S.A.R.D. #31 – Red Flags?

WARNING/DisclaimerI’m going to be discussing something of an adult nature. I am whipping this out as it comes to mind and I have thoughts that are raw and uncensored – I may or may not use vulgarity. Oh, and it may have tons of grammatical and spelling errors too (Oh, the horror!?!?!). This post is intended for mature audiences (i.e. ages 21+). Also, names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

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I’ve mentioned before that my entire intention behind beginning a blog was to release an overwhelming amount of anger, pain, resentment and other feelings about my marriage; but, I have never really started talking about it all. The truth of the matter is that I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I missed all of the red flags, missed all of the things that told me I wasn’t comfortable in the relationship in the first place. Of course, I recognize that I play a major part in the demise of our marriage – and I have never admitted it here before, but I have on previous blogs – and I will admit to it here within these series of posts, but I want to do it later.

Today, I am frustrated.

Frustrated is an understatement, just in case you didn’t pick up on that…

No, today, had me wondering when it was that I first realized that this wasn’t a good relationship. It didn’t make me waver getting into it three days after meeting. That should have been an obvious tell-tell sign that I wasn’t going into the relationship with any semblance of maturity. I knew, early on, that her jealousy would ruin us. Or rather, my inability to accept her jealousy would ruin us (Although, I want to bitch about everything, I do recognize that there are things I could have done differently…or would it have even mattered? I don’t even know at this point); I felt early on that I had to toe the line or feel her wrath. She seemed to have a horrible impression of men, and after hearing how our son’s father had treated her and refused to accept his own child, I accepted her hurt and pain and thought she would eventually outgrow that. My problem, is that I was arrogant enough to think that I would be her hero to all of the pain she felt. She also had horrible things to say about other people that had wronged her – especially her own family members. But again, there was egotistical me thinking I was the answer to all of her problems. I didn’t think her getting evicted from a place she rented was a problem, because she was a single mom just trying to get through life, but I thought I would be her hero inviting her to live with me. I didn’t figure it out when she would quit job after job, because she didn’t like a boss or someone she worked with or whatever (she’s had over 30 different jobs, since we met – 6 just in the last year). Truthfully, that isn’t the worst of it. And, what I’m about to mention next, isn’t even the worst of it. But, what I mention next, should have been the biggest red flag of them all…

I can’t remember the first time she became violent towards me. I’m sure I had prompted it with some smart-ass comment I said as a retort to something she was angry about – I had a sarcastic tongue that would sting, there’s no doubt about that. I’m not sure if it was because she saw me talking to some woman (who, I assure you, I would have had no interest in at the time, because I was a cop and probably dealing with something required of me), or some other reason that evades me now. But hit me she assuredly did – on many occasions throughout our marriage.

As last night occurred (she punched me repeatedly on the side of my head), I tried to remember when it first occurred. I tried to remember the one time I should have taken that as an answer to get the fuck out. I never did. I never got out. I was a fucking pussy – a fact she reminds me of on a regular basis. I couldn’t stand up for myself back then and any time I’ve tried to stand up for myself, the violent toxicity would come out physically, and after a while, it remained emotional and verbal.

Ugh….emotions are hitting me as I write this, because I can remember the many therapy sessions I have had that I couldn’t fully explain it all, because I always found myself defending what she has said and done to me. And I haven’t even gotten into the constant and never ending accusations of cheating. Something I had not done when the toxicity in our marriage/relationship began. According to therapists, I had PTSD – and not even from my time as a cop – from my marriage.

I’m finding, at this moment as I write this, that I can’t find the words or memories to actually detail the problems. I find myself, wanting to explain that she’s not fully to blame – because it pissed her off that I would take the problems of our marriage to my parents or therapists for advice. And here I am, telling all of you…strangers on the internet, because it terrifies me to face these in real life. It makes me question myself, my manhood, my ability to have been a good parent to my kids, if I was any good at being a husband, and certainly my sexuality. It’s embarrassing, because as a cop I had given advice to women who were victims of domestic violence to get out and I couldn’t get out. It was embarrassing briefly sitting on a board of directors for a women’s shelter that helped victims of domestic violence, and I quit because I was embarrassed of going through it myself. The emotions as I, yet again, admit it to myself that this relationship is not healthy for either of us…something we should have realized 25 fucking years ago.

I can’t excuse myself from the violence. But, I promise she has never been struck by me. No, my “violence” occurred when she would be in the promise of pummeling me and I would grab her and hold her arms into her body. Or there was a time when she was throwing things at me, and I rushed her and pinned her arms against a wall. Or, because I was so frustrated that I couldn’t hit her back, that I would put my fist through a wall… No, I’m not innocent of childish behavior and I guarantee it added to the chaos. Chaos that was not healthy for either of us, let alone our children – who, thankfully, are all adults now.

These are some major fucking red flags and as I approach 50 years old and can’t possibly see enjoying life as this relationship continues, I know I need to get out, I know this isn’t good. This story isn’t finished being told. It’s ugly. Fucking so ugly, but I can’t do it all in one sitting. Today, I need to relax and calm myself. There are answers, and some of them I have tried, some of them seemed to work, some of them didn’t. My current situations has calmed.

It’s calm, but I have to figure out how to do it…

…financially and peacefully, I have to figure out hoe to get out.

24 thoughts on “S.A.R.D. #31 – Red Flags?

  1. She won’t be easy. There are some legal tactics that can be used which will keep her occupied long enough to get safe and get what you need in the process.
    First, when you’re ready (and not a moment before), get the hell out of there and away from the toxicity. It will not be easy, you will feel regret, remorse. You will feel guilt and shame. You will feel all of it. She will make promises, you will want to believe. You have to be ready to stand strong in the face of that, so until you’re ready, there’s no point. You’ll go back.
    Second, hire an attorney. I do not know where you are from, but i am in America (I don’t know why, but there was something about the way you wrote this that makes me think the same of you, but I could be very wrong). I can give you the good tactics using out system, you will need to find a lawyer who can understand and create a plan similar within the rules of your location. This lawyer has to understand what you want and follow what you want while knowing what else is available so you can make informed decisions. A “nice” lawyer will only get you clobbered more.

    She was always accusing you of cheating if you get a female lawyer, she may end up showing the judge her true colors without you saying a word. Your children are grown, so this will not really change the outcome of anything, but it will make it more likely that the Court require her to cease and desist all communications without you having to file a TRO and then return for an FRO. Sorry, temporary restraining order and final restraining order. Some states also refer to it as a protective order.

    I’m your initial pleadings ask for everything. You do not have to bad mouth her, just argue that although it may have been accumulated during the course of the marriage you maintained all the bills on it. She will lose her mind, her attorney will be ready to go to war. On the advice of your attorney and how it’s shaping up, they will know when to approach opposing counsel to offer something along the lines of equitable distribution. The other attorney will acknowledge this will save a lot of hassle and will bring the suggestion to her. She will either take it to avoid the fight or she will escalate it. If she takes it, the attorneys draft the final order, you both sign and submit and you will be divorced shortly. If she chooses to fight it, she will drive herself insane because the courts tend to aim for equitable distribution.

    In the end, all that truly matters is that you will be free. There is no shame or guilt in having survived what you’ve survived, there’s no shame or guilt in waiting until you’re ready. There’s certainly none in being free.

    You’re a cop. You meet a woman who has endured 25 years of what you have endured. Yes, you suggest in hushed tones that she leave, so he doesn’t hear, but so you honestly believe she should feel shame or guilt for how he turned out? The answer is no. Be as kind to yourself as you are to these other people. The fact that you are a cop does not change anything or increase the reasons you should be shamed or guilted in your mind. Actually, they are the very reasons you should be proud. Because of you, many people have gotten away from these situations. Because of you, you have made it this far ans your kids have grown up. Because of you, she has not been thrown through a wall. Because of you, everyone around you is safe. Now it’s your turn.

    When you are ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your advice. I’m no longer a cop…I left law enforcement in 2002, for a number of reasons, but my marriage was certainly one.

      I hear you about an attorney….I’m feeling somewhat stuck on that and was considering filing on my own. I am so tired of fighting that fighting more just seems tedious. But, I’m broke…flat broke and I can pay a retainer. So, I’m open to other options.

      And I am in the USA – Colorado.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Filing for yourself seems like a good idea, but it makes it so much more complicated. If she retains an attorney they will muddy the waters of your filing and you won’t be able to keep up. You will need the attorney anyway and be paying more for him/her to try to catch up.

        Honestly, filing on your own only works if it is truly going to be uncontested. She will contest everything.

        If you are actively still living with her, filing anything at this point will be a major problem. She will have to be served and you’re right there when she is. That will be an epic battle that you want NO parts of. I can promise you that.

        So let’s assume that you want to speak to an attorney first, before you make any moves including leaving. That is fine, and completely understandable. Go online. Do the following:

        1) look up your county Ombudsman. This is someone who will never refer you to a specific attorney but can guide you to what resources you will need.
        2) go to your county Bar association. They have attorneys that can assist you and will send your information to multiple attorneys to reach out to you. There is usually a small consultation fee going this route – usually less than $50.
        3) look up referral systems in your state – you can put your name and information in and it sends it to a slew of other attorneys who will contact you.
        4) google your county (or the county that you both most recently lived together), and call attorneys directly. Ask for free consultation.

        These four steps together will give you a pretty good idea of what you’re looking at, and what different attorneys would do in your specific situation. You want someone tough, but you do not want someone who will make it all a lot uglier than it already is. You can get a feel for them when talking to them for the consultations. After speaking to multiple attorneys via these avenues (this should not be rushed if there’s no clear and present danger – if there is, call the police!) this can take about a month to speak to everyone so you have an idea what you want to do. Make sure you’ve been keeping notes, in your head, on your phone, in private posts on WP so she can’t find them). That way, you can look them over and decide what course of action YOU want to take. Does one attorney fit the bill? Do multiple? If none of them do, that’s fine, you’ve met them all. Which one feels right and will do exactly as you ask unless it’s truly not in your best interest? You can narrow the list at this point usually down to 5.

