I thought it allowed a couple to split up and go their separate ways, when their are children there are shared responsibilities.
Yet despite having had divorce go through the court and financial settlement I don't feel divorced at all.
Yes we live in separate places. But she has trained the children to not accept that it is ok to stay with me. Initially fine, I was sharing a house so just had 1 room. So I moved nearer them in September to a 1 bed flat at more than double the monthly cost. They still don't want to stay with me, yet give no particular reason. So everytime I see them it is invariably just a few hours round my place then take them home. Then, in December they moved even closer to me - now a 7 min walk away and for one reason or another as I am closer it is "can you come round and help with homework" - ok fine I am ok with that - to "while you are here can you fix this" - errr ok then - now it has become "Mum isn't feeling well can you make dinner here" - errr no I will take you home and feed you. Except that the eldest (16yr old) has a lot of homework and wants to stay in her own room to do it in so won't come to my place to eat. Sometimes I take the other 2 and bring back some cooked food for her, other times she just cooks something quick for herself, well it used to be like that, now the younger two refuse to leave the house once they are there. So in the past couple of weeks or so I ended up cooking the occassional meal at the weekend or evening round their place.
Ex is not well so understandable she will need some support but shouldn't she have built up her own support network rather than getting the kids to depend on me? Her illness gets worse with stress, separately from this she can't manage on the maintenance money and is hassling me for more. When the condition kicks in with the stress she calls an ambulance and gets taken to A&E. A few episodes of this since December (just as they were moving) meant I had to take days of work to help them move, get settled etc and then to drop/pickup kids from school. As I work on freelance I don't get paid on those days where I do not work. She has been told by doc to manage her stress but she seems to think that is a licence for her to say what she wants and for me to just say "yes". Err I divorced you becuase I couldn't meet those demands I ain't going to meet them now.
So things came to head after she felt really faint on Thursday and I put all my spare time that day and the weekend to help them out, including cooking for them at their place and some ironing. And It was a one off I thought. Big mistake. My freelance work happened to finish on Friday and so for Monday I said I am not working for a week or so I can do the school run. Which I did. "I am not well can you feed kids", ok they can come to my place. "No we don't want to, we just want to be at home". So I cook at their place, whilst cooking I was asked if I can stay to do the ironing. No, I gave up my weekend and I have my own things to attend to. I left.
They didn't like that. Big arguments followed by SMS, then my eldest called to say the stress had kicked off the condition again can I come back. I went back and I said to ex shall I call ambulance, she said "no". OK then you need to stay calm and the symptoms will go. But it seems that she and the eldest wanted to have an argument instead saying I had let kids down and then saying it is normal for the ex husband to help out when the wife is unwell. So it was about the ironing then I challenged, is the ironing so important, the kids won't suffer if it is skipped. "Yes it is important" they said they can't manage without it. I am not your domestic helper you need to find a way to manage or pay for some help, I said, adding that I had things of my own and my own place to attend to. Then a big outpouring follows of how I am not meeting kids needs and that other ex husbands are better - well fine maybe they are if they can get on but I can't get on with her.
Clearly I was not helping by staying and with a non molestation order hanging over my head too from the FMH I decided it was best to leave even though kids are in tears by now.
Since then I have had a stream of abusive texts saying I am not meeting kids' needs when she is not well. My reply is that if they need looking after they can come to me where I live. I was just told that the kids think my place is a "pit" so don't want to be here - this is after the eldest helped choose it. Then more abusing texts demanding an apology to her and the kids. Not sure what I am supposed to apologise for, I asked and was told for making the kids feel unimportant. So she has brought them up to believe that if Dad doesn't come to their place and iron on demand then they are unimportant.
So the next step will be how many weeks of "sorry kids don't want to come out today"?
So that's why I don't feel divorced, they seem to think I am still tied to them.
Has anyone else experienced this? Do I have the wrong expectations of what being divorced means?