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Old November 19th, 2010, 12:30 AM
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saguaro saguaro is offline
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Contentious Divorce

I'm back after a few weeks of contentious divorce proceedings for a little needed reinforcement. I've re-read the book, even jotted down key points on note cards that I keep at my desk, but the crap just keeps flowing.

The stbx believes she is entitled to all she wants, a country-club lifestyle, etc. At a recent court hearing this week, it became apparent to her that we're not giving into her wants/demands. So, she then tries to ratchet up the control, manipulation and the usual bag of tricks I've been faced with for years. The judge ordered the kids have interviews with social workers, so she says "look what *you're* doing to the kids." Both attorneys are lining us up for depositions as trial prep - with a Feb trial date set. And amidst this, she says that since we wouldn't settle at what she thinks she needs, that she is going back to her attorney to "modify the proposal, which will be worse for you than before".

So what's been tough now, is to continue to practice as a recovering NG, yet the usual crap I've had to deal with from her has been cranked up 10-fold due to the intensity of the situation. It's easy to waver, she's known how to manipulate me and push my buttons for years... As my therapist says, I need to be deprogrammed, that I've been brainwashed all these years.

Just tonight, she tried calling multiple times, on all phones until one of my boys picked up the phone and handed it to me. She was in full on rant and manipulation mode, even minute items, anything to pick a fight... I was calm yet very direct. Ultimately, I defined my boundary to her as she became more over the top and accusatory: "I will not speak with you about this any longer." Wished her a sarcastic "good night" and hung up.

Just today, my therapist said to prepare for the worst. That she could try to coach the kids into saying anything, that she might flat out lie to get her way, even if under oath in a deposition.

I'm trying to stay resolute, and practice the NG transition - but gawd is it hard given the level of venom right now. I'd like to settle this thing amicably and move on with our lives, but she seem bent on both getting what she wants *and* making me pay in all ways possible.

Complete detachment is the only answer at this point I suspect. The less I see or hear of her, the better my attitude is.

Thanks for letting me vent a bit - perspectives from those who have walked this path before are welcome.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 12:48 AM
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Nax Nax is offline
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Saguaro,

It's tough to be in the spot you are in, but you are in it because you trained her all these years that she can beat you and you'll eventually cave, and she'll get what she wants. That expectation has transformed into entitlement.

Keep this in mind, you beat her every time you say No.

Don't worry about the whole 2 and half months, just focus on today. Plus, I'm assuming you have a lawyer, if you don't get one NOW. If you do have one, let him sweat the legal stuff. She can want all she wants, but she's only entitled to what the law says she's entitled too, anything extra comes from bullying you.

As a NG, this confrontation scares you. Fear is scary, especially vague threats like "I'm going to take this known divorce petition, and I'm going to make it even worse!" <insert manical wicked witch of the west laughter>.

She can request, petition, threaten all she wants, but just work closely with your lawyer, and take notes of ANY behavior that comes up from your stbx or in the kids.

If she calls you, state, "I'm not discussing the divorce with you, talk to my lawyer. Do not call me again." If she calls, especially if she calls repeatedly, make note and report it to your lawyer.

Don't rise to any baiting, don't let her push your buttons. I know, easier said than done, but you really have stay focused on this. You don't want her baiting you into losing your temper, and then somehow recording it or documenting it.

I really feel for you. Come here to get it off your chest, we'll offer what support and feedback we can.

-Nax
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Old November 19th, 2010, 09:20 AM
btr btr is offline
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Sorry to hear what you are going thru
Get this book
http://www.amazon.com/Mans-Guide-Civ.../dp/1579547990

Mediation is the way to go--courts unpredicatable

read and do the excerises in NMMNG very important

Sounds like you are getting emotional Blackmail
get this book to learn how to deal with it

http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Blac...9&sr=1-1-spell

You may be reinforcing the bad behavior with your responses

Are you in a divorce recovery grp or getting theraphy? How are the kids doing?
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Old November 19th, 2010, 10:28 PM
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Thanks for the feedback - it's good to get the reinforcement in times like these. And thanks for the reading suggestions. I'm always up for another perspective in print. Like most here, I think we're all getting pretty well-read on these subjects, but I'm always interested in additional opinion.

