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 for Calling All Controllers

Comments for Calling All Controllers

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

  B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2000

S1

Build it, and they will come!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene:

Thanks for addressing this issue head on. It's not a pretty picture.

I wish I had a clue about this before my spouse left. It's the old saw about life being a poor teacher. You get the test before you get the lesson.

Peter Hi Peter. Yes, I hear you; your comment is universal. You didn't hear it when she tried to tell you; you couldn't hear it. But, and I hear this over and over, she did try to tell you... This is a good topic to get into, discounting the feedback. You work on this control piece each and every time you "do nothing" and "let her be" thus accepting another person's view of the world as valid, like it or not. You never learned to do this... That's why "letting her be" is so difficult now... You didn't do this on purpose... Each time she said something that seemed un-OK to you, you argued it (vs. hearing it and taking it seriously...). It didn't seem like a big deal...  This not having a clue is a BIG one... 

For victims reading this, know that in most cases, you were not not heard on purpose or out of malice. The "reasons" rattling in your beloved's head each and every step of the way were the obstacles to this person's ability to hear you... And the cause of the oppositionalism you experienced - made it feel like pulling teeth at each turn.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

S1

Well, here's one from (sort of) the middle of the fence. Used to being the nice girl, submissive, bent over backwards to be exactly what my partner of the time wanted. To a point. There are certain lines that I have never allowed to be crossed: unprotected sex with another partner, physical abuse, and coming between me and the friends that make up my "chosen family" are the three major ones. But as long as those lines were not crossed, I was mud in their hands.

That ended when I found out that the guy I was head-over-heels infatuated with at the time was just sort of using me as a stopgap, and his quiet friend showed up to help me pick up the pieces. (I found out later that he was very aware of, and very angry about, the whole situation with this other guy and me and the other girl.)

For the first time in years, I had someone who wanted me at the center of his world. I warned him, half-kidding, that I don't do well on pedestals. And I guess you could say I took advantage of the situation in some ways. I'm older and have more money (also not a normal situation for me) and more education and more "experience" in various realms, and I started using that as "I'm right and you're wrong" in quite a lot of situations.

We started fighting. I'd sit there picking apart something he said as sarcastically as I could manage, for no good reason, and eventually he'd blow up and walk out for a bit, then when I calmed down I'd find him standing outside crying. This happened in my house, in restaurants, even (once) at a friend's house. Things would get worse, then better, then worse again.

There finally came a point where he just quietly said to me "please stop beating me up." That's what led me to the web search that made me find this site. I started reading a bit and learning some things but knowing what to do and doing it are two different things. There came a fight that was very nearly the last straw for both of us last Christmas. It's still a snapshot in my mind of both of us at our worst, and a very effective wake-up call.

Admittedly, we've got a peculiar situation -- instead of both identifying as victim, we (for the most part) both identify as controller. Me, probably because I watched my best friend in living hell thanks to an abusive SO and can't stand the thought of letting myself be abused -- even thinking of myself as abusive is somehow preferable. And he still seems to think that if abuse is taking place, it must be the man that's doing it, barring some truly extreme evidence to the contrary. Who knows, maybe we both have codependent tendencies and are trying to provide for each other an atmosphere of conflict in the style we're used to. *laughs a bit* Yes, you do both have codependent tendencies, no doubt.

We still like as well as love each other, for all that, and we're trying. Both catching ourselves when we mess up, and realizing we have the right to say to the other "Don't DO that!" Things seem to be getting better. Not completely, but I don't feel as out of control and my fiancée has mentioned that he notices I seem to be more patient with him. (Progress is good ...) :) You are lucky you still both have each other.

Hmm. That's my story, or as well as I can manage at this absurd hour of the night. :)

Comment: It is hard for those of us who see ourselves as abusive or controllers, even a little, to deal with the main message boards sometimes. It scares me, personally, because reading the boards makes me want to be able to see myself as 100% victim and justified in everything I do. The rest of the site has me agreeing with Dr. Irene that there are many cases that aren't so clear-cut, and I know mine is probably one of those. Yep. Most people's cases are not clear cut. Victim in one relationship; abuser in the next. Sometimes victim and abuser in the same relationship... Not uncommon. That's why I would like to get away from the black and white of 2 camps and just talk about controlling behaviors, angry behavior, etc., etc., etc.   I either feel like the other posters are trying to talk me into seeing myself as firmly on the victim side (which I know is grossly unfair to my fiancée and counterproductive to the work I'm trying to do), or I feel like the "regulars" (who seem to almost all be victims) would rather turn the boards into a victim-oriented place. See how big victim anger and control is? And that bothers me due to how it's advertised. I guess you could say it messes with my mind a bit. I agree - and have been at a loss as to how to balance the scales. Peter is right. Something along these lines is long overdue.

OK, enough rambling. Sorry so long. :)  Stop with the sorrys! (Your codependence is showing.)

-AngryGirl

 

Here is an email I got today (4/26/00):

Love your site.  Disagree with you vis-à-vis the following quote from your most recent article, Calling all Controllers:

"Why? My guess is that controllers, who believe it is their victim's job to provide for their emotional needs and wants, are relatively content as long as they get most of what they want and have someone to dump their frustrations on when they don't. Most controllers I've run across are not "bad" people; some are (but then again, so are some victims). Nevertheless, in the victim-controller relationship, it is the victim who is most unhappy and frightened. The victim is more likely to seek support." (Bold mine - Your boldface got wiped out before I got it.)

Dr. Irene-- I don't believe there are any "bad" people.  Sure, I'm splitting hairs, and for all intents and purposes, the sort of people I imagine you are talking about probably need to be regarded as "bad", so that the rest of us can protect ourselves - but to me-- these people are the most lost, helpless people in the world, who have lost their soul, their humanity, and are acting like predators.  I pity these people. Yes. We agree.  Just so we don't waste time with abstractions - I have in mind a man who, say, beats his wife and kids every day, with no remorse, and will not change.  You might say, he's Bad.  Maybe.  I would say,  He's gone. Yes. Very gone. What's left is a creature on automatic pilot. Yes. Ok, so maybe I am splitting hairs. I still don't think that would make him "bad",  just a person who does horrible, horrible things. Please note: And someone who, maybe, in the future, may still, miraculously turn around -  (Saul/Paul,  or the story of the Nazi who became a nurse and a saint in the village he fled to in South America). Yes. This is a wonderful form of rebirth. Unfortunately, for every one of those Nazis who went to South America to become a Saint, there are probably hundreds who went to terrorize others. Yes, t

You have such a great site. I suspect you have helped so many women and men.  I have read your list on giving up controlling behaviors about 40 or 50 times.  Some of your recommendations I didn't understand at first, but now I do. :) I still get angry,  but when I do, I just sit down and let it wash over me, and try to act normally with whomever I'm talking to, even though something they've just said has bothered me ( for no good reason, I might add.)  Although even if I felt I had a reason, now I would take about 20 seconds to formulate what I wanted to say- or even if I  wanted to respond at all, to a "legitimate dis".  :)  :) So much can just be ignored, if I let it. ) Eventually the pain goes away, and everything is normal again. Just watch that you don't poo poo legitimate stuff, even if it's "no big deal" and just brush it under the rug - vs. deal with it!  Well, I guess I am out of things to say, I just wanted to say again what a great site you have.  I can't wait to log in and read the letters and see what you have to say.  Sometimes I try to predict what you would say, I turn it into a game. Ok, you're a very busy doctor, so I'll let you get back to your patients!  Damian  Not too busy for you Damian. Thank you. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene:

I've read this article several times now. I think it is really insightful, although parts of it are very hard to take - like the part about the victim being "relationship ready." Believe me, they are, and it really hurts to see it happen. Yes. They don't push away, though they have their own intimacy issues.

Anyway, I've copied my brother and even my estranged wife and both gave it rave reviews.

I almost wonder if this article couldn't be expanded into a book. I don't think I've seen anything out there that specifically deals with the aftermath of the broken down relationship and "what next?" from the perspective of the perplexed controlling partner.

Peter Want to help me write it? Seriously...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene;

As a recovering controller, I have found your site most helpful. I too feel that more of the emphasis falls on the victim, and could very well be for the reasons you stated. I believe my reluctance comes from being overly cautious of what I say and examining my feelings for control issues. Also, I feel that in my situation the lines between victim/abuser are so very blurry and I hesitate to say anything like that for fear of backlash. I see a lot of man bashing going on the bulletin board and I really don't care to get into it. It does upset me somewhat but as I heal, I realize more and more that I cannot change anyone's mind and what they believe only affects me if I let it. Letting go of a lot of past habits has been my best therapy. I would like to learn more about how men (mostly) come to act this way and if you feel society as a whole is really changing the way boy children are raised. I feel strongly that societal norms and traditional values (that have become twisted) are still a major problem with how our children are being raised. Thank you for your site and for not taking a side, realizing that both sides are in need of different kinds of help. Your wisdom is this area is apparent and refreshing, especially when compared to some yet prevailing feministic or machismo attitudes in our world. Thanks. Thank you.

cc

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene, This article is a great addition. I'm a victim, but would like to comment on it anyway. You mention that the controller is less likely to look for help because as long as they get what they want or have someone to dump on they are content. I think another factor is that getting help is seen as weak and gives up control. Absolutely. Would enlightened or former controllers confirm that or not? Something I wonder about - what implications does it have if the controller is suspicious that a therapist would "talk about" him, and therefore won't go? How about reverse psychology, such as "I don't think we should get counseling" or "This book about Verbal Abuse is worthless and I hope you never read it". It sounds goofy but I thought it might be worth a try? Let's see if any controllers give you an answer.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2000

S1

A comment to the victim that posted suggesting reverse phyc. Isn't reverse phyc just another form of manipulation? In regards to your query about seeking help equates to giving up control; that may be very true.. perhaps even more of a issue is that the controller does not feel he/she is in error and why would they seek help where help is not needed. Correct. However, once realization sets in, therapy is almost necessary in order to begin the self examination and change of mindset that is necessary for real change to take place. I feel that it is unfortunate that so many Ts are not well studied in this area and seem more intent on convincing their clients that they are not to blame. Agreed.

cc

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2000

S1

I feel I need to comment upon your "crash course" list for abusers. You mention spirituality, and I beg to differ on that point. While abusers tend to have poor coping and social skills, they are not generally non-spiritual, and atheists are not prone to be more abusive people. In fact, I have found that more devout people tend to be abusive and controlling, using their spiritual beliefs as another way in which to control their victims; they support and even supplement their own rules with dogmas from their religion. For example, in Catholicism, disregard for both women and children runs rampant and is even promoted by biblical teachings. I do hate to make a big deal of one misconception in an otherwise wonderful article, but I must bring it to attention that lack of spirituality in not a prerequisite to being an abuser. You are correct. Many religious people are among the worst abusers. But, I'm not talking about religion. I'm talking about spirituality. This has nothing to do with doctrine and everything to do with one's relationship to the self and the universe. At least, that is how I understand the term.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene;

Love your site. It gives me a chance to examine parts of my life that I normally wouldn't. I find it very non-judgmental, even-handed and helpful. I am a controller, I use abusive behavior. That didn't hurt too much... you see, that's the first time I've ever admitted that. Great! Now you can start fixing it! I am just starting to get a handle on what that means. Now that I am aware of my destructive behavior, I see it everywhere. I am ashamed of this behavior and feel like a loser. Please stop the shame and self-abuse immediately. It won't help. Just get on with the business of taking care of it.

My wife of 4 years and I have separated. Our relationship, while full of passion was deteriorating. Arguments degenerated to physical assaults (from my wife) and were filled with names and accusations. Both of us thought (and could prove, of course) that the other was abusive. We decided on a amicable separation.  

It was very difficult for me to accept the label of "abuser". I was abused as a child (emotion, sexual) and detested the very thought of abuse. I went through a lot of therapy to even get to this point. I feel overwhelmed at this point. I miss and love my wife, she echoes that sentiment.

This is why I am writing; I don't know if I can do this. I just feel like it is too much. Not that I don't want to do it, just like there is too much to change. I'm depressed and need some hope. Is there something you can say to help me hang on and work through this? Absolutely! Yes, there is much to change, but you've already done 50% of it by recognizing that you have a problem. You also sound depressed - ask your internist to check you out for medication which may ease the depression and make doing the work easier.

Thanks, Rick

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 28, 2000

S1

Thank you for the kind thought that we all may really want and need to grow. Thank you for a place to admit mistakes in a supported atmosphere. It is scary on this road, and painful that you can't go back and "fix it". But you can go forward and "fix it!" Sometimes we have the best of intentions and don't see the limits we place on our loved ones through our words - like you said-until they are gone. I sometimes think we learn that from our parents. Yep. (I also think that it is true we sometimes play both parts abuser/victim.) Yep. I myself am daily pained that I hurt such a precious soul - ever. I am practicing daily changing my self-talk and my verbal interaction with others. :) The more you practice this, the easier it gets; it becomes your new habitual way of responding. And worst of all, I hurt that while I seem to be slowly growing and gaining self-esteem, my ex seems constantly in a different painful cycle with a new lover, or poor relations with aging parents and siblings, and looks emotionally and physically worn. She's the only one who can fix that. (From what I can't be sure - all of the above - my old crap I dumped too?) Stop taking responsibility for another person! You've got enough on your plate just taking responsibility for yourself! I feel very sad and guilty. I can do nothing from where I am at except acknowledge my past poor behavior, give encouraging words, and pray. I blew it! I guess it's just done. My hope, prayer, goal - whichever you prefer - is to heal myself so I present the beautiful person inside me to others, and am able someday to create a real, warm, loving supporting relationship resulting in a beautiful marriage. :) I know that I too deserve this despite my mistakes. :) :) I am afraid however about how long this process will take. As long as it takes. This is one of life's realities that you just have to accept... I am regretful and lonely now!!!! But my heart is not strong enough yet.:( Any suggestions about how to deal with the pain of regret in the meantime? Yes. Feel it for a little while and get its message, but don't get stuck dwelling there. Use your energy in more pro-active ways. Spend it accepting things that "are." Spend it looking for the bright side of whatever situation... I don't throw my head into the walls and scream into my pillow every night any more, but it's been a total of 4 years. I feel like I'm losing my life. Time is precious!!! Life is about lessons. There is no such thing as "losing" your life. You are simply in the process of - learning how to - find your life! We almost reconciled once. I was asked to move back in and I was hesitant because I wanted to make sure we went to counseling-together and separately. Instead of a conversation about our fears - I got dumped again. Now that really hurt - because I worked hard on myself for me and for us - for the future we always talked about - and I was not about to give up on a healthy road. I'd hoped to have children and I could never without doing my utmost for a healthy relationship. Anyway, thanks for listening, and any pointers will be gratefully accepted. I do hope that what I've had to say is appropriate to this space-I was just moved somehow to respond. Very appropriate. 

