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#1 DrIrene


    Dr Irene

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 09:49 PM

Note 8/08: This board was moved from a wordpress site we were toying with using. It is an archived board so there will be no more posts and replies. Doc

Interactive Board: What do I do?

February 9th, 2008 by DrIrene

Hello Dr. Irene, Hello Dr. Emma,

I've written about my difficulties with this man twice before and the advice has been very valuable. I think as I've moved on and made more sense of things, I've needed to come back for advice. I've known him for 4 years now- a friend. Mark. When we first met I found we were very close very quickly-I never thought I'd ever be able to be that open with a person before. I thought he was involved very quickly -loved me, missed me, wanted me to have a child- all in the first 8 weeks. Wow! The next time "love" happens so quickly, enjoy it, but do nothing about it. Love, as opposed to infatuation, is based on trust. Trust takes time to develop, lots of it. Also he seemed very keen to have a sexual relationship with me. All this was my dream come true. I had previously been in a 16 year marriage to a man who had severe depression. This relationship had never been physically intimate understandably due to his illness. The relationship changed gradually Yes, almost always, the deterioration is gradual. If your partner were to become full blown overnight, you'd leave! - he started to have sudden abusive verbal tirades towards me, ignoring me for weeks if I'd upset him, said I dressed like a bloke for not wearing the stocking and high heels short skirt that he said he had hinted at (I genuinely did miss the hint), said I called him too much, he made plans but didn't turn up because he was busy (but didn't tell me he wasn't coming). This man is manipulative and controlling. Bad news. What I found very hurtful was when he acted very seductive and made plans to visit me at home - but didn't turn up and denied having made such plans. I was hypersensitive to this Hypersensitive? To getting stood up with a little crazy-making thrown in for good measure? This is not being hypersensitive. If you are to be accused of anything, it is of being hyper-accepting of the junk he throws your way! as he knew that at 36 I was still a virgin and that my previous relationship had never been intimate. This happened repeatedly but I 'understood'. I wish you'd be far less understanding in the future. Posted Image Then the relationship suddenly ended with a sudden unexpected abusive tirade that I would never change, women always wanted more, you're too close and I dressed like a man. He can't deal with intimacy; has little trust and therefore must push you away. Looking back his abusive departure did me favor Oh yes!, but at the time I felt that, I'd lost the will to live and did think about suicide.

Even though he was abusive, he was company. You had built a life together. You were part of a couple. Certainly you will experience a deep sense of loss… I stumbled across your site after doing a search for silent treatment! and have read and re-read three of Beverly Engels books. Excellent! I now think meeting him was a positive in that I would have otherwise never have learned how co-dependent I was, how I so did not think to consider my needs, I didn't stand up for myself and that I really did not understand what a boundary was. YES! Good work!

Anyway I just concentrated on the non men-areas of my life that are very happy. I have a very successful career in medicine and intellectually and financially. Ouuuuu! Yay! I'm independent and now feel happy and well. Excellent! BUT it bothers me about what to do about future men. I don't want a third rejection, can people with my history really have a happy relationship. Why not? You need to concentrate on choosing better; finding someone more like yourself in terms of your personality style. Two givers together are great! Then again, do I need a man? No! Certainly don't need a man, but you seem to want a partner. I do look after myself, and from another perspective, would my life have been happier if I'd stayed single? I guess since you didn't stay single, you'll never know. :) Or, is partnering with the male half of our species always at a huge cost? Its so much easier to meet a guy in High School or College. Everybody is searching out a partner and potentials are a part of your natural social scene. There are few complications, and little emotional baggage. Its always harder to meet men in adulthood when the pool is so much smaller since many of the players are partnered, and those who are not likely have baggage. Meeting a great guy is difficult to begin with, but its going to be nearly impossible if you are responding emotionally - and unwittingly looking for - unhealthy, needy guys who have no clue what love is. Like many co-dependents, you may not be attracted to the nice guys, at least initially.

I'm 40 now so not too late to have a child but not long left. You don't need a man to have a baby. If having a baby is important to you and you can afford it, have a baby! Or adopt a youngster and give some poor child a chance. So confused. Hmmm… seems to me that you are describing frustration rather than confusion.

