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#403339 - 07/11/12 06:31 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: mmfan

I'm in a bit of tough spot, as he and I are not actually married nor partners, we are best friends. The reality is that we both invest a large amount of time and energy in one another and in many ways it is like a relationship, but I don't feel as his friend that i have the right to give him an ultimatum to get help. Besides, the ultimatum would be false, as I accept him as a friend regardless of whether or when he gets help, and would never stop being his friend (as long as I can remain healthy being his friend).


I like you but and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Anomolous but let's be blunt about this situation.

You raising the bottom and delivering an ultimatum is not about him and what he needs. IT'S ABOUT YOU FINALLY GETTING WHAT YOU NEED!!!!! You need to be respected and cared for. That's not going to happen if you're in a relationship (yes, this friendships is a relationship) that is manipulative and abusive. You don't have to stop being his friend. But you may need to refuse to interact until his unhealthy behavior is under control.

Let's play a thought game. What if you were the abusive friend and every time you saw this guy you punched him in the face. It makes you feel good to punch him and because he's a friend he shouldn't mind getting punched, right? Friends tolerate each others quirks. Then what if he says to you, "you're hurting me when you punch me in my face," and you say something like him now ...if you cared you wouldn't say that... Anger Management is lame and won't work ... You're unfairly attacking me. This is who I am. I can go on with excuses 'cause I was this guy.

But if we reduce this situation to its ridiculous end you can see how unfathomable it is to allow somebody to hurt you and claim that you'd never allow that hurt to compromise the friendship. Please take my words as a gift of love. I do not mean to mock. It's just that I'm not as eloquent as the others.
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#403360 - 07/11/12 11:09 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Great info and posts folks.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#403407 - 07/12/12 02:08 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
I second what Country has said. Thanks for this exchange! wink

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#403413 - 07/12/12 03:06 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1340
Hi MMFan,

I am concerned about something you said, namely that your therapist steers the conversation away from him everytime you try to discuss the situation.

Why won't she discuss your relationship with him and his behavior, especially since his behavior is harming you????

I fail to see (or accept) her reasoning in this situation.

Just becuase you have "other issues" does not mean that this situation is not an important issue to address. His behavior is causing you great distress. Granted, not all issues can be addressed at one time. But blantantly IGNORING one is not healthy or helpful, either. Sometimes one issue needs to be set aside to work on another. Sometimes the issues end up being parallel and working on one helps resolve another.

Have ever asked your T why she does not want you to discuss his abusive behavior? Have you told her that you NEED to discuss the issues in the relationship with him?

If she has difficulties dealing with those issues, than she needs to work on them, but not at the expense of you getting the help and perspective you need to be healthy.

Just my $0.02.





Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#403434 - 07/12/12 06:11 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
I ONLY speak from my own personal experience here, but it wasn't until I entertained my own Ts desire keep,the focus in me did I discover some issues that pertain to my own thoughts and beliefs about myself. Bottom line, I thought I didn't matter. My wants or needs didn't matter. A bit of work getting there, but I see how my wants or needs can be met in a healthy way now.

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#403527 - 07/13/12 05:18 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
Scottyg, I have to thank you because you got my attention with that "thought experiment." I intitally felt a bit defensive to be honest, but the timing couldn't have been better because the very next thing that happened was he lashed out in spectacular fashion and verbally abused me, no question about it, I felt I had been verbally punched in the face. I knew you were right.

I stood up and said this is not ok and the next time it happens I will leave the conversation and not talk to you for the rest of the day.

Oh how he kicked up a fuss - as if I'd taken away his favorite toy. He whined, accused, said I was being mean, unfair, he can't control his behavior when he's upset, now he must walk on eggshells, I'm punishing him etc etc. I might as well have been talking to an 8 year old but I stuck to my guns and by the end of the conversation I think he realized what he had done and that it indeed had a deep effect on me.
He also acknowledged that the "consequences" seemed natural and fair.

Whew! Drawing boundaries isn't easy but we both survived, LOL.

Anomalous I agree, I find it strange that she's reluctant to talk about a situation that clearly brings up a lot of my own childhood issues and thus probably has some rich potential for learning.
Maybe it is like what Haps said, that she thinks focusing on myself might be better, not sure.

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#403530 - 07/13/12 05:49 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Am I reading your post just above correct in that the current interaction with you hubby brings up childhood issues? If you can make the connection that strongly right now (very jealous, btw!), perhaps they're worth delving into?

For me, my P going AWOL hit my abandonment hard. Cripplingly hard. It's kinda nice talking about me to my T now, too. Oye - all that $$ spent obsessing over him! I think my T vacationed on those sessions!

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#403567 - 07/13/12 10:30 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
Hi Haps -yes you have an excellent point and boy that connection has taken me several years of hard work in therapy sorting through my own stuff(including childhood neglect, as well as physical emotional and sexual abuse). I'm still learning every day. My therapist is excellent at what she does and I am praying that my friend takes the hint soon that he needs to be talking about this stuff in therapy also.

I posted this topic because I know I tend to under-react to certain unhealthy behaviors due to my past, and I need help identifying what is OK. Also I have abandonment issues that make it difficult to draw boundaries.

I can see how with a history of abandonment stuff, your partner leaving would activate that trigger point HUGELY.:( I am sure it would affect me much the same. frown I'm glad you have a therapist and that you can focus on you. I really believe that focusing on making ourselves as healthy as possible is the way through. However it's far easier said than done!

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#403602 - 07/14/12 09:38 AM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: mmfan]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
mmfan - thats really helpful. I never thought of abandonment muddling the boundary thing, but there's something for me to think on. Make sense that I'd put the bar so low just to avoid being abandoned! Boundaries are hard, tricky buggers.

I do need to add that things do include my P - he's (to borrow the language) hitting my triggers. When my T sees that, that's where the convo gets deeper and the work begins.

I was even doing emdr and his mug popped into the picture. Smiley and cute like the guy I fell in love with and the one who my inner child wants to play with. I've towed the line so hard (by myself it feels), it is almost like my IC is saying "let it go. Go have fun with him." :-/

I have shared my stories with him, and he says he's happy for me. He says he wants to do this kind of work, but not right now. Sharing my story seems to have provided him a bit of encouragement. Maybe doing your IC work could be inspiration for your friend?

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#403633 - 07/14/12 05:09 PM Re: little boy misbehaving to get attention? [Re: Haps]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
I can very much very relate to what you said, Haps. Our child selves connect very well and we enjoy playing together -and yes he has said that my willingness to embrace my IC has helped him to take the risk also. And like you said, my child self just wants to play, and doesn't want to hold him accountable! Yes its so tempting to just let it go, but our adult selves have to step up and play a parental role almost, not a fun task but those boundaries are a loving caring thing that helps us both in the long run. You're doing the right thing in my opinion toeing the line, though I have an inkling of how hard it is!

Abandonment issues have been posted about rarely on this board in the time I've been here, maybe because it's difficult for men to admit this type of issue? I am not sure.I know its a huge issue for both my friend and me.

Oh I also wanted to say, I think it's a positive thing that he brings your issues into the light, because it's allowing you to acknowledge them and address them and heal YOU. So talking about him in therapy is real and important work, no matter how many sessions it takes.

I think we cross paths with people for a reason, and we can take the opportunity to learn and grow as a result, or not. That you're choosing to do the hard work of looking at yourself, deserves major kudos. I guess we can both hope that we might pave the way for our survivors to do the same.

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