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Old 11-28-2010, 08:36 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I always wanted someone to lean on, someone I could trust, someone to take care of me. So, I spent my life taking care of others, being trustworthy, letting them lean on me. In my mind, I was earning "my turn." I figured if I did all those things for someone else, they would eventually do them for me. You know, tit for tat and all that.
I didnt really think I was doing this until I stopped receiving emails.
I thought WTF? Where is he now? I have been there for awhile now, and then I realized he was doing all the leaning. All the leaning.
Dammit.

This foolish feeling is still there. Like I have been tricked. I guess I fooled myself.
He is not an alcoholic, but now, I wonder if something else is wrong there that I have refused to look at.
Sigh.....

I still "know" I deserve better than this.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:41 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
I didnt really think I was doing this until I stopped receiving emails.
I thought WTF? Where is he now? I have been there for awhile now, and then I realized he was doing all the leaning. All the leaning.
Dammit.

This foolish feeling is still there. Like I have been tricked. I guess I fooled myself.
He is not an alcoholic, but now, I wonder if something else is wrong there that I have refused to look at.
Sigh.....

I still "know" I deserve better than this.
I NEVER thought I was doing it WHILE I was doing it, lol. I was just being a "good person." It's totally subconscious with me. It comes from growing up in a family where I had to earn love. It wasn't just given to me for being me. (The perfectionist thing comes from the same place, BTW.)

You're right. You do deserve better. So why are you wasting brain space on this guy.

L
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:48 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
If the things I prefer aren't forthcoming in a relationship, I have the choice to accept what is, or walk away. Neither is devastating anymore, because I have changed what I thought were needs into preferences.
I'm going to stumble over this, because I can't think of the words for my impression, so please forgive me if this sounds a little disjointed...

Then what is the purpose of having relationships with other people? If we can't trust (because IMO part of trust is "putting yourself out there" and being vulnerable, even just a little), then why bother having a person share your life? I don't mean to be harsh, I just can't think of another way to word it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
I'm going to stumble over this, because I can't think of the words for my impression, so please forgive me if this sounds a little disjointed...

Then what is the purpose of having relationships with other people? If we can't trust (because IMO part of trust is "putting yourself out there" and being vulnerable, even just a little), then why bother having a person share your life? I don't mean to be harsh, I just can't think of another way to word it.
Please don't apologize. It took me several years to wrap my head around this and many other things that had been "givens" in my life.

The purpose of having relationships with others is to enhance our lives, not to make us whole. And don't believe for a minute that I have it all figured out. I've just come to realize, at the tender age of 48, that my life is MINE, regardless of who else is in it.

People come into our lives for many different reasons. Most of which are unknown to us until much later. What gets me in trouble is thinking I know the reason. I have a tendency to cast others into roles, then I get upset/disappointed/resentful if they do not live up to the role. My job is to live my life to the best of my ability, not to direct others to fulfill my fantasies.

L
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:17 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post

The purpose of having relationships with others is to enhance our lives, not to make us whole.

...

My job is to live my life to the best of my ability, not to direct others to fulfill my fantasies.
Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
I always wanted someone to lean on, someone I could trust, someone to take care of me. So, I spent my life taking care of others, being trustworthy, letting them lean on me. In my mind, I was earning "my turn." I figured if I did all those things for someone else, they would eventually do them for me. You know, tit for tat and all that.

What I never realized is that I was building up expectations the whole time. That I felt entitled to some care in return for "all I'd done for them." It made me insincere and needy.
You've given me some things to think about. Thanks. (I think! )
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:32 PM
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Hello there SaraghG

Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
...Then what is the purpose of having relationships with other people? If we can't trust (because IMO part of trust is "putting yourself out there" and being vulnerable, even just a little), then why bother having a person share your life?...
ummmm.... no.... that's not quite the way I learned it in recovery. First off, you've got a _lot_ of "stuff" going on in your life all at the same time. What I was taught is to _first_ take a deep breath, then let it out, then pick just _one_ thing to work on and _not_ pick all the problems I had in my life all on one day. They called it "moving a mountain one shovelful at a time".

That was really hard for me at first, because I had this sense of urgency that if I didn't fix it all _now_ it would never get fixed. But over time all the important things got attended to and the ones that didn't weren't that important after all.

So let me take them one at a time and tell you how it works for me.

Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
.... Of course, there is a huge, huge part of me that doesn't trust him. ...
Well yeah, of course you don't. Why would you? The idea is that recovery, of any kind, does _not_ happen in one day. It takes a lot more than one day. My marriage didn't fall apart in one day, and I would never trust my ex-wife again in just one day. Trust is something that is _earned_, and if she were willing to _slowly_ earn back my trust then I would be supportive by slowly seeing if she acted in ways that showed me she was trustworthy. Recovery is a _process_, not an event.

Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
.... But how do I do that when I'm still so, so angry at him? ...
You don't. You work on _your_ recovery so that you loose the anger while he works on his recovery so he _earns_ your trust. _After_ you have lost the anger _then_ you can move forward. That's the way it works for me. As long as I'm angry at my partner my emotions get in the way and I can't be of any use to her, to our relationship, or to my own needs.

Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
....How do I reconcile those two things? ...
You don't. They're not _supposed_ do be reconciled. That's why there's _separate_ meetings for addicts and family members. Our recovery is _separate_.

My ex needs to get her life in order, and become the kind of person I fell in love with in the first place. I need to get _my_ life in order and become the kind of person that _can_ fall in love with her again. When _both_ of us reach that point in our recovery then _I_ won't need to have her apologize because she will have apologized with _actions_. I will no longer feel anger at her because I will have learned how to live my life without expecting her to be something that she is not.

Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
.... and there's no spouse or family meetings, like Al Anon...
Al-anon _is_ for you. Al-anon is for anybody whose life has been affected by the addiction of a loved one. Back when al-anon started it was centered on alcoholics, but over the last 60-some years it has grown and we welcome _anybody_ who needs support with any addiction. My ex-wife is a pill addict, and all the al-anon meetings in town welcomed me just fine. A few years later I fell in love with a lady who has a food addiction, and the alanoids didn't bat an eye.

So yes, feel free to shop around the al-anon meetings in your area. Listen to the what they share and you will see that the feelings we all experience, and the solutions to our problems, are all the same. It's not _what_ they are addicted to that matters, it's the _damage_ it does that matters, and that damage is the same.

Am I making sense with all that? It's hard to explain with just text on a screen.

Mike
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:36 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Overcoming an addiction is basically a decision that your husband must make on his own. After identifying the addiction he can seek help from a variety of sources. With help he can look at what motivates him to buy things and how his spending habits affect the core quality of his family life, which is to say, how it shapes the way he relates to those close to him, how he imagines he is regarded by others, and how he really feels about himself.

Feelings of emptiness, low self-esteem, insecurity, boredom, loneliness, or the pursuit of ideal image can cause people to buy compulsively. But managing these feelings and mood states by buying compulsively can have extremely serious consequences and significantly erode quality of life.

As with most other addictive, impulse control, or compulsive disorders, there is a wide range of effective treatment options including individual psychotherapy, group
and couples therapy, and self help programs such as Debtors Anonymous. Psychotropic medications, including antidepressants and mood stabilizers, can, also, be helpful
in treating compulsive buying.

The major premise of therapy for compulsive buying is the idea that insight alone will not stop the behavior. All stages in the compulsive buying cycle must be identified: the triggers, the feelings, the dysfunctional thoughts, the behaviors, the consequences of the behavior, as well as the meaning of the compulsive buying. Individual therapy for compulsive buying runs the gamut from traditional psychotherapy, with an almost exclusive focus on the underlying dynamics within a historical context, to a very strict focus on the here and now of the problem, with little attention to underlying dynamics.

Couples therapy for compulsive buying can be an extremely important treatment modality since many couples act as a financial unit and generally blend income as well
as spending. Money issues are an intrinsic part of marriage and are often a source of friction that can invade other aspects of the relationship.

The more you understand about spending addiction and other addictions, the better you can cope with them and with related problems. Reaching out for information and
assistance can help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life. People who suffer from a spending addiction or other addiction related problems can get help from a mental health professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker. A lot of local ministers are trained in money management.

For more information about spending addiction please click on the linked websites listed below.

Shopaholic No More

Therapist Drug Rehab Psychologist - Find a Drug Rehab Program Psychologist Therapist Eating Disorder Treatment Center

IIARC

Spending Addiction; RA's Twelve Step Spending Addiction Recovery Program

The Simple Dollar

Green Panda Treehouse

Debtors Anonymous - Recovery from Compulsive Debt

******************************************** *****************

Any time I am in resentment, I am not taking care of myself. I am blaming someone else for something I need to do.

An expectation is a premeditated resentment.

The higher the expectations, the lower the serenity. I try to keep my boundaries high, my expectations low, and my heart open.

Learn to give from my overflow rather that from my reserve. This is self care, we learn to let go of burdens we were never meant to carry. Learn to ask, “What is the best thing for me?”

I remove the other person’s dignity if I try to make their decisions for them.

******************************************** *****************

Learn to live with the “disease” that comes when you stop something and practice new behavior, the feelings will pass.

Anger can be constructive in telling me that someone else is stepping on some boundaries that I need to enforce.

The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is in how you use them.

It is futile to spend time trying to figure out what makes some one else tick.

When I blame someone else for something, I give up my power to them.

