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Old 10-26-2012, 11:15 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Liz, is your husband still religious or a Christian? Maybe he has changed. Maybe he is no longer a Christian, and with that, may find that he feels no rewards by the friendships that are based on Christianity?
He has obviously changed in someway, even if he declares that he is still a Christian. I'm not suggesting that you corner him on that issue, but I'm wondering. What used to be enough for him when you were first married, no longer seems to satisfy him. He doesn't want to be that person you thought he was when you married him, for whatever reason. Remarks such as wanting to be alone away from people, or tired of being responsible, to me seems to point out that he hasn't found his relationships, nor being responsible, as rewarding in life. He seems to have a deep disatisfaction. If he doesn't like being responsible it has "tired him" then being responsible hasn't paid off. If he wants to go off into the woods alone, then his relationships haven't been rewarding.

It sounds like he is deeply disenchanted with life. That would point to him needing individual counseling moreso than marriage, which would explain his complacency. Now I am starting to understand your story in that he is the one that needs individual growth, and yet seems to have no clue as to how to achieve it. I'm also wondering if your disatisfaction stems from his. You were happy with the way things were in the early years, he is the one who no longer is...he's the one who changed, not you? Am I correct?
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MadeOfGlass View Post
Liz, is your husband still religious or a Christian? Maybe he has changed. Maybe he is no longer a Christian, and with that, may find that he feels no rewards by the friendships that are based on Christianity?
He has obviously changed in someway, even if he declares that he is still a Christian. I'm not suggesting that you corner him on that issue, but I'm wondering. What used to be enough for him when you were first married, no longer seems to satisfy him. He doesn't want to be that person you thought he was when you married him, for whatever reason. Remarks such as wanting to be alone away from people, or tired of being responsible, to me seems to point out that he hasn't found his relationships, nor being responsible, as rewarding in life. He seems to have a deep disatisfaction. If he doesn't like being responsible it has "tired him" then being responsible hasn't paid off. If he wants to go off into the woods alone, then his relationships haven't been rewarding.

It sounds like he is deeply disenchanted with life. That would point to him needing individual counseling moreso than marriage, which would explain his complacency. Now I am starting to understand your story in that he is the one that needs individual growth, and yet seems to have no clue as to how to achieve it. I'm also wondering if your disatisfaction stems from his. You were happy with the way things were in the early years, he is the one who no longer is...he's the one who changed, not you? Am I correct?
IMHO, I'm not sure one can apply ANY of this type of analysis,

to an active alcoholic.


Their world is all about drinking. To go further than that is IMHO, moot, until that is addressed.

CLMI
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:39 AM
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One of the hardest things for me to grasp in recovery was that my expectations for "a husband" were perfectly reasonable, but my expectations for "him" were not.
It took me forever to understand this. Could not wrap my mind around it.

My expectations aren't unreasonable. What is unreasonable was my belief that my actual husband was willing or capable of filling my expectations for a husband role. He just wasn't. He might have been once. Or I might have thought he was capable once, but it turns out I was wrong. Hey, I've been wrong a few times before.

Once I realized that I would have to drastically lower my standards of physical and emotional safety in order to be married to my AH for the rest of my life, something snapped to attention. He wasn't my guy. I didn't/don't have to live like this. I can't change this. I'm sorry it turned out this way, but I'm so, so happy that I'm taking the steps to extract the insanity from my life.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:39 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by catlovermi View Post
IMHO, I'm not sure one can apply ANY of this type of analysis,

to an active alcoholic.


Their world is all about drinking. To go further than that is IMHO, moot, until that is addressed.

CLMI
I agree, but-- I am unsure how much Liz's husband drinks, and if he is an alcoholic or not. This is simply ignorance on my part. If he is deep within addiction, then he can't see reality for what it is, true true true!

I also think there are gray areas. There are alcohol abusers, there are alcoholics, there are people who drink more than their partner so it seems like a lot, and other combinations.
Still, unless he is a full-blown drunk all day long alcoholic, my experiences have led me to believe that he still is thinking sometimes. In other words, can he become disenchanted with his life separately from his drinking, or that his disatisfaction is what has led him to drink? Yes, he can. There can be more than one issue at hand here is my point, in fact, isn't there always?
He can stop drinking cold turkey to realize his emotions and think better. He can also recognize his dissatisfaction in life, and that may propel him to drink less. It can work backwards too! Recognize his unhappiness to drink less, or the reverse--stop drinking to recognize his unhappiness. Both can work, imho.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:42 AM
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And yet, HE is not the one seeking out an internet forum and asking for help. SHE is. We can all analyze him to death and it won't make a lick of difference......

