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I want out

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I'm done, I quit, I feel like I live on a tightrope every day of my life and I thought that I could manage to shove the stress in a compartment, but it's starting to break me down. That probably sounds really dramatic coming from a 31 year old guy.

The expectations that my wife tries to put on me for my SD are too much for me. I don't love the child. I do take up responsibilities (daycare pick ups/babysitting throughout the day). She goes to extremes with her expectations, and honestly, if I was smart, I would just fake it. I can't bring myself to do it. She wants a replacement. She's an active alienator of her own daughter to her daughter's father. She doesn't parent (in a manner that's healthy to a child), she stays at her job until 7:30pm every other night when she doesn't have to.

Her child is misbehaved and messed up to the point that I don't want our shared daughter around her, and my wife and her family fight tooth and nail every single day about it. My family is 8 hours away, I'm alone in the fight. Her daughter kicks the ever living crap out of our dog. It's getting worse with time. I'm trying to get my wife to adjust SD's behavior so that SD becomes a person I can tolerate my own daughter using as a role model, but over time, she's shown that it isn't going to happen.

The dilemma is this. I'm a guy. This holds several implications when it comes to our shared daughter in court. I don't want her in that situation. I don't want her to live through the same life her half sister is living, so I thought I'd be able to "hold out" until she's an adult. I have evidence of my wife and her families alienation, I have evidence of my wife having total mental breakdowns during arguements, but I'm afraid that it wouldn't be enough. I want to take my daughter to my family that's 8 hours away, stay single forever, and put it all into raising her as the custodial parent. I don't want to keep her from her mother, but I want to make sure she doesn't turn into the same screwed up garbage that my wife and her family are.

I literally have nobody or nowhere else to vent about this. It's a lot.

ctedrow's picture

I am in no position to say leave as I am currently struggling with my own dilema debating if the pain and struggle is worth it for my marriage but I also have no bio children. Buuut I am the same age and I can say we have a long life ahead and if you are not happy now, there is a good chance you wont be in the future. You have a child to think about. You need to do what is right for her and if having a split home where she can have possibly 2 happy homes, is better than living in one where the father is unhappy. Do what is right for you and her. If need be, find a lawyer that specializes in family law for the fathers rights!

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

It is a dilemma with no answer. I'm willing to go throught he misery and hell if it meant our shared daughter had my eyes all of the time. It's just killing me on the inside. The fights are absolutely terrible.

ctedrow's picture

Are you hesitant becasue the mother will have time without you there and nervous about how your daughter will be taken care of? Bring that up so it is supervised visitations!


juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Yes. I'm hesitant because in many cases, family court judges have a heavy amount of bias toward the mother.

I'm afraid that even though I work teacher hours, and she works 6am - 7pm, that I'm former military with a completely clean record, and that I have proof of parental alienation, that it won't be enough for me to retain cusdodial custody of my daughter.

Then guess what happens to my daughter? She gets to take me and my daughter directly through the ringer. So yeah, hesitant is a good way to put it.

futurobrillante99's picture

If you want custody, you should move out, but stay local. Petition for full custody. Let these people show their asses with their angry arguments to build a case for you to take your daughter 8 hours away to your family.

You will not win custody with plans to move 8 hours away.

You'll have to be slow and methodical if you want the best outcome for your daughter. First, move out and petition for full custody or at least 50/50. Then start keeping track of every little detail of how the baby's mother and her family behave.

ctedrow's picture

There is a track record of having heavy bias towards the mother but if you have all the proof needed and a good family law lawyer specializing in fathers rights you need to take action. My husbands scenario was similiar, military background and clean record while she was the one with a spotty criminal record. We are currently getting assistance from a family lawyer for fathers rights and it is helping a lot

tog redux's picture

I feel bad for you - this will not be an easy break-up. You will become The Enemy and she and her father will go Scorched Earth on you.  Do a lot of research first on the best way to do it - make sure all of your important papers are out of the house first. Don't tell her, have a plan in place and then execute it. Find an attorney who understands Borderline Personality Disorder. Record some of those fights so people can see how she acts.  Take your time and do it right.

In the meanwhile, rehome the poor pooch. 

