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Nine secrets your spouse’s ex may not tell you.

Do you have an ex in your life, which makes your life hell? Does it feel like even though your spouse got divorced, that they are still married? Would it surprise you to find out that you put up with more than you have to, simply because the ex says you do?

Below are nine ways to stop allowing the ex to run your life. And, how to remove the welcome mat from your porch and your forehead respectively.

1.  You didn’t marry them; they are not your ex.

This person your spouse or significant other married and consequently divorced, was not who you planned to spend your life with. The word exclude, starts with ex, do just that.        

2.  The ex does not own your spouse just because they share a child.

If your spouse is the non-custodial parent with visitation; it is difficult, but not impossible. Though no longer a team in terms of marriage, they are a team in terms of the child/ren. The ex can only control what the divorce decree says. If the ex has sole legal and sole physical, s/he has the say over schooling, medical and religion. However s/he is required by law to encourage and nurture a relationship with any and all family members of the child’s non-custodial parent. This includes stepfamily, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Better yet, did you know your spouse has a right to daily phone calls with their child, unless noted differently in the divorce decree?  

3.  If you want to attend a school or sporting event – you can. Doctors’ appointments too.

Sporting events are public; anyone and their grandmother can attend. If you want to go, go. Same goes for school recitals, back to school nights, etc. In fact most schools will do separate conferences so that both homes are involved in the child’s educational progress and needs. In terms of doctors’ appointments you can go with a spouse, or have your name added to the child’s file as someone who has a right to medical care and information. It is really no different than having access to a credit card or utility bill that may be solely in your spouse’s name. You can gain information and have some involvement.

4. Your spouse’s visitation time is your spouse’s choice to spend it how they wish. 

The ex-spouse cannot commit you to anything on your time. This includes sports, doctors’ appointments, birthday parties etc. It is a double edge sword though because if by not taking the child to certain engagements will hurt the child in the process, it is a no win situation. But, by no means are you required to do it.

5. Follow your divorce decree, not the ex’s divorce commands.

It can’t be any more plain stated than this. The divorce decree is your spouse’s bible in a sense. It states what is expected, allowed and forbade. Non-custodial parents have more rights than most realize, like rights to medical and school records. Do your research.

6. If your spouse and their ex share joint legal and joint physical custody – your spouse’s say is just as important as the ex’s.

One is not more than the other. In some cases, one parent may have sole physical custody, while both retain joint legal custody. You need to know the differences of these and what your spouse has.

7. The ex can only control what there is no control over.

If a void is visible, the ex will invade. One place the ex will try to invade is your marriage. This is your territory – be territorial enough to remind the ex, this is not their place, and their existence will not be tolerated. Stand your ground.

8. The ex’s issue with you, is a reflection of an issue with themselves.

Any parent who is content with themselves and their own level of involvement and parenting they provide will never limit or control the parenting or involvement of anyone else. This is a well-known fact.

9. In terms of child support, do your own math and research.

Many parents pay more than they should, and feel as though they have to roll over and take it. If your spouse feels there is a substantial change either in their income or the ex’s, request a review. If your spouse is on disability or the ex is on disability make sure the child support office is aware. You’d be surprised how many parents overpay because they failed to double check or request a review.

There you have it, nine ways to limit or exclude the ex’s involvement in your home, your marriage and the relationship with your stepkids.
 

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Wait, awareness costs $10?

ALSIceBucketChallengeBefore the ALS IceBucket Challenge, if you had asked myself, or my family what ALS was, we would not have known the answer.

In our home, it was something we saw our friends and family doing on Facebook, and something we had seen our favorite baseball players doing, and then our favorite musicians and actors, and so on. We knew it was raising awareness for something. That was all we knew.

That was all we needed to know; to know we needed to know more. People who are focused on the monetary rule of the challenge and the water conservation – are missing this monumental piece of vital information.

We didn’t know what we were raising awareness for. We knew it was a disease, and that it necessary to help find a cure. We wanted in. We wanted to help. We wanted to know more.

One by one, our family of five was nominated. The excitement in our home was exhilarating, we were joining millions of others in this challenge, we were banding together for the greater good, for a GOOD cause. It led us to inquire as to what disease we were raising awareness for. It was upon my research that I realized I had heard of it before, but had heard of it as Lou Gehrigs Disease, and still did not know what it really was, or how it affected the people living with it day in and day out. I looked it up. I read about it. I learned about it. I shared it with my family. 

Now five people were made aware of this, the five people in my home. Then the five people we nominated, and the five people they nominated and so the ripple effect rippled on. No, we did not donate $10, we solely did the Ice Bucket Challenge, we talked about ALS, and tagged our friends and family. We donated our effort, our compassion, and our desire to help and to raise awareness. Is that insignificant for you? Is it your intent to teach your child or neighbor that the only awareness important is by monetary awareness?

If so, extending further clarification would be as worthless as the $10 you are donating. Your money, void of the understanding, compassion and desire to be learn; to band together with our communities and the world for the benefit of research and a cure is lacking any value. 

Last night I was told, the purpose of this challenge was that you HAD to donate $10 along with dumping the ice water over your head. That if you could not donate $10, that you should not have accepted the challenge. So, I ask you this. If I were nominated by someone, and I did not have the $10, and I refused the challenge, what happens then? What happens to the next person who doesn’t have the $10 to donate, and is forced to refuse the challenge? THE AWARENESS STOPS. However, if we do the challenge, minus the $10, and nominate someone else, who nominates someone else, who donates $100 – what has happened? People who aren’t aware of the disease are learning about it, and money is donated toward the cause. THAT IS SPREADING AWARENESS. In every possible manner.

Since when do we only want someone’s help when money is involved? Since when do we not accept someone’s desire to help because they do not have money? What is that teaching our children and our society?  A cure is not going to be found because you blindly handed over money, instead of those who are investing their time and understanding. Awareness bears no cost, awareness is a desire to know, to learn and to share. That is priceless, it is a gift to the people who live with ALS, who fight ALS, and the families who strive every day to make one more person understand what ALS is.

For more information please visit http://www.alsa.org.

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