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Dear Chump Lady, I’m trying to divorce in India. What should I do?

Dear Chump Lady,

I am a 40 year-old classic chump from India with a 14 year old son. I am a member of the Chump Nation since Feb 2013. Let me briefly outline the important facts of my case:

My serial cheater ex deserted us (thankfully) on 1st Jan, 2013 and we have had no contact ever since. But, prior to that, I spent nearly 1.5 years with him under the same roof after D-day. There were 3 reasons for the same – a) My son, b) the reconciliation industrial complex is strong in India and I am a people pleaser; and c) I was in the last leg of my doctoral dissertation and not entirely independent.

Initially, I did everything like a classic chump. But, then I employed my own PI skills (voice recorder, tracking device, emails etc.) and was increasingly made aware of the pathological creepiness of my ex (no sane person can hear those recordings without puking). Also, I had accidently chanced upon working for a voluntary organization, which took care of deserted women and their kids by giving them shelter in an orphanage and also imparted skill training for mothers to take up jobs. This activity kept me alive and kicking for life against the monster ex.

Eventually, I completed my dissertation and became a professor at a premier B-school of India. I moved. Then after settling down in the new place, I took my son along with me. My parents moved in our house to help and took care of my son in the interim 5-6 months.

Now some important facts about the Indian context:
1. Divorce is a very time-consuming process (it might take even 10 years, if contested). Judiciary is extremely slow and corruption is prevalent. However, if it is a mutual divorce with both parties consenting, then it can be concluded in 6 months.
2. It is an extremely patriarchal society.
3. Law is extremely favorable to women. Domestic violence etc. can land men into trouble, big time.
4. Child custody rules are very clumsy but unlike USA, the law enforcement agencies are slow and no one can do anything about single parent abduction.
5. The one, who has money, can buy law enforcement agencies in a big way. He has more money than me.

I want a divorce. However, I understand that my current status is the best I can have. I tried a mediator to this effect, but ex not only denied a mutual divorce (refer point 1 above) but also threatened that he would make my life hell, if I did anything. All my well-wishers, including my friends in police (I am involved in social work and so I have some connections), advised me against antagonizing him as that would take attention away from the good work I am doing to fighting a psychopath.

I have evidences of his abuse of domestic violence and about his conspiracy to get me killed (OMG!) and he won’t mind if my son gets killed in the process. I have evidences of his misbehavior with women at his workplace. And I feel “unauthentic” as a person to sit over these and do nothing for fear of antagonizing this man. It was okay to not do anything, till I wasn’t independent but now…I don’t know.

So, I am in a limbo.

I also wish to start a new life, with my dream of setting up and supporting another voluntary organization. I wish to help my son to embark upon a good career option by the time he is an adult (he is good at studies and I teach him at home). I also want to keep the option of remarriage open. I have nothing to do with my ex and don’t care a damn about what happens to him. Therefore, I wish to pressurize my ex for a mutual divorce, which would be beneficial for both of us to move on in life. I am too meh to spoil my life to punish him.

Now, my lawyers suggest that I make life difficult for him by filing police complaint for his criminal activities. They say that it is probably the only way to show to him that contesting is costly.

However, I wish to first meet his employer. I don’t know whether he would have morals enough to intervene (he knows already probably). However, my argument is that he would not support him, either. If he throws him out of the job, I am in for trouble as he would disturb me big time. But, that also means not having enough money to contest (refer point 1) or bribe his way through (refer point 5).

Please appreciate the fact that taking the high road for just filing for divorce means that I am in for a 5-10 year long legal battle with money draining out and mental tensions creeping in.

I know it is pretty complex as your context is very different. But, what should I do? I need to take a call in next few days.

Regards,
Anudi

Dear Anudi,

I’m throwing this one out to Chump Nation, because honestly, I do not know enough about the particulars of Indian society to know how to advise you. But, my inclination would be to do exactly what your lawyers tell you to do. Press criminal charges. If India is tough on domestic abuse, as you say, I think that having a recorded death threat is pretty damning.

This would set off a domino effect of pressure on him and his employment situation, that would hopefully result in divorce. Either by mutual consent (he agrees to mutual divorce to avoid criminal charges) or going forward with the criminal charges will fast track the divorce.

I do NOT think you should speak with his employer. No, if there’s to be a heavy boot on his neck, it needs to be the boot of lawyers and police officers. Professional boots, not Anudi’s boot.

Here’s my problem, Anudi. From what you write, he seems inclined to vengeance and antagonism whatever path you take. I don’t want to give the wrong advice and get you killed or your son kidnapped.  On the other hand, I don’t want the asshole to win and control your life either. You’ve already demonstrated incredible bravery and resiliency.

Whatever happens, I think you have to spend money. Personally, if it were a choice between hiring body guards for a few years while this fucker goes to jail or spending money a 10-year long divorce, I’d opt for the body guards.

It’s HORRIBLE that this person can keep you trapped in a marriage and the law is behind that.

Perhaps the safest thing to do is just kick the can down the street awhile. Are you in any hurry to remarry? Anyone on the horizon? Is this just a hypothetical? Let him focus on some other victim and stay off his radar until your son is out of school in four years. For all you know, he may wish to remarry and want to be rid of you, and then the divorce will be HIS idea.

