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I feel a storm coming on...so much for walking on eggshells.

Old 11-20-2015, 09:17 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Dimndaruf......I can absolutely understand how shocked and dismayed you and your father were.....to hear that, spontaneously, come out of a 6yr. old.
to my way of looking at it...you have every right, as a parent, and, as a mother to discuss what may be good or bad for a child that you are both co-parenting.

That is one of the most important parts of parenting.....trying to be o n the same page in regard to child-rearing.....

As a wife....If I had ever seen lewd pictures of women on my husband's cellphone....you can be sure that I would consider it a ground swelling event.....

You expressed your thoughts......and, you are working on not stuffing your thoughts, opinions and emotions......
It is not like you became a screaming lunatic. Aaaand, you did it all within the context of the unsavory effects that it is having on your son.....

The fact that you live in such fear of your husband's reatctions.....It sounds like this relationship is having a negative effect on you, as well......

To my view....this had nothing to do with directing your husband's recovery....but, but, your concern about the influenses in your son's environment.

I don't know your husband. If you are fearing that he may become abusive with you......then that has to be taken into consideration....(for your own safety and self care).

If it is that he simply will be "angry" or disgruntled or embarrassed......then, that is his problem...and his to deal with......

You can't control what this man does.....he is who he is.....he is going to do what he is going to do.
The question, for you, is.....what are YOU going to do.

You will have to decide how much you want to detach from him....only discuss as much as you want to discuss....and, also, where and when you ever choose to discuss it. If he tries to make a scene.....Just leave room, or the house....or put on your headphones....or go clean the bathroom...(you get the picture).....
fireSprite's suggestion of short, direct statements is always a good idea.

If he has been abusive in the past or you fear it now.....it becomes a different matter in how you handle it....

****Remember that he is one person with one opinion, only....he is not more important than you....
He is not king of the Forest.....

dandylion
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:19 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ladyscribbler View Post
You initially told your son to be quiet and "cut out his nonsense" when he tried to express his feelings to you. You then invalidated him further by telling him he didn't understand what he was talking about. Then instead of addressing the issue with your son, you ran straight to your husband and told him to make sure he knew that there was someone else "on your side" to rub in his face how wrong you believe his behavior is.
"Protecting privacy" in an alcoholic home is a synonym for hiding, keeping secrets and pretending that everything is fine. When something disturbs that surface patina, like your son did with his outburst, your first reaction is to squash the disturbance and discredit the one who rocked the boat. Then you use it as ammunition against your husband.
How many dozens and hundreds of times have you "told your husband the truth?" How many of those times did it make even a tiny difference in his behavior? Not running to your husband with every little thing isn't the same as constantly stuffing all of your feelings. He has proven time and again that he is not a "safe" person to confide in, especially if your confidence involves some unflattering truth about him. Find a therapist to confide in, or an Alanon sponsor. Keeping these things "in the family" is not healthy or helpful.
I was actually in the midst of a conversation with my father when my son approached me. I didn't dismiss him for the sake of "dismissing him". I did it because he has a habit of not saying "excuse me" as well as butting into people's conversation (everyone, not just family). He starts talking about fire when the conversation is about ice. I didn't realized what he was trying to say at first then when he repeated himself I began to engage with him.

And yes, he didn't understand what he was talking about...what he said was HIS definition of a hypocrite not THE definition of a hypocrite. I didn't know what to say to him so I said nothing.

I have told my husband the truth 10000's of times and there were a handful of times that it made a difference. Definitely more often then not did it not make a difference but there were some times when it did.

What would you have done?
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:27 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
Can you get some help with the kids for this weekend so you can really take some time for yourself while he's occupied? Making time for meetings & doing some reading is great... and when was the last time you just took a couple of hours OFF? For yourself? It's nearly impossible with small kids (DD was about 5 when AH & I split for about 2 yrs & I was essentially a single mom) but necessary.
I had a baby sitter but she moved, I'm looking for another but until then I only have my father and my aunt and they're willing to help but I don't like to take advantage because I already live with my dad and he helps so much with them already, he's in his mid 60's and his health isn't the greatest....he is a god sent though!!
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Is this a viable way to live, really? Walking on eggshells for someone you are "separated from" (sounds like he's over there all the time except for work and his weekend activities), who may or may not be committed to sobriety, where you can't even get help for your child who is acting out as a result of what he's been living with? I'm not seeing how any of this scenario is healthy or good for anyone involved.

