I thought I would update you all on how it's been since husband and I broke up. It's been nice. Quiet, serene, productive. husband is being an xxx about the divorce. I've been going to alanon, and it's becoming very apparent that husband was quite an alcoholic. I didn't know. Until the end he just quietly buzzed through life. But as I learn more about it and about family dynamics, he was soooooo alcoholic. He and the two kids are living with a friend (either from work or the bar) in a 3 bedroom abt 1400 sf detached condo in a crowded complex. I don't know if the people he is staying with have any kids. But they've been there about 10 weeks. He's at the bar (which is on one of the main roads going in an out of our subdivision) about 4 nights a week, sometimes until 10, but usually between 6 and 8:30. But it's getting longer and more frequent. I can see his car just to drive by, and the bar is in front of a floor to ceiling window, so when I take my son to gymnastics, or scouts, or his friends house, or go to Target, or something, bam...I drive right by and there he is. Sometimes the kids are with him too, but usually he's alone. And I don't go by every night so he might be there more. I can't imagine what life is like for my poor stepdau. She lost me, her brothers, her dog, her room, her home, her toys, her books, her backyard, her bike, her treasures...and she's even lost her dad. He's sitting in the bar, not making dinner for her, not eating with her, not watching tv or doing baths and homework with her. Someone else is doing that for her...probably the woman who owns the house. Can you imagine moving in to someone's house and for 10 weeks and dumping your kids on them. Ten weeks living crowded in someone else's house. He brings home $4000 a month, he can afford an apartment. But no, he imposes and mooches and dumps his kids. I never would have thought that of him. But he's an alcoholic and they do things like that. I'm guessing he's going to leave the state when the divorce is final--not that he's doing anything to hurry it up. He's playing games, but there's not much he can do, not many issues. He might try to transfer to Missouri to his company's HQ, but probably whatever he does he's going to end up working for his brother's landscaping company in OH and living in his brother's rental on their property. He's going to move back to mommy and shove his kids off on mother in law and sister in law to fight over and drink and feel sorry for himself. What a waste. I am surprised I do not miss stepdau. Why is that? I love her a lot and am sorry what's happening to her. CPS has come a couple times to ask more questions and I once asked if they could take a couple of her favorite dolls to her. The CPS lady hesitated, then said, "They are having a lot of trouble finding room for all of them." What? There's no room for two favorite dolls for a little girl who just lost everything? They can sit on her bed. And still there's no room? Wow. I think that stepdau came with so much responsibility (I did most of her care) and with so much stress (tied in with husband and stepson), that I can't imagine going back. No way could I have her in my life without having husband and stepson too, even if I were her legal mother and had a right to her: there would be exchanges and visitation and problems. The thought itself is enough to make me just not want to think about her. But I feel bad for her. She's spunky and adaptable and extroverted, so she'll survive; but she's also sensitive and needy and anxious...and husband hasn't a clue, he's not hooked into her (altho he loves her), but he doesn't notice her like he notices stepson. He just assumes if she's smiling, she's good, and she always smiles. A very interesting thing about stepdau...I've never seen her angry. Maybe on the edge of annoyed...but never angry. Everyone gets angry...but she doesn't, but she must. Everyone does. So what's going on with her anger? Turned inward to someday be depression and anxiety? I'm sad for her, but I've let go. There's lots of children raised by inadequate, alcoholic parents who find their way thru the kindness of strangers. It's not good, but I can't do anything about it. And stepson....omg...I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad to be free of stepson. If husband stopped drinking and dumped his mother (he'd have a sex change operation first) and became the man I tought he was when I married him, I still couldn't take him back becaue of stepson. The relief of being free of stepson is intoxicating. All the anxiety, the worry, the watching, the hyper alterness, the knives, the lying, the games, all just gone. I had no idea how that boy constricted and warped my life. I'm sure right now stepson is being an angel; he got what he wanted--split us up. I'm sure he's invented a dozen stories about how awful me and my kids were to him, and I'm sure husband is lapping them up (you should see some of the emails I got). But I cannot believe how much better my life is without him. Without any of them. My job has taken off. I have opportunities I didn't realize. I have freedom to go out in the evening without worrying about what happens at home. There are lots of nice men in the world and I'm happy. I haven't been happy for so long. It was a wonderful holiday. Just what it should be. Fun, happy, companionable, loving, full of friends and family. And it wouldn't have happened had I still been with husband and his kids.