Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unwanted Visitors

So it's nearly half term, which means that Ex is coming to the UK to spend the week with the boys.

This should be a good thing.  A break for me.  Some much needed bonding time for them.  But I am dreading it.

You see, the arrangement we have - that I suggested in fact, way back when I was ensconced in Chicago and would just about promise anything to get home - is that when Ex comes to visit his sons, he stays in my house and I move out for the duration of the visit.

As well as being a much more homely environment for the boys to chill out with their dad, it also reduces his expenses and makes it more affordable for him to visit them more frequently.

Oh, it all seemed so obvious and doable when I was in Chicago.  And I know, in my heart of hearts, it is in the boys best interests.


Now I am here and it's MY home...I must be honest, I really don't want my Ex anywhere near it, not least have it tarnished with him sleeping in my bed, sitting on my sofa, shitting in my toilet, blowing his nose while using my shower, using my pots and pans and generally making himself at home in my space.  What on earth was I thinking to even suggest such a thing?

What's worse, on this visit he is being accompanied by his girlfriend and they are going to be sharing my bed together.  Therefore the amber alert potential of his early morning wank has graduated to the full blown red alert threat of their multiple orgasmic shags - the thought of which almost makes me want to move out...and never come back.

To be honest, it isn't really that my home (and new sheets!) are going to be sullied by his (or her) presence.  It's just that I hadn't really considered what a pain in the arse it would be to move out for a weekend/week once or twice a month.  It means that the break that I crave, from single-handedly looking after the boys 100% of the time, day and night, doesn't really materialise.

I don't have the money to pay for a hotel and am very lucky to have a very generous friend who allows me to stay over with her and her daughter.  But it's not the same as being able to relax at home.

However, my main bone of contention is my suspicion that my Ex spends his visit judging my house and how I live.  I just can't stand the fact that he is probably turning his nose up at my dinky little house with its shabby little fixtures.  He has made it very obvious that he expects much more than this for himself and his girlfriend when he finally moves over.  The last time he visited (only 2 weeks ago) I spent two whole days doing my best Mrs Mop impression, cleaning the house from top to bottom, so it would supposedly meet his expectations.  Don't ask me why I did this.  There is no sane explanation.  The need to win his approval is one that I constantly feel I am fighting a losing battle with.  I could climb Mt Everest in a swimsuit and a pair of ballet shoes and you can bet your bottom dollar he would fail to be impressed.  So WHY I even bother would be a sure-fire question for my therapist (if I had one).

On the aeroplane home he wrote me an email entitled 'Your house...your rules ;-)' and then proceeded to give me a list of child proofing recommendations.  Far be it from him to keep his opinions on where I am slacking to himself, obviously.

It's only four more days till his arrival and, already, I am edgy.  I don't want to see him.  I don't want to see her.  I don't want to leave my home.  The boys, needless to say, are counting their sleeps till their dad arrives and are breathless with excitement at the thought of spending six days with him.  They deserve to have a lovely, relaxing, fun time with their dad - and I will continue to do whatever I have to do to make that happen.  But it's not an ideal solution.  Not for me, anyway.  Far from it.

As I sit here in my cheery little kitchen, watching the clock hands tick slowly round to school pick up time, I can see a couple of small coffee stains on the work surfaces, flecks of mud on the floor, a fine layer of light dust on the table in the living room.

I am itching to clean it.

Desperate to whizz around the place like a maniacal housewife, armed with dusters, cloths and the ever faithful Mr Pledge before vacuuming every speck, hair and feather that I come across.

But I am not going to.

I am going to resist the urge to clean this time, even though I think it might induce a panic-attack.  So what if he (or she) thinks the place is a mess?  So bloody what?  As if their opinion counts anyway.  In fact, while I am at it, I might go one better.  Just before they arrive I could scatter the contents of the bathroom bin over the floors, just to give that truly lived in vibe.  Then, to test their nosy natures, I should fill my bedside table with all manner of dildos, butt plugs, handcuffs and toys of a dubious sexual nature, along with a selection of half used lubes and a well thumbed selection of erotic fiction.  (That would make a slight change from the box of spare light bulbs and half used Vicks Sinex that currently lives there...)

