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Sandra Dodd

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Mar 15, 2008, 9:38:27 AM3/15/08
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On her blog, Maisha wrote: "-=-The more I learn about trusting my
children, the more I learn to trust my spouse - that's amazing!-=-"

Pam Sorooshian and I were talking earlier this month about
improvements in marriages because of unschooling. Not just our
marriages, but other people's.

The rules involved in traditional parenting don't do much to help
husbands and wives get along. The principles involved in unschooling
*DO* and there's another surprise. I didn't know that would be an
outcome of unschooling, but it was!

Any other stories? I should collect some. I have the page asking
people not to get divorced frivolously, but people who are getting
along well won't go there (which is fine). We need a happy-marriages-
getting-happier collection.

Maisha's quote in context (the context is even better!) is here:
http://khalfanifamilyadventures.blogspot.com/2008/02/just-another-
day.html
And you can click on the title of the blog to get to the newest posts.

The page on Divorce (prevention of, for unschoolers) is
http://sandradodd.com/divorce

Sandra

Laura Endres

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Mar 15, 2008, 1:59:45 PM3/15/08
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I've got two posts to add to the mix, if you're interested.  One about reacting to old triggers (and working like heck to stop), the other about my learning to chill out and love my husband for who he is (with some yummy comment banter to boot!).
 
 
Our marriage is better now, too.  SO much better.  Perhaps I need an updated post.
 
Laura
 

http://piscesgrrrl.blogspot.com/
*~*~*~*~*~*
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!
~Irish Blessing
*~*~*~*~*~*
>
> Sandra
>
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Laura Endres

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Mar 15, 2008, 1:59:45 PM3/15/08
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sarah hubbard

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Mar 15, 2008, 2:10:59 PM3/15/08
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I'm new to this group, and this is my first official post. I don't think I
have waited the full 2 weeks, but I REALLY want to comment on this...

I have an amazing relationship with my husband because of the way we raise
have chosen to raise our children. We grow WITH them as people. Through
our brainstorming and working together as a family to figure out what all
our needs are around our home, we have learned to communicate in a non
violent way and very openly. We are able to discuss things openly without
getting our feelings hurt (most of the time) and come to a compromise that
suits both of us. Many times we realize it is simply one thing - usually a
simple thing - that needs a gentle tweak. It makes me proud to think we
have come so far in such a little time (we've been unschooling /
homeschooling for 4 years now.) I love the closeness our family has
developed as we learn to work together.

Sarah


----- Original Message -----
From: "Sandra Dodd" <San...@sandradodd.com>
To: <Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2008 6:38 AM
Subject: [UnschoolingDiscussion] spouses


>

Sandra Dodd

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Mar 15, 2008, 7:22:05 PM3/15/08
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Laura, those two posts were wonderful. Thanks!
http://piscesgrrrl.blogspot.com/2007/12/path-is-still-rocky-
sometimes.html
http://piscesgrrrl.blogspot.com/2007/06/knowing-when-to-shut-up.html

(For those who didn't follow those links before.)

I put the links here
http://sandradodd.com/spouses (which still isn't ready to announce
generally, but so you'll know you're one of the first ones in there!)
and a quote here:
http://sandradodd.com/peace/newview

Keith and I have had a couple of exchanges today that made me think
of this topic, but I can't remember exact words. I remember the
feeling, though, of knowing that if we were younger I would've been
insulted or had my feelings hurt, and said something defensive, and
then he would've been miffed. And in neither case, today, was he
trying to be mean to me at all. One involved moving rocks in the
yard, and he said "Come with me," and walked off. I just followed
him. The inside, old me bristled a teensy bit, but I know that when
I yell "Come look!" he and the kids will come to see what I think is
worth coming to look at, whether it's a bug or a TV interview or
whatever it is. And I go when I hear them, too, to see if they're
okay or if something so cool happened that I want in on it before
it's all over.

