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Spouse's depression: do you step in?

Old 07-30-2013, 01:09 PM
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I like that, Stella. That's a good litmus test: If you wouldn't accept the behavior from a stranger, you sure as hell shouldn't accept it from a partner.

If your partner treats you this way, he's a bad partner. There's no conversation to have to to "wait and see" about. DTMFA. He's a black hole.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:19 PM
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Hello Liz,

What a horrible thing to have to endure! I'm so sorry--more sorry that you seem to believe it's no big deal.

Whether you stay or not is absolutely your decision, but I hope and pray that you never believe that what he did was acceptable.

Please take good care!
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:37 PM
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Hi Liz, this is hard to write. I know what it is like to be someplace like where you are now. I was there myself. I really wish for you to find the wisdom and strength to save yourself and your son.

I don't know what to say to give you that wisdom and strength and I feel that others here are caught in the same dilemma. There is nothing we can say, you have to find it for yourself.

You see, right there is your answer. You have to do it. None of us can do anything more that sit here on the sidelines and cheer for you. You have dig deep, look inside and do the right thing. I can't tell you what the right thing is but I can tell from your posts you are not doing it yet.

Looking back on my old posts I can tell you that I can notice when the change in me happened.

It's when I stopped posting about her and started posting about me. That was the point where I assumed responsibility for my life and my recovery.

Your friend,
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:21 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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I don't know why you bought pepper spray, but nobody should be using that against people they live with.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:12 PM
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what is interesting in this thread is that it started about liz being concerned about her husband and his depression diagnosis, and SHOULD she DO anything about it? then it shifted into the TALK which wasn't really a talk, just a rehash of everything heretofore mentioned. then when it was suggested, often, that liz start looking inward and making some changes if she wanted there to really BE any changes.....it morphs into the next "awful" thing HE has done and now liz has gone so far as to buy pepper spray.

as choublak so perfectly summed up....
don't know why you bought pepper spray, but nobody should be using that against people they live with.
Today 01:37 PM


seriously. buying pepper spray is for personal protection, in times and places when we are indefensible, from the BAD GUYS. buying pepper spray to defend against a specific person with whom WE CHOSE TO LIVE is....ridiculous? ludicrous? if you feel the need to DEFEND yourself against HIM why on earth are you still living WITH him???
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:37 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
what is interesting in this thread is that it started about liz being concerned about her husband and his depression diagnosis, and SHOULD she DO anything about it? then it shifted into the TALK which wasn't really a talk, just a rehash of everything heretofore mentioned. then when it was suggested, often, that liz start looking inward and making some changes if she wanted there to really BE any changes.....it morphs into the next "awful" thing HE has done and now liz has gone so far as to buy pepper spray.

as choublak so perfectly summed up....
don't know why you bought pepper spray, but nobody should be using that against people they live with.
Today 01:37 PM


seriously. buying pepper spray is for personal protection, in times and places when we are indefensible, from the BAD GUYS. buying pepper spray to defend against a specific person with whom WE CHOSE TO LIVE is....ridiculous? ludicrous? if you feel the need to DEFEND yourself against HIM why on earth are you still living WITH him???
The pepper spray had nothing to do with him. I bought it after my dog and I were attacked back in June, for when I take him on walks. NOT FOR USE ON MY SPOUSE. I thought Choublak was cracking a joke so I thought it was an interesting coincidence that I had purchased the pepper spray. I apologize, I guess I should have clarified why I purchased it. Seriously, I do apologize, I was walking out of the house when I typed the message and didn't think it through.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:13 PM
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If a stranger on the street accosted me like that, I would pepper-spray him. Totally.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:09 PM
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It's totally understandable that you would feel the need to protect yourself after the dog incident. Buying the pepper spray makes sense in that context.

I think what most of us are incredulous about is how you don't feel the need to protect yourself against this man who sexually assaults you out of a sense of entitlement. You don't deserve to live like this.

I also understand how my comment can feel like judgement. But it's really not, it's concern. I'm just very sad for you.

L
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:33 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Liz,

I was going to ask you if you just happened to be married to my ex? All of these things are so similar. Yes, the grabbing at you was and is sexual abuse, sexual assault. It took me a really long time for me to understand this.

When I was married I was always trying to change me for the better, because that was something that I had control over. I knew I didn't have control over him.

