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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

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Comments:  Abuse Article Research

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   CopyrightŠ 1998-2002. 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

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Monday April 15, 2002

The earliest warning signs were lies about things he didn't have to lie about. For instance, the kind of motorcycles he used to own, his diet (doesn't eat sugar, is vegan), has never been on antibiotics (boasting) but then when he needed pity, he complained about how sick he always gets on antibiotics (this guy was my doctor). As time went on, I found he lied about his training, his experience, etc.

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Monday April 15, 2002

Yes, I remember the early days. They were very intense. First I want to give you some history: In 1987 I left home to attend University X. Not yet knowing one another, C (also living near school) the did the same. We met through my next door neighbor, Jill, in the dormitory. C was like a "light" when I met him. Jill and C were dating. One night I felt very strongly toward C and I initiated a kiss. I knew he liked me but he was with Jill. One day she overheard me through the vent that connected our dorm rooms and she found out what had happened. My friendship with her ended.

Upon returning home for summer break, I decided to remain in my hometown and obtain an AA at the local junior college. Ironically, unbeknownst to me, C came home for winter break that year and decided to stay in his hometown closeby.

Later I moved to Chicago to begin work training and to transfer to the University. Over the course of the next six years, C and I ran into each other a few times. Each time I felt the tables had turned from our situation at school...I felt he really liked me but I was not interested in him as a boyfriend, but I adored him as a friend. My main reason for not liking him was in our kissing connection, or lack thereof. The times that we would get close to a kiss, he would pull away so that our kiss was not deep and often our lips did not even touch. He seemed to purposefully move his head around gently but almost uncontrollably so as to keep me from getting the kiss I wanted; I could not understand why he would keep himself at bay.

Our run-ins often seemed ironic, as in special coincidences. Sometime in the mid 90s I walked into a  store with my then boyfriend, G (after G and I attended a couples' counseling session), and saw C. On some level it seemed extra nice to see C, and get his confusing but intense attention. (G was experiencing impotence; I did not find out until the end of our relationship that he had a sexual addiction to pornographic magazines and erotic stage shows.) After G and I broke up, C and I got in contact and met up a few times.

My office manager and I would go out after work every Friday; C and his best friend, T, met us there a few times. C and I also met up at a street fair in July; we were supposed to go again the next day but he canceled. This trait of "flaking" was one I already strongly disliked about him. Another time we went dancing at a club and had such a good time that I am sure we both still think about it. We danced until we sweat and then we entered a room where everyone was on drugs; we were relatively sober and had a blast throwing water on each other while we kept dancing. We were quite the display of coupledom.

Now, the "whirlwind romance" began with N's 30th birthday in September. I have this habit of contacting people to wish them a happy birthday albeit they might not contact me, whether they are able to or not. I left C a message before I went to work on September 18. He called me at work to say that I was the only person that had contacted him in regard to his birthday; he invited me to an all-male dinner planned with his friends. I envisioned being uncomfortable with all males and also thought I would rather not go out on a weeknight, but I am a "yes-woman" when it comes to another's birthday.

C and a friend picked me up and brought me to the restaurant. I ended up enjoying the attention I got from being the only female at the table. It was awkward at times but C gave me that special "crush" attention. Later I was led to believe I would get a ride to my house but got dropped off with C, who in turn was supposed to drive me the rest of the way.

I was peeved that I was not driven home and was suspicious since I had been manipulated in similar situations with other men. But I had adored N's presence as long as I had known him, and it was his birthday.

C lived in the back of a commercial warehouse that he owned. It matched my taste. We listened to music with amazing acoustics and we sat and talked and became intimately affectionate. Suddenly his kiss was passionate. I tell you...it was as if I fell in love within a few moments. Later he disclosed a shocking story of how he was attacked by a gang in a pool hall. Being the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person; see www.hsperson.com) that I am, I shuttered at envisioning what he went through as he told me of getting hit with the pool balls and pool sticks, how he had his mouth wired shut, etc.

His birthday was on a Thursday. We spent so much time together in those next few days; we referred to it as "the lost weekend." Just looking back on that first night of transition and weekend of romance (albeit we waited one month to have sex) from 10 years of acquaintanceship to "falling in love"...makes me see red flags.

My advice to others would be to view intense passion as a red flag, no matter how good it feels and no matter how much society says that's what romance is. What I realize now is throughout 5 year relationship (after knowing each other for 10 years), C allowed bonding with me when he felt like it and when he thought it would work to control me. Other times he would just shut down, disappear, or verbally abuse.

I recently read that the amount each person in a couple discloses to each other is a good sign of their success in coupledom. I know that over disclosure is not a good idea but C presented an atmosphere that appeared safe. However, he did not tell me much about his family...or he would tell me about an incident but then not elaborate. For example, once his mother threw a toilet seat at him, but I don't know why. Another time, he was growing psychedelic mushrooms in his parents' attic, but he did not tell me what their reactions were when they found out.

I have three degrees in social psychology majors. When C began showing signs of abuse (about two months into our dating relationship) I began looking into the psychology of his abuse. First I became hyperfocused on ADHD. I bought a book and asked him to read it. I dragged him to the ADD clinic and he even took medication after saying he never would, but then he went off of it in a week without telling me. We also went to couples counseling and a couples communication workshop. Later I became focused on the HSP trait in myself---one thing we really had in common was the HSS trait. Seventy percent of HSPs are HSS (High Sensation Seekers). While I was HSP and HSS, C was only HSS.

Now, upon breaking up with him for good one week ago, I have been reading two books on verbal abuse. It is enlightening, rather mind-blowing information to me!!! Now I see that he has hurts from childhood that he is denying but yet he is looking for an anger outlet--that has been me. No more. I have been in counseling off and on since I was a child and I have been doing counseling once a week for since January 2001; soon I will be starting EMDR therapy. I have looked at myself and what I could fix. It is all about him now. Even with life counseling he might not get well, but certainly since he is in denial while he is so angry, I cannot have him in my life anymore. If in the future he could admit the verbal abuse that occurred in our relationship, I might be able to friends at a distance. But I would bet money that he will never even realize what is going on his psyche. The ADHD alone renders him a poor self-observer.

