I dated for a couple or 3 years and married my wife when I was 25. Prior to marriage, we lived in my parents’ home, but it became obvious that it was time to move out. Jen (not her name) was not happy living under my family’s roof, so we bought furniture and all the other accoutrements that it would take to move out into an apartment.
I worked full time, with my father, and Jen worked on and off. We had purchased a used car and after a year of apartment renting, we bought a brand-new car. I could not really afford it, but we stretched and made it happen.
I had always thought owning property was the right thing to do, and we ended up selling the car for a loss and buying a small apartment.
We had purchased the apartment quite a distance from both our parents, who did live close together, and after a year, we sold that apartment and purchased one that was closer to our families and friends.
We had lived there for about a year or so and my wife reported that she was pregnant. Not planned, but I did want a family, and I took the news in stride
We were still in the apartment when the baby was born and stayed there until my daughter was just under two-year-old.
The apartment was getting too small and I needed a house.
So off I go, moving away from our parents so as to be able to afford a house, and moved into the house just before my daughter’s 3rd birthday.
As always, knowing that Life is what happens to you, while I was planning to do something else, I persevered, and was able to generally pay my bills and keep a mortgage afloat. Not with an excess cash for fun and games, but with the devotion to my family.
Not too long after we moved in, maybe a couple months, I had phoned home to ask if she needed anything that I could pick up on the way home.
A man answered and he said “hello”. I asked him who he was, and he replied, with “Who are you?”.
Immediately I had said “Its the FN guy who owns the house” and demanded that he put my wife on the phone.
She tried to make excuses, by the end of the phone call, I new I could not trust her, and the marriage was over.
In a single moment in time, it was obvious that I had lost my wife, my home and my family.
Days later I returned to what was my home, picked up my belongings, and left.
My love for my daughter was now used against me as my wife made demands and controlled my access to my daughter because she was angry that I caught her. Imagine that.
The house I returned to the bank, my wife took the furniture, and she rented her own apartment with the new guy.
I was held hostage for money and my wife restricted my access to my daughter as a bargaining chip for cash as we negotiated the terms of our divorce.
In walks the requirement for the lawyer, and having moved in with one of my siblings, I was luckily able to afford to hire a lawyer. Of course, the lawyer bled me and off to court we go.
My wife, being a single parent, on welfare, ended up with a free lawyer.
During the conversations, she asked me for spousal support, and at that time a retorted that I would quit my job and go on welfare before I would pay her a cent.
As well in during that time, my wife withheld my contact with my daughter. I would pay give her money, and my wife would allow me to take my daughter, and in a couple of cases, I had my daughter for a month at a time. On one occasion she called and asked for my daughter to be returned. When I did arrive, she said that she was short on cash and if I would be able to help her, I could keep my daughter. I paid her.
The whole ordeal was hard, but my family members baby sat for me (not free), while I worked full time and I continued to feed the lawyers.
I fired one lawyer after he paid himself well and did nothing. I found another lawyer and had a free visit to discuss the case. This lawyer gave me all of the bad news up front, the chances of success being a man, the cost of this type of action and after she explained to me, she asked a question.
The question was “are you sure you want to do this” and I was shocked, but I said yes. Again, she asked me the same question, and suffering the shock of hearing the cost, I again reported “yes”. She then replied that IF I was that certain that she would take a retainer for the expected full amount, and take the case, right then and there.
I needed assistance , I was caught between a rock and a terrible place, I loved my daughter and I also worked hard for my money, But it was either the money or the hope that this lawyer would be able to allow me the chance to set this right.
I did not have the money, but I did have an overdraft, so I buried myself financially and I wrote her a cheque. If I did not, she could conclude that I lied about my convictions. I did not have the money, but I had faith, and she was good at getting down to how really convicted I was.
Of to Court, the wife being worse than ever, because I challenged her. Accusations of wrongdoing against me were thrown, whilst her dishonesty seemed to be of no consequence.
Finally, a divorce settlement was arranged, with child support, having my wife having the primary residence and I have custody from Thursday night at 7.00 until Sunday at seven.
Now the hell of joint parenting begins. I would leave work at 5.30 and rush in terrible Vancouver traffic to the suburbs, to be there at 7.00 Otherwise I would get an earful, included threats that If I was not there on time that I would lose visitation.
I made sure that I was there on time, but because I was there on time, she moved further out into the Fraser Valley, but she did not allow a change in the pickup time.
Once I arrived in Mission 5 minutes late, and she was driving down the street with my daughter in the baby seat( all belted in properly) and I had to chase her down and stop her in the street. She charged me with harassment.
After a couple of years of this I went back to court, and asked for full custody given drugs and other unkempt situations that I had found my daughter in. She again had a free lawyer, and I was angry and / or stupid enough to believe that I could represent myself.
I was sure to lose. The Courts always supports the female. Men are castrated by the Courts based on laws that have been put in place to destroy equality between men and women. Undermining men and disrespecting what a man brings to society. Further, fatherless homes have been proven by statistics to be extremely destructive to a child’s social skills, with children from broken homes statically more likely to end in jail or worse.
Certainly, I was sure to lose. But I really did believe in Sir Winston Churchill when he said Never give up, Never, Never, ever give up. This statement appears really stupid given the overall superiority of the superior Germans forces he faced.
But I was a man, I soldiered on. I knew that I would die in this battle, but I would not surrender until death.
Then, a miracle was sent from someone upon high. Someone likes me! I received a phone call from my wife’s lawyer, the night before my expected defeat.
The lawyer reported that her boyfriend had broken her arm, and that she was giving me full custody with only a couple minor strings attached.
I was handed success not through my actions, but by the actions of someone else.
Was it the actions of her boyfriend, was it a deity, or am I wrong, and it was really myself that had won the day?
I will never really know how the day was won, but I do know that had I not been a man, a father, a protector, a soldier, had I given up hope, I would have lost the day most certainly.
I succeeded because I just did not stop, regardless of what was ahead of myself. That is Churchill’s lesson, never ever, ever, give up.
This victory was but a skirmish in a long war. There were other battles, but when they were all over, my daughter gave me the greatest gift that she could have given me, which was a granddaughter.
Success is measured in many different ways, and sometimes only many years after the end of war, can the real success be measured.
Perseverance, breeds success, and on a sunny day at the park with my granddaughter none of the bad memories matter.
Soldier on, We salute you.