Losing (almost) everything...

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SandorS@DEyes

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Losing (almost) everything...
« on: August 11, 2019, 06:32:19 AM »
My "wife" was served papers a couple days ago.  All the way up to that moment I felt fairly confident and strong about my decision.  I kept fresh in my mind some of the more hurtful/abusive occurances from the last 9 years of "marriage", listened to Out of the FOG and a couple other recovery-themed audio books to help keep me focused on what needed to be done.  And then, when the papers came and I saw the look on her face...when I had to explain to my 7 and 8 year old daughters that daddy can't be with mommy anymore...it was like a wall went up.  I tried to remember how bad things were and are and nothing came.  Total amnesia.  Doubt crept in and grew and grew until I wasn't even sure what I was doing anymore. 

Did I jump the gun by serving her and not telling her it was coming?  Despite all the fights and emails about our issues (which never get resolved and inevitably end up being my fault anyway).  Despite the total absence of any physical affection or real emotional connection (why are you so needy?) ? 

Is this really best for our kids?  Is the yelling, the general unhapinness, the fighting, the lack of affection a better environment for them?  Even though my oldest daughter is already having fairly serious emotional issues and I think my middle one isn't too far behind? 

Doubt.  Loads of it.

My "marriage" has been pretty traditional, in the sense that I've worked and she has stayed at home.  That's made things really hard financially until recently but we (I...) have sacrificed to make it work.  I gave up wanting to be a teacher and went into the trades instead.  I hopped jobs until I landed my current position with a really good salary and a good schedule.  Unfortunately I have to commute 3hrs a day for this job, something I started to grumble about recently.  I've worked hard to put us in a financially secure position, to take care of our house, to try to be a good dad.  And now, because she can't/won't change, I'll lose it all. 

The best part of my day is coming home and seeing my 3 daughters run out the door to greet me.  That will be gone. 
Hearing my littlest one shuffle through the kitchen early in the morning to come sit next to me while I drink coffee and talk about dinosaurs...gone.
I won't see what they did or made at school each day.  Won't be there to take them to the park or for ice cream on a whim.  Won't be there when they ask to play X Box with me.  And so much more of the day-to-day stuff...

Not to mention my income will be cut in half, which probably means apartments for a while.  No more house with a nice yard for the kids and the dog.  No more extra money for vacations or shopping sprees.  I feel like I'm losing everything because this woman I married and procreated with seems incapable of changing.  Even now, with divorce papers in her hand, she doesn't seem interested in making it work or examining the relationship. 

And I suppose, deep down, I had secretly hoped the papers would flick a switch for her and she'd see just how badly a divorce would play out for both of us.  I hoped maybe she would miss me, want me to stay.  That she would want me to be there for our kids.  Seems I was wrong.

Why should I have to lose so much time and contact with my kids because of her OCPD? 
Why shoud I have to pay out the nose to a woman who has done nothing but lie, manipulate, emotionally abuse and physically neglect me for years? 
Why can't she just get some help, some medication? 

Its no secret that divorce is hard on dads.  I'm really feeling it now, more so than I expected before the papers came.  I'm just kind of posting to vent a little.  The injustice of the situation is really bringing me low. 

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 07:16:37 AM »
I completely understand what you're going through here and align with a lot of your thoughts

So many times I want to walk out the door but don't because I don't want to make the sacrifices necessary for a life that's free of the abuse. Namely, time/life with kids, some financial security and a lack of dependence on family for a roof over my head.

I always list out the pro's and cons, try and maintain an abuse log etc etc.

Every time the reasons for leaving seem utterly selfish compared to those staying. Given that it's almost a 100% guarantee that children will be kept with a mother is leaving a positive in that they wont see the relationship or a negative as their wrath will be directed at the kids in the absence of the usual recipient of the treatment?

I'm waiting til my MiL (enabler-in-chief) snuffs it. That'll ensure the kids will be older, the wife will be financially ok and I can escape without being taken for 90% of my assets. My family have no idea why I'm still there now but I have to try and let them know that regardless of how miserable I am a plan is in place.

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 08:47:36 AM »
I feel for you both.

2 (hopefully) encouraging things came to my mind as I read your posts.

My feelings are the same - why should I suffer because of the choices made by my uNPD exH and his uNPD (now) wife?

He chose to leave me for her.

Secondly, you are choosing a healthier life for yourself and your children.  Yes, you won't be with them as much and you'll miss out on a lot of their daily lives. (And that hurts like billyo.)

But the time you do spend with them will be free of pd angst.  You'll be more relaxed with your kids and they'll be more relaxed with you.

