Answering the Call

Posted By: HaWho

Answering the Call - 01/28/18 12:27 PM

Last thread:


Thanks Heather. You are a role model all around. This is something my lawyer and I are discussing.

H came out to talk to S12 who was very upset. He tried to cheer him up and answer his questions. They talked about the new place and h reassured him.

H told him that the m has been bad for decades. That was very hard for me to hear. He told them he's been working on it for 15 years. (Numbers shift.) He told s14 that he's just been waiting in that room til they were old enough to handle this.

I do hear it and I think to myself maybe this isn't MLC? He paints the whole picture as bad. But then I think about it all and my logic tells me something really happened to him. I was by no means perfect but how do I make it work with a person who tells me one of the problems is that I have "let myself become middle aged." He is years older than I am. He is middle aged, too.

He says that we don't even talk anymore but he is the ignoring me. I say something and he ignores me. He won't come to dinner anymore.

It was hard to hear that.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Answering the Call - 01/28/18 01:57 PM


I am so sorry it has come to this. 8:00am? What was he thinking? Just terrible. Hope your children are doing ok.

I really felt it when you asked yourself maybe this isnít MLC. In my very limited experience, when the WAS is not confused dealing with real life, stray thoughts, or other pressures, and are fully in their fantasy, they sound so sure of themselves, so absolutely certain, it is hard not to believe them. They are more sure of their reality then I am of mine. In my reality there is uncertainty, variables, etc... For my W it is very controlled and certain.

Mine also paints the whole picture as bad, and I too question things. But you know what youíve seen and what youíve lived through. You know the truth.

I have followed you for a while and you come across as a strong person. I know you will get through this. I know you love your children and will provide excellent care and guidance. Thinking of you and your boys.
Posted By: Gordie

Re: Answering the Call - 01/28/18 04:30 PM


You are doing awesome standing up to stbx. As others have said, they talk a bigger game than they have willingness to fight.

And I too have heard ďI have no familyĒ and it breaks my heart. The kids, our hearts break for the kids. And no, 12 and 14 are not ďgrown upĒónot at all.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 01/29/18 12:14 AM

Don't believe the MLC hype.
8am? What a putz.

How are the boys? I'm so glad they're talking to you about this. Stay strong. Don't let him gaslight you.


Posted By: ciluzen

Re: Answering the Call - 01/29/18 03:18 AM

Yes HaWho. As hard as it is, you will continue to be the strong person you have proven yourself to be. It's just who you are. Your kiddos are there to shake their heads along with you...they know your H is off. And you know what you've seen and experienced...don't let him put big doubts in your head. It is easy to fall for the gaslighting at times.

My XH said once early on in our separation,"you have good memories of our M, but I can take every one of those memories and bring up something bad that happened that day." That was when I realized, it really is a negative mind-set they have; I have since realized it is just another sign of depressive thinking. Not much you can do about that as a spouse. Mine couldn't be consistent with how long he had been "unhappy" or had "tried to work on our marriage" either. As you know, all we can do is leave them to it. Maybe use it as a life lesson for the kiddos; a warning about the dangers of that type of thinking and the need to talk to someone when and if they ever start to see things that way. Gotta have something good come from this, right?

It will get better soon, HaWho. It is sad, there is loss, and there is the stress of dealing with the D, but the weight of this situation will be lessened when it suddenly hits you...you've been holding your breath without realizing it and then suddenly, you can breathe again. It really is your life.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 01/29/18 03:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Ciluzen
It will get better soon, HaWho. It is sad, there is loss, and there is the stress of dealing with the D, but the weight of this situation will be lessened when it suddenly hits you...you've been holding your breath without realizing it and then suddenly, you can breathe again. It really is your life.

This ^^^
Posted By: MarvinF

Re: Answering the Call - 01/29/18 06:02 AM

Originally Posted By: HaWho

I do hear it and I think to myself maybe this isn't MLC? He paints the whole picture as bad. But then I think about it all and my logic tells me something really happened to him.

I'll re-enforce what others have said: do not let their fake "certainty" distort your memory and history. Step away, ignore them and reassess and you will see it is not accurate. I was thrown for a loop too, thinking "oh my god this has been so terrible" and then when I snapped out of it realized how ridiculous the distortions of reality were from my wife. There was a clear pre and post MLC crises experience, but she had rewritten the past and absolutely believed it.

I think it was AmyC here that wrote something to this effect: you the LBS are the one who is holding the real version of your marriage. Don't forget that, whatever the outcome. I believe it is critical to hold the past for what it really was and to honor what I had.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 01/30/18 04:08 PM

Wow! DnJ, Gordie, Bttrfly, Ciluzen and Marvin thanks all for the outpouring of support. I knew he would gaslight me through this whole process.

Bttrfly - the kids are okay thus far. S14 is relieved as KML predicted. He has found his dad difficult to bear these last few years. S12 is having a tougher time. He is putting up a tough front for h, but with me expresses lots of confusion and shock over the suddenness of this all. There is lots and lots of hurt in that little body. They both are still unclear on why h sought a divorce. I hope a therapist can help with this.

These factors (and others) have me talking to my lawyer about how best to handle the custody issue. Everything has been on h's terms: "I will tell them now and in two days all schedules will change." Sometimes he sends me emails and it is like dealing with a 17 year old terrorist with a Napolean complex. He demands things and actually says "say yes now." I am waiting for him to say the message will self destruct in 3 minutes.

Ciluzen - thank you so much for that post. So much wisdom.

H moved out today. He left like the house was on fire. S14 was home as he had the day off. A stray dog wandered in as the movers were packing up h. I told h to bring the dog in so that we could keep him safe until the owners came. The owner came soon and of course asked if we were moving. H's answer? "No, just re-arranging a bit." Hah!

When h learns we are trying to slow down this custody transition, h is going to freak. Prior to his move out I thought what made me most scared about all this was all the uncertainty. But within hours of h being gone, I realize what scares me is his reactions. It's not something I really realized until he left and all was quiet. Job was right, I was walking on eggshells and hot coals.

S14 has said he doesn't want to go to h's place. He doesn't want to be there. It is all so sudden and he has never done well with change. It just makes sense to slow things down. H will freak when he learns that we are proposing this in order to measure how things are going. And then I worry not just about S14 but about h's reaction. But all h thinks about is what he wants not about the best way to handle this so that the kids transition well.

But as my sister asks, and how much has h worried about how his decisions impact you and your kids?
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 01/30/18 04:55 PM

I forgot to mention something pretty interesting. H grew up in a cramped, tiny house. They had an attic that was converted into an apartment. H has always needed big rooms and space; always hating small rooms.

His new place? Small rooms. The whole space is pretty small. And there's a room in an attic sort of area.

I found that interesting.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 01:23 AM

yes. you're reminding me that exh's apartment isn't just in his hometown, it's in his old neighborhood and the lady across the street was one of his paper route customers! they really feel a need to re-live it all, don't they?
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 01:35 AM

So, why are you worried so much about his reactions?

Do your best to let them bounce off of you. He does not have control over you. He does not get to demand how everyone else's life is going to be because of what he wants.

If you 14 year old doesn't want to go there, then he doesn't want to. They found out within a weeks time that you guys are getting a divorce, their dad moved out, and they will have a part-time home. That is a h@lluva lot of transition and I don't blame your S for not wanting to go.

You are the advocate for your kids. I honestly wouldn't give two f*cks what your H wants or thinks or how he is going to react. Only proceed in a way which is best for your kids. And S14 is already letting you guys know what is best for him.

You don't need to fear his reactions anymore. With you as their advocate, I know your kids will get through this and you will be so much better off.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 04:49 AM

Yes, the redoing of history is weird Bttrfly.

Ginger - I think living with him these last few years has been like an ongoing scene from the Wild Wild West. I just never knew what's going to happen next. Until he left I didn't really understand how much I was tied to his reactions. But I know the things he's going to react poorly to and honestly, I do have anxiety over them. I am sure it's a codependent tendency that I need to work through.

This whole thing has been handled so poorly. I would have accepted the divorce but just wish we could formulated a more sensible plan to ease the kids into this. Of course if we had that kind of relationship we probably would still be married.

But he's had this all set to go for a while now I believe, and he thought everything would go exactly according to his plan. But there are lots of moving parts. I know what s14 is feeling because he's been squeezing me the same way. And he's so lost in himself that he has absolutely no self awareness how abnormal his expectations are. He's been salivating for his new place for so long that he's projected that the kids will be happy and excited for it, too.

My lawyer has said that his pace and tempo are crazy. And when things don't go his way he pitches fits in the most unbeleiveable fashion.

It hasn't even been a week! The kids are still in shock. S12 is thinking h will return. He is in shock and denial. He is angry and scared. S14 doesn't want to go there; maybe this will change with time and patience.

