Saturday, June 30, 2012

The story that couldn’t be told....

Tabloid shocking...until now!

The scathing exposé that could not be printed...until now!

The shocking true story that scandalized the nation and brought an empire to its knees!

Okay, a slight exaggeration. But I’m going to do something now that you rarely see me doing on these pages: I’m going to air a little dirty laundry. I’m not going to make a habit of it, but this has been a long time coming, and it will be a relief to write about it publicly and be done with it. I won’t use any names, only relationships, I won’t provide any links or addresses, and I will try to be as general as possible. This isn’t a vendetta; it’s merely getting something off of my chest that has been burdening me—and us—for about five years now. Sit back and relax, because this is going to be a long entry.

Some of you have noticed the countdown clock on the upper right of this blog. (It has served its purpose, so I’ll be removing it soon.) I titled it “free of negativity.” This was the date which signalled the end of our financial commitment to Ken’s kids from his previous marriage, but it signified much more than that. I want to make it very clear that any strife and discord was never about paying support. NEVER. Ken never missed a payment, even shortly after the divorce when he was in pretty dire financial straits. More on that in a moment.

Only a handful of you know about any of this, and I don’t believe any of you know the full extent of it. It was assumed that I told anyone and everyone in the blogosphere about all of this, in detail, but that is simply not true. I never sicced anyone on Ken’s ex or asked them to leave comments on her blog, and I believe the one and only comment Ken ever left on her blog was to tell her to stop harassing us on our OWN blogs. We had several nasty comments from her, her mother, and her sister. (Remember the epic Anonymous battle about my being pro-choice? That was the sister.)

As far as we can tell, her anger with us started in the spring of 2007. Up until then, over a period of six years, we had all maintained a decent relationship based upon the best interests of the two kids. I listened and sympathized and tried to be supportive when she was going through a divorce (the third one), and this was not a pretense. Ken was fine with this, but merely cautioned me to “be careful,” because there is a history of intense friendships and equally intense blow-ups and break-ups. He was so right. The point of no return seemed to be when our friends Kim and Steve decided to come out from California to spend a week with us. Kim and Steve were close friends with Ken and his ex when they lived in California, and after a brief hiatus in the friendship, Ken resumed it shortly after we met; we’ve since continued and expanded our friendship. Despite the miles between us, we truly enjoy their company and try to see them as often as possible, even spending a vacation with them every couple of years.

Tabloid Inside StoryAnyway, the friendship between Kim and Steve and the ex ended quite a few years ago. Although they didn’t go into a lot of detail, there were several incidents that made them decide to pull away from the friendship. When she called Kim and Steve, she began hanging up if Kim answered; she told Steve he was her “soulmate,” and at one point called him and told him she was in the tub drinking wine. (Steve said, “The only woman I want calling me naked from a tub is my wife!”) She eventually sent them a long email about her gripes about the friendship and against Kim (and then blamed it on her third husband, who she said hacked her account...but that doesn’t explain why she then called and apologized for sending the email, saying that she did not mean to send it). When she found out that Kim and Steve were coming to visit, she said that she didn’t want the kids seeing them (they are the kids’ godparents, by the way). I spent an hour on the phone with her as she cried about the loss of the friendship and about how much she’d love to see them. I asked if she wanted me to mention it to Kim and Steve, and she said, “Yes,” and that although she didn’t want the kids coming here for the weekend to see them, she would be okay if they were to drive over and meet at the halfway point (which was our arrangement to pick up the kids at that time). She went on to say that she’s changed, and that if she were the person she is now, her and Ken would still be married.

Well, I was a little taken aback by that, as you can imagine! But I discussed it with Ken, we agreed that we would present Kim and Steve with her wishes, but would say that it was entirely up to them. We would not be upset with them one way or another, whatever they decided, and if they wanted to reconnect with her, we were cool with that. They discussed it, and told us that they had decided to not renew the friendship. I believe their remarks were something to the effect of “The fact that she is trying to use the kids to blackmail us into seeing her tells us that she hasn’t changed at all.” That they decided not to contact her seemed to upset her very much, and things really started to go downhill at that point. Another thing that seemed to upset her was that that summer, we took the kids on a two-week vacation: a week in Florida followed by a week on a cruise, something we’d all been saving up for for several years (we’d asked the kids to save, too, and they contributed $250 to the cause, using the money we gave them for doing chores). I’s pretty awful of us to subject the kids to something like that!

