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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

A few more months down the separation trail. Here's an update, for what it's worth...

At the end of October, my wife took our S4 and headed west. She did so with my permission, if not exactly my blessing. I specifically asked her if she was coming back, and she promised she would return to Ohio at the end of November.

Those of you who know my story probably guessed it...she went to Missouri to be with her family. I jokingly refer to their new home as the "survival compound," because at one point in the last year I was harshly condemned by my wife as uncaring because I wouldn't join her family in their mad dash to become doomsday preppers. I was actually called uncaring because I wouldn't quit my job and move out west.

The plan was for her to see her family for three weeks, and to spend Thanksgiving with them.

Just before leaving for Missouri, her dad (my father-in-law) fell off the roof of the cabin he was finishing and broke his arm. That caused her to want to move her departure up by a week, so she would have a full month to "help out" around the ranch.

Once in Missouri, I was informed that she would need to initiate all the contact between my son and me while they were out there, because "the compound" has spotty cell phone coverage and grandma didn't like to hear the phone ring, so I was not to call there. As it turns out, the contact with my son was very sporadic, only when they went to town on errands and such.

On one such phone call, I was informed that my son would probably say something about the hospital, because my mother-in-law had fallen and broken her wrist while moving into the new cabin.

I also got a text after-the-fact that my son had choked on a piece of candy so badly that he had thrown up. She didn't bother to tell me about this until long after the fact, and then she only obliquely told me he had "gotten sick." It wasn't until I prompted her for more information that she told me he had choked on candy.

A couple of days later, she called to ask me what our health insurance would cover for an emergency room visit. Apparently, she had injured herself somehow with a strap on a shopping cart. It had somehow flipped against her face with enough force to cause severe bruising and force her to stop eating solid food for a few days.

The day after that, she was running an errand in town, had my son call me, and told me it was going to be brief because her parents were coming back from the store soon and "they were in a bad mood." I later told her how disappointing it was that the length of time I was allowed to talk to my son was determined by her parents' mood.

After that call, it was almost 100 hours until I heard his voice again. She did send me a text with his picture and a "Happy Thanksgiving Day, Daddy" message. But I did not get to speak to my son for 96 hours, including a major holiday.

There are several things here that concern me:

(1) She seemed to be limiting my contact with my son, and I was only allowed to talk to him on "her"terms. She seemed to have a completely valid reason for everything she did - I know the cell coverage is sparse out there, and her grandma does have some weird quirks such as not liking to hear the phone ring. However, I feel as if something is not quite right in all of her excuses.

(2) What the hell is going on with everybody in Missouri getting injured? Between broken bones, jaw-bruising injuries with shopping cart straps (and the whole mechanics of that particular injury are still pretty vague to me!), and choking episodes, I have to wonder if anybody in Missouri was paying attention to anything for the past month. To say I'm concerned about my son's safety is an understatement.

(3) Her ability to go out there for a solid month and not communicate with me at all except to report the latest injuries does not lead me to believe she has come to accept any of her own responsibility in where we are right now.

(4) I told her multiple times when I was "not OK" with something (such as the limiting of my contact with my son). Each time, rather than addressing my concerns, I got excuses and justifications. Never once did I hear an "I'm sorry."

Something else happened during this past month....having been away from the confusion for 30 days, I felt a lot more clarity. That I am doing the right thing by seeking to be freed from this insanity. I have felt at peace for the first time in a long time.

Now I feel strangely apprehensive. I don't know what to expect as they come back into town. I'll enjoy seeing my son again, but I am apprehensive about how things will be between us. Will she be more like her parents than ever? Will she have seen the light about how manipulative and controlling they are? Will I be able to be strong and say "I'm not OK" when she starts in with her verbally abusive behavior?

Quite honestly, these last few weeks, I've felt clear for the first time that filing for divorce is probably my best option. But I'm worried that when she comes back to town, I'll get confused again. She is masterful at sucking me back in with her "nice" act every time I think about leaving. I don't know if it's really an act. What I do know is that when the wheels fall off, they fall off VERY BADLY! The last time things fell apart, she was accusing me of abuse and threatening to disappear and take my son with her.

So I still feel conflicted. I should be angry that she took my son away for a month and only allowed limited contact with him. I should be furious that they've all been injured in one way or another, which really makes me wonder about their level of responsibility. And I am. All these things make me angry.

But then when she explains her side of things and makes it sound so reasonable, I question myself again. I want to see my son, but I'm dreading being around her again because of the swirl of confusing feelings that will engulf me.

