How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

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

Comments Anger Cycle Theory

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyright© 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

Up

Please keep your comments related to the topic of Wayne's 2 online articles and his book. This is not intended to be a general advise forum. Doc

Submit
Wednesday October 03, 2001

My husband and I have been in therapy since my near fatal car accident last year since the therapy is free. He refused to go to therapy more than once two years ago because of the expense even though I paid for the one and only session we attended then. I started reading about verbal abuse a year ago and now wonder if I am a victim of it. But first some background that lead to our blowup tonight.

Our oldest daughter is mentally challenged and lives in a home with two other girls (not her friends) and last night one of the roommates made a lot of noise at midnight and woke up our 25 year old daughter--she may have been drinking She ordered a pizza and when the pizza was delivered, the doorbell rang and our daughter had to answer the doorbell because her roommate appeared to be in a deep sleep on the couch and didn't hear the doorbell. My husband said he would talk to the roommate and ask her not to do that again. Tonight I get a phone call from this roommate who accused me of exaggerating the story and that our daughter ought to "get real" and not feel inconvenienced since this type of thing happens all of the time. I disagreed with her and told her I thought her actions were inconsiderate. I suggested she bring this up again with my husband, the landlord. My husband had already called her at work today and talked to her about it. So my husband called her back when he got home. I listened to part of the conversation & when it appeared that my husband was "on her side" and she stated that she thought I was out of my mind, that I was being over protective of my daughter, and that I was yelling at her (not true).

My husband said absolutely NOTHING in my defense. Instead, he switched the topic to payment of her past rent (she is delinquent). I felt so unloved at that point and asked my husband why he didn't say anything in my defense? He said that there was no point and he didn't want to upset her! Apparently my feelings didn't count? I then asked him that if a person came up to him and called me a whore, what would he say or do? He said, "it would depend on who said it--if I didn't know the person very well, I would probably say nothing!" I said, what does knowing the person have to do with it? By saying and doing nothing, you are in fact agreeing with that person in my opinion. Am I going crazy or what? We have had these problems long before my accident but yet everything now gets blamed on the accident and my head injury (was minor). I feel that he is escaping responsibility for his actions by blaming it on the accident. I feel my husband is a wimp and doesn't have enough respect for me to defend me when others put me down. My friends say I should leave him. I am beginning to believe that they are right. In the past, my husband has lost control and yelled at me when his chores get to be too much. I tried to help him stack hay once (we live on a farm for 7 years since he retired from the Marine Corps) and I couldn't learn to use the tractor fast enough that particular afternoon (my first time), and it started raining before we could get all the hay stacked. That night was so horrible--he called me every name in the book and I left that night--slept in the car--because I felt so dejected and I was shaking with fear.

Many times, I wish he would hit me rather than yell at me when he gets out of control. It's like walking on eggshells. He's gone twice/year for 6 weeks to help his out of state friend plant/harvest crops (Spring and Fall) and at that time, I am relaxed. I really thought we were becoming closer with recent therapy, but after tonight, and his lack of response to the roommate, I told him I didn't have any feelings for him anymore. Now he is in the other room--his usual approach is to avoid me after yelling, "take everything--you can have it all", when he knows that there is no way I can run this farm on my own. He has never left--he always assumes I will leave when the tension builds because I can't take it. All of this is complicated by the fact I discovered this past January he was corresponding with several women on porno sites and he felt he was doing nothing wrong. The therapist told him he had to quit for the sake of our relationship and he did. But now I feel he still resents me for making him quit. We have two daughters, 25 and 19, and I stayed with my husband for their sake, but wonder if I am making a mistake. All I want is to be respected and loved. I envy some of my friends when I see how their husbands treat them and wish I could have the same.

Thank you for any advice you can give me.

Submit
Thursday October 04, 2001

Wayne: The above description sounds exactly like my husband. It's like living with a dead man. He almost never expresses any feelings other than anger. He has punched holes in doors and later denied it. (I didn't see him do it, so couldn't prove it; however the hole matched the object I suspect he threw). He consistently makes promises he has no intention of fulfilling. This has been going on for over 20 years now, and I've had it. Counseling has been tried several times, as well as separation. I'm now planning to leave just as soon as I save the $500 I need to file for divorce. This time, I won't warn him -- I'll just do it. Any comments? Marilyn -- e-mail catsmeow_68933@yahoo.com

Submit
Thursday October 04, 2001

Not knowing the people involved or their viewpoints of the episode as it happened makes it impossible to comment on. What I do hear loud and clear from your comments is you feel that he has no idea how your feeling almost all the time. The fact that he is willing to go to therapy is a very good start to working out your problems. Continue going and work with him. Therapy might help him get in touch with his feelings. Which is the start to understanding others feelings. Try cutting a large telephone cable in half. Looking at one end of the cut half of wire will help to understand this analogy. I believe if you cut a woman in half you will see the same thing. Colored wires of red, blue, green, yellow, orange, striped, non-striped and so on. Each wire would represent a different emotion. For example love, sadness, excitement, anger, happiness, disappointment, to name a few. Cutting a man in half, the reader will see only a black and a white wire. Just two. If the reader looks hard enough though, the other colors are all there--just like the woman. But, somehow all the wires became disconnected as he was growing up. Women, if I can add one more hat to the many hats you already wear, please wear that of the telephone technician. Your job is to reconnect all of a man’s colored wires (his emotions). If you want to be heard, you will have to help him get in touch with his feelings. You will teach him to feel and to love, maybe never reaching your level but rising to a more significant level. You need to help him and guide him to increase the depth of his feelings and to bring them closer to yours. This is where I get most of my women readers really upset at me. Here we go again. Why do I have to take the responsibility? When is the guy going to start pulling his own weight? Can’t he, this one time, take charge and be responsible for himself? My only justification to the women is this: the man does not know, what he does not know. If he has never had the depth of feelings a woman has, how would he know that, and how would he know how to change it? By her unspoken desires or wishes? By osmosis? If you really feel this is not what you want to do and he is not worth all the trouble and effort you should walk away now. He won’t change without your help. In fact, it is possible he won’t change with your help. Or if he does, it still will not be enough to make you happy. It’s all up to you. But if you decide to work with him you must do it with enthusiasm and love. Your comment that you feel like he is a wimp and within the same paragraph he is an ex Marine is an oxymoron. If he is not in touch with his own emotions how would he have the ability to know how you feel and to the depth those feelings could be? Did he see combat while in the service? Was he wounded? Since you are a grown women you should not be looking for him to defend you. Why can’t you defend yourself if that is what is needed at the time? If you want to stay with him continue therapy. Work with him. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Thursday October 04, 2001

Dear Wayne, What you have written is exactly how my husband behaves. I often felt a sense of relief after his "rages" or the big blow up. Atleast, it was temporarily over. He would then rush to my side to rescue me. He always over compensated for his inappropriate behavior with the guilt gifts. Then would get upset when I did not forgive him immediately. I was not able to cope with the overwelming feelings. He would suffocate me after so that I could not think clearly. I was not allowed to "feel". It was all mixed in with all the old repressed feelings from my childhood. I do find myself questioning what it is that is bothering me. Is it his behavior i.e. drinking, cheating, lying, or is it my childhood? Which he blames it on. His and mine. I am hoping to sort it out now that we are separated. I also wonder if the same concept of repressing those feelings explains why I am so frightened of my husband's anger. I have a difficult time being angry. This was something I developed as a child since my caretakers had violated my boundaries. It was too overwelming for me to admit that the people who were suppose to care and love me were harming me, even if it was unintentional. I understand now as a grown up that they were not capable. I do still feel very angry inside. Especially when I hear the rationalizing, blame, and excuses. Now I know it's okay to feel angry. I just do not act on my impulses. I redirect it. That I am still working on. My husband triggers some anger in me when I feel betrayed by him. I am learning how to process these feelings. At the moment I do have a tendancy to hold it all in. My children are around me during the day so I stay together. They see me cry, and I don't lie to them. I tell them "I feel sad but I will be okay." My husband calls me "crazy". I just feel. He appears to have contempt for any sign of weakness. I go to therapy to work it out. At night when I am alone. I cry. The next day I feel better. How long would you say that it takes to really work out all this old stuff if someone is willing? My husband is still blaming, and not willing. I believe it's the narcissism, ego, wall, etc. He may go into treatment for his alcoholism and substance abuse. Court ordered. Then it's up to him. It's not that I am not willing to help him. I just can't help him. I lack the ability, and have my own stuff. That's okay. I am still interested in healing myself. That way I respond appropriately to him. Thank you for the great article. I will definitely look into your book. I have a son that I would like to model appropriate behavior. This will be very helpful. LisaMM

Submit
Friday October 05, 2001

Submit
Friday October 05, 2001

Submit
Friday October 05, 2001

Lisa you ask: How long would you say that it takes to really work out all this old stuff if someone is willing? The old stuff will always be with you. Don’t try to block it out. Use it to motivate yourself. Those who blame the past for not being able to be in charge of their future and change that future into what they want might be in a self-destructive pattern. A self-destructive pattern is not only one that may destroy relationships but any pattern that someone falls into that may hurt them or those who care for them. Some self-destructive patterns: drugs-alcohol-physical abuse-emotional abuse-bad love selections-over eating-under eating-too much sex-not enough sex. No story in my opinion expresses with more of a profound statement or word picture then the poem: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters (ã Copyright 1993, Portia Nelson from the book, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk, Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, Oregon.) I I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless. It is not my fault. It takes forever to find my way out. II I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out. III I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in…It’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. IV I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. V I walk down another street. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Friday October 05, 2001

HI Wayne, I have read about & lived in the cycle of violence. Got flowers,money dinners..anything you want. Being a victim became like a job, in order to get paid you had to suffer..I was god little victim.I was alwys under control for the kids sake. (ad one nut for a parent) I was the ROCK.Never lost it. The price I eventually paid for this was a depression that almost immobilized me for years. I am now out. Out of the marriage & in time the depression has finally lifted. The Sun is shining at last in my life. I hoped against hope he would change & he did but it was temporary no emotional trust on my part. He could blow & degrade me in a milisecond. I love my new life. I feel like I was reborn.Love waking up alone no more terrorism. Nancy

Submit
Friday October 05, 2001

So what are your views on men who DO NOT hold in their feelings leading to an explosion of anger? What about the men who want to dump all their feelings onto their wives? And then they still blow up? That's my husband. Any problem, he cannot wait to share it with me. I've had to say, "Don't tell me." He is a hypochondriac and I've had to tell him to not tell me about his health "problems". He's always to first one to cry and moan and worry and, oh, yes! EXPLODE with anger! What do you think about these types?

