| | Re: I want you to tell me you love me so I can tell you I don't
FW, remember that his "nice" behavior has, recently, been 100% manipulative. He is trying to wheedle and intimidate you into doing things his way. The whole "compromise" he was suggesting sounds exactly like this "If you let me deny my kids their needs, I might think about coming back to the family." WTF!!!! If you fell for that, you would not deserve to be their mom, right? "Wait, I'm going to save the family by letting their dad DEPRIVE them of the things they need??" On what planet do those two things go together? He was really being creepy then--don't ignore that. Until he builds up a decent pattern of trustworthiness, you will have to look at everything from the "bottom line" perspective: how will his request/suggestion affect my ability to support my new single-head-of-household family?" Yes, someday you will be able to assume that responsibility--but that is a few years away!
Stay strong, and remember that court-ordered payments go through PDQ and garnishment of his wages will be automatic--so do not wait to start the process. So what if he gets really pissed? He will continue to blame you when all you are doing is protecting your kids. This is not to punish him. This is not to make his life difficult. This is not about the OW. This is 100% completely and entirely about the kids and what is right for them. Do not let him get away with statements blaming you for his hardships--"No, I am not trying to ruin you. The courts are garnishing your wages because that is the formula they use. I have no more control over it than you do." And, just in case he isn't aware, the reason the courts use these formulas is that men (traditionally) have used threats of custody battles to get their wives to settle for less money than the wife really needs to support the kids on her time. This meant that the wife/kids became a burden on society--but they are HIS responsibility, and the courts do not let men get away with that (and yes, it could work the other way but most of the time, men didn't actually want their kids all that much b/c of their jobs, so they were simply trying to get the wife to agree to keep the kids more but for less $$).
Remember: you have not done anything to him. The courts make the decision based on what is realistic, given the situation. That is well beyond your control. (You do not need to mention the fact that you have no reason to wish to make his life easier; that won't help the situation, even if it is true. Besides, the courts won't LET you accept less $$ unless you can prove that is all you need-weird, huh?)