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11 months as a practicing sobrietist - rocky, rocky, rocky relationship issues

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11 months as a practicing sobrietist - rocky, rocky, rocky relationship issues

Old 04-24-2014, 03:38 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I think someone else mentioned it, but I think you should start documenting whats going on because I can almost guarantee she has someone in her ear telling her to write it all down, keep every text, every voice mail because she may need it. I think maybe you should contact an attorney for a preliminary discussion on your whole financial situation, custody of kids. Stay rational, think, plan. I dont want to sound negative about your marriage working out, but right now your wife is looking like a narcissist. When we have family counseling especially in the beginning there were assignments and activities to help us reconnect, regain trust, rebuild. We both agreed in front of the doctor to work in good faith. I feel sad for you ((DrSobrietist)), please stay strong and dont let this hurt your recovery.

On Saturdays maybe you could make it family day with your kids and invite her to come along. Movies, pizza, miniature golf, laser tag, or whatever they do for their age. Enjoy your time with them as much as possible and if she wont come along make it DADs special time with the kids.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:00 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I'm letting the couples therapist be in the driver's seat as much as possible here, and I recognize there are probably plenty of people here with messy divorces they can refer to (either of themselves or others they know), I'm not going to start making any open moves towards formal adversarial proceedings - and visiting a lawyer would be one of them. If it came to that, I have resources I could tap that would make me formidable - but I do *not* want to entertain that possibility right now, because we have two small children who at least thus far, have stability in their lives, which needs to be kept at the forefront.

Also, while I don't like my wife very much right now (not at all), I don't hate her. I still love her.

One thing at a time - main agenda item I need accomplished next week is how to set my own boundaries with my wife as far as the silent-treatment / contempt / avoidance of interaction stuff (with an implied threat of hostility / verbal abuse) goes. If I can come up with something do-able in that regard, I think we can throw some spit and baling wire on the whole deal and survive for the time being. We've survived crises before - the only difference is we're doing this one without her getting drunk, and in terms of lately, me being the "bad one" (using or drinking to get through it).

So, I appreciate the advice about divorce stuff, I think what is being offered is in the vein of being helpful, and I'm not refusing to think about this issue - but that's not what I need right now from this forum.

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:39 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Doc - this one is a little out of the box, but what would happen if you told her to take the time that she needs and to come to you when she is ready to talk? Do you think she would just put it off indefinitely? If she commits to a time now she could always back out later if she didn't feel like she was ready to talk when the time came. Presenting it this way would make it harder for her to make any arguments regarding 'control'.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:05 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by OpioPhobe View Post
Doc - this one is a little out of the box, but what would happen if you told her to take the time that she needs and to come to you when she is ready to talk? Do you think she would just put it off indefinitely? If she commits to a time now she could always back out later if she didn't feel like she was ready to talk when the time came. Presenting it this way would make it harder for her to make any arguments regarding 'control'.
OK. Sounds like not a bad suggestion. I'll propose it Monday.

I'm trying to keep this all simple.

1) How do I survive being in my home with either the choice being
a) my wife treats me like a non-person in my own home, ignores me, etc., or
b) treats me with utter, blistering hostility, abuse, and contempt?

In other words, to used the cliché - what are my boundaries.... short of leaving home for extended periods, that is?

When we do our therapy session on Monday, I will try and set some ground rules from the outset. I don't want to sit there and hear her talk about what a terrible person I am yet again, and how she wants to leave me, etc. I will say I will need to leave the therapy room when that starts, happy to come back when its over, would prefer she leave it for her individual therapy, groups, whatever.

It's going to be tough to get through the rest of the weekend. Sober won't be a problem. I'm a wreck.

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:32 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Doc - I experienced a similar thing with my wife. Although I would have been content with being ignored given the alternative. It eventually escalated to physical confrontations (I was on the receiving end which took the ultimate self control not to retaliate). I sat down with her one night and asked her if she wanted to stay married. I told her to either forgive me for what I did or serve me papers. There was no way that I was going to go on forever living under those conditions. In return I agreed to forgive her for what she did.

