To Sponsor or Not Sponsor Plus Bach

Easter week is really busy, at church, man! I can only imagine that the priests might want to take the rest of the month off to recuperate. This week I’ll be at the church 5 out of 7 days and I love it.

To people who have gone to church all their lives it’s probably not as riveting as it is to me. But I haven’t been to church since I was about 14 years old, and I’m new to the Episcopal traditions — it’s a big learning curve. But no one cares if you get it wrong, they don’t seem to notice.

I learned about Advent this year, something I never paid attention to before, and as you know I had my first Lent practice this year. Yesterday, Maundy Thursday, they stripped the alter. The crosses have been covered for a month. They are asking us to leave in silence. It’s a somber but beautiful time of year. Went to my first Good Friday noon mass today and the clergy were in black. No decoration anywhere. Everyone is waiting and pondering.

Tomorrow night is another mass at 8 p.m. I don’t know what it will be like. Then on Sunday, Easter, I predict the church will come alive with flowers and beauty and we will be able to sing songs that include “Hallelujah” again, which we have not said since Lent started.

But I’m a novice at this stuff so if you’re curious about the Episcopal Church, don’t learn from me! I’m just happy to be experiencing this whole year of firsts. I love the staff and so far love the parishioners I’ve met. I feel I’ve come home. I’m glad I finally went after months of saying I wanted to go there.

I sat with my therapist today for the first time in several weeks and told her about my moral quandary — to sponsor my STBX stepdaughters or not. Because everyone tells me, “You don’t owe him a thing.” And I know that, but I want to know what my motivations are for not sponsoring them.

First, I want to make sure it’s not going to get me in trouble that I’m doing this when I have no plans to stay married to him. I’m also not sure if it makes me responsible for them in some way. I’m not worried about that, really — one daughter would like to come here, the other one won’t come until her grandmother can sell her house and move to the US which will probably be never.

But my husband has no income and there are minimum income requirements and presently we do not meet them. I don’t want him misrepresenting our earnings and making me part of a lie.

He’s told me on several occasions, “I’ve got to take care of this immigration shit to get my mom off my back about it.”

You’d think he’d care about it because he cares for his daughters and wants the best for them. But if he felt that way then I suspect he would have had a hand in raising them, which he really hasn’t, unless you count hours a day on FaceTime.

So, back to me sponsoring (or not sponsoring) them. What if they are already tight with Heather Ann (the other woman)? Doesn’t that just make me look like a horrible fool? Again? Chumped all over again?

But should it matter to me if they are or are not close with their dad’s girlfriend? It’s not their fault he dumped me when my money ran out. I shouldn’t punish them for what he did.

At the same time the girls and I go longer and longer without communication and I don’t think that’s going to change. In fact I can see us eventually losing contact. On one hand that’s a bit of a relief, on the other hand I would like to know how they fare. I’ve often thought that if I could get on my feet, the younger daughter, the one who connects with me, could come live with me. But that would mean occasionally seeing or hearing from (or about) her dad and worse, Heather Ann or whomever the current OW is.

I don’t need to torture myself any longer.

I’ve expressed real concern with him and he knows I am starting to get cold feet about this. He has a meeting with his immigration attorney on the 8th so I hope he gets some answers then. I told him in an email last week that if he can sponsor the girls after he’s been here for three years, then that’s just 9 months away. Not long in the scheme of things. Then he could do it without any help from me

I’ve written to avvo.com (a legal advice website) to see if anyone will tell me why I might want to seriously consider NOT sponsoring them. I want to know how this might affect me and my own future.

I’m hoping I can get advice from a lawyer who will tell me in no uncertain terms that I should not sponsor them. Then I can write to my STBX and tell him the legal reasons why I can’t do it. Don’t know if I’ll get that lucky though. I might just have to tell him I don’t want to do it on general principle and because he’s a manipulative asshole who is continuing to use me.

Then I feel like he’ll badmouth me further, yet why would I care? Who do I know that he knows? Pretty much no one. If I decide to tell him I can’t participate in their sponsorship then I will really feel less connected to him. I’d go to the courthouse the very next day and file the dissolution paperwork.

