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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Unfortunately, for many alcoholics/addicts, these behaviors do not disappear when one stops drinking. It's a habit, a defense mechanism, and often, a personality that has been long standing. Denial for the addict is very hard to give up, and as I have been told by many old-timers in AA, 12 step programs take years to become ingrained. To ask someone to become "emotionally healthy" is a tall order, as someone else here has already said. It's essentially asking him to change fundamentally, and that can take a long time.

Just my humble opinion...
~T
T - yep... so that list contains the diagnostic criteria for someone with NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It takes a trained person observing and testing someone to make that diagnosis and NOBODy should ever go around grading that test for somebody then telling them they have a personality disorder - THAT would be psychological abuse.

There were some things described here that are big flashing lights to me such as the grandiose thinking and his feeling so threatened by the OP's seeking help. That could just mean he's an arrogant and controlling asshat when he is actively drinking :-)

...Curious about the empathy part. Lots of people have 3-4 of the traits on that list but the empathy one is kinda the kicker.

I had an ex accuse me of this and after we split her therapist (according to her) said that she did not need to be in therapy at all and was perfectly normal and healthy but I was almost surely NPD. I read about and was scared to death, OMG - what if I am a monster who will destroy his loved ones, ruin his daugher and is too sick to even see it?

LOL, so when I talked to my therapist about it, all upset because it was that post divorce emotional wreck time anyway, I asked him to test me and help me figure out if I had this since my mom did. He laughed. He said that by virtue of the fact that I was scared to death that I might have that particular malady because of what it could do to my loved ones there was no need to look further. Nobody with NPD would care.

Note: Once I started reading I realized I was reading a perfect description of my ex when she drank... It was there sober but after a few drinks it just jumped out.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:37 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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He's always thought that everyone else needs to change to fit his mold. He also made it very clear to the MT that he thinks all humans are stupid and that he is better than everyone else.
This sounds very familiar. And is, I think (and as other posts suggest), fairly common in alcoholics. I think it's a mind game they play. Because they are aware that their drinking is a problem (somewhere), but because admitting that would lead to having to do something about it (and The Addiction doesn't want them to do that), denial is easier.

My AXH is (was) hyper-intelligent. Off the charts. Puts down other people all the time as being stupid. But mostly, this came out when we talked about his drinking. It was all about how he wasn't as bad as some people: He didn't get drunk in bars (getting drunk at home is by his definition "better"); he didn't stay out all night (falling asleep on your own bathroom floor is by his definition "better"), etc. But it was all about justifying how I really had no reason to complain because really, it could be so much WORSE.

I think things changed for me when the thought arose in my mind that... settling for "Thank God it isn't WORSE" wasn't what I had in mind for my life...

And I'm not going to tell you "I told you so." Trilogy makes a very important point that I relate to: I had to do things the way I did things because I wanted to know, in my own mind, that I had left no stone unturned in trying to make my marriage work.

In the end, however, I prioritized getting MY life to work over getting my marriage to work.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:41 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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When I first joined these boards, I vented about how I couldn't fix my AH, how frustrating it was that he didn't want to be fixed, and how sad I was that he wasn't interesting in fixing his alcoholism. Every one of my posts was essentially a request that the board brainstorm methods of fixing my AH with me, and I ignored or got really angry with folks who suggested that I mind my own business and remember CCC.

Then someone pointed out that I can't control the man, and my emotional and physical stonewalling, making him act on this or that, and criticizing his methods of recovery or lack thereof, was the C in Control, that thing we just can't do, for the A's sake or our own. Especially our own. I was spending as much time and energy as I could trying to wrestle his alcoholism into the dirt and make it go to sleep, and that's just not how it works. Perhaps it's time to talk to an individual counselor about your need for control and use of passive-aggression -- this is what I work on with my counselor and it's making a huge difference. I see the same perceived helplessness here and your reluctance to move. I get it. Then again, like other folks said, you don't have to pick up the rope. But remember that not picking up the rope, and then declaring to him directly or passively that you are not going to pick up that rope, damn it! is basically picking up the rope, too.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:55 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I have to tell you all that I had a very peaceful feeling come over me ..... I tuned them out and felt this peace and I started getting teary eyed and I realized that I need to get out
There another common saying around here, the three As

Awareness
Acceptance
Action

Sounds to me like you're where I was when I hit the indifference phase. Almost like giving up the fight and accepting that it is what it is. At this point I started fighting for something else, a battle I could win, something worth saving. My own sanity. After all, I had my own kids I had to keep it together for. They deserved much more form me than what scraps were left.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:28 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Maybe sometimes we have to just get down on our hands and knees and surrender to alcohol. The addiction is at the core of the relationship, there is no husband, boyfriend, lover, buddy, it's addiction, and only addiction we are dealing with.

