Archive for December 14th, 2020

December 14, 2020

Themes regarding divorce #3

by Rod Smith

My ex has a really nice family. These are people I know well and have been very close for years. Two of these dear people are my children’s grandparents. My ex wants me to have nothing to do with any of these people anymore. What do I do about this?

You divorced your spouse, not her/his family. I am aware some would disagree but I do think it is possible for mature adults to maintain healthy relationships with family-by-marriage people. I will not pretend it will be easy or comfortable but it is possible.

While I’d suggest you do not go out of your way to humiliate an ex I’d suggest you not afford that person undue power. Give the divorce a little room to breathe – a few months perhaps – and then see how much interest remains in servicing relationships with members of your family-by-marriage. Those that continue to possess vitality will probably endure; others are likely to drop away. 

Grandparents? If they are of sound mind and generally regarded as good people I’d suggest you fully cooperate in fostering their relationships with your children and your relationship with them. 

Please, resist any urge to punish children or grandparents because things have not worked in a marriage.

December 14, 2020

Post-divorce themes #2 of 5

by Rod Smith

My ex seems to want to monitor my life and gets difficult and moody if I don’t cooperate.

When there have been control issues in the marriage they won’t cease because the marriage has.

Controllers are controlling, married or not. 

The glorious thing about marriage is that your lives connect very powerfully. Children,  mortgages,  cars, vacations, savings accounts, inheritances, mutual friends, businesses (successes and failures) become the glue that binds it all together.  Marriage is a theme park for the controller, especially if it’s faith or religion endorsed. Of course he or she is going to resist your efforts to escape even after the decree is issued. 

Unhitching all that requires skills taught nowhere. 

Unhitching all that – which is what divorce means – is as war and is as painful as can be even if it’s desired and necessary. 

But, alas. These things are mutually developed. Blaming the controlling party only goes so far. 

He or she was permitted such ploys by the partner – with or without awareness. 

You entered it together. You have to escape (unhitch)  alone. 

Divorce is legal. He or she has no authority to reign in the dissolved, non-existent relationship. 

The only legal connection will be determined by what the courts declare regarding the parenting of minor children. 

Stay out of control. Speak up. Resist. Refuse. Access your backbone, voice, and courage. If you accommodate controlling behavior it will grow. If you refuse to water it, it will react and fight but it will die and both parties will be better off. 

No one benefits from arm-wrestle living, not the stronger or the apparently weaker.