When an ex-husband is angry, bitter or not fully accepting that a marriage has ended, he may attempt to control his former wife as a way of preventing her from moving on without him. Like an attention-starved child exhibiting unruly behavior in search of attention, it does not matter to a controlling ex-husband that he is furthering the wedge between he and his former wife. Even if he can temporarily satisfy his anger or receive bitter attention, he is willing to continue his controlling behavior at any cost. However, there are effective ways of preventing him from doing so and continuing with your life despite his upsetting efforts.
Recognize Your Right to Life
Before your ex-husband's behavior can be stopped, however, you must realize that you have a right to live in peace. Your marriage and subsequent divorce may have been a chaotic experience, but you survived both because you wanted a better life. Allowing him to control you now serves no good purpose, as it prevents both of you from moving forward and toward happiness. Your decision to stop his behavior should be guilt-free and you must be firm in your efforts to stop it.
Here are a few problems you may face and their solutions:
PROBLEM: He uses your children as a tool to control you.
SOLUTION: Affirm that you owe it to yourself and your children to immediately stop this unhealthy behavior. Therefore, flat out refuse to allow yourself to be manipulated to conform to his wishes. Know that this kind of manipulation is not about your children's well being, but is all about his unwillingness to accept reality and move on.
PROBLEM: He will not pay child support unless you do what he wants.
SOLUTION: File a petition in court requesting support. If he has already been ordered to pay support and still refuses, return to court and ask the judge to enforce the order. Do not play into his hand by giving in to his demands, nor should you repeatedly ask him for support on your own. The reason why you were required to go to court in order to resolve your marriage is because, legally, the court has jurisdiction over the terms of its dissolution. When an order has been made (or needs to be made), rely on the courts to enforce it. Your ex wants to unnerve you until you conform to his wishes, but if you show him that he will need to answer to the courts if he doesn't do what is right, he will get the message that you are serious and unafraid to pursue yours and your children's interests.
PROBLEM: He second-guesses everything you do and openly criticizes you.
SOLUTION: This is an obvious attempt to make you feel weak and incapable of living on your own. The simple solution to this is to strengthen your own self-confidence and trust your own instincts. Also, though you may have relied on him as your life partner in major decisions while you were married, you must realize that you are now single and that his approval is not needed. To that same point, practice relying solely on yourself and not even discussing your plans with him. Whether you succeed or fail, it is your life to do with it as you please. Find the inner strength to live on your own terms and stop giving your power to your ex instead.
When you are in control of your life, there is no room for anyone else to do so. Stopping your ex's control means that you must step up to the plate and be strong in determining to manage your own life. Do not get into the practice of doing things to spite him because that is still allowing him to control you in a roundabout way. Instead, be confident in who you are and your ability to make quality decisions.
Vanaja Ghose (http://www.divorcedtodazzling.com) is a
Professional Life Coach helping women who chose to leave their marriage or
long term relationship and now want to powerfully recreate their lives.
Download your FREE mp3 audio on "Nine Steps to Building a New Life After
Divorce" and contact Vanaja for a free 30-minute strategy session athttp://www.divorcedtodazzling.com