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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Preparing for the inevitable  (Read 587 times)
maxsterling
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« on: June 07, 2019, 04:42:19 PM »

Sorry to not be around here much - I simply am exhausted and have zero time, or even less these days.

My best judgment says separation or divorce is inevitable.  W threatens it at least once per week, and if it were not for the kids, I would have probably taken that route (and potentially a restraining order) by now.

W has been in a state of near constant dysregulation for over a year, and has gotten worse since stopping her medications at the beginning of this year.  She is angry/upset at nearly everyone, screams and curses at me, slams doors, breaks things - yes in front of the kids and in public, too.  NOTHING makes her happy for very long.  I really can't live like this anymore - I live in fear.  So if she chooses separation or divorce, I will put up little or no resistance.  As much as I hate the thought and know it will be painful, I know *I* would be happier in the long run.  But her?  I know she will dish out loads of abuse and manipulation even from afar.  And threaten suicide (which she does now about once per week if not more) - and yes sometimes in front of the kids.

If the kids were a little older, I think this would be easier.  But right now they are two (twins).  W doesn't trust me (or anyone else) to do anything to take care of them, yet complains that nobody is there to help her.  She blames me for things that she did.  She blames me for following her directions. She cursed at me for losing the car key while she was holding it in her hand. 

JADE?  Yeah, she hates that.  But how do you avoid it when you are being asked for explanations, accused of horrible stuff that you clearly didn't do.  And she she hates being argued with, but she starts the argument?  So what do you do, walk away and say nothing?  Enforcing a boundary and walking away is when the violence begins.  The doors slamming, the running after me and hitting or grabbing me for leaving, etc. 

I am posting to this board because I feel this is not fixable - and the divorce or separation is inevitable.  Might be next week, next month, next year, or in a few years.  I feel that I need to start exploring what this means NOW, and taking appropriate action to prepare myself for the separation, the financial burden, the custody battle, the suicide attempt, etc. 

So right now, I secretly record audio using my phone when W is screaming cursing or being violent.  I feel that evidence may be useful someday.   I used to document the date/time and summary of every instance of abuse, but I havent been keeiping up with that because that takes time to write out.  To be honest, I doubt I will be even able to read or respond to this thread until next monday at work.

Sometimes I think the best thing that could happen is for W to have a melt down in public without me around, punch someone, and then get arrested.  I'd go pick up the kids and rebuild from there.  And honestly, I think there is a real possibility of that. 



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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 06:17:53 AM »


Hey Maxsterling...we are here for you.     

What steps have you taken to investigate options.  I'm sure you remember advice from before..preparation is key.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 11:24:13 PM »

I'm quite new to this forum and haven't looked at your long post history but the first thing that comes to mind is: why the heck are you still with her?  Get out of there!  Yes, it will definitely be more complicated due to the age of the kids but in the end it will be much better for you and them.  She can threaten suicide as much as she wants but there's only so much you can do.  

BPD parents think that they are the best parent. Nothing you can do about that mindset.

Why wait years and live like this in the meantime? It seems like hell.  I'd say go for the gray rock, record evidence in the meantime, and cover your ass. Set money aside, have an exit strategy.  And act sooner rather than later.  She'll freak out and likely do something stupid.

As I said, I'm new here but after 19 years of marriage I gave up.  I thought about it for a few years, she brought it up a few times, I tried to buy my happiness (travel, motorcycles, ..) but a few trips for work away from home made me realize a lot of things so told her I wanted out when I came back from my last trip in November.  Since then:
- she spent ~6 weeks in the mental health ward, over 3 visits.  
- I had cops at the house a few times when she threatened to kill herself
- She told the kids on christmas eve that she would disappear and leave them with me then kill herself. She chased my oldest one when he tried to call 911... a few minutes before he was watching her fight me.  She was handcuffed at 5pm on christmas eve and left with the cops.  Yeah, it was messed up.
- had a few "ok times" where we were preparing the house for a sale, looked at houses for her, kids had good visits, ...
- But then it went sour again: Death threats, harassments, scared the kids... told them she wanted to leave.  
- She assaulted me at work and was taken in.. released on no-contact condition
- Breached the conditions a month later for harassments and showing up at the house
- Wanted to disappear and leave me the kids
- and is now feeling good again and wants 50-50 custody

I don't really see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But you know what, the morning I woke up when I knew that she was at the hospital for at least a week was awesome.  I felt liberated.  I've never seen my kids so happy. Yes, they worry before they go visit mom and don't really want to.  But they are happy when with me. They've never slept so well. They've never been so close to me.  

