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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 10-11-2011, 06:32 PM
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Default Is there something wrong with this picture?

Is there something wrong with this picture or am I just overreacting? How does one get past the games, the abuse, the use of the children and move onto engaging in a co-parenting situation that is healthy? Is that even possible?

6 months seperated, mediation just occured and I am now waiting for him to sign the seperation agreement and move on with our lives. We have been sharing the house 50/50 for the kids sakes but I have been paying the lion's share of the household and kids bills so that my credit rating stays good and the kids do not suffer.

Many requests have been made for him to pitch in more financially, the last of which was responded to last week stating that he will only start to pay his own cell phone bill and gas money when the seperation agreement is signed and finances are formally seperated! I have been drowning financially but doing my best to get through.

Well, this past weekend, Thanksgiving. First holiday in 11 years that I have not spent with my children. Also my oldest's birthday. A double whammy emotionally however, something I need to get through to be able to live with the new reality.

I gave her a birthday present before the switch, it was small (under $20) however what I could afford on this pay and she was happy!

Fast forward 24 hours....gave her a happy birthday phone call. She was really excited. Dad bought her a laptop and "Dad was right, his present kicked your present's butt"

A laptop? When he claims he will not and can not pay for his own personal expenses like gas, cell phone and car insurance?

It is not only the extravagence of the present that kills me....it is her comment to me. I cried for 2 hours after getting off the phone.

Is this a case of him bullying, using the kids and trying to get to me? Or am I just overreacting and too sensitive?
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inseperationhell View Post
Is this a case of him bullying, using the kids and trying to get to me? Or am I just overreacting and too sensitive?
It's both. He is being a jackass, but that comes with the territory in divorce. You need a thick skin to get through this.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:51 PM
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When he claims he will not and can not pay for his own personal expenses like gas, cell phone and car insurance?
Why on earth are you paying those expenses for him??? Who cares what he says? You are not required to pick up these expenses for him at all. I'm shocked that you've been separated for 6 months and haven't separated out these finances. You need to do that immediately. Of course he can afford to buy the kids laptops if you're paying his way.

There are your bills, his bills and common bills. You should immediately inform him by email that his bills are his own problem. Cut him off now! The common bills, ie. house, ultilities, phone, etc should be split based on income ratio. The separation agreement really has nothing to do with this. Why would he ever sign it given the current arrangement? He'd be nuts to give up the gravy train. You are under no obligation to provide him with a cell phone, car insurance or gas money ..that's ridiculous. Especially considering that he HAS separated HIS finances since I'm assuming the money for the laptop came out of his personal account.

Inform him by email that you will no longer be picking up these bills and stop being a pushover. Let him know which bills you will be paying, what bills he will be paying, and anything else is up to him.

I wouldn't worry about the laptop. Your kids will see through this stuff eventually but I would definitely stop the crying and get on with business. He'll be far more likely to sign that agreement when you cut him off.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:08 PM
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I know in my mind that you are right about cutting him off. I have tried - believe me, I have tried. My lawyer is no help - she keeps saying that the financial abuse will end with the seperation agreement. It's like the lawyers do not care what situation I am in right now. I have tried to not pay a bill and he has called me immoral, told me my actions are illegal if I follow through and threatened to make my life very difficult.

He is stating that I carried us financially during marriage (not my choice but by necessity) and finances will not change until the seperation is signed.

I am honestly scared shitless that if I take action and cut him off, he will not sign the agreement and will make life very difficult for me. I am scared shitless of him and what he might do. He still has full access to the house but has only been there 50% of the time. I am scared to live under the same roof as him and am scared if I play hardball, he wont leave the house on my custodial days with the kids.

Logic states one thing....fear brings me to another level.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:30 PM
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Fear does not serve you well during divorce. Trust me on this, I've been through it. He is high conflict and controlling and will probably lengthen anything he can to keep himself in the position he's currently in and you struggling.

I'm not suggesting that you cut off common expenses that are yours to share until the separation agreement and house decision is finalized. I'm talking about things like cell phones and gas. That your lawyer is telling you to continue paying those things is absolutely ridiculous. Why on earth do you care if he calls you "immoral?" LOL, who cares? Look what he's doing with his own money? Its not illegal for you to make him pay for his own personal bills at all. You are under no obligation to provide him with a cell phone..that's total nonsense.

