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#405132 - 07/28/12 02:35 PM Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly
Haps Offline

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Alrighty my dear friends and fellow supporters. I need advice of a different nature right now. It appears a seperation and divorce is unavoidable right now. I'm not up for it, and I don't think he is, either, but, I can't stay stuck any more. Also, he shared that he doesn't think he can do his work fast enough and wants to be friends. I can't do "friends" - I'm in too deep.

That said, I'm surprised at how well I'm doing with this situation. Hurts, but it's a lot less about me personnaly, and I know that thanks to you all.

What I don't want to do is have hurt and resentment get in the way of treating each other with respect and kindness. I do feel used, yes, but that's in the past and clearly something I need to work on for myself. I dont want that to send me cleaning out the house, though.

So, what do I look for? What are some triggers that will send things over the edge? How do I avoid the "do you still care about me?" trap? How do *I* stay cool and unemotional while I fume because this seems to mean little to him.

One last request --- with times of incredible sensativity on my end, please help with only constructive help. I know I I were to read something about "taking him to the cleaners" or a malicious approach, it would really set me back.

Thanks, gang! You've all been a great support and comfort!!!

#405139 - 07/28/12 04:24 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
scottyg Offline

Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
Dear haps.

((((haps)))) I will use your own words: "Amidst the relief, there is also great saddness." I am sorry the hope has run out and yet I understand you need to make this change to feel like a whole person again.

I asked my dad who's very reasonable and very divorced to remind me how he pulled off an amicable severence with mom.

He said no lawyers. Stay away from all lawyers as they will only invite petty bickering and animosity. My mom and dad did an online divorce. LegalZoom offers this service as do other online providers. When you work together to move through this phase you can avoid the squabbling and the emotional chasms that come from these disputes. Lawyers are there to advocate for rights, regardless how frivilous or divisive. Their job is not to gaurd your emotional security, only your assets. To be sure, you might end up forfeiting a few rights but ultimately you will move through this unhappy chapter with as little emotional bruising as possible.

Of course, dad had the full consent of mom to file an online divorce. They both decided to not lawyer up and to work it out. And that was big of him because she was the one doing the leaving. But they both realized that harmony and friendliness would serve them far better than bitterness and anger. It was their choice. The trick is getting both parties to choose right.

All the best

I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

#405146 - 07/28/12 07:34 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
silentspouse Offline

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 24
Loc: ID
The only advice I can offer is this:

"So, what do I look for? What are some triggers that will send things over the edge? How do I avoid the "do you still care about me?" trap? How do *I* stay cool and unemotional while I fume because this seems to mean little to him."

When my husband corners me with the "I love you, don't you love me?" stuff, the best answer I have is, "I **always** care about you. But right now, I don't feel like I'm in love with you." That statement is the truth - take it or leave it.

Maybe that's a calm way to diffuse that situation without engaging in anything?

Good luck.

#405161 - 07/28/12 11:22 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
GoodHope Offline

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 426
Hero wannabe told me that you can have a separation agreement drawn up if you don't want to divorce right now. It lays out custody (if kids) dating, residences etc.
Wife of a survivor

#405189 - 07/29/12 09:33 AM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1736
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Haps

I am so sorry that you are going through this.

There needs to be more info, Do you work, have you worked, are there kids how old what are your needs, do you own a house together, etc etc etc.

Let us know

Heal well
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#405210 - 07/29/12 01:10 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
Haps Offline

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for the replies.

Whome - I just got a new job, yes. He has been working 2 jobs for about 6 months to pay half of the bills (a huge step for him to be celebrated, honestly!). No kids to speak of (his son, a wonderful man, is grown and on his own), we do own a house in my name. Worse comes to worse, we'd like him to keep the house. His finances in acquiring it, though, are an obstacle. My needs right now I've realized are to 1) feel and believe like I matter and I'm important, and in the interest of taking small steps to that end, 2) small, daily contact via text or phone simply along the lines of "hey! hope you're doing well!" Long term, I need to sleep in the same bed every night. Beyond that, I'd love to have a more intimate connectedness that provides security and comfort in growing as a couple and as individuals. What that looks like it very much open for negotiation, but his going AWOL isn't acceptable in my book.

scotty - the legalzoom thing didn't even cross my mind. I will have to take a look at it, though.

goodhope - i'm shooting for a separation agreement myself as i believe it's the best first step in things.

The one complicating thing about a "divorce" is (as many of you many know) we're two guys. We were "hitched" on the east coast, and getting a "divorce" in our state isn't really possible since our union isn't recognized here. There are residency requirements in place to get a divorce, and neither of us is interested in moving.

All of that said, we are going to see a counselor to try to see how this can work out w/out getting ugly or mean. "This" being divorce as the conversation goes. I also get the sense that since neither of us want this, it might delve into what's the best approach for now in the interest of piecing things back together in a healthier manner.

On one hand, I'm tired of sitting idle. I'd like to know what it's like to be treated with respect and kindness. I'd like to know what it's like to be ACTIVELY treated like I matter in my partner's life. On the other hand, I'm still in my own recovery and not smart enough in many aspects to hold his manipulation at bay. I'm still learning about my own, though, too.