The other thing was about taxes. This year I made enough (because
of speaking in Sacramento) to have to pay taxes, and Keith was
working on the taxes. I had to figure out what kind of business I
was in, for a code for a space. Education? Publishing? Information
gathering? He was kinda grumpy about owing $400 more than if I
hadn't made anything. I didn't buy into his grumpiness, nor make
fun of him, nor defend myself. I understand that he's odd with
money, and that we keep more than we pay in taxes, and that he'll be
okay once the tax forms are all in the mail. I LOVE that he likes to
do the taxes himself. I LOVE that he's so good with money. I don't
love that he was trying to make me feel guilty that it would be my
fault if we couldn't afford to go and see Kirby, but after 30 years,
I'm used to his manner of dealing with frustration. I could've
interpretted it horribly, or I could understand that he will figure
out a way for us to visit Kirby, and it wouldn't have been easier if
I had made nothing this year instead of a couple of thousand
dollars. (Boy, that college education is really... uh... never mind.)

So we both joked lightly and sweetly to dissipate the tension, and I
lit the hot tub so we can sit and talk nicely to each other in the
dark tonight and instead of dwelling on moments of frustration, I can
look forward to 20 minutes of quiet aloneness.

I took him dinner. I made salmon, potatoes and heated up home-canned
green beans (I didn't can them; my sister-in-law did). I delivered
him a plate at his tax-prep table. He said "I didn't know you meant
you were going to make dinner right away. I looked at the clock and
it was 5:00. I said, "It was an hour ago I talked about it. Time
flies when you're having a lot of fun, huh?"
He was a little sheepish, because an hour seemed like "right away,"
but he laughed and said nice things about the plate of food.

COOL!

Sandra

breezyj

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Mar 16, 2008, 4:13:56 PM3/16/08
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I can relate to this as well. As we settled into unschooling, I began
to realize that I -wasn't- showing my husband the same respect I was
showing my children. I had learned to support my children's needs,
wants and interests, and understood how that was important to their
well-being and our relationship, but I wasn't doing the same for my
husband. His wants and needs -- to play softball, to act, to farm --
I saw as obstacles to my goals (time with him, time with the family),
and so more often than not, I threw a bit of a hissy fit or got into a
mood when he wanted to do one of "his" things. Needless to say, this
was not good for our relationship!

Then I realized that if it's important to support my children's
interests, it's equally important to support my husband in his
interests -- that those things are what HE needs to be a complete and
whole person. And so gradually, I've been learning to support and
encourage my husband's growth, and to accept him for who he is, rather
than trying to continually get him to fit the mold of who I want him
to be. Just this Spring, for the 1st time in almost 20 yrs, my hubby
tried out for a play -- and got a part! I won't say it's been easy --
he's rehearsing 3-4 nights a week, on top of a demanding job -- but
it's worth it to see him happy with his life. And the dividends it's
paid in the form of an improved relationship and happier marriage are
DEFINITELY worth it.

Not only that, I'm more aware now of how encouraging my husband's
interests enhances all of our lives. Because he plays ball, my
children know that physical activity and fun continue throughout
life. Because he plays ball, my kids have all understood the game of
baseball well before they could play. And most of them have learned
some math watching the scoreboard. Ball games also give them the
chance to interact and play freely with other children, and even
encourage business skills (my oldest collects aluminum cans). As for
the acting...well, hubby and my 10 yr. old son are in the play
together; how cool is that? And farming and gardening have led to a
world of learning opportunities for my children.

Deciding to homeschool, and then to unschool, was one of the toughest
decisions I ever made. But I have to say that it has unequivocably
enhanced every area of our lives, including our marriage.

