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.