January 13, 2021 at 6:58 am #293AnonymousInactive
I recently had a very unsettling experience and I would like to know if there is anything someone with more experience in these matters would recommend I do.
A few weekends back my wife and kids and I were all at a BBQ at a friend’s house on a Sunday afternoon. The group got separated into kids playing by themselves and women talking to themselves, which left the men congregated around the BBQ.
Not all the men and women at the BBQ were couples and a discussion among the men soon commenced about how one of the single guys there managed to recently separate from his wife, and the story he told was one of an ugly breakup where despite agreeing to amicably separate she basically took him for everything he had, house, kids, spousal maintenance and all – leaving him to sell the car, move into a relatively cheap 2 bedroom apartment alone, and only see his kids for 2 days every 3rd week.
A few of us were quite shocked at how traumatic it had really been for this guy as looking back at the timeframe in question he showed little outward signs of anything other than a relatively trouble free divorce. Clearly that was not the case though.
I noticed that every time a woman came over to check on us and the BBQ it was automatically assumed without any agreement beforehand by all men that we would change subject when talking about a subject that involved discussing how women behave during relationship breakdown and when at court.
Even the men that were married fell in line with this unwritten rule and I wondered if this was because even when in a happy and working relationship most men knew of how extreme some women can behave during relationship breakdowns and when at court, and believed it was best not to make their knowledge of this too public.
The gentlemen in question’s relationship breakdown and separation story was of particular interest to me for several reasons including the fact that my relationship with my wife – who was at the BBQ with me that afternoon – had hit a rocky period and been like that for 4 months. I own a glazier business and about 6 months ago we lost a big contract which changed our lifestyle a fair bit and as a result of that it put pressure on our marriage and made my wife’s behavior erratic beyond the point that any rational discussion could resolve.
The other reason the gentlemen in question’s relationship breakdown and separation story was of interest was because my wife and I had discussed separation a few times lately and my wife had recently ramped up her friendship with this guy’s ex-wife to the point where they were catching up for lunches once a week.
This is where the story takes a bit of a bizarre turn.
Recently my wife had become excessively antagonistic, looking to start arguments over the smallest of concerns or details, and she will even get angry if her attempt to start an argument with me is unsuccessful. Last Sunday was no exception and at the same time as she had lost her temper in the kitchen for no reason she yelled at me to go into the kids room and smack them for fighting.
The least you could do is go in there and smack them for fighting, screaming and yelling, and bring some peace to this house she said. It was an unusual request because we rarely smack our kids no matter what they get up to.
Anyway, in I went to the bedroom only to find that the reason for all the noise was that our son had fallen off the bed and cut his head on the sharp edge of a plastic toy. He was only yelling because his sister had pushed him off the bed during a play-fight, so clearly the situation was not one that required the kids being overly punished – let alone smacked.
Of course I didn’t know the real reason for all the noise when I first walked into their room and as soon as I entered and asked what was going on, to my surprise the first thing that our daughter said was “what are you doing Mummy?”
I had left my wife in the kitchen upon her command to go and smack the kids for misbehaving and walked into the kids bedroom alone, so that was why it was a shock when the first thing that our daughter said to me was “what are you doing Mummy?”.
At that point, rather than ask questions immediately about the noise, I instead turned around to look behind me to see if my wife had followed me in because the first thing that our daughter said to me was “what are you doing Mummy?”
When I turned around I saw my wife trying to secretly take a photograph of all of us through the crack of the kids door with her phone camera. As soon as my wife saw me turn around she immediately put her phone down and walked into the kids room as if she was there to help. My wife didn’t directly respond to our daughter’s question as to what she was doing and when I asked her what she was doing she stated that she had received an SMS at the same time as she came in to help me sort the kids out.
