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11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

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Comments for Catbox 30

Comments for Catbox 30

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

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Back to Catbox 29   29 edited.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001

S1

Please help me. I was married to an abusive (physically & emotionally) alcoholic for almost 3 years. During this time, I was totally faithful to him, in thought and deed. He squandered our money, ruined our credit, left me many, many nights alone with our infant son so that he could go out drinking and carousing. Our neighbor, "Dave", watched and sympathized with me. He became our good friend, but all along, he was supposedly "falling in love with me." He gained my confidence. I admired his work ethic, the fact that he was not an addict, the gentle respect that he seemed to have for me. We started talking, getting romantically involved, and he told me that he would help me get away from my husband. We started having an affair, and I moved in with him. He told me that he loved me like no one ever would. About 3 days after I moved in with him, he started accusing me of cheating on him. Today, after 2 months, I can no longer step out of our apartment, take a shower or dress before he comes home, go out to lunch with co-workers (even female), take my son to the park, or even use the bathroom without having the phone with me all the time. This relationship is 100 times worse than my previous marriage. I have no place to go and no where to turn. I keep hoping that I can just convince him that I really do love him, and that I would never hurt him. What is wrong with him? He is 32 and has never been married, but I know little about his past. He comes from a good home and family, so where did the mental illness start? Am I a co-dependant? I grew up in a violent home with an alcoholic father who always accused me of not being his natural child. I have 2 failed marriages and I am only 32. What can I do? Where should I start? I want someone who loves me the way Dave claims to love me.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 08, 2001

S1

Well here goes...... He says that he loves me, makes me a tea at night and occasionally massages my feet. Other than that, we sleep in separate rooms and show no affection to me. I express my loneliness, needing to be understood and understand him but all that I get in return is "do you realize what time it is? I have to get up and get to work in 5 hours." He is a withdrawn man who is unable to express and share himself with me. Oh, I'm told that I'm too sensitive, shouldn't get so upset and I'm acting hysterical. I'm not though. I feel such pain when he denies that my feelings are valid, withdraws from me in the middle of a conversation, and blames me because he is unable to share himself with me. I know that I am not imagining it because I have had a couple of affairs which made me realize how emotionally neglected I am in my marriage.

Anyway, being a new member here, I also want to say hi to everyone and if anyone would like to share similar stories and successes I would love to hear from you Michelle hello2u@hotmail.com

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

Hi Tina,

I understand why you are angry!!

What hours do you work? If you work less hours, do you end up doing all the housework and errands to keep the home running smoothly? Or maybe you do the same sort of hours but still end up doing all of the housework and errands?

As I expect, you probably are the one who does all the housework and errands am I right?

If this is so in my opinion housework and errand are equal in value to work done outside of the home. SINCE if you didn't do this extra stuff to your job your home would suffer and thus, so would your husband.

The trouble is your husband doesn't share your belief that housework and errands are equal value to work outside of the home. In fact it maybe the case that you not only do the same hours as he does but you also do this extra work.

SO AS YOU can see there is lots to be resentful and angry about. Firstly you are expected to do all this extra and get no reward and secondly it isn't even valued.

WELL THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO IS stop doing, doing, and doing for him all this extra. LET HIM SEE HOW VALUABLE YOU REALLY ARE!!

Tell him that from now on if all isn't shared then that is FINE but that means ALL!! So any contribution, whether financial or domestic shall be shared.

THEN YOU TINA only do your fair share of the housework and errands, no more, even if he is working longer hours. This is of his choosing and YES he does get the reward so WHY SHOULD he also expect to be waited on hand and foot.

AS I SAID ON FRIDAY IT TAKES LOSING SOMETHING BEFORE YOU VALUE IT!! The same with you doing the housework and errands. UNTIL HE REALISES HOW MUCH YOU DID DO (by you now stopping to do it) the sooner he will change his mindset.

I see what AJ is saying about CHOICES, her C chooses to take a job that doesn't pay well. HIS CHOICE. C's Job may be less taxing on him. HOWEVER, in my opinion if C is putting in a lot of effort in whatever he does and is contributing fairly as in effort, it doesn't matter on the financial reward. VALUE ISN'T always calculated in economic terms.

WHICH IS what is the problem with our society today. EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE measured economically even our trees, and flowers.

Tina I do not have all the answers but I do know that whilst you keep doing, doing, doing the same, you keep getting, getting, getting the same.

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

Tina I hope my last post to you validated your feelings. NOW TO USE THOSE FEELINGS OF ANGER CONSTRUCTIVELY by using the energy to help you.

Tina what is your dream job? Is it meeting people? Helping people? Teaching/training others? Are you in your own dream job now?

Dr Irene's prescription for feeling unfilled is getting A LIFE!!

So Tina hopefully you are going to stop picking up the household tasks and errands that are not part of your fair share. USE THIS TIME TO BENEFIT YOURSELF, your own life.

If you don't have the life you want only believing you can have it will ever bring it about. So say you want to teach, WHAT FIRST STEP WOULD YOU NEED TO TAKE? Would you need to take some single subjects? Plan the route you would have to take to get you to teacher training college.

Go out and get the brochures for college's etc.

Do you want a better social life? well: Go and get the phonebook and look up some clubs and ring them and go along. You will meet new people and be having fun.

TINA the thing is not to focus on forcing your husband to make your life better, but to show yourself and others you can work towards bettering your own life!!

You use your anger to better your life. I felt angry that my partner earns alot more than me. NOW I am using this anger to keep on track in my degree course, because I am going to get the job I want one day.

YOUR husband may start to share with you when he sees you getting a LIFE! OR he may decide to stay selfish, however at least this way you are aiming for a better life, and the beauty of it is your journey is fun.

TINA you are only 45 years old. if you started a college course even if it lasted 2 years you'd only be 47 years old.

You could take a college course and then gain skills to start up your own business. TINA 45 isn't old and what is more the rules of work are changing so entering a career later will be an option for lots of people.

TINA you can have the life you want now. All you have to do is plan some form of action as I've described above.

Take care, I know how hard this is because I am going through this process myself. I know that this is the only way I will ever get the life I want.

YOU see success is measure by how much effort you put in. You only get what you put in!

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

Theresa, Thank you for your encouraging posts. I have been waiting on my husband hand and foot with little in return. I feel like a servant most of the time. He expects so much from me. Basically I feel like a Mommy to him. When all the while he is so disrespectful to me. But I am learning that I had a part in that I a kept accepting it with out taking action. Oh I would say please don't talk to me that way or please lower your voice, stop yelling at me, please stop swearing at me I don't like it etc. I have left him twice before because of his abusiveness and just plain selfishness and meanness. The first time I went back to him, the second time he came to my apartment. On March 26, 2001 another abusive incident happened over buying living room furniture. I had had enough. I told him I wasn't happy. I felt the marriage was void of respect, trust, love, affection etc. I told him I wanted him to get a drug test, (He angrily denies using drugs) (I don't believe him) go to counseling and to put our money together. He said no to it all. Then I told him I wanted him to leave. He said he would get his things out by Friday March 30. I told him fine and that after that the I was going to have the locks changed. Well Friday came and he said he didn't have time to get his thing out, I told him the locks were going to get changed anyway. I guess he didn't take me seriously. I had the locks changed while he was at work. He called to say he was working until 3:00 AM and that he was coming here to sleep afterward. I told him the locks had been changed and that is not how we left it when you left. He had also packed a bag of clothes before he left on Friday. He was u angry with me and said I never did that to you. I felt really bad about having the locks changed. I was sick about it all night. I couldn't sleep. But all night long I kept having replays of all the abusive episodes in our marriage. I guess it was to tell myself I was doing the right thing. I feel really bad, I feel guilty and I am doubting myself, But every time I think about letting him come back here, I think its only going to happen all over again and I am going to feel miserable again. He has alot of good qualities and I love those things about him. But I feel he is immature and very angry about alot of things. He denied his anger but I see it everyday. Most of the time I feel he doesn't really want to be with me and that he just puts up with me. I hate that feeling. I get blamed for everything that goes wrong no matter what it is. I can't stand it. I've tried to tell him how I feel. It does no good. He says, OH I just don't make you happy or I don't know what to do. I want so much to feel loved by him. To feel that I am special to him. So many things come before me. His money, his family and drug using friends. I feel like I am a sister or a Mother to him most of the time. I know I am not perfect and I try to be so good to him. Anyway he still has not come to get his things. I moved them all out in the garage so he won't need to come in the apartment and have the opportunity to be verbally abusive to me or have the opportunity to be physically abusive. Right now he is at his parents house in a town about an hour drive from here. This past Friday night he called at 12:30 AM and was crying really bad. I felt so bad. But I had to stick to my guns. It was hard. Because I do love him but I want to love me too and need to protect myself from this kind of stuff. I just kept telling him not to do this and that I didn't want to hurt him anymore. I feel like I am making him out to be the bad gut and that I am sitting on my perch judging him. I tried to tell him that he has unresloved anger that he needs to get some help for. He denies it. I told him that he doesn't respect me he says he does and that I don't respect him. It just goes back and forth like that for everything I say he dumps it back to me. I can't get anywhere with this kind of stuff. I just give up. I don't even want to talk to him. All it does is upset me and leaves me feeling guilty and weak. I wish with all my heart that we could make it. But I can't change him. I've tried. I can't make him love me the way I want to be loved and respected. I have needs too. Anyway about my education and job. I am an LPN and I work as a visiting nurse. I love what I do. I work partime at a nursing home and I like that too. I would like to become an RN but need more schooling. I hadn't look into more schooling because when I was going to school for the LPN program, it was a year of hell. My husband felt very threatened by that. It felt like he was jealous of me. He didn't want to support me. He resented it. It was so stressful. I can't believe that I made it through that year. Even though I had my own money and still paid some of the household bills. I paid all my own bills and he still gave me a hard time. It was awful. So I didn't want to go through that again so I've shyed away from more school. But I do intend to look into more school so I can become an RN when all of this calms down. Sorry my post is so long. I guess I need to talk and get it out. No one to really talk to other than counselor once a week and a close friend. But I know she gets weary of the subject. I try not to call her. Thank you so much for your sound support. I come to this site several times to find support. Thank you again Tina

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

ALL NEW COMERS READ THIS IT EXPLAINS WHAT THIS WHOLE SITE IS ABOUT IN A NUTSHELL.

http://www.drirene.com/boundari.htm

How to take control of your own life!!!

 

 

(YES DR IRENE IT IS ME POSTING THERESSA) Giggle!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

funny how this article is pointed at all the males being the abusers of their "loving, devoted, wonderful, sensitive, caring" partners. What a load of crap. I thought we were in a politically correct society these days. What crap-o-lah. If this article were really meant to speak to people it would be genderless. What a mound of crap-a-mundo. If this article were truly informative it would have mentioned that half of the wives out there don't have a clue about what role to fill as a wife (I don't know if I want a career, or if I want to be a stay at home mom, I just can't make up my mind....") What a truck-load of crap. I guess only men can be control freaks huh? Touchy touchy...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

Hi Tina,

You are doing the right thing. Don't buy into his guilt. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, it takes at the very least six months for it to sink in for him. YOU SHOULDN'T buy his guilt.

Each time he guilts you, SAY NO!! I am not helping any of us.

Is their hope, ONLY IF YOU KEEP HIM AWAY FOR NOW AND NOT BUY HIS GUILT!!

We are with you. Allow yourself to cry this helps. And go out and get that life you WANT!!

YOU HAVE BEEN VERY BRAVE, BUT YOU HAVE ALSO SHOWN HIM YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.

Take care, you can get through this Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

Hi s! Re: Your story about your groper boyfriend showing off with his dancing, and talking to the other woman all night at the Wings place: I had a relationship like this 20 years ago. I had to sit with him while he watched dozens of girls go by and he would talk about which ones were beautiful and which ones he would like to have sex with. If I didn't like this, I was called "insecure". You betcha! I lived with him for 1.5 years, until he broke up with me! All I can say is: Run like hell, don't look back and keep running! His behavior is reprehensible and you were right to leave him. Elaine

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 09, 2001

S1

I lived with an abuser (both verbally and physically) for 10 years. We have been divorced now for 11 years. He has had custody of our kids for 9 years. They are 15 (son) and 17 (daughter). I think he is verbally abusing them. My daughter is really fed up, but she is afraid to leave to come live with me because he will take her car away, won't help with college, etc. My son has gotten very quiet and withdrawn in the past year and has begun to say "i'm sorry" a lot. They are about too old to have the court intervene, but I don't know how to handle this. I think if my daughter leaves we can get financial aid without him, but I'm not sure. I wish I could find something for her to read about verbal abuse, but I'm not sure "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" is appropriate for a parent/child relationship. No... And I don't know what is.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Dear Tina,

you asked me to explain a little more about what I meant about this money thing. I'll try to be as clear as I can. And for the record, first of all, I am talking about money here only. I totally agree that the sum of what both partners contribute to the relationship should equal out on the whole in time, and I do not deny the value of household duties or other contributions. But I somehow get the impression that you feel it is your RIGHT that he shares his money with you, that he should choose to spent his money on you or things for the household. Of course it is only fair that he should buy things for the household too and you can ask him to do so (maybe you did and he refused, that would make things different).

In your post you say: " I feel I have a right to a better live" I totally agree, but I do not agree that he should provide it for you (or that any partner should provide that for their spouse for that matter).

You said in a later post: "Even though I had my own money and still paid some of the household bills." You don not seem to think it is fair that you should have to pay household bills. I actually think that would be normal for both partners, unless you would agree that you would go to college to get a job you liked better afterwards and that you would not pay your share for a certain time.

Of course, when you were ill and could not work, I would expect him to budge in for you. Of course, it is normal to expect your partner to buy you a present every now and then. Of course he should pay a fair share of the household requirements and do a fair share of the household duties. BUT SO SHOULD YOU. I know this may sound harsh, but I get the feeling that you just want him to take care of you. In your later posts you tell a bit more about how he reacts, that he yells at you, is disrespectful. You are very right not to put up with that and put your foot down. But ask yourself the question why exactly doe you want him to put your money together, is it that you actually feel he should maintain you, cause he is a man? Did you ever read ‘The Cinderella Complex' (dr. I., sorry I forgot who wrote it). It is about that women seem to be culturally raised to expect men to take care of them. It is very enlightening.

