Hello, not sure what to say
Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:56 AM
After we were married, we stopped hanging out with anyone but his family. He had absolute input into what clothing I bought, vetoing some things and suggesting others. Once we had kids he wanted me to start dressing "like a mom" - khaki capri pants, shirts not as tight as I preferred, etc etc.
After our first child was born he started getting .. different. If I raised my voice at the children at all, I was being an "unreasonable itch", if he raised his voice, he was disciplining them.
I'm not proud of how I left. I met another man online through a group of friends I had. He made me see that what I had with my ex-husband wasn't "normal". I left my ex-husband and when I told him I wanted to leave, the only thing he said was "fine, but I get the kids"
At this point, I felt I was an unfit mother and thought it was the right thing to do. I almost went bankrupt trying to pay him the $1000 every two weeks that he said he needed in order to keep the girls in their home. I signed the house over to him with no compensation because he told me there was no equity in the house anyhow. I left with a car, and my computer. I didn't take any furniture, all I had were things that I bought at goodwill that were "good enough for me" - he helped me to find this furniture. He wrote me a budget that would allow me to pay him that $1000 every two weeks - it factored in $7/day for me to eat. He told me I could take anything I wanted with me when I left, but constantly told me to remember that anything I took, I would be taking from the children.
I decided I was likely going to move 500 miles away to be with the man I met online, and my ex-husband told me in that case I had to sign full custody over to him so that he could make emergency decisions about the girls without having to try to contact me.
In all the years we were together, he knew that I wanted to move to a different town to make it easier for me to find work - there's not a lot of call for web developers in small industrial towns. He refused outright. Part of the reason he wanted the girls he said was so that he knew they would stay near his family.
Now, over a year later, after he told me to follow my heart and move to be with this other man, after he said he would make sure that he would help me continue to see my children, he has a new girlfriend. She doesn't want him to drive the children part way to meet me to drop them off, so he won't. He's moving 4 hours away from his family, to the area I always wanted to live in, so that he can move in with her.
I have moved to the US from Canada, and married the man I met online. I can't cross the border until my immigration is complete or I abandon my immigration application. I literally *cannot* drive to my old town to pick up my children without being torn from my new husband for at least 6 months to a year, and losing $1500 for the forms we've already filed.
I feel like I have given in on every single thing he's ever wanted, and I get nothing for it in return, and I'm just starting to feel hopeless. I signed away custody of my children because he told me that was what was best, and for some reason I listened to him. I couldn't get a lawyer's advice because I made too much for legal aid, but with the amount I was paying in support I was on the verge of bankruptcy.
I ended up trying to kill myself at one point and spent a couple weeks in a mental hospital.
It's been a very difficult year and a half, and I feel like it's never going to end, because I gave up my children to this man. They miss me, they tell me they want to visit me, but I can't go get them. They are only 3 & 5 years old, and I miss them so much. I haven't seen them except over skype since March 20th.
Sorry for the long rambling whine. I just needed to get it off my chest
Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:18 PM
The abusive person is, I believe, driven by a need for control. Variables exist according to whatever personality disorder may come into play, but controlling behavior seems to be a constant.
The main site, DrIrene.com has a wealth of information you may find helpful, and a list of books that can usually be found in libraries. The best use of this site seems to combine education oneself about abuse and participating in discussion in this forum.
Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:27 PM
Even my ex-husband admitted to being emotionally abusive in counselling when he was trying to get me to stay, but I have a hard time seeing it sometimes. To all appearances I was lucky to have him - he was a devoted husband at first, then a devoted father. He cleaned the house, he made a good living, he is a responsible man.
He never yelled at me, never called me names really (itch once in a while after the kids were born). We didn't really fight, I just ... gave in on everything. I felt completely ground down by the time I left him, and I still kind of do. I find myself wondering if I can have the separation agreement I signed revisited because of the state of mind I was in when I signed it. I don't know. I miss my babies, and I get sick of him being the martyr, telling me how hard it is to be a single dad, how he can't be selfish like I am, how I've never been anything but selfish. He told me he never saw much maternal about me, but he hoped the maternal instinct would kick in after I had kids, and it never did. I don't think that's true, I just don't think I parent the exact same way he does.
Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:27 PM
Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:08 AM
Don't give up. Once your citizenship is complete you should get back on the case with a lawyer; even if that means reducing or stopping your child support like PR3 suggested. Use the CS money to pay for the attorney. Keep in touch with your kids by any means you can. Child support and custody laws vary state to state in the US. Make sure you get online and learn about everything you can for the state you're moving to, AND the laws where your ex is living.
Your children are very young; chances are a judge will help you stay connected to them.
Do you see a therapist? Having someone objective to talk to is very helpful. Plus, that person can help you document your situation, and how you ended up handing over custody so readily. You could then use that in your defense... that your ex manipulated you into giving up the children, a decision you now regret.
Hang in there.
Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:17 PM
It seems to me that you got a divorce without a lawyer?
And that your x decided child support on his own?
Because this is not the way child support is decided by a court. Nor is this the way the law divides assets.
I would talk with a lawyer and I would stop paying your x immediately and use that money to talk to the lawyers.
Something about the way this all went down and the story just isn't right. You definately need to get with a therapist and a lawyer before you start paying our anything else to your x. Take care of yourself first.
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