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Waving to stillseeking! I was thinking the other day how much I miss your soothing posts to the posters here. There is so much despair here and you do such an astounding job of peeling folks off the ceiling. I know you did that for me once.

Its good to see you, SS, and I wanted you know that you are missed. smile


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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You are very kind Mel. Thanks for the comments.

I stop by and read every once in a while, but It's hard to take time to write.
I am involved in a new business venture, which is very demanding. And my personal life is pretty packed. I put in about as much time for folks in our church as you (Mel) do for the people on the boards here. It's rewarding, but it doesn't leave me much free time.

I worry about LIR. (Now F4L)
One of the things we need in order to be happy here on earth, is faith in ourselves. She has it, to an extent, but there is a gap in there somewhere.

Now, anyone who has a spouse cheat, will be affected to an extent. It's easier to recover if you either:
1. Divorce and don't have to put up with them.
2.Or Reconcile.

Since neither one of these has taken place for her, she is bound to struggle sometimes, but it seems to me that it's more than this. I can't place it.

There are other things that affect how we view ourselves.
Relationships with friends.
Progress with our personal goals. (Including Education.)
Relationships with family.
Status at our place of employment.
How well we live compared to our value system.

Through out most of her time here on MB, LIR has maintained a good self image. Not always a great one, but a good one. AS I said, who can always hold up well in the face of infidelity?

One of the dangers of commenting like this about anyone, is that they tend to stay away, because they are not always sure what you are getting at, and it's difficult to talk about ourselves.

I think LIR is better then most though, and I hope she comments.
If there are other struggles going on, I would like to know about them.

Of course, I could be seeing things that don't exist too. It's hard to read a person from just a few posts.

LIR,
My new business venture is in Southern Cal. My W often comes with me. We love to meet people from MB.
We can't always make it work, but we can sometimes.

I don't know where your father is, but keep it in mind.

There are probably good reasons why you don't post more often. I best leave you alone.

Remember that people care.
Prayers continue.

SS






I think sometimes about all the pain in the world. I hope we can ease that here, even if only a little bit.
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Has this been resolved?
I know it's from a few years ago, and it was somewhat improved when you last wrote about it, but I have wondered.

Physically - sometimes struggling - I've been suffering a burning pain in my left side since last August...it's been an ordeal. On some heavy pain killers, and frustrated with my doctor, I changed to a new doctor, who is a lot more pro-active and I've had a few tests, x-rays, etc.. The good news is that I don't have cancer. But they still don't know what is causing it...I am due for more scans. The good news is that it seems to be lessening...I seem to have more good days than bad now. I have days now where I don't have to take painkillers. Gradual improvement.

SS


I think sometimes about all the pain in the world. I hope we can ease that here, even if only a little bit.
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Hi there,

It's Sunday morning and I've got a few minutes alone (at least before YS gets up, which he probably will soon because the roofer is here now and about to get started).

First, I'd like to say that I ALWAYS appreciate your posts, ss, and I feel bad that I haven't been able to respond always to some of your questions. Not because I didn't want to answer them but because, like you, my life is so full that I don't have time for me. And that's probably at least some of, or a big part of, my own personal problem - that between work (4 days a week now) and the family, my counselling and trying to keep it all together, trying to get enough sleep (that's a big issue right now), I don't make the time to do the things I really ought to do for me. And that includes thinking time to answer some of the questions you've asked me over the years.

For awhile there, I started to feel guilty again about my H not knowing I come here to talk about what's been happening with our marriage. I was somehow afraid of what he'd do if he found out. But in the past, I discussed this with a priest at our church and also with my counselor, and they both said that I was entitled to seek the help I needed to deal with my situation, and as long as it was not "covert" in the sense that I was not having a covert relationship with another man outside my marriage, it was above board. My counselor stresses to me that the most important thing for me is to do what I feel is right to stay safe. I have needed a lot of support over these last years, and I just want to say that I appreciate the advice and support I have received from MB and particularly from you, ss. You have been very helpful to me.
I also went through a stage of feeling like I was being very dependent on MB, and I wanted to try to shift that to my counselling sessions, to try to contain it there, and try to concentrate during the time outside my counselling sessions, on focusing on my work and not falling apart inside on a daily basis. I think I've done that to a large extent now, and I feel better about myself, although I feel I have a long way to go in terms of doing what I want to be doing with my life, but I am not beaten yet!:-)

You have often spoken of the "refiner's fire", and I had wanted to post to you a story that my sister sent me that has to do with that. Maybe you've already seen this, but it's so good, I just had to share it...

