Nasty divorce question – can you give me advice?

posted 1 month ago in Legal
Post # 47
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2019

This is a lot. I don’t think you have to keep your mouth shut and say nothing but I’d strongly recommend against any Vaguebooking about how there’s more to the story than people know, and I wouldn’t send screenshots to your extended circle. 

I think you also need to bear in mind what’s best for you legally vs what’s emotionally tempting- not rising to his bait makes him the only one threatening people, and that gives you a stronger case. 

I think you can be a bit sneakier to fight for your reputation. For instance if he’s slandering you at church, go see the pastor for counseling and go over what you said here-and say you know you are supposed to take the high road but the temptation to defend yourself is compelling. Tell your friends all the details and then tell them you want to take the high road and not use the info you have. It’s much less powerful for one half of a couple to be like “he’s the real bad guy!” vs if people in your community are like, “that poor woman is a saint. Still trying to be the better person”. But do this one on one. Not through text messages or facebook. Get coffee with your ex mother in law or send a card and say thank you for being my mother in law, I’m so sorry it didn’t work out, I loved your son, I wish you well.

Being gracious can be the dirtiest trick of all if you do it right.  

Post # 49
Member
1051 posts
Bumble bee

Your husband sounds abusive. He sounds like he likes his power. He receives it with threats and manipulation. You, on the other hand, sound like EXACTLY the kind of person that an abuser targets. The kind of person who doesn’t want to cause trouble, who would rather let something go than assert themselves over it, who gives in to keep the peace. There is nothing wrong with being that sort of person, but by doing so in this situation you are playing right into his hands. If you do not feel that you are in physical danger (if you do, then by all means you need to trust your instincts to keep yourself safe) then you MUST fight for your reputation and your marital rights. The short term gains you receive by not dealing with it, by not engaging, and by keeping him happy are not worth the long term problems you will face.

Stop agreeing to things when it comes to the dog. Stop allowing him contact entirely, actually. You can promise the moon and he will still try to take the dog. Not because he wants the dog, but because he wants to hurt you. He will continue to spread lies and share your intimate information. Not because he needs to but because he wants to hurt you. He will continue to demand more than his financial share while trying to prevent you from yours, not because he needs the money but because he wants to hurt you. Do you see the pattern? This is not someone you can rationalize with or expect good intentions from, no matter what he promises, because HE WANTS TO HURT YOU. You can not trust a thing he says or does. If you are holding back because you are afraid he will take the dog, HE IS ALREADY TRYING TO TAKE THE DOG. He will create issues for you no matter what you do. Holding back is not going to stop him from doing what he wants to do. DON’T TRUST HIM. 

You also cannot win. You are dealing with someone so messed up in the head that he feels he needs to assert his dominance over you by highly destructive means. You can NEVER stoop to his level because you aren’t an abusive asshole. The only thing you can do is protect yourself. Telling people your side of the story is not abusive or unkind. HE created that situation, not you. Telling people is simply protecting yourself. Having contact with him is not helping him or you, you need to protect yourself from what he says and does. Telling your in-laws, people who probably considered you family and who may have trusted you and cared for you is only RIGHT. It’s hurtful to allow them and other people who care to just believe lies about you with no attempt to give another side, just so you can not deal with it. You do not have the luxury of sitting back and not dealing with things when you are being openly attacked. You just don’t. If someone is slapping you in the face I’m sure you wouldn’t just sit there and allow it, but that’s what you are doing here, only this type of violence will have long term affects on your reputation and it’s hurtful not only to you, but all the people around you. Your reputation is something that matters. 20 years from now you might be refused job opportunities because of this. It is no joke and it’s not something to just sit idly by and ‘wait out’. Do not allow yourself to be a victim. Protect yourself. 

Post # 51
Member
1051 posts
Bumble bee

futuremrss17 :  You are welcome. I have seen this behavior with my mother, who is the same sort of person, and a dear friend. Both are amazing, loving, compassionate people who were hurt badly. I really want to encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE. Women who are experiencing or have experienced emotional abuse and control are encouraged to call. They more than anyone else including your lawyer can best guide you. Is your lawyer one who specializes in issues of domestic manipulation and control? If not, make sure you take the advice of the hotline into consideration.

You know your situation best, and have to act accordingly. I’m just saying the following because in the cases of the women I cared about, they did not have an immediate fear of escalation, they were just so used to giving in and dealing with the manipulation that it was very difficult for them to get outside of the pattern when dealing with their separation and divorce proceedings. If it does not apply to you, and it may not, I wish you the best of luck.

—————————————————————————————————- 

I completely understand that you want things to be over with and so you give in in the hopes of making things better for yourself, but that is just not going to happen. He has learned that if he pushes, you will give in. So he will continue to push. If you refuse to give in, he will escalate further. If you still refuse, he will learn that he cannot manipulate you and will likely back down (again, this does not apply if he is violent). Please consider the following:

1. Blame your lawyer. The next time your husband contacts you, tell him nicely that you have been told that all contact should go through the lawyers and you are not supposed to speak to him. Behave as though you are a bit confused about it all but you need to follow what the lawyer says and you want to make sure you do everything right. The end goal is that you don’t need to respond to his manipulations anymore and he can blame the lawyer instead of you.

2. Let the people close to you know what is really going on. If you think he might be violent, don’t involve his parents because that will escalate the danger. The goal is not to blast him or tell everyone around you the story, but to put out another version so that people at least understand that there are 2 versions. They may not believe you, but they will doubt him. Doubt is your friend here. 

3. It is not your job to change him into a better person. It is very difficult for an abusive man to change, and they almost never do. You will drive yourself crazy trying to help. Don’t help him – the person who needs help is you. 

4. Be kind to yourself. People who are in abusive relationships often act in ways that the people around them can’t understand. That’s not stupidity – it’s survival. Forgive yourself for any missteps you might have made. Make sure you are in therapy. Surround yourself with people who care. Join a club, take a class, play sports, do whatever makes you feel good and safe. 

5. Be an advocate for yourself, and do it through your lawyer. Get what is yours by right. Don’t be nice and promise things so that you can get it all over with. Don’t sell yourself short. If he talks to you about it, just act as though you don’t understand much and you are doing what your lawyer says. If he thinks he can manipulate and threaten you, he will – and if you don’t agree to what he wants he will blame and target you. If he thinks that you don’t know what’s up and you are running everything past someone he can’t manipulate, you are less likely to be a target. 

Again, throw ALL of that out the window if you are ever fearful. Nothing is worth putting yourself in danger. Be safe, and good luck. 

Post # 52
Member
102 posts
Blushing bee

Remember these two sayings: “Revenge is best served cold” and “Living well is the best revenge”. I don’t blame you for wanting revenge. Being cheated on is awful. But how will sharing about his cheating and providing pictures and info help you move on in your life? Gather all the evidence you have and put in a large envelope and put in away for at least six months. If six months from now, you want to share it with people then do it. You need a cooling off period. People like your cheating husband will show their true colors to other people soon enough. You don’t have to say a word. The more you say about HIM, the worse you will look. People will talk about you instead of him. Judges don’t care about cheaters anymore. They just want to divide financial assets. Five years from now, when you look back on this period of your life, you will be glad that you didn’t share anything. Why? You will be happy and living a much better life. The more you focus on him, the longer you stay stuck.

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