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I just noticed how LOOOONG this is. I'm sorry! This really is the condensed version!
I have been lurking for several months. Reading the stories from some of you has been really comforting. Even though I do not know anyone here, it is comforting to know I am not the only person in the world going through this.
I kicked my husband of 10 years, out on May 22, 2009. Our marriage had been a mixture of good times and bad ... but probably more bad. The last couple of years I was more existing, rather than living. He comes from a majorly disfuncional family. The parents never taught their children about morals or how to respect other people. They all have major issues and they are just nuts. We were young when we first got together, and I was naive. If I were to meet someone like him now, I would run screaming in the other direction. However, I can't regret my years spent with him. We have 4 beautiful children that I could not imagine my life without.
My ex has an addictive personality. He loves to gamble and he loves to drink. Although he never physically abused me, dealing with him when he had been drinking was not fun. I had to constantly walk on eggshells. He gets mean and anything I said could easily turn into a fight, as it did too many times to count. I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Gambling seemed to go hand in hand with drinking. We lived on a tight budget anyway (especially with me being a SAHM all of these years). Because of his gambling, and poor spending habits in general, we were always behind on bills. It was non top stress for me. Eventually we'd have a huge blowup, and out of fear of losing us, he'd get it together for awhile. Those were good times. There are good memories. We used to have fun together, confide in each other, and make each other laugh until our sides hurt.
In April 2006, when I was 8 months pregnant with our first daughter, and apparently not giving him the "attention" he wanted due to a very tough pregnancy, I stumbled upon emails between him and a girl he worked with. They were disgusting, to put it mildly. I really didn't have the strength or courage during that period to do anything about it other than yell and cry. I was so mad. Over the next few months he tried hard to make it up to me. Things did get better for awhile, but honestly, I could just never forget what he did and never regained my trust in him. It's hard living that way ... not being 100% sure I could trust my husband.
Over the next couple years I started getting tired of it all. Just him ... his careless spending habits, lying about his spending, lying about gambling, lying about drinking. It was consuming me. I was stressed out constantly. All of my focus and attention was going towards him and not my children.
May 22nd, 2009 was "it" for me. Earlier in the evening he had gone to get hamburger so we could BBQ burgers for dinner. After 3 hours had gone by and no answer on the cell phone (whcih he did all the time to me and it p!ssed me off), I packed the kids in the van and went to his favorite hangout ... the casino just down the street. Sure enough, his car was there. That made the 4th time in about a month that I had to do that. There is a big story that goes along with the #3 time, but I won't go into all that right now. Anyway, he showed up home a little later and I could tell he had been drinking. He was going off about some guy who made him mad and how they almost got into a fight. He told me to keep my eyes open for the guy because he might show up at our house. Then he started tinkering with the doorbell that he was trying to replace. Our oldest son was helping him. My ex asked our son to go get him a certain type of screwdriver. Jake couldn't find it.... so his dad replied with "You're about worthless!" Yeah, that was it for me. A little later, my ex left again (I'm assuming for the casino b/c he was in a bad mood still). I grabbed the spare house key that was hidden in the garage (and I knew he didn't have a house key on the keys he had on him), locked the doors, and set the alarm. He returned home around midnight and tried to get in. He knocked on all the windows and banged on the doors. I just ignored it. Thankfully, the children did not wake up. Since he couldn't get in the house (he was inside the garage), he decided to set off the alarm by opening the garage door that goes out to the side and back yard. I ran out of bed and called the alarm company b/c I didn't want the cops coming. Ex and I started talking through the door.... he was telling me to let him in and I said no, that I was done with him and it was over. He had been building us a patio cover in the back, and started working on that. It was midnight and we have neighbors. He was being so loud! He got more and more mad that I wouldn't let him in. Anyway.. just this one incident could be a really long story, so I'll sum up the rest. He tried prying open the boys' bedroom window with a screwdriver. He drove his car into the garage door. I was so scared and my heart was pounding. I called my mom and she was so scared for us, she called the police. They ended up taking him away.
It's been a crazy, emotional, stressful ride ever since. He has so many issues and has pretty much been a deadbeat dad since I kicked him out. Not that he was great before, but he's gotten worse. We had ups and downs the first couple months after he was gone (where we actually could get along), but the majority of it has been real ugly.
