Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 4:32 PM
Subject: Re: E-Mail Advice
Thank you for taking time to reply!.. at first it hurt
to see my mistakes highlighted...
but now I see the true benefit of it and thank you for
it! Yes, I realize that I am hurting my husband.. and in regards to
why does he stay.. I think it is because he has such low self esteem..
he thinks no other woman would want him, etc.. as well as a strong
Christian belief to stay with your wife forever.. (His mother has set
the example by staying in a very abusive relationship for 49 years!).
(His mom is suffering mental problems because of this too.)
Do you think it would be best for me to let my husband
continue seeing therapists.. placing personal ads.. and writing and
calling other women?.. is that what I deserve for causing him so much
No, you don't "deserve" any
of it. Two wrongs don't make a right! But, you have no control - at
all - over his behavior. He will do what he wants to do. And, if
he is doing it to get your goat, which I suspect is a part of it, he
will only do it more if you try and stop him.
Or will it only cause him to finally explode and get
more revenge on me when he can later.
I really hope not. That's why I said both
of you were playing games. Each of you need to stop it. If he
won't stop, at least you can stop the back-stabbing.
We are seeing a pastor and what appeals to him
the most is the "submit to your husband" passage he
mentioned... Our therapist said that our relationship was in the past
I was the cat and he was the mouse.. and now he is the dog.. with a
big growl.. She asked us what it would take to put us on equal terms..
and to build our trust.. how can I build trust for him when I see
money spent without telling me.. when I get phone bills showing he is
still calling.. and see letters that he is still writing.. am I crazy
in thinking that this relationship is over and the only reason he is
staying around is so that he can 'get revenge' or 'get even' with me
by causing me pain.
I think your marriage is far from
over. You two seem very, very enmeshed in a destructive relationship.
Stop REACTING to what he is doing. Stop
trying to figure out what he's doing. He may not know what he's doing!
Neither one of you deserve to disrespect yourselves by
mis-behaving (i.e., acting out) to get back at the partner. Not worth
Better: Ignore his behavior - for
you can't control it or make his choices. Trying to do so is
codependent behavior. Do what you must for yourself - and your
own sanity. This is where you do have control. If his stuff bothers
you so much, think about what you can do to get your own life
together. I know no other way out. The good news is when one partner
says "no more", the other often backs down and becomes
willing to work the issues.
The comments were appreciated and thanks so much for
your insight.. it really made me stop and think!
Thank you...You took my very strong
words very graciously - and constructively. My very best regards, Dr.