Since the divorce I have noticed a striking change in our communication. We both started a power play, a jostle for control and dominance by being the person who felt they had control of the communication. I would like to say that those days are in our past, but tonight felt like another frustrating example that that aspect of life is not yet behind us…
Things started off not too bad, she contacted me to inform me of what days I had selected for my vacation – due to some miscommunication during the last few weeks I took as constructive and not as aggressive. The situation also gave us a chance to discuss an upcoming school event and allowed us to coordinate in preparation for that. Was a simple conversation started by responding to her initial text in short order. I treated her as if she was important, and the tension was quickly alleviated and forgotten.
Generally, if she texts I respond as soon as I can. With an email I try my best to respond within 24 hrs if a response is required. When she calls, I try never ignore a call – and call her back if I missed it for some reason. We may be divorced, but I still work hard to treat her as a valuable part of the family unit. Because, that is what she is … no matter how upset I may be at times.
Before, during, and after a marriage – communication is key!
This evening felt to be in contrast to that…
Today was the science fair at the school, so I thought I would check in with the kids before bed and see how it went. I called, voice mail. Called the house, voice mail. Ok, maybe they are busy which is completely understandable so I gave it another 15 minutes … called both numbers again … nothing. Sent a text to have them call me, and tried again a few minutes later … now we are bumping up against the kids bed time and my hockey game is about to start. So I have to leave it, they must have just been busy … such is life.
But now it after midnight and I am off the ice and headed home to bed. I was expecting a call or text saying that they just missed it, but nothing – does she not check her phone at all during the evening? Tonight it is annoying as I really wanted to talk about how things went this morning at school, so I know I am being more sensitive than normal. Yet, this is not a one time situation – simple fact is that she doesn’t seem to pay attention to her communication channels and it can be frustrating. Any time there is an email, text, or call that she does not like, she does not respond – she gets them, cause she gets all the others.
Tonight follows on the heals of a recent weekend when I felt respect for my time with the boys was also not shown. My youngest requested to call her and share that they had completed the science project. Simple enough and of course the answer is “ok”, never hold back communication right. Yet, the call went on for a good 30 minutes before I had to call him off to come ACTUALLY finish his work – so my other son got on to say “hi” and they talked for another 30 minutes. There was no big event to share and we had other things planned. I asked to wrap it up (she heard) … and yet the call continued. Eventually I had to become the bad guy and insist my son say good bye so we could keep our nights plans going.
Yes … right now I am feeling petty. In fact, I have tried for a long time to not go negative, but sometimes negative feelings exist. That is just what this is, emotions and insecurities brewing to the surface. I can’t change her, never could. There are a million and one reasons that they were unavailable tonight, and those have to be acceptable. The boys have a strong relationship with their mother, that is something to promote and not hinder. So I go to bed tonight knowing that I will see my youngest tomorrow morning before school and we have a vacation coming up.
All I can do is continue to act the way I feel is right, not always for me – but for the kids.