The Lost Boy

Lost City

I have posted about my son multiple times. For lack of a better term, we are estranged. What he did in my home is hard to forgive, and unforgettable. I don’t know what our relationship will be over the next few years. I am afraid that when he returns to his mother’s house, that she will push him over the edge, and that he will get bounced back into the system, and never recover. More than any of my kids, I really have no idea how things go for him. With the others, I can imagine personality traits and other possible futures for them. For him, I see nothing. I can’t predict in my imagination where things will go. So much of what he is interested in are lost to him for what he has done.

I love my son, but have no idea how to help him. The pain he has caused and the malice that it was done with terrifies me. I wish his mother would let him walk this path more alone, because I do believe that his success will come only through him doing what needs to be done. He needs to change his thinking. He needs to see how the future looks all alone, and decide how he is going to change that. Her volatility with him scares me. I don’t believe that he and her have fixed much at this time. I think that that she will return to her old ways with him, when things become tough. I truly hope that I am wrong. This would be tragic, and it would start off his early adult life in and out of treatment centers and some form of incarceration. Most people are not able to recover from this.

I think that the GAL is likely trying to pressure me to change my life such that he can live with me full time. I have struggled to understand exactly what he is trying to get to happen, but this would make sense. If he has decided that I might be able to provide the structure that he needs then, he would think that he needs to force me to do that. I don’t believe that I can. Not and still have a life with my other kids. I would have to move to a place where I can provide the controls that he needs, and I would have to dedicate almost all of my time to it. I have said this before, and I stand by it. I can’t sacrifice the other five kids involved for the sake of one. I believe that doing so would create more problems with the other five, and the greater good of everyone would not be served. I struggle a lot with this. I used to believe I could do it all, and I could save the world. Now I realize that I can barely save myself, and that is yet to be seen. I need to know my limits and abide by them to be effective for those that I care about.

I met with my son and his sexual abuse counselor last week. He had a letter for me. The letter was a pretty standard therapeutic apology. When he spoke, I heard for the first time that he understood the impact of his actions. I gave up a long time ago that he would understand that his actions weren’t justified or right because he wanted them to be. My hope has been that he will learn that the impact of his actions on others matters, and that he needs to see past his own desires and impulses before he takes any action. He showed hints of understanding the actions were wrong. It was the best I have seen him in a long time. I still fear that he is duping everyone, and will move forward doing as he pleases. He is heavily medicated, but seems to tolerate it well. This makes me wonder just how strong his will is, and how he will handle coming back to his mothers at semester. I do believe he is in the right environment right now, and wish I could find a way to keep him there. The structure and discipline seem to be working. He is on a path where going from high school to the military would probably increase the foundation that is being built. He showed genuine remorse over not being able to be in my life the way he would like to be, and understanding that it was his actions that led to this situation. I saw him try to work up the emotion when he was talking, but there was a turning point where his real emotions came out. I said at one point that there are a lot of people involved who view my responses to the situation as wrong, but that when I view the complete picture, I cannot abandon the victims in this. This is what he threatened them with. I see the damage done everyday. I see the pain the little boy feels, and have to find ways to help him through it. The wounds are still raw a year later for me, for him, and for his mother.

I call this post “The Good Son,” because like the movie, he is charming and most people wouldn’t believe the things he does. At one time I was duped into believing it was just his relationship with his other, but he was working both of us over pretty good. With her it was escalate the anger, and with me it was tap into my compassion. She also used him for her advantage. They aren’t that different in many ways. Would things have been different for him if we had gone our separate ways years before, I don’t know. I suspect that root of his issues started when he was a baby. His genetics combined with the type or lack of nurture he received in his home with his biological family created his inability to attach in healthy ways. He has coped with this in some very unhealthy ways, and was far smarter than anyone gave him credit for. Sometimes I wonder if I have watched a serial killer grow under my roof, and other times I wonder if only he could recognize the broken pieces inside of him, then maybe he can find a path to a healthy life. I wish life were neat and tidy, and things worked out for the best. I don’t believe that they do for most people anymore. Many people convince themselves that life is great, but in reality life hurts. That is the feeling we have the most of. Its time to find a way out of being stuck in past hurts, and that is part of the reason I write this. It is therapeutic, and helps me let go of things that are stuck in my brain spinning round and round until I am exhausted. I don’t understand illogical responses things much, even when I factor in emotion. I would like to believe in karma, but my life shows no evidence that when someone does things without thought for others, that they are paid back in some cosmic way. My life tells me that those who don’t care for how things affect others will get ahead in life, and have most of what they want. People want to be around them, because they are judged as successful. Those who care for others are treated as weak, and tend to be societies s losers. Its enough to make you want to drop out of society and exist as far off the beaten path as possible. The life of Daniel Boon sounds really great to me most of the time.