If you want a partner, I think you should be prepared to be a partner, to share duties equally and expect him to share equally. By expecting and wanting him to care for you financially, you almost invalidate your own ability to do so. You are able to take care of YOU, you can and should pay your own bills and be undependent.

Take care and stop thinking you need him to provide for you. You need YOU to provide for you. And you are not obliged to cater his every need, but neither is he obliged to provide for you if you are able to do so yourself. I hope I have been able to clarify what I meant. Meanwhile, I hope you will be able to stop the abuse that you are talking about, cause no matter what, that is always wrong.

AJ

P.S. I actually tried to post this answer two day earlier, but it got lost. So now I read you are separated. Still I think i owe you the explanation I wrote here, so I'll post it anyway. I do hope you will be able to sort things out and if not that you will be happy anyway. One thing I am sure about is that you can take care of yourself in every way, included financially. You say you tried to tell him how you felt and it did not work. You said you were not happy so you  are right to want to change things. There is one things I wonder about: do you still love him and would you want to be together if he would be willing to talk about changes tht would make things better for you?

Again, take care and I do hope everything will turn out for the best.

AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Hi All,

I spoke about my feelings in therapy last night. I felt really frustrated and angry. MY THERAPIST told me that he understood my anger.

My anger I discovered wasn't about keeping my partner in or stopping him going out with his friends! MY ANGER is Envy that he has such freedom. Yep. Your anger is a signal and it's telling you what you need to fix!

When I spoke to my partner about how I felt he said "Look Theressa it is just like if you were dating another guy, when he wasn't with you he'd be able to go out and you wouldn't be able to stop him. If you wanted to go out you'd get a childminder wouldn't you? This is the same with us".

I said "No it isn't the same with us, we've got our child. So when we brought her into this world it wasn't meant that I was restricted and unable to go out, HOWEVER, you were still free like a bachelor".

He said "Theressa the last seven months changed all of this, you decided to be her primary carer so legally you are totally responsible for her. SO yes I can behave as a bachelor. In the seven months you didn't ask me could you go out and nor did I ask you, it isn't any different now".

I said "I disagree with you, when we were separated is the past. AND ALSO what you are forgetting is that when we were separated I was free and able to go out on a regular basis, because you had visitations so some of the time you were obliged to mind our child. Whereas now you seem to think that you don't have to. OR that I have no right asking you to mind her."

He said "Theressa I am not changing my habits of the last seven months just to suit you, before we separated you used to moan I never socialized with my friends, now I am, YOU STILL MOAN".

I said "It isn't about you going out, I have no reason to fight with you about you going out. It isn't about you going out, it is about me not having this privilege also."

He said "Well you could get a childminder"

GRRRRRRRRRRR doesn't this man ever listen (vent) I get a childminder when we go out as a couple. However, you can't expect friends and family to mind our child all the time, they to want to go out and socialize. (YES I do return the favor of childminding with my sisters)

It isn't about getting a childminder. IT is about YOU my partner taking some responsibility for minding "OUR" child.

****

Anyway I left therapy frustrated and angry!!

This morning on the way into work I was thinking hard. This is what I came up with that I'd tell someone else to do: :)

My partner might say: "Theressa when you were dating you had to sort out the childminding etc, it isn't any different now. You wouldn't have rung up your new guy and said will you child mind for me."

MY RESPONSE I CAME UP WITH:

"No I wouldn't expect someone I was dating to look after our child, the difference is she is our child and further when we got back together, we got back together as a package. That was me, you and our child. So you stopped having visitations, instead we were together as a family, even though we live separately. We wanted to be together which included our child.

If I wanted to just date someone, I "would not" have gotten back together. However, I wanted the US, Me, you and our child together. So No I wouldn't expect someone I was dating to look after our child, but I would expect her father to because we both took on this responsibility regardless of what is legal.

It wouldn't matter what was legal if you wanted to speak about how she was being brought up etc. If I was changing her school or something like that legally you couldn't object but you still would expect me to discuss this with you OUT OF principle.

So it is a matter of principle that you'd be willing to look after our child, not because it is legal or not. So No it isn't the same as if I was just seeing some guy. You aren't just some guy, you are our child's father."

Therefore, I do expect you to mind her sometimes so I can go out and unwind. I know you work odd hours and I know you mind her whilst I do my coursework.

However you don't seem to just mind her so I can go out in the evening and just unwind, once in a while. However, even though you work odd hours you find time to go out and unwind.

It seems I always have to get someone else to mind our child if I want to go out, but you can go out whatever.

The point is you not in principle minding your child in the evenings if I want to go out. IT isn't about you going out.

****************

What do you think to this advice???? Excellent. But, it may not work. A persuasive argument won't necessarily change his agenda. You're also mad because "it's not fair." No, it's not and that's life. But, stop trying to even the score. Just do what you need to to care for Self. For example, HIRE a sitter when you want to get out (don't burden family so much) and charge him half of it.

Thanks all of you Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Hi Tina, Hi AJ,

AJ I see your viewpoint, however, I think TINA said she does work, and does contribute her share financially. However, she is expected to do all the housework etc.

SO in my viewpoint a team is just that a team. If she is picking up extra housework etc because he works longer hours. Then I think she should also be rewarded.

Tina isn't staying at home and being a full time house wife, (I am not saying there is anything wrong if she did stay home full time)

She is actually working outside of the home and still expected to keep the house running smoothly.

SO In my opinion if I am expected to do extra to compensate for what my partner can't do in the household chores. I am enabling him to work extra outside of the home so on balance THE TEAM should be rewarded.

If I did not do the extra in the household chores, my partner would not benefit from a clean, smoothly run home. Me doing the extra house work means he can benefit. THEREFORE, I would expect that since I enabled him to benefit that I to should benefit. BY expecting him to share the extra income he gained by working outside of the home.

Relationships are about team work and balance. It would be different if he did a equal half of the housework etc then he could argue that he was working more. THOUGH HE ISN'T in Tina's case.

He expects her to do the extra with no reward. However, he expects a financial reward for the extra he does!!

Not okay in my opinion.

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Dear Theressa, dear Tina

I agree with you on the teamwork part, totally, that is what I am saying in my post, or at least what I meant to say. Maybe my bad English got in the way.... But I did not get the idea that Tina was supposed to do all the homework, so that is why I reacted this way.

As for your anger Theressa, I think you have every right to be angry. Maybe you just got back together too soon. You wanted a family, he wanted the nice things without taking the responsibility. Maybe you just wanted things to be ok so bad, that you did not check with him what he actually wanted, or expected from being together again. (I know, I've been there!). I think you have every right to expect him to mind your child, cause indeed it is his responsibility as much as it is yours. And I also think it is time to take a stance, set a boundary on this issue. Maybe you can get the babysitter if you want to go out alone and then tell him you cannot go out with him, because you cannot find anyone to babysit, as you already ‘used' the babysit time available. I feel when you do make things real clear now, you will pretty soon end up in the same mess you ran from. I can understand it is scary, cause you so much want the three of you as a family. But think what will happen if you are not clear on this issue, he will get away with it, and there are no consequences for him in not minding his child. You made it very clear to us here in the Catbox, that you do not want that, so maybe you should make it as clear to him. If he wants to live like a bachelor, he is right, you cannot stop him. But you can make it clear (in action, not in words) that he cannot live like a bachelor and have you and your child at the same time. These things do not go together. Another sane option.

