Best way to leave?

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pushit

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Best way to leave?
« on: February 11, 2019, 10:41:34 AM »
My uPDw's behavior this last week has pushed me further to the point of no return.  Relentless attacks when I've done nothing to deserve it, then ST and turning the kids against me when I don't comply with her never ending demands.  There's nothing I can do to avoid being painted as public enemy #1 in this house.  She's coming apart at the seams, I think it's due to her job-related stress.

I'm meeting with my therapist today to discuss some things, it's been awhile since I've seen her and I want her input on how me leaving would impact the kids.  I'm also going to contact a couple more attorneys and get a plan in motion.  It's very depressing, but I need to start protecting myself before she loses her job and starts draining our finances.

My question for you all is - what is the best way to leave?  I want it to have very little impact on the kids and uPDw, but there is no way it can be done peacefully over time which would allow me/us to talk to the kids about it.  I think I have to get me and my belongings out of the house as a surprise, or she will destroy my belongings, hide important documents, etc.  The best way to accomplish that would be to enlist help and do it while she's at work and the kids are at school.

Regarding the kids - Would that be way too difficult for them to come home and find out dad has left?  I think uPDw would go crazy if I took the kids with me, and I don't think she would harm them.  She just needs them with her at all times to feel connected to them, so taking them with me could get very ugly - like police getting called and me being accused of kidnapping.  But if I leave them with her, she could very well ignore all attempts I make to see them until we get court orders in place, and even after orders are in place.  I do think it would be easiest on the kids if they were able to sleep in their own beds and not be uprooted in a rush.

Please give me your thoughts - I'm really lost on how to handle this, but I see leaving as my only option to reclaim my life and hopefully create a better life for my kids.

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pushit

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 10:45:49 AM »
I want to add to this - one big reason I feel the need to create two separate households is I'm seeing dysfunctional behavior starting to develop in the kids.  It has to be coming from all the tension in the house.  Screaming and crying fits, losing interest in activities, feigning sickness to not go to school, etc.  I know kids are kids and some of this is to be expected, but I think it's worse than normal.  I'm hoping a calm household can start to repair some of this.

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Scythe

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 12:25:22 PM »
I don't have much to offer other than it will probably be traumatic for the kids no matter what, either leaving with you in a rush or coming home to find you've "abandoned" them and left them with the parent they may be less comfortable with. I believe it's recommended to talk to the police and other relevant authorities beforehand to warn them about the chance of false accusations being made against you. The lawyers you consult should be able to make suggestions about the best way legally to go about everything, what might make their job easier or harder, etc.

I was just going to comment on your other post to suggest the book "Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder" by Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger, on the off-chance you haven't looked into it yet. (I keep my potentially triggering resources on a Kindle app on a device my husband doesn't use) It is straightforward about worst-case scenarios and helps you be prepared to recognize them and counter them. I think there's even an example of a father fighting for custody against his uPDw, and it details things he should have done or should not have done.

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pushit

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 12:43:54 PM »
Thanks.  Yeah, I think it will be traumatic either way but hopefully it's for the best in the long run.

I've looked into that book, in fact I drove to a couple stores to buy it last night but they didn't have it.  Going to another store that is near my work today to get it.  Can't order it though, if she opens the package when it shows up that would be bad news.  I have a couple of books and they are stored somewhere I highly doubt she'd look.

I've also thought about talking to the police beforehand either way.  Even if the kids stay with mom I would want the police to know I am concerned about her stability.  Need to speak with lawyers more and get their advice on it too.

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Scythe

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 02:58:40 PM »
Sounds like you're level-headed and know the right ways to be going about all this, then, without needing to ask. I'm sure it's the nature of being in these relationships that makes us not trust ourselves and need so much outside affirmation. I don't know how many times people on the internet have told me to get out, and here I am...not out...haha. But trust yourself, or at least trust your instincts about your kids, or at least trust the lawyers, or the book once you get it (hope that store has it!) And talking to lawyers first before talking to police is a good idea, because that could also backfire if the police think you're lying. Sorry you're still on this side of all this. :(

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pushit

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 05:09:04 PM »
Thanks, sorry you're still on this side of it too, but hopefully your situation is better than mine.  I also appreciate the kind words about me being level-headed.  I like to think I am, but lately it's hard to know which way is up!   :stars:  haha 

I think my doubt is more about trying to not trigger uPDw too much if I take the kids, or have her get triggered by my leaving if I decide to trust her with the kids.  I'd hate to have the kids be with her and she become totally unstable, but I'm positive she'd freak out and go nuclear if I had the kids.  Trying to predict her behavior when she has issues is impossible!