With these creeps, anytime you indicate you want something, they dig their heels in to deny it to you.

Is there a statute of limitations on the domestic abuse charges? The death threats? How do your lawyers advise to keep you safe while this is going down?

All I know, Anudi, is that things don’t change until there are some fearless people who make it change. That’s easy to type, it’s much harder when it’s your life and your kid on the line. I’m wondering if there isn’t some larger women’s rights organization in India you could align yourself with that protests these conditions for women? I hate that you feel all alone in this.

Thank God you have your volunteer work with abandoned women (you are MIGHTY!!!) and your career. You have accomplished so much.

Chump Nation — any thoughts on what Anudi should do? Maybe we should start a kickstarter fund to get her body guards? I hate that there are probably thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of Anudis out there. (((Hugs))) Anudi. I wish I could offer you clear advice and snark. All I have is admiration for your courage and worry for your situation.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • What do you want? What do you control? What are the ramifications of taking certain steps? I suggest meditating on these questions and possibly writing out the answers.

    CL has some good advice here, Anudi. I do not have much to add to it. And like her, my hat is off to you for your mightiness is overcoming all this madness!

  • Believe it or not, I know a woman who went through something very similar. She found out her husband and his new girlfriend were plotting to kill her, she pressed charges, and they were convicted and sent to prison. Unfortunately, it was only for something like 10 years, and the new girlfriend vowed to kill her when she got out. She fled to the US (via an arranged marriage) which is how I came to meet her. If I recall correctly, getting a divorce wasn’t a problem for her, but I don’t know if he agreed to it or if was made easier by the fact that he was convicted for plotting her murder. I do know the trial was not easy for her, but she felt she had no other choice given the circumstances.

    So I don’t know if that is any help to you other than knowing you aren’t alone. I do think you and your son’s lives come before any high road, and if your lawyer is advising you to press charges then I would to that. I understand that is something you would like to avoid. No one wants to go through the stress and potential scrutiny/publicity of a trial if they don’t have to. But whats to stop him from plotting again?

    I am really sorry for what you are going through- what a nightmare. You don’t have any really good options. I really wish there was way to make him just disappear, so you and your son could go on with your lives and not have to endure any more because of him. There’s no crystal ball to tell you how this will all turn out, unfortunately. Just get all the information you can, and trust your gut. Good luck.

    • Well, that is a VERY good point — what is to stop him from plotting again? While you have the evidence, use it to best advantage. I know Dr. Simon has written about disordered people, they only stop when they feel the cost to *themselves* is too great.

    • I was thinking that you needed to present a COPY of the evidence to lawyers and have him convicted of the crimes he has committed. That makes your conscious clear on doing the right thing, hopefully justice will happen, and it might make the divorce easier.

      I also thought the “flee the country” route might be an option. At least for now. I know that you want to do great things for your home country and feel a need to serve, but what if you could flee for now for your son’s safety and then go back to your home country to do what is in your heart when the time is right?

      Your safety absolutely comes first. There is a huge Indian population in Arizona. Try The Red Elephant Foundation as a start.

      Also – side note: Great for you for home schooling! and for getting your own education even when it was such a tumultuous time in your life. HUGS!!! That took mightiness!!!

  • Hi Anudis,
    I just started a volunteer position with an organization that might be able to give you some advice… The Red Elephant Foundation is located in India. The board consists of a few lawyers and legal studies students fighting to bring attention and change to woman’s and children’s rights, particularly in respect to how the legal system treats them. Since they are based in your home country, they should be able to give you current information on pursuing a difficult divorce there. I hope that you can find a solution that keeps you safe, minimizes the time frame, and let’s this piece of shit know you are serious. Good luck and a big hug to you!

    • Go Chump Nation – what a fantastic fount of wisdom and advice – I am so impressed Nocake4u that you were actually able to give Anudi the name of an organisation she can contact for help and advice – that’s just fantastic! 😀

  • Oh, Anudi– my heart goes out to you. I offer the emotional support that I can, and alas little practical advise. If I can think of anyone to contact, I will.

    About 30 years ago I had a Greek friend in similar circumstances. The laws there (were) similarly difficult, and the corruption was rife. My old friend actually smuggled her young son out of the country, since under Greek law the children belonged to the father…. anyway it was terrible, and she had to worry about visas and so on. Not a good route at all, and the divorce dragged on for years. I’m not even sure it was settled by the time her son grew up–which was partly the point, since she kept him out of the father’s clutches, but it was a terribly stressful, expensive and horrific way to live.

  • Anudi, I can’t offer practical advice other than to say that Chump Lady is usually right. I just wanted to let you know that I am in awe of you for staying strong, doing what you have done, protecting your son and trying to extract yourself from a hideous situation in difficult circumstances.
    I will be thinking of you Anudi, and send you love and positivity.
    Elle. xx

  • Can you have your father negotiate with him?

    How can you make your husband feel like this is his idea to divorce you? How can you make this a win for him?

    Beg him not to divorce you? Hahah. (Maybe….)

