What’s it like to get fucked over by your ex-wife?
I was scammed by a woman who married me with the intent to divorce later – at 15 years. It was her second marriage and she knew the legal system all too well. Over the years, she was careful to make herself appear like she contributed to the marriage. But the reality is that she contributed very little. She made sure that she never had a job. Although I worked sometimes 60 hours per week, I spent more time raising my son than the EX, and performed most of the homemaker duties. Just for good measure, near the end of the marriage, the EX tricked me into getting deep into debt by insisting on purchasing various properties. She went so far as to convince me that by adopting a baby girl would fill a void in our marriage. I thought it was for love, but found out too late that is was simply a calculated legal move. After only a couple of weeks after the adoption, the EX told me that the girl was my problem.
“So I worked full time, took care of my 10-year old son, and now a baby girl. The EX started openly bar hopping and staying out almost all night. The EX had me just where she wanted me and now she was just biding her time until the marriage clock hit 15 years.”
“The EX wants me to move out, but because of the debts, I could not afford to. In order to get me out of the house, the EX falsely claims that I sexually molested our adopted daughter, who was only 4 at the time. The EX said with a big smiling grin ‘I have got you now!”
“Child Protective Services subsequently investigated this and found her claims to be completely baseless. The CPS representative even told me how to file a complaint against the EX for the false accusation. However, my lawyer advised me that the courts do not like such “sticky situations” and therefore advised me not to file a complaint. Through this investigation my boss, work associates, and customers were all aware of the allegations against me. Although I was exonerated, there would always be a stigma of doubt with them. I finally realized the level of evil that I was dealing with and that the EX will stop at nothing. She starts trying to get my son to turn against me. I come home from work one day and the sheriff deputies are waiting for me outside my front door. I am informed that the EX will claim domestic violence unless I leave. So I did with only the clothes on my back. I spent the next 4 days and nights living in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I had to bath and clean in their restroom. I was nearly arrested….
“In an attempt to avoid the attorneys from ruining us financially, I offered the Ex a deal. She can have the marital residence paid for, she can have $150,000 in cash, and I will pay child support. The EX tells me to ‘Go to Hell,’ and walks out on mediation.
“We go to court in the summer of 2007 and the EX spends the first 4 hours character assassinating me. I tell my lawyer that she is constantly lying, but he responds that Florida is a ‘no fault’ state and her testimony is irrelevant. So she gets away with depicting me as a monster and herself as a tireless-hardworking-loving-saint…. Our rookie Judge X, who was seeing his first divorce case, bought into her lies and handed down an extraordinary unfair ruling. She would keep the house while I paid 75% of the first and second mortgages for the next 16 years, she gets half of my the 401K ($250,000), I am denied all of my pre-marital assets totaling $150,000, she also gets half of my $45,000 inheritance, she keeps our daughter’s state stipend as hers although this is expressly meant for the child. She even gets a car allowance, child support, and $3,005 per month permanent life time alimony. The judge gave her $5 extra so she would not be burdened with the state fee of 5 bucks.
“I get to pay her attorney’s fees. I get to pay half of her extraordinarily high credit card debts. My equitable distribution of $50,000 is put on hold for 12 years with no interest accumulating, so inflation will reduce it to next to nothing. All of this nearly bankrupted me. I am stripped of everything and humiliated. I made less than $1,300 per week and it was taking $3,200 per week pay the court-ordered payments. I had nothing to eat except one peanut butter sandwich for supper each night, and I lost over 50 pounds in just a few
weeks…. I was forced to default on all credit cards…. I had to deal with 2 additional lawsuits filed against me by banks. I worked 2nd and 3rd jobs that did not pay much.
“At the Kennedy Space Center, I was the lead propellants engineer supporting the space shuttle and now I was nearly homeless. The judge in his arrogance even wrote in the final judgment that he impoverished me. All of this was affecting me at work. The EX and her agents harassed me at work and sent me inappropriate emails in an attempt to get me fired. They even resort to harassing me at my home. I was reaching a breaking point. I am eventually demoted and removed from my position as lead engineer, which I had held for 16 years and nearly 100 Space Shuttle launches….”
What’s it like to be stuck in the wrong body?
My dysphoria arose early in childhood. I only played with girls and could never understand why everyone would get upset when I played with dolls, babies, barbies, or whatever else. I was bullied relentlessly in my early years for ‘sounding like a girl’ and ‘acting like a girl’. I was a smart kid, and I worked hard to act like a boy as much as possible. I had to think about how to act like a boy and tried to stop moving my hands so much, not talk in such a high pitch, etc. Every. Single. Day. I knew something was wrong with me, but because I never heard of this happening to anyone I told myself that I was crazy and wrong. I hated everything about myself. I was too girly to be boy but too much of a boy to be a girl. I was depressed, alone, and couldn’t connect with anyone because I was petrified that if anyone found out I thought I was a girl I would be sent to the loonie bin. Eventually at 14 I had enough and I attempted suicide and was found by my mother in time to have my stomach pumped and promptly awoke in a psych ward.
