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I wasn’t there, but if the way my attorney describes it is accurate, we made a narcissist sweat his balls off today!!    &, while it is probably bad Karma to gloat about this, after everything he’s put me through over the past 25 years I sort of feel like I’m entitled to a bit of gloating.

I think it’s best I approach this by categories.

Affairs.

He denied having an affair with the current GF…….until shown the receipt for the flowers he sent her 4 days after asking for a divorce, while swearing there was no one else.  With the message “AOMLAOY” (all of me loves all of you) he had a little explaining to do.  He held his ground, claiming that all they did was meet after hours in our (his and my) business, during which time they talked and danced.    I assume that since he is currently living with her, rent free, he’s feeling the pressure to protect her virtue.  Gossip runs rampant in our community and I don’t think she’d be happy if the news got out regarding how long they’d been carrying onl

The story changed a bit when my attorney pulled out the receipts I found for all the tracfones he’s had over the years.   At this point he did what he does when busted – flew into a rage and stormed out of the room.   After being talked down by his attorney he came back into the room and admitted to a different affair, but again, all they did was talk.  Well, then they met a few times while I thought he was working, but that’s not an affair, right?

By now, the sweat is accumulating.  Next up:

Work/Business.   When people with a family owned business  divorce it is not unusual for one of the owners to attempt to sell the business to avoid Alimony, Child Support, lump sum payments, etc).  This is what he’s been claiming to “have to do”.

His first claim was that he “had” to sell our business because “I forced him to“.   But ooppss….that couldn’t be true, because he and his parents own 75% and I own 25.  And, I was called into a meeting  with him, his parents and his attorney, and told to check the box “I agree to this sale” and sign the paper, after he and his parents had checked that box and signed.   Perhaps he was confused about the math.  It can be confusing that 75% is more than 25%.    He eventually conceded I had not forced the sale, and in fact I had not even agreed to the sale.

Next up, his claim that he had to sell the business because it was too many work hours for him.  After reviewing the list of documented vacations and weekends off, the Tuesday night off when our son cooks, the Wednesday & Thursday nights off when he plays basketball and the multiple Friday and Saturday night excursions with his new girl, well…..he started stammering.  And sweating.   Profusely.  It is hard to make the case that you are working your ass off in a small byob that employees 5 other cooks.  I had always wondered about that but…….I was the silly little housewife, being a demeaning, crazy bitch so I backed down.  Surprisingly, it turns out I was right!!!  His work hours were Bullshit.  Aha!

Which brought about question # 3:  is the business being sold????   He has taken a job paying substantially less, under the guise that the business is being sold.  Yet every time he’s pushed, the sale date gets pushed back.  Here’s the real story:

His new job, as a Chef/Manager at a University, is still an “unknown”.  Yes, he’s been collecting paychecks.  And yes, he’s been going to meetings, but he has no idea what his responsibilities will be, what his work hours will be, or who he’ll be supervising.  He won’t know any of this until mid January – maybe.  And, in an totally unforeseen twist (not) he admitted he had been collecting his full salary from the business until 2 weeks ago, while collecting his paycheck from his new job.  Poor guy though- he’s now only collecting $500/week from the business in addition to his new salary.  Well, and yes, he’s paying himself some benefits, like cell phones, petty cash, entertainment, etc.   “Opps I did it again” seems to work here, eh?

The final story was that now the business might not be sold because the “quality” has gone down since he left.   But wait……..when did he leave, exactly?   Confusing.

Anyway,  he might have to hold onto the restaurant to keep his customers happy.  Geeze – never saw that coming!

Lastly, in September his GF posted a link to an article about him selling the business.  Or, more accurately, his “turning over ownership”.  There he was, in front of the restaurant with his “Chef”, with a link to the article.  Yet everyone who tried to find the article was stymied.  Where was the article?  Why had it disappeared?  Why would an innocent, truthful article be removed?  Seemed odd.   His explanation:  His chef’s wife, who was financing the purchase, told him to take it down because it was a “done deal”.   Am I naive, because I’ve never heard that one before!  And lo and behold, it’s not a “done deal”.  In fact, it appears it might not be a deal at all.  How I would love to read that article, which was live for less than 12 hours.

