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

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4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

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Comments for Feel Dead

Comments:  I Feel Dead - Towards Him

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Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 1998-2005. 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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May 02, 2005
12:13 PM

Thanks Doc, I had already figured out that I need to separate myself emotionally from what he does to get reactions out of me. I have made a list of what I will not 'expect' from him and am trying to stick with it. It really helps to be able to let go of all the little resentments. However, last night he was getting all cuddly with me and wanted sex. I said I want to talk a little bit. Anyways I asked him if he had 'thought' about how it makes me feel about his going out until all hours of the morning and not calling me. He said that he does it to piss me off, because he thinks that I don't care. I calmly said if you think I don't care, then what makes you think it will piss me off? I asked him if he thought that was proper behaviour for a forty year old husband and father of three, he said yes. I said your friends to that to their wives? he said yes. I said then why do you try to piss me off with it? I said I'm a good mother and good at my job and a good wife. He said your not a good wife, I said well currently no, because I'm not doing my wifely duty, but I have been a good wife. And he said no, you haven't. Of course, I lost it, stood up and said, well if you think this is being a bad wife, you'll see just how bad of a wife I can be....stepped out of the bedroom and closed the door, I slept on my son's bed. I cant believe I tried to talk to him....again.....and...he got to me....again.... Petunia aka Nina  Ouch! He did it again!

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May 02, 2005
03:16 PM

It looks like no matter what you say he is determined to make you look and feel bad and be the bad person. Do you want a real partner- is that what you are still expecting of him?, or do you want to do what you can to not have him push your buttons and just survive the relationship for now. If you are expecting him to own up to not being a good husband or father I think you will probably be waiting for a very long time. I would go with the Docs advice if you are looking for a way to survive for now. Disengage as much as you can to keep yourself from being manipulated, but realize that this guy isn't going to change and be a better person. One other thing to think about, the absence of abuse does not a good relationship make. A relationship worth having isn't just about not experiencing the crazyness, it's also about being with someone who actually supports you, is concerned about you, is in your corner so to speak. It helps sometimes to clarify things by raising the bar on your own expectations.

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May 02, 2005
08:47 PM

Nina- reading this was like reading my own story. Thank you for sharing. I left my husband a week ago and he and my mother have been trying to convince me that I have just misunderstood the last 10 years. When I left I just wanted to dance because I felt so much relief. Yes it was hard on the kids but I asked my self the same? Is this what I want them to learn? We are doing much better and so will you. -karen

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May 02, 2005
09:25 PM

Hi Nina, I thought it was interesting that in your follow up post you said your husband said you weren't a good wife, and you said you weren't doing wifely duties, and yet in your original post you mention that you are not interested sexually. From a woman who has been there, this is definitely a problem . . . perhaps if your husband cared more about the husband he is being instead of the wife you are not, your problems would be solved. I recognize the problems with talking to him, and getting him to understand but my comment for him would be . . . "You say I'm not a good wife, did you ever think that my behavior has anything to do with the husband you are?" Perhaps if he was capable of realizing that his "husbandly duty" is something that is lacking, than there would be hope. All the best, Ana

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May 03, 2005
09:01 AM

Nina - I can totally understand how difficult it is when dealing with a husband like yours. I have wasted too much energy and time trying to "get him to understand" how his words/actions are hurtful......and it only makes him angrier, makes me more frustrated and he does it again and again. Detaching or disengaging works for me....I just leave the situation, (read a book, sit outside on a chair and enjoy the weather, do some gardening). This will frustrate him that no real reaction occurs (as there has in the past), but eventually he grumbles and walks away........its like dealing with a child, kind of. Eventually, he will get tired of not getting a reaction..... I have found alot of comfort in understanding what is going on with my husband......because this kind of abusive thinking is different to understand for those of us who are the recipients....."Codependent No More: How To Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself. ", "Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men " "The Verbally Abusive Relationship", etc. But the most I have learned (especially now that I am physically separated from him as well in MY own home) is that I have my OWN personal power. I have my own choices, my own wishes, my own everything. I can control my day. He does not. I am in counseling for the years of verbal/emotional abuse trying to get my self esteem back. Maybe that would help you too, my company offers a program called EAP (employee assistance program) and I have great counseling for only $20 a visit! I wish you well and hope that you find some peace and joy in your life soon. Its a long hard road, but you have others here who understand what you are living with and we are all here to listen! Good luck, Nina!

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May 03, 2005
11:26 AM

Hi Nina You sound SO smart and like you have SO much to offer. YOU DESERVE MUCH BETTER! Your husband is a toddler, emotionally. The pouting, the going out to punish you, the irrational determination to be right no matter what.... You deserve a husband who is an adult, who can empathize, respect you, and be a partner to you - husband who doesn't treat you like Mommy, and throw tantrums and pout and expect your life to revolve around him. Dump him! You deserve SO MUCH MORE in a husband!

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May 03, 2005
12:30 PM

HAHA, Oh my gosh you guys, thanks a lot, you know I'm not 150% that I'm going to dump him. I'm actually looking for less justification, its amazing when you start to realize there is really nothing you van do, and how can you be blamed for something you cant do? Make any sense? Yes. You have entered the process of getting ready. Sadly I KNOW I will be happier with him out of the house, I KNOW how I feel when he isn't around, I feel a lot better. xoxo Nina

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May 04, 2005
10:56 PM

Nina, I can completely understand your dilemma. Your story sounds exactly like my own life story only mine has been going on for 15 years and I just figured out what the problem was (everyone from my husband to his family and even my own family has completely denied he has any problems). He is a police officer, he is darn near perfect. NOT!! When my husband and I were first dating I went to counseling because I thought I had the problem because that's what he told me. All of our problems were because of me. The counselor asked me what was going on with him and I said that he says there is nothing wrong with him. He is normal. She scoffed at that and said that those are the ones you have to look out for. At the time I took offense to that and thought that she was not trying very hard to help me help my family. If I had only listened to her maybe I would not be here 15 years later wondering where my self esteem and self respect went. I just told my husband the other day that I just do not care anymore what happens. I do not care about the house, money, myself. The only thing I have deep feelings for are my children and I am beginning to wonder how much this has affected them since I do have three boys. My husband seems willing to change, but that only depends on his "mood". If he is afraid I will leave him he will want to talk about this and deal with it, but as soon as I reassure him that I wont leave he is right back to his same abusive behavior. Girl, I can understand your situation completely. It is too bad that there is not an online support group for women (or men) who may need someone to communicate and support each other regarding this very serious matter. April

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May 05, 2005
10:51 PM

Nina, My sympathies. Your husband sounds a lot like mine. Just a variation on the same sad theme--a twelve year old emotionally in a middle aged body, which actually is pretty frightening if you think about it! Just a word about how the abuse affects the kids. For years my husband had me brain washed that we should "stay together for the kids". Meanwhile he was beginning to abuse our oldest daughter pretty badly. I have read in some of the literature on abuse that I have lately been doing that that is a common pattern--they abuse the oldest daughter. Anyway, it took me a horrific amount of time to gather the strength to leave him, years and years, (I actually had to tell him that I thought we would reconcile if he moved out--which was something of a lie, but it worked and he moved out.) Anyway, my oldest daughter is now truly blossoming. She came home from her first year of college and spent hours, unprompted by me, cleaning the house! She even cleaned my fridge carefully. I never knew she even knew how to clean. She also is treating her younger sister much better than she ever has before. I think she was mirroring or imitating the abuse she had witnessed since a young child. She had told me for years to "divorce him" if you can believe that. One of my friends said "it must have been really bad, as kids always want their parents to stay together, no matter what". Well, it was pretty bad. At last my ears are unstopped up, my eyes have been opened and I can SEE! It the best, most courageous thing I have ever done in my life. What I don't understand is the addiction we have with these men? What is that all about? Good luck.

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May 06, 2005
02:21 PM

I just want to say that I can indeed empathize with Nina. As I read her letter, there was much I could relate to from what I went through myself. Now that I have left the abuser, I've had a lot of people, perhaps well-meaning and perhaps not, tell me I should "give him another chance"... but I hate him. I'm sorry to say that I have hatred, I've always believed that it is very bad to hate, but right now, that is the only feeling I have for him. There is no way I would consider going back. Even though I have a lot of people against me, and I have a lot of troubles in my life as a result of leaving (IE: fighting to get my kids away from him coz he took them via ex-parte and got interim residency till the custody trial settles it; struggling to get educated enough to earn a living while barely surviving on Food Bank donations; etc...) I am ever so much more happy than I was while living under the control of the abuser. Heck, the words "I am happy" hadn't crossed my mind the whole time I was married to him. Yeah, yeah, you might ask, "Well why did you marry him then?" The answer is, "I DO NOT KNOW." I tried to make it work but it didn't work, it nearly killed me. I don't know if anything I've said here has been any help. Just sharing a bit of what I've been through. A very small bit.

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May 06, 2005
06:01 PM

Hi Nina, You ask yourself "Can I live like this forever?" That question finally got me out of my own long standing emotionally/verbally (some occasional minor physical stuff) abusive marriage. I projected myself forward into the future and saw myself as a 70 year old being screamed at for nothing. Then I saw him getting sick and dying (which I understand we all do some day!) and me being secretly glad, since he would have in all likelihood been yelling at me about nothing, perhaps the week before. (He does not do well when he is feeling ill, and takes it out on me, so that would be a quite likely scenario.) I felt as if my Higher Power were asking me "Do you want this to be your future?" I felt very certain that this would, in all likelihood, become my future if I stayed. I decided that God did not want me to live like this, and had better things in mind for me. Coming back from a week's trip with my daughter, he "greeted us" by yelling at us since he had to wait at the airport for us. Of course this was our fault, since we control the airlines, right? That was the last straw for me, after decades of abuse. I decided right then that it was over. It is a valid question to ask yourself. Abusers seem to live in an airless environment that does not support life. It is static and unchanging and dead. They try to "get by" , but never really seem to want to live. And you are lucky you can't sleep with him. I continued to be able to do that (although not very often) and I think it strengthened my sick attachment to him. So it is good that you are following your body's intuition. Your body is telling you something important. All the best. I can't give advice. You will know best what to do. Just don't wait as long as I did, is all I can say.

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May 08, 2005
11:00 AM

Nina, Your story sounds so much like my own...word for word! Yes, it was 'crazy making' as long as I'd engaged in the dance. Even in therapy, it felt like he was sucking me dry, not about creating solutions. Now I understand it was about his power issues, and all about making me wrong. After leaving the relationship, it took me couple of years of intense self education and therapy (new therapist) to understand the dance of a sociopathic/passive aggressive/power play with a charming, loving (?) man. That is, he was loving, charming and attentive as long he could get something he wanted - ego strokes, sex, whatever. He is the same with others, professionally and socially. Ultimately it is sad for him, lacking the ability for true intimate connection and give-and-take in a relationship of equals. Recovery from this situation, while it took awhile, has helped me turn away from other emotional manipulations, professionally and elsewhere. What a healthy growth process! Yes, it was painful, for both my children and me. Surprisingly, am finding that my social network is also changing. I had not expected that would happen. Some old friends are still close. But I no longer have the desire to interact with others (the manipulative nor the whiners). Dr. Irene, your website has been helpful. Thank you! Good Luck! Recovery is wonderful! Carol

 Dear Nina, I'm glad to see your abuse awareness kick up a notch. Yes, your relationship is abusive. I am, happy for you that you are seeing things more clearly.

There is no rush. You don't have to leave to win a prize.

Your job is simply to understand what's going on and to see more clearly. Notice your husband's blame-game, and how you let him hook you emotionally. When you see clearly, you will make better choices.

Thank you dear readers for your advice and support. God bless all you guys out there! Dr. Irene, May 8, 2005. Happy Mother's Day!!!

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May 12, 2005
08:18 PM

I can't believe there are other women out there like me. I married my abuser late in life and I just don't want to take the time or energy to pack up and go. I have left abusive men before and it's just a pattern for me. I don't get hit and I'm not dumb enough to believe his putdowns. I just decided if I were widowed I'd have to do everything anyway. I pretend he's a very spoiled child thats used to getting his own way and ignore him. unfortunately, his new thing is not bathing more than twice a week. his breath would gag a maggot. I don't care. I don't go near him and we certainly don't do any thing together. I'm pleasant to him when he's pleasant to me and ignore him otherwise. He say's he tired of my disagreeing with him all the time and he's going to leave. I'm still waiting. Of course, he's Mr wonderful to every other women. I just tell them I'm very lucky. Maybe one of them will take off with him.(with that smell, I doubt it.) All of this came after 3 years of talking, pleading, screaming and finaly realizing, I CAN'T CHANGE HIM. I can only have my own life. And I do. I'ts great. I have a job that I am very much into, I can work as much as I like, part of my job is oral histories and I talk to and listen to fascinating people. HANG IN THERE VICTIMS. You will only be his victim as long as you want to be. Tess

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May 15, 2005
11:21 AM

I can relate to her on this. My husband and I been together for 11 years married for almost 6 years. We have a four years old son. Through out the relationship I thought his affection, repect and appreciation toward me would get better through time so I married him and after a year of marriage we had a baby boy. Well, nothing changed I was still working full time outside the home, taking care of a baby, paying the bills, maintaing our trucking business which he was sole proprietor, and maintaining the household while he was gone and when he was home he always was working on his be semitruck with maintenance and repairs to keep it up to specs for the highways; therefore, he never showed me appreciation for all the things I was doing. Then he wanted to get out of trucking since we both agreed he should be around more since we have a family now. To make a long story short he promised me to many things such as finding job which would pay for the debt that trucking got us into but months went by and he said he could not find a job. We ended getting into fights then he finally found a job which did not pay but it was bringing some money in which was not cutting the bills yet; therefore, I took a part time job on weekend evenings bartending bringing in an extra $500.00/month which I did not want to do it was taking time away from my son but my husband was not pulling his end;therefore, I rescue again. I met a guy and some people at my new job and explained to them what I was going through with the mental abuse and the financial situation. They helped me open my eyes but with my son it made it harder for me to make a decision should I leave or stay? Well, I filed divorce and child custody papers and had them served after I moved out. He came home to a house without some curtains, one tv, a couch set, some wall hangings, some of my sons clothes and my clothes. It hurt me to leave my home behind because of the good memories and it is my son's home. My husband called me on my mobile crying saying he could not live without our son and me and he would not know what he would do. He said he would not have a life without our son and me. I told him lets be adults about this and get along for our son. About a week a brought my son back because I thought it would give my husband the strength which it did but he wanted me to stay and try to work it out. He started to show the appreciaion, affection, and respect. For example, he says that i am pretty and that he looks at me he gets turned on. I do something for him, he says thank you. He never did this throughout our marriage. He was distant from me.I am caught between two men, My husband and now the guy I have known for over a year. The new guy helps me in every possible way and he told me that he loves me and he would take care of me and my son. This guy is my dream guy. He is everything I wanted in a man which I didn't think existed. Plus, we have the same personality which my husband and I do not have. But, I feel that I should stay with my husband and play the part of being happy (but I am truely miserable) because of our son and I feel that i will be ripping up his home by him shifting back and forth between homes. Then there is a part of me if i proceed with my relationship with the other man that makes me very happy. But my fear there is that he will change to the worse and I have lost everything and I will be lonely and miserable. I am so mixed up I don't know which way to go anymore. I have tried to love my husband with passion but it is not there it is just sex. With the other man I have feeling and when I am away from him all I think about is him but when I am away from the other guy, all I think about is my son and the things I worked so hard for and I will lose them. Please help me!!!!!! I am so mixed up!!!!!

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May 17, 2005
03:03 PM

Nina, I can totally relate to your situation. I finally left my situation after 17 years of marriage. The bottom line, I have found, is that you can't change him. I hoped and prayed he would eventually 'get it.' He didn't. Even though I have seen some changes in his behavior since his new marriage, the ugly head always reveals itself along the way. True love is not wanting to change someone..accepting them for who they are. If you can't do this and you are denying yourself sanity, let alone happiness, I would suggest moving on with your life. I have since found a man who has 'done the work.' He has read the books, been to seminars, therapy..you name it. He is not perfect, but he is conscious of his behavior and has a desire to be appropriate and respectful. Our new relationship will also be work, but it will be a process we will do together, willingly and with earnest. Good luck and God bless.

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May 23, 2005
10:37 AM

Nina, I am in the same dilemma with my husband, but we don't have kids yet. His father was horribly verbally (and I think Physically) abusive towards his Mother. Mom left when the boys were 8 and 10, and they still have all of his anger and abusive actions as adults. It's amazing how much behavior is learned from parents at an early age. I don't want to have children that treat their wives this way. I know I will if I stay. It's all a big loop! It really sucks, but it will be a great move. Kate

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May 25, 2005
10:21 PM

Nina, I have been with a man similar, in many ways, to your husband. We've been together going on 14 years. It doesn't get any better. Unfortunately, I still allow my husband to get to me and end up in tears or yelling much of the time. I'm so sick of it. It's hard when you have kids, but it truly won't get any better and since, like me, there's no friendship there anymore, it's hard to stay with someone you don't like, let alone have any kind of sexual relationship with them. I pray that you'll have the strength to make whatever you decide is the right choice and follow through with it. Be strong! J-

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May 28, 2005
09:43 AM

Nina, I can relate completely. I'm originally from the USA, married a man from Belize nearly 20 years ago and moved to Belize with him 17 years ago. It took me a very long time to see the abuse in our relationship. He's a very subtle emotional abuser. We have three boys. About 3 years ago I finally came to the same conclusion as you. I can understand the resentment and the emotionally dead feeling toward him. My boys are 18, 15 and 9. I know now that I should have left sooner because my two younger sons have definitely picked up some of their father's abusive tendencies. I finally left him last July and moved back to the USA with my two younger boys. I am so much happier now that I don't have to be around my husband all the time. If all goes well my divorce will be final by the end of this year. I'm happy that you recognized the problems in your marriage sooner than I did. I wish you luck in figuring out your future plans and creating a loving, nurturing and peaceful environment for your children.

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May 30, 2005
10:04 AM

Yes Nina I understand you I have been there and unfortunitly there are a lot of those kind of men/women out there like that.Unfortunitly My Husband past on. He was a controller ,fisical abusive ,emotional abuser also. the phycical abuse came when he was drinking when he wasnt drunk he was emotional abuser only. I should have learned after that but we seem to pick that type I am now living my way in another city and how I left him well I waited til he went to work then it took me 3 hrs to pack and get out ,I had planed everything everytime he went to work then that day came the truck came and I was out of there now mty daughter is grown up and left home and I have been married since unfortunitly this marrage was also emotional abusive now I am planing to leave this one we are divorced but I gave him another chance(wrong). Well now I have learned that I can get ahead on my own and with you where ever you are there is always Help out there especially when you have little ones to support.but do not make the same mistake twice.I have also experienced Men who like to be supported by women and take all thier money. all I say is BE CAREFUL you don't need that.

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May 30, 2005
08:55 PM

Isn't it ironic? My 2 year Wedding Anniversary is tomorrow and I am in an almost similiar position, except for the fact that my abusive husband has started getting physically abusive after even one drink! I have been with him for over 9 years (including the two years being married) and I am completely dead to him as well. Right now I am in the process of getting my ducks in a row and am going to leave him!! I am so excited! But, I am scared too of his reaction when he finds out...and all I can say is thank God we do not have children...I am only 29 and am ready to get my self esteem back! I have faced the facts, my husband is never going to change. All I have to do is look at his parents and his sister and know that just like your husband he thinks that this behaviour is acceptable and normal.

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May 31, 2005
12:35 AM

oh my nina.....i think i am with his twin...my bf acts the same way

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May 31, 2005
08:28 AM

Yes, I can empathize a lot. I've been married 21 years to a controlling, verbally abusive closet alcoholic. The verbal abuse was primarily covert, so it left me in a constant state of confusion. We have two amazing children, 18 & 15, who kept me going. We are currently in separate counseling and I am growing stronger every day. I am just a breath away from leaving him, because no matter how hard I try to think about staying, it's like Dr. Irene said - there's too much water under the bridge. And the trust is gone.

