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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Catbox 29

Comments for Catbox 29

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

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

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Back to Catbox 28  28 is edited!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

S1

Still struggling with: is he too good to leave or too bad to stay. By the way, there is an interesting book with a similar title. Lots of goodness with him, but lots of intractability. He's generous about material and social things and often says, "I love you." But, his tone of voice when he thinks something stupid has been done, along with his putdowns ... he thinks he's right most of the time ... are getting more and more difficult. Explanations to him and boundaries only make a short-lived dent. Maybe the boundaries aren't being done correctly? Stronger boundaries sometimes seem to make him retreat into his study. How does one ever make a decision about what to do about one's relationship? Especially after decades of marriage? Does one stay and try everything until there's nothing left to try? Does one continue to have an active outside-marriage life ... but what's the point if one really wants a rewarding personal relationship with a husband? When the subject of separating is mentioned, he is against it. Counseling with three different counselors at different times was a bust. One counselor didn't want to continue after the first session because the counselor didn't see him as having a viewpoint other than it's the wife's problem. Two of the counselors encouraged individual counseling without him, which has been the case for awhile. Feel like a cat chasing his tail ... or is it only dogs that do that? If so, apologies to Trubble. 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

S1

Left STBX and moved out on my own 6 weeks ago. Since then I seem to have been in a fog. Unloading boxes and setting up housekeeping has kept me somewhat occupied. Needed to get organized as soon as possible because I lived in constant chaos with hubby. Now having my home in order seems to be more important than usual. But even that is almost done, so what do I do next? I have denied myself for so long, I don't know who I am and need to rediscover me. Where do I start? This past weekend I enjoyed just sitting in peace and quiet . . . haven't had that in SO LONG . . . it was really sort of strange, like I really shouldn't be doing this. I did go the a divorce recovery group through a local church. Found that I felt slightly out of place. Most of the hurting souls in there were the ones left by the spouse. Me, I am the spouse doing the leaving. Only a couple of us suffered abuse. Didn't really ever think of that aspect of divorce recovery group dynamics. Still, I am sure that this will be a start to getting myself out and meeting new people . . . doing something, anything!

Over the past 6 weeks there have many numerous nights that haunting memories would keep me in tears as I revisited the abuse and realized my relief at my escape. The pain tore me in so many directions. I saw so clearly that I begun to believe I was the creature hubby claimed I was. Pretty scary that someone could direct my mind that easily. I need to discover and own my power. There is so much more garbage to sort through. It's not a matter of if I want to go through it . . . I need to do it for myself . . . to look at my part and learn from it. But the pain of the sudden unexpected outbursts that left not only physical bruises, but the emotional scars.

I have read and read and read. Anything I could get my hands on. Have learned a lot about myself. I know that I am not what he said I am. I KNOW IT. So how come I am still so scared? Why do the words jump out at me when I least expect them? Will these words finally disappear? I sure hope so, I am getting pretty sick of hearing them!

Thanks for listening, Lottie

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

S1

Thanks Lynn that bit about Dan and the earthquake made me laugh. Which I sorely needed to do as Jake has just driven me to distraction refusing to give straight answers about something important. When challenged to speak more plainly he locked himself in his study. Unbelievable, he claimed the un-straight answers were straight. I have theory they are doing some kind of penance with this housework stuff. It drives me crazy too as you know.

What is this equation that I will abuse you verbally then do the housework? There should be a psychological term for it. Remember when we were talking of a catbox community? We will need a catbox skyscraper but hat's o.K. as Jake and Dan will have even more to clean/

Actually with Jake I just had this awful thought. Isn't there a psychological condition where the person continually cleans the house. I think it is ritualistic and Jake certainly has rituals.

Actually at the moment, Dr Irene, we are having another really childish time over the toilet. You see we have two and the one upstairs is one of those ones you can out anywhere in a house and has a motor. This needs servicing about once a year and it generally lets us know/ Jake has decided this is the case and he puts all sorts of things I don't want put on the toilet lid on it so nobody uses it and I take them all off at night and can't resist flushing JUST to spite Jake and then he says nothing and puts them all back! OK I know I may be in the wrong on this one but now I can't resist seeing how long this will go on for. Of course, ringing the plumber would be the obvious thing to do; but we are both waiting for each other. The really silly thing is the stupid toilet works!

So now I have another theory. Jake and I were both such shy kids that we never acted out as kids do with each other. So now we are having to be kids at times to get over this. (joke) Sometimes I think we both just need brain transplants. Jay Giggle!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

S1

hi friends, this is only my second time in this room. lottie......make your own new words....lots of them.....positive words that help you......repeat them to yourself over and over until it is habit....that is what i do.

i am also a co-dependent who stayed in an abusive marriage for 20 years. i have been on my own now for a little over a year. i am now back in college and feel really good about that.

i have bought my own house and my own car and seem to be doing really well. i have a boyfriend now who shows NO signs of controlling behavior.

my problem? i have just recognized that i have gone from one addiction to the other for over 20 years now. i quit drinking 20 years ago, and then my ex remained my addiction for the next 20 years. then i got into the internet.....that was very addictive.......then into spending money.....i know that that will stop......i cant afford it any longer.......

it seems that i go from one fantasy world to the next to hide from pain and what is real in life. i really want to experience the REAL life out there. pain as well as the good stuff. i think that i have been doing that more than i ever have before. does it take a lot of time to get there? will i always try to avoid pain at all costs? any advice? well, at least i am recognizing this unhealthy behavior. but i would like any input from anyone who has already gone thru this.

thanks, steph

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

S1

Hi, TZ here...

I've just been reading recently because things are going so very very smoothly with RB...OK, I am holding my breath, still doing everything, exhausted, but I'm content - at peace.

Theressa, I have done that 'try-to-please-people-they-don't-appreciate-it-beat-myself-up' thing a lot. There are a few things that, when my mind is functioning enough to remember, seem to help. One is this: If I feel that the right thing to do is be helpful or nice or whatever and I do that, I REFUSE to let someone's unreceptive, unaware or cruel inappropriate reaction RUIN how I feel about MY EFFORT!! IT IS THEIR PROBLEM! THEY own the problem, not me. I AM ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY EFFORT, NOT THE RESULT!! --------- I feel silly complaining about trivial things after reading some of the more serious situations out there... but this is the place to vent so... This past weekend I took a break from my nightly routine of doing everything relating to the house and kids. So my son was up playing the computer Fri and Sat after 11 am...I was sick and tired of dealing with him- I needed a break. After telling him to shut it off, brush his teeth, and get in bed 50 times I just gave up which I would never do on a week night. RB was pissed. He said I should have told him I wanted a break. HA HA HA ! (I put the kids to bed for the past 3000 nights!! He is oblivious!!!)He saw what was going on, though he was working. He could have done something too. But it's MY job, I have to ASK HIM for help with HIS SON. When I told him that he could have taken some initiative there, I got the whole speech "I work so hard...blah blah blah". I will NEVER 'ask' him for 'help' when he is working. damned if I do, damned if I don't...At least it wasn't a screaming, cursing, door slamming session...

thanks...I'm glad to read about all of the progress for at least some of you...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

S1

To Lynn and Jay, I can't believe you are complaining about your guys doing housework... Wouldn't it be worse if they abused you and you still had to clean the floor, clean their dirty underwear, cook and all else??? I DREAM about help with the housework (I will never hire someone else to do it )but if RB WIPES THE COUNTER I hear about it for DAYS. "I helped you out, cleaning the kitchen, remember???" he says. I would fall on my knees and thank the ??? (I'm an atheist) if I got some help around here!!!

just a different perspective... TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001

S1

This site is awesome and I will be passing this on to my friends and fellow-workers. Many thanks.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Dear TZ I can understand where you are coming from. For years I didn't get help and that was also done in an abusive way. What Lynn and I are complaining about is NOT the housework being done, but the REASON why it is being done. Doing the housework is, for our husbands an escape route. They get to look good; but they then don't deal with the real issues. (Sorry Dan but this is true). It is a bit like teacher's pet in school who is really mean behind the teacher's back but gives in all the homework and appears so good in class that the teacher gets to think this is a really nice kid. Who the teacher is in this case I don't know.

