I had a coaching session today and got some of my model straightened out, and some I’m fuzzy on.
C: Soon to be ex-husband writes to lawyers, “I’m going to AZ with friends this weekend.” (even though this included some of “his time” that I did not agree to.)
T: He is a self-centered asshole who wants me to cover for him, but refuses to cover for me,
A: either fume alone, or tell him he’s a jerk who never thinks about others.
R: He doesn’t want to talk with me.
The coach said I was being manipulative, because I wanted him to act differently.
Is this the definition of manipulative? – I thought it was secretly trying to impact someone without their knowledge.
The coach said that the manipulation is just that I want him to act differently – which I do. I want him to keep his word, follow through on what he says he is going to do, not lie, and not cheat.
So, if I carry this further, I’m being manipulative to try to get him to be faithful, loving, mutual partner, right? OR just to keep his word.
I need to have no expectations, then I will not be disappointed or annoyed when he doesn’t keep his word – which happens regularly.
But no expectations, sounds like no agreements, and we have two young children, so agreements are needed.
I think I understand boundaries as something we set for ourselves, but communicate to others… when you do X, I am going to do Y.
So I’m trying to think of what the consequence should be when he doesn’t keep his word, is just generally unkind or what I am telling myself is self-centered…. so he says we will talk Tuesday evening. Nothing from him Tuesday. Then Wednesday he writes saying he could talk this evening, and wants to read to the girls. When I said we were set for Tuesday this is Wednesday, I”m curious. He responds he had a lot going on. I feel annoyed because he broke his word for the 100th and many time. I get stuck on how to respond to him, and what an appropriate consequence could be for not keeping his word, when I think he is basically leaving because he wants to do whatever he wants to do when he wants to do it, without having to bother to communicate, and he doesn’t like it when I call him on this shit (which might be the entirely wrong way to go, as it doesn’t ever seem to accomplish him saying, “Oh yes! You are right. I’m so sorry. I was doing X and got distracted and missed the window.” Or anything similar.
I think you are going to tell me that my thoughts make my relationship with him… but how can my still loving him create a loving relationship, when he wants to cheat, lie, and break commitments?
Let’s see, is it because I will not develop a loving relationship while reminding myself or his lying, cheating or commitment breaking? Or that my thoughts about what these things mean is what will determine the relationship for me?
I feel as if I did some good thought work to continue to love him, despite everything, but it has not changed the relationship, or improved it – in fact the opposite. I don’t understand how I can have a loving, married relationship with him in my mind, while we go through divorce.
Could you please help clear up my thinking errors here? I’m not sure.