Revelation One

Let me preface all this by saying that at no time will I reveal my ex-wife’s name.  I must state that because I don’t want to hear her accuse me of publicly embarrassing her.  Not so.  She’s doing a fine job of that herself.  Names have been left out to protect the inno-.  Well, names have been left out.  I won’t go into the reasons for our divorce because that’s not relevant to the story, but I’ll gladly answer any questions about it if someone were curious enough to ask.  Also, if you’re my kid, I prefer you don’t read this, but you – unfortunately – already know this story.  There’s no need to relive it.  Let me add to the preface by stating that sometimes you can see the IP address (a unique code to each computer) of each blog visitor, and sometimes those IP addresses also show the location (city, state) in which the computer is located.

Before I launch into this – thing, I should also state that I asked at least one intelligent friend to pre-read the post in case there was a reason I shouldn’t post it.  She gave me great advice about how she evaluates posts before publishing them, advice that I’m too dumb to have known without her help, so now there’s two ways she’s ahead of me.  She’s smarter than me, and she looks far better than I do in a schoolgirl outfit.  One of those is a joke, but I’m not saying which.  Or maybe neither.  So why publish it?  Maybe there’s another guy out there who is facing a situation of separation or divorce.  And if that’s so, I hope he asks me about my divorce experience so I can make some worthy suggestions about what to do or not to do.

I recently learned a very strange thing:  my ex-wife stalks my blog.  I kind of suspected for years she was stalking me, like when she tried to stop me from seeing my kids after reading a post in which I said that I hated Christmas because it was so depressing to not seeing my kids that day.  Interesting.  She prevents me from seeing my kids on Christmas – it depresses me – so she tries to stop me from seeing my kids completely.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today.  Tonight.  At the moment.  I’m writing about the incredible irony contained in the fact that my ex-wife stalks my blog while having a court order aimed at stopping me from stalking her.  I – me – one of the friendliest, most helpful, typical Libra, very liberal, tree hugging, uber sweet (as women often refer to me) lovable, wonderful me – I have a court-issued restraining order against me.

Oh, it’s going to be a fun day over in the “House of Genius” when she stalks this post.  That’s been my name for her over all these years:  Genius.  I call her husband Boy Genius.  When she reads this, things will be thrown in that house.  No, wait, that’s a regular day.  Curses will be shouted.  Eh, still regular.  She’ll be so upset she won’t be able to make dinner.  Oh, never mind.

I hear stories about ex-husbands and wives who get along better than ever following their divorce, and I’m jealous of that.  I knew the woman for about half of my life, and her family was very nice to me most of the time.  After you read this story, you’ll understand why we can never get along in a friendly way.  I don’t believe that what she does in this story was of her own creation.  I believe someone gave her this plan of attack, and I do mean “attack.”  I could accept if she were to apologize, but she has not and will not.  I could accept if she were to say, “I didn’t realize the full effect of what I had done to you,” then I would say, “Okay, thanks.  Now let’s be normal again.”  But to this day she denies everything that I’m about to tell.

Okay, gather ‘round kiddies because Uncle Jack is going to tell you a story.  I referred to myself as “Jack” because when we were in court last year, my attorney asked her attorney why she has such vicious hatred for me, and her attorney said, “Are you kidding?  She thinks he’s worse than Jack the Ripper.”  I’ll swear on any deity you’ve got that this is exactly how it all happened about 12 years ago…

My ex and I had verbally agreed to splitting up around November of ’99.  Maybe it was 2000.  Not sure.  Regardless, she wanted me to move out of our 4-bedroom Victorian house that she really wanted and got.  But the house was so expensive that I was working two jobs, combined with her zero jobs.  When we agreed to split, she assumed that I would be moving out immediately.  Not so.  I told her many times that there was no way I could afford to keep paying for that house and also live on my own somewhere, and that meant she was stuck with me in the same house for a while.  It was a horrible time for me, seeing my kids every day but knowing that soon I would not see them every day, but that’s how it works in New Jersey.  The wives get whatever they want, and the men get to bend over and take it, but I haven’t really begun to tell you just how far I had to take it.