The Good Son

the good son

As this blog has covered in varying amounts of detail, my oldest son has been trouble waiting to happen. I can honestly say that I had always thought that one day he would be in serious trouble, but I had hoped that it would happen in a few years when he was an adult. I have struggled to parent him for many years. I have wavered from sympathy for him and his relationship problems with his mother and absolute frustration with his seeming inability to follow the simplest rules. I have been terrified of what call would come at a time when I wasn’t able to protect him from his own actions. Not in the sense of covering them up, but that I wouldn’t be there to stop him. I never imagined that this would be what it was though. My fears revolved around him getting in trouble because of his anger or stealing something. I never imagined that he would do these things.

I should offer a little background. For a few months we had a family live with us, who’s father moved out and abandoned them. The mom and her 3 kids lived in my walkout basement for most of the fall semester of school. She moved out during winter break before Christmas. This was when my oldest was in first grade. When they moved out, I set up the basement for our use again. I forgot to turn on the parental controls on the cable box, and my oldest managed to start watching a porn movie with the other kids. He then began acting out what he saw on one of my daughters. We found out what was going on because my other son told us. We did everything we knew to do, and had the support of many professionals who were telling us that this was likely normal curiosity fueled by the imagery of the porn they saw. He remained in counseling from then on for one thing or other relating to his behavior. We moved a about a year later into a much larger house in a small town. My son has admitted to doing things to his brother while we lived there. I was still on alert for things, and I never knew it happened until he admitted it during a police interview.

This blog has many instances of the problems that he has had with my ex. The extreme behaviors of both of them, and the pain that it has caused me to watch things unfold over the last few years. I realize that I was fully distracted by their dysfunction, and I missed the significant problems that were brewing with my son. His aggressiveness has been increasing and yet he never seems to mature in his thinking and emotional reactions to things.

Fast forward to this summer. I moved in with my fiance’ in May. We rented a place together that was big enough for all of us. There has been some struggles with my ex related to this, but that is for another post. I worked my schedule out over the summer, so that I was working from home two days a week, and going into work early the rest of the week. My fiance’ went in late two days a week as well. This made it work out that my kids were only left home alone for a couple hours two days a week, and one day a week I had it so I was home before 2 PM. I kept returning to angry kids. My son had been causing trouble with the other kids. There are 6 kids total between us. My four and her two. Her two are younger than mine. Early elementary school. I was trying to figure out how to make things work. My oldest was nearly 14 and the others were 12 1/2, 11, and 9. There shouldn’t have been a problem leaving them home alone for a while.

My oldest was sneaking food at every moment. It was accumulating in his room, and beginning to stink. I cleared his room of all furniture except his bed. He continued to find ways to sneak food. I did not know what to do. We were at our wits end. I could not get him to follow the simplest of rules. I never limited how much they could eat. I did limit the food they could eat to healthier choices. He was eating frosting and whipped topping. He would eat an entire box of ice cream treats or popsicles in one sitting. He was getting physically aggressive with the other kids. Towards the end of the summer I got a phone call from my daughter as I was pulling into the neighborhood that he had hit my fiance’s daughter hard and that I needed to come home. I was a minute away and told her I would be there soon. When I got there, he clearly was intimidating them all into changing their story about what happened. I lost my temper and smacked him hard. I knew it was a futile. I just had no idea how to get the message through to him. In my gut I knew something more was going on, but I couldn’t figure it out.

After Labor Day, we were driving back from a family dinner with my fiance’s two kids. We were talking about things, and it was announced to us that her son had been having sex with my oldest. At the time we are talking about a 13 year old and a 7 year old. We were shocked. I had told her about his history before her kids spent anytime with him. I wanted her to be fully aware before she went any further with me. We reported the incident through the county mental health organization that we were already engaged with regarding my son, and to the local police department. Through the process, I found out that my other son had caught them, and thought he had stopped things. He was trying to be the protector, but he failed to tell us what was going on. This is another pattern that I have to deal with now. My younger son has decided that he can protect both his brother and people from his brother all by himself. I fear that he is going to get really hurt soon. Charges against my son have been filed and he is currently being adjudicated through the juvenile justice system.

My ex and I have placed my son in a residential treatment facility for the time being. His time there is almost up. He will be returning to my ex’s house. He cannot return to mine at this time, and I honestly don’t see a time that he will be able to in the future. A lot has to happen before that is something that I will consider. A lot more has to happen before my fiance’ would consider it. Right now she doesn’t see that it could ever happen. He only has four and a half years of school left. I suspect that he will be allowed back for family events over time, but he won’t ever live with me again. My ex asks why I am so aggressively angry about this, when I wasn’t when it happened to our daughter. She doesn’t understand that it is the new understanding I have through the recent events combined with what happened in the past that has me so angry.

I have talked very little with him over the last couple of months. My heart aches at the thought of it. I am sad and angry. When I have talked with him, he lays blame with me for what he did. He blames the kids of my fiance’ for what he did. We did find out later that he had done things with her daughter as well, but she pushed him away and avoided him. Tonight I will have dinner with him and my mom. It will be a hard dinner to get through. He will be hurt by what we have to say, and he will be defensive. I need him to understand that his actions have changed his and other’s lives forever. I don’t know how it will go. I imagine it going so many ways. If he is truly working on changing, then it will end better than it starts. I love him, and hope that he gets the help he needs, but I see my job now as protecting others from him as much as I can.

