Comments for Catbox 19
here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a
substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.
<<Asha, you can want what you want, but, if it's not easily forthcoming, why not "want" what you get. You'll be happier! >>
This is a tricky one for me. On one hand I say to myself (as an affirmation), my life is rich and full - it takes little to make me happy. OTOH, I know that I have choices about what I "get", and my not "wanting" anything, or maybe not distinguishing what was important for me in the past, had me putting myself last a few too many times. I know you're not telling me to take crap from anyone, but when crap is what I "get" (I'm talking in general, I don't mean anything recent), though I don't need to be miserable, I know I have choices that contribute to what I might get in the future. I think this is about some unresolved issues with Steve that are still on my mind; things I do have choices over.
Things turned out okay the other evening because I knew I had the choice whether or not to have the kids here while Steve was visiting his friend. I expressed my concerns about it being our last evening together, and then made a conscious choice about it being okay. I think I felt okay about this because Steve did make his plans a bit later to accommodate my concern. I do want to be asked, not expected, to look after the kids, which he did. Sometimes when I'm put on the spot, I'm not ready to make a choice yet, and that's when I think Steve interprets me as passive aggressive. Confused is more accurate, I think. Maybe also not wanting to automatically revert to "Steve-pleasing" behavior that I will later feel resentful about. And another thought - maybe I'm still expecting old poor behavior from him.
<<remember the Stones' song: "You can't always get what you want...But you'll get what you need..." >>
When I read that at first I had a yukky feeling - Steve used to say exactly that phrase when I showed disappointment about the weekends when I wasn't invited to see the kids with him. I really hope he doesn't misinterpret this to mean I need to accept whatever he dishes out, regardless of how it affects me. The way I'd hoped you'd interpret it, along with other readers, is that you run you; nobody else. Whatever comes your way, you can either make it OK or yukky... This goes for all of us!
In the bigger sense, I think I'm getting what I need in order to learn whatever lessons I need to learn right now. I need to distinguish the 'big' stuff from the 'little' stuff. Methinks some of the little stuff has residue of big stuff in it and my feelings are a little mixed. Baggage...
I think it will take some time, and if Steve wants to stick this out, he's going to have to be patient with me as well, as I sort through my feelings.
thanks Dr I. and Trubble.
p.s. just realized how comical some of our issues are really - we find every excuse to pick a fight, from dogs on the bed to trifle and menthol cigarettes - you gotta laugh at us humans really. Right Trubble? Giggle!
Asha says "We find every excuse to pick a fight."
So true...at least it was. Not anymore. :)
Some of the sillier things that triggered screaming matches between L and me:
The aforementioned "Chaucer is BORING!" incident.
The macaroni and cheese incident. I was making homemade, from scratch, non "meal-in-a-box" mac and cheese like Mom used to make me (and I used to help with) all the time when I was little. It came out of the oven and L looked at it and said "that doesn't look like mac and cheese to me. Couldn't you at least dye it orange?" I freaked out and started crying and shouting something about how ungrateful he was, and his "Sweetheart, I was just kidding!" fell on deaf ears. I'm actually fairly embarrassed by this one now, though I was furious at the time.
The one where he tried to convince me that the term of a U.S. Senator is two years, and I a) called my mom the former history teacher and b) downloaded a copy of the U.S. Constitution to prove him wrong. Come to think of it, this didn't get as nasty as some of the others. And it's very funny now. But again, it wasn't at the time.
The worst one (as far as massive fights over trivial things goes) was probably over a card game. We were at Cheech and Chong's place, by this time there was a serious trust problem (in part because of the whole Cheech and Chong situation), we were playing a game called Illuminati, and to make a long story short, I had made a "deal" with L on the specific condition that he not do something nasty to me on his next turn. Not even for the rest of the game, just on his next turn. The deal was made and he promptly proceeded to do what he had just promised me he would not, which caused him to win the game. This is one of the times I actually lost it with him in public. Well, semi-public. His friends probably started thinking of me as evil psycho girlfriend after that, but the way I saw it, if I couldn't trust him to keep his word about something as trivial as a game, how could I trust him about any of the other stuff I was already having problems trusting him about?? Admittedly, I should NOT have blown up at him in front of his friends (or at all in that fashion), though. I should have waited till we left and then told him that what he did upset me, and done it calmly.
Oh well. Moot point now, all of it. And I'd like to think I've learned my lesson. But given that I don't even have the urge to scream at anyone lately, other than the occasional clueless co-worker, it's hard to tell. :) Life's much nicer that way. :)
Astrid Hi Astrid!
Dear Cat Box and Welcome back Astrid and AJ,
I'm just posting to vent here. I just read Dan's post and I'm fuming. I feel like I have flames coming out my nose. DragonMommy? He said I told him he has till the end of the year to cure himself or I'm leaving. Not so, I said I won't live like this for another year and if there aren't changes I'm going to have to leave.
<<I'm not leaving my home or my animals>> I'm not. We have a mobile home. We've spent 5 years working on it so it's to our liking and why would I want to leave it? I have a moving van right here.
I was never asked about the new job. One of the women at work asked him how I felt about it and Dan said "fine." When he repeated this to me I laughed and said it would take him 9 moths to remember where he left me, so I didn't have to worry about moving soon.
I did not say I know better about his mom. I said I disagree because there has always been an "if" and I'd believe it if I heard it.
Enough, but a bunch more. I keep telling you Dan that that is not what I said at all, that is what you heard me say. I feel like I've had this for 6 years and it drives me crazy. I speak English and I don't need a translator. I speak with a calm voice and then when I get it reinterpreted I get wild. The big one where you said I called you stupid, you translated what I said and argued with me that the meaning was the same. I said Nobody could be that stupid. Sheesh, I'm wid and I have to agree with Dr. Irene and Trubble. I feel you are angry at me and I am unable to do anything about it because I don't know why. Another of the passive aggressive stuff. I don't drink root beer, never have and never will. I like chocolate ice cream with coke or 7 up.. Last week you made floats and made mine with chocolate ice cream and root beer. Then got martyred because I wouldn't drink it and went to make me another one with a long sigh. I said I'd do my own and no, no, you'd do it. Ouchhhh!
Damn, this is what I can't stand. If you are mad or angry just say so and we'll work it out. I'm not a mind reader.
I'm angry now, too. You told the old therapist "I" wouldn't do anything. I wanted to shoot pool. No, it's in a bar. I said how about bowling, no you were a pin setter and hate bowling. We tried skiing, you won't go again because you spent all the time on your rump. SOS.
Enough of this. I'm getting myself worked up and I don't want to do that. DragonMommy: I have a wild idea: What if FakeDaddy gets angry because you get so worked up?
Oh Boy, here we go again. Dan just came in and I told him I read his post. I told him I was very angry and felt like he put words in my mouth. Angry and defensive and pointing with the fingers, said I didn't like that he translated what I said. He said that's what he felt. OK guys. At this point it could have stopped. You told him you were angry he put words in your mouth. He said, that's how he felt. Now both of you could cut it out and respect your partner. You don't have to agree. Just hear other's point of view, right, wrong, or indifferent. Try it; you'll like it. It still isn't what I said, I replied. FINE, I'll change it on the posts. I told him I didn't care what was on the posts, what mattered to me was that he herd me correctly. He said that was what he felt.
then I said I can't have this conversation again. "Fine," he tells me, "You won't have to worry about leaving YOUR house" and he grabs the want ads of the paper (so theatrical). I just grabbed my cigarettes and coke and went to the bathtub. He just drove away.
Ok, now back to the bath.
Love you all and thanks for being here. Lynn
I owe you all an apology.
I posted that Lynn said that I would have to change.... well she actually said that she could not live like this for another year, and I heard, interpreted, that I would have the year to cure myself and that is what I posted.
We just had a disagreement over it, and I became very angry and even went and looked at another house to move to. I have cooled somewhat and just went in and apologized to Lynn, she's in her sanctuary (the tub).
I explained that I never posted that I felt that that is what she was saying.
I also said that I was tired of the constant bickering.
I feel that lately that is all we seem to do, thus the reference to the king of the hill game.
Dan Gee DragonMommy, he's really trying. He didn't have to post this... I'd love to come visit you guys again, but you've both got to stop this sillyness... You too FakeDaddy, and this isn't "advice." It's just the way it is! Each of you is so quick to be angry at the other! Quick to jump down each other's throat, like you don't make any mistakes yourself! (Actually, I'm the only one who don't make no mistakes, not even in my grammar.) So, if you guys want me over there again, especially since I miss LOCO, you'd better both chill and not be the pot that's calling the kettle black. OK?
Hello, hello and hello. Lynn here and yes, isn't it silly fighting about cigarettes and pets. And doesn't it feel like we're walking on a tightrope without a net to catch us if we fall. I actually feel like I'm in one of those absolute moods. Dan NEVER listens to me, Dan ALWAYS translates what I said. Dan ALWAYS etc. etc and etc. Oh DragonMommy, so what? Let him. And he'll stop...
I'm so tired. I feel so bloody tired. Our last spoken words were, he said "You don't have to feel that way." I replied, "GoshDang (my unforgivable swear word) don't tell me what I feel (loudly.)" He said, "if you would let me finish."
Truthfully I feel like I give, Uncle and he won. Again and again I've said that I don't feel that he/you listen to me. If I hear one more time that he does it's just that he felt I meant or he thought what I really wanted is/was I will scream and then lock myself in a closet until he goes away. At least do yourself the favor of locking yourself in a tub...
Jay, I'm trying your tactic. Dan, please listen to me and then not say anything. BOTH of you should do that DragonMommy! What I've asked does not seem unreasonable to me. I didn't tell you I was angry to start a fight. I was making a statement of truth. I am angry when you say you took what I said one way and so that must be how I meant it. Today, after that I think you look foolish in my eyes. DragonMommy! This was not necessary! To grab the paper and call and go to rent a house and shout at me that I can have MY house just leaves me cold. Then to come in and say you are sorry and you'll correct it on the posts leaves me cold, too. I really don't care what anyone here thinks of me. Not even me FakeMommy? I care that you hear what I say and not blow when it gets translated to what you thought I meant. If you are going to apologize, apologize for not listening to what I say.
"Everything" is not my fault. If you don't hear what I say, that is your problem. If you want to translate what I say, that is your problem, too. Cool FakeMommy. Let him have it. Don't make it your problem by getting all sweaty...
I want a relationship where I can say I'm angry and I can discuss why with someone and not have it turn into a "castrating witch" argument. I don't want to castrate you just because I want to be listened to.
I feel like I'm in shock at the attack. I get to get angry and I get to say so.
Okay guys, I feel better now. Just venting and really feel I have no one else to talk to. I don't share my dirty linen with friends and family. So to the friends and family on the cat box .... here's my dirty linen. ^Snuggle, snuggle, comfort, comfort... * I love my DragonMommy....
My requests to Dan have been to please listen to me. Please lets go to therapy and work on this before it gets out of hand. Let's do the couples book and learn to communicate. Let's get rid of our baggage and move on.
I feel like because this is what I've requested there is something wrong with it and I'm trying to thwart him. I must have an ulterior motive and if this is what I need it must be wrong. I've had enough of this kind of thinking. I'm guilty of lots of stuff, but never of not being beside him or behind him when he needed a partner. The only thing DragonMommy is guilty of is being so "reactive" to FakeDaddy and wanting him to "agree."
Actually I really want to shout at him. Actually I have, but what I've said doesn't seem to get through (even when I've said it in a soft voice and non threatening). So, DragonMommy, stop wasting your sweet breath!
OK Trubble. I know. Disengage. Is disengaged any way to spend the rest of our lives though??? No. Not for me. I need more from a relationship. No DragonMommy! Even I know better than that. Disengage is good! It doesn't mean not care or shove it under the carpet... It means you know you can't do anything about whatever it is that you don't like, and you're not going to waste your energy knocking your head against a wall. It's making the best of what comes your way. It's about letting go. If you don't learn to do this, you'll take it with you everywhere! It's not about FakeDaddy...it's about YOU!
And further more there is nothing wrong with having a sanctuary. Thank God I do. Yeah!
I'm getting tired of hearing this Dr. Irene. Myself I mean. I think it's time for the next stage. Fish or cut bait? I'll bet Trubble relates to that one. Trout dear. Only fresh Trout or fresh Salmon. But, as Trubble is figuring out, you don't wait for somebody to give it to you. You give it to yourself...
Love to all of you and thanks for being here. I think I'd commit myself to the local Institute without you.
Dear Cat Box Group,
Lynn the pest again. MommyPest? Why not. I just want to relay our last conversation. I'm not going to add my thoughts or any input I hope. Dan read my last post and said he was sorry that he lost his temper today and it was the first time in a long time he went out and felt he had to punch something. He went outside and punched a storage locker. He told me he thought he had his anger under better control than that and felt he just got so angry because I interrupted him when he was trying to explain to me that he did hear what I said, but that it sounded different to him and he interrupted what I said differently than I said it.
He told me not to worry though because he would never hit me.
Dear Dr Irene, Trubble and the rest of the family,
You have probably read Lynn's last post about losing my temper and punching the locker. I did and to tell the truth it scares the hell out of me, I feel like an immature teenager again, striking out physically at something which got in my way.
I don't consider myself a physically violent person and I think that is what scares me. I know that I would never hit Lynn because that just goes against the grain. How do you know this, you may ask, I can only say that I know.
During our argument, earlier Lynn asked (not her direct words) that since I had it done to me as a kid, why was I treating her the same way? I don't have an answer. Is it upbringing, subconscious tendencies to tear apart that which you hold dear, or just plain chauvinism (sp), passive aggressiveness, or rage at my parents?
Lynn and I are in separate rooms tonight, again. This is the usual consequences to our fights. She says that I've won, won what I don't know. If I've won I would like to know why the feeling of doom is hanging over my being.
Dan Dear FakeDaddy, you guys are both so very frustrated! I think you try real hard to do nice things for MommyPestHoney, but sometimes you are so mad at her (especially when she's being like your Commanding Officer/Mom), you pop a fuse. I think the fuse pops cuz your anger at her posture either doesn't "compute" and/or you feel helpless to get this unreasonable person you love from your childhood to be otherwise... But, you gotta bring that one to your shrink. I guess my point is you're both doing it..
Dear Lynn and Dan,
Wooh, what's happening there? You seemed more or less peaceful before Christmas and look at you two now!! I agree with Dr. I that you two sound so frustrated. The frustration is almost dripping from the screen :-) I wonder, could it have anything to do with Dan being out of work and finding a new job? I know this kind of uncertainty can make people very edgy. Dan might be worrying he would might not be able to take care of you or something like that.
Dan, I think I can relate to being scared of your own physical aggression. C. left me once because (as he said later) he was so damned scared he would hit me. His father did that to his mother all the time and I feel now that because of that he has difficulty in even allowing himself open anger, cause that always carries with it the fear of physical violence for him. Can it be like that for you in some ways, because of your upbringing? Maybe you too are so scared of open anger, that you are passive aggressive most of the time. Maybe you simply cannot confess to your own anger, but Lynn feels it al the same and gets mad at your not being open about it. (seems to me she has being open high on her list of good treats, so it would make her mad if she felt you weren't).
Maybe I am totally of track, but somehow, this rang a bell. Hope it may help you.
