On the Precarious Front

By Reflector “There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.” ~ Jane Austen On the “precarious” front this week, my daughter’s mother (MDM) called. She wanted to talk, yet she let on as if she hadn’t been served the divorce papers. It was only later that my lawyer informed me she had received them. I therefore had no clue where the conversation was going. I was puzzled by her unusually receptive tone and her considerate, yet pointed questions. In brief MDM wanted to know if I would reconsider the whole divorce decision and seek counselling with her… etc, etc. *sigh* My encounters with MDM require close scrutiny of my motivations. I don’t know which is louder – the external critical parent voice that comes from her, my own or both? As much as I analyze and re-analyze, it’s impossible to come to one hundred percent certainty about another person. As Austen says, “Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.” However, in spite of human limitations, discernment is necessary and one of the … Continue reading

Another Kind of Relational Loss

by Reflector “Most people tend to notice other people’s energy and actions before they notice their own. They become preoccupied with what others are doing or not doing, projecting their ideas about why they are that way. They carry on with criticism or comparisons, while their deeper feelings go unattended.” – Doc Childr and Deborah Rozman Sometimes I think I’m attending deeper feelings when I’m really focused upon my reactions to others. It’s easy for me to confuse the two things. Yesterday while I was filing for divorce, I was focused upon what my daughter’s mother might do once she receives the document. Filing a divorce is one of the most anticlimactic events I’ve ever experienced, like amputating an arm or a leg. In the beginning phase of my separation I rode on a wave of anger and indignation that provided fuel. I looked forward to the day when I could break with the past and just move on. However, ending a relationship looks easier from a distance even when the marriage is harmful. However, the final showdown doesn’t ring victory, since only you experience the scourge of a bad marriage and there’s no one to applaud your determination one … Continue reading

Coercive Ploys in Divorce

by Reflector This week I’ve been reading an article entitled, “The Role of Coercion” by Barbara J. Lonsdorf. Lonsdorf writes that the same coercive dynamics that played themselves out in a dysfunctional marriage often repeat themselves in the procedures of separation, divorce and post-divorce. She says, “Just as coercive ploys can take physical, emotional or monetary forms in marriage, so ploys can take physical, emotional or monetary forms in negotiations depending on the supply and demand of resources of divorcing parties.” Lonsdorf poses the following key questions: “What was the prior use of coercion in the marital relationship? What is the current social/emotional involvement with his divorcing spouse? Honestly answering these help more vulnerable spouses to understand the depth of their susceptibility to being coerced. The more I have been investigating, the more aware I have become that I cannot rely upon my lawyer to come up with the divorce plan and the strategies that go with it. Only I can defend my interests. I’ve been apprehensive about my STBXS’ reaction when she will be served the divorce papers. Left up to her she will continue to postpone her job hunt as a way of getting me to continue carrying … Continue reading