Have you considered a REAL separation--as in living your own independent existence for several months at least? Right now you are so up in each other's heads you might as well be living together (not that I think that is a good idea, either). Neither one of you has space to focus on your own issues.

I think some real space would give you a fresh perspective on what you want for your life and your kids' lives.
You're right...
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:32 AM
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Sounds to me like he was repeating what he'd heard someone else say about dad. Either way, not a good thing. Did it occur to you that maybe your son interrupts conversations and talks about inappropriate things because of the dynamic at home? Looking for someone to pay attention to him, maybe? I don't see how all that tension and craziness can help but affect him.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:35 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Dimndaruf......I can absolutely understand how shocked and dismayed you and your father were.....to hear that, spontaneously, come out of a 6yr. old.
to my way of looking at it...you have every right, as a parent, and, as a mother to discuss what may be good or bad for a child that you are both co-parenting.

That is one of the most important parts of parenting.....trying to be o n the same page in regard to child-rearing.....

As a wife....If I had ever seen lewd pictures of women on my husband's cellphone....you can be sure that I would consider it a ground swelling event.....

You expressed your thoughts......and, you are working on not stuffing your thoughts, opinions and emotions......
It is not like you became a screaming lunatic. Aaaand, you did it all within the context of the unsavory effects that it is having on your son.....

The fact that you live in such fear of your husband's reatctions.....It sounds like this relationship is having a negative effect on you, as well......

To my view....this had nothing to do with directing your husband's recovery....but, but, your concern about the influenses in your son's environment.

I don't know your husband. If you are fearing that he may become abusive with you......then that has to be taken into consideration....(for your own safety and self care).

If it is that he simply will be "angry" or disgruntled or embarrassed......then, that is his problem...and his to deal with......

You can't control what this man does.....he is who he is.....he is going to do what he is going to do.
The question, for you, is.....what are YOU going to do.

You will have to decide how much you want to detach from him....only discuss as much as you want to discuss....and, also, where and when you ever choose to discuss it. If he tries to make a scene.....Just leave room, or the house....or put on your headphones....or go clean the bathroom...(you get the picture).....
fireSprite's suggestion of short, direct statements is always a good idea.

If he has been abusive in the past or you fear it now.....it becomes a different matter in how you handle it....

****Remember that he is one person with one opinion, only....he is not more important than you....
He is not king of the Forest.....

dandylion
Thanks DANDY. And for the record, he's never been physically abusive only mentally and emotionally. When's he angry he can't hear or absorb anything you say and having a discussion with him can sometimes leave me anxious. He has exhibited a slightly better control of his emotions lately and I'm praying that it continues. I'm also hoping that when he does decide to discuss this matter further that it doesn't get out of hand but I do have a bit of fear until that time arises.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:36 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Dimndaurf......I'm.....sorry, more info. just got posted (while I was writing my post).

do you feel safe from him in your parent's home? I think that is an important point, here.
I would say....begin alanon as soon as possible....you will begin to get the kind of support that you need.
I will go further and say that individual counseling for YOURSELF in addition to alanon. I have noticed that this is what those on this forum say was the thing that helped them to extract themselves from the H*** that they were living in.....
Also, if you haven't already done it...I suggest that you get a copy of "Co-dependent No More".....and begin reading it.....

Being so much in fear that he will be angry could be a big sign of co-dependency.....
If he is abusive.....beyond just being angry....then it becomes a different matter, of course.....

The fact that he is sooo private....that is his problem....(sounds l ike a big excuse to hide from life, to me).
If you want to protect your son....you will have to grow a thicker skin.....lol...

dandylion
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:39 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Are there any kid-friendly meetings in your area? I'm betting that's a great way to meet other moms in the same/similar situation. You might meet someone that you can swap babysitting favors so you can widen your circle of support.

Did it occur to you that maybe your son interrupts conversations and talks about inappropriate things because of the dynamic at home?
I wondered this too -& also, is your son imitating your husband's behavior?
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:41 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Either way, not a good thing. Did it occur to you that maybe your son interrupts conversations and talks about inappropriate things because of the dynamic at home? Looking for someone to pay attention to him, maybe? I don't see how all that tension and craziness can help but affect him.
I don't know Lexi but I can tell you one thing....my children get A LOT of attention from both of their parents (AH, when he's not binge drinking) as well as their grandparents. There's definitely a lot of love and compassion. My son always brags about his family, every other month we take them to the beach, amusement park, water park, arcade, etc. We do also spend quality time and there's tons of compassion and love in our home as well, but of course he still hears and senses what's going on besides all the love and fun times.