I wonder, why is it so hard to communicate. All of us seem to have this problem. Yesterday I talked t a friend who's husband wanted to leave cause he felt he did not get enough attention sort of wanting attention all the time really..) They talked a lot during the holidays and she said: I've never seen that we just don't seem to be able to communicate. He understand everything I say different. When i talk to you or other friends, I don't have that problem, but he does not listen to me.... Sounds familiar?? For myself I have come to the conclusion that we do not learn to state are wants and needs clearly, we veil them and then expect our partner to understand and deal with them anyway. I try to be more clear, but it is soooo hard, to voice my feelings, without the fear of being rejected. Still I think that is what I should learn to do, we all should learn, because the only way out of this mess is clear en open talking, however hard it is.
I had a major victory Sunday. I was playing clarinet (I have only played for about a year, so am not doing it very well) and C. came out of the shower. Said, with a smile: I see, it is time for me to go. I said, he, that wasn't so bad. No, he said, it's nice to play. And I thought, I do not really care about a joke like that, I would have some time ago. Now O just think, ok, I know I do not play very well, yet. But I like playing, I am making progress and whether he likes it or not is not something I feel very concerned about. And it felt great. It was disengaging, but it did not feel like distancing. It simply did not matter wether he liked my plau or not, and it simply did not have any effect on the way I felt about him. In the past I woudl have said something, felt angry, or put down Not so now. It did not matter, cause I knew that i realy want to play the clarnet, I knew I am not very good it it, but still I like it, and that's enough for me. I think maybe that is what disengaging really is all about......
Lots of love to all of you. And Trubble, I am glad you choose to behave at last. I am sure of all your mommies and daddies are so proud of you...
Did you read my last post to you?
I wonder if you are expecting certain negative reactions from Lynn, even when they aren't there. I know that when that's happened to me, and my intent has not been angry, I eventually felt pigeon-holed into the behavior and just stopped trying to be nice, since it seemed not to get recognized. (Of course, the more mature thing would have been to stick with my original attitude, and just pull away when I was misunderstood)
Dan - you explained about the menthol cigarettes - what happened with the rootbeer float? Was it a subtle dig - or just forgetting that Lynn doesn't drink rootbeer? These little things all sound petty, but I know that in my life, they add up to bigger things. Better to look at your intentions and be sure in your own mind exactly what's going on. To be honest, I have sometimes forgotten certain likes and dislikes that Steve has, because I myself thought something would be good (and assumed that he would like it too). I felt offended if I made something he wouldn't eat, which was pretty silly of me really. Sometimes I thought that he was refusing it to "get back" at me for something (and maybe he was, but that doesn't really matter). But some people have more particular tastes than others, and now I think it's fine if people want to eat differently (as long as they don't expect the other spouse to do their dishes - hint hint). I've resolved this over time, by letting him do most of the cooking when we're together. It suits me fine. And if I do really want something he doesn't like, I make it for myself. I suppose the ideal thing in my situation would be to find out in advance whether he'll eat the thing I make or not, so that I don't make too much. The cute thing is I'll often say "I'm making such and such - do you want any"? He'll say no. Then I'll make it and he'll want some. This isn't a problem - it's just a cute little thing he does so I usually make just a little extra. Woh - I digress from the original point. Anyway, I don't know what's going on for you, but I could relate to the rootbeer float mistake, if that's what it was. However, it could also be passive aggression and that's forgivable too, especially if you can own up to it.
Oh and congrats for apologizing! I love it when people do that.
Another tip - when Lynn is angry just let her be angry, don't feed off it. (It's no reflection on you - it's just how she feels) Let her be angry, then try to absorb what she is telling you without your own emotional reactions interfering. If you don't feel rational right away, then just listen and let it sit with you for awhile (and Lynn don't expect him to be immediately rational). Then when you feel more level, go back to her and acknowledge what you heard her say, basically repeating back what you thought she said, and see if you've understood what she's angry about. Feel free to explain (but not defend) your point of view at this stage. Lynn, the same tip would work for you also should Dan express his anger about something.
What if you just wrote down in point form what you wanted from the relationship that isn't happening right now. You can do this in a totally neutral way. Write it and look it over, making sure that it's really what you wish for, and what you mean to tell him, but keep the emotion out of it. I did this at one point, mostly for myself, because I needed to know specifically what I wanted out of a relationship (when I wasn't feeling emotional). Things get very convoluted when people are upset. (Dr I - I love the GoshDang - if only we could all be so mild, when we get worked up into our tizzies!)
<<I really don't care what anyone here thinks of me.>> We love you Lynn, and Dan too.
Another thing Lynn, Dan translates, but we all do and not always because we're not listening. Sometimes we're using old templates in our hearing. It's just tougher to get a message across, if the translator won't consider that their interpretation might be wrong.
<<I feel like because this is what I've requested there is something wrong with it and I'm trying to thwart him.>>
I bet he's feeling like he's done something bad to "make" you upset, so he gets defensive.
(((hugs))) to both of you
Hi out there,
This is a terrific community and I'm profoundly glad to have discovered it. I've been reading the message boards for close to a year, but so far I've only lurked except for a couple of brief, anonymous comments. My hat is off to Dr. Irene and, actually, I come w/ my hat in hand in search of advice and support.
Here's my problem, as efficiently as I'm able to describe it: I am a 36 yr old woman, very happily married to a man who has stuck w/ me through a 15-year process of extricating myself from an abusive family of origin. It's taken me that long to learn the language for describing abuse and its effects, to understand that, yes, it happened to me, and to take action to protect my own family from harm (we have two small children).
'Taking action' meant finally having the wherewithal to confront my parents with the notion that they must now respect me as an autonomous adult. I did this last summer. At that time, my husband and I repaid a 50k loan to my my parents. They loaned us this money as a down payment to buy our house ten years ago, and I was very pleased to return the principal. However, I did not repay the 11% compound interest my father also demanded on the amount.
At the time my parents loaned us the money we signed a promissory note which did specify interest payments, but my naive belief was that this loan structure was in place merely to impress my father's bankers (he has his own business, and always wants a good-looking 'bottom line'). I was certainly under the impression that he would not claim compound interest. I was 25, pregnant, and in graduate school; my husband was starting his own business in a different field, and we were relying on my Svengali father for advice. He verbally agreed at the outset that interest payments could be made in the form of work that my husband did for his business, and my husband and I racked up 15k worth of 'repayment hours' over several years.
Last summer, repaying my parents' principal investment entailed my re-negotiating our mortgage and taking my parents off title to the property so that my husband and I would be the joint owners. This is the thing that made my father insane. You all know how abuse works, so there's little point in me cataloguing the trajectory of events. Perhaps it's enough to say that my punishment for having the effrontery to graduate w/ a Ph.D. in June was this: my father has never congratulated me on receiving my degree (and we live in the same city!). However, he made it very clear on the day that I framed my diploma that he needed 50k NOW or else my parents stood to lose their own house (my father had just lost a big business lawsuit as the defendant), and if I did not supply it w/in 24 hours he'd foreclose on our house for the amount of 270k (principal plus compound interest plus still more interest on fabricated debts that would have been revealed as such had the issue gone to court). My mother was wholly in agreement w/ his plan; she has always, always supported my father's decisions and (as one would expect under the circumstances) makes very few decisions of her own.
It was painful, but I used this as the occasion to formally break away. Our lawyer prepared a statement discharging us from all further debt upon payment of the principal loan, my parents signed it and I haven't talked to my father since.
Years of psychological and physical abuse taught me there would be terrible fallout from this, though it wouldn't necessarily be directed at me. I left a message on my sister's answering machine (she also lives nearby) asking her to keep a weather eye out for my father acting violently toward my mother. In return my sister sent me mail saying that she had to protect herself and would I please not involve her. Fair enough.
Cut to six months later: in the half year that I've been out of contact, newly free of abuse, I've gotten so much healthier! I started sleeping at night after years as an insomniac, and chronic health problems cleared up. I started to laugh again (although sometimes laughing hard still makes me panic afterward because I still have a reflex that tells me I'm going to get nailed for having a good time).
I predicted last summer, though, that things would not go well in my family of origin now that I am no longer willing to pretend that everything is fine. I have no idea at all what's been going on at my parents' house, but I know it can't be good...awful verbal abuse, sexual aggression, smashed belongings, food thrown at the walls, my mother's torn clothing...they're getting on in years now, so I don't think that my father has as much energy to devote to this garbage as he used to, but still.
Just before Christmas my mother had a heart attack (not fatal). Over the New Year's holiday my sister was hospitalized as an emergency and was diagnosed with advanced Crohn's disease.
Well, I've become an insomniac again. It's now gotten to the point that my husband is complainig that I wake him up every night, so I've offered to switch bedrooms (there goes that source of solace).
I don't know what to do. I know I can't rescue anyone else, but I'm finding it very hard to ignore this, and I am especially tortured by it when I'm tired (no sleep sucks). I honestly don't think that my mother wants anything to do w/ me (she was not happy when I visited her in hospital). I told my sister when she called me from *her* hospital bed, 5 days after she was admitted) that I am only willing to be involved w/ my parents if they are prescribed antidepressents and enter into counselling. There may be hope for my sister, but she's still very much under my father's sway.
Is there anything else I can do? We're talking baaad abuse here. I'm very afraid, for instance, to send my father the URL to this site, which I'd love to do.
Best wishes to all of you "cats". I've learned so much that is valuable hanging out here.
Recently, I was very hurt by a friend of mine whom I've known for about a year. I have romantic feelings for my friend, Julio, and from what I know, he has romantic feelings for me, but our age difference is too great & we've talked about it & decided to stay just friends. We are very affectionate with each other, hugging & kissing, but as friends. We spent a lot of time together over the holiday season & we were getting closer to each other. Around New Years, I went out with him & some of his other friends, which I've done many times. For the first time in our friendship, he was not talking to me & distant, but when he did speak to me he was offensive & hurtful. He would then come give me a hug, but still say something mean. It came out of the blue & left me very surprised and hurt. We spoke very little the next several days, then we both went to a friend's party. He acted the same way that night, ignoring me or all of the sudden hugging me, but saying something mean. I confronted him on the phone the next day & asked him why he was acting this way with me. He gave me several conflicting explanations, then told me he would rather I be confused. I'm left trying to understand what happened between us. For now, I've decided not to call him or continue the friendship since he doesn't seem able to have real communication with me. I'm very upset & would like to hear someone's take on what might be happening.
Probably the best thing you can do for your family is to continue to take good care of yourself. Don't get wrapped up in stuff you have no control over. Remember that they too have choices for their behavior even when it is self-destructive. You are not responsible for them.
It sounds like you have a great hubby, so why not put your focus there.
If you feel the need to "do" something for them, why not wish them good things, like peace, strength, love etc. Send them your loving thoughts, but don't let their negativity hurt you. That would just make things worse for you, your kids and your hubby.
take care - be strong.
The Dragon Mommy Lynn here, I have to laugh today and I'll bet if I tried some self analysis I'd know what is going on. I've had disengage down so well that I and like I am living in my own little world. After I told Dan I was angry yesterday and we had a few go rounds I said, "I can't have this conversation (calmly) again." I then went off to my tub. That's when it got so heated and I engaged. Ooops!
And I read the post but forgot the name, but I hear you about Dan not working right now. He does have a permanent job, it's just not full time and we go through this every winter.
I hear you with the parents, too. My dad is so angry and thinks he can bully the world. This goes from Presidents to wanna be presidents down the list. I just don't need this stuff. As for your insomnia, me, too, in a sense, but it might just be my way of getting time alone. I go to bed late and sleep late. I get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and feel good. Just on my own hours.
Trubble, am I insane or am I thinking things are better. I felt better about Dan punching the shed and showing anger than I do when he insists he isn't angry and calls it "having my anger under control." I feel like he thinks it's under control but it's there lurking and I can feel and sense it. It's worse to me than being yelled at. I can't tell FakeMommy. I can't tell if FakeDaddy stuffs his anger and calls that "under control," or if he's aware of it but tries to contain the behavior, or what. FakeDaddy might want to try writing you a letter, which he never has to give you, when he's feeling "under control" or otherwise to help him better articulate how he feels...
A hint from my children (who aren't anymore). Well they are my children, but not young. They always knew when I meant it!!!! If I were shouting and swearing and yakking they generally ignored me. They say ow, "when om talked in a whisper, didn't swear, cut off her words, her eyes turned red and flames came out her nose, one sentence from her meant business." Sort of like after 11 days of requests to take the garbage out. When I softly said, "are-you-going-to -take-the-garbage-out- ?" That's when I meant it.
Steve, if you are lurking out there, that's why I can relate to you and the shouts.
Astrid, Asha, AJ and the rest, Time to go and thanks a bunch. I do love you all and thanks,
Hehehe, Dragon Mommy here, Trubble, how rude of me. You are welcome here anytime. How about a foreign exchange thing? I'll send Dan there and you come and stay with me??? hehehe My magic carpet is on the way darlin'. I'll bet I'd never get angry at you. Heheheh. Bet ya would!
Hi Lynn and Dan and the rest of you. Yes, I am a transient cat to say the least. It is ok if you did not know who I am, because I don't visit very often. After my "YOU GO GIRL" comments, I actually read the last 17 pages! Or 18 now I think. You are all so helpful to my assessing my marriage.
I am writing for support mainly. My husband has been back in the house for about 5 months after a one year separation. He has some anger problems, but has never been physically violent. He has been on Wellbutrin twice a day, and it makes the difference between Jeckyll and Hyde...(hmmm, never tried to spell Jeckyll...wondering if that is correct :o)
Anyway...as before he becomes so used to feeling good that he stops taking his medicine regularly. Now he has had two blowups in the last three weeks, and I called his therapist. I am crashing his therapy session today, and can't get hold of him to tell him. So please send positive thoughts and purrs my way. Dr. B started seeing us for couples counseling, but has been seeing Dan alone for the past 5 months.
I know I have to do it, but confrontation isn't my strong point. Especially because he has been using this doctor against me. Like " The doctor thinks you have a big problem and things like " I tried to stick up for you and told Dr. B you weren't like that" to which I said " Like what?". So I am sticking up for myself, which is causing bigger outbursts. And this doctor is under the impression that I shut down to control a situation. Gee I can't wait to see what he really thinks. Take care and have a good day. Dr. Irene is a great help. Laura :o)
Dear everybody but especially AJ who I didn't intentionally leave out. I've been so wrapped up in my own stuff that I can't think.
I loved the bit about the tablecloth. We have so much going on that I don't even talk about Dan's mom much. That would be a whole new 20 chapters, but she is so funny about stuff like that. If I got Dan anything she would get him the same thing and almost defy him not to like hers better. She does this with all the boys. It's like a competition and toooooo silly sometimes.
After I got calm, and again thank cats for the board, I feel like this is the best progress we've made in ages. Dan swears he isn't angry but in his silence he comes through to me like one ticked off dude. This is so unfamiliar to me. If you are mad, say so. From my way of thinking, I can't do anything about it until I know what's wrong.
I was actually so happy to see him mad at something that I was going whoopee. And I hear you. We were dripping off the pages, weren't we.
Ok Doc, are things better or not? Or am I crazy to feel like this is progress? I know I feel better today and even went out shopping. Well, at least to the Senior thrift store. We are talking and not zinging off of each other. If you think things are better, things are better!
Astrid, hello out there. Stage left or what? and Jay, start on the book. It's almost chapter and verse of a romance novel. Now if we can slay the dragon or at least turn off the blow torch we can either go forward or back.