I used to be naive and thought that I'd save everyone, including the ex-wife.  She'd live in her house, the kids would see her 50-50.  All would be rosy.  Well, now I know that won't happen.  Custody may be quite the battle.  

I've never seen my future so bright but I know I'm far from out of the woods.  I have my ups and downs. The downs are sometimes quite difficult but I'd do it again.  

To be blunt: sh&% or get off the pot.  
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 11:34:42 PM by mart555 » Logged
ForeverDad
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2019, 01:41:09 AM »

why the heck are you still with her?  Get out of there!  Yes, it will definitely be more complicated due to the age of the kids but in the end it will be much better for you and them.  She can threaten suicide as much as she wants but there's only so much you can do.

I used to be naive and thought that I'd save everyone, including the ex-wife.  She'd live in her house, the kids would see her 50-50.  All would be rosy.  Well, now I know that won't happen.

If you wait for the perfect time to end the abusive marriage, really, there is no perfect time.

Here's something that we were clueless about, we who were trying so hard to keep the family together:  The home environment was abnormal, unhealthy and dysfunctional.  How would the kids learn what was normal, healthy and functional if they always lived in that environment?  As terrible as it sounds, two separate homes would give the children an opportunity to also live some of their lives with the more stable parent in a loving, consistent, calm and stable place.  That! is priceless.

Why wait years and live like this in the meantime? It seems like hell.  I'd say go for the gray rock, record evidence in the meantime, and cover your ass. Set money aside, have an exit strategy.

I didn't have an exit strategy and I was quite clueless but I did realize finally that if I stayed any longer she would work herself up to frame me for DV or child abuse.  Things had been gradually getting worse over the years (15 years married, child 3 years old) but in the final year or so when it got totally out of hand I accepted there was nothing more I could do to "fix" things.  Fortunately I did record instances of her rants and rages, not much but enough for me to feel I had insurance that I could document I wasn't the abusive or controlling parent.

But you know what, the morning I woke up when I knew that she was at the hospital for at least a week was awesome.  I felt liberated.  I've never seen my kids so happy. Yes, they worry before they go visit mom and don't really want to.  But they are happy when with me. They've never slept so well. They've never been so close to me.

Here's a comment from my ex's first few days away.

I recall the first 6 days post-separation.  She was taken away for the weekend (orange suit time) then she was busy finding herself a place to live, eventually living for a few months in a local battered women's shelter named "House of Peace".  Actually I had the House of Peace and Quiet, the silence was deafening.  Well, the first night and the next our preschooler woke up and asked where mommy was.  For 6 days that was it, just the two instances.  In an effort to be fair about her, now I see as ill-conceived and self-sabotaging, I mentioned her once or twice and he immediately changed the subject.  He had peace and calm now, he most definitely did not want to talk about his mother.  While she was gone she sought an Ex Parte order claiming I was abusive, yes it was a high conflict case for years, so I had to take him to an exchange.  The entire trip there he was literally begging me to take him back home, that he wanted to stay with me.  But I had to obey the Order.  I had to learn quickly not to 'gift' her the benefit of the doubt because she would snatch it and sure didn't reciprocate that perspective.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 01:50:30 AM by ForeverDad » Logged

livednlearned
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 08:00:36 AM »

I simply am exhausted and have zero time, or even less these days.

What's the best way we can support you here?

No doubt you feel beaten down, maxsterling. You're doing the best you can in an impossible situation. Taking care of 2 year old twins, wow.

What next step are you focused on right now?
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2019, 08:08:10 AM »

Hi Max- I followed your story. Your wife seems to have been dysregulated for a long time. I recall the wedding drama, then she wanted a child- and you were concerned about that. Now she's a parent- and still, her issues continue.

I think it is possible to get into the mindset of " this one thing will solve or improve things" - then the one thing that was wanted happens, but it doesn't solve things, so then there's another thing- and you do that but it doesn't solve things.

