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Family Court Strategies: When Your Partner Has BPD OR NPD Traits. Practicing lawyer, Senior Family Mediator, and former Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twelve years’ experience and an expert on navigating the Family Court process.
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Author Topic: I seriously need some help.  (Read 4460 times)
engiebpd
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« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2023, 04:27:54 PM »

We still live in the same apartment.  Her current guy is currently not texting her due to a "family" death and needed some space.  I can tell she's a bit annoyed of it since she is pregnant with his chuld.

She is asking me to go out with her to an amusement park for the baby.    I honestly don't know what to say as this is what we didchild. when we were together.   

I am trying to live in the same unit with her as friends and coparenting partners.   I am still healing and doing things separately with the baby so he gets starts to know we are separate.   Is taking the baby and her out to the amusement park a good idea occasionally?   Is she stringing me unknowingly?  Thanks
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ForeverDad
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« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2023, 05:58:42 PM »

I am still healing and doing things separately with the baby so he gets starts to know we are separate.   Is taking the baby and her out to the amusement park a good idea occasionally?

I will reply with the baby's perspective.  Most people do not remember details from before 3 or 4 years of age, sometimes not even that far back.  So whether you take the baby together with mother to Disneyland, Disneyworld, Grand Canyon, Yosemite or any other special (and often expensive) location, the baby won't remember or care.  Going to the local park, playground or nature area is just fine and in most cases far less expensive.

I would look at my family's albums with our vacation photos when I was very little and what I remember most are the pictures themselves, looking at them and not so much the actual trips.

What the small children will remember most is the overall environment.  Was it happy and calm, did it lend a feeling of safety and attention?
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engiebpd
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« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2023, 01:10:12 PM »

Yes, I am trying to make it as peaceful as possible for the baby.   It's also another reason why I worry about hanging out with her for a long period of time.    She says things with absolutely no regard for my feelings and I just have to take it for the good of the baby
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engiebpd
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« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2023, 10:06:42 PM »

The ex wife no longer wants to use our marriage counselor anymore.   We are going to get our own separate therapist for this divorce process.    This was recommended to me by my psychiatrist.

Will it be wise for me to continue the same marriage counselor since she knows us so much?  Would it result in some kind of conflict of interest?

My ex wife who loved this therapist now hates her.   Maybe a splitting issue.  She says that she is too biased and that she should've told us sooner that this marriage wouldn't work.  She now feels like our marriage counselor has been "milking" us.

Obviously marriage counselors are to help resolve marriage issues and not say "you're not good together".   It's very weird how my ex wiffe thinks.   Thoughts on this matter?   Thank you
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2023, 11:28:39 PM »

Will it be wise for me to continue the same marriage counselor since she knows us so much?  Would it result in some kind of conflict of interest?
[...]
Obviously marriage counselors are to help resolve marriage issues and not say "you're not good together".   It's very weird how my ex wife thinks.   Thoughts on this matter?

If you are comfortable with the counselor, go for it, she will have a better perspective of the situation as she has already met her.  That is assuming the counselor is also on board with it.  The counselor would be the one to determine if there was some kind of 'conflict of interest'.

I talked to my individual therapist on this very topic, she much prefers individual clients as she can do a lot more with them.  With marriage counseling, there is a high failure rate, as the two people often cannot meet in the middle with a compromise on the issue that is ailing them.  Here is why [my coach gave me this article by Laura Doyle, a NY times best seller, has some good points, which I agree with most, not all of them]:

Excerpt

6 Reasons Marriage Counseling is BS
By Laura Doyle | Updated: 12/16/2022
If you want to save your marriage, ..., don’t go to marriage counseling.

Eighteen years ago my marriage was in tatters. My husband and I went to counseling for years thinking there was something wrong with us, but we finally realized that the counseling was the problem. That set me on a path to discovering the principles of intimacy, which I describe in The Surrendered Wife, a New York Times best-selling book printed in 26 countries and 15 languages.

Hundreds of thousands of women have used these principles to transform their shredded marriages into intimate, passionate relationships, but too many are still stuck in ineffective marriage counseling. Here are some of the reasons that marriage counseling is a big, fat lie.

1. It starts with calling your spouse a loser
When a wife says to her husband, “We should go to counseling,” what she really means is, “You’re a loser.”

Since a key ingredient for intimacy is emotional safety, this approach puts the connection she craves further out of reach. The last time your husband criticized you, did it make you want to hug him?

A woman who doesn’t realize she just criticized her husband by suggesting marriage counseling might think his snarky response is coming out of nowhere — which proves he needs marriage counseling.

