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  1. #1
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    May 2011
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    Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Hello Forum,

    I surfed in on a great discussion thread on the Separation and Divorce panel, and wept at the pain of the writers and took great comfort in the caring of my fellow human beings.

    I am in an almost intolerable situation. I will say I have family and friends, and have sought help, but it is almost beyond my ability to cope.

    How to begin... My wife and I have been together for almost ten years. In the middle of that period I commuted twice a month a 4.5 hour drive for 4 years to keep the relationship alive. In 2007 we finally got married and have had two little boys, 2.5 years old and 8 months old.

    We had a deal that she would move here and take a leave from her job and that we would return to her hometown in 5 years, once my older son, from a previous relationship finished high school and one year of college, which would have happened in two years' time. We made this deal as my older son has had Tourette syndrome and other academic and social problems and I didn't want to abandon him while he was still in high school (though his mom is here and we get along well now). I have had 50% custody of him since he was 2 and for a couple of years I had full custody.

    So we made that deal and she came here. Since 2008 we had the two wonderful boys, but since the birth of the youngest one in Sept 2010, we have been getting along terribly. We decided that I would take paid parental leave to help her at home with the two children and I have been at home since Sept 2010. My leave ends on May 30.

    We fought like cats and dogs, verbally, in these last 6 months. Even though I had raised a son before, who had special needs, even though I took parental leave to help her and went to all appointments, drop ins, did not go out except one night a week (to practice music - am in a professional band), pay for rent, utilities, food, diapers etc, she always put me down as a father.

    She increasingly got mad at me, didn't want my family to visit the kids, and took to charging at me (I hid in the basement once, under my covers which she ripped off, and ripped a lock off the door etc.), she destroyed my dad's $400 espresso machine by throwing it off the back porch etc). I admit that I had a vicious tongue in fights, and so did she. It was awful for the kids and my older son to witness these insults, and I told her we should not argue in front of the kids. When she destroyed the property I drove my older son to my parents' house because he was scared. It was a very unhealthy environment.

    Her previous relationship to mine was one where he beat her up on more than one occasion and he almost killed her. She never called the cops. For the first few years of our relationship I helped her through her nightmares where she would scream in the middle of the night. And in our 9.5 year relationship I never touched her - that is not my bag.

    Just over a month ago, she attacked me and yanked a full glass of orange juice out of my hand, I pushed her off me. She called the cops, I was arrested, put in jail overnight, and am charged with assault. I've been at my parents' place since then. Children's Aid did a full assessment and concluded that I was no risk to my children. My ex-wife and son were interviewed, and my ex supported me and said I was never violent (I am not a violent person); she even said that she had been the more aggressive one in that relationship -- I remember her kicking a door in that I was behind and throwing a glass at my head: I never did anything like this.

    Despite the assessment, my wife has not let me see the children and in fact wants me to only have supervised visits. I have a lawyer and will be fighting both things: the false assault charge and her denying me access to the kids. This is so surreal! My family had told me she was so overprotective of the children, but I tried to see the best in her because I loved her. She constantly put me down as a father. When I took the 2 year old for a walk around the block, she asked him were you crying? which he never wasn. She would watch the way I tried to teach him hockey, that I read to him too fast etc. According to my family, she was way too overprotective to the point of having mental health issues. I was too close to this and loved my wife and supported her.

    While home on parental leave, I made the 2 year old breakfast every morning, I put the 2 year old down for his nap, put him down to sleep at night, made dinner every night, paid for everything: but she said I did nothing around the house and paid for nothing. I carried the baby in a carrier all day long, took them to appts, drop ins, parks, museum, but somehow I was a loser dad.

    She didn't want me to help my older son with his homework claiming it took too much time away from the younger boys (but my older son was only there 50% of time). On the night of the 'assault incident' she had not allowed me to drive my older son to hockey practice, which he missed.

    Again, I admit that I can be a pessimistic guy, and when in a fight I can say nasty things. And if she wanted to split, we could have done it more amicably. My family believes she tried time and time again to provoke me, and calling the police would serve her ends perfectly, because that would be the only way she could return herself to her hometown, earlier than our agreement. I did not believe them at the time, although I once or twice feared for my safety.