So, for months she’s asking me to leave, and for months I’m telling her that I really want to leave but can’t afford it.  I didn’t like it either, but there was nothing I could do about it.  Stress the “I could do about it.”  We worked it about as best we could for two people who hated each other but were living together.  I’d go to work and return home at about 6 or 7pm.  When I arrived, she’d leave the house immediately and head to her boyfriend’s house where she’d stay until morning.  I’d feed the kids, give them baths, and put them to bed.  In the morning, when I’d leave for work at about 7:30, she’d arrive home to take care of the kids until I got home again at about 6 or 7pm, and over and over.

One particular afternoon when I got home from work, she didn’t leave.  It was a surprise for both of us to spend time with the kids and even have dinner together.  I don’t think the kids knew anything about the pending divorce at this point, probably not, since they were about 5 and 1 at the time.  By about 9pm, the older child was in bed and I was in the process of bathing the 1-year-old and getting her ready for bed.  I specifically remember standing near her changing table, drying her and getting her diaper and pajamas ready when I felt something odd:  A punch.  I turned to see my ex-wife ready to punch me again.

“Are you nuts?” I asked.  “I’m putting pajamas on a baby, and you’re punching me?  Really?”

“Get out,” she said.  “I want you to move out.”

“And I very much want to move out,” I said, “but I can’t afford to pay for this big-ass house you wanted and also rent an apartment.  Maybe if you went back to work, that would have helped.”

I was then holding the baby, about to put her in her crib when I got punched again.  Yes, she punched me while I was holding the baby.  Amazing.  I put the child into the crib as quickly as possible to avoid her getting hurt by accident and left the room as the ex followed me down to the kitchen.

1 like to bake, and there was always a cake or cupcakes or something around the house.  I sat down at the kitchen table with a piece of chocolate cake and a glass of milk.  She angrily followed me despite my request she go to her boyfriend’s house as she usually did.  Again, she demanded that I leave, and again, I explained why I was not leaving.  I’ve mentioned her boyfriend a couple of times, but I’m not trying to suggest that the reason for our divorce was that she was cheating on me.  She wasn’t.  In fact, I recall the exact moment she got her “boyfriend.”  Right after I told her that we were done, we would have to split up, she called a friend from college and told her what was happening.  The friend then gave her a name and number of a guy she knew who lived in our area.  I watched as she wrote the guy’s name and number down.  Two years later they were married.  Regardless of how strongly her therapy group told her to NOT get in a relationship, she immediately launched one.  She’s always been the type who will do exactly what you tell her not to do – not because she wants to do that but because she wants to prove that she can do what other people believe should not be done.

Okay, back to the cake.  I’m at the kitchen table with cake and milk.  First, she pushed the table into my chest, pushing me against the wall.  Then she picked up the plate and threw the cake at me.  Then she finished that off by picking up the glass of milk and drenching me, all while insisting that I “Get out!”

I stood and wanted to leave the kitchen, but she was blocking the doorway.  I asked her nicely to move so I could change my clothes, but she wouldn’t.  I asked her a little more loudly to move, but still no.  Here’s where things changed.  I walked towards her, put my hands on her shoulders, and pushed her backwards so I could leave the kitchen.  She stumbled a few steps backwards, dramatically threw herself to the floor, stood up, and sprinted out of the house.  Curious, I followed to the window and saw her leap into her boyfriend’s car and drive away.  I thought it was odd that her boyfriend was waiting outside all of this time, but I shrugged it off and then changed my clothes from the cake and milk.

The next morning she did not appear as usual as I was ready to leave for work.  I think her sister showed up instead, which wasn’t unusual because the sister lived a short walk away.  When I came home from work that day at about 7, I was surprised that neither she nor the kids were in the house as was the usual.  I assumed perhaps she was with the kids at her sister’s house, wasn’t sure, but wasn’t concerned either.  I got changed and was about to get something to eat when I heard a knock at the door and saw two policemen.

They asked me to identify myself and informed me that my wife had filed an assault complaint.  It seems that in New Jersey, if a woman says a man has assaulted you, there needs to be some kind of evidence.  However, if that woman and man are married, and the woman claims to have been hit, there is no need for evidence.  That man is guilty until proven innocent.  It’s the result of years of judges and cops telling women that “unless you have proof that he hit you or threatened you, there’s nothing we can do.”  Unfortunately, there were many times when it was true but without evidence.  And, there were many times when eventually those men seriously hurt, even killed some of those women.  The result is the reversal of “innocent until proven guilty, when the two parties are married.”