For the coming years, I will struggle with how to be a father to my son. Many are going to judge me for my actions. Almost none of those people will have been through anything like this. I feel like I am writing the book on how to get through this all by myself. Maybe when the dust clears, I will write that book. My life has not turned out as I expected at all. It is now time to make my hand work from the cards that have been dealt to me. I am not a quitter, though there have been many times through this process that all I want to do is quit, but I keep plugging along. I have to search and see what part I play in the things that have happened to me, because life does not just happen to me, I am a part of the results. It is going to take some time and introspection to get there.



She so crazy!

this is my favorite photo i've ever taken.

No really, she is. I try to convince myself all the time that I have the normal crap, and it feels crazy to me, but every time I do, she proves me wrong. There are a couple good ones going on right now. The things she is or has done recently are 1) She has my kids spying on me, and is trying to convince them that my life is harming them. 2) She is telling me what I can and can’t do with my girlfriend around the kids. 3) She has stolen things from my home without remorse.


This was one that I expected, but not so overtly. I expected that she would question them about what goes on at my house. What surprised me is that she got my middle boy to actually call and text her what was going on. Nothing bad was going on, but it was none of her business, and of course she wants to twist it into something bad. She has been waging a campaign on my oldest boy to convince him that I am harming him. She will go to his counseling sessions, and sit there and bad mouth me for as long as the counselor will let it go on. There are plenty of people who want to tell me how to behave, but none of them really understand what this woman is. She is a border line personality. This means that she projects her own problems on others. She manipulates without remorse, because she has no empathy. Only her end goal is what matters to her. Anyone who has their own opinion is doing it to assault, punish, etc. her

I had a long talk with the kids. Letting them know that it is not okay to do this. I tried not to point out the primary offender. I made it clear that choosing not to talk to me about things at my house, and talking to her instead would be met with consequences. I really hated having to do this. Its what I have avoided, but there is no alternative, but to make them choose who they wanted to piss off. I don’t want them in the middle, but if their mother will put them there, I have to inform them of the boundaries and that crossing them is going to be an issue. My little spy asked me how much trouble he will get into, so I suspect it won’t stop until he is met with consequences. I also told my oldest that he can ask to leave his counseling session and sit in the lobby if his mother needs some therapy regarding me, and that if he needed to talk about me, then it could be done without her in the room, or he can request that I come along instead.


Yes, I have a girlfriend who has met the children. We have been separated for what amounts to about two years at this point. The kids already see us as divorced. She is a nice woman, who really is about as opposite of my ex as a woman can be. She is thin, brunette, thoughtful, and unselfish. She is a single mom. Meaning her kids father lives in another state, and chooses to participate very little in their lives. The reasons why, I do not know, I do know that she actively gives him chances and always leaves frustrated. It was fairly natural for her to meet my kids, because it was nearly unavoidable that I would meet hers.

One evening she was over. She was working on homework, and her kids were going to stay the night, because there wasn’t any school the next day and she had to work. I went to play soccer for about an hour and a half. The boys biological half sister was there. She stayed working on homework and looking after things. At one point she snapped at my oldest and sent him to another room to play video games. I got the same story from both, so I am fairly certain it really was as simple as that. He called his mom crying. The next day I saw her, she went off on me. She told me that she isn’t allowed to babysit the kids. She wasn’t supposed to be emotionally involved with the kids, and a list of other things. Now the kids in question don’t need a babysitter for 90 minutes. She also said she had the right of first refusal as if that were an edict. It was not included in the temporary orders she filed, and I would not have had a baby sitter for such a short period of time. If I did, it would have been a family member of mine. I will not call her and haul the kids to her, and all the other issues that would come with that. I don’t think she understands that its my parenting time, and if she was sitting for the kids, I could make her stay at my house with them.

My core problem here is the idea that there are rules that we have to follow on these things leads to deceit. Probably by her. It is a way to assert authority into your ex’s life through the kids. I know it is. When I challenged her that she had no say in my personal life, her answer was I do when it involves the kids. I know that my oldest has met boyfriends of hers. They weren’t introduced as such, but that is what they were. This happened early. I had to process all of this then. I made the decision that I wouldn’t say or do anything, because I didn’t want her to think she had a say in my life. Its really that simple. I chose to have kids with her, so I chose her as their mother. Whether that was a good choice or not, I have to live with the fact she is going to make decisions I won’t agree with. Not a lot different than being married in that respect. I have to trust that anything short of being dangerous is not my business, and ultimately is not harmful. That is the environment created through divorce. I don’t agree that its best, but it is what I have to live with. She will probably never accept this, but I will enforce it in my life.