No relationship ever got happier from one person criticizing the other. What takes more courage — but always results in much greater connection — is being vulnerable by admitting you feel hurt, rejected or lonely.

2. Some marriage counselors are failures
Some marriage counselors aren’t married. Others are divorced twice or unhappily married. Is this who you want to pay for advice? Would you take fitness tips from a 350-pound personal trainer who just had bypass surgery?

If your marriage counselor doesn’t have the kind of relationship you want, she simply can’t tell you how to get it. When I think about the lousy advice that we got during our marriage counseling, I’m amazed that we survived it.

Instead of someone with an impressive diploma, consider seeking the advice of a wife with a happy, healthy, intimate relationship.

3. Any fool can complain and most do during marriage counseling
The fastest way to destroy your relationship is to focus on what’s wrong with your partner. Dwelling on his faults is the opposite of what you did when you fell in love. If you admired his ambition and now you think he works too much, guess what changed? Only the way you’re looking at him.

Couples typically argue after a marriage counseling session because focusing on each other’s faults makes you feel more resentful and hopeless.

If you want to restore your relationship, here’s a great remedy: Make a habit of giving your partner three expressions of gratitude daily. Focusing on the things you appreciate about your mate is a powerful way to remind yourself why you chose him in the first place.



4. It’s a hideout for hypocrites
Lots of us go to marriage counseling secretly believing we’re just there to be supportive while the counselor fixes the other person’s shortcomings. Marriage counselors will tell you that the only thing you have to do to change your spouse is get him to come in for a hundred sessions. But marriage counseling will never work because it focuses on someone you can’t change: Your spouse.

Trying to control someone else not only wears you out, it gives you the illusion that you’re working really hard on your relationship while the other person isn’t doing anything. It also steals energy away from improving the only person you can: Yourself.

It’s only when you accept and celebrate your spouse as the quirky individual he is that you can both relax into being yourselves — just like you did when you were dating.

5. Men are not big, hairy women
Many women believe that if their man would just share his feelings, they would finally have the connection they crave. But asking a man how he feels in counseling is like asking a woman in a bathing suit who’s eating a piece of cake how much she weighs.

Trying and failing to get a man to talk about his feelings in marriage counseling may confirm a wife’s worst fears that her husband is defective. But the real failure here is her lack of respect for the man he is — the one she picked to marry.

Chances are good that you married an imperfect man who’s perfect for you. Instead of trying to pry his feelings out of him, consider bringing respect back into the relationship by honoring your husband’s masculinity and his choices for himself. If you want more passion in your marriage, there’s no stronger aphrodisiac than respect.

6. It’s the most expensive way to try to control your spouse
Marriage counseling may seem like an important purchase, but it’s actually a tragic waste because it diverts funds from something that really would help your marriage: Self-care.

Self-care means not only getting enough rest and nourishment, it means that you make it a priority to do three pleasurable things every single day. Relationships naturally take a little energy and if you’re depleted, you give your relationship no chance to thrive. Showing up delighted instead of depleted is indispensable for a gratifying and intimate partnership.

You may have thought it was your husband’s job to make you happy, but it’s actually yours. Your husband would like to make you happy, but if he can’t he may stop trying.

Once you make yourself feel good, he sees that you are pleasable, which opens the door for him to delight you too. Men love making their women happy. “Happy wife, happy life” is not just an adage. Ask any guy.

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« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2023, 07:43:35 PM »

Ugh.

My ex lured me to counseling only to abandon me there to get fixed. My mother with BPD did the same thing to me when I was 12. My ex did the same thing to her later husband, the guy she left me for, a few years later.

I continued individually, spending enough $ for a decent down payment on a new car because...  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) her. At least that's what I felt initially. It was very helpful to me as a safe place to discuss what was going on and to provide me feedback from someone who wasn't angry at me and hurt.

After it was too late, I was accused of not paying attention to get is into couple's counseling myself... this from the woman who before we had kids tried to send me to a couple's communication class by myself.
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engiebpd
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« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2023, 11:56:04 PM »

I broke down just now.  First time since I found out about the affair - I initialized routine to detached asap from there on.

  I had a couple of beers just nowband ended up looking at some of our old pictures.   I know, probably a dumb thing to do.

The thought process that came to my head is as if I was mourning her death.   She is literally not the same person.   It's as if she doesn't remember anything we went through.  I probed her about some events when we first dated, she's all "I don't remember".

She came home just now and told me she feels like she can have chemistry with so many guys.  I tried to tell her, you can have chemistry with anyone you allow into you.   It went out the other ear.   There is truly something completely off about her.  She is a different person now.