“You have 30 minutes to get everything you need and get out,” one said.

“I’ve been in this house before,” said the other.  “Didn’t your wife go into labor here?  You called 911?”

“Yeah, that was us,” I said.

“I remember that,” said the pudgy officer.

“Why do I have to get out?”

“Because your wife says you hit her,” said the thinner one.

“No I didn’t.”

“I know, sir.  Maybe you didn’t, but that’s the law.”

“Guilty until proven innocent?”

“Yes, Sir.  Let’s go.  Thirty minutes.”

I was in turmoil.  It was my first time having the police escort me out of my own house, so I wasn’t sure what to get.  I first went for clothes for work, then a few other things like toothbrush and those things.  I wasn’t sure if I were ever going to be able to return and get other personal items, pictures, things like that, so I just rushed around in a flurry, also not even sure of where I was going.  I can’t remember, but I’m sure I ended up at a nearby motel that night.

Up to that point in our divorce/separation, I didn’t have an attorney, but I found one immediately.  Unfortunately, she was an idiot.  My ex had what is called a TRO, Temporary Restraining Order.  That can either go away after a hearing or it can become permanent.  My idiot attorney suggested that I allow it to become permanent.  When I asked why, she said, “You’re a good guy, normal guy.  You’re not going to stalk her or do anything stupid, right?  So if you do nothing wrong, it’s no big deal, and it will make her feel comfortable.  And if she feels comfortable, then she’ll be more nice when we negotiate later on in the divorce.”  One of several stipulations of a restraining order is you’re not allowed to own a gun.  I never have before, and I knew i never would anyway, so at that point I was still too ignorant to know better.

Once you agree to a restraining order, it will never go away unless the female approves.  I could show 30 years of perfect behavior and sweetness, doesn’t matter.  There were times when I was very poor and qualified for free legal advice and representation.  When I showed up and they saw my full situation, including the restraining order, they told me they couldn’t help because the state-funded group that provided the funding had one condition – they don’t help guys with restraining orders.

So I found an apartment in which I was sleeping on the floor and had no furniture.  I had an ironing board before I had a chair.  Part of the restraining order allowed me to spend time with the kids at the house instead of the sad, barren apartment.  One night when I was there, I noticed that she hadn’t put the lids on the garbage cans, and they were full of rain water and floating trash.  I left her a note that suggested keeping the lids on the trash cans.  Even something that simple was a grave mistake.

A few nights later I’m standing in my sorry apartment, ironing pants for work, and there’s a knock at the door.  Another police officer.  He asked me to identify myself and tells me that he has to take me to the police station.

“What did I do?” I asked.

“Your wife has a restraining order against you, right?”


“And it says no written communication, right?”

“Officer, I left her a note about the garbage cans.”

“Written communication.”

“Well, yeah, but.”

“Hey, I know how you feel.  I’ve been there too,” he said.  “Relax.  I’ll drive you to the station, finger print you, take your picture, and you’ll be back in about a half hour.  Not a bid deal.”

Not a big deal?  Yeah, it is a big deal.  To twice have the police knock on your door?  It’s a big deal.  To be asked to leave your own home?  It’s a big deal.  Photographed and fingerprinted?  Big deal.  And when your ex tells your kids – and then you have to explain how their mother had you arrested twice?  I can’t think of a bigger deal.  And 12 years later, I’m still paying for it in more ways than one.  So far the only positive was the officer agreed to put on the flashing lights while a Van Halen song was playing.  I’m pretty sure the song was “Running with the Devil.”

Yeah, that’s me.  Devil.  Stand back everyone.  I’m on the loose.  Oh, the danger.

