Painful but… here goes.

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TeacherShelly, May 18, 2014.

  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 2, 2014

    Thanks for the advice, mmswm and gr8teacher, I did contact a couple of attorneys today. The one who returned my call said that there are really two ways to limit my husband's contact with the girls: they say they want limited contact with him, or he hurts one of them and is too dangerous to be with them. He said, of course, I can file papers and try to convince a court that he is dangerous, but he's "not optimistic."

    I will get a second opinion.
     
  2. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Get that second opinion. It sounds like he has already hurt them emotionally.
     
  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Is it unrealistic to think that your girls would say (unprompted) that they want to limit contact with him?
     
  4. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Yes, they don't have a negative word to say about their dad. They want all of us to be happy. They put on a show that everything is fine. I worry about them a lot.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Yeah, get a different lawyer, STAT.

    Also, just file for custody on your own. It's not that scary, and even if it doesn't go through, if a nightmare scenario happens, you've filed first, and the police have something to work with.

    I hate to be an alarmist, but I'v seen some really awful things happen. I hope nothing like that happens in your case, but it's better to be prepared and not need it.

    Also, you don't necessarily need to file for sole custody. Just "primary residential" gives you a lot of weight should something bad happen.
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 2, 2014

    In Texas, it's... exceedingly difficult...to limit a parents visitation rights. I don't know what it's like in Cali. Here, based on what you've said, a judge would not limit visitation. You have to prove "immenient danger" to get any real restrictions.

    Sole custody is equally difficult. I was my daughter's "primary custodial parent" and that just basically means she lived with me but we had "joint conservatorship" which means we had the same legal parental rights in regard to medical treatment, educational decisions, etc. (She's 19 now, that's why I'm speaking in the past tense).

    The law in Texas is all about equal access unless there are clear signs of abuse or neglect. If Cali is the same, be prepared for a costly battle, and document everything!
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 2, 2014

    This is how it is between myself and my ex. My daughter lives with me full time, and he gets visitation whenever he can. She's going down there for the summer next week. The woman is still in the picture which I do not agree with, and even though the ex has said that they 'don't live together while daughter is around', I know that my daughter is smarter than that. I can't prove it.

    Shell~I am so sorry that it has come to this. :( You are doing everything right and have gotten some great advice. Do get that 2nd opinion though.
     
  8. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Jun 2, 2014

    Shelly,

    I haven't read through the whole thread, just the first and the last few pages. I just want you to know that I feel for you. I went through something similar a number of years back. I'm a member of an anonymous, online support group for people going through what you are (and what I did). If you're interested, just send me a pm and I'll point you in the right direction. Those people, quite literally, saved me.

    With that being said, many members of that group put a morality clause in place in their separation/divorce papers. It basically states that no overnights with non-family members of the opposite sex are to happen when the children are present. Some members had it set for a particular period of time (for example, the couple needed to be together for a year) or until the parent remarries. One member's ex-husband had to take their kids to his parents' house every second weekend because he insisted on moving in with his girlfriend and he figured that once they moved in together, his ex-wife would soften a bit. Nope. She made him follow the agreement to the letter.

    Just something to think about.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    While true, having nothing in place gives Shelly no court backing should the ex decide to take a trip and not return or do something that clearly crosses the boundaries of reasonable.
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    I feel for you, Shelly, and wish I could give you some really good advice. Family law isn't something I know very much about, though, except that it varies greatly by state and can be rather fickle about how decisions are made and what is accepted as evidence. Get as good a lawyer as you can.

    Is there any possibility he would give you sole custody? It sounds like his interest in playing house would be hampered by your two daughters.

    It must be so hard, and it really irritates me when people don't see the effect their actions have. Of course his daughters want parents who are happy and together! And it's his callousness and self-interest that have kept that from being a reality.

    :hugs:
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 3, 2014


    I had not heard about the morality until I was talking to a divorced friend of mine. She has one in her papers. I wish my lawyer had told me about this as I would have put it in my papers as well; however, my ex does not have her a lot of the time and when he does see her he's always in a hotel so I really don't have to worry about that until this summer.
     
  12. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Thanks for the advice about morality and custody. 3Sons, it irritates me, too, and I remember my husband and I talking about friends who got divorced and didn't seem to get it that they were making bad decisions for their kids. We were like, "I know, they are so blind." Oh, well.

    The thing that's getting to me today is that he's taking her out to dinner and paying for it out of our shared account. We still have shared accounts (still haven't filed for divorce) and when I see charges for what is obviously two people, it irks me. Is this being petty? Should I choose my battles? Or is it wrong of him to spend our money on her. I know it's wrong, but feel a little unsure if I should say something. Maybe she's paying half the time, who knows.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'd... probably go ahead and take all my money out of that joint account, and get my name off of it, if I were you...
     
  14. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 8, 2014

    But we're still paying all our bills out of the joint account. I don't want to be 100% responsible for our mortgage while he just rents an apt…. see what I mean?
     
