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A Message from Michele
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Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide #2895371
05/19/20 08:59 PM
05/19/20 08:59 PM
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Gerda Offline OP
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I will be writing a guide to the LBS's who come after me in this thread, in a couple of weeks. For now, here is our place in Gerda's story, from "The Snow Queen." If you have not read this Hans Christian Andersen story, please do! I thought it was the complete guide for me (and you!) as LBS. Now I am not sure, at least for me, but more on that later.

"'Tis true little Kay is at the Snow Queen's, and finds everything there quite to his taste; and he thinks it the very best place in the world; but the reason of that is, he has a splinter of glass in his eye, and in his heart. These must be got out first; otherwise he will never go back to mankind, and the Snow Queen will retain her power over him."

"But can you give little Gerda nothing to take which will endue her with power over the whole?"

"I can give her no more power than what she has already. "Don't you see how great it is? Don't you see how men and animals are forced to serve her; how well she gets through the world barefooted? She must not hear of her power from us; that power lies in her heart, because she is a sweet and innocent child! If she cannot get to the Snow Queen by herself, and rid little Kay of the glass, we cannot help her. Two miles hence the garden of the Snow Queen begins; thither you may carry the little girl. Set her down by the large bush with red berries, standing in the snow; don't stay talking, but hasten back as fast as possible." And now the Finland woman placed little Gerda on the Reindeer's back, and off he ran with all imaginable speed.

Last edited by Gerda; 05/19/20 09:00 PM.

I believe I will see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage.
Be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: Gerda] #2895372
05/19/20 09:03 PM
05/19/20 09:03 PM
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Gerda Offline OP
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And here is the conversation I had just started in my last thread

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2875182#Post2875182

a question posed to HaWho but also for all of you, dear readers --


I am thinking a lot about my past with my H, and I was thinking about your sitch too -- as once someone said something to you about how it seemed like your H had a psychotic break of some kind, in addition to MLC. I always thought this of mine too. But lately I am sifting a little bit through some of my past with my H because he is conducting such a horrifically vicious divorce (to the point that I wonder at times if he is capable of violence) that I started to wonder if there were seeds I missed along the way. For one thing, I started to think about how his obsession through MLC was over money and thinking I was hiding his money or controlling it, etc. but with no basis in reality. Looking back over the years, I realized I could not say that this seed wasn't there from our first days dating. I realized that when I met him, he was deeply in debt and had run up a huge debt on his mother's credit card to pay tuition. His father had just found out and he and his mom were in big trouble about it. It caused a real rift with his already estranged father -- and his wounds are all father-based. During MLC once I found the OW's credit card info scrawled in a notebook, he had already convinced her to pay for something -- this pattern of convincing people to help him out of his financial messes. He convinced his friend, the godfather of our kids, to PAY FOR HIS DIVORCE LAWYER!!!

Once we were a couple, I helped him pay off his debts -- not with money, but I mean by organizing payment schedules for him, etc. Early in our relationship, I remembered that I had paid off ALL my debts, including student loans, and I felt so free and so light. I was a teacher, not making much, and had gone to grad school that I had to pay for most of, but I worked a lot, and I was very frugal. And then the blur of my life with him began and it was a life of financial risk that got us into property ownership and businesses but that kept us in debt. He was always talking about what a whiz he was but looking back, I realized it was always me who made things happen, he had ideas but no facility with money. He would never do bill paying stuff with me, wouldn't help with taxes and would freak out whenever I tried to explain financial realities, even before MLC. Once MLC hit and he stopped working, started stealing money from our biz and our home, all financial reality checks would end with him screaming to sell our house, so I stopped telling him anything, and he began saying I was hiding and controlling all money, even if I did try to show him again and the house-selling-yelling would begin again. We own two properties and both mortgages are in my name only because his credit was so bad -- our rental place upstate doesn't even have him on the deed! I realized he never worked to get out of debt, let alone to buy me something I needed, like a coat, and was always pushing us to the next thing. This is just one example, and I don't want to believe the history rewriting either, but I can't deny this truth. And I have started to wonder if he was always NPD and that I just had my own wounds and didn't see it. I know he was different, looked different, acted different, but I have started to wonder if there was some mental illness all along, and it was so much like the mental illness in my house growing up that I somehow was drawn to it without realizing it was the same.