79 thoughts on “Revelation One

  1. I’m sorry but women who don’t understand the critical role of a father in a child’s life and actually make an effort to keep them separated for selfish reasons are foolish. I would go into a tirade but I’m being respectful. I understood what happened with my parents when I got older and my Dad always visited when he could. There was never any doubt that he loved me. I got to know my mother’s personality well. Hugs to you, Jayne

  2. I hope you’re calling this ‘revelation one’ because you plan to tell the whole story. This part is very hard to understand. There has to be some reason she hates you. Even if she’s equally at fault… even if she’s used you and misused you. Maybe you were playing on her weaknesses. Maybe you disappointed her in some big way. Something really big is missing from this story. And if you’ve started telling it, I think it could be a great story. But for that, it has to be told in a way that can be understood.

      • I think it happens all the time, when people can’t separate the breakdown of their own relationship and the ability and importance of parenting together. My mother is still obsessive about my father, 25 years since they split up. If you let bitterness consume you, you’ll pay for it and she’s the one who lost touch with her adult children in return. If you can’t move on by yourself, get some help before it eats you up. I’d advise your ex to read some articles on the results of parental alienation and consider if she needs to change her behaviour.

        The restraining order is horrible. Does it impact on any other parts of life (akin to a criminal conviction)? Certainly not nice and it clearly achieved her desired result…so why hasn’t she just moved on?

        Hope venting this has been a relief of some sort.

      • the venting is not so much relief for me as it is a warning to other guys who might be heading down a similar road. as for the obsessiveness, oh yeah, she’s got that. any time i have had another girlfriend, the ex at first gets friendly with them. then she’d say things like “how is MY richie doing?” then, once she realizes how much the kids like the girlfriend, she begins the attack on the girlfriend.

      • If I’m still remotely interested in who my ex is dating, or in telling the same sad stories as at the fall of my marriage, in 12 years time (actually, make that 12 months time…), can you please see if the gun owning is allowed again and put me out of my misery? 😉

  3. My ex-husband and I separated in the same house for over a year. For similar reasons. But we didn’t hate each other which helped. I’m sorry this was so very hard for you. 😦 Sometimes relationships can’t last but… when you’ve shared so much history it’s sad to lose the good memories with the bad.

  4. I completely understand your need to speak out and tell your story. I have a story that I wish I could speak out about, but I can’t, for now. If everything you say is true (and when I say “if”, it’s not because I’m doubting you, but it’s just that I have to say “if” when I don’t know you, other than from what you talk about on your blog, and I definitely don’t know your ex), then it must be awful to know that she’s painting this picture of you as an abuser, and that others might be believing her. It also makes me angry when bad legal advice can really f*** someone’s life up for ever. Lawyers should be made more accountable for these things.

  5. What a horrible, ghastly and unfair experience… sadly, very sadly you’re not alone; my best friend and a dear cousin went through similar things with their ex-wives, fortunately for both of them their ex’s lefty the family home. However, eighteen years on, my friend is still harassed by his ex… luckily he now has a warrior queen by his side!
    So sorry you’re still living with this situation

  6. What a disgusting woman. The punching you while with baby thing infuriates me.

    We have a law here that says if a woman calls the cops saying her husband hit her the police press charges automatically. They find out the full story later. How do I know? I called the cops. Here I have to say that my ex and I have a wonderful relationship. Now. Because I called the cops.

    Our relationship ended because of my health. That sounds harsh but it’s true. We were both young, neither of us had any experience with dealing with the issues I was dealing with then. (which are mild compared to now) And he was frustrated, both with the fact that he couldn’t fix me and the fact that I couldn’t be the wife he grew up believing he should have. My ex is intrinsically unadaptable.

    So the angrier we got, the louder we got and eventually the more violent we got. We hit each other, pushed and shoved. I moved out because one day I realized the effect this was having on our children. A couple of months later we were in MY kitchen arguing. He slammed me into the wall. A friend of mine talked me into calling the cops.

    The ex got into a program they have for men who are “first time offenders” and “mild offenders.” He got court mandated counseling . And now, 7 years later, his record is clean. Completely wiped.

    We’re both better people. My health has declined and will continue to do so. He still can’t deal with it all. We see each other every day, we are better friends than we ever would have been spouses. We share custody. Our relationship is unusual that way for sure. Especially since we spent years fighting like that before I left.

    It baffles me that people act the way your ex does. It boggles my mind that people are so cruel, stupid and vindictive. (Maybe I shouldn’t say ‘stupid’ but I do tend to call it as I see it) I am sorry you had to go through all this Rich, that you still have to deal with all this. I can only hope that your children are better people than their mother.

