Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Communication Derailment


It’s no wonder I love to blog.  I’m a talker.  Look at the length of my posts.  It’s rare you’ll find one under six hundred words.  Communication is vital to me.  It’s why I created family meetings when the kids were younger.  They needed to know they had a safe place to talk when things were on their mind.  This past weekend was one of communication.

No, wait, allow me to rephrase that.  It was one of heartbreak.  It was one of constant derailment.  It was one of teaching and one of learning.

My husband fails at communication.  This is of no surprise to me.  It is also no surprise to him.  It is something he is working on and he has made significant progress but something he needs constant improvement upon.  No, it’s not because he’s a man.  It’s because of how he was raised.  FOO issues.  “Children should be seen and not heard.” – That’s what he was taught. 

Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed he’s begun to withdraw inside himself.  I thought it was stress from school; his term lasts five weeks and the classes he was taking were difficult but the last term wasn’t as stressful and the term he’s in now isn’t causing as much stress as the previous term.  I married a very smart man.

Of course the doubt and fear set in for me.  The withdrawal equated to the old days.  My increase in Migraines, my inability to work, led me to wonder if he was slipping again.  I counted the months since his last relapse with porn and knew he was at a crucial point in his sobriety; I worried about his problem with his step work and it kept leading me to believe a slip must have occurred or was about to happen.

I decided to dig my heels in and really talk to him after he came home from his meeting the other night.  It began as it always does between the two of us.  Me letting him know “reason for the talk”.  Him “denying any problems”. I do my best to remain patient but it’s hard because of the nagging fear he’s had a relapse and hasn’t told me.

We derail from our point of conversation by discussing my own withdrawal away from him when he comes home.  I admit he’s right and tell him why; because when this topic came up a week ago we agreed to touch base every night before sitting in front of the television, opening up laptops or even getting involved with the kids’ day.  We agreed to spend just fifteen minutes of “us” time.  The very next day after we had that talk, he came home and turned on the television and ignored me.  I was pissed and withdrew.  I let him know I was tired of being the one to make the effort of communicating all the time.

In that same conversation last week, we agreed to get back to FANOS two or three times a week.  We didn’t FANOS one time.  He blamed me because I didn’t initiate it.  He explained he is afraid to initiate FANOS because he lied to me during it and it pissed me off.  Fair enough, I can see how this would cause him to hesitate beginning the conversation.

However, we were still diverting away from the original topic at hand – his withdrawal and his lack of communication.

I tried again.  He blamed school.  I tried again.  He blamed something else.  Until finally, after derailing half a dozen times, we got to the heart of the matter:

Self esteem.

The man I am so proud of lacks self esteem and there is not a damn thing I can do about it.  To hear the things he said about himself broke my heart.  As I pointed out all of the good qualities he had, he countered with something bad.  The uniform he wore so proudly for twenty-four years is now hanging in the closet collecting dust and he lives in the past.  Instead of holding his head high for the medals and ribbons he earned while serving his country, he focuses on having to start over in his forties and the hatred people feel for America and the military.  It brings tears to my eyes just to type it because he’s right.  We hear it and see it every day.

I am left to wonder if he is unable to forgive himself for what he did during our marriage although I have forgiven him. Or was his upbringing lacking the love he needed, now that he’s sober and working on his steps, facing his demons he’s lost.  Perhaps that’s why he’s having such a hard time allowing God to help him?  He kept telling me he couldn’t release anything to God because it was his responsibility, his burden to carry.  God didn’t do it, God gave him free will and he took it and fucked it up all on his own and to let it go would be the coward’s way.

Somehow, I think the low self-esteem and his step work go hand in hand.  I just wish I knew how to help him aside from reminding him how much I love him and appreciate him.

68 comments:

  1. I've been, Hell, AM, someone with low self esteem. I know how hard it is for people to pick me up, and so I know how hard it's going to be for you. The biggest thing though is to not give up. Even if he counters with something bad (a classic tactic I do a lot too) he still hears the good thing, and he still knows you see him as a good man. I'll keep my problems with America and their military out of this, but I have no problems with individual soldiers and I can't stand people who give them a hard time. Your husband is a changed man, a good man, and I hope he comes to realise and accept this. Low self esteem is a Hell I haven't managed to claw my way out of.

