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At war with my STBX
February 24, 2006
6:53 pm
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readyforachange
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Way to go....everyone enabling her has made her the desperate, self-absorbed person that she is. And you don't have to take it anymore!

My grandparents were immigrants...worked and scraped for everything they had. My grandfather won the Irish sweepstakes, and used the winnings to buy stock. It also enable him to send one of his three children to college and law school - my father. To this day, my father says, "I could have $100 bills in my pockets and still couldn't pay over a dollar for a pound of apples." He passed this on to his children. While we all did well, we don't spend foolishly.

Funny thing, my ex often told people he married me because my parents were "rich" and he knew he'd inherit their money. He used to sit and try to calculate how many shares of stock they owned, as the stock had split many times since my grandfather bought it. At first, I always thought he was kidding. But it still hurt. Now, the only ones who will benefit from my grandfather's and my father's hard work and good fortune are my children.

Those of us who don't expect anything from anyone are so much more grateful for the blessings we have.

February 24, 2006
7:28 pm
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readyforachange,

What a great success story! You and your family have much to be proud about. There is no substitute for hard work to make you appreciate what you have. I respect you for your outlook.

I'm sorry to hear that your ex was so fixated with money. My wife is much the same. She's a compulsive buyer. It's like she's trying to heal some inner wound by spending. It doesn't seem to work. Sad really.

I'm very grateful for what God has provided in my life. I have my health. I have a good career that I enjoy. I have two beautiful, healthy children. I have the love of my family and friends. While for now I may lack some of the creature comforts I've come to expect, I'm pleased that I finally had the strength to leave an abusive marriage. Life is good!

Peace.....Lt4Others

February 24, 2006
7:51 pm
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Hmmm ... sounds like your stbx has been materially spoiled but spiritually & emotionally starved all her life. Did her doting adoptive parents actually 'parent' her in ways that truly matter? I don't mean just providing lots of things & activities & schooling, but actually engaging with her emotionally & spiritually, addressing her inner besides her outer needs?

It's very sad that she may now have come to see money & material goodies as validations ... as confirmations that she matters & is important & has rights ... as love-substitutes.
I personally don't see neurotic behaviours like material greed, hoarding, bulimia & overeating disorders etc as simple greed. I see them as desperate, helpless, dysfunctional subconscious attempts to grab stuff to fill an inner void. Almost to prove we exist, that we have agency - because maybe deep down we don't feel that we do.

After a lifetime of this, much therapy & a willingness to discover & recover herself may be too scary to face. But you have done your very best, and have no obligation to try to 'fix' her. She can only do that herself. You have discharged your duties with honour, and gone the extra mile.

I hope she finds help & happiness. And I wish you as easy a divorce as possible, as good an escape and as happy a new life as you rediscover your freedom!

Blessings & good vibes to you - gazelle.

February 24, 2006
8:09 pm
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gazelle,

Wow! You gave me a lot to think about. Thanks!

Her adoptive parents were not the nurturing type. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother was overbearing and cruel. She was raised in an extremist religious sect (I'll avoid naming it) and has a harsh opinion of God. On the inside, she's a bitter, depressed lady who's aged beyond her years.

There's no middle ground for her. She obsesses on whatever pleases her at a period of time. One problem she had about starting work was that it would interfere with her going to the gym. (yeah, you figure?)

She's her own worst enemy in therapy. I've seen her manipulate our marriage counselor. It was sad to watch. The end effect, however, was that she did not get the treatment she needed. She forced him to validate her view of life, which was sad and counterproductive.

Yes, it does feel good to finally break free. I will soon wash my hands of her and move on with my life. Who knows what the future may hold? I'll leave that in Gods hands.

Peace and happiness.....Lt4Others

February 24, 2006
8:35 pm
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Thanks for not being cross with me for voicing my compassion for your stbx wife. I was afraid you might take my emmpathy w her as an attack on you - which I don't mean AT ALL! I can see that you have had a very raw deal.

But so has she. Long before you met her.

The poor woman is very impoverished in what really matters - acknowledgement, total acceptance, Love. I know you did your very best. But she had never had enough inner nourishment & parenting that many of us take for granted. That feeling of limbo, of aching emptiness that can only seek temporary relief by gathering money & posessions, with no purpose in life beyond avoiding & numbing the lacking 'selfhood' must be a truly terrible place / way to live.

She is emotionally severely damaged & handicapped. The sense of inner emptiness, the void where a healthy sense of 'self' should be, must be excruciating. Forming close, nurturing friendships & loves (which we ALL need & deserve) must be almost impossible for her. She has not developed the means to become fulfilled. How tragic for her! And for you & her kids.

