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Newbie - searching for advice

  • theblackenedskull
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26 Feb 08 #15125 by theblackenedskull
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Hi,

New here, but not new to forums, and am a moderator on another self/group help forum. I understand the form and protocols, so I will get right into the background, and follow with my questions.

A little over a year ago, a long lost love got back in contact with me after 21 years. If I am truthful, I always regretted the initial split, but am pragmatic enough to understand that at the time we were just kids, and clearly not ready for each other. In the intervening time I got on with life, such as it is, and eventually settled down and had children of my own. That relationship ended about seven years ago, and therefore this newly awakened contact was a relief from the loneliness and depression associated with the previous split.

My relationship with my children, and their mother, is healthy, and is in the correct context, so all the "emotional baggage" bought to a new relationship was already resolved. Jumping forward to last year, we made the most of the new contact, and resolved to meet up about a month later. For the record, I was living in London at the time, and she was living 250 miles away. Additional to this, as an extension of our previous association, coupled with shared friends and concerns, resulted in the lady concerned becoming an accepted addition to the family, although not in any legal sense, but over time this association dwindled, and as I say, contact was lost.

We met up, again, last February, and it was great. We covered old times, discussed the intervening years, and generally accepted that the time was now right for both of us. She had a two year old daughter by a previously unsuccessful relationship, had emotional and practical support from an older friend, and whilst still emotionally fragile, was well on the way to getting back into the real world. For both of us the time seemed right, and we agreed that I would move down to my childhood hometown, and we would make a life together.

My own life has not been too successful, mainly due to depressive episodes, but in the main I have kept myself active, and employed, and lived the day-to-day life of a single person. She, on the other hand, got onto the property ladder early on, and is financially secure. Whilst slightly discomforting, this financial inequality did not prove to be any burden on the relationship. However, that was without considering the intentions of her older confidante.

He has been in her life for the best part of ten years, and in varying degrees. She went through a previous marriage, and divorce, with him on the sidelines, and he was also there during the altogether brief relationship, and separation, from the father of her child. I do not know for certain whether or not there was any active physical relationship between them, and if I am honest, I do not really consider it relevant, historically. However, that he covets her jealously, and always has, is something that she has confirmed to me time and again.

Due to her own history, she is, or rather was emotionally fragile and vulnerable, and it is my firm belief that he has taken advantage of this, and manipulated her over the years. She seems to have been strategically shielded from "normal" people, and has instead been surrounded by "dysfunctional" ones. Most of these people are good people, and are very supportive of her, and to her, so I see no harm in her having them as friends. However, she has been jealously shielded from what most would consider "normal, healthy" relationships, and I guess this is a means of reinforcing her emotional dependence on him.

From day one, he has been present on the sidelines of our own relationship, and I now realise that he has been briefing against me all that time. Initially it was a case of "...he's a loser, and will take you for all you have got..." and this sowed the seeds of doubt and uncertainty in her mind, doubts that have continued throughout the relationship. That aside, we got on with it, I encouraged her to establish a relationship between her daughter and her daughter's father, something that had not been done before, and now it is something to marvel at. Father and daughter are pleased to see each other, and they can look forward to determining their own relationship over the coming years.

Once this was achieved, last summer, we discussed marriage, and it went ahead at the end of August. Family and close friends were in attendance, and all were pleased at the union. Older confidante was not present, although I assured my intended that he was most welcome should she wish it. That she did not invite him gave me hope that the emotional dependance had been broken, and that she was now her own person once more.

Things were going fine, until just before Christmas, when she had a major shoulder operation. This coincided with me losing my job (lucky or what?) and so we were thrown together 24/7 for a couple of months. In itself this was not a problem, as she was unable to drive, my own kids were down for Christmas, and I was busy shopping, cooking, cleaning and ferrying everyone around. This continued into the new year, as my wife is a student, and she needed driving to college three days a week.

After about eight weeks, a month or so ago, she was able to drive again, and I was able to start looking for a job. But the two months of being cooped up together meant that we had gone a little stir crazy, and we were bickering. To clear the air, and to give us some time out, it was agreed that I would stay with my sister for a couple of days. This was done, but as a result my wife went running to older confidante for some support, and he saw his opportunity.

He was able to reap the crop from the earlier seeds of doubt, and told her that her assets were at risk, and that she should secure them now. He still maintains that I am a gold digger, which I am certainly not, and that her assets need protecting from me. He duly marched her down to a solicitor, got her to rewrite her will, and in the event of her death, and assuming the daughter is still not of age, he gets the lot. To compound matters, he convinced her to sign over guardianship of her daughter to him, in the event of her death, thus separating her from her natural father, and also from her newly acquired brothers. And me. In fact the wording is such that we are specifically and unambiguously excluded from her upbringing if such an event were to occur.