She recently took zoloft for about a year, is it possible it rewired her brain in some way?  Or maybe the stressor of marriage and having a baby made her go off somewhere?  It's too bizarre.
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« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2023, 12:21:20 PM »

I can't respond to the question about drugs and lasting effects.  As an overview, such as an airliner 35,000 foot perspective looking down, it has often been noted that though drugs may be helpful (Bipolar has some similar behaviors but is largely chemistry based) drugs really only moderate the behaviors, BPD really needs therapy.  Medications alone typically are not enough help.

The other thing I will add is that in my own life and marriage, having a child changed my ex-spouse, big time.  As I look back, it was as if before becoming a parent I was only a husband but afterward she perceived me as a father instead.  Married for a dozen years she surely knew me well that I wasn't a bad person but once I became a father she suddenly started comparing me to her abuser stepfather.

So it's possible part of her increased "acting out" involves you or her becoming parents and then, adding to that, trying to have another baby.
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« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2023, 06:37:51 PM »

I’m so sorry you’re going through this, engie.  Pretty natural you cried and had a few beers last night, as long as that isn’t an issue for you.  I’m hoping you have some very close friends who can also support you in person if you need that.  This is a horrible situation for you and your precious boy.

I’m a bit confused, though.  Why does your psychiatrist think you need to go to separate counselors rather than continuing with the joint counseling you and your stbexW have been seeing?  (Aside from the fact that your W is now splitting the counselor).

It would seem that the joint counseling could be helpful in managing through coparenting while you’re stuck in the same house; but then separate counseling for you IS a good idea.  Does your place of work offer a lower cost confidential employee assistance program?

And about your W’s now disdain for and splitting your couples counselor, my guess would be those nasty feelings lie in the “shame” tied to her cheating and pregnancy dilemma???  Your counselor KNOWS about that infidelity.  Your counselor also seems to understand BPD (recommending the Eggshells book, right?).

It may be helpful for you to look through the tools for “Mindfulness” techniques for yourself.  You can also google that term for online resources.  It’s a really good way for you to keep your feet on the ground during this incredibly trying time.

What is this “solo” trip she mentioned?  Has the affair partner (AP) responded to her texts?  Sorry to ask...I know it’s difficult, and I’m only asking because she says she’s pregnant.

Your thoughts on all of this?

Warmly,
Gems
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engiebpd
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2023, 10:26:45 PM »

She mentioned the solo trip.  Who knows if it's her new guy wanting to go with her.   I've been working to detach as soon as I can.   I let her do her thing because I really want her to guarantee me 50/50 with my boy without spending k's on lawyers.

Some news, who knows what is true though.  She apparently had a miscarriage yesterday.  I guess that's good for all of us overall. 

She came home crying today.  She didn't understand why her new guy went to another country due to a "family death" and not care to message her at all..    she's not even sure what is happening between them.  All of a sudden she is less mentally abusive to me while telling me all this.  There was some tiny logic in what was coming out of her mouth.   She's watching tarot cards on youtube -_- and then tells me we shouldn't have ever gotten married.   She says "you need to be with someone more logical and grounded, I am too emotional and needy".  While true from my perspective, I don't think she can have her needs if she wants children and a normal marriage. 

My only concern is my boy.  I heard someone mentioned that she may just sign off on the custody agreement because she is too occupied with her new guy.   Supposedly if he's gone, there's a chance she may backpedal on me.   

Thank you for your concern Gems.  I think the psychiatrist recommendation on separate therapist is probably because more privacy.  Maybe they want to each tell us we have something like bpd but refuse to do it while both seeing the same therapist.   Maybe I have some codependency issues that needs to be addressed.  Who knows.  But also, i think they want me to separate so I can learn to handle the things that are to come from this breakup.   

I've read a lot about bpd so I think I have a good grasp already.   I'm unsure if i want to pay forba therapist on my own right now. 
If the ex is truly bpd, a single therapist may help me understand why my ex says the things she says that are extreme when it comes to confidence killing.   I can see how a man can really lose confidence if there is lack of awareness as to whats going on.
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« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2023, 11:07:07 PM »

Excerpt
She's watching tarot cards on youtube -_- and then tells me we shouldn't have ever gotten married.

Be wary of magical thinking. My ex thinks that she has magical Bruha powers. Focus on you and your boy. There's also nothing wrong with being kind to her, but focus on you and your son. Play the long game.
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« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2023, 06:12:16 AM »

I'm in a weird spot.  I'm trying to get this custody agreement signed soon.  The date is coming up.

