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can't vs don't

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atthedoor posted 4/17/2013 05:52 AM

I was reading an article in a magazine about how to stick to a diet.
the suggestion was made to say "I don't eat chocalate" instead of " I can't eat chocolate".
This has really openend my eyes to my wayward thinking.

authenticnow posted 4/17/2013 06:04 AM

Interesting! I can definitely see how this mindset would be helpful in someone's thought processes.

hardlessons posted 4/17/2013 21:01 PM

How does this open your eyes to wayward thinking? Do you think telling yourself "I don't cheat" in place of "I can't cheat" is significant?

Steppenwolf posted 4/17/2013 23:24 PM

This is an important distinction. I agree. Realizing that there is a choice being made can help you take ownership of your actions (good or bad) and hopefully help you make better choices in the future...

"I can't" means someone or something is preventing you from doing something.
"I don't" means you are making a conscious choice to not do something.

hardlessons posted 4/18/2013 11:11 AM

I get semantics in normal life, but the problem with us waywards is that we can make words mean anything we want.

Yes making a distinction between can't and don't is a positive step but it is one small step that means nothing without actual change. I say I don't eat chocolate cake, doesn't mean its true.. More of a wish I didn't. For me I had an image of who I was(a good man) a feeling of who I was(unworthy of anything) and then there was the REAL me king of Doucheopolis and just like in the awesome book 1984 our wayward language was Newspeak. A language where words are changed, modified, meanings changed to fit the purpose of the leadership, us.

atthedoor posted 4/19/2013 10:49 AM

digesting "can't" vs "don't" has helped me process some of my "why's"

My A was motivated by anger and revenge. That motivation still places some responsibility on BH. I want to get away from "I did this as a result of.."
I am 100% responsible for my decision to cheat. I cheated because I wanted to _______. That blank space is what I am still filling in. I read and read here.
I get that I cheated because I could, and did. But for me, I need to change inside my brain why that was an okay response for me to have. No doubt I was responding to the pain in my marriage (that we all have).
Saying I "don't" do something helps me to build up my self esteem, my self worth, my moral base.
Saying I "can't" do something triggers me to think, "and well why can't I? He did such and such, and blah blah blah
This is why that diet article struck me the way it did.
of course it is just semantic, everything is just someting.
but when I say to myself "I don't do...." I attached a reason that has to do with self worth.

Theradin posted 4/19/2013 12:51 PM

I like this a lot. I think for a lot of BS', we tend to be a bit more 'established' when it comes to boundaries, etc., especially those BS' who have never cheated in their lives (I'm one of them). And after reading your post, I completely agree. I've never thought to say "I can't cheat", as it just sounds incredibly weird rolling off my tongue, and makes me think that I am being stopped from cheating my an external force, if you will.

It's like saying to a friend, "I can't go out with you tonight." That would imply that you WANT to go out with that friend, but for whatever reason(s), you simply cannot. Make sense?

For me, I firmly believe that "I DON'T CHEAT". It's just written in who I am. I've made certain promises and boundaries with myself that I must honor (note: my reasons for "I DON'T CHEAT" have NOTHING to do with my spouse. It is ALL within me!). By saying that I *DON'T* cheat, I am saying that my internal desire, force, etc,. is dictating that cheating is simply just something I will not succumb to. But again, it's 100% due to my own principles and boundaries, really not related in any way to 'loving' my spouse, etc. May sound counter-intuitive, but that's the truth. Obviously, 'loving' your spouse doesn't stop people from cheating anyway, so really, I think it is within each of us to honor ourselves, out commitments, etc., and we do so by saying DON'T instead of CAN'T..!

Thanks again for sharing this.

knightsbff posted 4/19/2013 13:40 PM

I like this idea applied to improved and strengthened boundaries.

I don't have social communications with men.

I don't talk about private things with people who aren't my H.


Healthy boundaries are what I choose because I want to be a person with healthy boundaries...and I want to keep BH happy. But the point is no one can make us, we have to make these choices for ourselves.

hardlessons posted 4/19/2013 15:13 PM

I think for a lot of BS', we tend to be a bit more 'established' when it comes to boundaries, etc.

If this is true how does that work with attracting and marrying a cheater? Was there a boundary failure? Was there a resetting of boundaries after dday 1 or 2 etc.

I am all for semantics and positive thoughts setting the stage for positive actions.

What is one of humankind favorite words? BUT..

"I don't do XYZ, but" That is a wayward thinking classic and yet I used "don't"

digesting "can't" vs "don't" has helped me process some of my "why's"

I still don't see how this is a why? A why is a statement of fact, a fact that due to whatever pattern of choices we made brought us to an end result. A don't or can't is a statement of intention.

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