He took the kids (well the 3 oldest), for a couple weekends overnight in July. There was an incident where he left the 3 alone in a casino arcade at 10pm while he was downstairs gambling and drinking. After I found out about that I didn't allow overnights anymore. That is what really set him off and when everything got bad between us. He's been real irresponsible and as I said, has lots of problems. Over the past 8 months he's threatened suicide to me 3 times, and ended up in the hospital for collapsing in a casino from alcohol poisoning. After I kicked him out and while I still had access to our joint account, I took money out myself for me and the kids. He quit having his check direct deposited and then quit giving me money altogether. I didn't receive anything after mid July. I opened a child support case with the District Attorney's Office. Thankfully they were able to track him down and start getting me money, but it took FOUR MONTHS.
On October 18th we had our first court hearing. It was called a case management hearing, and it was for the judge to set all the temporary orders for support and visitation in place while the divorce was pending. I really thought having those orders in place would make life so much easier for me during the divorce, but the complete opposite happened. First off, Troy flat out lied in court. I was so mad I responded a couple times and was almost thrown out of court. In October at that hearing, he was given visitation with the kids for every other weekend from Sat. 0900am to Sun. 5pm. Also, every Friday from 4pm to 7pm. He was also ordered to take an alcohol evaluation and pay $2000+ a month to us for child and spousal support .... he was not happy about the spousal. During this time he had recently rented a house about a mile from me. Well the day after court, on the 19th, he was "let go" from work. Long, totally seperate story ... but it was due to his own behavior and problems that he was let go. So of course I never got any of the money the judge ordered him to pay. How convenient for him.
So right from the start of his court ordered visitation there were problems.... I mean EVERY TIME. Either he was messed up and passing in and out of consciousness with our kids in the car and driving off the road, or not feeding them and they'd call me saying they were starving, or he'd simply not wake up or answer the phone when I'd drop them for their visitation. I hated having to do it .... but I had to comply with the court order. Since he lost his job, he ended up having to move back in with his dad, about 40 miles away. At one point, we agreed to meet halfway to do the kids' exchanges. Then he got mad at me again for something he received from my attorney and would no longer agree to meeting halfway. So I'd show up with the kids b/c I wasn't about to be the one to break the court order (since when we had it drawn up, he lived a mile away and I agreed to drop and pick up the kids). Well he threw that in my face and demanded that I do the 80 mile round trip every time myself ... and I couldn't afford it, so I kept showing at the original meeting spot and he never would. It hurt the kids... especially the boys. This went on for several weeks. During this time, I was getting harrassed by him through email, on the phone and in person. He threatened me, and so did his brother. He even harrassed my attorney and her staff to the point they finally quit taking his calls and told him he could only correspond with them through mail. Troy's family hates me so much they told him the children were no longer welcome in their home. There went his overnights ... well his visits altogether b/c he had nowhere else to go with them. That was the last huge fight we had.... and it was on the phone at 0400am. He loved to call me over and over and over and over again all through the night. That was on the 21st of November.
On the 24th we had our court ordered mediation. That didn't go well. He was an @ss and trying to start something with me in the waiting room. In with the mediator all Troy wanted to do was argue with me and talk about everything BUT the kids and how to work out visitation so it would work for us both. I stayed cool and collected and he ended up storming out of there after calling me every 4 or 5 letter word you could imagine. That night he started calling again. I always let the kids talk and never kept them from calling their dad. Troy got more and more angry that I would refuse to talk to him and ask he correspond only through email. He started telling Jake what he thought of me. Everything from "Tell your mom to go f*** herself, " to "Your mom is a no-good c**t and a loser and because she lies in court I can never see you guys again." Jake took this hard. He would hang up crying and not want to tell me what his dad had said. I finally would get it out of him and try to calm him. There were times Jake wouldn't even answer if it was his dad, or would refuse to talk b/c he didn't want to hear it. Troy had the nerve to leave messages telling ME to quit putting the kids in the middle. I quit taking all calls and he'd leave horrid, threatening messages and emails. Over the past several months we've also had numerous dealings with the police. I called the police on him when he threatened suicide all 3 times (the last time he had just purchased a gun and called to tell me "Please don't let the kids end up like me"). Also, I called when he dropped the kids off after nearly driving off the road with them. Another time was when he showed up at my house with his dad to get some of his things and they both started in on me. When I quit taking Troy's calls altogether, he started calling the cops on me, saying he was worried about his children's safety b/c he hadn't spoken with them in a long time. This would be 30 minutes after talking to them on the phone. The cops by this point were so familiar with Troy, I would open the door to them apologizing for having to even come over. They would tell me they know Troy, and know he had no credibility. Anyway, after our mediation things got really bad. He threatened to hurt me if he ran into me alone in public and left endless messages berating me. Everything from 4-5 letter names, so how I'm stupid and would flunk out of school, to throwing the fact I was molested as a child in my face, and also begging me to send my dad to his house so he could "Beat the F*** out of him too."
