One Way To Escape A Vindictive Ex

A common mistake by many people in the early stages of divorce, is thinking they won’t have to deal with their STBX once the legal process is done. That may be true if you’re childless but if you have children together, there will likely always be some connection.That’s not the only situation. Another possibility is when your ex turns out to be mean and vindictive, like Lisa found.

Lisa had been married for over twenty years when she decided to end her sexless marriage. That’s when the torment started and it continued for almost four years, until Lisa moved out of state. Here’s Lisa

I had gotten the car in the divorce. A little Jetta. My son was driving the car to work and he called me one night and said,

“Mom, somebody hit me in your car. Where’s your insurance card?”

I asked if he was OK and he was and I told him the insurance card was in the glove compartment. I offered to go meet him

One way to stop a vindictive exHe said, “No, someone just hit the fender, but I can’t drive it because the wheel’s pushed in. Dad’s here.”

He was evidently at the scene because my son couldn’t get a hold of me because I was out to a movie with my boyfriend.  My son said his friend was there and he’d get ride home from him. I looked at my boyfriend and said,

“I just think we should go.”

So we packed up, went over there, nobody was there and the car was gone. I called my son who told me the car had been towed.

“Where’d they tow the car to?” I asked.

“I don’t know, dad called a friend. The cop wanted to bring it somewhere but dad said he had a friend.”

Guess what? I never got the car back, ever. He took my car and it got repossessed. He never told me where it was. He wouldn’t give me the police report so I called the cops. They had the name of a tow yard. When I called the tow yard, they said my ex had called the bank and gave it back to the bank because it was still in his name. Even though I got it in the divorce, he couldn’t transfer it because it wasn’t paid off.

So I walked for one year in the rain, slipping and sliding on the highway, crying, with milk and all the food. I couldn’t work anymore, because I couldn’t get anywhere and there’s only so many bus things in Greensborough, it’s a pretty small place.

Finally my boyfriend who lives in D.C., said,

“Game’s up. I rented a truck, I’m coming to get you tomorrow. I’m done,” and then hung up.

He was there within six hours, we packed everything all night long. His little seven-year-old boy was there helping us. In the car we went. That was last November and I’ve never looked back and I’ve never been bothered again.

@Mightbeatranny commented on the mean, vindictive ex post essentially that restraining orders only work for people who follow rules and almost by definition the people who are the reason for the restraining order, don’t follow rules. It’s insane that someone would behave this way and could go out of their way to wreak so much chaos and pain.

There also a very important cautionary tale here about the division of assets and this applies to everyone, men as well as women. For big ticket items that you are to own post-divorce, make sure you have the title to them free and clear. Only take possession of an item where payments are still owed, if you can takeover the payment plan in your own name and be responsible for making the payments. You do not want to be in the position of constantly wondering if your ex is going to make the payments or if it’s going to be repossessed.

And if that gets into a “I’ll do X, when you’ve done Y” mode, you can get help from your attorney who can hold completed transfer paperwork until your ex’s attorney also has the agreed paperwork.

And if you run into the “don’t you trust me” argument, the response is, “This isn’t about trust. This is a business transaction.”

  • mightbeatranny

    i moved when i left my ex.  but he then moved here, at least part time.  at least i’m near family and friends now.

    one of my friends told me today that she is getting remarried.  i’m in shock, because she is even more anti-marriage than me (yes, hard to believe i know).  her divorce was horrible.  she got nothing financially and he is an abuser.  another friend, who has been divorced for 4 years and is still dealing w/ her ex who is a drug addict (they have a 5 year old) is getting remarried next month.  then i read this story and the woman moved w/ her new boyfriend to get away from her wack job ex.  i think we are all biology driven.  nature makes us want to pair off no matter what our past.  interesting.

    • Mandy Walker

      Yes, it is quite surprising that we want to give marriage another try! I would think about it but I like to think it would involve lots and lots of discussions beforehand.

  • Anonymous

    I still believe in marriage even though my divorce and the ex aren’t as awful as others’ on here. It’s why I remarried I suppose :) But it’s not fair to judge all men based on other men’s behaviors … especially if nothing in their background looks like that! Anyone can totally f’up. I think it’s horrible she had to go through so much crap, but I really, really hope she’s safe and happier now!

