Drama on Wysteria Lane

The couple that live across the street have separated. The husband immediately moved himself out of the home when they separated a few weeks back and I’ve noticed they’ve been doing a lot of fighting ever since.

Loud fighting. In the middle of the street fighting.

They have a young daughter, she’s roughly… I don’t know perhaps eight years old. She’s definitely not older than ten. At one point, about a week ago, they were actually playing tug-o-war with her in the driveway, each yanking on one of her arms, telling her to come with them.

That poor girl. I can’t imagine being caught in that.

Last night they had a rather loud fight in the middle of the street after the woman kept screaming at him to get off her property because it was all she had left.

Yesterday he (the husband) showed up in the middle of the day, with five buddies, while he knew she was at work and started moving furniture out of the house. I just assumed he was moving some of his things out, so I didn’t think anything of it.

Well, last night when they were fighting in the middle of the street, I learned that he not only moved out some of his things, he took EVERYTHING. He showed up in the middle of the day and took all of the furniture, all of the kitchenware, even their daughter’s bed. The house was quite literally empty when she came home with her daughter .

I can’t imagine being that angry at someone that I’d be willing to steal my eight year old daughter’s bed. But, I’ve never been through a separation before.

I’ve also learned (again they were fighting VERY loudly) that he’s been cheating on her and that since he’s moved out of their house, he’s moved into the house of the woman he’s been cheating on her with.

I distinctly heard him scream that the house was his, the furniture was his, the vehicles were his and that he bought everything so she gets nothing, not even custody of their daughter when he’s done with her.

Again, I can’t imagine being in this headspace. To cheat on your wife and then, when she stands up for herself, to do what he’s doing. People who love each other aren’t supposed to be able to do things like that to one another, are they? Perhaps I have a skewed version of rainbows and butterflies of what love should be like.

The woman, she sat on the front lawn last night in tears after her husband left. I’m not inclined to get in the middle, and it’s definitely not any business of mine what they fought about, but, I feel for anyone who’s had that public of a fight and can’t help but break down right where they are in tears and cry on the ground.

I went across the street to ask her if she needed a hug, or a cup of coffee. And, after we chatted my brother and I ended up taking her a mattress and some bedding across the road so that she had a place for her and her daughter to sleep. Even if it was on the floor.

My hope for this family is that they can find a common ground in their separation, if for nothing else than to not make their daughter another statistic/casualty of a tumultuous separation/potential custody battle.

Regardless of cheating, regardless of any fighting, regardless of anything else, I hope they can get along for their daughter’s sake.

61 thoughts on “Drama on Wysteria Lane

  1. That poor girl and the poor family. My neigbors are also fighting. I know because I hear it all. He thinks that she cheats on him, with someone from work. I just live below and I already worry for them. Imagine that little girl ….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Husband sounds like a real stand up guy. Now he’s using his job and finances as leverage, forgetting he took those vows and responsibilities when he married her. If she cheated on him perhaps I could understand a little more; but based off the situation you described he sounds like a self centered psychopath. At least you offered help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I haven’t been here so long (only since my mom’s treatments this year) but my mom says that he’s always been, and I quote, ‘an asshole with no sense of human decency’.

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  3. She needs a Very skilled, very hard-nosed lawyer. And possibly a restraining order. The threats and poopy actions her husband have taken could very easily escalate into even more dangerous behavior. That’s not to be reasoned with, as his emotions and the associated hormonal hijacking of his system don’t leave a lot of room for reasoning.

    If I were her, I would also seriously love consider calling the police. Temporary custody and restraining orders were created to assist people — both parties, in fact — in situations like this one.

    I realize you don’t want to be in the middle. I assume you also don’t want to witness and assault or homicide. Step up and give a hand with that.

    (All this assumes that you live in a place with a set of laws that are basically similar to the ones I am familiar with. Obviously that’s potentially a poor assumption.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Last night when I spoke with her I tried to tell her she should sleep elsewhere in case he came back. She said she wasn’t going to let him bully her any longer.

      She’s not home from work yet so I’m not sure what she’s going to do but I’m definitely going to keep my eye on her. She’s literally in plain view from our front window, so I’m being mindful of that. If she needs help, I will give it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No, she didn’t. Just sat there and cried. I told her that she should consider possibly sleeping at a friend’s house or a family member’s house or a hotel… somewhere in case he came back. She said she wasn’t going to let him bully her. Alas we offered her the mattress from our spare room and she said she’d figure out the rest in the morning after sleeping on it. She isn’t home from work yet today so I’m not sure what’s going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sad all the way around. I had this divorce. Screaming phone calls. Fights in the middle of the street. Throwing all of his belongings outside on the lawn. Police involvement. Public humiliation. It was horrible!!!

    I’m far from proud of any part of this. It’s part of my life story, though. I can you that whatever you’re hearing in the fighting… there’s so much more!!!

