Struggling to get past my anger
15 August 2020 at 10:01 am #42958
I’m brand new in here. Nearly divorced and live with my 13 and 15 year olds most of the time. Their dad lives near and us around due to COVID whereas he used to be away for work most of the time. So we’re dealing with a new co-parenting dynamic. It’s been incredibly hard.
We split due to serial infidelity and pathological lying. Other than that, weird as it may sound, we get on ok so have continued to occasionally do things as a family of four plus dog, mostly because we were shielding our daughter so couldn’t see anyone else at all. It was just too lonely. We’re going on holiday together in a few days’ time but I’m experiencing a resurgence of anger regarding the way he treated me in our marriage (gas lighting, emotional manipulation). This seems to come in waves, like bereavement I know and understandable but so, so debilitating and I unhelpful.
I keep working on putting the things he did when we were married (separated 2.5 years now!) behind me to help the kids as well as myself. But it sometimes feels too hard.
Has anyone else managed this so that some continuation of family with your ex was possible? I don’t have a new partner (dating during a pandemic … not easy!!) and his partners are all secret so no one else is visible or bothered about us doing things together if you see what I mean. I do wonder if I’m asking too much of myself, or if I keep working hard it’ll be resolved and a new, different chapter can begin but without us needing to avoid each other at all costs.
Thanks and wish you all well
Ali15 August 2020 at 10:56 am #42959
for me it all comes down to the thought, I can’t change her, I can only change the way, how I react and where my barriers are. Since I started to only look at things from the way what it does to me, how I want things to be and what I can contribute to it without being the “co-alcoholic”, means the person to make her behaviour work, I can live pretty well with what ever happens. If it crosses a border, her behaviour, I cut it. I don’t argue with her any more. I can’t change the past, only acknolege what happened and my mistakes I made. I try not to make them again and find the patterns in my own behaviour. So as a family, we can manage to do things together and with two boys still being at home, there will always be occations when you want to do things together, as family. A family holiday would be a step to far for us at this moment but I would not deem it impossible. So after four years of separation and co-parenting I would say anger isn’t a controling factor any more, on my side. It looks much different on hers but that is her problem to deal with. The boys get on with how things are and they enjoy what they have now. In some way. their mother walked out with a new partner and now she is left behind because she is still trying to justify what she did by taking it out on me. But that does more harm to herself than it does to any of us. I imagine. once she has come to terms with herself, things could be pretty normal. And the more often she has to change partners and the more often she is left behind, the more rediculous her accusations of it being everyone elses fault must ring in her own ears. But anyway, it doesn’t matter much. I rule the roost in my life and I set my borders. And that works well for all of us as family so far, so I would say it works for us.15 August 2020 at 2:51 pm #42961
Thank you for your reply, sirtobi. Also working on asserting myself and defining new boundaries. Guess I need more time.16 August 2020 at 9:52 am #42972
yes time surely helps. But still after four years there are many things less than perfect. I envy your self esteam going on holiday with your ex. I find myself in the middle of a real conundrum in the moment as our youngest one is getting really resentful against his mother, constantly complaining she is objectifying him and using him to get her steam out. I am trying to calm him down and find a way to reconnect him with her but have to admit, she has to change if she really wants to be part of his live. So the question I am facing is, where is the point I have to admit, yes , I know how you are feeling, your brother and I have been there too and she can be horrible in her way. I try to focus him on her better sides and then he asked me to tell him all her good sides and what is great with her. That was a really nice experience. We could settle on two or three points but he still doesn’t want to see her at the moment. So I have to work harder as he is due to be picked up for four days on Sunday. So here I go, defending the most reckless person I ever met in my life. The ironie is not lost on me. Have a good time on your holiday and enjoy the family time with your kids. There will be weddings and grandchildren and if the holidays work, imagine how easy things could be. Good luck.16 August 2020 at 7:29 pm #42985
You’ve described the feelings perfectly, as someone who has been married to a serial cheat/compulsive liar.
You could be getting on with things and something hits you like an tidal wave and you feel stress or anger, as you said.
My way of dealing with these emotions is to try and bring myself in the present moment like so:
It’s (today’s date)
It’s now (current time)
I am in (current location)
I can see (count ten things you can see)
By this time you should start to feel calmer 😀 hope this helps