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IMPORTANT UPDATE Wife sent me her response to my email (warning: long). Most of it is true, yet most of it is not. I had an idea, but only now do I have a clear sense of how my wife's perspective of EVERYTHING I did from day 1 till today has been warped by one thing: Porn. My heart and brain are floored right now, so I'll have to write to this a little later on.
To address the move to South Carolina and your request for 50:50 custody let me bring up a few points.
Reasons for leaving (not comprehensive, but main points): Porn with abuse and lying- I spent 6 years being lied to repeatedly about you looking at porn. This would happen a couple times a year and often occurred more frequently when you were home during the day (unemployed). When I confronted you, you often became physical, and I was left with visible bruises. These bruises often alarmed my classmates and professors in OMT lab as they followed the pattern of fingers. The abuse became so bad that even when I was 6 months pregnant you pushed me against the wall bruising my back and stood there cursing me out for not trusting you. Despite months of couples counseling, and then individual counseling you repeated your pattern over and over. Even a month before I separated from you I found a c.d. containing porn bundles that I found on your computer 6 years prior that you had supposedly deleted off the hard drive. While telling me you were deleting porn that first time, you were actually making a c.d. that you held on to all these years, through all the counseling and all the promises of change. Finding that c.d. told me no matter what you say, this will never change; every word of devotion and desire for change had all been a facade.
Low work ethic- As you know I was raised with an incredibly strong work ethic. I found myself flabbergasted with your lack of work. You always have an excuse. Interestingly I was warned about this before you moved here. Other mission students that had met you had talked to me about your sketchy work history and informed me that you usually just worked for your mom. You have a hard time holding a job down, but when I asked you about that you had some excuses for me. When you moved here I decided you had culture shock. My strengths of identification and understanding as a future family doctor have crippled me in the relationship department, because instead of treating you as a partner I would always try to take care of you and bought into your excuses. Out of 6 years of marriage you have only been employed 3 full years if you add up your little stents here and there. We lived off of my student loans as you only qualified for unemployment the last 6 months we lived together. My father has crawled in attics worked at Subway and Dominos. Even though he has owned a car dealership, when he was in between dealerships he went and got an application from Wal-Mart just in case deals didnít fall through quickly enough. You have always refused to work any job that you felt was below you. When we first married I would work washing cars, renting cars, and waiting tables. I would come home and cook and clean and you would spend all day and night at the computer and TV. I shouldnít have put up with that. When I was pregnant my friend found a job for you painting at her dadís school and you turned it down because of the ďcommute.Ē You are given opportunities over and over but if it is beneath you, you donít take it. I lost respect for you. No job is too lowly if you are providing for your family. I canít respect someone whoís own ideals and comfort come before their family. I canít respect someone who CHOOSES to stay on unemployment when there are jobs available. I think low work ethic is a reflection of your ability to battle your addiction and deal with lifeís difficulty. Whoever has primary custody of my child needs to exemplify work ethic, and be able to provide for the needs of the child both emotionally and physically.
Your husband attitude- When we were engaged I made sure to put your signature on my bank account just in case. When we traded in my truck I put your name on the title. When you bought the Audi you did not afford me the same courtesy. The Audi was bought with my loans. You had only been working a few months and we paid 6,000 in cash as soon as my loans came in. Every semester I was in med school I took more than 10,000 in refund for my living expenses. When you were unemployed we survived on this plus credit cards, plus loans from my friends Sophia and Anna. You have never been a protector for me. You left me stranded with car problems countless times. You always drove the more reliable car, EVEN when unemployed. Every man I know would be mortified to have his wife in the broken down car. Not you. You always felt entitled. I canít trust you to put E first. Everyone always comes after you. In the bedroom we had many problems. I had to do all the initiating. I was rejected numerous times early on because you would rather look at porn. That is incredibly scarring for a woman. In addition you would pick apart my oral technique. A lot of wives wonít even do that. A few months before we separated I decided to try and spice things up because I wanted a ďg spotĒ orgasm. I asked if we could use a vibrator while you penetrated but that failed quickly because you couldnít handle me using anything else besides you. When I tried just using you, you often grew tired or sore or couldnít last. The ďg spotĒ idea was abandoned eventually because it didnít appeal to you. What about me?
