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Coping with The Silent Treatment

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#1 DawnC

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 06:59 PM

After more than three years of The Silent Treatment, I thought it could not get any worse, but lately (with other stresses going on, especially money) I find I am not coping very well with it. .

Yesterday, for example, I barely saw him, though of course my nervous system is always alert to his every movement in the house. If I am in the kitchen, he uses the living room stairs to go upstairs so he does not pass me. If I am in my office, he uses the kitchen stairs. If I enter a doorway or a room at the same time he does, he steps back like I'm contagious. We still sleep in the same bed, but he doesn't acknowledge my presence. If he's leaving the house, I can be speaking to him and he will shut the door behind him (in my face) and just go.

If I stand at the doorway of his office (he works at home) because I have to tell him something or ask a question, he won't look up or if he does, it is to shoot me a hard look. If I speak to him, he will answer in a bored or irritated tone. We need to discuss our finances, now more than ever, but his behavior makes it very hard for me to find the courage to approach him, never mind tell him unpleasant details about the budget that he doesn't want to hear.

Texting has become our most common form of communication, even when he's home, and even then he uses one word or even one letter answers. When things were 'better' between us, we enjoyed conversing with each other online or via text, so yeah, one letter answers feels abrupt. He interacts with our kids or our relatives in front of me but ignores me. If I prepare a meal, he usually won't eat it, but if he accepts the food, he will usually fix a plate and retreat to his office without comment. That's okay with the kids, because eating with him at the table was never fun, even at the best of times. If we need to go somewhere as a family, he will take his own car most of the time. If he needs something, he speaks to me, but only barely. He can be laughing and chatting with someone else, in person or on the phone, and completely turn off if I join the conversation or make a comment.

I can't seem to help myself but to greet him when I first see him in the morning or when he returns home after being out. Years of habit, I guess, and some bizarre, unconscious expectation that he will magically reply in kind. But when I say 'good morning' or some other thing, he either doesn't answer or mumbles 'hello' or something equally neutral. I'm sure he would prefer I not speak to him at all, but I'm not giving HIM The Silent Treatment, so it feels unnatural to say nothing.

Reading other people's stories of open hostilities and unwanted sexual contact, I feel lucky, in one sense, that he does not touch me at all or look at me sexually. That, I could not bear, because he was sexually abusive, treating me like an object most of the time. But this complete withdrawal, this chronic Silent Treatment is wearing me down and taking its toll on me, in spite of my best efforts to detach and take care of myself. He doesn't yell or call me names or anything, but I still often find myself fighting back a hot wave of rage at his rudeness or else recoiling, stung by it.

Last night, I saw him approach the door to my office as I was working on the bills. I looked up and smiled (reflex, I guess), but of course his face was stone hard. He handed me a couple of receipts, I thanked him (again, reflex) even as he turned on his heel and silently walked out. He didn't hit me, but it still felt like a slap.

Friends, I am always surprised, no, STUNNED at how hurtful this kind of behavior still is. He either caught me off-guard or at a vulnerable moment, because I sat at my desk and just cried. I couldn't go to bed, because he was sitting up reading with the light on, but even after the light went off, I curled up on the couch, unwilling to go into the bedroom. Ended up sleeping in my clothes. I was, by turns, angry and sad...and just...limp, drained.

Looking at myself and my behavior from a distance, it seems pathetic, like I'm a dog that still wags its tail hopefully, even though The Master steadfastly ignores my overtures or even aims a kick my way. I don't want to be that person, but I think part of me still can't believe that what is happening. I guess I still have that instinct to connect, even though I KNOW, rationally, that he is NOT going to respond. And really, if he did suddenly act nice toward me or make a sexual overture, it would completely shake me up. I don't expect a real relationship with him, but I guess part of me wishes he could at least be civil. And when he is NOT or when he's deliberately rude, that 'wishing part' of me reacts with indignation or sorrow. THAT'S what I want to change within myself. His behavior is completely outside my experience elsewhere in the world, as nobody, not even my father (as distant as he could sometimes be) has ever come close to being so rude and so persistently hard toward me.

Until I get employed and until the kids move out later this year (hopefully both going to college, hence the extreme money pressure), I am pretty much stuck. Unless he just walks out or changes the locks. I accept that I'm stuck for the time being and I'm trying to just roll with it while looking for work and training for employment as much as possible. But those moments when I feel kicked in the stomach still catch me by surprise and still HURT. If I'm going to be stuck here for several more months or for the foreseeable future, I need to cope better, someway, somehow. Intellectually, I understand detachment, but emotionally, I'm apparently not really doing it.

