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Old 09-25-2011, 03:00 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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It's not your job to rearrange the universe and ask him repeatedly if he wants to have time with his daughters. Not bending over backwards making arrangements is not alienation. He is throwing around terms that are not applicable to this situation in order to try maintain the status quo in your relationship.

To give you some perspective, if my exah is more than 30 min late picking up for his time I can cancel. That is standard in most states. It's not my job to remind him or ask him a million times.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:30 PM
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Oh, he is just being a royal pain in the arse! Life happens and kids get sick. There are going to be times when circumstances will change the kiddie schedule. He needs to learn to deal with IT. It is called, umm LIFE!!

As usual, an A thinks it is all about him and therfore makes it all about him. If there is one thing that I have learned is they always seem to find away to make it about them and how they have been wronged. In your case, keeping the kids from him which is total BS. It sounds like you are more than accomodating in this area.

Once again he did not communicate with you very well and then blames you and if he is anything like my A, he will store that info and be angry and hold it against you. Is it me or do most A's not know how to communicate???

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Old 09-25-2011, 03:39 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Again, thanks everyone. It helps to get perspective. And I'm struggling, though I know you're right Suki, to believe that he is doing this all intentionally. I want to be able to believe he's an A who is just hurting himself and who doesn't intentionally seek out to hurt me-- bc if that's the case, then clearly there's a lot more than alcoholism at play (I'm beginning to think he's a sociopath based on his evil smirks when he knows he's hurting me, his ability to act like a saint when he has to and his obsessive lying...). Just as when I was a kid and kept believing that I could become better to stop my mother's abuse, I seem to still have this idiotic instinct to believe that AH isn't intentionally cruel and if I just "explain" that he's being hurtful it'll stop. Insane.

In the future I will just not pick up the phone. Good idea. I thought about it but I felt that that was dishonest and I didn't think that was right. But clearly I'm not dealing with someone who I can be polite with bc he'll walk all over me. So, should I just lie? I guess so huh?

Shannon- I totally agree that all the stuff you or I or probably any of us did for our A's for years was complete enabling. I've been striving to make him be responsible for himself (simply by not taking over and "saving" him as I've done from day 1 in any situation) and have been somewhat surprised with the level of anger from him toward me bc of this. In his mind, my non-enabling behavior is "game playing, manipulation and passive aggressive". I've explained to him that I have read Codependent no more to death and perhaps he should take a look and see that in fact I'm just behaving more healthily. But nope- he's convinced that I'm screwing with him. Theme of our marriage... AH is convinced of something LONG before he asks me, or gives me the benefit of the doubt (which if he KNEW me he'd do) and he spins a paranoid (although believable) story about how I am screwing with him. And ironically, he usually describes behaviors that are identical to HIS. I wonder, is it common for abusers or alcoholics or just plain mean people to truly see THEIR behavior in others and not realize they're projecting?

I forget who wrote that their ex A just took off (sorry!) but I agree with you that it would be soooooo much easier if he just disappeared. So much easier.

Oh I forgot to add that he did show up to see the girls and had snarky stuff to say and the girls were angry toward him. I of course was blamed for this. D6 threw a plastic strawberry at him (pretty good aim actually) and he spent a good 5 min lecturing me that I should be reprimanding "your daughter" (his child too!) bc if I say nothing then apparently I'm sending the message her behavior is ok. I told him he was a parent too and could deal with her himself. It's just insane how unwilling to be a PARENT he is and how anything that is "adult" parts of parenting he wants no part of.

What a day...
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:52 PM
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I agree with all other posts. They will do/say anything to suck you back in. I also get very scared when legal terms, and threats implying I'm a bad mom are thrown around. They know this is so hurtful to us. They know we love our kids so much, would leave our spouse and start all over for our kids. So they use this as our "weak" spot. Its like a form of bullying. It has it's impact, he knows it, and he tries to scare you.

I loved the comment about wanting to look like good dad, but not actually being one!!! So true.

I also try to limit the communications. I prefer emai, that way it's easy to print & you have record for court. We only communicate about kids, otherwise we are nc. I also anticipate him turning nasty in court and being accusatory. He's still at a place where blaming me is easier than facing the demon. I plan on printing and bringing every email to court. You are right to realize you were "too nice". I think you were. But don't beat yourself up. Just learn the lesson. Less communication!

Also, you are a good person with good intentions. For yourself, your kids, and even him. You are not trying to be hateful or use the kids. I believe that if you keep doing what is right and true for you, things will work out. Court is a scary place but the truth will be revealed. You may have to sit through his crazy lies and bs, but you know the truth and it helps to trust that your path will bring you where you are supposed to be.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fulloffaith View Post
I agree with all other posts. They will do/say anything to suck you back in. I also get very scared when legal terms, and threats implying I'm a bad mom are thrown around. They know this is so hurtful to us. They know we love our kids so much, would leave our spouse and start all over for our kids. So they use this as our "weak" spot. Its like a form of bullying. It has it's impact, he knows it, and he tries to scare you.