This ex of mine woke me up at 3am crying saying she believes she is getting played by her new guy.  She comes cuddling into me and wants to sleep next to me.  I was super nice to her and told her I needed sleep and that she will be okay and to not think about it.  She says she got "betrayed" and her heart hurts so much..  "omg" I'm thinking in my head.  I get her to leave by saying i haveba lot of things to do next day. She asked if I can sleep by her in her room.  I said no.  She says she paid for a psychic and the psychic said she's getting played and none of it is real.  ZZZ.

3 weeks ago this woman broke it off with me, emasculated me, mentally abused me by blaming me the entire time why we are not working, slandered me to her family to justify her divorce intentions, having sex with her new guy, comes home and tells me I need to take testosterone etc.   All horrible things.

Please don't tell me she is going to want everything back. I neeed to get these documents signed and move on with my life.

What are your thoughts?  Is she going to now charml,   ask for forgiveness and if I don't grant these things, will she give me a hard time with this paperwork?   Thanks all
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SaltyDawg
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« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2023, 09:37:12 AM »

Use wise mind - first item under the tools menu bar above.

Follow your gut [logical mind], not your heart [emotional mind].

She cheated on you, plain and simple -  for me that is an unforgivable transgression, I suspect the same for you.  Follow your moral compass on this.

Yes, she is probably going to h-o-o-v-e-r you as part of her extinction burst if you don't allow it.

PD's most of them are about control, especially BPD/NPD.  As long as she perceives that she can control, she will likely NOT sign the papers.  If you can, do it sooner rather than later.  You may need to lull her into a false sense of security to do this, perhaps you will allude that you will do the things that she wants if she signs the papers with words like "I will seriously consider..." - and then when she signs it, follow through with what you have decided to do after you 'considered'.

In any event do the 7P's [Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pi$$ Poor Performance, plan for all logical and illogical behaviors with plans on how to handle each.] to minimize the damage to yourself.

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« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2023, 11:31:51 AM »

I know you see your child as a baby - and I'm sure she does even more - but your child is a toddler blending into a preschooler.  You can be a primary parent to a toddler or preschooler much easier than a babe in arms.

Now that her adult distraction has skipped, likely she will shift her focus to you and/or motherhood, even if she doesn't do as much mothering as she imagines.

Avoid any risk of another baby.  We assume intimacy has stopped, what with the infidelity, but if not then ensure you're in charge of birth control.  She may be even more determined to have a new baby fix her problems (and gain more leverage over you) than before.

Depending on a number of factors such as her level of mothering, how fixated she is on mothering, your local family court's policies and procedures, etc, you probably will have to be smart working out custody and a parenting plan.  Parenting is a long struggle for the next 15 years, so "choose your battles".  Focus on the important things that will have a long term impact.

For example, unless you step forward for a different outcome, most people, including family court, will assume mother is in charge of school decisions.  (Alert - this is only a couple years away!)  Beware of letting school default to her.  What if she wants to move elsewhere?  Even if it's not on the other side of the state, do you want to have to follow her around in order to keep parenting regularly?  If you are the "residential parent" it may very well be the "doesn't matter" item  (now) that will enable your long term parenting more than you realize (later).

Lots of orders may state "joint custody".  Sounds equal.  But what happens if the parents disagree?  Off you go to court, a mediator, or some other professional for a decision months later.  (When I filed something in court, it took a year or more to get addressed.)  So try to be the "Decision Maker" or have "Tie Breaker status" on the important matters.  Sure, she could still object but this way she would have to be the one to make the effort to take you to court.
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engiebpd
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« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2023, 06:23:51 PM »

Okay so he's "back".   He distanced from her because she went crazy over text messages to him for his lack of contact with her.   She's been very open to me about him and even shows me her text messages to get my opinion on their matter.  This is because I said I want her to be happy and I will support her decisions as long as we agree for 50/50 custody and we work towards an amicable coparenting relationship without fighting.   She seems to be on this page.

I talked with her lengthy last night and she is becoming aware that she either has bipolar or bpd.    She always suspected bipolar.  She explained to the new guy that she has fear of abandonment issues and that's why she acted crazy over texts.  Also said it's because she was hormonal due to having a miscarriage from his baby.

She told me that he said he can handle a little bit if crazy so now she's back in this infatuation stage with him.  I am pretty detached now and I am trying to focus on succeeding and making sure we get this 50/50 divorce and custody going.    I just had 1st meeting with her and the mediator today and it seem to go well so far.  She's preparing our divorce documents and then we can lay out the custody plans. 

I have to live with her for 8 months so I'm trying to keep things peaceful.  It's kinda wild how open she is to me about the affair guy.  I'm actually okay on the inside as I know I cannot be with this woman and this is the time to get out while my baby is only 3 years old.   Unfortunately so unfair for him.

They are moving extremely fast and this guy must be infatuated by her beauty. When she told him she has abandonment issues, he says "I'm not abandoning you" hah.   I guess he has no idea what these things mean yet.

