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Filed Divorce

Old 05-26-2011, 08:39 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hugs, prayers and support from here, Shellcrusher. I've also followed your story and see that you had no choice. Neither did I, and never imagined I would be here. But almost 11 months after a very contentious divorce was finalized, I can tell you the peace (and physical safety) in my home is a blessing, and will be for you, too. There are difficult days ahead, but you've taken the first step for yourself and your little one, and that first step is difficult. I applaud your courage, and encourage you to take one day, one issue at a time and do the next right thing. You'll get there.

Prayers continue.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:55 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Your son is very lucky to have you for a father.

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Old 05-26-2011, 09:34 PM
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Nothing ever works out the way it's supposed to.
I'm simply afraid at this point to post this message.

I'm not prepared to do this. My therapist cautioned me to not make any choices in an emotional state. The light bulb never really went on for me as discussed in previous threads.

The big setback came after leaving work. I realized that I would have been filling divorce a day before my sons birthday. He doesn't know the difference but I do and I wouldn't be okay doing that. Quack or no quack, I'm very sure that my wife would have killed herself. It was nothing she said. I hadn't even talked to her. I just felt it. I knew it.

Once I got home, already plagued by this feeling of the birthday, I was greeted by my wife and her mom. There was an intervention and all the cards were laid out crystal clear.

I know, I know. That's her mom. She's preserving her child. She's enabled her child forever. She was very collected about it and after 4 hours of actually talking, fighting, crying, asking more tough questions, and more boundary setting by everyone, I concluded that I simply cannot go through with this.

My entire family was behind me and actually gunning for it to happen and that was unsettling. They were agreeing with me to not file until after his birthday but rather the day after. Now that I've backed off, I'm left to explain myself and my lack of strength to do this. My parents are not easily swayed one way or the other so I believe or rather fear that they will start seeing this as a cry wolf thing with me and I don't know how to handle that. I feel like my whole family will be disappointed in me.

The codie in me is unimaginable and just as I felt stuck before, I am again. I was charging full steam but now I feel weaker than I've ever been in my life. For all the good I was trying to do for me and my son, I feel like a bad dad cause I can't do this. I feel like I failed. For all the common stories we share here, I'm hoping someone out there has been here.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:51 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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You are ready when you are ready. You are a smart man. You have your ducks in a row, consulted an attorney, and have a therapist. You are moving at your own pace, and that is as it should be.

And heaven's yes there are those of us that have been right where you are. If we took a show of hands regarding who filed for divorce, and then later put the breaks on...well you wouldn't be able to see the ceiling with all the hands in the air. Don't get to mired down in self doubt. There is stuck, and then there are speed bumps. I think you have to much awareness to really be stuck.

I did exactly that. I don't have huge regrets with putting the breaks on the divorce, even though I went through with it not long after. In hindsight I wish I'd have just gone through with it but perhaps mentally/emotionally I needed that last dance to be able to fully move on. It is a horribly painful process and we need to be sure. We need to be ready.

My big regret is that my boundaries were so undefined and wobbly. I regret not maintaining an emotionally safe home for my kids and myself. That is not easily undone for any of us.

Be gentle with yourself right now. You are human and doing the next right thing sometimes changes.

Be kind and honor yourself. Know your boundaries and protect them. Fight to keep your home, your son, and your inner self *safe*. You do not necessarily need a divorce to do that.

ETA: Don't get mired in the details. I don't even remember the day I filed. I don't even remember the exact day the divorce was final. I spent a couple of *years* waiting for the next important event or day to come and go. Not very smart. My kids are much older and while they have a lot of memories that are not good, I doubt they have an inkling about the details.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:31 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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You're being pushed and pulled all ways just now. Take a breath. Find some space and think things through/talk to your therapist. I think you might be in a more emotional state after your MIL's 'intervention' than you realise. You don't have to make a decision right now. There is NEVER a good time for divorce. Divorce is hard and painful. You have your plan, you have your support system - use them. And whatever you decide know SR is still here for you!
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:29 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I feel for you shell crusher.

It took me a long time to file. I was afraid that if I divorced my exah, he would commit suicide or spiral even futher into his addiction and my son would lose his father forever.

When push came to shove, the main reason I filed was to protect myself legally and financially from my exah's behavior. I was afraid he would kill someone driving while drunk or high or have drugs in our home or car when our son was present. I worried about protective services. I worried about alot of things. But when I finally got to the point where i worried more about MY wellbeing and the wellbeing of our son than I did about what was going to happen to him, I did it.
'
In hindsight, I should have done it alot sooner.

I know filing seems so "final" but you never know what the future holds. Many times, its just a way to protect ourselves legally from the fallout of their behavior.

