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Author Topic: 2.06 | Arguing - Don't Engage  (Read 19186 times)
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« on: November 18, 2009, 10:59:04 PM »

US:  Arguing - don't engage

In the middle ages, that romantic time of knights in shining armor, men would challenge each other to fights by throwing their gauntlet (glove) on the ground. The person challenged then had the choice to either pick up the gauntlet - and therefore agree to battle - or walk away. The challenger would often throw in some juicy insults to help motivate the person challenged to agree to fight with them.

The interesting thing about that story, is that the person challenged had a choice in how they responded to that thrown gauntlet. It was very clear what the other person wanted - a fight (for whatever reason) - but it was also clear that the person challenged didn't have to fight unless they felt like it.

When a challenge is presented (the gauntlet is thrown down) - people who chose to fight do so for a few reasons: because they believe they can win, or to defend themselves or someone they care about. Our disordered loved ones present this option to us all the time. We are constantly having the gauntlet thrown at our feet. We just haven't learned to see it as such, therefore we weren't aware that we have a choice on whether we wish to pick it up or not.

Choice is a funny thing. Sometimes it's hard to see that you have one. Kind of like the bird that finally has the cage door thrown open, they don't recognize that they now have a chance for freedom. We need to recognize that we do have choices in how we respond to things. We don't HAVE to argue. We don't HAVE to discuss things. We don't HAVE to stay to be abused. We don't HAVE to stay awake. We don't HAVE to engage in intimacies.

Since love isn't suppose to be about winning or losing, why do we so often find it necessary to pick up that gauntlet?
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an0ught
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 01:41:26 AM »

After throwing the gauntlet she continues talking. And as her words don't make sense they act ared-flag waved in front of a soon raging non. Quickly I get confused. FOG clouds my senses and I forget that I am are on wide open prairie land. I get tricked into the farm and we are in a room with only one way out and she is in the door. At least I believe I'm there - don't know for sure as there is so much FOG. Then she pricks me with a few sharp words and since my brain has now switched off I run the only way I know is left open - attack.
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 08:55:52 AM »

OH how I try to not pick up that gauntlet. Somehow he always manages to say/do that one thing that makes me pick up    However, two weeks and counting... .not one single rage. I've either validated or walked away each time he's picking a fight. Believe it or not that's pretty good considering we weren't going more than 3 days without a fight. But then again, I've detached some so things don't get to me the way they did.
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 09:06:25 AM »

They can make that gauntlet look soo tempting at times 

This is where it helps to use our own executive function skills ( in other words, act like a grown up ) and remember our long term goals, and that taking this challenge is a short term event, and that it will only damage our chances for a happy and healthy future.

The gauntlet is BAD... .trying to use validation and if necessary, taking a time out is GOOD... .
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 09:13:41 AM »

Just keep repeating DO NOT REPSOND DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN IT .that works OK for me.

I know it is what she wants, like when out of the blue I get blindsided by an outburst.

It is when she is the most self loathing, she needs to take it out- so goes for me.

I used to respond, and argue and get all cough tup ina commotion- but that only fed her need .SO in the end I was givgin her what sh ewanted.

By being quiet and maybe if need to reply I just do the--- " well I am sorry you feel that way" and " No, I guess I don't understand" also " No I don't knwo what you fell" al which are true, but non confrontational staments that placate her.
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 09:22:07 AM »

Picked up the gauntlet yesterday when he pulled my trigger.  Should have known better on that one.  I'm getting better but I really need to do more work on identifying my own triggers.  Thanks so much for the visual.  I think it'll really help in the future if I have enough sense at the time to keep it in mind. 
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 05:42:14 PM »

Did NOT pick up the gauntlet last night.

One of the cat's went underneath the couch and started play... .ended up clawing one of her feet.  After she said "OW" she said ":)on't you care!".

I replied; "About what?"

"The cat clawed me and you didn't say anything"

"Of course, If I did I might just aggravate you further as your in a bad mood"

"Well you show you care every morning before you go to work how come not right now"

"Well, you raised your voice and I wasn't going to respond to that"

"But the cat clawed me"

"So... .they claw you everytime you give them a bath.  And I'm not going to argue over something silly as the cat clawing you, besides, their cats and thats what they do.  I'm tired and not going to do it."

She went silent as I think she just realized how silly it was to argue over something like this.  Few minutes later she was fine and seemed to forget the whole thing.  Most of her BPD tendencies have decreased, but they seem to poke out now an then when its "that time of the month". 
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 10:10:31 PM »

Excerpt
you get make up sex!

