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Regaining Your Wife's Respect

The following is a comment I received today in reply to my 3 Ways to Get Your Wife's Respect post on October 18, 2011. It is a classic situation, and I suspect the answer may help more than Drew, who left the comment.

I made several mistakes during a one year period over seven years ago. Since I have been a model man and model father, she even gets ro stay home if she chooses. Now, after 7+ years I find out that she has NO respect for me and stated to a mutual friend that she will never respect me or feel strongly for me again. Btw, I DIDN'T cheat. I had a drug problem and was dishonest about it. I had an 'email fling' during that period too. What do I do? It's been 10 years and two kids later.... Thanks

She's still with you, Drew, so I am pretty sure she does not view respect the way you do. This puts you at a bit of a disadvantage in trying to regain her respect. You can't guess what will win it. Let's see if I can help.

Being a model man and a model father is not enough, even though it's quite a lot and you should be proud of yourself for this.

She may believe she won't feel strongly for you again, but I'm sure you have seen all the comments in this blog from people who have been utterly surprised to learn how strongly they feel when they thought they did not. Don't take her word for this. She has no way of knowing.

Since you are still together and you have kids who would benefit enormously from it, why not prove her wrong?

Start by looking for the respect she can't see. Check my March 7th post, One More Ray. Every day, see if you can find one more ray of respect than you noticed the day before, and thank her for it. At breakfast, notice if she trusts you enough to share the table with you. That is respect. She won't call it respect, and you probably should not give it this label, because she's still protecting her heart from the risk of respecting you, but it is respect. Let her know you enjoy being able to have breakfast together. Tomorrow, you can notice she does the same thing at dinner.

If you pick up the kids from school the next day, you can notice that she trusts you to care for "her" children. Ever notice how many divorced women don't? Don't point out the respect, but do let her know how glad you are that both of you are involved in the kids' daily lives.

On another day, if she asks you to do something for her and doesn't tell you exactly how to do it or imply you're not likely to actually do it, notice the ray of respect for your intentions and abilities. Tell her, "It's my pleasure. Thanks for asking the way you do. It's nice."

If you make dinner and she shows up for it on time, you can count this as the new ray for another day. Say, "I'm so glad you're here. You're just in time for a great dinner."

If she asks you for advice on anything, chalk up another ray of respect. Nobody asks for advice without respecting the expertise or experience of the person they ask. Tell her, "It makes me feel great to be asked."

Will she share a bed with you? Let you drive? Put her money in a joint bank account? Accept your hugs? Tell the kids to do as you say? All are rays of respect.

Look for a new ray of respect every day and appreciate her for it. She won't see any of it as respect. To her, it's what nice people do. The other thing nice people do is appreciate the efforts of nice people, and you will be doing this at least once a day. This she will notice. You can keep to yourself what you are noticing, which is that, no matter what she says, she actually does respect you.

To women's way of thinking (and it's all in our hormones, nothing much we can do about the difference except respect it and deal with it), nice people earn our respect. Hurtful people don't deserve it. You hurt her, and the things you've been doing to prove your are worthy of her respect, nice as they are, don't relieve her pain, so she's not ready yet to consciously extend you any respect.

If you have figured out her love language, and it's something other than words of affirmation, say an extra thank you in her love language whenever you can. If you are not familiar with love languages, pick up Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages: Men's Edition from your favorite bookseller or library. The more loved she feels, the more respect she will be capable of.

Keep adding a ray a day to the respect you notice and acknowledge each one. If she does something that feels disrespectful, see it as a shadow among all the rays of light, so that you don't feel the urge to cut off your kind acknowledgements of all that is good about your relationship. If you feel really unappreciated and out in the cold, quietly skip a day and look for another ray tomorrow.

We women do not understand respect the way you men do. The word has very different meanings for us. We can say we have no respect for you and still proudly wear our wedding band, share a home with you, tell our kids what a great guy you are. If you listen to our words instead of watching our actions, you'll miss out on a lot of what we have to offer. If you pick which things we should respect you for instead of paying attention to what we choose to respect, you'll miss out on a lot, too.

Drew, will you let us know after a couple of weeks how you did with the One More Ray exercise and what effect it has? I would really appreciate it.

