There are people who really love the power that a family court battle can give them. All it takes is one time where their ex is devastated by a court decision to start the high stakes game playing. For whatever reason, narcissism, revenge, or just the thrill of inflicting pain on someone, they won’t let go of the battle. Not for anything!
These people are sick! Seriously, anyone who keeps forcing a person into court, long term, is insane and should truly have their head examined! A lengthy court battle is painful, destructive, stressful and not least of all expensive. It is an overwhelming ordeal and it takes control of your life. They will suck you in every time and you will hate that you fell for it again.
When the games are going full bore you’ll have to sit back and let them go. You will want to stay engaged in your children’s school, physician office, music lessons, dance lessons or anywhere else that your ex can wreak havoc. See, part of the reason they start spinning tales is because it upsets you. They want you to disengage in the important aspects of your child’s life. If you are in the middle of a custody battle, they would love nothing better than to be able to testify in court that you no longer go to Johnny’s school events or you no longer take Susie to dance lessons. You cannot fall into the trap.
Anyone who has gone through the family court combat knows that it is VERY difficult to put yourself out there and take it every single day. For those whose ex is abusive, this is sheer terror. I understand that you fear for your physical safety when your ex keeps coming at you. The good news, if there could be good news about abuse, is that your ex will not usually do any harm where there are witnesses. They have an appearance to air and they will be nothing but charming at your child’s school, at least on the day of the event. They may have spent the entire day or evening prior harassing you so that you explode in front of the school staff.
If you can train yourself to rethink the interaction with your ex, you can shut them down, too. You have to realized that they are not the one with all the power. They just make you think they are. Once you learn that it makes your ex happy to scare you away from events with the kids or to completely stress you out, you can retrain your brain. Tell yourself how you will not give in to make the ex’s life more fun. They have had enough fun at your expense and possibly your children’s.
In the event that your ex becomes violent, you must call the police. That is someone too far out of control. You need to protect yourself and your children as best you can. If you are ever in fear for your life because of your ex’s antics, head to a safe place and then call the police. Take any threat of domestic violence seriously. Do not shrug it off. No matter what, you do not have to fear for your life or the lives of your children.
Everyone seems to tire of playing games in family court eventually. Wait and watch. It will happen. Never give up. You will make it through and you may even laugh about it one day!
*photo: High Stakes Gambling by Maggie Smith