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Deadbeat… < What's the First Word That Came to Mind?

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Deadbeat dads suck.

The definition of deadbeat dads:

Exit their kids lives emotionally, financially, and physically. Tries to hide money or prevent the mom from getting needed child support. May leave the state or the country to avoid paying child support. Leaves the mom and child in an emotional and financial shitstorm.

The definition of deadbeat moms:

Use the child support system to batter, harm, or otherwise abuse their former partner. Attack their former spouse as unreliable, immature, the reason the marriage broke up. Complain about the money, the schedule, and the hardships of being a single mother, when they are being supported by their former husbands who are trying desperately to remain in their kids’ lives. Uses the kids as a weapon against the father to get her demands.

We hear a lot about deadbeat dads. I’m guessing the term deadbeat mom did not even come up on your radar. Let’s Google the word and see what searches come up:


deadbeat mom

For an example of what you might be finding, here is a typical Deadbeat Dad Meme page on pinterest.

Okay, so let’s talk about deadbeat moms for a second.

My ex-wife is a deadbeat mom. While she has not prevented me from seeing my kids, she has worked against me even before she told me she wanted a divorce. She asked an attorney to show her The Divorce Brochure, she liked what she saw, and she forgot to ask me for a divorce until I uncovered her transgression in couple’s therapy.

[Wait, what? We were in relationship counseling while she was asking an attorney to outline her divorce options?]

Okay, so that’s pretty fkd up, in my opinion. She was planning and setting goals outside the relationship before she ever told me she was considering divorce as a strategic move for our family. I don’t think she considered the rest of us. But her selfish, survival instinct kicked in. And perhaps she saw no other option for her own personal survival. I don’t understand that. But I also don’t have any interest in taking my ex-wife’s inventory.

She did plan out the divorce before telling me how bad she was doing in our marriage. She didn’t tell me or our therapist about her desire to consult with an attorney. She just did what she wanted. Got the information she needed to make an informed decision for her, and inflicted her decision on the entire family unit of 4. She saw greener pastures looming in the distance, and got the legal picture about divorce, custody, and money in Texas. She liked what she heard from the divorce lawyer. And she still didn’t tell me, she held her breath and her tongue until I asked her IN THERAPY, “Have you been to see a lawyer.”

The gig was up. The counselor was shocked. And we ended our relationship therapy after one more, summary/goodbye session.

In the end, we had two very different perspectives on the future potential of our marriage.

  1. I was optimistic that this current fracture would provide further information for us to make adjustments to our relationship plan, our financial plan, and our parenting plan. I was still a YES on the marriage.
  2. She was cynical about counseling in the first place. She didn’t see any evidence that I was going to change into the person she wanted me to be. She was a NO on the marriage.

We simply didn’t see the future in the same perspective. And, as I learned over the next two months, as I fought to keep her in the marriage, that it takes BOTH partners to keep a marriage together. Once she saw the “deal” she was entitled to, she was done.

The Divorce Brochure for Women

The decision must’ve gone like this:

  1. Do I want a divorce?
  2. Will I get the majority of the time with my kids?
  3. Will I get a child support payment that will help me keep the house and work less than full-time?
  4. Can I keep the house?
  5. Can I keep the car that is paid off?
  6. Can I keep all of my retirement savings, even those that were contributed by my exes income?
  7. Can I still have 50% of all the assets?

What Downsides to Divorce for My Ex-Wife?

Well, I don’t think she knew exactly what she was asking for. I think she was hoping that her happiness would begin the minute I walked out the door of OUR house and it became HER house. That’s not exactly what happened for her. But, it is pretty much the narrative as things moved from marriage to divorce and we moved from allies and co-parents towards something else.

She did have to get a full-time job immediately to finance the house and divorce process. She did have to work a lot more when she no longer had me to manage and orchestrate the morning breakfast-dress-school process. She had her work cut out for her, as any single mom would. Being a single parent is hard. But it was just as hard for me. And, in fact, maybe a bit harder, as I was cast out of my house, my neighborhood, and my financial bracket the moment I walked out of the house.

And things haven’t been perfect for either of us over the last nine years. BUT… I’d have to say, she’s selected her cards, doubled down a few times (filing against me with the AG’s office, remarrying a partner of dubious character, and continuing to take actions against me, even when those actions were against the best interest of our children.

Two points:

They are still OUR CHILDREN.

She can be remarried all she likes, but my kids are still my kids. My daughter is still my responsibility, no matter what step-dad thinks. And this father’s day is about ME and not him.

I am still being damaged by her vindictive actions.

With one phone call, my ex-wife could take the jackboot of the AG’s office off my credit and financial life. But why would she do that? In some universe, my ex-wife still feels justified in turning me over to the AG’s office for collections.

Today, nine years later, she’s still certain that they provide her with some service, by “enforcing the judgment” of child support. Um, dear ex-wife, I elected to make these child support payments. I agreed to the decree. I am not going to skip out on my child support. Even in death, I would be paying my child support. So, why do you think having the AG’s office riding my ass each month does you or the kids any benefit?

She’s just mad and uses the deadbeat dad sword above my head for fun. Yes, I do think she’s that vindictive. I’m not sure what’s she so angry about. She got all the best options in the divorce brochure. She got what she wanted. She got remarried. And guess what…

She’s still not happy. And somehow, somewhere, she thinks her unhappiness has something to do with me. I’m sorry to tell you, dear ex-wife, your unhappiness is 100% yours. And your new husband and new wealth will not fix that. Look inside find yourself. We’re 1.5 years from finishing our child support contract. You could take the state’s police out of my ass today. But, again, what’s in it for you? Oh, I don’t know, maybe some compassion or empathy for the FATHER OF YOUR CHILDREN.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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Some more posts about dads after divorce:

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