Comments

Great insight and feedback.
From a guy's point of view who has failed as much as He's succeeded in this arena, the self-hate that goes along with dissappointing the female in your life and therefore playing into the respect catch 22 is a significant thing. It might be a good third alternative to also view her physical presence and such things as Patty has pointed out as encouragements to give up any submerged self- negativity and pity, and respect yourself. You have mine believe me , for your fatherhood, recovery from drugs which can be a deal breaker and for making it possible for another stay at home mom to be there.

Jon Eric, thank you so much for your supportive words for Drew.

Patty, when are you going to compile these blog entries into a book? I would buy several - one for myself and some to give as gifts.

Hmmmm...

Drew,

You DID cheat on your wife. The fact that you don't see "email fling" as cheating means nothing. Your wife may see it as cheating, and it's her opinion that counts. Love is an emotion and tied to action. Your actions speak louder than words. Your actions by choosing to have "an email affair" is the same as cheating. You cheated your wife out of your full emotions, heart, and actions.

It really worked
And I there will be many more
But still very effective

Thanks guys! I had no idea that my post was answered! That bein said, yes my emotion fling via email WAS cheating! I was wrong. Since my post however she has done this same thing with two men via text and Skype and now, almost a year after is so secretive over her phone that I now believe it is happening again. I'm having hell focusing at work and she now says 'we are gonna pretend to date and sleep in separate rooms unless its a special occasion'. This I thought was a nice little experiment but now is backfiring. She is up on voxer text phone email Facebook all night and I have no trust for her. I am lost once again.

Drew.

Drew, I am so sorry that you did not get my email in March when this post first went up. It sounds like things are pretty tense now.

Some resources I can suggest: Emerson Eggerichs' book, Love & Respect; Pat Love and Steven Stosny's book, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It; the wonderfully helpful website for any couple dealing with cheating, www.DearPeggy.com; and my replies to a number of comments on One Last Stand Before Divorce.

