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MJ
January 1, 2003
11:08 pm
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I read your post on the other thread. Do you want to talk about it? What happened? Are you staying with your brother? Are you safe and OK?

January 1, 2003
11:40 pm
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Hi Squeezles,
Yes.....
It's a New Year....I decided to take care of myself for my new year resolution. Great start wouldn't you say. Thank you for caring. It means so much to me.

January 1, 2003
11:43 pm
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Well if you are not happy with the current situation then it's a good start to look after yourself and take action. Remember you're the most important person in the world. If no one else is going to take care of you (and even if they are), you need to take care of you. Stay safe.

January 2, 2003
12:42 am
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Hey Squeezles,
Deja Vu.... been here before...
Here is my facade....
I didn't realize that I had one until moments ago. Childhood tapes playing, "Put on a happy face!"
It does feel Good. It's like a positive affirmation.
I like me...even if I smoke! I've smoked most of my life. I know all the risks...I still do it. It's my addiction. I resent being told about my character defect. I hate being told that I can't do it. I resent that society has made smokers to feel like total outcasts. We have to smoke outside...so far away from public buildings, not in the work place unless you are fortunate to even have a designated area. It is advertised that we are killing innocent bystanders with our secondary smoke...etc..etc...etc.
Rude people pass me outside declaring how awful I am. My husband has had his last opportunity to berate me over my addiction to nicotine. He fell in love with a smoker. He wants change. He wants me to take antidepressants because I am moody. I told him that he is entitled to his opinion. I am in charge of my body and mind and spirit and soul and I love myself enough to leave him and his constant ridiculing. I like me and I smoke.
Accept me as I am. I went to my Al-Anon meeting and felt so good afterwards. Instead of going back home to the continual dread...I went to my brothers home...and here I am.
Accepted for my smoking and ME!

January 2, 2003
1:04 am
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Well I'm a bit torn on this one. I don't like smokers either, but I'm not the type of person to be rude to others if that's what they chose to do. Abuse on other people is never acceptable. However, I agree with your point. If you never hid from your husband that you're a smoker and he fell in love with you inspite of that then even if he doesn't like that characteristic of you, then he needs to accept that that is who you are. Life is about choices and he had choices to - he choose to fall in love with you; to marry you despite your smoking. It would be great if you could stop smoking so you can help avoid the negative health consequences associated, but that has to come from you. I'm glad that you had the strength to leave a situation that was upsetting you and glad that you have an understanding and supportive brother. Keep talking.

January 2, 2003
4:07 pm
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Hi MJ,
Sorry out of your home but happy that your taking care of yourself. My son used to be a smoker but has since quit. I think people have a right to choose their path in life, you have been told the many dangers in smoking but it is still your right to do as you choose. I understand your husband may care for you but to berate you over smoking is not the answer. Congrats on your coming new grandchild how blessed you are. I have one and love him dearly we are so close.

Take Care of yourself MJ...

Bel

January 2, 2003
4:47 pm
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Well, I'm also a long-term smoker and I tell myself it's cos I need the emotional crutch . . . but hey, I never heard of a smoker killing anyone with reckless driving or overdosing on cigarettes (except in the long term).

January 3, 2003
10:42 am
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Day 3.

I feel like talking about myself today.

I have learned a little more about myself.
This morning I woke up with alot of compassion for my husband and what he is going through with smelling my cigarettes. When I got up this morning, I could hardly breathe because the air was so thick with cigarette smoke here at my brothers.
I immediately started opening windows at 5:30 in the morning so I could breathe. My brother comes out and says "The windows are all open and I am cold." I shut them cause it is his house.

Light goes on....wow, Second hand smoke sucks.

My air mattress has a leak in it. I have spent the last two nights, sleeping mostly on the hard floor. I have learned to appreciate having a bed.

I asked my husband to give me space. He respected that, didn't write or call. I liked being listened to and respected. He respected me enough to give me space.

Maybe I should respect him enough to not get so dang defensive if he hates the smell of my cigarettes. Because of my healing ankle, I have a hard time walking around. I use to move fast. I move like my grandmother at 75. I guess it is harder to get dressed to go outside and smoke in the rain now. My metal in my ankle causes me alot of pain when it is cold. Its called Post Tramatic Rhemotoid Arthritis. The surgeon says we will talk about removing it no sooner than June. I guess because everything takes me 3 times as long to do...I get a little edgy with him for being critical of me.