Submit
Friday October 05, 2001

Wayne, I have lived with verbal, emotional and anger abuse for 31 years. We went to marriage counseling, family counseling and he to 2 anger management specialist. Nothing changed. When I moved out he once again wrote me that he finally got it, would continue with counseling and now was humbled by a teaching experience he had. I had considered separating from him twice in the past and we had talked of divorce. This third time I did not believe him. A few weeks after our separation he filed for divorce. And after 3 more weeks I counter-filed.I had no energy to continue to work on our marriage. And I see what you mean about needing energy and love to work on a relationship. The day before our court date he wrote me that he had second thoughts and would be glad to talk with me if I desired. I did not respond to his letter. Many times I had talked to him about my pain in the marriage. It did not seem to make any difference what I said to him. His behavior pretty much continued the same. Looking back I can most accurately describe his behavior as lacking an empathy gene. He seemed unable to put himself in anothers place and feel the pain he might have if the same things were said/done to him. I my situation the abuse to me was degrading. But what really was the final straw that broke the camels back was his treatment of our 3 children. His name calling, temper tantrums, road rage, cursing, humiliating us in front of friends and some physical abuse of the children let me away. And, yes, I should have left years ago. I think he clearly demonstrated the cycle of abuse. Though he made an attempt to apologize to the children occasionally, he never did to me. And though he bought them gifts after some of his abuse, I never got that. Do you have any thoughts about all of this? I would be most interested in your impressions. I have been divorced about 16 months and am getting stronger as time goes by. My one child at home seems to be happier. We both miss some of the good times we had, but in general we now have peace in our lives. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this web site. Suzanne

Submit
Saturday October 06, 2001

“Hypochondriac” I assume that he has been to doctors and they have found nothing wrong. Sometimes people use other fears (being a hypochondriac, not wanting to go out, etc.) to worry about. This way they don’t face what the real fear might be. Only he can face it and only when he is ready. All behavior drugs-alcohol-over eating-under eating-too much sex-not enough sex and the list goes on are covering up what the real problem is. He would need some therapy to find the answers to what is so painful that he does not want to feel it (face it). The anger problem is the same for all. The method used to trigger the anger might be different but the end result is always the same, “ANGER”.

Submit
Saturday October 06, 2001

Suzanne, Lacking an empathy gene was a very good way to describe it. I said in my book that as men grow up an anesthetizing of feelings takes place. They’re suppressing not only negative emotions, but also the positive emotions. Since they become numb empathy dies. If he does not feel hurt how would he know how you feel? So, the outcome of years of not feeling is he learns how to control people by fear. We control people (bad word) normally by our love for them and their love for us. So if we want or need something they do it because of love not fear. The person that cannot love or feel that love uses fear instead.

Submit
Saturday October 06, 2001

Wayne, you address the fact that a lot of men hold in their feelings and then explode with anger. What is your view of the men who want to share ALL their feelings with their wives and yet still explode with anger? My husband cannot wait to share any problem of negative aspect of his life with me. He is a hypochondriac and wants me to be all wrapped up in his *illnesses*. So he is not bottling his feelings up and still explodes. What do you think is the reasoning behind this? Thank you. Sue

Submit
Saturday October 06, 2001

Sue, the answer is above. Wayne

Submit
Sunday October 07, 2001

Submit
Sunday October 07, 2001

I have been married for 31 years to a physical and verbal abuser. Aside from adultery on his part, I have had numerous black eyes, stitches, broken rib, and been pushed from a moving car. Five years age I finally got up the nerve to leave. Within two months he became a Christian and convinced me that he had changed. I went back with him for about a year. He had changed in as much as he was no longer seeing other women and had given up drugs, however the verbal abuse was still there and also the physical abuse, although not as frequently. I left again and stayed away for 10 months. Once again he convinced me to come back because this time he really had changed. I went back and stayed with him for 2 years. During this time (because of counseling I had had during our last separation) I tried to deal with his anger issues. It didn't work. I could see the anger building up and tried to talk to him about it, but in his eyes he is always right and I am too stupid to have any rational thoughts. Just before I left(for the third time) he hurt me very badly by hitting me with a chair and on another occasion threatened to kill me with a large object. I have been separated from him for one year now. Once again he is trying to convince me that he has changed because he has been seeing a counselor at the church. He also realizes that he has an anger problem. My feeling is that he is unable to control his anger. He can be very nice and loving, and 10 minutes later be in a rage, cursing and trying to harm me. Then 10 minutes later be very sorry, ask for my forgiveness, and be nice again. This behavior is very unsettling and I was beginning to become very depressed. He does not want to give me a divorce. He wants me to go back and go through counseling with him which I am afraid to do because of my past experiences with him. The problem is that he can be very convincing but I just don't think that I can go through this again. My question is, do you think it is possible for someone with all his problems, not just the anger, to become rehabilitated? Angie

Submit
Monday October 08, 2001

Angie, you said, the problem is that he can be very convincing but I just don't think that I can go through this again. My question is, do you think it is possible for someone with all his problems, not just the anger, to become rehabilitated? Some do but I’m sorry to say most don’t. One warning to all women readers. If you are afraid of him or he threatens you, hits you, or is abusive, my book will NOT help him or you. Start counseling. My advice to my women readers is do not marry a man that you know has a problem. (See section “WATCH FOR THE RED FLAGS”, “Warning Signals” in Chapter 4.) If you really love him, confront him now. Make a demand that if he wants you he must go to counseling and correct the problem first. If he will not solve the problem first, walk away and do not turn around. Be careful that if he gets counseling and changes, you wait at least six months to one year after counseling is complete to see that he does not slip back into his previous pattern. Do this procedure before you marry him, or if you are married demand that he starts counseling now. My book will only help those who want help and want to have better relationships. You both must be willing to do what it takes to make it work. Patricia Evans wrote in The Verbally Abusive Relationship, “A final caution: Don’t ever delude yourself into thinking that you should have the ability to stay serene no matter how you are treated. Your serenity comes from the knowledge that you have a fundamental right to a nurturing environment and a fundamental right to affirm your boundaries.” To my men readers, if she fears you, go get help. See your family doctor and talk with him. See a therapist. Go take an anger management course. If she sees you working on the problem she will help. Otherwise, chances are very good she will leave you in time. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Monday October 08, 2001

I had a former instructor for 12 years whose cycle was every 30 days for 7 months until it became blatantly overt and he had to be let go -- acting out, good behavior for a week with him trying to remind me of "connections" between us, then tension building with increasingly strange controling behavior until the next acting out. Acting out was the 2nd Thursday of each month. He was High School senior and we thought he might be following the cylce of his mom, whom we discovered was abusing him sexdually, physically and emotionally very severely at the time (we reported it).

Submit
Monday October 08, 2001

I had a former instructor for 12 years in my martial arts achool whose cycle was every 30 days for the last 7 months he worked until it became blatantly overt and he had to be let go -- acting out, good behavior for a week with him trying to remind me of "connections" between us, then tension building with increasingly strange controling behavior until the next acting out. Acting out was the 2nd Thursday of each month. He was High School senior and we thought he might be following the cylce of his mom, whom we discovered was abusing him sexdually, physically and emotionally very severely at the time (we reported it). Probably going on since he was in pre-school

Submit
Monday October 08, 2001

Wayne, Thank you for the poem. I printed it up. I will keep it with me as a reminder that it is my duty to myself, and my children to keep moving forward. I can only pray that my husband will be able to find his way out of that dark hole. I know it is there. I can not deny it anymore. It is time to accept the consequences of my choices. It can be difficult when your learning to "let go" to trust that you will be okay as you head down that new path. I will try to have faith. Thank you! LisaMM

Submit
Tuesday October 09, 2001

Lisa you said, “ It can be difficult when your learning to "let go" to trust that you will be okay as you head down that new path. I will try to have faith." I have another poem to share with you and those that would like to have it. Letting Go To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else. To let go is not to cut myself off; it’s the realization that I can’t control another. To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences. To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands. To let go is not to try to change or blame another; I can only change myself. To let go is not to care for, but to care about. To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive. To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be human being. To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all outcomes, but to allow others to aggect their own outcomes. To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality. To let go is not to deny, but to accept. To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them. To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, But to take each day as it comes. To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, But to try to become what dream I can be. To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and to live for the future. To let go is to fear less and to love more. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Tuesday October 09, 2001

My husband used to explode with anger. Since I set limits, a lot of that behavior has ceased. However, he still has intense emotional reactions to events and cries. He can spend the whole day crying. He used to do this occasionally, but now most of his reactions are like this. I do understand that his feelings are real, but generally they are an extreme overreaction to minor (in my eyes) events. How do you explain this within the context of your "no emotion" idea? Sunny

Submit
Tuesday October 09, 2001

One point: I did not write the poem "Letting Go". If anyone knows the name of the writer or where it first appeared please let me know. I would like to give the proper credit to the author. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Tuesday October 09, 2001

Sunny it sounds like depression to me. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Wednesday October 10, 2001

Hi Wayne, It was quite interesting to read the posts sent to this site. Re: the lack of empathy gene: It turns out that I have too much of that gene. I overempathize feel others pain even before they do. Always the good Mommy fixes the pain. I was married to a verbally abusive cyclic maniac for 23 years. Up & down we went. I was co-dependent it took therapy & lots of work on myself to finally Let go of my oppresser. He had rage issues & was very sadistic towards me & our oldest son..his Jr. I have been separated for almost 2 years now. I am doing OK. I have found myself fearful but at the same time curious about new relationships. I get somewhat involved & then see or feel those Red Flags & run for the hills. I am currently getting to know a nice man close to my own age with a sensitive nature. He asks my opinion & wants to make me happy. I find that being with a man as oppossed to not being with one brings out my insecurities. If I am alone like I am now I find I am slightly lonely but able to amuse myself enjoy my peace..at last. If I get involved emotionally with another man I find myself acheing for his touch missing him & feeling those old abandonment feelings that I don't feel when I am alone. Do I stay alone & secure or attempt to involve my new evolved but hurt self in new relationship? I am right down the middle.I go out I stay home live both sides of street. Will this change or is this the new me? Nancy

Submit
Saturday October 13, 2001

I wanted to know how to tell a male partner that you think he needs help. I have been a a very intense relationship with a complicated man for two years now and I really feel like he needs help. I love him with all my heart and want to know how I can help him. I am not co-dependant and do not feel like I have to stay I want to do it because I liove him and feel that he has been through many traumatic experiences and the last thing he needs is for me to leave him stranded like everyone else has, including his family. I know he needs help, he is verbally abusive, depressed and I'm no doctor but he could be bi-polar.How do I help him help himself? I know I can't do it for him.

