Recently during a breakup of a relationship, I have found myself frequently under pressure from my xspouse to “own” something either literally and/or emotionally.
For example, my xhusband wishes for me to literally own our car even though I feel it’s only partly my responsibility. I have also been emotionally directed (blackmailed) towards owning a fair share of the reason for the breakup.
In some cases, I don’t feel that the issue at hand is my problem to own. I am often left feeling frustrated and confused as to the lack of apparent inequity, clarity and inability to concede on the other side.
I am happy to own my property and problems and for him to own his.
It’s very hard to allow someone you love to own something they don’t want. This is human nature because we care, concede, accommodate, especially when the other person is perceived as emotionally weaker than us. The cost to me in owning something I don’t want seems less than the fall out involved in insisting that they own it. For example, to make a big issue out the car would (in my mind) have created more hassle and bad feeling for me than the inconvenience of paying $100 per week for the fucking thing.
It’s a fine line though because taking on (owning) stuff that I see as foreign (or at least not mine) might lead to resentment. When someone else realises you are a pushover with great capacity for taking on all their spare mind furniture, you might find all their crap simply gets dumper-trucked onto you.
My guess is that people that react badly to having to concede to someone else are those that feel guilty at pushing out their own shit. For example I have a friend on FB that is always screaming with the injustice of the latest builder, tradesman, estate agent that ripped her off or expects her agreement to something apparently unreasonable. My point is that you are what you eat. Which is to say you likely feel, in response to how you behave. If you are a dumper truck driver of emotional issues onto someone else, at some level you know that, and then subconsciously, you likely suspect others are doing it to you. Outrage follows.
Recently, a person I don’t like very much has attempted to use emotional blackmail (as I see it) to get me to own something that I don’t think is my problem. I expect the situation is quite distressing for her, because her behaviour is odd and irritating and far from zen. She has hit an area in me that I am currently sensitive about, because I feel that my xhusband is already pushing me to concede on things, and at least I love him. With her, under similar circumstances she is just making me feel angry.
It’s a chance for me to observe the situation under new conditions. And ask myself is my resistance to conceding an indicator that I myself and pushing off ownership of my own issues to others? I struggle like everyone else to be self-fulfilled and emotionally independent. I have needs and I want other people to help me meet them. Am I more guilty than I thought.
It strikes me (as an aside) that owning something comes down to perception. What I mean is whether something is really “yours” or foreign is a matter of opinion. I know I own these jeans because I paid for them, but do I own a bike someone picked up in hard rubbish and shares amongst his friends but with an emphasis on it being “mine” – I don’t feel so. I mean I don’t “feel” like I own it, because of the circumstances. But he might feel i do, or another person might when questioned. Another example is my bedroom furniture at home; my husband and I bought it together so it’s actually not wholly legally mine, but I chose it and I wanted it and now it’s just left with me and somehow that is my ownership of it. It’s perception. It just happens to be shared because I suspect if I asked him he would agree that it’s mine notwithstanding other things.
Curiously, as humans we know ownership is important and so we undertake rituals to establish it. For example, a gift is given ceremoniously. The ownership transferred in that way. I’m sure there are other examples.
Not surprisingly, emotional ownership which is intangible is all over the place. Actually after typing lots more very long paragraphs, I have decided that emotionally you only ever own your own feelings. End of story. Any concessions there are done through weakness or kindness.
So emotionally, she has to own the problem – turning back to the situation at hand. The only thing left is whether I have any responsibility or whether I feel kind. Given that she drove into my stationary car, I conclude nope no responsibility. And kindness? I feel a desire to help her, make the problem go away, not piss her off. I own this emotionally. But actually, I don’t feel like I want to be kind. This comes from a subconscious detection that she would not be similarly kind to me.
Turning away from kindness, I am left with good faith. Do I want to make a good faith payment? Yes I do. This has something to do with it being a small cost to me for something that is an apparently ginormous issue for a slightly mad and odd person. Given that the theme is $100 per week, I think I will make a good faith payment of $100. This seems like a reasonable outcome. Then she can fuck off.