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Post Info TOPIC: Being Neutral/Switzerland?


~*Service Worker*~

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Date:
Being Neutral/Switzerland?


My bf and his ex wife are in the middle of quite an argument right now.  She rents a home from him and has been there for about 3.5 years now.  He gives her a break on the rent (about $500 a month).  He does not pay child support.....long story, but let's just say he knew how to work the court system in his favor.  So, he sees his rent stipend as a form of child support as long as she continues to live there.  She hates it.  I know, back in September, that she was looking at apartments.  She doesn't like how he comes over and complains about how she's caring for the yard or that he has any say in how she lives, but I know she has choices and technically, she could move and get her own place.

Anyway, they both chose to be immature and childish about something related to the kid's soccer schedule.  She blames him for being a jerk and not informing her of something.  Then, he blames her for doing the same thing the following week and told me she's a 'vindictive B'.  She texted me and told me, "you're BF is an A**!!!"  So, they went back and forth and weren't very nice to each other but he called her crazy and then he told her he was going to raise her rent to market pricing.  She got angry and then he told her he wants her out in 30 days.  And, he wasn't very nice about it.  

I want to be neutral in this, but a part of me honestly thinks he's being abusive.  The name calling, the initial precipitating incident, etc were all started by him.  I feel for her because I know how I'd feel if I were her.  He's got the upper hand and he knows it.  He even told me that has leverage and she poked the sleeping bear and now she's going to pay.

Sigh......it's a side of him I'm not OK with.  I tried to press him to give her a chance and to cool off.  He hasn't yet.  Maybe he will?  If I just sit by and say nothing, am I condoning abuse?  For some reason, this is bugging me!



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Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be!


Senior Member

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Hi Andromeda, I can understand why it is bugging you. I saw this side with my exhusband whenever he was in contact with his exwife over his children. It wasn't a side of him I liked as I've always tried to remain pleasant with exes (but I don't have children so contact was always very limited) I tried to be a peace party for a while - trying to suggest what her perspective might have been. In the end I just listened to him and didn't say anything, or I'd try to change the conversation, or shut it down.

When we broke up, I got the same immature attitude thrown at me - and we had to live together for 18 months after we broke up because of a mutually owned house.

I hope you find a solution that works for you.


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"To change the world, start with one step. However small, first step is hardest of all" Dave Matthews Band



~*Service Worker*~

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Hi Andromeda Being neutral/ Switzerland is a difficult position to maintain I think if i could identify with her situation, I would simply , state what I thought without attempting to judge or force solution. It is offering him the voice of reason in a difficult situation.. Good Luck



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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One thing my BF and I do discuss and that is how we treat the X's .. now .. based upon what he's witnessed with mine he does understand when I snap .. and thanks to him there are multiple emails I have chosen not to send after having a heated discussion of me complaining and him just being pretty neutral about the whole thing. Usually that's just me and how I process.

There have been times where I have witnessed how he speaks to his XW and I have called him out because that will be a day when he speaks to me in that manner .. and I will not do what the X has done .. I take a different tact on it. For us that works because there is a mutual respect of we are willing to listen to the other and a BIG phrase that is thrown around a LOT is .. would you speak to your daughter OR me that way and just because she does .. doesn't mean it's right .. meaning let her show her crazy .. he doesn't need to respond and he doesn't need to go to her level .. it's worked out well for him.

I do respect the fact he's going to do what he's going to do .. one thing I DO know 100% is watch how your current treats the X because that could be you on the receiving end .. not going to lie .. one of the biggest reasons I don't want to get married .. if we split I probably wouldn't be nice about it and I have been honest about that fact. So he knows what he's getting .. I do think it's important in a rational reasonable way to hold each other accountable. You know your partner best .. I know I can say hey .. let's talk about this when you have cooled down and then we have a frank discussion about .. what just happened with that. There's no shame or guilt involved it's just hey .. what was what and FYI .. I'm not ok with it. Where were you at while that was going on?