    Being kind to her in that moment and offering support is one of those things she’ll never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through a separation/divorce. I just feel for her and her daughter. Regardless of who did what, her having everything taken from her like that, it’s not right.

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  5. GOOD FOR YOU. She definitely needed a kind word or hand at that moment and there needs to be more people like you in the world. There have been several times where I’ve been having a break down publicly (usually in my car) and there’s only been once or twice where someone has check to make sure I was okay. It can really make a difference. I hope this woman finds some peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She came home from work tonight and said she was going to stay with her sister for a while. Which I think is a really good thing. Her husband doesn’t need easy access to bully her.

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    1. I’m not really sure. We’re kind of a small town. I’ll have to look into that. Today when she came back from work she said she was going to stay with her sister for a while. Which I think is probably a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. V, all I can think about is the little daughter.
    I heard a song talking about this sort of thing.
    The Song’s Title was: “It’s Always The Kids That Cry”
    Children should not be used like pawns in a game. This will stain their entire life.
    It also causes seperation anxiety.
    I hope that someone stops and truly think of the little daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The day they were literally playing tug-o-war with her I could see them across the street and I wanted to run across and yell at them but thankfully they had another adult that was there and she started screaming at them. I was like ‘at least I know they have people in their life to tell them to cut the shit’. No kid deserves that.

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  7. Awful. You did the exact right and compassionate thing. I practiced family law for 30+ years. After about ten years of representing parents in divorces, I stopped doing that and started representing the kids and their best interests because they are the innocent and often forgotten victims in their parents’ wars. I still witnessed way too much ugly, like what you’ve been observing, but at least I felt I was making a positive difference for the kids I represented, giving them a voice when they couldn’t speak for themselves. You help more than you know by being a calming and supportive presence for this child.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It sounds like you’re a really good advocate for kids that suffer and shouldn’t have to. It sucks that kids get caught up in the middle of adult battles. I bet that you made a real difference in a lot of kids lives over the years. You sound like a pretty wonderful soul.

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    1. I can’t imagine how awful she must feel right about now. You’re totally right, she’s old enough to know they’re fighting and she’s probably not able to comprehend why and probably thinks it’s because of her… That makes me sad to think about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that’s horrible. Well at the least your sister knows what it’s like and she’s probably very helpful to those she knows who’s marriages end.

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  8. Seeing a family tore apart is heartbreaking. Every time a friend get divorced I am utterly shocked.

    I had a friend who went to Disney World with his mom and brother growing up, his dad had a business trip. When they got home the dad had cleaned out the home. They were devastated. I think the effects still hover over them. Uhh.. so sad

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  9. My divorce. Was, going this way. She cheated with my ex boss and I was fired. I had a reason to be an asshole. I lost, everything. I said to myself, my kids have to hate one of us. Might, as well be me. So. I stay away. I get a text every once in a while. Obviously, this guy is making it about winning than getting back to a new normal.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s interesting class dictates social behavior but doesn’t make someone, “classy.” He made enough to have whatever he wanted . I grew up poor so, not having things was normal my ex was from upper middle class but, I think under the circumstance I showed class. I had every reason, not to and the law permits this as justified. If the only reaction is violence for retribution then there is also nonviolence.

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  10. When my first husband and I split my daughter was only 2 ¹/² years old. Him and I swore never to be like the couple across the street from you…and 29 years later, we’re still not.

    I knew that the bigger picture was despite the disagreements we were having, we wanted our daughter to be happy and not feel torn between each parent. We NEVER bad mouthed, yelled in front of her, or discredited the other’s love for her.

    It is the way we behaved in front of her and treated her that she has a great relationship with both her father and myself. Him and I still talk to and with each other as well… instead of at each other.

    I pray the little girl it’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like what I wish everyone could be able to do when they go through separation and eventual divorce. I realize that’s naive of me and it’s not always possible, but I’m a dreamer.

      When she came home from work today with her daughter she mentioned she was going to go and stay with her sister for a little while until she figured out what she wanted to do next. I think that’s probably a good thing for her and her daughter – to be around loving family right about now. I do hope they sort it out and reach a common ground where they can be nice to one another for their daughter’s sake.

      Kids… they remember that kind of stuff like the fight they had last night.

      Your daughter is really lucky that you and your ex worked so hard to ensure she could have a strong relationship with you both.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. We both actually embraced whomever else we’ve gotten involved with because she would have to be around that person too.

        As long as that new person didn’t violate her or feel they had the “right” to badmouth the other parent to her we had no problems. My daughter even has a few siblings from her dad’s side and they get along great.

        I wish people would consider their kid’s feelings since they didn’t ask to be born, it’s not their fault the parents are splitting. It’s not right to feel that it’s cut simple for a kid when the parent pressures them with, “who do you want to live with?” Or that they feel badly that their parents are fighting over who gets full custody.

