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This is getting extremely weird.


I had an epiphany Friday night after a tense day texting with my ex. It started to sink in the week before, but suddenly it all clicked into place. Al Turtle's blog has helped me understand how and why my marriage ended.




My ex and I were in a power struggle for years. It started with me not feeling safe because of the threat of another woman, his not being able to empathize with my fear and, therefore, not understanding my anxiety and subsequent anger. He responded with continuing to try to gain power by further threatening the family, insulting me, and causing more anxiety.


I fought for my family, which he couldn't understand because he didn't perceive the threat as real (he knew he loved me) and we continued this cycle of threats, pain, fear for years.





We went into counseling.


18 months of being unable to break the cycle, he moved out. I filed for divorce after nine months, realizing he didn't want to be in a relationship with me, and learning to accept it was truly over.




This past Friday, after he refused to answer two simple "yes or no" questions, one sent via email, one sent via text, I put some thought into why he periodically ignores me. I realized he hadn't moved on. He is STILL embroiled in the power struggle I thought ended with my admitting defeat and filing for divorce.


It explained everything - his continued attacks, childish passive aggressive behavior, dumb remarks, ignoring my questions, deceptions and lies. He had never admitted it was over and done, there was no need to try to gain power or hurt me (a bad tool to use, but typical of relationships).


I realized he was still emotionally invested. If he weren't, he would have just answered my two simple questions and be finished with it - Did you book the hotel room? Did the insurance co-pay go up? Instead, he sent a text about how he was at happy hour and couldn't respond, later another set saying he was at home watching TV, laying on the sofa, too tired to give me an answer. I texted, "you could have texted a maximum of three letters, but you send three sentences to explain how you can't send a three letter answer." He still didn't answer. Until today...


He came over and I talked with him about my belief he was frozen in the same spot he was in when he moved out. He denied he was frozen, that there ever was a power struggle, and verbally attacked me. When I didn't respond as he expected to the cruel remark, he was obviously surprised. I didn't defend myself, didn't counter attack, just said I didn't know why he would say something so obviously meant to be hurtful (I was wrong to fight for our family? How could that be wrong?), could he help me understand, because I knew it must've made sense to him at the time. He was befuddled. He didn't know why he'd said it, but it was clearly something he meant to be hurtful.


We talked about what I'd learned about relationship dynamics, power struggles, our fear responses and how they manifest themselves in relationships.


He acknowledged the power struggle and it having been important for him to believe I was wrong and to be able to blame me almost entirely for our marriage ending. (WHAT!?)


He acknowledged that he was frozen, still as depressed and lonely as the day he moved out. He hasn't started to consider any changes he needs to make in order to move forward, to become engaged in his own life, and live again. He feels a connection with me, but it usually makes him feel angry and frustrated. He has shut down completely.


He told me he has always loved me and still does.


The only thing that has changed for him is his address. And I thought I had issues moving on.

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The only thing that has changed for him is his address. And I thought I had issues moving on.



It's amazing how we always knock ourselves and tell ourselves how badly we're doing, and genuinely believe that the other party just skipped off merrily and forgot all about us.

Guess this shows us otherwise.

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There was suddenly nothing in the least bit appealing about him. This morning I feel a bit lighter, more positive. I wonder if knowing he's had a difficult time moving is going to help me take another step forward.


Plus, his teeth looked gross, as if they were rotting. They aren't. They just stain really badly. I wanted to tell him to get some White Strips or something, but I kept it to myself. I can't believe I ever locked lips with that mouth. I can't imagine any woman seeing his smile and thinking "oh, yeah, he's cute". More like, "oh, crap! That ruined it."

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AutumBorn, thanks for a good laugh this AM (2nd post)...I think that is fabulous. What that means is all the work and time and energy you put into both mouring the breakup and energy you have invested in you has paid off!!!


I am SO happy to read this. It is like you have grown and moved forward and now when you look at him, he doesn't even appear to be in your league. I want that to happen so bad - that would squash any desire for my hope to be alive!


Also, I went to Als Turtle we page and saw so much stuff. I could not figure out what blog was the one that was helping. Is there a link you can send that goes directly to it?

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Here's a link to Al's blog (the best relationship site on the net!):


link removed


There is so much information there and some really good advice on what to do in the link "What To Do When He/She Leaves You".


About my ex - he obsesses about starting to lose his hair. I want to scream "Are you blind? It's the teeth!"

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