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Author Topic: Update 4: Telling the children about the divorce and who wanted it  (Read 560 times)
Enabler
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« on: February 16, 2020, 05:28:20 PM »

This is a continuation of a previous thread: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=343109.30

From the outside this appears very ego driven.  You are fighting to be seen as right at all costs, including the feelings of your young children.  By your own admission, you hold some responsibility in being inattentive.  

I see little point in fighting over who is more wrong.  You both hold some part.  Be there for your children and show your wife some grace.  Maybe she will find peace in her life.

You e missed my point here. I am NOT fighting to be right. To be right I would have to know the full truth and I’m saying that’s almost unknowable.

What I am advocating for is being accountable for our choices.

FWIW I was very attentive, I was working hard like many people do...... I just couldn’t understand that my W was being hurt by things that others wouldn’t be. Just going to work doesn’t typically result in being ignored in most people does it.
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 05:30:16 PM »

Accountable to who exactly? 
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 05:55:02 PM »

Owww good question

The kids..... her choices impact their life chances
Me...... she made an oath to me and I have done things/not done things since we’ve been married based on that oath.
God
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 05:58:10 PM »

You don't need to be God.  She will have to answer to the children eventually when they are older and have more understanding.

She ultimately doesn't have to answer to you.  I think this is where you are getting stuck.  I don't get to decide someone else's consequences.  That's way above my pay grade and there's a higher authority who will handle that. I only need to worry about my side of the street.
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 06:27:55 PM »

Excerpt
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Truth telling can be motivated by all sorts of internal emotions. The Christian concept is "speaking the truth in love" - wanting the best for the other person, infused with kindness, gentleness, respect. As believers, we are to check our own motives and attitudes of our hearts because our actions and words reflect what is going on within.

In my own saga of marriage and church life over the past 5 years or so, I've had to speak some very difficult truth to people. Sometimes, it goes well, and sometimes, it doesn't. There are areas of truth that certain people do not know because my h does not want them to know - things that would change those people's opinion and advice about our marriage issues.

My personal work in these days is to check my own motives and attitudes. It's only when I approach it from a place of love for the other person that I can speak the truth in love. There are different forms of truth for different circumstances - most people around me do not know the full extent of the truth of what is happening. Even with my kids, each has a different understanding of my h's and my circumstances because they have had different experiences.

My own guiding principle with the kids has been to speak as a parent to them without burdening them with the spousal issues.

Now, the church that is the spiritual authority over my h is a different story. That is a real mess... 
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 06:39:09 PM »

I will also say that it is incredibly frustrating to have a spouse who is in a pastoral role (my h is also, although he resigned his active ministry) involved in immoral behavior while the church turns a blind eye - or worse, enables such behavior. That betrays one's faith because we think that the church of all places should be able to hold their pastors at least accountable for their actions.

I've gotten stuck on that part myself.
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 07:09:33 PM »

People tell me on the one hand to see a lawyer then I’m the next breath say “oh when lawyers get involved things really spiral out of the control and they really rack up the bills, often just to end up at the same result”...... “move out, give her the space she wants”...... “if you move out you’ll never get her out of the house and the divorce will stall”....... “push the divorce on”....... “if you push the divorce she won’t trust that and assume you’re trying to trick her”.......”be honest with the kids, preserve your integrity with them as that will be precious in the coming years, it only takes one positive highly validating parent whom the children to trust to avoid continuing the multi-generational cycle of child trauma”........ “lie to the kids, agree to a neutral message they won’t believe anyway”.

Surely you are synthesizing the 100's of posts of advice given better than this... nobody is buying what you wrote in this post as reasonable or credible.... it's kind of a slap in the face to the people trying to help you.

I’d describe myself as non-conformist. I regularly have controversial views which typically don’t slip nicely into societies niches. I’m a frustrating contrarian. People assume I’m bigoted because I question their popularist views....... their assumption that I’m bigoted typically comes because they are so insulted by my stance they fail to listen to much more...

There are many non-conformist that are revered for their free thinking. There are many that spectrum up into the realms of “oppositional defiant disorder”. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

Which are you you? Revered or frustrating/insulting? How well has this style worked for you in personal and love relationships? Your interface with family therapists? Your conversations with clergy.  Your relationships here?

I've always like this Bible verse. I share it as a source of inspiration (as it was intended).

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11
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Enabler
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 06:17:06 PM »

Thanks Skip, I’d imagine that there would be a long history, likely from childhood of me having long running battles with authority (given what I’ve just read online about ODD). I’d say I have a long running history of having respect for authority where it’s due. I can’t say I have respect for all authority, often people find themselves in positions of authority because they have narcissistic ambitions to gain power....... I can’t say I respect those people. A saying I also like is “sh!t always floats to the top”.