Becky, are you hiding under the bed? I prefer closets myself. I just have so much junk in mine that I can't get into it.
Well guys, Happy Trails till we meet again,
Steve here. I'm back. Because Lynn and Dan drove me to it.
You guys...hehe. You both seem to be forgetting...
Lynn - it's about YOU! You are making you angry. :)
Dan, same goes for you.
Time to look inside, not out. You can fix the inside, and so you should. The outside is what you *want* to control, but don't need to. You *need* to control the inside, but don't want to. Why? Fear, fear and more fear. Face the fears. Hunt them down and destroy them with the light.
You must replace the programs that have been running the show for years.
This goes for all of us doesn't it?
I'm having fun with this stuff now.
I'm actually looking forward to my next "backsliding" session so I can look at how foolish I was, and what program needs replacing. I think even Asha is looking forward to me acting up again. She learns a lot too. (Yes, she acts up once in awhile too, and she is learning lots from that. I can see improvement in both of us.)
I'm gonna be a Buddha, I'm gonna be a Buddha, I think I can I think I can...
Darn it, things have been going a little too smoothly for me and Asha...I need to create a challenge...grin. Kidding... Giggle!
Anyone who's read 18 pages of this stuff deserves a hello, I think. So hello. Hope things went okay with the therapy session.
Welcome home. Did you have a nice trip? Glad you jumped back because we all went to pieces without you! See :) Knew I could count on you buddy. Now... do you have the belly to become Buddha? I have the flames to become a dragon.
Pretty funny tonight, isn't it? The Merry-Go-Round of life.
Take care and I guess it's your turn next to get me off the hook.
Lynn aka the Dragon Mommy Cat
Steve said: <<Yes, she acts up once in awhile too, and she is learning lots from that.>>
Me - act up, never... me and Trubble don't ever act like THAT. ;) Never!
But actually I look forward to the uphill climb a lot more than the backsliding. 'Course backsliding is okay, as long as you go forward again, and don't slip away into oblivion.
I guess. We don't have to read all 19 pages. We survived them! That ought to be an award winner for you. We probably make your life seem "normal."
We had that kind of thing going on with our old therapist. I was getting "poor Dan, how do you think he feels?" Directly from her lips. I wanted to scream that I didn't think anyone heard Lynn's side. She wasn't very good for us really. She visibly took sides.
Good luck to you and see if we can get your Dan a postin'. We've had similar names and initials and some have been renamed here.
One can get a good laugh when it's behind us, but right in the middle it ain't much fun.
I really surprised myself yesterday. Dan called and then went and looked at a house to rent. I walked away and ignored him. I'm amazed in retrospect that I didn't start packing for him. I tend to do things like that. Good!
We got it straightened out today about the "I won't leave my house or my animals." Once before when we were going to separate I said that, but only because who'd rent to someone who smoked with 2 dogs and 6 cats? LOCO would stay with daddy. I told Dan today that if I were serious I'd go ahead and leave with the clothes on my back. Now wouldn't that be something, to leave him with the 2 dogs, 7 cats, 1 cockatiel, 2 parakeets and the "pet" mouse. That would be real revenge. Who do I go with?
Sounds pretty footloose and fancy to me.
Dear Dr. Irene and Trubble,
I went back and calmly read the posts and blue pencils on page 18 and 19. I'm trying to think this out with a bit of sanity. I do know my attitude has changed.
I get the need to talk with Dan, make plans for our future, and it is so sad sometimes because I think we are wasting so much "quality" time that could be better spent nurturing and growing. These could and should be the best years of our lives.
I'm afraid I got into the rotten attitude mode after a few forgive nesses and it was like as soon as I let my guard down he took advantage of it and zoomed in. I wonder to myself why, when things are good and we are "romantic" and comfortable he would want to sock it to me. I'm getting so discouraged and am on guard all the time since Thanksgiving and one other time after that. My attitude is really who needs this and I'm sure it's showing loud and clear.
I think, to try and capsulate this, that recently I've forgiven and forgotten twice and both times I felt I was had and now I'm not going to give him the chance at me again.
This of course creates a vicious circle. I've recently noticed my visible walls. I can effectively wall myself in. Even in the bedroom if we are playing Nintendo (Shangahi) I had a bed tray and it's always over my lap and there is a physical wall protecting me. I do this in the TV room, too. I can set up the ironing board and build a fence around myself. I'm doing this more and more.
I think it boils down to I really don't trust him anymore and that's so sad. I don't know what to do about it. I can't say OK "Honey" lets start over. It's not stubborn, it's just that I don't trust him not to do something nasty the next day.
Okey dokey. I probably know the answer and it will pop out and hit me in the nose after posting. Thank you for being here. I do listen when I shut up long enough to open my ears, but I eventually get there. Chomp on this one: Clean up your act first (give him space, stop demanding answers when you want them, accept what he gives, etc. like it or not, and THEN you have the right to call the kettle black... Otherwise, it sounds to me like you're both messing up and bouncing off each other...
I do have to laugh at Steve and myself. I'd almost like to edit our angry posts together. They're almost interchangeable. I could always relate to Steve's posts. I can hear what he's saying, because I feel like I'm saying the same thing. This with love Steve.
Take care and maybe we'll give you a much deserved vacation here soon.
Thank You again and Love,
Dear Cat Box,
I was racking my brain to remember why I told Dan I couldn't believe anyone could be so stupid. Bingo and it's the same argument. I asked (told) him once that it was really important to me that we talked. I said I wasn't going to bug him or bring it up again and when he was ready to talk to me to please do so.
Months went by and nothing. One night I finally asked him if he was ever going to talk to me about what I wanted to talk about? (calmly, too). He looked at me blankly. I said that I told him that I had an issue I needed to talk about and was he ever going to talk to me about it? Honestly he looked at me and said, "Oh, you wanted to talk? I thought you were just talking and when you said what you had to say you got it out of your system."
Again quietly, I shook my head and looked him square in the eye and told him I didn't believe he said that because I didn't believe anybody could be that stupid.
This got translated to I called him stupid. FakeMommy: It's not a bad translation!
OK, maybe I shouldn't have used the word stupid, but offhand I can't think of a better adjective. How about, "Yes, I wanted to talk."
This is the same argument that has been going on for six years. Please talk to me. I need to feel that you hear what I'm saying. No you don't. You don't NEED this, though you would like this. Who didn't hear you Lynn when you were a kid? What you do need is to accept what is given. You'll be happier. Maybe he'll listen more...
The frightening part is that one of these days I'm going to find someone who wants to talk to me and hear me and then Dan will be ready to talk.
In retrospect, if he can't talk to me, he can't. Get off it Dragon Mommy. How sad though. I should have figured this out 18 chapters ago. Right, although you are not wrong. There is no need to focus your attention on the negative - when there are so many other places to go!
More food for thought and goodnight Irene, Goodnight.
Had a very interesting session with my therapist this morning who brought some old things to surface again that I thought forgiven and forgotten. Guess what... not so. Crying and having a hard time believing I still am not able to talk these things trough with C. out of fear what he might think, or that I might hurt him, or he might get angry and want nothing to do with me anymore. Still seem to need him to be the sun in the heavens or something like that.
Felt very depressed after that and just want to throw to towel in. My therapist said you don't want t open the parcel and see what is inside, cause you fear you may not like it. But when you do not open it, oke, it is exiting guessing what might be, but you will always stay at the sidelines of live. So true, but I guess I just don't want it to be true. I still want to believe my happy fairytale and all the bad things just have to not be there.
It is good to have someone mirror me like that. I knew I need to talk again to C. Bt everything just was so quiet, it seemed like a waste to mess things up again. But all the same, there was this nagging voice. Not fighting simply is not enough for a good relationship. I want more then that and I haven't a clue where to start, and how to talk to C. I get better at no accepting overtly abusive things, but I am still so afraid to talk to him. End sometimes it seems so much easier just o get out and have done with it. Why am I putting myself through this anyway? The trying, the hoping, the fearing.
I do want things to be oke for us, and I do want to work. But I really do not know how to conquer the fear sometimes. I can have a great time with friends or doing things on my own, but it just does not seem to be enough. Sometimes I really think i am doing better, bust that is probably because I refuse to see I am not...... I know I need to talk to c. about his, about how I feel, but it scares me.
God, how I would like to see an end to this road.
Love to all of you
DR IRENE, (and anyone else who can offer me some insight)
I met a guy on New Years Eve. Although yesterday I decided to QUIT!! I felt so awkward and out of touch with dating and what I was meant to do. Though it was exciting and fun for a time. He rang and texted me every day for a whole week, no one ever spent that much time on me. LOL THOUGH now when I analyze my behaviour I realise being so pre-occupied with someone that you wait for their calls and wait around for them and put your own life on hold IS CO-DEPENDENT isn't it???
On the third day we were seeing each other he called me and asked me to come around to his house that afternoon. I said "Yes okay, I just have a few things to do and then I'll come." He said "Okay well I must go and see my dad and do a few errands, so I will call you when I am home."
Anyway my phone fell into some water and broke, so I knew he'd not be able to ring so I went around to his house, we agreed he'd call me so we could meet in another hour, since an old friend of his from the marine's was due to unexpectedly call around. I didn't kiss him on leaving, cuz his neighbour had just stopped by.
Anyway his friend called him and so he spent the time with his friend. [I posted some of this already about how he never called and so I rang him. IS THIS CO-DEPENDENT??
When I called him I said "Okay you seem busy still so we will go out at weekend instead (SEEMS HEALTHY Enough!!)
Anyway he texted me on the phone I borrowed from my mom. (BUT I couldn't text him back cuz I didn't know how to set up the phone. I did call though a few times to say thanks I got your texts and to answer some things he asked.
Then on the fifth day of our seeing each other, I got my phone working so I could text him back. We bantered back and forth. His messages started off saying things like I missing you. And eventually to I want to spend the night with you and make love to you all night. I wrote back saying this was a bit forward. Anyway he continued and so I wrote and said "Wouldn't you think I was cheap if I did sleep with you and would you still be around? and anyway I didn't want a relationship just about sex."
He didn't reply, nor did he return my call on Friday. SO I rang him and left a message on his answerphone and said "I wondered why you hadn't called, ring me." IS THIS CO-DEPENDENT??? (Desperate perhaps??)
I texted him 5 times on Friday, asking him if he'd think I was bad if I did sleep with him. IS this co-dependent?? EVEN if he had text me 5 times one after the other daily all week.
I even arranged contraception. I thought I had little choice about sleeping with this guy. Maybe It is what was done these days. Though my gut didn't feel okay which is why I sent all those 5 texts. I decided by the end of the day I wasn't gonna sleep with anyone not just so they'd think I was hip or anything else. (NOT SOMETHING I do lightly, though in the past when I first met my X I felt after a few months obliged.) I thought about the text message and felt GUILTY, why was I withholding on this GUY? SO I rang him and left a message on his answerphone saying "Sorry about the text messages, basically all I wanted to say was I need to go slower and if he still wanted to go out he should call me."
He didn't return my call.
Anyway I was angry since we were meant to be going out to the pub on Friday as a couple. As he didn't ring I went out with my friends, and had some drinks at one of the girls house. My phone went off line for a while, the batteries went dead. When I recharged my phone 2 text messages were on it. Saying I am missing you, I can't sleep, really want to hold you, and make love to you all night.
My friend told me to say I'd visit him at eleven. (I was gonna just go over and see how things went.) Though he didn't reply. SO I sent one last text saying Are you sleeping? He didn't reply.
The next morning Saturday, I dropped my mom's phone and it stopped working. WHOOPPS my mom is gonna kill me!!!
SO I couldn't ring the guy and he couldn't ring me. I decided to leave a message on his answerphone telling him, my mom's phone was now broke and so I'd call around to his house tomorrow at 2pm.
**The only reason he couldn't come to my house is I didn't want him to, cuz I didn't want my daughter to meet him at such an early stage.
Anyway I went around to see him at 2pm on Sunday. He was watching the football. He said "I have to go to work soon Theressa." (I had booked a sitter for Sunday night so we could go out. OH Well up to now I'd booked two sitters on Tuesday when he let me down cuz his old friend came, Then he let me down on Friday and never rang. AND NOW it is Sunday and he is letting me down again!!)
Well so he has to go to work, not his fault. THOUGH he had told me the other day he was off on Sunday. So anyway I asked him did he get my text messages, I joked saying I won't send anymore, not so good with words. He laughed and said okay.
He said "I didn't know you were coming cuz I left my phone on charge all weekend and so only just got your text messages and your answerphone message. SO THAT is why he didn't ring??
Two other things that bothered me. On the third day when I went around he asked me why me and my ex split, I told him that he was too controlling and didn't like a career girl. He smirked and said "Career GIRL" (I felt angry at his mocking) Is this CO-DEPENDENT??
Then On Sunday I asked him for a brew (in England this is a cup of tea or coffee) He said "A brew what on earth is a brew." I told him. (No harm done maybe he just doesn't know this slag word) So I said "SO aren't you gonna make me any drink? He said "NO, there is no milk left and I only have water." GOODNESS DOES HE MAKE SUCH AN EFFORT!!! Am I being CO-Dependent here???
Anyway he then said "I need to get ready for work, excuse me." SO I got up to leave, He said "I'll ring you tomorrow at 3.30pm, i will be going out then to see my dad." I said "I will have to ring you, remember my phone isn't working." HE said RIGHT OKAY, but ring at 3.30pm not before or after."
Anyway on leaving I approached him to kiss him good bye. It was very awkward and it was a friendly peck on the lips. I felt silly and I said "cheers see you as I walked out of his gate, I didn't look at him, cuz I felt silly".
SO on Monday I rang at 3.30pm, the answerphone was on. I left a message saying "Ring me at my mom's about 6.30pm" He didn't ring.
Anyway I told my therapist about this guy, he said "IT is all due to miscommunication. It will do you good to get along with the opposite sex, just have fun, and as for sleeping with the guy, it is what young people do these days, so why have hang ups."
I said "Well he wouldn't respect me if I did would he." My therapist said "That is your thinking, why wouldn't he respect you." You do what you want to do as long as your safe, you are an adult no need for unnecessary guilt."
This shocked me isn't this being untrue to yourself??? Where is the self respect here??? Isn't this allowing your ego to go over true self???
So yesterday Tuesday I tried again. (MAYBE he just had some problem and couldn't wait in for my call.) Though he does have a mobile though that was switched off. I left a message on his answerphone saying "Do you want to get it together or not, lets forget the shyness and excuses, we are both adults, I am sure you can get time off work, the ball is in your court, ring me at my mom's at 6.30pm. WELL HE DIDN'T ring.
I spoke to my friend and said "Do you know it is as if he just doesn't want to make the effort, I feel like I am mothering him now, but my therapist told me, that i should continue with this guy, it is just due to miscommunication problems." She said "I too would feel like someone desperate, it does take two to make the effort and he doesn't seem to be."
Dr Irene am I just acting CO-DEPENDENT sticking around for this guy??
And isn't it insecure and CO-DEPENDENT TO Sleep with someone you hardly know???
I HOPE YOU REPLY DR IRENE, I KNOW YOU CAN'T READ ALL OF THE POSTS ON THE BOARD BUT IT WOULD GREATLY HELP IF YOU'D REPLY TO ME. PLEASE TRUBBLE ASK MOMMY TO REPLY. Why are you asking when you already know the answers?
