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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: She is opening up and I’m feeling a bit confused by it  (Read 1271 times)
JNChell
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« on: April 27, 2018, 10:45:46 PM »

Hello friends. I’ll just get to it. My ex is opening up about her feelings, what she’s been through and how she’s handling it. I’ve utilized tools that I’ve learned here. Honestly, I realize now that it has to be all about her to get her to open up. But, she is opening up. I find joy in this. Not for the sake of anything other than she is opening up. At least for now. She’s beginning to describe her anger, depression and anxiety. I’m keeping myself in check, but there is a lot of emotion involved. Strangely, her opening up is very attractive to me, but I know the dangers involved. We’ve talked about her therapist. Thankfully, she’s still in therapy, but it doesn’t sound like her therapist is equipped to help her. It sounds like band aid therapy. I asked her what an ideal therapist would look like to her. She doesn’t know. I recommended a PhD psychologist. Our conversation was cut short by her D8 having a meltdown. We’ve been having a peaceful, yet deep, conversation over the last two days. It’s all been through text.

She has said things that I never heard her say before, but I think it’s because I didn’t really know how to ask or engage her before. I can’t really explain it in a matter of utilizing the tools that are available here. I basically just had to put her first and validate her. It feels overwhelmingly good to have an open and meaningful line of communication with her, but I know it would end up becoming exhausting if a reconciliation was on the table. I’m not a doormat, and it would not be sustainable. It would end up full of resentment and feeling bad for both she and I. I have to be honest though, it feels so good to talk to her.

I asked her why it took what it has for us to be able to talk on this level. Why we couldn’t have this discussion while we were together. She said it was her anger. Towards me and in general. That is how we began talking about her T and if she saw any real progress being made. Through this conversation, I’ve also realized that I truly care for her. I love her and I care about her well being. I’m being vigilant in validating her, asking permission to go deeper, keeping her as the main topic and simply being kind and receptive. It’s working. The conversation may never pick up where it left off, but I feel like I know her now. I know how she ticks, and how to talk to her. I know it takes a great deal of effort to get her to communicate, and I would probably fail if it was a face to face conversation. I had to edit much of what I said. You can’t do that in real time.

I’m finding that I have more sympathy and empathy for her through these latest communications. She is hurt, and has said as much. I, being part of her pain. I accept that and am sincerely apologetic to her for my part in that. I’ve been keen to notice that she doesn’t ask about my feelings, nor does she offer any apologies. I won’t try to elicit these things from her. I don’t want to trigger her.

This has been pretty surreal. It feels good, honestly. She’s finally talking. Talking through things instead of screaming over them. Tomorrow could be a different story and I’m prepared for that. I hold no expectations. I do wonder if I would had the ability to talk with her the way that I am now three years ago, how things would be. Wise mind tells me that I would be exhausted and void of self. Exactly the way I ended up. Only in a more peaceful manner. She’s captivating, intriguing and lustfully triggering. She’s the Mother of our Son. She was my world in an instance. Today, I realize what it has taken to get her to communicate. I got very close to her, now I’m at a distance where I’m not a threat. Now she is comfortable with me. Conversations that should be had in a naked embrace are now taking place via text messages. It’s ok. I understand now.
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 11:07:02 PM »

Excerpt
I’m finding that I have more sympathy and empathy for her through these latest communications

This is good,  yes? Whether in a stage of Detachment (understanding her world-view) or keeping in contact. Is there a chance for reconciliation here,  or are you keying upon her self-awareness in order to let the r/s go gracefully?
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JNChell
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 11:14:55 PM »

Hey, Turkish. I’m hoping that this is where we let it go peacefully and with love. She mentioned being tired of being angry at me. Perhaps we’re at a point where we can peacefully put things to rest. I’ll be honest. I feel a strong pull, but I know that there is no way that I could reconcile. Reconciliation would be throwing myself away. My values, morals and integrity would turn to dust. I love her, but I have to love myself first. Thanks for replying.
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 11:28:37 PM »

My ex had what I term "am honest weekend" with me. I was hopeful, but It didn't change what was happening, she leaving me for the college football jock. Cue 3 months of emotional hell for me before she moved out.  

