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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!

5 J's Reply

part 5: J's Reply to Dr. Irene

By J with commentary by Dr. Irene


Dear Irene,

I agree with your assessment that I will not put up with anybody's nonsense anymore, but this is because I cannot see  myself getting involved in another relationship at any other time, forever.

"Forever" is a looong time, J. One day at a time, ok?

I truly believe that this last one opened my eyes to the true colors of people and I don't think that I can deal with any more nonsense from another woman. I will prove that I can survive and thrive better without a partner.

She taught you about all people...must be a mighty powerful lady. Let's bow and pay her homage! Also, what's one bad apple got to do with the rest of the fruit?

I am a better man today than I was before I met Yolanda, but I refuse to give her any of the credit for any growth in me.

She simply provided the impetus you chose to react to.

I did this myself with the capable assistance of you,

Aw gee...but, that's not true. Had you listened to me (I was hearing your intuition and trying to read it back to you), you would have dumped her ages ago!

but we both know that there are many people out there who do not learn from their mistakes, thus not making it possible to "credit" the person who may have victimized them. I learned my lesson. Although it may have made me "overprotective" and "hard", I feel that this is how I have to be.

Yes, temporarily. Unless you choose otherwise.

I will not allow another woman in. I will not allow anybody to hurt me again. I have too many things for which to live. I have a beautiful daughter, a great family who loves me, and a handful of friends who care deeply about me. I just no longer feel the need to have an ornament hanging off of my arm to feel complete. I actually feel this is more a sign of codependence than the sign of a healthy person. That's how deep this runs inside of me. Yet I am a better, more mature, stronger man for having gone through this relationship.

You're giving us female types way too much power! And you are way too busy trying to control your inner life vs. simply noticing it and not reacting to what you discover inside.

One thing I did learn from the relationship with Yolanda is that I am responsible for what happened. She is responsible for her sick behavior, but it never would have affected me if I didn't allow it to affect me. I am responsible for all of the hurt I have experienced from this failure. I am responsible for the crying I may have done, the pains I felt when I wondered why she dumped me when I thought she should get closer, and for the silly hopes I had that she would come to her senses and want me back in her life when she actually thought nothing of me. I created a fantasy around this relationship. The fantasy was that she really cared for me when she clearly did not. That was all my fault. In this society, where everybody wants to blame others for their problems, I have at least taken the responsibility for my own. It is all my fault.

Then take responsibility and stop laying blame...on yourself! Do a status check on your thinking. Stop viewing this life experience as a "failure," about "blame," about "fault." Think in terms of "lesson," not "failure!" "Responsibility" connotes personal power; "Fault" connotes all that yukky stuff you were told you did "wrong" as a child, when, in fact, you had no power. Unfortunately, the Yolanda experience was one heck of a lesson: What happens when you do not like what your intuition is telling you and you ignore its message, i.e., not take care of yourself!)

As for the feelings of loneliness, I feel they will subside once the holidays are past. We are trained to feel that holidays are not for single people. As with everything in life, we are made to feel like less than a person if we do not have a person attached to our lives. I am going to try to do this. I am going to try to live my life alone without having to deal with another person's sick problems to mix with my own. I am tired of dealing with this.

This was another lonely Christmas but it was the best one I've had in years because Yolanda wasn't in my life to create tension and to hurt me. There was no Yolanda in my life this year and I vow there will not be another Yolanda, or Maria, or Susan, or Barbara ever again.


You conveniently forget that she cared to the extent that she was capable of caring. You imply that her lack of caring was somehow a reflection of your unlovability. Especially given how you blame yourself for messing up and making horrible mistakes all the time.

Are you also saying that you will never, ever allow a woman in (my take:) because you are absolutely, positively certain that you don't have and never will have the skills and self-control to conduct yourself in a way that commands respect? (Which is essentially my definition of "taking care of yourself.") Before you object or explain why I am wrong, I suggest that it may be worth your while to consider the above...but only if you want to...

Now you may get really mad at me: If no primary relationship is the outcome you want, which is what you say, that is exactly what you will get. You get lonely, yet this is OK with you (it does get better after the Holidays). Since you don't seem to seriously consider suggestions or points of view I present, I assume that you are content. So, even though we seriously disagree on how you choose to run your life, it is your life. I am glad you are OK with where you are, and respect where you are. So, now what?