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Gender reversal in divorce

just M.E.

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M.E - I am so sorry for what you are going through. I have been following your life soon after you joined this board and so often look at some of your posts for insipiration. Don't loose hope and loose sight of who you are and what you stand for. I will be hitting a similar spot soon, so there is not much advise I can offer you except for thefact that you will be ok. You are a strong beautiful woman who has a lot going well in life. Continue to look at the postives that life has to offer.


Speaking of suicidal thoughts... during the last 2 years of my marriage, I did get some of them periodically. My wife was nuts and was driving me nuts. As soon as we separated, I was able to focus on myself and the good within me...


I look forward to your experiences through this thread. I haven't yet begun negotiations of understood what her terms are.. But from what I know of her and the family she comes from, I am sure there will be some severe hardball negotiating that will happen.


I am trying to get as much negotiation done and agreements reached. with her in person before we proceed further and begin the process of litigation... I only hope its not as emotionally exhausting as I think its going to be!!!


Hang in there ME... I am rooting for ya!!!



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Benga -

WOW! Thanks for the words, today was one of those days I needed them the most, you know those days, some days you are the windshield and some days you are the bug.


I have a meeting with my acquaintance who is all the billing lawyer and a principle in the law firm to see what we can work out to keep me represented. If I stopped and thought to hard on all of this, it would be so overwhelming I don't know if I could begin to deal with it.


I really pray that your ex does not get into the games that make negotiations impossible. I talked to my therapist last week and one of the first questions she had was "Why is he doing this?, there is nothing to gain". Together her and I threw out guesses, maybe vindictive, maybe controlling, maybe fear of the process, maybe punishing? In the end there is no guessing why someone would do what he has done.


Thanks Benga, you don't know how much your words mean to me right now. Unfortunately, because of the controlling nature the marriage took, I have found myself isolated and am rebuilding friends, my daughter having grown, married and moved away and the balance of my family out of state. It is easy to become isolated.


ENA has become a good resource without burdening every friend repetitively with the dreary tedium of this process I am in.


The simple answer still is that the only was to get past all this is to go through it. Then and only then, can I be at the other side and look back on this.

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Keep it up M.E.


Just keep telling yourself that once you are out of this situation it will get better. Make sure that you get a group of supportive friends around you, you would be surprised at the number of people in your aquaintance that have noticed what your life islike and want to make it easier. I know I was amazed!!! You think you have kept this nasty little event quiet, but people see/know more than you think and are usually just waiting for you to step out.

I actually had someone say something likethat to me last week. "I wanted to help. saw how he treated you, but didn't know how you would react or what you needed" Man if I could have opened my eyes and seen the people.


Know you've got back-up and support. Keep working on getting right with yourself and fight the battles as they come (unfortunately they may keep coming). I'm a complete optimist: I believe good always wins (if not the battle, most definitely the war!!!)

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confusedmama, thanks so much, I agree about the optimism, I believe life is a learning experience and I need to take the lessons with me from each part of my life. I have wonderful people around me, I am very lucky. The same thing happened to me, so many came to me after he left and were happy he was gone, wanted to be do something for me, but knew it was one of those things in life they couldn't interfere with.

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I went in to my law offices today and was told I have to pay up the back fees and then they would consider going forwar, I don't know if a retainer will be necessary. I borrowed from my father for the account balance due but nothing has been filed all of that is for last years legal separation and this years attempts at negotiation. It ws a $20K ck, I feel fairly sick about this because we haven't even started the divorce.


I am just praying I can get this filed soon. I'll know in a day or too, just discouraging.


What I have for assets were purchased carefully many, many years before the ex and I am watching what I hoped was my retirement, go away, the loans for legal fees will have to be paid back.

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I understand exactly how you are feeling. The lawyer I had through my divorce-and had been paying throughout as much as I could-told me when my ex served my AGAIN, that I would have to pony up before she would continue. I just kept thinking, if I could have had you paid off I would have, I'm not spending the winter in jamaica.


I ended up having to take a loan on my cc and then paying a retainer for a different lawyer, as she was no longer doing "family law", another loan on the cc. I hope to get it paid before I die. I hate the fact I'm the one that has worked steadily and I'm the one who is getting stuck with all the bills. Retirement? I'll have to work until I die

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i am confused as to why you still haven't filed for divorce yet? Is it the laws of your state? one can even file without a lawyer in most states, as long as you follow the court's procedures.


the thing is, the longer this goes on, the longer it will cost, so you have to try to cut to the chase and drive this thing forward. some people ENJOY sticking it to their spouse, and the longer you play, the longer he will attempt to play you.


there is no good time to file for divorce, so it really doesn't profit you to not move this forward, if you know that divorce is inevitable. it is easy to get 'stuck' emotionally and physically in a divorce, when you are thinking about all the what if's and why and what should and shouldn't be, when the real point is it really is better for you if you put your emotionally energy towards moving the divorce forward rather than ruminating about it...


