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3 BIG problems
November 28, 2003
9:51 am
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unhappy camper
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Sorry to start a new thread.

Last night the counselors at my support group talked to me about my husband.

They said he actually has 3 separate problems and they are not interdependent.

First, mental illnesses / personality disorders.

Second, alcoholism and other addictions

Third, control and abuse and violence

I thought his mental illness caused his other two problems. They both said a big "NO".

They said his mental illness would never be "cured" but could be controlled. But it will never disappear. He will always struggle with it. It's a big problem.

They said the same with his alcoholism, of course. That will always be a struggle. A very big one!

And the abuse and control, it could be addressed if he wanted to. I'm not sure if that gets 'cured' or if he would always struggle with that too.

I thought his mental illness caused his other two problems. I thought if he could be treated for it, the others would disappear.

But they say no. He would have SO MUCH work to do to handle all 3 problems.

This is a big set back for me (us).

So I am trying to internalize this now. I talked about wondering if I could ever trust him and forgive him. They said "there is your answer".

I had a slight hope of him whipping his mental problems and that that would clean up his drinking and abuse, like 5% maybe. LOL

Now if he has to tackle all 3 problems separately...wow. I can't see him doing that. He is so self-indulgent.

So it's worse than I thought. There goes that 5%.

I feel more badly for him than me. I can get by. He is going to be struggling and hiding and being dysfunctional and 'using' and being scared and angry, etc. forever unless he gets serious about therapy.

But it's out of my hands. I can't even imagine living in the same house as him ever again unless he had a frontal lobotomy or something. LOL

I'll discuss it with the doctors and counselors but never alone with him. There must be one of them present in every discussion. Playing on my pity won't work any more. And I want him to think and use his brain not his emotions when talking to me. Perhaps he will do that if the doctors or counselors are there.

Boy, oh boy...

However, my troubles seem insignificant compared to the stories I read here yesterday. Those stories will haunt me forever. However, my husband could be capable of worse behaviour still. It's not something to play at.

November 28, 2003
10:02 am
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HARRYO
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Sorry about the pain his 3 big
problems are causing you. Why
don't you keep the focus on
yourself? How can all your
constructive, compassionate,
positive energy be wrapped up
in worrying about his dysfunctional
crap? His abuse is propotional
to your pain. What kind of an
equation is that. Write a
declaration of independance
followed by a bill of rights.

November 28, 2003
10:06 am
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HARRYO
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To Unhappy Camper:
Here is your Bill of Rights

Toxic Love
by Robert Burney M. A.
"As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims"
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

One of the biggest problems with relationships in this society is that the context we approach them from is too small. We were taught that getting the relationship is the goal.

It starts in early childhood with Fairy Tales where the Prince and the Princess live happily-ever-after. It continues in movies and books where "boy meets girl" "boy loses girl" "boy gets girl back" - the music swells and the happy couple ride off into the sunset. The songs that say "I can't smile without you" "I can't live without you" "You are my everything" describe the type of love we learned about growing up - toxic love - an addiction with the other person as our drug of choice, as our Higher Power.

Any time we set another human being up to be our Higher Power we are going to experience failure in whatever we are trying to accomplish. We will end up feeling victimized by the other person or by our self - and even when we feel victimized by the other person we blame our self for the choices we made. We are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic Relationships because of the belief system we were taught in childhood and the messages we got from our society growing up.

There is no goal to reach that will bring us to happily-ever after. We are not incomplete until we find our soul mate. We are not halves that cannot be whole without a relationship.

True Love is not a painful obsession. It is not taking a hostage or being a hostage. It is not all-consuming, isolating, or constricting. Believing we can't be whole or happy without a relationship is unhealthy and leads us to accept deprivation and abuse, and to engage in manipulation, dishonesty, and power struggles. The type of love we learned about growing up is an addiction, a form of toxic love.

Here is a short list of the characteristics of Love vs. toxic love (compiled with the help of the work of Melody Beattie & Terence Gorski.)