    • Mandy Walker

      I would add too that it isn’t only men that can behave badly …

  • deborah

    my ex is vindictive…hehasnt gone as far as you explained but hes mean spirited hell try to do imti,idate me in any way…he has supervised visitaitons with our 3 yr old son and hasnt seen him in6 months now hes ready to see him and wants to work civilly for our son sake and both of us too..yes it was too good to be true..long story short he lied about the whole thing he just wanted to get me to agree on a schedule visit outside of the courts…thankGod I was able to see his true colors…I cant take this stress with him..when will it ever stop…i want more then anything to be able to be civil with each other but hes always out to get me insome way. how do i get strong enough

    • Mandy Walker

      Dear Deborah, I wish I could be more positive but realistically, unless your ex decides he wants to change, his behavior towards you isn’t going to change. The good news is you know what he is like and you know the games he likes to play so stay smart and don’t fall for them. While you may want a civil relationship that simply may not be possible and you’ll need to accept the relationship you have. You stay strong by building your boundaries and separating yourself emotionally from him.

  • Arina

    My ex boyfriend and I share a child. Our child is now 4. I left my ex when my son was not even 1. My ex got a parenting plan from the high court which states I must do certain things. I send him all my son’s letters from school and do everything which I must according to the parenting plan. He must help with half the medical, but says now he will only pay for prescription medication and not over the counter meds. he do not even help with clothing. When I do take my son to the doctor he refuses to pay half because according to him I took my son for no reason to the doctor. He gave me a letter which enable me to apply for a passport for my son to go with us on a trip during the school holiday, but now he refuses a letter giving me permission to take him out of the country. I’m scared to go to the facilitators regarding this problem because he attack me emotional every time. I got a restraining order against him in 2010, but was cancelled on a letter he must give me that he will not attack me emotionally anymore. He did it via e-mail and sms, because I blocked him from my Facebook. But now he do so in front of the facilitator. Every time he do something not right he go to his attorney who gets him out every time. I’m married now and happy, but he still does not stop. He even started to attack my husband behind his back. He says the things to me when my husband is not near. So according to the police it’s hear say. I’m at a point where I do not know what to do. We can’t pack up and move because my husband have a business here. He worked very hard to accomplish what he did. I’m also in the process of studying further. I see changes in my son’s personality every time he comes back home after a visit. I know what he is trying to do to my son, but I cant proof it. People says it’s because he misses his father, but I know when he misses his dad. My son gets angry with me a shout things to me. Things he never heard from us. I do not know what to do anymore. I feel my ex is ruining our lives.

    • Mandy Walker

      Dear Arina, I’m not going to sugar coat this and you probably already know this, but you are likely facing many years of difficulty given that your son is just four. You need first to draw your own boundaries to protect yourself – all these games your ex is playing is him trying to control you and you need not to respond. Are you using Family Wizard software ( You can ask that the judge mandate this and it allows the Court to monitor communications. It also has scheduling functionality.

      Please continue to take the high road and don’t resort to his behavior. He’s looking to catch you out.

      I know I’m over-simplifying things but once you’ve taken care of yourself, take care of your son. Do talk to him about his emotions and try to help him understand why he’s feeling the way he does. Do set rules for acceptable behavior in your house – children can cope with two different sets of rules and they will come to understand the difference. You may want to consider getting him counselling – hopefully your parenting agreement will allow you to do this on your own. If you can afford it financially, I wouldn’t seek reimbursement from your ex for this.

      Re: traveling overseas – it may depend where you travel but I have travel overseas extensively with my kids and even though my last name is different from theirs, I have never been questioned. I’ve always had a consent letter from my ex but I’ve never needed it. Does your parenting agreement say anything about overseas travel? You could check with your attorney whether carrying a certified copy of that agreement would be sufficient.

      Another great resource for you might be OneMomsBattle – both on Facebook and a blog. You’re welcome to post questions/vent on my SinceMyDivorce Facebook page too. I’m sure my readers will have good suggestions for you.

      I wish you strength.