Just need some words of encouragement/thoughts

Old 11-09-2010, 03:06 PM
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Just need some words of encouragement/thoughts

I posted an update about 3 months ago regarding my AH and marriage. 3 years after joining this board, I'd finally had enough and told him to leave. The past four months have been a roller coaster. Most times I feel great peace and other times I feel completely crazy.Today was a crazy day.

AH's mother is going in for spinal surgery today. It's a big deal. I totally get it. We ran into a bit of a conflict today regarding the kids due to lack of communication on has part and it has just shaken me a bit.

AH has the boys 2 nights a week and every other weekend. This would be his weekend, but he made plans to go hunting and I accommodated. He normally has them on Wed/Thurs when he doesn't have them for a weekend, however, with the hunting trip that wasn't possible. I've been asking him for several days when he would like to have the boys this week with no commitment. On Sunday, he finally told me that Tues/Wed would work.

Although he has apparently known for a week, he failed to tell me until last night at 9:00 p.m. that his mother's surgery was at 2 pm today at a hospital an hour away and was going to take 4-5 hours. This makes it impossible for him to pick the boys up from child care by 5:30 if he stays for the whole surgery. This morning he texted me and asked if I could pick them up. Because he committed to Tuesday, I made lunch plans which means I have to work until 6 pm. I can't pick up the boys and had to force the issue.

I decided to call him instead of texting. I started off by saying that I didn't want to argue and that I needed to explain my situation so he would understand my concerns. Before I had a chance, he jumped into defensive mode. He told me that I was selfish and controlling. That I had FORCED him to commit to Tues/Wed nights (my text this weekend was...word for word..."Do you know what nights? Tues/Wed maybe?") despite the fact that his mom was having major surgery. He said that he is so sorry that his family crisis conflicts with my social life, that he is terrified about his mom and wants to be there to make sure everything is OK but because I think my life is such a priority, he will leave the hospital to pick up the kids.

He then went on to tell me how I've deserted him. That if I wouldn't have been such a control freak and would have actually given him love and attention that he would never have had the affair. He can't believe that I've given up so quickly and that I could just fall out of love with him overnight and the fact that I won't give him one more chance, when he is really working to be healthy and sober, is just wrong (he stopped seeing his counselor in Sept. and hasn't attended a meeting since he moved out). He said that he has asked me for years to go to counseling with him and that I've denied that I had any problems (I've been working on my codependency issues for the past two years...what made it even possible for me to tell him to leave four months ago) and wouldn't go. He said I told him that it was all him (what I said was that there was no point in us going to marriage counseling while he was still in active addiction and denial) and never took responsibility for my own issues when I was the one who pushed him into submission by being so freakishly controlling and demeaning.

I got off the phone and just sobbed. How do they make us feel SO crazy?? I seriously looked in the rear view mirror and thought "ARE you crazy? WERE you that horrible? DID you destroy this marriage?"

I mean, sure, I had my moments. Its a horrible spiral. And I know that it takes two people to make a marriage completely dysfunctional. I know that I enabled him and played a role in our problems. But good grief! He was driving our children around while on massive doses of Rx drugs. He pilfered thousands of dollars out of our accounts. He had a four month affair. I could be angry and viscous. I could throw stuff in his face. I don't.

UGH. The answer just came to me. Don't engage in the argument. Right? Dang.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:18 PM
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quack, quask, quack.

your end of the conversations sounds reasonable. his is a total guilt trip.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:19 PM
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Yes. As soon as he went into defensive attack mode, that was your que to say: "I will not listen to this" and hang up.

Don't beat yourself up over it.
You'll get better with practice!

He did agree to keeping the children Tuesday. Once he realized the operation was going to conflict with the pickup time, HE was responsible for making other arrangements for the children.

Sometimes unforeseen events interfere with our visitation schedules. I have learned to be very flexible. However, I do not feel guilty when my ex has a change of plans. His plans = his solutions.
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coyote21 (11-09-2010)
Old 11-09-2010, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
Don't beat yourself up over it.
You'll get better with practice!
Good thought. I'm actually going to rehearse a standard response so it can come easier. About a month ago, I put a sticky note on my monitor as a reminder. It said: Children. Money (for bills). Divorce. That was the list of things we could talk about and nothing else was up for discussion. Just put a C-M-D label on my phone so I'd remember that.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SKW View Post
I got off the phone and just sobbed. How do they make us feel SO crazy?? .
By talking to us. I try to avoid that, I HAVE to talk because of our daughter.

I call once a week or so with an update on our daughter. I make a list of things of interest about our daughters life. If the conversation swerves off course, I politely end the conversation. Period.

Almost with out fail, the axw calls next day with some concern/question that she didn't get/remember to ask me about. I call back the next week or so just like I always do. What ever it is does not concern me any longer.

Usually she does not remember what ever was so pressing. Good.

It's too bad, but I have to protect myself from crazy/crazy making. Period.

Thanks and God bless us all,
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:58 PM
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I'm sorry SKW. I'm sorry you are going through this, that you're trying so hard and are so frustrated. I am sorry his words put so much on you. They DO tend to do that, shift the weight of the world onto our shoulders. (((hugs)))

Good for you for trying so hard, and for communicating with him. Good for him also for trying to be a good dad. Divorce is hard for everyone. It takes a while to find a new way for everyone to live. Sounds like he must have forgotten about the surgery and yes, that caused problems for you. I would expect this kind of thing to happen again.

I have learned that the more I try to explain myself to others, including explaining what difficulties they may cause me, the more I open myself up to them doing likewise to me. I honestly cannot handle other people's problems, it causes me too much stress. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn and has taken me MANY years to learn this about myself. It is a true limitation for me.

Your ex is likely overwhelmed and that's why he forgot. Alcoholics do not make good parents IMO, especially when they become divorced and there is no enabler there to do what needs to be done.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:28 PM
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Oh I SO hear what you are AH (seperated) does exactly the same thing. Today in fact, was supposed to bring my son to my work so I could take him to dr appt after work, he agreed to do this. Well, he got a call to work, and totally dumped it on me because he had to work etc. Explained how could I expect him to do it...etc. Also calling me crazy, controling can look at my previous posts. It STILL gets to me too! I am working on not engaging, but he knows all my buttons! It helps to see that others are told exactly the things I am....reminds me what they say are just words to take the blame off of them.....
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