Why are ex-husbands sometimes such jerks?

I’m just aghast at the latest information I heard from a friend: seems a couple we know who was an important part of a neighboring school-based community broke up a few months ago, and now the ex-husband is specifically insisting that the child not go to the school any more.
Because it’s the main support community for his soon-to-be ex-wife, a place where she’s valued and has other moms with whom to share her life and try to get through each day.

What baffles me is what this guy is thinking here.
If this story really is true – and the wife and child have both vanished from their community from what I hear – then is this just a case of spite trumping any sort of reason at all?
Even if he really wants to twist the knife in his ex-wife’s heart after their breakup, what about the child? Their daughter’s still a little wee one and I just can’t imagine how Mommy is going to explain to her that she can’t go to school with her friends and see her teacher any more because, well, because Daddy absolutely forbids it.
My opinion is that she should tell him to take a hike (or, perhaps, the same thing, albeit in more colorful language), but I can easily imagine that she’d be out on the street with no support and minimal income if he stopped helping out.
It’s not much of a stretch to imagine a dialog like:
he: I’m not having our girl going to that school any more!
she: That’s her home, she loves it there, I don’t want her to change schools mid-year.
he: Tough luck.
she: And what if I send her there anyway?
he: Then you’ll never see a dime from me.
she: $#@&$*#(
Not a pleasant situation. But nothing we can get involved with either, of course. Just another of those spats and fights, sometimes quite unpleasant, where you have to sit on the sidelines and hope that it resolves gracefully as quickly as possible and try to forget that sometimes it never does…

21 comments on “Why are ex-husbands sometimes such jerks?

  1. I hate to go down a conservative path, but this gives new fodder for those of us that believe in school vouchers. Vouchers would allow mother to continue to send the child to the school of her choice. That might be another post for another time.
    Maybe someone should remind deadbeat dad about the stiff penalties for not paying child support in the State of Colorado. It’s strange to watch the metamorphosis of a person (I don’t want to be gender-biased) when a divorce occurs. Suddenly, the children you brought into the world are no longer the highest priority as they were when Mommy and Daddy were a couple.
    My question in your scenario would be to ask the father if he would want the children attending that school if he had custody of the children? Judges will not disrupt the children’s lives, however, they will often not place burdens on parents that can no longer afford the luxury of private school. It’s too bad that these stories are the norm in our world.

  2. The mantra in situations such as these (and I’m in the middle of one right now) is “in the child’s best interests.” This woman needs a good attorney, and if she thinks it’s in her daughter’s best interests to attend this school, then she should go to court over it.
    I used to believe that counseling and common sense would conquer the bitterness of divorce. But I’ve found after much strife in the past year that the only way to approach a situation with an ex-husband who is not thinking in his child’s best interests is to fight for and get full custody. Cut him out of decision-making — he’ll still be required to pay child support. Sad but true, in so many ways.

  3. Unfortunately something I’ve observed during a divorces, is one or both of the parents completely forget about putting their children first. Of course they will both completely deny this, but as an impartial observer of these people, I can see that most of their decisions are based on what will hurt their x the most, not what is best for the child/children.
    It’s sad but true. I’ve seen it many times, and each of them try to convince you that they are in the right and that they only have their child’s best interests at heart. I’m unsure if they really believe this, or if they are just flat out lying. I think in some cases they are lying to themselves and really do believe they are thinking of the child, but an outsider can clearly see they are making bad and selfish choices.

  4. Yeah, I’ve seen it too. In myself, in my ex. It’s ugly, and it’s hard. I’m trying to do better each day and adjust to this new kind of relationship with my ex and my kids.

  5. I too am a parent in the middle of one of these nasty brawls with an ex-jerk. He’s suing me for primary custody … because I want our son to attend the school in my neighborhood – clearly the better school academically and in terms of extra-curricular opportunities. Why? Because he’s scared to death of “losing the affections” of our son (read: of our son wanting to spend more time at my house and he will therefore love me more). What kind of logic is that? I thought this was supposed to be about the child, not about us.
    We agreed we would never put our son through a court battle (we weren’t married, so we had that luxury). So for the last 6+ years we’ve been doing the week-on week-off shared parenting thing. Our son sees each of us daily no matter where he’s sleeping. We’ve always been cordial, friendly even.
    Now, because I’m in a relationship and bought a house in a nice neighborhood, all of a sudden I’m not fit for a shared arrangement. Talk about a jerk ….
    You’re right, Dave. Something comes over ex’s – when they feel like they’re losing control of the other parent, all of a sudden they forget about the child and use her/him as a pawn. In my experience, once this starts, it never stops. And it certainly doesn’t get resolved gracefully, at least not from the child’s perspective. It doesn’t get better, unless the ex-jerk miraculously becomes an ex-sweetie pie.
    That’s not likely ….