Tabloid Top SecretThat fall, we got a court notice from her that she was looking to increase the child support. We had no problem with that; although the amount Ken had been paying up until then was commensurate with his salary right after the divorce, his salary had gone up since then. Then we got a second notice that she was filing a motion to get almost $150,000 in back support, and if Ken didn’t pay it, he could be thrown in jail for up to six months.

THAT we had a problem with! I’ll talk some specifics here. The divorce decree stated that Ken would pay $3200 per month for family maintenance, which would terminate upon her remarriage. That happened two months after the divorce was final, and Ken and the ex made a mutual agreement that he would pay $1600 per month going forward (which he did faithfully). She was saying that he unilaterally agreed to drop the payments to $1600, so she was entitled to get the rest of that in a lump payment as back child support. The judge considered this for all of five seconds and said, “Nope.” The ex’s lawyer tried to argue, but the judge again said, “NO.” The child support was increased to an amount in line with Ken’s salary at the time, and again, we had no problem with that. The problem we had was that she would try to get money that she was not entitled to under the decree, and that she would actually attempt to put Ken in jail if she didn’t get it. Seriously??

As I wrote, Ken never missed a payment, and the $1600 was in line with his salary at the time. He also paid many additional expenses, including new glasses, new clothes, fees for extracurricular activities and field trips, and we took them on vacation every other year, with additional small vacations close to home in the off years. Ken was portrayed as a “deadbeat dad,” but I beg to differ. He was about as far from a deadbeat dad as a dad can be!

I was told that in my writings here in which I alluded to various aspects of this, although again with no specifics, I was being “mean and unfair.” Let’s talk about “mean and unfair” for a moment, okay? Just as Ken and I have been writing our blogs for several years now, the ex and her fourth husband also had blogs. We’ve also gotten emails and seen a few other snippets of information here and there. Here is a sampling:

