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    • #2063

      I have been in therapy now for about 15 years. Now, divorced 2x from the same man. The divorce just became final last month and it was nasty, costing me about $8k I can’t afford in legal fees for protection, having been through all this before (with him and knowing his strategies).

      During the discovery part of the divorce, I really started to "get a grasp" on how much money disappeared through his gambling. I’m now multiplying several hundred dollars (to $1000 or more) a month times twenty years.

      I just tried to use my debit card to get gas and I was overdrawn. I’m facing bankruptcy, and the majority of debts I have are due to his tactics throughout the marriages and divorces …. I left with only one credit card that had an $800 limit in 2000 and am now well over $20,000 in debt. My car was bought when he refused to finish settlement after the 1st divorce and he took me to Court to limit me from seeing our children, when he knew good and well the reason … I moved 40 miles and had no transportation. That same car has 195,000 miles on it and constantly breaking down. I’ve been forced to do the repairs I can, and go to the salvage yard for tires as I can not afford retail anymore. He spent $300 -$350 month (plus comp/coll insurance) for cars over 9 years, never owning one.

      Over the past two years, I have found more and more evidence of his gambling and how he did things to me … he had his brother and (our) pastor snatch our children when I tried to leave for a few days, then had me hospitalized, claiming I was homicidal and was going to kill the pastor. Rather than do a long rehash, I have gone through a nervous breakdown, been painted falsely as a druggie and lunatic and NOW, it is coming out more and more what has fueled a lot of his behavior. When he had me hospitalized, he closed our joint checking and savings and I never had access to the money in there I earned … filed for divorce and got temp custody b/c I was a "lunatic" (I was in shock by the time I got out, but they didn’t keep me because I didn’t meet criteria).

      Since the hearing, I found evidence that even more and worse … he was in casinos out of state and I always believed he really was going for the reasons he said. The judge made an "equitable distribution" as I guess there was not enough evidence of his dissipation (I trusted my attorney on that and was never told I needed to look for more)

      We live in the middle of nowhere … I lost one job because of my car breaking down and stress (sleep problems). I want to leave here, particularly as he is now trying to force the mortgage and utility payments on me; that’s almost $1,000 a month I don’t have. I have a $5,000 judgment of a year and a half I haven’t seen a dime on and the house is ordered to be sold, and $4k to attorneys first before I even get "equalized" for personal property.

      He is planning to marry someone else and I KNOW that is one of the big reasons he was determined to divorce me. Just that he demanded, and seriously, that I get out, with only the stuff I had brought with me when I moved back … and he wanted me to transfer nearly all the debt on his credit cards to mine, too.

      I’m having a hard time with all this. I’ve been sent to mental hospitals, had to sleep in my car without access to money, had a nervous breakdown, went through the first divorce because I was afraid he’d put me through it all again. Misdiagnosed for five years due to his interference and ended up with PTSD, which got A LOT BETTER, after I was out of here. Then it was his refusal to make settlement after divorce, yelling screaming and threats when I would try to see our children, or refusal to allow visits, then Court fights (and more $ out), failed attempt to get a protective order and then, being thrown in jail as a result of all that because I wouldn’t willingly hand our children back to someone who was terrorizing us, then more Court filings by him, trying to cut me off as much as possible. I came back finally because my attorney told me that although I was MUCH improved and had a great job (by then) there was no chance of changing custody … despite all he did. I prayed he’d come to his senses. I even thought for a while maybe I went through "my" problems so I’d be strong enough for this. Then I find that a lot of my "problems" were manipulations of me and others.

      I’ve never heard of gambling causing this level of problems, especially all the things I’ve been through. But when it came out that he was having an affair, his sister told me (last time she would communicate with me) "don’t trust him". I stuck to that and it is good that I did, even though where I am now is bad enough.

      I tried talking with him, when I knew "pretty much" the worst and just told him that if we were "both right with God" and with one another, there wasn’t any problem that wouldn’t be solved. That things needed to change and that I could even understand "some" (I won’t pretend to understand much of this), but that if he was in recovery, I would be there to support and encourage to best of my ability. I know the other woman represents a continuation of status quo and denial, a false level of "control" which he always has accused me of trying to have over him. I’m sure not perfect, but we live next door to his mother and he told me we could never move with his parents living, because he "can’t break a promise to them". Apparently, to him, breaking vows to God and spouse, and all the effects on our children, are no big deal. SO I think that is where the main "control" issues come from.

      I’m not sure what I am asking; does what I have gone through sound "out there" (it feels like living through a really bad novel or nightmare) or does this happen to others? Are there other places I can check for gambling? I am trying to get some breathing space to get another job/get out ASAP. I know, too, if I move out, the house is unlikely to ever sell … while he lives. I have a protective order against him as he kept making threats, etc (all the stuff I failed to get it for in past … this time I recorded it all). I’m also trying to work with my creditors as I would like to avoid bankruptcy. I think if I can get out and get a "real" job again, I will be able to do that. But with the lower income and legal/counseling averaging $450/month on top of all else, for over two years, I’m strapped. I tried to go through mediation (usually cheaper) but he would not co-operate, rescinded the one settlement offer once I reviewed it with attorney and accepted. And sort of bitter, last year I was approved (but needed decree or signed settlement) for an FHA mortgage for more than I would have needed. Now I can’t afford gas to work. I’ve called every place and person/agency I can think of … I’m ready to give up.

      Thanks for any help or suggestions. I’m just emotionally exhausted/burned out trying to keep going and I guess I expected a better outcome. Feel like I am in shock.

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