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Stuck In the "Guilt Trap" -- Anyone Else?
June 6, 2007
8:16 pm
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red blonde
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I am also going to check out whether there are any CODA groups in the area.

June 7, 2007
11:05 am
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nappy
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Like I said before, this is only a game.

It is called the "GUILT TRAP"

It take two peoples to play the game until one stop.

As soon as one of you pull from the other, the other one cling.

Both party is complaining about the other but both party is not really doing anything about it.

You throw out questions whether they are to the other party or to yourself but the answers are right there in the game. It just that you hear the answers but don't want to believe them.

And you can get out of the game. If you truly sit down and think about all of the things that you have done in order for this person to act right and it didn't work, well let me just tell you that it is time to let go and see how the situation unfolds.

This game is played out by many peoples, peoples that are close to you in family, mother, father, sisters, brothers, etc. even the ones that say they love you, BUT if this person is not doing you any good in life and they are bringing you down. Then it is time to say goodbye, I see you later alligator!
Nappy

June 7, 2007
12:14 pm
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red blonde
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Guilt Trap ~

How about getting a 'Prescription' from your therapist or doctor that you need to take time off for a week or two or a vacation BY YOURSELF because your 'problem' is stress-related? It would not be a lie. You would not be telling her a lie either. Stress does create a great deal of our health problems and you are obviously under great stress at the moment. Go to a spa or retreat or somewhere. It would allow you to be 'alone' and then you can 'think' again. I realize that it would only be a temporary 'fix', but I think it would help you tremendously.

June 7, 2007
9:53 pm
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thedogsmom
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Guilt trap,

Hello and welcome. glad to see and hear that you are getting some positive feedback that may help you in determining your next moves to bring you to a happy and peaceful place.

I know much about being stuck in the guilt trap and can identify with everything you said. I have even used the words you did-- saying I could not leave this drug addict boyfriend of mine because I felt like he is my sick little puppy who needs me to survive.

Guilt can be useful only when it helps to guide you into doing the 'right' thing and avoiding things your conscience knows is wrong. (like cheating or stealing...or making you go visit your sick grandmother in the nursing home).

On the other hand, most of us codependents tend to feel undeserved guilt. Guilt that makes us feel we are 'trapped' in situations in which we know are not healthy for us.

I would like to say a few things to you--that you probably already know..but FIRST.. You are not responsible for keeping or making your wife happy. If you do not love her then you are doing her NO favors by staying with her!

I understand how you feel and how you let your guilt manipulate you into backing down and saying the right things for fear of hurting her feelings.. but at the same time...as I read what you write..I find myself a bit angry that you 'mislead' her by doing just that.

I would be so ANGRY to know that somebody stayed with me only out of PITY! Wouldn't you? And I truly believe your wife would feel the same way.

You stated.. "Shortly after we moved in together it became apparent that we really weren’t all that compatible – a fact I was well aware of and that she might not have noticed because whenever we disagreed I always backed down and just did what she wanted to avoid conflict or to avoid her tears. "

You also told her a 'white lie' about the reason why you are NOT having sex with her-- blaming it on impotency...which is very misleading because it gives your wife the impression that the love is still there and that it has Nothing to do with the relationship or your desire to get out of it! It gives her false hope that you do still have love and attraction for her.

You also pacify her by listening to her stories, when you would rather be reading or doing something else. And you do it in a kind manner. This gives her the false impression that you care to talk to her, and leaves her clueless that you may need your own space.

By continually giving in 'thinking' you are being the kind and considerate and 'nice' husband ...you are really lying through your teeth and aiding her to depend on you for her happiness and this is defeating to what your goals are. To escape- to pull away and have some space and time to yourself.

What you are doing is decieving. It is a fraud.
It is NOT fair to her and NOT fair to yourself.

This woman- like all of us WILL survive if you leave her. Sure she will fall apart- she may fall into depression...she may stay in bed for days and cry and beg you back. But we all go through heartbreak and most of us survive it. Some- but very few are suicidal- and if that is your fear..you must learn how to overcome the responsibility of that.
By NOT speaking up for yourself and letting her know that you feel the love is dying and that you are feeling smothered and that you need and want some space outside of the marriage...you are making things worse! Because then IF and when you find the strength to leave (which I hope that you do) ...she will be left flabbergasted and surprised...since she has no reasons to believe that you are unhappy.

It sounds like you first need to focus on getting calm, losing the anxiety...getting yourself some space..and counseling, journaling, coming here to the boards, reading self-help books is a good place to start.

Telling the truth may hurt. But you are hurting now too. And even though she may be happy you are there with her...I'm sure if you are as unhappy as you are that she can 'feel' it. This is why she tries so hard to keep you roped in...cause she must deep down feel you pulling away....
and because you continually pacify her so as NOT to hurt her...she cannot understand or comprehend what is wrong.

Try writing her an honest letter. It will hurt her- no doubt..but is it fair to you to stay in a relationship where you are hurting so bad you need drugs to calm your anxiety? No.

Ma Strong! your advice is WONDERFUL! You have to know how much help I get and share from you and your posts to everyone!
Thank you so much.

thedogsmom

June 8, 2007
3:54 pm
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