L
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MadeOfGlass View Post
...
Still, unless he is a full-blown drunk all day long alcoholic...
My belief now is that alcoholism is often a disease of cycles, cycles of compulsion. So if one uses that model, then there may be "non-drunk" times, but yet those parts of the cycle are still not normal, they are under process of building the compulsion to drink, again.

So until the overall pattern of cyclical compulsion is broken for good by some long-term recovery, applying psychology is largely moot. The cycle is in control.

CLMI
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MadeOfGlass View Post
Liz, is your husband still religious or a Christian? Maybe he has changed. Maybe he is no longer a Christian, and with that, may find that he feels no rewards by the friendships that are based on Christianity?
He has obviously changed in someway, even if he declares that he is still a Christian. I'm not suggesting that you corner him on that issue, but I'm wondering. What used to be enough for him when you were first married, no longer seems to satisfy him. He doesn't want to be that person you thought he was when you married him, for whatever reason. Remarks such as wanting to be alone away from people, or tired of being responsible, to me seems to point out that he hasn't found his relationships, nor being responsible, as rewarding in life. He seems to have a deep disatisfaction. If he doesn't like being responsible it has "tired him" then being responsible hasn't paid off. If he wants to go off into the woods alone, then his relationships haven't been rewarding.

It sounds like he is deeply disenchanted with life. That would point to him needing individual counseling moreso than marriage, which would explain his complacency. Now I am starting to understand your story in that he is the one that needs individual growth, and yet seems to have no clue as to how to achieve it. I'm also wondering if your disatisfaction stems from his. You were happy with the way things were in the early years, he is the one who no longer is...he's the one who changed, not you? Am I correct?
He says he is. A good friend of mine was witness to one of his rants where he was throwing believers under the bus, complaining about how people raise their hands in church and how it's in his face and disruptive, and how people are distractions at church and how they should focus on worship(when all he's doing is focusing on them, LOL). She was in shock and confronted me, saying that she will pray for me because he obviously doesn't have God in his heart. She said that anyone who has a true love for Christ and His people would not nitpick other Christians and throw them under the bus like that. Of course, she is one of those people who raise their hands during worship music and I felt that she went a bit overboard(protecting my AH as usual) because she felt attacked by what he said. I did this a lot, backed my AH up when he got on his rants because it made life easier at home.

Yes, he changed. I feel that I'm trying to change now because I'm the one who's tired of accepting unacceptable behavior, I'm the one who's tired of being a doormat, I'm the one who's tired of having sex with someone to make him feel better and maybe give him some happiness in his day. Yes, I thought that sex would calm him down and make him happy, so I would do it to try to change his mood. YES, bad idea, but I was so drained from listening to his complaining about how crappy life was that I figured he'd be less angry the next day. I have finally learned that I am NOT responsible for someone else's happiness and now he's not real happy about the shake up in our lives. Of course, his picking up the bottle 2 years ago didn't help matters either.

Other than son and I, AH has no one except a few guys he plays tennis with. He doesn't confide in anyone or go out and spend time with anyone socially(unless you count the tennis which is somewhat social but not really private and intimate). He will not communicate with his brother or sister unless there's a family emergency, he has shut them out of his life. His sister kicked him out of her house a few years ago and so he doesn't speak to her EVER. His sister and brother in law asked me if I could muzzle him the last time we were all together back in May for my father in law's funeral. His brother won't speak to him, either, as they have had a rocky relationship since childhood.

We have no family here in Phoenix. My sister and 2 cousins are in Denver and most of our family members are on the east coast. He specifically moved out here to Phx to get away from his family and they have since rubbed it in his face and have excluded us from most family events. They don't even send our son birthday cards or cards for Christmas. I send their kids stuff every year and never even get a thank you. His FOO is totally sick(mentally I mean). His mother and sister will go months without speaking and backstab each other constantly. He comes from insanity, it's all he knows. His mother and father were both practicing alcoholics(a nurse and a cop) and his mother used to throw plates around the living room at my father in law when she was drunk. AH would be afraid to have friends over because his mom would be passed out drunk at the kitchen table and he was ashamed of them. She also beat the kids and liked to smack them upside the head. The kids call her the Irish Windmill. I used to make excuses for him: he had a bad childhood, he doesn't know any better, etc but now I'm at the point where I see a grown man who is refusing to grow up and change. Someone who is mired in self pity and immaturity and who can't seem to break away from his old self. It's sad and I guess I'm tired of feeling like I'm going down with the ship. And, of course, I have my own codependent part I played as well.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
And when my abusers heaped "helpful" criticism about what was wrong with me, I internalized that and beat myself up for it. He's grooming you for more abuse. He's keeping you plugged in.
Thank you Florence and Liz for sharing. I can relate to this statement so much. I remember time and time again, sitting down with my now XABF and we make a list of what we didn't like about the other person, what we thought the other person needed to work on, and on and on. We did this SO many times. Each time, I felt the SAME exact way, but I didn't realize it till now. Each time he listed my flaws and what he didn't like about me, I would apologize, internally and verbally tell him ways I could change and each time, he would say 'And I'm trying too' but gave no tangible evidence and sure enough, he didn't really do anything.

