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UGH, stupid sentimental letters

Old 03-21-2013, 07:39 PM
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UGH, stupid sentimental letters

So, AH shared a letter he sent to our therapist talking about what an awful husband he's been, how he wants the best for the family, how ashamed he is of himself, etc. He talked about his love for our family and how he wants me to be happy.

He says he's done drinking(yeah, I'll believe it when I see it since he just had a blackout binge last week). He wants a clean slate and, of course, wants his sex life back. He said my codependence has turned into a smoldering sub current of rage. He said he doesn't blame me for that.

So, it was quite a nice letter originally intended for the therapist but he decided to share it with me. What I'm struggling with is the whole: what if he really means it? What if he has good intentions? Should I let my guard down just a little and how do I do that without losing myself again? How do I set boundaries yet still 'maybe' work on some of this relationship(whatever is left).

UGH! Why do I get sucked in? Why do I want to believe so badly? After 1 year in Al Anon I still feel like I'm just a beginner at all of this. Sad today, when really I should be happy.....or cautious.....or not.....LOL, I have no idea what to be anymore.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:46 PM
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What if, What if, What if. We can let ourselves spin and spin and spin over the what if's. The letter talks about what he wants to do, not what he's actually done. They're just words until he puts time and action behind them. And how nice of him not to blame you for your current feelings, very noble since he's the one doing damage by drinking.

IMO, don't let your guard down. The A is really good at getting us to do that. One nice letter with sweet sentiments and we're right back where we started. Keep your boundaries, keep working on you, let him work on him. If he means everything, then you will see evidence of that as time goes on. But not today. He is still drinking, nothing has changed yet.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:53 PM
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He wants a clean slate and, of course, wants his sex life back.

omg, ick, did he really say that? in the letter? and you are a smoldering rage of - no wait you HAVE a smoldering sub current of rage which he doesn't want to BLAME you for?

what about this was romantic, tender, caring, selfless, or loving? it's STILL all about HIM, not about YOU. just words....blah blah blah....i'm gonna, i'm ashamed, I meant this to be for my therapist but whoopsie shared it with my wife.

liz, get over it. it means.....nothing. stop letting him play you.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:55 PM
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I would look at his actions and not words. He has been driving around in cars without his alcohol machine. He believes that he does not have to follow rules & seems almost anti-social in his behavior.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:04 PM
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Oh, please. A letter to his therapist he just HAD to share with you? Come ON.

This isn't even original. Do you know how many letters to judges I've read, where they sadly acknowledge their wrongdoing and are filled with remorse? Oops, and of course it has to be read in open court where the victims is forced to hear it. Can't be a violation of the restraining order when it's a letter to the court.

It's just more quackety manipulation. Don't fall for it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:17 PM
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I have gotten absolutely lovely letters and texts...

I came to see it was all to keep the status quo or to get something he wanted...

My reaction to his letter: What a crock. "Here honey, look at what I wrote, I'm sorry, kissy kissy, BUT let me remind you of where you are wrong-you are filled with a smoldering sub-current of rage. I want a clean slate, sex and blah blah blah...."

I am sure he spent a ton of time on this letter to achieve the desired result: getting what he wants.

Don't buy into it...

JMHO
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:52 PM
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Your husband is the energizer bunny - he doesn't give up! he kicks you to the curb then reels you back in over, and over, and over again.

Sorry I don't buy it - sounds staged and on purpose.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:05 PM
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Liz - My only suggestion, that really helped me, was to keep a journal and watch for the cycle. With clarity, the answers are coming easier for me.

Have you ever read about Karpman's Triangle? Here is a link if you are interested!

The Drama Triangle: The Three Roles of Victimhood - article by Dr. Lynne Namka
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:37 PM
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Sorry but I am with everyone else....Quack! Words mean nothing actions speak words!
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:24 PM
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I'd be willing to bet he didn't even give that letter to his therapist.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:09 AM
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Liz....That letter was written specifically FOR YOU....not the therapist. I used to have an old shoe box full of such cards and letters. They all said the same thing. Quack Quack Quack.

Words mean nothing. What have his actions said to you Liz? Your eyes are the only things you can trust right now.

I just read this today in one of Melody Beattie's daily readers Jouney into the Heart. Seems pretty fitting to your situation...

Using love to control and manipulate is heartbreaking. It can break the heart of the person doing it; it can break the heart of the person it's being done to.

So often, controlling through love is done almost unconsciously. It's a dance people do out of habit to get their needs met. Their reasons don't matter, although it's easier to have compassion for those who control unknowingly than those who use the power of love maliciously and viciously.

What matters is how you resond if it's being done to you. What matters is that you don't do it to other people.

Open your heart and see the truth. Set yourself free. If someone is controlling you by using your love for them or your need to be loved, acknowledge it. If you are doing it to someone else, acknowledge that, too. Once you see the truth, you can set yourself free.

So much of what we need to do to free our hearts and souls is smiply to acknowledge the truth. The rest will happen naturally.

Love has no price. It's only love if it's free.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:02 AM
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:horseDear Liz, what I see in this letter is:QUACK;MANIPULATION;QUACK;MANIPULATION;QUACK!!!

I agree with the others that this letter is meant for YOU---to get you to back-off and capitulate---and probably will never be seen by the therapist.

You can't hardly blame him tooo much, though---he knows from past h istory how easy you are to manipulate (just utter a few syrup-covered words).