My brother is delightful to be around. He has been so compassionate and understanding and sweet.
He told me that I don't laugh very much and I can't be joked with. I am way serious.

We talked about antidepressant experiences this morning. I don't think I need them. At times in my life, I have, but not now.

I got my resume typed and application filled out this morning for a receptionist clerk position not far from my brothers home. I need to turn it in this morning.
Wish me luck!

Also, I want to thank you Squeezles, Bel, and UKPolly for your support. Also Sixfootblond.

You people help me to think.....

January 3, 2003
11:31 am
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Another Discovery,
i am beginning to feel abandoned by hubby...then I realize that I set it up this way!

Being codependent...being a smoker,
being a human doing....

I have a choice.

I choose to get dressed and go take my job resume....that is what I need to do today...to start taking care of myself. Not worrying about things I cannot control or change.

January 3, 2003
6:46 pm
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MJ!

You are I are too alike. While reading your post about asking for space from your hubby, I was thinking, God, then I'd be so dependent I would resent him for not checking on me to be sure if I was okay.

Then here comes your next post and what does it say but lo and behold, exactly that! We are too alike, it's scary.

I relapsed. Love smoking. Don't want to quit. Maybe someday when life calms down. (falls on floor laughing hysterically, interupted only by hacking cough) 🙂

Right!!!! Light up, what the heck!

Have a great weekend mj, I'll catch ya on Monday!! 🙂

January 3, 2003
8:23 pm
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I got a job interview on Monday Morning at 10 am!!!
I am so excited!

My hubby is going to pick me up tonight and go to dinner with my cousins who are visiting from out of state. That is a start. I told him that I am feeling alot more compassionate to his feelings about my smoking.

I was so excited about the job interview.

I even told him I loved him.

January 4, 2003
1:35 am
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Congrats MJ! I'm really happy for you! I hope the interview goes well! I'll be thinking of you!

It seems that you and your husband have made some 'progress' in the last few days. I'm glad. It's good too that you have some understanding of how your smoking was affecting your husband. I think appreciating and at least acknowledging the different perspectives and opinions of others, even if you don't agree with them and even if in knowing that you don't wish to change your views, that's still important. However, don't lose sight of the fact that you're the most important person here. Don't rush anything unless you're happy with the decisions.

Good luck with the job! fingers crossed!

January 4, 2003
1:45 am
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Thanks Squeezles.

January 4, 2003
1:56 am
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I wanted him to ask me to come home...he didn't. He didn't say he loved me. He was kind but not affectionate. He didn't open my door for me, just kinda felt like we were together...but something was missing. He excused himself after dinner to go home.

It felt so different.

I am glad that I am still here at my brothers sorting things out.

It is still a good place for me to be.

January 5, 2003
4:51 pm
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Hi Everyone,
Its a Beautiful Day here at the coast.
Sun is shining and I'm back at home.
I chose to try to work it out with my husband again and it feels right.
Thanks for your support through this period of upset.
Hugs to All

January 6, 2003
8:13 pm
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Good luck with everything mj. How did the job interview go? 🙂

January 6, 2003
10:17 pm
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Hi slv, Job interview went well. Don't know if I got the job but feel confident that I did my best!
Relationship is doing well too. I am smiling alot more, and joking.
Hope you are sorting out what you need and want too! Best of Life to you....we deserve to be happy. So does everyone.

January 7, 2003
10:52 am
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MJ~

We haven't talked too much and I'm hoping you don't take this as me being too forward...Let me set this up......I've been reading this thread from start to finish, I've read many times where you leave and go back, leave and go back so that's where this opinion is coming from, with that said....

