I am currently supporting an abused friend
who is in divorce process too. I frequently check the speak out loud stages to make sure MY role as her friend are in the right bucket.
So I totally get it, and I totally know. You want someone to give you calmness. Not more people to give you more wackiness. ASK for this from your people. I ask my friend to tell me to piss off if I cross a line, but I also ask to tell me where she is at today and what support shape she needs from me.
SAY to your people what you need:
I need you to stop using the world “should.” I will make the final decision for MY life. I need helping seeing my options, not making my decision. Use the word “could” with me. “I could do this. I could to that.” Then I can see my choices and I will decide. Thanks.
I need to be normal OUT for a change – air me out! Take me to cheap coffee. Lunch. A movie. Bookstore. I do not care.
I need normal BUSY for a change – give me a boring normal job. Wash dishes. Mow lawn. Whatever.
I need normal STAYING IN for a change – play a board game with me. Let's watch TV. Do a puzzle. Paint kiddie crafts.
I am tired. But I do not know ____. I need you to let me nap while you Google things up for me to read.
I am at Stage ___ at speak out loud. I need you to read that stage article, and play inside that bucket for friends and family support people,. You are leaking on me. I need you to stop. Do not ADD to my plate. Take AWAY burden.
Making it hard to leave is a tactic. I tell her this. She's taken the speak out loud to highlighter. TWICE. I suggest every time he does a THING to go look up what section and what bullet. Note it in her divorce diary of evidence for why she wants to leave the marriage. Highlighter it all again as many times as you need!
In fact, highlighter and write out this sheet too.
- My partner does/does not give or demonstrate acceptance to me. Partner's actions:
- My partner does/does not give or demonstrate affection to me. Partner's actions:
- My partner does/does not give or demonstrate appreciation to me. Partner's actions:
And so on down ALL those words.
And this one. Your feelings.
Are your needs mostly met? Or mostly NOT met? Then if shenanigans happens you can go reread your OWN words/advice/realities.
I tell my abused friend -- " You might love him. Does he love back? Not in words. Talk is cheap. Does he love back in ACTIONS and BEHAVIOR. Or is it all about him? Honeybunch sweetie pie false words to get him what HE wants? "
That also helps her NOT get sucked back in. She ignores his words (hard, I know) and lists his ACTIONS.
Watch for tactic hopping bullshit
. Develop that skill -- freshen up your bullshit meter if it has gotten dull. Check the Speak Out Loud list. Did he change gears from one thing to another? Watch separation abuse and using the child against you closely since you are at the divorce place.
So go out and take soundings.
The more you talk the better – for yourself to unload. Also for feedback. If people are having a cow left and right -- even if they are all reactive and annoying because of HOW they deliver their feedback? Listen to the words, not the delivery style. It's telling you something. That his behavior is NOT normal. You are CORRECT in wanting a divorce from wacky.
Since you HAVE started divorce process, you sound like you are at least at Stage 4. So read stage 3
, stage 4,
and stage 5
just to be on guard for what may/may not happen at this place. Especially for what you might feel and how to do emotional management.
Guard against minimizing damage done
to make it easier to bear inside your head and heart -- the mental bruises you've been given. Speak it. Out Loud. On paper. For you divorce needs. You have a kid to protect. You have YOU to protect.
It's ok to love him. But remember you own words:
One of the big things I have learned is that Unconditional Love does not equal Unconditionally Staying With. In some situations it is healthier to love from a distance.
For you to thrive? A one-sided relationship cannot take the place of a two sided relationship where you are shown love and loving behavior BACK.
Hang in there. Remember you have worth, dignity, and value.
Even during divorce time from a manipulative ex.
You are being brave, and strong for you and your kid. Kudos to you! But be watchful of more shenanigans from him. He's a known shenanigan-er!
There is a real grown up REASON you decided to leave -- and that is YOU making the choices. YOU are in charge. You are a grown up person who can make her own decisions.
You run the SkylerSquirrel Show over there. YOUR life. You can do it!