Holes in the legal safety net

With the recent relaunching of the employment claim that my husband wrongfully dismissed his mistress for becoming pregnant by him, we are facing the prospect of having to, for the first time in over a year, see this woman face to face.   The two lawyers will sit face to face with their clients at their sides, and present evidence for their respective sides.  This process, is called a “discovery”, and prospectively will cost us upwards of $25K to defend ourselves.  It needs to be said that she was NOT wrongfully dismissed.  In fact, my husband had contemplated firing her on many occasions, and even hired a lawyer 3-4 months before her child was conceived to draft up an iron-clad employment contract that would protect him.  He told this lawyer that she is crazy, and she has made notes of this.  She has, thankfully, agreed to be a witness for us, and state that he had retained her months earlier to discuss terminating this employee.  That alone, you would think, would be enough to show that she wasn’t fired on a whim, that she wasn’t fired because I told him to fire her, that she wasn’t fired for emotional revenge, and she wasn’t fired because she was pregnant and discriminated against.   She was fired for breaching office confidentiality, and for threatening to use all of the emails of work colleagues to disseminate the news of the affair to my husband’s colleagues.  She was fired with cause, and there is nothing else to it.

The problem is, that it will cost us a lot of money to defend this action, so we have a choice:

  • Pay upwards of $25K to defend ourselves, and if we win, she will have to pay 50-70% of our court costs as the losing side. If we lose, we pay our court costs, 50-70% of hers and a calculated value owing to her for damages.
  • Pay her a settlement fee to have her remove the claim altogether, which would be less than the $25K in court costs
How can our legal system allow for someone to harass and bring ridiculous actions against us, and then rape and pillage us for excessive court fees in defending ourselves?   If we don’t want to defend ourselves at this rate, we simply settle and pay her a lesser fee.  Why is she entitled to anything?  Why should she be able to concoct in her mind a ridiculous scenario that never happened, and then get paid off to be quiet?  Why should she be rewarded for being such a pain in the ass?  Why does this behaviour get rewarded?
It feels like we lose either way, and why should we?  We didn’t DO anything. It is grossly unfair.
Must be nice to have a lawyer who works for free so that you can make up all sorts of ridiculous claims and have the charges covered for you.  Let the other person rack up tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and then just sit back and smile.  Well, at least I am not raising a baby by myself, and at least I have a husband who loves me and wants to work this through with me.
On a positive note, our lawyer has every confidence that if examined in discovery, that this woman would ultimately fry herself.  She is really emotional. and not terribly rational or smart.  She is explosive and doesn’t think things through.   She contradicts herself at every turn.  That alone would be worth the price of admission.  Bring the popcorn, someone is gonna get fried.

Face to face combat

The herpes outbreak is back folks.  No, I don’t have herpes, but did that get your attention?   A few posts back, I referred to the mistress as “herpes”, because like the actual disease, she seems to crop up every now and then, and never really ever goes away.  Somewhere under the surface, she is always lurking, waiting to strike out and wreak havoc.  Well, she is at it again.

Long story short for those just tuning in:

Mistress works with my husband. They both leave this job and she starts working for him.  They are embroiled in an affair and she gets pregnant.  He had tried to get out of the relationship many times, but things got weird when she started asking for sex at work, and when denied she would go nuts texting him all night and threatening to tell me, to call the police and scream rape, etc.  She was, essentially, emotionally forcing my husband to have sex with her, even when he didn’t want to, in order to draw him into a relationship.  Yes, there were times when he actually wanted to be with her, but many times that he didn’t, and in the last 7 months of a 10 month affair, he no longer wanted it, and her threats manipulated him into carrying on with a relationship he no longer wanted, but maintained out of fear for losing his family and career. She launched an employment claim, stating she was wrongfully dismissed for being pregnant, and also launches a paternity claim with a family lawyer seeking child support.  There, you are up to speed.

With the most recent launch of her new Human Rights claim that she was sexually harassed (hey wait, wasn’t HE the one who was sexually harassed??), and that he abused his power and forced her to have sex with him (anyone who knows my husband knows he can hardly force a fly outside), we have had to resurrect the employment side of this case.  This has meant providing additional monies to the employment lawyers who represent us in the wrongful dismissal claim.  Because the case will have to be decided, the lawyer has suggested that we set a date for “discovery”.  What this means is that both sides need to sit down in a room together with both lawyers, and share each others’ evidence to support their side.  If there is enough evidence on both sides, the case will go in front of a judge.  If she can prove she was fired for being pregnant, it will go to trial.  If, however, she has no proof that she was fired for this reason, they won’t feel the need to go to trial as it is very unlikely that she would win, and they would suggest a settlement perhaps, or that the entire claim be dropped.