Immediately after telling me that she had received an SMS she began caring for our son’s head injury, so nothing further was said about what it was precisely that she was doing outside of the bedroom. Later that night I asked her why she was waiting outside the door behind me with her phone raised to eye level as if she were taking a photograph through the crack of the door, and in response she used my question as a reason to deflect, get angry, and start an argument. As a result I discontinued that line of questioning whilst at the same time feeling that her actions didn’t quite add up to her explanation.
All my efforts to get a straight answer out of her about what she was really doing and/or why, if she was coming in to help, she didn’t just properly accompany me into the kids room to discipline them for supposedly fighting, have gone nowhere. The more I think about her actions that night the more questions I have. I mean it makes no sense for her to go overboard in the kitchen and tell me to single-handedly smack the kids – only to then immediately change your mind and decide to secretly help deal with it herself – but then just when she gets to the kid’s door she decides to respond to an SMS that, not only came in with no audio chime and could have easily waited – but also required you to hold the phone up to your head like you’re taking a photo.
Things got so bad that whenever I approached the subject of what she was really doing that day it went nowhere and/or unnecessarily turned into an argument. So even before I asked her how it was possible that she received an SMS at that time when no SMS-chime emanated from her phone the entire subject became officially labeled by her as a no go area. That didn’t stop me though because I suspected she was lying and by the time this had all happened her overall behavior had become so unnecessarily antagonistic and bizarre/suspicious that I simply had to have some resolution to the dilemma.
Yesterday her phone audibly registered an SMS whilst she was in the bathroom putting her makeup on and since she was getting ready to go out, running late, and waiting for her lift she asked me to check the phone for her. When I checked her phone for her I also checked for messages on the Sunday/time she appeared to be taking a photograph through the crack of the door-jam that day the kids were presumed to be misbehaving and in need of discipline. What I found was that there was no incoming/outgoing message on her phone for that day and time. In fact her phone took and produced no calls/messages of any kind for several hours before and after the Sunday/time in question.
My wife doesn’t know I have checked her phone for messages in this way and I have not discussed the subject of her appearing to take a photograph through the crack of the door-jam that day with my wife since it become a no go area, but the only theory that makes sense to me is that she wanted to capture a photograph of me smacking the kids so she could use it to gain the majority share of custody when/if we separate.
If that is what she was doing and she was planning to entrap me and separate it would also explain why she has been unnecessarily antagonistic these last few months. It would also perfectly explain why for the first time in our relationship she asked me to smack the kids and why she had the phone up to eye height whilst secretly looking through the door-jam, just after instructing me to smack the kids.
One of the more traumatic aspects of the aforementioned single guy’s separation story at the BBQ was that before he got to see his kids for 2 days every 3rd week he was not allowed to see them at all for several months while everything played out in court. Sensing he might have some insight I could benefit from I called him today and when I asked how come he only sees his kids every 3rd week and why he wasn’t allowed to see them at all for months before that he advised that his ex-wife used arguments she created at the end of their relationship to say he was abusive, she filed a protection order against him, she secretly photographed him disciplining the kids after she requested it, and then used the photographs in both the magistrates and federal courts to say he abuses the kids to gain a majority share of the custody.
Now I am certain about what my wife was doing last Sunday when we caught her looking through the door-jam with her camera. Any feedback on my situation and what I should do from this forum would be appreciated. Should I file for divorce and parenting orders? Should I wait and see what happens?
January 17, 2021 at 3:02 am #294Bradley LehParticipant
Sounds to me like you dodged a bullet thanks to your beautiful daughter catching your ex-wife out.
I for one have heard of women setting up their partners like this just before they separate for the purposes of shunting the father out of the kids life completely and gaining full custody as the mother’s application for parenting orders travels through the court.
I read on a forum years ago some guy that had this done to him just as they were about to separate and it got to the point where the police where pressing charges against the guy despite the fact that his wife set it all up.
All that mattered was that she had the video on her phone and then he was considered abusive to the kids, which then lent credibility to her claims of abuse – none of which were evidenced.
