Recently I decided to get a lawyer to work out some financial stuff with my ex husband. The letter was drafted to advise him that he has not been holding up his legal obligations to me. It was also to address how he was going to assist in helping pay for our son’s upcoming college expenses. The letter laid out how much he owed, how much I was willing to waive, and what I was requesting in regards to college. It went on to say that we could easily keep things out of court and come to a mutual conclusion.
He responded by getting a lawyer.
That’s where I should have just left it, let the lawyers hash it out. I didn’t. Since I know him very well, I knew what he read and how he interpreted it. I reached out and tired to explain myself and why I did what I did and how it would, in the end, be mutually beneficial and fair for all of us. My efforts were to ease his pain and see things clearly. He did not respond.
I was telling my step dad about it. “What are you doing? You are taking on the anguish for both of you.”
That will be the last time I reach out to my ex on the matter, I said. When I thought about what he had said, I realized how right he was. I was doing what I’ve always done when it comes to him. I try to come in and explain, make him see the whole picture, try to justify myself, do what I can to make HIM feel better. That has rarely ever worked out in my favor.
I was justified in doing what I did. There is no doubt. Has he done things for the kids…certainly. There’s no argument there. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean he can just do what he thinks is fair, and not what is right.
The real question is why did I feel the need to explain myself? Why do I care how he feels? What does it matter to me if he wants to pay a lawyer to do what the lawyer I paid would have done for him? Why, after all this time, do I still feel like I have to explain myself to someone who has never bothered to try to understand me? Obviously it’s cause I still have self deprecating habits that need to be broken.
During my therapy appointment I talked about what I had done. He asked “If I had met you in the parking lot after seeing the lawyer, and asked you how you thought he would respond to the letter, what would you have said?” The answer, he would have cried victim. So…why are you surprised by his response? That’s a good question…and one I’ve been asking myself for years. Simply put, I always hold on to the hope these people in my life will suddenly become different. I am reminded time and time again…they are not, and will not be different.
About 1/2 way through our appointment he stopped me. “Do you have some kind of belief, that if you behave like the strong confident woman you know yourself to be, that no one will love you?” As much as this question felt like it came out of left field, it was as direct and to the point as one could get. The answer, yes.
I’m in a vulnerable place right now. Completely by my own doing. It’s time to get back to focusing on how good things are, how far I’ve come and how well I really am doing. That’s not been the case lately….I’ve been focusing way to much on what I don’t have and I feel like I’m being reminded over and over that there is less good than not. When I take a moment to clear the garbage out of my head, I can see so much good in my life.
Too much time has been spent lately in an attitude of lack. Time to turn that shit around.