A New Year Story: Father and Son

The following post is written by “Funky Monk.” Like many of you reading this, he married a woman who became emotionally and physically abusive toward him and their child. He asked if I would publish this on New Year’s Eve as a message of hope to everyone who is feeling trapped, alone and lost.

As I write this, I am lying in my bed on New Year’s Eve with my 13-month old son asleep in his room adjacent to me; and there is no where else in the world that I would rather be.

On June 18, about a day before Fathers’ Day, my now soon to be ex-wife viciously assaulted me after a heated argument. Her assault ended when she pulled a 12-inch knife and held it threateningly over her head as if to stab me.

Whatever her intentions were, I called the police, but only to make a point. I hung up before they picked up the line and immediately left the house as I was not safe with a crazed woman lurking about. Our son was asleep throughout the whole incident.

I took a walk around the neighbourhood and headed back home in about an hour, not realizing the hell that I was living since it had become normalized to me.

The wife was asleep when I returned. I watched TV and went to bed around 2am. At 3am, I heard a knocking at the door. It was the cops had arrived to investigate my 911 call. I immediately told them all that had happened, including the knife-pulling.

They could see from my multiple wounds that I had been viciously assaulted. They went upstairs to speak with the wife and found not a scratch on her. They saw that she was the culprit and ended up charging her with two counts of assault with a weapon (she had also stabbed me with a fork) and one count of assault.

Like a naive fool, I begged the officer not to take her in because I didn’t believe I could  look after our then 7-month old son. I offered not to press charges, but it was a matter for the Crown and I had no say in it.

After they took her in, I slept for about an hour and remember waking up hoping that it was all a nightmare, but it was not. This was the first time I was the primary care-giver for our son and I was very unsure what to do or that I could manage. I remember him waking up at 7am and smiling at me, at which point I finally broke down in tears.

The next day at court, I naively expected to be reunited with the wife after she posted bail, but the courts advised that we must be separated until her hearing date and stipulated that she must leave the house since she was the offender.

As I was working full-time and had no experience caring for our son, I offered to leave the home so the wife could care for him, assuming that she would plead guilty to her charges on conditional discharge and we would be reunited again to work through our problems. So I packed up my bags and headed to my sister’s home for what I thought would be a short-term stay.

On June 29, the wife’s first court date, she did not enter a plea, which effectively kept me out of my house and away from our son. On July 15, I found a divorce attorney and on July 24 I filed for divorce.

By this time I had come to realize that I had been living in an abusive marriage and, after betraying my trust by keeping me out of my house and away from our son, I knew that this woman could not be trusted. The problem was that I had left the house, which effectively gave her exclusive possession and primary care. However, my lawyer was able to get me back in my home on weekends to spend time with our son.

During my weekend visits alone with our son, I discovered a whole new world of paternal care. I found that caring for our son was a joy and not a chore, as the wife had made it out to be. And, for the first time, I actually felt at peace in my own home, not walking on eggshells for fear of an argument or worse. I knew that this was what fatherhood was supposed to be.

On August 10, the wife finally pleaded guilty to all charges, but by this point I had come to realize the full extent of the abuse I had suffered over the last 3 years and could not conceive of going back to her. Sometimes, one must be away from the abuse in order to realize that one is being abused and that is what happened with me.

Over the next few months, I maintained my weekend visits and grew more accustomed to single-parenting. I was becoming a more confident father and enjoying it much more than before. Meanwhile, my wife was entering a downward spiral because she could not cope with single-parenthood, as I had been doing most of the mundane aspects of child-rearing that she now had to take on.

In September, I moved to my cousin’s home because the drive from my sister’s place to my home was becoming prohibitive. I was biding my time and waiting for the next court date, October 19, when my wife was supposed to have her financials submitted. I was hoped that would flesh out the final living arrangements and custody issues.

On October 5, during one of my visits home, I found a very disturbing letter penned by the wife, blaming me for “leaving them,” saying she is “empty inside” with the last line being the most chilling:

“October 19 is when we will disappear, this is what he wants.”

I immediately showed this letter to my lawyer and we obtained an ex-parte motion to remove our son from her care and have me back in my house. Incidentally, this took place on my birthday, October 13.

Since then, I have had sole custody and primary care of our son, along with exclusive possession of my home while she has supervised access to our son only. Her fitness as a mother is now dependent on psychological assessments, which I am not sure she is carrying out since she still has hope that I will let her back in my house.

I think she suffers from some sort of personality disorder at the least but, whatever it is, she cannot be around me or our son, at least not unsupervised. I currently have him enrolled in daycare and, although life now is more hectic, it is much more enjoyable and I am at peace in my own home. I actually look forward to coming home now.

It has been over 6 months since our separation, so I have 6 more to go before the divorce is final. Although I will take a financial hit, it won’t be that bad since my assets did not accumulate much during our short 3-year marriage (thank-you global recession).

We have a large mortgage (most of my money is in my condo, which she cannot touch) and she made quite a bit of money, especially in 2009 when she was laid off from her banking job and cashed out her pension plan. So she will probably get one-tenth of my assets rather than one-half. But regardless, there is no price too high for peace of mind and a loving family, which our son and I now have.

So I wish you all a very happy 2012, with my personal resolution being to leave my anger in 2011, along with my hellish marriage. I resolve to regain myself in 2012 while showing my son that kindness is not the same as weakness, and that some people may take advantage of it as such. this is a lesson I learned the hard way.

Happy New Year everyone and all the best in 2012!

Happy New Year, to Funky Monk and his son and to the men and women who come to Shrink4Men to share and receive support. Onward and upward.

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consulting Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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  1. hammurabi says

    “I resolve to regain myself in 2012 while showing my son that kindness is not the same as weakness, and that some people may take advantage of it as such. this is a lesson I learned the hard way.”

    I too have learned this lesson the hard way.