  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    But would you rather he spend money that is at least partially yours on his girlfriend? Or decide one day to buy himself a new motorcycle with money that belongs to both of you? I don't know the best way for you to handle things from a legal standpoint, but I do know you'd be pretty limited in your options if he just pulled everything out of that account. Then you'd still be 100% responsible for the mortgage, but you wouldn't have the money to actually pay it any more. He sounds like he's a bit of a loose cannon right now. The idea that he would go full-on "mid-life crisis" doesn't seem impossible to me. After all, HE'D still have a place to live, and if the bank ends up foreclosing on you at some other point, he wasn't living there anyway so it doesn't affect him.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 8, 2014

    Have to agree with this advice. Who was paying the mortgage before? I would still transfer your paycheck into an account with just your name on it, just to be safe.
     
  17. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 8, 2014

    Yeah, you both need separate accounts ASAP. You guys need to say, here's the amount we need monthly to pay our shared bills and divide that up however y'all agree to (1/2 and 1/2 or whatever). That account needs to be SOLELY for bill use. He'll probably agree because he won't want you monitoring his spending.

    Have you seen a lawyer? This is stuff that you can get in place right now.
     
  18. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Jun 8, 2014

    You really need to hire an attorney for this. You can request child support during the separation. You can request that he still contribute to the mortgage. You can request that marital savings be frozen.

    The judge may not be pleased if the marital accounts are emptied by either of you.
     
  19. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    This is so hard. I am not READY for a divorce. I'm not ready… but I have to take the plunge. I have secret fantasies that this all just goes away. That I'll pull in and his car will be in its spot in the garage. That he'll come back and say he's sorry he was so stupid.

    I know I'm being irrational and that it is for the best that we divorce and I should just file and divide the money and all. I'm scared I won't make it on my own. It feels like all the expense with half the money, you know. This is so painful. I hate this.
     
  20. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    You don't have to file for divorce yet. File for a legal separation. You can still address all those issues with a separation agreement.
     
  21. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    And I don't think you're being irrational. All those feelings are normal. It is scary, hard, and painful. And it's not impossible that he'll come to his senses.

    However, you have to protect yourself and your kids through this. A legal separation can do that.
     
  22. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Comaba, thank you. It seems so stupid and impractical, but I feel like I'm being ripped apart with the idea of divorce.
     
  23. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Believe me, I understand. I was a zombie for a while when I went through it.

    I don't want to give you false hope, but I do have a friend whose marriage survived something similar. So, take your time on the divorce. File for separation, but hold off on the divorce until you're ready.
     
  24. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I agree with Comaba. You don't have to rush into filing for divorce, but you MUST get to a lawyer and file legal separation papers. You have to do this for the financial well being of your children.
     
  25. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Jun 8, 2014

    It's not stupid or irrational at all. When I was going through it (my husband left me for another woman), I would come home, go to bed and stay there until it was time to go to work again. I had no children to care for and my family was halfway across the country. I hid my separation from them for 4 months. The only reason I finally told them was because my ex is a dumb, dumb person and had paternity papers sent to our home stating that he was 99.9% confirmed at the father of a 5 year old boy (conceived during our marriage and not with the woman he left me for). He meant to have it sent to his mother's house but "forgot" and sent it to ours - the house he was no longer living in. I was scared that if the mother came for back child support she could take my money, too, so I told my family because I needed help.

    You don't need to go through with divorce right now, but you do need to legally protect yourself. See a lawyer and talk about legal separation. Ask about spousal support and demand fair child support. I think that will clear up a lot of the what ifs when it comes to day to day things like money and the kids and will let you process the emotional things a little better. And, I've seen it before - legal documents just might kick his butt and wake him up to what he's missing at home.

    I would also open another bank account, have your paycheck deposited into the new account and transfer your half of the bills into the joint account. Keep record of it. That way, he isn't spending your (as in the money you earn) money on her.

    As much as it hurts right now, whatever the outcome, you WILL get through it. I can promise you that much.
     
  26. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Jun 8, 2014

    I hate it for you too ... and I don't want it to seem phony BUT "I am feeling your feelings" ..... Sending a bunch of HUGS .... :hugs:

    PM me any time ...... :)
     
  27. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 9, 2014

    Shelly no words...just know you & girls have been on my mind....
    My mom did it...sure some stuff was cut, but you know you appreciate the things you have!!! With it being summer do some fun free things...check library. Some of the thing my mom did with us didn't cost anything & I still remember them.
    HUGS to you all....
     
  28. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Comaba & bandnerdtx, I called and made us appointments to meet three divorce mediators to choose from. This is the first step toward getting what I need done. I feel accomplished!

    Shanoo, I'm sorry for what you went through. I can imagine (actually, I know) how you might have felt when he found someone else. And how.. HOW does one forget one no longer lives in that house one left one's wife in. That must have given you a sarcastic little laugh, at least? Also, it sucks that you had to worry about someone going for your money, and questioning whether they are the father or not. You were insulted and didn't deserve that kind of treatment. :mad:

    Major..pm'd you..