You sound as if you really want (need) this guy. Why? To be honest, If I were him and you would call me as often as you did the first week after we met, I would run as fast as I could. Yeah! You are not giving him any space to breath! So he does not answer your call right away. So maybe he has a problem with his phone too, but if he wants to call he will find a way. Remember what we said to David, take some distance. You must allow someone to want YOU. As for sleeping together, who cares. Do what you want to, not what you feel you have to. Be prepared (as for anticoncpetion and such), but leave it to how you feel at the moment before you decide. If you feel you want to sleep with him when you meet, by all means do so. As your therapist says you are an adult and not hurting anyone. But don't feel you have, or have not to out of fear of loosing his respect or because you feel obliged. I think she wanted to sleep with him to keep him around. Wrong reasons...
I think, personally, if you make such a big deal out of it beforehand, maybe you should just wait a little longer. A LOT Longer. If he really likes you, he can wait till you are ready. If not, his loss. You're worth waiting for and sex is not all there is to a relationship.
T. take care of yourself, and if my words sound a little harsh, it is not cause I feel you are wrong, just that I care.
Lots of love, don't hurry yourself, and give both of you some space to breath.
Theressa~ This situation sounds really rushed. If you two were on level ground in this relationship you wouldn't be feeling so off balance. As far as sleeping with him...no one can answer that question but you. Listen to what you are telling this board, and you will have your answer. I would totally disengage, and find something to do that nourishes you. Go have a tan, or get a massage. Maybe you just need positive touch, and you are not sure this guy is positive for you. There is absolutely no harm done by waiting to see at this point. Have a good day, and be in love with you. Laura :o)
Thanks for replying.
You ask why I am so in need of this guy? Well I just liked him, he seemed fun. He seemed to be always ringing me at first and he wasn't emotionally abusive. He seemed very keen, so that is why I rang him. I thought it would be courteous.
But I do hear you, I sounded desperate. WELL I think I was just a little too enthusiastic. It is just I haven't met anyone else like him who I clicked with, and I wanted to show my X that I can meet other guys. BAD REASON isn't it for wanting to be with someone.
As well as that it was the attention I craved. I never got this sort of attention from anyone before.
But I hear you, I need to slow down and give him some peace. The trouble is I just don't and didn't know how to behave when dating.
Though I agree if this guy wanted to ring me he'd do so!! So I will just get on with my life, if he rings, he rings, if he doesn't its just life!!
Thanks for replying,
Can you explain this to me: If you two were on level ground in this relationship you wouldn't be feeling so off balance.
I printed out your thoughtful comments to me yesterday. They were exactly the bolt I needed from the electronic blue, and I'll be looking at them often in the next little while.
Thank you! silver (Paula, actually).
Let me pretend to be Dan for a minute (I may be off on this, but I'll give it a shot).
You said "it was really important to me that we talked. I said I wasn't going to bug him or bring it up again and when he was ready to talk to me to please do so."
He's thinking you mean 'in general'. That you won't bug him, and if he is ready to talk about something to go ahead. So then he thinks, all right that's done, onto other things...
Then when you said "I didn't believe anybody could be that stupid", he thinks I *am* stupid. I really didn't get it. And if he really didn't get it, then he feels stumped because, what if doesn't get it in the future? And he doesn't know what to do about it.
Okay that's one possibility. True miscommunication. On the other hand because Dan has covered up for things like the keys, Lynn never knows for sure when he is genuinely not understanding or when he's doing another cover up. This is why I think Dan has to make a firm commitment to stop the cover-up stuff, if he wants to have a healthier relationship with Lynn. Dan needs to take a close look at his feelings and identify what they are. Then he can decide whether they are rational or not.
Dan, are you still out there?
love to both of you
I don't think there is an "end to this road", and that's not a bad thing.
What I mean is that life is about learning, and these struggles we face are part of what life gives to us so that we can grow stronger.
I think the sooner we all settle into life's experiences and become okay with them, the easier the learning.
Whenever someone mentions something about "recovery" on this site, I always think that the state of being human *is* a kind of recovery, at various levels. I don't believe any of us are on earth because we are perfect. I think the human experience is one of challenges, and intense learning.
take care, glad you're back.
Theressa - RED FLAG RED FLAG
It sounds to me like the guy just wanted sex, which is fine for him, but you want more than that.
Here's a chance for you to disengage at a very early stage. If he's really interested in you he won't give up that easily.
Don't contact him anymore. If he was interested he would have checked his messages. Don't try to fill in the blanks about why he does't phone back etc. Just accept that he doesn't and let it go.
You had integrity in telling him your original concerns about sleeping with him - where you lost it was by saying stuff like you're not so good with words and "Sorry about the text messages". WHY sorry? This is how you feel, and it's healthy and reasonable. Just because he doesn't feel the same way doesn't mean you are wrong. Trust your gut.
Why disappoint yourself by expecting things he's not willing to offer? I think that you were pushing yourself on this guy a bit too hard as well - let it go. If things are meant to be they will be.
I wonder if you misunderstood what your therapist said, or left out details about the situation.
Yes do what you *want* to do - which is not to sleep with the guy right away. And don't feel guilty about that.
Stop waiting for the calls. Just relax and plan some nice things for you.
This is Lynn with some motherly advice. I thought that post was from a woman and Dan swore it was from a man. I didn't reply because I'm the last person who would dare to give advice about sex and dating. I got pretty wild for quite a few years and truthfully had 3 steady boyfriends for years. (I didn't cheat on any of them).
But in reality, from my experience I've found that ALL men are not after sex and if it's you they truly want they will wait until YOU are ready.
And to look at both sides of the "sleeping with" if you did have a sexual relationship with him and he left then you probably wouldn't want him anyway. If you were pressured before you were ready you would probably resent him for the ultimatum.
I am from and was raised in the generation where good girls didn't. I was a virgin when I married. The toughest thing for me was the 2nd man. I truly, as an adult thought one had to be married to have sex. Men were only after one thing and didn't respect us if we "let them go all the way."
This isn't really true these days (but with the diseases these days I think I'd be very careful who I "slept" with. People have sexual relationships as I'm sure they always did without the benefit of marriage. It's the 2 people in the relationship who count.
I also hear you about the needing a man in our lives. I was raised that way, too. It took me years to realize that I didn't HAVE to be married to be happy and whole. I had moments of single contentedness. It's tough to learn to be happy with ourselves.
Co dependent or comfortable, I don't know, but a relationship with the wrong man (or woman) can be hell. Once we get into a relationship it seems really hard to get out of it.
Trust your instincts and your body and say NO. I don't think you need that man. If he were sincere he would have waited for a relationship to develop and respect your feelings.
I also think you are very vulnerable right now. I know this feeling, too. Nobody will ever like me again, I'll spend the rest of my life alone, etc. Not so. When you least expect it one will come into your life. It will probably be someone whom you least expect to be attracted to. He will care if you are ready or not.
I know, too, that right now you are probably feeling very vulnerable and lonely. Enjoy these feelings. It is a time for you to get in touch with yourself and find out who you really are. Get busy! I ALWAYS worked graveyard (night shift). You would be surprised ho easy the lonely nights go by when you are slinging hash in a busy restaurant till 6 AM.
Take care Theressa and don't be pressured into doing anything you don't want to do. You just got out of that.
I had to do these one at a time. Theressa got priority today. You remind me of Dan with the talking. I call this his Fantasy Island thinking, that if we don't talk about it it goes away. For me it doesn't. It grows and festers. When I can talk or shout out all the uglies, amazingly the disappear into some distant recess of my mind and I have to be reminded of them before they reappear. I've never (in recent 20 years) been afraid of confrontation or been unable to express how I feel. If I can discuss something I can put it to rest. This especially goes for the uglies. I need to tell and talk and cry and grieve and mourn and then it seems to go away.
Dan calls this the It's not over till I say it's over, but once it's over it's gone bye bye and never an issue again.
I hear you about needing this to be settled. I am sooooo tired. How about this Steve? Give Peace a Chance?
Hang in there AJ. If and if we get through this it will be worth it. It's not that we are bad people. Just uneducated with lots of baggage that needs unpacked.
Dear Asha, I'm going to go reread the rest of the posts, but when I told Dan that I couldn't believe anyone could be that stupid, I didn't mean to call him names or put him down. I thought I was just stating a fact. The "fact" is your opinion that he's stupid. Ouchhhh! Even if that's what you think, why would you say this? The only reason can be to hurt him...
Love you all,
Dan knew what it was I needed to talk about. I told him (can you imagine that I didn't?). Lynn, you've got to stop telling him. Don't you know you'll get more out of him when you back off? Entirely. No put downs, nothing other than acceptance that he is exactly where he is... (But, to do that, you have to first accept Lynn.)
Glad you and Steve are doing so well. The rest of us are falling apart.
I went through some very thoughtful thoughts yesterday. I always felt the cats and dogs came with me. (except for LOCO). Dan wouldn't hurt them. I'm not stuck here without a house because I have cats and dogs. In reality I have the clothes on my back. Now I'm asking myself why I needed an excuse to stay. There is no reason (yes there is, right Trubble?) that I couldn't hit the road like a hobo.
Talk to you all later. Hi the rest of you.
Dear Theressa, "The trouble is I just don't and didn't know how to behave when your dating." Ha LOL, who does???? :-)
But I do think it is wise to keep a little distance. C. always said; I like to miss you. Give the guy, any guy a chance to miss you, to court you and don't let them feel like you are desperate to marry them right away. Not got for them, not good for you. Believe me, I had a hard time learning it, and I think it is even harder to learn when dating your own husband as I am doing right now. But it does work. He calls and when I am not here, he says I'll try later. I used to rush to the phone and call back. Not so now, at least most of the time. He says he will call back so I wait for him to do so, which he does and that makes me feel wanted, which is nice.
And when I feel like calling him myself, I stop and ask myself: do I want to call him, to talk to him, or do I want some kind of reassurance, or am I calling as in wanting to know where he is or maybe even cause I feel I have to. And I make a conscious effort only to call when *I* want to call him. No other reason is oke. And it works for me.
Maybe it boils down to this: let him do a little work. It seems people just do not appreciate that which is easy to get. Which does not mean BTW that I am in favour of withholding, that's something all together different.
Thanks, glad to be back. I really missed the Catbox's support en discussions. Like Dan, I do better when I post and read. I know there is no end to the road, I know I need to see life as a constant series of leassons that wil never stop, so I better start enjoying them (Steve, you seem to have gotten the hang of it!!), and sometimes, more often then before, I do. But sometimes it is just very hard and I want to arrive somewhere, unpack my clothes and just settle down. . Well, I guess I had my holiday, had a little rest from myself and on with the show again. Will have to do some heavy thinking and talking I guess. But when C. calls (he was on the answeringmachine and got me smiling again) it just doesn't seem all that necessary anymore all of a sudden.... :-)
Glad things are oke for you two for now and I really like the tone of Steve's and your last posts. Hehe, joking about bad habits. Isn't that great??
Can I borrow your bathtub sometime? I could really use one. A shower is not half as much fun, and you can't use those bubbly nice smelling baththings. Never mind, I have a better plan. I'll just get my own!!! Nice to hear you can laugh again, I do understand you beeing happy that Dan was punching the shed. At least it was clear he was angry. So much easier than mind reading is it not?
Love to all of you, take care
Sorry Theressa~ I had to go to an appointment. Sounded kinda of cryptic. Sorry. I meant that if the balance of power is equal, or close to equal in a relationship, then you feel secure and not off balance. It seems that the level of power ( not the exact word I guess....but a person's need for the other I guess) will be back and forth for each partner during the relationship, but not too far to one side all the time. Does that make sense? Feels easier than it is to write about I guess. Laura :o)
Lynn: "but when I told Dan that I couldn't believe anyone could be that stupid, I didn't mean to call him names or put him down. I thought I was just stating a fact."
Ah, Lynn, but were you angry when you said it? Looking back now, do you realize you weren't stating a fact? Instead, you were using an "expression".
I think that most of the time when that particular expression is used, it is in a derogatory manner. It's almost like saying - "You can't really be that stupid - CAN YOU?"
I can understand Dan's mis-read of it.
Perhaps you truly didn't mean it in a negative way, but I think if you were fuming already, Dan may have assumed you were just lashing at him.
I think it would be mighty good of you, if when Dan didn't seem to know what you were wanting to talk about, that you explained it again, nicely - even if you feel he wasn't listening the first time and you are offended by that.
So much is conveyed in tone of voice, and add to that yesterday's baggage, and it's hard to say things clearly, without any perceivable underlying anger. This stops so many great opportunities for communication, because the one we are trying to communicate to can feel the anger. I know I tend to rebel when any communication comes at me that has an underlying anger in it. Sometimes, there is no underlying anger but I *THINK* there is, because I AM also carrying yesterday's baggage and my own underlying anger. So, I expect the worst. That is a very important lesson for me. I am working hard to let go of that ridiculous program that I've run for years.
That's my part in it, the part I CAN control.
I have just scanned through the posts, and am glad to see some new people here as well as the return of some old friends. I am full of things to talk about, but when I try to do it, I feel tired and overwhelmed and like "who cares?" But I will try to let you in on the latest without writing a book---
For reasons too complicated to go into, husband is having to deal with certain aspects of his business in new ways. One possibility is forming a new and separate business, naming someone else as owner. This would enable him to continue providing some goods and services without certain complications and conflicts.
He brought up the idea of naming me as owner. My gut reaction was Not under these circumstances! Of course, he wasn't happy with me at all! I told him that I was offended that he would chose to not work on the relationship and himself, yet expect me to let him use my name for his benefit (and you can bet that in his mind it is for "his" benefit and only his)! I also said that I would need lots more info; that I wouldn't consent unless I had input into the business, and unless he was seriously working on his issues.
He told me that he would talk further with me if he decided that doing this was a possibility. I actually thought he was respecting me! Wrong! A couple of days later, he began talking about the situation. I sat quietly listening, and he became more and more strident and up tight. I said something like "I don't think that naming someone as an owner is a trivial thing." He called me stupid and ignorant, said that it is trivial, and that he had decided that this wouldn't work with me, and maybe he'd give the business to his former sister-in-law.
So, if I understand him, he can name Snoopy as owner of the business and nobody would care. Nobody that is but creditors that want their money and unhappy customers that decide to sue. Then who's liable? Snoopy, not my H!
I was so angry! He won't even pick up a book and read it, he won't do that small of a thing, but I'm supposed to help him out by giving him my name to use. I know he's mad because I wouldn't consent to his having full control under those circumstances. But I'm trying to be a responsible adult. If I own a business, i want to know what's going on!
So now I've let him down again! Sometimes I think I hate him! He has, in my eyes, turned his back on me and the marriage, yet expects me to meet his needs and demands. He's offended when i tell him that I feel no such obligation. I won't put myself at risk this way. What goes on in these people's brains?
This may not come to pass at all, as he had a meeting yesterday and learned of some other alternatives. He is finding more out tonight. I am trying so hard to do the right thing. My inner voice is telling me to stand up for myself no matter what. I know that in his present mindset that anything I do that is healthy he will resent and see as an attack. I've worked too hard on myself to cave in though. If he wants to interpret this as yet another way that Becky has failed, so be it.
What do you all think?
Dar Dr Irene, Trubble and the rest of the family,
Welcome to all new posters.