I guess i'd like to hear experiences from others as to how they left peacefully and quickly when kids were involved.  From men divorcing wives, if possible.  Seems like the stories I've read about are women leaving a PDh, and a lot of times the husband didn't really care if they had the kids or not so it was easier.

They had the book and I've got it stashed in my desk at work now.  Will do some reading after hours before heading home this week.

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openskyblue

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 06:04:46 PM »
My 2 cents:  I would recommend that you not talk to police until you have spoken with a lawyer.
Even a blind man can tell you when he is standing in the sun.  (Percy Sledge)

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Findingmyvoice

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 06:32:41 PM »
pushit,
you are probably correct about your wife's reactions if you leave with or without the kids.
When you start reading the book, you will find that her reactions are actually quite predictable and I think your predictions are spot on.

I had to leave a few times just temporarily so that things didn't escalate out of control and every time I wished that I had not left the kids with her.
I knew that I couldn't take them without a huge fight, but it was very hard on the kids for me to leave.
I wasn't there to protect them when exBPDw was in an unstable state, and of course she filled their heads with her false narrative about me leaving.
My kids are 12, 12 and 14.

In the end I left with the kids and went through exactly what you described.  She still accuses me of kidnapping and theft (today in fact).
She called the police, schools, my employer.  I ended up getting a restraining order preventing her from coming around me, our kids, my place of work, schools, extracurricular activities.  I was somewhat prepared in that I talked to children's services, schools, police, my employer ahead of time and already had a lawyer ready to file the restraining order.  I was able to get the restraining order and interim parenting order based on her past involvement with the police, children's services, mental health history and hospitalizations.  You definitely need to talk to a lawyer first.

The key is that you have to think about what is best for you and the kids long term and not worry as much about your wife's reactions.
If you think that she may become unstable and hurt you, herself or the kids, you have to do what is necessary to protect you and your kids.

There may not be a "peaceful" way for you to leave.  As you probably already know, the act of leaving a borderline triggers their worst fears and may result in a completely inappropriate response.

I left during the day.  I knew that my wife had an appointment and would be out during the day.
I went to work in the morning and returned home about noon, I collected things that I would need while she was gone ( had a list ahead of time and important documents were secured away), I picked the kids up from school and went to my parents house.
I turned off "find my iphone" on my phone and the kids.
About the time that the kids were supposed to arrive home on the bus, I texted her to say that the kids were with me.
She asked where we were and I wouldn't tell her, immediately she accused me of kidnapping.
Then i waited for the calls from police. I had already informed the police about where the kids and I would be and my phone number, they asked a few questions and had an officer drop by to check on the kids and that was the end of the police involvement.
I blocked her on social media the following day after she started posting inappropriate things on my and kids social media accounts.
I was a complete wreck the day I left, I was terrified that she would come home unannounced while I was packing, or she would show up at school early to pick the kids up.   It ranks as one of top most stressful situations in my life. (I used to fight fires, perform first aid as a ski patroller, pull people from wrecked vehicles and that was nothing compared to leaving my ex.).
I kept kids out of school until she was served with the court orders.  Even ex-partie protective orders take a few days to get processed.

You sound like you have given this a lot of thought.
I also spent a lot of time deliberating over the best thing to do.
I tried everything I could to help while we were together, we went to couples and individual counseling, I read walking on eggshells and how to stop caretaking.
The books helped me, but obviously not her.
I wrote a separation plan after children's services became involved, but she wouldn't consider it.
She wouldn't separate finances, she wouldn't discuss living arrangements.  She ended up spending 3 weeks in psychiatric care after I attempted to have the separation discussion with her.
When she returned home from the hospital she said she wasn't going anywhere and if I didn't like it, I could leave.
So I had to leave.

In the end I still felt guilty leaving her and putting the kids through it.  I still felt like I should have done more to help her or somehow work it out.
But the kids are doing fine, they now have relationships with their grandparents, they are doing great in school, their behavior is better.
I am still working on their self esteem and trying to help them understand the things their mom says and does.
You can PM me if you want more details.

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Latchkey

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 12:58:08 AM »
Pushit,
we have a non-dad's forum but it doesn't get much traffic though it would be worth it to read or start a thread there as well.

https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?board=33.0

I know someone who left a BPD wife and did this thing called nesting where he would leave for a time and stay with his family and then he'd come back and the BPD mom would leave. Basically leaving the kids in the house.

There were legal reasons to do this not the least of which was that he did not want to be seen as abandoning the house or the children and his initial leaving was just an announcement that he needed the weekend away and he went off for a few days.

Eventually they both had other places and they sold the marital home.

Many cohabitate in the same home but one moves out of the marital bedroom into the basement.  There are multiple ways to start a separation and hopefully your attorney might have some ideas that would be least impact and keep everyone safe.