These charming, charming, charming men are hiding something. They are trying to appear normal to others and knock your socks off but at unexpected times they will act completely different in private, so no one will believe you when you describe what he does to you. Would he treat his friends this way? Maybe he'd be late, maybe he'd raise his voice to them, but would he take their most bruised hurt and throw it in their face when they were down? No, but he'll do it to you. And you're the one spending your days and nights with him and making love to him. His friends only put up with him here and there.

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Monday April 15, 2002

Dear Mary and Dr. Irene, I have been on a 2 year journey with therapy and a battered women's shelter to finally finish a 22 year verbally abusive relationship. There were so many red flags before I married my h. We were dating 6 years before we married but I was pre-conditioned to marry someone like him because my father and mother paved the brainwashing way. My father treats my mother horribly. Her name is "Stupid" according to him. And from her perspective he doesn't mean any of it, it is his way of showing he loves her. My h before marriage lost his temper at me in public demeaning and humiliating me. If I objected he would apologize eloquently. If I ignored it per my mother's upbringing he would too. I married my Dad's best friends' son. Both families discount the extreme abuse they put their women through. My mother lives in a fantasy world and my mother in law thinks everything is wonderful even though she has cancer and very seldom gets much nurturing from her h. My journaling saved my life. It helped me breakthrough the difficult discerning task of eloquent apologies and severe mood swings. Prior to marriage I was kicked out of his apartment left with no money or transportation because he got mad at me for saying I was a nice person. I would cook an elaborate birthday meal and he would show up at midnight. Just a few of the tidbits a healthy person would have discerned. T

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Tuesday April 16, 2002

When we started dating, he almost immediately began talking about marriage and kids. He showered me with gifts and attention, and became withdrawn and pouty when I wanted to spend time with my friends. He showed jealousy of them and other things such as an old video tape of some of my college friends. He deliberately pushed me into trying to get pregnant as quickly as possible (even before we were married), and once I was pregnant (after dating only 4 months or so), he said, "Now we will have a child together. We will have a permanent bond. You will never be able to get rid of me." He yelled at me for the first time when we were driving to the airport on our way to get married. He didn't call me names, though, until about a year into our marriage.

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Friday April 19, 2002

Things I choose to ignore - do you have room for them here? Small things like the first argument that we had before we started dating - we disagreed about something - he could not leave it alone, had to keep trying to convince me that I was wrong - I said we should agree to differ - he couldn't, so in the end he said I was stupid and thinking like a woman - at that I walked away - yes I was hurt and bewildered and didn't handle it well - but he persued and I let it go. A few weeks into the relationship we were talking about we viewed each other - he said I was negative, depressed, hard work, cold, insecure - he was probably right - I had just left my violent #1 H, but that was all he said - there were no positive things - I asked why he was seeing me then - he said because he knew he could change all that - that seemed ok at the time. His being over affectionate - had to touch all the time - I like affection but I don't crave it and I do not need to hold hands, cuddle, 24/7. When I began to move away, or ask him not to cuddle me right now because I am doing something please - he got offended, I gave in and accepted that I was being cold and icy. the problem has continued till this present day and has now resulted in my 7 year old daughter telling her teachers that daddy hit her with a hammer - he didn't and never has - because she tried to get him to stop cuddling her and he wouldn't - he now says she is copying me! Way way over the top involvement with his mother - never believe it when someone says that if a guy treats his mother well he will treat you well - I am sure the underlying sentiment is true but if the guy checkc out major decisions with his mother and then tells you what the two of them have decided you should do - run like crazy! Overly affectionate with his mother - to the point of appearing like a courting couple when you are out together - always hugging and laying all over each other - has stopped now but caused many of my friends to comment on it when they saw it going on. I mentioned it once only to be told that they were close so what was my problem. Taking over things that you do - I have always done my own decorating - when he moved in, he had never decorated in his life - so he got his mother to show him and then the pair of them proceeded to show me the "right" way to do it. This also applies to many other things - parenting when he had never been one till he met me, washing, cooking, cleaning, suddenly although I had been running a home of my own for 14 years and raising 3 children - i knew nothing and he was going to educate me. DISLOYALTY - this is a biggie for me and one that I would always look for if I ever get involved with anyone else ever again. His mother decided she didn't like me - she refused to meet me or talk to me for over 6 months - how could she know - used to ring my house and say "I want to talk to P" - that's it. She asked him to come home, she told him she would not come to the wedding - that I was common trash, that my children were either juvenile delinquents or bitches!! He never said a word in my defence - I was not there. Emotional blackmail - watch how he behaves if ever someone crosses him - if he turns nasty - watch out. H had a boss that didn't think much to his performance and gave him a bad review - he spent 2 years waiting for his chance to pay him back - used the man's personal life to get back at him when he was in the middle of a divorce. Tried to have me committed when I asked for a divorce using my post natal depression as evidence that I was an unfit mother. Anger signs - watch for the look of contempt and hatred that goes with his behaviour when you disagree with him. If the namecalling starts - get the hell out of there - it is only a matter of time before he will at some point get aggressive if you stay your ground - aggression will at some point turn to actual physical - don't ever thing it won't. Don't be fooled by the you made me do this - you wound me up so it's your fault that I slapped you - it was only a slap I didn't hurt you stuff - get going and don't look back. Do not miss these signs otherwise you will end up depressed, hurting, angry and so confused. I have been here 10 years, I have 3 kids now left at home - the eldest 2 have gone but that is another story - all connected though to this issue and I all I want to do is walk out the door and keep walking and never ever come back. Tell your friends before you get broken - I didn't and now it is too late.

