Terrible Communication With The Ex: Do you ever wonder, Is It ME?

Posted by Delaine - August 3, 2010 - Dealing with the ex, Legal Matters, Surviving - 4 Comments

frustration-divorce-womanHave you ever a conversation with your ex where his position on issues seemed so blatantly wrong, his perception so skewed, that you sat there wondering, “Am I really off so off the mark on this?  Truly, am I too stupid to get it?   Is it ME?

Cause I have; or rather I am

I think that overall I’m a very communicative and empathetic person.  So as I continue ploughing through my divorce, I’m constantly trying to see and feel things from my ex husband’s perspective.  I ignore his condescending remarks.  I try and forgive him for biting comments that are off topic.  I try to speak kindly, sensibly, about the issue at hand. ..

But it’s like I’m talking to a wall; nothing’s getting in.  And I sit there wracking my brain:  Am I not saying this clearly enough?  Does his perspective overrule my own?  Then, in exasperation:  How did we stay married for seven years when we can’t communicate AT ALL?

Oh, I know I’m being vague here…but legally, I can’t share the details of my situation.  Nor do I want to in fear that I’ll sound like my goal is to trash my ex – cause it isn’t.

I’m just frustrated.  And rather sad.  Cause I put so much effort into understanding him, his perspective, his circumstances…whereas it seems he doesn’t even try to do the same. I feel his anger.  I hear his resentment.  And it kills me that I can’t figure out to how to build a bridge between us.  We’re both decent, smart people, after all – why can’t we communicate like adults?

Do you feel like this when you try to communicate with your ex?  How do you handle it?  My ex and I can’t resolve issues through our own discussions.  Mediation sessions, though a fantastic option for many people, go nowhere for us.  The only recourse is legal action.  And I have trouble accepting the fact I have to pour tens of thousands of dollars into getting decisions made that will leave us both unhappy in some ways AND create more tension between us.  It all just seems like such a waste…

And so I wonder, ”Is it me?”  Do I give myself more credit than I deserve?  Am I a lot less empathetic and more selfish than I realize?  A downward spiral of self-attacking thoughts gather impetus; I’ve always been good at self-deprecation….

But friends and family prop me back up on my feet.   They say that if I don’t properly deal with our serious issues now, I’ll be doing so for the rest of my life.  And you know what I think of their support and kind words?  Though I love and appreciate them for it, I also wonder, what if they’re wrong?  What if they’re perception of my perception on things is wrong or one-sided?  (Chuckling) It appears I have enough self-doubt to go around.

And so I must listen to my heart.  And it reminds me that as a full-time single mother of three carrying enormous responsibilities, I have to do what is best for my children and myself.  My position, my opinions and my feelings ARE real.  They DO have merit, they ARE very important and in need of resolution.  I’m not motivated but some ego-driven need to be ‘right’.   I don’t need to be declared The Winner.  I just want things to be fair.  I want us to treat each other with respect and maturity.  I want us to successfully co-parent as we move forward in our individual lives…

But right now, I fear that by even hoping for these things, I’m setting myself up for another fall.