I'm confused as to why he WOULD sign the separation agreement? I see no motive for him to do so at all. In addition, if you're concerned about the agreement with the house going forward and he can change it anytime and just start staying there, than I think you need to reassess your decision. I think you might be better off considering a potential buy-out or sale. You cannot go through this entire process living in fear of him...its going to make it impossible for you to do what needs to be done.

Obviously, ultimately these decisions are up to you. But in my opinion, you can whine about him hoarding money he's able to save because you're paying a disproportionate share of expenses...or you can take action.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:45 PM
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You can be scared, I think that is a normal process, but you need to take the advice and split the finances. He is trying to scare you, and from your reaction it is working. Who cares what he says to you? It may not be what you want to hear, but as long as you are supporting him, he is going to walk all over you. If he doesn't sign the agreement, you take him to court. You document everything and prove that he is being unreasonable. As far as not leaving the house, he may be doing this, but until an agreement is signed, he may not have to. So in the event this happens, why not plan some outside activities with the kids? If you are forced to be in the same house with him because he won't leave, just be mature about the situation and go on with your day.

Let him threaten you all he wants...he is only trying to make himself feel better and put you down, by you reacting the way you are, is allowing him to win. Be strong, this isn't an easy battle, but you will make it through.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:07 PM
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What a difficult situation. Kids can easily "see through" which parent is trying to buy their affection. This is not a contest. I used to let some of that nonsense bother me but it doesn't anymore. You are still going through a big adjustment and I applaud you for guarding your good credit. Mine got destroyed, thanks to my ex. And je lives and spends like a King. It's shallow and pathetic, anyone can see that. There are SO many things that will not bother you in time, the way they do now. He's pressing your buttons. Keep all your receipts and track of your expenses - make a note of what he seems to be able to "manage" when he wants to, also. Try if you can to not let him get to you with these juvenile tactics. That's all that they are. Keep moving towards the goal. Eye on the ball: to get away from him. It won't be this bad forever. Definitely you want that separation agreement SIGNED so muster up all your inner strength and chin up. It sucks, I know: but it sounds like there's better days ahead. Kids are smart, as you know and they figure out quickly who really tows the line. Best of Luck
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:24 PM
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Thank you....you guys are giving me strength. The seperation agreement on the table that I am waiting for him to sign is for me to buy him out of the house.

I mustered up the courage and just sent him an email - put the numbers in black and white - showed how much more he owes me a month than he was giving me currently for the house, his expenses and the kids. Proportionately to our incomes, he should be paying 35% - in reality, he has given me on average 11% over the last 6 months.

know that my reactions come from fear... He is in the house with the kids this week and I fear what I will come back to on Friday, I fear the emails I will get from him, I fear seeing him face to face....I fear for my safety and wellbeing....I fear that he will not sign the agreement and my current juggling with living arrangements will come to an end soon. I get that divorced couples must live in the same house sometimes while things are being settled....in my situation - I fear that will mean yelling, demeaning things being said, abusive situations. I had my cell phone in my pocket with 911 on speeddial the night I left him...have not spent more than 5 minutes alone with him since...the one time I did, my son was in the corner crying and I feared that I would be hit.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:41 PM
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Well I don't know about that.

But one thing I can tell you from a guys point of view is that up until the first time someone punched me - the fear of it made it out to be a bigger deal then it actually was.

Yeah, I got punched and had a bloody nose. But meh... my nose healed and life went on.

Don't live in fear.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:52 PM
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You should contact your local Family Services office. that is, if you haven't already. I did a 6 week group counselling session and there were women from all different socio-economic bacfrounds. One woman was in her 60's and had left after 40 years of verbal and physical abuse. Her husband was quite wealthy as well. Family Svcs can offer one on one counselling. Its free and confidential. As well, they will make sure you have a safety plan in place. If you fear him, do NOT be alone w/him. Not even for "5 minutes." FS is not bullshit like the Courts. They actually care and can advocate for you if/when this goes to court. Above all, if you are verbally or physically threatened - call the Cops. My ex was arrested when he pushed me and threatened to kill me. This was in front of our child who was 8, at the time. My ex was arrested and removed from the home. That was over 4 years ago. I would not hesitate to call the police again if he threatens me - and I don't give a "warning" - Please be safe, err on the side of caution and if Family Svcs are an option for you, they are also PROOF of the treatment you have (and may) endure. If at all possible, do not be alone with him. Make sure close friends, a close neighbor, etc knows your situation.
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