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Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #19338
11/11/10 12:06 AM
11/11/10 12:06 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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CP -- I think you will appreciate this. I've been saying for years that no one in my family spends a lot of time sitting around wondering whose fault something is -- it's mine. Saves them time and mental energy. I can be at fault for something that occurs in a different space/time continuum.

It's hard not to take on that burden just to buy some peace and keep moving forward.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: LadyGrey] #19770
11/11/10 06:34 PM
11/11/10 06:34 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Boy, do I. I was just talking to DD20 this morning about her standing up for herself with friends and classmates. She always just gives in, to keep peace. Ugh.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #24556
11/19/10 02:23 PM
11/19/10 02:23 PM
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Chris Offline
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Ah....Peacekeeping.

My mom is that way ...to the point that she'll be in a whole lot of hot water if people ever compare stories.

I find the behavior to be dishonest...to yourself and to everyone else and it's a trigger for me - possibly because of my mom.


ChrisInNOVA2@yahoo.com
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Chris] #30519
12/01/10 05:16 AM
12/01/10 05:16 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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It's weird how you can know something, but having it laid all out in front of you by someone else makes you ... actually LOOK at it. You know?

At IC today, I wanted to talk about building my self esteem. I took a self esteem test today and scored a 34% out of 100%. meh

Somehow, it all turned around to how I hate my looks. Being a female. Feeling ugly because I (to me) look masculine. My dad was German - short, stubby fingers; beady eyes; blotchy skin; no standout cheeks or chin...all the stuff I inherited from him.

Add to that that I gained 30-50 pounds after DD20 was born and never lost it...basically I hate my looks. And IC kept trying to get me to verbalize why my looks are so important to me.

Then we got to how I had to pretend to be a boy to get my dad to want to spend time with me. I learned to build a house, fish, play baseball, play army with my brother...just to get Dad to notice me.

Then he left and I went to high school, and learned I had to dress sexy and give sex to keep a guy, so I then became that [Bleep!] girl around the guys who would date me (at school, I still looked like a hand-me-down Pollyanna, the one everyone laughed at because of my mismatched clothes) and had sex so they wouldn't leave.

Then I met my ex-fiance, who thought I was too tame, and to please him, I cut off my hair to a 'sexy' pixie cut and tried to become the 'tigress' he wanted...making me hate sex even more than I already did.

When I realized he was cheating on me and I left him, I went straight to my now-husband, who thought girls like that were sluts. He refused to marry me until my hair was longer than his (and his hair was LONG!). He laughs about it, but it was just one more shame-based situation I found myself in wherein I changed myself to be what yet another male wanted.

IC tried to get me to explain what I thought was so ugly about myself, and I said that I looked...masculine. She asked why, and I couldn't answer. Then we got to all my history, which made it all make sense. I told her that I had my aha moment when I was at a party, years ago, when I went to the bathroom and then stopped at the mirror to refresh my makeup. Someone came in, and I jumped - ashamed of myself for being feminine and 'pretending' I had the right to fix myself up like real women do.

Sigh. Very painful hour.

Basically, she said that I will never achieve a sense of a 'right' to be a female until I start to treat myself as if I have the right. Fake it til you make it.

So my assignment this month (I only go once a month) is to do one thing for myself that I think 'real' women do. I chose to get my hair cut. I have been holding off on getting my dream haircut as an incentive to losing the weight I've wanted to lose for 20 years. She asked me how much longer I should wait, and whether it makes more sense to wait, or to go ahead and do what makes me feel good, and then by doing that, feel empowered enough to go through with the other things.

Bottom line, I need to accept that I'm female, that people don't cringe when they see me cos I'm ugly, that people don't laugh at me or wish I'd go away...it's a lot to take on faith, when I haven't believed it my whole life. But I'm trying.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30588
12/01/10 01:21 PM
12/01/10 01:21 PM
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soolee Offline
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I'm glad you brought this up, Cat.

I'm dealing with a lot of this myself as well, even at 47. I know you've probably heard it before, but I don't think there's a single woman out there who is completely happy with their bodies.

I don't think we ever really stop learning, regardless of how old we are. Our characters continue to develop, and being adults means little or nothing in terms of 'arriving' at some culminated moment whereas we know we've learned all we're going to learn. We save that moment for our death beds, I guess.

