Strength and delusions/illusions


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?


4 thoughts on “Strength and delusions/illusions

  1. Yes, men and women do communicate differently, learning how men communicate helps women to communicate more effectively with men. But of course gender communication style varies from individual to individual, and you have to study the person with whom you want to communicate and adapt your style to theirs without compromising your self expression. To say what you want to say in a way they will understand it.

    The most valuable skill to develop is learning how to listen, not just to what the other person is saying in words, but through their body language and picking up on subtext.

    Validation, acknowledgement and respect are key factors in effective communication. People need to know they have been heard, understood and their view is respected even if you do not agree with it.

    That doesn’t really answer your question, but you’ve already done that in your post, you’re just doubting yourself which you know and pointed out.

    Ask yourself the question – What do I really want to do? Then imagine the different options which you’ve considered and while doing that focus your attention on how your body reacts to each scenario. Which scenario makes you feel lighter and which one makes you feel heavier. Does your gut muscle contract. Do you feel anxious. Did you feel a small rush of adrenalin. That’s how you learn to trust your gut.

    There’s a book – Focusing by Eugene Gendlin – which helps you to get in touch with your felt sense. If you do a search, there are videos with the author explaining the technique.

    • Thank you so much! I’ve dug into the topic of how to end emotional abuse, as that seems to be the loop I need to close. I appreciate the book referral too. Awesome!

      I want something I cannot guarantee will happen and hoping is deadly. It is a fantasy that I acknowledge exists.

      I want H to get help and really, really dig in and face the monsters. I see his potential and honor that but I can’t let the behavior continue by enabling it. I know how terrifying it is but I know it’s also exhilarating to find a meaningful lever for change. Intellectually, these things are givens. Emotionally, they are stark realities.

      Because this affects my kids, I have to put my 4″ pump down. 😉 In no other area of my life and in no other relationship do these problems exist. I do not allow it.


  2. Be direct. I find even now i struggle when I know someone is being indirect with me. I may not like what I hear, but I’d rather hear it and have time to take it in then spend all my time trying to figure out what it is I’m hearing or worse…not being told.

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