    Wishing you all the best, good health and a prosperous 2012 ahead.

    • Funky Monk says

      Yes hammurabi, it is a tough lesson to learn, and I must often suppress my natural instincts to give in to my feelings of pity wrt my ex-wife, but I know now that doing so would only allow her an opening to inflict more abuse.

      • B Experienced says

        Funky Monk
        She knew that she could play with your natural ability for sympathy and empathy. In her case your sympathy would only be pathological to her. It will enable her to be a victim. Very sick use of sympathy and empathy when you think about it. The Cluster B’s don’t need sympathy and empathy, they need an iron fist or you feed the beast.
        They remind me of this crazy garbage can in an amusement park we used to go to when I was a kid. It was a lion. When you put your garbage in his mouth, he said that it was delicious and he wanted more. We got a kick out of him and ran around looking for more garbage to feed him. The more you feed him the more he asked. After awhile, I thought he got rather demanding, and I got tired of looking for garbage to pop in his mouth in the 90 degree heat. He wouldn’t stop so I just walked away not really liking him after awhile. I could hear him keep asking for garbage non stop after I walked away.
        The same goes with a Cluster B, the more garbage you feed them the more they want. They are like machines and could care less if you are running around like a nutcase on a 90 degree day sweating your head off to do it either. Don’t feed the beast.

  2. manofhonour says

    Hi FM,

    “kindness is not the same as weakness”…great story!

    You guys are not alone – not in a long stretch! Our thoughts are with you and I wishing you and your son a happy & prosperous 2012!…I am glad you took the right step when it counts the most

    Happy New Year to the S4M family!!!

    • Funky Monk says

      Yes manofhonour, I stayed in the abusive marriage constantly hoping that things would improve when she got pregnant, when we had a baby, etc. But not only did things not improve but they actually worsened as we achieved these milestones. I even naively hoped that things would improve when she was charged with the assaults because I assumed she would plead guilty and get the help she needed (for our family’s sake), but she showed her true colours by not only keeping me from my home, but also by keeping me from my son. Only then did I realize the true nature of the beast and resolved to take appropriate actions.

  3. TheGirlInside says

    “Sometimes, one must be away from the abuse in order to realize that one is being abused and that is what happened with me.”

    I’m so glad that the laws protected you from her, and gave you that chance to get out of the fog, to ‘wake up’ and realize that it was not normal. Makes me wish the laws in the states were more aware of and willing to protect all abused spouses in such a way…knowing how easy it is to beg for them back (a la’ Stockholm Syndrome) and endanger ourselves and children even more than before. Good for the Crown (I assume this took place in the UK??)!!

    Our State laws, however, DO have this statute (as of my divorce in 2008): “Where one spouse intentionally brings cohabitation to an end by misconduct which renders the continutation of the marital relations so intolerable that the other spouse is forced to leave the family home, and former and not the latter is the deserter and the latter may obtain a divorce on that ground.” Bark v. Bark, 1960 258 Minn.46,102 MS 2d.526 Divorce 37(22) under # 15. “Desertion”

    The situation cited stated that the wife left due to the husband’s insistence on the son and daughter-in-law living in the home. This was referred to as “constructive desertion” on the husband’s part. Ask your attorney about desertion laws in your state / province.

    I can imagine that being abusive / threatening / putting your child’s well-being at risk can also be construed at constructive desertion.
    It’s worth a try….

    Happy New Year – May 2012 bring all you need, if not all you want :)

    • Funky Monk says

      Hi GirlInside,

      Actually my case took place in Canada, in the same jurisdiction that a now-infamous case regarding Elaine Campione occurred — in that sad event she ended up murdering her two daughters in the perverted attempt to keep them away from her ex-husband, who was about to be awarded custody. When the judge saw the letter penned by my ex-wife, there was no way that she would have the blood of another child on her hands, so custody was promptly transferred to me.

      I do not like to use the word ‘lucky’ in this case since it minimizes the deaths of the two girls, but things may not have progressed for me as they did if the Elaine Campione case was not in the public eye at the time.

  4. Funky Monk says

    Thanks to those who have commented and especially to Dr. T for agreeing to post my piece.

    I had been a long-time reader and fairly recent poster to Shrink4Men and had found this site to be invaluable in affirming my decision to leave my hellish marriage behind, despite pleadings to the contrary that it is better for a child to grow up with both parents. I noticed that many men on this site stay in abusive relationships because they have that same mindset, or fear that they will lose their children. To that end I asked Dr. T to share my story of liberation, that I wrote a year ago back on New Year’s Eve of 2011 — I had recently moved back into my home, along with my son, after 4 months being away from him, and this was a form of closure for the entire ordeal. I want men to know that there is indeed hope for a better life and that not all the cards are stacked against us, although one must perservere and stick to one’s principles (and a little luck doesn’t hurt). 😉

    Just to fill in the blanks over the past year, the divorce is still not finalized since my ex-wife has yet to submit her financials, but my son and I are doing well and enjoying our lives togther; he turned two over a month ago and will be moving up to the pre-school room in his daycare since he is progressing so well. I like to think that the stable & nurturing environment now provided to him has a lot to do with it, but one cannot know with full certainty how he would have progressed if his mother was still living with us; incidentally she still is allowed only supervised access, up to three times a week, when she can find supervisors.

    Thanks again for the kind comments and I wish you all a very happy & prosperous 2012!

  5. Dr. F says

    Nice one mate.

    I wish you more wonderful times ahead with your son. He’ll read of your story one day and his respect for you will be a reward you’ll both share.

    Excellent stuff.

    • Funky Monk says

      Thanks Dr. F,

      I often wonder if my son will resent me for “splitting up the family” or thank me for protecting him from the abuse that his mother would eventually inflict upon him; I guess only time will tell…

      • Dr. F says

        Your son will not. Not ever.