Over and over, I found new ways that I could accommodate him, made list after list. I would take a walk if he does something to annoy me to calm down, I would walk away, I would say 'don't worry, it's ok', I would trust him and be patient, I would not talk about it to my friends because he said to talk to him about it instead of telling people...you list it, I've tried it. I went to AA with him almost everyday for the first few months trying to understand HIS struggles, HIS perspective, and he went to Al-Anon with me once. I told him about SR and put the computer in his view, and he didn't even look at it.

I became close with his mom, confiding in her the things I felt because I thought if she told him how much I cared, that he would see it, and stop drinking, stop ignoring me, etc. Goodness. I was insane! Ultimately, he made it very clear, he doesn't want to recover right now and NO force in the world can make him but himself.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
And yet, HE is not the one seeking out an internet forum and asking for help. SHE is. We can all analyze him to death and it won't make a lick of difference......

L
Agree agree agree.

Whether he's an alcoholic or not .... Liz is not getting what she needs from the marriage.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:13 PM
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LIZ, I think, sadly, that your husband is a very sick and "broken" man. Broken long before you met him (sounds very much like NPD, to me). Adding the progressive destructiveness of alcohol to the mix just makes the decline all the worse.

If he were to ever get to recovery, it will not be with you--or because of you. Your presence (enabling) only prolongs his denial. You are not responsible, and you cant control. The best you can do is GET OUT OF HIS WAY.

Same for you---you cannot heal yourself while still attached to the same abuse that caused your wounds in the first place. This combined toxic environment is surely changing who your son is. The children always take the pain and pathology into the next generation.

I say this from a place of experience and empathy for you. Maybe, this perspective, along with the loving messages to you from all the other posters can be of help to give you some enlightenment as to what is occuring in your life.

very sincerely, dandylion
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
It took me forever to understand this. Could not wrap my mind around it.

My expectations aren't unreasonable. What is unreasonable was my belief that my actual husband was willing or capable of filling my expectations for a husband role. He just wasn't. He might have been once. Or I might have thought he was capable once, but it turns out I was wrong. Hey, I've been wrong a few times before.

Once I realized that I would have to drastically lower my standards of physical and emotional safety in order to be married to my AH for the rest of my life, something snapped to attention. He wasn't my guy. I didn't/don't have to live like this. I can't change this. I'm sorry it turned out this way, but I'm so, so happy that I'm taking the steps to extract the insanity from my life.
I really needed to read this today!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MadeOfGlass View Post
I agree, but-- I am unsure how much Liz's husband drinks, and if he is an alcoholic or not. This is simply ignorance on my part. If he is deep within addiction, then he can't see reality for what it is, true true true!

I also think there are gray areas. There are alcohol abusers, there are alcoholics, there are people who drink more than their partner so it seems like a lot, and other combinations.
Still, unless he is a full-blown drunk all day long alcoholic, my experiences have led me to believe that he still is thinking sometimes. In other words, can he become disenchanted with his life separately from his drinking, or that his disatisfaction is what has led him to drink? Yes, he can. There can be more than one issue at hand here is my point, in fact, isn't there always?
He can stop drinking cold turkey to realize his emotions and think better. He can also recognize his dissatisfaction in life, and that may propel him to drink less. It can work backwards too! Recognize his unhappiness to drink less, or the reverse--stop drinking to recognize his unhappiness. Both can work, imho.
His history of drinking: He started drinking at 14, he worked at the Christian Brothers residency at his Catholic school and started stealing from them. He wrecked his dad's car at age 16 in a hit and run while drunk, his father took away his license for a year. He worked at a store called Liquor Warehouse between the ages of 21-24, he had all the access he wanted. He would go to work drunk, show up at the dentist after a few vodka shots(you know, to numb the pain), etc.

