Editor’s note: A Lovefraud reader, who uses the name Samantha, has sent the following letter. She’s looking for suggestions and feedback.
I was married for 12 years to a sociopath who was a minister and had 3 affairs … it took me that many to finally “get it.” We had 2 children who were 6 and 8 when I finally filed for divorce 4 years ago. It’s been an ugly 4 years. During that time, I have worked as a teacher part-time making $22,000 a year with no benefits. I have been putting myself through school to get licensed in special ed so I can get into the public schools. I am almost there and got a new job this year. It’s not public school and still not any more money, but it’s special ed and will give me the experience I need to get in the public schools next fall … I’m almost there! (At least I get benefits this year … YEA!)
Anyway, I only state that to show my character … showing that I am doing everything I can to try to provide a stable life for my children.
While I’ve been doing that, my ex-husband has been working for himself (along with his wife) out of his $750,000 home and driving his $42,000 Cadillac and $40,000 expedition. They have traveled all over the country with and without the kids and have just spent an enormous amount of money. I started getting a call about 2 months ago from a collection agency looking for my ex saying that he owes $87,000 on a credit card and I’m a supplementary card holder. (I don’t think I’ll be responsible because I have not made any of those charges … meeting with an attorney tomorrow). Well, now he’s filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He got mad at me back in April and told me he wasn’t going to pay child support ever again (wish I had that on tape) … and he hasn’t. He is 13 weeks behind and is also refusing to pay for 1/2 of our son’s braces. So, he owes me ~$6,000. I have been working with the courts, but they do not seem too concerned about this … they just keep warning him.
He is also doing some horrible things with my kids and I am losing control as a parent. He is taking my daughter to counseling and won’t tell me who she’s going to and my daughter won’t tell me either (he has apparently made her too scared to tell me), he has allowed my children to get “facebook” pages and will not allow them to tell me their passwords so I can monitor them, he has pulled my son off his baseball team and placed him on a new one (this has created so much anger in the community and my son will never be welcome on that team again). These are a few of his controlling parenting issues.
Financially, he and his wife both work for her father now. Since he has stopped paying child support, they have gone to Cancun, FL (twice), New York, 2 concerts, and have spent money on other unnecessary items.
He is accusing me of being an unfit mother and telling me that if I don’t let him have 50/50 time, then he will take me to court to fight for full custody. I told him to take me … I have a thick binder full of emails, pictures, and facebook comments that help prove his character, and financial irresponsibility … not to mention alcohol … they drink like fish when my kids are around and when they aren’t. A little side note, when they were in Mexico, my 12 year old son was served alcohol and drank it because no one was around to supervise him (his 17 year old step brother who didn’t care).
I have been fighting for my children for the past 4 years and I am getting tired (his hope of course). I hate living in this town hate being near him and having to deal with him. It is ruining my relationship with my boyfriend, and I’m pretty much miserable. I don’t have any respect for our legal system because they don’t understand sociopaths and my lawyer tells me that she’ll never be able to get me and my children what we deserve. I am so tempted to just pick up and move 1/2 way across the country to be near my dad. I know that would be doing a disservice to my children, but I don’t know if I can live like this for 8 more years (until they are in college). If I were to move, the courts would decide which parent gets the children. Since he’s here, it would probably be him.
I guess I’m looking for support … any advice … any tips … anything. I am tired!