I wonder why some people continue to hang on to their anger towards their ex-spouse one, two, three, or even more years from the time the divorce becomes final. What does all that anger and hostility really accomplish? Can a person really every move on with their life if they remain angry?
In previous posts I have talked about the underlying emotions of disappointment, frustration and hurt when a relationship ends. However, it is becoming increasingly clear, that if someone is healthy, these emotions subside over time and a person learns how to get on with their life. Understandably, if the same wounds continue to occur over and over again, especially when their are children involved, it is harder to heal from these emotions and move forward.
Nonetheless, when a person chooses not to look at their role in the relationship breakup and always blames the other person, it is possible to conclude that that person is suffering from some form of a narcissistic personality trait and possibly a full blown disorder. Abusers (regardless of the form of abuse — physical, sexual, emotional, financial, etc.) are narcissistic. Addicts are narcissistic.
How is the other person to interact with such a person? The best way is not to engage with them at all. However, if their are children involved, it is almost impossible to avoid this. One suggestion is to only communicate by e-mail and copy (or blind copy) a trusted individual or professional on the exchange for protection. The negative about e-mail is that there is always the possibility of misinterpretation of what is written. With that in mind, it is always good to ask for clarification about anything that you are unsure about before responding. Another suggestion is to request a Parenting Coordinator or Mediator to work with both of you once the divorce becomes final. More information about parenting coordination and mediation can be found on my website at http://www.crainemediation.com .
Please let me know your thoughts on this topic and what your experiences have been.