I always knew life could be unfair. And I always understood that sometimes bad things happen to good people. But at the same time, I truly believed in my heart that if you put God first, tried your best to be a good person, and worked hard that things would generally be ok. Be strong and persevere through the tough times because they too will eventually pass. I was wrong….
Or at least that’s what it’s starting to look like. This is my last ditch effort that I’m making to hopefully prevent what’s about to happen from happening. Because if it happens, my life is over. I will have no reason to live. And no… I’m not suggesting I would ever harm myself. But I would basically just be waiting to die. I will never again experience joy or love or peace of mind. And it’s not fair. It’s not right. Someone please help me.
If there were any kind of alternative to what I’m doing here, I would try it. But I’ve already tried everything. Sometimes I can’t even believe this is real. This is like the stuff you see in movies. I guess reality can be stranger than fiction. Because this is real. It’s happening to me. To us. And I don’t know how to stop it.
I have 3 beautiful daughters. 14, 10 and 3. I met my oldest when she was 3. She was my wife’s child from a prior relationship. The bio dad wasn’t around, and I eventually adopted her. She quickly became my child. As for the other two, I raised them both since they were born. And when I say I raised them, I mean it more than most fathers could probably identify with. Because I was a stay-at-home dad.
My wife and I got together in 2011. We both worked but she always had a much better job than I did. In 2012, after our first was born, because of the drastic difference in our wages, it made more sense for her to return to work following her maternity leave. We had discussed several options. Neither of us were comfortable sending our infant to daycare. No judgement on anyone else’s choice to do this. It’s just something we weren’t comfortable with.
When they get a little older, we liked the idea because it starts to socialize kids for kindergarten but even then, it was only part-time. The cost of daycare isn’t cheap. Plus, my wife worked 50+ hours per week, and she enjoyed being able to come home and have the house cleaned, the laundry done, the beds made, the kids fed, the diapers changed, etc. Anyone who has ever held the position of homemaker knows it’s a full-time job. And I did it very well.
There were times that I questioned our decision about this. But my wife used to tell me that I was worth more to her at home then working some minimum wage job. I didn’t have any kind of career or profession like she did. I thought I was doing the right thing for my family.
But I also knew that the kids would grow up eventually. And the need for a full-time caretaker would become less and less as they got older. So during these years that I was the “house-husband,” I put myself through college. I was technically a full-time student but because I could take many of the courses from home online, I was able to juggle both things.
So the years went on. My wife continued to get raises and be even more successful at her job. And I did my thing at home. The two older girls turned out to be the most well-rounded, intelligent, talented, and beautiful children you could ever meet. I expect the same for our 3-year-old in the future. I’m not perfect by any means. But I knew I was a good dad. I could tell by the results.
We ended up buying a home. And even though we were living off of one income, we all lived pretty comfortably. My original plan was to go back to work once the two older girls got old enough to be on their own a little bit more. But right after I graduated from college, my wife expressed to me that she wanted another baby. Our youngest was born in 2019.
So even though this was quite a change of plans for me, here I was with yet another infant. I don’t regret anything having to do with my kids. The time I spent home with them was some of the greatest most fulfilling years of my entire life. I loved my kids, and they loved me. And even though I wanted to utilize my degree, when my wife decided she wanted another child, I was happy to oblige her. It’s not like we needed the money. We were doing pretty good. So why not make her happy?
We had a good marriage for a lot of years. My wife was a little controlling in some regards but hey, when you truly love someone unconditionally, you take them for what they are – both good and bad qualities. She insisted on controlling all of our finances. She paid the bills. Everything was in her name (except our house). And maybe I was being naive, but I didn’t ask questions. I mean I trusted her. She was the one earning the money so I figured it was her right to maintain that facet of our marriage.
After many good years together, in 2020, things started to fall apart. The painful details are not important. But I discovered she was being unfaithful. There was even a question as to whether our youngest was biologically mine or the product of one of her affairs. And unfortunately, it wasn’t a matter of her transgressing, getting caught, being sorrowful, and maybe us attending some counseling to keep the family together. That’s not what she wanted. She wanted to continue to do what she was doing. And she wanted me out.
But I was the stay at home parent, remember? She controlled everything. I had no money, nowhere to go, no resources, nothing. And she had no plans on helping me get on my feet or get into an apartment or something. She just expected me to leave empty-handed. After building a family and a life with her for almost 10 years, she just expected me to leave having nothing to show for it.
I refused to leave. I didn’t want to leave my girls. It’s not like I was the dad getting home at 5:00 p.m., spending a few hours with the kids, and maybe doing something on the weekends. I was with these girls morning noon and night, since they were all very small. I had such a close attachment to all of them. I suggested cohabitating under one roof, co-parenting peacefully, but no longer being together as man and wife.
