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

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Catbox 2

Comments for Cat Box 2

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

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

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B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 27, 2000

S1

Trubble and the Doc are with you guys tonight. May God bless y'all...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2000

S1

Dear Everyone, Lynn Here,

Just a quick update. Had a BIG emergency and HAD to get somewhere else quick. All ok and all safe now, but the biggie on another form of abuse.

I love MY car and it runs great, is reliable, kept in the shop for all sorts of oil change, tune up, etc. It runs like a Porche because I take great pride in keeping this little baby still running great.

The day of the emergency I had Dan's truck. I don't feel he takes care of it and long ago we dealt with you take care of yours and I'll take care of mine. Well, I've got his and he asks me to get out of town and quick, just in case, then he would know we were safe. (Good for him :) Fair enough. I did, in a vehicle that was 3 quarts of transmission fluid low. No dip stick to check the oil and very little gas in HIS truck. Until this happens people never think this would be necessary and if he knew this emergency was coming up, I know he would have had me ready so he would know I was safe. I would have been, too, in MY CAR.

Tough lesson and pretty frightening, but now I think he realizes, part of love is knowing if I have to do something, his part is to have everything ready for me to do it "just in case."

Dear Becky, I'm thinking of you. Haven't had time to read the posts, but Trubble has my permission to give you my email address. I try to read mail everyday and I'm thinking of you. I hope you are well. Becky, if you send me your email address here, I'll take that as permission to send it to Lynn and vice versa. Love and purrs to both of you... Trubble   (I may have 9 lives, but a short memory; remind me why you are emailing. Meow.)

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000

S1

Hi LW,

Well you woke up, so have i recently.

I want to ask Dr Irene, Trubble, or even you, why this time I left I feel stronger. I know its not worth selling my soul for the material things. I know I'll get by and I know that I have support.

I also know I have played a role in all this. I admit without being defensive. I am in therapy had one session. I've cried a little, I've even felt sad some days.

BUT: How come I am not blubbering, does this mean I am not grieving. How come I am not in tears day and night. IS this normal??

I haven't fell to pieces, I've sorted myself out financially and started to sort out my new home. I have things in my life to do.

Is this normal??? A question to a question: Does it feel good to leave pain?

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000

S1

Dear Theressa,

This is Lynn (LW). I woke up, but mine woke up, too, and he is really giving this an effort. I know that when I wrote that 1st letter I had done all the grieving before making the decision to go. Making the decision set my mind free somehow and that made me feel so much better. I no longer needed sleeping pills to rest, Mylanta because my stomach was torn in knots.

I'd bet the grieving will come so stay in therapy so you have support to fall back on. Stay here, too, so you have the support of others going through this. It is such a tough decision to make. Go slowly.

I'm thinking of you. I wish you a happy life and I send you lots of prayers. Lynn Us too.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

When I first wrote to this site I was so close to despair. We weren't talking and living in separate rooms. It wasn't a last ditch effort to get him back when I showed him what I wrote; It was my last attempt to tell him what I was feeling. I had every intention to GO and go soon.

I showed him this so he would see why I was leaving. He read the posts, etc. for two days and then he wrote, too. Can this be me? Can I be doing this? Dr. Irene wrote him back. YES

I tried to get Dan to read about everything else and nothing connected. If you choose to show him this maybe he'll take it as a wake up call, too, but if he doesn't, then maybe it will give you the strength to go. I don't know.

I've been REAL busy lately and you are extra special to me. One of the sisters in law. Please contact me at my email if you wish as I can't get on the boards all the time, but I have been checking my mail every day that I can.

I'm thinking of you, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 01, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn,

Thanks, I did a lot of crying the first four weeks, whilst we were still in the house together, I cried about how poor old me was losing her family, all the material things.

Then I came to the conclusion peace and self love were more worthy. BUT yes I guess I'll start to grieve as I uncover the sheet in therapy. You will grieve; you will rejoice...

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 01, 2000

S1

Theressa,

I've been grieving quite a lot. Sometimes I cry so hard it hurts! I need to do that, as unpleasant as it is, because I've learned that if I don't, if I hold it all in, I feel worse .

I was divorced once before. I never intended to go through that again. Knowing that I may have to, to save my physical and emotional health breaks my heart. I grieve all the time for the loss of my dream, for the scars and wounds I have, for the rotten example my husband has been to my boys (thank the Lord they have a decent man for a dad, and that he's always been involved in their lives!). I grieve for the home I gave up, for uprooting my kids so I could marry him.

I'm sure that as you progress in your therapy, lots of painful things will come up. But feeling the pain, I believe, is the first step toward dealing with it and leaving it behind.

Take care!

becky

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 02, 2000

S1

Dear Ones, Lynn here,

Thank you all so much. We've been having quite an exciting few days. Dan has been working 18 hour plus shifts and so of course he hasn't had time to sleep, let alone work on us.

We are good and strong together at times like this. We've even had a few laughs. He has made the time to read the posts. See, there is progress.

God, Buddha or the White Buffalo can send down messages at times. Hey! Forgot me already? Hissss.... This was a great one about priorities. Dan called me and warned me that were at great risk and he would rather I got my neighbor and got out of town NOW !

He was right. I did. I caught 6 of the 7 cats, leashed the dogs, grabbed the birds and then my purse. I came back in the house and looked around to see what I "forgot or needed". In brief few seconds, I could not think of one thing that was such a priority that I had to stay and pack. There were a few glimmers, but even the photographs are replaceable, as the family has copies. So I grabbed a 12 pack of Coke and hit the road. Really makes you think of what is important and what isn't. He was wonderful at this time and I appreciate this more than I can say.

We were lucky, blessed and are very happy to be back home. The support of you here (especially Trubble and the Doc) gives us strength. Meow. It was all me. Dan reads his mail and I've started calling it his fan mail. He has heard from some people from my past even and it makes him feel so good that so many people care. Quite a pat on the back, too, and he deserves it. Yes he does Lynn. Regards to Dan. Trubble, stop living up to your name!

I do care abut all of you and you were in my thoughts often. We might be one of the few couples who works it out and makes it, but there is still strength in the posts as we can read them and say, "did I really do that?" Me, too. I can see where he would do one thing and I would respond from the gut and not the heart. I think you guys can do it. Certainly enough of your "issues" became clear over the past weeks. This is great! Gives you the power to tackle this stuff.

Wish us luck and he'll be jumping back in in the next couple of weeks Thanks Doc, Pounce for Trubble & Love, Laughter and Tears, We're all with you Lynn. Dr. I.  

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 02, 2000

S1

Dear Doctor Irene,

Well now I've done it and I'm in the cat box. Slipped right into VICTIM and I haven't had to face the music yet. All was going well. Semblance of "Normalcy", and I went and got the mail. I bounced a check ! Ah, shoot ! "We don't bounce checks" (We do now). I called the guy, told myself no big deal as we have the money to cover it (under $40.00), it was for groceries. Told myself this is ok as I had lots going on and just because I didn't do my math, doesn't make me a criminal. Hey, we're all allowed to make mistakes. Easily fixable ones like this are the best!

I've seen Dan angry at me. He can clench his teeth, get his eyes steely blue, stare at me and say in a soft voice, "Well, I guess I'll have to do whatever......." and then it never gets mentioned again. I know this isn't the end of the world, nobody is going to die because of my carelessness, etc.

This is really silly, but this is where verbal abuse finally gets to me. I was glad I had Mylanta still around as I am in knots. I am praying he has had enough of these posts to say the right thing. I am terrified that he hasn't and as he's been working hard and had very little sleep.........ah, poop. Lynn, no doubt Dan needs to work on his communication skills. But, be careful: pay attention to that internal critic - so you can turn it off! Your critic just makes anything he says yukkier! Try, as you calm down, to begin to disengage and not let other people's feelings get to you so.

He can be mad at me, that's ok, I'm mad at myself. I'm just not healthy enough for any more mind games. NOBODY is healthy enough for mind games...

Thank you for the kitty. Brought tears to my eyes. Awwwww shucks... You are so easy to please! Just wait till you see this newly retooled pix of *Me*

Love, Laughter and Tears, Lynn    

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 03, 2000

S1

My Darling Trubble,

I hadn't forgotten you. I was saving you for the BIG stuff. Letting you take a cat nap so we could get through this. I love your Picture. Thanks. :) Meow!

A few years ago, Dan was going to buy me a table at a garage sale. It was $65 dollars. I loved the table, but thought that was too much for a handmade table that could be made with one sheet of plywood. He suggested I draw a sketch of it and maybe he'd try and make me one like it.

I had a birthday and was given cash. About 2 weeks later the table was for sale for $18.75 so I bought it. I was elated with the "bargain" and told Dan about it when he came home. He "blew his stack!" He told me he didn't tell me I could have it. I answered one word. "What?" Well, he said, what I meant was were are you going to put it? I told him where I was going to put it! Down hill from there:(     Meowouchhh...

I never did figure out what I did wrong. Never solved, never resolved and this brought that up again. If he was THAT mad at me for $18. He's going to kill me for $34.

I would have loved to know he would have come home and said, OH, No!  We'll, fix it Monday. PERIOD. Yeah. You have to remind him of this stuff so he doesn't take his frustration out on you. 

I emailed Becky and right away knew what to do. We have a private little one word joke (we can share with you only). I got the movie Hocus Pocus and watched it. Cried a little (new for me) and decided half of this was in my presentation, too. I couldn't meet him at the door and say, "I bounced a check, so do you want to make something out of it Buster?" Giggle!

I could have hidden it for about a week but that's not my style, so I did the best I could, thanks to you. I left it out and went to bed and I haven't seen him yet. 

At least I am not terrorized by this anymore (really bad human, huh? Meow! Bad Human.) :) And if he knows about it. I had a good night's sleep and can at least deal with it like I should. i.e.. call the guy (I did), transfer $$ (I will), say I'm sorry and forget about it. Don't forget to offer to pay his bounce fee...

This site is reading like my own personal diary. Good for Dan to read. And refer to when he's not paying attention, which will be often at first. Ah well, One day I aim to get this stuff over with and be able to remember you on your birthday and Christmas. My Favorite Human... Uh, second favorite. You know the saying about the hand that feeds you...

So, see, Trubble, the Doc has some serious stuff to help with in "Reading the posts, sex abuse". And YOU can handle this "Little stuff" in the cat box. Thank you for being here when I needed you and thank you, too Becky. Say Hi to the Doc. And get this - The check I bounced was for cat food, kitty litter and a few other essentials (like a toothbrush). Giggle! So I will kick out of victim, not jump to abuser and handle this like a responsible adult and he can go "witch" ever way he wants. 

Purrrrrrs of Love, Lynn Meow!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 03, 2000

S1

Trubble Dear

It's Lynn here, answering herself again. I GOT IT ! It only took me 2 weeks and the last 36 hours. Where I excel. I abhor phone solicitors and am GREAT at saying, "I don't do business over the phone." If they persist I say, "Take me off your calling list." Yet it seldom gets that far. There is something in my quiet tone that shouts out that I will not be a sale. I resent the intrusion and if I were interested, I would call them. (I just had a call). Not angry, not rude, just firm.

Is this basically the definition of disengage? Meow. Sounds good to me. Not get all emotionally involved, like the other person was mad at you or something. Like you recognize if the sales person is pushy, it has nothing to do with you. Maybe he's even pms-ing or something. I was reacting to all the ways Dan was going to react from past actions and I was just not up to any of them. I beat myself enough to let him come home and do it to me, too. Exactly what the Doc meant when she told you somewhere to drop your internal critic, or whoever it is that anticipates the worse and thinks somehow that YOU did something WRONG...

What I think I learned: When he starts in (and he will), turn him into solicitor in my mind and refuse to Buy what he is selling. Meow! Yeah. Buy it only if you like it. (By the way, I really love mixed grill, hint, hint.)

As for what I did "wrong" when I bought that table.... Nothing. It was his problem, right? She got it! Good Human!

Am I learning new tricks? Purrrr... Shall I try this? Please tell the Doc that I got it days ago that I should have "told" his mother, not made him. Never occurred to me that I could have. The Doc knows that. That's what you have to pay attention to when you become more mindful of yourself: Stop putting yourself last. Verrrry codependent. What you want/don't want; like/don't like, etc., etc. is as valid as what any other person in the world wants, likes, etc. Nobody has to agree with you or approve of your decision. Spent years with, "Well, it's ok, after all she is my mother." ETC. Hisssssss..... Soooooooo!! I'll bet I was making it sound like it was his fault he has a abusive mother. More like you were mad at him that he didn't have the courage or motivation to confront his mom on your behalf. And instead of getting in front of him to protect him, I should be behind him if/when he gets the strength to protect himself. If and when, yes.  Meanwhile, take care of myself, right? Purrrrrrrrr....

I was really afraid I would hear 2 years down the road, "So, tell me about the time you bounced the check," when we were on another subject. So?......, It's over. If he drags it up that will be his last 2 minutes. Purrrrr.....

I remember something I said in quiet despair a few arguments ago. "Dan, there is so little of me left." How true. What a shame we let it go this far. Yeah. He messed up his part and you messed up your part by letting him get away with all sorts of yukky stuff.

Purrs, Mixed Grill You remembered! , and Huggums, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 04, 2000

S1

Thanks Trubble Dear,

This is Lynn Again. I think I know where I lost it. Episodes like this. "Dan, I don't feel like we talk enough." This turned into a week and a half marathon of him trying to convince me he did talk to me. He just wore me down. I never did get him to see that if I didn't feel we talked, we didn't. Just show him this: Dan, if she doesn't feel you talked, she doesn't feel you talked. No evidence you may present will change her opinion. Spend your energy finding out how it is she feels this way. Don't defend yourself. Nothing to be defensive about.

Just one such of many examples. Should I have stuck to my guns? (Poor term, we don't have any).

Thanks and Seafood Suppers, Hi to the Doc, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

Hi Becky and those that are still with me. Meow, Trubble,

As you know, I am in this alone for a week or two, so it leaves a lot of time for self analysis. I almost jumped to the site where therapy didn't work, but I think I'll stay here were I feel safe.

As my first sentence says to the Doc, "You don't have to answer this." I can hear me saying NOBODY listens to me, why should you?

What first started us in therapy was the "Stupidest" (I wasn't allowed this in therapy, "name calling!") fight I ever got into in my life. It was over a turkey. ! My sister n law poked holes in the turkey so it would bleed juices so she had good gravy. (We work quite well in the kitchen). Well, when Dan and I were alone I got the giggles. The reason we baste a turkey is to keep the skin moist and keep the juices in so the meat stays juicy. No big deal. I don't even like turkey..........so, Dan apologizes for ruining my dinner. He didn't, and I told him so. The next thing I know, my daughter calls me up and tells me to get off poor Dan's back for ruining my dinner. Enough said, this story goes on and on. I finally did disengage after writing him a note that this wasn't a problem, never was and to let it go. He didn't.

Lynn, what happened is that Dan got defensive. He tries so very hard to do the right thing, he felt terribly that his sister (translation: him) ruined your dinner. That's all he heard. That's why he's got to work on his boundaries and on it being OK for anybody, including him, to mess up. Nobody's going to beat him up for making a mistake anymore.

He finally got a therapist, and then we both went. He had her convinced that I was mad at him and she couldn't understand why I wouldn't let him off the hook - after all, he apologized. Did you tell the therapist what you said here? Or, was there more than a grain of truth to what you were saying. Was your comment tinged with passive aggressive anger towards her, not necessarily for the turkey, but for other stuff?

Then she gave us the rules of fair fighting. This really went downhill. I felt they were for me to follow and for Dan to do what he wanted. With a few, "she (the therapist) saids" thrown at me for good measure. I'm not sure I know what happened here.

One other was a SERIOUS matter about Dan's daughter and he called his ex-wife. No problem. I said it was no problem. I saw no reason why I had to stay in the same room and listen to him talk with her, so I went back to the bedroom and watched a movie. OK. The next time we went to therapy Dan told her I was mad at him because he talked to his ex wife for 3 1/2 hours. Not true, never was, never will be. I told her this and then got that Dan must have felt there was something wrong etc. and we would have to work on this so I didn't feel I was "angry" when Dan had to talk to his ex. I'm beginning to get the picture. If there's any passive aggressive stuff going on at all, it's small compared with Dan's expectations for Dan. He couldn't understand that you trusted him and apparently mistook your doing your own thing for anger... He wanted you to police him so you could know he was on the up and up...

But these are only 2 of the examples. The list goes on, including don't take away his intimacy with me as he was working so hard on his co-dependency. Page 9 in 5 years is not really burning the books, but I went along for a while. She had me do the Pia Melody Workbook. I did. She suggested thai since it upset Dan, I should quit talking to his sister in law (and my friend) as ALL we ever talked about was his mother. I didn't, but I only talked to her when he was at work. Oh boy. Sounds like you had a codependent therapist...

Lots, lots and lots more. I have to go back to my first sentence. He did not hear me say there was no big deal about the turkey. I know he needed to talk to the ex (very serious business and I would have been mad if they didn't join together on this). So, do I have to sit and listen? I still don't think so. I would come out of there (therapy) feeling whipped or else go in and shout to her, "Don't you hear what I'm saying?" Apparently not.

Not all bad, but totally missed the verbal abuse he was dishing out. The poor little ole me and I told her I'm sorry and she just won't accept it. I flat refused to let him apologize for ruining dinner or for talking to his ex. But how many times did I have to say he didn't ruin dinner or it didn't bother me if he talked to his ex? An uneducated about abuse codependent therapist?

Somehow therapy had me pitying him and overindulging him because this was so hard on him and he had such a tough childhood, etc. I'm not sure she said this directly, but that is the impression I came out of there with. Like when he resolved all of his childhood issues, we would work things out. What about here and now and today? She is the one who suggested Hendrix' book, but as a sideline to the therapy. Great book, but not appropriate in an abusive relationship unless the therapist really knows what he or she is doing and can keep each person focused on fixing their own stuff.

Venting ? You betcha, feel better, yes I do. I will narrow this down now. Dan, please hear what I say and know that I mean what I say. Period. Please don't translate it into what you think I meant and try to make it better, because it only makes it worse.  Excellent request. Also, Dan, keep this in mind: You didn't do anything wrong, and even if you did, it's OK...

