Man still has con­trol of his ex-wife

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

I di­vorced an ex­tremely wealthy, abu­sive and nar­cis­sis­tic man five years ago. My di­vorce was a hor­ror. He hacked my phone, email and Face­book ac­count and put a track­ing de­vice on my car. He put lis­ten­ing de­vices, maybe even cam­eras, in my home and had pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors fol­low me. (I have wit­nesses to all this.) He told me he would “ruin” me when we got di­vorced, and be­lieve me, he has tried. He has taken my mostly adult kids away on al­most ev­ery hol­i­day (great trips they don’t want to turn down) since the di­vorce, even fly­ing them all out of town on my 50th birth­day. I want to add that I was a faith­ful wife dur­ing our 30-year re­la­tion­ship. I left him once for having an af­fair with a friend of mine.

I was a good stay-at-home mother, highly in­volved in my three kids’ activities. My kids were and are my life. My el­dest daugh­ter called me “a dream mom” be­fore the di­vorce. But since the di­vorce, that daugh­ter has turned on me, call­ing me crazy. She’s blocked me from com­mu­ni­cat­ing with her in any way. I also have had prob­lems get­ting ahold of my col­lege-age son. (I found out his dad blocked my num­ber on the cell­phone he pays for.)

I feel that my ex is still con­trol­ling my life. And there is noth­ing I can do, con­sid­er­ing his power and money. How do I get back con­trol of my life? How do I ever get my daugh­ter back? I have tried writ­ing her snail-mail let­ters ex­plain­ing my hurt, but that has not solved this prob­lem. How do I get through to my kids? Do I ever get my kids on hol­i­days? They are all older than 18, so go­ing to court would not help.

First, I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through. I un­der­stand that you’re ex­tremely fo­cused on get­ting your chil­dren back in your life; any par­ent would feel the same way. But right now, I’m more wor­ried about you. You were in an emo­tion­ally abu­sive re­la­tion­ship for 30 years. Those psy­cho­log­i­cal scars don’t heal overnight — es­pe­cially when your ex-hus­band is do­ing ev­ery­thing he can to see that they don’t. Be­fore re­con­nect­ing with your adult chil­dren, you must learn how to love your­self and set bound­aries. I strongly en­cour­age you to seek coun­sel­ing.

One year ago, I no­ti­fied my sis­ter about my daugh­ter’s wed­ding. She just re­ceived the for­mal in­vi­ta­tion, and she called and said that her best friend had asked her to be maid of honor in her se­cond wed­ding on the day be­fore my daugh­ter’s wed­ding and that she had de­cided to ac­cept her friend’s in­vi­ta­tion. She still can fly in the next morn­ing and make the lateafter­noon wed­ding. I’m to­tally stunned and deeply hurt. I thought she was a loyal fam­ily mem­ber. I flew my three chil­dren and wife to her daugh­ter’s wed­ding at quite an ex­pense, so you can see why I’m shocked over this. Any sug­ges­tions?

As long as she still makes it to your daugh­ter’s wed­ding — and you should make crys­tal clear to her how im­por­tant it is to you that she be there — I say let this one go. Stay­ing an­gry won’t help. To quote Mark Twain, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the ves­sel in which it is stored than to any­thing on which it is poured.”

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