I know its tough.
Try to put your needs first. It's the only way out of codependent hell.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:40 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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We really feel for you Shellcrusher in your moments of tough times.

It will all sort out for whats best for the all of you.

Just wishing ya Peace and Strength for you and your family.

Take Care Brother,
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:34 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Shell- I totally totally understand where you are at and I think you're really strong to come here and bare everything and be so honest. I've been (and at moments lately still) right where you are. I have a lawyer, have met with her but have not filed and there are many reasons for this, not the least of which are guilt (whether that's rational or not, it is what it is).

You got blindsided by the intervention and then to not have your parents backing you up/offering moral support... That's got to be so hard.

You have taken a lot of positive steps toward protecting yourself and your son and none of that is negated by your waiting to file...

You are a great Dad, you are overwhelmed and rightfully so by a terrible situation and please don't be hard on yourself.

Your post gives me courage to know that if I falter and can't follow through right now, I'm not the first nor the last to do so.

Thinking of you and sending you warmth...
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:41 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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A right answer can be the wrong answer if it comes at the wrong time.
You have every right to change your mind, or put on the brakes, or whatever else makes you feel more comfortable and more satisfied with yourself.
As long as you keep the needs of your son and yourself as priority over your wife's feelings at this time, then you will get where you need to be when you need to be there.


Do what feels right and you'll learn you're doing what's right for your situation for this point in time.

You don't have to save the world today.
You just have to keep your son safe, and there is currently a plethora of options for doing that.
If divorce doesn't feel like the right one, pick something else.

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Old 05-27-2011, 08:03 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Shellcrusher....

You need to go easy on yourself right now. Your emotions are going to be the wildest roller coaster ride you have EVER been on! There's the ups ("That's it! I'm done! Let's get this $hit done!!!!) and the downs ("OMG! What have I done!!! I can't do this! This is destroying us! I need to give him/her another shot!")... and everything in between.

Read my posts... I swear when I go back and look at them from March/April... I can FEEL the highs and lows. It is HARD, really really freakin' hard... and so I've learned to ride out the highs and lows. Don't make any decisions until the extreme emotions settle down.

The thing that has helped me is to not make my decisions based on other people's feelings or opinions (unless "they" are people from Al-anon or SR). My family and friends, and AH's family & friends all have vested interest in our success/failure... and because of that, they aren't a reliable source of input, so to speak.

You have very good, FACTUAL reasons for moving forward with a divorce. So you're having a batch of doubt right now... that's OKAY. It's just a phase, ride it out. Don't change your course, or make any decisions. Let your foot up off the gas, and coast for a little while. Sit and observe, and more WILL be revealed.


I'm right there with you... the whole input from the neighbor has stirred up AH, and has brought out some good behavior... talk about tempting the codie in me, eh?!?! So, I'm sitting back, and observing. Not making any decisions, or changing course... divorce process is still chugging along... but I'm not "hammering" down on it like I was a week or so ago. Giving myself a breather to feel and watch.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:06 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Shell, small steps will still get you to your destination. Delaying for a bit won't hurt anything. I'm not sure where you stand right now, if you are simply delaying the divorce or giving her another chance?

Either way or thought and prayers are with you all.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:26 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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What did your wife commit to in the discussion? It was extremely serious for you to take the decision that you did, do you have a feeling that she responded with equal seriousness and a real decision to change?
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:31 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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(((SHellcrusher))) I'm just catching up on your situation and want to give you a hug. I'm sorry about all this crap.

PLEASE be gentle with yourself and release all those negative judgements if you can. Remember that FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS. Just because you FEEL weak doesn't mean you ARE weak. What it means in reality is that you are dealing with something that is extremely difficult!!! I think you are doing the very best thing of all by just maintaining your appointments with your therapist. She will help you to come to the best conclusions for YOU and in the proper timeline!

Most importantly you have more information now! Check the facts against your emotional reactions. When you release the emotion and judgements and just look at the facts, it will help you to calm down and focus on your goals and heart's desires (not those of your AW, MIL or parents!).

You are being so smart to post here and get this stuff out on the table. Keep doing it.

You will be fine....better than fine....these things take time. Each step is an awakening.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:36 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I'm not sure if this has happened to you, but my lawyer was a pit bull on crack and at times she was difficult to manage. She wanted to file for this and motion for that.. throw this stone and cast that rock... it was adding a lot of stress to an already stressful situation. I had to remind her that I knew Mel and how she would react and also knew how to plan activities to minimize my stress.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:48 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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My MIL talked me into taking him back, trusting him again, more times than I can count. I did the dutiful obedient wife thing. Then after I kicked him out I called to let them know - She said "well, we always knew this day would come where we'd have to take care of him again"

She had hung me (and more importantly, her two innocent grandkids) out to dry all those years because SHE didn't want to "take him back over" Nice! In the meantime, we'd had tons of debt to our name, outbursts, chaos, mental and verbal abuse, etc. That's what my kids experienced because I didn't walk away from her (MIL) when she was talking.