        It’s been conclusively shown time and time again that the child who grows up in a single parent family will always look well upon the parent if that parent consistently does not ‘bad mouth’ the other absent parent.

        In other words, if you talk to your son about your ex wife without emotional inflection or derogatory language you can be sure he’ll work it all out and you’ll be ‘the worlds greatest dad’ for real.

        Mark my words Mr Monk I am right, and I’ll wager Dr. T agrees with me all the way.

        • B Experienced says

          Hi Funky Monk:
          The answer to your question about your son being upset about you breaking up the family can easily be reframed to tell him the following. Good Mothers and people don’t pull knives on people and stab them with forks. I left because we deserve better. When you put it that way, no child in their right mind would say, geez Dad why didn’t you stay. You saved him from a living hell.

          I had a BPD Cluster B father that was no where near as evil or bad as these women are, and I wouldn’t have minded if he left when he wanted to when I was a kid. The Cluster B’s are not fit to be in society yet alone be given the title parent. Without a doubt you did the right thing.

          I am a bit concerned that you question leaving an abusive women and think that on some level she might have been a good parent when she clearly isn’t. If she was so interested in your son’s welfare she would have turned the finances in by now, and gotten help before you left to tame her inner wild beast. I suspect she will tire of it all and move on making herself out to be the victim. If so, consider yourself very lucky. Your son will only be a pawn in her psychodrama anyway.

          • tallwheel says

            “The answer to your question about your son being upset about you breaking up the family can easily be reframed to tell him the following. Good Mothers and people don’t pull knives on people and stab them with forks. I left because we deserve better.”

            Or, you could even tell him about the letter if necessary. The fact that he might not be alive today had your wife retained custody and followed through with her threat would be enough to convince any child that his dad did the right thing.

            Definitely should wait till he’s old enough for that one though…

  6. says

    Horrible story but a very fortunate outcome for you and a very rare case for men trapped in an abusive marriage. Physical evidence is the only thing that saved you and perhaps the Barrie Police were repentant about their own involvement in the Campione murders and the DV charges against Leo that kept him away from his children for so long. The Barrie Police, Courts and Children’s Aid were complicit enablers of Elaine Campione.

    My opportunities to enjoy time with my children where restricted while I was still married. I was often interrupted with a chore or corrected in some way. Anytime she left the house and I was alone with the kids was absolute heaven compared to when she was there. I didn’t have much intrepeditation with taking care of newborns, it was much less hassle than the temper tantrums of an adult child.

    I never called the police on her but Children’s Aid and the Courts didn’t care when she admitted that she hit me and had a history of mental illness. It’s all about the best interests of mothers.

    • Funky Monk says

      Hi Denis,

      I should make a minor correction that my case actually occurred in a jurisdiction south of Barrie, in the northern part of the GTA.

      Yes, the physical evidence was definitely the impetus for my ex-wife being charged as opposed to me, but I am still grateful to the attending police officer who took the time to counsel me, take pictures of my wounds (including the knife wound and fork-stab wound) as well as give me a vote of confidence that I could care for my infant son.

      And I totally hear you wrt the parenting experience being much more enjoyable without the wife around: now I can care for my son without having to look over my shoulder for fear of reprisal that I am doing something wrong!

    • Funky Monk says

      Speaking of the Campione case, the DV charges laid against Leo were based on mere allegations by Elaine (that were eventually stayed), which resulted in his daughters being kept away from him for a time; meanwhile, my ex-wife was still allowed to maintain primary care of my son after she had pleaded guilty to DV charges against me. Only when she penned the note implying harm/abduction to my son was custody changed to me, and I do not think even that would have occurred without the precendents set in the Campione case.

      It is further disheartening to learn that the judge in the Campione case still painted Elaine as the victim, even though the jury had already found her guilty — you may find a thoughtful editorial of the verdict here: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/890839–dimanno-taking-aim-at-a-grieving-dad

  7. katie says

    What an absolutely beautiful story. I’m so very happy for you! Being a survivor of two psychopathic males, I’m very much a believer that not all men possess those traits and are, in fact, abused as well. I often hear male bashing from some forums and this place is a place of peace for me in my belief that good men are still out there. Your son is a very lucky little guy with your love and care for yourself and for him. God Bless you and I hope this following year brings you much more of the peace you are experiencing now! Thank you to all of you here who so courageously share your stories. I learn so much from them.

  8. lifeonborder-line says

    Happy New Year Funky Monk. Your story is inspirational. I so identify with you. My wife has not used a weapon on me yet but I understand. I’m very happy for you and your son. Being a Dad is not easy. I thought having a kid brother I changed a lot of diapers on would make it easier but it is not. You are making the transition well.

    • Funky Monk says

      To be honest, being a single father is a lot easier than being a parent while married to a abusive spouse: at leaast now I only have one child to deal with, and he is not psychotic or violent!

      • lifeonborder-line says

        I understand that too. I am very confident I would transition well. It is both more challenging and more rewarding than I could have imagined.

  9. jrock says

    Thanks for giving the rest of us renewed hope and a roadmap to a far more peaceful future (by just taking the necessary steps, as difficult as they seemed at the time taken).

    • Funky Monk says

      Yes jrock, there were many times that I questioned if I was making the right decision, and the process is indeed very wearying and makes you want to give up; it is only through the help of family, friends, counselling sessions and sites like this can one persevere for a better life.

  10. SineNomine says

    Funky Monk, thank you for sharing your story. I am relieved and happy for you getting yourself and your boy out of that terrible situation. Happy New Year to you, and God bless!

  11. LT Greenwald says

    Funky Monk — great post. I really admire you for your thoughtful posts on this site. This web site is a GODSEND for a guy like me. I realize that I’m not losing my mind.

