Wednesday, January 9
“Since all this has unraveled, I've done a lot of thinking and have tried to understand why I did all that I have done,” JB emailed. “What motivated me, what was going through my mind?
“I don't have all the answers and may never, but I think the simple truth is I was deeply depressed and I went looking for something that would make me feel better while allowing me to avoid dealing with reality. It snowballed into an (sic) pattern of obsessive and destructive behavior. There was an addictive quality to it all. My actions were reckless and my capacity for denial was epic -- denial that I was taking any serious risks or putting you or the kids at risk, denial that I would ever get caught, denial about the consequences of my growing financial irresponsibility.
“Have I ever felt resentments toward you during the course of our marriage? Sure, who hasn't. But I know I was not motivated by a desire to hurt you or ‘stick it to you.’ My comment at Caribou was in response to your question in a tense moment, and I didn't really think about what I was saying. That has made this situation much worse by introducing malice into it, when that isn't what was going on.
“My life has involved a pattern of behavior designed to avoid confronting uncomfortable truths. All this fits into that pattern. I'm determined to break the pattern going forward but it won't be easy, and I can't undo the damage I've already done.
“I really, really do genuinely, deeply regret hurting you, and violating you physically and emotionally. I have a hard time living with the fact that you loathe me now when only weeks ago you were my loving wife. Now it's like I'm replaying a fatal car crash that I caused over and over in my head, imagining what I could have done to prevent it, but knowing that I can't undo the wreckage. That replay never stops.
“I'm so sorry, and I don't think I'll ever stop apologizing to you.
“I am going to write to you separately about our legal issues.”
I can't absorb much of what JB writes. It’s like flowered wallpaper in a torture chamber. The details of what he’s done continue to change. They get worse and worse. The flowered wallpaper is supposed to hide the spatter?
“I need to fish or cut bait today/tomorrow. Hire the Lake Co. lawyer, find a Cook Co lawyer or agree to work with your lawyer.
“From the research I have done and from the consultation I had yesterday, this is basically how it looks, in broad terms.
“We divide the assets more or less 50/50. We could do this a variety of ways, but basically cut them in half.
“I pay 20% of my take home as child support for Tom, until he reaches majority. This is defined by statute. Blake is of majority but I'd happily cover all his costs like insurance, petty cash etc. He and Tom would remain on my health insurance.
“I pay you up to 30% of my take home as rehabilitative maintenance, as you try to put together a career to support yourself longer term. This would be reviewable at 3 years with the expectation that you take measures to become self-sufficient by then. I have been told worst case I give you half of my take home as combination maintenance/child support. And given your age, education, work history etc., it will be for some period of years but not permanent. Maintenance would be a fixed amount based on a percentage of income. And it would be reviewable if I lost my job or if there is any significant change in circumstance.
“As for assets, there would be a process of evaluating and doing math…
“I would want to have Tom live with me every other weekend and one weeknight per week (flexible based on travel, school requirements etc.) and 2 weeks during the summer. We can work out another arrangements (sic) as long as the amount of time is similar. I would have no restrictions on attending school or public events where Tom performs or is involved in any way, though I would always give you the courtesy of letting you know my plans. I'd like to stay involved with Tom’s band to the degree I can be helpful.
“I would be involved/consulted on all major decisions involving his upbringing. I would want solid assurances that he will not be moved out of the state before the age of majority without my consent. I would want us to agree informally that if you go out of town I been (sic) given the opportunity to spend additional time with him. I hope we can work all this out amicably and in his best interest.
“Blake is of majority and can decide how much or little time he wants to spend with either of us.
“Finally, I was going to have to disclose this eventually.....Stephen has given me a final payout of $50,000 (they negotiated him down). No more checks. I have used some of the money to pay down some debts and pay bills like phone and office rent, and to pay rent and security deposit on the rental house, and some basic living expenses like meals, items for the new place. Since you took most of the last paycheck, this is what I've been living on.
“I could stay with Troy a little longer but sooner or later I needed (sic) to have a home. I jumped on the cheapest place I was going to find. I can start moving stuff in this weekend and will probably start living there Feb. 1. Sean will stay with me month to month to help with rent in the short term. But I told him longer term I want to have the place just for the kids and me.
“If your lawyer is willing to draft something that is similar to what I have laid out here, I'll sign the papers and get you the financial disclosure. I want to reserve the right to have the settlement reviewed by an attorney before I sign it. If you had a very different settlement in mind, then you should let me know that.”
“I forwarded your email to the attorney,” I responded. “I believe we can work this out. I'll let you know what she says.”
So, JB got the buyout check, which he says is smaller, and spent much of it.