In Her Eyes You See Nothing – Facing Old Partners

At the end of my relationships – and I mean the very end, the time AFTER you break-up and make the decision to stop swinging back and forth between being out of it and being in it – I’m always hit by some of the profound changes that didn’t seem to take any effort at all to facilitate. In what seems like a moment, you can flip the switch from believing that you will get married, have children and grow old together to not even talking and to be filled with excitement at the thoughts of starting again with a stranger. You can just wake-up one day and be done.

Then the stuff begins to change. The excitement that used to fill your belly when you see them is replaced with an angered arousal that spikes rage and not lust. What used to be a soothing presence is replaced with anxiety. The once welcoming stare has been wiped of off both faces and is replaced with a flat emptiness, a void that seems to say “I know you less than someone I’ve never meet.” You sense an unwelcome-ness in each others eyes, a suspicion further confirmed by the dark energy emanating from false smiles and fabricated body language. You stiffen and lean against the flow of the world, choosing to fight the once natural bending and going with it.

What was your bright and exciting future becomes a stained memory tinted with bitterness, disappointment and all the other stuff that was manufactured during the break-up process to get you to change your mind.

It’s all made up though, it’s all a choice that we engage in to move us past the relationship and into the mind set of a single person. Intuitively we know that we cannot restart with someone else when we are in our mind still going with the old partner, so we create the break-up experience to allow us to start again, with a few new lessons and a clean slate, free from dueling thoughts of how good it could be with the new and the old. You may very well hate your ex, but they haven’t impacted you in a long time so the magnitude of the contempt is disproportionate to the actual physical impact they have on your life.

In her eyes you see nothing, and you shouldn’t. You need to obliterate your outdated understanding of the world that has them being a part of yours. And there’s a good chance that it needs to be this way. When someone is in our life for a long period of time, we normalize them being in our life. They become our habit. Unless you take drastic action to break the habit, you will allow yourself to see some reason to stay when you look into their eyes, unless you see nothing.

Toxic People – Let Them Hear Themselves – Possible Solution

The premise of the post Toxic People – Controlling Communication = Control was that toxic / controlling people are able to keep the upper hand because they are able to control the communication behaviors of their victim. By preventing the victim from getting external opinions, the abuser is able to maintain their high level of influence. This is very effective for maintaining control of the tone and to heavily shape the thoughts of the victim. However, it only works IF the abuser is able to prevent new information from entering or their abusive behavior leaving the confines of the relationship. Once an external opinion is thrust into the mix, their influence is diminished and the victim begins to regain power, control and perspective.

However, in many cases you can stop the verbal abuse very quickly letting the abuser hear what they are saying by recording their words and playing them back for them.

A recent example of this left me laughing out loud at just how quickly the abuse stopped. A female friend has been making some very positive situational changes in her life to which her soon-to-be-ex is opposed. He has a tendency to lose control when he’s talking and end’s up shouting, making false accusations and generally acting like a delusional person.

She just got sick of listening to his insentient crap and began to record the conversations. It has been going on for some time and he didn’t notice that she was doing it until this week. When he asked her what she was doing and found out that she has recording his abusive rant, he got angry and played the victim card “I can’t believe you would do that to me” to which she replied “I just want you to stop being mean to me in front of our children”. Then it hit him, she had been doing this for some time and he hadn’t noticed, he says “how long have you been doing this?” Her reply “long enough,” he’s been acting inappropriately for a very long time and she got a number of his abusive rants on record. He knows that his voice, his abuse is on tape so the rest of the world is now aware of the situation and of who he really is. What was once his word against her’s is simply now just his words on tape. And his words are actually kind of sad when you embrace the fact that this is a grown man acting younger than their 6 year old.

He’s stopped talking to her because he’s well aware that the world knows who he really is and that he is unable to control himself when he talks to her because abuse is such a big part of who he is. What was once a nicely controlled situation is now being controlled by the facts – he will act abusively towards her in front of their children because that is who he is choosing to be. I think this was a great solution for her because it stopped the abuse immediately once he realized everyone knew who he real was.