Thanks, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2000

S1

Lynn, (and Trubble),

As I was reading through the posts, I kept thinking about all the craziness, all the times we are confused and running in circles, not understanding what on earth is wrong. I thought of the time I asked my H for a book for my birthday. I just said, Hey! If you're wondering what to get me, here's an idea. He was mad! Said I was ordering him to get me the book! When I explained that I was doing no such thing, he didn't hear me. When I said, okay, if you don't get it, I'll just buy it myself--no big deal, he got MORE mad! This was very early in our marriage, and similar things happen on a regular basis. (He did get me the book). Ugh. After you "paid" dearly for it.

I even got into trouble on the first night of our honeymoon because: 1. I didn't walk in with him to check in, and 2. I didn't want to drive around North Platte NE at 12:30 am looking for a non-smoking motel room (we had called ahead and asked for one; they gave us a regular room, and he was mad. I was willing to bear the smoke smell for one night). He said, "I thought I'd marry someone who supported ME." He was oblivious to any views outside his own. That's the biggest problem most angry types have to correct. Breaking their "mind set" to allow in other stuff...

I'm not here to tell stories; just to say that there's a whole lot that doesn't make sense in relationships like these. And if we try to make sense of them, we'll go nuts!

Becky PS Where is everyone? This isn't the Lynn and Becky show! :)  We'll we're finally back...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2000

S1

Dear Becky and Trubble,

I love it! The Becky and Lynn show. Isn't it true. Not a lot makes sense in these relationships. One not so funny one. I had a Dr. appointment. Dan's mother wanted a new refrigerator delivered now. After 4 days she hadn't cleaned out the broken one (phew) and so he was tied up for hours. I walked to the Dr. and back. No biggie, but he saw me coming down the street and then the excuses started flying. Yeah, I felt bad and I felt like he forgot me. This became another marathon to explain I didn't have to feel bad, It didn't mean anything, but never an "I'm sorry honey, I got tied up and I did forget. I'm sorry." It would have been the end of the story. So would have making it a point to leave mom's long enough to drive you...

This got good when I confronted him about the sex site. He told me I didn't have to feel bad, I didn't have to feel threatened, because I should have seen some of these gals and why did I feel threatened by this when these girls were young enough to be my daughter. Well, he tried...

This gets so ridiculous after a while. When I've asked to talk, he goes out and does the dishes. Don't expect him to talk about the sex stuff. How do you explain a obsession and compulsion? It makes no sense. 

One simple example. He was going to the store one night as we had company and he asked if I needed anything. I said yes, "get me a large can of pork and beans and I'll make baked beans." He came home with a can of baked beans because his friend suggested them. I just get so that I don't now why he asks what I want if he doesn't listen. I've gone so far to suggest he simply get me what he wants me to have. That one sounds reasonable; a typical guy type mistake... I sent my hubby out for "plain, non-fat yogurt this morning; make sure it's not vanilla." I got vanilla. At least it was the right size.  

This seems so petty compared to some of the abuse going on at these sites, but after years I get so I just don't say a thing rather than get one of these silly dialogues going and then they seem to eat at my innards.

Maybe this helps. Now I hope I have these out of my system. I can't seem to get him to understand what I'm saying. 

This is the gift thing with us. I've mentioned things I'd like to have. Then when one of these comes up and I'd like to talk, Dan goes out and buys me the gift. He's trying to make you happy the best way he knows. Then he can't understand why I'm mad, because he thought I really wanted that. ????????? He's well intended Lynn. Give him a break! 

What I really don't understand is why they are only willing to work on this when they see us packing. Did you read the Buddha thread? They get into that on the board. "They" are willing to work on this only when they see you packing because they don't "notice" that anything is wrong! Because their own world is too tightly knit together to allow for information from outside to filter in...  

I've had Dan tell me he doesn't need me to tell him what to do as he already has a mother. I just can't answer that. Even angrily. Doesn't make sense to me. You shouldn't be telling what to do, unless he's trying to tell you what to do.

Now if mine would just get home and jump in. I'm willing to give him one more chance, but I feel so weak at the knees that I think one more go around would demolish me. Take care of the self, but you have to get off the defensive too. (Doncha wish we were still on vacation?)

Got my check taken care of and thank goodness there was only one. We still haven't talked about it. Haven't had time. Sleepy hello-goodbye is the extent of talk these days. A lesson in patience for me :)  What's there to talk about? A casual update is all that's required, I think. A hopefully both of you can giggle at how seriously you took it at first.

Boy, do I feel better. Is that because these stay in and don't get resolved, just buried? Maybe now I can let it go.

I hope any in earthquake area are fine. Take care, Love to Trubble,

Lynn  For Lynn: XXXX

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn

I'm sure there are more of us lurking than just you and Becky. Silent observers.

I'd give Dan a break about the baked beans/pork and beans problem (not to in any way undermine the other issues). My husband used to ask me to pick up stuff from the grocery store and I usually picked out the wrong brand, or would see a sale for something I thought was "better" and it would usually turn out to be something he didn't want.

I think some of us are just grocery shopping deficient. :-) Take care. 

AK  Meow! And I can't tell you how many times she gets me Cat Chow instead of Mixed Grill!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 07, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

Good Morning, Lynn here, Think you are right about beans. "Used" to be that when he didn't hear me I thought he NEVER heard me. Exaggeration because he did hear me sometimes and is doing much better. Yippeee! Your cue to be more careful and less reactive (i.e., too quick to jump the gun) elsewhere too! Glad to hear from you. We had another emergency yesterday (someone else's) but nonetheless we had to get her somewhere else pretty quick and if and when Dan ever gets some sleep and life settles to a mild calm, things are going well. AK, it sounds like you are working on this before it get out of hand. Good. I wish we would have started sooner.

Becky, I'm thinking of you. I hope you are well.

Hi Trubble, Love to the Doc, too, Handled yesterday well and talked a lot between drive and emergency room. We do work well like this, there is hope.

Love, Lynn     Meow! And Meow to Dan too.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 08, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn

I'm working on this, but it's still out of hand. My husband and I are separated, and though I see that he is making some positive changes, some things are not changing at all. I have been working a lot on accepting that what I believe would be healthiest for him may not be his path.

He has had a philosophy that we should both "be ourselves" which to me means not having to consider the other person when making plans. That's your interpretation. Is that his too? That has changed a bit recently, but it still feels like having to consider me is an effort that is too much for him. Examples are my wanting to have input on how to spend time with his kids Why? They're his kids!  (from his previous marriage) and the real biggy - his not partaking in North American traditions. He says it's fine if I do but he doesn't want to. Why are you trying to control him? Why not just let him be? When you don't like the way your partner is behaving, and it has nothing to do with you, you need to let it go... Otherwise you are the codependent control freak! I can't explain why he feels so strongly about this except that he says these are his times to be alone with God, and that he seems to think there's a sheep mentality associated with these traditions. And, it's up to you to respect his feelings - as it is up to him to respect yours. As in "mutual respect."

I tried to adapt to this, but I always felt like an element of celebration and creating family roots is missing. He really doesn't understand my feelings. He says that he accepts my celebrating them (which actually hasn't been true at times), just doesn't want to take part. 

Although we both still care for each other, we have been continually up and down in the relationship and I really need some stability in my life. At this point I don't see any clear solutions, except to let him be and start to put my own needs first. Good. You have to. Put the needs of the self first and everything flows from there.

He is a good person, talented and ambitious, but grew up with a very egocentric, disciplinarian father and I don't think he had his own needs met as a child. It seems to me that there is a certain "lack" mentality, that if you get too close or give too much then the other person will take everything from you until there's nothing left. My desires and emotional needs have been interpreted as "demands". In the above examples, you were out of your boundaries and in his space. 

He also wants me to accept equal blame for the demise of the relationship. I can't do that. I feel like the things I want are reasonable and attainable, and although I'm not perfect I really did try to make it work. I do take responsibility for wanting him to change, which meant that I couldn't accept him or see him for what he was. OK. There is a fine line between not accepting his abuse and not accepting who he is... This is one of the reasons similarity (in culture, values, etc.) is important in marriage.

I am facing that I must accept him as is, not for his potential, but for what he is right now. I don't want to live on hope anymore.

I do wish the best for him and for me also. Please send positive thoughts and prayers. (I'll do the same back!)

take care AK  You've got ours!  

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 08, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

Lynn here. It is nice to hear from you, and small world. My daughter is PG for the 1st time and part North American Indian (through her father) and currently trying to find an Indian Baby name book. (There are some great web sites). We have fun "Roots" on each side and I love doing the family tree.

The blending of the current families can be overwhelming, can't it? Dan's daughter hasn't talked to me for 2 years, but under the circumstances (long story), for the better that she got angry with me and it has been fine. It helped her get better, and I think she'll come around someday.

I do the same with Dan on the therapy. I was the "witch who 'always' got her own way". When I lost that, I seemed to have slipped. It seems he only wanted to do enough therapy to keep me happy and then he got comfortable and quit and we'd get back to the same rut, only it kept getting worse. Then he'd crack a book and I'd get off his case and he'd quit again.

He's going to have to stick it out this time as I'm getting too old for this hassle. He's another great man, and he truly is. He just seems to get stuck in some old business sometimes and I tend to fall in with it lately. I just think we could have had this all behind us by now if we would have kept at it.

I've heard from Becky. She sounded well, but busy.

I am beginning to wonder what is is with our men (do women do this, too?) YES! that makes change or compromise so threatening. I myself want to work this out so we are both comfortable. I feel he wants to work just enough to get me off his back. This doesn't make sense to me. We're both in this together. But, Lynn, he's not as uncomfortable as you are. He doesn't understand why you are so bothered...

My thoughts are with you and love and prayers, too. Take care of yourself.

Lynn Hi Trubble! I'm thinking of you, too. Meow!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 08, 2000

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Theressa, How are things with you? I hope they are good. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 08, 2000

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I agree Lynn - blended families can add several more complications to a relationship.

The image most of us have of the happy, secure family where everyone gets along, shares the same values, has mutual respect, willingness to grow and learn together, would be nice to experience in reality, but somehow I think life is supposed to be a little messy. 

Maybe a lot of us are trying to live up to an ideal that we just can't realistically achieve at this point in life. That doesn't mean you don't still try to make things better, just that if you're not "the Brady bunch" you don't feel so bad about where you are at the moment.

AK   Ah, AK, thanks for identifying another element of the recovery pot stew: making the best of what you have...  

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 09, 2000

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Good Afternoon bunch, Lynn here,

Hi AK, I loved the "Brady Bunch", actually what I did to/for his daughter wasn't all bad. She was institutionalized and wielded power over her parents. Long long story, but the finale was, she called me and asked me what I thought? I told her! Then I called the Psychologist because I was really tough on her. He laughed and also kept in touch (he had been with the parents). She got so angry at me that she got better and hasn't been "in" since. I can live with that.

Dan and I had a big blowup last night. Crux was he decided not to "engage" with me anymore and walked away. Lynn, that's better than blowing up. Never, ever, EVER talk when either one of you are angry! Make an appointment to talk if need be. I felt uncomfortable and felt like a lot of phony theatrics were going on that I couldn't understand (probably were). Probably. I just said, "Times Up". What a relief to me. I feel like I've given all I can give, explained all I could explain and frankly, I don't care "witch" way he goes. Good! Giggle. I feel very relieved today. Couldn't sleep so I prowled all night eating brownies and milk. I'm a genuine night owl anyway, so I slept till 10:30 and I'm feeling better than I've felt for 5 years. Sounds like you "let go" of the idea of making him understand (i.e., agree with) your point of view. That's good. He doesn't have to; he just has to respect it.

Is this where the grieving goes? I've grieved. I think this is where disengage comes from. I've said all I have to say (last night) there is nothing else I need for him to know. This sounds like a silly statement, but for years, up to last night, I feel like if I could only "reason with him" and get him to understand Aha! how I feel he'd understand what he's doing to me. I came to the conclusion I may never. Right. And, that's OK. He need not understand any more than you need understand him. You just need to respect each other's space and feelings. Quite a bit of relief, which amazes me. Oh, well, I will not try to analyze it. I think I'll just enjoy the peace. Meow!

Good news. I formed quite a bond with both his grandchildren, especially the oldest, and I always have felt that no matter what, she (they) will look up granny some day and we'd pick up where we left off. I still feel this and I'll bet I'm right. :) Didn't they remake the Brady's? I don't watch much TV so I'm not up on it. Does sound like I could get my own soap opera sometimes. Time for a commercial. MIXED GRILL is the BEST :) :) :) Need to get a kitty smiley ^_^ Best I can come up with.

Happy Trails, Lynn     Yeah! 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 09, 2000

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Dear Dan,

This one's to/for you. I said before that I feel you read what I say and hear me. Read this:

Yesterday we got a sex movie catalog in the mail. When you came home I told you I wanted no more of these. You opened it up and called the take-me-off-your-mailing-list number. OK fine. Then you started packing up the Playboy magazines in front of me and started hauling them out to the dumpster. I asked why? You said you were doing this for me as you knew I was uncomfortable with them. 

This had been settled years ago. I asked you to get rid of the Penthouse, etc. and the paperbacks of smutty love? stories. I didn't like them in a house where we have children. You did. Then you told me your ex MADE you throw out all of your Playboy's. You have always kept them in a cupboard and I have read the articles myself.

What I was uncomfortable with was the 10 or so trips in front of me to dispose of them. I don't know why, but I was.  

I told you this and you said you were getting rid of these for me. I don't know why, but I felt I was being set up for a SEE, you're just like my ex or something and if front of me I felt was tooooooooo theatrical. I felt it was like the turkey and you weren't listening to me. You told me it was time for you to disengage if I was going to bring up the turkey again. You were going to go take a shower. 

I apologized about the turkey. Good! I was just trying to say are you listening to me?? Are you going to bring this up to me later - as I won't take it! If so, "Time's up". OK. Enough. He did what you wanted. You asked him not to bring it up again. Just thank him for getting rid of the mags. 

Today you came home and read my posts. Then you asked me for the newspaper as you were going to move out since "time's up."

I really feel you are coming up with tactic's I am unfamiliar with. I did not ask you to get rd of the books nor to move out. I have a yukky feeling about both conversations and I don't need to know why. I do feel yukky and I know I don't like it. I have shaken the cobwebs out of my broom and if you think I'm being a witch again, so be it. I like myself much better with the black cape on and I intend to stay here. Yikes! Are you mad! Chill lady, chill!

I don't like what I'm feeling and if you want to move, move. If you want to get into therapy, go. This is good. Or, it would be if you could say the same thing without the anger.

Do you know what I really want? I simply want to go boil the pork bone and make a pot of soup. Then that's what you should do! I don't know what we did to each other to let this get so far, but I'll take my share of the blame. No more, tho. No more words, no more games, no more put downs and no more you are doing this for me's. I am doing this for me. You do for yourself. Hallelujah! I think she got it! I don't understand what's going on and I don't intend to try. Good; don't waste your energy. I feel it's over my head and if you were/are trying I will know, and the effort doesn't have to be in front of my nose. I think he is trying Lynn, remember the phone call to the ex wife? He wants you to see it. But, you're right. It's not comfortable to be "shown." Kinda like you are the Gestapo. Quit laying the US on me. I don't like it and don't feel very ussy at this time.

Why am I writing to you? Maybe you will hear this........time is up. Now get on with it or get over it. I will not spend 1 more second of my life engaging in a one sided conversation. You know what I want, and you know what I need. I've told you. What I want now is some homemade pork soup. Good on the firm limits Lynn. Check the anger though. And check your tendency to expect him to be up to no good. Maybe you're wrong...

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2000

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Dear Trubble,

Whoops! Silly me. I was just reminded that I started this argument because I said it takes some nerve to order this stuff and then call me a s**t. "I was dragging up old stuff!" Oh, well.

Mixed Grill for you buddy and pork soup for me, ^_^ Comfort foods, Lynn  Neither of you will get purrrfect (like me) overnight. Give yourself at least Nine Lives... We're back folks!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Hello all.

I want to thank you Dr. Irene for responding to my post. I know this is not "my thread" but just wanted to say a couple of things.

I think what it comes down to in my situation is that my husband and my own vision of what a relationship is, is just different and is compounded by the fact that he has children and I don't. What was difficult for me was that for 3 years he went every other weekend to another town to see the kids and I wasn't invited to be there. When I finally did  get invited, I felt that we did what *he* wanted to do and that the kids and I had very little input. Granted, he would come up with choices he thought all of us would enjoy, but it was always he who decided, and that's what I didn't like. Maybe it's a parent vs. stepparent thing, I don't know. As you say they are "his children" and what it comes down to is that I want more out of family life than this. If you were there, he could have asked you for input...

I also see what you were saying about my wanting to control his involvement with my family traditions. I think you are right. I just couldn't understand why it felt so wrong to him to participate in a family dinner (which is basically what these traditions consist of for me). But as you say, it's up to me to respect his feelings in those regards, whatever they may be. Yeah...

The painful realization is that I can't envision a lifetime of celebrating Christmas, Valentine's Day etc. without my spouse every year. I think I am coming to terms with the fact that our values don't match in this area. The difficult part is letting him go. I feel he loves me and I love him, but we just don't match.

Again, thanks for your response Dr. Irene.

AK    So sorry AK. This sounds like a power struggle...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

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Trubble Dear, If you have Mixed Grill for every meal your teeth will get yukky and the vet will have to clean your teeth. OUCH! Eat some dry, darlin. ^_^ Lynn  YUK YUK YUK!!! MIXED GRILL OR BUST!!!!

Dear Dr. Irene,

Thanks so much, I feel I've been under attack every day and with new tactics. Overwhelms me. It seems he comes home from work every day with a new trick. Last good one was I won't go into therapy now because he asked if we should make an appointment and I said "when?" Two days later, "I wouldn't" make one. Again I said "when?" Dan told me he had Sunday off this week and then Saturday's and Sunday's. Then he tells me he has comp time and can take a couple of hours off any afternoon. "Not fair to gat mad at me if you don't give me all the facts," I said.