    I’m sure that with your influence, they are.

      • Yours is merely a different kind of health situation. You can’t say yours isn’t as bad or worse than mine because we all deal with trauma and stress differently. It was what it was and to me, your situation here is pretty damn lousy. *hugs*

  7. Hey I’m really sorry about the way things went down with your wife. No one deserves that. I hope something hasn’t happened to upset you and make you want to post this specifically. If it has I’m always around if you want to talk to some one completely removed about it all. I hope you are ok now. I’m also sorry that Christmas is so hard for you. It is cruel of your wife to try to take your children away from you especially when you clearly love them so much.

      • yeah, I know–I blogged sadly yesterday, so decided to post one about happiness today — we cannot wallow too much because then it becomes too hard to get ourselves back on track–though you sound like you are already making the trek back

  8. I will never understand a mother who cannot put her childrens best interests above their own and as for the new hubby he should tread carefully and bear in mind that if she can treat her childrens father this way he can fall foul of her just as easily

  9. Hi Rich,
    I’m sorry you’ve suffered all this pain and unfairness. I know these wounds heal very slowly or maybe never. I do hope that by writing about it, you can relieve some of the feelings, not all of them, that’s probably never going to be possible, but writing is a great vent and I’ve come to realize it’s one of the reasons I blog. Also hope you are somewhat uplifted by the outpouring of comments from friends who care about you. Hey, the Yankees won a big one last night! It’s the middle of the football season. The new TV season is finally up and running. Biden is going to kick ass tonight. LIfe is good, at least part of it, though the nasty parts will inevitable rise and remind us and try to drag us down. You’re a strong, intelligent and creative person. You have a beach house! You’ve seen Bruce! Put on some Bruce and dance around your new house. Enjoy lunch with your daugther. Rock on, bro. Ron

    • Thanks for all those great thoughts. I’ve dealt with it for the most part, but there are moments when the beast turns its head back just for a glance, then it’s gone.

  10. So sorry to hear of your hard times. It’s so sad that some mothers put their own selfish needs above those of their children and continue to do so long after the point of “moving on” has past. When some people realise how inadequate they are they take it out on others. What you clearly need is a “warrior queen” by your side to fight your corner. Go out there and find her, if she’s not in your life already;

    Your ex sounds like the classic bully-type to me. She makes your life miserable because she knows she can, but wouldn’t dare stand up to another woman.

    Very best wishes. Maria

    • thanks miss. yes, she puts her needs before the kids for sure. when my kid asked to see me half of the day on christmas instead of spending the full day with her mom, her mother slammed on the brakes, proceeded to yell, scream, and curse at the kid, and – according to my daughter – used the word “I” 23 times. so it’s all about her, not the kids.

      • Classic bully-syndrome then – she bullies you and the kids to make herself feel better. I think you should try and find someone to talk to professionally who knows how best to deal with a personality like you ex-wife’s, not a lawyer, but somebody who understands the psychology that’s driving he; only then will you – and your kids – be free of her negative influence over you.

        Once you know how to stop her dead in her tracks in a non-confrontational way, she will no longer have any power to hurt you & the kids and she will back down for good.

        She is cleary so incredibly insecure that she lashes out at the world in general and at you in particular. I also suspect she may be jealous of your creativity – that’s the one I mostly get, when I deal with nasty females who put me down. Creativity is a gift that many people crave and when they see how “easy” it is for someone like you to express themselves in stories etc – they get consumed by envy. One of my flatmates was like that and she’d play silly “power-games” and have tantrums because of it (her ex husband was a playwright and so naturally she’d take out all her frustrations about her failed marriage on me).

      • Yes, envy. You are such a talented writer and can obviously express thoughts and feelings in a way your ex can and could not when you were still together. People who do not know how to resolve conflict with words and in a constructive manner will more likely than not turn to destructive means, hurting others and ultimately themselves in the process. My own personal recipe for the ultimate revenge: be as happy as you can, nothing irritates our enemies more!

      • Enjoy your hard-won freedom and surround yourself with happy, warm and smiling people – they’ll serve as your castle, ramparts, archers, drawbridge and walled fortifications when “trouble” comes knocking at your door.