You'll be able to create a loving and safe haven for you and your children, no matter how small that haven is, and no matter how reduced your income is.

Freedom from the pds is priceless.

All the best to you both.

AOD

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SandorS@DEyes

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 07:23:03 PM »
I completely understand what you're going through here and align with a lot of your thoughts

So many times I want to walk out the door but don't because I don't want to make the sacrifices necessary for a life that's free of the abuse. Namely, time/life with kids, some financial security and a lack of dependence on family for a roof over my head.

I always list out the pro's and cons, try and maintain an abuse log etc etc.

Every time the reasons for leaving seem utterly selfish compared to those staying. Given that it's almost a 100% guarantee that children will be kept with a mother is leaving a positive in that they wont see the relationship or a negative as their wrath will be directed at the kids in the absence of the usual recipient of the treatment?

I'm waiting til my MiL (enabler-in-chief) snuffs it. That'll ensure the kids will be older, the wife will be financially ok and I can escape without being taken for 90% of my assets. My family have no idea why I'm still there now but I have to try and let them know that regardless of how miserable I am a plan is in place.

Don't beat yourself up too badly for not being able to walk away.  Its the single hardest decision I've ever had to make and commit to and I doubt myself a lot still.  The kids and money have kept me from filing, and of course the intermittent reinforcement from her.  Last year I landed a good job and when I crunched the numbers for child support and everything I was ok (not thrilled, mind you) with the result.  It was enough to start over. 

As for the kids, I have been in some pretty dark places during the marriage.  I have abused alcohol in large part because of this relationship, and that hasn't made me a good father.  I've been depressed to the point that I've been suicidal.  My therapist helped me a lot, and realizing that with joint legal custody I can get my kids the therapy and help they need sealed the deal for me.  Honestly, if I stay I will either be on the transplant table at 40 (10 years from now) waiting for a new liver or I will do something to her.  I got blackout drunk once and shoved her and that could have cost me a lot.  So the way I see it, it will be hard to be a dad with the divorce but it would be harder if I'm either 1) dead or 2) in jail.

If it makes you feel any better, she is 8 months pregnant.  So on the outside I am the biggest dirtbag known to man.  But I know if I wait, one week will turn into a month and then months to years and...I just can't do it.  I also have a MIL who is a major problem (I think the OCPD runs in the family) and I am really, really looking forward to never having to see her again.

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SandorS@DEyes

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 07:28:50 PM »
I feel for you both.

2 (hopefully) encouraging things came to my mind as I read your posts.

My feelings are the same - why should I suffer because of the choices made by my uNPD exH and his uNPD (now) wife?

He chose to leave me for her.

Secondly, you are choosing a healthier life for yourself and your children.  Yes, you won't be with them as much and you'll miss out on a lot of their daily lives. (And that hurts like billyo.)

But the time you do spend with them will be free of pd angst.  You'll be more relaxed with your kids and they'll be more relaxed with you.

You'll be able to create a loving and safe haven for you and your children, no matter how small that haven is, and no matter how reduced your income is.

Freedom from the pds is priceless.

All the best to you both.

AOD

Thanks so much for the kind words.  You're right, the time with them away from her will be well worth it, once things settle out.  And as much as I hate to say it I do think she will end up pushing at least two of them away with her behavior, especially if I'm not there.  So I hope, in time, they will come to see why I left and the steps I took/am taking to heal and move on. 

I was lucky enough to take my oldest and youngest on a vacation in July.  2 days without any weirdness or squirrelly behavior.  2 days without controlling, manipulating.  It was wonderful.  There was a moment on the beach, watching them play together in the water, that I had a fleeting moment of peace and realized "Its going to be ok."  It isn't now, and it will always hurt.  But one day, its going to be ok.

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Crushed_Dad

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 06:25:31 AM »
I completely understand what you're going through here and align with a lot of your thoughts

So many times I want to walk out the door but don't because I don't want to make the sacrifices necessary for a life that's free of the abuse. Namely, time/life with kids, some financial security and a lack of dependence on family for a roof over my head.

I always list out the pro's and cons, try and maintain an abuse log etc etc.

Every time the reasons for leaving seem utterly selfish compared to those staying. Given that it's almost a 100% guarantee that children will be kept with a mother is leaving a positive in that they wont see the relationship or a negative as their wrath will be directed at the kids in the absence of the usual recipient of the treatment?

I'm waiting til my MiL (enabler-in-chief) snuffs it. That'll ensure the kids will be older, the wife will be financially ok and I can escape without being taken for 90% of my assets. My family have no idea why I'm still there now but I have to try and let them know that regardless of how miserable I am a plan is in place.