  • As I mentioned above, Ken was called a deadbeat dad and accused of abandoning them all. He was the one who left, but he wasn’t the one who filed for divorce. He never missed a child support payment, and he paid at least $1600 per month and eventually $2100 per month. There was also a percentage of bonuses paid, often to the tune of $6000 per year. He paid additional costs for other expenses before the increase in child support, and that was not insignificant. We have been accused of “hiding money,” but if we have a hidden bank account, I’d sure like to know about it! Financial disclosure statements shows that only a few hundred dollars of the child support was going directly to the kids. The rest was going towards bills.
  • It was said that the kids’ toys had to be sold in order to put food on the table. We heard otherwise...that they were sold to finance a trip to England to meet up with an online “friend.” And if you can’t put food on the table when you’re getting $3200 per month, you’re doing something wrong.
  • The ex has written that we are both compulsive liars and that we have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Never mind the fact that several years ago, I took the MMPI (a comprehensive psychological evaluation test) when I was going through some counseling, and I have no such thing. The psychologist told me, “Other than a slight tendency towards addiction [no surprise there...I smoked for 20+ years], you’re perfectly fine.” I also dated a guy in Indianapolis for five years who was diagnosed with NPD, and believe me...Ken is NOTHING like him! Ken works in nuclear, and so he had to take the MMPI, as well. He also got nothing saying that he has NPD. So let’s just put that silliness to bed, shall we?
  • We have been called “scumbags” and told to “go feed the squirrels, asshole.”
  • Because I have never had children, I have been called selfish and barren. Yes, barren. What is this, Old Testament times? Although I have never talked about why I didn’t have children (it was mostly just a matter of timing), it’s astonishing to be called a “barren wife.”
  • I have also been called a “Stepford Wife,” but then accused of influencing Ken like some sort of Jezebel.
  • We got numerous emails from the ex threatening legal action. Everything from “if you don’t send your tax return within 7 days, I’m contacting my lawyer” to threatening a “slander” lawsuit (I think the word she wanted was “libel”) for what we wrote on our blogs.
  • Ken has received emails signed “Wifey No. 1” and telling me to “stay my place” and stay out of it. Sorry, but if you file a motion to get $150,000 from me and my husband, and if you don’t get it, you want him to go to jail, I AM INVOLVED.
  • I have been called Ken’s “whore wife,” a malicious bitch, and a passive-aggressive cunt. Ken has been called an asshole and a fuckhead. 
  • It was suggested that when the kids were present, I walked around here in short shorts and no underwear. That’s just damned creepy. My “minimal mammary glands” were also mentioned, as in they were “hanging out of” my shirt. Not sure how minimal mammary glands can do that, but whatever.
  • It was said that we really didn’t want the kids “fucking up” our lives.
  • My profession (and all of my friends who share it) was dismissed as my being a “bench chemist.” I don’t even know what the hell a “bench chemist” IS, but that is an insult to all of us who have worked hard in the laboratory to provide quality results to every patient. I did three years of college courses in what was essentially a pre-med program, followed by a full 12-month internship in all areas of the clinical laboratory, including yes, Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Bank, Immunology, several other areas, and what I would eventually focus on, Microbiology. I take pride in what I learned throughout my career, and I take pride in the fact that I did my best to care for every patient. “Bench chemist,” my ass.
  • It has been said that all I care about is “books, beer, and football.” Yes. Everyone who reads this knows that I care nothing about anything more than those three things.
  • We were accused of forcing the kids to do housework and yard work. Any tasks we asked of them were not strenuous, and were a chance for them to earn some money while they were here. We eventually stopped asking and we never forced them to do anything.
  • We were accused of “abandoning” them and never wanting to come to any of their events or football games or competitions. After the cruise, both Ken and I sent numerous emails to try and keep in touch. I would have to send reminders for Ken’s birthday and for Father’s Day. Ken called often and usually had to leave a message; the calls were never returned. On occasion, he would talk to the ex and ask for the kids. She’d say, “They’re not here” and would hang up. He sent many emails asking about when he could come down for a game, and would get “We’ve got an away game this week, and I don’t know my schedule beyond that.” When in Columbus on a business trip, he tried to get over to see them, and was told “They have previous commitments and won’t be able to see you.” One of the last times he went to see them, one kid decided that they didn’t want to see him...but now we get “You never came to see me.” We have evidence of the ex signing on and posting as both kids, so we wonder if they got all of those emails, or if they were deleted and they never saw them.
  • Ken got angry letters from both kids saying that they didn’t want him in their lives.
  • We were told that the kids decided to change their emails, and we were never provided with new email addresses in order to contact them. However, on the ONE occasion when we DID check their email accounts (which were on our main AOL account), as we were deleting them for lack of use, we saw emails from the ex to the kids stating that they were no longer to use those email accounts, and that new ones were being provided for them.
  • When discussing things with the ex in the driveway of their home, she tried to pick a fight with Ken, and when he decided to not listen to it and drove off, she stood in the driveway, flipped him the double bird, and yelled, “Fuck you, Ken! Just fuck you!” Stay classy!
  • It seems that she contacted my ex-husband...the one I divorced over 20 years ago. To find out what? That in my twenties I was a party girl? I wonder if he told her about how he slept with someone else a month after we got married, when he went to Texas for officer’s training school, while I stayed with my parents? I’m guessing that Mr. Born-Again didn’t mention that part!
  • The ex called my parents “pseudo grandparents” and wrote that they should not contact the children anymore, that she didn’t know them and didn’t want them disturbing her home. When I attempted contact with the kids to let them know that my Dad had died, she wrote that the kids don’t care, that my Dad didn’t love them or care anything about them. That was probably one of the more vile things she ever wrote, and it was completely untrue. My entire family took them in as their own, and I have a very kind, loving, and generous family.

I guess that’s enough. You get the idea. It has been five years of incredible nastiness, a vile litany of hatred and bitterness. But I’m the “mean and unfair” one. I have heard from fellow bloggers and friends that she contacted them and sent long emails full of rants against me. One friend said that he had to quit reading her because she was nothing but bitter and boring.

Oddly enough, she seems to hate ME more than she hates Ken. The only thing we can figure is that there was some sort of hope there that they would eventually reconcile, and as long as I’m around, that won’t happen. Well, I’m guessing that even if I were out of the equation, that wouldn’t happen!