        That’s when the harder part comes in. During your initial consultation, you should have already inquired as to the retainer associated with your case. Price them out. The cheaper attorney is not always the worst, the most expensive is not always the best. Which ones FIT? In the initial interviews, take no one off your list because of cost. That’s just information for you to be able to consider later. This part is the later.

        Which attorney FITS what you are looking for? Which one doesn’t make you want to crawl out of your skin? Which one do you TRUST to have your best interests? Now, do they offer payment plans? What is the payment plan schedule? Will they work with you on it? I’d you have to reach out via email to get these answers, do it.

        This is the point where all of the evidence you collected matters, and if you have to requestion someone, don’t hesitate.

        You will narrow it down significantly. Some
        People end up with 2 or 3 options, some found the one attorney they want and need.

        Take your time with this. If you rush, you go crazy later. And put aside money now. Get a prepaid card from somewhere, Walmart sells them. Put 5 or 10 $ in every pay. You can do that. At the end of the week, add pocket change to it. If you think about it, assume the ball doesn’t get rolling until about 3 months from now because you’ve taken the time you need to make all of the decisions that are right for you. This gives you a chance to start creating the funds that will eventually help
        Pay the attorney. It will be rough, but it can be done.

        If you have any questions, please ask. I do not live in Colorado, and laws do vary slightly by state, but I work at two law firms that specialize in family law (that’s what this is). I can get pretty good general answers if I don’t already know them myself.

        You are strong enough to do this, if this is what you truly want to do

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Seriously, I’m here if you need me. I work in the field and understand that not everything is always sunshine and rainbows. If I have an answer I will gladly share. Please stay safe.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is exactly what to do. One step at a time. Keep notes. If you start feeling unsure, reach out. No harm in that.

        I read on your site that you drive to make ends meet. It’s a good a time as any to pick up the prepaid card too. Some steps should be ran together – prepaid card and saving the whole time you’re doing the rest of it. You really can do this. Just keep it slow and steady.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, you need to get out and no matter the price you will have to pay. I know with my first wife, man, there were red flags all over the place and like you, I didn’t as much ignore them but thought them to be stuff I could deal with and remove any prior hurts and pains so we could be happy together… and years later, I saw the folly of that thinking, like that getting jobs and quitting them over and over and for reasons that made no real sense. She never got violent but she did throw something at me one time because she was pissed about something that I had nothing to do with and I told her then that was the last time she was going to do that. I’ve never hit her and I never had to restrain her but, yeah – red flags all over the place and I was stuck with them until I just couldn’t deal with her and her issues any longer… so I got out. It was worth the price I had to pay; the relationship had gotten to be too toxic for me to deal with and after putting up with it for as long as I did and I know that if things had gotten violent, our marriage would have ended way sooner than it actually did.

    I don’t particularly care who screwed up something and while I can see arguing about it, the moment punches get thrown, it’s game over. I’m out and more so when I know that if I retaliated – even to protect myself, I’m going to be the bad guy and explaining it to a judge who will also put all the blame on me. Nah… fuck that. Better to pay the price to get out and get the fuck out. Yeah, I’ve put my fist through a few walls, too, but I’d rather walk away… because punching walls hurts – and you know that I know how to punch things.

    When violence enters the relationship, it’s time to go and no matter what it’s gonna cost to get the fuck out before you wind up sitting in a jail cell. If she’s hitting on you, that’s domestic abuse but I can understand why you haven’t had her arrested… and maybe you should because it might lead to her getting the help she needs to deal with her issues that have raised all those red flags…

    I would. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do it methodically. Get a plan in place before you execute it. I am sorry this is happening, but at least you’re able to see that this isn’t a situation that is healthy for you. That being said, I suggest you get some professional help so that you can make it through this journey as best you can. Also a good lawyer to help you as you begin to take steps so that you do it right. I didn’t have physical abuse in my now defunct marriage so I can’t imagine what that must be like, but as you wrote it, I can see how hard it must be for you. Would you be willing to call the authorities the next time there’s domestic abuse to put it on record? Or do you fear she would twist it to make it you and not her under the circumstances? This isn’t an easy journey for you, but I wish you all the best. We are here listening for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s threatened to call the cops this morning when I wanted to leave the house with a car that’s technically in her name. I asked for the keys to our other car and she refused. It’s complete chaos right now. I’m away from home now, but it’s chaos.

      Everyone is advising I hire a lawyer, but I have absolutely no financial resources, I can’t even pay my bills as they are…I’m so stuck

      Like

      1. It certainly feels chaotic from what you’ve written. Do you have a car that is in your name? That is the one I would drive if possible. I would document bruises etc. (if you have them) and maybe stop into the station to file a complaint if that’s possible. It certainly sounds as if this is an escalating situation that could get out of control quickly so be careful.

        Do you have a friend in whom you can confide? Or family? Or co-workers? That would help.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for finally speaking out. I’ve been there and it’s tough. You do know you have to leave to save yourself. It’s no longer about her feelings, it’s about your physical safety and emotional and spiritual wellbeing. As a survivor you WILL find a way. After all, material items can always be replaced. You’ve just joined the “ME TOO” movement. Keep speaking up and own your voice. It’ll only serve to make you stronger my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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