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 Catbox 25

Comments for Catbox 25

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   Copyrightę 1998-2001. 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

Back Up Next

Back to Catbox 24  

OK gang, 24 is EDITED!

So is this page.  

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 07, 2001

S1

So, here I am, Mom of Three is back, Call me Jeanne.

I go tomorrow to see a doc about antidepressants. My counselor is helping me with coping strategies to help me through as I build up a nest egg and such.... as I prepare for the big move. Right now I am working on a job description.... cause that's all this marriage is now, a job. It's gonna take some time, what with me being a full time student. I feel like a bit of a failure, having to take medicines to keep myself together because of him... but at the same time it makes me FURIOUS with him. I gave him twelve heartbreaking years and thre ly have to deal with about 20 minutes of complaints a day, and bear him one or two days every couple of weeks. The house is much more relaxed when he is gone. The children laugh and sing, as do I. This time is a new record though, he's been at his new job for three days and is griping already... geez, where would we be if I didn't have the sense to buy insurance through the college? Dang sure can't rely on him for financial support, much less emotional (and the emotional should be free!!!)

And they ask me in design class why my sculptures tend to be angry? If they only knew the anger I am really housing. Good for you that you recognize it.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 07, 2001

S1

Hi!!

This is or was Really Stuck. Boy! Am I unstuck now. I was really unsure of myself when I finally filed for divorce, but from what I have learned about my husband in these last 2 weeks since filing I am so glad I finally had the guts to do it. I can't believe it took me so long to see him as he really was. is. He has not given me or his FOUR children one dime since the divorce was filed, but I don't care. I was worried sick at first but now I know we will manage somehow. And life is so beautiful and calm and peaceful and happy and everything good without his hostile presence. Why is it so common for women to tolerate so much less than they should just to feel love?? Anyway I guess I get to start a new life. I am grateful for this web site. If I had not stumbled upon it, I would still be trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. ME*ow!

 

Unstuck

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Hi Poster who says he is an abuser and wants help,

My heart jumps for joy each time I see someone admit that they have problems but now they are gonna sort them out. SO WELL DONE FOR THE FIRST STEP AND THAT IS ADMITTING YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US DO!!

Your wife has an emotional relationship with another man. OKAY! This sometimes happens when a person feels their needs aren't being met.

Happiness is a state of mind. No one is happy all the time. Though a site which will help you a lot written by a guy who has experienced life as an abuser etc. He is a guy in a million, he was brave enough to admit he was emotionally sick. His self esteem was rock bottom, YOURS sounds like it is and this is why you feel so depressed and unhappy.

The sites he runs are: http://Joy2MeU.com/ http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/3691

Robert Burney is highly recommended by Dr Irene who runs this site you are posting on.

Further there is a message board called Buddha: http://www.drirene.com/buddah.htm

AND if you read over the old catbox threads you will see Steve and Dan's journeys of recovery and how they got through it, they are still in recovery and as with all of us it takes time.

Your wife's body is on red alert, she doesn't want to give up her new found personal power. So she feels if you even hint that she does something you are being controlling.

AS your wife learns to trust you, she will let down her guard and allow you back into her life, if you remain in recovery. The way you get her trust back is that firstly allow her to say no to requests, when her doing them would mean she wasn't taking care of herself.

e.g. She has been cleaning all day and you walk through the door after work, and say Make me a cuppa I am tired. She says I am just finishing the evening meal.

AN ABUSER would say: "I've been at work all day, it is the least you could do.

RESPONSE FROM A HEALTHY PERSON: "So her work isn't valuable, WELL let me tell you it is. Whatever task we do that contributes to the world in a beneficial way is valuable."

You need to ask yourself is my wife just taking care of herself and not over burdening herself? Is it fair of me to come in an expect to be waited on hand and foot. THIS IS GIVE AND TAKE. You are thoughtful when you are healthy. "YOU DROP THE ME ONLY TRAITS, you learn to think am I expecting my wife to do more than she can without feeling used and drained."

NO one is saying it is wrong for you to ask her for help, but if she has a good reason to say NO, then you should accept that, she is just taking care of herself and valuing her own work.

We all have boundaries, things we are responsible for, all these things are valuable, whether we are a road sweeper or a lawyer, we all contribute. So we should all be valued the same.

THIS WOULD GO ALONG WAY TO MAKING A PERSON FEEL VALUED: ALLOWING THEM TO SAY NO WHEN SAYING YES IS WRONG FOR THEIR WELL BEING AT THAT PRESENT TIME.

THE NEXT BIG THING IS: Trying to tell your wife what she is thinking, or discounting her feelings. IF SHE SAYS SHE IS TIRED, then she is tired. (some abusers will say: How can you be tired, I've been at work all day, what have you been doing?)

Just because she says she is tired doesn't mean it has any reflection on you. If she is tired then she is tired, regardless of whether you think she should be or not. END OF STORY. Some abusers will say well I do 70 hours a week, and she is just a housewife, so how can she be tired.

WELL LET ME TELL YOU, if she didn't do xxxx, it would affect your life and others lives so what she does is valuable. SO don't discount her.

When someone like your wife has been hurt, the love gets buried and until she feels okay to trust you again which takes time her loving feelings won't surface.

Your wife moved out of your bedroom. THIS is distancing. Now take this as a warning of how it would feel if she left. I don't want to beat you up, just take it as a warning.

WHEN you say you talk, do you tell her your reality only. IS IT YOUR WAY AND THE WRONG WAY? Which is what some abusers do.

Do you ever listen to her opinion and keep quiet, or are you constantly defending why xxx was also her fault? This is not good.

YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO HER, then you need to go away and think do I do xxxx? Don't try to tell her but you do xxxx also. Right now this isn't a good idea. YOU NEED TO WORK ON FIXING YOURSELF, so any thing she says you do, go and check out if you do, do xxxx. Concentrate on you. NOT on justifying why you do xxxx, cuz she does xxxxx.

DON'T focus on her bad bits for now. JUST hear what she says and go and fix it in you. She in time will see her role and fix it, but your recovery is not about telling her well you do xxxxx also etc. It is about you hear what she is saying and fixing the abusive traits in you. FOR YOURSELF, SO YOU CAN BECOME WHOLE.

Recovery also isn't about beating yourself up about the past, you did all you knew. You learnt these patterns in childhood. BUT now you are an adult you have to fix them to become a full, wholesome adult, who is healthy.

So you need to look at what you do wrong and work on fixing it. YOU can't change the past, but the future you can.

YOUR WIFE has been hurt and feels pain. (I know I have been where she is now) Though you can only hear her hurt and concentrate on fixing yourself. THIS is the only way you will heal her hurt. YOU CAN SAY SORRY ONE MILLION TIMES BUT the only thing that will make a difference is if you work on fixing your bad patterns that don't work.

I understand your need for affection but you have to sit with these feelings and not pressure her. PRESSURING IS ABUSIVE.

FORGET BLAME, take responsibility. Responsibility is seeing what you do wrong and working on fixing it. BLAME is just beating yourself up which never helps.

Mistakes are learning points. You make a mistake and then you later go over what you did that didn't work and then you can WORK on not repeating that bit.

It takes time and effort and doesn't all get fixed over night. You will make many mistakes but if you are willing to look at them you can grow and get healthy.

It is like climbing a mountain, and sometimes it is painful, cuz you have to see how awful you have been. Also you have to get in touch with your hurt feelings.

ALLOWING YOURSELF TO CRY FOR ALL THE HURT INSIDE YOU FROM CHILDHOOD HELPS. DO THIS ALONE. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WERE TREATED AS A CHILD AND IF YOU WERE NEGLECTED ETC AND CRY.

THIS HELPS YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FEELINGS. WRITE LETTERS YOU DON'T MAIL OR SHOW ANYONE ELSE TO THE PEOPLE WHO HURT YOU IN CHILDHOOD. THEY COULD HAVE hurt you by not teaching you the skills you needed to be healthy.

Start the letter with headings. I am hurt xxxx because he/she never taught me to xxxxx. ALLOW YOURSELF TO CRY.

(Through out the notion that crying isn't for men. Crying is the only way to heal hurts, Robert Burney who runs those sites I told you about is a big stocky guy, but do you know what he said "The thing that made me most strong was allowing myself to get rid of the notion that big boys don't cry. CUZ those who don't cry don't heal either, so which is best in the end.)

TAKE one step at a time.

Fear of the other man maybe good cuz it will show you that you need to work on you. And you see what you have to lose. LISTEN TO THIS FEAR, IT IS A WARNING OF WHAT YOU COULD LOSE.

She likes this mans attention and how he makes her feel. BUT if you work on you, then you may also start fulfilling her needs and in time she will feel okay with you. Don't mention this other man to her. Forget he is in the picture, just work on you. THE ONLY PURPOSE FOR YOU THIS MAN HAS IS TO MOTIVATE YOU TO CHANGE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOSE YOUR WIFE.

 

THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE, BUT ACTION BRINGS RESULTS, Begin by doing what I suggest above and reading those sights. AND VISIT HERE AT CATBOX DAILY TO SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING, so we can show you where you are making mistakes.

Also spend 1/2 hour alone each day thinking about your childhood hurts. Don't share this time with anyone else. Cry or even just sit and be alone and quiet.

Your wife is scared of you cuz she hasn't begun to trust you yet, she will if you work on your recovery.

The past is gone but recovery brings a better future.

YOU give yourself the chance to prove that you can be the best you can be.

First you learn to sit alone and cry about your child hood, this will be painful, in these times get a notebook and write about your life. Allow yourself to feel the hurt.

ALSO look around for a charity run counseling service which are sometimes free.

ALSO get hold of a book called Dance of the wounded souls by Robert Burney, you can buy it from amazon.com read it from cover, to cover.