I think you do have the right to decide if you want to continue on this path with her for the long run or not. Divorce can be difficult, but so is living and raising children with someone who is seriously impacted by BPD and the behaviors are persistent over many years. I think you have seen that.

One reason your posts stood out to me was the impact your situation had on your health at the time. The kids need their parents to be present for them. What impact will it have on your kids to not take care of yourself? I know you are thinking of them and your wife when considering this decision, but self care is important. You can think of what is best for you- because the kids will benefit from you being at your best emotionally.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 08:13:40 AM »

Here's a comment from my ex's first few days away.

That's interesting, ForeverDad. Mine are older (no custody issues, they live with me), but I found the same thing. They didn't want to talk about him, positive or negative after he left. And even now, almost two years apart, they don't want to talk about him. Occasionally there will be something, but I learned to let them work through it and not force it. When they talk about him, I primarily listen. I know they've discussed it a lot with friends, and one of them is still in therapy. But they really don't discuss him with me. Thankfully my relationship with them is better than ever.

As for myself, I lean on friends and don't look to my kids for support in all of the emotional fallout of this.
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 11:30:02 PM »


I simply am exhausted

if it were not for the kids ...

She is angry/upset at nearly everyone, screams and curses at me, slams doors, breaks things - yes in front of the kids

I really can't live like this anymore - I live in fear.


I could have written your entire post it was so spot on to my experience, but I selected the above because those are the thoughts I had when I notified the police and my wife was arrested. It’s all very fresh in my mind, and in my case all of the fears and unpleasantness of calling the police, the arrest, restraining order, neighbors knowing, etc was FAR less than the daily hell I was in. I was jittery and anxious the first night (and maybe slept five minutes), but by the second morning I could already feel a difference. I’m not going back to that again.

I’ve spent about two years in this site benefiting enormously from the collective wisdom here. I also spoke with many local attorneys until I found the right assertive approach one as suggested in the book Splitting.

I used to document daily, but stopped doing so the last 4-5 months I was so sick of thinking about it. I guess I knew it was almost time to act.

I just wanted to share so you know you aren’t alone, and the information here does really help.
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2019, 10:20:15 AM »

ForeverDad - what is your child's relationship like with mom now?

I'll try to post a coherent response here - but once again this morning I was chased out of the house with a violent rage.  Real reason W is raging-  she hates herself.  It's hot outside.  Son throws temper tantrums.  What she blames?  ME.  This morning I got blame for doing what she asked.  It's not an environment I can live in.  At least I am at work and can calm down a bit now, sip some coffee and maybe get some food in me. 

Reading your responses makes me understand what I need is an exit plan.  I have no idea how to go about this, so some questions for those who have gone through this:

1)  At what stage did you get lawyers involved?

2)  I'm considering simply finding a new place to stay for myself ASAP, catch my breath, and worry about the kids later.  I HATE this thought.  Is this a good strategy?  This would mean that I would trust a court at a later time to do the right thing, and trust W right now to take care of the kids.

3) Is recording/documenting rages or arguments necessary?  My thought here was to protect myself should W try and claim untrue stuff.  Being a man in a DV situation, I worry that I will have to prove myself.  I will say that when these situations have come up in the past, people see right through W because she can't contain her rage. 


I am sure I will have more questions later.
 
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 10:59:31 AM »

1)  At what stage did you get lawyers involved?

The minute I knew I needed an exit strategy.

Don't disclose to your wife that you are talking to lawyers. And don't feel guilty. You're simply gathering information and weighing your options. Talk to three lawyers, or more, if you can. Sometimes the consultations are free, more likely they are a few hundred dollars. You can tell them your goals and ask them to outline a strategy. Then compare those strategies, get feedback from your friends here. I set up a PO Box to handle correspondence from lawyers and set up a separate account and credit card, and even bought a burner phone. My ex liked to lock me out of the house so I rented a storage locker and began putting essentials in there, including anything I might need if he changed locks. I had a separate car key, credit card, phone and other things stored outside the home so that I could at least create the appearance of a seamless existence  so that my work didn't suffer and I could more or less go easily to a hotel if need be.

2)  I'm considering simply finding a new place to stay for myself ASAP, catch my breath, and worry about the kids later. 

