There is a saying I heard "When you argue with a fool, pretty soon, people will not know who the fool is." There are many versions of this quote.
I consider myself a pretty good debater. I am not the best, by any means, but I can hold my own (lots of practice with the X-FIL). But, after the separation and D-Day happened, when I talked to my STBX, I was in the worst mental state of my life, and she was able to run circles around me. I had not control of the conversation at all, and I felt like an idiot. As mentioned, I stopped talking to her and went 99.99% texting, with a smidgen of emails. There were 3 primary reasons I went full electronic communication.
1st: I did not want to hear her voice. It made me sad, mad, and made me feel dirty. Nails on the chalkboard. I was done listening to her badger me about what I did, and how I sucked at this marriage thing. And, as mentioned, I had no mental stamina to compete with her. She won ALL of the arguments, and it made me feel like my middle name was Imadoofus, and quite frankly, made me feel like I was worthless. Which leads to reason #2...
2nd: In electronic communication, she could not manipulate me in the conversation. I could calmly read what she typed, think about it, and decide my decision on how to answer, in what tone, or whether to just give crickets. I have gone as far as typing it on Notes on my iPhone just to make sure I don't hit "Send" on accident. I, even, would edit it ALL DAY, then read it to my friends, take their suggestions. Then, Copy/Paste/Send.
ButterflyGirl said, it seems the favored response with most BSs who have wackos for WSs is crickets.
3rd: There is an electronic paper trail. I still have text messages on 2 phones ago from May 2010. You never know. I started to copy them to my computer to Microsoft Word in case my phone died. If the WS spoke something, could you remember what was exactly said? Even if you did, they could easily deny it. If you recorded the conversation, and the other person were unaware of it, and you don't have a court order to do it (which is very hard to get), then you are in deep trouble with the law. There is a reason when you call ANY customer service center, the first thing you heard before you talk to a rep is "This conversation may be recorded for quality purposes." But, if they send a text or email, you have an electronic paper trail that could be shoved in their faces if needed. ButterflyGIrl mentioned "Not only was it good emotionally for me, helping my sanity more than anything else, that documentation saved me and buried his ass in court."
This may not for everyone, and I am not a counsoler, or trying to be mentor, or trying to be cool on SI. Half the time, I am not sure what I am saying, but when Butterfly suggested "We should start a new thread reminding people of this", it sounded like a good idea. It helped me in my healing, not having to hear her say things that hurt, or made me feel like I did not want to live.
But most important thing, YOU are in control. That is what the best thing about it for me was I, Me, not her, was in control. It would piss her off not to answer (and honestly, I would be giddy as a kid on Christmas morning). If it was about my children, of course, I would answer. I she tried to slip in another thing during that message, sorry...my thumbs are sore...
They CANNOT force you to text back. They can call you names, hurt you, try to manipulate you, but they can't force you to text. Plus, if they do try to, you have proof that could be held up in court, depending what state you live in and/or your judge.
Thanks ButterflyGirl for the encouragement...
Anyway for what it's worth...
You're an interesting species, an interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other. - Contact
[This message edited by Linus1968 at 8:42 PM, May 15th (Thursday)]
There is a saying I heard "When you argue with a fool, pretty soon, people will not know who the fool is."
I had not had a *spoken* conversation with my stbx in .....gosh ..... nearly a year. (wow.) A work-related issue came up and I couldn't adequately discuss it with him via electronic communication, so I sent a text and told him I needed to speak to him about it (I was seeing him the next day at my son's sporting event). The conversation went *ok*..but then he veered it into a 'jab' and I told him that I was done and he could go away, our conversation was over.
The next day we had to see each other again (son had a weekend tournament), and stbx had sent me a text that he had a few questions.....he gave me the impression that he needed more conversation on the subject that we had spoken about the day before. Well, he started the conversation with a topic which was NOT what we had been talking about....and proceeded to act like the irrational being that he is -- including the later texts where he accused me of *yelling* at him and embarrassing him in front of everyone and claiming that he would talk to me when *I* could be civil.
Yea. I won't be having any conversations with him in the near future again, I don't care how important the issue is.
Oh, and the icing on the cake? Had a text exchange with him a few days ago where he claimed that I couldn't talk to him without my lip quivering and my voice breaking. He went on to say that it was "obvious" why I can't have conversations with him and "we both know why".