It did, however, establish a dynamic between us where she trusted me with herself,  her emotional self. It helped her turn to me when her marriage had mutual DV. I used the tools here to help her.  She still trusts me to this day,  but as my T said, "don't overdo it."

If it's in your interest to remain in contact, use the Bettering tools (Lesson#3). I never thought of get there,  but she and I are mostly cool.
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 11:51:27 PM »

I’ve admired the way that you are able to keep everything together in your situation. If it’s even possible, I’m a long ways off hitting that mark with my ex. I’m still afraid to see her in person. The last two days have been good for decompressing, but like I said, I have no expectations. There’s a good chance that she could wake up tomorrow, read through our discussion and become triggered. Back to square one with no right angles. In the moment, I’m happy about what transpired.
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2018, 12:00:35 AM »

For a year, I couldn't stand to be in the same room with her.  She knew it.  This takes time... .to embrace she accept our new realities. I didn't want to believe it when senior members told me something like this when I first came here.  It helps focusing on the "now." Sufficient unto the day is the evil of the day thereof.

Focus upon the future healthy you   
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2018, 12:03:05 AM »

Will do, Turkish. Thank you.
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2018, 09:58:07 AM »

JNChell you've come so far.  I feel really proud of you when reading this post.  All of this shift in dynamic and understanding has come from you and you ought to be proud of yourself for that.  It sounds like you have the beginnings of a foundation here for something that could really benefit both of you and your son as a result.  There is hope for a co operative parenting arrangement and a mutual respect and care.  Perhaps the best relationship you two could ever have will be a different one to that which you both wanted.  So glad you posted about this.

Love and light x 
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2018, 04:10:54 PM »

Thank you, Harley Quinn. Processing someone being proud of me is foreign to me, still. I’m working through this, but thank you.

All of this shift in dynamic and understanding has come from you and you ought to be proud of yourself for that.

The thing is, is that some things have stuck with me. I incorporate them. Other things, I haven’t. I give advice that I don’t follow. I know that it’s sound advice. I just keep giving it until I finally accept it myself. It feels hypocritical, so I’m not proud of it. I feel a bit selfish for throwing out advice that I don’t yet take.
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2018, 05:05:32 PM »

What is it you're not doing that you feel you should be?  We all do this our own way in our own time.  Seems to me that what you're doing is working for you.

Love and light x
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2018, 05:25:51 PM »

What is it you're not doing that you feel you should be? Nothing. I’ve done all I know how. It’s over and done.
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 05:25:58 PM »

It didn’t last. The communication shut off. It was the carrot on the stick. No need for details unless they’re needed. I realize that I’ve been half hearted at points in my detachment. It’s time to detach for good. Whole heartedly. To be honest, I believe that she was being honest and forthright in what I’ve described here. The thing is, she can’t sustain the line of communication, and I’m done trying to start it, facilitate it and guide it. There is no win-win when you’re left with a gut feeling of being manipulated. I’m choosing to remove this crap from my life.
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 06:11:29 PM »

JNChell,

How disappointing... .I know you were hoping you could at least leave the lines of communication open with her.  I’m truly sorry you had to even endure this last go round with her.

Stixx
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 06:17:29 PM »

No need for details unless they’re needed.

i think it would really help.

were you trying to continue the previous conversation?
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 06:24:19 PM »

once removed, yes.
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2018, 06:33:59 PM »

too personal? too much too soon?

we can only speculate without knowing more, but i think it would help to break down what happened.
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     and I think it's gonna be all right; yeah; the worst is over now; the mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball…
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2018, 06:34:12 PM »

She just started opening up about her stuff. Things that she never told me. She is now playing an instrument out of no where. She is now a cat person out of nowhere. I saw passed those things as her trying to find an identity. When we were together, she wanted to learn the guitar. I bought her a really nice starter guitar. She took pictures of it and posted those pictures. Now she’s learning another instrument? Mandolin. She sent me audio of her playing (learning) songs that I really like. I know what she’s doing. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a f’d up thing to do.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2018, 06:35:43 PM »

I saw passed those things as her trying to find an identity.

did you tell her this?
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2018, 06:39:11 PM »

Not in this instance, but I have. I’ve called her out through all of this.
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2018, 06:47:08 PM »

She is now playing an instrument out of no where. She is now a cat person out of nowhere. I saw passed those things as her trying to find an identity.

i would describe these things as finding a hobby, no?

