Many men who are going through a divorce with a high-conflict (HCP) and/or abusive personality disordered wife (e.g., Histrionic, Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial, Avoidant, Paranoid and Dependent Personality Disorders) think that giving her everything, appeasing her or making concession after concession will satisfy her and expedite the divorce process. This is usually a mistake.
A big one.
Men who make this mistake are often tired of the conflict and the needless delays and roadblocks that HCPs and APDIs engage in during divorce. Typically, HCPs want the conflict to just go on and on and on, while their worn out exes just want to get on with life. This is when men are at the greatest risk of entering what divorce attorney, David T. Pisarra, of Men’s Family Law calls the Danger Zone.
The Danger Zone is how Mr Pisarra refers to the learned “give-her-whatever-she-wants-to-make-the-conflict-stop” behavior of men who have been been married to abusive women. Mr Pisarra knows his client has entered the Danger Zone when he hears the following phrase of resignation: “I just want out.” In Welcome to the Danger Zone, Mr Pisarra states that when he hears a client utter these four words, he knows:
That’s it. That’s all it takes for me to know that I have a client who is about to sign his life away. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. She works him over emotionally for months, in some cases, for years. By the time he’s in my office, he’s lost birthdays, holidays, countless weekends and midweek dinners with his kids. He’s answered hundreds of inane questions, and produced mountains of financial documents.
It’s at this point, when he’s reached the end of his emotional rope, where he makes spectacularly bad decisions. He will agree to a lifetime of non-modifiable spousal support and is as flexible to her as a pair of pantyhose.
“I just want out” is the dying refrain of a man in a divorce . . .
. . . Guiding a man through the “Danger Zone” is difficult, painful, and frequently frustrating. And oftentimes no matter how much I warn a client what may be in his future, many feel that it won’t happen to them. Maybe it’s a ‘guy” thing. The reality is that we all want to throw up our hands sometimes and scream, “Enough!” But in the all too frequently rough and tumble world of divorce, where words slice like daggers and false statements are often viewed as fact, that surrender flag a man waves can actually be the start of another battle.
I advise many of my clients in exactly the same way.
Divorce doesn’t end after the papers are filed. Many of the choices men make or are pressured into making by their exes or disinterested divorce attorneys can adversely impact them and their children for years, decades and the rest of their lives. Therefore, agreeing to unreasonable demands in the present for the sake of expediency, can come back to bite you on the backside in the not so distant future.
A man’s seeming inability to stand up to his abusive ex is learned behavior.
Men who have been in relationships with abusive women are conditioned to forsake their needs and rights and throw in the towel to keep the peace. The good news is that men can un-condition themselves. Helping men to firmly and finally say NO to their abusive wives, girlfriends and exes is a large part of the work I do with my clients.
Helping men define their boundaries and say NO is a major developmental milestone and a significant step in a man’s recovery from a controlling, abusive wife. NO is a boundary and an effective boundary provides a consequence for violating it.
Your ex won’t like it and will probably become enraged, but that’s just too bad for her. Don’t let her adult version of the terrible two’s cow you into submission. Her rage and/or teary eyed tantrums are nothing more than cheap control device sand you don’t have to fall for it anymore — especially during divorce.
Let her pitch a tantrum. It will make her look like the out of control, unreasonable adult brat that she is. Don’t let her suck you into the vortex of Crazy when she does this. Remember, the calmer and cooler you remain, the more control you retain. If you allow her to suck you back into the Crazy, she gains the upper hand because Crazy gives her the home court advantage.
The Normal Rules of Behavior Do NOT Apply
Every man who is married to a crazy, abusive, controlling, high-conflict and/or personality-disordered wife needs to keep the following realities in mind:
1. You did not marry a normal, reasonable person; therefore, you cannot deal with her as if she’s a normal, reasonable person.
2. You did not marry a woman who is capable of compromise or fair mindedness, so don’t base your decisions on wishful thinking. Her goal is to make you suffer.
3. Contrary to what your ex believes, it’s okay for you to say, NO to her. In fact, it’s not just okay for you to say NO, it’s imperative for your future quality of life. If you can’t say NO just yet; let your attorney do it for you.
4. Most importantly, any kindness or generosity you show to your ex will be perceived as weakness by her. Remember, you are not dealing with a normal person. She won’t be grateful or see you as a nice guy for letting her have her way. She will see you as a chump.
5. No matter how generous you are with her, she will still portray you as the villain and portray herself as the innocent victim/martyr, so do what’s best for you and your children in the long run. Trust me, having an impoverished, broken, unhappy father is not good for children.
The more you cede over to an entitled, abusive ex, the more emboldened she becomes to make even more outrageous demands, so don’t set this dangerous precedent. Most of the time, this kind of woman won’t stop until someone with authority makes her stop and/or unless you have the documentation to expose her bad behaviors. If you don’t think your attorney understands this or advises you to just acquiesce; consult with another attorney. If you’re going to acquiesce, it should be strategic and something you can afford to give away in order to get a bigger gain.
Once you agree to give your ex more than her fair share, she will see that as a green light to ask for more and continue to up the ante, so don’t do it. Figure out what your leverage is and then maximize it. Think of everything you consider agreeing to through the lens of long-term consequences and stay out of the Danger Zone.
P.S. Does anyone else hear the Kenny Loggins-Top Gun song every time you read “Danger Zone” or is it just me?
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.
hhahaha! Yeah – as soon as I read the title, I was dancing in my seat 🙂
You are so correct that kindness is viewed as weakness by HCPD people. My husband’s ex even told a counselor that she walks on him because she can and when he would offer a concession, she would go for more. She took his entire paycheck and put him on an allowance. I can’t even imagine that!
Agree totally with your article – I’m beginning to wonder if my husband’s divorce is ever going to end. They’ve been legally divorced for over 4 years now, but she just keeps piling on the demands. Thankfully, my husband has found the ability to stand up to her more-so than he did when they were married. Every year, he has been able to stand up to her bullying tactics (such as insisting he pay for things for the kids when they are with her despite the fact she gets almost 25% of his income in child support now). She criticizes him to the kids and says they are “like him” when they make a mistake. Her husband bullies him.
Thankfully, he had a good attorney who kept him from getting taken to the cleaners and gleaned excellent advice from this (and divorce for women sites) that helped him plan ahead when he knew he wanted the divorce.
I am not wishing the kids lives away, but I will be happy when they are both 18 and graduated from high school so he will never have to deal with her again.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Of course you don’t wish your husband’s children away. However, many abusive women use children after the divorce (and before and during) to control and hurt their exes. Weaponizing children is sick and a form of child abuse.
Also, child support is usually grossly inflated and, in many cases, not spent on the kids. It’s like a bonus form of spousal support for an adult who ought to be supporting herself. It’s natural and normal to look forward to the day when you no longer have to cut a check to someone who has abused you and continues to abuse you. Divorce is supposed to put and end to the former couple’s contempt, conflict and resentment. Spousal support and child support without accountability only serves to engender more conflict and resentment.
