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Can you help me understand this ex-H behaviour, especially if you understand the Karpman Drama Triangle (victim, rescuer and persecutor)!

(15 Posts)
ClairityVerity Thu 18-Dec-14 10:51:10

I'm trying to understand some of the irritating dysfunctional shit my ex-H and I used to get caught up in.

I sense that he tries to make himself a victim by asking me to help him do really simple things that any fool could do. Like finding out what's his nearest chemist (cos he's never heard of google). Or texting me to get his friend's address (because he can't just text his friend?) This happens several times a week at the moment, and sometimes I help, sometimes I ignore him. We are both self-employed, and I do the lion's share of the childcare. So I do not have time to spare to help him run his life, but besides, why should I?

When he does this I think it places me in the position of the rescuer if I help him, which I then loathe because I feel like I'm treating him like a child. I never wanted to be married to a child, FFS. So when I refuse he then makes me a persecutor by accusing me of not wanting to help him.

TBH I genuinely don't care if he thinks badly of me for setting my own boundaries this way, but the problem is that we have children together and are so far making the split more or less work. I want to ensure that whatever happens with us, we still function well for the children's sake. But if I try to explain my reasons for making decisions that are not in his favour, I may as well be speaking in Japanese - he doesn't take it in. Funny how he manages to understand everything when I talk about my character flaws...

Does this make sense? And what can I do about it? Since we split I have changed a great deal and I now see through this stuff, but he has very, very little insight and so he still wants to play those old dysfunctional games. I don't mind helping him in reasonable circumstances - I'm happy to do so because it oils the wheels of our family life. but when it's silly little things that he can easily do himself I think he is taking the piss.

foolonthehill Thu 18-Dec-14 14:41:15

you are right...he is taking the piss.

Boundaries. Explain to him (never mind whether he chooses to take it in) that you only have time to help with things that affect your children and you. Everything else is down to him. Do not reply or give head space to other stuff.

When you really don't care what he thinks of you then you will find this easy to do.

FWIW i still find it difficult and get stressed by trying to work out what is "reasonable" to do.

Also I find it helpful to refuse to answer any text or email for 6-8 hours minimum. If he is used to getting instant responses from you it feeds the monster.

He still wants you to be inextricably linked to his life and to control your time and emotions.Don't let him.

foolonthehill Thu 18-Dec-14 14:41:46

don't let him

ClairityVerity Thu 18-Dec-14 23:49:48

Thanks folks. I like that 6-8 hour waiting period, you're right - when I reply instantly I am feeding the monster. I've become keenly aware of the role I used to play which nurtured the dysfunctional aspects of our relationship, and it's been a real eye-opener. So the more insights, the better, thank you!

So glad you think I'm not being a selfish cow about this - it's only little stuff but it's the principle and the role he's continually trying to push me into. It helps enormously to have accepted that he is incapable of understanding my opinion, because it means I no longer waste my energy trying to find ways to help him understand.

Thank you so much!

ClairityVerity Thu 18-Dec-14 23:54:04

Just re-reading your message...it's definitely about control on his part, in a very clever, underhand way. Not explicitly intentional, but still very real.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 18-Dec-14 23:54:56

I reckon you are overthinking it

he's a dickhead that enjoys winding you up. The End. smile

Cabrinha Sat 20-Dec-14 00:12:59

Dammit, AF got in first!
Don't waste the head space on theories, even if they are correct.
Just ignore. Even if he isn't a dickhead (he is) he's lazy and you are not his wife. Just don't reply.

GreenMouse Sat 20-Dec-14 00:24:48

My ex used to do that, soooooo annoying, especially when I couldn't ignore it because it impacted on our dd. Like making out he couldn'd find my office front door in London to drop off dd, when he had the address and was a life-long Londoner in his 40s. Then making out I was the villain for getting annoyed. The only way to deal with it is to ignore, ignore, ignore if you can. I like the delay before responding if you must respond, but preferably, don't respond at all.

ClairityVerity Sun 21-Dec-14 13:49:55

AnyFucker!!!! I am an old MNer who namechanged and haven't been around for years. I've always enjoyed your posts, nice to see you on my thread, as insightful and frank as ever grin

You are all right, of course, he is a dickhead. It helps to understand the game he's playing, but then I need to deal with it simply, or risk tying myself up in knots.

Thanks all. So good to be back on MN.

STIDW Mon 22-Dec-14 09:15:47

I think you are over thinking. It's really boils down to being clear about needs. When he asks you to do something politely remind him that whilst the children need you both to communicate about them divorce means you need autonomy so he needs to do it himself.

ClairityVerity Mon 22-Dec-14 22:36:56

Yes, I'm so used to my needs coming last in line and have been learning to recognise and undo that in myself. Thanks, STIDW.

MmeLindor Mon 22-Dec-14 22:41:04

What AF said.

I wouldn't do any explaining, just short text back, "No idea". (Not "Sorry, no idea"). Do that every time he asks you stuff like that and he'll get tired of his game.

ClairityVerity Wed 24-Dec-14 21:44:04

I like that idea. Do not engage. Do not engage.grin

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 24-Dec-14 23:02:06

Have a happy, dickhead-free xmas, Clair smile

ClairityVerity Sat 03-Jan-15 00:12:06

Hahahahaha!!! grin

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