Am I right? Yep. From what you say here. Dan: What's your take? I think Dan's has a great fear of me leaving him, and the pressure is heavier than I've ever experienced. Meaning he is trying every thing he can conjure up to keep me involved. i.e., He asked me to join an email couple group, Working It Out and then asks me what he should write? I said write your own letter, I'll write mine. (I did, but it didn't post. Sometimes it takes a while.) Then he wants me to add to his letter. We don't have to write in the same letter. I really think he feels if I am independent, I will no longer need him, or some such. The "theatrics are worthy of an Academy Award". He even tries to sit next to me woe begotten. I just ignore. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with poor baby. I understand. You are not wrong. He is trying and doing the best he can. You two need professional help. Please try to understand: both of you make sense (my communication with him is not posted). Both of you are trying. Both of you are making mistakes.

I agree with you, he (we) need to get into therapy, but this time he has to do the work. He is great at "Honey, will you help me with this?" This I think is a "Honey I can't." Which is true, and a good answer.

I think he gets threatened if he can't be in my space. He feels that means I don't love him. Probably.

One thing I am strong on and he has learned: this is really me. I am a genuine Night Owl. I had even been to a Dr. and he convinced me I have insomnia. I don't. I can go to bed and sleep at 2 AM and get up at 10 feeling great, refreshed, relaxed, etc. Eight hours. Not bad.  Your sleep habits are sleep late, wake late. He has learned this is not about him. Good! Not a threat because he likes me to get up and pack his lunch and then fix his breakfast. I simply cannot function as a day person (I've tried). I've stood my ground. I'm grumpy and crabby ALWAYS without my sleep. Now if I can get him to see that I have other things like this that do not mean I don't love him, it's ok. He'll get there.

Enough. I'm thinking of when he called me "a witch who always got her own way." He respected my space and let me be. Once I let down my "witchyness" he jumped in. (I let him). Back to the broomstick. Set limits, yes. But, try to do it without anger. Separate your boundaries from your anger as best as you can.

What got me so angry the other night was when I ASKED him to cancel out a sex movie subscription, that's all I asked. Period. That would have been the end. He canceled, thank you, period. Good! I told him I felt uncomfortable with the book tossing routine. He told me I didn't have to feel that way. I am so sick of being told how I have to feel. Are you sure I can't use the duct tape?? On you or him? Giggle...  I think he was trying to tell you that you have a choice on  how you view events. Remember the Buddha book you guys got?

Spewing again. And AK, I love your input. :) We can have separate lives. Some give and some take. Just so we don't give where we don't want to. I feel that has to go for them, too. The toughie is when I give and don't feel I'm getting in return. And the other way. Never give more than you want. Accept what is given as a gift as opposed to looking for what you wanted to be given. This goes for both of you. Do it and you'll be happier.

I Hope you and Hubby were on vacation Doc. SEE, we all survived the week. Not well of course without Trubble. Yeah, yeah! Meow! And she's got me in the cat house!

Take care and I'll try not to be so angry. Firm, yes. He has to get therapy and quit with the threats @ whether or not I go. And he has to do his own work, as do I. Amen. Sounds good to ... us (grumble). You watch the anger, and he does his own work... Dan: comments?

Thanks & Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Dear Doc,

I had to take notes on posts to answer questions.

About the "I don't need you to tell me what to do, I've already got a mother." We got a leak in our roof 3 1/2 years ago. (I don't think I was expected to call his mother and ask her to ask Dan to fix the roof). Priority in my mind (the leak). It took me this long to get the roof fixed and I resorted to down and out eyelash fluttering and manipulation to get the roof fixed. I tried once before to hire someone to take care of something and then I was "trying to make him look like a fool." This is why I take care of MY car and he does what ever with his truck.

The check thing. Good honey, I'm glad it's taken care of. Period. Would have been enough. We're now into it's really his fault and how ashamed he is........ Huh? Dan really does a good job at beating himself up. STOP it Dan! Finished, over with, now shut up. Period.

Fair fighting. Paper on how to fight fair with a loved one. I felt I was expected to follow the rules. Dan fought to WIN!

Therapist. She was great with some other big stuff we had to do. i.e. DD brother, grandchildren, lots of good. I felt I was always on the defensive on anything with US. Really got into Poor Dan and I needed to help him. Nope. Poor Dan and she needs to help him get himself out of that place. You just need to lay off the quick, reactive anger. Dan would lay this on me, too, and I bought into it. I felt like Dan would spend he session telling her what I did or didn't do, and she'd ask me if I could change this. Like forgiving him for ruining Dinner. Nobody ruined the dinner, It was no big deal. I got so tired of this poo poo about this dinner. I never gave a darn. What I gave a darn about was the fact that nobody could drop it because it was such an issue to poor Dan. Only in his own mind. 

If I wouldn't talk about it, then I was keeping it in. P.S. The next Thanksgiving I cooked a prime rib roast. I still don't know why he can get into a fixation on a subject and then not hear, "NO PROBLEM." After 6 or 7 months of this it becomes a serious problem. Then I get a see I knew it bugged you.

Hope that answered a few. Gets confusing, but what I am liking about this site: When Dan sees what I've written, he can comprehend what I'm saying. When I say it directly to him, he wants to correct my statement/s. He gets defensive. In writing, it's less threatening. Why not write to each other for a while? Keeps a lot of yukky irrational thoughts out of the picture.

Thank you again, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

I just read the recommended Buddha site. And to Dear David, "I wish Dan were as far as you." I can tell you every reason why Dan is the way he is, why he does what he does, and know this because he's shared this with me. I think I took it on. Yep. Like an excuse, or maybe even to be helpful. Yep. Dan has to take it on. Yep yep. Dan has to get well. Dan cannot expect me to make it better (I've tried). Yep yep yep. Dan can live without me. Yep. Dan is a good person. Yep. I'm thinking I've got to let him go (not meaning move out :) ) to get him back. Own his own stuff and get beyond it. Not give it to me. I don't want it anyway. I've got enough. Ohhhh, I like that!

Is this correct, Dr. Irene? His painful stuff from his past has to be taken on and released from his view as a child (where he learned this) and dealt with as an adult (where he needs to be now). Then he forgives his mother because she knew no better and did the best she could? She did have a horrid life. (Dan's father was a bigamist with a 2nd family Ouchhhh! ). Even I forgive her lots, because. It's just the Dan stuff still going on that I feel unforgivable about. It's up to him to do this, right? Yes. Not for him to give to me (which I take) and then he's not mad at mom. I am for him. Meeowouchhhhh. Yes.

His painful past can bring me to tears. He needs to grieve this, not me. Yes! And stop carrying it around. And be able to set limits with mom, and be mad at her for marrying no-goodnick dad, and be mad with her for all her limitations, even though she did her best - and still love her, cuz he does... Then he can do all of this with you too.

Meanwhile, I have to kick out of poor Dan and let him do his own poor Danning while I take care of me. Take care of you. Let Dan take care of Dan. And, stop with all the kick out talk. I know from elsewhere that's not what you really want, so drop it, OK? It just makes him feel insecure and totally yukky.

I'm ok now just as long as he doesn't come home with another script tonight. These throw me. Don't let them. Not that he's "right." He's not. You don't deserve scripts and games. But, don't give him your power either! You don't have to accept them no matter what!

Thanks for listening to me think and thanks to David. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

P.S. Dan, where are you? I thought you were going to jump in. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

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^_^ Lynn here,

I've written 3 times to working it out and can't seem to get through. I'm having the giggles because when I asked Dan if he was going to jump in here he went to W_I_O. Now I can't seem to catch up with him. Dan, If you're out there, I can't (literally) get out of the cat box. :) Lynn While you and Trubble are playing in there together, I'll check out the WIO thing. But, probably not till tomorrow night.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

I'm back. :)  Good to have you back!

It's been a month since I knew things were over, and a week since my ex completely accepted that and decided not to try to work things out. What a long, strange trip this is.

Something I'm noticing (that I might expand upon more later, and that I think would make an interesting interactive): is the reams of codependent pop culture that I'm surrounded by. It disturbs me when I go scanning through radio stations in my car and get to hear Macy Gray's "I Try", LeeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live Without You?", Live's "I Alone" ... you get the idea. Must make self nice empowering tape to play in the car for when I don't feel like dealing with Codependent Radio America. :)   And that's exactly what our culture is about! Codependent America. And Australia. Add Europe too. And Eastern Europe. I'm too limited to know more about other continents. That's what Robert Burney talks about in his book, Codependence: Dance of the Wounded Souls. Sad but true.

Something much cooler I'm noticing is how amazingly supportive, without exception, my friends have been through the past month. I could have done without a few of the "I never liked him anyways from certain quarters Giggle! , but I made it clear that I was feeling kind of nasty and vulnerable and trying to work through stuff and that trashing my ex (mad as he made me) doesn't help me. Good girl! Taking the High Road!

He's already found someone else, and they seem to *ahem* share a common interest. Shades of Codependence! Too, too fast methinks. I wouldn't be as hurt about the someone else if it weren't for the common interest. I still feel like I got dumped for Mary Jane, and that's just annoying considering that we got together at a party where we were the only two who weren't stoned or out-of-our-minds drunk, and we got tired of baby-sitting the rest of the fools and decided to spend time together. *sigh* Oh well. Guess some things changed a bit. And it's done and past mending now. And don't forget, everything is nice and hopeful early on...

I have another recently-single friend, and we're making plans to get together and eat lots of ice cream and watch The First Wives Club. :) Friends are neat. Yep! I just wish more of mine lived here. But hey, I have a car, and if I want to go visiting people, I will only be paying for MYSELF, not footing the bill for the ex and running interference between him and the friends who didn't like him. That's a very cheerful thought. :)

Lessons learned: 1. I will never date another cigarette smoker. I will think twice about dating someone who is allergic to cats, because being owned by cats is an important part of my lifestyle. *grin*  2. I will not seriously talk marriage or other forms of lifelong partnership with someone one month into the relationship, even IF the other person brings it up. At best, I will say "if things continue to be as good as they are now, we might be headed in that direction." However, I won't make the opposite mistake and spend months "seeing" a "friend" but not wanting to "tie either of us down." Right. You DESERVE more than that! That goes nowhere painfully slowly. 3. Boundaries about who spends money on what for as-a-couple activities will be set and stuck to. I will not let myself be bled dry financially (I probably sunk a few thousand into this last relationship that way, and I could've used that money for other things.) 4. If I start feeling more like a mother than a partner, I will deal with it directly, not start acting like an angry mother. Likewise (as has happened in the past), if I start feeling more like a child than a partner, I will deal with THAT directly, not start acting like a rebellious child. Excellent! 5. I will pay more attention to my friends' opinions of the next person I date. They're usually right. However, I won't let my friends live my life for me. 6. I will remember that I HAVE friends. I will remember to make time for them. I will not feel guilty that I'm spending time with them that could be spent with a significant other. I will be grateful that said friends took me back with open arms despite my borderline-ignoring them, and I will not make this mistake again. Friends are too important -- they are my "chosen" extended family. 7. If I realize that I am expending excessive psychic energy on any person/thing, I will ask myself WHY, and I will take steps to avoid becoming energy-drained. I will not be guilted (by a SO, a friend, an organization, a job, or anything else) into spending more energy than I can easily replenish. :) That does nobody any good. 8. The "little things" are important. Sure, I might agree with someone on politics, religion, and basic lifestyle things, but that doesn't mean I can live on pizza and cheeseburgers (or on tofu, for that matter), or that I can live with someone who will give me blank looks when I start rambling about my incipient master's thesis. :) 9. Alone time is a good thing! (Coincidentally, my housemate is moving out next month -- just me and the kitties! I will be 100% in a place on my own then, and I think I like that idea.) 10. This list is expandable as needed. :)

*hugs to all that want them, warm thoughts to those who'd rather not be hugged*

-AngryGirl   I'll take all the hugs I can get. Purrrrrrr....

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Dear Angry Girl,

Welcome home. Lynn here. Love The 1st Wife's Club. Rent American Dreamer too for a cute pick me up. I love the rules. I'm laughing, because the LAST thing I think about now is another man. My sister-in-law and I have jokingly come up with what we call our application form before we would consider another. I think (for me) it's easier to stay here and retrain this one. I'm available ladies...

To AK, We had some SERIOUS stuff with Dan's grandchildren a few years back and he thought I "could handle it." I didn't. We did and if it were my grandkids, I would have insisted on "we", too. It was very uncomfortable for him (me, too), but together we showed the girls a united front and I think that helped them. I hope so. We did our best. Key word WE. (Dr. Irene, this was handled GREAT by our old therapist and I will thank her always. She excelled here.) United front is a MUST for kids!

Back to Angry Girl. Read what Dr. Irene tells me. I'm angry, too. Love your tape. My favs were I Will Survive, Leave Me Alone, Before the Next Teardrop Falls, and go figure......To this day I break out bawlin' if I hear Elvis' Here Comes Santa Claus. See Tubble, I'm a real nut. Nuts are the best! There's a joke about if there were no heartbreak, there would be no market for Country Music. 

Does anyone else read "The Cat Who's......?"  

Angry Girl, you can hug me anytime. I love hugs. Take care, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Lynn, Well here I am jumping in, I read your posts and can truly say that what I read is listened to more so than what I hear. I am going to see a therapist as I told you when I came home, the appointment is for Friday morning, I am going. :) I don't understand why we enmeshed our boundaries, of course I didn't know about them until we went to the therapist, as bad as we have, but that will take some understanding of ourselves and each other. I know that I seem lost without you and perhaps this is true in that I'm imposing what should have been on the now. This is not another gimmick, just how I feel and have not realized it. Good stuff!

You can be a =itch, witch or an entity that we haven't thought of yet. You asked me if the thought of your having an affair entered my mind over this, and truthfully (I told you) it never had. The not hearing is something which I don't understand other than as we have said before, I shut out my mother when she got under my skin. As you know I don't express my anger at you very often, but I feel that you can sense it at times. I know where this comes from and we have discussed it also. I don't know if I told you, (I think so) but I did appreciate you telling my daughter off, and she has only spoken to me when I call her as you know. 

I think that I heard you then, so I feel that there are some things which affect you that I do understand. I can't explain it; perhaps it is a feeling of abandonment but I don't want our relationship to end. Neither does she Dan. I know that to ensure that it doesn't is to learn about myself and to get well, emotionally. :) Whatever comes of the future comes, but the past will have to become the past, I have to do this. I don't understand why the working it out website isn't taking your posts. I chose that one when you showed it to me, a gut reaction is the only reason I can give. 

Dr Irene and Trubble thanks for your advice and insight. God willing and no more fires I will get help on a proper start on changing me. Also the old therapist suggested an anti-depressant, I have a depressed personality she said, so I will take it if the new therapist also suggests it. David at Buddha:  Good for you, I hope that I can get where you're at. Dan You can Dan. Persistant effort, antidepressants when indicated, and a lady you love more than you love yourself (to date) will get you there...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Dear Trubble and all,

Lynn here. Is this my imagination or not. There is so much unfinished business here. Is that one of the symptoms of verbal abuse? We use to have a good cat fight and the next day I was hard pressed to remember what it was about (not that I cared to). Lynn   A good CAT fite...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Hi everyone.

Angrygirl - I loved your post. I can relate to so much of what you are saying. And I agree about co-dependent radio. That's why I listen to "talk" radio instead.

I think the "someone else" he's found is probably a blessing. It make things very clear for you. :)

I also agree that some of the "little things" are important. For example I'm dog obsessed and that doesn't work for everyone. (Trubble - not to offend, I think cats are nice too) :( You're just saying that...

And thanks AngryGirl, I'll take the hug too.

Lynn, I agree about having a united front for the kids regardless of what's going on. It sounds like you and Dan have been pretty solid in the stepfamily issues and that is something to be commended for! It's a heck of a lot more complicated than it looks from the outside.

There is a stepfamily site with a lot of good information if you have the patience to go through it. It's at:

http://www.stepfamilyinfo.org

The guy who put it together did his Masters-degree thesis on stepfamilies and is a stepfather himself. The site is rather convoluted and the language a little hard to process, but the information is very good.

There is a section I cut from the site and unfortunately I can't find the link anymore so I'll just post it (sorry for the length):

"Many people understandably feel that their children have suffered enough as a result of their divorce. Some parents even feel guilty. So they may try to make it up to their kids by devoting themselves completely and totally to their kids' welfare and putting everything else second. While this may sound desirable and noble, it has the potential to backfire in disaster. The couple relationship must take precedence. A less than rock-solid relationship between husband and wife threatens the security of the stepfamily. As a result, the children may face yet another break-up. The old maxim -- the best gift you can give your children is to love your spouse -- couldn't be more appropriate here. The couple provides the foundation for the stepfamily. Without husband and wife bonding and working together, there is no family at all. So the couple's focus must be on nourishing their relationship, not only for themselves but also for the sake of their kids. Then the children fit in more naturally, easily, and happily within the emotional safety of a secure marriage. This is probably the most important lesson for a stepfamily couple to learn."

I agree with this statement. Whatever comes from the top of the hierarchy (i.e. the parents/stepparents) ends up filtering down to the kids.

Also, Dr. Irene, there's a segment under http://drirene.com/redflag.htm that I want to ask you about.

One of the red flags for abusive behaviour says: "Disregards laws or social customs that interfere with their own goals or pleasure. Sees no point in observing holidays or giving gifts."

Do you disagree with this? I realize there is a difference between this and doing something that is against your religion or moral principles, but what I keep mulling over is *why* these moral principles have been chosen. Are they a true connection with God, or are they actually just a convenient way to not have to adapt or be flexible to another's needs. I believe that at times the voice of the ego can be mistaken for the voice of God. Just my 2 cents.  It depends on the individual. Generally, the principles chosen by the angry person are from the ego, i.e., their narcissism, sociopathy, rebellion, etc. And, yes, the voice of the ego is too often mistaken for the voice of God. That's what happens when you're not connected with inside and lie to yourself, believe your own lies. I never said the High Road was an easy trek. But, it really is easier than the pain and hardship the typical angry person unknowingly puts him or her self through each day...

