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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

A Message To All Abusers

  A Message To All Abusers: People Can Change! 

This is the type of email that makes me really, really happy...  -Dr. Irene

The best bet is to bet on yourself.
- Arnold Glasow

October 4, 1999

Dear Dr. Irene,

Finding your web site was a God-send for my wife and I.  I had been verbally abusing my wife over the last three years. The abuse just kept getting worse until one day three months ago. She decided it was time for me to leave. I didn't blame her; I took action. I did not see the damage I had done until I stopped verbally abusing her. Many things have come to the surface since I started supporting her and taking care of myself. And it feels much better...

This is a message to all abusers. I don't know if telling about the past three months will help anyone, I hope it will. About one month after some peace came into my wife's life, she started trusting me again. I was told her boss was sexually harassing her. She told me and then took action, which was difficult for her. I supported her through the whole ordeal. This is what I was suppose to be doing all along - and never did before! If it wasn't about me I didn't care. Now you see that she IS about you!

We did a lot of crying, holding and took action to get through it. Everything worked for the best. I look back and think that because I was not there for her to confide in, she looked elsewhere for support. No support from her husband, only yelling and anger. It only made things worse. I feel guilty for that and I will never put my family in that predicament again. Don't waste your energy feeling guilty or beating yourself up. Just learn from your mistakes and move on.

What she went through with her boss was difficult, but it wouldn't be the hardest part of the past three months. The unwanted sexual advances brought up repressed memories of being raped over the course of a year -  when she was only eight years old. I know that I am not to blame for what happened but I cannot help but fault myself for not being there. Ohhh....

I thought my anger at the time was justified. In some way I felt I got my point across by yelling - not talking. How wrong I was! I look back now and find that every little mean comment, snide remark, and abusive language only drove us further away from each other. This has been the hardest and most wonderful three months of my life. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, which was so true in my case. When I gave up the anger, only then did the trust and love come back into my marriage. You bet!

Thanks for your site, it has opened up my eyes to the world.

Sincerely
Jeremy

Dear Jeremy,

Thank you for taking the time to relay your lesson. I receive few success story letters from angry people. Your taking the time to answer when I am of no benefit to you suggests that you really did open your eyes! 

History tends to repeat itself when left on auto-pilot. The next time you start feeling that she is not giving you what you want or need, run your life rather than letting your emotions run you. Remember the magic that happened when you realized that...you love her.   -Dr. Irene