#117 Upset about insensitive divorce comments / Am I intending insensitive comments about my divorce?
DEAR ABBY: My divorce became final two months ago and several people have congratulated me. Abby, the last thing I ever wanted was to be another divorce statistic, but my ex-husband committed a heinous crime for which he will pay for the rest of his life. While I know I'm better off without him, what I would have preferred was for the circumstances not to have happened in the first place!
I am trying to get my life back on track. but it isn't easy. And it doesn't help when some insensitive person offers “congratulations.” They don't seem to understand that the subject is painful. I have said, ”Please don't say that,” but what else can I say? —UNHAPPILY DIVORCED ON THE EAST COAST
DEAR DIVORCED: I'm passing your message along. However, when someone makes an inappropriate comment, instead of saying, Please don't say that,” try this: Please don't bring that subject up again. All it does is make me sad.” —ABBY
Hi Divorced: There are several things about your letter that don't feel good.
I'll begin with, “. . .the last thing I ever wanted was to be another divorce statistic.” This covert make-wrong presents you as self-righteous. You unconsciously make those who are statistics wrong, as though you are (or were) better.
Your comment, “. . .when some insensitive person. . .” reveals more about name-calling, badmouthing you than it does a well-meaning friend. It's another make-wrong. Theirs is simply an unconscious communication generated most likely from uncomfortableness. It reveals that you are not in communication with the "insensitive" person; if you were you would have shared your upset spontaneously and the upset would have disappeared. Instead you have stuffed your thoughts, you've become a non verbal make-wrong mechanism, collecting better-than-thou reasons.
Re: "They don't seem to understand that the subject is painful." That, or they are in touch with something you've forgotten; they see you dragging around your victim act and are presenting you the opportunity to clear. The more clearings the faster one completes an incomplete such as pain.
I don't know how many people are voicing things that upset you but it sure would be hard to come up with something that would work for you, other than to pretend there's no elephant in the room. Keep in mind that most people are stuck in blame and make-wrong, and, they don't have your permission to be open and honest and spontaneous with you.
I do get your anger, however, it appears that you haven't acknowledged your responsibility for your creation and so you're stuck blaming him. I can't help but wonder how many tried to warn you about him, and, if you had the total support of both parents when you first started dating him. Arrogance always begs to be caught, quite often in surprising ways. Do you have any sense what the karma might be from an life-time of self-righteous judgementalness, of making others wrong, if not verbally then non-verbally?
Re: “. . .what I would have preferred was for the circumstances not to have happened in the first place!” Yes, I get what you say you would have preferred, however, we also see that your intention, based upon the results your leadership communication skills produced, was what you have. There's a genius at work here; your task is to figure out what drove you to produce this result. Just because one is unconscious about an intention doesn't make it any-the-less theirs.
Let's look at what happens when you (consciously or unconsciously) intend (cause) another to say something such as “Congratulations!” What you experience is upset, underneath which is anger. If your intention is to complete this incident and use it to forward you in your purpose in life then it would work for you communicate from your experience instead of letting your reactive mind do its judgmental make-wrong dance. What this might sound lie is: “H'm that triggers upset. I'm stuck blaming him as though he did it to me. I haven't gotten to the point where I can congratulate myself for having produce the entire mess. It's virtually impossible to get that I masterminded the whole enchilada.”
I suspect it will come as a humbling shock for you to realize that everyone mirrors you, that at some level you are not as innocent as you believe yourself to be.
Re: “While I know I'm better off without him,” You will never ever be without him. He is in your life daily; mastery is having the relationship work for everyone.
You'll find the four free communication processes in The Clearing House to be of value. —Gabby
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