One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #6

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #6

A note from Tina:

Every week I feature stories from other women who are in this battle.  One Mom’s Battle has many faces.  Part of my healing has come from connecting with these other women and sharing stories, giggles and tears.  I have found a tremendous support system through this blog and it has helped me to realize that I am not alone.  I call them the “Warrior Moms” and while I know there are also many men affected by Narcissists and Psychopaths, the vast majority of my interaction is with other brave women.  One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces –from all over the world.

Here is Face #6- from South Dakota

Hi Tina- I was so relieved when I found your blog back in January of this year. It was the first time I truly didn’t feel crazy about the way my X was acting. People at work thought I was blowing things out of proportion, they couldn’t believe I was telling the truth, they couldn’t imagine someone could be as unstable as he was.  They assumed that we were the typical “high conflict divorce” when the reality was that I tried my very best to AVOID conflict with him!  It was like a weight was lifted off of me when I realized I wasn’t alone. I took a lesson from you, and started my own blog to get a lot of the crap out of my head – to put it someplace where I wouldn’t have to carry it around with me anymore.

Thank you for continuing to work to protect your girls, to set an example for all the other women feeling trapped in their marriages, and to bring awareness to this problem. We appreciate your effort more than words can express. Thank you.

Here is my story…

In April 2010 I did the hardest thing I could imagine. I told my husband of 13 years that I wanted a divorce. He cried. He whined. He got angry. He told me I’d be miserable. That I had no idea how to be alone. He said that I would be begging him to come back. He started spreading lies to our family and friends and our children about my motives and character.

Luckily, the divorce moved quickly, I agreed to things I probably shouldn’t have, I didn’t have money for a lawyer – I just wanted to end this marriage. After only 2 court appearances, in July of 2010 I was officially divorced.  In August of 2010, he moved to South Dakota from Maine to go to school to become a lawyer.

For the first year, his contact with the me and the kids was sporadic, it was angry and blaming me for everything. I tried to fix his mood. I tried to be nice. I tried to be reasonable and to keep him calm. It all fell on deaf ears. Soon I realized this was a game for him. He wanted to suck me into conversations. He wanted me to pay attention to him. He wanted to be able to continue to control me.  Shortly before a school vacation, he showed up, out of the blue, and took the boys out of school. He texted me “I have the kids”. As far as I knew he was still in SD. I was terrified.

I went back to court to modify our order to make visitation more concrete. He participated in mediation via telephone. It was infuriating to listen to him con the mediator into feeling badly for him that he’s so far away from his kids, that his life in law school was so hard. She didn’t see the Facebook pictures of him drinking and partying with college kids. Life sure was rough for him. Because he is in school, and doesn’t work, I cannot get child support until that changes. He can, however, take out massive school loans to pay for his own personal needs and wants. He smokes, drinks, and has a personal trainer. He is currently backpacking around Europe.

I gave 13 years of my life to that relationship. I was always feeling like I needed to change or try harder or do better. I tried so hard. But, I was wrong. I wasn’t what needed changing.

Along my journey I have learned a lot. I believe my X has a mental disorder that makes him incapable of love, reason or grasping reality. His twisted world view is all he knows and to him, it is REAL. He is easier to deal with now that I know what NOT to expect. He can’t be neutral or rational. He believes that I tore apart our super happy family so I could be with a man I was having an affair with online, and I should have to be miserable and suffer for my wrong doings.

My kids are happy, so he doesn’t talk to them anymore.

I’m sad my kids don’t have a dad that they can rely on or look up to, but when we were married, they didn’t have that either. I work hard to be the best mom that I can be for them.

It’s almost been 2 full years and I have never been happier. I have met someone who has shown me that life isn’t to be squandered living with hate or bitterness. I’m in love. There IS a light on the other side.

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5 Responses

  1. What is the trick to get them out of your life for 2 years and counting, someone please tell me?! I am sorry to be so dismissive and growing up myself without a father, I know how hard that can be for children, but when you weigh the pros and the cons of both physically absent father or mentally absent father, which do you choose? I can honestly say as much as it would break my heart for my daughters dad to abandon them, that would be my preference at this point. Is that aweful?

  2. Its not awful when you consider that his presence in your daughters life isn’t doing anything to add to her growth and her journey to become a well adjusted adult. There was no real ‘trick’ to it so much. I wanted him to be part of the kids lives, he just couldn’t be bothered. He wanted to run away rather than be responsible, even for 50% of the time (which our court order says he can have). He’s a bully. Bullies don’t know what to do when things are fair. There has to be an injustice. There has to be a reason for him to be angry. There isnt one here. So he left. When I he resurfaces, its usually angry, entitled, trying to manipulate me or the kids to work around the rules…rather than just following the court order and seeing his kids 1/2 the time whenever he’s back around. But no, he doesn’t want be told what to do.
    It does feel terrible when he vanishes, to hope he never comes back. Every kid should have a father, unless the father has proven time and time again, he doesn’t care or love them. Its just a game to him.

  3. I have often felt the same way you do. I wish my X would just vanish because I seem to be the only one that realizes he just uses our son for a photo opportunity. It is miserable.

  4. Compared to my ex, who fought so hard for equal physical custody to prove to those people whom he was able to convince of his lies and distortions,I’d rather be in your situation. His grandiosity is mainly about being perceived as the greatest father in the world, and he was ready to use all the weapons he could use to keep that image.

    Yes, the kids have a father who is around and proactive, but he is raising them to be just like him: No respect for his mother/women, perfectionist, arrogant, extravagant/big spender, very critical and judgmental of people, explosive, manipulative, a pathologic liar,(the list goes on). Not only does he talk badly ( to the children) about their friends, the other parents, teachers, our family, but he constantly makes negative comments about ME, the mother of his children. Sadly, he has been able to influence them,and has started to ruin my relationship with my children. My fear is that they will grow up believing those lies about me, become just like him, and the cycle continues…. I have tried to appeal to him to make him realize the damage that is being done to the kids, but all he does is deny them, accuse me of doing it (projection), blames me for it, and/or accuses me of other things to shift focus.
    Being an attentive and loving father, the kids look up to him and believe the things that he says, to their detriment. So, I’d rather have someone who is not around, so the children would have a better chance to be raised as “normal” well-adjusted adults.

  5. I had that problem as well. Last summer when the court order for visitation was vague, he took my older son for over a month and refused to return him. I saw my normally polite and kind boy morph into some one I did not recognize. His father shared court paperwork with him. Told him I was a whore and cheated, not only on my ex but on the whole family. He told my son that I was selfish and never put my kids needs first, and never had. I got a text message from son calling me a bitch. My ex even had him write a letter to the court, to say he’d rather live with dad. PAS anyone?!
    Once the ex left, as he always does, I was left to pick up the pieces. Back to court we went to modify visitation so he can have them half the time…not whenever he pleases for as long as he likes.