Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To not want to change the wording of the divorce petition?

28 replies

Fairy13 · 22/06/2015 08:04

Maybe more of a wwyd
Emotionally abusive, controlling, sometimes physically abusive STBX and I are divorcing.

He is refusing to sign the petition and wants to contest it although he agrees it can be unreasonable behaviour, he feels it is a 'character assassination' and 'all lies'.

'Lie' number one - he did not 'strangle' me as I 'insist on keep saying' - definition of strangle is to cut off the air supply. As I am still alive he feels he did not strangle me, merely pinned me down on the bed with his hands around my throat.

'Lie' number two - he did not 'threaten to kill me' he 'expressed a preference'.

I claim he is an angry person and I was fearful for my safety - this is subjective and he is 'happy and pleasant' 90% of the time, it is only around me that he becomes angry because I am a sociopath.

It's absolutely bloody exhausting. Solicitor says I can go ahead anyway but it is really better if we can agree so it stays out of court. He just pushes and pushes and pushes every boundary and exerts every bit of control he can.

On the one hand, I want a quiet life and can't really afford to drag this out.
On the other hand, I really want to show him that he doesn't get to dictate everything anymore. I spent our whole marriage rephrasing things or not saying them because he found the smallest thing to be me insulting him and I don't like him having that control over me now.
Also, I know this is ridiculous but sorry for the counsellor speak but I really would like my experience validated because he has spent so long telling me everything that happened was either in my head or made up or misinterpreted that I feel like I need it in black and white.

OP posts:

SpringTown46 · 22/06/2015 08:07



hibbledibble · 22/06/2015 08:16

Yabu as I think you are misunderstanding the reason for the divorce petition. It is not for you to spill out all his crimes to the world, but rather for you to both agree on what constitutes the grounds for divorce, thereby saving lots of time, legal fees and unnecessary stress.

As you want rid of him, the quickest and easiest route is to find mutually agreeable grounds. You have nothing to gain by prolonging this.


Cynara · 22/06/2015 08:17

God, YANBU. I can see how exhausting it must be to deal with that, and totally see why you want his behaviour acknowledged. On the other hand, if you just agree and get on with the divorce, you can concentrate on the fact that this is the LAST TIME he will ever have any control over you, and even this is a pathetic, empty attempt at control because the divorce is happening whether he quibbles about the wording or not. I know it must grate on you to even consider appeasing him, but a few years down the line you'll be free of him in a fabulous new life while he will still be an angry, inadequate prick, and at that point it won't matter to you how you got there. On balance, I think you might have more to gain than to lose by agreeing.


hibbledibble · 22/06/2015 08:17

Op I think you need to try to heal in another way. Have you seen a counsellor?


Jengnr · 22/06/2015 08:20

YANBU. How much money are we talking if you press on with it? Personally I think I would take the hit to show this cunt you won't be pushed around any more.


chickenfuckingpox · 22/06/2015 08:20

ignore him after two years apply to the courts and they will put it through regardless of his feelings and issues just disconnect totally from him

do you have kids do you have to communicate with him?


LazyLouLou · 22/06/2015 08:24

OP, you really have 2 choices:

  1. Stick to your words and have him drag everything out, remaining actively in your every day life for however long it pleases him

2. Change the words, get it all done as quickly as possible and have him out of your life.

The end result will be the same, you will be divorced, presumably at your instigation and against his initial wishes. How you get to that point depends on how you deal with this.

Good luck.

SoupDragon · 22/06/2015 08:24

In all honesty, I would change the wording slightly in order to get rid of him. Whether you say "put his hands round my throat in a manner similar to strangulation and expressed a preference for me to die" or what you've said already, the meaning is clear.


PurpleWithRed · 22/06/2015 08:25

He is being a complete twunt and if you can afford (in time, emotional abuse and money) to stick to your guns then it might make you feel an awful lot better. But if you don't have children just changing the grounds will get you free of him forever very soon, and if you do have children you will have many many much more public more opportunities to show him he's not in charge any more. Make sure the game's worth the candle.


Jengnr · 22/06/2015 08:26

Although Cynara makes an excellent point.


OvidWasMyFishmonger · 22/06/2015 08:34

I had this with my ex. His response to the question about the statement of arrangements for the children was "I have not been offered contact with my children". I was fuming because it was a lie and I had countless copies of solicitors letters and personal witnesses to prove it. The fact is that he refused to see my (now adult) children.

See how angry I am still? They're "my" children and mine alone AFAIAC because he persisted in making no effort to see them.