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June 04, 2005
10:56 PM

I think that she is in very real danger of escalation and being in a foreign and macho country, she will not get the support and help she needs to get out. I say take the kids and go home to america, where there is at least a network of help. I have been in a very abusive relationship and I have the helpless and powerlessness that she feels, but I also recognize that some cultures are deeply ingrained with the idea that women are there to serve and entertain thier men...it is natural for them, as they know no other way. Most have seen their mothers being abused and think that is NORMAL...you can not show a dysfunctional person what normal is, because they have no concept that what they are doing is not normal. I can logically understand this, what I cant understand is how I became so weak, and use every excuse to explain away his behaviour. I did not come from an abusive family,but I have learned to be abusive right back at him, and it sickens me... that is all he knows , and somehow, when I am abusive back to him, he feels comfortable, like he is in his element. AND I FEEL LIKE CRAP FOR BEING JUST LIKE HIM... How can I break out of this cycle and get my beautiful life back. I feel like I am drowning...

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June 04, 2005
10:57 PM

I think that she is in very real danger of escalation and being in a foreign and macho country, she will not get the support and help she needs to get out. I say take the kids and go home to america, where there is at least a network of help. I have been in a very abusive relationship and I have the helpless and powerlessness that she feels, but I also recognize that some cultures are deeply ingrained with the idea that women are there to serve and entertain thier men...it is natural for them, as they know no other way. Most have seen their mothers being abused and think that is NORMAL...you can not show a dysfunctional person what normal is, because they have no concept that what they are doing is not normal. I can logically understand this, what I cant understand is how I became so weak, and use every excuse to explain away his behaviour. I did not come from an abusive family,but I have learned to be abusive right back at him, and it sickens me... that is all he knows , and somehow, when I am abusive back to him, he feels comfortable, like he is in his element. AND I FEEL LIKE CRAP FOR BEING JUST LIKE HIM... How can I break out of this cycle and get my beautiful life back. I feel like I am drowning...

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June 04, 2005
10:57 PM

I think that she is in very real danger of escalation and being in a foreign and macho country, she will not get the support and help she needs to get out. I say take the kids and go home to america, where there is at least a network of help. I have been in a very abusive relationship and I have the helpless and powerlessness that she feels, but I also recognize that some cultures are deeply ingrained with the idea that women are there to serve and entertain thier men...it is natural for them, as they know no other way. Most have seen their mothers being abused and think that is NORMAL...you can not show a dysfunctional person what normal is, because they have no concept that what they are doing is not normal. I can logically understand this, what I cant understand is how I became so weak, and use every excuse to explain away his behaviour. I did not come from an abusive family,but I have learned to be abusive right back at him, and it sickens me... that is all he knows , and somehow, when I am abusive back to him, he feels comfortable, like he is in his element. AND I FEEL LIKE CRAP FOR BEING JUST LIKE HIM... How can I break out of this cycle and get my beautiful life back. I feel like I am drowning...

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June 05, 2005
01:19 AM

hello,

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June 05, 2005
01:25 AM

hello, i am waan.i have a problem.i don't like anybody.i don't trust anybody.i often get mad at little stupid stuff,then i realize it and try to make amends.i hurt peolpes' feelings.i wish i didn't take things to seriously.i also want to cry,but don't have a reason to.i am a simple guy(i can only do 1 thing at a time[attitude]),what can i do to ground myself.

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June 05, 2005
11:25 AM

Are you sure you're not dating my ex? *grin* That's what a lot of ppl feel here on the boards. Sounds like you're so fed up with the situation that you're distancing yourself and considering your options. Let me say this, listen to your feelings. Your gut reaction to this situation won't steer you wrong. I concur (along with others) that you are dealing with abuse. The denial, the manipulation, all of it can wear you down. Start looking for shelters or places where you can stay when you leave. Start putting away any important documents, photos, items that you will need when you leave. Anything you want that you can safely store (at a friend's house, at work) should be taken now. If you can't remove it permanently, get it out & make a copy of it. I found that out the hard way. Definitely research your options. In this way, you are empowering yourself for the decision you'll make in the future. I hope this helps. Validation is powerful and regaining your sense of strength is even more powerful. JM

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June 06, 2005
02:36 AM

Nina, I just read your letter with tears in my eyes!!!! I can tell you that parts of your letter felt like I had written them myself. My husband is verbally abusive, as I'm just starting to see. I kept thinking I could fix things in my marriage...if only I hadn't paid that bill late, or cleaned the house a little more, etc. Never once did it occur to me that if he was so worried about any of it, he should have pitched in himself. As far as the sex part.....wow that could take some time!! I feel exactly as you do...emotionally dead. How can someone scream for 3 hours and then expect anyone to feel like having sex. I also read that you have kids. My biggest fear is that they will grow up like this and think that it's okay!!! I don't want my daughter to think that she should be treated this way. Thanks for sharing your story. You are so much stronger than you think!!!

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June 06, 2005
02:37 AM

Nina, I just read your letter with tears in my eyes!!!! I can tell you that parts of your letter felt like I had written them myself. My husband is verbally abusive, as I'm just starting to see. I kept thinking I could fix things in my marriage...if only I hadn't paid that bill late, or cleaned the house a little more, etc. Never once did it occur to me that if he was so worried about any of it, he should have pitched in himself. As far as the sex part.....wow that could take some time!! I feel exactly as you do...emotionally dead. How can someone scream for 3 hours and then expect anyone to feel like having sex. I also read that you have kids. My biggest fear is that they will grow up like this and think that it's okay!!! I don't want my daughter to think that she should be treated this way. Thanks for sharing your story. You are so much stronger than you think!!!

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June 08, 2005
12:45 AM

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June 09, 2005
02:50 AM

I am in d same shoes as you. only difference is that i'm going thru slightly more than u.. i get physically abused as well.

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June 09, 2005
03:46 AM

I currently broke up with a boyfriend after two years. I figured out that he has ocd. He mentioned it to me on his own, when I saw him shaking a door handle to shut it. I told him to let go, the door is shut. This is when he mentioned ocd. I started to research and noticed alot of symptoms, and reading the part about forgetting, wow! my boyfriend always forgets and it started to bother me and I even took it personal because he couldnt remember important dates, like my birthday or other special occasions. He talked about marrying me many times and my 18 yr. old son really loves him. My 13 yr. old daughter noticed that he was favoring my son over her, I did not catch on until my daughter expressed her hurt feelings to me and her school counselor. He began to hurt my feelings also, and I noticed that when we broke up he shut down and would not talk to me at all. We never lived together, he had his own place. This was all so sad because his real personality without the ocd seems so great. He repeats himself alot also. I wont be marrying him and I already brought up the ocd to him, he denies it and wont see a doctor. I told him that our relationship would be horrible if I married him and I am sad that he wont go get help. We tend to be very emotional as women, but we need to take care of ourselves and our children, I did my best and if he doesnt get help there isnt much I could do except pray for him. Nina just make the right decision, physical abuse and emotional abuse are both horrible, I was married to a man for 12 yrs who physically and emotionally abused me (who knows, maybe he had ocd also) I am currently a student in human services and will soon be graduating.

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June 09, 2005
03:47 AM

I currently broke up with a boyfriend after two years. I figured out that he has ocd. He mentioned it to me on his own, when I saw him shaking a door handle to shut it. I told him to let go, the door is shut. This is when he mentioned ocd. I started to research and noticed alot of symptoms, and reading the part about forgetting, wow! my boyfriend always forgets and it started to bother me and I even took it personal because he couldnt remember important dates, like my birthday or other special occasions. He talked about marrying me many times and my 18 yr. old son really loves him. My 13 yr. old daughter noticed that he was favoring my son over her, I did not catch on until my daughter expressed her hurt feelings to me and her school counselor. He began to hurt my feelings also, and I noticed that when we broke up he shut down and would not talk to me at all. We never lived together, he had his own place. This was all so sad because his real personality without the ocd seems so great. He repeats himself alot also. I wont be marrying him and I already brought up the ocd to him, he denies it and wont see a doctor. I told him that our relationship would be horrible if I married him and I am sad that he wont go get help. We tend to be very emotional as women, but we need to take care of ourselves and our children, I did my best and if he doesnt get help there isnt much I could do except pray for him. Nina just make the right decision, physical abuse and emotional abuse are both horrible, I was married to a man for 12 yrs who physically and emotionally abused me (who knows, maybe he had ocd also) I am currently a student in human services and will soon be graduating.

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June 09, 2005
03:47 AM

I currently broke up with a boyfriend after two years. I figured out that he has ocd. He mentioned it to me on his own, when I saw him shaking a door handle to shut it. I told him to let go, the door is shut. This is when he mentioned ocd. I started to research and noticed alot of symptoms, and reading the part about forgetting, wow! my boyfriend always forgets and it started to bother me and I even took it personal because he couldnt remember important dates, like my birthday or other special occasions. He talked about marrying me many times and my 18 yr. old son really loves him. My 13 yr. old daughter noticed that he was favoring my son over her, I did not catch on until my daughter expressed her hurt feelings to me and her school counselor. He began to hurt my feelings also, and I noticed that when we broke up he shut down and would not talk to me at all. We never lived together, he had his own place. This was all so sad because his real personality without the ocd seems so great. He repeats himself alot also. I wont be marrying him and I already brought up the ocd to him, he denies it and wont see a doctor. I told him that our relationship would be horrible if I married him and I am sad that he wont go get help. We tend to be very emotional as women, but we need to take care of ourselves and our children, I did my best and if he doesnt get help there isnt much I could do except pray for him. Nina just make the right decision, physical abuse and emotional abuse are both horrible, I was married to a man for 12 yrs who physically and emotionally abused me (who knows, maybe he had ocd also) I am currently a student in human services and will soon be graduating.

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June 09, 2005
08:51 AM

hi

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June 10, 2005
01:57 AM

Nina, I can totally empathize with your situation. I am currently separated from my husband of 19 years and we have two children. I finally came to the conclusion that leaving was the best thing for me and the kids. I had to decide, just as Dr. Irene said, whether I wanted to learn to live with him or learn how to leave him. After seeing a personal counselor (which I HIGHLY recommend for you), I realized that what I truly wanted was to get OUT. The counselor helped me to learn how to do this, and I learned how to 'not engage', and not allow his behavior to control my actions. Do you know that my husband actually told me that I was being selfish for wanting to be happy? I believed him for a long time, but now I realize that I will lose the life I have always wanted to live if I stay in this relationship, and my children (both boys) will grow up to treat their wives in the same manner if they remain in this environment. I can change my life and set a good example for them, even though divorce is hard on children. I still think that it is better, in the long run, to leave...at least for me. God bless you, Nina - I pray that you will make the best choice for you and your children. Movin' on- Janet

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June 13, 2005
05:56 PM

Hi Nina, I am 36 and going through the same shannigans as you. I go to Al-Anon because he admits of being an alocholic, a person that is hard to live with, and that he does need to speak with someone,though he has not and most likely will not take the effort to get help no matter how much history we have. (We do not have kids together, though he has one and another his ex adopted in the same area we live in) I am concerned for your kids. However your decisions are made please give that extra thought and love for the kids. You and the Mr. can always work out in a different setting if both of you want to, but the effects on the kids while being in same household environment that they are in with you and the spouse problems may not be an easy recovery for them as growing children that will eventually be adults with adult problems and so on. Sincerely Stepping Out and Stepping Up Good Luck

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June 24, 2005
07:33 AM

Hey Nina, Boy, I thought I was the only one living like this! I have been married for almost 25 years and endured much verbal/emotional abuse as have my 3 sons. I am still on that rollercoaster ride and this week has been BAD. No one wants to be my friend anymore because of him and even our families have pulled away. I have tried a lot of things but I have come to realize he will never change. I try to detach from his stuff but it is not easy. Especially when he is accusing me of "screwing around" and he is the one who looks at pornography online and even carries a woman's phone number. I even know he has went to meet her once but do not think anything happened. So, I feel your pain.

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June 25, 2005
02:24 AM

I just want to say thank you Dr. Irene for this website. I found it a few years ago when I was at my wit's end, trying to understand why I was depressed and feeling like I was losing my mind. It has been an eye-opener to say the least. I have lived with a control-freak for 25 years. I should have left years ago, but was afraid, am still afraid to. I don't know how I could support myself and my two remaining children at home. I wish I would have left shortly after we were married, but I always thought his behavior would change once we settled in, once he got through flight school, once he made rank and made more money, once we had child....Nothing made him happy for long. I was never thin enough, (5'9" 135 pounds for a good many years)not fast enough, always too slow, dumb, (yeah for staying)and the list goes on. Having a religious background, divorce was not an option. So I just put up with his abuse which in the beginning was verbal, but eventually turned to physical violence when I was pregnant with our first child. The problem is I can't see myself being divorced or even separated, living on my own, which I never have. Its scary. I live in a relatively nice neighborhood now, safe place for kids, 14 and 17-year-old girls. If I was out on my own, we would have to live in a trailer park in a funky area of town which is probably all I could afford on my income. My children would not be as safe (husband doesn't bother them, only me). So that is one reason I stay. THey don't see him hit me, but they hear his abuse and that really bothers me. I constantly tell them it isn't normal and they should never accept that kind of treatment from a guy. I have tried to assert myself and he just dismisses me, every word I say, he doesn't listen, won't talk or discuss anything. I'll lose my medical insurance if I leave him, big deal since I have some serious health problems that need regular visits, medication, etc. So, I stay, trying to make the best out of a crappy marriage, hoping and praying that someday he will just go away, leave me for another woman, have a massive MI. Meanwhile, it is taking its toll on my health, probably on my children, not having a normal model for happy marriage (but not too many children have one these days. Just thinking about my children's friend's families, they're all messed up, divorced, playing around, or thinking about it). I figure I have about 15 good years left, still feel somewhat well, healthy, etc., so I want to be happy and at peace. I want to go to sleep thinking about good things, not how bad my day has been and what a jerk he has been today. I accept who he is and that he isn't going to change, I can't fix him, there is nothing that I can do to make him happy; I can't accept the fact that the next time I get in his way, he might haul off and slug me. I want to get away from him so bad, but I don't see how I can. I don't even have a car in my name, yet I've been working for 15 years of the 25. Anyways, just wanted to say thank you for your informative site and for a place to put my thoughts down. Down, but not defeated in Texas

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June 25, 2005
07:30 PM

Dear Nina, Gather your babies and RUN, don't walk out the door immediately! These emotional deadbeats never change, in fact the behaviors get worse. No doubt you are thinking 9 years of your life wasted, but in my opinion you are a pretty smart gal to have caught on in so short a time frame. It took me 20 years! What's more, once they realize you are on to their behaviors, their anger intensifies, so if you want any happiness in your life - RUN NOW!

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July 02, 2005
06:39 PM

Hi Nina, I am in a very similar situation.... I have been unable to get out for many reasons and this September it will be 20 years. I cannot give you advice, I can only tell you want my experience has been... I will tell you that my sweet son is now 16 and he is just starting to have misogynistic and disrespectful attitudes that rear up here and there. I am telling you this so you know it will affect your kids. I think sons want to be like their fathers. I find that when I spend a lot of time with my son it is better but when my son spends a lot of time with him it gets worse and then I have to re-connect with my son and try to bring him back to reality. I think if we were divorced it would be about the same. I think if I would have been emotionally healthy and remarried a person that loved me and that wanted a real partnership with me the kids would be better off but I could not see that back then and I was not very healthy either... (I say this because they would have an opportunity to see that tpe of relationship between a man and a woman modeled for them) Most of all I want to tell you that from your letter I can see that you are intellegent and well spoken. I can see that you are a loving and caring person and I bet you are a great mom! You are a great wife as well. You are not crazy you are in a crazy situation! Take good care of yourself, no one else can !! You will be okay and there is no rush to anything right now... Best wishes to you!! Carmen!

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July 03, 2005
07:26 PM

Nina, My total understanding and empathy are with you. I pray that God will give you wisdom to know what to do and the strength to follow through. I have been married 3 times, my lack of trust in myself and gullible trusting, nature influenced my bad choices every time. I had all 4 of my children during the 10 years of my first marriage. After leaving the abuse there and waiting 5 1/2 yrs to marry again.....I chose someone who was more abusive than the first. That marriage lasted 4 1/2 yrs, then I waited 3 years before marrying again.....a nice, gentle guy... he was the most controlling of all, due to his extreme passive aggression. After 4 1/2 years, that marriage ended. My last choice was a sociopath!!!! Nina, I'm 50, and I am trying to get my life, thoughts, actions, trust, discernment, values, everything in order. It's not easy, but needed if I am to actually be a whole person....someone who is wholly productive. I have put my trust in the wrong people and not trusted the right ones, including myself. I am accountable for the bad choices that I've made. It doesn't matter that each of these men have been pathological liars and had their own issues....they didn't make me marry them. I even got counseling different times through the years and relationships. But I don't think I totally embraced the fact of how much I needed to change. I changed some of my thinking through the years, but not enough, or I wouldn't have needed to get into controlling relationships, or wanted so badly to believe the lies they decieved me with. My children are not as wacky as a lot of peoples kids are after all my bad relationships. My kids all believe in Jesus still, don't do drugs or drink and haven't gotten into premature sexual relationships. I feel like God has blessed them, in spite of my choices. Plus, I think He heard my prayers that they be kept from making similar choices. But...my 20 year old daughter has relational trust and control issues, how can you believe guys issues?!? My 24 year old daughter went through several short-term relationships that were based on her co-dependancy in "taking care" of the guy and his problems. Plus, they didn't treat her as respectfully as they should. Fortunately, she wasn't stubborn and blind like I was, and she listened to myself and others tell her what we saw. Now she's marrying someone that God blessed her with. My oldest son is 28 and always finds something wrong with the people he dates. He's a good kid, doesn't get sexually involved past serious necking, because he's waiting for marriage....but he has emotional intimacy problems. I'd rather see all my kids or anyone for that matter, not get married or have kids rather than marry wrong, like I did. I'd much rather see people be whole, and be able to make good, solid choices, not out of their neediness. Nina, what I'm trying to say here, is....Look at my example, learn from it. Learn from others. Listen to what others say, listen to what you say to yourself....evaluate these things, prayerfully, logically scripturally. Whatever you do, don't be hasty. Make your decisions, knowing why you made them. Then, don't forget what you learned. Examine why you've made the choices you did. And why you still are. Make lists of things: -WHAT DO I WANT IN A MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP -WHAT DO I THINK OF MYSELF, HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT MYSELF....IS THIS DIFFERENT THAN I THOUGHT OR FELT ABOUT MYSELF BEFORE THIS RELATIONSHIP? -IF ITS DIFFERENT, WHEN DID THAT CHANGE -HOW IS THIS AFFECTING OUR CHILDREN -WHAT DO I NEED TO CHANGE -WHY DID I CHOOSE MY HUSBAND -WHY DID I CHOOSE MY EX BOYFRIENDS, FIANCES', WHATEVER -WHAT THINGS FROM MY PAST DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND OR CLEAR UP, SO I CAN BREAK FREE FROM THIS THINKING AND ACTING I hope you are able to work through these things while you are young. Its certainly worth the time and effort to clear it up for yourself and your children. Face things now and help your children and others grow with you. Hopefully, your spouse will grow too. But he would have to choose that route. Occassionally people like that do make that choice, unfortunately it's not that often. This whole "Irene" site is soooooo cool. I wish I'd had something like this 20 years ago. God bless you, Nina. I know He's blessed me in many ways through the years. Don't give up. With Understanding and Compassion, Nancy

