nickles and dimes

August 8, 2008 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

i have never been the “bitch ex-wife”. i bend over backwards to ensure my daughter sees a positive relationship between her parents and i like to think that in many ways so my does my ex-husband. he’s a good dad. a good person. we’re complete opposites and there are plenty of things about him that i find irritating and disagree with but i try to keep my opinion out of it.

the biggest bone of contention between us is one of the same that plagued our marriage ~ money. though we have a child-support amount in our divorce papers, it was not court ordered, it’s never had to be enforced and it’s about as bare bones basic as you can get. he gives me half of daycare (after school care now that she’s older), half of health insurance that i supply and half of the theme park annual passes that still come out of my account. most of the time, bumps along the way get split; doctor’s visits, extra-curricular activity fees, birthday party expenses. but i don’t always ask. up until a few months ago i made more money than he did so i let things slide. and honestly, bringing up money with him is such a sore subject that i’d rather pay for a little more and save myself the grief. choose my battles and keep the peace.

but every so often my ex gets a hair up his a$$ and starts demanding numbers. “how much is daycare during the school year versus the summer months and holidays?” “what exactly do you pay in insurance?” i fully admit that he has every right to know. it’s his money and it’s going through me to pay for his daughter and nothing more. but when he starts, it bothers me. instantly puts me on the defensive. i feel this underlying accusation that says “i want proof that you’re not abusing my money”. it’s not like we haven’t sat down and gone over the same numbers time and time again. i haven’t recently asked for more and god knows cost of living isn’t decreasing over time.

in addition to what he doesn’t realize he doesn’t pay, he benefits in other ways. rent on his townhouse is well below market. it’s one of a couple my mom owns and i manage. really it’s a win-win for everyone since he gets a deal and we get a trustworthy tenant but it’s just another place he saves a few bucks. and when it comes to clothes, i can likely count on one hand the items he’s bought her in the past year. though he justifies that by claiming his mom adds to her wardrobe on a regular basis … yeah, so does mine but when last year’s jeans are a little too snug or a cool florida winter means a new coat, i don’t go calling mommy nor my ex.

what’s stupid is that none of this is big-money. it’s miniscule amounts that really don’t matter. our current salaries are comporable, both of us are well above the poverty level and our daughter wants for very little.

i’m not sure why it upsets me. and i don’t mean just a little bit either. it flat out pisses-me-off-sends-me-over-the-edge-ready-to-bite-someones-head-off upsets me. it’s silly really. and if i would just take a deep breath, write the figures down again, and smile while i do it, he’d probably shut-up about money for another few months. but his pettiness makes me want to show him what he doesn’t do. makes me want to mirror the miser and demand he save and show me every receipt for clothing or extra school supplies and compare them to mine. i cringe at the thought of stooping to his penny pinching level.

see a penny pick it up. all day long you’ll have good luck.

can i get a receipt for that?

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Entry filed under: divorce and co-parenting, relationships. Tags: , , .

now is the summer of my discontent a strike for katey

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