I Refuse to be That Person

My ex-husband is a bully.  As a kid, he was that kid who (literally) kicked the crap out of other kids to make himself feel better. He bullied his younger sister, too. When he and I met, he was only 18 and assured me that he was a “changed person”. He told me about the person that he used to be, but that he’d had an epiphany and completely changed.

I didn’t realize it until almost 10 years later, but the only thing that really changed were his methods of bullying. He never laid a hand on me in the almost decade that we were together, for that I suppose I can consider myself lucky. No, his bullying was in other forms. He always wanted things his way…big or small. And usually life went one of two ways. Either I would immediately do things however he wanted (because in many cases I honestly believed that he knew better than me on any number of topics), or I would dare to oppose him. All opposition to his ideas, preferences or beliefs was met with either “The Bulldozer” or “The Hammer”. He would either completely bulldoze over me in order to have things his way, or he would hammer and hammer and hammer until finally, exhausted, I would just give in anyhow.

It was a shitty way to live.

I reached the point where, at the end, I just didn’t trust myself anymore. I replaced my common sense with his. I believed that he was smarter, wiser, and better equipped to make decisions than I was. I had pretty much zero confidence in myself. My decision making skills were pretty much non-existent. I needed “advice” and “guidance” on pretty much everything.

Leaving that life and going out on my own was initially pretty scary. I was terrified, in fact. I didn’t believe in myself at all. But I was in a position where I didn’t have any choice but to press forward despite the fear.

Fast forward to today. At this point I’m a completely changed woman. I am strong, capable and confident. Sure I sometimes look to others for advice when it comes to the big decisions in my life, but I never put their judgment in place of my own. Being “Bulldozed” or “Hammered” by others just aren’t options anymore.

Which is currently creating an issue for my ex. We have been working out the details of our divorce on our own (for a good long while, I might add) and we have reached an impasse on one small point. The point causes him anxiety and so he wants to put solid boundaries in place for his own comfort. And me? Well, I’m not comfortable with those boundaries. He has been hammering this point with me for well over a week now, and because of my refusal to bend to his request, we have reached an impasse. He has waived the threat of “significant delays to the process”  in my face and everything.

So what does this mean? It means that my life, my future with CBG is going to be put on hold for the sake of this one point. And it sucks. But for me, it’s more about the principle of this than anything. I was bullied for almost a decade. I’m not going to be bullied anymore.

It could be a long haul here, kids.

6 Responses

  1. You go girl.

    I think the point of the thing is not that you’re finally standing up to him. I think the point of it is that you’re not comfortable with the boundaries. Is there another boundary you can suggest to bring you both comfort? An impasse can always be resolved with a compromise.

    Sending you strength!

    • Honestly, it’s really more about not letting him bully me. We’ve been emailing back and forth all day, and it looks as though we might be able to reach an agreement that we’re both comfortable with on our own. The whole thing is ridiculous, if you ask me. However…it’s been an eye opening situation in that I’m realizing, finally, that he and I simply can’t be friends, and I have to approach our co-parenting differently than I would ideally like. I can’t change who he is, you know?

  2. STAY strong. If this is something you require for your life, your happiness, you should stay strong. If this is something you can/should compromise on don’t hold off just b/c you don’t want to be bullied. Did that make sense? Only you know what’s right and what you need to get you there. Trust yourself…that’s huge!! Hugs!!!

    • Thanks. I totally get what you mean….and it may be that we’ve reached that point where continuing to hold out would only be for the sake of holding out. I still need to do what’s best for my girls first, second to my relationship with him.

  3. Hell yes to standing up to the big bad bully. I am glad you are holding your ground, even though you know what’s at stake (the pause button with CBG)

  4. If it’s that important to you, don’t cave. And if it’s taken you this long to come to this point, then a while longer won’t matter in the big picture. Who knows, maybe your ex wants this to be over too and maybe, just maybe he’ll budge a little.

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