The thinking is bizarre. At first he approved therapy for only one of kids! He said the other was strong enough for this and therapy would weaken him. I pushed and he agreed to therapy for both but only "a little bit." Um, the amount they receive is based on what they need, not on a number you pick out of the air. This is what I am working with.

I know you are right that h's concerns are no longer my business. Lord knows he doesn't treat me in a way that shows he cares too much as to how things impact me.

But I see his email in my inbox and I just feel the dread to open it. But I know anytime it's something that displeases him he'll pitch a fit. So I know it's always right around the corner. I do need to work on brushing it off. I know I do.

Thanks Ginger. You have always hit the nail on the head. Just need to work on this.
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 05:27 AM

Do you think his push for 50% custody is primarily about not having to pay child support? Is your income close enough to his that you could afford to forgo child support? It's often not a wise decision financially, but some do decide to forgo child support in return for increased custody.

Of course, at 14, the courts would go along with your son's wishes and only order perhaps every other weekend visitation if he didn't want to be at his dad's 50%. Once the 12 year old is 13 I believe the same would be true in most places.

But also it's likely that your H won't follow through on 50% custody for long - after all, it's not like he's been spending a lot of time with the boys in the last few years anyway.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 08:18 AM

KML - His income is very significantly higher than mine. I just returned to full time work the last year. (I was part-time before then.) And I am not making what I used to make. So I can't forgo child support and I assume he can't get out of it with his earnings. I was a SAHM for the whole marriage which is probably why he's claiming it ended in 2015. Still waiting to hear numbers and that is very stressful.

Right now, the breakdown he is proposing for a temporary custody schedule is him having 44% custody. My lawyer wants to push for him having 25%. That's a big divide and I am trying to understand what this all entails if we can't agree.

And I actually liked the preliminary schedule (the one where I have 56% because I have 3 weekends of the month plus every Monday.) Then we alternate the weekdays. But when s14 said he didn't want to go, we had to change gears. The lawyer wants to push for him having 25% which is every other weekend, alternating Wednesdays and therapy right away. Again, this is based on s14 not wanting to go. Maybe s14 would warm up to the change over time?

I am trying to understand how this whole process works if my 14 year old does not want to go. What happens to s12 in all this?

This part is very, very stressful and confusing.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 09:48 AM

Absolutely therapy immediately
Posted By: CaliGuy

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 10:30 AM

Hang in there HaWho .... its a tough pill for everyone to swallow. I know with my son it took some adjustments and tweaking before he was comfortable with it ... I think part of the trick there was to involve him and make him as much a part of the decision process as you can...Even if he only thinks he has a say in it its a HUGE deal there.
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 01/31/18 12:32 PM

So I can't forgo child support and I assume he can't get out of it with his earnings.

I'm not so sure this is true - I thought there was no child support if you split the time 50:50? And I'm assuming that's why he wants so much custody. Spousal support on the other hand will be based on the difference between your incomes and the duration of the marriage. He won't be able to claim the marriage ended in 2015 when you still lived together and shared finances. (haha - if the end of the marriage was determined by when sex stopped then LOTS of people would be unmarried!)

Also - remember you want to make sure the duration of the marriage is at least 10 years, that's the magic number for being able to collect social security based on half of his benefit instead of all of yours if 1/2 of his is more.
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 01:11 AM

I understand sometimes patterns are hard to get out of. I am still working on some. I just wanted to stop by and remind you that you don't have to fear him. You always did fear his reactions, because yes, they are off the wall. But now, he has zero control over you.

In CA, a 14 year old will be heard and will be heavily considered regarding where he wants to live. 14 is kind of an arbitrary number, because the courts will hear a 12 year old too, if there is really good reasoning. Your one son may live with you full time, and your younger one should really be having an input. There is certainly obvious reasoning as to why your kid should have say, because your ex has done some nutty stuff. Have you talked to your younger son yet about what he sees as the best case custody schedule.

As for child support and 50/50 custody. With 50/50, the higher earner will still pay. Salary is considered in the equation.

It is something to navigate, negotiate and not have a decision be made this minute. And if those kids don't want to go over there right now, they don't have to. And with your kids ages and your ex's instability, I would not be pushing the kids to do anything they don't feel comfortable with right now. Let them decide until you guys have something hammered out.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 01:15 AM

Thanks Bttrfly, Cali and KML.

Cali - thing is? It's just as Ginger says. My h wants no input he just wants everything to go his way. And neither of the kids feels safe saying anything to do so he thinks they are a-ok with all this. He's so lost that he has no clue that this is a BIG change in their lives.

KML - LOL on claiming the marriage is over when the couple stops having sex.

KML - Ohhh. Yes, that must be why he wants 50/50 custody then. I will raise the child support breakdown issue with my lawyer. This is all so sudden to the kids -and as I said s14 has voiced hesitation.

We have been married 17 1/2 years. H claims we've been married 15 1/2 years. And in his financial papers he shows assets should be divided up to that 15 1/2 year date. And yet? Yesterday he told me we should file joint. I know nothing about taxes so I have no idea if we're legally separated that we even can file joint?

And of course, I need to talk to someone about what's in my best interest here. H has some stocks that he wants to hold on to for a few years due to tax purposes, then split them as a marital asset and hence (he says) the reason we should file joint.

I find it interesting that he claims we've been separated since 2015 and yet wants to file joint. If it benefits him he claims we're married.
Posted By: AndrewP

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 04:13 AM

Hmmmm - some math here.

In Canada - not sure what it is there - there's a thing called "the rule of 65" - where if age plus years together are greater than 65 then there is indefinite spousal support, especially for a SAHM.

I was fortunate to negotiate a sunset clause on my spousal support.
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 05:20 AM

Talk to your attorney AND your tax accountant about this. If it benefits you (by negating his claim of when the marriage ended) then file jointly. BUT - you would likely come out ahead if you filed separately. You might negotiate some agreement with him for him to pay you half the difference of the refund you would get if you filed separately. Since it hasn't been negotiated yet who gets to claim the kids on their taxes, it might be easier to file jointly, but you want to make sure he doesn't steal the whole refund (if there is one).

Btw, I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me it would be pretty difficult to claim the marriage ended 2 years ago if you've continued to file jointly as married AND been living in the same house???
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 08:13 AM

Thanks KML. I will ask my attorney. Our tax accountant is very good friend's with my FIL so I don't feel he's neutral.

As for h's claim that the marriage ended in 2015, I have a text from him from THIS September where he proudly says he is first to wish me Happy Anniversary again this year! (He said it first last year too and admitted so in this one text. That means he considered us married in 2017 and 2016.)

Much confusion on his part with timelines and all; like those Dali paintings with the dripping clocks.
Posted By: Surv1ve

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 08:40 AM

What is a sunset clause exactly, AndrewP?

(You know, as the lesser earner who is 1 year short of that formula at this time...)
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 09:02 AM

I think a sunset clause means the alimony expires at some point. In my state it's typically one half the length of the marriage for a long marriage, and permanent alimony is rare unless the spouse was always a SAHM and is older and/or disabled.
Posted By: Stuck72

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 09:19 AM

You will have to file as either joint or married filing separately for this tax year because you haven't lived apart for the past 6 months (otherwise you would be eligible for head of household - a big benefit you'll be eligible for next year). A joint return would result in a lower total tax bill and since those are joint assets, so is the return. The exception is if you think you are at risk of liability for him cheating the IRS. Then you would definitely want to file separately.
Posted By: Gordie

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 12:15 PM


These d laws vary state by state so take all advice hear with some caution. Many states have also gone through alimony reform so even a recently D friend may not be up to date. New federal tax law does affect deductibility of alimony starting for D closed after 12/31. What is most beneficial to you re tax filing should be addressed with an accountant. Custody should be determined by what is in the best interest of the kids not what minimizes his child support payments. If he is being completely unreasonable, Iíd move quickly to mediation as the out of court settlement back and forth can drag out and rack up huge legal bills (I learned this the hard way). Not wanting to sell stock for a few years? That sound like b s as long term capital gains only requires a 12 month holding period.
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 01:42 PM

Agree about the stock, and he could surely transfer half to your name?

Now if it is stock options from an employer that's a different matter and you should consult an accountant about that.

Yes, deductibility of alimony has changed, with the new law HE would have to pay taxes on it and you wouldn't ( used to be the opposite).

Also don't count on your lawyer to give you tax advice. It's not usually their specialty and although my divorce lawyer was fine in all other areas, I had a better grasp on the financials than he did.
Posted By: skyhigh

Re: Answering the Call - 02/01/18 02:30 PM

Don't forget to protect financially the future of your children, ask to have money put every year on a college fund. It should be part of the divorce settlement also: who will be paying for the braces if they are needed, the special expenses (sports, camps, kids cellphones...), health expenses... driving lessons... the first car... if the dog is sick who will be the vet fees.
Take your time, make a list.

