We met in university and were the first of our friends to get married. We had our kids soon after we graduated and I chose to stay at home and be a mom, while he worked hard to establish himself in his career.
He was an extremely difficult man and was never really happy — in retrospect he was a lot like my mother, which made being with him easy for me as it was familiar.
As the years went on and he became more successful in his career, he become more arrogant and more impossible to be around. He had no patience for our kids and worked all the time. When he was around the tension in the house was unbearable.
I hated when he was home and I hated when he tried to parent our kids. He was an ass – and I actually despised him.
However I felt stuck.
I grew up in a divorced home and I didn’t want the same fate for my kids. So I put my happiness on the back burner and tried my best to keep it together.
Unfortunately this didn’t last long. The kids were getting to the point where they couldn’t stand their dad either and our home was an extremely unhappy place.
I knew I had to get out but I also knew I couldn’t leave without a plan. So I began to plan and get myself ready.
I met with three different lawyers to get as much information as I could. I chose to meet with three family law lawyers for a couple of reasons. I knew that I had to find someone extremely tough and able to go the distance with me as there was a high probability of ending up in litigation. My husband was an ass and a narcissist and a control freak…. I knew he was going to try and intimidate me and do everything he could NOT to give me a fair settlement. I also knew that once I spoke with a lawyer he could not contact them. I needed to find someone who I felt comfortable with and I could trust.
When I sat him down and told him I was leaving. He was furious. He screamed and yelled and threw one of his typical tantrums and I can remember thinking how happy I was that I had prepared. I knew he would be insane but not this insane… I kept my cool and because I had already seen a lawyer I knew my rights. He threatened me and tried to intimidate me but there was nothing he could say or do to make me lose my nerve.
He moved out but it got nasty. Instead of being reasonable he let his ego get in the way and he fought me on everything and anything just to make a point. Unfortunately I got caught up in his insanity.
The next two years was filled with fighting and arguing. We were both awful and neither one of us would back down. I won’t bore you with the details but we spent thousands and thousands of dollars fighting and ended up in court. The ultimate agreement was fair and I could live with the terms -and I did for the next 2 years.
However as I lived on a budget, I watched him live a lavish lifestyle. The numbers didn’t add up – obviously his situation had changed. I took him back to court to reopen our settlement. I am ashamed to tell you that I did this three more times. (against the advice of my lawyer)
I was successful the first two times but on the last attempt the judge was pretty harsh with me and I actually got less money and was slapped with his legal costs. It was then and only then that I took a hard look at myself. I had become even worse than my ex. Everything that I had despised in him was now who I was. I was seeing “revenge” for all those years I was with him. It took a lot of therapy to help me let go of the past and move forward.
Ten years have passed and I am happy to report that my kids are doing well. I am remarried to a wonderful partner, had another child and am extremely happy. It took a long time to get here but I no longer look back – just forward!
The best piece of advice I can give for anyone out there is DON’T STAY STUCK IN YOUR STORY.
The potential for great happiness only comes when you have inner peace.