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Old 12-07-2013, 12:12 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,220

Thank you for coloring in the picture a bit more. Again, I'm sorry you are dealing with all this.

You explain your opinions... and just mention that you have different opinions. How does BF want to handle it? Why does that method not serve you well?

You are not unreasonable to want civil behavior. It is not selfish, mean spirited, or petty to want gatherings to be peaceful and not minefields.

But all of you (even you) seem unwilling to deal with her behavior direct and the result is that she leaks all over the place with her UGH. Being compassionate is not being a doormat. Being compassionate is being kind, but firm and seeking to heal the hurts. If she continues to leak all over the place, this is keeping it in the stuck. Not moving it forward to ALL of you can heal your post divorce hurts -- her included. I do not see how allowing her to use everyone else as a punching bag helps ALL of you heal from divorce hurts.

Your bottom line seems to be these...

1) If my bf was able to tell his ex that while he does care about her and wants to maintain a friendship, that he can't let her choice to not be around me affect his choice to bring me around his family. That if she is not ready then maybe she needs to take some time for herself and come around when she is, that she will always be welcome.
In other words, set a limit for tolerance with her conduct and maintain a boundary by holding her accountable when she crosses the line.

What blocks his "ABLE" here? That you and he don't agree where the line IS? Have you talked about the behaviors and where the line you draw together lies then?

Is he doing his method of handling it? For how long will the method be employed before you agree it did not work? Was that limit set?

Have you asked him to please consider doing your method next? Have you asked him if if he would be ok if YOU do this if he has not by X date? Have you asked him if he would be ok if you ask someone else to please do this (ex: his parents?)

Because YOU are at limit and can't "let it ride" for longer? Could keep negotiating here so your needs are met.

2) OR If his ex could make the choice on her own to stop putting him and his family in the middle, in order to deal with her own issues on her own.
Does she know this is wanted? Who would you prefer tell her this/do this boundary setting?

3) Or by realizing that her unwillingness to be around me is causing problems for everyone involved, and make the choice to attend family events that I am at and work through things.
Pick one --

You seem to want to go. So... I think you could decide to attend gatherings you want to attend and let her deal with herself.

If she happens to say something mean to you, you could say something like
"You seem hurt. I am sorry. Is there something I am doing in my behavior I could change to help you be less hurt? When you do/say _____? That is hurtful to me. Could you please be willing to refrain from doing/saying ____ to me at this family gathering we are at right now so the gathering can be peaceful? I am willing to set a separate date and time to work things out with you if my behaviors are causing you hardship."
And let everyone stare if they need to stare -- but at least it's moving it forward and expecting her to own her conduct.

Everyone here seems to be too... meek and mild. You don't have to be a total beast to the woman, but neither does everyone have to be so...passive! Like avoiding having to do the work of conflict resolution because they secretly hope it just goes away on its own or because they are not confident in their conflict resolution skills. Maybe both?

What blocks you from saying to her something like

"Look, we don't have to be best friends or anything. But for the sake of peace and healing for all, could you be willing to work things out with me at a separate time and stop doing _____ behavior at family gatherings so the gatherings could be less awkward?"
Or some variant of that?

I feel like if either of these things could happen it would make it much easier for me to be loving and supportive of my bf
Ok. That is the goal. One of those things happening.

So how do you see yourself getting through this and arranging your own behavior to match the goal? And helping out so that one of those three things comes to pass?

Do you see yourself taking the initiative here or would you prefer someone else to? Once you decide that, you could think about how to organize your efforts at this time.
  • If taking leadership yourself -- what you want to say.
  • If asking someone else to intervene -- what you want to say.

This situation sounds very skewed.

Baby steps... but go knowing that if you ask someone else to intervene and they don't by X time? Plan B may very well be YOU stepping up to the plate if you want to see some changes and talking to her yourself. Plan C could be you stop seeing your BF til this hooha is resolved. Not break up, but stop seeing him. You don't have to stand in crossfire. It is not healthy for you. Please take care of you first.

I mean this kindly, ok?

You don't have to be selfish -- meet ALL your own needs and screw everyone else. But you also don't have to be selfless -- meet ALL everyone else's needs and screw yourself.

You could be self full -- and seek to meet most of own needs as well as most of the needs of others in a balanced way. See if that serves better.

Hang in there!

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-07-2013 at 12:49 AM.
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