I have been wondering why I have lost my ability to know what I want or to be happy. I am learning a little about "healing the inner wounded child" for reasons about why I find myself with dh and why I am the "helper" rather than the "helpee" in my attitude in relationships and why I am so unhappy. I did not expect people to treat me with respect and love me or to give to me or nurture me, so in my mind, I think I must "work" to be appreciated and loved by anyone. So, the outcome after a lifetime of trying very hard to be a good person is that I have lost any inner fun child I might have been. On the other hand, as I am reading about it, I am realizing that dh and I have been allowing his inner child free reign and his inner fun boy has taken over us like a disabled child in the family. He is happy to be called an "imp"....he even suggested it. He has termed himself "fun boy" and says things like, "What did you bring me?" Maybe these antics were "adorable" when we were 15 years old but now his awe-shucks dufus ways are unacceptable. Everything is games to him (he spends a lot of time doing amusements, crosswords and sudoku rather than working) His speech has a small-boy coyishness and he tries to "flash" a smile and flirt. I had been stuffing so many things for so long. Now I am permitting myself to see clearly and accept....whereas when the kids were young, I rationalized about him to survive. I so wanted to have a happy family. Without an inner child of my own, I have become a miserable, workaholic stuffed shirt. I have been afraid to BE that child because dh would jump on it and we would become "the two sillies" rather than a woman with the one silly man. But it is not only that...I have it inside me that I must be responsible as a mother and wife and there is a critical voice inside me telling me that I am bad because there is chaos around me....there is a compulsion to clean things up nice and tidy. And we know that life is not nice and tidy. All the coping tools I have used for so long - my own denial, distractions (like work), rationalizations, ,,,, I am letting them all drop and permitting myself to look at myself as well as dh in the big mess that is our marriage.