Fighting a deadbeat

On second thought, can it be considered a fair fight to shoot fish in a barrel?

My ex finally decided to contact me after months of silence, months during which he didn’t speak to the children either.

I’d have to tell you my life story to explain precisely why he’s the most selfish human on the planet, and I DID want to leave a couple of anecdotes for a rainy day (it’s only drizzling out there right now) but suffice it to say that I was loaded for bear and waiting for him to make the first move.

Prior to our communication today (messaging on MySpace, that’s how mature he is) I have always let him off the hook.  I have always been loathe to hurt his little feelings.  He has contributed a sum total of nothing financially or emotionally for years.  It has always been my policy that I hate to see dumb animals suffer, so I have kept my anger and hurt to myself and tried to be the grownup.  Someone has to, after all.

But when my husband got laid off this past January and I asked the ex to man up and send me SOMETHING, ANYTHING to help, he gave me the usual sob story.  That was when I was done.  I realized that no matter how hard it got for me and the man who has been raising his kids, the ex was never going to give a crap.  He was never going to be able to see outside the sphere of his own childish life.

And I have been a fool not to call him on it all these many years.  My husband has been so patient with me and he has never once complained or thrown in my face all the support he has given the kids.  He doesn’t treat his step-kids with any less love or concern than his own kids.  They are all his own kids.  He has the biggest heart I have ever known.

Even though my ex was the one who left me (because I was “boring”) I never wanted to rub it in his face that I ended up in a loving relationship and he, 8 years later, is STILL alone, though he has tried numerous relationships.  I hate to see anyone, even my worst enemy, have to suffer that kind of involuntary isolation (I know there are people out there who aren’t in a relationship and are perfectly happy, I don’t mean to insult them.)

I don’t have much of a point to this post except to mark a milestone.  I will continue to refrain from insulting him or trash-talking him in front of the kids.  I will continue to behave as an adult, being rational, reasonable, communicating in a clear and civil manner.

But I will not longer “give him a break.”  I will no longer shield him from how his idiocy makes me feel (expressed in a calm, adult manner.)  I will no longer feel sorry for him because he has chosen to be a pathetic selfish child when he has the potential to be an intelligent creative adult.

I am done.  It feels good.


Filed under Life

9 responses to “Fighting a deadbeat

  1. My goodness, you just told the exact story of my first marriage. The man is now 41 and still living in his mom’s basement where he’s been since we split. The amount of support he’s required to pay couldn’t even buy a good pair of shoes, yet he’s always months and months behind. I totally feel for your situation, but congratulations! Step up and show him you’re more of a man than he is!!

  2. Magpye, thanks for the visit… and the words of support!

  3. Joy

    This is my best friends situation only he did “something” to one of their girls in the shower. Nobody to this day knows just what went on that day. The daughter who was 7 at the time blocked it out.

    She left him and met another wonderful man. Sounds a lot like your husband now and tells her to keep her mouth shut so that dirt ball will leave them alone. He would rather support them than have to deal with him. He’s a stand up guy and I’m glad you found one like him.

    Vent away, we all need it at times.

  4. Thanks, Joy! I appreciate you listening to my rants…

  5. andrewhull

    Good for you Elena. From a guys perspective, it infuriates me to have to read (listen) to stories of dead beat dads….but unfortunately they are out there.

  6. el burro

    I think that you’ve done the right thing by the kids and yourself in the way you’ve handled this relationship. Like you said, there’s no point in trying to make this man into something he’ll never be, and you’ve saved yourself a lot of frustration by being able to recognize that and move on. It’s pretty incredible that you were able to do that. Good for you.

  7. Thanks for your support, Andrew and el burro. It means a lot to me.

  8. Wow, you just described my ex! It is good you choose not to bad mouth him in front of the kids, they don’t need to hear it. It is also good that you are not going to let him get away with being a deadbeat any longer. Does your state have an office of recovery services? That is a good place to start for collecting back child support. My ex is so far behind I doubt he’ll ever get caught up.

  9. That’s ridiculous. You’re hands down one of the least boring people I know. Your zest for life is amazing and I only hope that I’m even a little bit like you. I’m glad you found somebody who loved you for who are you are.

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