A Family Man

You’re going to crack up when I tell you this. When I met The Ex, I thought that I had met a family man. Someone that appreciated their family and enjoyed spending time with them as much as I did.

In my defense, which I find myself saying often, our first date was a double-date with his mother and her fiancé. Within a week I was introduced to his father and step-mother.  In fact, throughout our courtship and early years, we spent quite a bit of time with his family. His parents had divorced only a short time before we started dating, so he was still dealing with trying to please everyone. If we spent time with his mother, we had to spend time with his father, and vice versa.

I can look back over the years and identify various events that contributed to the decline in his relationship with his family. His father was an alcoholic.  His mother was emotional and dealing with her own issues.  There was also the fact that he enlisted them into some of his elaborate lies to hide his gambling addiction, and left them stuck with some pretty hefty bills.  There was disillusionment on all sides.

And since I don’t have much of a relationship with my father, I can truthfully say that I get it.  I, however, am at least cordial to my father. I wouldn’t, let’s say, completely ignore him at my kids’ soccer game if he happened to drive two hours into town to watch. Which he won’t, but we’ll save that for a different post.  This post is about this weekend and what did happen, not what didn’t happen.

About two weeks ago, I emailed the boys soccer schedule to our family members, both active (my mom and sister) and inactive (pretty much everyone else). Hope never dies. On Thursday, I received a text from my ex-mother-in-law saying that they were driving to town for the game.  You see?  Never give up hope.

I haven’t spoken to my mother-in-law in almost a year. There are various reasons, but most of all, it was a tough year for me and I chose to distance myself from all things ex-related. (The teenager in my head is giggling because that sounds like x-rated. Tee hee hee.)  I know that she was hurt, and I don’t blame her.  Her son doesn’t make any attempt to keep her connected to her grandchildren.  I was the last straw.

Since the game wasn’t until 3:00, I offered to let her pick up the kids before that to spend time with them. She was thrilled.  The kids not so much, but I am still a huge believer in family, so they were going to have to suck it up.

When The Ex flipped personalities (or strategies) and called Friday night to chitchat about the kids, I mentioned that his mom was coming in town to see the game. “Okay, cool.”  I fully expected that he would contact her and they would make plans for lunch as one big happy family.  I didn’t ask my ex-mother-in-law when we made the plans, nor when she picked up the boys.  That would be awkward.  It wasn’t really my business.  That is her son.  These are his children.  Besides, this whole deal simply meant that I got to show up at game time instead of 45 minutes early and I didn’t have to yell, “Hurry up and put those cleats on!  You’re stinking up my whole car!”

I showed up at the game about a minute after it started.  I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant to see the big happy family together.  Knowing it’s going to happen and seeing it are two entirely different things.  One allows for denial.  The one that I like, that is.

I also thought that The Ex might try to include me in the happy family festivities, since his last text the night before (when he admitted defeat) was, “At least this is behind us, so maybe we can get along better now.”  You see, every time he asks for money, I point out that our situation is dysfunctional and that we will NEVER get along, so long as he continues to ask me to fund his new life with his new girlfriend.  You know, since he left me for greener pastures and all.  Yep, I pretty much take offense to the very thought of it.  And, in my opinion, it’s not exactly “behind us” until he makes it at least a good six months or more without asking me for money.  Or at least until the conversation has been over for more than 5 minutes.  I’m just saying.

Anyway, I was surprised to find the ex-in-laws sitting alone at the game.  Before I set up my chairs, I scanned the area for The Ex.  I spotted the Wonder Couple in their usual position on the other side of the field next to the players’ bench, away from all of the parents and, more specifically, me.  Hmmm…that’s weird.  I know I told him that his mother was going to be here.  Some time around halftime, his mother said to me, “Is he here?  Does he come to their games?”

Awkward.  Um, yeah.  He’s over there.

After the game, before I had even packed my folding chairs into their sleeves, I noticed that The Ex and his girlfriend had disappeared.  They did not wait around to talk to the boys, nor did they make any attempt to speak to his mother.

Y’all, I have no words.  Okay, that’s not true.  I have a lot of words.  Let’s just say that I’m dumbstruck.  What happened to this guy?  Has he changed this much since I met him?  Going from the guy that takes a girl on a first date with his mother to not even speaking to her at his sons’ soccer game?  Or was that first few years just an act and this is the real him?  I understand that his relationship with her is probably strained, considering the number of times that he has “borrowed” money from her and the fact that she likes to tell him that Satan is controlling him, but he couldn’t find the time to say “hello?”  Unbelievable.

Later that evening I got a text from my ex-mother-in-law warning me that The Ex was mad and on the war path.  Not only did he not speak to her, it was apparently her fault.  Or my fault.  Definitely not his fault.

He’s such a family man.


  1. Linda de Laater says:

    I can so relate to your post.. my Ex doesnt have that good of a connection with his parents as well. Yeah only when he needs money and his mother, she’s a bit weird but basicly a good person, she’s so desperate to have him in her life that she will get him everything he wants.. and he’s happy to take advantage of that.

    I have tried talking to her about it and all she says is, I just want him to be happy. He’s just being spoiled by her never ending funds.. In a way I can understand that she’s desperately trying to hang on to something that’s not there and never will be, so why settle for that, I did that for years and it made me very unhappy.

  2. This just let’s you see where the guy is in life. Your mom is the safety valve, no matter how bad she gets on your nerves get in your business you never want to distance yourself from your mom. I mean I have seen some bad people in the world, but if you talk to their mother they were great people and miss understood and this is not the person they are. Its pretty said, when the door is closed on that relationship. But this again is another example of a person who is not a good person. Kids will grow to have disagreements with parents, but the simple fact that they put food in your mouth, cloths on your back, a room to call your own and got you to adulthood, trumps all BS that you may have in life with them as an adult!!! Nothing should be shocking anyone about this person. Other than him completely changing is life. Now that would be shocking! Much luck stronger!

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