Don't beat yourself up too badly for not being able to walk away.  Its the single hardest decision I've ever had to make and commit to and I doubt myself a lot still.  The kids and money have kept me from filing, and of course the intermittent reinforcement from her.  Last year I landed a good job and when I crunched the numbers for child support and everything I was ok (not thrilled, mind you) with the result.  It was enough to start over. 

As for the kids, I have been in some pretty dark places during the marriage.  I have abused alcohol in large part because of this relationship, and that hasn't made me a good father.  I've been depressed to the point that I've been suicidal.  My therapist helped me a lot, and realizing that with joint legal custody I can get my kids the therapy and help they need sealed the deal for me.  Honestly, if I stay I will either be on the transplant table at 40 (10 years from now) waiting for a new liver or I will do something to her.  I got blackout drunk once and shoved her and that could have cost me a lot.  So the way I see it, it will be hard to be a dad with the divorce but it would be harder if I'm either 1) dead or 2) in jail.

If it makes you feel any better, she is 8 months pregnant.  So on the outside I am the biggest dirtbag known to man.  But I know if I wait, one week will turn into a month and then months to years and...I just can't do it.  I also have a MIL who is a major problem (I think the OCPD runs in the family) and I am really, really looking forward to never having to see her again.


Understand the booze thing. I go out 2/3 times a week just to get away from another evening sat in front of the TV not talking or just being on the phone. Invariably when I do I'll have 6-7 pints and end up feeling rubbish the next day, when on weekends that has an obvious effect on the family. Funny thing is, although I feel guilty for feeling rubbish I try harder rather than just being grumpy and resentful towards my wife had I not been out. Good thing is when I do get out I get to meet mates or acquaintances that offer a glimpse in to what a life without all this is like, they remind me I'm in the most part ok and doing the right thing by my kids.

W're currently in a stage where I'm due to have a week off next week and the wife is dreading it. We always argue when I have time off because I encroach in the life she's built for herself (which I fully provide for). They'll be arguments over discipline for the kids, what we do, where we go, how much money is spent, dinners, you name it. She cannot handle anyone who may have an alternative opinion or way of doing things that contradicts her own belief, and doesn't understand that because she's been with kids since they were born, how anyone else but her may have a right to exist in our home, in a way they'd like. Her mother will try but is so scared of her own daughter she'll back down and carry on enabling her. She effectively wants a skivvy so she can do/live the way she expects to, and do just enough not to be called out on it.

My wife hasn't spent a night away from her children in 6.5 years!!! I think that's totally insane but no-one ever mentions it.

Anyway -what I will say to you is this, once you're gone the mask will either slip or it will fall to another unsuspecting person to fill your void. I wish you well.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 06:28:10 AM by Crushed_Dad »

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 11:55:18 AM »
Hi SandorS@DEyes,

My heart breaks for you- this is a really tough situation and there really is no right answer.  You have to do what you feel is best for you and your kids.  My DH made this decision with his ex because he saw what BM was doing to them and him.  He felt that if he left he would at least give them time away from the abuse.  Time to breath, time to see what normal looks like, time to be the person they were meant to be and not the person she forces them to be for her own purposes. 

You are giving your children the opportunity to have a safe landing space in between the storms.  Although you won't have all the day to day activities, you will have the new routines you establish with you kids that will be what YOU and the kids want them to be. You can create your own traditions with holidays.

It's hard- I've watched my husband deal with the agony of missing his kids, fear BM will continue to whittle away at his time with them.  She got full custody, in spite of a mountain of evidence of her abuse and alienation tactics.  The other day, as I took breaks from my job that I work at home, I walked out to see DH and DSD13 in deep conversation, ALL day.  Chatting like best friends.  This is the child that BM has put all of her effort into sever the relationship with her Dad....and they were enjoying each others company...for literally HOURS.  And this was not the first time this summer.  Those are the moments that make it all worth it.