She's been defending him by saying "I was acting crazy on him, he's been very busy with his work etc". 

My focus for now is to make sure the 50/50 is signed in place.  Her focus is this new relationship.

We are conflicting a bit on distance to the baby in our custody because she is so unsure what is happening with her and the new guy.

She tells me she suspects he's a bit crazy too.  She told me that I am too stable for her and that I may need to be with someone more logical and grounded (I was shocked by this comment because she is actually correct)   

I dont know how long theyll last but it seems they are both very dreamy during this infatuation stage.   
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« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2023, 07:19:09 PM »

Are you OK with her oversharing with you like this? My ex hid some things from me, but not really and was rather blatant about her beau. It's disrespectful and hurtful and lacking in empathy. Like you, however, I endured a lot to get her out of the house with minimal conflict and get the custody stipulation signed.
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« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2023, 10:16:39 PM »

Lots of orders may state "joint custody".  Sounds equal.  But what happens if the parents disagree?  Off you go to court, a mediator, or some other professional for a decision months later.  (When I filed something in court, it took a year or more to get addressed.)  So try to be the "Decision Maker" or have "Tie Breaker status" on the important matters.  Sure, she could still object but this way she would have to be the one to make the effort to take you to court.

Please check whether your state allows something similar to "Decision Maker" or "Tie Breaker status".  You could explain it in a calming way as one way to move ahead with decisions without having to get a professional involved, or even spend months waiting for the court to decide.  As I wrote before, two important aspects of custody that ought to be important for you are (1) school decisions and contact and (2) medical or at least authority for mental health to handle him getting counseling if ever needed in the years to come.
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« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2023, 01:11:05 AM »

I felt I knew what's to come the moment when I saw her behavior a week after seeing the text messages on her affair.   I've experienced something like this when I was young.  It's the addiction.  I am unsure still if this guy wants love or is just using her for sex.   She is very good looking.

She is immaturily addicted to this guy and cannot wait for him to text her.    She is neglecting her child and life essentially.    She makes excuses for his lack of contact and the moment he texts her just a bit saying he's sorry, she's all into him again.  It's unbelievable.

I have made the full on choice the last couple of weeks to emotionally distance myself from all this and just focus on my baby and to get the paperwork signed.    And yes, it has gotten to the point where she sees I am okay with all this that she starts to push boundaries even more.  We are trying to finish out our lease.

Tonight, she missed this guy so much that she asked if it would be weird if he comes over.  Lol wtf? I said, don't do that to me, I let a lot go and you know this but you cannot bring this guy over while we have a baby sleeping in the other room and i in another room.  We are still processing our dissolution.   For goodness sake go get a damn hotel or something if you miss him I told her. 

So he pulls up in front of our apartment in a tinted truck and she goes down there for about 1.5 hours.    I srsly think she's out of her effin mind guys.    This is why I pushed myself to detach emotionally and able to listen to everything she says about her problems with the new guy.    This guy has her so wrapped he could just be using her as a sex machine.

She is not smart.  She was calling up pyschics and youtubing tarot cards when he went no contact for 2 weeks.  And it appears that when she's emotional, some kind if disorder comes out where she is possessed or becomes something else.     Earlier I told her, you are addicted to this infatuation.  She says "I am addicted to love"  this woman is closing into her 40s btw..   

I seriously cannot believe what I am seeing.   No normal person would behave in this manner when they have a 3 year old.   

All I am doing is Journaling everything in case this ever goes to court.    At this point I am just looking at 50/50 in CA in hopes that I get my baby without having to go to war.  She thinks I can come at her with shame and the pregnancy etc to take more but I am not going to.  I told her I just want 50/50 with peace.
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« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2023, 02:59:14 PM »

Your ex reminds me of my love addicted BPD mother who was so focused on her love-life that she basically forgot that she had children…. I think this kind of behavior usually indicates a level of rather profound emotional deprivation during childhood — which certainly was the case with for my mother.

The good news is that there is a good chance that she will be so caught up in her love addictions that you will end up becoming your child’s custodial parent regardless of what the official custody agreement is.
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« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2023, 08:54:55 PM »

Get 50/50 custody as soon as you can.

Also, secretly find a new place to live, until...

The 50/50 custody is signed get the f- out of there to your new place, manipulate it so she can have this new guy take over the remainder of your lease, and let both him and her deal with the consequences of their fallout.  You don't want to wait 8 months for her/him to lose interest, then she may circle back to you...