The only other bit of information I wanted to relay is that since Christmas I’ve become a Bach freak — yes, J.S. Bach. I’ve purchased four or five albums from iTunes and lately found myself humming or whistling these complicated, epic numbers from the Passion of St. John or St. Matthew, or the Cantatas, or B Minor Mass.

Bach was fiercely devout and I usually buy his works where the vocals are in German because when sung in English the magic goes away for me — I don’t really want or need to know the words. It’s the depth, passion which captivate me the most. It’s all about feeling it. And there are a few numbers which just might be the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. Here’s one that brings me to tears:

Happy Easter to those who celebrate. Or Passover. Or Norouz. Or just happy spring.

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7 responses to “To Sponsor or Not Sponsor Plus Bach

  1. Whenever I’m in complicated situations like this, I try to pull back and take a good, honest look at the source of the stress… don’t try to untangle the skein, just figure out where and why it’s stressing you out.

    It sounds like – at the heart of it all – this feels hinky because you know it is.
    http://www.immihelp.com/affidavit-of-support/i-864-income-requirements.html

    You aren’t part of his household.

    He’s a liar and has no problem cheating you into/out of anything.

    It *seems* that (from the link above and searching around about this) if you agree to sponsor her, the expectation is very much like that of a parent. I wonder – trying to think of what he’d do – that he wants you to do this so badly because you’ll be legally obligated to financially support her if he doesn’t. And he ALREADY doesn’t… it just seems like a great way to rope you into child support (in the form of sponsorship you’d have agreed to in the application) in the near future, which is CRAZY.

    It is just something he WOULD do though, isn’t it?

    In the tangled skein, that’s where the cut needs to be made. Your position in this – in reality – has no tangles. The knots come in where he begins. Get out your scissors, I’d say, and cut off the tangled knots from yourself.

    Don’t feel guilty about it. It’s very cut and dry. He is responsible for his children. His stbx-wife is NOT responsible – and is certainly not expected to be MORE responsible – for taking care of his children. If he truly wants them here, HE will prepare himself well (earning a higher income and building a base of stability) to sponsor them in 9 months. He will have to DO this and stop just talking about it.

    To him and to your soon-to-be-ex-stepdaughters, you can simply and honestly state:

    “Co-sponsoring them for immigration is no longer something I am legally able to do. We no longer share a household.”

    Your income (or the lack thereof) is irrelevant. Completely.

  2. Insistonhonesty, you’re absolutely right, of course. I think it’s telling that I am finding it difficult to say no to him about this. WTF am I afraid of? That he’ll hate me more? That it’ll show he was right to cheat on me and dump me? How ridiculous! I really do think that he believes I will do anything for him because I’m a gullible chump. I must say no to this, get a divorce, and go and get my stuff out of his apartment. I must break all ties and move on now.

    Thanks for your comment.

    • We are good people and our default mentality – even knowing better, about certain people – is that others are good people too. Or that they WANT to be, if they’re given the opportunity.

      They’re not. They won’t. It’s a crushing blow to see this. But really? They’re just not. They aren’t. The end.

  3. Just re-reading this… if Heather [Raggedy Whore] Ann is in his household now, why can’t she help sponsor them? They don’t need to be married, just residing in the same household and contributing incomes (and each party willing to support them with those incomes) to show proof of legally-binding support ( “sponsorship”) for the girls. THEY can do it – together. If Whorrity-Ann loooovvvvvvvvves him so much – and his girls sooooo much – SHE can sponsor them. Or co-sponsor them down the road.

    That he’s trying to rope you into what is essentially child support, for children whom you love but are not.remotely.responsible for child support for? That’s heinous. Truly. He can flower it up with pretty words but the shittiness of the TRUTH remains. That’s what he wants you to do – financially support his children. (It’s like both of you signing into a mortgage, knowing he’ll never actually pay it and you’ll be stuck doing it on your own… that’s the history HE has shown you. Except this time? It’s with the lives of his own children, for whom he has a similarly shitty track record.)

