How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Jealous Wife

Comments for Jealous Wife

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos  Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

 1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Jacqueline,

You put into words so much of the confusion I felt when I was trying to leave a 4 1/2 year relationship. It was so painfully hard to stay away at first that I thought I would explode. I really worked at learning to love myself and I read Vanzant's book "In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want and it really helped me. I think learning to love myself enough to not allow him in my life at all was the only thing that saved me. I finally loved myself enough to not allow the abusive or wonderful behavior to keep me on the emotional roller coaster. I forced myself to think about the bad things, how sick I felt and I knew I had to do something different. Even though he had promised all kinds of things, the fact was that he couldn't commit, treat me well or participate in a healthy loving partnership. I knew I deserved better!!

I hope you can find this love for yourself - it's very healing!! Suzanne

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

This guy is cruel to you. His blatant disregard for your feelings is proof of that. How he treats you when you cry is awful. When I read it .....I was like woe....tell him off.. and dump his ass pronto. He shows a lot of animosity and contempt towards you...which is a very bad thing. You can't make someone love you.. nor should you even try.

You deserve better than the way he is treating you. And I'm sure he knows it. Don't put up with his crap...there's no reason to. He's no prize. People who treat you like crap and throw you a few crumbs of kindness every now and then...are a dime a dozen. Listen to Dr. Irene... and you'll make it.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Jacqueline:

First of all, dry your eyes. You have done enough crying. Your eyes are much too pretty to have your vision obscured and your eyelashes "hugging tears."

The only time you may need to cry (if you decided to end the relationship) is when you are fondly remembering all of the "good" times you shared with this man. However, the more time passes, the slower the trickle of tears will become, until one day you will be able to remember those times and laugh, and say to yourself, "What in the world did I see in this guy?" By this time, (if you have chosen to end the relationship), you will be over it! (This will take some time in coming).

Once you truly find out that the person no longer cares for you or cares how you feel, I think you have no choice but to leave the situation. To me, it seems your situation warrants leaving. There is no real reason for you to be around. If that guy is as angry as you say he is, you would not want to be around, especially if the anger escalates into physical abuse. Then you will really be in trouble.

Verbal abuse is violence. If a person has been teased, picked on, yelled at, screamed at, snapped at, verbally harassed, verbally abused, etc., it is violence. It may not be physical in nature, but it is violence, nonetheless.

Sometimes, it takes us several tries before we can actually see the person's behavior. Yes. The first time it happens, we brush it off, saying to ourselves that perhaps we should give the person the benefit of the doubt. That's fine. The second time it happens, we brush it off, saying to ourselves that maybe the person is having a bad day or doesn't feel good. Stop! Mess with me once, shame on you; mess with me twice, shame on me! By the third time, (if not sooner), light bulbs start clicking on but we're not in the right room and we begin to check our responses to the behavior, and blaming ourselves as being the cause of the behavior and responses toward us, and sometimes, just because we responded to the behavior or the responses in a particular way. However, people just don't know when to stop, and unless they're told verbally or through body language by physical avoidance, brushing them aside when they try to touch you, leaving the room when they enter, getting on/off the elevator when they get on/off, etc., they will keep right on going. Yeah.

In my experience, I have learned that some people are not astute enough to pick up on body language. Since I don't know how to say what I need to say in a way that would get them leave me alone and stop whatever they are doing to me, (and to take me seriously), I usually end up "shutting down," that is, not responding to them verbally at all, not even to say "hello," and generally ignoring them when I am in their presence. Then, all of a sudden, they "seem" to get the message. Yeah! Your body language got lots stronger...

I know this is not a good way to do business, but it allows me to keep my job for the time being. Not so bad either. (Most of my problems are with people on the job.) This is a rather long and dull story and since I am here responding to your letter to Dr. Irene, let's get back to you, Jacqueline.