C. and me live more or less like bachelors (expect we do not ‘date' other people), but for us it is different, cause there is no child involved. If I go away I ask people to look after my (our) cats, sometimes he does it, sometimes other people do. It is ok for us. But cats are not children and I think you really should put a stop to this and make it very clear it is either a package deal, or no deal. Probably you should have done that before you got back together, but hey, it's only understandable you didn't as you wanted to trust him and hope things would be ok automatically. But I think you should take action NOW! The longer you will wait, the more difficult it will get. And also, if this will not work out, because he really wants to live like a bachelor, it would be good to know as soon as possible and get on with your live and give yourself a change to maybe find another partner or arrange things to live on your own. I also think you should ask for child-support. Make it clear where you stand. I like this.

Theressa, take care and try not to let your anger get in the way of you clear thinking. You can sort this out, you have left hi opnce before and you can do so again in order to get a better life and a better relationship. You deserve it. Both you and Melissa.

Love, AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Dear Trubble,

Dr. I. told me that you'd like a namesake. There is a gray male kitten with stripes who is very pretty. C. already named him Mackerel, cause he looks like one. But we could give him a second name, like Mackerel Trubble. World you be his Real Daddy then? And take care of him when I won't be able t find a sitter? He is very very pretty, and he looks just like you........ (Come on Trubble, be a man and confess!)  I'd love it if you called him Mackerel Trubble! Wow! But, I'm not RealDaddy. Nor am I a MAN. I'm just a kid. (And I get to be whatever I want that suits my purpose of the moment. Tough.) Heheheheh

Love AJ

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Dear Theresa and AJ I would like to thank you both for your input on my posts. I know that I have made a federal case out of the money matter between my husband and I and have gotten away from what the real issues are between my husband and I. I like being independent and having my own money. But there are times when my husband will try to control what I do with it and what I buy. I don't like that. Like if I wanted to buy furniture he would see that as putting us in debt. And that irritates me because everything is separate so what is the problem. If I am separate from him. This is where it gets complicated. I do love my husband. But I have a lot of hurts from him. I've tried to forget them. It's hard. Behavior from him that stunned me. There were times that we could be so close. We were in counseling separately for a little while. But as soon as we got back together again he didn't want to go anymore. This bothered me a lot. The reason we got back together was that where he was living his friend, the landlord sold the house the new people wanted to move family in. So my husband had to move. He was upset about that. He didn't want to move. The summer prior to this many times he would say "Why don't you just behave and come back home" Well he kept pressuring me about getting back together. I couldn't help but feel if the house had not been sold would he had still come to my place. Part of me wanted him back and another part did not. I didn't see where we had resolved anything. I had been sitting on the fence not knowing what to do for 9 months. I loved him but I was afraid of being hurt again. I didn't know whether to get in or out of the relationship. I had a lot of resentments, alot of hurt, alot of confusion about who stuff belong to who. I wanted him and still do to take responsibility for the hurt he bestowed on me. To say he was sorry and that he loved me and then get some help toward resolving his problems. I couldn't possibly be responsible for all the problems. But I took this on anyways. It was bringing me down. To the point that antidepressants don't even help that much. I know that I have issues of my own and I am working on them. I did look to my husband to bring me happiness. To fill the emptiness in my soul. He just kept on working sometimes 60 hours a week and saving more and more money. To be honest with you I hate that money. It has gotten in the way. He works overtime for what? I am here helping with the bills. I make good money. Why does he have to work all this overtime? I can't understand it. I see it as addiction, and maybe so he doesn't have to be with me. I don't know. I know I should have gotten a life. I just didn't know where to start. I kept myself chained to him. We had no life together. We had no friends nothing. It was an empty life. I just wasn't happy. He didn't seem happy either. It just seemed that everything was him, him. Where did I fit in. What is the sense of being married. We should just be roommates. I am sorry for all the venting in these posts. This marriage has been a painful and confusing one. I wanted things to be different and to change. But it just seems there are to many issues. I don't know what to do anymore. I am tired os struggling with this. Thank you both for your input. I appreciate it very much. Tina

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Hi Tina,

Firstly stop apologizing for venting. This is your anger, and you have every right to be angry.

I see your point and annoyance at him wanting his own money to himself, but needing to complain when you spend your money on things that you want. CONTROL!! He wants control!!

It is like this for me also, my partner wants to give input into our child's upbringing, but he also wants to choose when he is responsible.

Maybe it is just too familiar and easy with him around. HAVE you seen ANY changes for the better since he has been back???

If not then maybe staying separated this time is the right thing for you, unless he goes and gets help changing.

Take care, I know how hard this is. Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Hi AJ,

I KNOW I have to speak up!

What are my fears? Well YES I know I can do it alone, if I have to. Though I remember only too well how Melissa ended up, hurt, playing up and I found it so hard to cope.

Once her daddy and I got back together she started to behave more settled.

ALSO I remember how I just couldn't find anyone else worth having. Don't settle! Finding a right person is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

And the others I met didn't seem to accept me, or I wasn't comfortable being me with. AT LEAST with my partner if my home is untidy I am comfortable him seeing it. Maybe your home should be less untidy if it bothers you for others to see it.

I felt so false with others, I just couldn't be me. If I had my underwear on the heater, my partner wouldn't say a word, whereas new guys I wouldn't leave my underwear in their sight. Maybe you should get into the habit of not leaving your underwear in your own sight!

Also on the whole we have such fun. We laugh alot and joke alot. I don't want childminding spoiling all of that.

We never had so much fun before, as we are having now.

SO YES AJ I have done this before, but for the same reasons I don't want to go through childbirth again, IT IS BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT!! AND I DON'T WANT WHAT I WOULD GET!!

I found last time that most of my friends were in couples, and so there was no one to go out with to socialize. YES I COULD JOIN A CLUB AND MEET PEOPLE, though there were no clubs on when I could go out.

So you see I don't want to go back to when I left!!!!

SO MAYBE my only option is to hope being assertive will work!! Be assertive, but be prepared to act.

Take care Theressa

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Theressa

I agree with AJ. I think the more you accept (albeit angrily) your partner's disrespectful behavior, the more leeway he has to act disrespectfully towards you.

I think that the 'adult' choice is to express your concerns/viewpoint, then either accept what he offers and be okay with it, or let him know that you expect more from a relationship and draw back.

I understand that other parts of the relationship are going well, and if you feel that you can communicate your feelings about going out and be heard and considered by your partner, then maybe things aren't so bad. But if you are insisting he be a way that he refuses to be, then you will only frustrate yourself.

It's your life and only you know what you can and can't put up with. Think: is this a behavior you can happily accept and live with for the next 10 years?

I think you may also be acting a bit out of fear of not finding someone else. Theressa, you deserve a relationship with someone who honors your feelings and is willing to compromise sometimes for the good of the relationship.

I wish you luck.

Asha Auntie Asha is sooooooo smart!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Theressa, You have expectations of your significant other that he does not have for himself. You said you envy him going out while you stay at home. He probably can't stand the idea of you being out free while he stayed home with the child. His jealousy or envy is probably equal or greater than yours which puts you both in a quandary. The only way out is to get the childminder when you really need it and go out and stop trying to make him do something he isn't going to do or wants to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

S1

Dr Irene. At last someone beside me said the words "compulsive ritual" about Jake. Believe me there are many. I am not slipping cos I needed the anger enough to finally put my foot down. Anger is your signal, Actually I feel very strong and nobody is going to mess with me any more. Guess the empathy got a battering and it will all even up!

