In a bizarre local news story, a woman, the “topless barber,” is in jail facing charges for providing haircuts without a license along with allegations that she posted ads on Craigslist offering topless haircuts and that she used her salon for prostitution.
The woman, Suzette Hall says she is in the process of splitting up with her husband and suspects it was him who posted the raunchy Craigslist listing in her name. She says she didn’t know anything of the ads until she started receiving calls and text messages. At her request, Craigslist has removed the ads but she has had to change her phone number.
Regardless of what actually happened here, the moral of the story is the same: when it comes to divorce, you prepare for the worst and hope for the best. No matter how well you think you know your Soon-To-Be-Ex never underestimate their potential reactions.
That being said, there are some people who are more exposed to mean, vindictive and vicious attacks such as false, slanderous Craigslist ads.
You Know Secrets About Your Spouse
Your STBX may use such actions as a means to secure your silence particularly if you have information that they don’t want to become public knowledge such as their true sexual orientation, sexual habits or problems, or anything that may be potentially damaging to their public reputation such as illicit drug use or infidelity.
A History of Abuse
If you’ve been a victim of physical or emotional abuse, then you absolutely have to expect the worst. Many people have difficulty admitting they are victims of such abuse and while the signs of physical or verbal abuse are more apparent, the signs of controlling behavior are less obvious. They include fear of disagreeing, hesitation in stating needs or wants, anger after interactions, lack of alone time, passive aggressive behaviors.
It is critical that you seek help from your local abuse organization to plan and prepare for divorce. These services are offered at no-cost and these organizations are experts in what it takes to secure your physical safety.
Severe Psychological Conditions
Conditions such as narcissistic or borderline personality disorder and untreated bi-polar disorder are definite red flags of potential trouble on the horizon. The challenge of course is that your STBX may not have been diagnosed; all you know are the behavior patterns. In this case, a consult with a licensed therapist to discuss your observations will help you understand what you might expect from your STBX and that will help you in determining what you need to do to protect yourself.
There’s a long list of steps you need to take to protect yourself and it’s important to do these before you start the legal process. Here are some of them:
- Secure your access to all social media accounts including Facebook, email, twitter, Pinterest for example, by changing your passwords. Make sure your STBX doesn’t have access to your passwords.
- Secure your access to money by having your own bank account and credit card.
- Secure your access to all your financial accounts such as credit cards, store cards, retirement accounts.
- Make sure your STBX doesn’t have access to any of the computing devices you use including your phone. For any shared devices, consider accessing the Internet through “incognito mode” which will leave no browsing history.
- Open a P.O. Box and have your mail directed there.
- Open a safe deposit box for storage of any essential or personal items and particularly any materials that reference divorce. You could also ask a trusted friend to store these for you.
Could any of these protected the topless barber? That’s hard to say without knowing exactly what happened but one thing’s certain: you don’t want to be sitting in jail thinking, “If only I’d changed my password ….”
BTW, according to the Longmont Times Call, Hall likes the topless barber idea. “When I get out of jail, I am going to do it and do it legally. I am going to open a topless barber shop.”
You can find more details on these steps and more precautions detailed in Mandy’s ebook Untangling From Your Spouse: How To Prepare For Divorce available on Amazon or as free bonus for signing up for My Divorce Pal – the self-paced, affordable online divorce coaching program.