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Something that's been bothering me is why I sometimes feel strong emotions when my W does or says things. Little jabs that I feel a need to defend.
At first I thought, well, this is a 15 year relationship. But I think I've accepted the fact our MR is over. I'm not hoping for reconciliation.
Then I thought, this is my desire to seek approval, NMMNG style. Even though this person has more or less abandoned me emotionally for the past 2 years, labeled me with some awful terms, and taken zero responsibility for her contributions to the failure of our MR, I still feel like she has this power.
But I think it's actually a desire to avoid disapproval. I am learning to build confidence in my choices, but it is something that doesn't come naturally to me, not from the way I was raised by my parents, and not from how things went in my MR (and I take responsibility for my part in that).
So my Aha insight, I hope, is, well, why should I care what my W thinks about my choices? Why does her opinion carry more weight than my own?
My fear of a custody battle does influence this as well. But I do still feel the need to defend sometimes, when really I just need to shrug it off, do what I think is best according to my values, and let her deal with her own choices and emotions.
This feels like part of my healing process... learning to make my own choices confidently, regardless of what other people think. If I don't work on that, I'll end up in a relationship down the road and slide right into the passive NMMNG role again.