Nasty divorce....will I ever get over these awful feelings inside? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-08-2012, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. I always knew inside that I would be in this place eventually, but thinking it and doing it are two completely different things.  We have three children.  10, 8 and 2.  The beginning of my pregnancy with our last child was the official point of no return, I believe. I have always stayed home with the children and we homeschool. 

 

We have been married for over 13 years.  Dh has traveled for work for over ten of them.  I have literally been the sole caregiver for our children for their entire lives.  He has provided financially.  He has provided well in that area, however, that is basically where it stopped.  He is emotionally unavailable and emotionally and verbally abusive.  Being away 90% of the time has given him the opportunity to create two lives, as he has yelled at me many times.  While away, he lives the life of a single man. Many years have been filled with alcohol fueled abusive phone calls that he never remembered.  He has always claimed to be the perfect family man, yet others connected to his job claim quite the opposite.  eyesroll.gif  According to him, they are all liars and everyone is out to get him.  Of course.  Isn't that always the case?

 

The last year has been over the top ridiculous.  I now recognize how I have helped this whole mess get 100 times worse.  I am/was seriously co-dependent.  I had never heard the term until a few months ago.  It was quite a smack in the face and a relief at the same time to learn about this.  I have spent all these years believing that everything was always my fault and that I was the problem.  Dh is a textbook narcissist.  He scares the daylights out of me.  He was horrible to the kids and me.  

 

I spent the last year hearing, "Divorce me then," and "You know I am divorcing you, right?"  over and over and over.  But he didn't do it.  I filed in April.  Upon learning of this from the attorney he supposedly did not have, he screamed in front of the children to me, "I know you filed for divorce!  I am not as f&^%ing stupid as you look!  Oh yeah, I am not as f&*(*ing stupid as you look!" with this crazy grin on his face.  Then he spun around and left the house slamming the door.  On President's Day he told me he was trying to divorce me and would do it the following day and than I would find out what it is like to have nothing.  I freaked and took money out of the savings.  On payday, there was no direct deposit.  There I sat with three kids, $100 in the checking account and a husband half way across the country who stopped direct deposit.  I took money out of his account and paid the mortgage for two months and the rest of the savings account I took in cash too.  He then sent the checks that he withheld and said that he gave me the money and to get over it.  

 

It is all such a mess.  He always makes huge threats and is all about intimidation.  He doesn't understand why people react the way they do to him and thinks he never does anything that contributes to these things.  I can't count how many times I heard, "I have done nothing wrong."  The creepiest part about that is that he always said it when he was drunk and never at a time that I ever suggested that he did. Sigh.

 

I apologize for my poor writing in this post.  My brain is scattered thinking back on all of this.  I am always waiting for the next thing he is going to throw at me.  The next lie.  The next threat.  The next intimidation tactic.  How can I deal with all of this?  He now claims he has no idea why we are getting a divorce.  He tells the kids it is all my fault.  Meanwhile, the kids and I are stuck in a house in the middle of nowhere that isn't looking like it will sell anytime soon.  We are all feeling so isolated.

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Old 07-08-2012, 10:14 AM
 
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Keep all that money hidden away. Do not let him talk you into giving it back. Sounds like with his tactics you are going to need a savings for the kids and yourself. What you have on your side is the fact that you have been at home with the kids for 10 years and he travels for business. You will be eligible for spousal and child support and primary custody. It's time to start disconnecting from him. Don't listen to his threats. Just take care of yourself and the kids, stay calm, and follow through with the divorce. Also be gentle with yourself, this is the hard part but yes it absolutely gets better. I'm 5 years out of my divorce and I honestly have zero feelings or thoughts about my ex. Other then wishing every now and then that I could get child support. But otherwise..just nothing at all.
 

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Old 07-08-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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Since the money you took is a joint asset, you will need to keep track of how it is spent.  And you CANNOT hide it when declaring assets on the interrogatories.  It won't go well for you if you do.  But you also don't have to give it back to him without a court order (and a court isn't going to order you to give the full amount anyway, just half of any remaining balance as long as what it was spent on was legal fees and household expenses). 

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Old 07-08-2012, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since the money you took is a joint asset, you will need to keep track of how it is spent.  And you CANNOT hide it when declaring assets on the interrogatories.  It won't go well for you if you do.  But you also don't have to give it back to him without a court order (and a court isn't going to order you to give the full amount anyway, just half of any remaining balance as long as what it was spent on was legal fees and household expenses). 