He's also discovered he ha full control over when and if he's going to engage. He's dealing with a situation where he did talk to her directly about his oldest .. nothing bad just a going away party kind of thing. However that opened a "secret door" to I can contact you when I want and no that's not the case .. there are still hard boundaries in regards to that because past behavior has not changed in the least. She went and involved once again the minor grandchild who is my youngests age .. and no. So he didn't respond and feels badly about not responding to the grandkid however not sorry that he didn't respond to her. He will respond to the GC probably some time tonight. It's just an unfortunate situation that she continues to do what the dad asked her not to do. It's completely manipulative on her part.

It is a little worrisome that your sig other and regardless of the situation this is children's mother .. she's in contact .. maybe not the way you want her to be .. however my X hasn't seen the kids going on 3 years at this point. This woman right or wrong in anyone's mind is their mother and she is involved and to me that goes a LONG ways of saying .. she's trying .. this other stuff is just uncomfortable reading that they are name calling and so on. Oh the texting that kind of thing to me directly that's a huge boundary violation .. I don't do that kind of stuff.

For me this would at least be a conversation during a cool down time of I feel uncomfortable and this is how I feel when I hear vile things from you and now you are going to decide to make the mother of your children homeless for lack of a better term .. and I'm going to tell you that kind of rent she may not have the choices you do in regards to where to live. If I was paying 500$ and my rent to 1500$ in a month it would leave me financially devastated .. so yes .. some of this is extremely controlling and just not ok. If she wasn't paying him if there were games like that going on .. different story .. if this was his agreement then .. he needs to stop being an ass and let it go. What she is doing is none of his business. The name calling is a red flag for me.

Those are my thoughts based upon outside looking in with this information.



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"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



~*Service Worker*~

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I do all that I can to stay out of the fray of things that don't involve me. I instead focus on me and what my motives are and how (if at all) does this affect me. I try to be a good listener and then just offer support without judgement. The way I see it, there is a history that I am not a part of. When people want me to take their side, I'm not comfortable as I've got no history. My AH and his adult daughter have a troubled history, and I tried to be the peace-maker. It did not work and instead brought their past, drama and chaos into my home when my boys were small. It brought more tension that I was willing to accept so anytime they started their tit-for-tat crap, I made them go to the garage. Me and her husband sat with the children and hoped for the best - he wasn't comfortable with it either. They've never resolved their issues, but did learn to behave and act civil if they wanted to participate in the gathering.

As far as all the rest, I have learned in recovery that offering my insight, my opinions and my thoughts when I am not asked is usually not welcome. These scenarios like you describe are awesome ones for me to take to my sponsor. She works a good program and helps me figure out what is in me that is feeling as I am feeling. She also is good at helping me decide if I have pure motives for a discussion about my concerns or if it is my own fear or projection that's 'seeing' what may/may not be real.

The way I see it, he does have a right to raise the rent. She also has a right to go back to court and seek more child support if it's not fair. There are existing processes that can help them work this out and it sounds as if both need a time-out. I am a huge believer that it takes 2 to get along and 2 to not get along. I don't see any words you can offer that will make 2 people who divorced for a reason to suddenly grow up and act like adults.

Sending you positive thoughts my friend - if possible, I'd certainly detach from it all and give it up to HP.

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Thank you all for the insight. Well, my big issue is that he specifically asked me, "What do you think my response should be?" Umm, I told him he was being harsh and that there was no reason to retaliate against her and that she was angry and that they both needed to cool off. But, he wouldn't hear any of it.

As for the name calling, yeah....that bugs me because he's told me that he's not a name caller but he has called me names during arguments and also turned arguments around on me. If I ever express an emotion in response to his actions (making fun of me; knowing it was a sensitive subject; and continuing to find himself humorous, for example) and I tell him I am angry at his behavior, he immediately finds a way to blame me or turn it around on me. The last argument last weekend had him telling me I was too sensitive and calling me a wench. He got angry at me for saying that I felt he really didn't know me. He used that one statement to make me the bad guy and the whole conversation got out of control. It's obviously a communication between us that needs fixing.

Anyway, that is between 'us' and not the situation with his 'ex'.