Sometimes I think he's just tired and/or hurt of seeing his mom cry and hearing his mom vent and complain to or about his AF.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:42 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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What would you have done?

Here's what I did do:

I removed my children from that environment and whenever my 6 year old is expressing his emotions or asks a question I engage with him in an honest and calm way. I have explained to him that daddy suffers from a disease called alcoholism, and when he drinks alcohol it makes his brain and body sick and he behaves in ways that are sometimes unsafe and unhealthy to be around. It doesn't mean that daddy is bad or that we don't love him, but being safe is the most important thing. I actually had that conversation with him a few days ago when he asked why we don't live with daddy anymore.
I started going to Alanon meetings and individual therapy so that my codependency and other ongoing issues wouldn't get in the way of my ability to be a healthy and present mother for my children.
I stopped trying to fix my ex or get him to change, even if it was something that would be beneficial to him or our son, like getting sober or finding a job.
I started accepting people and situations in my life as they were instead of plotting ways to change them and remake the world in my image.
I started taking my own inventory first when something made me unhappy, so that I could truly understand my role in the negative situations in my life.
I started looking for the silver linings instead of scowling at the clouds.
Still working on those last two. Progress, not perfection.
I do want to apologize if I've been harsh or unkind. My intent is not to criticize you or shame you. I used to do so many of the things that you're doing. I know how hard it is to see your way out of a pattern when you've been snared in it for so long. You're doing the best that you can with the tools you have right now. I was the same. The problem was, my tools were not good ones, they were never going to be effective. I was spending my time and energy trying to eat soup with a fork and drink water from a sieve. Yes, sometimes I would kind of get what I needed, but it was more by accident than because my tools were really working. SR is a good tool, and you are here asking questions. You've been to some Alanon meetings, that is a great start. Keep coming back. That's where I've learned most of my new and improved life skills.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Baby steps. I started somewhere pretty similar to where you are. I can't tell you what your path is, only that it's there. Thanks for reading my posts.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:44 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Dimndaurf......I'm.....sorry, more info. just got posted (while I was writing my post).

do you feel safe from him in your parent's home? I think that is an important point, here.
I would say....begin alanon as soon as possible....you will begin to get the kind of support that you need.
I will go further and say that individual counseling for YOURSELF in addition to alanon. I have noticed that this is what those on this forum say was the thing that helped them to extract themselves from the H*** that they were living in.....
Also, if you haven't already done it...I suggest that you get a copy of "Co-dependent No More".....and begin reading it.....

Being so much in fear that he will be angry could be a big sign of co-dependency.....
If he is abusive.....beyond just being angry....then it becomes a different matter, of course.....

The fact that he is sooo private....that is his problem....(sounds l ike a big excuse to hide from life, to me).
If you want to protect your son....you will have to grow a thicker skin.....lol...

dandylion
I do feel safe in my parent's home. I have begun al-anon I've been going to therapy for quite some time now.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:45 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dimndaruf View Post
Please help me because this is something that I've struggled with for years....on may occasions things have happened or bothered me and I said nothing! On other occasions things have happened and I did say something. This just seems like another damned if I do and damned if I don't subject the way your describing it.
There's a difference between relaying information, and relaying that information and telling the other person how to feel about or what to do with that information. Right now it sounds like (IMO, of course) when you tell your AH things like this, it is because you want him to feel a certain way about it or to handle it in a particular way. Like it or not, what he does with what you tell him about his son's behavior is HIS to deal with. It's a guarantee you are not always going to like how he handles it, and it's more important that you understand that and factor it into your choices than to try to control how he is as parent.

I hate to say it but it's still about expectations. He is the parent that he is and you can't make him be different. All you can do is set the best example and try to help your son understand that dad's behavior and choices don't have anything to do with him.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:46 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
Are there any kid-friendly meetings in your area? I'm betting that's a great way to meet other moms in the same/similar situation. You might meet someone that you can swap babysitting favors so you can widen your circle of support.



I wondered this too -& also, is your son imitating your husband's behavior?
There is one that I've seen on the al-anon schedule but its a bit far.