I understand that either way, you have to accept the person and their beliefs as they are. It's just that when they seem unhealthy to me, I get the urge to want to try to make an impact. This is where I probably have to learn to draw my own lines. YES! The only person in the world you have any power over...is yourself. Spend your energy there. I can't be inside someone else's brain or body and ultimately I can't judge which path is best for them. Right. If their path offends you, what are you doing in their company?

I waiver between acceptance, and pushing for change just to see what might happen. 12-Step Wisdom: Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. Certainly misquoted, but I think you get the drift...

As Angrygirl suggested, if I am expending excessive psychic energy on any person/thing, I need to ask myself WHY. :)

And Dan, contrary to what it may appear, you will be supported on this site if and when you do decide to appear. Everyone has their story and I'm certain that you have yours.

take care everybody.   

AK    Thank you AK.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000

S1

Dan:

My last post to you won't make sense, because you already did post. Anyways, nice to see you here. Yeah!

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

AK We must have been posting at the same time. Thanks for the "one for the Gipper" about kids and stepfamilies. Lynn's' sons and daughter are like my children, not stepchildren. They are adults and not youngsters, but that makes no difference to me (or to them I think), I think that makes a difference with kids no matter the age. What do you say Trubble? I say, "Meow!" Once again, thanks Dan  

PS Dan's daughter is a confused young girl with a lot of problems. This does not mean we are not here for her if she needs it. We just don't feel it means we have to give her $$ and do whatever she wants. She tends to play, "If you don't do this for me I won't let you see the kids again". Emotional blackmail... We're into "OK fine." She is getting help and I do think she'll outgrow this. She really is a nice girl. Just overwhelmed with life (who isn't?) The perfect one's in our family are the 7 cats. ^_^ Hey, Trubble. Love and Hugs to all, Lynn See Dr. Irene.... We're not talking, we're writing. Duct tape for two :)  

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

*hums Billy Joel's "My Life"* Glad my postings were of some use. :)

Well, this has been an interesting night.

Apparently my ex now feels like I was "trying" to get rid of him, so the fact that he's dating a mutual friend's younger sister is now MY fault. Don't go here... Drop it; disengage... Just like the substance abuse is MY fault because I'm an occasional social drinker and used to be a heavier one. *mild annoyance* Went something like this: One of my friends and I have a long history (since we've known each other) of the same guys getting interested in us. We find this vastly amusing. My ex was one of these guys. Used to say that if my friend weren't older and if he weren't with me he might have tried for her. Apparently because I told this friend that my ex found her attractive, and because she was on the same vacation and knew exactly what the fight we were having was about (not to mention, the friend I almost slept with is another guy who's been interested in both of us), and because I encouraged my ex to talk to this friend's little sister like he would to any other human being he found interesting ... that meant I was trying to palm him off onto someone else so I wouldn't feel guilty about leaving. HUH?! Someone pour the boy a nice bowl of Reality Chex! I felt guilt about the circumstances, but leaving was self-preservation at this point.

OK, maybe subconsciously, encouraging him to talk to the woman he's now dating made it easier for me to get out, just as realizing in a no-question-possible way that it's possible for me to be physically attracted to someone else made it easier for me to get out. Still, this annoys me, and I wish my replacement's sister hadn't gotten in the middle of this. "She said that her sister said" gives me a headache.

Better her than me, in any event.

I tried to fix what I had. It wasn't fixable. It just got worse. My friends did everything short of deprogramming me or putting me in a mental institution to make me realize this. My mother still doesn't know the whole story, and probably won't (given that she still thinks *I* am a drug addict, which is a whole other can of worms), but she knows it's over. My father, I might actually tell the whole story to, as long as I know he won't tell my mother.

A co-worker had to leave early today because her niece's ex-boyfriend broke a restraining order and broke into her house.

That could have been me five years down the line, if I had stayed. The physical abuse line was never completely crossed with us, but it came uncomfortably close twice (once we were having a political argument that turned ugly while in his car, and he started driving recklessly; once he actually raised a hand to me but drew back when I screamed and ducked). I know he has a violent temper, and he felt this weird need to "defend" me (he hit his sister for making an insulting comment about my weight, and was PROUD of this! I was furious, needless to say). This could have been really bad.

The part I'm still dreading is the gossip. I don't want sympathy for what's likely to be the perception (he left me for this other girl), since that was the least of it. I don't want him trashed by others in the group the three of us are involved in. I don't want people to think that I was sleeping with the friend I almost slept with, and that was the source of the breakup, either. (I don't want the friend dragged into this since he's 300 miles away but still has a lot of connections up here, and I don't want people thinking that of me.) I know, there's not a damn thing I can do about people chattering. I'm not even sure I want to go into what really happened with most people. There've been a lot of breakups in this group lately, and a lot of (very stupid and hurtful) gossip has gone around. I'm going to try to be as dignified about this as I can, and laugh it off a bit. (Something like "well, we realized that if we can't live together happily for two weeks on vacation, getting married was probably a bad idea" or some such.) But I don't want any of the four of us dragged through the mud -- it accomplishes NOTHING, and I'd like to be able to deal with my ex on a friendly basis, and have the others in the situation all deal with each other reasonably well.

I know, it seems a trivial thing to worry about, but this group is my main social life and was once his. I want to be able to lean on my friends for some support here, but not to end up with people being hurtful and nasty. My ex and I have dealt enough hurt to each other especially these last six months or so. We don't need any more of it. *sigh*

OK time for bed. I'm falling asleep at the keyboard practically. Sweet dreams...

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

Dear Kitty Boxers,

Lynn here. And Dear Angry, I love "My Life". What is so funny :) I had a pile of these records....45's .......See, I guess I'm the senior of the cat box. A neighbor just had an old juke box in the back of his truck and I asked him if he'd like them. He was elated. My song lately has been "Whiskey Under the Bridge."

About the gossip. I use to be a bartender and the vicarious life for some of my customers. Gossip was a way of life, but with my bizarre sense of humor I'd give people something to talk about. One of my favs :) when my late husband died someone asked a friend of mine how much $$ I'd been left. He answered "one point two mil," looking them in the eye and with a straight face. Well, some people believed this and the gossip was hilarious. Dan and I can still have fun with this. It is fun for me to get into my own gossip and leave the other poor folk alone. I doesn't see as serious when it's directed at you personally if there are gross exaggerations. 1.2 mil, indeed and I can't even spell Porsche correctly! Tough to tell you not to take it to heart, gossip hurts. I just suggest you make it interesting for the tellers. You sound like you know who your true friends are. Very nice going!

Dan and I didn't talk last night we wrote to each other. ^_^ <-cat ears It's working. Sure. You are not as reactive, bouncing off the other. You have time to think - what a concept! I am straight forward blunt. Strictly black and white. Dan is gray and seems to hedge his his bets with any question. We both have to work on this. Communication gets confusing. If I say "YES" he wants to know if I'm sure? If I want a yes or no, I get a 2 paragraph answer of maybe.

Dr. Irene, I hope you are right. Dan has a way of getting his meals fixed, clothes done and bed made and thinking we've had enough therapy. I noticed "He's made an appointment" and he's going Friday. Hello Dan, I'm in this, too. I'm going with you. Please wake me up tho.........:)

David sure got to us at Buddha. Even Dan needed to tell him to let her go. There is really no other choice, sane or legal. There is life beyond and sometimes even better. Dan can get into this. He "can't live" without me. Sure he could. We've both had reincarnations though, and know life goes on. Sometimes better.

Dear AK, It seems a shame yours can't give a bit about family dinners. We have found that lots of different is interesting. We went to a Catholic Midnight Mass with my daughter's family, Friends took us to Baptist Churches and then we helped with a Christmas program for the grandkids in a Christian Church Pageant and watched the oldest grandson in a church play. We were both raised STRICT Catholic with the impression if we even had non Catholic friends we were destined for flames. As adults, different got to be fun and interesting. Didn't ever become threatening.

Well guys, have a good day and I will too. Hugs a bunch, Lynn

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

Hi, all!

It's good to see so much dialogue! At the same time, my frustration with my own situation is growing. It seems that Dan is at least willing to try; he sincerely wants to understand what's going on and help fix it, despite the ups and downs. And Lynn, too is working on her stuff.

I feel abandoned. My husband says he cares, but has yet to do anything significant that shows he understands how rotten things have always been, and how much change is needed. I am beginning to show the effects of ten years of confusion, pain, resentment, and frustration, all experienced as I tried to cope, tried to "be a better wife," tried to reconcile what I knew to be right with the reality of how I was living. I have recently told him that something must be decided, as I doubt I can live in this state much longer. I'm scared that I'll have a major depression. The migraines are more frequent, I get dizzy for no reason. He says I make my own trouble. 

I know that he doesn't want to leave; he wants me to (he's afraid he'll have to give up "his" house). Since I can't leave now for financial reasons, I think he knows he's "got" me. At least I'm afraid that that's how he sees it. And STILL he is insulted and angry when I tell him I don't feel loved. He throws everything back at me: if I don't feel loved, HE doesn't. Hubby has a real bad time accepting negative feedback. Try another tact. Instead of complaining, tell him what you want: "Right now I need you to (whatever, concrete and specific like) take my hand, hold it, and tell me you do love me."  If I feel my needs aren't respected, he feels the same. It always boils down to this from him: Becky, if you were the kind of wife I wanted, I'd respect you. But since you aren't, you don't deserve my respect. He has also told me that he doesn't consider us equals in the marriage; that when I earn and pay as much as he does, we'll be equals. Oh, yuk, yuk, yuk! Part of the problem is that you are now too burnt and angry to do what may be in your and your marriage's best interest.

I'm sorry! Ignore this, everyone, if this is too much of a downer! I feel so bad today; I need to broadcast my misery to the world! I am trying to cope, and do take responsibility for taking care of myself. I just resent being in this position; having to think about the ramifications of a separation and/or divorce. Well, why not give it a shot if you love him?

I think I'll go watch Bridges of Madison County. I know it's a little depressing, but I'm a real romantic, so I love it!

Oh--country songs. Thank God for Believers is a classic codependent anthem. The guy decides to change and thanks God for his woman, who stayed up all night praying for years. (I'm not putting that down, mind you! I've been monopolizing God's time lately with MY prayers)! A good upbeat, I'm taking my power song is Kiss This. I'll leave that one to your imagination!

Becky  Feel better...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

Dear Group,

This is Lynn. I just read C & K's success story and made me think of some things (that have been dealt with). Pertaining to sex. I've been bored twice in my life, always can find something to do, except this once. I told Dan I would like it if we had sex more often, Dan can be very passive and if he didn't think I would be receptive, he just wouldn't (past tense).

Well, the way he interpreted sex more often was "better sex" (this comes from a misrepresentation from sex sites & XXX I think). This was a 2 hour performance of dirty words, cartwheels and if we had a trapeze, I think he would have tried it. BORING...... After this I had a loooooong talk with him about what I meant. Even at my "old" age I could probably go to any bar at closing time and get this type of sex. That is not good sex, not better sex, nor fun sex. Simply animal stuff that our male dog could do (and possibly the need of a warm body).

Once we got over the definition of sex more often, we worked on.....so I have my hair in curlers. Didn't mean I might not consider. Just because I was reading a book didn't mean the answer was NO. And quit reading my mind. Maybe I'm just as interested and am thinking you are tired. This took a lot of work and hopefully this is behind us. Excellent!

No does not mean never. It seems we can get such screwy (pun intended) thoughts about sex that we lose the intimacy and closeness. There seems to be so much pressure these days on performance, which to me is silly. Blame it on our culture, which to me is silly.

I also used to love pretty undies & lacy nighties. With the comparison (even if it was in my mind, it was there) of XXX mags or whatever, I've become cotton from ankle to neck. There is not enough plastic surgery to ever pull me together to make me look like that, nor would I try. But I also don't think I'm so bad that the dog is going to bury me in the backyard. (At least she knows no cat  would ever bury her!)

Is this the degrading thing sex comparisons get us to ???? Like the "reassuring ?" message from Dan about the girl young enough to be my daughter. This doesn't reassure. Actually made me feel downright ugly. I didn't look like that 25 years ago! It's me I want him to like and admire. Stop twisting his words. Yes, what he said was kind of funny, but do you doubt for a second that you are the one he wants? Advice to angry victims trying to fix their relationship: Remember when you gave your partner the benefit of the doubt, especially when they were trying? Try it again; it's free!

Moral of this, so much to work out, but when sex gets to be required or demanded or performed on top of the rest of the stuff we're working on, we can really get baffled. Pop culture twists the intimacy of making love into impersonal, sex with no feeling.

I'm trying not to moralize here either. I was single for about 10 years and know the comforts of feeling we are loved, even if for a night or two. It seems to ease some pain and lonesomeness, but long term and forever it isn't. Real intimacy is about just two. With respect and integrity for both. Oh yes...

Reading these posts is why I asked if he thought of me having an affair. I didn't want to add that to his thinking, because I know that's not for me at this age. I had to reassure him that in the younger girls I can see the reasoning and comforts that they feel they can find, but I'd rather read a book than go through that with another man. Dan, too. It never would occur to me that he's out chasing. Good for both of you. That's one potential game you choose not to play.

No that we have that settled, we have lots to work on just so I feel loving again. I don't think for us women that sex makes it "all better" and men seem to feel think that it does. Because for most men, it does. And your man wants to make you happy, so he tries to do the "right thing" instead of feel what his body wants him to do... I always told Dan that good sex starts in the kitchen (or TV room) and then gently leads to the bedroom where I feel loving after being loved. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

Dear Becky,

This is Lynn. We must have been typing together. I hear you. Loud and clear. I can get like that, too. I want to shout when I feel anyone is listening to me. I also like to get good and depressed when I get depressed. Really wallow in it or about 2 or 3 days. Then I can get so sick of me in the pity party that I end up UP! 

Becky, I do worry about you. The depression maybe? I get angry, not depressed. Not that it's better, but I'd almost like to hear you shouting. Maybe I can get over some of my anger and lend it to you. I want to get angry at him for what he's saying to you. Us too Becky, though the doc is a bit nutty these days. First, she tells you guys you shouldn't be angry. Now, she agrees with Lynn that she'd rather see you angry than depressed. Go figure!

All I can send you is my love and prayers, but you are special to me. Watch your movie and I never heard of the Kiss (huh?) Someone come up with a happy theme song for us here. No, Trubble, it can't be Friends in Low Places. Oh, yea, why can't it ??? Might be appropriate after all ^_^ Giggle

On our blended families..... We just got an email from my late husband's daughter today. It figures, tho....

Love to all, Trubble, did the Doc ever get you a can of Pounce? Yum, Lynn NO!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

Dear Trubble,

Dan and I are here reading the posts and way way up I mentioned that I had to kick out of Poor Dan. I meant mentally. I'm not threatening to kick him our of the house..... who'd clean the cat boxes? Yeah! I just meant I cannot think of him as "poor Dan, the poor baby." Ya know, I betcha that about the last thing Dan wants you to think of him as is a "poor baby." He's Dan the big guy now, huh honey? Tell the Doc please that I posted on working it out. She saw it. Thanks, Lynn

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

Ack! I just wrote a big long post and somehow accidentally managed to hit reset! *wry grin*

Lots here to respond to, so I'm going to leave the campus computer lab, go back to my little laptop, and do some responding.

*distributes hugs and kitty treats*  Meow!

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn, Dr Irene, Trubble and everyone else. Well I'm jumping in again and I hope that you will bear with me because I have a few tidbits for some, hopefully won't raise Trubbles' hackles but I feel that all need encouraging words.

To AK Once again thanks for the extended (step parenting) family site. Your husband doesn't know what he's missing, but don't let him discourage you from embracing your family traditions. Lynn told you that we both were raised Catholic but no longer practice (much to our parents chagrin): we are into our own thing now. I work in the mountains everyday and that is my church, better than a building, I feel. Lynn just reminded me of the Medicine Wheel in the Big Horn Mountains Wyoming, one of the prettiest churches we have been to.

To Becky

Hang in there! I know new jobs take adjustment and especially when it deals with youngsters.

As for your husband's financial "statement" I have this story for you. One year I met a lady from PA who told me that she loved it here in MT, but couldn't see giving up her $16.00 per hour job to come here for a lesser paying job. I replied, "I don't make half of that, but I'm doing what I enjoy, where I enjoy and I'm happy with life." (of course I didn't tell her about Lynn's 1 point 2 million, Ha, ha :)  Giggle!

To Angry Girl,

Life will get better no matter the gossip or the truth. You just have to look at yourself in the mirror. You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself. Amen.

To All,

I know that I have to do my own work and that includes facing things which I have looked at, but not faced. Me-owww!

Our old therapist is into co-dependency not abusive behaviors, so I half heartedly worked on that which was/is one of the un-faceable things. Hopefully I'll be able to work on those as well as my verbal abuse.

About my dad. He was physically abusive to my brothers and me. I hated him for many years, then I found that he had been raised abusively. Once I got to know him as an adult, which wasn't long before he died, I was able to forgive him. He wasn't the no goodnik that I thought and as Dr. Irene thinks, because my mother "I feel" acted very shrewish with him. He was a heavy drinker and gambler for many years. He stopped drinking in 1964 after open heart surgery. He quit gambling when I went to Viet Nam, saying that he would not play cards for money until I returned.  He never played again for money. Wow. He could do it for you, but not for him self... In his own way he cared. No doubt. My mother is another story. I have to really work on issues with her which impact Lynn's and my relationship, although I try to put her out of my mind. Dan, I think your mom is an emotionally ill lady - a lost soul -  who intimidated the heck out of you, so I'm real glad you're revisiting that place. Try to feel Dan. Nobody but, nobody is all-good, all-bad, all-anything. Not mom, not dad, nobody. Let yourself hate her, love her, fear her. Remember feeling angry? Remember feeling sorry for yourself, it hurt so much? How unfair it felt? Try to touch some of the feelings you blotted out as a child. Try to see how she repeatedly compromised her self on behalf of her ego hurting you, her innocent child, in the process. See mom and dad's lessons: control of your feelings (distortion, denial), guilt, obligation, all at your self's expense. (So there is resentment too!) Too much! Ouchhh! Notice too how you sell your self out when momentarily not thinking about it, for a tad of relief when you are just reacting and blowing steam what's coming out of your mouth...  Dad too. He messed you up even though he did care and even though he regretted his actions at the end. Neither parent loved their self Dan. I have to also work on the issues between her and I apart from those issues concerning Lynn and myself. This may not or may explain my abusive behaviors. I will definitely work to achieve some semblance of normalcy without being overbearing.