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Friday April 19, 2002

Things I choose to ignore - do you have room for them here? Small things like the first argument that we had before we started dating - we disagreed about something - he could not leave it alone, had to keep trying to convince me that I was wrong - I said we should agree to differ - he couldn't, so in the end he said I was stupid and thinking like a woman - at that I walked away - yes I was hurt and bewildered and didn't handle it well - but he persued and I let it go. A few weeks into the relationship we were talking about we viewed each other - he said I was negative, depressed, hard work, cold, insecure - he was probably right - I had just left my violent #1 H, but that was all he said - there were no positive things - I asked why he was seeing me then - he said because he knew he could change all that - that seemed ok at the time. His being over affectionate - had to touch all the time - I like affection but I don't crave it and I do not need to hold hands, cuddle, 24/7. When I began to move away, or ask him not to cuddle me right now because I am doing something please - he got offended, I gave in and accepted that I was being cold and icy. the problem has continued till this present day and has now resulted in my 7 year old daughter telling her teachers that daddy hit her with a hammer - he didn't and never has - because she tried to get him to stop cuddling her and he wouldn't - he now says she is copying me! Way way over the top involvement with his mother - never believe it when someone says that if a guy treats his mother well he will treat you well - I am sure the underlying sentiment is true but if the guy checkc out major decisions with his mother and then tells you what the two of them have decided you should do - run like crazy! Overly affectionate with his mother - to the point of appearing like a courting couple when you are out together - always hugging and laying all over each other - has stopped now but caused many of my friends to comment on it when they saw it going on. I mentioned it once only to be told that they were close so what was my problem. Taking over things that you do - I have always done my own decorating - when he moved in, he had never decorated in his life - so he got his mother to show him and then the pair of them proceeded to show me the "right" way to do it. This also applies to many other things - parenting when he had never been one till he met me, washing, cooking, cleaning, suddenly although I had been running a home of my own for 14 years and raising 3 children - i knew nothing and he was going to educate me. DISLOYALTY - this is a biggie for me and one that I would always look for if I ever get involved with anyone else ever again. His mother decided she didn't like me - she refused to meet me or talk to me for over 6 months - how could she know - used to ring my house and say "I want to talk to P" - that's it. She asked him to come home, she told him she would not come to the wedding - that I was common trash, that my children were either juvenile delinquents or bitches!! He never said a word in my defence - I was not there. Emotional blackmail - watch how he behaves if ever someone crosses him - if he turns nasty - watch out. H had a boss that didn't think much to his performance and gave him a bad review - he spent 2 years waiting for his chance to pay him back - used the man's personal life to get back at him when he was in the middle of a divorce. Tried to have me committed when I asked for a divorce using my post natal depression as evidence that I was an unfit mother. Anger signs - watch for the look of contempt and hatred that goes with his behaviour when you disagree with him. If the namecalling starts - get the hell out of there - it is only a matter of time before he will at some point get aggressive if you stay your ground - aggression will at some point turn to actual physical - don't ever thing it won't. Don't be fooled by the you made me do this - you wound me up so it's your fault that I slapped you - it was only a slap I didn't hurt you stuff - get going and don't look back. Do not miss these signs otherwise you will end up depressed, hurting, angry and so confused. I have been here 10 years, I have 3 kids now left at home - the eldest 2 have gone but that is another story - all connected though to this issue and I all I want to do is walk out the door and keep walking and never ever come back. Tell your friends before you get broken - I didn't and now it is too late.

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Friday April 19, 2002

Dear Mary,

The very first argument we ever had - about 2 months into the relationship - he walked out. Just walked out. He wouldn't answer his telephone once he got home. The next day at work he refused to speak to me. After a couple of days it was as if nothing had ever happened between us.

Later - I asked him how he & his former wife had resolved their disagreements. He told me they would stop talking to each other, then after a couple of days everything would be fine. I had NEVER heard of such a thing. I encouraged him to go to couple's therapy, but there was no change in his attitude ever. Just got more frequent and lasted longer the longer we were together.

Other warning signs: his former pot-smoking addiction, his inability to pay bills on time, inability to dress in clothes that weren't torn or tattered (even to work), inability to make vital house-hold repairs, inability to be social with my son, his over-the-top angry responses to small insignificant events.

I overlooked all these behaviors because I knew he was intelligent enough to know it was wrong. I also considered myself 'broken' from a health problem and thought I wasn't able to attract someone normal. I've learned my lesson!!

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Saturday April 20, 2002

Red flags I rationalized away:

* agressive behavior toward others (I mistook for assertiveness) * poked fun at people, women especially, spoke in disparaging ways about certain people, for example "retards" * generally suspicious and untrusting * tried to get around rules, would lie, or twist things, sense of entitlement *when we got engaged, wanted me to quit school and marry him right away, was upset that I wanted to finish my AA where I was at and give my kids a chance to get used to the idea of my getting married and us moving to another town *when I asked him not to hug me so hard because it hurt, replied "Maybe I shouldn't hug you at all." *Once engaged accused me of marrying him to get his house *I often felt nervous around him, especially when my kids were there too. He sometimes seemed resentful of my kids. *When first dating, he would bring things for my kids--nothing expensive, just stuff they would like. Quit doing it because they began to act interested in what he brought (he admitted this). *Called me selfish because when leaving a family picnic I didn't leave the soda I'd brought(no one wanted it--I asked). *Very concerned that people go by the book, follow the rules. *Horded things: medical supplies, dried foods, toothpaste, etc. He has stuff that dates from the early '80's. *Kept his old address after we married. Is still registered to vote at his old address and receives mail there (he used to live in an apartment in rental property he owns). we've been married 11 years. *Favorite words are me, my , mine, I. Seldom uses Us or We. * usually rude to waitstaff, complained about something everytime we went out. When I told him that his complaining cut down on my enjoyment of our dates, he replied "Maybe I've been spending too much time dating you." *On our first date, I had to wait while he cleaned off the front seat of his car. It was full of books and assorted junk. Seems he would have done that before. *preoccupied with disaster, and the threat of it. The world is going to hell in a handbasket; big on self-protection. *Easily offended, perceived he was being slighted

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Monday April 22, 2002

OK, I was married to this guy for 20 years ago, so the "warning signs" happened very long ago. But here are things I remember...

