Last week I attended court for the 19th time.
It was another Financial hearing. My ex thinks he has got away with everything. The narcissist thinks he has won… but he has not. I have won.
Three years ago my millionaire husband broke my nose. A month after that, I asked him to leave because of emotional and physical abuse. I wasn’t aware of the psychological abuse I had been suffering until I left him.
When I was free of his daily presence it all became very clear, very quickly. This man was and still is a narcissist. His ego dented, he ran for the hills and swore that he would not give me a penny. To this day, that is probably the only true words which have left his thin pursed lips. He has played the long game and spent over £150k on legals. His family have been his enablers, funding his life so that he doesn’t have to work, or if he does, he acts out his “inner victim” and takes on menial jobs in kitchens and bars.
He tells the court and anyone who will listen, that he has suffered and cannot possibly take on a better job role as his life is in pieces. I know that the only shattered part of his false being, is his pride, for the narcissist doesn’t live in the real world, he is Peter Pan like, the boy who never grew up. He only recognises his children’s needs when they are with him. When they are with me, they have had to live destitute “it is your Mother’s fault. She threw me into the street”. They don’t actually exist when they are with me.
I have been to court for endless children’s hearings and have endured the stress of a Final Hearing for finances, only for it to be appealed and to be heading to another final hearing in the middle of this year (2019). There are not many couples who end up in court for the finances when children are involved and it seems that it is only those in toxic relationships who end up in the family court system.
This week at a county court, I pleaded with my barrister, tears rolling down my face, to end all the litigation not only for my sanity but also because I have reached a point where I truly believe in myself again. My children know who their Father is. They know that he left us homeless as the lived through it. He tells them that I am to blame, but they know that he was supposed to the breadwinner and the one with the business. He tries to change their memories to suit him but fortunately they are intelligent children and they told me what he was doing, even before I noticed.
At the end of the day, it was all about money. From the outset of the financial litigation, all I wanted was for him to pay off the fraudulent debt he left me in. The total was £57k. At the first appearance in court, (we didn’t do mediation as I had suffered physical abuse), so at the FDR, I was so desperate to get rid of him, I went right down to £40k. His stance was that he was going to fight me until he had to give me nothing.
We had a first Final Hearing and I was awarded much more than I had ever imagined, but he appealed, which didn’t surprise me. He won his appeal as an incompetent Judge didn’t sum up properly. Move on 12 months from the last Final Hearing and I was in court again. This time for fact finding for the second “Final Hearing”. As I mentioned before it was the long game, but again, it just proved to me and everyone around me that he is the psycho I now know. Fathers just don’t put Mothers through that. However hard you try to shield the children from the constant litigation, they can feel the angst. I have tried to be the best Mother I can be, but legal cases mean sleepless nights working on the case which in turn led to less energy to be the Mum I should have been.
Things have changed since the last Final Hearing 12 months ago and I have grown in confidence. I managed to prise myself away from receiving benefits and am now working again. Some say I should have stayed on benefits to get the best outcome for the second final hearing, but I am not a game-player. I am very much a realist and I am definitely not a liar. I have retrained in various things and work for myself as a virtual assistant. My new-self has led me to finding a wonderful new man too. I hope that my children see me as a role model. They definitely need one after what they have been through. What they didn’t need was a useless figure of a Father and a Mother on benefits. I took the moral high ground for my children.
My decision to end it all was much based on a conversation I had with a male friend a few weeks ago, in fact someone my husband owed money to. He said to me that he had a friend who was very wealthy but who had managed to play the system and not pay his wife anything to help her to give their children a decent life. He told me “Mark’s only claim to fame is that he thinks it’s amazing that he has managed to avoid paying his wife to help look after their children and to avoid them going through any kind of trauma. His wife and children have been through a terrible time. To me, and the rest of the guys in the pub we regard him as a complete wanker. He is no man. Even if his wife had had an affair or something, he should have made sure the kids were ok”.
I get some satisfaction from knowing that there are real men out there who really see my ex-husband for who he is, although, by the same token, it is also sad that my children’s father is very disrespected in the community and at their school. The Dad’s make polite small talk with my ex for the sake of the children, but behind his back they say what they truly think. Since getting back to work, I don’t want to be associated with him. I even changed my name back to my maiden name as I was embarrassed that people would find out that I was ever married to him. Parents in my younger child’s class have given him a nickname. On one hand I am laughing and on the other I am mortified that I chose for him to be my children’s Father. There is no going back on that and I know that I can’t blame myself. He is who he is and many people tell me that they always thought he was weird or odd.
Why didn’t I see it?
He does not realise that he is criticised for his actions as he loves himself so much, he can only see himself as perfect. He believes that everyone around him thinks he is the victim.
I now have to stand apart and be the role model my children need in their lives. By moving my life forward, I am showing my children fight and resilience. I will make something of my life now that I am free of his toxic personality.