Returning user here after long hiatus. As the name of the thread suggests, I am in a thorny marital situation. Yes, I have been a hobbyist, and my rationalization is that this has been one of several coping mechanisms in a very difficult situation. No, I have not been caught, but realize that in a scorched-earth divorce it is always possible that skeletons can come out of closets.
The most concise narrative I can give on my situation is that, over ten years ago, I married a woman who I now realize is a classic case of borderline personality disorder (I also get that I am far from perfect). I have bent over backwards to make this work, for reasons that are probably misguided and have to do with my own issues. We have children, and unfortunately they are showing many of the signs of living in a very unhealthy emotional environment.
Things are getting increasingly volatile, and I am trying to get my affairs in order to be ready to exit. It is possible that she will pull the plug before me, although if this happens it could well involve violence and craziness. In addition to all the emotional fun that goes with a Caretaker/BPD marriage, my wife has been physically violent in the past to me and the kids. So far she has done a masterful job of keeping it just on the edge of what I might report (being 'rough' with the kids without actually punching or kicking them).
You are probably asking 'why the hell come here for advice?' My answer is that I suspect I'm not the only guy who has resorted to 'the hobby' as a means of coping with a difficult marital situation, and many of us have faced the fear (and perhaps reality) of this coming out in divorce proceedings.
While I have made many mistakes for which I know I will have to accept responsibility, I also think I've done a lot of the right things to move forward in all this. I am in therapy, have made sure my kids are getting help, and have successfully tackled some other difficult health and personal issues. At present our finances are far from healthy, which is one reason I quit lobbying and also need to buy some time (I probably need a year) to get things on track without materially jeopardizing the kids and/or myself. It's possible I'm assuming too much guilt and responsibility for the finance thing, as I have always contributed quite a lot and we do have assets (positive net worth, mainly cash flow issues if I did anything radical right now).
I would be grateful if anyone with similar experiences could share advice or comments on what to expect as this kind of situation unfolds (knowing that every one is different). I've been reasonably careful in past regarding discretion, but not perfect. It's possible that a careful review of past finances and cell phone records could bring it out.
PS I realize I must consult a family law attorney ASAP - I'm grappling with questions like these:
- where to get recommendations, especially lawyers familiar with BPD cases
- am I correct in assuming that I should tell my lawyer *everything* (including past hobby-ing and risk of disclosure?)
- what are the legalities in Quebec related to covert recording in order to capture instances of physical or verbal abuse? (guess that one's for the lawyer)
Please understand that I do accept my responsibility in all of this - I am just trying to make sure that I can protect whatever rights I have left...
Consult a lawyer asap. And disclose everything. About 8 years ago, while still married, I was working as a receptionist for an agency while going to school. I had spent the previous 18 months working 3 jobs so my then husband could go back to trade school. My husband declared me as a dependent, so he could reap the benefits of the tax breaks. When we went through our divorce, he had the audacity to use that against me in the divorce (the fact that I was working as a receptionist at an escort agency - apparently I worked there 'against' his will). It was a nasty divorce. They say that marriage is just a piece of paper - until you file for divorce. You can't stop what she will try to use against you, but your lawyer needs to know so that he/she isn't caught off guard when a claim is made. Good luck to you!
I couldn't agree more. Your lawyer needs to know everything, and I mean everything. You she doesn't know, she probably knows and keep it in her pocket to throw it in your face at the right moment. Your lawyer is your only friend. All he cares is too win and make money, not judging your values and ethic. The more he knows, the best he'll be prepared for those arguments. As for the kids, take notes and pictures, never rely on your memory, facts facts facts. Good luck!
By the way, it's the same answer if you were a woman, divorce is nasty, plain and simple
Also, be prepared for it to get ugly, including getting the kids involved. That's what my ex did. I learned this only last year - but he paid my oldest to spill the beans on me about certain things that I did (ex. I kept a notebook with all my work related stuff, my ex paid my son to take pictures of some of the pages and send it to him). My son was only 10 at the time, he didn't know any better.