Or not.

To clean or not to clean...?  That is the question.

Oh, look at the time - better get myself out in to the rain and on with the school run.  The cleaning can wait.

Till tomorrow at least.


  1. This is a difficult one. At first I was thinking it might be worth the inconvenience for the sake of your boys' happiness, and perhaps it is, but then I tried to imagine doing the same for my ex....and then I realised that I wouldn't want to do it either.

    Is there any way they can stay somewhere local? Do you have any friends who could put them up for their stay? I don't know what the answer is, but perhaps he will realise it's not working out next time he comes and has to step over your used cotton wool pads and empty toilet rolls. We can but hope xx

  2. Oh GOD, woman. I understand why you did this, but OH GOD. I would die. And I don't even have as many unresolved emotions about my Ex and his GF as you still do about yours, so I can only imagine how much worse it must be for you.

    I am sending major virtual hugs. And yeah--don't clean up for them. Maybe it'll drive him so batty he'll decide, for himself, that this just isn't working out....

  3. It is really difficult - if I was the girlfriend, I would hate to stay in your house, I couldn't think of anything worse. Plus I'd be worried if I messed anything up.

    But she's probably thinking the same thing, it's worth it for the boys.

    Hang in there, when your ex has moved back he won't have to do it any more.

    And run the hoover round, spray a bit of polish but don't go crazy - you'll just have to do it all again when they leave.

    Hope you can treat yourself to something nice this weekend and focus on that (and remind yourself of what a great Mum you are!)


  4. Seems to me he's taking advantage of your very kind offer - surely it would make more sense for them to stay somewhere else and take the boys out for the day......in any case, I think it's horrible of him to criticise your home. How would he react if you said that the arrangement really wasn't working out for you.....?

  5. I agree with Calif Lorna, if I were the girlfriend, I would hate this and INSIST on staying at the little hotel just a few paces up the road.
    My house is as always, available to you for as long as you need.
    For us it is a joy having you.
    But I completely understand about wanting to have time off in your own home.
    So I say, to hell with the cleaning, show them where the mop and bucket are and leave them to it!

  6. wow. and wow some more. I completely understand why you made the offer but that is just not a sustainable solution.

    While staying in their own home might be the most relaxing for the boys, millions of kids come from split families and they share their time between different locations. Surely your ex could look into a furnished weekly let or self catering place - it would be a mini holiday of sorts for the boys. A static caravan even - the boys would love that! He wouldn't but I think I'd be inclined to say: tough.

    Yes it would be more expensive for him, but is that really your problem? Personally I think you have been incredibly understanding through out the whole break up and there's no way you should have to leave your house for him. Would he do the same for you?

    Sorry. mini rant over. You are a kind and lovely person and I am just a cow. Don't think I'd manage an amicable divorce.

  7. Wow. You are like a saint. That is one amazing arrangement which I'm sure is great for your boys so really all credit to you, but SO hard for you! As for the cleaning, you definitely shouldn't do it for them if you wouldn't do it for yourself right now. And doing it for your boys is really not necessary. Which little boy notices a coffee stain or a bit of dust? Only, I had this thought - what if it makes you feel stronger if you do? It's a bit like going to the hairdressers or tidying up superfluous facial hair before seeing that horrible boss you don't get on with or a difficult cousin. Pretty hair makes you stronger. Perhaps a pretty house does, too? But then again, it would involve effort... Can you tie some cloths to your boys and have them play on the floor?

  8. If you can do it in such as a way as to avoid him thinking you're neglecting the boys in favour of toy boys, I'd suggest leaving lingerie, sex toys and other items that suggest you are getting more sex than you ever had during the whole of your marriage.

    And they're staying in YOUR house. If they don't like the housekeeping, let them find somewhere else to stay. He doesn't get editorial status at this point.