Anxiety around him (which I assumed was me being an anxious person) Sensations of confusion (again, easy to blame on me - I feel confused, therefore I must be a confused person) Discounting of things I said - telling rather than listening - this can be very subtle Constant negative and judgmental comments about others - a sense that the world was against him, that people are toxic Negative comments about my family (well, they do have their problems so I accepted these, not realizing how incredibly disrespectful they were)

There was the time he asked me to dinner, shortly after we'd met (but I think he'd already asked me to marry him), and I was being a nice guest and helping in the kitchen. He looked at the stove and said, "You call that CLEAN?" I sort of laughed, thinking he was joking, which made him enraged. Wow. When I write that I just cannot believe I didn't walk right out...

Even after years of marriage, his phone calls home when he was out of town always left me very anxious. It never occurred to me that that was strange, that they should feel nice or at least neutral most of the time. And now I know it's because at some level I realized I was just a talking post - there to listen - not to be.

And the one that I've never told anyone before, but I will here. Sexual intercourse was extremely quick and all about him. On our wedding night, I was trying to have an orgasm, and he became angry. When I asked him why, he said, "It's just all about sex, isn't it?" as if this were a terrible thing, for me to have needs. My heart literally broke in two. Why I didn't leave and never come back... Well, I didn't, but I have now.

I really think this is easily summed up... Things WILL seem wrong. If you start rationalizing ANYTHING, after you've tried to work it out, asked for change if you need it, then the relationship isn't for you. Who cares whether it's about abuse or some other problem - love isn't supposed to feel yucky! I hear people say that it was so wonderful in the beginning, but I think often there is confusion even there ("Gosh, he is really falling for me quickly, how wonderful!" but then there is voice saying "why?").

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Monday April 22, 2002

Mary's response:

Thank you for all your posts and the e-mails that you have sent. I am taking time to read them closely and think about what you have said. There are so many similarities in the stories that they are astounding.

To the person who said that it's now too late: Have you tried counseling or otherwise reaching out for help? No one should have to live with the despair that comes from being in an abusive relationship. I hope that you will find a way, first to cope and then to realize your own dreams and desires. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

To everyone: As I read through what you have written, I am struck by how often you talk about how you wish you had left earlier, when some of this behavior manifested itself, or how you wonder why you didn't interpret the behavior as abusive.

Now I have a new question: what do you think made you susceptible to an abusive relationship? If looking back, the red flags are so clear, why weren't they before? Why did you ignore, misinterpret, explain away, or excuse the behavior that now seems so apparent?

Thank you again for taking the time to post.

Mary Peacock

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Tuesday April 23, 2002

Dear Mary I am the person who said it is too late - it is too late to undo the damage that being here has done to my children. Much of the despair I feel is due to the overwhelming guilt that I feel for my part in that and anger due to my own pathetic helplessness. However, I am concentrating at present on just getting through each day as best as I can and taking care of my kids. Hopefully when I am stronger I will finally do something about it. As for why I fell for him - well quite simply really - he didn't hit me and I thought he listened to me. I did not know about emotional abuse or any of these kind of issues. I clearly did not expect much out of a relationship. I had no idea that I also had rights and limits - I was raised that having limits and wishes against what others wanted was selfish, so I see that I have always thought that both my husband's feelings or demands where more important than mine. I had this reinforced for me by my mother who called round unexpectedly one day during my first marriage - I was sporting a split lip and a black eye which had just been given to me about an hour before. My mum said to me "what did you do?" I said I had left his dinner in the oven while I went to work and was not here when he came home. My mother told me that he was entitled to expect that and that I should be more careful about my wifely duties. I think I gave up at that point. If my own mother thought I had provoked the attack and that it was justified, then clearly I felt I had to learn how to be a better wife and to do as I was told, so as not to anger him. So after getting out of that marriage which lasted 13 years, I thought I had found my Mr Right with this husband. He didn't hit or call me names, he treated his mother well, too well but that is another story. I realise now that I went from one bad relationship to another - there were only 3 serious relationships in total, 2 of which I ended up marrying. For a long time now I see that I have accepted responsibility for other people's feelings and things that have happened to them long before I came along. I have not learned to take care of me, only others. I am a true codependant and I know that is the issue that I must work on now. I seriously doubt that I will ever bother with another relationship as I trust so easily and am so easily fooled. I read that the doc says that healthy people have an "on guard" shield around them all the time which the less healthier people like me regard as having to work at it. This I totally agree with but have never managed to sustain as I feel this makes me appear cold and hostile rather than warm and approachable. I have a lot of work to do on me and I cannot afford counselling, so this board is my therapy, although lately even coming here does not help as much as it used to. Sorry I digress and am rambling. I hope this is the sort of answer that you had in mind.

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Wednesday April 24, 2002

Hi Mary, I did some research on the subject when I was writing my book Men Don't Listen. The list I have posted here for you was the the answers most given. I will give you permission to use the results if you want them.

WATCH FOR THE RED FLAGS Excerpt from the book Men Don’t Listen

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:

ˇ Watch how he acts with others. (If he is not nice, chances are he will treat you the same.) ˇ Does he drink? How much? ˇ Does he take drugs? ˇ Do you feel stifled? ˇ Is he abusive? ˇ Does he hurt animals? ˇ What kind of relationship does he have with his mother, father, brothers, sisters, kids, etc. ˇ Does he respect the law? ˇ Does he cheat? ˇ Do little things he is doing bother you? ˇ Does he lie? ˇ Does he steal? ˇ Is he short tempered? ˇ Does he drive like a maniac? ˇ Do your friends tell you he is no good for you? ˇ Does he yell at or curse other drivers? ˇ Does he feel nothing is ever his fault? ˇ Can he admit when he is wrong or makes a mistake? ˇ Will he say he is sorry? ˇ Would you rather stay home than see him?