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July 03, 2005
11:18 PM

To every women who has posted to this site, THANK YOU! My horror story started 18 years ago. I married (G) whom at that point I believe a decent, responsible, mature man 13 years my elder. Although I had a decent job, it was a struggle with a two year old baby boy. (G) showered us with monetary help, gifts, trips..also, G treated my child like he was his own. I knew G had been married twice before and that they only lasted a few months. That should have been my first warning. I have to admit I did see a glimps or two of the possibility of an emotional/anger control disorder. The instances were short and regained quickly by him when I let him know his actions/words were hurtful. (G) asked me to marry him only three months after we met. I accepted hoping (like so many of you have stated) he would change. Shortly after marriage (G) asked me to quit my full time job with the government. "Stay home be a good mother" he said. Sounded great to me! Less than a few months went by before the verbal abuse and physical abuse (toward me only) began. The physical abuse was cut short pretty quickly. I was still active in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Modern Dance. I had tremendously strong legs. I am 4ft 11in tall and (G)is 6ft. The last I remember of the physical abuse was G shoving my on the couch pinning me down, seething and (yes) spitting in my face. I lost it, adrenaline kick in overdrive and my legs sent him sailing over the coffee table. He looked at me in shock and kept screaming "your crazy, your crazy" I wasn't crazy he was. Before this incident I was pushed, shoved, pinned down to the point of not being able to breath, and on one occasion he started strangling me. Big man right? For years I have been verbally, emmotionally, and mentally manipulated and abused. I have been screamed at until I've fallen to the floor begging to be left alone. He has embarressed in public, financially traps me even deeper every time I start making an attempt to leave. Seven years ago, after returning to work full time, working part time as a ballet instructor, dancing with a modern dance company, and trying to maintain all the household chores, with no help, it happened. My nervouse system shut down. I have tears in my eyes as I write this letter because it is not sometime I have wanted to tell. I did'nt know what was happening to me. I stayed on the bathroom floor for 6 days I couldn't eat, sleep, or even move, my skin felt as if it were on fire. My son finally came to me crying and said "momma you are so sad that I am afraid you are going to die. I spent two weeks in a mental hospital. I'm lucky that was all. (G) told me, after having to take on my chores, that things were going to change. "I don't know how you do it all" he said. "I know what's important now", it's you. (G)only stuck by those word for two months (max). I stop the dance company, which I hated to do because dancing is my passion. My son is seventeen now he knows (G) has slowly destroyed his mother. He is ready to do whatever I want. I still work full time, part time and manage to hang on to my sanity. I am however, stricken with accute IBS. IBS is a stress related desease. (G) showed out for the last time last night. I was so sick I was passing blood. (G) continued to scream F-U, your sick, your crazy, your selfish, shut the F up u Dumb F. for 1 and 1/2 hours non-stop. I stared at this horrible monster that I believed loved me. However, I've got it all on tape this time. That's when I came and found this web site. This is the last letter (G) will ever get from me. After printing out the 23 pages from this web site I left him with the following letter: Attached you will find 23 pages of letter from women who support me. Read them and then find yourself an attorney. You tell me I need help. You seem to forget, I've gone for help over, and over, and over again. I've believed it was my mental problem. Truth is, YOU have refused to get help. You know your behavior is unacceptable or you would not have demanded the tape I made of you. You have been an emotional nightmare that I can not wait to wake up from. YOU need to get help, if not for yourself then for the next woman you meet. I wish you the best, I don't want to hate you. I dont want to argue with you. I don't care who's right or wrong. I am physically sick and I need to get well for my child. The mental problems will go away when you go away. Again ladies, thank you

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July 05, 2005
10:04 PM

This letter is written to the woman who wrote in after me on July 3, 2005. I have continued to read the helpful things on Dr. Irenes' sites now for days. I feel so blessed to have found them, I have told several other people about it too, so they can find what they need too. But just now I wondered if anyone had posted anything since I did 2 days ago. I saw a new letter, and realized it was just 3 hours after mine was submitted. I want you to know I'm praying for you. Isn't it amazing how you were led to find this website in such a time of crisis, when you felt like you had no one to talk to?! And that when you felt so hopeless, there was proof that you weren't the crazy one! And others had lived through spirit-crushing things for years....and survived! JUST LIKE YOU WILL. Praise God that your child is supportive and understanding, he doesn't resent you and wants to see you well. May God put you in touch with the people He knows you can trust. May you feel peace in your soul, despite your circumstances. May you grow in Truth and Wisdom, that your eyes and ears will not be blinded by the deceptions and lies you have believed previously. May you be protected and kept out of harms way, knowing that God loves you more than any human possibly could. I pray these things for your child also and everyone that has written to this site. We are not alone in our sufferings, and God has known our pain all along and wants us to be healed. I pray we all accept what God has to give and pass it along to whomever He desires us to. I hope you post additional information concerning your outcome, person-who- posted-after-me. From another woman who's growing and learning. Nancy

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July 08, 2005
01:48 AM

Powerful! And very much worth the loss of sleep. It's 1:33 AM as I read this. I was ultimately linked to this page when I typed this into www.ask.com "how do I leave my abusive husband with no money, friends or family?" I felt hopeless when I typed that. I feel so different now after reading Nina's story, and all the posts that followed. I'm going to bed to sleep on all of this. I dread the weekends. That's when all of the worst fighting happens. I get physically ill by Thursdays. I felt so trapped. What a burden that has been lifted here tonight! I just wonder how to accomplish this "disengage" thing. It sounds simple, but the day can be VERY long riding out the attacks. I feel like "Tess" earlier. Her humor was much needed. Thank you all for making the effort. And that's all we really want from our love, our friend. Effort. So much is put into the arguing/fighting. Half that effort would be all that is needed to keep things in workable order. He went for a walk in the woods last weekend with the boys. He came home with wildflowers. I ended up throwing them into the garbage in anger and frustration by supper. That's the picture of our life now. Efforts that prove things could be decent. But ultimately later actions that continue to move us apart. If we could be inside of each other in those moments? If we could have the opportunity to experience being in the other's shoes for that moment of negative reaction. We can't. Besides, even if we could, we would be very disillusioned, I'm sure. I'm the ever enduring pipe dreaming optimist. He is the ever drama king of pessimism. I'm weary again. I need to sleep. I'm choosing to feel a glimmer of hope. I'm going to sleep now, and I will dream of hypothetical encounters where I successfully "disengage." .....;-)

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July 08, 2005
06:03 PM

Its me Nina. you needent feel like you are alone. You ought to join the Catbox there to your left. Im petunia in the forums, there are many of us with lots of questions and support. you will get tons of tips on how to disengage from your miserable spouse , and that alone is a blessing. For everyone esle, I have taken a place and will be leaving this situation by the first week of August, I toss and turn at night, but I know that i am taking the right path----at least Im taking a path! Ive learned so much ehre, and even on days when I dont aprticipate activly in the forums, it gives me so much support just to know that I am not alone! So come into the CATBOX and post your stories there! thank you for all that replied to my story- Nina

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July 10, 2005
05:44 PM

Congratulations, Nina. You didn't react in haste and took the time to think things through before coming to the conclusion to leave. You waited until you were strong enough and had your proverbial "ducks in a row". Success and blessings to you and your children. Just watch out for future predators and be careful whom you trust. You can't be too careful when it comes to taking care of your children and yourself. Not just for your sake, but for your childrens sakes also. Follow all the advice about checking people out on the abuse, narcissist and sociopath lists that Dr. Irene has. Don't ignore your gut or your childrens gut feelings. Check, check and multiple check anyone out in your future, so that history doesn't repeat itself. Take time to heal and keep talking to people about how you feel. In retrospect, I realize I thought I was much farther along in my healing and understanding of the whys and whatevers, concerning my weaknesses and bad choices...hence,3 bad marriages and the sociopath grand finale relationship. I really felt better than I was. I could talk the healed talk, but I couldn't walk the healed walk. I deceived myself through denial. It's so clear to me now, but it wasn't at the time. DENIAL IS SO POWERFUL. DECEPTION IS SO POWERFUL...........But this is even better..........TRUTH IS THE MOST POWERFUL!!!!!!!!! "The Truth shall set you free," applies to everything, not just Jesus. I believe that's why it's so hard for many of us to deny truth about so many things in our lives. IT'S MORE COMFORTABLE FOR US TO BELIEVE LIES AND DECEPTIONS FOR MULTITUDES OF REASONS. Maybe we'll have to live alone; face our fears; temporarily give up our hopes; face our sins; confront our enemies; give up relationships; move away; work on our own problems; examine our own motives; hear what others are really saying to us; realize we are not innocent in all things that happen to us; admit our faults, apologize and ask forgiveness; submit to God and do what He wants us to, rather than what we want us to; take on healthy guilt, instead of false...mis-directed guilt; leave a chaotic, unproductive life...taking away our excuses for unproductivity, because we have "peace" in our lives; be responsible for our feelings. Again, success and blessings to you and your family, Nina. And to all of you who have written in to this sight. I agree with those of you who find comfort knowing you're not alone. It's not just "misery loves company" either. Theres power in knowing others have been there, survived and moved on victoriuously. Praise God! We don't have to live in defeat, we can choose victory through facing and accepting truth. Nancy

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July 10, 2005
11:04 PM

July 10, 2005 I'm trying to understand myself and see how much of an abuser I may be. I'm the wife. We've been married for four years and we have full custody of his two children (nine and ten; boys). After a lot of trouble with his family, things are much better and I now talk and email with his ex wife - we have the crazy mother-in-law bond. :o) Anyway, I'm starting to notice a need for control in many aspects of our relationship, how the house is, what happens with the kids, etc. It's not as bad as it used to be but it's still there. I get enraged if the kids don't do what they're supposed to do and view that as disrespect toward me even when I know they honestly forgot - I was reading earlier about authoritative abuse and that's it! I get upset with my husband if he doesn't do what I want and at that moment, I expect a lot of attention (as I got when we were dating; notes, flowers, etc.). When those don't come my way I think that he doesn't really love me and I'm here as a full time babysitter...even though he does plenty with the kids and will do anything I ask...I focus on what he doesn't do. Is this low self-esteem? I'm nagging a lot and very moody. I want to be the happy, positive person I used to be and I find myself thinking that if I leave I'll be that person...but I realize it's not b/c of him...it's me...I don't want to talk down to him and make him think he's not doing enough and I know I do that...I don't want the kids to fear what's next if they mess up...any thoughts? Thank you!

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July 21, 2005
10:29 AM

I can completly empathize with Ninas dilemma! I go though the same crap day in and day out! I am in the process of leaving my husband for all the same reasons... Give Nina my email... angelatennille@hotmail.com

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July 21, 2005
10:33 AM

I was married to a man very much like the one described above. I was 17 and fresh from a very abusive and sheltered homelife I ran from. He was 36 and running from his second wife and third child. I had no idea what I was in for. That was in the eighties. He used exactly the same tactics of behavior above, seems like my husband and he learned from the same -- er -- society? I see it so much now that I'm older.. Anyway, I had no where to go. He was smooth and "sweet" with everyone and an immature, self centered controller with me. Having been from abuse I was petrified of physical assault and he knew that and kept the threat of his physical superiority always subltly available, although he never touched me. His usual behaviors were as above: 1) Denial of my feelings/reality 2) Pouting and withdrawl to elicit my compliance/acceptance 3) Passive abdication of responsibilty 4) Double standards of behavior -- you have no friends, he does. He go no where, he is free to go anywhere. 5) Keeping you isolated and rootless, that is devoid of support to free your mind of him! I just deleted a long ramble about my ex. Anyway, he was very awful to live with and it took me eight years to get my life in order to leave him. He tried to keep me pregnant by refusing to use birth control, kept me off balance by constantly sabotaging community connections (we were always on the run as he constantly manipulated and lied to people to avoid getting a job and behaving responsibly) and on and on. Anyway, how did I get away? I think that you can leave sooner than I did, but I had to build an identity and sense of self in order to begin the process of leaving. I had to make the tools that should have been given to me as a child. Then I started to plan and I also groomed him. I played his game for awhile -- "Honey, why don't you stay home and do your home business thing and I'll work to pay the rent and such?" -- My goal? finally get a way to get out and get work skills without him feeling threatened about my leaving -- I had to work this idea for months to get him to accept, but the prospect of living off my earnings was more than he could resist. The next was tricky, but it worked. "I need to get my drivers' license and get a car since your taking me back and forth to work is really cramping your business time." Fact was, he did nothing during this time. I also hired a part-time nanny to help around the house although I knew he could do it himself. He liked this and she provided him with company while I was working. Pretty soon he was happy to get me a car although he refused to teach me to drive. I hired a neighbor kid for that. But he wanted to have uninterrupted time to court this new female who was now so available to him. I worked all hours that I could and gave him "shut up" money. that is, every week he shamelessly came to my work while I stood in line to cash my check and he waited for me to hand over a portion of cash for his personal spending. As long as he had cash to play with and I was freely giving it to him, he felt like he was in control and was winning. I emotionally disconnected from him. I started sleeping in the living room, saying I didn't want to wake him when I came home late at night. He accepted this arrangement. I also refused to have sex with him anymore if he wouldn't use birth control. This was risky as I was afraid of being raped, but it never happened. I think he was happy with the newly hired nanny. I saved my money, opened my own checking account and started making plans to get my own place. When I found a place and had looked at it (working and driving gave me freedom), I announced my intention to move in front of an audience (one of his dupes he used for his schemes). He couldn't react as he had to keep up his persona. I had already put a deposit down and made my plans. I told him he could keep the present apartment but he'd have to pick up the rent tab. Mind you, he tried to rope me into responsibility for everything, even paying the rent which at first he agreed to do (during an argument no doubt that he had long forgotten). He told the landlord the rent was my responsibility, so that I looked like the jerk when it wasn't paid and I had to stand before this person when I got home from work, "Yeah, she'll be here with the money at..." Once I made up my mind about what to do, I just stopped meaningful communication with the landlord, who was bullying me because he was angry and my ex had convinced him that the nonpayment was my fault. I don't recommend this to everyone, but I had to disengage completely from every game my ex tried to pull to rope me in. Note: I made the "announcements" about my leaving as fact. There was no compromise or arguing. It was done. I had seperated from him emotionally and it got easier and easier. One good side effect of working also was having other people around who a) saw me as a nice person worthy of respect b) saw me as an attractive woman c) were still going to be there tomorrow when I moved away from (even though I didn't share much with people at work, that consistency was important)him. Also might I add, I was so angry and so sick and tired of living in his hell that I felt that all other emotions were just literally burnt out. When I left, he conned me one last time (no I am wrong, he conned me a few more times after that but they were weak) to let him move in as he had no where to go. He was deflated and now acting like the weak little boy who needed rescuing. He couldn't control me like he used to do; I wasn't listening anymore. His threats of physical violence didn't scare me either and I had learned over the years that he was afraid of the police, so I no longer feared him. I let him move in -- oh, it takes us a while my friends! I started dating and actually started acting out quite a bit. THe ground rules: You move in, I go on with my life, I remember telling him, "As far as I'm concerned I am no longer married to you." But I did want him gone as he took over my whole house, ran the television all day long, walked around in his underwear and did absolutely nothing about getting a job, a place to live or anything. My landlord commented on that "a______e" who was rude to him one day and my light bill went through the roof. That was enough. The local crisis center advised that I could have him removed as he isn't on the lease. I came home one day and gave him three days to leave or I'd call the police and have him out. He reluctantly packed up his things and left, making comments to the kids --- and that was the beginning of his using the children to get to me, but that's another story for another day. Anyway, he was out and I was an emotional mess. It took me awhile to get my head on straight and I can't say I made the best decisions in the next couple of years. I wasn't used to getting emotional support or making friends so I was on my own totally with only my own perceptions. One note: During the eighties I had tried in vain in many of the communities we lived to get shelter for myself and my children. I was always turned down as he never physically abused me. I think he knew this fact and was smart enough to not resort to violence, but my ex was a talker not a fighter. I had to pull myself together all on my own. Also, during custody and divorce and following child support, etc. proceedings, people were far too willing (and this includes therapists) to paint me as the hysterical, vengeful ex-wife. I hated this stereotype, but learned also to anticipate it and work around it. For all you therapists out there, I had to project an image of total control and calmness in order to be heard and taken seriously. This was not sincere, but any expression of anger, sadness or confusion was not always welcomed or helpful to my and my children's needs. What a pity. One time I cracked open after going through a particularly rough time with my youngest child, a very intuitive therapist remarked how she was surprised because I was "always so in control" "I am sorry we must have forgotten how all this stress wears on you." she said, hinting possilbly that allowing myself to be human was not going to kill everyone. We learn dysfunctional behaviors to survive and outwit an abuser, then we must unlearn them in order to function in a healthy way and have a productive and healthy life. I hope my post wasn't too long and was helpful to someone. K.

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July 21, 2005
04:23 PM

Dear Nina... I hope you are okay. I cried when I read your letter to Irene because it sounded almost identical to my sister's situation. My sister is recovering after having put up with exactly the same treatment from her tyrranical and cruel lover of four years.And to think this man holds a position of power and status given his educational background just makes me sick. He was a force to be reckoned with and I DESPISE him for having hurt my sister in the way he did. If you knew the names he called her (tramp, excreta of the underclass are just 2 examples) the way he mistreated her (even once punching her because she got off at a wrong floor in a parking lot) you would literally freak out. These types of men need to be stood up to assertively...and without FEAR...My advice is simply like Irene's: DON'T ARGUE, DON'T GIVE IN..Don't ALLOW yourself to put up with it. I know it is hard, given you have been with him for so long... BUT, the bottom line is that HE has the problem and not you. OKAY??? I pray for you all and hope you stand up to those BULLIES. DON'T LET THEM WIN!!!!!! Regards, M

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July 22, 2005
01:09 AM

Hi: I don't have any suggestions for Nina, because I'm in the same boat she's in. I see so many similarities, and can really empathize with her. I'm new to this site, and have just picked up some good advice. I will keep checking back. Thanks! Barb

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July 23, 2005
04:26 PM

The options available seem grim when the situation calls for a take it or leave it approach . The children are hurt in all cases. So sad and so avoidable. Why are people so selfish? Sorry for your pain.

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July 27, 2005
02:29 PM

i think i have figured out the #1 way to tell if you are in an abusive situation or not. i believe that everyone has their crap and their abusiveness and cruddy behaviors, but the #1 question is "do you truly believe that this person wants to work through problems to get to the other side of them, or not?" i think truly abusive people (who are at core incapable of real intimacy) use problems as weapons. ask in your heart "does this person really want to work through our problems? if he thinks i'm a bad wife, is he really willing to communicate and tell me what he needs and then accept that?" You know his true intentions...we all do, deep down. I left my "mr. perfect" because for as many flaws and problems as I brought to the relationship, I knew I couldn't ever work through them with someone who didn't really want to. He had more fun using them against me to buff up his image of himself, to threaten me, or to put me down. How does your husband use problems? I think everyone can read this and see he has no ability to work through anything. It's a dead end. It's not your fault. There's not a damn thing you can do about it. He will be better off if you leave, too.

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July 27, 2005
02:32 PM

i think i have figured out the #1 way to tell if you are in an abusive situation or not. i believe that everyone has their crap and their abusiveness and cruddy behaviors, but the #1 question is "do you truly believe that this person wants to work through problems to get to the other side of them, or not?" i think truly abusive people (who are at core incapable of real intimacy) use problems as weapons. ask in your heart "does this person really want to work through our problems? if he thinks i'm a bad wife, is he really willing to communicate and tell me what he needs and then accept that?" You know his true intentions...we all do, deep down. I left my "mr. perfect" because for as many flaws and problems as I brought to the relationship, I knew I couldn't ever work through them with someone who didn't really want to. He had more fun using them against me to buff up his image of himself, to threaten me, or to put me down. How does your husband use problems? I think everyone can read this and see he has no ability to work through anything. It's a dead end. It's not your fault. There's not a damn thing you can do about it. He will be better off if you leave, too.