Submit
Saturday October 13, 2001

Hi Nancy, You said, “I am right down the middle. I go out I stay home live both sides of street. Will this change or is this the new me?” When you are in a car accident it takes a lot of guts to get back in the car and drive. For a long time you will be nervous and scared. In time with the right person that trusts can come back. I don’t know him but I will share with you my “Red Flags”. WATCH FOR THE RED FLAGS A number of years ago, one of the well-known women’s magazines surveyed divorced women. One question asked was, “Why did you get a divorce?” The answers were--he was lazy, would not work, an alcoholic, on drugs, cheated, was abusive (emotional, physical, sexual, mental, verbal), and many other reasons. The next question was “Did you know that he had this problem before you married him?” The answer for a very large percentage of the divorced women was, “Yes.” The next question was, “Why did you marry him knowing that there was a problem?” The answer was, “I thought that if I gave him my love and if he loved me enough, he would change.” My advice to my women readers is that you should not marry a man that you know has a problem. If you really love him, confront him now. Make a demand that if he wants you he must go to counseling and correct the problem first. If he will not solve the problem first, walk away and do not turn around. Be careful that if he gets counseling and changes, you wait at least six months to one year after counseling is complete to see that he does not slip back into his previous pattern. Do this procedure before you marry him, and you will lower the odds of getting a divorce afterwards. If my men readers see themselves in the following list beware. It very well could be that you couldn’t keep a relationship because you do fit these areas, or you’re about to lose the one who loves you because you refuse to see yourself. SOME WARNING SIGNALS: · Watch how he acts with others. (If he is not nice, chances are he will treat you the same.) · Does he drink? How much? · Does he take drugs? · Do you feel stifled? · Is he abusive? · Does he hurt animals? · What kind of relationship does he have with his mother, father, brothers, sisters, kids, etc? · Does he respect the law? · Does he cheat? · Do little things he is doing bother you? · Does he lie? · Does he steal? · Is he short tempered? · Does he drive like a maniac? · Do your friends tell you he is no good for you? · Does he yell at or curse other drivers? · Does he feel nothing is ever his fault? · Can he admit when he is wrong or makes a mistake? · Will he say he is sorry? · Would you rather stay home than see him? Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Saturday October 13, 2001

The question: I wanted to know how to tell a male partner that you think he needs help. Read my answer to Nancy above. Make sure none of the “Red Flags” are there. Tell him you want to go to a counselor to work out some problems your having. Ask him to support you emotionally and to accompany you to the session(s). With the counselor you may express your fears and concerns. If this man is the man who loves you he will work with you. If he does not, leave him. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Tuesday October 16, 2001

Dear Wayne, I am glad you clarified that your advice is not intended for those dealing with an abusive partner. The notion that I could teach him to feel, to love, to trust was the very notion that kept me a virtual slave for years. He spoke endlessly about his feelings, sometimes waking me up in the middle of the night to go on for hours about the feelings he was experiencing in response to my shortcomings. We had hours of talk about his feelings of being unloved and abandoned because I did not keep the house more clean. Or I did not look at him right three weeks prior, or I laughed at something he did not understand, or whatever. This emotional dumping was during the "good times." The rest of the time he was too angry to even speak to me except to yell and call me names. I thought I could help him. HA! We went to counseling, where my shortcomings were again listed, and his terrible suffering at my hands again discussed. He could not come up with any examples exactly of what I had done to him, but he sure could discuss his feelings, because he borrowed MY WORDS to do it! He was encouraged to talk, and to cry, because men are supposed to have a hard time doing that. He did it all the time. It got such a great response, first from me, and then from the therapist. I don't mean to go on about my own situation. I just wanted to point out that these kinds of generalizations about men and women are not universal, and can be used against you by a person out to suck your soul, not love you. I know you are not saying it is universal, I just wanted to underline that for anyone else living with a human barnacle as I did for years, you CANNOT help them. I am angry, yes, but I am getting better. It is tough. For anyone reading this board and thinking they can help their man if they just try hard enough, listen to Wayne carefully when he says that the guy has to want it. Really. Maggie

Submit
Wednesday October 17, 2001

Hi Maggie, Many women share your experience. Sad part is the men really believe what they are saying. . You said, “We had hours of talk about his feelings of being unloved and abandoned because I did not keep the house more clean. Or I did not look at him right three weeks prior, or I laughed at something he did not understand, or whatever.” What he was doing is trying to come up with some type of logical answer to why he could not feel. His logic was it must be these things that stopped him or turned he off. Problem is nothing you do would be able to dig deep into him to get him in touch with his feelings. Some men with the help of a consular and help with his love one may get in touch with their feelings and have a better relationship. I take a very hard approach with men. Either they go get help or the women will (and in my humble opinion should leave). If they go and get help you may have what I call, “The Garage Sale”. Look at where you are in life. Look at each other. Each of us is a composite of our experiences--the good, the bad, and the ugly. When someone comes into our life they accept us for who we are, baggage and all. Imagine we are in a “Garage Sale,” sitting in a driveway on some old table. You buy us “as is.” Think of it more as if we were a valuable, rare antique piece of furniture. Each bump, bruise, and scratch is part of the history that makes this antique so scarce, precious, and valuable. Just like the antique, we cannot be replaced even through we contain flaws. You might be able to do some restoration, renovate pieces, and recondition areas; but you are not going to change a dresser into a chair. Be very realistic as to just how much he will open up and change and to what degree idiosyncrasies can go away. Approximately sixty-nine percent of all relationship conflicts never will be resolved. It is more important not to hurt the other person instead of finding out who is right or wrong. Dale Carnegie, well known author and speaker, said no one every wins an argument. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Wednesday October 17, 2001

He scares me. He does not hit me. He even at time is a really nice person. He has (my husband) a black side and I want to hide from him. Even during his black side and yelling, ranting & raving he can pick up the phone and be just fine with whoever is on the other end. He never says he is sorry and I suffer through ll of this. My sel esteem is effected and I do not do well in any areas of my life during this time. I always try to make up - I used to - and he is so cruel. I call him Ice Man.

Submit
Thursday October 18, 2001

“Ice Man” See my note to Suzanne on Saturday October 06, 2001. You said, “He scares me”. I call it control. Leo Madow, M.D. in his book Anger stated, “A reason is that the quick-to-anger person has found that anger works and is conditioned to continue its use. If a youngster finds that by having a temper tantrum he gets what he wants, he is encouraged to have another the next time he is denied something. If the next one is equally successful, he will begin to develop a pattern of behavior.” I challenge men by saying if you are as brave, tough, and strong as you are trying to make everyone believe, you would have enough courage to express your feelings in a non-threatening way. Start accepting responsibilities for your negative behavior that causes pathetic unpleasantness for you (guilt afterwards) and your loved ones. They are probably scared to death of you. I witnessed a father yelling at his son who could not have been more than seven years old. As the father was yelling, the little boy actually started shaking with fear. How sad. Maybe, if you could see inside of those you love as you’re yelling at them, you would see them shaking also. Is that really what a brave, tough, strong man is? Is that who you want to be? What do I mean by brave, tough, or strong? My description of a brave, tough, and strong man is a man who is comfortable with his manhood. He does not have to prove to anyone that he is a man. His actions speak for him, i.e.; at a party of people who are mostly strangers some men will group together and talk about sports, cars, and sex. These are not the actions I am talking about. I refer to the man who is not in that group but who is sitting on the floor playing with the baby. Or the man who is outside with the kids playing a sport or the guy who is comfortable talking to a group of women about cooking some type of dish--this is the strong man. This man is able to tell a locker room full of professional football players that he washes dishes, cleans floors, and changes diapers. If you have to act tough to prove you’re a man, then maybe you’re trying to prove it to yourself. “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” Charles Du Bos, Approximations (1922-37), 3

Submit
Monday October 22, 2001

Hello Wayne, Though Im sure your book will do alot of god for other people, I can not buy it strictly becase of the insert above. It sounds to me as though you, amongst the Police, Justice System, Most Attorney's and alot of american people still believe in the "Old Way of Thinking", that men are always the abuser. To make my point, I have a question for you, If a Chiuaua Dog was sitting on your left side and a Doberman were sitting on your right side ad BOTH Dogs bit you, Would both dogs be put down, or just the Dobey because he is Bigger, Stronger and has bigger teeth and Required stitches? The Point is The Chiuaua breed is more aggresive than the Doberman breed has EVER been but the Doberman would be put to sleep where the Chiuaua would maybe get yelled at and sent to play with the CHILDREN! I think as a man, you would take a PRO-Male stance and start Identifying the fact that is being proven over and over again that women are finally being recognized as being abusive. I have never read any of your material with the exception of the excert above but being Abused by the Prejudice Court System we all have to contend with now days, I have been forced into a defensive situation in my life by the current Judicial System in place because of lies and deciet thrown at me by my ex-girlfriend. This post may be totally out of line and I appologise to you if you take any offense to it but I think we all need to understand and accept that Male Victims are out there. I like this site because it discusses what I believe to be the "root of all evil" in any relationship, COMUNICATION! Again, I hope you do not take offense to my post but felt like getting this off my chest and appreciate the opportunity to be able to do so.

Submit
Monday October 22, 2001

I have had a similar experience to Maggie's listed above. I have been blamed and scapegoated with some regularity all with anger attached. When that isn't happening I feel manipulated. We do see a counselor who keeps bringing up to my husband that we BOTH have issues. My husband sees her alone also (for which I am grateful) but with his head hanging down and looking depressed (which I also believe he is). As a result, one time when I saw the counselor alone, she confronted me with something I said to him, out of context, and got the feeling that he had manipulated her into thinking that I was nagging and reaming him constantly. He grew up in a family where anger wasn't expressed--you simply blamed someone else for your shortcomings. I see now that by the counselor doing this, it seems to have given my husband "permission" to dump on me. The truth is scapegoating and blaming are my triggers--but I do not hurt my husband--most of the time I cry and tell him how hurt I am or I sit and listen to him after an episode. I have plainly told him that I will not tolerate his "attacks" for another year. Sad, but true--I am scared, but unwilling to compromise my self respect any longer. Crazymaking

Submit
Tuesday October 23, 2001

Dear Wayne, how do I have to deal with my ex-partner who is convinced that he is the perfect partner. He does not understand that I did not feel emotionally supported by him in our relationship and tells me that I am not able to be happy. My problem with him was that he was so convinced that he was doing a good job as a partner, that the slightest criticism I uttered made him extremely agressive. In the end, I just apologized and thought I was too negative. How can I make him understand that I did not feel like he really listened to me.

Submit
Tuesday October 23, 2001

"Old Way of Thinking", On page 19 of the INTRODUCTION of my book I said, This book is not written for the "macho man,” the “abuser" or any man who feels this is not his problem, does not want to listen, or has psychological problems. Although many generalities follow and there are many men who are exceptions to what I have written, too many do fit. They include fathers, brothers, sons, boyfriends and husbands. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS VERY IMPORTANT POINT: there are women who also have problems listening (and feeling) and could benefit from reading this book. However, for now, for the men and the women who read this book, I will only be talking about the men who do fit the book’s description. If I can help men understand what they don’t understand, I will help women understand what they don’t understand about their guy. I tried to write about the male-female relationship from a gender-neutral position. Sometimes I succeeded and other times I did not. You will find, I sometimes direct the concept to the men and at other times I direct my concepts to the women. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Tuesday October 23, 2001

Crazymaking. An anonymous epigram states: “Marriage, which makes two one, is a lifelong struggle to discover which is that one.” Through my own experience observing couples, I noticed that the man spends most of his time trying to change the woman into thinking and acting like him and vice versa. However, if anyone really thinks this through, would you want someone who is and thinks exactly like you? I don’t think so. What normally brings couples together is first of all their differences, and secondly, personalities that complement one another. In The Secret of Successful Marriages? Celebrate Your Differences25, by Patricia Volk, she said, “What’s a normal marriage? Got me. But this I know. The ones that work all work for the same reasons: The partners ditch their preconceived ideas about what a good marriage is; they respect one another’s differences; they appreciate each other’s attributes and contributions; and they trivialize what doesn’t really matter. An openness to compromise is a good idea, too, and longing for each other can’t hurt either. Maybe that’s all a good marriage is, a mutual yearning to stay together. Sure it takes work. Name one worthwhile thing that doesn’t.” Keep going to the counselor. Both of you are victims of your childhood. Now you have another chance to grow up together. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Tuesday October 23, 2001