You ask why you get so easily "sucked in"? Because you are still looking to y ur abuser to be your savior. Ain't going to happen.

In my opinion, you would be best served to remove this letter from your memory and ratchet up your attention on yourself.

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:27 AM
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I know it's hard to see clearly when you're in the thick of it, I do. Been there, done that. But this is pure manipulation, plain and simple. If he were really ready to make a positive change his actions would be proof. If the same BS worked before, don't expect him to change tactics.

What I don't get is this. I've been in a failing marriage before where lots of things, including intimacy, was out the window. I would never in a million years attempt to manipulate or coerce a partner into intimacy. What kind of a person would be happy with that?
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by outonalimb View Post
Liz....That letter was written specifically FOR YOU....not the therapist. I used to have an old shoe box full of such cards and letters. They all said the same thing. Quack Quack Quack.

Words mean nothing. What have his actions said to you Liz? Your eyes are the only things you can trust right now.

I just read this today in one of Melody Beattie's daily readers Jouney into the Heart. Seems pretty fitting to your situation...

Using love to control and manipulate is heartbreaking. It can break the heart of the person doing it; it can break the heart of the person it's being done to.

So often, controlling through love is done almost unconsciously. It's a dance people do out of habit to get their needs met. Their reasons don't matter, although it's easier to have compassion for those who control unknowingly than those who use the power of love maliciously and viciously.

What matters is how you resond if it's being done to you. What matters is that you don't do it to other people.

Open your heart and see the truth. Set yourself free. If someone is controlling you by using your love for them or your need to be loved, acknowledge it. If you are doing it to someone else, acknowledge that, too. Once you see the truth, you can set yourself free.

So much of what we need to do to free our hearts and souls is smiply to acknowledge the truth. The rest will happen naturally.

Love has no price. It's only love if it's free.
Thank you for sharing this. I dont want to hijack this thread but I think it would make a great thread for discussion. Is it ok if I share it on the F&F SA side??

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Old 03-22-2013, 08:33 AM
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Can our abusers be our saviors?

No.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:42 AM
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Liz, I had a great session with my therapist yesterday and your post has left me really thinking.

She is seeing a cycle that I can not. She explained that my husband can be very sweet and loving, which makes me forget the ugliness every time. See, I want to be loved by him. For a long time, I really needed his love and validation. I want we had before addiction. But more recently, I am noticing the ugliness is erasing the loving times. That is progress for me. In a sense, its a cycle of abuse. They know us better then we know ourselves and we have become so easy to manipulate (sometimes not even consciously for them).

A healthy relationship does not have ugliness. Wow, such a foreign concept for me now. How sad is that!!

ETA - I am no saint and have been a big player in the ugliness as well!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by choublak View Post
I'd be willing to bet he didn't even give that letter to his therapist.
He did. When we arrived for therapy, it was the first thing the therapist started talking about thinking that I knew about it. He was the one who encouraged AH to give it to me, not the other way around.

He also didn't want me to read the part about him complaining about the 'no sex' stuff but I told him to just leave it in there because I already know how he feels and it's not like it's new.

As to the initial sentiment of the letter, I immediately got turned off by it because in the first paragraph he makes mention to the therapist..."since I value your time and respect your efforts to help Liz, this struck me as potentially helpful." I almost felt as if he was trying to manipulate the therapist, not me.

When he mentioned he wanted to start with a clean slate, that was said in therapy not in the letter itself. Honestly, I was crazy defensive in therapy and we were at each other's throats at one point because I was frustrated at how he kept getting on my case for bringing up the past but then asking me for specific incidents where I was trying show a pattern of behavior. Then, I'd bring up an incident and he'd yell, "Well that happened in the old house? We haven't lived there in 2 years so that's way in the past!" UGH!!! I was getting angrier and angrier and very unhappy with myself.

The therapist agreed with my AH that I am angry but that my anger is justifiable and only directed at the situation with my AH. He made it very clear that AH's problem with anger is anger directed at everybody and everything that doesn't fit into his 'box of how things should fit into his thinking'. I then asked the therapist to tell me how to release my anger and he referred back to AH and said, "Well, he has to change to start the process of healing." Of course, AH says he's already taking down walls and he's willing to move forward and forget the past. I sat there thinking: it's not that easy to forget the past unless it's shown that the past isn't going to be repeating itself and unless someone is working on recovery in some way(on both sides obviously).

So, I came out of the meeting(and the letter) and said, "Same old, same old. Only time will tell." Then a few hours later I started questioning myself and wondering if he was being genuine since the letter was initially not intended for me. This AM I woke and realized, gee he might actually be manipulating the therapist too especially since the therapist has called him out on his behaviors and attitudes for months now. As AH has said before(way back in October), the proof will be in the pudding. To which I say, "Yes, yes it will and we will see."
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:48 AM
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I bet he wants to start with a clean slate.

The slate he is dealing with now is full of a lot of damage, damage he caused.

Liz, I too have been led by the nose, it never led to anything but more pain.

Hang in. Katie
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:01 AM
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Do yourself a favor and go back and read this post from SEVEN months ago:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-now-what.html

He was remorseful, he wanted to make things work, you were confused. What if he really means it? He seems so genuine...

Sound familiar?

L
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:15 AM
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He may well be manipulating the therapist.
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