In my case, I actually need to be able to do the housework and shopping not out of some anti feminist stance but because after being ill I know I need the structure that could give me. I can create other things to do; but they are not about my family. What Jake has done is successfully try to exclude me from family life. He does everything and the kids see me doing nothing. He can therefore compound the myth in his own mind that I am useless and still ill.

It is a power thing and his way of acting out his anger at me. If he would face the issues and sort them then believe me I would be only too glad for him to clean the place until the cows come home. (You think I LIKE housework?) Jay

Jay, I doubt Jake is doing the housework in order to cut you off from your family and to look good, though some of that may be a side effect of his doing housework - which he got into doing when you were sick, and has now apparently become some compulsive ritual for him.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Hi Dr Irene,

YES I am very angry and I feel controlled!

How do I find out what this anger is about???

IS it about approval????

When I was a child my mom would make me feel guilty. She used to say "You should be grateful". I would reply "No one made you have me". When I got older still I would respond "Yeah but you enjoyed making me though."

When I was a child my best friend was very controlling. However, when I was 14 years old, i got some control back. She was poor at English, I prayed she'd not be in my examination classes, then I'd show her, she couldn't spell without me. (PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE!!!)

I WISH I KNEW WHAT THIS ANGER MESSAGE WAS!! HOW DO I FIND OUT??? Keep looking, as you have been.

Thanks all of you Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Dear Doc and Trubble,

OK, OK, let me rephrase #1. Dan does something to upset me. Better? Better yet: Dan does something that I allow myself to get upset over.

I hear you loud and clear Dr. Irene. I don't think I ever put the word resent to it, but when I think I have a major problem with Dan, I resent it when he plays Fred Astaire. I honestly would rather have a knock down drag out cat fight than have him doing, doing and doing Everything! Think of how resentful you would be if he didn't from time to time play Fred Astaire. Stop looking a gift horse in the mouth! The other stuff you don't like is separate. Don't mix the two.

Brief bit of progress though. He called me from work yesterday to share some important information. Then last night he asked some serious questions. Maybe we just got stuck. I did mention to him that when he didn't know what to say and it was best to say nothing that I don't think that means say nothing about it Forever!

Thanks again for the pep talk. I feel like I'm just trying to break this destructive routine. If some changes aren't made we slip right back into the same.

Hi the rest of you. I'll be busy for the next couple of days. but I'll read when I get a chance.

Love to all and kisses for Trubble,

Lynn, STOP being so hard on him...

Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Ok, Trubble, did you eat my post again? I hear you loud and clear. Let me change # 1 to I get mad at Dan for something. After that the patterns are the same. On a positive note, we talked yesterday and he called me from work yesterday afternoon to share some important information with me. That I like and yes, I said so.

Back to same patterns, we've had some dealings with his mother this last month.

Enough in case the other one appears. Just a thanks for the pep talk. Just one step back, not dozens. Thank you Dr, Irene and loads of cat kisses for Trubble.

Hi the rest of you.

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

May:

It sounds like the police may be your best bet since your h is so afraid of them. For you to have to give in to his 'nightly' demands will surely wear you down. Neither he or you are treating you with respect. He sounds dangerous, what about the protective order? It doesn't matter if you complied after the first order, you were in fear. Call the domestic violence office in the police dept or speak with the policeman who came to your house before. get their advice. Do something to protect yourself. Your children will have a hard time adjusting to the new situation but it will be much easier than for them to sense mommy is being abused or for your safety to be in jeopardy (not to mention your sanity). Agreed.

Sandra

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Hi group, Lynn here with my 3rd post today. Trubble Hungry? I hear you loud and clear Dr. Irene. Let me change #1 to I get mad at Dan for something. Is that better?

Progress yesterday and last night. Too much to get into for the 3rd time today. Just enough that there is progress.

Hi everyone.

Thanks Doc and Trubble,

Love, Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Doc

I searched for Beverly Gaines book and found it is out of print. I did not find any copies new or used yet! The one I read was from our local library. It is one I would love to own and so will continue my search! Here is the info on the book from Barnes & Noble: Hell Is My Husband: The Story of Every Emotionally Abused Woman's Hell and how to Recognize Him Beverly Gaines / Paperback / Paragraph Publications / December 1991 Thanks. Too bad!

For all of us who read this, a word of warning! It will bring flashbacks, you will feel her pain and fear and recognize it! There are things that have happened in your relationship that have been forgotten or buried that will come back to you... it was very painful for me though it made me face these things and come to terms with them.

I have an unrelated question: I had posted about the "grand adventure" this past weekend with my angry beau. All of his belongings are still in my storage shed. I requested several times that he send someone over to pick them up or do it himself after he gets off work. That was days ago.... I'll not be vindictive and get rid of his things or dump them off for him at his friends home. Any ideas of what to do? No, they are not "hurting" anything by being there and Yes, it does bother me that they are still there. I feel this is a way of his denying that it is over between us and/or a reason for him to hold on. (I know! Not my problem!) The ridiculous thing is, he left with the clothes on his back only. That was five days ago. (Egads! Those clothes will be able to walk on their own soon!)

Do I just go on with my life and ignore his things and what his intentions may be? No. Do I press the subject of getting his things out? No. If you really want his stuff out, just take it to his friend's.

DJ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here, Well, I have a little news to report. First, I have not heard from my new friend, Michael, (not that it is a problem that I haven't). We had a really good "insightful" conversation on Sunday, and then he called me on Monday with information regarding a cat (meeeeooooww, Trubble is a definite keeper kitty) that I'm looking for, however didn't hear from him yesterday. In our conversation on Sunday, I did inform him of where I was in my "recovery" since he and I have known each other since August, and he knows about the volatile relationship with Dr. Psycho. He knows I am newly divorced as well, however, he thought that with us there would be "instant sex" and "instant commitment" and "buying houses together" in a moment's notice. What is with these people that think that just because you enjoy their company you want their babies? Michael is a nice man but he shared with me his stuff too - and now I'm scared of him! He has more than carry on luggage; in fact he has more baggage than I do.......so, I'm leeeeery to say the least. (Vietnam war stories, drugs, suicide ideations, etc.) Though he's a nice guy, fun to be with, there is something lurky in the black clouds over there with him. So, I'm being cautious. That's what happens to me when I have been hurt and verbally abused by someone, I tend to recoil. Even though Michael hasn't done weird stuff *yet* I don't think he is a good match for me either. I'm going with my intuition. So, NEXT!! NEXT! 

I do have alternate plans for Friday night with another guy - he is 2 years younger, very nice, quiet type "Russ". No ways or red flags of "strange behavior" that could signal any crazymaking or "instant sex" tendencies. So, we'll see. I give myself credit to go out there and try to establish friendships with other men, and then if things even seem just a little weird about them, I move on. But it took the Dr. Psycho experience to be able to do that. I'm no prude but I do take my time in establishing a comfort zone and monogamy when it comes to sex, so I may have a harder time finding a man who thinks along those same lines. But that's OK. I'll wait because I know the right one will come along.

