September 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm 4 comments

up until a few months ago, my ex-husband and i had a decent relationship. in spite of our many MANY differences we’d managed to put aside most for the sake of raising our daughter. but over time i’ve come to realize that, much like in our marriage, it is i who do most of the sacrificing. little thing mostly. things that, though not ideal to me, myself and i, benefit my daughter so there’s no second questioning that i simply do for her. i firmly believe that when i became a mom, i no longer came first in my life and i always put my daughter first. but lately i find myself wondering more and more if i ever get to at least come second.

one of the biggest sacrifices i’ve made is staying in florida. i do not belong here. i am a new englander at heart. a yankee girl. i hate the beach. miss seasons and rolling hills. and, quite honestly, think florida is in no way esthetically attractive. my daughter has never gone sledding. played in a pile of fall leaves. or built a snowman. and it angers me to think she’ll never have those childhood memories. but what makes me even more angry is that we were never supposed to be back here. ever. when my ex and i were dating, work was going to take him to mississippi for three years. my plan after graduation was to get out of florida quick but of all the places i considered moving biloxi wasn’t exactly top of the list. so we made a deal. i’d go to mississippi for those three years but after that i’d get to choose what would ultimately end up becoming home.

having grown up in DC, moving to tampa was a hard enough adjustment but from tampa to biloxi was pure culture shock. or maybe i should say “lack of culture” shock because that is exactly what i found there. i had nothing. no hobbies. few friends. no theater or museums or restaurants beyond the likes of al’s crab shack or casino buffets. we got married. i got depressed. gained weight. hated my job. hated my life. hated my husband. but i counted down the months, weeks, days until i knew we would leave and i would come alive again. but as we neared oct. 3, 2000, a day clearly marked in my mind and on my calendar, my ex started to waiver and question every place i was considering. “we don’t know people in san antonio”. “we don’t have jobs in boston”. “we’d be so far from family in colorado.” he had an excuse for everything and everywhere. and what was even worse is that he had come to like there and suggested we not move. basically it came down to me having three choices; i could stay in mississippi (not an option), leave my husband with my five month old daughter (something i sometimes wish i had) or come back to tampa since we knew people and places. obviously i chose door number three and i’ve resented him for it ever since. it was less than a year later we split up. the distance between us far greater than it would have been had he simply stayed in rebel-hell.

over the years i’ve sucked it up. even after he teased me with the invite to move a couple years back. not move “together” but to relocate together as co-parents someplace better for us all. truth be told, he admitted, he isn’t a big fan of florida either. but, as i think was part of the reason back then, he backed out again out of fear of the unknown. where i believe in myself and know i’ll succeed wherever i go, he needs security and will take contentedness over happiness if it means not having to take risks. but then a few months ago everything changed for him. his company contract came to an end and he was offered a new position with the new contractor ~ with a promotion and substantial raise. seven years of stability was laid before him and i silently cursed it knowing what that meant for me. it could have stayed that way. silent. sacrifice. until he decided to gloat one night and throw it in my face. i know he didn’t mean to. he was excited. happy for himself. but when i ~ very nicely mind you ~ expressed the hurt he caused me he literally raged with anger and curse words that did damage i can’t seem to let go.

i now no longer talk to him unless it pertains to sab. i can’t stand to be around him or even hear his voice. things we used to do together as a “family unit” i now refuse to even consider. i hate him more now than the day i sat on the couch telling him i wanted a divorce. sab sees it. knows something wrong with the fact he now waits in the car rather than coming in the house. that i hand her the phone when his name comes up on screen rather than answering it myself. a part of me says i should be the mature one ~ again. that i should suck it up ~ again. but where does this end? i have no problem sacrificing for my daughter but when do i get to stop unwillingly sacrificing for my ex husband?


Entry filed under: 30-something single, divorce and co-parenting, life, parenting, random, relationships. Tags: , , , , , , , .

eight miles high! little jillian

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kitkat1126  |  September 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I’m not a Mom myself yet, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. (But, I am saying it from the viewpoint of a child of divorced parents.)

    I think Moms sometimes need to put themselves first. They need to give to themselves as much as they give to others.

    My Mom was a role model to me for my entire life. Seeing her happy, active, and enjoying life is what taught me to do the same.

    After my parent’s got divorced my father moved to Baltimore (about 4 hours away from us). They had made the decision together on purpose. They didn’t want to be in the same area because they knew that by facing each other that often – we would begin to see the hurt, the anger, and all the other emotions they tried to hide from us. My Mom especially asked that we never “hate or blame our Dad”.