Look at it as a business deal, I got this advice from a friend who went though a very tough divorce , he tried to play nice until the divorce was done and then he stopped paying for a lot of items, but since they were not part of the divorce settlements she couldn't do nothing.
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/02/18 02:00 AM


Please add one more "who will" to your list:

Who will be carrying your sons on their health insurance plan? Will the other spouse be paying towards the plan that is being carried by the other spouse?

Definitely, it your situation is now a business deal that has gone completely south. Try to keep your emotions out of the negotiations as much as possible. The calmer you are, the better.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 02/02/18 07:28 AM

Options are marital assets at least in my state
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 02/02/18 07:30 AM

Also ask your lawyer if you can ask the company yet to make stbx pay costs if heís the one being unreasonable and running up fees
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 02/02/18 07:49 AM

Should have read ask the court/judge to have stbx pay costs if heís the one running the tab
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/04/18 06:59 AM

Thank you all so very much. So many unchartered waters for me. H took care of all these things while I was a SAHM. I am working on finding an accountant to help me.

Things are rough here. I think the reality is hitting s14. He holds it together when he's at h's and then falls apart here. It's been 1 week thus far and he is expressing much anger and sadness. It is good he's getting it out. Today he looks worn and tired from all the emotions though he slept well. In the early morning I heard him snoring which he never goes. I brought him breakfast in my bed and he is hunkered down there.

S12 seems fine and I think he is putting up a front 24/7. He did talk to his best friends about it as they went through a divorce so I am hoping he is processing there. But he parrots back things h has said about him: that's he's "tough" and can handle this on his own and doesn't need to talk it all out, etc.

Both boys will see a therapist. H approved it which shocked me. I suspect his lawyer told him to play ball. Most important to me is that they process this in a healthy way, that they learn healthy coping skills and that this is not the glitch that causes them to have their own MLC someday.

Yesterday h dropped off kids and needed something from the garage. H was always very strict about locking doors and closing the garage bay. I thought he'd been gone 10 minutes and I was setting something up w/S14 when I heard h call me from the garage/kitchen entrance. I went over and asked him why he was still here. I didn't do it in a nasty way but just in a curious way. He told me I needed to close the garage bay. I guess he was sitting there waiting for me to do it? Dunno.

I told him in a very calm way that he no longer has any say in these matters and he doesn't control what happens in my home. I couldn't see his face as he'd already turned to leave when I asked why he was still here. He just walked away.

Funny how he wants out but also wants all the control. He also told me that if I ever plan to move I needed his "consent and signature"? Not sure he realizes I am a female US citizen living IN the US in the year 2018.

It felt good to set that boundary. So much coming and going out of that garage way back when. I had no control. It's great not to hear that garage door anymore.

Just want me and my children to be on the other side of all this . . .
Posted By: Kyh

Re: Answering the Call - 02/04/18 09:39 AM

Hi HaWho,

I'm sorry to hear the boys are having a rough time but I'm glad S14 feels safe to let his feelings out w/you and that your H agreed to therapy. I'm not surprised though, it would look bad to fight it. Kudos on the boundaries, it feels great to be away from their madness.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 02/04/18 10:48 AM

yes sad for the boys, glad for the therapy xoxoxo
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/04/18 12:23 PM

Well what he likely meant was that if you plan to move you and the boys out of state or far away he could fight you in court.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Answering the Call - 02/04/18 12:33 PM


Feeling sad for your boys. Itís good to see S14 sharing his feelings and nice that youngest has a friend he can talk with.
Posted By: Wonka

Re: Answering the Call - 02/04/18 01:24 PM


Here's some more help for you financially, and I think you'd be wise to use your leverage in negotiating a really fair settlement in your favor. Just a new minutes ago an article was released through MSN through Market Watch and the article's title is:

Under Trumpís tax law, you now have a year to avoid a nasty divorce

Of course, you would want to run it by your lawyer and get some solid advice.

I'm rooting for you, baby!!! smile
Posted By: Gordie

Re: Answering the Call - 02/05/18 12:37 AM


I loved your response about the garage. It is part of their drama, wanting to control us even after they have dumped us. I donít get it. Maybe itís their own out of control feelings. Who knows.

Hugs to your boys. Boys that age are really tenderóthey can be stronger than we think, but also a lot more sensitiveóand truly woundedóby all of this ****. It is good that s14 opens up to you. Give s12 time and space and heíll probably open up at his own pace.
Posted By: peacetoday

Re: Answering the Call - 02/05/18 01:23 AM

Ha Who

You will get to the other side

I don't think that H MLC will make the kids go into MLC

I think In my XH case it was not only his father abandonment but his mothers as well..he had no one
and no stability as a child- but interesting that neither of his sisters had MLC

Our kids have us and I'm hoping that will be enough to prevent a MLC in them
You are doing great-this will all pass
hang in
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/05/18 02:59 AM


I am so sorry that your sons are having a difficult time w/this situation, a situation that is not of your making or theirs. Therapy will be a safe place for them to talk, vent, express their anger and concerns.

As for your h, I'm glad you stood your ground and set your boundary...now you need to stick to that boundary and do not waffle on it.

Your h is still trying to control the home situation...poor man...he can't see and/or accept that he doesn't have that control any longer. He gave it up when he walked.

I think your h isn't happy w/what the lawyer is advising him that he can and can't do. I have this feeling, like my xh, he's going to go through a couple of lawyers before this is over with.

The article that Wonka referred to is very good. Take the time to read it.

I hope that you and your sons have a good week. I know it's tough to watch your children go through this painful journey, but I also know that you are an excellent mother and will be there for them and ensure that they get the help they need to navigate this situation.

Sending positive and warm thoughts your way.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/05/18 08:19 AM

Thank you all so very much.

Yeah, the control issues are brutal. He was emailing me certain things and saying "answer yes now." Or he asks me something in a very pushy way and then when I say I'll get back to him he picks arbitrary deadlines.

We're still trying to work out a temporary custody plan and he just chooses whatever is best for him. He doesn't care about the suddenness or all the shuffling for the kids, etc. Via my lawyer I have proposed we ease the kids into all this. S14 has issues with being there and with this whole mess.

H called me Friday (trying to go around the lawyers) asking for more time with them. Then he tells me to answer tomorrow by 11:00 AM. I tell him I won't have an answer by then. So then he says I have until Monday by noon.

He tells them on a Sunday about the divorce and he wants everyone ready to abide by his plan by Tuesday! He just dictates terms unilaterally. I cannot even believe the way he conducts himself: like a schoolyard bully.

He just thinks he controls everything as though there is no process here.

I need to toe the line and tell him to go through lawyers for everything. He is so unreasonable and it all translates in his correspondence. Job - I wonder what his lawyer makes of him. He has to see that my h thinks everything is on his terms.

And KML, no, he wants me to get his consent for a local move. He's even told me my budget.

HUGE control issues surfacing.
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/05/18 08:47 AM


His lawyer saw him coming and is looking at the billable hours he can get out of your h. Lawyers can tell when someone is off their rocker and acting very irrational. They see this quite often.

Keep reminding him to go through the lawyers. If he continues to give you deadlines, just say, "H, I will need to discuss this with my lawyer". You do not need to put up with that stuff. He's just a plain old bully and he doesn't like the fact that he's not getting his way.

As for a local move, if it's local, and not in the next town or state, there shouldn't be an issue. Who is he to tell you your budget? You are working a job and should know what your budget is. Talk about controlling...this guy is really out in left field. Laying all jokes aside, he really is an irrational man who has nothing else to do but try to control you and your every move.

Keep all messages, verbal and written. You may need them as you go along. BTW, I am truly sorry he's lost the plot. Reminds me of my xh in many ways.
Posted By: exquisitetobe

Re: Answering the Call - 02/05/18 01:13 PM

Oh boy, do i sympathize with you!
Unfortunately, from my experience, there is a good chance he will not obey the agreement. He is making his own rules and yours.
Agreement or not, irrational stay irrational.
Hang in there and stay strong. You
are the responsable, sane parent. You also have control on the situation; more than you realise.
Posted By: Pax_luv

Re: Answering the Call - 02/05/18 02:20 PM

Oh ha.... Nothin but virtual hugs from me.

Just wishing you strength for you and your sons' sake.

Like job and exquisite mention, he is not going to play by anyone's rules other than his own. Its their continued efforts to control everything.

I've been going through the divorce process for many months now and I still can't wrap my head around how ex thinks he can trump the legal system. It blows my mind.... But as a mischievous finance guy, I did know he always thought he was above the law. It's foreign to me.

Stay strong.
Posted By: mleigh4

Re: Answering the Call - 02/10/18 11:40 AM

I'm sorry he is being so difficult. It just adds to the mess. He will have a real dose of reality when he realizes he can't control everything, especially you. I know it's hard to stand up to the bully, you seem to be doing a good job.

Stay strong for those boys, they need you right now. Seeing you as their rock, stability and safe place will help them through this.