In a lot of ways, I still love Dr. Psycho, and I miss his humor (well, some) and personality when he was in a good mood. I don't miss his ongoing depressive ways and dark brooding pouty moods. I didn't like feeling "dismissed" by him all the time, or the way he would "joke" with me at my expense. I don't miss his invalidating behavior and his blatant remarks that "I'm too insecure" or his weird accusations about very, very, very strange bizarre stuff. I do miss his affection, his great burritos, his arm around my shoulder watching TV, his cuddling up to me at night, and his laugh. So, yes, its been hard to let go some of the good about him. But I remember these things and then I try to think of at least 2 bad things about him at the same time. It helps!!

Thanks for letting me safely talk about ol' days!

Love, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Hello, I am new to this. My husband quit his job, I a still working. After work I had to use the bathroom, then I came out and he began discussing a TV news piece. When I offered some (concurring) opinion on MY experience with the airlines, he suddenly began to bark at me (interrupted in mid sentence) "when are we going to have dinner, I'm starving!" when I got angry at his rudeness, he reiterated that I should have had dinner started, and did I know how late it was? He also said, "you made it really clear at the train station that you didn't want to cook tonight. What was that all about?" (I had joked in front of his ex-co-worker that he should have started dinner himself.) I just walked away and made dinner. I did not engage him, I stayed silent, because I can get in a lot of deep messes when I talk. Later he apologized for "being crabby, cause he was so hungry." After reading some of this web page I realize that this is verbally abusive. Trouble is: I waited for him to go to sleep first, so I could avoid him, I began to realize that I finally know why everyone doesn't seem to like me, I am just a very annoying person. I thought about divorce (I don't want to leave), cried for hours, couldn't sleep well, got up early so I wouldn't have to touch him etc. This is the first time I've ever felt like not touching him. We haven't had sex in 5 years, but hugging I mean. I feel like there is no one I can turn to, I can't tell my family, they would blow it out of proportion and hate him, I can't call or email my friends, he is always there to hear and read it. I feel like there is a hard stone in my chest. I must warn that it is 3 days before my period, and I think I am starting perimenopause. Uck. His typical behaviors are: interrupting with angry questions, telling me he doesn't want to talk about that topic, withholding sex, not cleaning up messes after himself. He is never physically violent EVER, just angry a lot. Couldn't it be possible that I am just REALLY annoying and he is afraid to admit to himself that he doesn't love me anymore? So he acts angry with me? I don't have any friends since I moved from Seattle, and maybe this is why. Haven't you ever met someone who is so wretchedly annoying that you wonder how they can be so blind to it? I think that is me. I think I have woken up after 43 years. I think my sister and co-workers feel this way too. Elaine

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Dear Jay, B. here,

Concerning shiatsu: As far as I know, shiatsu is connected with medicine and with a holistic concept of people's health, but has nothing to do with religion. I have never heard of anything religious about it, and all those who practice in my place have nothing to do with East-Asian religions. So I think it's totally safe for Christians. Also, you don't have to read about it... Just make sure the shiatsuist is good and qualified.

got to run, bye for now. B. P.S. Lynn, loved your last post and I know what you mean. Theressa, I'm so impressed! Jay, too, in case i forgot to say it right now. Way to go girls! (OOOPS! Way to go, people!)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Gee, Trubble, B. here!

Thanks for the compliments. Is this really me, or are you just smearing me so that I'll take care of you???? (Who cares. Be my EVERYTHING and I'll tell ya anything ya want...) Oh no RealMommy! This is you! It's why I picked YOU to be my RealMommy!

Gosh, reading the way you want me to take care of you made me realise this is what I do for my daughter, really.

And you're right, I do have 3 kids, with you included. Yeah.

Well, if you'll let me caress you all the time, maybe I will consider raising you.... Yeah. I'm very huggable, though FakeMommy's hubby thinks I am "annoying." What does he know. Yuk! Love, Trubble

Love (giggle) B.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Sharon,

Tim B. here...

Michael is a " Nam" Vet., drugs, suicide ideations? PTSD maybe? Could be... Most of us who spent time in the land of the little PX's, especially those of us who served in units like Special Forces, Force Recon, Seal Teams, LRRP Teams, Rangers, etc...know instinctively how to take hostages. There is a psychological profile that just fits. I speak from experience. If he has not chosen to begin his own recovery, it might serve Sharon's own best interests to consider this axiom - " There are no victims, only volunteers." "De Opresso Libre" wasn't a credo I followed in my personal relationships until I began my own healing...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

To DJ

Remove his things from your storage and put them in another storage unit in his name. Send him/friend/family member the key and the pertinent information. If he does/doesn't get his belongs, great. If he does/doesn't pay the monthly storage, . . .

Been there. It works.

Lottie

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

This is the first time I've been to this website. I was reading through and noticed people talking about how their partners clean the house. My husband does this all the time and most of the time I am grateful but sometimes I wish he would let me do it. Is this a typical thing for an abuser to do? Get totally ticked for little or no reason but yet after the storm is over, help clean? What's the story?? Leigh

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Tim B. Sharon here.

Thanks for your insight. I liked what you had to say. As PTSD is common for these people, unfortunately, it CAN last a lifetime. He says he has been in therapy for years. Though for some reason, something just doesn't feel right. He talks about his past work on a grandiose playing field which somehow does not impress me; how he met and worked with the Governor and President, and knew "secret stuff"; drops big names in high places; lived the high life with a past wife that was some princess or something from some far away place. So, I'm hearing all of this - scary thoughts I'd be thinking - and I met him through the personal ads just like I met Dr. Psycho. So, I'm again, glad that I have these experiences by meeting new people, however, I'm glad I know when to move on.........

Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Thanks Dr. Irene, Sharon here. Thanks for the blue penciled replies and comments. I guess you can tell for awhile from my posts that I am have been trying to 1) get in touch with my feelings, i.e.. anger, abandonment 2) understand how to cut my losses in the relationship with this guy and move on 3)re-establish with my inner child by nurturing myself after being abused. Of course, when I share ANYTHING with Dr. Psycho about ANYTHING psychological I am made fun of. So, I don't share feelings with him that have anything that is relationship-oriented. You are right, I will never win with this guy; he fosters that environment to keep me insecure........but why??? If you care about somebody, why would he do that to me? Fear. But the why doesn't matter. I believe that it was to not have me expect much from him. Crumbs only. Well, the weird part is that I was either too secure or too insecure. Or I was either too quiet or too talkative. Or too much of something or not enough. So, are you at the same mindset that he will treat other women the same? I truly do think so, and I think he knows it too. That's why he's been alone for a long time. Can't change him even though he thinks I'm trying to! He doesn't like to think about me changing either. That's part of the power and control in these kinds of relationships. He did inform me last night that he is not interested in rekindling ours due to our little trust problems. We had a nice chat about things and he is trying to move on but he's feeling stuck because he still thinks about me too much as well. Oh well! Too much water under the bridge! He has no problem asking me to come over to take care of his needs, which I find very interesting! But he can't seem to not throw past issues in my face. More of the same......ad nauseum.

Thanks for listening.

Hugs, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Sharon,

Tim B. redux...

What's the prize here with Dr. Psycho? I hear your gut telling telling the truth on both of these guys. Trust it and like my sponsors pointed out to me after hearing one too many whines out of me about taking irrational and verbally abusive phone calls from Z-X: " Hey, Tim, ever try a click and a dial tone?"