Thank you for this blog, can you help me? I turn 40 next month and I've been with the same woman since I was 21, she is 5 years older than me and when we 1st got together she had her doubts if I was ready and experienced enough for her. Of course I felt that I was but as we grew I realized I had so much to learn about being married, controlling my emotions and being there for her. I started out making baths with rose pedals, cooking dinner, body messages and telling her I love her daily and embrassing her son like he was mine. We both had our share of personal issues that affected our relationship negatively. She had issues with her father (without going into details) and prior boyfriends who were abusive. I had my share of issues growing up aswell....I began to feel like all the love I was giving was one sided and that she was using me to lift her up and wasn't returning the love. In my 20's I worked numerous jobs to keep is afloat, she would work a job maybe a few weeks or months out of the year then either quite or get fired. She later told me that she expected me to be the provider while I was under the assumption that until I'm able to fully provide financially that she was my helpmate. We began having children and things looked up for a minute. I got into realestate and made a little money. I was able to buy us a decent home, car etc. but still she was mostly unhappy. I began chasing money because I thought that would solve our problems but the more I chased it seemed the faster it ran...lol. In my 30's I felt so wore out with our relationship and beat up by the negative comments I would hear from her about the amount of money I was making, when I asked her to help me with real estate, her reply was that it was my dream not hers although I did it to make money...by the time I was 35, we were pregnant with our 4th child but still not solid as a couple. While working on a movie set, I bumped into a young lady who had showed me attention back in my 20's and she was so excited to see me, she was interested in my music and barbering (my real passions) and she seemed very interested in me during a time that I felt my wife could care less. My wife used to always tell me "you need another wife" and a lot of other comments that left me confused and wondering if she really loved me the way I loved her. Well, one thing les to another and I cheated on my wife with this woman. It was 1 time, I wore protection and honestly I wasn't able to perform so we just stopped and decided this wasn't what we should be doing. We decided to just be friends and talk every now and then but we never attempted to be sexual again. She would bring me lunch to my job at the time which was at a recording studio and call me periodically just to check on me which made me feel great because my wife wasn't doing those things. Approx. 5mths later my wife claimed she had a std and me being what I can only describe at this point as "stupid" suggested that me touching her with dirty hands could've been the reason because I knew I hadn't been with anyone else recently and when I was I used protection plus I couldn't perform so we stopped without finishing...I eventually came clean about my affair and things spiraled all the way out of control. She started doing things that made me think that she was having a nervouse breakdown. She even told me that she forgave me and understood why I did what I did. She took a lot of the blame for treating me very disrespectfully at times and telling others out business. I thought that things would get better because she said she understood but she went up and down dramatically with her emotions. Approx. a year after the affair she said she wanted a divorce. Since we were married at our Muslim temple and not by the state we were granted our divorce and I moved out. We were apart for 1 year and she treated me like her enemy and I was sick. I lost crazy weight and thought I was gonna die and she wasn't doing to great either. During that year she rarely let me talk to or see my children, she never talked to me, she filed for child support out of spite, and told people lies about me. Towards the end of that year she eventually started talking to me and letting my children come over etc. her heat was off so I told her to come stay with me until things got better. She and my children stayed for just a few days but during that stay I realized how much I needed them and they needed me. I eventually asked her to take me back. After a few weeks she agreed. I moved back in with the intentions of never failing my family again and showing her I'm a different person. I thought spending money was the answer so I bought new kitchen appliances, furniture etc. by this time I was self employed as a music producer and I had a decent year selling music. I was hurt on my 9-5 before we got divorced and was unable to get a good job with a decent wage that didn't involve me lifting a lot and I wasn't able to...presently, I'm back going on 4 years and we still have a lot if ups and downs. I went to hair school and I'm now a hairstylist and record producer. She recently finished a class and started her internship at a local hospital. I thought that although things aren't perfect, they were moving in the right direction. We talk to each other with respect, we help each other spiritually and emotionally and we were able to talk about a lot of the baggage that had followed us up to this point. She contacted child support to waive and get it suspended and we are overall better people than we were. While she was in school we were not having sex as often as we did before she started and I understood. She had a period of 2 days after she took her final and started her internship. That was a day when we both were home alone. The kids we in school and I didn't have to work until that afternoon. When I approached her about being intimate she said she was done and wanted to dissolve our relationship. I was floored because I thought things were getting better. She immediately got cold and barely spoke to me for about 2 days. A few nights ago I was up and couldn't sleep and I stumbled onto your website. I read about the rays of love and a lot if the different post you put up and it dawned on me that after all this time I don't think I ever truly loved her properly. I got caught up in thinking it was about having enough money and not the thoughtful caring things I did in the beginning. I woke up that next morning energized and ready to show her just how much I love and need her in my life. I told myself that no matter how she acts I'm gonna give love and it seemed to work like a charm. I got her cards to celebrate he acing her finals, cooked dinner etc. and constantly told her I love her. She even came up to my job glowing just to see me which is something she never does, i think i made a mistake by kissing her on the elevator while walking her back to her car because later that night she was back cold and told me shes made up her mind and ahe doesnt want to lead me on. I told myself I'm gonna strive to be her friend and not even try to have sex with her. I have issues with my drivers license so this weekend I need her to drive me out of town for a dj'ing gig that we talked about months ago. It's at a nice hotel and my plan is to try and romance her and continue showing her love. In the back of my mind I feel like its too late because she sleeps on the couch and seems cold when I talk to her but she still asks me to ride with her places and when we do, we talk and laugh etc. I'm confused and I think I should be so much further than this at my age. I don't want to make it sound as if its all bad because its not, we've had great times together. She told me she was bored about a month ago and I know we don't do alot together because of finances and our children but I hope that this weekend is a start...

Zak, I am late in replying to comments and wondering how your weekend went.

If I had been able to reply sooner, I would have suggested you do all the wonderful things you have planned but leave it to her to initiate sex or not, so she felt she could accept your gifts and return the favor in her own way, not feeling obligated to grant your request. I think you are on the right track, getting past the money and child-rearing issues to treat her as your woman again. I also like that you are going after your own dreams, allowing you to find your own happiness, instead of asking her to boost you up by appreciating your money-making efforts.

Have you two discussed sex candidly? You mention you were married and divorced in Islam. As I understand your religion, you cannot remarry her or have sex with her after divorcing her unless she has taken another husband between your marriages. Is she in an awkward position religiously, glad to have you back in her life but unable to resume sexual relations with you without guilt?

I wrote a year ago about a Sunni woman who teaches an Islamic marriage course and has written a book on marriage for Muslims. While I have no way of judging her religious knowledge, I found myself agreeing with many of her views about marriage. Her name is Ustadha Hedaya Hartford. The blog post is at http://www.assumelove.com/2012/10/god_and_your_marriage.html, and her latest telecourse began today.

