I had yet another run in with Brad today. He was dropping Cassie off after a soccer party and decided to pick up the Christmas tree. For some bizarre reason he wanted to ‘trade’ the one that I had (that he had bought for us a few years ago) with the one he bought for himself last year. No idea why, but I don’t care enough to argue about it.
The problem is that have had four dates with the same guy over the last month, so Brad has now gotten extremely anxious about a potential step-father for the kids. It’s just ridiculous to assume anything after only four dates, but that's how his mind works. He is really convinced I am looking for a replacement for him and that I want some other man to take over in the kids’ lives. Sure, I would like them to have a positive role model, which Brad is clearly not; but I know they love him and he will always be their father and I would never do anything to jeopardize that unless I thought he was harming them. But he doesn’t get that.
He very aggressively told me today that I have ‘be a good mom’ and not let some other man take over, and I have to make sure the kids see Brad in a good light. He was raising his voice and pointing his finger at me. He wants me to make sure they know it’s his birthday, buy him Christmas presents, etc. He said “I want you to do the right thing or know that I will come down on you if you don’t. So think about that, and make a conscious decision to do what I want you do if you don’t want me to come down on you.” He also wants me to tell him everything they do that’s cute, or whatever, and he wants all the ‘milestones’. Things like the first time they go snow skiing or water skiing have to be with him and not my future partner. It’s just crazy, I may not even ever have a future partner, but he’s already worried about it.
He threatened to ‘sue’ me if I did not tell him what they did when he was not around. His rationale is that I ‘have them so much more of the time’. Which is sort of true, but next year he’ll have them a lot more time and will have them overnight on his weekends. Plus, he sees them all the time with the various soccer practices, games and other lessons, so I don’t think he needs a blow by blow, but he feels entitled to one.
What he does not understand is that his aggressive stance and various threats actually hurt his cause rather than help it. He is completely incapable of understanding that his behavior is wrong. He feels justified because he feels he is right. The argument got pretty bad and I finally told him he had to leave or I would call the police. He seemed to back down a very tiny bit when he realized how upset I was. But I know it’s going to come up again and I’m so frustrated because I don’t know what to do. Shutting him down and not talking to him makes him more angry, but talking to him sometimes leads to confrontation as well. I’m in a lose/lose situation and there really is no end in sight.
It’s a little bit depressing. I hope that maybe once he has them more next year, his obsession will wear off, because he is truly obsessed with them. Perhaps once he has more of his own relationship with them he will not feel like he needs to rely on me to tell him what they are doing. I wish I knew. In the meantime I have to figure how to respond or not respond to him in these situations. Nothing I do will really make a difference because he is not rational, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. I have tentatively decided to tell him I will not tell him any more about my personal life and only talk about the kids. I may lose my nerve to tell him that, though. We’ll see.