#30 Are these [Gabby's] responses serious? / Dear Gabby reader reveals addiction to abuse

DEAR GABBY: Is this serious? It's not funny enough to be a joke. It does seem ridiculous, though. You take the enabler thing a bit far. In these letters you implicate a man in causing his wife's affair, for no good reason as far as I can tell. Just my feedback, but it seems as if things are mighty backwards these days. —D. Franklin

Gabby's Response:

Gabby’s Response:

Hi D. Franklin: Thanks for the feedback. It's clear that something I wrote upset you. It suggests an incomplete communication (incident) in your life; perhaps one you started when you were ten-years-old, in the kitchen, talking to . . .  (it's something that specific) and, something about it is still not resolved. It is something for which you resist being responsible.

Your use of the word "ridiculous" is what's referred to as invalidating. It is in fact abusive to ridicule another. You have revealed your addiction to abuse. That is to say, you had absolutely no choice but to attack me.

Re: ". . . these letters . . ." This is called a generalization. It's both irresponsible and lazy. People addicted to complaining use such generalities, "everyone," "those people," they never," "the government," etc." Had you quoted the specific sentence in the specific letter that upset you, we could have identified the barrier to getting and being with my communication. It could be said that your letter was a setup. You are unconsciously reaching out to be supported in communicating responsibly. Your present communication model, how you relate and communicate, shuts down communication.

Re: ". . . as far as I can tell." Yes, I get that. Just because you're unaware of something doesn't mean it's not true.

The fact that you have a different point of view about responsibility suggests it might be valuable to try on another definition for a few minutes. What would it say about you if you caused everything that ever happened to you? That it was your intention for all those who've done you dirt to do you dirt? That it's all been part of your brilliant, albeit mostly unconscious, master plan? That you caused not only what's "happened" to you but what others have been doing to others? It's said that the enlightened answer is that it would mean everything and nothing, and/or, everything or nothing. Responsibility is a what's so kind of thing. It only means something to someone who's resisting accepting responsibility. So what that I'm responsible for everything. It doesn't mean anything. Good. Now drop all of that and recreate your old point of view.

Thanks very much for writing. If you'd like to read more about responsibility check out our Spouse Abuse Tutorial. Note: Part 2 of the tutorial requires that you make an agreement to complete the tutorial. There's lots to be gotten from reading Part 1 (About the Tutorial), specifically, the definition of the word abuse does not require an agreement. —Gabby

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 5/22/15)

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[ #31 What can she do about his beer drinking? / Wife's addiction feeds husband's ]

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