GoingWicked's picture

You really need to start talking to a lawyer to see what you need to do to get out of this relationship and retain custody of your daughter.  Then maybe a therapist or some books to teach you how to constructively deal with your wife’s mental illness, so she doesn’t end up bringing you down with her.

marblefawn's picture

Go get legal advice. Don't assume you can't get custody if you haven't even asked the question. A lawyer might have other suggestions for mitigating the situation .

Please take the dog to a shelter. The dog has no one to protect it and you stand by and allow someone to abuse it. That is neglect. That dog depends on you to keep it safe and protect it. It cannot save itself -- you must do it. When that dog bites, it will be euthanized. Do it a favor and take it to a shelter so it has a chance.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I do not ALLOW my dog to be hit by the kid. I see the kid doing it, I chase the kid off. I keep the dog away from the kid when the house in under my supervision. Talks aren't cutting it with this kid though.

CLove's picture

You cannot protect that poor dog. Plus, if you decide to separate, will you be able to take the pooch?

Rock and a hard place, that saying epitomizes where you are right now. Defintely get some legal advice and start prepping. This can go so wrong so quickly. You recognize that you have the nightmare BM that we all vent about here, well you are THAT guy that hopefully gets away and gets his kiddo into a healthier environment.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Dizzyjell's picture

I'm so tired of being in this situation. We fight  a lot, over sd, who's behavior presents a danger to our bio kid. I cant stomach living with sd forever. When I think about it, I shudder. I'm currently planning my move.  Like you, I've hesitated so much because I dont ever wish my kid to be around sd unsupervised. Sd is too unpredictable and aggressive. I worry so much that SO will get my son on his own time while sd is there. Talk to an attorney about your rights and what to do. The other thing you need to think about is being locked into havi g to live near your stbx because she lives there for her daughter and family. Ugh. Same shit I think of. My support and family isnt as far as yours but whenever I think that I could get lpckedninto having to stay close by just because so is already locked into his agreement custody with his ex wife, it sickens me. I hate steplife so much. 

SteppedOut's picture

Definitely go see an attorney. Keep getting all the proof you can that you would be the better custodial parent. Wife work hours, SD poor behavior that is not addressed. 

Letti.R's picture

You LET your SD "kick the ever living crap out" of  your dog?
Rehome your dog ASAP because you letting this happen is completely disgusting.

While  you are at it, rehome yourself.
This situation is toxic and your child spending any more time in this situation is damaging.
If,  as you claim,  you have evidence of the bad behaviour of your wife, SD and her family, use it in your case to get full custody of your child.
Staying only makes things worse.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

My claims are true. I felt like an ass when I was recording my wife when she locked herself in the bathroom with medications after an arguement about her daughter, but I did do it.

I also felt like an ass when I audio recorded my wife during arguements without her knowledge, when her catch phrase was "I'll abort this baby" - before my daughter had been born.

There's also a chain of alienation that I can corroborate with my wife's ex.

Even then though, I shutter to think it wouldn't be enough. I need to find a way to talk to a lawyer, where my wife will not be able to get a red flag from our shared bank account, as both of our pays are deposited in the same place.

ctedrow's picture

Most lawyers will do the first consoltation free so there will be no paper trail of you ever going! Just make sure you do not have your location set on your phone so she does not know you are there. We received a full hour of free consultation to help us determine next steps.

SteppedOut's picture

Not always true! In my area, lawyers will NOT do free consultations. Most have stopped doing this because an individual will go to multiple law offices and spill their story - leaving the attorney unable to work for the other party if they are not hired. 

ETA: OP start getting cash back when you make debit card purchases - $20 here $20 there, until you have enough to use as a nominal payment to use for a consultation. Most attorneys charge $100 - $200.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

She goes WW3 when I mention anything adverse about her child.

If I mentioned divorce myself, I feel she'd take my daughter whom she's rarely cared for and lock herself up with her parents. It's what she did with her ex, but he was dumb enough to go to their house to try to get his daughter back.

He went to jail for a year and change with assault charges after a fight with my FIL.