Hummmm, just to tell you a fact: IN QUEBEC
Even if you could be kinda feel some "shame" if your ex decided to tell the kids about your hobbying (if ever she knows.....)
The reality in our days, about the "garde des enfants" is that judges are more than willing to give half/half mother/father.
But they will think about it seriously if the health and well being of the children are seriously compromised with one of them.
So, with the little you gave in your first post, it should be your ex who should feel little in her shoes with her questionable behaviours towards the children and you. Plus, if you are having proofs about that, and if the children are old enough to comment about it... You could go for a psy evaluation if you are asking for it to know who will have the children for their best.
If she is so kinda violent, you could ask a "no contact" between you 2 (obviously when you won't be living together anymore) so then, you will limit the "rage" you are expecting.
And also, you could leaved with the children without telling their mother, if you think it's the best you should do to prevent any further violences.
And to be seeing escorts or, even if you were an escort yourself ISN'T AT ALL a reason to keep your children away of you, or to win something over you.
The reality is that you have to be recognized as a total depraved adult irresponsable toward your children. (drugs or alcool high abuser, mental disorders, sexual abuser, and/or not able to keep a good job and an appartment/house)
So, that's the little a know, but I hope I helped you to calm down a bit your nervosity.
You should contact a lawyer the soonest possible. And don't forget that the first who is making the first move could be advantaged. That's how it works.
I'm sorry to disagree but spending money on seeing escorts will be badly seen by the court. I've seen that reality, often...
It's a unapproved activity by the society, it will be perceived as an abuse of woman or at least a lack of respect. And it's cheating. It's why your lawyer needs to know so if he's smart, he'll ask you what type of escorts do you see and can plan to do some damage control.
Don't forget, if you have money for escorts, you have money for a bunch of stuff so you'll be ending paying a lot. You'll need to leave with it since there's no way out...
Good luck again!
(I wrote the post below but I missed the fact that you think your wife may have a personality disorder. Do not enter any divorce relation until that has been cleared out. Ask professionnal advice about that first.)
1. Promess to her that you will never say anything negative about her, never. Promess to her you will never get angry and scream in front of the kids. You are divorcing, not your kids. Show her that this will be your number 1 priority. YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE something in common with her, your kids.
2. Offer to her to go through an arbitrator/mediator as soon as possible. You absolutely need to do that before bringing a lawyer (still asking advice to a divorce laywer will be usefull). If she refuse because she wants to get it nasty with lawyers and all, she will loose because the first thing a judge will ask her is: "Why did you refuse arbitration?". And then things will roll your way (this was an advice from a lawyer by the way).
3. Prepare to put money on the table. I left 150k on the value of the house to my ex so she could buy a decent house she found. Our kids stayed at the same school. This was our number one priority. Cost me a lot but I am in such peace now
4. The one week at mom, 1 week at dad's place does not work that well. It's much better with young kids under 12 to do the switch every 2/3 days or something like that. Works like a charm.
5. Some say divorce are always ugly. Mine was not. I was the beggining to what is now a fucking beautiful life with 2 amazing great kids!
Thanks all - it's helpful to get confirmation that it really is in my best interest to disclose all to my lawyer. I have already discussed all this stuff in therapy, which helped to realize that a professional (who probably hears everything, including much worse than anything I could reveal) is not going to be judgemental.
My other motivation in seeing the lawyer is to really understand my obligations and liabilities well ahead of time, so I can come to terms with these and hopefully have some control in preparing to meet them (rather than having this come up suddenly and unexpectedly). The point about documentation is also well taken - I do realize that, for all my sob stories about abuse, it will only take a decent lawyer about 30 seconds to paint me as an irresponsible, escort-using scumbag. Someone suggested that I 'always be recording' to capture some of the crazy stuff that's going on at home, but I need to discuss with a lawyer to better understand the legalities of this in Quebec.
Although I still believe my wife "doesn't know", I do think she knows there were parts of my life I wasn't sharing with her. Of course this is an un-winnable game of "chicken and egg" in which I can claim I sought certain forms of relief due to living with a crazy person, while she can say she acted like a crazy person because she was living with a scoundrel. At some point it doesn't matter, and the important thing now is to protect the kids and get both of our lives back. I am willing to try and rebuild the relationship, but feel like she is on the edge in terms of mental health and if she snaps violently I may have no choice but to move out or call the police.
