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When my wife and I separated (almost 2 months - and 1 month since she moved out), it was fairly amicable. Then, I learned about her PA which ended 3 years ago (for 3 years, she let me think it was an EA). After that, my trust of ANYTHING she says or has said over the past few years went to absolute zero. In addition, since she moved out - she seems to be playing the role of tragic, unappreciated wife/mother - while actively dating - and has been making the establishment of a parenting plan as difficult as possible using her passive agressive streak. I am essentially the principle parent, with our two daughters (14 and 11) spending at least 80% of the time with me (my wife has them at her place every other weekend. In addition, every other week my wife picks them up after their activities, feeds them, then brings them back to me for bedtime). Yet my wife still claims she would like them 50% of the time... or more (which is a lie on her part).

We cannot talk or even email each other without getting toxic. I try to focus on just the best interests of the kids when dealing with my wife, but my anger and mistrust always makes me think of the ulterior motives behind her unilateral changes or requests to our parenting plans. She never does anything without HER in mind. (Our 25th anniversary would have been this coming Thursday.)

In the meantime, I am very concerned that my wife is going to ask for more access going forward after she "finds herself", even though my kids do not like staying at her place (they LOVE my wife, but she has a one bedroom condo - they have no space to call their own). I was used for the past 4 - 5 years while my wife was cake eating. Don't want it to happen again. So I have asked our mediator to formalize whatever we agree to asap - but my wife keeps saying "ohhh, we have to give the kids time to adjust" - meaning we have to give my wife time to adjust.

Is this typical? Should I expect it to get better? What can I do to make it better? Is it my anger and mistrust preventing cooperation? I just want to formalize a plan and move on - this limbo sucks. Are my expectations about formulating a parenting plan asap unrealistic? I want to be able to deal with my wife, about the kids, without it turning into a fight.
 

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When my wife and I separated (almost 2 months - and 1 month since she moved out), it was fairly amicable. Then, I learned about her PA which ended 3 years ago (for 3 years, she let me think it was an EA). After that, my trust of ANYTHING she says or has said over the past few years went to absolute zero. In addition, since she moved out - she seems to be playing the role of tragic, unappreciated wife/mother - while actively dating - and has been making the establishment of a parenting plan as difficult as possible using her passive agressive streak. I am essentially the principle parent, with our two daughters (14 and 11) spending at least 80% of the time with me (my wife has them at her place every other weekend. In addition, every other week my wife picks them up after their activities, feeds them, then brings them back to me for bedtime). Yet my wife still claims she would like them 50% of the time... or more (which is a lie on her part).

We cannot talk or even email each other without getting toxic. I try to focus on just the best interests of the kids when dealing with my wife, but my anger and mistrust always makes me think of the ulterior motives behind her unilateral changes or requests to our parenting plans. She never does anything without HER in mind. (Our 25th anniversary would have been this coming Thursday.)

In the meantime, I am very concerned that my wife is going to ask for more access going forward after she "finds herself", even though my kids do not like staying at her place (they LOVE my wife, but she has a one bedroom condo - they have no space to call their own). I was used for the past 4 - 5 years while my wife was cake eating. Don't want it to happen again. So I have asked our mediator to formalize whatever we agree to asap - but my wife keeps saying "ohhh, we have to give the kids time to adjust" - meaning we have to give my wife time to adjust.

Is this typical? Should I expect it to get better? What can I do to make it better? Is it my anger and mistrust preventing cooperation? I just want to formalize a plan and move on - this limbo sucks. Are my expectations about formulating a parenting plan asap unrealistic? I want to be able to deal with my wife, about the kids, without it turning into a fight.

Not sure how it works in your state but both parents have to have "space" for the kids when they visit. I would think that a 2 bedroom would be a requirement for her to have the kids overnight. I know you dont want her to be able to do that anymore so maybe you'd just be happier if she stayed in the 1 bedroom and didnt have a place for them. Just throwing it out there because if she asks for more I believe she would have to have more space for them.
 

