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I have so many different stories I want/need to share with The Band, it is hard for me to sit down and write just one. I think I have one that needs to come out now before I explode, though.

In another life, I was married to my high school sweetheart. I was an Army wife and a stay-at-home mom, and I think I was pretty damn good at it. I thought things were perfect. Sure, things could have been better, but the grass is always greener, right?

My husband left for Iraq before our 3 kids were even in school. He was gone for 2 years. A lifetime happened in those years he was away. We grew as a family. He came home expecting us to be the same, and we weren’t. He came home from Iraq and was expected to be a family man, father, husband again after being a bachelor of sorts while he was gone. Things happened; we divorced. It is still hard for me to accept. He was my world! I’m moving and trying to get past it, though.

I do pretty well until he calls and says things like “I love you,” “I miss you,” “I want us again.” I try really, really hard not to, but sometimes I fold. I do love him, miss him. This last time though, I told him NO. Not until you are no longer with your girlfriend. Not until we go to counseling as a family, a couple, and you alone. I also told him that I want more than just to be with him: I want my kids to have their DAD. They deserve that. I told him taking them for a couple hours every couple months and canceling on them 9 times out of 10 is not all right. I am NOT covering for him anymore. He agreed. Promised to take the kids 3 times now.

And guess what? He has canceled every. single. time. I have been wiping tears and hugging hurt little people for 2 weeks now. He doesn’t get it. He always says “sorry, something came up.” I tell him “take them with you,” and his response is “I can’t afford it.” WHAT! I am raising our children with NO help from you! Nothing. Okay, I just started getting child support again, but I am not talking about the money; I mean emotionally, physically. They just want to be with you. They don’t care if you sit on the couch or in the car. They would LOVE to just be near you. Believe me.

I am so tired of covering for him. I can’t handle the questions: “Am I not good enough for Daddy?” “Why am I not special enough?” “Do I have to change so he will love me?”

How do I answer those? I don’t think my hugs and answers are enough anymore. I think my kids, my little hearts, are starting to think I am just blowing smoke.

Help me, The Band. How do I fix their hurt?