    I am in a painful situation. My wife of two years holds me “emotionally hostage.” When we argue (at least every third day), she threatens that she’ll kill herself, and cut herself because of me, she says. She threatened to report me for domestic violence after SHE attacked ME (hitting and kicking and biting). I’m an Army officer with a security clearance and I could lose it because of such accusations. She keeps me up to 3am arguing when I have to wake up for work at 7:30am the next morning. I could go on and on…

    I love her very much, but I can’t take this abuse. I know I don’t DESERVE this abuse. But because I have depression and anxiety and I grew up with an UBPD mother, so emotionally I feel like I deserve this abuse.

    My heart is sick.

    I’m a veteran of 27 months of the Iraq War and 10 years in the Army, and I still need to build up the courage to LEAVE this abusive situation.

    I have to GET OVER my feelings of guilt and shame and pity…

    All easier said than done. But I think I’m on the right track thanks to THIS WEB SITE, DR. P and men like FUNKY MONK.

    Thank you!

    (And thanks for letting me tell you my situation.)

    • Funky Monk says

      Hi LT Greenwald,

      Thank-you for your kind words.

      My ex-wife also used to inflict sleep deprivation abuse by blasting the TV in the middle of the night, screaming in my ear while I was sleeping or turning the light on during slumber (I actually ended up disconnecting the light bulb in my room as a result). And if your wife has threatened to report you for DV, she eventually will, although I doubt that she will follow through with the suicide threats.

      I am a little stricken that you would still profess to love your wife after all this abuse is occurring; I had no such delusions of love but was taken with the fantasy of a supportive nuclear family life for my son, until all the shit that was brewing behind closed doors finally hit the fan.

      To be clear, you may think that you love your wife but it is more likely closer to some sort of emotional dependency, or even routine. It does take a sea change to break out of this destructive cycle, and I can proselytize all I want about how it is better on the other side, but in reality the decision was almost made for me; it would be a lot tougher if I had really made that decision on my own, but even more unbearable if I had not.

      So I hope this helps you in some way to hunker down and do what is best for your own well-being and to give yourself a shot at a better future.

      • LT Greenwald says

        “To be clear, you may think that you love your wife but it is more likely closer to some sort of emotional dependency, or even routine.”

        Great insight, Funky Monk.

        It’s hard for me to hear (emotionally), but I know it’s right (logically). I think it stems from my childhood with my uBPD mother. I’m attracted to, and/or accommodate “crazy women.” Eventually, I broke away from my mom, first at age 19 when I stopped talking to her for 18 months, then when I joined the Army at 22.

        Currently, I’m working on “two tracks” with my marriage. On one track, I’m securing my foundation for the hell storm that will be our separation and divorce — doing the checklist, securing my friendships, getting individual counseling, etc. On the other track, I’m being a loving husband who is taking all the “right steps” to save the marriage. I have less and less hope everyday that the marriage will survive. I’m coming to terms with that. Logically, I’m already there — I’m divorced. Emotionally, I haven’t gotten there yet.

        I’m proud of myself. My feelings fluctuate, but each month I get less emotionally attached to her.

        Thanks again for the personal insights and analogies you shared with me. They are priceless.

        This is some great group therapy! :)

    • Micksbabe says

      Thank you for your service to our country, Lt. Greenwald.

      You don’t deserve any of this abuse. No one does. And you have NO reason to feel guilt, shame or pity. Your wife does. However, since she sounds likely to be “suffering” (I use this term lightly because we all know the PD’s make other people suffer) from a personality disorder — she is not encumbered with emotions like this. She lacks a conscience, and she is not capable of loving another human being.

      Please be kind to yourself and stop allowing yourself to be abused. There are lots of women out here who don’t find being abusive fun or fulfilling.

      You survived Combat — you will get past this, too. Glad you found this forum.

      • B Experienced says

        Dear Lt.
        Nobody deserves abuse. You deserve to love someone who deserves your love and BPD’s simply can’t love you in a normal and healthy way nor are they deserving of it until they learn to stop abusing. Your wasting your time and love on nothing positive and most likely loving a false self of hers. Normal people who love you don’t make your life a living hell. These people seldom change and change is very slow if it happens and it is usually fraught with many regressions. Please get out ASAP, and don’t look back.
        You need a plan immediately in order to stay one step ahead of her. She is manipulating you with her para suicidal behavior and messing with your mind. You are not responsible for her actions and that includes her threats of suicide or suicidal actions. Don’t take her responsibility on for that either in case you have.
        If you are able to talk to your superior officer about this I would. Tell him or her about your situation and your fear of her ruining your career. Pull the trump card on her somehow without her knowing. If you can talk to the military psychiatrist, I would do that so that there is a record of you reaching out for help with your double bind in a mature and healthy way. You can deal with the anxiety and depression you are having as well because of her this way too. This proves that you are appropriately confronting the problem and seeking a competent resolution. Get all the support you can muster up as well as allies and plans when you do leave. Cover yourself well. I hope this helps you, and I am sorry that you are in a bad place.

        • LT Greenwald says

          B Experienced,

          “Please get out ASAP, and don’t look back.” That’s necessary advice. I need to hear that. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I’m ready yet. I want it to be on “my terms.” But of course that’ll never happen. She’ll find a way to act crazy and flip the situation.

          As for the “cover yourself” advice, I’m working on it!

          I reported the abuse to three shrinks, two in the Army system. I also reported her false accusations of abuse to my Army supervisors. Both men know me well and are completely supportive. I’ve kept them informed as the situation has deteriorated. I also have a recording of her (which is legal in my state) in which she admits that she committed domestic violence against me and I didn’t do anything wrong.

          The hardest part of the whole experience is that she is a great wife for 2 out of 3 days. She’s fun and sweet and loving and makes great food for me. It’s that third day that she rages at me. It’s so confusing for me emotionally. Or, rather, it’s exactly how my childhood was with my uBPD mother.