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August 01, 2005
02:58 PM

Dear Nina, You're not the oly one going through this. I am in a similar relationship. i have been emotionally blackmailed by him again and again, and my mistake was not telling him NO straight out. Now i cannot take any more of it an have stopped talking to him. He has now realises that he is loosing me, and is trying to win me back at all costs. But I don't want to go back and be the victim again. I have tried reasoning with him in the past, but to no avail, usually i become trapped into his words and end up dooing what he wants me to. I feel that beause of his blckmail i have lost my respect for him. Two years have passed he still hasn't found a job, and keeps asking me for money. The amount keeps increasing with time, and i cannot do it anymore. I don't even know if i should go back to him. Alina

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August 03, 2005
09:45 PM

Its Nina, I am 4 days from getting out, its been a long road, but If I can do it, you guys can..xoxoxo

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August 08, 2005
09:51 PM

Hurrah Nina! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! I hope that your children and you adjust quickly to the new living conditions. The peace that comes from separating yourself from the abusive situation is incredible. Sometimes you will be doing something and it will just hit you, "I don't have to walk on eggshells about this anymore" or "I don't need to be afraid anymore". Remember to use your support group (friends, family, church) to run things past. It can be a little hard trying to get stabalized at first, with all the freedom from control. PRAISE GOD, you made a good decision and you're sticking to it. Nancy

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August 08, 2005
09:58 PM

"You have tough choices to make Nina. You can learn to disengage from his stuff more, and that will help you feel less resentment towards him since you won't be expending so much energy fighting. You are more likely to accept that this is who is is and that his behavior has little to do with you. He will never be a partner to you, he just won't upset you as much since you will expect so much less. Learning how to do this will be good for you no matter what you do, so I highly suggest you read..." Dear Nina - I agree completely with Dr. Irene. I have been in a very similar relationship for twenty years. At first I thought it could be immaturity, but years later it was still going on. I then thought counseling would help but when the counselors would try to touch on his fears and reactive behavior he would shut them out and become defensive, angry. Nothing changed and it only became more damaging to our four children. I sought private counseling to help me 'survive' in the marriage. I also "disengaged from his stuff more...", as Dr. Irend suggested. The more I disengaged, the more he resented me and finally, on the spur of a moment, packed up and moved out on MOTHER'S DAY!! What a treat for the whole family to remember!?!? Please find a good, and I mean GOOD counselor for yourself and consider investing in a consultation with a good female attorney. You need to prepare yourself for your children's sake if not yourself. He is not going to be happy when he sees you growing stronger and "disengaging from his stuff." However, you can do it! PREPARE yourself through good counsel emotionally and legally AND document. Document his threats, accusations, behaviors, etc. You never know how important it may be to you one day. A narcissitic person can make you appear to look guilty of everything that they are really guilty of doing. Without documentation, it just becomes he said, she said and you lose because you have no proof. People may doubt what you say but they will always believe what you do. If you document what he 'does' then you have something for people to believe. Please be strong. Love your kids through it, smile, and laugh with them! God bless!

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August 10, 2005
02:15 AM

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August 13, 2005
07:43 PM

Hi, I have been married to my husband since last October. I didn't know him very well when I married him, at least not as well as I should have. He had been a good friend of my daughter-in-law's years before, and I had heard nothing but good things about him, so I guess I trusted her opinion too much. I'm not blaming her at all, since he had changed so much since she had known him. We have been together, then apart, numerous times. At first, it would be little things that he would do, like say nasty comments and such. Then, it started to get worse. Tearing up the house, yelling, calling me horrible names, coming at me in threatening ways, etc. Once again, he would leave, and tell me how much he loved me and missed me, so back he came. Now it's gotten horrible. If he's here, he's horrible to me. It doesn't matter what happens, he calls me a liar, yells and screams at me, curses me, and intimidates me in every way he can. I can't talk to him about anything because no matter what I say or do, he gets furious. But when he's away, he stalks me. He follows me everywhere, hides to see when I come home and who I'm with, threatens to hurt me and whoever I'm with (never men). It seems safer to have him here than away because at least I know where he is and what he's going to do. He's so jealous. He has to go everywhere with me, and if any man even looks at me, I'm in the wrong and should have done something to avoid it. He has a very violent behavior. He knows nothing of settling a situation by talking. His first thought is to fight. He's been in jail and prison most of his life (he's 30 years old and I'm 44), and most of the time it was because of a violent act. He had a bad childhood, and I thought that was most of his problem and if he saw that someone really loved him, he'd love back. He's accused me of cheating on him (I have never even thought of it), but one of the times we were apart, he slept with a number of women, even giving them some of the jewlery I had given him. This last time, he took my wedding rings, which I recently got, and pawned them. Now, he is looking at going to jail for 4 months for a 3rd offense DUI. (When he is away from me, he drinks and drives and totally acts out, but when he's home he doesn't do those things). He leaves in 8 days, and that is my saving grace (if I make it through it in one piece). His big fear is that I won't stay with him while he's in jail. Yet, the closer it gets, the worse he treats me, instead of treating me good. I've had the police come to my house a number of times when he's gotten really bad, but it's useless. We live in a really small town, and they tell me there's not much they can do. The worst thing is that he's not at all afraid of the police. He doesn't care if they put him in jail, or what. A restraining order doesn't even faze him. I want to file for divorce while he's in jail and get a restraining order, but I'm terrified of what he's going to do when he gets out. Moving to another place is not an option. I feel like I am stuck no matter what I do. Before, he'd admit that he had a anger problem, but now he blames me for everything. He has no insurance, so any kind of therapy or medication isn't possible. (He's only worked for 2 weeks since we've been together) I just don't know what to do. I'm afraid if I leave and stay with a friend (with my 16 year old daughter), he'll break into my house or poison my dogs, which I have a number of, or anything else you can possibly think of. There is nothing that would be beyond him to do. I just don't know what to do. Anything you could tell me would really be appreciated. Thanks, Patty

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August 13, 2005
07:44 PM

Hi, I have been married to my husband since last October. I didn't know him very well when I married him, at least not as well as I should have. He had been a good friend of my daughter-in-law's years before, and I had heard nothing but good things about him, so I guess I trusted her opinion too much. I'm not blaming her at all, since he had changed so much since she had known him. We have been together, then apart, numerous times. At first, it would be little things that he would do, like say nasty comments and such. Then, it started to get worse. Tearing up the house, yelling, calling me horrible names, coming at me in threatening ways, etc. Once again, he would leave, and tell me how much he loved me and missed me, so back he came. Now it's gotten horrible. If he's here, he's horrible to me. It doesn't matter what happens, he calls me a liar, yells and screams at me, curses me, and intimidates me in every way he can. I can't talk to him about anything because no matter what I say or do, he gets furious. But when he's away, he stalks me. He follows me everywhere, hides to see when I come home and who I'm with, threatens to hurt me and whoever I'm with (never men). It seems safer to have him here than away because at least I know where he is and what he's going to do. He's so jealous. He has to go everywhere with me, and if any man even looks at me, I'm in the wrong and should have done something to avoid it. He has a very violent behavior. He knows nothing of settling a situation by talking. His first thought is to fight. He's been in jail and prison most of his life (he's 30 years old and I'm 44), and most of the time it was because of a violent act. He had a bad childhood, and I thought that was most of his problem and if he saw that someone really loved him, he'd love back. He's accused me of cheating on him (I have never even thought of it), but one of the times we were apart, he slept with a number of women, even giving them some of the jewlery I had given him. This last time, he took my wedding rings, which I recently got, and pawned them. Now, he is looking at going to jail for 4 months for a 3rd offense DUI. (When he is away from me, he drinks and drives and totally acts out, but when he's home he doesn't do those things). He leaves in 8 days, and that is my saving grace (if I make it through it in one piece). His big fear is that I won't stay with him while he's in jail. Yet, the closer it gets, the worse he treats me, instead of treating me good. I've had the police come to my house a number of times when he's gotten really bad, but it's useless. We live in a really small town, and they tell me there's not much they can do. The worst thing is that he's not at all afraid of the police. He doesn't care if they put him in jail, or what. A restraining order doesn't even faze him. I want to file for divorce while he's in jail and get a restraining order, but I'm terrified of what he's going to do when he gets out. Moving to another place is not an option. I feel like I am stuck no matter what I do. Before, he'd admit that he had a anger problem, but now he blames me for everything. He has no insurance, so any kind of therapy or medication isn't possible. (He's only worked for 2 weeks since we've been together) I just don't know what to do. I'm afraid if I leave and stay with a friend (with my 16 year old daughter), he'll break into my house or poison my dogs, which I have a number of, or anything else you can possibly think of. There is nothing that would be beyond him to do. I just don't know what to do. Anything you could tell me would really be appreciated. Thanks, Patty

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August 17, 2005
12:48 AM

Nina et al, what do you think of this letter, from an abuser trying to communicate with his victim after about two months of separation? "I am so sorry. I know I’ve said it before, but never from this perspective. I have so much respect and admiration for you, for recognizing that I had become an abuser and that you had become a victim, and for stopping it. Thank you. Your courage led to my breakthrough. I felt the isolation, the anger, and the pain described in the abuse literature. I didn’t understand why, and I certainly didn’t understand how to stop it. You did. Now I do. It comes largely from not being mindful of the present, from an intense need for validation, a need to be correct about everything, to be perfect. Much of it comes from my experiences with my family. I am no longer a slave to these damaging experiences. Again, thank you. Still, when you left, it came to me as an ice-cold shock. I have been in therapy, at least twice a week, gaining insight into my past and making concrete behavioral changes. I continue to research abuse. I have a problem, a horrible self-destructive problem that has compromised the single most precious relationship in my life. Reading cases of verbal abuse has been like staring into a mirror. I had been ashamed and guilty, embarrassed that I had behaved so horribly toward you, that I turned my greatest ally into an enemy. You have every right to be resentful and angry toward me. You knew first hand the good I could do, and yet, in the end, I was mostly giving you the bad: how insulting. I only hope, for both of our sakes, that the damage I have done is not irreparable. Now I have accepted others and myself as imperfect human beings who do not deserve to be raked over the coals for every false step. I am strong and confident that I am working to make a better life for myself and for those who keep my company. I have realized that your decision was spot-on. I have realized that I didn’t want the relationship that had developed between us anymore than you did. I want the kindness, the gentle, loving, patient exchange of which we both know we’re capable. I know that I am a trustworthy man, but I know that I have lost your trust. I know how difficult it is to regain that trust, but, if you give me the opportunity, I know that I can regain it, and that I can keep it. I understand that when someone abuses, he casts himself into a catch 22, designed to protect the victim--very appropriately, very understandably--but horrifying for the abuser, who, like me, could be a loving, caring human being with a terrible psychological problem for which he is being treated. This catch 22 is that any true progress that the abuser makes and expresses might be misinterpreted as merely an attempt to coax the victim back into a terrible relationship, a part of the cycle of abuse, even though the new relationship could be so loving, wonderful, and unique, if it were actually given an opportunity. No doubt, a relationship that persevered through a hardship like this could blossom, with the work of both partners. Some kind of hard work is necessary for any relationship. Of course, if the abuser does not say or do anything communicative, in an attempt to allow the victim space, then the perception can be that he has neither recognized his problem nor done the necessary work to acknowledge that it will always require work to stay beyond it. He unnecessarily vanishes from the victim's life, which can be a great disservice to them both. If you allow me to, I will show you that I continue to do the necessary work, and that I am a much better man than I was in June, a much better man than I ever was, and very uniquely suited to you, having learned so much from our experience together. If you cannot allow me this opportunity, I understand, and I know that we will both be fine. But we will miss out on the great joy we can bring each other. That would be a tragedy. Understandable, given the way I treated you, but no less tragic. The work I do is my own. I'm not working on anyone else. I have never thought of you as a guinea pig. You are quite simply, in my eyes, one of the most wonderful human beings I have ever known. If you are willing, I would like you to be in my life on your terms, and taking very slow, steady steps with me. I love you very deeply. Please know how much your feelings, your dreams, your interests, your priorities mean to me. Know how ready I am to listen—to really listen—to you, to make you and your thoughts a priority, how satisfying it has been for me to respect the boundaries you have set, the space and the tone you have requested. Know how ready I am to continue to put my desires aside, so that I can better support you. Know how ready I am to continue to grow when I am alone and when I am with you." Thanks, DJ

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August 18, 2005
11:37 AM

What resources are available for the husband who wants to change?

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August 24, 2005
02:37 PM

I have a confusing problem...My fiancee is not physically abusive nor does he do the put downs and controlling that has been describe...however he burst into rages. If a household appliance breaks etc. He starts yelling and cussing. It is scary for me and i have told him so. I start crying because I come from a DV household and rages equal hitting to me. When i have told him this he says "Have i ever hit you." and i have to answer no. And i don't think he will ever, but i can't live with the rage. I have anxiety and depression and his rages effect me. I huddled on the couch with my daughter during his explode over the garage door opener not working. He wanted me to get an old fashion garage that doesn't have the electronic device, when i said no he said my house was going to bankrupt him. He helped me with a large down payment on my house but its in my name.Please Help he had been really good to me except the rage:(

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August 24, 2005
02:38 PM

I have a confusing problem...My fiancee is not physically abusive nor does he do the put downs and controlling that has been describe...however he burst into rages. If a household appliance breaks etc. He starts yelling and cussing. It is scary for me and i have told him so. I start crying because I come from a DV household and rages equal hitting to me. When i have told him this he says "Have i ever hit you." and i have to answer no. And i don't think he will ever, but i can't live with the rage. I have anxiety and depression and his rages effect me. I huddled on the couch with my daughter during his explode over the garage door opener not working. He wanted me to get an old fashion garage that doesn't have the electronic device, when i said no he said my house was going to bankrupt him. He helped me with a large down payment on my house but its in my name.Please Help he had been really good to me except the rage:(

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August 25, 2005
02:59 AM

Hello I can really empathize with Nina's situation. The fact that she has four children is something that I cannot claim to understand, only that it must make it even harder to make a bold change such as leaving. I have been with someone for ten years now. We were finally married in '03 but it was the most low key "wedding" you could ever imagine, because he acted like there was really no point to it and I did not want to seem too frivolous. He is an especially gifted and mission-oriented man (an author), and so he is seen and treated as very special by all of his family and small group of friends (who are all women and most of whom are ex-sexual partners) and also by me! Big surprise. Everyone has particiapted in the mission and certainly coddled his specialness (that has not helped him with having even a minimal degree of humility). Although, most of those people probably hardly even get to talk to him, so it is probably from afar. For me, it has not been from afar at all. We met through my doing some freelance work for him, he expressed an interest in me and then we that we could work together, and involved myself completely in all of his work and all of the books he has written since we have been together. He has also always been a very hard to please man, in many ways, if you understand what I mean, but it was great to believe I was his one and only, so it was worth it. However, over the last few years there were many occasions when I got a shock treatment and was forced to see where I really stand with him. For example, he told me that he wanted us to agree that we never refuse one another sex. Well, i can tell you he has belittled me and balckmailed me on that point. More recently when I have been able to stay calm through his mood swings, he cannot stand it, and he "ups the ante" to whatever point will elicit a reaction from me. Then he'll say how I never have a kind word for him. This man is a workaholic, I think a secret alcoholic, and certainly is as addicted to cigarettes as anyone I have ever known. I guess I am not being all that clear, but basically, it's been like, inorder to ever get to be with him, I have to go to extremes to be available, to earn and spend money, to "Understnad" why he can't ever be available for me - you see there is always the excuse of his mission. Meanwhile I found out he was relating with an internet porn star, sending emails and whateverl else - I am not into that stuff so I dont know what they do. I confronted him and he told me it was research for his book. He claims to not be able to answer his office phone becuase he is too busy. I am the last persona who should ever be accused of botehring him because the only way to try to get along is to "leave him alone" otherwise I get blamed for sabotaging his mission - either overtly or trhough covert passive aggressive means which are incredibly painful because I never see it coming. How can I have a relationship with someone who demnds being left alone, but them expects me to fulfill his needs. His response has been repeatedly to tell me I have never done anything for him and to go into a separate bedroom, smoke and drink, and lock the door - and yell out the windows how he has to go in there because he needs some affection. If i haven't made it clear, it is he who has been playing an escalating witholding game with me for a long long time now. When I point this out, he won't admit it - he only makes up more lies to justify what he is doing. He has had the most extreme mood swings and they have affected everything VERY adversely. There is never any acknwledgement of these swings, and quite to the contrary, he finds some way of putting all of the blame on me and then withdrawing and pretending I am abusing him. It is beyond painful; I just cannot describe how much it feels like the whole world has caved in when he does this, and I also do not even know if there is something else more obvious that I am being too stupid to understand. I am ashamed by the fact that I cannot avoid his abuse, which has humiliated me in so many ways that you would not believe it. I try to find a way to understand.but now I have done that for ten years and I just don't have it in me anymore to be the one who is always taking responsibility to understnad, read more psuch books, and try to endure and get "stronger" so I can prevent or deal with the next time around without feeling like my whole life is falling apart. When he is nice, he has this really close hold on me. It feels like a kind of enchanting magical special relationship, so when he swings again it probably has more of a horrifying aspect than it otherwise would. I feel completely emotionally blackmailed, and I am worried that I also do not even know the whole story, because the swings have to be caused my something. He is also extremely crafty, I know that he creates impressions among his "friends" to pit one against the other, and they end up in kind of a competition to see who will be the most supportive to him. Well I am sorry for the rambling, but the abyss is so deep it is hard to know where to start. the separate bedroom thing is truly unbearable to me because it makes me feel so used. He did this in the beginning for several years, and now has started it again. I have the sense that everything we did have is totally erased and I do not know what to do. I have started over (within this relationahip) so many times, I just can't do it again, but I feel so sapped of my strength. Sincerely, 10 years later and still dealing with the same sad patterns.