    Can your father tell him that you wish to grant him his freedom because you’re so in love with him and you just want him to be happy and free, and you’ll be content to be a humble servant of the people, speaking fondly of him wherever you go? *gag!*

    Or, do you pull out the “I could have you arrested” card, and let him know that nobody really wants that.

    Hire a thug to let him know, you know, it’d be a shame if anything bad were to happen to Anudi…be a real shame….?

    Best wishes. This is a terrible situation.

    I’m having evil thoughts of the sudden and auspicious demise of a nefarious character who lives recklessly.

    Hm.

    • I like the way you think Miss Sunshine 🙂 ‘whatever it takes’ – perhaps there’s something here that Anudi feels she could work with?

    • Miss Sunshine, I like that advice: “Beg him not to divorce you”! And maybe he’ll start divorce proceedings immediately!

    • I don’t usually recommend that sort of thing, but in this case it is a good idea. These guys are cowards at heart (those who only pick on women and children) and don’t like playing hardball with the big boys.

      Threatening him right back has merit.

      Good call, Sunshine.

  • Dear Anudi,

    I am sorry, I too am not from India and therefore don’t know what practical advice I could offer. This is a horrible, shocking situation and I can’t even imagine the full horror of finding out he was conspiring to kill you and your son. More shocking too (if that is even possible) is that your police friends best advice appears to be ‘don’t antagonize him’. Honestly, I can’t even get my head around that.

    It does, however, sound like you have some good connections yourself. Do your colleagues in the voluntary organisations for abused women have any relevant advice? Is there a link anywhere amongst them to a mighty activist (campaigner / lawyer / politician – etc) who could help? Do your police friends have any connections? Can they, in confidence at this moment while you gather your resources, give any better concrete, reliable advice other than ‘don’t antagonize him’? How about at your school? Anybody there who could provide real concrete, relevant advice and support while you face death threats to you and your son? It is really difficult for me to know if advising you to use your networks to protect yourself, is practical, or whether Domestic Violence is so swept under the carpet in India, that you really are left alone and unprotected in your society. I just don’t know. I googled Wikipedia re Domestic Violence in India and it was pretty depressing, however, is it possible to lobby this politician Renuka Chowdhury? What about this ‘Ministry of Women and Child Development’ – have they got any teeth?

    Ultimately, I agree with Chump Lady re not contacting his Employer and rather, let law enforcement agencies , hopefully people who have integrity and recognise the charming aspects of the psychopath for what they are, deal with him. If the best advice from your friends and police contacts is ‘ don’t antagonize’ then I’d much rather have people on side who (in theory anyway) will protect you, or at the very least, know that a potential killer has been ‘antagonized’ by any action he may feel ‘threatened’ by. Would you feel any safer if you knew powerful people in your community were aware of your plight (the Ministry, the politician, your police friends, your employer)? Do you think him knowing powerful people in your community know about his threats would make him more amenable to a mutual divorce? If you were in the UK or USA I would definitely go with Chump Lady’s advice in her book ‘Don’t keep his secrets’ as a way to keep yourself safe, and perhaps the threat of prosecution (especially as you say you have evidence) would strongly influence him into going for a mutual divorce, but Anudi, I just don’t know about how things are in India and ultimately the most important thing is that you and your family are safe.

    If you haven’t got plans to re-marry or there is no romance on the horizon at the moment, is it possible for you to know you are ‘spiritually’ divorced? Don’t get me wrong, I wish you could be rid of him in your life completely, but priority number one is keeping you and yours safe and able to live economically. 5-10 years of increasing costs and the constant threat of having ‘rattled the cage’ of a maniac is not a future anyone would want to have to contemplate.

    Finally, I have to echo CL and Divorce Minister. I am awestruck by your mightiness to have both obtained your degree and to have dedicated your time to helping others who are in dire need, even while you have been living under these dreadful circumstances. You are an inspiration, truly.

    Best wishes to you Anudi, and please, keep us updated, I know I’ll be wondering how you are doing, as I am sure we all will.

    Jayne xx

    • I think Jayne’s follow up to CL is the soundest advise. None of us here in the Chump Nation who are not natives of India (or extremely well versed in Indian law and culture) would be able to give any sound advise.

      You have made excellent friends in the police department – see if you can leverage that for more in depth advice outside of “don’t antagonize.” Most people of any culture like a person of good character who works to help others. Keep doing what you do, and keep being smart. Sometimes, the advice might sound wrong (wait and do nothing) but there may be reasons that for now – it’s right. You don’t have the luxury of flight to a new land and life, from what you’ve indicated – so you will have to play the cards you’ve been dealt. And you’ve got a pretty strong hand – friends willing to advise, a pretty woman-friendly divorce code……see if you can continue to draw on these friends and your lawyers to find the path of least resistance for a legal and safe divorce. Every thought and hope is with you. Good luck.

    • Thank you Jayne. I have moved from the city to far south in India. This has both good and bad ramifications. Good as my son are safer. Bad as it has brought some slack in my erstwhile local network with social activists. However, your points are right. I shall rebuild my network and I can do so, since I visit that city often as I have my own house there.
      Meanwhile, at the moment I have no one to remarry and no real plans. So, your point on “spiritual divorce” is a reality. I can live in peace for a while.