There is no counselor, program, child, wife, pet, that can cut through it. Addiction has no bottom, there is no bottom for this man to reach, because no boundries or actions are pushing at his addcition, nothing has changed, all that happens is that he finds different and more colorful words to throw the enemy off balance.

If he says he wants to get healthy, then why isn't he??? Because he does not have to and he doesn't want to. I was afraid of my axbf's choice, because I knew it wasn't going to be me, I learned not to take that personally, because it wasn't personal, the real choice was made by his addicted brain.

Once i surrendered, I began to heal, every contact, every hurt, every relapse I had in contact only caused me to get closer to surrender. Surrendering was very painful, losing the war was devastating, there is no possibility of finding out what else there is out there in the world for us until we stick our toe out the door. I had to give up my addcition before I could start rebuilding my life.

I am powerless against that monster, if I don't have any power in my relationships, I will die.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:35 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MadeOfGlass View Post
Liz,

I understand what you want him to do--become mentally and emotionally healthy. Yet at the same time, I realize just how vague that may seem to him. I think as long as you are going to MC, you should write a laundry list of what you think mentally and emotionally healthy is --for all people. Define it, and give as many concrete examples as possible. I think that will make it clear to him exactly what you want, and will no doubt make it clearer to yourself what exactly it is you are looking for, and whether your requests are fair and do-able, or whether they are setting him up to fail you.
I totally agree and what happens in therapy is that the marriage counselor and AH gang up on me and press me to answer this question, "What do you want? What do you want? What kind of changes need to occur?"

I mentioned that AH isn't the same person I married way back when. He was on a positive spiritual path, he was done drinking(17 years ago), and he was seemingly changing to be a more positive person. I saw these as symbols of what was to come, us working together toward a common goal, raising children in a Christian environment, etc. Well, things changed over time and now I am where I am. Years of listening to him throw humanity under the bus, years of him taking our marriage vows and negating them verbally by telling me to just go get a boyfriend or to assume I would serve him with divorce papers, etc. It was all this poor poor pity me crap and I fell for it ALL THE TIME. I would comfort him and tell him his good qualities, I would sleep with him to see if that would boost his spirits, and then I got resentful. I started wondering when he was going to start doing those things for me. When do I get to have an emotional day filled with inconsistency with my behavior and language? When do I get to complain and criticize all day long and expect everyone else to shut up around me?

So, that's where the resentment came in. Then the drinking came in and completely f*cked everything up even more. I needed to read ALL the posts here today and I hope that my threads help others who are new and coming to this board for help. It's one of the reasons I post so much, because I know there are those who aren't comfortable expressing their struggles. I know I play a huge part in this and I sort of feel guilty for not accepting him with all these changes in his personality. I never thought, years ago, that he would get worse in his attitude, that he would become worse in regards to his feelings about humanity and the beautiful world God created, and I never really thought that we wouldn't grow together. I just assumed that married people grew together, right? And, that's really what I'm coming to terms with.

I'm growing, I want to change. I want to put down the rope. I want to get off the merry go round and I'm desperately trying to work through my faults and shortcomings and dealing with them, both with my counselor and with my Al Anon sponsor. Yet, as I grow, I see things that just don't fit anymore. I don't want to watch my AH smash things and justify it anymore. I don't want to see him drink anymore. I don't want to be emotionally exploited anymore(which he says he doesn't do even when it's clearly pointed out to him, he justifies that one by playing victim again). I could go about what I don't want but I still have to truly define what I DO want.

And, I still have to keep pressing on to my own emotional and spiritual maturity. I need to take responsibility for my codependency and control issues, for my own defensiveness, etc. And, that will take time. Just not seeing that AH will be patient enough because he has no empathy for others and wants things back the way they were. We can never go back, and that right there may be the problem.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:50 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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We can never go back, and that right there may be the problem.

Or it could just be alcoholism and co dependency.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:57 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
We can never go back, and that right there may be the problem.
Actually, I agree with this. I found myself in the same position. I started growing as a person and pretty much left him behind. He went in a totally different direction. And even if he would have somehow been able to be the man he was when I married him, I had changed so much by then that it still wouldn't have worked.

