Monday, August 27, 2012

If it takes two to tango ...

... then it only takes one narcissist and/or personality disordered person to push you down to the floor so they can then dance all over your face wearing heels or steel-toed boots depending on their gender.

Photo Credit: lemonadedivorce.com

What am I talking about? The tired old divorce advice for achieving an amicable divorce:

It takes two people to create and maintain a cycle of conflict and only one person to end it.  

For the past 6 or more months I've tried very hard to put this theory to the test with the STBX (or Douche Canoe, rather).  I've spent time focusing on the future for our son, working to let go of our hostile past, and in doing so we were finally able to negotiate our now court-ordered parenting plan and visitation schedule.  In addition to that, I've offered the STBX additional time with our son, not in the court-ordered minimum schedule, and I've regularly sent him pictures, videos and updates on a weekly basis.

In return, I've had him make threats to petition the court to enforce a provision prohibiting my co-habitation with any member of the opposite sex that I'm not married to (he gave up on that, thankfully), I've been insulted, my boyfriend has been insulted, child support has been threatened to be withheld on two occasions and both times he only paid it after I've e-mailed and/or texted inquiring about it much to his displeasure (he retorts that I'm harassing him, of course) and, in addition to all of that, more recently I've had him threaten to file for a contested divorce less than a week after agreeing to move forward with a property settlement agreement and just one day after paying my attorney $750 to draft it for us.

Clearly, I'm not getting back what I'm giving and the conflict isn't ending any time soon.

Lesson:  It takes two people to create and maintain a cycle of conflict and only one person to end it if and only if both of said people are sane and reasonable. 

A narcissistc, borderline and/or sociopathic person will never cease and desist. It doesn't matter how amicable and reasonable you try to be. It just doesn't.  These types of people will continually make unreasonable demands and they will fight you tooth and nail to get revenge no matter how nice and cooperative you try and be with them.

Sadly, I fear the STBX will never be able to move on and the "get back" at me attitude will go on forever and a day. What is appalling is that he and I both know the truth as to what led to the dissolution of our marriage and, although I made plenty of my own mistakes throughout our relationship, I am not the spouse that deserves to be sought after for revenge. He knows it and I know it. Our marriage counselor that we went to for four months knows it. His own parents know it and mine most certainly know it. If anything, I deserve to be let go in peace once and for all and our son deserves two parents who can both move on and be, not only amicable, but respectful and cooperative to serve his bests interests.

I've never been more glad to have court orders in place that protect my son and I from having to be subjected to his hostility any more than necessary.  During the last year or so, that was the best decision that I ever could of made.

If you are divorcing someone like my STBX, don't get your hopes up that it will end in an amicable settlement or that you might ever be able to be friends one day.  If you are divorcing someone with a personality disorder, or someone that is just a plain old douche canoe for that matter, neither will ever happen.  Douche canoe's thrive on conflict as a way to keep you immersed in it so that they can have power over you.  The best piece of advice I can give you is this:

Disengage and protect yourself and your children. Get detailed court orders immediately as a preventative tactic. Especially if there are children involved.

I used to think that I was the source of conflict because whenever it came to me and the STBX, there was always conflict.  Always.  Through the past year and a half, since long before I left him even, I've learned that he is the source of conflict no matter how I behave.  Knowing that gives me back any power he may think he has over me with his behaviors and it makes my life a hell of a lot easier.

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