So I was wondering if you have had thoughts like these about your H and whatever his big issue was, that the seed was there all along, or was it a complete alien to whom you had known.

I don't mean to obsess over the past, but I am sifting in order to understand my own wounds and the choices I made, so I wanted to ask you about it, as our sitches have been so similar and even started around the same time.
[quote][/quote]

Last edited by Gerda; 05/19/20 09:03 PM.

I believe I will see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage.
Be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: Gerda] #2895373
05/19/20 09:04 PM
05/19/20 09:04 PM
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Gerda,

I posted some comments to on your thread about your last posting and I have brought them over to this one:

The description of what your h was like and what you did for him...well...that is very much what I experienced. Yes, there was mental illness on his mother's side of the family. As for his father, well...he would lie and steal from God if he could. He was a serial cheater and he used women for what he could get out of them, i.e., a place to live and would spend all of their money and once the money was gone...so was he.

My xh was always saying that he was not like his father and he didn't suffer from any type of mental illness. Well, when MLC hit, he became his father to the letter. I often suspected that my xh was mildly depressed, but could never put my finger on it as he hid his feelings well. He never reacted to things the way that most people would...he would always have this straight face and nothing seemed to faze him.

I chose to honor my marriage vows and I had accepted him for who he was...but when MLC hit, he became a totally different person, very selfish, entitled, liar, thief and a cheater. He attempted to bully me at every turn, he threatened to cut my phone service when my 81 year old father just had hip replacement surgery, he stole packages of items that I had ordered, he sent me threatening email/letters all of the time, etc. So, I do know what you have been and continue to go through. I tried so very hard to get the divorce wrapped up in a year, but he continued to nit pick and then one day, I finally told my lawyer to cease all work and that if he truly wanted this divorce (since he filed), he would finally get some b*lls and step up to the plate and get the divorce moving along. When his lawyer contacted mine about something, my lawyer advised her that we were no longer playing games and everything had ceased. It didn't take him long to get up off his duff and finalize it. Bottom line...he thought if he continued to prolong the proceedings, I would give him everything to make him go away...it didn't happen. So, yes, there was some NPD going on w/him.

I often think about my marriage and have asked myself many times over why I would have put up w/his behavior for 25 years. I have the type of personality that I call a spade a spade and generally do not put up with a lot of nonsense. It took me many years to remove those rose colored glasses, but they are off now...but I truly did not remove them until after the divorce.

Gerda, do not blame yourself for what you did over the years. You were being a dutiful wife, a person who was trying to help her husband, a wife that loved her husband and didn't realize that he had flaws. Sometimes, we choose not to see what is in front of us, but when we look in the rear view mirror, we can see a lot better what was.

Please, please do not beat yourself up. You are not alone in this. There are many of us who did whatever it took to help our spouses be successful and happy in our relationships.


Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: Gerda] #2895375
05/19/20 09:07 PM
05/19/20 09:07 PM
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Gerda - I ALWAYS thought your H was a real weird guy the way he wrote to you - I know you thought that was just his "beautiful" way of writing but to me it always smacked of strangeness and insufferable self-importance.

I guess I relate in that I really didn't see my ex's narcissism until it was pointed out to me after our divorce. It had always been there, I was just so accommodating that it didn't really register until later.

Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: Gerda] #2895408
05/20/20 03:30 AM
05/20/20 03:30 AM
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Gerda - it's coincidental that you be bringing this up right now as I was just asking my sisters this same question days ago. For the first time, I recently saw my ex with his wife (he married the ow). And as I watched him, the shock came over me that he did exactly what his father did (married his OW) which was what my ex vowed he never would repeat. Both he and his father even had an OW/wife with the same exact name that is not all that common! Quite Oedipus-like that he fulfilled the same destiny that he vowed he deplored.

My ex ignores me and cannot look me in the eye ever. On the rare times we cross paths he looks down at the ground while I look right at him.

Anyway, 5 1/2 years out from bomb drop, here is my lay of the land regarding your question. I do think the seeds were always there. He had a traumatic childhood, some of which he revealed and some of which he hid. He once told me his mother never loved him and I outright dismissed that believing that was not possible. Now, in hindsight I realize he was right, she does not really love him unconditionally and I was projecting by saying that was not possible. When I first told my MIL her son was having some sort of breakdown/MLC, without so much as hesitating she told me to leave him and said he had always been an angry person. She never once came to visit him since he moved away. She lived with her other son, part - time for a few years as she helped raise his son. She adored her first son and disregarded her second (my ex). The seeds were sown early.