Jake can do what he likes. I am more interested in having a LIFE. I have plenty to do and now I even have made my own room. Yes I have my own sanctuary. I have the candles, the joss sticks and even a bottle of wine......I also have a lock,,,,,but unlike Jake I will only use it for safety. The DV people are very aware of Jake and so not believe all he says. Also I have charge of my son for most of the day and that is that. I own the computer and TV so if he is disrespectful those privileges can be withheld. Jake can do nothing about this. I even realised the car is registered in my name. I have my writing and some work lined up, My own bank account. It would be nice to have a man; but I stuck myself with Jake who only wants me as a doll. I am nobody's doll.

Also I do not need therapy. I will when the money is available come and see you. But to sit in a therapist's office with a man who only wants to be proved right is not going to do anyone any good. I will got to therapy with Jake when I see him using it and not abusing it. Your couples therapy was excellent. You clearly saw that he was not to budge from the fridge. "Hopeless," was the word your therapist used. I'm not talking about marital anymore. Just for you. To support you and keep you strong through the inevitable ups and downs. You are doing great!

Actually, I feel well, strong, sorted and quite like not being codependent. There is plenty in life to do without a Jake in it.

Quite simply,. I have discovered that without Jake's junk I don't need therapy. Giggle! You may be right...

I will post to the catbox. Actually I think it is the catbox that helped and not the therapy. Jay The therapy helped you see that he was not going to change. Hopeless. So, you took your anger about the situation and did something constructive for Jay. (So Jay can finally stop being so angry!)

ps. I do care about all of you writing. Just now I am reading. but I need a little time to get to know the new me and this takes energy! I love new Jay!

Jay

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

Hi Asha and AJ,

I know what you are both saying, but it would bother me LOTS if I had to put up with this for the next 10 years, which is exactly how long it would be before our child can take full care of herself.

I have spoken up before, but wasn't so clear on my side so I never got very far, he side tracked me and that was that. So, good. You are getting better at not being sidetracked!

The point is when we first discussed getting back together, this was a biggy we spoke about of what I expected. He agreed and said "yeah, a guy at work said he's been divorced twice, and finally he realised he has to do his fair share." 

Well this is different from now, it all seemed to change when he found a letter I'd written. It had all about when the abuse started and how I'd tried to get rid of my co-dependency. WELL my partner blames the therapist for making me leave him. Without her putting ideas into my head I wouldn't have left, he thinks. SO SHE IS TO BLAME, so he is off the hook. OKAY SO HOW IS SHE TO BLAME WHEN HE DOESN'T act like he is in a partnership. I stopped seeing her four years ago. (SHE isn't around now, so whose to blame now, MY new therapist?) Giggle!

Anyway, I spoke up last night. I told him it wasn't the same as if he was dating, we come as a package. I said It has nothing to do with you going out. It is to do with you never minding our child whilst I go out.

He cut me off and said "don't go there, don't start, I know it seems I am behaving like a bachelor but I am not, we are just in the teething stages of our new relationship. In time things will change." 

I was sat thinking for who? Giggle! Hear your anger pointing out the way?

Anyway he went to work on the night shift and I went home to my house.

THIS morning though I felt some sort of urge, I texted him and told him of my expectations. (He said I shouldn't text, him but I should speak up and tell him what is on my mind. However, he wouldn't let me so, texting it is!!)

I wrote: regardless of us, I expected you to take some responsibility for mind "OUR" child, sometimes out of principle.

HE will probably say tonight, why did you send me a text.

My reply will be: I tried to discuss this with you but you wouldn't let me so I needed to get my point across.

He will probably go on a bit. Or he might tell me to leave. THAT is a chance I had to take!!! Yep.

WHAT NOW, well I've said my piece and shared my expectations, it is up to him now. If he doesn't mind her, I have to accept that, but maybe he does have a conscience. WHO KNOWS?? All will be revealed. Yes, you'd have to accept that. The question is CAN you accept that?  

I feel good I spoke up. And let him know it isn't about us, teething or otherwise. IT IS ABOUT HIM BEING A PARENT and taking this responsibility on.

My therapist told me sometimes we need to speak up. even if we don't get what we want, it shows others that we are important. Yes. Though we sometimes have to accept that what we want isn't forthcoming. Yes. BUT NOTHING VENTURE NOTHING EVER GAINED. SO it is in the luck of the draw. 

Thanks all of you Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

Dr. Irene, This site has helped my girlfriend and I so much. We have both dated narcissists and luckily have broken away from them. Your site is helping us STAY AWAY. Cool. But I have to learn more about this guy I recently dated. I met this guy and we hit it off right away. We went to lunch and had a great time, then he told me he was going to be sentenced soon and may go to jail for drug trafficking. I kept seeing him because I liked him and thought it was just a way to pass the time. Things went very well and we got along great. This guy always called me, then I didn't hear from him one weekend so I called. He was so rude to me..."I don't want to talk right now, its for the best, I'll call you later" then he called back and said "I'm sorry I talked to you that way, but bla bla" Ok gave him the benefit of having a bad day. He called about three days later and apologized. But this started becoming a pattern. We would get along great, then if I would call him (which I would BARELY do) he would either totally hang up on me, or act like he couldn't hear me and hang up etc. I would stop calling and then maybe after 10 days would call him. He would be totally rude again, but a few days later would call again, like nothing happened, just like we had been seeing each other with no problems. Then we didn't see each other for awhile and out of the blue I get a call with him apologizing AGAIN for his bad moods, saying he really wanted to see me, and wanted to work things out "you've always been so sweet and I've been a jerk to you and I'm so sorry, please come over and let me make it up to you. You can yell and scream at me, I deserve it." Well I was stupid enough to fall for it and started seeing him AGAIN. Then he turned on me again. I questioned him about something one day and he said "your psycho" and left me standing there. When I got home he had left a message saying "you're psycho, I don't want to hear from you or see you again and don't leave me any psycho messages" Well finally I wised up and never called him back. Now it is one month later and Saturday I get two phone calls from him...acting like we are best friends. Saying you can tell me I'm stupid, I'd like that, but I know you're not all about that". Well I haven't and won't call him back and I haven't heard from him since. I have no intentions to see this guy again (his sentencing is in two weeks) but I need to understand. I need to add that whenever I was with this guy he went on and on about how much he cared about me, didn't want me to date others, I was his life, how he wanted me to be his girlfriend, how close he felt to me, etc..this is what I fell for. Yuk.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here, ugggg. I'm posting to myself in anger so I won't give Dr. Psycho the undeserved message that I'm thinking about him. He doesn't deserve any of my time. I've wasted enough of it on him! I went to my therapist on Sunday.....which was much needed. She let me vent about him and all of our "cycles" of breaking up and getting back together. She thinks like you do Dr. Irene, that its all based on "fear" - but its his fear. Yes. I can't do or say anything to him that will show him that I am a trustworthy person. Yes. I have nothing in my history with men or people in general to prove otherwise. I do have a "clean slate" when it comes to my past relationships! I've been divorced for 3 years, and before that I was married for 15. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs. I keep myself healthy inside and out, and my vice is coffee drinks, chocolate and books. I'm not even a material girl!  However, this Dr. Psycho has turned my psyche "inside out" and has made me think I'm the biggest "screw-up" on this planet. The only thing I can say I did wrong was give him too much. I loved him too much and then sold my soul to the devil by staying with him when he could have really cared less. I was intimate with him when I really should have used my energies somewhere they were better appreciated and respected. I want so badly to just get in his face and scream at him for at least 30 minutes about what a screwed up creep he is, but I know "he'd love it." He is truly a man with broken toys. I try and take responsibility for the relationship, things go well for a day and then he reminds me of things that I said to him years ago, which were based as a rebuttal of the crap and abuse he'd put me through. But I can't tell him anything of what he's done and said to me because then he's the victim.