Hugs back!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 04, 2001

S1

Hey Tim B. Sharon here. Thanks for your support!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Jay here and back in anger. Please is anyone out there? Am I way off line with this. I rang my husband's office yesterday and discovered he wasn't there and he wasn't with my daughter either and putting it together with no sex for over a year.....asked him last night if he was having an affair. He denied it but then when I said but where did you go, he said, "Yesterday I went somewhere on personal business." Where is he going every day? Also, last night our son got way out of line and Jake just let it happen and refused to intervene and put me down to our son. As our son was swearing at me at the time and really misbehaving, I got really angry at Jake. (After son went to bed I hasten to add). The message Jake seemed to be giving our son is "it is ok to swear at your mother." (I hasten to add I didn't accept it and said son can't use the computer for a day or so.) But surely I have RIGHT to be angry. Yes. Jay, you're slipping. Stop expecting stuff from hubby that he won't or can't give. 

I really lost it this morning. Told Jake this is the END. Told him as far as I was concerned from now on I was a single parent until he could parent. Told him to introduce me to the new woman....said a whole lot more I definitely shouldn't have said. A good lesson on "doing nothing" for the future...

Last night was bad in other ways too. He uses our 10 minute talk as a weapon,. It is apparently there so I can talk to him. (DUH!). He twisted and interrupted everything I said and couldn't even have the decency to give me eye contact. Why the hell say you want something to continue as he says he does if he does everything to sabotage it.

I don't think he is even nice any more; just a really mean and nasty person who enjoys power trips and I don't think I can love THAT? HEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP! Jay Here you go again: expecting what you expect and getting mad when you don't get it...

\

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Hi All,

Dr Irene I have been speaking to some of your oldies on the I am responsible forum, one of them has been a great help and she said this to me below, that made a lot of sense. IS this what you meant?

"I think your anger is saying you are not getting what you need from the people you are trying to please." That explanation makes sense to me, because by expecting certain behaviors from other people, you are giving up your power/control to them, thereby leaving yourself open for disappointment. I would say this.

"When you take back your power and learn that you are a wonderful woman without trying to please everyone in your life....they love you just because you are you, not because you do stuff for them. Yes. I believe the anger will go away and you will be much more content." Your anger will mitigate as you begin handling it.

Dr Irene and maybe others how do you deal with your feelings of disappointment when others don't help you??? I THINK B was asking you this also the other day. You simply accept that for whatever reason help is not forthcoming from whomever. 

What i find hard to understand is, if you are part of a healthy couple aren't you suppose to discuss things and work together, and communicate???

So if I ask my partner "Do you want to go out on Saturday" and he responds "Not made up my mind". Then do I a) Arrange something without him??? If you want. Or b) Wait for him to decide what he wants to do??? Only if your choosing to wait won't cause you to get angry with him. Or c) Do I tell him I want to do xxxx, do you want to join me, cuz I am going to do it anyway??? If you want.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Hi Jay,

You two are throwing sand in the sand pit again. You are bouncing off each other, you two are in REACTIVE mode.

Now how to get out of reactive mode. Do you remember when I posted to you about the tapes David sent me?

Well to refresh your memory:

1st there is a trigger (it can be anything a look, a grin, a name, a tone of voice, someone not behaving the way you want them to, someone not saving you)

2nd You take the bait or not

3rd If you take the bait and are defensive OR you counterattack, or you become angry (the sand pit begins)

4th Escalation (the sand throwing is like a tennis match, and no one wants to give up, BLAME and defensiveness and WINNING, all the EGO things are evident)

5th Recovery (the time of regret, the time when you can't take back the hurtful things you've said, and then you beat yourself up with the guilt that you SHOULDN'T have done this)

Now if you are healthy at step two you disengage and don't take the bait. Then none of the other stages happen. You cool down. And then can decide how to control yourself, what your options are.

 

JAY do you remember Dr Irene saying no one else but JAY can keep JAY SAFE!!! well when the pupil is ready the teacher reveals events to help HER learn these skills. THIS IS ONE SUCH LESSON.

So how did you feel?? when Jake didn't help you with your SON, when Jake didn't rescue you and stop your son from being so CHEEKY.

Did you feel helpless??

This is a sign that at that time you needed a TIMEOUT, you all did. JAY can say STOP this is all getting fuzzy and out of control. HALT, I need time to think. Excellent.

THIS is how JAY controls herself and her life.

Okay Jake could have intervened and yelled at your son and punished him. BUT then he wouldn't be doing what was in JAY's best interest would he? JAY wants JAKE to not treat her like a helpless child, she said herself "she doesn't need him running things for her, in the housework etc" THAT is because she doesn't need him to run things for her, physically or emotionally.

SHE can cope on her own, if only she'd trust herself.

So Jay you see this was how it was meant to happen. So Jay lost control. Now she can back track and see how things escalated so next time she can recognize and SAY HALT!!

She doesn't need Jake to save her!! She can do this herself!! In fact she will feel heaps better if she does this herself without Jake saving her!!

Then her self esteem will rocket and her growth will increase!!

Just allow yourself to feel okay that you slipped. IT REALLY IS OKAY!! I know how you feel so let yourself feel yukky and cry cos you slipped. THEN know it is okay.

JAY everything happens just as it is suppose to so there is no need to beat yourself up. IF I didn't think it was possible to get through all of this I wouldn't still be here. THE SAME FOR YOU!!

Take care, you special person Theressa Theressa, you give excellent advice. I'd like you to try an experiment. The next time you post not knowing what to do and in agony, I'd like you to wait till you chill - then post a reply to yourself...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

No, Theressa it is not like that and my fault for not writing clearly. The secretary said that Jake was coming into the office at all sorts of irregular hours. I didn't need Jake to rescue me; what I did not need like a hole in the head was a man standing by and saying " but mummy swears at me." I don't actually all that often and I am not one to swear in front of kids if I can help it. Oh yes, just for good measure; Jake thinks it is ok to encourage a "dope is ok; drugs are ok" attitude in both son and daughter. Ouchhh! Result/ well actually quite funny as HumanKatKid went to school last Friday in a T shirt with "the leaf" on the front and copyright GOD. (? he told some of the teachers he thought he was wearing a maple leaf!). I didn't make an issue of this; but some teachers did.

The point is parents are supposed to be role models and as far as I can see the only thing Jake is modeling is how to be abusive, how to not treat women, and how to clean floors.

Actually I did more than accuse him of an affair and told him that if he brings any drugs here he can expect a police raid. Yah sure Jay CAN take care of Jay. Is doing so by not letting him get away with all this junk. An excellent start.

Sand in the sandpit?...Just as well there is no gravel. Or grovel. Giggle!

Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Oh no, I just read my last post. When really angry spend the day flopping through the site (ok not ALL day - well, just more than usual). Theressa I am sorry it sound now as if I am mad at you!

I guess the person I am maddest at is me, as I have no proof he is having an affair and accused him - which puts me on the wrong side of the fence. Right. Actually it is about the only thing left to happen and so I have been waiting for it. NOT a good idea. But why not say where he goes and where does he? Either he's working, he's having an affair, or he likes that you think he is. I can't think his firm, tolerant and loving though, would give him so much time off. This suspicious stuff is new. I have never doubted his moral integrity before. I don't even want to know specifically where he goes; just that where he goes is ok. 

And the silence......I will find it again. I wish I had never agreed to talk this week at all. My guess is that I am getting a lot of hostile stuff because of the silence.