  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

I think the inherent flaw of this question is the real answer! Because if you're a knight and someone throws down the gauntlet and you do not pick it up, you are a coward. There wasn't really a choice whether or not to fight -- a true knight would be up to any challenge made against him--it's part of the gig of knighthood--defending your honor or your love's honor all the time... .

So, since many nons have the knight in shining armor complex (save/defend our loves 'till the death) it totally makes sense that it is in our nature to pick up the gauntlet. To do anything else would be to betray who we are.

So in order to walk away once the gauntlet is thrown down, we must change our natures and look towards the ideal of peace, instead of honor.

Smiling (click to insert in post)

Peacebaby
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 11:37:22 PM »

The chiding and such is just bait.  Our SOs know what to put on the hook to get us to bite... .they also change up the lures in case the first few casts come up with nothing.  When the gauntlet starts to comw off, that's our cue to start leaving.  If we ante up and decide to throw in and mess it up with them, we've already lost.  We've sunk down to their level to play their game.  We need to play by our own rules.  Stick to your guns and take the high road.  When you feel your pulse rising, just shut up and breath deep.  When get frusrated and work from the flight/fight part of our brain, our creative abilities are shot.  We can't reach in our toolbox and pick out the correct tool... .when we're flooded with the same thoughts they are, we just want to reach in, grab the first thing we can find, and start swinging it wildly.  Don't match their emotional ante.  Don't join in the discussion and try to justify yourself.  Fly above the emotional carnage... .you'll sleep better and live longer!
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 06:15:46 AM »

Excerpt
you get make up sex!

  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

I think the inherent flaw of this question is the real answer! Because if you're a knight and someone throws down the gauntlet and you do not pick it up, you are a coward. There wasn't really a choice whether or not to fight -- a true knight would be up to any challenge made against him--it's part of the gig of knighthood--defending your honor or your love's honor all the time... .

So, since many nons have the knight in shining armor complex (save/defend our loves 'till the death) it totally makes sense that it is in our nature to pick up the gauntlet. To do anything else would be to betray who we are.

So in order to walk away once the gauntlet is thrown down, we must change our natures and look towards the ideal of peace, instead of honor.

Smiling (click to insert in post)

Peacebaby

I love the visual of the gauntlet.

And I really love the concept of reinventing ourselves.

I think that's the key for me.

These thoughts have reminded me that the visual I have used in the past is the calm in the eye of the storm. Sitting quietly as things whirl around me.  Some of the buddhist teachings I've read help me get there.  Now I see myself as the buddha, sitting in the eye of the storm, observing the gauntlets whirling around! Smiling (click to insert in post)

Thanks for helping me improve on my visual aid! A great tool for the toolbox!

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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2009, 11:47:13 PM »

Excerpt
Since love isn't suppose to be about winning or losing, why do we so often find it necessary to pick up that gauntlet?

Foreplay and make-up sex?

you get make up sex! never get that ever, it's just stopped!

Great post subject, I will visulize the gaunlet ever time, thx UFN.

Hibb

Make-up sex is positive reinforcement to participate in the exchange.  At the start of the relationship I was trained that I need not fear conflict as there was a great payoff afterwards.  Later on, the payoff was less frequent or not as intense.  This follows the intermittent reinforcement patten that just makes me unconsciously try harder and be on the lookout anytime her gauntlet falls, intentional or not.  I may even have thrown my own gauntlet down to try and get the payoff when she wasn't throwing hers down enough.

Other positive reinforcements that can drive me to pick up the gauntlet include... .

The adrenaline rush.

The sense of satisfaction to give as good as I got.

The sense of superiority when I feel I won the exchange.  "I am the champion! ... .What a sec of what am I the champion of?  Tricksy, she won after all when I chose to participate. Why am I competing in the first place?"

Have you been trained to pickup the gauntlet with positive reinforcement?  Have the conditions changed such that you are still picking up the gauntlet now without the reward you once had back then?
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2009, 05:16:09 AM »

Have you been trained to pickup the gauntlet with positive reinforcement?  Have the conditions changed such that you are still picking up the gauntlet now without the reward you once had back then?

Good question ... .have you been reduced to the pathetic point of trying to give her whatever she wants - whether it is a fight or whether it is compliance - in the vague hope that maybe, just maybe, she'll have sex with you?

Intermittent, diminishing reinforcement is a deadly weapon.
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2009, 05:55:34 AM »

Have you been trained to pickup the gauntlet with positive reinforcement?  Have the conditions changed such that you are still picking up the gauntlet now without the reward you once had back then?