I believe there were signs of emotional stunting from the get go. He was unsettled in himself, always had tremendous issues with aging and a fear of death. I do believe with time, things worsened for him on a psychological level. He became controlling, obsessed with things, paranoid and a full time conspiracy theorist. We could not even sleep with the upstairs windows open as he was convinced it was not safe. Just now, 2 1/2 years after he has moved out, my kids are comfortable living with windows in the house open and even the front door! Sad aside: the first night my son slept with the windows open here, the next morning he asked me what that funny noise was all night long. And I asked to describe it. It was crickets!

But, he lied and hid a lot of the trauma. In the height of his MLC, he divulged some of it. I would not be surprised if there is not much more. I fully expect it.

So, when I asked my sisters this same question, they both gave variations of this same answer. They said there was always something off there. One sister said they gave him the benefit of the doubt because they loved me. The other gave me what I call the "ice bucket over the head" answer. She said he was always lying about who he was but that none of it matters and does not change the present. She told me to limit the ruminating and count myself fortunate as I was still young and free of it all. I know that you know this. But I think our minds need to compartmentalize and order things to process and move on.

A side tangent story. One of my friend's mothers used to have Father Geoghan over a few times/month for dinner. This was one of the more notorious priests convicted of pedophilia. When she first learned of it she publicly defended him all the time. She did this for quite some time until it became all too clear that he was guilty. And then when she realized who he really was, it took her years to process. She ping ponged between anger that she let this person in her home, embarrassment that he tricked her, guilt that she housed him, etc. The point is she went through this whole same process of trying to understand how she missed the markers. In the end he was an abuser and she was just a trusting person. She didn't do anything wrong. (He never abused anyone in her family thank goodness.)

So, I think it's normal to try to make sense of it. While it does not change a darn thing, it's easy to go there. So long as we don't turn into Penelope weaving all day and unraveling all night, we will move forward.

People like this are strategic. They pick their partners. I believe they pick people who have a lot of bandwidth for dealing with difficult people (like them) and pick people who take their commitments seriously (so they will put up with their nonsense). I see that pattern here ALL.THE.TIME. Just my 2 cents.

The last thing I will say if that this was probably always going to happen. There was nothing that could stop it or alter its course. But, the gift of getting free of it is not just for ourselves. If we have kids, it gives us the chance to show a normal home whatever time our kids are with us. If we were with our spouses our kids would see dysfunction 100% of the time. There is tremendous power in this. And trust me, the kids see the contrast soon. Last summer my older son told me that my ex had a lot of issues and we had a very candid conversation where he recognized the stunting that happened to his dad. It is quite a contrast to my kids' childhoods.

Now these kids have some time to live with the windows and doors open.


Me 41, H 47, M 15 yrs, S11, S13
BD 1: 11/4/14 we work on it; really I pretzel myself
BD 2: 3/31/15 H goes down to "dorm room"
8/15: H back to MBR
10/15: H back in dorm room
1/18: H files, now divorced
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: Gerda] #2895411
05/20/20 05:33 AM
05/20/20 05:33 AM
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Hawho, wow... you hit the nail on the head 100%. I canít even say anything more than that.

Thank you for taking the time to so eloquently share that. Your hís upbringing, your experience, the aftermath mirrors my experience too. This part particularly stings- ďpeople like this are strategic. They pick their partners. I believe they pick people who have a lot of bandwidth for dealing with difficult people like them...Ē ugh. Iím still dealing with the aftermath of all this. I got in too deep with my ex and I shouldnít have, but I believed I could tolerate him because I didnít have as many neurosis and Iím still paying the price for that. Iím so mad at myself as a result. Ugh this guy completely and deliberately screwed me over the whole marriage. Ok... Iím going to stop the hijack on Gerdaís thread.....

Gerda, thereís good stuff here to digest. I hope it helps it bring clarity.

Last edited by Pax_luv; 05/20/20 05:35 AM.

