Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"It's Not Fair! But Why Should It Be?" - Psychology Today

I ran across an article in Psychology Today titled, “It's Not Fair! But Why Should It Be?” by Mark Banschick. The basic premise is that even if you went through a terribly unfair divorce, get over it. Don't let the bitterness define you.

I imagine there are some that believe based on this site that I am defined by my divorce. But I think that is the wrong impression. Mind you my divorce certainly has embittered me, no doubt about that, but it has not defined me. I am in fact very proud of many things including:
  • That during the divorce I was able to fully function and even thrive at my job despite the fact that my company was under going a buyout from an out of town competitor. During that time people at work did not even know that I was going through a divorce. In an environment where people were breaking down and often crying in the office, I just could not burden them with my personal problems. My colleagues have mentioned many times to me how much they appreciated my support and upbeat attitude during those times. Much of that “upbeatness” was in reality acting as I was hiding my personal pain but that is exactly what I am proud of.
  • Although I did not want to get a divorce and held on to the hope that reconciliation was possible long after it wasn't, I have moved on emotionally. Indeed, I have been in an absolutely wonderful relationship for the last three years or so. I feel blessed because it is so much better than what I had with Spring.
  • I have served as a good example to my kids on how to behave when the worst happens. I could have broken down. I could have treated them badly. I didn't. We found a fixer-up house and learned how to fix it up. I continued to coach swimming and be fully involved in their lives even as Spring grew even more absent both physically and emotionally. The boys and I talk about all sorts of things. The games they play and the books they read. They tell me about girls they liked and I talked about the my new relationship - by the way they absolutely love the girl I have been dating. There were hard times too. We went through my mother's long painful illness and eventually death together. Her twin sister and a close Aunt also passed away. But there were also weddings and births to celebrate. I have a very large family and the boys have become even closer to their cousins.
  • I have a huge number of interests in life. I read a lot. (and am in a very active book club) I am physically active. I garden. I cook. I build computers. I build all sort of things. I write. And now I advocate for divorce and judicial reform. The later is just one more item.
In truth, however, the part of the divorce that embitters me the most is that it is
not over. I
cannot understand how a person whom the custody evaluator found was at best a joint parent and for whom an employment evaluation states that she could earn as much money as me can be not only be awarded so many assets from the marriage but receive an absolutely huge amount of permanent alimony which is a sickening percentage of my salary. Especially given there was good evidence that Spring had issues with drinking, committed perjury and absolutely solid evidence her lawyer lied in court. Nor do I understand how she can get out of every paying a dime for the children. Permanent alimony means that I can never remarry (as my new wife wife would then be liable for the alimony) nor retire. I will literally have to work until I die.

One cannot start to recover from a rape until it is over. Mine is not over.

I suppose the silver lining of having to pay alimony is this site. Hopefully some good will come out of it. Even with a settlement worse than I had, if it was final I doubt I would have had the motivation to create this site. The funny thing is that I even begged Spring at one point to let me buyout the alimony using an industry standard formula. I am not sure where I would have gotten the money from but even paying off a loan would have been far more palatable than alimony. But Spring refused even though it was in her interest to take it. I had even agreed to continue the life insurance that guaranteed payment of alimony on top of the buyout until the children reached their majority. She didn't even negotiate. Why? I believe that her motivation is not really the money but control. The more she can hurt me and children the more power she feels. That sounds terrible but I really do believe it is true. The sad thing is that, despite my best efforts to prevent it, she is slowly but surely estranging herself from her own children. It breaks my heart for the kids to have to go through that. I do worry how it will affect them going forward. But I will do everything I can to mitigate the damage and help them be happy and achieve everything they are capable of.

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