One thing that would be helpful: *if* someone here has had an excellent experience with a lawyer in a high-conflict divorce (well the lawyer, not the divorce itself) particularly in being non-judgemental when skeletons are let out of the closet, please let me know (PM if you prefer).
Thanks again for the advice and support.
Ah oui? You saw OFTEN a father lose the garde of his children because he was seeing escorts?
I would be more than interested to see those judgements and when & where they have been done.
I never heard about that personally.
Thanks - this does help. Please understand that I don't personally think there is any shame in seeing escorts, other than the breach of trust when you are married. In my case, there was so much cruelty in the marriage that I felt like this was a valid avenue for preserving my mental and emotional health. My plan now is to work on setting firmer boundaries, hoping that these will be respected but prepared to react if she loses it and gets violent.
Originally Posted by Maria Divina
We have done all kinds of counselling, and her attitude was terrible (this is a waste of time, the therapist is an idiot, there's nothing wrong with me it's all you). I've also made sure my kids get professional support, as they have had some issues that I think are due to the home environment.
Thanks! As I mentioned in reply to Maria, our whole family has already done various forms of therapy. My wife is in denial that she has any kind of problem, even though the kids are still in therapy and stress about their mom's anger problem (I am told). I am very careful not to denigrate her with the kids, as I feel this is really low and very unhealthy for them.
Originally Posted by jalimon
I am quite prepared to part with money to end the craziness. However, I want first of all to minimize the impact on my kids and also make sure that whatever home I end up with is suitable for joint custody. I have no desire to humiliate or hurt my wife, and am not 100% given up. I just realized what a big toll the histrionics and control were taking on me, and self-medicating with a glass of wine and occasional escort sex (as wonderful as this can be) is not the real solution.
I would have said "poor you" living all this kind of life... but you're an adult and you could finally get rid and handle it when you will finish to understand why you kinda choose to face to live this kind of relationship and plus, during so long.
In French, I would have said: "C'est payer cher pour apprendre"
Of course, I'm way more concerned about your children and that's your responsibility to make them stop living this unbalanced life the soonest possible.
You say that they are already living damages, but the longer they stay in that situation, the worst it will be. (I'm trying to figure out how a child could handle to meet a therapist while his abuses are still continuing? )
I'm sure you are awarded of this, but sometimes when you are living regular violence in your day-to-day life, you just don't realize all the impacts it could generated.
-Oh, I don't have a lawyer to propose to you, but, maybe by contacting a psy who is making the evaluation for the guard, you will have few names there?
Thanks - I recommend to look up Stockholm Syndrome to understand how easily this kind of thing can happen, especially with a manipulative person. I also learned a lot reading about the "Caretaker" role in relationships where the other person has Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Because of things in my childhood, I am prone to taking the Caretaker role. I now understand it is not a good thing for me, nor for the person I am supposedly taking care of (who really needs a mental health professional).
Originally Posted by Maria Divina
And, I could recommend to look up to all the infos about Narcissic Perversity & Karpman's triangle.
I'm maybe going to look a bit "hard" but, you know, it takes "2 to tango" and you probably already know it with your therapies.
An aggressor needs a victim who need an aggressor to be a victim. A saver need a victim to save, who need a savor to feel/continue being a victim. An aggressor need a saver to be able to support that kind of abusive behaviours, who need an aggressor to feel helpful in life. Bad communications at their "best".
You just look to be dealing with someone that you just couldn't do nothing ever with because you said she doesn't recognized her part of the problem at all.
Again, bon courage en tout. Pensez à vos enfants en priorité.
edit: I saw that you completed your post #14 after I already send this post. I knew you were already knowing about what I was referring too.
If you permit me, now you will have to raise the level of what is acceptable for you if you did not already did it.
But you are already in good hands with your therapist and all the "awakening" you seem to make presently.
Again, bon courage.