It baffles me how someone cannot see how they are affecting their life (the downs, typically) by choosing to act in a certain way. It seems crazy to me when someone can look you straight in the face and blame you for their issues, their hate for something, their unhappiness and anger inside.
Even more baffling than that is how that individual will try to “punish” you in some way in order to make you see the “error of your ways.”
I’ve seen this type of person in action all over the place–my ex, my children, a co-worker, a manager. Some people don’t live in this personality all of the time and others do.
So how do you help someone see that they aren’t taking accountability for the issues they create?
Accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
Truth is: I don’t know if you can.
My ex is still trying to take me to court over my publishing of this blog. He blames this blog for the issues he has with his children. He says they read it and he doesn’t have a relationship with our sons because of what I write. That breaks my heart. (incidentally, my blog is blocked on my computers at home, and my children would never be able to find this blog because there is no identity attached to this blog other than my first name–this was done for a reason–I want to protect them!) No matter what my past was with this man, my children don’t need to know about all of the pain I experienced in our marriage (or after our marriage) that was caused by him.
I’m still upset that my children found out the reason he had to leave our home was because he was involved with a neighbor. The boys found a camera with photos of the two of them on dates. My oldest son read my ex’s texts to her over my ex’s shoulder one night when the kids were visiting him. My son called me immediately from the bathroom to explain to me what he saw because he was so hurt. The children found out about their relationship because he was irresponsible.
IF my children have an issue with their father, it is because of his interactions with them…not my interactions with them.
That makes me sad.
(Now that my ex reads my blog, I find myself thinking before I type–I never used to. I used to process and write and pour my heart out onto the keys of my keyboard as a way of healing and helping others. I commit to keep doing that.)
So why am I writing today? I wish my ex could see what he’s doing. As the quote above states, I wish I could tell him to simply stand up. My ex’s love towards our children is conditional. For instance, he’s been fighting with our 16 year old and didn’t even try to contact him or send him a gift or card on his birthday. He wrote on his Facebook wall. That’s all. Our son said it doesn’t bother him, but I know it does–he’s struggling lately. At school. Emotionally. Whatever their issues between them, a father should reach out to his son on his birthday.
If only he could just swallow his pride and love our children unconditionally…
The latest battle I’m facing is that my ex has not paid his child support that was due nearly two weeks ago. He’s never been this late before. I texted him last week to remind him that he is late in paying and asked him to send it home with my daughter that evening. He didn’t. Instead, a few days later, he brought boxes of our boys’ things over to my house and left them on the porch, because the boys don’t want to go stay at his house any more. No explanation…just boxes.
I’m sure he’s blaming me for something and using the child support as leverage. Who really knows. But it’s hurting the children. He’s putting them in the middle. How? That money is used for groceries in our house. It’s been budgeted that way for some time now. And to all of a sudden not pay child support takes (in an indirect way) food out of our children’s mouths.
We are fine, and yes there is still food in the cupboards, and I realize there are parents who don’t see a dime of child support who probably think I’m crazy for voicing an opinion about someone being 2 weeks late in paying. (Sincerely, my heart goes out to those of you who do it on your own. You have my respect and so much more!) But digging his heels in and not being accountable for this is not how he can “get back” at me.
I wish I could tell my ex to just “stand up” and save himself from drowning, but he would never listen to me.
If he would listen to me (and, hey, I guess he’s reading this so I’ll put it out there anyways), I would say:
Your children need you to love them no matter what. No matter if they have long hippie hair. No matter if they don’t make the team. No matter if they aren’t a starter or a straight A student or if they remember to call you after games or not. They need unconditional love and support and sincerity and humility. That is what they need. Sometimes, as a parent, you put your pride aside and love your child–even when their choices are wrong or not up to your standards.
I will never understand how someone cannot see how their actions affect their own life, and perhaps I never will.