April 11

Rash Decisions Early in Separation

Decisions, Decisions

My life came crumbling apart. My hopes and dreams were being destroyed forever. I was being faced with a life that I never wanted for me or my children. This was a life that I had clung to far beyond its reality. The reasons and much of the process are recorded in the blog. If you are interested read them. Much of my writing come out of my tears and anger, and the process of clearing myself of these emotions to move forward to the next steps in my life. These are processes that most men have to do on their own when they face the same problems in life.

My first reaction was to cling too hard. I thought a lot of “if only” thoughts. I fought to get her to stay. This was a purely emotional response. Men need to understand that by the time she has told you she wants a divorce, she has at the very least had fantasies of the moment. She is firmly planted on the idea. She more than likely has a plan and she may go along with you for some of these things, but she will execute the plan. Mine had not planned much beyond getting out of the house with me. She went to counseling and all the other things I asked, but she still moved out on her original schedule. The right thing to do when she says she wants a divorce is not to panic. It is simply to ask what her plan is, and remain as disinterested as possible. It is unlikely anything that you do at this point fixes your marriage, but if there is any hope of re-capturing her heart, it is in showing that you are going to be just fine without her. Marriage counseling is generally for chumps. It isn’t effective, and the advice you will usually get comes down to you aren’t doing enough things she wants you to do, but if you look at your lifestyle, she determines what you do most of the time. Man up and do what you want to do. Set boundaries while you are still in the house, and take charge of how your family is going to split. If she is truly determined to leave, then you will have some control of the process. If she is not determined to leave, then you are showing the masculine traits she needs to see to be attracted to you.

We lived twenty miles outside the nearest suburb. She wanted to move into the suburbs when she left. She changed the kids schools and moved. I probably could have stopped her, and maybe I should have. That doesn’t matter so much as I didn’t even evaluate what was best for me and the kids. I could have made a lot of choices here. Changing schools is a joint decision. I could have immediately gone to court for temporary orders to require them to stay in their current schools. Maybe I should have. I won’t know the answer to that, but I didn’t even think about it. I was responding to her plan and actions. I saw some value in the move. All the kids activities were too far away from home. We had talked about moving before we talked about divorce, so it was reasonable. Boy what a trap that can be. Try arguing with a reasonable suggestion. Its tough. Its hard to argue that because of this change, I don’t want to do the other thing that we already agreed might be good.

I tried parenting from this town, but it was hard. I was scattered, and she spent the mortgage to move without telling me. I could have negotiated a new deal with the bank, and maybe I should have. I would have a house that is large enough for me and my girlfriend and all of our kids. They could all have their own room, which is an amazing thing. I loved the house. It fit my personality. If I had known she would move again a year later, I probably would have. I should have guessed that she would, but I wasn’t thinking much about things. I was just reacting. The bank would have offered me a new loan that is cheaper than anything I can rent now.

I tell you this, not so much because I regret the decision, but because I want men to think before the act. Stop reacting, and start making decisions based on the new circumstance. Don’t get railroaded by a woman who has been plotting for six months or more for this moment. She has the edge because of this, so slow down and really think about it. It is too late to save your marriage, so don’t run down that path, because it wastes precious time. If there is a chance to save the marriage, it will happen by you being assertive and direct in handling this circumstance. She says she wants a divorce, so go get a lawyer. File temporary orders that grant you equal time, the house, reasonable child support payments or none if you think you can make that work with her. Take charge and get the ball rolling. Don’t play softball, be a man. The divorce ball doesn’t need to run any faster after that, but now you have sure footing guaranteed by the courts. None of this prevents her from false abuse allegations, and if she is of that low of a character, then good luck. You can only hope that she is terribly inconsistent and you will prevail in court.

Once you have the first pieces in place, then take your time and do as much as you can without lawyers. This will save a fortune. I didn’t get those things in place, and when she filed, she tried to extract a large amount of child support. Thankfully the courts don’t respond quickly, so even though the orders were in place we negotiated a different deal that will hold from here on out. In the final orders any arrears can be cleared with a court order.

She had the first choice of stuff as she moved out. She didn’t take the newer furniture, and is pissed she made that decision, but we each got enough stuff. I don’t care if it was fair or not. There was no making both of totally happy. When I moved there was a ton of things left at the house. We took our time and took things as we saw the need. Ultimately she took more than me, but on the first move, I got what I cared about. Our stuff is thus divided with no real arguments. A few complaints, but no arguments. We will codify that in the divorce decree and its done.