It was somewhat more complicated in my situation because my wife had gone insane at certain points (literally I started taking steps to get her involuntarily committed).
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:39 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by OpioPhobe View Post
Doc - I experienced a similar thing with my wife. Although I would have been content with being ignored given the alternative. It eventually escalated to physical confrontations (I was on the receiving end which took the ultimate self control not to retaliate). I sat down with her one night and asked her if she wanted to stay married. I told her to either forgive me for what I did or serve me papers. There was no way that I was going to go on forever living under those conditions. In return I agreed to forgive her for what she did.

It was somewhat more complicated in my situation because my wife had gone insane at certain points (literally I started taking steps to get her involuntarily committed).
Thanks, good to hear someone else has been in a similar situation.

Hard to think about what life will look like beyond this next Monday (couples session). It was much more convenient when I didn't think I deserved any better. Sigh.

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:56 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Doc - for what it's worth things have honestly never been better between us now. When I gave her those options she forgave me and I forgave her. A large part of it was her getting her medications squared away with her doctor. I doubt I would have put up with as much as I did were it not for the fact that I realized she really had gone insane at some point though.

I also had the exact same emotion, and at first I thought it was a mistake getting clean. The complaining didn't let up it got worse. My tolerance for stress had gone from hyper drive to nil. It was really difficult, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to tolerate half of the things I did before. We ended up working through it though and I had to rebel against certain actions my wife took that were especially controlling. That being said, I was very selective about which battles I chose to fight. Most of the improvements came without a fight actually. Forgiveness was the key part of it all.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:28 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Thanks again.

Went out to Target and did some shopping - just for me. Got a few accessories - a long-needed bluetooth headset, a 'man-bag' (for my iPad, phone, other stuff), a sports armband for my mp3 player.... just needed to pamper myself. Another uncharacteristic thing I do now. The old me would say to myself, "I shouldn't buy these things right now, I should go without, considering all the beer I bought yesterday, last week, last month, last year, etc." No more of that.

Thought some more about what I'd say at the couples session. I'm going to keep it calm, but not do it by caving, catering, or avoiding core issues.

I like the idea of putting the ball back in her court.

My position - when she wants to talk - I mean really talk, I'll come back home. But for now, I stay out. Here's what I plan to present at the Monday meeting. Whether or not my wife and I stay together, this is I think the basis for some ground rules as to how I think people need to treat me, at minimum:
* Absolutely no eye rolling, sarcasm (e.g., "do I have to," "do I have any choice,") or other verbal or nonverbal signs of contempt when I try to engage you in an interaction.

* Absolutely no verbal abuse (e.g., "I hate you," namecalling, etc.), no nonverbal signs of hostility (snarling, clenching teeth, murderous looks), no telling the other being with them is a mistake, etc., and then using that as a reason not to talk ("this is why we shouldn't talk - because this always happens!")

* If we've set a time limit on how long we talk, no barking towards the other the time left ("five minutes!" "you have two minutes!" etc.), and also no interrupting and pointing out "you said that already," as that's simply nerve-wracking.

If you don't want to talk right then, or are unable to follow the above ground rules, you *immediately* say to me - "I am not able to talk to you right now the way you want to. We can talk again at X time," and give a specific time when we can talk again.

If you're unable to schedule a time to talk with me within the next 72 hours, and are unable to set a time to do so in a reasonable period of time in the future without following the above ground rules, one of us has to leave the home and sleep somewhere else until a meeting can be scheduled, as I cannot live in a house for any extended period where I feel I am being treated like a nonperson, essentially ignored, and under threat of behavior that feels emotionally and verbally abusive.
What do people think? Should I change the wording?

