FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Burning Bridges

SubduedBlues
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I've been here a few weeks, and there have been a few instances, this is just the latest of many, but here goes...

Normally on Monday mornings the ex-wife takes our youngest child to school, but yesterday she decided that she'd rather not. She sent me an SMS message at 8:15 asking if I could take our daughter this morning, but I was already on the train to the city. Since the train was already in the tunnels, the message was not received until after we exited just before 8:30. By then our daughter had already telephoned her asking her mum where she was. Now the ex was angry that I had not responded to her text.

This morning the ex sent me an SMS telling me that I need to communicate to her if I am not going to be available to take our daughter to school when she needs me to. Accused me of being bad at communication.

First, why do I need to tell her if I won't be available to take kids to school on days that she normally does, just in case she decides to have a last minute day off? Second she is the one who left, so I see no reason why I should have to report any of my movements to her. 

Anyhow, I responded to her SMS about communication by saying "OK, but are you the pot or the kettle?" in inference to the age old saying about 'the pot that calls the kettle black'.

A bit later she asked, "what do you mean?" I don't know if she did not understand the inferrence or if she could not see that her communication is perceived to as bad (or worse) than me not being available to immediately respond to her SMS messages. Whatever, I don't care. I simply replied: "Doesn't matter. I'm not interested."

_______

The other day I was speaking with my son; I asked if I could tell him something that he might not like. I told him how peaceful things have been about the house since his mum has been gone. "I said I would never leave her, and I didn't, she left me. But I never said that if she ever left that I would always take her back. And now that she's gone, I am not so sure that I want her to come back."

I think I am just about ready to turn that corner, to take that leap, and to burn that bridge. But before I do, 

  • what am I forgetting? 
  • what am I not seeing? 
  • will I feel regret before I feel happiness again?
D'
 
21 Replies 21

SubduedBlues
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
CMF

Interesting viewpoint. Insofar as burning that bridge is concerned,  I was questioning whether to sever the tie between husband and wife,  not between either/both parents and children (nb there are 4).

Yesterday she said that she left because I gave her no other choice; which is not true.  There were other choices available to her,  she just did want them. There have been times that I have been unhappy with her, that I was not "in love", I could have chosen to leave, I could have chosen a great many options,  but I chose to stay. Not because it was the easiest choice (it was the hardest choice), but because I believed it to be the right choice. 

She left on 1st July.  I've offered to her to have a peaceful and amicable parting. And until the last few days it has been more or less just that. Recently she has been hell bent on wreaking havoc amongst the peaceful family lifestyle we've built in her absence. It's as though she resents us endeavouring to rise above the turmoil and become a happy and functional family unit. 

I am not angry, I am disappointed. I am disappointed that she is seemingly looking out for number one and not what is best for the children. She does not apoear to be considering the short, medium and/or long term future for them in a holistic sense.

I'm disappointed that she refused to make any honest or concerted effort towards building a mutually beneficial relationship with anyone in the household. That even now, she still is unable to realize she is the common denominator of discord in the house. 

D'

CMF
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
wow, your second paragraph is remarkably like our situation, hes says I forced him out, I was unhappy but stayed as I felt I should etc.  exactly the same.  yep I understand severing the tie b/t husband and wife and not parents/children. do your children live with you? my ex has met a new woman and I wish them happiness but they spend time together when he has our kids once a fortnight and my kids want their time with their dad but he doesn't see that, he just wants them to accept her and have her sleep over etc but he sends them to bed and closes off the doors. he doesn't care how lond they stay up for on ipads as long as they are in their room. I hear what you are saying, I'm guilty too at times as I get very angry when they come home upset after a weekend with him but I don't put other people in front of them. i don't think you can never actually sever the tie b/t you as you have children together and will need to communicate about things often.  we tried to sever it, you should see the nasty emails I got but it doesn't work because there will be times when you need to have a united front I have found. how old are your children?

