Original Poster (OP) navigated the treacherous aftermath of a tumultuous divorce, burdened by the weight of an ex-spouse’s negligence and the looming threat of his return. As financial crises, fueled by the pandemic, drove the ex to desperation, the echoes of the past and the well-being of their children clashed in a decision that would redefine boundaries. But when community, faith, and old wounds are entwined, would OP find the strength to protect or relent?
A Broken Past
OP and her ex-husband divorced five years ago due to abuse and the ex’s unwillingness to contribute. OP holds sole custody of their three children, permitting her ex-husband supervised visits only. They maintain a tense relationship.
Job Loss Amidst Crisis
The ex loses his job due to the impacts of COVID-19, despite prior warnings. Choosing not to seek new employment, he stays true to a long-standing pattern of avoidance and procrastination. OP recalls the ex’s refusal to act responsibly over the years.
Independence and Progress
Now distant from the abusive past, OP and the children have built a stable life. OP’s considerable income, though not extravagant, supports them. The ex’s inconsistent assistance hasn’t hindered OP’s determination.
From Home to Vehicle
Due to unemployment and a lack of support from family or friends, the ex now resides in his car, scattered around the city. The Canadian city isn’t unsafe, making the situation far from ideal. The ex’s decisions led them to this desperate situation.
A Delicate Hint
The ex-husband starts dropping subtle suggestions about moving in with OP temporarily. He believes this could be a way out of his current predicament. OP immediately resists the idea, knowing that he may never leave once invited.
Protecting the Innocent
The young age of OP’s children makes them vulnerable to confusion. They wouldn’t comprehend the situation, potentially being deeply affected. OP’s foremost concern is their children’s well-being.
OP stands firm, refusing to live with the ex-husband again. Memories of his parasitic behavior haunt her. Reverting to the old setup with an abusive, lazy partner is unthinkable and is a hard no, despite his current struggles.
Although not impoverished, OP and the kids live frugally, managing their finances through careful planning and sacrifices. The addition of the ex would strain an already tight budget. OP prioritizes putting her children first.
A Challenge of Faith
The ex plays on OP’s devout Christian beliefs, suggesting charity should extend to them. By manipulating OP’s faith, the ex-husband attempts emotional blackmail. Still, OP stands firm, prioritizing their safety.
Rumors start circulating in their community about OP’s refusal to help the ex. Some believe OP should show more compassion, given their faith, and forgive her ex. Others commend her for standing her ground.
The Unexpected Visitor
One evening, OP finds the ex-husband sleeping in his car outside her home. His appearance is haggard, and desperation is evident, temporarily rekindling OP’s sympathy, but her reservations remain.
The oldest child, unaware of why his father left in the first place, voices a desire to help his father, revealing mixed feelings. The younger ones, however, show apprehension and fear.
A Temporary Shelter
A well-meaning neighbor offers the ex-husband a place to stay for a few days, complicating the situation. This gesture intensifies the community’s debate on OP’s actions. She grapples with feelings of guilt and relief.
Ex’s Hidden Agenda
OP discovers the ex has been spreading lies about her refusal to help, painting himself as the victim. He claims OP is denying assistance out of spite. This revelation angers OP and strains their relationship further.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
Too close to the situation and unsure how to proceed, OP posts her story for support and validation online. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Letting your ex live with you would undoubtedly blur the lines for your children and could potentially cause other issues. If your ex is a capable adult, they will have to learn how to stand on their own two feet.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Don’t let an abuser guilt you into doing something that will enable them to fall back into old habits and patterns of harm. Your only obligation is to yourself and your children. Having your ex return would be harmful for various reasons.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Your ex is still trying to manipulate you into getting their way. Ask them if it was the Christian thing to do to abuse you, not contribute anything financially, and let you carry the burden yourself with your kids while they play lazy deadbeat parent.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “You have a responsibility to yourself and your children to do what is right by you all. There are resources your ex can look into if they need help, but ultimately, they’re responsible for their well-being.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.