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    1. Thank you for sharing that with me, Mark. It's good to know he's really hearing me when I praise him. I honestly mean what I say to him, I'm not giving him false kudos and I hope he knows that too because I also let him know, in a kind and loving way, when he's treating the kids like his troops instead of his kids.

      It saddens me to know you also go through the same thing because you are young and I would hate to think twenty years from now, you'll be in the same position my husband is in, Mark. We need to figure out how to improve yours too.

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  2. I think you are doing all that is possible right now. He knows you love him and that the inportant thing. I am really hard on myself sometimes so I can understand this being so hard for him. I will pray for you both and I know it will all work out for the two of you.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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    1. My Meemaw!! He does know how much I love him and he appreciates me and loves me too. You are a such a wonderful mom and Meemaw - I can't imagine you being hard on yourself, I suppose it's human nature. Thank you for your continued prayers, Meewaw. They are greatly appreciated.

      Hugs and love! xoxoxo

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  3. I think you are doing all that is possible right now. He knows you love him and that the inportant thing. I am really hard on myself sometimes so I can understand this being so hard for him. I will pray for you both and I know it will all work out for the two of you.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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  4. I haven't been reading long enough to know about your husband's sex addiction. I am not that familiar with it, really. I really am impressed by how you and he have handled it, though. Even though it's a struggle, your attempts to communicate and keep supporting one another is wonderful.

    I really hope that he is able to find some healing and not be so bogged down by the mistakes he's made. He sounds like a good man.

    Good luck to you both as you continue to work through the process!

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    1. His sex addiction has been quite a journey - an adventure! - for both of us. One day when you're totally bored, you can read the archives or the tabs at the top and see just how crazy I am for staying =P I kid, it's an addiction and I had to understand that and move through the hurt. It's been almost two years of healing.

      Thank you so much for your well wishes and your support. I hope he can find healing too. He deserves to know he's worthy of it.

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  5. I was scared to death to see how this story played out...hoping he didn't relapse, then found my eyes filling with tears when he finally told you what's bothering him. Poor man. I have always had very low self esteem. I get that completely. But I don't understand his saying that there's a hatred towards the military...I don't see that at all. Perhaps other countries feel that way about us, but I've only seen support for our troops here. And hey, my fiance' and I are starting over too - he's 50 and I'm nearly 48. It's scary as hell. All you can do is keep supporting him and building him up. :)

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    1. You and me, JoJo! I was petrified of relapse and then just heartbroken when he shared how low his self esteem is, it's tragic. The military isn't as respected now as it once was. People used to thank him for his service, that doesn't happen now. Things have changed over the last few years. Starting over is scary and so many of us are doing it. I wish you both luck too =)

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    2. I think maybe we're all suffering from war fatigue and 'support the troops' has gotten lax b/c we've been at war for over 11 years. :( Do you think his poor self esteem plays the major role in his addiction issues?

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  6. this difference in communication ability can be a marital problem and you insisting upon it can actually make him become introvert. There are lots of people who don't like talking about these things and about emotions and find people who insist upon it difficult. I sometimes have that problem too with my best friend who finds talking about emotions, relationships and generally analysing things, tiring and he hates it :(

    It is normal and understandable to have low selfesteem when you are out of work or when you've finished a big period in your life or when you had turmoils in your life. And especially when you are faced with your own mistakes and sins as Devin is now both in his profession and in his marriage. I think he needs your support and patience as always.

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    1. I respect that point completely, especially because he came from such a messed up background - not physically, but emotionally. His initial reaction is to withdraw when things are difficult or uncomfortable. Our counselor calls it "conflict avoidance" if he is angry with me and an escape mechanism for avoiding the core issues.