I have written this over a course of a few days. It may not be totally congruent, but I am going to end it here. Slow down fellas, and make sure you are acting not reacting through the end of your marriage.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

April 9

The Letter I Will Never Send

Package from The Letter writers alliance

Dearest Ex Wife,

I married you under the pretense that we would walk through the ups and downs of life together. We promised that through good times and bad, that we would maintain this bond. We promised to be faithful to each other. We did this not only for each other, but for the future children we would have. We would build a family and live our life the best we know how. I entered into this union without an exit plan. I took vows before my God, my friends, and my family to proclaim that intended to spend the rest of my life with you as your husband. I had dreams for what our life would be like, but I also knew that things could change and that times could be hard, and may be forever, but I took those vows intending to keep them.

You married me under the pretense that we would walk through the ups and downs of life together as well. When times were good, you were not there by my side, you chose the company of others. When times were bad, you blamed me for the problems we both played our part in. You promised to be faithful, yet you were not. You thought very little of our children as you chose to leave my home and make a home for yourself separate from me. You entered our union knowing that you always had an exit plan, and you continually reminded me that you could pull that trigger anytime you wanted to. You had dreams that I would support you financially and emotionally in all that you do, whether it benefited our family or not. You were prepared to break our union when things became hard, and so you have. You took these vows hoping to keep them, if they weren’t too inconvenient for your current dreams.

I offered to pay for every expense for our children. Your only obligation would be to provide a home for them when they are with you. I told you I did not want to pay the state to pay you in my stead. I was preparing to have civil papers drawn up for your review, so that we could finish our broken union peacefully. You chose to go to a lawyer and demand child support that would of put me out of my home, and have run up lawyer fees on my side alone that far exceed anything we would have spent before. You have sought every advantage to take my money as your own, not just now but for the future. You have made me desire nothing more than for my children to grow up, so I can be done with you. Every dollar that I have to give to you is a reminder of the pain that you have caused me and our children with your selfish actions.

I cry for our son, who you have no empathy for. You treat him as if there is something wrong with him. I do not miss living with you, but I do miss the opportunity to act as his shield from your rages. You have made him the bad guy of the family. The other kids do not treat him well, and this is a direct result of the way you cast him to them. I regret that we ever adopted our children, because of the pain that you have and will continue to cause them. I cried with my father before he died about this very thing. It is a horrible day when you realize that your children would have been better off, if they had not been brought into your life. The destruction you leave in your wake will live on for generations, and there is very little I can do to fix this. I can only hope that my presence and actions will give them hope as they grow up.

You will never understand these things. You believe that you have done nothing to cause others harm. You were a miserable wife, but I would have stood by your side throughout the decades, because that is the promise that we made. You have changed me forever. You have stripped me of hope for my future. My life still remains subject to your whim. You know that I will do little to manipulate you, because I try to do the right thing, and this gives you freedom to do as you please. If only you could give me the same courtesy, but I will not have that courtesy from you. You are one of the most selfish people I have ever met, and sadly I thought I could build a life with you. I should have left you the night you told me that you cheated on my after a homecoming football game. I was stupid and overly committed to our marriage to do that. Now I must pay that price.

You left me to seek happiness, but you will not find it. You will constantly be dogged by the advantage you didn’t take. You will be the victim of people who won’t put up with your behavior. You will never understand that whatever advantage you take of me, I will be more content than I have ever been. Happiness will come and go in my life. It is not a state that sticks to anyone because their life is on the right track. I will live my life to love the people who I choose to have in it, and I will be content in the fact I value them more than I have in the past. For this, I thank you. Without knowing how hard things could be, I would not understand the value of these people in my life. Without the trials that you put me through, I would not know who would stand by me. Without your willingness to walk out on me, I would not know that most people do not walk away so easily and that most people do not hang the threat over my head for advantage. Without this, I would be a slave to those people who would, but now I will not put up with it.

Your last act is your worst. You chose to interpose the state into our relationship. We could have made things work without state interference. You know have made me subject to the state to pay you for the privilege of being one parent of our children. What you do not understand at this time, is you have also made yourself subject to their authority. You have taken away our ability to just work things out, because now that the state is there, they will remain there. I would be foolish to negotiate with you without the state involved. They are now an agent in our relationship. You will not feel the impact of this perhaps for years, but feel it you will. There is a reason that most divorced women end up on the loosing end of the financial game after the kids have grown up and moved out.

I wish this was good bye, but I will have to deal with you for the rest of my life. You will be a thorn in my side for years to come, and will most certainly manipulate my children against me as you already have. It is not fair to them, but it doesn’t change that you will do as you do. I wish you find your happiness, for it goes better for my children if you do. Any ill will I have to you must be suspended, because my children’s lives are also tied to your fortunes. You are selfish, manipulative and mean. These are the things I will remember you by.

Warm Regards,

Ex Husband.

There is more I could write, but I just needed to vent a little of what I would like to put in a letter to her.

Ten-Fourend,

JeD