I’ve learnt over the last few years that when people are not happy with their lot they turn to things outside of them to find the happiness that isn’t inside them, be it gambling, drink, drugs, food, sex, shopping, whatever it is that fills the void inside. I guess it takes a brave soul to face whatever it is that is making them unhappy. I can only say that when you break through that, the other side is a beautiful, peaceful place full of love. Toxic people have to go … be it so called friends and family.

The more I have worked on my own issues, the stronger I have become in dealing with such people. With the help of this site and the wonderful people who work here I have been able to arm myself with ways to be proactive with my cg. I am like you in that the times he ‘gets’ to me are when I am unwell, tired, underpar but I am learning new ways to deal with that too. I’ve had many conversations with him to try to understand what it is that is causing his unhappiness and recently we have made great strides in understanding each other’s point of view. But I think my constant ‘go and get help pleas’ were driving him to distraction and I now understand he is no where near ready to look inside of him for that peace. He is so scared to even take a peep at ‘the other side’ or inside the box. I will always be here for him when he is ready but just right now I have to let go. Someone once said to me that in order for people to grow they have to go through whatever it is on their own, even if YOU know the answers to their problems. So when I relate that to my cg I think ‘I’m letting you go so you can grow’. If I continue to always find answers for him, he is not living his life, I am living my life through him and that is not what I want. I guess also because I have faced with my own mortality, I more than ever want him to grow, in case I’m not around for him.

You say ‘He keeps harping back to the same issues and refuses to let go’. For me that would be the starting point. Maybe you could both get some sort of help, mediation perhaps, so you can quietly and rationally sit down and talk it through, without both or one of you getting angry about it? It sounds like he is maybe stuck at that point in his life?

When my ex husband’s domestic violence turned physical I know I got stuck for months at that point. I really was stuck and it took so much work to move me on. I was eventually diagnosed with PSTD. I always say ‘never, ever underestimate the effects of any type of abuse.’ I know my cg was subjected to my ex’s abuse too and I am sure some of that is why he is as he is. Put that along side my complete co-dependency at the time and it’s no wonder he has problems! I have apologised to all my children for my part in their childhood upbringing and have managed to be frank and honest with them. And listened to their side of the story too. I wasn’t a strong woman then, I was completely under the spell of my ex husband and didn’t know there was a different way to live! I feel stupid even typing that now but that is how it was at the time. I can happily say that what I have now is nothing like my marriage and I can walk with my head held up high now and no longer live in fear (a horrible place to be). Onwards and upwards … wishing you a ‘strong’ day.