How can I make him understand that I did not feel like he really listened to me. Sorry, that’s why I wrote Men Don’t Listen. Men who only know logic may never know how to feel(listen). “The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen the more and talk the less.” Zeno of Citium (c. 300 B.C.), Quoted in Diogenes Laertiuos’ Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (3rd c. A.D.), tr. R. D. Hicks Dr. Evans, a psychiatrist friend of mine, told me a very interesting and enlightening story. One day while working at his practice, he had a young teenager try to commit suicide. He had to have the teenager taken into custody and then admitted to a rehabilitation hospital. It was a difficult day; he had grown attached to this patient and almost lost him. That night when he went home his wife was very upset. She had an argument with the mother of one of their children’s friends. As she was venting about her day and how frustrated she was with the neighbor, she realized he was not really listening to what she was saying. Without a word, she burst out crying and started running into the bedroom. He was surprised and followed her, asking what was wrong. She explained that she felt he did not care about her and did not love her. He asked her why she felt that way. She said, “You’re not even concerned that I had a terrible day and I’m very upset.” He realized he was thinking of his day and not giving her the time and attention she should have. He told her that he did love her very much and that he was sorry. He also had a rough day but wanted to hear her, so asked her to forgive him and tell him what had happened. She proceeded to tell him. Then, she looked at him and said, “Tell me honey what happened in your day?” Dr. Evans points out that feelings, regardless if they are for something small or something large, are just as important to the person who has those feelings. We must care for those we love and about what is upsetting them. It is not a contest where if my problem is bigger than your problem, yours doesn’t count. If you give the message that your loved ones' problems are not important, without saying these words, you are telling them they are not important and you do not love them. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Wednesday October 24, 2001

(I was the woman who wrote about the not-listening ex-partner) Thank you for your answer, Wayne. I haven't read your book but hope to find it in a bookstore here in Europe. My ex-partner and I still talk often about what went wrong in our relationship. Basically he thinks that it went wrong because I started fights. I tell him that I started fights because we never really settled a problem, i.e. come to a solution which was satisfactory for both of us. It always came down to him trying to convince me that his point of view was the right one. For some time I thought that nodding yes would help the situation, but I have to be true to myself. My ex-partner just thinks that it is all a matter of finding the right partner and that the fact that it did not work out, just means that I was not the right partner. Just like his previous girlfriend turned out not to be the right one as she cheated on him (something he does not understand because he is such a good partner). What I currently try to do is stick much more to my opinions in a non-agressive way (very difficult, I often feel like screaming). Furthermore, whenever he utters an opinion which I find uncorrect, I just tell him that I don't agree, but without correcting them. I'm also not sitting through his anger sessions anymore. When he starts to lash out, I tell him to stop. If he can't, I leave and tell him that this is unconstructive. I have loved this man a lot and I think he has a lot of qualities, but it is a hard struggle to come to a true, genuine communication with him. There are a lot of women who tell me that you just have to give men the illusion that you agree with them, but I cannot do this as I think it prevents one from having a real communication. Currently the only solution I see is to try to be as honest and open about my own feelings. I would already be happy if he would be able to listen to my opinion without countering it when it is different from his.

Submit
Wednesday October 24, 2001

You said, “I would already be happy if he would be able to listen to my opinion without countering it when it is different from his.” Problem with feelings vs. logic is feelings are not logical. If I like blue and you like red. Please give me a logical reason I’m right (or wrong) or your right (or wrong). Where the problem shows itself most is the women are close to how they feel and the feelings can conflict with logic. Many women realize this and will actually tell their partner that the feelings might be irrational BUT that’s how they feel. Since men are not close to how they feel they go strictly by logic, which gets them into trouble sometimes and they don’t have a clue why. If men could understand (feel like a women) it would solve a lot of relationship problems. Seems like both partners try to prove they are right. (Of course this answer is a generalization, which means it will not be correct all the time). Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Friday October 26, 2001

And if women could think like a man, that would solve a lot of relationship problems too! :) Wayne, in reading through this I found it convenient in my mind to divide men into three categories--though of course there are no sharp boundaries between them. This happens to be a Web site dealing with abuse, so I can see what our friend with the Chihuahua problem was upset about: that we hear far too much about "abusive men" today and not enough about the equal number of abusive women. But in a book about men it may be hard to avoid that category, and I expect our friend hasn't read the reviews of your book on amazon.com, which gave me a far broader picture of what your book is about than the extracts on this site. It sounds impressive. If he had, he could hardly have missed, not only the references to "gender neutrality," but that the theme of your book is the very thing he was advocating: better communication. Though we can't tell whether lack of communication is the only problem he's experiencing--or something worse. As for this smaller category of men who are abusive, while no doubt the "anger cycle" is working overtime for them, I'd gathered they weren't the main focus of your book. I was interested in the "other end." But in the middle is a second category of men which must be far larger--though I wouldn't dare to guess how large--and who do for various reasons suppress emotions, to the detriment both of themselves and of those around them. I gather that this category is your main focus. Here it does seem reasonable to say broadly that "society," or "life conditions," or something, has caused these men to "shut down" emotionally, more or less. I'm sure your book can be of great value to them as well as their partners. Among other things, I enjoyed the suggestions reviewers referred to about "coming alive" again by rediscovering the child in the self. But then it seems to me that the "natural man" does have a playful, boyish side--which many women too find delightful. And if some people are driven to "take life too seriously," as you said, surely this isn't only men, but just as many women. That much doesn't seem to me a gender issue either. Possibly the demands of life in general cause a lot of people to "shut down" in various ways, and this only tends to have different emotional effects on men than it does on women. But only possibly. If more men do genuinely "shut down," I'm inclined to wonder if it isn't that more men gravitate into life roles where emotion is less necessary or even undesirable, because men are better suited to those roles to begin with--but often the demands of those roles cause men to "shut down" more than they should. In the same way, more men perform heavy labor because men are better suited to it--but that doesn't mean excessive labor can't wear a man out. I speculate about this because when I come to the third category of men who haven't been "shut down" by undue pressures, we've still got to admit that not only "life" or "society," but also biology is at the bottom of it. As a pattern we're never going to make men "feel" the way women do, because they're just not born that way. This doesn't mean "being unemotional," but the theme of your book--"Men don't feel"--seems just as applicable to me in the sense that more women are into "feelings" while more men use logic and seek solutions. In this "natural" category too, I'm sure your book can help people communicate whenever men "feel less" than women do, regardless of whether the cause is social, biological, or both. What I noticed though is that some reviewers came away with the notion that if "men don't feel," that has to be because they're *suppressing* emotions (or "avoiding" them). No doubt that's true of some, but for others it may not be true at all. The emotions aren't "suppressed"; they're simply *not there* at a particular time--or anyway attenuated compared with women's. And we can't "avoid" something that's not there. In your useful model of the telephone cable, there are men whose colored wires have become disconnected, and those need reconnecting. But the way I see it, for many men it's not that they're disconnected; more perhaps that they're thinner and carry less current all along. Or maybe that those wires can be switched on and off, depending on where we choose to place our emotional focus at a given moment, while women's wires are in circuit the whole time. Maybe some men's switches get rusted in the Off position. :) But between normal men and women these are only different ways of being, equally satisfying for either as individuals, even if that can cause "crossed wires" between the two. So while some men could, and should, "feel" more than they do, it strikes me on the other hand that there are still people, women especially, obsessed with the idea that any time "men don't feel," there has to be something "wrong" with them, that they're "repressed," that it's a "social problem," that men aren't "taught" to feel, that we "don't raise boys right," and all the rest of it. To this extent it's women's problem, not men's, because it's women who want to "make" men feel more, while many men are perfectly happy the way they are! And I'm not surprised if some men feel insulted--possibly like our friend above?--when all this is saying is that men are somehow "inadequate" because they're not like women! People like this are only bashing their heads against a brick wall trying to "fix" something that was never a "problem," to the great frustration of both sexes. Men and women are better off understanding--and accepting--each other the way they are. Judging from some of the review comments however, I gather that one merit of your book is not only that it helps men to feel, but it also helps women to think! So I wish you every success with it, and I appreciate any comments you have on this.

Submit
Friday October 26, 2001

And if women could think like a man, that would solve a lot of relationship problems too! :) Wayne, in reading through this I found it convenient in my mind to divide men into three categories--though of course there are no sharp boundaries between them. This happens to be a Web site dealing with abuse, so I can see what our friend with the Chihuahua problem was upset about: that we hear far too much about "abusive men" today and not enough about the equal number of abusive women. But in a book about men it may be hard to avoid that category, and I expect our friend hasn't read the reviews of your book on amazon.com, which gave me a far broader picture of what your book is about than the extracts on this site. It sounds impressive. If he had, he could hardly have missed, not only the references to "gender neutrality," but that the theme of your book is the very thing he was advocating: better communication. Though we can't tell whether lack of communication is the only problem he's experiencing--or something worse. As for this smaller category of men who are abusive, while no doubt the "anger cycle" is working overtime for them, I'd gathered they weren't the main focus of your book. I was interested in the "other end." But in the middle is a second category of men which must be far larger--though I wouldn't dare to guess how large--and who do for various reasons suppress emotions, to the detriment both of themselves and of those around them. I gather that this category is your main focus. Here it does seem reasonable to say broadly that "society," or "life conditions," or something, has caused these men to "shut down" emotionally, more or less. I'm sure your book can be of great value to them as well as their partners. Among other things, I enjoyed the suggestions reviewers referred to about "coming alive" again by rediscovering the child in the self. But then it seems to me that the "natural man" does have a playful, boyish side--which many women too find delightful. And if some people are driven to "take life too seriously," as you said, surely this isn't only men, but just as many women. That much doesn't seem to me a gender issue either. Possibly the demands of life in general cause a lot of people to "shut down" in various ways, and this only tends to have different emotional effects on men than it does on women. But only possibly. If more men do genuinely "shut down," I'm inclined to wonder if it isn't that more men gravitate into life roles where emotion is less necessary or even undesirable, because men are better suited to those roles to begin with--but often the demands of those roles cause men to "shut down" more than they should. In the same way, more men perform heavy labor because men are better suited to it--but that doesn't mean excessive labor can't wear a man out. I speculate about this because when I come to the third category of men who haven't been "shut down" by undue pressures, we've still got to admit that not only "life" or "society," but also biology is at the bottom of it. As a pattern we're never going to make men "feel" the way women do, because they're just not born that way. This doesn't mean "being unemotional," but the theme of your book--"Men don't feel"--seems just as applicable to me in the sense that more women are into "feelings" while more men use logic and seek solutions. In this "natural" category too, I'm sure your book can help people communicate whenever men "feel less" than women do, regardless of whether the cause is social, biological, or both. What I noticed though is that some reviewers came away with the notion that if "men don't feel," that has to be because they're *suppressing* emotions (or "avoiding" them). No doubt that's true of some, but for others it may not be true at all. The emotions aren't "suppressed"; they're simply *not there* at a particular time--or anyway attenuated compared with women's. And we can't "avoid" something that's not there. In your useful model of the telephone cable, there are men whose colored wires have become disconnected, and those need reconnecting. But the way I see it, for many men it's not that they're disconnected; more perhaps that they're thinner and carry less current all along. Or maybe that those wires can be switched on and off, depending on where we choose to place our emotional focus at a given moment, while women's wires are in circuit the whole time. Maybe some men's switches get rusted in the Off position. :) But between normal men and women these are only different ways of being, equally satisfying for either as individuals, even if that can cause "crossed wires" between the two. So while some men could, and should, "feel" more than they do, it strikes me on the other hand that there are still people, women especially, obsessed with the idea that any time "men don't feel," there has to be something "wrong" with them, that they're "repressed," that it's a "social problem," that men aren't "taught" to feel, that we "don't raise boys right," and all the rest of it. To this extent it's women's problem, not men's, because it's women who want to "make" men feel more, while many men are perfectly happy the way they are! And I'm not surprised if some men feel insulted--possibly like our friend above?--when all this is saying is that men are somehow "inadequate" because they're not like women! People like this are only bashing their heads against a brick wall trying to "fix" something that was never a "problem," to the great frustration of both sexes. Men and women are better off understanding--and accepting--each other the way they are. Judging from some of the review comments however, I gather that one merit of your book is not only that it helps men to feel, but it also helps women to think! So I wish you every success with it, and I appreciate any comments you have on this.