1. Love - Development of self first priority.
Toxic love - Obsession with relationship.
2. Love - Room to grow, expand; desire for other to grow.
Toxic love - Security, comfort in sameness; intensity of need seen as proof of love (may really be fear, insecurity, loneliness)

3. Love - Separate interests; other friends; maintain other meaningful relationships.
Toxic love - Total involvement; limited social life; neglect old friends, interests.

4. Love - Encouragement of each other's expanding; secure in own worth.
Toxic love - Preoccupation with other's behavior; fear of other changing.

5. Love - Appropriate Trust (i.e. trusting partner to behave according to fundamental nature.)
Toxic love - Jealousy; possessiveness; fear of competition; protects "supply."

6. Love - Compromise, negotiation or taking turns at leading. Problem solving together.
Toxic love - Power plays for control; blaming; passive or aggressive manipulation.

7. Love - Embracing of each other's individuality.
Toxic love - Trying to change other to own image.

8. Love - Relationship deals with all aspects of reality.
Toxic love - Relationship is based on delusion and avoidance of the unpleasant.

9. Love - Self-care by both partners; emotional state not dependent on other's mood.
Toxic love - Expectation that one partner will fix and rescue the other.

10. Love - Loving detachment (healthy concern about partner, while letting go.)
Toxic love - Fusion (being obsessed with each other's problems and feelings.)

11. Love - Sex is free choice growing out of caring & friendship.
Toxic love - Pressure around sex due to insecurity, fear & need for immediate gratification.

12. Love - Ability to enjoy being alone.
Toxic love - Unable to endure separation; clinging.

13. Love - Cycle of comfort and contentment.
Toxic love - Cycle of pain and despair.

Love is not supposed to be painful. There is pain involved in any relationship but if it is painful most of the time then something is not working.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship - it is natural and healthy. There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship that will last forever - expecting it to last forever is what is dysfunctional. Expectations set us up to be a victim - and cause to abandon ourselves in search of our goal.

If we can start seeing relationships not as the goal but as opportunities for growth then we can start having more functional relationships. A relationship that ends is not a failure or a punishment - it is a lesson.

As long as our definition of a successful relationship is one that lasts forever - we are set up to fail. As long as we believe that we have to have the other in our life to be happy, we are really just an addict trying to protect our supply - using another person as our drug of choice. That is not True Love - nor is it Loving.

November 28, 2003
10:07 am
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HARRYO
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November 28, 2003
10:10 am
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unhappy camper
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The reason I am worried about how he is, is that I sponsored him for 10 years when he moved to Canada. 8 mores years left now. If he is sick and can't take care of himself, he may sue me for support. He can push himself on me for 8 more years.

If it were for that, I'd have gotten rid of him long ago. It's that sponsorship thing that may keep us attached. I have been told they may not pursue it becuse of the violence, but he could take me to court for alimony or whatever. I can't afford to give him any money at all.

If he moved back to the USA today, I'd be glad. I won't miss his trouble.

But knowing that he will be clinging and begging and trying to force me to take care of him is the problem that is upsetting me. He will use every trick he can. Even if I divorce him.

I feel dread over that. That is why I hoped he would become mental well. I don't want to be responsible for him for 8 more years.

He can ruin my life financially. That is a big thing.

November 28, 2003
10:23 am
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HARRYO
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My ex wife got my house, alimony
child support everything but my
pension. I'm 55 years old and
I've lived in my mothers basement
for 4 years.
She has remarried and her new
husband has a shore house.
What's wrong with this picture?
The important thing is that I am
free from her. She wasn't even
abusive to me. We just grew apart
and didn't love each other anymore.
I gave a lot up for a loveless
relationship. Considering the
abuse that you seem to be taking,
you have a lot less to lose.
Like they say in the rooms,
"if money cn fix it, it's not
a problem."