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:05 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Ive heard you should always use I statements because anything else means your trying to control the other persons actions. Ive also heard it said you dont need to give any explanation for your boundary, and saying no is a complete sentence. Ive never done this because in my counseling session the doctor put more emphasis on communicating feelings and stating needs while also acknowledging the other person has a choice in their actions. It wasnt called a boundary but I think its about the same. Goes something like this:

Inform: When you do (her behavior), I feel (your reaction)
Request: Can I ask you to (stop or change this behavior)

If the person doesnt stop the behavior then you repeat by stating how you will handle your boundary being broken:

Inform: If you are not willing to (stop or change this behavior) I will need to (take this protective action).

Example:

When you call me names it hurts me

Can I ask you to speak to me in a calm and respectful tone ?

If your not willing to speak to me calmly/respectfully then I will have to end the conversation.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:43 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Bluechair, thank you, just what I needed!!! Try this:
WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS:

• Eye rolling, sarcasm (e.g. statements like, "do I have to," "do I have any choice,") or other similar verbal or nonverbal signs of contempt.

• Making statements like "I hate you," namecalling, etc.

• Exhibiting nonverbal signs of hostility (snarling, clenching teeth, murderous looks).

• After we've set a time limit on how long we talk, barking towards the other the time left ("five minutes!" "you have two minutes!" etc.)

• Stonewalling, refusing to acknowledge me with eye contact, refusing to engage me in conversation at all about topics of my choice, engaging in simple small talk or exchanges of social courtesies
• Refusing to schedule a time to interact with me as above (at minimum engaging me with eye contact, simple courtesies and kindnesses such small talk, showing interest in how my day was) at a reasonable time in the future (say, 72 hours).
I FEEL

• Helpless

• Extremely anxious

• Angry

***Can I ask that you stop or change these behaviors immediately?***

INFORM

• If you can’t stop, or change these behaviors, I must ask you to make arrangements to sleep somewhere else (I'm willing to compromise and also make arrangements to leave at times).

• If you can’t stop, or change these behaviors, I must ask you also let me have half, or a reasonable number of the days in a given span of time when I can do their evening routine and not have you present.
Better?

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:56 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Its more aligned to what we were taught but how does it feel to you?

Edit to say this sounds like something you could also present in your counseling session with the doctor, to help guide the interaction.

I would also take your time in figuring out what actions you want to take IF your request/boundary is broken. Its more complicated because you have children.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:03 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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.... and I think the point of all this is that it gives her expectations of what I want to see from her, so that there is none of this stuff where I'm sitting there, absorbing abuse and toxicity until I eventually respond (poorly) and she gets to storm out, leaving me both battered AND feeling abandoned simultaneously. I get to wrest back some control over myself in the situation.

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:07 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BlueChair View Post
Its more aligned to what we were taught but how does it feel to you?

Edit to say this sounds like something you could also present in your counseling session with the doctor, to help guide the interaction.

I would also take your time in figuring out what actions you want to take IF your request/boundary is broken. Its more complicated because you have children.
Simultaneous post there.

It feels actually a little better than my first draft. Feels less accusatory, more just, "hey, I have to stop letting myself be a punching bag here, and here's how I plan to do it." Although we don't have much savings, we can do this with cheapo hotels, maybe me spending some nights at a friends house locally, etc.... would have to eventually explain this to the kids. Or, I could drop the having her leave a couple nights a week (or me leave) during their nighttime routines. That does disrupt their routine, badly. I added it in because it's just terrible having her around mostly doing the ignoring thing with the kids there (she tones it down a little when they're around).

I absolutely plan on trailing it at the therapy session. I have a fear that when I bring this up, she'll immediately (as if to just one-up me and keep me utterly off balance, and probably to a certain degree just up the ante in the power struggle) immediately start talking about divorce again, although I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised. I plan on announcing at the outset that if divorce talk happens at the therapy session on Monday, I will leave the room and sit in the waiting room. This has to get worked out first.

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DocSobrietist View Post
.... and I think the point of all this is that it gives her expectations of what I want to see from her, so that there is none of this stuff where I'm sitting there, absorbing abuse and toxicity until I eventually respond (poorly) and she gets to storm out, leaving me both battered AND feeling abandoned simultaneously. I get to wrest back some control over myself in the situation.

