What provokes Monster?
Not being afraid of Monster is not an admonition to poke the bear. Monster is often a reaction to anything Monster perceives as a threat. You can’t control that sort of volatility in someone else. You might get a visit from Monster because you smile wrong! But smiling is usually not a deliberate provocation. So consider if what you have been doing when Monster shows up is provocative.
Command Versus Demand
How are you approaching the topic?
Are you making demands?
That can be a bit confusing since there are certain rules which you insist upon, right.
Rules and Boundaries can be demanded or commanded. Those may seem like they are the same, both are about giving or directing orders. But the difference is the attitude with which they are presented. To demand is to direct from a place of superiority and tyranny. It gives no respect to the person who you are directing because the Demander thinks that power is about subjugation. To command is to lead by example and from a position of self-confidence. With Self-confidence, subjugation is unnecessary because a Commander understands that power is most effective when each person has their own and uses it for the benefit of the team. The Demander fears the power potential within those he directs, the Commander appreciates the power potential within those he directs.
So are you being demanding or commanding?
Monster will rage at demands. Wouldn’t you?
Have you been stockpiling ammunition to hurl at your MLCer when you are in a better position? Safeguarding your potential threats?
Ex. You want to see more of your kids, but you’ve been waiting for the right time, a time when your MLCer may be in a weaker position to meet your demands. Then when the time is right you will come out fighting. You will suddenly outline your demands.
So your children are bargaining chips?
If they are that important, you should now be doing everything you can to have has much time with them as you can.
Demands are seen as threats, whereas commands, though just as strong are seen as coming from a place of respect and thus negotiation—even when you are insistent. Demands come from a place of Acting As If you are expecting Monster. Well, Monster probably won’t disappoint.
Unreasonable Requests or Requirements
Are you being unreasonable? You are a Stander and that’s that. He has to just get over it and accept it. That sort of attitude is a match to the MLCer whose attitude is that he wants a divorce and there is nothing you can do about it so you’d just better agree.
You are not going to agree on everything—perhaps anything during MLC. Accept that. Your MLCer may try and insist that you must agree that your marriage is broken, that divorce is the only solution BLAH BLAH BLAH.
How do you feel when you are presented with a single option? Rebellious? Incensed? Defensive?
So does your MLCer. Just because they are being that way to you doesn’t mean you have to mimic their temper tantrum.
Monster is the energy of the Shadow that fights when there is resistance to the surfacing and integration of the Shadow.
Will he ever catch me up? I just don’t know any more…
He will catch up if you stop fearing Monster so that he can work through Monster rather than using it as his defense. Once Monster as a defense works, he does not work through the conflict. No Contact and watching from a distance, strong boundaries and truth darts… all of those things, even the tactics that seem mean like Bitch Mode (when controlled), are meant to help your MLCer. It’s Tough Love, it feels harsh but it is what they need.
Monster is a natural part of MLC. When you are on-guard against Monster and placating, you prevent this natural element of the journey. I know it is unpleasant. But it is needed. You have to go through facing Monster and he has to burn through Monster. That won’t happen if you don’t face Monster first.
Monster is fear and anger. It needs to be released.
Monster is a Reality
I’m afraid he sees my not talking to him about divorce as controlling.
Of course it feels controlling; you are standing in the way of what he thinks he wants. Don’t you get upset when someone stands in your way? It is not his job to understand you; so stop fretting over it and accept that he will react with anger.
You do not get to control your MLCer’s thoughts, feelings, actions, reactions, choices or even their interpretations of your thoughts, feelings, actions… And sometimes they are going to interpret your actions negatively. That’s life, learning to deal with it means learning to deal with Monster.
You can keep avoiding Monster, but by doing that you are avoiding your own Mirror Work and you are giving up the opportunity for you to learn to be response rather than reactive and to remain calm in argumentative or stressful situations. If you want to reconcile your marriage, you need to acquire these skills.
Valid Reasons to Stay Away From Monster
- If you are not yet detached.
- If your detachment is fresh and vulnerable.
- If your MLCer is truly dangerous—violent, abusive.
If there are certain threats that you are not prepared to deal with yet—kidnapping the children.
- You’ve been facing Monster and you need a break! Maybe you are about to break!
Staying away is not the same as avoiding. Avoiding means that you stay away and do not work on your Self so that you can eventually face Monster, staying away means you do not put yourself in Monster’s path either because Monster is dangerous to you, itself or others, because you need a bit of a break or because you are using the space to work on your Self without distraction.