Jenny

aidansu...@yahoo.com

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Mar 16, 2008, 8:15:39 PM3/16/08
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I hope I don't sound like a fool here, but this discussion brings up
something in me that was an important conflict in my marriage (I am
now separated, and largely because of this kind of conflict). I
understand that women should of course try to be understanding and
supportive, and patient with their spouses. Of course it's a blessing
to grow spiritually, and I do strive to grow through my relationships.
What I don't understand and what has always just burned me, is that it
never seems to be in the male realm to do the same thing, Please don't
flame me- every single one of my marital issues are equally my fault,
and I am trying to sort this stuff out for myself. I just think
there's something missing for me in all of that, a peice of the puzzle
I don't understand. Breezyj, you mentioned how you have gone from
feeling put out about your husband following his interests to being
totally supportive of him. Which sounds like it is a wonderful thing
for your family- your kids benefit, and of course your husband- but
what about you? As you explained, his acting is taking up almost all
of the time he could be spending taking care of the family with you-
can you please address how it's ok with you if he hogs all the free
time and support for his personal growth? I'm sure you can find ways
here and there to take care of your own needs and still manage to
provide for everyone else's, but is that ok with you? Or have you and
your husband worked out a way for him to step in with the family and
give you time to pursue your own personal goals?

Sandra Dodd

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Mar 16, 2008, 8:36:26 PM3/16/08
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-=-What I don't understand and what has always just burned me, is
that it
never seems to be in the male realm to do the same thing,-=-

I don't think there is a "male realm." Maybe that's your missing
puzzle piece. Maybe you think the things he did or didn't do had to
do with him being mail. If so, then you were pouring all your
resentment of any male ever into that wound, and you might have been
exasperated when he wasn't like the best males you've ever known.

-=-r husband following his interests to being


totally supportive of him. Which sounds like it is a wonderful thing
for your family- your kids benefit, and of course your husband- but
what about you? As you explained, his acting is taking up almost all
of the time he could be spending taking care of the family with you-
can you please address how it's ok with you if he hogs all the free

time and support for his personal growth?-=-

"Hogs all the free time" shows some serious resentment. What's the
difference between "free time" and... what?
There is time. There are choices. There are people to touch and
smile at and talk to.

"...but what about you?"

It's a "but what about me?" feeling, projected, I think. If you give
your whole self to your family, you'll find you still have your
whole self.

-=- I'm sure you can find ways here and there to take care of your

own needs and still manage to

provide for everyone else's, but is that ok with you?-=-

There are phrases here that could be taken down to elementals to help
you see how you're blocking your own clarity.

"Find ways here and there" seems less than whole. And "still manage
to provide for everyone else's" too. There's a tone of disbelief and
entitlement that are probably keeping things from being okay with you.

When Kirby was in a relationship, and when he was going to share an
apartment with another friend (male, roommate), I gave him advice
(the first time, and a reminder later): Never split anything 50/50.
Never expect to only do 50 percent of anything. Do more. Be
generous. Sometimes you'll give more, sometimes you'll give less,
but if you always aim at more, good things will happen.

I don't "provide for everyone else's" needs in my family. I help
them provide for their own, sometimes. They provide for mine,
sometimes. More and more, as they get older. Holly made breakfast
yesterday and brought me a plate downstairs! I've done that for her
for years. Yesterday she did it for me, just as a gift. She will
probably do it for people for the rest of her life, with joy and not
resentment.

Do you want people here to help you get back with your husband? It
could be done, if you want help.

It would be great for your kids. http://sandradodd.com/divorce


Sandra

Michele

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Mar 16, 2008, 8:45:20 PM3/16/08
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 I'm sure you can find ways
here and there to take care of your own needs and still manage to
provide for everyone else's, but is that ok with you? Or have you and
your husband worked out a way for him to step in with the family and
give you time to pursue your own personal goals?


The above was not posted in question to me - but to jump into the thread here I'm going to answer - as these questions *could* have applied to me.  I want to preface though by saying that I may well be 100% "wrong" - my older children all feel that I am wrong (in seeing/handling the situation as I do.)  Anyway, this is the way I look at things - yes dh does his own things which ***extremely rarely*** involves the rest of the family (or *anyone* else in the family) - but the way I see it is THAT is HIS choice. My personal goals and joys DO involve my (our) children. That is my choice.  I think of the children (and now grandchildren too) as MY children - not *our* children - as I think of them as a *gift* from dh. HE most likely would not have chosen to have children if not for the fact that he knew how badly *I* wanted children.  Now, I'm not by any stretch of the imagination saying we have a good relationship - or one that anyone should model in any way, shape, or form.  But I'm saying that we are both (at least moderately) content in this sort of non-relationship. I think it depends to a great extent on *what* your goals are.