I was in your position and took another route. I stopped pursuing the petition for divorce. I'd initiated it because the same reasons you have, physical and emotional abuse and controlling behaviour, but I didn't need to divorce. I wasn't remarrying. I simply wanted the bastard out of my life.

I felt that by dropping it I took control back. I couldn't get him to change his words, under no circumstances was I going to agree with them and so I just left it.

Years later I got the divorce with appropriate wording. He wanted to remarry and had to ask me very nicely if I would resurrect the case!


WhatsGoingOnEh · 22/06/2015 08:37

When I was divorcing my ex, I read that the "unreasonable behaviour" you cite in the petition doesn't have to be that bad. Just stuff that you can't live with. It's not like the Judge will read it and say, "oh her husband doesn't sound terrible, these are petty complaints, they must stay together,"

I know why you're wanting to put his most-awful behaviour on the form. You want others to know you didn't split up the marriage lightly, you want support, you want it publically known that he was unreasonable and that you were the innocent party. He is trying to take that away from you.

But honestly, it doesn't matter. Just get the divorce in the quickest, most efficient way possible because afterwards you will feel FREE.


Fairy13 · 22/06/2015 08:39

Take on board what was said about it not being an opportunity to document his crimes but a way to agree to separate.
Think will go with soupdragon and change the phrasing slightly.
My feeling is that even when I change it he will still find reason to contest some other small bit of semantics but at least I've shown willing.

OP posts:

Fairy13 · 22/06/2015 08:42

whatsgoingon the irony is that apart from putting in the last incidident (because that was the final straw when I packed my bags) I actually tried to pick the smaller things thy were less likely to cause offence. I left most of the bigger things out because they were pointless and antagonistic.

OP posts:

throwingpebbles · 22/06/2015 08:44

Yanbu. I am in same place you are. But not going to spend a fortune on lawyers fees arguing it, so as he wont agree my petition i am just goin g to wait the 2 years, is that an option for you?


throwingpebbles · 22/06/2015 08:45

(Ps I am a lawyer myself but not family law)


throwingpebbles · 22/06/2015 08:47

I feel a lot better not dealing with the divorce right now. It feels like he is very much out of my head and I can heal and get stronger.


tabulahrasa · 22/06/2015 08:48

The thing is, while yes there's a slight semantic difference between your wording and his...changing it to his preferred wording doesn't actually make it sound any less like unreasonable behaviour.

Save your fight for anything that crops up that may make some difference to you, because that won't.


SoupDragon · 22/06/2015 08:59

changing it to his preferred wording doesn't actually make it sound any less like unreasonable behaviour.

Absolutely. Whether he simply put his hands round your throat in anger or attempted to strangle you or tried to kill you or simply wished you were dead, no one would ever think he was anything other than a nasty wanker.


rumbleinthrjungle · 22/06/2015 09:13

Might you need this evidence in time to come? Ie child arrangements?


Fairy13 · 22/06/2015 09:44

Yes, rumble, which is why I don't want to wait the 2 years and go for irreconcilable differences.

OP posts:

throwingpebbles · 22/06/2015 09:57

You can fight the child bits without divorcing though? Or can you? Dh seems happy now with when he sees kids so for now we aren't fighting over that bit
'D' h accepted my version of events for occupation order and non molestation, just not for divorce petition!


rumbleinthrjungle · 22/06/2015 10:31

I was wondering if you think there's a chance you may need this in the future to manage his contact with children if you're not sure it's safe - and with a man who has tried to strangle you this is a very obvious concern. If that is the case then there may be reason to see this through and not let him sanitise written records now rather than stand in court later to try to explain it was worse than you recorded at the time. Just thinking of a few regular posters trying to manage contact with ex partners with a history of violence and being control obsessed, and their experience is that courts don't always get how intimidating these men can be. Have you tried a post in legal?


Fairy13 · 22/06/2015 10:42

Yes rumble contact with DS is most definitely a concern and whilst currently we have an arrangement that he is not contesting, I'm monitoring the contact very very closely to check it is safe and I do not give extra time ever due to what I feel is a heightened risk of emotional harm with increased exposure.

That is one very important reason that I wanted the reasoning for the divorce as it was.

I have spoken to my solicitor and changed the wording 'he is a very angry person' to 'I felt he behaved in an angry manner towards myself which left me fearful for my safety'

And instead of 'he attempted to strangle me' 'he pinned me to the bed with his hands around my throat in a manner which made me believe he intended to strangle me'

OP posts:

throwingpebbles · 22/06/2015 10:58

That wording sounds fine op any sensible judge would know exactly what went on so if it gets things agreed it is sensible

The judge at my non mol hearing was amazing and cut through all ex h rubbish and made me feel like finally someone was standing up t him for me xx

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?