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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: How do people who've split actually split?  (Read 154 times)
Inner Light

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 16

« on: November 29, 2019, 11:23:53 PM »

I've gotten fed up many many times and started looking for apartments. This time the rents have gone up so high it would be me and my two boys in a one bedroom. Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post) But... I've never gone through with it. Maybe I missed a step... Maybe I should have tried moving to a separate bedroom in the house as a first step. He's sleeping on the couch at the moment which is what he does when I'm in the "doghouse". How did you start the process of detaching?
Retired Staff
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: separated 2005 then divorced
Posts: 15320

You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...

« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 12:26:33 AM »

A few states may set rules on what counts as separation.  (I think NY sets filing for divorce only after living separately for a year?)  Beyond the legal requirements, the priority is for what you see as appropriate.  Generally, most of us had to live separately once the marriage started imploding.

I noticed you are pondering moving out.  Why you and not your spouse?

One tactic is for you to file for divorce and include paperwork that your (misbehaving) spouse move out of the home.  Why?  Tensions and emotions are high during separation and the divorce process.  Courts recognize that and that works well for our too-often high conflict cases.

Of course, if you can't maintain the home's expenses long term, considering what child support, spousal support or alimony might be, the home may end up being sold anyway.  (I try to remind parents that the kids won't be dysfunctional if they end up moving from their childhood home.  Every year families everywhere move for all sorts of reasons.  Kids adapt.)

My story... a few months before the final implosion my spouse moved into our preschooler's bedroom.  Then when we separated the court granted me temp possession of the home in a temp protection order while the case charging her with Threat of DV was pending.  As it turned out, she never returned.

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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Divorced January 2012
Posts: 11013

« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 11:13:19 AM »

How did you start the process of detaching?

Hi Inner Light, welcome to the family law board  Virtual hug (click to insert in post)

It can be a scary step to post here if you feel conflicted about whether to stay married or get divorced.

Some people here felt conflicted. Some felt exhausted or scared (or all of the above). It can all feel so impossible, especially if, like many members here, you are doing everything for everyone, and have only fumes left.

When emotions are chronically running hot, we can also lose sight of how little information we are working with. Feelings can feel like facts for both. Divorce and the emotions it brings up can make anyone feel BPD  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

My process of detaching began with seeking support: therapist, support group (like here), then talking to lawyers to figure out what was fact, what was fiction. Meaning, what were pragmatic things I had to take into account.

Then I started to take tiny, tiny steps. I looked at rentals, talked to my boss, ran numbers to get a sense of what things would look like. I read on this site that it can take 4-8 years to recover financially from divorce, with higher conflict cases pushing closer to 8.

My ex was on the higher end of high conflict and because of substance abuse, tended to exhibit dangerous behaviors. So detaching for me included taking a lot of safety precautions. Not everyone has to do that. Not all people with BPD are dangerous. Many are not cooperative, and divorce lawyers tend to inflame the adversarial part of the conflict.

Have you read Splitting by Bill Eddy? That's a great reference if you are gathering information, trying to understand what happens next (in general terms) when you divorce someone with a PD. Eddy was a former licensed social worker who became a family law attorney.

It's a deeply personal choice to divorce and it can take a lot of soul searching and preparation, even if you eventually decide to stay.

If I could do it over again, I would have two parallel tracks going at once. Discreet information gathering and preparation on one hand. Learning the specific relationship and communication skills to manage myself more effectively, to become more skillful and a role model for my son on the other hand.

And above all, I would be more gentle and patient with myself. These are not just difficult relationships. They are the most difficult.

We are here to walk with you.

 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)


It's a gift to exist, and with existence comes suffering. -- Stephen Colbert
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Divorced 2 yrs/ separated 4 / Married 18 yrs
Posts: 431

« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 09:59:28 PM »

Marriage therapist suggested I get a safety plan if wife became unregulated.  Part 2 of plan was to get a hotel room for the night. 

That was so freeing for me that I could leave for the night.  Prior I would sleep outside In shed, in garage, at my office and sleep horribly and many times scared
Then after doing that for a 3-4 times a month for about 4 month.... and next big explosion I got an appartment on 3 month lease hoping things would cool off.  Then filed for divorce as the above only escalated the anger. 

Very very hard and sad though to divorce and pain of parental alienation.   But know in hindsight,  I was so beaten down over years of verbal abuse that I was just a shell of the person I was.  I am happy I am out of that environment and am a better person now.
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 169

« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 08:05:49 AM »

Nothing can really prepare you for what it is.  I thought I was, that she'd be reasonable and all.  I "pulled the pin" and wow did it ever turn explosive over the next 9 months.  Suicide threats, cops called multiple times, she assaulted me at my workplace, major breakdown.  And even during these times I sometimes had doubts or felt guilty... so be prepared for that.  Find someone who can be your anchor when you have doubts and write the reasons why you want to divorce. 

Hopefully things go smoother than me but honestly, it can hardly go worse than me.  Rediscovering yourself really feels great. 
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
What is your relationship status with them: Married
Posts: 788

« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 12:48:04 PM »

Inner Light - greetings. Know that you are not alone.  I think just last week I posted a thread here supposing that I was still married only because I didn't know how to actually get divorced.  I feel in my gut that the decision is made to get divorced, but, practical things, like picking the kids up from school, day to day business, liking my house, all lulled me into a trance of staying. Then, there was the financial and likely legal picture ahead, divorce would (will) cost me a lot of money, short and long-term. And, one of my daughters has been alienated from me already, I can only imagine what my wife would do to the three that remain home.  Add to that the prevailing local solution in divorce in which mom gets the kids and house, and dad gets the bills - I'm the dad, and nothing could be farther from the right thing for the kids.   I feel like I've totally missed a step or two on making my life get better. 

All that said, I know what you're saying. It's really, really hard to look at the dark expanse of unknown results from separation and divorce and compare it to the known, although not happy, reality of staying together.

I don't know if you have reached that point of detaching yet, but, I went past a point of caring about the relationship part of my marriage.  That's how I detached.  I feel like a fuse blew somewhere and I just can't reset it and get back into the marriage.  I've been sleeping separately in the basement for four years. 

In my state there is a legal provision that a couple can be separated under the same roof (mostly as a financial reality).  Which brings up a top tip -- get legal counsel from at least one, if not more, family law attorneys about your specific case.  If you move out, you might loose future advantages, or it could be used against you (e.g. grounds of abandonment).

Live like you mean it.
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