The Mr. had shown up at the door unexpectedly yesterday, to do some damage control with our kids after we were all exposed to some hurtful information about him. He refused to leave...
Everything escalated after that, though I believe none of us truly wanted it to. I don't regret anything I said, because I spoke truth but I was too frustrated and wasted too many words that were not received and didn't want to be heard. Pearls to swine...
I am still figuring out the whole healthy boundaries and relational health 'thing'. It doesn't come naturally to me yet.
While I feel and one could say my husband didn't respect my boundary-the truth is, I didn't. It's always about self control. I could have (and should have) removed *myself* from the situation.
I also realized I have done the same thing my husband did many times...He has expressed in tense moments, that he didn't want to talk-and while there was some rejection and avoidance at play there, it never went well nor did it build trust to not respect the limit he was trying to convey.
Controlling ourselves with boundaries is not meant as punishment or emotional manipulation like the 'silent treatment'. It's meant to preserve our love and prevent damage to relationship.
My path to healing and relational health involves leading my children along this path with me. The Mr. ended up giving them permission and respecting their desire for 'space' (a healthy boundary) after yesterday's upset. The middles long for relationship with their dad but not at the cost of their own emotional health, well being and personal value system. They have decided they are OK talking on the phone to him when he calls but not hanging out with him.
When we create space, teach our children their worth which includes valuing their feelings, how to adequately manage them and use self control, they can then feel confident to recognize and stand up for their own boundaries/limits and learn to safely disengage from mistreatment.
We were able to convey that we all love, respect and forgive my husband and he is free to continue on this negative path along with the consequences of that choice, which includes a lack of intimate and close relationship with us, his family. He did not like that nor want it, he wants it *all* with out consequence...but surprisingly, so far, he accepted their decision. He also tried to reassure *them* of his love, though his actions convey only *self love*. We all accepted his choice as well.
We all, including the Mr, looked a bit battle worn today. The Mr was subdued and possibly remorseful and humbled as he came to get the kids. Only the 5yo went with him. I suspect this is affecting him, as in the past he would have approached arrogantly and upbeat, as if nothing had happened.
Keep pursuing healthy love and healing.