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Feeling Controlled- how to break free
August 11, 2008
10:50 pm
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moving0n
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Hi All. It has been a long time since I've posted here. I'm in a bad spot right now and I'm desperate to find a way out of it. I am trying to negotiate an equitable parenting schedule with my ex- who is still extremely angry, vindictive, and (from my perspective) controlling. I presented him with a very equitable schedule for parenting, but his need to continue to punish me for leaving him prevents him from being reasonable.

In the beginning he agreed to try the new schedule, but it has been 2 weeks and he has done nothing but complain about it. He made plans with the kids and his family on the first weekend I've had them in 2 years, and then totally freaked out whenI said "no"- which I don't say often enough... I thought it would blow over, but I'm trying to plan for the childrens' activities and my own classes for the fall but am met with constant complaining and confusion. I feel totally stuck.

I'm torn between trying to make concessions to him- to try and make peace, doing what I predict will be the least disruptive (aka giving in), and telling him to bugger off. None of which are very healthy options. I know that it's my mindset that's making me feel really stuck and controlled, but I have yet to figure out a means to get past that dysfunctional thinking. I'm just so frustrated.

August 12, 2008
1:52 pm
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StronginHim77
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The only way to deal with controlling, manipulative people in our lives is to take a strong stand, tell them "No" and stick to our guns. Once they see us back down, we are "toast."

However, be prepared for the customary "rage" whenever they are thwarted or don't get their demands meant. This is all about power and control. Your ex is trying to retain power and control over your life (and make you delightfully miserable in the process) with all these games.

Tell him "No." Make a schedule, then stick to it. END OF STORY. If he continues to give you alot of grief, call in the lawyer and let the lawyer re-teach him the rules.

Stand strong. You are free of him. Now STAY free.

- Ma Strong

August 13, 2008
11:09 am
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moving0n
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Wow! Thank you. That was insanely eye opening. I realize that I am still trying very hard to please him. I'm doing it for the right reasons- to try and keep peace for the kids' sakes, but it's self-defeating because he doesn't want peace!

Something in what you said really prompted a lightbulb moment for me. Thank You!

August 13, 2008
12:21 pm
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StronginHim77
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You hit the nail on the head. He doesn't want peace. He could care less about the peace of your children. He simply wants back his power over you. Period.

Don't let him have it. I am glad that you can see through him, now. He has an agenda. Don't let him succeed. Use your lawyer, if necessary.

- Ma Strong

August 14, 2008
12:59 am
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moving0n
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All I can say is Thank You!

August 14, 2008
7:20 am
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_anonymous
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The only thing that would make sense is to legally make an agreement then stick to it.

August 15, 2008
12:58 pm
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moving0n
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Agreed. However, in our settlement we did agree to try and work the schedule out on our own before heading to the lawyers or court. He can negotiate when he's not having a tantrum. I haven't had a counter-offer from him yet. Only acting out. He claims to be working on something. At least then there will be an opportunity to negotiate. Via E-mail only.

The real issue isn't about the schedule. It's about power, control, anger, and aggression. Isn't that true of so many of these situations? *sigh*

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