It seemed like a good idea at the time, she was cute and sexy. Wild and impulsive. You got to move out of the shacks. A couple kids later. Some time away in the field, a deployment or two plus a posting or two and now you’re facing the crazy ex.
She wants everything—kids, house, money, your soul. How do you deal with this?
There are four things you need to recognize about your ex:
- She wants to win at all costs and doesn’t care how much damage is done or how much it costs. Winning is the mantra.
- But guess what? Winning isn’t actually her real goal in your divorce—what she really wants is to keep manipulating you by any means possible. She did this from the moment you met and she fully intends to keep doing it.
- She is going to drag you through Court so many times you will feel like you spend all your time and money doing legal stuff. Hell, you begin to think you should retire and become a lawyer or paralegal because you’ve been in the legal trenches so often and so long.
- Everything that can possibly be obstructed will be… obstructed. Court Orders don’t apply to her. Agreements only bind you, not her. Parenting schedules are optional. Money isn’t paid or she won’t accept it then claims you aren’t paying. Drag out your divorce for years. She will do it all.
Your only hope is to have a battle plan—a good one and stick with it.
First, line it all up, everything you are going to need. You come out at full speed and on the offensive. Think of ways to incentivize them—are they about money? The kids? The splashy vehicle or house they made you buy? The prestige of your life you couldn’t really afford but she wanted? That new boyfriend she wants to move into the house before your spot in the bed is cold?
Second, pick a strong lawyer. Then trust them and do what they tell you to do. Your ex doesn’t want to face a strong battle group and will tell you all kinds of smack about your lawyer and why you should not believe them or trust them. They need your position weak and you vulnerable to their manipulation.
Third, document, document, document every little detail and moment. You need to keep solid evidence to hold her accountable. No conversations in person, no meeting at Timmies for a chat “to work things out”. You want to be able to pull out the email. You want to be able to pull out the bank statements. You want to have the phone records. Every single payment of money gets recorded.
Fourth, and really important in the emotional minefield of divorce, keep your cool. You’ve got the skill set with parade face. The experience of being in situations at work where you can’t react. Use that skill set in the face of this combative situation. You actually come out ahead when she can’t get a reaction out of you.
Your marriage was fraught with IEDs that you never knew could predict when she would go off. You are now moving out of that situation. It can be done. Each careful step at a time.