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August 27, 2005
06:21 PM

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August 27, 2005
10:28 PM

I can sympathize. sounds like Im married to your husband. Except he never goes out, thats the only difference here. Are you kidding, sometimes I wish he would, ha ha. No but really, its amazing how selfish they can be. I too feel emotionally dead. I can go weeks without sex and I really dont care. I just feel like I have so much anger and resentment I cant get past it. I know women are like that though. Anyway, I really wish you luck. I know what you mean about the kids. I have three small ones, and its hard to just up and leave. I actually have visions of him just going to make it much easier. I learned over the years though to not get so upset by things he says. Now I just come back at him like "sue me", "take me to court", "whatever" i just dont care anymore, and he knows it. Good luck

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August 29, 2005
11:07 PM

OMG. as I read this, I started to wonder if my boyfriend has been leading a double life in Mexico! I've noticed that these guys are the masters of double standards. While it is completely understandable and justifiable that they go out all night, have friends, and contribute little or nothing to the wellbeing of our relationships, we on the otherhand are expected to give until we are empty, we are not allowed to have anyone else in our lives (it would take our attention away from them) and we are expected not to complain! Mine can stay out all night with his buddies and play "poker" (I just found out he is addicted to crack and recently spent $400 one night on getting high while I searched the streets for him... I wanted to help him but I am seeing he doesnt even want to help himself!), I am expected to sit at home. When I've gone out to dinner with a friend, he's done the same thing, called me 100 times, ruined the whole evening (because if I turned my phone off there would have been an even bigger price to pay!)and didnt stop calling until I was so frustrated I just went home. I have been called a slut, a tramp, a bimbo, and all because I attempted to do something that didn't involve him. When he has gone out all night, after starting a crazy arguement so he could later say that he went out and used because he was PISSED at me, he would say the same thing, "Why come home, all you do is ignore me for your daughter". We don't have any children together and I have a 15 year old froma previous marriage. He has broken my car windshield, choked me 4 times, and almost cost me my job. He tried to make me think I was crazy for awhile, he had my mind so screwed up, I was forgetting things, confused, disoriented, and he would tell me, "we need to get you help", "there's something wrong with your head". He's told me that I am the reason he gets angry, that if I didnt push his buttons, he wouldnt react the way he does. They both are very sadistic, I would even say complete narcissists. He wasnt like that in the beginning, he was so sweet and nice, and once he got me, he changed. I am trying to get out of my situation, I called the police on him when I thought he was going to try to kill me, and he scratched his face and told them that I did it. They took ME to jail, and now I have a domestic battery charge. They said he had established residency and that I couldn't just throw him out of my apartment. So, I gave notice to management and am moving. I am so scared he's going to say I did something to him again and have me thrown in jail again. I'm trying to keep things calm until I just get away from him. Please dont waste anymore time in your relationship. You and your kids deserve so much better. Life is so short, and he doesn't love you at all. This kind of behavior is not love. I know it's scary, we are creatures of habit for the most part, people and situations become familiar, but think of how much happier you would be if you could go out to dinner with a friend without being accused of flirting, or being called a name! Think of the freedom you would have. Imagine being trapped in a porta-potty, a really nasty one, smelling the stench, and not being able to get out. Then suddenly someone opens the door and you get that first breath of fresh air. Thats how you will feel when you get out and realise you can LIVE without being beat down!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Me

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September 03, 2005
04:30 AM

DEAR ALL, YOUNG, OLD, TALL, SHORT, BIG & SMALL: THIS PAST JULY I WAS MARRIED 35 YEARS. I HAVE THREE BOYS, TWO DAUGHTER-IN-LAWS AND ONE GRANDDAUGHTER. I FINALLY DECIDED TO DIVORCE MY HUSBAND, THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN AND THE ONLY MAN I EVER KNEW, SEXUALLY. MY HUSBAND BECAME WEALTHLY ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO AND I'VE LIVED A LIFESTYLE I NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED. PRESENTLY, I LIVE IN MY MOTHER'S CONDO WHICH ISN'T MUCH LARGER THAN MY OLD BEDROOM AND SITTING ROOM, WITH STORAGE BOXES UNDER BEDS, MY CRAFTS, SEWING MACHINES AND HALF MY CLOTHES. MY HUSBAND HAS CUT ME OFF FINANCIALLY BUT I AM GRATEFUL THAT I'VE MADE THIS DECISION. I SHOP IN ALL THE BEST PLACES, TJ MAXX, MARSHALLS, ROSS, WALMART. I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER. MY "X" IS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OF THE MEN I'VE READ ON THIS SITE. I'VE WANTED TO LEAVE FOR YEARS BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS BETTER TO STAY BECAUSE OF THE BOYS. I PLEAD, NO, I BEG, ALL THE LADIES THAT ALLOW YOUR HUSBANDS OR BOYFRIENDS TO ABUSE YOU TO LEAVE. IT ISN'T GOOD FOR THE KIDS NOT TO MENTION, WE SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION, SELF ESTEEM, THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, ETC. PLAN AND SET GOALS FOR LEAVING. IF YOU HAVE A REALLY GOOD FRIEND, MAYBE THEY WILL HELP SOME. PEOPLE ARE MORE WILLING THAN YOU THINK TO HELP, ANSWER QUESTIONS, EXPLAIN SOMETHING YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. ISN'T IT BETTER NOT HAVE YOUR STOMACH TURN EVERY TIME YOU HEAR HIS CAR PULL UP TO THE HOUSE, NOT SPEAK FOR FEAR OF HIM YELLING AT YOU, NOT TO HAVE HIM DEGRADE YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN? WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR US TO REALIZE WE DON'T DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE THE DIRT UNDER THEIR FEET. EVERY WOMAN THAT READS OR WRITES ON THIS SITE UNDERSTANDS WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR CHILDREN. THESE MEN CAN ONLY TREAT US IN THIS MANNER BECAUSE WE ALLOW IT. THEY CAN'T STAND IT THAT WE ARE MORE INTELLIGENT, MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE, BETTER LOOKING THAN THEM, BETTER DRESSERS, BETTER CONVERSATIONALISTS, ETC. THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT TORMENT OTHERS ARE THE ONES THAT ARE NOT SECURE WITHIN THEMSELVES. THIS IS WHY THEY TREAT US IN THIS MANNER. IF IT WASN'T FOR DR. IRENE'S SITE I WOULDN'T BE AS SANE AND HAPPY AS I AM TODAY. NO ONE UNDERSTOOD WHAT I WAS GOING THROUGH, JUST LIKE YOU, AS IT WAS ALL BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. ON THE OUTSIDE, HE IS MISTER WONDERFUL BUT AT HOME IT WAS DIFFERENT. I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS AND IT WILL COST A BUNDLE. NONETHELESS, MY MOTTO IS, "I WOULD RATHER STAND ON A STREET CORNER, WITH A CARDBOARD SIGN THAT READ, "I WILL WORK FOR FOOD" THAN STAY TILL MY DYING DAYS BEING TREATED AS GARBAGE. THANK YOU DR. IRENE. WHEN I STUMBLED UPON YOUR WEBSITE THE MUDDY WATERS BECAME CLEAR. NOTHING I COULD HAVE DONE WOULD'VE MADE MY "X" HAPPY SO INSTEAD I MADE MYSELF HAPPY!

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September 04, 2005
04:21 PM

Wow! That's my life...from day one and I thought I was intelligent enough in picking out men. HA! I was stupid and had an out twice now and took neither. Once, after we were dating, we broke up cause he was going to try and get back with this ex-wife for their two kids sake and 2nd, when I wanted a child and he didn't. After the first breakup and when we made up, he came to my apartment and opened my mail. And I put up with it (after we fought about it). And we weren't even married yet. But I thought I was soooo in love. Now we've been married 12 years, I haven't wanted to accept failure, but I'm getting so tired. It usually happens when he's been drinking, but now its occurring other times too. Now I have a little toddler and worry about how this is affecting him too (duh). His rages and verbal abuse doesn't occurr that frequently (sometimes not for 6 months, sometimes once a month) so I know about walking on eggshells and always watching for it to start to be out of the way. They've been less when several years ago I figured If I quit drinking with him socially or at home, I keep more in control. I always thought I saw an improvement after the fights, so I never left. We just had a big fight though again this week, which of course I don't think he remembers most of it, but we talked a little in morning. He apologized for calling me names, but wouldn't agree to go to counseling. But he gave me the opening...said you go, I'm not. He said accept him as he is or divorce him. Our child was there so I didn't want to talk about it so I said ok, later. So know I can go to counseling and when he complains about the money, I'll say you told me to go! The one reason I don't want to leave is I quit my job 2 years ago to be a stay at home mom, so it is better for me to spend time now with my toddler now, or be on my own and go to work and put him in daycare. I keep thinking when he goes to school I can make the change, but I don't know if I can make it until then. Also, I have 2 stepchildren that he fights with when they are over in screaming matches occasionally (and their mother makes them come over even if they don't want to...and she know what's going on but needs time to "herself"). I feel so sorry for them. But I don't like my toddler hearing this stuff going on either. Except when he's in this mood, he's a good father. I hate to put my toddler in a divorce...I've seen what its done to the girls. You divorce someone like this, but they still have the right to see the kids, so they still get damaged. Is this where the documentation helps? Could I win full custody with him only seeing our child on short visitations? I wouldn't care if it was a day long one as long as he comes home to sleep in the same bed every night and my husband wouldn't have the stress of putting him to bed or getting him to school or any of the other things that have set him with the girls in the past. I'm new to this web page and maybe the answers are on here but that is what's keeping me back. Thanks.

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September 04, 2005
04:28 PM

I just put in the above post but wanted to mention what helped me realize the problem and thinking about what I need to do. I started going to church a year or so ago and have sinced asked myself this question, which I think puts things into perspective, "Do you want to live with this person in eternity"? If the answer is no, why am I wasting this life living and putting up with their actions?

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September 08, 2005
12:33 AM

hi,I just went to court today for verbal abuse,boy was it hard..I'm still asking myself is it my fault what could I do to change him. We've been together for 10 years and have three kids.I guess I should tell you my story.Well he was my prince charming,I was a single mother and he rescued me and my daughter.the first time he hit me it was over a fight about his parnets trying to control our relation-ship.He cryed and promised to never do it again.well he didn't till the next time i set him off. I didn't relize he was emotionly riping me apart slowly.he controled everything I did,i worked for a short time,but he wouldn't have me working with a bunch of men,he said they only wanted one thing,and he wasn't going to put up with this job much more.we would argue all night until i had to go to work at 5:30am,he would drop me off,and pick me up in the same mood,so I gave in and quit.He said,I should be glad every young girl would love to have the chanse to stay home with her kid.Plus all he'd ever seen is his mom work her butt off,so in his mine he wanted to give me something he thought all women wanted.well i stayed home for 7 yrs 2 more kids a few more fights,the hitting stop,only a few out breaks,Only when i cross the line to far would he raise his hand to scare me.For so long I felt this is my fault,but after today Its like my eyes have opened up.I have seen my husband as the abuser he is. When the judge was a lady a freaked out ,but he got up there and made a ass out of his self,he really disrespected her,and she seen it,every one seen it.its like he thinks he's better then women..He can treat them any way he wants.So the judge ordered us both to get seprate counciling. I had already made my appt. I new.I needed help.Because one min I feel so lifeless the next i feel guilt,because he told me it was my fault we where there.know its his,because he dosen't know how to treat me.I was hopeful ,she said we had to stay away from eachother,he gets the kids ever other weekend..I asked for a phone call because of the kids,she granted it.he started complaining,about wanting the 4-wheeler and ect.. I told her i needed it to mow the yard,and she said all things but clothes need to stay..Then he got mad and start griping,i could feel him getting ready to go off,i would have ran if the lady beside me would have grabbed my arm.she told him sir if your going to throw mud around and you say you want you wife back then you need to settle down.So we got our papers I took off..Came home,i felt releaved alittle,but i felt a little hope.I thought mybe the counsing would help both of us and we can find are way back to eachother.and love eachother stronger,god i really did feel hope,but it would soon come crushing down.remeber he has to stay away 1000 feet.Me and the kids or the kids that is sat down to supper when i heard a door slam.i looked out and there he was,him and his possee.I start passing like a cage lion,I do that now when I'm scared.What does he do,but try to take anything and everything he thought he could.And had a guy with him saying he bought the 4-wheeler and this old truck we had.I called the police.Of course I didn't let him take all of it..He thinks he is above the law.How does someone get like this? I don't know.But now I'm num again,god I love this man,I don't want to live with out him, but he has gave me know other choise.I have to start my life over.I can't stand this rollercoaster any more.I know he blames me,but I was not this way before he met me,Now i'm more of a lost soul then i was before.I just have 2 more babies that I thank god for and i hope I can mend all of our broken hearts.time will tell.God bless..

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September 08, 2005
12:35 AM

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September 09, 2005
12:38 AM

For what it's worth Nina, I completely relate and empathize.

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September 09, 2005
12:39 AM

For what it's worth Nina, I completely relate and empathize.

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September 14, 2005
07:50 PM

Yes, I can definitely empathize with Nina. My husband is remarkably similar in many ways. The worst part for me is his driving. I'm afraid he's going to get us into a serious accident someday. He was a bit "tempermental" when we first met, but as the years have gone by (16) he's gotten worse and worse. He has good periods when I feel he really tries to keep a lid on his behaviour and be loving and considerate with me, but he can flash into black rage quickly. It seems like his black moods are getting worse. Sometimes he's not rampaging around but his negativity just swamps me. I've become very silent a lot of the time because if/when I say anything it just gets worse. I'm getting to the point where I just don't know what to do.

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September 17, 2005
10:11 PM

I can most certainly relate to Nina's constant emotional trauma. I am facing similar emotional abuse from my overly controling husband of 18yrs. You get to the point of not knowing what to do especially when children are involved. It is so easy for people to tell you to leave but in leaving the relationship there are so many issues one has to deal with. The fear of wondering weather you and your children will punish 'out there.' Then wondering if you would be able to financially support you and the children, wondering weather your abusive mate will hunt you down to hurt you. All these are things that make you stay-put and take the abuse. I believe Nina will know when the time is right to move on. She and she alone will one day say 'hay, enough is enough'. You see, no matter how much you are told to leave, that first step will never take place until she has had enough of the abuse.

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September 17, 2005
10:11 PM

I can most certainly relate to Nina's constant emotional trauma. I am facing similar emotional abuse from my overly controling husband of 18yrs. You get to the point of not knowing what to do especially when children are involved. It is so easy for people to tell you to leave but in leaving the relationship there are so many issues one has to deal with. The fear of wondering weather you and your children will punish 'out there.' Then wondering if you would be able to financially support you and the children, wondering weather your abusive mate will hunt you down to hurt you. All these are things that make you stay-put and take the abuse. I believe Nina will know when the time is right to move on. She and she alone will one day say 'hay, enough is enough'. You see, no matter how much you are told to leave, that first step will never take place until she has had enough of the abuse.

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September 17, 2005
10:11 PM

I can most certainly relate to Nina's constant emotional trauma. I am facing similar emotional abuse from my overly controling husband of 18yrs. You get to the point of not knowing what to do especially when children are involved. It is so easy for people to tell you to leave but in leaving the relationship there are so many issues one has to deal with. The fear of wondering weather you and your children will punish 'out there.' Then wondering if you would be able to financially support you and the children, wondering weather your abusive mate will hunt you down to hurt you. All these are things that make you stay-put and take the abuse. I believe Nina will know when the time is right to move on. She and she alone will one day say 'hay, enough is enough'. You see, no matter how much you are told to leave, that first step will never take place until she has had enough of the abuse.

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September 17, 2005
10:11 PM

I can most certainly relate to Nina's constant emotional trauma. I am facing similar emotional abuse from my overly controling husband of 18yrs. You get to the point of not knowing what to do especially when children are involved. It is so easy for people to tell you to leave but in leaving the relationship there are so many issues one has to deal with. The fear of wondering weather you and your children will punish 'out there.' Then wondering if you would be able to financially support you and the children, wondering weather your abusive mate will hunt you down to hurt you. All these are things that make you stay-put and take the abuse. I believe Nina will know when the time is right to move on. She and she alone will one day say 'hay, enough is enough'. You see, no matter how much you are told to leave, that first step will never take place until she has had enough of the abuse.

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September 17, 2005
10:12 PM

I can most certainly relate to Nina's constant emotional trauma. I am facing similar emotional abuse from my overly controling husband of 18yrs. You get to the point of not knowing what to do especially when children are involved. It is so easy for people to tell you to leave but in leaving the relationship there are so many issues one has to deal with. The fear of wondering weather you and your children will punish 'out there.' Then wondering if you would be able to financially support you and the children, wondering weather your abusive mate will hunt you down to hurt you. All these are things that make you stay-put and take the abuse. I believe Nina will know when the time is right to move on. She and she alone will one day say 'hay, enough is enough'. You see, no matter how much you are told to leave, that first step will never take place until she has had enough of the abuse.

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September 17, 2005
10:12 PM

I can most certainly relate to Nina's constant emotional trauma. I am facing similar emotional abuse from my overly controling husband of 18yrs. You get to the point of not knowing what to do especially when children are involved. It is so easy for people to tell you to leave but in leaving the relationship there are so many issues one has to deal with. The fear of wondering weather you and your children will punish 'out there.' Then wondering if you would be able to financially support you and the children, wondering weather your abusive mate will hunt you down to hurt you. All these are things that make you stay-put and take the abuse. I believe Nina will know when the time is right to move on. She and she alone will one day say 'hay, enough is enough'. You see, no matter how much you are told to leave, that first step will never take place until she has had enough of the abuse.

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September 19, 2005
02:05 PM

i am dead

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September 19, 2005
10:43 PM

Is Nina still out there? I'd like to know how things have gone since she left her husband. Nina, can you put an updated post please? Thanks. Nan

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September 26, 2005
07:17 AM

I am in a similar situation although it has not gotten that bad yet. I think you should go. I am trying to leave the relationship but it is really hard because he is pressuring me. Now he wants to go to counseling, now he will start attending his AA meetings, now he will stop looking at porn. He calls me names all of the time and I am so angry at him. I told him this weekend that I had to get out and he didn't take me seriously. He pretends a lot that nothing happened or says if I didn't say this he wouldn't react the way that he does. We are both AA members and the last time I drank was a result of built up betrayal by him. I am working on another year of sobriety I had 4.5 when I chose to drink again.....the verbal abuse has gotten worse. Two weekends ago he called me stupid bitch and told me to go get drunk. This weekend when I told him I was leaving he said I thought something was going on with you, I figured you were screwing someone else. I too feel dead inside...Yesterday he bought me flowers and a card asking me not to leave. Told me all of the stuff that I have heard before. I will go to counseling, I will go to meetings (he does not attend them regularly)....I am really confused about what I should do. My friends and my sponsers say that I should leave and so does my therapist. I am thinking what did I do to deserve this? I have a history of choosing people like him and my family history was very abusive so there are times that I think I may be abusive as well. Mostly I just try to be quiet and not cause problems because I can't handle the stress. I sleep alot, I just got a great new job and I have already missed a day of work because of the depression that I feel..in fact I am late now because I am writing this. Should I trust him? He has proven time again that he can't be. What if he means it this time?

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September 27, 2005
06:06 AM

Hi, I can't beleive that someone else, somewhere else in the world, wrote the above letter!!! This is exactly my entire life story and still going on after 16 years of " 'round and 'round the mulberry bush" with the same situation to the letter!! I am desperate to make some very urgent changes in my life and decide whether or not to keep going here or leave once and for all. The problem is always the children, though. It is only fairly recently that I have come to realise that my husband is passive aggressive, and that it is an actual condition. Up to now I have been suffering from low self esteem and self-blame for all of the problems in our marriage. He moved out recently (to "find" himself) and I was at first totally devastated that after all these years of trying to get it through to his thick skull that we have a problem and need help or bust,that he was just leaving anyway with no effort at trying to sort out anything. Through reading a self-help book on saving relationships, I recognized his behaviour as passive aggressive (from a chapter on various character traits) and started looking on the web for more information. I sympathise with Nina wholeheartedly, and please know that you are not alone!! I think you are in the same place that I find myself, only lucky for you, you've only been married for 9 years, I've been married for exactly 16 years in two days time. You definitely must see this as HIS problem, not your own. Get your life back on track for YOU, not him. I seriuosly recommend that you read, and DO THE EXCERCISES, "Relationship Rescue" by Dr Phillip McGraw. This book helped me take personal responsibilty for my own part in this relationship, but also made me realise that I cannot MAKE my husband change, no matter what I do, and if I can't live with it, I can take control of my own life and make my own decisions in terms of how much I am willing to take from his abusive behaviour. It also helps you realise that if you simply can't live with it anymore, you will bo OK if you decide to leave. I need to find out more on how to cope with PA behaviour, maybe you should follow that route, too. I am sure that after all these years, and all we've tried to sort out the problems, no-one can accuse us of not doing anything about it!!

