Author Topic: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?  (Read 2138 times)

raven song

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 104
    • View Profile
web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« on: December 18, 2017, 01:14:42 PM »
Hi All,
I've been processing the latest betrayal discovered 10 days ago. I have requested full therapeutic disclosure with poly and he has agreed. I also requested that he enroll in a group led by his therapist and that he goes to couples counseling with me. 

But today - my gut tells me he is using something and hiding it from me.  I don't know what.  I'm having a really hard time because it has become very clear that his energy is not into healing and creating a truly loving and caring relationship.  He hasn't expressed at all any sort of enthusiasm for group and couples therapy. If his heart isn't into it - then it's obvious his heart isn't into building a healthy relationship.

I used to believe that with the right therapeutic help - we could heal and create an amazing life together.  I would have said our chances were 100% that would happen.  Now I'm at 50% and that is based on his lack of enthusiasm and motivation.   

I would like to give him one more chance to figure this out - but I don't want to be taken for any rides any more. I don't want to be sleeping in the same bed with a man who is sneaking off and masturbating and not telling me about it.  (which is what happened this morning, I'm pretty sure.) I don't want to be continuing to work so hard at a relationship when he is lying and hiding this behavior from me. 

I need to talk to a family lawyer and find out what my rights are in the event of separation and divorce.  I need to see what options I have to make it official a promise my husband made to me this summer - which was that he would support me financially for a couple of years if our relationship were to end because he continued to betray me. 

Does anyone here have any good web or book resources geared towards women who are in manipulative/dishonest relationships? 

The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

stillme

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 283
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 02:32:20 PM »
I like https://www.chumplady.com, they have great advice.

One of the things that I did that I am very grateful for based on their advice was to get a signed Postnuptial agreement that basically said if he was caught to have relapsed, all the divorce agreements were ironed out. We are still together at the moment, but that is basically because we are slowly separating because the kids did not react well to an 'out of the blue' for them separation. We 'fight' very fair and don't argue, so the kids were kind of blown away when I asked my husband to leave the house. So, I let him come back and we have been more open and honest with the kids about how things are going. They are finally also tired of my husband lying, so it is feeling like now is the right time.

Thankfully, we already have a completed divorce agreement, just have to submit it with the state which should be done here soon.

So, one of the things I would definitely recommend is a postnuptial agreement (if there are kids and/or intertwined finances). That way everything is one the up-and-up and he can't act surprised if he decides to go back to porn behind your back. My husband knew the consequences, but did it anyway. It actually finally feels good that I will be free of all of the drama that is pornography in 2018. He is sad about his life choices, but since porn has served him so well all these years, I am sure that is the first thing he will run back to once the kids and I are gone. We are excited to have an opportunity to move anywhere we like (I work from home) and they have learned a valuable lesson about the high price adults pay when they intentionally make bad choices.

Emerald Blue

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 796
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 08:35:59 PM »
Raven song, I’m sorry to learn that you are feeling as you do about your relationship after really trying and investing so much energy and emotion into the recovery of your relationship. No matter what your future decision may be, I feel it’s important to know that you have options and alternatives as well as the confidence in your decision, whatever that may be. Knowledge is power. Even if you eventually decide to stay at least you know you are doing so out of choice and not out of powerlessness (or perceived powerlessness, more accurately). 

Stillme, I’m also sorry that your relationship hasn’t worked out as you hoped it might early on, but honestly, you have been through so much and you’ve endured such insult and injury to the core of your very being, it would be unrealistic to come out of that experience without being fundamentally changed in some way. I wish you all the strength and tenacity it takes to go it alone, but the alternative would probably be far more difficult. You know in your heart what’s right for you.

Raven song, I have felt things not being right with my husband at various times throughout our recovery. I’m not saying he’s relapsed, but I’m certain there have been slips and I’m also certain he masturbates regularly in secrecy though I don’t believe he’s using porn. Nevertheless, he’s dishonest about it. He lies if I ask him about it and I suspect it’s the reason why things go awry in our sexual relationship from time to time. Sometimes I ask myself, What’s changed? Because when he’s ‘indulging’ himself the absence of sexual interest and his non communication style feels a lot like old times. If he wants/needs to masturbate, he should say so! If it’s a healthy masturbation without porn or unhealthy porny fantasy, or isn’t emotionally triggered by depression, loneliness, stress at work etc, and if it isn’t damaging to our sexual and emotional intimacy, then I wouldn’t have too much of a problem with that. But he would rather lie/deny/do it in secret after everything we’ve been through, so what else can I do? I wanted open discussion about these matters, I said so right from d day, but...... this is how it is.