      He was doing well communicating but then stopped. That's what raised red flags, caused fears of relapse for me and made me think things weren't right for him. He has the ability to communicate but it is a work in progress for him, something he is learning.

      I can relate to having low self esteem when not working because I feel the same way too. How do I make him feel better about himself, Dezzy?

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    2. giving him compliments every day, making him feel young and attractive if possible :), telling him, on a daily basis, all his useful and positive sides, maybe using the more free time on doing things together you couldn't do before....
      Is he searching for a new job or is he retired from the army? If the first thing is true, helping him understand what he wants to do, maybe changing career or finding a talent he always had and making it his new gig.... something like that.

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    3. Making him feel young and attractive is easy cause he is =)) He's my handsome man! You should see his eyes - nom nom nom!!!

      No free time for him though =( He is going to school and then work right after. Then he has to do homework. He's been leaving home at 7:00 and getting home around 6:00 if we're lucky.

      I'll keep stroking his ego...and other stuff =PP

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  7. You're right to say that it isn't because he's a man that he's having difficulty communicating. I'm very much the same way. I hate talking about my emotions with anyone. Always have. It's probably why I write instead. And that's something you might try with your husband. Instead of forcing him to talk face to face, try writing each other letters. Sounds stupid maybe, but sometimes it's easier to put in on paper than to say it in person.

    And I agree with Dezzy. When someone tries to force me to talk I shut down even more. Just stubborn that way.

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    1. It's funny you mention that. We used to email or text each other when things were tough. In the beginning we found it easier than talking because back then, we were still to heated and anger was to close at hand for us to be rational with each other. I don't think it sounds stupid at all.

      For him, he goes inside his head when things are tough. As an addict that is a dangerous place to be. To withdraw is dangerous so if I can help him through that I will try. He will eventually get to the heart of matter, it just takes time. You are right, though, he will shut down in the beginning and I wait and try again then on next time we get a bit further.

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  8. Hugs to everyone. Achievement helps to build self-esteem and it sounds like your smart hubz is achieving well at school, which is great.

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    1. Thank you, Debra, much appreciated! It's funny, he will get a B in class, then do well at work taking apart a computer and putting back together again and beat himself up for not getting an A. I just can't figure it out....I have an appointment with our counselor alone for some guidance on this one.

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  9. Communication is the key to personal and professional relationships. My hubby and I are working on this, as we sometimes ignore each other when we come home, tired from work. And self-esteem issues are tricky to handle as these things have accumulated through the years. Thanks for the personal share and hope things work out the best for you ~

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    1. It is hard to set aside time for each other on some days with hectic schedules and exhaustion. Recognizing there is a lack of communication is always a good sign there will be improvement. Thank you, Heaven!

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  10. This is going to be a sort of winding trail to get to my point, so stay with me.

    As an addict in early recovery, I heard people asking me if I believed God forgave me; I'd say "of course" and they'd ask me "then who the fuck are you to not forgive yourself?" I had trouble internalizing and believing this until English class. Yep, English class.

    Dr. James Lake (sadly, now retired), English professor and expert in all things Shakespeare, does a lecture on Faustus that every addict should hear. You've heard of Faustus; he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for worldly power. In the end of the play, Faustus goes to hell. Dr. Lake says that Faustus was not damned to hell for selling his soul to the devil. He supports his theory by quoting the play. In the last few lines, Faustus is given the opportunity to repent, yet doesn't.

    Dr. Lake says that Faustus's sin here is despair, and that is the sin that damns him to hell. Faustus has deemed himself as unforgivable, and therefore doesn't repent when given the opportunity. Faustus, in his despair, has placed himself ABOVE God in deeming himself unforgivable. Dr. Lake was all the more convincing because of his calm voice; he was teaching, not preaching. The lecture was delivered so matter-of-factly that it was not colored by any particular religious belief or zealotry, and was therefore so much easier to swallow. It wasn't a statement of belief; it was a statement of fact.

    This lecture, by an English professor and expert in Shakespeare, gave me permission to forgive myself for all the shit I did as an addict in active disease. What I believe in, religiously or spiritually, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that I got the point. By continuing to beat myself up, by not forgiving myself, I was placing myself ABOVE any supreme being; even I get how awful that is.