Sandra Dodd

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Mar 16, 2008, 8:45:06 PM3/16/08
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-=-The above was not posted in question to me - but to jump into the
thread here I'm going to answer --=-

All the posts should be out on the table for anyone. No problem
responding.

We're trying to talk about the ideas and not the individuals.

Sandra

diana jenner

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Mar 16, 2008, 8:51:57 PM3/16/08
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> The rules  involved in traditional parenting don't do much to help  
> husbands and wives get along.  The principles involved in unschooling  
> *DO* and there's another surprise.  I didn't know that would be an  
> outcome of unschooling, but it was!

A blessing and a curse (at times) has been my search for a partner *after* embracing unschooling.
DH and I were well on this path as gentle intuitive FUN parents to begin with. His death was definitely the catalyst for school-think to get pushed off my already-full plate ;)
To welcome someone new into our Life, someone who *gets* us, who is willing to not only take on the craaaaaazy woman I am, but to take on our craaaaaaazy lifestyle -- well, I was about to decide it's impossibility until I met Broc (who is married to Gail and is step-dad to Logan and Brenna). He completely restored my faith in the universe again! I saw with my very own eyes a man who loved "someone else's" kids with the same intensity he would if they carried his DNA.
Once I knew it was possible (the first shift required to any new thought process) The Quest was on :) I've had a couple of *almost* guys....
Then came Scotty, well deserved titled Super Cool Boyfriend :::vbg:::, who was a professional bachelor, enrolled in college and doing his thing. We were just gonna get together for a few weeks of flirting, as Hayden and I were moving in a few months... Once Hayden met Scotty, H asked that we "give this guy 6 months" -- he knew there was a connection!! Because it was begun with "no pressure" I had no attachment to making our life "appealing" to him -- we just showed him exactly who we are and how we live and what we think.
Something musta clicked for him, too ::bg:: as a year later, we're living in Corvallis together and talking about expanding our family. 
He understands the *team* mentality and has become an amazing friend/partner to Hayden. Even when he gets frustrated (usually because Hayden needs *me* and SCB sometimes takes it personally) it resolves quickly (as long as *I* remember to breathe deeply and not take it personally :::bg:::) and we're back to loving our life together.
It's still tough for me to have enough faith (in the universe really) to think about bringing another kid into the world... 'twill be amazing for Scotty to witness first-hand gentle parenting from the very beginning of life; 'twill be amazing for me to provide that for another being...
BTW, he convinced me by saying "The universe deserves another of your children, diana" Daggummit, he's right :D
--
~diana :)
xoxoxoxo
hannahbearski.blogspot.com

Joyce Fetteroll

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Mar 17, 2008, 6:37:12 AM3/17/08
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On Mar 16, 2008, at 8:15 PM, aidansu...@yahoo.com wrote:

What I don't understand and what has always just burned me, is that it

never seems to be in the male realm to do the same thing


Because we're mostly talking to women and no one can change someone who isn't themselves. For any men reading wanting a better relationship with their wives, the advice is the same as for the women: be the change you want to see.

When we grow up in homes where the unspoken promise was that it would be "our turn" when we were adults, then we grow up needy for "our turn". And, it turns out, that our parents lied. "Our turn" is full of responsibilities: bills and providing for everyone but ourselves. So we build up resentment. We resent when spouses take time for "their turn" to do the things they want. We resent when kids spend all day playing. (Not really seeing what their lives look like through their eyes and how powerless they really are.) We resent when we spend all our time doing for others: shopping and cleaning and cooking and schlepping them around. And the only way it seems that we can get "our turn" is to take from our kids -- "No, I can't add another thing to my schedule, you've got it all filled up with your stuff! I'm doing something for me now! This is *my* time!" and rag on our husbands for not relieving the burden so we can have "our turn".