Like you, I thought married people grew together. And, in an ideal world, that's how it would work. But, in the real world, people change. And not always in the same ways.

Life does not have a "reverse" gear. It only goes forward. If we spend too much time gazing in the rear view mirror, we crash.

It seems you keep justifying why you picked him, how he was when you married him. It doesn't matter. It's not who he is now. Is who he is now the person you want to be married to? That's really the only question that matters.

L
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:14 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Liz,
You wrote:

"Yet, as I grow, I see things that just don't fit anymore"

I think it is because you have grown that you see things just don't fit anymore.

You have one precious life. That's it. It's not dress rehearsal for another life you get later.
My life has been completely upended. I've lost my big beautiful home, I'm driving around in a 13 year old car with rust spots instead of the luxury SUV I had, I haven't bought new clothes for myself in I don't know how long ---BUT I am no longer filled with knots in my stomach on my way home from work wondering if AH is passed out, acting mean, or has driven drunk with the boys. I have no one telling me everything is my fault. I have no one putting down my worth, my opinion, my feelings. I choose this life - without him.
Do you think you are going to convince him to change? IMO, I agree with Learn 2 Live, he will get worse. What has to happen for you to make the move that you seem to think is inevitable (getting out)?
I'm not trying to convince you to leave him...that's not my place. But I wonder if you could make it a bit more clear and simple for yourself.

I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm pushing too much...I'm sorry if that's the case. I can relate to where you are somewhat but I have also had a taste of life now without an alcoholic at the center of my world.
You deserve to be loved and to be treated with respect. I hope you truly know that. I'm just sorry this is such a struggle.
Hugs,
MamaKit
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:05 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I totally agree and what happens in therapy is that the marriage counselor and AH gang up on me and press me to answer this question, "What do you want? What do you want? What kind of changes need to occur?"
Those are fair questions. If you can't define it, he can't do it. go simple like - 'I would like to agree that until next week's session there will be no name calling and no yelling and I would like for you to think about trying to give up alcohol and talk about that next time. Meanwhile, what can I do to make that easier?

I mentioned that AH isn't the same person I married way back when. He was on a positive spiritual path, he was done drinking(17 years ago), and he was seemingly changing to be a more positive person. I saw these as symbols of what was to come, us working together toward a common goal, raising children in a Christian environment, etc. Well, things changed over time and now I am where I am. Years of listening to him throw humanity under the bus, years of him taking our marriage vows and negating them verbally by telling me to just go get a boyfriend or to assume I would serve him with divorce papers, etc. It was all this poor poor pity me crap and I fell for it ALL THE TIME.Yes you did and that is a great way to train someone to treat you like crap. Only saying so because I once trained a spouse that if they were mean enough, I'd duck my head and walk away rather than stand up for myself
I would comfort him and tell him his good qualities, I would sleep with him to see if that would boost his spirits, and then I got resentful. I started wondering when he was going to start doing those things for me. When do I get to have an emotional day filled with inconsistency with my behavior and language? When do I get to complain and criticize all day long and expect everyone else to shut up around me?Ahhhhh don't you love resentment? It's like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die. FWIW I was kinda doing this recently, being pissed about all the hassles that my wife caused when she was drinking. OOPs. My sweet love of my life didn't cause it. Her addiction made messes and I stressed myself out trying to fix them. Look at me, Mr. Hero! Look at all I do for you. What an asshat I can be

So, that's where the resentment came in. Then the drinking came in and completely f*cked everything up even more. I needed to read ALL the posts here today and I hope that my threads help others who are new and coming to this board for help. It's one of the reasons I post so much, because I know there are those who aren't comfortable expressing their struggles. I know I play a huge part in this and I sort of feel guilty for not accepting him with all these changes in his personality. I never thought, years ago, that he would get worse in his attitude, that he would become worse in regards to his feelings about humanity and the beautiful world God created, and I never really thought that we wouldn't grow together. I just assumed that married people grew together, right? And, that's really what I'm coming to terms with.
Of course that's what happens, which is why about 1 out of 4 marriages survive. I gotta think that 25% is either lucky or they work at it and I figured out once that I can only control one of those