Dr. Irene and Trubbles,

Putting this down has me smoking 2 cigarettes at once. I not sure if all of this has led to our present problems or if it's rooted somewhere else. It starts in childhood with mom and dad... You bring it with you to your relationship with Lynn, as she brings the aspects of her past she has not mastered.

Hope I didn't step on toes, but I felt that I had to put in my two cents worth. Feel free to step anywhere you want. You treat very lightly.

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2000

S1

To All I'm posting again just to let you know that right now, I'm feeling very low and wrung out like a dishrag. OK! I guess that putting things down in writing is one way of letting go of things which affect us. Yes. And, it helps you clarify exactly how you feel and what's going on in your head. I might have sounded defensive about my dad, but I never felt defensive nor was I trying to excuse his bigamy. You didn't come across as though you were excusing him...

This is a big joke among my brothers. their families, Lynn and myself. We found out by meeting his son and family a couple of year ago. When I asked my mother about where he was when I was born, she said in Army, when in reality he was in prison for auto theft in OK. Another of her lies. Ouchhh... The truth would have been preferable because I lived 40 years believing that he wasn't my dad and that was why he was abusive to me as a kid. Oh my... This is very hard to tell. Yes. Yet the truth sets us free... I have faced the fact that he was possibly looking for something that he wasn't getting with my mother. Yes. And as lacking as mom was aside, rest assured that the something he was looking for could only have come from inside himself... My youngest brother is 16 years younger than me, it seems like she would get pregnant to get him to stay. Poor mom... I know that many you have extreme difficulties in your life as do Lynn and I. I just had to get this down. My first post was very hard and I could use a good emotional movie right now, except that I have to retire. Work tomorrow.

Thanks for letting me sound off. Thanks for sounding off. That's why we're here Dan.

Trubble, chicken mixed with rice is a favorite of our cats. Is that a dinner invite?

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

S1

Trying this again and maybe I won't hit reset this time. :)

My dad's a great fan of the Cat Who series. I'm more into sci-fi and fantasy than mysteries, but someday I'll probably pick them up.

And I guess I'm the little kid of the Cat Box. (22, going to be 23 on the 23rd next month.) Not a new situation. I'm the little kid of my office -- most of them are old enough to be my mother and some even have kids my age! SatokoGirl and I seem to be the youngest "regulars" to the site in general. Me too!

And yes, communication between a black/white person and a shades-of-gray (or shades of rainbow) person gets confusing. I'm definitely not a black/white person. Most of the time. (See, there I go.) And strict Catholic background can create problems. It sure did within my parents' generation of the family. (I still joke about being a "recovering Catholic" at times, though my experiences growing up with the Church were comparatively positive - it's just not my path anymore.)

Becky, don't worry about being a downer. We all have our moments. Just don't get stuck there. And yes, the gap between saying "Yes, I see there's bad stuff happening" and "What can I do to fix it?" is sometimes far too big. In my case, it became a bottomless pit. And worse when one person is willing to work on fixing, and the other manages to say the right things JUST OFTEN ENOUGH that the first person thinks they're actually being listened to.... Been there, done that. Had quite enough, thank you.

And re: the sex thing, the variant with my ex was that "we need to improve our relationship" translated for him into his thinking he needed to be better in bed. Annoying when that was the one area where there wasn't a serious problem (consciously, at least -- I woke up near the end to the fact that sex was making him feel energized and me feel exhausted despite being fun for both of us, and that this was NOT a normal reaction for me with past partners -- after that I really didn't want to sleep with him anymore). One positive and appreciated thing I have to say for my ex, though, is that he NEVER ONCE made me feel uncomfortable with my body, or that I wasn't physically attractive enough for him. Whatever else was wrong, my appearance just wasn't up for his criticism. I always used to cringe when I read stories here and elsewhere from women who were hearing that from their SOs and think how lucky I was in that respect at least. (Enough to fix things? No. But something that was good, nonetheless.)

And I agree with Dan that so many times when people tell lies to spare feelings or (worse) reputations, the truth would have been much easier to face than the eventual unmasking of the lie. But we can't fix our families, just ourselves. Yes. And its especially nice to see a young person fix themselves. You have a whole, wonderful lifetime ahead of you...

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

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Lynn and Dan:

It's so nice to see both of you posting and *both* of you trying to work on things. Love your 1.2 million story.

Dan, you said: <<<<I work in the mountains everyday and that is my church, better than a building I feel.>>>

I feel the same way. Nature is very spiritual. I'm actually not a very traditional person. I just like to keep the family element strong by meeting for dinner or dessert or whatever. And holidays seem to be the only time everyone can get together. I don't really care about the gifts. In fact I think the less pressure and more fun or relaxing, the better!

also <<<<Hope I didn't step on toes, but I felt that I had to put in my two cents worth.>>> How can giving one's opinion be stepping on toes? 

My toes are strong enough to handle it. :) but seriously I don't see how you stepped on anybody's toes. Actually Dan, it's really nice to hear you talk about your feelings and your vulnerabilities. I wish a lot more men would do this. Maybe our culture has made this difficult. I don't know. It certainly has. Harder for men than for women, who are brought up and expected to cry...

Becky - when I'm facing a tough decision I try to look at life as a lesson book. I can avoid or deny the lessons, or I can take them on with zest - which choice will help me to learn the most I can in life? Sometimes the lessons require preparation, and sometimes it's hard to know exactly what the lessons are, but if you look back on it when you're 100 years old, what do you think you will want your choices to be? I'm not trying to be preachy, these are the questions I'm also asking myself at present. Excellent! Thought-full.

You know how when you do things in a dream that have no consequences and you wake up and you are horrified or proud of what you've done? I think life is really just an extended dream.

Actually speaking of dreams I had a really interesting one. I went outside and saw these ominous, surreal clouds that I thought were closing in on me, but what I suddenly realized was that the clouds were actually moving away from me and the sky became clear and blue. Cool, huh? Very cool! 

Dr I: I wouldn't say that my partner's path offends me, but I do get your drift. His path doesn't bother me at all if we are just friends, but I can't join him on his path. We share a business, which complicates things a fair bit. I've poured a lot of my heart (and finances) into it, and his talent and hard work have contributed a lot too.

Ideally, I would like to just not see him for at least a month, but the business makes it impossible. Now, we mainly just contact each other about the business issues and less and less about personal stuff. It would be easier not to contact him at all, but that's not a choice at this point.

The business has been all-consuming and I think it's time I found some social outlets besides this website :) Yes. People come here to learn and ponder. Then it is time to go into life and practice your lessons. We're here anytime you need a refresher...

I have learned a lot here though, and it's so great to see others really trying to work things out.

take care all  You too AK.

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

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Good Morning Cats (I saw that, by the way Trubble, It was Great),

Lynn here, So funny, we've been having a hard time with the keyboard. I put new batteries in this morning!

Before you guys get going on movies for Dan, I know my man.... It's For the Boys with Bette, too. Shades of 1st wives.

Dear Angry, You didn't seem quite as angry last night. Are you mellowing? I hope I am. The Cat Who series are quite cute. A bit above Nancy Drew (don't take a lot of thinking when the mind is in the cat box).. The only Sci Fi fantasy I've read is Yargo by Jacqueline Suzanne. I simply don't understand fantasy (except Disney). I like the facts. I'm glad you finally got through.

Hi AK, Thanks for the words of cheer. I loved your dream. Self explanatory I'd have to say. I don't blame you about the family stuff. I go to a lot of the family functions with Dan (Usually funerals) and sometimes I'd like to bag it, but some things we do have to grin and bear.

I liked your reference to 100 years from now. Reminded me.....years ago my son and daughter-in-law were having an affair, both married to others and no children. None of my business, I didn't get involved. But one day she called me long distance and asked what she should do ???? (Fair game if they ask, right Doc? You bet, trusted confidant.). I simply asked her where she wanted to be in life 25 years from now. They are now married and have 3 children, etc, etc, etc. I guess she answered her own question. You asked a good one.

I love the recovering catholic comment. :):) :) Actually, years ago I had a Catholic Priest tell me (I asked) he truly believe a good Mormon would get to heaven before a bad Catholic. Neat, huh? Yeah. But, he told me an awful cat would get there even firster.

Hi Becky, I hope you are feeling better. I'm doing good today. I'm even getting the gist of how to post in working it out. I have 3 posts in cyber limbo, but I'm sure I have said everything here. Take care of yourself. Cry over a good movie (doesn't that feel great?) and work hard and save lots of $$$. I'd love to share some of my 1.2 mil with you guys, but it's all tied up in my imagination. Anything left goes to CAT FOOD. Hey Trubble. Don't let Dan fool you. I'm the good witch with black cats. He rescued a baby orphan and they've bonded. White & Fluffy. He looks like a negative and if he wants Chicken and rice, the rest eat chicken and rice. Back to the music.... His name is Loco, after Pam Tillis' Welcome to my Crazy Life. Dan's Loco. And not only that, but he'll get to Heaven about the same time at the cat...

Dear Dan, Well, I have to tell you something after last nights posts, and group, too. Dan sleeps so rigid it's like he/you have rigor mortis. Gets in a fetal position, hands held and stretched out stiff in front and NEVER moves all night. Honest, I'm a night owl and I sit up reading in bed, and for 8 hours he/you never move. Last night you were on your back, on the other side, maybe getting some good REM's in. I am very proud of you. I know it isn't easy. Keep up the good work, tho...:) and thank you Dr. Irene. This type of therapy is so ......? I don't know the word. It's there in front of us, and it's less threatening (I think) than having to get eye contact with a stranger and "spilling your guts." Cyber shrunk :) We are still going Friday :) and I've emailed this site to her already. I hope she jumps in with you. New territory, but we've made more progress here than we had in years. Thanks.

Speaking of therapy, our old one was not ALL bad. She came up with a good one about Dan's mom. She does something called "Transference". She also has Dan confused with his Dad. Would really make sense in her mind that I took him away from her. My (big) problems with her started when we moved away from her town. Then I "made" him leave her, he promised he'd never leave her and I said to Dan years ago, it seems like we are a couple of teenagers fighting over the same jock. Makes total sense.  I could never figure what I did to her (probably nothing at start). Ah, well, we'll leave that for better minds than mine. I've got enough stuff to worry about. Like MY cats prefer salmon. Hear that Loco? Pass the word Trubble. Salmon and rice.

Loves, Hugs, Happiness, and lots of good things, Lynn P.S. Trubble, I heard you were in the cat house. I told Dan and my kids that when I die I would appreciate my obit to read that granny the good witch finally went to the big cat house in the sky ^_^ Meow!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

S1

Whoops, Lynn here again, I confused AK with Angry Girl in some, sorry. I guess I can refer to us as the A's as Dan and I are in AARP. That should cover it.

One little clear up about Dan's dad. The car he stole and went to prison for was his 2nd wife's dad's. He found out about the other marriage and Dan's dad was trying to get out of the state. Quick!! We have quite a laugh, because with two PG wives, the safest place for him probably was prison. Giggle! Poor guy... :) Dan's brother (the twin died) is 6 weeks younger. And what a nice man. He married her and then got her PG (other one, that is). That's where my sister in law and I were visiting last July. We just love his wife and the rest of the family. Lynn 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

S1

Dear group,

Lynn here, AK (Little Kid) we just read what you replied to David at Buddha. Good. Mine wasn't about other women and I'm not suicidal, but I've certainly wished I were dead a time or two.

Is this not Bizarre? The front page of our weekly paper reads "Our Town in "Big 8" in Playboy. One of the 8 choices of places to live. Good grief. You know, there is no such thing as coincidence...

I think all is well today. I just ordered 3 pair of shoes. And I'm well. This use to be my fix it for all ails, and some in the family call me Imelda. :) Lovingly, I think. As long as you are bewitching, who cares! Had a really bad one once and bought 8 pair. Really funny because it was 8 pair of plastic sandals in 8 colors. This is really funny, because they turned into my favorite shoes and so if you see anyone constantly in plastic sandals, It's me! !!

Oh, I referred to Dan in the working on the marriage post and this is so cute. He called me to come jump his truck once as he didn't have his battery cables with him. He didn't know where they were. About 2 weeks later he was helping the neighbor girl with her truck and found his cables in the bed of her truck. He wondered how they got there. I replied with a twinkle, that's probably where you used them last. :) This is one thing that use to irritate me the most about him and it's now so endearing, I hope he doesn't get well enough to put his stuff away. See, I do like the guy. We know! Cyber Hugs, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

S1

Hi Dr Irene, Trubble and other litter box family. I think that this is going to be a short one tonight as I really poured out some stuff last night, not that I regret it, it did me some good. Lynn wrote that I usually sleep in one position and don't move but last night I did, sleep like a normal person. I asked her if I tossed and turned, she said no, just moved like normal people when they sleep. I tossed and turned, sleeping in one position has been my style for many years, I guess it goes with not remembering my dreams. Whenever I did sleep like a normal person, I would have flashes of my dreams. I also must say that it partially comes from my VN service as you slept when you could and usually weren't in the position to move around. Some memory to be carrying around Dan. I'm glad your facing all your stuff opened you up enough to be able to sleep more normally. Kind of like a weight being lifted, no?

Lynn also made reference to LOCO (you mean Dan's LOCO) who got his name from the song welcome to my crazy life, not so his name came from his eating and drinking like he couldn't fill up. It was about 20 degrees out and he was under a cord of wood crying like a banshee, so cold that when we got him out he was cold to his bones. He attached himself to me, but he gets the same food as the other 6 cats. :):):) All of Lynn's cats aren't black, by the way, the youngest one we got from a neighbor who took him out of her heater venting, is a tabby. Looks like you Trubble. Meow! He even nurses Lynn's' elbow. The rest of our menagerie includes a Basset Hound, Kittie, because that is all he would answer to when he was a pup smart doggy, a Border Collie, Sweetie, who we adopted from an abusive (we as well as our Vet think) home. A cockatiel, Kirby, from the movies Topper, 2 parakeets, Buffalo Bird Cody and Jazzmine, two aquariums of platties and guppies and a garden spider, Chubby. Who needs youngsters running around? I should say that these animals are very dear to both of us so that is another reason why, I have to conquer my abusive tendencies. I would like to let you all know that I have been verbal but never physical. I have been angry enough at times but have never. That is one thing that my Dad made sure to be clear on, as well as Lynn could probably make mincemeat of me. I have buried my anger for so long that it is a normal part of me to continue to do this, it is an area that I have to work on. And, you're off to a fine start. By the way... We lost a little green frog today. He drowned in our pond's skimmer...

Dr Irene, Lynn asked me today when I came home if I had written you since I jumped in, as you know I haven't, and if you wouldn't mind, I'll continue here as well as the working website, because I'm thinking a lot of my inner turmoil which is the root of my verbal abuse (I think) and your help as well as everyone else's input is really helping me. Great! I've told Lynn about my youth but very few other people, I do have a friend who knows but he and I grew up together. He is the epitome of true friend, to my way of thinking. I haven't read Buddha yet, but that is on my agenda for this weekend, as I will probably read it quickly but return to it and take it more slowly. Read it, but you won't fully appreciate it yet. This is a book about taking control of your life. Every nanosecond is a choice you make. Lynn has shown me that being cybershrunk has it's advantages, because like group therapy (I think) everyone can tell their thoughts without feelings of anger or resentment towards a person getting in the way. To everyone I read your stories about your SOs' and to tell you the truth, I can see a little of me in them all. That for me is very eye opening as I never thought that I had that type of personality and it truly makes me ashamed. Well, as I tell my clients: "Every time you go into a yukko place like shame, pity pot, etc., I want you to hear my voice in the back of your head saying: GET OUT NOW!" Notice it; feel it; let it go; just hear it's lesson... Well so much for short.

Trubble, the chef's blend dry is better for your teeth and coat. YUK! You eat dry blend! Lynn invited me for Salmon!

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

S1

Dear Cat Box kittens,

Lynn here, Dan and I are sitting and talking carefully. We both agree......What do you do after you wake up ?? Smell the Roses! Lynn  And cat boxes...

Dan here

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2000

S1

Dan here, Hit the wrong button with Lynn's post and so it was sent before I put in what I was going to say. Smell the roses is a good term for accepting and I feel that we all have accepted the wake up call. That is the impression that I have, I know that I have, of course, it's like the old joke "How do you get a mules attention? Hit him with a 2X4!" With me it was a 8X12, which probably broke upon contact but it worked. Thanks to LYNN (who gave you such a hard time), Dr Irene, Trubble and you all. I will get my life straightened out. :)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

Dan and I have been faithfully following David in Buddha. We've tried to give him courage that there might be a life ahead for him. This is where we came up with you got a wake up call. Now stop and smell the roses. If you feel this would demoralize him, go ahead and zap it, I certainly don't mean to hurt him. If not, (can you zap it to him at Buddha?) I'd like to tell him to let her go. The good witch thinks it may not be in the stars. I feel like there is Tunnel Vision affecting your thinking at this time and you think there is no life without "getting her back." David, there is a life. Yours. Use this knowledge so you don't make the same mistakes again. Use this to be the best father you can be. You do sound like you want to work it out, but work it out for David. That should be all the light you need at the end of the tunnel. I see a good future for you. You have done a lot of work. It just may be David's future tho.. Not David and ........ David, there is life after divorce, there is life after death. David, live the rest of your life for David. You had a wake up call. Now stop and smell the roses. Hugs, Lynn  I'm not zapping nothing. You know how to type. I've already mentioned this to David, but I will say it again for his benefit and everybody else who needs to hear it. When the victim gets to the point that s/he wants out, they are burnt out; fed up; they've had it. They push push push the abuser away; they don't for a minute trust him/her. If these two get together again, it is almost without exception not until after the victim has really dumped the abuser and the abuser has finally let go. The crazy thing is that the act of letting go and getting on with life has put some wonderful personality touches on the abuser. If the victim's anger is going to melt, it will happen as the abuser is moving on with life. If there is love on both sides, now is the time to reinvent their marriage... 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000

S1

Hi all.