  11. You already know what I think, but who wouldn’t want to be stalked by you with the amazing compliments you give? I hope this situation will only get better and not worse for you Rich, I really do.

  12. Jesus Christ! I’m really sorry you’ve had to go through this.

    I’m sure you know at this point, but that is something that abusive people always do … abuse and then claim that *they* were the ones that got abused. It’s the mark of weakness and their underlying mental illness. My daughter’s dad beat me to a pulp once and called the police claiming I was the one doing it. Of course when the police showed up they took one look at my black eyes and the baby in my arms, and arrested him. He sort of blew it there.

    I hope one day you no longer have to deal with such nonsense. And that your ex-wife at some point finds her own peace for the sake of your children. Thanks for sharing your story, think you were right to share it.

  13. I am a child of divorce and reading this makes me so very sad. I was extremely fortunate that my parents always got along. I am baffled when parents don’t make all of their decisions based on what is best for the child. It is never in the best interest of the child to be alienated from either parent. I am sorry to hear you have, and still are, going through this.

  14. I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but can just add my bit of support for you into the mix. I think life rewards those who are good, and I can only hope that good comes for you soon 🙂

  15. Divorce in my family is close to de rigueur. My parents married often, and so did my step-parents. I myself have married twice, second took and is holding strong (I was a grown up the second time I said ‘I do’).

    I’ve seen horrid behavior, decent behavior and many levels between from both genders — but the Genius does, pardon the pun, take the cake. In one well-planned, cunningly executed moment she’s saddled you for life. I imagine she believes she’s won.

    I know better. I hope you know better, and I strongly believe your children know better.

  16. The abuse laws in this state are ridiculous. Daniel and I had an incident before that got blown way out of proportion. I’m basically undiagnosed bi-polar. We were in public one day, and I was given some bad news. I kinda freaked out, and he grabbed my shoulders to lightly shake me to ‘snap me out of it.’ He didn’t hurt me or anything.

    Well, someone saw it and called the police. She told them that he punched me in the face five times… so they came and arrested him.

    It was a huge ordeal. They treated me like crap when I told them that I wasn’t punched and didn’t want to press charges. They tried to force me to press charges.

    I understand that they need to look into it, but they still charged him. Those charges were later dropped at the preliminary hearing when I refused to testify against him.

    I mean, I think they’d be able to tell if I was punched in the face once, let alone five times. I didn’t have a mark on me.

    I can only imagine how they’d treat you with her saying you punched her. It’s just so crazy.

    Sorry you had to deal with all this, and sorry you had to deal with the bad legal advice. Ugh, it’s just so frustrating sometimes.

    I, too, have someone that stalks my blog (my ex’s new babymama). It sucks, but I try not to let it affect what I write.

    • wow. that sounds like a horrible situation you were forced to deal with. doesn’t sound like the america i used to know. it’s nice that someone thought they were helping, but i wonder if they realize what actually happened as a result.

      • I think she had some idea; she refused to testify as well. So, I’m hopeful that she realized her mistake, ya know?

      • woulda been nice for her to apologize. i wonder if she had some incidents of her own in her past, and that spurred her to do something that she thought was good.

    • i have had closure for a while, but occasionally it comes up, like when i learned how she stalks my blog and can’t seem to let it go.

  17. No time to read all the comments…me ex actually went thru something similar with his first wife..she had him arrested, thrown out of their home, restraining order, etc after he came home from work one day and she had left with their son. It made for a sad story and for years I thought she was a horrible person.

    Then….he did things to me that seemed to mirror things she had accused him of….and when he finally held a gun to his head during our divorce process (while the kids were home…threatening to blow his brains out) and I saw what a fucking nutcase he was….I started thinking maybe she HADN’T been lying all those years….

    In any event, there are definitely women out there who don’t play fair in divorce and find ways to be hurtful and vicious for whatever reason. It sucks for the kids more than anyone. I’m sorry you went thru this and I hope the evil Genius will figure out whose really getting hurt all these years later and let it GO!!!

  18. Pingback: The Rise and Fall of Me – Part 8 of _? « brainsnorts inc >.<

  19. Pingback: The Rise and Fall of Me – ch. 8/18 | brainsnorts inc >.<

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