Post # 272
So he just posted pictures on Facebook of our kids saying they are just the best. He never posts pictures of them, he has never in his life. I am so irritated! He is definitely trying to get everyone to see how great of a father he is so he can have lots of sympathy when I leave. Between this and calling my mom yesterday I would say he’s moved into more manipulation and trying to control what others are seeing and feeling about him.
Post # 273
“don’t bother coming back because I’ll be dead.”
Oh, this one again? Such a paucity of original ideas with these guys. A very common manipulation play.
At the same time, all threats of suicide must be taken seriously.
Fortunately, this one has a very easy fix.
If he ever talks about suicide or self-harm again, call 911.
This is a win all around.
If he is seriously a danger to himself, he will get treatment from properly trained professionals.
If he’s being manipulative, he won’t ever pull that stunt again after facing EMTs in the living room.
See, you win either way.
You will have avoided rewarding this behavior as you absolve yourself for any responsibility you may have felt. You are not the Suicide Hotline. It is not your job to talk him off the ledge.
Too often, abuse victims fall for this ploy. There seems to be a perverse enjoyment for some women in believing that the guy really can’t live without them.
Abuse thrives in darkness. Abusers count on their victims’ pointless shame to stop them from reaching out to anyone perceived as more powerful than the abuser thinks he is.
No doubt he’s winding up to carry on about how you abuse him. Another classic. No one properly trained in abuse will fall for it. It’s almost a certainty that he will float this one at some point.
They all sing from the same hymnal, Bee.
Post # 274
No reaction is a power stance. Stop looking. Ask a trusted friend to keep an eye on his SM, on the remote chance that there is something you truly need to be aware of.
Instruct your friend *not* to give you the daily recap of stupid shit; that which could be relevant to the safety of you and/or the kids.
It’s unlikely that he will post threats on SM. He’s not stupid. He understands that he would be generating evidence against himself.
I know you are flummoxed, but, it’s time to begin to separate and learn to take some emotional distance. Fish gonna swim, birds gonna fly, abusers gonna abuse.
It takes some will power to learn to focus less on him; what he feels, thinks, says, does. Some venting is normal. But, try not to wrap yourself around the axel.
Spend some time visualizing your New Life–peaceful, relaxed, abuse-free for you and your precious babies. What will your future home look like? Feel like? How you will you decorate it? What colors and textures make you feel really, really good? What kind of music will be playing in the background? Will you have a garden? Gardens can be very healing. I hope you have some type of public gardens nearby that you and the kiddos can visit.
Post # 275
He’s preparing for the custody battle. He will not submit to supervised visitation and, based on the divorces I’ve seen over the last ten years, no judge would grant a request for court-ordered supervised visitation without hard core proof of a behavior pattern that would be dangerous to the children. You can say all day and night that he has been verbally abusive, has threatened to kill himself, has made threats to you, is an alcoholic with habits of black-out binge drinking; but without documented proof by way of hospital admissions, confessions to a therapist or ecclesiastical leader, these types of claims are nearly always disregarded due to the high incidence of people making false allegations in attempts to lock the other party out of custody or visitation rights during custody negotiations. Even “witness” testimony is usually disregarded with assumptions of bias.
He is probably going to try for a much greater share of the custody division than you are expecting. 50% is the starting point and courts rarely dictate for an uneven division unless it is negotiated between the parties themselves. If the custody is highly contested between the parties, the court will likely order that the situation be evaluated by a court-appointed family psychologist who will review medical information, interview both parents, and relevant family members and other acquaintances who may shed light on character/behavior patterns or to probe into other testimony given. This analysis is expensive (in my area about $7,000) and must be paid for by the parents. Again, without documented evidence that one or both parties are unfit for custody or visitation, these analyses usually pan out to recommend 50% custody division after all. Even in cases where one party works a lot, as long as child care is arranged, it is not frowned upon. In my friend’s case, in which her ex blamed his absent parenting prior to the divorce on long work hours that were a necessary part of his job (he was with hookers a lot of that time), my friend sued for primary custody and her narcissist ex sued for sole custody, trying to lock her out completely. The court ordered 50% custody division even though during the separation period he had been dropping the daughter off all day for days at at a time with whatever family member would babysit for free. It wasn’t about him getting time with the daughter, for him it was about chipping away as much as possible at the time that the mother would be able to have with the daughter. He bragged about his successes and rubbed it in every time he spoke to my friend alone. He loved “winning.” To this day he still refiles and refiles for primary custody. The analysis by the court-appointed psychologist that cost them nearly $4,000 each, was a horrible experience, dragging everyone they knew into the divorce and gouging a fault line amongst their friends and acquaintances. It was and still is a nightmare in so many ways. I was one of the “witnesses” the psychologist interviewed and many peope cut ME off after his family gossiped and spread rumors about the testimony I gave. They can say whatever they want to whoever they want and I can’t prove them wrong. I can just carry on and live my life.