Since then, we have discussed a fresh start, and we decided to make a go of it last week. However, all of this was hidden from me, and I therefore feel that the fresh start was a false start, and that her intentions, guided by him, were not the intentions I believed them to be. We had another row on Sunday, and she stormed off to see him again, for "support and guidance," and this is when I noticed the will, and the accompanying letter and notes, and this is how I know what I do now.

The material matters of the will are relatively unimportant to me - I came into the marriage with practically nothing, and if the marriage were to end I would not expect to take anything out of it. However, the other elements concern me greatly, especially regarding the daughter, and even more so when I consider the manipulative and duplicitous way in which this has all been achieved. A master stroke if applied in any other aspect of life, to gather all the fruits to himself, whilst deflecting the greed by implying that I present a risk.

I have now come to understand all that is going on, and have managed to filter out the truths from the lies, and have a fairly accurate picture before me. I have presented this picture to my wife (I am once again staying at my sister's) and she now finds herself in a position I would rather she was not in. Two people, presenting her with practically identical claims and counter claims, and she has to decide which one to believe. History determines that the advantage is not with me in this choice, but logic dictates that if she chooses to believe him, then my arguments will have been proved correct, and his proved false. If she chooses to believe me, and with his "advice" this is highly unlikely, then things, whilst clearly being strained, should have some chance of working out.

If she goes for his persuasive arguments, and relies on the admittedly ten years of loyal support, then we will get divorced, and I will walk away. I will not press for anything from the marriage, as, in all fairness, my material contribution has not been significant in such a short space of time. Therefore the marriage will have been dissolved on unfounded implications, and once they prove to be false, everyone will be the loser: a marriage ruined for no reason, other than jealousy and greed, and two loving adults, not to mention four loving children, will once again have had their lives shattered.

I have also put to her that if he is a really true friend, as she seems to believe, then the decent thing for him to do would be to recognise that his contribution is an exacerbating factor in our problems, and to gracefully bow out of her life. Not necessarily forever, as I do not believe in people choosing friends for others, but until such time as we have resolved our own problems. Initially I thought that this was between her and me, but it is looking more like a case of a fight between me and him...which is perverse in the extreme.

So, to my problem, and to my question. Assuming that things do not go well, I will find myself without a wife, and through no fault of my own. I feel that this has been engineered by older confidante, out of jealousy in the first instance, and also possibly out of greed. On the second it is not really an issue, as I would not contest any financial aspects of the divorce, but they are nevertheless a contributing factor. Are there grounds for seeking redress from a third party (him) in an instance such as this? Is there such a claim as "third party destruction of a marriage" that does not involve adultery?

From day one he did not accept me, he has briefed against me and sown seeds of doubt, and as a result my marriage is now in jeopardy. That his allegations are false demonstrates willful intent, and whilst not 100% certain of his intentions, some logical conclusions can be reached. He considers his ten years of emotional and practical support an investment, and I cannot argue with that. He believes, rightly or wrongly, that securing all her assets is a reasonable return on that investment, even though it is morally, and possibly legally wrong, especially in such a fashion.

I don't honestly expect any concrete answers, and am just throwing this into the pot to see what comes out. However, whilst I am not in a tearful state of despair, I do appreciate words of warmth and support, if given, and assure anyone concerned that this is the first step, rather than the last step, in my life for the next few months. I have done despair and depression in the past, so that is not really an issue at present. What I really want to know, in simplistic terms, is what can I do to prevent this guy wrecking my marriage, and if he succeeds in doing so, what can I do to get my own back on him? Legal and non-violent stuff only please.

Adam.

  • mike62
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26 Feb 08 #15132 by mike62
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Blimey O'Reilley Adam! Can't you catch writer's cramp or something? :laugh:

Just kidding!

OK, poisoned pal and wife have created a new will in his favour and guardianship of her daughter and her assets go to him? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I would suggest that if you love your wife and want to stay married that you play a very dangerous game of oneupmanship.

Seek a reconciliation with your wife on the basis that you fully accept her new will and all it contains, with the exception of the daughter's guardianship.

You are demonstrating to her that you love her unconditionally, and your primary focus is her daughter's long term wellbeing.

