Originally Posted by happyheart
Suppose there are 2 candy machines.
Machine 1 always produces a candy. Every single time. Then it breaks. No more candy. Ever.
The other machine, you have a candy machine where you put your coins in and sometimes you get candy, but other times it gets stuck. Most of the time the stuck item will come out if you pound on the machine a few times, sometimes 100 times, but eventually the machine will spit out your candy.

Now think creatively. You put your money in one of the machines. Nothing happens. Which machine will get pounded on the most?

Every time we cave to abusive peoples tactics, after being strong for longer periods of time, we teach people to persevere, because we will cave eventually.

Thanks you Happy Heart and I love the analogy.

I am actually feeling great and doing good. I love seeing how much happier my kids seem to be on the whole away from the chaotic madness of BF. When DS came home from his weekend with Dad, it takes him at least 2 days to decompress and get him back in the room. He misbehaves and is unbelievably tired, its like he comes back a mini BF. Does that make sense? BF is a good dad that he does lots with the kids but he is so on the go all the time he is really exhausting to be around. Even when you are at home he is still 'on your case'. So really the days at home when its just the kids and I, we are all pretty peaceful and content and we laugh LOTS. There have been some difficult moments/conversations, and I hate having to see them to and fro between 2 houses. They don't like that much either. They also ask a lot of questions - for example will you ever get back together?

I am not feeling inclined to cave at all, and starting to think about a future just us 3 and what that will look like. All the guilt has gone and if anything, I get a bit of satisfaction that he is starting to feel the real impact of losing his family. Is that bad? He has them every Wednesday night, and as its my weekend this weekend, he will have to go 6 days without seeing his kids. Last weekend, he had the kids and I got them back Monday. It was my DD birthday Monday so he didn't see her on her birthday. There are so many huge implications when you are a separated Dad. All the time he has lost with them. It is difficult for me to understand his choice, after all the ball is in his court.

I know BF has been busy pestering IM, but he has been really good and none of it has come through to me. I had a request via IM yesterday about BF being concerned about DS not getting enough football training in and whether in 'my time' BF could take DS out training. My response has been firm - only in your scheduled time. BF always tries to engage me in conversation on drop offs / pick ups.

Thanks for your help getting me to this point.