'Malachi 3:3 says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

This very moment, someone needs to know that God is watching over them. And whatever they're going through, they'll be a better person in the end.

"Life is like a coin. You can spend it anyway you wish, but you can only spend it once."'

That has really helped me - God's eye is still on me, because I am not yet there - I still have feelings of wanting vengeance on OW and H - they pop up from time to time and I go, Hey - looka that! Is that what you REALLY want? And usually the answer is no in the end. I really wouldn't want anything terrible to happen to either H or OW. I am mostly worried about H and his immortal soul - because I'm a believer, I worry that if he doesn't repent, time will catch up with him and he might not get a chance. What with my uncle dying (which came on quite suddenly, even though he has been in frail health for many years), and my dad getting cancer and having to go through chemo, so he couldn't get to see my uncle before he died, although he did speak to him on the phone - you know, it's a life lesson there - my dad, with his alcoholism and his infidelity and the histrionics of OW, has done his fair share of making difficult times for the whole family, and in the months before my uncle died, he was done with that. So when my dad was down in So. Cal, he didn't meet up with my uncle - so they missed their chance to see each other. That is really sad. They are only a year apart and for all the differences, they were not enemies - they loved each other. I kept hoping my H would see that my dad's choices really wrecked the life he should have had and made all his family relationships really difficult. Despite that, our love for each other is very strong, and my dad's illness has had a powerful healing effect with regards to other rifts. I started working really hard to heal the rift between my stepmother and my sister, myself and my dad - my stepmother has been growing by leaps and bounds now that she has to take full care of my dad while he goes through chemo, and we have talked through a lot of the misunderstandings that caused the rift. Through all this, my sister and I had set ourselves to pray only one prayer - we would pray that God would do what would have the best outcome for everyone. That was all. We would turn it over to God and accept what happened. And my dad was diagnosed with cancer - and a whole lot of healing and personal growth is taking place. And we are clear that my dad is not out of the woods yet - and that life is a journey, and we can't avoid bad things happening - and we all have to die in the end.

So I have taken this prayer, and that is what I have been praying for for my H. To give it to God and pray that what happens will be what is best for everyone involved - that includes OW. For me, that means I accept that if H wants to D and go live with OW, I'm ok with that. I really don't feel bad about that. The boys are so fed up with him by now that they would accept that, too. What IS so sad is how they have lost their respect for him. I don't know how he will be able to repair that but that is not up to me.

To answer your question about the physical pain, I've been on pain medication now for about 18 months-2 years? I was finally diagnosed with "neuropathic pain" - pain from a damaged nerve (probably sciatic nerve) and they put me on these meds that disrupt the pain synapse in your brain - low-dose Amitryptilin combined with Lyrica (Pregabelin) (my spelling isn't too hot) - it does work - no more pain - but when I've tried to get off them, the pain comes back. However, when I was visiting my sister and slept on a different bed, the pain was considerably less. So my plan is to get a new bed, and see a good chiropractor and see what the results of that might be. I don't like the meds because they affect my thinking in a subtle way - they wreak havoc with my short-term memory, they also make me very groggy at night and in the morning, and I sometimes have insomnia. I'm convinced they also affect my motivation and how I string thoughts together, so I have been struggling to get any work done with my course. But I have talked with my tutor recently and she has arranged for me to take a leave of absence for a year retroactively - she says that this last year, I have, once again, had to deal with a whole lot on my plate that is more stress than even a usually stressed-out student would have to cope with. I have good ideas for my degree work, I just cant seem to get it together to get it down on paper - it's like I am just doing too much and my degree work comes last, when it should come first (or at least third - after the boys and my own family). I am not good at time-management.