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September 27, 2005
06:52 AM

Hi Doc; Have i got a good one for you. I am middle aged male married 10 years to a younger woman (18 yrs younger) with two kids, nine and seventeen (hers by a former marriage.) We live overseas, I am American and she is from S. America. She has always had a very hot temper and a tendency to see everything measured by her own standards, which are very high. From the beginning when she didnt get her way she often would scream then revert to the silent treatment, which could last days or even weeks. Eventually her behavior took on a highly abusive form and substance almost to the edge of violence towards me. Any hot buttom topic could set her off into a rage and anger which was most often directed at me. At first i would fight back and return the argument, that just made her madder and carried the event longer and more protracted. FYI: I am by nature a calm person not prome to angry outbursts or violence.So rarely do i initiate an argument. She would periodically leave the bedroom and relo into another bedroom with one of the kids. This could last weeks or months. She would send my dinner into my bedroom so i wouldnot eat with the family in the kitchen. this happened quite often also. My conclusion was she was very unstable and emotionally immature while at the same time highly intellegent and capble of lengthy tirades in both english and spanish. She would say if only i had a different house, if only a different car, if only this trip, if only these expensive clothes. Well we had everything and more and she still continued her behavior which seemed to come in cycles. She was also highly paranoid and would deride me unendingly over just normal social interaction in the office. I never did anything out of line but her intrepretation was always intense jealousy. It was even difficult to have friends as she always accused me of talking about her. I might mention she brought her father to live with us since he was destitute with no resources. And of course she continued her worship relationship with him throughout the years. Also her daughter receives no child support from the ex spouse. As time went on it seemed her behavior could be bizarre and still the verbal abuse continued. My self esteem suffered and the only place i could go to recover would be to my office. I should add that in between the angry episodes she could be very entertaining ,funny and delightful to be around and her few friends loved her since she worked hard on maintaining a good image to outsiders. At first i believed that perhasp i must be the problem but after time realized this was a behavioral disorder within my wife. I tryed on several occasions to get counseling for her but she was not very willing to cooperate. Some basic research i did seemed to indicate she fit very much into the "narassictic" personality disorder with high degree of paranoia. She is also very obsessive in her undertakings and very perfectionistic. She has very extravagant tendencies with regards to spending money and can buy way beyond her means. She is very prejudiced racially and only feels she can relate only with the elite. The verbal abuse continues and has increased of late and both her father and myself are worried about where this will end. I know i should consider leaving to protect myself but feel still committed to her. fyi: the relationship with her ex was very violent and ended when she stormed out after a big fight. Help!

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October 05, 2005
04:25 PM

Nina, I know what you are going through, I went through this for 22 years with my (ex-husband).Except it was not just mental abuse, he used to throw things at me and then laugh when I would go for cover. I could not have friends either, nor could my kids bring their friends to the house without going through the third degree.For so long I had really hated him but was so afraid that I could not make it on my own,(not to mention he would constantly tell me that no one in their right mind would want me).We have 4 children and they would totaly freeze up when he was around,we all walked on egg shells. One day he had picked an argument with me in the garage while the doors were open and the neighboors could hear him, our youngest son (age 8 at the time) was in the front yard with his friend playing and stormed into the garage and just went off on his dad and told him he was tired of him yelling at me all the time. Well dad stopped for a few minutes then started back up agian, my son stormed back into the garage and ran up to his dad and punched him in the chest telling him to shut up. None of the kids ever did that before(even though dad did not care if he argued in front of them or not). After I saw the look on my sons face and saw how these arguments were starting to affect him like that, I went to see a lawyer the next day and filed for divorce, then I worried about where I was going to go, with my fathers help he co-signed for me to buy a house, and after he was served the divorce papers the kids and I moved into our new house. There was a lot of drama after that but then I was in control for once and I made it work.

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October 05, 2005
04:44 PM

Nina, I know what you are going through, I went through this for 22 years with my (ex-husband).Except it was not just mental abuse, he used to throw things at me and then laugh when I would go for cover. I could not have friends either, nor could my kids bring their friends to the house without going through the third degree.For so long I had really hated him but was so afraid that I could not make it on my own,(not to mention he would constantly tell me that no one in their right mind would want me).We have 4 children and they would totaly freeze up when he was around,we all walked on egg shells. One day he had picked an argument with me in the garage while the doors were open and the neighboors could hear him, our youngest son (age 8 at the time) was in the front yard with his friend playing and stormed into the garage and just went off on his dad and told him he was tired of him yelling at me all the time. Well dad stopped for a few minutes then started back up agian, my son stormed back into the garage and ran up to his dad and punched him in the chest telling him to shut up. None of the kids ever did that before(even though dad did not care if he argued in front of them or not). After I saw the look on my sons face and saw how these arguments were starting to affect him like that, I went to see a lawyer the next day and filed for divorce, then I worried about where I was going to go, with my fathers help he co-signed for me to buy a house, and after he was served the divorce papers the kids and I moved into our new house. There was a lot of drama after that but then I was in control for once and I made it work. If you are thinking about leaving your spouse talk to a lawyer, there are so many options for you and there is help available if you need financial assistance until you get on your feet. It was hard at first but I am telling you just seeing the relaxed look on my kids faces was well worth it. We are so happy now and I have regained my self-esteem and control over my life. It has been 2 years since my divorce and the kids and I are doing great. He still comes around with the line of (he has changed and it is time for me to take him back) he tries at least once every other week when child support comes in. But I give him the same line (there is no way in hell). I tried to fix things so many times during our 22 years together, even after all the affairs he had and all the nights he made me sleep on the couch because he was mad at me and I did not deserve to sleep in his bed. Dr. Irene is right! You can not make them change, they have to want to do that themselves. In my case my ex thought he was never wrong and did not need to make any changes. So I made the changes for both of us. Wishing you the best, Cindy

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October 06, 2005
11:57 PM

Hi Nan, and everyone, its now two months!!! Two LONG months. He has been all over the board, angry with me, blaming, guly, loving, mushy it all makes me sick, He will turn over two times and then some during phone conversations, his emails are consistent, consistently sickening... about how he loves me and misses me and I am his LIFE! I ask him how he could say that after the way he has treated me for years! He says it was 'stupid" or "the past" or "he just wasnt thinking" I say well how is that possible when I have begged you for attention, talked to you about how he is behaving, he says he was doing it because he felt I didnt care. He told me Spet. 12th that his last day of work is Sept 30th and he is moving up here! I was so stressed then he waited 5 days and told me he hadnt actually quit his job yet! liar. Now he actually says he is coming up here at the end of the month, but that has already been pushed back three times. i dont really have any feelings for him, sometimes i get a little angry, most of all I njust dont want to be responsible for him anymore, just sent him an email that sai just that. So we will see-- thank you everyone for the notes! Nina

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October 07, 2005
06:39 AM

Oh my God Nina, I totally empathize with you Nina and sad to say that I am delighted that I have came across this with someone else. I live in Ireland and everyones attitude here is "you made your bed you must lie in it", or hes not bad he dosent hit you, never leaves you short of money, you have a nice house blah balh blah", these type of comments used to and have made me feel like i was going mad. But thanks to some counselling I went to my self to build up my self esteem and help me to cope with his childish behaviour. My husband is totally inscure, jealous and posessiv, does nothing in the house or with the children except on very rare occasions. I used to let this all really anoy me and it would build up and i would get very angry at him to no avail because like you he simply would not listen or make out that he was the victim. I could go on and give you my life story and i think we would become quite good friends and have a lot in common but i wont waste time and I will tell you a few things that have helped me cope. I really recomment you speake to a counsellor to build up your own self esteem, he/she will give you really usefull tools and little one line comments to nip his behaviour in the bud. Example - I used to be terrified to ask him if I could go out with my friends because he would put a face on and be in a mood for three days after, now I take away his power over me by saying things like "I AM going out with my friends Saturday night, not sure where we are going yet but we have a lift home and will be home at approx midnight etc, the children are looking forward to spending some quality time with you and they have already picked a good movie to watch and bought some popcorn!" This usually leaves him speachless I also tell him I wont be bringing my phone incase it gets stolen but if there is an emergency he can contact me on my mates phone. When my counsellor told me this I thought no way is this going to work but strangely enough it did. He used to even time me when I went food shopping, now I send him to do it to see how quickly he can do it, he has given up the shopping now and leaves it all to me and does not care how long it takes. Nina Im not saying this will help you but it has helped my cope with his ways, I do love him and although it is a lot easier if I just walk away than try and work through it but I seem to be able to get the better of him, and if he truly loves with you he will do what you ask. Hes not perfect and he still sleeps on the couch every night and is still lazy but for the moment it suits me fine, and when he looks for sex I simply say im too tired ive done all the house work, looked after you the children the pets the gardening and everthing else and Im just too tired. Then I say perhaps if you give me a hand tomorrow evening then we can both have some quality time to spend together. This has worked for me. My counsellor told me for women to have sex they need to feel loved and for men to feel love they need to have sex, I was a bit confused at first but I wasnt long figuring it out and getting the hang of it. Nina Im sorry if this is a bit all over the place I hope some of it helps you cope, Im not saying everything is perfect for me now but im coping and my children are happy and im happy and most of all im in control of myself and no longer let him control me. take care and god bless

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October 07, 2005
10:37 AM

I have ahusband who is almost the same. I have been thinking about leaving for months. I just don't know how I am going to leave. I have tried to leave before he just keeps hanging around. Either he says he has no money or he NEEDS me! I can't take it anymore any suggestions? Lost and lonely in Canada

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October 18, 2005
08:41 AM

Oh my Gosh! Thank you for posting this! I feel like we are married to the same man! I don't know what to do either...that's why I am here. I'm "glad" someone else has courage to speak about this-but sad because it's so rampant. It's just amazing. Do these men go to school to learn this stuff? I have left before. I came back due to pregnancy. He did all the right things during the 3 months I was gone. I thought I would give my child a chance to have a family under one roof. Big mistake. Two more years wasted, and he is training my daughter how to be treated now-because we are here. It's the same old same old.

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October 20, 2005
09:56 AM

i have been married for 18 years, with my husband for 20 years. In the beginning, he kind of put me on a pedestal and i felt pressure to perform up to his expectations. he brought me nice gifts, we cuddled alot, we had sex at least 2 times a week. then 5 years ago he had quad.heart bypass surgery(he was only 46years old,most people in his family die in their 50's) after the operation he immediately got busy with his life acting almost as if it did not happen. i was still quite depressed and i broke my foot soon afterwards and gained weight because i could not work out. we started our own company and we work together. he tells me he is sick of being with me 24/7 and thinks i constantly keep tags on him. he says he loves me but is not in love??? the passion has been drained from our relationship. he is also deep into porn sites, escort services(which he denies) and was looking for a book"how to date exotic dancers" he says he is trying to wait this phase of his life out and he is unhappy and i am very unhappy. i know i am attractive in some ways and i do not have to be lonely in my marriage. he has agreed to go back to counseling and went yesterday. he doesn't discuss it with me and that is ok i have been going to counseling and a women's support group. he has agreed to try a mutual marriage counsler. i am beginning to look at his behaviors and think,,yuck. i have plans to seek financial and legal advice just for back up

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October 22, 2005
06:43 PM

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October 31, 2005
02:03 PM

I think the hardest part is the guilt, honestly. I can see it coming through in your posts when you say things like "I'm just so exhausted from arguing", as though somehow that's not understandable. I know when I was in this type of relationship I had similar feelings. I would continually "catch"him doing something and have to "correct" him in some way and then of course, he would accuse me of doing it deliberately to make him feel badly. When he got angry, he would just refuse to talk to me, preferring instead to make snide comments or innuendos that threw me off balance. I still wonder about him, sometimes, how he's doing, who he's with. But like you, I Just reached a point where I felt dead inside. I didn't understand at the time that what he was doing was abusive. I thought it was just part and parcel of him being younger than me and less experienced in relationships. Since that experience I've made a new rule for myself. If someone hurts you once and apologizes, it's a mistake. If someone hurts in in the same general way AGAIN and apologizes, they may just be insensitive. If someone hurts you a third time, don't bother trying to seek apologies. At that point, it's no longer a mistake. It's a pattern. I don't know if these people change, but I know that getting out was the hardest and the best thing I could have done for myself.

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November 01, 2005
12:25 AM

I wanted to write to explain that it appears that i am an emotional/verbal abuser to my husband. I do not know how women who are trapped for all the reasons we get trapped in relationships, do not become angry with all kinds of aggression and rage. I understand how it all got this way. The anger and hate i feel overwhelmes my reasoning sometimes. I have pretty much stopped functioning. I don't know how to keep going.I would up in a mental hospital, but i was always left to go back to this man. I always go back and review and feel bad about what i said, but i have so little contact with anyone but Dan, maybe my worthlessness and exhaustion is a subtle plan of his. I am married to a man I am afraid of and I am afraid of leaving. He says he loves me and is changing but he does not want to go back and discuss or help me resolve old anger and manipulations and lies he said to me. I guess i feel like he likes one emotional state and ignores me or punishes me if I am "upset". I know I want to leave. I know I will get little support. I appreciate the stories from women who have left despite the severe difficulties and were so much happier. i too could never once say during our 25 years, that I was happy because of the marriage and relationship with him. Romantic events and places feel "dulled down" and depressing when I am with him. I would like to read more stories of survival beyond a marriage that has never been happy. I am tired of guilt because he finally wants to "try" and I don't. I took all the blame and did all the therapy and work for myselfl, our relationship and our kids mental or physical growth and problesm for 23 years. At that point I say, "I am done". ( he always refused to go for help or read books or admit any shortcomings or poor intentions toward me, etc.)Anyway. please submit hopeful stories. I am "over the hill", have little energy ( i used to be a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm), and feel like i spent my good years being put down for how i was. It would have been merciful if he had just left me instead of feeling and showing contempt for problems i cannot help. Thanks. Pam

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November 01, 2005
02:59 PM

Wow, I can some what relate to Nina. My husband is the same way he enjoys putting me down( it's as if he feeds from seing me hurt it makes him a stronger person). However, I've learn to disengage and I don't let him get to me anymore. Therefore, he gets upset with the fact that he doesn't have the control to getting to me. Simply because I refused to allowe him. Good Luck Nina. MC

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November 22, 2005
09:04 AM

I AM NOT ALONE!!!!!!!!! I feel so much better after reading everyone's posts, ive been married to an abusive man for just over a year. before we got married he was abusive towards me verbally, but our mutual friends made me believe that it was all in my head and that i was over reacting. After a rather bad fight we made up and he was very nice too me for a while, we ended up getting married in march of 04, and by easter he started in on me. He has beaten my self esteem down to nothing, I used to be a fun, happy, outgoing person with lots of friends, today i have no-one that i can even call on the phone. He managed to distance me from everyone i knew without my even realizing it, last fall he hit me for the first time, the police were called but i didnt press charges. 2 weeks later he did it again and i put him in jail, I was weak, and we were living in Tennesee (moved from michigan) so i let him come back because he was takin domestic abuse classes. He hasnt hit me since then, but i think the only thing he learned in that class was that there are other ways to abuse a woman. He was very pleasant to be with again after and during the classes. I ended up getting pregnant in november of 04. I really thought every thing was better, he became helpful and loving towards me. he even came to all of my prenatal appointments. I was so happy, our son was born in july of this year, 3 weeks after he was born it all started again, nothing i do is acceptable, im lazy and selfish. He has raised his hand to me while i was holding my son, he has shoved me and held me down on the bed. He has threatened to take my son away, even threatens to take my dog, I cant do anything right by him, im too fat and i need to lose weight. I kicked him out of the house 2 days ago. and i will not let him back in. He called the other day and said he will stop drinking and that he will change. ROFLMAO YEAH RIGHT.. Ive read alot about verbal abuse the past few days and i cried when i read the stories of other women and no i know that im not alone nd that im not crazy and over reacting. I HAVE A RIGHT TO BE ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!! now all i need is some friends, the only people i know now are his friends, and i know what they will say to me if i call them... your overreacting and you need to let him come home... so i wont call them... if anyone out there would like to email me i would love to talk to someone going through the same problems, i think it would help much love to all of you. BIG HUGS.. sheri cheesypoofs_420@yahoo.com

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November 25, 2005
03:38 PM

Nina, Thank you for writing this. I too have been in a relationship with many similarities as yours. We have been together for 5 years, married for 2.5. He has/had a drug addiction as well that he uses as his excuse for everthing. I filed for divorce 3 months ago and have felt wonderful ever since. He begged me to go to counseling and I agreed b/c we have a 2 year old daughter to think about. I have learned I am codependent and I need to work on this as well. Now he thinks everything is fine and is coming over EVERY night and buying me expensive gifts and giving me money whenever I'll take it. I just don't love him anymore. I don't know what to do know, but I do know that until they seek help for themselves and realize that they need it, nothing will work. There's a saying, when nothing changes, nothing changes. THis is so true with our husbands...they have to change and we have to change (by not allowing this behavior to continue hurting us!!) Good Luck and may God bless you and your family.

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November 28, 2005
06:06 AM

hi Dr Irene. i've liked the articles and replies on your website. Mine is just a story about how i left a verbally abusive husband, and is back, and i want to leave him again once and for all. We have one child who is 4 years. He threatened to kill me when he found me spraying a perfume i had bought in his absence (i bought it myself - but he accused another man of having bought it for me). He again threatened to box me to death in our bedromm and 'the police can do nothing about it' when i confronted him about stealing his way to my bank account records and accusing me of having an affair with my boss because i was receiving salary. he threatened to kill a frined who came to visit our home, simply because he was a man. On top of that, i was the one buying EVERYTHING in the home- food, household property etc. He would blame for for everything, including someone coming late for an appointment. He is a very angry man who complains and quarrels over the smallest things and NEVER compliments evenif you bring heaven on earth. He didnt say thank you when i bought him presents - instead criticises them. etc, etc. So, when he went to my aunt and accused me of having an affair with someone i have never wanted even to hug me, and when he also accused me of many false things, i called it quits. Unfortunately, after none months, i went back to his home because our child begged me to, and the father had refused me to be with him completely. Now in this second 'marriage', he has changed to a great extent, but i lost my heart for him. I no longer expect him to please me in any way, i dont want him to please me in any way and i am there just to be with the child. I find love-making a challenge, since i really prefer not pretending to love him and i am miserable - but with no excuse to leave. can i just leave again without him not doing anything bad?? cherie

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November 29, 2005
06:50 AM

I can't believe that what Nina just wrote...it so closely resembles my situation! My husband will find ANY way to blow up at me and criticize me. He never sees what I have done, he only sees what has not been done. I am a working mom with 2 kids in sports...a lot of things don't get done around the house...but it's clean and picked up. Last night, I thought I would try to please him by ironing his shirts. He never said thank you. He blew up at me for not having the kids to bed yet (it was just then their bedtime and I was just about to do it). He never thanked me or acknowledged that I ironed his shirts...I let everything else go to try and please him. Then he got mad because I did not put a dish and pot in the dishwasher! He has gotten very bold with his abuse. He tells me to "Go to H.." in front of the kids. He grabs my chin and squeezes it. He was verbally abusive in front of his sister and her husband during the Thanksgiving holidays. She told me that I should not put up with that. I used to be attracted to him but now I am "dead" towards him, just like Nina said. He is addicted to pornography and refuses to stop. He has been sneaking around on the computer at night for years, while I did anything to try to make him happy...it was never enough. I love my kids. It would crush them if we split. After his sister left, I told him that there was no room in our marriage for 3: Him, me and his pornography. If he did not seek counseling and take some medication to keep his temper in check, then I would have to leave. This morning, I asked him for an apology and he did not give one. He said over and over, "You are just trying to make your case" (meaning, my case for leaving). He really thinks this is about another man. I have NO desire to even think about that. I just want peace for my children and myself. He does not like it if I take a nap. It drives him crazy..even though he can watch all of the sports he wants whenever he wants. I get up at 5:30 every day and don't finish my work at home after commuting and making dinner until about 10:00 am. I just would love ONE peaceful, hour nap a weekend. That is all that would make me happy. The night before Thanksgiving, I stayed up late to make the stuffing. I had already worked until 4:00, he had not. I went to church at 9:00 by myself, as no one else wanted to go. I took a nap after church for about an hour (I did not really sleep because the kids were loud and my husband makes sure of it when I am napping). He said I had to get up. Then, I made all of the rest of the dinner. He had done the Turkey in the am. Later that day when he had his blowup in front of his sister and her husband, he said that I was selfish because I went to church and I took a nap. He called me a selfish "B..." and a rigid "B". This blowup was because our 6 yr. old daughter was sassing me and would not obey. I tried spanking her, and she laughed. I put a little soap in her mouth. She went downstairs, crying, and told Daddy. That's when he blew up at me. She does whatever she wants, because Daddy "saves" her from mommy all the time. Our poor son..he is 8. She will tease him and get away with it...Daddy thinks it is all him. I don't know what to do. My first concern are the kids. Can someone like this be helped with the proper therapy? Will they always be like this? Help....Nancy

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November 29, 2005
02:54 PM

I do relate to her. I was/am in a similar situation. I recently divorced someone just like that or worst, because he did everything in front of my children. Even though I'm divorced now he still manages to make me feel small and go back to the feeling of walking on eggshells and having to explain everything. I stop myself but it's been hard. I see how it has affected my children so much it hurts me. The verbal abuse was too much also. I get so confused still because he tells me he loves me but the way I used to be not how I am now that I'm divorced. I told him that this was the real me. How I used to be was a scared person wanting to please him just so he wouldn't lash out at me any more. Going out with my friends was torture. So was visiting my parents, brothers, and sisters. He always said our kids, and he and I were all we needed. Any friends I made he found faults and I shouldn't talk or go anywhere with them. It's unbielevable how I got out yet I'm still there. I feel so frustrated. And I still feel bad and sorry for him. However, I know I can't help him.