To Angry Readers:

What can I provide for you on this site that will help? Brainstorming is encouraged. Want your own message board? What do you want? Please post suggestions to this page. My very best, Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2000

S1

I don't know if I'm a controller or a victim? My husband is an alcoholic and he gets nasty if he doesn't have a drink. He dropped out of programs! I am doing everything around the house while he just sits in his "chair" and drinks. I keep threatening to leave but I don't because I am scared. For starters, either button your lip, or do what you must...

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 02, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene

For many years I have been married to a person who is a combination of controller/caregiver. She is a person who is at times the angry, verbally abusive, controller but is also an obsessive, over reaching caregiver. She sets a standard of care giving that I do not think anyone, let alone me or our children who have had to endure this can match and then becomes angry and abusive at the inevitable disappointment. The verbal abuse and the lack of empathy, even though both me and our children receive a lot of care giving, reinforces the lack of appreciation we feel since we do not want the care at the terrible price that must be paid for it. This leads to even more disappointment and anger until the she lashes out with even more verbal abuse creating a viscous circle of trouble. She often tries to exert control by attempting to make us feel guilty about receiving so much and inevitably angry for all the intentions we can not live up to. She also also displays other traits of abuse like not accepting that she makes mistakes like everyone else, engages in constant criticism, does not accept anyone's ideas but her own etc., etc. but the controlling/care giving is one of the biggest problems. She makes me and I am sure the kids sometimes feel like we are the controlling ones since in her words "we always get what we want." Is there anyone else like this? Are we really the controllers? I received this same question as an email advice and am turning it into an article. Please wait till I get it ready...

Confused Victim

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 05, 2000

S1

I put a post in last night and now it is not there. This is Wendy from Australia and I am so lonely and miserable and I need some help. Post again. Sorry for the problem...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 06, 2000

S1

Dr Irene, I am confused (yet again). My husband and I finally went to counseling after waiting a month for an appointment. On the way there he said to me "you're not going to bag me in there are you?" It made me feel very conscious of "putting him down" when we were actually in the session when I would be retelling an event. Also I was really surprised at the anger and emotion that resurfaced. The counselor was hopeless (did not know anything about P. Evans' book). I even felt that I had to defend myself with the counselor. For example, at one stage I was saying how my husband often retells an event very differently from what happened and that he constantly throws in my face that I flirted on New Year's Eve and I said this and that to him on the night (none of it true...merely trying to justify his insecurity). Well, the counselor turned around and said maybe we see flirting differently. I got angry and said "No, I will not justify this.....I will not validate this rubbish!"

My husband even started by saying he needed help with anger management and verbal abuse. She threw these words back in his face a couple of times...almost like she felt he was putting himself down.

Well, afterwards we both agreed we weren't happy with her. Not much discussion about this though as there was tension between us regarding some of the things I had brought up from the past. Now the counselor is ringing us for counseling over the phone (we live in an isolated community) and I feel so angry, I don't know what to say to her. You say what you think, calmly and firmly. But, it looks like you may need to go elsewhere. I am angry that I worked so hard to get my husband to that point and I feel like it was wasted time. For the rest of the weekend my husband and I got on surprisingly well and there was lots of compassion felt. But.......in the last week this anger inside of me has grown and grown. To the point where I have to try really hard not to make it obvious. And the confusing thing is I'm not sure what I am angry about. I just feel like all I want is quiet time. My desire for intimacy is nil and I rejoice when he walks out the door. I do not know what brought this on because on the weekend I felt okay. Hence, why I posted here. I am so confused about where I fit in. Why the anger? Where to now? Will it always be such hard work? Why does it feel I take three steps forward only to be knocked backwards four? 

Rebecca Dear Rebecca, This is an email advice question; at the very least, you are posting to the wrong board... Meanwhile, check out Recognition of Abuse in Therapy.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 08, 2000

S1

Aha!!! So this is where I'm supposed to post my comments. It took my a while to find it because I was wanting answers quickly. I'm very anxious to learn all I can and discover what it takes to break this vicious cycle. I am new to this site and I am a verbal abuser. I recently discovered this through a book that was used by my wife's counselor. I felt like I was looking in the mirror when I read about the different realities a verbal abuser is in. My main question is this: What book is the best one to start with if I'm a verbal abuser and I desperately want to change for my family and me??? My current situation is; My wife and I are barely together, she wants out, but she is a devout Christian and wants to do what is right in God's eyes. I respect her for that and I must be the man she needs me to be. It is very rocky right now but there is definitely hope. We are going to see some friends of ours for counseling tomorrow night. but, I need specific help with the verbal abuse. Given my situation in a nutshell, what book is best for me??? Please tell me. My email address is goforittim@aol.com just in case someone needs to tell me directly. Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing your response. I believe the book which I read parts of (she copied some of the applicable chapters to bring home to me) was, "The Verbally Abusive Relationship ." by Patricia Evans. Would this book help me much beyond making a verbal abuser realize he or she is in fact a verbal abuser? That's the first task. Recognize what you do. Read it. I only saw like the first 4 chapters. If this is where I should start, where then should I go next??? I want to change, and stay changed, not just until I'm satisfied with my security in my wife not leaving me!!! Tim Tim, then read the stuff in the Abuser's Section. There are book recco's there.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

S1

RE; "confused victim" This sounds a lot like my mom. Could this type of behavior have created a verbal abuser if raised in this type of environment? Also, I was sexually abused around the age of 5 by another male who was about 14. I saw someone ask a question earlier about what causes the abusers to be abusers. I don't feel as though the sexual abuse at age 5 was as much a cause as my mother, whose intentions were good, I'm sure. The sexual abuse was brief and most definitely confused me for a few years. But I believe my parents divorce, when I was about 9 had a lot to do with it also. I went to live with my mom after the divorce and she entered several abusive type relationships in the following years. I was exposed to her abuse (See Confused Victim) as well I was raised witnessing some poor examples of how to treat women. What do you think? Tim  Victims of abuse, who don't know how to take care of their own emotional needs, let alone the needs of their children, are inadvertently abusive... Our best guess on why people grow up to be abusive is a mixture of the "right" biology with early parenting that frustrates the needs of the child.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

S1

Irene, Yes yes yes, please provide more info for the "Abusers"! Just look at all the titles of the books that are out on this subject. Even on this awesome site I'm having a hard time finding the right books that will help me while the "Victim" has a large variety to choose from. I know that there are a ton of people just like me that if they read some of this stuff describing themselves at just the right time, they too will realize "wow,...that is me!" "Now I know what she/he was trying to tell me!" People like me who are finally enlightened and realize the true reality of our situation need more help. Yes!!! There should be a link on the main Home page and at the bottom of each subsequent page; "Abusers who want to Change". And a list of the limited books teaching them how to change and why they do what they do etc. etc. etc. Please help, I'm ready and willing. Tim  More abuser info is where we're going... Look at the Abuser Pages and on the Book Shelf for info and books for now. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

S1

I have looked this site over for the past 4 hours since I got off work and I am gradually finding more information that I need. It's just that it does not seem real "User Friendly" at first. After a little searching around the site, I know my way around a little more and I'm starting to find some satisfaction in finding the answers I have been searching for. I have selected about 9 books from your Book List which I read the reviews on all of them. I may buy all 9 to save on shipping or I might just buy the ones that I feel apply to me right now. I probably would not be able to absorb 9 books like that in time to justify getting them all now. Geez, do I sound delirious or what? It's way past my bedtime, I'm going to get some needed sleep. I look forward to hearing the feedback to some of my postings from the last...jeez...6 hours!!! "INFORMATION OVERLOAD" :) I will talk to you tomorrow. Tim :)

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

S1

More comments about some of the comments here so far...

First of all, on the topic of spirituality. It can bring out the best and the worst any relationship has to offer. Some of the worst fights (at least the fights where *I* was at my worst) in my relationship were on this topic. My own religion has become such a central part of my life over the past few years that it sort of became part of my ego, and the thought that my beloved life mate (who was one of the reasons I became more spiritual) did not picture the divine in the same way I did or (in my admittedly screwy thought process) "take it all seriously enough" sent me over the edge into some serious irrationality. This did MAJOR damage to my relationship and to my fiancée's fledgling lack of atheism. I hope you realize that you mis-used spirituality in the name of control in this example. Spirituality per se doesn't bring out the best or the worst - it's what you do with it that has the intended or unintended effect. As in free will...

As one such argument was winding down, I offered to kick the subject off the table for the next six months *unless* he brought it up. He accepted. That was three months ago, and we were able to start talking about our faith and the slight differences we have a bit over a month ago. At first I felt almost as if I had betrayed myself and my "higher power" by even agreeing to this and feared having to make a "choice." I now realize that won't be necessary. :) :) 

Secondly, "controller/caregiver" is a good description. At least it is of me. I have a serious tendency to take care of everyone but myself first and when the subsequent lack of sleep and proper food (a VERY bad thing for me since I'm hypoglycemic) makes me start feeling grouchy, I tend to start snarling at anyone who happens to get in my way. At the same time, I feel like I haven't done enough or it hasn't been effective enough more often than not. If I'm depriving myself of food and sleep, "ineffective" is probably pretty likely. I can't live up to my own standards half the time, and even though I tend to set less high ones for those around me, I *still* get impatient with them. I know I need to get off my own and everyone else's back, but it's difficult! Like father, like daughter. At least I can see where I get it from.... :) Good insight! :)

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2000

S1

Update: My wife and I went to some good friends who are also counselors today. We told them our situation. Unfortunately I have told her so many times that I will change and did not succeed, now, when I finally discover what was causing a lot of our problems all along: "verbal abuse", she does not believe it will be any different. 

It's hard to explain, but in the past, I was so far off base in another reality, that now that I am finally focusing on the root cause of the problem and actually seeing my verbal abuse for what it is... I've cried wolf too many times basically. I must "show her" I really mean business this time and seek counseling for me, to heal myself so that we can then work on the normal marriage challenges like communication etc. Yes!  One major problem is that her spirit is broken, the trust is gone, the love is gone, even the like is gone. She must go on sheer faith, if she even goes on at all with our marriage. I bought the books today; "The Verbally Abusive Relationship .", (for her and I), "Getting The Love You Want: A Guide For Couples" (For her and I also), "How to Forgive When you Can't Forget: Healing Our Personal Relationships" by Charles Klein (for her in dealing with our past), and "Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man : Coping With Personality Syndrome of Hidden Aggression-From the Bedroom to the Boardroom" (mainly for her and maybe for me) and also for me "The Feeling Good Handbook". These ought to keep me busy for a while. Tim

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2000

S1

Tim- I think it's important that abusers read books that deal with the effect of abuse on women. After all, how do you know if you REALLY are in her reality yet? You thought you were many times before. The problem with my recovering abusive boyfriend is that he thought he was 'there' over and over when he clearly wasn't. Read "Survivors of Verbal Abuse Speak Out. " and "The Verbally Abusive Relationship ." first! (my recommendation..) Then read "Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them" by Dr. Susan Forward. Also, be careful about giving her that 'forgive and forget' book, after all, she may not be ready to forgive you! Let her do that in her own time, forcing it upon her will be seen as abusive, even though your intentions are good. Good luck to you! -SatokoGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 11, 2000

S1

I would add to what SatokoGirl said that while forgiveness is good (and very necessary!), forgetting can be a bad thing. Forgetting gives a chance to have everything kicked back into the unconscious, and then the old patterns repeat -- either the things in your relationship that you're trying to change don't change, or stuff from way back when you were a kid floats to the surface and causes trouble.

Even (maybe especially) when there's been abuse, I think that people have to remember that work on a relationship is an ongoing process, not just something to "fix" what is broken, and once it's repaired you're all done. The control and abuse that have already happened in a relationship can't be undone, and in my opinion shouldn't ever be completely forgotten. Forgiven is another matter. :) And I'm not saying that the person-identifying-as-victim who chooses to stay with a reformed controller has the right to throw the past up in his/her partner's face every time s/he's the least bit upset -- that can itself be abusive IMHO.

But, to my way of thinking at least, keeping the consciousness that one or both of you are *capable* of doing something that harmful is important to the safety of the victim and to the sanity of both parties. And that allowing something harmful to be done to you is important to the sanity and integrity of both parties...

-AngryGirl  

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2000

S1

In response to AngryGirl, you wrote:

"It is hard for those of us who see ourselves as abusive or controllers, even a little, to deal with the main message boards sometimes. It scares me, personally, because reading the boards makes me want to be able to see myself as 100% victim and justified in everything I do. The rest of the site has me agreeing with Dr. Irene that there are many cases that aren't so clear-cut, and I know mine is probably one of those. I either feel like the other posters are trying to talk me into seeing myself as firmly on the victim side (which I know is grossly unfair to my fiancée and counterproductive to the work I'm trying to do), or I feel like the "regulars" (who seem to almost all be victims) would rather turn the boards into a victim-oriented place. And that bothers me due to how it's advertised. I guess you could say it messes with my mind a bit..."