For the most part, I agree with Dr. Irene. I think you ought to remove yourself physically from the situation--get your own apartment (and when you do, don't tell him. Since you are "common-law married," it is none of his business). Right. I think you ought to get your own business up and running. Generally security measures: get a post office box for all of your mail for the time being. Get an unpublished phone number for the time being. Get a per line block placed on your phone in addition to caller ID with name. In other words, take some precautionary steps toward your own protection, because once you move out, how do you know what his behavior is going to be? I think you should regain control of your own life. I think you should get some counseling, too. When you look for a counselor, find one who is knowledgeable about verbal abuse. Print out a copy of Dr. Irene's book list on verbal abuse and start reading. One book I am currently reading is "The Emotionally Abused Woman," by Beverly Engel, and it is excellent! The book talks about verbal abuse, and how this pattern of abuse may have been started when you were in childhood. You may even come to find that you have a pattern of verbal abuse that is repeating itself every time you get into a relationship with a someone. Yeah to all.

Leaving a relationship is hard. It is not easy. The thing about leaving a relationship is that, yes, you are going to feel sad. You are mourning the loss of what "might have been." You are going to miss being in his arms (I miss that from my guy). You are going to miss being held, caressed, and loved. You are going to look for him in everything you do. If you see a guy that looks like him, you are going to do a "double-take." You are going to be looking for his car when you walk down the street. You are going to see a happy couple holding hands, hugging, etc., when you walk down the street, or wherever you might find yourself, and you are going to think back on the happy times. You are going to be "home alone" on Friday night, Saturday night, and most holidays. You may/may not have a date for New Year's or any other special occasion. Although you can fill the void by being with family and friends, it won't be the same. You will no longer be a "couple," and do "couple" things or have "couple" friends. Make sure you write a list of the horrible stuff he did; how awful he made you feel. Every time you miss him, look at your list.

It might become "home alone" for a while (or a long while, like it already is with me), and if this is going to be the case, take this is the opportunity to get into counseling. Do some self-assessment testing to find out who you really are. Spend some time by yourself. Read, meditate, talk to friends. Build a support network for yourself so that you will have someone to talk to when you need it. Yes.

Yes, it's going to be painful. Yes, it's going to hurt. Yes, you will miss all those good times you shared with this guy. But the good news is that you are still here! Jacqueline, you haven't even done your best work yet!! Jacqueline, you have an opportunity to turn your life around and to give yourself the kind of life you want. You have the chance to choose what kind of people you want in your life and to choose a new relationship for yourself. Jacqueline, give yourself the gift and do this for yourself! By obtaining the wisdom you have learned about yourself, you'll be putting yourself in a position to help others. Who knows? I may have to write to Dr. Irene for advice and you may end up writing back to me!! Anything is possible.

If, on the other hand, you choose to remain in the relationship, like Dr. Irene says, just changing some things about yourself may incite this guy to change some things about himself and there might be a chance to save this relationship. Like Dr. Phil McGraw (Oprah show) says, "You teach people how to treat you." How very true...

Jacqueline, I wish you all the happiness in the world. Good luck to you. And to you...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Jacqueline, Your story reminds me so much of my own. I am glad that you wrote to Dr. I because when I read about others I can see mine a little more clearly and objectively. I think Dr. I's advice is good. I suppose anything is possible, but do not think that he will change. Mine hasn't. I wanted to end the relationship several times, but I didn't because he begged me not to and said he would change. To make a long story short, he didn't change and he ended the relationship as soon as he found someone else. I think it will be better for you if you make sure you are the one to leave him, now. After all he has already left you in many ways. - Been there, still hurting. Never forget: you are dealing with very selfish, needy people...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Doctor,

But the real fact might be that he will simply just move right onto the next woman and never do the work because with someone new he won't have to. Right? Right Anne. The guy who knows he can get new "toys", will.

Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Oh Jacqueline, I see a lot of my husband in your husband. It is so hard trying to figure out where all this anger is coming from and "just what did we do to have it directed at us?" You are guilty of having loved them. The answer is nothing, at least nothing worth beating yourself up over. I tried this for years. He would get mad, and I would say, "I'm sorry, whatever I did, please forgive me, don't be angry, I will try to be better." IT DOESN'T WORK!!! Never! I know it is so hard to leave, we have two little girls; I don't have a job, no where to go, but I am getting out. I can't keep allowing this to tear me up, make me sick. Good! It's worth your health and emotional well-being. Leave anyway, even if it is the hardest thing you have ever done. It just might be what makes you see that you don't need to have the constant reassurance of his love and feeling. You will be really sad, but isn't sad just a temporary emotion? I have often thought that sadness was fleeting. It will go away, you will get stronger, feel better. I feel better than I have in years, and that is just with the realization that I don't have to endure this forever. Think how much better I will be completely free of the abuse? Aren't you eager to see how strong you can be, how happy you can make yourself? I am, Chin up Girl, Dustie Dustie But, don't forget: you have some work to do on yourself to keep you from getting involved in another abusive relationship...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Hey Jacqueline, this is just a side note, something my aunt told me today. Others mirror our own self image, so are they portraying what and how we really see ourselves? Does that mean that I am verbally abusing myself, and that he does it just to mimic me? Maybe you can help me out with that one Dr. Irene? Is this the reasoning behind my husband calling me stupid all the time? Because I portray myself as stupid? Does he get angry with me because really I am angry with myself? I don't think so. I think of myself as a strong intelligent woman. Please, Dr. Irene, can you explain this for me? Dustie again. I don't think so Dustie. The way I see it, your abuser says things to you that are either about him or are aspects of himself he finds so loathsome, he cast out. It's really more about him than it is about you. But, if you allow the abuse to continue, it is only a matter of time until you start buying into his junk...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

You are not the abusive person in this partnership. I would be very suspicious after seeing the photos etc. too. In my opinion, he hasn't committed to marrying you, he doesn't respect your feelings and he has a very bad temper as well. I know; I've been in a relationship with this type of man. They are very adept at turning things around so that YOU are the abuser. It is just not so. It is selfishness, immaturity and manipulation. Good luck on your decision to leave and thanks for submitting your story so we can all benefit from it. Mary E.   

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

A comment on Dustie's note: What your aunt said doesn't make much sense to me. If I'm mirroring you, and you're mirroring me etc etc, then whose self image is it originally? God's? That's all I can figure. -"Been there" :)

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000

S1

He lives in a different reality. There's nothing to do, but leave. It'll hurt, but take time to heal and when you find someone new, check out their reality. One clue is how they view the world. Do they feel the world is a supportive place, or do they feel the world is ugly and bad. That's your gage.....Good luck, get support.....

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000

S1

Thank you" been there", that was kind of what I thought. How could the abuser be reflecting us, or mirroring us, when it makes us feel so terrible? Dustie They reflect themselves. Don't buy into their reality...

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 08, 2000

S1

I've been reading The Abusive Personality  by Dutton. Excellent book! Pretty strong evidence that a man's (he focused on men) abusiveness has little to do with his partner and everything to do with the way his parents treated him and each other when he was growing up, combined with his personality. Thank you.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 08, 2000

S1

Jacqueline,

Many of us have found ourselves in love with people who were toxic to our health and well-being. As you work through what went wrong during this "divorce", give some consideration as to why you chose this particular man to love. Be careful before you choose your next partner. Without some real honesty and soul-searching on your part, it is likely that your next relationship will be with a man who also keeps secrets, maybe cheats on you and engages in verbal abuse. Yes. Abuse is something you may not like, but understand and feel comfortable with given your own upbringing. You speak the language...

If this happens it is NOT because you deserve it but because you let it! Because you don't know any better...yet. If we don't consciously know what or whom to avoid we can easily wind up with the same scenario because it's familiar and (in a dysfunctional way) comfortable. Yes.

A friend of mine once said, "If you don't know where you want to go, any road will do" .If we don't know what we want there is little likelihood that we will get it. If we don't know what we want how will we know when we find it! How true...