Me- 30's H- 40's
T-10 M-5
I moved out b/c he wanted space- June 15
D filed by H: September 16
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: job] #2895707
05/23/20 03:44 AM
05/23/20 03:44 AM
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Job -- Thank you for this reply; it helped me a lot. Your experience sounds awful and similar to mine. Did your H ever have any clarity or remorse in all the time since his BD? Or did he just snap fully and never unsnap? What you said about your stepping away from the divorce really hit me and was very helpful as I prepared for my last conference -- the one scheduled for my 20th wedding anniversary. I prepared this offer of settlement and spent hours creating google drive files with all the documentation, etc. But in my mind I kept thinking, I don't have to do anything, it's his divorce. I always think I have to do something because there is so much yelling but truthfully I just have to keep saying no or ignoring them until we get to a trial. It's not like it could go worse!

Now we are in this crazy situation where everything is shut down and we are at the end of the marketing period I agreed to -- we are supposed to now have the place reappraised and I get right of first refusal at the appraisal price. The crazy thing is that his broker NEVER ACTUALLY LISTED THE HOUSE. He claimed he had a pocket deal and I realize now it was all fake!!! Even the court attorney told his L -- "The judge and I looked up the property several times and it was never listed. The stipulation said it had to be listed." His L huffed and puffed and finally said, "Well, we'll list it now." The court attorney also pointed out that the broker had no other listings in our area, only one listing way outside of our city. His L kept referring to the offer they had and then having to back down when I said, "Where is the actual offer with financials? I know it was fake!" The court attorney didn't say much but I think we all knew that his L was lying and that the whole thing had turned extremely shady. Meanwhile, they are ignoring the fact that we have no rentals and can't pay the mortgage and could face foreclosure at the end of the forbearance in July. It's like my H thinks Mommy will fix this too, and he can still have his money. It's so weird. The only thing I can think of is that his slimy broker is trying to ensure he gets a commission even if the house goes to a short sale. I am still getting 2-3 e-mails per day from his lawyer and shady broker insisting that they put the sign back on our building. I am not sure I ever posted about my son telling H he was ripping down the sign -- H wrote back this weird text saying he admired his rebel spirit and to rip the f-ker down and that he would love him "all the more" if he did. So S14 rips it down and then H and his L report to the court that I ripped it down. Then nothing for three months of quarantine and now the broker's contract is expired and they are trying to put the sign back up. Even the court attorney said, "Why do you care about a sign? There is no one on the street! That is not how you market a property!"

I said to court attorney -- "Are you saying that my children are going to be expected to go through a divorce, a pandemic and a move all in one year? I am not looking for a new place to live during a pandemic! This is insane!"

Anyway I get so scared when I see these endless notes from these vultures but your words helped me to see that I can do nothing at all so I keep reminding myself of that. I kept thinking I had to show I was being cooperative but now the stipulation we were following says that they have to have it appraised, and nothing else. I can do nothing and still be following the stipulation, and they would have to litigate an extension to the marketing. We are already referred to trial with a different judge, and our current judge is not going to like it if his L files more motions. Because I don't have to be silent anymore, I have been able to shift the narrative too.

I have held on to this place because it's my business, it's how I pay for my children's housing, and I love living here. But I made peace with losing it. But now it's even more out of our control. No one is going to buy it at the high price H thought he could get, and if I can't pay the mortgage, it will be sold at a ridiculously low price to avoid foreclosure. I was about to refinance and now I can't do that. I offered H a downpayment now and the rest in a year or two when rents returned to normal levels, and he said no. So all I can do is wait for trial.

I have not been sharing all these details because it's so endless and long and hard to explain each new hellish chapter. So I am leaving a lot out. But I am very anxious tonight because of all the e-mails endlessly and because D11 went to see H FOUR STATES AWAY. H got a free apartment in that state and claimed that because I couldn't pay his monthly ED advance, he had to move and that she had to go there twice a month. The court didn't like it but agreed that it was his right, so he picked her up today. she called to tell me that it was "paradise" there and so amazing and how much she loved it. I had just been reading an offer from H's lawyer that involved me paying him an extra million dollars to settle, and had been thinking about how he was producing fake documents to cheat me, just so many unethical, evil, shady behaviors, so much lying and hatred even on our 20th wedding anniversary unable to see that as a word from God, and I must say, it hurt to hear her so effusive about his place when he is hellbent on destroying my life and even my ability to provide for my kids since he refuses to help me at all. (I get no child support til he gets his share of the house, part of the bad stip I signed.) I didn't let her know but I ended up on here, typing out this endless long story that still left so much out just to get a little anxiety off my chest instead of doing my work so there it is.

