October 25, 2006 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend; my roommate is trying to leave his wife of five years, but she's not letting go easily...

I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible, because it's really a very long story. I'm also not trying to assess any blame to either party on the how's and why's of their split. They're both close friends of mine and I've spent years trying to help both of them recognize who they are and why they should demand more from both life and each other. Unfortunately, they suck at listening.
Anyways, on to my question; the husband, G, left his wife about a month ago. He did this in part because he was no longer capable of treating his wife, V, with love and respect because of some past infidelities on her part. Infidelities which might not have taken place if he'd spent more time trying to develop a healthy relationship with her, granted, but she cheated all the same.
The other reason he left her is because he started developing feelings for an old flame, C. He left V before doing ANYTHING with C, but since the split, he's slept with her and they've both confessed to each other that they have strong feelings for one another. C is also in the middle of a divorce. She and her husband are going through the courts right now and the issue of custody is coming up.
V, meanwhile, has kind of... gone off her rocker. She's not letting go of G easily. Whether it be showing up at 2 in the morning to saddle up next to him in bed, calling and threatening C, or just sending G message after message about how she'll never give up, she's not letting go. Now she's taken it to the next level.
V called C's husband (I have no idea how she got his number) and told him all about C and G's relationship, then offered to act as a character witness in court should the custody battle end up there. She then called C and advised her that as long as she not talk to or see G, she wouldn't talk to C's ex again, nor testify in court or whatever.
So my question is actually kind of three-fold; one, is this blackmail? According to the defination I get at Wikipedia, it sounds like it. Two, is this illegal and, if so, what can G have done about it? Finally, would V's testimony in court even matter?

Thanks in advance for your answers.
posted by Bageena to Human Relations (15 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: this is a nightmare

Best answer: And both G and V are your friends?

For G -- restraining order against V. No contact whatsoever. He cannot help her here.
For V -- a referral to a therapist you or someone you know recommends. Make the call together. Drive her to her appointment. buy her a beer and tell her to stop.
For C -- the reminder that the consequences of our actions sometimes suck. restraining order against v. divorce-lawyer up.

For you --
I've spent years trying to help both of them recognize who they are and why they should demand more from both life and each other. Unfortunately, they suck at listening.
Most people do -- hell, all people do. Be careful that all this drama doesn't suck the life out of you. You don't want to be codependent with this.
posted by Methylviolet at 3:24 PM on October 25, 2006

This is not really a question that AskMe can answer satisfactorily, both G and C need to talk to lawyers. The answers to your questions are going to depend on 1) the facts, which need to be given in more detail than presented here and 2) their state's specific laws.

Sounds like G might need a restraining order though, if V is just showing up unwanted in the middle of the night.
posted by thewittyname at 3:24 PM on October 25, 2006

Just to echo methylviolet, re your comment:

I've spent years trying to help both of them recognize who they are and why they should demand more from both life and each other.

You ultimately can't make either of them -- or anyone, for that matter -- recognize such a thing. You can encourage them (up to a certain point), but you simply cannot make them to accept it and to change their attitudes, expectations, and behavior accordingly. Their choices are their own, even if they are choices that keep them stuck in unhealthy or unhappy ways of living.

For the sake of your own mental health in the middle of this ongoing drama, it would be worth considering that the only person's attitude and behavior you can control is your own.
posted by scody at 3:52 PM on October 25, 2006

gah! "...cannot make them to accept it and to change their attitudes, etc."
posted by scody at 3:54 PM on October 25, 2006

Response by poster: I appreciate the answers so far; it's been very difficult being both of their friends, but I've known each of them for nearly 10 years (long before they got married), and alone, they're wonderful people. Together though... noxious. *shrugs*
You're all right too - lately, I've realized that I'm way to involved in their relationship and that's part of why I'm probably moving to Seattle soon. They both turn to me for advice, which isn't so bad. It's when they take my advice and twist it into a cudgel to wail away on each other with.
BUT, getting back to the question, can this be called blackmail? V holding testifying in court against C over her head as a consequence if she talks to G?
posted by Bageena at 4:41 PM on October 25, 2006

can this be called blackmail? V holding testifying in court against C over her head as a consequence if she talks to G?