Submit
Saturday October 27, 2001

My husband (former, for 25 years) commented that he felt better after chewing someone out....Of course, that didn't make the target of the rage feel any better about it. He would typically fall asleep for an extended nap after the tantrum while I would worry for hours (perhaps even days) as to what I could have done differently or what I should do to avoid another one.

Submit
Sunday October 28, 2001

You said, “So I wish you every success with it, and I appreciate any comments you have on this”. Wow you said a lot. Thanks for a great overview. My attempt to explain to the readers of the book that they might not fit the examples I used was using statistics. One method I called “STATISTICS CAN BE MISLEADING”. What is the average? What is normal? Wow! What an interesting question. The answer can prove as difficult to arrive at as the question that is being asked. I was listening to the weatherman the other day. He gave the average and normal temperature for a week in July. July 1, 99 degrees- July 2, 97 degrees- July 3, 95 degrees- July 4, 88 degrees- July 5, 88 degrees- July 6, 80 degrees-July 7, 78 degrees. So what is the average? The answer is 89.285 degrees. What is the normal? For the first week of July the normal temperature is 84 degrees, based on all the statistics taken in previous years. My point in this exercise just completed is not ONE of the days in the above July week was the average of 89.285 or the normal of 84 degrees. That’s right, not ONE. In my first book I wrote—I remember a few years ago, someone took the statistics of all the winners of the Miss America contests. He began with the first winning contestant and ended with the Miss America chosen the year of his study. The statistics added together and then divided gave an average of the winning Miss America. According to my memory, the results were something like, five feet seven inches tall, brunette with long hair, blue eyes, one hundred eighteen pounds, measurements of thirty-six, twenty-four, thirty-six. However, when you looked at each individual winner, not one winner fit that description exactly. By employing the above concepts you see no one will ever match an average or normal individual. (Whatever that means). Men or women are all the individuals added together. Men or women must remember as they read the contents of any book, that not one would fit any description exactly. They might fit some points, be better in others, or be worse in a few. Using generalities can be subject to controversies, so it is up to you as the reader to admit to yourself where you need to improve and have enough intestinal fortitude to change. Of course both men and women share all the possibilities. Your point “better communication” is one of the best solutions. Another solution, “starting with someone that does not have the problems in the first place”. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Sunday October 28, 2001

Hi I was the one who asked about how to ask a man to see someone. I tried to say lets go together when he informed me that it was me that has the problem not him!! He said that i was so insecure i was seeing into things and that these issues are not his but mine!! I realise i have some problems but i'm not the one shouting at the driver in front of me, or finding the niggly things in our relationship all his fault. I'm certyainly not the one who wakes up at mid-day because i can't face another day. I'm stuck!! I don't know how to get out!!

Submit
Sunday October 28, 2001

The writer said “My husband (former, for 25 years) commented that he felt better after chewing someone out” Well maybe. I guess if he did not care what the consequences of his behavior would be, he may feel better. Has he ever looked back? Has he lost friends, family, and love ones? It seems your not there anymore. Does he still feel better? Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Sunday October 28, 2001

You said, he told me I have the problem not him! He is correct. However it just so happens that he is also the problem! So since you are agreeing that you have the problem and you are asking him to help you (which loving partners do) what is his FEAR. Why would someone who loves someone not want that someone to be happy? If it were me that was the unhappy one, I would try again to get him to go with me and if I could not I would go without him. Going to a counselor helps sort out emotions, gives view points on how to cope, communicate, and sometimes the inner power to make the decisions that you want to make. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Monday October 29, 2001

A comment to the male poster of 26 October 2001. I consider myself to be a woman who wants a partner and not a man she has to "fix". My ex-partner was different than me and I accepted it. But I did not have the feeling he respected my boundaries. For example, he told me not to use the word "but" because "he wanted me to complement what he said instead of contradicting it". ??? We are talking about a guy who says that he wants an independent, strong woman... I have no problems accepting that men tick in a different way than women and I see a lot of advantages and attraction in these differences. But I think that a relationship can only work if both partners can be themselves, so men also have to accept women the way they are and not use them as dumping ground for their anger and their strict convictions about life and the world.

Submit
Monday October 29, 2001

I have been a victim of emotional abuse since I can remember - my Dad was bad for it. I met my partner 7 years into a 10 year prison sentence - she was a trainee prison officer. We now have two children and I've been out for nearly 4 years. Since the day we met, I knew I had found the right person. We are very spiritual and we think we're more than soul-mates. Everyone we meet seems to think we're the perfect couple and our children are beautiful - gentle souls. What about women as perpetrators? I read the posting from a disillusioned soul - what about me? What about us? My partner walked out on me on the 8th of October. Used the police to exaggerate the situation and took the kids. She holds that over me as a control measure. Her emotional abuse of me extends to violent outbursts where I end up with the fingernails across the face or the closed fist to the cheek-bone. I'm also a perpetrator. That must have been the learned behaviour. I shut off. I feel so hurt inside that I can't trust her anymore. I've told her I don't want to see her or the kids anymore and that's to stop her from playing with my heart. My daughters 4th birthday is on Halloween and although I told her to stay away, my ex will use that as a mind-game. I want to shut off the world because I can't trust anymore. How do homes with parents as perps/victims become stable and loving? She was sexually abused as a child, physically abused by her step-father and emotionally abused by her mother. I was emotionally and phsically abused by my Dad and everything was swept under the carpet by my Mum. I honestly believe we are both perpetrators and victims of an emotionally abusive household. Is there a future for us? Please help. Steve

Submit
Monday October 29, 2001

Steve I feel your pain. Like you I was abused from a baby till my dad left when I was 9 years old. I was kicked, slap, beaten with a tree limb and so forth. Both emotional abuse as well as physical over all those years did not give me the foundation needed to enter a healthy relationship with a women. But, before I cover that I’m concerned with something else within your posting. Steve you said, “I've told her I don't want to see her or the kids anymore and that's to stop her from playing with my heart. My daughters 4th birthday is on Halloween and although I told her to stay away, my ex will use that as a mind-game.” (mind-game??????. What do you think your doing to your Kids?) One of the most confusing areas of the divorce procedure is the parent who not only divorces the spouse but the children as well. When some men and women leave the marriage and get divorced, regardless who made the decision to quit the marriage, they also divorce the kids. Statistics show that 28% of children under the age of eighteen live with one parent. They also show more than one million American children under the age of eighteen are faced with their parent’s divorce each year. These children are now going to be forced to form a new relationship at two different households. That includes a very large number of kids. I was faced with this same problem when my parents divorced. One reason there is an abandonment of the children by one parent is that the non-custodial parent can get back at and hurt the other parent through the kid. If the child is hurt, we as a loving parent are hurt. Another reason might be that the parent who is living on the outside hurts so much when seeing the child and having the feelings stirred up with the loss of the family unit, that they avoid seeing the family altogether. Avoiding the family helps this parent not to face the loss. Another possibility is they resent that the children only want to be with them for their pocketbook or wallet, or to use them for other reasons--as a taxi driver, fixer of anything and everything, and so on. It’s possible they are angry that the child made a decision to stay with the other parent instead of going with them. Whatever the reason for divorcing the children, this damages them a great deal. They don’t feel that the parent loves them and wants them, and it erodes the self-esteem of the child. Questions and statements by the child, such as, “I must not be a very good kid to have a parent that does not want to be with me or even see me,” “Maybe it’s my fault that Mom and Dad got divorced,” “If I was a better kid they might still be together,” and so on demonstrate that damage occurred. How cruel a parent is to abandon their child! It may be that the parent is so wrapped up in their own needs, they disregard the feelings of the child, and give the message to the child that they don’t care about their own flesh and blood. How pathetic! I can not begin to comprehend how these same parents will say and may believe, “I love my children very much.” I’m not going to explain how important a father is to his sons. He is (or should be) the role model--what a young boy would want to be when he grows up and becomes a man. Perhaps men don’t believe if the child is a girl, he is needed. Men are very important in a girl’s life. Daughters with healthy, close ties to their fathers have fewer babies out of wedlock. A father helps a girl grow into a strong, independent woman. As daughters grow older, fathers need to treat them as equals to reassure them and to build their self-confidence and self-esteem. If the mother has left the children with the father, he becomes the single parent. Some males are more nurturing than some females. Single fathers are very capable of raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted children. If the kids are with the mother, the male must stay in the kid’s life for all the above reasons, and this most important one. If you are not in you children’s lives as they grow up, they will not want you in their lives when they are adults. You will always be the outsider, the one who walked away and abandoned them. Yes, maybe some will establish some type of relationship with you but it would never really be that close, deep, loving one that all parent wants with their children. My own father was not there for me as I grew up. He never sent the child support payments, and my mother and I went hungry many nights. We would have soup for meals because we did not have enough money to buy anything else. Even as a young boy and later a teenager, I felt he did not love me or care. Not once in my thinking did I think he was angry with my mother so he got his anger out on her by not sending money. In my mind he did not care about ME! These feelings are still within me. So some logic saying a man is getting back at his ex does not fit. He is getting back at his kids. Believe this, men. If you are at war with your ex, it is the kids who are getting wounded and are dying. Don’t ever justify abandoning your children for some stupid, idiotic excuse. The deep-seated feeling of abandonment stays with us into adult life. Evidence of new research is beginning to show that the effects of parental loss in childhood can surface in later years, showing up in difficulty with close relationships. I bring this to your attention for two reasons. One, if you are the adult whose parent left, you might see this fear of abandonment within you and what it is doing to your relationships. Or, if you are the parent who is leaving or has departed you have knowledge about what it might do to your own children. Therefore do not you might abandon them, but make it a priority to help them grow up with you as part of their lives. Polly Joan wrote in her book, Preventing Teenage Suicide, “Family problems, whether divorce or ongoing interfamily conflict, can play havoc with a young person’s emotions. To the hurt of loss when a parent leaves the home or when one’s secure status in the family is threatened, may be added the feeling that the young person is somehow responsible and guilty for these family problems. Often, adolescents find themselves caught in a conflict of loyalties between the parents and/or siblings, pressured to take sides. A young person brought up to love and respect the family may then feel torn apart. And increased family conflict is forcing adolescents to evaluate the desirability of marriage for themselves. Many are wary of marriage, of having children, doubtful that they should subject children to what they themselves have gone through. Sometimes an adolescent takes on the guilt that he or she is somehow responsible for the family’s conflict. In other cases, adolescents can become the scapegoat for unresolved family problems, with increased feelings of rejection and alienation from other family members.” A few statistics: · Of twelve million children suffering mental illness, fewer than one in five receive treatment--National Institute of Mental Health. · Seven to fourteen percent of children will experience an episode of major depression before age fifteen---National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. · Each year almost 5,000 youths ages 15 to 24 commit suicide---National Mental Health Association Our society is asking why our children take drugs, become alcoholics, and get in trouble with the law. It could be maybe we don’t love them or show that we care. I know I suffered with a form of post-traumatic stress. My experience with early neglect and abuse put me into a depression. Traumatic experiences affect the chemistry of the brain. So Steve, let me say this. First if you hate what has happen in your life, use that hate (anger) to motivate you NOT to do the same to your children and your love one of the future. Your not helpless! Take control of your life now! Start from this point on by being that person that you always wanted someone to be with you. You be the adult. You be the role model. And above all else you give your kids the time and love they need from you. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Thursday November 01, 2001

I don't have any idea who wrote this but, most of us would agree. There is a curious paradox That no one can explain Who understands the secret of the reaping of the grain? Who understands why spring is born out of winter's laboring pain? Or why we must all die a bit before we grow again Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Thursday November 08, 2001

Help! What about the person who never apologizes for his anger; in fact says, well you made me angry or you deserved it. If I said to him, if you reacted in anger like that at work you would get fired; his response would be I haven't gotten fired so I'n not the one with the problem, you are. I'd love some flowers.

