Dear Ex-husband’s New Wife
I want you to know that I don’t hate you, despite what my ex-husband might think of me or has said to you about me. I am not a bitch, I am not a bad or unfit mother, and I genuinely have no hatred toward you whatsoever. You seem like a very nice person, and I feel very fortunate that you are nice to my child and love her. I’m sure you love my ex-husband, and I am thankful because you are a better woman than me in that respect. I no longer have to put up with the narcissm, the passive-aggressive behavior, and the ego. I no longer worry about walking on eggshells around a husband that doesn’t know me, nor cared to ever get to know me. I have a wonderful husband now who has shown me what real marriage, intimacy and working hard for something you love is all about. I see that now in hindsight, and went through a lot of therapy after we separated to be able to say that I no longer have to be a victim of his emotional abuse. I don’t know if you will ever see it, and for your sake, I hope you never do. My husband now swears that I am a victim of emotional and/or verbal abuse by my ex, and just now, after 2 ½ years of marriage to him have finally gotten to the point that I am not scared to get angry around him for fear that he will leave me. I spent 5 years of my life with a man that couldn’t even tell anyone what I did for a living. He never cared to get to know me, and looking back, I should have thought twice about marrying him. But that is water long gone under the bridge, and the damage has already been done.
I don’t know what my ex-husband has told you about me or our history together, but it is one that I’ve never written down. Honestly, it tires me thinking about it, but I think that it is important that you know the true nature of your husband and it may explain everything for you about me. I don’t know if he told you about when we met, when I found out I was pregnant, what he did, or how things turned out, but it was not a fairytale romance. We had been dating 2 months when I found out I was pregnant. When I told him about the baby, he told me that he wasn’t ready to be a father because there were a lot of things that he hadn’t gotten yet, like a truck or jet skis. He told me that he would give me money if I decided to have an abortion. I told him that night that I was going to have the baby, and he was welcome to be around; however, IF he chose to stay around, he needed to be around 100%. I didn’t want a half-ass father for my child because I had no intention of being a half-ass mother. When he stopped calling me a week later and began dating a woman 12 years older than him with 3 children, I assumed he made his choice. Not so. I was 6 weeks pregnant.
He contacted me when I was 9 months pregnant, wanting to be in my daughter’s life, still with his girlfriend. I told him to get a good attorney because the only way that I would let him be around is if I was threatened with jail time for not complying. See, I have a paralegal certification and have been through legal training. I know the TCA family law statutes in our state, and knew that as long as he wasn’t on the birth certificate, he had no rights at all. I wasn’t sure why he was calling, but later found out that because he was dating a woman with 3 kids, they were her tax deductions every year and she received a big chunk back. So if he had a child, he might be absolved from paying a single person’s taxes. Nice, huh? That’s moral character. Needless to say, I knew that I was in for a fight with him.
When my daughter was 4 months old, he ordered me to submit to DNA testing. Here’s another great character trait about your husband: when I was pregnant, he told folks that we both knew that I was lying, that I was one of “those” kind of girls that wanted to trap a man with a baby, and that it wasn’t his. All the while, I knew that the truth always prevails…and it did. The results came back 99.99% his child. I would never in my wildest dreams lie about something this impacting to my life.
A few months later, my attorney received papers stating that he wanted full custody of my daughter. Keep in mind that all this time, he had never had any sort of visitation with her or paid me a dime of child support. He even did the DNA testing through the child support services office in order to get it paid for by the state for free. Again, nice, huh? Our tax dollars hard at work, paying for the consequences of someone who did a cowardly thing and got caught. My daughter was 7 months old. He had gotten married to the woman he was dating with 3 kids the week prior, and now that he was a family man, thought that his situation was better than mine (I was living with my parents so they could help me raise my daughter since I was a single parent), enough that he went out to prove me an unfit mother on this basis.
