Sunday, October 05, 2008

Vote on my future now

I have to make a decision it seems, which is always hard for me. Of course my natural instinct is "No change" accept the status quo. In this case I am not even sure what the decision is. However I press on...

My partner, Neil, has accepted a job overseas, and my child's father is in the same country as me. I know my partner will eventually come back. In the short term I need to decide whether to go with him. The cost is high. There will be a court battle, I will risk losing my job. If we loved each other wholeheartedly this would be a no brainer - I would go and particularly if we had a child together (which had always been the plan). But with my survival mantra - "My self, my child, my health, my work" in mind I can't find it in my heart to risk my job and my child's happiness in exchange for a half-love.

There is another dimension to this. The country in which he is working is my home country. Near to my folks, and my child's grandparents. The last sentence there seems redundant. Perhaps after all this is not going to be too much of a risk to my child - he will be back with his Dad in a year or two and in the meantime he has his extended family. Dad could visit, if he could afford it. Or move even. He has the passport. If I had more self esteem, perhaps I would care less about holding onto this particular job.

But now we come to the nub of the issue. All this obfuscates one fact. If I turn to my only working decision making tool, my gut*, I get the following answer. DO NOT GO. DO NOT FOLLOW THIS MAN. LEAVE HIM. BREAK FREE. And following this, should I take this course of action, some questions

(1) How will I cope with the smug self-satisfaction of my ex and his new partner? (Not having my own partner will doubtless create a power vacuum in which Simon will move in, metaphorically, and try to control my life)
(2) How will I manage to discipline/manage/parent my child? and who will support me in this emotionally? (this is a place where Neil takes a role)
(3) What will happen if I get sick, who will care for me and my son? (In the short term I have health and income insurance - I fondly imagine Neil would take care of me, but in reality he could not, with his job responsibilities, and he never takes care of Connor in that hands-on, bathing, story-reading, sport taking kind of a way)
(4) Where will I live? (this is probably the most emotive part. I love my house. I have waited 20 years to have my own home, I have put more cash into it than Neil - and there would be a court battle to try to retrieve that)
(5) What will I do for sex?
(6) What about my aging parents? will I ultimately opt to re-patriate to be with them?

If I go, I should go for me (because I have a good job opportunity, I want to be near my folks), if I don't go I should realise that I am in a holding pattern where I can live separate for him for some time, but eventually it will only tear us apart and the questions above will have to be addressed. Not going and not even taking extended leave over there saves me from court-battles. If I go semi permenantly I have to lose my job and fight connor's dad for custody. If I follow my gut, do not go (at least not with Neil) use this as a chance to sever ties. I have to have a court battle over the house .

Here it seems are my options

(1) Move No Action: Stay here. Remain in relationship. Avoid all court battles.
(2) Explore the boundaries: Stay here. Remain in relationship. Plan extended leave over there and minor court battle with Connor's dad
(3) Gut Instinct: Stay here. Get out of relationship. Have financial settlement battle. No attempt at custody in near future, although reserve right to go and live near folks when connor is old enough to make his own mind up. Put myself at risk of domination/interference by my ex.
(4) Armageddon: Drop job - follow Neil (my SA partner) - have full on custody battle, leave my job and tenure, go an be near my folks with no plan to come back - this would give me a power base. Neil will want to come back but having made the move I would have family support.


Cheryl said...

There's only one thing to do from where I stand. Go with your gut, as you say, and leave him. This is a man who cheats on you. When I found out my husband had committed adultery in our marriage, I immediately told him it was over and we were divorced. I didn't want to hear details, excuses, anything - it didn't matter. He crossed a line and that was that.

Don't let the smugness of your ex-partner figure in this at all. You'll suffer tremendously inside and for what? To worry about what Simon will think?

You have more power than you give yourself credit for. You can do this and you will. Millions of women have done it and you can too. That doesn't mean it will be easy. But you will be so happier later. Why delay your happiness, well-being, health, self-esteem, even one more day?

You can't think about such things as who will take care of you when you are sick. That is just an excuse for staying. The money will work itself out. I managed to keep my home and with support and my income, I make ends meet.

You're worried about meeting your sexual needs? I'd be more afraid to stay with a cheater and not know what you might catch from him.

And most importantly, you must think of your child. You are setting an example and your child probably knows a lot more about what's going on than you think. Let him see that you have courage and that you do the right thing.

I don't mean to be harsh or judgmental. I'm not - I've been there.

Cat said...

I am so big on listening to our guts that for me - it is ssecond nature - if something feels wrong then it probobly is - I really am grateful I found your blog - I will be back often! Cat

Vic's Moving On said...

The biggest mistakes I make go counter to my gut instincts. You know what to do Fiona. I know I am late to the party, but I hope you made the right decision for you and your son.


AlkySeltzer said...

I voted "gut" B4 I knew I was in 80th percentile.

Wish you had said how old is son? It seems he was sort of left out of the equations, except that N. does not behave like a real "Daddy".

BTW I came on your blog via a comment on "Cat"--we are friends who never met. I almost did not comment on yours...but could not resist the "vote" thing.

vote-a-roni (really 'steveroni')

Fi0nai0na said...

Veg-er-oni. My son is 5. What is best for him drives me totally. So the Gut reaction would take him away from his home and school. I think the problem with this vote is that there are (at least) two dimensions. Stay with or leave the man and go "home" or not to my family overseas. Both involve major upset to my son, around whom my world revolves. But you do hear it said that kids are happy when the parents are happy.