I went on the advice of my attorney to file a protective order. I had to meet with the same judge on Nov. 30th and she immediately issued the order after hearing what I had to say. Our divorce was being handled in another county that I didn't live in (but Troy did). The sheriffs department was apparently going to be the ones serving him. By Dec. 15th he still had not been served. I called my attorney's office and told her that Troy was telling the kids he was coming out to my house on Dec. 15th b/c it was Claire's birthday. She told me I could bait him to get him served. So I did. He told Shane he would be here at 6pm. His dad dropped him off and then left (b/c I had told him his dad was never allowed here). I ran to my room while he was still outside and called the sheriff. They got here within 3-4 minutes and I was outside waiting for them. They went into the house, got him and brought him outside. I was hiding b/c I was so scared to even look at him b/c I knew how really mad he'd be. I listened as they told him he was being served an order of protection and could not contact me or the kids in any way for the next 30 days or he'd go to jail. He claimed it was bogus and said that he'd be going to the courthouse the next morning to get it overturned. I never heard anything more about it for about a week, so I looked it up online at the courthouse and sure enough, he did an ex-parte motion to overturn the order. It was denied. I was happy. The order stated that the kids could contact him if I allowed though, so I had them call him on Christmas ... and of course, no answer. They left him a message.
January 4th was our settlement hearing. This was where the judge would basically mediate between us in hopes of getting us to settle without having to go to trial. At the same time, we also had the TPO extention hearing. Omg, I was so scared. I love my attorney... she was so confident this whole time and really tried to calm me down. She always said she was going to "wipe the floor with him." At the hearing we started with the TPO issue. Troy told the judge the TPO was unwarranted and he wanted it dissolved. She then read to him the claim I filled out when I got the order. He looked over at me like I was lying witch and the bailiff immediately went to him and told him he couldn't look at me. So next, my attorney hands the judge the tape recorder where I had saved several of his messages. The judge played it over the courtroom speaker for us all to hear. I was scared to death to even look in Troy's direction b/c of getting in trouble the first time, so I didn't... but I could hear him throw his pen down. I could see my attorney out of the corner of my eye looking at Troy. She wrote to me on a piece of paper that Troy lost all the color in his face. After the first message was played Jaymie told the judge there were more like it and she said "I think I've heard enough. I'm extending this order for one year." She then went on to lecture Troy about his behavior and how it's effecting our children. How by treating me that way he was teaching our boys that it's okay to treat women that way, and he was teaching our girls to expect to be treated that way by men. She ordered him to 26 weeks of domestic violence classes, an alcohol evaluation and treatment, he's not allowed to have any guns, no contact with me for a year, and no visitation with the kids for atleast 6 months (we went in prepared to ask for only day visits for him and the kids so I was completely blown away). The kids can call him, but I have control over if he becomes innappropriate with them, I can end the calls. Right now, he asked for court ordered calls from them Sundays at 7pm and I didn't have a problem with that. We go back on June 4th to revisit whether he's completed the ordered classes, and support. He's on unemploment right now, so the kids and I aren't getting much. If he's done his classes he might get supervised visits with the kids. My attorney started bring out all the documents she's collected to support my case. The judge didn't really seem interested in those. She started plowing through all our issues and trying to get us settled. Jaymie told me "She doesn't want you going to trial, she wants you divorced today." The judge told us if we could get all our stuff settled we could divorced that day. So instead of mediating, she basically started telling Troy how it will be. She ordered him to pay all of the loans he had racked up, the $9000 car was his responsibility, and he WOULD be paying me alimony (which he was NOT happy about). We asked for 4 years ... he knew she'd make him pay, so he wanted only 1 year. She