-DrS
Yes. Your showing you have respect for yourself. I wish I was better at explaining. Im not a pro or anything. I know you use lifering, but if you want to go over to Smart Recovery (have to create a login) I think they have a section about boundaries and some of the trained people might be able to make suggestions. Ive found everything to be similar to what I learn in counseling because its based on cognitive therapy.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:42 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BlueChair View Post
Yes. Your showing you have respect for yourself. I wish I was better at explaining. Im not a pro or anything. I know you use lifering, but if you want to go over to Smart Recovery (have to create a login) I think they have a section about boundaries and some of the trained people might be able to make suggestions. Ive found everything to be similar to what I learn in counseling because its based on cognitive therapy.
You did fine, and again, thank you :-)

-DrS
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:12 PM
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Dr. S., I just met you on the Undies thread and have just read what you've shared here. I think you are behaving justly and maturely, and have shown a great deal of patience. This seems like a good document you have. I know you're not religious, but I will pray for you.

My husband really was angry, belittling, hostile, verbally abusive, and contemptuous for many years. One day he put himself under somebody else's tutelage and decided he was going to be good. It took awhile, but he really did change. i had my faults, and often I was responsible for goading him--but I reacted to the change, and now we are best friends.

We still have flaws--we are still the same basic people with the same basic makeup--but we treat each other 100% better.

I hope that your wife finds the key to humbling herself and being selfless at Al-Anon--or someplace else. I will be praying for your time at the therapist's. You have all my support and best wishes.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:53 AM
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According to our counselor it's best if the "I" statements come first. It's also good to say something positive, followed by a "but".

"I really do love you, but it hurts me when you call me names. Do you think you could stop the namecalling?" or "I'd appreciate it if you would stop calling me names."
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:50 AM
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Readerbaby - yeah, it's hard to come up with the positive strokes right now. Here's what I tried to do. Appreciated it if I can get more feedback here:

*******

BOUNDARY #1

I understand you are a different person and that you require space and time to find yourself. I love your differences. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS:

• Eye rolling, sarcasm (e.g. statements like, "do I have to," "do I have any choice,") or other similar verbal or nonverbal signs of contempt.

• Making statements like "I hate you," namecalling, etc.

• Exhibiting nonverbal signs of hostility (snarling, clenching teeth, murderous looks).

• After we've set a time limit on how long we talk, barking towards the other the time left ("five minutes!" "you have two minutes!" etc.)

• Refusing to engage me in conversation at all about topics of my choice, engaging in simple small talk or exchanges of social courtesies such as asking me how my day was, refusing to schedule a time to talk with me as above within a reasonable time frame (say, 72 hours)

I FEEL

• Helpless

• Extremely anxious

• Angry

***Can I ask that you please stop or change these behaviors?***

IF YOU CAN'T STOP OR CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS,

• I will immediately make arrangements to sleep somewhere else. You will take the kids to school the following morning. I am willing to have you be asked to leave as an alternative.

BOUNDARY #2

I respect your goals, desires, and wishes to get support from the people and places you desire. I respect your need to express how you feel, and to feel your needs are getting met. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS

• Accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling”

• Being agreeable with me, and then later reneging on an agreement by retroactively accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling,” such as when we originally agreed on splitting Saturdays

I FEEL

• Hurt, attacked

• Shut down

**Can I please ask that you stop or change these behaviors?**

IF YOU CAN’T STOP OR CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS,

• The conversation immediately will stop, and I will ask for an apology (“I am sorry I used those words to describe you, that is unfair, can we continue our discussion?”)

• If I do not receive a sincere apology, I leave the house immediately and sleep at a hotel, and you take the kids to school the following morning. Again, willing to have you be asked to leave as an alternative.

• If it takes place at our couples therapists' office, you are required to apologize immediately (see above) before anything else is agreed upon or discussed.

• If an apology is not forthcoming, I will leave the therapy session and wait in the waiting room.