it is hard to focus on that, but that is what gets the divorce done. you need to try to move yourself mentally from the 'powerless' position to the 'powerful' position, and pushing the divorce forward is the only way to get through this...


also, you can interview with different lawyers who don't charge an initial consultation fee. i am a bit surprised as to why you've already spent money on the current lawyer and they haven't even filed for divorce yet!


if he is cheating with someone else, they should be filing on grounds of adultery. filing is the thing that starts the clock moving toward getting the divorce over with. you can't control everything he does, but you can keep your eye on the prize, which is getting done with this and getting on with your life.


if he is really being unrealistic and nasty, a judge will recognize this, but you have to get yourself before the judge to have this happen, and as soon as possible. time rolling out now without filing is just racking up legal bills and not making progress.


if you don't have the money for the lawyers, then do a lot of research on divorce in your state and jurisdiction, and proceed to the filing.

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here's a link to a webpage that discusses divorce law in Colorado where you live... from the air force academy, but provides an overview of divorce in general in colorado.


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there are many resources like this on the web... it says filing for divorce in colo. is $99... if he doesn't agree to a separation/property agreement, the court decides...


here's another page... it says that if you and your spouse don't agree on divorce, it takes 6 months to a year to get on the court docket and finalize it.. you can also represent yourself in a divorce if you genuinely don't have money for lawyers.


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and another page...


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in other words, whether he likes it or not, nor what fits he pitches along the way, you CAN be divorced in around 6 months to a year in Colorado IF you file and start moving things forward.


i think it is very good that you are getting support from a counselor during this time, but please don't get distracted from the GOAL which is to finish the divorce so you can get on with your life. spending a lot of time analyzing why he is a jerk won't change the fact that he IS a jerk, and the best way to improve your life is to get away from him is to get on with the divorce and get away from him as quickly as possible.

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I did not file because we kept being sucked into meetings with the lure they wanted to settle this out of court and we could create a settlement agreement / filing as a package and have it rubber stamped by the court. I have a lot at risk so we hoped to avoid the uncertainty of a judges decision.


We have given up as we have just been strung along with large legal fees to go with that process. Colorado is no-fault divorce so grounds for adultery won't really matter that much. What I hope to prove is that the business I want to give him my half (I am a full 50% owner and active owner until he removed me from this 7/2/07, very equal in establishing and building and continued throughout the time until he left) is equal to the valuations of the property equity during the marital period. He is steadily devaluing the business but I have not control of that, we can only prove that in court and hope I will receive valuation at the time I was removed. Another option, is I take the business, rebuild it to it's form status and sell with an equal split, I give my proceeds against any settlement for him. He would be a fool to allow this to get that far as he pays himself much getter salary than he would receive as a employee of any other business.


The asinine thing of all this, during these meeting, we in principle agreed to all the large items and were in disagreement over a small amount of items valued about $10-$15K. Here's the kicker, I was more than willing to meet his demands, but he refused to listen and refused to acknowledge that I was meeting his requests. We have given up and are assuming this is a control issue on his part, as there is no logical reason financially or otherwise to take this tactic. Possibly revenge? But that is absurd, he left for another woman, go figure?


We were to file today but there has been a mix up in the paperwork, I have to wait for my lawyer to return after New Years

This is the same law firm that filed my marital separation last spring, we reconciled when he agreed to go for alcohol treatment, he did, I don't know how long he was alcohol free, as I found out after he left that he had been buying liquor for some time and hiding it. This is a complicated and ugly situation. I reconciled believing he needed my help with recovering from alcohol abuse and that he would honor a number of conditions to the reconciliation.


As far as lawyers, I am not interested in changing horses at this position, it will empower the ex, and I am confident in my lawyer. I made the call to attempt to find a settlement agreement before filing. As with the reconciliation, I mistakenly believed the ex would honor his word. I am slowly learning that there may be not a single word uttered from his mouth that is true.


Up until he left on 5/31, I believed him to be simply a garden variety a$$hole and was rolling with the ups and downs. Now I really wonder if possibly he is a pathological liar. I will never know and to honest, I don't care enough to spend much thought on it. I simply want to move on and rebuild, at 55 it is more difficult and I am hoping the court will take that into consideration, he is 47.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A quick update - the Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) is being filed today. No surprises, we sent his attorney a heads up, saying we still are more than willing to come to a negotiated settlement, but as we have heard nothing, we must move forward.


Physiologically this is a first step in taking my life back and sending a message that I can no longer play at his game. I want sanity and this is the only solution to achieving that.

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Congratulations, you are moving forward and getting closer to being done with him!


It really sounded like this guy would never agree to a settlement anyway... some people will just fight a divorce and refuse to compromise even when that makes no sense, so it is better to show him you mean business and WILL take back your life and move on.