A lawyer can walk you through the consequences of this. In my state, there is something called divorce from bed and board. My L encouraged me to stay until we were ready to file. UNLESS I worried for my safety, in which case she said to leave and we would sort things out in court. My ex seemed to get worse on the weekend, so I had a very detailed plan for what I would do in the event I didn't have access to an L.

Do you have someone who can go with you to a lawyer consult? It can be hard to think straight when you're dealing with the emotional flooding around a) your safety b) your kids' well-being and c) ending your marriage. It's a lot.

3) Is recording/documenting rages or arguments necessary?  My thought here was to protect myself should W try and claim untrue stuff.  Being a man in a DV situation, I worry that I will have to prove myself.  I will say that when these situations have come up in the past, people see right through W because she can't contain her rage. 


A lawyer can help you figure out how protected you are. If I remember correctly, your wife has been hospitalized and there was a prior DV incident in which law enforcement got involved? Documentation includes not only what we record (both in journals and audio) but also incidents recorded by third-party professionals, like hospital visits, 911 calls, etc.

This board was probably the most helpful source of information, so I'm glad you're reaching out.

Do you have a supportive workplace? What do you think about talking to your HR person, to let them know you have a wife with mental illness, who has anger management problems, and that you are considering divorce. That you fear she may try to settle scores by targeting you at work, and want to be proactive to protect yourself.

One thing I feared is that my ex would maintain his facade of normalcy and (being a lawyer) wipe the floor with me in court. Instead, the actual abandonment unraveled him and he did things that were bizarre. They were intended to intimidate me but they were so strange that mostly I was confused. Regular people found them bizarre and that helped me realize half my brain was accustomed to strange behaviors and half had a foothold in normal world. Your HR person can become an ally if your wife begins to target you at work, though your wife may also be someone who loses her temper before she's able to concoct a more covert plan of attack. 
 
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 11:26:55 AM »

I agree with starting the lawyer interviews and selection quickly. It sounds as if your emotional readiness is ahead of your logistics, so you can get good advice on where to put priorities. There is a lot to do with a divorce, even in a "normal" situation and even more so with a PD.

I am on the forum as a stepmother -- my DH's ex is uNPD/BPD. As teens, each of the children asked DH why he did not divorce her. He chose to provide stability by staying in the marriage -- she was the one who left. Only you can be the final arbiter of the best custody situation that will allow your twins to thrive.

The recordings and documentation may be helpful should you request a custody evaluation.

What can you do now to begin an exit plan?
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2019, 11:49:14 AM »

A PO box may be a good idea.  I've also considered keeping a change of clothes in my car or at my office (I used to do this), spare toiletries, etc so that I can still go to work if I can't go home.  

I have called police on my wife several times - all for either attempting suicide or threatening suicide.  She was never arrested or charged, although the time she attempted suicide she had also hit me pretty hard in the head and the responding officer suggested there may be enough evidence to charge her, but I elected not to because she was already in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.  

Long before we had kids, I got a restraining order against her.  I got it "just in case" so that it was ready to be served if things got bad again.  The judge and social worker who helped me told me at the time it will get bad again and that I should have served it ASAP and cut ties.  I regret that now (but then I would not have my awesome kids had I done that).  It did get bad two weeks later after getting the order, and I called to have it served but W was not home at the time.  And before she came home she called and said she wanted to meet at our MC office - I agreed (and she abused me verbally right in front of MC that day)  After that it did get better again for a year or two, so I never had that protection order served.  I fear having gotten that order and never having it served and later deciding to have kids will look negatively upon me.  
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2019, 11:51:25 AM »


2)  I'm considering simply finding a new place to stay for myself ASAP, catch my breath, and worry about the kids later.  I HATE this thought.  Is this a good strategy?  This would mean that I would trust a court at a later time to do the right thing, and trust W right now to take care of the kids.

3) Is recording/documenting rages or arguments necessary? 
 

2) It would be a very bad idea to move out without the children. It would set the precedent for future custody/living arrangements.

3) I think recorded documentation is necessary - otherwise your story will be hard to believe.

Before taking any action, it would be wise to (secretly) consult a lawyer. Or get a book on divorce planning.

Good luck navigating this situation.