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Hi as I sit and write this it is 5 am, I woke up and could not go back to sleep. I am in an unhealthy relationship. I have broke up with this person more times than I can count. The last time I broke up with him he stopped pursuing me. for the first time I called him back, I was upset and crying. He said he would come over if I agreed to be his girlfriend again and not date others. Out of desperation I agreed. Now I am back to feeling bad about the relationship, bad about myself. What led up to us breaking up was constant verbal abuse, dishonesty, blaming me for his actions, telling me it's all in my head while being disrespectful in front of me and many other scenarios that have caused me tremendous distress. The last time I broke up with him I told him this was it- it was OVER. I felt strong about it for about 2 weeks. Until my 10 year old son expressed to me sadness about not seeing his (my ex's) family anymore. Then suddenly I was overwhelmed with sadness and a sense of abandonment.......I ended up calling him. We are "back together" but I feel bad about myself. I totally went back on my word. He hasn't changed. In the past when I'd go on and on about my hurt feelings and the reasons why I don't feel loved and respected by him his answer is always..." I never had this problem with any other girlfriend". End of story. And he drops the subject. So in his view it's all me. Then last night on the phone he says to me -about questioning his love for me- "If you still feel that after 6 months you are always going to feel that way". He says and does so many cold things to me and then doesn't own up to them. Then blames me for our relationship issues. I am an attractive 28 year old. I have a good life except for living far away from most of my friends and family. I just want to be happy and share my life with someone who loves me and my son. I feel so trapped and insecure though. He is above average looking and getting someone else would not be too hard for him. I HATE feeling this way. I feel so rejected and alone. If he stopped calling me I have no one else calling or even pursuing me. Am I thinking delusionally by thinking that if I let go he will replace me and have someone else who is everything that I am not and I will be sitting home alone? I feel so inadequate. Oh ya the times when I feel insecure or jealous he has said," my ex-girlfriend trusted me even if someone was coming on to me in front of her". I then said to him, "you ex-girlfriend must have felt loved by you". I wish I could just meet someone special and get over this source of emotional exaction but I feel so trapped. I feel that my own intuition his grown less and his opinions have gotten louder in my head so loud that I have lost touch with myself. Any suggestions with finally getting over this completely? Thank you for reading my letter and for your support. Ellen

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

I've been casually labeling my husband of 13 years a verbal abuser, not sure if that was an accurate description. After searching the web "verbal abuse" and finding this site and others that describe what I have experienced in the 20 years of our relationship, I am sure that what I go through with my H is not some "little problem"," no big deal" or me" being too sensitive". I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. The past boggles my mind if I stop to think about it. I was afraid to leave him in the beginning, afraid to leave him before getting married, afraid to go off on my own when I had the chance. Often I wish I could go back in time and re-do my life - I'm only 37. I think about the future - holding on until I can be financially stable, till the kids are older. I picture myself at 60 maybe then finding a little peace of somehow being free of harassment, walking on eggs, having to keep things to myself or get yelled at. Every time things smooth out a bit and I think that it's not so bad, he blows up about something, starts yelling, harassing me. When I ask him to stop, he always has a reason. It's MY fault that he has to curse and yell at me. If there is an apology, it goes like this, "well, I guess I slipped a little" or "it's not the end of the world" , never a "sorry I really shouldn't have yelled at you" or "sorry I know that I really hurt your feelings". The funniest part is when he tells me "You haven't been great either, you think you are perfect". He has been treating me horribly for years, but he will never see this or the effect. He blames me for being cold. I do not want to be like this; when I put my guard down, it may be ok for an hour or at the most - a week or two - but inevitably the cursing, yelling, name calling, accusations come back. There is nothing I can do or say to stop them. I feel like I've tried everything....On the outside he's a great dad, good provider and even talks about me nicely to others. With two young kids with some special needs I can not do anything about this for a long time. I keep thinking that he can change - just a wish because I'm stuck here...I could deal with any other problems except for verbal and emotional abuse.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Dear Ellen, I read your post and can relate to everything you said. It is not a fun place to be. This state of mind that you are in is because of a toxic relationship. If there is anyway you can "move on" - do it! You will get your self esteem back, your personal power, and your spirit will bounce back like never before.

Unfortunately, it takes allot of willpower, inner strength and therapy.

I hope you do it for yourself and your loved ones. GET RID OF HIM!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Dear ex abusive man. I hope this will be helpful. You abused your wife. She because she didn't get what she needed from you in terms of respect and affection sought it elsewhere You came to your senses and now of course you are hoping your wife will be able to forgive you.

The awful price to pay for abuse it that you may never get your wife back. But that doesn't mean to say don't try to do all you can to show her you have changed.

She is hurting and afraid. She is also probably very angry. To let go of that anger as I am learning is almost more than an abused spouse can do as it came as a kind of protection. It is a stage in the recovery from codependency that many apparently get stuck in. I think also the victim (ok my experience of me as the victim) is that the desire to punish the abuser gets really strong and one way to do that is by being very angry and then of course everything goes through an angry filter.

So for a long time you are going to be trying and she is probably going to be not even admitting to herself you are.

I am not over sure about this, but possibly the abuser needs to feel uncomfortable for a while so the message gets home. She will: just as I have been doing with my own husband see stuff that just isn't there. She has become hypersensitive. Likewise you probably judge your every action to be controlling.

If you frightened her then of course she is scared. It will take a very long time for her to feel safe.

maybe it is not hopeless if you are both going to the psych together and maybe that will be the best way forward.

But I can tell you that it is not going to heal overnight.

So I think the key is probably to acknowledge the way you have been to your wife and her right to choose how she sees the relationship. Ask her what you can do in the short term to make things better and even if she says get out for a bit. do it.

You are going to have to work on you for you anyway. it may take quite a long time.

Are you brave enough to KEEP posting here. HONESTLY? if you want to change and you will listen I don't think you will be judged. In fact maybe you could bring some hope that abusers can change. It might help you to read some of the recent posts about anger as it might help you see the process. Also can you get your wife to post as well? If you look back at Steve and Asha when they were posting you will see that this is beneficial. it might help your wife to see this whole site. Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Hi and thank you Theressa for your help. You may call me Sam. I went to those links that you provided me and read a lot already. It is really hard to deal with some of those issues. I do cry a lot. It seems that the tears just flow for no reason at times now. I try not to get sad or depressed and cry around her, but it always seems to happen. This morning she was mad at me. Very rude to me, and very mean. I asked her what I did wrong. She said that I go up. That hurt. I left the room and didn't say anything else. I realize that what I have to do now is to tolerate her words and actions. Yes Sam. She's so angry, she just needs to hurt you right now. Don't react. I am just not sure what to say to her anymore. It seems that anything I say, she throws a nasty comment in somehow. I am getting better at simply taking the comments. I know I deserve them. No, nobody deserves nasty comments, but good for you for not retaliating. She does not trust me at all, because a while ago I read some personal things she wrote. Very wrong of me, but I didn't know how to handle "rejection". I went searching for answers. The answers I found were not very good. Now that I have read these things it is even harder to keep hope that she will come back to me. I realize that the only way that will maybe happen is if I change. What am I allowed to say to her? She never wants to talk to me anymore. I have realized that the possibility that she leaves me is very high. I know that I still try to control in some ways. Sometimes I notice this right after the damage is done. I am trying to eat up the comments from her, but it is so hard. I feel like I have lost my family already. How do I forget those things she wrote about the other man? Why did I betray her so much? Why am I so screwed up? I had a beautiful and loving wife, and kids. I failed at being a father and husband. Now she does not love me anymore, and has told me so, nor does she want to love me. I am starting to believe that the other man is her goal now. I am so tired of being a controlling abusive person. The verbal abuse has stopped though, I can't believe that I said some of the things I said. I will try hard to ignore her nasty comments and to not invade her space. I hope she stays long enough for me to prove myself. Dear Sam, there's lots on this site too for you to read. Start here, and also do a search on "abuser" since there is lots of stuff sprinkled all around. You can fix this. You're worth it. Doc.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Dear Sam,

I know you probably feel so guilty that you are willing to take everything and anything, but Don't lose what is left of your self-esteem because of what she says or writes. As others have pointed out she is very angry and probably has every right to be. But it sometimes, oftentimes, seems to happen that the abused gets abuse themselves and you are not supposed to take abuse, as neither is she. If she is really nasty, you might tell her that you know you have been awful in the past, that you cannot heal the past but are trying to do better and make amends. That you are very willing to talk and listen to what she has to say, but that does not include being yelled at.

Or something like that. You should acknowledge her anger, validate her feelings, show her over and over again that you are really trying and apologize if you slip. And try to remember: you may want to control her, but you cannot. You simply cannot make her love you and the more you try, the more you will loose yourself in the process. You can only accept what is, what she feels right now, what you feel en try to go on from there. She may feel love for you again of you continue to ‘behave' well, if she feels there really is a difference. Then again, she might not. But, she is not gone yet, and even when she would be asking for a separation or a divorce, that will not be the end of the world.

It will not help you or your relationship with her to feel extremely guilty, hate yourself or pity yourself and feel hopeless. Be the best what you can, and believe that God (or the universe or whatever power you believe in) helps in mysterious ways. Learn what you can and own what has happened.

It is ok to cry, to feel helpless, to mourn. But you will be able to defeat this abuse thing and you will learn to be happy, with, or without her.

Lots of love and strength for your journey,

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

I think I get it. Just read Sit with feelings on the codependency pages. So it was right not to let the anger pass on by? I guess at least in exploring it so much I can't miss much. It is ok not to feel ok. It is ok to feel ok. It is ok to have feelings and not ok to ignore them. Alright I am going to try this. Like the writer I try to get past the yucky feelings instead of acknowledging them and I haven't been able to do that this week. Weirdly I feel healthy. In acknowledging the loss of control I seem to have got control back. Which is exactly what someone said to me last Friday when this new flare up of anger started. At least I know myself! hope this doesn't sound like gobbledygook.

Guess I just have to see how tomorrow goes. maybe as you say Theressa it was the safe place to see the anger. II suppose one take on it I the therapist didn't throw me out!!! jay 

 

Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

It took me years to understand what my husband was doing to me. After recognizing the truth, partially thinks to  Patricia Evan's books, I have tried for 8 years to get help. Three therapists, (one had Dr Evan's book on his shelf) all tried to treat it as a "couple issue". instead of HIS issues. One literally told me I wasn't handling being abuse well enough. Hence, hurting my children. The gist was that they reinforced my husband's perception that his actions were necessary and acceptable, despite knowing of his attempt to physically abuse. when they knew of his attempts to physically abuse. There is no help here.

Insurance prevents me from divorce. My husband's sabotage of my work, means he has total control over money. I've tried to work and make enough to get out but without success partially due to having cancer and other illnesses. These make me dependent on his insurance, I couldn't afford it with my medical history.

We need to have resources for abused. But we do not. I'm finding that out the hard way.

 

Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Why can't we start making a list of resources that truly help. With Dr. Irene's help I'm sure we can start something to bring awareness and help to verbally and emotionally abused people. Perhaps a post area for us to send the places or people who truly do help us.

I have e-mailed Oprah and Dr. Phil on this subject. If others do too then that may be a start.