The things that you said in your post to Melody Lane are all valid with regards to me. I'm sure there is other stuff besides the infidelity that keeps me from functioning at full throttle and from making decisions that are decisive. Those issues have to do mostly with my childhood and my father's rel with my stepmother, which created a matrix it is hard to shake - the issues there in other words, affect me even now in the emotional patterns that I took into myself from having to cope with my father's infidelity and my stepmother's impact on us as kids and even all through our adult life. Even now, we have still been dealing with it, which is why I am so glad she is finally growing up - and I am real proud of her now for stepping up to the plate and taking such good care of my dad.

That issue is probably the most important reason why I have taken the decision to stay married. Unlike a lot of people here, I can't seem to bring myself to go to plan B. The reason being that plan B would throw my kids into the unknown, and would probably bring them into contact with OW. I am not going to let that happen. I KNOW what that can do to kids. My boys are now teenagers and growing up fast. That does not mean they are not still vulnerable to a woman who wants to manipulate their emotions. And my instinct is that this OW is manipulative. I have seen a few of her msgs to H, and she pours sex and romance down through the emails, written msgs and txts - like so many OW. Well, I guess I have just put control over who has access to my kids first. If H and I get divorced later and he has another R, then they can meet that person, but with regards to this OW, it is not going to be for as long as I can help it. I know my H has the greater fault, but she is a husband-stealer and a home-wrecker with no thought except for her own happiness. She is not a safe person for my kids to be around. So I am being the barrier between her and my kids.

I'm going to have to go now, but I will try to come back and think some more about some of the things you've mentioned.

Hi Melody Lane! I hope you are well and flourishing!

And ss, I hope your new business venture in SoCal is going well. I am glad that your wife goes with you. Is that because your kids are now old enough to take care of themselves? I certainly know that some of our problems came about because I was not able to travel with H when the kids were small, and, most important, we did not make time to be alone together, or go away together.

My dad is in Humboldt County, and is 11 miles back on a private dirt road quite a few miles out of Garberville and Redway. It is a long trip to get to see him - I am currently working out a plan with my sister to be able to get up there in August. The good thing is that he comes into contact with less germs while he is up there, while he is going through his chemo.

God bless you and thank you for your prayers.

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I have worried quite a bit ever since your good friend passed away.
It's difficult to replace someone like that in your life.
It sounds like you are close to your sister though. I hope so.

Probably didn't help when FIL passed either.

I also went through a stage of feeling like I was being very dependent on MB, and I wanted to try to shift that to my counselling sessions, to try to contain it there, and try to concentrate during the time outside my counselling sessions, on focusing on my work and not falling apart inside on a daily basis. I think I've done that to a large extent now, and I feel better about myself, although I feel I have a long way to go in terms of doing what I want to be doing with my life, but I am not beaten yet!:-)

I guessed this may be why you were away. I hope it's working out for you. I admit I have worried from time to time.

I counsel people often and there are all kinds of things they are dealing with. I feel like most work through things in a healthy way. Every once in a while someone will move away before things are resolved.
I worry.

It would be nice to see you in a more healthy place. I don't mean to say I think your life is in a shambles, but I am guessing you don't feel whole yet. It would be wonderful for you to have that blessing.

My first meeting starts soon. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

God be with you.

SS



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Hello again after a long time.

I wanted to say thank you for all of the counsel you have freely given to me.

I just wanted to say that I am ok, and my boys are ok, too. Our marriage is still in the same state of estrangement but we are still married. This makes me unhappy, but I have chosen to go forward with this because I have decided it is the best strategy for me and the boys. OS is in his last year of school and is making straight A's now. He has his eyes on university and is making good progress towards his goals. YS is also doing well and starting to get some very good grades also. I am proud of both of them and do my best to support them.