Long story short, we had a temporary custody hearing, he got every other weekend until our custody hearing 10 months later, and during that time, I answered 2 sets of interrogatories from his attorney, endured nasty glares and side-eye shanks from his wife and him at drop-off and pick-up times, and tried to move on with my life. But oh how karma has a way of coming back around…
His wife cheated on him 4 months into their marriage. This was his second marriage. Things began to crumble for him and 2 months before our court hearing, he had moved out and was living in the living room of a friend’s house. He and I settled everything out of court. He gave me primary custody and then asked me if I wanted to try dating again. I must have been a lot more foolish then because I said yes. Knowing him now, he is not the type of person I would have even given a second chance after the first date, so it must have been me having high hopes for us that made me do it.
During our dating and marriage, we kept separate everything – bank accounts, loans, furniture, even towels and sheets! No joint anything for him. He has been screwed over too many times by wives to do that again. On the weekends, I spent time alone with my daughter while he went kayaking, hunting, car part buying other states, National Guard drill weekends. Everything else came first, and my daughter and I were put on the back burner. And material possessions are gold to him. I spent so much time alone with my daughter that when we separated, I was actually glad that we had a parenting plan in place so it would make him have to spend time with her. Never once did he really bond with her in daddy-daughter time. Not once did he ask me if I wanted to do anything by myself and offer to watch her. I was a maid, a mother, a bookkeeper, but never a true wife to him, and my daughter was just a tax deduction. During our relationship together, I never fought with him. I find that odd now, because all normal couples fight. I was scared to tell him how I really felt. He threw out so many ultimatums, my-way-or-the-highway-isms, that when we separated and I got my own place, for the first time in 5 years, I could breathe again. The weight of the world was off my shoulders, and I knew that something was terribly wrong in that situation.
In the past few years that he has been gone in flight school and now deployment, I have seen his tone with me revert back to what it was when we were going through our custody stuff the first time. He is rude to me. He is hateful. He called me a bitch on the phone from Kuwait. When he should have been spending precious time talking to my daughter, he was fighting with me. He has told me that he would hire as many attorneys as he can to make sure I get visitation with my daughter once a month for the rest of her life. He is emotional when he should be practical. And when it comes down to it, at the end of the day, I feel like I have to deal with a 12-year old when I talk to him. All of this because I wouldn’t agree to let you take over his weekly visitation while he was deployed for a year. Please try to understand why. While I know that you had spent some time with my daughter, the two of you had only been married 6 months when he left, and he didn’t have the common courtesy to think ahead and plan for this. He knew in July 2008 that he would be deployed around March 2009. Why did he not go ahead and start making arrangements for us to meet before then? Why did he wait until the last minute to do any planning for the time he would be gone? This is a disrespectful slap in my face.
I would love for you to read some of his emails to me, and my responses. I have consulted with about 5 different attorneys since April 2009, and I am fully aware that he wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting anything more than our normal, week-to-week visitation upon his return from deployment. I hope he knows this as well. I am an outstanding mother. I always have been, and I always will be. My children are my life and I would do anything for them. I make sure that my children have a nice home, dependable transportation, toys, clothes that fit, food, a proper education, playdates with friends, involvement in church and love watching my daughter turn into a beautiful young lady. I know you don’t have any children, but if you and my ex decide to have one, I hope you may understand where I am coming from. Your husband has not exactly done right by me since we have known each other, and until he does, he will always have an uphill struggle. Good parents don’t leave their children for years at a time. He should heed this when he begins to think that he can do a better job than me at parenting my daughter. I have never left her, and I have been in her life every single day. I have cared for her since before she was born. I can’t say the same for him.
Maybe one day we can be friends. I would really like that because there are times where my husband is working and sometimes I just need a break. I think that you would be a great resource to have if I have to work late and need someone to pick up my daughter for me, and I know that you will do right by my daughter. I don’t want you to think that I hate you because for some reason, I want my ex-husband back or hate anything that makes him happy. You can have him. You can try to make him happy; that’s not my job anymore thankfully. I just want him to give me the credit I deserve, and have always deserved, for being a great mother to my daughter. I want him to be fair to me, and I want him to work together with me to raise our daughter. She deserves that more than anything.
Thank you for listening.
The Ex-Wife (#3)