I think I would explore this in a positive way, Cat. Your daughter is off and on her own. That period in your life has reached a precipice. You're still there for her, but now you can afford the energy and the time to be there more for yourself, and I think that's how it's supposed to be, you know?

I do have a suggestion with the hair. First, go with a style that you feel comfortable with, even if it's the same style you already have. You can get the split ends cut off and even doing that will feel better. Then color your hair and have them add highlights. You can color it at home before the cut to save money. Have the highlights professionally done though. It'll cost you a bit. You can do partial highlights if you like. Ask them to frame your face. It will likely be a subtle difference, but when you get home and play with it in the mirror, it'll spell 'change' to you without a huge compromise in hair style.

I do think it isn't so much our body frames, features, or height that haunt us as much as our neglect of ourselves. And I think that once we start allowing some of our time to be spent on our own care, (the areas of ourselves that we know can reasonably be improved on) our body frames, physical features, and height have lesser impact on our self esteem.




Last edited by soolee; 12/01/10 01:22 PM.

Me: 53
Him: 53
Together: 34 years
Married: 27 years

"Aspire to Inspire before you Expire" Author Unknown

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Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30596
12/01/10 01:36 PM
12/01/10 01:36 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Wow, cat, thanks for sharing, that was so brave! I can't wait to see your new haircut.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #30662
12/01/10 03:23 PM
12/01/10 03:23 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Originally Posted By: cat
From another thread

For instance, the women I admire who I see around me...they wear nice clothes. I wear resale shop mix and match pieces. But I buy my husband and DD20 new nice clothes. So IC asked my why I don't feel like I deserve the same consideration. Hard to come up with a good excuse, you know?


Does your IC know you all are working your way out of debt? Lots of folks take a look at their clothing decisions at that time. I'm all for you buying some new clothes you look and feel great in, but when you wear the other stuff in your closet, too, I also hope you feel good about your smart decision-making. It's not all-or-nothing, you know?

Originally Posted By: soolee
I do think it isn't so much our body frames, features, or height that haunt us as much as our neglect of ourselves.


This spoke to me, too. We forgive our spouses for neglecting us and the family, and work to POJA better choices in the present. Let's forgive ourselves for our self-neglect, too, and move forward POJAing better choices with ourselves, going forward, too. Cat, you shared with me a question that still helps me for this, Is it a have to, want to, or would like to?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: soolee] #30680
12/01/10 03:43 PM
12/01/10 03:43 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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soolee, you are so right. One of the things I stopped doing 30 years ago was taking care of myself. Because of my husband. He would up and say 'let's go' and have decided we're going somewhere, and if I tried to go in the bathroom and make myself look better, he'd scowl and make a fuss. So I started downplaying my maintenance. And at night, if I spent time doing facial or skin stuff while he was already in bed, he'd fuss because I wasn't spending time with him. So I stopped that, too.

I put lotion on today for probably the first time in a year. I'm going to start taking care of myself.

I deserve it.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #30682
12/01/10 03:48 PM
12/01/10 03:48 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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NED, she does know about the money issue. That's why she told me to just pick one thing to do. My ideal haircut is a short straight bob (I think women look glamorous that way) but my hair is wavy, and the older I get the curlier it gets. So that haircut would require blow drying and straightening every day. So IC suggested that it may be more appropriate to pick a cut that fits my hair type. So I may just cut it to shoulder and have the hair layered so the curls come out better. It would probably be much more flattering, too, so may make me feel better about myself. Right now it's about 5 inches below my shoulders.

I don't mind my clothes; it's just that I dress to hide my weight and for comfort, so I end up looking pretty frumpy with baggy shirts and loafers.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30705
12/01/10 04:30 PM
12/01/10 04:30 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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That sounds fun! Do you have a place you like to go to?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30707
12/01/10 04:31 PM
12/01/10 04:31 PM
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soolee Offline
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Cat...my reasons for self neglect started, I think, with being a sahm and not wanting to impact the family budget because of that choice. I didn't want to buy myself any new clothes unless absolutely necessary. Even now, I look down at what I'm wearing, and I can tell you that with the exception of my underclothing, all of it is second hand - meaning I bought it at a second-hand store for probably .50 for each item or on sale days, $1.00 for a bag of clothing. I think I paid less than $3.00 for the bra because it was on a clearance rack at Kmart. In fact, I think I found it on the floor underNEATH the rack! lol OMG. That's really sorta sad.