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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2019, 12:25:00 PM »

Most DV survivors behave the way you describe your recent actions. Once you make the decision to protect your kids and follow through in a consistent way, courts tend to get behind you.

They see a lot of waffling.

My son at 17 said the other day, "I wish you had protected me sooner," similar to what Gagrl was saying. I divorced ex when my son was 9.

Don't beat yourself up. You're doing the best you can, and you can do better. Both are true, not only in your situation, with all of us. It's the human condition. You are human.

Maybe find out how much police report/documentation exists so that you can ask an L if it's helpful.

And keep in mind that your wife will likely sabotage herself in her attempts to sabotage you. More will be revealed as you move forward because there is so little emotional control and impulsive behaviors to manage those extreme emotions.

My ex had a helpful psychotic episode when his emotions reached the tipping point. One of them he documented in DMs, email, voicemail, text message. He did the work for me. It was the most terrifying night of my life, but hey. Sometimes there are silver linings, even in the worst of times.

He also lost touch with reality in court a few times while wearing a nice suit and demonstrating deferential manners. In the most measured tone, he accused the judge of lying about a back surgery and wouldn't let it go.

You will receive small gifts along the way that might not seem like it. Focus on keeping yourself safe and your kids safe, start loving yourself like you are worthy of being loved and a lot of things will surprisingly fall in line.

 

LnL
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2019, 12:27:47 PM »

So here is my life as of late:

- I use the time at work or after everyone else is asleep for self care.  I have been watching a tv show I like via my phone, trying to maintain some kind of creative activity even if it is minimal, and savor any scrap of alone time I get.  Perhaps I need to me more organized during these alone times in coming up with an exit plan.  Right now I feel like I need this time to catch my breath and not think about it and let my blood pressure go down a bit.

- I am growing increasingly tired of being yelled and screamed at, and I am starting to argue back.  This morning before I left, after W screamed for 15 minutes and slammed doors, I remarked "and you wonder why (son) has violence issues."  For a few years, I would rarely argue back, and I would hate myself for not standing up for myself (even though W says I do is defend myself).  I don't feel comfortable talking that way, but I am really starting to feel attacked and instinct is kicking in.  After I left this morning W sent a few angry and abusive text messages, which I ignored for a couple of hours.  Now she has moved on to another topic.  I've also directly referred to her behavior as abusive lately.  Of course she rants and raves threatens divorce or to kill herself, but she has returned to baseline (baseline right now means a sense of agitation but not screaming or acting violently).  That makes me wonder if she recognizes her behavior as abusive.  Maybe the comments sunk in a little.  

-I think I am stuck in a loop where I keep looking for little glimmers of hope and then feeling like things are OK, or thinking that if just this or that changes things will be better.  Or I think because W is self-aware of many of her issues things will improve.  But then again, it's scary to be around an angry violent person who is self-aware and STILL does angry/violent things.  So right now I feel hope that I made a comment this morning and she isn't continuing to rant and rave.  I recognize that this is the cycle for 5 years, and nothing gets better for the long term, yet I still falsely think that it will. I know W wants to move, and I wouldn't mind having a bigger house in a better community, but it's not a financially wise option for us right now. The real issue with moving is that I know it will not solve anything, and the stress could likely make things worse.  So in this sense *I* feel trapped - I would like to live somplace else but also know that is an unwise decision based upon current issues.  
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2019, 12:41:38 PM »

Get out, don't feel trapped.   Try to avoid snapping back at her.  See it this way: there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Your future has never looked so positive ~2-5yrs from now.  But you need to figure out how to get there.   Go buy this book if you have't read it: https://www.amazon.com/Stop-Caretaking-Borderline-Narcissist-Drama/dp/1442238321  Make sure you have somewhat of a support network that can kick you in the butt when you'll second guess your choice.  You're a caretaker, your mind has been affected.

Record everything.  Log everything.  See if you can get it written, makes it easier to prove in court. 
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2019, 01:12:32 PM »

If she is verbally or physically abusive and it keeps you under control, then why should she change?

It is about actions. It's all about actions.

If we permit these actions, no matter why, then those actions work.

Those actions are working for her.

If there are no consequences for her actions, then she will continue to use them.