I love his kids, very much. We tell people we have four kids. It’s really none of their business anyway if we’ve been divorced, etc. Every stranger doesn’t need our life story. However, I do think of them as my own.
I am tired of her not being held accountable for child support and how she spends it. The kids even says she spends it on her step-child by her current husband. If she registers them for soccer, she tells them her current husband paid for it. School clothes? Of course, she bought them from her part-time job as a day care worker (yet claims to be a teacher). Her hubby makes almost 100,000 (rough guess) a year, so what’s the child support being spent on? My husband hasn’t had a raise in four years and the kids obviously aren’t suffering, yet we are facing another increase in child support. We are responsible for all the health care (insurance and 85% of anything insurance doesn’t cover), as well. He pays almost $1500 a month in child support and $500 for the first two years after their divorce. Of course, as soon as that two year mark hit, she got married the following month. I’m tired of the games. You know what? I’m divorced, too. The court awarded child support to me and I told my ex not to worry about paying it. Whoever had the kids was responsible for them at that time. In my opinion, that’s the way it SHOULD be.
My husband is such a sweet, giving, generous man. I’m glad he’s standing up to her better now, but he doesn’t like the person he has to become to deal with her. I wish she would go be happy with the conflict she causes in her own marriage and leave my husband alone. At least I know when the kids are with us, they are safe – they aren’t being yelled at. They aren’t being cussed at and they are not being told that kind of behavior is normal behavior from people professing to be Christians. Please don’t stand up as a worship leader on Sunday and call your 10 year old daughter a “b” on Monday. It’s not even humane, much less Christian.
Sorry to go on and on. It’s just so difficult watching those I love so much (the kids and my husband) go through the turmoil that she puts them through. It is especially hard watching the kids and their radical behavior changes.
Hi, I want to say you have just described my spouse I am trying to divorce to a T, and me almost. The only difference is I am the wife and he is the husband. He is completely exasperating and all logic and reason I have tried, has failed. Every time I think I am starting to get through he flips into maniac mode and comes on stronger. I noticed when I try to negotiate if he wants A, I give him A, then in the next sentence it’s oh by the way actually I want A and B. I have stood my ground and his ridiculous court antics haven’t helped his case, so I’m doing fairly OK. But I have so many times uttered, I just want out, just give it to him, I don’t care. He wants to get out of the next two months of paying child support or home maintenance, fine, if it just gets us to the finish line faster. I have a good attorney who pushes when I’m ready to fold at least. But I know this site is a site for men, but I would just like to point out that this article kind of implies this is only how the female borderlines act. It’s the EXACT SAME dynamic when the borderline is a male. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I don’t know where they get the energy to keep this up. He’s definitely gotten worse over the years. He told me before we got married he was diagnosed with BPD but that it was controlled. I was in love and ignored the signs. But I had enough of the odd, abusive behavior, but then when I wanted out, that’s when it really came out full force. To boot, he found a woman right away who is right by his side as he goes out of control in the court. I think she enjoys wrangling him. But she gets to witness it all. Even his lawyer can’t deal with him, yet there she is at every court date, every family function, every school event as if she’s been around forever. She completely baffles me. I was dumb enough to fall, but I didn’t have that behavior smack in front of me before I went to the alter.
Thankfully, I did resist the temptation to give him everything and run, as I was the one who gave in in our marriage. And it’s been two years and still not finished strictly because he’s been as obnoxious as humanly possible within the law.
Good article. Sometimes a strong, but sensible, woman can also help set things right.
When I met my husband, he was paying his ex wife alimony, child support, and the note on the house she demanded in their divorce. Ex decided she wanted to pick up and move to another state, so my husband paid for that as well. My husband was living on $600 a month and basically doing whatever his ex wife demanded so he could see his kids. The house later went back to the bank and his credit was temporarily ruined.
When I came along, she continued to try to control things and even tried to get him to keep secrets from me. She tried to force him to purchase a million dollars in life insurance and became a real pain in the ass about visitation. My husband put up with it because he wanted to see the kids and because he couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer. Indeed, they didn’t use lawyers when they divorced. She drew up the papers herself from a do it yourself divorce kit. While she really gave herself a lot of perks, that DIY divorce kit was a blessing. It left us with loopholes that we can now exploit.
My husband’s relationship with his kids has been destroyed. They haven’t spoken to him in years. His former stepson was revealed to be a snake in the grass and his daughters have turned into religious zealots. As awful as that is, we’re very happy together and will celebrate 9 years together.
One observation I’ve made is that my presence changed the dynamic of things. When my husband was single, ex could still control him by holding the children’s affections over his head. My husband worried that if he stood up to ex, she would tell the kids awful things about him. I told him that the ex will tell them whatever she wants to and that giving in to her will only make her think he’s a weak little chump. When I started questioning things and encouraging him to say “no”, he started to stand up to the ex. That made her upset, and she amped up her efforts to control things. When she tried to force me to spend Christmas with her, I refused, and that seemed to begin the process of breaking her spell.
My husband’s father and stepmother, who had been strong allies to her, started to see how insane the situation was. They started to stand up to her, too. She retaliated by alienating the kids from their grandparents, which made them realize that we hadn’t been lying about what that woman is really like. After the Christmas incident, it took years for us to reconcile with my husband’s father and stepmother. My husband’s ex wife spread toxicity wherever she goes.
While it’s regrettable that the kids are so alienated, they are young adults now and responsible for their actions. Frankly, if they are anything like their mother, it’s better that they aren’t around.
These days, ex leaves us alone entirely. We don’t even know where she lives– though we did find out that she moved recently. The youngest kid turns 18 this year and will be unceremoniously kicked off the child support payroll. We will celebrate accordingly with some much deserved travel. Unless those kids have a serious change in attitude, good riddance to them. They are my husband’s kids and he loves them, but he doesn’t love the toxic fallout that comes from dealing with their mother.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
What is it with ex-wives who want to keep life insurance policies on their ex-husbands/be the beneficiaries? How is this even legal? Presumably, people divorce because there’s more ill will than love between them. If I were a man with an angry, entitled, abusive ex-wife, I’d be sleeping with one eye open if she could benefit from my death.
“One observation I’ve made is that my presence changed the dynamic of things. When my husband was single, ex could still control him by holding the children’s affections over his head. My husband worried that if he stood up to ex, she would tell the kids awful things about him. I told him that the ex will tell them whatever she wants to and that giving in to her will only make her think he’s a weak little chump.”
Is unfortunately true in many cases. While it’s cold comfort, your husband didn’t destroy his relationship with his kids; his ex AND the kids destroyed their relationship with him. Women (and men) who use children as leverage to extort and manipulate the other parent are sick twists who have no business being parents. Period.
Many men are afraid they’ll lose their kids if they set limits/boundaries with their exes. It’s a tough call. On the other hand, if you allow her to have that power, she’ll continue to wield it more and more. This is why I’d love to see the laws change so that if a woman withholds access to the kids; the man gets to withhold BOTH CS and SS. I think a lot of these kinds of shenanigans would be reduced—except, of course, in the truly crazy cases (i.e., those cases in which the mother or father is so consumed by hatred and malice that loss of money doesn’t matter).
