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Divorce and wrong accusations

(22 Posts)
sixtyhundred Thu 22-Sep-11 12:38:59

I posted a few months ago about my husband having what I thought might be a psychotic episode and claiming to have recording devices all over the house which he had used to record me propositioning and having sex with other men. I stopped posting, for which I'm very sorry to all the great people who wrote with such fantastic support, as things seemed to improve. My husband, though still adamant that he was right in his accusations, seemed to calm down and stopped mentioning it, at least so often. I was so shaken by the whole event that I haven't done anything more, just sat tight and hoped it would all stay OK (not a very good strategy!).

Anyway, he called me earlier today to say that he's been talking to 'some people' - wouldn't say who, I'm guessing private detectives - who have more 'evidence' that he's right in his accusations and that he's now divorcing me. I have NO IDEA what he's talking about and what this 'evidence' can be: I barely speak to anyone, male or female, and the idea of me having sex with someone else is ludicrous. He's talked about divorce before, so I'm not sure if he's seriously going anywhere with this, but we'll see.

I'm not sure what my reason for posting is and don't expect anyone to read it, I just feel glad to have somewhere where I can write it down and stop it only swirling around in my mind. What on earth is he talking about?! Is there any way I can make him show me this 'evidence' so that I can point out where he's wrong? I don't want to come out of a divorce with it recorded as a 'fact' that I was unfaithful to him because I haven't been, plus that might mean affect how much I'm able to see the children (he wants custody of them and to make me leave the house and pay him maintenance). Just so confused. Thanks for reading

RabbitPie Thu 22-Sep-11 12:42:49

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PhilipJFry Thu 22-Sep-11 12:44:29

That sounds incredibly hard and I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. I doubt if anything you can say will convince him that you haven't been unfaithful. It seems like the logical thing to do- talk it through, point out the flaws in his beliefs- but he is very unwell and it might not work. It might even reinforce his belief that you've been unfaithful as he'll pick up things you say and do and use that to affirm his beliefs surrounding your "infidelity".

He needs to see a doctor as soon as possible. Will he consider this? I'm guessing not but it's imperative he gets help.

sixtyhundred Thu 22-Sep-11 12:56:54

Thanks. He saw a psychiatrist a few months ago, as I had been seeing the GP and CPN (I thought there was something wrong with me, and worried about my anxiety and depression returning). Basically, the male practitioners that he saw old him to leave me and the female ones that I saw said I should leave him! None of them seemed interested in the basis of this being completely wrong! At no point was he asked to produce this evidence or, as far as I know, challenged to prove its accuracy. They just seemed to think it was a domestic and that the relationship would end. I accept that this is not necessarily a medical problem, I just don't know where to turn to make him see that this is all wrong!

Yes, we're still together in the house. I don't have anywhere else to go and we own it jointly, though he has paid off more of the mortgage than I have. I work 3 days a week and he looks after the children on 2 of those days. The eldest is at school. The younger is in childcare on the 3rd day of the week that I work. The rest of the time he is around (not working) but in practice I do most of the childcare, though he would dispute this. I just want him to see that he's made a mistake and that I'm not the person he thinks I am (and is, he tells me, telling other people that I am).

mummytime Thu 22-Sep-11 13:09:12

Get a solicitor ASAP. He is not well, but if he has his way he will get you out of the house and the children's lives. Then the children would be in danger. Think about the children please.
Women Aid may well be able to help. He is trying to isolate you which is a form of abuse. " Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently 'violent'. "

sixtyhundred Thu 22-Sep-11 13:20:46

But the psychiatrist said there was nothing wrong with him. I'm just so confused. He's not violent, I don't think he is trying to isloate me and I'm sure there's no danger to the children, he's just so lost in this wrong assumption that he's behaving in this way. Is there any way that he can be made to see that he's wrong? If there were then it would all be OK, I'm sure of it. If there's not then I will have to see a solicitor as I don't think it's ever going to go away. Unless he can be made to see his mistake then he's never going to change his mind.

malinkey Thu 22-Sep-11 13:39:40

Maybe he didn't tell the psychiatrist the truth? Or maybe he's lied to you about actually seeing a psychiatrist or about what they said to him?

I understand you think that if you could just solve this one thing then everything would be ok. But you have no control over what he is choosing to believe. You can't prove your innocence to him because for whatever reason he believes or is acting like he believes this to be true. It's like trying to make him see black is white - you just can't.

