The Only Backsliding Here Is Back Into Family Life

, , , , , , | Legal | CREDIT: yellowjacket81 | January 9, 2021

I have struggled with drug addiction for most of my life. About five years ago, my wife filed for divorce and was awarded full custody of our son. This is all right and proper, as I was in no condition to be a father at that time.

The road to recovery has been long, but I have been working the program and have now been clean for several years. I have had no formal custody of my son, though I get visitation at my ex-wife’s discretion. I have tried to be a good and stable father to my son in the last few years.

However, my ex has not wanted to allow for the possibility that I have become well. In fact, she has begun jerking me around with visitation, even planning on removing my son from me for a period of several months so she can take a long vacation with her new family.

Not willing to let this slide, I immediately file for joint custody. The court case goes as expected, my ex badmouthing my former drug abuse and attempting to paint me as still an addict and a threat to our son. Again, I am totally not. I have been clean for years, I’m employed, and I own my own home now.

My ex is so self-deluded and confident that I backslid that she loudly demands, in front of the judge:

Ex: “I demand that he provide a letter from the local president of [drug counseling program] stating that he has attended every meeting for the last several years.”

I smile at the judge.

Me: “Not only is that not a problem, your honor, but I can provide that document today.”

Judge: “How this is possible? Did you already think to bring that with you?”

Me: “No, your honor, but, you see, I am the president of our local chapter.”

I wish you could see the look on my ex’s face. I got joint custody.


This story is part of our Best Of January 2021 roundup!

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Pick A Better Place To Lie

, , , , , | Friendly | October 15, 2020

I am riding the bus. This particular route is one I regularly take, and it’s usually driven by this one driver who always seems like a grumpy jerk. After the events of this story, my perception of him changed instantly.

One evening, I am once again taking my usual route, with the very same driver, of course. At some point, he pulls over, but not at a typical bus stop. He pulls over next to a park bench where buses don’t stop, turns off the ignition, opens the door, and exits the bus. Oh, what a jerk, right?

Well, not quite. I look out the window, and I see what appears to be a pregnant woman smoking a cigarette! I then see the bus driver march furiously toward this woman. I also see him pulling her cigarette out of her mouth and just straight-up yelling at her for the next five or so minutes.

Driver: “What the h*** do you think you’re doing?! You said you’d quit!”

And so on.

He then snatches her purse, pulls out a pack of cigarettes, and walks back onto the bus.

Driver: “I’m so sorry for the inconvenience, everyone. If you’ll bear with me for a moment, I need to call my supervisor, and then we’ll be back on the road.”

I’d never heard him apologize for anything before.

Much later, I learned that this woman was actually his ex-girlfriend, and he was the father of their then-unborn child. Despite her smoking habits, she managed to give birth to a healthy baby girl. I don’t hate this guy anymore. He’s my hero now, even though he’s still difficult to get along with.

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Old Flames Going Up In Smoke

, , , , , , , | Romantic | July 18, 2020

Just after my husband and I were married, we lived with his parents while searching for a place of our own. Their house was old and had a few problems.

Our bedroom had a closet in which one wall was the bricks of the chimney. One day, while we were away, there was a fire. Luckily, not much was damaged.

Or so we thought.

We had a box containing about two dozen letters written to my husband when he dated other women and a single letter from and a photo of one of my old boyfriends.

We soon discovered that, while all my husband’s mementos had survived, my two mementos had been completely destroyed.

Burnt to ash. 

In the same box with my husband’s uncharred items.

Yeah, my mother-in-law never liked me.

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Sometimes A Little Pick-Me-Up Picks You Up A Lot

, , , , , | Friendly | June 20, 2020

I’ve had a less than calm-inducing day today, to say the least. Day-to-day, I am a single parent to my young daughter, but she usually visits her mother — my ex — for a night each weekend. My daughter usually looks forward to these visits, especially since Mummy takes her to [Fast Food Restaurant] for a [Kids’ Meal] most times.

However, late this afternoon, I was informed that my ex would not be able to collect our daughter after school for the visit as planned because she had been arrested. I now found myself in the position of rearranging my plans for my no-longer-child-free night, getting organized to collect my daughter, and figuring out how to tell her that she wouldn’t see Mummy this weekend without letting on the reason why.

Oh, and trying to get in touch with lawyers on a Friday afternoon to figure out how this affects future visits. Like I said, it’s been “interesting.”

[Daughter] was understandably disappointed when she found out she wouldn’t get to see Mum that night. After we got in the car, she asked me if she could please have [Fast Food], because Mummy always gets it for her. While I can’t afford to buy fast food all the time, I decided to say yes this time, partly because she still seemed sad and maybe it would help her feel a little better about it, and also because I wouldn’t mind something nice myself.

Is it still “comfort food” if it’s a drink? Sure, why not!

When we got to the drive-thru, the place was packed. We finally ordered her kids’ meal and a coffee for me, and we slowly inched our way forward to the payment window.

When we finally got there, the worker at the window asked, “Hi, did you have the [Kids’ Meal] and the coffee?”, in a tone of voice that immediately made me think they were going to tell me something was wrong. 

Great, I thought. Now there’s a problem with this, as well?

Out loud, I just said, “Uh, yeah, that’s ours.”

I definitely did not expect her response: “Yeah, so, the lady a few cars ahead paid for your order and said to tell you to have a happy Friday.”

I was in a mild state of shock as I pulled up to the next window to collect our food, though I was quickly brought back to earth by having to explain to my daughter why someone we don’t know would pay for our food.

I guess sometimes, people just want to do a random act of kindness… and I don’t know why, but sometimes what seems like almost nothing can really make a big difference to how you’re feeling. Thanks, random stranger lady!


This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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‘Til Death Or Pyramid Scheme Do Us Part

, , , , , , | Romantic | May 14, 2020

I got married to my first husband very young, and after only a few months, we discovered that getting married was a huge mistake. We had a very amicable divorce and parted friends. We didn’t stay in touch, but our parents did, so we often heard about what was going on in each other’s lives.

Time passed, and I married again. My second husband and I had a little girl, and we gave her a sister two years later.

I get the following phone call about a month after giving birth the second time. It has probably been six years or more since my ex and I last spoke.

Ex: “Hi, [My Name]! How are you?”

Me: “[Ex]! It’s been so long! I’m fine; thanks for asking. How are you?”

I honestly think he called to catch up and perhaps congratulate me on the new baby.

Ex: “Things couldn’t be better for me. Your parents probably heard from mine that I’m now involved in [Pyramid Scheme]?”

He doesn’t call it a pyramid scheme, of course. It is a vitamin company which is — if you believe the hype — going to be responsible for the human race staying in the peak of health for decades and living to be 120.

Me: “Yes, I heard that.”

Ex: “Let me tell you all about it. These vitamins are the best thing ever, and—”

Me: “Uh, let me stop you right there. I’m not interested in buying any vitamins.”

Ex: “Oh, that’s not why I’m calling. I have a business proposition for you and [Second Husband] which you’d be crazy to turn down.”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Ex: “Don’t say no right away. You haven’t heard about it—”

Me: “Look, [Ex], I’m not interested in anything to do with that company, so please don’t waste your time.”

Ex: “…”

Me: “But anyway, enough about that. What’s new? How’s the family?”

How pathetic is that? I still think that he called for a friendly chat, not a sales pitch.

Ex: *Hurriedly* “Oh, they’re fine, but I really have to go. Nice talking to you, [My Name].” *Click*

And that was that. I couldn’t help but be saddened that the sweet young man who’d once promised to love me for all time had turned into a sleazy salesman, but that’s life, I guess. I never heard from him again.

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