Some Clarification on my Divorce

>> Sunday, March 11, 2012

First, before I say anything more, I have to thank you all for your support. One side effect about being dropped (apparently without any hesitation or remorse) by the person you thought was the love of your life is that you feel pretty much unlovable. The support of people I've grown fond of without even meeting, the reminders that there are people who still care, is more precious to me than I can express. 

But I think I've given the impression that my husband, soon-to-be ex, is a hateful malicious cretin, and that's not fair. I know, because I've been married to a hateful malicious cretin and the divorce went somewhat differently. So did the marriage.

My first marriage was horrible, filled to the brim with emotional and sometimes physical abuse. Ever been on the floor of your kitchen while your spouse tried to throttle you? I have. I hated living with him and stayed for years longer than I should out of obligation until it dawned on me that letting myself be treated like that was the worst possible example for our one child. As a possession, my first husband felt I had no right to leave. I will spare you the specifics on the threats and the name calling he used, but they included, at the least, the threat that I would never see my daughter again, that he'd prove I was psychotic and would be paying him through the nose for the foreseeable future. His mother seconded the notion and threatened me, too.

I left anyway.

During the course of the divorce (and beyond) he:
  • Tried to get me arrest for forgery (signing his mother's Christmas card)
  • Called CPS on me and the people who were supporting me numerous times with escalating and readily disproved allegations of abuse, both physical and sexual. The repeated calls were so outrageous, the local law enforcement charged him with obstruction of justice and tried to indict him.
  • Set a detective on me.
  • So frightened the psychologist hired to evaluate us' receptionist so badly that the psychologist changed his view of him radically (he'd been favoring my first husband because my husband, as a cop, knew how to take the tests with the "right answers - I'm a little off - and because I seemed too rigidly moral???)
  • Threatened my lawyer and his secretary (making my lawyer his sworn enemy)
  • So scared our mediator that he was unhinged that she took to locking the door to where I was and ended up giving me tips to get custody during the trial. My lawyer ended up at the picture window with the gun he'd fetched from his car, saying "All I need is a clear shot." I'm not kidding.
  • Threatened me in the court room so that the judge repeatedly chewed him out and put extra sanctions on him (which he ignored). As a cop, my first husband tried threatening the cops working the courtroom (different jurisdiction from his own) and pushed the judge to calling up my first husband's boss (Sheriff) to complain about his behavior. There were extra cops in our courtroom standing strategically around us with their hands on their guns at all times. 
  • He failed to make house payments (court ordered) on the house in both our names, and water payments so my daughter spent nearly a month in a house with no water. Also, it was growing a horrible black mold (from a water leak months old) and had so much trash (when I came to clean it up for sale) that it took three trips with a 30' trailer to clear it out. 
  • After refusing to allow us to sell the house, he declared bankruptcy, forcing me to do the same or be saddled with all his debts in addition to my own.
  • Since the divorce was final, he has repeated and at length told our daughter horrible stories of my infidelity (never happened), my neglect of her (false), and my physical abuse of him (say what???). 
  • Cost of the three years of divorce (just on my side) was upwards of $35K.
That my daughter has managed to grow up a bright loving generous self-starting teenager is a miracle.

My current husband is young and, from my view, thoughtless, immature, and self-absorbed. But there is no meanness in him. If he is leaving most of his responsibility behind, he is also setting out with almost nothing and doing so by choice. I have all the debts, the kids, the house, both cars and most of the stuff. He has a few essentials, his motorcycle and minimal job prospects because he's never really worked. Since he didn't fix his motorcycle, his lack of reliable transportation isn't helping him.

He loves someone else, but he also wasn't happy. With nothing and his life a chaotic model of uncertainty, he's happier than he was while he was here and financially secure, which argues he did the right thing for both of us. I have no more interest in making my marriage a prison for my husband than I was in staying in one where I felt a prisoner. We're reached agreement everything ahead of time, have a marriage settlement agreement signed, notarized and filed. We went to the "about the kids" seminar required for divorces involving children together yesterday with no animosity. Come April 9, we'll go in together on our no-fault no-contest divorce and be done with no lawyers involved.

If I am hurt, grieved, and frustrated by things my husband does and the naive or self-centered way he looks at things, or by the sense of abandonment and lack of self-worth I have as a result, I am also grateful that this is as easy and simple as it could be, that he is facilitating me moving on with my life. And much of my grief is self-inflicted given that I loved him to excess and he merely didn't.

I am also fortunate that my husband's family is keeping me even if he isn't. My MIL has taken over watching my daughter during the day and has been my strongest support.

My first husband has granted me a frame of reference so that, despite some pain and sense of betrayal, I can also appreciate that there's no meanness or greed. And that argues a much healthier outlook for the children we share.


  • soubriquet

    I'm glad to read this. You are very magnanimous with your defence of your ex, when you might justly have reason to speak only with anger anger. It seems he, whilst the cause of much pain, does not actively seek to hurt.

    Your experiences with your first husband are terrible, they bear very strong similarities those of my own beloved's. She lived in fear of her husband for too long, I'll say no more of that, other than that long after the divorce, he still likes to reach out and hurt her, over the kids, and in other ways.

    I'm glad to hear you speak out like this, and glad to hear your mil's support. Out here in cyber-limbo-land, people care. We may not seem to be real, but some of us are... I think? I think therefore...

    Well, okay. Maybe I'm just random bits in a far-off heap of sparking junk.
    But even so, I care.

  • Stephanie Barr

    I am humbled and gratified by the support I've received from my cyber friends.

    Thank you.

  • Frank Hark

    Thank you for sharing.

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