          Thanks for caring and for the great advice! :)

          • B Experienced says

            Hi Lt.

            Boy am I ever glad to hear that you have support and reported her to the shrinks and that you are doing what you are doing.

            I am glad that she is a great wife for two days, but you deserve a great wife on day three as well as not to be anxious and depressed or tortured by her para suicide threats. That is simply unconscionable to do to you. The cyclic behavior of hers would be harmful to anybody, and she may very well escalate at some point. Her cyclic behavior is the cycle of an abuser and not real love so keep that in mind. Please consider that this isn’t really good for you no matter how you look at it. I understand that you want to leave on your own terms, but I don’t think these situations are safe to stay in. The anxiety and depression you have are key indicators that you need to take some serious action for your own mental and physical well being. You don’t deserve to live that way.
            Maybe it would be helpful for you to speak with one of the Psychiatrists about why it is hard for you to leave. You may find it easier to leave with the Psychiatrists support as this is often times true. I suspect that your difficulty is tied into trying to get it “right” somehow. The truth is that nobody ever gets it “right” with a BPD. It is just one big futile effort. Dr. T has a very good article on the Stockholm Syndrome that may interest you on this site. It sounds like you have a bit of it.

            Your welcome for my support. I would put a smiley face on too, but my computer skills are zilch!

          • LT Greenwald says

            “I suspect that your difficulty is tied into trying to get it “right” somehow.”
            –B Experienced

            Great point! I always think I can “think my way out” of a bad situation. The problem with my wife is that nothing I can do or say with make it “right.” The crazy thing is that my mom was/is the same way!!!! The situation is so familiar to me that it almost feels normal. That’s why I must consciously reject that feeling of normalcy. It’s a skill I’m learning…

            Thanks again!

      • LT Greenwald says

        “You survived Combat — you will get past this, too.”

        Great point, Micksbabe! I tell myself of that every day! And I remind my wife that what she does to me (sleep deprivation) is actually a violation of the GENEVA CONVENTIONS!!! We can’t even do that to Al Qaeda! No kidding!

        I’m not sure whether she has a PD or whether she’s just very immature. Part of my emotional separation process is to realize that it DOESN’T MATTER WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER. It’s not about her. (She always wants everything to be about her and I think I feed that by trying to diagnose her and “understand” her.) The bottom line is that she’s abusive and makes my life miserable.

        I’m also well aware that there are “lots of women out there.” I just have to stay away from the crazies. That’s something I’m working on in individual therapy — how to recognize “red flags” early on and get out of those relationships.

        Thanks for the excellent insights, Micksbabe! This site is truly awesome.

  12. lifeonborder-line says

    Bless you LT and thanks for serving your country. You got to set some boundaries. Sleep deprivation is one of the worst forms of abuse. I know Dr T has gettinbetter.com as a link, probably a great place for you if you haven’t yet been. We know what you are going through. Hopefully all of us have a Happy and improved New Year.

    • LT Greenwald says

      Thanks for the insights, lifeonborder-line. I’ll check out that web site.

      As for boundaries, I try to set them, but she rages at me and screams and cries and won’t accept my boundaries. She has no respect for my boundaries. She puts me in no-win situations at 3am all the time. She cannot see at all that she is wrong. I firmly believe that she thinks she’s acting appropriately. That’s the scary part. That’s the part that I have to come to terms with, emotionally.

      To make a military analogy, she’s acting like North Korea by invading South Korea and violated in the UN Charter which mandates that nations must respect other nations BOUNDARIES! :)

      This will be a GREAT NEW YEAR, one way or another! :)

      • lifeonborder-line says

        I do know how you feel. It is hard as hell to set them. Mine won’t accept them either. Unfortunately I just don’t enforce them! Unfortunately war is the only option when folks don’t respect boundaries.

        I totally agree this will be a Great New Year. My taking care of myself resolution is going great and it is already looking up. Even though I’m in the midst of a silent treatment rage for challenging my wife to set some new goals and responsibilities for this year.

        • LT Greenwald says

          “War is the only option when folks don’t respect boundaries.”

          Well said, lifeonborder-line. Glad you’re taking care of yourself, too. We can forget to take care of ourselves when we’re always focused on the tantrums of our spouses.

          Also, good that you’re challenging her. I’ve started to do the same.

          Yesterday in couples therapy I “spilled the beans” to our counselor — told hime everything. He took 15 minutes to explain to us (really just her) that VIOLENCE IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE. I also got a promise out of her that she wouldn’t retaliate against me for being honest with the therapist. I feel like a million bucks!

          But I resent being in the position of having to teach my wife how to act like a grown up. Life’s too short for that bullshit, you know?

  13. Micksbabe says

    Happy New Year to you and your son. What a stroke of luck your call to 911 ended up being. I hope all of the men who are in this forum take note and react accordingly when physically assaulted.

    • Funky Monk says

      Thanks Micksbabe, yes the final 911 call did indeed set into motion events that eventually led my son and me to a better life, although there were many other physical assaults that occurred during our marriage in which I should have called (the police officer even noticed the multiple scars on my hands and arms due to the many previous assaults).

      I can only hope that my story opens the eyes of other men on this site so they do not get to this point, because when the violence does inevitably escalate, it may be too late.

      • LT Greenwald says

        Funky Monk and Micksbabe,

        On calling 911, I have an ethical/moral dillema. My wife is a social worker and could lose her job if she’s substantiated for domestic violence. She’s a great social worker. She’s good with other people’s kids and situations. She sucks at her own.

        I don’t want to ruin her. I can’t even think about something like that. She’s threatened to ruin me (for something I didnt’ do!), but I can’t do that to her.

        Also, the Army will make me pay her $1,000/month during our separation. But if she’s substantiated for abuse, I don’t have to pay her anything.

