Stop Thief!!!!!!  

Fallic40 54M
3214 posts
7/9/2006 8:53 am
Stop Thief!!!!!!

So …………. I got me a bit of an “effical” dilemma. (I add the “Londinisms” to delight my wonderful friend impish_pixie.) I am, for one of the very few times in my life, absolutely gob smacked and do not know what to do. There are wheels within wheels here, and layers within layers.

“Alright sweetie,” I can hear _Safira saying, “Quit the verbal preamble (this in not a constitution) and give us some meat.”

“Toss off! It’s my story and I will tell it like I am Shehera-fuckin’-zade if I want,” would be my inelegant retort: a definite guy retort.

But to make a long story short…………….. my ex-wife has cleaned out both of my daughter’s savings accounts. (A collective gasp would be appreciated here.) She cleaned them out while on vacation in Vegas when she needed some gambling funds and her current husband cut her off. I suppose the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” includes all of my daughters’ savings. My oldest lost about $1000 (from her personal account) that she made testing products and modeling for Nike and the youngest had her custodial minor account containing $600 in birthday money and babysitting wages cleaned out.

I found these things out last weekend when I had the two girls with me and I went to an ATM to get money out of my account and I asked both of my girls if they needed to get money out of their accounts since we all bank at the same place. There was that period of teenage mumbling and foot shuffling that precedes any sort of confession. My youngest then just came out and said it. “Mum took all of our money.” The most astounding thing was their complete acceptance of this state of affairs. After all, they know their mother and her ways.

And, looking back on last weekend, there was my complete acceptance of this condition as well. In fact, I am ashamed to say, I had joked with my dad about three months prior to this that she would do that very thing. My dad said that giving her responsibility for someone else’s bank account was like putting a heroin addict in charge of a pharmacy. He feels just awful about joking about it. For him to even verbalize that statement says everything.

So what do I do about this?

I have never shied away from the fact that I was abused both physically and verbally by my ex-wife. She is kept in check from doing this to the girls by (a) the fact that my oldest is a physical specimen and will not take any shit from her, and (b) her father has threatened to cut her off from the family if she ever harms the girls. It is one thing to hurt me; I am resilient and bounce back. I am that fucking dandelion that you can’t pull up, beat down or even poison. But to hurt my girls by stealing all of their hard earned money and then rub their noses in it by telling them that they have to buy their back to school clothes and school supplies is on a level that I am still struggling to fathom. I always knew she was mental but this?

Do not look at the flippant comments here and think that I am trivializing this in any way. Humor is how I deal with a serious situation. You can laugh in a situation like this or you cry. There was a family conference call last Monday to discuss the situation. Even my brother-in-law called in from Iraq as he is very close to my girls: they e-mail him every day and send him care packages of country music and beef jerky.

The issues discussed were:
Do I call my ex-wife out?
Do I call her current husband who loathes me with a passion?
Do I call my ex father-in-law and discuss with him?
Do I just figure the situation is none of my business and do nothing?
Do I just put money into their accounts to make up their losses?
Do I have my dad talk to my ex’s dad on this matter?
Do I put the onus on a 12 year old and 16 year old to fix the problem?

Calling my ex out would do very little, in my opinion, other than create problems for my girls. First of all my girls would be victimized by her for even discussing this matter with me or my family. Secondly, future issues would not be discussed with me in order to prevent such family turmoil again.

Talking to the girls’ stepfather might be an immediate fix, but it would not get their money back. Also, I found out, through one of my daughters, that he refuses to even share a bank account with the ex since he knows about her profound inability to leave money alone. (Plus I taunted him in a juvenile moment that my revenge on him for having an affair with her was to let him have her: but it’s true.)

I could call “Pops” and talk with him. That would get guaranteed results internally but again there would be long term issues that would be directed at the girls. Also, in the past on other issues, I have been informed by him that I might be in the right, but she is his daughter and they will always side with her. (As a result of this enabling, she is a total fuck up in need of a stint in rehab, prison and a good 12 step program.)

Doing nothing would be out of the question. But it is always an option. If it was my ex-wife spending all of her money I would not even contemplate doing anything. I once told her that if she caught fire, I wouldn’t piss on her to put the flames out. But the problem with being a nice guy is that while you can talk about being a hard nut……… putting such callous behavior into action doesn’t fly.

I could just replace their money. There is a logical absurdity to this situation that actually fits. This, of course, is what my ex wants as she can then retrieve these funds as well. It would quiet the situation and sweep everything under the rug in a manner that would accommodate her family. My family rejected this out of hand.

My dad volunteered to be the bad guy and spill the beans on her. But we decided that this would be just like A) and have the same, if not even harsher, repercussions for the girls.
What was decided was to coach the girls to talk to their grandfather. The issue is not to get revenge on my ex-wife, but to right a wrong and protect the girls’ finances moving forward. The first thing I did was to accumulate all of their paperwork from the bank.