November 28, 2003
11:42 am
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justjane
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harryo,

OMG! you have posted the twelve points of love vs. toxic love, and my relationship with my husband of the last 7 years has been EVERY SINGLE ONE of the toxic 13! what a way to spend a life, wasting years i can never get back. thank you for giving me a real eye opener.

sorry to butt in on your thread, uc, but just was so shocked at this list! i don't know what to say to you about your ex other than it sounds like you were wise to get away from him. good luck to you with your struggles.
j.

November 28, 2003
12:31 pm
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HARRYO
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Justjane,

Actually my ex was a her. And
she dumped me. Probably we both
had some toxic issues, but in the
end more her than me because at
least I could own my shit and deal
with my issues.

November 28, 2003
12:53 pm
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Wanttobewell
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HARRYO,,,The relationship I have with my husband fits so many of the toxic love descriptions. He hates it if I go anywhere, calls me everday at lunch when he's at work. Finally I talked him into joining the Y with me, something we could do together, two months ago. I'm going but he hasn't yet,,,when I say I'm going, he says,,,don't go today. It's always the same. If I say I'm going anywhere, it's always the same..Wait,,don't go today. He is getting a bit better at times. He just fits so many of the descriptions It drives me nuts!!!

Unhappy camper,,I'm sorry, but I didn't know you had abuse in your relationship,,could have been because I'm fairly new, or my poor memory. I wish I could think of something useful to help you in your seemingly hostage situation. I didn't mean to interfere in your thread either, but it just all sounded so familiar to me. Does he or will he go with you to your counselers? How does a sponsorship like the one you have work? What type of sponsorship is this? Sorry for the questions. (W)

November 28, 2003
1:07 pm
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HARRYO
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Wantobewell,
The best way of dealing with his
issues is for you to set the boundaries. See his neediness is
predicated on him being needed.
If you could work that out you
have achance of changing the toxic love into true love.
I would have given anything if my ex only gave me that chance.

November 29, 2003
1:40 pm
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unhappy camper
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He has 3 big problems. I have one. HIM.

Now that I heard from him again, I feel anxious and upset.

But I am going to hold my emotions in check. My head will rule, not them.

I can't get flustered and angry and sad etc. and make mistakes. I have to have a cool head and be smart.

He has the impossible task of proving through his psychiastrist that he will be sane, normal, safe to live with.

No one is going to try to fool me or assure me with lies and false promises and might be's etc.

I have to get him out of my head now, because I am dwelling on him and arguing with him in my head again, and not doing things I should be doing. He is wasting my time in my head.

Out of my head, damn you!!!! LOL

November 29, 2003
1:45 pm
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HARRYO
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UC
Go forth and get him out of your
head. Then you can heal your heart.

November 30, 2003
7:00 pm
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mj
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I liked reading about Toxic Love.
Yep, glad I am not with him today.

I have had a very good day indeed.
Hope you are feeling better UC.
Been to any meetings lately?

November 30, 2003
8:21 pm
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IR4ME
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HARRYO, I'M GONNA WRITE TOXIC LOVE ON THE BACK OF MY HAND TOMORROW. THAT WILL GET ME THROUH THE DAY FOR SURE. THANKS-ME

December 1, 2003
7:07 am
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HARRYO
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I'm so glad everybody liked my
posting on toxic love. We need to
learn about what we choose is
right for us in love not what
chooses us,
I'm glad I found this chat room.
It's like going into a sauna and
purging out the toxins in
my body by sweating.
Sort of a spiritual steam bath.

December 4, 2003
4:37 pm
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unhappy camper
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"We are not halves....."

Those words are electric.

I keep looking over the toxic post. It draws me in.

I'm sharing it with my support group tonight....last meeting.

Thanks Harry.

I now have 5 men who are interested in dating me, one American and 4 Canadians. I am holding them all at bay. They don't intrigue me.

My husband does. He is a challenge. I will see the best that can be done with him, me, us with medical help. Probably not much. I won't spend a ton of time on it. Not much hope. But I like a challenge. Just imagine we can fix it all with his problems and our relationship. Wow.