        It’s quite a dillema…

        • Funky Monk says

          I had a similar dilemma since I had already called 911 on my ex-wife a few months after we were married due to some property damage she was causing. The attending officers did not charge her but left with a warning, stating that the next time 911 is called, someone is going in. During the two years of married hell thereafter I did not call 911 because of this warning, as I did not want to see my wife go to jail, even though she had assulted me multiple times and done extensive property damage to the house, not to mention the verbal & psychological abuse. My final 911 call was more of a reflexive action at having a knife held threateningly over my head!

          Wrt your situation, I would not want a social worker helping me 9or anyone else for that matter) if he/she is abusive, so that should not be a factor in your decision-making. And calling 911 is not about ruining her but protecting yourself from a potentially life-threatening situation.

        • B Experienced says

          If you are able to prove abuse to not pay the 1,000 a month then her job will eventually find out. How do you know she is so good at her job? Is it because she told you? The Cluster B’s are attracted to Social Work; especially BPD’s. Other people in the field usually know this.

          I can turn your moral dilemma around. How do you think the people she is helping would feel if they found out what a fraud she really is by abusing you? I don’t consider not exposing her to be moral. Covering for her in anyway is enabling her and quite immoral to yourself and others. It is no different than a coach only molesting children at home and not on the job. You really can’t say then that they are good at their job when they can’t fully engage and uphold the morals of their ethics, society and the law outside or within the scope of their job. A Social Worker is required to be able to do uphold the ethics of their job, society and the law. You never hide abuse and you never protect the abuser.

          If they do find out about the abuse, you are not falsely accusing her anyway. You are taking a stand for yourself and you have every right to live your life by the truth. You didn’t ruin her anyway, she ruined herself. She needs to stand on her own and deal with the consequences of her actions. If she really loved you, she would have never put you in this dilemma to begin with. She only loves that she can control you and can get away with all of her criminal and unethical behavior because you won’t “hurt” her. In doing so, your morals are being warped and you are her puppet. You really need to be kind to yourself and not her.

        • Micksbabe says

          No doubt your wife knows this and viewsy our kindness as a weakness. She’d much rather ruin you than be ruined. But the reality is, if she assaults you and you call the cops, this is a natural consqeuence for her actions. She knows the law, no doubt especially considering she works with cases of domestic violence. She is a hypocrite and does not deserve your compassion.

          • B Experienced says


            You have articulated what I was trying to say in a much better way. I am glad you did.

          • LT Greenwald says

            She views my “kindness as a weakness.” I couldn’t sum it up any better.

            Thanks very much to all of you for your feedback. This web site and the commenters on here are a godsend!

            Someday soon I want to be like Funky Monk, telling my success story of leaving my abuser!

            Thanks again.

        • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

          On calling 911, I have an ethical/moral dillema. My wife is a social worker and could lose her job if she’s substantiated for domestic violence.

          Or so you think. A woman like your wife who brutally abuses her nearest and dearest should not have a job in ANY profession in which she has power over vulnerable people — adults and children.

          Pardon my language, but TFB about her career. You owe her the same mercy that she’s shown you, which is zilch. Protect yourself and protect your child. Your wife will no doubt throw you, the child, and anyone else who gets in her way under the bus in an effort to protect herself when push comes to shove.

          Please excuse the tough love, but when I read statements in which abused men are concerned about protecting their abusers, it makes my head spin round in circles.

          • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

            Replied without reading all the way down first. Great advice, everyone.

            When I decided to leave the field of not-for-profit treatment centers, I was burned out. But not because of my patients. I was burned out because of my 7 or 8 female social worker colleagues who were pure poison. The director was a raging uNPD, her officer manager was a sociopathic uBPD. It was the proverbial snake pit. NASWALT (not all social workers are like that), however, I would never willing work in that kind of environment ever again. It was quite possibly the sickest group dynamic I have ever witnessed.

            My point is sounds like your wife would fit right in. Nevertheless, it would be great if the abusers could be weeded out of the field.

          • LT Greenwald says

            Dr. T,

            Thanks for the advice. Luckily, we have no children. Nor is there a plan in the works to have children. Your point about her social work career is well taken.

            I feel like I’m straight out of the Jerry Springer Show. I’ve had to tell my supervisors about the situation and I’m sure they think there’s a chance I was the agressor. It’s such an embarrassing situation.

            I think I’m finally seeing clearly about it all. It’s so very painful to see it for what it is.

            Thanks again for your guidance and for the help of everyone on this board.

          • B Experienced says

            When I first started reading this site a couple of years back, I thought this woman, Dr. T, is doing the right thing. She isn’t rolling the Clusters B’s sh–in powdered sugar to make them more appealing or disquise them in any way.

            I agree with her. I go around the bend when I see how people still love the Cluster B who abuses them when this is not real love. It is just like the BPD who will love someone even when they are abused by one. Do you really think that the BPD’s psychotherapist would overlook that. I don’t believe that for one minute. Yet you are supposed to stay and love them. Nonsense. You are being exploited and used as a tool to make the therapist look good and nothing more if you are told this by one. These people don’t see the pathological grandiosity of the professional or the belief, and they are getting the double whammy. They are being kept in a dangerous situation as well when there is no skin off the religious leader or Mental Health’s Professional back when something goes wrong. They cleverly dance around, avoiding ownership and get off from being held accountable for their bad ideas and the outcome almost all the time if the truth be known. The public largely holds both religion and psychology as untouchable fields, and the harm caused by both is rationalized, justified or denied. The victim is held accountable and is the one who takes the beating, sometimes publicly. Where did all their love and ideals go that they both preached about? Somehow this turn of events, is okay in their minds or they are too blind to see it.

