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Thread: After 3 years... still trying to resolve my old life *long*

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    After 3 years... still trying to resolve my old life *long*

    So I have been trying to get divorced from ex-DH for almost 3 years.

    ex-DH and I met about 10 months before the Irag War started through a mutual friend. I was 28.
    For me, it was love at first sight. We worked in the same industry, but he was also a Reserve Officer (he was former active duty).
    I remember having a lot of conversations about what kind of life we wanted. It seemed that he agreed with me on everything.

    I had a very clear picture of what I wanted for my life. I wanted to leave the very unstable world that I work in.
    I wanted children by my early 30s, to be a SAHM, to have a house, and create a family.
    I NEVER wanted to be divorced. I wanted a solid, secure family oriented life.
    I can't tell you how important that was to me. It was (and it still) all I wanted with with my life.
    He said he wanted everything I wanted! It seemed perfect.

    We were engaged and married within 9 months. I didn't want to get married that quickly,
    but he was deploying and wanted me to have health insurance and spousal rights before he left. It seemed nobel.
    Looking back, I got wrapped up in the romantic idea of being a war bride.
    We got married and he deployed about 2 weeks later.

    (My memory is a little fuzzy at this point.)
    He was deployed for maybe 6 months, and after he returned to home soil, he was still activated to full time duty for maybe another 6 months... so we only saw each other on weekends. Still, we survived it, and I was so excited to have him home.
    But I quickly realized that the man who came back was not the same man who left.

    We sought help and started therapy. I tried to be supportive. Too supportive. I went along with whatever whim
    he had about his life for the next 6-7 years.

    He briefly toyed with returning to Active Duty. Then he left the Reserves without warrning.
    I found out with everyone else... in a mass e-mail.
    He started a string of false starts on other careers... I rolled with it, and kept working in my career to keep us afloat.

    I remember being in therapy and saying that all I wanted was for him to be happy, so that we could get back to our plan for a family.
    I didn't want an unhappy man for a husband. I thought that marriage was about each partner making sacrifices for the relationship as a whole.

    He went through a lot of phases, and eventually seemed to settle on a track where he started reliving his life from the beginning, as though he were in his 20s, not his 40s... like he had all the time in the world to start from scratch.
    He stopped speaking to his family. He was very busy all the time, but everything he did amounted to a beloved hobby, not a career that would support a family. My health issues got worse, and whenever I was healthy enough, I kept working to support us.

    One day I woke up out of a fog. I was 36 years old. No kids. I realized that I was (and had been for a long time) severely depressed.
    I had become a woman who waited for a magical tomorrow-land where everything was going to work out.

    I had a conversation with ex-DH, told him how unhappy I was, I told him I would probably die if we continued as we were.
    I said we'd completely lost sight of our plan, that everything was too focused on his happiness, and why weren't we also focused on mine?
    Did he realize that I didn't even go to the doctor anymore, because there was no money and when there was we spent it on his therapy, on his dreams.
    That I was constantly working to bail us out. That he had spent all his money, all his TSP, all his savings on this dream of his to the exclusion of everything else. That he was gambling not only with his life, but mine. My ability to have kids. That I was 36 years old and running out of time.
    I was the one making all the sacrifices.

    I was scared, so I said we had one year left, and if things didn't change I wanted a divorce.
    That I had to try for my dream, or I would become a bitter woman.

    A year came and went. No changes. We drifted further and further apart.
    Honestly, I could tell by 3 months into the year that nothing would change.
    He was selfish that way, but I wanted to believe in him, I had a hard time accepting that things were faling apart.
    6 months in I stopped contributing financially, hoping that would shake him up. Didn't work.
    9 months in I decided to take a trip overseas... alone. I thought it was extreme enough a decision for him to stop me. He didn't.
    We had a last Christmas... a horrible Christmas.

