more protective now than ever before. From where Matt is sitting, that third person caused the quality and quantity of his time with our children to decrease drastically. I think I need to ask Matt if he even wants an apology from Si, and if so, what would the apology be for?

Matt feels so strongly about this because she did halt the plans to move with her announcement that SHE did not want to move. It was wrong when I asked him to reconsider because SHE did not want to move, and I did not want to leave her. That was the point when Matt and I should have talked and taken what Si was thinking into consideration and ultimately made the best decision for our child. That did not happen.

Matt and I started the process for looking for schools last year. We had a list of about 20. We knew our daughter would be starting school this year, and this processes to get admitted into these schools can be lengthy and competitive, so we started early and in advance. We visited the places over the course of time. We asked our daughter because we wanted her to have a say regarding her education. We kept Si informed with every step of the way. She was not blindsided or left in the dark. After, nine or ten months of talking, planning, and decision making, at some point in November, her hesitation entered the picture. I knew about it, but I did not mention it to Matt because I thought she would. This was when they were establishing a friendship and that now failed relationship. She did not, and he found out last month during that argument, which is how he ended up telling her, "It really does not matter if you move or not because you are not part of my family."

I guess one could say that we were making other plans behind his back, and I can see how he felt undermined, powerless, and like she was trying to take his place. Anybody would feel that way if somebody went behind their back and was making plans for their children without consulting with them. He said at that point he felt like a known sperm donor to a lesbian couple, who had to ask for their permission to have a say in the upbringing of his children.

The whole co-parent argument is a moot point. I treated her like a co-parent. I wanted her to be a co-parent. I wanted her to have equal say. I wanted to involve her in our children's education. I wanted an interdependent model. I wanted this and that. See a common theme? I, I, I. None of the we's included Matt, so he was left out. I can see how he felt threatened and still feels that way. I helped create this disaster by not listening to him when he was telling me what he was and was not okay with. He was never okay with her being a co-parent, and now that I know and I am hearing what he is saying, what is the right step to take? Cut her off now or let this continue until he snaps again?

Quote:
Especially not if I'd had a "I'm breaking up with you, you were never wanted or needed or valued by me and I want you gone" thrown in my face by one lover, and a "I know you haven't had time to begin processing what just happened, but I'm breaking up with you too to focus on that person who just broke your heart" handed to me by another in short order.
I think about this every day. Our relationship was suffering. We were together in name only, and heaven knows I tried to save it and fight for it as long as I had the strength and the energy. I realised that I could not do it on my own, so I stepped back and opted to work on our friendship and figure myself out. That order sucks balls. And to add more pain to the situation by telling her that she cannot spend any time with our children? There has to be a better solution.

Functionally out of his and their lives, but she wants to still maintain relationships with them, see them, and talk to them. While she may not physically be around 24/7, she will still be around in other ways. Just like when you send your children to university. They may be away from you, but you still love them, support them, and are there for them just as if they were still living at home. The ability to physically touch is gone, but it does not change how much you love them or the fact you miss them terribly. I am not the one who has a problem with that. He is. I think if she decides to move there in due time, I wonder how Matt would react.

They are avoiding each other, but the one thing he is not willing to back down on is splitting the time. Before, he was tolerating it. Now? Not a chance. It seems very cruel, but I cannot make Matt feel anything regarding Si at all. He just sits there with a blank stare like, "And that matters to me why? Sounds like a personal problem." When he cut Si off, he cut her all the way off and refused to look back.

I agree. Their bonds are real. Just as real as if she had carried them and delivered them herself. I cannot make a choice now. If DNA was involved, I probably could not do it then either. That would not be on me. It makes no difference to me that there is no DNA involved. I know she loves our children. Trying to get through to Matt and getting him to see that is going to be impossible.

What he said in counselling one day was, "Our son is not old enough to remember the bond he [supposedly] has with her, and our daughter will forget about her in time." Our son is one week shy of being 10 months old. That much may be true. Our daughter is almost five. The odds of that happening are pretty slim.
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  #156  
Old 04-23-2013, 04:17 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post

It just seems to me like, for all three of you, extreme responses come the most naturally. Matt cutting out Si so completely and irrevocably, Si refusing to speak to anyone or go to counseling, you breaking up with Si, and now this... I am putting in a word for a moderate approach, even though I know you're afraid of the tension that that would continue to allow to be in the air. Is that tension really going to be harder for your daughter than completely and suddenly losing Mom #2? I think tension, and even the occasional explosion, amongst parents is just a part of life for kids of divorce, to go back to that analogy, and yet, while it's unpleasant, I guarantee you those kids would prefer it over losing someone completely for reasons they couldn't possibly understand and will probably take personally.
I try to find solutions that could work. I usually do not jump from A-Z and skip everything in between. In this case, I have tried all kinds of things, and nothing seems to be working. Somebody always ends up feeling some type of way. Either Matt is pissed because she is still around and infringing on his time, or she feels that she is not getting enough time because he is still blocking it. He half-arse agrees like letting our daughter go with strict time constraints or not letting our son go with her. It is never cut and dry, and it is never without some type of disagreement. I am surprised he is not micromanaging and telling her what things are off-limits. I am sure that is coming and supervised visits, too.