    When I add in the fact that I have a disease (addiction) that affects mind, body, and spirit, I have to look briefly at how I got this disease. Did I contract if from a person who coughed behind me in line at WalMart? No, I was born with it. I didn't choose to be an addict, any more than your husband did, right? Addiction causes us to "make choices" that no person in their right mind would make. In other words, my disease took away my "God-given free will" and made my choices for me.

    Now, when I consider that I am not forgiving myself for "choices" I had no control over, and then hear Dr. Lake telling me that Faustus was damned to hell because he placed himself ABOVE God, I start to see that I am just human, and I just have a disease, I can begin to forgive myself.

    Maybe this will help your husband, maybe not. It sure helped me, and I thought it worth sharing.

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    1. Holy Shit, Cindy. You want to talk about a share? This was a SHARE to end all shares. If we were sitting in a meeting right now I'd break the rules and get up and hug the shit out of you. This is something I will come back to and ponder not just for him, but for myself as I work on my own steps. (Amends)

      You have reached across the blogging world and touched someone's life - I hope you know that. Thank you from the bottom my heart.

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    2. I'm crying right now and hugging you back, meeting protocol be damned. Love you!

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  11. You like to talk? Damn that must have got by the cat, your one eye is so distracting. Oh talk = whine, nevermind, the cat is up on the current affairs of things hahaha

    All one can do is what you are doing, keep being there and such and pointing things out, in order for him to get out of his little self esteem funk, he has to be the one to first intiate it, until then you can preach and praise all you want, not going to happen until he takes the first step. But being there and helping surely will make that step easier. Of course people hating on the military doesn't help matters any, but it's not the soldiers fault for any of the crap the idiots upon high do, people blame them because it's easier to pick on the soldier in front of them then it is to question those behind the scenes, tell those people to pound sand. The cat could also send a pringle can or two if you want to biff some poo at them hahaha

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    1. Look what I can do, I can make both Pat AND the cat blabber on and on - ha ha ha!!

      I think that's the hardest thing for me to know - I can't do this for him. Not because of wanting to control him (although I love control!) but because it pains me to see him hurting so much. I know he has to find the self-esteem inside himself and yes, I can help to some extent, how I'm still unsure aside from doing what I'm doing; being his support system, letting him know I love him, think he's handsome etc. But, ultimately, it's up to him.

      The military thing - that irks us both. It's a generational thing. Oddly enough, it's the older crowd and the younger crowd that have the most. Go figure.

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    2. Can make us rant with ease, for it we'll even part with some fleas to your knees haha

      And yeah just keep on doing what your doing, best way to be, hopefully he'll come around.

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    3. You are so easy to tease, you don't even scare me with your fleas!

      I'm hoping he will. I'll just keep at it. Lawd knows we've been through so much already LOL

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  12. This post has moved me so much Elsie because I feel like your husband does all the time and it kills me. Just like him I suffer from a severe lack of self esteem and confidence and this is a serious drawback because good self esteem can influence almost, if not completely everything and to lack that is horrible and I do too and it pains me.

    I think it may be something to do with our upbringing. Just like your husband it was constantly drummed into me that "children should be seen and not heard,”and I've taken that away from family and started believing I'm still that child no one wants to hear now I'm an adult. What you're doing is simply the best you can though, if you constantly remind him of his good qualities and continue to drill them in over and over again then Devin is going to have no choice to believe them if you can show that you genuinely believe yourself.

    It broke my heart reading this because I can really relate but it isn't the end for me and Devin, neither of us have to feel like this forever and I've got a great family and he's got a great wife and family so with that support in the end I think things will be okay.

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    1. I can tell you struggle with self-esteem when I read your posts, Matthew and it breaks my heart. You are such a good looking young man and you don't see that when you look at yourself. You're well written and full of compassion, something not all people possess these days. I'm confident you'll find your way and I know you are going to do great at GOALS too! I can't wait to read about it when you have a chance to update us.