Yeah ok. I admit it is is all reactive stuff. Thanks for being brave enough to say what my friends probably don't dare! (In reality I change into a werewolf at the least provocation_

Dr Irene, Why is a FOX crazy? jay Good question. Just another silly American saying.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

This is off the point a bit. How do organised people get organised. I have just been looking round the house and I have been thinking. Jay you are SOOOOOOOOO disorganized. Partly the effect of (yeah I am going to say it, and yeah it is sexist, and no I don't care as it is TRUE of having a man clean the house). There is DUST all over as he does the floors and not the dusting.. This means i am mot taking responsibility where I should be. How do you motivate yourself to do stuff when you think you will be shot down for doing it and just for it? How do you regain motivation? I guess I could shame myself into doing it by throwing a party or something? Actually now I thought of it that is a GREAT idea as I wouldn't want anyone around and seeing the mess just now. jay Why not just let him clean? Some cleaning is better than no cleaning...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Hi Jay,

JAY SAID: But why not say where he goes and where does he?

I think it is all a control thing with JAKE, why? because this is exactly what my partner did up to me leaving. And he does so now. He wants to know where I go, he wants to know when I am home. BUT if I dare to ask him, he will say why do you need to know?

Then he if I say well you always want to know about me, He pulls the response on me that "I am female and anything could happen to me so he needs to know."

THOUGH he can take physical care of himself, so I don't need to know.

The truth is just like you said to me Jay is "each needs to know out of care and respect for the other, so no one has any need to feel uncared for." So you have every right to want to know where he is going.

THOUGH I don't agree he is having an affair. HE doesn't have to, cuz he has you thinking he is so he is CONTROLLING YOU without having to do anything. He is venting his anger by getting you riled up.

It is like for example, I was always scared before of my partner in case he lost control. He never had to lose control just the thought made me scared.

Take care Theressa

PS I can say you're reactive, only because so am I. My motto is you can only say things, if you can admit you do them to.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Hi Still struggling with: is he too good to leave or too bad to stay.

REMEMBER No one is all good or all bad!!

WE feel angry when someone injury's our self esteem. (OUR SELF VALUE), so it doesn't matter if they give you breakfast in bed everyday. If they make you feel your not good enough, then you will feel angry. All the social things, material and I love you's in the world, DON'T alter the fact that he can't accept you as you ARE, and love you just as you ARE!!

However, You have to learn to love you, and accept you first. It is okay to be good at one thing, and less good at another. YOU are okay, and so is he as far as strengths and weaknesses are concerned, in everyday things.

HOWEVER, he is lacking in the emotional sense. He feels he needs to put you down, to build him up. However, you don't have to believe what he is saying.

YOU NEED TO SEE YOURSELF AS YOU ARE, and know it is okay that you are as you are, HOWEVER, you to need to strengthen your emotional sense.

Now as for explaining to him. YOU Choose how you want to act, or what you want to do. HOW he reacts is not your problem. HOWEVER, remember respect.

What I mean by this is: You phone to let him know you will be late, out of care, just as you would with anyone else.

However, if you phone and say "I am going to be late something came up" and he begins to lecture you, YOU SHOULDN'T try to explain over and over.

So there is consideration by phoning and THEN there is explain and explaining trying to convince him. THIS YOU DON'T DO!!

Boundaries: You decide what you will or will not accept, so if he calls you names (YOUR BOUNDARY IS: I will not listen to you putting me down, I am going to leave the room.)

YOU may be asking what about his reaction? Well that is his problem you just get out of his way. IF he yells, you leave the house. You just say "I won't listen to you yelling." YOU DON'T however tell him not to yell.

YOU CONTROL YOURSELF.

When he feels the way you do everything is wrong. To handle this you have to be able to listen and then say "I don't agree" if you don't agree. OR "Okay" if you do agree. DON'T get into a debate if you don't agree. THIS IS DISENGAGING. NO need to have an argument.

IN FACT having an argument is the worse thing you can do. REMEMBER WE ALL FIND OUR OWN WAY OF DOING THINGS, HOWEVER, WE CAN ALSO LEARN OFF EVERYONE. SO it is best to just listen and then decide whether you take their advice or not.

Also remember Fear, obligation and guilt are linked to setting boundaries. When I was FEARFUL I couldn't set them either. You have to first realise you don't have to put up with this.

Then you go about making plans incase you ever do have to leave. Secondly you notice how you feel, if you feel guilty, YOU ASK YOURSELF WHY? Why should he be put before you?? You shouldn't ever totally focus on him and ignore yourself.

SO if your tired and he needs something doing, then your tired end of story. You say NO!

Boundaries are about being able to say YES and NO for yourself. If you feel yukky when asked, then it means you need to say NO. Otherwise you are hurting yourself.

 

How does one ever make a decision about what to do about one's relationship?

That is a decision you make when you have set boundaries and finally you've told the other person that you both need to get help. IF they don't get the help then you make this decision.

MY RULE OF THUMB IS: When the relationship is costing you far too much more than you are getting back. And since the other isn't doing anything to help you gain something, then you have to ask why are you staying. Though this should be done in steps, when you are finally ready to make this decision, you will be ready, simple as that.

Especially after decades of marriage? Does one stay and try everything until there's nothing left to try?

One stays until as I say above, one feels it is time to not stay. I for one left, and now I am back with my partner after a break. I worked on my own self esteem and skills. So no one can tell you when to leave. YOU WILL know when you are ready, If you ever make that decision.

Does one continue to have an active outside-marriage life ... but what's the point if one really wants a rewarding personal relationship with a husband?

ONE should always have interests and friends of their own whether they are married or not. It isn't healthy to focus solely on one person.

You can still have a rewarding personal relationship infact this is the only way you can. THOUGH you have to start respecting your self first. Which you will do if you say YES and NO when it is right for you.

When the subject of separating is mentioned, he is against it.

WHY wouldn't he be. He has everything right now. He doesn't have to change. HE will only have to work at things if you set boundaries. RIGHT now you accept all he throws at you, so WHY SHOULD he want to change anything. THINKING about this?

Counseling with three different counselors at different times was a bust. One counselor didn't want to continue after the first session because the counselor didn't see him as having a viewpoint other than it's the wife's problem.

HE HAS TO WANT TO WORK AT THINGS, NO ONE CAN FORCE HIM. Your boundary setting will help though!! PLEASE continue therapy for yourself with an abuse therapist. THEY will help support you.

Two of the counselors encouraged individual counseling without him, which has been the case for awhile.

SOMETIMES a victim needs to work out her anger first alone. And learn to manage it before she can sort out her marital problems.

I hope this has helped. It takes time, don't expect to be sorting this over night, even as you are learning the skills, as you will see here!! we all have slip ups and make many mistakes. IN LEARNING THIS IS COMPULSORY.

Since success are failures turned inside out!!! SO if you try and fail and then you look at what went wrong and change that step next time.

 

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Hi JAY,

They PLAN!!

(YES I know I am a trainee in this department!! LOL)

I have a saying: PLAN, Have you got a plan, plan what you will do.

As for you feeling frustrated about the housework, I have been there to. It is about your anger inside. Probably. You don't want to do anything, cuz you feel you are not appreciated. YOU FEEL TOTALLY ANGRY AND UNCARED FOR AND only when you've sorted out your anger will you want to get organised, with the housework.

It isn't a priority right now so don't worry. Where you focus your energy YOU GET RESULTS. But you have to want to focus it first.

WHEN it is a priority the motivation will come. PROMISES.