Lynn and Dan - you two have such a sense of humor. Lynn, I love your version of the smiley emotion ^_^ - reminds me of me looking at myself in the mirror when I get up in the morning. Hey, doncha see the cat? Look at the ears! And Dan with his "8X12, which probably broke upon contact" - I had to laugh at that. A sense of humor will surely help you both to make it through all this. Oh yes! And any couple with that many animals has to have some strong nurturing qualities. I love the "garden spider, Chubby". I have several of those in my own house, but don't have names for them (yet). :)

As for the "AK (Little Kid)" yes I'm a kid inside, and 30 something on the outside with biological time-clock ticking. Which is partly why it's important for me to get on with my life at this time.

I have been in contact with my partner only for business purposes and he's followed the cue and has started to do the same. I'm resisting feeling hurt because I know that doing anything else will slow down the process of "moving on". There is no sign of any revelations from his end and I'm less hopeful that there will be. It does make the whole thing clearer for me. We have managed to keep our communications respectful, but short.

I think I am really ready to let him go.

I am also resisting the urge to think about where he is, what he's doing etc. When the though comes into my head I shut it down immediately and think about my own future plans.

I know the future is bright for me, and really, I don't regret the experience with him. I have learned and experienced a lot. I want to stay in this headspace and not move into the "poor me" victim thoughts. Yeah!

have a great day.

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000

S1

Dear Group,

Good morning (10:48 to me), I guess I didn't have to worry about David. The rest of you told him what I thought.

I was reading mine, too. I guess I'm getting chilled as I'm remembering things I like about Dan. Giggle. I read his posts. :) My, my, was he a little defensive about Dan's LOCO? :) Actually I'm happy for him to have a pet he adores. They are adorable together. He seldom ever cracked a smile. This cat is bringing out happy crows feet and dimples I never knew he had. ^_^

Tomorrow we go to our 1st session. At 9 AM. Dan is taking the whole day off. If he should drop out of this one, I'd better stay, eh Trubble?

Talk to you all later, Love, Lynn  Let us knows how it goes

 B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000

S1

Hi Everyone,

Lynn here, Sorry about the double entries. We have web TV and when I submit and put the keyboard on the coffee table the cats walk on it and re submit. Hey, no problem! Now that I "got it" I will go elsewhere. They can get their own therapy.

Speaking of.....Is this a test or not? New therapist just called and had to cancel tomorrow as her mother is in the hospital. YIKES! Thank God for you guys and Dr. Irene. You too, Trubble. The new therapist can't get your website. Might have been the way I sent it. Who knows. If (when) we get to see her I will see if I can explain it. Or get her permission for you to send it to her ?? OK? Yeah!

Dear Dr. Irene,

We can get attachments at WebTV. We just can't attach or send them.

Sense of humor or what? The pets are all Displaced, misplaced, orphans or otherwise needy. I know I can't have them all, so we have to pick and choose the neediest. Lovely one with Dan. The last cat that came into our lives was an older male whom we saw outside limping. Dan and another neighbor caught him with some "Mixed Grill." :) He had an open wound and an obvious broken leg. I insisted we take him to the vet (We have a GREAT ONE) and get the leg fixed. Dan simply stated, "Well, you may as well get him neutered and all his shots in case he decides to stay." Compound "old" fracture. Vet fixed him up and hence he's Tripod. He decided to stay as I found another home for him. He said "NO." !

Name those spiders. The fat one lives outside the TV room screen. He's a beauty. Yuk.

The decision to leave or stay is a toughie, isn't it? I never would regret a moment I spent with any of mine. Learned and got something from all. It's just that I really would rather retain this one than break another one in. I think this might be different for all of us.

And yes, ain't it funny? AARP and sex sites. I'm not saying we can't have sex. I'm just saying I think we got that silly stuff out of our systems years ago and now it's time for the 2 people closeness.

Have to run.. A few errands.

Love to All and Thanks a bunch, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000

S1

Dear Angry girl,

Lynn here. I guess you get the juniority. AK, if Dan and I are the Seniors, you must be middle aged? Good perspective and you can help where you've been and see where you are going. Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000

S1

Dear All, Home from work, checked out the posts here and then went to Buddha, had to comment to him before I did here. Dr Irene and Trubble, I said yesterday that I would continue to post here if you didn't mind, but if I feel that I have to talk with you about something private, I would appreciate posting to your personal address, if you don't mind. I have been doing a lot of thinking and haven't come to any definite conclusions other than I need the help which is offered here as well as a therapist. I guess one thing is for certain, I can see what is happening with other people and can offer advice, but I can't see the barn for the wall where my personal life is concerned. That's normal!  Lynn has told me many times that she needs to talk, I didn't listen for hearing. I have to agree with you Dr Irene, I was comfortable, too comfortable, in our lifestyle. Lynn kept saying that she needed a life, I didn't understand. My parents fought quite a bit, and I didn't want that in a relationship. I mentioned that my Father was abusive, so I decided that I wasn't going to be, so I went to the other extreme with my Daughter. I spanked her three times in her life, the last time, I was enraged at her mother and took it out on her. It dawned on me that I was acting just like my Dad. I can almost pinpoint the date when I started to withhold my anger, and it has carried through to this day. I used to be so pleased with myself, because I would let things that angered me not show outwardly, but the turmoil inside was just as bad because I would get angry at myself for not expressing it to the person who upset me. This is BIG. Good stuff! This site has helped a little, because Lynn was trying to help me with the above, asked me if I would rather do it myself, I said yes. No resentment I know that she was really trying to help! (Lynn here, Dan, I loved it. Thank you, this shows me there is progress, because I asked you a simple question and you answered with one word :) I can live with that. If I didn't want the answer, I wouldn't have asked the question. Thanks, Lynn) The therapist had some personal business to take care of so she had to cancel. Lynn asked if I was going to go to work or take the day off as planned. I'm still going to take the day off, after the last two weeks I feel that we need it. I always ponder over things, I'm not impulsive usually, probably count the times that I have been, since Lynn and I have been together, on two fingers, maybe three. This is not one of those times, I recognize that I need help and am willing to carry through. Now to a lighter side, Lynn posted that Loco has brought out crows feet and dimples that she didn't know I had, it's really not Loco, it's age. (Or Lynn...) Right now the kitten is nursing Lynns' elbow with his blankee. And I'm Locoized? Yep. AK, thanks for your words of encouragement, and I hope that things work out for you both personally and with the business. As long your husband has realized that the only association that you have with him is business connected I think that things will be better for you. A hug from me. Well enough of my rambling, Angry Girl, take care, and a hug from an abuser, smoker and an all around puzzler. Becky, hope that the kids haven't driven you out the door yet. Take care and a hug. Lynn, I'll give you the hug personally. Dr Irene, thanks for being here Trubble, I guess a good back scratch for you. Dan :)

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn and Dan

I am really happy to see Dan's input on this board. You can see that every time you post, Lynn just lights up with good things to say about you. It really is worth it isn't it? Also I enjoy this because it gives me some faith that there some men are willing to do this kind of very tough personal work.

As for me, I'm having a downer day. I really haven't posted much about my personal situation and about why I came specifically to this board, but I can tell you that I had typed in the words "controlling behavior" and "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde"- into the search engines and that's how I ended up here.

After reading through the red flag pages and other information here I finally felt I had an explanation for my partner's behavior. Before, I thought it was attention deficit disorder, but that never seemed to fully explain it. ADD could be a part of it, but, not all...

We had the "communication problems" that continually baffled me, whenever I felt something bad about something he did and expressed that, he would say he felt that exact thing about me.

Because we were so involved in the business I didn't at first see how my core of friendships were getting smaller and smaller. If I participated in an outside activity, he would be surprised I had "time" for that and I found myself participating less and less because I knew that there would be subtle consequences; i.e. his disapproval.

He was jealous of my interactions with male clients. At one point he accused me of gawking at a client. I was really shocked that he felt that way and I felt extremely uneasy about this reaction from him. He said he had strange vibes when I spoke to one of his male friends (I was never invited to visit with that friend again), and threw a fit when an out of town friend of his spent more time talking to me than him. Then, on Xmas eve, a friend of his came over and I made the fatal error of sitting down with the two of them to talk, after his friend's insistence to do so. My partner was really angry with me and I couldn't figure out why at the time. He kept saying "you know why", but I didn't. Not until I got back from my parents after Xmas and he finally told me.

He moved out in March of this year, and at one point he seemed to have a bit of a revelation, saying he had "lived have of his life this way" and didn't want to replay it for the next half. He was referring to the jealousy and anger. There was a short period when he was saying sorry to me for things instead of being angry, which was wonderful. I thought that change could be possible.

There have been some extremely difficult financial and personal challenges for him and now I see him going straight back to the old behavior. As you know, I've been accepting that I have to really let go of the relationship but we've continued our business partnership.

Well today I had someone over at my place and he was over at the same time. I mentioned to this woman that I was going to be taking a couple of evening classes (I had told him this too, but he didn't know that I had registered). After she left he asked about the classes. I told him that yes I had signed up, that I needed to get on with my life and focus on something else besides just him and the unhappiness in his life (okay, so I wasn't very tactful, but I was honest). He responded with "well if you need to move on then it's time that I did too". I said, "yes you should". When he got back to his apartment he emailed me a note saying "Consider our relationships, both personal and business, terminated as of today. I am no longer available for any work for/with you" and "I don't even like you anymore". This isn't the first time I've heard this kind of stuff.

These are the consequences for my decision to take some night classes and for sincerely expressing my unhappiness about my past choices to focus on him and his problems, and not on myself. I realize that our work is the only thing left he can manipulate me with, and so that's what he's doing.

Well, I must be strong and rebuild my life and job with no expectations of help from him. I don't want to be in a position like this where he can affect my client work on a whim. It won't be easy, but this continuous cycle of hurt is not easy either.

Sorry to blather on and on. I'm just feeling very hurt and vulnerable right now.

thanks for letting me vent. Keep venting! You're doing good kiddo.

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

Dear AK,

Lynn here, I just reset your answer from me, so I'll try again. I remember I wrote vent, vent and vent. I think it's very therapeutic. I was packing around a lot, what I said was like I was a "red cap", that's old train talk. Once I wrote it down here and we both read and re read, most of it went away. Even without discussion.

We joined an email list here called working it out. Someone mentioned something called "shape shifters." Someone else didn't know what it meant, so I speculated form us. I came p with 15 reasons or things that Dan did when I wanted to talk to him. She wrote back, yep, but originally they were from Star Trek and changeable blobs. Oh! said I, like from the movie the Sting when the guys would rub their index finger alongside their noses. It meant "the Con is On."

See. We understand. I'll let Dan tell you what he said about your H. Then we had a few words and it was like Oh, Bingo!

Thank God we don't have jealousy. We were out drinking, dancing, singing karaoke (sp?) shooting pool and generally having fun. I started to chase the cute little bartender behind the bar telling him if I was only 20 years younger, etc., generally making a fool out of myself and scaring him (he should have never given me the edge), and Dan just sat back and laughed. See. When he's good I can remember the good.

I almost blew it today. We went to town. About 70 miles north. Dan was driving MY CAR and something happened to it. I got into a snit. Really, I'm quite good at these. I even said, "well, just let me drive it home." It wouldn't even run. I THANK ALL of you here. What was the big deal? We limped over to the car lot where we bought the old one, and bought a new (to us) one. This one ought to run longer as it has paint on it :)

Now I'll let Dan reply to your post. Oh, one last. I agree with what you wrote David. I've spent enough time with him tho......I have my own life to fix. Hugs, Lynn

Dear AK,

Both Lynn and I read your post to this site and to Buddha and then returned here.

I must say go for it, and if your husband wants no more business dealings with you, build up your own clientele. Sounds a though you may have a good base. It's never to late for school. Go for advancement, to learn new areas, or just for the excitement which school will bring. I went back to school in my 30's and the only strange (strange funny) part was, when I was taking history, I had lived through a lot of it, where the younger students had just read about it. I did get a degree with a ot of work and perseverance, I feel that you will be successful also.

 

Anyway when we got to where your husband emailed you, I turned to Lynn and said "Doesn't that sound childish?" She then showed me her version of how I came across when I asked for the paper to look for a place, thinking that she wanted me out. It is funny, we both get a good laugh about it and I didn't get defensive (This site must be helping) hehehe!

When her CAR quit today, I could feel that she was getting angry, I felt myself start to get defensive and then I thought Wait a minute, you didn't do anything wrong, and I chilled out, it felt rather good. Does this mean that I'm going with mature intelligence rather than childish feelings of guilt? Yes! You stopped yourself from jumping all over yourself and beating you up, like you are used to doing. When we got to the car lot, she picked out the car she wanted, a station wagon which just happens to be Red, which is her favorite color. Its a full time 4 wheel drive, which can be very useful here. I let her do all the bargaining, and never said a word until she and the salesman agreed on it. She negotiated like an old pro and this from a lady who doesn't like to barter. I was very proud of her, and thought that it was a good deal.

Hugs and best wishes

Dan                    Purrrs and snuggles...for Dan!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

Oh, Lynn here with a P.S.

I found this site typing self help in the search area. Now if our new therapist will read the cat box I won't have to repeat it again.

AK, keep spewing, venting and erupting here. We'll give you the volcano site :) Dr. Jeckyl and Mrs. Hyde :) Tell it all, and then Que Sera Sera. (We use to call this phonetically.... Q Sarah Sarah), "Hitchcock movie song", Lynn 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

Dr I - that weird thing happened where my submission disappeared while you were editing - I'll resubmit here and you can delete my response to this response, if that makes any sense (the submission I made after shows up, but not the first) Boy, am I confused. I am supposed to take this copy below and put it exactly where? I'm thinking you mean just before your post that starts: "I am really happy to see Dan's input on this board. " Please email to let me know.

Hi Lynn and Dan

It sounds like you guys were able to deal with the car situation in a healthy way - Lynn, able to recognize her "snit" and Dan realizing that he's not responsible, and shrugging it off. This is great! Even laughing about the incident about looking for the newspaper means that you two are in a good head space.

Received more emails saying that it was *me* who wouldn't work on the relationship, says I'm "rubbing his nose" in about the evening classes, I said in my email: "I don't want to focus on all the negative stuff going on in your life, that's all. I want to make the most of my life and we have some value differences regarding traditions and family that don't seem to be resolvable. I am just facing the reality of this."

In response he says "Thanks for your support."

He also said "And just because I don't like you doesn't mean I don't wish you well."

I said: "I don't believe that you don't like me. I think you're anger is taking hold of you here, and I won't let it take hold of me." Nice.

In response he said: "I loved you too much. That's why I don't like you, because I feel betrayed." This is an honest statement.

(Remember this is a result of my decision to take some evening classes, and having told him that I couldn't keep focusing on his unhappiness.)

I also addressed his response to my having said I felt "I don't like you" was an abusive thing to say. How is "I don't like you?" abusive? This could be abusive in how it is said: tone of voice, body language, etc. But, he wrote this in an email. He didn't feel he was being abusive. I said: "I know some of the things you've said and done to me are abusive. I know because after you've done it, if I buy into it, I feel awful, worthless, devalued, and degraded, but guess what? I don't buy it anymore." Good. You shouldn't, but lets clear this up a bit. If "I don't like you" creates yukky feelings in you, that is probably a function of your codependency wanting to hear affirmations. That makes this one your problem, not his. 

"You are a B%%%%" is abusive because he is passing universal global judgment and calling you names." "I don't like you" is a statement of his feelings. Yes, it may hurt; but it is how he feels. 

Here's where I think the problem occurs: Just because his statement hurts does not make you an awful, worthless, devalued, etc. person. How he feels about you does not change anything about you!  

This is what I think happens: When you receive negative feedback, you automatically launch into (irrational) negative devaluation type thinking. Your devaluations create your bad feelings because you tend to believe them. So, you have made yourself feel badly without realizing you did it.

If he says to you, "I don't like you," your thinking leaps into something along the lines of, "I am not OK; there is something wrong with me that he doesn't like me; I must be liked; I try so hard; what have I done not to be liked..." and so on. This type of automatic thinking typically goes on just beneath the level of awareness. But, pay attention. See if you can identify it because it simply is not true! Yet, you react emotionally as though the irrational thinking is fact and you feel yukky. 

You insert self-devaluations which make you feel badly when given negative feedback. Then you blamed him for the bad feelings you created by suggesting his statement was abusive!  His statement could be construed as abusive only if you buy into your own negative thoughts! 

The good news: If you have acquired the bad habit of putting yukky thinking in your head, with attention and practice, you can learn to substitute new, healthier thinking habits that don't make you feel badly. This is what I mean by terms like "fixing yourself", "taking responsibility", "taking your power", "getting rid of your buttons" and the like. You are in control of you! This goes for victim and abuser.

This is what cognitive behavior therapy books like Guide to Personal Happiness and Choose to be Happy: Your Step-by-Step Guide teach you to do.

He says back: "Guess what? You've been extremely abusive yourself, and were so today." You probably were abusive without realizing it - since it is likely that you do make yourself feel badly and then get  mad at him for what he didn't do more than you would imagine.

(Again the conversation was, "Yes I'm taking classes, and I need to move on in my life, I can't keep focusing on the unhappiness in your life." - I was *not* angry saying this, just bluntly honest - I didn't tiptoe carefully, I just said what I felt - extremely abusive words? I think not. No more abusive than his "I don't like you." This is his way of turning it all around. Which he probably does since he "loved you too much," and he's also probably making the same type of cognitive errors you are. This stuff is split-second. It adds up. It is big! I admit that after he has pushed and pushed I have, on a few occasions spewed back at him and regretted it, but this was after being attacked first. I'm just realizing that he's so manipulative that here I am justifying, and there's nothing for me to justify!!) Correct. Nothing to justify. But dumping more on him than his due is not OK either. Nor can you let him do same to you!

And then (turning it around some more) he says: "...But you know, all this carrying on is making me lose respect for you. That will destroy the value of any good memories I have left. Can we stop and just say goodbye?"