With all of us pulling together, we may be able to do something about the lack of knowledge out there. I can be reached at white_etc@yahoo.com God helps those who help themselves.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

I'm the 37yr old in the 20 yr. relationship a few posts back, stuck in the Twilight Zone, call me TZ.

Could someone please tell me if I'm crazy or not? Yesterday afternoon I said to my husband (RB) on the phone "Do you realize that you called me an idiot this morning?" (which he did). RB said "You are out of your f..ing mind. I can't believe you are going to make things up' blah blah blah "You have to admit to me that I didn't say that" I told him let's just drop it, agree to disagree. Anyway throughout the day he called, cursed me out etc. That eve. I dreaded him coming home. Sure enough he walks in saying "I can't believe what you put me through" etc I was just quiet, let him rant and rave. I would not 'admit' to him that he didn't call me an idiot. My day consisted of being called an idiot, being cursed and yelled at, hung up on, and being told that it was my fault. I did not once yell back.

Today he heard a coldness in my voice and said, "How long are you going to be pissed off now - all because of something I did not say" I tried to tell him, it wasn't the idiot thing but all of the cursing and yelling that followed. He screamed, hung up, called back over and over. I told him that he was a verbal abuser. His response yelling, "An abuser lives in the Bronx and yells at his wife all day, You want to see what it's really like out there? Go screw ..... or.... you think you can do any better? You are a f..ing psycho. You want to be a whatever (I'm going back to school) but you don't have the f..ing mind for it" I said, "RB do you hear yourself? this is abuse right now" He says that he's been working on it and I am cold and don't give him any affection. I told him that over the years he has hurt me so deeply. He said that after a "few weeks with no episodes" I should be all lovey again, so how can I explain that. Am I crazy? He twists things around. I've been working so hard at not being provoked into yelling back and now that I don't, it seems clearer than ever that he is a raving lunatic. Why can't he see how insane his reasoning is? He is coming home soon so that we "can talk" . I am seriously dreading this but at the same time have some delusion that I can get through to him. It is so obvious! In the mean time, our kids are starting to get very upset over this. they are very young and needy, been through a lot, special needs. I do not know what to do... reading the letters here has been helpful, at least I know I'm not alone, but is he being abusive? or am I crazy? TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001

S1

Hi it's Sam. Thanks for your comments and help. AJ I have tried to tell her exactly what you told me about not being able to change the past and that I am sorry and am trying to change, and that yelling at me doesn't help. She immediately tells me not to feel sorry for myself and that she is not responsible for my feelings and reactions. Sometimes I wish that I would simply just fall out of love with her. I have read a lot of things and everywhere it I've found that the way i was was learned from childhood. If that is so it makes it even harder to face the fact that I may lose my wife because of how I learned to be a person. I keep praying for help in getting through days. I know how she felt when I didn't give her the affection she needed and deserved. I know this because I feel so alone now and so wish she would give me some affection and love. It is an awful reality to face that she may never give that to me again. I keep telling myself that I can get through this and prove myself to her. Jay had commented on how she hoped that my wife would post here as well. I'm not sure if she will read this She will. or even how she will react to my posting here, but I need all the help I can get, and getting advice here helps. She has read lots on Dr. Irene's site and so have I. I understand what she is going through. To sit back and hope she sees a changing me and hoping that the other man does not take her away from me is so hard. I feel a lot stronger now though. I realize that if she leaves me it may be partially because of what I was, but it won't be because I haven't tried to change. Regardless of the outcome I need to change totally. I will never stop trying to better myself, as I to want to live a happy life, whether or not she wants anything to do with me. She's going to go through a period of big time anger Sam. Hopefully it won't last too long. Theressa talks about going through it and Jay is coming out of it. We'll keep an eye out for her.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

S1

Good for you Sam!! That's the spirit. You can and you will change, you will be happy again and with what you have learned you will be able to help others later on in the same situations.

Keep it up and remember you too have a choice!! Love AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

S1

Hi Sam,

First I want to start off with something positive to perhaps give you some hope.

I was so angry and so confused eight months ago. I built up my anger over many years and then I left. I THOUGHT that was the end and started to build a life for myself. EIGHT months later after processing lots of my anger and at times I was very angry and cruel to my partner but he sat with it and never gave up.

Well the good news is we are back as a couple and working things out. SO IF THAT DOESN'T give you hope I don't know what will. GOD works in mysterious ways and helps those who face their fears and work on improvement.

NOW to answer your post:

When your wife tells you not to feel sorry for yourself respond by saying: "OKAY". and say no more, this is not engaging which we all need to do!! Saying okay doesn't mean that you are discounting your own feelings, but it does mean you aren't expecting her to take care of your feelings. IT is her anger speaking and so asking for her to acknowledge your hurt at this stage is impossible for her. IF you feel hurt by her words go and spend some time alone and do something nice for yourself.

SAM all of us here, abusers, victims etc all learnt poor patterns in childhood, those who taught us didn't know any other way to teach us. NO one is to blame, but it is our job now to fix things so we can become healthy. Your prayers are being answered since God brought you hear to get help.

Sam instead of expecting affection from her realise right now this won't happen. INSTEAD look at the enjoyment and beauty around you. The birds, trees, flowers, blue sky, get enjoyment out of all God has given us. Read books, spend time looking after yourself. And be kind to yourself when you make mistakes. Tell yourself, "Ooopps I made a mistake now what steps could I work on changing".

Tell your wife you have started to visit catbox where abusers and victims work together at recovering. Tell her that you want to recover whatever happens. Yeah!

SAM you have a good attitude!!

You are in good company here, we don't judge here, or at least I don't think so! WE are all victims one way or another. Hope to see you here more.

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here. Well.....thank goodness so news on the Dr. Psycho front...I have seen him here and there, but nothing earth-moving. I still go through little bumps in the road but my feelings are not as intense. Actually, I believe its because I have been staying real busy.....I'm not sure that I mentioned here in my posts that my mother has cancer. She was diagnosed last February - it was in her colon and they removed it - she's been in chemo off/on - well, now she is currently back in the hospital - they successfully removed cancer off of her liver now. She's been in since last Monday. Yesterday was rough - however today she is doing OK. My mom is my best friend and we've always been peas and carrots. So, I have had other things going!! I'll post when time permits.

Love, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

S1

Theressa I am happy that you are back with your partner and giving him a chance. That proves that people can change and forgive. I hope that I can prove myself to my wife before she leaves. This morning I didn't give her space when she woke up. I just went to her room to day good-morning and give her a hug. She ended up being upset and told me that I couldn't even do that. I know I made a mistake by going to her, but it gets so hard. I miss her so much.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

S1

Hi cats,

I see a lot of new posts, and am planning on reading them later tonight.

I just wanted to relate something that has been on my mind. Things were SO bad between us last week, and for now they are better. It's times like these, when there is very little to no strife, that I begin to doubt that things were ever so bad as I felt they were. And then, of course, there is the guilt! Guilt for thinking about leaving, for reading about abuse, for writing about it, etc. I guess the best thing to do is what I have been doing, which is to notice my thoughts and feelings (without obsessing), and take it moment by moment. I can't make him feel empathy when he says or does something hurtful, but I CAN remove myself from his presence! At least I now know that it's ok to do that when someone is being ugly. I guess I always thought it was my responsibility to "make them feel better", or to somehow smooth things over. Not that I don't think there are times when it's appropriate to comfort someone, or to stand up for yourself, but it's very liberating to know where the door is and how to use it, and that it's perfectly ok to walk away from a hurtful situation!

Love,

Anne

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

S1

Hi again! Well I screwed up again!!! What is wrong with me?? I did not yell but I again made her feel like I was controlling her. I realize this every time I do it. Nothing's wrong Sam. Just part of the learning process. The day will come when you find yourself starting to do this - and stop. Or, you'll realize you somehow didn't do it. I find something out or get a partial story then I get scared of her leaving and I start thinking of things. How do I sit on these feelings?? Very hard. But, that's exactly what you must do. It helps to stay in the here and now and not catastrophize what may happen or what if may happen.... Everything would have been fine if I would just have relayed the message to her and shut up, but no I had to dig! I always do that, it's like a bad habit that I can't break. You can. It's just hard to break a habit you've used all your adult life. I then apologized again and told her that I just get so scared that she is leaving me. The thing is I already know in my heart and mind that she still may. Why can't I just let go? I keep praying to God that things will change for the better. Why can't I just trust that it's in his hands and that he knows what he is doing? Now I know why so many abusers do not change. It is so hard to unlearn behaviour that has been with us for years and years. I still am determined to change, because I love my wife and my family and I refuse to give up. I just feel like she is getting further and further from me every day. Does anyone have any advice on how to not react and panic?? I really need to find a way to sit with my feelings. My fear just keeps getting bigger every day and it seems like I am making things worse. Start having conversations with the Big Guy Sam...

Sam

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

S1

To Sam,

Change is difficult...it takes an enormous amount of time, patience and effort. I think it was best put to me by my female sponsor ( a husband and wife sponsor me): " How long did it take you to walk into the forest, well, how long do you think it will take you to walk out?" I began this journey almost seven years ago. It started with AA, then Al-Anon, ACA, ISA and now, CODA. When I was new, one of the first things that was suggested to me was to get involved with hospital and institutions, H&I work. I was obsessed with my wife, and, as it was explained to me "That if I were standing on the Golden Gate bridge, getting ready to jump - HER whole life would flash in front of my eyes." Sam, I can only share with you what has worked for me. That has been participation in 12 Step Recovery Groups, the ones I needed to be in, in order and all in God's time. I believe that the experiences that I have had and what I have been so freely taught to me by kind, caring, patient, tolerant and loving people in these groups has restored me to a state of sanity and a genuine sense of self.

Teresa has made some excellent observations and suggestions. I do not know if you possibly qualify for any 12 Step groups or programs, that can only be determined by yourself. I can certainly identify with the feelings that you are having at the present moment. In the beginning and for a long time afterwards, I have felt that a portion of my very being was ripped from me. That is my codependence.

It seems to me that you have made a commitment to change...where that journey will take you will be exciting, challenging and ultimately rewarding beyond ANYTHING that you could imagine NOW. I have learned how to be a good father, how to be emotionally present for my kids, how to LISTEN to them, how to love them by letting them be themselves. I work with newcomers and sponsor a number of men, several of whom were just like me...and, that is the way it works.