SubduedBlues
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Two adult aged and two teenaged 16-17.  
I asked them, given the hard choice, would prefer to live with me or in this house. My daughters both opted to stay with me,  whereas my son (17) is non committal until such time as he has to make that decision. My elder boy is in the military. 

My time with my children is their time to do what they want to do,  not my time to do what I want to do. Bytbthen I want to spend my time with my children doing what they want to do and that I can afford. I hope to be able to take them overseas for the holidays in 2016.

dear D'jected, your a great understanding father, and maybe perhaps you and your kids could make a 50/50 choice, but then I would do what my sons would want to do, but in turn they would want to do what I wanted, but they are more important than what an old man wants.

I can't believe the malice that your ex has shown, but I have a similar problem which I hope will pass, where my ex won't talk to our eldest son, which means that she doesn't get to see our two grand daughters.

This has happened before but my ex and daughter in law don't get on, and what ever is said is taken the 'other way'.

I know that there will be decisions or choices that will need to be made so it's probably not best to burn the bridge, maybe she will eventually do it herself. Geoff.

SubduedBlues
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi Geoff

As usual,  I have to walk the high road. Okay,  I'll wait and let her burn it herself. And then, being me, I'll end up forgiving her wrongdoings and throwing her a lifeline when it all gets too hard for her. Damn, sometimes I so dislike myself for always caring about the other person.  When do I ever get to look out for what is best for me?

D'

Jo3
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi D'

I feel for you so much.  But do you know what - you are an amazing person, an amazing dad to your children.  I am sure that they are so proud of you as you are with them.

You also sound like a really caring guy always thinking of others.  But I think you should do what's best for you and your children. 

What your ex did on your daughter's birthday was disgusting and so inappropriate. And then reading how you told your daughter that you love her and bought her an ice cream - that is so beautiful.  I only wish my dad only told me even once that he loved me 😞

D' don't let her take over; don't let her control you anymore.

Pls take care, hope to chat again

Jo 

dear D'jected, true and yes, but how many bridges need to be burnt before it ends up the size of a burnt match stick where there is nothing left to burn. Geoff.

AGrace
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi D'

For me, the answer to that question is as soon as you want to. I think you've spent some time now putting others before yourself, and to what gain? You are under no obligation to keep your ex wife happy. You just need to maintain respect, despite her comments and actions. This time is for you and your children. It appears as though your children are doing ok. So look after number 1...you.

I think you may also benefit from lowering your expectations of your ex. It doesn't seem as though she can live up to them. Sadly you can't change her, so to avoid future disappointment, you can only change you and your perspective. 

Your wife will eventually realise her wrong doings and then she will have to cope with this, while you and your children will have already moved on to a happier place and time. 

AGrace

CMF
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi D

in think you mentioned she left on July 1 so 2 months ago almost? Ok, so I don't agree with her behaviour and you seem more level headed but I think it takes time to settle into something comfortable for both of you after a separation regardless of who left the marriage. She may have made the comment to your daughter out of jealousy because your daughter chose to live with you. Have you remained in the family home? May I ask how old your wife is? I have been separated for 5 years divorced for 3 and still go through lots of ups and downs. My kids with my ex husband are younger 11& 12. At the moment we seem to be on the same page. It's very draining I know. 

SubduedBlues
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
"...the malice that your ex has shown..." I don't believe she is intentionally malicious,  I think that is just become her nature. She is so introverted,  that I believe she has become all but unable to express any empathy towards anyone. My uni psychology student daughter explains her mum as having the emotional maturity of a 10 year old. 

The ex's Myers Briggs personality profile is that of the INFJ; the rarest of profiles. Unfortunately for the children,  she is not like the average INFJ in that she neither cares for the other persons feelings nor is herself the nurturing type of person. And she is extremely impatient. Other than those,  she does adhere to the Jungian traits quite closely. 

Me, on the other hand, I am an ENFP. If you have a Google of INFJ and ENFP you'll notice that we are polar opposite of one another,  and thus probably doomed to fail from the get go. We are just too different. But then, I am me. I am forgiving and I accommodate. 

Well, that might give you an insight into the complexities of us.

D'