And, yes I absolutely think he's imitating his behavior and I've expressed this to AH.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:59 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Dimndaruf.....good (on alanon and the therapy). Keep it up! It will pay off in the end....as long as you don't give up!

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Old 11-20-2015, 10:37 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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we have a saying around here:

quit going to the hardware store for a loaf of bread.

you KEEP going to your AH with everything, telling him things over and over, trying to get him to see the light, and time and again what has happened....?

nothing. your words aren't making a dent or a difference. you might as well go have a heart to heart chat with a pine tree....it will certainly be more engaging.

you two are now living APART, but only by the address. this would be a very good time to work on detachment and lessening the dependence you have on him.

your husband behaves in ways that are wildly inappropriate in front of children. how on earth a six year old knows what pictures anyone has on instagram boggles my mind. but the fact that a first grader is now using the word BUTTS 20 times a day, KNOWS that his father takes pictures of random women's backsides and then posts them is moving into very dangerous territory. your AH has some SERIOUS issues apart from substance abuse.

he also has you under his spell. and it's time to break that spell. quit worrying about HIS feelings, HIS thoughts, or what a "private" person he is, cuz that is pure BS. it's his smokescreen. it's his way to throw up an illusion that keeps you off guard while he then does EXACTLY what he wants with absolutely NO concern for how it might affect anyone else, including his children. i personally wouldn't let the man "watch' the kids.....dude has some sick thinking and has no business being an influence on children.

please from now on, if your small child comes to you and shares HIS impressions of his father, or his teacher, or whatever, don't immediately run to AH and give him a verbatim report. you unknowingly violated your child's trust in you.....and you cannot be sure that he won't suffer repercussions from his father now. your child needs to be protected, not continually thrown in the middle. and he truly does need some counseling NOW.....before he begins to act out. this could be things like bedwetting, getting in fights at school, hoarding food, being aggressive with pets. HE is where your focus needs to be.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:49 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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What lady and anvil said-again. I have had many of the same discussions with my 6 year old and it's tough-but it is reality and that is what she needs-honesty, truth and validation. I'm just going to say it-your husband is a selfish a$$. I ms allowed to say this bc mine was too-which is why he's the XAH. And mine continues to treat his daughter in horrible abusjve bullying ways-and doesn't care-there's always a justification just like in our marriage (guess where he learned to lie and manipulate? Think..."family tree"). My ex had some sick twisted thinking and actions as well (many secrets I'm sure of/but that's on him too) and has no idea how to be a good role model. My dude had some pretty insanely gross demons as well. YOU need to worry about your child...not what your hubby is doing (which is despicable behavior toward your marriage and as a parent)....get him some help bc it sure sounds like he's screaming out for someone to hear him.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:58 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dimndaruf View Post
Sometimes I think he's just tired and/or hurt of seeing his mom cry and hearing his mom vent and complain to or about his AF.
That's what I'm talking about. In spite of "fun times," isn't it true that the alcoholic's actions and behavior are your number one focus? Is he getting better or isn't he? Should I stay or should I go? Why is he acting this way? How can I get him to change without making him mad? Why can't he understand how I feel?

As long as you continue this dance, he is going to be affected by it--directly or indirectly. Kids pick up on our moods, how we feel about ourselves, our entire outlook on life.

You may not be able to make sure he has a healthy father--that isn't in your power to do. But you CAN make sure he has a healthy mother, and people here who grew up in families with an alcoholic parent can tell you that that can make a huge difference in the quality of life for a child.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:15 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Like a few others have said, you probably need a real separation. You're living in separate houses, but you're 5 minutes from each other and you're basically going at it every day. Honestly, what's the point of living separately if you're going to keep inviting that in?

It isn't doing you anything positive, nor your son. You want your AH to make better strides in his recovery and get to a point that he was at previously, but honestly it doesn't seem like you're fully committing to your own recovery. In another post, you mentioned you're going to al anon meetings but it's hard to commit to them because of your schedule. It may be time to re-evaluate your schedule, because you will have to commit to your own recovery if you plan on recovering from this.

I would suggest immediately trying to stop any communication or conversation with him that serves as a way of you trying to help him along with his recovery. It's one thing to be supportive, but it's another to make comments here and there to try to push him harder. And start being more honest with yourself about when these actions occur. It seems like you probably knew what reaction was coming when you mentioned what your son said to him.