        The child is the one who suffers the biggest loss. Sure the parents’ feelings and prides are hurt that things didn’t work out, but you’ve gotta put that shit aside and make sure your kid is alright behind the separation.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so moving V.
    Your offer of a hug and a cup of coffee is just what I anticipated you would do … it’s probably the ultimate gift and gesture to a fellow human being in these circumstances. Thanks for sharing this sad story – it makes you appreciate what you have. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vee, a hug for you 🤗 Poor child. I hope with time this gets erased from her memory. Healthy separations and maintaining a respectable distance during a divorce is not everyone understands. Especially if you have a child. I hope she finds support and comfort from her close ones soon. Take care Vee.

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  13. That is awful, I can’t believe he feels he owns everything and took everything, makes you wonder what the marriage was like. Having been through a divorce it is tough on the children. I stayed in my marriage for at least 10 years too long as I really didn’t know where I could go with 4 children. But by the end I had tried to take my life 5 times because of abuse he was subjecting me to. I didn’t want to live anymore. That’s when I did get out with my then 14 year old daughter. Sounds like that lady really needs some help for one I’m sure he wasn’t allowed to take every bit of furniture especially if he has been cheating and has now moved in with the woman he was cheating with, just sounds very selfish to me and he has not considered his daughter, or what she will now feel about him, to be caught up in the middle of that is awful for her. I hope she gets some help and support.

    Take care

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like you’ve lead quite a storied life. I’m sure the woman could learn a lot from someone like you right about now. It’s too bad that you’re not her neighbour – she could probably use someone like you in her corner.

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  14. I hate stories like this. I had friends that went through it right after their son was born. They were having screaming matches on the lawn. He had an affair, as that man did, but unlike that man left her all the stuff. Most of our friends took her side, which I understand, but I am a believer you don’t dump your friends at critical points in their lives, even if they do something stupid. Maybe especially if they do something stupid. I knew his ex was probably baiting him, because I know her well, but she was hurting so it made sense. I was blunt with him. I told him I didn’t care what she said to him, but this was a baby hearing the angry voices and that was a horrible way to start life. He changed his approach and started being polite and refusing to argue in front of their son. It changed everything. Their son is now a precious, well-adjusted four year old and they have a cordial relationship. She still drives him crazy, but he deals with it well these days. She also changed her approach and they now make decisions in the best interest of their son.

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    1. It sucks when your friends separate and it’s made to feel like you have to choose a side. When my friend’s separate, I always tell them that I’m not picking a side, I’m not ignoring one person or the other, they need to b grown ups and understand that. Because like you said, even if they do something wrong, you don’t ditch your friends.

      It’s a good thing that your friends are able to make decisions in the best interest of their son, in spite of driving each other crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t choose sides either. I’ll not end the friendships, though sometimes they naturally end (like when my long time best friend divorced. I was only friends with her husband because of her.) I had an uncomfortable experience lately of attending the bridal shower for the daughter of friends who divorced after almost 40 years. The husband was my first friend, from early in college, but I was close to the wife, too (who he was already dating when we met). He has remarried already (no affair here….just a year separation required in NC and once he realized she was serious about the marriage being over he quickly found someone else.) I’d seen him and been to his wedding, but hadn’t seen her. Since all parties were at the shower, I just made a point to spend time with everyone, starting with wife 1, who was by herself. She is very gracious about wife #2 (who is also nice), but I could see it was difficult for her. I hope I helped bridge some gaps. I’m pretty sure their grown kids appreciated having someone else there in the middle! There were some funny moments like when they played a “How well do you know the bride and groom?” game and they realized questions such as “How many siblings does the bride have?” were now much more complicated. 😂

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  15. Good on you for offering some warmth to this family. Its really sad that something like that happens. Frankly I wish people took having a family more seriously than it being a milestone or a life goal or an accident they have to see through, they need to be so much more accountable and responsible as people, they have to transcend their ownself. I really hope they will turn out alright.

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  16. It’s so sad, and I could never comprehend this kind of behavior. How can people get so disrespectful towards a person they once married!

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  17. That’s awful:( I have been in nasty fights with my ex, but I never put my kids in the middle. He tried several times, but I wouldn’t let him bait me. Hardest thing I ever did to. I promise, your neighbor is probably humiliated from having things be so public and appreciated more than you could ever imagine the friendly face after such a tumultuous night. Good for you for stepping in. I remember a counselor once told me that love and hate come from the same place, and the more you love a person, the more you will also hate them when and if things go sour. I guess that’s why people who once were so much in love can have so much disdain for each other in the end. Interesting concept, though extremely sad.

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  18. My heart just breaks for her and her daughter. You did a great thing by trying to help her out. Sounds like she’s going to need as much help and support and LOVE as she can possibly get!

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