I agree with your overall premise here. That has been part of my frustration as well. I know that when I joined one list in particular I was coming from the angle of victim/abuser/controller in that I tolerated mental, physical, emotional and verbal abuse for almost four years with my SO. Eventually, I acted out and became controlling myself.

Since I did not justify my acting out by blaming it all on him (I took responsibility for my own words/actions) and since I became controlling and admitted to it (i.e., I was GOING to FIX him no matter what, to suit ME!) I was immediately told that I was not behaving "like a victim should" therefore I "must be an abuser in disguise" (what disguise? I came out and admitted I was abusive at times!) and "did not belong" on a support list for victims. That's why I had to come up with an "advanced" recovery list, I am Responsible. Victims have to go through the stages they have to go through. My hope is they don't get stuck in anger and validation.

From my observation, if no abusers are allowed on that particular support list, half the people there would have to leave themselves, since they have exhibited everything from controlling behavior to abuse themselves. :) Although they have determined that it is DIFFERENT when they do it because it is "justified." From time to time I see victim/abuser couples where the now-empowered former victim is so justified and brainwashed with the not tolerating abuse stuff, that she has become an absolute horror... And doesn't want to hear otherwise.

For example, one in essence said, "If I yell at my DH and tell him to F off that does not make me abusive. He deserves to hear that because of how he treats me. I have the right to be angry!" Right. This is so typical... And I would say to them, "You have the right to feel angry, but check how you behave. You need to sharpen your assertion skills. Otherwise, in the end, you diminish your own integrity."

I am currently in an abusive relationship with a relative but receive little support mainly because I am one of the few who says, "He is abusive, but I have problems, too!"

Heaven forbid I acknowledge my part in the abuse. There is a pervasive underlying message from many of the victims there that one cannot be both, you are either a victim or an abuser, case closed. Which, if I was not at a stronger point in my life, would have initially made me high tale it out of there. It's so sad. Just another example of jumping on another emotional bandwagon - and not dealing with the self.

Perhaps I should use the past tense referring to the above. I have seen some changes, and some new people joining who are in a similar boat. Usually they just send private E-mails to me, but some have the courage to post. They want to vent about being a victim, receive support and validation, but also be able to acknowledge their own behavior without being told they need to go somewhere else to do that. That's what the advanced list is for. To quote myself, "No whining allowed."

I think abuse is wrong. That's the only aspect of all of this that I feel black and white about. Whether it be an abuser, or a victim acting out, or abuser/victim - abuse is abuse. Yes.

Your post really reminded me that I needed to vent today about this! Thank goodness there is a safe place to do that. I certainly do not agree with everyone at this site, that would be impossible, but I have learned an immense amount and found so many answers - it's been a life preserver for me.  Thank you.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2000

S1

Oops, I forgot to add that this is why for the most part I have a need to be on several lists. Is there one anywhere that is specifically for a victim/abuser? Victims who act out? Or just someone who wants to say, "I am in an abusive, controlling relationship and retaliate in kind at times. So I need to work on BOTH issues."? This way those victims who do not want to take responsibility for their actions will not feel threatened by those who do. I don't always feel I Am Responsible completely either. Kind of stuck in the middle at times. This is appropriate for the I am Responsible List. But, if you feel the need for a new list or a new board, just ask.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

S1

Reading all the posts so far really emphasizes that there are many "variations on the theme". I see the point of the last poster, who wants other "Victim-Abusers" to come forward, and wants support for that situation. That's great for that person, but I hope it doesn't get mixed up with the situation where an Abuser tries to convince the Victim that (s)he deliberately (or subconsciously?) "provokes" and "irritates" and "questions (the authority of the Abuser)" and therefore is the one who "is in control here" according to the Abuser. There are probably many Abusers out there who would like nothing better than to have one more way to avoid responsibility for their problems. Maybe some sort of test could be designed to show people where on the "continuum" of V to A they fall (at the moment)? Seriously. I know what you mean. Unfortunately, I can't interview each of you and assign you to the appropriate category. So, it almost always falls to the victim to find the courage and power to challenge the abuser. Then, later in treatment, this same victim needs to acknowledge their own abusive control stuff while the abuser owns their codependence. Very blurry...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

S1

What the person responding to me said. :) The new thread that is responding to a controller was so hostile I couldn't even finish reading through it. I'm rather disturbed by the sanctity given to whoever gets the status of "victim". Although those of us who are controllers might sometimes seem dense, having victims vent their frustrations on us that they probably wish to on their own abusers doesn't even serve to put the shoe on the other foot for us so much as to make us think we're irredeemably evil. *shrug* You're not. That's part of the "equality" I promote on this site.

And an unrelated ramble: I've just finished the most helpful reading I've done in quite a while, and it was a work of fantasy fiction. Perhaps it will help others as well: Stormqueen! by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Thanks for the tip.

Without giving too much away, the title character has the ability to call lightning with only a thought or an impulse. More than once, she has used this gift to kill, even though she didn't mean to (for instance, she "struck out" at a kinsman who was attempting rape, to get him to stop and not realizing it would kill him). Dorilys manages to injure even those she loves best and is closest to because she can't control herself. :)

Though I certainly make no claim to be able to call lightning, the story made me think about how even someone who could say she is comparatively without power, and someone who doesn't physically strike another, can nonetheless cause pain and grief to the people she loves. I've been told many times that I have a way with words -- it is no more fitting for me to abuse that gift than it is for Dorilys to abuse her gift of weather control, which she can also use to (for instance) quench a forest fire.

-AngryGirl

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

I'm a recovering controller. In part, I can thank your website and the many articles and e-mails that I've read. I also give the little book entitled, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, a lot of credit in my recovery.

My wife left me a year ago. Now that I look back, I don't blame her. I was a jerk! The problem was -- and to some extent, still is -- I didn't, and sometimes still don't, realize I'm a controller until after I do what I do. Yes. You don't see it at the time...

Shortly after our separation she got involved with a new man. I was dumb enough to think I could even control that. I tried to point out all the negatives in this guy. For instance, the night I met him he talked about his wealth, large corporations, being a former member of the force recon in the USMC, and on and on he went. Every one of his claims were later proven to be false, and I thought it was my duty to point that out every time I had the opportunity. Being a marine, it wasn't difficult to figure out this guy wasn't in that unit. But, I still wanted her back.

Now I try to disappear if I run into her and her boyfriend in a social situation. I was by myself last week, when I saw them at one of the local dance clubs. I walked out and my ex-wife ran out to tell me I didn't have to leave just because they were there. "In fact," she said, "I might even ask you to dance." Like a fool I went back in. No, you were not the fool. She asked me to dance almost immediately. I accepted. Then we went back to the spot where her boyfriend was. She jokingly pointed to a picture of a beautiful woman and said, "did you like me better before I got my haircut?" Going along with the joke, I said, "yes, I liked it better like that," as I pointed at the photograph. With that her boyfriend grabbed both of her breasts and said, "after we grow her hair, we're going to work on her tits." Yuk.

Well, being a recovering verbal abuser, I have the ability to spot verbal abuse, or public degradation. It didn't bother me that night, but the next day my mind was on that from morning to night. I felt the need for a relapse. I felt the need to call her and point it out. I felt the need to write her an e-mail. I made it. I didn't call her and I didn't e-mail her. I'll just let her find out for herself. But I must admit it. It's hard to break old controlling habits. Yes...

I feel like it's almost a duty to try and control her. I wanted so badly to say, "he loves you for what he thinks you can be, not for who you are." Why should I even care? It's not my business. Correct. And I have no right getting involved. Yes. And I'll never hang around the two of them again. Like a drug abuser, I have to learn to stay away from certain situations that may trigger an old habit. Or, perhaps you need to learn to not let this type of thing bother you. Think of this as a goal, not for now, but in time... 

George

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

I don't think a support list for victim-abusers would be good for just "that person," I think it would be good for a lot of victims who behave abusively and then blame it all on the abuser. :) Each has to take responsibility for their own issues. I think the reason the concept frightens so many victims who act out is because they fear if they admit they have problems too, then they can no longer say it's all the other person's fault that their life is such a mess. It's denial and an avoidance of responsibility. The abuser is going to blame them for everything anyway but this way the victims can see how they contribute to the dysfunction in their relationships and take steps to correct that. Some victims do just what you describe. Other's don't.  Just as there are controllers and there are controllers, there are victims and there are victims...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

To the last poster: not all victims "act out" in response to abusers. I guess you could say some of us "act in". Maybe all victims do that initially - that's why they stay. But some of us continue to blame ourselves, and our abusers blame us too. In some corner of our minds, we know we do not deserve all this blame. But due to our childhoods and society's expectations for women in relationships...it comes naturally. Yes. And you have to stop that destructive tendency within yourself. I think the victims who turn the tables and become abusive are a step ahead of us in their own recoveries. I don't know, but I don't think it makes a bit of difference to the abuser. If he isn't ready to change, he is probably blaming his victim whether she is standing there cowering and thinking what a bad person she is, or yelling back at him saying what a bad person he is. But, the victim's behaving appropriately and expressing limits calmly is not about or for the abuser. The reason the victim needs to find that balance within the self is for the sake of the self... Think of this as a long-term goal to strive for.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2000

S1

I didn't say all victims act out at all. I am trying to understand control, how it is defined, and who it applies to. No one has the right to abuse another, there are no reasons for abuse, just excuses. No one needs to be blaming anyone either, because blame is a useless word, but I was pointing out that some often do. Yes.

What I was referring to is: I put up with my ex yelling and calling me names for years: b****, C***, and the like. So I started calling him names back. Or yelling back. Basically behaving like him. And then you start disliking the person you are becoming - just like he dislikes himself.

But I told him that HE was the one who needed help and I tried to make him get help, and in my codependency group I was told that is being controlling. Right. That instead of working on me I was putting all the focus on him, telling him what was wrong with him, what he had to do to get well, and never admitting I had a problem and that was unfair. All you can reasonably do is tell the other person they are hurting you and to stop it.  If they don't hear you, you are left with little sane choice other than pulling away from the relationship - for your own sake. It is not OK to insist they change... The good news is that as you pull away, your partner's ears often pop open.

Because like you said yourself, not all victims are abusers, too, which means there is a problem inside of that victim who acts out which to me is abuse, and I don't see how they can heal fully if all they do is "blame" the abuser, "Well, I wouldn't behave this way if..." This is not OK. You made me do it doesn't wash.

If two people get into a domestic assault and both are injured, both will be arrested, often because it's considered mutual combat no matter who started it. I don't see how verbal abuse is any different if both participate in it. So all I wanted to know is if victims can be controllers, too, and how. Of course they can and there is angry victim stuff sprinkled all over the site. I should write more specifically on this... Thanks for the suggestion.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Very well said. I see your point clearly now. Just don't get brainwashed into thinking that your acting out caused you to be abused. Good luck with (or without) your relationship.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

S1

In reply to an earlier posting I can actually state that I was told that if I wanted my boyfriend to do something, I should ask him not to do it. I took this to indicate that he felt un-ok about saying no, but did not really know why he said no, or rather why he said no just because I asked. A more common pattern is to say yes when he means no and then to do nothing. So he says no when he has no real objection and yes when he does not want to do something. Look, you were given good advice because you have to start at the beginning. But, now you've been down the road and you know the game. Your choice if you want to play it.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 29, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 29, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 29, 2000

S1

I have found that the underlying theme that connected me to any other controllers I read about was anger, lack of emphathy and an absence of love for themselves. In my case, and it seems to be true in a number of cases I have read about, the anger and the inability to love myself is the root of all this horror. If you really want to fix it, then you need to face the devel, go back to yur childhood and find out what the issues are, and learn to love yourself again. Once you get this part of it you can start to love others and to emphasize. In touch with your feelings lets you have feelings (for others). Sounds simple, but it's a difficult process. If you really love the person your with there sould be no lengths to which you'll go to fix the (your)problem. I'm working like hell to fix mine, I only hope I can get there in time.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 06, 2000

S1

I think there is a lot of confusion here. Correct me if I am wrong. No behaviour is inherently abusive. Insulting one's partner in front of others is not generally considered acceptable but nevertheless it is up to the partner to set boundaries. Abusers will use certain strategies to provoke, but it is up to the partner to give feedback. I was the 'victim' in a relationship which I have just ended. And some of the things I did were potentially abusive. I shouted - but only occasionally. This bothered my boyfriend, though he wouldn't admit it. I tried to get through to him in many ways. always shifting my perrspective , trying a different angle to see if it would work. Was this abusive? I was asking for something and being told time and time again that he would not give it to me. In that sense it was abusive. However, I always asked in different ways, and never appealed to his emotions rather to reason, so in that respect it was possibly not abusive. One realises after a while that one is not going to get what one wants and gives up. But abuse, manipulation etc. are a matter of degree. Recently I have appealed more to my boyfriend's emotions - lots and lots of affirmations. And I made some progress - only to have him pull back. If that was acceptable to him it was not manipulative, although I found it a strange way to relate to an adult. Individual interactions are abusive or not depending on the motivation of the one and the way it is received/perceived by the other. An abusive relationship is one where one partner habitually resorts to abusive strategies, which bother/provoke the other (who may or may not report on his/her feelings). We are all abusive to some degree from time to time - we all forget ourselves. And an abusive relationship brings out the worst in victims as well as the abuser.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2000

S1

RE: the previous post, my wife did that with me, "trying several different angles to get through to me". I don't think it was controlling or abusive. She just loved me regardless of all the crap I was throwing at her and she was trying to find a way around it all that might work because nothing else did work. But later on she did start to abuse me back and provoke me etc. etc.. This was after her love had all but dissappeared for me and she did not want to try again for fear of exposing herself to hurt again. It took me a while to finally break through and show her I really meant business this time and I was going to fix myself so that we could have a normal relationship and a normal family. Tim

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 16, 2000

S1

I am controlling out of fear . All i have ever seen is dishonest woman who cheat. my ex wife women at work etc. my fiance is a very friendly person . i see it as flirtatious. that gets me going. how do i learn to stop and accept? any help please e mail shyswilli@aol.com .