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Not sure how it works in your state but both parents have to have "space" for the kids when they visit. I would think that a 2 bedroom would be a requirement for her to have the kids overnight. I know you dont want her to be able to do that anymore so maybe you'd just be happier if she stayed in the 1 bedroom and didnt have a place for them. Just throwing it out there because if she asks for more I believe she would have to have more space for them.
:iagree:

Best Interest of the Children. THAT should be the premise and goal here. This really isn't about her and what she wants. This is about the children and their needs and wants. While it is true that they should spend time with her, if she is unable to accommodate them or meet their needs, then additional time with the children would be counterproductive.
 

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Thanks - I'm in Ontario/Canada and the laws here are pretty much for equal access (actually tend to favour the mother still from what I have heard). That's sort of what I am worried about. That I am taking care of things while my wife gets settled into her new life/fantasy and then she will ask for 50%. I hate being a part-time dad, so don't want to lose more down the road. It was hard enough adjusting to the current setup. The parenting plan sets a standard that is typically followed in divorce. But my wife is trying to stall setting up a parenting plan - so I am in limbo.

Her condo is clean - furnished - expensive - and she has been sleeping on the couch when the girls stay - with my eldest in her bedroom and my youngest in the den (which I made private by putting up full length curtains on the sliding glass doorway. It is big enough - but my daughters don't like staying there, even though they love my wife (and my wife DOES love them too). But they have no permanent space to call their own in her condo. My wife did not think of the kids when she chose it.

I guess what I am really looking for is a sense of permanence rather than this limbo. But our relationship is so toxic at this point that I can't see us agreeing to anything - meanwhile my wife has no reason to agree. She says that she "misses her children", yet she doesn't seem to be making any efforts to get them used to the concept of staying at her place.

Just wondering if others have found that this type of situation is typical and what I can expect in the future (for it to get better, or for it to continue to deteriorate into a messy divorce)? I just don't trust my wife at this point, with anything.
 

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Thanks - I'm in Ontario/Canada and the laws here are pretty much for equal access (actually tend to favour the mother still from what I have heard). That's sort of what I am worried about. That I am taking care of things while my wife gets settled into her new life/fantasy and then she will ask for 50%. I hate being a part-time dad, so don't want to lose more down the road. It was hard enough adjusting to the current setup. The parenting plan sets a standard that is typically followed in divorce. But my wife is trying to stall setting up a parenting plan - so I am in limbo.

Her condo is clean - furnished - expensive - and she has been sleeping on the couch when the girls stay - with my eldest in her bedroom and my youngest in the den (which I made private by putting up full length curtains on the sliding glass doorway. It is big enough - but my daughters don't like staying there, even though they love my wife (and my wife DOES love them too). But they have no permanent space to call their own in her condo. My wife did not think of the kids when she chose it.

I guess what I am really looking for is a sense of permanence rather than this limbo. But our relationship is so toxic at this point that I can't see us agreeing to anything - meanwhile my wife has no reason to agree. She says that she "misses her children", yet she doesn't seem to be making any efforts to get them used to the concept of staying at her place.

Just wondering if others have found that this type of situation is typical and what I can expect in the future (for it to get better, or for it to continue to deteriorate into a messy divorce)? I just don't trust my wife at this point, with anything.
Not sure about the laws in Canada, however, here this is something to be said in regards to the children's need being met first and foremost (best interest) etc.

For example, currently your children are still residing in the marital home with you. Same schools. Same friends. It is in their "best interest" to not be disrupted, especially during the school year. And yes, she is entitled to spend time with them.

I know that you are being given "generic" advice here, but perhaps seeing your attorney and fighting to keep the "status quo" for your children is the goal here. I would have to assume that even in Canada, the children's needs and comfort come first.

I would suggest that the children remain living with you and she have some sort of liberal visitation schedule with them. In that way, they are rooted to the marital home. I don't know how hard she would fight to get some sort of 50-50 custody, but perhaps your attorney could help you maintain your current situation for the sake of the children.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I guess what I am looking for is people's experience in dealing with the hostility after betrayal while parenting in separation.

Did it get better, or does the toxic environment get worse? In time, I hope to get to a "best interests of the kids" relationship, but right now, it is too much like a fight.
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