Mostly, there are a lot of positives. He is fully present at our couples sessions, he seems to be staying away from porn without any real desire for it, that is, he’s not fighting urges etc, he doesn’t have the interest in it at all. At the same time he is realistic in accepting that his brain has been trained and conditioned to respond to certain visual stimuli used in porn so he acknowledges that he could relapse.

Raven song , as you can see, there are these unpredictable oddities and grey areas in recovery and they are very difficult to negotiate. Like many women, I want the porn addiction issue to be out in the open, and that we are jointly capable of having adult discussions about adult issues, especially about sexual intimacy and our feelings. I accept it’s difficult. I accept it’s uncomfortable. I accept that we won’t always get it right but equally it’s important to learn about why we sometimes get it wrong — and put things right. I’m no different to most partners of porn addicts in that respect. My husband on the other hand wanted to say as little as possible, disclose the barest minimum, not talk about the difficult stuff and shut down n conversations if we ended up veering towards uncomfortable territory. Not all porn addicts are like that but I suspect many are. Yes, we see the guys on this section being 100% determined to look this porn shit in the eye and kick it to the curb, uprooted the causes, quit the habit and proactively work on their relationship. My husband isn’t that guy. He maybe has 65% or even 80% of what those guys have in motivation and understanding, but some things he holds back on. Total honesty? Nah. I can’t ever see it. His default switch is set to conceal himself. He knows its something he learned as a child and honed as an adolescent. I suppose self awareness is a step in the right direction.

Have I thought about ending the relationship? Of course I have. There are no guarantees in recovery. I try and keep my boundaries realistic and not overtly rigid. Boundaries are supposed to be flexible but only in the sense that there are times when strict boundaries are more appropriate whereas at other times they need to be redefined according to how the recovery is progressing. And some boundaries are non negotiable — at all times. No porn in the home, no porn in this relationship, at any time. These days in less strict about checking his internet history but if I had sufficient reason, I may be more strict. So much depends on context too. Disclosure is preferable to lying, obviously.
 
I know this is a difficult time in your recovery. Relationships after porn addiction are always going to be so much more complicated that the once were and at times it’s crazy making. I’ve been over 2 years in recovery and I still yearn for happier times when life was so much simpler. Only you know what you are prepared to tolerate though.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 08:40:48 PM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

stillme

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 283
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 07:51:59 AM »
Emerald Blue - thanks so much. I am happy that I can say that I gave it my all and I am also happy that I am young enough (in my 40s) to still have an amazing life without someone else's issues being my burden. I am not really surprised, the data is pretty clear on how many people truly overcome sex addiction, so I was prepared to accept my husband wasn't a magical unicorn.

While this has been horrible to go through, it has been fascinating to watch and see the impact on the brain something like porn can have. To watch my husband throw away what could have been a great marriage and having a strong relationship with three of the most amazing kids in the world - just to jack off to porn, has been mind-blowing. I could see how that happens with people that get addicted to drugs and alcohol, but pornography? Thankfully, my kids are disgusted enough by the whole thing that they will hopefully steer clear of pornography as they grow into adulthood. I am also glad that I didn't sugarcoat things with my husband or make excuses for his behavior. He had every single opportunity to get better, he just didn't want to truly grow up. He made excuses for himself and will openly acknowledge that he felt like the victim because I wouldn't "get over it" fast enough. Mind you, my husband didn't just watch porn, he had at least one trip to a "massage parlor" for a "happy ending" massage, meaning he didn't just virtually cheat, he physically cheated as well, putting even my health and wellness in danger.

He has talked a very good game about wanting to do better, he has gone to counseling, he has done everything on the surface that would convince most people that he is a completely changed man. But, when you peel back the onion, he is pretty much the same guy. I maintained for a long time on this forum that there was a very bid difference between abstinence and recovery, and my soon-to-be ex-husband proved that.

