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Hmm... Bug, I'll have to think on your post on the driving thing some more. I thought about it the whole way home and all I could come up with was: sometimes that's the case, and sometimes it's not, and maybe the key is knowing when it is the case vs. isn't.

I agree, in part.

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For example, I work at a university with college students, and a lot of what I do philosophically is about the educational experience, learning life lessons, and holding people accountable for their actions. A student emailed me last week about how she needed 4 very specific classes to graduate but three of them were closed, and wanted to know what I could do to get her into them. I looked at her history and she waited 3 weeks to enroll in classes from when she could have. Had she enrolled 3 weeks ago she would have gotten into all of them. This student has a pretty lengthy history of not doing things until the last minute, asking someone to fix it for her, someone will fix it, but then note "I told the student that in the future people wouldn't be so accommodating when she does not plan ahead." But, every time people accommodated her anyway. We talk a lot about setting students up for adult life after this, and this is in no way being helpful - you can't walk into your primary doctor's office and say "I would like to see the doctor today for my regular exam." Could I have tried to push to get this girl into some of those classes? Possibly. Am I going to? No, this is not something I should be spending my time on. Her failure to plan shouldn't constitute my emergency. But now she's furious and complaining to anyone who will listen that I won't help her. I don't know if that made sense, to summarize: isn't it sometimes appropriate and necessary to enforce consequences? One of my past supervisors said it very well: "In our job, we have the power to take away consequences for people... that doesn't mean we should do it often or regularly."

Absolutely it's necessary to enforce boundaries. The student in your story trampled a (blurry)boundary and expected no consequences. She'd actually been programmed to expect no consequences. Grace is sometimes good but it's no longer grace if it happens over and over. But here's the thing, there doesn't have to be blame and shame. She made a mistake, there are consequences. Done. Her complaining to others or continuing to ask for leniency isn't your problem.

She may learn something from this experience, she may not. Again, not your issue (yes, it may be but I think you get what I mean)

You had boundaries with your H, he continued to ignore those boundaries. You sometimes allowed him to ignore those boundaries. It's not that he's a bad person, or an idiot necessarily, he just doesn't have what it takes to be in a successful R with you (as defined by your needs and your boundaries)

You can blame him for not doing the work to stay married to you but that won't change anything. He can blame you for not being able to accept him just as he is. It's like a revolving door and I don't want you to get stuck there because at some point we have to get to forgiveness.

We're all brought to these life events by decisions we made along the way. Some were good, and some we knew at the time were a little shaky. I think we learn more by taking stock of those decisions and learning what we need to learn to improve our lives rather trying to pin blame on another person.

Does that help?


Me 57/H 58
M36 S 2.5yrs R 12/13

Let me give up the need to know why things happen as they do.
I will never know and constant wondering is constant suffering.
Caroline Myss