Is it healthy for you to go back and forth? Would it be better to stay gone until you figure yourself out. Tell your husband you need the time to learn who you are, what you need, how to love yourself. I'm a full blown codependent so I know what you go thru....it's hard. Speaking from my own experience....I NEVER knew who I was until the day I walked away from my husband of 15 years. I'm not saying walk away, I'm saying take the time for you, concentrate on MJ first, the marriage second. I think if you help yourself first, the rest will fall into place. It worries me that you go back and forth with what you want with your husband. Sounds right now like he is being somewhat understanding and will give you the time you need to work on you. If I remember right, this is your third marriage, don't force this one because you don't want to be alone. It sometimes sounds like you are blaming yourself for your marital problems, please don't do that. Please MJ, concentrate on you, the things you can control, let hubby and the marriage take a back seat right now. You need to know that you will be happy with or without him, choose to be with him because you enjoy to be with him, because you love him...not because you need somebody.

Ok, I'm off my soap box. How did the interview go???

January 7, 2003
6:15 pm
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Hi Everyone!
I am still unemployed.
I guess there is a better job out there waiting for me to find 🙂
Thanks for caring.
Have a Great Evening!

January 8, 2003
10:13 am
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Tracyln,
I have given thought to what you posted about going back and forth and taking care of myself.

I decided that I would like to respond. I am married for the fourth time. Yes, I feel like it is my fault that I can not make relationships or marriages work.

I hear the same stuff with each partner about how I am. I am beginning to realize that I have lots of behaviors that are unhealthly.

I leave because I don't know what else to do at the time. I feel so uncomfortable with the situation and having no answers, I leave. Leaving helps me remove myself to think. I guess going into a different room would accomplish this as well but it feels better to distance myself from my mate. When I leave, I feel in control of myself. I feel independent for a moment. It isn't a solution to my problem, it's just a reaction to the stimuli.

Taking care of myself.
Survival is a basic need. Maslow's heiarchy of self awareness states that there are five levels of needs.
The first being physiological needs.
The second need is Safety needs.
The third Love and Belongingness Need.
The fourth is Esteem.
The fifth is Self-actualization.
Here is a link to understand the therory better than I can summarize briefly.
http://oldsci.eiu.edu/psycholo.....aslow.html

When I leave because of my safety need then it kicks me back into my first need of survival. Basically, I need shelter, food, water...etc.
This means I need a paycheck. Then the third need of belonging surfaces, and I run back to my husband. Intermixed I am searching for esteem and self-actualization.

So in a way, I am taking care of myself.

I appreciate your opinion and thoughts and support. Are you seeing things that I am not aware of?

January 8, 2003
5:36 pm
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I understand the need to be alone sometimes, but maybe a less drastic option would be to simply go for a walk or a drive etc...just some way to get yourself out of the house and away from your partner for a while (not make it a permanent move) in order to quietly seethe at your injustices, but then take a deep breath, calm down and go back and try and sort it out.

BF and I have (finally) figured out that whilst he likes to 'talk' about problems during the moment, I don't react well to confrontations when I'm very upset or very angry and if I'm cornered (as often happened when I tried to retreat and he tried to approach me to talk) that I'll react like a really pissed caged lion and will start spitting venom and frothing at the mouth. Simple solution for us is to announce (make sure you announce rather than just leave or else the other person will view that as a 'permanent' exit and may react badly to that) that we are 'really angry at the moment and need to be alone for a while in order to prevent saying something negative'. Being a Uni student I have piles of 'reading' to do and I usually have a stack of papers sitting at home (just in case I ever get 'bored' enough to read them when I'm not at work), so if I'm the one leaving I usually just grab the bag I keep it in, toddle off to the local park or school, find a spot to work and use the reading as a means of distracting myself from my anger (certainly there is a period of brewing, but the idea is to be calm enough to go back and either say 'sorry' or discuss it appropriately). After I've read about 30 pages I'm usually at that point, but often I'll read another 20 for good measure. The time away is also beneficial to give my BF a chance to calm down as well.

January 8, 2003
6:12 pm
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Ya know, my bf and I drafted an agreement formally a month or two ago when we were fighting like cats and dogs, "guidelines for arguing" is what we called it. Writing it out was really helpful for us. Squeezles, what you posted brought this to mind, and believe it or not after doing this our fights have been more productive and *I* at least feel better and less threatened during an argument. This is kinda hokey, but maybe others might benefit...