Aunt Agatha's picture

All great advice above.  Adding to the chorus of please rehome the poor dog!  It is truly innocent in all this and should not have to suffer this.  Unless the poor thing is with you 24-7 you are simply not able to protect it.  The fact you are stopping the beast of a step daughter when she attacks it should be proof enough.  You are reacting to and not preventing the poor thing’s pain.

advice.only2's picture

So what changed from earlier this week when you said you loved her and were okay with what she was doing with her daughter and you were cool being the guy who was hands off. Just taking care of your daughter and that you were able to compartmentalize the three different dynamics to their own spaces?

You played it that you had all the ammo you needed against your wife that you love very much and would win hands down in court against her with your BD.

I guess I'm just wondering what was the monumental shift that suddenly happened that you are no longer cool with all this and no longer love your wife so much? And worry that you don't have enough ammo to win hands down in court?

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Confidence, I guess? I was confident when I wasn't actually considering doing it.

Not having a huge blowout for awhile, I guess.

When I get outright attacked in the morning about a hypothetical situation concerning her daughter, it wore on me like it hadn't before?

"My aunt is giving her son 200k to buy a house this year, we should start a fund for SD"

I said no.

Boom went the dynamite, with threats of divorce, 20 phone calls while I'm at work, threats to take our child. It hadn't happened in awhile, I thought it was done.

As for the ammo comment, if gender wasn't included in court proceedings, the ammo I have would probably be enough.

advice.only2's picture

Well you know what you are up against and you are going to have to be 10 steps ahead of her from here on out, unless you decide that dealing with the crazy is easier (no judgment some people accept this path).

And yes the gender is a problem, we fought in court for 7 years against a meth addict who was arrested on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and we still had to fight every 3-6 months in court to obtain full custody. And my DH is a stand up person who works a well respected job and has zero anything in his background.

justmakingthebest's picture

As everyone above said- start with lawyers. Go through several consultations to find the best bulldog you can possibly afford. 

See if you can find any firms that specialize in father's rights. You are going to have a fight on your hand but if you can prove all of her behaviors it might not be as big as it could be.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

What about possession of the child?

Would a magistrate award me custody in an emergency hearing?

Or would simply taking the child with me after getting an apartment be smarter?


She was awarded emergency custody after witholding her own daughter from her father. The police said something along the lines of "without an order, custody of children is dependent on who possesses the child at the time".

advice.only2's picture

All good questions for a lawyer, somebody who specializes in family law and all those tricky issues of custody.

Ispofacto's picture

It's a huge risk.  You would most likely get 50/50 or less.  And your psycho SO would treat you the same way she is treating the other father.  Your life would still be a nightmare and your child would have no protection from her BM.  If I were you I would placate and bide my time for as long as possible.

A legal battle will cost $30k+.

tog redux's picture

Whatever you do - DO NOT START FEELING BAD FOR HER, or at the very least, if you do, don't let it stop you..  Even if you love her, you have to recognize that she is dangerous to you. Very dangerous. Any evidence you can get of her behavior, the better chance you have of getting custody. Keep videotaping. Make a log of the time you are parenting your daughter. Start moving everything you value out of your home to a trusted friend's house, or something of the sort. Anything you leave there, you will never see again.

Plan to take your daughter and the dog when you leave. They are just as much yours as hers, and many men make the mistake of leaving the kid there, and then it's hard to prove that you fear for your daughter's safety, when you left her in the mother's care.

Just plan very carefully.

MissTexas's picture

You need to stay for your daughter (& yes, the poor fur baby too!). Any attorney will tell you NOT TO MOVE OUT, but to stand your ground, and prove your diligence in protecting your daughter. I know, given the circumstances, it's tough, but stick it out.

Your wife needs to be medically evaluated, and you need to have proof she is not stable, medically. No judge or attorney will just go on hear say, they want and need facts to present to a judge.

Be sure to document the long work hours she is away, even when she doesn't have to be (that can be construed as neglect). Also, document when the other child is cruel to the dog. Studies have proven people "practice" abuse on animals then move to people to abuse.

You mentioned your family is 8 hours away. Are they in the same state, or a different one?

