In sharing custody with an abuser, I’m sure you’ve heard that one way to handle the post-separation abuse is to detach from the abuser as much as possible. It's true that we’d love to completely detach from him, but since we share children with him, that’s not an option.
This advice sounds good in theory, but it can be difficult to put into practice.
How do you detach from someone who clings to you like a leech, sucking the life out of you and your family?
As I look back at pictures of my life before breaking free from abuse, I can see a sadness in my eyes. I was in a constant state of high anxiety. I remember constantly praying he would do the right thing.
I hoped he would follow the court order.
I wished he would put our kid first before himself.
I wondered why he had to harm her.
I wondered why he had to use her as emotional support.
Can you relate?
I remember at my wedding, my mom had to ask my dad to give her the alimony payment for the month. She should have been able to relax and enjoy her daughter’s wedding but instead she had to ask for money. It was their daughter's wedding and still the toxic web of emotional abuse took center stage!
This memory got me thinking of so many conversations I’ve had with moms that have to put up with child support coming late, chasing him for the money, having to put up with snarky remarks when he finally gives it to them.
When we rely on the ex for one of our core needs like food, shelter, joy, peace, or freedom, we are still enmeshed emotionally with him.
When he doesn’t come through, our whole lives are affected.
The Bible talks about not being unequally yoked. I realize you’re not married to him and so part of that yoke is gone. But if you’re still relying on him for those core needs, you’re still in the yoke.
You may have found ways to detach from him on a certain level already. Now, I want to invite you to look deeper into your situation to find the areas that are within your control to change. You know you can’t control when he sees the kids, when he talks to them on video or phone.
But you can find ways you’re relying on him that you can take care of yourself.
This can be difficult to do, especially in financial areas. My ultimate heart for you and your kids is to have the utmost freedom, and distance from him. Then, you can have clarity and peace of mind so you can enjoy your kids and not wish away their childhood.
So, what can you do to get out of the yoke?
Make plans to increase your income so that when he doesn’t pay child support on time, your bills are still paid.
When I began to find ways to detach, my thinking got clearer. I had more space to think, more room to breathe. I stopped looking over my shoulder, stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. I took control of what I could and it felt damn good! It boosted my confidence which boosted my daughter’s confidence. It set us on a trajectory that we’re continuing today.
Do you need some help getting started? Schedule a free 15 minute consultation with me. We’ll talk about what tools are available to you that can help you as you look for ways to detach from the ex. Click the link below and let’s chat, sister.
God made you for this!
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