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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

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Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 1998-2001. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2001

S1

DG-

I am a man who also has the same problem with wanting to be a bigger part of my partners' life than I sanely can be. I tend to feel bad when I am not the source of all her good feelings. I was brought myself up to believe that husbands and wives should be everything to each other. It is a fiction- reality is just so different. Internally I am still angry at my parents for getting divorced, and angry at my brother for beating on me. I developed this fantasy world for myself of what the future would be like which had no bearing on reality. Most of my thought patterns in this arena are faulty. Even the words "husband" and "wife" themselves still trigger me (I have never been married). I have to work through my anger and build a relationship with myself and my environment (I am not involved with a women right now). It is very difficult but I feel as if I have no other choice. I feel good when I let go of expectations, and thank God for letting me walk this earth rather than being demanding, rigid, and full of expectations. My other bugaboo is I am always worried that people are thinking badly of me. I often censor myself, and when I talk, I will kinda pretend I'm someone else, either play the comedian or try to be really, really smart, because then I can always be like, that wasn't me, later on. My authentic self is emerging- it just takes some time, and it is really scary sometimes.

I have done a lot of thinking about bipolar disorder, as I had two manic episodes last year, the first of my life, and what I remember was that I was always in a hurry- everything had to be done NOW. I know doctors have come to the conclusion that bipolar is a medical illness, but I think there is a cognitive aspect that can be ameliorated through better ways of thinking. The manic personality seems to me to be the sped up codependent, who is driven to change their environment very rapidly because they are so ill at ease, through buying, speeding, sex, what have you. I think there is a fundamental state of a mind not at peace with itself that causes mania. Whether people have the capability to achieve this peace of mind is another question. I believe they do, but it takes years of dedicated "peacefulness" practice. We live in a sped up, manic culture anyway, which does not help the problem. In the meantime, medication does a great job at calming people down.

As Dr. Irene often suggests on these pages, try to sit with your confusing feelings, neither labeling them positive or negative. For instance, how did it feel, bodywise, when you wanted to watch the videotape with your wife? Impatient, I would imagine. Try to get a handle on what being impatient feels like, and try to be a little more patient. I don't have a problem with your initial reaction, by the way. You had a plan in mind to watch the tape with your wife, and your plan had to be changed. It's natural that you'll initially feel some peevishness at this. But at that point you can rationally decide that "despite my peevishness, I can see my wife wants to spend a good long while on this email, so I will choose to respect that, and we will watch the video some other time".

You don't have to be thrilled that she got the email. After all, it is her joy, not yours. People often make the mistake of guilt-tripping themselves, saying they should be feeling happier for other people than they are. In fact, it is the hallmark of a healthy relationship that you recognize that you and your wife don't have to be feeling the same feelings at all times, and that's ok, too. That's a crucial separation between you and her. In the above scenario, she can enjoy typing her email, and you can rationally decide to do something else that makes you happy (fill in the blank- whatever hobby you like, call a friend, do some overdue errands, whatever). The really good thing is that if you focus on whatever you do, it'll also stop you from thinking about how much time your wife is spending on the email, and you'll be doing something for yourself too.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001

S1

Hey D.G.

Just a thought... there may be better ways to cope in general, for example by just saying "Darling, how much longer will you be writing?" (in a loving tone of voice). Sure you were impatient, but there are gentler and loving ways of coping methinks.

Z

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 01, 2001

S1

Hi DG,

Well done for having such awareness.

I don' t know if this will help you but DAVID on Buddah told me of a good technique and maybe it may help you. David (woke up also).

You take a sheet of paper and fold it down the middle vertically. ON the left handside of the sheet you write our negative thoughts about a situation and you give it a percentage. Then on the right hand side of the sheet you write a logical positive thought and give that a percentage.

e.g The e-mail: negative thought: She doesn't care about me otherwise she'd not write the e-mail now when we have decided to watch a film. 80%

Positive thought: My wife is just excited about getting the letter 10%, she still loves me, so maybe I can ask her for a quick hug, and then find something special to do by myself.

Also I think like me you lack confidence in your self, maybe you could try taking small steps, and remember it isn't wrong to ask for help, as long as you make small steps and try.

DG, pat yourself on the back, you have started on the road to recovery.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 01, 2001

S1

Hi DG,

Sorry I forgot to say, you repeat the positive response to yourself on the right hand side of the sheet of paper. Each time you feel anxious and angry about your wife doing something you complete this exercise, eventually you begin to believe the positive side as you see evidence that your wife isn't always doing things just to anger you.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 30, 2001

S1

help for the verbal abuser