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Monday April 29, 2002

Hi Mary,

One incident, the first one, sums it all for me.

When my H and I were dating, about one month into the relationship, he criticised the socks I was wearing. According to him, they didn't match my outfit.

Small thing, right? That's what I told myself too. I can take 'contructive criticism', etc., etc., etc....

To this day (we are now in the process of divorce), he claims I am too thin-skinned, etc., etc., etc.

BTW, the only warning sign he had was that he didn't get along with his mom and dad.

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Wednesday May 01, 2002

Red Flags: ----------

Proposes marriage/move in together within the first three weeks of the relationship.

Wants to spend all their time with you -- and nobody else!

Wants a full accounting of your time.

Wants you to be in constant contact with him.

Wants to know what you've done, where, with whom, and gets mad if you don't feel like talking about all the details.

Has no other discernable close relationships in his life (friends, family).

Has estranged himself from most or all family members and claims that the problems are their fault/responsibility.

Appears uncomfortable when you want to spend some time alone or with other people (not with him).

Starts accusing you of little things and you accept the accusation. Example: you are in a group with other people, and offer some candy or gum to the people in the group. You don't offer it to him first, but start counter-clockwise with the first person to your left. He berates you for doing this, because you should have offered whatever it was to him first (no matter what).

Refuses to negotiate or negotiates things that are inconsequential to him.

Wants to know what you spoke about on the phone with X person (for example a member of your family or his). Wants the details and gets upset when he perceives that you are not giving him "all" the information.

Decides how you are feeling or what you are thinking and when you disagree with his interpretations of your own feelings/thoughts, becomes enraged.

Frequently hangs up the phone on you when you have done nothing to provoke it.

Treats people such as bank clerks or airline personnel with contempt, yells at them when he doesn't get his way, and treats you pretty much in a similar way.

Accuses you of flirting with or looking at other men. Insists that you stop doing it or he will emotionally withdraw from you (e.g. give you the silent treatment). (Note: Flirting can be just looking!)

Blames you or someone else (for example the bank clerk or his brother) for his own reactions.

Your own reactions/feelings: ----------------------------

You start to feel scared, tense, and numb inside.

You want to run away or flee.

You hope that nobody will find out what is happening.

You start to believe that you are not "trying hard enough," that if you could just explain your intentions better that he would get it, open up, treat you with respect, and stop reacting that way. You really try this and it really doesn't (consistently) work.

You feel empty inside.

Your stomach hurts or you feel tired or tense or apathetic whenever you know you will get together with him.

You focus on the future: when X happens then I will feel better or when X happens he will calm down and start acting the way I want / need him to be with me. You try to forget the now and the past: it's too painful.

You are afraid your good friends will find out about what is happening and you stop calling/communicating with them.

You stop feeling like yourself.

You stop feeling.

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Monday May 06, 2002

Hi, for security reasons, I cannot leave any contact information. The only way to contact me is to reply back on this site which I hope will be done. Looking back, when I met my husband seven years ago, I was 22 at the time. The signs were all there. I took it as a lot of loving attention and other things like that. I thought that he just seemed really confused about things because he had just gotten out of a relationship. The past drug addiction, alcohol addiction, Sexual abuse by his father, and the family all act as though it never happened, how sick. He said a lot of things that never fell through, just talk. Any conflict or separation including his x's was never his fault. Extreme jealousy. I couldn't be gone very long (alone) because I always had to go through with being asked 'why so long', 'who are you seeing'. So when I go without our 5 year old daughter, I am to this day always rushing, rush, rush, rush, In a panic to hurry and get back to avoid conflict. He plays constant mind games. I felt for a long time that it was me, if only I could do better, guilt, guilt, guilt. I left him a couple of times to come back because I get these very strong feeling of guilt like you wouldn't believe. Guilt because maybe it is me, he is so different with others, so respectful and nice and charming. The guilt that I was breaking up my little girl's family and home. She has heard and seen things that I know she shouldn't have, but regardless, she still loves her Dad. That to me is the very hardes, the guilt. He has no family in the province we live so he has been a rambler previously, and I know he may leave and go far away, I wonder how it would affect my daughter by me leaving him and her not seeing him for some time, but then 'how does it affect her now, right'?

I am sorry if I seem to be going on and on and jumping from one thing to another. I am just trying to hurry up before he gets home. I know he would smash my computer. He is extremely verbally abusive when he's in his bad spell, 'I call it', He has good phases also. He's called me everything, so there is no need to say what. I can't work even though we are short money, because I guess according to him I am always 'Screwing the boss', I find it very hard to concentrate at work, because of his jealousy. I even had a job working form home and I never had to have contact with the boss physically, just call him on his answering machine every night and leave information on my day's work and, he was jeolous over that! But I still get put down for not working, and called all sorts of names.

He is not physically abusive on a regular basis, but in the past seven years he has tried choking me 6 or 7 times, pushed me flat on my back and I could hardly walk for a week, bit my face, put his cigarette out on my arm, stepped on my toe and squished it and it bled - while his was in a rage and just walking by me. Threw keys at me and chipped my teeth - I got them fixed and told the dentist I hit my front tooth with a cup by accident. He pushed my against wall, threatened to kill me, told me I am better off dead, that I should just do away with myself. (all this and some more mostly when he'd been drinking, (I know now it's no excuse) he's stopped after a lot of these things happened only to start drinking again later down the road. I know he'll never stop. He doesn't have to be drinking to be verbally abusive, thats on-going. Oh, he left one day and stayed at his friends house for 2 nights and comes back and smashes in the door of my car and says he hit it by accident with his belongings as he was walking by to leave. Of course, he came back to stay the next day. Just a little binge he went on again. He goes out drinking after work and doesn't come home until the 1 or 2 days sometimes. My mother invited us over for easter dinner and when the time came to go he said he wanted to stay home. So we went alone and when we got back, I noticed later that evening he spent all day watching porn on the computer while we were having easter dinner alone - again.