    The entitlement is breath-taking. He’s taken your money, cheated on you, is with another woman, and now wants you to pay for supporting HIS children, whom he doesn’t support himself? UGH. The girls, being girls, might not still fully understand that they aren’t housed, fed, and clothed with Facetime sessions. They might not understand now… but they will eventually. You can still be their friend… if not now, then in the future. It is their FATHER who needs to support them, not his ex-wife.

    His knots are HIS to untangle. You’re a good person who knows how to love – and well… but this situation does nothing but SCREAM Bad Things Are About To Happen. HE needs to love well, for his own daughters… by providing proof of *his own* stability in residence AND finances. HE needs to prove his worth, here, not you. You? You are fantastic. Already. You don’t need to prove anything, to anyone but yourself. HE rejected the Goodness you are and have always been. THIS?

    This is a big, fat consequence. He can EASILY fix it, for the sake of his children, but he still wants you to do it. Grrrr. The requirements are.so.easy. 125% of POVERTY level. He could sell cars – POORLY – and DOUBLE the requirements. $24,412.50/year is all he needs to make for a household of 3 (him and 2 daughters.) That would require a job making $11.75/hr. x 40 hours. He can’t do that himself? For his own children?

    Does Whorrity Ann not make at least that? Why can’t SHE co-sponsor them? $23,550 is the income requirement if the household includes her. Why not tell him to let you divorce him easily, on your own, simple terms – uncontested and quick – so he can marry her and SHE can co-sponsor, if time if the issue?

    The shitstorm he’s in is HIS, not yours. You just take care of YOU for a change. You do actually deserve it. Self care. No one else will! ❤

  4. Insistonhonesty, you’re awesome! Thanks very much.

    Well, I just did it. I wrote and told him that if I co-sponsor the girls I would have to sign an affidavit of support which could have potential consequences for me down the road and therefore I am unable to help sponsor the girls.

    I have NO idea how he’ll take it and I’m nervous about it — but mostly I’m glad I finally told him. Now to get my furniture out of the house and get the divorce over with and be done with that man forever!

    Thanks so much for your righteous indignation on my behalf!

    xox

  5. insistonhonesty, so well said!
    Moving Liquid, I am SO GLAD that you sent the e-mail.
    Who cares what he says or thinks. You only get one life, live it for you. Share your love and kindness with those deserving of such a precious treasure.
    If you can make this decision and mean it, I really think that the rest of your life can begin on YOUR terms.
    As far as your belongings go, I just “picked up” mine last September. It is a mind f&%k but do it. I left my stuff for far too long and there was not one item untouched broken or stolen. My kindergarten friend helped me and sent me away mid move saying I would do the same for her… I wish you were closer so I could dispassionately repossess your possessions. Your selfish wasband infuriates me. He needs to attach completely to his new host and leave you alone.
    It is so nice to hear about your Episcopal church experiences. I was raised in an Episcopal church and it was so wonderful. Church and all of the activities were the one thing that made me feel safe and truly loved. I wish I could get over my organized religion hang ups and find a community where I can relate. This is an objective in my new life goals.
    Happy Easter! I wish you love and peace!

    • Echo, thanks so much. After I sent him the email I got another response from an attorney on the avvo.com site and he said if I did it it would be fraud and I hadn’t really considered that. Little Nap told me that his attorney knew we were separated and had no intention of getting back together. I have a feeling he told her no such thing. So I’m feeling even better about the decision. It’s amazing how agonizing that decision was and how long it took me to make it, my gosh.

      Oh how I wish I had a friend like you in real life. I feel awfully inadequate because I have only family and new church acquaintances. But you can be there for me in spirit, right? And yes, I’d be there for you too.

      I honestly don’t know what to think about my involvement in the church and “getting religion” after 40+ years away. It’s complicated but I truly believe my mom stole my beliefs from me when I was a kid and I never came back to it until now. But it was when I found out about Hen and her age and saw her photo that I just said, “That’s it. I cannot take any more pain.” And I had to find a sours of comfort and it turns out it was right for me.

      This is a time in our lives when we get to make our own decisions for perhaps the first time in our lives. I love that. I wish I had been able to experience being in charge of my own life a lot sooner.

      Thanks, Echo. You are such a dear. Happy Easter!

      xox

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