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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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  #1  
Old 01-22-2018, 11:10 AM
Futureisbright Futureisbright is offline
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Default How to Take the High Road

Im in the beginning of a separation that has been coming for years. Shes chosen her friends, her phone (and who knows what else) over her family for years and all my efforts to change that havent been enough. I feel satisfied that Ive tried but the kids are observing this and they will think this is acceptable behaviour if I allow it to continue so I needed to step up and end the relationship. Her family has been patting me on the back and telling me they understand I had no choice and Im doing the right thing. Shes been enjoying the gravy train too long and not just not contributing but in fact disrespecting the entire family and alienating our kids.
Anyhow,
Were trying for amicable fair separation and Im providing more than a fair equalization (common-law but treating equalization as if married which basically means $80k if RRSP Im offering to transfer which I dont need to) and offering table set-off CS without even imputing min wage (she works under the table).
Shes inexplicably still looking for more so Im considering taking all off table and putting on gloves meanwhile shes living it up, out till 6:30 am (leaving before dinner), already has her week-on/week-off planned so she can align with her party buddy, house/car shopping (for of course things she cant possibly afford). Also multiple indications that shes cheating and has been for some time. And she seems to be hiding some money as she still hasnt brought one account statement to the table.

Now Im getting frustrated of course and Ive enabled her for years so I take some responsibility which is why Im trying to be generous so she can land on her feet. But a part of me wants to publicly shame her to friends and family. Im sure Im strong enough not to as it will only hurt her (she cares a great deal what her friends think of her) and I dont want her to be a wreck- shes the mother of my super-awesome kids who deserve a healthy mother. And she has shown that she can be a good mother when its convenient for her.

I have no doubts about what our friends/family think about me, I know that my actions are correct for my kids (and for her) and Im lucky enough to have good people around me to remind me of this - which she overhears/assumes and takes the stance of you all hate me/think Im awful. Well then watch me now!! Its the poor me game over and over.
Im not trying to get people to pick sides Im just so frustrated that she seems to think shes entitled to continue to treat kids and I like $&! and Im just supposed to sort it all out and keep the family afloat.

I know Im not the first to be in such a position, any advice how you got through it?
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2018, 11:25 AM
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arabian arabian is offline
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You must be a very insecure person.

What jumps out at me (several times) in your post is that you have gone out of your way to canvas her family...involve them in your issues.

You seem to spend most of your time with your friends (and her family members) talking about her. This is going to help you how....? You say you aren't trying to get people to pick sides?

When you get over yourself, and spend some serious money with a lawyer I suspect, you will come to realization that at the end of the day what matters is your children. If you continue to play the games you are playing it will surely come back to bite you.

No one cares if your STBX is a ho who stays out all night. Quit trying to disparage your ex and focus on future and how you can be a wonderful parent.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:04 PM
Futureisbright Futureisbright is offline
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Thanks for the feedback Arabian

Yes Im insecure in many ways, years of belittlement will do that but Im also self-aware.

I dont feel Im canvassing her friends and family, and specifically trying to avoid falling into that trap, thus this post. I try to avoid discussing her but I do spend time with her family so they can see the kids. Shes mostly shut them out.
They are concerned about her and us and the kids so they ask and Im trying to say as little as possible in response and looking for suggestions on how to achieve that without losing my mind.
I dont want to also shut out her family whos been very good to me and I also dont want to lie to them.
And taking advantage of this forum to vent a bit in parallel. My family is in another city and I dont have many friends here who arent mutual friends so not many chances to vent
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:25 PM
Futureisbright Futureisbright is offline
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Note that in original post I refer to publicly shameing. Im glad I re-read to see how crazy that sounds. I have no appetite for such an activity (I dont even have a social media presence tbh). Im embarrassed to have even written it and trust me I wouldnt be able to act in such a manner and still tell myself that Im setting a good example for my kids.
This is very therapeutic to write things down and see how intense they can be and to allow reflection of whats the point of it all.
This whole divorce thing really sucks!!
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2018, 01:37 PM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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I'd create a bigger buffer zone around her family. Blood is always thicker than water. My ex stayed close to my parents for the first year, then when court proceeding started their relationship started to sour as they didnt want to be put in the middle. And it made my parents feel they were put in a place where they were suppose to try and "fix" things so to speak for us. My Mom is somewhat of a worrywart, and I could see it was stressing her out.

Grandparents should be there solely to love on the children, not to get involved in separation/divorce drama imo. Your relationship with them should be cordial for the kids sake, but not your therapists or to make them feel they have to take sides. Nice if you can get along with them for family events, but stick to talking about the weather or how great the children are.

I do think this forum is a much better place to vent your frustrations than the Grandparents since all the members are or going through similar situations.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:50 PM
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The high road is not about caving in to unreasonable demands; it's about staying above the mud-slinging and being firm in your convictions if they are reasonable and fair.


It sounds like you are willing to be more than fair with her, but don't let her walk all over your generosity. Make your first offer to settle be the bare legal fairest minimum (common-law equalization, imputing minimum wage, 50-50 access, joint custody, no SS). Then ask for a return offer from her with what she wants. If you have to then offer her a bit more (some of this RRSP for example) she'll think she won something and maybe agree to settle.


Is the money she's hiding shared money? If it's in an account with only her name on it, it's her money and you have no entitlement to it, since you were common-law. If it's joint, you can just go to the bank and get a statement. Tell her if she wants it to remain outside equalization because you're not married, then agree, and keep your RRSP outside equalization.