It's how people are.
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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2019, 01:49:59 PM »


If there are no consequences for her actions, then she will continue to use them.

It's how people are.

That's the scary part.  She knows the potential consequences.  She has outlined them during her rants.

"If we get divorced I am going to look like the bad parent because of my history, and I will lose custody of the children and I will then kill myself and the kids will grow up without a mother."  Or another time, "I fear that some day I will just go off on someone in public and I will get arrested and the kids will have to go to CPS."

So despite the consequences that she knows, and despite consequences that she has faced, she still continues the same actions. 
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2019, 02:43:29 PM »

That's the scary part.  She knows the potential consequences.  She has outlined them during her rants.

"If we get divorced I am going to look like the bad parent because of my history, and I will lose custody of the children and I will then kill myself and the kids will grow up without a mother."  Or another time, "I fear that some day I will just go off on someone in public and I will get arrested and the kids will have to go to CPS."

So despite the consequences that she knows, and despite consequences that she has faced, she still continues the same actions. 

Because she thinks her actions are not her fault.  They are yours, for not doing what she wants/not accepting her abuse.  If her actions aren't her fault - if they are because of you - then she can't change them. 

But you can't change them either.  No matter how reasonable you are, no matter how many times you gently point out that her behavior is abusive or that her perceptions are wrong, no matter how much you try to walk on eggshells to appease her - you can't convince her to make different choices. 

You are in a stalemate right now.  She will continue to be abusive as long as you will take it. She's modeling poor behaviors for the children, and she's putting you at risk.

Her threats - to commit suicide, that the children might end up in CPS custody, etc - are designed to make you feel guilty and to keep you in line.  Surely you don't want to hurt your children by keeping them from their mother?  Except that's the wrong way to look at it.  She is acting in ways that harm her children and could limit her time with them.  It's on HER, not on you.  If she ends up with limited or no time with them, it's because SHE can't control herself, not because you filed for divorce.

Please consult a lawyer.  Find out whether, if you do leave, you can take the kids with you. 

You can talk to a lawyer without actually filing for divorce.  They will give you advice on what to expect and what kinds of evidence would be useful to keep.  Having information will help you decide the best course.  And your wife can't hire any lawyer that you've already talked to.
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maxsterling
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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2019, 02:56:04 PM »

I do get free legal advice as a benefit from my job - it's just an 800 number but it has been useful to me before.  It's worth a call, and I think they can help me find a lawyer in my area.  I may be feeling scared to start the process.
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maxsterling
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2019, 11:55:31 PM »

Well...W assaulted me tonight.  Verbally and physically by grabbing my arms and refusing to let me leave.  I was recording audio at the time.  I am safe for the moment, just debating how long to stay away befire returning home.
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worriedStepmom
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2019, 05:34:04 AM »

I'm so sorry that it escalated that quickly, but I'm glad that you managed to get away to a safe place.

Have you considered calling the domestic violence hotline and asking for advice as well?  There may be services in your area to help you find a safe place to live with the kids, and/or they may be able to recommend a lawyer with experience in DV issues.
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livednlearned
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2019, 07:20:39 AM »

She knows the potential consequences.

Knowing a consequence and experiencing one are very different.

I will lose custody of the children and I will then kill myself and the kids will grow up without a mother."

She is saying she's out of control. She knows she out of control. 

She is trying to control you as a way to control herself. (The consequence is a threat.)

Her way isn't working. She doesn't know any other way -- her own thinking prevents her from understanding the root of her problem.

One thing at a time. Talk to a lawyer.

Listen to the part of you that is reaching out for support. That part is trying to help you get through this. 


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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2019, 07:26:10 AM »

"If we get divorced I am going to look like the bad parent because of my history, and I will lose custody of the children and I will then kill myself and the kids will grow up without a mother."  Or another time, "I fear that some day I will just go off on someone in public and I will get arrested and the kids will have to go to CPS."  

Hi Max,

Sorry to see you back here but happy you are reaching out for support.

This may be simplistic but this sounds like FOG to me.  Try to have an awareness of the FOG.  Where there are threats or pressure there is usually FOG.

