Wow! So frequently in my classes and coaching I meet people who are no longer together who still want to punish each other.
My question: What’s up with that? You’re done. Get over it. Move on. Create a new life. Why are you so involved with the past that you want to build a condo and live there, all the time complaining about the place and trying to tear it down?
Does this sound at all famiiar to you?
Certainly, if two people have children together, they have to be in one another’s life to a certain extent. But, doing things to punish each other is just a colossal waste of time, energy and money, in my opinion. Yes, fight for the well-being of your children, their health and their education, if fighting is what it takes. But, that’s not what I’m talking about.
People come to me for relationship help. Recently, I had an about-to-be-divorced couple in my High-Conflict Co-Parenting class. No matter what one said, the other contradicted–even when it didn’t matter at all. At one point, one of them read a text from the other that included some derogatory name-calling. Immediately, the other took out his iPhone and produced his response to her which was equally derogatory. I asked them why they did this. In the end, it got down to his admission: “It’s fun. It’s a place to take out my frustration.” I suggested he take up racquet ball for that purpose!
But, really, why do divorced people often seem intent on making their former spouses or partners the object of their venom. Is it habit? Probably partly so. They often had a messy ending and blaming each other continuously keeps the relationship going. Do they realize that? All this venom-spilling is really just keeping the relationship going. Now, I’m confused: You get a divorce to be done with the person and then you want to keep the relationship going? Hmmmm. Are you really done?
Or, are you stuck in a childish phase? Like “He hit me back first!” Not ready to move on until you’ve had the last word? Well, that last word may never come, or it could come in the form of a restraining order. How would you like the process server driving up to your place of work to tell you to leave your former partner alone? It makes a lasting impression on everyone who witnesses it, and you asked for it!
If you are the ex who keeps engaging in a negative way with your former partner, stop before the restraining order. You are not only punishing your partner, you’re punishing yourself. And, you can stop!
If you are the ex who can’t seem to stay free and clear of a former partner, shore up your boundaries and communication skills to respond maturely. If that doesn’t help, you know who to call!
If you need help to let go or to be let go of, let’s talk soon. We can get together in person in Escondido, CA, or from anywhere in the world through Zoom video. Talk to me about a free consultation.