When I think about this, if my mom or my friends knew he was saying this kind of stuff to me, or even if I knew someone else this was being done to I would say, "This is *not* healthy". I've heard this kind of stuff again and again and forgiven it every time.

He just doesn't get it, does he? I don't think either of you really get it yet.

I hope and wish for an apology, some healthy introspective from him, some signs of him working on himself, but no I get reprimanded from him for my withdrawal of "support". I just don't have any support left to give. Actually right now *I* need support, but he doesn't see it, maybe never will.

So sad. He has such wonderful traits, such huge potential, but if I continued to commit to trying to work things out with him I would be putting myself at risk.

I love the business and really liked to work with him, but it looks like I really can't safely keep the business relationship. There will be a lot of untangling as we share the same clients and the community we live in can't support 2 of the same businesses.

I almost feel like moving, but financially that would be really tough unless the right opportunity came up.

And yet I still love him.. so crazy isn't it? Nope. Not crazy.  

Thanks for giving me "the volcano section" - yes it really helps to vent.

thanks for replying - take care you two.

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 15, 2000

S1

HEADLINES Mount AK erupts! Wow!! Good for you. Lynn here, Doesn't it feel great? Your H sounds a tad bit controlling. Oh, I have to ask what you are rubbing his nose in? Then I love the repeat. You're making me angry, too. Maybe its true... Dan tried that. We have a cockatiel and if I wanted my words repeated back to me I would have gone and talked to the bird. Giggle.. He quit and went on to other tactics......behind us now!

I'm with you on telling the friends, parents. I don't either, then if you forgive them, they don't.

Dr. Irene might be right about the wake up call. You may have to leave him to get his attention. Would he read this? That's hw I got Dan's attention. I emailed to Dr. Irene, then I showed Dan what I wrote and said, "When I'm gone, here's why I left you!" He read a couple of other emails and said WOW! Do I sound like that???? Yep, says I. Now it's your 3 minutes, make them worth your while. Has he ever. Some Punkins' :)

Got a fun one out of today. Remember my shoe fetish?? Well I said, if I think (I love this Trubble, with our old therapist I couldn't think, I HAD to say feel) you are dinging up my car, I'll go buy another one. He had the grace to laugh. ^_^ He apologized to me, too. He thought it was Soldiers Field in Chicago. I said it was Soldier Field and went and looked it up. He said, I'm sorry, you were right. This is tough for Dan to do (WAS tough). Watch how wonderfully strong he gets as he gets more and more comfortable with being able to mess up!

Not full honeymoon yet. I'm sure we'll both mess up a time or two, but that's life, huh Trubble (and LOCO)? Notice how LOCO is spelled upper case? Lovingly, Lynn

Keep Spewing AK, Lava all over the pages. Makes ya feel good :) Lynn

Dear AK

I probably don't have much room to talk, but my feelings are, your H doesn't have much respect for you anyway. Is afraid that by taking some evening classes that you will outshine him? If he is going to lose any good memories of your life together, then he must feel that there weren't many. Even though my 1st wife and I broke up rather messily there are still some good times that I remember. As far as the business goes, if you can, pull a Diane Keaton (1st Wives Club) on him. I loved that show because the underdogs won. That would definitely get his attention, although from what you said, he would try to lay a guilt trip on you, don't let it, please.

The support that you aren't getting from him, you will get from friends and family, although it's not the same and you will get it here also. Right fellow boxers, Dr Irene and Trubble? You bet! Although, my support doesn't always feel very supportive at first...

Give yourself one for the gipper! (Do you know who the gipper was?) A gipper? Is a gipper something you can eat?   Trubble from now on will be talking in his own color followed by his "signature." Some of this stuff would never come out of my mouth!

Embraces and best wishes

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Hello, all! First, to AK, I feel for you! I know what it's like to be punished for taking a stand. I've been much more assertive lately about what I will and will not tolerate, and my husband has responded by informing me that I'm becoming more "unstable!" I guess that's to be expected.

To Dr. Irene, you say that I may be too angry and burnt to do what's best for my marriage. What is best? To hang in there and change tactics, as you mentioned, or separate, thereby making a definite and unmistakable statement? Either way. My job is to get you to think. You advised me to tell him what I want: to hold my hand, to tell me that he loves me. Problem is, I don't believe that he does love me. Right now, I'm feeling that if he truly loved me, he'd want to deal with this. Instead, he seems more interested in avoiding the whole subject. Too painful for him to deal with possibly? He seems to want to live moment by moment: if he isn't abusing me NOW, this very minute, why am I complaining? I've explained that I've learned that I can't draw an easy breath - the abuse will show up sooner or later. And your job is not to let it. However you need to do that, do it.

I reached a crisis point last June when we were on a weekend trip. We were having such a nice time! The last day, he got mad because I "contradicted" something he wanted to do. He retaliated by making snide remarks about the cost of the room. We NEVER stay in expensive places; this was the first time in our ten year marriage that we stayed in a room with the "works" - Jacuzzi, king sized bed, etc. Hey, about time! We decided on this room together; he'd been loving it! I told him how unfair I thought he was being. This earned me a string of dirty names. Ugh. That was hurtful enough, but considering that not long before he'd been very romantic (if you get my drift) I was devastated. So much so, that I threw up!  

Anyway, something inside of me broke. Later, he apologized, said he didn't want to hurt me. But all I can think is, that he's not so sorry that he's willing to get some help for himself; he's not so sorry that he's unwilling to take the chance that he'll hurt me again. And I've been asking myself this: Why am I willing to take that chance? As long as I'm here, I'm taking that chance. OK.

My therapist tells me that some people are psychologically unable to change yes, and I'm afraid that this may be true of him. There are other things about him - the way he thinks and acts, his general outlook on life that to me anyway, indicate a fundamental insecurity and mistrust of the world. (I won't get into it, but some things would be considered odd or at least eccentric). He seems to resent the "rules," and will try to get around them sometimes. He's told me that I'm "honest to a fault," yet he doesn't trust me. (He was criticizing me about the honesty, by the way. He's gotten mad at me when I've unwittingly spoiled his attempts to get around the rules). He's got some significant issues.

I do love him, but I'm afraid of him, I don't trust him to not hurt me. Nor should you. The way he thinks scares me sometimes, and I absolutely hate it when he tries to evade the rules (like his attempt to get internet hook-up cheaper by pretending that we already had it, but wanted to switch providers). Boy, does he compromise his integrity!

Bottom line: I'm afraid I married a man with a severe personality disorder, and that there's no hope! Becky, there is always hope. But, the hope is in his hands and right now he's not hearing you.

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

Hi Trubble, HI LOCO, I think I got one zapped, too. And we're really getting confusing. We just read AK's posts in David at Buddha. What is fun to me, I use to be a bartender and I can keep 12 or more conversations going at once and then return to the thought 2 weeks later. Heigh Ho! I'm in my element. Maybe I can figure out some kind of warning system for when I'll be editing?

What I wrote was we are on the edge of our seats waiting for the next installment like we are watching a serial. "The Perils of Dan's LOCO and Trubble." ^_^ Meow!

I'm so sorry about the frog. I have 2 in the tank and I collect frogs. :(

I'm getting ahead of your replies, Dr. Irene, but this works so good for me. Getting it out, getting it over and getting on with life. (Dan thinks I'm rushing a tad, because I want to get well yesterday and visit you Cool Cats once or twice a year). Ok, I'll give it a little, but for all my venting I have a big one I want to get out and let go.

About 5 years ago one of my very best friends committed suicide. Ouchhh! This was touchy as he was a former boyfriend (hate the term), and after we got over that, we became very close friends. He was the kind of friend who was always there for me. Well, Dan had met him, he was never a secret and I don't think this was about jealousy. I grieved and was devastated. I asked Dan to talk to me about this. He got cool, cold and told me, "Well, from what you told me, he just did what he wanted to," and then basically told me to get over it. I'm even having a hard time writing this now and I thought I DID deal with it. We deal with stuff in layers. We revisit stuff to deal with some more of it until, finally, most all the layers are dealt with.

Well, not an issue and nothing to fight over, but I think tonight I will ask for a hug, just because I was hurting then (obviously still am) and I want a hug just because I lost my friend. End of story! Why not also ask Dan why he reacted as he did? My guess is he was stunned at how hurt you felt at the loss of your friend - and wondered if you cared as much about him...  But ask him. These days, you'll probably get a candid answer if he can recall.

That's the last BIG one in my life and I think it's time to put that behind me and not let it cloud the future. I want to head into this new Dan without any Samsonite, packed. Good stuff.

As for his (LOCO is sitting in front of the TV right now!) m-o-t-h-e-r I will leave it to you, Dan, the new therapist (if we ever catch up with her), and just work on the moment (loved the 10 minutes at a time :).

Brief Honeymoon, we may take OUR new car and drive through the Park tomorrow (Yellowstone). I love it best after season when we are among the very few there. We do have moose, deer and bears roaming through the heart of town, but it's nice to see them where they belong. Beautiful Place.

Thank You. I feel better already.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Dear Becky and Dr. Irene,

My last post was thanks to Becky's earlier post. I still needed to be held. I asked and was. Thanks heaps, Too emotional to post more right now...... Glad to hear from you Becky. I'll get back soon. Just needed to say I Love You All, Thanks, Lynn :)

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Hi Lynn, Dan, Becky, Dr I, Trubble, and anyone else lurking...

Yes - my posts were quite confusing. I posted something while Dr. I was editing which got deleted and I had left something out so I posted an additional post to explain. But then I realized I had accidentally posted (the additional post) to the Buddha section. So I went back and posted it to the cat box and both my cat box posts got deleted. I reposted here (fixed the part that made no sense) and the accidental Buddha post makes no sense at all. Yikes! Sorry AK...occupational hazard. If you email us here and be real specific about what you want added or zapped from each board, I'll ask Trubble to get to it. If you don't want to bother, no big deal. The boards have "character." 

Oh well, kinda echoes my life right now... hehe

Lynn, you said: "Dr. Irene might be right about the wake up call. You may have to leave him to get his attention. Would he read this?"

We've been separated since March (he's in an apartment). I once posted to a different forum about some of my relationship concerns. I told him about it and he posted back as AK's "ex", said that he felt betrayed and that if AK "feels that she can get a quick-cure answer.... by posting a very over-simplified version of an extremely complex situation - from people who know neither her nor I, then perhaps this in itself demonstrates an enormous incompatibility." He's very defensive...

So to sum it up, he's not interested in this kind of forum, at least not at this time.

(by the way Lynn, sorry for misinterpreting your kitty emotion - I still think it still looks like me when I first wake up, but now at least I get it)

Dan - I really appreciate your support and you posting your input to me. (It means something to me to hear a man's point of view; particularly if you can understand any of where my partner's coming from.)

You said: "Is afraid that by taking some evening classes that you will outshine him? "

I don't think so - I think that he is afraid I will meet someone else. I also think that he has held himself back (unnecessarily) from doing some of the very things I am now choosing to do. I'm not sure why, but it's almost like an unspoken rule - I won't if you won't, something like that. Also financially, he is in a bigger hole than me, and this is a reminder to him.

I think the rest of what he said were manipulative tactics to get me doubting my intentions and my own integrity, which achieves ?? I don't know what. The more insecure you are, the less likely you are to leave him. But also, the more insecure you are, the more contempt he has for you. We humans come up with some weird stuff, don't we... 

I haven't watched the 1st wives club - I'll have to rent it to understand what you mean.

And Dan, I'm embarrassed to say that no, I don't know who the gipper is/was. Enlighten me. Oh good. I'm not alone.

The latest emails (we can't talk on the phone right now, I was too mad at his earlier emails) were of an apologetic nature.

He said that he seems to be on a self-destructive path, doesn't know how he got there or why he's choosing to stay, and asked me to forgive him. Says he feels he has to "cut all ties with you, just to protect you from me" Says he's disoriented. That he loves me, but he's really, really bad for me. That "we both know" that I deserve so much more. He said that I'd given him more than I'll ever know. But he also said not to keep any hope for him; that it would likely be a waste of my time. Poor guy...

I am going to, at this point, take the email at face value - I'm not going to expect anything from him. I've told him I don't understand why some compromise, some self exploration and healing don't seem to be options for him right now, but that I will accept his choices, whatever they may be. I bet he feels hopeless and thinks that nothing can help him. By the way, he's wrong.

Whew, heavy stuff. A lot to process.

Becky - did you read my earlier reply to you? Hope so. I can relate to a lot of what you have said. Especially when you mention your husband's "fundamental insecurity and mistrust of the world".

I feel sad about this for my partner. From what I have seen in his life, his inability to trust has caused him tremendous pain in his life, but he continues to live this way; seeing the world as a basically unsafe place. For him it is unsafe; he never learned how to see it otherwise... When you mention the throwing up, it's true what Dr. I says about listening to your body.

When my H and I were living together I had one cold after another, and I hadn't had a cold for years before he moved in. Since he moved out I haven't had one. Of course. 

I wish I could stop my partner's self proclaimed "self-destructive path", but I don't know how. And I don't want to be in the line of destruction. So sad...

I guess time will tell. Maybe I will get some more dream messages. (I had another where I was choosing whether or not to get onto this combination iceberg/marine craft. In my dream I thought maybe I would wait until the next day to check it out, then I thought no, go for it! When I got in, the craft began its journey and I found there was a glass bottom that revealed a beautiful scene of sea-horse like hand shaped creatures which were in vibrant multicolor and swimming together in sync. I know this sounds odd, but it was a very nice dream experience and felt encouraging to me.) Kind of like "face your fears and discover a wonderful new world..."

I think it's my partner who needs the thoughts and prayers more than me right now, so send them out, if you can spare any. He's got them!

Thanks for your support everyone. This is very helpful to me, and keeps me on track with my choices.

take care

AK

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Becky

I wanted to share something with you since our situations are similar, although we are at different stages. I understand the pain you go through when you take a stand in the name of your own good health and get told you're "unstable" and so forth. In my case, being told it was me who wouldn't work on the relationship, me that was abusive, and my taking a stand was making him lose respect for me. In the beginning when he said some of this kind of stuff I thought that maybe there were some unhealthy traits in me that I wasn't seeing. (Since, I've learned to trust my gut.) He sounded so confident when he said this kind of stuff, and it appeared that he really believed it. He's a very intelligent guy and can be insightful, so I'd think - maybe I'm not expressing myself well enough, maybe I am a big source of the problem. Hint - trust your own feelings first. As mentioned on this site, some abusers are so manipulative that they look like the victims themselves and the victims look like the abusers. I think my partner was pretty good at doing this by using terms like wanting to be "himself" which sounds really healthy, but in real terms meant that he didn't want to have to think about my needs or concerns. :) 

Anyway, I was drawn back into this web with his emails that said "I don't like you" and "I'm losing respect for you". In the past I would have justified myself, but this time I stayed strong Good, even though I felt so completely hurt and misunderstood. Clearly, he does not understand you. I tried to look at the situation through a third party's eyes rather than allow myself to be attacked by his words. I didn't respond to the last email because I felt there was no point. If he really felt it was mostly, or even half my fault, and didn't like or respect me anyway then he wasn't acknowledging the truth. I spent most of the day alone and in pain, and then suddenly the emails of apology came through. Had I responded with "justification" I don't think they would have. Exactly. Wonderful things happen when you stop reacting and sit with it. Also gives your partner the time s/he needs to think.

I know it's not over yet, but I think in the past I have tried to shelter my partner from his own pain. Allowing him to take it out on me seemed to relieve it momentarily, but it was always there. Understanding and compassion do not always help this type of person progress. Allowing them to experience fully their own pain does. Yes. True for all of us. This is hard for people who are compassionate by nature and want to help. But what I realize is that helping him means leaving him alone to experience his own turmoil.

I wanted to address you specifically Becky because I know what you are going through. I have chosen to make these stands now, before all the love I have for him is gone.

I *will* move on in my life, but if he chooses to make healthy positive changes over an extended period of time then I will remain open to the relationship.

take care Becky.

AK

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Dear AK and everyone else,

Lynn here, Ak, you made perfect sense to me, Re read your posts. You are saying everything that needs to get out.

I'm sorry. I thought you two were still living together.

I like :( what he said after reading your posts and this site. Word twisting. Who cares how it works? Just so it works. He sounds very insecure to me. He is. Promise.

Remember way back in the posts I sad something about Dan not listening to me? Dr. Irene agreed. If I don't think he's listening to me, he isn't.

I'll let Dan tell you about the Gipper, but I found his Biography yesterday. It's a positive :) But, can you eat it?

I'm hoping you the best of luck here. Re read everything you post and then re read it. Read Dr. Irene's comments, Trubble's words of wisdom and I find that it helps.

Then I find myself needing to wean gently here. I don't want to become CDS over Dr. Irene and everybody else's life. (Not you, other life stories). I think this could be more addicting than a soap opera. I'll know when it's time. I'm getting too old, I want to live real life. Dan and I really had some great years and the last 5 haven't been all bad. We just got into a stalemate and were both still trying to play the game.

Speaking of loving the Nerd (I only use this term with love), Over 90 degrees here yesterday. I asked him to turn on the fan. He asked where it was? Right where he used it last, right behind us up on it's stand, sticking out like a sore thumb. This I won't change. I can't have it all ^_^ (I don't know how to make it more cat like?) I know about the hair tho...... No, no Lynn! You don't get it! Dan's LOCO had moved it to fan out some of the cat box fumes, then put it right back where he found it.

I love you, too, asking Dr. Irene to "delete" the wrong message. I asked her to "zap" mine. That's different talk between us witches and you business folk. Seriously, I got so sick of the Psychiatrist talk i.e.. "We have an issue we have to address" ......Reallllly! I address my envelopes, if you wanna talk, say so. You must mean "Yak." 

Some guys aren't going to change. Sorry, but true. So sad when we had such hopes and aims and goals for the future. I don't think we always need 8 hours a day of therapy, but I do feel we have to be aware EVERY day of the signs that one of these is on the way. Then talk it out before it gets as far as these dead end streets. Yes!

