How Do You Deal With Your Wife's Ex-Husband ?
Imagine having the neighbour from hell and being told by the authorities, the police and your lawyer that you can't do a thing about it. Also that legally you are not allowed to comment upon their actions towards you. Then multiply that ten times over and you might get a feeling of what it is like when your wife's ex-husband declares war.
Further complicate matters by adding stepchildren into the equation, so every two weeks you have to meet the man who beat, bullied and abused your wife whilst she was married to him. You cannot say anything in front of the children and when you have to hand them over on the doorstep, it feels like you have been tied up and kicked in the teeth.
Then when the ex-husband moves into town and sets-up camp just a few miles away, you can add the ignominy of being ostracized by people who you have never met and worst still, people you have been on friendly terms with. Paranoia sets in pretty quickly and you find yourself avoiding places where he might be, people he might know and you get the old feeling that, “this town isn’t big enough for the both of us.”
Although we may occasionally long for the rule of the Wild West, where men would sort out their differences like men and the loser would quietly slip into the sunset or retire to the cemetery, things are not that simple anymore. However just your cause, any such action would end in a legal recourse so harsh as not to contemplate. So how are you supposed to behave when a man makes it his ambition to ruin your life and reputation?
Go to a lawyer perhaps, but then what? Lengthy and expensive litigation, a court appearance and if you're lucky a worthless piece of paper telling him to stop spreading lies about you. Perhaps you could tell the world with righteous indignation of how you have been wronged by this loathsome specimen? It would certainly let you know who your friends were, as they would be the only people not crossing the street to avoid you.
You could always move to the next county or even country, maybe even forget to leave your new address. But then there are the children to consider, disrupting their education, losing their friends and of course, that man has already moved once and could easily just do it again. As the months grind away at you and the paranoia slips into insanity, that cowboy feeling starts to take over and just for a minute you contemplate your own version of “High Noon”.
But then if you are lucky you meet a man who did just that. Driven to madness by years of abuse and copious amounts of liquor, this otherwise mild man confronted his adversary with a baseball bat. Then in the heat of the moment he realized his folly, dropped the bat and ran away, only to be pursued by his potential victim in a car chase to rival the famous scene from Bullet. Unaware that he had lost his pursuer, he then spent another twenty minutes fleeing for his life from a police car and was promptly arrested. Subsequently he lost his freedom for three months, his driving license for two years and his wife forever.
Sadly, there is no real answer to how to deal with your wife’s ex husband apart from patience, perhaps therapy and making the best possible life for your stepchildren.
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