I'm growing, I want to change. I want to put down the rope. I want to get off the merry go round and I'm desperately trying to work through my faults and shortcomings and dealing with them, both with my counselor and with my Al Anon sponsor. Yet, as I grow, I see things that just don't fit anymore. I don't want to watch my AH smash things and justify it anymore. I don't want to see him drink anymore. I don't want to be emotionally exploited anymore(which he says he doesn't do even when it's clearly pointed out to him, he justifies that one by playing victim again). I could go about what I don't want but I still have to truly define what I DO want.
Where you said "I want to..." do those things, where you said "I don't want to"... don't. I am not minimizing it or saying it is easy but damn if it ain't blessedly simple

And, I still have to keep pressing on to my own emotional and spiritual maturity. I need to take responsibility for my codependency and control issues, for my own defensiveness, etc. And, that will take time. Just not seeing that AH will be patient enough because he has no empathy for others and wants things back the way they were. We can never go back, and that right there may be the problem.
Me too, sister... can I get an Amen on that? Some folks around here told me that the other day and I was like WTF? but wow. The lightbulb went off and it is amazing how much my life and my marriage improved in about 2 seconds. I started controlling the one thing I can control and my sanity started to do a u turn and head back my way
hang in there, keep posting and reading and thinking and venting and thinking... just do it here and at al-anon.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:23 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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My therapist shared with me once that a relationship has a chance of "working" if
1. both people are in recovery (or working on recovery)
2. neither person is in recovery because they feed each others dysfunction

but that it is incredibly hard to have one in recovery and another not in recovery in a relationship.

My loved one did not choose recovery, and I am grateful and blessed that I did. I wished I had realized sooner that his recovery was not my business, and I did not have a say over it. It might have lessoned the "what ifs" and helped me remove myself from the situation sooner. I do better if I phrase it as remove myself as it puts my safety and wellbeing first (as it should be).
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:50 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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I always wondered why the rehab my ex was in never asked for my view..

I saw a psychoanalyst for some time who happened to be head of a A rehab centre previously.. he told me " its because no healthy person would be with a A .. simple as that ".. It stung but made me think what in the hell am I doing.

We rationalise, we excuse we do everything but face up to a choice.. either stay and accept the rollacoaster it is or move on ... The only change is from ourselves..

Personally I could not be happier.. to have a new partner thats kind, loving and who I can have a wine with at dinner !

Take care
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:39 AM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by webber1 View Post
I always wondered why the rehab my ex was in never asked for my view..

I saw a psychoanalyst for some time who happened to be head of a A rehab centre previously.. he told me " its because no healthy person would be with a A .. simple as that ".. It stung but made me think what in the hell am I doing.
When a professional makes such an absolute, dismissive and prejudicial statement, he is trying to get a person to think more about the specific situation being discussed. Considering that he made no distinction between active or recovering states, I cannot see how a professional would make such a statement for any other reason. It was meant to sting but it doesn't mean that "no healthy person would be with a A".

It isn't as simple as that. Unlike that analyst, I differentiate between those who are active drinkers and those in recovery.

Oh, and my husband's rehab has asked for my view.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MamaKit View Post
Liz,
You wrote:

"Yet, as I grow, I see things that just don't fit anymore"

I think it is because you have grown that you see things just don't fit anymore.

You have one precious life. That's it. It's not dress rehearsal for another life you get later.
My life has been completely upended. I've lost my big beautiful home, I'm driving around in a 13 year old car with rust spots instead of the luxury SUV I had, I haven't bought new clothes for myself in I don't know how long ---BUT I am no longer filled with knots in my stomach on my way home from work wondering if AH is passed out, acting mean, or has driven drunk with the boys. I have no one telling me everything is my fault. I have no one putting down my worth, my opinion, my feelings. I choose this life - without him.
Do you think you are going to convince him to change? IMO, I agree with Learn 2 Live, he will get worse. What has to happen for you to make the move that you seem to think is inevitable (getting out)?
I'm not trying to convince you to leave him...that's not my place. But I wonder if you could make it a bit more clear and simple for yourself.

I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm pushing too much...I'm sorry if that's the case. I can relate to where you are somewhat but I have also had a taste of life now without an alcoholic at the center of my world.
You deserve to be loved and to be treated with respect. I hope you truly know that. I'm just sorry this is such a struggle.
Hugs,
MamaKit
I forgot to come on yesterday to respond, MamaKit. No, you're not pushing too much. Simplicity is not my thing, just ask my AH and he'll tell you I can't even answer a question with a simple answer. Probably one of my character defects that I need to work on: being more direct!