            I believe that it is egregious for people to be told by our society and religions that they should love the Cluster B because it is family or a lost soul. This belief transcends any common sense or natural defense to want to protect yourself. It is the biggest manipulator of all times because it is very easy to sway people by their guilt and fear of repercussions or wanting to prove their love to their God or Mental Health Provider. It isn’t rare either that the Mental Health Providers believe that they are a kind of God in their client’s or patients lives. That is why it was necessary to have an ethic put in their professional code guarding against this. Even the normal ones warn the public about it.

            I used to watch the Priests I worked for when a Cluster B showed up. They ALL got rid of them ASAP. I heard more Bible references on why not to deal with them than I can recall or count. It was all about “Father”. They talked among themselves about others. They were like a bunch of old gossipy ladies on Bingo night that the Priests had the audacity to complain about. Yet when someone was being abused by a Cluster B, they tried to get them to stay married or were told to love them and pray for them.

            The point that I am making is that hypocrisy is very common among people who don’t have your best interest in mind whether it be a religious leader or a Mental Health Professional who is nothing more than a guru or follower of some philosophy or a wannabe in the field.

            Just because a moral is mainstream it certainly doesn’t make it rational or the one you should be choosing.

  14. joesixpack says

    Great outcome from a terrible situation! I’m very happy for you and your son. I know the time I spent single-parenting my son was very rewarding for us both.

    The REALLY nice thing about this is the way your ex crashed and burned. Mine did the same, only it took about two full years and a lot of heartache before it all unraveled on her. In the end I got most of what I wanted and what she did manage to get from me she has already squandered.

    • Funky Monk says

      Thanks joesixpack, I can only imagine that my ex-wife considered herself untoouchable as a mother of an infant child in the family court system; and I was told by everyone around me that I would never get custody of my son, but here we are beating the odds.

      It is also interesting to note that, if I had stayed in the home after she was charged instead of convincing the courts that I should leave, the likley outcome would have been joint custody of our son which would have been another kind of hell.

      I’m glad that things worked out for you as well, albeit after a longer period of time and some heartache in between.

  15. Freedom says

    Remember that old saying “at least you have your health’? I’m not trying to be coy or trite here, because its the God’s honest truth. You HAVE your health, as far as it is right now, and will be even better in the future. You’re learning a very valuable lesson: your personal health, in this case your mental, emotional and spiritual health truly are priceless. I truly admire your stance on all of this as it also offers another extremely important lesson: that this is designed to make you a better man, not a bitter man. You come across as someone who is willing to go thru what it takes to see the other side, the brighter side, the healthier side. You will obviously benefit from all of this, but your child will benefit as well. The relief from stress of living daily with someone so unstable will pay dividends to you as a person and your abilities to be a better father. Doesn’t mean its gonna be easy, it means that you’re willing to be true to yourself, true to your child, and take the steps necessary to be true to your future and your son’s future.

    • B Experienced says

      I don’t talk about the following much at all with anyone. However, I think it is important for people to really understand how serious the effect on your health can be when they are in a relationship with a Cluster B as well as how important it is to leave them ASAP.

      The kind of stress that a BPD or any Cluster B can create for a person is dangerous. I had 2 physical illness brought out that are life long, disabling permanent neurological illness that may or may not worsen. After the thirty years of the onset of these illnesses, I now walk with a cane, can no longer run or work, and I have developed several other illnesses from one of the original ones. I am being watched for yet another major neurological illness as well. A couple of the secondary illnesses can get life threatening, so I am taking tests for them a couple of times a year now. Who knows if they have shortened my life span.

      My message is that no one really knows what illnesses they harbor. Heavy stress is often the vehicle to bring them out. When you start to have depression and anxiety it is time to get serious immediately about leaving and get well. The price I payed was simply egregious.

      On top of all of that, I lost out on the chance to go to Medical School because my memory is impaired from one of the illnesses as well as my response time to grasp and understand at times; yet I was always considered moderately gifted in school. When I started getting into my studies, I full well knew something was really wrong with me. It was another heavy blow.

      All of this happened because a crazy Social Worker who was a “psycho” therapist played with my mind until it felt like raw mangled hamburger, and then decided to stalk and harass me for 3 years after I fled. I was psychologically raped and a literal mess after she got her hands on me. The State defended her and asked me if she really killed someone or just felt like it. It was a joke to them. She told me about some of her homicidal states and they were chilling. They all involved her family including her one son and former lovers. It amazes me at the amount of people who enable the B’s. It really isn’t any wonder that they get away with what they do. As far as I am concerned, they are all as bad as her on some level and in some way.

    • Funky Monk says

      Thanks for your kind words Freedom.

      Yes I have been through hell being married to a PD, so any hardships & difficulties I may face now do seem pale by comparison.

      And I did not realize it at the time, but my coping mechanism for the stressful existence was to grind my teeth while sleeping at night, so much so that I ended up developing lock-jaw. Fairly soon after I separated my lock-jaw was miraculously cured, by no coincidence I’m sure.

      Also my performance at work has increased so I will be up for a promotion soon; and the quality of my personal life has increased 100 times over as I am now able to socialize with family & friends whenever I choose.

      I cannot stress enough the postive impacts on your life of leaving an abuser, or the negative impacts on your life of staying with one.

  16. Freedom says

    I think what most people realize, but never admit to themselves (and certainly not to the other person) is that true love and intimacy requires risk. I’m not trying to be cynical here but i do believe this to be true: one of the biggest risks of intimacy is that you give someone your heart, and trust that they will cherish it, nurture it, but you ALSO give them the blueprint on how to hurt you. Fights happen and people can say and do mean things thru the course of a relationship. But healthy people can and will take some measure of responsibility for their actions, see the damage they’re causing, and take the necessary steps to change their course of action. They realize that the end doesn’t justify the means, and learn to compromise, or “pick their battles” as the saying goes. For unhealthy people, nearly everything seems to be a constant battle, at least from the outside observer. They’re unhealthiness is pervasive, and even if it is not constant, it is at least consistent. For them, going thru relationships is like Godzilla going thru Tokyo. They just do what they do. The problem is that people look the other way, or make excuses for the abuser. Yes you have to accept people for who they are. That part of the statement is an absolute truth. But the second part of that statement says that you do not have to find their behaviors acceptable.