I’ve called her out through all of this.

to what end? i would think that would cause her to shut down.

im reading between the lines here, so correct me where im wrong:

i sense a lot of two things: resentment coupled with a desire to be emotionally close to her.

you got close to her in the prior conversation. it pulled at your heartstrings and made you happy. i dont know exactly what threw things off here, but it sounds like you were pressing for more, and feel shut out or rejected.

am i close? off base?
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2018, 08:13:31 PM »

JNChell,  I think you are being a bit hard on yourself.  From your posts I have read over time, it seems you have come a long way in your journey.  You are exploring the difficult emotions and working through them, sometimes with music which seems to be one of your strong suits.


This is not a linear process.  I decided to get off the roller coaster myself.  But, think about it, when riding a roller coaster, you can't safely hop off in the middle.  You have to go through the curves and little ups and downs before you disembark. 
 
You can't control what your wife (or is it ex?) does or feels and you can't blame yourself for that.  Things don't always go as planned or as we would like.  You are making progress.  It's hard to see when you are in the thick of it.  Do more of the things that work and less of the things that don't.

I'm rooting for you.

Peace and blessings, Mustbeabetterway

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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2018, 06:44:39 AM »

Thanks, stixx44. Sorry my reply is so delayed.

How disappointing... .I know you were hoping you could at least leave the lines of communication open with her.  I’m truly sorry you had to even endure this last go round with her.

I appreciate the sentiment. The thing is, I know better than to trust any engagement with her. Things have deteriorated back to hostility. I’m finally aware that she is now in a relationship. I think it started fairly quickly after we split. Pretty much status quo around here. She said he’s never around the kids, so she may be keeping this one fairly quiet. But I have no way to be sure. Thank you for your post.
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2018, 07:11:00 AM »

Hey there, once removed. Apologies for my delayed response.

Excerpt
She is now playing an instrument out of no where. She is now a cat person out of nowhere. I saw passed those things as her trying to find an identity.

i would describe these things as finding a hobby, no?

Quote from: JNChell on April 30, 2018, 06:39:11 PM
I’ve called her out through all of this.

to what end? i would think that would cause her to shut down.

im reading between the lines here, so correct me where im wrong:

i sense a lot of two things: resentment coupled with a desire to be emotionally close to her.

you got close to her in the prior conversation. it pulled at your heartstrings and made you happy. i dont know exactly what threw things off here, but it sounds like you were pressing for more, and feel shut out or rejected.

am i close? off base?

I can agree that these things may be new hobbies for her. The thing is, she disliked cats before, and I’m a seasoned musician that attempted to get her involved in music. I wasn’t forceful about it. I asked her if she would be interested if I bought her a guitar. She came across as very enthusiastic about it, so I bought her a guitar. It basically got posted on FB and Instagram, and that was about it.

Calling her out was indeed a huge mistake along the way. I believe I was simply being defensive and also attempting to validate myself by presenting facts with sources. At least from my POV. It absolutely did cause her to retract. I’m sure it was hurtful to her. I know I should’ve taken the high road, but I let my emotions guide me instead of stepping away from the conflict and collecting myself before engaging her further. Resentment coupled with wanting to be emotionally close to her? Yes and yes, unfortunately. I do resent her. This tells me that I still have a long way to go with all of this. I can see that the behaviors and traits are present, but I am obviously still unaccepting that she has a problem and this is why she acts towards me the way that she does. I’m not finger pointing, I have my own set of issues that contributed to our problems, I’m still just resentful over being hurt so deeply. I try not to blame her, but I sometimes still do. There are times when I do wish I could be emotionally close to her, but it’s futile. Maybe something will eventually cause her to seek the treatment that she needs, but I won’t throw my chips on the table without seeing her cards which will never happen anyway.

I definitely started pressing without realizing it at the time. She sent a video of herself saying hi to our Son, but I believe she did it more to get a reaction from me. I haven’t been face to face with her in about 3 months by my request. The last 2 times I’ve picked our Son up from daycare, she’s also mysteriously driving in opposite direction of me in the area. This just started happening. I promise you that it’s not a coincidence, and it’s very triggering. My anxiety goes through the roof. I certainly do feel shut out and rejected, but I’ve felt that way with her a lot throughout the relationship, so it’s nothing new. Thanks for reaching out, once removed .
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2018, 07:22:14 AM »

Hi, Mustbeabetterway. I’m sorry that my response is so late.