It has been a difficult year, with sadness, but also some happy times, too. In August I took my boys and OS gf to the US to visit with my family. H paid for our trip, but he had a business trip to Europe, so he didn't come with us. Being home with my family again was fabulous....we had lots of fun times with my sister's family, the boys got to spend a lot of time getting to know their cousins, and it was just so special for me to be home again, to feel myself again. My boys said I was like a totally different person. We had a huge family reunion, and I got to see all my first cousins together for the first time in 30 years...loads and loads of pictures to keep happy memories alive. Good to see my kids in the picture of all the second cousins together! My dad couldn't come because he was still recovering from his last chemo, but after the party, we all piled into a convoy and headed north - road trip! -- staying at my favorite place in the whole world for a few days, then on to camp for a few days with more family...then another 350 miles north to see my dad...hadn't seen my dad in 6 YEARS! But he has survived his chemo and had a clean scan...although we only got to spend one day with him, it was worth it. Being able to take my boys to my home town and to introduce them to places that are so special to me, and to spend time in my city, getting to know the place and the people...they had the time of their lives...It was hard to come back, but for now, our life is here.

H and I decided to go forward together and buy a larger house. We found a house in July, and we completed the sale at the beginning of September. The house purchase has turned into a complete renovation project and we are still living in the cramped smaller house, but I hope that we will be moving into the new house soon. H seems to have really enjoyed the whole project...really throwing himself into the whole thing. For the most part he has tried to approach it as a joint project and has been fairly good about asking my opinion. I have had to fight him on a couple of things, but for the most part, we are in agreement about decor, etc., and it has been good to be able to work on something together. He is only slightly more affectionate towards me, and we are not planning on sharing a bedroom in the new house. I feel relieved in a way, and am looking forward to having a decent bedroom.

Why am I doing this? First of all, I have taken legal advice from 3 different lawyers, and this is the best way of securing my financial future if in the future we decide to get divorced. Second, my kids are doing well. I don't want to rock the boat when they are both doing well in school. And since I had that conversation with H back in June, I got the feeling that his affair was over, or maybe dying, but there is no way to be sure. He has been respectful for two years now in that he has not been aggressive, and ever since we decided to go ahead and buy this house, he has been actively seeking my approval on the project. I do realize, though, that it could all fall apart, so I am not getting too attached to the house itself. I think that once we are in a larger space, the tension level will drop, and I think there are many things about the living space which will help H feel happier and more relaxed. I have to balance what is best for me and what is best for the boys, and the word that keeps coming up is compromise. It's true that emotionally I am frustrated and unhappy. Of course, I would love to be loved and to find love, but I am more concerned about getting the best deal out of life for my boys. I know a lot of people would feel that this the wrong thing to do, but it is what I feel I can do.

So that (the new house) has been absorbing a huge amount of time and attention ever since the summer. I do feel like the rest of my life is on hold until we move. Christmas came and went in a blur! Sadly, two weeks ago, my lovely aunt died unexpectedly. Her memorial service was held this past Saturday. She was a lovely woman and I will miss her. I couldn't go to the service as I just couldn't afford to go to the US for a third time in a year..and I also couldn't get the time off work. :-(


I always find the winter difficult, but the days are now getting longer and I am starting to feel a little more alert.

I often think of MB, even though I don't come here very much anymore, and I am grateful more deeply than I can say for all the kindness and support shown to me here over the years. MB has really been what helped keep my head above water when times were darkest. I don't feel I am out of the woods yet, but I am managing well with my counselor. I do pray for my H and always will, but to be honest, he will probably not ever be able to give me what I want and need from a man. Someday I will have to deal with that, but for now, I'm busy being a mom. Whatever H does with himself is his responsibility.

So just wanted to check in to say hi and to wish you a happy New Year, and to say thank you again for everything....blessings on you and your family, ss.

LIR



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Blessings to you also LIR.

Prayers continue.