told him I deserved atleast 3. I believe we settled on 2 1/2. He didn't want to go that high and she told him he would either pay that, or pay atleast half my attorney fees (which were approx. $7500). So he agreed to the 2 1/2 years. She also ordered him to start paying on the child support arrears. My attorney said this judge normally lets the parent "skate" on arrears if they are on unemployment. Not Troy though. I guess she saw what a sleazebag he really is. He said to her that he didn't remember ever leaving those messages and doing the things he did to me ... and that he'd never hurt anyone. She just looked at him and said "It's easy to say that while you are sitting here in court. You have a serious problem. This is bad." He then agreed with her! The whole thing went better than I was hoping. She basically told him how it would be and what he'd agree too ... and he did! I left there so happy. My attorney said I was officially divorced that day (Jan. 4th), but to not run out and get married right away b/c she still had to draw up the divorce decree and I wouldn't have that for a few weeks. I said "No need to worry b/c I don't plan on EVER getting married again!!"
So we go back to court on June 4th ... and I'm thinking it's over finally!!!!
Wrong. This is Troy I'm dealing with. He then, the next day, starts sending Jaymie emails that say I'm unfit and bashing me, he demands copies of the tapes were he is "alledgedly" berating me, and then says he will not sign any divorce papers until he has an attorney look them over. I freaked out thinking OMG how long is this going to draw out. What if he never signs??? I went in to her office and her staff was able to calm my fears, thankfully. First of all, they really get a kick out of all Troy's emails and laugh about them b/c they are so ridiculous. They told me there is nothing for him to sign. If he does nothing in 5 days of getting it, then it's done. If he disagrees with something in the papers (which he already agreed to everything in court), then he has the 5 days to file a motion with the court. Of course we are anticipating him having a problem with something. Apparently though, nothing can be added to the decree, and anything he's going to have a problem with won't get far in court ... so they tell me there is nothing to worry about me. I just want rid of him!!! He's like a cockroach that won't go away!!
I really don't expect him to respect the orders in the TPO either. He's not allowed to disparage me ... and he's already saying weird things to them. The FIRST night of his Sunday call from the kids. Brynne asked him if he could come over and he told her to "ask mommy." So he's already trying to paint me as the bad guy in the kids' eyes. He told Jake that once Jake is 13, he can move out of my house and live where he wants. He told Shane that he would never ever hurt them or anyone else. Why say that? I guess he thinks I sit around telling the kids horrible things about him b/c that's what he does about me ... but I don't. As much as I despise him, I would never hurt the kids like that. I keep my mouth shut. I told them the reason he can't see them for so long isn't b/c he doesn't want to. It's b/c a judge ordered it so he could go and do what he needs to do to be a better dad to them. I also told them how I have to do the same thing ... become a better parent, and that's why I had to go to the parenting class. I don't want them growing up angry at me for trying to poison them against their dad, so I will never go that route. I'm sure they'll figure out on their one one day, just the kind of person he is.
Anyway, aside from that, I'm so lucky to have the support I do from family and friends. My mom helps watch the girls while I go to school, and my dad has pretty much been carrying me financially since August. He pays my house and van payment, my attorney fees, and any bills that the c/s won't cover. He also gets the kids stuff when they need things for school, sports or clothes. I am getting state help for foodstamps, WIC and Medicaid since Troy no longer has insurance. I hated at first having to go get all this help, but I've learned I'm at a spot where I really need it, so I've just accepted that fact. Hopefully I'll be successful in school and in the next 2-3 years, won't need any help from anyone. Even though I still occasionally mourn the loss of the good times we once shared, I'm VERY happy in my new life. I feel like I've found "me" again. It's so nice being home with my kids and not worrying about having a stressful environment.
Well I think that pretty much sums up the past 8 months of my life. Thank you for reading.
