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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: Bizarre, possibly dangerous new behavior as we approach court date  (Read 775 times)
ozmatoz
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« on: April 24, 2018, 12:59:36 PM »

The sudden flip to this nice, loving, caring, crying, person has been hard enough to keep away from.  I can understand a bit that perhaps she's realizing slightly what is about to happen.

What is troubling me is her words about letting go and how they are increasing in the intensity that she states them.

Last week it was, "please work it out",  "please give us more time", "There is still love here to work with"... .

This weekend it had turned to "I won't let go, I can't", "I can't live without you"

This morning the tone changed to almost angry.  "I will not let you go"  "You cannot go",  "You cannot leave us".  Some blocking of my path around the house, foot on the door to prevent me from leaving for work... .

I've dealt with extinction bursts before as this process has moved along, but I have never heard her blatantly tell me that I cannot leave.  That she will not allow me to leave the relationship. 

I know she has an appointment with her attorney tomorrow and that is stressing her out.  I piled on a little saying that I needed either this evening or tomorrow evening away from home to clear my head as the conversations have been pretty intense.  Not leaving, not going anywhere, just out of the house for a few hours.  I need away from her for a mental break.

This set off a 3 hour text battle about how I'm abandoning my responsibilities to my family and children, and what am I going to tell them about why daddy isn't home... . 

All of this said really intensely.  I have let my lawyer know, I dont want to leave the house yet before our court date but man I don't like where this is headed.

Anyone been through escalating behaviors like this?  How did you cope?
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lighthouse9
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 01:21:01 PM »

Hey Oz,

I haven't been there (yet), but I read about this in the book Splitting about divorcing someone with BPD/NPD. From what I read, it's pretty common for them to dysregulate big time at this point.

How are you coping? How do you respond when she physically blocks your path? What do you do when she texts and baits you?
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ozmatoz
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 02:11:33 PM »

I've done an absolute terrible job of staying away from the text bait.  Part of why I need some time away.  My emotions are just screaming on an all time high right now and it doesn't take much to trigger my frustrations.

I really need to work on just ignoring her garbage but she usually drags questions in about the kids so its hard to completely disengage.

Lately when she physically tries to block my path I try to step by her.  She short I'm tall, I can usually get around her.  If I see her make a move to further block, I just turn around and walk out another side of the room.  I make sure I don't push and I usually put my hands in my pocket when I see this start.

When she stuck her foot on the bottom of the door this morning I just continued to open it.  She was in socks so her foot slid.  She knew what she was doing, I could tell, so when I just continued opening it she didn't pull any bs, just tried to make it harder for me.  Completely uncalled for.

I've read splitting a couple of times, I know I'm headed for a bunch of crap.  I'm just concerned with the sudden escalation.

its really exhausting.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 02:22:33 PM »

Excerpt
This set off a 3 hour text battle about how I'm abandoning my responsibilities to my family and children, and what am I going to tell them about why daddy isn't home... . 

Hey oz, Suggest you limit future text exchanges to 10 - 15 minutes, max, or decline to participate entirely.  It's all about having good boundaries around what is acceptable for you, and sticking to it.  Of course it's exhausting if you allow yourself to get drawn into a 3-hour text-fest.  I suggest you stay above the fray, to the extent possible.

LuckyJim

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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
ozmatoz
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 02:58:51 PM »

Thanks LJ, I have tried.  Some days are better than the others.

Her latest reply equates me taking an evening for myself as "night on my own".  If I want these "nights on my own" I should finish negotiating our divorce as she won't live with that threat constantly hanging over her head. 

Am I missing something here?  Whats the threat?  I take a few hours after work to grab dinner or see a movie?  Go see my parents for a couple hours?

She states that if I need to clear my head I should go for a run.  ":)on't abandon your family. Not even for a night."

I must be really missing something here as I explicitly told her it wasn't overnight. (we don't sleep in the same room anyways).  Is taking a night away to cool off tensions abandoning my family?  This is coming from the same person who says they've changed and is open to allowing each other to have a bit more independence in our lives... .yeah right.

I have no idea what I'm going to walk into tonight when I get home... .
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GaGrl
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 03:24:17 PM »

The operative phrase you are hearing from her is, "I can't live without you."  Keep in mind this doesn't mean that she loves you or desires you or wants to have any different kind of life with you... .she truly does not comprehend how she will handle life without you.

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"...what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge."
ozmatoz
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 03:47:55 PM »

Gagrl, you may be onto something here.  I get the sense that the anger and frustration is a front.  I try to ask her about it, I try to see if there is anything I can do even during this tough process to make it not so scary for her (hoping to make this more amicable).  She doesn't want to hear any of it.  She just finds the areas that I'm not perfect in and harps all over them.

Mostly that its tough for me to get out of work on time and thread the needle of a very short time window in horrible traffic to pick up D16 from school.  That makes me an unreliable abandoner... .

Its frankly just awful.
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 05:44:18 PM »

Hi oz,

It sounds like you're taking onboard some of what is being thrown at you.
 Recently I read a book about setting limits with strong willed children.  One tip I picked up that has helped me recently when my son baits me into getting drawn into a dance is to think to myself 'I am the adult here and he is the kid.'  I stop the dance before it starts.

In your situation I'd encourage you to remember that you are the emotionally healthy partner and that what she is saying comes from a place of emotional instability.  Her accusations don't need to be taken to heart or responded to.  If peace is what you need, then allow yourself to step back from those attempts to bait you into a long discussion.  What can you do to help yourself to remain calm?  Can you think back to what has worked for you previously?