That may sound crazy to some, but I didn’t want to leave and be the “every other weekend visitation” dad. That’s not who I was. I wanted to wake up in the same house as my children. And I was willing to put up with all her extramarital, extracurricular activities just to be able to do that. We tried but it didn’t last very long.
I had no desire to be with anyone else. In fact, to this very day, I still have not been with another woman intimately. My faithfulness and my honesty never really seemed to matter to my soon to be ex-wife though. It was December of 2020, not long before Christmas, when my wife decided she would get rid of me no matter what it took.
We have domestic relations laws in this country for a reason. For a lot of years, abusive husbands got away with way more than they should have because of how the laws used to be. The way they are set up now allows someone who has been beaten, or someone who is afraid for their life, to quickly go obtain a restraining order without any questions asked, and without any proof being required. The new laws were written specifically to be this way because someone who is truly trying to get out of an abusive relationship shouldn’t be hampered by the usual rules of evidence, or by a slow moving judicial system. The way the domestic laws are set up now, I’m sure it has saved many lives. The downside of the whole thing is that it leaves a person who wants to misuse the system plenty of room to do so.
I never hit or threatened my wife. And she had absolutely nothing indicating I did. She didn’t have bruises or any type of injuries. All she had was one hell of a story to tell our local family court system. Needless to say, her lies were believed, and the next thing I know state police showed up at my house and gave me about 10 minutes to gather everything that belonged to me, and put me out in the cold.
And the worst part about all of it is that temporary custody of my children was awarded to my wife, meaning if she did not want me to see my kids anymore, unless I wanted to go to jail, I could not. All I had known for 10 years was my wife and my home and my family. And now all of it was ripped away from me. I never understood what having the rug pulled out from underneath you meant. But I do now.
I’m so glad that I was able to graduate with a bachelor’s degree prior to this taking place. Don’t get me wrong, I am still struggling, because I had to start over with absolutely nothing. I work full-time as a social worker. The pay isn’t great and I barely survive. But I do survive. I live in a pretty run-down apartment, but it’s really all I can afford right now. And it wasn’t long before I started receiving divorce paperwork.
My wife has money for an expensive attorney. I cannot afford one. I tried getting help from several legal aid agencies, and all of them have a waiting list a mile long. I’m forced to represent myself and I’m not doing so well thus far She has gone into these divorce hearings and completely lied about almost everything. She claims that her wages are much much lower than they actually are. And I know this to be true because we were together for so many years. I know what her income is. I’ve seen our federal tax return statements. But again, her lies are believed because they are coming out of the mouth of a paid attorney, and this resulted in in order for child support that is crippling me.
Believe me, I’m not bitching about having to pay child support. Of course I want to contribute to my children’s financial needs. But it has resulted in a situation where I will not be able to save for an attorney, she will continue to lie, she will continue to utilize the money and resources she lies about having, and I will never see my children again.!
She lies about her own situation, and she lies about my part in all of this. I have not seen my children in over 2 years. She has moved on to a new boyfriend. She wants to start a happy little family with him and she wants me to be a distant memory that she can soon forget. I have tried several times, asking the courts to allow me to see my children. Because of her dishonesty, and my inability to retain an attorney, I have not been successful.
If I had a lawyer, or if I knew what I was doing, I’m sure I would be entitled to a lot more than she wants to give me in the divorce. We own the house together, but by the looks of things, I’m not going to end up with anything. And I know, I know, people get screwed in divorces all the time. That’s not my issue.
She can have the house. I don’t want a thing from her. But she is asking for sole custody of the children. Between the restraining order she has, and that, I will never be able to see my kids again. And this is all based on lies that she told. I was a damn good father. I don’t deserve this. And I have learned what a narcissist truly is and what they are capable of.
Please be clear about something. Her goal is to completely take my children away from me. If I don’t retain some kind of representation, she will be successful. I don’t care about anything material that we accumulated while we were married. She can have all of it. I just want to see my children.
And I am running out of time. I am already working and earning as much money as I possibly can, but the more I make, the more they will take in child support. Child support for children I’m not even allowed to see. None of this is fair and none of this is right. I don’t deserve this. I’m not an unfit parent. There have never been any protective agency investigations on me or anything of that nature.
Her job in our small community gives her a lot of power and a lot of influence, not to mention the fact that her family is also a very important family in this area with a lot of money. I’m not even sure exactly how much I would need. I know lawyers are expensive. But whatever anyone can find in their heart to help me with I would appreciate. God bless all of you.