My husband in a room with his ex-mistress.  This whole proposition makes me wildly uncomfortable.  I don’t want her beady little eyes eyeing him.  I don’t want her manipulative tactics, her passive-agressive nature, her wildly unpredictable overly-emotional chaos to affect him.  I don’t want him to be hurt, and I don’t want him to be uncomfortable.  I want to be there to physically stand at his side, show him my support, and work through it together, as we have been since the affair was brought to light.  I was told that I wouldn’t be allowed to be present.  I wasn’t part of the business, and had nothing to do with her employment, and besides, she would have to consent to my being there – unlikely.

**Sidenote:  When she realized that he had confessed his affair to me, and I  hadn’t kicked him out, she sent me a bunch of angry and insulting emails, telling me that he didn’t love me, that together they used to make fun of me, and that he thought I was fat, ugly, etc…  In one of her emails she told me that I ought to start working more so that I could increase my salary since I would now be supporting her baby”.  She ended that sentence with the words “Yay me”.

Throughout all of this, the one thought that brings me comfort is a fantasy that I play out in my head.  Because I wasn’t just deceived by my husband, and was also deceived by her, I have a strong core-centered desire to have her know that we are in love, we are happy. we are doing just fine, and she HAS NOT WON.  Nothing bothers her more than to think that she has had no impact.  My fantasy always involves her seeing us together, walking hand in hand, or him professing his love for me in front of her.  She sees it, she hears it, and it is irrefutable.  I know that she knows that she didn’t win – I did.  This is very important for me, because it is my redemption in all of this.

I need this.  I crave this.  I think this will allow me to move forward.  Unfortunately, it looks like I may not have that chance as I am not permitted to be present.  Regardless of whether I am actually given the opportunity to sit in the lawyer’s boardroom and observe the exchange of information, no one will stop me from sitting in the waiting room, or being right outside the door so that when they all emerge, I am the first thing she will see, and you can bet your sweet ass that I will flash my husband a winning smile, give him a supportive kiss on the mouth, take his hand and then walk off with him so she has to watch.  I may even turn around, flash her a smile, and say “Yay me”.

Weighing the balance

Sometimes I fantasize that the other woman reads this blog.  I don’t know if she would stumble upon it, or if I would simply lead her to it, but there are days when I want her to read it, and then days when I really just prefer to keep it private and quiet.   It is my place to vent my feelings, in a safe way, free from her criticism, her belittling commentary, her rude and insensitive laughter.  I definitely vacillate between wishing she’d find it, and hoping she never does.

Pros to her reading it:

  • She’d finally get a chance to see for herself that her delusions were….well….delusional.
  • She would see once and for all that my husband never loved her, and that she meant nothing to him
  • She would finally understand that he was with her only for sex, not because he found her attractive, or felt she had any redeeming qualities (other than the fact that she was easy and available)
  • She would realize the degree to which we both find her repulsive
  • She would see that we are close despite her efforts to ruin us
  • She would realize that most of the time, she is the butt of many of our jokes and it is the laughing about her that gets us by.  I happen to know that would drive her crazy, as she hates people talking about her, and is incredibly insecure, which is what makes her knowledge of it so delicious to me.
  • She might be hurt, and let’s face it, after what she has done to me, I think she deserves a little twinge.
Cons to her reading it:
  • Along with the above, she would also have knowledge of the pain and suffering that she has caused
  • She would see the ongoing pain we both still live through, and she would find something perversely satisfying about that
  • She would realize that we are seeing a therapist, and knowing her, she would see that as a sign of trouble, not as a sign of rebuilding and strength and possibly feel elated at the possibility that we are struggling
  • She would immediately sick her freebie lawyer on us, claiming public flogging, and demand that this be taken down, which of course has no legal footing, but just going through the process of responding to her lawyer would cost us even more money than we’ve already doled out on this issue.
  • With respect to the above, she would see the grief I have over the amount of money we’ve spent on this legally, and smile thinking she is causing us financial harm while still maintaining her personal monthly baby-stipend.
I think I want her to think she hasn’t touched me, and that is why point #1 of the cons is there.  When I fantasize about running into her, I imagine her seeing us happy, and unaffected and it driving her nuts.  The feeling that she has had no impact, causing her to melt like the wicked witch of the west in the Wizard of Oz.  I think that by showing her my weaknesses and vulnerabilities, I am seen as weak and defeated, and so I don’t want her to become aware of what impact she has had….and yet, I think she should be, on some other level.
I think when we harm others, we should be very aware of the fallout of what we have done or said, and how it has impacted others.  We should see firsthand how we have harmed, to gain a full appreciation for how our actions can magnify and envlop others in negative ways that we perhaps never anticipated.
Would she feel remorse?
Would she feel shame?
Would she feel regret?
Likely not, given her incessant battling with us and squabbling to obtain more money and drag my husband’s name and reputation through the mud.  She feels entitled, and when people feel entitled, they also feel that the fallout of their actions was deserved.  Personally, I would love for her to answer me this:  What did I ever do to deserve this?