But it's a big old trap. The "you need to change so I can get what I need" pushes everyone away. It causes divorces. 

What we're talking about is changing the way you view life, changing the choices you make. It's not about turning yourself off and doing nothing but giving. It's about seeing life differently so that you don't feel trapped by have tos, so you can find time for yourself without stealing it from your kids and your spouse, it's about being the helper in family problem solving rather than the fixer of it all. It's a way of "I need to change to I can get what I need". Once you do that, once you stop consciously and unconsciously pulling at everyone because your needs aren't met, then people stop moving away and you become someone they want to help.

It's a total mental shift and it isn't easy to grasp! But it is empowering.

Joyce

sgai...@verizon.net

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Mar 17, 2008, 6:50:52 AM3/17/08
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On Mar 17, 6:37 am, Joyce Fetteroll <jfetter...@verizon.net> wrote:

What we're talking about is changing the way you view life, changing
the choices you make. It's not about turning yourself off and doing
nothing but giving. It's about seeing life differently so that you
don't feel trapped by have tos, so you can find time for yourself
without stealing it from your kids and your spouse, it's about being
the helper in family problem solving rather than the fixer of it
all.
It's a way of "I need to change to I can get what I need". Once you
do that, once you stop consciously and unconsciously pulling at
everyone because your needs aren't met, then people stop moving away
and you become someone they want to help.

WOW, Joyce. Thank you for putting that SO concisely and accurately. I
know so many women (myself included -- more then, less now) who fall
into the "I can't get what I need and it's your fault" trap. Blaming
someone else makes you blind to the solution that lies within. I've
been trying to avoid blame in general. All it really does is make the
blamer feel angry and the blamee feel guilty and ashamed, or angry. It
doesn't solve anything.

Susan G.

Lisa Schroeder

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Mar 17, 2008, 10:12:25 AM3/17/08
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His wants and needs -- to play softball, to act, to farm --
I saw as obstacles to my goals (time with him, time with the family),
and so more often than not, I threw a bit of a hissy fit or got into a
mood when he wanted to do one of "his" things.  Needless to say, this
was not good for our relationship!
 
I found similar rumblings in myself from time to time as my husband is a musician and takes time for "his" interests. Anytime I examine these feelings, I find out they are really MY problems with me. I have had a hard time integrating my "old" (pre-baby) self with my new one as Mother. At times, wactching my husband seamlessly stay himself and continue to pursue his passions and be a parent and provider ends in  my hissy fit...and I find it's due to simple jealousy!
I hit a point right before my kids were born that I had shifted and given up some of my passions..not ONLY because I wanted to be home to parent, but because they didn't fit who I was anymore as a person at that time. I filled that hole with an extremely high-needs infant,  and it was easy to push down the feeling that I had "lost" myself.
Now, coming out of the toddler stages (I have a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old) , I find that hole is making itself known...reminding me I need to start pursuing joy for me and my marriage and my kid. Who really wants to be around a Mom or wife without a separate passion then the family?
Anyway, I'm buying a kayak soon!

Laura Endres

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Mar 16, 2008, 10:31:41 PM3/16/08
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>>>BTW, he convinced me by saying "The universe deserves another of your children, >>>diana" Daggummit, he's right :D
>>>~diana :)
 
Ohmygosh, this entire post was inspiring but that last line?  Precious...  What a lovely, lovely thing to say to you.  Oh, and I agree, BTW.

Laura Endres

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Mar 16, 2008, 10:53:27 AM3/16/08
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
>
> Laura, those two posts were wonderful. Thanks!
>

 
Glad you enjoyed them - there're a lot more stories where those came from (*grimace*), though thankfully, we get a little better at being nice to each other every time. 
 
 
>>>The inside, old me bristled a teensy bit, but >>>
 
 
It's amazing to me how those old reactionary feelings are there each and every time, it's just now I can look at them, roll my eyes, say "Back!  Back to your dark closet!" and find a better thing to say or do.  (Usually.)
 
