For far too long I've been living a compromised life because my goals and my spouse's goals did not match. She gave me ultimatums, and because I believed that my children needed a two parent family more than anything else I did all I could to meet them. Jumping through hoops doesn't tend to accomplish what you think it will, though. Just ask any poodle who happens to work in the circus. The better the dog gets at the act, the harder the ringmaster begins making it. They lift the hoops higher and higher and make them hoops smaller and smaller. Eventually they might even light them on fire. Pleasing the ringmaster might eventually feel like it's become an impossibility.
Now, I'm sure would take offense at my analogy and I know she believes the fault in all of this lies with me, but this is my blog and I get to put things the way that I see them. Last September I was presented with a series of hoops that no self-respecting dog would consider jumping through. When I found out that, on top of everything else, she'd spent the last few years shopping for new dogs, I quit the circus. In fact, the truth is that I couldn't even stand the sound of her voice anymore.
Everything went through the lawyers as our relationship rapidly collapsed. Before October was through our lawyers had verbally agreed to terms. I made major concessions in the process because I desperately wanted to get on with my life. Most significantly, I agreed to let her keep the home which I had put a massive amount of work into. More than anything else, it still hurts to imagine another man playing with my children in the backyard paradise I built for them. It makes me sick to imagine this intruder crossing my rope bridge to my tree house and watching my girls jump on the trampoline I dug into the rocky ground by hand.
Unfortunately she had become just as good at holding up hoops as I had become at jumping through them, so seeing my willingness to make a concession she did what came most naturally to her... demanded another concession, and another, and another, and another. Finally (in June) a mediator came into the picture. He talked me into a new round of concessions. When my lawyer said, "I think we're within an hour of having this done," I can hardly describe the euphoria I felt. Then her lawyer said, "I forgot to tell you that I've double booked. I've got to leave now." I got an all-too-familiar sick feeling.
The two lawyers and the mediator came to an agreement about how things would proceed and assured me we could still get everything done within a few days, but that was almost two weeks ago and since that time I've been given an ultimatum to either sign her lawyer's completely convoluted version of the paperwork (which further compromises my relationship with my children) or go to court. I have wanted to avoid court worse than the plague, but my patience has now been completely used up, and I would spend any amount of money to avoid endorsing the terms they are pushing on me, so I've instructed my lawyer to begin issuing subpoenas next week.
I'm sure that some readers will feel like I've just exposed too much of my private business at a sensitive time, but the truth is that I've kept way too much of it in for way too long. Going forward, I'd rather tell the truth as I see it and live with those consequences, than keep silent and live with the consequences that come as a result of that. Yes, there are still things I cannot say, but I will never again allow anybody gain power over me based on my obligation to stay silent.
One last thing. Here's a video that absolutely hits the nail on the head:
(I'm having a tough time hot linking to it, so you'll probably have to cut and paste.)