Thanks for letting me vent to myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

I share custody with my two daughters, 11 and 7, with a verbally abusive ex-husband. (Why? Intimidation during the divorce, of course!) I believe he is still abusing them and his current wife, and I was wondering if anyone could give me a good place to start on getting them to open up to me, possible regaining full custody, etc. Are there any good books about children and verbal abuse? What about therapy?

Thanks for any info you could provide. Crystal

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

Sharon, Are you still seeing this man? I thought that was over with. Why are you still in contact with him? I think these are questions you need to keep asking yourself.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here, Well, its hard not to want to stay with the familiar, especially when some of the early past with Dr. Psycho was charming, warm, loving and trusting. WAS, not IS. And so its been hard for both of us to forget the good that we had. However, instead of being together and staying together for any length of time, what is happening is that we start missing each other, we get in contact, and then the "honeymoon" only last 1 day. Then we are back in polarized behavior again. Hence, that 1 day of "togetherness" does NOT constitute being back together, or even of the thought of rekindling of what was lost. HE starts the polarizing of bringing up the past, ragging on me about the past problems in the relationship, and I tell him to "let things be" and to just enjoy being together for just this one day either taking a walk, watching TV, taking a nap, having pleasure, whatever - and he can't progress into a nice friendly space without being toxic towards me. And we really did love each other very much in our past. However, now I clearly see a pattern about this I can't live with. So, its been about a week for us, and we actually did not have a fight or anything, I just see the cycle going on and on where the anger and resentment from him keeps resurfacing every time we decide we want to get together. So, my frustration about his behavior keeps resurfacing - as well as my sadness and sorrow - because we did have alot of special times between us before he became abusive. I finally am in the grieving process of letting go of him - anger, sadness, sorrow and fear - and it is hard because now that it is here - its for real - there is no going back to "making nice", no chance to rekindle the love we felt - its all just memories. The clarity of it all is amazing because I am no longer in denial - however the hope that he'll change someday is still there at times, though reality I know he can't. I get glimpses of it and then he takes it away. I can only speak for myself here and only take my own inventory - but I do hope that one day somebody, somewhere will make him accountable for his actions, not just towards me, but towards something that will possibly make him think.

In the meantime, I just am continuing making my own life as comfortable, genuine and stress-free as can be. I have to constantly remind myself that it could be a lot worse. I could have married him and I am glad I didn't!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

HI everyone, Welcome back!

Back from my trip and been lurking again... Tina, I just want to support you for changing the locks. One of the times I broke up with my ex I took his key back as he was walking out, then put his stuff in the superintendent's office. It felt REALLY bad, but it didn't feel as bad as his disrespect. He had been out with an "ex" again without telling me, even though he was a guest in MY house, and he stormed out when I told him I thought it was disrespectful. It just feels so bad to HAVE to stand up for oneself. It isn't the doing it, it's the having been with someone who doesn't respect you and taking a stand is all you can do for yourself. What really feels bad is just that this person, this intimate, didn't have the class and the caring to treat you right in the first place.

Oh, Sharon, my friend, if I lived in the same city as my ex I am afraid I would be in your shoes. I've been thinking about mine of all things and even after all the BS, tantrums and disrespect for some reason I still miss the good stuff. I don't know if I would be able to resist "trying to work things out" for the umpteenth time. Hang in there, Sharon, get angry, enjoy feeling angry, deal. This shall all pass! Keep thinking about his craziness and then let it all go. You have your future to look forward to and it starts right now!

AJ, where are you from? You mentioned not having good English and I hadn't noticed! 

Love, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

S1

I would like to comment on the housework issue. I was pleasantly surprised when I read Dr. Irene's comment that it could be a compulsive ritual.

My husband has spells of being a clean freak and he abuses us with housework. Yes husband does some of the housework, but it isn't to be helpful. So what? Enjoy that you have less work.

Sundays he will get up early about 8am and he will begin to clean. If we aren't up by 9 am cleaning with him, he goes off into a rage. Cleaning with him? Let him rage. (What "less work?")  He will start with the kitchen and wipe the counters over and over. It is strange how he will wipe the counters over and over and sweep and mop the floor for an hour but he will leave the microwave filthy.

So then around 9am he begins drinking Drinking? At 9 am? and then after he cleans the kitchen and sweeps the floors he will sit and watch sports while we clean. Yuk. He says that he is the only who ever cleans the house and I do nothing. Yeah right!

I remember when I was in labor with our son and I was dialing the phone to call the doctor's office to say I was coming in and my husband gets out the vacuum and starts sweeping the floor while I was trying to talk on the phone. Very strange. He can't handle it...

So housework was used to abuse us. 

I wonder how much the alcoholism plays into all of this. Big time. There is a known association between alcohol consumption and loss of control/rage. Plus, that he's alcoholic tells me he has few coping skills. He can't tolerate what he can't tolerate.  Very, very unOK. Been to ALANON?  He has been drinking daily for maybe 35 years or so. Sometimes I think he is losing his mind as he will sit and talk to the tv when it is not on, and last night he insisted that the cats were getting out of the house without being let out. I heard him open the door several times while I was upstairs so he had to have let them out and then when I went downstairs he looked out the window and asked me if that was our cat on the windowsill. ???? I looked and said of course it is. He insisted that it wasn't our cat but someone else's. And he kept saying that I let them out and I said that I was upstairs and I didn't let them out. Anyway I opened the door to let both cats in and he asked me again how the cats got outside. It just got stranger and stranger. He may be having blackouts, or memory loss, a sign of advanced alcoholism, then he makes it up as he goes along from there. This is very, very serious.

bystander

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 12, 2001

S1

Dr Irene,

My therapist asked me to ask you the following questions: He wanted to know how you would advise me on the following, he feels you are an expert in this area,

I'm a little confused. I'm assuming Ron is Theresa's partner. If so, here goes:

If a patient had an issue with getting her partner to help with minding their child.

I told Theressa to speak up Assertively, she said "Regardless of us, I expected you to sometimes mind "our" child out of principle." This I agreed with her. OK.

What would you have suggested? That you got out of Meme mode and become Theresa's partner in minding your child. That you ask yourself why it is a chore to spend time minding your child. That you question how doing what you "feel like" doing instead does to your integrity - if you are in touch with it. 

Further after speaking up assertively she got no response or help. I assume you mean she got no childcare. That's her business. I'm more interested in why you are not minding your business Ron.