 

Living Expenses    Let’s talk bills.

3 months ago he stopped paying the mortgage on the house my son and I live in; the house we all lived in for 15 years.  Mind you – I am paying Everything Else with my disability.  Utilities, food, gas, car repairs, extracurriculars for my son – all of it out of my pocket.   Obviously, since he’s such a great guy, he must be unable to pay the mortgage, right?  Why would he subject me to foreclosure proceedings, as well as himself, if can he afford to pay the mortgage?  That makes no sense.

He had an explanation:  He is paying the GF, whom he now lives with, $1200/month, via check, as well as utilities and groceries.  I’m not sure why he would have to do that given that she’s lived alone with her boys for 18 years, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, right?    Unfortunately for him, I have his checking account statements.  There are no checks to the GF, there are no checks for $1200, there are no utility checks.  In fact, there is also no check or withdrawal for the $435/month car payment for his new Cadillac.   And to be clear, there are also no automatic withdrawals or any other evidence, according to his bank, that he is paying living expenses.   Wow!  I’d be in fat city if I could pay bills without actually paying them.  Lucky him, right?  Except now he’s got a bit of a problem:  he has now lied on record, under oath, about his monthly expenses.  Ooppsss.

Put together, we find out that he is earning more than ever before, paying numerous perks from the business he has no intention of selling, and has no day to day living expenses.  Well, except the grocery store.  This is an important one to maintain because the grocery store sells minutes for his tracfone.  I’m not insinuating he’s going to cheat on the new girl but let’s be honest:  he’s going to cheat on the new girl.

The final category:   Marital Debt

Yes, there is a line of credit, up to $50K, which is allegedly in his and my name.  I remember signing whatever he told me to sign, because it was easier than facing his rage.  However, when I contacted the bank for information regarding this line of credit, which he wants me to pay half of, I was told I have no access because my name isn’t on the line of credit.  Damn.  I’m confused.

Regardless, our home is securing the line of credit, so when the house is sold the 1st thing to paid off will be that line of credit.  This has made it important to understand exactly what that line of credit paid for.  So I went through 5 years of monthly statements, making a spreadsheet of each transaction over $2,000.  I will grant all of you:  this might seem like chump change and not worthy of a fight.  But for a person on disability, with a minor son and excessive medical expenses, every penny counts.

During the course of discovery my attorney got copies of the checks he has written.  There were several large checks written out to the business.  Back to my rudimentary math:  if he and I, as a couple, loaned money to a business owned by 4 people it seem clear to me 4 people, i.e. the business, should pay it back.  He claims the business did pay it back.  We await the proof of this.  With baited breath.

There were also several checks made out to the rental properties we/his investment group owned.  Again, he is 1/3 owner of these properties, which makes me half of his 1/3, so this is important.  Did this business pay us back?  Again, I wait with baited breath to see his “proof” that they did.

FInally there were the checks made out to “cash” in the amount of either $4,000 or $6,000.  Several.  I think by the time my attorney got to these he was feeling a measure of pity for him, because he didn’t pursue this intensely.  He will if need be, but given the amount of sweat dripping from my spouses face and body  it just seemed like overkill.

I have to grant my spouse this:  He had every reason to assume he’d walk in to that deposition and be able to lie his way through.  He had no reason to believe I’ve been quietly collecting evidence, tracking down cancelled checks and records of repeated vacations, copying tracfone receipts and closely examining bank records.  I imagine he walked into that meeting assuming it would be the same as our marriage.  I’d make an accusation, he’d deny it and call me crazy, he’d ask me to prove it, which I would’t do because I didn’t want the marriage to end, then he’d walk away, free to do what he wanted.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to understand that I only took him at his word because we were Married, and that’s what Married People Do.  Now that we’re not married people, all bets are off.  Do you think he understands this now?

The Upshot.