Poisoned pal is then on a rather sticky wicket as to the validity of his claims that you are a golddigger. If all works out, and marriage goes from strength to strength, revisit the will in the fullness of time. By then poisoned pal's credibility is shot to bits. Obviously some downsides to the argument. If she were to die for example.

However, I think such a will would be contestable at some time in the future.

Don't know the full legalities of it.

You need to ask the question, is it your wife yhat you want, or poisoned pal that you don't want. Then, when you are clear, make your decisions accordingly.

Best of luck

Mike

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26 Feb 08 #15134 by theblackenedskull
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LOL - yes, I do go on a bit, one of my many "better" qualities.

Strange as it may seem, what you suggest is the approach I am already taking. Yes, I have highlighted my concerns to her, not only about us as a couple, but also about the little girl.

I have stated categorically to her that his gold digger insinuation is untrue, even to the point of suggesting she rewrite the will in favour of her mother, but still excluding me...the money really is not an issue or concern to me.

His poisonous briefing is though, and my biggest fear is that she will, out of habit, seek his shoulder for support. If that happens then yes, a divorce will follow. That I then walk away, contesting nothing and claiming nothing, will finally demonstrate the invalidity of his claim.

But of course, at that point it will be too late. The marriage will be over, I will be proven blameless, and he will be shown for the manipulative and grasping person that he is. And of course the marriage will be dissolved on a false presumption.

However, resolution after the event will be an impossibility, and therefore this is the reason for my original question: can I bring an action, or is there any supporting case law, against this man for "constructive destruction of the marriage?"

If he is set on wrecking my marriage, then I want to ensure he pays for it. I am not at all frightened of court, and am confident enough to argue my case in person, and rip him to shreds before a judge or a jury. However, supporting action would be a great benefit, especially in determining whether or not such a course of action would be prudent in the first place.

Adam.

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26 Feb 08 #15136 by mike62
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"constructive destruction of the marriage?"

I have absolutely no idea Adam. There are one or two solicitors that answer posts, maybe they will pick up on this one. Sounds like an expensive way of proving a point.

For me, solidifying the marriage would be of greater concern. Getting your wife to transfer her need for emotional support from poisoned pal to you.

Only you can answer that one

Best of luck

Mike

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27 Feb 08 #15149 by attilladahun
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Adam focusing your anger on him doesn't really help

The one inescapable fact here is your wife herself has to "see" the confidents behaviour for what it is misguided.

The obvious way to demonstrate this is his "approach" regarding the child....what numpty attempts to destabilise the contact arrangements....
surely if she understands "contact is a right of a child" she will understand what unwise advice she is getting.

If she doesn't "get it" -it sadly just highlights how fragile and vulnerable she is at present and NOT in a frame of mind to make life changing decisions!


This is a difficult one -you just have to be there for her...personally separating I think is the wrong move and only gives him more of an oportunity

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27 Feb 08 #15151 by theblackenedskull
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Thanks guys, I understand and appreciate what you are saying, and it broadly follows my own views and actions. My biggest fear, obviously, is that she will follow this guy's advice, and then it will be too late.

Clearly I do not want to lose my wife, or indeed my marriage, and I am trying everything possible to prevent this from happening. Out of desperation, or perhaps out of hope, I contacted her oldest and dearest friend last night.

I appealed to her to talk to my wife, to get her to open her eyes, and to accept that there is a real possibility, however much she is denial about it, that this guy has been playing her along for the last eight to ten years.

Perhaps she will listen, and perhaps she won't, but I have nothing to lose by trying. The material facts bear out my arguments and fears, not his, and to add to this I have the argument that he has had all this time to manipulate her, considering this as a possibility, whereas I have not.

The next few days will be tense, and I guess there could well be some side-taking. I don't really care about this if I am honest. What I do care about is that she opens her eyes, she finds her own strength, and that she makes her own decisions. If she does this, then whatever decision she makes, I will be happy that it has been freely made.

Once again, thanks for the supportive tone in here...whilst there is nothing concrete as a solution, the support is very much appreciated, and it is comforting to know that there are others out there willing to listen and help if they can.

Adam.

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27 Feb 08 #15155 by gone1
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You cant start a war with this guy as you are not in a good position. He has 10 years or so with her. What I suggest you do is be suportive and point out what she has done. To an outsider assigning guardianship of her child to this man is madness.

What I have noticed about some people is if you dont talk to them they think you are against them. Once you start talking and they can work you out for themselves they may calm down. To this end why dont you ask for a meeting with this chap and ask him what concerns he may have about you? Thats what I would do. Chris.

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