Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy September to you...

My husband has been off for the past few days, which has been nice...  Of course, when he's home, I get less done than usual.  It also leads to him researching his ex kids...

On Friday over breakfast, my husband told me that he'd found information on his "ex son".  Ex son is actually my husband's former stepson.  My husband had always thought of him as his own kid.  When I first met him, he even said he'd "fathered" three kids, when he'd actually only fathered two.  But no matter... when the ex told my husband she wanted him to think of the boy as his own, he did.  And that extended to paying child support for him, even though he never legally adopted the kid.

Anyway... my husband told me that he had found out his former stepson had a new job as a "district executive" for the Boy Scouts of America. I had to laugh about that. My husband used to think of this young man as his own son, having married the lad's mother when the boy was a toddler. My husband's TBM ex wife convinced my husband that he was a better father to the boy than the boy's real father was. Though my husband never officially adopted the boy, she got her son's name changed to my husband's name and from the time the kid was about 2 until he was 12, my husband lived with and raised the kid as his own. Then, of course, there was a divorce and my husband's ex went on a full blown parental alienation campaign that eventually separated my husband from his ex stepson and his two daughters.

Fast forward a few years. The young man, who had gotten his Eagle Scout because his mother basically forced him to (wouldn't let him get his driver's license until he got it), decided to move out of his mother's house at age 18. He called my husband out of the blue and they started talking again. My husband had been paying child support for him and had plans to keep paying until the lad was 22 years old. The ex later called my husband and demanded that he cut off her son's child support so he couldn't move out. My husband wouldn't do it, and the kid moved from AZ to IL, where he and some friends and girlfriend (now wife) lived for about a year... just long enough to escape some of the pressure to go on a mission. Then he moved back to AZ.

During that time, the young man and his girlfriend, who has since become his wife, visited us for Thanksgiving. We had a nice enough visit. Then my husband deployed. Just before he went to Iraq, my husband told his ex stepson, whom he still thought of as his own, that he could have his car when he got home from the war. A couple of months before my husband was due to come home, ex stepson called me and DEMANDED that I let him come to where we were living at the time and get the car. I told him he couldn't get the car because it needed work and it wasn't mine to give him.

At that time, we lived on a military post and I didn't want to have to deal with the kid, whom I barely knew and didn't really trust. I told him he would have to wait until my husband got back from Iraq. So this kid emails my husband in Iraq and tries to get him to order me to let him have the car ahead of time. Apparently, the kid needed transportation and wasn't keen to wait a couple of months for it. Luckily, his pressure tactics didn't work and ex stepson finally got the car a few weeks before we moved to Germany. Good thing he didn't get it before my husband got back, since it turned out he didn't know how to drive a stick shift.

So then in 2008, the ex stepson turned 21 years old and was still collecting child support from my husband. I remember that summer, he let it slip that come the following summer, he wouldn't be needing financial help from my husband anymore. At the time, my husband took it as a sign the lad was growing up. But as it turned out, he was hatching plans to reclaim his original surname, which he was doing behind my husband's back. His mother had gotten him back in touch with his "abusive bio dad". But he wanted to take a school sponsored trip to China and the $850 a month my husband was giving him was going a long way toward paying for that trip. So he didn't tell my husband that he was going to change his name...

In December of 2008, ex stepson filed with the court where he lived to get his last name legally changed. I had been watching the courts where they lived, mainly to make sure there was nothing going on that might bite us in the butt. My husband's daughters were still minors at that point and refused to have any direct contact with him. I found out about the name change filing on New Year's Day 2009, about two weeks after he'd done it. We kept what we knew to ourselves. Meanwhile, ex stepson made no mention of his name changing plans when he talked to my husband on the phone.

My husband quietly cut off his child support. About a week after he was due the money, the young man sent an email asking where his money was. When my husband finally busted him with his knowledge about his plans, the young man responded with anger. First, he asked how my husband knew about it, then he lectured him about how he depended on "timely payments". When that didn't work, he tried to tell him he was afraid of what my husband would do if he knew about his plans. He also blamed *me* for cutting off his money. My husband made it clear that he wasn't angry that ex stepson was changing his name; it never should have been changed in the first place. Rather, he was disappointed that the kid was hiding his plans and didn't have enough integrity to be honest about what he was doing. Then my husband told his ex stepson that he felt that the name change was an adult decision that indicated that he was ready to be on his own and child support would cease. The kid sent one last desperate plea for $500, with the comment that he was in debt and would "never bother us again". He quit talking to my husband when it became clear the gravy train had come to the end of the line. He later got busted by the police.

So today, as we were eating breakfast, my husband told me that his former stepson had moved clear across the country with his wife and now lives very close to his ex-wife and her multi-fathered brood. Ex stepson has taken a job with the Boy Scouts of America, which makes me think he's probably gotten back into the church. I looked up the values of a good Boy Scout...

I couldn't help but think that the ex stepson doesn't meet a single one of those qualifications of what makes a good Boy Scout... But he is an LDS Eagle Scout from Arizona and knows how to talk a good game and look presentable.

I don't look for information about my husband's ex kids, but my husband does. He shares his revelations with me. It kind of turns my stomach to think this guy is going to be in a position to work with boys and young men. But who knows? Maybe he's changed in the last three years. Perhaps his character is more like the Boy Scouts say it should be. Somehow I doubt it, though.

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