    I saw my Mom as a strong woman and I watched her move on with her life. I saw my Dad move on with his, and while he was a 4 hour drive away – he would always spend one weekend a month with all of us and my Mom would spend that weekend away keeping us all out of the moments they had to spend together. They were more than fine the times we had to get together and truthfully it just made it so much easier on all of us.

    One thing my Mom did do though was put us first too often. She rarely dated, she spent too much money on us, and she would chauffer us around. I really truly wish she had put herself first. She stayed in the town my father originally picked for us, that she hated, because she thought it would be too hard on us to make a change and start over in another place or another house after already dealing with the change from our family breaking up.

    But honestly, I wish she had let herself spend Saturday nights with her friends, or let herself fall in love instead of turning down so many opportunities. I wish she had moved us to a place that was better for her (New England where all her family is instead of a ritzy town in NY) or even to a new house so she wasn’t haunted daily by those memories. It’s almost like because my Father moved so far away she was sacrificing herself and what she wanted for us. But I felt guilty at times and I feel guilty now that she is stuck in this large house still in our hometown, without a love life or a great friend base there. (She has many friends and family she sees every weekend in New England but job wise now after so many years she is stuck in NY.)

    I know so many people will disagree with me here and say that you have to put your kids first and it’s selfish not to. But as a daughter, I disagree. If you don’t put yourself first, your kids don’t get the best, most healthy version of you. I cherished certain times I had with my mom – bed time stories every night or our ritual Saturday night dinners at Friendly’s where we always got grilled cheese and sundaes and she listed to my 6th grade gossip. But those memories wouldn’t be any different had she allowed her own wants to become reality.

    It’s obvious you’re already an amazing role model and Mom to Sab so no matter where you end up, I don’t think that will change. But maybe making certain changes is worth thinking more about.

    • 2. becelisa  |  September 28, 2010 at 8:15 am

      kat ~ i think in some ways you are so right and i struggle with this on a daily basis. i think if i was miserable i wouldn’t hesitate. but i can survive it here. i’ve got a good job and great friends. so i’m not completely unhappy. i’m just not completely happy. i fully intend to leave florida the minute sab goes off to college. but it tears me up inside to realize that by that point i will have sacrificed 20+ years for my ex. the time in mississippi and the time back here. when doe he have to sacrifice for me? if i were to pick up and move would he follow? am i willing to take that risk and take my daughter away from a guy who in all honesty is a good dad?

      funny thing … last night we were at home and sab asked me if i were to decide to move to boston would we be able to or would i have to go to court to get daddy to let us. it was in no way a solicited question and it surprised me especially given the fact that i wrote this yesterday. i don’t know if she senses my unhappiness and knows i want to be somewhere else or if she really wants to move too.

      it’s so hard. i know i need to ensure i’m ok but first priority will always be her happiness and security and i’m not sure where the balance is.

  • 3. brianscamaro  |  September 27, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Well I do the same! I do for my baby girls and not for my ex-Wife. I can’t leave my girls, I couldn’t live with myself that I leave them so I don’t have to deal with the Ex! But we have to run that fine line to make us happy and our kids! It’s so hard, but to be strong and overcome will show over time! Best of luck!

  • 4. Paul Monday  |  October 12, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Hmmm, I’m not a big fan of the put yourself first advice.

    I think from my perspective …

    a) don’t overthink it
    b) don’t put “yourself” first, put “your family” first and your family is you and your daughter, put your ex last … you are doing a good job, keep it business but sometimes business involves negotiation
    c) make sure there is balance in your life, sometimes putting your family first means going for that run by yourself or going out at night (something I don’t do very well 😦
    d) be patient but persistent and focused, if you want to get out of Florida, then do it … but be persistent and goal oriented
    e) be careful what you ask for … do you share custody now? are you ready for weeks / months without “shared” custody? do you have a support system where you are going? I frequently go a month or more with custody … it is very, very difficult but rewarding … but damn … it is expensive for care and hard to handle everything.
    f) there is no clear “right” and “wrong” as long as you are doing the best you can and making choices with a clear head
    g) (and this is longer than I thought it would be) don’t expose your daughter to thinks that aren’t “done” deals unless you really do want input and are willing to live by it …

    Just my thought. Set a goal, make a plan … but then, I’m a little spoiled with more custody than most 😉

    Hang in there, the less you let him bother you the less interested he will be in bothering you. It’s a guy thing.


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