  6. My ex did a similar thing in regards to homeschooling. I moved an hour away and enrolled them in a public school I liked in a community where I had career and educational opportunities.

  7. My ex has not really given a flip about our son until he started up with his newest bimbo and now he wants to parade our son in fromt of the new prospect. He runs through women like toilet paper and so I asked in the nicest way I could muster to leave our son out of the date scene since he only sees our son one night ever 2 weeks. He, in his best ugly told me it was none of my business what he did on his night with our son. I could care less if he screws the universe but our son should not have to meet/greet all the one nighters.
    I just don’t think it is a huge request to leave a 10 year old boy out of date night and the bad example of all the girlfriend sleep-overs.

  8. I have been divorced 6 years and have a 16 and 17 year old. My ex-husband left for 2-1/2 years out of their life and now for the last 4 years has put his new wife first and has even turned hateful. His personality completely flip-flopped. He will not talk to me or be friends with me, don’t know why cause we always got along good. I think it should be mandatory divorced couples go to counseling for their children’s sake with their children or the whole family, until problems like this is resolved. The children are the one’s hurting and both parents should be held accountable for how they make their children feel.

  9. Hi there,
    I have to agree with what many of you posted regarding the complete personality change. What is it that happens exactly? I just don’t get it. I have been divorced for 6 years, and have had to go back to court twice because my ex failed to pay. Now his current company has been taking the wrong amount out and he actually expects me to pay him back. Mind you, he didn’t pay me anything for Feb, March, April, May or June because he once again was between jobs. He has had 9 jobs in 5 years and I have had no consistent support either in terms of being on time monthly or a set dollar amount I could depend on. Guess that is the key phrase there “depend on”. I have to get into a better position so I am not so dependent on the support.

  10. I can totally relate to this..but my ex-husband takes the cake. I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage for about 10 years…My ex convinced me that he needed to go to school full time while I work. I believed all his lies about us having a better life……instead in return for putting him through full time school for 2 years and supporting him for another 6 months of unemployment,the minute he gets a job, he tells me that he intended to contribute the minimum to our household income so that he can save up for a plane. He rationalized that he had worked hard and deserved it and since I made more money then he did he did not think he should have to pay even half of the family household costs. I therefore asked him for a divorce, his response was to take our home and claim primary custody of our 2 daughters (since he was home during the 6 months he was unemployed)and this way he could get more money from me (he lost this battle too), he then tried keeping reimbursement cheques mailed to our home from me for as long as 3 or 4 months before he would finally forward the funds to me and more recently he reported my parents to Children Services to try remove my existing support system(which was dismissed and the file immediately closed by the Social Service Rep). You would think that after all this time he would give up trying to torment me, yet he continues after 2 years to try to find ways to torment me or my family and this just ends up hurting our daughters.
    I hope one day he grows up and understands that his actions, hurt our girls.

  11. GOT a good one. My son was diagnosed with a life thretening medical disorder at 2. We had just moved to a small town where I knew no one and family was far away. I had no job or any money. a MONTH after we found out and 2 weeks before Christmas, My ex told me he was gay and walked out leaving us with nothing. He’s a corporet pilot and his boss helps him hide the money. Got any ideas how to get him. can’t afford an attorney