***************************************** ******************
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:34 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
I feel like my life is just a constant battle of "waiting for the other shoe to drop." And then I get my hopes up anyway, and then after the big letdown, feel stupid because I let myself be "suckered" again. That's a hard balance to find - being hopeful and optimistic against waiting for the hurt to come. I don't want to be some jaded old woman (that's my mother), but I don't want to be vulnerable, either. I don't want to constantly go through life so guarded that I'm scrutinizing the intentions of everyone around me, but I just can't keep putting myself out there to be a doormat, either.
sarah!

well, you are a smart, smart cookie.

i quoted the above section because i identify with it.

1 million percent.

aahhh. so afraid to be used, or a doormat.

so, you know an awful lot about addiction and your own issue with regard to it. all good.

i think you've just done some work regarding your anger.
keep posting, sweetheart. hope things start feeling like an improvement soon.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
It's okay to be angry.

Are you just angry at him, or are you angry at you?

I thought I was only angry at my Alcoholic. After I put down my magnifying glass that kept me focused on him and his behaviors, I picked up my mirror and looked at what I had been accepting in my life. I looked and saw time after time I put up with unacceptable behavior. Then I really started to get mad, and I was mad at me!

I had to stew in my anger for some time. Please let us know how we can help you through this time of frustration.
hi all

Wanted to start my own thread on anger - glad to see this thread with the valuable insights.

I am currently at the "terrible twos" stage. Two years out of a relationship with STBXAH (marriage lasted 23 years) and now only ANGRY. I find myself to be selfish and hanging on to my anger. Cannot seem to shake it. Angry towards him, myself,anybody that expect something of me, my upbringing, my inlaws for "rejecting" me etc . etc. I know I am not a beautiful person right now and wait for it .... now I am being ashamed of myself.

I want this anger to pass. It is an uncomfortable feeling. It is not a familiar feeling. Although I am starting to be aware that I carry a lot of resentments - that could have been there for a long time- but I hid it. From me and everybody.

This is a very uncomfortable stage of my recovery - anybody that can relate?

Last edited by DesertEyes; 12-02-2010 at 06:49 PM. Reason: fixed broken quote
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:19 PM
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Hooo boy, can I relate! I got to a stage where it couldn't even be described as anger anymore, it was nothing short of red hot RAGE!

Journaling helped me, as did punching pillows, screaming in the car with the music turned up, and walking really fast till I was out of breath. It was uncomfortable, because I was terrified that I was going to unleash it on some innocent bystander, like one of my children or coworkers. So I had to take every opportunity I could to release it without harming anyone. I still have my journal from that time, affectionately dubbed my "Book of Anger." You should see all the !!!!!!!!!! and CAPS and double/triple underlines in that notebook.

My therapist was also a great sounding board.

L
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:41 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Thanx LTD

Seeing your recovery - I have hope that this will pass. I wasted so much freaking time. 47 years of my life!!

Said one of my family members when I remarked that single parenting sometime gets to me. "Get thin/sexy and find yourself a new man". LOL

Can you imagine what that poor "new man" would face. A thin sexy but also RAGEFUL woman LOL!!

I prefer to find me . The woman with serenity. I sometimes get glimpses of her. but she has "issues". I always thought I was so sorted out and all. What a surprise this rage is.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
I always wanted someone to lean on, someone I could trust, someone to take care of me. So, I spent my life taking care of others, being trustworthy, letting them lean on me. In my mind, I was earning "my turn." I figured if I did all those things for someone else, they would eventually do them for me. You know, tit for tat and all that.

What I never realized is that I was building up expectations the whole time. That I felt entitled to some care in return for "all I'd done for them." It made me insincere and needy. Needing someone to be there for me actually worked against me. It set me up for disappointment and heartache. Not surprisingly, this need went all the way back to needing my parents to be there for me--and they weren't. You may believe that this has nothing to do with being ACOA, but I believe it has a lot more to do with it than you think.

The difference between needing and preferring has been a huge thing for me. I trust myself. I take care of myself. I don't need anyone to lean on.

I prefer to have someone in my life whom I can trust. Someone who picks up the pieces when I drop them. Someone who takes care of me when I need taking care of. I return those things because I want to, not because I am compiling some credits to be redeemed later. If the things I prefer aren't forthcoming in a relationship, I have the choice to accept what is, or walk away. Neither is devastating anymore, because I have changed what I thought were needs into preferences.

Maybe this sounds like simple semantics, but the words we use when talking to ourselves really make a difference.

L
I am so learning to watch my vocabulary. My sponsor helps me with it alot! It really helps. I love the PREFER one! No one can argue with it or deny you a preference. I've been in sales of one type or another all my life and learned that the only objection you can't overcome is NO. I think PREFER is like that too as long as you don't let someone tell you you're nuts to prefer....But then, that's THEIR PROBLEM. Don't take it away from them. It's theirs to prefer, LOL.
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