But it may help you to realise when she is abusive that she cannot do / be better at this stage. She doesn't know how. She really cannot help it. She is 'acting out' her misery and it is hurting her as much as it hurts you. The lack of self-esteem must feel terrible. The empty, aching helplessness that makes people turn to shopping, drugs, alcohol or whatever. My heart goes out to you both.

I pray for her gaining insight enough to reach out for therapy & healing. And for you as you move forwards with new hope. Love, gazelle.

Am I being overbearing or horrid or know-it-all here? I do hope not! My new meds leave me feeling v weird & over-emotional, over-intellectual, over-everything these days! I hope I settle down soon, but without the depression & insomnia. If I'm being a pain, please someone TELL ME & I'll get off this wonderful site till I can be of more use 🙁

Wolf in gazelle's clothing?! :(((

February 24, 2006
9:03 pm
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gazelle,

I appreciate your perspective. It never occurred to me to be cross with you. Quite the contrary. I was touched that you cared enough to explore the relationship with me in depth. Your insights are very valueable. I'm so close to the problem that it's hard for me to have the same outlook as you. You are really helping me. Thank you. 🙂

Yes, my wife is certainly a sick puppy. Her life has been unfulfilling for her, inspite of the material posessions. She's incapable of retraining herself when she becomes abusive. I don't think she even realises what's happening then. She's also unwilling/unable to say she's sorry. Inside, she's full of guilt and pain. I feel sorry for her, but I will no longer try and heal her. It just doesn't work.

Please keep providing me feedback. I value your thoughts.

With sincere thanks......Lt4Others

February 24, 2006
9:10 pm
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zinnia
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Lt4,
why didn't you get a court order making her show up with the connectivity gadgets to hand over?

You spoke to a lawyer to "vet" your plan. Did he not suggest filing a demand to accom0lish the same thing?

I wonder why you took such a means of demonstrating your "power" and her inability to keep you locked out.

It seems to me that it was unnecessary for you to do that, since as you point out, she hads enough independent income that she couldn't argue that she is in need of subsidy.

February 24, 2006
9:30 pm
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zinnia,

I'm trying to minimize the litigation. Yes, I could have petitioned the court for this, but where we live it takes months to get a court date. Likewise, lawyers are expensive and mine is no exception. He advised me that I was well within my rights to enter our home and claim the boxes being leased in my name from the cable company. I dont' consider my actions a "demonstration of my power". Instead, I'm only doing what I'm legally entitled to do. I have no obligation to continue paying her expenses. As you say, she has enough independent income for that. I have a clear conscience.

Lt4Others

February 24, 2006
10:07 pm
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readyforachange
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Lt...you have such a positive, healthy perspective about your situation. I admire your calm composure during such difficult times. I would hate to dredge up old threads of mine from my divorce last year...I didn't have half of your cool composure. You are at peace with who you are and the blessings in your life. I admire that.

February 25, 2006
2:23 am
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zinnia
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Oh, of course, the delay and possible expense of a court process is always a good defense for taking things into your own hands. I can see that.

February 25, 2006
8:12 am
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readyforachange,

Thanks for your kind words. As you know, divorce can be a humbling experience. It's also a time for reflection and recovery. I have good days and bad days, but I'm trying to maintain some sense of dignity as I go through this. Support from friends like you makes that easier. I really appreciate it.

Enjoy your weekend......Lt4Others

February 26, 2006
5:34 am
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You are doing the right thing....my only caution (although you have mentioned it) is to watch the legal costs....divorcing someone with BPD is very draining, emotionally and financially.
I have been trying to get a divorce for 2 years, he is angry and thinks it will 'all go away'.
His lawyer is a vulture and is exploiting his anger and his feelings.
My story is so darn long, and messy...but in the end, the result is the same. I asked my lawyer (we do not do any stalling, as they do) how much does she think my stbx owes his lawyer...She said about 3X's what I have paid her...(my calculations that he owes his lawyer is $60K)...and we are NOT the Rockefellers!!!!
Do the emotional divorce on this site...keep the legalities as limited as possible.

I wish I got that sooner...but it did not take long after each nasty letter from his lawyer..I told mine, 'don't even respond!'
HE still does not get that!
hopefully we can pull strength from each other in this difficult time...
I will try to stay up to date on your story..

remember one thing..'the person you marry is not the same person you divorce.'

