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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

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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

Guy Victim's Comments to Donna

Guy Victim's Comment To Donna

Dear Dr. Irene,
    After reading Donna's letter dated 11/17/99 I felt like sending something Donna might read for support. I can relate to many things she says.  I'm in a relationship with a girl that is just as Donna describes. Except in this case I'm Donna and my girlfriend would be Donna's man. I could see my relationship in her writing. Looks like I need to consider making all the emails interactive...

The thing that is so frustrating for me is knowing when the abuse takes place.  I'm usually caught off guard and then  it's over by the time I realize it's happened.  I feel guilty if I try to bring the incident back up later because it took me awhile to figure it out. That's a tactic she uses. Don't fall for it. You can bring up whatever you want whenever you want, and don't you dare apologize for taking too long to figure it out! Things are good again and I hate to spoil it by the argument that sure to follow. She seems to be a better talker than me and I feel like I lose when I try to discuss it. She's a better talker because you let her guide you into irrelevant side-topics, among other things. Read You Can't Say That to Me by Elgin.

 

    I'm divorced and have three good children, just like Donna. I have to cringe when She is around them because, as Donna says, She describes them as horrible and bad. Her own son was arrested for beating her up, but she always seems to be busy badmouthing mine. One of my kids wanted to know why she treats them like losers.

 

    Anyway, I can relate to Donna's confusion about the whole thing. It always seems like the rug is getting pulled out from under you just when things are looking up.  Unless you stop it, that is exactly the pattern. The insidious little jabs and games drive me crazy. For instance, last night I go to her place with my kids to fix her computer. She makes a point of telling me that she's expecting some important e-mail, but won't tell me anymore. She said several times "He said he sent it". So I'm wondering "who is he and why is this a secret?" I finally decided not to worry about it since it seemed to be a game to make me insecure. Dinner went well after that, but as I was going out the door to leave, she suddenly tells me that my daughter didn't give me the message that she had called. This happened a couple days ago and she is really angry about it. She demands I ground my daughter from the phone for three days as proof of what kind of relationship we have. Needless to say it caught me off guard.  I 'm trying to catch up while she's lecturing about punishing my daughter as proof of ..something, my love and commitment I guess.  We live an hour away, so I drove home upset about the whole incident. I get home and receive an e-mail thanking me for the good time she had.  I'm really confused by this time. She has no  business interfering in your relationship with your kids. Totally out of her boundaries, and so are you for considering it. Boy, are your kids going to be -rightfully - angry with you if you go that way! (If your kids are acting out, which they might well be since you are unable to set limits, also get Assertive Discipline for Children, a great little book that teaches parents to implement effective, loving discipline - all without raising your voice!

 

 As I write this I see how crazy the whole thing sounds, which makes me embarrassed to be putting up with it. Good. Then its time to stop!  I guess Donna's letter touched a nerve and I wanted her to know I understand how hard it is for her. And for you too. Please start by joining Men_D, the victim guy's support group. Some guys are also on Ouchhh, which is a general purpose victim group populated mostly by women. (But, I don't know how well that's working. Seems some of the women are just too angry with men in general to care if you're a victim or not.  Very sad.) Also get one of the boundaries books. ASAP! You may want to seriously consider counseling to help you stop being so compulsively nice!

Good luck to you,   Dr. Irene