    We sat down, I rehashed everything I'd said a year earlier (that I couldn't continue like this, that we were living the opposite of the life we said we wanted when we got married) and asked him what decision he'd come to.
    He looked me right in the eye and said "I'm good with the way things are, I'm happy with the person I've become."
    Even though I expected the answer, I was still stunned.
    I said, "You're sure, you're happy with me being miserable in this relationship." He said "Yes."
    I said "okay, I'm filing for divorce." (Of course it wasn't that cut and dry, there were plenty of tears on my end.)
    "I can't do this anymore. I'm 37, I'm not gambling with what's left of my fertility. I can't agree to the change in direction.
    I love you, and I want you to be successful, but you can't have your dream at the expense of mine."

    So we start this horrible awkward period where we still live together for financial reasons, but we're splitting up. He refuses to do anything on the divorce, and leaves it all to me to figure out what we can do.
    Eventually I find a mediator and start the process. I use what was left of my money to pay for the retainer.
    I filed & he was served in Spring 2011. All we had to do was work out a settlement.
    We were basically writing up whatever he wanted to do, I didn't want anyone to say I was taking advantage of him, and I wanted to maintain our friendship. He would take forever to talk with me about things, stalling. waiting for me to disappear into a work project, knowing that I couldn't work on the divorce and work at the same time.

    Months went by. During this period I loaned him what money I could. He always swore he would pay me back, he knew that I was loaning him from my emergency savings -- but I never wanted him to not have his car note or health insurance paid for. I wanted to show him that I *did* still love him and want to support him in his dream, even if we couldn't stay married. He was my friend, I thought.

    He finally moved out a little over a year ago.

    I told him that I had to start moving on with my life. I was 38 at that point.
    He said he understood and was fine with it, as long as he didn't have to know about me dating anyone. I said I'd rather he know what's going on at all times, he said no. He also said that he wanted to no have any contact with me for 6 months. No phone calls or texts, only e-mails that were settlement related. I accepted, as long as there was an exception for emergencies. (One of our dogs was not doing well at the time, and my mother was ill -- who loved him dearly, was ill.) He agreed.

    He left and starting about a week later, my entire world went into freefall. It was like someone dropped a nuclear bomb on me.
    Suffice to say that a lot of random, horrible shit started happening that affected me and our dogs. ex-DH wasn't helpful in any of it. He continued to stall on the settlement, having me come up with odd ways to write up his wishes.
    I had to spend money on a second retainer on a lawyer to write up the intellectual property part of the arrangements. I even made concessions on the intellectual property because I just wanted it over with (my state is community property).

    But one good thing happened to me during the shit storm. My relationship with DB moved from an online friendship to a real life relationship.

    Then more tragedy, the week of Thanksgiving my mother had the beginning of a series of stroke that resulted in brain damage and I had to put my dog down after a long illness.

    Ex-DH physically came back into my life when the dog passed. He didn't take the death well and started spending a lot of time at my new apartment.
    He grieved the dog while I worked. It was awkward, but good for the remaining dogs, and good for our post marriage friendship, I thought. In retrospect, I think he was hoping the death would bring us back together or something.

    I noticed that he would introduce himself to new people as my husband, and we had a few conversations about why he couldn't do that. I'd signed a lease as a single person, we were in the middle of a divorce and I didn't want to get back together. He seemed to understand.
    I had to go out of town for work and he stayed here with the girls. We had Christmas dinner together. I left town for another job and came back after the new year. He started watching the dogs while I was at work because I was running out of money, and he wasn't able to contribute his share.

    The day AFTER we received the final settlement paperwork, I came home and he announced that he was leaving, never coming back, and taking one of the dogs with him.

    I admit I didn't take it well (I still hadn't had time to grieve my other dog passing, now he wanted to take another one, emotionally I couldn't handle it.) I broke down and talked him out of taking her that night. We argued. He said he knew I was moving on with my life. I said, of course I am. That was the whole point. We spoke about that months ago, I don't have time to wait. He said he didn't want to have any further contact with me. I said, If that's what you really want, I'm happy to work toward that once the paperwork is finalized. But can we step down gradually so as to not further upset the dogs. (They were already having serious behavioral issues.) I said I also needed a little time to find new care options for them while I worked. He said he'd think about it. And left.

    That was the last time I spoke to him. He emailed me the next morning asking for my bank account number so that he could transfer in money when he had it. Later in the day I got a notification from AT&T that he'd removed his phone from out family plan. That evening I got an email where he cut off all contact with me.