Oddly, my FIL, who was seeing the massive amount of money that had been spent on drugs told me privately that if I filed for divorce I could protect my own assets/future earnings which would make my kids have a more stable financial life. He said divorce him on paper and take him back in a year or two if you still want. So that's how I pitched it to the ex - divorce on paper: if all goes well with you, we can get back together in 2 years.

Of course, it hasn't gone well for him. Relapses, rehab and drama. But that's no surprise considering his past. Luckily, I haven't had to pay for any of it since and the kids and I are having a fairly wonderful calm, happy life.

Just sharing my story...ignore if it doesn't apply to you.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:14 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Starcat's right. There are plenty of options. It's not a black/white either/or situation. You can hold off on the divorce and still protect yourself and your son. You don't have to revert back to living in chaos just because she's made a fresh set of promises.

I lived separately from my AH for over a year before I finally filed. I wasn't ready to legally sever ties completely, but I had to get out from under the same roof in order to clear my head and protect my kids.

It's not always a straight line from point A to point B. The idea is just to make sure you head in the right direction.

L
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:22 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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I'm back in the saddle for the day. It was a long night. I did as much damage control as I could last night with my family.

Gettinby, you nailed it and yes, I read your posts. Friends and family have a vested interest to see me succeed and while they're family, their support is emotionally charged and not the best source for objective decision making. I'm lucky so far. I spoke with my mother and I know she's trying to understand my position. Everyone wants these challenges to be over. All of us, all our addicts, all our friends and family members and co-workers. They all want it to end. For me, I know that divorce or no divorce, I will always have to interact with my AW. It doesn't make what she's doing right. I also saw some things that I need to work on as well and I don't believe I'm saying this from a codie perspective.

This is perhaps a control play on my part. Many of you have said that I can't control how this whole thing will play out. However, I have a better chance of controlling me and doing what's best for my child while working through recovery for everyone in my house. What I can't control is how the courts would view the timing of this and it's so close to being questionable that I could jeopardize my parental role with my son to a level that would be worse than it is now. How is that possible? I went full steam here. I went for the throat. I went for full custody. I know I'm better than my AW can be at raising our son. However, my videos date back to July 2010.

Legal counsel suggests that the courts would simply say, "Hey! BS man. If you're so concerned about his safety, why has it taken you almost a year to do anything about it? You're trying to manipulate the system but you yourself are not really concerned about your son's safety. Otherwise you would have already filed."

I would add that my lawyer is very well connected to the courts and he knows who does what. He even mentioned the name of a judge who would immediately give full custody in any drug/alcohol case without question. That judge is no longer serving and he also said even if we got lucky with the next best judge, that one still reviews the case objectively. He also said the majority of the judges serving operate that way. This is why he pushed to get me to file immediately. He didn't even want to wait until next week. He wanted to do it yesterday.

As you can see, even though we all know what's really right here, it's still dependent on the judges disposition towards alcoholic/drugs and parenting. That is the risk I would be gambling with and the result could be them seeing me as trying to manipulate the system and the payoff could be 2 nights non-sequential parenting for me. See how my son could be legally exposed to more time with my AW? See how I am worse off? See the control play and why I'm doing what I'm doing?

BHF, you were 100% right and I am sorry if I responded defensively to your post. I was charging full steam with a battle mentality. Not to Destroy anyone but to win custody for my case. That's naturally what we all want to do but I was simply too charged up and emotionally driven. Guys, I forgot it was my son's Birthday while I completed the paperwork yesterday. That is not making decisions with a clear head.

My file remains open. My retainer stays with my lawyer. I will take each day 1 day at a time and keep processing this decision and I will do it with greater thought.

Thank you everyone....Again and again and again and again...
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:46 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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As you can see, even though we all know what's really right here, it's still dependent on the judges disposition towards alcoholic/drugs and parenting. That is the risk I would be gambling with and the result could be them seeing me as trying to manipulate the system and the payoff could be 2 nights non-sequential parenting for me. See how my son could be legally exposed to more time with my AW? See how I am worse off? See the control play and why I'm doing what I'm doing?
I understand this completely!!!! I too worry that my saying I am concerned about him having unsupervised custody will be viewed as me being a vindictive spouse since, after all, I took him back after he assaulted me. That can't look good. I get all too well what you are saying above and it is a gamble and when young kids are involved the thought of having them split time and being alone with an A spouse is far more disturbing to me than staying with an A simply to ensure that the kids aren't ever alone with him....

