5 Red Flag Behaviours in Tension and Conflict

We are back in court again June 29, 2020.  The Supreme Court of British Columbia has re-opened but I last heard it was only a couple of the court rooms in the Victoria court house.  I am hoping that we will not be postponed again.

It is unbelievable to me that we are 7 years post separation and I have to continue to go to court. I initiated the collaborative process 7 years ago as a way to divide assets, set up a separation agreement, ensure the needs of our children were met all so we didn’t have to go to court.  It was an effort for my ex and I to have control over what happened to our kids and belongings, a way to save money and to move on in peace.  My ex failed to participate and I had no choice but to change lawyers to find one who would go to court.  I needed to have the ability to force my ex to do what was required with our split so it wasn’t dragging on and on, wasting our time, energy and money.  In an effort to save costs we tried the mediation route which was a complete and utter disaster for many reasons which I will outline fully when the time is right to do that. Despite the agreement, my ex continues to fail to comply.

I listened tonight to Matthew Hussey talk about 5 destructive behaviours that people routinely fall into when having a relationship in moments of tension and conflict.  Not surprisingly, I recognize all of these behaviours as ways my ex coped in our marriage and his strategies continue in our separation. These are the reasons I feel hopeless in him ever doing what is required for us to just move on with everything settled, divorce finalized and not having to be back in court ever again.

  1. Go Quiet--Matthew’s advice is that in the moment you are tempted to go silent you need to talk.  In our marriage, my ex would give me the silent treatment as his form of punishment if he was angry.  He acknowledged that he considered it a “win” if I was the one that went to him to break the silence.  My friend asked him one time, “What do you think you are winning exactly?” It was always me who went to him first to talk.  Even today he will not engage in a talking conversation or dialogue over any issue. It is email only.
  2. Storming off–Matthew Hussey says this is a way of holding our partner an emotional hostage.  He says, “Yes, we need space but whenever possible stay and solve.”  My ex simply does not want to deal with anything.  I just asked him if his taxes were completed.  We are expected to exchange tax information every year by June 1. We had to go to court previously because my ex was 3 years behind and we are back in court again this month and need his 2019 info now.  His response was that he was going to block my emails if I harassed him again.  The one time since we split that I went to his house to talk to him directly, last year, (6 years post separation) he sent Janice to answer the door. (that is a whole other post–I would tell my boyfriend to just deal with his shit) I asked if I could speak with my ex and she just shut the door on me. I left, got in my car and drove home.  Both my kids texted me to see if I was okay because their dad contacted them right away to see why I was there. ( buddy, just deal with your shit without getting your kids involved)  My kids were worried because they knew it had to be incredibly important if I would go and see their dad.  He got mad at them for giving me his address, and he called the cops on me. He told the police I went to his girl friend’s place to confront her.  I told the officer I had no idea he moved in with her, that was his address and that she wasn’t a new girl friend.  I had nothing to confront her about, it was old news. He had been with her 6 plus years. The officer told me he was going to ask my ex if he could find a healthier way to deal with me especially because we had children.
  3. Labelling Our Partner–Mathew says we need to avoid this reflex mistake.  Matthew says that that you can have a selfish moment without being a universally selfish person and we have to give our partner some grace.  I could go through e-mail after e-mail and find an example where my ex does this.  The last email he sent me yesterday was accusing me of some letters he thinks that I received while we were still together and after he left. He said that I “neglected them like everything else I neglected in my life.”
  4. Making the Argument You’re Wrong and I’m Right–without making nuances. This is a constant with my ex. The latest is that he is trying to say it was the RESP company who closed our girls’ accounts and sent him the money for both girls because we failed to continue to make contributions.  Nothing in the documentation available shows this to be true.  He sent me the link for the rules and regulations. I read their information and they don’t close accounts for this reason. I called the RESP company twice and spoke with 2 different people who told me that the accounts were closed at the request of my ex. He insists that no one told me that and I need to learn to read because the information is in the link he sent me.  I quoted the sections that  supported what the 2 customer service reps told me and I asked him where specifically it said what he was saying.  His response: “Obviously you can’t read a document.  Keep reading. It’s there.”
  5. Inflicting Damage–instead of actually solving the problem.  Again, this is my ex.  If he isn’t withholding money owed to me and refusing to pay for things he agreed to pay in our agreement or things that are considered Special Expenses for the girls, he is name calling.  He refers to me as Trump, especially because I have the body of a 70 year old man. He calls me Robo McBlobo, tells me to get off my ass and get a job or that I spend my day at McDonalds. The list is endless and in fact my lawyer told the  judge that my file stands out to her because in her 25 years of practice she has never seen someone speak so derogatory to someone else.

Matthew Hussey suggests slowing down in these moments and instead focus on the kinder, softer approach to solve the problem.


2 thoughts on “5 Red Flag Behaviours in Tension and Conflict

  1. Kind soft and problem solving only work with people who are people. The man you married and want to be divorced from is a
    Monster. There’s nothing to work with.

  2. I do not understand him. He left. Is still with the “other woman”. Why does he not want to be done with me, be done with us. I keep doing everything that I can possibly do to get this done and I cannot break free.

    I tend to respond to emails before I go to bed and sometimes it is late. I responded in point to his RESP email only because it is an issue before the court. He emailed back: “Looks like another long night of drunk emailing your ex (my name) Trump.”. I don’t know if that is his fantasy, the story he creates in his mind to think that even if I was drunk I would be thinking of him and wanting to reach out to him, or simply this need to just harass me and be mean. There is no emotion in me towards him or maybe it is just my character but I would never call him names or waste my time communicating with him if I didn’t have to. He is just an annoying gnat that I can’t swat away.

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