I’ve challenged my W, yes. I’ve historically challenged her contradictory behaviour, her double standards and confronted her deceit. This didn’t go well. That said, if my W had been the voice of authority and led with consistency I would have no issues following her authority. I have refused to take instruction from someone who fails to be able to deal with the smallest of tasks without creating some kind of drama or stress out of the situation. Would it not be foolish to take instruction on how to paint a wall from someone who had never painted a wall?

Empath, you make a very good point about truth telling. Regarding the church I don’t believe I could sufficiently determine that my motivations for confronting the church were purely for altruistic motivations.  I also imagined that the church would also doubt my motivations...... and I know that puts me on biblical shaky ground as a poor reason for not shining lights.

CT, there’s something about a lack of mutual accountability in a marriage and even in a marital breakdown that doesn’t feel right. I’m going to give that some thought. A starting point would be, what would happen if I decided to quit my job and kill the family income stream post divorce.... surely I would have to be held accountable for that, to her. Will consider this more.
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khibomsis
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2020, 03:52:38 AM »

Dear Enabler, I feel for you in your dark time. I have recently barely survived a triangle myself and it took every ounce of faith I had. There is something about it that triggers every last trauma and renders one right back to the most powerless child.

I am very junior on this board and so I have been very hesitant about raising my voice - the more so since I am not from the Christian faith. I see it rather from a gender-based violence perspective.

So here is a man, a pastor, who is shamelessly abusing a mentally ill woman in his congregation. He is destroying a family in doing so, and shaming his God by practicing deceit. And I ask myself, if he is doing this to your wife, what is he doing to the flock with which he is entrusted?

You, Enabler, you hold the key to ridding your congregation of this evil man. I cannot understand why you hold back. I hear your reservations, but at the end of the day you have a responsibility as a church elder, a husband and a father. Surely our Creator will protect you from any negative consequences of doing your duty?

As for your wife, she is not OK. I hope with time you will be able to forgive her.

Many apologies in advance should this offend you. I hesitated to write but decided in the end to communicate.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2020, 05:47:26 AM »

No offence at all Khibomsis, and thank you for your kind words.

The OM is not the pastor, he has made himself a key player in the small church owing to the fact that him and my W decided it was their calling to rejuvenate the somewhat ageing community church. Him and my W bring 'things' the church desperately needs. There's a bit of a catch 22 for the church, which I am pretty sure they are aware of that if they push the virtues of church teaching they run the risk of losing the very people that might hold it's future in their hands. The church was founded in the 10th century.

Mondays and Tuesdays are terrifying for me, I spend all day waiting for the next email bomb. Her ultimatum date is coming rapidly and I have seen little in the way of evidence that she is planning to uphold her side of the ultimatum and move out. There have been no conversations about telling the children about any changes in circumstances. The mediator who was contacted by my W has come back requesting suitable dates and she has not responded even though it was a week ago he asked for dates. Last week I was away with the kids, she claims to have gone away on her own (rather than do necessary D work) but there's strong evidence to suggest she didn't go alone as the car had only been driven 35 miles. Stinks of a dirty week away with Mr Lover Lover. This bugs me on many levels, not least because she's be claiming that she's had a lack of peace and quiet to do D work.

One niggle I am working through at the moment is a suspicion she's going to try and retain the family home and work on a deal that keeps my capital tied up in the property...... to me this smacks of keeping one foot on the lillypad whilst you test out the new one and not accepting her own choices for change. I do not see this working in the slightest and it's utterly unappetising for me on a number of levels..... not least because it would mean I'd have to take on more leverage and adopt her credit risk even though we're no longer married.  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2020, 10:13:43 AM »

So are you moving toward a more assertive approach?

Does your W have to make the mediation appointment? Can you lock that in?
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2020, 10:51:16 AM »

I would be concerned that she will retain a lawyer and he will get a temporary court order to have you removed from the house until the case is settled. That is common procedure.
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2020, 11:23:30 AM »

I would be concerned that she will retain a lawyer and he will get a temporary court order to have you removed from the house until the case is settled. That is common procedure.

Skip, I share your concern.

Enabler, I would hate for you to be surprised with a forced order to vacate. If she was worth OK the entire weekend, there could be plans in progress.
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2020, 12:26:56 PM »

I have considered this happening and appreciate your concerns. If it happens it happens and I will take it in my stride. She will have some explaining to do in front of the children and at some point she will be required to produce ‘court quality’ evidence for a valid reason for me being out of the home.

My current thinking is more likely that she wishes to put a deal on the table that keeps me invested in the family home. Long term retention of the home HAS to involve agreement by me as she would require vast amounts of borrowing to achieve it. I am not up for this at all and consider it enabling. Her staying in the home with the kids and the fairy tail continuing for the forceable future is a detachment from reality. The reality is that we should be getting a divorce and we should be as financially independent as possible and that includes ability to get credit. Ultimately that credit has to be repaid and I will not be sharing responsibility with her in future (post divorce) for that.