-------------------------

Guidelines for Arguing

Guiding Principles

1. We argue because we care enough about ourselves and our relationship enough to identify problems and fix them. 2. We recognize and accept that arguing will be uncomfortable and will require us to look at ourselves and how we contribute to a problem and how we have the capacity to help fix a problem.3. We understand that even though we argue and disagree on certain points, we still love each other, and that the outcome of our arguments does not dictate whether one person will continue to love the other.

Time Outs - A time out can be called at any time during an argument. Time outs should be called when: one person is so angry or hurt that they are having trouble concentrating on anything but the anger or hurt; one person feels that the other person is no longer listening or that they have lost sight of the actual problem to be resolved; one person feels that the other person is breaking guidelines specified in this agreement; one person feels that they may react violently or feels that the other person may react violently; one person just plain needs a break.

Notice that it only takes one person to need a time out for it to be OK to call one. And that person does not need to give an explanation for why the time out was called. Because the relationship is built on mutual trust and respect, we should have faith and confidence in the judgment of our partner to know when a time out is needed and respect their decision.

To call a time out: Wait until the other person finishes what they were saying. Look the other person in the eye and say "I need a time out. Let's talk again in 30 minutes." No reason is necessary. It's also OK to tell the other person that you love them, but not required. It is a nice touch, especially during an argument when tensions run high and it is easy to forget that we're in this together. The other person MUST respect this time out request, no matter what. This includes circumstances where you feel that you are right, or feel like the other person is running away from what you have to say.

What happens during a time out? The person who calls the time out is responsible for moving himself or herself away from the situation, at least 1 room away or further. The other person has the right to stay where they are or change locations as preferred; he/she must only respect the other person's request for breathing room and privacy. No communication between the partners should occur. This also includes sending emails to eachother, muttering curse words or epithets under your breath hoping the other person will overhear, or calling a friend to complain loudly. Self-expression is OK however, so long as the other person is not involved. For example, the following self-expression outlets are OK: journaling, writing an email that you never intend to send, calling a friend or trusted family member, screaming into a pillow or punching a pillow, going for a run, etc.

Alcohol: No alcohol should be consumed during time outs. (What about tobacco?)
The default time out is 30 minutes, unless otherwise stated. At the end of 30 minutes, the person who called the time out is responsible for approaching the other person and either resuming the discussion or proposing a new time to start the discussion. This new time can not be any longer than 1 day in the future.

Is it ever OK to ignore someone's request for a time out? No, except in extreme cases. (Common sense exceptions to this rule are situations where one partner is in danger from an external threat, a health risk, or under threat of doing physical harm to themselves or someone else.)

Arguing DON'Ts: No name calling. This includes both swear words and hurtful labels, including but not limited to the following: bastard, asshole, prick, fuck-stick, bitch, moron, dumbass, stupid, loser, dirt/shit/douche bag, slob, lazy, grumpy, cranky, immature, "an angry person", crazy, shithouse-mad, insane, fucked up, white trailer trash, or any other 4 letter word that can't be said in a PG rated movie, telling the other person to fuck off, go fuck themselves, or just plain old "fuck you", no calling the other person insane or mentally unstable, including telling a person that they have "issues" or using any other label to characterize the other person as being mentally unstable, no comparing the other person to people in the past (i.e. family members, ex boyfriends/girlfriends, etc.)

Violence: although it seems like a no-brainer, do not hit or hurt people, animals, or material possessions. Exceptions to this rule are material possessions that cannot be damaged, such as pillows or ripping up junk paper into tiny pieces.

Candy coating or glossing over problems will not solve them. Just make sure that when you state your feelings or observations that you adhere to guidelines. In an argument, there are no winners or losers. Either both win or both lose. Trust your partner. Know that what he or she says to you is meant in love and was not meant to be an attack. If it sounded like an attack, question it. You may have misunderstood.

Fighting and drinking: Alcohol, even a few drinks, can impair judgment and make a person act in ways that they would not normally act. Do not continue to fight if you realize that you have had too much to drink or the other person may have. Call a time out and revisit the issue the next day.

Arguing DO's: Be aware of external factors. Choose your time of day carefully. Arguing first thing in the morning or late at night is not advisable, as one partner may be more of a morning person and the other is more of a night owl. Make sure both people have eaten recently and that both are in decent health. Feeling physically uncomfortable can add unrelated stress. Be aware of situations where job stresses or family stresses might contribute to tension in an unrelated argument. Note if one or both partners are under the influence of alcohol or other prescription/over the counter drug. If possible, delay arguments until the effect of these drugs has worn off.