Out of curiosity -- why is this a compelling question? Is C thinking of filing suit? V's threats are certainly emotional blackmail, as well as a truly shitty thing to do; IANAL but I'd be very surprised if they met the legal definition of blackmail. If the courts did take on this kind of thing, surely the entire system would implode within a week. G should tell his lawyer about the threats (as well as all the other deranged, self-dramatizing behavior) but I doubt any legal penalties will follow.

Of course, actual lawyers should weigh in to correct me where needed.

And good for you, getting away from these people. Somehow you've landed a supporting role in their idiotic psychodrama, which is no good for you at all. As you've realized, you can't help them but they sure can cause you some damage. Once some time has passed, you might want to think about how this dynamic came about and whether it's something you're likely to repeat.

Totally off-topic: IAAEditor and this phrase completely delighted me: showing up at 2 in the morning to saddle up next to him in bed. I think you meant "sidle," as in furtively insinuate herself next to, but I treasure the mental image of psycho V in riding pinks, sans jodphurs, cinching an English saddle onto the hapless G.
posted by vetiver at 5:11 PM on October 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Vetiver -
The reason I ask that question in specific is because V has advised me that it's absolutely NOT blackmail, that it's only an agreement, and that there's nothing wrong with it.
posted by Bageena at 5:23 PM on October 25, 2006

Response by poster: Woops, I did mean sidle. =P
posted by Bageena at 5:26 PM on October 25, 2006

wow A! who knew that when others stoop to such levels that you could throw yourself out there and do the same? aren't you leaving out some crucial elements to this story??? the fact that V is pregnant? that G and V have two other children that SHE cares for? the fact that she financially supports him... still? (he just got a job a few days ago after not having one for months and suddenly he is saint...... BS!) the fact that you yourself have confessed your feelings for V? the fact that G comes over to V's house and begs for sex then leaves in fury when she doesn't give it up to him??? in fact, just a few nights ago he came to her aparment in the middle of the night, stripped his clothes off and got into bed with her saying things leading her to believe that they would work it out. now A, you know how i feel about this whole situation. you know my disdain for the mental and physical abuse that G has inflicted on V and how sick it makes me that she is having such a hard time letting go. you know all this! why don't you show G the letter you wrote to sothere.com and show him how you really feel about him? blackmail A? all she told C was that if C stopped talking to G then V would not talk to J (C's ex). since all of this, C and G have talked and V hasn't done anything about it so obviously the threat isn't all that valid. the only reason why you posted something here is because you feel like being mean. next time you post something remember to tell the whole story........ not just your or G's version. you know damn well that V isn't crazy, she is just going through a really shitty shitty time right now. i have tried to stay out of it as much as possible but this whole thing is just ridiculous. i can't keep quiet anymore. how dare you pull this... do you honestly think you are making the situation better? i know you are smart A, let them battle this out themselves. don't put V out there making her look like some crazy jerry springer guest. there are plenty of things that V could say about you on here but she is your FRIEND and she wouldn't do that to you. i guess friendship means something different to everyone.
posted by juicynewt182 at 7:17 PM on October 25, 2006

Wow, based on the juicynewt182 comments, I would stay the fuck out of this entire situation. There seems to be serious instability and drama going on. Just grin and back away slowly. Bouncing to Seattle sounds like a good idea.
posted by Netzapper at 7:40 PM on October 25, 2006

Holy shit, this is going to be the most awesome AskMe thread ever.

I say get out of it all immediately. Everyone needs to talk to a lawyer. But if you don't, we require frequent updates.
posted by Anonymous at 7:54 PM on October 25, 2006

yes! netzapper is correct! this whole thing is so twisted. not my style to be caught up in this. i think that A is too involved to just grin and back away, as nice as that would be. i, on the other hand, could in fact grin and back away. i have tried to keep my distance from it all but when a friend needs my help i will always be there. i think that alot of the people involved feed off the drama. aside from being really messed, the situation at hand is just really really sad. especially since there are children involved.
posted by juicynewt182 at 7:56 PM on October 25, 2006

wow..... after reading through this a couple times this scenario is just fucked up. must make for interesting reading though. i'll keep the updates coming, as i am sure that A will too.
posted by juicynewt182 at 8:01 PM on October 25, 2006

posted by spaceman_spiff at 8:43 PM on October 25, 2006

posted by salvia at 9:06 PM on October 25, 2006

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