      I'm so sorry you can relate to how Devin was raised. It saddens me to know that. Like you said, it isn't the end for either of you!

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  13. Self Esteem is something that I believe strikes most men at some time but I believe you are doing the right thing with the communication and trying to talk it out but it strikes some and never leaves us!

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    1. I guess I never thought self-esteem would be an issue for men as it is for women. Maybe it's because for me, personally, I relate it to looks. For Devin it is about his career which equates to providing for his family...along with his past mistakes...hmmm....

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  14. And here I am souping your turtle. Am I going to have to un-soup the little guy to make you feel better?

    I think I'm much like your husband, always hard on myself with no self esteem. My wife compliments me, tells me how great I am...and I believe her but I still try to negate it all with negative attributes. Even when I'm aware of doing it and even when I don't believe my own words, it still comes out of my mouth and I don't know why? Attention perhaps, who knows?

    Either way, I believe there is what myself and a few of my friends call "A dark cloud of shaft" that hovers over me. No matter how hard I try or how well I do at anything, I always get the shit end of the stick. Not sure what that has to do with anything, Maybe it's why there is no self esteem. The worse always happens, even when I least expect it. I am now programmed to expect it and be hard on myself.

    My wife and I would both be better off if we put in just half the effort that you do. Communication is hard when you can't keep your emotions in check!

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    1. awww, you'd take my chopped up little turtle and make him whole again? That really would make me feel better, Dan. But, I know you'd just do something equally bad later on in the future. My poor little turtle!

      Now look who has me thinking...attention. He didn't get attention as a kid. Could it be his way now to get attention he desires. He craves affection and when he feels I'm not being affectionate, he feels unloved. Like if I am not holding his hand enough or whatever...he thinks I'm mad at him...that's attention based too. Huh, you may have a very valid point.

      So, you are your own worst critic? Even when your wife gives you praise you negate it. Devin is the same way...just like Matthew up there. This has given me a lot to think about.

      You two are working on it, just like we are. Emotions run high when there is a lot of passion involved.

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    2. I might un-soup the turtle if it would make you feel better... but your right, I would probably just pull the turtle out of the pot and slice him up into steaks and toss him on the grill!

      And yes, I'm quite passionate about the things I love. I cry when the Colts lose a playoff game. I bawled my eyes out when they won the super bowl. I feel near death when my marriage is threatened. Hell, I've even cried while making love a few times. TMI perhaps but it's just to prove a point. I take my emotions to the extreme.

      I don't know what Devin's childhood was like but I'm sure I can relate on some level, growing up in an alcoholic and drug addicted family. My dad would put me down when all I was trying to do was make him proud. It wasn't always like that though. There were good days and bad days. I guess it depended on how drunk he was. I wasn't starved of attention but I wasn't blessed with the attention I needed either.

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    3. You would grill my turtle? Damn, you are messed up in the head LOL

      Okay, so, if you can confess to crying about your Colts losing a playing, I will confess to my Giants winning the Super Bowl a few times. And, yes, I've cried after sex, but for different reasons than yours, I'm sure =P

      You absolutely can relate on being starved for attention. While Devin didn't have any abuse, drugs or alcohol in his family it was a complete emotional void. There was no affection to be had. Sure, he got some "attaboys" but no hugs, no dad. He then married the first girl he met and she mentally and physically abused him.

      His blessing was a step dad he had for two years while he was 10-12 who impacted him greatly. He looked to him as a role model even though he wasn't in his home for long.

      My mom did the same thing to me that your dad did to you minus the alcohol. Once I hit my teens she turned on me and called me a "selfish bitch". Makes me shudder to think of it. She said it so often. Thank God for my dad during my teen years. There is a part of my book I wrote that is true that was so hard to write but I had to write it to cleanse myself of that episode. It was fucked up. Anyway, I totally drifted.....

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  15. Short and sweet. Tell him I said not everyone hates America or the military. I salute his courage in serving our country and thank him for it.

