A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

I have a friend who is now going through a particularly nasty divorce. She had no idea it was coming back last fall, but once she stopped crying long enough to see straight, she took herself to a lawyer and filed for divorce before HE could. That was last January, and things are still far from settled.

The other day was an especially bad one for her. Her soon-to-be-ex is a real asshole. Really. He defines the term. He is a controlling, petty, irresponsible person. For instance, he has refused to move out of the family home, despite claiming that my friend has for years made his married life miserable (which was news to her, but whatever. Perception is everything, it seems, and his perception apparently didn’t match hers for most of their life together.). It seems to me that if he hates her that much and truly wants to get on with his life, he would long ago have moved out. But no, he has only moved down to the basement and is staying there, he claims, until the house sells. But he has also fired four realtors to date and has quibbled incessantly with the fifth about the price for which the house is listed. Apparently he considers himself a real estate expert and insisted that the house be listed at a higher price than the realtor felt was reasonable in the current market. So of course there is not much happening on that front.

He has also informed my friend, and their two children who are both in university and living at home, that he was cancelling their home phone and internet, and that he would henceforth only be using his cell phone. He was going to get internet service for just his laptop in the basement, and nobody else would be able to go on HIS network. I ask you, how petty is that? Does it really matter? Will he actually save enough money to make it worthwhile, or is this just another way to piss everybody off?

But this particular day was a doozy. The asshole coldly told his elder son to remove his car from the garage, because his girlfriend was going to be parking her truck there during the week. Apparently, he’d decided that the girlfriend was moving in with him from Monday to Thursday, and that he’d be at her place Friday to Sunday.

Well, isn’t that sweet. He’s not quite divorced, is still living in the family home, and he’s moving in the woman with whom it looks like he’s been having an affair since all of this started in the summer of 2009. Oh – and his bedroom is right next door to the elder son’s bedroom and the walls are pretty thin. And the girlfriend apparently thinks this is a fine plan!

Well, the two kids went ballistic when the girlfriend and her truck arrived. There was a lot of shouting, with many four-letter words, and the elder son was bounced up against the wall by the asshole formerly known as his dad. My friend was upstairs when all this happened, and when she heard the ruckus, she came flying down, screaming at the asshole to leave her kids alone. The asshole called the cops, my friend called 911, both kids were in tears. The asshole and his girlfriend tried to leave, but the cops arrived just then and blocked the driveway so they couldn’t. The cops – three of them! – spoke to everyone involved, particularly the elder son and the asshole. They ended up telling the asshole and his girlfriend that they were out of line and suggesting very strongly that they spend the night elsewhere – ya think?? One of the officers spoke quietly to the elder son and reassured him that yes, it looked like his anger was justified. Another officer told my friend that if they were called to make another visit to the home, someone would be charged, either herself, her elder son, or the asshole.

So the asshole and the girlfriend left, tails between their legs. But my friend and her kids now fear for their safety. He’ll have to come back at some point, and who knows what such a vindictive person will do? Locks will be quickly installed on bedroom doors, for sure, especially the elder son’s, but though my friend is imploring him to move upstairs, he doesn’t really want to lose what privacy and independence he has by sleeping in the basement. I don’t know, I think personal safety trumps privacy and independence by a long shot.

I don’t know how long my friend can carry on like this. Or her kids. Her lawyer is working hard for her, but the asshole and his lawyer are incredibly negative and uncooperative. He seems to be bent on revenge for some perceived wrong, but as she notes, why is he taking his anger at her out on the kids? What kind of a father IS he?

I guess that question pretty much answers itself.

All I know is, most of us don’t condone violence, but … exceptions can be made.

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17 responses to “A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

  1. What a loser. That is sad that your friend got mixed up with him in the first place. People like that take out their own insecurities on other people and are quick to yelling insults and becoming violent.

    I hope that she can get away from him as soon as possible!

    • Pauline – It’s hard to believe that anybody would ever marry a man like that, isn’t it? But I guess he covered up the craziness very well back then, and now it’s come out with a vengeance – literally. My friend has a pretty positive attitude overall, but this is sure taking its toll on her and her kids. I worry that things will get still worse before they get better.

  2. Wow. He sounds scary. Your poor, poor friend. Also, it sounds to me like he wants the house.

    • bevchen – She was actually in pretty good spirits when I talked to her today. The asshole had only glared at her, and that’s easy enough to deal with. Still, she is always waiting for the next installment of the drama that her life has become.

  3. Can she get a restraining order against that asshole? You want I should visit with Vito and a baseball bat?

    • Jazz – I think a restraining order will be the next order of business, but she says it depends upon his next (stupid and reactionary) move. And, yes please on Vito and the bat. It would be appreciated all around.

  4. Urgh, how terrible for your friend, and in particular her children. They must all feel so utterly betrayed. Divorce is never easy, even when you are fairly amicable, but surely even if you hate each other you don’t take it out on the kids? He is clearly unhinged. Let us hope he gets crisped in a freak lightning attack very soon.

