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Navigating separation from a prolific cheater

(9 Posts)
TooSassy Fri 13-Nov-15 16:25:34

Brief synopsis

Married, 2 DC's. About 3 months ago I found clear evidence (explicit) of his extramarital activities. Multiple infidelities including escorts. The only (slight) silver lining is that we hadn't been intimate for a while, I obviously wasn't floating his boat. It's transpired that he is a prolific liar, cheat and exceptionally manipulative. He's also incredibly narcissistic.

So I've tried to be incredibly amicable for the sake of the DC's. Have been flexible regarding access to children (although we now have a schedule in place) and am undertaking mediation.

How do I put this? He is taking the absolute piss at mediation?
However he's doing it cleverly. He claims he is unwell. Physically and now emotionally since the separation. The perception looking from the outside in is that this is an extremely fragile man who is taking the separation badly.

Quite frankly I couldn't give a hoot about him. I think he is an arch manipulator trying to stall a process just to be a pain in the arse.

My lawyer is waiting in the wings and I am in the verge of withdrawing from mediation. However my concern now is that any court process (especially given these emotional cards he is playing) will now be drawn out and expensive.

Does anyone have any experience of dealing with a personality of this type and extracting themselves from a personality like this? Preferably with minimal damage to DC's?

It's clear that he absolutely focussed on him, his world and his life. He has taken zero responsibility about the fact that he is here due to his actions.

Advice/ words of wisdom welcomed!

amarmai Fri 13-Nov-15 17:19:37

if he did not turn up in court wd he need a dr's note? wd a waiting game benefit you in any way? What does your lawyer say- as presumably s/he has met his type before if they specialise in marital problems?

Goodbetterbest Fri 13-Nov-15 18:40:45

He sounds very much like my XH. But my XH couldn't bear to not be seen to be anything but the great dad who survived an affectionless and loveless marriage <plays the smallest violin in the world> . He is paying all the mediation/legal/pension sharing costs because he didn't want to hand over half the savings. (Fees currently stand at more than half).

Mediation is only useful so far. We spent 8 months in mediation, agreed the financial stuff, then when solicitors got involved, he changed his mind on everything.

I have just got the court order approved and am going into battle over access to the children. His gf is much younger than him, has a small child. I knew he would go for someone much younger so it was always in my mind that he could well have more children. My only focus was to ringfence as much money and as many of the marital assets to provide for our children as possible before he had more children.

Good luck, it's a tough road but do able. Narcissists typically don't want to present themselves badly so this is an advantage we can use. It does take some manipulation I hold my hands up to that, and you have to ask for more than you want so you have some wriggle room and he feels as though he's won.

TooSassy Sat 14-Nov-15 18:27:07

goodbetterbest 8 months of mediation all for it to be torn up????

How have you persevered? Emotionally?
Today. I just feel quite worn out for the first time.
Thank you for your advice though. Especially about playing to him not wanting to be seen in a bad light.

Amarmai my lawyer thinks he is using mediation to 'engage me' and stall the divorce process. He recommends I press on with the legal route having given him more than enough opportunity at mediation.

It's just draining and I don't understand it. He cheated. He got caught. Just do the right thing now and stop being a royal pain in the arse!

I don't see one bit of the man I married when I look at him. It's so so sad.

Goodbetterbest Sat 14-Nov-15 23:44:33

How did I persevere? It helped that he didn't put up a fight for us. Early on I was angry and frustrated and said to him 'how can you not fight for us? How can this not matter?' His response 'well it's what you want. I'm just going along with it.' From that moment on it was just a process.
There was no guilt and no remorse. The closest I ever got to an apology was 'I don't want to stop being a player' (yes, that is how he sees himself) 'I'm just wired differently.'

You can see how easy he made it.

I found flats and houses for him. I went on viewings with him, I even packed most of his stuff. I sorted his Sky TV out.

I have never looked back. Not once have I regretted ending the marriage.

I don't understand how he could throw it all away, but I do know that his failings are exactly that, HIS. I am see how he gaslighted me, how he makes really stupid mistakes - which previously he would have put on me. I don't have that crippling self-doubt or rising panic that I've ballsed up. It was him all along.

It helped that I met and fell in love with someone else. I didn't mean to, and I wasn't really looking, it's taken me by surprise.

But it has also complicated things as XH still wants me to dance to his tune WRT access. I have no time off. In the early days of the separation I'd stay out all night.

He will only have them overnight in my house. He has no room for them at his, he refused to buy somewhere which would accommodate them all as he didn't want to 'feel lonely and rattle around'. He even refused to take a chest of drawers so each child could have a single drawer each.

We got to the point in mediation where he started to feel as though he was the victim. He contributed little, but agreed to things I suggested. Then his solicitor undermined it. I think we mediated for too long. I wish we had gone for the solicitor earlier. It is expensive but it can be a false economy to cut corners. Remember, two-thirds if pensioners living in poverty are divorced women. This is all about establishing your future. It is massively important to think ahead, know what you need for now, and for then.

TopOfTheCliff Sat 14-Nov-15 23:53:32

My XH was quite a narc although he didnt cheat on me. We went to mediation and he agreed everything but it was all a front to lure me into an agreement as he had absolutely no intention of sticking to our deal on supporting the adult DC through Uni. He denied even agreeing it verbally in front of two solicitors and I had no way of enforcing it as it is between him and the DC not me. He knew exactly what he was doing I am sure.

TooSassy Sun 15-Nov-15 07:21:59

goodbetterbest thank you thank you thank you for sharing your experience with me. It sounds unbelievably challenging and yet you sound so strong and in control. Kudos to you.

I'm finding the advice regarding mediation extremely useful.

topofthecliff thank you also for sharing your experience. Another one who just used the mediation process to string you along. Sorry that must have bee awful.

My lawyer has been doing this for 20+ years and is hugely experienced. I think I now know why he has been advising for the last few weeks that it's time to press on via him.
I refuse to back off (I am 110% that STBXH wants me to slow / delay the process).

Thank you ladies for sharing your words of wisdom.

Goodbetterbest Sun 15-Nov-15 08:26:23

The divorce process is easy.

We thrashed out the financial court order in mediation. That has now been agreed and is set in stone.

I want to go back to mediation to sort access, he is refusing. Mediation IS expensive.

If you have the bones of a financial agreement I'd say get your solicitor on it.it took a while to get it approved. I feel much stronger and more in control for it.

Feel free to PM me - I'm happy to lend support. I recognise you from your postings on my thread and our situations sound very similar indeed.

TooSassy Sun 15-Nov-15 20:33:53

goodbetterbest the access is sorted.

I am being totally flexible regarding access to children (although it does have a schedule in place now).

It's the finances that have made zero progress. And that has me worried. Combine that with some tales on here of 8 months worth of mediation being torn up once it hit a lawyer and it's beginning to just unbalance me.

It galls me that mediation is pushed so hard and yet it is clear to me that an individual (who is minded to do so) can utterly abuse the process. Basically stringing out the divorce because they want to....

I don't believe a word he is saying in the process. Yes for the DC's sake I persevere.

I will be taking you up on your offer to PM you. Thank you xx

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