My husband is required to keep a life insurance policy, too. It is meant to cover any child support that would be lost if something happened to him.
Yeah… apparently, in their decree, my husband had agreed to give her $1 million in life insurance for the kids and his soldier’s policy ($1.25 million in benefits). That was a number some insurance agent at had given her. But when he went to buy the insurance, the company wouldn’t give it to him because he’s in the military. And at the time, he couldn’t have afforded it anyway. She let the matter drop. He had made her the beneficiary of his then $250,000 soldier’s life insurance policy and a $500K policy for the three kids (one of which wasn’t his)– plenty for three kids who were halfway to adulthood anyway.
After he married me, ex said I could have the soldier’s policy, but she expected him to replace it AND purchase the $1 million in coverage he originally agreed to buy. He said no, for the same reasons he hadn’t bought it in the first place. So she sent him a nasty email full of guilt trips and shaming, and even insinuated that I was the one inspiring him to be so “stingy” about providing for his family. He wrote back telling her that he knew that if he were to die, she wouldn’t be cutting each kid a $333,000 check. His days of supporting her, personally, were over. She let the matter drop again.
Since then, there have been a few comments from her and her adult son that I am the source of his refusal to keep paying out the nose. I do encourage him to push back, but his decisions are completely his own. It’s been gratifying to watch him grow a spine. It’s made him more confident and, therefore, a lot sexier.
Thankfully, my hubby didn’t give up his soldier’s policy and the insurance policy isn’t anywhere near 1 million. I would be concerned for his safety if it were. We each have a policy on ourselves naming the other as beneficiary that is just enough to cover current debts. I am not interested in anything more and if we lost the life insurance policies, it wouldn’t be a devastation. Unfortunately, we still have to deal with her on a continual basis and, until the kids are of age, he has to maintain one.
My husband always had a “spine”. He is a confident professional that most people don’t try to kick around. He has always been sexy and attractive to me. I have always loved him just as he is.
She is an intimidating presence, however. He wanted what most men truly want – to make the person they love happy. It wasn’t that he was spineless, he just was not used to dealing with manipulative people and thought he was doing something wrong if he couldn’t keep his wife happy. It truly hurt him at the core of who he was and effected him as man. In all of his other dealings with people, he has no problem issuing boundaries.
She has also done the things you are talking about – saying he is unwilling to pay for things for the kids because of me and my kids – to which he points out that, unlike her when they were married, I actually work. I provide for myself and contribute to the household welfare. We maintain separate bank accounts as well. She’s now a glorified babysitter for after-school care. She’s making just barely over minimum wage despite having two college degrees. The only reason she works is if she doesn’t, child support will be based on her IMPUTED income (based on two college degrees) instead of her ACTUAL income.
It is gratifying to see him growing in the healing process and be able to stand up to her. He is able to tell her no – that he isn’t paying to rent band instruments – she can use the child support to do it. His healing has had nothing to do with me being in his life. That is something he has done on his own. I have been here to support him when he isn’t sure he is doing the right thing, but I try not to get involved in his dealings with her. As much as I love the kids, they are THEIR kids. I have no legal say and, in the end, he is the one that has to live with the consequences of his decisions. If I jumped in and got involved, he would be living with the consequences of MY decisions – and that is not fair to him.
Don’t get me wrong. My husband has always been attractive to me, too. I love him dearly. But the truth is, he was pretty “spineless” when I met him and that’s something he freely admits to. He was beaten down by his ex wife’s constant browbeating and insults, which helped erode his spine. I always thought he was sexy, but he’s even sexier with a stronger spine.
If he hadn’t had such poor self esteem in the past, he probably never would have married her. He admitted to me that he married her because he didn’t think anyone else would want him. That is an absolute untruth– he is a very attractive and intelligent man, a hard worker, and very thoughtful and considerate. He has plenty of qualities that are attractive to women. I love him very much, but he’s not perfect. He has a long history of trying to be a fixer and capitulating in order to please others. All I was trying to say is that he has made big strides in learning how to stand up to people– and that includes everyone, not just his ex wife. It’s helped him personally and professionally. Confidence is a huge asset in the military.
I think if you have been around to support and encourage your husband in his healing, you absolutely do deserve some of the credit for the fact that he’s doing better. You’re right when you say he probably would have healed on his own, but it does help to have someone around to vent to and get validation from. And your support no doubt has helped speed things along in the healing process.
I have only met my husband’s kids once, very early in our marriage. Other than that, I don’t speak to them or their mother. Like I said, they have nothing to do with us anymore. But I do have plenty of opinions about them and I think I’m entitled to them, since his dealings with them have an effect on my life.
I didn’t mean to imply you were handling things wrong, if it came out that way – I was just stating how we handled things. Different things work for different people and there is no one-size-fits-all method of dealing with a histrionic BPD person.
His kids are younger – and don’t have a say in whether they come over or not, so they are here about 40% of the time. I am glad they are because they can see their father is not the boogy man that he is made out to be. HE is not the one cussing at them.
My hubby was also in the military. He went to the Navy nuclear power school and served collateral duty in Iceland and Bahrain as a police officer. He served on the ship as an electrician. He now works as a field computer engineer for a software company. He’s very bright, very professional and has admirable ethics and character. He had his family to lean on when things were really bad for him, or I am not sure that he would have fared as well. I have known him for 20 years (since high school) and he is honestly the best man I have ever met. Why is it always these good, strong, intelligent men that are victimized so easily?
I spent over 20 years on both the military and civilian side of the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program. I have some opinions about character traits of people in the program but nothing solid. In 1981, I heard a 2-star Admiral say there were no valid pyschological studies on submariners done shipboard because once they got the idea they were being watched they’d start screwing with the tests. We messed with people’s heads for sport on the ship.
A few of my theories on why we (nucs) might be vulnerable to Cluster Bs.
(1) We tend to be somewhat on the geeky side.
(2) We tend to have large egos. If you did pyschological profiles on the Navy nuc population, my guess is they’d skew more narcissistic than the general population. My CO once said there was a fine line between assertive and obnoxious and I was frequently on the wrong side of that line. My exgf told me she initially didn’t like me because I was cocky and arrogant.
(3) We tend to be fixers. The attitude of Navy nucs is there’s nothing we can’t fix or work around.
(4) We’re extremely good at following orders. Initiative is frowned upon in that program. You follow the script as written. In that context, it’s a good system and it works. In a bad relationship, once we’ve ceded power, we may just fall into compliance.
(5) We understand the concepts of loyalty and responsibility. This can be used against us.
(6) Passive-Aggressive behavior is familiar to us. As an officer, I observed Passive-Aggressive behavior frequently. Because of the rigid rank structure of the military, direct insubordination isn’t possible so guerilla tactics are used. I saw it with both the elisted and officer ranks. My exgf once said, “Don’t talk to me like one of your sailors!” I told her, “Then stop acting like one.”