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Thanks, BeStrong, your support means a lot.


Today's step brings mixed emotions, I am a huge proponent of marriage, I was raised Catholic, to me it is still a sacrament.


You are absolutely correct about sending him a message. He never knew who I was, he defined me by what he wanted to believe for his own purposes. Now he will learn that when my back is against the wall, I'm a momma tiger, don't screw with me, you'll get hurt. I won't buckle now, I have been pushed to this point, I have been willing and open before, now he will have to live with what he started. This is where I excel, picking my battles and having the backbone to follow through.


I was the first woman underground miner in Colo in 1973 when I was 20 yrs old, I'm tougher than he can imagine, this girl won't fold, I have no idea what the end result will be, but I am not afraid. His last comments to me where full you all the can'ts that I could not do in life, my message to him would be "Just watch me". I am stronger than him, he can't hurt me now. As they say, "Today's high price, is tomorrow's bargain"


I will always be fair, but I will no longer be generous.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Just a short update,

The lawyers are working on preparing the Case Management Order to be submitted at the Initial Status Conference on 2/6.


I don't have any real life experience in this arena, but I am also shocked how vulnerable I feel to the whims and demands of a 47 yr old child.


Simply put, though out the history of the 7 yr marriage, his contribution financially has been in the vicinity of 5%, I went back through the years and ran the numbers. It was shocking to see that actual truth. What has been disturbing, is he seems to keep coming up with items additionally that he feels entitled to.


I realize it is symptomatic of who he is and the level of dysfunction, but it still generates fear. I am reminded how emotionally intimidated I became of his rages and I illogically fear he some how can continue to damage me more.


I realize this may or may not be true but I can't seem to shake the feeling of being exposed and vulnerable.

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I think that you know what I am about to say. Nothing he can say to you, even in a fit of rage, can do you any harm. It is your reaction to his intimitating ways and rage that triggers these emotions in you. Any real physical assault by him would be to his demise. Most people's bark is worse than their bite anyway. You never have to see him again if you are alone anyway.


When I was a kid, I learned that if I ignored some other kid's taunting or ridiculing of me, he stopped. No reaction from me that he could see. This lead me to look at my own emotional reactions in these same terms. The only hurt that could be caused was by my own reaction.

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John -

I really appreciate the reinforcement and helping me clarify my thoughts. Logically and intelligently I know what you are saying is true, and I am shocked at my emotional response in being fearful. I really believed I had moved beyond that point, but it goes to show how ingrained these response behaviors become.


There is a certain feeling of vulnerability when I don't know or understand the legal processes. There is a insecurity that comes from the unrelenting nature of his demands although those demands are in contradiction to the whole of what he has already agreed upon. For some unknown reason, they are given acceptance by my legal staff, which is frustrating. I begin to doubt when I see my own law firm capitulate to his whims also. It is my reminder to take care of myself and to assume it is being done by others is foolhardy.


On a lighter note, I finally tired of the process of letters asking him to remove his belonging, each letter is an expensive process. I have rented a storage unit for two months less than 1/2 block from our business. I will move his belongings myself to regain my home. Interestingly, the couple running the storage area, immediately told me I was too good to him. This I know, but in doing it this way, I am taking care of myself. This will be one less item open for discussion and by which he can control my life. Said and done with, and I regain the choices and control of my home and life.


One small thing I can do, complete and succeed with.


Thanks for your support

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I do not look at it as moving past emotion. If you have an emotion then have it. It is real. But if you see through it then you can go about not creating it over and over again. If we label and judge our emotions after we experience them, they can become a part of our persona. We then expect these reactions as if they are a part of us but they are not. We identitfy them as us. They then will affect our decision making process more and more.


My experiences in the legal realm have worked out well so far for me. My undergradute degree was in pre-law. My attorneys have always seem to sense that I understood the process and that I knew what I needed to do. I formulated the approach that my attorney took. He loved it and ran with it. My X was in shock when she realized I was going to be awarded the children and the house at the seperation agreement. This just fueled her anger at me. I thought that it might enduce her to wake up out of her emotional funk and see the light. The opposite happened. She took it as an additional emotional threat to her already diminshed self esteem and went deeper off the end.


I paced the floor of my house forever fearing the divorce procedure. I imagined myself living in a one bedroom roach infested apartment, paying thousands in child and spousal support, eating Spaghetio's out of the can, and seeing my kids every other weekend. This was a nightmare to me.


The legal system concerning divorce is one that is set up to drag you in one side and throw you out the other. The lawyers are as much a part of this system as the judges and the family court. I thank the cosmos for the attorney that I had. He saw me a human being that was going through a nightmare that he did not want any part of. Most attorneys or their firm, are working on many cases in front of that same judge. The attitude of the whole court system, attorneys on both sides included, is one of, "Let's just get this done and move on to the next one". When they say that we just have to do this to get it done, you are right to think twice.