    A bitter divorcée? MOI???

  9. OMG! You are a mirror of my mind. I feel for you, I really do. It's never over is it? The need for their approval, I mean. You just want him to think the best of you and he still criticises and it still hurts - that's how it is for me anyway. But why should it matter so much when we are no longer even together.

    I was just thinking a month back that when I do move back, I would let him stay at my place and I'd move out so that he could have time with the kids and not have to worry about anything else. Now after reading your post, of course I'll think twice about that. Thankyou for sharing your journey. I know now what I have to look forward to and what pitfalls to watch out for.

    Big hugs.


  10. Oh my goodness, I can't imagine anything worse, you really do deserve a medal. I think you've got to find a way to try and stop this just not sure how. Sorry I can't help. x

  11. Oh my goodness, I can see why you are in a tizz. But no, don't clean for him. Don't do anything for him. He isn't worth it and doesn't deserve it. And you absolutely do not need his approval to live your life in the way you choose to - anymore than he seems to have given any consideration to you approving his way of living.

    But urgh, the thought of them in your bed. Is there any way you could pick up a cheap - even secondhand! - mattress and bedlinen and swap it over before he comes to stay? You could even tell him you've done it for hygiene reasons (now where's the evil grin smiley when you want it?!)

  12. Wow, what a complicated situation. One thing that shines through is just how much you are doing to make this work for your children. What an amazing mother you are.

    Also, I think you left a comment about having coffee on my blog but I'm not sure because the blogger profile for Nicola was blocked. If that's you then pleae email me at findmynewnormal@gmail.com. If it's not you then my search continues.

  13. wow, sounds awful. Very good of you, easy for them (though surely a bit weird for them too?) and wonderful for the boys, but still.

    I like the bedside drawer idea. Maybe stick some aftershave and a used razor and spare toothbrush in the bathroom too, just to keep them guessing?!

  14. Everest in ballet shoes! (we're talking the mountain, or selling the double glazing?)

  15. I thought it was all very decent and good, possibly heroic of you UNTIL I read he was bringing AG.
    That is so out of order of your Ex I can't fucking believe it.
    And I'm not saying that(well, not chiefly) because it's so insensitive to youand grossly indecently insensitive, which of course it is, .
    But he's coming for ONE MEASLY WEEK to see his children and he's bringing the INTERLOPER.
    Has he seriously got no sense in his stupid head? Does he think that his kids are morons, or something? That they will not see her as an impediment to their access to their dad, and this woman, no matter how nice she might actually be, as the person who is in the way of their parents being together and/or the cause of their mother's distress.
    Please send him a copy of that book I wrote about on my blog immediately because he really doesn't deserve the kindness you are showing him and he seriously needs to reconsider his monumental selfishness and stupidity. And,I'm repeating, NOT because he's a tosspot to you but because HE is not thinking about his kids and what they're going through.
    Also, you don't have to give up your house for him. If he wants to see his boys, let him find friends or find a hotel or do a houseswap. If he can afford to swan off to Miami with his amour then he can afford a week at a B&B and come round to your house to hang out with his children, without his girlfriend.
    Sorry if I'm being a ranty pants and projecting my own emotions too much into this, but I think this too much to bear for your sons and for you.
    good luck and be brave.

  16. This is not good. I agree that the sentiment is right and I did that initially with my ex but we were still in our "joint" house. This is your space and it should be your sanctuary. Also in the end clearer for your boys. BUT it's difficult because of the distance. I think you should start to mention that it's not going to work long term and that u both need to discuss other options - on the basis that frankly u can't afford to move out. Also put your foot down about the GF. Say she can't stay in your house. Not acceptable. Not what the boys need either. That is confusing I think. Perhaps that's the answer - because if he wants to bring her thats up to him and he'll have to sort something else. What sort of woman is happy to stay with her boyfriend in his ex wife's house? That's just weird. I wouldn't do that. When r we having coffee? Lx