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 17, 2000

S1

Hi' I was reading your article and I am a victim and learned over the years of abuse how to make him a victim too! I have never been victimized or maybe I was as a child and it was my mom who used to hit me and verbally abuse me and I ran away when I was 17 and made a real miserable life for myself. Anyway, i do believe that the way that I grew up has everything to do with the way that I am today 25 years after I became a grown up in a hurry. This is my third relationship and the worst so far and I still find myself loving this man who has hurt me so much. More verbal abuse than anything. After 6 months into the relationship he hit me for the first time. He beat me and then raped me. I felt sorry for him 3 weeks later and I was back with him. Only a month after that he beat me again the same way, rape and all that. Again, i forgave him but I never forgot, then about two months later he terrorized me for almost two hours. I forgave him. Then one day he was talking to his ex wife on the telephone and I was sitting right next to him and he was asking her about her private parts and if they were still looking and tasting good. I was more hurt than when he hit me and he tells me today that he did not think that we were in such a serious relationship. I thought to myself, "it is not a serious relationship and you could beat me and rape me? What kind of sh.t was that? I still stayed with this creep. Just going back makes me so angry. Anyway on Thanksgiving of that year 1995 I had the creep arrested for threating to hurt me physically again. He was locked up for only five days because nobody told me that I had to go to court and press charges against him and so for five days I lived in extreme fear for my life. He got out and called my mother and begged my mother for forgiveness and she called me and asked me to forgive him and I did. In january 1996 things were still not going well and he left. Three months later he returned with a few days notice. I was working and he made me quit my job. the first time that I had a real job and he made me quit. He told me that no woman of his had to work and that he could take care of me and my kids. Now, on top of all the abuse over the years I finally got tired of his violent temper and I had him arrested again and this time I knew that I had to go to court and I did what I had to do to put him away. He did only ten days in jail and is out now trying to make peace with me and telling me that he loves me and needs me and how he never knew that he was actually being abusive and how he did not know that I felt so bad about the way that he would treat me when he would tell me that I was not worthy of him and his money and how I did not have my body parts the way that he likes them to be and all those horrible things. Yes i am very angry too but at the same time I feel like i should give him yet another opportunity and only because he is asking for it. Personally if he would leave me alone I do not need him. I am so confused because now I think that if i reject him he will hurt me or himself. I do not want to hurt this man I just want him to go away like a bad dream?

chow

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 27, 2000

S1

I have just discovered that I am indeed a controller. I never listened to my wife's complaints about me. She has recently left me but wants me to get help so we can get back together. I lived in my own reality where I was always right. I have begun to admit to my problems. I have made a list of my problems yesterday & controler sure sounds just like me. I have ordered some books to read and have made an appointment to begin therapy. Your site helped to clarify my problem and strengthed my resolve to solve my problem for the good of my marriage and the others around me. I am going to use this as my wakeup call before I lose what I love. I am ending my denial to save my marriage.I am going to use this to build a better relationship with her.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 27, 2000

S1

I have just discovered that I am indeed a controller. I never listened to my wife's complaints about me. She has recently left me but wants me to get help so we can get back together. I lived in my own reality where I was always right. I have begun to admit to my problems. I have made a list of my problems yesterday & controler sure sounds just like me. I have ordered some books to read and have made an appointment to begin therapy. Your site helped to clarify my problem and strengthed my resolve to solve my problem for the good of my marriage and the others around me. I am going to use this as my wakeup call before I lose what I love. I am ending my denial to save my marriage.I am going to use this to build a better relationship with her.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 28, 2000

S1

Hello.

Originally, I was going to send you a long, very drawn out text file I had prepared which enumerated lots of abuses and offenses done against me in the past decade. I have an abuser - my mother. She has been abusing me since I was a tiny kid. Well, one day I "snapped" and told her off. I was told to "get out of the house". I packed my bags and then she looped me back in (and so did my in-debt mind)!

So anyway, I started reading the Abuser pages to make sure what she saw when I pointed her here wouldn't be harmful to me. She has a way of twisting things and words.

I began to think, I know I am "into control".. because I had so little of my own .. maybe I am an abuser too. I began to think about my ex-boyfriend. While he demanded sex in return for favors like taking me shopping when I was broke, or babysitting my pets, he was very giving with his time and money. He was friendly and willing to go with me to a few places. He hated my abuser and rescued me from her many weekends for many years running. He was never physically threatening. Now that he has found a new group of friends, he's trying to distance himself from me by "saying yes" to plans, and then "disappearing" <not showing up>. He's also "telling me off" - which I encourage because he seems to have very low confidence around me. Yet I have rarely openly rejected his ideas (in MY mind - his mind may be different), and I know I have only "cut him down to size" one time (when I broke up with him for being jealous/possessive of me!) in 8 years.

I am wondering if this is because I was controlling and using? I would always set and make the plans, do all of the inviting-over and logistics/organizing, I always led social situations and introductions, he always came to my house (my own abuser's rule), I was "on top", I said when to start and stop (this is not just sex - it's driving, talking, arguing, etc) .. I never told him how to feel, and several times counseled him on how to feel good about himself. I told him to seek help for depression after he said many suicidal things about himself to me, and began spending too much money. I was worried about losing my friend. I don't know if he accepted it, but at the time of each talk, he would get into a much better mood after dealing with his feelings for a while. Or if he is just growing up and digressing from hanging out with women 3 years older than he is?

My ex financially bailed me out of many debts. He also rescued me from unhealthy living conditions in 1998. He remains a tenuous friend, and I want to keep him around (if it is healthy - I don't need a slave.) I am, I guess, looking for validation?, making sure I don't become an abuser, like my own abuser - and perpetuate the cycle.

I train cats too. ;) I know when to "back off" when training animals, I know that saying no to someone is ok and I allow people to say no to me, and I own my feelings. My ill cat is currently teaching me lessons in compassion and empathy. How to feel sorry for other people's cats, how to keep appointments with grief and sadness, and how to relate to people in crisis. Stuff like that. I felt that I was too "cold" and "heartless" during emotional crises, and I needed the compassion - help, so when my cat's illness got me to join a support group with 995+ other members, I took that as a golden learning opportunity.

So, say I am a controller. Does that make me an abuser? Or just a controller who occasionally "indulges" in abuse? Or just someone who's come to terms with their desire and need for more control or stability in their existence? If I am an abuser, will "not speaking to my own abuser for 20 years" be pivotal in my recovery and self-discovery? How do I stop playing the _____ in these 2 relationships? (victim with mom; abuser with ex)

I don't drink, smoke, nor do drugs. I socialize every weekend if possible, and have maintained quality friendships with work on both sides, for over 15 years. I am not married YET. I have never given up a pet (this has huge significance because I feel very, very close to my animals.. way moreso than any humans in my family.) I am not shy. I took the MMPI in 1998 and it said I had a Family Discord of 91% but everything else was very normal. My performance IQ is 131; raw 154. (just giving you some stuff to help out.) I am 24, white, and female.

Thanks for any insights! Guen guenmischief@aol.com Ohio

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 24, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, I am 23 year old woman with control issues that seem to revolve around sex. My current partner (of four years)has just about had it with me and I don't know how to let go. Our circumstances are a bit unusual because my job takes me away from our home for long periods of time. I am so paranoid that my boyfriend will have an affair that I don't seem to allow him any space. I don't even want to pursue my career anymore. I know it sounds crazy, but I catch him looking at other women and I feel out of control. I have been violent at times and have said many things I regret. This problem also involves pornography, strip clubs and fantasy in general. I can't stand him wanting someone else. I don't even want to be around other women and feel suspicous of his co-workers and friends. I have not been in a relationship where the individual has not been unfaithful (current one included) and I realize that if I had enough confidence I would have left these men, so it is probably as much my fault as theirs. The man I dated before my current boyfriend (was my fiance) gave me a STD after being together for two years, and I don't think I have completely gotten over that. I used to be the doormat, but times have changed. I hate myself for it. My view of the world is very negative these days and I know I must be causing my unhappiness. I don't want to have a pity party, but would like some help in changing my attitude. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you, L.E.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 25, 2000

S1

Help! I have just come to realize that the patterns discussed in this web page are what I have been exhibiting towards my wife. I do not consciously remember making negative comments and would never physically abuse her (Just a little more clarification). I so want to change the behaviour, but am afraid that I have lost the woman I love. I guess I need to change for myself but want I want to know is, If an abuser really does change what are the chances that I will stay with the woman I love?

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2000

S1

How do you get back in control of your life? My girl friend and I just broke up and I am starting to understand what she felt like. I never saw myself controling her I veiwed it as more like she was not respecting me. Reality check! I was controling her. I want her back. And I think she is willing but I know I can't be the same person. Even today she called me and was telling me about some pat's she bought ans I started getting mad. I know who she loves me. But...... I never let that be good enough. I just want to be normal. And have a trusting relationship. What would you or anyone suggest?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000

S1

THIS IS WELL WRITTEN THANKS!sorry Im a recovering victom.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 03, 2000

S1

Wow. Thank you for putting this site up. I have a hard time believing I am a controller, as you use it, but I seem to fit everything else. And I have that horrid temper. The way you talk about angry people, well, that's me. You have described my relationship (or what was my relationship) accurately, yet you have never met me. I've often thought about doing something about my anger, when my wife wanted a separation, that thought crystalized into action. I am like the man you called Brent. I really, really, really want to change this. My anger (as it turns into rage)has caused me just about every hardship in my life. I want to get rid of it, to get rid of it's contoll on me. I read your story about the turning point, and the car keys. Accurate, and astute. While not the exact same scenario, I've been through many. So many I can't count It's hard to believe that this ISNT the way everyone else thinks. Again, thanks. I will sign this with a nom de plume for now.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 06, 2000

S1

Don't know if this still works (if I'm writing to anyone) but even though I'm female I'm seeing a lot of myself here.

Really, really, really want to do better on every end of this thing.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 07, 2000

S1

yes i can that was good i was in an abusive relationship i left him after 6 months of abuse

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2000

S1

I'm so glad that I found this site because not only have I seen what I have been doing to my beautiful wife I've also got a better understanding of how things in my past have contributed to my current problems and how it "is" possible to arrest the problems and get things back on track and towards a better life together. I will certainly be a regular viewer and practiser of this site. "I have plenty of baggage to work on" I'ts not just my partner all the time!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000

S1

Dr Irene, I love your site. I am a recovering controller, and verbal abuser. I am the adult child of an alcoholic, and also co dependant. My wife and I are seperated and she also is co dependant. Inspite of the difficulty I had in expressing love to Vicki, I have always loved her. She just now has come to the relazation that she is co dependant, even more so than me. I am fortunate that I have come to these realazations about myself, and how never getting the love I needed as a child has affected my adult relationships. Sometimes it takes being hit by a train,i.e., Vicki leaving to see truth. That I never really have loved myself, how I always tried to control everything and everybody. I am working hard to be the kind of person that can love without expectation, and to love myself so that I will be able to give back a worthy love. I am not sure that Vicki will ever come back, but I hope to have the chance one day to love her like she deserved to be loved, that is her decision. I asked her to postpone the divorce to see if we could find the healing we need. I know it is beyond my control if she does or doesn't come back, I have left it in God's hands. At first I tried to fix it, in every way I could think of letters, cards, books about divorce, but came to the conclusion, it is out of my control. I do still love her and I believe that she loves me. We just had such a bad relationship, I don't know if she ever will forgive me. For now I am working on myself and hoping we can resolve the differences. Do you think there is any chance that two recovering co dependents, could ever be happy in marriage? Thank you so much for all the insight, you have given me. Gary Bayless gmb55@prodigy.net

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 05, 2001

S1

Hello to all and especially Dr. Irene,

I want to thank you all for your insight and knowledge on this subject. I have spent the better part of the last two days reading many article here.. I want you to know that I finally have some of the answers I been looking for all of my adult life. I was brought up with and then married an alcoholic. I have spent the last ten years of my life with the love of my life.....another alcoholic. He also has been diagnosed with an organic personality disorder. I have read every book I can get my hands on to understand why he treats me the way he does. While I found alot of answers in books on both alcoholism and personality disorders, it was not until I read Dr. Irene's article that EVERYTHING clicked and finally made sense for me. My alcoholic has told me for ten years that drinking is not the only thing wrong with him....he knows that underneath the alcoholism is the real problem. For many years I thought it was the personality disorder. Now that I understand what his childhood REALLY did to his head, I can agree with him 100%. He is unable to give what I need even when he is sober.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the answer to why he lies about me and our relationship.... I have never understood before reading your article. I have spent myself trying to undo all the lies he tells. I am sooooo tired of defending myself against just being human. I am tired of never doing enough for him, and even moreseo of getting so very, very little in return. I learned a number of years ago that it didn't matter what I said or didn't say, what I did or didn't do....I was always coming up short in his eyes.....and destroying my self esteem in the process. I just could never really understand WHY.

This past year has been the worst as he has lost his license again and also his work truck from yet another DUI. Not good when you do drywall for a living. He has not worked for 7 out of 9 months and has dumped the load on me to take care of everything.....and I am angry......very, very angry. And he is angry with me cause I have disappointed him.......he said he knew there were consequences to another DUI but he didn't expect to have "to pay" with me!! (he says this while he sets and watches tv day after day after day after day.....). I have been flabbergasted since he came home from jail that he is mad at me because I am angry at this mess he has created and the way he has dealt with what he has done. I know know why...... He really can't see what he has done to ME. He can only see where HE is .....dependent on me. He expects me to smile and just keep giving and giving and giving.......

Now that I do understand alot more the dynamics of just what is going on here and why I always feel so used and dumped on, I guess I am going to have to tell him he has to get help or we are thru. Ten years of this is enough........and he has begun drinking again after months of forced soboriety because he had no money for beer. (Found another alcoholic who will provide his drug of choice for him)

Thanks again. You have really opened my eyes to what I am dealing with. Now I need help with the codependency I have know about for a number of years. I have been very confused cause what was wrong was never entirely clear before I found your site. It all fits now. Thank you.