Take care of yourself too HW.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/11/18 11:35 AM

Thanks all. Yes, Exquisite, he did not honor the agreement. But days later his lawyer said they agreed so not sure how my lawyers handled it, but they did.

Pax and Mleigh - thanks for the support.

Job - ex's lawyer has his hands full. I have been copied on some correspondence that comes back from his lawyer. At one point his lawyer apologized for saying something ex said about me that the lawyer repeated. And on several occasions he has had to ask ex to stop bombarding me with correspondence and stop setting arbitrary deadlines on me.

Things are tense. Ex ignores me. On Friday I called him to work something out schedule wise for the kids and he hung up on me! He is MAD.ALL.THE.TIME.

I feel tremendous relief to have him out, truth be told. It is as Job said; I had no idea how hard it was having him in the home. Recently he was telling the kids about a book he was reading about how to slow down the aging process. Oh, how I do not miss those conversations. And I do feel like I can breathe easier. He was so miserable and brought such a foul mood to the house.

My niece came for a surprise visit this weekend. Kids were supposed to be with ex. But he dropped them off for the weekend. I am not sure if kids asked for it or how it all unrolled. I thought we'd only see them for part of the weekend but they were here the whole time she was here. I am so thankful for all the support.

When he dropped off the kids my niece and I were outside. She was quite distant with him. She said it was hard to see the kids dropped off and to think of how their lives have shifted. But she also revealed that she stopped liking him years ago when she watched how selfish he had become.

Within minutes of coming into the house, ex had sent niece a message telling her that her response to him was disrespectful to do in front of the kids, that she owes him more than that, that there are two sides to a story, that he has always thought so much of her and her family (my sister, BIL and my other niece), etc. He said he knew her loyalty was to me but he had his side but was too much of a gentleman to tell it. (The letter he wrote to me shows he is no sort of gentleman these days.) Then he signed off as "Respectfully, Still Uncle X."

She did not answer him. Odd how he thinks he can tell a 24 year old woman how she should treat him and what she owes him. I was surprised he cared to take the time to write to her. It turns out that all my nieces have not liked him in years. He hasn't really communicated with them in many, many years so not sure what she "owes" him.

Distance brings clarity. Ex has been very difficult for years. Actually, when I talked to a DB coach years ago and told her about the letter, she was quiet a bit and told me she did not think this marriage was workable. She was Christian and pro-marriage but she said that letter was cruel and completely abnormal. I am still glad I stayed as I had 2 more years with my kids.

Working hard to support my kids through all this. Lots and lots of anger coming out of son. He went to therapy but does not want to return. I think he found it hard to deal with all the emotions that were brought up. I wonder if ex didn't pooh pooh it all to him. I have tried to encourage him to return but conversations are contentious.

Ex is playing Disney dad. S14 tells me he likes going to his dad's as he doesn't have to think about anything and his dad doesn't ask any questions about how he is doing. Then all the emotion comes out here, at me. I know KML said it would be so but it still painful that it seems like everything is great there and at many times, hard here when those emotions bubble up here.

Next weekend one of my sisters is coming for the week. I am thankful for the support. My other sister will come within the month.

I will get through this . . .
Posted By: Gordie

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 12:51 AM

Wow, when your d b coach says it may not be workable that is telling you something. You continue to be a great role model through all of this. And yes, I understand kids just having fun with dad and then being sad or even acting out with you as I have lived through the same. (((HaWho))).

So glad you have your family coming to support you during this time!!!
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 02:18 AM


Sweetheart, you're now realizing how much trauma living with him caused all of you. Are you getting IC for yourself? Just because he's gone doesn't mean the aftereffects of the past several years are also gone - quite the opposite, I've found.

Ask son to please try six visits, then if he doesn't want to any more he doesn't have to. I'm betting somewhere in that time frame he'll figure it out.

I"m glad your family is surrounding you - you need that right now. I wish I could give you a real hug. You've been through so much, and did everything humanly possible to avoid this, I know. I do have to say though, Ha, that at least now you have a chance to discover a new normal and so do the boys.

I know that it's hard when they reserve the happy for the Disney parent, but remember that YOU are the one son feels safest with, or you wouldn't have a ringside seat to what's really going on with him. That says everything about what a great mom you are.

Yes I also understand and have experienced the "angry all the time" separated spouse. I'm not really sure why they unleash all their anger on us. In my ex's case, I think at first it was because he'd been lying to me about his true feelings for years, and was blaming me for absolutely EVERYTHING in his life that he was dissatisfied with. Once the D was final, he was angry about that also. I think really they are just people incredibly lost and dissatisfied with their lives and they†strike out at us as the nearest targets. I found that the best strategy was to ignore it to the best of my ability and realize it was about HIM not me.

Hang in there kiddo. Do not be bullied. xoxoxo

This too shall pass.
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 03:28 AM


My exh became a very angry man once he received the draft separation papers that he so richly demanded be prepared. They included everything he wanted in them and yet, he was the one that was angry. I found it quite difficult dealing w/him for the several years that went by until the divorce was final and he is still angry w/me because I wont' roll over and give him whatever he wants after all this time.

People think it's odd that he's the one that went off the rails, left home, had an affair, married his affair partner and he's the one that is still angry after all of this time. I forgave him and went on w/my life...you would think that if anyone should have been angry years ago, it should have been me...but like most of them out there, they harbor anger for many, many years and some even die angry old men.

Please do not allow that angry man to bully you into something you don't want or agree with.
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 04:11 AM

Anger is guilt turned outward.

Also, depression in men often manifests as anger.
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 05:22 AM


That is very true about the guilt and depression manifesting itself as anger.
Posted By: Sotto

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 06:47 AM

That's so interesting about the long term anger issues Job. A friend of mine D'd a number of years ago. Her XH lost a pile of weight, changed his job, went to work abroad, met a much younger woman, said he wanted a D and they D'd. He was planning on starting a new family with this woman 20 years his junior.

My friend told me about an exchange she and he had recently, where he raged at her for a good while about how badly he felt he had been treated by her family when they were married. She was pretty astonished at his behaviour and the ferocity of his anger - and they have been D'd for 5+ years now and have little contact. He was someone who got the life he wanted for himself - yet still seems to struggle with unresolved anger years later. I had also heard that he was off work and being treated for depression at one point.

The thing to aim for is certainly to be at peace with your part in the process. To have peace in your heart and to let go of the issues associated with your marriage and its ending. To forgive yourself and your spouse. All of this takes a good while and is a work in progress for many of us - but to be on that path and have in mind that aim - is so important.

The alternative is to be the intensely angry spouse, still ruminating about injustices years and years later - not what we want for ourselves at all...

Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 08:00 AM

Thanks all.

Yes Gordie, the comment by the DB coach was echoed by my IC. It's an absolutely bizarre letter. Neither the DB coach nor my seasoned therapist have ever seen anything like it. IC said it's plain abusive.

Bttrfly - yes, I am seeing an IC. And she is helping me a lot, mostly processing all the craziness I lived through these last few years. Thanks for your great post; you always offer many pearls.

Job and KML - thanks for reminding me about anger and depression. My IC said the same about male depression. The anger is just palpable. He just wants to fight 24/7. Recently I emailed him letting him know I shaved the dog down this time but we should alternate and he can take the next grooming. His response? That the way I shave the dog down is abusive! And maybe I should give him full custody. I have always shaved the dog down and he never cried foul before this. Umm, if he suddenly feels so strongly about this then we can have him professionally groomed and just split the cost.

He wants every to be a smack down, drag out fight.

Sotto - I actually am at peace with my part. I did the best I could. Each day I breathe a little easier. I am starting to dream a different life. It's nothing drastically different from what I live today. But, I see a calm restored to my life and a sense of normalcy. I am going to re-build a beautiful life for myself.

Something went very wrong with him. But it's not mine to fix. I am at peace with the fact that I will have my family and he will have his family. I do not wish him ill will. Actually, I feel sorry for him. I have a lot of support. His family is MIA as usual. His mother sent a text to s14 saying call me if you need to talk. Ouch. S14 never opened it.

I see him angry and trying to control 24/7. He did seem to have ideas of how this would all go. I wouldn't get a lawyer. I would just agree to all his terms. My family would have his back.

The more I see him rage and control, the happier I am to be away from him. He's just as raw as he was post BD 2. It's such wasted effort. I can't even go there.

As Job said, like her ex, my ex his plan is in place: new place, new life, freedom and he's away from me. There should be a release from the anger, no? Even a temporary one, right? He seems even angrier than when he was home with me!
Posted By: Kyh

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 08:53 AM

Hi HaWho,

I'm sorry you're dealing w/this but you sound good. What you write reminds me so much of xw when she moved out. When she first moved out it seemed she was more angry than while at home. This went on for months. Anything I said/wrote to her was twisted sometimes to the point of very little or even no truth. Especially when talking with her attorney. I'm not sure what stopped her anger, breakup w/om, me getting recommended custody, or son's health scare because all that happened w/in a couple weeks but that is when she finally stopped spewing her hatred towards me. You're handling his madness very well. Hopefully his anger will burn out soon since you aren't letting him pull any strings.

