Date: July 09, 2011 09:00AM
For those who ask why my husband moved across the country...
Well, it was a mutual move by both parties. My husband and his ex got divorced in Arkansas. Ex had drawn up the papers herself, using a do it yourself kit, because they were broke. In retrospect, this was probably not the best idea, but I had no part in that decision. She awarded herself sole custody of the kids and a generous amount of child support and life insurance coverage. My husband agreed because she had him over a barrel and he was, frankly, beaten down by her abuse.
Ex then decided to move to Arizona. My husband is an Army officer and was originally sent to Kansas, but then got sent to the Pentagon, just in time for 9/11. The Army is his career and Ex knew that when she married him; in fact, her first husband had also been in the Army, albeit as an enlisted man. My husband did leave active duty for a few years at her behest, but was not able to support his family on the salary he made working at factories, which was the kind of work that was available where they were living, especially since the Ex and my husband had very different ideas about what their standard of living should/could be.
After they went through bankruptcy owing to Ex's massive medical bills and the money pit house the Ex decided she had to have, my husband decided to go back on active duty. It was the very best job offer he had at the time and he doesn't regret it. I'm sure Ex doesn't either, because it's allowed him to pay $2550 a month in child support for her three eldest kids-- including her son, whom my husband had, until recently, always regarded as his, though he never was legally. When I met my husband, he was living on $600 a month, paying the house note on the house that Ex got, alimony, and child support. The house later went into foreclosure.
My husband's ex wife also has a history of alienating children. She alienated her eldest child from his father when she married my husband. In retrospect, my husband probably should not have allowed the boy to call him "dad" and should have encouraged his ex wife to let the boy see his father. But hindsight is 20/20.
I married my husband in 2002 and saw the kids in 2003. We had a nice enough visit, except for the fact that the younger daughter (9 at the time) noticed that we had beer in our refrigerator. She slapped my husband across the face and chastised him for "getting drunk". But we talked to her about it and the situation resolved. They even got to talk to my husband's mom, who had been cut out of their world for years at that point. During that visit, my husband's older daughter even gave me a big hug and called me her other mother. After that visit, the alienation tactics escalated. My husband would call his kids and they wouldn't answer the phone. He tried to arrange visitation, but the ex would tell him they already had plans for whatever time period he requested. She also refused to consider putting them on a plane, citing her fear that they would die in a crash.
Believe me, I often encouraged my husband to take his ex wife to court and try to force her to let him have more visitation. But for the first few years of our marriage, we were pretty broke trying to recover from the financial damage that was done during the first marriage and paying child support. By the time our financial situation had stabilized somewhat, the kids were adolescents. Now, they are adults.
Their mother now has two young kids with her third husband. I hope he's been taking notes.
I don't expect all of you to understand this situation. People always try to tell me everything that I've done wrong. Honestly, in this case, I don't think there was much more I could do. I encouraged my husband to call his kids and go to court. At the beginning of the marriage, I hoped and expected the kids would visit. I even looked forward to getting to know them (I knew nothing about PAS at that time). But I do think it's too much to expect me to spend holidays with my husband's spiteful ex wife. They got divorced for a good reason. From what I've been able to observe, the Ex has a way of sucking everyone into her sphere and turning them into her pawns. Someone had to stay out of the vortex.
I love my husband very much. He is worth everything we've been through because he is one of the best men I've ever met. I am actually grateful that the ex dumped him, because he brings me a lot of joy. He could have brought the same joy to his daughters, given half a chance.
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2011 11:57AM by knotheadusc.