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the art of war

I've been reading Sun Tzu's Art of War. In it, he says:

"Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground."

I realize that's where I had deluded myself into thinking I stood at one point, both during and after my divorce. I simply could not conceive of parenting children with someone unless we both had liberty of movement. I believed that although we were, at heart, enemies, co-existing on open ground meant safety from attack because it would be foolish for either of us to do so.

I was so stuck on this being right that I failed to honestly assess my enemy and prolonged his free pass to hurt me and my children far beyond what I would now, knowing and understanding what I do after the past few years of therapy.

Sun Tzu also says:

"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

"There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general:
(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
(2) cowardice, which leads to capture;
(3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him
to worry and trouble.

"These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war."

this past year I have learned to rely on my own readiness to receive my enemy's coming, for come he will.

the five dangerous faults listed by Sun Tzu seem to be the faults of the narcissist... at least they are faults of my narcissist. he is reckless, and has a hasty temper, and the ego which is sensitive to shame. he lies, which indicates he's a coward. he works hard to impress people, so he's always exposed to the possibility of his fraud being revealed.

our followup mediated settlement conference was a farce. naturally, the laundry list of demands I anticipated arrived the day before, so by the time my attorney got them, there was far less than 24 hours to analyze the effect that any one of the demands would have on me and my children.

the largest portion was devoted to a complicated parenting schedule that really was nothing more than a ruse to get Saturdays free, so that my narcissistic ex could earn overtime.

another demand was full legal custody of my son. I guess he's finding it too onerous to have me involved in making decisions effecting my son's education, while at the same time finding it too onerous a job to keep him involved in after-school activities, or even getting him to go to school consistently.

in the settlement conference, he refused to correct the child-support miscalculation. naturally, since it's in his favor. I attempted an out-of-court settlement with him without our attorneys one more time before filing a motion for a hearing. it's time once again to go before a judge and get a ruling, because he has never had any intention of treating me with fairness. he'll get away with whatever he can get away with.

remember, he's the man who, twice, said in mediation that the only way I'll get child support is when it's garnished. this is the man who encouraged my son's truancy and refused to assist with keeping him in school, until finally I lost my livelihood. he has bullied and argued over every point, only giving the appearance of allying when he intends to ambush.

if his actions are considered according to Sun Tzu's writings, one would have to say he is not a fit general.