I hope you're finding the peace and sanity that you deserve.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 09:01 AM

One last thing. Shouldn't he be on an OW high by now? I am serious. If he has someone she's not doing the job. I hope he finds a replacement soon so that I get a reprieve. Is it inappropriate for me to email him profiles off Match?
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 10:58 AM


Don't think for one minute about the "high" of the ow. My xh was heavily involved in the affair once he left and yet, he had such anger and resentment towards me. They can compartmentalize quite well and when they are w/that person, you, the left behind spouse, will be put in a separate space and when he's ready to deal w/you again, out you come from that separate space and the ow goes into her own little separate space.

I know this sounds crazy, but that is the way my xh acted and still does today.

Once the divorce is completed, he will probably have a euphoric high about being free for about 6 months and then that high will fizzle out.

No, you don't want to send him profiles from dating sites (LOL)...what you want is a one way ticket for him to a an island that you can only get to by helicopter. He's toxic right now and you don't want to poke at this particularly bear.
Posted By: exquisitetobe

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 12:01 PM

My situation is like Job's.

When ex-h contact me, he always use "i" not we.

If ow is not around, he is kind and friendly and soft spoken. When ow is present, he talks angry and abusive.
My space/ her space.

Nothing of his life with her is shared with me. When my children are around them without me around, ex-h knit pick at ow constantly. He beleive we are oblivious and unaware of his behavior.

He manipulates to control. Unfortunately for him, his control lessen as the children get older. And yes, he is angry eventho he has the life of freedom he worked so hard to get. And yes, I am still the reason he is so miserable.

My mlcer has not done the work.. 9 yrs since bd.

Set your boundaries and keep communication in writing. Save them just incase he tries blackmailing you. Just to be safe.

It will be calmer eventually.. hang in there..
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 01:57 PM

Is it inappropriate for me to email him profiles off Match?

Hahaha - I'm actually grateful that my ex found the girl who became his second wife within a year of splitting. She's not the OW so that's nice. And it's kept his attention largely on her, which is good for me. He's an extrovert and despite all his MLC desires to get out and date and see what he'd been missing out on by marrying young, he hated living alone and hooked back up really quickly. And at least my adult kids weren't subjected to a stream of girlfriends.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 02/12/18 02:54 PM

every time my exh was with another woman he was even more nasty towards me. just saying.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/15/18 02:10 PM

What a nightmare of a person ex is. He just texted me that he does not agree to the temporary custody schedule HIS lawyer drafted.

He has spent the past week talking to the kids about all sorts of things we aren't supposed to discuss with them: the particulars of the schedule and he tells them they can stay with him anytime they want they just need to say the word. He has told them his opinions about proceedings because some of what they parrot back is exactly what he says. And he makes them middlemen saying "if the kids don't want to come here they need to tell me so themselves."

He just makes his own rules. And if I go try to enforce a custody schedule I know that unless he's happy with it he'll keep talking to the kids about all his opinions and biasing them.

S14 has said ex is now "fun." Where here ex never left his room now is he is out and all bubbles according to s14. Looks like he's shooting to be Disney Dad of the year. Meanwhile when s14 is here he shows up all droopy and sad looking. He looks like he lives in a dungeon or something. S14 has ups and downs but over there it sounds like they're all having the time of their lives. S12 parrots back a lot of what ex's opinions on how this custody arrangement is going.

When ex texted me that he was not signing the custody agreement, he called what his own lawyer drafted "nonsense." And he told me I should just text "him endless thank yous for the roof he continues to put over my head and all he does" for me. Then he wrote doing so would "allow my conscience to feel better that way. It's a karma thing." How odd they he talks about my conscience which is very, very clear. I just ignored it.

I just keep telling myself that I will get through this nightmare. I will have better days ahead of me. There will be a normalcy restored to my life. I have to believe these are the worst days of this.

I cannot believe I ever stood side by side with this person. He is so foreign to me.
Posted By: Adios

Re: Answering the Call - 02/15/18 03:24 PM


I cannot believe I ever stood side by side with this person. He is so foreign to me.

Me too, HaWho. I feel duped. No, I'll take that back. It was my own doing as well. I saw some signs way back before we married that might have foretold what would eventually happen. I just swept that feeling under the rug hoping it was nothing.

Now I feel like I was a contestant on "Let's Make A Deal". You know, where you have a choice of 3 doors? So I picked my door (aka husband) and lo and behold my choice is revealed: A DONKEY! Oh lucky me,,,, (sigh,)
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Answering the Call - 02/15/18 04:12 PM

Doesnít agree with what his own lawyer drafted, your H is one mixed up guy. His behaviour hasnít changed much, still playing by his own rules, bullying, telling you what to do, etc...

I know this feels nightmarish, and I hope it is short lived. Stay strong HaWho, better days are coming. xoxo
Posted By: mleigh4

Re: Answering the Call - 02/15/18 05:11 PM

Oh HW, I hate what he is putting you and the boys through. You can do this, you have put up with HIS nonsense for years. It's time to pull out all the HW strength you have, and I pray it will get no worse and calmer days are ahead for you.
Posted By: Kyh

Re: Answering the Call - 02/15/18 05:33 PM

Wow, I wonder what his attorney thinks. I often wondered what xw's had to think, then again who knows what they're being told. Mine told me she had never seen anything like xw's emails in all her years of practice.

his projection is still going strong. You're doing great ignoring it. I don't know what to say about him manipulating your boys. I'm sorry he is still so angry. I just wanted to suggest journaling things like him discussing things w/the kids he's not supposed to be if you're not already, just in case.

My kids are a lot younger but some of what you wrote is familiar. xw was taking them on trips, doing this, that and who knows what. This lasted for as long as she could do it and then it stopped. I'm thinking your h's place is more like your sons going to a teenage friend's house. They need a parent now and even though right now it is rough, you and the boys will get the payout of you being an awesome mom. Maybe s14 feels this way at his dad's too but can't let it out there.(?) Is it worse on switch off days? They are rough on everyone.

Take care ((HaWho))
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/15/18 06:57 PM

Some things to keep in mind:
1) The boys are likely enjoying finally having some of H's attention. Galling as it is to you, it's better for the boys than if he had abandoned them completely. Try to ignore the bullsh@t he feeds them and don't get drawn into a pissing match with him. Your boys were neglected by him for years and are liketgrateful for the attention.

2) In the long run your boys will know you were the parent who had their back.

3) Go ahead and be a little Disney mom yourself. No, not irresponsible, but think of fun inexpensive activities you can plan with them. Host sleepovers with their friends at your house. Take them on hikes. It's easy to get lost in the stress - stop to smell the roses.

4) Remember when they test you, it's because you're safe. They don't dare express their pain to H.

5) Dog training 101 - reward good behaviors, ignore the bad ones. Subtly reward H when he does something right, don't get sucked into arguments with him.

Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 02/16/18 12:12 AM

Document document document dates times conversations medium source
You may never need it but if you do, then you have it.

Consistency in your parenting will win the day.

You may want to get a separate phone for your personal use and not give the kids or stbxh that #. Why? So you can consolidate his misery into one place but not be stuck with it every time you get a call from someone. Better still just get it as a burner phone and see if all calls and texts from stbxh can be forwarded to the new #. Make sense?

Just some thoughts xoxoxo stay strong
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/16/18 02:50 AM

As butterfly has stated....document, document and document some more. He's lost the plot completely and I would swear on a stack of bibles that your h is my xh's twin. The things he's saying and doing are the same and yes, right down to not agreeing w/what his lawyer has done. It won't be long and that lawyer will be history.

He's losing control and he's attempting to get it back by doing whatever he wants and saying whatever he wants. He wants to look like the greatest dad in the eyes of his sons. He's forgotten just how long he was in the dorm room and not being the greatest dad during those days. Trying to be a Disney Dad will get old...it just has to run its course.

He'll continue to project, but you've got to stand your ground and do not allow him to bully you into doing something you do not want to do.

Again, document everything. You just have no idea when you may need to pull that documentation out. Just remember...he's not the person you knew and loved...the pod person has come out to play and that means being selfish and sticking it to you any way that he can. Protect yourself any way that you can.
Posted By: kml

Re: Answering the Call - 02/16/18 08:15 AM

Agree with above, document everything.
Posted By: exquisitetobe

Re: Answering the Call - 02/16/18 09:09 AM

I can understand his thinking on the visitations. My ex did the same. My ex's words: " No judge has the right to decide when I will see my children. "

In their mind, they are leaving me and you only yet can not take care of the children themselves but they want to be free to do so when they want to.

Teenager's thinking. Fun with no responsibilities, unaware of other' s lives but the life they want. He does not care about your children' s routine. School, activities, friends... immature behaviors..

Your husband will grow up but not for a long, long while. Sorry to say. I would bet he will NOT follow the agreement no matter what is on it.

BE THE ADULT HaWho. Stay focus on what is right. Your children need you way more then him. This to will show in time! Trust me!! wink
Posted By: LouR

Re: Answering the Call - 02/16/18 04:33 PM

Hi HaWho,

Sending you huge big hugs and endless love your way.

Everyone who has been through this is giving you great advice, I can only give you my support, so know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Love n Hugs xoxo
Posted By: roist

Re: Answering the Call - 02/17/18 01:39 AM

Ha who.

I have not been around much but you are in my thoughts. Best wishes.

I am sorryfor your sons but not for you. I thinkonce the dust settles and the current stresses are sorted, this change could be better thanhhow things were.

Don't buy into his version of things.

I wish you well. Remember this too will pass.
Posted By: ciluzen

Re: Answering the Call - 02/17/18 03:39 AM

Disney Dad. Teenager thinking.

Yep, HaWho. I know its upsetting and mind boggling to watch someone push away from family and responsibilities and then suddenly need the children as play mates. I think they see it as that...playmates.

Like you, I stayed home for years. I spent every day with my kids and had great times with them as well as trying times; it's not all fun and games. He saw the fun parts, though. He was a great dad on weekends...as long as the kids were doing what he was interested in. But XH did say he would trade positions with me gladly if I could bring in as much money as him.

Whatever. So he plays the cool uncle to other people's kids and tries to be Disney Dad to our own adult children. There's no responsibility there; just fun. And that seems to be part of the MLC. They need playmates; someone to make them happy, needed, and enjoyed. They need to feel worth and value as a person; not just as a working man. They need to not be weighed down with adult responsibility or weighty decisions and negative emotions. Stress. So...Disney Dad.

We are the parent. Our MLCer is the rebelling teen, out to have fun and double-middle fingers to our face if we put pressure on them or question their acts. They'll try to get the kiddos to align against the parent (just like in every kid movie) by being fun. Think, the Lost Boys of Peter Pan or Brando in The Wild One.

"What are you rebelling against?"
"Whaddya you got?"

My kids are older. They have adult responsibilities. My oldest has a husband, three jobs plus a business with her H. Youngest works and has a boyfriend. He doesn't fully understand why they won't always play with him when he wants to play.

HaWho, you will get through this process. Your kids will see your stablity as the responsible parent they can turn to when times get heavy, and Disney Dad will be revealed to them. Let them enjoy their time with him. And make sure you have a little fun, too. Things will even out eventually.
Posted By: BrightFuture

Re: Answering the Call - 02/19/18 03:34 PM

HaWho, Iím so sorry you have to go through more nonsense with your H. You have a lot of patience, but please, please, please enforce your boundaries. He thinks he can walk over you and get what he wants, even if his own layer tells him otherwise.

The boys are the most vulnerable here. I agree with kml, that ironically they are finally receiving some attention from their father. I just hope that there will not be a hard crush at some point when his attitude switches and he no longer wants to be a Disney Dad.

I also agree with bttrfly and job about the notes and document things. Take as many notes as possible. It could help you through the process and keep your h in check. He reminds me of xh of one of the posters on this board - ďwishing hopingĒ. Her H was trying to manipulate the system and turn the kids on his side. Didnít quite work his way on everything.

I noticed that you refer to your h as ex already. I guess it is all done deal in your mind. If this is the case, it should give you even more strength to stand up to his nonsense and protect yourself and your kids.

Sending you lots of hugs.
Posted By: mleigh4

Re: Answering the Call - 02/24/18 10:31 AM

I have been thinking about you. How are you HW?
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 02/25/18 03:05 AM

Gal, DNJ, Mleigh, KYH, KML, Bttrfly, Job, Exquisite, Lou, Roist, Cil and Bright thank you all so very much for the amazing support and advice. Yes, I document.

My sister was here this week and offered me amazing support. She cooked for me and tidied up my house and helped me in so, so many ways.

As for how things are over here; it's chaotic. We have a court date this week to try to set a schedule. Right now my ex shoots completely from the hip. He sets the schedule directly with the kids, has switched weekends on me without even communicating it to me (just dropped them here on his weekend and then informed me the next weekend that he was taking that one). He's told them what the custody breakdown should be and now they tell me that same thing. It's an all out nightmare. He just does not think rules apply to him.

We agreed I would give him any of his mail that arrived here. I was waiting on checks I ordered and they weren't coming. Then I noticed other mail wasn't arriving. Yep, you guessed it: he forwarded all our joint mail to himself. I told him I needed those checks and had a legal right to them still. He gave them to me but it's all about his rules and his control. He didn't even inform me of the forward or that the checks arrived! How am I supposed to function like this? He literally does whatever he wants whenever he wants.

He feels it's unsafe that my garage bay door is open. So, if the kids are with me, he waits until someone closes it. One time he waited in my driveway honking until someone closed it. Control, control and control. And what a world class jerk.

Another way rules are for others and not him? When I called about the checks he mentioned the assets and debts form and told me this whole form was to be taken as "just an estimate." That is not my lawyer's stance. I was told the court does not look favorably on withholding assets.

I told him he has to report things. I know of a few things he's left off the list. How do I know? Am I a Cracker Jack forensic accountant? No. When he first asked for a divorce he wrote me a letter telling me about a certain asset and asked to keep it in exchange for other assets. Then he left that asset off his forms altogether. I still have the letter. Brilliant.

Anyway, when I said he had to report things accurately, he asked me which items he wanted me to report! UNBELIEVEABLE! He wanted me to tell him what lies I knew he was telling. I said "let's start will all assets." He slammed the phone down on me.

Yeah, so life is kind of a slog right now. I am hoping this court mediator will see that this is all insane and help put some rules and boundaries in place.

Emotions are spilling out of the kids. There are sweet, loving moments. There is also lots of anger coming out sideways at me. KML - thank you for saying they are testing the safe parent.

I was at s12's game yesterday and S14 texted me asking to uber 30 miles on the highway by himself to go to a party. He is 14! I said no and he said he would not talk to me for a week and that he wanted to be with his dad all week. Guess this is the new norm. Every time he is unhappy he'll threaten this? The behaviors are so similar to ex's.

Ex was not such a present parent when the kids were young. I shouldered 95% of the child rearing. He always told me that he'd be really good when the kids were older, that he'd shine in those years. Ugh.

Ex was not at s12's game last night. S12 was invited to play on a different team last minute. So ex called s afterwards but said he was in a place that was too loud to talk. I know he's out there hitting the scenes. He is that 50 year old guy that makes you cringe. Sometimes I still cannot believe this is him. Again, it's the new norm.

I know this too shall pass. I know better days are coming my way. I will get through this.
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 02/25/18 06:04 AM

I am so sorry he's acting out. It's all about control and making you pay for whatever wrong he thinks you need to be punished for. He's angry at everything and everyone. He's angry that he moved out, but that was his decision, not yours.

As for the mail issue, gosh, I went thru that w/my xh for a while. It's not easy dealing w/them when they are like this.

I am so happy that your sister came to visit. You needed her support and she was there to assist anyway that she can. At least she was able to see just what he's up to these days and how the boys are reacting.

Yes, children will play one parent against the other and threaten to go stay w/the other parent. Your son is testing the waters w/you to see just how far he can go.

I hope that you can get some things settled this week when it comes to visitation for the boys.

As for discussing assets w/him...keep what you know about what he's not disclosed close to the vest until it's time to reveal all. Don't tell him anything about the assets...he's a grown man and knows what he needs to be addressing. He fired you as his "accountant".

As for the garage door, I wouldn't give a fig if it's up or down when he comes and goes. Let him honk the horn. Eventually, someone will call the police on him for disturbing the peace. There is no law that says you need to close it. For that matter, he could close it himself. I would ignore him and do what I wanted about the door...after all, he's not living there at the moment.

I'm wishing you good luck now and hopefully, and I mean hopefully, you can get something in writing concerning visitation and try not to waffle w/it when it comes to him wanting to change dates. I know, he's an absolute control freak at the moment and it will only get worse before it gets better. His anger has to burn itself out and you need to try to step aside as much as possible for this to happen.
Posted By: mleigh4

Re: Answering the Call - 02/25/18 12:48 PM

I would be so pi$$ed off if my mail was being redirected. The kids, the garage door, the assets.... He has really gone overboard! He has to eventually run out of steam though, right? I would also think the Disney dad routine will wear off too. The boys are going to need more than that and will realize it.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned through all this is to only deal with what you can control. His behavior, what he reports, what he tells the kids, that's all on him.

My 2 cents....Keep your side clean and continue to play fair, even though he isn't. He is only making himself look a fool to everyone. He is on a high right now, thinking he can control everything and everyone. I predict he will spin himself right out of control and crash.

You got this HW. It will pass. Hang in there, sending hugs and lots of support, strength and prayers your way.