There was a time when I cut all our hair, even. I bought the set to do it, and I borrowed a book to learn how. I've been clipping coupons for so many years I lost count.

I've gone some winters living in a cold house during the day while the rest of the family was at work and school - at the temperature it would be if no one were at home. I rationalized that if I were out working, the temperature would be turned down, so I somehow told myself that keeping the temperature up was undeserved. Warped, I know. Ugh.

I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go...


Me: 53
Him: 53
Together: 34 years
Married: 27 years

"Aspire to Inspire before you Expire" Author Unknown

Welcome to Marriage Advocates! Please click here to join the group: http://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/ubb/newuser
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30716
12/01/10 04:42 PM
12/01/10 04:42 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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cat, do you go over to the goddess thread?

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #30719
12/01/10 04:50 PM
12/01/10 04:50 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
That sounds fun! Do you have a place you like to go to?
Well, DD20 has a permanent, so I found her a place downtown where this one woman specializes in curly hair. I may go to her, even though she's expensive ($60); the girl I go to for the last 15 years only charges $20.

Which do you think would be better - one who knows all about curly hair, or one who knows my hair intimately? My hair isn't super curly, but a lot of it does bounce up a bit; hard to tell, since it's so long. The bangs I'm growing out sometimes turn into pincurls, they're so curly. If all the hair would do that, I'd be happy.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: soolee] #30722
12/01/10 04:51 PM
12/01/10 04:51 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: soolee
Cat...my reasons for self neglect started, I think, with being a sahm and not wanting to impact the family budget because of that choice. I didn't want to buy myself any new clothes unless absolutely necessary. Even now, I look down at what I'm wearing, and I can tell you that with the exception of my underclothing, all of it is second hand - meaning I bought it at a second-hand store for probably .50 for each item or on sale days, $1.00 for a bag of clothing. I think I paid less than $3.00 for the bra because it was on a clearance rack at Kmart. In fact, I think I found it on the floor underNEATH the rack! lol OMG. That's really sorta sad.

There was a time when I cut all our hair, even. I bought the set to do it, and I borrowed a book to learn how. I've been clipping coupons for so many years I lost count.

I've gone some winters living in a cold house during the day while the rest of the family was at work and school - at the temperature it would be if no one were at home. I rationalized that if I were out working, the temperature would be turned down, so I somehow told myself that keeping the temperature up was undeserved. Warped, I know. Ugh.

I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go...
I'm the same way - always sacrificed my own stuff so the rest of the family did better, and to save money. But I'm pretty sure it has really contributed to my feeling like a second class citizen; I NEVER feel equal to the people I'm around and a good half of it is shame about my appearance.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: D4MIL] #30723
12/01/10 04:52 PM
12/01/10 04:52 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: DumpedforMIL
cat, do you go over to the goddess thread?
Honestly, it's painful for me to go there. Because I feel like I don't belong.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30731
12/01/10 04:58 PM
12/01/10 04:58 PM
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Surface of the sun
silentlucidity Offline
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hugcat hug

You certainly do belong on the Goddess thread. Absolutely!

I see the thread as a place to go to just be a girl...and to get a much needed push here and there to take better care of myself. How does that exclude you?


Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30733
12/01/10 05:01 PM
12/01/10 05:01 PM
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Cat, how about giving each stylist a shot, one this month, one next month?

And I can totally relate to saving money is strange ways. I think that's great, too, as long as you find a balance you're happy with. If it makes you feel like second class, then that sounds like something that's not making you happy.

I'm having a blast mowing my lawn to save money. But if that changes, then I can call the lawn guy back, kwim? My problem is when I'm like the frog in the pot, and don't notice when something's not working for me, until it GRABS my attention.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: silentlucidity] #30737
12/01/10 05:05 PM
12/01/10 05:05 PM
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soolee Offline
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Cat - I KNOW that's the case for me. I fit in with my sisters, but not happily. I know, deep down, that I can do better for myself in terms of how I look. And that doesn't mean I think my sisters are homely, by any means. I just know that most of us have left ourselves go over the years.

About the curly hair. I had thick straight hair all my life, and it sounds about as long as yours. I finally decided to go and have it styled and highlighted by a family friend who does it for a living and she said, 'soolee...why on earth are you fighting your curly hair?' I'm like 'what curls?' So I shrugged and told her to cut it however she wanted to cut it. She said she would show me what she meant. She gave me long layers, and with all that weight off my hair, she was able to scrunch it with some gel and her hands, and with it being highlighted, I was really quite pleased with it.