  • Every country needs constant government, and social change. I agree that people in power that are your allies might be able to help you and others by bringing change.

    There is a police report on my x. He left four finger line bruises on the backs of both arms of my oldest and took away his phone so he couldn’t call me. He snuck out and a neighbor was coming home at 11PM found him wandering the neighborhood trying to figure out what to do. He called me and we both called the police. The police officer said that my son gave the bruises to himself by trying to get away from his father and he shouldn’t have done that. He also said, “If your OK with it, I am OK with letting him sneak back into the house.” He did not want to wake up my x or interview him. There was no Child Protective Service call made because the officer said that he didn’t see anything that lead him to a crime. Yet, he had another officer come out and take pictures of my son’s bruises for the report. That was in May. To this day, x still doesn’t know there were 3 police cars outside his house at midnight and a police report filed. Wonder how this police officer knows my x?

    I tried to have my x served with papers this past month for back child support he is refusing to pay. The sheriff’s office gave up after 4 tries of serving him. The report states that his car was in the parking lot at work, that they saw the curtains move at his house, and that they know he is avoiding them. I understand the costliness, the time consuming legal crap, and the risks to your son.

    I will also be wondering how you are doing. Worried for your safety. Not so sure the psycho won’t go after your parents too. 🙁

    Please get people in authority on your side.

    • HSM,

      Hope you are well today and managed to get some sleep 🙂

      I am shocked by the attitude of the police, both towards your son that night (what a horrible message that must have given him about how well protected he is) and their apparent dereliction of duty when it came to serving the papers re back child support. I guess you have to decide whether you want to ‘rattle the cage’ and risk alienation if you make an official complaint, and of course, it takes so much energy to take on these type of battles, is it worth it? But hell, these are public servants, employed by you! Grrrrr!

      I was wondering if there would be any leverage for Anudi if she let it be known (I’m thinking specifically about the politician and the Ministry) that her plight is known internationally now. Anudi has contributed to the forum for a while and our eyes, at least, are now looking to the oldest democracy on the planet to uphold the rights of their citizens, and, crucially, are they capable of keeping Anudi and her son safe?

      • Aw! Yes! My babies were home with me last night. They all crawl into my bed at some point in the night. So, I slept soundly. Even with random body parts on my head. 🙂

        Sad thing: son wants to be a cop. But we had a good discussion about it.

        Going to serve x via certified mail and process server before posting it in the paper.

        That’s right, India, we are watching you!!! Chump Nation is spreading the word. Wonder if we can contact them??? Going to look into that.

        • ‘So, I slept soundly. Even with random body parts on my head. 🙂

          LOL and excellent! 🙂

          Hey, it’s ok your son wants to be a cop. You never know, the experience he had that night might positively influence how he conducts himself as a public servant 🙂 and we all need good cops who do their job properly, ma’am 🙂

          Another LOL….. ‘That’s right, India, we are watching you!!! Chump Nation is spreading the word. Wonder if we can contact them??? ‘Dear India, you don’t know me but ……’ 😀

    • HSM, I’m so sorry you’re going through all this crap. Kudos to you for staying strong and being the calm in the storm for your precious kids.

      Would it be possible to place a call to CPS by yourself, or have a neighbour or friend do it for you? As far as I know, the police don’t need to contact them first in order to open a file and investigate. Maybe laws vary from state to state, but I do think it’s worth looking into, especially given the police report and the photographic evidence. Hugs to you, and stay safe!

      • FMT: Thank you! There is a CPS file started. Kids have been complaining about x’s drinking. Someone called and reported it. It is considered neglect. That also happened in May. CPS is supposed to interview both parents, see both homes, and interview the children. They interviewed me at my home in June while x had kids out of town on vacation. I ordered a copy of the report last month. All it had was my interview, nothing on him or kids. What???? Way to go CPS!!! Whatever. Hoping the nonprofit can help me.

          • Hadn’t thought if it that way, as CPS was in the news so much this year. They didn’t investigate over 6,000 abuse and neglect cases. It’s possible that he would have avoided it all.

    • Dear HSM,
      I think I sometimes read too much into the psychopathic capability of my monster ex. But, when it comes to security of my loved ones…I can’t take chances.

      • Dear Anudi,

        Please don’t let yourself underestimate his psychopathic capabilities. It may well be that his threat was just ‘posturing’ at the time, but really, who’s to know for sure?

        For some reason this reminds me of an episode from a, not always successful, sitcom years ago.

        In the episode there was a dream sequence where our hero is in heaven and discussing with his wife his recent accident on a pedestrian crossing. This particular scene has stuck with me all these years.

        Our hero: ‘ But, it was my right of way’!

        Wife: ‘Yes, but now you’re dead’!

        Anudi, please don’t let ‘I didn’t really believe he had it in him’ become your ‘But, it was my right of way’!

        Jayne x

        • Agreed. I think that we fall back into familiar roles of abuse victim where we make excuses for unbelievable behaviors. Stick to the facts and try to take as much emotional elements out if it as possible. He threatened your and your son’s lives period. Whether he was seriously going to follow through or not is mute. He did it.