Submit
Thursday November 08, 2001

Submit
Thursday November 08, 2001

Dear I'd love some flowers, Somewhere along the way you have given him the message he can treat you the way he wants to. I'm trying to teach my young daughter about boundaries. You might want to estabish your own boundaries. You must decide to what degree you must accept his anger. Only when you are at your limit will you do something. That something could be leaving the relationship, or going to a counseling, or demanding that he stops or face the consequences. Read the above questions and answers from the other women. Some ideas have been discussed. One method that seems to work with some men is to explain what his anger is doing with your love for him. Each big event erodes those feelings of love. Over a long period of time the love is gone. Once it leaves nothing he will do will every make that love come back. Maybe if he realizes how much he is hurting you and how the love is eroding he will stop. However if you tell him and he continues maybe he is telling you he does not care. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Friday November 09, 2001

Wayne, I too am a victim of verbal and physical abuse. What I feel frustrated with is, when the anger cycle is over all these other victims/survivors talk of their abusers apologizing profusely and begging forgiveness. My husband never says that he is sorry. But he does come up to me when he feels better and just expects me to feel affectionate toward him. When he asks me whats wrong, I can't believe it! What do you mean whats wrong? What do you think, you just yelled and screamed at me or called me a name, etc. I feel like once again he is baiting me. I don't know what to do or say. And if I am not returning affection to him, then he says then that I am being a you-know-what. No apologies, no gifts, no guilt. It's like he doesn't even know what has happened. I truly don't know if he is playing a game or may he doesn't even undestand himself. The frustration is just enormous. What do I do or say when he does this?

Submit
Saturday November 10, 2001

Dear, The frustration is just enormous. What do I do or say when he does this?, See--Sunday October 28, 2001 You said, he told me I have the problem not him! He is correct. However it just so happens that he is also the problem! Also--Wednesday October 17, 2001 Hi Maggie, Many women………………….You may want to read all the above questions and answers. As you will see you are not alone. The problem is he has no idea to what depth his stabs of anger, insults, etc. are penetrating. One woman told me it was as if she is was fine china plate. Each time he abuses her it feels that he has just thrown this fine plate of china against a wall. It breaks into many pieces. When everything finally cools down she starts the difficult task of gluing her pieces back together again. Problem with this procedure is she can’t find all the pieces. Little chips, cracks all over and the glue holding it together sipping though onto what once was a beautiful design. Over a long period of time of being thrown and glued together we all forget and cannot see what the beautiful piece of china ever look like. He is destroying you. Maybe not knowing it but that’s where it is going. You must take control and stop this cycle. Please read Friday October 05, 2001 No story in my opinion expresses with more of a profound statement or word picture then the poem: Autobiography in Five Short Chapters (ã Copyright 1993, Portia Nelson from the book, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk, Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, Oregon.) Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Saturday November 10, 2001

Hello Wayne, thank you and Dr. Irene for this form of support. I have a long comment I want to make. I am learning aboutmy co-dependency problems and putting a stop to my H's behavior with the Patricia Evans advice. It works. But I am having a big problem with the honeymoon stage with my husband has been in for over 6 weeks now. He could not be more nice and genuine--after having just about lost me for good. But he put me through hell for the 18 months prior. I could try and work for the relationship except that he believes our problems were caused by me! I made him angry, I withheld money from him (not true), I pressured him, I provoked him, etc. There has been no closure for the past and I'm not handleing it well. My H has been great for a month. he’s even sanded and painted the dog cage, doing husbandly things for me again. (minus the usual--- “he won’t watch Murphy when I go to Mom’s for her birthday (only the two dogs he likes), I didn’t get milk for his sausage gravy, and I’m staying too long at moms. He won’t go anywhere with me--wanted to go to the state fair and the Crab festival--he makes excuses like he used to--has to cut the tree branches--(this has been two weeks he’s been going to do this--now that I want to go to state fair, that’s the day he picks and berates me for going to fair and making him cut the branches when I’m not here. I asked him to go out to eat several times--he refuses. Its exactly the way it used to be”)--- Of course I’ve been gone for 10 days, visiting my mother. I told him before I left that we still needed to do something and the fact that I feel no closure over our past and it wasn’t settled for me. He told me before I left that we had 10 days to think about it. I’m back and he’s nice and everything is “forgotten.” I decided this: he has always decided what to get mad at, when to get mad, how to punish me, how long it will last and when he’s ready to say its over. Our marriage has worked up to now because I go along with him when he says its over--I used to drop it. Now I won’t--well can't. I've kind of gone passive right now. I’ll be nice and do what I should as a wife. BUT I am so resentful of the past abuse and more resentful that he says I cuased it! I want to talk which, I’ve told him so many times (since a horrible fight 6 weeks ago) but he wants to forgive and forget. So I act passive and go along with his plan until he blows up again and then I’ll ask him to give me a divorce. You see, if I "push" the fact that i don't feel closure, then I am accused of hanging onto the past and starting fights. He does not listen to me and i have to get angry before he hears me. I’m angry and resentful and passive--so life is pleasant on the surface. I used to think this meant we really were doing fine and I was so relieved 9this was my past co-dependent behavior until I realized it is really a honeymoon peroid and nothing has been resolved and thus changed). This time I am not relieved because I recognize this as only part of our destructive pattern. This is my tenetive plan: I will not aggravate his truce (I say his because nothing is settled for me) and simply wait for the true him to surface again. I will live my life as I see fit and if he questions me, I will explain I don’t believe in our marriage and I’m not working for it anymore. Until the past is resolved and all the work I did acknowledged (this is fiancial with buying our house and supporting his son) and his contributions to our pain and crazy making and ABUSE--is addressed, I will be neutral about our marriage--as opposed to destructive or proactive. The truth is, he is the same as he was any other time, once in awhile really nice, mostly just focused on self, and sexual when it pleases him. I’m nobody to him. He won’t go anywhere with me, prefering to stay at home. We seldom go anywhere, maybe once every other mothn to dinner. He hunts, works on his computer and that's about it. But our pattern is the same. Just before I left on trip to Mom’s, he was angry because there was no milk for him to make sausage gravy. I jumped around, in my usual co-dependent way, and made up some powered milk for him trying to “fix” problem. Bob ignored the milk (which was later discarded) and my efforts. He stopped everything and drove to the store and got milk to “show” me how I inconvienced him--although he didn’t verbally say anything demeaning (since I learned how to tell him to stop it fromteh Evans book). This morning, there was no milk (HIS mistake because I wasn’t here to do shopping) and he acted just fine about it and even made the sausage gravy with powered milk!!!! See? This is the point. Even when he didn’t shout or criticize me before I left, he tried to demonstrate that I was bad and inconvenienced him about the milk thing. With the very same occurrence (only two weeks later) where there was no way to blame me, he was reasonable. This is my life---I cannot be treated like an adult as he treats himself.My dilemma: If eel guilty becasuenow he is so wodnerful and nto evn showing anger. His "abuse" is so covert that I sound like a real trouble maker to say anything about anything. If I push resolution about the past, I look like a bitch. Yet, I know in my heart that I am "playing along" with the appearance of us being a happy couple and it is not honest, although I've said all thse words to him. he doesn't hear me until I "force it." I guess I wan to know if this is common, where do I go from here? Shelly would appreciate feedback shelly@day-by-day.org

Submit
Sunday November 11, 2001

Dear shelly@day-by-day.org, Have you ever heard an alcoholic explain why they drink? Their wife is a nag, the kids are loud, their boss is unreasonable, the stress of the job, the mother-in-law, etc. Amazing, as it may seem is if we were successful in eliminating the reason they tell us they drink they would find a thousand more. Funny or maybe ironic that they will never run out of reasons. Also it is never ever their fault. Not their problem because you (or something else) cause it. So you are the problem. Well listen to the one who constantly gets angry. Do we see an alcoholic masquerading as an angry man? If he is blaming his anger on others he still has a problem. I just recently heard a man who gave this word picture to describe what is happening—He has a blown up beach ball he is trying to keep under the water. As he holds it down (which is a very difficult task) it keeps popping up on this side or that. He becomes exhausted constantly pushing the ball under. Well this is what the angry person is doing. Because their rage is so close to the surface that a small annoyance can make them blow up like an atomic bomb. Now, we could say the small annoyance is what made him angry. So, it is not his fault. It does seem from some of your points that he does not want to lose you. He is trying to behave but like the beach ball it is very difficult for him. Nothing you do will solve his problem. (Maybe if you leave and never come back it will start to solve his problem, for some men do grow from pain). My advice would be for him to take an Anger Management Course. Also get some therapy. Both these methods may be able to put a hole into the beach ball. Whatever rage he is holding in (and that rage was put in before you ever knew him) must come out. You are not the problem nor the solution. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Sunday November 11, 2001

Hello Wayne, the way you felt is exactly how my x was, i loved this man for 21 yrs, and the last girlfrend was my best friend or i thought, i miss him so, i feel like my life has no meaning , its been 7 months and it seems to me life is hopeless, he had started to group, but she talked him in to quiting, how do i find out if he still loves me, or if he needs me ,anything , how do i talk to him, to tell him how i love him, i know he still loves me, but he wont even talk to me, he is so angry because i got the help of the domestic violence program in our home town, he admitted everything he had done to me and we were working it out and then donna, worked us both and she now is with the man i love so, and im alone with our 13 yr old son missing him so, can you help me im desperate !!!! thankyou, LWARD OR THEOCEANBLUES@HOTMAIL.COM PLEASE I FEEL LIKE IF I COULD DIE EVERYONE WOULD BE BETTER OFF,HELP PLEASE !!! LEVETIA