SS


I think sometimes about all the pain in the world. I hope we can ease that here, even if only a little bit.
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Thank you, ss...

I have started going to Al-anon...a friend who has an alcoholic parent invited me...I am going because I feel I still have a lot to learn, and I am there to listen....

I would like to wish everyone here a blessed Easter and I pray for peace for everyone who has suffered the pain of infidelity.


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Originally Posted by friend4life
It has been a difficult year, with sadness, but also some happy times, too. In August I took my boys and OS gf to the US to visit with my family. H paid for our trip, but he had a business trip to Europe, so he didn't come with us. Being home with my family again was fabulous....we had lots of fun times with my sister's family, the boys got to spend a lot of time getting to know their cousins, and it was just so special for me to be home again, to feel myself again. My boys said I was like a totally different person. We had a huge family reunion, and I got to see all my first cousins together for the first time in 30 years...loads and loads of pictures to keep happy memories alive. Good to see my kids in the picture of all the second cousins together! My dad couldn't come because he was still recovering from his last chemo, but after the party, we all piled into a convoy and headed north - road trip! -- staying at my favorite place in the whole world for a few days, then on to camp for a few days with more family...then another 350 miles north to see my dad...hadn't seen my dad in 6 YEARS! But he has survived his chemo and had a clean scan...although we only got to spend one day with him, it was worth it. Being able to take my boys to my home town and to introduce them to places that are so special to me, and to spend time in my city, getting to know the place and the people...they had the time of their lives...It was hard to come back, but for now, our life is here.

I always enjoy readying your posts. One learns a lot about people by what they say.......... and how they say it. My feeling is that you have always been honest in your posts. One of my favorite scriptural quotes that I have always connected with you is this one from Psalms 32:2.
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Many of things you say are interesting to me...... for different reasons. I put one such comment in bold above.

I wish the conditions of your life were such that your sons could see you like this most of the time. One who has heavy burdens is often tired from the bearing of them. We don't intend for it to be so, but it affects our countenance.

Thank you for sharing. I learn a great deal from your posts.
I won't comment on any thing else at this point. <big grin>

May you yet find much joy in the journey.

God bless you, and yours.

SS


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I just wanted to come back to say that I wish you a happy Christmas and holiday season amongst family and friends. Thank you for all the prayers you have offered up for me over the years.

I am doing well. H and I are settled into our new house now and everyone has relaxed from having more space. OS has finished his first term at university and is doing great and loving it. YS is doing well. Starting his first round of exams after the holidays, and then two more years of high school.

I am doing well at work and will be receiving a promotion next September. I have been focused on my own healing this last year, and am finding Al-Anon a special place to be for me. I feel I have finally found a second family, of people whose lives have been affected by alcohol. I can walk into the room and know I am among friends. I also know that I am there for myself and my own healing and not to try to change anyone else, or to heal anyone else. I know that my life has been terribly affected by my dad's alcoholism, but also that my dad is the adult child of an alcoholic, which helps me to forgive him. A clue to how my thinking had become distorted was when I remembered that in my first year of marriage, even after my husband's violent temper had started to show itself, I still counted myself lucky to have him "because he was not a drunk". So no matter what my husband did, or how he was with me, I was grateful to be with him "because at least he wasn't a drunk", like my first boyfriend/husband. The words of the 12-step program and the words used in the formal structure of the Al-Anon meeting thus have personal meaning for me, which are very healing. I am starting to decipher my own behaviour in this kind of light, instead of taking on the shame and viewing myself as weak and a failure. I had got myself out of my first relationship with a full-blown alcoholic, only to go straight into the relationship with my present husband, because I did not yet understand the dynamics at work in my life. Someone tried hard to get me to go to Adult Child of Alcoholics during that time, but I didn't go because I didn't think I needed it!

So I am doing better. Still with H. Still in a broken marriage in that there is no love relationship, no physical contact. But we live together and I still feel that is the best way that I can give my boys what they need materially. It is broken but better than the alternative.