My good friend, who is 'tougher' than me (and in a better position to walk away from her dissatisfying marriage than I am) tells me to stand up for myself and be rude in return for rudeness. Stop doing his laundry, stop buying his favorite coffee, etc. Cut him off like he cuts me off. That's just not me and I don't think 'taking on' this man in that way would help anything. She doesn't crumple inside when her husband raises his voice. I shrivel with just a LOOK. At heart, I guess I'm afraid of escalating with him, because passive aggression from him feels less dangerous to me than overt warfare. It is as if I'm conditioned to smooth things over, to placate, to accept, to be hypervigilant. It stinks, but that's how it seems. I need reconditioning!

For one thing, I know that in the working world, I will encounter people, co-workers, bosses, or customers who will trigger this response in me (with rude behavior, anger, etc) if I don't learn how to manage it in my abusive relationship. I want to be successful in relaunching a career. My friend recommended "Coping with Difficult People" by Bramson, but the author's techniques for the office didn't seem to relate very effectively to my difficult marriage. Maybe I need to read it again?

I hate feeling like this, wasting my tears or feeling that impotent rage over something I have no control over. My rational brain can't believe how emotionally vulnerable I continue to be to his withdrawal and disapproval! Somewhere in there is also a bit of embarrassment that my kids see me 'take' his bad behavior with hardly a protest when I would HATE for them to accept similar behavior in their relationships. I guess I need some better tools or some stronger, more empowering things to tell myself when he acts like he does because he is not going to change. I also want to show my kids (and myself and hopefully a future employer) that I'm not dead yet, that I still have a spark of self-worth in there somewhere.

Any suggestions? Advice? Nuggets of wisdom? Invigorating kicks to my wimpy backside?

#2 lionheart

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:38 PM

I guess I need some better tools or some stronger, more empowering things to tell myself when he acts like he does because he is not going to change. I also want to show my kids (and myself and hopefully a future employer) that I'm not dead yet, that I still have a spark of self-worth in there somewhere.


(((((DawnC)))))

You asked for it!

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With the disclaimer that I have never personally experienced quite what you describe the silent treatment he is exhibiting is a dismissal of your very being. Which is a betrayal of his vows to himself and to you and a betrayal of you as a human being.

It seems each time you confront his behavior you are allowing yourself to re-live that betrayal. Vividly. And by your own choice. By not accepting that this is who he is you are torturing yourself over and over. Just reading what you write it seems like the effect this is having on you is that you are slipping slowly into a kind of depression. I wonder if you are seeing a therapist, in a support group, or getting some real life help to deal with your feelings about this. I hope you are because you are one brilliant lady and your kids need you and we need your voice!

Patricia Evans says this about the silent treatment in The Verbally Abusive Relationship:

Withholding is a purposeful silent treatment and...it is a violation of your boundaries. You need no longer sit through long hours of silence punctuated by your occasional questions, comments on the news of the day, or expressions of personal interest while you get no response from your mate. Whether you are out to dinner, at home or spending a holiday at the beach, if you have experienced hours, or days, or whatever is your limit of nonresponsive closed silence, leave the area stating firmly, clearly, and matter-of-factly as you leave, "I am feeling very bored with your company."
Then be gone as long as you want to. You may, or may not, make an impact, but at least you won't be bored. Reading a book or taking your children out for ice cream is less boring and less painful than hoping for a response and getting the silent treatment.
Alternatively, one woman put on her earphones and sat down to dinner with a favorite tape playing. She gestured and hummed through dinner to music only she could hear. Her unusual behavior made an impact on her mate. He soon made overtures to engage her in conversation.

---------------------------

I personally like the music tape idea, that shows imagination! But do anything to help you get HIM out of your head. Do something to distract yourself. Get outside, pursue a hobby, go to a DV meeting, take your dog for a walk, visit friends. I don't know whether at this point you are even interested in engaging your husband but either way the goal to maintain your sanity is Acceptance.

This is who he is.
Being this way works for him.
You have no power to change him.
You have no choice but to accept him as he is.
You can accept this willingly or you can prolong your misery by torturing yourself until you reach acceptance, and that choice is yours; know that either way you will reach acceptance.
You can only control you, but you CAN control you.
You can control how you feel about him and his behavior and whether you allow him to rent that space in your head.
How you spend your time and energy is up to you and within your power.

