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Poll
Question: Which of these do you not do well? Check the approachers that you do not well.
Focus on solving a problem/reaching a solution rather than venting - 20 (10.1%)
Stay focused on the one issue - no piling on. - 22 (11.1%)
Stay focused on the present. Bringing up the past isn't fair - 23 (11.6%)
State the problem clearly - have all the facts. - 13 (6.5%)
Avoid blaming the other parent. - 20 (10.1%)
Use an "I-message" to state how you feel - 19 (9.5%)
Be willing to listen - 13 (6.5%)
Focus on the problem - not the person - 20 (10.1%)
Be willing to compromise. Give a little to get a little. - 13 (6.5%)
Choose the best solution that will work for everybody - 9 (4.5%)
If it doesn't work, schedule another time to talk - 27 (13.6%)
Total Voters: 64

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Author Topic: Fair Fighting Rules  (Read 2088 times)
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« on: October 16, 2011, 07:35:37 PM »

Fair Fighting Rules
Philip M. Stahl, Ph.D.


When it comes to dealing with the children, it pays to learn the Fair Fighting Rules:

  • Focus on solving a problem/reaching a solution rather than venting your anger or winning a victory.
  • Deal with one issue at a time. No fair piling several complaints into one session.
  • Stay focused on the present. Bringing up the past isn't fair
  • State the problem clearly - think through what your complaint is, make sure you have all the facts.
  • Avoid blaming the other parent.
  • Use an "I-message" to state how you feel. When the kids come back from spending time with you they are often hungry. I am worried that they aren't getting enough to eat at your house.
  • Be willing to listen to what the other parent has to say. Summarize what you hear the other person saying. This is called paraphrasing or active listening.
  • Focus on the problem - not the person.
  • Brainstorm solutions. Be willing to compromise. Give a little to get a little.
  • Choose the best solution that will work for everybody - especially your kids.
  • Implement the solution. If it doesn't work, schedule another time to talk and pick another solution.

Which of these do you not do well?  Why?

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DreamGirl
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 03:04:39 PM »



Just curious what other's thoughts were on this as what they do not do well in.

My vote was for ~ Dealing with One issue at a time.

... .and a close second is bringing up past transgressions (from like 8 years ago even).
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 08:24:04 PM »

  • Brainstorm solutions. Be willing to compromise. Give a little to get a little.

This is something I have been strugling with lately. Not because it is hard for me to do but because I feel like everytime I compromise it comes back to bite me in the ass. My compromises are later used as weapons against me. For example I agreed that I would not go to the door of her house any more as that creates "tension". We agree to "curbside pickup" meaning I pull in the end of her driveway, honk the horn and wait for the kids to come out. That is later turned around into "curbside means you stay at the curb. You are violating the order by pulling into my driveway"! Then it gets brought up to the judge and distorted into "he keeps blocking the driveway so nobody can get in or out". Judge orders me to stay out of the driveway. Is it really wise to compromise with a pwBPD?
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 09:12:41 AM »

Fair Fighting Rules

Philip M. Stahl, Ph.D.


  • Deal with one issue at a time. No fair piling several complaints into one session.


  • Stay focused on the present. Bringing up the past isn't fair

These two,  especially the first.
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 12:31:10 PM »

I really like how you laid these rules out. I copied and pasted, reworded a couple things and will post it at the house to work on with S8 and as a general reminder for myself. Thanks!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 02:17:25 PM »

I do all of those things well with NORMAL people, and I did it quite well before the judge in family court.

With the BPDxh however, there never was fair fighting, focus toward solutions, compromise or anything healthy for anyone.  Only destruction until I had enforceable court orders.  I learned quickly I could not compromise one inch on anything, he would run over us by a mile.
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 03:50:59 PM »

I do all of those things well with NORMAL people, and I did it quite well before the judge in family court.

With the BPDxh however, there never was fair fighting, focus toward solutions, compromise or anything healthy for anyone.  Only destruction until I had enforceable court orders.  I learned quickly I could not compromise one inch on anything, he would run over us by a mile.

Disordered souls don't always adhere to this list very well - I could site 100 instances where my husband's ex-wife has violated at least one or more of them at a time.

Doesn't mean that I shouldn't adhere to them.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I think that this about us. Trying to see how we can sometimes contribute to the conflict - or not contribute to the conflict. We can also live/play by these rules and implement boundaries so that others can (or be encouraged to) as well when discussing issues with us.

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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 08:45:07 PM »

I had to go NC, visitation exchange at the cop shop, no variants on COs, and when he tried to engage, tell him to send me emails.  I did this to keep as much stress off DD as I could, and me too.   He got the visitation order he wanted, but he still wanted to screw around with our lives.  Nope.  Judge said No, too.

During 17 years of marriage, not one issue was ever resolved without his attempt at total destruction of everyone.  I didn't expect any different after he left.  I gave him once chance, he screwed it up and upset our daughter.  I let the judge deal with him.

DD turned 18 and went NC, she called and told him why.  He wrote a letter, refused to take responsibility for his actions or say he was wrong for taking her out of state against her will.  

Truly no working with some people no matter how people-skilled you are.
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 01:42:04 PM »

Is it really wise to compromise with a pwBPD?

I'm not sure. Smiling (click to insert in post)

I think for me, I have to know that compromise isn't 50/50 with a pwBPD. I think you can come close though like in the 60/40 range. 

