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Help me interpret ex's latest behavior

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jemimapd posted 12/13/2013 20:25 PM

So, we are two weeks post divorce, ex is still living in a cheap hotel while he tries to fix up his house (aka The Money Pit With Mold That Will Never Be Finished) and he is seeing DD6 at my house.

(That btw fine with me: I go out or downstairs and this way I keep an eye on him because his brain seems to be shrinking daily.)

Anyway, immediately after the divorce he was angrily asking me for more money. I didn't give in and told him the subject was closed.

So now he has a new tactic: silence. Honestly, it is like a teenage girl has taken over his body. Lots of pouting, sullen looks, one-word answers. Oh, and some door-slamming.

He is 52 FFS!!!

It doesn't really worry me. It's unpleasant but not threatening. I'm more confused than anything, it's as if he wants me ask him what's wrong and I'm not. Also, I made up a provisional schedule for the next two weeks, gave it to him yesterday, asked for his comments once he had reviewed it. Nothing. Asked him again tonight if it was OK with him. Eventually he says, "Yes, I suppose so."

I swear he takes about ten seconds to come up with any response to a question. What is that about?

Is this passive-aggressive? He couldn't accuse me of being controlling because I asked for his input but he didn't give me any.

I just don't know what he hopes to achieve by this. Actually, Mr. Sulky is way better than Mr. Angry.

Nature_Girl posted 12/13/2013 20:37 PM

He's already achieved what he wanted - ego kibbles. He's occupying your thoughts. You have to ask him more than once for a response. He still is jerking you around.

So, solution? If you have to give him a schedule, don't ask for his approval or input prior to implementation. Simply let him know here's the schedule and you will proceed as if it is approved (silence gives consent) unless he notifies you otherwise.

Yes, it's all passive-aggressive nonsense. It's abusive, it's a power-play, and it's utterly ridiculous.

ruby44 posted 12/13/2013 20:47 PM

Oh my gosh, what is it with them when you ask them a yes or no question and they have to take a full 30 seconds to answer. He did that thru our whole marriage and it drove me crazy. I mean really do you want water or milk with dinner...............................................................................................milk. Oh my gosh I will not miss that. I never knew if he was considering his options or just ignoring me.
So frustrating.

jemimapd posted 12/13/2013 20:54 PM

NG that makes sense. Thank you. But what exactly are ego kibbles? Are you saying that he wants me to be preoccupied with him?

I'm just confused as to why someone who was so detached from the marriage is interested in playing these games.

Ruby, I think it is some power play but I don't really understand it!

Nature_Girl posted 12/13/2013 21:06 PM

Ego kibbles are what fuels a narcissist. They must have them in order to survive. It's like blood for a vampire. They suck them out of their targets/victims. A narc will create any kind of drama in any way they can just to get some satisfaction via attention from you (positive or negative, doesn't matter) or just to know they have some smidgeon of control over you. Just pausing for a few seconds before answering gives them complete control, your undivided attention.

Yes, he wants you to be preoccupied with him. He wants you to be miserable. You need to learn your lesson, learn your place. You need to be sorry you're not together anymore. Lookit how hard life is, now. It's all your fault.

careerlady posted 12/13/2013 22:11 PM

The Snake exhibits this behavior quite often. He expects you to still be in the role of fixing everything for him and he both resents you for not doing so and thinks he can get you to resume your prior role eventually, especially if he shows his displeasure enough. In the meantime he'll settle for the kibbles he gets from the extra thought/attention you may be giving him. It's all very pathetic and juvenile and not befitting a 52 year old (or any adult really)! I'm praying that's the worst the Snake will get from now on. It's annoying but easily overcome when doing NC

Gr8Lady posted 12/13/2013 22:12 PM

Can we reduce him to one word...ASS
Plain and simple , end of story. Tantrum don't work, elaborate justifications, so now silence.
He needs to get over himself.

Note to you as reminder, as the holiday approaches and emotiononality takes over it will get worse. So prepare.

jemimapd posted 12/14/2013 04:27 AM

I'm just struggling with the irrationality of it, or maybe he has his own logic which I don't get.