I have very few things from our wedding. Maybe nothing now. I don’t care much, because as this blog catalogs, it was largely a farce. I had three trivets I used in the kitchen. They were nice, and were wedding gifts. She saw them when she was dropping off the kids one day. The next day she was picking up my sons for a game while I was already gone with the girls for another game. She took the trivets. I noticed a day or so later when I went to use them.

Since we are in this temporary order stage of divorce, I notified my lawyer, who sent an email to hers. Her response to me was incredible. She told me that it was my bad communication like that scenario is why our marriage didn’t work. She was furious I would dare tattle on her to my lawyer. I let her know that taking things without asking was not communicating, and that she filed the orders that said we were not to remove things from each others property. She apologized angrily, but never returned the items. She threatened to take all my tools in the divorce, and other things. All of which is very unlikely. Our property is essentially divided, and I am sure she doesn’t want to give up the numerous things she took from our marital home along the way without any conversation.

What I find amazing is she thought that this action was acceptable. Even defensible. I know lots of women have done things like this, but most realize that they are doing something wrong, but are also know that they will probably get away with it.

I have a fun decade in my future dealing with this woman. I don’t know what she will do. I kind of hope she does something crazy for everyone to see, so I can just get the kids and let her fade away. I feel sorry for my kids having her as a mom, and even sorrier that I played a part in that. I do hope that things get better, but I doubt she will do anything the easy way. I think that much of what she is doing is an initial salvo in a parental alienation campaign, so I have to be on my toes.



Why Are Men Getting Angry


Over at Dalrock – a case for anger there is a lively discussion over why MRAs/MGTOWs that have given up on American women are so angry over the things they see, because they aren’t the victim. There are so many good comments, you should go over and check it out.

Why am I angry. I am angry at the fact I am at the complete mercy of my wife. I am angry that as a Christian man I was called to be the leader of my house, but the modern feminist thinking that has infiltrated the church has women ruling the house, while showing absolute contempt for their men that don’t lead. Men are told that they are the problem. It doesn’t matter what the problem, its their fault in the family. If they had their act together, then their wife would be happy, their kids would be well behaved, and they would have plenty of money. The modern church has no compassion for its own men. The Bible is full of men who fail in every way. God used them. He held them up as models for us. These are the men we are to look at as our heroes, yet the modern man is not supposed to have their failing, their egos, or their masculinity. The modern man is supposed to have learned the lessons that some of these men took more than a century to learn the moment we declare ourselves a Christ follower. The women of course are subservient to the men. They follow their lead, and when they don’t, it is because the man wasn’t worthy of following. There is no admonishment of women who nag and brow beat their husband, though proverbs is full of admonishments of this kind of behavior. The modern Church has became a Dr. Phil session every Sunday for evangelicals, and a PHD level lecture on Christian philosophy in more tradional churches. Taking a non politically correct stand on anything other than homosexuality (and that is a stretch in many churches) is simply off limits.

I am angry because I am unable to protect my family. The jack booted thugs of our society have displaced me, and if given the word, they will beat me and take me away. I have no option other than that which my wife allows me. I have no fatherly rights without her allowing it. Our world has been turned on its head. The patriarchy protected women, first by allowing the men responsible for them to do so first. The patriarchy allowed men to be men and women to be women. The matriarchy allows none of that. Women and men must be treated the same in the matriarchy, and when men have an advantage simply by being men, they are to be held back by rules that shift the scales. The shift hardly ever actually balances the scales, it usually tips the scales the other way.

What good is the anger? Anger is the fuel for male change. Men will use the anger to fight for the rights that have been taken from them. Men will use the anger to fight for other men who need their help. Men will use the anger to counter their desire for what is normal, and right, because they can’t achieve that in the modern world. The anger protects them, and allows them to not give up. Too many men have found themselves feeling so out of control of their world that they seek the peace they can find in death. As men realize they are not alone in this horror, I pray that we see fewer suicides from these men, and that we come together to fight the war that some say has already been lost.



I Remember When

I remember When

This weekend was a hell of a weekend. I went out with some high school friends. We heard a band, and I at some point went from drinking to way to fucking drunk. I haven’t done that in a long time. Not sure what happened after the piece of pizza. I know that I was pulling idiots off the stage who were messing with the band. Not sure why someone didn’t deck me. I guess the shiny head still intimidates people enough to think twice. Friday night started with a flat tire on the way to my soccer game. I was going to pick up my boys to watch me play. I didn’t make it there. I got the tire fixed before this night on the town.

Saturday morning I headed out to see the boys play soccer at 8AM. My car just died. The idiot me the night before forgot to bring in my phone. It was dead, and not fairing well on the car charger. It was cold. Like 10 degrees cold. I got the car into a parking lot, and managed to slip a text out to my wife as the phone lost its mind. She knew I was not making it to the game. Since the phone wasn’t working, I started to walk. I walked to my parents house. Of course they weren’t home. I then walked home. It was a 6 mile walk in bitter cold. I felt horrible when I got home. I had not dressed for that walk. I couldn’t get warm, I was exhausted from the walk and the night before. My wife came by with the boys to get some shoes. She was pissed, and stomping around. She just kept saying that if I had answered my phone she would have helped. She wouldn’t believe that my phone was dead. She had weaved her story and didn’t want it changed. She had made my boys believe that I didn’t go to their game, because I was lazy and didn’t want to get up. She made everyone believe that at the game. My kids, the other families as if it were any of their fucking business. I had to spend my morning Sunday explaining to all of them what had happened.