(7) Hypervigilance is familiar to us. We’re conditioned to be in a constant state of awareness of our environment shipboard. We learn how things look, how they smell, how they sound, how hot or cold it should be when you touch it, etc. We know when something’s different from normal almost intuitively. I developed a pretty good sense of what “normal” behavior was for my exgf and it didn’t take much for me to detect something was up. I’m still hypervigilant but after a few years after being married to my wife, I dialed the sensitivity way back.
My opinion is anybody gets one free pass for being in a relationship with a Cluster B. You don’t know something’s bad for you unless you’re either educated about it or you learn from experience. There’s something in us that makes us vulnerable to Cluster Bs. I only tangled with one of them although I met several more before I met my wife.
The sad thing is that it only takes tangling with one Cluster B to have consequences that last a lifetime. The punishment seems disproportionate to the crime.
Mellaril, that was very interesting reading… Here are my observations of my husband’s behaviors based on your theories.
(1) We tend to be somewhat on the geeky side.– Yes, my husband is a bit of a geek. He’s very smart and well read, but definitely leans toward geekiness.
(2) We tend to have large egos.– Actually, my husband doesn’t have a large ego. He’s very willing to admit his shortcomings… almost too willing. My husband worries a lot about what other people think of him, so he tends to be overly considerate of other peoples’ feelings. He sells himself short all the time, even though other people tell him how great he is.
(3) We tend to be fixers.– Yes! My husband is a fixer. Sometimes, I’ll be doing some household chore and he’ll try to take over.
(4) We’re extremely good at following orders.– Yes! My husband is excellent at following orders, even when following orders would be to his detriment. His job requires this quality of him, but his ex wife exploited it.
(5) We understand the concepts of loyalty and responsibility. This can be used against us.– Yes!
(6) Passive-Aggressive behavior is familiar to us.– Yes! However, my husband never perpetrates this kind of behavior toward me. He literally treats me like a princess. I could not have asked for a nicer man to be married to.
(7) Hypervigilance is familiar to us.– Not sure about this one… He probably was when he was with his ex wife, but then, that was like walking through a minefield. He also has had a boss or two like this, requiring him to be very sensitive or else risk a blow up.
My husband dated a woman before he was with his ex who was also a clod. I don’t know if she was a full blown cluster B, but she was very inconsiderate toward him. And if I’m honest, there was a time in my life, before I met my husband, when I was a little nutty myself. My husband met me after I had been through therapy for anxiety and depression and dealing with growing up in an alcoholic home. I thank God he met me post therapy… 😉 However, even at my nuttiest, I don’t think I would have done most of the things my husband’s ex has done. When I met my husband, I could not fathom that a loving mother would use her children as weapons or that children could be taught to hate one of their parents, simply because they got divorced. I was very naive in that respect, but then, I am not a child of divorce.
Your #2 doesn’t surprise me. From the literature I’ve read, being a “people pleasure” is a characteristic that puts someone at risk to becoming involved with a Cluster B.
With respect to having large egos. I’m drawing on my experience with the more senior ranks. I found O-4 through O-6s the most difficult officers to deal with. At that level they had decided to make the military a career and were heavily focused on what effects things may have on their careers. If you weren’t sufficiently ambitous, you didn’t ascend to the more senior ranks. Some were more Machiavellian than others.
Nucs also tend to be self-critical. We hate to make mistakes and can be very hard on ourselves when we do. We also don’t like to admit failure. It means we’ve actually found something we couldn’t fix or work around. Cognitive Dissonance usually doesn’t work well for us.
The only thing worse than making a mistake is making the same one twice. If you seriousl want to mess with a nuc’s head, gaslight them into doing it sometime.
My husband is a senior O-5. But he has worked with a lot of people who fit the description of being “difficult” and Machiavellian. In fact, we just found out yesterday that an O6 he went to Iraq with a few years ago was just relieved of his command. This guy had gone back to Iraq to lead a brigade, but was investigated for promoting a negative work environment. He got canned a mere six weeks before he was supposed to come home, which really says a lot about how bad things must have been for his poor soldiers. A few years ago, my husband was that colonel’s deputy. The guy was the epitome of a narcissist. When my husband told me that his boss reminded him of his ex wife, I knew things were really bad.
Interesting theories. David didn’t graduate from the school – he ended up getting very sick and missed a few days – enough to keep him from graduating.
(1) We tend to be somewhat on the geeky side. <– Fits my husband to a tee – and is a reason we are good together. I'm a web developer/code monkey and he's a computer field engineer.
(2) We tend to have large egos. <– This doesn't fit him at all. He is very humble, gentle and sweet. I've never known him to be arrogant or cocky.
(3) We tend to be fixers. <– Yeah – that fits him. He loves engineering because he loves to come up with novel ideas to fix things other people say is unfixable. He is an out-of-the-box thinker for sure.
(4) We’re extremely good at following orders. <– Yeah – he was accused of being too military for the military. He's not like that now, though. He doesn't like jobs where there isn't a clear goal, but he does like jobs that require creativity.
(5) We understand the concepts of loyalty and responsibility. This can be used against us. <– most definitely
(6) Passive-Aggressive behavior is familiar to us. <– His ex used to say he is passive-aggressive, but I don't think it fits. He's pretty straight to the point.
(7) Hypervigilance is familiar to us. We’re conditioned to be in a constant state of awareness of our environment shipboard. < — yeah – he's said that. He would wake up at night if something on the ship just didn't "sound right." He was (and still is) in-tune with her moods. If she's in a rare good mood, he can time it like clock-work to her next fit. Part of his healing process (and that of any abuse survivor) is to calm those frayed nerves. He doesn't let his guard down with her (and can sport other B's a mile away) but is relaxed and happy at home. He says, for the first time, it's a haven for him.
I do agree that Geeks are more prone to being abused and taken advantage of. Highschool 101 just continued into marriage.
I actually think that my husband’s ex is one of those truly crazy cases. When she alienated her oldest kid from his dad, she allowed the dad to stop paying child support, even though she and my husband really needed the money. My husband ended up paying child support for the oldest kid, even though he wasn’t my husband’s son.
And when my husband’s older daughter turned 18, my husband stopped paying CS to the ex, though he was supposed to keep paying until the girl turned 22 (the decree stated that he was to pay his daughter directly). He tried to send his daughter a letter explaining how to get the money. The letter was returned with the notation “Moved, left no forwarding address”. So since we don’t know where they are now, the youngest kid will be cut off at 18, too.
We know she does need the money. Victim #3 is not a big earner and neither is the ex. She’s also famously terrible with money, since she has poor impulse control. But this is a pride thing with her… she gets to a point at which she thinks she doesn’t need “help” from whoever has “wounded” her.
Suits me fine. I think adult kids who can’t be bothered to speak to their parents ought to be paying their own way, anyway.
never again says
I did this. Walked away from everything, over $1/2 million in assets, after what amounted to just 10 months of actual marriage (that was the amount of time before she revealed her true self). Signed the papers a month to the day after I walked out.
