Reconciling Circumstances As Neutral

Hello Brooke,

I am new to SCS and really am enjoying the self discovery which is coming along with your program. Thank you! Your work has helped me through many of my lowest/hardest moments and I eagerly share your links with family and friends because of the value I find in your material.

In working through the model/material, I am having a hard time understanding how circumstances can be neutral when a circumstance is purposefully hurtful. I will be sharing specific examples which I have encountered throughout my marriage.

1. Foul Language – I have asked my husband to please not use foul language in our home. I find it offensive and don’t like my children exposed to curse words and crude expressions. He swears at me and in front of the children in spite of my request. He called my 18 year old daughter a Bitch about a week ago when they were having a conversation. He’s told me that I can do whatever the F*** I want when I approached him about a situation that required us to make a joint decision for an activity. When selling our business to the new owner, he would call the man (behind his back) a stupid F******. My 9 year old son approached me and asked, “Mom, what’s a Bastard? I heard Dad say this and I know it’s wrong.” I find this circumstance to be intentionally hurtful.

2. Sleeping Naked – I have 2 teenage daughters in our home. Our bedrooms are all upstairs and close to one another. I was abused by my father as a young girl and am sensitive to these things with my daughters – my husband is aware of my past and my feelings for the girls’ well-being. Years ago, he started sleeping naked and hanging out on top of the bed naked but wouldn’t shut the door. Often times, my girls will pass by our room and if the door is open, they might come in. He gets mad at them that they’re “intruding” in his space and says, “It’s my room, I can hang out how ever I please.” My girls will most likely need therapy due to seeing their father naked on several occasions. I’ve explained my feelings, I’ve tried to assert boundaries. He doesn’t respect either of those things.

3. Dog Boundaries – We got a dog 2 years ago as a family Christmas present. I am not a fan of dogs but was agreeable in getting a family pet. The family said they’d be very mindful of my feelings in caring for the dog/keeping the dog in the lower level of our home. Our bedroom space is upstairs and I didn’t want the dog on my bed, into garbage cans etc. We discussed this and even put a gate in place at the staircase so the dog remains downstairs. Many times, when I am upstairs and my husband comes downstairs, he leaves the gate open and the dog comes upstairs. I find this intentionally hurtful and disrespectful to my feelings.

The circumstances I’ve noted are the facts. I know they are beyond my control and that he will make his own behavioral decisions. I can’t reconcile how to see them as neutral. They most certainly impact my T, F, A, R lines. I would appreciate your insights, and would even be interested in personal coaching on this if possible.

Thank you.