The tension is bad because things are still volatile between them, and I know that if given the chance, they will battle it out again. Emotions are too high. What happens if my children are there, and they witness that? Right now, the two of them cannot be alone with our children. She is still not welcome in our home anyway, so for now public places only because then they are forced to act with a bit of decorum and mind their manners.

I would love a moderate approach that would not involve them losing a parent, but what is the cost of that approach, and how much damage will be done this time around?
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  #157  
Old 04-23-2013, 04:44 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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"What happens if my children are there, and they witness that?"

Then they'll see a fight between two people they love. Never fun, but I dont think there's any reason to think it would be damaging per se, at least not moreso than entirely losing a parent figure. My parents didn't fight much when I was growing up. I have plenty of friends whose parents did, and they're ok. My impression is that it's really problematic for kids to witness emotional or physical abuse, but tension or a fight aren't that. That's just my take though, I'm not a child psychologist, I could be wrong about the impact.

For what it's worth, I believe you've been trying hard to do the right thing, and that there is no good solution from where you stand. I'm sorry.
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  #158  
Old 04-23-2013, 05:15 PM
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I feel Matt's anger at Si is misplaced. She took on the role you allowed her to take. YOU ignored Matt's opinions and needs for over a decade. Si just went along with what seemed to be OK with you.

We do see that sometimes here. The partner gets super angry at the metamour because they love their partner and can't bear to be angry at her/him.

Sharing time with her to be with the kids once in a while? You seem to have at least one nanny, who even spends overnights? So what if Si goes to your daughter's ballet or takes her out for a ice cream now and then? She could perhaps do it when Matt is at work, or you and he are away on one of your romantic getaways.

And again, it's all so moot. You, Matt and the kids are moving, what? 1000 miles away in a month or 2? Or is it 2000 miles?

Unless Si can manage to afford to take time and major $$$ to fly to Australia on a regular basis, her relationship with your daughter could die a gradual natural death. She won't have many ways to connect with the kid besides Skype.

Does Matt really "hate" Si? Is she that terrible of a person herself? Is she a danger to your kids? Or he is ragingly angry at you and your selfish ways? Angry at himself for not speaking up firmly enough for 12 years??

I don't really understand y'all's lifestyle. I live so simply. I never had a nanny, rarely could we afford babysitters, or meals out, or romantic getaways, when my kids were young. Our parents were hundreds of miles away so couldn't babysit. Now I see you spending hours at the gym, at the club in the middle of the night, somehow creating incredibly gourmet desserts with a 10 month old in the house, and throwing an "intimate" dinner party for 20! With a 4 year old and an infant, I'd've felt proud to get some spaghetti and a salad on the table. (And the toddler throwing noodles on the floor.) All while this stress between you and your partners is going on...

I just don't get any of this, I guess.
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  #159  
Old 04-23-2013, 05:30 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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I would have to say that the issue with the school wasn't where the problem started, it was the point where Matt finally broke. He realized that his only option left was drastic and immediate action. I think this is important to remember.

I agree that you need to explain to your daughter that Matt & Si are upset with each other and they have to be separated or they will fight and make each other sad. What has the counselor said on this?

Being stuck in the middle of two people you care about who are at odds and being incredibly stubborn is difficult. The person in the wrong would rather justify their actions, especially if they see the fall out as unintentional . While the offended party refuses to even listen to an apology even if one was offered, then gets pissed because there was no apology. Stupid vicious circle, especially when your the one in the middle and you can see where both parties are being a bit unreasonable and essentially shooting them selves in the foot. Good Luck!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:17 PM
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I admit I have a hard time understanding all of this as well but the whole story is so terribly tragic and I do feel for you.

It strikes me that you are still talking about what happens going forward as if it is your decision alone to make. I think you are taking too much of this responsibility on yourself. If this is about Matt feeling like he had lost any say over what happens with his own family then this can not be improving that problem. I can now understand why he was so quick to jump in to talk about custody battles in his thread. The issue of whether you will ever be in another relationship again may be up in the air but the issue of whether your children will share a bond with anyone else seems like his line in the sand. There really is no third option once he has made this decision.

You mention that he is begrudgingly allowing Si to see them despite having stated that he is not ok with it. This is exactly how you got here in the first place. I see the picture you are imagining. He states what he believes should happen, but as you are also their parent, he is allowing you to make the final call on whether they can see her. If this truly is his line in the sand, and you decide not to join him on that side of this decision, he will continue to feel he had no say in what happens. He could continue to say he was telling you how he felt and you ignored it. It could lead to him blowing up and perhaps asserting his say over the children the only way he thinks he can, legally.

I am proposing that rather than continue to state his opinion and then allow you to make the decision, he needs to make that decision final and say "No." It should not be your job as peacemaker to guess what is too much to try to prevent this blow up. He should decide what he can and can't handle, make a final decision accordingly and stop agreeing to let things happen that are not ok to him. This seems like it could be an issue in parenting decisions between you two whether polyamory was ever involved or not.
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