Two reasons I did it:
1. I was just tired of the bs, and for my sanity, needed to put as much room between her and myself as I could. I just wanted it overwith, and needed the financial stuff off the table so I could start rebuilding my life. I couldn’t get a mortgage for another home while the financial stuff was floating out there.
2. I was still under her spell, and thought “If I just give her EVERYTHING, she’ll finally understand how much I love her, and will treat me right.”
Neither was a rational decision. But, by that point, I was anything but rational…
If I had it to do again, I would’ve waited 3 or 4 months before I agreed on a settlement. That’s my best advice to anyone in that situation.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
How in the hell does a woman get to walk away with the lion’s share of the assets after only 10 months of marriage? That’s obscene.
I’m so sorry, never again. These types really are parasites.
B Experienced says
The laws are designed to protect the criminal. If the B’s aren’t sucking you dry emotionally, they will do it financially. Any mature normal woman would find that offer far too generous, and wouldn’t think of it; yet alone accept it. The lawyer she hired gets a good cut of that fee. NPD’s gravitate towards legal professions and play the system like a fiddle. Then it is called justice.In their world yes, the normal one no. I consider any empathy and/or sympathy and compassion for the Cluster B’s pathology to be the biggest pathology and con job behind it all. I give them nothing. I am on the side of the victim, and I won’t help put salt on their wounds by engaging in that shallow and near psychotic fantasy. It diminishes the pain of the victim, and I won’t hear of it for any reason.
Quote of the day goes to Dr. T: “If you allow her to suck you back into the Crazy, she gains the upper hand because Crazy gives her the home court advantage.” Priceless!
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I was lucky to have an even-handed mediator handle my divorce from my Cluster B ex. Even still, I got stuck with loan payments that could not be put into her name, since the loan companies would not transfer them to her name, and other debts that she had no hope of repaying. I shouldn’t have let that sway me, but I was a nice guy and wanted an amicable split and felt I could repay everything fairly soon. She definitely came away with an upper-hand.
She has since moved in with her boyfriend, and I’ve contacted an attorney to see if this “cohabitation” gives me the right to reduce my spousal support. The idea that my money is helping this guy is too much of an affront. On top of everything else, she still tries to control me by telling me to let her know when I plan to visit her relatives. It’s ludicrous. I will give her courtesy of letting her know if I’m in the area lest we accidentally run into each other.
Basically, I found boundaries that will not be crossed, and saying “No” has been a very empowering feeling. She won’t control my travels anymore, won’t control who I see and when, and her boyfriend won’t be mooching off her at my expense. It’s certainly emboldened me to stick up for myself in other areas. I guess if there’s a sentiment I wanted to convey, it’s to echo the idea that this process never ends with the divorce. Saying “No” has to be a constant refrain when necessary.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
If it helps to incentivize you, telling a woman like this NO sends them into faux outrage more than just about anything else. “How dare you tell me NO?” Quite easily, lady.
Also, remember that they like easy targets. If you can stop being a pushover, they’ll more than likely move on to easier prey. Many can’t handle delayed gratification or frustration of any kind. Say, “No;” then IGNORE. By the way, don’t fall into the trap of explaining your NO. No means no and you don’t have to justify it. There are a few exceptions (e.g., if kids and safety are involved), but even then, keep it brief and let her know it’s not up for discussion or debate. You can expect that she’ll accuse you of being controlling and unreasonable, but that’s code for “You’re not letting me have my way! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
B Experienced says
When you deal with a Cluster B you have got to be hard nosed. You have to be dogmatic in your position and work against their weaknesses. They have them too. This is a time when you have to fight for your well being. It’s a more than fair fight because they go for the proverbial throat and in the men’s case the jewels. The best part of it all is that you will start to restore your dignity and self respect with this defensive maneuver. Your compassion needs to be turned inward on yourself and for the innocent people involved in the B’s drama that you have a responsibility for and to the ones who are not enabling them that are adults that you care for.
You have to have a Plan A, B, C and D if necessary for their counterattacks. Take any sign of danger or threat very seriously. Never under estimate far fetched ideas with them either. Plan against that too. Better Safe than Sorry is really the Motto and Mantra you need with them. Don’t let anybody tell you that you are inflating the problems either.
My husband and I have insurance policies on each other. Neither one of us cherish the thought of using them, and argue about who it would be better for to die first. As if we can control that or will know that when the time comes! My point is that normal people who have a good marriage aren’t in it to make money like some business deal. It is just a practical and realistic part of our financial planning.
The last thing I ever wanted was to be financially dependent on anybody. As it turns out I have physical illnesses where I have no choice but to be. I insist on being as self sufficient and independent as I can be. If it were the other way around, I would not think twice or resent it for a minute if I had to take care of my husband because there are real reasons for it. That is what marriage and mature love is about. In the Cluster B’s world illnesses don’t count when you are sick either, and they abuse you with that as well. They discount are feelings and we are supposed to validate theirs. No way! I don’t suffer fools well.
In retrospect I faced this.
Something I noticed from my very first toe-dab into the divorce process that lasted all the way through the conclusion of the divorce was a consistent subtext by everyone involved to “just settle it”, “just get along”, “don’t make waves”, “don’t make us investigate”, “don’t make us assess”, “don’t make this hard.” You get an attitude from attorneys across the board and all the agents of the court that they JUST DO NOT WANT to deal with your complaints about your ex-wife (or STBX as it were).
When it finally got to the end, I had two things that influenced me: (1) the separation: it was heavenly – getting a taste of what it would be like not to have her in my life, or at least at a distance – SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tempting to just finish and move on!, and then (2) the custody evaluation, where the custody evaluator basically came into this exactly like everyone I described. I got clear non-verbal signals from him from the first hour we were together that he was saying to himself “please let this not be hard, please let this not be hard” and basically the more I made it clear: this is going to be hard, … instead of doing his job, he got mad.
So the custody evaluation:
(1) Used amazing and obviously well-practiced tricks of rhetoric to minimize or excuse or explain way her misbehavior – a chief rhetorical trick being generalization, i.e.: he spoke of her faults only in generalities, never in specifics
(2) Entirely left out her misbehavior when it just couldn’t be excused away
(3) Focused a microscope on my faults, no matter how minor (again, rhetorical trick: he would in one line describe her felonious fault as a generality so you weren’t even sure what he was talking about, then in the very next line he would describe my fault in specifics – and while it was always so minor anyone could tell it wouldn’t matter to the outcome, it also left no doubt – he did this over and over again)
(4) Got facts wrong when they were in my favor, got facts wrong too when they were in her favor – basically was willing to invent facts
So, where it came to that moment, it was kind of like:
(1) Everyone involved in the process from the start has projected to me that they don’t want me to force this issue
(2) Separation from her seemed WONDERFUL, how soon could I get life without her?!
