"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" I have been repeating conversations tam and i had near the end of our relationship and then thinking about what I wished would have happened. here is one such time: when she told me about her diet the doctors had put her on i reacted in typical fashion. what they told her was irrelevant; only I knew what was correct (in reality it was I that was clueless) and i said 'that is not enough food for one day!'. now this is what i wished i had said: 'hey sweetie, allow me to finish what I am doing (I was doing dishes or cooking, I don't remember exactly) and then lets sit down and go over what the literature says you are supposed to have each day'. Now, would that have been so hard to say? We would have sat down and gone over everything in detail, mapped out a meal plan for the both of us together and the issue would have been over. but no, i had to be the know-it-all i thought i was and take what was a golden opportunity to once again be her hero and I had to become her loser husband. The past is unchangeable, what is done is done, but I can learn to react much differently. I have mentioned how I am trying to use only positive words (not, no, can't, won't, etc. are taboo as much as possible) and while this is very difficult to do, it is an exercise to help me think before I speak. If I have to stop and think HOW to say something, it gives me time to think about WHAT i am going to say. I am sure to some it does seem silly, but when you are a person that has spent a lifetime putting his foot in his mouth and saying without thinking, it is a very much needed thing. And I have to say it is working, abeit slowly. It is a hard thing to change your ways when you have been doing things a certain way for a long time. But it can and is being done. I only wish she could see that. Find out for herself that I want to be someone different than who I was. I want all the things she loved about me to stay with me and to create new things for her to love about me. But oh well, life does go on. I have also been going back over Dr. Phil's book, highlighting passages, so that from time to time I can just open it and read a few lines about an important lesson or thought. Previous owners had highlighted and underlined in it also and I am using their's along with more that I want to take note of. I am also considering seperating the book page by page and scanning in into the computer in complete form so that I can load it on any pc and read from it. It would be a large undertaking. I still struggle with my parents at times. I have come to the conclusion that the way they talk to sister and I is verbal abuse. The anger in their voice when something they want done or want to know about is just unacceptable. I wonder where they came up with the idea that they can talk to us that way. It seems they can subject us to this because we are their children, even though we are grown adults. I help around here because it is the right thing to do for letting me have a place to sleep at night. I pay my own bills, buy my own food but where is it written that I have to accept that kind of verbal abuse from them is beyond me. It is a reminder to me that mine and Tam's issues truly were small. If Tam and I were to talk to each other this way, I would have chosen to end the marriage. They have been married for a long time, why I do not know. To subject others, especially family, to verbal abuse as they do is a horrible thing to do. I have decided this is why I chose silence over confrontation. That was my undoing also, but at the time I only knew one way to communicate my feelings and I knew it was bad way, so I kept quiet. Knowing now what I wished I knew then, I feel I could have communicated my feelings in a much better, more tactful way and therefore would most likely have had the issues resolved ina positive manner.