Reframing your fairy tale

I was never one of those girls who put a pillow case on my head pretending it was a veil.  I didn’t have my wedding planned by the time I was 12, and I didn’t make believe the walk down the aisle the way some girls do.  I did, admittedly, enjoy  making Barbie kiss Ken, and putting them into compromising positions 😉

I think most girls, and later women, have an idea of the happy ending they wish to have to their story.  They stumble through relationship after relationship, gradually learning the qualities that they deem important, until they one day find their Prince Charming and he asks her to get married.

I thought I found my Prince Charming.   I think as we all start out in a marriage, we all think we found our Prince.  But life moves, and priorities shift, and children arrive, demanding the attention you once reserved for your spousal relationship, and people start feeling tugged on and deprived.   All we can do is hope that our marriage can weather the storms that invariably come, because we have so much invested in it.

But what happens when Prince Charming didn’t read the book and follow the instructions?  What happens when Prince Charming takes actions befitting a villain in the story?  How is that story supposed to end?  How is the main character supposed to find her true happiness when it seems the Prince really isn’t a prince after all, but a fallible guy who made a grave error?  We aren’t really given any direction from Disney there. No one writes a story like that.  So what happens when your story gets written that way?

This isn’t the  marriage I’d hoped for.  I didn’t want to be rescuing my marriage, I wanted to be thriving in it.  I want to wake up in the morning, glance over at the man I’ve devoted myself to and feel complete and utter security.  I want to have the confidence in us that we are loyal to each other and to US.  I want to know that we are on the same page, that we share completely with one another, and that we both desire a close, loving and honest relationship.  I want that, but I no longer feel that I have that, and I find myself having to reframe the fairy tale for myself.

Life is dynamic.  Things rarely remain the same.  Ebbs and Flows happen, taking us for a ride.  Perhaps too, our expectations of what we felt we ‘ought’ to have need to shift as well.  I am a creature of habit and comfort, and frankly I want things back the way they were, and I don’t want this mess.  But, in order to find true happiness again, perhaps I need to abandon the old story, in favour of an updated one?

Will I be living with the pain of this every day for the rest of my life?  It sounds like a jail sentence.  I’m not sure I am up to that, as I don’t think I would be able to give 50 more years of this.  I am riding the hope that the pain WON’T feel like this forever – that it too will roll with the tide and keep changing, lessening over time.  I hope.

My husband just asked me outright why I want to be with him, and that perhaps I am just afraid of the alternative of not being with him.  There is certainly truth to that, but I would like to think that I love him and us enough to give this a try.  I am trying.  Some days, though, I just don’t feel I am doing a good job of it.   If there were no children, I would have asked him to leave a year ago when he told me.  I had less invested at that point, and walking away meant little or no baggage compared to today.  With children in the mix, I feel a sense of duty and responsibility as a mother to provide my children with the best upbringing possible, a secure and happy home.  We don’t fight much, we get along well….is that enough?   I want them to know and feel a two parent family.   Besides, I promised my eldest years ago when he discovered the concept of divorce that “mommy and daddy are different from all those other parents, we won’t ever get a divorce”.   I need to try and keep that promise.   I don’t want to be a statistic.

Some days are better than others.  This weekend has been a pensive one.  Lots of triggers and reminders of the affair, and a lot of doubts about my husband’s 100% honesty about the details.

Some of the things I wonder about:

1. What kind of emails/texts did he send her?   I have a gist of what she said to him, but what overtures did he make?
2. Did he say anything to her that would make me shudder?
3. Did he care about her in any way other than simply a vessel to fulfill his sexual needs?   He says it was nothing emotional, but then I hear him say that he offered her a job because he didn’t want her to feel used.  That, to me, shows a caring and a compassion.  His explanation is that he offered her that job so that he could look at himself in the mirror and know that he isn’t a complete heel, but is there anything more to that?

I’ve been told that I may never have all of the answers, and that is unnerving to me.  I need answers.  I crave answers.  I research and FIND answers.  To leave something open and unfinished means to never close the wound completely.

The question is whether I can ever be satisfied without knowing EVERYTHING, and can I reframe my story in such a way that although it isn’t the life I’d dreamed, can it nonetheless be something wonderful, even though it is different?

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