Anyway, I have decided I am leaving him soon. As I mentioned, I just have all these feelings of guilt, maybe this maybe that. If I could get the guilt - and maybe's out of my head, it would be better. I feel so lost and alone a lot of the time. He has his good phases that he goes through and he is so sweet, some people wouldn't even believe his other side if I told them. In that, I feel confused because I always wished the good side would stay but the other side always comes barging back. He has said lots of times he was going for help after different incidents happened and was never drinking again, but he says he can't find the time to go and he will go when he has time ( he has a day or two away doing whatever and drinking though ). He just recently started drinking again and the same slow process starting all over again. He stopped drinking last August when He grabbed me by throat and pushed me up against the wall at my parents house through the night, (we attended a family function reunion the night before so we stayed the night). So I got dressed and was driving him back home and he told me to stop the car and he was getting out in the middle of nowhere, threw all his work tools that were in the trunk out and someone stole them all that night as he was passed out or walking around drunk, to put it this way, it was just another loooong night. It might sound confusing to you, and that's because it is confusing, to me also. I'll never understand his behaviour at times. Anyway, the drinking started again not long ago, it was slow at first but he's getting there again. I even feel guilty writing this right now, as I said I have huge problem with guilt. Anyway, thank-you all for listening and I hope you will reply back on this board to me somehow.

Guilt Mandy - with all the maybe if's

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Monday May 06, 2002

Hi, for security reasons, I cannot leave any contact information. The only way to contact me is to reply back on this site which I hope will be done. Looking back, when I met my husband seven years ago (I was 22 at the time), the signs were all there. I took it as a lot of loving attention and other things like that. I thought that he just seemed really confused about things because he had just gotten out of a relationship. The past drug addiction, alcohol addiction, Sexual abuse by his father, and the family all act as though it never happened, how sick. He said a lot of things that never fell through, just talk. Any conflict or separation including his x's was never his fault. Extreme jealousy. I couldn't be gone very long (alone) because I always had to go through with being asked 'why so long', 'who are you seeing'. So when I go without our 5 year old daughter, I am to this day always rushing, rush, rush, rush, In a panic to hurry and get back to avoid conflict. He plays constant mind games. I felt for a long time that it was me, if only I could do better, guilt, guilt, guilt. I left him a couple of times to come back because I get these very strong feeling of guilt like you wouldn't believe. Guilt because maybe it is me, he is so different with others, so respectful and nice and charming. The guilt that I was breaking up my little girl's family and home. She has heard and seen things that I know she shouldn't have, but regardless, she still loves her Dad. That to me is the very hardest- the guilt. He has no family in the province we live so he has been a rambler previously, and I know he may leave and go far away, I wonder how it would affect my daughter by me leaving him and her not seeing him for some time, but then 'how does it affect her now, right'? He has another daughter from a previous relationship, when it ended, he never contacted daughter since. How sad.

I am sorry if I seem to be going on and on and jumping from one thing to another. I am just trying to hurry up before he gets home. I know he would smash my computer. He is extremely verbally abusive when he's in his bad spell, 'I call it', He has good phases also. He's called me everything, so there is no need to say what. I can't work even though we are short money, because I guess according to him I am always 'Screwing the boss', I find it very hard to concentrate at work, because of his jealousy. I even had a job working from home and I never had to have contact with the boss physically, just call him on his answering machine every night and leave information about my day's work, he was jeolous over that! But either way, I lose because I get put down constantly for not working and called all sorts of names. I have college degree to work in government offices and medical offices.

He is not physically abusive on a regular basis, but in the past seven years he has tried choking me 7 or 8 times, pushed me flat on my back and I could hardly walk for a week, bit my face, put his cigarette out on my arm, stepped on my toe and squished it and it bled - while he was in a rage and walking by me. Threw keys at me and chipped my teeth - I got them fixed and told the dentist I hit my front tooth with a cup by accident. He pushed my against wall, threatened to kill me, told me I am better off dead, that I should just do away with myself. (all this and some more mostly when he'd been drinking, (I know now it's no excuse) he's stopped drinking after a lot of these incidents happened only to start drinking again later down the road. I know he'll never stop. He doesn't have to be drinking to be verbally abusive, thats on-going. Oh, he left one day and stayed at his friends house for 2 nights and comes back and smashes in the door of my car and says he hit it by accident with his belongings as he was walking by to leave. Of course, he came back to stay the next day. Just a little binge he went on again. He goes out drinking after work and doesn't come home until the next day sometimes and walks in as if nothing happened and he just got in from work. My mother invited us over for Easter dinner and when the time came to go he said he wanted to stay home. So we went alone and when we got back, I noticed later that evening he spent all day watching porn on the computer while we were having Easter dinner alone -again I felt very sad and hurt.

Anyway, I have decided I am leaving him soon. As I mentioned, I just have all these feelings of guilt, maybe this maybe that. If I could get the guilt - and maybe's out of my head, it would be better. I feel so lost and alone a lot of the time. He has his good phases that he goes through and he is so sweet, some people wouldn't even believe his other side if I told them. In that, I feel confused because I always wished the good side would stay but the other side always comes barging back. He has said lots of times he was going for help after different incidents happened and was never drinking again, but he says he can't find the time to go and he will go when he has time ( he has a day or two away doing whatever and drinking though ). He just recently started drinking again and the same slow process starting all over again. He stopped drinking last August when He grabbed me by throat and pushed me up against the wall at my parents house through the night, (we attended a family reunion the night before so we stayed the night). So I got dressed and was driving him back home and he told me to stop the car and he was getting out in the middle of nowhere, threw all his work tools ($500) that were in the trunk out and someone stole them all that night as he was passed out or walking around drunk, to put it this way, it was just another loooong night. It might sound confusing to you, and that's because it is confusing, to me also. I'll never understand his eratic behaviour at times. Anyway, the drinking started again not long ago, it was slow at first but he's getting there again. I even feel guilty writing this right now, as I said, I have huge problem with guilt. Anyway, thank-you all for listening and I hope you will reply back on this board to me somehow.