    Diznee, thank you for that. You reminded me how well versed I am at making things FUN and Free :) I can do this!
     
  29. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2014

    Shelly,
    Glad to hear you have some appointments! You are making great steps.

    While I have not bee through this, I experienced my parents break-up as a young teen, at a time when it was much more unheard of. The best thing my mom did for me was to keep me informed, but to use her friends as her support and not add to my stress. Of course I saw her sad and upset, but only once did I hear her talk about my father's behavior. I am sure you are doing the same for your girls.

    Good luck with your meetings and I hope you make a quick choice and protect you and the girls quickly. Hugs.
     
  30. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I'm so proud of you Shelly! You're taking some important first steps! You can do this.
     
  31. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Shelly, I'm sorry for what you are going through. My divorce was messy, both emotionally and financially. I only have one piece of advice for you - secure the money you have saved.

    My ex emptied our bank accounts and said he was using the money to "pay bills." The courts believed him because I had no proof that he didn't use it to pay our mortgage and bills. He obviously squirreled it away somewhere. If you have savings, get some advice about how to secure it so that he can't clean out your accounts. I wish I had.
     
  32. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2014

    My husband came over for dinner last night so we could talk about things. I wrote him a long letter which he received well, I think, and took it with him to read again. It was a very abbreviated history of our life together ending with a request for a Legal Separation as a step between this trial separation and a Divorce. He agreed. Then I went overboard… :eek:

    I stood right up to him face to face, toe to toe and told him he would always have a special place in my heart and that I'd always love him. Then I gave him a little kiss. :eek: And a few more at the front door.

    ??????oh what was I thinking???????

    I woke up with a horrible guilty feeling, as if I'd had a one night stand. It's hard for me to accept what I was doing. I wanted to test the waters about a possible reconciliation. He didn't tell me to stop or anything, he just kissed me back - it was just gentle pecks on the lips, not a make-out. :help:

    I do not feel strong today. I feel like I broke my own code of behavior - I want to be honest and direct, no mixed messages, and no games. That's what I think I did, I started playing a stupid game to feel wanted again. And now I feel shallow.

    How to pick myself up from this? Apologize? Pretend nothing happened? Write it off as another stupid side effect of grief? Ugh :(
     
  33. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I haven't been through this, but it sounds pretty normal. Especially if you had no warning signs, your feelings for the man you fell in love with won't change immediately, even though his recent behavior has been less than honorable.

    I would be very forgiving of myself, but not let it happen again.

    I hate to say that I have watched several friends and relatives take a guy back, and it has always been a mistake and they ended up divorcing after another break-up.

    Be good to yourself.
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Shelly~I agree with Missy: to forgive yourself, but not let it happen again. My ex and I didn't have a trial separation (though for his job we were physically separated) and we live 8 hrs away now so there was no hope of reconciliation. There have been times where I have wondered if there is hope of us getting back together, even after the divorce was finalized. It's completely normal to have the feelings that you are having.
     
  35. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Shelly, you did nothing to be ashamed of. You kissed your husband, a man you love. That's all you did.
     
  36. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Exactly!!!
     
  37. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Thanks, Shelly. I've been divorced for 6 years now, so I've had plenty of time to heal. In his defense (did I really just say that :dizzy:) he's a soldier and was in another province for training when he got tested. So, while he didn't "live" there, it was his permanent address at the time. Looking back, it was the hardest thing that I ever went through. But, it brought about a lot of positive changes in my life. I'm a much stronger person for it now and great, great things have happened for me. My SO and I bought our dream home together about 6 months ago and we're currently expecting our first child. Things are very, very good. You'll get back to your "good", too. It just takes time.

    As far as kissing your husband - don't beat yourself up about it. You did nothing wrong. Most of us who have been in this situation have done it. For next time, just shore up your boundaries a little, if for no other reason than to protect yourself emotionally.
     
  38. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    We met one mediator yesterday. He is very experienced and just might be the one. We have two more to meet. Encouraged.
     
  39. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    The roller coaster of reconcile -> don't reconcile has gone another six or seven hills. I think I might be at the part where you go straight for the length of the coaster and then get off. Hope!

    It's over. I have had probably 6 sessions with two different therapists since mid-May and now can see what I want more clearly. I want to keep working on myself, learning to grow up and out, not stuck down in the weed ball. If someone joins me on this journey, fantastic, but I can do this by myself.

    I'm going to keep going to therapy, because I want to keep track of my own inner mess and not apply it to my parenting.

    Things are looking brighter. Hugs to anyone going through the same thing. And to all the awesome supporters here. I needed you and you were there - I'll never forget that.
     
  40. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2014

    In spite of the pain you are going through, everything about this post makes my heart smile!
     

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