There are legal advisors online. You could start there, and ask for a referral. You definintely need an expert family law attorney. I have seen dads sue for full custody and win, making the ex pay child support.

Good luck. I'm pulling for you and your daughter, and your dog. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, reach out to rescue organizations or no-kill shelters to try to find a better life for this pet. The pet deserves that.

Steptalker2's picture

How could you love her after she talks like that to you?

when you leave make sure the child is physically with you. This will work in your favor.

make sure all your divorce and custody paperwork is ready to file

save enough money in a different account to pay your mortgage until it sells in case she makes it impossible to get money from her to pay the mortgage during the separation. So as not to ruin your credit.

take your name off joint accounts and jointly owned things like cars bank accounts  phone account and insurance policies.

file a restraining order on her and list the child as another party she has to stay away from 

none of this will guarantee you custody but it will buy you time.

Rags's picture

The challenge you are facing is whether or not to remain with his woman and sacrifice your own life in the chance that staying would help to protect your daughter from her own mother.  Or do you roll the dice on getting full custody and leave to raise your daughter with limited exposure to her mother.  

Tough call.

Good luck.

RLZ0073's picture

if two unhappy parents go their separate ways instead of seeing them fight/ argue/disagree. Life is short. Do you and your child a favor and save yourselves... 

Winterglow's picture

Get in touch with a father's rights group/association. They shoud be able to advise you on the best lawyer for your situation in your area. 

shamds's picture

Even with clear evidence of parental alienation mums get off scot free. In some jurisdictions judges are still willing to allow a kid live primarily with bio mum who is a heavy drug addict actively high and having strangers crash in her home high and the courts say that a mum there is better than putting that kid solely in responsible dads home.

its a shit messed up system but keep your documentation and evidence. My husbands ex married days after divorce was final and turns out she’d been with her ex high school sweetheart whilst still married.

her 3 kids are still upset the divorce had been finalised barely days prior and she gets married whilst the kids were at school and she waits for them home and says “i got married while you were at school and you have a new daddy”, she was on a mission for revenge against her exhusband divorcing her and sought out to alienate her kids

MissJulsie's picture

I've been wanting you to get out for a while. First, get the the dog out. Now. Then, work on your next plan of attack. Get out, get out, get out. 

ESMOD's picture

Unfortunately, it is going to be tough to prove the PA.  It has a big risk of looking like bitter EX'es picking on the poor defenseless woman.  Another poster, I think, had this thought.. and it didn't work out well.

It's also unfortunate that when YOU become the enemy that she will cling to your daughter as a prize.. just as she has done with her other child.  Just because you have been doing the lion's share with your daughter doesn't mean that she won't lay on the injured party act in court.

If you can document abuse or neglect in your home.. do that.  If you can document her working hours.. do that.  Get your financial ducks in a row.. quietly.  Seek legal counsel immediately. 

flmomma08's picture

I understand the dilemma of wanting to leave but being afraid the unstable parent will get custody. If you stay, you can keep eyes on your own child at all times and its nerve wracking to think the unstable parent may have time with the child when you aren't there to protect her. Its one thing when you're just not happy together, it's a whole other thing when you are AFRAID to leave your child with the other parent. I get it. I finally filed for divorce last week and am planning to file for full custody. I just pray that the judge sees the danger my daughter could be in if DH gets unsupervised time. Anyway, back to you. You absolutely have to go speak to an attorney. Why not open a separate bank account and change your direct deposit to have a % go into the separate account. Then eventually you move everything to the separate account. Also, like others have said, the dog really needs to go to a home where he can be protected.

MissJulsie's picture

I have a question:

In your opening paragraph, you said the following:

"Her child is misbehaved and messed up to the point that I don't want our shared daughter around her, and my wife and her family fight tooth and nail every single day about it."

Can you elaborate more on the fights your wife has with her family?

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

My mistake on the rhetoric.

I meant that my wife and her family fight ME about not wanting my daughter to grow up to be like my wife's daughter.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

The flak comes at random times. My wife isn't afraid to fight with me directly, so I'll hear about it from her any time I pick my daughter up to walk away from SD sprinting circles around the bottom floor of my house screaming non-stop.