    As i said in another post, NOBODY ever has the right to determine the amount of pain and damage that you should have to endure.

    All my best to you…

    • Funky Monk says

      “NOBODY ever has the right to determine the amount of pain and damage that you should have to endure.”

      I love it when people tell me that they have seen worse behaviour in marriages, as if that gives justification to get back together. My response to them is that sure, Hitler has murdered thousands of poeple, so does that make everything else in between OK?

      • Freedom says

        Not only that, Funky Monk, but people need to realize that it’s not a contest. “Oh my wife/husband was 10 times worse than that and i stayed in”. Really? Well then or bad for you. You’ve heard me bring up my dad and all of his atrocities. My mom stayed 39 years with him. Most times it was a stretch for me to tolerate him for 39 minutes. On one hand i applaud my mother for believing in whatever held her side of the marriage together. On the other hand, my mother (in my eyes) deserved a much better fate than what she got with him. Because she stayed, my brother and i endured abused and torment that no child should ever have to face, and she was quite frazzled, sad, and abused herself by him. Of course i forgive her because I’m not in her shoes and i respect the decisions she made because those were her decisions to make. I also forgive my father because i have one life to live and I’m trying to make it the best that i can. Of course some things still hurt when i think about them. But that still doesn’t drag me from the path that I’ve set for myself. People want to play expert on someone else’s life because if they’re wrong then there is very little to pay. It’s your life, your happiness, and your ability to stay true to yourself and your child. There’s a reason i chose screen name of Freedom. I am free to make my own choices, my own life, my own future and my own happiness. Cluster Bs want to take that Freedom away from you. And others – the “experts” seem to know what’s best for you, sometimes without them ever taking into account what YOU want. They don’t understand that you are free to make your own decisions. Rather than them telling you how bad they had it, or the amount of pain you should have to endure (because that was their choice)… they should simply respect your decisions to acquire your own Freedom, and live the life YOU choose for YOU.

        • Funky Monk says

          Very well put Freedom, no one has the right to decide what is best for another person. But what really gets me is some people’s sanctimonious attitude that taking my ex-wife back is best for my son. WTF do thay know about what went on in my house in front of my son’s infant eyes & ears? Would they be held accountable if I actually heeded their advice and any harm came to him or me? How could they possibly know more than me what is best for my son?!?

          That, more than anything else, makes my blood boil. And I wonder how many of them would have tried to convince my ex-wife to take me back if the roles in this situation were reversed…

          • Freedom says

            To me, a man, a woman, and a child don’t necessarily make a family, they make a demographic. I don’t believe marriage needs to be a life sentence without the possibility of parole. I also believe that too many people bail on a marriage because they’re not willing to put the work in. However, i don’t think the latter is the case in your situation. Again, I’ll use my mom as an example. I never had the courage to ask her why she stayed in, given all the damage that was done to her and to us as her children. My mother is like God to me, but i never really understood why she would stay in and allow that to happen. Yet even tho i don’t understand it, i still respect it. I lived the fallout of some of those decisions and i still respect them. So i don’t understand how people won’t respect yours or anyone else’s decision to get out of a severely unhealthy, damaging, abusive relationship. Sometimes there is no workable answer for what ails the person or the relationship. Sometimes people are damaged beyond repair, or won’t seek the help that they need in order for them and their loved ones not to suffer. If that is the case then why is it that those surrounding her have to suffer? You seem like a good man who has given this whole situation a lot of thought. I seriously doubt that any decisions that you have made have come easy. Most times decisions of this magnitude cause people a tremendous amount of pain at first because of their morals and trying to do what’s best, yet fighting within themselves about what truly is best. It would be nice if people would take all of that into consideration, respect your decisions, and support you. It doesn’t matter what they would do in that situation, it is not their decision to make.

  17. Willl says

    What’s disturbing is that this story would have turned out very differently if not for several mistakes she made and a good deal of luck (and restraint when being stabbed with a fork!).

  18. been there says

    Having left a very similar situation, this was the first time that I have been able to take my son, now 13 on a real Dad and son deer hunt….There was no cell phone service so he could not be checked up on….My son hs been alienated from me so the court ordered visits have been wonderful……Anyway our trip was awesome and for the first time I’m his life I really got to know my son one on one. Even though I only see him every other week it has been such quality time that I missed during my marriage to his BPD mom….I was going to stay until he turned 18 and graduated high school but the abuse both kinds got worse….I can’t tell you how many nights all night i drove around waiting to go to work. I became a workaholic I hated going home so bad. I developed anxiety disorder and end up takiing beta blockers just to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest…I wanted to die….the manipulation to keep me from leaving was very dramatic, if leave your son will kill his self. Every day sucked life out of me to the point that hitting a train looked better then going home…..The divorce has been going on for 10 months now and cost 100k so far….my STBX file a court order for everything…my sons puppy wet in his bed at two AM I told my son to sleep on the other side or go to an other room., by the time she went to her lawyer I made him sleep in feces…..that cost me over 5k…She also went as far as have him coached to appear before a judge and tell him he never wanted to see me again…..cost me 10 k to get that stopped……the games and manipulations go on……I am health nd going the therapy and have never felt better..I know what normal feels like now………BPD get worse with age….she never thought she had a problem…I went to 70 sessions of therapy while married….therapist told me to stop and that I was only accountable to God..I even saw dr Phil while he was in Dallas he told me that I was the sick pu
    Puppy for sticking round, that was 17 years ago….could have saved a half a million dollars….You can fix them they will drive you to the brink on sanity….and blame you for it………

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