You alone can keep this from happening again. If you see signs of it in a new relationship, you can say to yourself, "I didn't sign up for this! I deserve better and I'm out of here"! Good luck. Do this, and watch what happens! Good stuff.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 09, 2000

S1

Hey everybody, I wanted to post an update. I worked out a business agreement with my stbx and our silent partner. I pay out a percentage to the place, and he leaves me completely free to do as I choose. Our partner stood up for me and told him to leave me alone, OR ELSE. This was this morning. I worked all day, and ignored him completely. I had a relatively good friend that was my client today, and we were laughing it up, I was really happy. He came into my work area to ask me for a document, and I gave it to him without breaking stride or even looking at him. I am proud to be doing this, even though I came home and cried a bit. Good!

He's already been seeing someone else, I heard today that some of her friends brought her up-to-date on his past, and she's shying away (karma!) And I've had about ten people offer to beat him up - joking, of course - but they meant it. I am trying really hard to maintain my composure. He messed me up really badly yesterday; it ended up with the police coming to the house because I called a local women's shelter and they heard him yelling at me in the background and called the cops on him for abuse. Wow! 

Today he pretty much stayed out of my hair. My friend that he's staying with (she and her partner let him move in because they wanted to get him away from me, and I didn't want to move out...they are super nice to me. They asked me if they should let him, even before they asked him.) she told me that he's been setting up his room there and being a pain in the ass, and won't last long. The chick he is seeing (So soon! what a jerk!) is one of his clients, and they said that they won't let him bring her there. He assured me tonight (he tried to call me several times before I answered - I love answering machines!) that he's not sleeping with anyone or seeing anyone, that he's "too busy". Which I know is bullsh*t. I have been reading a book my counselor recommended and playing with the computer and painting. It's nice to be alone, I am now even enjoying it. :)

I'm hoping that as I grow stronger he grovels, and tries to get me back. I want to see him try. Not that I'd say "yes" - he needs some serious help, and some time, before I'd trust him to even talk to me in private - But just because it would make me feel better. Mean, I know, but I'm angry right now and it's funny to picture it. It makes me feel how truly right that would be, and how wrong everything's been. Thanks everyone for posting... I sent Dr. Irene an update that comes between the original letter and this post, I don't know if she'll post it. Thanks, good luck. I looked; cannot find your update. I would have posted it. Please resend it and tell me it is an update to "jealous wife." Thanks.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 09, 2000

S1

I was there too, for too many years....What Dr. Irene says, Trust your feelings. I look back, and think of how many times I felt bad, and knew how I was being treated was wrong, and if I tried to talk about it, my feelings were put down more,,, so I kept sinking deeper and deeper. You know,,,,my mind today is like a heart monitor.....there is no heart beat....it is at rest most of the time. It is wonderful...When I was with my ex, my mind went in circles continuously. He cheated on me, I knew it, and he denied it. He screamed and yelled, I did nothing right. My mind,,, I wondered who he was with, how I could have prevented his outburst the night before. How I could do this or that, so he would not be interested in other women, and so he would stop yelling at me. It was sick. I sold my soul...and guess what? Your soul wakes up and slaps you across the face, and says get out. Take care of me. You know, when I am in a situation today, and that knot forms in my stomach, and I feel bad,,,,I listen to those feelings. If I feel it then it is real. No one can deny my feelings, no one can tell me my feelings are wrong...I wasted a lot of years, YES, wasted. Get out... Oh boy, did you get smart! Good for you! Listen to that body; it won't lie...