I am aware of this.  I haven't done anything other than use some for attorney's fees and groceries.  The fees are documented.  It has never been hidden that I took it or why I took it.  In fact, as strange as this sounds, we came out of the temporary hearing with me still having possession of it.  To be honest, I really don't like that.  The portion spent on groceries and stuff was months before any divorce filing and I don't have proof of that.  I honestly had no idea where things were leading at that point.  I don't know how that will play out.  

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Old 07-08-2012, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Keep all that money hidden away. Do not let him talk you into giving it back. Sounds like with his tactics you are going to need a savings for the kids and yourself. What you have on your side is the fact that you have been at home with the kids for 10 years and he travels for business. You will be eligible for spousal and child support and primary custody. It's time to start disconnecting from him. Don't listen to his threats. Just take care of yourself and the kids, stay calm, and follow through with the divorce. Also be gentle with yourself, this is the hard part but yes it absolutely gets better. I'm 5 years out of my divorce and I honestly have zero feelings or thoughts about my ex. Other then wishing every now and then that I could get child support. But otherwise..just nothing at all.
 

Moneywise, he is being very erratic.  I don't know how he plans to explain it, but he is claiming that he makes 3/4 of what he actually does and his YTD already shows that he would have to be unemployed for a good bit of the rest of the year to make that amount as well.  He is demanding that everything we own be appraised and potentially sold off.  We don't own much of value and I would prefer he just take many of the larger value items anyway since I have no use for them.  

 

Can he actually demand that a child be weaned for his benefit?

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Old 07-08-2012, 05:19 PM
 
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Can he actually demand that a child be weaned for his benefit?

 

No.


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Old 07-08-2012, 06:26 PM
 
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I went through a divorce when one of my children was nursing and would not take a bottle. There was no overnight visitation or anything untilthe baby was weaned. He could only take him for a couple of hours at a time until he was fully weaned which in our case was well over two. I'm sorry you're going through this. Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I went through a divorce when one of my children was nursing and would not take a bottle. There was no overnight visitation or anything untilthe baby was weaned. He could only take him for a couple of hours at a time until he was fully weaned which in our case was well over two. I'm sorry you're going through this. Good luck.

He is already two and a half.  Our older two weaned much sooner.  I don't know why, but he is much more attached to it than the other two were at an older age.  

 

Everything with him is a control battle.  The placement schedule is a circus.  Being that he travels all the time, there is ZERO consistency in anything.  He wants the children for three days upon his return from work and then every other weekend.  Not the biggest thing in the world, however, the big catch is that he only has to give 72 hours notice of his arrival and all plans are expected to be cancelled.  He told the mediatior, "Quite frankly, I don't give a crap about her time with the kids."  dizzy.gif  Ummmm, this is their time and their schedule too man.  Because of this, there is no possible way to even know what the weekends will be until he is here and then it is only for a very limited time that we know.  For example, if I want to plan to do something on the second Saturday of November now, I have no way to know that I won't be forced to cancel it until I am inside of the 72 hour window of that day.  It would be different if he wasn't always trying to create a wave, but he is.  He did that with the Fourth of July.  He told the mediator and me that he would be arriving home on June 29th.  That would mean that he was to take the kids on the 30, 1 and 2.  As soon as he found out I made plans for the 4th, he changed his plans and blew them apart.  He told me that it was too bad and that is the way his job is.  Sigh......  

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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He can't force you to wean but he can absolutely get overnights and weekends with a 2 1/2 year old and I guarantee nursing will not be considered a factor.
 

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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If the visiting plan isn't working put in a motion for it to be changed to every other weekend and one evening every other week which is standard. You can show proof that he can change and control which weekends he is available, and show he is using his flexability against you which hurts the children as much as it hurts you.

 

I went through a very similar ordeal, married 13 years, ex traveled 4 days a week, 3 children......

 

As to the weaning issue, a judge can order overnights as most would think it acceptable for a 2 1/2 yr old to be weaned.

 

Hang in there, you will do more than just survive this ordeal. You will come out the other side happier and stronger!

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Old 07-09-2012, 04:40 AM
 
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Stand up to him.  Push real hard for EOW and a dinner during the week.  His schedule may be erratic, but that's not your problem.   I would also push how switches are to be handled.   Such as he has to travel on one of his week-ends and wants another week-end.  He has to work with you and come to an agreement and get it in writing.  He doesn't get to unilaterally decide which week-ends will be switched without your agreement.   It should also be spelled out that if you don't agree to the week-end he wants to switch with, it doesn't happen and that it doesn't matter how much notice he gives. 

