So much has already been written about crazy making in relationships but today I felt the need to remind myself of it all. My husband and I have been separated for a while but last night he arrived from abroad for a visit. He will be staying with us for three weeks and spending time with our son.
It is an awkward situation because we will be divorced in a few months time. I have been going for therapy and I know that I need to leave the relationship and I know why. We had a toxic, abusive co-dependency and both of us have unhealed wounds from childhood trauma. The perfect match really!!
Last night was the first time that we greeted each other without any physical contact and I had very little to say to him. I left him to sleep on a mattress in the living room and had a very restless sleep. This morning I woke up feeling anxious, the familiar ‘walking on eggshells’ feeling revisited and I just generally felt confused by our brief encounter last night.
For a long time he didn’t accept that I wanted a divorce and now, instead of taking responsibility for his physical and emotional abuse, he says HE has decided that he was also very unhappy in the relationship and that he has accepted it now. He said God Bless you for pushing me away because I have been able to put things in perspective now! I am not FOOLED!
He was cold and distant last night yet bombarded me with gifts. He is trying to push the boundaries, to see how much and how far I will go by hearing me say no then offering something again. I feel like he is also playing the victim again and I am feeling sorry. He is thinner, looked exhausted, the mattress was uncomfortable. He is not doing well financially and he is studying part time also!
I feel the familiar pull to fix things, to look after him and be perfect! Please sisters remind me that he is a grown man who has to finally take responsibility for his choices and actions and that this is the same man who showed no remorse when he pushed me up against a cupboard and choked me so that I would LISTEN! The same man who stopped traffic on a busy road so that he could fist my jaw (But it wasn’t a really punch of course you see, if he wanted he could have really hit me)!
The same man who has temper tantrums when he doesn’t get immediate gratification. He is a MAN of course and needs to have it when he wants it.
And so in conclusion I have decided to be the cool observer, an anthropologist you could say, and watch his behaviour, the subtleties of the crazymaking tactics meant to confuse, deflect, distract, confuse and keep me on edge for the duration of his stay. I will be silent, and not be drawn into the sorry making and guilt tripping. I will not defend or attack. I will be still, remembering that it is always a lose-lose, damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation with crazy makers. Silence is my best weapon!
Here is a useful link which describes the dynamics of crazy making:
And if you are still unsure there is a fellow blogger who writes very eloquently on this and many other subjects related to crazymaking in relationships. Her wonderful blog can be found at: