Hi Kerry, Thanks so much for your observations and encouragement. I am getting it! I would like to discuss with you a few thoughts that came to mind as I was reading your responses. n Re: it's the communication of [emotions] that releases the charge. I noticed that, for me, putting a particular emotions into words is the hardest part. n n I believe that the reason I put myself in the middle of animosity between my parents and my boyfriend is because I am angry at my parents for never having supported me trying to create positive relationships with boys, and ultimately, men. My parents have their own relationship issues, which I feel directly affected how I relate to other people. I read some of the Gabby's responses pages, the one in particular about the boy who was unsure if to ask the fathter for his girlfriend's hand in marriage. Gabbys response included an explanation about the dynamics of courtship and how parent-child relationships affect marital communications. I cried after reading this article because I realized how much it hurt to realize that I knew something was wrong with my relationship with my parents when I was young, and it has affected my ability to form relationships with men (with women, too) up to this day. I am so sad because I have always wanted a loving partner and children of my own, and I don't. I just didn't understand what was going on, and I fought with them so much as a child, trying to figure out what the problem was. I realize now that I was acting out the frustration that I felt in not knowing how to communicate openly. Now, in my family, I am the only one who "can't get along with everyone" and in talking with my parents, they tell me that I am their only child (out of four) that seems to have so many problems, who can't "forget the past." I think they are abusive, and this is where I learned the pattern of abuse. What I feel most angry about is that they think that I choose boyfriends that are not good enough for me. I feel I am just choosing men who are like my father, and men like my father are choosing me, and my job is to figure out how to stop the abusive pattern, and the abuse that is repeated in my relationships will end. Oh, I just realized that I keep "running back" to them for their approval whenever I am in a relationship. When they do not approve, I begin to take on an adversarial position, defiantly staying with my boyfriend despite how they feel about him. I notice that I do not allow myself the position of initial approval or disapproval, rather putting that decision in their hands, thus setting up the situation for a showdown. Upon reading your response, I remembered a situation when I went out one of my first dates with a boy. I think I was 14 or 15. I took my little brother and his friend with us to a fair. I think I was given a curfew of 10pm, but I ignored it. I think I told this boy that it would be ok if we were home later than expected. I don't remember if I even told him I had to be home at a certain time. I think I didn't, because I think I remember him asking if it was going to be okay that it was getting late. It took us so long to find the fair, that I wanted to at least enjoy some of the rides, so I said it would not be a problem if we stayed. When the evening ended, he drove us up to the curb of my house. As we arrived, my father flew out of the front door, and yelled with such anger at Mike sitting in the front seat of his VW van. I was so embarrassed by my father's behavior, and angry, too, that he yelled at Mike, when all of it was really my fault, and he didnt' give any of us a chance to explain ourselves. I was ashamed that I didn't have the courage to stop my father from yelling at him. I was also afraid of my father's anger, so I crept away from the situation into the house. I don't remember what happened after that. I remember that I avoided Mike anywhere I went, never having another conversation with him again. I am angry with my father because he had never even met Mike before this date, and was so quick to yell at him and put blame on him, and my father assumed the role of punisher without having established any sort of role as authoritarian. My mother was the only father and mother I knew. I think she was the one who said I could go on a date and gave me the curfew. I don't think she ever met Mike, either. I was just let out with boys without them first wanting to meet them. I am angry that they weren't more interested in who I wanted to date. I found out later that the father of the little boy who was with us that night called and yelled at my father because his son was out and my father didn't know where his son was. That's why my father yelled at Mike, not because he was angry about us not coming home, but because he looked like an uncaring father in front of another father who was more caring and watchful over his children. Ok, that's the showdown I try and recreate with each boyfriend. n n RE: "I write about my boyfriend, Johnny alot" Is this relatioship working for you? Succinctly, It is and it isn't. I was dating another person when I met Johnny at work. I felt trapped in my other relationship, and I liked Johnny, and I realized that Johnny might just be the person I needed to help me get away from this other relationship. I became intimate with Johnny right away. I knew that he was separated from his wife, and had a small child. I also knew that he had quit his job at our company to move to Florida. After spending a week of time together, Johnny told me that he decided that he was not going to move to Florida, that, with me in his life, he was going to stay in New York because now he had emotional support so that he could stay in his daughter's life. Reading that back to myself, I realize that was extrememly presumptuous from his end. At this point in my life, I did not have a good relationship with my parents, I wanted to get away from Kevin, my older boyfriend at the time, so I was desperate myself for a cause to put myself into. Johnny and I spent most of our free time together. Well, most of my fee time. I was working-he was not. I believed him until 3, 4, 5 months went by. I then believed he was depressed, and just needed some emotional support until he could find something. He was still separated, and I told him if he had any interest still in his wife, to let me know, and I would leave the relationship. This was a lie, because by being in the relationship was affecting his relationship with his wife in other ways. So time went on, and I helped Johnny foster a relationship with his daughter. We acted like a family, although I always wondered if I was just a substitute for his wife. We started having fights about Johnny not working, Johnny not getting a divorce. I felt jealous of his relationship with his wife, because I felt like I was second to her in importance. I still argued with my parents, and could not give up Johnny, because then I felt that they would be "right" yet again, and I couldn't let them feel this way, as it would only reinforce how "right" their negative opinion about Johnny was, and how all of their opinions regarding my life are "right" and by process of elimiation, all of my opinions that differ from theirs are "wrong." I couldn't have this happen, and so I have been trying to work things out with Johnny since, to see how I have contributed to our problems. We have been together for 5 years. I want to be with him, and I don't want to be with him.