He said he would never and he did. He said he would never be unfaithful and he was. He said when we separated he would be reasonable about settling the terms of our separation given what he did and he is not. He is arguing ever single point in our separation agreement. My legal bills are climbing by the day. Why is he treating me this way?
First to consider, can you take a break from negotiations for a time, a month or so, to give yourself a chance to regroup emotionally?
It is an unfortunate truth that, for many partners who cause a marriage breakup, the guilt is short lived. There are so many reasons for a guilty former spouse changing into a cruel, heartless one. And there are many that can relate to your dilemma.
It may be the leaving partner is on to their new life and wants to forget their old life. It may be the partner is being influenced by others in their new life. People take sides and what your former spouse wants most of all right now is justification for his choices and behaviour.
There are any number of people in his new life willing to give him that, is my guess. They are also probably very willing to allow him to rewrite history a bit to satisfy his neediness.
Fortified with that type of support, he is able to challenge you at every turn.
However, separation is a legal issue. Keep your eye on the goal of having a fair and equitable separation agreement and divorce.
You need to rise above his lack of guilt and be very clear about what you want. Your legal adviser can help you navigate the paper trail to separation. As much as is humanly possible, don’t engage in his hysteria. He’s looking for a reaction from you- a “there I told you so’ excuse for his behaviour.
They often paint us as ‘crazy’, planting suggestions to others like ‘you don’t really know her’ with raised eyebrows without giving any indication of how they are behaving or what they really have done before the marriage ended. When the guilt goes so does any semblance of consideration for you and all you have been to him in the marriage. There are so many of us that had to endure the insult but be assured, you can and will get through it.
You cannot change where he is at emotionally. All you can do is focus on keeping calm in the midst of the chaos. If you cannot take a break from negotiations then take care of yourself.
Find the time and space needed to keep yourself on an even keel. Spend time to ensure you are in control of your emotions. That will enable you to make all the decisions that need to be made.
Muster what it takes to be clear and matter of fact in your dealings. It takes two to argue. Don’t rise to his bait and spend money on petty arguments. However, don’t give in to any of his demands that are not acceptable. With your legal counsel maintain a steady forward movement in negotiations. Talk to your lawyer about possible ways to optimize the legal process. Be forthright about the mounting costs and look for ways to reduce expenses.
Be patient because there is ‘regular time and there is legal time.’ For whatever reasons part of the legal process is to drag on proceedings, not answer letters and miss deadlines. Push for every effective way to keep the momentum and get the issues resolved.
Good legal advice and a level head will get you to your future.
ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON
“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl
Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.
As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.
She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.
She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’
In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.
She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.
She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.