(3) The custody evaluation (which still wouldn’t recommend primary custody to her, which she asked for) was nevertheless a crushing blow – basically made clear in the most black-and-white/on-paper/for-the-court way, that an experienced custody evaluator was willing to lie to the court to protect a pretty young woman who cried in his office from the consequences of her own actions
So – at that point, I settled. 50/50, and my kids have pretty much suffered ever since, but I settled.
Having settled though, I’m not sure it was strategically the wrong thing to do in my case. Because of the set-back of the custody evaluation, it basically became necessary to allow time to show what a liar she (and the custody evaluator) are. Time is a strong ally when working with PDs and HCPs. I am sure things will go my way, but unfortunately it is not without my children having suffered through an unnecessary period of demonstration.
Here’s an interesting thing though: in settling there was never a doubt in my mind we’d have to re-litigate. Interesting too: the same system/process/people aren’t so down on re-litigation. Keeps them in business, whereas if you got a sound decree in the first place they’d have to find new customers. I don’t like conspiracy theories, but just saying.
I “gave in” to my xw recently during a health emergency.
I was no contact for 19 months. But I broke it a few weeks ago because of an extreme situation. Her reaction is VERY sick and telling.
I had the worse flu/cold I’ve experienced in recent memory in March. It just kept on and on. Early April I went into doctor and they did an ultrasound of my heart. The atrium was in fibrillation at 160 to 170 bpm and the left ventricle wasn’t even pumping and the right was at 1/4 pump. They were amazed I was walking around at all. The tech said “I’m sorry. I can’t let you leave until a cardiologist sees you.” I thought WTF?!
Anyways, not wanting to get into all the details, I had to check into the hospital (which turned out to be 9 days and several close brushes with death) the next morning. That evening, I texted my ex (for the first time of any contact in anyway in 19 months) if she could watch the two littlest ones (3 and 7 yo boys) while I was in hospital. The oldest two boys are with me all the time (13 and 16 yo) and can fend for themselves. My 71 yo Mom was down and could help, but the little ones are a LOT of work.
Here I’m going into hospital with serious heart condition and she texts back some LONG ASS text starting with “Thank you for finally texting me …” When I read that I KNEW what else was coming and I immediately hit “erase” and texted her back (after discussing it with my Mom) “Forget it. We’ll watch the boys.” Co-incidentilly I see her pull up a few minutes later in front of my house and drop off my oldest son. I send out my second son to ask her if she’d watch the little kids while I was in hospital. He came back and said, “She didn’t give me an answer but said ‘She had to talk with you first’.” Now I now what that means; there is no reason for us to “talk”. Either watch the boys or don’t. As an corollary, her father was very sick this past fall and early winter. When she asked several times for me to watch the little ones while she flew to her father’s distant state, I just gave a yes or no answer without complicatons. She seemed unable or unwilling to do this.
What sickens me is that here I am in the weakest physical condition of my life (virus put my heart into “congestive heart failure”) where my heart nearly stopped twice while in hospital and blood pressure dropped below 45/30, and SHE USES THAT WEAKNESS TRYING TO EXTRACT SOMETHING (“I need to talk with you”) FROM ME. No we don’t need to talk. Ever. We can deal with child issues, emergencies that come up, using text messages. I was so angry that night before checking into hospital that I sent her an email (again first one in 19 months) explaining WHY I was in no contact and that ONLY text messages needed to be sent and only in immediate emergencies regarding kids when in her care. Everything else (kid exchange, etc) is laid out in divorce decree. When I get out of hospital 9 days later, my eldest son is caught smoking pot and suspended for two weeks. She’s maneuvered to have her the first contact (even though boys have been at her house overnight 3 days since August 2009 — nearly 19 months ago), and she sends me this long text implying I can’t raise the boys, she can do better, she’s going to have my son at her place for intervention, etc. AND in that text message she says, “Stop sending me harassing emails”. Note plural. I sent one email explaining no contact except text messaging and why no contact and she responds telling me I’m harassing her. WTF?! What a joke. I just said very clearly in that email why we wouldn’t be in communication and she responds by insinuating that I’m going to keep emailing her “harrassment”.
I got several more texts the next day and I STUPIDLY responded. I realize she is just pushing my button and this shores up what Dr Tara says in absolutely essential when dealing with these high conflict individuals: NO CONTACT. Absolutely none. They will never face up to anything you try to tell them, so don’t bother. Just ignore her attempts (which seem to be about every 2 or 3 weeks) at contact for the past year or so.
It is just not worth it. I recall talking sometime ago with a counselor about her and these interactions (before I went strict NO CONTACT). He said, “Did you ever think she defines herself by arguing with you?” My god, do I realize that is true.
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have even tried getting her to watch the little boys, but I was afraid (heart) and didn’t know where else to turn. It was an “emergency” so I felt ok to contact her (those were my NO CONTACT rules — only in emergency). That turned out to a complete fiasco!
My status now is that doctors stablized my heart and I’m on way to full recovery in 6 months or so. I already feel like my old self, but doctor tells me to take it easy for a few months until heart is completely healed. All that from failing to heed body warning signs from bad virus. I say this to you all as possible helpful warning: My cardiologist said, “I’ve seen state championship high school athletes get a bad flu virus and be in congestive heart failure 3 weeks later.” So don’t ignore warning signs (shortness of breath, coughing, etc) which I though were lingering flu symptoms. The good thing out of this is that they did all kinds of tests on my liver, kidney, lungs, and heart (all of which were shutting down when I entered hospital) but nothing turned up bad, which is why flu is given cause. My cardiologist said, “Since you were leg pressing 900 lbs for 20 reps 6 weeks ago, something dramatic happened in meantime to weaken heart.”
All this shows me WHAT A PIECE OR SH!T MY EX-WIFE IS. Here I am dying (I was, my internal organs were shutting down cuz my heart wasn’t working right) and she tried to extract something (“gotta talk with you”) from me while I’m in that state asking her to WATCH HER OWN CHILDREN.
This whole episode has allowed me to really progress past her, realizing what a terrible selfish piece of shit she is. If someone asks me to leave them alone and not contact them, then I will. I’ve done that with girls I’ve dated in past who tell me they are no longer interested. Sucks! But it’s their live and choice.
My ex just can’t seem to respect that NO CONTACT boundary that I’ve placed between us FOR MY PROTECTION AND HEALTH. This last episode just proves that NO CONTACT is the way to go.
So ya, don’t give in even in extreme situations. Sad but true (Metallica anyone?).
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Wow. That’s VERY telling, RecoveredAlpha, but a good lesson in many ways.
Most importantly, if your ex has first refusal of childcare in case of emergency, have a plan B (not cluster B!) in case your ex uses the emergency to harass/violate/manipulate you.
You: Can you watch the kids? I have to go to the hospital.
Ex: We have to talk first, blah, blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah, wah. You owe me.
You: Yes or no? If I don’t hear back from you with a yes or no in 10 minutes, I’m contacting super-sitter/my sister/super single mom neighbor/my parents to watch the kids.
Ex: You’re being so difficult. You’re so controlling. So abusive. You don’t care about my feelings. I need more money for ——-. You don’t care about the kids, blah, blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah, wah. You owe me.