The situations that I was going through, I no longer felt them. I became able to talk about them with a complete detachment, like it wasn't really happening to me!!!!!!!

I did post a thread about "flashbacks", but I have to tell you, I belonged to a forum then, and I wasn't able to post that stuff on a forum. I was in total denial, I think I wanted to be in denial. I didn't want anyone to really see the h3ll I was going through, I did have phone contact with some of the members from that forum, and a few of them were ready to come and get me anytime that I needed to go. They were going to rent a u-haul, with a car hook up, so I could take my car with me.

It was like the more he hurt me, the more I would be able to take, and the rest of the stuff didn't seem that bad anymore.

It is the frog with the boiling water story.

In a way we need to make peace with ourselves, so we also minimize, justify, and deny.

Yes, my ex did sexually abuse me, sexually assaulted me, and raped me, and I had to apologize to him for even thinking those things.

Just know that we are here for you, and just keep posting. Don't do what I did. I isolated myself from everyone, even my forum.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:53 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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So I know it's easy to normalize bizarre, abusive tactics. Which is why you have us to point out that what you are accepting is ABUSE. Actual physical, sexual abuse. Your son is suffering and he knows - whether you believe it or not.
This is the creepiest part to me, and now that I think about it,
why would you encourage your husband to become more involved
as a father?
In my opinion, nothing you have written about your husband shows
him to be any kind of healthy role model (or even ever becoming capable).
I hope you do not ask your son to interact with him.

You have to make your own choices. But I can tell you when you make the choice to blow that off and not react strongly to it, it can have consequences that can follow you for a very, very long time.

I'm very concerned about you.
Thank you so much lillamy.
You really said it all.
Normalizing.
Rationalizing.
Minimizing.

It happens over and over and over again.
That is insanity.
For me.

Beth
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:13 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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And like LaTeeDa I want to emphasize that I don't mean to criticize you. It's just that your story rings so familiar. As does your stubborn strength and determination to not give up, to ride this out, for better for worse.

I'm now dealing with the fallout of decisions I made in a very similar setting. My kids will heal. I will heal. But the "it wasn't that bad" that I told myself when my entire being was screaming "yes it is! It really is bad bad bad!" - that's hard. There's a lot of guilt there. Because I don't feel entitled to feeling the pain of that abuse because I didn't stop it. I allowed it. I refused to call it abuse because if I did, I felt like I would have to act on it. And I didn't want to. I didn't want to be divorced. I didn't want to be The Woman Who Left. Because it didn't match my image of myself as the strong, patient woman who with her love won in the end.

That's just my story. Not yours. But I wanted to share it. In case you felt judged. That was not my intent.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:51 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Because it didn't match my image of myself as the strong, patient woman who with her love won in the end.

That's just my story. Not yours. But I wanted to share it. In case you felt judged. That was not my intent.
Me too lillamy.
This sounds so much like my inner dialogue at the time, it is incredible.
You write it so well.

me too Liz, I want to be supportive and helpful,
but I guess I say it too many times.

It felt like a distraction when you picked up the story about the pepper spray
in order to stop talking about sexual abuse.
Only my opinion, and I think if I have gotten that far, (reading your mind)
then it is too far for me.
Time to check my codependency here, and think about what lillamy said.
I am trying to change you and that does not work for me.

It's when I stopped posting about her and started posting about me. That was the point where I assumed responsibility for my life and my recovery.
Thank you so much for this Mike.
Liz, you do have to get this yourself.
You deserve a good life, and so does your son.

Beth
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:42 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Oh it was mike and not hammer! Sorry about that!
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:11 AM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
And like LaTeeDa I want to emphasize that I don't mean to criticize you. It's just that your story rings so familiar. As does your stubborn strength and determination to not give up, to ride this out, for better for worse.

I'm now dealing with the fallout of decisions I made in a very similar setting. My kids will heal. I will heal. But the "it wasn't that bad" that I told myself when my entire being was screaming "yes it is! It really is bad bad bad!" - that's hard. There's a lot of guilt there. Because I don't feel entitled to feeling the pain of that abuse because I didn't stop it. I allowed it. I refused to call it abuse because if I did, I felt like I would have to act on it. And I didn't want to. I didn't want to be divorced. I didn't want to be The Woman Who Left. Because it didn't match my image of myself as the strong, patient woman who with her love won in the end.