Ultimately she doesn’t want things to change, she doesn’t want the kids lives to change ex me being out of the picture and OM (who has no liquid assets) in the picture. I expect FOG and expect to have to draw a massive boundary around my personal financial capabilities. Income, I see she had rites to...... credit lines.... no. We need to separate there and accept a new world.

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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2020, 02:17:53 PM »

She will have some explaining to do in front of the children...

The children will believe what she tells them. Kids believe their parents. It only falls apart when you tell them a different truth. You will have to decide if you want to do that.

You two have had months to look at this and can't agree on anything - so plan B will come into effect, sooner or later.

she will be required to produce ‘court quality’ evidence for a valid reason for me being out of the home.

No. You keep saying this. No court is going to force her to live with you during the divorce. You two have the means for separate domiciles and that is what will get ordered.

You can fight her and tell the court she should leave - she's the adulterer. You might win that, but they will allow her to have an "equal" second home. They won't force her to live with you.

My current thinking is more likely that she wishes to put a deal on the table that keeps me invested in the family home. Long term retention of the home HAS to involve agreement by me as she would require vast amounts of borrowing to achieve it...

Why do you think this. Neither of you are willing to put anything on the table. Her suggestion in the therapy session was summarily dismissed by you and you have offered no counter...

It's more likely she is going to kick this to a lawyer. If not now, at some point in the further. The goodwill needed for an amicable divorce has been exhausted.

I am not up for this at all and consider it enabling. Her staying in the home with the kids and the fairy tail continuing for the forceable future is a detachment from reality.

She didn't ask for this, did she? Are you getting mad at a scenario that only exists in your head?

The reality is that we should be getting a divorce and we should be as financially independent as possible and that includes ability to get credit. Ultimately that credit has to be repaid and I will not be sharing responsibility with her in future (post divorce) for that.

Of course. This is how it works.

Ultimately she doesn’t want things to change...

And neither do you - you said you want to maintain the status quo as long as possible. This is not unusual. When people get divorced they like think it just about ejecting the partner.

You're down to the last 4 days before she says she will take action. Even if she doesn't take action, you two move one more rung up the high conflict ladder.

She doesn't know what to do. She is overwhelmed. Everything points to this. She needs help to exit the marriage. It is either going to come from you, the OM, or an attorney.

Why not hand her an exit plan. We can talk about it here. You can put her share of the money in a separate account to be released when the house sells along with her have of the sale of the house.  You can both moveout to smaller temporary digs so you can "stage" the house for faster and higher value sale.

You can give her a road map out...
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2020, 03:18:59 PM »

Skip, hasn’t she provided me a road map in her last email to the mediator asking to discuss this with the 3 of us?

Last night she went to her sisters to work on the divorce. She took the divorce bag with all the bumf she has from the last 3 years. Her sister pushes the divorce process (she has always liked to pity her younger sister).

I don’t believe I have ever desired for nothing to change, I have advocated (And actioned) for many many many changes, just not necessarily our living arrangements.
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2020, 02:47:51 AM »

Dear Enabler, it is an incredibly difficult situation. I am praying for you.
 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
Khib
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2020, 04:50:51 AM »

Skip, hasn’t she provided me a road map in her last email to the mediator asking to discuss this with the 3 of us?

I think you see resolving this as doing her a favor she doesn't deserve... I think when you look back 10 years from now you will realize that solving this is a favor to you.

She will likely fare better and the process will be easier for her and she will be more confident of the outcome if she involves the lawyer.
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2020, 10:08:17 AM »

I think you see resolving this as doing her a favor she doesn't deserve...

I see resolving this for her as something she will later use against me. I see this as a Karpman triangle situation (and so I think I should since almost all situations in the past have operated around the Karpman dynamic). Someone will be 'to blame' for this happening, and it will not be her.

