Down the Road Again

I didn’t write about it here…but at Christmas, the Goblin King and I had another wobble.  Although we have a very specific holiday agreement, it’s not in the court order.  And although I strive wherever possible to ensure that we’re both on the same page well in advance of each of the holidays, the Goblin King isn’t organized enough to handle it, which often muddles things.  This year, with less than a week to go before Christmas, he suggested that if I didn’t agree to his suggested holiday schedule, we’d revert to the court order and he’d keep the children Christmas Day.

It meant that I had a headache the entire week before Christmas, and I truly wasn’t sure until Christmas Eve whether or not I’d have the children Christmas Day as planned.  Although I had a firm footing – the only way to ensure it if he kept the kids on Christmas Day was to go through the police.  And the last thing I ever want is to have the police involved with the children over Christmas.

I called his bluff anyway though, and in the end, I agreed that we could revisit the Christmas schedule in the new year.  With the parenting coordinator.

I’ve had some life things going on – and it wasn’t an urgent issue, so I delayed parenting coordination until now.  Unlike the last time, I think I’m more prepared going in.  I’ve exchanged a few e-mails with the parenting coordinator, and after some initial misunderstandings, she’s agreed to see us for “parenting coaching”.  It’s not quite as firm as I’d like it – but the opportunity to talk things out with a third party who has been involved with us before will hopefully work out better than the last time.  At the very least, I’m limiting my costs.

At this point, my strategy is to go in with a set agenda.  We have a few things to discuss in addition to the holiday agreement, including summer vacation planning (which was also a giant headache last year).  I’ve put it out there, asking the Goblin King for any issues he thinks we need to discuss.  His answer?

As my list contains, a too z of topics. Whether new or up coming. Yes we may discuss what you have outlined but my list will not be so, should I say limited. 

Regardless – I’m not tied to the process as I was the last time.  I’m not contractually obligated to pay for anything beyond my half for the appointment.  And I’m more than willing to walk out if it appears that he’s going to sidetrack the discussions with his concerns about how I cut the children’s hair, or rehashing things we’ve already decided.

All things being equal, while I’m not looking forward to being in a room with him again, I am hopeful that we can make some decisions which will make my life over the next year a little less stressful.  Not confident.  But hopeful.  And maybe that’s what we need.  An annual appointment to get us on the same page related to vacation, holidays, and any other things that aren’t “solid” in the court order.

We’ll see.

Are you divorced?  How do you handle the little disagreements?  Do you have a third party – or are you able to have those discussions with your ex?

Image Credit: David Castillo Dominici /

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  1. I hate, hate, hate this for you. I think my ex is a Goblin King clone, but at least I didn’t have the heartache (and headache) young children caught in the middle. Admiring you and wishing you the best!!

  2. Oh Lordy, Liv, as you know I know these scheduling struggles all too well. And yes, we do use a coparenting counselor which is nice, but I don’t meet together with her. We meet separately…and just for that reason–so the conversation isn’t hijacked into his airing his million unjustifications (yes, I just made up that word, lol). It’s helped…does he still take two months to get back to me on some things…yes…but usually, if I wait it out, it works out… (Crossing fingers!!). Good luck to you!!!!!!!!

  3. Please let us know how it goes, my friend. My heart always tightens, when I read about you and anyone else enduring such a struggle with divorce and dealing with legal issues/parenting issues/ALL issues. Ugh.

    It sounds like you have a good plan. Good for you!

  4. I can’t imagine living under that kind of stress Liv. My son is almost 27, but his father and I divorced when he was only two. I had a totally different experience and I’m not sure why except my ex is only half an asshole instead of a whole asshole. We compromised on everything and that’s just the way it was. From the very beginning. We were no longer in love, but we both wanted what was best for him. I would get him for Thanksgiving Day and My exhusband got him Christmas morning or sometimes late Christmas Eve even. My family has always celebrated on Christmas Eve so that made it easy. I was just looking at birthday pictures of my son when he turned 5 because his birthday is in a few weeks. We had a party at the park that year for his school class and my husband, his step-dad was manning the grill, my mom and his mom are sitting and talking and my ex was throwing a football with the kids. You worry if the things you do will screw your kids up and then they grow up and that one picture let me know that I at least got some things right. I know what a great mother you are and I hate the fact that this guy doesn’t see the destruction that he is causing.

    1. Author

      Yes – that was part of the problem. When we were together, his family celebrated Christmas Eve and mine always celebrates Boxing Day. So when we created our holiday agreement, we just kept it going. This year he insisted that he hadn’t agreed to it.

      And it is a shame that he’s completely unable to have any sort of self reflection.

      I’m glad (and a little envious) that you and your ex were able to put your feelings aside. It really is so much better for the kids.

  5. Ohhh yuck, yuck, YUCK! I wish he wouldn’t be so objectionable, but good for you for going in there with a solid strategy (including an exit plan) and ways of managing the appointment. I’m sorry you have to deal with him. The situation reminds me of one very close to home, which is just nightmarish.

    I hope it’s the case where you are, that eventually the children’s opinions about who they want to spend time with, start being taken into account.


    (my advice, for what it’s worth, is to plan something NICE for yourself, for after the appointment’s done)

    1. Author

      Despite everything – he is their father and they love him. And he is trying in his own way to do his best for him. At least – that’s what I keep trying to convince myself.

      And my “nice” is planned for before the meeting. Hubs and I are heading to the spa this weekend – it’s our FIFTH anniversary!

      1. OHHHH HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I hope you’re off having a gorgeous time.

        And yeah…I guess…

  6. Your divorce sounds a lot like one my friends have gone through. One of them definitely nitpicks.. everything.. but that includes haircuts and wearing jackets or not, or pretty much anything in the world.
    I’m not a fan of the Goblin King, to put it lightly. I feel like if I saw him in person, he’d have the kind of face I’d want to smack.

    1. Author

      He does have that kind of face. I had to see him just yesterday and even though he was several meters away, I had that impulse. I resisted though.

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