My post is a bit late, I know, but I heard from my ex on New Year's Eve that he wanted to see us this week, so I waited until after that. We had a lot of fun New Year's Eve; we visited a family from church whose boys are best friends with my boys, and we didn't quite make it until midnight, but it sorta counted since we arrived home at midnight and I had to wake them up to get them inside. I think they were too sleepy to notice the fireworks though.
New Year's Day was a chill-out sort of day, and then the boys went back to school. Just in time for a snowstorm that shut the schools down yesterday. I still managed to get my work in on time for the online course I'm taking, and then my ex said he was ready to meet with us at his mom's. We headed over. It was alright as far as his behavior. He's obviously not clean and sober, but he wasn't behaving irrationally. He's about the same as he was the first 9 years or so of our marriage. He looks relatively healthy, and his injuries are pretty much healed except that hair won't grow on the scars, so they are rather prominent. He was driving a car he claimed was his, and wearing all new clothes and shoes. Oh, and a gun. Yep. Isn't that lovely.
As a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment who also chooses not to own a firearm, I'm not sure how to handle this development. The first thing I did was tell him he had no business with it, then completely ignore it the rest of the evening. The kids didn't notice, and from their standpoint I think the evening went very well. He was his old self, and they don't know that this has bad as well as good implications.
Today I ran a background check on him through a source rated reliable by some accredited business magazine, and found nothing I didn't already know about or expect. Just traffic and controlled substance or alcohol related issues, lying to law enforcement about his identity, and a disorderly conduct. Nothing that would make me say "Oh no, this person shouldn't be anywhere near a gun" if the person in question was a stranger. At the same time, I know that he shouldn't be anywhere near a gun. I can't help wondering if it's how he obtained all those new clothes, or if he actually saved that much money from his settlement. And I'm very concerned about future visits. Last night he did not seem irrational or threatening, but that isn't any guarantee of his behavior in the future. I can tell him I'm not comfortable with him having a weapon when we meet, but that's meaningless since he can conceal it, and there's nothing I can do about it. I can tell the police that I don't think he should be carrying a weapon, but that's overstepping what I feel are important civil boundaries, with just my word that he's unstable and has a history of petty theft and suspicion of burglary. I can tell them it's unregistered (I know that without asking), but there are many arguments for not registering firearms that I still consider to be good arguments (Nazi Germany, anyone?). I just personally feel that I would do so if I had one. Besides, if he did register it that wouldn't make me feel any better, so it's not a solution to the problem. I'm not sure what the laws are in PA but I'm almost positive nothing on his record so far would prevent his registering a firearm.
Interestingly, the background check said nothing about his ever owning the property he's been claiming to own since before we were married, but refused to ever let me go into or see any paperwork for. Neither did any liens show up, tax or otherwise; yet he's been claiming tax liens and property taxes and mortgage payments since before Whiz Kid was born as an excuse for much-needed paychecks suddenly disappearing. I have suspected for some time that he lied about owning that house, but seeing proof of it was still maddening. Everything he's ever told me about anything is probably a lie. There is no way he could ever do anything to make me want a relationship with him again, after all of this.
Ugh. I think I will email my divorce attorney and hope she doesn't mind giving advice from her retirement. Assuming she still has the same email address. I hate to end the visits again indefinitely, but I don't see any other way.