Why I believe I should be allowed to move to South Carolina:
When I met you in July 2001 I told you I was going to be a doctor, and any guy who wanted to be with me had to understand that they would be supporting me through school or they shouldnít get with me. I always thought I would be pretty old when I got married because I knew that wasnít a very appealing offer. Because of that, I made sure every guy who seemed interested knew that up front so they could get out before getting attached. It was a non negotiable aspect of being with me. In the 3 years of dating before we were married that was discussed repeatedly. You agreed to that. You always knew that was part of the deal. What wasnít ever part of the deal was the porn. Just saying. I was never given a fair warning. (I gave you a fair warning after 3 years that if I caught you LYING about the porn again I was out)
Why I should be able to move with E:
1: E has always been my top priority. When he was born I made three decisions that illustrate this: (1) I decided to go from being a B student to doing enough to pass with a C. No matter what the school schedule I studied from 8-5 then came home and spent time with E until he went to bed. If he was sick I would stay up with him even if I had exams the next day (and he would always get sick before exams). I missed classes and even labs that had to be made up when he was sick and you were working. Even now I miss rotation days if he is sick. (2) Though I had always wanted to be an OBGYN, I chose to do family practice because Iím not willing to miss valuable time with my child. I am happier for this decision and I believe it was meant to be, but the decision was made purely for our son, and you know that. (3) I breast fed for TWO years. This required pumping during lunch instead of going to noon conferences. This meant missing many career opportunities and away conferences, but I donít regret it for a second.
2. The above reasons heavily influenced my residency choice. I chose a family friendly residency. Daycare is onsite and is the second rated early child development center in the state. Other residents who have children there canít say enough good things. My attendings are super understanding (many of them are also moms and dads) and will cover for us if a child is sick. Residency retreats and events are family affairs and kids are always included.
3. Excellent public education is accessible in South Carolina, and quite a bit better than California. Classroom sizes are smaller and Iím finding housing in the same school district where the other doctors send their children. In addition affordable private school is available.
4. As you know, southern values are more in line with the type of values we want E to have. In the south respect, manners, and Christian ideals will be supported not just at home but also at school, day care, and Target. In addition the 3 universities in Spartanburg will provide cultural diversity for E to have awareness and tolerance of diversity.
5. South Carolina is not only closer to my family, but also closer to your sister
6. If you decide to move to South Carolina you will be near Bromma headquarters, and job opportunities of the east coast. Which is something you often talked about. Up until I decided to separate you were actually itching to move out of California. The only reason I can fathom for your mind to change is because you want to have something to hold over me. Youíre grasping for control in any way you can.
The 50/50 custody question:
So honestly Iím always kind of confused about this. You see E every single day if you want, so I donít really get where the problem is. I feel I was very considerate. If the problem is you want an equal time of E unconscious at your house, let me explain why that hasnít happened.
To start, when I went to the child psychiatrist last year she impressed on me the need for Ezra to have a home base. Only an older teenager can handle spending every night at a different house. Given the amount of time I spend with him, that Iím the one who takes care of him when heís sick and was the breast feeder for 2 years, that home base should be with me. As you know, E has always been a mommaís boy. Thatís how most first babies are. It has been observed that he gets a great deal of security from me as his mom, which is only natural and important for his self esteem as a boy. I am his home base, no question.
Second, I have some concerns about you as a father, which I will list. This is just a few, not comprehensive at all: - Child porn on your computer a few years ago. I believed you then when you said it had been downloaded as a package but have since found out that because itís a federal crime, thatís impossible. You had to search for that. As a mom this is a huge red flag that concerns me. - Your temper and lack of patience. Namely you purposely dropping E on the bed when he was only 3 days old because he hadnít stopped screaming. You could have killed him as that is the most common method for coup-contrecoup brain bleed in shaken baby syndrome. I think brief visits as opposed to days of time with Ezra are best so your temper and fatigue arenít pushed. Iíve been on the other side of that temper too. - In January when E was sick and I stayed home with him you came by and seeing how sick he was you decided to leave him with me even though it was supposed to be your night. While I appreciate you doing that, it illustrates that we are in agreement that what is in E's best interest is for him to be predominantly with me.