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November 29, 2005
03:20 PM

DEAR NINA, I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 14 YEARS AND I HAVE BEEN VERBALLY ABUSED FOR 14 YEARS, I FEEL LIKE YOU AND I REALY DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO, I FEEL THE SAME AS YOU, SICK I DONT WANT HIM TOUCHING ME AND I DONT WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE AND I GET SICK OF THE EXCUSES HE GIVES ME AND GOD FORBID I TALK TO ANOTHER MAN ALL HELL WILL BREAK LOSE, I AM 35 YEARS OLD AND I HAVE TWO KIDS ONE TEENAGER AND ONE PRETEEN, I KNOW I AM GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE BUT I AM SCARED LIEK YOU ARE, BUT I HAVE DECIDED THAT IF I WANT TO BE HAPPY, I AM GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE AND START A NEW LIFE OVER, ITS SAD THAT WOMEN LIKE US HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THE ABUSE THAT WE TAKE DAY AFTER DAY, I NEVER IN A MILLON YEARS WOULD HAVE SEEN MYSELF IN THE SITUATION, BUT I DO WANT TO BE HAPPY, AND I AM VERY TIRED AND SO EXHAUSTED FROM TRYING NOT TO STIR TROUBLE UP, SO NOW I AM JUST PACKING AND LEAVING AND I KNOW HE WILL COME AFTER ME BEGGING ME BACK BUT THIS TIME I AM NOT COMING BACK, I AM READY FOR A NEW LIFE, I HOPE THAT YOU CAN START YOU LIFE EVEN THOUGH IT WILL BE HARD. IF YOU ARE LIKE ME YOU ARE TIRED. REBECCA

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November 30, 2005
12:26 AM

I can relate, I have been in an abusive relationship for over three years. After leaving a womens shelter I left the abuser, correction I stopped living with him. That was over a year ago and I still find myself allowing him to hurt me emotionally.

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December 03, 2005
11:04 PM

Dear Nina, I could have written that same letter. I thought I was the only one going through this. I wish you the best of luck, and take care of yourself and your children.

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December 07, 2005
08:37 AM

As many times as i have heard this story it becomes mundane. ther are two sides to evey story and sometimes or let us say ''most'' times the other side is never heard,just put into the ''verbal abuse'' story.verbal abuse covers such a broad range that of course the only answer is to leave the relationship. i have been ''abused'' but i have the stability to take it for what it's worth...nothing. i don't take it personally and i don't hold grudges!

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December 07, 2005
01:39 PM

I have to say that this sounds so familar to me. It is "OUR House" when I'm cleaning it but it is HIS house anytime he feels the need to hold it over my head. I am never pleased with his behavior anymore and the one thing that used to be so great is now non existant because I am repulsed by his behavior towards me. He is a hard worker, and I appreciate that in him but he calls me fat, lazy and stupid constantly-All of which I am not. I want to leave but financially I think that I would be shelter worthy. I have a daughter who is going to be a freshman in college and a step son who is a freshman in highschoool I love them both but he is just too psycho for words.

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December 11, 2005
09:25 PM

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December 11, 2005
09:33 PM

Hello, I am living in hell. My husband criticizes me on a daily basis. He says hurtful, sinful things. That I am a fat pig. That I am white trash. That I only graduated from college with a "Mrs." degree. That he has a question for me - what is my #1 contribution to society? And when I think of one, try to go on to #2. He says to look in the mirror and see someone who doesn't take care of themselves. That I wear unflattering clothes. That our kids don't love me. That they will never want to come visit me when I am old. Have you heard enough? The huge problem is that he is a professional in our community, and well respected. He says that no one will believe me if I told them what he says. I think he is right. No one would believe me. Even my closest friends give me looks like they are quite perplexed. Yes, he has told me I am crazy. Yes, he has told me I belong in a psychiatric hospital. Luckily, through the good people that know me, and through my religious faith, I can hold on to my self-esteem. It is tough. I have wished that he would die in a car accident. Isn't that awful? To wish that to the man I once married for better or for worse. To wish that to the father of my children? The truth is I don't want him to die in a car accident. I just want him to realize how cruel and hurtful he is. And most importantly, that he is stealing days of my life away. That he is stealing away from the quality of my life. Life is so short and we should all be able to live it to our potential. I am not. I need advice. Thank you to anyone who can give me advice. I certainly appreciate it.

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December 11, 2005
09:46 PM

Hello, I am living in hell. My husband criticizes me on a daily basis. He says hurtful, sinful things. That I am a fat pig. That I am white trash. That I only graduated from college with a "Mrs." degree. That he has a question for me - what is my #1 contribution to society? And when I think of one, try to go on to #2. He says to look in the mirror and see someone who doesn't take care of themselves. That I wear unflattering clothes. That our kids don't love me. That they will never want to come visit me when I am old. Have you heard enough? The huge problem is that he is a professional in our community, and well respected. He says that no one will believe me if I told them what he says. I think he is right. No one would believe me. Even my closest friends give me looks like they are quite perplexed. Yes, he has told me I am crazy. Yes, he has told me I belong in a psychiatric hospital. Luckily, through the good people that know me, and through my religious faith, I can hold on to my self-esteem. It is tough. I have wished that he would die in a car accident. Isn't that awful? To wish that to the man I once married for better or for worse. To wish that to the father of my children? The truth is I don't want him to die in a car accident. I just want him to realize how cruel and hurtful he is. And most importantly, that he is stealing days of my life away. That he is stealing away from the quality of my life. Life is so short and we should all be able to live it to our potential. I am not. I need advice. Thank you to anyone who can give me advice. I certainly appreciate it.

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December 12, 2005
01:19 AM

Dec 07"As many times as i have heard this story it becomes mundane. ther are two sides to evey story and sometimes or let us say ''most'' times the other side is never heard,just put into the ''verbal abuse'' story.verbal abuse covers such a broad range that of course the only answer is to leave the relationship. i have been ''abused'' but i have the stability to take it for what it's worth...nothing. i don't take it personally and i don't hold grudges!" wha?

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December 13, 2005
08:21 PM

I finally left an emotionally abusive relationship with a woman that was sexually abused as a child. She told me within weeks of us first meeting. She told me she fully expected that I would not want to see her again. I hugged her and told her what mattered was if she had gotten help, which she said "yes". The first year we were together was emotional for many reasons. We were both going through divorce and had all that tension. Over time and in between the loving moments, she started drinking and becoming abusive, irrational and would oscillate between crying and then getting angry telling me I was as low as her brother that abused her. I kept thinking through all the mess that most of the problems and tension were because of me. She blamed me, my ex-wife, my family and so on, for making her feel horrible. Then at times she was herself and loving and each time I thought we had gotten past things. Things erupted on Christmas and she stayed home alone while I went to my families. I nearly begged her to come. She never did, yet I returned to a drunk and angry woman that tore the house apart. In time she finally got help (she is a Social Worker) after her supervisor could see something was wrong in her life. Things did get better, but the anger never stopped. Things as simple as me not filling her glass with water (after making her dinner) would cause her to blow up and be mad at me for days on end (no joke). Her arguement was that I didn't care enough to insure she had water. Another time she screamed, using profanity in front of my 6 year old daughter. She would tell anyone that would listen, how horrible I treated her. It got to the point I didn't know which end was up. She eventually moved out and got her own place and at least things setttled down, as we each had "safe space" whenever things got tense. I loved her and thought I could make a difference. I never got close in her eyes. Her comments would continue each time there was a problem and she was unhappy. The cycle would go from very loving to mean and nasty on a 2-3 basis - week in and out for four years. In one instance she had gone out with her friends and had been drinking, calling me late that she was coming over. When I told her I was tired and was in bed, she told me she was "going to date" and that I was pathetic. True to her words the next night she called prior to going out, telling me how much of a loser I was. She called back after the date intoxicated, telling me she was going to ruin me, because being a Social Worker, she knew all the in's and out's of the system. I finally ended the relationship this past week, after I realized that my health and emotional well-being had been beaten into the ground. I gave up so many of the things I loved, had become isolated from family and friends and had developed horrible eczema from the stress (according to the doc). I tried to understand from reading and studying, what she had endured as a child. I though I could make a difference in the life of a woman that helped so many others (her profession). I was wrong. I wonder if there are books out there on the difficulty that spouses have with their mate who is an adult survivor of child sexual abuse. I never would have believed that the effects of abuse were so devastating without seeing her the way I did. It has left me wondering if I can ever get past all this crap I am left with, including "guilt" over not helping her more, and be able to have a healthy relationship one day. Thank you so much

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December 15, 2005
12:04 AM

Nina, I am in a boat similiar to yours, and after 16 years of marriage, a lightbulb went off, just two weeks ago. I started reading a book called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It, And Respond," by Patricia Evans. I saw myself throughout all the experiences in the book, as well as saw my husband, in all the descriptions of verbal abuse, and all the MANY ways, it takes place. Dr. Irene is so right, you have to disengage. I am applying this, and it is helping tremendously, (helping ME) to understand, that they CANNOT be reasoned with, and they WILL try to manipulate you, to where you go round and round in your head with what you said, and "try" to figure out why they react the way they do, and how you can change them to see your point of view, (you simply cannot). The book was paramount in my understanding COMPLETELY, that it is not me. The chapter on Anger, really hit home with me, as my husband is in a constant, agitated state. Even when nothing is said, the abuse is still prevalent. Read this book, it will shed light on the literal monster you are dealing with, and will help you to be able to see, if it is something that can be changed. I am just now starting to apply the strategies in the book, to get my self respect back, we'll see if it helps him to see his problem or not. But most of all, I feel I am out of the exhaustive phase of letting him puppet my emotions on his strings. They WANT the reaction from you, they WANT you to tell them how bad they make you feel, it keeps feeding them, if you respond to the abuse, they are doing their job of keeping you controlled, and mentally crippled. This is a great website, only ones that have been there, really know how devastating it is to live this nightmare, everyday. Me and my husband have had one counseling session, so far, (each of us alone) but the therapist really validated what I knew I was feeling. That it is not normal behavior, to have your husband not listen to your needs and feelings. There are serious issues as to why they can't. Please get the book, it will put YOU back in control of you,............it will be amazing. E-mail me at anytime if you want to talk. I am shocked at how common verbal abuse is, it takes your soul. I am just now taking the steps to be myself again. I have a 3 year old child (that my husband is already working on controlling) and a 20 month old baby, too. I need to watch them. I KNOW his angle now, but they don't understand, the pressure from daddy to do what he says. I have some serious choices to make in my near future. I know his angle now, and could live with it IF I chose to, the children are innocent. My therapist said if they cannot get to you, they will move on to WHATEVER MEANS they can to control you yet, your children with them are not exempt. They are sick........oh, the freedom and power that knowledge give you! Write me, it is truly therapeutic to talk to others in a similiar boat! - C. e-mail: wellscm@aol.com

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December 15, 2005
12:06 AM

Nina, I am in a boat similiar to yours, and after 16 years of marriage, a lightbulb went off, just two weeks ago. I started reading a book called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It, And Respond," by Patricia Evans. I saw myself throughout all the experiences in the book, as well as saw my husband, in all the descriptions of verbal abuse, and all the MANY ways, it takes place. Dr. Irene is so right, you have to disengage. I am applying this, and it is helping tremendously, (helping ME) to understand, that they CANNOT be reasoned with, and they WILL try to manipulate you, to where you go round and round in your head with what you said, and "try" to figure out why they react the way they do, and how you can change them to see your point of view, (you simply cannot). The book was paramount in my understanding COMPLETELY, that it is not me. The chapter on Anger, really hit home with me, as my husband is in a constant, agitated state. Even when nothing is said, the abuse is still prevalent. Read this book, it will shed light on the literal monster you are dealing with, and will help you to be able to see, if it is something that can be changed. I am just now starting to apply the strategies in the book, to get my self respect back, we'll see if it helps him to see his problem or not. But most of all, I feel I am out of the exhaustive phase of letting him puppet my emotions on his strings. They WANT the reaction from you, they WANT you to tell them how bad they make you feel, it keeps feeding them, if you respond to the abuse, they are doing their job of keeping you controlled, and mentally crippled. This is a great website, only ones that have been there, really know how devastating it is to live this nightmare, everyday. Me and my husband have had one counseling session, so far, (each of us alone) but the therapist really validated what I knew I was feeling. That it is not normal behavior, to have your husband not listen to your needs and feelings. There are serious issues as to why they can't. Please get the book, it will put YOU back in control of you,............it will be amazing. E-mail me at anytime if you want to talk. I am shocked at how common verbal abuse is, it takes your soul. I am just now taking the steps to be myself again. I have a 3 year old child (that my husband is already working on controlling) and a 20 month old baby, too. I need to watch them. I KNOW his angle now, but they don't understand, the pressure from daddy to do what he says. I have some serious choices to make in my near future. I know his angle now, and could live with it IF I chose to, the children are innocent. My therapist said if they cannot get to you, they will move on to WHATEVER MEANS they can to control you yet, your children with them are not exempt. They are sick........oh, the freedom and power that knowledge give you! Write me, it is truly therapeutic to talk to others in a similiar boat! - C. e-mail: wellscm@aol.com

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December 16, 2005
06:44 PM

I have a question. My daughter has only been married eight months. He is a very controlling person but has never physically abused her. I live two states away and can't be there physically for her. She has plans to leave after the holidays. My question, "Is she in any physical danger?"

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December 19, 2005
01:28 PM

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December 26, 2005
12:49 PM

I was in a similar relationship. My husband did exactly the same things... didn't speak to me for days... I had surgery and he didn't even ask how I was or help me out. He stopped buying food, gas for my car, said I could not buy paper towels, wouldn't help me to purchase my heart medications, would not have anything to do with me sexual. Said I needed to take him first,... if I didn't stop watching my grandchildren he was going to the bar. I paid the bills and all the household things.. he took over because he said I was spending his money, that's why he was in a financial mess. It was all my doing. He not only verbally abused me.. he hurt me physically also. I left one time before, came back to try and make it again.. but I got so emotionally abused that my heart doctor said "you have a serious heart condition, under control now, but you have to keep it that way and you must do whatever it takes to keep yourself healthy". Well, I left .. now my husband says I abandoned him, that I didn't want to work things out, I provoked him to anger (his sister agreed as well as his sons), why would he help me out, I won't have health insurance when he divorces me, I asked too many questions, I should have stayed and worked things out with him, I don't need him, etc., etc. ,etc. I finally stopped myself from going over to see him. He has told people that I ruined him, I was out to get his house and land, that I can't be trusted. Funny.. he was sitting in the drive way when my family packed my belongings... he only came up to me when I was on my way out and said "did you leave me anything? Then he had the nerve to tell people I left without him knowing. He tried to talk to me, that he loved me and was taking care of me, that I had a health issue and I couldn't go out with him, that's why he was by himself at the bars, and out to dinner, lunch, etc. I can't tell you how difficult this is for me to accept at times. I don't understand why a man would want to make a LOVING WOMAN pay the price for their mental problems. It hurts... I so understand your feelings.. and I do empathize with your dilemma. You have to get out of there... it only gets worse. I have been married for 3-1/2 years ... he was married to another woman for 35 years and she told me "wait til he does to you what he did to me". I didn't understand what that meant at the time.. BUT I CERTAINLY DO NOW! SAVE YOU AND YOUR KIDS!!! Love to you all. Cindy

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January 01, 2006
11:17 AM

I have been in a relationship with a guy for more than three years. The first year was the most incredible year in my life. I knew I had met a Mr. right if one ever existed in this world. Then we moved in together. Things changed. I had to adjust to meet his needs. This guy do not want us to have a bed. we sleep on the floor and he says he needs those inflated beds, twin size whereby he sleeps on one and I sleep on the other. Helooooooo? he accuses me of staring at him. He says he hates when he is being watched. On our bedroom floor there are piles of bags, I mean piles, he raps up everything in gabbage bag, his shirts, socks and piles them up on the floor. I work full time just so I can pay half of the rent. which is okay with me because I do want to take care of my self and not expect much out of a man's pocket. He does not warm his food on a microwave claiming he is scared of radiation neither do I just to adjust to his fears. Does not want my friends calling me... Do you guys out there think this is the right guy for me? I know the decision is supposed to be made by me but is there ay other weired guy out there who understands this kind of a person? Anonymous

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January 03, 2006
11:51 AM

I know excatly how you feel. The amazing thing is, I had left a relationship like that about two years ago. I just said I had enough. I went six months alone and found what I though to be the perfect man. After a year and a half now. I've begin to realize that I was once again wrong. He's not as controlling, but he get's everything his way and if he doesn't want to do something. He thinks if he can start a fight that he wont have to. For a matter a fact, he did it this mourning, and I got news for him. I did fight with him, and I wont anymore, I'm to tired. I'm just not going to recieve this anymore and he is going to do what needs to be done. Or I am going to send him down the road in his truck after I take off the tires that I put on there. I am just so tired of finding these men that think it's their way or the hi-way. I got news for him it's my house, and I am ready to take control over it once again.... I will not live like this any longer. It's killing me. And Nina, it will never change, I know you feel this sharp pain deep down inside everyday. That makes you want to cry or makes you cry. I just pray that one day during the time you are crying all alone you will look up and say "I'm tired" it's easy to cry. It's hard to stand up and say I am someone who deserves better than this, and I will not take it anymore. May God be with you and your kids. I have a daughter also, good luck. If we don't stand up for ourselves who will???

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January 07, 2006
09:38 AM

Nina! Read *Living With the Passive Aggressive Man* by Scott Wetzler. Your H sounds A LOT like my X. There was NO changing my X. He was going to do whatever he saw fit. His passive aggressive control was intolerable. My only solution was to get AWAY from him. So I did. I divorced him. Divorce is the ONLY solution. Tallulah

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January 12, 2006
07:48 PM

Get out! I have put up with too many of these, including my ex-husband and my recently ex-fiance. They all did this, but they eventually escalated to physical abuse, too. My father is a controller, so I learned that sulking, passive-agressive behaviour, etc. is 'how it's supposed to be'. I know that it the behaviour is sick and wrong but when you don't know anything else, it seems almost normal. For you, and for your children, you have to leave. They are only going to grow up and do what I've done, and you don't want that. He WON'T CHANGE! HE WILL ALWAYS THINK THAT IT IS THE OTHER PERSON'S PROBLEM. You deserve more. I realized that and have been by myself since last March. I get lonely but I know that I'd rather spend time with myself than a controlling abuser!