No need to be mean; do your best to treat her as a crazy roommate you will soon be rid of, keep your anger at her antics under control, and don't discuss the situation much with anybody who likes her. Now is a good time to figure out which friends of yours are in her corner and which are in yours, and which are trying to do both (aka be in her corner). Make new friends who aren't mutual and vent to them.


Dealing with difficult personalities is part strategizing and part learning what to ignore. Get counselling to help you manage your own emotions and frustration about it, and do some research on dealing with such people. Grey rock method, three narcissist settings (rage, charm, self-pity), those are good places to start.


I think it's okay to facilitate your former in-laws' relationship with the children, especially if your ex isn't doing it right now. If she steps up, then you can slowly withdraw from the role. But don't talk about your ex; keep topics limited to the children.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:32 PM
Futureisbright Futureisbright is offline
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Thanks Rioe,
This is really helpful and is inline with how I’m trying to act. Thanks for the reminder.

I have arguably been overly generous in initial offers and response has been that she still wants more. What she wants doesn’t exist of course so I guess I need to give her an ultimatum of accept what’s offered, provide a counter-offer with evidence to support it’s realistic or rip everything up and start from scratch with lawyers.

The last account she won’t disclose is actually in the kids’ name but she’s been depositing ‘our’ money in it (portion of CCB) and she has full control over it. I’m 95% confident she won’t show a statement (despite agreeing to) since it’s goong to show that some of it is funding her lavish lifestyle (while I’m home with the kids - which is where I want to be anyhow, don’t get me wrong). I don’t care that she’s out, I care that she leaves without even saying goodbye to the kids. Sorry, sidetracked, anyhow: I’ve said that we can take the kids’ account, drop it all into RESP so we can both see it or transfer to a true joint account in trust for kids. Actually if it’s an account in my daughter’s name can I go to bank and ask for a statement?

I’m avoiding discussion with any common friends but it’s hard as she has these multiple lives (which I don’t really know about and many friends I’ve never met) which most of our common friends don’t even know exist. From what I can tell if these multiple lives - other than one which is particularly unhealthy- they mostly wouldn’t be too bad taken on their own and the separate groups she hangs with probably love her and think - oh she’s got 3 kids she needs to get out at some point. It’s crazy and I want to shout it from the rooftops but don’t see how it’s going to help me, so am constantly restraining myself.

Her family can see some of it and have been trying to tell her to rein it in for years which is why they want to ask me what is going on. She won’t engage as they are admittedly rather harsh. Or she’s particularly unreceptive to criticism or a bit of both. I say as little as possible and suggest they direct any questions to her. Of course when she’s not there and they ask where she is I end up looking like a pretty shitty partner to say “I don’t know” but I don’t know what else to say. It’s the truth.

As for opportunities to vent, I’m on the phone with my brother and hometown friends a lot and I’m trying to dig some old friends out of the woodwork. I’m starting to realize how much of my own life I’ve given up over the years. I don’t fault her for that, I’m a grown man and can make my own decisions. It’s just an awareness that I can’t expect friends that I let slip away to be ready and waiting to help unless I put some extra effort in.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:54 PM
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You are over-preparing to be frank and over thinking a lot of this. Calm down.

You are clearly a "math" person.
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Old 01-23-2018, 04:59 PM
Futureisbright Futureisbright is offline
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True. With a capital M
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futureisbright View Post
The last account she won’t disclose is actually in the kids’ name but she’s been depositing ‘our’ money in it (portion of CCB) and she has full control over it. I’m 95% confident she won’t show a statement (despite agreeing to) since it’s goong to show that some of it is funding her lavish lifestyle (while I’m home with the kids - which is where I want to be anyhow, don’t get me wrong). I don’t care that she’s out, I care that she leaves without even saying goodbye to the kids. Sorry, sidetracked, anyhow: I’ve said that we can take the kids’ account, drop it all into RESP so we can both see it or transfer to a true joint account in trust for kids. Actually if it’s an account in my daughter’s name can I go to bank and ask for a statement?

It might be worth a try. Bring the birth certificates that have you listed as their father and explain that their mother isn't able to do this right now and you hope they can help you. You only want a balance history, not to withdraw money, so they might do so.


Did your ex leave any documentation about these accounts anywhere you can access? Old statements, deposit receipts, etc. Do you even know the account numbers?


I wonder if the bank would tell you her tried to access the account though?


Since you're a math person, you could estimate the account balance, based on history of past deposits. Four years of CCB is this much, four years of birthday and Christmas money is that much, so the account should hold about $X right now. Then inflate it a bit and use that number for equalization. If you're too high (and you should inflate the number so you're high, but realistically so), that will be incentive for her to provide the statement you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Futureisbright View Post
Her family can see some of it and have been trying to tell her to rein it in for years which is why they want to ask me what is going on. She won’t engage as they are admittedly rather harsh. Or she’s particularly unreceptive to criticism or a bit of both. I say as little as possible and suggest they direct any questions to her. Of course when she’s not there and they ask where she is I end up looking like a pretty shitty partner to say “I don’t know” but I don’t know what else to say. It’s the truth.


Maybe try saying something like 'she didn't tell me' instead of 'I don't know' so you don't look as bad? Same message, but different source of ignorance? Since it's her parents, don't say it in an angry tone, just disappointed.
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