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Getting to Work — 12 Comments

    • Sure, and it’s a good question, Gargi,

      I think of “an Ex” as a very useful person.   I see them as a for-sure Imago Match, with whom you have a bunch of history, have completed the Romantic Phase, have terminated the Power Struggle at least once by using “Divorce”, Door #3.  While bloody, this is great experience.  They are, and will always be candidates for Door #1 if,,, if you can lead the way and if they feel like it.  And we already know they are want Vintage Love and see/saw it as a potential with you if you would change.  So they are quicker/less expensive potential partners than having to find a new partner and arrive back here at the choice point years later.  

      One drawback is that you two have probably burned a whole bunch of bridges that will have to be rebuilt. The task may seem too big. One advantage is that you both have pretty good ideas about the specific work ahead of you.  Often my work is abstract where you will have concrete tasks.  Much easier. 

      When I finished my Map of Relationships I became very optimistic about relationships, after long years of discouraging thought.  Your ex, as some level, is waiting for you to show signs of movement, of learning.  Lead the way.  Good luck. 

  1. Good questions. "How do I navigate this kind of territory?" You learn the skills of acting wisely (even when your partner/friend/kid is acting unwisely) and then practice the skills in real life with someone – over and over. And you stumble a lot along the way.

    " I empowering his behavior by saying nothing?" Sure you are. Saying nothing in a moment or an hour may be the wise thing. Saying nothing in a longer term (days, weeks, months) seems to me to always be enabling and foolish. If you don't like his behavior (use of house), I think it behooves you to say so within at least a couple of day, better yet when it first occurs to you. Though you might want to say it gently, respectfully and firmly.

    " my thoughts drift to whether he is having a change of heart or whether (as one of my sons puts it) he is using our home as a cheap hotel." Tell him that's what it looks like to you and ask him that is his intention. "A guest is like a fish, after three days they start to stink." My suggestion is you set for yourself a boundary (e.g. "Sleeping on the couch once a month or less often is ok, but only if you ask me ahead of time.") and defend that boundary. Besides, my guess is that you need to practice Boundary Skills.

    Glad to know he's seeing the kids. Means you still have contact.

    Any change of mind just implies going back to work on heading for Vintage Love. Just that one thought, "You are heading for Vintage Love, whether he wants to join you are not." is a great guide. At sometime, you will have to make the decision whether to get to work with someone else and stop letting him fiddle around with you, or whether to get to work with him.

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