Then what would you suggest? That you get a handle on how it is that spending time with your child is not a priority in your life. Suggests underlying junk, you know?

If I advise Theressa to just let it go then, how is she ever going to get this issue resolved? You can't worry about her Ron. Theressa will worry about Theressa, and it seems to me she's getting there. Ron needs to worry about Ron and take responsibility for Ron. 

Thank you for your time. Ron. Thanks for your questions.

 

Dr Irene I hope you will answer the above question, since Ron feels he needs an expert's opinion one such as yourself who is advanced in abuse therapy.

Thanks a million Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 12, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here. Well, I am pleased to say that I am making progress with Dr. Psycho. I have NOT driven by his house for 4 days!!!!!!! Even though I live right by him, I take other streets to go to work, shop, etc. I'll have to say though its incredibly funny because his front bedroom light is on (its his computer room) and his mini blinds stay open from when he gets home from work until he goes to bed! And I can see him playing on his computer and actually watching all of the cars go by but he can't see me!!! I now know that he would be seeing me and knowing all of my business every time I drove by - which of course I did daily - which fed his ego tremendously - but now that I don't drive in front of his house but on the side street - I can see him but he can't see me! That man is "perched" in a chair at his window watching all the cars!! Its an absolute HOOT!! So, his poor little ego isn't being fed by me, so now he has run out of his narcissistic supply of suppliers. Last Saturday was the last day I spent any time with him and I could barely tolerate his behavior. Plus, he ate 3 huge meat, bean and cheese-filled burritos and he snorted like a pig when he ate. He made me 1 burrito and it was good - but he couldn't stop eating - he ate until he almost got sick - then he sat there with a pained look on his face with his swollen belly. Then, he started with his snarl about "our past" - I could barely tolerate how he looked - toxins from his mouth were spewing all over the place - I felt repulsed - and left after dinner, feeling sick myself. I left in a cracious way - however, its now Thursday - and I have no desire to see him. Its like something zapped the desirable things I saw in him after the display of such repulsive, unattractive behavior. I'm sure he'll call within the next week or two since he hasn't seen me around - no "drive bys" he calls it.

So, yes, Perdida, living close has its good qualities because you really get to see these guys in all of their glory to the point that you get to never want to see them again. I ask myself "what did I ever see in him?" But its a process - it has taking me time - but I'm glad I stuck around to see this through "an ending". If we didn't live in the same area, there would always be a magically dream-like feeling that may never go away - (well, for a very long time the feelings would be there, but would go away in time) so there would always be a sense of "longing." A sense of wonderment. the "what ifs". So, in a sense, its a toss up. But to see my ex "perched" up by the window watching the cars - to see my ex eat 3 burritos like a pig - to see my ex spew out more toxins when it wasn't even appropriate to do so (well, its NEVER appropriate but I think you know what I mean) really took the emotional twist out of me - I can't find that passion for him anymore. My last vision of him on Saturday was incredible. It was great. Giggle!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 12, 2001

S1

Dear all, Sharon here. My post just now I forgot one word - as Dr. Irene succinctly articulates when its funny. "giggle" Thanks Dr. Irene!!! Thank you!!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 13, 2001

S1

Hi,

I always read the "box" but don't post too often. I hope everyone is doing well today!!

I am in a new relationship with a truly wonderful man. This is the first relationship I've been in where I didn't follow my old codependent pattern and I am with a nice man. It feels so strange I hardly know how to act. He is the first man I've ever dated who really practices unconditional love and who is codependent in a similar way to what I used to be.

I find I am often irritated by the behaviors and realize that those are my old behaviors (and sometimes still are). 

I feel some of my new behaviors aren't working very well in this new relationship. I am very straightforward now, but try to always be tactful in what I say. This is new for me and I like it, but he is so non-confrontational that he feels bad. For instance, I told him the other night when he was late for dinner, that I didn't like that and he could just call next time or say if he's too tired to get together. He made a face of displeasure, and I responded that I didn't think it was too much to ask.

I also find myself feeling an disproportional amount of anger about things, which may be left over anger from my abusive relationship. I don't act out when I feel this way but I actually feel as if I could explode. I realize that fear is the root of anger. Maybe I am so afraid of getting hurt and used again that I am putting up walls and anger. I'm not sure how to deal with these feelings. I would like to know what's "normal" in a relationship. Any suggestions? You are likely to find your old stuff triggered when with a man who is gentler than you. Pay attention inside. Listen and don't act out. Sounds like you want him to fix his broken pieces -  so you can respect him.  

Have a blessed weekend,

SK

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 13, 2001

S1

Dear SK,

Your situation is tricky. If you really think this man is codependent, you might be in for some eggshell walking. My ex also is very nice man, but every time I set boundaries, I also got the displeasure face, and subsequently other worse stuff, because I was "being picky about small things all the time." After reflection, I have realized that I was setting boundaries about how I want to be treated, i.e. with respect, and my wonderful guy couldn't deal with it. REALLY couldn't deal. And he also seemed to be practicing unconditional love - but eventually I realized that it was only when I accepted him with all of his transgressions and disrespect, big and small, that I got unconditional love. And sometimes, a lot of the time, there were things that weren't okay, big and small.

So I had the worst case scenario. My advice to you would be to stay in touch with your own boundaries, and keep setting them, nicely but firmly without acting out, and watch what he does. If he is really a wonderful man showing you unconditional love, he will accept that you are merely setting boundaries and stop threatening you with ugly faces. (sorry to say it harshly, but that's what he did.) Excellent.

Happy Easter, happy Passover, everybody! (happy day off if you're not celebrating either!)

Love, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 13, 2001

S1

Dear Cat Box,

Lynn here and I/we've been busy for 2 weeks or so. Life seems to be either routine or else we get hit with 25 things at once. We're in the 25+ things at the moment and this is a progress report. And there is progress.

I told you that I broke the chain and didn't forgive. (That might be too strong a word). This lasted weeks. Well, Dan came around. He used to be able to out last me. This worked wonders as it seemed to put the ball in his court and he had to make the next move. He did and did beautifully. One instance. I bought wall paper for his bathroom and he loved it and yesterday he suggested that if I hadn't anything planned we go put the wall paper up. Good progress. When I've washed the dishes he's in the kitchen drying them. I hope it's progress as it feels good to me. Dan's progress; not yours. Your feelings are too dependent on Dan's actions. Not OK Lynn.

He also had something bothering him and told me so, but said he didn't feel like talking about it until he sorted it out. I told him it was fine and I was glad he told me as then I didn't imagine things and so far I've not asked what it was/is. He'll tell me if he wants to. Dan's really doing great!

Don't know where this is going, but at least it's better feeling than the same old routine over and over. That got us nowhere.

Also had a brief boundary thing where he thought he was "suppose" to be in mine. Long story, but I handled it and he tried to beat himself up for not being here for me. This lasted about 2 minutes, so there is improvement. We even talked about it.

Another one. I needed to talk. He tried to fix it. I told him I just needed to talk it out and I was just using him for a sounding board and that I didn't want it fixed, I just needed to talk. He just listened after that and that was all I needed. I didn't need to talk to him or with him on this one. We got over that one OK, too. Excellent Dan!

Hi AJ, Asha, Becky, Jay, B, Theressa and the rest of you. I just read the posts today. There really seems to be progress. Isn't this great? Sooner or later, eh?