Oh, him again. He is playing that stupid game of his. Ho-hum. Blow it off. Whatever. And go about your business.

Hope this helps! (You can fax me the dollar. :p)

:wub:

#3 thebewilderness

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:13 PM

I grew up with this withholding of common courtesy and attention as a punitive act.
It is a power tool in the hands of an abuser because it keeps us focused on what did we do to deserve this ultimate annihilation of our existence and what can we do to deserve, to earn, the most basic common courtesy.
It is a violation of the most basic human contract between people. The stuff we learned in kindergarten and even before that.
I think you are absolutely right to continue to extend the basics of courtesy to your H. For the sake of being true to who you are.
I don't know how you can come to accept that it is entirely about his sense of entitlement to abuse, and nothing whatsoever to do with you.
All I know is that when you get there, to that moment where you see and accept that this is who this person is, and it has nothing to do with you, detachment becomes possible.
Turning the cold shoulder is shouting with body language. So if you feel like you are being yelled at it is because you are.

#4 Kokoca

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:32 PM

DawnC... What a horrible thing to have to live with every day. I hope that things come together for you and that you can be well done with it. Meanwhile, you have to survive.

I agree, it doesn't seem to me that returning the cold shoulder behaviour is going to do anything but escalate behaviour into something even less tolerable. It certainly won't help fix it. And I'm pretty sure that it won't leave you feeling any better about yourself either. Maybe your friend can naturally behave this way, but the way you describe yourself makes it sound to me like you'd take an even bigger emotional hit by not being true to your own kind and good natured self.

As lionheart asked -- are you getting any kind of therapy to help you? It might even help you to go find a CoDA group or Al-Anon or something (even if there's no alcoholism directly involved). There's some pretty hard living going on here and it may help you a great deal to get into a place where you can share some of your story with some friendly and understanding faces.

You wouldn't happen to have a spare bedroom would you? It sure won't help being sleep deprived.


What's his deal anyway? Is he satisified with this kind of living? Is he expecting things to get better by being such a jerk?

#5 PrudenceB

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:15 AM

Dawn,

Are you ready to leave the marriage?

Silent treatment is something that gets one response, living your life as if the person is not there. However, it also needs gentle acknowledgment (like PE points out) "i see you are not willing to communicate and it is clear something is not right, so when you are ready to talk about it, let me know." - go on to live your life.

But seriously, if this is going on for a long period, it may be time to get out of there - if only to take a stand "i am not sharing a marriage or a home with anyone who behaves like this" -

think about it?

P

#6 Kris

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:35 AM

(((((DawnC)))))

Wow, can I empathize with you (as you probably well know!) You probably remember all my threads about whether detachment could ever be enough, as I struggled with the very same questions you are struggling with. It just seemed to me like if there wasn't physical or overt verbal abuse, a person "ought" to be able to "just ignore" the silent treatment and go about their life and not let it bother them. And I guess theoretically that is true. But the problem is that you are always aware of the cloud of hostility that surrounds that person and it's a downer. Maybe that just means that my ability "to detach" needed more work (and I'm sure it does).

But I came to realize that there are two parts to the equation: yes, I could get to a point where I could go about my business and try to ignore the silence. In many ways it really was a lot better than the times when there was verbal abuse and for me, the silent treatment always was accompanied by halting of the groping behavior so I absolutely loved that part of it. But there still is something really wrong when a person treats you with such hostility, and it takes a certain amount of energy to put up the armor you need to put on to not let that hostility drag you down. So... it's an energy drag.

The second part is that I think the human spirit loves to soar... you see something that brings wonder to you, you hear a song that lifts your spirit and wants to make you sing, your dog comes to you and you feel a wave of good warm fuzzies, you name it. It's amazing how just being in the presence of a big hostile blob dampens all of those "free-spirit" experiences!

So, sure, for the short term a person can deal with that. But I eventually came to realize that over the long term, this was just sapping my energy and my vitality. So as painful as it was to really think about divorce, as confusing and complicated as it was to contemplate how to separate out our enmeshed private and professional lives, I realized if I didn't do that, my spirit was going to die anyway. So no matter what happened, it was going to be an improvement over what was.