  12. Depends on where you live…..In B.C. Canada once you have filed for Spousal and Child Mainteinance, there is a number to call where they inforce it for you and garnish the wages. No charge….all free…
    Me I am in the middle of a nasty common-law separation. We moved to a small town where real estate was really cheap and I put all my money down to buy our first house….not much…but all I had..Houses were selling for 30,000 dollars. We were able to springboard to two more houses by re-mortgaging the first houses as values went up. Suffice to say that while I was traveling the ex sold two of the houses thru my power of attorney……lied about the profits, kept the larger part for himself on the first house and gave me the larger part on the second house. Of course he spent all his money from the first house and as I now have some from the second house he claims its spousal maintenance.
    The third house belongs to both of us but unfortunately was only in his name ……so he has been trying to throw my son and me out of the home for months….
    Not to mention he has decided he is a lesbian….a woman in a man’s body…..and was having an affair behind my back for months before the separation.
    What happened? I have no idea …..all he does is run around saying he is a Loving , Compassionate, Kind person……while in the meantime he has thoroughly traumtized my son and me with threating to turn off utilities etc without prior notice, and endless other horrendous behaviours.
    When there is a child involved the first concern should be the childs welfare…..My son needs the stability of being in his home, feeling loved and nurtured and surrounded by friends. It seems like a nightmare come true when I think of what my ex has been willing to do to serve his own ends with out a single thought for my son. My son screams now when ever he hears my ex’s name and is in terror of him.
    What can I say? Divorce makes people do wierd things……but hurting a child? Sorry ….I have no forgiveness for that!

  13. I have been divorced four years and have a six year old. I have custody of her, He gets visitation that he dosent deserve. My ex husband had little to none to do with our child until he got married again. She has a little girl the same age as mine. All of a sudden he though he was father of the year. My ex and I can be civil when it is just us talking, If she is around all of a sudden he cant think for himself and they will argue with me about anything and everything. Going so far as telling me I am an unfit mother when i would do anything for my little angel. How do you deal with the CRAZY new wife?

  14. I just want to say that I have been on a differant side of things and alot of women want to bash the male and take no responsibility for things and take stories and change them. What is with that and how does that “benefit” the best interest of the child. There are non jerks that don’t get a fair shake too whose reputations are changed forever as well by “other” types of mothers too.

  15. Can you make your ex pay child support if he is getting unemployment. Obviously, not what he was paying you before he lost his job but a litte something?

  16. Ladies, I have been divorced for 19 years now. He was a jerk then and even with the kids grown, he still plays games. For instance, my daughter went to an expensive college, he has the money to pay for it outright, but he won’t give her one penney for education unless I am paying half. I have been the one who has been so poor and broke and tired from working all day and conming home to take care of children at night. His income has come from scamming people. I half expected to see him in jail someday and how do I explain that one to the kids. But, I have always been broke. Now, my youngest son is on a mission for our church. I lost my job, wrote him a nice letter to ask him to pay “our sons expenses” until I get another job, guess what, you got it, nada, nothing, zero, zilch. His comment is “you’ll have to have your family or someone in your church help pay” I am so angry This is his child. They never change. Someday God will “handle” these men and women who are jerks and revill in it to boot. In the mean time, we just have to blog it out in order to keep some sort of sanity. I am sure it will be worse when the kids get married. Once a jerk always a jerk and jerks never die, they just keeping hanging on to make us miserable. Uggggg, sigh – I know I will get over this and move on, until he does something jerky again and I have to re live it all over again and then move on AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.

  17. trying soo hard to be able to make peace for us andour daughter he was a jerk scum bag etc imean inever knew those emotions and keep going would reach that deep!!!!!!well i wish every one happiness!!!!!!!!!

  18. I live in New Zealand and during our custody hearing, the Lawyer for Child (Guardian ad Litem) demanded of me why I did not yank my child out of the school he had been settled into for years and move up near my (off-and-on) weed-smoking, somewhat deranged and (still-at-the-time) unemployed spouse when the father demanded it, “so the child could be nearer his father”. I had left the family home and car to said father so he could look for work and entered a women’s refuge, then taken what lodgings I could find to get out of the refuge. I was given no credit at all for ensuring the child’s well-being. The relationship with the father was all that seemed to count. Here they seem to think that a father is sort of like a rock, a critical presence, a necessary element to balance a less-important, discardable mum (reversing in a knee-jerk PC way a previous policy of treating the mum as the rock), so therefore SHE is the one who has to accommodate HIM and jump to his whims, and not the other way around now. Instead of achieving equality, they have achieved a pendulum swing to the other side. Money did not come into it – I have always supported myself and my family. It is rather like the fireman testing issue. Discriminate for long enough to create grievances, then do away with standards to make sure the grievances are righted. ;P

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