Dear Theressa, I have to apologize to you because the questions that you posted to Steve and I were taken by me as from being from a drop in guy. Lynn was sure they were from a woman and not a guy, as she felt that she would ask a guy's opinion about this sort of thing
My advice is do what you feel is right for you. You maybe feeling vulnerable right now and not sure of what life holds for you but do NOT go against your instincts, no mater who says what or what the current trend is.
From what you posted today, I think that this guy saw you as an easy conquest and when he found that you weren't, he backed off. There is an old saying here he chased her until she caught him, if this guy is serious then he will be back, if not, nothing lost and you have gained some knowledge and experience.
Dear Laura, I hope the therapist didn't feel intruded upon and that he was able to face or explain his negativity to you.
Steve, Welcome back, of course you will have to watch where I drive you. Lynn has asked me if I didn't think you both were alike (From you posts) and I have to agree, although you wouldn't have made it as a couple you both would have run for the hills upon meeting (my opinion).
Dear Asha, Glad that you became me for a little while, I sometimes wish that I were someone else, although I know that's not why you did it. I agree that I have to do some introspective thinking. My thoughts may not be to rational right now though, as few of them are.
Dear AJ, I'm glad that you had second thoughts about Lynn's tub and decided to get one of your own. After the time that it took me to put it in, I don't want to tear it out and start over again, Lynn would be without a tub for another 9 months, at least.
To the lady who lost her friend, I think that no matter what you both had agreed on, he had other thoughts and then he pushed you away, not the proper way to do so or, depending on your ages, his friends may have said something to him. Peer pressure, and this is how he dealt with it.
Dear Astrid, Thanks for posting about moot points, I didn't know how to spell it, now I do.
Lynn posted that she felt good about my punching the locker because it showed that I was angry. I haven't gone back to double check but I think that I once posted that I would take my anger out doing something and Dr Irene replied something to the effect that I wasn't facing my anger or facing the anger at Lynn.
I know that getting angry is normal, and expressing that anger is normal, my only fear is that words which may not mean to hurt will when said in anger. I still haven't learned that I can express my anger without retribution. I said I wouldn't, but here's a little advice: When you are mad Dan, write Lynn a letter. Keep writing and writing and writing and adding to it. Do Not Give It To Her! This is for you to help you clarify your thoughts.
When you are calm, rephrase the letter so it is a calmer statement of your feelings. Use "when you do X, I feel Y" statements. Expect this exercise to take lots of time early on; you are learning a communication skill. When you are satisfied with the phrasing and accuracy of what you have to say, you can give it to her or talk to her about it.
I think you get off track because when you calm down, you may be so relieved the anger is gone, you drop the content and don't communicate it - so the stuff never gets dealt with..
Last night Lynn asked me if she reacted to my checking the paper and looking at a house was what I expected. It was. Looking at it in a new light, it was very comical, although very serious at the time.
She also wanted me to explain about not feeling guilty about getting caught over the keys and if not why did I react the way that I did. I think that it was just a build up of the feelings from day one, deception, etc., and that I got angry at myself and those feelings then got defensive. I really can't say, but that's what I think. I think so too. You're upset with yourself for not having dealt with the keys thing, but I think you're also mad with her for continuing to bring it up. You do need to deal with your feelings as per above, but you also need to set boundaries with Lynn. You can't feel that it's your job to answer to her (Lynn / mommy).
She also posted about leaving the cats and dogs with me if we separated. The funny thing, three of the cats were about a year old and feral when we caught them, and I used my boot laces to tame two of them. I guess that I would get along with them if it happened.
She has been pretty sick lately, and went to the Dr, She got the test results back, and told me that it was fatal. I didn't know how to react, the first feeling was nonbelief, then she said it again and I could tell that she was pulling my leg so I joked back.
I will bring up the points you posted about with my therapist. Also please, the new stuff. All the above is is an exercise for helping you articulate and calmly express your anger.
Glad that you're behaving and giving the outlook on life to all of us here. Rainbow for you.
I've got to go, thanks for being here.
Just read your post, My thoughts, Stay Healthy.
Oh boy, it's a shame you can't take over the company and fire him! Then get it on it's feet again and make a success of it.
I hear you loud and clear about the "hate" feelings. It has to feel yukky right down in your soul. I hate deceit. Sneaky sly stuff to me is yukky whether it's directed at me or not. I claim it's because I'm so gullible that I'll buy anything almost and then when I am had I feel so stupid.
Heigh Ho again Steve,
So you think that was below the belt, huh? I don't, but I'm willing to listen. I don't know what I could have said. Honey, remember, I wanted to talk about such and such????? Maybe one of my biggies is that I've been saying this for so many years that I don't know how to say it with a civil tongue any more.
Did you hear what he said about US? Run for the hills, indeed. We wouldn't have needed the internet. Dr. Irene could have picked up our shouts on a clear night. Isn't it funny about mates though. I think we ca be great friends, but would probably bore each other to tears in a relationship. That is one thing I have to say to Dan. I'll bet I've never bored him.
Funnies aside, I do so much need him to hear what I say at times and when I ask specifically and wait for him to bring it up at his convenience without threats or arguments, I feel sick at heart when I get told that he didn't know that I "really" meant I wanted to talk. Why would he think I said I wanted to talk???? I'm soooo confused.
Speaking of terminal, I have a virus. Good grief. To me terminal is having to go to the Dr. in the first place. I finally found a gem though.
Dan would take care of the critters. The basset had arthritis and couldn't get off the bed the other mornng and so he whined at Dan and he came and lifted him off. Now 82 lbs. and shorter than my knees is a lot of compact heavy dog, so they'd have a good home.
As for Dan with the paper and the move. I think he can get so theatrical at times. Bombs over, grabs the paper, sighs deeply, opens it up with a gesture like he's pulling teeth and then saying Fine, I'll get out of your life and leave the house for you and the animals. It was simply tooo much darling, so I didn't say a word and went to the bathtub. (Sheer bliss AJ)
One of those where I thought first, because once he walked out the door he had to talk his way back in, and he did.
Well guys, the saga continues. Turn in tomorrow for the next exciting chapter. Write us a blurb for this will you Jay?
Will Becky take over the company? Will Dan talk to Lynn? Will Steve backslide? etc, etc. Dr. Irene, Is this acceptable? I'm starting to bore myself. If not, ah well. I still just want a happy relationship with someone I can talk to.
Salmon Trubble, big salmon, and much Love,
Dear sisters and brothers: Thank you for your feedback - in reading these posts, I've come to realize that both men and women are going through these roller-coaster relationships. Its amazing. I apologize for previously writing to just sisters. I did not read the other posts. Now I do read them, and my heart breaks with these other situations. I relate to most of them, and my inner thoughts and questions are the same as everyone's.
My relationship with the psychologist for the last 18 months finally ended, I hope. We gave it another go around on New Years Eve, and steadily saw each other until 2 days ago. The verbal abuse got worse and worse. Saturday night he told me "shut up and go to sleep - you think I verbally abuse you? You haven't seen nothing yet!" I thought he was kidding, so I giggled. I had said and done nothing wrong, other than ask him about the church he thought about attending on Sunday with his friends. He then looked over at me and said, "I'm serious!" You think you've been abused, well, I said, don't ask me another question about what church I now go to, or I will abuse you greatly!" This man admits to intentionally withholding information, invalidating and discounting me, and intentionally provoking me so I will remain off balance. He says that "men and women alike can take my toxic verbal communication, because they are stronger than you". And that "people like him to be sarcastic". He says, "So what that I'm abusive. People love me (him) for it." I just sit there stunned! This is the way he justifies his behavior. Its no wonder he has never been able to be in a long term relationship. He admits to treating every one like this. And they love it?!! He's a mean, lean, abusive machine.
Anyway, he started again 2 nights ago with this same dialogue, and I just got my coat and walked out. I told him that I "can't do this" - and walked out the door.
God, I hope I can be strong enough to finally stay away this time. I need help!!!!! I don't know what draws me to him. This is my first relationship like this. I've read all the books. Gone to WEAVE, therapy. This can't be love. He does not love me, only for the sex. I have been treated so shabbily. Now I'm feeling obsessed about it (hey, at least I'm being honest). What is wrong with me? Have I sunken into such a deep hole? I'm educated, attractive and have all of the right stuff. My self esteem is in the dumpster, I guess. My goal is to stay completely away, though he lives in the same neighborhood.
Any suggestions for me here? I really would appreciate some stuff your way as to what you have done in the past to stay away from somebody who is not good for you. He is definitely not somebody who I can trust and cares about me, or he would never have done the things he has done to me. Though for some reason, this chemistry stuff is high intensity between us. Toxic! Any ideas from you?
Thank you very much,
Dear Cat Box and welcome Sharon,
Lynn here. I hope I didn't get everybody mad at me saying I was bored. I'm bored with Dan and the same old stuff over and over, not the cat box!
I don't know Sharon. I seem to do the same here. I asked Dan today if he used all of the condensed milk last night. He stopped and paused and thought. I finally said, this isn't a trick question. I just wanted to know if he used it all up or not. I have such a tough time with this and sometimes would just like a one word answer to a simple question. I also get the feeling that whatever I say or request is immediately to be fought or argued. It doesn't matter what it is, just if I say so it must be wrong.
Sharon, I can't help you get away or stay away. Sometimes the strength has to come from within us alone. I don't know.
Stick around though and you'll get plenty of friends (both sexes) in the same boat.
Glad to hear from you and Hi everybody else. Been working on the web page. I'm too old a dog to learn new tricks. This stuff is tough.
Love to all,
Don't ask us how to stay away from abusive people. We're here cause we still think we can fix it :-) But seriously, I do think you did the right thing by walking out. he obviously has no intention whatsoever to change this behaviour, he seems to think it's oke to behave this way, so he does not do it out of ignorance, like most of the people here, who are really trying to get aware and fix things. He is fully aware apparently and he sees no need to chance. So don't break your head by walking into he wall again and again.
I know it is a hard thing to stay away. I do not think this is love, not on his part (as you say yourself), but also not on your part. It might be dependence, or maybe just a stubborn believe you can fix him and he needs you to him.
You might try avoiding places were you know he comes, you might go away for a couple of weeks if possible to get over the initial period of withdrawal, or you might move all together. You're the only one who can decide what danger he really is to you. But is des seems clear to me, you are better of without him.
Hang in there , and let us know how you are doing!!
Glad you are not bored with us. I was getting worried :-) What would we do without you here ? (or is this (co)dependent again?). I don't have a ‘condensed milk' problem, as we are not living together. But I do relate to what you say. It sometime seems you have to weigh every word you say., and that is just soooo tiring. I can understand Dan too though. It is part of the whole situation, i guess. Everything is upside down and you just do not know what to expect anymore. So everything seems kind of circumspect. That's at least how I feel some times. I just try to make a conscious effort to try not to see it that way and try to take things at face value,
Dan, maybe that would be an idea for you too. If she asks did you use up the milk, it would seem that she just wants to know whether you used up the milk. Just hear the question like it was put and answer it. if she means something els, she should have asked something else. That's her problem.
Take care, all of you. Lots of love and sunshine.
My name is Joan...Hi :) I lived in a verbal abusive relationship for 26 years. My journey has lead me to a greater understanding of what verbal abuse is and how to recognize it.
It is now 9 years since my divorce. I have a web page that I wrote and it is dedicated to all women who have gone through what I had been through.
I want to share with you the steps that lead to my freedom. My site has resources and support. Please visit it. http://angiejim.homestead.com/endure.html
The question you asked Dan about the milk is not as simple as it seems. Along with the simple truth (yes or no) could be fear that you would not be happy that Dan used up all the milk and so he may have hesitated to answer out of fear of the consequences (your possible anger that it was all used up). There is the truth and then your reaction to the truth that probably influences Dan's response to your "simple" question. If you have responded with anger to his answers in the past then he has reason to be circumspect. I can relate to your frustration about everything being argued against. My boyfriend seems to do the same thing. Not always but often enough that it is noticeable. I'd like to say something about the comment you made about Dan saying something stupid. I think that telling him what he said was stupid is verbal abuse no matter how you look at it. Whenever we use terms such as stupid about loved ones in any fashion, the relationship becomes a battlefield and lines are drawn in the sand. If the relationship is at a point where one feels its ok to say something someone said was stupid - the respect is gone.
Hi all. Sharon here. Thank you for your sharing thoughts here. This is powerful stuff to be able to write it out - its becoming therapeutic for me to read these posts, and know that I'm in a safe place to share. I have not felt safe and secure sharing with anyone for a very long time.
Nope, have not heard from Ron, my ex-bf (the psycho-psychologist), since last Tue. night (1/9) though I won't expect to. My anger towards him comes and goes. I am not feeling any sadness, sorrow or remorse for ending the relationship as the way I did for merely walking out. After all, if you read my previous post, the week before Christmas, he told me that the relationship was over because he has never done 2 holidays in a row with the same woman. And in July, I found a personal ad that he placed in a local newspaper for a new woman. Of course, he taunted me for a few months with that -- he would throw the newspaper my way and say "find my ad!" I would look at him and say "what? you put in a personal ad?" and he'd say "what do you think?" After a few months of this dialogue, I finally started checking these ads, and I found it!!!!!!! I was sooo crushed, I cried for a month, got back in touch with him, and started this whole mess again. He was sorry for putting me through so much, and agreed that the next time he felt compelled to put another ad in, that he would tell me. Like I said in my previous posts, we have broke up at least 10 times in the last 18 months.
I feel in my bones that my walk out this past Tuesday night from this abusive relationship is the last. However, I need to continue my solo journey, so I won't start "missing" it? Him? or whatever it is that keeps me hooked in. This truly is a sickness. I'm just glad I found this website, so I can keep writing.......I'll write more soon.
I plan on going next Monday night to a support group in town here specifically for abusive relationships. I've gone before, and if you go consistently, free counseling is available. I know I need this. The books are great also. I have read many, and feel as though they've been a worthwhile investment for future relationships as well.
Dear Cat Box,
Lynn here and the point is well taken after lots of thought about calling Dan stupid. There was lots of abuse on both sides. Yippeee!
I have the hardest time of all with the confusion. Not just in that instance, but lots of where Dan interprets what I say and does the opposite. This can be as simple as telling him, "honey, don't do the dishes, I'll get them when I get home." Dan does the dishes. Let it go Lynn! The more you let stuff like this go, the less likely he is to do the passive aggressive stuff. Stop trying to control him and just accept what he does. This is what you need to do to clean up your own act!
This can work because I tried it. But I can't spend the rest of my life saying I don't need to talk so he'll talk to me. You don't NEED to talk. Please stop insisting he give you something that is not forthcoming. That's the best way I know to eventually get it!
I do have a positive today. Dan got called to work early this morning and left me a note on where he is today. This hasn't been done in ages and do like it. this is a quirk of mine and I know I can carry this to extremes. When he is suppose to be somewhere and he isn't home yet I think he's dead. We had this worked out at work and if he were delayed or at a fire all the office had to do was call me and say that they heard his voice on the radio and he'd be late. One of the girls at the office is married to a policeman so she understands.
My toughest one is relaxing my guard. Especially lately when I've given and let my guard down he's swooped in and caught me off guard. I'm extra vigilant now and I don't like me like this.