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

I've been reading these posts for two days now. A lot of it hit home. I married my husband knowing he had a temper and was moody. We've been married for almost 7 years and have a six month old son. Over these 7 years, we had many conversations about how he hurts my feelings when he snaps at me and why he does it. Snapping really doesn't cover it actually, he bites my head off and cusses the whole time. (Of course he's not cussing AT me, he's just cussing according to him.) Things have gotten better, but the underlying anger he has always has is still there. Typical things are him getting in moods because he's tired, hungry, or had a bad day at work. Or when he has a lot of things going and he's stressed trying to get everything done. I honestly feel like things are better because I've learned to get right back in his face when he's being stupid. I've never felt like it would escalate to physical violence. He's never called me names or put me down. So some of the stuff I'm reading about, I can't relate to. And right now, we're on an even keel so part of me feels guilty for thinking bad things about him, while the more honest part of me is wondering why it's taken me so long to get here. I know he'll do it again. If I hear "I'm sorry for snapping at you" one more time I think I'm going to go crazy. I forgive him every time something comes up. He'll be mean and then he'll come up and apologize and tell me how much he loves me. He always apologizes and then he'll mope and feel guilty for how crappy he talked to me. Then he'll say how he's worried I'll leave him. (and he should by now). I feel like I live with Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. Half the time, he's so complimentary, telling me how much he loves me, then he'll treat me like dirt. Then apologize. If anyone has advice on how to break this cycle, please post something. After we have an incident, he'll be nice - until the next time. Sometimes it can be a day or a few months. I'm seriously having thoughts of leaving and I really don't want to. I love him and I want my son to have a family. But what if he does it to my son? I want to take some of this info home and have him read it, but I know it will hurt his feelings. How can I continue to be concerned for his feelings when he hurts mine at the drop of a hat? The comments are so subtle sometimes I let them slide and then things start building up all over again. And some of them are so startling I don't know how to respond. For instance when I recently asked him if he wanted burgers for dinner - his response "I don't want &^#$ing burgers, I had burgers for two ^%&^ing days in a row" blah blah blah How do you stop it? He's gone to counseling and is taking St. John's Wort. Why does he make me feel so incompetent? I get totally pissed at him and can't express it. Then I let him cuddle up to me and apologize. What do you do? Leigh

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Elaine,

It is not right for him to interrupt angrily and snap at you. Don't worry about 'being annoying'. If you want to work on you for YOU fine, but it is not healthy to worry about others perceiving you like that. Maybe your new feelings ARE in part due to perimenopause. Maybe the disrespect from your partner is really getting to you in a way that you can't see... TZ

Jay,

Theressa is doing such an amazing job at offering insight/advice for the REALLY important stuff, but ...how do you get motivated to clean?? Try this: CLEANING THERAPY. I also highly recommend cooking therapy, shopping therapy. These are less expensive then the traditional forms of therapy. For the cleaning therapy, put some music on - Mozart is best. Don't be afraid to remove stuff (everything) from shelves, tables, closets, everywhere...but not at the same time. You can try Anaerobic Cleaning Therapy (just tighten various muscles), Stretching Cleaning Therapy, or Coffee Cleaning Therapy, where you make a full (10 or 12 cups) pot of coffee with cinnamon sprinkled in with the grounds, vanilla creamer, and keep refilling as you clean. Feel free to invent your own variations...

If this does not work, throw a party or invite some people over who have never been to your house before. That should do it. Giggle!

TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

I just had to laugh at myself! I was brainstorming things to do with my XBF's belongings and had the thought of his clothing, papers...getting mildewy (they are in an outer storage shed) as it has been raining here most of the week. Then a blue pen marked my thoughts! (not my problem!) Dr. Irene, you are omnipresent! On a side note, it was his idea to put his things in the shed. hhhmmmm, I don't feel bad about it now! Good!

I have been reading, studying, researching... this site for over a year. Your blue pen stays with me! Thank you!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

I went out with one of these for a little over a year; he was very attentive and loving at first; I could do no wrong. Later, I thought that his Jeckyl/Hyde thing was a joke at first; it got worse and more frequent as time passed. I ended it. Of course, it actually took me eons to get rid of him, including a restraining order (he only pushed me once, but I was afraid that he would only got worse and he would absolutely flip out and be furious over nothing -- if I laughed at something, he would get angry and ask me if I was laughing at him [after all, the world does revolve around him, does it not?).

One thing that really scared me was that his face would start to twist (his mouth would twist sideways in a grimace) and his arms would go up in the air and he would shake them. His previous girlfriends also noted that behavior. Is it common / unusual? I've never seen it before in anyone and hope I never again do! I hope you don't either!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 05, 2001

S1

Having had a relationship with a control freak, I spent some time alone and met someone who seemed to be really nice for about 5 months. Our last weekend together was awful. I'd returned home from a 10 day vacation and was jet-lagged. We got together with a social group we both belong to, although he is closer with the people there that night. Beer was flowing freely; I got there an hour after he did and he had had a few already.

He was seated in a spot where anyone wanting to go to the restrooms had to squeeze past him. He started groping all the women who passed. I sat there trying to be a "good sport" about it but was secretly horrified for about 2 hours. I had no idea he would act like this (he's in his late 50's).

I had invited a single woman who complained about not having female friends or meeting single men. She talked to no one else but my boyfriend and sat next to him all night. All but 6 of us left, 3 of his single friends, and the 3 of us. She did not talk to the single men. He sat between her and me with his back towards me. Even though this was a hot wing restaurant and no one danced, she asked him to dance a few times and they did. He did ask me if I wanted to dance and I declined as it's not a dance place. I sat there for 2 more hours and finally got up and asked him to walk me out. I was not happy with either of them and was shocked by his rude behavior all evening. He had been very nice up to that point; we went to plays, romantic dinners, etc. I felt embarrassed, humiliated, put-down.... I tried to be cool about it and laughed and talked with others all night, but it was very rude. The next day, he said he had no interest in her and did not intend to hurt me (ok, so then he just has bad manners?). I was pretty angry.... He did drink too much, but how am I supposed to interpret that behavior?

We talked the next day and agreed to go out that evening for dinner with more of his friends. Everything was fine until he asked one of the wives to dance: he returned to our table where the remaining 4 of us were engrossed in conversation. He interrupted us and told me to watch him dancing with this woman -- she knew how to do a swing dance step that he does (I've never seen anyone else do that step). I don't know what that was all about, except it felt like he was trying to say "see, she can do this and you can't" also, it was a rude interruption of our conversation. I just brushed it off, saying "no thanks, go have fun." (I think that I would have had to get up to watch it and just didn't feel like it.) They returned to our table and he made 6 or 7 comments about it. I tried to ignore it, laugh it off, then as he continued, I felt cornered and I engaged a little, trying to joke about it, but I mentioned that our dance instructor told him it was wrong, and finally I said that maybe it's a generational thing (he's quite a bit older than I). With that, he dropped it and we had a nice time.

After the others left, we danced. Finally, he said something about I can't believe how resistant you are to dancing the way I want to (I'm not and have followed even though it's very awkward). I got angry again -- I felt that he was again being rude, disrespectful, controlling.... I left (we had driven separately). We are not dating now.

It seems really dopey to fight over such trivialities, but what's really going on underneath this? I felt that he was disrespectful and trying to control me or humiliate me both nights. I had a very strong feeling in my gut that said "leave." The first night, I sat there for hours trying to be pleasant; the second night was just insult onto injury.