This included going to the bank and getting printouts of the accounts since the ex-wife has the only key to the mail box and has kept their ATM card and PIN numbers for her own usage (a criminal offence in the case of the oldest’s account). All off the original paperwork now sits in my safe deposit box and the girls have taken copies to their grandfather’s house at the beach.

My oldest daughter said that she had spoken to her grandfather while out golfing with him and that he is looking into the situation. Pops also summoned my youngest daughter to the beach a week early so he could talk to her. I will let people know what comes of this situation in the near future. If it was not for the girls, I would just nark the ex-missus out to the bank and let the chips fall where they may. In many ways, by not doing this, I am as responsible for her future actions as her family.

On a personal note, this situation has brought back to the surface so many buried issues from being married. It is very stressful to me to see the damage that is being done to my daughters. I worry about their future and what will become of them. I suppose that this would be the case though if we were the Cleavers.

rm_mindmeldme 57F
153 posts
7/9/2006 2:00 pm

Wow. I just found your blog a few days ago, looking for blogs in this state. I have enjoyed what I have read so far, but this is really something.

I think the steps you have taken are wise. First of all, you did not react immediately and do something too quickly. You are carefully thinking this through. I would never ever recommend that you leave the solution up to your daughters. One of the roles of a parent is to be an advocate for our children, even if that may sometimes involve problems caused by the other parent. On the other hand, we also need to be teaching out children how to stand up for themselves and for what is right.

One step you must take, regardless of all other outcomes, is to set up bank accounts for your daughters that are in no way accessible to their mother. This is a hard lesson for them to learn...that they cannot trust their own mother, but it sounds like it was inevitable that it would happen sometime.

There are other aspects of this situation that I would like to talk to you about, but I cannot send you email because your profile is turned off. Would you send me an email, please?


Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
7/9/2006 2:48 pm

Hi Shaye,

Just the act of intercepting my oldest daughter's ATM card and PIN number and stealing them from the mailbox is a series of federal crimes. Add to that the number of withdrawals made from ATMs with the stolen card adds to it.

Both of the girls, but especially the oldest, have realized that this is their chance to take a stand and assume control of their lives. The oldest realizes that if she does not stand up to her mother then she will be subjected to this kind of treatment her whole life.

Sadly, on the whole, talking to my ex does no good as she is one of those individuals who is gifted at casting herself as one of life's permanent victims.

Thank you for your kind words and thoughts on behalf of the girls. They have a lot of people pulling for them in this situation.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
7/9/2006 2:54 pm

Good afternoon, MMM, and welcome. Thank you for taking the time to sit and write on this issue. Just for you, I have switched the profile back on.

The situation has already begun to reach a head as my oldest took all of her bank paperwork to the beach when she went to visit her grandparents for the next week. Pops has already been on the phone to me several times this morning for information.

The girls' grandmother also showed up unexpectedly at my ex wife's house last night and loaded the other daughter up and took her to the beach for the next week. She also has had a private conversation with Pops to go over the situation with him. I expect to be hearing a lot more tonight and tomorrow night.

I do know that he is closing both bank accounts tomorrow morning first thing. I am also expecting to hear from the ex looking for her child support check a week early this month; ain't caller-i.d. a wonderful thing.

_Safira 54F
11260 posts
7/9/2006 7:18 pm

I want to meet your ex-wife one day ... I really, really do. And I don't very much care if it's in a dark alley or not. Remember that, Poodle! (And I would NEVAH tell YOU to "get to the point.

*love you*

Safira {=}

P.S. And I STILL want to be your daughters when I grow-up ... And YOU ROCK!!!

This is my blog - Comes With Warning Labels. There are many like it, but this one is mine.


impish_pixie 55F
6867 posts
7/9/2006 7:38 pm

And I am soooo delighted.

But...I'm going to agree with Shaye...IF you replace the money, do so in a different account, an account attached to YOU that she cannot touch. Have your daughter's put a "code" word on it protecting it even more. It sucks that they have to know this about "Mom"...and it sucks even more that they have to "grow up" and lose a bit more of the innoncense. You're in the proverbial "rock & a hard place"'re damned if you do, and damned if you don't. The only thing you can do is support them, love them and give them a safe place to land. (Which you already they are already ahead of the game.)

I'm sorry she's put you in this position...again, but you know honey...eventually the Karma thing is gonna bite her in the ass...(my ex is soooooo finding THAT out). Just keep on doin what you do so well...loving those sweet'll all work out in the end.

I make mistakes, I am out of control & at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. ~Marilyn

bipolybabe 56F

7/9/2006 11:41 pm

I'm so sorry to hear this story. It's a sad reminder that addictions affect us all.

I am with Shaye on this. You can replace the money but make sure the ex never has access. I'm not sure I'd push your daughters to confront her. I'd talk to them about what they want to do. They live with her most of the time? They're aware that what she did wasn't normal mom stuff?

That may be all that's necessary for them. I wouldn't push them to confront the mother they love, even with her very human failings. I can't see anyone winning in this situation.

But, that's just my opinion as a co-parent with a very excellent ex-husband,



Check out my blog Bi-Poly-Babe for more sensual, sexual pleasure!

