Friday, March 9, 2012

Calling a tree a tree is not abusive.

I've been accused of being "verbally abusive" towards the STBX in recent e-mail correspondence with him and rather than just ignore that accusation completely, I've been thinking long and hard about if maybe I am or not. I'm not one to miss an opportunity to try and improve myself and, unlike the STBX, when someone criticizes me I tend to try and look at it as constructively as possible to see if there might be some truth in there that I can apply somehow to personal growth, development and change for the better.

So, after much deliberation, I'm thinking that calling the STBX a douche canoe when he is, in fact, being a douche canoe (on my blog, in e-mails with him, etc., but NEVER in front of our child, please note) is no different than calling a tree a tree. Or a door a door. Or a turd a turd. (Ok, you get it. I'll stop).

It is certainly NOT a form of verbal "abuse".

Calling the STBX out when he is being a douche canoe (asshole, jerk, ignoramous etc.,) by writing in an e-mail to him things similar to, "Your utter inability to cooperate and/or compromise and/or provide information so that this issue may be resolved as quickly and inexpensively as possible just proves, once again, that you are a selfish asshole", is not any form of abuse. At.All.

Nope, sorry. Not going to fly!

Instead, rather, it's called, telling it like it is. Stating the truth. Pointing out what's what. Reiterating the obvious.

Since he is a total stranger to anything that resembles truth, I guess I can sort of see why he is so confused.

It is not as if I am using such language without being provoked or for no good reason at all. No; it's after months and months of dealing with nothing but douchery dished out from him on a regular basis.

I believe that when all else fails when dealing with fuckery dished out from another person, one should continue to tell the truth no matter what. It keeps you grounded.

It gives you something to hang onto so you don't get sucked into the bottomless sewer of doeche that the douche canoe floats in.

So, when I've tried (picture banging your head against a wall for 5 long months) mediating through our attorneys, compromising, getting other people involved, doing most of the legwork for selling our house and managing anything to do with our divorce, providing every single bit of information and documentation I have that he asks for ... and he still can't compromise and/or cooperate to resolve a single issue without making me feel like dismantling a skyscraper with my bare hands might be easier  ... yeah, saying "You are, in fact, a douche canoe" is nothing but expected.

As professional life coach, Heidi Costas, writes on her website:

"[c]alling a jerk a jerk is as judgmental and negative as calling a tree a tree. 
It's not good or bad, it just IS"

My advice to him is this: stop being a douche canoe and I'll have no reason to state that you are one.

I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.  As he recently told me in an e-mail regarding my desire for him to please put his hatred for me aside so that we can effectively co-parent our young son for the next 18+ years, doing so would be a "waste of his time". And yes, that is a direct quote.

Douche Canoe. 

Editorial Note: This blog and the content therein is my OPINION unless cited otherwise. Just sayin'. The term "douche canoe" is no more fact based than calling someone any other opinionated insult. Thanks! Happy Blogging!!


  1. Well written! I am a big fan of telling it like it is! It's not like you write his name on how can that be abusive!! and anyone that says trying to be civil and co parent for the benefit of their son is a waste of time then they deserve to called a douch canoe!!

  2. He is a douchecanoe! And a whole lot of other things that are not-so-polite...but really, I totally agree that you are not being verbally abusive. You're not trying to manipulate him in any way, you're simply stating a fact. He is a horrible father, he was a horrible husband, and now he's doing his damnedest to make you suffer for leaving. You know what kind of person acts like that? A douchecanoe. And it's not abusive to state that fact.

    1. The saddest part? He has the potential to be a very good father. Just like he had the potential to be a very good husband. Unfortunately, his head is too far up his own butt to see what he threw away and what he has the potential to lose even further if he doesn't straighten up.

  3. Really? So, is it putting aside his hatred toward you that is a "waste of his time" or doing so in an effort to positively co-parent your child together a "waste of his time"? I guess I can see a couple of different avenues to his reaction, albeit none of them particularly lovely in regards to his character.

    While I do agree that a jerk is a jerk, I think that name calling on the whole is unproductive, if nothing else. Name calling on a consistent basis can ultimately be verbal abuse. I don't see it as such based on the example that you gave, but I would suggest being careful and attempting to mute the desire to call your STBX names, even when they are warranted. The reason? He will ultimately find a way, come hell or high water, to turn the situation/conversation around and use it to bite you in the ass. He may try to use it in custody hearings claiming that you speak to your son in the same manner, or a host of other things. In addition, when you call him a name like "douche canoe" in an email or to his face, you are giving him what he wants. He is behaving poorly in order to get a reaction from you. So, every time you through in an "asshole", "jerk", "douche canoe", etc. at him, he sees it as WINNING. He WON. He got you to lose your cool. He got confirmation that his behavior is getting under your skin. And with each success, his behavior will continue and grow. So, as difficult as it is, my suggestion would be to not give him the satisfaction of feeling an ounce of success. That means - no reaction. No name calling. No heightened emotions with him...give him NOTHING. I'm not saying it's easy, because it's not. It's extremely difficult, especially in the midst of all of his chaos and poor behavior. But, if you really want to win the war and set the tone for the next 18+ years of co-parenting with Mr. Douche Canoe, than you have to stop the name calling to his face (call him every name under the book in private, in your blog, or the like). But, to his face...only calm, cool, and collected. And that includes zero name calling.

    1. Name calling IS unproductive overall. I agree!

      And I have a plan now for handling e-mails that I cant divulge here in too much detail. Suffice it to say, I won't be the ONLY person crafting them anymore. Because, through the 5 months that have gone by so far, if is now clearly documented that a large part of what he is doing is PURELY to get me enraged and get a reaction out of me. So, new plan of attack. :)

  4. Phenom -

    I'm sorry to see/hear that you're going through such a tough time with STBX. I have to hand it to you - you aren't afraid to speak your mind and hold your ground! Thats awesome!

    I was such a peacemaker and wanted to avoid conflict at all costs that I kept my mouth shut and held it all in. Now looking back on it, I WISH I had the courage to tell him how I really felt.

    That said, I want to piggy-back off Katie...just remember that what we put on the internet stays on the internet. I'd hate to see your words used against you in the future.

    Loving the vibe over here though!

    1. Thank your for reading and interacting! Please keep coming back, sharing your thoughts and don't forget to sign up to get my newest posts sent right to your inbox!



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