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    1. And for that, CW, I thank you, and so will he. It truly means a lot.

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  16. It sounds like your doing the right thing, it also sounds like he's having a rough time of it, and it must have been hard for him to admit to feeling that low. Just keep plodding on the both of you, I'm sure it'll all work out in the end.

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    1. Thanks, Ray. It's hard to know if I'm doing enough for him, especially when I know it needs to come from within. I think once he's finished with school and is back at work once again, he'll feel a bit better. That's my hope!

      Have fun this weekend!!

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  17. I've been following you a long time and we talk a lot pri privately so I would say Devin's problems are a combination of things. Because some of those things go back to his childhood, the problem is deeply rooted, the complications with his addiction only makes it harder. This is a tough nut for any of us to crack.

    When it comes to doing things professionally, I have plenty of self-esteem. When it comes to interpersonal interactions-nadna, nunc, none.

    Sent you an email. Talk to you in a few days my friend.

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    1. Anne!! My friend!! I have missed you so!! I got your email and will email you in a bit, if not in the morning. Peanut will be strolling through the door any minute.

      I agree. This is so deeply rooted in him I guess I can't expect him to start communicating with me overnight, just like his recovery isn't going to happen overnight. As he faces his demons, his thoughts will turn inward towards reflections of his past, his childhood and it will be difficult but he's got to verbalize it so he doesn't turn to his addiction again - I need to let him know I'm a safe place for him to go to unlike his first wife.

      Friend, you communicate like a rock star with me =)

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    2. Annzie is all rock star after the gig :PPP Wouldn't be surprised if she sends us pictures of her in Gothic outfits rockin' her drums :PP

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    3. That would be a fun sight to see, Dezz - Anne all goth with black eye liner, leather pants and banging on her drums!!! =P

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    4. she could totally be a new Gene Simmons :)

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  18. =\ You don't seem like a woman that would settle for anything less than amazing! I'm sure that your man is just that and full of many things people would adore to have. At least you were able to get it out of him despite his lack of communication. Now you can work on bringing it up with him.

    Wishing you the best home girl!! xo

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    1. So true, Jax. He is an amazing man and I love him with all my heart. You're right, I need to keep in mind, we were able to communicate, although it took forever LOL, it did ultimately, happen! =)

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    2. I'm slowly learning about the importance of communication. :)

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  19. I think we're a lot alike.
    I'm a talker, too. In fact, I tell people who don't know me that it's simple to find me in a room.
    I'm the one doing the most talking.
    But, you probably figured that one out.

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    1. If you put me in a room with to many people I'm the one who is really, really shy until I've had a few drinks. Then I'm the one on the dance floor who thinks she's Nicki Minaj LOL

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  20. I think you're doing everything you can do. I think without that support of yours, he'd probably be a lot worse off. II get why it's such a sad situation, but you guys are getting somewhere together. Even if it's hard to see, that's something to be proud of. For the both of you.

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    1. You bring up a very good point, as you often do, D4. He has often told me he'd be lost without me. Sometimes it is hard to see our progress and his when I'm so deeply enmeshed in it. Thanks for that reminder.

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  21. Dear Elsi Im agree with a lot of things your friends (that really love you:) said here but especially with Anne I think to many problema of Devin come from his childhood.
    I feel that because in somethings is like my hubby he is introvert sometimes dont said the things etc etc.
    I know his mom (of my hubby) and I can understand many things but is really hard.
    I try with my kids they learn to say the things and yes the comunnication is really important.
    Between us many times I think in separate you know.
    Because sometimes Im so tired always try you know always try to make all happt to help etc.
    Anyway when I read you many times I admire you are brave and I think you really lov eyour hubby.
    ANd thats is awesome. And nice. And you know I admire you so much.
    Dear I whish you the best because really you deserve for all this love you have in your heart.
    And I pray today especially for you to God be with you all the time.
    with love
    Gloria

    Sorry if my english is not perfect!