And yes, H Lynn. There are times when I don't like me like this. I hope we can get to a stage where I can ask a question like did you use all the condensed milk and he can zap back a yes or no (It really didn't matter, the lid was on the counter and I was going to cover it if he didn't use it all). I have tried to rephrase these, too, so the question doesn't sound threatening, but I didn't even think about the milk. I do know when I ask a why or a did you the guard instantly comes up, like he might be wrong and is going to answer to his best advantage.
I know I need retrained, too, but I still need a bit of an effort from the other side.
Dr. Irene, I had quite a rude awakening about the cats and dogs and thinking I have to have the house and keep the pets. The thinking that I'm free to go at any given moment has liberated me a bunch. I'm not stuck here. You can send me the cats!
Again, lets fish or cut bait. Time is wasting and if we are going to keep fighting to see who is the king (queen) of the hill let's get out and on with the rest of our lives.
Take care all and love and thanks for the comments.
Hi all. Asha here.
Lynn - I sure wish I had you and Jay's problem about housework and dishes. I don't care what the motivation, if my house got clean, dishes done etc I would be *so* pleased (and if somebody else happened to be doing it angrily, that would be *their* problem - I'd just stay out of their line of fire, I think) :) 'Course that's easy for me to say, because my "buttons" are more about things *not* getting cleaned. Then again, I don't remember having ever said - "don't worry about the dishes, I'll do them later" haha So far in my relationships, that was expected. I guess they rebelled - probably, in part, 'cause I made such a button out of it.
As for the communication stuff, I really relate. Steve and I never did talk about the incidents that concerned me around the Xmas season, and then Steve brought up something a couple of days ago that made me realize he still doesn't understand (or if he does, he's not letting on). The positive thing is that I know what feels healthy for me, and I'm following my gut feelings now. I had a brief moment of understanding about Theressa's situation though - momentarily questioning my own motives about a decision I made. However, after thinking about it briefly, I knew that I was doing the right thing for me. Steve seems to interpret a lot of what I do as "tit for tat" and I sure wish he would see that that's not my motivation. However, I don't *need* him to see anymore. I know inside and that's enough.
Steve questioned whether my "reasoning" was valid on a decision. I reacted to that by saying I didn't want to talk anymore. I back away really fast when I hear this stuff because I don't want it to enter my psyche, and start questioning myself like in the "old" days. I also realize that the power base between us has only begun to even out recently and that lots of stuff probably won't 'feel' right to him just yet, even when it's right for me. This I can accept, and I can allow him his struggle, or whatever it is he is experiencing. I think I am beginning to trust me to look after me, and not worry so much about pleasing the rest of the world (though I'm not rebelling against the world either - that wouldn't serve me well in the long run).
I think the more I realize that Steve doesn't *have* to understand me, the more I am okay in just understanding myself. I think it's easier when you are living apart and don't have the day to day condensed milk issues though. Living apart is not the ultimate goal, but I seem to feel okay about not needing to live with Steve either. Things will evolve better if I don't force anything. What will be will be. I'm happy with myself, my house, my pets, and I'm opening up my social circle which feels good to me. It would be nice to have Steve's support in my undertakings, and to reach a point where he didn't suspect my motives as some sort of personal affront (and I don't know if that's what's going on - I can only guess). However I think he is more aware of all of this, and it's a process.... that never-ending life process.
Well, I should get going and get productive before the day is over.
take care all.
Hi. Sharon here. Well, I'm getting more insightful as the day moves on. I'm feeling empowered about my upcoming weekend plans, which will not include my ex bf, aka psycho-psychologist. I have to start planning a new life without him, which I know will take some strength, time and healing. Still feeling good about walking out of his house on Tuesday night.
I read your posts on your situations, and can relate. My past stories with this man really are primarily about the "crazymaking" behavior that goes with verbal abuse. I'm just thankful that we never lived together, or I'd be an absolute nutcase. Crazymaking, wierd, "stunned by him", outrageous, bizarre behavior is what I witnessed. Could I have been with a psychotic? Maybe a sociopath? I mean, it was really bizarre, some of the behavior that I witnessed by him. It was truly abnormal, mentally cruel, yet somehow seductive in a very strange way. Mature conversation was very difficult at times. And his driving, at times, was very reckless. He told me on Tuesday that he was a 52-year old man with lots of broken toys. I truly think he is suffering from a mental illness. I am so grateful that for me, I pulled out just in time to save me from going insane. Is this what you all have dealt with too?
Hi. I'm producing a television show on Obsessive love. Can you help me find couples that are going through it or where would you recommend I search?
Babette Pepaj firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Dr. Irene,
My first post! Your site has helped a lot. I've been going on 3 years in this confusing relationship. It's long-distance. Boyfriend has a bad temper which I feel like he is successful in concealing since he moved away for work. We are currently even farther apart because I am doing research in Brazil. Since reading you site, I have noticed the "innocent" provocations in Boyfriend's (let's make that BF) and my conversations. The latest: he started talking about coming down for Carnival, talked about it for 2 weeks, checked tickets and started putting the kibosh on the idea, although the tickets are very cheap and we split all travel expenses. It would cost him $385 to come here for 3 weeks. I feel like he started talking it up and then let me crash - I had almost bought tickets to some events. In this same cycle, I let him know that very Sunday through March there were events that I have to research that are very important to me and my work. When he was shopping for tickets, first he booked himself to arrive on a Sunday, which I had asked him not to do since I can't miss these events, then a day later he booked himself to LEAVE on a Sunday. Each time I reminded him that he should travel on a Saturday or a Monday. Is he jealous or just trying to disrupt my work? He claims to be forgetful, but a lot of plans have been destabilized because he is "forgetful" and I think that can be translated as passive aggressive. The third thing in this cycle was surreal: his roommate is moving out, and since we "want" me to move in, it's been discussed that I should sign the next lease and take over the roommate's spot, even if I have to sublet for awhile while I am still doing research. He asked me for the 100th time and I said I would sign the lease. Not five minutes later, he said "So you don't want to sign the lease." I don't know about all of you out there, but I get the impression from this kind of thing that he secretly doesn't want me to live there! When he got the place 2 years ago, he was SUPPOSED
Kathleen here - the last post ending with "SUPPOSED" was mine - heh, heh - I guess I am a little wordy. Or pouring the frustration and confusion of three years into a very short post.
But do you cut your losses and walk out, when someone insists on destabilizing you, and makes you look like a nut if you point the pattern out? Tells you to "get help"? Like i said the relationship is long distance, but when we have been in the same town, it has degenerated into some scary yelling, throwing things, withdrawing, and biting me (all from him). I've taped our discussions and I have him on tape losing his temper and going into a rage, just this past September, screaming at me that I was an "impediment to his happiness." I don't know, I think it's risky to assume that he has changed or will change just because I have been in Brazil and haven't seen the behavior up close for a few months. I also feel like my work has slipped, I'm fatter, and I am drinking too much. Help!
Thanks ,Kathleen in Brazil
Sorry about the three copies of my first post. There's something wrong with the mouse on my computer - it's too sensitive and hits things when I don't want it to.
Sharon - I read your post. Good for you for walking out. Are you going to walk back? My bf seems to have made me a little nuts. It was worse at first, because I bought into his act and into the abuse. What saved me was that i have worked really hard to get where I am and I started to see it slip. That's when I knew it wasn't me. I just dont' know why I am still with him, but maybe everyone knows about the really sweet side that makes you feel like you could try again and if you just reason with him, explain how you feel and how he made you feel, etc etc. I feel like I would like to leave with some pronouncement about why I am leaving. Actually, I did that over Christmas, when he told me in a fight that he couldn't even write me a letter, he was so... (not sure what). At Christmas, when I'm here in the Southern Hemisphere all by myself. When I said I was leaving all he said was I had to do what was right for myself. Maybe he is trying to leave and doesn't know how? If that's true, then he has been trying to leave for 3 years!!
What did the guy do that made you walk out?
Joan: "I want to share with you the steps that lead to my freedom. My site has resources and support (and my stuff for sale). Please visit it. blah.homestead.com."
This looks like an advertisement for nudist skin-care products to me. Please don't abuse this place Joan.
I'm not sure if this is the site for me or not. I was steered to this site by a person on the infidelity board.
I'm thinking I'm experiencing "emotional abuse" by my husband of soon to be 12 years.
He never calls me names or anything that major but he does want things his way. If they don't go his way, he gets an attitude. He'll set and almost pout if he isn't satisfied with something. He gets grouchy and just says things like, "yeah, WHATEVER!" He's extremely immature! He has cheated on me and my kids four different times. We are going to counseling for that and his attitudes. We've only been twice so it's early yet.
I've tried to make a long story short.
Hugs, Cindy You're in the right place Cindy.
Heavens! go away for a few days and the catbox fills up. I was going to look through the posts and fill in on me too but I have my daughter upstairs being very sick (well sick enough to need me and the doctor out!).
Hi to all the new people I will have to look properly later. And to all the regulars. great to see Steve and Dan posting.
In fact it has been a weird time as I went away for a few days as I got very down and needed a break and did have one by the sea. Then I came back and felt worse than before. It is always the same thing about feeling controlled by Jake and my daughter. Jake locked himself away when the doctor came to see me which has at least shown the doctor a bit of why it all gets too much! Fortunately Human KatKid slept through everything.
Then yesterday my daughter was too ill even to go out with her cousins who are only in England a short while. This morning she wanted her father round and kicked up a fuss when I asked her if she could come home so it would be easier to be looked after. Then she became really difficult and I finally said she was pretty lucky to have a mother like me as many parents wouldn't put up with her behaviour and she told me to get out and threw a bottle at me (water bottle not glass but heavy). By that time I had had enough and asked the DV unit what to do. (They are encouraging me not to put up with the violence for my daughter's sake/)
Then an hour later the phone rings and guess what! My daughter did realise she was to sick to be alone. I didn't agree to go running. I told her she was still welcome to be looked after, but first I wanted an apology and an assurance of no rudeness at all.
Now my daughter is here and wanting full time attention, but at least she is polite about it and is wanting me to look after. her........In fact not wanting me to leave her side!
But now I have set the boundaries and I haven't let Jake take them away again. I am loving every minute of her being here and the opportunity to be mum again but this time I do have the confidence that she won't be aggressive. I suppose it will only be for a few days but the thing is I know I can put my foot down and it will be o.k. Hopefully we can get some stuff healed too.
If that makes sense. I am not sure if any of it does.
Just I guess it is always difficult with someone you love and codependency doesn't always relate to partners as Asha once pointed out to me. I just feel like I don't want my daughter getting into the same cycle with whoever her partner is.
Lynn _ Jay's tactics???????? and laugh! I will be in print. In the American Window Cleaner's Mag!!!!!!!!!!!!(Very, very short story!). Very odd place to begin but oh well....
Thinking of you all, Jay
Jake "can you wash your hands for dinner." Jay "I am 45 years old I don't think you need to tell me that." Jake "You still need to wash your hands for dinner." This conversation just happened. Who does Jake think I am? I think he is going to get upset if I don't!!!!!!!!!!
Could it be that things *were* going too well?
Yes.. another “challenge” has taken place.
I debated posting specifics for several days because I don’t want to focus on Steve's stuff, but rather my own. However, I do care about him and I do see potential in the relationship. When I need to pull away, I’d just like him to be clear on why. After a ‘going in circles’ discussion last night I felt I wanted to bring this to the cat box for clarity.
Just how much does wanting to give input mean needing control? You can want what you want and you can ask for it once or twice. Then you need to drop it because now you are entering the realm of control.
I found out last minute about a business meeting that was taking place in another town the next day. I felt there would be good contacts and information helpful to reach some of my business goals. I spoke with Steve and asked him if he wanted to come. A friend of mine had mentioned I could get a ride with her. I told Steve this and considered some other possibilities of going on my own and getting some things done. Steve decided it would be more productive for just me to go, and I agreed. He said he had lots of work to do so I didn’t keep him on the phone. I called to sign myself up, then signed him up anyway, just in case he changed his mind.
I had left a message with my friend and she emailed me back saying she was taking a male friend, but that she also had room for me. I emailed back asking for more info - what time, how long they were staying. It seemed like a more appealing alternative to driving alone - less expensive, company to talk to, and they were coming straight back after the meeting which I was happy about. I emailed to confirm I would carpool with them, then emailed Steve to let him know about my plans.
He called me and was upset that I didn't ask for his "input" and said that my "reasoning wasn't valid" for carpooling. Huh? He wasn't going. I'm a big girl and capable of making my own decisions about how to get there. Later he said it wasn't the driving down that bothered him but that I would be coming straight back and he felt that it defeated the purpose of my going, because I should spend time mingling. I feel a boundary infringement and I can't seem to adequately explain this to Steve.
I hadn't plan on mingling anyway. Because the meeting was so short notice I wasn't really prepared to talk one on one with the speakers anyway. I was there to gather information. I don't think Steve understood this, but even so, I feel a lack of trust from him that I will do the “right” thing.
The words that I really did not like hearing were "you're reasoning still doesn't seem valid at all".
He said that his opinion didn't matter to me and that I can tell him what I’m doing without asking for his input, but he can't.
The issues *I* have about input are not that he run every detail of his life by me - it's mainly about stuff that involves me; just a basic consideration for my feelings, especially around issues of friends and family (mostly because I wasn't included or considered in the "old" days). Somehow I'm not getting this across.
What’s this about? Why would I call to ask you if you wanted to come, and even sign you up to accommodate the possibility that you might change your mind? It seems that you don't think I'm of enough sound mind to make an adequate decision on my own on how I can get the most out of this meeting. Or...?
I can just sweep this under the carpet, but something tells me the issue involved here is too important to just 'drop'. I don't like the words that were said and I don't like the implication.
Hello, my name is micki, and I have been a victim of verbal abuse. I am also afraid of becoming an abuser as a result. I love my partner very much, but we haven't had much of a relationship. We don't make love anymore...haven't for a few years. When "things" are good we get along. By things I mean that as long as we are cordial and "make nice" and as long as I do my jobs around the house, there is a veneer of kindness and friendship. I am not allowed to talk about controversy or my "dysfunctional needs" as he puts it. He's a psychologist. It's hard to win in any game of "chess" with him. I have learned over time not to talk about controversy...but sometimes he will discover that I've been depressed or crying about something....that's when the "s--t" hits the fan. We've been together a long time. I rely on him financially and don't have a job outside the home, because I quit work a year ago due to illness (pneumonia) No children. Also this becomes complicated because I have no network of friends where we are living. I also had to burn some ideological bridges with past friends before I met him. I was a fundamentalist Christian and now my friends from that time have disowned me for my change in beliefs, so I don't have past friends to network with either. His friends see me as an emotional misfit, and wonder why he puts up with me. I feel very alone. And I have to say that even posting this is very difficult. I am trying to find a job, but I have limited skills, didn't finish college. Only some computer savvy. I don't know spreadsheet programs. Where we live it's very expensive to find a place. I couldn't live here on my own even if I had a job. So I stay because I don't want to end up at a shelter or homeless. I also stay, because I keep hoping (hope can be so damaging) he'll learn to value me and not be so verbally abusive. When things are not bad, we are friends. It's awful to think that my only "friend" is someone who can rip me to shreds verbally. I can live without the affection/sex, but not with being yelled at. I'll be 45 on tuesday. I feel too old and so stressed that I don't even know if I could do anything drastic like moving out at this time. Forgive me for venting so much, it's just that I needed someone to talk to, and this is at least something.