I was reminded of how in the past I would have accepted her story, and wove mine around hers. I would do this to avoid the fight, and to avoid embarrassing her. It was one of the ways she would isolate and embarrass me. It was incredibly strange seeing this from a new perspective. Thank goodness I was exhausted, and just wanted to figure out my car and go to sleep. I didn’t respond to her at all. This totally threw her off balance, and so she had to find a place of certainty again, so she begins to agree with me, and let me lead with things regarding the kids for the next few days without any argument. I don’t know that I understand her psychosis, but I am learning how to manage it for my advantage, now if only I can figure out how use that for my kids advantage, or teach them the same thing.

It is in these hard times, that my family steps in and helps. They never did before, because they had been isolated from me by my wife. It these times that I realize how bad things were, and how beat down I was. I still have a hard time understanding how I got there. It is so different than how I was before, and how I feel now. When we first got together I had compassion for her, and the things that had been hard in her life. I now have contempt, because she has used those things, which were very hard to manipulate me and others to be put under her will. It is sad. So many people who have wanted to lift her up, and help her, and she has abused that every step of the way. Not this guy anymore.



Breath of Fresh Air

Breathe Deeply

As I said before. I met a woman that is a breath of fresh air. Of course my expectations are different. I am not looking for a wife. I am looking for the finer things women have to offer without the mess. I don’t know that its possible, but I am willing to try. She is 14 years older than me. This of course presents many long term issues, but for now it nice. She has a different perspective than the women of my generation. She lived out the hard times. She doesn’t throw a lot of bullshit my way. There just doesn’t seem to be the games that I have had to deal with in the past, so either she is running a much more complex game, and I am toast or I have met someone that at least for the time being is going to be engaging to get to know and enjoy some time with her.

She gives me hope that things are totally ruined between men and women. The culture is a mess, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t navigate it without dropping out. At least I hope so. I think marriage is broken beyond repair. I don’t believe that it can be fixed. Now its time for us men to create a new deal. What does that look like? I think first is we have to preserve a distance. We can’t move in or have them move in. To eliminate our own spaces is death like modern marriage. Pretty soon the laws treats it the same anyway. We need to have strong boundaries in our financial, personal, and love life. We can’t let the modern woman invade to deeply, or at least not too quickly. The commitment levels are just not what is needed to make it worth the potential costs. It used to be a man knew that he was getting someone who would stick by him through the worst of things in marriage, but now it is until she has become bored and bled you of your emotional self worth. This is not what men thought they were getting, but they must understand most women get married believing they have an escape hatch.

I guess this is why a widow is attractive to me. Not a cougar, though she might be one, but a woman who stood by her husband until he died. Still looked at him as her strong man, even when he was weak and dying. This is what has drawn me to this woman. Now I must be cautious, because I am not that man to her. I will see where life takes me, but I don’t plan on this being a solo ride. I don’t want to give up the greater things women have to offer me. It is just time to think of these relationships differently than before.



Hoovering and Projecting

The Movie: Borderline Biennial / Abode of Chaos 09/09/09 - BLB-999-Abode-of-Chaos-23

I find that I am constantly struggling to understand what it is that she is up to. I have come to the conclusion that she is much more intentional in the things she does than I have ever given her credit for. I have also come to the conclusion that she is a much better actress than I would have given her credit for. Vox Day has pointed out on multiple occasions that just because women are more emotionally driven than men, does not mean that they are not extremely calculating and willing to wait for the “right moment.”


First lets define this. In the BPD survivor world this is a term for when a BP person tries to draw you back into their life. They do the things that they know make you feel good. It is all for show, and it only lasts as long as it has to. It is usually the same things that drew you to them to begin with. So my wife knows that little flirtatious touches draw me in. She has been touching my chest as she approaches, and resting a hand on the center of my back. As we sit at some event for our children she will brush her foot lightly against my leg. She stayed to watch me play soccer the other night. She also has asked more about my father recently than she did any other time in the last year. It is so tempting to be sucked in by these actions, but resisting them generally frustrates her, and I get to see her rage flare up against others, so I am reminded of what I no longer have to live with.