I also try to live by the rule even though she doesn't seem to know how. The split could be 100/0 and she'd still be unhappy. She is far more accommodating though when she knows she's getting the better end of the stick... .

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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2014, 08:38:44 PM »

I have a really hard time with "avoid blaming the other parent."

It's poison to my son when I blame his dad for something. It rarely happens in overt ways but it slips out, usually because I underestimate how insightful and wise my kid is about what's going on. I have to remind myself over and over and over that S13 doesn't need my commentary about whose fault it is, and if I provide it, he automatically goes on the defensive. Even if he agrees with me, even if he knows it's true, it twists a knife in him.  :'(  Sometimes he shuts down, sometimes he says something that, if I'm to be painfully honest, makes me feel like I'm the kid. Once, after he told me about how painful it was when a teacher scolded him for something, I said, "I have this theory about why it feels that way for you. Your dad, when you were little, would blah blah blah." S13 just said quietly, "Why is it that whenever you have a theory it's never about what you did." And so I threw out something I had been worrying over, something that I do that I wish I did better. But it was nervous talk.

I think this is such a hard one for us to deal with. And yes, it probably is genuinely complicated when there is alienation going on, but I've read a lot about alienation and not one of the experts, none of the therapists, and zero of my instincts tell me that it's ever good for kids when we blame things on the other parents.

I'm learning that my son has an amazing radar for things that are emotionally genuine and authentic. That's where we connect best, and it isn't easy to get there when you've been snarled up in a custody battle, terrified that what you say will be used against you. I'm trying to set aside what I'm most afraid of, and choose instead to be present for my kid, and trust that when he wants to talk, he will.
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 05:32:56 AM »

Excerpt
I have to remind myself over and over and over that S13 doesn't need my commentary about whose fault it is, and if I provide it, he automatically goes on the defensive. Even if he agrees with me, even if he knows it's true, it twists a knife in him.

This. I personally feel like I sometimes have to catch myself to stop from saying negative things about their mom. It's not that I don't know better and I agree that no part of my brain or anywhere else does it seem like a good idea to do that. I think the impulse just comes from a deep seated fear that the kids don't know what's really going on.

If you think about it, denying a parent access to their child is a terrible thing to do in a normal situation. Some of our necessary boundaries would seem harsh and downright rude if dealing with a nonPD person. Maybe the impulse comes from a need we have to justify the things we are forced to do to navigate a situation with a BPD. I mean, if the kids think their BPD parent is just a normal (or only a bit difficult) parent, then what do we look like by comparison?

I just have to have faith that the kids do get it. I also have to remind myself of my own feelings as a kid growing up with one psychologically unhealthy parent. "Yes, my mom's screwed up. She's still my mom, so what would you like me to do about it?" Remembering that thought reminds me of the pressure badmouthing puts on a kid.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2014, 06:44:09 AM »

I have to remind myself over and over and over that S13 doesn't need my commentary about whose fault it is, and if I provide it, he automatically goes on the defensive. Even if he agrees with me, even if he knows it's true, it twists a knife in him.  :'( 

This is something I am learning and it's quite :O

Somethign my P gave me was always place the behaviour on myself.  Never on my sons mother. 

I had my son a few weeks ago tell me he was sad, I validated, it's ok to be sad all of that, it was a bit more he was actually dispondant, silent, almostin a trance.  Didnt push for reasons, told him he was allowed ot be sad.  I then had him tell me he was still sad.  Quite heartbreaking to have your 3 year old son say your sad, so I bit. 

ME: What is making you sad?

S3: I hit mummy and she wont talk to me. 

ME: Well, when daddy doesnt talk to you or daddy is having a hard time with somethign that isnt your fault, it's daddys problem that he has to fix. 

S3: OK. 

I had him again yesterday, stopped all of a sudden and said, I am sad daddy.  Again validated, it's ok to be sad S3, do you know what is makign you sad? 

S3: Mummy wouldnt talk to me driving.  (Driving on the way to my house he got the silent treatment?)

ME: Buddy, sometimes I wont talk either, that doesnt mean I dont love you, I will always love you ok? 

S3: But daddy you always talk, mummy is always sad.  I miss mummy.  (crying starts) 

ME: I miss mummy too S3, you're allowed to miss her as your allowed to miss me, know that I will always love you. 

S3: Ok daddy. 

Their is so much goign on at the moment, I am tryign to never ask about his time with his mother, only validating things however getting this insight into what is happening and how it is effecting him.  It kills me. 

What my P told me, Always place the behaviour on yourself, never blame his mother.  Always make sure he knows you love him.  In time he will learn that this is what love is being available for conversation whenever wherever not just on mom's terms and he will 'detach' form those episodes. 

I dont have to tell him his mother loves him, that is her job.  I have to tell him I love him and model my parenting appropriatelly.  That makes me sad in itself. 


AJJ. 

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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 08:21:37 AM »

Your comment is very insightful and scary, LivednLearned, thank you.  I am about to start divorce proceedings and I know my kids already know too much.  I try desperately to stay focused on them and to be there for them.  Yesterday I took them away on vacation alone for the first time and it's great but at the same time they didn't want to leave their BPD-mother.  They're 9 and 7.  I didn't say anything bad, I let them cry and say that she should come knowing that once we were in the car they'd be fine, and they are.  I know that their mothers asks them about me and tries to get stuff out of them and it kills me but I won't do it.  It's hard.  Thank you for your comments.
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