You: Super-sitter has been contacted and will pick up the kids from school.
B Experienced says
I had to laugh and agree with the colorful description you have of your ex and the B’s. I totally agree. My new favorite is that a person like that would be considered- A Waste of Skin. That one just tickles my fancy!
I don’t know your ex, but some of these Cluster B women would rather enjoy pushing your buttons and cause you to die. They can be very covert and ALWAYS have an agenda. Just think you were prime pickens for that to happen. She would have gotten away with it most likely too. I can think of a fews motives for that in the B context. Vengeance, ultimate power-leading to a thrill kill and the joy of getting away with it all,insurance money or other money if it applies to her. Her boundaries are very severely lacking and that is never a good sign. The less they have the more dangerous they usually are in the Cluster B Department.
I am glad you recovered- that was a bad situation made worse by her. Please do keep the commitment you made to yourself. You sons need you.
B Experienced wrote: “. Your compassion needs to be turned inward on yourself and for the innocent people involved…”
Amen! It’s said that depression is anger turned inward…perhaps because ‘nons’ have learned that it’s not okay to feel anger, much less express anger. In addition, we were ‘trained’ that any expression is anger. We compliment them, it’s anger (and motivated by wicked ulteriors). We ask them to do something, it’s anger. We ask a question for clarification, it’s anger (in their twisted fevered minds). We become so afraid to express anything, that we don’t even know what anger is anymore. Meanwhile, we turn our natural anger (rage) inward on ourselves, believing the LIES they’ve been telling us…that we are unworthy, unwanted and unloveable.
Even if you don’t feel safe saying “no” out loud just yet, try it quietly to yourself when she can’t see your expression. Try saying “bull” to yourself when she goes on one of her crazy-making tangents. Eventually, you will find the strength to say “Never again.”
A psycho-stalker former so-called ‘friend’ has been trying to infiltrate my friends who used to be mutual friends with her…she did all the same crap to them and left nothing but ruin in her wake everywhere she goes…yet, she’s trying to convince them that I’m going around spreading rumors about her (b/c I have nothing better to do than poison the air with her name), and infiltrate herself into their lives. This crap has been going on for 3 years (we were ‘friends’ for 15).
Like RA’s story, it NEVER ENDS with them. There is NO_SUCH_THING as “good-bye” or “it’s over” with these types. And even looking at them cross-eyed or contacting them long enough to say (like RA did) “GO away. Stop Contacting me. It’s over” is somehow filtered in their mind to mean, “I miss you. I still love you. Please F*ck with me some more…I’m bored from having a happy life.”
NC – anything else is just not worth it.
B Experienced says
I have yet to see A Cluster B have a problem with letting anger out or acting on it. They have the opposite problem. They lack control with their anger and use it to destroy. They have diarrhea of the mouth and are championing ranters, ravers,and ragers.The so called quiet one acts out inwardly on themselves.
I disagree with your belief that anger turned inward causes depression. It is a Freudian belief. I have yet to see it. It is always an underlying loss that causes depression and anger is a reaction to that loss and a defense against it irrational or not. In the context of the Cluster B their anger is largely a defense against loosing more of themselves, protecting their self esteem. Thus the push and pull, dance, and decent into Hell starts and it is an insane battle.
B Experienced says
I forgot to add that cathartic methods are usually very dangerous when a person is stable. They are even more dangerous with a depressed person. It is a good way to push somebody over the edge and have them act on homicidal or destructive impulses outward or inward. This anger emoting is a pseudo scientific method based on Freud again.
Most of the time anger very seldom works and keeps people engaged with another person or cause often times irrationally. Instead of starting to detach, people are taught that it is healthy if not noble to get angry and it is a MUST! It is a great way to keep the embers burning. This in itself is part of what the Cluster B’s are about. Their identity is wrapped up in anger and it’s uses are so a very powerful. They don’t know how to keep themselves and not get angered. I am largely a passive resistance person. I have stayed alive all my life this way with Cluster B people in my family and I have kept myself in tact, not compromised who I am and I didn’t get myself killed. I didn’t end up in these so called depressions because I repressed or suppressed my anger either.
I’ve been very fortunate. My wife has mild BPD (with a heavy dose Histrionic.) Her “rage” modes were relatively rare and didn’t go beyond arguing emphatically and irrationally. A year ago, she engaged in all out pscyhological warfare with family and friends, demonizing me to a crazy degree. She’s since backed off. For all her problems, her basic moral compass is still intact and she knows when she’s gone to far and feels guilty (or something approximating guilt.)
After asking me for divorce, my wife insisted on the divorce being amicable and pretty much accepted every proposal I made to the point where it was very disconcerting. I didn’t think it was going to last, but it has. She’s still emotionally cold as ice to me, but has been downright civil for weeks. The only issue has been that after spending my money like mad for years, she suddenly obssessed with saving money and making sure everything is fair.
I’ve concluded that she realized she went way to far and knows that if she pushes me wrong in this, I’ll bury her legally. (With the money thing, I can’t move until this weekend; she was pushing my buttons about paying my share of expenses for this first week all the while denying that she was nickle and diming me. Late last week, I pointed out that I’d paid several bills up to mid-May and that she would be getting our rental deposit back when she moved [it isn’t much]. When we closed our last joint bank account on Monday, she didn’t bring up any “fair share” crap and told the clerk to split the account exactly in half, she did get the rounding penny. She hasn’t brought it up since.
My gut feeling is that the reality of living on her own (with our two youngest children) is hitting home hard. I think she’s regretting asking for the divorce, but her pride won’t let her go back AND she knows I’m not stopping the process either. In other words, she has enough sense to know she got herself into this situation and I’m not bailing her out.
(I will admit that it greatly annoys me that we talk about how “we” had problems, when she knows damn well it was mostly her. But if that’s the price I have to pay, so be it. It’s way, way better than what many here have gone through.)
My friend got his court decision today. Incredibly disappointing. His crazy controlling almost ex did nothing but attack him throughout the trial. He took the high road, but still stood up to her. He is absolutely the most involved, loving, incredible dad you could ever imagine. He had incredible witnesses who said exactly that. The wife attacked and criticized him, his family, his home, his integrity, his character, and pretty much everything she could think to criticize. He had documentation of how uncooperative and difficult and horrible she has been in co-parenting, as well as settling their divorce. Yet somehow the male judge saw fit to reduce his time with the children from what it had been under temporary orders, and also hammered him financially. It will be years before he recovers financially, but what really, really hurts is that his beautiful children will miss out on time with a dad who they love with all their hearts. He is disheartened and devastated. The system is so wrong. He doesn’t know where to go from here and I don’t know what advice to give him. I fear his ex will continue to marginalize him and squeeze him out of the kids’ lives. My heart is seriously breaking. Any advice?