This is another BP trait, and it is one that most BPs are extremely convincing at. They project their feelings, actions, emotions, and motives onto someone else, and seem to be able to get others to believe it. Sometimes even the person they are projecting these things onto. Just today she quickly got angry with my middle son over not seeing his grade card. She then got mad when his feelings were hurt that she never acknowledged him getting into the geography bee. It moved from him to my older son, because he defended me for throwing out my youngest daughter’s grade card after seeing that she had a nearly perfect first semester of second grade. She then turned things around as the boys left, and cornered me asking what all the hatred is all about from the boys, and what happened to make her deserve that. It makes me sad to watch. They are angry. Angry about her being angry all the time. Angry about her destroying our family. Angry most of all that she blames them for her anger, though she has been angry most of her life. I don’t know what she expects to gain from this. My suspicion is she will eventually discard the boys in the same way she did me. She will make it their fault, and I will have to put them back together after their mother is done. I only hope it happens sooner than later, so I have more time to put them back together before they have to enter the hard world out there on their own.

I may never know her drivers. I may never understand why she does what she does. I am not sure she knows or understands herself. I will have to deal with it, because like it or not, once there are kids involved marriage is forever in some form or other.



Physical Separation

Greatwall China [1907] Herbert G. Ponting [RESTORED]

The six plus months of time that we were living in the same house after she said she wanted a divorce were some of the hardest of my life. As covered in some of my other posts, she was all over the place in how she interacted with. She slept in the guest room, she slept in our bed. I refused to leave our bedroom. She wanted this, so she could come or go, but I was staying. She erected a pillow wall between us, and when challenged she took it down. She would flirt to get my attention, and then act offended if I responded. She would yell at me for not trying, or not knowing her, or some other thing, but also yell at me when I demonstrated I knew her, or tried too hard. One night she screamed at me “I am still leaving your ass, nothing has changed, and you can keep that little psychopath(the oldest boy).” She would go out, and not come home until it was almost time to wake up. She would leave and not tell me where she was going or what she was doing, and then come home and wake me up angry that I hadn’t stayed up waiting for her. It was exhausting. I am not sure what she was doing. The only thing, I can come up with is she was working up the courage to actually leave or to get me to leave or kick her out.

As things go, she told me in early June was moving out, and taking the kids. Justifying this action by saying we had talked about moving the kids back to the city. I was a little shell shocked, and didn’t know what to say. The next day I made it clear that I was not going to be a weekend Dad, and that I would be on her lease and have a key. I would be able to spend time with my kids at the apartment without her until things changed. She agreed. I later found out that she agreed, because she couldn’t get the lease without me. She didn’t make enough money, since we still have payments on our marital home. I helped her move out, mostly because I didn’t want strangers and her moving out stuff without my knowing what was being taken.

She spent the first night in her apartment “alone.” I don’t know who she spent it with, nor do I care anymore. I did then. The next night I left the kids with her. When I left the apartment after saying my good byes, I was walking down the stairs. My lips became numb, and I just started to shutter. I couldn’t cry yet, I just shook and my face ached. I have never felt a pain like that before. It was the reality of the loss of my marriage, and the new relationships I would have to build with my kids just overwhelming me. These waves would wash over me for the next few weeks. Sometimes they would last hours, and other times minutes. There were times, I would leave work and just walk for miles to distract myself.

I spent the last part of the summer alternating with her at the apartment. Initially it was not so bad. It was hard to be in a place, so intentionally devoid of me. It was uncomfortable. She then started going out while I was with the kids, and coming back to the apartment and sleeping on the couch. After a while, she made it clear she wasn’t going to sleep on the couch, and I wasn’t sleeping in the same bed as her. I slept on the couch a few times. I started to then bring the kids back to our home when I had them. Once school started, she played nicer about leaving the apartment, but I was quickly becoming exhausted with my drive after finishing with kids activities. I wasn’t getting anything done I needed to get done.

She had spent some money to prepare her apartment. It was my understanding that this was coming out of the fund we had set up for vacations. It wasn’t she was saving that for living on. She spent the money that I had set aside to pay the mortgage. After failing to pay the mortgage, I decided that I needed to find a place closer to my kids, and before my credit was smashed to the point no one would rent to me. I wanted a place with a garage for their bikes, and a yard to play in. I also wanted a two story place, so when I was their alone, I wasn’t constantly faced with empty bed rooms that should have my kids in them. I found a duplex that meets the requirements. I got moved with the help of some old and new friends.

I had spent a week without my kids, and so was going to spend the next week with them. I really didn’t have the place ready for them. Partly because she had left the kids with me during the move, so she could take one of my sons to a soccer tournament that we had agreed to not play in. I was now shuttling my other son to his games for a tournament, while trying to get my place ready. My youngest daughter made the boys and girls rooms look ready to sleep, and wanted to stay the night. Of course I didn’t have mattresses yet, so that wasn’t an option. She kept repeating how great it was that I had got them a house. It had a basement, a garage, and a yard. I was glad that she was happy with my choice. I hadn’t been able to include them in the looking at places, because my wife had kept putting off talking about what was really going on between me and her with them.