Guilt Mandy - with all the maybe if's

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Saturday May 11, 2002

Looking back, I think that all of the below signs were all symptoms of his need to be in control.

Red Flags:

1. He, always making the decisions. He'd of course ask me what I'd like to do, I'd share what I'd like, but he'd come up with something else. It didn't matter to me, so long as I was with him. But it became a pattern - it ended up that he made all the decisions. In the end he'd say stuff like, "You don't know how to make a decision." It wasn't that I couldn't, it was more like, "Why bother?" He of course, believed he was right as the rationale behind his belief is he'd "ask* me first.

2. Criticism disguised as caring. "I'm only looking out for you," or "This really looks much better on you," or "You know I love you... but" This did well to plant seeds of self-doubt.

3. Isolation Early on, it was always hanging out with his friends and his family. Subtley and covertly making jokes about my family and friends - planting the seeds.

4. Trust and insecurity Not letting me out of sight around his friends. If a male friend of his would sit next to me to chit chat, he'd be right there as if he didn't trust me. I used to think of this as being cared for and belonging.

5. Bad driving habits He tailgated other drivers. Once he rearended a driver while I was in the car. He took no responsibility for it. He got angry with me for being a backseat driver, blamed it on me. He also had a lot of road rage. At first it was more controlled and hidden, but the frustration was obvious.

6. Unable to speak of personal issues He had a father who was abusive. He mentioned him a couple times, but mentioning was as far as it got. We were married close to 20 years. During those 20 years, I heard more about his father from his mother than from him.

7. Thinking we could heal our childhood issues through each other. We both had abusive childhoods. The first time he told me he loved me it started like this... "We have a lot in common. I don't have a father, you don't have a father. I had a tough childhood, you had a tough childhood. I think I'm falling in love with you..." That segway says it all I think!

8. Addictions All sorts of addictions - some apparent, some covert. Drugs, alcohol, porn...

9. Unable to hold himself accountable Somehow, everything was my fault. He could lose his temper at a drop of a hat, but it was my fault. Or covering it up with, "You know I love you... don't be such poor sport..."

10. Making jokes at others expense Laughing about others shortcomings or follies.

I'm sure there's more, but this is all I could think of right now.

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Wednesday May 15, 2002

Mary I am e-mailing you with my story.

CJ

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Monday May 27, 2002

Folks if you hear the phrase "I am not good enough for you" run like the wind. They're not kidding you! BIG red flag right there. Now 17 years of marriage and two children later I finally kicked him out because he proved he was right, he is not good enough for me! I feel like I am on vacation! Peace in the valley! God bless!

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Tuesday June 04, 2002

I was married for 15 years the first time, in which I have a daughter (now 15 yrs old). I would have to say that my first husband was an alcoholic. He was always out with friends...drinking. It was very emotionally for me to leave #1 h. But not for long....I met my current husband at work. I had known him about seven months prior to my separation from my 1st husband. Immediately upon my separation from h #1, he began flirting with me...alot! We eventually got together. The first time we saw each other away from work, he told me that he loved me. The second time, he told me he wanted to marry me. He called all of the time. One month after seeing each other, he gave me a diamond tennis bracelet. We were always going out to dinner and he was constantly showering me with attention (something I never received in marriage 1). He proposed to me two weeks before Christmas (officially, with the "big" ring and all) and he bought me a very expensive diamond necklace and earrings for Christmas. He came to my house every night and watched t.v. (not what me and my daughter wanted to watch, but what he wanted to watch). If the phone rang, he would ask who I was talking to while I was trying to talk on the phone, and he would keep asking until I told him (he still does this). And, there is the issue with his 2nd wife, with whom he has a daughter (1st marriage lasted 2 years, 2nd marriage lasted 3 years on & off). She took things from him during their divorce that did not belong to her (so he says) and she had affairs with different men (so he says). She did him very wrong!???

One incident, my daughter (then 9)and I were playing softball and he was at my house. He was behind my daughter catching any balls that she didn't hit. She accidentally hit the tip of his finger with the bat. He popped her on top of the head and I said "it was an accident" and he said "no, it wasn't, she did it intentionally" and he angrily went into the house and pouted in front of the t.v.

If my ex called to discuss my daughter, he would tell me that I should make all the rules, I have control of that situation. (His ex tells him when to pick up their daughter, when to bring her home and doesn't even send clothes for her to wear at his house). Well, I saw many clues that this man could be verbally and physically abusive, but he was just so wonderful and sweet and I am so easy to get along with I thought we could work through those times. We were married after 1 year of seeing each other. On the way to our ceremony (we drove 8 hrs) he had several "road rage" episodes. Two months after we were married, we had an argument, he threw me on the bed, I got up and he would throw me down again. I went to the living room, he hit me with a pillow and was talking really ugly, calling names. I got up to leave, but he took all of the phones, my car keys, my jewelry and said I wasn't going anywhere. And, the story keeps going.

Other episodes: 1) He went to his mother's Chrismas without me, because I couldn't leave at 2:00 P.M. (I couldn't be home before 3:00 P.M.) He came back and pouted until Christmas Day. He didn't spend Christmas with me at all. He finally gave me his gift Christmas night (and I really didn't want it then). 2)I didn't obey him and do what he told me, he demanded the money from savings that day, when I got home he asked for his money, I didn't have cash, I was going to write him a check, he said that won't do. He walked out and said "You can have your car back, when you give me my money". He didn't come home that night. He hid my car from me. He kept calling the next day asking for his money. I told him to keep the car, I didn't want it. I'll take the money from savings and buy me another car. He started threatening me with everything he could think of, even killing. 3) And then, there is my teenage daughter. He made her get rid of all of her rap CD's (not a bad thing), but the next weekend his 11 y/o daughter comes to our house she has "RAP" cd's. He says I can't control what she does at her mothers. He won't allow my 15 y/o to get on the internet to chat with her friends, yet he allows his 11 y/o to chat, he even chats with her when he is on the internet. He constantly criticizes my daughter (she is very athletic, popular, straight A's and pretty). And he says her dad and I are terrible parents, because we let her do too much. My daughter can not stand him. She is now at her dad's.