Im sure if you have been reading all this time, then you know that mine and yours are VERY similiar. How incredibly sad that is. Mine did the suicide thing....he showed me how his military belt thing would hold up his weight if he swung it over the door and were to hang himself. Then smashed his own head into a concrete wall on purpose. Jumped in front of my car after I stepped on the accelerator making it look to my children that I tried to run him over while they screamed and cried scared $hitless. Addicting personalities, all of this crap...oh, and he just got a gun.
I admire you for being able to post all this. I am so sorry that you went through so much stress and garbage. I am glad though that you have the proof you need to protect you and may have to have an order that talks about abusive use of conflict with the kids. If it is violated, file contempt. This is NOT okay and the kids suffer the most...
I am in school too, just not full time. You are so lucky that you have such great support! This is wonderful! You sound great. It sounds like he just sucked almost all the life out of you, but you sound great now! Relieved. Content. And IT'S ABOUT TIME!
We are here for you. It's a bit like family here. Just jump in and post away! HUGS!!!
Thought about a move to the state you are in...you like it there?
Heather, you are an inspiration! I am so glad that you posted!You have been through so much and I can only imagine how difficult this has all been on you and the kids. You're showing your children how to handle themselves during difficult times with style and grace and that women are strong and fully capable. What a wonderful gift to give them! It's a shame the message has to be given to them due to such drama with your ex but they're learning by watching this unfold how to stay strong and what NOT to do! LOL In that respect, I guess we'll give him some credit too. LOL
I hope someday for your children's sake your ex can overcome his addictions to alcohol and gambling. Your kids deserve that much. Unfortunately, most alcoholics and addicts need to hit rock bottom before they admit they have a problem and get help. Although it seems like he has based on where he started and how much he has lost, he may not see it yet. It could be he has to literally find himself living on the streets and breaking the law to get his addictions fed. So sad. I'm so glad you got out when you did though. Hopefully, this will serve your children as a reason to stay away from alcohol. How are they handling things now? Have you thought about getting them into counseling to help them cope? It might help them to talk to someone who is completely unconnected to the family situation and hear from them that their father still loves them but is sick right now and needs to work on himself. Kids make everything about themselves. The world revolves around them and they are singularly responsible for everything that happens. Chances are one or more is thinking along those lines and afraid to tell you how they feel or discounting what you say to deny it because "you're the mom...you HAVE to say things like that". It might be worth a few sessions just to explore that possibility. If nothing else, you would know that they're doing ok with it and accepting what has happened.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your story with us. It really is an inspiration to those women who may be going through something similar or have been through something similar. The more stories you read about similar situations, the more you begin to see that you can get out and you can overome a horrible situation like yours! KUDOS to you for being strong and getting out!
My God you've been through hell! My husband and I were married 3 years but together for over 10 and it is a long story (I just posted an intro the other day) and I can't imagine having children with him acting like that, although my husband pushed the baby subject and we had been TTC per his request for over a year, I never got pregnant. I also have a protection order against him because the night I found out what all was really going on, he beat me up. I work for law enforcement but he called the police (that I work for) and said I jumped him because he thought I'd lose my job. He was actually taken to jail because I had a knot on my head, scratches and scrapes all over my arms and my shirt was ripped.
So was the "end" back in May? Gosh, mine was just 3 weeks ago and I'm already having mental breakdowns!!!
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply. This situation is exhausting for me to think about, let alone post about. lol
I'm very touched by all the kind words and support. Thank you all!!!
hopenot4gotten - I love Nevada .... I'm in Northern Nevada, however, and not too fond of Vegas. Which area were you thinking about?
Blondzilla - Thank you!
Brandielou - Yep, May 22 was our last day together. When you say you are already having breakdowns, do you mean questioning whether you made the right choice or not? I went through the same thing .... sort of. I have always known deep down that I made the right choice. It was still hard at times, however. I would occasionally remember the good times, and the time when I really and truly loved him, and I would start to miss him. Honestly, that still happens once in a while ... but I know the reality is, I'm better off without him. I don't know why after all he has put me through, I still care for him. Maybe it's b/c we did share 11 years and 4 children together? I don't know.