Tabloid ExposedThere is certainly one thing that we both regret: not pursuing visitation more aggressively when all of this started going down. We had gone down to one visit per month instead of two, then the decision was made by the ex to stop meeting us halfway. This meant a 10-hour round trip on Friday evening and Sunday. We did this a couple of times, which was a two-night hotel stay and spending the day with the kids on Saturday, mid-morning to early evening. That was it. Based on their school activities, on the level of conflict they seemed to be experiencing about all of this, and on the total cutoff of communication, Ken made the decision to step back and let them do their high school thing without conflict. I supported him on that. It was a mistake on both our parts, because it allowed the propaganda machine to kick in. If we had forced the issue and gone back to court, I believe things might have worked out differently. The decisions made were primarily about trying to remove conflict and stress from the kids’ lives. We are both sorry that the anger we’re seeing was the result of that decision. That being said, phones work both ways, as do emails. After several months of a complete cutoff of communication, you kind of get the message that someone doesn’t want to talk to least that’s the conclusion we came to!

They are both adults now, and if they ever decide to make contact again, our address, our phone number, and our email addresses are the same. Those never changed. We’ve always been here, and have always been open to communication. Even if they don’t want any communication with me, that doesn’t mean that they can’t contact their Dad. We would both welcome that.

However, if I never have to deal with that particular ex again, I will be eternally grateful. I have never experienced such an angry and nasty personality, or anyone who was so willing to let her anger and bitterness get in the way of her own kids’ well-being. Situations were distorted and history was revised; Ken and I have both been portrayed as some sort of monsters. It’s astonishing to see yourself painted as a manipulative, controlling woman, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. On other occasions, KEN was the one portrayed as manipulative and controlling. So I guess we’re manipulating and controlling each other...? It makes no sense.

So that is our tale. There may be further developments in the future, but I hope it doesn’t involve any interaction with this person. It’s been a rough and stressful few years as we’ve tried to deal with some of this stuff. I’m happy to say that we never turned on each other because of it, which was some advice that my Dad gave us. “Don’t let this come between you.” I never forgot that, and we never let it happen. Now we can move ahead with our plans, as we get closer to being retired together. Good advice, Dad, and I’m proud that we took it to heart.

Thank you for reading and letting me get this off of my chest.

Now...onto the next adventure!


  1. Oh my God, Beth! You and Ken are saints. No one should have to put up with kind of behavior from anyone. Sad thing is, who gets hurt? Ken does, you do and worst of all, the kids.

    Does she not have a life of her own? The very fact she has been married multiple times tells the story. This woman needs to look to herself for why her life seems so miserable. You have to wonder if she does this with all of her exes.

    Hopefully, the kids will come to their senses someday.

    This woman needs help. Not financial help, but psychiatric help, and I am sorry you both have had to endure this for so long. Which is why I nominate you and Ken as saints of the year. Hugs!

  2. When ex's play such games it is the children that get cheated most of all. Sorry it happened in your situation. Perhaps a little maturing and growing on their own will help them come to a place where they desire and seek a relationship with Ken. I can't imagine anyone thinking him cold or deadbeat. And though you and I don't agree on a lot, I can't imagine you being anything but straight forward in your dealings. - Barbara
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  3. I really can commiserate with you on your dealings with the ex, from the support to the mind games that involved everyone from the in-laws to common friends. The only thing that I would say is that you both made the right decision to leave it to the children to maintain the relationship with their Father. There is only so much you can do before you begin to compromise your own life as a parent (talking to Ken) and end up making a mess of the life that is being established outside of the bubble of an ex-wife and children.

    Good for you both and I am sure that my "drop" date is fast approaching!!

  4. I can't help but think that at some point in their lives, the "kids" will see that they were used a pawns by this manipulative woman as she went from man to man (how many ex husbands was it?!) trying to find someone she could manipulate and henpeck into the role she wanted them to play in her delusional fantasy life. I have an ex-sister in law who was much the same way, and her now adult children just kinda roll their eyes and smile when her name comes up. They saw her for what she was all along, and even though she will always be their mom, my brother was the one who provided stability and guidance their whole lives. I'm suspecting that (how many was it?!) ex-step fathers, those poor kids had no positive adult role models in their lives. Had Ken begun to emerge as that, I'm sue Mommy Dearest would have (and clearly did) stomp that to death. Perhaps now, as adults, the kids will be curious about the man they were never really allowed to know. I sure hope so, 'cause Ken is one of the greatest guys I have ever had the privilege of meeting!

    And I'm still waiting for the Dean Martin part......