Why the pardon French should I be required to grovel for my wife's respect? I do not care what respect and common decency means to women as opposed to men. Why the hell should her version always hold priority? If my wife will not show an ounce of understanding, fairness or partnership then why is it MY responsibility to do everything she wants to win her favor? My wife has severe control issues that I cannot accept and on top of that points out all the better men she thinks I need to emulate. I could do the same if she didn't accept everyone's point of view except mine. I'm literally at my wit's end and I cannot live someone else's vision, dream, philosophy, etc. and constantly be stifled in every conversation in and outside the presence of company. I'm not the divorcing type but I'm sick of being unhappy and painfully regret donating the best years of my life to appease another's ego.

Nathan, I had to re-read my blog post after seeing your comment. I definitely do not suggest you grovel or do everything your wife wants. I don't believe either of those would help one bit. Check out my posts on Finding the Third Alternative for how I handle disagreements. I really, really dislike giving in or even compromising. If the outcome's not good for both the goose and the gander, it's not good for the marriage.

It's not your responsibility to change your marriage. It's your opportunity. And I know that's really aggravating news. It was for me, so I stood my ground and made myself an awful marriage, always thinking my husband was the one at fault. He unexpectedly died at 35, and the difficulties I had been blaming him for did not go away.

It is always the one who is hurting who leads the move to something mutually satisfying, because the spouse who benefits from the status quo isn't going to do it. And what you're living with now stinks. You'll lead the move and rediscover the woman you fell in love with, or you won't and you'll leave when your resentment gets big enough to forget that woman.

There is no way to stop your wife's control issues by controlling her. The way to do it is by finding another way, a healthier way, to give her the security she's desperately grasping for when she tries to control your relationship, so she doesn't panic every time you try to be you. Marriage therapists, especially Imago therapists, are pretty good at helping with this.

I read the whole thing, and I found your advice full of good intentions, but totally wrong. I just dont work, I've tried everything you said and more, I showed her how much I love her, everychance I had, There's not a shodow of a doubt I tried everything, until that one day when I discovered she was cheating on me...
No guys this doesnt work, triy something else or be prepared to discover that things do get worse.

Luis, I am so sorry that none of this regained your wife's respect.

Hi Patty,

I have read quite a few posts by you and I find them very insightful, practical and logical. I particularly find your writing insightful due to your personal experience and introspection as opposed to all these trendy supposed "professionals" telling all the men out there to just gravel at your wife's feet and to do anything and everything for her and she will start showing you the love you deserve. I find it so sad that all the men who are supposedly not in touch with their emotions (and have been told this since they were little boys) are having all the love they have to give converted into “to do lists” by wives that take advantage of their husband’s pain and willingness to do anything to regain the love of their wife. While they never look into themselves or their own actions because they have been told since they were little girls that they know all about their own feelings and therefor, there is no need for self-examination on their part.

The post above from Drew is exactly the situation I'm living in now. Over six years ago now I lost my job in the "Great recession" of 08/09. I was unemployed for 2 years and feel into drug use in the last 6 months of the 2 years before cleaning my act up. I got back to work starting in what I perceived as a very demeaning job in relation to the positions of respect I once held. Rather than whine and complain I pushed myself, took leaps and quickly rose back up the ranks and moved jobs many times to reach the position I wanted back and to surpass the income I use to make.

However, after this negative time in my life my wife has never been the same to me. Despite our son that we both love more than life itself only being 3 years old. After my wife became pregnant she only grew more distant and more disappointed in me. She had been hurt by me in the past and despite the changes in me and the passage of many years my wife still was unable to “allow me into her heart” to take give her the care she needed during her pregnancy as well as other issues in her life and even daily issues. She suffered from a period of bad depression and never once talked to me about it and adamantly denied it when I asked about it. However, when the depression passed she sat me down to tell me how disappointed she was in me…again. The logical fact that she refused to even talk about it with me made no difference to her because I believe that out of fear of being hurt my wife was no longer willing to allow me to support her.

We have fought over many different things, primarily her disinterest in me as a partner, lover equal and lack of (you guessed it) respect for me. I was utterly convinced she no longer loved me. After reading your response to Drew and other posts of yours I believe I realize that those two years completely changed the way my wife views me. I was seriously considering divorce so we could both find someone to love us back, however, I still love my wife very much and cannot even bare the idea of being away from my son for even a day. It would break my heart in half to wake up in the morning without both of them there to make our little family whole.