Love and light x   
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ozmatoz
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 09:56:30 AM »

Thanks HQ, I think as we approach and realities start to set in (for both of us) there is definitely some sensitivity that has made it harder to keep away.

I just keep re-reading the comments and support I've received here and that really pounds it in to my head.  Don't respond.  Then don't respond to the bs about not responding... .

I have to keep remembering that she has a hole in her bucket.  No matter what or how much I say, it will never cease.  The conversation never resolves with her.  She expects me to see her side of the story (which I do).  She see's my side of the story for about a minute, then is off on another tangent or forgets my side of the story (argument) and the circle repeats... .

I've also noticed that I am liking my own behavior less and less.  The further this goes, the more I try to stay away from her.  That has the unfortunate side affect of staying away from my kids too.  I feel like I just need to disappear in order for there to be peace at the house.
I am finding that every time I am kind to her it is taken as a sign of wanting to reconcile.  No, its just me not being an a-hole.  Imagine that, people being kind to one another!  She constantly puts me in the position of having to be the bad guy and it really is doing a number on my self esteem and image.  I have to constantly tell her "no" to various outlandish (and often conflicting) requests, which is turned around on me that I don't listen, she doesn't matter, she has no voice, I am controlling her... .

Now of course any talk about custody or money is just met with more garbage.  She constantly throws accusations but won't counter or offer up any of her own solutions.  This forces me to use our attorney's as expensive communication tool, then I hear it about how I am wasting all this money the family could use... .

Maddening and I'm reaching my boiling point.  Then I flip to sadness.  Sad that its come to this, sad that I couldnt suck it up enough to deal with her.  Sad that I didn't know about BPD sooner.  Sad that my kids lives have to pay for this decision.  It feels very selfish.

Stuck in my own head today.
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 10:17:41 AM »

Oz, you will have days like this and that's OK.  It's alright to feel mad, sad, disillusioned, frustrated, disappointed and any other emotion that comes up.  It's good that you're recognising these emotions and are aware of how they affect you.  So many of us act out of emotion and don't think about what drives our behaviour.  It sounds like you're taking time to reflect and whilst it's uncomfortable and upsetting, we need to allow ourselves to process all of this.  So when one of these days comes along, embrace it and go with the flow.  Have patience with yourself.  You've a lot to think about and consider after all.  Who do you speak to about all of this, aside from your L? 

Both of you are bound to be in a heightened state with things nearing 'reality' level in the actions being taken and what you describe about your wife's behaviour sounds like something to expect at a time like this.  She will no doubt be struggling with her abandonment issues and this will be spilling out all over the place.  Try to de personalise it.  It's not about you per se; rather about her fears.

Excerpt
Sad that my kids lives have to pay for this decision.  It feels very selfish.

When it comes to the children, right now their well being is a primary concern when it comes to the break up of their parents' relationship.  Making this process as smooth as possible for them and ensuring that they always feel safe and loved by both of you will take work that will pay in the long run.  They need stability in their lives.  If that is achieved through their parents being apart then that is a positive for them.  Many of us believe that the best thing for our children is to be in a 2 parent family, myself included in the past.  Leaving his father was the best thing I could have done for my son however.  He and both his parents are much happier as a result. 

What plans are in place or being discussed around their custody?  How would you want to see things work out with regards to that?

Love and light x
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ozmatoz
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 09:49:28 AM »

Oz, you will have days like this and that's OK.  It's alright to feel mad, sad, disillusioned, frustrated, disappointed and any other emotion that comes up. 

Yeah, and these feelings seem to change by the minute.  It is hard to try and stay grounded.  There are times I am resolute and figure that I can get through this.  Then I walk into the house and see all of the "stuff" and feel so overwhelmed and wonder if its really worth it.  I feel defeated and just want to give up.  My uBPDw buys more crap for the house and never says no to the kids, there is just stuff everywhere.

When it comes to the children, right now their well being is a primary concern when it comes to the break up of their parents' relationship.  Making this process as smooth as possible for them and ensuring that they always feel safe and loved by both of you will take work that will pay in the long run.  They need stability in their lives. 

What plans are in place or being discussed around their custody?  How would you want to see things work out with regards to that?

Part of what worries me here is what's best for the kids and realities of our work schedules really gives her a significant leg up.  I have to be careful to not give away the farm.  The kids need to be taken care of, but I can't be living in a cardboard box either.  There just isn't enough money for this big house and another place.

One of the difficulties we have is logistics, D11 goes to school in town, D16 is in private school out of town.  D16 needs to get taken to the bus pickup early.  Waking D11 up and dragging her out will aggravate her medical condition.  Literally need to be in two places at once.  How can you possibly do that with separate households?  So many details to work through... .
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Harley Quinn
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 07:49:03 PM »

It must all feel overwhelming at the moment.  People do find ways to work this stuff out, and I'm wondering if a post on the Family Law/Custody/Co parenting/Divorce board would bring up some good suggestions for you to consider.  There is so much for you to think about right now.  Maybe try where you can to focus on one thing at a time.  My counsellor tells me to put everything in my mind into boxes and just open one at a time.  The others are there and I can choose to open the next one or two when I'm through with the first one.  It actually helps to visualise doing this when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Excerpt
There just isn't enough money for this big house and another place.

I hate to say this but does the house need to be as big if there is another place?  Have the two of you discussed living arrangements?  I'm not certain how far along you are in the process.

Love and light x
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Fond memories, fella.


« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2018, 12:52:36 AM »

Oz, how are you doing?  How are your kids doing?

WW
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