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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!

Monica's Reply

Monica's Reply

Deep breath, here goes: Monica wrote I Feel Guilty For Getting A Restraining Order. Then a reader Replied to Dr. Irene's Advice to Monica. This is Monica's reply to the reply. Got it? Wheewww...

Sent: Saturday, October 09, 1999 5:10 PM
Subject: I Feel Less Guilty

Dr. Irene,
Thank you for your advice. I would also like to thank you for posting the response from a reader. I agree with her wholeheartedly about adultery. I feel that in my current emotional state, the consequences of choosing to date could potentially be disastrous. She is right about the lack of morals in our society contributing to the demise of many a marriage. I would like to suggest that not only is this behavior destructive, it is undignified. 

My letter was not about infidelity. It was about my abusive husband fabricating reasons out of the thin air to rage at me! He took a situation in which I was taking a much needed break from work and school to go to dinner with my sister and attached an ulterior motive to it! He is inventing reality to suit his own needs. He has no ability to see his behavior as abusive, therefore he does not comprehend why I left him. After all he was such a good husband!! This new twist of accusations is that much more painful because it has dawned on me fully how his "reality" is so absolutely distorted. I very much appreciated it when you said in your advice that I could date, not because I want to, but because I am a grown-up and am responsible for my own behavior.

No-one has the right to demand that I comply with their expectations of me! My guilt over getting the restraining order has subsided. When I did the exercise you suggested I found that the thinking I was doing was irrational. Things especially that he has said since the separation began have been weighing me down. I found myself thinking "look what I've done to my family" and "how embarrassing" and the biggie "this is my son's father." 

Now I can see that he did this. He broke the vows a long time ago by treating us like we were there to meet his needs and to take care of his ever increasing emotional demands. He dumped me long before the separation by acting like a terrorist and dumping his garbage on me whenever he felt like it!! Today I don't feel guilty one bit, in fact I wish I would have done this years ago. It feels so good to have my life back. There is no way to describe the joy I feel to spend a quiet evening with my son, or the immense satisfaction I get from paying my bills. I now know I can make it on my own.

This journey into the unknown is scary at times, but I am learning to trust that things will work out. With the tyrannical presence of my husband across town I am free to become myself. Thank you so much for the wonderful support, Dr. Irene.   -Monica    

Dear Monica,
And thank you! Glad the technique worked - always does when applied correctly! Keep it up.  Especially when you find new "layers" of guilt (and you will).

You've begun to take your power. Good for you!

Dr. Irene