Our current schedule as you know has been since February 2011:
[Table of our current schedule]
What is fabulous about this schedule is that it is basically what things were like when we lived under the same roof. I researched and talked to a psychologist and even discussed with you. This was truly in E's best interest. What I think is great is that we have been able to be flexible with this. You picked him up a little late this week, but no biggie. Iíve picked him up a little late. Sometimes I take him for a week on vacation. When your family was here I let them enjoy him with no question. I appreciate that weíve been able to be flexible. However, I will not give up the home base, because it truly is essential for E's sense of security. And again, Iím not sure what you are asking for as you see your son every day. I am happy to continue this schedule if you choose to move with E and I to South Carolina. Itís up to you.
I'm not even sure if there is a point to me responding to this entire letter. I'm thinking an acknowledgement of her hurt is in order here. Also, I see a lot of these "facts" going to court. A lot may not be true, but still enough to possibly raise flags to the judge, or bias the case towards the mother.
I'm contacting my lawyer and sending her this email for next steps, BTW.
wow, I have to say. That was a well thought, detailed analysis of your marriage Alamo.
Some things are not right. Yea that is to be expected. But what you have here my friend is a unique window into yourself provided by a woman. Even if you don't end up with your wife and someone else, this analysis can surely help you to be become quite a catch.
Maybe a lot of the issues your wife is talking about: you have done a 180. Perhaps she is not seeing that yet. Or perhaps they are still lingering.
I know that the language can seem harsh especially when its coming from our spouse. But you gotta keep that aside and look at the dry details. In time your wife will surely see the new your. But its gotta be authentic and from within.
Live strong man!
BITS M 38 W 36 D 7 Married 15 yrs W left for 6 months in 2009 W Filed for D 01/03/11 piecing now...
Hi guys, thanks for stopping in and commenting. I will answer to your posts at a later time. But first I wanted to post what I wrote my wife in response to her email:
Wife, I appreciate your heart-felt letter. I hurt you deeply and understand your need to protect yourself. I will always be sorry for that. If it's one thing I should've (and could've) done was to treat you as a woman, wife and partner.
fwiw, there are ways to apologize without admitting specifics. Like "W, I don't recall it that way but I am sorry I hurt you. If I had the chance to do it all over I'd do many things differently."
Several of her assertions, if admitted by you, are not at all helpful to you.
Did you get physical with her? Did you purpoesly drop your son? Those are criminal offenses in all states and I've had clients in jail for less. Admitting them is dangerous for you. IT's one thing to LEARN from them, another thing to lose your liberty.
The allegation of child porn is a serious one and that gets jail time....don't minimize that.
On the other hand, I'd argue, if I were your L, that if she really had any of these fears why on earth does she let you have son at all?
I would not count on seeing him at all in SC if these are things she's willing to put in writing.
Also your first sentence with her letter, to us, is that it was mostly true and then "mostly not true."
Anyhow Her letter is calm, powerful and resolute. See what your L says. Send nothing more to her until you get a legal opinion.
And try to use this as a tool for your future. I think there is a lot to learn from this.
If half of what she says is true, I hope you've done some deep digging inward. That is where the real journey in life is.
m:51 H:55 M: 30 yrs S25,D23,D15 H goes ALASKAN, solo,2005 I file Sep 2/06 Piecing 7/07 Retrovaille Weekend 8/08 M Restored 8/08
What do you want your life with your son to look like ????
What do you want him (your son) to remember about his Father, many years from now ????
What I want is for our son to have a normal as possible life, preferably in an unbroken family unit. That would indicate that I should move to SC too, right?
Well, what makes that hard now is that my new job may be becoming a career path. My boss called me in last week and said that she's really impressed with my history and my current abilities that she wants me to consider taking over her position next year because she's ready to retire. I've been asking God for a sign or an open door -- could this be it?
That's my quandary. Yet another reason NOT to leave.