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How to communicate after a contentious divorce... Following a contentious divorce and custody battle, there are often high emotion and tensions between the parents. Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. The children sense their parents anxiety in their voice, their body language and their parents behavior. Here are some suggestions from Dean Stacer on how to avoid conflict.
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Author Topic: Failing to see reality...  (Read 1151 times)
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 649

« on: June 14, 2006, 09:43:09 AM »

I have seen the numerous pictures of X that he has posted on personal ads.  Seeing these pics was helpful to me - I saw how hard the ex was trying to sell himself, and I had fun snickering at the ex's balding head/accompanying camouflage hairstyling and at the hilarious poses he struck in these staged photos.


We all talk about how we failed to see "reality" in our BP relationships... .and that is true.  "We were duped".  "We'll never do that again"... .the mantra of bpdfamily.

Do you feel you are fully seeing "reality" in your life today? If not, worry.

I read many posts like the one above.  Many. 

I even had a similar reaction to seeing the X on-line... .wow! she was talking about her love of Europe and all the places she ventured to (I took her on one of my many business trips there - it was her only time out of the state), there were photographs on the site that I took, but with different stories attached, she spoke of her favorite literature (two books I gave her that she never would read - until I finally started reading excepts outloud in the car on long trips...   I'd have whole family read pages outloud... .they loved it).  My initial reaction was "incredulous".

But I thought about it.  Maybe Skippy still doesn't get it.

I showed the ad to someone that I asked for an honest, honest assessment.  He said, it seemed pretty normal for Internet dating site - there are certain norms in resume writing - there are norms on Internet site - this was all within the acceptable norms and no-one would be appalled at all.  Well, of course, Skippy knows that! 

Reality.  I didn't face it in the relationship (OK, I was blind sighted).  But many of us have a hard time facing it now - isn't just more of the same?

I asked the little Skip-lets. They said "Hurt, despair, venting" is no better a justification now than "blind sided, naive , in love" was back then.

Skip-lets said there is a lot of talk about missing red flags.  But in many cases now, the green and yellow flags are getting missed.

Isn't facing reality the key to our recovery?

Isn't all this talk about how the Xs are "deranged" and destined to fail a false reality... .a false sense of comfort?

They almost worked it with us.  We hung in there.  We adored them in many cases.  We were not all in a drug induced state... .there was a basis for a relationship but a very significant flaw, deeply hidden in some cases, that surfaced out that brought it all down.  The flaw is real.

We painted THEM white.  Now we like to paint THEM black.  They have never been either.

The fact that our relationships with them failed should be enough for us to let go and move on.

Everything they do going forward is not "flawed".  And the may very well find a person with the opposing energy that could actually survive, maybe in thrive with them.  Maybe their BP will tame.  Maybe they will topple 4 more loving relationships and grow old alone in a trailer outside of town.

But isn't it true that once we are out - trying to find solace in the fact that there life will fail is the biggest false reality of all.

Skippy had expresso this morning.

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Posts: 2331

« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2006, 12:21:52 PM »

But isn't it true that once we are out - trying to find solace in the fact that there life will fail is the biggest false reality of all.

I don't know Skip, if that is what the majority of us NONs do. I know I don't wish it for sure but I have learned enough about this personality disorder and it's tangents, to find basis for worry.

Remember those "Fun Houses" in the traveling Carneys. They had wierd mirrors and tilted rooms and winding halls that went back on themselves. While I was in there it was fun,,a little scary and very different from the world outside. I entered for that.  And the builders of it skewed my perspectives equal to the 50 cents I paid on entering.

But I exited and the world became normal again. But it was still strange inside the "Fun House". Probably always will be unless the outside someday becomes stranger than the inside. God Forbid.

But if we want to live normally I guess it don't help to keep peeking in the windows does it?

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Gender: Male
Posts: 412

« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2006, 06:40:03 PM »

Hi Skip,

I'm sure you, and most other parents as well, remember our kids watching a particular movie over and over again. It was humorous, curious and sometimes, even a little frustrating. What did they see that so attracted them? What were they after that they felt so compelled to watch it, seemingly a million times?

And then one day they were no longer interested in watching it any more. The interest just stopped... .as if a door had closed, and they'd gotten what ever they wanted and needed no more. And moved on to what ever was next.

I got an idea of what was going on a few weeks before a particularly favorite tape broke, when my son asked me, "How come that guy's smiling?" I replied that while it looked like a smile, it was actually a grimace. His expression told me to go on. I explained the guy's motivations and emotions in the given context, and why I thought the grimace made more sense than a smile... .relating it all to his own experiences. He thought about it for a moment and then, dismissing me from his attention, clicked to rewind the tape. He spent the next hour replaying that scene quite a few times.

Was there a conscious intent to understand what he was seeing, or an awareness of his focused need to grasp its meaning? I don't think so.

But there is here. And for the same reason. The compelling need to understand is the same; here, its replaying the tape of our experience with an SO or a momster. If there's a difference, its because its compounded by a lot of anger to work through.

"Isn't facing reality the key to our recovery?"

Yup, it is. A great example is what you wrote: "We painted THEM white.  Now we like to paint THEM black.  They have never been either." I agree, Skip.

"The fact that our relationships with them failed should be enough for us to let go and move on."

I don't think its enough. Or more accurately, it wasn't enough for me. It wasn't until I could work through what had happened in the relationship, and see her clearly as just another person... .that I was able to see myself and come to terms with my own behavior. Then, I was able to begin moving on. I think each of us has a point where our understanding is enough... .genuinely enough to let go.

"But isn't it true that once we are out - trying to find solace in the fact that there life will fail is the biggest false reality of all."

I don't know what other folks go through in their minds to make sense of what happened, but for a while I used that same thinking to help me feel okay about me. Is that thinking, in and of itself, a false reality? Not really; there is some truth to it. Question is, is one using that thinking for a while to help distance themself from the hurt, as a buffer until they get back on their feet? Or using it as a permanent buffer, denying the hurt, until that thinking becomes part of one's identity and an internal justification for the self. One is a means, and yes, is a solace. The other becomes an end, and serves to keep the anger alive, defining the self with an ex as a yardstick.

Thing is, who's to know, really, whether its another's false reality? I can answer that question only for myself. I think what Lenny wrote - "if we want to live normally I guess it don't help to keep peeking in the windows does it?" - is a very good yardstick. If I keep peeking at what was, or see me doing the same behaviors which got me into that mess, it means I've got s'more stuff to work through.

I think "once we are out" is a lot like when our kids stopped watching that movie. The desire to focus on it and the compelling need to understand it just aren't felt. How come? Why replay a tape to discern what you already understand? Why replay a tape to revisit what you've already come to terms with and know is resolved? That drive has been replaced by passing interest, and the desire to discuss it follows. In other words, we're actually finished with it, not interested in peeking, and moving on to the rest of our lives.

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