The other confusion - this man is still a friend. After absorbing Beverly Engels The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing I assertively confronted him about the behavior. The motivation was to bring closure for me. I wanted to help him understand the damage his behavior had caused - as his work puts him in a position of trust with young adults, mostly female. It sat on my conscience that I knew what his behavior was like, and that I'd said nothing knowing his position of trust. Your partner's behavior is likely to be most problematic in love relationships. The love relationship is what means most to him, and that which he finds most threatening. Also, examine your motives. How much of this chat was to help him as opposed to see him? I ask because, as a physician, I assume you have some training in emotional pathology and would understand that his behavior smacks of personality disorder and is unlikely to change. Perhaps if your sole concern was his job, you might find a way to quietly find out or cast doubt.

Confronting him seemed to have the effect of motivating him to want me back! - which I wasn't expecting. Lol! I'm not at all surprised. In fact, wanting you back would be what I would expect if he hadn't already moved on to another significant relationship. Posted Image Interesting that the outright abuse stopped but he still keeps it up but in subtle ways like deliberately getting me lost in the car and offering to help me with something. Then when I accept his offer, he changes his mind. Creating a situation so he can play the knight in shining armor is sick enough. But turning it around to frustrate you vis a vis this very situation is just plain nuts. He's a very angry guy, and he's acting it out. Now though I don't feel angry at this - just interesting behavior that I ignore. Good for you that you are not taking the bait and are able to detach from his antics! Sad that such an otherwise intelligent adult is compelled to behave this way. Very sad.

BUT what to do about him. We had both been physically and emotional abused as children. I don't regard him as a monster - just the same as me, but he reacted differently. Very differently. It is interesting to note that some abused children grow up to be abusive, while other abused kids grow up with a strong sense of justice, going out of their way to prevent abuse. Then again, sometimes people who have never, ever been abused grow up abusive simply because their personality (disorder) predisposes them to be abusive. For example, the narcissist. I've told him about the books I've read on abuse and that I found it helpful. He took this information very calmly but denies he ever does anything to upset anyone! An individual with a personality disorder does not see themselves as the problem.

You are clearly the abused kid who grew up with forgiveness and grace, doing what you can to help others. But, be careful. Don't fall into the co-dependent trap that you can help anyone but yourself. You just can't do it… Pay attention to what is going on in the back of your mind. Why is it that you persist in trying to help / forgive / whatever this man? Perhaps instead you need to work on yourself, on accepting the situation, that which is. And your feelings associated with what is: your frustration, helplessness, whatever it is that you feel - and can't stand - so you persist in your dance with him.

Your tendencies to be extremely tolerant, to do far more than your share, etc., make you vulnerable to picking difficult men in the future. Or, more likely, to be picked by a difficult man. Without realizing it,this man craves what you give, and wants you desperately. He will make you feel absolutely wonderful while he woos you. He wants you, to take responsibility for him. But you will inevitably fail, demonstrating to him that you can't be trusted either. He will punish you and push you away. Then he will pull you back in. In, out, in, out; the abuse cycle.

Is this what you want? Perhaps, instead you will choose to deal with your issue. To recognize it. To understand it intimately; to feel it fully and let it go. To accept reality as it is, thus giving you the ability to make wise choices. Instead of giving and giving so you will feel needed, perhaps you will let life happen, trusting that your job is simply to deal with your own internal struggles.

I've put enough distance between us now that our contact is platonic and telephone only- although he mainly phones when he wants something and is his usual seductive, flirtation self, and then vanishes until the next time he wants something or if there's been too much time between calls. He won't let you go.

I would so like him back. Ack! I still love him You love him? Do you even know what love is? Love is about mutual respect and trust… (the nice bit) but I couldn't trust any man with an intimate relationship and given previous history,especially not him. Yes, especially him. And you bring up another internal piece, your own inability to trust, not uncommon by the way, in those with a history of abuse. You fear pain and do your utmost to avoid feeling emotional pain. You forget though that pain is a natural part of life. Fear pain + avoid pain = setting yourself up for a life of compromise.