He may be delusional or he may know that it's not true but wants it to be true because that would back up certain beliefs he may have i.e. you are not to be trusted - could be some form of personality disorder in which he can't deal with intimate relationships so sabotages them. Or he could just be playing mind games with you because he enjoys it.

Whatever the reason it's not 'normal' and you can't do anything about what he thinks - but you can take steps to protect yourself and your children. Get some good advice - Women's Aid, CAB, solicitors - and take control before he tries to take the children off you. I'm sure most people who know you would think his behaviour is odd but people like this can sometimes be convincing to those who don't know them.

Just remember, you know the truth.

garlicnutty Thu 22-Sep-11 13:40:01

You can't carry on like this, can you.

Please do see a solicitor. I suspect it will be far easier for you to divorce him for unreasonable behaviour - constant accusations of infidelity, claiming to have placed recording devices around the house - although he would doubtless want to counter-claim. The point being that, if he insists on divorcing you for infidelity, either you have to agree with him or he has to name a co-respondent which could be a little tricky.

As far as I know, the grounds for divorce have no bearing on any settlements unless there is abuse. Of course, he is abusing you but I get the impression life will be a lot simpler if you just follow the path of normality (despite evidence to the contrary!)

You must be at your wits' end. I remember your other thread; it was kind of plain you weren't ready to face just how bad things were. I hope you are now, and that you can rally enough moral & practical support. All the best.

RabbitPie Thu 22-Sep-11 13:40:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

mummytime Thu 22-Sep-11 13:42:37

He is saying you are having multiple affairs. Is this true?
If not then he has a problem. Ignore what some doctors said (who only met one of the two of you). He is fixated on something which is not true.
Either; he is doing this to stop you going out at all, talking to other people and isolate you.
Or he is doing this because he is delusional. What would you think if instead he was telling you he was the Son of God? He could seem totally rational, but still believe this. Do these recording devices exist? Does the PI exist? Has he paid for one, is there any record of this?

You cannot make him better. Please go and read the relationships board. one person can't stop another being an alcoholic, being addicted to gambling, losing control of their anger and so on. You cannot make your husband realise his assumption is wrong because: either he is faking it to gain control, or he is delusional.

Even if you were a top psychologist you could not treat him, you are too close.

You need to look after yourself and your children.

catsrus Thu 22-Sep-11 13:45:07

Just on a practical issue OP - what is said in the divorce document will not affect who has the children or what maintenance / split you get. my ExH wanted a divorce (OW but was not admitting to it) - I told him if he wanted a divorce I would not oppose it, but I would not instigate it. We used collaborative family law solicitors and he divorced me on the grounds of my unreasonable behaviour (LOL) I never read the petition, just signed that I had received it. It meant a fast track divorce (told me in Oct, decree absolute in April). You can simply say you do not agree with what the petitioner has said but you do not oppose the petition. Talk to a solicitor and get some advice - but TBH I would not want to be in the same house as someone that delusional - nor want my children exposed to it.

I know what you mean about things being 'on record' but I felt that as long as those I cared about know the truth then that was all that mattered. People who know both of us really were 'wtf' when they heard he'd divorced me - and I really have not been tempted to look at what he wrote.

concentrate on what is the best course of action for you and the children, your safety and what you need to get on with your lives now - and see a solicitor asap.

kblu Thu 22-Sep-11 13:50:04

The grounds of a divorce bear no resemblance on any settlement. They are just a mechanism for obtaining a decree absolute. Nothing more nothing less. Only the court and the parties to the divorce can see what is cited in the particulars unless you decide to show anybody else. In a divorce for "unreasonable behaviour" a petitioner only needs to state five or six reasons for divorce that can be extremely watered down so as not to offend. If someone wants to put three A4 pages of crap then that is up to them but it won't make a scrap of difference to the court. All it will do is offend the respondent. You just have to look at a divorce petition as a means to an end, a mechanism for obtaining a decree absolute - that is all.

With regard to him saying he wants the children, well I can't see that happening at all. Even if he took you to court, given his unbalanced state of mind a judge would probably order a psychological assessment before ordering any form of contact (with him) to be honest.

I would go and see a solicitor to get some advice, it will put your mind at rest somewhat.