Morale of the story is be very careful what you do as you approach breaking up and when you actually breakup. Especially if your partner is already adopting a domestic violence narrative.
For some women when they break up it’s a no brainer to them to try and take the kids, the car, the house, the lot. Goes on all the time and the guy is left with nothing but the shirt on his back.
What’s worse is that the system enables them to do it.
If it were me I would be working on a way that I could be attending a professional mediator with my wife, something like relationships Australia, so we could both work on establishing a set of parenting orders to go by as we split up. That way you separate amicably and short circuit what she seems to be trying to do whilst also making it real that you’re splitting up – that is if that’s what you want to do.
January 17, 2021 at 3:34 am #295Johnny PetheridgeParticipant
Based on what you have said there’s not a doubt in my mind that she was trying to set you up based on her girlfriend’s similar actions.
When a spouse decides she wants to bolt because the relationship doesn’t deliver her with her expected lifestyle anymore one of the most prominent things on her mind will be how best to misdirects from what she is about to do and its effect on the kids. And that’s where strategies like this come into play as they don’t just immediately position the mother as a victim who had no other choice, but also they ensure she gets the majority of time with the kids, which means the kids have less chance to think mum did anything wrong.
It’s disgraceful how often this stuff happens and how easily it works. Be careful, don’t get into any arguments at all with her, and don’t follow her instructions to tell the kids off.
January 20, 2021 at 2:11 am #305Felix SpencherKeymaster
Thanks for reaching out to us for help. From what you have said there are a few coincidences and/or issues there that you probably need to resolve. You said you and your partner had discussed separation prior to you catching her peering through the gap between the kids door and its door jam, as she held her phone camera up to eye height in hope that she would catch you disciplining the kids at her request.
If it were me I would be waiting for a time when the kids are not home and/or in bed asleep so I could get a straight answer about, if not what she was doing behind the door, then separating. The discussion could take place at home or at the offices of a professional mediator like relationships Australia. As hard as it might be, even if you’re still willing to make the relationship work, staying together might just be an impossible task. Particularly if she’s already thinking about ways to set you up in order to gain the majority share of custody of the kids.
In short, you need to consider whether someone that is prepared to set you up in that calculated and divisive way and/or let it go unexplained, really is someone you can trust and spend the rest of your life with. Just imagine where you would be now if your daughter didn’t catch her out and she had gained video of you smacking the kids. Only you and her know the answer to that question/consideration.
If she really was trying to photograph you disciplining the kids at her request then that tells you just how far down the road she already is when it comes to separation and splitting up all your possessions; kids included. That’s why you need to know whether or not you’re separating and just haven’t been told it yet.
Remember, if the police and/or child services were to be shown a video of a parent smacking their kids then, regardless of how much she may have set it up, that could be grounds for both criminal charges and all access to the kids being suspended. So, bear that in mind as it serves as a major advantage to any application for parenting orders within the federal circuit court she may make at the same time.
And if that were to happen it wouldn’t be the first time I had heard of a spouse using a domestic abuse and/or other potentially criminal claim to bolster their federal circuit court application and gain full control of the kids.
Hope that helps. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to post.
January 20, 2021 at 2:18 am #306Steven JimsesonParticipant
Good advice Felix. Couldn’t have said it better myself. If she’s already out of the relationship, but just hasn’t confirmed it, and looking for ways to set you up so she can take the kids, then you need to know for sure that you’re separating. Aside from that, be careful and don’t fall into any of her domestic violence narratives and/or traps.
February 2, 2021 at 8:04 am #313Vihaan ReddyParticipant
Yes, I agree. Good advice Felix.
If it were me I would have accepted her failure to properly explain what she was doing as a conviction that we were separating.
There is too much of this kind of thing going on and when it gets to court it’s like they’re just lining up the men and knocking them over like their bowling pins.
No-one that loves you sets you up. No-one that loves their kids should want to deprive them of a father.
That’s my opinion anyway.
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