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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

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9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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Letting Go is Tough

Letting Go is Tough

May 22, 2000

Remember Faith and Sky? If you don't, you can refresh your memory here. Well, they didn't make it. Sky is trying, but he's in defensive I-won't-let-you-hurt-me mode and Faith is having a hard time letting go - even though he is giving her no other sane choices... She's moved out.

Dear Dr. Irene:

I went to see Sky tonight and it has been almost 7 days.  I was packing and he just sat there and stared at me.  Then he asked me to listen to him.  He talked for 45 minutes about all the things he doesn't like about me.  I mirrored his words (Imago Therapy).  As he spoke, he got very angry, especially at the end.

Sky says this over and over: "I can't stand the meaning you make about why I'm doing something." I validated him and said "Yes, you're right. I can't know why you're doing anything.  I do know I don't like what your doing, and I want you to stop.  It doesn't matter why. If I don't like it that is all I need to know."   This part is good; you are stating your feelings.

So I say to him, "I don't like what you're doing right now and it hurts me; please stop."  He then starts to rant about me and what I do.  Almost obsessing about it. I say, "Stop what you're doing now!"  He went into the other room and closed the door.  I was sitting there and thinking: I just listened for 45 minutes and now this.  He was really being a jerk. I keep working about 30 more minutes and then I went into the other room and said, "So this is it?  You don't want me and your not going to ask me anything?"  He laid there and made several facial expressions, then he said in a curt tone.  "Yes, I want you, but only when you are nice.  I would go to counseling with you.  How about tomorrow with Dr. LaXXX."  That feels like being a Christian being led into the lions den.  "No," I said. "Pick someone else."  He said he would go, and he was acting like a total jerk. You need to both agree on the person you will see.

This guy hasn't seen me for almost a week and he is hateful.  I left feeling very alone and like why bother. You are alone. And, you are right. Why bother?

Do you think I should go to counseling?  Sky is being a jerk and he hasn't called me not once.  He acts really annoyed when I do talk to him. Why would you want to go to counseling under the circumstances? Sky is clearly dissing you these days. While he's probably doing it because he is hurt, there is no excuse for his poor behavior. There is also no excuse for you to be sitting around wishing he would act normal!  If I go to a counselor, how do I screen him to see if he knows verbal abuse?  What articles do you recommend I share with him.  I worry that he will be offended by my offering him information. Stop worrying. If he gets insulted, that's his problem. Ask if he knows about the Verbally Abusive Relationship. But, if you get a referral through a domestic violence agency, you won't have to ask what this person knows.

Setting boundaries with Sky has made him worse to me than ever before.  His behavior is confusing.  I didn't see him on Mother's Day. I come home - and there he is in the back yard.  He bought me two bushes and a card.  He has cleaned up this huge trash pile in my back yard by cutting up the junk and putting it into trash sacks and hauling it to a dumpster.  It has taken 5 full car loads. He mowed the front yard. Sky used to always mow the back yard first.  I like the front done first. Wow! How sweet!

I came outside and I am wonderful to him because I really appreciated what he did.  He is ok, and the next day I went to his apartment  - and ended up spending the night. He just held me while I slept. He likes to lay together like spoons. :) The next day he came to the house and he is laying for me. He started a fight when I complained that he broke my new mower and left it. 

Then I told him that an attorney has asked to have lunch with me on Thursday, and I wanted to know where we stood. He said, "I'm trying to make a relationship with you. "  I said, "If your not willing to put me first and make me a part of your life, then what is the point?" Indeed.  I was pissed.  I asked him questions and he didn't answer.  There was more back and forth; he was being a real jerk; then I was too.  I said, "Well, just for the record, if this guy wants to date me, I'm good to go." And you should. Until you have a ring on your finger, you are free to date.  He got up, left, and I followed him to his car and asked about my mower: "You're not going to fix it?"  He yelled, "Let your attorney do it." There was really no reason to tell him about the other guy... That was the last time I saw him.  Till today.

He doesn't seem very interested in making up with me.  I remember how he was with his last ex-wife.  She would beg him to make up and he agreed - while he was living and sleeping with me.  I think he is done with me and is just going to go thru the moves. Well, Faith: What's your problem? History is the best predictor of future performance. What are you waiting for? What do you want? Does he have to declare it's over in Sky Writing? Let it go. If anything will happen with this relationship, it is not going to happen now... And, it is not going to happen if you don't love yourself enough to let this type of stuff go. And, it's not going to happen if he doesn't begin to love you or himself or someone enough to decide he's had enough of his selfish, little-boy ways.

Only 3% of abusers change? I don't know whose statistic that is. It's certainly not mine. Nor do I understand how they get those numbers. Does that include the people who go into (and out of and back into) therapy? I doubt it. Yuck!  Oh, when I was talking to him about going to counseling, I said, "Why do you abuse just me?"  He said, "I abuse everyone". Correct. Including himself. I just sat there and said, "How sad." Very sad. And the only one who had the ability to do anything about it is Sky... 

Any suggestions?  What can I look for?          Faith... Let him go. If it's meant to be, it will be. Do this for yourself; you deserve no less. Also, Sky's got a lot of work ahead, if he chooses to do it. From what I know about him, I know he can do it. But he's got to really, really, really want to do it more than he wants anything in this whole world. That's what its going to take for him to overcome the crummy place he lives in. There is no doubt he wants to leave his crummy place Faith - but he does not want to leave it enough right now. When the therapist says, "Jump,"  if he means it, his only answer can be, "High high?"

 Dr. Irene


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