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The subject of pardoning versus forgiving came up this morning at a book club I attend.  Pardon does not mean the same thing as forgive (though at first glance it may seem so).  It seems that if we actually pardon someone, we are letting them off the hook so to speak.  Think of someone who has committed a crime and then gets no punishment.  Those a little older (like meself...) might recall that President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon as one of his first acts in office.  Nixon got off scott free. 

I realized that my dxNPDh has always expected to be pardoned.  No consequences, no apologies and whatever he has done is placed immediately in the past so presto!, nothing to forgive.  Nothing he has ever done needs an apology, hence to forgiveness.  He demands that he receive a pardon (a free pass) no matter how grievous or egregious his actions. 

It also reminds me of my undxd M (mentally ill, also perhaps BPD??) who would batter me for hours and then be all smiles the next day and NO ONE was to ever mention what happened the day before.  She got a free pass.  When I finally confronted her violence (I was out of her home and had been detached for several years when she walked into my office at work), she first blamed my dad, then me and finally walked out.  Yeah, PDs demand a pardon, slate wiped clean, nothing on their record. 

Any comments? 

Do you have court orders governing your divorce? I know you just filed, so maybe not. Have you had your mediation yet?

If you have any sort of court orders yet, those set the legal framework with which you and your ex must both abide. Although are you U.K.? I really am not familiar with those legal issues.

If you do not, you and your stbx are in no man's land. Since you have filed for divorce, anything you do from this point forward (and past, but especially now, going forward) is subject to the court's scrutiny. If you and stbx do not agree on what's best for the children, and the court must step in and decide for you, courts generally favor maintaining the status quo of the children, and they always want to see the parents getting along and fostering a relationship between the kids and the other parent.

Naturally, when you separate into separate homes, there is a change in the status quo. But as much as is possible, while still fostering/encouraging a relationship with the other parent, courts favor keeping the kids' routines the same and their lives as stable as possible.

Unfortunately, as painful and as hard as it is for those of us who want to protect our kids, the courts generally do not care if the other parent has a BF or GF, and they generally do not weigh in on how/when/if the kids interact with the GF or BF, unless the person is maybe a hardcore drug addict or sex offender or something. Generally, courts stay out of it.

So until you get court orders, any parenting behavior you want your stbx to abide by, if he does not agree or does not want to, you are SOL.

HOWEVER, since you're both being "observed" by the court at this point, this is where you are aware of and document his behaviors that have a negative impact on the children, if not outright harm or abuse.

I will also say that my separation orders included a clause that neither NPDxh or I were allowed to have DS in the presence of a 3rd party romantic interest. That clause dropped out of our divorce agreement, and I'm not sure if it being in the separation orders was standard, or if NPDxh pushed to have it in there. But if it was the latter, it's rather ironic, considering he got a GF ASAP and promptly exposed DS to her and did the same thing --- had DS spending nights there, etc. -- when NPDxh and I are barely divorced ourselves, and with all the upheaval and instability that that brought to DS. I asked NPDxh not to, he basically told me to go screw, and 3 months later GF and he were broken up, and DS wonders where she went.

So I was unsuccessful at getting NPDxh to modify his behavior for DS. It sounds like from what you described, your stbx would be pretty resistant too. But if you know of some way to get him to, I would try that, since I think it's unlikely that the court is going to.

If your 3yo is having anxiety issues because of her father yanking her around like that, I would certainly document that with a health professional, and that could be helpful to you.

As for the behavior concerning the table ---- we all have different approaches to how much, and when, we tell our kids. I will say that if you choose to decide to talk about the behavior, it's best to focus on the behavior, and not the person.

It sounds like with the table incident, that's more of a situation that disturbs you (and understandably so), but not your son as much, so I would let it go. He might not have put too much thought into it, and if he has, for all he knows, you and his dad came to some kind of agreement or something. Even if he picked up on the sarcastic comment (he most likely did; my 4yo can pick up on it), again, it's not something he probably spent a lot of thought on. Just boring grownup stuff.

