Updating a bit... Thanks MB and underdog and jksd for the kind and wise words. I re read these recent posts after my meeting with stbx and the lawyers the other day and it was helpful.
Confirmed that he sees himself as the victim-- his lawyer says (while we are all sitting at the same table) "my client feels like his proposal is more than generous since he will also be paying for all the add ons,and your proposal is unrealistic and unreasonable".
His lawyer actually referred to him as "my client" while we were all sitting there.
I let myself speak in anger at the meeting. It's just infuriating that he still projects his anger onto me. And he cannot accept any reaponsibility! He leaves off one of his accounts from the (supposedly corrected) net worth statement and then says "well, it doesn't have that much money in it anyway!" (Relevance, your honor! ??!) He still doesn't seem to understand the impacts of his choices. Even his lawyer was like, "yeah, that's how it works".
I won't let myself get caught up in anger again. He wants us to finalize the parenting agreement ourselves, without lawyers. (There are a few minor changes we have both agreed to in theory ). It will be a good opportunity for me to practice staying calm and sticking to boundaries. I don't have to prove him wrong or teach him a lesson. I just have to stay calm and protect my boundaries. (I won't engage in conversation if he speaks to me with contempt; I won't be bullied into agreeing with him; etc). Deep.breaths. Now off to spend this gorgeous spring day with my gorgeous D5!
I think I turned a corner today! Stbx was over at my place this morning, getting ready to take our D to his office for a family event. They got into a battle over what she should wear-- he was insisting she wear something "nice", and she (strong-willed and 5), was refusing, saying that she didn't want her special dresses to get wet in case it rained today. (It did).
Then he had an unpleasant interaction with someone at her school when he called to inform them of her absence.
As I overheard these exchanges, I suddenly felt very lucky that he released me from having to deal with his controlling, self-centered personality on a daily basis. He has very little ability to perspective-take and is so concerned with how others perceive him.
I left him to battle out the clothing with my daughter and couldn't help but laugh on my way out the door. I felt free. His problems will follow him to every relationship he has. I am on a different path, excited to carve out a more peaceful future.
I suddenly felt very lucky that he released me from having to deal with his controlling, self-centered personality on a daily basis. He has very little ability to perspective-take and is so concerned with how others perceive him.
At drop off, I brought up something related to D5 that I was a little frustrated about (regarding a parenting decision he made without even telling me about it). His reply was something to the affect of "I get that I could have told you about it before hand. But there are lots of things you decide and don't tell me about."
I didn't take the bait and replied, "Well, I'm just sharing a concern about this issue with you. This isn't about those things. We can certainly find time to discuss those other things if you'd like."
(It should be noted that this was something that was always a pet peeve of his.)
I feel proud that I didn't take the bait, I didn't get defensive, and I just said what I had to say and ended the conversation. He literally cannot be criticized in any way, or have any of his decisions questioned without getting visibly frustrated and defensive.
I will say that he doesn't snap at me or completely dismiss my concerns like he did when we were M (and for the record I almost never actually bring up any concerns to him!), so that's a plus, I guess.
Not sure if this thread will still work. I've been quiet around here for a while, but wanted to post an update today.
We met with the lawyers to resolve support and some other fin stuff. I can't believe it just occurred to me that this "negotiation" is not really a negotiation at all: I have nothing to negotiate! He pretty much holds all the cards. I'm really just relying on his sense of responsibility and integrity to negotiate a support payment that is more than what the court would probably decree. He was so arrogant in the way he spoke to me and my attorney. How is he a salesman?
So, we are almost there. I'm really ready for this to be over soon. Deep breaths.
Claire, I've been wondering about you. I'm happy that the legal part is coming to a close, and hopeful you'll get what you need out of it. Hopefully you'll feel a sense of relief at having it all done. Keep posting, my friend!