Did I manage to find another control freak? Too much alcohol? Work is really busy and he's overwhelmed? Am I too sensitive? He's angry at me for not trying to "work it out" but I'm not sure what I could have done: said "stop it"? Should I have stayed and said what?

I haven't called and won't. He hasn't either, of course. I will run into him socially from time-to-time. Comments? Suggestions?

Thanks, s

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 06, 2001

S1

Hi All,

Well I've posted quite a bit in the last few days. Lots to think about.

I finished reading the ANGER workbook last night. Though I have to practice it for the rest of my life. I like the triangle best, here it is for any of you who wants to know about it: (I can't draw a triangle here but I will put point 1, 2 and 3.

Point 1 - Relaxation (relax those muscles when you feel tensed) Point 2 - Timeout (go and cool down, and breathe, or take a bubble bath) Point 3 - Stop your negative thinking (using a piece of paper folded on once side write your negative thought and on the other a logical explanation.

 

Last night I read about FORCED CHOICES: Either I hit him or I walk away and feel helpless?

OR I can use alternative choices: (This is problem solving)

1) I identify the problem - the real problem.

e.g. For me it isn't so much about my partner going out. THE REAL problem is he doesn't seem to take responsibility for our child, which leaves me feeling resentful that it is always up to me to either sort our child out or get a sitter.

2) List alternatives (brainstorm) *I could tell him how I feel - I feel it is unfair that you don't mind our child, so I have to get a baby sitter or mind her myself.

*Ask someone else to mind her so I can still go out

*Ask him straight out one time if he'll mind our child

*Tell him I am annoyed that that he is free but not annoyed that he goes out

3) Then you prioritize the alternatives, putting the most likely to work first.

I have tried telling him I think it isn't fair. (though I wasn't very assertive) so this is an option

I haven't just come out and asked frankly will he mind our child on xxx day.

If I tell him I am angry that he is free and not about him going out (He will respond, "You chose to mind her and be her primary caretaker seven months ago.")

So maybe the best option is to ask him out frankly will he mind our child.

MAYBE he won't mind her, so maybe I have to accept this and look at my other alternatives. Maybe I could just ask someone else to mind her so at least I still get to go out.

AT THE end of the day we can be assertive, we can manage our anger. BUT we can't force or control others. However, frustrated we might feel.

AND yes I end up still feeling like most of you here. That I don't want this, I want a partner who wants to be a team. SO I guess this is why I am still angry.

I speak up and say this bothers me and he replies. I work xxx hours more than you so I need some free time. No one is stopping you going out, if you want to get a sitter.

SO it goes on, HIM, HIM, HIM!!

Maybe one day I will sort this mess out. OR maybe I will just tell him straight I don't want this.

I get a horrible feeling in my gut. This feeling is fear. THE fear is that things haven't really changed. I just see more of the good bits now.

Well they have changed, as in I feel better about myself, and am learning better skills. And how to get self control. BUT the obstacle I always had HIM NOT TAKING EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR CHILD IS STILL THERE!!!

God only knows how I can ever sort this puzzle out.

THAT was the last paragraph of the ANGER work book. IS it a puzzle (a hill you can get over) OR are you making it a PROBLEM (a mountain that is hard to get to the top of)?

For me the other dimension is: FEAR (Yes fear that I will speak up and still not get what I want and become more frustrated, cuz then I have to decide if I really want to put up with a guy like this???)

Take care Theressa 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 06, 2001

S1

Hi All, it is me again, Theressa,

I think also I need to define what my expectations are?

So this is my next job.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 06, 2001

S1

I would like to know what you all think of something that I've been living with for the last 5 1/2 years. My husband refuses to put his money together with mine. He has a high paying job. He gets his paycheck and basically does what he wants to with it. He has a very large savings account which he refuses to put my name on. We've had so many fights over this. Also he has tons of credit cards with his name on only. If I want anything I buy it. He always has something to say about it though. But its perfectly OK for him to go to the casino and spend his money the way he wants. If he buys anything such as a TV and a bed and he paid for it with his money he looks at it as it is all his and took it with him when we broke up once before. He pays his bills I pay mine. He pays $400.00 of our rent I pay the rest. We now pay half of the utilities. I can't understand how you can feel like one in a marriage like this. I've tried to accept this arrangement but I can't. In 5 1/2 years we have accumulated no assets. Tax time is a nightmare. It's always my fault that we owe money. If he does give me any money for anything he will always throw it in my face when he have a fight. "I do a lot for you" " I gave you this and that" Then I am left with feelings of being unappreciative. I also live with putdowns on a daily basis. All he wants to do is work. Money is his God. He's very self fish in my opinion. If I try to discuss my feelings with him he gets mad and loud and angry and usually I end up being very upset and in tears. He doesn't care as long as he wins and gets to stay the same. I've asked him to put my name on the savings account several times. He won't do it. He says he wants to but a house, then he says he wants to build a house. But yet he does nothing to put these wants into action. I feel he has no intention of doing either. Meanwhile the bank account just keeps getting bigger. I feel like I am living like I did when I was single. What do I need him for? Its me taking care of all his needs. When I need it like its a pain in his butt. You would think I was asking for a million dollars. Anyway I just wanted some input on this. I need some support. Thanks. Tina

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 06, 2001

S1

Hi Tina,

I hear you loud and clear!!!

The point is he doesn't see the same value in what you do as he does in what he does!! However, that is his twisted reality, because what we all do is a contribution, and valuable.

I have been where you are! He uses guilt to make you feel you owe him. He knows he can get away with his behaviour because you let him.

I am not blaming you. This is a difficult thing to put up with and one YOU rightly realise you don't have to put up with.

I left my partner because of the unfairness. Now I have my own money, and he has his. We also have our own separate homes. We were separated totally for seven months.

However, something has changed. He does spend money on me now. I explained to him that I didn't want to put up with his selfishness anymore and that what I did was valuable.

It took him seven months and strong action on my part of leaving to make him budge.

However, he doesn't pay me maintenance for our child, so in my mind him paying when we go out is OKAY.

However, this angers me when he says Well I buy you xxx and i pay for you to go xxxx. I tell him yes and you don't pay maintenance.

I know you are frustrated and feel helpless. I am afraid YOU HAVE TO SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY: You have to tell him what you will and won't put up with. AND if he doesn't change then you have to decide whether you want to stay.

Sometimes as in my case you have to move out and make it clear you don't want this. Other times you might be able to speak up and tell him you don't want this anymore and you tell him you are leaving. THOUGH either way its a gamble because unless he wants to share, you can't force him to.

I have a similar problem with childcare.

You have some options:

You can tell him you are not happy and don't want to go on like this anymore, so if things don't change you don't see any point sticking around. (YOU need to plan to the last item where you will go, how you will keep yourself etc)

You seem to be keeping yourself already anyway.

OR you could say your not happy with things the way they are, you don't feel like a couple, you want to be a team and share.

OR you could ask him does he see what you do as valuable to him.

IN THE end you still can't force him to change. HOWEVER, as in my case it took me to leave and him to think things through before he realised how selfish he was being.

ALSO I would start getting on with your own life, take a night class etc. THIS will show him that you care about yourself.

ALSO set boundaries, I mentioned above how to do this to another poster.

BASICALLY YOU tell him what you will or won't put up with, but you have to MEAN WHAT YOU SAY AND SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. Without angry displays.

SEARCH ON THIS SITE FOR ASSERTIVENESS AND TRY TO GET HOLD OF THE ANGER WORKBOOK.

In the end Tina you have to ask yourself, if at this point in time you can afford to stay in this relationship as it is!