The 5 Normal Rules for behavior are what every anger/bully self-help book says to
look out for.When will we ever learn the basic things? Looking back on all the things you missed…that is a big one.There needs to be a high school course for men on how to avoid getting mixed up with women that will forever want to play with barbie dolls and take tantrums to get what they want.In order to pass you must correctly state that this behavior is wrong.
not to be too impudent, but “They’re called boobs, Ed.” (from Erin Brokovich)
The problem is, many abusive personalities are well-versed cons (and know how to use sex / their attractiveness to hook others), and attract people who, by our nature are more forgiving than perhaps others who would walk out after one ‘crazy’ incident…we keep giving them the benefit of the doubt and looking for the good in them (as we were probably taught as children by well-meaning adults).
People stronger or perhaps more cynical, would say, “I’m outta here!” and go No Contact immediately. But the rest of us? We give ourselves millions of reasons to stay or make a greater commitment (pregnancy, bought a house together, feel guilty / unlovable by anyone else / desperate to be in a couple / married, lustful, lonely, re-living childhood trauma, but she/he is SO GOOD *sometimes* Well, yes, I was screwed around on, and yes they hit me, and yes, I feel like crap about myself after being around [SO], but…).
Stronger, healthier people, who have an immutable sense of self and self-respect(and I speak only from my own experience) don’t need things like The 5 Normal Rules. They intuitively stay far away from the crazies. And the crazies also tend to stay away from them.
Get strong, love yourself, commit to self first…and soon those types won’t bother. You’ll be then running with the healthy zebras, and Cluster Bs tend to go after the wounded one.
I don’t even now what the “5 Normal Rules” are (though I suspect they are something horribly cheesy.) That said, I think you way underestimate how normal the crazies can appear.
And the crazies also tend to stay away from them.
I completely disagree and believe quite the opposite. Crazies are extremely attracted to normal.
My STBX appears so normal it’s very disconcerting. The difference between her and many others is that it’s not a con. She really believes herself. Moreover, she simply doesn’t think through the implications of things she said. One of the hardest things for me to accept is that my wife’s behavior isn’t out of malice (if it were, it would make dealing with her so much easier.)
thnx Jason, i STILL don’t “get” how on earth my wife’s behavior towards me could have flipped the way it did pre-post marriage. and then ONLY at home and ONLY when no one else can see and frankly, just about ONLY when I happen to NOT have a video or audio recorder running.
I go, how on earth could she say THAT, right when I don’t have the recorder running? How is it even possible?
She does not know I don’t have the recorder running. Is it some resonance I exude? It’s WEIRD I tell you!
When AXH #1 tried to force me to allow him to take out a life insurance policy on me (he was actually going to take me to court for it!)…he hadn’t realized that I had just passed the life insurance exam for our state.
NOBODY can take out a life insurance policy on you without your consent. You must sign off on it; without that signature, there is no way it can be done. A court cannot order you to allow someone to hold life insurance on you, unless YOU select the beneficiary.
Too much blood has been shed in the name of ‘in case we don’t have child support’ – that’s a crock of bull.
I wrote to his attorney with the following logic: If I die, he will be DONE paying $XXX.xx every month, in essence putting that $$$ back in his pocket every month.
If he doesn’t think he can affort to raise his daughter on that amount of money every month, then perhaps neither can I, and therefore perhaps I should be taking YOU back to court to raise the child support he is now paying.
Never heard from that B*$&% lawyer of his again.
i’m starting to feel better about having fallen into my wife’s trap. almost everyone else does. she was a great girlfriend, and i mean that from the bottom of my heart. a heartless, cruel, abusive wife. but a great girlfriend. and sorry, the “flags” she dropped. nothing compared to those that she “flew.” any normal person would pay attention to the flying flags and not the ones she dropped and stepped over.
I think that much of this is right — but you have to bring the divorce to an end. I am a lawyer, but I beleive that many domestic relations lawyers will work a case until all the money is gone. And, there may be advantages in settling — such as a bar to further court santioned requests for additional spouse support as the boor GV ladies realize that they are “disabled”.
Mr. X says
To David T. Pisarra,
Sad but true, I married to someone whom I thought I would be married too as my life-long partner. I had dated this woman for four years ever before popping the question. When that day came for me to take that next step, I thought to myself we had already gone through a rotation in which couples go through in most relationships. I figured we are past ignorance’s as well as petty concerns. I was wrong. How little did I knew.
To make a long story short, very short. Our marriage lasted one-year. We have a son together. It was not until the last five months of our marriage that it began to finally collapse. I’ve seen my life of wanting a family, come to sadden end. I begged and pleaded for us to seek council and advice from professionals that would perhaps salvage of what this happy marriage once was; de-rail itself before a tragic loss.
During this first stage of separation. I found myself not being able to see our son for the next four-months. My time in trying to fix my relationship with my ex, had eventually expired even me from my job. In return, to have no choice and file for divorce.
In court, I found myself in such a depression, questioning how could this have happen so quickly. How could one day I was the happiest man on earth, now feel so isolated, guilty, angry and scared. Unlike most divorces, our divorce went into trial by judge. I won’t get into details. Let’s just say, our court session were hours long. I was on the bench for twenty-minutes. The rest was questioning my ex. I found out that before our marriage she was with someone. And during her pregnancy she was with another: Whom later became her current husband.
After finding no evidence of her accusations towards me. It later came apparent that my ex was playing both sides of our families as well as our marriage. Nevertheless, I had to re-mortgage the house; in order to just pay off court fees. Still, the court found no favor in joint custody and gave me parental rights; because of the loss of my employment.
It has been about four years now and I am still recouping. Since then, my ex still insists that I am to be blamed for the circumstances of our divorce and I should be punished for whatever those consequences may it be.
Our son is three. And the bond that he and I have is close, more so than with his mother. She insists that I should start referring her new husband as daa-daa and me as daddy. The only reason she did this, was because I was taking our son during my every other weekend times with him, to go and see her parents. She discovered this and decided to tell me stop in doing so. I explained to her that both parents on either side have the rights just as any other and should experience that joy and time with our son. She didn’t like that reason. And in doing so, has punished me by trying to keep me out of our sons` life. Finding excuses and or reasons that, what others would consider as decent explanations. And it doesn’t matter what the excuse is; because our son had an appointment here or there. And if I get upset then I must not care about our sons` well being. Ohh, the pettiness.
It seems to me that in do time. Things always have a way to come back around and getting us in the end. I wish her well, as to well off!! I have no problems telling her where to go, seriously. But, I do have a problem when she uses our son against me. She really does know the bond between our son and me and that makes her mad. Not my problem! After all, she now has a little one with her new husband. So I’m sure she can start the game of playing favorites.
It is with such heartfelt and concern that I have for our son. He’s a victim in this bitter-sour world we live in he didn’t ask to come into. Now he has this upon his shoulders with a broken family. I wish I could comfort him and explain that one day things will get better. But I have taken note, that many of times he has expressed himself and literally slapped mom across the face and refused to go into the house with her and her husband. It is so sad to witness this.
Like I said, there will be a day where truth will reveal itself. In the mean time, I will continue to support and care for our son. Letting him know, there will always be a light at home here for him. This is the only best thing that ever happen in this marriage, our son.