Speaking of 8 hours a day, Dr. Irene, What I zapped said I was glad you and Trubble were back. I really didn't think that you thought we were so good you could leave us to our own devices. I do hope all is well with your family. It is hard to believe when we think we are the "only ones" that you might have a life of your own ^_^ :)

Have a good day everyone. Remember the old saying, "Today could be the start of the rest of your life." And mine, "Where do I want to be 25 years from now?"

Love you all,

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

AK,

Thanks so much for your wise words. Lynn has asked me if showing my husband these posts would help. Like you, I doubt that he would have a positive response. I have hinted at it; told a little about this particular interactive e-mail "support group" and that I've posted to it, and that Dr. Irene has responded. He has never looked at the site, but is suspicious, I believe, of Dr. I's motives. He said once, "Oh so she has this site to help promote her books?" (What would be wrong with that?) I don't remember telling him anything about "books." Oh, well. Oooohhhh! I think hubby comes here - and I think he looks all around! A while back there was a whole to do on one of these boards, I think it was on the Self Proclaimed Sociopath  board. Anyway, it was a long thread where I was accused of taking advantage of needy, sick people who populate the site by selling them recommended books for kickbacks from authors or something like that and by charging so much for the private emails. Also, trust me: It is highly unlikely that hubby doesn't come here religiously to see what's on your mind and how you are being advised! Highly, highly unlikely!

He is still of the mind that if he "tries to do better" and I don't tick him off, we'll be fine. He really believes this.

You mention dreams. I have them, too. I dreamed once that I was in my car, speeding away from him as he came at me in a menacing way. All of a sudden, the car is pulled back, and I begin driving in circles; I can't stop! Then I regain control, drive away, only to be pulled back again. Doesn't take an Einstein to figure that one out! I have also dreamed that I'm begging him for help; I'm in pain, or trapped somewhere. He either looks at me in an angry way, or with a totally blank look on his face. I've told him about these dreams; he just said, "Well, if that's what you want to dream, I can't help it." Ouchhh.

I wrote a story several years ago about a man who bought a nice cat for a pet, then basically broke its spirit with his control (he was afraid it would get away). I was hoping he'd get the connection (I was trying the "word picture" approach). Again, he distanced himself by saying, "If that's how you want to see things, I can't help it." 

For a long time I felt betrayed by the marriage counseling books I'd read - none of the tactics seemed to work. Then I realized that those tactics work only when there is good-will and a shared power base to begin with. Correct. In that case, BOTH parties truly WANT to solve their misunderstandings; in fact, doing that is very high on the list of priorities. When one or the other just wants to WIN, there is no shared goal. Correct. He wants to WIN because a shared goal is too scary for him; makes him very insecure.

Our two guys do sound so much alike! Mine has said just about everything yours has. Not long ago he told me that he COULD change, but not with me! How to cope with such craziness? It always helps to disengage. Don't buy into what he says and you won't react with so much upset. Realize that he's doing the best he can, awful as it is. Realize what comes out of his mouth evaporates almost as fast as it spills out. Realize that all his accusations speak little about you and volumes about him.

I hope you enjoy your night class. Although it was difficult going to school full time and dealing with a dysfunctional marriage, I really believe that school, and getting my degree and teaching certificate kept me sane. It got me into a world where I could excel, and where people respected and liked me. I know that he is disappointed that I'm not working fulltime (less money) but I have 2 teaching positions that I enjoy, and I know that I'm contributing something to people's lives.

I understand what it's like to be alone and in pain. Wish we didn't have to be there. I guess we need to keep looking toward the day when the pain is gone. I still hope that my husband will be with me when that day comes, but I know that that's his choice. You are right - he has to feel his own pain as well as have empathy for mine. I wonder whether or not he can do that. Most likely he can, but it would require lots of shifting around for him and what he perceives as frightening loss of control. It's just so much easier if you do it.  

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

School is a good thing. I'm glad to be back in. I was so burned out after college that it's a good thing I didn't go directly on to grad school -- but two years of "living a normal life" outside the academic realm made me realize that I want to continue and that there's no earthly good reason why I *shouldn't*.

I am positively overwhelmed by the love and support I am getting from my circle of friends. I'd forgotten the extent to which geeks take care of their own. :) That, and I had a very nice compliment from my dad passed on to me via my mom, who was apparently told by him, "I haven't been an expert on literary criticism in quite some time. If you want to know more, ask our daughter." Wow, he's admitting that I'm better at something he used to be good at than he is! I'm impressed. *grin*

I wish I had the motivation to clean and re-organize the house. I'll get there eventually, I hope. It needs it. Oh well, as long as the kitties have food and clean kitty litter, and I have enough clean clothes to wear to work, I think we'll survive.

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

Boy, I was sure shouting at David wasn't? See, Dan didn't listen to me and now you are not listening to your wife. I want us all to be heard! New found power.

Old issue from childhood and I think I remember mostly things like this. (This from adulthood) "Honey, what do you want for your Birthday?" Me: A gift certificate at a used book store. Answer, "OH, NO, we want to get you something nice." Why ask me what I want in the 1st place? Why correct my thinking? Why not hear what I'm saying? Giggle...

Geez, the list goes on. I finally learned with my parents to stand my ground. It wasn't anything illegal I was asking for, soooooo..... 

Moral: That year about the books, I got a large gift certificate at a used bookstore and was in sheer bliss. Sat on the floor and spent about 5 hours having a wonderful Birthday. Yes, I let them know how wonderful it was to me. :)

I have to do this to this day. Where do you want to go to dinner? Gets answered, "Oh, You don't want to go there do you?" YEP!

A few posts up I came home. Something like I have to stay here and fix my own life. I'm home to stay. ^_^

Thanks Doc and Trubble, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Dear Ak, Hey Dan... What about me? No "Dear AK & Trubble?" Or, better yet, "Dear Trubble & AK,"

You asked for me to clarify who the gipper was. I asked first! No fair! His real name was Knute Rockne, a famous football player and coach for Notre Dame. Yuk. Inedible. Worse than chicken and rice. He was the first quarterback to throw a pass in college football. There was even a movie made about him starring Ronald Reagan. I don't know if it's true but in the movie Notre Dame was losing and at half time Ronald said "win this one for the gipper" he (the gipper) had been very sick and died before this game. Awwwww....

Thus the saying for when things look unsolvable.

From my point of view your H is a Jerk. I don't mean that kindly, as in the Steve Martin movie. I know that I have been, didn't see it until I read Lynn's original post and she showed me Dr Irene's' site. Hey, hey... Nobody is a jerk, but anybody can act like a jerk...

I don't know his past or his upbringing, which is the reason but I do know that until there is a reason for his wanting to change and improve, he won't, so see to your self and my best wishes for your future. Please read my last sentence to Becky. Yes. So true.

Dear Becky,

From your post, I get the feeling that your H is basing his idea of other people on his feelings for himself. Get something for nothing. I wish that speaking as an abuser, I could offer some insight. But even though I have met and worked with people (mostly men) who are like that, they will cut their nose off to spite their face, I don't have any words of wisdom. 

Keep your jobs, it sounds like you enjoy them, and have a good self image of yourself as an educator. I know that the pay isn't as it should be, but as a professor once told me "If you are getting into education to get rich, change occupations!" I also have a degree in education and really enjoy working with kids both in school and out. I no longer teach though - when we moved here, I put my name on the sub list and had worked 4 days in 6 years. I also got a job which I enjoy just as much. 

Your husband doesn't consider you equal with him because you make less money. Well, a babysitter (if you have children) gets around $50 a day, a maid gets about $8 an hour, a dishwasher gets between $5 and $ 8 an hour, a waiter(ess) gets about $10 an hr, around here. So if you total it up that's about $650 a day. Does he make that kind of money. Most Hs' don't realize just the work involved and the money saved by their wives. Yours definitely doesn't because using his attitude as a guide, he isn't equal to you.

I really hope that someday, your Self will enjoy the benefits that come from two people working together.

Trubble, when you come to dinner, you'll have to excuse the other cats, you may have your choice: Salmon & Rice or Chefs Blend. The cats here don't get to chose. Well, of course. I'll be the guest. But I just want plain salmon, grilled with lemon and a side of Mixed Grill please.

Dear Dr Irene,

I am happy that you have gotten around to the posts again, I really appreciate your insight and hard work trying to help us all. I am learning, and I have even been thinking of putting my mother down, and I know that this is going to be especially hard, as it's like she can weave her web even 300 miles apart, but that's the story, not now though. One little trick that lots of people find real helpful is to write mom a letter. A very, very long and detailed letter all about how you felt, how you feel, what she did to you, etc., etc. Spend lots of time, days or weeks even, writing it. But never, ever send it. None of this is really about your mom. All of this is about your relationship with your mom in your head.

Dear Lynn,

Last night when you wrote about Bobby, I really saw what he meant to you, Lennie and me I think, and I owe you more than one hug for my reactions 5 years ago. Last nights hug was just the start.

Dan  Awww geee! What a guy!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Dear Angry Girl

Grad school, wow, that is quite an accomplishment, go for it. I admire that in anyone, I started but just lost interest when my program was cancelled, and really haven't wanted to go back.

I know nothing of your family but it sounds as though your dad like someone who readily admits, that you are a success in your professional life, even though you got the compliment round about from your mother. I know that sometimes fathers have a hard time adjusting to their little girls being grownup women. The pride is still there though. My stepdaughter got her BA in Nursing last year and I was very proud of her. AngryGirl: You may benefit from writing each of your parents one of those letters too...

It reads like you have worked very hard to get where you are especially getting self back. Another admiration from me. I will be there someday, I have reasons beyond Lynn and myself.

Keep the litter boxes clean, I can't help you there as I have 3 here to take care of, also two senior citizen neighbors who are widowed and need help around their homes. And Lynn jokingly refers to them as my "other wives," so I'm afraid that three are all I can handle at the moment. The cat food and water are very important also.

If you are comfortable with your home, a little clutter is healthy.

Dan

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2000

S1

Lynn here Guys,

Just a quickie as I have a house to clean. It's looking a little "too" healthy after this last month.

I did read the post tho..... I dream nightly and in Technicolor, so I don't pay much attention, but you reminded me of one recurring one I call my "Anne Boelyn" dream. I'm on the block with my hands tied behind my back and I can see the shining axe. (Anne was a sword, not axe, just the dream name). Anyhow I look up and there is this tall skinny executioner in a black hood and I know it's Dan. My dream has never yet gone beyond this point, yet at times of stress, I almost always wake up with this vision. My off with the head dream ??? Ouchhh... That's how it feels to you at those times; like he's cutting your head off. Good thing he finally heard you. There will be many times when you will need to remind him again, promise. That's just normal. Talk about that now; maybe come up with a catch phrase or gesture or something that means "Listen!" Now off to my washing machine where I will set everything on "normal" and wash away.... Decided to let trip to Park go till next week and get our insurance in order. Thanks Dan, I appreciate what you said. Thanks All, Lynn 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Just re-read the board, wondering how I missed one particular item.

BIG HUGS to Lynn. I, too, lost someone very dear to me to suicide five years ago. Interesting paradox involved here -- it ended up being a reason for me to avoid getting help for my own possible depression, since my friend ended her life by swallowing 90 Zoloft pills, which led me to develop an obsessive fear of meds. (Yes, it IS possible to OD on anti-depressants! Yes it certainly is. Pity some medical professionals don't realize this. Oh, they do... *sigh* Another of our friends had a teacher in nursing school say that it wasn't possible to do so, and had to explain that it happened in our dorm.)

She died the day before Easter in 1995, just one week before she would have turned 22. I had looked up to her as I would have to an older sister, and loved her for her idealism and the work she did to make the world a brighter place. How someone that alive could have made that decision, I will never understand.

But her death left a strange sort of legacy. Many people in that circle of friends had been suicidal at one time or another (myself included), and the way her death devastated just about everyone who knew her was a powerful lesson of why suicide is NOT a good answer to anyone's problems. (I know that I carried this a bit far and it's at the core of some of my codependent tendencies: I *never* want to expose myself to that sort of pain again, and if someone I care about seems the least bit potentially suicidal, I freak out and start trying to do everything I can to make it better.) Ouchhh! Better fix that one...

The pain and the guilt stay a long time after you think you've gotten rid of them, don't they? I had no idea my friend was suicidal, but the night she died I had this odd nagging feeling that I should talk to her, and I still wonder if it would have made any difference, though I know I can't blame myself. The guilt suicide leaves behind on the loved ones is a horrible crime in and of itself...

Worst of all is going back to my old campus to visit and realizing that the students there never knew her, and the professors seemed to go out of their way to forget her. And even my old friends who knew what she meant to me but who weren't as close to her as I was don't seem to want to remember her. And letting her be forgotten is just something I can't accept. That hurts more than anything else, especially since I want to remember her LIFE, not her death, and people don't seem to realize it. You can remember her LIFE all you want. She was very special to you. But, respect other people for their feelings too...

Most people hate being reminded of anything tragic. Especially where suicide's concerned. If we talk about it, more people are going to think it's a good idea, supposedly. *bitter laugh* Or so my mother seemed to think. When I called home at 3 AM to tell them what had happened, my mother (who has this obsessive thing about the evils of drugs) seemed to think that this was about an accidental overdose of street drugs. Um, no. Prescription antidepressants, and I'm sorry but nobody ACCIDENTALLY takes 90 pills!! 

A lot of people's reactions could have stood improvement. The insensitive professor who asked one of his students who wanted to go to her funeral "Would your friend have wanted you to MISS MY CLASS?" (yes, this happened!) was probably the worst. "Yes sir, she would have." Unless it was the counseling center who didn't have time for me when my friends basically dragged me there kicking and screaming because they were worried I was going to follow her. And the same counseling center, a semester later, prescribed the same anti-depressant to my then-housemate when she walked in and said, "I need some drugs" - and that was all. No follow-up visits, no nothing. Oh boy... My housemate was freaked out by this, for obvious reasons, and the Zoloft ended up flushed down the toilet. Good school -- horrible health and counseling centers.

I've mostly let go. Comparatively. The pain doesn't come back unless something triggers it. And it's actually been a while. But the scar is there, on my soul, and it will be all my life. It's not an open wound anymore, and it's not a big ugly scar even, but it's noticeable if you look close enough.

My heart goes out to you, Lynn. *hugs*

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2000

S1

Hi all.

Lynn - I actually didn't tell my H about this site - I was referring to another post I made on a different forum and his response to it. But that's why I don't feel comfortable talking to him about this site at this time. Thanks for your post. I feel a lot better today.  

Lynn I love your ability to look at yourself and your "mistakes" with humour and insight, like your line "boy I was sure shouting at David wasn't I?" I had to smile at that - good for you Lynn. :) Oh and by the way, I don't believe in mistakes anyway. There is a saying that goes "the only mistake is the one from which we learn nothing".

And it's interesting to hear other's dreams too. They can really tell you what's going on inside, can't they? Yep.

I've actually had several dream premonitions come true so I take them fairly seriously now. 

Dan - Yes, my H can be a jerk. He knows it too. I think he has extremely low self esteem. But he's not always a jerk, he can be a great guy too. He really is like Dr Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. The issue for me is how or if I allow that "jerk" type behavior in my life. And you're right, unless he is motivated to change or improve, things will likely stay the same way. This is the gray area right now. Send your prayers and good thoughts to him anyway, because he is in his own living hell right now. I think he needs them more than I do.

Becky - I can relate to the "if that's how you want to see things". I had spoken to my H about how we can choose our reactions to things and after that it was, "well it's your choice to feel that way." I would say, yes I know this, but these feelings are warning signs too - and I'm not going to leave my hand on a hot element either. I feel the pain, I move my hand. My emotional pain is making me aware that something is *wrong*.

I know what you mean about the marriage counseling books - exactly the same for me. I read a few, then finally I stopped halfway through one thinking, wait a minute, I already do this stuff, and it's not working. I think you explained why rather well.

When your guy says "I could change, but not with you" - look at his motives for saying this. I doubt that he really believes it. Yes. But he definitely knows that it puts you in your place. Probably just a way of bringing you down so that he can feel bigger in some way. This is where the Patricia Evans stuff is quite good, in my opinion. This is where instead of asking why or trying to get into a discussion, you can just say something like "I am not going to accept that kind of talk from you anymore." I doubt that he feels really good about himself saying that kind of stuff anyway. You could also say "I will not accept insults, or verbal abuse from you," or "I will talk to you when you are willing to talk to me in a civil, respectful way." With me the words just come out now when they are necessary, and it's mostly because when my H does this kind of thing I see it for what it is; abusive behavior, which I now choose not to subject myself to. Yippeee!

Your husband may well be able to feel his own pain and have empathy for yours. But he will have to be motivated in some way. I think David in the Buddha sections sum it up well when he talks about "outdistancing the distancer". If you haven't read his posts already, they are quite insightful. Yes.

My H's kids are visiting and he called me today sounding very humble, and said the kids wanted to see me. I spent the day with them (and him). I do really care about his kids despite all my H's and my differences in belief about family. The kids have already been through a lot of turmoil from the break-up of my H and his ex. Anyway, my H was "well behaved" today. He was even able to make a compromise about letting some kids we didn't know play soccer with us. They asked if they could play and he said he didn't want to be responsible for them at first, and normally he would have had the last word on that. I said that I thought it would be nice to have some other kids for his kids to interact with; also I could see these kids watching us with envy, and I know that these kids don't have great adult mentors in their lives. I felt it was kind of unfriendly to say "no you can't play with us". So we agreed to play by ourselves for awhile, then to let them play after with us. I could see that this was really tough for my partner to agree to, but after several minutes of contemplation and discussion, he finally did. The interesting part was that it seemed like my H was enjoying these other kids, and definitely his kids were too. I could also see these kids really respected him and he felt that too.

Though I'm still justifiably feeling quite "raw" at the moment, I feel at peace with my decision to spend time with them. I feel very secure that I will keep myself safe, and not dive back into anything that feels unsafe. 

I am really glad that I did choose to take those courses, which brought up a lot of his *stuff* and I will continue to make choices that are healthy for *me* regardless of his reactions. There is no way I can predict the outcome of all this, but I have told my H clearly that to rebuild trust I will need to see changes over an extended period of time. :)

Thanks for listening.

have a great rest of the weekend  You too!

AK

continued on cat3...

 

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