That's just my story. Not yours. But I wanted to share it. In case you felt judged. That was not my intent.
I meant to come on last night and thank you for this. Thank you for the honesty and openness because I know I'm doing exactly what you did. I'm believing his lies, his excuses for his behavior, or I may not necessarily be believing it but I'm definitely minimizing it and downplaying the destructiveness of it.

It's time for me to throw myself into my Al Anon program full on. I've been playing around with it, dipping my toe into the pool of recovery, reading a book here and there, journaling here and there, etc. But, really, it needs to become a daily habit. I spoke with my sponsor last night and, as always, she said, "I swear you married my X." And, I know, that's why she is my sponsor because she's been there before me and even went back with her X after he found recovery for a few years until she finally left again. She's been in program for 25 years now and I really need to start relying on her more but also reaching out to local program friends, which I had been neglecting to do. I always felt that I was bothering people if I called them. Well, I forgot that the reason we have phone lists is for exactly that: to take other's calls!

I don't usually feel criticized here. I know everyone's intent is to wake me up and have me smell the coffee. I get that. I've been with my AH for over 20 years now and I realized that old habits die hard especially when you've created a life with them.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:20 AM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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I think I understand Liz, about the groping. It is manipulative and a lack of respect. It's intimidating. I hesitate to call it abuse, simply because there is serious abuse, and there are milder forms, and this is milder, and I can see how you would have trouble wrapping your head around comparing it to what happened to you years ago.

I think maybe you feel some guilt too, am I right? You're in a marriage, and you are refusing his advances for over a year. It is understood, generally in society, that marriage does include sex.
So he is expressing his anger by this groping. I don't think he ever thought it was going to work. I think he was intimidating because that's how he chose to express his frustration and anger.
The thing with that subtle type of intimidation, is that you can repress how you feel while it is happening because you are more focused on how to avoid him.
I think it would help you to consider how it made you feel, and then decide that that is not ok.
You have to be a stand-up woman for yourself with a guy like yours. He knows how easily you are intimidated, and he's calculated just how far he can push you without pushing you too far, that you actually react with "enough!" and truly stand up for yourself. There's a whole lot of mind games going on here as he tests how good you are at standing up for yourself.
This laying in bed for a couple days, I am wondering how much he was really down, and whether there was also a childish attempt to see if you would get concerned for him. Will this bring out her nurturing side? Will she get concerned?
It's a test of Does she love me?
Meanwhile, he's not showing much love in return.
He pegged you a long time ago as the harmless nurturing type that he could turn into a deer in headlights with a few simple plays.
Think about how it all makes you FEEL. Stop ignoring your own feelings. How you feel is what is important here. Give yourself the right to feel mostly good things about yourself. You haven't given your feelings priority.
It's a dog eat dog world, and you will get there--telling yourself I don't have to feel this way, I can insist that I feel good, and that nobody has the right to make me feel bad about myself.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:20 AM
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Sounds like a plan, Liz.

And the more you are around healthy people, who are living in the solution, not the problem, the clearer your vision will be. I swear, I think 95 percent of recovery is learning to SEE properly. To see, and accept, reality, rather than whatever it is that seems convenient or less painful to see or believe.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueSkies1 View Post
I think I understand Liz, about the groping. It is manipulative and a lack of respect. It's intimidating. I hesitate to call it abuse, simply because there is serious abuse, and there are milder forms, and this is milder, and I can see how you would have trouble wrapping your head around comparing it to what happened to you years ago.

