Hell has officially frozen over.

Or so I’m assuming. I’ve been happily divorced for more than 14 years. During our marriage, my (ex) husband cheated on my constantly (from the first month), was verbally abusive, cruel, distanced us from my friends, selfish, well, you get the idea.

After our divorce, he continued his reign of idiocy, only visiting our child (Ben) when it was convenient to him, etc. a couple of examples: *“Ben, this is really important, I’ve joined Promise Keepers, an organization for men committed to being better husbands and parents. Oh, by the way, I won’t be able to see you this weekend, because I’ve made a committment to a friend to take him hunting.” *
he called me once asking me to tell Ben *“the reason I haven’t been calling is 'cause it’s long distance and I’ve been trying to make only the really important calls”. *

Although He would pay his court ordered child support but when it comes for paying his half of medical bills, I would wait, sometimes for a month or more to be repaid $20.

He would tell our son * “if it’s ok with your mom and she says you can come over in the middle of the week, we’ll go fishing” * without consulting me before hand which put me in the place of being the bad guy if there was something else that he had to do.

The kicker was last Spring, when, for the FIRST time in the 14 plus years we’ve been divorced, he arranged to take Ben WITH him on a vacation (drive 1500 miles to stay with his relatives and Ben could see his grandma and great grandma, whom he hadn’t seen in years). But, Ben got sick. they were due to leave on Thursday AM, On Wednesday, we were at the hospital, with Mono + Strep throat + dehydration etc (this was our 3rd trip to clinic/hospital in 4 days). Ben was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit sometime after midnight on Wednesday, having had a surgeon called in at 3 am to evaluate if he needed immediate throat surgery so he could breath, his dad stopped by to see him while we were at the er. His dad left, as scheduled on Thursday am, while our son was in the ICU, in critical condition.

So, you see, I kept on thinking my opinion of him couldn’t get worse, and he’d prove me wrong.

But, here’s the kicker: Recently, I think he was switched by aliens or something. He has handed Ben $80 towards school clothes, AND TOLD ME ABOUT IT. First time ever he’s helped with school clothes, AND realized he should tell me, too? He also told me that Ben’s asking to stay with him (dad) once he’s out of high school (more like visiting more often), and his dad said * “we’ll have to talk with your mom first”.*

I’m in shock. Hell has officially frozen over. what’s next? Politicians turning money away?

I’d wait until the little demons start tossing snowballs at you, personally. :slight_smile:

Looks like a good start…

Could it be that he is belatedly growing up?

Some of them never do, but there is always hope. If this kind of behavior continues, it will be a much better example to Ben of how adult men should behave.

Here’s to a step in the right direction. yay.

The guy sounds like my dad. I’m sorry for you and your son.

While we can all hope he has changed his ways, be on your guard. My wife went through similiar events with her ex.

Good for him! … I hope that continues for his sake, as much as for yours and your son’s.

At the risk of starting a tangent, I will tell you a story that I have not told anyone yet besides my wife. I think it relates to my comment above and to your post in general (plus it will make me feel better to type it out).

My mother recently passed away (hell of a way to start a story). Now my mom and my dad have been divorced since I was 3 years old (I am 26 now) and my dad has been a bit of shit to my mom ever since. He has kidnapped us, threatened her, been a general ass … all that crap! He has been better over the past 10 years, since my brother and I were smart enough to see through his crap. All this time, he never paid one dime in child support, or contributed financially to our upbringing. He was a supportive dad to us (we would visit, go for trips, etc.) but did not make things easy for my mom.

She never talked him down to us (although I was fortunate to have some good adult conversations with her about my dad over the past couple of years) and never spoke ill of him in our presence. We were smart enough to figure out who our dad was all by ourselves.

Now, when my mom died, I took in upon myself to call my dad to let him know. I think I just about killed him. To hear him on the phone, break down into instant tears (the kind that can’t be faked - maybe not a big deal to hear your dad cry for some, but this would be the first time I’ve heard my dad cry. Even when his mom died … or when I saw him in emergency after having a brick dropped three stories onto his knee - my dad is old school machismo) and to hear him uncontrollably fall down while on the phone haunts me still. He came into town for my mom’s wake later that week as well. I thought it about it a lot after that phonecall, and wondered why it had hit him so hard. The best thing I can come up with is that is must be about things left unsaid/undone.

I don’t know about all of you, but for me, when I do something bad/wrong/etc, I always think about how I can fix it or make it better. Perhaps, my dad had wanted to make things better, but had never gotten around to it or had never had the means, or had never had the guts … or more likely, had just thought to himself that their is all the time in the world and he can just deal with it later. Time has all run out now. You can never go back. Perhaps it was that realization that did it to him.

But I digress …

Wow, thanks for sharing that Lazarus.

Regarding the OP and Hell freezing over -

Something like this happened with my mom and me a few years ago. She’s a good woman, don’t get me wrong. But she’s NEVER been one of these “proud mama” types - the exact opposite. My sisters and I are artistic, yet she always poormouthed us to others, put us down, criticized, or ignored our artistic efforts. Even though others around us thought we were talented, even though we sold many of our artworks, got in art shows, everything. She just didn’t get it.

Then a few years ago, something snapped. I don’t know what. But she did this TOTALLY un-Mom-like thing. She actually brought pictures of my artwork in to “show off” to some of her friends. Like she was proud of me. I could not believe it. I kept on asking her “Do you have a brain tumor?”

Well wring, as a former child in such a situation as you describe, I can personally attest that if revenge is what you want, you will get it when your son becomes a man and your ex begins to reap what he’s sown. It sounds like that’s not your goal though. Good for you.

I’m very happy for you, wring, and I do hope that the trend towards showing more concern and compassion does continue.

However, with regard to the title you gave this thread, I have to inform you it’s old news. As announced by the Prince of Darkness himself, here’s the thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=17947

I haven’t been surprised by developments since. And that’s taken some doing! :slight_smile:

Ok What does he want? Enjoy whats happening but stay on guard.

“Hell froze over?”
The Kings won the Stanley Cup?!!!

I hate to sound so cynical, but I have to echo some of the other statements made here: be wary. I hope this really signifies the beginning of a positive change, but please exercise caution in your enthusiasm…I would hate for either you or Ben to get hurt again.

::crosses fingers::
good things for wring…good things for wring…good things for wring…