BTW, i've been a legal secretary for 20 working for a partner who deals with divorce/family matters so do know a bit about how it works smile

kblu Thu 22-Sep-11 13:50:22

sorry 20 years that was supposed to be.

prh47bridge Thu 22-Sep-11 13:57:18

As catsrus says, the grounds for divorce don't affect anything. No-one will know the grounds other than you, your husband and the lawyers involved. They don't appear on the decree nisi or the decree absolute and the petition and other papers are destroyed after 20 years. You can argue over the grounds if you want but the main effect will be to increase the legal bills, leaving less money to be shared out between you. If this is going to end in divorce concentrate on getting a good settlement for yourself and your children.

sixtyhundred Thu 22-Sep-11 13:59:20

Thanks so much everyone. Yes Malinkey, you're right, I do know the truth and I'm going to hold on that in spite of everything he's trying to do. I've just send a long and I hope not too rambling email to Women's Aid trying to explain what I've said here. I can't easily phone as I'm at work at the moment and I can't call or email from home as he's there and will read my emails too. I know that they're very experienced in making it possible for women to be able to meet someone to talk to so I just hope that they're able to see me. If I can see someone from WA I'm hoping that they might be able to put me in touch with a solicitor too.

You're right, a court would surely see through all this nonsense (wouldn't it?!). I just feel worried about it because no one else who's been involved seems to recognise that or even be interested: they just accept that this 'evidence' must be true. How can be so convincing?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 22-Sep-11 14:01:40

The Rights of Women advice line is, conveniently, just about to open and they are best placed to advise you: 020 7251 6577 (Tuesday–Thursday 2–4pm and 7-9pm, and Friday 12–2pm) or visit

cestlavielife Thu 22-Sep-11 14:19:58

you have no problem with him looking after the children two days a week so you cant really argue against him having shared residence. ask a lawyer about his rights to spousal maintenance tho?

but there is no reason to suggest that he should have sole residence with you being non resident parent.

poster above ws right "If his psychiatrist reports that there is nothing wrong with him, then what's wrong with him is that he is nasty, pure and simple."

is he mad or bad? doesnt really matter - i wouldnt want to stick around....

as others said tho - the reason for divorcing doesnt really matter - but you need to think carefully about residence of children issue and whether you actually have concerens about his ability to look a fter the children or not ?

but starting point would be shared residence 50/50 .
unles you can actually prove he is unfit to care for them - he does sound unhinged but inthat scary plausible to outsiders way...

malinkey Thu 22-Sep-11 14:25:29

Sixty if you are emailing the main WA email address they just send you a standard response and do not respond to anything you are asking/telling them. It will contain advice that you can find on their website but if you want to discuss your situation you need to phone them or you can contact your local service to get their direct email address and I've been told the local WA will be able to respond to your email personally.

Maybe he can be convincing because he really believes what he's saying and they don't know him.

By the way, I had an experience a long time ago with an ex who managed to convince a policeman that black was white. It was only after a few months when he'd had more dealings with him that the policeman asked me whether ex had mental health issues - it took him a while to work it out but he did come to that conclusion eventually and realised he was talking nonsense.

I'm sure with the right people on your side you'll be able to deal with this better.

sixtyhundred Thu 22-Sep-11 14:29:29

I don't have a problem with shared care, I think that would probably be the best arrangement as the kids love their dad and he loves them, it's just me he has the problem with! He's good at looking after them too, I don't think he's unfit, though I know that doesn't explain his current behaviour and beliefs. I'm sorry, I'm just really confused by how I seem to be in this crazy situation, though it's great having support here and I hope that WA will be able to help me to get me going in the right direction at least.

sixtyhundred Thu 22-Sep-11 14:32:09

Thanks malinkey, I've resent the message to the local WA branch, so I hope they'll be able to reply. I might see if I can find some private space here at work to phone them as well. I don't know how long it takes to be able to see them, but I'm at home tomorrow and without the children (at school and in childcare), so that would be a good day to see them if possible.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 22-Sep-11 14:48:17

The women who man person the Rights of Women advice line are solicitors and barristers who may be able to speedly to set your mind at rest in respect of divorce should your h makes good his threat to petition together with financial matters and shared childcare/contact/residency/custody.

The problem is that so many advice lines/services for women are overwhelmed by those in need. It sometimes seems that nothing much has changed since women were 'emancipated'. sad

Xales Thu 22-Sep-11 22:20:01

You know that he is lying about having evidence of your multiple affairs because it doesn't exist due to you not having any let alone one. sad

If he is lying about that he is capable of either lying through his teeth to a shrink or lying through his teeth about what a shrink said.

I don't think it can be understandable unless he is really having a mental problem or wants out and is using all his powers to make you think you are the one at fault so it is not his fault and he can divorce you.

Tell him to present his evidence to your solicitor in his divorce petition you don't need to hear all about it until then.

Good luck!

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