This is maddening!
 

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From the outside, she seems toxic and rather helpless. I don't know if she was always like this.

Your primary focus should be on getting your son back and building a case against your wife to obtain custody during a divorce. Also, How do you know she won't stay longer than a month? She is not someone who can be trusted right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From the outside, she seems toxic and rather helpless. I don't know if she was always like this.

Your primary focus should be on getting your son back and building a case against your wife to obtain custody during a divorce. Also, How do you know she won't stay longer than a month? She is not someone who can be trusted right now.
Up until tonight, I wasn't sure if she would come back or not. I had already booked a flight to Missouri (standby, so I didn't have to pay yet), and reserved a rental car out there. I had all this in place and ready to go on Monday, so if they weren't back in state I could haul ass out there and make an appearance. I would not have done anything stupid, but I was going to at least see my son again. I also booked my airplane ticket at a time that would permit me to go see my lawyer first.

However, tonight she called me to inform me that she was on the road and in a hotel. So it looks like they really are headed back to Ohio.

I have spent the day filling out the divorce paperwork for my lawyer. We've been separated now for about 6 months. I originally wanted a quick divorce, but I decided to put the brakes on to see if she would change. But she still blames me for all of our problems. Not saying I don't share some sense of the blame, but I refuse to take ALL the blame!

So I'm not just helplessly sitting around and whining. I had plans in place in case she didn't come back. And in the meantime, I've been plowing ahead with the divorce paperwork.

I just wanted to put my last month's story out here and make sure I'm not overreacting. Because this pilgrimage to Missouri sure has made me angry! Not an inappropriate, can't see straight way. More like a "I can't believe she's acting like this" kind of anger.
 

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Did she know of your plan to fly out there? How can you be sure she's at a hotel? Sorry, but why didn't she inform you she was planning the trip back? Sounds strange to me.

No, don't take all the blame. That's batty.

Try to be cool, calm, not excited. Is she aware that you are filing for D? What reaction did that get? Are you prepared to go through with it? If she wants to R, what are your demands?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did she know of your plan to fly out there? How can you be sure she's at a hotel? Sorry, but why didn't she inform you she was planning the trip back? Sounds strange to me.

No, don't take all the blame. That's batty.

Try to be cool, calm, not excited. Is she aware that you are filing for D? What reaction did that get? Are you prepared to go through with it? If she wants to R, what are your demands?
When I moved out, I told her I wanted a divorce unless she agreed to go back to counseling with me. She refused. I asked her to consider individual counseling. She refused.

She had been planning to come back this weekend the whole time, but I almost wondered if the multiple injuries were her setup for an excuse to stay longer.

She texted me a picture of my son playing with his cars on what appears to be a motel bed, so I trends to believe she's giving it to me straight. Plus, she's rarely overtly lied to me...she says lots of untrue things, but I think she really believes them (i.e. That I'm abusive, etc.).

She had no idea about my travel / intervention plans. I only told a couple of.friends, who don't even know her.

Her ability to be bat-s**t crazy one day and then seem completely sane another is quite unnerving. My therapist says they don't call it crazy-making behavior for nothing!
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So how soon until you actually file the divorce? Are you trying to get more custody of your son? This ill-fated trip to a Missouri compound is excellent evidence of an unfit mother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So how soon until you actually file the divorce? Are you trying to get more custody of your son? This ill-fated trip to a Missouri compound is excellent evidence of an unfit mother.
I'll be filing no later than the first of the year.

My lawyer advises me that the case isn't strong enough yet for me to pursue full custody. Right now there's a lot of circumstantial evidence (the whole doomsday prepping mentality, the multiple injuries to everyone that can all be plausibly explained away, etc.). Taken as a whole, the whole picture looks damning, but each individual incident is JUST plausible enough that it's hard to make a case for granting the father full custody based on all of this alone. Especially since I have a job with irregular hours and which requires me to travel.

I have purchased a VAR and plan to keep it on me at any time I am with either him or her. If nothing else, this will validate that I was not abusive with our son. It will be my version of an airplane's "c-o-c-k pit voice recorder." (Can't believe the name of the place where pilots sit was bleeped out! LOL!)

I am also maintaining a journal of all these events, including a log of when she did (and did not) allow him to call me, and for how long.

My wife is actually quite loving and caring when she is WITH our son. I have no doubts she is good WITH him. But I have serious doubts whether - long term at least - she is good FOR him. I worry about his main way of understanding his world for the next few years will be through her distorted lenses!
 