He has said that he has had intimate relationships with 1000's of women over the years. Wow… Just shows you how fickle he is. *Dr. Irene shakes her finger sternly at Dr. Emma* And, let me guess, you think that you are that 1 in 1000 that can show him it is OK to trust. When you don't trust? Oh, he's had physically intimate relationships. This man doesn't know about emotional intimacy.

Then I think, "Why can't I just be grown up and have a open and trusting platonic relationship with him? You still don't get it, do you? You are doing the co-dependent wishful how-he-needs-me and how-I-want-to-be-needed dance…

Why can't I have a mature, platonic relationship with him instead of fending him off, keeping him at phone line's length. But a voice in my head tells me this would be unwise. Then when I ask why would it? I cant think of an answer. Oh, I can. Just read the first part of this letter. Be reminded of how wonderful he can be. Why is every other bit of my life sorted and I can trust my judgment - except intimate relations with men. Although I do know I've made huge progress. You need to face the childhood abuse issues instead of letting them run your life in an effort to compromise.Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Kind regards, Emma

Dear Emma,Why can't you have a mature, platonic relationship with him? Because he is not mature, and, frankly, because you don't care that he's not. The courtship dance has begun. You are flirting with beginning your first 8 weeks again. He will love you, marry you, want you to have his baby. And then very gradually, because his head operates the nutty way it does, the games will begin. So, it seems to me that if you want to spend the next few months/years engaged in an abusive relationship, go for it!On the other hand, if you don't want a repeat of the last 4 years, stop tempting yourself. You are clearly emotionally unable to be his friend. You "love" him. You want to help him. You want to show him he can trust you. He will abuse you and will therefore confirm your fears about love relationships being dangerous.Your choice: Do you want to spend some more time in a relationship that will be just like the one you recently left, only probably worse the second time around. Or do you want to free yourself?

What it is you want for yourself. Do you want chaos or peace? Do you see how this involvement with him is likely a short-term band aid for a deeper wound? Have you really dealt with your loneliness issues? Can you feel the pain, and let it pass through you? Are you able to live your life and move forward with your loneliness, with all those icky thoughts and feelings that are part of life?

I suggest you work on yourself a bit more before you get involved , and certainly steer clear of someone who has already proven himself. You are at high risk of repeating bad relationships because your urge to do for, to be needed, to help, etc., is stronger than your common sense.

If you really want somebody to take care of, adopt a child; get a cat or two! Or three. Or four.

For me, its a no-brainer, but what do I know? It's your life. Nevertheless, I suggest you cut him loose like a hot potato. No calls, no letters, no contact. You can't handle it. Your urge to do for, to be needed, to help, etc., is stronger than your common sense. I suggest you use this time to revisit your co-dependency and abuse issues. Make a commitment to yourself to take a risk, but only in a mutual relationship. Make a commitment to take responsibility for yourself, and for yourself only. A little professional help will likely speed the process. Even doctors need doctors.

Think about it Emma and post your comments and questions. Readers, please feel free to pitch in. I will be back in about a week to reply to Emma.

Wishing you wisdom and peace, Dr. Irene

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2008 at 12:31 pm and is filed under Interactive Boards. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

<H3 id=comments>13 responses about "Interactive Board: What do I do?"</H3>
  • <LI class=alt id=comment-46>Disney said:
    February 10th, 2008 at 11:32 pm >Why can't I have a mature, platonic relationship with him instead of fending him off, keeping him at phone line's length. <
    Because he's not capable of a mature, platonic relationship…And why can't he be your friend? Because he really, never was your friend. Friends don't tease you and leave you hanging; get you lost in the city then not bail you out; and suddenly explode at you in verbal tirades.
    Abusers do this.
    Be a friend to yourself and use the investment in caller ID to skip his phone calls.
    40 is a great age. Especially for a bright lady like yourself. Have you talked to a therapist about getting your self-esteem put together so you don't jump into another one-way relationship? Settling for a sexless one first, and then an EA/VA means you have your own work to do, despite the fact that you obviously have great things to offer.
    Just the 8-week "I love you/can't live without you" and brag of "I've slept with 1000s of women" alone WITHOUT his previous screaming incidents is enough evidence for a women like yourself to see red flags all over the playing field and move on.
    Yes, we'd like to be loved. And sometimes when we're smart and capable it seems hard to find that man as the male ego can sometimes get intimidated by the smart lady. But you're setting WAY below the bar here.
    Years in an abusive relationship are lonelier than years alone.
    In addition to some of the standard reading you might see on Dr. Irene's site, I'd also recommend, "Straight Talk with Gay Guys: What Girlfriends Can't Tell You and Straight Men Won't."
    Expect more for yourself!! The men will respond.
    You might also practice some male-female communication on some clean dating sites (plentoffish is free). If they say anything disrespectful…or are too eager.. BLOCK!!!
    Just don't fall in love online. LOVE is a real emotion and involves action. And DON'T meet until your therapist gives you a clean bill of health.

