Pet issue

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Whiteheron

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Pet issue
« on: June 13, 2018, 10:38:46 AM »
stbx is insisting that the high maintenance pet he bought four years ago follow the kids' custody schedule. He's already discussed this with the kids and how my house can be prepped to accommodate this pet. Without consulting me first.

I told stbx months ago that this model won't work for me. He's not allowed to come to my house, so coordinating drop off and pick up of this pet likely results in more face time with stbx. Which I do not want. 

Now he's telling me he is unable to handle this pet while the kids are with me (majority of time) and that if I don't agree to his idea that he will need to "consider other actions" which I read as he's trying to guilt me into taking the pet or he will get rid of it.

I am aware this is all about controlling me (keeping me tied to the house to care for this pet), he can't seem to help himself.

Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

What is it called when one parent involves kids in a decision such as this before even speaking with the other parent?
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openskyblue

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 12:38:28 PM »
Sheesh, is that ever a left-field demand!  :stars:

Just my 2 cents -- This might be something to pull a short and sweet lawyer letter into stating that your custody agreement only applies to the children--not pets. If he wants to change the custody agreement, he's welcome to go through the appropriate legal channels. I'm guessing that might shut this down -- and take you out of the "bad guy seat."

Good luck!  My heart goes out to you.

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A_newlife2014

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 08:20:50 AM »
This is a tough one and I'm sorry stbx is putting you in this position.

I'm not sure if there's an even more specific term to cover this behavior, but it's definitely at least basic manipulation.

It's easy to get sucked into these sorts of things. The PDs design them that way. They make us look like the "bad guy" and we feel compelled to prove we aren't, especially when the kids are involved.

Remember that if your stbx does anything with the pet, it's his fault, not yours.

Try to impart that to your kids, too, if they become the PD mouthpiece and try to blame you as well.

If you get sucked into the emotional argument with the PD -- which again, is easy to do, I'm not saying it's not -- but if you do that, he "wins." You will gain nothing if you try to explain to the kids.

Just tell them you can't have the pet in the house, it's a grown-up matter, and leave it at that. If stbx cries and complains and pushes and gets rid of the pet to hurt his own kids, that is not your fault. They will eventually draw their own conclusions. Trust that it will dawn on them. Because it will.

In the meantime, some conversations about pet responsibility in general -- while never mentioning your stbx specifically -- where you mention how it is the owner's responsibility to ensure they can take care of the pet, etc., and some general conversations about boundaries among grownups and how people should handle requests among one another, i.e., you should ask politely and then let it go if the answer is no, and don't criticize that person and try to force them into a decision, might be appropriate here.

I'm not saying any of this is easy. I'm just saying, I think it's the best approach to combat the PDs' emotional manipulation and battle for control. Children are too young to get these concepts, and a point-counterpoint approach doesn't work, because you can't logic your way out of an "argument" that's based on emotion to begin with.


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Whiteheron

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 10:11:42 AM »
It just hit me this morning as I was making breakfast...stbx is unable to take care of this pet because of "work travel". Which had increased 1000 fold since our separation. He's never home when I have the kids. I put work travel in quotes because this is the only way he can carry out his affair...that's how it started with this woman, who happens to work for him. He needs to keep it hush-hush, so he is unable "date" her in the normal sense. Therefore they go on business trips together.

So essentially, he's trying to unload this pet onto me so he can continue his affair (I'm still calling it an affair because technically we are still married).

I am very tempted to send him a text pointing this out. I am still mulling over how/what to respond.
opensky, I may just use your line of how the custody agreement only applies to the children  ;D

newlife - I've had many discussions on pet ownership with the kids. They see what he does - buys lots of pets then passes off the responsibility. I try to emphasize that this is not the way to deal with pets. If you buy a pet, you're all in, no matter what.

He's done this to me before - talked to one child about something adult, then talked to me about it. When I got upset and told him this was inappropriate, he actually put it into one of his lengthy court documents as an example of how I try to undermine his relationship with the kids.  :roll:
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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openskyblue

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 12:26:42 PM »
I'd recommend not sending him a text calling him out on this. I'd bet that interaction turn into a circular argument, and those are so draining and upsetting. Rather, maybe you should simply ignore his request -- or just say that you won't take on care of this pet.

There are pet sitters and pet motels. Lots of people use them.

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Penny Lane

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 01:24:56 PM »
Remember that if your stbx does anything with the pet, it's his fault, not yours.