And all thanks to folks like you.

TanyaZ

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Mar 20, 2008, 4:10:51 PM3/20/08
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> Do you want people here to help you get back with your husband? It
> could be done, if you want help.
>
> It would be great for your kids. http://sandradodd.com/divorce
>
> Sandra

Can I take you up on this offer? Seriously. I wrote on the
AlwaysLearning list not long ago that I appreciated the discussion of
unschooling and how it relates to marriages, that it helped me to
start looking at my own relationship differently, and that I was no
longer entertaining the fantasy that it might be easier to be a single
mom. Well, I had a relapse the other night, and I could really use
some help. As a little background, my SO and I have been together for
6 years and our DS is 20.5 months old.

I actually wrote a lengthy plea for this group yesterday describing
the latest incident that served as my "last straw". Then I wrote some
more trying to put it into context of the bigger picture. As I was
writing, I realized that I may be dealing with something much bigger
than the surface issues I was focusing on, and it occurred to me that
my partner may actually have an addictive personality. I deleted that
post because I wanted to think about this some more before
posting.

Let me see if I can summarize a bit of my situation. On the surface,
I always thought our problems were basic/common - division of labor
and money. I have come a long way with seeing the division of labor
thing differently, and it's really the least of my concerns. However,
I will admit that in the grand scheme of things, it's probably still a
small part of the whole. The money issues come into play like this...
We have repeated conversations about our money and seemingly agree on
our shared financial goals and our budget (we are trying to pay down
some serious debt and save for a house). I come away from these
conversations thinking we are in agreement until I find that my SO has
again charged up hundreds of dollars on the credit card or overdrawn
the checkbook. This was the case with my "last straw" incident
recently.

The bigger pictures involves other issues that have come up recently.
My SO has had 3 DUIs in the past, the last one 4 years ago. He went
through the required counseling and admitted that he thought he
probably "had" a problem and actually quit drinking (again) for quite
a while, but now he has recently started drinking and driving again.
The drinking started again when he started going out of town for work
(to Las Vegas). It always starts out with him having a drink after
work or something like that. Then it turns into more frequent
opportunities, drinking and driving, and then the next thing I know he
is lying to me and making up excuses about why and where he is
drinking. In addition, since starting to work in Las Vegas, he has
also started gambling. This is new. I haven't known him to gamble
any more than the occasional friendly poker game, but in the last few
months he has dropped a few hundred dollars on gambling (that I know
of so far). He has had remorse for losing the money, says after each
time not to worry because he won't be doing it any more, but then does
it again. This past weekend, he saw a TV program that discussed how
to win at video poker. He became all excited and tried to convince me
he couldn't lose money any more in Vegas, which basically told me he
isn't going to stop gambling like he said. I initially thought this
was a money issue, now I think it's much bigger than that. So, as I
think about these things and wonder if he actually has an addictive
personality, I am reminded of an issue we had in the past with
pornography. He had spent some money on it, not a large amount, but
the frequency and sneaky nature about it was way more than I was
comfortable with. I assume he still has it on his computer, but I
haven't walked in on it as much as I used to.

So, what this all comes down to is that my trust in anything my SO
says is gone. We have had several conversations where I have stated
my concerns of the consequences of all these things, and he seemingly
agrees, only to turn right around and repeat the behavior. At that
point, I have resorted to nagging, criticizing, and controlling
behavior (I took his credit card away after the last "infraction" -
it's my account, my responsibility, and not a joint account). Now, I
really have no idea what to say or do. I'm emotionally exhausted and
now fearful of what the bigger picture may actually be and what that
means for our family. I was so upset last night when I realized how
big this might really be that I was literally throwing up. If anyone
can point me in the right direction with my thinking and what to do, I
would really appreciate it. I'm willing to clarify with specifics,
but for now just wanted to get this out there. Please, if anyone can
advise me, where do I start?
Tanya

Sandra Dodd

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Mar 20, 2008, 9:38:12 PM3/20/08
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-=-As a little background, my SO and I have been together for
6 years and our DS is 20.5 months old.-=-

Find your priorities. If you're interested in unschooling, a divorce
is the fast track to no choice.

