Posted by: frogstale | September 29, 2013

Despite, not in spite

My ex with a personality disorder wrote to me about ‘needing’ to pick up the boys from the airport.  No please.  No thank you.  Just demanding.  When he didn’t like my response he phoned our eldest son and asked him to ask me.  See Benefit of the Doubt.

I don’t NEED to pick them up at all.  New family court orders specifically say he has to arrange to bring them home. I can choose to pick them up and had he asked me (not the children) in a reasonable manner, it really wouldn’t have been a problem.  But he didn’t.

I have learned over the years that reacting straight away when I am still angry or resentful achieves nothing.  When I calm down I can respond, if a response is even necessary, from a far better place, but many times I don’t even need to do that.

This time I remembered that I have repeatedly told him if he tries to pass on messages through the children, I will ignore them (the messages, not the children!).  I also remembered that I had counselled my 16 year old son to say to his Dad ‘Can you please ask Mum yourself’ any time he tries.  Unfortunately that is a little difficult for him because I think he is afraid how his dad will react.

On this occasion I decided no response was necessary.

A week later the next email arrives:

The boys arrive back at 5.30pm so you can pick them up.

He has done it again.  Not asked me, not been polite, just demanded.

I am writing my memoir and read a lot of other memoirs to pick up ideas and styles.  I love Lisa Niemi Swayze’s memoir about the death of her husband Patrick Swayze – Worth Fighting For.

Lisa explains to Patrick’s brother why she isn’t going to react to paparazzi reports and photos announcing Patrick’s death when he is still very much alive.

‘Trust me, it doesn’t feel good now, but we’re going to take the high road.  You’ll see, it may be years from now, but you’ll see that it was the right choice’.  And making the right choice for you as a human being doesn’t always give you instant gratification.  But in the long run, it matters, to you.

I had already decided to make the right choice. I am going to pick up the children.

I am very angry at how he has treated me and put the children in the middle. I want to resist his efforts to control and manipulate me. I could do that to spite him, but instead I will pick them up DESPITE him.



  1. My ex-husband was the same way. It has always been so frustrating because he ALWAYS wins. ALWAYS gets his way. No matter what I do. I eventually stopped fighting it. It was taking a far greater toll on me, to fight him, than it was for him….because he always wins. Our youngest child is just 3 months away from turning 18 and our legal binding will be no more. I can’t wait. I think I’ll feel a thousand pounds lighter at the end of it.

    You did the right thing by deciding to pick them up. Eventually, this too shall end. Stay strong. Your kids will thank you for it!

    • It is hard doing what you know is the right thing when you know they are laughing at how they manipulated you.

      I too look forward to the day my youngest is 18 – then I can cut off all communication and not be taken to court. However I also know that he will still try and manipulate me through the kids even more then – and this will never end.

      But at least I will have more freedom and choices when there is no more legal obligation to be in contact with him.

      Love to hear what it feels like when that happens for you.


  2. Yeah…he is still (16 years later) mad at me for leaving him. He did everything he could do to hurt me and my God…the anger I felt. He and I rarely even speak anymore. Our kids are old enough now and have their own vehicles so they come and go. The only times we speak now are at kid events (only graduations so far) and we are friendly-ish.

    I wanted it to be so much different. I tried being friends with him and his next wife. I really wanted a JOINT parenting relationship for the sake of our kids but, he wanted none of that.

    Once you have no more legal obligation, you can tell him to get bent. although, if you’re like me, you’ll get to that point long before the 18 years are up.

    • I am at the point. He is blocked on my phone and I have an email address just for him to use. I haven’t spoken to him on the phone or without a witness for 3 years now. Unfortunately we have to organise things because he lives interstate and I can’t refuse all contact. He would take me to court (again) if I did that too. So I have to communicate but I keep it to the absolute minimum. It’s so tough doing this and I question myself constantly. Got to do it for the kids sake though. Got to do the right thing by them. Like I said, despite and not inspite. Have to practice this on a weekly basis!

  3. Oh yeah….that would make it so much worse! I’m sorry you have to deal with all of that. Just remember…the children WILL see all that you’ve done. They WILL see how hard he made it. It may take a long time…like…a really long time. But, they will see it.

    Keep taking the high road. It will lead nowhere but up.

  4. […] I learned my lesson from last time.   (See In spite not despite) […]

  5. […] (See Despite not in Spite) […]

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