I had an experience a few weeks ago that I thought that you would like to hear. I have never before then felt loved by God, never felt in my heart that God really loved me. I knew that God was there, that He tried to let me know that He was there, but I never felt loved. So on this afternoon, I was feeling quite low, feeling the longing to just be hugged by someone, to know the warmth that comes from being wrapped in someone's loving arms. I wished I could have that because at times I feel so lonely, having lost that love from my husband, and not regained it. At times, I cannot help but feel this, which is one reason why I love that our Al-Anon group always greet each other with hugs. So I left work and was trudging up the road, thinking and feeling these thoughts. I rounded a corner and there, sitting on a little bench, was a young man wearing an immaculate pin-striped suit and his graduation cap and gown. My work is next-door to a college so I assumed he was a graduating student. He had the biggest smile on his face and he just radiated joy. He smiled at me with that smile and I could not help but smile back. "Congratulations!" I said, and he just threw out both of his arms and boomed "Want a hug?!". I just about fell over backwards!! God couldn't have responded to my need more instantaneously!! I started back and then said "Of course! I'll give you a hug!" and he jumped to his feet and swept me up in a big, joyful hug. I finally felt the love of God in that moment. God saw I needed a hug and pointed his finger at that man and said "Give that woman a hug from Me!" Wow! And maybe I was an angel to him, too. Maybe his mom wasn't there to see him graduate. I looked at him and I said "I have two sons, and you know, I feel like a proud mom. So just...well done, you!" He beamed at me and said "Thank you," and then I went on my way. When I have those difficult moments in my life, I am going to remember that hug and that moment.

So I feel like I am being looked after. I am focusing on my own healing now and leaving H up to God. H has a Higher Power, too, and has to find his own way to healing himself. Al-Anon is helping me to help my sister, too. She still has a lot of anger against my dad, and she is the one who is closer to him geographically. Dad is doing well. He is still sober, and although he has beaten the cancer, he is much more frail and age is catching up with him. I don't know when I will get to see him again, but I touch base with him on the phone every week. That's the way it has to be right now.

I am doing best if I take everything One Day at a Time. Thank you for all you have done for me, and for being a light in a dark place. Wishing you and your family light in darkness at all times.

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Quote
A clue to how my thinking had become distorted was when I remembered that in my first year of marriage, even after my husband's violent temper had started to show itself, I still counted myself lucky to have him "because he was not a drunk". So no matter what my husband did, or how he was with me, I was grateful to be with him "because at least he wasn't a drunk", like my first boyfriend/husband.

Quote
So I am doing better. Still with H. Still in a broken marriage in that there is no love relationship, no physical contact. But we live together and I still feel that is the best way that I can give my boys what they need materially. It is broken but better than the alternative.


I know that you are standing for your marriage but this statement above is to me what you are showing your sons, your marriage is only what they know, is this how you want them to act towards their future wives.


The alternative is to live a healthy life to strive for the best and not settle because of fear. Your sons will live out the same because this is all they know, how their father interacts their mother.


All those material things won't matter in the future when their social skills interacting with wives and girlfriends are bases on your marriage.

Kids learn and practice what they know. I grew up this way living on the surface and not really living an a real life, not really talking with family but talking at family on the surface.


ETA:

I hate divorce and think all options should be explored, but when a spouse does not want to change and continues to emotionally and mentally abuse their spouse by withholding love and affection and doing a roommate marriage you need to think of the effect this will have on your kids future.

Last edited by swan's song; 12/28/11 10:52 AM.
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Hi LIR,
Thank you for the kind words.

This is a time of year when many of us think of our blessings. It may be that we are more thankful, or it may be that we have more time to think.

I often think of you as I pray, and wonder how you are doing. My marriage continues to improve. I wish for the same blessing for you, and your H.

I just wanted to come back to say that I wish you a happy Christmas and holiday season amongst family and friends. Thank you for all the prayers you have offered up for me over the years.