SD then reports to grandparents that I "keep the baby away from her".

Grandparents tell wife off for "allowing me to do so".

Wife mounts an assault.

I gave up on trying to fix her kid a long time ago.

MissJulsie's picture

OMG. The situation is more serious than I thought. Can you get your phone and video your SD when she goes nuts?

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I thought I had enough on SD. We have motion cameras at all enterances of our house, that all saves to a database. I went through it yesterday after I got home, and found some of SD harassing the animals.

I also found out after having a text chat with a lawyer online, that in my state, audio and video recordings that are taken without the consent of the person being recorded are not admissable under Maryland's wiretapping and electronic surveillance act.

So I'm kinda at square one right now.

Ispofacto's picture

You don't have to make a formal announcement and have them sign a consent form.

If they know the camera is there, which they do, and continue to act fools in front of the camera, that is consent.


juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

In that case, if I'm lucky I get to show them the minor bullying animals, but 100% not my wife melting down and threatening suicide or taking my daughter away from me. The phone was on record in my pocket for most of those.

Goodluck's picture

When your wife assaults you please call 911.  Police will file charges on your behalf and also she will be charge for assault in presence of minor. SHE should be carted off in the paddy wagon.

Go to all hearings and file for full custody right away.

I could share stories but we are only talking about you.

BE safe and be very careful she can easily turn this around and call the police saying YOU assulted her.Happens all the time.Then your booted out of the house, in jail and she files for full custody of your baby girl.

1 in 9 men are assulted by women.

I know 3 men who were assulted by their wives.

One more thing. Are you aware the when kids harm innocent animals it is a HUGE red flag to Mental Health providers.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Very aware.

I wouldn't say my wife is violent. She does try to push when she gets really excited in an arguement, but I don't think she'd ever try to close fist fight me.

The trigger term yesterday evening was "violence to animals" as in "I've noticed that SD is showing behaviors that show violence to animals, and I think that you should schedule an appointment with a professional".

She left me alone with my daughter all day after that. Not a word spoken until later on in the bedroom to sleep. My wife is a very smart woman, she's already on to the game, I think.

MissJulsie's picture

When you says trigger term, did she do anything else other than leave you alone? Did she say anything of note? By the way, still keep the recordings of your wife going nuts. You never know, they may still be useful for something. Just don't delete them.

Have you got the dog out of there yet? Even just get a friend to mind him for the time being? We all can't bear to think of him being there. I love my dog so very, very much, and if any SK of mine kicked him, I would've been outta there that very day.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

My dog is living in my barn with the chickens outside of the house, at the moment, having the time of her life. (The door is inoperable by a young child.), so there is zero opportunities for "alone time" for SD and dog.

Rags's picture

Move to Texas and bring your footage with you.   Recordings are admissable and it is not required that any party be notified if you are recording others you are interfacing with.

We used this to counter my SS's toxic SpermClan.  The SpermClan tried to invoke legal consequences for us recording them when they called with their crap.  Nope, we live in Texas and can record our own conversations, etc... without notifiying them.  The SpermLand judge told them there was nothing he could do about it.  We kept the recordings to replay when they lied and kept the threat of change of venue to Texas.  Once a minor is resident in Texas with a parent for 6mos venue can be changed and the CO adjudicated in Texas Vs the original state.

At least that was the guidance from our Texas killer shark attorney 22+ years ago.

lorlors's picture

I’ve wanted to ask you for a while Rags- Was Sperm-Daddio devastated when you adopted your son? How did that go down?

Rags's picture

We (none of the three of us) has ever heard a word about the SpermIdiot's thoughts regarding the adoption.   The only thing we have heard, and to her credit, was from SpermGrandHag. 

When SS told her about the adoption she told him that she was glad that he had a good example as a father.

I was shocked and slack jawed over her comment.

Eventually even the SpermIdiot's mother recognized what a POS he is.

As I get older I am getting a bit less jaded in regard to the topic of the SpermClan.   I mainly just feel sorry for my son's sibs.  I am not ready to ascribe any honorable traits to the adults in the SpermClan though.


lorlors's picture

Pretty telling if even his own MOTHER said that.