A few months ago we were having trouble with his cat. The cat was peeing on everything around the house. So, my bf got mad and decided that his ex should have the cat (mind you they've been divorced for 5 years and the cat was never his ex's cat). He didn't even ask her. He told her he was bringing the cat over. He took the litter box, the litter, the food, and the cat to her house along with the children to drop them off. She couldn't tell him NO in front of the kids and start a fight so she let him drop the cat off. 2 days later she texts him while he was in NYC for work and tells him that the cat pissed on her sofa. His response to her was, "clean sofa, put cat outside." Her response was, "NO SH*T Sherlock, what do you think I did?" His response was, "aww, you love him anyway!" And, he sent me a copy of this exchange telling me that he thought he was soooooo funny for his response. Honestly, I was on her side on this one but didn't say anything except to tell him that he should have gotten her OK to do all this. I honestly think he caused the cat distress, caused the kids distress because they didn't like the way he handled things, and caused an issue with his ex as well.


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Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be!


Senior Member

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Hello Andromeda and MIP and those ESH before me. I just happened to observe my RAH method of dealing with the mail the other day. He brings it in, opens it, trashes ads in his name, saves his car magazines and puts the bills and anything else he doesn't want to deal with on the arm of my chair and throws coupon pages on the floor. So I picked up the bills because No way do I want him near the checkbook and I left the trash on the floor. It stayed there all day however he picked it up in the morning. Just was observing a small pattern. I sometimes just observe.

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HES



~*Service Worker*~

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I can relate. My bf has had issyes with his ex's. Sometimes I do forget there are two sides to every story and I can join in on his views of his ex. I think she has a drink problem her behaviour suggests it and so i can then have some compassion for her. I think I have helped him view her with more compassion but strong boundaries are needed. None of it is my business. It's vèry hard to say nothing and just listen. I'm still getting the hang of this too but I think it is the best possible spiritual solution.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks everyone. As Stan said above; I am observing and learning. I see the way my bf treats his ex and it concerns me. Mainly because I see patterns in how he is with me that arent to my liking either. I am watching, I am working my steps and talking to my sponsor, and im doing my best to stay on my side of the street.

But, lately, im feeling very out off by his attitude towards my feelings and various other things. Im beginning to rethink this relationship. And its thrown me into a tailspin mentally! Ugh

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Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be!


~*Service Worker*~

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Hugs,

Relationships are not simple because people are not perfect .. however if there is no growth then I gotta wonder what's going on and what is my emotional pay off regarding the situation. It's not a one sided deal. It's two people doing the best they can together, as well as individually. It's a safe space to grow and explore.

Being dismissive to someone else's emotional welfare (being able to express yourself is HUGE) is not ok, it's not one sided and one person is not always right. So I hope you are finding ways to value yourself and allow yourself to see clearly what you do and don't want. For me it's a deal breaker to have someone tell me I can't tell them how I feel or dismiss me in that way.

Not sure I'm making sense .. just saying .. part of a healthy dynamic is being able to have a partner who is receptive to that, and you will know when you know if that's a right fit for you. I'm in a receptive mood and made some bigger commitments with my sig other and decided I need to be all in. No marriage .. lol .. however making a bigger commitment is a fair deal because that was my part of standing on the fringes. I am kind of done always being afraid and defensive.

It sounds like you are in a good place for looking logically at what's going on and do pay attention to how he's treating his ex .. it is a direct reflection of his maturity level and I'm coming from the standpoint of being the one who is not always nice to my X .. and he certainly pushes whatever buttons he can find on me.

Hugs S :)

__________________

"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



~*Service Worker*~

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I have jokingly said in my family of guys that they have reverse order maturity. Most of the time, my youngest son acts the most mature. Next is my first born, and finally is my AH....While I joke about it, it's more true than not. I grew up in a family full of sarcasm and twisted humor used often as put-downs. Add to that the black/white, good/bad thinking caused by this disease, and I've always seem two choices when things get tough - fight or flight.

Al-Anon gave me more choices and tools to determine what my truth is and what my needs are. I love the plan you're working with/one - sponsor, steps, program, etc. We all have a 'gut feeling or sense' and I believe it exists for a reason. My challenge is often I still want to look outside myself for the cause/answers instead of within. Al-Anon gives us a safe place to process and I'm sending you tons of positive thoughts and prayers.

Keep working it girl - one day at a time is how we roll! (((Hugs)))

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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I think there are two issues here -- his behavior, how he has treated his ex, his actions, etc. -- and then, the bigger picture, the relationship itself, as a whole. I will only speak to the former. Personally, I think anyone can convince themselves of almost anything -- especially in the context of what we face, feel, see, hear, etc. I feel this is even more the case when dealing with family.