It sounds like you've been through hell, too. I'm sorry you had to go through the physical abuse; I was lucky enough to have never had to deal with that. Good for you for getting out. You are very strong! I hope you are doing better.
Let's see .... I do have a couple updates.
The DA is taking him to court for child support on April 8th. I was advised it would be a good idea to go, incase I have anything to add to the matter. I'll be there.
My attorney had to send him a letter b/c he was violating the TPO. He would tell the kids to tell me he loved me, he screwed up and is trying to get better. Then he'd tell them he wanted to reconcile with me, and if I wanted a year long seperation, that was okay. All this, after we are already divorced.... but I don't think he understood that. Anyway, it was upsetting our oldest. I made my attorney aware of it, and she sent him a letter stating if he did not cease in his behavior, I would be forced to report him. Thankfully, he did stop.
He received a copy of the Decree and objected to several things listed in there. We think it's just to stall the process because the objections seem rather ridiculous. He filed something with the court (and this part confuses me), so the attorney revised something, but everything else is staying as is. It was sent back to him, and he has a certain number of days to reply (filing with the court again, if he objects ... which I know he will). It will eventually go to the judge to be signed, and then everything is OVER. Yep... still not technically over yet. lol This is so draining.
I got a call that his mother had dropped off Easter goodies for the kids at the attorney's office. I'll pick those up on Tuesday, after I get out of school. Apparently, his mother commented how much she misses the kids. What's interesting to me about that is how they NEVER call the kids. The kids have called the grandparents a couple times, and mentioned more than once that they are welcome to call here and talk to the kids. They never do. As much as I dislike the paternal grandparents, the kids love them, and it hurts to see them blow off my kids that way.
I think that's about it for the updates ...... thank you all, again, for the replies.
Last edited by 4wildflowers; April 3rd, 2010 at 03:21 PM.
I'm so very sorry. I can't imagine what it is like with your 4 little ones but way to go with coming forward about him saying all that crap, I would be d*mned if I let him continue to upset my children! I want to say that is nice of his mother, although I think there is more to it (but I don't know your situation and I could be wrong) but I know how you feel, somewhat. I was a part of my STBX's family for almost 11 years and not one of them sent me the first email checking on me and almost every single one is on facebook so they could have been as informal as humanly possible!
I'm proud of you for standing your ground with him saying how sorry he was and so on (which could be something to make himself look good in front of his kids) but if he truly means it, it is hard because if I were in your shoes, I'd want to believe it (but I have a serious issue with doing whatever it take so that "everything will be ok") but then I would be just as upset because it's like, "why now?!" after all you've been through. That is my main fear of my STBX, that he will be this wonderful man and do all these things he would never do while he was with me. That sounds so selfish in a way but I fear he will be a better man now that I'm gone because it will just prove it was all my fault.
I feel ya on the draining part! I just got my papers and he didn't request *****!! His complaint said all the legal stuff, like we were married on this date, citizens of this town, blah blah blah but the last part, last sentence said that he requests the equitable division of assets and debts, which only means months of arguing between lawyers and ending up in front of a judge to argue between one another, yet again! Ahhh!!! I know you'll make it and we'll be here for you for the added support!
You are right.... there is a lot more to the story of his parents. They are lunatics ... especially his mom. They never call to talk to the kids (nor did they when ex and I were together either). They were all about our oldest after he was born, but the more kids we had, the less interested they seemed. They were great at spending thousands of dollars on the kids at Christmas, but other than that, showed no true interest in seeing their grandchildren. The only time they talk to my kids now, is if the kids call them. Then I hear ex's mom on the phone saying, "We miss you guys sooooo much!" I just want to throw up. They just buy the kids off.... and I really don't understand why b/c like I said, they don't have any interest in seeing the kids. It's weird.
I talked with my attorney the other day and she told me he's still wanting to reconcile with me. lol ... And apparently, he asked my attorney to make sure HIS family could never see or have contact with our kids again. He must have gotten into it with his parents. He's always hated them, but now b/c he doesn't have me, he's having to depend on them ... but I know he hates it. My attorney just laughed at his "request" and said, "He has some serious issues." THIS I know!!!
he requests the equitable division of assets and debts, which only means months of arguing between lawyers and ending up in front of a judge to argue between one another, yet again!