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    1. You just brought tears to my eyes, Gloria. I could feel your love in your words. Not just for my situation but for your family too. I could picture you with your family, sitting in your kitchen, laughing over a well-cooked meal, talking with your kids or having a deep discussion with your husband.

      I only know my husband's mom from a distance, her choice, but it's enough to see where and how he grew up. And, like you, and your husband, it's hard but it helps to know.

      Also, like you, I knew the importance of making sure the communication with the kids remained open - it's why they come to me about everything. - Sometimes to much LOL

      Thank you for the prayers Gloria. They are greatly appreciated and needed.

      Your english is better than my spanish any day...unless I curse =P

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    2. Thanks dar Elsie sometimes I have porblema with english grmmar :D
      I think somtimes Im a mess because I speak french too, and th french grammar is dimilr to spanish but eglish isreally different, maybe I a sald of all I dont know:)
      Anyway you always touched meElsie and you mke me think, and when I discuss with hubby sometimes I remeber you and all you had lived LOL
      Have a lovly da:)

      The suck thing is why we always need love?? I dont know and sometims all wantd much love of something similar:)

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    3. That's right! I forgot you spoke French too. You are one amazing lady, Gloria. I have enough problems with just english. Thank you for letting me know I can make you think. Everyone on here, including you, does the same thing for me - it's amazing, our blogging world!! Love is such an amazing (and trying) thing =))

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    4. thanks Elsie love you so much!:)

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  22. You just made me wonder...I mean, I know that the issues we have going on here aren't anything like what you guys have going on, but I wonder if that is why I can't get my husband to listen to me. Because he can't just fix it, so it messes with his self esteem. Hmmm. Even if that is the case, I still don't know how to use that information to help things.

    Thank you for planting this seed in my mind. And thank you once again for sharing this!! xx

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    1. Devin had counseling yesterday and it helped him immensely. It also helped me because he came home and talked. I was able to listen without interrupting and I think that helped him too because he asked me not to do that no matter how badly I wanted to - something I tend to do when it take him so long to form his thoughts. Hugs to you Mel!!!

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  23. I have a post in mind about this. I know this reply isn't helpful but I am thankful for the inspiration.

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    1. You are so welcome Monkey! It's so good to see you posting again, I've missed you being around.

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  24. Wow, I'd be in trouble if I shared this much about my husband in a public forum. But I think it's good you're digging deep to understand your husband.

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    1. Hi Theresa and welcome to my blog! =)

      My hubby knows I have this blog and use it as a form of therapy and to help others as well as myself. I often share tid bits from here with him. Thanks for your support!

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  25. Gosh... sometimes it's like we're married to the same man. That's all I have for tonight. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for letting me share =)

      I feel most SAs have a hard time opening up for fear of judgment and shame. Plus, for me, I have to always remember what happened the first two times he truly shared what was going on in his world. He's scared, even with the small stuff, he's scared and venerable. I have to remember this when we talk about anything in depth.

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  26. Sorry been away - well I haven't just too darn busy...

    My two cents worth (which is 1.25p in my money) :-)

    Firstly a while back I read a great little book by Paul Hauck - Hold Your Head Up High - I really do recommend it. In it he rails against the use of self-esteem - his argument is that it is intrinsically linked to estimation and this is a comparison with others (something like that I'm horribly paraphrasing here) bottom line he promotes "SELF-WORTH". I continually try to work in that mode in how I think now "I am worth something because I did a, b, c" etc. No comparision it is pointless, there will always be someone better at a and another better at b but they didn't do them both today in the way I did did they?

    I so relate to this I suffer with big issues around this at times beating myself up, ignoring the signs and the praise of others about my successes etc. But it really doesn't matter the thing is to keep working on that view of myself.

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  27. Firstly, braggart - our money sucks ass! LOL

    This one gives me pause for thought. Self-worth vs. self- esteem. Instead of comparison, you are feeling from within? Is that correct? If not, please explain.

    I feel at times he is still trying to fill an emptiness inside himself and that emptiness was made even larger when he retired and went back to school and was challenged even further. I can't make him change his view - only he can.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.