Submit
Monday November 12, 2001

LEVETIA, I don’t know your man. Could be he needs time away from you to get in touch with his own feelings. Once he does (if he can) he will miss you and his son, realize he does love you and want to return. Or he will realize that he does not and never return. You cannot control this. In fact, it is better that he comes up with what he wants. His feelings, not yours. When someone loses a loved one, be it from a broken relationship, the death of a relationship, divorce or death they go through a series of stages. The time it takes to go through each stage is different for each person. Timing has a lot to do with who it was, how long you were together, how it ended, who ended it, and many other factors. The sequence of the steps is: · Denial. You can’t believe this is happening. Shock, numbness, and believing something will happen to make it change. · Anger. Having no hope, loss of heart, feelings of guilt, if I only…… · Depression. Sadness, hopelessness, the end of the world, I will never be happy again. · Acceptance. Concession, belief, recognition, I will go on. It is possible you will cry within each of the steps above. It is also possible to go into a new stage for awhile, fall back into a previous stage, and go forward once again. In the book, Treatment of Complicated Mourning32, written by Therese Rando, she has listed these six steps: · Recognize the loss. · React to the separation. · Recollect and reexperience the deceased and the relationship. · Relinquish the old attachments to the deceased and the old assumptive world. · Readjust to move adaptively into the new world without forgetting the old. · Reinvest. There is a life after loss. It might sound like a contradiction but it is not. It feels that a piece of ourselves has died when that person leaves us. It seems impossible that life goes on without the person we loved so much. I lost my first wife when she was twenty-eight and I was thirty. We had two sons seven and three. I remember taking the boys to a diner to eat after the funeral. People were eating, talking and laughing. Trucks and cars were passing by. I could hear the music from the radio. The singer was Skeeter Davis, singing a song about “Why do the birds go on singing….” My world had come to an end. A large piece of me was just torn from my body and I was dying. Why was the world going on? How could people be laughing? How could trucks keep running? And why, oh why do the birds go on singing? But life does go on, and with it comes a very long, painful process. Grief is a quiet thing. Grief is part of life. When we lose someone it becomes one of the most stressful events in our life. Hold on to all the memories and add new memories as time goes by. It is as if you are writing a book of your life. Each chapter ends and a new one begins. (You are writing your own autobiography.) You perhaps will hear people say you must let go. That is not true. You will never detach completely. What happens is we learn how to live with our loss. Be careful to monitor your actions as you are going through the grieving process. Grief is normal, but there’s no normal way to grieve. We all grieve our own way. Be aware of your use of drugs, alcohol, sex, and food, as an escape from feeling the pain and hurt--especially as you take the required time to heal. Other concerns are watching your weight loss or gain, sleep patterns, concentration levels, and motivation in work and everyday activities. Acknowledge any feelings of suicide, outbursts of anger or extreme guilt. Many of these emotions are part of the healing process, but if too strong, I recommend you see a psychiatrist to prescribe an anti-depressant to help get you through some of the time it takes to heal. There is life after a loss. It is different, but life nevertheless. Very slowly over time, finding joy again is possible. You will find that activities you enjoyed as a “ten” on a scale of one to ten (ten being the high end of the enjoyment scale), no longer make you feel good; they have dropped to a one. Plus, you have no desire to do the activities. You might start to withdraw from all types of activities and from associating with people. The paradox of this situation is that part of the healing process is time and the other part is to continue life. Give yourself the time to heal. The healing time required will vary from one person to the next. Eventually, the time will come that you must force yourself to get on with your life. Being happy, having fun and enjoying yourself has a lot to do with your mind-set, even when times are hard and things are not going your way. When you decide that it is time to get out and have fun and enjoy yourself, even if you are alone, you will be making solid progress. Wayne L. Misner

Submit
Tuesday November 13, 2001

Submit
Saturday November 17, 2001

After just reading the picture painted by your statistics which concludes that there are not enough good men to go around all the single women I have to say that it looks very questionable. Women do outlive men thus women outnumber men - in old age. This is hardly relevent people in their middle ages. You seem to be saying that there aren't enough men statistically speaking but you say enough 'good' men. I do not feel that your article as published here makes that clear. Your article also does not appear to account for gays and lesbians who may contribute to your statistics. I think the assumptions you make on the basis of your statistics leaves a lot to be desired. Rosie

Submit
Sunday November 18, 2001

Your article seems to be like a rationalization of disrespect. Yes I agree the pressure cooker creates steam but the basic problem is a deep seated disrespect for someone they have conned themselves into believing they love. True love doesn't hurt and disrespect their partner. My partner was served papers 4 months ago and still has not moved out or conceded to quit trying to control me. I am an object of possession not a true love that he wants to protect. He wants to control me and use me to soothe his pain. There is no element of love in this behavior. T

Submit
Saturday December 29, 2001

Dear Dr. Misner, Thank you for your insight. I was involved with and married the male you described in the above articles. I used to think it was me, but upon ending up in the hospital with three crushed vertabrae after a beating I received from him, I have come to realize that his anger and narcasstic tendies were well in place long before I came along. He never displayed affection without some sort of prompting, not even with our sons. He was a big guy, 6 foot 1, 215 pounds. In bed, he was always attentive and affectionate, but beyond the bed he was aloof and detached emotionally. Early in our relationship I just attributed it to the my "just being too sensitive" being that I come from a family that displays affection openly and frequently. We are divorced now, and going through this journey of healing I am on, hasn't been all pleasant. I have had to face some of my behaivors that assisted and aided the behavior "I accepted" from my ex. I am just grateful to see that many of things I thought and pondered these few years about him were not just my imagination, but are valid. Learning who I am has been a big part of my healing and reading articles like yours are a great encouragement...keep up the good work. Signed, Got Out and Starting Over

Submit
Sunday May 26, 2002

In the Fall I ended up going to my (x) boyfriends step mom regarding his drinking and one other finding of mine. I went out of true concern and trust as my boyfriend had made her shine as a caring true mother. She really didn't have much to say about at the time, a few months went by and I guess her wheels started spinning and she called me about this issue and just wanted information...I could hear it, and stupid me gave it. I gave the information with the hope she had good intentions and also so she understood his mishaps in relationships was due to his drowning in alcohol each night. She never went to my boyfriend about the problem I saw and wanted help for and then one night her son who is 16 years younger than my boyfriend called and was asking questions, she told her son and others about my boyfriends problem with the excuse that she didn't want her son to get involved with any of it, but that is really stretching the truth. Her son never came around as he was younger and there was nothing so bad for her to be like that and furthermore where was she for my boyfriend??? If it was so bad where was she??? When the step mother and I discussed the problem of my boyfriend the 2nd time, like I said I knew it wasn't good...she hung up almost instantly after getting the information and she had a comment on what she had to lose if he got in trouble for his actions, however she never once showed up to see for herself and say "what's going on"? All she had to do was show up a few nights and see him drinking to confront the issue. She is not the mother he wanted in his mind and now he is very angry with me and we are "broken" up. Since this all happened he angrily stopped drinking, told me to back off, then said we were broken up, he's all over the place. Then a few weeks ago his father suddenly died - very unexpected! His father is 30 years older than the step mother. Now my boyfriend is angry thinking or saying his father went to his grave thinking his son was a drunk and drug addict (he's angrily exacerrating). His father probably never got wind of any of it. He already knew his son drank. Anyhow, I do not know how to deal with this anger all directed at me. Deep down he knows I am good for him and wanted the best for him. Several weeks ago he said he had to do something about his drinking, etc. and he has, it went from a month commitment to stop drinking to a commitment of 1 year - thanks to an A.A. member that happens to work for him - this person has somehow persuaded my "boyfriend" into a direction of sobriety and I hope it stays, even if we aren't together. I genuinely hated seeing him "function" like he did. He wanted more for himself and knows that deep inside I saw the pain and damage and how it did upset me. The thing was his anger and rage made his mouth say more than it intentionally meant and that had me up and down. He'd break up, yell, and then call back saying...hi, this is your best friend...knowing how he took his misdirected anger out on me. Now so much up and down took place I am being blamed for not giving him space???? When his father died I gave support, food, flowers, cards and showing up at the wake and funeral, he turned those jestures into using his father's death as a way of getting back together. I know he wants me in his life still as he said it yesterday on the phone, I showed up at his house, unannounced and beneath it all he was embarrassed because a worker was there that my boyfriend had bad mouthed me to so he said in front on the worker "how I came without calling and we were broken up and blah blah" he said it calmly and I said well then you don't call me anymore, letting my self stick up for me. I walked away and I don't know what to do. I know deep down this is all pettiness on his part that he made into something giganticle. He could have dealt with it when this first came out with me, one on one but instead he got drunk and bad mouthed me until the cows came home and told people (his friend) things I had said about them being involved also so now he is really was originally upset about him getting drunk and making the issue bigger than it had to be but now it's 8 weeks later and we are apart. Deep down I know he wished he did things different but now what? Any suggestions. His anger and pride are getting in the way. Do I back off totally and let him come to me or do I call and leave a message saying how I feel. I feel we should never have broken up and that we have the genuine power and caring of each other to move forward. I feel life is too short and I know how we really feel towards the other. To say we are still true friends if something really happened to the other we would be there says something and I hate to see life go to waste. Thank you for any advice. This is a tough one.

Submit
Sunday May 26, 2002

In the Fall I ended up going to my (x) boyfriends step mom regarding his drinking and one other finding of mine. I went out of true concern and trust as my boyfriend had made her shine as a caring true mother. She really didn't have much to say about at the time, a few months went by and I guess her wheels started spinning and she called me about this issue and just wanted information...I could hear it, and stupid me gave it. I gave the information with the hope she had good intentions and also so she understood his mishaps in relationships was due to his drowning in alcohol each night. She never went to my boyfriend about the problem I saw and wanted help for and then one night her son who is 16 years younger than my boyfriend called and was asking questions, she told her son and others about my boyfriends problem with the excuse that she didn't want her son to get involved with any of it, but that is really stretching the truth. Her son never came around as he was younger and there was nothing so bad for her to be like that and furthermore where was she for my boyfriend??? If it was so bad where was she??? When the step mother and I discussed the problem of my boyfriend the 2nd time, like I said I knew it wasn't good...she hung up almost instantly after getting the information and she had a comment on what she had to lose if he got in trouble for his actions, however she never once showed up to see for herself and say "what's going on"? All she had to do was show up a few nights and see him drinking to confront the issue. She is not the mother he wanted in his mind and now he is very angry with me and we are "broken" up. Since this all happened he angrily stopped drinking, told me to back off, then said we were broken up, he's all over the place. Then a few weeks ago his father suddenly died - very unexpected! His father is 30 years older than the step mother. Now my boyfriend is angry thinking or saying his father went to his grave thinking his son was a drunk and drug addict (he's angrily exacerrating). His father probably never got wind of any of it. He already knew his son drank. Anyhow, I do not know how to deal with this anger all directed at me. Deep down he knows I am good for him and wanted the best for him. Several weeks ago he said he had to do something about his drinking, etc. and he has, it went from a month commitment to stop drinking to a commitment of 1 year - thanks to an A.A. member that happens to work for him - this person has somehow persuaded my "boyfriend" into a direction of sobriety and I hope it stays, even if we aren't together. I genuinely hated seeing him "function" like he did. He wanted more for himself and knows that deep inside I saw the pain and damage and how it did upset me. The thing was his anger and rage made his mouth say more than it intentionally meant and that had me up and down. He'd break up, yell, and then call back saying...hi, this is your best friend...knowing how he took his misdirected anger out on me. Now so much up and down took place I am being blamed for not giving him space???? When his father died I gave support, food, flowers, cards and showing up at the wake and funeral, he turned those jestures into using his father's death as a way of getting back together. I know he wants me in his life still as he said it yesterday on the phone, I showed up at his house, unannounced and beneath it all he was embarrassed because a worker was there that my boyfriend had bad mouthed me to so he said in front on the worker "how I came without calling and we were broken up and blah blah" he said it calmly and I said well then you don't call me anymore, letting my self stick up for me. I walked away and I don't know what to do. I know deep down this is all pettiness on his part that he made into something giganticle. He could have dealt with it when this first came out with me, one on one but instead he got drunk and bad mouthed me until the cows came home and told people (his friend) things I had said about them being involved also so now he is really was originally upset about him getting drunk and making the issue bigger than it had to be but now it's 8 weeks later and we are apart. Deep down I know he wished he did things different but now what? Any suggestions. His anger and pride are getting in the way. Do I back off totally and let him come to me or do I call and leave a message saying how I feel. I feel we should never have broken up and that we have the genuine power and caring of each other to move forward. I feel life is too short and I know how we really feel towards the other. To say we are still true friends if something really happened to the other we would be there says something and I hate to see life go to waste. Thank you for any advice. This is a tough one.