I really encourage you to read How to Be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo. I think this book could help you tremendously. A key point is that all people require "the 5 A's". Let's see if I can remember them now! They are: Attention, Acceptance, Allowing, Appreciation, Affection. (...had to go back and look up to find the last two!!) These are basic human needs!!!! You need to get them from somewhere!!!! Ideally your partner will provide 25% fulfillment of those needs. As an adult you will learn to fulfill some from within yourself and you will learn to seek them out from a variety of resources. But as a child, you may not have received all of them and you may find yourself struggling in later life to recreate situations from your childhood, either because they are familiar or because there is a compulsion to "try to get them right this time". But... that can explain why it is that we get into these kinds of relationships in the first place.

However, by becoming aware of all of this, it can help to point the way to what we need to do to get past our blockages.

But regardless... we will always have a need for the 5 A's. So that is, I think, a major reason why simply learning how to detach is not enough. Why even have to put that kind of energy into daily living when you have much better uses for that energy?

I know you've stayed in a long time because of the kids. It sounds like they are about to go off to college. Have you made a plan to be able to get into the work force? Could you start training now? The kids are plenty old enough for you to take time away for yourself that way. So this might be a great time to go to community college or sign up for a computer school or pursue whatever education you need to start working on something that you enjoy. And simply getting out of the house is going to be great for you. Heck... you could even "go to college with your kids!!" (OK, they might not be so keen about that idea!! But think about Rodney Dangerfield's experience.. I can't remember the name of that movie now!)

But in the meantime, you are absolutely right about that you are in a great environment to "practice dealing with difficult people" so you will be better prepared when you are out on your own and in the workforce. Another really good book to help you in all situations, including at home but especially when you get out in the workforce, is Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. Read the book and then use your H as a "practice-dummy"! :p The good thing is that you don't even have to worry if you are not very good at it at first... because it's not like you are going to "mess up" an important relationship any worse than it already is messed up! So yes, it's a great training environment! And little by little, you'll learn that the panicky feeling you have before you raise some "difficult issue" is something that you don't have to fear. It's normal, and yet it doesn't have to be disabling or paralyzing.

((((DawnC))))) You have been such a tremendous source of advice, comfort, and laughter over these past couple of years to me. I so much wish for you to have the rich life you deserve. :641:

#7 SteffieB

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

Ugh, my ex used to do this to me too. I believe the longest he went without speaking to me was one full week. The first time, I was devastated and went through all of the emotions of pain that you so eloquently described. The next time, I embraced and nurtured my anger, and it gave me the strength to detach enough to really just live my life without him, though he was in the same house. I made dinner for myself, washed only my clothing and dishes, watched whatever I wanted on TV if I got to the remote first, left the house to go do things if I didn't. I watched his anger boil more and more each day, but he never actually exploded (for once). He just decided that he was speaking to me again after several days of this. He never tried the silent treatment again. All the other nonsense continued, naturally.

#8 DawnC

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:45 PM

Wow! Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful replies. And for the virtual kick, lionheart! LOL

This is who he is.
Being this way works for him.
You have no power to change him.
You have no choice but to accept him as he is.

I should repeat this to myself whenever I think about him, huh? And definitely whenever I'm in the presences of his negative energy.

I actually own Patricia Evans' book and since husband is out of town for a few days, I will pull it out of my closet stash and reread it. Also requested the Difficult Conversations and Adult in Relationships books from the library at your suggestion, Kris.

Attention, Acceptance, Allowing, Appreciation, Affection.

I keep forgetting that it is OKAY to have needs, that it is normal and I'm not expecting too much to want some of those needs to be met in a relationship. All this time, I've tried to need less and less from him because lowering my expectations seemed like the only way to not be constantly let down. Over time, I'd even blame myself for needing instead of accepting that he was withholding.

theBewilderness, I grew up with withholding of approval, also. Although my dad has mellowed since my childhood, his hard anger and retreat to his office (shutting me out) when I displeased him was a powerful and painful technique against me at the time. I never developed any skill for handling my own or someone else's anger.

Turning the cold shoulder is shouting with body language. So if you feel like you are being yelled at it is because you are.

That's powerful stuff right there. So true.

Kokoca

What's his deal anyway? Is he satisified with this kind of living? Is he expecting things to get better by being such a jerk?


Honestly, I think he simmered down to the slow boil of The Silent Treatment after speaking to a lawyer, because he went from open hostility, throwing tantrums, stalking around, etc., to just shutting me out, instead. That's my theory, anyway, that he learned how expensive child support was going to be and decided to wait it out. Now that the kids are both over 18, I think he's waiting for the youngest to graduate high school.before showing his cards, whatever they may be. Before that, I think he may have hoped I'd get fed up and be the one to leave. He made some veiled threats back then, but said nothing outright. He may still intend to drive me out so he can somehow look like the injured party to his family and friends. Since we don't talk, I have no idea what his intentions are.