  • “And I feel “unauthentic” as a person to sit over these and do nothing for fear of antagonizing this man. It was okay to not do anything, till I wasn’t independent but now…I don’t know.”

    I think this is what jumped out at me. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I think that feeling of being stuck in a bad situation over which we have little control makes us long to be able to DO something. But my gut reaction was that your self-preservation should trump the desire for freedom for now. In my opinion, you are not being unauthentic in any way by protecting yourself and your son. Everyones situation is different, and you have so many factors to weigh. This really is a complicated situation.

    And this from Chump Lady:

    “Perhaps the safest thing to do is just kick the can down the street awhile. Are you in any hurry to remarry? Anyone on the horizon? Is this just a hypothetical? Let him focus on some other victim and stay off his radar until your son is out of school in four years. For all you know, he may wish to remarry and want to be rid of you, and then the divorce will be HIS idea.”

    In my own situation I knew it would not take long for my husband to become “distracted” again from our marriage. As soon as there was another woman to cling to, everything became easier for me. Is there a good chance that another woman will pressure him to divorce you to marry her? This would be the best case scenario. Would he turn to violence if he wanted to be rid of you, or to divorce? Could it be better to wait for him to think it’s all his idea? I really can’t judge. I just want you to be safe.

    Good luck to you, I wish you the best and will say many prayers for you and your son.

    • I agree, wait till there is someone else to take the focus off you. I too am waiting for this to happen; it’s exhausting but the safest thing to do. Anudi, I wish you peace and safety.

  • Hi Anudi: My thoughts – sit tight, don’t do anything for now. You have been no contact with your husband for almost 2 years (minus a few months). That is good. At this point, neither you or your son are in physical danger from him. The longer it stays this way, the better. My feeling is that if you file criminal charges against him or complain to his employer, you are bringing him back into your life, in an extremely threatening way, and this may have life threatening consequences for you. You mention that he has conspired to have you killed in the past. He means serious business – never to be taken lightly. I don’t know if full time bodyguards are the answer in your culture.

    I understand your feelings of wanting to move on, but I believe getting out of the marriage needs to be HIS idea. Let him find someone else. Men like him are not alone for long. If you don’t have anyone else in your life right now, then re-marriage won’t be happening soon.

    In the mean time your life appears to be stable now – you have gone through some serious trauma. Take some more well deserved time for yourself. Work on your career. I hope this doesn’t sound like a cop out, but sometimes just biding your time and doing nothing can work.

    • I agree with this. Peace and tranquility are priceless when you’re raising a teenaged boy. What a blessing it is not to have a disordered role model trying to use him as a pawn. “A boy should be raised by his father” I can’t remember how many times that old saw got thrown out at me.

      Don’t whack the bee’s nest if you don’t have to. Wait for a new queen to emerge and for the dumb drone to go swarming after her.

    • tflan and Done now,
      You are right and I also used to think this way (Let divorce be His idea). Part of my waiting out till date was also this.
      But, unfortunately, my lawyer said that he will never leave me for 2 reasons:
      1. I am a perfect alibi. He continues to live with multiple women. If someone becomes pretty serious, then, he can cite that he is married and can’t do anything.
      2. I have a good earning and profile. If he loses his job or contacts any disease or even when he becomes older and wants to return, then I am the preferred option. In India, reconciliation complex is pretty strong. Who knows, he can run me out of strength to fight back till then?
      However, if I am waiting I know it is only for my son to grow up a little more. All his reasons are only his.

  • Anudi, I was wondering if you had any male relatives who could intervene on your behalf? Or men you know well in your community that could approach him and advise him to make a clean break? That perhaps they could discuss the divorce with your husband and make a better case for a healthy future? In my case I simply waited. Time granted me my freedom. We separated. I waited for ex to file, and with evidence in hand against him quietly negotiated my case while protecting myself. I let him know in writing that I simply wanted what he did, a divorce, but also let him know that if anyone ended up dead I had plenty of documentation to prove who benefitted. Anudi, you know this man best, work with that. I wish you well.

  • I am having a hard time getting my head around the kind of dysfunction where a cheater who has abandoned his family is plotting to kill his spouse (and possibly child) when there’s not an economic motive (i.e. life insurance, spouse’s funds, etc).

    Perhaps it’s a cultural thing with divorce being so rare and kind of taboo in India? Maybe it’s a “divorce is kind of taboo meets a flaming narcissist” thing? If so, that’s one point in favor of quick-and-easier USA divorces I had not considered.

    It sucks you are going through with this, but I’d have a hard time not living on edge all of the time if there were somebody out there who I thought might want me dead. I think I’d have to address that somehow (legal system? Relocating to another country? Hiring body guards?).

    That’s rough.

    • Anudi’s situation is why I am thankful for the no-fault divorces in many of the US states. While no-fault sucks for the Chump on so many levels (the Chumped SAHM/SAHD has to decide whether to stay with a cheater or jeopardize her/his family’s financial stability while the Chumped Sole Supporter of the Family ends up subsidizing the cheating SAH parent’s infidelity, etc.), at least it affords a fairly fast out.