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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Yeah, divorcing a narcissist = major suckage. I just replied to your post in the check-in thread and mentioned this, but the more rapidly you can get emotionally disconnected, the better you'll be. Narcissists get you trained to constantly try to get into their head and buy into their world view. If you're with a narcissist, you're constantly thinking of how they feel. Recognizing that this is easier said than done, my advice is to work really hard on not caring.

I think the biggest mistake women make in this situation is expecting him to act like anything other than a jerk. He's been an epic jerk for decades. Barring a lobotomy, he'll be an epic jerk for decades to come. This has nothing to do with you. Accept that all of his actions will fall into the realm of epic jerktitude. If you expect him to act like a normal human being, you'll be frustrated and angry and disappointing. It'll suck your emotional energy. Instead, whenever he does something shitty, just take a moment to recognize, oh, there's ex acting true to character, and go on with your life.

The other thing is that, by virtue of the fact that he's a narcissist, he'll never be capable of recognizing that he's a jerk. If you're waiting for him to acknowledge his flaws, accept responsibility for the failure of the relationship, and make amends, you'd be better off waiting for your cat to start singing opera.

So what can you do? You can get a good lawyer and fight for a reasonable custody and child support agreemeny -- get it all set up officially so it's by the book and you're not the one enforcing it. You can choose your battles. Honestly, I might think hard about refusing overnights with the two year old. Your ex will turn that into a massive shitfight. Think of it this way: He can't make you wean. Therefore, he'll have a cranky, awake toddler on his hands at 4 a.m. How many weekends do you really think a selfish jerk like that is going to actually volunteer for that kind of responsibility (especially when he's done fuck-all in the way of parenting in the last decade)? He'll do one, maybe two weekends with the toddler and then start making (last-minute) excuses. Battle solved.

You can set up massive, massive boundaries. Is he trying to pick a fight? Don't give him the currency that's he's looking for of emotional response. Even if you're crying or homicidal on the inside, calmly say something like, "I'd be more comfortable discussing that with my attorney" and HANG. UP. THE. PHONE. Don't let him drag you into it. Don't give him any information about your life. If you want him to watch the kids because you have plans, for the love of God, don't tell him. That will 100% guarantee you that he will flake out, because it's a stupidly easy way for him to hurt you and get at you. If you have plans you don't want to miss, get used to having a back-up sitter. It sucks, but there is no way around this one -- it's what happens to all of us when we have children with a jerk.

And mostly, focus on yourself. Take time to grieve the family that should have been. If you feel like you've developed codependent habits (which is a super duper common side effect of marrying a jerk) take time to work on that. Treat yourself gently. Cultivate your community so you feel less alone. Reach out for support on the private forum as often as you need to. And if you start dating, learn the warning signs of jerky dudes so you never wind up in this situation again.

Good luck! You can do this with your sanity intact.


Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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I relate to this post so much. I am the child of a narcissist and now I am realizing STBX is probably a narcissist, too. At least he's very narcissistic. Just wanted to send you some support.  :(


♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you very much for the words of encouragement.  I appreciate them very much.  The weaning issue is something that has caused me to take a step back on how I look at things.  I understand now that he cannot force any weaning and that the only issue he has a right to raise is the overnight stays.  

 

Almost all communication is via Our Family Wizard or texts.  I have a software program called PhoneView that is excellent for saving texts in pdf as well.  It even saves all call logs and voicemails as well.  

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Old 07-11-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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I can relate as well. Best of luck. I agree, get a set visitation and work it from there. My experience is once another gal enters the picture, the kids aren't as much of a priority. Right now he might cling to them for security.

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Old 07-11-2012, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hadn't thought of him clinging for security.  That makes a lot of sense.  It isn't even that I want them to not have time with him, it is that he really needs to stop letting his anger cloud everything he does and says.  He just won't calm down long enough to see that no one is trying to keep him from his kids.  

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Old 07-12-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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I think he is playing the kid card to get to you. You might still be his security blanket, as much as it looks like he doesn't care. Not that it is a true caring, more just a dependancy.
It's like dog poop on your shoe, you need to find something/someone to rub it off to.

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Old 07-12-2012, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ROTFLMAO.gif  Yes, dog poop.  

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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This totally resonates with what I've begun to see in my own separation. Hugs, OP xo

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:14 PM
 
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I want to add that I recently started going to an Alanon meeting every week (or at least whenever I can) and it has already been transformative. I know you don't have much spare time or flexibility to attend something like, but I encourage you to call your nearest regional Alanon office and get them to send you a list of all the different groups in your area and hopefully there will be one with a time/day that works for you. Best of all, it's free! (Well, they ask for a small donation, but that is entirely optional)

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Old 07-20-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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OMG, what an apt analogy. I love this.  :]


♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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