I filed for divorce early in the summer. That turned out to be Round One. I had no idea I was going to have to carry divorce paperwork home myself and present it to the ExN. I was afraid of him. But I felt my first inkling of independence in a long time, having that paperwork in my hand. I made sure the kids were both at play-dates when I approached him to talk.
I told him I wanted a divorce.
He didn’t react much. He studied and analyzed the paperwork, called me a few names and left. It was quiet for a few days after that; I had no idea what he was thinking or what he might do.
It didn’t take very long for him to convince me that “I didn’t want a divorce.” Since I was used to being told what to do and what I wanted for so many years prior, I actually listened to him and his reasoning. Looking back I was such a fool. But being a fool and believing him was all I knew how to be during that time of my life. While married to him I managed to lose my self and my entire being. I had no idea how to think independently anymore let alone have an opinion that was actually mine.
So I listened. He told me he started seeing another counselor for himself. He suggested we see this person together; and we quickly engaged with our third marriage counselor. In the blink of an eye I agreed to “try” with this new counselor, make amends, and then, just a few weeks after I had officially filed for divorce, I agreed to stop the filings and “continue” with the marriage. He promised me the world. He promised me things would change. And I believed him, again.
I called my lawyer and informed her I wanted to cancel the divorce proceedings. I told her I agreed to try counseling and try, really try, because he assured me he was going to try also. We were going to give the marriage another shot, especially for the kids.
I remember my lawyer telling me it was “admirable” of me to try more counseling.
She also verbalized several reminders of the conversation I originally had with her just a few weeks earlier: he put spy-wear on my computer; he blocked my phone number for most incoming and outbound calls; he took my clothes because I didn’t deserve them; he called the police; he threatened to take the kids; threatened to move us to a new state overnight; I felt like a prisoner in our own home; how afraid of him in general I was, and how much I worried about our kids.
My lawyer recommended putting the divorce “on hold” but keeping the paperwork in the system “just in case,” since getting a new court date would be several months out. I firmly told her I did not think I would be putting forth an honest effort in trying to save the marriage if I had the divorce “on hold.” I asked her to please cancel the process.
I had no idea what I was about to embark upon during the next eight horrific weeks of my life after that seemingly simple request.
Yes, I agreed to cancel the divorce, naively believing him that “things would change.” Always holding on to that tiny little bit of hope… that “this time” it will be better.
Eight weeks later I filed for divorce again.
Round Two: I had to get a Restraining Order because I was more afraid of him then I’d ever been before.
~LLS~ Lucy K.
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