I’m looking for counseling as I feel that my efforts are all in vain because of my wife’s current feeling and perceptions of me. I hope that a third party will be able to bring issues to the surface that if raised by me are immediately viewed through a filter of skepticism.

The main question I have for you is do you think there is a way or if it is even a good idea for me to find some way to introduce my wife to your writing here on this blog. Anything I have ever sent her she makes a point of not commenting on and if I ask her something about it she says she “skimmed over it”. Of course, to me, this seems like not only a slight and lack of respect of my thoughts and opinions but also that good advice is then tainted in her eyes as an attempt and me trying to change her or point out her shortcomings.

Thanks,

Brian

Brian, this is not the sort of blog you can or should send your spouse to. The route to your own happiness in your marriage does not lie in any changes she might make if she actually read it and agreed with it. Your path to happiness lies in how you handle the problems between you.

As you've probably read here, I think there are 3 things you can try: Assume Love, Expect Love, and Find Third Alternatives.

Let's start with Assume Love. This is something to use when you feel upset by something your wife does or says or fails to do. Let's say she sits you down again to tell you how disappointed she is.

Lots of awful thoughts come to mind immediately. These thoughts bring on awful emotions. You're likely to want to argue or get away from her or go hide under the covers. It's a terrible situation. But stop and try on a different explanation from any of the ones that come to mind immediately. (Our minds are designed to protect us from deadly threats, not to preserve our marriage.) Imagine that you know for sure, with absolute certainty, that your wife loves you and is still the same good person you married. And that she's done this because she loves you or in spite of loving you.

But don't stop here. Don't dismiss your own feelings. Don't pretend you're loved. Take this assumed story a little further. Ask yourself what could possibly lead a woman who loves you like that to sit you down and explain her disappointment? There are lots of reasons for a manipulative person who doesn't care about you to treat you like this, but put them out of your head while you try to thing of why someone good who loves you might do this distressing thing.

Is there always an explanation? One that fits the person you're married to? Of course not. If your spouse empties your bank accounts and slashes your tires, you won't find an explanation. And this will help you know that it's time to call it quits. But until you try this thought exercise, your own brain will be fighting against your noticing if there is one. And if there is one, it's going to help you repair your marriage.

Over and over, I've watched people have those aha! moments when suddenly it's clear and they feel the love right through the upsetting behavior and they know exactly what to do next. They write me, astounded that they've gone from hurt or angry enough to file for divorce to feeling more deeply in love than they have in years.

No guarantee you'll be one of them, but it's definitely worth a shot.

My second tip is to Expect Love. Let go of your stories of what someone else will do to show you love and start looking for the ways in which the unique person you married tries to show you love. As you've read, few women will try to show you love by respecting your judgment or your intentions or your wisdom. And if they show you respect, it probably won't feel very loving to them. We're just wired differently.

But there will be times when your wife is feeling loving, and she'll try to show it. If you notice, if you express any gratitude or delight, she'll probably try a lot more often. In Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, he says some of us show it with gifts, some with affirming words, some by creating opportunities for quality time together, some through touch, and others through acts of service. I suspect there are a few more, but those are a good start for your search.

Don't expect the Love Language that feels most loving to you. If it's not the same as hers, she won't feel loving when she does it. But once you're able to hear the language she's using, you'll know when to ask for more of the one you like best, because you'll know when she feels loving, and you'll know to ask for it, not accidentally make her feel like a failure for offering something else.

The third tip is to Find Third Alternatives. If she offers you a "to do" list, let her know first that you value what she's trying to accomplish with it (get ready for a party or a visitor, get your son to bed, get everyone fed, avoid a cockroach infestation, etc.). Then share what else you're aiming to handle right now (get enough rest for an important meeting, shake off a rough work day before you start anything new, take care of another important chore, or avoid a chore you detest and find really hard to get started on when there are other things that need doing), and ask for her help in figuring out how to combine the two lists (or eliminate items from one of the other of them) to get both sets of goals met.

She'll learn by watching you. You won't need to ask her to read anything or change one bit.

Please let us know how it goes, Brian. I wish you a long, happy, and trusting marriage.