Patricia Evans, in one of her books states:" That verbal and emotional abusers have got to want to change MORE than ANYTHING else." That is the 1st. step and as I see it, that is what Sam has done. According to one wise philosopher: " Change happens, not by trying to change, but by becoming aware of what is not working." I as a kid growing up in a home with two parents who just happened to be actors, alcoholics and incest survivors ...learned a lot of things that did not work. However, it is my responsibility to fix that. Those two people, who today I deeply love, were only doing what they learned which also didn't work. I need to remind myself that my wife, who did not come back, is also one of God's kids. He has a plan for her just as he has one for me...and it's is probably one heck of a lot better than what my feeble vision allows. On those (rare) occasions that I find myself having to interact with my former wife, I ask the Big Guy to go with me and to let me see what I need to see and hear what I need to hear. I also ask him to give me restraint of tongue and pen. It works...

Tim B.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2001

S1

Hi, Jay again and feeling loads better. Not feeling angry today for a start. This site is good if you like to help yourself and also lots of research references http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/ Seems to be an ebook you can download and free. I just started the part on anger and it was really helpful.

Unbelievably, Jake and I actually seem to be working together and bless him he has been talking to our daughter about things and she IS going to talk to me again. I am going to give him some credit and SAM! take encouragement from that. You will have to work very hard but the angry wife can lose her anger whatever it is you have done.

Sharon  I am so sorry to hear your mum is so ill and will email you.

Have to stop now and post back later it seems to be teatime! jay

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2001

S1

I would appreciate any advice i can get at this point. I've been married only a little over a year. shortly after my marriage began, my husband stopped helping me around the house. he had a part time job when we got married and kept promising he'd pick up another job soon. well, here we are, he's still only working 12 hours per week and he hasn't gone to school in 6 months.

he continues to do nothing in the house. i work approximately 50 hours per week in sales and have a very stressful job.

here's the problem. when i come home in the evening, the house is filthy. if i say something like, "wish you would've done some laundry today. now i'll be doing it all night." he'll come back with, "here we go with the bitching again, can't you just be happy bitch?" he also calls me fat-ass, and cun*. i have recently started going to church very often and trying to be involved in everything i can. he will scream obscenities such as gd, jesus f****** christ because he knows that hurts me more than anything for that kind of language to be used in our home.

I'm not perfect. i feel sometimes i do focus on the negative instead of the positive. he has recently started helping in the house A LITTLE but expects me to praise him for this and go on and on about what a wonderful job he's done.

i just don't think i can live with the name calling and continuous insults. i think my marriage is probably similar to lots in that when we're getting along, things feel great. but when he starts using the language, i want nothing more than to get out of the marriage. our arguments have escalated to 2 or 3 times a week now.

I'm so confused. is there any hope in saving this marriage?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2001

S1

Dear person working 50 hours a week and going to church. PLEASE sign up for GOD HELP US which is also on this site. I think you will need that kind of support. Click onto the support section above the cat and you will find out how. (email support).

I am a bit loathe to write a complete religious viewpoint in the catbox so I am going to say instead that I would like to email with you. I don't put my address on this site but Dr Irene has my permission to give it to you. email her and I am sure she will email yours to me.

Meantime, if it is any comfort I have had to put up with a husband playing "Sympathy for the Devil.' quite regularly for 20 years.

jay

  

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2001

S1

Dear everyone in the catbox. jay again and I guess having shared about it and had such amazing support it is time to share what happened at the therapist's.

I did apologize. Didn't really feel it was received but that isn't the point. The session was pretty awful again; but not as bad as last week and one thing became very clear. Whatever is suggested I changed or tried to block. My anger is just so deep. Dr Irene tells me I have become the "formidable opponent!"  Yep. Good that you see it. That means you can do something about it; and you've already started.

So I had a lot of soul searching to do this weekend. I am not excusing Jake but he has had a year of me 'getting back' at him and no therapy is going to go anywhere if I keep on with that. So I am going to work on forgiving and try to see the good stuff he tries to do. Work on accepting that he does the best he can and when he does something dumb, it is about him not you. You don't have to permit anything hurtful, nor do you have to engage. You do have to deal with the fact that he cannot give you what he cannot give you and stop insisting you get it.

This is HARD as I still really want to punish him! But I guess this is what cognitive therapy would be about. I have to reframe my thoughts so they don't destroy us both. As you begin to deal with anger in the here and now more, the old anger stuff begins to fade. Old angers typically remain potent only if we don't deal with the fresh anger each day brings. Remember: Your goal is not to deal with stuff that makes you angry angrily!

I am keeping in control and Jake is not being terrifically nice all the time. I am starting to keep my cool and sort the anger. He is doing some good stuff as well and it should be we build on this. He does the best he can. Never forget this.

I am going to find this really about the hardest thing I ever did in my life.

Sam. I really hope your wife can get to this point. I really hope that by the time she does the tables won't have turned so much you have as much to sort as Jake and I. Being the victim and realising how awful the retaliation can be is not easy.

The anger is there and has to work itself through. YOU don't have t o accept the retaliation; but you do need to see it is a process. Strikes me there is a lot of control by threatening to go off with another guy and then not leaving.

I did this by threatening divorce. It is WRONG but symptomatic of the victim anger. To be a victim and angry never excuses the retaliation.

Put up with the rejection for a while and it may turn around. I am really interested in your story as I think you are just so great to come out and realise your own mistakes and work on yourself.

 

love, and thanks for bearing with me, catbox. Guess the saga won't end here! love, jay

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2001

S1

HI it's Sam again. Well Jay rejection is the hardest part of this whole situation, but I realized that I always set myself up for rejection. There are many things that I still don't understand about myself and what is happening, but I need to keep my faith and hope alive. I realize that I gave so many years of misery putting up with me, and I know that the last year was the worst. I made so many mistakes and I pray that she sees that I am really trying. This is a learning process for me and it seems that it is the hardest thing that I ever had to learn. Learning to be a better person and undoing the wrongs of my life is so hard. I seem to mess up so much again. Why does everything I do seem to be control? I do not want control, I want to be an equal and I do want to change. Sam: Start noticing how you try to feel better by trying to control other people or situations. The trick instead is to control your own reactions to what is. Like learning to first tolerate and then accept that so and so feels a way you don't want them to feel etc. So, don't mess with how other feels. Sit with your reaction to how other feels and do nothing about it. Now, you are controlling yourself. Dr. Irene

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

I am sorry I cannot speak easily about this I have been with my partner for 15 years and have endured so much abuse. I thought this might help me typing this message but I just keep crying. I have tried so hard over the years but just keep hoping our lives will get better. to-day I was accused of an affair with a co-worker which has never happened. She spit in my face when I came home from work and called me vile names about my weight. I feel so lost tonight, she is upstairs screaming at me and scaring the children. I just can't seem to do anything right for her. I am thinking of ending my life but the thoughts of my children drive it away. I am in sales and my work has suffered and i am afraid I will lose my job.

I love her, we have had a rocky relationship. I just cant endure when she becomes this other person so full of hate in the space of a few minutes. Sorry I can't write anymore I must find a way out. I hope we can help...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Hi Catbox, B. here again!

Dr. Irene, thanks for the clarifications. I see I basically got it right, I just wasn't sure of myself. Hi Jay, AJ and Theressa, great to hear from you and I'm glad to read of your progress.

Dear Sam, you got some great answers. Great that you are posting here, because you really need a lot of support right now. As for your questions, why you keep pressing etc. - well, you are in a very scary place, and you are new to this! Also, being a controller means you are in the habit of wanting things RIGHT NOW. Otherwise you feel so bad inside you can't stand it, you feel you will die.

This is what a tiny baby feels when he cries and mommy doesn't come or does not understand he needs her. You were sure you were going to die. It's HUGE. Understand yourself. Forgive yourself. I think it's great that you see your mistake right after you made it! You are very advanced in recovery!!!

In a while you will start catching yourself in the middle of doing it, and you will do an about-turn right in the middle. Then will come a stage when you will catch yourself ALMOST doing it again, and many times you will be able to stop and not do it (not always. Sometimes you will be so stressed and weak that you'll slip. Apologize, say to yourself you'll do better next time). And so on.

I found Shiatsu to be a big help. Also meditation (I do an exercise with a tape, but mantras are good too). Chinese medicine (like herbs and acupuncture) and homeopathy can help too. They all work at helping you balance yourself and strengthen the good parts in you, restoring health. I realized I needed a weekly treatment, otherwise I start losing it more and more. With a weekly treatment, I see I really make great progress in getting more and more in touch with my feelings.

For instance, I am now able to know I am angry right away (I am obviously a co-dependent, hahaha...). I succeed in being in touch with it, in understanding what offended me, and most times I also succeed in not reacting. Or at least, when I do react I succeed in doing it mildly, not engaging further, and recovering quickly.

But it takes time. I have discovered this site a year ago, and my H and I are going to (separate, individual) therapy for 6 months (H 4 months) now. We see a lot of progress but it's still a lot of work.

Good luck!

Trubble, my dear true son, I love your photos on the site. You are so beautiful! Meow! Hi RealMommyB!  I found RealDaddyGeorge! This is so cool! Now you have to get away from hubby and Laura has to go away and you can come here and marry RealDaddy and we can be a RealFamily! Love, your RealSon, *Me* Trubble,

Love, B.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Dear B.

It is also nice to hear about your progress. I have the same experience with anger. I never was angry before (so I thought), but I have come to recognize my anger much better and learn how to deal with it. I find I can sometimes get angry over the silliest things, like that I have to clean the house every few days. I want it to stay clean once I have cleaned it :-) I know recognize this while before there was just this angry, undirected feeling. Also I recognize much better why I get angry at C.

I decided to try and let the past be and not to react with all the old anger anymore. Now that I recognize it, it is much easier to do.

I also suddenly realized how important the step of accepting what is is. It came all of a sudden. I have this old cat who is kind of demeaning and more often than not forgets where the litter box is and so peas in the hall. This really makes me mad. I just want here to stop doing it. Last night it suddenly came to me, that I know the solution: put a letterbox in the hall, but I do not want to do it, cause I want to stop. Until now I just refused to acknowledge she wont get better and so refused to find the solution, getting angry all the time. I don't know whether this makes sense, but for me it was a huge revelation. We do not allow ourselves to find solutions until after we accept the problem for what it is.

I am glad to hear you are doing ok and hope you will be able to keep up your strength.

