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I think I understand the source of my suicidal feelings, now. After a barrage of her talk, I end up at least momentarily convinced that I don't exist at all without the relationship. Not necessarily because she says any such thing directly. It's more that having sat still listening to it, usually for hours, I've proved that I already believe it! If I thought I had any existence at all outside the marriage, I wouldn't be taking this. I'd be making that existence happen. But the experience of having surrendered to her talk is, in itself, nullifying of my existence. It doesn't matter much if I'm alive, after that, although actually acting to end my life may be beyond me. And it explains why the effects of her talks wear off so slowly, given that I barely listen any more: I carry with me the stain of having let her keep talking.


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Just want you to know I'm listening, malign. I admire your process here, observing yourself in the midst of this quagmire and articulating what it means to you.

Can you picture yourself in a more positive relationship, or does it feel like this is the only one there can be?

How does this dynamic compare to relationships to family growing up?

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I'm a fairly negative individual. I can picture myself in other relationships, but it's hard to believe in more positive ones, though I can picture them.

In some ways, when I was very young, I internalized an attitude of continually trying to keep my pride in check, or so I thought. Hard habit to break, talking negatively to yourself all the time. I know, CBT (not computer-based training.)

My actions that I'm talking about, Paula, are mainly that I already believe the bad things my wife tells me about me. That's how I can sit there letting her tell me. Most people (I guess) would have left long ago. But she found me, and I keep listening.

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You shouldn't always think the bad things your wife tells you are true! None of us are perfect! Even Jesus wasn't perfect!

You have got to try and stand up for yourself, otherwise, she is going to strip you of your pride! Is that what you want?

I know that two wrongs don't make a right, but there's respect! Obviously, she has none for you, so If I was you then I'd have a long chat with her about your marriage, relationship, respect for one another, and attitude!

Why don't you suggest counseling, marriage guidance to her? If you want this marriage to work, it has to work both way's, & if it doesn't, then I suggest you see a Solicitor, and get the ball rolling for Divorce!

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Paula, I guess I'm not making myself clear.

I believed bad things about myself before. My wife just confirms them, for her own reasons. I can deflect most of the actual things she says, because I know they're not true, but the load of "badness" still accumulates. I'm afraid I didn't have much pride when I met her, so stripping me of it isn't really the problem. And if I had the ... self-respect to have that talk about our marriage, I would have done it already. In a way, I'm in a hole, trying to dig myself out while someone pours dirt in from the top.

I know it's hard to understand, if you're not in it. Thanks for listening, at least.

(BTW, I thought Jesus was perfect?) :-)

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That just means he was a perfect toddler! :-)

I was really just teasing Paula, because the problem isn't so much perfectionism, it's having imperfect defenses, and how do I deal with what still gets through them.

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