Hi Patty,

Thank you for your response and advice. Everything you are saying is right on. In fact, I have just finished the 5 love Languages and have found it so helpful and insightful that I'm right back in the middle of reading it over again. For me, I find that reading these types of things can put me in and/or keep me in a positive mood about my marriage and helps me feel like there is something I can do.
I've also sat down with my Wife and she is a very loving person and she does completely agree with what is going on with us. Our conversation was wonderful and ended with me holding her in a wonderful embrace while she softly cried and my eyes teared up with positive feeling and hopes for our future. Everything has been wonderful this last week and my wife and I are talking and joking in a way that we have not done in years. We talk about all kinds of stuff and we both love our son more than anything in this world and even when are days are long and tiring we are always able to talk about the new adventures our son has gotten into. So, even on days when we don’t feel like talking about us, we still have wonderful talks and a wonderful time together. I also started telling her, “thank you so much for sharing that with me” when she tells me about what I missed our son do earlier that day. This is what makes me so positive about our future now because we get along great and my wife is a wonderful wife in so many ways and she openly tells me the same thing about me as a husband. I know she loves me very much, she is just still protecting her heart from the risk of being hurt, but things are very nice between us now and I’m in no hurry to get back to the sex question. I’m just enjoying my time with her now however it is spent.

I think I’m in a good place and I do believe I owe it to a lot of time in one on one recovery therapy (which my wife always joined with joy whenever my therapist asked her to.) When I got better I always thought I would do my wife and everyone else in my family a favor by simply showing them in my actions and not “bothering” then with my issues. I recently discovered that even after all these years of being clean my wife still has fears as do my parents. I was honestly stunned by this as I have been clean with no real struggles for many years now. The truth is my wife and my parents both needed to hear from me how much better I really was and what was going on in my head and that no, I was not struggling with this issue on a daily basis. In truth, my therapy had revealed to me the root causes of why I was doing what I did. I have since made fundamental changes to not only my life but my attitude and outlook on life. These changes revealed to me that my problem revolved more in my current feelings than the exact chemistry of my body. Yes, I’m still and addict and always will be, just as many of my relatives are and always will be. But the feelings that drove me to indulge in my addiction have been completely altered in me.

I don’t want to rant on but I felt I probably should have mentioned this in my original post. Due to my own experience with therapy I never thought or had any intention of changing anything about my wife, her actions or her feelings by showing her this website. The idea that was in my head was one that came to me to years ago when I first learned how to use “I” statements. People have always commented on my intelligence and as a young man I use to enjoy telling people what I thought they should do. After a while I learned that people did not react well to this and often found it offensive even if they agreed with my suggestion because I was telling them what they should or should not do. I started to employee “I” statements before my suggestions. “If it was me in that situation, I think I might…” Well in my opinion, ” etc…
One thing that I immediately noticed was that despite the change in me the people I spoke to did not even seem to pick up on the change in the way I said things. People still got mad and some even still told me that I was telling them what to do and clearly, I had not done so. It turned out that people got so use to the way other people talk to them that they still heard what they were use to hearing including my wife. So, I decided I would share what I was trying to do with her. Not to tell her to do it herself. After sharing this with the people that I really cared about in my life all of them took on a new perspective and the change really made a difference with those individuals. However, to this day there are still people I have known for years and despite this change they have never seemed to pick up on it, I’ve come to realize that this has more to do with them, then anything I say to them So….my question about showing my wife this site was really more in the area of trying to help her to see the positive things that I have found on here and see if she finds it helpful to have some kind of insight into what it is we are both trying so very hard to do. I feel like the information has given me a better roadmap as a tool for mending my marriage and I wanted to share this tool with her. I recently gave her a copy of the 5 love languages and she found it very helpful and sharing that tool has defiantly improved things between us. With that book, she has commented that she now feels like there is actual action that she can take and feel good about and not feel like she is just winging it and hoping for the best.

Thanks,

Brian

P.S.
I did read everyone one of the things you have mentioned in your response several times now and will continue to do so.

I am thrilled to hear things are warming between you two. And I've learned something from you. It sounds like it helps a lot to clue people in to what's going on in your head -- about addiction and about those "I" statements. If you share this blog with your wife in the spirit of "here's what I'm trying to do" rather than "here's some advice you might appreciate," I think it could work. Best of luck to the two of you, Brian.

Hi Patty,

Thank you for the words of encouragement and thank you for your response. It is greatly appreciated.

Brian

I greatly appreciate your feedback, Brian. Thank you.

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Your comment will appear only after Patty confirms it's not spam. Thanks for your patience, and bah humbug to those who submit all that junk for making good folks like you wait.


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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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