After I was released a week later I was exhausted with life and decided to do some research. I was tired of being miserable and wanted some answers. Up until this point I was terrified to research anything for fear of finding out I was truly alone. I stumbled upon the term transgender and read into it for weeks and I decided that I would transition as soon as I turned 18. I sat on that information for four years and at 18 I saw a psychiastrist specifically for my dysphoria. They diagnosed me with gender dysphoria and recommended I get on hormones immediately. I declined the prescription and got a second opinion, and then a third, and then a fourth. Every single one of them agreed that my best option would be to transition with the help of regulated hormones and therapy. I asked every single one of them if there was an alternative and they said no, other than antidepressants (which weren’t doing shit for me). Of course, I already figured this was the case but I had to be absolutely sure. So, I finally began taking hormones and prepared to spend the rest of my life alone. I knew I would never be taken seriously, I knew I would never be loved again, I knew everyone would think I’m a freak and I knew all of my friends and family would be dissapointed or disgusted but I was suicidal, miserable and desperate. I just wanted to feel any level of happiness and comfort with myself, whatever it took.
My choice was to live miserably and inevitably kill myself or to try for the one chance of happiness I had in front of me. I took the gamble and transitioned.
What is it like to be in a relationship with someone with depression?
Last week I ended a 2-year relationship with the girl I loved, partly as a result of the depression she’s been battling most of her life and through all of our relationship. It’s 3am right now and I feel the silence of her absence in the pit of my stomach. The short answer to your question is that no matter how strong and smart you think you are, you are more likely to be taken down by their depression than to lift them up out of it.
The really sad thing is that she is great in so many ways — beautiful, intelligent, driven, and has great sense of humor (ie: she laughed at my stupid jokes). Despite her positive qualities, her attitude and depression slowly poisoned our relationship.
The thing about depression is that it’s never on its own island — it’s never just “feeling down”. It comes with major life issues that the individual either can’t or won’t change for themselves, coupled with awareness of those issues. The result is a helplessness, a meekness, and a lack of self-esteem added on to whatever issues caused the depression in the first place. It’s a difficult spiral to escape from.
Her issues did not originate from her, as they rarely do. They came from a tough family situation (neglected as a child, divorced parents, abusive mother, suicidal sibling, et al.). Because I understood where her issues came from I didn’t hold them against her. Early on, my empathy for those issues even brought us closer together.
She would often say “you’re the only positive thing in my life”, which was a flattering statement in the beginning but it became a source of pain when she was still saying it two years later. It was demoralizing to me — I thought I would eventually be able to ride out the storm of her current problems, perhaps help her see a new perspective, and help bring other positive things into her life.
Instead she suffocated me. She had no friends that she trusted, her family was in shambles, and her career was just getting started. I think she clung to me because I kept her from being alone.
She viewed my friends as a threat to my affection for her and viewed her friends similarly. She was jealous of literally anyone or anything that took my attention away from her. As I write this I realize how silly it is but she got jealous of books– sometimes if I’d read for long periods she would feel unloved and ignored and imply that I was reading too much.
I was never doing enough to prove my love for her. No matter what I’d say or do I was never showing her that I really wanted to be with her badly enough. This was hard because I actually wanted to be with her and I loved her. I began to doubt myself and my ability to make her feel good about herself and our relationship.
I thought somehow I could be separated from her negative view on people and the world and stand apart to be a positive force, but in the end she viewed me with the same untrusting, jealous, jaded eyes as she did everyone else. The fact that I thought I could stand so broadly apart from all her other experiences seems ridiculous to me now, even though I believed her at the time when she insisted that’s what I was to her.
Because I was the only positive thing in her life at the time (according to her), when things were off in the relationship it thew her into a tailspin. She threatened suicide and I believed her. She kept the shower curtain closed for aesthetics and there were days when I came home and I felt panic rushing through me because I fully expected to pull the curtain back and find her in the tub with her wrists slashed.
Happiness was never a given — it always came with difficult or impossible contingencies. She couldn’t be happy unless her entire family was happy. She couldn’t be happy unless she was doing something positive for the world with her career. She couldn’t be happy in a cold climate. She couldn’t be happy unless I was happy. The sentiment of these contingencies sounded noble but the result was that she was never happy and nobodies happiness grew by being around her.
She thought her problems were largely due to chance. “I’m an extremely unlucky person” she would say.
I felt guilty that I couldn’t help her more, and I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing enough for her. Eventually when I had thoughts of leaving her I felt guilty that I would be reneging on commitments and my expressions of love for her. I felt guilty that she might commit suicide. I had negative flashes of her funeral, and that I’d react by curling up by her grave for days and crying that I had let a fundamentally good person die. I felt guilty about the things that were happening to her because I felt responsible.
In the end the depression that poisoned her attitude toward life poisoned our relationship and made it near impossible to live with her. I was drowning and I had to make a decision. The worst thing is that I still care about her deeply. I want to be with the person she is when all these negative traits are silent. I still want her to be happy and succeed, and it makes me feel miserable that I couldn’t help her get there. Worse, I have become a part of the problem– another chapter in her sad biography.
I learned many things:
I separated her issues from her and attributed them to the experiences which were outside of her control. This was a huge mistake. Experiences influence people but it is their job to recognize and sort out the issues.
Guilt is a powerful weapon and I let it eat me alive. There is a line between helping another person out and being consumed by them. I need to give people the responsibility to help themselves and recognize that I can’t make fundamental changes in other people. It’s hard enough to change myself.
From now on I am going to ask people “do you think you are a lucky person?” I think that question says more about the intrinsic attitude of a person than any other.
Your partner should encourage your personal growth through friends, family, and physically/intellectually stimulating activities. They should be happy for you, not threatened by your growth.
Emotion is always stronger than logic.
Phenomenal sex is heroin.
Love is a game that brings our own weaknesses to the surface and mutes those of the other. There’s no escape once you’re in, but the truth rises to the top over time.