The first week with the kids was a bit crazy. I didn’t have any dishes yet, or much food for that matter. I also didn’t have time to prep everything for them. I am still working on some of that. I had to get them to school, and pick them up. I live in the boundaries for different middle and elementary schools, so no bus when they are with me. Which is OK. I enjoy taking them and picking them up. Its a good chance to talk to them. They are a captive audience at least for a little while. My wife was constantly making sure I knew where I was screwing things up. I wasn’t getting the girls hair right. I needed to get my own hair products for her( I bought the ones she was using now ). Well none of this mattered much, because I could hang up the phone, and it was over. No having to talk about it as we went to bed, no waking up to the same conversation, etc.

This process has started the road to establishing what life is like with Dad, and how it is different than life with Mom. The kids are noticing that Mom dominated life when we were together. I am getting questions like why we never did this or that before. I have to answer sadly that I didn’t make it priority. I don’t want to say that when I tried, I was blocked one way or another by their mom. I don’t want to start having negative messages about each other going to the kids, even if I know its true. I have also began at this point to establish that my opinion may not be the same as it was when we were together, and that I expect my voice to be a bit stronger now in our new circumstances. New boundaries are being established. This is good.



The Wedding

Zombie Wedding

We prepared for the wedding like most couples. My wife to be’s stepmother inserted her nose into thing continually, which was particularly annoying since they weren’t paying for any part of the wedding. Needless to say, I lost almost everything that mattered to me, because in the words of this woman, it would be rude to our guest. These are simple things like having the pictures taken after the wedding. As we prepared, we went through premarital counseling with our pastor. We were pretty much in line with all our beliefs. This is something I have come to learn is normal for women like my wife. They are very good at reading you, and adapt to you, until the hook is set, and things can turn nasty. Preparing for the wedding was stressful. We had our fair share of fights. I was consoled by others that this was a normal part of the process. I was also reminded that this was her day, and that I should let her have it. I should only fight for what really matters, so I gave ground continually. This became the metaphor for our life to come. I gave ground to keep her happy, and she took it and more. I had never been a weak person, but I was quickly becoming one with her.

My part of the deal was the honeymoon, so I worked out a deal for a cabin in Colorado that backed up to a beautiful cliff. There were hot springs with a spa just down the road, and hiking and adventures all around. I planned the honeymoon. She kept trying to interfere with other ideas, but I insisted that this was going to be my contribution to the event. I took a contract job setting up a new office with computers and cabling all the network and telephones. I was able to make enough money on this job to pay for the honeymoon, and most of the wedding. This seemed to win me points for a while with her, but it didn’t last long.

We did the wedding rehearsal the night before the wedding. The rehearsal went fine, with plenty of fun jokes to go around. I had picked up the tux for my ring bearer, so after the rehearsal I dropped off the tux. Me and the father talked for about 30 minutes, and then I went to the rehearsal dinner. When I arrived, my future wife was in a snit. She was incensed. She was furious that I had not just dropped off the tux and run out immediately. She also knew that this was not my personality, and that 30 minutes was a good job. She paraded me around the tables to analogize to everyone who came to the dinner. It was uncomfortable and odd. I chocked it up to being a man, and not understanding the proper graces for such an event. The truth is, this was just another way that she exerted control over me. It placed her in charge of the event for the night, and kept me uncomfortable all night. I was not able to relax at all until she had left, and I had returned to my parents house. This was a significant turning point as she fully came from adoring me to targeting me for her rage.

We plowed ahead to the wedding day. We took all our pictures before the wedding, so that we wouldn’t be rude to our guests and keep them waiting after the ceremony. To prepare for the pictures, we were supposed to meet alone before hand, and enjoy a few minutes to calm our nerves. Supposedly this was a common way to do things. Well this worked out about as well as putting a couple of dogs with their tail tied together in china store. When I came in she wasn’t prepared, and she became angry, very angry. Instead of having a nice intimate moment, we had a fight and we were far from relaxed when we went to take pictures.

The wedding went off with all its appropriate ceremony and beauty. Our ring bearer and flower girl were adorable as they giggled going down the isle. We were married with traditional vows. Vows that I truly believed and have taken very seriously. I had no intent to ever break those vows, and to give her grace when she struggled with them. I had come to the conclusion long before I was married that I was not entering a contract with my wife, but a covenant with my God. It did not matter what she did, I would honor the commitment to my God. I have done this to my best ability to this day. There have been times that I have struggled, and in recent years, I have struggled with my understanding of God, in part because of my marriage. God has been good, and has rejuvenated me as I endure this latest challenge. I have been reminded that it was I that went away, not him. Apparently my wife to be viewed her vows as a promise, and mine as a contract with her for her alone to interpret its meaning. A future post will explain what I mean here, for now just take it for what it says, and how that might impact motivations and attitudes.