AND I know how hard this is since I to was affraid and felt helpless myself. HOWEVER, you are not helpless you do have choices. YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP. Then you need to consider what your next move is once you've spoken up. YOU NEED TO BE FIRM:

"I am unhappy about us not sharing and being part of a team. I do not feel I can go on like this long term, I want us to share, otherwise I will give it another six months and then I am leaving, because I want to be with someone who wants to share and sees what I do as valuable. I can't afford to stay in this relationship any longer if I am treated like this."

Then you have to make a deadline to see if he does change. IN the mean time leave evidence around of your plans to leave, such as brochures on flats etc, or letters to a relative about going to stay with them.

This in its self might budge him! and maybe if he thinks he is losing you he might buck up and sort himself out.

However, it may take for you to leave and show him what you really do, do for him. To budge him.

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 06, 2001

S1

Hi all and the new people. Theressa, it must be the weather we are posting so much! I got out my anger management stuff last night and had a look. I guess actually I have been managing pretty well by putting it on the site rather than onto Jake. Better here than there!

The therapist did sort of sign us off today Why? Did she and the team decide nobody was about to make any changes? but there WAS progress for me at least. I said I had had enough and we could just live as lodgers. So now we are living with the "lodger model' as the therapist called it and that is that. Maybe he will treat me better as a lodger than his wife; although who is lodging with who is unclear. Maybe he would like to have an affair with his lodger.

I think I suddenly woke up and thought. NO! the stuff you have done to me is NOT OK.

Jake just sat silent a lot of the time and the empathic part of me feels really sorry for him. But maybe this is better for us just now. What gets you into trouble to begin with is your empathy! Have empathy, but not at your expense.

Actually I feel kind of free and didn't start worrying what Jake would say if.....when I went shopping. Good!

I also thought "I don't need a therapist any more because I can sort my own stuff. I do need the catbox and Dr Irene, but on an ongoing basis only me can help me anyway. I'd like to see you in therapy. You got lots from it.

Daughter and son have become sort of super respectful and nice and there is plenty in life to do without worrying about Jake any more.

Guess I just learnt that I need nobody to make me toast! Jay I'll make you toast AuntieJay!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 07, 2001

S1

Dear Catbox,

I just returned from a marvelous stay in Oxford and I can assure you Jay's three heads are not scary! They actually look rather cute (giggle). I actually was afraid she would not like my purple and pin spotted eyes. But low and behold, seems she did!. Is this normal behaviour or are we still in the throws of codependency? It's an awful syndrome called "friendship." Giggle!

When I came back a friend asked me how our meeting went and was she like I expected. And I suddenly realised that I have no expectations of the way you look, it does not mater really. Somehow in my mind you are a sort of clone of what I look like, or my friends. Strange thing! But I really liked Jay and I think it is a good think to see we of the Catbox are real live people and not stories invented for the sake of a ‘Dear Abby- Dr. Irene'. I started reading the posts (I sorely missed you lot), but are not half done.

I would like to comment about the money issue Tina raised and Theressa's answer to that. I can understand how you feel, but try to imagine how you would feel if it was the other way around! I have been in such a position for years and so has a good friend of mine. Working for pay while our partner thought up all sorts of reasons for not having to do his share. In our cases there are no children involved and both partners did not do any homework to compensate. I know I felt I had to ‘share', cause that is the way I felt it would be between partners. But I did feel exceedingly I was the one to do all the sharing, all he shared were his debts!! I do not want to invalidate you, but I do think that in a balanced partnership it is normal that both partners pay an equal share in money spent on the household. If I earn more then my partner does, I think it would be ok to pay more then half, but I would still have more money to spent then he does. He CHOOSES to work less, or work at a less demanding job or has other priorities. In C's case he really is a great artist, but he refuses to market his work, cause he feels like that is selling his soul. I can understand that, I respect that, but the consequence is he has a hard time earning money and I refuse to bear these consequence for him like I used to. I work, I get money and if ever we get back to living together, I expect him to pay a fair share of housing, eating and fun. I like sharing, I like giving him presents, but I do not like to be expected to share all the money I earn by working hard, while he chooses to do things that do not get him money. Now that we are separated he has to take care of himself too, and I would expect him to keep doing that. Things are different when one of the partners is doing a job watching after most of the household duties, including taking care of the child. Housework is a job too. But the way this issue is put here, leaves me feeling upset, cause I know to well what the other side might be. (vent vent vent...)

Jay keep reading and posting, keep looking for your silence, it is still there, you will find it. And please take care not to let the fear of him having and affair control your thinking and you feeling centered. Whether he has or has not is about him, not about how much you are worth. Yes. I learned the hard way, for 12 years I felt so insecure, always thinking he might have an affair (and sure, he may have helped me feel insecure, but in the end it was my responsibility) . But because of my fear I realise I actually got very controlling and I do belief that helped him towards actually having an affair. I know, it was his responsibility, and I am not making excuses, for there are none to make. Yes. You created the space he needed as his excuse... But I got to see my part and I do not like it, and I am only slowly learning to control my suspicion. Maybe he will have an other affair, maybe he will leave to live in Africa or China or do all sorts of nasty things, but I am sure as hell not going to ruin my days by being afraid of it and waiting for it, like I used to!!!! Good!

I will try to catch up with the rest of you guys later.

And now for some happy new: My cat just gave birth to three kittens this morning. She seems to have waited till I was home from England (makes me feel good to think that way :)) and they are sooo beautiful. Trubble said to let you know he's love a namesake. Giggle!

Love to all of you,

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 07, 2001

S1

Dear AJ: It's Tina, I didn't quite understand your recent post. Could you post again and explain a little better? My husband makes three times as much money as I do. We do not have any children. We have no together goals. I understand the part of sharing. I don't have a problem with that, he does. I don't feel it right that he has a very large savings account due to the job he has which he obtained after we were married. When we were married we made equal amount of money. If the shoe were on the other foot we would have been living in a house by now. We would be enjoying the better things in life and I would be sharing with him. This man does not want to do any of that. He just wants to work and save more and more money. I don't know how to work this money thing out. I just don't know what to do. He doesn't seem to have a problem spending money on him self. But when I would like new furniture for example, there is anger. We've been married 5 1/2 years and all that he has bought for our home is a TV, a bed. That's it. I have bought the rest. We still use the furniture that I came into the marriage with as well as other items. When I do but things with my own money he has something to say about it. "Where are you getting all the money?" I don't feel I have to explain anything to him. The financial situation is the way it is because of him. If my husband has to spend money on other than him self he's has something to say about it and it is usually angry comments. Don't get me wrong I think its great that he has saved the amount of money he has and that's he has worked very hard for it. I think that is a good quality. But... In my opinion he is cheap and selfish. He told me the other day my name is not on the savings account because I'll spend it all. I was so hurt. I consider myself to be thrifty. I am not an elaborate person. I do think at 45 years I should after raising three children be allowed to enjoy nicer things in life. He is 39, never been married and no children. I have found myself to be competing with him. Working two jobs to save a lot of money like him. To obtain his approval. To show him I can save money like he does to gain his approval and respect. This is ridiculous. I feel like I am on my own. If I had an emergency and needed financial help I do not feel that my husband would help me with out begrudging it. But I do see that if his family needs money he gives it to them. They have to pay him back of course. But I don't see him giving them a hard time like he does me. So now that I have given you a little bit more background on the money issue maybe you will have a better understanding of my situation and can get a clearer picture and reply your thoughts. I appreciate any input. Thanks Tina

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