Latchkey
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 01:03:11 AM by Latchkey »
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pushit

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 03:52:58 PM »
I wanted to jump on here and thank you all for your responses, I really appreciate hearing them.  I would also welcome hearing some more experiences with leaving, as I try to weigh the best way to do it.

I have more to say, but I want to play things close to the vest while I am planning anything.  I doubt she'd be able to find out about me writing on here but you never know.

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Kat54

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 12:06:52 PM »
Can I ask how old your children are?  It doesn't matter the age its hard all around.  The only thing with older as my kids are, I sat down with my son and straight out told him I was moving out and going to my sisters. He completely understood, not that he was happy. But simply said, "well you two have been miserable for 20 years so do what you need to do"  My daughter was away at college so I called her and said I would be moving out, and there was a lot of crying and fear from her. She's doing better but its still been a rocky road with my kids.
My move out was very undramatic, no begging or screaming melt downs.  I made dinner, went up and packed my last bag, put it in the car. Walked into the den as my ex and my son were watching TV and said..."see ya"  My ex just waved, and said, "good night"  never heard from him again.  Have been mostly no contact with exception to talking about our kids.  It took me 3 years to get there, and it was by far the hardest thing I ever did.  The guilt, the doubt.  But once gone, it was life changing and have had not one regret because I got my life back, and my mental health free from abuse.
Its been a year and a half, and hopefully seeing the light at the end with our divorce.
Best of luck Pushit. There is no easy way to leave.

I would first consult with a lawyer before you do anything. 

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cant turn back

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2019, 04:25:00 PM »
Iím so sorry Pushit, sounds terrible and I feel for you.  You have many things to consider and weigh.  I would not do anything until you talk with a lawyer, somebody versed in dealing with borderline/narcissistic traits.  If the attorney doesnít Ďget ití it just wonít be helpful..
For me, I refused to leave our home until I had temporary custody orders from Court for our DD15.  I did not want my ex to perpetuate any misunderstanding as to my moving out, or feign any sort of abandonment theories.  Donít get me wrong, it was the worst time of my life, living in an awful limbo in our family home for many months until I did finally get the custody orders (alternating weeks, 50/50).  The antagonism and verbal abuse and threats, varied with periodic love bombing.  It was a roller coaster, AWFUL.  But, I would not leave without assurances of contact for my DD15.  The actual moving out was just as awful, as I expected, with my ex wanting to fine tooth comb everything I was taking, arguing about Tupperware and towels and pots and pans.  I did as much as I could when DD15 was on sleepovers or with her friends so as to minimize what she had to endure. 
Protect yourself and protect your kids.  Prepare.  Donít make rash decisions  out of frustration.  Based on what youíve said, I would seriously consider finding a way legally to take the kids with you.

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pushit

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2019, 01:32:25 PM »
Thanks again to everyone for your input.  I have spoken to a few lawyers and have gotten good info.  Haven't hired one yet though.

Question for you all:  The majority of advice I've gotten from my T and from lawyers is to NOT try and take the kids with me.  I'm very concerned about this.  I don't think uPDw would intentionally hurt them, but she could hurt them accidentally.  In the past she has been hysterical and put them in the car late at night and sped off, or started driving down the street without them strapped in.  Also, it's guaranteed that she would brainwash them with "Dad abandoned you/us!" and then be extremely difficult about letting me see them. 

Unfortunately, I can't prove any of this as her public image is clean.  So, what to do?  Push hard to find a way to take the kids or leave on my own and hope for the best later?  It's tearing me up inside to think how hard this will be on my kids to come home and find dad is packed and gone.  But I can't live in that house for much longer either.

The good news I got from lawyers is that my state is a 50/50 custody and time state and it would be hard for uPDw to keep me out of their lives, unless she can prove something about me (abusive, alcoholic, etc) which she can't because I'm not.

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openskyblue

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Re: Best way to leave?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2019, 02:11:55 PM »
Question for you all:  The majority of advice I've gotten from my T and from lawyers is to NOT try and take the kids with me.  I'm very concerned about this.  I don't think uPDw would intentionally hurt them, but she could hurt them accidentally.  In the past she has been hysterical and put them in the car late at night and sped off, or started driving down the street without them strapped in. 

If you think you wife could hurt your kids, IMHO that should guide what you do. Why do your lawyer and T advise against you taking the kids with you? Your wife sounds like she regularly engages in fairly magical thinking on a good day, so I'm guessing that in a highly emotional state her thinking might be pretty disordered. Given everything you've written about her, it makes sense why you are concerned for their safety.
Even a blind man can tell you when he is standing in the sun.  (Percy Sledge)