Dr. Irene, I'm going to roll with this for a while and see what happens. The cat box, too. It's not that I'm not thinking of all of you, it's just that I don't want to get a life in the cat box only. I want to partake in the real thing. If I'm not around for a while I guess we can take that as good news and that's good. Love to Trubble and oh my gosh Doc, I hope I haven't signed my posts "Love To All" as I think I do sometimes. I like what you did and I liked the forum. A great big pat on the back and salmon a bunch.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers, 

Lynn We love you too Lynn.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 13, 2001

S1

I guess this is not the site for the Punk band Known as Verbal Abuse. V.A. Rocks Your Liver!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2001

S1

Hi everyone! It's Tina again You would think it would easy that once you get the man that is abusing you out of your residence and that it would be easier to be strong and stand up for self. It is a daily struggle. My husband is working on me with telephone conversations. Laying guilt in the third degree. This behavior stirs up all kinds of feelings. Guilt, anger, confusion, self doubt,sympathy and sadness. I try so hard to stay on the issues. For everything I tell him that I feel he is, as far as the way he treats me, He accuses me of the same. We just go around and around. I tell him I don't believe that he is not using drugs. He continues to deny it and rationalize drug use. He is staying at his parents house right now. He told me as it is his family would disown him if he came back to me. I didn't even say I would even take him back. This angered me so much. Since his family has no idea about the drug use and the abuse. They have never asked me what is the problem between us. How do they judge me so unfairly? That hurt alot. My husband started out with the crying, then with the WE have to try harder. WE have to BOTH work at it. Then it was "You don't want to take responsibility for anything" " Iam sorry I shouldn't have yelled at you" " I have a lot of stress right now" " I love you" Then it was the hurtful things being said. Then I am crying because of those things. Feeling so angry I thought I would burst. When I finally got off the phone I felt like I had been beat up. I cried and I was exhausted. I was depressed. I stayed home all day. I slept most of the day. I felt like I'll never get out of this. He is going to win. He is going to destroy me. I wanted to call him parents and let them know a thing or two. I didn't. I don't want to be vindictive. I have been living with the very same thing that they did when he was a teenager. And they threw him out of their house too. They really have no clue. They think its me. Because of what he tells them. The poor me. She did this to me. She changed the locks. She put my stuff in the garage. How could she do that to me. I work hard. I am trying. I've saved alot of money. I bought a boat. I was trying. I've done alot for her. On and on I am sure it goes. I've heard it all myself. He wasn't crying for me though when I was crying because of his mean words to me. He wasn't crying for me when 10 days before Christmas in 1998 when he told me to get the F out. He wasn't crying for me when My son and I moved all my stuff out of our apartment as he stood with the police officer talking about hunting as though none of this was going on. I cried so hard over that whole experience. I thought I would die from grief. I moved into my apartment in tears. I didn't unpack anything but the kitchen. For six months he worked on me until I went back. Went back to the same thing. I left again 7 months later. Nothing had changed. 9 months later I let him move into my own apartment. He would not have made that move if his friend the landlord didn't sell the house. The new people wanted the apartment or a relative. My husband had to move. He dragged his feet until the very end. I didn't ewant him to come here. I didn't know what I wanted. I loved him. I wanted us to work so bad. I just kept putting those shoes on that didn't fit and caused me blisters. I like the shoes but they just don't fit me and they hurt when I wear them. Whe lasted another 5 months. I just can't take the disrespect from him any longer. Sick of it. I want to be treated better. I am sick of his control. I don't want to hurt anybody. I just want to be happy. He just keeps saying I don't know how to make you happy. Like its all my fault that I am unhappy with him. It's me who has the problem. It's is me who drags us to counseling. And I mean drag. While he hates every mintue of it. And then everytime we get back together he doesn't want to continue with counseling. Why should he. He got what he wanted me. Me. under his control once again. He says counselors don't have all the answers. They can only give advice. As though going to a counselor is just a waste of time. Because anybody can give you advice. I can't fix him I've tried. His problems are bigger than me. Until he faces his own stuff and deals with it. We don't have a chance in hell. Sad but true. Well a nyway thats what I've been going through. Thank all for listening tome spout. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks Tina

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2001

S1

Dear Tina,

You sound really upset! I feel for you! Don't feel bad - you're not alone here! You did the right thing. You know in your heart what is true and nothing your ex can say to you or to his family really matters because it isn't true - even if it does hurt. But it's hurting your ego, because you would like all these people to see what really went on. Here's where it gets tough, because they won't ever see. You have to stick to what you know to be true and stick to actions that make you safe, physically and emotionally. It's a really lonely road but you have your Self and your new Future to look forward to! Now that you are free of the abuse, you can do anything you want!

Can you change you phone number and/or move? Try not to talk to him because he needs to get from your absolute absence that you are serious.

Which leads me to my thoughts of the day - I'm feeling like I see everything in such black and white terms. I just read "You can't say that to me" and it seems like just soooo much work to deal with a verbal abuser. Maybe it's my attitude on partnerships or my solitary type of work (writing), but I would rather be alone than with someone like the someones we have all been dealing with. I'm not convinced marriage is viable as an institution anymore, but maybe a fun succession of boyfriends - dump them when they get mean? I truly believe they get mean paradoxically and idiotically to ensure that we won't leave by controlling us. I agree with Evans that verbal abuse from men is an outcome of changing gender relations and challenging patriarchy, and so maybe it's going to be with us for a long while. Maybe I am just going through a cynical stage in my healing. Even so I sincerely wish it could have worked out with my ex, thinking about the interests we had in common that on paper "should have" assured us a long and enjoyable relationship. But the thought even of applying all these new techniques and the work that would have to go into putting it back together, even assuming that he would gain a speck of insight into his behavior - it just seems like an insurmountable amount of work. And my ex is only 27, which tells me that patriarchy is alive and well in the younger generation.

Jay, you say Jake is hopeless - I missed the post where that came out - but is he still lovable? Is there something failing in me that I don't feel like working things out or that I don't want to put this much work into something? That I don't feel like I love this person anymore even though I still see that he has lov-able aspects? Am I self-possessed or am I becoming one of those people who can't deal with intimacy? Dr. Irene, I am coming to see you privately (online) next week!

I always feel totally narcissistic when I post these deep philosophical thoughts - but thanks for the forum, Cats!

Love, Perdida

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2001

S1

Hey Perdida

Imagine a partner with all the qualities you want (i.e. respectful, caring, 'adult', does his fair share, etc etc) coming into your life for real. Do you think then you would desire your x so much?

I think those longings would disappear. If so, then your feelings aren't really about your x so much as an empty spot that you feel inside yourself.

Here's an idea - write down a list of those qualities you *really* want in a mate, and how your 'ideal day' would look with or without a mate. I bet lots of the things you want, are things you can do for yourself! In one of my own imaginings (several years ago) my mate had a great little truck. So guess what - I bought myself a truck!

What does your x represent to you that you are missing in your own life right now? Then think about what you could do to fill that hole. Maybe it's friendship and understanding, and maybe it means you need to meet more like-minded people... only you know.

Don't know if that's helpful but just thought I'd run it by you.

take care

Asha

p.s.

Tina - no specific advice, except that the pain of hanging on might be worse than the pain of letting go...

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