Dear Sam,

donn't wpry about the messing up thing. We all do. You cannot change imediatly. Like you I have come to recognize I have become very controling with C., my husband. He ahs done lost of awfull things maybe, but my reactions where not to good either. Control is about being afraid, I was alwaus afraid he would leave. But that is no way to live your live. Your partner might, or might not leave, that's not in your control. And once you learn how to be the best possible you, you will have less regrets if it should happen. Youi will know you have done the best you good and the rest is in Gods hand. Letting go is not easy, for none of us, but it is something we all have to learn. And I know that once we are committed, we will. Slipping is natural, as is learning from it.

Take care and be well.

Love to all the rest, jay, good to hear jake and you are working together again.

Love AJ

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Hi B, Aj, Jay, sam, and the many other friends here,

SAM there is an excellent book called The Angry Self, it is a workbook about ANGER, it is helping me heaps. YOU see victims and Abusers have a problem with ANGER so it is for both. It goes into detail about the things Dr Irene is teaching us.

Well done on being aware of what you are doing. I am just coming to realise my role in my problems to.

*** Now I have some questions I would like some help with, Maybe AJ, or B maybe at this stage or others of you: I hope you will offer me your help.

 

My question:

I can relate to Sam feeling abandoned. My partner works shifts so two weeks he is with me a lot and two he is with me a lot less cuz of his shifts. I also get these feelings when he goes to the pub.

I feel abandoned and angry at him for leaving me. THIS might sound silly since when I moved out I was on my own. YES I did spend time alone and I survived, BUT I felt yukky. THOUGH I need to find out how I can solve this problem I have which is making me unhappy. I feel this feeling with my close friend, and I felt it with the guy I met before Me and my partner got back together.

Why do I feel so lonely when those close to me leave, even when it is only for a short time?

How can I handle these feelings?

Why do I have them?

When I was a child I would people please and do whatever others wanted so they'd like me. I hated not being liked. I was so darn nice it hurts sometimes. Though I couldn't face those abandonment issues.

NOW I need to if I am going to get healthy.

HOPE someone can help!!

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

I think the most important reason why you feel abandoned when those close to you leave you, is because you need them so bad. You say you survived being alone, but you felt yukkie. Now, maybe even more the before, you are probably scared of being alone again. Maybe you felt that once you and your partner were back together everything automatically would be ok, he would fulfill your every need and you get angry because he still does not.

You might not want to hear this, but I think that maybe you should come to terms with he fact that he cannot and will not ever be able to fulfill all your needs. No partner will be able to do that. And by expecting him to do it you set yourself up for disappointment, anger and fear of being abandoned. You start depending on him again, which is, as I remember, one of the reasons you left. And it is your responsibility to do something about it.

The only thing you can do in my opinion, is start making a live for yourself. He goes to the pub And you babysit. So, you go out with friends to and ask him to babysit. I made the same mistake the first time we got back together, I set my live up again to be always available and therefore felt bad when he left me alone to do something else. I refrained from doing nice things, in order to be with him and, d**mn him, he went out without me. Wrong attitude. You really have to start taking care of your own needs, stop expecting him to share all the fun with you, make your own fun, make your own friends. That is maybe even more important when you are together, then when you are apart. Do it now!!, Do not get yourself back into the old dependent situation.

Theressa, please take care of YOU, do what you have to do to make yourself happy and stop expecting him to do it.

 

Lots of love en strength, you'll need it, but you can do it, we're here with you.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

FIVE MORE MINUTES While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground.  "That's my son over there," she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide. "He's a fine looking boy," the man said. "That's my son on the swing in the blue sweater." Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son. "What do you say we go, Todd?" Todd pleaded, "Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes." The man nodded and Todd continued to swing to his heart's content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his son. "Time to go now?" Again Todd pleaded, "Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes." The man smiled and said, "O.K." "My, you certainly are a patient father," the woman responded. The man smiled and then said, "My older son Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I'd give anything for just five more minutes with him. I've vowed not to make the same mistake with Todd. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch him play." Life is all about making priorities, what are your priorities? Unknown

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

I am newly married and am the victim of verbal abuse. Sad thing is, I new it before saying "I do". We've discussed it before and had even gone to a few sessions of couple counseling to help, which did, but only for a short time. Now things are right back where they were and worse and it's really no surprise to me at all. I know that he doesn't mean all of the things he says, but nevertheless, the pain is real when all is said and done. Last night was the first time that I really stood up to him. I returned from a night away at a close friends house, and the accusations, put-downs, name callings, etc started in. Hearing the words he was yelling, put me right at his level and then next thing I knew we were both screaming. I finally had enough and told me to get out. He took a shower instead. I then asked him why he hadn't left yet, and then he left. My only regret was a moment of weakness when I made sure to tell him that I wanted him to stay, but if he was going to continue on, it's best he leave. He had some more choice words to say before slamming the door shut on his way out. After about a minute of crying, I realized that I had done the right thing. I've always been the one to apologize for anything and everything, just to make the waters calm again, but this time I wasn't going to do that. I did none of the things he accused me of, and I wasn't going to feed into his tantrum. I haven't heard from him yet, and I don't know when I will. I'm sure it will be within a week, but he is the most stubborn man I know and he is convinced that he has every right to behave the way he has. I'm writing this post because I'm to embarrassed to mention this to any friends or family. Part of me is still so codependent that I want him to realize how much he's hurt me and try to make things right. I vowed to be there through good times and bad, and this is certainly a trying time. I just need a little reassurance that I'm doing the right thing. I love my husband and I know that he loves me, but how much abuse is one expected to take. Thanks for being on the other end to listen and help me feel that I'm not so alone in my feelings.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

To the man who's wife is yelling and scaring the children: That is a horrible scenario - I've experienced variations on that theme many times... When those feelings of finding a way out become overwhelming, going to your children, hugging them, thinking of their future helps tremendously. They need a stable parent - you. Your wife owns this problem. You must try to tell yourself that you did nothing to deserve this treatment, it is no reflection on you. You must try not to let it penetrate. Your wife may be very insecure, have unresolved anger - something is making her react inappropriately. Hopefully, she does not get physical with you or the kids. I don't know if she is aware of how her behavior is affecting you or if you have sought help, but just know that others have gone through this with their spouses...so in a way, you are not alone. TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

To Teressa,

I haven't read that far back, and this may sound silly or obvious, but have you worked at enriching your time spent by yourself? If your mind is so wrapped up with missing your partner that you can't concentrate, how about treating yourself? I got so fed up with my husband disappearing into the garage or office for hours or days at a time- taking a week off of work so he could work on his computer etc that when I gave up trying to get him to participate in family activities or spend time with me, it was a relief!! I started reading books on history, biographies, etc. and wishing for more time alone. Have you tried getting into cooking or listening to music? Or how about taking a 'mini-vacation' in a warm bubble bath with a magazine, music and candles. Make a plan for yourself, like a date to treat yourself when you are alone and maybe you will value that time more. If you are insecure about your partner (without good reason), these things are still helpful...

To the newlywed suffering verbal abuse: Whatever you do, if you do go back with your husband, don't have kids until you are sure that you made the right move. Things get %1000 more complicated if you are suffering verbal abuse and kids are involved... TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Hi catbox cats all. B it is good to hear how you are and all the rest. Theressa you have almost beaten me for time on the internet today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!But thanks for all the useful stuff.

I really would like to reply to all the hurting people here but I confess to feeling overwhelmed. Not in a bad way I just don't think I am at a point in the day I can give sensible replies. But I do send hugs and prayers that all the different situations will work out.

Back here. Well, I am so much calmer today. SLEEP helps a LOT. I am being very determined not to let anger rule and it isn't easy but it is working better and I of course feel better. I will also go back to the therapist. Think she copped a lot of displaced anger so my goal this week is not to be rude to her. I also finally decided to finish my MA which should use up some adrenalin! So if I don't post too much in the next few weeks this is because the only way I will get it written up is to put heart and soul into it and FINISH the silly thing.

I have ben realising today I am never going to change Jake and will have to accept him as he is. Stupid to spend so long on what I think I knew deep down already.

Theressa you also got me thinking about my own organisation. I do get a lot achieved but have got in a terrible muddle. Depression does make it hard to keep a house straight but you know what, I am not depressed any more so that excuse can't wash. In fact having got through the anger I realised I had become so absorbed in sorting that that I had lost the depression. Wierd?

daughter definitely thawing and this time I think I am going to play it very cool and see how it goes. There interestingly doesn't seem to be a crisis just now and she wants to see me despite my not doing her washing. It didn't hit me until today but Jake actually didn't insist it came home. Maybe he is getting the idea of agreeing. Only too aware I am going to have to ensure I let things go the other way and respect his wishes.

HumanKatkid is hormonal but lovely. He does play up but this is nothing like his sister.

I am getting back to feeling centred. Very in touch with my feelings and probably too much. Not going to worry. Things overbalance and then even up.

It is just so good to feel ok. Calm and un-depressed. Hope it lasts.

jay

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Hello Again,

My name is Terry. Last night was the first time I have ever posted to this forum or even openly discussed my problems with my spouse.

I am 45 years old and have been in the same common law relationship with the same woman who is the mother of our three wonderful children. Never once have I strayed or even though of anything other then her and our family together. Too be sure we have had our share of trouble in our relationship but I am so tired of these periods when she gets so angry and depressed that she literally transforms into someone else. The uncontrolled rage is frightening to see and she cares not about what she says or does to myslef, our children or anyone nearby. Last night as I said in my post she accused me of having an affair with a woman I work with because this friend called and offered me a ride to work because of the bad snowstorms and weather. She spit in my face, struck me in the arm and went about verbally abusing me. In front of the children she ridiculed me as a person, father, partner and human being.

I tried to sleep on the couch last night but she kept coming downstairs and screaming at me depriving me of sleep. At dawn she woke me again with threats, rants and more abuse. Right now it is continuing and I don't know how I can survive much longer.

In the past this has gone on sometimes for days with short or long periods before it cycles again. In more relaxed moments I have tried to ask her to seek help to-gather for the sake of our family and ourselves. To be sure I have retaliated with my own torrent but calm down quickly and later apologize for my actions. Patricia has never once acknowledged her abusive behaviour or felt or shown the slightest remorse to me.

I am literally at my wits end, as I type this she is there screaming at me. It has gone on all morning now. If I could just truly pray for a way out. I fear the loss of my family/children. I have a strong bond with them and would readily give my life for them.

Like a light switch her anger/abuse goes on and off anytime or for any reason. Where do I turn?