    <LI class="" id=comment-47>Tallulah said:
    February 11th, 2008 at 12:49 am "Why is every other bit of my life sorted and I can trust my judgment - except intimate relations with men?"


    Your problem isn't with men in general. It's just with that ONE specific man. All you need to do is give him a swift kick to the curb. The kind of intimacy that guy understands is purely the physical kind. And THAT AIN'T intimacy. He's totally inept in the romance department.


    <LI class=alt id=comment-50>Rosalyn said:
    February 11th, 2008 at 5:01 pm I know I've learned this big lesson over the last 2 years in particular regarding my own abuse. I learned that it really isn't about him & about his behavior as much as it is about me & what's going on deep inside my psyche or subconscious that is causing me to go back. It's not easy to dredge up that stuff but it matters.

    The funny thing is I relate a lot to your story Emma (as do many others I'm sure!) because I'm educated..otherwise intelligent & have always dated intelligent educated people (for the most part) but have ended up with ones with particular "issues" or "problems". & I also too tried many times to address the "abusive behavior" with the abuser…& what I learned was all too ironic. Once I started addressing me & myself & what was going on there the dynamics with whatever abusers in my life started to change.

    It's harder to do than it looks but is definitely worth it. By the way, it's not your fault you're the way you are inside your psyche & head. I've asked myself the same questions (realizing now that there was self-damnation as a motivation behind them) asking "why can't I have a normal healthy relationship with a healthy person with normal healthy problems?" & I realized that I was punishing myself for something that is just a product of childhood circumstances that were out of my control. I hope some of what I am saying helps. Posted Image


    <LI class="" id=comment-53>Shakti said:
    February 12th, 2008 at 1:36 am Emma,

    I agree with Dr. Irene and others that you should ditch that dude and go completely no contact. You are taking far far too much responsibility for HIS behavior and his abuse and far too little responsibility for your own behavior in response to it - and the things in your life that have caused you to respond this way to an abusive man.

    I just wrote up a piece on Personal Responsibility on my website about this sort of thing. I face(d) it too. And you know what? It wasn't until I got OUT of that relationship and went completely No Contact with that person that I began to get - CLARITY about what I had really been dealing with, why I ended up with that person, why I didn't see the abuse for what it was, and why I stayed.

    Your reasons might be different than the ones I came up with for myself but I think at least two of them are the same for you:

    Fear and codependency (relationship addiction) and;
    lack of healthy boundaries.

    You seem to recognize his behavior as abusive and you're right about that. It is. But you STILL want to be with him?

    I think that may be some relationship/love addiction you have there.

    Until you get totally disconnected from this guy and start really looking at why you still "love" him when he is incapable of emotional intimacy and is emotionally unstable and abusive towards you; why you still want him when you've absolutely no chance of a healthy relationship with this guy (and you blame YOURSELF for that even though it's HIS emotional shortcomings that are the problem) - you'll not be able to address the reasons you got in and have stayed in this involvement with him - and why you're 'addicted' to him.

    Is concentrating on having a relationship with him a way to avoid yourself? What I mean is - do you want a relationship with YOU as badly as you want one with him?

    Why not? Posted Image

    You're not responsible for him - or for his inability to have a normal, healthy emotionally intimate relationship with you - but you apparently think you are!

    What you ARE responsible for is you - finding and getting to know you and your loneliness, neediness, pain from past abuse, inability to trust, and for healing and protecting yourself from those who would take advantage of your penchant for being too responsible for their issues and needs and happiness, in lieu of responsible enough for your own!

    What do you get out of contact with him? And - whatever it is - can you find ways to give it to yourself?

