An encouraging karmic victory
In the aftermath of D-Day and separation, I saw a group of friends pulling away from me. My STBXW was conspiratorially whispering in everyone's ears to tell them that I was terrible, and that was why we were divorcing. She left off the part about her multiple As. Of course. And she got invited to all the barbecues instead of me or both of us. And because of the complicated web of kids and parents and friends involved, it was not really appropriate for me to badmouth her as she was doing me. Plus I just don't really do that.
I gave up on that group of friends. But last week, I was talking to another parent in this group when I did the soccer pick-up (we have all been cordial throughout, no matter what she was saying). He suddenly just started sharing his and his wife's reservations about my STBXW. And for once, being the nice guy who never plays dirty (or, you know, cheats) has paid off. Turns out they saw right through the whole business. I did not know this, but they have deliberately been pulling back from her. Her instability was showing up at all those barbecues last summer, too. And when I told him the parts of the story she had conveniently left out, his jaw hit the floor. And since then? The majority of those friends I thought I had lost are treating me much, much differently. It feels really good.
Sure, it is a minor thing. But after walking so many miles of misery, which I still am doing ,most of the time, even a small victory like that seems important. It is encouraging me to stay the course, to not waver from the high road. It is always my instinct. I feel super validated for a change. I guess people are not so easily manipulated, and being a desperate jerk like she is doing looks a whole lot like being a desperate jerk.
Just thought I would share my karmic booster shot.
15 comments posted: Friday, October 15th, 2021
Now WW's revenge has turned to our divorce!
I've got the best kind of WW. The kind who had serial affairs, then told me it was my fault and went scorched-earth. She has delayed and delayed and delayed the divorce because she believes it's financially to her advantage. It is not, for a few reasons, but since she thinks it is she delays everything everytime.
Trial looms because she will not settle. Two weeks ago I got her interrogatories or whatever they are called. It is very clear that my worst fears are here. We went through the parental alieantion thing. It worked well for her for a long time. Now it's not sticking, and dad is the cool parent for a change. But these questions focus on all kinds of things that are very much about my not being up to the job of parenting. Really invasive questions, fishing for anything. Even trying to find out through the questions if I have a girlfriend sleeping over when I am here solo. I do not. As if that even mattered. I believe that she is about to go for full custody.
Her revenge fantasy, the one where she gets back at me for making her have affairs and then pulling the curtain back on who she really is, is now going to court. Early talks with the attorneys left my attorney amazed at the aggression she saw. It's very bad. And she decided I am out to get her financially. I am not. And she decided as well that the best custody plan is 100/0.
Best of all, I simply do not have the money to pay to go to trial. But I have no choice. We are talking raiding retirement, emptying the coffers. While she says and will say to a court that she paid for everything throughout our marriage and I am a deadbeat who under-earned on purpose. None of this is true, of course. It does not pass any common sense test. And legally, our assets were all shared because we were married a long time.
I don't know that I am asking anything. Just wanting to vent, mostly. I wish I knew what to do to get me through this unwelcome time. I have friends, and maybe even a touch of romance in my life. But it is still incredibly hard. I want this woman out of my life. I want to be a single father in search of a stable new life. Instead I am tangling with her and enduring awful attacks on me as a person and a father. And to endure them, I have to pay many thousands of dollars. Feeling a bit dismayed about all of this.
10 comments posted: Sunday, October 3rd, 2021
She has worn me out
I've gone through a lot. As we all have. I discovered my WW's multiple affairs about 18 months back. She was sorry. Then she was out of patience in a couple of weeks, so she tried on anger instead. It was a match. She stuck with it, amping it up again and again.
I was stuck in the house with her and the kid. Her anger got so bad and out of control I finally had to find a place to go, any place. In the pandemic.
After somehow finding a place to be for a while, I managed to get a new house. We shared child custody. What followed has been hellish.
I'm not even looking for advice any more about the divorce or about child custody or parental alienation. I'm worn out from advice. I have an IC. I have friends. I have a place to be and I'm vaccinated against COVID now. But parental alienation has worked its terrible magic. I am losing my kid emotionally. Even if I win the custody battle.
My STBXW delays everything in the divorce. She told the judge I should get nothing, and that she owns everything. She doesn't. But I have to pay money I don't have to fight the battle. And she's alienating my kid, and alienating our common friends who'll listen. Not all of them will.
Tonight I just feel at the end of my rope emotionally. I have fought, stood up against the insanity for a long, long time, it feels like.
My STBXW's turn to anger has become something worse. It has become an abiding desire to punish me for having shown her who she really is, for ripping the curtain back on her secret life. She can't stand to feel like she's bad. So somebody else has to be bad instead, and who better than the one who discovered that you were cheating and might tell people about it? And she's winning. The divorce drags on. My kid (in the young teen phase now) argues with me all the time. Says the schedule should be even less time than it is now, or no time at all. But Mom is great. And there are three or four other facets of my life that currently cause great anxiety. And then, oh yeah, a global pandemic.
I always pick myself up again. There is nothing else to do. But what do you do when you feel like you're at the bottom of the well looking up? I know I'll get back to some kind of normal, someday. But I'm tired of this. Very, very tired. I just want to feel okay for a few days. Then I can get back to fighting.
11 comments posted: Friday, April 23rd, 2021
Combatting parental alienation
I first visited here last year, when I discovered my STBXW's multiple, simultaneous APs. Been quite a road since.
My story is like a hundred others – R quickly proved hopeless. My WW turned deeply, bitterly angry. Her anger went to such dramatic and physically dangerous extremes, even in front of others, that my attorney said leave. Now. That day. Just leave.
By then, the pandemic had hit in full force. I won’t bore you with all the insane difficulties I had to overcome as a result. But I’m out. I live on my own, and split child custody 50/50. Still not completely divorced.
Put aside her sabotage of the divorce process for reasons that are all greed. The lightness and freedom I’ve felt were only a temporary reprieve. Now I’ve come to understand that what I am experiencing is called “parental alienation.” There are the too-loud whispers of advice at drop-offs. There are long, closed-door complaint sessions on the phone when one kid offers all the ways in which I fall short, and my STBXW concurs, then contacts me to get abusive about my shortfalls as seen through the eyes of a child.
My IC told me yesterday that I should start writing letters for the future, since in his opinion, I’m about to lose touch with my own kid – just as she enters middle school.
How the hell do you fight this? I play by the rules, the STBXW doesn’t. Therefore, her manipulations are successful. I don’t see ways out of this, despite my best efforts to be a good father.
[This message edited by Slanted at 11:32 AM, August 29th (Saturday)]
7 comments posted: Saturday, August 29th, 2020