Last edited by soolee; 12/01/10 05:08 PM.

Me: 53
Him: 53
Together: 34 years
Married: 27 years

"Aspire to Inspire before you Expire" Author Unknown

Welcome to Marriage Advocates! Please click here to join the group: http://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/ubb/newuser
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #30749
12/01/10 05:32 PM
12/01/10 05:32 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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Quote:
Honestly, it's painful for me to go there. Because I feel like I don't belong.

oh cat .. don't say that.
i encourage you to go over and take a peek. the only requirement is that you be a female. smile no males allowed .. nor do i think they want to be a part of that thread. smile

do it for me? (((cat)))

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: D4MIL] #44636
01/04/11 03:05 PM
01/04/11 03:05 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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DD20 and I learned something interesting this weekend. You know how DH is always so negative about everything? He's either complaining about his coworkers, cussing out people on the road, talking about how people screwed up his life, etc. Well, Sunday we were in the car going somewhere, and he started talking about how our neighborhood is not as nice as it used to be (he blames this one woman who was on the Board of Directors for much of it, like he always does, picks a scapegoat).

Anyway, he asked us what could be done to make it a nicer place, get our home values back up, etc. So we started in with suggestions, and he kept going back to how this woman ruined that idea; that person messed up another idea, etc. DD20 stopped him each time and said something like "Dad, we're discussing ways to FIX the neighborhood. We're NOT talking about what some person did wrong. NO looking back. What can get changed today?"

And each time he kept going back to his old safe pattern of blaming everything on everyone but himself, she and I kept stopping him and saying "No, we're discussing NEW changes to FIX things. Not allowing blame or looking back."

And it actually made a difference; you could see him trying to change his thought pattern because we wanted him to, and because (I think) we were 'on his side' on this.

DD20 and I discussed it later, and we think that by giving him actual examples of ways to stop being negative (instead of how we used to just keep asking him to stop being negative), it helped him realize there IS a way out of that destructive pattern.

I'm going to have to do some reading on this.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #44707
01/04/11 05:16 PM
01/04/11 05:16 PM
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Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Cat! I used to lurk on MB back when you posted, and your thread was one of the first I read all the way through. I loved reading your advice, until one day it stopped and I couldn't figure out why - I always miss the drama - every couple of weeks I'd go hunting for you to see if you'd come back. I was so glad to see you here.

Just got caught up on your thread, and you've made some great progress. This last post in particular, struck me.

I'm learning it's not enough to say "Stop doing that" or "Don't do this", especially when it is such an ingrained habit - a way of seeing life. A negative is difficult to accomodate, because it doesn't give you any information on what to DO.

It's like if I tell my husband, don't leave your empty cups on the counter.... well what does he do then? He can leave them on the desk, in the living room, on his bedside table - but each one of those will irritate me just as much as the counter. Instead I request what I'd like - and ask him to do that. "Dear could you put your cups in the sink when you're done with them?" A reasonable, straightforward request for him to DO something, so when he finishes a cup, he knows I'd prefer it to be placed somewhere.

It's easier to do new things, than to not do something habitual - because it is a habit, we don't even make the decision to do it anymore.

It's a bit of a challenge, but good for your daughter to figure it out.

Let us know what you discover in your reading.

Nice to finally 'meet' you cat.


Last edited by Vibrissa; 01/04/11 05:17 PM.

Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Vibrissa] #44848
01/04/11 09:24 PM
01/04/11 09:24 PM
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Colorado
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Thank you, Cat, for sharing this story. It's marvelous.

You light-bulbed me.

smile

Not that that's unusual.

Thank you very much.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Vibrissa] #45821
01/06/11 07:48 AM
01/06/11 07:48 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
Cat! I used to lurk on MB back when you posted, and your thread was one of the first I read all the way through. I loved reading your advice, until one day it stopped and I couldn't figure out why - I always miss the drama - every couple of weeks I'd go hunting for you to see if you'd come back. I was so glad to see you here.

Just got caught up on your thread, and you've made some great progress. This last post in particular, struck me.

I'm learning it's not enough to say "Stop doing that" or "Don't do this", especially when it is such an ingrained habit - a way of seeing life. A negative is difficult to accomodate, because it doesn't give you any information on what to DO.