      It’s really too bad that there’s no option for what used to be called a Mexican divorce back in the day. For those who haven’t watched Perry Mason or aren’t old enough to remember the 1960s, divorce in the US used to be a lot more time-consuming and expensive. Mexico allowed for lawyers to represent their clients, so the clients didn’t even have to show up to court. Residency was very loose. A fair amount of celebrities obtained Mexican divorces back in the day. With the advent of no-fault divorce, Mexican divorces became less popular. However, a Mexican divorce option would be really beneficial for Anudi.

      Anudi, I don’t have a lot of extra to add. I think I’d be wondering about body guards or relocation, but I do want to add that you are Mighty indeed. Also, given that you are building up a good and solid reputation among the police in your area, that is helpful, too.

  • I don’t have any insight into India or how to handle this Anudi, though there is good advice above. I just wanted to say that I have always valued your comments and pray for a way out for you and your son. You are a very strong smart woman and will find the right thing to do.

    • Anudi, I agree with Kelly. I’ve always appreciated your comments and insights on the forum, and I’m sickened by everything you’re going through right now. A woman as strong and smart as you will surely find a way, and I hope you know how much support and respect you’ve got here.

      Somebody mentioned the idea of a divorce filed outside the country. Would that be a possibility for you? Would a divorce granted elsewhere be legally recognized in India? Hugs to you and your son, and sending you all the positive thoughts I can.

  • I’m half Pakistani, but really “Western”.

    Having said that, I do have some cultural knowledge.

    IMHO, the faster he’s away from his support system by being put away, the better. You can even go to his employer with more safety if he is behind bars.

    Having said that–I know in Pakistan, if he had the money, he could get out easily. But if your lawyers are trustworthy, they know what they can do with a police file, and if they need this ammunition for your well-being, give it to them.

    I notice you have not mentioned your own family. Are there any family members with strong social and/or financial connections you could go to? I would even say that if you had to move elsewhere to be near them, to move.

  • I am in the U.S. In my case, I want my divorce to go smoothly. My wife knows that I have evidence of her bad behavior in the form of pictures and videos and text messages and emails. I have done NOTHING with this evidence yet. I have told her that if she tries to get anything from me or screw me over in anyway as disordered people like to do, then certain people will see this evidence. By that I meant her employers, her family and her students, All I would have to do is post it on a certain web site.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to do that and I don’t recommend doing something like that. I simply want her to BELIEVE that I would do that if she doesn’t cooperate and just get our divorce over with so we can walk away from each other and start new lives.

    After making that clear to her I finally got the papers I needed to get this ball rolling and she is not asking for anything from me. So I find that approach effective.

    If any chumps here are having trouble with the divorce proceedings in this matter try holding something over their heads. Remember these disordered people can’t handle it when people think badly of them. They will go through great lengths to protect their image. So if you have something on them that they don’t want to get out simply tell them that they better co-operate or it is going to get out.

    It might work or it might not but I think it is worth a try. I do not believe in threatening people to get what you want but sometimes you need to use something for leverage. Especially when its against someone like that.

    • Trouble is Fred, Blackmail is blackmail. Not something I’d recommend anybody to do, either for fear of the consequences that may come from dealing with someone who might start to feel desperate if they were being blackmailed, but also for fear of what becoming a blackmailer does to your own psyche. I understand you are hurt and angry, but be careful it doesn’t turn you into an abuser too. 🙁

      Regards,

      Jayne

    • I would never underestimate the vindictiveness of a psychopath. These people are at the extreme end of the disordered spectrum. They are long past impression management when they feel violated – blackmail would be intolerable for them. Anudi has alluded to the fact that in the past, her husband has threatened to kill her. To me, that is the strongest indication of his potential intentions towards her.

      Finally, Anudi – Are you truly able to trust your lawyers? Are they all male? Do they really have your best interests at heart?

      • Though, in a disordered person’s mind, they wouldn’t be thinking purely “Oh crap I better toe the line else things are going to get out”, they’d also have a fair amount of “I have to find where this evidence is, and destroy it” – which can manifest itself into things to the point of violence.

      • Dear Anudi,

        Please don’t consider blackmailing him. Both tflan386 and Lania make very good points. He has already shown you he can consider killing you and risking your sons life in the process, and that was just for being an ‘inconvenience’ in his life. How much more willing would he be to go through with this if you have him believe you have the potential to ‘ruin’ his life? Add into this a huge dollop of ‘You’re Not The Boss Of Me’ and outrage at a woman getting all ‘uppity’ and thinking she can call the shots. Whatsmore, in any future court proceedings, the waters get very muddy if on one side there’s violence, infidelity and abandonment and on the other side there’s blackmail and a woman trying to control a man (something I can well imagine would be generally frowned on in a patriarchal society – hell, generally speaking the world is misogynistic and even if our societies pretend differently, if a woman does not conduct herself as a complete, irreproachable saint, at all times and in all circumstances, you just know opinion is going to go against her).

        I still think your best way forward is to surround yourself with powerful people who have your back.

        Very best regards,

        Jayne xx

        • That is why it is important to have good legal counsel. Negotiations, where one person agrees to keep unflattering information confidential as part of a settlement, is not blackmail and is utilized all the time by lawyers in high profile situations. It all depends on the approach taken and the wording employed. This is a card that can be played, but must be played carefully by experienced counsel.