Since the divorce he has done nothing but complain and ask me for more money. This is despite the financial agreement he signed after getting legal advice. His problems are caused by:

1. Buying the money pit
2. Not getting a second job
3. Assuming I would bail him out

He also complains about how he is exhausted, sick and now deaf in one ear. Really.

The self-obsession is unbelievable. I guess he has always been this way but I didn't see it before. I wonder if our whole marriage was underpinned by his resentment at having to do anything at all. That would make sense: he dragged his feet and complained any time he did anything with us/me/around the house and did a half-assed job of it for good measure.

I do have bad days but being a single parent is not so different to how I was living before.

I think he thought I was going to fall apart after the divorce. I also think he may have been triggered yesterday because I made some cookies for a meeting I was going to. It sounds trivial but I used to cook for him and now all that is gone.

Still, it is so immature and ridiculous. I am going to ignore, ignore, ignore and wait for the next tactic.

Catwoman posted 12/14/2013 04:46 AM

Read my post. Almost 11 years later, it is STILL my fault.

It is attention seeking, ego-kibble hunting behavior. Don't fall for it. Calmly and quietly go about your business. Don't let him ruffle you. In fact, going about your own nice, shiny, new life is what is driving his fury.

Don't engage. Let him have his little mantrums.


jemimapd posted 12/14/2013 08:00 AM

Cat woman, I read your post and this is why I need to enroll in the state program for collection. He pays them and they pay me. That way there is a record (last month for the first payment he gave me cash) and he is accountable to them.

I have no doubt that CS will dwindle very soon.

I need to process this whole idea of ego kibbles: that ex wants validation not reciprocity. It rings true. I'm sure that is what the affairs gave him. So he used these women just like he used me, making them believe he loved them and would leave me. I don't care about them but that was his thinking. It's so selfish and sick.

Yes, my ex blames me for his $ troubles, too. It is all my fault because I am so rich and he is so poor, it is ridiculous. I make a budget and go to Aldi and sell stuff on CL and eBay. He buys everything new, has never made a budget and refuses to get a job to supplement his business which goes very quiet over the winter.

Yes, my new life is driving him crazy! as I write ths he is late to see DD6. He knows I have a meeting. So predictable...

Tripletrouble posted 12/14/2013 08:47 AM

It's hard for us rational people to understand this kind of thinking. Use his behavior to remind yourself over and over that you made the right decision. What an ass.

nomistakeaboutit posted 12/14/2013 09:14 AM

So, what could be going on in his mind,me hike he's giving you the quasi-silent treatment?

(......shit. She's not going to give me any more money. ....fucking bitch. I hate her. She's the most selfish woman I've ever known. She won't lend me money because she's being selfish. Sure,she can buy x, y and z for herself, but help me when I really need help . Noooooooo. Fuck her. I'm not going to give her the time of day.)

He's pouting and ruminating because you won't rescue him from his financial mess, like you've done in the past. Loan him the money and watch him quickly become more conversational!

To me, it's that simple. It's about the money.

standingonmarble posted 12/14/2013 09:36 AM

He is being affected by the mold filled money pit. Look up symptoms of mold poisoning. It all fits.

jemimapd posted 12/14/2013 12:21 PM

It is about the money! Today he arrived and was really quite pleasant. I have a feeling he is going to ask me again. I will keep you posted.

And somehow he has turned his affairs and the consequent divorce into me being selfish aka "Having things all your own way, Jemima," which is one of his favorite phrases. He also likes to say that he, "Gave up the last ten years of my life for you."

jemimapd posted 12/14/2013 12:22 PM

I am concerned about the mold and I am going to insist on a mold inspection before DD6 goes there.

osxgirl posted 12/14/2013 14:23 PM

What's wrong with the silent treatment? I would rejoice and enjoy it while it lasts. It's got to be better than hearing the kind of lunacy that usually comes out of these guys mouths.

In fact, if the silent treatment stopped, I would probably be asking him how I could get him to go into "pouty silent" mode again.

careerlady posted 12/14/2013 16:18 PM

Him being friendly is indeed the prelude to asking for something. He wants you to feel like giving it to him will prevent the sulky man from returning. It's emotional blackmail. Hit the ignore button and stay NC regardless of how he behaves.

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