    Anyway, given the fact I cannot contact her and am living away from home with my aging parents; given the fact that I am a 'criminal' in the eyes of the law (the case will happen probably in the Fall); given the fact that I have not seen my babies for 35 days and have an application in for supervised access (even though Children's Aid said I don't need this); and believe it or not, given the fact that my heart is broken from the end of the relationship; and that I have to somehow return to work in 3 weeks: I AM INTOLERABLY AND DESPERATELY SAD!

    I feel so badly about myself. My older son comes and stays with me on weekends (he's with his mom during the week) and he is very worried about me, and I worry for him so much too! This is good to see him. My ex-wife, we had rocky times in the past, has really stepped up to help me (she has a new family and daughter and I have been so happy for her). I have not told my dearest friends, but will try to soon. I am sooooo ashamed.

    I am in a state of extreme anxiety and extreme depression. Every moment is beyond hell. I went to the emergency department and got something to help me sleep two nights ago, but I am wearing down. My thoughts go to the worst places....

    I have to deal with: 1) criminal case; 2) custody case (I think my wife will want full custody); 3) heartbreak not seeing kids (worst thing); 4) heartbreak about end of 9.5 year relationship; 5) financial concerns; 6) whether or when children will move 4.5 hours away.

    Each of the above would be enough, but all together is more than I can bear!

    Part of me can try to see that in a few years, things will be better somehow, but right now.... wow!!!!

    I know my situation is complex and involved and I am trying to break it down in bite-sized pieces. I am not religious but have tried to reach out to some sort of spirituality (I wish I could...). I am trying to set up counseling sessions too.

    The caring on this site is so beautiful. My family is so concerned, but they are too close to the situation: I do count my blessings that they are here: what would I do without them?

    With great humility, extreme fear, anxiety and sadness,

    Daniel

  2. #2
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Daniel, I will respond in about an hour's time. I sadly have to grab dinner now.

    Does your wife have any history of mental illness? You describe a bad relationship she had before, so I wonder if the causes of her getting into that relationship are partly in that department?

    Will respond indepth in an hour.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  3. #3
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Daniel, your story quite literally breaks my heart. It's been a decade and a half since I lost the right to live with my daughter when spit from her mother and your story manages to dig up those old feelings of loss.

    I could shower you with the "things will get better" and "time heals all wounds" but that does you a disservice right now.

    The ONLY things I can say that I hope helps you is that WE ARE HERE FOR YOU and will listen without judging. We are a community of people with varying experiences who've had our share of personal challenges so we can understand and empathize with a persons pain.

    I think the one thing that may help though is to just let it all out. You did a great job in your first post so if you have more to say, by all means, say it.

    We're here for you my friend.
    My Daughter Rules!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    4

    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Hello again,

    Duke: First of all, thank you for being there. Thank you all soooo much for listening! I can use any and all help at this time.

    Vautrin: I believe her past has everything to do with this. I cannot go into the all the details, but I know she is doing this, in this way, in some strange way to expiate her past. Also, quoting Rilke is near my heart. She and I, believe it or not, loved his poetry and thoughts on human relationships: but in the application of its wisdom, her and I have failed miserably...

  5. #5
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Daniel, with regards to the words of wisdom of poets, most people often fall short.

    From what you have described, it seems her past played a crucial role in the breakdown of your marriage. Obviously, she has some unresolved issues, because the 'switch' she triggered seems hard to explain as just being moody, even if on occasion you did manage to draw the blood from underneath her nails - and in fights those things can happen, and it is certainly true that she did not behave as an angel either.

    With regards to your concerns:
    I have to deal with: 1) criminal case; 2) custody case (I think my wife will want full custody); 3) heartbreak not seeing kids (worst thing); 4) heartbreak about end of 9.5 year relationship; 5) financial concerns; 6) whether or when children will move 4.5 hours away.
    The criminal case seems flimsy at best, but nonetheless it will be hanging over your head until the thing goes to court. The case itself does not make you a criminal, merely a person who has some suspicion over his head. You are not proven guilty of a thing as of yet. If you are lucky, it will be thrown out quite quickly, and if not, you seem to have a solid defence - if it goes to court, it will come back and haunt your wife, which as terrible as it sounds, is probably not the worst thing that could happen to you.