She gets what she deserves [a new boy toy alone with her in 'her' home], the new guy gets what he wants [borderline sex], you get what you want [preferred custody, and escape from insanity where she is no longer your 'problem', or at least less of one].  A potential win-win-win situation.

Even though she is f-ing the other guy, you are still her FP [favorite person] and true borderlines have no emotional filter, and will tell you exactly what is on their mind good and/or bad especially to their FP.  Use this to your advantage during the split, gain valuable intel and use it to your advantage without letting her know, and then do it all at once, once she figures out what you did, she will likely go NC and/or rage on you.

Move as fast as you practically can, keep it moving, while there is inertia of the mutual infatuation between him/her.

Take care, document, be careful, and definitely work it to your advantage for your child as well as yourself.
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« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2023, 10:04:34 PM »

engiebpd,

A lot of what she says is what mine said. Joint custody is the default in Cali. I'm here. Don't give up anything less.

I hired a lawyer to write it out. I kept her updated. She was served by mail, avoiding the humiliation of being served by person.

I did this while she was still living with us living her double life with her young, college football stud. Communication tools helped, like SET and BIFF.
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    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
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« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2023, 12:56:19 PM »

Did I write on your thread how I walked out at the end of my divorce as "residential parent for school purposes"?  My point is that even with "50/50 custody" one of the parents is assigned in charge of schooling?  Don't assume it will be dear dad.  In my county, mother gets default preference in many aspects of custody unless something otherwise is placed in writing.

In my case our Custody evaluator had recommended we try (equal) Shared Parenting first. I told my ex when we were at the court house in conference on the long awaited Trial Day, "If I am not to be the residential parent for school purposes then let's go in to the judge and start the trial."

Mind you, both lawyers insisted it meant nothing.  And it didn't, well, not directly.  But... once I had that hat in place, my son (in kindergarten) had to attend a school in my area.  All of a sudden that seemingly minor clause mean a great deal.

Here's the kicker... During the divorce her school had stated they had resolved issues with mother and had nothing to report to the court.  However, once I was the responsible parent for school, I applied for Open Enrollment so son could stay there another couple months until the school year ended.  But mother had more 'incidents' with the school staff and the vice principal, as I recall, told me the school board had rejected my application for Open Enrollment and I had ONE DAY to register him in my own school district.  Oh yeah, something big had happened, some scene in front of the entire school.

All because I made sure I was in charge of schooling.  Schools often have to quietly suffer with the problem parent or parents, but if they can boot them elsewhere, they will.

I don't know whether your spouse will be high conflict or not, but if you can include a clause, perhaps among other clauses*, that you're the residential parent for school, you will be spared a lot of grief later.

* Other clauses may detail which holidays will be specified on a holidays list, which parent handles religious instruction, which parent in charge of medical heath, mental health, etc.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 01:01:48 PM by ForeverDad » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2023, 11:35:21 PM »

Thank you all for your responses.   I'm in CA, I sent in a temporary proposal to our mediator and I also asked her about the residential school parent clause.  

Some updates:   we went to a mediator last week and it seems amicable for 50/50.  There are some conflicts that our mediator says we may need to resolve.   It's her uncommitted to where she will live when our lease ends.   She's unsure because she's waiting to see if she can convince her new guy if he can move to our county.   He previously asked her to move out of state, she declines because of our child, then suggests a rich area that is 2.5 hrs from our current residential county.  Which she was interested in and tried to convince me to send our baby to school there.  I said no way so now she's trying to convince him to buy a place in our county.

Over the weekend, she went nuts via texts on him since he ghosted her the whole time.  So I became her favorite person on the weekend and we talked a lot (which was what one of the posters mentioned that a borderline will say what's on their mind to their favorite person and being super honest)

 She did say she wants what's best for our boy and I was telling her that the best thing is that she does whatever takes to stay in our county and in our area that way if he cries for mommy or daddy, one of us can show up to see him.   She "agrees" but who knows as she can easily be swayed by her new boy toy.   She thinks that he is super in love with her so she believes she can convince him and his daughter to move here.  This is essentially where we will conflict when custody signing will occur.

My lawyer told me that we cannot force a 3 year old to remain in the school here for a lengthy time but the judge may see it not in the baby's interest to remove him from an area he grew up in so fast.

So while I became her favorite person over the weekend just because he ghosted her, she tells me just today that she talked with him before work and that he is still committed to her.    When she came home from work, I felt a slight split again.   But i avoided talking to her that evening.  

Our mediator sent us each a retainers agreement and first deposit fee.   I paid mine and signed mine but she was "tired" and will do it tomorrow.  We will see.

