I have written quite extensively about the reasons for the breakdown of my relationship with my ExP. Whilst there is no doubt in my mind that he has behaved pretty badly, and done some pretty shitty things, I’m well aware that it takes two to make or break any relationship.
As I realise that I find myself playing out aspects of my parents relationship again and again, (something which had not occoured to me prior to discussions in therapy) I talked to my brother about his memories of our childhood. Similar to me, he remembers the hostility, frustration (of our mother) and the grumpiness and shouting of our father. He pointed out to me that one of the problems was that our mother had “let him get away with it” … the lack of active parenting, the inertia, the non participation in household chores. That, probably long before my brother and I were even aware of it, our mother had allowed our father to get away with not pulling his weight. Now I can see how that could have come about … he often worked away from home, and late nights. I imagine she didn’t want to create waves when he was home, and so she just got on with it.
Speaking for myself, I can more clearly see the part I have played in the deterioration and ultimate breakdown of my relationship with ExP. At the beginning, so in love, perhaps a little insecure, certainly not wanting to provoke an argument I let the little things go. I agreed to “support him to get back on his feet ” for a short period , but crucially , past that period I didn’t put my foot down and issue an ultimatum – rather I carried on, for a quiet life, creating the impression I was happy to do so. Similarly , when the issues started with my son, that was the moment to pull him up and lay down MY lines. What I would find acceptable and how I wanted to live( it is after all my house, I pay all the bills and was 100% supporting him) – at that moment, it should have been a take it or leave it. By allowing the “slippage” and letting some things go, for a quiet life, I in fact created far larger problems down the road .
On a small basis, by the end ExP used to talk to me quite disrespectfully at times, enough that my children noticed , and enough that my friend K was quite shocked when she heard it. I discussed this with my brother, and he said that, if ever spoke to his wife less than respectfully, in front of their children, she would pull him up on it. She doesn’t let the little things go. And that’s the right way to build healthy relationships – make it clear what your expectations are, and stick to what is acceptable TO YOU …
I will need to look at that insecure, uncertain part of me in therapy. Where does it come from, and how can I develop my self esteem and self belief so that I don’t repeat these mistakes … because this last relationship is not the first time I have behaved thus …
it’s much to early for me to be up, so I’m going to try and go back to sleep now