    With regards to the custody case, your wife will try and exploit the criminal case, to probably press for full custody, without any rights on your part. If she denies you access to your children now, that is very hurtful, but it should come and bite her in the long run, since what she is doing is unlawful. It must be tremendously hurtful for you not to be able to see your two sons at all, and hopefully when the hearings are there people will seriously look at the facts of the case; your claims can be backed up by both your ex-wife as well as your elder son.

    Legally speaking you can do a lot to prevent your wife moving away with your children without your permission (especially if it is out of state). Just because she has the children now, does not mean you are without rights. Far from it. Luckily you have already involved a lawyer, and he should fight tooth and nail for you.

    As much as you can analyze where things went wrong, and what drove your wife to do these things, judging by the previous relationship she had, does not provide you much comfort. Because these thoughts must be running 24/7 in your mind.

    I am sure, that in the process of the past 12 months, if not longer, you have lost the connection with many of your friends and relatives, partly due to your wife's behavior, partly due to all the family commitments you had.
    If a friend tells you, 'you are in an abusive relationship', and you don't do a thing about it (in their mind), then they will make less of an effort to see you and support you, probably even more so because you are a man. Now you are out of that situation, you at least have the chance to reconnect with them.
    The same may be true for your interests, other than your children. Try and pursue some of your own interests.
    Remember what it means to be you. You feel like 200 types of doggy doo, but there are at least 200 reasons why you are awesome as well - even if you have a hard time realizing that when you are completely down.

    For now, you need to try and focus on the present to the best of your abilities, as difficult as it is. Your criminal case will be dealt with in 4 or 5 months time; that is still a long way away, and every bit of emotional energy you spend on that case now, is not spent on something that is more pressing in the present.

    The situation of your children is more pressing. Speak to your lawyer how to best approach this, especially with custody hearings coming up. As much as it hurts to be denied access to your children, if you document it, it will speak in your favour in the court. If your wife decides to move away 4.5 hours, that may well be unlawful as well. Speak to your lawyer about this as well. Once you know what you can do, as limited as it sadly is, the whole situation becomes slightly more bearable, since you'll be doing everything you can do, to take responsibility for your children, be a part of their lives, etc.

    With regards to the financial concerns, there is sadly only one way out of it. However, as hard as it is to believe at this time, it may offer you some time away from thinking about how your life changed so drastically in the last 12 months.

    Sadly, your relationship with your wife is over. That is a very difficult thing to come to terms with, especially since she has been behaving so much out of character in the past year. It is one thing to have a bit of character flaw (which you probably saw in some of your wife's behaviors at the time), it is another thing to go completely ballistic, as she has in the past 8 months.
    Again, you can analyze where things went wrong, and analyze why you stayed or did not pick up that something was seriously amiss, but for the time being, that provides little consolation. In the future you can learn some lessons from it, especially if you and your wife end up with some form of joint custody.

    For the time being however, as difficult as it sounds, you need to get your mind away from that. Meet up with friends. Reconnect with family. Not to talk about your wife 24/7, but to find yourself again. Pursue some of your own interests, and as time passes, life will become ever so slightly more bearable again. And you will need the energy, because you have several big fights ahead of you.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  6. #6
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    May 2011
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Vautrin: Thank you so much for your words! They really hit on the nail. Just 5 minutes ago I got her requests, and yes she wants to relocate, full custody and to deny me any custody, and tons of $, which I don't have. I am taking another body blow. I will try to gather my strength, but not to think of it all the time. I feel kinda disassociated, but I value your input and this forum to no end. I am starting to fully believe this is happening. I do have a lawyer who will fight for my rights, so I am doing the most I can do. I cannot do more right now. So that is a relief - one can only do what one can. Thank you for taking the time to comment, it means SO much to me!
    Daniel

