Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from the reader who posts as “Elle.”
In 2014, my youngest daughter and I got a restraining order against my husband at the time due to violent rages and terrifying behavior he was exhibiting. Of course he would profess to our older 2 daughters he did nothing and we were lying … this is a man who NEVER took any responsibility for his behavior and was then and still is a pathological liar.
At a divorce proceeding in April 2017, in spite of the restraining order in effect, he violated the order and I went to the police. He came after my daughter and I in the parking lot in a terrifying, arms flailing, cocky and belligerent manner saying well … GOOD MORNING. My daughter and I said nothing to him but spoke to my lawyer when he arrived. MY lawyer addressed this man because even inside the court hallway he chose to stand 12 ft away from us and stare and glare trying to intimidate us.
It became very obvious once inside the court and the lawyers began speaking with each other… my soon to be ex husband was feeling his oats going into court because his and his lawyer’s intention was to basically extort $ 100,000 from me as a payout to make him go away. HE knew I had no money, I had purchased this home and paid for all the renovations from family inheritance money and had paid the 2 mortgages on it for decades as well as paid insurance, taxes etc.
After a very long, expensive and very messy, high conflict divorce, I had hoped (how silly of me) that the drama and chaos would begin to subside. We were divorced in Sept 2017 and it was final in Dec. 2017.
The restraining order violation was between the state vs. my soon to be ex for his behavior in the courthouse parking lot. He was put on probation and required to attend certified batterers intervention classes for a year. The judge was wonderful and took this case very seriously and continues to follow our case. He chastised both the court appointed lawyer defending this man and my soon to be ex himself… and NO… he didn’t like this.
My life and my daughter’s life has been hell ever since with my other 2 daughters. Mostly the middle one, who he is very close to and has been ever since she was little. She is so confused because she knows I am an honest person, as is her sister, and yet he consistently lies to her about the circumstances, even though she has tried to establish her boundaries and says she doesn’t want to discuss any of this.
We now have a huge crisis on our hands because she is getting married on Labor Day Weekend in a different state and what should be a joyous time has turned into a nightmare.
I got a phone call from her the Tues after Father’s Day. My daughter was crying, saying he wasn’t going to attend because we — me and my youngest who also has the RO against him — were going. Why would she and I want him to go after we lied and said terrible things about him to the judge? Yes, I am sure he didn’t like me spilling the truth, BUT THERE WERE NO LIES. Yet he continues to manipulate our middle daughter (always his favorite) and overwhelm her with his tales of woe to get her to feel sorry for him. She is 32 and it is very hard on her.
Long story short … in my call with her … remaining composed … I replied to her and said I am really sorry this is happening to you. This is a time for you and your fiancé to be excited… a time of JOY and this isn’t fair to either of you. This is very selfish and I am very sorry.
A week later, 2 nights after she and I had a lovely dinner, out exploring her ideas for table setting and flowers, she texts me: “Dad says he can’t go to the wedding because the probation officer says he isn’t allowed to leave the state per his probation. Do you know about this? Do you have any pull with his probation officer? HE said he never knew about it.”
Meanwhile … I knew he has been leaving the state frequently to go hiking and camping with her and her fiancé as well as going out of the state with his family camping and hiking. Of course I said nothing about that, but this is what MAKES IT ALL THE MORE CONFUSING … and makes her furious with the entire situation. It gets murky because of his lies and deceit to her about her behavior. IT is destabilizing and quite honestly … it enrages me that he would do this to her!!!!!!!! HE is so hateful, vindictive and sick.
I picked up the phone and said to her, “No, I don’t know any of the requirements surround his probation. I was not in any of those meetings so I do not have any knowledge. I also do not have any pull with his probation officer. She responded saying, ” Dad gave me her number ( P.O.) should I call her?” Well- that sounds like a good idea to understand what is going on.
The next morning, I received a call from his probation officer (she is required to call me once a month) to inform me what was going on. I shared the conversation I had with my daughter and said she would be calling her. I also asked when and if he received information initially that he was not to leave the state without prior permission from her and then a hearing where a judge would allow his request.