Panda39
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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2019, 08:35:10 AM »

I agree with Panda. Max, I think part of untangling yourself in this marriage is untangling your own thinking. You have been sharing her world view for many years now. This isn't unusual in a marriage with a disordered person- if we have poor boundaries ourselves, we tend to buy into what they say. The answer to this is working on our own boundaries and hanging on to our knowledge of reality.

Whether you stay or leave the marriage, I think a good step is to gain some clarity. Consulting a lawyer to know the steps to divorce- isn't the same as initiating it. It is getting objective knowledge so that you do this correctly and also don't fear unrealistic threats.

Suicide threats are serious- but the response is to call 911. Someone making suicide threats needs professional help, and you are not a mental health provider. The response is to call 911 so she can be under care.

Ask the lawyer what your rights are as a parent in the case that CPS is called.

I am not a lawyer, but if you leave the home and get your own place, it can be seen as abandonment. If you leave the kids with her and then try to make the case that she's an incompetent parent, then the question- why did you leave the kids with an incompetent parent might arise.

Get information from a lawyer. Then you can decide your next step. There are some experienced posters here to help you with this. I personally have not gone through this, but I have followed your story and wanted to add a word of support.
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formflier
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2019, 11:05:48 AM »

Well...W assaulted me tonight.  Verbally and physically by grabbing my arms and refusing to let me leave.  I was recording audio at the time.  I am safe for the moment, just debating how long to stay away befire returning home.

Since it's not "in the moment" anymore, I would recommend you talk to lawyer ASAP, disclose your evidence and the assault and ask how the protection order/dv arrest process works.

Did you consider calling 911?  Hopefully the lawyer can talk you through how that normally plays out in your area?

Best,

FF
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« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2019, 11:45:35 AM »

Well...W assaulted me tonight.  Verbally and physically by grabbing my arms and refusing to let me leave.  I was recording audio at the time.  I am safe for the moment, just debating how long to stay away befire returning home.

I know every jurisdiction is different, but what I was advised to do was to remove myself from the home and immediately drive to the police station. Talk to an officer on duty, file a report about what was happening there, and it avoids a he said/she said confrontation in the home. After I talked to them, they drove to the home and talked to her. They arrested her, then called me to come back and waited there until I returned. Our child slept through the whole thing, and saw nothing traumatic. I'm so grateful for that advice, because of how smooth it made things go. I would discuss this option with a family law attorney before doing it, as things could be different where you live.
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ForeverDad
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2019, 02:26:08 PM »

Well...W assaulted me tonight.  Verbally and physically by grabbing my arms and refusing to let me leave.  I was recording audio at the time.  I am safe for the moment, just debating how long to stay away before returning home.

Save multiple copies of that recording in different safe places.  There is real risk she could 'convince' you that she has changed and that you should forgive her, delete all evidence  and remain in the relationship.  Or she may search out your cache of documents and delete them.

Frankly, this relationship has been dysfunctional since Day One.  You previously posted you had a Restraining Order pending for her from even before you had kids with her.  You registered here nearly six years ago!  She has not improved.  It is fanciful hopes to think that she will ever change.  Yes, theoretically she may change some day in the future.  But based on 6-plus years of History, that is so unlikely that it is essentially impossible.  You. Cannot. Fix. Her.

You have a right to privacy and confidentiality, such as in seeking out legal advice and peer support.  Beware of late night interrogations where she insists "we will fix this all tonight!"  (That's what my then-spouse did.  Multiple times.)

You have noticed that you've begun to retort back to her.  This change has risks.  It could appear to a neutral observer, not knowing the prior patterns, that you two bicker back and forth all the time, with both contributing to the conflict.  Frankly, what if after one of these incidents and the police get called... They ask her if she yelled at you and she (emotionally convincing) says No!  Then they ask you if you yelled at her and you (Honest Abe) say Yes.  Guess who they might cart off, hmm?

So best to always speak as though we're sitting on one shoulder and the judge and police are perched on your other shoulder.

One more thought... right now the incident can be 'actionable'.  However, if you call 911 next month and say, "My spouse accosted me last month!" they'll likely say, "Good you're okay now, call us back sooner if it happens again."  The more time that passes, the lesser it is likely to be considered as 'actionable'.
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Harri
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2019, 06:48:49 PM »

Staff only

Part 2 of this thread is located here: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=337201.msg13057787#msg13057787
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