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 09, 2000

S1

Jacqueline, I can truly sympathize with what you're going thru. I used to live with my abuser, but he didn't carry his financial end of things so I kicked him out. I continued to see him after we had our own places, but it was never the same. He was mad at me for ending his "free ride" so he took a lot of anger out on me. Over the few years I've known him, he's done so many mean and hateful things, but would say he loved me, loved everything about me, wanted to live together again and even wanted to get married. How can I live my life with someone who does everything opposite of what I tell him would make me happiest? I can't. It took a long time to finally realize I had taken enough, listened to enough empty promises of a better life and broke it off with him. I still see him now and again, but he wants a relationship again and I feel blank, no emotions when I'm around him. Almost as if he's not there....he's no longer attractive to me, (he doesn't shave often, won't get his hair cut, drinks too much, smokes too much, won't take care of his teeth, breaks out with acne really bad from poor diet). I don't even care what he says or what he does now, can't be around him for long because there's nothing there for me anymore and I see him for the person he truly is now. 

It's a great feeling to look at him and wonder what I ever saw in him while he's looking at me and knowing he lost a great woman!!!! Yippeee! You'll get to that point too if you do finally end this. I believe your "husband" has no conscience and will move on to someone else before you leave to hurt you, or after you leave because he doesn't truly care about anyone but himself and abusers can't be alone. If you put your foot down and leave him for his behavior and stick to it like you have to get past this, he'll probably find someone else, but you can rest assured it will not be a satisfying relationship for him and he will eventually do to her what he did to you Yes, unless he really goes after recovery - whereas you can heal from this and find a truly lasting meaningful relationship with someone. You hurt more; therefore you are more likely to recover, simply by seeking a way to fix your pain... I am very optimistic and I look at it as I was never really meant to be with this guy, but was with him until I learned the lesson to never take a great man (when he comes along) for granted and let him know how much he is loved and appreciated. Smart lady... I'm going to say I graduated with honors and will find the man who deserves me one day and will make sure I he's the one I deserve as well...I'll settle for nothing less again! Very smart lady... Best of luck to you, keep coming to this site daily for support. It's helped me so much in leaving and staying true to myself.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 09, 2000

S1

RUN LIKE HELL! Subtle, huh? But true.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000

S1

Hey it's me, Jacqueline again... I am missing him severely. I keep hearing from him, he doesn't want to come back (HA! as if!) and I tell him I don't want him to. Then he tells me he loves me, he misses me, he was thinking about me... I like it. And I keep telling him- "I'll see you in private after you get some help. If you want counseling together, I'll go." He called to tell me he was having a hard time without me. I told him to call the people he's been hanging out with and tell THEM how much he misses me, just how I've been doing with my friends, and that I don't care for words, only effort. Jacqueline: It's so hard early on... Once you gain distance from this craziness, you wonder why you ever participated in it...

I went off on him over the phone, politely and very clearly without accusing him, blaming him, or calling names or insulting - told him his behavior hurt me, that he needed help and was out of control, that I would never ever hear another angry word from him again. He said, "I heard EVERYTHING you said. I will call you when I can respond and tell you how I feel."  I said, "please do that. I am ready to hear you. If I'm not busy, I'll listen, once." And that's that. Stick to your guns! Don't sell yourself short, OK?

I have been crying constantly last night and today- I miss him so, and I am seeing the balance of power in our relationship clearly (I was constantly , almost, begging for validation of how he felt about me, it's embarrassing to think about...) and I know that I was mostly in control, of our finances, our business, etc... I was a fairly silent manipulator, and I took on a lot more than I should have, because I am/was just as terrified of losing control. Yes. But, you were not abusive. And I wanted to post too, that when I first started telling him I didn't want him to go, I told him "You can't go! You better NOT go!" etc, etc, and was fairly controlling and smothering with it. I may have hurt him by telling him what to do to the point where he couldn't respond well. He was emotionally distant then, and for the last year it has been that way, but not all the time.  Nobody ever said you had no part in the mess. It's OK; you both participated. Just fix your piece; make sure he fixes his, or find someone less broken.

We have enjoyed each other's company calmly about 70 percent of our time together, as I said, I think... It has only been since we opened our business that it has been out of control, really. I think that both of us have suffered a great deal from the stress of this. I am very sad that he became so mean to me and so distant, and I'm really sad that it's over. There was a lot of good there to save, and I'm just taking care of myself, having fun, and enjoying my alone time and hoping that he will see what I see in it and make the effort to get some help and approach me... Maybe? Maybe. He may. And if he does, stick to your boundaries and fix your behavior. Insist he do same.  There will be no sanity otherwise.