    Two months later, he emailed me saying that he'd changed his mind on the entire settlement. Didn't want to pay me anything on the debt he ran up in my name, the money he was going to give me one day to make up for wasting my fertility years (both things I didn't ask for specific number for, they were numbers he'd come up with.) He didn't want to pay for any of the divorce costs and also wouldn't be repaying me any of the money I loaned him, or paying me any of the dog costs we'd run up together. I could accept the offer or we could go to court.

    For the next 6 months, I tried to get in contact with our mediator, trying to get him to return to the table. I can't sign the document because it gives me no legal recourse and forces me to sign my rights to community property away. He knows this. It's just another stalling tactic.
    So basically, he's holding me hostage.

    The mediator finally got back to me yesterday saying that she'd finally heard from him, and that he refuses come back to the table. And she admitted that she'd lost our file, and that's why no one had been returning my calls.

    So now it seems that I have to start all over again... now I'll have to go to court.

    It's ridiculous. Another retainer will cost me about 5K, which I don't have. I live paycheck to paycheck, trying to pay off the debts ex-DH left in my name. I don't know what I'm going to do.

    I don't get why he's doing this... he's just trying to make this as expensive as possible. But i don't understand what this accomplishes, except to prevent me from getting my dream of having a child because I'm tied up in his red tape for years.

    I just want it all to be over with.
    I'm under enough stress with my mother's health issues, my dogs' behavioral issues, my work issues, and DB being deployed.
    i'm 39 now, and I really wanted this all to be resolved by the time DB got back. Looks like that's not going to happen.

    Anyway, that's my backstory. I welcome any comments.
    Maybe you can see something I can't. I know it's a crazy mess.

    If I've learned anything, it's that life can never be black and white... there's so much messy grey in the middle.
    You never know what life will throw at you. Also, even if you love your husband, always have a back-up plan.
    Last edited by HisNormalLife; 10-03-2012 at 11:45 AM.
  2. Senior Member
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    How large is the debt he ran up in your name?

    the reason I ask is this guy obviously does not have a ton of money, nor does he seem to be willing to make efforts to make any any time soon. If the debt is not massive, it may be cheaper for both your wallet and mental health to just take the shity deal where you get nothing but he is at least out of your life.

    obviously I can't make this decision, and I know nothing of the financial institution. But I know sometimes people choose to get the short end of the stick in terms of how money is split in order to be able to move on with their lives sooner.
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    The thing is... the "deal" isn't a deal. Even if I am willing to suck it up and pay the debts (we're talking around 40K) and let him walk off without paying back the loans/divorce costs/etc. (another 10K at least) I still can't negotiate a proper contract to cover my rights on the intellectual property... my only true chance of ever seeing anything back on this horrible investment I've made in his life because he won't even come back to the table write the shitty deal he wants properly.

    It's not really a settlement deal. He forces me to hire a lawyer, even to accept nothing.
    At a minimum it's goign to cost me another 5K to get out of this... and maybe more.

    He's really doing quite the job at destroying my life with his passive aggressiveness.
    Last edited by HisNormalLife; 10-03-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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    I don't have any advice, sorry. My divorce was finalized earlier this year and I have to file bankruptcy. Just wanted to offer

    “It always seems impossible until it's done.”
    ― Nelson Mandela
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    Oh i see, I am sorry that things have become so expensive and complicated. I do hope he has a change of heart and will meet with the mediator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danik View Post
    I don't have any advice, sorry. My divorce was finalized earlier this year and I have to file bankruptcy. Just wanted to offer
    Hugs work.
  7. Where there is courage, there is humility
    *Court*'s Avatar
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    Where there is courage, there is humility
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    Offering lots of to you. I am so sorry for what you are going through.
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    I'm in NY; he's in Afghanistan
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    Wow, I am so sorry you are going through this. I can't imagine the stress you must be under. I'm sending you a ton of .

    Best of luck to you, girl!
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    Best of luck to you
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    McConnell, AFB, KS
    I don't really know what to say but I wanted to offer you some
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