Posted By: Gordie

Re: Answering the Call - 02/26/18 05:38 AM


Iím so sorry. You are in the worst of times. Iím sorry s14 said what he did. You and I know heís being rebellious but it can still hurt. Agree with advice above about not revealing everything you know. Protect yourself and the kids from this hurricane of madness. You are a strong woman. Might be a good time for a weekend away by yourself if H has the kids or with the kids if he doesnít. It doesnít have to be fancy but sometimes a change of scenery helps soothe the soul.
Posted By: Sotto

Re: Answering the Call - 02/26/18 06:44 AM

Ugh, I'm sorry HaWho. It does sound like a difficult slog - huge hugs for you...

I loved your last statement - yes this is tough - yes you will get through it (with as much grace as you can manage I'm sure) - and yes, brighter, easier, more peaceful days do lie ahead.

And you will appreciate them so much in contrast to what is happening now. I'm reminded of the Stockdale Paradox as I'm writing this - if that helps you at all my lovely.

Do take care and just keep taking things a day at a time xxx
Posted By: mleigh4

Re: Answering the Call - 03/10/18 09:42 AM

How did the court day go? Has a schedule been settled on? Thinking of you, hope all is well.

Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 03/15/18 11:40 AM

Ha how are you doing? what's going on with you? you hanging in there kiddo? xoxoxoxo
Posted By: Gordie

Re: Answering the Call - 03/15/18 11:51 AM

Wishing you well...hopefully no news is good news.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 03/18/18 12:43 PM

Thanks all for checking in on me.

The court date was pretty useless. The mediator made a recommendation: that we each have 50/50. But the problem is h has a more flexible schedule and so on "my day" rather than letting the kids walk home to my house where I return an hour and a half later, he picks them up and takes them to his place. The mediator explained to him that this gives him more than 50% which is not fair and the kids should be gaining a sense of independence at their age. She said my day is my day. Meanwhile h thinks I need to be a chicken sitting on my eggs.

H asked her three times why he can't continue this process. He seemed to get it. Then the next day he agreed to let them walk home to my place on my day. But then he picked them up and said they are not my days until I am with them?!? (He actually wrote that!) I have asked him to stop this. At times he agrees but then just does it all over again. I forward all the correspondence to my lawyer.

During the court date he said I was mentally unstable because I saw a therapist and once took meds. This is something he has held over me for a long time. It is quite classless of him. I told the mediator my nephew was diagnosed with an extremely rare disorder and yes, I sought the help of a therapist to help me. I said I am proud of that as it's good to seek help when you need it. And yes, I took anti-anxiety medication for a few months to carry me through it. I told her (and him) I did nothing wrong and I'm proud of seeking help.

Days later h kept texting me things like: maybe I should seek counseling for financial spending. Or maybe counseling for ethics as I told x thing to son recently. He went on and on in this "see a counselor" fashion. Bizarre. I ignored it all. So much rage texting.

If ever we are near each other he doesn't even dare look me in the eye even when I stare right at him openly. As always he is brave behind a screen.

The gist of it is he has massive control issues. He monsters a lot. Sometimes I am just sitting there at work and he just blows up my phone, rage texting me. Usually the topic du jour is: do I realize what I have done by getting a lawyer? Do I realize how much money I am wasting? How am I ever going to justify all this to the kids? What am I going to say when they ask about all this financial waste? And on and on and on ...

I ignore it. I wish there was an MLC app that could parse the message and just move it into my junk box when it's nothing about the kids.

In other news, I had a small fender bender. My car is old but very reliable. It is not worth it to repair the car. So I started looking for another. The radiator was damaged so the car is not operable. Then I remembered h has two of our cars: an old reliable wagon and his MLC car (#2). He took both.

So I texted him asking to use the wagon vs. paying for a rental. Both are joint assets and my name is on that car. He said no. He told me he likes to use the wagon to transport the dog. I told him my name is on it, I have a right to it, blah, blah, blah. I told my lawyer about it--forwarded him the text conversation where my ex tells me my dog has a right over me to my own car. Wonder how that will all pan out once someone with some fangs looks this all over. (H in all his generosity told me to take 2500 and buy myself a new car! Of course he just bought himself a very nice MLC car a year ago.)

Overall, this is a hugely undignified process. I am looking forward to being done with this chapter of my life. I swear he loves exerting control in any way he can.

Positives: when I told a coworker about my d and my car sitch, she loaned me an extra car that she has so that I could take my time car shopping. Here is this person I have know for 1 year who extended me more kindness than the father of my own kids.

Another positive: I told a friend about everything. I had held off as she was newly married and weren't so close so it was nice to keep it all separate. She invited me to stay at her house on several nights when the kids are not here. She listened to me and supported me; so kind!

There are wonderful people in this world with amazing hearts. Each person teaches me something new or supports me in some new way.

Oh, and this friend? She said she once saw my h walking around this young/party area of the city. And also? She said she and a friend saw him openly checking out women when picking the kids up from school. Classy.

As for me? I am close to buying a car (tomorrow, hopefully ... fingers crossed.). And I was given a pay raise--whoop!

I will get through this. Already I am so much stronger than I was two months ago.
Posted By: Kyh

Re: Answering the Call - 03/18/18 04:56 PM

Hi Hawho,

I'm glad you accident was minor and congratulations on the raise! I'm sorry you're still dealing with his anger and ridiculous behavior. What you write reminds me so much of my xw when she was monstering. The projection in their anger is so insane. Hopefully when things move along his anger will start to burn out. After my d was finalized I noticed xw shifted a lot of her anger elsewhere.

The only thing he did talking about you going to counseling in court was to make himself look bad. In my experience all the attorneys, etc. viewed therapy as a good thing and encouraged it. I think you handled it perfect.
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 03/18/18 11:25 PM


All I can do is shake my head. Your h is over the top. He doesn't realize that you could expose him for being a nut job about food and him living in that stinky dorm room for many months...now, to me, that makes him look like the unstable one. But, you will play fair until the very end. BTW, your h reminds me so much of how my xh behaved during the process.

He really is attempting to gas light you in many ways and to state you had to see a therapist is a very low blow, imo. Please, please do not allow him to get into your head. You now have a very clear view of who you are dealing with and he is going to be one of those that will continue to fight you and the judicial system no matter how he looks. He's not going to listen to a thing that they tell him because he's bucking the "authority" in his mind.

I am so sorry about the fender bender, but at least you had a friend come to your rescue and that will burn your h's chops because he doesn't have control over that either. I bet he was "hot" over the fact that you found a way around his game of "mine" and not "sharing". His little game w/the cars will be over soon enough as the one is in both names and since he has two...he may have to count that as a marital asset that will need to be discussed. Good luck w/the car shopping and I am glad you are okay.

Continue to document because the stuff he's sending you shows just how unstable he is. Be careful and walk around your car and check around you house periodically. I do not put anything past this guy.

Posted By: Gordie

Re: Answering the Call - 03/18/18 11:59 PM


Iím so sorry you are being subjected to this torture.

And Iím glad you werenít hurt in your accident.

Iím very glad you are finding support out there IRL where yes, there are kind and helpful people.

How are the kids?

Iím glad you are seeing a mediator. I hope he/she can cut down and the back and forth and expedite agreement. In my experience, the faster you come to a fair and equitable agreement the lower your legal bills. I wish I could tell your stbx that.
Posted By: mleigh4

Re: Answering the Call - 03/19/18 02:04 PM

HW I am so sorry for what he is putting you through. The low blows he has stooped to make me just shake my head. You should be proud of seeking help during that time, we all know he should as well.

Thank you so much for checking in. I think of you often and I do worry about you! That was so nice of your friend to loan you her car. It just goes to show what a good person you must be, as well as her.

I do hope to hear some better news soon, your H really needs to calm down already. You are doing a great job of being the sane adult here.

I hope the boys are doing well. Please take care, you are very much in my prayers.

Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 03/20/18 12:41 AM

HaWho my lovely keep every one of those texts. Print them out and put them in a book so that there is proof. He's shooting himself in the foot every time he sends a harassing text, but only if you take the steps to document document document.

sending much love xoxoxo you will get through this I promise.
Posted By: Sotto

Re: Answering the Call - 03/20/18 07:19 AM

Ugh, I'm sorry to read about what you are going through HaWho. That must be tough and I truly empathise. I so remember this stage of the process - though XH was pretty reasonable. I think he was all focused on riding off into the sunset with his new GF and having a new family. There are some benefits to having a loved up MLCer I guess...

I truly hope things will settle down soon. For now, seek any support you need and try to remove the emotion from the process as much as you can. Interact on a business level only. Minimal, pleasant, specific. He is a client you don't want to have to deal with but you need to...I know - not easy.