BOUNDARY #3

I love you and respect your need to find the space to express your thoughts and feelings at our therapy session when you are emotional, feeling hurt, or feeling overwhelmed. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS

• Namecalling in the therapy session, e.g., calling me a “monster,” or the abovementioned “manipulative,” and “controlling.”

• Demeaning me in the relationship, saying “I’m only with him for the kids,” talking about divorce when it’s not something I wish to talk about right now

I FEEL

• Helpless

• Panicked

• Hurt

• Angry

**Can I please ask that you immediately stop or change these behaviors?**

IF YOU CAN’T STOP OR CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS,

• I will leave the therapy room immediately and sit in the waiting room, until Jennifer is satisfied the above behaviors have ceased and can come get me.

• If when I return, you are unable to apologize for namecalling and demeaning me and our relationship, I will make immediate arrangements to leave and go to a hotel room. Again, willing to have you be asked to leave as an alternative.

***************

This is what I have right now. It's a lot, but it basically covers all the big stuff I need to cover, to allow me to feel like I at least have some measure of control over the process and dialogue with her.

-DrS
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:41 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Take #3

BOUNDARY #1

I understand you are a different person and that you require space and time to find yourself. When we are at are best, I love your differences, I love you. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS:

• Eye rolling, sarcasm (e.g. statements like, "do I have to," "do I have any choice,") or other similar verbal or nonverbal signs of contempt.

• Making statements like "I hate you," namecalling, etc.

• Exhibiting nonverbal signs of hostility (snarling, clenching teeth combined with eye expression similar to below):



• After we've set a time limit on how long we talk, barking towards the other the time left ("five minutes!" "you have two minutes!" etc.)

• Refusing to engage me in conversation at all about topics of my choice, refusing to engage in simple small talk or exchanges of social courtesies such as asking me how my day was, asking how I feel, telling me how your day was, telling me how you feel, or refusing to schedule a time to talk with me as above within a reasonable time frame (say, 72 hours)

I FEEL

• Helpless

• Extremely anxious, panicked

• Angry

***Can I ask that you please stop or change these behaviors?***

INFORM

• If you can’t stop, or change these behaviors, I will make immediate arrangements to leave and get a hotel room for the night. Am willing to negotiate asking you to leave as an alternative.

BOUNDARY #2

I respect your goals, desires, and wishes to get support from the people and places you desire. I believe much of the things you’ve done with Al-Anon, meditation, and therapy have resulted in positive changes for you. I love that you speak out more and do it in a more poised, positive manner. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS

• Accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling”

• Being agreeable with me, and then later reneging on an agreement by retroactively accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling,” such as when we originally agreed on splitting Saturdays

• Not apologizing for accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling” either at home or at our therapist’s office

I FEEL

• Hurt, attacked

• Shut down

**Can I please ask that you stop or change these behaviors?**

IF YOU CAN’T STOP OR CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS,

• If we are at home, the conversation immediately will stop, I will give you an opportunity to apologize, and then if one is not forthcoming, I will make immediate arrangements to leave and get a hotel room for the night. Am willing to negotiate asking you to leave as an alternative.

• If this behavior takes place at our therapist’s office, I will immediately leave the therapy session and wait in the waiting room, and return when an apology is forthcoming and the conversation can continue.

BOUNDARY #3

I love you and am pleased you trust our couples therapist enough to feel comfortable expressing all of your thoughts and feelings when you are emotional, feeling hurt, or feeling overwhelmed. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS

• Namecalling in the therapy session, e.g., calling me a “monster,” or the abovementioned “manipulative,” and “controlling.”

• Demeaning me in the relationship at the therapy session, saying “I’m only with him for the kids,” talking about divorce when it’s not something I wish to talk about right now

• Not immediately apologizing for the above when you are given the opportunity

I FEEL

• Helpless

• Panicked

• Hurt

• Angry

**Can I please ask that you immediately stop or change these behaviors?**

IF YOU CAN’T STOP OR CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS,

• I will leave the therapy room immediately and sit in the waiting room so as to give you an opportunity to change your behavior. I will return when this is forthcoming (our couples therapist or you can come get me).