But, the rest of us get to live a better life now.

raven song

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 104
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 12:55:46 PM »
Stillme and Emerald Blue, thank you for sharing with me your experiences. 

Stillme,
Quote
One of the things that I did that I am very grateful for based on their advice was to get a signed Postnuptial agreement that basically said if he was caught to have relapsed, all the divorce agreements were ironed out.
  Okay, postnuptial  is what i'm looking for.   Good for you for setting that up in advance so that then it is much easier to activate it when needed and less upsetting for you and the kids.   Good job taking care of yourself! 

Is a postnuptial agreement expensive? 

I asked my husband if he would be okay with making this legal and he said yes very readily - so that made me feel better.  I asked him if he would be willing to write up what he thought was fair and reasonable, and he did that too - very readily.   So that helped me to engender trust for me.  Now I need to follow through with meeting a lawyer - even if it feels uncomfortable.  If I am going to choose to stay with him another year while he is wholeheartedly engaged in therapy to completely stop the porn use and to rebuild our relationship, then I need this extra insurance that if it doesn't work out, I will be okay financially while I launch my own single life.   

I'm reading Brene Brown's Rising Strong, and this is guiding me right now
Quote
"What boundaries do I need to put in place so I can work from a place of integrity and extend the most generous interpretations of the intentions, words, and actions of others?"  p 123
This is what a postnuptial helps me to do right now. Also, full disclosure including poly, and full and enthusiastic participation in individual, couples, and group therapy.   With these things in place, then I can do the hard work of staying on my side of the street and working my own recovery and giving him the benefit of the doubt. 

EB and Stillme, Thanks to you both for sharing with me your process and your boundaries.



« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 12:58:31 PM by raven song »
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

stillme

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 283
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 05:43:15 AM »
Post-nuptials are not overly expensive, just make sure they are legally binding in your state. If not, you can just write-up divorce papers, but keep them unsigned. They are both pretty much the same thing. Ours was more expensive due to having a lot of assets, shared property, and three minor children. So, we had to work out a lot of things, including custody schedule, child support, who claims the children on taxes, and who keeps medical insurance on the children.

I am really glad that we went through the process ahead of time, because it allowed my husband to see, with eyes wide open, what he would be giving up by choosing to go back to porn and choosing to continue to lie. I figured, if that wasn't enough to scare him straight, there really wasn't much hope for him ever fully recovering. He really doesn't want the divorce, but of course he wouldn't. Right now he has the best of all worlds. But, his constant lying was making me and the children crazy, so it was clearly time end it. When even the kids started to come to me wondering why 'daddy lied so much' and them asking me if I had caught him in yet another lie, I knew we have reached a point of dysfunction where staying in the marriage would be more damaging to the children than leaving and giving them a home where they could trust their parent to tell the truth and only have to deal with their father's lies in small doses instead of living that stress constantly.

raven song

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 104
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 12:46:49 PM »
Stillme, thank you for sharing the financial aspect of this.   I'm really impressed with your strength and follow through.  You are a wonderful example of what it looks like to stand in your own power and take care of yourself and your children. This isn't power over - this is truly power with. You have been giving your husband an option, not demanding, but not giving in to his continued lies and porn use. GOOD FOR YOU! and for your children too!!!   What you are doing seems completely fair and honest. It's much like good parenting.  Here's the rules, if you break them, here's the consequences - time out, etc. 

Quote
I am really glad that we went through the process ahead of time, because it allowed my husband to see, with eyes wide open, what he would be giving up by choosing to go back to porn and choosing to continue to lie. I figured, if that wasn't enough to scare him straight, there really wasn't much hope for him ever fully recovering.
This makes complete sense. It shows by your actions that you will follow through with taking care of yourself. And you are being completely honest with him. He has all the information he needs to make an informed decision - which is it?  no more porn and lies and work on the relationship with you and the children, or not?

Quote
But, his constant lying was making me and the children crazy, so it was clearly time end it. When even the kids started to come to me wondering why 'daddy lied so much' and them asking me if I had caught him in yet another lie, I knew we have reached a point of dysfunction where staying in the marriage would be more damaging to the children than leaving and giving them a home where they could trust their parent to tell the truth and only have to deal with their father's lies in small doses instead of living that stress constantly.
  Yes! you are absolutely right. You are being a protective mom and you are looking out for your children's best interest.  This is obviously affecting them and it is very confusing.  It's confusing enough as a partner, I can imagine its even more confusing for children.