I loved the comment about wanting to look like good dad, but not actually being one!!! So true.

I also try to limit the communications. I prefer emai, that way it's easy to print & you have record for court. We only communicate about kids, otherwise we are nc. I also anticipate him turning nasty in court and being accusatory. He's still at a place where blaming me is easier than facing the demon. I plan on printing and bringing every email to court. You are right to realize you were "too nice". I think you were. But don't beat yourself up. Just learn the lesson. Less communication!

Also, you are a good person with good intentions. For yourself, your kids, and even him. You are not trying to be hateful or use the kids. I believe that if you keep doing what is right and true for you, things will work out. Court is a scary place but the truth will be revealed. You may have to sit through his crazy lies and bs, but you know the truth and it helps to trust that your path will bring you where you are supposed to be.
My stbxAH has finally figured out that emailing is a documented proof piece of evidence of the crap he says so he's stopped them except for occassional ones that sound like he's trying to be super dad, respectful, accomodating-- and then there's a phone call that washes it all away. He's a master manipulator.

And you're right -- he knows my achilles heel is my kids and he knows I have fear of what he could do with a good lawyer (and his parents are paying for one) and that threat gets me shaking everytime. I really, truly hope that the truth prevails bc god knows there are too many court cases where the truth seems secondary to who makes the best argument... This fear isn't going to send me running back to him (if that's what he's hoping) but it still sucks.

Moral of today: No more niceness, no more communication (I think I will tell him that the only way I plan to communicate is via email and if he refuses then I'll go from there), no more varying from the arranged visitation schedule.

Thanks again everyone...
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:37 PM
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The greatest gift I gave myself was to quit communicating in any way except by email.

Very few times did I answer the phone. Usually if he was driving this way and I knew he couldn't email or if the kids were with him. I also got very good at not uttering one word and hanging up if he went off on a tangent.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
The greatest gift I gave myself was to quit communicating in any way except by email.

Very few times did I answer the phone. Usually if he was driving this way and I knew he couldn't email or if the kids were with him. I also got very good at not uttering one word and hanging up if he went off on a tangent.
Yup, I think that that is one gift that I can afford to and need to give myself right now and as of this moment I am determined that that's going to be the sole way we communicate!
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:56 PM
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I have ro so it was sort of forced nc. But before I got healthier/saner, I would rake the calls, texts, get sucked into face to face discussions. Always ended with me upset or feeling bad. But I would keep it up b/c I was so nice. I did not want him to accuse me of being rude or mean or using the kids. Sounds like today was sort of lightbulb moment for you. I eventually just got so fed up And my feelings finally took preference over his. Sure he will be mad as hell if you do not take his calls, do not respond to texts. But if that is what you need to do for peace- do it! It's so true that we need to take care of ourselves. A normal person would feel very comfortable setting a boundary of email only. We are just so programmed to consider and work around their feelings we get stuck!

You were a great mom today! And you tried to be a kind (ex)wife. It's not recognized or appreciated. It goes against all we know/feel, but we need to almost be selfish. Do everything with your health & recovery as #1 priority! Goodnight and god bless. Hope D feels better soon....
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Because of this last part he told me that I am using the girls like pawns
pro·jec·tion noun \prə-ˈjek-shən\
The attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety


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Old 09-25-2011, 05:35 PM
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.... that if I really cared about them I'd do whatever it took to ensure he had time with them.

Wrong. If he really cared about them he'd do whatever it took to ensure he had time with them. You are not to blame for his actions. He is.

I agree that email is a good way to go. Short. Direct. And creates history if needed at a later date. Maybe just reread a couple of times before hitting send to make sure there is no ambiguity.

What a stress this must all be for you! Do something extra nice for yourself at the first opportunity.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:12 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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are you certain we weren't married to the same man??
I have heard it all....me using the kids as a pawn, keeping them from him, not communicating, blah, blah - all of it. Most of it in exactly the same words your xah uses. I have been doing this what seems like forever, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I gained much needed clarity - there is absolutely NOTHING my x can say anymore that gets to me...he can accuse me, rant and rave....after a situation which was -CRAZY- to say the least, I realized that none of it was worth it anymore, and I was able to let go. I've been exactly where you are questioning everything I did, every decision I made - but no more...and it feels good. For me to get there it was a lot of time away from him, and then seeing him do his "normal" only to me it was just nuts!! Anyway, hang in there, believe in yourself and what you can do!! Let him have his craziness!! The freedom is amazing!
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FreeingMyself View Post
are you certain we weren't married to the same man??
I have heard it all....me using the kids as a pawn, keeping them from him, not communicating, blah, blah - all of it. Most of it in exactly the same words your xah uses. I have been doing this what seems like forever, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I gained much needed clarity - there is absolutely NOTHING my x can say anymore that gets to me...he can accuse me, rant and rave....after a situation which was -CRAZY- to say the least, I realized that none of it was worth it anymore, and I was able to let go. I've been exactly where you are questioning everything I did, every decision I made - but no more...and it feels good. For me to get there it was a lot of time away from him, and then seeing him do his "normal" only to me it was just nuts!! Anyway, hang in there, believe in yourself and what you can do!! Let him have his craziness!! The freedom is amazing!
if you don't mind my asking... was your AH able to use his claims about you keeping the kids from him as any kind of legit complaint in court? That's the part that scares me- and he knows it... Thank you for sharing your story though bc it does show me that this is just another part of the quacking-- are we certain there isn't an A playbook that tells them what language to use? How is it that they all say and act in such similar ways? It's odd... and frustrating!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:15 AM
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don't bother telling him you will only email. just don't communicate except by email.