• If you are unable to cease the above behaviors, I will make immediate arrangements to leave and get a hotel room for the night. Am willing to negotiate asking you to leave as an alternative.

******

-DrS
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:58 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Take #4

BOUNDARY #1

I understand you are a different person and that you require space and time to find yourself. When we are at are best, I love your differences, I love you. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS:

• Eye rolling, sarcasm (e.g. statements like, "do I have to," "do I have any choice,") or other similar verbal or nonverbal signs of contempt.

• Making statements like "I hate you," namecalling, etc.

• Exhibiting nonverbal signs of hostility (snarling, clenching teeth combined with eye expression similar to below):



• After we've agreed on a limit on how long we talk, barking towards the other the time left ("five minutes!" "you have two minutes!" etc.)

• Refusing to engage me in conversation at all about topics of my choice, refusing to engage in simple small talk or exchanges of social courtesies such as asking me how my day was, asking how I feel, telling me how your day was, telling me how you feel, or refusing to schedule a time to talk with me as above within a reasonable time frame (say, 72 hours)

I FEEL

• Helpless

• Extremely anxious, panicked

• Angry

***Can I ask that you please stop or change these behaviors?***

INFORM

• If you can’t stop, or change these behaviors, I will make immediate arrangements to leave and get a hotel room for the night. Am willing to negotiate asking you to leave as an alternative.

BOUNDARY #2

I respect your goals, desires, and wishes to get support from the people and places you desire. I believe much of the things you’ve done with Al-Anon, meditation, and therapy have resulted in positive changes for you. I love that you speak out more and do it in a more poised, positive manner.

I also recognize there may be certain behaviors that I engage in when we are interacting on a 1:1 basis that cause you to feel negative feelings. I am absolutely willing and committed to hearing about what these specific behaviors are, what you feel when these behaviors occur, and how you would like to respond when these certain behaviors of mine occur. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS

• Accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling”

• Being agreeable with me, and then later reneging on an agreement by retroactively accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling,” such as when we originally agreed on splitting Saturdays

• Not apologizing for accusing me of being “manipulative and controlling”

I FEEL

• Hurt, attacked

• Shut down

• Helpless, panicked

**Can I please ask that you stop or change these behaviors?**

IF YOU CAN’T STOP OR CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS,

If at home:

• I will immediately stop my conversation about any other topics, and verbalize that I am giving you an opportunity to apologize. I will identify I am doing this by first raising my hand.

• If an apology is not forthcoming, I will make arrangements to leave and get a hotel room for the night. Am willing to negotiate asking you to leave as an alternative.

If this at our therapist’s office:

• I will immediately leave the therapy session and wait in the waiting room to give you an opportunity to change your behavior as above (e.g., apology).

• If sufficient change is not forthcoming, I will make immediate arrangements to leave and get a hotel room for the night. Am willing to negotiate asking you to leave as an alternative.

BOUNDARY #3

I love you and am pleased you trust our couples therapist enough to feel comfortable expressing all of your thoughts and feelings when you are emotional, feeling hurt, or feeling overwhelmed. However,

WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS

• Namecalling in the therapy session, e.g., calling me a “monster,” or the abovementioned “manipulative,” and “controlling.”

• Demeaning me in the relationship at the therapy session, saying “I’m only with him for the kids,” talking about divorce when it’s not something I wish to talk about right now

• Not immediately apologizing for the above when you are given the opportunity

I FEEL

• Helpless

• Panicked

• Hurt

• Angry

**Can I please ask that you immediately stop or change these behaviors?**

IF YOU CAN’T STOP OR CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS,

• I will leave the therapy room immediately and sit in the waiting room so as to give you an opportunity to change your behavior. I will return when this is forthcoming (our couples therapist or you can come get me).

• If you are unable to cease the above behaviors, I will make immediate arrangements to leave and get a hotel room for the night. Am willing to negotiate asking you to leave as an alternative.
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