Excerpt
JNChell,  I think you are being a bit hard on yourself.  From your posts I have read over time, it seems you have come a long way in your journey.  You are exploring the difficult emotions and working through them, sometimes with music which seems to be one of your strong suits.


This is not a linear process.  I decided to get off the roller coaster myself.  But, think about it, when riding a roller coaster, you can't safely hop off in the middle.  You have to go through the curves and little ups and downs before you disembark. 
 
You can't control what your wife (or is it ex?) does or feels and you can't blame yourself for that.  Things don't always go as planned or as we would like.  You are making progress.  It's hard to see when you are in the thick of it.  Do more of the things that work and less of the things that don't.

I'm rooting for you.

Peace and blessings, Mustbeabetterway

Thanks so much for this. You know, inside it doesn’t feel like I’ve come very far, but when I read through some of my older posts, I can say that I have made progress. Having to keep a line of communication open with her is the worst part. I wouldn’t give up our Son for anything, but as things are right now, it’s constantly triggering and it just plain sucks. Thank you.
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« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2018, 07:39:01 AM »

JN,

Letting your emotions guide you instead of stepping away is so utterly human.  You think you’re finally in a situation where you’re having a conversation, and hope creeps in.  We feel we have this opportunity to rectify the situation and finally, finally start to move forward... .and then the old behavior comes in from both sides.

It’s a delicate dance, dealing with pwBPD, isn’t it?  I know you feel you’ve been set back—again—and the truth is, maybe so.

But that’s not to say you still can’t move forward with her sometime in the near future after a bit of a break.  I’m sure your emotions are on high now, but they will settle in.  You’ve been here before and have overcome the havoc.

Take some time to breathe a bit and let the dust settle. 

Your post made me think about thoughts I’ve had myself about contacting my ex after three months to have a conversation that I feel I need to have with her to unburden some things that have been troubling me after our split.  I am thinking hard now about leaving things as they are for the time being.

Let me add that your posts all along have been truly helpful and inspiring for me personally these past 6 months.  Just because you’e going through a personal setback, don’t think for a moment that you’re not needed here!
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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2018, 02:58:53 PM »

There are times when I do wish I could be emotionally close to her

nothing wrong with that. but i am confused as to what direction youd like to see this relationship go in. cooperative coparenting? really good friends? more than that? people that have little to do with each other outside of coparenting?

the reason i ask:

I know it would end up becoming exhausting if a reconciliation was on the table. I’m not a doormat, and it would not be sustainable.

being a doormat is not a good strategy, youre right. but being a doormat is not what the tools are about, far from it.

and the reason i even mention that, is because whatever kind of relationship you want with her, be it a coparent, a close friend, or a romantic partner, the tools are the same; anything short of a close friend or romantic partner though, and pushing to be closer to her can make things tricky.

it may be that you are resolved to end the relationship and just havent fully grieved it yet. that would make perfect sense. but i cant tell if its that, or you have romantic feelings, would like to reconcile, but believe being a doormat would be the only way to make that happen, and so youre kind of going for something in between.

i think it would be a good idea to get clear on this, but regardless, i think if you want to be closer to her, just dont push; be cool  Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2018, 07:21:44 PM »

Hey, once removed.

but i am confused as to what direction youd like to see this relationship go in.

In the here and now, I’d like to see this relationship be as LC as possible.

it may be that you are resolved to end the relationship and just havent fully grieved

You’re right about this. It’s been a roller coaster. Just like the relationship.

i think it would be a good idea to get clear on this, but regardless, i think if you want to be closer to her, just dont push; be cool  cool

You’re right about this as well. I had a discussion with my T about this, this evening. Basically, it came down to, how many more times am I going to set myself up for this behavior? The pull, then the abrupt push from a linebacker.

I initiated this contact between us. This is on me. The pattern is still there. How couldn’t it be? It’s been a few months! She reacted in a positive way and I zoned in on it with precision. It’s simply not sustainable. Thanks for reaching out.
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