Senior Veteran (female)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Re: Ending an abusive marriage
Nice to hear from you. I was wondering how things were going. I'm sorry to hear about your cat, and hope she is well on her way to recovering. I know what you mean about really great animals. We have a chihuahua that is the smartest, sweetest thing, and is loved almost like a member of the family. I have the animals protected under the restraining order. I didn't know that they did that, but they asked me if my STBX ever harmed the animals, and I told them the truth. I thought she was just going to use those incidents to show that he had a history of harming things in anger, neglect, and poor judgement, and was relieved to know that the animals were protected.
The mediator asked me about this, most likely because STBX made up some lies to defend his actions, and I couldn't remember what he had done to the dog that I had told my attorney. Remember, I had to get to the court house at 8, which means I had to leave at 6, which means I had to get up at 4:30, and didn't get much sleep. So, I'm wracking my brain and can't think, and finally I say that I can't remember, and she says "Well, it says right here that you claim that he harmed the animals." I said that he did harm the bird in anger- in fact he dislocated her beak, but I couldn't remember the dog. So I am so sleep deprived, I say, I guess he didn't harm the dog. But, of course, once the pressure was off, I remembered the incidences that led me to say that. So she says," you better read these things before you sign them."
She sounded so jaded and one sided after hearing from my STBX. (He went first and must have told her some whoppers.) He can really lie well. He can swindle the best. That was why I ended up marrying him. And, that was why he wanted to get married quickly, before I found out the "real him."
I asked that my sister come with me during mediation. The papers said that I could have someone with me because of the domestic violence. She asked my why I thought that I needed someone with me, and I said, well, I guess I can come by myself. I wasn't expecting to be interrogated.
The attorney could not come with me. And, you are right, the mediator can only give recommendations. But, she said that she was required by law to contact Child Protective Services if there was suspected child abuse. And, what my STBX did was child abuse. I'm surprised the police didn't report it before. And then she asked me if I reported the child abuse, again putting me on the defensive. No, I got a restraining order and filed for divorce. I thought that would protect my children! And, the law was going to handle protecting the other children by providing evidence in the court case that is pending.
I talked to a friend of my sisters who we've known for a long time. We talked for two hours about her divorce nightmares. She really made me feel good when she explained that the truth comes out in the end. She said that the judge will see through all of his lies and tactics to gain control. She told me not to concentrate on all the little things, but to concentrate on the goal- which is protecting my children.
Don't get me wrong, she said that I should pile up the evidence on my STBX- with every thing I can think of, and he's given me a lot. She also acknowledged the fact that I was abused as well, and that keeps you from seeing the whole picture. And, when someone lies so well, then you are not seeing the real picture.
My STBX just had his mother call me on his behalf on Friday, once again going against the restraining order. I think this is four times, now. My friend told me to never answer the phone. She said to just let it go to the answering machine or monitor it. She said that her attorney told her that it would make the harasser have to leave a message that could be recorded. I had got caller ID, but the number just showed it was a private caller. I was worried that it might be from the school and made the mistake of answering it. Then, I got the earful of baloney and then yelling when I told my STBX mother-in-law that my STBX could not chaperone my son's field trip- there was a restraining order from the court that prevented that- and that she was violating it by calling me. What are they thinking?
I told my attorney, and she said that she would contact the other attorney about this and also have the judge admonish him in court. I thought that would be just a slap on the wrist, but my friend said that the judges do not appreciate it when their orders are not followed, and it could lead him to going to jail. For one thing, what good is a restraining order if it isn't enforced? We know that my STBX won't quit harassing me, that is why I have it.
And, about the property taking, my attorney said that we haven't had our day in court because of all the continuances, but that he may have to return everything. My friend said that the judge will see his tactics to take property and it will only go against him. I hope that is what happens. My attorney thinks that their attorney is less than honest, but I don't want to go that route. So, I'm glad that my attorney is doing everything by the law, and hopefully it will pay off in the end.
I just want to get on with this, divide up the belongings, and take my kids out of Dodge and get on with my life! Dragging this all on is the most unhealthy thing anyone could do for my children. It is legal abuse! The quicker the kids and I get away from this situation, the better for all of us.
My friend said that her daughter is graduating from college, and is very well adjusted despite everything her ex did along the way (it was twelve years of custody battles). She said that she now has a good relationship with her ex and even his parents. She said that it was a miracle for that to have been the outcome. Her daughter came to realize everything that her mother did for her, and acknowledged it and they have a very good relationship.
So, I realize that I need to document the violations, but not let them set the tone for my life with the children. I should enjoy my times with them, build our relationship, knowing that we have to go through the fire to get to the other side. I had a wonderful time with my youngest last night, playing with the dog and making pleasant memories. That is the way to make lemonade out of the lemons.
Give your daughter and your cat some extra TLC for me, and start making some pleasant memories.
Last edited by Sunsetnan; 02-06-2011 at 07:57 AM.