  • I think the 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of Anudi’s out their should unite and become their own bodyguards. Sure they will outnumber the abusers 100 to 1 if not more.

  • Dear Anudi,

    I wish you the best. Whatever you choose to do, my hope for you is that you are kept safe, that you & your son thrive despite this and that you are freed from this jerk.

  • Anudi,

    First, Jedi Hugs x 1 million! You have done so well and now you feel stuck, you want your freedom, I don’t blame you – I just don’t know what to tell you. Sending you good energy!

    Given the timeline you gave though I’m not sure why the decision must be made immediately? Please tell us why ” I need to take a call in next few days.”??

    Have you consulted with more than one lawyer? That is the only thing I think you should do if you have not already. With so much at stake I would want another opinion.

    I just did a couple hours research on India law regarding divorce, it’s horrible and complicated by different laws for different religions, just an awful mess. The corruption you speak of is rampant. And men own 98% of assets so I see why you have no money to fight! I am so sorry but I cannot even begin to have an opinion on what you should do. Here is a site on Indian divorce law, not sure how up to date or reliable it is: http://www.indidivorce.com/divorce-laws-in-india.html and here is another: http://www.divorcelawyers.co.in/

    When I was researching, I came across an attorney who is a women’s activist, I cannot find her contact info online, maybe you can through your own contacts? Even if she cannot personally help you, I would think she could refer you to another attorney/lawyer, or her organization can. Please get a second legal opinion.

    Her name is Kirti Singh, she is a part time Law Commission member and a lawyer in Delhi, India. She wrote a book on this issue and her practice is focused on women’s issues: http://www.idrc.ca/EN/Resources/Publications/Pages/IDRCBookDetails.aspx?PublicationID=1201

  • In regards to your specific situation – I’m not very well versed in Indian culture to be able to give a really good plan of action. I will however ask the following question – is there any chance that you can move to another city (not outside the country, though that would be the best bet) and leave no traces behind?
    This may allay some of the feelings where you feel your ex’s threats are hanging over your shoulder – though its always a wise idea to stay vigilant, even without these terrible situations playing out, anyway.
    I will say this though – you gotta do whats best for your son, and yourself – whatever that might be. This situation is disgusting, if you feel you can use your ‘trump card’ (aka your evidence) to leverage him to give you a divorce and to leave you the hell alone, then go for it.

  • Thank you, Tracy. You are a God’s Angel. I think Chump Nation would echo the same.
    I had almost planned to go to his employer, but, I shall do a rethink now.
    Thank you Chump Nation for your incredible support.
    I think I shall wait out for some time. I don’t fear for my life, at all. If this is the only price, then I wouldn’t think twice before putting up the fight. My son is 14, a tall teenager now. I wish he grows up a little more. Further, “kick the can down the street…” might be a pragmatic idea for a while, though I hate each passing day of continuing to being his wife, legally . I shall make my network stronger and work towards making castles stronger to withstand psychopath’s wrath.
    But, I shall definitely be free some day!

  • File when you feel you are strong enough to do so. It doesn’t seem like you are there yet. The stars will align, and you will know it is time. He will probably do something to open the door. Wait until you feel it is safe.

    • Thank you, Tara!
      I am well past it all; the monster is practically out of our lives and I don’t want to invite him before preparing enough for the onslaught. I am a “spiritual divorcee” already (thank you Jayne for the term).

  • Anudi,
    I do not have any real practical advice for you. Your situation is scary and your actions are so mighty. Big hugs from me!

  • Anudi, you have already done all of the really important work. You tried reconcilaition, saw it didn’t work, found the evidence you needed and separated from your husband. You got your education (Ph.D.!!) and your career started. You found a way to raise AND educate your son, with support from you parents. You are doing important work and have truly “left a cheater, gained a life.”

    Like other have said, I am not from India and so hesitate to give advice. But for what it’s worth, I would say that less than 2 years is not a very long time in the business of ending a marriage to a violent, threatening cheater. I can surely understand why you want the final divorce and why even one day seems long after he threatened you and your son. But I think time can be your friend as it is likely that he is the one who will want to move on. Your job is to make sure that is through divorce, not violent means. To that end, I would put the information you have in the hands of several third parties, including your attorney. One set should be in a safe deposit account and your last will and testament should make not of the the account’s location and the content of the evidence.

    I think what you need next, rather than a bodyguard, is the indian equivalent of Gavin de Becker, a security expert with deep experience dealing with psychopaths, to advise you. If you look at the book link on the right side of the website, De Becker’s book, “The Gift of Fear,” is featured. This book will show you how complex and dangerous it is to leave a psychopath. It is fairly common in the U.S. for people to discover that a “restraining order” or “protection from abuse order” sets these people off and makes their victims less safe. I think you need someone like de Becker to review your case and give you expert advice as to your safety before you proceed.

