Double Standards

My ex shuttles his time between his girlfriends' house and having a room at his friend Charles house.   He is busy living his life.  What happens in his private life is no longer my business.  I don't ask questions or make comments. I make it clear that I'm only interested if it has something to do with our daughter. 

Now, for me, if my daughter or my EX gets a whiff that there's a man in the horizon....oh boy do the onslaught of questions, investigations and emotional games begin.  For this reason, I am extremely discreet.  

Feeling overwhelmed and desperately needing an escape, I decide to take 5days to myself to go visit a friend.  My ex and I don't have strict visitation schedules so I make arrangements for him to have her those five days.   I barely ask him for help in her care so he was only too eager to say yes.  HE asks me if everything was okay.  I tell him I'm fine and just taking the time to visit with a friend.  HE asks who it was and where I was going.  I simply told him that he knows all that he needs to know.  He giggles as this has always been his way of trying to charm me to get me to soften up.  Realizes that it's not working so he sounds more serious now and tries again a few times to get the lowdown on my plans. 

One of the issues that my daughter is addressing with her therapist is her abandonment issues.  I try my best to be as honest with her as I can.  I tell her that I was challenging myself with this drive and that I wanted adult time to visit with a friend of mine. She asks the same questions as her father.  I tell her that when I come back I would tell her exactly where I went and what I did.  You should have seen the onslaught of conversations via phone and text between those two in trying to solve the mystery. 

IN passing, the therapist gently hints that my daughter was having anxieties over my traveling plan. I decide to sit down with her again to reassure her that yes, I was going out of town without her and that she can count on me coming home back to her.  That I would not leave her behind anywhere if I knew that I was going to be gone permanently.  This time I mention specifically the state I was going to but didin't name my friend as she doesn't know who it is anyways so it's irrellevant who it was.  IT broke my heart when she reminded me that its suppose to be the both of us going on adventures together.  I agreed but I told her this was one adventure I wanted to do for myself by myself and that when I returned she can help me schedule and plan all the adventures we wanted to do together before the summer was over. 

My ex shows up to pick her up as I'm packing the truck for my trip.  Excitedly she yells out to her Dad that I told her where I was headed and names the place.  Both are really serious for a minute until my EX remembers that one of my very close friends...Colleen...lives in that state and takes it upon himself to assume that she's the one I"m visiting.  Both of their dispositions change from concern to joy!  It almost seemed as if they were actually proud of me that I was doing something like this for myself.  Ex is looking and acting like he was giving me his blessing and tells me to say hi to my friend for him. 

I didn't visit my friend Colleen. . I went to visit a male friend who is near and dear to my heart.  My scene leaving for my trip would have been completely different had they known the real truth.  During my drive, I check to make sure that everyone is on task of caring for my daughter. EX was at work and someone else was picking her up from camp and caring for her for a few hours.  My conversation wtih EX was pleasant, sweet, caring and supportive. 

During my second day of being gone, I call my daughter to check in and say hello and tell her I miss her.  MY ten year-old says, Mom, so who is the dude?  It came out of nowhere and I try to laugh it off.  I ask her what is she talking about?  She says I know it's a dude because if it was one of my woman friends', she would have been traveling with me.  Calmly I tell her that she needs to understand that sometimes it has to be about me and what I want and need to do for myself so its irrellevant which one of my friends that I was visiting.   Ex gets the phone sounding as serious asking if everything was okay.  I said yes and we went over what time he was to drop our daughter off when I returned home. 

ON my drive home, I'm at the gas station filling up and call EX to let him know what time I expect to arrive home.  He asks where exactly I was. I couldn't tell him specifically what town I was in. I simply pulled off the highway when I saw the gas station signs.  He's agitated and tells me that I'm being iirresponsible because I don't know my exact location. He goes on to rant about how I don't take safety precautions seriously and that I need to pay better attention since I'm traveling alone.  This would be fine if he wasn't talking to me as if I was an embacile. I am getting this reception because he has now come to the conclusion our daughter had about who I spent the last few days with was probably right.  

I don't live my life to get Ex's approval.  I have spoken out for myself but honestly I'm exhausted.  I'm too tired to fight anymore.  Usually I'm thick skinned and I can take it.  But he knows my weakest point.....our daughter.  When my responsibilities as a mother come into question, that's when the ugliness comes in.  He's allowed to do things for himself and enjoy a relationship with his girlfriend.  I on the other hand should be too busy being MOM that I shouldn't be entertaining the thoughts of attending to my needs as a woman by nurturing a relationship with another man. 

The worst part is that my daughter believes in this notion too.  She's too busy worrying that if Mom does have someone in her life, that I will forget all about her and not be as involved or attentive.  Even with all the assurances and love and care that I show her she can't help feel this way because that's the experience she's had with her father but yet its acceptable for him to have someone special,  I'm just not allowed.  My daughter will flat out tell you that we're to busy anyways, when would I actually have time left over to dedicate to another person?  IN a sense, she's right  because I've got my hands  full dealing with the drama those two keep throwing my way.

deleted deleted
1 Response Jul 20, 2010

Wow. He's got her wrapped tight in his pocket. He's playing Svengali. Like father, like daughter. So mommy does not deserve a life with another, or happiness? But he does. Now you'll be every name in the book because you require intimacy, or just friendship. Wow. He doesn't want you, and now your only purpose in life is to be there 24-7 for his daughter only. But sit back and swallow as he provides a new open family atmosphere at his house. Which she is ok with. You're not to have a life, a Man in your life. Privacy. No one else can have you, you're to spend your days pining away not good enough for him. I would tell my daughter that it's time I found happiness too like your father has. And you wouldn't bring anyone around her until you knew that you were satisfied about him, and she shouldn't question your every move. What a python you've got yourself wrapped around. Tell them you have a friend that knows your whereabouts and they shouldn't worry. It's not like you're gone every weekend!