Prudence, I think I'm going to have to be ready to leave my marriage whether I'm ready or not. My parents have discussed making room for me in their home, so at least I have a place to go, if I can't afford to live on my own when his Evil Plan kicks in.

irish.girl.2, I never knew how painful his NOT hitting me could be! LOL Honestly, when I was newly married (turned 19 a week later), before marital counseling, I would give my husband The Silent Treatment because I had so few other tools for coping with him. I've figured out why shunning was so ineffective on him then and so effective when used against me now. He didn't care and I do care. He was insensitive and I am very sensitive. He'd shrug it off and I feel deeply hurt. The Silent Treatment is actually a very convenient, covert way for him to inflict hurt without most other people noticing. The kids have been a deterrent against his worst behavior, most likely. When they move out, the gloves may come off. Not sure, but trying to prepare for an earthquake here!

Truly, y'all, I thank you from the bottom of my broken heart. I think it was necessary for me to go through the stages of grief ever since the marriage pretty much unraveled in 2008 and I'm only now summoning the will to start living again. Back then, I did go to get some counseling, but at the time, it was ineffective. I'm at a different point now, so maybe it would benefit me more if I try again.

I'm glad if any of you have felt supported by anything I've written in this forum. I kind of sank into lurkdom for a while because it felt hypocritical for me to offer advice or even comfort when I knew I was barely functioning in my own life. Like, who am I to make suggestions, right? I do struggle with depression...but it is amazing how much better I start feeling after just a few days without his presence in the house!

I'm actively training in MS Office Suite to help me land an office job. That's the kind of work I was doing when I had my first child 20 years ago. Have done a lot of volunteer work since then, so my resume isn't completely outdated, but all the companies want someone who is proficient in the common office software. That's been my challenge lately. Without my contributing income, college for two kids is going to be pretty impossible, so the stakes have never been higher.

That's one reason I asked for advice here. I need tools to help me focus my limited emotional and physical resources on the task at hand, not waste energy feeling so much pain and frustration about The Way He Treats Me. Acceptance does seem to be the first step and I guess I haven't been able to do that up til now. Perhaps because I have had trouble believing this really IS who he is. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I have still "thought better of him". It's hard to take off those blame myself/forgive him spectacles I've been wearing and see things plainly.

I appreciate the validation that it is okay to continue to be nicer to him than his behavior deserves, just because that feels more natural to me than shunning him back. Whatever his grudge against me actually is, I can't fix it, and it is no longer possible for me to be side-tracked when so many other important things need my full attention. Feeling pained by his behavior is pretty much a waste of my time, so I need to learn how to reframe my thoughts. I am so grateful to have friends here who can help me see more clearly and point out more effective tools for me to use to GET BETTER FINALLY.

Thanks, SteffieB, for sharing your story. I appreciate reading about others who have lived through The Silent Treatment. Glad you outlasted him so he quit trying that method. Ugh.

Looks like I have some reading to do tonight. If you think of anything else, please continue to add your thoughts. I am listening carefully, so hopefully your rational solutions will actually take root in my former resistance and produce fruit at last. Thanks again to all of you!

#9 Kris

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:04 PM

I'm glad if any of you have felt supported by anything I've written in this forum. I kind of sank into lurkdom for a while because it felt hypocritical for me to offer advice or even comfort when I knew I was barely functioning in my own life. Like, who am I to make suggestions, right? I do struggle with depression...but it is amazing how much better I start feeling after just a few days without his presence in the house!


Oh, if you only knew how grateful I am for all of the support you gave me. It was helpful beyond belief. I didn't want to see what was plain in front of my eyes, but you and others at the CatBox were so so so helpful in gently (and sometimes firmly!) pointing out all of the things that I was trying so carefully to tiptoe around, calling a spade a spade when I was trying to make excuses for my stbx's behavior, and inserting humor into everything at appropriate times, just to keep my spirit up. (I'll never forget that great classic picture of Snoopy being a "vulture" that you posted when I described how my stbx liked to glare at me from across the room... and further discussions by this group in that thread revealed that there even is a verb to describe such behavior... "vulching"!!! LOL!) Yep, this all allowed me to slowly but surely remove the veil and start to deal with the issues I tried to bury for so long.

Please don't feel hypocritical. As Richo emphasizes in the current book of his that I'm reading (When the Past is Present), there is a certain time course that it takes to process what is happening, understand where it comes from, and move on. And we are best off to accept that and not beat ourselves up over some imagined timetable that we have or someone else has for us.