    • Katyboo – It’s all about him, and he operates under a scorched earth policy, we have all discovered. A lightning strike on him would therefore be poetic justice … and he wouldn’t be missed by very many people, either.

  5. Pinklea – I’ve not been through this sort of shit but I know where she could get some really good advice (as well as an awful lot of sympathy). I imagine you’ve heard of the Ravelry messageboard? Mostly inhabited by knitters and crocheters (I’m one of the latter) it now has over a million members and I doubt if all of them do stuff with yarn. Anyway. It has various groups within it, one of which is the Lazy, Stupid and Godless group (or LSG for short) which is where my kind of women (and a few men) hang out – the ones who aren’t pearl-clutchers, ones who tell it like it is, cuss like sailors, have gone round the block a few times and lived to tell the tale. You know they’d have your back in a stand up fight. And a lot of these women have been through what your friend is going through and they will have a LOT of knowledge and information about what she can do specifically to help herself, including laws and regulations that apply in Canada. You have to join first (it’s free, you just have to think of a username), then you can join whichever groups within Ravelry you think you might like. I’ve been a member since June this year and it has (and LSG in particular) been a complete time sponge for me and I’ve learnt some things I didn’t know before. It’s an amazing resource.

    Link to join: http://www.ravelry.com/invitations

    • Mrs Jones – That DOES sound like a wonderful resource – and I love the LSG moniker! I will pass this info on to my friend. Thanks! šŸ™‚

  6. Asshole, and a highly dangerous asshole. Your friend and family must protect themselves using whatever it takes because a person with this kind of rage is highly unpredictable. And what in fuck is wrong with his new babe that she hasn’t fled the scene now that she has seen what he’s capable of? Does she really think she’ll be any different if he thinks she’s crossed him.

    Sheesh, and I thought my second divorce (sigh, yes, I’ve had two of them) was acrimonious. It was a civilized walk in the park. My 2nd still lives only a block away and we’re thoroughly pleasant with each other.

    • mrwriteon – My ex and I split extremely amicably, compared to this. Oh, we had a few squabbles and yelling matches (as I recall, mostly about pieces of furniture – how ridiculous!), and I was a stressed and blubbering basket-case a lot of the time, but yeah, that was a cinch compared to what my friend is dealing with. I really do think the asshole is a sociopath with no empathy whatsoever, and I expect there will be repercussions for my friend very soon. I predict that the police will be back and I only hope that it’s the asshole who ends up being arrested, not my friend or her son.

  7. I went through a separation three years ago. I had been with the guy for seven years. I truly believe there is nothing sadder than when a relationship ends and one of the individuals decides that they’re the victim and considers ‘victory’ in squabbling over assets rather than acknowledging the simple fact that sometimes relationships end, no one is to blame, and it’s just sad. This guy sounds a lot like the guy I separated from.

    I’m sorry to hear that your friend is going through this. I’m not sure about the legalities involved but could the son perhaps look into getting a restraining order? Just indicating that he’s looking into it could be enough to force the issue and encourage the father to move out, already? Sad that we have to play these games … but it sounds like this guy deserves very little compassion.

    • Quackattack – So you probably understand more of the situation here than I do, through your own experience. Did your ex finally calm down when you moved away? I wonder if maybe the asshole wants the house and is trying to force my friend and the kids to leave before it’s sold so that he can claim desertion?

      She did contact her lawyer the very next day who has already sent a letter to the asshole’s lawyer outlining what happened and requesting VERY strongly that the asshole refrain from upsetting the kids so disresepctfully again, as well as advising that if it happens again, he will be encouraging my friend to do whatever she has to (implying restraining orders and/or criminal charges, I guess) to preserve the peace. Her son is ready to do it already, but the lawyer is telling him to wait and see what happens after the asshole sees the letter.

      • Sadly, my ex still harbours a lot of anger and resentment towards me (for what, I’m not entirely sure) – I know this because I am still friends with his sister and we still share a few friends. Some people just seem to be more comfortable living their self-created victim stories.

        Hopefully that letter will be sufficient to scare him straight. It’s unfortunate, but it seems like all parties have to play the game in order to obtain resolution … even if that means stooping at least half-way to their level.

  8. It sounds like he is completely off his rocker. What a horrible human being! He should be ordered to move out of that house. What in the world is he still doing there? I’m sure he can’t just move his girlfriend in. It’s the silliest situation I’ve ever heard off.

    • Nora – The only thing my friend and I can think of is that the asshole is actually a controlling sociopath, which I believe is a pretty much untreatable mental disorder. Of course, that then begs the question of how could she be married to him for something like 25 years and see none of this? So he must be able to easily pretend to be “normal”. I certainly never thought the guy was so awful whenever I saw him – a bit distant and uncommunicative maybe, but I would never have guessed that he would be capable of the behaviour he has now shown.