Know that this too shall pass and calmer waters lie ahead for you....xxx
Posted By: LoisB

Re: Answering the Call - 03/21/18 01:07 AM


You are in the thick of it. This s--ks and there's really no way around it. You get through it, and you find yourself to be a different person afterwards--a stronger person. Not that I would wish the experience on anyone else, but I do feel I became a pretty bad-ss mom/woman after running this gauntlet.

You aren't dealing with a rational adult. Don't expect him to respond as a rational adult.

Speak up. There was one point at our last divorce hearing... I had fired my attorney because I couldn't afford to keep him. I was sitting with Matt and his attorney in this teeny, dismal room. His attorney was explaining the tax situation and how we would take turns on claiming our daughter. I remember thinking, "This man hasn't seen his daughter in more than a year. He abandoned us. Why does he get to claim her at all?"

I KNOW now that it is protocol and a formula and there's nothing I could have done about the dependent claim. However, I actually regret not saying anything, not asking the question. I think it would have been cathartic for me to put that out there... This isn't fair. But, I kept my mouth shut and I think about it from time-to-time.

There are no stupid questions. Ask, ask, ask, put your thoughts and feelings out there, so that you don't carry the burden afterwards. It may not make a dam- bit of difference in the end, but stand up for what you know is right.

When my attorney filed, he filed using Abandonment and Abuse. That, in itself, gave me some peace-of-mind... it was the truth. The truth was put out there for everyone to see.

Take really good care of yourself right now. Maybe one act of selfcare daily that has nothing to do with the boys?

You will get to the other side. Tick off those boxes of what you absolutely have to get--then push it through. So much of this is formulaic---if you sense he won't live up to his half of the 50-50--let him have his way. The boys are old, or nearly enough, they can decide to avoid him if they choose. Unless, CA has some sort of mandatory visitation.

Let's say he gets 50-50 and you find it's too much for the boys, given their dad's current insanity. I'm thinking you could let the court know that the boys are struggling, backed up by a therapist's thoughts... just document, document, document when it comes to the boys. So, you can back up whatever is best for them. I took snapshots of all my text messages from Matt for a year. I took every post from this forum and saved it, so I could go back and revisit the crazy and details I may have forgotten--in case I needed to protect the girls.

Hang in there... go get a massage.
Posted By: LoisB

Re: Answering the Call - 03/21/18 01:14 AM

And, bear in mind. He will regret every one of his nasty-a-- actions. Guarantee it. I've spoken to the dark side.

There will come a day, when he will wish more than anything else, that he could turn back time. He may never be able to face this dark side, admit what he did... but down deep, the man you married and the man, who loves you and your children... he will feel deeply ashamed.

He's a very sick person right now... and a part of him knows it. But, he set the train in motion and he can't stop it now.
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Answering the Call - 03/21/18 03:56 AM

Loisb... i have primary custody. I fought for the right to declare dependents on my taxes every year, fot it and its only fair. Im the main provider It was a federal law, and would have been too much and too expensive to go there with the state vs federal argument had a judge actually ruled differently. I pointed this out to my over priced lawyers and they agreed and his lawyer ended up agreeing too. Wont work if its a close split in custody though.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Answering the Call - 03/28/18 05:37 AM

Ohh, in my next life may my MLCer be a vanisher. This is so much a part of my daily life I cannot even imagine not having an MLCer.

My ex is like a swarm of killer bees. Soooo much anger. He is a constant contact sort of fella. And he creates situations where he can fight with me. I swear this is something to witness. He continues to rage text me weekly. I ignore it all but it is something to behold.

Thanks Job, Gordie, Mleigh, Bttrfly, Sotto, Heather and Juju. Job - he is so over the top.

Gordie - we are using lawyers. My ex is way too irrational to mediate with. Let me remind you that he wanted me to just run everything by him without conferring with anyone. From the moment I obtained my own lawyer he has been trying to make my life as hard as possible.

Heather, it is very hard to imagine a time where he will regret this all. He really is a man on a mission. Once this divorce is settled he's going to have to find a new place to direct all his anger. It's also hard to imagine me caring that he regrets this. He is a walking landmine and that's how I have come to think of him. I just want to be free of him.

In other news my sil reached out to say she was sorry to hear the news. I told her I was surprised not to hear from anyone else on ex's side after 18 years. She said they were all afraid of ex's reaction to reaching out. She said she just didn't care; she was just doing the right thing.

A few weeks later MIL texted to say she was heartbroken at the news. I am sure SIL's reach-out guilted her. I told her it was ok as ex has been unwell a long while and for me there is some relief as he's been angry and difficult for years now. Radio silence from her. Meanwhile my family has not reached out to him at all. They have known he has been off for years and they are relieved this is coming to an end.

I am reconnecting with some old friends I lost touch with. I thought we lost touch due to getting busy. But this friend told me that she and her h quietly bowed out as ex was "unlikeable." Ouch. He is quite prickly these days.

He still tries to exert tons of control in all the silliest ways. Here's an example. S13 has his best friends' party this weekend. They are twins. H committed that he would take s to the party and these friends ran the date by my son to make sure he can make it. Now h says s can't miss his 6th grade basketball game as it would be "irresponsible." It's a silly 6th grade game. And these are his lifelong best friends. But I am good friends with the twins' mom and I swear he is sticking it to me. Awful what he is teaching our son.

And the manipulation is awful! S was moved up to a new, better team and this would be the first game. But this event was planned a month ago. S texted me saying "let's say you got a promotion and the next day you told your boss you have a birthday party. What would your boss think of you?"

Obviously this is not coming from a 6th grader. It is so sad that he put son up to writing that. This is the sort of thing that is par for the course for him. He will kill s13's love for basketball with this sort of stuff.

I will get through this. This is not the person I knew 20 years ago. I look forward to the day where we are unbound.
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 03/28/18 06:08 AM


I am keeping you and your sons in my thoughts and prayers. He is over the top and is acting out, angry to the max, just like my xh was. My xh was one angry man from the time he got the draft separation papers (2 months after he left) and remained that way for about 2 1/2 years (divorce date). After the divorce, I didn't see him again for about 3 years and then he was acting "like a normal" human being with no anger...except when he would ask me for things from my home and I would say no and that's when the little snotty nose boy would come out to play. Now, I don't hear from him at all and it's a blessing! He's not the man I married.

I pray that you and your sons have a nice Easter and that your h will crawl back under that rock and stay there for a while.
Posted By: Coly23

Re: Answering the Call - 03/28/18 07:03 AM

I don't know how you do it HaWho! I'm a snivelling wreck even with my lazy MLC'er!!

I think you have enough influence on your son's lives to ensure they don't turn out too much like H! This is all new for them still and they are finding their feet but they will soon learn when they realise he does not have their best interest at heart..

Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Answering the Call - 03/28/18 07:05 AM

Try to find that still quiet place within. That will be your refuge from the storm.

You're reminding me of that meme:

"Fate whispers to the warrior, "You cannot withstand this storm."
The warrior whispers back, "I AM the storm."

You got this !! xoxoxoxo
Posted By: Coly23

Re: Answering the Call - 03/28/18 07:51 AM

Ooh love that bttrfly! "I am the storm". Sends shivers down my spine!
Posted By: ciluzen

Re: Answering the Call - 03/30/18 02:32 AM


You're right...you will get through this. And no; he's probably not the guy you married 20 years ago.

There is a truly desperate feel to his actions and reactions. I wonder what's going on in his head? It feels from this distance as if he's just spinning and spinning; trying to grasp at any and everything that might be within his sight to possibly slow down his out-of-control merry-go-round. I bet that the calmer you are, the faster he goes. He's probably quite nauseated by now. Let him spin.

It will be interesting to see what happens with your STBX once its over and he has no Ha-Who to bother or blame. Just keep as steady as you can.This D will be over soon. Let the Ls do their job, as you are. You are doing well...go ahead and lean in on those around you. Your kids will see that you are still the mom you've been to them and you will be their rock. He will be the sickly greenish kid on the malfunctioning playground toy...until it slows down on its own or he lets go and flies off.

Slow, calm and steady as you go, HaWho. You've got this.
Posted By: roist

Re: Answering the Call - 04/10/18 08:17 AM

Best wishes. Remember this too will pass.

I think of you often and had hoped you had less crap to deal with since the live-in moved out.

Good luck with the new car and keep focusing on the positives
Posted By: Irish M

Re: Answering the Call - 04/10/18 10:37 AM

Originally Posted By: HaWho
This is not the person I knew 20 years ago. I look forward to the day where we are unbound.

Hi HaWho
yes , the most important thing to remember. This is not the same person. I used that to disconnect and remind myself over and over.. Would I even date this person if I met them tomorrow. I'd rather not. Let someone else deal with it... and I move on.

I know, not easy with kids. But when I look at the crazy.. I'm glad i'm not part of it.

you have amazing strength. You'll make it
Posted By: job

Re: Answering the Call - 04/10/18 12:53 PM


I hope all is going well for you and your sons. I am praying that your h will settle down a bit and stop the monstering for a bit.

Please take care of yourself.

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