Asha, Once again, i identify with your latest situation. There have been many times when it has seemed unreasonably important to my husband that he let his opinion be known (and that I let it influence me) even when the does not involve or affect him. I am left confused and rather offended; like you I'm thinking: Does he believe that I'm this incompetent? And why does he think it's up to him to decide whether or not such and such is worthwhile or meaningful to me?
Of course, I am not allowed to make any such judgments where he is concerned! Again, imbalance of power.
I'm guessing here: maybe he didn't want you to go for some reason? he wouldn't come out and say that, so he goes round about and criticizes your decision by pronouncing it "not worth" your time. I remember a somewhat similar situation. I told my H that I wanted to join a health club--no particular one, just that I was thinking of joining. He ridiculed, got angry, challenged me on it. (Why would you want to do that? You just want to go because your mom goes to aerobics! etc etc). I was so confused. why would he care? It finally came out that he was afraid that I would join one that he was mad at because they owed him money for work that he'd done. He didn't say "That's great! But I wish you wouldn't go to so and so because they haven't paid me." He just attacked me.
This passive aggressive stuff is so hard to deal with! I guess I'd just calmly remind Steve that this is my decision as to whether or not it's worth my time. Don't worry about whether or not he gets it. You're making your decision regardless. This is what I'm working very hard to do.
Take care. Becky
Just to clarify, Steve did want me to go to the meeting. He didn't like that I arranged to carpool and come straight back, without first getting his input. I made these arrangements after he decided not to go (and the option was always there for him to change his mind and come along - the arrangements were never set in stone).
I did go with my gut, and did what I felt benefited me and the business most, despite Steve's feelings about my invalid reasoning.
If it was a momentary slip back to old patterns, fine. I have no problem with that. None of us are perfect. It's just that I'd like to *know* that. If he really feels my reasoning *is* invalid, then I'll stay my distance.
I really do feel that he was encroaching my boundaries, and I don't know if he's aware of that. We've been rather formal and distant to each other since this little incident occurred, so I don't feel it's "little stuff". I personally would like to clear this up asap. But I can't do that alone.
What I *can* do is just to go on with my life, and work at not being irritated about Steve's choices. I can't necessarily help the relationship, but I can help myself.
You sound more at peace these days Becky. My prayers to you and your H.
Posting here is a start.
I think eventually you'll have to decide if you want to face the rest of your life living that way, or if you'd be better off taking a chance alone. No material thing is worth sacrificing your life over.
Sounds like you need to work more on caring for yourself. You will find new friends if you reach out to others.
good thoughts and prayers to you,
p.s. hello to the other new posters also.
To clarify Asha's "interpretation" of events. I find it hard to keep up with her posting. Most of the time I just let it slide because it's really about her, but this does need addressing.
Asha has made a huge deal out of me not "consulting" her about many many issues. Originally, I felt this was control. I allowed her to convince me it wasn't.
So, when she originally planned to go to the seminar, I was happy to have her go alone. I do think she's a big girl, despite her sarcastic remark indicating the opposite. I believe that the best networking advantages are to be had *after* the seminars. Asha knows this too, but not now for some reason. Her *new* plans now meant she would have to come straight back after the seminar and miss out on the networking opportunities.
She had not mentioned to me about a possibility of going with these 2 people and having to come straight back, previous to her email telling me she was going to do this instead of what she originally told me. She also neglected to mention (why am I not surprised in the least?) that she was planning on stopping by some friends place to pick up some things from (and visit) some friends of ours, and she was going to visit her mom and dad. I thought that was great, killing 3 birds with one stone so to speak, since she was going all that way.
So, instead of calling me to tell me she was considering scrapping all that, she just emailed me and told me. She didn't want my opinion. That did bother me. She is SO STRONG on me consulting her with every little thing, yet she rarely feels the need to consult me on decisions which can directly affect our business. If I ask her to, she says I'm being controlling. So what then? Should I just accept that the business is hers alone? Even though I've put in thousands of hours helping to create it? And I do have a direct stake in it since it helps me eat...
My own belief is that, when she heard she had a chance to go down with these 2 people, she decided she could have some fun socializing (she really enjoys the company of other males), which in itself is fine, except that she put that ahead of our business interests. If I had done that without consulting her, all bloody hell would have broken loose.
Asha: "The issues *I* have about input are not that he run every detail of his life by me - it's mainly about stuff that involves me;"
Oh? The business doesn't involve me, does it Asha. Now I understand. So I can't expect you to consult me on issues that directly affect me, but you expect it from me. That's not right.
Something about this sure says "what's good for the goose ain't good for the gander - or vice versa".
I need distance right now. I am feeling a little abused. And a lot taken for granted.
Clarification to my last post:
I said "She also neglected to mention (why am I not surprised in the least?) that she was planning on stopping by some friends place to pick up some things from (and visit) some friends of ours, and she was going to visit her mom and dad. "
When I said that, I meant she neglected to tell the catbox, not that she neglected to tell me. That's why I wasn't surprised. When posting here, she often leaves out important details that don't favor her story. I don't have time to address them all but sometimes it really annoys me and I have to drop my other work and stand up to her "textual abuse".
Ok, I was a little ticked-off when I said "textual abuse". I take that back. I guess a more accurate description would be "textual omissions." Excellent self correction. Puts you in a much more credible light.
I feel like there is a huge roadblock piling up and I don't want to let my boundaries be broken down again (stuff from the past creeping in). I want to be clear about my own limits. What feels right and ok to me. As opposed to what really feels like yukky treatment from Asha.
I have to make sure that anger isn't one of my ways of protecting my boundaries.
I shall work on that.
Okay, so here we are back in the catbox, backsliding away...
<<Asha has made a huge deal out of me not "consulting" her about many many issues. Originally, I felt this was control. I allowed her to convince me it wasn't.>>
Steve I still don't think you understand my concerns. In the past, I was "left out" for the most part in plans you made with family and friends. Every other weekend. When the kids did start coming here, over a year ago, *you* decided what we would all do together. I would make suggestions, but they were mostly disregarded. I tolerated all of the above resentfully, complained to you about it a lot but it didn't change much until recently. This because I acted like a disempowered victim. You don't *need* to consult with me at all, it's just that I want a partner who does think about my feelings. I'm reasonable - I'm not asking for the moon.
<<I believe that the best networking advantages are to be had *after* the seminars. Asha knows this too, but not now for some reason. Her *new* plans now meant she would have to come straight back after the seminar and miss out on the networking opportunities.>>
"Asha knows this too"? Pardon? Some situations are for networking, some are for information gathering, some for both. Because I didn't know of this seminar in advance, I wasn't prepared to speak to the participants. I actually did have time to mingle, and still chose not to, because I wasn't fully prepared. My objective at this meeting, was information gathering. I also gathered contact information for future networking.
<<She had not mentioned to me about a possibility of going with these 2 people and having to come straight back, previous to her email telling me she was going to do this instead of what she originally told me.>>
No. Because I didn't know there was a possibility. I did however mention to you that I had left a message with my friend and she hadn't gotten back to me. I can't tell you what I don't know.
<<<She also neglected to mention (why am I not surprised in the least?) that she was planning on stopping by some friends place to pick up some things from (and visit) some friends of ours, and she was going to visit her mom and dad.>>>
Misunderstanding here. I mentioned these all as *possibilities*. I spoke about these options, and you sounded impatient to get off the phone. I told you you sounded funny and you said you had a lot of work to do. So, I didn't want to bother you. I got off the phone and then later got the email from my friend. Since you weren't coming and you also expressed that you were under pressure to get some work done, I didn't bother you with the mundane details of her emails to me (which happened probably within an hour of us speaking) until I confirmed the how and when. You weren't going anyways - you had made that clear (and even so I still booked a seat for you). Once I decided that carpooling was a better option, I let you know.
<<<She didn't want my opinion. That did bother me.>>>
Why did I need your opinion? I still don't get it. You weren't going. My method of getting there, and potential plans with friends and family don't impact you. I was self-assured that I would accomplish what I wanted to accomplish business-wise.
<<She is SO STRONG on me consulting her with every little thing, yet she rarely feels the need to consult me on decisions which can directly affect our business. >>
We have a difference in perception on this. I feel that you had most of the "decision-making" control in the past, and I held myself back because of it. I will no longer choose to give up control to that extent. I do consult with you, but I need room to make my own decisions too, and not feel held back by having to run *every* decision by you, as I did in the past.
<<<My own belief is that, when she heard she had a chance to go down with these 2 people, she decided she could have some fun socializing (she really enjoys the company of other males), which in itself is fine, except that she put that ahead of our business interests. If I had done that without consulting her, all bloody hell would have broken loose.>>>
Ooh boy. How do you get someone to hear the truth, when they don't believe you. "She really enjoys the company of other males" - THIS I think is what it's about. And in fact, I believe it's the reason Steve is upset and thinks I'm pulling a "tit for tat".
I did not go to this event to socialize. And if I had, I would be honest about that. Frankly I have other social outlets. If you had done what I did - asked me if I wanted to go, I said no, you made arrangements to carpool, still booked a place for me (just in case I changed my mind), all hell would not break loose. In fact this is what I would hope you *would* do. You were never excluded from this event from the start. Why don't you see this? Why don't you see that consideration for my *feelings* is what I'm after - not tit for tat.
<<When posting here, she often leaves out important details that don't favor her story.>>
No, I leave out details that don't seem relevant to me when I'm writing.
<<I don't want to let my boundaries be broken down again>>
Huh? When did I "break down" your boundaries?
yuchhh... (my expression of frustration, and inability to "get through") Hi Trubble buddy, this box is getting awfully full - where's Dan when you need him?
Asha Meow! This one's too complicated for me!
Asha: "I held myself back because of it. I will no longer choose to give up control to that extent. I do consult with you, but I need room to make my own decisions too, and not feel held back by having to run *every* decision by you, as I did in the past."
Why can't you see that what's good for you could be good for someone else too? "Do as I say, not as I do" seems to be your way. Why will you not allow me what you want for yourself? I don't know how to make you aware of your own controlling behavior. Irene?
Asha: " "She really enjoys the company of other males" - THIS I think is what it's about. And in fact, I believe it's the reason Steve is upset and thinks I'm pulling a "tit for tat". "
I thought that might smoke you out. I don't believe you're pulling a tit-for-tat at all. It never occurred to me. I simply believe what I originally said. Since you haven't adequately explained the logic in your choice, I can only see the obvious. You wanted to socialize on the way down and were willing to give up certain possibilities for the business in exchange. This also explains why you refused to consult me and continue to hold that position.
I believe that you could have easily chosen another time to socialize. You knew I wouldn't see any logic in your choice and that's most likely the reason you didn't consult me.
Asha: "You were never excluded from this event from the start. Why don't you see this?"
See what? You knew I was too busy to go. I don't think you would have done the "car-pool" if you thought I was going. You told me I was invited when you knew I couldn't go. Kinda like offering someone peanuts when they're allergic to them.
Why not be up-front about this sort of thing to the catbox people?
I think you owe it to them.
<<Why can't you see that what's good for you could be good for someone else too?>>
I do see that.
<<"Do as I say, not as I do" seems to be your way.>>
<<Why will you not allow me what you want for yourself? I don't know how to make you aware of your own controlling behavior.>>
I do want for you what I want for me. You don't *need* to make me aware of my "controlling behavior/anger management problem" etc. I am in charge of that. I know deep inside that your perception of my "problem" is off. Quit focusing on *me* so much.
<<You wanted to socialize on the way down and were willing to give up certain possibilities for the business in exchange. This also explains why you refused to consult me and continue to hold that position.>>
How is it Steve that you think you have access to my mind and heart? You are way wrong.
<<You knew I wouldn't see any logic in your choice and that's most likely the reason you didn't consult me.>>
I actually didn't feel I needed to consult you. But if I had any discomfort in telling you, it was the thought that you may be jealous about me driving in the car with another guy (and a female friend). I did feel uncomfortable about telling you that, a bit concerned about your reaction, though I'm comfortable with the choice I made. I don't want to be hindered by your discomfort about this sort of thing.
<<You knew I was too busy to go. I don't think you would have done the "car-pool" if you thought I was going. You told me I was invited when you knew I couldn't go. Kinda like offering someone peanuts when they're allergic to them.>>
Why "couldn't" you go? It's a matter of priorities - it wasn't a meeting about something you normally show interest in, and you had other things to do that were more important to you (or so I thought). The socializing aspect of this certainly seems more important to you than it was to me. What makes you think I "really" enjoy the company of other males, any more than I do the company of other females? You don't need to answer that, just think about it.
<<Why not be up-front about this sort of thing to the catbox people? I think you owe it to them.>>
I owe it to myself to be honest to mySelf.
Steve I really wish for you understanding and healing. Your words and misunderstanding of me don't hurt nearly as much now as they used to. I can't tell you the truth I feel inside because you don't/can't hear me.
love and prayers
Asha: "What makes you think I "really" enjoy the company of other males, any more than I do the company of other females?"
I didn't say "any more". Those are your words. I only go by what you tell me. When you do this sort of "extending the thought", I feel it's time to withdraw. I know the progression from here.
Asha: "I don't want to be hindered by your discomfort about this sort of thing."
I don't want to be constrained by your interpolations of what my feelings are. Go ahead and tell me what I feel. I'm free of that now. I've already posted my take on the situation.
Asha: "How is it Steve that you think you have access to my mind and heart? You are way wrong."
If I may rephrase that:
How is it Asha that you think you have access to *my* mind and heart?
Trubble? I'm lost. Can you help?
Meow me too ...
Asha, I think it is what is behind the silly little things us catbox users get into fights over that is the main issue. I wonder if it is because the little things are showing how little our partners listen. Or think. Certainly Jake just doesn't get it that I would like to be recognized as a worthwhile adult. That I can have a different opinion from him and that is o.k.
Sometimes there is no pleasing me. I used to think it was sweet that Jake used to eat my terrible cooking and not complain. Now I think that was silly. Why did I change? I think it was when I started to feel I was being humoured rather than being loved. Maybe it was love and I am just unreasonable. I wish I knew!
As for voices being reinterpreted: Getting wild because what you said wasn't what was taken as meant......Lynn we could form a dragons lair and consume the stupid washing!!! We could have a hoard of nice white washing powder and not let anyone near it. No doubt if Jake and Dan met they would ride in on their motorized washing machines and try to steal the hoard.
The above is just rubbish but Jake is driving me nuts over the washing again. All the while my sister was here he kept on putting it out to dry, collecting and folding it.......Why do I react at what would be most women's dream? I'm really not very good at housework anyway. I guess it is all about control. If I put it into perspective of how someone else might see it...Jake gets our son's breakfast and him ready for school and he is good at not getting tensed up and shouting at the Human Katkid's normal adolescent slowness and forgetfulness. Then he washes up. H actually moans at me if I wash up so I don't any more and he insists on making the meals at weekends and does all the washing in addition and changes the bed clothes and does some of the shopping.
Given he insists he doesn't want a divorce it isn't about custody of the Kids. Just I feel so disempowered and useless.
The thing is he didn't when I was working so I feel like I am redundant and that is what he can't understand. I suppose if we had a few normal conversations I would feel a bit better. I just get told we have nothing in common. But I still like trees, walks in woods, talking about languages, organic food, and lots of other stuff we both used to. The next thing I know, Jake will be wearing curlers and a pinny! (sorry that probably is insulting Jake. But "wash your hands........?????)