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John -


I didn't realize how universal that fear of the adverse outcome was! I imagine myself hauling my horses in a beat up trailer to some rancher and seeing if I can be the line camp cook and bunk in the barn with my horses!! Just a different take on the same theme.


I wish I had that law back ground you have and I have too little contact with mmy attorney, too late to change horses at this point. I get that sense of the lawyers on both sides dragging this out and the layers of miscommunication if unbelievable. Scary world to someone who is not in it.


But as the saying goes, the only way to get to the other side, is to go through it.


Thanks for being a voice of reason. There are little hints of the ex agreeing to a limiting CMO but I've seen him operate before, he has a tendency to reel you in and leave everyone hanging. There's a lot of control in that behavior. Time will tell but I wasn't excited of having the uncertainty praying on my mind through the weekend.

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i think what your attorneys may be getting at is that just because you feel he only contributed 5% during your married years, legally that doesn't mean he is only entitled to 5%. Marriage is viewed as a partnership, and when it dissolved, the assets are usually divided more equally than 95/5%, regardless of what he contributed.


you can also get in trouble saying you contributed 95% to his 5%. then the rule becomes that since it was a broken partnership, you need to contribute more to his future income since he had become accustomed to depending on your income.


so it is not quite so simple legally to say you should get out of the marriage exactly what you put into it...


but you shouldn't be fearful, because the fear won't change anything and will just cause you a lot of anxiety. you will do fine after the divorce,and in fact do much better because you can move on with your life and quit having him bother you or drain your assets more.


so the lawyers are most likely operating from the standpoint of what they know is the normal division of assets in a divorce such as yours, where there are no minor children and hence no need for one or the other to keep the house or get child support.


divorce is always financially draining, but you will have a HUGE relief and renewed happiness when your are done, because you are finally free of him.

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Just because he contributed 5% doesn't mean that is what he made. He made and continues to make a very nice income. It was the old, his money is his money and my money is his money. As I had a larger income, he thought I should pay all the bills.


The Colorado statute states "up to 50%" which is defined as 0% - 50% of the marital equity and assets acquired during marriage. I am not assuming he will get only what he put into it, but I am hoping he will not get 50% of the marital asset as there is a valid post-nuptial agreement and I can show where his spending has gone for the last 7 years, without exaggeration, his "booze" bill grew to $1,500 mon.


This was in no way a partnership.


He is coming out of this quite nicely no matter what. He will receive a large amount and I will turn over my ownership to the business if he honors our post-nuptial agreement, it is more than he has ever acquired in his life prior to our marriage. Let's just say he married well. He simply married for money, no evidence of anything else as much as that hurts my self esteem and pride to admit. He has a very strong sense of being entitled to more than a normal person would consider fair.


I have assets that I obtained through a 20 year period prior to him and I indebted myself deeply to support a business that he will retain (I am a true 50% shareholder and was a full working partner through the life of the business). He brought nothing to the table and I knew that about him, but I believed there was a good person within him, I still do, but it is hidden by his distorted perception through an alcoholic haze. He considers himself a victim although he left for another woman. I am just tired of continually meeting his demands, there is a line between being reasonable and being walked on. I am not bitter, but I don't think marrying any person should be like winning the lottery, whether it is male or female. This guy is asking to be "repaid" financially for helping around the house and home, repairs, taking out the trash, helping around the ranch, etc. I have a deep aversion to that concept as I would never ask to be repaid for doing 7 years worth of all the laundry, cooking, cleaning, accounting plus 3 years of non-paid work at the business to help establish it (I did get paid 4 out of 7 years working there) and working along side him at every chore he wants payment for. I worked believing it was my long range future also and do not resent the time I invested. I resent the concept of writing my soon to be ex-husband a check for taking out the trash. Enough is enough.

There is no evidence that would happen in court, I am simply stating what he has been asking for. I do not take any contributions he made lightly but made beyond equal contributions in time and money to him. How do you put a price on helping your spouse? I don't, it is water under the bridge, but to him there needs to be a dollar amount paid to him for his time.


He has been emotionally abusive and threatening throughout the marriage so falling back into that emotion of fear comes as a pattern of behavior, I thought I had moved beyond. He has been described as narcissistic or borderline or a combination of other dysfunctions. I really am not interested in what label is assigned, I am interested in rebuilding my life. I can't begin to describe how much I have financially carried him through the years and I could legally be quite difficult to him, but I am taking the high ground. It would take a small book to cover this background. I know from both my lawyer and the response of his lawyer, that I am being fair, reasonable and generous. He has a need for control. Don't misinterpret my fear of this for withholding what is just from him. He's getting the deal of a lifetime out of this. I am just shocked that that is not enough.


And No, I am not accepting any future marriage proposals

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