Getting Over the Resentment of the Abuser

One thing I struggle with sometimes is getting over the resentment of my abusive ex-husband.  Most of the time I do not hate him or give him much thought, unless he is messing with my daughter and it angers me all over again.  Then I feel angry for all the hell he has put me through and that he makes my daughter suffer to get to me.  I guess I feel that I should be able to protect her but there is nothing I can do to stop him.

I know that is his main purpose for messing with my daughter is to hurt me.  At times, it certainly works to get me angry all over again.  I guess sometimes it feels bad enough that I had to endure his verbal abuse for over a decade but now that I have had constant assaults in some fashion in the 8 years since our divorce.

Setting Boundaries

One of the first Boundaries when we got divorced is that I would not speak with him in person or over the phone.  I would only communicate through email.  This gave me a paper-trail, kept him a little careful with his words and gave me the time I need to Respond rather than React.  If I can take the time to respond or sometimes not respond that helps keep from having an emotional response.  He became pretty good at pushing my buttons over the years.

Children as a Weapon

When he found he could not speak directly to me he started using our daughter as a weapon.  He has been using her for years and there is nothing I can do to stop him.  I know that all this negativity and manipulative behavior will backfire on him when our daughter gets older.  I have encouraged our daughter to use responses like;

  • “I don’t know, ask my mom.”
  • “I really do not want to be in the middle.”
  • “These conversations make me uncomfortable.”

On occasion his using our daughter sends me into a hysterical response.  I guess because it make me so mad that our innocent daughter and her emotions are not a game.  It also makes me feel like it will never end and that gets me angry again.  Then I have to remind myself that I do not live with him and our daughter will eventually grow up and perhaps be harder to use like that.

I can’t begin to truly understand why he does what he does.  I am not sure I completely understand what his long-term goal is.  My father’s deeper understanding of his behavior gives me some insight into what my abusive ex-husband is thinking or not thinking.   According to my father, since he was unable to have my mother, he wanted to hurt my mother.  The behaviors seem very similar and unfortunately if the straight path to the person you are trying to hurt is unavailable you must choose another.

Anyway, this might be one of my struggles.  My mind often tries to find a logical explanation to this behavior.  There are times I am looking for the closure, perhaps an apology by my ex-husband and for him to discontinue this behavior.  Apologies are not something I ever remember coming from my ex-husband.

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