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Discussion Starter #1
A short background:

Together 7 years, two small children, she filed for divorce and took the kids (legal issues there), and we've been separated for about 4 months. I was the stay-at-home parent at the time, and considered myself the primary care-giver (I was a student), while she was the primary income earner. There were issues between us, but to sum things up, I became a bit of a pariah in her eyes, and she did everything to hurt me in the short term (which the legal system allows. Another issue for another day).

Today's issues:

We had a settlement conference a few weeks back that went surprisingly well. It was the first time we had spoken in 3 months. The first things she said to me were that she wanted to be friends, and that she missed me. Good news, I thought. It was very emotional in a positive way (we held hands, and hugged several times at the end), she had reasonable explanations for all my concerns over the children, and we set up some decent regular visits for me for the time being.

However, she persisted in maintaining that I was the cause of her problems. I acknowledged that was her perception, but stated I had a different view of things (my counsellor told me this was a good strategy. It's better than calling her a liar). She is currently on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, and has been hospitalized once in the past 4 months for a related mental health concern (although she told me they told her she was fine). When we were together, she ignored these problems, and it's apparent that she's getting help, which is good news. We also agreed to meet again soon.

She has apparently started seeing a man with some regularity. I asked that she not bring him around the kids, as apparently she is becoming quite serious with him in quite a short amount of time. She agreed.

Turns out, she was lying. My oldest told me he stayed the weekend there, and that they've been talking about marriage. Her words were delightful in a sad way, "Mommy wants to get married, and you're not gonna like who she wants to marry."

So...I've called my lawyer and am waiting to hear back from him. I was deluded in our meeting into thinking that she had actually changed, and I foolishly believed she was telling the truth. I allowed her to escape from the fact that she's medicated and not well, and from her continued scapegoating of me.

How do I handle my next meeting? I was weak, and I thought that maybe she was thinking of changing her mind, but clearly she's making irrational decisions. I explained to her why she shouldn't have a man around so soon, but obviously that fell on deaf ears.

Do I nix our next meeting and try my chances in court? Or do I try to work with her?

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I say call your lawyer and together (with your lawyer) figure out what your chances are to settle (at least) on most of your terms. Seeing that she can lie through her teeth like that, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of her wanting full custody soon.
 

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If she really missed you.

What stopped her in the last 3 months to reach out?

That's what you should think about the next time she says something as asinine as that.

Anything she tells you, any word that comes out her mouth. Compare it to what she has actually done and the truth will come out.
 

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I don't trust your wife at all. These little parlor tricks and games she plays is disgusting to me. I never trust someone who is bi-polar. I have had two friends that are bi-polar/schizophrenia and its a totally different world for them. Even if this does not categorize your wife, she is a wreck and she cares about no one but herself.

The reason why your wife is trying to smooth you over, is for you to relinquish control of the children and assets. It is undoubtedly a ploy to gain control. Your wife is vial, viscous and cunning...and she does not care about you, nor is she concerned about getting back together.

Heed to the voice of your kids...your wife is doing what they say she is doing. Your kids have testified that your wife cannot be trusted. Go to your lawyer with this...don't give in to her deceptive tactics...that is really what is going on here.

Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the advice.

@forevermemorable - I know. You sound like my friends and family, who look at me askance each time I mention the idea of reconciliation.

It's just so difficult. If you read my others posts before I removed them, you would know how messed up she was. She had problems throughout our relationship, but at some point I decided that I would give it my best effort for the sake of myself, her and our children. This isn't to say I didn't have my own faults, but if you lived with the nonsense I did, you would understand.

And then she decides it's over! I make a vow, a promise, and sign a contract saying that I want to be with this woman for the rest of my life. I make the commitment, and I mean it. I get us into MC when things begin to get too much for me to handle, I manage to get her to do some IC. I say, "Let's work this out." And this is the thanks I get! I get slandered and manipulated.

My counsellor was a little less cynical, in that she thought my stbx is trying to have her cake and eat it, too. It makes sense in a twisted way: she gets to have her new bf around, and maybe she can salvage something of our relationship, which she identifies on some level as not being as bad as she makes it out to be. And maybe I'm a fall-back relationship, in case her new man isn't as amazing as he is so far.

I'll be careful, I assure you all. I was talking to my cousin, whose brother caved in his child custody battle. Now, four years later, he has to get permission from his ex-wife for his kids to visit his mom, in addition to other ridiculous stipulations. In my cousin's words, his brother "Martyred himself." I don't intend to make the same mistake.

But on the plus side, my stbx does want me to be around the kids as much as possible. I'm not sure how long that will last, but it looks good at this stage. I just have to be careful that the perpetual victim doesn't manipulate her way back into my life by preying on my forgiving nature.
 

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I want you to know that I am about forgiveness and reconciliation at all cost, but that must be proven genuine. Your wife has proved otherwise.

Friend, you remind me of a good friend of mine that is going through the exact same thing as you, although his wife has not thought about the flattery and smoothing approach like your wife has. My good friend has a few more months before the divorce is final, but he is still leaving the door open for her to return, because he believes in the marriage vows. I greatly respect and admire him for his stance. Very God honoring.

At any rate, his wife is a very bitter, angry, hateful person, who has really caused ALL the problems for him. They have one child together. They are currently going through a 730 evaluation (which is basically a phyc evaluation for all parties). To make a long story short, it is a war. Everything by my friend's wife is challenged and everything my friend's wife says are lies.

You have to continue to keep your guard up. My heart breaks for you to, because of this ripping apart of marriage, is not what God has intended. You have a good heart and don't ever let your wife destroy it by you giving into her hatred and coming down to her level. As a solution, forgive her. Don't give your mind an opportunity to be revengeful and hateful towards her...it will kill you and destroy your soul. I know enough divorce individuals who will go to their graves bitter at their ex-spouses...a sad, sad, sad world. Forgive and move on at all possible. Be amicable as much as possible during these divorce proceedings...it will go a long way.

I will be praying for you.
 
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