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January 13, 2006
12:55 AM

Dear Nina, Thanks for replying in October to my question about your whereabouts in Sept. It was good to see you and your family are still apart from him. He really is displaying typical behaviour........trying every angle possible to manipulate and find some emotional chord in you, that he can play like a violin. It would be interesting to be a fly on his wall to see just how "faithful" he is to the cause of changing or becoming what he claims he is......or does he have other women he's seeing etc.? Please don't let him get you back into his trap again. The longer you stay apart from him, the stronger you become. If you are connecting with the right people, it helps you feel more confident about who you are and define healthy boundaries. From my own repeated experiences, YOU ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE NOW. This is when the predators appear as knights in white armour. WATCH OUT! Don't fall to the temptation to get involved elsewhere. That compounds your problems more than you can imagine. If you are a Bible believing person, read Galatians 5:16-26. The clarity of those verses is rather glaring. I hope you're still safe and walking more freely every day. PLEASE, UPDATE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION AGAIN. Thanks, Nan

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January 20, 2006
12:25 PM

I can empathize with her. I am in a similiar situation myself. I have been married only 1 year and 6 months now and I am to the point of walking out. My husband is the same way, very passive/aggressive and everything is my fault. He will often talk to me like I am a child and that I "just don't get it". When I am emotionally in need of support he does the same thing and clams up or doesn't really listen to my needs. I lost my mother this past year suddenly and I have basically dealt with this on my own, with no support from him. He says he doesn't know how to deal with my emotions or feelings about losing her. I was very close to my mom. Now I have some health issues going on and my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Still I have no support from him. When we try to have a discussion I feel like I am talking to a 5 yr old because he will literally go into a rage. He will yell so loud that our dogs cringe. Throws abusive words and names at me and throws back things that have happened in my past with men. I really am at my wit's end and have no feelings for him whatsoever anymore. I feel dead. I don't trust him with my feelings truthfully, so I remain silent. It has gotten to the point that I just dont care. I am getting my ducks in a row and leaving him. I see no other choice. I have suggested counseling but feel I am the only one making the effort to find one, make appointments, etc. so I gave up. My comments are, leave while you can. I think abuse only gets worse and worse, not better, unless someone breaks and just says no more. Unfortuntately, that person has to be us.

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January 20, 2006
12:31 PM

I can empathize with her. I am in a similiar situation myself. I have been married only 1 year and 6 months now and I am to the point of walking out. My husband is the same way, very passive/aggressive and everything is my fault. He will often talk to me like I am a child and that I "just don't get it". When I am emotionally in need of support he does the same thing and clams up or doesn't really listen to my needs. I lost my mother this past year suddenly and I have basically dealt with this on my own, with no support from him. He says he doesn't know how to deal with my emotions or feelings about losing her. I was very close to my mom. Now I have some health issues going on and my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Still I have no support from him. When we try to have a discussion I feel like I am talking to a 5 yr old because he will literally go into a rage. He will yell so loud that our dogs cringe. Throws abusive words and names at me and throws back things that have happened in my past with men. I really am at my wit's end and have no feelings for him whatsoever anymore. I feel dead. I don't trust him with my feelings truthfully, so I remain silent. It has gotten to the point that I just dont care. I am getting my ducks in a row and leaving him. I see no other choice. I have suggested counseling but feel I am the only one making the effort to find one, make appointments, etc. so I gave up. My comments are, leave while you can. I think abuse only gets worse and worse, not better, unless someone breaks and just says no more. Unfortuntately, that person has to be us.

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January 24, 2006
11:32 AM

Thank you for this site. Reading all these posts have made me feel sane and not "crazy" as my husband calls me. He is so much like many of the ones described here. We have been married for 31 years. My husband is very much aware of my childhood abuse (very verbal) and the fact that he plays on it makes him that much more despicable. We do not have any friends or family around so I basically have no one to talk or turn to for help. We cannot even discuss the littlest of things without him blowing up. Everything is always an attack on him. The other day, something spilled all over our kitchen cabinets, and I made the comment "We should have gotten the countertop from "so and so" rather than from "so and so". He immediately went into a tirade about how that was an attack on him. This is how every conversation is. Every argument lasts for hours because he will not let it lie. He analyzes everything I say and always, and I do mean always turns it towards me. I feel like I am fighting with a little child. By the time these arguments are over, I am in tears and feeling sick and so emotionally worn. I cannot tell you the last time I slept. I have told him that we cannot go on this way and his response is "I am too old to change". He is not at all affectionate, never was. Does not believe in spontinaeity. And as far as sex, he could care less. The only way he gets turned on is when he is watching a porno movie with lesbians - this after he being gone for two weeks on a business trip. I was so hurt. Made his favorite meal, met him at the door wearing a sexy teddie and what does he do, this. I wanted him to want me. He keeps throwing this back at me as the reason why he cannot have sex with me. In the past, I have asked for him to please make love to me as a present for occasions, and he has blatantly said "no". Writing this i realize how sick this is and am quite mad for not respecting myself or my dignity. Of course now, I do not want him near me in any way - I am dead inside. He will not get involved with anything in our home. If I did not pay the bills, we would be in trouble. If there is a problem of any kind at home, either I address it or it will not be taken care of. I am sick of being the "mommy". The funny thing is that he acts so differently at work. He owns his business and does not believe in confrontation. He can bring me to tears but will allow things to go on there that definitely need addressing. I have asked him to please pay attention to his office finances. He will not. He does not want to know. I want to know because we file tax returns jointly. He claims I am "crazy" for asking this of him. Whenever I bring it up, he makes this awful face, covers his ears and says that "I am going to give him a heart attack". I told him if I do not get a full accounting of what is going on at the office, I am not signing. He then threatened me with being homeless, having everything taken away, etc. I have had enough. I pray that I have the strength to leave. I do not have a job (not for lack of trying) and basically do not know where to go. Why haven't I left sooner? I thought of it seriously when our daughter was a teenager but he convinced me that he would not repeat this behavior again. His behavior towards our daughter can only be characterized as bizarre. He has not done her any favors by allowing her to get away with almost anything, and when I voice an opinion, he absolutely goes crazy. This behavior still exists now even though she is grown up with two small children. She lives far away and now is going through the same thing with her husband.

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January 29, 2006
12:07 AM

Nina, My life is almost the exact same as yours. I feel your pain. And I too wonder if it will goon forever. And if I am as strong of a women as I once thought I was how come I can't control my life? How can i let someone do this to me? Be encouraged though, you're not alone. Laura

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January 29, 2006
09:53 PM

Hi. My name is lisa. I am 22 years old. I am engaged to a 28 year old man. I have previoulsy been in a mentally and abusive relationship, so I thought I would be smarter if signs of this came up again in my next relationships, but boy was I wrong! I have been with this guy for 3 years. Everything was great for the first 1.5 to 2 years... then he started to change. He became very controlling, call me names, he's an alcholic, but blames me for him wanting to hit me or call me horrible names. HE tends to be flirty when he drinks so I get jealous and worried. HE does not take care of his priorities and treasures his friends. .He recently got into motorcyles and his whole life now is bikes and drinking...I am ready to graduate and become a school teacher..OUr lifestyles are very different now. He never was like this...I dont understand what I have done so wrong..Stupid things he ll get mad about like "you suck at driving...your the dumbest chick i ever met...and other degrading insults. He bosses me around and calls me a little girl..I am so heartbroken bc I was so in love with him, an dI thought I had found the one when HE proposed to me, so I feel so helpless and lonely and like im giong crazy...IM so sad...

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January 29, 2006
09:56 PM

Hi. My name is lisa. I am 22 years old. I am engaged to a 28 year old man. I have previoulsy been in a mentally and abusive relationship, so I thought I would be smarter if signs of this came up again in my next relationships, but boy was I wrong! I have been with this guy for 3 years. Everything was great for the first 1.5 to 2 years... then he started to change. He became very controlling, call me names, he's an alcholic, but blames me for him wanting to hit me or call me horrible names. HE tends to be flirty when he drinks so I get jealous and worried. HE does not take care of his priorities and treasures his friends. .He recently got into motorcyles and his whole life now is bikes and drinking...I am ready to graduate and become a school teacher..OUr lifestyles are very different now. He never was like this...I dont understand what I have done so wrong..Stupid things he ll get mad about like "you suck at driving...your the dumbest chick i ever met...and other degrading insults. He bosses me around and calls me a little girl..I am so heartbroken bc I was so in love with him, an dI thought I had found the one when HE proposed to me, so I feel so helpless and lonely and like im giong crazy...IM so sad...

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February 01, 2006
08:46 AM

I just read a portion of "The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life"... OMG is all I can say...this has been my life...for 30+ years...!!!!!!!...how could I have allowed this to go on and on...and why? All through the years people have made comments to me...some were suttle others were straight forward, but all said in one way or another that they didn't like the way he treated or spoke to me. Of course I always said he was just having a bad day or some other excuse. I want my life back...I want to be "HAPPY" again!

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February 08, 2006
12:52 AM

To All, Pretty shocking! I am a 38 yr. old outgoing,attractive,educated executive. I am well-aware of the abusive relationship I am in. I can't get out. I'm not even married to this man nor am I living with him. (Please read on, I still want to be heard even though I don't have a marriage license or children like most of you and I have the utmost respect for you all.) I've been with him for 2 yrs. and the last six months I'm mentally destroyed. This man spent the first year wanting to get know "my" soul like no other. We talked for hours a day about "my" feelings, "my" dreams and "my" emotions. HE SPENT AN ENTIRE YEAR BEGGING TO UNDERSTAND ME! This is where I messed up...I let him know my inner most feelings, my inner most thoughts and he convinced me and I believed he was my "soulmate". His 15 phone calls a day seemed so flattering and he said he just wanted to hear my voice. His words were right out of a Harlequinn romance. The scary part is that I could hear and feel how genuine he was. It was the truth, then. I was hooked and still am. He is extremely jealous and insecure. He is overweight, not attractive and has a gambling problem but still has a great job and well-respected in the community. My friends do not understand why I'm so in love with someone like him. But I am. He accuses me daily that I'm a liar, a cheat and I am only playing games with him. I have spent so many hours, days & weeks trying to convince him that I only want to be with him and it's the truth. He disregards me and doesn't even want to understand how wrong he is. I cry just to express how sincere I am that I love him. And I have never behaved like that ever! I'm pathetic and I've lost all self-respect. I don't want to realize that he doesn't want to understand me even though I know that's the truth. My heart hurts so bad that I can physically feel the hot pain in my chest all the time. I have a lump in my throat all day. He ignores me for long hours now. I'm constantly accused and I'm constantly defending something I never did. The ironic part is that he says he loves me regularly in an unemotional way just so I can't question his actions. He keeps me off balance. I've left him 3 times with support of my family and friends and was convinced of what he was doing. Then two weeks go by and I can't even work cause I think he is my soulmate and he just is insecure and I must have hurt him. I'm very forgiving and understanding also. I'm so scared. I can leave him tomorrow because how I feel today but I'm scared how I'll feel after two weeks when this sharp pain goes away and I miss him and how we used to be. I'm trapped in my own heart. My soul and my spirit have been so fooled and crushed that this once wonderful man is abusive. I can't sleep or eat. I'd do anything to get him back. I know he's not coming back but I'm just not ready to accept that until I guess I hit the very bottom. If you personally knew how I am you would never believe this could happen to someone like me ever!

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February 08, 2006
01:00 AM

I forgot to sign my name to the above. Debbie (I think)

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February 17, 2006
11:25 AM

I responded earlier to "I feel dead inside". I am in the same situation as many other's on this board with some exceptions. My husband is the one who wants sex from me and physical contact and affection. He is forever trying to get intimate but I find some excuse or another not to. I am not mentally "there" to even engage in any sexual encounter with a man that abuses me mentally. I can't. He will tell me I am the reason he masturbates, etc. because I am not intimate with him. Another excuse for his behavior, and I am his scape goat. It has since stepped to a further direction where he shoved me a week ago during an arguement. I called his father and told him I wanted him out and what he did to me. His father's response was, "I cant believe he would do something like that". I am in a no win situation. His mother is nuts and his dad is in denial. I sometimes think my husband is seriously bi-polar like his mom. He will fly into a rage all the time over the smallest, most foolish things. Then he will be charming, sweet and apologetic later. Its like I am living on a roller coaster. When I say I want out and a divorce he cries and tells me that he knows he would be lonely without me and that he wouldn't be happy. I cant take it anymore and need to find an outlet, an escape from all this stress and dysfunction.

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February 27, 2006
04:25 PM

Nina (and the rest), I can't help but identify with your situation, though I must admit, my marriage hasn't endured that long. We've only been married for close to three years now and for two of them I've been feeling this way. The situations that you describe in this letter are very close to heart because it seems like your husband and my husband could be best friends. *Sigh* What's worse? I'm a military spouse so most of the time he's been married he's been away! He's away right now, deployed to Iraq. Most of the time I feel absolutely NOTHING toward my husband for the way he makes me feel and I resent him daily for the fact that every time I try to do something to better myself he takes his best shot at keeping it from happening! Like, this month, for example, I have been trying to get loans to go to an Online College so I can further my education (I'm young. Only 22 years old) and no matter what I tell him there's always a reason, but not always totally apparent, that I shouldn't or cannot attend. For instance - "We can't afford the Loan payments." Well.. He refuses to remember that once I get my associate degree that I'll be able to work- -or will I? Every step I've taken to better myself has been interupted by his insistant need to be the "man on top" or "the best" of the both of us. Whose to say he won't ruin my chances at getting a job, hey- -much less finish school? Heh, the military says I'm depressed (gee! Really?) and rather than listen to my problems, they simply diagnose and hand out the Prozac! Might I add, it's not working very well at all, they keep throwing other medications on top of it! I could go on and on about how simular our situation is, but it would become redundant. I didn't notice this change in my husband until he joined the military... and even then it was a couple of months before I snapped to what he was doing! If I had known he'd be so controling, I wouldn't have married him. I'm trying my best every day to be loyal, and I've done very well, but sometimes I watch other people with their husbands and/or boyfriends and I wonder what it is like to actually be loved- -because that surely isn't what I'm getting here. I don't know what I should do, I keep wanting to leave, to break away from him, but then I worry that if I do something bad might happen. I guess it is the feeling of being unsure that keeps me from leaving... Plus the fact that I'm afraid to be abandoned overseas and dependent on the military to ship me and my things home should I make up my mind. I'm miserable with this, and it gets worse daily. I guess the saying goes, "Men don't change." and lately, I can't help but feel that it is true. Sincerely, Gail

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February 27, 2006
04:48 PM

Nina, you have been married for 9 years and the relationship is not getting better but worse. In addition, your feelings for your husband are changing because of the abuse, and I mean "abuse". I have been married for 20 years, have two children, 15 and 18 years old. I have been in a verbally abuse relationship the entire marriage. I stayed for many reasons, perhaps for many of the ones you have, however, if I could go back, I would have left him as soon as I began to realize he had a problem. We are now in therapy, he admits he has a problem, but the abuse continues. I would suggest to you that you get your children out of that environment ASAP. My daughter, now 18, shows many of the same patterns of her abusive father, and now I am dealing with two abusive persons in my family. She does not want her father to live with us. My son, 15, is doing poorly in school, and he explains that he cannot focus because he is constantly worrying about me and his father fighting, when is the next anger outburst going to happen, etc. My husband is a good person, and has always provided for our needs and wants, however, the verbal abuse and raging outbursts have destroyed my spirit, and I fear is doing, or perhaps has already done, the same to my children. Don't wait until it's too late, like me. I hate myself for allowing my children to be subjected to this totally abnormal behavior all their lives. I am sitting here today totally lost and hopeless, however, have made the decision to end this 20 year marriage because perhaps I still have time to do for my children what I should have done so many years ago; give them a normal life. Good luck, and God bless!

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February 28, 2006
11:32 PM

Dr Irene Nina could be my wife. My wife last Sunday asked me to leave our family. I really do want to change my behaviour, and I realise the error of my ways. I have seen a psychologist who has suggested that I can control my behaviour, and that my actions and reactions are habits and not instincts. However, your Your quotes "Don't you see, you don't "need" to talk about his hurting you with him" and "... there is just too much water under the bridge..." and "... He doesn't do it on purpose; he just can't help it. As sick as his behavior is, it's "normal" to him and he will fight to maintain it ..." make me feel as if I will not control my behaviours, even if right now I fully intend to. Why is this ? Is it self esteem ? Can it be controlled ? Alex

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March 03, 2006
12:40 PM

I am going thru a rough time too. Married 14 yrs. Husband passive aggressive. We have one 8 yr old special needs boy and a 3 yr old boy. Only thing keeping me in our house(he calls it His house) is my boys and not wanting to uproot them. Everyone tells me, let him leave, but he refuses. He says if I'm unhappy, to live with my parents. He calls me names on occasion, very foul words and a "loser'. He hides cash from me, then denied it, let us get in thousands of dollars of debt, and yells at me if I write "too many bills" He escapes a lot to go hunting or bow shooting, says he is the Provider etc and needs to vent. I am seeing a lawyer just to find out my rights we are in ny state. I will try the disengage approach as above indicated, my husband also denys and says I provoked him and that he only gets this angry several times a year. He even told my mom off and hasn't apologized. I'm sick to my stomach and devestated, I'm 38 and known him since 16. We both had difficult childhoods. Codependency issues. My only concern is my beautiful boys. Don't want to break their hearts. I'm shaken up too. I can emphatize with you. Good luck and hang in there. Pat

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March 03, 2006
12:42 PM

I am going thru a rough time too. Married 14 yrs. Husband passive aggressive. We have one 8 yr old special needs boy and a 3 yr old boy. Only thing keeping me in our house(he calls it His house) is my boys and not wanting to uproot them. Everyone tells me, let him leave, but he refuses. He says if I'm unhappy, to live with my parents. He calls me names on occasion, very foul words and a "loser'. He hides cash from me, then denied it, let us get in thousands of dollars of debt, and yells at me if I write "too many bills" He escapes a lot to go hunting or bow shooting, says he is the Provider etc and needs to vent. I am seeing a lawyer just to find out my rights we are in ny state. I will try the disengage approach as above indicated, my husband also denys and says I provoked him and that he only gets this angry several times a year. He even told my mom off and hasn't apologized. I'm sick to my stomach and devestated, I'm 38 and known him since 16. We both had difficult childhoods. Codependency issues. My only concern is my beautiful boys. Don't want to break their hearts. I'm shaken up too. I can emphatize with you. Good luck and hang in there. Pat

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March 03, 2006
12:42 PM

I am going thru a rough time too. Married 14 yrs. Husband passive aggressive. We have one 8 yr old special needs boy and a 3 yr old boy. Only thing keeping me in our house(he calls it His house) is my boys and not wanting to uproot them. Everyone tells me, let him leave, but he refuses. He says if I'm unhappy, to live with my parents. He calls me names on occasion, very foul words and a "loser'. He hides cash from me, then denied it, let us get in thousands of dollars of debt, and yells at me if I write "too many bills" He escapes a lot to go hunting or bow shooting, says he is the Provider etc and needs to vent. I am seeing a lawyer just to find out my rights we are in ny state. I will try the disengage approach as above indicated, my husband also denys and says I provoked him and that he only gets this angry several times a year. He even told my mom off and hasn't apologized. I'm sick to my stomach and devestated, I'm 38 and known him since 16. We both had difficult childhoods. Codependency issues. My only concern is my beautiful boys. Don't want to break their hearts. I'm shaken up too. I can emphatize with you. Good luck and hang in there. Pat

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March 14, 2006
06:33 AM

I find many of your comments interesting and probably would agree from a clinical viewpoint however the people you are talking to want to feel connected to their spouse they are looking for an exchange of intimacy, caring and sharing. Do they really want to live in a clinical atmosphere treating their spouse as a patient.Does it really validate a persons feelings to say to themselves it doesn't bother them?

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March 14, 2006
05:54 PM

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March 23, 2006
07:56 AM

Hmm, it sounds very familiar to me. The sulking, promises, arrangements, blame culture. It does erode one's confidence and takes a lot to disengage with what is, actually, unreasonable behaviour. And it won't change, and he will continue to blame you for crimes unknown to you. You may have already considered your options. Picture where you want to be in, say, three years/five years time. Is he in the picture? Sometimes you have to trust your instincts and listen to what your close friends are saying to you. Good luck