OboesHonedIambs 63F

7/10/2006 8:59 am

That plainly stinks. Your ex's behaviour is beyond normal. I'm not sure how you'd go about replacing the money AND making sure the ex doesn't got after that.

If your daughters have talked with their mother's father and he is aware of the situation, then I figure it may be ok to get together with him and your girls and discuss it and what your options are.

I'd like to recommend Melodie Beatty's book Co-Dependent No More to you as well. It's worth the read. Also Al-Anon and Al-A-Teen are great resources for helping family members deal with a parent's/ex's and other's addictions and the effects they have on the family members. You can't fix your ex, obviously, but it seems to me you've been profoundly affected by her for some time now and need to get the focus back on you without being manipulated by her addictions

Instant Human -- Just Add Coffee

rm_titsandtires 52M/42F
3656 posts
7/10/2006 7:36 pm

Fallic - I know your situation all to well, and for that reason, I don't know what to say. Does that make sense?
shaye and pixie both have good advice though. I like their ideas. I hope your daughters realize what a great dad they have for caring so much in this matter.


Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
7/10/2006 7:38 pm

abqlady, both of my girls attend Al-A-Teen meetings at school.

The strange thing about the ex is that I am not sure if she is an addict or a sociopath. No matter what she is doing, she has no off switch. It could be drinking, spending money, gambling or even something so mundane as painting a room or working in the garden. Any event is accomplished in a sort of frenzy or fury and there is zero regard for anyone in the vicinity. It is like her own private world.

One of the biggest reasons that I ended my marriage was to get away from situations like this and to be in a position where I can protect my girls. I will take a look for the book. Thank you for the referral.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
7/10/2006 7:43 pm

imp, you know, I keep waiting for karma to come knocking on her door for some time now, but somehow it keeps missing. My biggest fear with her is that when it does come knocking, one of my daughters will answer the door instead.

Pops seems to have the situation under control so far. He and the daughters went to the bank today and closed accounts. He and I are getting together Thursday night for a beer and talk about how to procede from here.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
7/10/2006 7:49 pm

bipolybabe, one of the things that I hadn't thought of was how this affects my mum and dad. Their real concern now is that when they send the girls money for a birthday or for Christmas are they really just giving to the ex; who they loathe and abhorr.

As I said to Imp, Pops seems to have the first bit of it under control in that the two accounts are now closed. He and I will be deciding the next steps on Thursday.

My daughters worked with the grandfather and showed him all of the information that I had helped them collect. (All original documentation is in my safety deposit box.) The saddest thing of all is that this is not the first time for this sort of thing. My youngest has had her mother take the money out of her piggy bank.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
7/10/2006 7:51 pm

Shaye, I know of what you speak and here is a sad story to prove it. My oldest daughter considers it a joke of epic proportions when her mother is so far gone that she can substitute water for vodka or grape juice for red wine and her mother will not notice.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
7/10/2006 7:53 pm

saf, and should you do so, please let me know in advance so that tires and I can be out having a beer together with all the guys down at the pub.

impish_pixie 55F
6867 posts
7/10/2006 8:21 pm

No worries darlin'...Karma knows whom it's visiting. But I do have one question...tell me again WHY this woman has custody of your daughters?????? (and trust me sweetie...Karma knows exactly WHEN to strike.) **hugs**

I make mistakes, I am out of control & at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. ~Marilyn

OboesHonedIambs 63F

7/10/2006 10:46 pm

    Quoting Fallic40:
    abqlady, both of my girls attend Al-A-Teen meetings at school.

    The strange thing about the ex is that I am not sure if she is an addict or a sociopath. No matter what she is doing, she has no off switch. It could be drinking, spending money, gambling or even something so mundane as painting a room or working in the garden. Any event is accomplished in a sort of frenzy or fury and there is zero regard for anyone in the vicinity. It is like her own private world.

    One of the biggest reasons that I ended my marriage was to get away from situations like this and to be in a position where I can protect my girls. I will take a look for the book. Thank you for the referral.
You're welcome - the book is excellent I found it a tremendous help for me in changing my own thought processes as well as putting an end to behaviours that weren't working for me and getting me in trouble. I hope it serves you as well as it has me.

I'm glad your girls are doing the Al-A-Teen thing at school; it can only help. I've found the 12-step recovery principles to be pretty good foundation for a reasonably sane life compared to without. Sometimes I'm not sure if it matters whither addiction or any other kind of insanity - if you're focused on the elephant in the middle of the room, you're not able to take care of yourself. When I attended Al-Anon more regularly, it wasn't just alcoholism by itself that brought us friends and family members to those rooms.

I wish them & you the best.

Instant Human -- Just Add Coffee

Lovin_U_4_Fun 55F

7/11/2006 4:31 pm

Open new accounts, in Trust, for each child. I believe it works like this... you open the account in your name, and put the account in trust for you child. A personal banker at any bank should know the proper way to do this. In his way, your ex does not have access to the money. period.

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