Submit
Sunday May 26, 2002

In the Fall I ended up going to my (x) boyfriends step mom regarding his drinking and one other finding of mine. I went out of true concern and trust as my boyfriend had made her shine as a caring true mother. She really didn't have much to say about at the time, a few months went by and I guess her wheels started spinning and she called me about this issue and just wanted information...I could hear it, and stupid me gave it. I gave the information with the hope she had good intentions and also so she understood his mishaps in relationships was due to his drowning in alcohol each night. She never went to my boyfriend about the problem I saw and wanted help for and then one night her son who is 16 years younger than my boyfriend called and was asking questions, she told her son and others about my boyfriends problem with the excuse that she didn't want her son to get involved with any of it, but that is really stretching the truth. Her son never came around as he was younger and there was nothing so bad for her to be like that and furthermore where was she for my boyfriend??? If it was so bad where was she??? When the step mother and I discussed the problem of my boyfriend the 2nd time, like I said I knew it wasn't good...she hung up almost instantly after getting the information and she had a comment on what she had to lose if he got in trouble for his actions, however she never once showed up to see for herself and say "what's going on"? All she had to do was show up a few nights and see him drinking to confront the issue. She is not the mother he wanted in his mind and now he is very angry with me and we are "broken" up. Since this all happened he angrily stopped drinking, told me to back off, then said we were broken up, he's all over the place. Then a few weeks ago his father suddenly died - very unexpected! His father is 30 years older than the step mother. Now my boyfriend is angry thinking or saying his father went to his grave thinking his son was a drunk and drug addict (he's angrily exacerrating). His father probably never got wind of any of it. He already knew his son drank. Anyhow, I do not know how to deal with this anger all directed at me. Deep down he knows I am good for him and wanted the best for him. Several weeks ago he said he had to do something about his drinking, etc. and he has, it went from a month commitment to stop drinking to a commitment of 1 year - thanks to an A.A. member that happens to work for him - this person has somehow persuaded my "boyfriend" into a direction of sobriety and I hope it stays, even if we aren't together. I genuinely hated seeing him "function" like he did. He wanted more for himself and knows that deep inside I saw the pain and damage and how it did upset me. The thing was his anger and rage made his mouth say more than it intentionally meant and that had me up and down. He'd break up, yell, and then call back saying...hi, this is your best friend...knowing how he took his misdirected anger out on me. Now so much up and down took place I am being blamed for not giving him space???? When his father died I gave support, food, flowers, cards and showing up at the wake and funeral, he turned those jestures into using his father's death as a way of getting back together. I know he wants me in his life still as he said it yesterday on the phone, I showed up at his house, unannounced and beneath it all he was embarrassed because a worker was there that my boyfriend had bad mouthed me to so he said in front on the worker "how I came without calling and we were broken up and blah blah" he said it calmly and I said well then you don't call me anymore, letting my self stick up for me. I walked away and I don't know what to do. I know deep down this is all pettiness on his part that he made into something giganticle. He could have dealt with it when this first came out with me, one on one but instead he got drunk and bad mouthed me until the cows came home and told people (his friend) things I had said about them being involved also so now he is really was originally upset about him getting drunk and making the issue bigger than it had to be but now it's 8 weeks later and we are apart. Deep down I know he wished he did things different but now what? Any suggestions. His anger and pride are getting in the way. Do I back off totally and let him come to me or do I call and leave a message saying how I feel. I feel we should never have broken up and that we have the genuine power and caring of each other to move forward. I feel life is too short and I know how we really feel towards the other. To say we are still true friends if something really happened to the other we would be there says something and I hate to see life go to waste. Thank you for any advice. This is a tough one.

Submit
Sunday May 26, 2002

In the Fall I ended up going to my (x) boyfriends step mom regarding his drinking and one other finding of mine. I went out of true concern and trust as my boyfriend had made her shine as a caring true mother. She really didn't have much to say about at the time, a few months went by and I guess her wheels started spinning and she called me about this issue and just wanted information...I could hear it, and stupid me gave it. I gave the information with the hope she had good intentions and also so she understood his mishaps in relationships was due to his drowning in alcohol each night. She never went to my boyfriend about the problem I saw and wanted help for and then one night her son who is 16 years younger than my boyfriend called and was asking questions, she told her son and others about my boyfriends problem with the excuse that she didn't want her son to get involved with any of it, but that is really stretching the truth. Her son never came around as he was younger and there was nothing so bad for her to be like that and furthermore where was she for my boyfriend??? If it was so bad where was she??? When the step mother and I discussed the problem of my boyfriend the 2nd time, like I said I knew it wasn't good...she hung up almost instantly after getting the information and she had a comment on what she had to lose if he got in trouble for his actions, however she never once showed up to see for herself and say "what's going on"? All she had to do was show up a few nights and see him drinking to confront the issue. She is not the mother he wanted in his mind and now he is very angry with me and we are "broken" up. Since this all happened he angrily stopped drinking, told me to back off, then said we were broken up, he's all over the place. Then a few weeks ago his father suddenly died - very unexpected! His father is 30 years older than the step mother. Now my boyfriend is angry thinking or saying his father went to his grave thinking his son was a drunk and drug addict (he's angrily exacerrating). His father probably never got wind of any of it. He already knew his son drank. Anyhow, I do not know how to deal with this anger all directed at me. Deep down he knows I am good for him and wanted the best for him. Several weeks ago he said "he had to do something about his drinking, etc." and he has, it went from a month commitment to stop drinking to a commitment of 1 year - thanks to an A.A. member that happens to work for him - this person has somehow persuaded my "boyfriend" into a direction of sobriety and I hope it stays, even if we aren't together. I genuinely hated seeing him "function" like he did. He wanted more for himself and knows that deep inside I saw the pain and damage and how it did upset me. The thing was his anger and rage made his mouth say more than it intentionally meant and that had me up and down. He'd break up, yell, and then call back saying...hi, this is your best friend...knowing how he took his misdirected anger out on me. Now so much up and down took place I am being blamed for not giving him space???? When his father died I gave support, food, flowers, cards and showing up at the wake and funeral, he turned those jestures into using his father's death as a way of getting back together. He also has to deal with the father not leaving a will and that was a major blow of disappointment, he thought and was lead to believe the father had taken care of that. The step mother has control and has an attorney and is making promises but my boyfriend says he trusts her but really does NOT. My boyfriend said now that his father held everyone back - that says a lot. The father berayted the entire family constantly and in a good way I pointed that out to my boyfriend. I ended up having a conversation with him about a time we visited and said how his father criticized but never helped, how it was apparent but my boyfriend had been in the family trance, knowing something was fried but not able to express it and received my thoughts and understood; I think even felt relieved and felt better about himself because that helped him bounce some of the criticism he endured to run off his shoulders. I know he wants me in his life still as he said it yesterday on the phone, I showed up at his house, unannounced and beneath it all he was embarrassed because a worker was there that my boyfriend had bad mouthed me to so he said in front on the worker "how I came without calling and we were broken up and blah blah" he said it calmly and I said well then you don't call me anymore, letting my self stick up for me. I walked away and I don't know what to do. I know deep down this is all pettiness on his part that he made into something giganticle. He could have dealt with it when this first came out with me, one on one but instead he got drunk and bad mouthed me until the cows came home and told people (his friend) things I had said about them being involved also so now he is really was originally upset about him getting drunk and making the issue bigger than it had to be but now it's 8 weeks later and we are apart. Deep down I know he wished he did things different but now what? Any suggestions. His anger and pride are getting in the way. Do I back off totally and let him come to me or do I call and leave a message saying how I feel. I feel we should never have broken up and that we have the genuine power and caring of each other to move forward. I feel life is too short and I know how we really feel towards the other. To say we are still true friends if something really happened to the other we would be there says something and I hate to see life go to waste. Thank you for any advice. This is a tough one.

Submit
Thursday June 27, 2002

dear Wayne, I left my husband because he never opened his "walls" more than a crack at a time, If that. I could no longer stand the lonleness and emotional starvation. He had suggested that we divorce and I agreed (I always said I wanted a divorce). As soon as i moved out he already had a girlfriend. I believe he met her before I left. Now before we seperated I had been standing up and being true to myself. it took courage and I had the "cold shoulder" from him all the time.but I stayed at it because I was in fear of losing myself, completely. Now I am wondering......did he have any sort of change and do you think he is treating the girlfriend better than he did me, because of all the "teaching" i did for so long? Or is she the replacement of me because he only wants someone that will obey him? bertha W

Submit
Sunday July 07, 2002

Dear Wayne, How "possible" is it for an abuser to change? I mean, REALLY change for ever and for good? I have been married to an abuser for 17 years. His dad abused his mom, and sometimes the kids. His dad eventually left the marriage, to live with the wifes' best friend, and was with this other woman until she passed away many years later. Now, my husband, who never wanted to be like his dad, hits, slaps, even chokes, and threatens me. (yes I am planning to leave) after years of 'i want to change, and I don't want to be this way" even crying that, I am the most important person in his life- and I really believe he is sorry, and feels he cannot help himself, although he counseled and prayed for it. I feel sorry for him, because I think, like a deep habit, perhaps like a drug addict, he wants to stop but finds himself repeating it over and over.- I was told once by a abuse shelter counselor, that many of these men do not change, it is possible, but very very hard. It is even harder to love one, because you have the confliction of hurt, pain, and love, all being wrapped up together, I hate him when he is like that, and love him when he is back to his sweet self, and that makes leaving hard and at times confusing. BUT- now I am convinced, he won't change, i feel I have no choice, for my safety sake. Thanks. I.Bleu

Submit
Thursday August 15, 2002

I am in a cycle of verbally abusive relationship. I can not live with or without the person, but if I keep going back to the relationship I fear that he will eventually end up having no respect for me and he will continue to verbally abuse me and shame me. What should I do?

Submit
Monday September 02, 2002

A very good christian friend wants to start a program here in town for the abuser. With your articles and your book this will help, but where can he start. He feels God is calling him to this ministry. Thank-you for what you have done. Love in Christ--Becky(baa1200@hotmail.com)

Submit
Thursday November 14, 2002

What about men who are addicted to the "sharing" of emotions in a 12-step recovery group and keep those people completely separate from his family(spouse, children), then unfavorably compare us with those people and their "unconditional love"? This had developed over several years before I realized what was happening.

Up