My wife and I were married for 16 years. We both had great jobs but she was definitely the bread winner of the family. She had a strong work ethic and worked hard! I did everything I could to support her and her thriving career. We were married for 16 years with 4 children and I thought we were happy.
One day she came home from work and told me she wanted a divorce. I was shocked. In fact to be perfectly honest, I was decimated. I couldn’t believe it — it didn’t make any sense. No warning, no therapy – nothing! I asked if there was someone else and she said no – she was just not in love with me anymore.
I was crushed. I loved my wife and I didn’t want to lose my family and my kids.
I felt like I was dreaming – how could this be happening? I was sure that there was someone else – and of course there was but she wouldn’t admit it.
She tried to get me out of the house – and I wouldn’t leave. My lawyer was insistent that I stay until we had a sound separation agreement. It was so stressful. I didn’t know what to do! I couldn’t help myself – when she would come home at night I would badger her to tell me who the boyfriend was. I just couldn’t move forward or move on. Everything was out of control and I was spiralling down.
As I slipped into a depression my family pushed me to move out. I got an apartment and had every intention to make a home for my children. Unfortunately the depression overtook me and I couldn’t care for myself, let alone my kids.
I would often go back to our house to get things… clothes, files, any excuse to go back. My ex grew frustrated and kept warning me not to come back. I was determined to show her that she didn’t have that kind of control over me. I came as I pleased and I was certainly not going to let her control me anymore.
Inevitably my visits would end up in fierce screaming matches. She would taunt me and yell at me to leave her house. This would make me irate and I would scream louder. She always retaliated by calling the police. She told them she was feeling threatened and the police were there in an instant. It was somewhat crazy – the police had no legal right to remove me from my marital home – yet they were obligated to answer the call. She did this with my kids at home so she couldn’t lie and say I was physical with her. She wasn’t satisfied with ruining my life – she was determined to ruin me and was happy to sacrifice the kids well being for her selfish pursuits.
The effect on me was massive. I sunk from depression to despair and stopped functioning. I didn’t leave my apartment, I didn’t see my children, I didn’t go to work. I ceased to exist and was not able to help myself.
My family finally intervened and brought me to the hospital. I was hospitalized and was put on anti-depressants. I went through weeks of counselling in an effort to bring me back to a functioning member of society.
I have made great strides to regain my life. What I haven’t been able to get past is her calling the police on me. What I didn’t know was that calling the police during a divorce was “a thing”. Apparently many women use it as a strategy during their divorce. The police are obligated to come when they get a domestic abuse call. I have subsequently met many men who have experienced this. One man I met told me how during his separation his wife called the police and said he pushed her. The police came and arrested him. He sat in jail for 2 nights as it was the weekend. When he finally got in front of a judgel, it came out that his ex hit him first and he simply pushed her off to protect himself. But it doesn’t really matter – damage was done!
I am doing much better now. I feel it is important for my story to be told as had I known that calling the police was a “thing”, I would not have kept going back. I would have figured out how to protect myself in those situations and never ended up in such an awful place.