 :yeahthat:

My SO has had started saying things like "I hope you decide not to do that but it's up to you." That lets him register his objection while keeping the responsibility firmly where it belongs.

On the text, do you really want to spend more time talking to him about the affair? If it were me I wouldn't. It's not like he's going to say "oh, you're right, I was putting you in a terrible position, I'm so sorry!"

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athene1399

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 04:04:49 PM »
WH,

I agree with the others, if you call him out on it he will blow up on you and cause more drama. I feel your frustration though and desire for the immediate satisfaction. I've been wanting to call out our BM on something, and I tell my b/f "this time I'm really going to correct her," and he always reminds me that it will just cause more trouble then it's worth. But sometimes just telling someone what you want to say helps.  ;) I vented on here yesterday about it.

As OSB said, remind him the custody agreement does not involve his pets and remind him there are pet motels out there. He should have considered his "Work travel" time constraints prior to running out and getting a pet to impress the kids. Our BM doesn't plan/think ahead either. it's just how they operate I guess.


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Whiteheron

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 05:27:38 PM »
I won't call him out on it, but it's fun to think about sometimes  :evil2:

I'm not sure what I will say, if anything. He does board the pet when he's out of town. Their hours aren't the most convenient (for him), but that's not my problem. My problem starts when he involves the kids in this adult decision and when he tries to manipulate the situation and guilt them into putting pressure onto me to take this pet (or he might get rid of it, pet is bored, pet is lonely, pet needs attention, etc)

I am feeling a lot of guilt right now, because I really care about the well being of animals. The thought that this pet is lonely and needs attention due to stbx's negligence breaks my heart. I am trying to compartmentalize these feelings (which I know he's preying on) and I'm trying to think realistically - there goes the peace and quiet in the house, now I'll have to worry about boarding the pet when we go out of town, I'll have to be the one to force the kids to spend time with the pet, to train it properly, etc. Once again, the burden will fall to me.

I already have four of the pets with me. He wanted me to take two others, but there was no way I could unless I hired someone to help move them. This is the seventh pet, the one that requires the most attention. Custody schedule for a pet...it never ends!  :sadno:
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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acc1984

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 12:05:13 PM »
Whiteheron, I'm SO sorry. I agree with Pennylane and like the response "I hope you decide not to do that but it's up to you." It's SO HARD not to want to swoop in and protect the kids from their other parent's terrible choices. DH and I struggle with that as well when his bpdxw gets going. If their mom makes a decision that negatively impacts them DH will say to the kids "I'm very sorry that happened."  Now, she'll still throw him under the bus but I hope they'll be able to put the pieces together one day and realize that her decision are her decisions and just blaming them on DH doesn't actually make it his fault.

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 02:55:32 PM »
Hi- we have the problem of the kids being involved in decisions before any agreement is made between the parents.  It is totally a method of manipulation and strong arming you into doing what they want.  It's also potentially PA since you will be the bad guy if you don't comply.  I think you need to make the decision that works for YOU and your home, regardless of what has been discussed with their Dad.  Honestly, you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't....so do what works for you.  The kids will see it eventually.  You can say to the kids, "I take pet ownership very seriously and that is not a responsibility that makes sense in our home right now."

We realized that BM can twist every situation to make DH that bad guy.  We had an issue this week and DH had a plan to address, I played Devil's advocate and said, "if you do that, she will say A, if you don't do that she will say B....both are negative towards you (even though he did absolutely NOTHING wrong).  what do you WANT to do?". 

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Whiteheron

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Re: Pet issue
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 08:13:23 PM »
It is totally a method of manipulation and strong arming you into doing what they want.  It's also potentially PA since you will be the bad guy if you don't comply.
This is exactly what it feels like. He's done it our entire relationship, why stop now?

I've had the kids with me since the text, and you know what topic never came up? This pet. I feel if it was something the kids really wanted at my house, they would have said something to me about it. Especially in light of this 'discussion' stbx had with them.

What did come up in a conversation with DS, was that stbx was telling him that maybe he should take his *other* pet with him (to my house). Without consulting me. DS told me that this other pet could stay at his dad's house (whew!). Honestly, we don't have room for all of these pets at my place. It's half the size of his. The reason we have so many pets to begin with is that stbx kept buying them for the kids 1. to be super dad and 2. to control us

If it comes up again, acc1984, I will be using Pennylane's suggestion. I like putting the responsibility on him. Right where it belongs. I have also had to say to the kids "I'm sorry that happened." I hate it. I wish he could just be decent to them.
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.