This delusional bastard seems to believe that I'm *pining* away for him......
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
FOR REAL EVERYBODY: EMAIL AND TEXT ONLY!!!!
Hey Mod, how do I make that ^^ a bigger font?
Seriously guys, I have all my email for court pretty organized, so I will send them out soon in case they help anybody...
If FTFred had wanted a custody dispute, I was ready for one. And you know what? He DID want a custody dispute, and I BURIED HIS ASS. And the only reason I did was by following the rule above: EMAIL AND TEXT ONLY!!
I don't know the legalities of VARs, but never once did the judge question the validity of my texts and emails. (He actually made the FuckTard read his own words out loud in court. You should have seen FTFred's first lawyer, shitting his pants, having never heard any of it before )
I will say prayers that none of you have to go to trial like I did, but if you do, YOU WANT ALL COMMUNICATIONS DOCUMENTED IN TEXT OR EMAIL (PREFERABLY EMAIL), ESPECIALLY ABOUT KIDS OR FINANCES. (Meaning watch your mouth too guys.. You want to come off as the sane one).
You don't want to go to court saying, "Well he promised me during a phone call that I could have X/Y/Z days with the kids." That's not proof. So the answer is: NO CALLS OR FACE TO FACE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE RULES.
And now we can get to emotionally. I just pulled out a couple text messages FTFred sent me and showed them to Linus. It was such a great reminder of how ridiculous he was, how strong I was, and how much I've been through. When you need a reminder that you did the right thing, there's just nothing like reading it in black and white.
Same with keeping a journal or a calendar. If you're new to this, make sure you keep a calendar that labels who has the kids and when. How did I know he only had the kids 5 overnights in 2012 after we separated, giving me the ability to claim the kids on taxes? Because I kept a calendar.
And then keep yourself a journal or computer document detailing your day, every day. I used two computer journals. One was how I was feeling, my letters to my ex that will never be sent, my fears, my sadness, my anger, and of course my favorite SI quotes! You have no idea how great it feels to go back and reread that stuff and see how far I've come.
The other journal is for the kids and your ex, anything important that happened like: He harassed me with phone calls and texts, he showed up at my work, he came over unannounced, he bashed me to my son, he sent my son's phone insults about me, he bailed on a school program, I got XYZ document, he paid/didn't pay XYZ, he was an hour and a half late picking up the kids, the kids weren't fed or bathed and didn't do their homework when he returned them, etc..
It really will help you later on, legally and emotionally. I promise...
Fuck that. I'm done with that. I was done with that when I threw his nasty ass out of the house & Hefty bagged his shit.
If there is something to say, it's said in an email. And that's the way I like it.
This delusional bastard seems to believe that I'm *pining* away for him......
"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana
Keeping all comms written helps in so many ways I can't even express the importance of it.
I simply could not detach when faced with the voice and physical presence of the guy I used to call husband. That voice gave me comfort for almost a decade. I once looked forward to hearing it from when I woke up until I went to sleep. The physical was the same. Had I not had that time away from him that I have and will continue to have I think it would mess me up in all kinds of ways.
I don't hear or see him in the same way anymore. I never thought he was particularly attractive but now he is repulsive to me. I'm never close enough to smell him but I swear I can feel the stench emanating from him. I used to love the way his skin smelled. I don't remember it anymore. I looked at his hands and I was shocked at how different they look to me now - once strong and protective they now look weak and menacing.
Aside from the emotional detachment there is also the matter of blocking off all windows they have to mindfuck you. Written communication means they can't mug you unawares and you have time to react appropriately - NOT emotionally.
I'll never let him get close enough to me to plant any more parasitic brain worms in my head. I'm well beyond them being able to latch on but I'm not yet beyond being enraged at the gall exhibited in the attempts.
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
4 When arguing with fools, don't answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are. 5 When arguing with fools, be sure to answer their foolish arguments, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
It seems contradictory, but I figure it's the person showing how you just can't win when a fool start an argument. Damned if you do, damned if you don't! Better to avoid altogether and avoid the
A long time ago. Let's just say it was when 8-Tracks were on the way out.
@NIK -- something funny about what you said.....when stbx would act like a douche, I would always tell him that he was still "*that* guy".