I do have a good lawyer, a lady who is a pitbull who can (and has) stood toe-to-toe with my stbx. My attorney mentioned today, that my wife is very manipulative with men, but she sees right through her. I also thought that it was a little funny when my lawyer first encountered my wife, this pitbull lawyer said that she was an 'awful woman".

Likewise, I have a good therapist who is also a pitbull. Like this forum, an NG doesn't need a therapist to nod their head, but someone to make us face reality dead on. So, I'm lucky on those fronts and glad to a bit more by popping back on this forum.

Lots of years of brainwashing for me to overcome, but it will get better.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 11:39 PM
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Saguaro,

Get a phone recorder for your phone and the next time she starts a rant, record all her threats and lies. Record all her calls (record the day and time on them) and give them to your lawyer. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS KNOW! While taking her deposition your lawyer will ask her if she is calling you and making threats. My lawyer caught my ex in several lies and was able to show how much it was worth for her to live "free" with her boyfriend and only work part time. I got double the child support the judge initially awarded because of the ex's answers. I even provided my lawyer with her credit report! She made $700 in charges to Victoria's Secrets when she told me she only bought perfume?

Be aware that your ex may also be smart enough to record her phone calls to YOU as well.

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Old November 20th, 2010, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisianaMan View Post
Get a phone recorder for your phone and the next time she starts a rant, record all her threats and lies. Record all her calls (record the day and time on them) and give them to your lawyer. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS KNOW! While taking her deposition your lawyer will ask her if she is calling you and making threats. My lawyer caught my ex in several lies and was able to show how much it was worth for her to live "free" with her boyfriend and only work part time.
You sound like you a doing really well however the approach from LM is a real good one.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisianaMan View Post
Get a phone recorder for your phone and the next time she starts a rant, record all her threats and lies. Record all her calls (record the day and time on them) and give them to your lawyer. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS KNOW!
Really wise, LM : Saguaro, protect yourself, and use your own weapons.
You don't have to endure this, unless you have something to gain.

You're handling this well, keep going, keep faith in yourself.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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saguaro- some GREAT advice here. having just gone thru a contentious separation (wasnt married but w kids), i know how hard this must be for you. my situation is improving but i had to put up w much the same stuff you are describing. one thing that helped me is i found out my worst case scenario from my atty and REALLY tried to internalize this!...(court ordered things). once i felt i was "ok" w the worst case, it was easier for me to handle many things....i say easier, but make no mistake, it's still VERY stressful/hard, but i could handle her rants and "demands" better because i knew what the law said. ur ex will use EVERY bullying and emotional blackmail tactic available to her to get to ur pocketbook, she will even use ur kids and things for them as leverage. understand your "bottom line" and anything you agree to above that is up to you.

wrt ur kids and her poss "coaching" them, there isnt anything you can do about it (dont let urself worry about it) and dont EVER try to do this urself. you have to be the rock for your kids, the emotionally stable one...consistent! show ur kids only love and support and make sure you say only +ive things about ur stbx in their presence. i have heard from multiple sources that in time ur kids will resent ur ex for her badmouthing you when they can clearly see you are a great father! if however you suspect alienation (not looked on lightly) be sure to tell your atty and let her handle it.

good luck
nanes1
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Old November 21st, 2010, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanes1 View Post
one thing that helped me is i found out my worst case scenario from my atty and REALLY tried to internalize this!...(court ordered things). once i felt i was "ok" w the worst case, it was easier for me to handle many things
Completely off-topic and maybe not the right place to discuss this but I think that this is a really good approach and it works for me as well.

Think about the worse case scenario. Deal with it. Then start taking +ve action.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 12:45 AM
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Also video camera can be very effective
Would urge mediation route better for everyone
Great your getting help--what do u need from us?
Any questions ?
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 12:53 PM
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I know you feel awful, but I think in some ways doing NMMNG while going through a divorce is the best possible time. For one thing, you don't have to worry whether being confrontational is going to cost you any chance for sex. There already is no chance for sex! Second, you cannot really avoid confrontation. The divorce system is inherently confrontational. Third, you gets lots of chances to practice the BFEs! You have time alone to go to the gym or spend with guy friends. You get lots of opportunities to show off the new you. You get lots of chance to say "no" to unreasonable requests. Fourth, if you have kids, you get to exercise your new found strength on behalf of others. You can stand up for your kids. You can fight for their needs. That can be very empowering. And for some men easier than standing up for themselves.