I think maybe you feel some guilt too, am I right? You're in a marriage, and you are refusing his advances for over a year. It is understood, generally in society, that marriage does include sex.
So he is expressing his anger by this groping. I don't think he ever thought it was going to work. I think he was intimidating because that's how he chose to express his frustration and anger.
The thing with that subtle type of intimidation, is that you can repress how you feel while it is happening because you are more focused on how to avoid him.
I think it would help you to consider how it made you feel, and then decide that that is not ok.
You have to be a stand-up woman for yourself with a guy like yours. He knows how easily you are intimidated, and he's calculated just how far he can push you without pushing you too far, that you actually react with "enough!" and truly stand up for yourself. There's a whole lot of mind games going on here as he tests how good you are at standing up for yourself.
This laying in bed for a couple days, I am wondering how much he was really down, and whether there was also a childish attempt to see if you would get concerned for him. Will this bring out her nurturing side? Will she get concerned?
It's a test of Does she love me?
Meanwhile, he's not showing much love in return.
He pegged you a long time ago as the harmless nurturing type that he could turn into a deer in headlights with a few simple plays.
Think about how it all makes you FEEL. Stop ignoring your own feelings. How you feel is what is important here. Give yourself the right to feel mostly good things about yourself. You haven't given your feelings priority.
It's a dog eat dog world, and you will get there--telling yourself I don't have to feel this way, I can insist that I feel good, and that nobody has the right to make me feel bad about myself.
You hit the nail on the head with the guilt thing. As much as I try to communicate to him how I feel, it's like talking to a brick wall. I even read him a passage from a Dr Laura book (yes, he said he was open to it) where a caller who was working his AA program called in complaining that his wife had pulled away physically from the relationship. Her response was, "What did you expect? She doesn't know if you're for real, you guys have 2 kids, etc." Basically, Dr Laura told the guy: forget about these marital rights you think you have. You have consequences from your actions so it's time to eat dirt. Anyway, I read that to AH, because he asked and said he likes Dr Laura, and I told him to keep an open mind but that maybe this would explain things to him in some way. Well, I doubt that it did but he did email me the next day asking for the name of the 2 books I told him about, one of which was the Dr Laura book.

As to how I felt about that incident: I told him flat out that I was pissed and that I saw evil in his eyes when he challenged me with his words and that I felt very uncomfortable and scared. I think I was too honest, though, because he's already used the 'evil' word against me. When my AH hears something that he doesn't like, he latches onto it and will use it over and over again in conversations we have. Like the fact that our pastor told me that someone abusing alcohol is equivalent to someone participating in an act of infidelity because the substance(person, drug, whatever) is taking precedence over the commitment to the spouse. I told my AH what he said and he STILL brings it up and accuses the pastor of giving me bad counsel and calls him a 'junior pastor'. So, I get stuck defending this guy, whom I only know as a pastor at our church, to my AH and again here we would go down his rabbit trail. He is an expert at rabbit trails, I think he has a whole pattern and system hardwired into his neural pathways.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:12 AM
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Liz, think about this, you are with this evil, nasty man because you choose to be there.

Your friend,
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:24 AM
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Liz, I think telling him that reading the books, or using the words of the pastor, are something that people do to help themselves, and validate their thinking. It is not something people do in order to keep up with the ways in which to manipulate their spouse unless they don't understand that it will never be as rewarding to manipulate as it is to have a healthy relationship.
I might say just that. "An honest happy healthy relationship is far more rewarding than a manipulative one, do you agree?
Husband, do you want to get to read these things to get help for yourself, or do you want to use the things you learn to manipulate me?
One is acceptable to me, the other is not, and when you use these things for manipulation, I've got your number. You're not pulling the wool over my eyes.
When you want to read and use these things in order to make yourself and this marriage whole, you'll be on the right track." In your words.

It appears he has a very deep lack of self. He thinks manipulation is the manner in which to have relationships. How sad. He has never given himself the right to be a person. He is so disconnected with his own right to acknowledge and validate his real feelings, how can he do so for yours?
How can you teach both of you, yourself and him, to acknowledge and validate both your feelings?
Don't know if you can, or can't, but the two of you share this...this lack of validating your own feelings. Interesting huh? Probably something that brought you together in the first place. You share that somewhere down the line, others ignored and invalidated your feelings.
Can we work together on validating our feelings for our own good and for each other? <----This is working together for the common good of individuals in a marriage.

I had to leave twice, for a total of 2 1/2 years, then he got it. Thick as a brick, yep.
Now he's a stand-up guy.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:01 AM
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[QUOTE=BlueSkies1;4097922]Liz,reading the books, or using the words of the pastor, are something that people do to help themselves, and validate their thinking. It is not something people do in order to keep up with the ways in which to manipulate their spouse



This is a pretty important point that BlueSkies made. Often correctional agencies do not offer psychopaths or sociopaths certain types of therapies for this reason. If we give manipulative people congnitive-behavioral services or domestic violence classes, we just give them new, sophisticated tools to use to control or terrorize their victims. For the average person, helping him develop greater empathy usually improves his relationship with others, but the sociopath uses the insight to better manipulate and victimize.
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