Thank you for sharing your legal situation.  I'm researching the laws in my own state.  I'm looking at postnuptial agreements and spousal support. My state is a nofault divorce state and the property is divided evenly no matter what the situation.  So that provides me some security. 

I talked with my therapist about therapeutic separation as a possible option for us. It was funny, she was talking me out of it. I don't understand that. I'm researching all of my options. I need to think through different possible scenarios so that I can gauge for myself what feels right for me and what doesnt.

She gave me for th. separation and it said this is not the time to talk to lawyers. I don't get it.  It's my right to talk to a lawyer.  I need to protect myself.  I've been trying to work this out with my husband.  If I'm going to continue to live with him, I need assurances that things will change or else we separate.  And if we separate, I need legal protection concerning our finances.    I'm finding my therapist is helpful for getting this process started for my husband and connecting him to a therapist for his recovery- but not so helpful for me. I really feel she has a bias towards "preserving the marriage."  which is unfair to me.  I've put 20 years into working on this with my husband. And CONSTANT therapy since 2002.  I think I'm qualified to make my own decisions. If I feel like leaving this relationship - I can. I just need to be honest about it.  Done. 

so going back to your statement
Quote
I am really glad that we went through the process ahead of time, because it allowed my husband to see, with eyes wide open, what he would be giving up by choosing to go back to porn and choosing to continue to lie.
I'm really trying that on for size.  If I am taking care of myself and talking to a lawyer about my rights and options, then all I am doing is being honest and forthcoming with my husband. "Look, I feel so confused by the lying and hiding, I'm going to consult a lawyer and find out what my rights are."  this is more than fair. He wont be surprised later if things get worse and I respond with a legal document.   And RIGHT NOW, I am giving him a heads up as to what's on the horizon if he chooses to continue on this path. It's like a road sign on the interstate.  There's an exit up head 1 mile and it has a family law office there. if you keep driving this relationship down this highway (one that I DONT want to drive down) then you can be guaranteed that in 1mile, I will be initiating legal separation with protections in place for me.  Done.

Thank you for sharing with me your courageous decisions and actions.  Sending you and your family lots of  healing. 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 12:55:21 PM by raven song »
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

malando

  • Global Moderator
  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1083
  • Personal Text
    Something deep should be here, but it isn't...
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 04:58:24 PM »
And RIGHT NOW, I am giving him a heads up as to what's on the horizon if he chooses to continue on this path. It's like a road sign on the interstate.  There's an exit up head 1 mile and it has a family law office there. if you keep driving this relationship down this highway (one that I DONT want to drive down) then you can be guaranteed that in 1mile, I will be initiating legal separation with protections in place for me.  Done.

This is beautifully put, Raven. It's what dumb men need to know before they seal their own fate. It amazes me how many men are "surprised" by the things that happen in their lives, and act like victims when these "unforeseeable" events strike them. Then to top it off, they'll often go drawing their sorrows or using porn to soothe their hurt feelings. Talk about a vicious cycle! We'll see how your husband responds to reality in due time, I suppose, but I can see that you are a strong and determined woman and that you are moving towards a better life - whether it's as a married or single person. Best wishes! M.

raven song

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 104
    • View Profile
Re: web resources concerning seperation and divorce?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 03:22:37 PM »
Quote
We'll see how your husband responds to reality in due time, I suppose, but I can see that you are a strong and determined woman and that you are moving towards a better life - whether it's as a married or single person. Best wishes! M
Thank you Malando, for the support an encouragement.  In the end, I AM becoming stronger and that is a wonderful outcome for me no matter what. also I'm finding my own inner core of confidence and determination to create and live an amazing life - married or single.   

I appreciate your encouragement because you've been through this on the other side. Your perspective helps me to know that I am, indeed, doing the right thing.  It's hard to find a healthy balance between empathy and self-care. 



Weather report (both metaphorical and literal): the last several days the night sky has been clear, and the moon is a silvery crescent of hope right now, waxing towards full. I think that is a very good sign. 





« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 05:07:20 AM by raven song »
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon