This is for Janie

Dear Janie,

I am sorry it’s taken so long to respond. Life seems to come
in between what we really want to do, sometimes, and what we
must do.

“The message I keep getting is he’s not going to change, so I have to change myself. I feel like I’ve worked very hard at that over the years, but here I am still.”
I don’t think the counselors mean you have to change yourself…but that you have to accept the fact he won’t change, and if you are still unhappy YOU have to quit accepting this life that is making you miserable, and CHANGE IT. You have to CHANGE punishing yourself, and get the problem into focus.
You have to change, in yourself, the blatant acceptance of a situation you abhor.
“Right now I do have to say, he’s really trying.” Did he actually come up with something, or keep trying?
I know a gal who said her alcoholic husband is “really trying this week”. To me it sounds like her husband is being treated like a two year old.
I hope she sometime realizes he is a man, and one week of trying does not make a lifetime. Do you see what I am getting at Janie? I never speak of anything that has not occurred I the experiences of my life, so I can relate to giving an x-husband a “pass” for trying. Sadly, things never changed, and that is why he is my x husband.

“Sometimes he’ll be sitting watching TV and I’ll be screaming inside. I never relax. I’m always going through the money, trying to fix things, punishing myself for not becoming a lawyer or something. If we ever do anything social, I come home depressed, because everyone seems to be doing so well. Same thing when we visit our families, who always seem to have new cars or are going on great vacations. It’s not that I’m envious, although you might jump to that conclusion–one thing you learn is that this is a taboo subject. No one will ask about it. They all become very uncomfortable. So it’s always the same old small talk and the relationships don’t feel genuine at all. Then we’re invited to weddings and it’s always awkward, because everyone is giving these big gifts. So you begin to isolate yourself. ”

These are your words Janie. You sound terribly unhappy and depressed, and in my prospective I think it is time to change your circumstances.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE. It is fleeting and you have obviously done everything you can to make things better. Nothing is working. Now it’s time for you to do something to HELP YOURSELF for the rest of your life.
You said your therapists and counselors have told you to “change yourself.” I don’t think they meant YOU personally.
My suggestion is for you to CHANGE your situation…and then after the initial adjusting to a new life (I would say without this man) – you will have changed yourself to be a happier person.
I hope you have courage and do not resign yourself to a life of misery. I would rather be alone than to feign happiness and in my mind know I am unhappy and want to scream. WHY SHOULD YOU STAY IN THIS MISERY?

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