Terry

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Terry, I am very new at this board (or any board) also. It sounds like you are definitely in a crisis. I am not a qualified therapist, but I have opinions, so you can take or leave them...You don't say how your partner responded to the suggestion of getting help. When she is calm, can you say to her, without placing blame, "let's get help in improving the quality of our relationship" Even though you may not feel like it at the time, tell her that you love her and the kids and that you would like to do whatever it takes to get help. Many communities have resources that can steer you in the right direction, if not provide help directly. Although it may feel very strange, you can call your local mental health society and say that you are looking for assistance with domestic problems. It is better to get help than worry about what these people think because believe me they have heard it all before and most often are more than glad to help. I have sought out help for myself, my children and my marriage and have seen first hand that there are people who want to help - many of them have 'been there and done that' themselves. With my husband, RB, I held off on therapy/counseling for YEARS because we couldn't afford it. Well divorce takes a much bigger toll, financially, emotionally, -in every way. For all of the times I was being yelled at, harrassed, sitting, crying behind a locked door, or staying with the kids hoping seeing them would stop him - it never changed. I have hope that it will now for several reasons that are too long to get into now (I have to pick up my daughter at school now). But I hope you can hang on till after this episode, approach your partner when she is calm and at least get her to acknowledge that you can both take steps together to improve your relationship that will greatly improve the quality of all of your lives. With RB, he kept throwing the blame back at me and I had to be very careful with my wording, but he is starting to see that the problem is coming from within...

TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

To Terry,

Call your doctor. He/she may be able to suggest help that your insurance will cover. Also my work covered crisis counseling, maybe yours does too. Just a note-How much time do you spend with Patricia without the children? Perhaps a weekend away to discuss relationship help in a calm, peaceful setting? No threats, just discussion of how the two of you can improve the situation. My ex-husband would go to counseling and then lie all through it and do the opposite of what was recommended. My point is don't look for miracles. It was at this point that I realized that it was hopeless. I hope for you sake and your families that you can get help for yourself and possibly that she will also. Don't put it all on getting help for her. You need to learn some skills on dealing with this. It's hard but verbal abuse counselors are out there. Good Luck Cinderella

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here. Thank you Jay for your soothing words regarding my mom. I got your email this morning, so here's a hug from me to you. My mom is doing better - she is "out of the woods" tho still in the hospital and will be in for another week.

I have no news about Dr. Psycho other than the fact that I am continuing my personal solo life without him so to speak. I still have the pangs - though the acceptance - that change will not occur unless and until both of us want a healthy relationship. When we do speak, he is not verbally abusive. When he does start in about the negative parts of our past - I put my hand up in the air as to stay stop - I don't want to go there. He knows I should have had boundaries a long time ago - I just didn't think he would be so apt to stomp on my feelings, or be so blatant into saying that "his behavior, though toxic as it was, was "acceptable" by everyone who knew him, so what was my problem?" I don't buy into any of it! Not for a minute! And the beauty of it all is that my emotional stance about the past is that its indifference. Does it mean I have "healed?" Very slowly, but just enough to make a difference. We are NOT getting back together, however, there's a certain comfort into finally having an element of understanding the past. I am establishing my own place on this planet now - complete with new interests, hobbies and friends. And more importantly, I am friends with myself. Slowly, yet surely.

Love, Sharon

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001

S1

To the newlywed who is suffering... Yes, you did the right thing. There's no use in maintaining the status quo - even early in your marriage. You have to stand up to him... for yourself. Even when it's hard to do so. The patterns that you're setting now may be the foundation for your entire marriage. If you can change them at the start... or know that you can't... you'll save yourself (and him) a lot of heartache. Stay strong... and take care of yourself.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Hello again folks,

I thank each and everyone of you for you support/suggestions and observations. It really helps. Right now there has been no change in the circumstances except that she followed me home from work tonight and started at me as soon as I entered the house. As I said before she is capable of feeding on her anger for days on end. It looks like another night of very little sleep, I am so hurt by the things that she has said and by the total lack of regard for those around her. I do not think that I can stay here much longer, if there is no break in the storm by tomorrow afternoon I am going to have to get out and find refuge. I am very near the breaking point in restraint and am now afraid of my own actions should this not stop. I am not a violent man but I am so near the breaking point. My children went to bed crying tonight and it breaks my heart to see them so unhappy.

If only I could believe that joint counseling can help and that she would go if it was suggested. At this point I am just feeling numb, I don't think that a person should feel like this towards a partner or spouse.

Goodnight All and Bless you!

Terry

ve3tkb@macintosh.dtdns.net

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Dear all, First of all Terry, keep up you self esteem and take as good care of yourself as possible. Have you ever contemplated divorce? Does she know how much she hurst you in these angry spells? Maybe the time has come to put some real boundaries. You can read about them all over this site and it is a problem we all face. If she does not want to find help, maybe you should find help for your self as others also suggested. That might help you get a more clear idea of what you want and how you can handle the situation. Also, it might give her a hint you are taking this seriously. Take care and come back here as often as you need to and try to get you wife to come to.

Dear ja, I am glad you are doing a bit better and about the house-thing; I am going to take to afternoon off to do sme cleaning!!! The place is like a dump. I find I even get mad because I have to clean al the time, I get mad cause o cats use the litter box and I have to clean it again an again, because dust and dirt keeps getting on the floors and dishes keep needing to be washed. Talking about irrational anger :-)

I am facing a dilemma at the moment and have no idea how to handle it. I might be making a mountain out of a molehill, or trying to do it the other way round. I haven't got a clue. C's due from Africa today and thought we've exchanged e-mails, he has not asked me to pick him up from the airport. So I decided not to do that. I can handle that, thought it does make me angry and disappointed, but I know he wanted to do this on his own, so... The problem is whether to expect him at all today. Whether to go to my usual sculpture class or stay at home and wait for him to call, or maybe even call him. I feel stuck between my fear of being passive aggressive if I go to my class (I am mad, so I'll show him by not waiting around for him to call) and being codependent (if I stay, I am available, even though he did not ask and should he not call, I will be very angry, unhappy and disappointed).

Any ideas anyone??

Love to all

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Hi Tz,

YOU are absolutely right!!!

I give this advice out, TIME to take some for myself.

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Hi AJ,

COMMUNICATE!!

Ring C and say I am going to my Class tonight but can we meet up later. I know you just got back so if I go to my class then we will both have time to get what we need to done and then we can spend some time celebrating your return.

THIS WAY AJ, gets what she needs, C gets some space when he gets home and AJ AND C as a couple get some time set aside.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? does this help?

When you plan you are taking control of your own life, when you communicate and let others know you wish to do xxxx and realise they have to do xxxxx but still give importance to meeting up YOU keep balance in your life.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa,

thanks for answering. I know you are right about the communicating part. problem is that his flight will get in approximately at the same time as I am going to class and class will take all night, so I cannot call him. But your suggestion helps a lot in viewing things from a different perspective. I already realised that getting mad was not a solution, but really got stuck. Reading your post helps getting unstuck a bit. Thanks and take care you too. AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Hi everyone.

Well, it's now day 2 and no word from my husband. When I got home from work last night, I noticed his overnight bag gone and some other personal effects. Most of his clothes are still there, so I know that this is only temporary. This hurts so much. I feel very foolish to have married a man that I knew was verbally abusive. Of course it's not like this always. When it's good, it's so good, but when it's bad.....well, you know. I'm trying so hard not to pick up the phone and contact him. Plead with him to come home so we can talk it out, but I learned from this site, that by doing that, I'm only opening myself up for more abuse. I'm in a fantasy world now because I'm sitting here praying that he's somewhere thinking over the argument we had and realizing his part in all of this. Honestly, I pray that he sees that he was wrong and that he loves me enough to change and try to get help. But I know that in my heart, he's wherever he is fuming over the fight and growing angrier by the minute because he so thinks he's right and that I am wrong. As much as I miss him and want to sit down and talk, I know that it is impossible. The day will come when we sit and talk, but he will turn the situation completely around and expect an apology from me for telling him to get out. I need to stay strong and not defend myself. I keep telling myself that I'm doing the best thing I can for myself - I'm just not that good at believing it yet. I don't know the proper words that I can say when we do sit down that will have the most effect on him. I don't want my marriage to end after 6 months. I still love him. I'm so grateful for this site. I haven't told anyone in my family what's been going on and everyone asks how the newlyweds are and how's our new house is coming along. I'm so sad for the mess of a marriage at the moment, and yet so hopeful that my tough love approach will have positive results on our marriage. This is my only outlet at the moment and I'm so thankful for everyone here. Thanks for listening.

Tara

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Terry, You can come back from that breaking point, even though when you are in the middle of it, it's hard to believe. You should definitely seek counseling for yourself IMMEDIATELY. Besides the community agencies and crisis hotlines and centers out there, you can just open your phone book yellow pages (or go to superpages.com) and look for a social worker or marriage counselor and make the first possible appointment for yourself. Just try to take it one step at a time. The process of getting help can start right away...

Tara... stay strong!! After breaking up with my husband (RB) probably hundreds of times before marriage during 8 years of dating, I remember picking up the phone 2 weeks before our wedding to call it off... I didn't do it. I remember crawling out a window to get away from his yelling through a locked door. I remember being pregnant and lying on my bathroom floor crying, with him threatening to bang the door down. I remember having a 20 month old baby, pregnant again and driving off crying on a rainy night...And as recently at last week we were talking divorce again - and I remember my 6 year old son saying "no mommy no! don't say that!" and "daddy stop yelling at mommy" , my 4 year old daughter telling me that "daddy is a bad guy". Why have we stayed together? We have the same core beliefs, he is honest, hardworking, loyal. He plays with the kids - they do love him. Everyone knows him as 'such a nice guy' and he is!! He just has this other part to his personality that is twisted. And one of the most frustrating parts to that is that I thought for years that I was crazy. HE had ME convinced that it was me...He truly believes that when he gets mad and yells, it is MY fault. And this does not get easier, it gets harder because you get sick and tired of the same thing over and over... When it's bad, it sucks. When it's good, it's tolerable. His accusations, criticisms, yelling and cursing at me, even if it's 'only' once or twice a month have dulled warm and loving feelings. Just when I think things will be ok, he does it again. Sometimes I wish I could go back and start over - the "spilt milk" syndrome. I wouldn't change it for two reasons - my wonderful children. But if I were back there in your position, back at the beginning, I would try hard as I could to plan my life without the stress of someone who supposedly loves me treating me horribly.

To give him credit where it is due, he has come a long way. We have been going for counseling and after the reality of divorce hit him, he actually went by himself. but it is no magic cure. He still doesn't get it most of the time, has no clue what he's put me through for years and still feels justified in his yelling at me...

