Small steps, cont'd.

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Mme.X Mme.X
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Small steps, cont'd.

Well, things are very quiet here on MFS, so I thought I'd post a boring update, figuring that boring is better than nothing.

In the Husband-trying-to-take-care-of-himself Category, we can write in "one visit to the dentist, with work scheduled in two weeks." Okay, that sounds minor to you guys, but with someone struggling with a psychiatric disorder, that is big. He also is pursuing the therapy route, but I am staying clear of asking for any updates there. I'd like to be a support, not a helicopter.  Food-wise, we've been eating Mediterranean, and I made a wickedly good bean soup yesterday. We got our taxes done without physical violence to anyone.  He has a major work thing going on which I'm holding my breath about, except to say that the next month or so is going to be a challenge.

For me, too--because end of April is a huge work crunch time for me.  I'm trying to stick with my Crossfit, although I had a set back after missing almost a month to make sure my knee was okay.  But I'm still in there pitching (and lifting).

Anyhow, hope you are all doing well, and that the silence is a no-news-is-good-news sort of thing.  
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Mr Blue Mr Blue
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

Psychological disorders of the sort from which your husband supposedly suffers do not excuse violence.  Neither his depression nor ED exculpate what he did, which we need not repeat.  Sometimes I think that you are losing sight of that basic moral fact, which is a distinctly modern phenomenon.  We secure a diagnosis of mental illness and proceed to disregard the element of personal responsibility, i.e. free will.  Pray tell me what causal connection exists between either one of the above disorders and domestic violence?  Your husband controls his impulses in other situation- you should expect no less of him at home.  (Furthermore he has no reason to become so upset with you in the first place.  'Love is SLOW to anger.')  Nay, the standard should be even higher there, amongst his children, who should never even suspect animus between mom and dad.  Again, when I hear you relying so much on therapy, it makes me think there has been an abdication of responsibilty: he should have headed straight for the confessional.

It's boring around here because some of us are waiting for the scurge of MFS to find something else to do with his rancor.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

Why, hello, Mr. Blue.  Good to know that you are there.
Mr Blue wrote
When I hear you relying so much on therapy, it makes me think there has been an abdication of responsibilty: he should have headed straight for the confessional.
"Relying so much"?  No, rather "not yet having been tried at all."

I do agree with you that pathologizing behavior--just slapping a psychiatric term on it--can be a way of evading it, of disregarding its deeper reality. But so, too, is slapping a moralistic term on it without seeing the deeper complexity.  My husband needs no reminder that what he did was morally wrong.  He knows that very well, and told me quite plainly that he was ashamed and disgusted with himself and his behavior.  I have no desire to rub his face in it, or to make him more miserable.  Doing so never changed anyone (even if it is the favorite suggestion of someone we are delighted has apparently deleted himself).  No, what my husband needs is help figuring out just what is going on beneath the behavior--really facing it--considering the broader pattern of self-sabotage and anger of which this event was but a symptom.  Of course, talking with a priest can help some, if they are Catholic (although my husband is not).  But it has to come from the person himself.  More importantly, there are serious psychological problems that precisely the most experienced and faith-filled spiritual guides themselves acknowledge require the help of those who have more experience dealing with them.  

Now is my husband in that category?  Yes, I think so. But about your other point on free will:
Mr Blue wrote
We secure a diagnosis of mental illness and proceed to disregard the element of personal responsibility, i.e. free will.
Not at all -- both exist! But surely the key to a rich and accurate moral understanding is figuring the complex interplay between the freedom we possess and the constraints imposed by our conditions -- conditions which include habit and chemistry as well as external environment, constraints which can foster not just our worsts actions, but our best.  But a heavy-handed moral approach such as the one you suggest... my word, I would almost say you are starting to sound just like a certain someone whose absence is as welcome as a fragrant, sunny day in spring.

Thank you for the thoughtful response, and wishing you well, as ever!
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Mr Blue Mr Blue
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

No my silence is not a good news sort of thing; it's a fear of being mocked by whatever his name is thing.  But since you indicate that the coast may be clear allow me to say that my once beautiful wife continues to eat excessively and pile on the lbs at an alarming rate.  Her self-indulgence when it comes to food is truly disgusting yet, at the same time, bewildering. (If you think my assessment is overly harsh, please consider my dismay over seeing the woman eating almost constantly.)  Can't she see what she's done to herself?  Are not the unsightly effects of her gluttony painfully obvious every time she looks in the full-length mirror she spends so much time in front of before we go out?  ('Becky please we are going to be late!')  We are again having major problems at work, so I have been unable to address the matter in anything but a cursory manner.  To wit:

(Again finding her at table late at night, shoving chili cheese fries and steak bites into her watering mouth)  Becky we need to talk; this binging has got to stop.  

I'm having a snack; do I bother you when you are reading?

You were planning this little feast the whole time we were at the party.  

You're now a mind reader?

You did nothing but complain; you think I don't know what your pouting means?

Those people are boring.

No, you couldn't wait to get home here to stuff yourself.  We can't even socialize anymore because of your obsession with food.

All you do is put me down.

I'm right, aren't I Rebecca?  

Yes all I think about is food; now____ dammit leave me alone!



Andrea T Andrea T
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

Hi Blue and X,
I know what you mean Blue. Until lately, I've thought twice of admitting any vulnerability because eventually, Brady would dig it up and  use it. It's ironic that the more this happens , the less I care, so in his terms, it actually builds  my "fattitude"

I'm sorry Blue, her choice of  words  must have added more hurt ti the already painful situation. As always, I'm at a loss with her behavior.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

In reply to this post by Mr Blue
I'm sorry, too, to hear that things are not improving with Becky. And I also understand busy, which is why I can't do more today than express sympathy and sadness .  
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
loveinaturtleshell loveinaturtleshell
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

I don't think we excuse violence, any of us.    But we no longer deceive ourselves, and maybe we just let it go to a "new normal."   In my case, I just plan my life around my partner getting sicker and myself, getting some protection.   He hasn't been abusive, but he has been short tempered.   Perhaps the next step will be shoving me, etc.  

I just never leave out the option to go.   I have my own money, and a plan.   But for now, watchful waiting.   I try to take comfort in what still remains positive in him and me, and us together.   I think of ways to feel meaningful.    I keep the door of communication open.  

And I never blame myself if he overeats.   His arm and hand put the food into his mouth, not mine.    

Rebecca sounds deeply entrenched in her eating and finding excuses for it.   I am sorry you are witness to all that...LIATS
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

Hi, LIATS.  
loveinaturtleshell wrote
I don't think we excuse violence, any of us.    But we no longer deceive ourselves, and maybe we just let it go to a "new normal."
No, not the "new normal"--it was a one and only time single gesture which, if it happens again, I have told him, I will leave, and which has been followed by him pursuing professional help as a condition of my staying.  I am watchful and alert in this situation, which involves complex people and a whole family dynamic.  I am not ruling out leaving, but I am also not into "blowing up" situations.

Yesterday, we had another long talk--we have so many other issues we have having to deal with at the moment and both feel pretty overwhelmed.  It was a long and frank talk, and really at the heart of why we fit together in the first place. We made a list of all the hard things on our plates, but also made a list of things that are going well, progress made.  When I suggested his going to the dentist as one, he said, "I don't know if you know how big that was for me, how hard it was--to do something to take care of myself instead of abusing myself"--and he began to cry. It was so sad!

And here on MFS, things are so quiet!  What's happening, guys?  Also, Mr. Blue, why do you never answer questions about your kids?  I always wonder about them--how many and how old, and how they are doing?

Hope everyone's well!
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Mr Blue Mr Blue
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

MmeX,

I think you will find that I have on at least several occasions spoke of our 3 children, 2 younger, one away at college.  The impact upon them of their mother's eating disorder is as you might expect: they are concerned and at the same time dismayed over the fact that 'Our mom is not like other moms'.  I come here to vent about "adult matters" and so have left them out of it.

I'm running short on time but I just want to relate that she subjected me to another one of her 'Becky the Belly Dancer' routines late last night after I again reminded her of the impact of her gluttony upon our long dormant love life.  She'd come home from a night of Mexican food binging with several of her eating buddies.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

Hello, Mr. Blue, and thanks for the fast response...
Mr Blue wrote
I think you will find that I have on at least several occasions spoke of our 3 children, 2 younger, one away at college.
I'm sorry--for some reason I missed that - I just had recalled one posting where you had to make a sandwich for one of them...plus several where you'd mentioned kids sleeping while Becky threw a fit in the basement...
Mr Blue wrote
I come here to vent about "adult matters" and so have left them out of it.
I guess I can understand that, although this matter, for me, is a family matter as much as it is an adult matter.
Mr Blue wrote
...she subjected me to another one of her 'Becky the Belly Dancer' routines late last night after I again reminded her of the impact of her gluttony upon our long dormant love life.  She'd come home from a night of Mexican food binging with several of her eating buddies.
What does she expect you to do? You've said that it is physically impossible to have sexual relations with her. Does she expect you to do a dance of your own?  Get a sombrero, a yukelele, and sing "La Cucaracha"?
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
loveinaturtleshell loveinaturtleshell
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

 My SO's foot is hurting, quite terribly.   He is blaming it on his medications.   I beg him to keep taking his meds until he sees his Dr, which is tomorrow.   He is OW, he has been doing quite a bit of  heavy lifting (much against my wishes....I wish people would quit asking favors like this of others....hire a moving company!)    Now his foot is in agony.   I am praying it is not serious neuropathy.   He has very thick callouses on  his heels.    Reading up on diabetes, I  find that skin problems like excess callous growth is directly related to blood sugar issues.    Also, he has had a yeast infection, under his testicles.    That, and his foot pain, well, I am another one sitting on the celibate fence.

Fat and sex just do not mix.  Just do not.  

That is my update, for now....LIATS
loveinaturtleshell loveinaturtleshell
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What does she expect you to do? You've said that it is physically impossible to have sexual relations with her. Does she expect you to do a dance of your own?  Get a sombrero, a yukelele, and sing "La Cucaracha"?

Becky just wants to get a reaction.   Even a negative reaction means she is not being ignored.    Mr Blue's silent endurance of her behavior must be annoying her.    So she irritates right back.   Any provocation is more exciting than indifference.   And it might start a nice juicy argument, and she will then have a good excuse to vent some spleen and make Mr Blue as unhappy as she is...

I hope you are doing some flirting with someone, even in your imagination, Mr Blue.

Now, I would go out and buy that sombrero... LIATS
Mr Blue Mr Blue
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In reply to this post by Mme.X
No MmeX, she expects me to sit there and watch her vainly attempt to portray herself as the seductress she was before food became her "passion" and her belly became so big she couldn't even find a girdle to fit her.   Parading around the house naked with that enormous belly hanging all the way to her fat knees is the all that is left of her once vibrant sexuality; I believe that it is the only way she can maintain at least a shred of the belief that she is still a good wife like her sisters and the other women in our circle, given her inability to perform in bed.  My role in the charade is to give no evidence of the disgust she arouses in me, suppressing the urge to say 'Shame on you Becky'.  I humor her.

Oh did I mention that she had to be helped out of the backseat of the car when she got home and proceeded to walk slowly and unsteadily up the driveway until she arrived out of breath at the front door? And that once inside she began crawling to her room, thence to an hour long grunting and groaning session on the toilet?
loveinaturtleshell loveinaturtleshell
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Re: Small steps, cont'd.

Maybe, to Becky, these dances are sex, and you are forced to watch, so therefore you are participating.   That said, I think they need the sex, which is affection and love, too.   My partner does crave some kind of connection.   He wants to be a man.  He caresses, talks love words, and plays the seducer.   Hell, it beats having to face his obesity.   At least he feels normal, trying to have a sex life.   I suppose Becky is the same.   The difference is that I do make love with my guy.   I usually want to try and get something out of it.    But if he were not making some kind of effort to control his eating, I would not find him appealing.    He does not go out and binge eat, but he still overeats, big portions and that is a problem, but he is not thinking he is OK as he is.   He doesn't play the victim or expects me to kiss his butt.    Just the same, I just wish he would be a bit more mindful of his eating habits.   LIATS