I worry her family will try to stall her from signing anything because they are only told what she wants them to know.  Which is that I am a bad husband, unemotiobally available, and that I dont love her... "we dont love eachother anymore"

They have no idea of the affair and that she is currently in a full blown relationships.   I know that they know that she is not that bright so I can imagine them telling her not to sign anything until they see it.  

However when we briefly talked about her family trying to stall, i did tell her it's because they don't know the entire story and believes we can reconcile at some point since her reasonings for the divorce is not good and that she is making a mistake - this is one of my anxieties.

I did tell her that we must do this as soon as possible so that her new guy can try to marry her.   She seems convinced but she is moving slow- guess we won't know until tomorrow.


I've been documenting and taking pictures/videos of myself with the baby on the daily.   I dont really know how well this will work in court though.  It seems everyone on this board is really for it.

What should I do if she starts backpeddling, stalling or not agree?

Do I have enough evidence to do a court order and try for more than 50%?  My family seems to believe so but they are not lawyers.

How can you threaten more custody?

While everything seems amicable, I do get paranoid about her doing some homework behind  my back on all of this.   She isn't that bright and is very lazy so I am acting on this with that info in mind.

Her being "back" with her new toy is giving me mixed emotions.   While I rather him being truly committed so it gets her off my back.  I wasn't sure how to feel when he ghosted her.   If he's not real, then she will struggle and I have to deal with it because I live with her.  If he is real, then I may have a better shot at getting custody without a court battle.

Please respond to my questions above as I am very curious and thank you again for your inputs.

« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 06:58:17 AM by engiebpd » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2023, 02:27:07 PM »

My lawyer told me that we cannot force a 3 year old to remain in the school here for a lengthy time but the judge may see it not in the baby's interest to remove him from an area he grew up in so fast.
Agreed, the judge likely knows that 3 year olds will not remember specifics from this time period later in their life, so living in a specific area really isn't a consideration, so the child will not be tied to a specific location.  The judge will typically rule in what is the best interest of the child.  Make sure that you can prove that you can provide a good upbringing, a better one that the new 'rich' guy can provide.  Also prove that you are a better parent, than the other.  Go for 50/50, and be the better parent.  Do not agree to any changes, just as her family is urging her to do.  However, do be prepared to prove to her family, if you come in contact with them about her infidelity; this can be very powerful, in persuading them, especially if they are not knowledgeable of it.  Photos, social media (if she isn't posting on hers).  Be prepared, I have known of parents of a girl siding with a scorned boyfriend in the short term because of her infidelity, until the mother's unconditional love game through some time later and both were treated equally but seperated.

7P's - Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pi$$ Poor Performance.

So while I became her favorite person over the weekend just because he ghosted her, she tells me just today that she talked with him before work and that he is still committed to her.    When she came home from work, I felt a slight split again.   But i avoided talking to her that evening.  
While he is together with her, she will prefer him, she is conflicted between you and him.  So, it will feel like a split.  Just listen to her, take mental notes, and use it to your advantage.  However, do not expect this arrangement to last, especially if becomes more influential in her life.

I worry her family will try to stall her from signing anything because they are only told what she wants them to know.  Which is that I am a bad husband, unemotiobally available, and that I dont love her... "we dont love eachother anymore"
Gather proof for her family of her infidelity, use the BIFF [be Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm] method of communication.  Just explain that you want 50/50 custody since she cheated on you [showing proof], be friendly wish her the best expressing your desire for what is best for the child, but be firm on your rights as the child's father.

However when we briefly talked about her family trying to stall, i did tell her it's because they don't know the entire story and believes we can reconcile at some point since her reasonings for the divorce is not good and that she is making a mistake - this is one of my anxieties.
Anxiety is only natural, you don't know what is going to happen to your child.  Follow the advise of your attorney, they usually know best.

I did tell her that we must do this as soon as possible so that her new guy can try to marry her.   She seems convinced but she is moving slow- guess we won't know until tomorrow.
If it takes her a little bit to secure a retainer fee, that is understandable.  However, if it drags on, then be worried.  Talk to your attorney for the typical timeline on this.


I've been documenting and taking pictures/videos of myself with the baby on the daily.   I dont really know how well this will work in court though.  It seems everyone on this board is really for it.
That is good.  However, do document her being irrational, that will be more impactful.

What should I do if she starts backpeddling, stalling or not agree?

Do I have enough evidence to do a court order and try for more than 50%?  My family seems to believe so but they are not lawyers.

How can you threaten more custody?

Talk to your attorney on this.  Make sure they know the full story, and follow their advice.  This will be money well invested.