Good luck, stay strong!
nvr2late

February 26, 2006
9:43 am
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I agree with nv2late...this whole mess can get very expensive, especially if she likes to play games. My ex was the master of game playing. I wanted to stay in our home and buy him out...he wouldn't agree to my appraiser's estimate of the home's value, and sent out his brother's golfing buddy to do a separate appraisal. The guy actually had the audacity to say that my house had MORE ROOMS than it actually has! Unbelievable. It took so much time and money to get that settled, I couldn't believe it. And that little game was just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, try not to get caught up in her games. nvr is right...these types of people love the "attention" and the "crazymaking" (good thread about that somewhere around here). Don't fall into the trap, the legal fees will kill you.

So many of us have been through this process, you have a world of first-hand experience right here. Ask questions and vent your frustrations here. It was my downfall to call my lawyer for everything. It cost me a fortune in the long run.

February 26, 2006
11:10 am
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nvr and ready,

Thanks for the sound advice. Yes, the legal costs are mounting. It may be in my favor that she has no money to pay her attorney. She got a new one last week after not paying the previous one for over nine months. She filed for divorce late last fall, but failed to follow up on the required procedures (e.g. discovery). As such, she missed an important date for filing responses last week. I'm sure the judge will take a dim view of that. The trial date is scheduled for May with a judge who is known to be fair and professional. We might reach a settlement before then, but I'm not optimistic about that. My STBX has outlandish ideas on what she's entitled to.

You are sooooo right about "crazymaking". That was a new phrase to me until I read Melody Beattie's books. Then I realized it was what I had been experiencing during my whole marriage. All the games. All the manipulation. All the madness. It was great to finally put a name on it.

I really like this site and I appreciate the feedback and support I receive. I try and provide the same for others. It's easy to feel alone and blue as you go through divorce. While I'm sorry that many of you have experienced this pain, I'm grateful that you're willing to share what you've learned. It helps me stay emotionally balanced.

Have a great day......Lt4Others

February 26, 2006
12:05 pm
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I just wish someone could have told HIM that...he had racked up so many bills, wants to stay in the house..but his lawyer will probably put a judgement on the house...and having to buy me out of it...I cannot see how it would work.

The emotions got the best of him, the anger. It has been 2 years since I filed, and the courts are DRAGGING it out (well his lawyer has got the 'smokescreen' defense down)

People like that LIKE the drama and the fight! It all comes out the same in the end..but there are lawyers out there that LOVE this kind of client...willing to do anything.
It is really too bad, but he will figure it out at some time.

Don't give the lawyers anymore money than they deserve!!! I have tried EVERYTHING to get this thing moving and she thinks of something else to hold it up!

There should be a LAW!
🙂

February 26, 2006
3:18 pm
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nvr,

I'm sorry your divorce has been so frustrating.....and expensive! Yes, those with BPD like the drama. My STBX had two breakdowns in the last nine months, along with a suicidal period. I don't want to make light of depression and mental illness. For many, they are real. In her case, they were more drama than reality. They were part of "crazymaking".

Part of the reason I shifted the cost of essential services to her was to apply some financial pressure. When she has to pay for the luxury she enjoys, it may feel different. I know she does not have any savings and she's run out of friends and relatives from whom she can borrow money. Last fall she threatened to have a yard sale and sell off my posessions which remain at the house. She didn't, but that's another example of the games she plays.

Another thing I have in my favor is that she has audlt ADD (attention deficit disorder). She has absolutely no patience. Everything has to be done now! Strantely enough, the thought of waiting until the divorce is final to openly have sex with other men is killing her.

She's been bugging me for days to meet with her and discuss the divorce face to face. I choose not to do so because our past attempts quickly degraded into emotional arguments. It's driving her crazy. She called my cell phone this afternoon and was very irritated that I had not returned her calls or emails. All of those providing me emotional support strongly urged me to have no contact with her whatsoever. I've promised myself "no contact".

Venting on a sunny Sunday....Lt4Others

February 26, 2006
6:39 pm
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good for you!
I tried to get HIM to sit down with the divorce, but I know that is a mute point...he just does not want to talk about it!

I went out with a male friend this weekend, and his brother saw me out...so now my stbx is freaking out!
although HE has many girlfriends...if I do it, he doesn't like it...odd!!!
I get my kids from him soon, so I am guessing there will be a scene..he went through the depression too, but I am not sure what this is going to do to him.

All they have to do is get help, (my stbx is an alchoholic and VERY angry)..

You are doing the right thing, not feeding the fire...letting her work it out, they have to!

I hope you can stay strong, as for me, I am better than I have ever been...built a new house (THAT made him mad) even though he has not sold or bought out ours....and I have a lot of wonderful friends!
I would not give them up for the world.

We both know that it cannot work out anymore, but it still hurts the realization that it will not work.

