Mediation is three rounds: the first is visitation, the second discusses the finances of support for my children, the third is to finalise all agreements.
Visitation was easy, because I want him spending time with his sons. Finances will be hard, because from the start, he hasn’t wanted to pay anything. For myself, I don’t care; I can support myself, and even my sons, without him. That’s not the point. The point is, the soon-to-be-ex-husband doesn’t want to support his children.
Even just speaking of my vanilla job, I have always made at least twice what the husband made, and I didn’t mind that, because he loved his job and I loved him. So, when I knew we had to separate, I didn’t anticipate him spending tens of thousands on our kids; he makes almost nothing, that would be insane. But on almost every purchase since the split, he has fought me. He can’t help buy this or that for them, because he makes so little. I tried to explain that ANYTHING he makes is more than what I’m bringing in, if I’m on unpaid maternity leave. He won’t hear it. Surely, he says, your family will pay for whatever you need.
No, I say, they’re our children. They’re OUR responsibility. Yes, my family will help, but they’re not bottomless pits of cash, either.
It twists my gut to have these fights. This isn’t the man I married; where did he go? Where is the man who held my hand while my step father and my mom went through round after round of chemo? Sometimes, when the boys are asleep, I sob in bed. One time, I was reading the bedtime stories to my eldest, and I just started crying in the middle of it. Poor Curious George had a hard time at the zoo that day. My eldest held my hand and told me he loved me. A 3 year old was a more mature man than my husband.
Today is the second round of mediation. Wish me luck. Today, I battle with my ex-partner for him to show signs of giving a shit about the two amazing kids he brought into this world. What a way to spend a Friday.