After witnessing so many messy divorces and painful custody battles play out up close and personal, I am so dismayed everytime I read yet another post on this forum along the lines of “you owe it to your kids to get yourself and them away from this awful person you’re married to.” It’s not that easy. I wish it were in cases like this. But get your evidence together as much as you can. The recordings are the most useful. Journal entries may be helpful but not as helpful as more concrete evidence. And be careful not to run off with the kids, cutting him off from visitation. You can be charged with child theft. It’s no joke and courts are cracking down on that. The bottom line is–you need an attorney to help you plan this out ASAP. Your stbx is ramping up the image campaign. He will be working to make himself look glorious and to make you look bad in any way he can. What will he cook up to criticize your parenting? I don’t know yet. But if he can accuse you of trying to keep the kids away from him, and trying to influence your older daughter, his attorney will present that as psychological abuse. What my friend went through with her narcissist ex was absolutely horrifying. She was unprepared and didn’t know what he was capable of doing. Please don’t underestimate your narcissistic, manipulative husband. And remember that the family court can’t rush to side with you when you say “abuse.” Too many people have abused the “abuse” claim to try to manipulate custody proceedings. Be careful. Please prioritize getting an attorney on board. I suspect that your husband is planning for something to happen very soon. He’s really ramping up his campaigning quickly. This doesn’t sound good. I’m concerned that he’s planning a confrontation that forces you to leave that he can deny later and say you coldly left him. At this point, he’s absolutely planning on this divorce happening. I don’t think he’s even trying to hold onto you anymore. If he says he is, it’s just to keep your guard down while he plans. My friend’s ex successfully did this and used the time to hide money away and even hid some of his sources of income (he was self-employed) to try to get out of child support. He also ran up debt in my friend’s name and she didn’t find out about it until after the divorce when debt collectors chased her down. She couldn’t prove it was him, even though it was obviously him based on the type and location of the purposes. She had to handle it as an identity theft case and in the meantime her credit was ruined while she needed to replace her car.
Please get started with a lawyer.
Post # 276
So my mom and my brother are coming to visit for the weekend. I can’t wait for them to be here. Last night I asked my husband if we should all go to the zoo while they are here and he said yes. I’ve been worried about him getting the wrong idea so my therapist recommended I tell him that nothing has changed and I don’t want him to see this as something it is not so I explained that to him last night. He cried and cried. Again. He told me all of the “reasons” for everything once again and how sorry he is. Lots of “have you thought of what this would do to the kids and to me and to you.” He even said that we made vows in front of everyone and in front of God and he’s worried about going to hell!! What! He continues to say we should “give it a shot.” I didn’t know how to cut him off so I just sat there. He went on for maybe 10 minutes. He then informed me that he loves me more than the kids and I realized that I definitely love the kids much more than him. Is that weird? I found it odd that he said that to me. This morning he walked around crying all morning. I didn’t acknowledge it. When I left the house I said goodbye and he said nothing.
Post # 277
Thank you. Awesome advice. Visualization is powerful and I am going to start doing that!
Post # 278
He is a real piece of work. Super manipulative. Loves you more than the kids? Is that supposed to give you warm fuzzies?