The reception was a normal affair. We signed the wedding certificate, and did all the toasts with sparkling cider or grape juice, since we were at the church. Everyone had a good time. We did all the cheesy things like cutting the cake, and her putting frosting on my face. We spent about an hour milling around and shaking hands and hugging friends and family. She had arranged for a limousine to pick us up, and take us to get more pictures at a park, which became tiring. I was ready to be done, but went along, because that is what a good groom does on his wedding day. It is her day after all. We then went to the nursing home that her mother was at. We took pictures with her, and then went on to our hotel. I relaxed while she took her hair down, and changed clothes. We ordered in pizza, and relaxed together. Then came the moment. Our first time together. It was uncomfortable, as I expected for all the stress of the wedding, and time that we had waited. What I didn’t expect was how demanding she would be. Her controlling attitude through the whole affair almost ruined it completely for me, and by that I mean I had to work extra hard to get myself back into performance shape, even though I had been ready from about the time she started taking down her hair. This was only the beginning, the honeymoon was still to come.



In the Beginning

Disney - Let the Adventure Begin

I was a mere 22 years old when this story begins. My wife to be was 28, and as it turns out she was prowling for young men who hadn?t already been burned by women like her. This was nearly 15 years ago.

The beginning of our relationship was exciting. It was everything I had desired. I was active in my church, and had help start a class for young singles. The only singles class our church had at the time was full of middle aged divorced people and people who never managed to get married during the first round of marriages for their peers. This class over the year it had existed had already become a fun place for all of us. Some people were dating, but most just enjoyed the things we all did together. It was at this time that I met her. She had just moved back to our city. We hit it off right away. We talked for hours the first day that we met. I recognized her last name, and realized that I knew her sister and stepsister from college. Over the course of the next few months we spent most evenings together. The only ones we didn?t were the ones she was working.

Our time together was exciting we talked about everything. We did a considerable amount of kissing and heavy petting. We drew the line at taking our clothes off, we both wanted to avoid sex before marriage. Not that either of us were virgins. She had a bit of a sorted sexual history, including abuse as child, and I had been very sexually active with a girlfriend in high school. Knowing what I know now, I would have stopped the relationship knowing her history. Too many guys had screwed her up. The sexual abuse had messed with her ability to truly enjoy sex. This is the first of many red flags that I ignored as I plowed ahead toward marital bliss.

Christmas time was coming, and we had been dating for about four months. I decided I would ask her to marry me. This was incredibly stupid, but hind site is definitely better than foresight. On Christmas Eve I asked her to marry me. She of course said yes, because this woman wanted to be married before she reached her expiration date. You may think I exaggerate, but she intentionally picked a wedding date that was before her 30th birthday, but after my 23rd. Things started to change before the New Year.

She became completely preoccupied with the wedding. I became an after thought. Our physical contact was less, and she would get angry that I didn?t touch her as much. I didn?t really understand what was going on, but I tried harder to satisfy her. What man wouldn?t want more physical attention? It was difficult, I didn?t understand why, but she seemed to be putting space between us, and blaming me for it. At the time I couldn?t totally understand what was going on. She even became critical of the ring that I spent a good 25% of what I earned a year at the time on. As I look back, this was clearly her drawing the battle lines of who was in charge, and dominant in the relationship. I say this with very little pride. I was a leader. I was one of the dominant guys in all my social groups, and a solid competitor no matter what game I played. I didn?t know this game, and as I sit here today, I am rebuilding my reputation as a leader and a guy that other guys want to be around. She beat me down, and I let her without knowing what was happening. I just wanted to please the woman I was preparing to spend the rest of my life with.

The wedding plans went on, and this behavior continued. I never did assert myself effectively. I blame this on the next red flag that should have had me running. She was seven years older than me. Men don?t marry older women. They want you because they can control you. If they get to you before you are experienced enough to see what they are doing, then they are in control. It just breaks the natural order of things. If you think that I am nuts, then look around at your friends who have married and the woman is the same age or older. Most of them aren?t happy, even if they stay together, and if they are happy, they had to work out the whole the man is the leader issue to get there, because she won?t respect him otherwise.

During the summer before our wedding, she went back to the place she had lived before she met me to visit the people she had spent the previous year of life with. She was gone for ten days, and managed to call me finally on the eighth. I was mad, and concerned. I didn?t understand that this too was a way to put me in my place. I wait for her, not her for me. I had stupidly taken out a little too much credit, as many of us do our first step into adulthood. I was in over my head. I told her about this when we talked on the phone. She took out a loan and paid off the debt I had, and then we finished paying it off together before the wedding day. I thought this was one of the most wonderful things. I thought it showed her commitment. I was wrong. This was just one of the many things that have been used against me in any argument we have over money. It was the handle to her sledge hammer to beat me down, and keep me out of our finances over the years.

Well we made it to the wedding day. I was learning my place in the relationship, rather than creating it. Things didn?t change much. She became cooler and cooler towards me. I chalked this up as being pre-wedding stress, and didn?t give it much more thought. During this time there were many arguments and disagreements. I am fairly certain that I didn?t win a single one of them. This again should have scared me off. Later I was blamed for bad decisions, because I didn?t stand my ground on things I was right about. I wasn?t even married yet, and I was already in a no win situation with her. A pretty good start, don?t you think.