Doing "the right thing" can often feel very wrong

My kids have both talked to me about their mom lately.  She split from her husband of 3 years last November.  She moved 200 miles back to San Antonio to be closer to her kids, bought a house just a mile away, and filed for divorce.

She said she wanted to be closer to the kids, and told me, in front of the kids and others how her husband had “hit her”.  Even before hearing this the kids never like him.  He is very much different from me, which is probably most of the appeal to my ex.  He has long wavy hair, rides a Harley and is a blue collar worker (when he is working at all).

I have short hair, ride a BMW and when I am not working as a full-time employee I am consulting – I’m not on unemployment…

So when the kids come to me and each express their concern about having to spend time with my ex’s ex-ex (they have gotten back together) my first thought is to agree with them – but that’s not the right thing to teach my kids.

My ex is making her own decisions, I am not involved in them, and don’t want to be.  There are no thoughts of reconciliation or anything on my part – I realized again when she moved back why we split up.  I want her to be a part of her kid’s lives, but not mine.  Not any more than she has to be.

But my kids were basically asking me to validate them cutting their mom out of their lives because they don’t like (and that is putting it mildly) my ex’s “new” husband.

To my knowledge he has never mistreated my kids (he actually gave my son a pickup truck, so he isn’t a complete ass).  But my ex set a very low expectation of him with my kids when she described how he abused her, went to jail for it, etc, etc.  And then took him back.

I can’t force my ex to set correct examples for my kids – I can only do my part to make sure I am setting the right examples.

So when my kids expressed concern about him I did what I felt was unnatural – I asked them to give him another chance.

I don’t like the guy either – we probably wouldn’t enjoy sharing a beer – but I do want my kids to have a mother in their life – and if that includes having him in their lives as well (and as long as I am assured they are safe in that environment) I can’t discourage them from seeing their mother.  It’s just too damn important to have two involved parents.

Anyway, for those of you coming here to read tech stuff, or hoping to find video of Steve Irwin dying (losers), my apologies for the personal posts… but it’s a personal blog.



  1. I dunno. I guess it is an emotional response. I am sure it probably is. But I don’t understand it.

    All I know is that it just “didn’t feel right” encouraging my kids to maintain this relationship with my ex’s almost ex, new not ex. Or something like that.

    I am sure it is basically a “turf” issue – like why dogs pee on everything in sight, making sure other dogs know they were there. I suppose at some level I just resent the competition, however flawed I consider it to be…


  2. Why does it feel wrong? Why not say it that way to the kids? I don’t always get to choose who I work with but I need that job … life is like that sometimes. Learning how to get along with people of all sorts is a prized skill that will serve them well with Mom and in life…