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    Hi Amber,

    I relate to what you are saying, as I spent 12 years in a marriage with that being an ongoing theme. It is on you to get your point across, but communication is in fact a two way street, so there is a responsibility on the other person, too. But, as you pointed out, sometimes people simply don’t get it, and maybe its not up to you to make sure they do.

    It is easy to lose your cool if the goal of the argument is based on what you want from someone else, but what I have discovered is that if I have something important to express, it doesn’t matter if someone “gets it” or not!

    Can you just be with a situation where someone doesn’t get it? I found that to be particularly effective with my ex, who maybe wasn’t really trying to “get it,” and maybe that’s okay. I may need to express something, but someone else’s understanding is of less importance. Maybe merely the expression of it is enough. That also takes me out of the position where my peace is based on someone else’s behavior, which of course is the oldest unhappiness trap in the world.

    They either will or they won’t get it, and as long as you have done a reasonable job of communicating your concern, stating what you need from the situation, then you just follow through on what you need to do, with or without them. Then you aren’t stuck waiting for a response you may or may not get.


    HI Michele,

    I read your post and feel a great deal of empathy for you, I have been in your shoes. I spent 12 years in a marriage with an abusive (now ex) husband. Like you, part of me kept wanting to give him a chance, and believed he would do what he could to make the relationship work, from his end. It took me a while to process how I could have been involved for so long, but I now realize that the trap I had fallen into was believing that the solution to problems lies in the future. It doesn’t, the solution to any problem is always found in the present.

    The greatest gift I got out of that turmoil was the ability to be more present. I also learned that solutions to problems come in the present, and show evidence of that solution in the present. My mistaken belief was in believing him when he said he would do something (future), so I stayed. He gave me a lot of lip service, but never demonstrated that he was making any changes in the present. I ended up in a marriage to someone what was unemployed for six years, and was never really looking for work, but kept telling me how he was going to be working very soon (future). Worse, he was abusive of me, my kids, and of alcohol. In a healthy relationship, I would have seen him working on those issues, through counseling, and a 12-step program, AND by seeing him applying new ways of relating to people in the present, so the abuse could stop. I did not see that. Instead, he was all talk and no present-time action.

    On a day to day basis, unless you see physical evidence that real change is happening (present), based on my experiences with someone who said similar things, and had similar behavior, I’d say leave. Abusive people rarely think they are being abusive, they usually blame their actions on others, and can’t make meaningful change.

    The truth is, however, that you probably know this deep down, I just share my experiences because I wouldn’t wish 12 years like that on anyone. It was also in taking responsibility for my behavior that got me out of the relationship. I have to accept that I chose to believe the lies, but at the same time, I am glad I finally did figure it out. My best to you!

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