In this case, andromeda, and this is just me -- this is supposed to bother you. Me, personally, I would think it is abnormal if it didn't. Anyone can say it's none of your business, but in my opinion it is. Your bf, your partner, the person you live with, is being abusive, and has in the past, and whether his actions/behavior impact you or not, I feel you are allowed to be bothered by all of this.

The question is what do you say? What is your subject matter? I go back to program -- keep it in the "I" only. Talk about you, how you feel, triggers for you, what those triggers result in (anxiety, concern, insecurity, and so on). While not the case here, while much of this is foreign to me, one thing I do know is that a person has to feel "safe" in their relationship, with their partner. Safe is not a part-time or partial component. There is a lot that needs to be there -- trust, respect, morals, values, ethics, integrity, and more. Me, it's foreign to me for a person to not have this, but that's just me. On the other hand, if a person wants to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't have and bring those things to the table, and have a without that, so be it. But in this case, if a partner is being abusive, manipulative, passive aggressive, punitive, and more...to what end? Me, I would look at the person. I would then take the program approach as I referenced above.

But, if you have a problem with this/him/his behavior, and how it impacts you, causes you concern, etc. -- you have every right to say so.

All the best.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Bo, I really appreciate your input. I think what it comes down to is that in Uncomfortable with a few things right now and I know I have some thinking to do. Its hard. Weve been together for 3 years and there is a lot of good there. But my tolerance for passive aggressive, lack of emotional maturity, and combative attitudes has waned. I put up with that stuff from my XAH. Ive had enough to last a lifetime.

Thank you again!!! Hugs!

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Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be!
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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You are welcome, and thank you -- for posting and putting yourself out there with issues such as this. I think these types of things are common. They are problematic. They are unhealthy. Many years ago, before I got healthy, I for one was too quick to chalk up a lot of these things as "How Important Is It" -- and that can be a trend, or a process. How important is it, can turn into complacency, or perhaps something else, something similar. Then, I might slowly head into trivializing or minimizing those problematic things, making them out to be smaller or not important. I can start to pay more attention to the good stuff and slowly, I could ender into denial. Next thing could be me accepting unacceptable behavior. It can be a slippery slope. Sometimes it can happen in a moment, sometimes slowly, gradually, over time.

I had to take a step back and look at a 15 year relationship. Believe me, there was A LOT there! LOL.

I've found that when I was uncomfortable with a small number of things -- I wanted to avoid looking at them. It might have not been full blown denial, but I didn't want to look at them, and at some point, I also needed to look at me! Yes, I had thinking to do...and thinking often leads to change, decision, and other things I didn't like!!! LOL. Even when there is a lot of good there -- more good than bad so to speak -- it is hard. My tolerance -- on certain key aspects, components, core ingredients -- is not negotiable. Integrity for example. That is core for me. It is a foundation, critical element that a person must have -- my friends, family, gf, business partner, whatever. It is a must. Other things, I can say how important is it. Call it compromise, or whatever. I can be OK with that. But not with core, critical items.

A few years ago, I started dating a woman. It appeared to be a perfect match. Everything was great. I got to know and saw exactly who she was, and she got to see that with me as well. 6 months in all is going extremely well. An issue came up with her ex. She was the monied spouse. It was an alimony/child support/financial issue. Long story short, out of nowhere, completely shocking and a tremendous surprise...I got to see a side of her that I could have never predicted. It was totally unlike everything else I saw in her. She was manipulative with her ex. She was demeaning, aggressive, passive aggressive, and offensive. She went out of her way to avoid, manipulate, and control the legal process, simply so she didn't have to pay more money to her ex -- and ultimately, for her children. There's a lot that went on in and around this, but that was the short of it. I did not like the way she treated her ex. I am sure there are two sides -- well, three, LOL -- to every story. However, that doesn't change who a person is and how they treat an ex and the mother/father of their children.

Be that as it may, Andromeda, how your bf treats his ex is: a) absolutely a concern of yours...as it relates to you...b) it is absolutely your business...as it relates to you...and c) because it speaks to who he is a person, who and what his core is...and how it relates to you!

Just my perspective, experience, and opinion.

All the best.