Someone recently pointed out to me that I may not have accepted that my A is actually an alcoholic. And, yes, that's part of it and it makes me feel guilty because I am sitting around waiting for him to 'get into some form of recovery' when maybe I am waiting for something that will never happen because he's just not an A? Or he will never come to terms with how much his drinking has affected the family?

I guess I feel guilty because I feel hurt and betrayed by his lies and misbehaviors and that I am not so sure it's over(the lying, betraying, drinking etc). I just don't trust him and I feel guilty because of that, too. I swear I was not raised Catholic so I have no idea where all this guilt comes from. I was raised in a very liberal environment where I didn't even have a curfew and didn't get into trouble when they found cigarette butts in my jacket, LOL! It's like this self-imposed guilt and I have no idea what to do with it!

Maybe I feel guilty because I call him an A, and he's never referred to himself like that? Maybe I feel guilty because I placed my own expectations on my marriage and things didn't work out the way I thought they should so I feel guilty? Maybe I am feeling guilty because he says stuff like, "I just want my wife back" and it makes me realize that I'm the one who's pulling away from our marriage?

And, then I go back to the memories!! Yep, recent memories where I sat around and worried about him getting a DUI and waiting for that phone call. Waking up at 2 AM to find him passed out on the floor and I couldn't wake him, thought he was dead. The words that came out of his mouth in the past 6 months that killed me emotionally and left me paralyzed realizing that this was the man I married? HUH?

I'm so confused. I want to make things work. I want to have hope for the future. I want to believe that he really is giving up the alcohol forever, even if it is without a program. I just don't know when or if I'll ever be able to trust him again.
This probably was meant to be in a new thread and I think I just needed to get my own thoughts out. Thanks everyone for the support here!
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
The answer is Yes, you CAN still stay married to a person like this. My mother has done it for OVER 50 YEARS! But she expects, and gets, NOTHING from my father. NOTHING but grief, dysfunction, un-warranted contempt and anger, and continual harm to her health and well-being. She lives her life completely alone, and has for pretty much all those 50 years. She has her own interests, her own hobbies, her own friends, and her own activities, and stays busy and involved with those things, by herself, as much as she can. She is over 70 years old and has to stay away from her own home most if not all of the day
Have you been with my mom?...you wrote about my mom to a T!!
its funny, maybe that is why i am so independent and good on my OWN..because i see what it has done to my mom...and my dad is not the alcoholic, he is the adult child of an alcoholic....
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fourmaggie View Post
Have you been with my mom?...you wrote about my mom to a T!!
its funny, maybe that is why i am so independent and good on my OWN..because i see what it has done to my mom...and my dad is not the alcoholic, he is the adult child of an alcoholic....
My AH is also an ACOA, go figure.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I'm so confused. I want to make things work. I want to have hope for the future. I want to believe that he really is giving up the alcohol forever, even if it is without a program. I just don't know when or if I'll ever be able to trust him again.
The turning point for me was when I really got honest with myself. I said I wanted to make things work, but what I really wanted was to make him change. Even though you believe you have accepted him for who he is, your posts indicate otherwise. Once you accept him the way he is--today (not when you married him, or how you want him to be), then making things work takes on a whole different meaning.

If making things work is really what you want, then you will accept him exactly as he is and stop trying to get him to be someone else. Then again, you may decide that making things work is not worth what you would need to accept in order for that to happen.

L
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:43 AM
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Thanks LTD. I was thinking along the same lines myself when reading that statement. The way I see it, I thought I was so confused, and I went with that for a number of months. But it began to dawn on me that I am not confused. I just don't like the solutions in front of me.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:51 AM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Here's another possible outcome--

Liz, let's say he gives up drinking.
Then, you ask him to become more of a practicing Christian, and he says naw, that's not for me at all.
Then he is sober every evening. He's aware, awake, and in your presence with HIS personality, not the personality you want him to have.
He--has interests that he wants you to take part in, and they're not church.
He--does want more sex.
He--wants to have lengthy conversations with you, and not with your son around. He wants a marriage...not two people living in one house.
He--wants you to stop using your son as a shield between you.
He--wants you to stop home schooling, and wants you to get a job.

Now what Liz? Are you sure you want HIM, sober?
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Thanks LTD. I was thinking along the same lines myself when reading that statement. The way I see it, I thought I was so confused, and I went with that for a number of months. But it began to dawn on me that I am not confused. I just don't like the solutions in front of me.
Exactly. Reality is not confusing at all. It's magical thinking that's confusing....

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