One step at a time I guess, right?
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:53 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
What did your wife commit to in the discussion? It was extremely serious for you to take the decision that you did, do you have a feeling that she responded with equal seriousness and a real decision to change?
You pose a very challenging question. Honestly, I wanted to ignore it but at this stage, I know that by sharing with everyone, I'm getting the help I need and that's what this place is all about.

I was not exactly thrilled with her commitments. She does not want AA, does not want a sponsor, did not want to discuss a 12 step program. This is how she viewed things prior to last night. As of last night, she has changed ever so slightly. It could be a quack.

She's been discussing her social anxiety and how that's been a roadblock to doing group therapy. She's discussing this in her private therapy. She still doesn't respond well with talks about AA due to religion. She is discussing the process of a 12 step program and how to go about it. She is talking about finding a sponsor. Now, these may all be smoke screens but I know my AW and I know when she is thinking about things. She's normally so defensive that she won't even go there but last night she was talking about the things that people who are actively working a program talk about. I have to understand that it's a process for her. I also realize that how she processes things is not as fast as I want it to be and that is codie behavior on my part. As I listened to her, I realized that I am doing her no good by thinking she needs to be doing it my way. That's not what we talk about here.

Finally, and I will preface this by saying that I know I didn't cause my wife to become an addict. Due to my reactions last night and how poorly I handled it, I know I have a major issue myself and I know it's adding stress to her. I have anger management issues. I'm short tempered. I yell. I swear. I talk down to her. I've struggled with this my entire life. My parents are great people and I love them deeply and while we've been able to get beyond my past, I was severely abused as a child. It was physical with my father and my mom was a drunk. I was beat for being clumbsy as a child. I had to forceably remove a gun from my mom's mouth while she was drunk. It was a very rough life, filled with violence, terror and pain. My mom has been sober for over 16 years and to this day she reports that she still takes it 1 day at a time. My fathers abuse lasted much longer and to this day I know he struggles with his own type A personality full of verbal and emotionally abusive tendencies. The physical stuff continued until I got older and I finally beat the hell out of him. Had it not been for my mom's voice telling me to stop, I fear what the outcome could have been. I was blacked out and only remember the beginning and the end. I was a fighter and I was very good at it. I'm no longer a fighter or a violent person but I still have major anger issues. I can not reject my wife's claims that I intimidate her. That is no quack on her part. I always knew this and I have been working on it with my therapist. I just never really saw myself until last night. I did it to my AW, I did it to her mom and I did it while my son was around and I'm not okay with any of that. Most of my therapy time deals with working on detachment and reclaiming myself due to how my wife's drinking has affected me. I can tell you all right now that I will be making a course correction with my therapist. We only now started to touch on my real problems and I will work with her to work on my anger. She told me several weeks ago that I should consider praying for awareness. I did and I believed I was aware. Here's a crucial point. I was still focusing on my wife. I was aware of her. I was taking note of how it affected me so that is progress but I was not aware of just how angry I am. I was looking at her. Not at me. So here I am with an aha moment. I thought I was making progress with codependency and while I have done well to a degree, I was still focusing on her. I was still completely codependent and I was not working a recovery plan for me.

So while my wife may be the focus due to her addiction and this website, I must be open and let you all know the whole story. It's not an attempt to minimize or protect or enable my wife but rather to take more ownership of myself and recognize that I can cause people to react poorly. There's two sides to every story and so I believe that I can't walk away from her because of her problems when I haven't fully addressed mine.

I believe that I keep such a strict policy on the C3s. I'm not so sure that I can remain so black and white on the matter. When standing in front of me, struggling with alcohol, how can my wife get any support she needs from me when I'm as angry and destructive as I am? Maybe I should consider putting the 3cs on myself versus on my wife. Hell, putting the 3cs on my wife is nothing more than being codependent because it becomes all about her. Where's my recovery? Where's my ownership?

My anger.
I didn't cause it. I was raised in it.
I can control it by focusing on my recovery.
I can cure it by taking ownership of myself.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:56 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
...and it is a gamble and when young kids are involved the thought of having them split time and being alone with an A spouse is far more disturbing to me than staying with an A simply to ensure that the kids aren't ever alone with him....

One step at a time I guess, right?
I know there are many kids from split homes that are doing much better off with their parents apart than together. I guess that's why it's really a loss/loss.

This one can be debated based on how each person views their end result. It's a tough one, wanttobehealthy.
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