    I think maybe you should forget about being so concerned with having a relationship with HIM and concentrate on having one with YOU!

    Posted Image



    <LI class=alt id=comment-55>emma said:
    February 12th, 2008 at 4:54 pm Hi all, Thank you so much. I think everything thats been said here are points that I can only agree with and are so very valuable insights.Thank you so much for reading my story and taking the time to give your thoughts and much appreciated feedback- fantastic.

    I dont for one minute regret meeting him - mainly because I think I've learned so much about myself that I did not appreciate.I've learned so much from dealing with him and I felt I had come a long way Certainly understandable.- but good to hear from you all that I havent come far enough- I'm not there yet- but I will be. *big smile*I need to keep doing the positive things I was doing until I've got enough skills and insight so as not to be vulnerable.Yes.

    Part of him is delightfull and part of me would like the delightfull part back but ONLY that bit which I know is not possible and is why I havent let him.I know Its dangerous ground and there are flickers of temptation because he can be so delightfull,charming fun,intelligent- his company is a pleasure, but its not consistent, and I know its probably just fish bait and its not the whole picture. Exactly. Dr Irene, your advice on the site that everytime you remember a good time remember two that were bad ( I have plenty to choose from!!) Priceless advice. It also really helps to keep a list around. A list of all the icky stuff you can remember. This way, just when you are frazzled and feeling weak, you can pull it out to read. Posted Image

    If I really think about just me - what I would like is just mutual fun and company with people whos company I value and they like the same - which I actually have in a small group of friends who are women and gay men.The dilemma with future relations with men is that for all my adult life, it hasnt been a success. Because you let them pick you. These guys spot a giver and go out to get them.I'm thinking how much more time and emotional energy in my life do I invest when other areas are Ok. I suppose thats an insecurity in that I want to know whats going to happen next!! Lol! You and everybody else!- when I really have to wait and see and enjoy it. Yes, it is the jounrney that is important. Once you get "there," there will be another place to aim for.Tallulah you are so right - I've know two men and on that basis I'm inclined to dismiss the entire male half of our species - if i engage my brain and think-its biased,prejudged.Also safe and 'pain avoiding' but compromises. Pain is a part of life. Avoiding pain just grows it in the end. Feel your pain - and learn to let it go.

    In the period after his abusive exit, it was the same as if someone had died- all the stages of grief were there. I'm annoyed with myself because at about six months of no contact I started to feel relief that he had gone and the happiest I'd ever been - including being comfortable with the being single and alone- new but nice. Then he started to call and pursue and I was stupid enough to answer the bloody phone. Posted Image And you were vulnerable.

    No I can't handle him. So true that changing how I handle myself changed the relationship dynamics completely. There was no more aggressive intonation or screaming body language and verbal abuse.Instead it leaks out in underhand ways. I plug it with a boundary - issue sorted -then it leaks out from another hole that I plug and so on. So he is exhausting to be friends with YES! Because he knows only how to play games in a love relationship.and I've got to the stage were I think that I really have done what I can to make it work in terms of changing how I respond,understanding more about him giving the matter a lot of thought- and it has not worked.I've done what I can. Agreed.

    The dilemma I think is that there is huge guilt at abandoning him. I know I cant fix him but I do feel strongly that people are people and deserve a basic common courtesy and people who arent perfect,are different or who are ill or disabled are sometimes rejeted a little to readily.Don't you deserve that very same courtesy? The courtesy that he is unwilling to give you? Notice that he tramples on your space; you don't trample on his. Keeping him out is setting a boundary to keep pain away.So I've tried to be a friend. I've tried to distance kindly - not always answer the phone, not be too ready to give the help or advice when he phones up wanting something- I dont want to hurt him, partly because I dread the thought that I in any way behave like my mum (abusive to the point of brocken bones and dislocated shoulders) So you've gone 180 around? Last time I checked black and white is not the way to go. Think shades of gray. but also concerned at his response if I did just change the phone number - I've seen what abusive angry people can do in an uncontroled fit of rage - I dont want to end up strangled.Oh my… Is there any history of this? Have you contacted the authorities?Then again I'm not the vulnerable child living with a dotty mother anymore. I'm a capable adult and maybe its worth taking the risk of communication shut down and wait and see what (if anything) happens?So, not only is there guilt, but there is fear. You are trying to appease him… Consider gently telling him that being friends isn't working, even though you think he's a great guy, if you think this may be a better strategy for him to leave you alone. Or consider being nice but disinterested when you do have contact.

