Friday, November 7, 2008

Conflict Avoidance

Probably the single most frustrating aspect of my marriage.

Norm is a good man, descent and kind. He’s a great parent, fun, smart, funny, loving, supportive, encouraging, just, fair, stern when needed…you name it. He’s a busy busy guy though. He tends to bite off more than he can chew- so other aspects of his life pay the price. You could say his life lacks a bit of balance. His biggest flaw by far is that he has serious conflict avoidance issues. Mainly and ESPECIALLY when it comes to Sybil. It all started back when they were married.

Here’s a scenario: Sybil fears germs which causes her to scrub the house from top to bottom morning and night. It starts to affect their relationship so Norm says- please Sybil stop. Germs are not that bad. They are not something to be feared. Sybil proceeds to pull out every piece of evidence to prove to Norm how bad germs are. Norm contradicts the evidence with his own. Sybil states his evidence is wrong, hers is right and they argue. Sybil will not back down ever and then proceeds to purchase a $5000 vacuum that sucks up every piece of dust in the house when they are living on a small single income (because Sybil can’t work because she needs to sanitize the house all day.) Norm throws his hands up. This is one of fifty million examples of what occurred in their marriage

Fast forward to 2001 and instead of the argument being about germs it’s about home-schooling MS because her teacher was (supposedly) mean to her, called her names, hit her and pushed her down a flight of stairs. There were of course no witnesses and the teacher has no complaints against her...AT ALL. All the other kids lover her. The investigator found no grounds for charges and it was dropped by child protective services for ‘no basis.’ MS was diagnosed with separation anxiety (with her mother) and was throwing 16 fits when mom would try to take her to school. 40 some days absent later (seriously- I can’t make this shit up) and Sybil gets the bright idea to home-school without even consulting Norm. Sybil barely graduated high school and has ZERO follow through with just about everything. Norm finds out about the home-schooling and he basically just shakes his head and tells Sybil he doesn’t think it’s a good idea. I nudged and said “are you kidding- you’re just going to allow her to do this!” His response “She’s irrational, I can’t argue with her, it won’t get me anywhere.”

I dug out his divorce decree – pointed to where it said “Joint Custody”- pulled out the definition of joint custody in the state statues where it has the section that pertains to school and decision making and said “She is breaking the law. You need to stop this.” He still did nothing- never called her out on her behavior, never told her she was out of line, nothing. At least not for another few years when MS was tested and tested 2 full years behind in school and Sybil was home schooling MN as well because “it’s only fair.” Can’t let MS stay home and play all day and make MN go to school, right? Actually she came up with some bullshit diagnosis on her own- MS had post traumatic stress disorder and MN was associating herself with MS’s condition….uhhhh yeah right whatever.

Fast forward again to today. Sybil proceeds to bash me in an e-mail, lie BOLDFACE about something so easy to verify it’s madness (which we did and we confirm she lied) and blame Norm for not communicating when she’s the one who’s dropping the ball. Norm’s response to her is basically “thank you for doing A, I’ll take care of B, let me know about C and I’ll let you know about D.” NOTHING about calling her out on her behavior and obvious LIES, nothing about ‘Stepmonster is not …, you must be confused.’ No defending himself, nothing. NOTHING

It deeply saddens me and confuses me about this man I love so much………who clearly needs a new set. (He already knows how I feel about this to the fullest extent and refuses to take anything I suggest into consideration which infuriates me even further.)


  1. lord do i understand or what... i think that maybe both of our husbands were beaten down emotionally and mentally during their time with the witches (my code name for her)that NOW- since they are out.... its kinda like ohhhh no. im so not getting in the middle of THAT again. its almost like when they are with us they are so happy but if the witch calls or whatever my husbands mood drops to zero in a heartbeat. most of the time he won't answer the phone... and im all like babe you gotta deal eventaully- you know what i don't get though... is that my husband is sooo VERY ASSERTIVE in everything but her... whats that about? im so sorry, this is your dumping ground- not mine- but i have thought i was alone for so long that i was beginning to think maybe it was me that was insane! nope not anymore

  2. No, feel free to dump...
    It may be a plague. Norm is assertive too. With me- he's fine- tells me to knock it off and that something ticked him off. He is required to call people out on their poor behavior for his job so I know he's fully capabable...

  3. I assume it is simply a worn out, burned out feeling. As unsavory as dealing with the ex is, at least we never lived with her, right? I also imagine it's difficult to deal with constant servings of hate and malice from someone they used to love.

  4. so very true smirking cat... all of that is why most of the time i let it go. for one thing i NEVER want myself to be anything like the ex.

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  6. My husband used to go out of his way to keep from doing or saying anything that might hurt his ex's feelings or make her mad.

    It bugged me because I felt that he treated her with kid gloves but I didn't get the same treatment.

    It ended when I asked him if he'd rather have her upset with him when he doesn't have to live with her or me and have to look at me every day.