To sum it all up, he keeps buying things for me and then he tries to take them away. And anytime, I don't do what he thinks is right, I get punished. If I confront him with anything he may have done wrong, I am crazy and stupid.

After almost six years, I am getting tired and numb to his outbursts. I try not to tell him that I love him if at all possible. I think he is getting worse. He gets angry more often. I have been reading alot about "Narcissist". I think this may be a good diagnosis for him. He even acts like a six year old sometimes.

Beware of those men that seem to good to be true, they probably are.

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Thursday August 08, 2002

board

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Thursday August 08, 2002

catbox

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Thursday August 08, 2002

story

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Thursday August 08, 2002

story

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Thursday August 08, 2002

trubbiren

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Thursday August 08, 2002

article

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Thursday August 08, 2002

trubble

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Saturday August 31, 2002

Mary What about when the men is abusing is no even the husband but, the sancho. Can you imagen this?

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Wednesday September 11, 2002

The biggest one: he would act distant, pick a fight, upset me until I cried, then start comforting me, end up making out. He would kiss my tears and tell me I looked beautiful when I cried. BIG warning sign. He was jealous of people I liked, he became jealous if I said positive things about them, for instance if I said that person is kind, or clever, he would immediately chime in with something negative. But then if I said something negative about the same friend on another occasion, he would vigorously disagree and say he's really nice. This was for both male and female friends. He was a reckless driver, he never shouted or cursed but if someone tries to cut him off he would try to punish them. Actually this was a theme, he would constantly try to punish people for wrongs that they did him or other people. He had bad relationships with everyone in his family. He said it was their fault. He was really jealous of his younger sister, of the men she may have been going out with. He had a very "us against them" attitude towards the world. Could not be tactful,often acted out towards authority figures. Would not accept that he had caused anything, they were overreacting and hysterical. He came from a well connected family and would try to get his family to go above that person's head, going to all that extra hassle rather than swallow his pride. He was sexually pushy. I did not want to have intercourse, he would continually snub me because of that and try to convince me to. Did not respect my decision. Then when I said okay, he did not want to. He would also want to have sex in inappropriate places, such as at his house when parents were there.

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Thursday October 03, 2002

Warning #1: He was too good to be true. I thought I was just lucky to find this perfect guy. I wasn't lucky because he wasn't the perfect guy. He was the "illusion" of the perfect guy. The real guy underneath it all told lies, still despised everyone who had ever crossed him, and sought revenge on others for minor slights, many of which were all in his head! Warning #2: Trouble in Relationships: He had trouble in all his relationships: at work, with his ex, with his brothers, even with his adult children. He claimed to be misunderstood a lot. He didn't even feel he should have to answer to his boss because his boss didn't "deserve" his respect. Warning #3 Lies, Manipulation, & Deceit: He gave me a pager number to contact him, even though he had a phone in his apartment & a cell phone. I found out he had mail boxes in several different cities. He often lied about where he lived when there was a financial advantage in doing so. He also used these mail boxes to keep secrets from others. He refused to introduce me to his adult daughters before we were married, saying they would only take their mother's side. After I finally met them, I found out he still hadn't told them we were married, just that he was "serious" about me. Warning #4: Emotions that went on & off like a switch He was proud of his ability to "close himself" when he was hurt. He said it was "training & strength of will" that allowed him to do it. When he was"closed" he was completely unreachable & cruel. When he was "open" he could be warm, charming, & fun. Warning #5 Negative emotions like hurt, fear, & anger were weak. Crying, begging, or being afraid seemed to make him more cruel. This was with everyone, not just me. I could NEVER talk to him about any negative feelings I had about him... hurts, doubts, fears, whatever... He was great in helping me with those feeling as long as someone else caused them, but when it was him, the first response was, "You can't be serious. That's crazy!" After a few months, that turned to, "Here we go again! What do you do all day, just sit around thinking up things to b*tch at me about?" When we got married, it quickly became, "I won't sit here *& listen to this crap. I'm outta here. Call me when you want to apologize." Then he'd disappear for days with no word. Today, I wish I'd refused to take him back after the first time he left, but I didn't. Eventually, I learned not to talk to him, but that was never good enough because he'd rage that I was never there for him. Warning #6: Vindictiveness & grudges He still remembers people who wronged him in the fifth grade and could actually become angry just by thinking about them. He filed lawsuits, greivances, threatened people with financial & physical harm (always in really subtle wasy so he couldn't be accused of anything by the police. The very last time I spoke with him, he was still angry at me for something I'd done three years earlier, even though he'd tried to have my phone & utilities shut off that morning... which brings me to my last one. Warning #7: When anyone else hurt hium, they meant to hurt him. Whenever he hurt someone, he was "only giving them what they had coming." Not much else I can say after that except that these guys are vampires of the soul. They are not giving. They will take, take, take, then rage at the slightest hint that anything is expected of them. They will make you feel beautiful & desireable one minute, ugly & worthless the next. Eventually, you find yourself starting to become ugly. That's the last chance to really save yourself. I missed it & ended up with nothing, not even my own self-respect. I don't know yet whether I will ever be able to get that back. Run, run, RUN!

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Thursday December 12, 2002

I should have taken the fact that Luke(my x-boyfriend) was really awful to his mother.When you are 19/20 and you still can't show your mother respect, when she has really been nothing but good to you, there is something seriously wrong. People told him he had a bad temper but I was to blind to see it, I should have taken other people's advice who knew them. I would just say anything out of the lines of respect and maturity you expect from a mate should be a warning sings.

 

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