The bottom line here is that you both need to recover, and your son needs a healthy environment. You can provide that by working on your recovery. You cannot control your husband's recovery. And it sounds like you are both better off working on your own respective recoveries without each other right now.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:15 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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We're not trying to scare you. As you can probably guess, the kids strike a close, personal trigger for a lot of us. Many of us have been the child of an active addict, many have watched our own children suffer & fought hellfire to change it. Many of us feel that we contributed to our kid's damage & want to yell out, "Don't do what I did!!"

I know this is all VERY overwhelming. It's really hard for us to condense our (sometimes years of) recoveries into the right words, right sentences, right way to connect with the experience you're having. Just like we keep telling you that your husband can't hear you when you're trying to talk to him about all of this, you can't "hear" all of what we have to say right now either. And that's OK. We all get there in our own time, it's not a race.

The one constant is that we all DO have empathy for where you are right now & we all remember being blinded & paralyzed by ALL of it.... never mind feeling Judged, Ashamed, Ignorant. It is no lie that in the beginning, just thinking about all that I was reading about overwhelmed me so much that I just sobbed. I just shut. down. I was so physically exhausted, so mentally dull, so spiritually adrift. I was putting one foot in front of the other but it was getting harder & harder every day. And this is AFTER we both started recovery, not before.

When I arrived at SR I was a broken person. The glimmer of hope I had at AH getting sober & attending AA flashed & burned & moved quickly into confusion & feeling MORE out of control & less understanding of my life than ever before. Neither of us got the instant gratification we expected when he got sober. I struggled to understand why as much as he did, all the while having entirely different triggers, emotions, meltdowns, etc. We were facing the same problem but found that we couldn't treat it with the same solution.

When I started reading SR I wasn't a stranger to message boards & I could tell immediately that this wasn't a fool's playground. These people are here to hurt & heal & help. The wealth of information about the biology of addiction, the varying views & supporting info about the different approaches to the roots of & solutions for it, the honest shares of emotional destruction showing how it wreaks havoc on all sides & often spans generations in families is simply incredible & BRAVE of so many nameless, faceless people.

I read about newly recovering addicts in their own words & watched their struggles in early recovery & thought about how what I was seeing in them resonated with what I saw in RAH. NOT because I was trying to do anything for him but because it helped me to understand confusing behaviors or mood shifts or whatever. It helped ME to not take his recovery personally, lol.

I spent 8 months reading before even registering a username because I was THAT overwhelmed. EIGHT months because I had so many layers of my own damage that I couldn't even separate it enough to know what questions I wanted to ask. I found pieces in the responses I read every day between other members. I started to find understanding of things like detachment, boundaries, control, etc. I felt like a baby learning to walk despite having dealt with addiction my entire life & having what I considered a moderate understanding of it. Ha!

I understood it so long as I was hovering above it - seeing it from waaaaay back here. When I was living it? Dancing that dysfunction every day about schedules, miscommunications, finances, etc? I was just seeing every little thing separated from the whole picture & not grasping how it was all related.

You'll hear us talk about baby steps over & over & over again. It's also why it's so hard to describe to a newcomer how to get from there to here - it isn't a linear path where you follow checkpoints A-Z. You'll backtrack, get lost, have a point where you sit right down & refuse to move any further. Ok, maybe that's just me having the toddler-like meltdown.

So try something small but significant - talk way less, observe way more. Try not talking to him about anything of importance - not forever, just right now. Observe, listen, try to see it as though you're in the 3rd person so that you're truly observing & not judging. When you tune in like that & take away all of your own external noise, what will you see? How does the rest of your family react when you, well, DON'T react any longer? Does he try to engage you? Do you find a lot of uncomfortable internal noise? When you're REALLY honest with just yourself, what do you see?

I hope you stick around. I hope you've taken time to read all the sticky threads at the top of the forum & dig into some of those amazing historical shares. It will change everything when you start finding 1, 10, 50, 1000 things that resonate with your life. I promise.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:25 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Thank you all for your sincere advice...sometimes the truth hurts but it's necessary. Sometimes we can't see things from the inside and it takes an outsider to give the other perspective, especially an outsider who has once been inside!

I was detached a few months ago and I didn't even realize how I slowly got sucked back into the attachment....until now. I'm going to take my focus off of AH and put it back onto myself. I actually really love myself and everything (with exception to my marriage situation) about my life.
I don't want to lose any of that!

Thanks so much!!thanks
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