Good question ... .have you been reduced to the pathetic point of trying to give her whatever she wants - whether it is a fight or whether it is compliance - in the vague hope that maybe, just maybe, she'll have sex with you?

Intermittent, diminishing reinforcement is a deadly weapon.

When I was in the middle of it and didn't know what was going on with no time to think and just react.  Living life on "spin cycle."  The answer is a resounding YES for just a faintest glimmer of the smallest amount of approval, let alone sex... .I had to trigger abandonment fears on top of picking up the gauntlet for that.  Live and learn.

If someone told me this nugget of information back in the day, I likely would not have comprehended as I would have been too focused on satisfying her next request. Brainwashing at is finest.  The amazing thing is they do it almost instinctually.
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2017, 03:45:16 PM »

OH how I try to not pick up that gauntlet. Somehow he always manages to say/do that one thing that makes me pick up    However, two weeks and counting... .not one single rage. I've either validated or walked away each time he's picking a fight. Believe it or not that's pretty good considering we weren't going more than 3 days without a fight. But then again, I've detached some so things don't get to me the way they did.

I applaud you for that.  I've read a lot of topics and responses.  I am really trying to get to that point.  I'm still guilty of picking up the gauntlet and swinging like there is no tomorrow.  I'm struggling with learning whether to validate or walk away most of the time.  I can't find it in myself to validate absurd accusations about me cheating or if I walk away, he hunts me down and further escalates.  Anyways, something to strive for.
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2017, 03:58:48 PM »


Foreplay and make-up sex?
you get make up sex! never get that ever, it's just stopped!

Great post subject, I will visulize the gaunlet ever time, thx UFN.

Hibb
Make-up sex is positive reinforcement to participate in the exchange.  At the start of the relationship I was trained that I need not fear conflict as there was a great payoff afterwards.  Later on, the payoff was less frequent or not as intense.  This follows the intermittent reinforcement patten that just makes me unconsciously try harder and be on the lookout anytime her gauntlet falls, intentional or not.  I may even have thrown my own gauntlet down to try and get the payoff when she wasn't throwing hers down enough.

Other positive reinforcements that can drive me to pick up the gauntlet include... .

The adrenaline rush.

The sense of satisfaction to give as good as I got.

The sense of superiority when I feel I won the exchange.  "I am the champion! ... .What a sec of what am I the champion of?  Tricksy, she won after all when I chose to participate. Why am I competing in the first place?"

Have you been trained to pickup the gauntlet with positive reinforcement?  Have the conditions changed such that you are still picking up the gauntlet now without the reward you once had back then?

I recently had a session with my H.  I wanted to reward him for having such a good day and our exchanges all day were pleasant and normal.  I pulled out his old cut from his old bike club, took some sexy pictures, and sent them to him.  He came home, we had a great time.  Following day... he got mad about my hair straightener being plugged in and on.  When I didn't answer appropriately and apparently argued about how I won't burn the house down...   he's now accusing me of cheating with a biker in town for the bike rally because I took pictures with his old cut and was so hot for him.  Tell me how any of this makes sense.  He sure as hell wasn't complaining the night before.
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2018, 03:20:35 PM »

My wife is exceptionally good at using the gauntlet.  I have worked to defend against it, but for each attack I learn to defend against she comes up with a new crafty one.  She knows exactly how to get a reaction from me.  Usually it is when I am busy or my minds defenses are down, she will come at me with something she knows will get me irritated.  Often she does so in a sweet and pleasant way so that then I seem like the bad guy, and then she can further escalate by telling me she feels like she is always walking on eggshells... .go figure. 
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2018, 03:13:47 AM »

Best way to win in a toxic relationship is not to play!
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2018, 06:47:16 AM »

I reread this original post again.  Thank you.  It reminded me that I do have a choose.  My bph relapsed last night.  Been a few weeks since he had such a bad fallout.  Think stress overwhelmed him. 

I am sitting here the morning after with a question playing over and over in my head.  Was this a test?  Going so long without an episode and then he snaps.  Was it a genuine relapse moment or was there an underlying feeling of "let's keep her on her toes and see how she reacts". A lot he said was stuff he use to say.  He took some really hard emotional hits.  I think I handled it the best I could being blind sided.

Biggest thing I am keeping in my mind is that I feel good about where I am at and how far I have come.  I am not going to let his episode shake me from changing things.  I already know that he would use that against me.  So, stead fast we go.
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