It's like if I tell my husband, don't leave your empty cups on the counter.... well what does he do then? He can leave them on the desk, in the living room, on his bedside table - but each one of those will irritate me just as much as the counter. Instead I request what I'd like - and ask him to do that. "Dear could you put your cups in the sink when you're done with them?" A reasonable, straightforward request for him to DO something, so when he finishes a cup, he knows I'd prefer it to be placed somewhere.

It's easier to do new things, than to not do something habitual - because it is a habit, we don't even make the decision to do it anymore.

It's a bit of a challenge, but good for your daughter to figure it out.

Let us know what you discover in your reading.

Nice to finally 'meet' you cat.

Vibrissa, I've always wanted to meet you, too.

And what an excellent post, too!

I will definitely work on being more exact. Actually had a bit of that tonight. More later.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #45835
01/06/11 01:19 PM
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Cat, great to see you back smile


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #45871
01/06/11 03:39 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Thanks, LA and NED. I feel bad that I lean on DD20 so much regarding DH, but you know, she has the ability to see it all from a different angle. And of course, she wants a better father, too, so there's that.

My mom's will finally got settled end of 2010, and I got my half. When she died, brother asked if we wanted her car, and DH's was needing a ton of repair we couldn't afford, so we said yes. Well, my brother's a CPA, so he worked out the spreadsheet of funds, and listed the car at full value, and when dividing the assets, listed the full value of the car as part of my half. DH thinks that's wrong, that it should be half of that. Normally, DH is right about these things; I just can't wrap my head around the math. But several times this year, he's griped about my brother 'screwing' us; I've told him to stop, I didn't want to hear it, but nothing got resolved.

Well, the other day, one of DD20's friends was over for dinner, and I mentioned that the will had been settled and DH asked about the car, and started in on his rant again, in front of the friend (who ended up leaving, embarrassed). I left the room, went upstairs, he followed, I started crying, saying I can't deal with it any more; I don't EVER want to hear about the money or my brother ever again. And that I wasn't sure I ever wanted to see DH again. I couldn't take his anger and negativity any more. He calmed down, a LOT, and apologized. I said if he had a problem with my brother, he'll have to discuss it with him, because I will NEVER be the go-between for them again.

Fast forward to yesterday, I gave him the spreadsheet brother had made and he very politely showed me where he thought it should have been half of that amount, asked me if I agreed (very politely), and I said 'I just can't understand it; and I don't ever want to hear about it again. If you think it's wrong, get on the phone and talk to brother about it. This is YOUR issue, not mine.'

So, patting myself on the back for holding to my guns, finally.

Plus, I think it's been a good learning experience for DH.

Astonishingly, I also discussed what I'd done with the money so far. It was about $10,000. I paid off one of DH's credit cards ($3000), paid off my overdraft account of my checking account ($1000), and transferred about $1000 to cover some of DH's bills that we wouldn't have had the money for; have about $5000 left, and I asked him if he wanted me to pay one of our annual taxes (our annual taxes add up to about $12,000-$13,000), or if he had another way lined up to pay for them.

He said, I wish you would have told me you'd received the money, because I wanted to put it into Merrill Lynch (again! like he did the last time we got money, and it disappeared into a black hole), and then borrow $10,000 against that $10,000 to pay bills. I said, I wish you would have said that out loud, instead of just keeping it to yourself. But since you didn't I had no way to know about it. (more patting myself)

So, amazingly, he didn't get upset; and even more amazing, he said, "I think you should go to the furniture store and spend about $1500 getting something for yourself. Your mom would have wanted you to." (we'd been window shopping at a furniture store last week for fun)

I told him I'd think about it; then he said, 'although...she probably would also want you to pay off bills...'

So we then launched into a DECENT conversation about our bills, and moving, and how I wanted him to sell the other car (which has been sitting idle in our driveway for almost a year now because he won't sell it), all the stuff we've been needing to talk about! Didn't hurt that I had been drinking a good amount of wine, so I was more fearless, lol, but I was amazed at how we were able to touch on all the sore subjects (even moving, which he insists will not help us), and he never ONCE got upset or raised his voice. I think my blowup the other day, plus all the conversations DD20 and I've had with him about his anger/negativity, are starting to have an effect.

As you've always said, guys, he WANTS me to be happy. Just didn't know how to effect it. So, once again, speaking up seems to be the key.

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