I don't know the history of this web site, but there are many categories out there that don't seem to be so active nowadays. But I imagine "The In Crowd" would have been developed because there are people who simply are not ready... either by choice or by financial necessity or for some other reason .... to leave their abuser. And I suppose that section would at least be one where other posters would understand these constraints and not try to pressure anyone to move faster than they were ready. But in reality I'd hope that even in the general CatBox, posters would be sensitive to that we all try to do the best we can, but it just might take longer and require more encouragement for some of us. And that's ok!!!

Acceptance does seem to be the first step and I guess I haven't been able to do that up til now. Perhaps because I have had trouble believing this really IS who he is. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I have still "thought better of him". It's hard to take off those blame myself/forgive him spectacles I've been wearing and see things plainly.


I think the other two books I recommended are the best for you right now in terms of helping yourself. But... I have to say.... the book that probably did the most for me in terms of making me realize that I really had to get out of the situation I was in was Stalking the Soul. It was a kind of "Scared Straight" program for me in that it probably was the first book that really made me confront that some people are purposefully controlling and manipulative and really don't share the same kind of concern for others' happiness as we do, that it's all about themselves. When I first read the book, I thought it was terribly written and I really disliked it. I told my therapist not to read it (she had expressed interest in borrowing it from me when I had told her I had bought it) because it was so illogical, poorly written, and it would be a waste of time.

But over the next week or two I kept thinking about it. And kept noticing what a strong reaction I had had to it that it was "such a poorly written book" that it made me start to think that maybe there was actually something going on there, something that I didn't want to confront! So I went back and re-read it, and made myself take notes on every chapter and really think about it. And that's when I realized that what was most disturbing about this book was that I didn't want to believe that it's message was true... yet I couldn't deny that almost everything it described was exactly how things had gone in my relationship. Wow. What a wake-up call. So.. yes.... I think that did "scare me straight"... it made me realize that I had to do something to stop what was going on because I really was losing my soul. It seriously was "life or death" for my spirit, if not my actual physical life.

So... I do think it was good that I had already digested the concepts in How to Be An Adult in Relationships because it helped me to identify more resources to take care of my human needs, and I needed to have resources when I was confronted with such a disturbing message as was in Stalking the Soul. And it did make me aware of the extent of the problem in a much gentler way than Stalking the Soul did. (For example, cautioning you to not keep going back to look into an empty box, hoping something will be in there this time.) But in the end, I probably did need that blunt whap on the head :1087: that Stalking the Soul gave me to really shake me into doing something about my situation...

Still.... notice that it did take a long time! And everyone was patient with me, which I very much appreciated. The one good thing about staying "in" for so long, though, is that you end up doing a lot of the grieving before you actually physically leave. So chances are, once you do leave you will not suffer as much as many people suffer (grieve) during the separation and divorce process. At least that's one advantage to staying "in" for longer than is good for you...!! :wub:

#10 DawnC

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:08 PM

((Kris))...I have heard of Stalking the Soul. Might even have read it before, but wasn't ready to absorb it. Will request that book from the library, too. Maybe I need a whack on the head to go with the kick to my backside? LOL (Vulching! Haha! I remember!)

I have to say I've also been very grateful to my parents during this time. At first, they were skeptical about how bad things were and of course they hoped for improvement. The length of time that this has dragged on has allowed them to see enough evidence to conclude this marriage actually is an unhealthy as well as an unhappy place to be. Now, as much as they still want the best for their son-in-law and are dismayed by divorce, they are ready to fully support me through this transition. And I think I need to let them help me because soon enough, I will be the one they need to help them as age catches up to us all. I have to get healthy so I can be there for THEM.

It is time when it is time, I guess. Some of us have been catapulted through the window against their will, others slip quietly out the back door. I think when my turn comes, it will be more or less out the front door, head up. It feels like something has finally clicked into place in my mind. I want to embrace that click and go forward with it. What I'm doing isn't working, I'm not growing, and treading water is one kick away from drowning. It's time to get in the boat, pick up my oars, and start rowing. I hope you are right about more suffering being behind me than before me, at least about the loss of my relationship. Getting employed is top of my list. The days I spend volunteering are my happiest because I'm out of the house and around people who are decent to me. It is amazing how grateful a simple smile can make me feel, after being so smile deprived for so long!

Thanks again. :) Keep those words of wisdom comin'!




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