I just wish we could all get as healthy as you , Astrid!
My daughter is still here and we have control central which Jake is managing better than me. Her neck hurts and we are all supposed to be terribly worried. I spent the night getting up to get one thing after another for her. Jake told her calmly she would have to wait for her Duvet to be bought downstairs when he was ready and seems to handle it a lot better.
Guess which one of us got accused of not caring. Why oh why do I feel guilty if I don't jump for other people's demands. I really don't think someone who can moan continuously in a verbal way is likely to be dying. And the stupid thing is I got cross with Jake for not jumping.....
Dan, if you want my advice I know what Lynn means about not doing any activity together she suggests. We have had that discussion too and I can tell you that it is not about the activity.
Thanks Asha, AJ, Lynn and Laura,
Well I guess my problem was that I doubted my integrity which was working perfectly well but I let my ego override, This is a big lesson on EGO vs SELF for me!!!
It showed all my co-dependency buttons to me, the ones I need to work on. My neediness - Well I saw my bad habits that are so familiar, and good that I did cuz I can fixed them now!
I decided to call it a day with the new guy, I think he was just meant to teach me some big lessons I need to work on. I think he was just like me, wanted a relationship cuz it seemed good and fun but really didn't have the commitment or time to put in. Truthfully I don't need a guy in my life right now that is serious. I want to have some fun. I want to date and find out who I am and about guys in general. (Thing I should of done in my teens but I got hitched up with my X so I never knew many other guys). I JUST thought I was meant to be needy. NO!! Now I realise NO, NO!!!
Laura I know what you mean, you mean that the desire should be equal - the desire to have a relationship and both make effort. I think he did make the effort and so did I but then he tried to push me to sleep with him, I didn't feel it was okay. "ONE of my shoulds that comes from my Life of orgin". THEN my therapist only made things worse. (Not issuing blame just my opinion) My therapist told me that "A guy won't disrespect you just cuz you sleep with him, there is no harm in sleeping with another as long as your safe. Theressa you don't need to feel guilty or like a naughty girl, enjoy life, and then he went on to say that I should fumble, however, awkward I feel cuz it would give me experience meeting guys etc." THIS confused me further cuz in my list of unhealthy boundaries it says premature sex suggest neediness and insecurity.
SO I want to have healthy boundaries. And I want to find out if the guy i meet is a guy I am comfortable with.
I am going to discuss this with my therapist this evening. I certainly am not happy about sleeping with just anyone, cuz how on earth would that increase ones self esteem.
I do think perhaps my therapist might have been more concerned with the fact that I wouldn't sleep with anyone JUST on the grounds that I shouldn't cuz some one in my childhood forced this belief and value on to me. Though I must say on analysising my value of self respect I do not want to sleep with this guy, so it isn't about some old hog beliefs or values from my childhood it is my TRUE value I have in my adulthood.
Thanks a million to all of you.
Lynn, you said Dan thought I was a guy, I purposely posted as T for this reason, I wanted an objective opinion which wasn't based on me being male or female. THANKS Dan for helping me to look at my value of self respect and for helping me to see that if something doesn't feel right at the gut level it doesn't matter how much people pleasing and being needy I am, it won't alter the fact that deep in my gut it doesn't feel OKAY.
Take care Theressa
Hello all, Kathleen again,
The dialogue between Asha and Steve was surreal for me because it was so much like the kind of conversation I have with my BF - (I guess he is my fiancé but sometimes I think - "what was I thinking??!"). Asha, when you said: " When I need to pull away, I’d just like him to be clear on why. After a ‘going in circles’ discussion last night I felt I wanted to bring this... to the cat box... Just how much does wanting to give input mean needing control?"
I'm not writing because I know the answer, that's for sure!! I really want to underline that question. My last going in circles discussion Saturday ended as usual with BF going into a rage, and having decided not to deal with him when he's doing that, I hung up. We would never be able to have a long discussion like you and Steve did because BF would be in some amok dissociative scary rage state within three sentences. Steve, you said something brilliant, that you didn't want to let your anger reinforce your boundaries. I really appreciated that piece of insight, and I think I will use it to try to at least understand why my BF rages the way he does.
But your dialogue seemed to be about control, because the actual instigating event, like all instigating events I have with my BF, was kind of trivial, and that provided a lot of insight for me. I don't want to BE controlled, so I point out things that BF does or says that make me feel controlled, intimidated, destabilized, put down, diminished etc etc etc. Always "trivial" things. To sort of answer the question of whether input equals control, maybe I am deceiving myself but I am trying to save the relationship, make it something I can stay in, which it really isn't and I know it. Anyway, trying to give input as I am sure you can all imagine leads to a huge fight because I am being "picky" and not accepting him as he is, and also I don't "remember" things right... the usual shtick. Ugh, I resent all the time I spend trying to figure things out, and I just want to leave. It just makes me feel like I don't love him anymore.
The way he has been acting and the things he says to you suggests that he is not good to you or good for you. It doesn't matter that he has moments of being nice - they can't be nice enough to make up for his horrible behavior. My advice would be to stop the relationship now. Read over your post and look at it from the perspective of someone else. What would you tell that woman?
I agree with you completely about his crossing your boundary. Why should he need to give you input about a trip that does not include him. What business is it of his anyways? He is using words like "input" and "reasonable" to hide the fact that he wants control over aspects of your life that he has no business controlling. There is no need to explain yourself. All he needs to know is it not his "affair" if he's not going along and what you do there is not his business. Period! End of discussion! Probably best to change topic. If he continues on it say, " I have nothing further to say about this." If he brings up the way you are and tries to make a comparison just say when that is a concern of mine I'll be willing to discuss it otherwise it has no relevance to this discussion. The hard part is not giving into the temptation to explain yourself. Remember you do not need to explain anything to him. The case is clear. Trust your instinct on this one.
To H Lynn.
If you didn't read my posts, I can understand your response. If, on the other hand, you did read my posts, then you sound like a man-hater with a lot of built-up anger and control issues of your own. Just my opinion.
Dear H Lynn, Asha and Steve and all others whom this may concern... :-)
"Just how much does wanting to give input mean needing control?" (Asha)
"Why should he need to give you input about a trip that does not include him. What business is it of his anyways?" (HLynn)
These kind of things come up ever so often. Mostly, I agree with you on this Steve, when we are angry. I have been thinking about it a lot myself and somehow this attitude never really seems right.
I think that when you try to make a relationship work, no matter what kind of relationship, this 'none of your business' thing is not a right attitude. Sure, to be clear, it is none of Steve's business what Asha does when he is not included. But if we start to treat each other that way,. I see no possible relation whatsoever that will work. Having a relationship is all about making another person's life ‘your ‘business'. The problem is to do that, without controlling, or without loosing your own identity, I think.
I was a little sick yesterday when C. left me. He called in the evening how I was doing and I really had a bad cold. Tonight he called again and said, I just wanted to ask how you are, and whether I needed to come over to make you something. That is ‘non of his business', but his calling is what makes the difference between an friend and a stranger. And if I have to work to get that kind of involvement out of my relationship, I don't think it will ever work.
And I do not think that is what Asha meant (correct me if I am wrong), though I really do see the problem, I guess. I too find it very hard to draw the line between involvement/input and control. I think control comes in when you insist the other persons as you suggest, while input stops at making the suggestion once or twice and accepting the others capability the make their own decision.
I'd like to hear other's opinions on this. It comes up every once in a while and I do think it is very important. I think it also has to do with what Lynn said some pages ago about being able to disengage, but not wanting to live with a disengaged relationship. If we totally disengage, it is as if we stop to care about other people, and I think that is the worst we can do, to ourselves as well as others. Catbox, Dr. I. and Trubble......any input???
Love to all of you and lots of nice fresh salmon for the cats with the best input!!! :-) :-)
Dear H Lynn,
You're right about seeing the truth of a bad relationship in stark print. Ouch! Is that ME? It's just hard to believe that it has gone on this long. He's made some changes that's why, and we broke up for a few months (restarted b/c of him). It's gone on so long because I have been enmeshed in the other current question, the "input or no input" question.
I think that we go into relationships intending to involve ourselves with another person, which includes expressing our feelings about behavior we don't like in the hopes that the other person will make some changes. It's "only behavior" after all. But maybe abusive behavior isn't "only" behavior but part of something the person can't change. My BF made some changes, but after his rabid talking-through-clenched-teeth the other day, I'm not sure any more. One thing is for certain - I ain't living with THAT!
This catbox is great! It's like having a free group.
Thanks for responding - Kathleen
Hi All. Sharon here. Micki - I read your post. My ex is a psychologist too. I'm not making an inference here that its a "bad thing." However, according to all of the self-help (specifically verbal abuse) books I have read, a lot of the time, women/men in in the higher-societal professions are more prone to being abusive. Not always, because the abuser can be from all walks in life. Get out if you can. I know its harder than giving up a vice, but taking care of yourself is important. I can say this, however, I'm "back-sliding" right now..........
Yep, this weekend was the worst. Remember I walked out last Tuesday night. Oh, I was sooo proud of myself. Well, I made contact with him on Saturday by phone. We talked for awhile about the relationship problems - he says the "balls in my court" and that I have "total control over him." Yeah, right. He was somewhat abusive on the phone, though I held my own. He told me that he still desired me sexually, and that it was hard for him also to be away from me. ??? So, late that night after an outing with my family, I went over there. I made the excuse to pick up my lingerie. He let me in his house, however, he would not allow me to go to a certain point in his house. I immediately thought somebody else was there, because he acted very secretive. He started acting abusive, we had words, and I just draped my "clothing" on his couch and left. Told him to throw my lingerie in the trash, but that I had bought it for us over a year ago, and it was hard for me to keep it. Two minutes later (I only live down the street), I called him back and said not to throw the lingerie away, and that it had some monetary value (almost $100) but to just put it in his sock drawer, and that "maybe" in time to come, if he started to "miss ME" and not just for "sex" and if he wanted to have a healthy relationship with me, that he'd have the lingerie for me there. He asked me to then come over and have sex, but to know that it may be out last time, even though we would probably have sex 20 more times, but to remember, that we may not have sex again. I told him "no", in that, I just can't have sex for the reason of thinking that its just to have sexual needs met. I restated that if he wanted to have a healthy relationship with him, and not just a sexual relationship, then contact me. He immediately ended the phone call with me then. I could tell he was upset that I turned him down for "just sex."
The next early dawn - on my way to the store and flea market - I noticed that his kitchen light was on - which is the light he leaves on if he is gone over night. Later on in the morning, I noticed that his Sunday newspaper was still on his porch. Could it be that he spent the night with somebody else after I told him no? Could it be that he broke up with me a week before Christmas because he had some other woman in the wings? Remember, he broke up with me a week before Christmas because he's never done 2 holidays in a row with the same woman. Well.....sure enough, later in the day, we had a huge dramatic scene - he would not confirmed with me that he spent the night with somebody else. All he would say was "maybe I did." We have been together for 18 months, (off and on) and I always suspected of him cheating because of his 26-year old ex-girlfriend (he's 52) calling him constantly for the first 6 months, whereupon I finally called her and we had a great 2 hour session about this guy.
Anyway, since yesterday's "huge dramatic scene" at his house, confrontations by phone and my visit, he threatened the police on me, he always did feel victimized by me even though he was the abuser - I am, once again, living in fear. I'm expecting a restraining order from him or something equally weird, even though all of this time, I was the partner of an abuser. All I have to say, as a quote in one of Patricia Evan's books - "How subtly he took my soul."
Weird, since I last wrote I like Jake better. he did say sorry for something major that happened a long time ago so maybe there was more healing than I realised. Also it is pretty healing having my daughter home.
Weirdly and despite everything she is very close to me; maybe too close as she tells me all about just about everything. Also she has wanted continual head massage; continual touch and wouldn't sleep in a different room to me....
And Jake seems to have got her controlling under control and I wish I was able to do it. .
I wish Jake was the sort of person you could discuss all this with.
Thinking about me and Jake I think part of our problem is he has very rigid boundaries and mine are kind of wooly and weak
But I don't think they always were. I think I got like that over the years.
Human Katkid is doing well but if I was him I would have got pretty fed up with his sister by now. She is awful to him. sems to think she can walk back in and have everything her way. I am glad for once Jake is here as I wouldn't cope just now. The funny thing is it used to be me who set boundaries with the kids and Jake would walk away which used to make me pretty mad as I think parents should be together in things in front of their kids and somehow magically we are.
Perhaps like Dan he is really trying. Seems like he has noticed what he never saw before. So what is going through my head now is should I give him a chance? Maybe we were just two people who lost their way with each other. I do like the way he spends time with human Katkid playing the guitar and talking about music. Trubble why is it always "maybe." Why can't I ever feel certain about anything????(Except that trout from my parents in law's swimming pool is free.......
I just read your post and it is interesting how much like my dad your father seems to be. My mother finally divorced him and remarried someone who is controlling and condescending to her but not as abusive as my father was. He began to use me (my dad) for his surrogate wife and I put up with it trying to have a decent relationship with him and my mother. It was not to be unless I just became totally subservient to him and did whatever he wanted including making me listen to his constant insults about my mother and how I should not visit her, his bigotry, and rages.
He had a stroke 2 years ago and to make a long story short, he chose his girlfriend over me. I visited him everyday, brought food, fed him, did not get to take my orals for my PhD and basically put up with constant abuse from his girlfriend. She initially had me barred from his room. So I finally got tired of it, actually I was pushed into making a decision. His girlfriend had tried to somehow get his power of attorney from me by going to the lawyer and she began berating me and slapped me across the face, publicly in the hospital! I had her arrested, appeared in court and as I walked out of that court room I said "No more!"
It just never got any better and I began developing irritable bowel syndrome, began dating someone just like my dad, started having problems at work, everything was spiraling downward. So I finally decided I would cut him out of my life. I am improving, passed orals and just need to finish my dissertation. But I should have graduated 2 years ago and I am no spring chicken (46 years old).
It sounds like you are being sucked back in. It this ill sister who called you from the hospital the same sister who did not want to be involved in you and your parents conflicts, meaning you should support her but she will not support you? Be careful. It is sad to have a family such as ours but we can either sink with them or save ourselves.
As for asking that they go to counseling and take antidepressants that sounds somewhat like defensive control on your part. They are free to misbehave and be as miserable as they want to be. All you can do is nurture yourself. If you won't, who will?
Just a thought--
A fact can be proved or disproved. An opinion cannot. So, if Steve says that he believes it is not worth Asha's time to go to a meeting if she isn't going to network, he may be presenting that as a fact when in reality it is his opinion. If i am unsure whether or not my husband is expressing a true opinion, or an opinion disguised as fact, I look at his response when I disagree. If he is angry, accuses me of not listening to him, and of being unsupportive, I know that he believes that his opinion is a fact, and that I should conform my behavior to it. Someone merely giving an opinion will have a take it or leave it attitude. Naturally they may hope you agree, but if you don't they can handle it.
This is my first time to your site. I am unsure if this is my problem but I had been married 22 yrs and I feel I may have been verbally and emotionally abused. Now that we are divorced I still seem to go to him for many reasons. Especially repairs (car, house etc.) How can I tell if I was verbally and emotionally abused and how can I help myself? Would getting over this condition help me to go to him for help less often? At first I thought I was co-dependant. Can I be that also from being verbally abused...Jo Ann