I have decided that I will deal with this beautifully. Mirages aside, I acknowledge my fear and I’m going to stare it down.
H needs to get help. I cannot do it for him this time. In fact, because I’ve shielded him for too many years, I have exacerbated the problem and even facilitated lack of growth for both H and me. I take responsibility for my part in the status of my marriage and my family. H has to take responsibility for his part. On his own. No prompting or suggesting from me. I have determined that our relationship cannot go any farther in terms of improvement/getting back together until H addresses his anger/depression. I cannot tell him this because I cannot come up with a way to have the conversation without fearing his backlash. Shoot, I cannot even say to him – directly – that his behavior is “abusive” – I cannot use that word! Once again, fear of retaliation. A pattern of these conversations is that H finds a way to turn things back around to be my fault.
Sidebar re: prompting and suggesting – I am struggling mightily with this. The change I believe I need to make is grounded in the assumption that old behavior patterns are not healthy and will certainly breed more unhealthy behaviors. The resistance for me is that I am having trouble trusting my gut because of old thought patterns. I feel too much like a neophyte in my coping skills to trust/stress them. I’m fighting with the notion that H is just a misunderstood guy who needs better communication skills. (Let’s all raise our glasses in a tribute to denial, shall we!)
Should I be prompting and/or suggesting?
The research strongly suggests that men and women communicate differently and my takeaway is that men would prefer that women be direct in stating what they want. Is this one of those times?
Feedback loop needed: what are your thoughts?