Where does this leave me?  Who knows.  Today, hearing my attorney, while profusely laughing, refer to him as Sweaty McSweaterson was sort of as good as it can get.  My “loving” spouse left the meeting dripping in sweat!   After backing down to years of his rages, giving in so I would’t end up in a physical altercation or emotional torture, this was a major Victory for me.

A normal person  would call Uncle.  He would realize that he’s been busted and he’d negotiate in good faith.   I won’t hold my breath, but I will hold out hope for this.  How lovely it would be to finish this and move on.

In the meantime I will bask in the glory of nights like tonight.

n a remarkable coincidence, I went from hearing about the successful deposition to my youngest sons’ first high school concert.  (he plays trombone now, but also plays baritone and piano)

My spouse and I  raised 4 boys “together”.  What this really means is that he pushed each boy to play sports that he could coach (which brings up back to his work hours – always off for coaching, otherwise unable to take off).  While he worked, screwed around and coached his favorite sports, I took care of the house & the kids, made them brush their teeth, eat vegetables, do homework and broaden their experiences.  I made them try music, and Odyssey of the Mind, and Debate, and volunteer work.  I forced them to clean their rooms, practice their instruments, help with household chores and speak nicely to each other.  And you know what?  I did a really good job!

I did such a good job that tonight I got my youngest son to his 1st high school music concert.  It has taken every ounce of my being to get him there.   By the tine he was 7, around the time boys become capable at sports, I fought to get him to keep up with his music.  As all boys do, all he wanted was to make his dad proud, and he knew that sports made his dad proud; not music.  It’s been a battle that tonight I Won.  My youngest performed, with joy! .  More importantly, his older brother came and played as an alumni.  Why does this matter?  It matters for 2 reasons:  the older brother lived, breathed and ate music.  It was the love of his life.  Until he moved in with his dad.  Tonight though, at the urging of his younger brother, he showed up, he played, and he enjoyed the accolades deserving of the Band Member of the Year, which he won every year of his high school career.  In addition, he got to watch his younger brother over the moon with pride to be related to him – his musical idol.  It was a beautiful, fulfilling moment, and I’ll remember it forever.

Afterwards, since there is a part of me that will never stop being petty, I saw my spouse standing against the wall, waiting to make sure his boys saw him before he rushed off to basketball.  I had a choice to make.  Part of me wanted to say “gee, looks like you’ve lost some water weight”, to reference the amount of sweat left at my attorney’s office.  I resisted.  Instead, I caught his eye, smiled and gave him a salute, after which I sauntered away – yes I sauntered.   And damn, that is fun to do!

For the 1st time in 25 years I realized – I’m not only as strong as him, I think I’m actually Stronger than him!

I don’t expect this high to last, I expect many more battles to come, but tonight, I feel great.  I feel whole, and okay.  How awesome is that?

 

PS:  If you’ve ever watched How I Met Your Mother (highly recommend) you’ll remember that two of the main characters, whenever anyone said “Major x”, would look at each other, salute and say “Major X”.  Like Major Bummer, or Major Privilege.  While I was saluting him I was thinking the words “Major Victory”.  Go Me!

 

PPS: While at the concert I got a text from one of the owners of my yoga studio.  I am helping put up Christmas decorations tomorrow, and she wanted to make me and the 2 others lunch.  Knowing I have a ridiculous amount of food restrictions, she asked what she could prepare.  I texted back that I was grateful she thought of me, but I could bring my own lunch, as I’m sort of high maintenance to cook for.  She would not give up!  Within an hour she had figured out and started making a soup I can eat.  Then she sent out a text to the 4 of us (her included) telling us she was on lunch patrol and excited about the afternoon.   Which got me to thinking – I am hard to feed.  Some, like my spouse, would express this as a burden.  Others though, like she and my family and friends, embrace me as an opportunity to learn about foods and embrace new cooking challenges.  And as it turns out, to them I’m not a burden.

 

Too much good.  I have a happiness hangover coming on strong, but it is worth it.

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