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From the outside, she seems toxic and rather helpless.
Strong, thanks for stepping forward to be supportive. If you have time to read Hurt's other threads, you will find that the words "seems toxic" and "helpless" don't even come close to what he says his wife has been doing over the past several years. Turnera and I have been closely following Hurt's travails and pain since he began posting nearly a year and a half ago. For a brief summary of the abuse he has suffered, you may want to check out my post earlier this year at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/genera...n/28585-she-doesnt-trust-me-4.html#post624502.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Strong, thanks for stepping forward to be supportive. If you have time to read Hurt's other threads, you will find that the words "seems toxic" and "helpless" don't even come close to what he says his wife has been doing over the past several years. Turnera and I have been closely following Hurt's travails and pain since he began posting nearly a year and a half ago. For a brief summary of the abuse he has suffered, you may want to check out my post earlier this year at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/genera...n/28585-she-doesnt-trust-me-4.html#post624502.
Uptown,

I may be a slow learner. In fact, I probably should have been gone years ago. But if I've made any progress at all, it's because of you and Tunera. And also some good folks I met over at bpdfamily.com.

I've given the separation 6 months. The almost.daily rages have subsided, but mainly because I'm not a.convenient target. But she still refuses to acknowledge her own role. I think 6 months is enough to show me her true colors. This Missouri trip is just icing on the cake!
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Uptown, I may be a slow learner.
If so, Hurt, you are still leaving me in the dust -- with me being the turtle and you the hare. It took me 15 years to walk away. If I recall correctly, you've got at least a year to go to match my slowness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If so, Hurt, you are still leaving me in the dust -- with me being the turtle and you the hare. It took me 15 years to walk away. If I recall correctly, you've got at least a year to go to match my slowness.
Unfortunately, I've been married 18 years. Although it was only the last 24 months when I realized how truly pathological things were.

The counseling was actually a big help in one regard...by having a trained professional validate my perceptions "in real time," I was able to establish in my own mind that I was not the crazy one. As you're well aware, Uptown, one of the most confusing aspects of this type of thinking disorder is the tendency of the disordered individual to make the other one think they're crazy. I literally was questioning my own sanity for a long time!

I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel.....
 

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You really are in bad shape.

Very easy to say: if you choose to go there, you don't get to make communication my problem instead we agree on a fixed time for a call every day or every other day.

As for bad connections - hurtn - your posts sure do seem a bit unusual sometimes. Text messages work far better than voice in weak coverage areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You really are in bad shape.

Very easy to say: if you choose to go there, you don't get to make communication my problem instead we agree on a fixed time for a call every day or every other day.

As for bad connections - hurtn - your posts sure do seem a bit unusual sometimes. Text messages work far better than voice in weak coverage areas.
Yes, text does work better in weak coverage areas. My main concern is for my son....frequent contact with BOTH parents is important at his age. And she was only about a 15 minute drive to better coverage. Not to mention that her grandma has a land line....

Not sure what you were specifically referring to about my posts. I AM struggling to understand what I'm dealing with and what the most appropriate response is. And that confusion is probably reflected in a lot of my posts. If you have some specific issues, please enlighten me. I'd welcome a PM, if you think that's more appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After a month in Missouri, she finally came back to town with my son. She shared a story with me that is just freaking unbelievable.

Her mom and dad are saving rain water. Part of their survival strategy. They put her to work cleaning an old bath tub. Told her to use the rain water. She said it was brackish and foul, but she kept using it because she knew it would upset her Mom and dad if she didn't like their rain water.....wait, it gets better.....

So anyway, her Mom finally noticed the water was nasty. Dumped it out. There was a freakin dead rat in it! A rat had crawled in drowned in the rain water bucket!

And that's emblematic of a lot of her issues...she goes against her own common sense and endangers her own health and safety cuz she's still desperately trying to gain her parents' approval. AND THEY ARE BAT S**T CRAZY!

I gotta confront some of this.stuff today. It's just nuts.....
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And that's emblematic of a lot of her issues...she goes against her own common sense and endangers her own health and safety cuz she's still desperately trying to gain her parents' approval. AND THEY ARE BAT S**T CRAZY!
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If you ask my opinion the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Sounds like that whole family has crazy in their DNA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You hanging in there Hurt?
I'm good. Haven't had much time to post since I'm maximizing
my time with my son. More to follow. But if anything, the month of respite was good for me....being away from her insanity for a month makes it so much more obvious now that she's back.
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