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Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

But, What About My Son?

But, What About My Son?

"The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no 
recipe for living that fits all cases." -C. G. Jung

July 18, 2000

Dear Dr. Irene:
I was so amazed and grateful to find your site and couldn't believe that so many have experienced what I have.  Before I ask my question I need to give you a little background about how far I've come in the last few years.  Almost 3 years ago I left my husband of 18 years after many years of awful abuse.  I had put up with EVERYTHING to keep my family together until I  couldn't stand another day.  Although I never believed I had the courage, I moved out of my house, into an empty apartment, with my two children while my husband was on a business trip.  In a 24 hour period I filed for divorce, moved out, changed all the accounts to 2 signatures required, and was back at work the next day. Good for you!

Although I heard all the familiar pleas to come home, I stood my ground and took care of myself and my children.  :) My husband then tried another tact and made up stories about me being unfaithful and told my kids that I had done awful things and that he had pictures to prove it.  My 11 year old daughter told me, "Mommy, I know it's not true, but he makes it seem so believable."  Since then, my 15 year old son  has gone to live with his dad, and seems to believe everything he's been told. Your son has chosen to side with where he believes the power resides. Hopefully, he will come around in time. You can help him come around by demonstrating your strength. You can't make him see the light; don't even try. Just stand your ground and walk your walk.

It's now almost 3 years later and life has only gotten better, except for my son being away. (I see him every other week-end and a week out of every month.) I've bought a house with a beautiful garden, I've worked hard to stay positive, and I've fallen in love with a wonderful man.  Congratulations!

Now comes my question!  This wonderful and dear man wants to get married and so do I. Yippeee! However, my 15 year old son refuses to have anything to do with my boyfriend. Sad, but, that's his choice. His loss. My 13 year old daughter, on the other hand, loves him and wants him to be a part of our family.  I'm very much afraid to tell my son and even my ex husband that I'm getting married. Don't be. I'm sure your ex would not hesitate to tell you if the tables were turned. Part of me feels like I don't deserve it even though I know it's a positive and healthy step. Get used to it lady! Get used to feeling that you do deserve...and you do - simply because you breath! Do these feelings of dread where my son and ex are concerned show that I'm not as healed as I want to believe? It's the most normal thing in the world for a person who has spent their whole life giving and not getting, to wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. It will take you a while to feel comfortable with your good fortune. If that's the case, what should I do? Just joyously tell them you are going to marry him! Practice in the mirror first if you have to! (Believe it or not, my  therapist that helped me through everything passed away suddenly.) I'm sorry... And, that's why this letter is getting answered

I truly admire your kind heart and thoughtful responses.  I hope you choose to answer my letter. And I hope you announce your engagement to your son and his father proudly and with the obvious joy that is in your heart. No apologies are due. This is good stuff! Stop trying to protect them by sacrificing yourself. It's OK that they don't like it! That is the lesson you need to master for yourself - and to demonstrate to your son that there is strength in goodness.

With love and thanks, A  grateful friend :) I'm so happy for you! Let us know what you did! Dr. Irene

I want to read the posts.