I'm sorry to go on and on...Yesterday was a terrible day... Thanks for letting me post and it does help me to try to help others... I've been reading psychology books and articles for the last few years, plus have dealt with many professionals who have helped tremendously....

TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

TZ,

Thanks for responding to my post. I've called the therapist that my husband and I used to see and set up an appointment for myself. Maybe, at some point, he'll decide on his own to join me. Regardless, I'm going to start looking out for me. I'm a much stronger person than I used to be. Since we've been together, we've always had these massive fights. Always him yelling and screaming and me trying to speak calmly and hoping that he would catch on. And it would always end with me apologizing for something I didn't do. I've hardened up a little and am taking a stand. As hard as it is, I'm not apologizing for something I didn't do. I've always tried to treat people the way that I would like to be treated and I'm not going to settle for anything less. Especially from my husband. Now that I've put it on paper, I only hope that I can stick to my guns when push comes to shove.

Thank you for sharing part of your pain with me. It really helps to know I'm not alone.

Tara

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Where are the last few day's posts? TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

sorry, my computer is acting funny!...

It has been very comforting to read and write in the catbox...

TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

S1

Dear Terry. Sometimes people want to say something so BADLY and then they get mad they think they are not heard and then they start screaming even if you do happen to be on the couch. probably in your wife's mind it was the last straw however unjustified and the behaviour isn't right but it may help to understand it a little. (Don't give in though).

Where do you turn? Here is a good start and read the stuff for victims and all you can about boundaries. As she hit you you could also call 911; I don't know how it works in the US but here you can talk to the police and they don't press charges but will send someone round to talk to the abusive person even if it is just verbal..

Tara TZ and all the other new people Hi, What happened in the end with C and the sculpture class AJ??

As for ma and Jake. OK this has to be light relief. But Trubble I think you may be right! Parents evening for son. I sit by husband and husband moves. We see teacher and come out to wait to see the next one and husband walks over to the edge of the room leaving me sitting alone. I go to husband and husband walks away. See another teacher and finally we are sitting together and I accidentally touch husband's foot with mint. He moves his foot and OK I KNOW THIS WAS THE STUPIDEST CHILDISH THING TO DO I can't resist touching husband again with foot to see what happens.........Son hijacks a science book with tomorrows test the teacher just lent me and the entire roomful of parents is in stitches. Just hope they didn't notice our other scenarios! Husband is again in my cast of ladies jacket and looks like a tramp. On the way home husband walks ahead so son comments on his inability to walk with us. In between we are the perfect grown ups talking to the teachers and even work together. Son is no problem except so clever he doesn't do any work and then passes with flying colours (top) in everything much to teacher's frustration so we hear the same message 6 times over. So we are both agreed it might be good if he worked a bit harder and showed his true potential and giving son same messages. Just hope son didn't notice. Think he was out of the room most of the time.

Sandbox??? Nursery School???? Why did I go near him if that was happening.? It was just I thought we were together at first but why did I get drawn in. That last time I behaved like that WAS nursery! Giggle!

LOL it looked comical. But why are two grown people behaving like this? Oh help do we go from anger which is often childish to complete childishness before we recover? jay

 

 

but it would be better if she would agree to do something about the problem. She might act like a cornered cat at fist but if you set boundaries down it might work.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa, B. here,

A quick note about your question: my educated guess is, that you have a trauma from childhood about people (probably your mom) leaving you. Maybe your cries were not responded to, too many times. As a baby, being left alone could mean your death. Now you are no longer a baby, and you will not die when left, but your body and mind don't know that. It just feels like the same panic attack all over again.

What to do? Healing: by therapy, by planning nice things for yourself (you got good advice on this!), and by what Dr. Irene says - sit with your feelings. You are so afraid of this awful feeling of loneliness, that you actually try to do all kinds of stuff to avoid it. Stop. Just sit there, feel all the yuckiness completely, cry your heart out, let yourself feel the fear, cry over it, grieve over it, wash it out with tears. I have a guess, that when you will stop running away from the feeling of "being left" and let yourself fully experience it when it happens - it will heal your wounded place, and it will start getting better and better. When you run away, you keep it locked inside. Also, it becomes a monster that grows and grows.

Remember my monster story? I did an "inner child" meditation about it every night for several weeks, and after 4-5 weeks, what used to be a huge frightening monster which haunted me for 33 years (when I was too afraid to *see* it) became a tiny playful troll creature, who just wanted to play with me. It was amazing! I was so surprised! I realized that this is what happens to fears when you dare to really look them in the eye, instead of running away from them. There are plenty of children's books who tell such a story - but only now I get it! It's not just a story for a child who imagines a monster under the bed! This is us! And the solution is the same!

Much love from B.

P.S. for the newlywed: you did the right thing, and you are even aware of your mistakes. keep it up. you deserve a respectful treatment. absolutely refuse to put up with anything less than that.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Good evening everyone,

What a day!

I have packed up a few belongings and have moved out of the house for now. I am safe and staying with a friends family who happens to work at the local womens shelter. When I called "Tom" he put me on hold and contacted his wife who works in the local womens shelter. They told me to pack a few things and they would see that I has a place for a few days till they could get to speak with my spouse.

Well tonight they went around to my house with the local police and spoke with my wife and children. Patrica has agreed that she will check into the shelter tomorrow and seek help for her problems. I as a man am not allowed in the shelter but they have agreed to set up counselling sessions at a local church for both of us together.

Other then being completely exhausted and feeling empty and lonely I am OK. I spoke with my kids on the phone and they are happy that "mommy" is not "mad" anymore.

We have along way to go, I am not sure if we will ever get back together as I am ** VERY** insecure in her sudden change in direction. I have seen it before.

Best wishes for a good night and I will keep you posted.

Terry

P.S. I am typing this on my Mac Laptop and the battery is dying as I have not packed my adapter from the house. I will check the page from my office tomorrow.

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Hi AJ,

I see your conflict: Is your conflict between taking care of AJ and showing C AJ cares?

If it is firstly I would think what would be the consequence of missing the class? Would you be able to catch up the class?

Does C know you attend the class regularly at this time?

If you could catch up and we all usually can. Then I would make my choices based on the fact this is a one off, and Dr Irene does say that sometimes it isn't a problem to make an effort with another as long as our needs are getting met at the same time.

SO ring C and ask him if he wants to meet up since you haven't seen each other for a bit. NOW you have to cognitively sort out AJ's thoughts on this. IF AJ meets up with C she will be meeting some of her needs, need for affection, need for attention, need for closeness and even needs for communication. SO AJ isn't selling her self short if she meets up with C is she?

If AJ goes to her class she is also meeting some needs, her need to get eduated, her need to do something that is important to her, her need to build her skills for her future etc.

If AJ rings C and he says "NO I will be tired when I get back." AJ then has more choices she can say "That is fine, I will go to my class and we can arrange to meet up tomorrow."

IN either case AJ will still be able to meet her needs.

HOWEVER, AJ has to be prepared that C might say he is tired and doesn't wish to see AJ straight away when he gets back. SO I think this the issue for AJ. She doesn't want to give up her time (She sees this as sacrificing), to be dropped and not given priority.

THIS is where AJ has to correct her cognitive thoughts, C may very well be tired, it may have nothing to do with wanting to reject AJ. SO AJ needs then to sit down and write on a sheet of paper How she feels about this feeling rejected and a logical reason why C might not want to meet up straight away when he gets back.

I hope this helps, I know where you are coming from because I have this same sort of problem. BUT we are working on it so it is a plus.

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Hi B,

That is very insightful.

One other connected thing though, maybe you can shed some light on it?

Is my feeling of not being free, my feeling of being trapped. My feeling of being ever so angry. WHY? because it seems my partner has freedom but i don't have. We both had our child but YET it is me who is restricted.

OKAY he works long hours. GRANTED. So when he is off I get a baby sitter and we go out. It is mainly weekends when I can get a baby sitter that is always family members. (My partner won't leave our child with anyone other than family). NOW also when I go to my healthy eating session and my partner is not working he will mind our child. HE even takes her out to his mom's on a Sunday if he isn't working so that I can do my studying.

SOUNDS like a reasonable guy.

 

BUT MY issue is: When he finishes work early and he is on days he will go to the pub after work on a Thursday and Sunday. Now him going to the pub isn't the issue. In fact before we split up I complained he never went out with his friends. WHICH used to annoy me since then he'd say OH you get to go out with your friends but I don't. MY Reply: I don't stop you. He'd say but I have to work long hours.

NOW he realises he can fit in some socializing which actually helps him unwind.

NOW I sound selfish, he firstly minds our child so I can go to my healthy eating session, and he also minds our child so I can study on a Sunday. SO your thinking this girl is nuts, why is she complaining, some men never mind their kids.

AND YES I hear you ALL!!

BUT THE ISSUE IS: He has freedom, CHOICES. He chooses to take our child out on a Sunday if he doesn't feel well or is too tired, he won't.

He can just get up and go out on Thursday evenings and Sundays evenings. ME I have to arrange with him to have our child so I can go to my healthy eating sessions. I ASK HIM!!

THOUGH I can' t just get up and go out and have the expectation that he will mind her. THIS IS what I feel, I am expected to mind her whatever. Because I can't ask my family all the time to baby sit and also Thursday and Sunday are nights just before school, so I can't take our child to others houses, and also they all have their own children so won't mind kids on school nights.

THE other Thursday my partner rang me in the early evening and said "Can you get a babysitter." I said "I doubt it but I will try". I rang my family and each one had already booked something to do this night and one member said "NO cuz it is school tomorrow and the kids won't go to sleep".

So I rang my partner back and said "NO, I can't get a babysitter." I felt angry but I didn't tell him I was, I sat with my feelings. He said "Oh okay, well I will see you tomorrow." I said "So you are going to the pub?" He said "YES, why shouldn't I!" I was livid.

SO basically we had our CHILD, yet I am the ONE who is restricted and NOT FREE to go out when I want to. HOWEVER, my partner is quite FREE to go out when he WANTS TO, if there is a baby sitter fine he has no problem me going out with him. BUT if there is not a babysitter, THEN I CAN STAY IN.

I tried talking to him about this calmly and showing my side of things. HE simply said "I work long hours and deserve to go out, you are her custody parent."

I said "It wasn't any different when we lived together though, it as always been YOU free and ME trapped."

HE said "Well I can't help it if you can't get a baby sitter." I stopped the conversation there before I exploded.

I am not sure how to handle this, and so I am looking for some help and insight?

