Are You Volunteering for Madness?

Do you ever find yourself going round and round in circles with your ex over the same situations?

It’s enough to make you want to throw up your hands and shout “Why is this happening to me?”

As much as we don’t want to admit it, sometimes we actually volunteer for this madness.

We put ourselves into situations that cause more stress and craziness from our ex.

Why do we do this?

Some of the reasons that we find ourselves in these situations are because we think we are doing what is “best for the kids”, or we are people pleasers, or we don’t know how to live without drama in our lives, or we think we “should”.

How Little League was Making me Crazy

Let me tell you about a situation where I was clearly volunteering for madness.

My ex-husband is a huge baseball fan.  He is also what you would call a “high-conflict personality”.

We were already divorced by the time my son was old enough to sign up for T-ball.

My ex had been dreaming about this moment from the time my son was born and I thought it would be good for my son to start playing sports, so I signed him up.

It started off okay, but as the years went on, my ex’s behavior became more and more detrimental to my serenity.

But I continued to be the ”baseball mom”.  I would keep on top of when the sign ups were happening, make sure my son had all the necessary paperwork, get him signed up, etc.

My ex would get in fights with the coaches – except when he was a coach, then he would get in fights with the parents and his assistant coaches.

We had to keep moving around to different leagues, because my ex would burn his bridges each season.

But I kept being the “good mom” and the “in charge” one.  I would still keep signing him up if my son wanted to play.

And each year I asked him, and he said “yes”.   I told him he didn’t have to, but since he expressed that he wanted to play I thought it was my duty to make it happen.

Until the nightmare season.  My ex was out of control.  We had numerous fights at the field because he wanted to pull our son out of a game due to the coaching decisions or whatever.

We were fighting all the time – all over baseball!

So, as the next sign up season rolled around I decided I had had enough.  If my son wanted to play and his father wanted him to play, they would have to take control of the situation.

I would no longer volunteer for the madness.  Would I still go to games?  Yes, because I love seeing my son play.  But I was not going to do any of the ground work.

I let my son know this in advance as he was now old enough to understand the whole process and told him he would have to let his father know if he wanted to sign up.

Guess what happened – NOTHING.  No sign ups, no games, no comments from my son about missing out, and most importantly, no more nightmare seasons.

Once I stepped back, the problem disappeared.  My son still plays sports but somehow football doesn’t ignite my ex in the same way.

What I Learned

What I learned from this experience is that sometimes by doing what we think is “best”, we are really just giving away our peace and serenity.

Not only are we living in a nightmare, but we are volunteering to be there.  Take a step back and see what happens.



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