How are his parents and your parents as to awareness and support of
your problems and marriage? What are your family resources? (You
don't need to tell us, but consider that as a factor.) Or do you
have a mutual friend, or does he have a beast friend, someone you
could appeal to to reason with him? Sometimes opening the problem up
to the larger group is better than letting it force a wedge between a
husband and wife.

-=-it occurred to me that
my partner may actually have an addictive personality.-=-

So do lots of people. That's not grounds for divorce.

-=-I come away from these


conversations thinking we are in agreement until I find that my SO has
again charged up hundreds of dollars on the credit card or overdrawn

the checkbook. -=-

When Keith and I had been married just a few years, we would agree on
any purchase over $25 or $30. If one of us right now bought
something for $1000 the other one hadn't agreed to it would be BIG,
and bad, but we don't. These days we're up to about $200, and it's
very occasional. It built up gradually over 30 years.

Maybe talking about that, about not spending anything other than
grocery money and bills that the two of you don't decide on together,
though it might be too late or difficult now, would help?

-=-I realized how


big this might really be that I was literally throwing up. If anyone
can point me in the right direction with my thinking and what to do, I
would really appreciate it. I'm willing to clarify with specifics,
but for now just wanted to get this out there. Please, if anyone can
advise me, where do I start?

-=-

I haveideas in a couple of directions. One is to go to al-Anon
meetings. You might be able to find one with child care or where you
can have the baby with you if he'll sit with you quietly. If you
can't at all go to meetings, maybe find websites or online al-Anon
discussions. There might be something like that. Figure out how to
keep a peaceful, safe place for you and your child.

MANY people used to have problems they no longer have. Many people
are recovering from addictions or alcoholism.

If you are separated or divorced, your child will be with your
husband sometimes, instead of with you. Never forget that for an
instant. If you're married you have more ability to protect your won.

Here's my other idea--more radical and I don't know if it's doable.
If you can get your in-laws or parents or friends to help, great. If
they try to help and it seems to be getting worse, maybe you could
try to make a deal with your husband to relinquish his parental
rights. It would keep you from getting child support, but you
wouldn't have to deal with the drinking and gambling, nor worry about
sharing custody. It's an unusual step, and it might be the thought of
that that would make him consider getting help and making a change.

Sometimes people's insurance or medical coverage will cover four or
some sessions of marriage counselling.


Sandra

Message has been deleted

jori...@yahoo.com

unread,
Mar 21, 2008, 10:37:27 AM3/21/08
to UnschoolingDiscussion


On Mar 20, 9:38 pm, Sandra Dodd <San...@sandradodd.com> wrote:

> Find your priorities.  If you're interested in unschooling, a divorce  
> is the fast track to no choice.

This is not necessarily true. I have been divorced for three years
and we have unschooled for 7 or 8 years. The judge at the time
REFUSED to let the unschooling become an issue, largely because it was
something that had been our lifestyle for a number of years. When
seeking my divorce my lawyer was asking for allocated custody instead
of sole or shared (figuring there was no way we would ever get sole).
The court granted that but later (like a month or two later) reduced
my ex-husband's visitation rights to supervised only (first
temporarily with conditions but then permanently.) He is severely NPD
(narcissistic personality disorder) and considered incapable of
putting his children's needs above his own wants/whims/what have
you. I usually am not a supporter of labels but have to say that
this diagnosis was on of two that brought clarity and sanity to a
situation in my life. I am not a strong proponent of divorce either.
I think that people often give up too easily and the kids pay the
price. But sometimes there is no other choice. If I had stayed
married, the court would have taken my children away from me for not
protecting them from him and his choices. They are able to see their
father on their own terms becuse the court gave me final discretion.
I try to treat it just like any other part of our unschooling lives.

All that being said, I know that mine is not the typical situation.
Perhaps ours is the exception to the rule, but regardless, blanket
statements are to be avoided. (Assuming I have interpreted this
statement as it was intended.)