Thank you again. I wish you a happy holiday season also. I hope you had a merry Christmas. We watched A "Muppet Christmas Carol" last week, and I wondered how you were doing as I watched. I think they did a good job on that movie. It stirs feelings, and makes one think.

I am doing well. H and I are settled into our new house now and everyone has relaxed from having more space. OS has finished his first term at university and is doing great and loving it. YS is doing well. Starting his first round of exams after the holidays, and then two more years of high school.

I am thankful that the boys are doing well. I know this is important. How far from your other home is your new home? I wondered when you spoke of getting a hew house, if it would actually happen. I am glad you have more space, and maybe a water heater that will last for a while. More space for a music room? This is where we all want to see a photo.

I am doing well at work and will be receiving a promotion next September.

Good for you. I don't know much about what you do, but I hope it comes with a pay raise. More than that, I hope it helps you feel good about your self, and your abilities.

I have been focused on my own healing this last year, and am finding Al-Anon a special place to be for me. I feel I have finally found a second family, of people whose lives have been affected by alcohol. I can walk into the room and know I am among friends. I also know that I am there for myself and my own healing and not to try to change anyone else, or to heal anyone else. I know that my life has been terribly affected by my dad's alcoholism, but also that my dad is the adult child of an alcoholic, which helps me to forgive him. A clue to how my thinking had become distorted was when I remembered that in my first year of marriage, even after my husband's violent temper had started to show itself, I still counted myself lucky to have him "because he was not a drunk". So no matter what my husband did, or how he was with me, I was grateful to be with him "because at least he wasn't a drunk", like my first boyfriend/husband. The words of the 12-step program and the words used in the formal structure of the Al-Anon meeting thus have personal meaning for me, which are very healing. I am starting to decipher my own behaviour in this kind of light, instead of taking on the shame and viewing myself as weak and a failure. I had got myself out of my first relationship with a full-blown alcoholic, only to go straight into the relationship with my present husband, because I did not yet understand the dynamics at work in my life. Someone tried hard to get me to go to Adult Child of Alcoholics during that time, but I didn't go because I didn't think I needed it!

There is a lot in this paragraph. You have always been good at looking at your history, and figuring things out. Not always as quickly as you would like (sometimes hindsight haunts us,) but you are able to do it. I count this as a good thing.
We often wish we could go back and do it over again, knowing that we would do better the 2nd time around. We don't often admit that these things that we learn is why we are here. We have discussed it before....... the refiners fire.
So, the refining continues. You learn, and you grow.
It almost makes one think that......... God knows what he is doing.

So I am doing better. Still with H. Still in a broken marriage in that there is no love relationship, no physical contact. But we live together and I still feel that is the best way that I can give my boys what they need materially. It is broken but better than the alternative.

I know why you are doing what you are doing. Swan's Song makes some good points though. I have thought about this part over and over. Logic says that Swan's song is correct. I believe it would be good for you to think on this. Not in a defensive way, but think through the logic of the suggestions given. There is a lot there for you to consider. You can comment or not, but the exercise will be helpful.

I know though, that God often knows things that we do not. We can get direction from God through prayer. I know you pray. I have to believe that even if you don't feel direct intervention, you do get help. My W and I would like to come over and spend an evening and let you talk this one through (sometime soon.) Do you have plans for new years eve? You probably do, I best put it off for a week or two.

I had an experience a few weeks ago that I thought that you would like to hear. I have never before then felt loved by God, never felt in my heart that God really loved me. I knew that God was there, that He tried to let me know that He was there, but I never felt loved.

This part worries me........?? Bothers me??? Not sure of the right word to use here. A person who tries as hard as you have tried, and you hadn't felt God's love before now. I read what I am typing out, and it sounds like I am judging YOU, but I am not. I am feeling empathy for what you have been through WITHOUT KNOWING. I have traveled a rough road at times, but I always knew. Perhaps I might also pray that you will be able to feel more often how much your Father in Heaven loves you. It must be hard, for your earthly Father did not always follow the pattern that our Heavenly Father gives us as a guide. It would be hard to know what to look for. I would really like to talk to you about this. Perhaps we can add to the queue.