I hope we both find something (someone) better and treats us like we SHOULD be treated!
Don't fall into her trap, stay strong and act emotionless...that will maybe drive her to accept what is going on.

Obviously my strategy did not work, of being nice and working together with the kids.
but live and learn!
🙂

February 26, 2006
7:18 pm
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readyforachange
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Lt....you may want to make sure you have a detailed iventory of the items in the house the two of you jointly own. She may just make good on her threat and start selling your things off. I know we had to file such a list as part of the discovery, so I'm sure your lawyer had you do that.

I'm going to look for that thread about crazymaking...my ex was the master!

February 26, 2006
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readyforachange,

I'm putting together such a list. That's one of the benefits of being detail oriented.

Looking forward to seeing the thread on crazymaking! Thanks.

Lt4Others

February 26, 2006
7:44 pm
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nvr,

I'll make you a deal. You stay strong and I'll stay strong. If either of us falters, we'll seek help from our friends on this site. Sound good? Be well and keep up the good work. It sounds like you're making excellent progress.

Peace.....Lt4Others

February 26, 2006
7:47 pm
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readyforachange
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Lt4others...I bumped up one of the Crazymaking threads, and gave you the method for doing a search here on this topic.

As far as the list goes, I was the one who stayed in the family home during the divorce, so I had better access. I made not only a written list, but went through the house with a video camera and narrated a description of each item in the house and whether it was joint property or acquired before the marriage. Just an idea if you do have access to the house. Otherwise, close your eyes and visualize your home in detail. Write down everything you "see".

I'll be checking in and out tonight. I have a MAJOR meeting tomorrow at work regarding a student I evaluated (I do special education diagnostic work). When they tell you educators work longer than 8 to 3 nine months a year, believe it! 🙂 BTW, you can call me ready for short...

February 26, 2006
8:55 pm
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ready,

Good ideas! I'll think about getting back in the house.....with a video camera this time.

Hope your work week goes well. It takes a gifted person to work in special education. I respect you for that. Have a good meeting tomorrow.

Lt

February 26, 2006
9:30 pm
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Lt...
I will take you up on that...we will stay strong and 'use' the resources we have here...
it is bound to get worse before it gets better!!

and since I am not in the home, I have made my list for the house items..
I am sure it will not be everything, but I made sure I got all the big stuff!!

they are masters at lying and avoiding.
be prepared! 🙂

February 27, 2006
8:16 pm
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nvr,

Deal! I feel better knowing there's a place I can discuss the craziness where others understand. Right now, tonight, I'm in a good place. I hope you are too. Sure, there will be ups and downs in the future, but I'm happy and centered tonight.

I'll take your advice and make sure I have an accurate inventory of what's in our home. She's very manipulative and a born lier. During our first separation, she pryed open my safe, stole some jewelry, and pawned it for cash. I felt so violated.

Peace be with you.....Lt

February 28, 2006
6:02 am
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Lt...
I am in a good place...thank goodness..I remember being in a 'bad' place and it was killing me!
I have detached, which let me tell you is NOT easy, even after all he has done!
But I know myself a lot better and I now know what I can do, how empowering!
When they try to pull us back into their strange world, it is tough, but I now know it is a choice. He cannot bring me back into that craziness that he thrives on. That is a wonderful feeling!
This site has helped SO much, just the information is worth a pot of gold!
I have lost 2 years of my life (and my poor kids) life to this man...with all the drama and craziness, I don't want to lose anymore time!
I miss him at times, but then I can get back to a place where I really understand what he has done, and what he is doing to his own life now.
The 'bounce-back' time is getting less and less!!! THANK GOD!
I have wonderful friends that remind me what has happened...
In the beginning of our divorce, he and his lawyer turned an incident that I called the police because he was drinking and grabbed me while I had my son in my hands...they turned it the next day and filed a restraining order against me, where he got the police to come to the house, and he hid my kids...and had me kicked out of our house with no where to go, all with a smile on his face...
they were WAITING for a time to do that...since he was taping me at 4 am undoing the dishwasher and was taping my calls...all in the effort to get me out of the house, which worked!!! and then to drop it a month later...

Him and his lawyer talked ALL the time (11 pm...4 am) and were waiting for me to do something to protect myself...it shows how far some lawyers are willing to go.

It was the best thing that happened to me (although at the time, it was devastating)...all I can do is look back into my memory to that day...and realize that I married the devil!

So, be careful of what you do...and the lawyers out there are willing to do anything...even to the person who had always taken care of the children...scary!!

Stay strong, and do not give into the emotions!
the stbx's are NOT worth it!!
nvr

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