The toxic post is a powerful message to heed. I will be forever influenced by it.

December 4, 2003
4:57 pm
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mj
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I sure don't understand you UC....

I hope that you reread your posts.

Have you thought if your husband fixes himself, hypothetically of course that he will want his wife who has been dating other men?

December 4, 2003
5:03 pm
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unhappy camper
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He won't know.

December 4, 2003
5:23 pm
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unhappy camper
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A better answer is this. I was alone for almost 20 years now, except for a few ok months with this husband when he first moved here.

100% of everyone I have met since he was arrested tell me to end it with him. 100%.

I am being brainwashed into ending it with him. I am looking at it like it is over.

I don't want it to be. But he treated me worse than dirt.

He abandoned me. Just what I needed, to be abandoned after all those years alone. It was torture.

So I look casually at other guys and talk but don't date much. I have been out 3 times, all one date things. No interest.

If a wonderful sensational well-adjusted man who adores me falls into my lap...nice. It's not going to happen. I am not pushing these guys, they are pushing me. Some are getting mad.

The chances of hubby and I making it are close to zero. I still want it to be possible.

So, it takes a long time to start a relationship and just looking. Kicking tires, looking at the price stickers on the windows, checking out the options, and in fact learning how to interact with others too. And learning to set boundaries.
It almost like I am practicing for my husband.

My heart has not left him. My 3 dates have actually been enough for me. A little excitement, a thrill, but nerve-racking too.

I don't know what he is doing with other women either. We are separated after all.

December 4, 2003
6:09 pm
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unhappy camper
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And factor in that my husband and I have herpes. Both of us only want to be with someone who has it and not spread it. So finding a partner is almost impossible. There are only a couple of guys in my area my age. I will end up alone forever. I am getting old. Trying to force a fit among a couple of guys is hard. If I could choose from the whole population I would not be so concerned. But I am handicapped.

December 4, 2003
6:12 pm
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mj
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OH BS....

Please focus on you UC....cuz not telling hubby about your rendevouz is about the same as his issues...

We all have issues....just focus on yours...;)

December 4, 2003
6:13 pm
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mj
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Hugs UC...I mean this as eye opening honesty....

December 4, 2003
10:34 pm
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unhappy camper
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I don't understand what you mean???

I am moving on basically mj. I love the way he was before he came to Canada.

But when I watch tv shows about cops and forensic scientists and the crazy killers they are trying to catch...and see how violent and nuts and cruel those criminals are...I think...what if he goes that far????

I have weak days and strong days....but my weak days are fewer and my strong days are increasing.

I just had my last group meeting tonight and came home and saw a tv show of a 16 yr old girl being raped and when she went to identify the man she chickened out but he still found her and killed her.

My husband is mentally ill, alcoholic and violent. He has no conscience. He can do anything no matter how bad and not care one speck.

I have to be so careful. I also don't want my kids related to him any more. I have to get a divorce.

Finding a nice man is focusing on me. I guess, although I cry for him, I really know I can never live with him again. So I am moving on and trying to find a new partner who is sweet.

If you were alone for 20 years, how would you feel?

December 4, 2003
11:48 pm
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mj
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Today ....I would have to say much better....but it isn't that way...reality is I have been alone for only seconds in this portion of my life and I am praying for strength to never leave the sight of my HP again.

December 4, 2003
11:59 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi All,

I just read HarryO's post on toxic love vs. real love. Super Interesting! Let me tell you why.

Both of our families and even some of our friends cannot understand how we are still married. Why?

Because we do so many things seperately. We have friends together, but we also have other friends that we do things with. Like my husband and his hunting cronies. I don't like to hunt, but I have nothing against him going. When I say the "girls" are coming over, he heads off to the farm, as he says "the hen party is descending!" Yet, all of his friends like me, and tell him all the time "you are lucky" and vice versa.

But, yet so many others tell us we do not have a real marriage because we do a lot of things on our own.

Hum?

Zinnie

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