I think DS is being groomed to idolize his NPDxh dad too. DS can love him and think he's great all he wants. But I will absolutely have no problem, if it comes to it, of pointing out bad behavior, having DS recognize it and being able to deal with it, just as I will in regard to all of the people in his life. I do not want DS to have the same twisted sensibilities and distortions that NPDxh does.
Common Behaviors / Re: possible N family members breaking my sister
« Last post by BingoLake on Today at 06:46:37 PM »
I agree with going NC.  If she isn't comfortable going that route maybe she could say, "my car will no longer be available at *such and such time*". If they question her or want to argue she doesn't owe them an explanation. It's her car and she can do as she pleases. "The car will no longer be available, and everyone will have to make other arrangements". 

If your sister feels bad have her think about it.  Your grandmother has at least 4 adult children who can help out if they wanted to.  No matter if they live close by, or far away.  People can make things happen if they really wanted to.
Common Behaviors / Re: possible N family members breaking my sister
« Last post by Scout on Today at 06:39:57 PM »
These people sound dreadful, Yawn.  I actually don't blame the aunts for moving away from their difficult mother--which many people on this website have done when the emotional abuse got to be too much--but there is no excuse for their scapegoating and misuse of this 21 year old.

If your sister's car were to be stolen or to break down, the aunts, grandmother and uncles would find a way to get transport for grandma, whether it was some sort of senior services transport (available in some towns), taxis, buses (perhaps with an uncle in tow), or some cheap used car for one of the uncles (who being jobless, have the time to drive and should probably be doing so to earn their keep if grandma is supporting them). 

If I were in this girl's shoes I hope I would have the bravery to go No Contact, and I hope I would have a sister for the emotional support.  Many of us have had to go NC to save ourselves from abusive one-way relationships.  It's not fun or easy, but it can literally be a lifesaver.

Like kayjewel says--consider directing your sister here, and we will give her emotional reinforcement. 
The Welcome Mat / Re: Looking to get Well
« Last post by Bloomie on Today at 06:32:46 PM »
Beazlie - welcome to Out of the FOG.

It takes a lot of courage to own serious issues in our lives that are hurting us and others and to reach out for help and support in overcoming those issues. I am sorry for the difficult losses you have experienced and can only imagine how hard it has been to cope with them. Admitting you have a substance abuse issue is an important first step. To make sure you are in the best place to receive the kind of support you need at this time, I want to make sure you understand what we do here at OOTF and what we are about.

Out of the FOG is a community dedicated to offering support and information to people who have a loved one or family member who suffers from a personality disorder.  The rule is that we come here to discuss our relationship issues as they pertain to the other people in our lives with a PD, and not substance abuse and dependency recovery issues. We welcome your participation as long as the discussion revolves around dealing with the loved ones in your life with a PD and not on your own recovery from substance abuse.   

As others have mentioned there are great resources for those that are needing support as they address their substance and dependency issues and here are a couple of links that may be of great help to you:



Thanks for your understanding. I wish you great success as you address these difficulties in your life.
my ex would say that.  he'd say "you're the one who's upset. i'm fine."  I would just sit there stunned.  I wanted to wag a finger at him and say "oh no you didn't".  What's the point; he doesn't get it.  It was another one of those moments where you know it's going to end, soon, badly.
Dealing with PD In-Laws / Re: Being called by the wrong name...
« Last post by Scout on Today at 06:22:07 PM »
My late grandma, who was some astonishing blend of PD and mentally ill, but never properly diagnosed as far as I know, would call me by her daughter's (my mother's) name, and sometimes her sister's name.  I always just saw it as "grandma being dotty", and later, for the mild dementia it really was. 

If your MIL seems embarrassed (rather than thinking it's funny or acting casual about it, like someone might do out of disrespect) it might mean that--like my grandma--she's a candidate for dementia, which in rare cases can start in the 40's and 50's.  Or it could be a medication she's on.

Another thing that makes me think this is accidental: she's not messing up your name by getting it slightly wrong, in a way people often do when they dislike someone, or disrespecting you with shoddy attempts at mispronunciation.  She is full-on calling you by someone else's name, which is a mistake with a capital M, and narcissists do not usually like being caught in mistakes. 

I had a memory of my mother saying that I was always very attached to her. This disturbed me so much.  I feel creepy remembering it.
Dealing with PD Parents / Re: Do I Tell Her How I Feel?
« Last post by arianna on Today at 06:20:37 PM »
For me it was unsatisfying but I'm glad I did it so I would have that certainty.  Although on the other hand, if I had trusted my gut that it would be unsatisfying/pointless, I could have saved a lot of time. Should have cut off contact years, decades ago. 
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