A good amount of time last night was spent sharing stories of my own experience in recovery, and how I'd hope the same for him along the lines. I also shared that I'm coming to learn with healthy love is about (through my group, Al-Anon moms and, sponsor). He shared that his process could take years and will move at his own pace. I very much understand that.

So... after all of this, my FIRST question is this: Is this normal? The ebbing and flowing, backing and forthing? I know it is, but seeing some reassurance here would be dandy. smile

Second, there's little to no being mean or beating the other person up any more. That's progress for sure. It's hard to sit idle here, though. :-\

To be fully transparent, I've been in therapy for the better portion of 10 years. Generalized anxiety mostly, but I've only now discovered the crap thats been driving that is a result of growing up in a [dry] alcoholic system and the emotional manipulation and abuse. (His going AWOL has brought my co-dependt and abandonment stuff right to the surface to work on.) He's been in therapy for 2 years, but hasn't moved beyond attention issues and career counseling (as best I know).

Sam posted a wonderful account of his recovery process in another thread, and it greatly inspires me to hang in for my own recovery as well as my P's. It's just flipping hard these days.

So...there's some mental vomit. :-D Any thoughts???? smile

#405239 - 07/29/12 06:11 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
GoodHope Offline

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 426
Mental vomit (love the imagery). Separation agreement might be the best way, maybe the law will catch up and divorce (and marriage for all) will be an option if you need it.

I have heard anecdotally that sometimes the spouse that is being "left" can snap and get super nasty--you still have the choice to not engage. I hope that won't be the case but I think it's common, particularly if he does not want to split. Best wishes.
Wife of a survivor

#405240 - 07/29/12 07:39 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
herowannabe Offline

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Many attorneys in my neck of the woods have begun "divorce mediation", a less-expensive, less-traumatic method of legally parting ways.

Basically, the attorney will help you both put the separation agreement into a legal format a judge will respect and honor. The key is for you both to have worked out the particulars before meeting with the attorney/mediator.

The separation agreement needs to spell out whatever particulars apply to your situation. A separation agreement is a divorce agreement that's collecting dust on the attorneys desk awaiting your direction.

Personally, I love a gray area, so I am a huge fan of a "therapeutic separation". This will require a separation agreement that is specific enough to speak to legal issues, but also spells out boundaries to be respected in order to allow for a possible reconcilation.

A separation agreement should cover the "uglies", such as:

* Custody/visitation/financial responsibility for any children, animals, personal belongings, etc.
* Who will become responsible for what bills?
* Who will remain in the home? Who will move out?
* Will retirement benefits be shared?

A therapeutic separation agreement includes guidelines for honoring your union during the therapeutic separation:
* Will "dating" be allowed, and if so, what are the parameters? No sex? No sleepovers? Etc.
* The laundry list of activities each agrees to participate in: counseling sessions, support group meetings, special occasions, etc.
* A schedule of periodic assessment meetings wherein you will discuss your individual progress and your marital progress or lack thereof, ways the therapeutic separation agreement might be revised to encourage greater success in an area.
* A calendar date for which you both agree to render a decision as to whether or not the separation agreement should be renamed a divorce agreement and submitted to the courts, the separation should be extended, or the agreement burned in a reunion celebration! (fingers crossed for you!)

...and so forth and so on...

The more specific you can be in the agreement the less you'll have to squabble about once separated. If there's a question that arises, the agreement should provide a remedy, so DO include a safety net for as many issues as possible. For example, if you spell out who will be responsible for what bills, you'll want to include a remedy for how a "surprise" or overlooked bill will be handled: 50/50 split? First name on the bill gets the honors? Etc.

My advice is to dedicate the time, put forth the effort, and bite many bullets so you can get as encompassing an agreement as possible. The agreement will serve as a referree between you two, but if need be, the attorney/mediator can be called...albiet, for a fee.

Godspeed during this bitter time!

P.S. I differ with Scott in that I exhort you to utilize your very own attorney (don't share an attorney!) before any legally binding steps are taken. I don't know your situation, what you've invested, your responsibilites, etc., but I DO know that even with the best of intentions, there is a thin line between love and hate. If you're like me, you'll walk away from everything in an attempt to be the "bigger person", or to pay your "penance" for whatever wrongdoings you feel guilt for. And if your partner is like my ex, he'll take GRAND advantage of your surrender. Personally, there's no material thing that I really gave a damned about more than I cared for my sanity and freedom. However, if you have children to consider, or if you've given up financial security of your own to help him in some financial way, please, please let your own attorney advise you! You don't have to take the advice, but at least you'll have had good counsel to counter agreeing to many years of post-divorce hardship for having agreed to something with your heart.

Edited by herowannabe (07/29/12 07:50 PM)
Edit Reason: Important P.S. Added!

For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

#405737 - 08/03/12 05:38 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
Haps Offline

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for all the input, advice, and support gang. Very much appreciated.

I certainly do not want this to end. I'd love for him to start the recovery work.

I feel another question brewing about holding on/holding out. Stay tuned. wink

#405752 - 08/03/12 07:28 PM Re: Advice for Seperation/Divorce - Want to Avoid Ugly [Re: Haps]
Valkyrie Offline

Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Oh, Haps...I am so very sorry to be reading about you moving on. Please keep posting about this subject as I am sure many partners are curious about what their futures may hold.

Feel free to mental vomit on me in a PM. I'll be sure to bring my foul weather fear and an enormous bucket!

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