It all seems so very long ago. Since the day I received my divorce
decree, my daughter Jossilyn was diagnosed with AML, underwent chemo
and a BMT, spent 18 glorious months in remission then relapsed and
died one year ago today. So many of the issues that seemed HUGE
before May 25, 2005--the day we received Jossil's diagnosis--pale in
comparison to that which has occured since then...

~Marge~





Pamela Sorooshian

unread,
Mar 21, 2008, 4:12:11 PM3/21/08
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com

On Mar 21, 2008, at 7:37 AM, jori...@yahoo.com wrote:

> It all seems so very long ago. Since the day I received my divorce
> decree, my daughter Jossilyn was diagnosed with AML, underwent chemo
> and a BMT, spent 18 glorious months in remission then relapsed and
> died one year ago today. So many of the issues that seemed HUGE
> before May 25, 2005--the day we received Jossil's diagnosis--pale in
> comparison to that which has occured since then...

Thank you for writing. I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say
that my heart goes out to you today. Life is so fragile. We need to
remember to live, as you said, gloriously!

-pam

TanyaZ

unread,
Mar 22, 2008, 4:43:55 AM3/22/08
to UnschoolingDiscussion
> > Find your priorities. If you're interested in unschooling, a divorce
> > is the fast track to no choice.

Thank you for your responses. I have already begun reading some on-
line literature from Al-Anon and found a meeting site in my
neighborhood. I've settled down a bit the last couple days with the
help of some deep breathing exercises. I apologize if my previous
post was over-the-top frantic; fear is quite the monster. I now feel
capable of setting my priorities and proceeding with some clarity. My
first priority is my son's safety and well-being. Everything else
comes into play after that.

In my initial readings, I was actually relieved to learn and
understand how nagging and controlling are not only unhelpful, but are
actually counterproductive. I have more confidence in letting that
go. I'm not sure I would have "gotten" that if I hadn't already
understood it in the realm of unschooling. In fact, I was pleased to
read many similarities in the required behavior on my part in a
setting of addiction and the lifestyle of unschooling. It gives me
some confidence to notice the congruency.

Marge, your message in your personal story is not lost on me. My
heart goes out to you. Today, I relished in my son giggling so hard
his little shoulders bounced up and down and he had tears of joy in
his eyes. I joined him; it was indeed a glorious moment. I will give
due to attention to my family's issues, but I appreciate the reminder
to keep things in perspective of the big picture.

Tanya

Sandra Dodd

unread,
Mar 22, 2008, 6:43:45 AM3/22/08
to Unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
-=- I apologize if my previous
post was over-the-top frantic; fear is quite the monster. -=-

You don't need to regret a post like that. It was an expression of
reasonable fear, about real things. But it's easy to jump from the
frying pan into the fire, as they say.

People grow and change, even as adults. It's not as though whatever
people do after 21 they're stuck with until they're 65 (unless it's a
felony and they get 40-to-life; another fear-response to avoid).
It's not as though negative choices can never be turned around. The
world is full of people who changed. This list is full of people who
have made choices that took their lives in better directions (some of
us after choices that took our lives in worse directions, years ago
or the other day).

Sandra

Sandra Dodd

unread,
Jan 11, 2020, 12:49:44 AM1/11/20
to UnschoolingDiscussion

Hello!  I'm testing, in 2020, whether I can still respond. :-)


The archives of this group from the days when it was on yahoogroups have been moved here:

https://sandradodd.com/archive/UnschoolingDiscussion/

Some posts failed to transfer, but thousands were rescued, by Vlad Gurdiga, who offered to help because he appreciates the information on my site, and wanted to assist.

The archives of this group still work and are pretty easily searched.  The topic I'm posting in is a good one, and it might help someone who finds this, to read around in this topic about how unschooling can make marriages better (and related ideas). 

I came here while repairing a link to a quote from Joyce Fetteroll that's saved here:

https://sandradodd.com/spouses

Sandra
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