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Dear Jay and Theressa and all the rest of you

What happened with C and me is this: I talked the whole thing over with a friend, who agreed that I should go to class, mainly in order not to sit at home and waiting and getting angry for him not calling. It was very helpful to really talk this thing trough. So I went to class, with my cell phone on and the home phone connected to it, and 5 minutes after setting out I got the message C. rang. He had just come in and said, I hear you are not there, I will try again later, or ,maybe you can. I rang him back immediately and we talked en he asked me to come over after class, which I did. I am very happy I went, cause if I had stayed home I really would have been angry anyway, even if he had called right away. It would have made me feel very depended, cause I would have been waiting for him and that in itself would have been enough to feel real mad at him. Also by waiting for him I would have had myself convinced it was my right to have him call me as soon as he came in and that was no good either. By going away I acknowledged that he might have other needs and that that was ok. I felt so much better and stronger.

So it was not about getting my needs met in the sense of educating myself, it was about getting my needs met in the sense of needing to feel independent, being able to make my own decisions. This feels like a huge step forward.

Skipped the second half of my class and went ho to tidy myself up and went to see him. He was obviously happy to see me, smiling kissing, hugging, though he did not say it. But, enough should be enough.

So I am happy about the way things went, and hope I will be able to keep it up. I did skip a little, though, when he called I said, well I went cause I did not know when you would arrive and whether you would want to see me. Bit of victim play, but well, not all that much.

 

Theressa, about your problem with his freedom of choice. I think I know what you mean. He does not seem to feel responsible for the well being of you child, while you do. That is hard to solve I think, cause you cannot just leave Melissa and see what happens. What I think you can do for yourself is keep in mind that when you were alone, you had the same problems with babysitting, so it is not necessarily connected to him. It is just that you expect him to take part of the responsibility, but you cannot make him. Maybe you should make it clear that when you have to find a babysitter when you want to go out for yourself (your food class or other thing not connected to him), it will be harder to find one again at times you want to do something together. So if he want to do things together with you, he should make some effort in order to make that possible. Maybe is does not think doing things together with you is all that important. I that case you might want to ask yourself again whether you actually want to be together with him in the first place.

I know this will be hard, but it has been proven time and time again, the more effort you put into you relationship, the less effort the abusive partner has to put into it. They are having their way anyhow, so why bother. So, again, Theressa, try to sit and think what you need to do to take care of yourself, I try not to depend on your partner so much. It does not matter whether you are essentially right in wanting him to take part of the responsibility (personally I think you are). He does not do it, and you will have to find solutions that do not depend on him doing something he does not do.

Hope you'll find a way to handle it that will make you less upset. Lots of hugs and love, also to all the rest of the Catbox.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Terry, It's great that you took the steps you did. You said that you've seen sudden changes like this before and you are wary of them. I experience that with RB: we have a crisis, he acknowledges a 'problem', says he will 'work on it'. Then it happens again and again. But what I'm thinking is that each time, we go a little further and hopefully he realizes more and we are closer to having a 'normal' relationship - or as close to it as possible. So if you feel that you can keep going and try to help Patricia get to that point where she acknowledges HER problem, I think there is hope.

Sometimes I don't know what would take more strength - to leave or stay.

Theressa, the child care situation you have is tough. just look at it this way, it's only temporary! Eventually, your child will be grown!! ha ha... I go through the same thing and these are my choices: don't do things I want to, bring the kids along, 'owe' my husband some time and be prepared for some twisted logic in a future argument about how much he 'helps me'. After RB watches the kids he always says, "I helped you out, right". Am I 'helping' him when I have the kids every moment they are not in school? no way, it's just my job...RB is afraid to take the kids out by himself. In five years, he has done this once, to a school function, for exactly 45 minutes. He has bathed our daughter maybe 3 times. Time he does spend with them is play or teaching time, hardly ever functional. He is oblivious to me buzzing around doing laundry, cleaning, making his breakfast and lunch for the next day, setting up coffee, even doing part time work or school work. It's not that I want him to say anything to me, just notice if the kids aren't in their pajamas, or need to get ready for bed, don't go past all of us to get to sleep yourself... his excuse unfortunately is a damn good one - a two hour commute to work each way. But five minutes would go so far!! He can't sacrifice any computer time at home, then tells me that he doesn't put any time into the computer, just here and there... He is so clueless but I don't care... I just do everything myself...

I have to say that RB has been 'giving me' Thursday eves to go to a class, but I must have the kids fed, in their pj's, dinner set for him - sometimes just a frozen pizza. But I will run around before leaving making sure the kids are taken care of and then he will yell at me to "GO SO YOU DON'T DRIVE LIKE A LUNATIC!! WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE??" He is so oblivious...

thank you so much catbox people for th opportunity to get this stuff out...

TZ

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Theressa, You child is not a priority for him. That was obvious with the incident involving the movie. It is also obvious that he sees the child as your primary responsibility so if something comes up will have to do it. That is his belief. I don't think you are going to change him about that. You have to accept this man as he is. The problem is you don't like how he is, but the truth is you cannot change him or his priorities. You have asked for his help and he refuses. Why do you stay with him? He is not really helping when you need help the most. Getting angry won't change a thing, just make him more entrenched in his position. H Lynn

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Tim B.here,

Theressa, I'm hearing something, between the peaks and valleys in the postings I've read. Quote: "I said, "It wasn't any different when we lived together though, it ha (has) ALWAYS (emphasis, mine) been YOU free and ME trapped." The word ALWAYS (and never), is not a fact. Something deeper is going on. John Bradshaw suggests, that when he hears couples interacting and using these words (ALWAYS and NEVER) that a transposing of the past on the present is occurring. It seems to me that the transaction between the two of you guys fits the dynamics of the Karpman Drama Triangle. Rescuer - Perpetrator - Victim. If I read this correctly, your partner called at the last moment, a rescue attempt was made (securing a babysitter, it failed) rescuer becomes angry - becoming a perpetrator and voila! both people head for the final corner in the triangle - VICTIM. OK, when I do this, and have all those horrid feelings of once more having it done TO ME, it is time to pull out the mirror and look at the problem - me. Pen and paper are excellent tools. It is called a 10th. step ( I use a pen because pencils have erasers and I tend to look for loopholes) 1. I resent X, 2. The cause ( he, she, it, they did:) 3. It affects my: a. self-esteem, b. pocketbook, c. ambitions, d. personal relationships (including sex) - all hurt or threaten me. 3. My part (where was I) dishonest, self-seeking, selfish, punishing, judgmental, critical, blaming, forgetful, argumentative etc.. and finally 4. What am I afraid of? I do this on a legal pad, sideways and leave PLENTY of space on the right had side for my part and my fears. I also find it helpful to vent my feelings under The Cause...such as: " I feel unloved, I feel worthless, I feel angry, I feel scared etc... I also put under this column: Am I a child of God? - Yes, Is this person a child of God? - Yes, Is it possible that I am spiritually sick? - Yes, Is it possible that this person is spiritually sick? - Yes.

This experience puts the focus on me and what needs to be CHANGED in the ONLY person over whom I can exercise control - ME. It is not so much what needs to be changed out there as it is what needs to be changed inside, that counts.

This is also an excellent exercise to conduct BEFORE I open my fat mouth and blast some unsuspecting bystanders, like my kids, my friends and my former wives. It is my firm belief that it is my SHAME ( earned and unearned ) and the projection of the same onto others or myself which is the root of the problem that is Tim. All of John Bradshaw's book have helped me become aware of my self-destructive tendencies. I highly recommend:" The Family" and " Healing the Toxic Shame That Binds You" for insight into the effects of shame. The 10th. Step that I referred to above aids me in connecting with my shame so that it can be converted into guilt and that allows me to take appropriate action, usually in the form of an amends to someone that I have hurt, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, physically or financially. I do what I need to do to keep my side of the street clean. By the way, I review the amends that I am going to make with a sponsor so that I am keeping the focus on my attitude, actions and behavior - before I go to the person I have hurt or harmed.

Today, I treat each moment that I am with my children as a gift. I spent a full month two years ago in Montana, fly-fishing for Trubble's favorite morsels with my then 9 year old daughter, my youngest. This past weekend, she asked me if we could do that again this summer. Things like that just DID NOT happen to the person I was seven years ago...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

Hi everyone! Dear Theressa, I understand why you are upset with your partner you are not nuts and I would feel the same way and actually I did when my son was small and my husband did about the same things as your partner does now. Just look at the situation this way: you have the custody of you daughter, don’t you? It makes you more responsible for her. Would you rather prefer HIM to be a primary custodian and your child living with him, so you can go places any time you want to? Maybe your partner is just thinking like a lot of men still do, that children and housework are women’s job and if man helps, even a little he is a hero. Your partner is not the worst one though. At least he helps you when you have your classes and stuff. You still could try to reason with him and explain, that when you were divorced, your daughter was YOUR prime responsibility, but now situation is changing, you are getting back together, so he should share more child care with you. Maybe he will understand and maybe he won’t and maybe it will take some time for him to understand, because old habits die hard. Meanwhile you enjoy time spent with your daughter and remember that it brings her closer to you. She will grow and won’t need babysitting, but could become your best friend. That’s what happened with me and my son. He is my best friend. So there is a good side to this situation. I don’t exactly agree with other posters in respect “if he doesn’t want to help more, you don’t need him”. As annoying as it is, probably you can deal with this problem (or maybe not, it’s for you to decide). There are not too many men who would willingly share total equality about child minding. If you going to look for Mr. Perfect, good luck, but be real and not set yourself up for disappointment. Good luck in any case!

Dear Sharon, I hope your mother is feeling better. Dear Jay, happy to hear that you are calmer and more relaxed. As for the latest episode, it’s just funny! Dear Terry, be brave and take care of yourself. I’m Ok now. For almost two weeks my husband is nice, he started to help me more around the house and I can see that he is trying. We are talking normally and our son seems to be happy too. Well, will see how it goes. I told my husband last time that I’m not going to tolerate his yelling and name calling anymore. I hope, I’m strong enough to stick with it. Good luck and hugs to everyone! Almost Strong.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001

S1

To Tim B.,

I hope it is ok to comment on a post written to someone else (Theressa). Just for my own information - I have not read the books you mention... It is true that you can only change yourself, but what if see your spouse hurting themselves, you and your children and they do not see it? How did you figure out that you needed to change? If someone is being abused and he/she wants to try to work things out there is only so much you can do on the victim's end... Thanks... TZ

To Catbox 26

Back Up Next