But I am focusing on myself as much as I can Good! , besides the awfully bad grieving process, and all the emotions washing over me, I am doing okay, I think. I wish there was something I could do to get through the bad, sad days, though. I resist the urge to call him. Thanks again for all the input, it's helping a lot... Jacqueline. Jacqueline, if you are depressed, and you sound as though you may be, talk to your medical doc about an antidepressant to help you through this period...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000

S1

Jackie,

My story is very much like yours. I too am afraid of being alone, I have left a few times but YES my head rationalizes, and I end up home.

My dh keeps telling me he is leaving. He is the most controlling, sarcastic man I have ever known. Someone on the YAK board asked me "Would you chose him as a friend." Like you I thought YES we have good times, he buys me nice gifts, he is fun. Though she said does the fun outweigh the sarcasm, the times he needs to say things like, "Don't get the net caught in the door. " And then in a sarcastic tone (which makes me feel like a useless kid) he says, "Be careful next time." Another thing he does is, I forgot to get some milk, or something he needed, "I'm used to it, always coming last." Yuk. I'm glad you see it.

I sure wish I could up and leave, but I know how hard it is, so I just hope you get the courage.

I have a six year old. Makes life complicated. Yes. It's not so much that you want to leave per se; it's the hope that not taking the junk wakes your partner up to fix their piece. 

If I didn't maybe life would be simpler. I don't know.

Take care, get counseling, make a plan. That's what I am going to try to do. Good luck!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000

S1

Jacqueline, Hang in there! I know it is hard. Only time will tell - he could say anything right now. In my similar situation, I keep reminding myself "Actions speak louder than words". Unfortunately, the actions are not measuring up. I would not recommend joint counseling until he has had months of individual counseling or a men's group. And if you do get joint counseling eventually, be sure the therapist knows about verbal abuse. Try to concentrate on seeing things very clearly, and staying calm. Yes.

  B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2000

S1

Hi - Jacqueline - Im new to this - this site - this stuff this everything - yours is the first thing I read on this - and I remember a lot of how you feel - I am still in an abusive relationship with a recovering alcoholic - ever hear of dry drunk syndrome? well its like he's acting the way he used to when he was drinking - verbally abusive was a lot of it - jealousy for me was the other. Its been a long time since I have felt jealous regarding an affair type situation as yourself - but I remember it well!!!!!!!!!!! Addiction and cheating went hand and hand and there were some very painful times for me. My heart goes out to you. Its sounds as though your abuser (whether or not you have come to think of him that way - that's what he is) is a cheater. Unhappy in himself and trying to fulfill it though others and hurting you. I was lucky when my husband went into recovery that part of our life ending and even though he is an over the road truck driver I have no doubt in my mind that he is faithful. If your abuser is not ready to ask for help you're right to leave. The problem I faced was that I was so absorbed in my husband and why he didn't want me and wanted these other women that I completely forgot who I was. I was embarrassed that others in town knew of his affairs (and they did!) and eventually stopped going out of the house - I was convinced that they mocked an pitied me. My entire world revolved around him and I sounded much like you when you said that you had a lot of love - I didn't - not really - I was still lying to myself. At any rate, here I am because for whatever reason my husband has been saying one or two things more cruel than usual as of late. Putting me down a little more often, making me feel ugly and unattractive. I could never go to therapy - I've always hated it. I never really healed - I just hoped it would never happen again. But here I am. I still wont go to therapy - still the pity thing? I don't know. For whatever reason God has given us this cyber thing that has allowed us to share our experiences with others like us, and I want to drown in it. I'll pray for you if you all pray for me. I'm afraid its happening again and as usual, Im hearing that its all my fault. Keep going Jacqueline - for all of us.

