You know Those Crappy Old Patterns of Communication With Your Ex? Yep, You're Still Doing it
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February 26, 2014

Ex spouses are wankers.

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Just sayin.

I don't really know what that word means. I learned it from my English ex, Lord Stanley Wankerton.

I think it means this.

 

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 And apparently we are never free of said wankers, ever, never.  They aren't free of us either, ever.  And to them, we are the wankers.  Poor misguided souls that they are. 

Bless their hearts. (Not really.)

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So, Al and his ex wanker are having all sorts of fun in their discussions re: selling the family home.  In their settlement, he agreed to pay her next mortgage in the event they sell the house before the last child's 18th birthday.  Yeah, I keep saying she got a great deal.  Well, no good deed goes unpunished, 

and so he has discovered that her moving is going to cost him more money.

 

So, he's trying to figure out what recourse he has and what his options are since a lot has changed since he signed that lousy deal, including 2 minor children who are no longer minors, there was no provision for that, plus some health issues we've previously discussed. 

But what is irking me, and believe me, I'm irked (Disclaimer: boobs still hurt, still hormonal as hell) is the manner in which they are discussing this.  It is all a game, with winners and losers and crap they discuss in the same way they communicated when they were married.  They fight an hour then decide to start again tomorrow, because she thinks if he is engaged then she can change his mind and he thinks that if she is engaged she will finally get worn out and stop.  So, one decision takes a whole week of this.

 

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And I'm thinking, from 915 miles away, all irritable like,  "When is this shit going to stop?"

Then, I answered my own question.

NEVER.

Because that is their pattern of communication.

That is how they know how to communicate together.  It has worked for them for nearly 25 years.  Not really, it has actually been damaging and toxic, but they are comfortable with it.

(Basically in psychotherapy, you help patients identify patterns that are counterproductive and keep them stuck, making the same mistakes over and over then help them break that pattern and find another way.  Just call me 'Pattern Girl' because after 20 years in this field, I can spot a pattern like the gnat that is floating in a glass of vino across the room in someone else's hand.)

Those two aren't ever going to stop.  Ever.  Never.

Stanley and I do it too.

 

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But I think our pattern is less annoying  (it certainly takes less time!) because it is mostly avoidant and then there are as few words as possible.  I process on my own, he processes on his own, we have a few bad sentences, usually over email, then resolve it.  Our communication pattern was the same in our marriage.  Avoidant, then resolve over email.

Well all do it, every last one of us.  I wanted Stanley's approval for 14 years,  I still seek it. Even when we are avoidantly fighting, I deep down want his approval.

vs.

Al who spent 20 years wanting her to shut up but she knows she gets what she wants eventually  if she doesn't shut up.

 

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I realized of course before I got divorced that when you have kids you are forever bound together.  I did think of that, I did.  I knew I had to deal with him forever.  We all do realize that, I think cognitively, but by the same token,

I guess I just didn't realize how long forever was going to be!

Because 2.5 years seems like forever to me with this already.

Having to accept someone else's dysfunctional (and I mean mine as well) patterns with their ex is hard!  It is one more nail in the coffin for second marriages and there is no wonder about  the dismal rate of success.  He may be mad that I talked about my irritation about this on the blog, not that he couldn't tell my reaction when he called me after his conversation with her.  But I see that his patterns with her and my patterns with Stanley all impact the patterns that Al and I are developing in our own relationship. 

 I don't want there to be a sign of a wank in that one.

This is a No Wanking Zone.

 

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