When we met I was 22 (he was 25 and just graduating as well) and fresh out of college, after living through the h*ll my dad put me through in his drunken rages blaming my existence on his crappy life. I noticed shortly after we started dating that he wasn't like the other college guys I dated. He would drink alone. I would show up in the evening after work to find him passed out in a chair with 2 six packs empty on the floor beside him. Something didn't feel right about his alcohol use and I never felt easy about it. Then he got thrown out of a sporting event for drunk and disorderly and they didn't file charges. He pushed me against a wall, told me to go home without him, and told me to leave him in the city. The next day he showed up at my apartment, handed me my spare keys, and I took sympathy on him and accepted his apology. He told me he walked 8 miles home on the train tracks in Baltimore, ugh! So, he decided to quit drinking. But, then a few months later he got a job offer for Miller Brewing Company. He took it, and I was devastated.

The Miller job was actually not so bad, it was just a 1 year contractual position and he somehow kept his head screwed on straight. Yet, he chose to quit drinking again, this was just before we married. We started attending church, spending time with friends who didn't drink, and I thought all my problems were solved.

Well, he managed to stay away from the alcohol for 15 years but started drinking again 2 years ago. He hides it, so I don't actually know how much he consumes. In the past year he has had at least 3 black outs that I have been witness to(and the one where he called from Vegas 3 weeks ago completely obliterated and doesn't remember a thing), one DUI that was considered a super extreme DUI here in AZ because his BAC was so high, and many nights where I'd see him start his drinking and not stop until he was passed out asleep on the couch. Other times I'd catch him still drinking at 5 AM because he'd start after we all went to bed. He does not drink every day, he is more of a binge drinker, and yes there are times when he can control his drinking. I am not sure if he is a full blown alcoholic. His sister and brother believed their parents were, so the family history is there, as well. He may be an alcohol abuser who's on the path to full blown alcoholism? He says all the things that alcoholics say here, the quacking is the same exact words.

For the first 15 years of our marriage I thought he might have a personality disorder or be bi-polar. I had never heard the term dry drunk before. He has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety as well as having ADHD and learning disabilities as a child. He may have been mentally ill before the alcohol abuse, or maybe the early teen alcohol abuse brought on the mental illness part? Who knows, we talk about what came first here a lot: the chicken or the egg. Does it really matter? I think, at this point, that I'm dealing with a combination in his own unique form.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:07 PM
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I don't think how much he drinks is the issue here. It's about his behavior and the way he treats you (whatever it is that is causing it) and what you are going to do to make a change.

I see you trying Liz and I really hope the counseling works out but he doesn't seem too interested in making any changes to himself.

You deserve to be happy and so does your child.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:06 PM
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liz, your not sure if he is a full blown alcoholic? He gets a "super extreme" DUI in AZ & continued to drive with no license. That is alcoholic behavior. Alcoholics do not believe they should have to follow society's rules.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Justfor1 View Post
liz, your not sure if he is a full blown alcoholic? He gets a "super extreme" DUI in AZ & continued to drive with no license. That is alcoholic behavior. Alcoholics do not believe they should have to follow society's rules.
I was responding to MadeofGlass' comments about my AH's history of drinking. I always heard that we can't label them alcoholics, they have to do that themselves. The marriage counselor mentioned 'substance abuser' when referring to my AH and my AH just about had a cow.

Oh, and on a positive note. I was in my physical therapist's office today(I messed up my back a few months ago) and joked around about whether he was hiring. He brightened up and said, "Why, are you looking?" I told him maybe, down the line in a few months. Then we talked about his business and how he wants to expand it but doesn't have time for marketing and told me he'd hire me to handle his marketing and to also teach yoga classes in his office!! And, this is something I'd be totally interested in. I love health and fitness and I have a business background in banking, but a degree in communications and marketing. Anyway, that gave me a nice boost today to realize that I am employable and that I must have some assets that professional people see in me.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:38 PM
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I really think you stay only b/c you are afraid of being on your own financially.

This relationship is so damaged and he is unbelievable in his jerkitude.

Why not start a life on your own without him? You are from my generation, attractive, obviously intelligent, degreed and, yet, you are afraid of living independently b/c you have been ensconsed in the protective barrier of wealth that he provides. It certainly doesn't sound like he provides anything close to emotional support and a shared sense of love/respect.

I also scoff every time I hear the word Christian. Like someone's religious affiliation/beliefs determines whether or not they are ethical? I think not.

Edit: not that unattractive, uneducated or older people should NOT leave--get the hell out of s****y relationships. Life is too short.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:54 PM
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My dear Liz, what a horrific place to be in. I am so sorry that this relationship with your husband is so painful and so deeply enmeshed that it is hard to see which string you should pull to get to clarity.

