When all they say is ‘no’

I have been trying to be patient and wait until my husband is ready to talk and to work out the logistical details of our separation. This includes things like who has the kids when, what to do with our financial entanglements, who gets which vehicle, etc. I’ve heard it said before that divorce is a legal process (not an emotional one, at least according to the courts), and I heartily agree with that assessment! When I think about all of the details we need to work out, it feels very overwhelming and daunting.

I am one of those people who wants to be organized and prepared for things, so I’ve been trying to figure out the details of our arrangement ahead of time. I’ve come up with what I thought were some reasonable suggestions for how we can move forward in several areas, but each time I propose an idea it gets shot down. Either he can’t emotionally deal with the conversation, or he starts leveling accusations at me, or he says he isn’t ready to talk about it, or he flat out says NO. In fact, it seems that ‘no’ is his new favorite word.

What this means, of course, is that nothing is getting figured out or accomplished. We haven’t come to any agreements on our finances, kids, property, etc.

I feel trapped here because he is not helping the situation to progress in any way. I feel defeated because I’m not encountering someone who’s willing to work with me, even on topics that I thought would be easy to reach a consensus on.

I keep holding out hope that he will finally reach a state of mind where he sees the wisdom in working together and collaborating for the sake of both ourselves and the kids. It seems I might be waiting forever though, if that is the only way I’m willing to move forward. I cannot stay stuck in this state of limbo indefinitely, until he’s reached the place where he’s willing to work with me. That may never happen. He knows I am waiting for his cooperation, and that is like giving him an open invitation to drag this situation out as long as he wants to. He probably believes that if he drags his feet or pretends like the issues aren’t there, that I’ll decide to stay and then he’ll have his way.

A friend brought up the possibility that I might have to proceed through the divorce process in a less than ideal way. I want to work with my husband to orchestrate the best outcome for everyone, but if he’s unwilling to do that, I may have to move forward on my own. I don’t want to file paperwork and make all the proposals for how we should separate and operate in the future without his input, but that could be how this situation plays out. We don’t always get what we want in life, and a relatively amicable divorce may not be in the cards for me. I’ll have to decide whether I’m willing to work through it myself, as unpleasant as it may get, or sit here waiting indefinitely because I’m seeking cooperation and won’t move forward unless I get it. It sounds ridiculous when stated that way, but I’ve kind of been stuck in that mindset without even realizing it.

Based on everything that’s been going on, my counselor is very skeptical that my husband will choose to work with me to make the necessary decisions to move forward in this process. She suggested setting a time limit to work through all the details, letting my husband know that we really need to focus on this together and figure it out, or I will have to move forward on my own. I guess it’s time for him to learn that ‘no’ isn’t an answer that will work anymore.

Have you been stuck in a similar situation? What was it like for you? I’m genuinely curious about other peoples experiences.

Hoping you have a peaceful day,

L

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