Ok, I may be beating a dead horse here, but I'm looking for some advice to see if I'm really being unreasonable.
My WS and I have no custody agreement while separated (I get that I should have one in place to prevent these problems). Custody is basically geared around who's going to be handling daycare the following day-so we have a verbal agreement that on Day a, b, c, d I have them overnight, on day x, y, z, she has them. Both of our jobs create exceptions to whether we can keep the kids on our nights.
The problem here is: because my WS is still heavily engaged in her relationship with the AP (the AP works with her) and she has repeatedly used work as an excuse to get rid of the kids during a fling with him, I don't ever
believe her when she says she has to work outside of her normal. Obviously a trust thing. I know there's about a 50% chance that I'm being told the truth, but it's also out in the open that she's with the AP. Normally, I'll take the kids and tell her "have fun." I've refused to take the kids before and felt guilty and I've also given in to the temptation of proving she's lying about going to work (almost always the case when I check). I'm at the point of hopelessness for rebuilding any trust, but I want a boundary there to show that I'm not her doormat anymore. What do I do?
-Take the kids and call her out?
-Take the kids and shut up?
-Refuse to take the kids and feel guilty/wait for retaliation?
This is tough. I'm gonna call you both out here... Please take with a grain of salt. I feel VERY strongly about what I'm about to say..
Your kids are NOT to be in the middle of this. It's completely not fair to them, because they are already in the midst of a sticky situation. They have no idea what's going on, and worse, they blame themselves for what's going on (at some level.)
You two need to think on the kids. What's best for them. Call her out (in a private, neutral place if you have to with a mediator) and get you to someone who will put into place a custody order or arrangement.
There simply is no excuse on either of your parts to bring children into the middle of this.
I'm not saying you are doing this on purpose, but by thinking that you would do this or that, and "wait" for retaliation is pretty much using those kids as a pawn.
You NEED to be upfront about this, and let her know that you all need to reconcile this. You know what, if it get to a point where she is blowing off taking care of the kids to be with that guy, then let her know IN Advance that it's not acceptable to you that she does that. You won't enable it, and too bad for her.
Bottom line, let her know if you find out that she is ducking her responsibility for the children to be with that guy, then you will look to pursue the matter further. Period.
Oh, and document, document document. Document some more. Build up a case. There is no malice here, just what is best for your children.
And, in the end, sorry, but this is NOT about you and her. It's about the welfare of the kids.
As a child that was in tow of a mother that really only ever thought about herself (and going through two divorces as a kid, one ending in suicide) I get sick when I hear of people who start using their kids as pawns. It's just not fair.