My best to all......and God bless. Pam

paminoc@yahoo.com

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 05, 2001

S1

Hello to all and especially Dr. Irene,

I want to thank you all for your insight and knowledge on this subject. I have spent the better part of the last two days reading many article here.. I want you to know that I finally have some of the answers I been looking for all of my adult life. I was brought up with and then married an alcoholic. I have spent the last ten years of my life with the love of my life.....another alcoholic. He also has been diagnosed with an organic personality disorder. I have read every book I can get my hands on to understand why he treats me the way he does. While I found alot of answers in books on both alcoholism and personality disorders, it was not until I read Dr. Irene's article that EVERYTHING clicked and finally made sense for me. My alcoholic has told me for ten years that drinking is not the only thing wrong with him....he knows that underneath the alcoholism is the real problem. For many years I thought it was the personality disorder. Now that I understand what his childhood REALLY did to his head, I can agree with him 100%. He is unable to give what I need even when he is sober.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the answer to why he lies about me and our relationship.... I have never understood before reading your article. I have spent myself trying to undo all the lies he tells. I am sooooo tired of defending myself against just being human. I am tired of never doing enough for him, and even moreseo of getting so very, very little in return. I learned a number of years ago that it didn't matter what I said or didn't say, what I did or didn't do....I was always coming up short in his eyes.....and destroying my self esteem in the process. I just could never really understand WHY.

This past year has been the worst as he has lost his license again and also his work truck from yet another DUI. Not good when you do drywall for a living. He has not worked for 7 out of 9 months and has dumped the load on me to take care of everything.....and I am angry......very, very angry. And he is angry with me cause I have disappointed him.......he said he knew there were consequences to another DUI but he didn't expect to have "to pay" with me!! (he says this while he sets and watches tv day after day after day after day.....). I have been flabbergasted since he came home from jail that he is mad at me because I am angry at this mess he has created and the way he has dealt with what he has done. I know know why...... He really can't see what he has done to ME. He can only see where HE is .....dependent on me. He expects me to smile and just keep giving and giving and giving.......

Now that I do understand alot more the dynamics of just what is going on here and why I always feel so used and dumped on, I guess I am going to have to tell him he has to get help or we are thru. Ten years of this is enough........and he has begun drinking again after months of forced soboriety because he had no money for beer. (Found another alcoholic who will provide his drug of choice for him)

Thanks again. You have really opened my eyes to what I am dealing with. Now I need help with the codependency I have know about for a number of years. I have been very confused cause what was wrong was never entirely clear before I found your site. It all fits now. Thank you.

My best to all......and God bless. Pam

paminoc@yahoo.com

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 06, 2001

S1

Dr. Irene,

I just recently realized I am a verbal abuser. Everything you said about my mate getting fed up etc. is true. She told me a week and a half ago that she is moving out. I have come to realize that she needs to do this though I wish she would stay. I don't like myself or the way I have behaved. I know I need to change I am going to individual counseling as well as joint counseling. She is also going to individual counseling. In the last couple of days I have began to realize that I have set very high standards for myself and was taught when I was young that failure is not acceptable. When I fail it must be someone else's fault not mine. Therefore I take my self anger out on others namely my spouse. I know I have probably lost her for good and have no one to blame but me. She said she will give me some time to prove I can change. I really want to change because even if she doesn't come back and asks for a divorce, I would hope to eventually find someone else to have a life with and don't want to repeat this in an other relationship. Hopefully with my counselor and some of the understanding that is now coming to the surface that it is me and only me who can make myself happy I can leave this behavior behind. I am sure that I will always need to be careful and work on this the rest of my life. I know that I can not accomplish this by myself but need God's help, strength, wisdom and understanding to succeed. I would be interested in hearing from you and any advice you can give me in seeking help in this area of my life. Also could you tell me if it is possible for me to recover and do abusers and their victims ever reconcile. Thank you for having this site. Kevin

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2001

S1

i discovered your site after spliting with my wife, we'd been together for 6 years, when i met her she was a confident outgoing person, and i have taken that away from her, i am in the process of getting counselling but i never really knew what was wrong with me until i found your site, as soon as i read it it all became so clear, i really hope that i can get over this problem of mine as it has ruined every relationship that i've ever had. if it hadn't been for this site i would still be in the dark, maybe if i'm really lucky she might take me back, but then again who'd want to after all the abuse i've given her. i'm not afraid to admit i'm scared of facing the world alone, but then i've only got myself to blame

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

OK, here is another thin line. I once was a verbal abuser who married someone I did not love (because if ya' love 'em they will hurt you right?) We co-dependantly lived together for 7 yrs and had 2 wonderful children. I only saw the abuse once I was left. Felt more pain over the failure of the marriage than over the person, then I believe God showed me how I was not the victim here, but a large cause of the problem. So, now I enter into another dysfunctional relationship with a narcisstic/controller/verbal abuser.(with every single sign of each of those present in him) I stuck to it because by golly, if I could change, then he could too! I am just out of the relationship for one and a half weeks now, only because it became so bad that I stuttered like crazy when around him, and I wonder if my constant confronting him with his abuse, his sexual and emotional withdrawal, my insistance that he see himself was in a way a controlling behavior within itself. I knew he had a pattern in all of his other relationships, he has boxes and boxes of cards and letters from dozens upon dozens of past relationships that start out with the Mr. Wonderful theme, and end with tearful entreties as to why they are not good enough. His explaination to each is because they did not understand him, or there was something wrong with each one, or they were abusive, but sometimes he would admit he was doomed to fail, but with an almost gleeful gloom...anyway, I digress..was I not as "cured" as I thought? Was my response to his controlling/narcisstic behavior controlling? I pointed out when he abused me or "punished" me, and that would only result in more punishment or an almost sarcastic admitance of horribleness...overstating anything that was said...I know, I know, I am going around in circles. The bottome line is this...I changed because I was ready. He won't change by me pointing out the obvious, he has to be ready to "see" the obvious. I only had to be run over once...I guess it is hard for me to fathom why one would be so obtuse to the trail of the dozens and dozens of bodies left behind..and still not see the forest for the trees.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 07, 2001

S1

My ex is still very verballyabusive to me. Our daughter has cancer and all he still can say is fuck you , you bitch. we have been divorced for 6 yrs. and he is back in my life because of our daughters cancer. He is wearing me down with his verbal abuse. I try to understand but the attacks take me so aback that I cannot even respond to him. I wish he would go away forever and I feel all consumed by him again. I know it is my own fault but wish so that I was not affected by his behavior. Reading your info has been helpful and reminded me again of what the problem is. I tend to think it is me and that I say the wrong thing or the wrong tone in my voice but know it is how he feels about himself is what comes out in his abuse to me. But it is wearing me thing. The real issue is our daughters health...but he wears me down. I need to be strong. I am dwelling...I want him to vanish. My life is so good but he does bring me down with the attacks. He had left me for another women..but this women truly saved me by coming into our lives....I am happy and harbor no ill feelings toward her(she left him) or to him. I just want to move forward. He brought my daughter home at 11:00 p.m. and tomorrow is a school day..she was just released from the hospital yesterday and I told him that this is too late. 9:00 she should be home...with Chemo and all she cannot get up in the morning. All he said was fuck you yu bitch. I will do what I want....I am exhausted

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 01, 2001

S1

i had previously posted something on the 27th, but it isn't there anymore. i don't know what had happened to it, and was curious where it had gone. All i have to say is that I am an abuser, and i am very sorry what pain i have caused to the three women that i was involved with, and that i want to not be the way i was if there ever is another chance out there.

-deaddreamer

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 11, 2001

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 18, 2001

S1

Dr. Irene, My boyfriend told me that I was being verbally abusive in our relationsip. I'm trying to identify whether or not it's true. One thing I've learnt from reading the information on this site is that everything is linked to perception. I'd like to change whatevery negative behaviour is causing my partner to be unhappy because I really do love him dearly and want to make him happy. Thanks for all the great info. found o nyour site.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 27, 2001

S1

Hi, I've been reading about the controllers and you describe me to a T. My wife left me 5 days ago and I wanted to try and find out what I have done to her. To my surprise I found out what a awful person I really am. And it's only to her. I am so asshamed of myself and I really want to fix myself first and then hopfully the relationship. I've been reading and reading about this but how do I know when I'm ready. I printed out your list of "GIVE UP YOUR ANGRY BEHAVIOR" and read it everyday. I want to make sure that I can control myself before I try and fix us. We still talk and she say's she still loves me but not in the way she needs to. Says she might not ever be able to love me that way again. I now relise what I have done and don't ever what to hurt her or anyone else like that again. I want help!

-dale-

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2001

S1

i anm the mother of an victim. My daughter was abused and now wants us all to forgive him because he says he is better. She believes him and wants the family to also have a relationship with him. Noone in the fmaily wants to as he has been cruel to her and we feel that he will continue to be no matter what she thinks at this point.Help

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2001

S1

i anm the mother of an victim. My daughter was abused and now wants us all to forgive him because he says he is better. She believes him and wants the family to also have a relationship with him. Noone in the fmaily wants to as he has been cruel to her and we feel that he will continue to be no matter what she thinks at this point.Help

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2001

S1

i cannot find an anger managment group please help me i live in morris county new jersey. i only can find domestic violance groups. capecio@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001

S1

Dear Doc, Iam a verbal abuser. I have been living in denial, with fear, depression, procrastination, anger, always being right, blaming others and all kinds of negative thoughts. I lack social skills, have no friends and I believe that everyone hates me. I recently had a wake up call, when my recent boyfriend ask me for a break. I paniced, freak out was more like it, said nasty things. I only realized that I was a verbal abuser after recalling that all my boyfriends and close relatives would ask about my impulsive irational verbal behaviour, all my boyfiends left and my family puts up with me. My current boyfiend is so hurt by the things I said to him that he won't come near me, and situations like this happen alot. I think he contemplating leaving. I don't blame him. What can I do? I only hurt people who are close to me ie partner, mother. I am a great fraud in appearence. I am a professional, who appears very calm and cool. After reading your site I realized that I do this deliberately to fool others who are not close to me. I hide the fact that I have a part of my personality that is horrible. I keep this composure as a rule, to combate the fear of the lost of self control given an un forseen situation. I segregate myself from everyone with the belief that they don't like me, this believe is another golden rule. If I keep this rule then I keep people from getting close to me, so that I won't let my guard dowm and show how verbally voilent I really am. My behaviour is irratic and sudden. It frightens those close to me and they even question my capablities of being a good mother. Men don't like animals to raise their children. Eventually they get fed up of my abuse which causes them alot of pain and hence they leave.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001

S1

Dear Doc, Iam a verbal abuser. I have been living in denial, with fear, depression, procrastination, anger, always being right, blaming others and all kinds of negative thoughts. I lack social skills, have no friends and I believe that everyone hates me. I recently had a wake up call, when my recent boyfriend ask me for a break. I paniced, freak out was more like it, said nasty things. I only realized that I was a verbal abuser after recalling that all my boyfriends and close relatives would ask about my impulsive irational verbal behaviour, all my boyfiends left and my family puts up with me. My current boyfiend is so hurt by the things I said to him that he won't come near me, and situations like this happen alot. I think he contemplating leaving. I don't blame him. What can I do? I only hurt people who are close to me ie partner, mother. I am a great fraud in appearence. I am a professional, who appears very calm and cool. After reading your site I realized that I do this deliberately to fool others who are not close to me. I hide the fact that I have a part of my personality that is horrible. I keep this composure as a rule, to combate the fear of the lost of self control given an un forseen situation. I segregate myself from everyone with the belief that they don't like me, this believe is another golden rule. If I keep this rule then I keep people from getting close to me, so that I won't let my guard dowm and show how verbally voilent I really am. My behaviour is irratic and sudden. It frightens those close to me and they even question my capablities of being a good mother. Men don't like animals to raise their children. Eventually they get fed up of my abuse which causes them alot of pain and hence they leave.The thing is that when I recall the things I say, I really don't mean them. I am usually very stressed and frustrated , so I transfer my negative feelings by blaming others wrongfully or creating situation based on assumption that I can't even prove. I am a very angry person, I can blow up at any second with out no immediate cause. Usually what I am angry about happened days or hours ago. Please help me, as a result I'm living a very isolated lonely life, expecting my partner to fufill my every need. And yes my mother was verbally abusive to me as a child. I still hate her for the things she has done! Am I hopeless, should I break if off with my boyfriend before he dumps me? Should I tell him of my problem? Do you think that he may see me as a freak and still leave? Even if he does I don't want my next relationship to suffer from the same! I need to feel more comfortable with myself so that I can learn to become more sociable. Please help!!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2002

S1

Dr Irene,

I am so thankful for your site. You put me on the path I need to be on in order to save my life. I am a recovering verbal and emotional abuser and my wife and I separated 2 months ago. She finally said enough is enough. At first it was very devastating being without her but lately I am starting to feel good about myself. I was carrying so much guilt and shame for the way I treated my wife and it just seemed to always make matters worse. I have been seeing a counselor one on one for two months now and am going to a support group. I am working hard on letting the feelings be and not acting on them. Sometimes it is overwhelming and I actually feel like I am losing my mind, but when I hunker down and let them be, they pass and there is no one crying. And that makes me so very happy that I was able to withstand. And sometimes I fall back on reflex and do or say something really stupid. When that happens I try to make ammends and get over it. Reminding myself what I need to do next time and the negative consequences of acting on those impulses. I am finding that the more you let the negative chatter and negative emotions be, the less infrequent they become. I am developing a different outlook on life. I don't know what is to come of my relationship with my wife. Oddly, that concern has taken a backseat to my need for healing and recovery.

Thank you.