Last edited by Gerda; 05/23/20 03:49 AM.

I believe I will see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage.
Be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: kml] #2895709
05/23/20 03:56 AM
05/23/20 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kml
Gerda - I ALWAYS thought your H was a real weird guy the way he wrote to you - I know you thought that was just his "beautiful" way of writing but to me it always smacked of strangeness and insufferable self-importance.

I guess I relate in that I really didn't see my ex's narcissism until it was pointed out to me after our divorce. It had always been there, I was just so accommodating that it didn't really register until later.


I never ever thought of his writing as beautiful, at least not anything I posted here. I am a writer and a writing teacher and spent many hours trying to edit his incomprehensible dissertation over many many years. Before MLC, he could at times write beautifully and he does write beautiful songs (he was a musician in the past). But there was always something in it to me that seemed overwrought, even before MLC, and once he went crazy, his writing was awful, painful, impossible to understand. It revealed his insanity.

I remember you told me many times in the early days that he had NPD or borderline or something and I brushed it off. I remember writing once that it seemed like my H did all the same things as everyone else's MLCer, and, in my early days, your two-by-fours were so painful that they sometimes chased me away. But as I wrote above, I am looking back now and wondering about all the things I explained away or chose to ignore, and his mental health seems to have been off from the earliest days. My mom had NPD, and my brother, and I think my father might have too, so I now think I was drawn to it because it was familiar. The truth is I saw you make similar statements to so many other posters that I thought it was just your shtik. Now I think you probably were seeing something I wasn't ready to see (though I still think you post that to a lot of people!).


I believe I will see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage.
Be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: HaWho] #2895710
05/23/20 04:00 AM
05/23/20 04:00 AM
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HaWho, there is so much here for me to unpack and reflect on that I am not even ready to answer you, but I just wanted to thank you for taking the time and giving me so much insight. I will be reading this many times in the days to come. We have so much in common it's incredible. My brother said something to me very similar to what your sister said but my brother has his own NPD so I didn't take it seriously. I keep asking other people who knew my H and they say there was something there but that he definitely completely changed and was unrecognizable, so the question is more if he was battling it and finally gave up or if he really changed. Anyway, I will read this over and post again. THANK YOU!

Likewise a big thanks to Pax -- and I think you need to read what Job said to me about not beating myself up! It's true, our commitment to our vows and to staying kind and loving could have been met with a transformation and really restored the marriages to what they were supposed to be. We had no way of knowing it wouldn't work or how long it would take, but we can't see it as years wasted. We stayed true to ourselves and finally had to let go.


I believe I will see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage.
Be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.
Re: Through the World Barefooted -- Gerda's LBS Guide [Re: Gerda] #2895720
05/23/20 12:45 PM
05/23/20 12:45 PM
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Gerda,

To answer your question. The only time that my xh showed any remorse and provided a half *ss apology was several days after my BIL was laid to rest. The only reason that he threw the apology out to me was because he wanted all of the photos from trips and family outings that we had taken, as well as some additional things from the home. Keep in mind, this request came 3 years after our divorce. Well, I can honestly say the b*tch came out in me and I was very, very frank w/him and advise him that he had gotten everything he wanted during the house walk thru 3 years earlier and that he need to go back and refer to his divorce decree because he wasn't getting anything else. The apology went out the window and he was cursing like a sailor in an email. He never gave up on the photos because he was still asking for them until 2013 and when he met his third live-in/wife, he's been quiet ever since.

He was the type of person that would never apologize unless he wanted something. He never appeared to feel guilty about anything. My situation was very much like yours and your h may never show any remorse about anything he has done and continues to do. It's called "entitlement". Like you, I ensured that the bills were paid on time, the house ran smoothly and he had it made by what others have told me. He drove a new vehicle, had nice clothes, traveled around the world, etc., and it was never enough. Whatever someone else had, he wanted it to and then 6 months later, he lost interest in whatever it was and I was stuck paying the bills on those things that he wanted.

Please do not ever feel like you are alone in this....I traveled a road very much like yours. I can assure you...once you are able to get out of the eye of the hurricane, life will be so much better. You'll be able to find peace and begin to save money once again and you will come to realize just what you actually dealt w/for all of those years. Right now, you are so very close to the eye of the hurricane and it's keeping you on edge. I pray that your situation can be resolved and soon.


Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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