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SandorS@DEyes

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2019, 11:28:06 AM »
@ Cruchsed_Dad

  I've gotten a lot better with my drinking, to the point where it was only once or twice a month.  I just tend to not stop and when I got some blood work done my doctor was fairly concerned about my numbers and the binge drinking.  The reality for me is I've used it to survive/deal with the stress, depression, etc but 10 years of that seems to be starting to take a toll on me.  My therapist was the one who really helped me see that the stress that triggers these drinking episodes is almost always from my relationship.
  I have one weekend off a month (4 days, Fri-Mon) and I have never really looked forward to that.  If we have something planned, like going out shopping or something, its not so bad.  But there's a constant "pressure" around the house to always be doing something.  Relaxing is just not a thing.  There's a never-ending list of things that need to be done and no matter what I'll do one of those things wrong, or at the wrong time, or whatever she comes up with.  Its an impossible way to live and it was only over the last few months, before filing, that I starting to set boundaries with my own time.  But I definitely relate to what you're talking about with time off.  I work 7 days in a row, I drive a little over 2 hrs round trip, I work a fair amount of overtime; I should be able to look forward to not only my days off but coming home in general to a safe, relaxed place.  It seems the more I'm home the worse it is and its a rare long weekend that I don't think or say "I should have just stayed at work".  That's no life at all.
  I believe that as long as she can still control some of our kids (while they're young) she will use them as a kind of source.  But as they get older and more independent that will get harder and their relationship with her will suffer.  I would not be surprised if she remarried quickly because I don't think "divorced mom of 4" fits her "image", and I know her mom will pressure her to find someone to "take care of her".  And all of that's fine, I realize that she doesn't have genuine feelings for me personally and she won't have them for whoever falls into her spider web.  Right now she has enough of a "support network" (more like Flying Monkies, really) that I think she will be able to hold it together a little.  Even now that she realizes the reality of her situation (have to selll the house, she'll have to get a job and possibly daycare) she hasn't once given me the impression she would work on any of the issues that drove us apart.  I'm not sure she'll ever realize or accept just how much of this is her responsiblity. 
  She has almost never been away from the kids.  I've tried to plan nights away and they just never seem to materialize.  I've told her its not healthy to have no hobbies or interests outside of the house (to which she says that "homemaking" is her hobby...)  She really has no personality anymore, no interests.  Her excuse is that its selfish not to give every last bit of herself to the kids, even though I've complained for years that she needs to put our marriage first and that she needs time alone/away.  And it wouldn't be quite so bad IF she didn't expect the same from me, but that's not the case.  Anything I do that doesn't fit her scheme for me results in attacks.   

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SandorS@DEyes

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2019, 11:49:17 AM »
@ Stepping,


  I've had the kids for my long weekend (4 days) and its really shown me how constricting and stressful the home environment had gotten.  They've been happy, very helpful and courteous, no fits, no fighting, no breakdowns.  I can just sense how un-stressed they are not being around her or the pressure she exudes.  My oldest one has developed some pretty concerning behavioral problems and I see none of that when she is with me.  Of course my ex says I'm too soft on them and that I don't have rules and that she has to do all the un-fun parenting things, so of course they "like" me more...

  It is difficult, and I know there will be more hard moments through the years.  Fortunately I think the court system will not put up with her shenanigans and that should cut down on some of the weird, controlling behavior.  I have the advantage of being reasonable and logical (to a fault at times) and I really do only want what's best for the kids.  I know that when push comes to shove she has and will make decisions that are not in their best interests and, unless her lawyer advises her otherwise, a judge will see that clearly.  In other words, she can play games with me but she can't play games with the court system.

It sounds like you're very supportive  and understanding of your DH; he's very fortunate to have that kind of support. 

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2019, 05:51:37 PM »
I'm so glad you had a great weekend with your kids- that is going to be such a huge help for them!

The accusation of being too soft on the kids, we got that one too!  I think they need a reason the kids gravitate toward the healthy parent, and it can't be anything that's wrong with them obviously.  We get blamed for the behavior patterns BM sees at her home, even though we don't see them at ours; her accusation is that is because we "don't bother to pay attention".   PDs are always armed with a reason things are not their fault. 


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FogDawg

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Re: Losing (almost) everything...
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 04:02:24 PM »
Is this really best for our kids?  Is the yelling, the general unhapinness, the fighting, the lack of affection a better environment for them?  Even though my oldest daughter is already having fairly serious emotional issues and I think my middle one isn't too far behind? 

Whether OP sees this or not, I felt that it was worth saying to anyone even considering staying in an unhealthy relationship due to guilt and second-guessing. Children never ask to be brought into this world and do not deserve to suffer because mom or dad think that remaining married for their sake, and being unhappy all the while, is the way to go. Kids pick up on a lot more than they are given credit for and are affected very deeply by the conditions in which they live. A healthy environment with a single parent is far more beneficial than a house where there is much tension, making it more of a prison than a home. When emotional issues are readily apparent, or even suspected (in the case of the second child), that is a huge red flag. For their well-being, do the right thing and get them to safety. If they are forced to remain, the damage is only going to get progressively worse and you may not have any sort of relationship with them in the future, provided they make it to adulthood in the first place.