  7. #7
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Daniel, talk to your lawyer, and don't sign a thing. What she is doing is completely unlawful if you are not okay with it. And why should you be okay with it?!? She wants the rights and a boat load of money? Let the courts decide. There is nothing wrong with not signing away your rights.
    If you don't sign away your rights, chances are she will try and bully you into doing that. She has been in a relationship with you for 9.5 years as well, so she knows exactly what buttons to push to get the desired response from you. This may also include trying to make you angry about things, so that she can use it as evidence in a court of law. Not fair, but please don't put it beyond her. And be prepared for such a thing. Don't forget to document such instances. Might be useful in the future.

    If you do end up being in touch with her, try to set up something so you can see your children, supervised or not. If she denies you that, she is only weakening her case.

    You can think endlessly about what has gotten into her, but for the time being it is not really relevant. It will be relevant for the custody cases, since the behaviors you describe are somewhat at odds with being a loving and dedicated mother and wife. Since you have many people who can back up your claims, you should not worry too much about it just yet. Just don't forget to get them to the courtroom when the time is there.

    Daniel, not sure what your plans are for the evening, but I'd suggest getting in touch with one or a few of your friends. Real life friends an help enormously with coping in a difficult situation. If that is not possible, do something you always enjoyed.

    It will be difficult at first, but you need to fight for yourself, fight to get yourself on your feet, because you are in for a ride - but don't let that discourage you, because you are a man with a mission: to get full custody over your children, who need you, even though they can't see you right now.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  8. #8
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Daniel, I am so glad you found us. I am at work right now and don't have time to read through all that has been said but will when I get home. We are here for you. I can only imagine the pain and emotional turmoil you are going through. I did wonder if your wife has ever gone to any kind of therapy to recover from her past marriage. It definitely sounds like she needs it. As for who is the more fit parent, I believe you should start looking at you being the soul custodian. She isn't stable and I would think the child services people should be aware of her outbursts. At some point she could turn on one of them. You were wrongly accused and it will probably be hard to get that off your record but I hope you can. Like I said I will read through all the comments after work. Good luck and keep returning to vent or just get it all out. That is what we are here for.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  9. #9
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Hello!

    Vautrin: I am not signing anything. My lawyer and I will come up with a response to her 'requests'. I have applied for supervised access in the meantime - could take a couple of weeks. I will fight, believe me. And, I did just get in touch with one of my best friends -- I was too ashamed and sad to do so for the past 35 days. I told him everything, even though it really hurt to do so. I love my children!!!

    TKDLady: I know she did go through therapy which helped her a few years ago, but obviously it wasn't enough: her fierce 'love' for our children has destabilized her somehow: my sisters saw this better than I, but one never knows how bad the future can be: one hopes for the best in a relationship. My serotonin levels are 0 right now. The child services people ascertained that I was not a danger to my kids, though she denies me access. I will have to wait for this to play out in court. I can't tell you how much it means to have sympathetic listeners. I am so desperate for hope of any kind. A victory for me is 60 seconds without dread. Thank you again!

    Daniel

  10. #10
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    I said I would respond but Vautrin said it all pretty much. You have rights and don't just roll over and let her take them away. She is the one with problems, not you. Hang in there Daniel. We are here for you.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  11. #11
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    I don't know exactly what her childhood issues are, but as a mother of young children, taking total control of their children's lives may be a means of her to deal with her issues. Which is not healthy at all. Neither for her as for your children.

    This is definitely something you want the courts to be aware of, when custody hearings are held.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  12. #12
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    Re: Many worlds ending - I cannot cope

    Daniel,

    Matey, im a very fortunate person who has never had to endure what has happened to you. Im afraid nothing i can say will help much, but i did wish to just butt in and say hello and send you all my best wishes and hopes.

    Im afraid thats all i can offer......but if you ever do need to vent, or rant, or whatever, then i am only a PM away. I will listen happily and if asked, offer what opinion i can.

    Chin Up Matey, it will eventually get better and hopefully we can help you along the way

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