  5. your story is so similar to the one my stepmom told me about the dealings with my real mom went for her and my real dad it's almost scary. she said she never lost hope that one day i would want to know the truth about what really happened between my parents. wanting to know my real dad is what severed the relationship between me and my real mom- it hasn't been easy, knowing the truth, knowing and seeing my dad for who he is and what he is, but at least i know, and it's still better than living the lies i was fed until i was 21. i have heart for both of you that eventually when those kids are less scared of the power their mother has, they will also hopefully have the courage to want to know you all for your real selves and not the minions you;ve been painted as.

    my respect to both of you, i know i could never maintain that much class if i was in a high conflict situation.


  6. I am Hubby, I love and appreciate my Wife, and I approve this message. Your comments are so appreciated, thank you all...

  7. Beth and Ken...two more GENUINE people i have never is very unfortunate that his ex is as she is..truly....for in the end, it will hurt the kids the most. These kids are now of an adult age so in time, i hope, they realize she is a bit bat shit crazy and their dad is a good man...he paid a huge amount in child support and it says a lot about him as a person and father that he has non stop provided financially...the ex did not have a leg to stand on, really. She just tried to use any resource she thought she had to get to him and to you. She is insanely jealous of you,Beth. I hate it that you two had to deal with her but so glad you did the best you could for the kids thru it all. You need to write a book because this blog entry could be a magazine article. Hell, you write better than most columnists i read weekly. Love you!!

  8. I think we should all get tee-shirts that read: "Bench Chemists for Beth, 2012!"
    This woman's behavior is appalling. I'll go beat her up if you want.

  9. This makes my mom seem sane.

    Those are words I never thought I would utter! And ersiously, when this woman dies, I would like to go piss on her grave for what she said about Ezra & Lexie. They never once treated us any different from their "real" grandchildren, and I love them just as much as my biological grandparents - and please keep your mom away from the garden hose!!! No more falls!

    I love you both & am very happy to have you both in our lives, especially Liam's. He adores you & Ken. All I can offer you, besides our unconditional love, is the reassurance that with time Jen & I both came to see our parents for who they really are.

  10. What a nutcase! Whew! I wish I'd been divorced from Ken! Such a good deal and much better than I had. But then knowing what a treasure Ken is, I wouldn't have let him go - just as you understand what a good person he is. My relationship with my wife-in-law was OK, but we aren't psychotic. Glad this is almost over. You won't have to be in touch with her that often now. I had no idea y'all were going through all this.

  11. A big congratulations on freeing yourselves from this Toxic Nutcase. Now you can truly close the door on her in every possible way. In time, once they themselves are free of her influence, the kids will come around.

  12. Congrats! I agree with Marty....children will find out the truth sooner or later. I believe in that.

    Huggggggggggggggggggs, Rose

  13. I remember the day Skye turned 18, I don't think I was ever so happy in my life to never have to deal with my ex again. Sadly, yes - it does take the kids some time to grow up and realize the truth, but they almost always do. Skye is facing a divorce now and all the puzzle pieces of my own truth are coming out in hers. Divorce and the way it affects our kids will always be a hard pill to swallow, all we can hope for is the better parts of who we are rise in our own children. Congrats on reaching this harrowing milestone and leaving a cruel, arrogant, and selfish human being behind. (Hugs)Indigo

  14. Bath thank you for sharing that part of you and Ken's lives. It is so so sad when bitterness rears it's ugly head. Even more so when it tries to influence the children. who always come out scarred in any divorce. I am sure that as the years pass and they themselves have time to think back they will remember the good times they did have with you both and will want to meet up again. As for the ex good riddance to bad rubbish is a quote Mum used to use...seems fitting in this situation.
    Love Sybil xx

  15. For what it's worth, you certainly have my support during any future dealings with this nasty situation. Wow, what unbelievable sadness this must have brought to you both. I'm so glad it will be over soon.

  16. Well, I had no idea that was what the countdown was all about, but I'm certainly glad that period in your life is over. I hope that your kids do decide to contact you, if nothing else but to hear your side of the story. If you remember the ex actually started commenting on my daughter's and my blogs for a time, and I checked out her blog. Before I even knew who she was I had decided from reading the blog that she seemed a bit strange. Her blog posts were full of inconsistencies -- she used the first person pronoun A LOT, which is supposed to be a sign of something, I believe. She would write about supposedly Christian attributes that she had, but then her writing was interspersed with a lot of bitterness and real hatred. Then you let me know who she was, and that cleared that up! I hope she doesn't ever bother you again.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?