John

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2002

S1

I have been abused, and now I am abusing. I lose control when I feel I am losing him for whatever reason that may be. I snap, and say terrible things to him. My Mom was that way to her husband, my last boyfriend was that way to me. I feel I have become who they were. I am losing my boyfriend, and I will not be able to go on. I will not survive the break up because I know that he is the best thing that ever happened to me and I will never be able to replace him. I have no where to go, no family. My Mother ended up killing herself, my siblings are drug addicts. I have no one to turn to, and never really have. I am not mean all the time, in fact, it is quite the opposite. I am giving all the time, loving, caring, go out of my way for him. It is when he does or says something that makes me feel I am losing him then I go off on him. I have made drastic improvements and made a strides in talking things out, however he doesn't care anymore. Then we had a big fight, and now he says that he can't take it anymore and it is over. I don't know what I am going to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2002

S1

..........Hello. I was sent this site by a Lady that I truly desired to be known by her as one of her best friends.

The person that she is and has become since our meeting on 7/7/2000 is a two part summary and will possibly tell you more about me as well.

I'll begin by telling you about how I perceived her when we first met:

RVH (Her Initials) I discovered RVH through an online email services. The first thing I noticed about RVH was how she wrote and the importance that her family and friends meant to her. I also noticed that even though she seemed very busy with her job, family and friends that she always had time to email me. This interested me because she showed me how much that she cared for me to inspite of her schedule.

The third email to each other, RVH and I discovered that we had the same faith in God and that we really my have the bases for a bond. After a week or so RVH and I exchanged phone numbers so as to be able to speak directly to each other. At this point I still did not know what RVH looked like nor she me. When we first spoke I realized that her voice was the most pleasant sound that I had ever heard. Right then I started thinking and wondering about what she might look like. Although I didn't really care as the voice over the phone line convinced me that it could sooth me and I didn't care about her looks. I wasn't looking for anyone to date or be with but a kind voice to talk with was acceptable for the communication level that I was seeking.

A week went by and we did exchange photo's and our response to each other was mutual, the beginning of the bond was made.

We continued to email for another month. On August 8th I moved to RVH's home town. I had just recently turned my home and ranch over to my X-wife and was ready for a change. Don't get me wrong, I had been separated for the better part of two years and I divorced my X-wife four months prior to meeting RVH.

I thought that I was ready to date and that I had put all the demons from the past behind me. I had even been to several anger management groups over the last year to reconfirm that I wasn't still harboring any deep seated anger. I had been actively reading and practicing my spiritual beliefs and I felt free and healthy. Little did I know My whole world would be seen as tainted by the wisdom of this good woman that I was about to be involved with.

I think at this point I will introduce you to RVH and she will write about the things she found in me that were unhealthy.............................

Hi, I'm RVH and SR and I had a lot in common and did have alot of fun times, I saw the fun, caring person that had deep feelings for me but, for some reason there was alot of selfishness, anger, control and jealousy. He wanted all my time and when I gave him my time it was not enough at times. I had to give up my friends, and family. I was in fear alot because I never knew when the bomb of anger was going to be set off. I was told what to do alot of times, sometimes in nice ways and sometimes in demanding angry ways. I cried alot because of the hurtful words that cut my heart, and I spent hours looking up web sites about abuse. I would not like myself because I kept staying or going back, I'd say "I'm really sick". I was afraid to talk or look at a male waiter or clerk at times, or any males. I was afraid to tell him I didn't want to see him at times because I didn't know how he would treat me. I told him I felt like a bird locked in a cage that couldn't get out, or a fly caught in a web about to be eaten by a spider.

I even went through him talking to other women that called him, there were maybe 4 or more. I even told him how to get rid of one lady that called at least 10 times a day. It hurt, and it hurt bad. I did not know why so much anger and control. When I get hurt feelings, I get hurt, but when he got hurt or didn't have things his way the anger would surface. The words would cut deep. I wanted to help him be that man that I know God wants him to be and that is deep in his heart. I told him that he didn't even treat me as a friend at times because he would not talk to his friends like he did me. I did not understand what was happening, except he told me his ex-wife was very abusive and controling and was in witchcraft. This man, when he opens his heart to talk and listen with a humble heart was so different.

END from RVH.

......................It's so hard for me to read and feel the pain in RVH's word's knowing that I was the monster and still have the potential to be a controller. However; I take strength in the fact that God did give me a woman and lady who is strong and able to help me see through the foolishness and selfishness that I created and allowed to surround and besiege a relationship that began with goodness.

I could blame it on a lot of things that helped me feed the demons that I brought with me to RVH and a new relationship but I won't. I feel that is just another form of denial and would only give way to unhealthy thinking again.

In July it will be two years that RVH and I have been working together to manage this problem. She has help me with a lot of literature and books on the the problem of my selfishness and control issues. RVH and I initially spent ten (10) months getting to know about one another. I admired her from the beginning but I am sad to say she did get a raw deal with me. I do thank God daily that RVH has been there to help me and had the wisdom and knowledge to send me away when it became to much to bare. We continued to talk daily while I was away. Several times over this last two years we have spent time together.

My turning point in completely understanding what I was doing, came when I went back to the point in my life where I started damaging myself and had made several selfish decisions that changed me from the young, kind, thoughtful, caring person that I grew up to be from my parents instruction. As I dug deep inside of me (using all the tools that RVH had showed me) I painfully walked myself back in time to where I began my break down. The steps that I have taken to manage this malady is that I asked forgiveness and forgave myself. I meditated and prayed for past knowledge of all those that I had offended. I then wrote letters asking those to forgive me for my selfishness. I could not remember or find some that I may have offended, so I merely sealed the envelope and burned them as if they were incense seeking them out wherever they may be. I also will, if I ever come across those that I couldn't locate, ask personally for forgiveness.

There are my other steps that go along with the initial placement of blame to ones self but that is the key to start and cleanse the conscienceless and past from the blaming guilt that holds us in bondage. I think without that first step, the management process will never completely become reality and healing and a more healthful way to live will always be an eluding dream. Denial then will always be your master.

I want to thank RVH for all her valuable time and let her know that she is my Hero.

END for SR

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 21, 2002

S1

Hi, I am a controller, big time. I am also a woman. I just got married to a great guy, he and I have had our issues, dont get me wrong...we both like to be right about everything. We are very much alike and for awhile there I thought that perhaps he was the one controlling me. He would sometimes call me a bitch but it was in reaction to me getting all psycho on him, for no apparent reason. I would jump at him when he would call me the "b" word. It hurt me alot so in defense I would sometimes hit him. I am talking slapping him in the face-hard-so hard that it bruised my fingers. I would kick him off the bed, throw stuff at him and wonder why he wasnt trying to console me, make ME feel better. I thought that I was entitled to everything good when I was acting this way, I thought 'hey, I am acting out in response to his behavior so it is HIS fault'. This of course is NOT rational nor a good way to start a marriage. I am pregnant now and we have only been married for less than a month. We argue just about everyday and for awhile there I thought why is he being so evil? What have I done to deserve such a horrible husband? But, I am the evil one. Well, let me tell what I do...not a damn thing. He works, I dont. I dont make dinner for him, I barely clean up the house, I bitch and moan and complain about everything when he comes home. He wants a meal on the table after he busts his ass at work, and I wonder why he calls me lazy. So, basically I dwell on myself and the things he says to me and try to rationalize my behavior. Well, I am too tired, I dont feel well...those are my excuses. He works on the weekends sometimes and I just bitch him out because I want to spend some time with him. In reality, he is trying his best to make enough money to support us and the soon to be family that we are going to have. Now, I dont know why I am this way. I am educated-almost done with my graduate degree, I come from a very, very, loving family. My parents treat each other with the utmost respect. They never yell at each other or call each other names. I am not exaggerating...so I guess I thought that that is how my marriage would be right away. Well, I didnt realize that hey my parents work their asses off to have that kind of marriage. My husband hears me complain and immediately becomes defensive, as he should. He is tired and worn out at the end of the day the last thing he wants is to hear his wife complain incessantly about life. He has NEVER hit me back which I have to say is VERY GOOD of him. Most people would raise their fists in defense. He puts up with alot and stupidly, I wonder why he thinks I am a bitch. Change MUST come from within. I do NOT want to divorce him, I love him very much. I have realized that the marriage that I desperately want is my doing, or not doing. I have realized that although he is my mate for life, I do not treat him as such. I treat him as I would treat an animal. No human deserves to be treated this way.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 21, 2002

S1

Hi, I am a controller, big time. I am also a woman. I just got married to a great guy, he and I have had our issues, dont get me wrong...we both like to be right about everything. We are very much alike and for awhile there I thought that perhaps he was the one controlling me. He would sometimes call me a bitch but it was in reaction to me getting all psycho on him, for no apparent reason. I would jump at him when he would call me the "b" word. It hurt me alot so in defense I would sometimes hit him. I am talking slapping him in the face-hard-so hard that it bruised my fingers. I would kick him off the bed, throw stuff at him and wonder why he wasnt trying to console me, make ME feel better. I thought that I was entitled to everything good when I was acting this way, I thought 'hey, I am acting out in response to his behavior so it is HIS fault'. This of course is NOT rational nor a good way to start a marriage. I am pregnant now and we have only been married for less than a month. We argue just about everyday and for awhile there I thought why is he being so evil? What have I done to deserve such a horrible husband? But, I am the evil one. Well, let me tell what I do...not a damn thing. He works, I dont. I dont make dinner for him, I barely clean up the house, I bitch and moan and complain about everything when he comes home. He wants a meal on the table after he busts his ass at work, and I wonder why he calls me lazy. So, basically I dwell on myself and the things he says to me and try to rationalize my behavior. Well, I am too tired, I dont feel well...those are my excuses. He works on the weekends sometimes and I just bitch him out because I want to spend some time with him. In reality, he is trying his best to make enough money to support us and the soon to be family that we are going to have. Now, I dont know why I am this way. I am educated-almost done with my graduate degree, I come from a very, very, loving family. My parents treat each other with the utmost respect. They never yell at each other or call each other names. I am not exaggerating...so I guess I thought that that is how my marriage would be right away. Well, I didnt realize that hey my parents work their asses off to have that kind of marriage. My husband hears me complain and immediately becomes defensive, as he should. He is tired and worn out at the end of the day the last thing he wants is to hear his wife complain incessantly about life. He has NEVER hit me back which I have to say is VERY GOOD of him. Most people would raise their fists in defense. He puts up with alot and stupidly, I wonder why he thinks I am a bitch. Change MUST come from within. I do NOT want to divorce him, I love him very much. I have realized that the marriage that I desperately want is my doing, or not doing. I have realized that although he is my mate for life, I do not treat him as such. I treat him as I would treat an animal. No human deserves to be treated this way.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 21, 2002

S1

Hi, I am a controller, big time. I am also a woman. I just got married to a great guy, he and I have had our issues, dont get me wrong...we both like to be right about everything. We are very much alike and for awhile there I thought that perhaps he was the one controlling me. He would sometimes call me a bitch but it was in reaction to me getting all psycho on him, for no apparent reason. I would jump at him when he would call me the "b" word. It hurt me alot so in defense I would sometimes hit him. I am talking slapping him in the face-hard-so hard that it bruised my fingers. I would kick him off the bed, throw stuff at him and wonder why he wasnt trying to console me, make ME feel better. I thought that I was entitled to everything good when I was acting this way, I thought 'hey, I am acting out in response to his behavior so it is HIS fault'. This of course is NOT rational nor a good way to start a marriage. I am pregnant now and we have only been married for less than a month. We argue just about everyday and for awhile there I thought why is he being so evil? What have I done to deserve such a horrible husband? But, I am the evil one. Well, let me tell what I do...not a damn thing. He works, I dont. I dont make dinner for him, I barely clean up the house, I bitch and moan and complain about everything when he comes home. He wants a meal on the table after he busts his ass at work, and I wonder why he calls me lazy. So, basically I dwell on myself and the things he says to me and try to rationalize my behavior. Well, I am too tired, I dont feel well...those are my excuses. He works on the weekends sometimes and I just bitch him out because I want to spend some time with him. In reality, he is trying his best to make enough money to support us and the soon to be family that we are going to have. Now, I dont know why I am this way. I am educated-almost done with my graduate degree, I come from a very, very, loving family. My parents treat each other with the utmost respect. They never yell at each other or call each other names. I am not exaggerating...so I guess I thought that that is how my marriage would be right away. Well, I didnt realize that hey my parents work their asses off to have that kind of marriage. My husband hears me complain and immediately becomes defensive, as he should. He is tired and worn out at the end of the day the last thing he wants is to hear his wife complain incessantly about life. He has NEVER hit me back which I have to say is VERY GOOD of him. Most people would raise their fists in defense. He puts up with alot and stupidly, I wonder why he thinks I am a bitch. Change MUST come from within. I do NOT want to divorce him, I love him very much. I have realized that the marriage that I desperately want is my doing, or not doing. I have realized that although he is my mate for life, I do not treat him as such. I treat him as I would treat an animal. No human deserves to be treated this way.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 21, 2002