While everything seems amicable, I do get paranoid about her doing some homework behind  my back on all of this.   She isn't that bright and is very lazy so I am acting on this with that info in mind.
This is always possible.  Practice 7 P's here.  "Hope for the best; prepare for the worst."  You cannot control what she does.  However, you do control what you do - the better prepared you are, the better the outcome, generally speaking.  However, if her new guy is 'rich' as you have alluded to, money does talk in this situation, so plan for it.

Her being "back" with her new toy is giving me mixed emotions.   While I rather him being truly committed so it gets her off my back.  I wasn't sure how to feel when he ghosted her.   If he's not real, then she will struggle and I have to deal with it because I live with her.  If he is real, then I may have a better shot at getting custody without a court battle.
Wishful thinking of her being 'committed'.  If this new guy has half a brain, after she sees how she treated you, it should be a red flag to him.  However, you need him to be 'real enough' or interested in her long enough for her to sign the papers.
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« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2023, 07:29:13 AM »

... she can easily be swayed by her new boy toy.   She thinks that he is super in love with her so she believes she can convince him and his daughter to move here.  This is essentially where we will conflict when custody signing will occur.

So he is the "primary parent" of his child?  (So often courts will default to assigning primary parent status to mothers.  Doesn't mean that dads can't get that but that means a dad usually has to step up and seek that.)

My lawyer told me that we cannot force a 3 year old to remain in the school here for a lengthy time but the judge may see it not in the baby's interest to remove him from an area he grew up in so fast.

The reality courts face is that once divorced the parents will live apart.  No one knows how far apart in future years.  Typically one parent is assigned as primary parent for various issues such as "in which parent's area will the child attend school?" especially when the parents move around in future years.  Or... the various responsibilities (school, doctor, counselor, religion, etc) can be split between the parents.  That's what I tried to explain in my previous posts where I said you can choose your battles for which things that matter long term and yet still are largely 50/50 overall.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2023, 07:35:07 AM by ForeverDad » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2023, 07:02:01 PM »

The mediator sent me a document to sign as petitioner of a marriage of dissolution with my proposed requested custody.   
She says this does not matter as much until the final judgement comes. 

She says things can change and that my ex wife may reject some parts of it. Things changing could be her moving to another county with her bf. 

I guess the good news is that things are moving and that she signed our mediator retainer and paid for her portion of it.   I don't like though how things can just change.  After she signs, wouldn't it be hard to change unless she spends money to do so?   
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« Reply #56 on: February 01, 2023, 07:52:39 PM »

The good news is that it IS moving, and seems to be moving in a direction that you want.

However, like your advisor indicated, it could change.  Do not let your guard down, but do continue to practice 7 P's here AND "Hope for the best; prepare for the worst."

Take care & good luck.
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« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2023, 08:29:46 PM »

If you two can't agree on the terms, then what?  Do you expect that if/when "my ex wife may reject some parts of it" that you will feel powerless and not contest it?  Or step up for yourself as father?  I suspect that if the mediator can't bring you two to agreement then I have a few concerns.

Some mediators, hopefully not yours, may try to fix the impasses by asking the more reasonable parent to give in.  A mediator ought to have the interests of the children in mind as well as not just getting a deal done.

However, if the mediation process for dissolution fails, can you prepare yourself for a divorce to ensure yourself and your child of the "least bad" outcome?

Will there be a temporary order during the divorce process?  The structure of a temp order is important.  Often, unless the court sees a need to adjust the terms, a temp order can easily morph relatively unchanged into a final decree.  Hence the need to try your best to get the best temp order possible.

In my own experience, in my divorce, it wasn't a walk in a park.  I walked out from a brief half hour hearing with only alternate weekends and mother walked out with temporary custody and majority time.  My name for the magistrate?  Sir Bump-on-a-Log. He followed the state and county's policies, procedures and default mother preferences.  And my lawyer merely told me "We'll fix it later."  And yes it did get fixed... eventually... just two years later at the end of my divorce.
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« Reply #58 on: February 01, 2023, 11:12:11 PM »

She's telling me everything about her situation with this guy.   I am shocked by the things she saying.   She feels as if she's in sync with this guy.  She's smoking weed and drinking with him. 

The bizarre thing is that those were the things we did when we were in our honeymoon stage.   At some point when we got out of our honeymoon stage, she barely wanted to drink and she didn't want to smoke weed anymore.  We pretty much stopped doing any of the fun stuff we used to do.   

It's as if once she is bored, she also stops doing things herself.   This has to be some signs of real splitting here.   I notice that she just loves "new" things.   New cars, new place to live, new toys, material possessions...and once she's over them, she discards them. 

And her lack of awareness is so high that she absolutely has no idea she does this.   
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« Reply #59 on: February 01, 2023, 11:14:30 PM »

Thank you Forever Dad, I will keep in mind all you have said.   
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