I believe there's a fine line between having a plan and pushing that plan. I don't think pushing the plan would work, she distrusts me too much. Here's an example.... Whilst I was away, W comes back from her "trip on her own" which wasn't on her own to find that our AGA oven (permanently on) smelt. It has a fan on the exhaust and the bearings dry up every couple of years and need replacing.... it seizes up, the gas cuts out and creates a horrible smell in the kitchen. It's not dangerous as it cuts the gas supply, but might feel dangerous. Anyway, she cuts the mains gas, calls the emergency number and a guy comes out and the result is that the guy cuts the mains gas supply to the oven. Guy says it needs a complete overhaul, loads of new parts and clearly someone in to repair his work that disabled the appliance before he condemned it (he wasn't allowed to actually touch the appliance). I know what's wrong with it, I replaced the bearings in the fan. I keep spares from ebay at 20p a bearing rather than buying a whole fan £170. I made an effort to show her the seized bearing. W looks for a specialist and gets a quote from the local branded van firm, they give it a bit of a "owwwwwww it's gonna cost you, you need a new fan, new gas regulator and new gas valve"...... all this without turning it on. I've gotten used to this over the years, nice house, hot blonde wife, tradesman think they can charge whatever and no one will question. She relays this doomsday scenario to me that if we don't spend lots of money on this appliance it'll be unsafe. I validated..... but had superior knowledge (having spoken to my best friend who is a qualified gas man) I suggested that the specialist might be trying to have us over on the parts and my friend (who she has known for 23yrs) is qualified to do the work for a fraction of the costs.... and no unnecessary parts. She didn't like this idea, she wanted the reassurance of the branded van and 'specialist' knowledge....... so.... I left it in her capable hands and said no more. I didn't tell her to do it her way, I didn't enforce that we did it my way..... I just left the proverbial plate on the floor. Last night she asked me whether my friend was sure he was qualified to do it and whether I could find out if he was available. 

The tactic of staying neutral, being prepared and clued up, and giving her things to think about e.g. my response to her threat of moving out with the kids, doesn't prevent movement forwards to the 'utopia' she wants, but it does stop her bulldozing me. She gets to keep control (which she wants but doesn't want, she wants control but not responsibility) but she runs into effort and sludge when she tries to use that control to get me to solve her problems. If I prevent her from doing what she wants to do... which I am not, I can utterly see her having the incentive to rope the lawyers in...... and yes, she might choose to do this anyway, and could have at any point. I've said all along that she can go the lawyer route if she likes... but it'll be spending money we need to rebuild our lives.... her choice.... her control.... but her responsibility. (and that's not me discounting it happening, but when there's an attractive cheaper alternative yet to be exhausted).
 
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2020, 04:28:15 PM »

Where is this now?
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2020, 11:49:07 AM »

No one moved out, she’s now prioritising the financial agreement rather than changing living arrangements. No more discussions have been had regarding telling the kids and mediator has been very neutral, just agreeing to meet and discuss....., which of course he would as that’s how he gets paid.

W asked for some to clarify some financial questions earlier in the week and suggested (with mediator cc’d) that ‘we’ would be providing each other with a written framework with which to divide the assets. I responded promptly with the information she requested and said I looked forward to her written proposal. The next day she replied thanking me and said she was looking forward to my proposal, the one that I have not committed to her that I would provide.

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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2020, 01:13:18 PM »

Do you want to layout the full proposal here and get feedback before taking it in?
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2020, 02:22:57 AM »

Not really Skip given previous feedback.

I am devising a framework / model that works towards a fair outcome. She can (and likely will) deviate from that, but it's a way for me to figure out what levers there are, how they fully impact long term objectives and monthly cash flows for both of us. I have a pretty solid idea of the types of advice she will be given, much of it poisonous and unhelpful to coming to an amicable agreement.... some even mythical. There's no point in agreeing to anything which is unsustainable for me and the kids, or her, and I think it's a good opportunity to do some myth-busting.

It will be a good way for me to work out where my red lines are.

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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2020, 03:38:57 PM »

Excerpt
I see resolving this for her as something she will later use against me.

I agree with this assessment of the situation. Even the slightest push or inquiry can be twisted in the bpd mental world to assign blame to someone else other than the pwbpd. It's a delicate process to be neutral, yet agreeable, trying not to do anything that could be perceived as controlling by a person who twists 'normal' into something else entirely.

For example, nearly 3 years ago now, my h came to me in a moment of unusual clarity and said that he knew that I had biblical grounds for divorce and he would be moving out. A couple of months passed and there was no movement on his planned departure that I could see. So, I wondered about the progress - thinking it would be good to be prepared for such a change and having been in other situations where he didn't follow through on directions. I asked if he was going to be moving out at some point soon. Well, in his mind, that was me telling him to move out.

My h has been given unhelpful advice that just feeds his contempt of me and in a weird way keeps him from moving forward. At the same time, he thinks that these people who are giving advice are emotionally unhealthy folks. Lots of talk about how "unsustainable" our current situation is. Thankfully, his behavioral pattern of not following through with things that others tell him to do is stable.

Figuring out what your priorities are and how they influence the agreements that you make would be good to work on.

Did you say that you didn't commit to providing your proposal?
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2020, 10:40:35 AM »

My W suggested in the email that “we” would be providing each other “written agreement strategies”, since this is the first I’d heard of this from her and not something I’d agreed to I said I looked forward to seeing hers knowing that she meant I’d provide her the road map and ‘give her her divorce’...... as per above.
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