|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.
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