don't answer his calls or texts. Stick to email. He will figure it out. You telling him what you want to do will just give him an opportunity to yell at you.

It also helps me make sure that my communications are short and to the point and keeps the emotion out of the communications.

If there is one thing I wish I could transplant into your brain, it would be this: Who cares what he thinks? Who cares what he says? Who cares what he says about you and your motivations? YOU know what is true and your email correspondence will help remind you of that when you aren't endlessly replaying verbal communications in your mind.

It's crazymaking and he doesn't get to make you crazy anymore. That's over.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post
I have bent over backwards at times to keep my AH involved in the kids activities/lives. I would adjust my schedule, offer up ways to fit us into his hectic schedule. The nicer I tried to be... the more it came back to bite me square on my ass.

Why? Because I was enabling him, which put right smack dab in his business. Now, I stick to the facts when discussing the kids... and leave the emotions out entirely. It has saved me tons of grief. If he misses an appointment, event, meal, etc... its his own damn fault and I haven't given him ammo to use against me.
I fell into this "co" habit when living with my AH. He would 'forget' a lot of things to do with the kids, like the school function on Friday evening, or the parent meeting on a Tuesday night. I got into the habit of being a human automatic reminder system: I'd email him weeks prior to the event requesting he add it to his calendar. A few days prior I'd email him again. The morning of the event I'd call and email him to remind him. A few hours before the event, once again. I'd go as far as to send an email saying "It's 4pm and you should be leaving office by 4:30 in order to get there on time." I had become an enabling personal secretary.

Now: One e-mail communication about event date and time and location. That's it. If he remembers, great. If not, it's on him. I always have Plan B backup prepared just in case. To my surprise, he has become more responsible about keeping commitments since I've stopped acting like his mama.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:56 PM
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Unreal-- I just freakin did what Getting By & Soaring Spirits mentioned doing with their AH's tonight. I didn't even realize I was doing it until I was talking. Tomorrow we have a special ed review meeting for D6 to go over some testing that was done and I reminded AH about it. Why? When is it NOT going to be a reflex to do this? I think that seeing him (he came to see the girls- I left and returned just to pass in the driveway and felt compelled to remind him of the appt). I'm a fool.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:17 PM
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I still live with ABF, and I found myself doing the same thing.. reminding him of this and that.. sheesh.. What has helped me stop that behavior is saying to myself, "I am not his mommy" a few times over in my head. I also stopped to think that I don't have anyone reminding ME of things that I have to do. I'm a grown up and it's my responsibility. Same for him, he's a grown up and it is his responsibility to remember important things too.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:19 PM
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You are not a fool. The negative comments on yourself have got to stop. You need to have patience and compassion with yourself. Progress, not perfection.

I have come to a point of seeing that behavior in myself, and my therapist explained that my own words were doing as much harm as my AH... Or maybe more because my head doesn't shut off ever!

You are doing the best you can with the tools you have today. Just keep trying... One step at a time.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:23 PM
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My latest post (not that my words express this well) was more of an exagerrated eye roll at myself like "how am I not seeing this still?". More annoyance that I still have these knee jerk let me be your mommy reactions than slamming myself... But I do absolutely judge myself harshly at times, though I think I am getting a lot better at it.

I spent the morning with my BFF today-- she happened to come by bc she had the day off and we talked about how bright, intelligent, formerly self assured women that we are get ourselves entrapped and snarled in these dysfunctional marriages and by the mornings end we had all sorts of plans for our new single lives (most ideas not realistic, but fun to think about nonetheless and we sort of reminded one another that we really are the bright, attractive, intelligent, strong women we've sort of forgotten we were). She and I think that we ought to just have our AH's move together and she and I and the kids will all live together happily ever after (her kids are my kids' ages and are all bff's too).

Thank god for good friends (and SR!!!)
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:33 PM
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Wanttobe, you ARE seeing it! Cut yourself some slack, all things in due time. The first step in changing patterns is to see and recognize them, and you did that today. It frees up this amazing amount of psychic energy once we stop managing our alcoholics!
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