    This has been the shove I needed- thankyou. I do feel very clear headed now that he has to go completely. I'll stay in this state if there is absolutely no contact. Whats safer though - continued distancing or disconnect the phone? No contact of course is safer. If you have concerns, stay with a friend for a while. You're doing great! God bless you and keep up the good work!
    And thank you everyone for your insightful advice. You know; you've been there. Hugs to all, Dr. Irene

    Best wishes


    <LI class="" id=comment-57>Shakti said:
    February 12th, 2008 at 10:34 pm Just IMO, you've done what you can and then some! And so much more than you should - than anyone else would. I vote for the 'disconnect the phone' option - and let his feelings fall where they may. He's not nearly as concerned about our feelings as you are for his. This is such an unbalanced arrangement and so unfair to you. Let him go and be his own problem now.

    I have a little story about the constant circumvention of boundaries:

    I was seeing a guy for about a year or so who kept violating my boundaries. Showing up at my door unannounced. Calling me at work about non-emergency stuff just to chitchat or make plans (a no-no for me), etc. PMing me constantly….a pest.

    I would address these issues with him every time they came up — but he'd just violate my boundaries (personal/professional) in a different way next time.

    He was whiney and manipulative, expecting my schedule to change when his did and pestering me when/if it didn't.

    A counselor I saw once not too long ago at the end of another abusive involvement told me that you should have to tell someone something (explain it to them clearly) about a boundary violation once - MAYBE twice. By that time, if they don't "get" it - they're not going to - or are willfully deciding not to.

    I remembered that and finally I told him about this one last time in very clear terms giving him the history and telling him I knew he would not change and that I found his continuing violations unacceptable to me. I told him to leave me alone in light of the history with him and his violations of my clearly stated boundaries. He'd had enough warnings - yet he kept on.

    Even after I told him not to email or call me - he did it anyway. It was if he suddenly couldn't read or understand English. I did not respond. I will not respond. And gradually, he has let up.

    He of course pretended to not know what I was talking about - claimed he had "made mistakes".

    The man has issues. But they are HIS issues. I will not take responsibility for them beyond what I had already at that point. It's HIS to figure out what they are now and do something about them — or not. I don't own that.

    The 'moral' of my story, I guess is that at some point, you have told them. You have set your boundaries and they keep finding ways to violate them.

    You know then, they are not going to change and your only choice is to "disconnect the phone" — or continue to be violated 'cause ya know they will if ya let 'em.

    Posted Image

    Very Best Regards, Dr. Emma!


    <LI class=alt id=comment-59>emma said:
    February 13th, 2008 at 4:54 pm Hi Shakti,

    Thanks for saying about your experiance with the man. The idea about three blips on the radar then enough - thats a fair and usefull guide thankyou. Interesting that you said he denied having any clue about what you were talking about. I had this with him too- even when it was blatantly clear he wouldnt acknowledge it and his dishonest response was incredably convincing. So convincing that do have to consider how much of what I know about him is really as he says it is.

    I think part of the reason that the person I'm having difficulty with is so persistant in violating the limits is that because of my previous failed relationship Yes!, although I set the limits firmly, he thinks I would never completely end the contact. A sort of she cant live without me attitude - so why bother taking any notice of her. He certainly used the sexual taunting and inferring about me having a baby as a sort of possibilty - if he had done something particularly outrageous.

    I think there maybe some response when he notices the contact has gone. After his abusive exit last time there was about a six month period of silence but during this period I saw him on 5 seperate occaisions from a distance driving his car near were I park my car and near were I get my groceries and on one occaision he was behind me at some traffic lights but fotunately I was in a car loaned from a garage because my own vehicle was being serviced. This had never happened during the period that we were on speaking terms.