S1

Hi, I am a controller, big time. I am also a woman. I just got married to a great guy, he and I have had our issues, dont get me wrong...we both like to be right about everything. We are very much alike and for awhile there I thought that perhaps he was the one controlling me. He would sometimes call me a bitch but it was in reaction to me getting all psycho on him, for no apparent reason. I would jump at him when he would call me the "b" word. It hurt me alot so in defense I would sometimes hit him. I am talking slapping him in the face-hard-so hard that it bruised my fingers. I would kick him off the bed, throw stuff at him and wonder why he wasnt trying to console me, make ME feel better. I thought that I was entitled to everything good when I was acting this way, I thought 'hey, I am acting out in response to his behavior so it is HIS fault'. This of course is NOT rational nor a good way to start a marriage. I am pregnant now and we have only been married for less than a month. We argue just about everyday and for awhile there I thought why is he being so evil? What have I done to deserve such a horrible husband? But, I am the evil one. Well, let me tell what I do...not a damn thing. He works, I dont. I dont make dinner for him, I barely clean up the house, I bitch and moan and complain about everything when he comes home. He wants a meal on the table after he busts his ass at work, and I wonder why he calls me lazy. So, basically I dwell on myself and the things he says to me and try to rationalize my behavior. Well, I am too tired, I dont feel well...those are my excuses. He works on the weekends sometimes and I just bitch him out because I want to spend some time with him. In reality, he is trying his best to make enough money to support us and the soon to be family that we are going to have. Now, I dont know why I am this way. I am educated-almost done with my graduate degree, I come from a very, very, loving family. My parents treat each other with the utmost respect. They never yell at each other or call each other names. I am not exaggerating...so I guess I thought that that is how my marriage would be right away. Well, I didnt realize that hey my parents work their asses off to have that kind of marriage. My husband hears me complain and immediately becomes defensive, as he should. He is tired and worn out at the end of the day the last thing he wants is to hear his wife complain incessantly about life. He has NEVER hit me back which I have to say is VERY GOOD of him. Most people would raise their fists in defense. He puts up with alot and stupidly, I wonder why he thinks I am a bitch. Change MUST come from within. I do NOT want to divorce him, I love him very much. I have realized that the marriage that I desperately want is my doing, or not doing. I have realized that although he is my mate for life, I do not treat him as such. I treat him as I would treat an animal. No human deserves to be treated this way.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 07, 2002

S1

I am a 34yr old relationship failure. I trust NOBODY!!! That is why i im here now. I keep telling myself that i want to change so bad. Nothing ever happens.. I am on meds. go to counseling once a month. And I still was CONSUMED by jealousy!!!!!! MAJOR!!!! I started reading"Grow Up: how to be a happy adult. I have lost the very best woman I ever had. And I KNOW she will never return. I harrassed her to no end, until of course she changed her no. Why? Cause I have no respect!!!!! It's all ME ME ME ME!! Everytime a relationship goes sour I KNOMW it was my fault!!! I am SOOOOO tired of hurting!!! I AM SOOOO TIRED OF HURTING THE ONES I LOVE!!!! I have read a lot on this site and want to return to get help. I ONLY wish I would have found this months ago!!! I have tried everything i know. I am lost. I read look on the web. WHY AM I SUCH A FREAK!!!!?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, September 23, 2002

S1

I have been away from my controller for three years. I never thought I would be where I'am today. He finally gave up something I never thought that he could do. Never give up hope it can happen to you.I wish everyone in an abusive situation th ebest of luck it is not easy to leave. But there only one way of getting through it alot of positive thinking. Your in my prAYERS ALWAYS

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 02, 2002

S1

It is 3:30 am and I am sitting at my computer in tears. I found this site originally because I thought my husband of 6 months was the controller/abuser. Well, I am just sick to figure out (after my husband has known for awhile) that I am the controller. I have been controlling toward my husband for years, and just recently after our wedding he started reacting in verbally abusive ways. Right now my dear husband is in therapy and trying to decide whether it is worth it for him to stick around or to just leave me. I am terrified and so sad. And I can't believe it took this current situation to make me see the evil of my ways. What have I done to this dear sweet man? I feel so guilty. But I am glad I have discovered this site and I am so glad that I have read other people's posts. I just hope that it isn't too late for me and that I can reconcile with my husband. The worst feeling right now is knowing that he will make a decision soon regardless of my influence. Dr. Irene - Thank you for having this available to people. It may not be early enough for me to save my marriage, but at least now I know where I can go to start working on myself.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 02, 2002

S1

i still love my wife, will she trust me again?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, November 03, 2002

S1

Hello To all, Well I find myself in the world of the abuser. Me being the abuser. My wife has left with our 16 month daughter. They are in a shelter somewhere and I haven't heard from them in days. We were together for about 5 yrs. married 3 yrs. She had warned me before of the verbal abuse I was dishing out. I knew I had a problem and I procrastinated getting any help. She was right I am wrong. I need help I've known it for a long time. I guess this is what you call rockbottom. Some people don't take other people's feelings in consideration until the damage is done. I know what I have to do now and it's a long road. I have to get the help. I have to let her go. I love both my Wife and Daughter so very much. And my little girl doesn't deserve to witness my abusive behavior towards my wife or anyone. Neither of them deserve it. I claim responsibility for all the pain I have caused her. I hope there is a shred love left. Only time will tell. And a major commitment to heal myself. I just want to give them a beautiful life with or without me. Which is hard to say when I want them back so badly. But I know she can't come back now. I have made calls and made appointments with counselors. I am going to the book store to find some self-help stuff. And making more calls to find some group meetings for abusers. People have told me I'm a good father. But that doesn't make me a good husband. I want to be both! I hope and pray she sees this. She is a great person! I AM TRULY SORRY!!!!!!!!! Keith H.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 04, 2002

S1

My wife of 9 years just left me because I verbally abused and controlled her. I never realized I was that way until I ended up at this website. I am hurting inside now realizing how much hurt Ive caused my wife. My kids and her did not deserve what I've put them through. My father treated my mother and us kids the same way that I treated my family. My father ended up leaving my mother and made her feel like she was the reason for him leaving. My parents were married for 30 years and my mom put up with that for that long. Well, recently my mom and I have been talking about my new found problem. She and I are both learning new things about this whole control thing. She has learned why my father was the way he was and Im learning how my wife is feeling. Man I know I have alot of work to do, but Im hurting so bad inside Its going to be tough to overcome this. My wife thinks that I never loved her, because of how I treated her but she has no idea that ive never loved anyone as much as I love her. I dont understand why I have such a hard time showing my feelings towards people I care about? My kids have suffered from my abuse and control as well. I cant even give my son a hug without hesitating. Looking back at my relationship and marriage I understand now why my wife left me and wanted to get away from me. I dont want to be this way but I dont know what to do???? I Love my wife more than life itself and it hurts me knowing that she has no idea how I feel about her. I really need help and not to win my wife and family back, but to become a better MAN!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

S1

Hi, I hope this post works out. I am concerned about some of my behavior. I had a girlfriend who got tired of me but never really said so -- she was just unavailable all the time, with a million reasons why. My therapist says she is borderline personality with narcissistic tendencies. Anyway, after this happened a bunch of times, I got a bit crazy, and started driving by her house at night to see if she was there. Once I called and her roommate answered, said she wasn't home. I drove to her house and her car was there, so I knocked and he said she was already asleep. You can imagine (I hope) how insecure all of this made me feel. Anyway, enough about her. During the relationship, she asked me to respect some things: don't come by the house without calling to see if it's okay, don't call multiple times in a day if you can't reach me. I had trouble doing these two things. It felt to me like I was losing something I really valued -- my relationship with her (and her child). The fear of abandonment (a rational fear in this case, since I really was being abandoned, or at least very neglected) welled up in me, and, even though I wanted to, I could not respect her two wishes very well, although I tried. Finally, though, I was able to "give her space" which was what she seemed to want -- and that was the last I saw of her. So, after having read these pages, I have to say that I have been abused (space doesn't permit all the details of this), but have also exhibited behavior I'm not proud of. I found it very hard to respect her wishes, do I have a control problem? The circumstances were kind of weird (see above). And, if so, how can I fix this problem? I already have a therapist, I also have books ordered on boundaries and obsessive love. Any (constructive) comments are welcome.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 27, 2003

S1

I find alot of what is on this site very bizarre. Although I have studied psychology, I am in a different area of health care, and see abuse in it's many forms daily, but have no direct intervention outside the "physical fix." Without going into alot of detail, which could be construed as justifying, my wife left me based on what she found on this site- against the advice of the coucellor we had already been seeing. The behaviors on some of your checklists can apply to both of us. I read with interest the one comment about bilateral give and take in the relationship. This would seem to have included us, at least that was what the councellor said, and what I thought, and think. What of this? Does bilateral abuse exist? The stories here would seem to suggest that it does. Your site says you don't need to win or lose, but then displays stories that ultimately have clear winners and losers, in degrees. I'm not really sure about that one way or another, I see situations that don't require a winner or a loser, but it seems to "get help", someone must be identified as "needing help", which then ultimately may make them feel like the loser. I.E., one gentleman learns quickly to control his "abusive" behavior, and then the focus turns to the lady, who appears to have needed help worse than the man. The man obviously needed help to more constructively approach his anger management, but then the lady needed help to learn to control her similar behaviors and ultimately "recover". This seems to me to be an example of a need to learn skills rather than a need to label someone, or both someones, an "abuser". Strangely, I am not especially angry about all this, my wife gave as good as she got, and no-one, counsellor included, has ever indicated to me that I am abusive. I love my wife, but could not put her through continuing a relationship with me if I am abusive, she needs better than that. In fact, I spoke, as part of this discovery process, to a women who has been abused emotionally, mentally and physically by her ex-husband, and she said that what we have here doesn't fit. I found this site trying to understand what I could have done, or can do differently, and come away feeling like I could learn to more constructively approach conflict, but there is little else that "jumps out". We had been together as a couple, of and on, for 23 years. The off and on had nothing to do with any perceived abuse, it is and has been a geographical issue, and then interests falling elsewhere, mainly due to long periods of separation. We were married for 3 months. Again, I find alot of this bizarre. When looking at your "checklists" and reading your articles trying to find myself, I see things that apply to both of us, but not things that are severe to either of us, and not things that I don't see going on in "healthy" relationships daily. The give and take seems to be the key, and there has been no lopsided give or take over our entire relationship- this WAS according to her too. I am, though, curious about this due to the fact that I see alot of contrary information here, and can't really resolve it to anything coherant in my case. My wife obviously did, but I'm not trying to track her down to get an explanation of what she thought she was going through until I understand more myself. Whatever she thought, she obviously was entitled to the way she thinks, but I don't understand what that thought process might be. I don't see another forum to address this to, and put it here because the area she looked up was on controlling behaviors, and she left literature to that effect on our shared computer. Are you entitiled to defend yourself? Are you entitled to point out behaviors that exist in both parties? Are you entitled to deal with inappropriate behavior, or attacks for that matter, by not responding to the behavior? And what of when you finally get "pushed" into a response- me to her or her to me- and say things that are inappropriate, again both ways? Are you better off just separating, or do you try to work it out? Alot of what is in the above article doesn't apply to me, but some does- again, in no severe way, but in ways that are identifable when you are casting about for an answer. Alot of what is in the above article doesn't apply to her either, but some does- again in no severe way. Very strange. I read your qualifier at the end of this article and then wonder, well, what about when this web site IS taken in place of "informed advice from your own health care provider."

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 30, 2003

S1

Hello everyone. My name is Ryan Singer. Thanks for reading my letter. I am on the brink of tears after reading the last few pages. Like many others on this site, I lost my female companion of three years due to my abuse of her. Of course, I didn't see the abuse while I was doing it. She walked and I decided that I needed to know why. It's a personality flaw(trait) of mine; needing to know the facts behind everything. That was two months ago. About two months prior to that I started to notice reccurent patterns in my behavior and my treatment of Kim. We had been having problems for a long time (2 years), and it just seemed to get worse. I could see she was tired and worn out, but I just blamed her for not trying to communicate with me. After all, I tried to communicate with her! (not really, but we'll get to that) I searched for anything or anyone to blame, especially myself. I decided that my substance abuse(marijuana) problem was partially to blame. Then I added my spirituality(Christian) vs. her spirituality(Pagan) to the pile. The relationship was still strained, so I continued searching for other sources of discord. I found many of them. I blamed my mother for always dictating what type of woman I should end up with. A Christian that believed a woman's place was in the home, looking after children, etc... None of my girlfriends were ever good enough for my mother. Onto this I heaped a serving of "friend blame." I still was not finished, however. I was truly searching, digging deep for when things started going wrong, what was happening at that time, and what my part was in it. Truly looking at MY part, though, instead of simply blaming it on Kim. I began trying to see things from her point of view, or to at least see why she may have been behaving the way she was. I came up with a horrible picture of myself, and what I stood for. I no longer wanted any of the destructive behavior, and I thought I had found a way to begin changing it. You know, to get her back. ;) Unfortunately, I still wasn't even close to getting past the symptoms of my problem until tonight, January 29, 2003. Kimberly hasn't been able to speak with me for a long time. Whenever we talk she draws into herself and responds only with "I don't know." Sometimes she'll get into more detail, only to stop speaking halfway through the sentence. It was frustrating to me because I just wanted answers! "I WANT ANSWERS RIGHT NOW, DAMNIT!" Since I know this, and since it frustrates me(and since I'm having difficulty accepting that it's over), we ended up getting into another arguement tonight. Kimberly explained that she gets anxiety attacks and that they've been getting worse, which is why she can't be with me anymore. She's just not comfortable, no matter what(she finally told me after two months of begging for a reason). She just doesn't want to try again. I was hell bent on changing her mind. Well, I told her she had no choice but to tell me the reason, and I pushed a great deal. She eventually did start hyperventilating because of my constant questions and unwillingness to allow her some space to heal, or whatever it is she will do with it. A less disturbed person would have stopped asking questions and driving for information when she started crying and hyperventilating. I didn't. Kimberly cries over EVERYTHING, no joke. This isn't something that's new since she's done it her entire life, from what her family/friends have told me. She simply wears her heart on her sleeve. Sorry, I digress. When she finished having her "anxiety attack"(if that's what they're called) and returned to the telephone, my first comment was, "Are you finished? ARE you DONE? For goodness sake, even my eight year old sister doesn't throw tantrums like that." (click) She hung up on me, as I told her she could. I got angry! Angrier than I've been in... Well, in memory. I wanted to jump in the van and drive to her place just to FIX HER WAGON. I was going to grab some of my change to pick up a pack of cigarettes(she was out as well, which was part of my reason for wanting them... C'mon, we're not ALWAYS monsters;), give her a couple, and tell her again what I needed without hearing her side. Well, I heard it when that phone clicked down. I realized with horror what the last words out of my mouth were to her. They were in anger, and more importantly, they were a horribly personal shot taken at someone who doesn't have nearly enough self-esteem to begin with. I felt like the lowest P.O.S. on the planet when I replayed the conversation in my mind. I did go to her apartment to get my money, but she had already called a taxi and gone to a friend's house, as I expected she would. I grabbed my change, picked up some cigs and headed back to my friend Matt's place, where I have been staying for the past two months, whenever I wasn't at Kim's for whatever reason I could come up with. While in the vehicle heading to Kim's(our) apartment, I decided I was going to look up verbal abuse when I got back, since I could clearly see that I was verbally abusing this woman. Got home, headed onto google and looked up "verbal abuse overcoming" which yielded an aweful lot for victims, but not for abusers. I removed the "overcoming" from the query and noticed that when it was comming from the abuser's side, it was anger-addiction. I decided to search for "anger management" information and found this site. Well, here's the aftermath of tonight. I understand, after reading so much on this site that I need to let her go, because I have done enough to hurt her already. I don't want to, I assure you, and it hurts like hell, but it's what she told me she needs. As for me? Wow, I have some work to do. I have lost too much already for this to continue. I need help, and I know it. Thank you for your site, and all the information it contains. It has helped me make a decision to better my life. Now I just need to find a therapist... Sincerely, Ryan Singer

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2003

S1

I can't decide if I am the victim or the controller. I have the right controller back ground (ie, emotionally lacking childhood, work-aholoic, and periodically (every 2 months going into a screaming frenzy). But... My wife also controls. Her whole world is about the kids (2 of which are in college) and about how clean the house can be. If I try and plan a trip out of town, she has never been able to go. And, the I totally lose it.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 24, 2003

S1

My husband is a typical controller and is extremely angry towards my two children from a former marriage. He is extremely abusive towards them and wonders why they do not show extreme respect towards him. He idolizes his two daughters from a former marriage (24 and 16) and cannot see that they have grown up. When he visits the 16 year old, he sleeps with her, gives her a bath etc. When he is not with her, he is thinking about her all the time, missing her and this makes him get more abusive towards us. I am trying to be sane and keep my children healthy and happy but I feel like crying my heart out. This second marriage was undertaken with a lot of hope, but his abusive nature (his parents had a terrible relationship and his psychotic mom often tried to kill his alcoholic dad) makes me want to leave him. Advice?