Focus on one thing: Keep the argument isolated to one thing, and one thing only. See if you can summarize what the fight is about in one or two sentences... "Jim wants X and Jennifer wants Y". If you can't focus on those two sentences, it might be time for a time out.

Focus on behavior, not on people. It is OK to argue about a behavior, but it is not OK to generalize and attack someone personally. It is OK to say "I'm very angry that you leave dirty dishes around the house." It is NOT OK to say "I think you are a slob."

Ask Questions: If a remark from your partner sounded offensive, ask him or her about it. You might have misunderstood what they were trying to say, or they might not have been able to express what they meant.

Before you speak, consider how you would feel if you were to hear what you were about to say. Using a short mental checklist can help you decide if what you are about to say is appropriate or not: Is what I'm about to say related directly to this argument? Am I focusing on behavior rather than on the person?Am I responding defensively or otherwise attacking someone because I feel like I have been attacked?
Am I saying this to truly solve the problem or just to be right?

Remember that this is a joint effort! If a partner says that he or she is unhappy with a situation, he or she isn't necessarily blaming you or ordering you to fix the problem. It takes two people to create a problem, and also two people to fix it. You're in this together, so always keep that at the front of your mind!

January 8, 2003
6:41 pm
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I like the guidelines, Ginger. I'm going to forward those to BF.

One thing I've learnt after arguing with BF (we went for a mini world record in arguing this month) was that it's better to state "I'm really angry right now" rather than trying to 'act' angry in order to get a response (my method last Sunday was to do the dishes, by slamming every single cupboard I opened or dropping the cutlery into the drawer as hard as I could). It was effective in that it told him that I was really pissed off, but also made him angry because I wasn't being mature enough to say "I'm angry with you. Lets deal with it" and was actually triggering adversive childhood memories for him. Childish behaviour usually spawns more childish behaviour and the end result was for him to basically point out where the door was and ask me to leave, which kind of made me gulp and go "Yeah, I could have dealt with this so much better".

The other thing we have found that works for us is after the initial 'heat of the moment' has cleared, if there is a persistant problem that we need to talk about (and which we know we can do calmly and rationally) is to go out to a cafe for coffee and cake. The atmosphere and the coffee and cake is usually nice and relaxing and also being aware of being in a 'public' place (and so not wishing to embarrass ourselves) usually means we naturally act more calmly and so are more receptive to listening to each other and adequately dealing and closing the issue. After we've come to an adequate agreement and resolved our differences we then usually reward ourselves by going to play a game of pool. The only difficulty in this is that you really do need to pick your battles and moods appropriately in order to get a positive result.

January 9, 2003
7:26 am
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Thanks Gingerleigh for the guidelines!
I have seen something similar....that a marriage counselor gave my third husband and I a copy of. It brought back alot of memories for me.
We were in Time-outs most of the time.

Last night, I was really tired so I went to bed and was asleep when my husband woke me up by slapping my rear.....automatic response....God, I am asleep....He reacted by turning the tv off and leaving and shutting the door to the bedroom and then his daughter shows up and they have a loud conversation in the next room.
I turned the tv back on to muffle their voices then eventually fell back asleep.

Passive- Aggressive Behavior?

So....this morning I am feeling angry still. I thought that he was extremely inconsiderate. So...according to the guidelines, I should wait until evening, when he comes home from work, and tell him how I feel. "When I am in bed, please don't make any abrupt movements, or noises until you survey that I might be sleeping so that I don't automatically defend myself without thought to how I come across"
???

January 9, 2003
7:53 am
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Squeezles,
When I leave, I don't want to come back. I start planning my life without him. My biggest problem is that I have no money, no job, and I hate imposing on my brother. He has a life. I hate being so dependent on others.
I have been trying to get a job. My job restrictions require that it be an office job where I don't have to move around fast. I have no documented job skills in this area though I could do a great job if given the opportunity.
It is highly frusturating for me.
I have made a vicious circle and want to break free....and be independent.

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