-- Edited by Bo on Monday 9th of April 2018 10:08:25 PM



-- Edited by Bo on Monday 9th of April 2018 10:08:54 PM

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Great topic, great feedback and i can so relate. I see it a little differently though. I've got a program that means I've got awareness of shortcomings and assets. I'm awake to many aspects of life that, lets face it, most people are asleep too. I've identified shortcomings like immaturity, anger, manipulation etc as shortcomings that I had and still do but im aware now. Thats what I've got, awareness. My program asks me to look inwards at me for change and not take another's inventory and that's most likely because those shortcomings that I can see now are in everyone around me whether they see them or not. So what do we do? Do we bin everyone from our lives? My son is an alcoholic so you can imagine the shortcomings that are present. The behaviours and attitudes I don't like. He's a flawed individual sick and I believe my program is to help me be tolerant, non judgemental, kind courteous. It a not always easy. My program also tells me to not accept unacceptable behaviour so I try really hard not too. I protect myself from the disease. It seems a bit more obvious when talking about a drinker. My bf has no programme he is mixture of assets and shortcomings. His shortcomings can be difficult to accept at times but they've been yrs in the making and have nothing to do with me, step 1 but he lacks self awareness to an extent. He's never done a step 4. He has no program so his program is based on a similar one I lived with before alanon which was quite a black and white right or wrong one. So I suppose the dilemma for us is what is acceptable and unacceptable in our relationships? I try to not take part in the things I find unacceptable. His relationships with his ex's and even his family members seems to me codependant. He often encourages me towards the same type of thinking. I therefore don't often talk much about these things with him. I don't offer my opinion as much because he can't hear me really so he's teaching me to let go. I don't live with him so it's easier. I dip in and out. If I m looking for good solid company then it's alanon people all the way. My bf is for other things and I accept the limitations of our relationship. I have thought like bo suggests that maybe due to my past i still dont recognise unacceptable behaviour and denial is and has always been my go to place but im trusting in my higher power and my program that tells me people are in my life for a reason to help me learn to keep me growing. I'm also aware of my fear of abandonment and rejection and how this can and has kept me in relationships way beyond what was good for me. I do Think that I can actually have a relationship with anyone on the planet with this program because my boundaries and self care stop me from getting hurt for long. Acceptance of everyone and everything in this moment. It doesn't mean I don't have choices though. I can choose where I live and who with. I can choose every aspect of my life and keeping in mind my main responsibility which is to make my life good for me.x

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~*Service Worker*~

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Thank you, El Cee. I think I've worked on acceptance for quite some time and I also think i know who he is, as best as I can after 3 years with someone who keeps things very close to his chest. I think my issue now is deciding if this is the right relationship 'for me'. He may be a perfect fit for someone else.

There is a disconnect between us often and I never quite feel safe with him. Mostly because of financial issues and how controlling he can be. All red flags that I've chosen to down grade to yellow flags. He has already commandeered my SUV to take his kids on a trip this summer to pull his trailer even though he has a perfectly good Jeep to pull the trailer himself. I said no, but he argued that my car has less miles and drives better and that he doesn't want to batter the Jeep since it's older. He will argue until I give in. It's a different insanity than I had before with my XAH and I'm doing my best to be in program and remember that we're both imperfect people trying their best.


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Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be!


Senior Member

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I think you are doing really well in your program, and keeping your backbone in tack. I also think you are too smart for his BS. Your awareness is great. Keep your peace and move forward, reality will reveal itself. Proud of you girl. 

linsc 

 



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Senior Member

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It's difficult. my husband was like that in active alcoholism and sometimes still is when extremely angry and especially when it revolves around money. He throws his toys out of the pram, says I bring nothing to the table (we decided I was going to stop working after our 3rd child), that he earns the money so he can do whatever he wants with (his money management skills ore 0).

I feel that part of this is because he started drinking at 13 and his brain never developed into maturity which means I am dealing with a 13 year old teenager who earns a pretty good salary but spends it like a 13 year old teenager.

 

I don't know if my post helps any at all. I don't have any other advice but I think I know how you feel about all of this. Money was a big issue for most of our arguments but he did love to play tit for tat and continue the abuse by listing all the things I did wrong and it really made me feel like a worthless human being and no-one should feel like that.



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