Post # 279
Boy, he must be getting really desperate to find something to say to you that’s going to make you act in the way he wants you to! It’s even getting a little comical (although I’m sure it isn’t to you, but it’s just like, what in the hell is he going to come up with next?) I also loved emilyofnewmoon’s latest comment. Yeah, what she said!
Post # 280
[comment removed by admin]
Post # 281
Post # 282
It is a beekeeping website. Why is everyone talking about human relationships. I want more bee content.
Post # 283
Mods, can @LovesideoutBrianandShadiaWedds
be removed yet?? You said she was talked to about past comments but this is the same bullshit as before.
Post # 284
I’m currently playing a game called “How many flags can I submit to the mods before this person is removed from these boards?”
OP, I’m really glad your mom and brother are coming in for the weekend. It will be a chance for both you and the kids to see loved ones and hopefully take a breather and have fun rather than going to doctors appointments.
I would focus on making sure you shield your mom/brother from any one on one time with your husband, as I guarantee that it will be much like the phone call to your mom– he will attempt to manipulate them, perhaps with the same tears and theatrics he’s throwing at you, which would be incredibly awkward for them.
I don’t recall that you’ve touched on your therapist’s take on how things are progressing with his behavior, but I hope he/she has been helpful in processing things and formulating responses to your husband’s dramatics and manipulations. As much as his reaction sucks and is hard to deal with, I fully agree with not pretending like you’re rug sweeping things. I will caution you, though, that if this is the route you’re going to take, plans to move out need to be accelerated, as his meltdowns are going to be exacerbated and become more frequent the more he feels like his tactics aren’t working. With each bit of control he loses (or feels like he’s losing), things will become more dangerous for you and the kids, and his crazy will ramp up in terms of contacting relatives and playing “the good guy”.
If you have drawn your line in the sand that you will not be repairing things with him, you need to get your ducks in a row to leave. Most people don’t stay in a home with an abusive spouse for months on end after they’ve indicated they’d like to separate/divorce. It sucks that he found your lawyer’s notes and that you weren’t “ready”, but your current situation is not safe or tenable, and I’m very concerned about what will be next in his repertoire.
Post # 285
I am quite surprised at your therapist’s advice.
What good outcome could *possibly* have come out of explaining it ONE MORE TIME?
I would say that you are damn lucky he went to Full Victim Status. He could easily (and quickly) have escalated.
He *gets it*. He always has. Now that you’re onto him, he is a frantic cat in the litter box.
Does your therapist have any specialized training or background in DV? It’s essential to work with someone truly qualified. These guys are master manipulators.
Do you have a DV facility nearby? I would look into their services. Group counseling can be especially powerful.
And, remember, you can always chat with trained counselors at the National DV Hotline, 24/7/365.
I am really troubled about this, Bee.
Post # 286
Yeah I know! I was confused by that one.
I’m going to be honest, I kind of just sit there with a confused look on my face and then I realize that my face is giving me away. Most of the time I do not engage and I just say, “I’m sorry you are feeling that way.”
I agree and will be making sure my mom and brother do not have alone time with him whenever I can help it. My therapist continues to tell me that he is gaslighting me and attempting to manipulate me and that his “good guy” behavior will not keep up. She reminds me that I have endured years of verbal and emotional abuse and manipulation and that that doesn’t just go away. She keeps it in perspective that he needed to hear the word “divorce” before he could care enough to change. She encourages me to be straight forward with him. I told her I am 85% sure I want to leave and she said if I want to buy more time it’s fine, but that I need to be prepared for him to confront me and ask me what my decision is. So I need to start getting my ducks in a row and making some preparations.
I basically told her that since we still live in the house I feel like we are forced to spend some time together and I don’t know how to interact with him or what is okay or not okay because I don’t want him to see anything for what it’s not. So that’s why she told me I could just tell him that so that there is no confusion. My therapist is trained. She’s been practicing for 20+ years and she left a similar relationship of her own in the past. Right now as it stands, we are living in the same house and I want peace until we take the next step so I am trying to remain civil with him without having meaningful conversations because I do NOT want to bond with him or anything. It is just hard to know what is right. and what is not. I’ve never navigated something like this before.