So turn around your perspective. Divorce is not the worst time to be doing NMMNG. In some ways it is one of the easier times. After all, you don't have to fear that she might leave you if you stand up for yourself. She is already leaving you. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. In her regard, you are now free to do exactly as you please.

So what do you want?
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Mediation would only work if she is able to settle for less than she feels entitled to. If she has a good lawyer, in the sense that the lawyer will talk common sense to her. If however she will only back down from her demands if a person in a position of authority decides for her, then mediation may be expensive and fruitless.

If she is emotionally invested in the conflict, such that being in conflict with you gives her at least some kind of a relationship with you, she may not be willing to give up that conflict. She can still affect you right now, and she enjoys that power.

Stay calm, keep your perspective and know that there are better days ahead.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 03:02 AM
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saguaro saguaro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holdingontoit View Post
... For one thing, you don't have to worry whether being confrontational is going to cost you any chance for sex. There already is no chance for sex! So what do you want?
OK - the sex part actually made me laugh out loud. It's good to try to find a little humor in all this mess!

Spent the afternoon at her attorney's office in depo today, which was then followed up with some negotiation. Guess it didn't sit well with her, as when I returned home this evening - she was just standing in the kitchen, practically in the dark, and greeted me with "hi honey, long day at work?" then started laughing almost manically. I could tell she had been drinking. I said nothing, went straight to my room and shut the door. 5 minutes later she barged in and started grilling me, trying to pick a fight - all while smiling. I asked her to leave and was attempting to shut the door. She would not budge from the threshold. I asked 6 times for her to leave me, then finally picked up the phone and threatened to call the police - that I was being harrassed. It felt like a surreal horror movie - just needed to queue up the soundtrack to Psycho!

I know, I know -- what are we doing in the same house. It's a long story, but it is what it is - at least for another several weeks. Not easy, sucks, and having kids in the middle makes it tough. I will be much better off once getting through this, and lately, have been much better at just saying "no" and leaving it at that -- no immediately jumping into defending and explainations, etc.

Thanks again for the advice and the forum.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 03:49 AM
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Next time she barges in your room, call the police and have them stay on the line until the squad car gets there. She obviously had something in mind and wanted a certain reaction from you. Get your own tape recorder and keep it on you in case she starts shit again. Let here explain in court how she assaulted you and took away your recorder and then smashed it! I bet her lawyer would not like that at all!

I bet she had a recorder somewhere...

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Old December 1st, 2010, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by saguaro View Post
I'm back after a few weeks of contentious divorce proceedings for a little needed reinforcement. I've re-read the book, even jotted down key points on note cards that I keep at my desk, but the crap just keeps flowing.
I went through a divorce as NICE GUY... I laid down for everything, I paid and paid and paid... all to simply have half time with my children.

NOW, 8 years later, I am still going through the crap. My problem has been that I thought that by 'giving in' she would see that I am a good guy and treat me well.

IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.

Had I to do it all over again, I would hold my ground and just work through the crap during the divorce. NOTHING YOU GIVE IN ON will make a difference. NOTHING YOU ALLOW will change anything. So stick to your guns and fight for what is right.

MY ADIVICE... make her give something EVERY TIME YOU GIVE SOMETHING. Don't go one way. I laid down and gave her everything... and it didn't help. She still treated me like shit, and I didn't get anything in return. So again...

MY ADVICE is to stick to your guns, NEGOTIATE, but don't cave NOR GIVE ANYTHING without getting something from her side. Tell them directly, I will negotiate with you, but that means that you give each time I give.

While writing this, LITERALLY JUST BEFORE THIS PARAGRAPH, I just got a call from my lawyer... concerning mediation for the THIRD TIME with this ex, I have a bill for $16K... for the last fiasco this woman caused. This is the woman that I laid down and gave everything to 9 years ago, in order to help things go smoothly. PLEASE take my advice and don't give in... it doesn't matter except that you will just keep paying and paying and paying...
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