Good Faith Negotiations

Sign of good faith
Sign of good faith (Photo credit: GravitysAppleNZ)

I had asked in a previous post at what point do I stop doing kind things for my ex-wife if I get no response at all.  I have reached that point.

This weekend I received a call from the ex.  The house has sold, and her concern is that she doesn’t have any cash to put down on a new rental house.  She has looked at over 100 houses (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that seeing houses listed online is not “looking”) and she lost one this weekend because she didn’t have any money to put down.  I said I would love to help her, but would need some help from her in return with the relationship with the kids and with the settlement discussions.  She’s still asking for huge $$ per month and I have no contact with my teens still.

Wondering why she did not see about getting deposit money prior to looking for the new rental house?

She said she can’t “force them” to talk with me (her standard response) and that she deserves all the money.  So I said okay, I can’t help her.  She hung up on me, after some yelling.

I think it is time I stop being walked on like a well-worn welcome mat.  I made a list today of the ways that I have offered Good Faith olive branches to help during the divorce situation and the reciprocation received by the ex.  I came up with almost 20 different points in the last six months where I have paid bills I didn’t have to, solved problems immediately when she requested help and generally jumped right in to assist in any situation she asked me to.  From things like weeding the yard (and paying for a landscape crew to finish it) to paying soccer bills and resolving medical insurance situations to paying above and beyond the money due for Child Support, not getting credited for it and then being forced to pay more as a result.  I’m shaking my head in frustration.

Through all of this, I have asked for one thing — that she not alienate me from my kids, that she encourage them to have a relationship with their dad and that she get them into counseling. It’s been six months, and I’ve heard that they are now finally in counseling, though I don’t have the name of the counselor or her number and the counselor has not spoken to me — but apparently is already telling the kids that they shouldn’t have a relationship with me.

So my theory is — I will not do anything else for her until she shows Good Faith in the negotiation process.  She has done absolutely nothing to this point to show any good faith.  So I’m done negotiating with myself.

My brother told me last night that I’m finally setting up boundaries in my life with her.  That she will most definitely be very, very frustrated by these boundaries, but that they must be set up and held to and that it should encourage a quicker resolution.

That is my prayer. Thanks for all your notes of encouragement and comments of late.  Good to know I’m not in this alone!

–Jim

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