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2003

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2003

S1

hey this is crazy but my controller dumped me because i changed and i didnt call or go see him a few weeks ago and now he wont call me or talk to me????he was the bad one in this relationship but others such as some friends) not all think its me because, thats what he told them, DONT WANT HI BACK BT I FEEL HURT BY ALL OF THIS , IWAS WITH HIM FOR 2 YRS, I GUESS I JUST WANT TO KNOW HE'S HURTUNG,BECAUSE I HURT FOR 2 YRS AND IM STILL HURTNG,

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 11, 2003

S1

Dear Dr Irene, Have you had any experiences dealing with borderline personality abusers? Mine was covertly, emotionally abusive (witholding etc). As I kept growing and getting healthier, he raised the stakes... finally "threatening" with divorce. I was the one who finally left and I haven't heard ANYTHING from him regarding the divorce he so much wanted :-) He's seeing a therapist now. Next month I'm sending him the divorce papers (have notified his therapist in advance). What's your experience regarding recovery? He seemed to have been on the mild side of the disease, until some pretty severe external stressors made him regress... Thanks for a wonderful site! Tina

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 20, 2003

S1

Hello, My name is Holly. I am in a relationship right now with my boyfriend Michael. He is an angry person, and has some issues, but I truly love him. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to talk to people. Thank you, Holly

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 25, 2003

S1

I recently was verbally assultive to my girlfriend, I am a woman. I have recognized many of these traits about myself in these pages. I know I am weak in the areas of being able to sit with my shame and guilt without acting out or becoming self-injurious or having panic attacks. I don't really know why my girlfriend is giving me a second chance but she is and I don't want to blow it because I know being in this relationship is spritually making me deal with my stuff and be authentic. I have hurt her so despite my fear I am trying to give her the space she needs to heal. I am new to all of this (this is my first real relationship) and am feeling very overwhemlemed by the road ahead and very discouraged. I have horrible self care and I think I resent her because she is better at it. I have many negative feelings towards her and myself and am confused because this is someone I am supposed to value and treasure. I can relate to many of the male controler traits and I have no ability to love myself. We are both scared to end the relationship and are both not sure if we should. She reports that even though we (both) have been violent to each other in the past it wasn't until this last incident that she didn't feel safe with me and that in many ways I help her self-esteem. I want to change and be there for her but it all seems so overwhelming and I have a hard time not knowing what I want-to leave or stay. I do know I have many faults and want to work on them but am feeling so bad about myself I feel paralyzed and braindead from guilt and fear. I am glad that she seems to be taking care of herself better and not giving me all her power and doing more things with her friends, this gives me hope that even if we don't work out she will be okay. As for me, I don't know. I would appreciate any helpful advice. I also have diagnosed mental disorders, PTSD, GAD, and depression, have night terrors and have been in trouble with the law, and was sexually abused as a child. All these pages say start with yourself but maybe it is aparent there was a reason I was focusing on her "faults" so much. I don't know where to start. I think she is crazy to be with me but I respect that she sees my God center and from now on am going to try and not let her down.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 25, 2003

S1

I recently was verbally assultive to my girlfriend, I am a woman. I have recognized many of these traits about myself in these pages. I know I am weak in the areas of being able to sit with my shame and guilt without acting out or becoming self-injurious or having panic attacks. I don't really know why my girlfriend is giving me a second chance but she is and I don't want to blow it because I know being in this relationship is spritually making me deal with my stuff and be authentic. I have hurt her so despite my fear I am trying to give her the space she needs to heal. I am new to all of this (this is my first real relationship) and am feeling very overwhemlemed by the road ahead and very discouraged. I have horrible self care and I think I resent her because she is better at it. I have many negative feelings towards her and myself and am confused because this is someone I am supposed to value and treasure. I can relate to many of the male controler traits and I have no ability to love myself. We are both scared to end the relationship and are both not sure if we should. She reports that even though we (both) have been violent to each other in the past it wasn't until this last incident that she didn't feel safe with me and that in many ways I help her self-esteem. I want to change and be there for her but it all seems so overwhelming and I have a hard time not knowing what I want-to leave or stay. I do know I have many faults and want to work on them but am feeling so bad about myself I feel paralyzed and braindead from guilt and fear. I am glad that she seems to be taking care of herself better and not giving me all her power and doing more things with her friends, this gives me hope that even if we don't work out she will be okay. As for me, I don't know. I would appreciate any helpful advice. I also have diagnosed mental disorders, PTSD, GAD, and depression, have night terrors and have been in trouble with the law, and was sexually abused as a child. All these pages say start with yourself but maybe it is aparent there was a reason I was focusing on her "faults" so much. I don't know where to start. I think she is crazy to be with me but I respect that she sees my God center and from now on am going to try and not let her down.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 25, 2003

S1

I recently was verbally assultive to my girlfriend, I am a woman. I have recognized many of these traits about myself in these pages. I know I am weak in the areas of being able to sit with my shame and guilt without acting out or becoming self-injurious or having panic attacks. I don't really know why my girlfriend is giving me a second chance but she is and I don't want to blow it because I know being in this relationship is spritually making me deal with my stuff and be authentic. I have hurt her so despite my fear I am trying to give her the space she needs to heal. I am new to all of this (this is my first real relationship) and am feeling very overwhemlemed by the road ahead and very discouraged. I have horrible self care and I think I resent her because she is better at it. I have many negative feelings towards her and myself and am confused because this is someone I am supposed to value and treasure. I can relate to many of the male controler traits and I have no ability to love myself. We are both scared to end the relationship and are both not sure if we should. She reports that even though we (both) have been violent to each other in the past it wasn't until this last incident that she didn't feel safe with me and that in many ways I help her self-esteem. I want to change and be there for her but it all seems so overwhelming and I have a hard time not knowing what I want-to leave or stay. I do know I have many faults and want to work on them but am feeling so bad about myself I feel paralyzed and braindead from guilt and fear. I am glad that she seems to be taking care of herself better and not giving me all her power and doing more things with her friends, this gives me hope that even if we don't work out she will be okay. As for me, I don't know. I would appreciate any helpful advice. I also have diagnosed mental disorders, PTSD, GAD, and depression, have night terrors and have been in trouble with the law, and was sexually abused as a child. All these pages say start with yourself but maybe it is aparent there was a reason I was focusing on her "faults" so much. I don't know where to start. I think she is crazy to be with me but I respect that she sees my God center and from now on am going to try and not let her down.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 25, 2003

S1

Sorry I submitted my thing three times it wasn't on purpose (I'm sure you all only needed to read it once) -Girl from the last entry

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 28, 2003

S1

i am a controlling person. I have felt insecure with myself and have tried to keep the woman i love to myself and not let her live her life. I was always afraid she would leave me for someone who was smarter and better looking, and made more money than me. Well because i have tried to micro manage her life, that is exactly what happened. I have drove her into another mans arms because get jealous and mad over her wanting to go out with friends. I would also strike out with words to hurt her. I know what i have done and i am in therapy now but she says it is to late. We still live together and she is dating this other man. It drives me crazy but there is nothing i can do but go on with my life. I do really love this woman but have not known how to treat her with the respect she deserves. if things do not work out then i only have myself to blame but i will continue getting help so this does not happen in the future. I want to feel better about myself. Thanx Signed On the Mend

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 01, 2003

S1

what about the victim who has just had enough but does not leave instead she becomes so angry she also becomes abusive? "can't beat them - join them" ???

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 06, 2003

S1

I have been acused of being a controller. I am also an alcoholic. Big surprise. I have raged and been abusive to my second wife because I don't think I'm getting the attention I deserve (narcistic?). How do I change? Why am I this way? Help. m.collette@att.net

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2003

S1

Would you mind recommending a few self help books for "Controllers" Thanks so much!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2003

S1

Would you mind recommending a few self help books for "Controllers" Thanks so much!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2003

S1

Would you mind recommending a few self help books for "Controllers" Thanks so much!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2003

S1

Would you mind recommending a few self help books for "Controllers" Thanks so much! tigerlilly28nj@lycos.com

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2003

S1

AFTER 30 YEARS OF BEING ABUSED, I HAVE HAD ENOUGH, MY HUSBAND YELLED AT ME SO VIOLENTLY TWO WEEKS AGO MY HEAD HAS NOT STOPPED HURTING, FEEL LIKE A BAND IS TIED AROUND IT, AN WONT LET GO. WHEN i QUIET TEARS JUST ROLL DOWN MY CHEEKS. I AM FINALLY BROKEN ENOUGHT,ANGRY ENOUGH, TO ALLOW IT TO WORK FOR MEN INSTEAD AGAINST ME. I FINALLY AM ON MY WAY OUT OF REALLY BAD VERBAL MARRIAGE.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2003

S1

AFTER 30 YEARS OF BEING ABUSED, I HAVE HAD ENOUGH, MY HUSBAND YELLED AT ME SO VIOLENTLY TWO WEEKS AGO MY HEAD HAS NOT STOPPED HURTING, FEEL LIKE A BAND IS TIED AROUND IT, AN WONT LET GO. WHEN i QUIET TEARS JUST ROLL DOWN MY CHEEKS. I AM FINALLY BROKEN ENOUGHT,ANGRY ENOUGH, TO ALLOW IT TO WORK FOR MEN INSTEAD AGAINST ME. I FINALLY AM ON MY WAY OUT OF REALLY BAD VERBAL MARRIAGE.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2003

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2003

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 24, 2003

S1

My mother is a control freak verbally abusive person.I live with her now. I would like to get fiancilly independt and leave her alone. She calls herself a Jehovah's Witness and she does not have a clue that she needs to work on her temper. She has always put other people before me ahe never has supported me emotionally. I beleive she enjoys it when I fail. I have no deep love for her. I no longer go out of my way to please her.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 24, 2003

S1

My mother is a control freak verbally abusive person.I live with her now. I would like to get fiancilly independt and leave her alone. She calls herself a Jehovah's Witness and she does not have a clue that she needs to work on her temper. She has always put other people before me ahe never has supported me emotionally. I beleive she enjoys it when I fail. I have no deep love for her. I no longer go out of my way to please her.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 25, 2003

S1

I'm the poor controller talking yes by whatever means possible increase your self esteem read,read,read,read. stop that internal critic, find something you can feel good about yourself. smile at someone it is contageous. It is so much more fun to be happy and alive than to be a sour puss all the time. I just hope I haven't learned this lesson to late. I have a wonderful wife and 4 outrageously fantastic kids at stake. thanks for the article. And the chance to respond. A man who has seen the lite. L.B.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 04, 2003

S1

Hi, I was raised by an alcoholic mother who was physically and verbally abusive and a workaholic father who was verbally abusive. I married and we have 3 kids. About 3 or 4 times a week my kids will do something that makes me extremely angry and in a rage. I know they don't "make me" but I react; anyway it happens. I am a Christian and ask God to help me so I can kewl off and I don't hurt them, but I often yell and say mean things , then I ask them to forgive me after I cool off. I would like to get tot eh point where I do not go off like htis. It seems as if I am watching myself sometimes and I am not even speaking but listening as an observer from inside my body. As the years go by I have gained more control but still after 14 years of raising my kids I still lose control verbally (not physically). This really wears me out and I want to have control of my words so that I can calmly deal with my kids. Any advice would be appreciated. MW, Nashville

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 26, 2003

S1

Hi. I'm a controller who wants to stop before the victim leaves or makes me leave. She is really angry right now and yes I am really scared. I pray it's not too late for us and the children. My particular brand of control is very low-key and quiet. My partner is very kind, good, and perceptive so she's very easy to influence and will give readily. I want to just shut down for a while and not do or say anything but that's not enough. She has been giving for this long and I have been taking. I feel like a blood-sucking leech and it has to stop right now. I'm going home to do the things I promised and I'm going to mentally count to five before, during, and after touching anything remotely connected to her so that I have time to do things sensitively and correctly. I really do love her. E.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 28, 2003

S1