The probation officer also said that she (Probation Officer) was not going to grant him permission to leave the state and explained that she was prepared to go before the judge if he takes it that far. Her reasoning was because:
- Two victims: myself and my youngest daughter were going to be there and she was not going to expose us to further abuse or danger, and that
- going to the other state is out the state’s jurisdiction and they have no recourse, and
- if he again broke the restraining order, he would be transferred back to our state and would be sent to jail for a minimum of 2 1/2 year jail sentence.
OF course when she told our daughter this … it was heartbreaking … ABSOLUTELY HEARTBREAKING and confusing … she has to listen to him constantly be the victim, even though she sets her boundaries or says she does…. he berates her sister and I and does not respect her wishes but because of his abusive nature, manipulation and the using of her as his confidant as he has done FOR YEARS … she is devastated. She can’t see it … and it is so painful to see it.
Unfortunately, I did say to her and her older sister, when I told them both that the police removed him from our house, this is very painful and going be very confusing so please find a therapist to get some support and help as our family walked through this crisis. Unfortunately … this fell on deaf ears and he has continued to lie and deceive them as well as play the victim here.
She called me late Friday afternoon and was filled with sadness, anger and rage … some of it directed at the situation but honestly … some of it directed towards me because I violated him. I did try to stay as calm as I could be, but when she ramped up about the R O … I allowed her to vent because she needed to. She was heartbroken and sobbing saying, “this is so wrong … she should be able to have both her parents at her wedding.” I could hear the anger and extreme grief in her voice because let’s face it … I violated him and he has twisted it all around.
There were many other violations … that I did not bring to the court … it was all too much, I was dealing with PTSD as was my younger daughter, dealing with court hearings, divorce proceedings, lawyers bills and running a professional business … and he had her contact me 4 times during the course of the restraining order and once after the I filed the violation. During the restraining order I reminded her this was not her issue and that this is 3rd party contact and that the court stated this was a violation of the order … it was important for her to not be the messenger. After the violation … she called one day shortly before the violation hearing … when I answered she was hysterical and said, “Dad is afraid and wants you to drop the charges.” She was crying and said, “he is very afraid and is crying” … It was awful and I said this is hard for all of us. This is between your Dad and the State now…. not me. There is nothing I could do.
She was devastated and I was devastated for her … and for me as well because he continues his ghastly, sick, manipulative and demented behavior, causing so much pain, confusion and sadness in this family. HE wants to divide and conquer and it scares the hell out of me that he will succeed … even if it is short lived. It is SO WRONG & THE ABUSE CONTINUES.
As I assume you can see … had he been honest with her from the beginning, abided by the terms of his probation and not left the state and gone hiking and camping with her and her fiancé or his family, AND if he had told her when she shared she was looking for wedding venues outside of the state … and he reminded her or told her before she committed … she would have changed her plans and looked local and not be here and I hold him responsible. If all of that happened … we wouldn’t be here.
Unfortunately … I am the one who pulled the restraining order as did her sister, we have maintained appropriate boundaries and not sucked her or her sister in to hear our version of what happened, although I did say to them if they ever had any questions they needed answers to or feelings they needed to express … I was always open to a discussion with them. They never asked because they are so toxic from his web of deceit and lies and pity pot victimization.
So now … there will be a hearing in the court where the original restraining order came from BUT this court has no jurisdiction because it needs to be in the court and with the judge for the violation and his probation officer told her and him that but he still proceeded to go with this one and I will be on the chopping block now in from of the judge … I will be truthful and explain to the judge about the probation and the requirement to go to a different court for permission.
This entire situation is EXHAUSTING … do you have any advice for me? Whether it is for the district court … he will be there and of course anything I say will be used against me because he will go DIRECTLY back to our daughter and spew more toxicity about me and blame me for everything. At this point, I will be devastated … but I am prepared to either be disinvited to her wedding or to just not attend if that is what she wants … yes, I will be so very sad but he continues to WREAK HAVOC in this family … absolutely heartbreaking … and infuriating too of course.
I look forward to hearing any suggestions or advice Lovefraud readers may have.