Jonathan D. Gordon, Ph.D., J.D.
Part II of
IS FORGIVENESS POSSIBLE IN FAMILY COURT?
It is counter-intuitive that you would have a problem letting go of someone you can't stand, but it is not easy, nevertheless. As I said previously, anger against a former partner is a weight that a person drags around with them. Anger takes many forms from overt aggression, to quiet loathing, resentment or simply harboring (or sharing) poor opinions of the other person indefinitely. A person can also be what is called passive-aggressive which is a sabotage of the other person's needs by: forgetting to do something, losing a document, not showing up for visitation, not returning the child on time, showing up when you're not supposed to show up, twisting the facts, making excuses (that aren't true), etc. That is a form of the expression of anger in a passive, non-felonious manner. But it gets the job done, namely to upset the other person, push their buttons, sabotage their needs. It sends a message that the other person is not important, and that the saboteur has power and dominion over the recipient-target. It is also a form of invalidation of the other person's needs.
The Dance of Hatred:
Same Dynamic, Different Location:
Justified or Not?
Nostalgic, Dysfunctional "Post"-Relationship Warfare (Huh?):
The fact remains that in a marriage or in the dissolution of any relationship, a party--or both parties--may find it very difficult to sever the old ties. Because for some, the severance of those old ties may be too extreme, too final and too isolating to bear. Some will find it impossible to move on with their life, needing to go back, time after time to re-experience the same misery and heartbreak that characterized their relationship when the couple was together. Walking around with chronic anger or a chronic sense of victimhood feeds the litigation. Playing the role of victim, feeling self-righteous, repeating the self-talk of demonization over and over again, keeps it all going indefinitely.
What is the self-talk of demonization? Simply, it is playing the same script over and over in one's head; maintaining the beliefs one has, repeating the mantra if you will, that a person chants day after day, that justifies remaining in battle mode. Demonizing the other party will feed into--and justify--the repetitive litigious behavior of the person experiencing Reactive Narcissistic Behavior (RNB). That motivates a person into returning to court time after time, expecting a successful result, namely being vindicated by the Judge because you're right and the other party is wrong. It is that black and white. The demonizing party insists that the other party is an idiot, or a terrible person, or a bad parent, and expects the Court to believe all of that in its entirety. While it might be actually true in some cases, it usually is not as bad as is being alleged. Some parents are inept, or insensitive, or downright abusive. But most are not--at least not enough to land in Court or for a child protective services agency to get involved. So the demonizer walks around almost obsessed with the exaggerated negative qualities of their ex. It is a ball and chain that the angry person walks around with. It is a destructive force. And it is the cement that bonds dysfunctional relationships together.
Get out my life, why don't cha babe
Copyright ©The Supremes, Motown Records (1966)
Sometimes a person cannot let go and it could be for a variety of reasons. Here are a few to consider, but may not necessarily include what your particular issue is. These are just some ideas:
- Low self esteem
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of being alone
- Fear of the unknown
- Need for drama (adrenaline rush)
- Need to play role of victim
- Need to blame problems on someone else, such as:
- overeating, over-drinking, substance abuse, failure at work, poor relationships with others including one's children (convenient to blame the other parent), anger outbursts, insomnia, poor interpersonal relationships, depression, anxiety, phobias, etc.
- Fantasizing about reunification/reconciliation with the ex
- Obsessive-compulsive behavior
- Fear of going out and establishing new love relationships, future abandonment, etc.
- Need to control and dominate others.
Please note, this blog is for information purposes only. It is not legal or psychological advice and it does not create an attorney/client or psychologist/patient relationship. If you have a question about a specific matter you should seek out an attorney or mental health expert to assist you.
See my Web page: www.jdgordonlaw.com
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