    Under no circumstances should you contact the employer. He may be opposing a mutual divorce simply to preserve how other see him and you going to his employer could be a huge trigger to his rage. Of course you want to finish the job, get a divorce, and go on to live a happy life without this guy. But there is nothing “inauthentic” about living your own life, separate from your deserting cheater, while remaining married only in the legal sense, when he has blocked the options. Don’t listen to advice that links the social work you do to your marital state, in either direction. Your life, in all of its dimensions, is more important than the social work you do. It’s not a matter of taking attention or time away from the social work; it’s about staying alive, protecting your son, and looking for the opportunity to move forward. Use your intuition. Read de Becker’s book. You’ve come this far in a short time. Your attorney is likely correct in that your husband, like many cheaters discussed on this board, like the status of marriage, which gives him power over the other women in his life, and you as well. But since he has deserted the family, and made threats on your lives, you would have no obligation to take him in if he gets sick. At that point, if it would ever come, surely your evidence would be meaningful in court. And organizing your life around his delusional life planning is not helpful to you.

    You are a strong, strong woman. Sending good thoughts and prayers to you.

  • Anudi, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your son for your continuing safety and wellbeing.

    I totally understand the position you are in. I spent a good few months lining up my ducks in a row, making my preparations to leave my abusive serial cheating ex husband. We were pretty poor thanks to his squandering a lot of our money on hookers, porn, adult bookstores, and….oh yes schmoopie #2. I had to be very careful with everything I did because he had flat out told me he was thinking of killing me and my children and then killing himself. I believed him and did what I had to do stealthily to get the kids and I safe. It helped me to think of the situation as a covert operation, he was definitely the enemy, and I was going to do whatever it took for however long it took to get us free.

    Ultimately we were able to get away safely.

    Unfortunately I was not able to overcome a paternalistic judge who decided that ex cheaterpants was only a danger to me and not my boys and refused to grant supervised visitation. That did not end well, but I did the best I could.

    Blessings to you and your son Anudi and stay safe.

  • Hi Anundi,

    I’m a Punjabi girl born in Canada. I don’t know how useful my suggestions would be, because my family has been in Canada a long time and we have an inaccurate idea of what India is… however, that being said, I do have some understanding of India and it’s cultures (mostly from a Punjabi perspective).

    The first question I want to know is what does the monsters’ family think about the whole situation? Is there a way that you family could intervene and have a discussion with his family? Or would it aggravate the situation? Perhaps it might be worth it, as much of the reconciliation culture is played out through the extended family.

    I do not think going to his employer would be helpful. It could backfire; and he could use it to his advantage or it could enrage him. Anything you do should be done behind the scenes, where he would not be able to trace it back to you. If he is willing to hurt you or your son, that is serious. I think you need to make it clear that if anything should happen to either of you, there will be retaliation. But again, be careful.

    The next suggestion I would make, which is related to what you have done, is to go to another part of India. I do not know what linguistic group you belong to in India, where you were living or are living, but if your partner struggles to speak either Hindi or English, then go to a part of India where he may be unfamiliar with the culture and language so that he is not able to so easily navigate the system as easily. Or I wonder if you relocae to a big city such as Mumbai, or Dehli you could just disappear. Would the police or a P.I. service able to easily track you down in India if you don’t want to be found? P.S. I’ve always personally liked Chandigarh:)

    However, I would also suggest going overseas and applying as a refugee, and make sure that you bring evidence with you. I worry about trusting the police in India, because in India it is money that always talks and police officers can be very corrupt (they often participated in Pogroms against religious or ethnic minorities). They are the idiots who did not take women’s report. The people of India are largely good, but it the corrupt few who buy out the police who can get away with anything. And the police does not have the resources from what I understand, and are notoriously known for their inaction, so I worry about you. Therefore, I hope you consider going abroad and applying for refugee status. You can come to Canada and apply for refugee status and then pick a Sanctuary city such as Hamilton or Toronto, where you can receive services at a reduced or no cost and no one reports your status. If you have enough evidence and considering you are for India and this a women’s right issues, I do not see your application being rejected (I could be wrong though). I am not sure how you go about coming to Canada, but you can contact a group such as http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/. The other challenge when going abroad is that they do not always recognize foreign education. Or perhaps see if you can get hired in another country in your area of study. I work as a part time Professor, and depending on your field of study you could get a work visa! Then you can try to get permanent status. But if your life is really at risk, then I suggest you take your son and get out!

    I hope that I was helpful…I’m sorry if it was not!! Good luck and if you need to, please feel free to message me.

      • Dear Anudi,

        I just found this trawling old posts and I hope you and your son continue well. Just an aside which may help – I know it would be a big move and is perhaps not what you want now, but perhaps worth considering for the future if you decide you want to divorce more quickly than you can in India. If you have a PhD there are a number of UK grants for commonwealth scholars to come to the UK. If you got a fellowship to come then under UK law you can file for divorce (regardless of where you married or where your husband is) after you have been resident here for 6 months (I’ll be able to file in just 2 months time!). It takes about 5 months if they don’t object, so a year long fellowship could be enough. All you have to do is prove he received the papers and the court will grant the divorce as no response is considered consent – if he wants to object he has to write to the court within 30 days. The divorce should be recognised back in India but you would have to check with your lawyers and if this became an option for you, check with a UK lawyer too. Not sure if that’s any help to you, but thought I’d mention it anyway! Good luck!

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