So on this afternoon, I was feeling quite low, feeling the longing to just be hugged by someone, to know the warmth that comes from being wrapped in someone's loving arms. I wished I could have that because at times I feel so lonely, having lost that love from my husband, and not regained it. At times, I cannot help but feel this, which is one reason why I love that our Al-Anon group always greet each other with hugs. So I left work and was trudging up the road, thinking and feeling these thoughts. I rounded a corner and there, sitting on a little bench, was a young man wearing an immaculate pin-striped suit and his graduation cap and gown. My work is next-door to a college so I assumed he was a graduating student. He had the biggest smile on his face and he just radiated joy. He smiled at me with that smile and I could not help but smile back. "Congratulations!" I said, and he just threw out both of his arms and boomed "Want a hug?!". I just about fell over backwards!! God couldn't have responded to my need more instantaneously!! I started back and then said "Of course! I'll give you a hug!" and he jumped to his feet and swept me up in a big, joyful hug. I finally felt the love of God in that moment. God saw I needed a hug and pointed his finger at that man and said "Give that woman a hug from Me!" Wow! And maybe I was an angel to him, too. Maybe his mom wasn't there to see him graduate. I looked at him and I said "I have two sons, and you know, I feel like a proud mom. So just...well done, you!" He beamed at me and said "Thank you," and then I went on my way. When I have those difficult moments in my life, I am going to remember that hug and that moment.

Well, I am glad you had this experience. May you have many, many more. And when you pray, I hope you will ask "Father, are you there?" and that you will get the same answer that I have received many times.

So I feel like I am being looked after. I am focusing on my own healing now and leaving H up to God. H has a Higher Power, too, and has to find his own way to healing himself. Al-Anon is helping me to help my sister, too. She still has a lot of anger against my dad, and she is the one who is closer to him geographically. Dad is doing well. He is still sober, and although he has beaten the cancer, he is much more frail and age is catching up with him. I don't know when I will get to see him again, but I touch base with him on the phone every week. That's the way it has to be right now.

Do the best you can do. Ask God for help, and expect that he (God) will give direction. God answers our prayers, but it is often (usually) through others that he helps us, and meets our needs. I believe you will get help.

I am doing best if I take everything One Day at a Time. Thank you for all you have done for me, and for being a light in a dark place. Wishing you and your family light in darkness at all times.

I know you find comfort in the scriptures. Look up Matthew 5:14-16.
I think we are all lights to each other when we believe, and when we try.

Remember that God still does miracles according to our faith. He wants you to have a wonderful life, and he wants you to succeed. He DOES NOT want you to only exist. May you feel this, and know that it is true as you read, and study his word.

Sometimes people think that they are doomed because of past decisions, and that they will never have the happiness they seek. The atonement of Christ makes it possible for us to rise above our mistakes, and partake of all the blessings that God has for his children. Including a happy marriage, and a wonderful family life. If this is your goal (and I know it is) then HE can make it possible for you, even taking into consideration all that has happened up until this time.

One more suggestion -
I love to hear the hymns that we sing in church. They have become dear to me over the years, and I often find my self singing to myself as I work. None are so special as the ones we sing at Christmas time. I recommend that you read or sing some of these, and see if you feel the Love of God telling you that he is there, and that he cares about YOU PERSONALLY. I think you will. I know that your hymn book might be different from mine, but I think there is comfort to be found there.

I hope you don't mind if I refer you to one of my favorites (for any time of year.)
http://is.gd/gCCDop

May the peace of God be in your heart now, and always.

SS


I think sometimes about all the pain in the world. I hope we can ease that here, even if only a little bit.
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Bless you both for replying to me. I will reply in detail soon. You are both blessings to me. I am doing well.

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I did read your post, and am waiting to hear from you.

It is nice to hear that you are doing well.

SS


I think sometimes about all the pain in the world. I hope we can ease that here, even if only a little bit.
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