From what you are saying, neither you or your husband had any experience of healthy family life as children. So, if you're like me, the pain I felt with my AH had always been with me before him, an undercurrent of self-doubt, of hurt, of sexual abuse that was a "normal" part of life, of running as fast as I could to make things right, of always feeling like I was the one who did wrong, and I was the one responsible, accountable for fixing the wrongs I'd caused, always feeling that I was never worthy, that nothing I did ever was enough. So I tried harder.

I wrote a poem many years ago about the hummingbird, and how to observers, it appears to float in the air effortlessly, but really it is working almost impossibly hard to move its wings so relentlessly that it stays afloat. That is how I felt, exhausted by the perpetual motion required to keep me going, but determined and relentless about continuing.

It occurs to me that if you focus solely on what YOU are feeling, without giving ANY attention to what he wants or does or thinks or demands, you may find the root of your discontent. And you may find the route out of your discontent.

This is not his to solve, or to help solve. He cannot. He will not. He does not want to. He wants you for something else. Something to feed his illness, not to nurture you.

Sam Vaknin, the author of many penetrating You Tube videos on narcissism that L2L and others have posted about on SR, and a profound narcissist himself, says that what a narcissist always needs is more narcissistic supply. What is that?

Narcissistic supply is attention give to the narcissist which feeds his need for power, for control over others. Google "narcissism and Sam Vaknin" and listen to some of his videos. I found them shocking and riveting and profoundly revealing of how I was living.

Something is drawing you into this black hole of destruction that your husband has created, lives in, and wants you to stay in with him. I don't think I'm exaggerating. I think it is a black hole that will go deeper and deeper and blacker and blacker. I have been there. I almost didn't make it out and I didn't even know I was there.

Here on Sober Recovery, I hear many trying to get at the root of why you seem to be going round Robin Hood's barn again and again and again without closure or resolution.

For me, some of my deepest and unacknowledged self views were that I was so flawed that I had to be kept in a dysfunctional family structure because otherwise I might not survive. Actually, to survive, I had to leave the dysfunctional structure and leave my family of origin totally behind. They let the basement of their summer home get filled with water, and mushrooms the size of portabellos sprouted from the walls of the kitchen, and my father bought plywood and put it over the mushrooms. Truly this happened.

What a metaphor! From my own experience, I'd suggest pulling that plywood off of the more superficial emotions that keep you engaging with this dysfunctional man in the thought and hope that eventually you will fix it all. When you know that, I suspect that all else will start to fall in place.

I looked up the Alanon steps and want to quote them here:

Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

Step 2 - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Step 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

It might be helpful to postpone Step 4 and go back through these 3 steps again, focusing on you and your childhood and your assumptions about what healthy behavior is. These steps require that you turn your life over to God.

Sometimes, it seems as if, by asking your husband to comment on your character flaws, you are actually putting him on a party line with God, and your husband's voice is overriding. If he hasn't done steps 1,2, and 3, he can't help you with step 4. The first 3 steps are private between you and God. And they are freeing.

I keep doing them over and over and over. Tonight I am starting again. Bad stuff going on with the financials for my divorce. Threw me for a real loop to realize what I am seeing in the numbers. Very bad, deep betrayal. Again, he's not who I thought he was, he's not who I hoped he was, he's not who I wanted him to be. It really hurts.

Take or leave whatever you want from this post. I've written it in the spirit of compassion and giving; I hope you hear that when you read it. We're all here with you and for you, and we hear your pain and want to help.

ShootingStar1
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:00 PM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SadHeart View Post
MAYBE his wife will want sex with him again.
by then, the damage has already been done.....

but i wanted to say this...and men around here AGREE with your husband...
its all about them...and sex...thats it..

so tell me why am i single...?? because i dont need a man...(got shares
in the ENERGY BUNNY batteries..lol)
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:27 PM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by CentralOhioDad View Post
Sorry - disagree! Please don't lump all males into that 'men just want sex regardless' bucket. The longer this issue goes on with my Wife, the less I want sex. We have had no sex in quite some time, and I have absolutely no desire to have it with her. Even if she walked into the room looking like Kate Upton, I would still know who was really underneath it all, and have no interest.

I was never someone who could just go out and hum someone for the hellofit, and still can't.

Just one guy's opinion
Hey, I was only speaking from experience.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:01 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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You know... Whether he's a Christian or a Muslim or a Buddhist doesn't matter.
It's not your belief that makes you who you are, it's your behavior.

You can believe you're a saint but if you behave like a demon, I'll judge you on behavior. Every time.
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