    Other people who know him really wouldn,t recognise the other side of the character I've described. People who know me seem to think I'm emotional sorted and together. It wasnt possible to discuss it with my friends- I dont think they would believe the mess I'm climbing out of in or the account regarding him. Emma, this typically happens because the victim, typically a "nice guy" inadvertantly enables the abuser by not speaking out about what's going on. Abusive people rely on their partner's helping them keep their secret.

    Such a relief to share this with people who understand just how silent,stealth like and subtle the abuse can be and know exactly what I'm saying.Thanks again.

    Best wishes


    <LI class="" id=comment-63>Starting Over said:
    February 14th, 2008 at 1:58 am Emma, I spent 18 years thinking I could hold on to the good times, and fix the bad. Now, my stbx is emotionally torturing me trying to control the divorce and keep some kind of emotional control of me. I had hoped we could have limited civil contact and someday be friends, but every crack in my wall is an open invitation for him to crash through and abuse me.

    The man you have been "friends" with is not your friend. He may be charming at times, but he his abusive behavior was no accident. They gain power through hurting us and diminishing our own power. The stronger you are in the rest of your life, the more attractive a target you are, once they have sense your vulnerability in this respect. To continue to have any relationship with this man, or another abusive man, is the equivalent of dosing yourself with a tablespoon of rat poison every morning. It may not kill you all at once, but over time you're a goner.

    Listen to this - not all men are abusive, but until you address your own co-dependency issues and most likely post traumatic stress disorder, you will only chose to le abusive or damaged men into your life. My advice - find a therapist who specialises in recovery from abuse. Even if it is only your childhood holding you down, you deserve a recovery and you deserve a happy ever after. And, on another note, my 3rd child was born when I was 42 and my mother was born when my grandmother was 45, so being a mom is still possible. But you want to be a strong, happy mom, without the pain of an abusive partner invading your child's life.


    <LI class=alt id=comment-65>Bobi said:
    February 14th, 2008 at 6:05 am Nice! Thanks!

    <LI class="" id=comment-75>emma said:
    February 17th, 2008 at 6:42 am Hi M

    Thankyou so much for sharing your valuable insight, experiance and thoughts.

    Wow-your situation-how very brave of you.That must take determinitation and persistance to keep going and suceed.

    It makes my job seem relatively straight forward- I dont live with him, I'm independant from him and there are no children or many common friends - minimal avenues for control.

    People who are financialy dependant, with children,common friends and support network - what a task.

    Best wishes with your future and thanks again.

    Emma x

    <LI class=alt id=comment-84>Jak said:
    February 18th, 2008 at 9:20 am Nice! Thanks!

    <LI class="" id=comment-106>emma said:
    February 21st, 2008 at 5:21 pm Dr Irene,

    Big hug and thank you so much xxx

    The confusion has cleared. I can see what I need to work on now and have got a strategy on what to do (using my common sense this time Posted Image The time and energy needs to focus elsewhere- and if I should wobble- I just need to re read the above.

    Thanks again,

    Best wishes

    Emma x
  • Tahwandaaa said:
    March 2nd, 2008 at 10:43 am Hi Emma! Looks like I'm coming in abit late. Hope you'll see my response anyway. Posted Image You said: "Part of him is delightful and part of me would like the delightful part back but ONLY that bit which I know is not possible and is why I havent let him. I know it's dangerous ground and there are flickers of temptation because he can be so delightful ,charming, fun, intelligent - his company is a pleasure, but it's not consistent, and I know it's probably just fish bait and it's not the whole picture."

    THIS is how we remain hooked to men like this. WE tend to see only the charming part and believe THIS is they way they ARE. But, when looking at the whole picture, they aren't worthy of our 'love'. The fears and lack of self-worth we have, put blinders up so we don't listen to the part of our being that is trying to shed light on the truth of what they are really like. I believe that can also be taken as a projection. Meaning, the part of us that is needy of what they 'bring' to the relationship becomes so greedy, we do not consider the whole picture, and we, in turn, don't look enough inwardly to find what we are trying to heal through another individual (the abuser). It seems once we are willing and DO take a look at our fears and heal, we make better choices as to who we choose to spend time with…who we 'give our hearts to'. We need to feed that part of ourselves or heal that part of ourselves so we do not turn to others to do what we need to do in order to avoid being 'codependent'.

    Here's the Fried Green Tomatoes call of empowerment for you!


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