The kids find "being spammed by Mom" very annoying and are often resistant to her unsolicited advice. She gets angry if they don't answer her texts instantly yet she might not reply for days. I spent many years in our marriage tiptoeing around, afraid of provoking her anger so that now I constantly remind the kids that Mom's anger is her issue.
But they generally have the strength of character to resist. The great advantage is that the kids have a choice. My oldest daughter shrugged: "If Mom gets angry, that's her problem. I'll just move in with you."
Because of our coming-out / divorce drama my wife and I hadn't filed our income taxes for the past four years. I was extremely concerned about Revenue Canda swooping down on us with threats of hefty fines or jail time.
The problem was that our taxes were quite complicated and needed to be filed jointly. My wife had lost all the paperwork and was in no shape emotionally to cooperate. But this spring, to her credit, she prepared four years' worth of both of our tax returns and the kids' tax returns as well.
I just got back the Notice of Assessment and my refund was around $4,000 (woo-hoo!) and the late filing penalty was only $92.30. What a relief, to have dodged that bullet!
Typically, my wife texted me to ask for copies so she could compare our refunds. If they weren't equal, she said, one of us (meaning me) would give some of the refund to the other person. (meaning her) I texted back: "No, our refunds won't be equal nor should they be." Under Revenue Canada rules and our divorce agreement, I don't pay tax on my spousal support payments but she is taxed on them as income.
Our worst texting conflict happened last night when I gave my son permission to drive some two hours with a friend to their family cottage. I agreed but made the mistake of not clearing it with my wife. My son's view on everything is: "It's okay as long as Mom doesn't find out."
Somehow, she did find out and texted me about planned trip: who knew what and when? She didn't think our son should be allowed to go (he just got his drivers' license the day before!) and tried to stop it. When I resisted her texted bossiness, she quickly became insulting and abusive. Most unusually, she abandoned the texting and phoned to continue her tirade and name-calling.
I finally broke in to say that I no longer had to tolerate this sort of abuse. If she couldn't speak respectfully, then we would not communicate at all. I hung up the phone, unplugged it and shut off my cell phone.
Knowing how enraged she could become when thwarted, I worried that she would drive the short distance to my house to yell at me in person. So I drove into town for a late-night visit to the grocery story and went to bed without turning my phones on again.
The whole episode left me exhausted and emotionally drained. It reminded me in a flash of all the angry, bullying behaviour I dealt with during many years of our marriage. I escaped! And despite the financial hardships and the turmoil of divorce, it's all been worthwhile.