Pat

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 14, 2000

S1

This interactive e-mail shouldn't be titled "jealous wife" but rather "sick, abusive husband". Anyone agree? Me.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2000

S1

To above post: I think Dr. Irene names them after the person who is writing for help. If it was the person who has the most significant problem then, yes, the title would be different in my opinion too. True. But, he is a "sick, abusive husband." 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 17, 2000

S1

Me Jacqueline again... New update- He is away on his weeklong trip. I am going crazy but HAVE NOT CALLED HIM!!!!!!:) Yippeee! He has been calling me, same tired crap, "I'm not seeing anyone else, I love you and care about you but can't be with you right now, etc..." which I absolutely agree with, because he STILL is denying that he was ever abusive. My attorney advised me to record all our conversations, which I've been doing, and I am hoping that his new girly calls me one day so she can hear what he has to say about her- "That b**th? I'd never date someone that stupid. Why the hell would I be interested in her? and I certainly wouldn't f**k her! She's nasty." I pity this chick so much. She's sucked in right now, but oh well...  Watch the anger Jacqueline... How are you going to feel about yourself if you intervene this way?

I have been going to the beach and hanging out and being around supportive fellas as much as I can. Some nights I just cry. I had so many hopes and dreams wrapped up with him, and it's gut-wrenching to have them all gone. Hopes and dreams are not reality. In reality, you had nothing with this guy. I am trying to move on in my life and it's hard because I still love him so much. Is it "love" or dependency? He says he loves me, too, but he is too broken to do anything about it, I think. Poor jerk! Oh well, he'll get his... Yeah, I'm in this entirely vindictive state sometimes where I wish he'd get hurt, or hurt this new girl, and get dumped summarily by her - but then I realize that he already is doing this to her, he's lying to her and me, and I just get angry again. Good for you for recognizing you are very angry right now. Good! OK to fantasize what you'd do. But actions are a different story...

I'm taking St. John's and gingko. I'm eating really well:) It's insomnia that's killing me right now, because our best times were usually at night or in the morning. Anyway, the incident with him that's been most effective in helping me get past it happened right before he left. He had been reassuring me (he came to drop off his dog, who I love, and agreed to dog sit during his trip so my dog would have her friend back for a little while. They were raised together and she's been as sad as I am...) and holding me in his arms, because I started getting angry. He came up and held me and said "I AM NOT SEEING ANYONE. I want you to know this. I am not interested in ANYONE. I have hung out with men and women this week, but NOT for sex or love. Just as friends. I love you and I need time to figure myself out. I need to know what I want. "  He needs to find different ways of affirming himself. Ways that don't interfere with a relationship.

I got even madder and told him he was not trustworthy. (tape recorder going-hmmm) He just kept saying these things over and over. Then he hugged me and said "relax. It's gonna be ok." I started crying, (remember, I miss him!) and HE ACTUALLY HELD ME and comforted me!!!! It was bizarre, guys. It was weird. Amazing stuff happens when you stop putting up with... He has never been able to go out of his way to comfort me if he's the one who hurt me, before. He said that he was trying to figure out how not to be so mean to me. I told him to get help. He said he'd call me while he's gone. Then I dropped him off. I am very happy right now to be in my house alone. I have found a roommate and I'm going to be cleaning up and emptying out the house over the next two days. I am actually enjoying it! And knowing that he isn't being a jerk for now helps too. I'm keeping my distance as well as I can and just trying to get on with it. Thanks again Dr. Irene and everyone. I can't tell you how much this site helps me stay firm in myself. 

I am willing to take everything he has to give, except his abuse. Good. Don't take anything else that doesn't feel good either! I have a lot to do before I'll even let him have that opportunity again. And I realize that he is probably lying to me so he can feel better. I keep telling him that I don't really believe these things that he's saying, and that he needs to ACT on them before I talk to him seriously again, or give him any time or thought. (Though I am, just not so he knows.) He has rapidly run though his friends here in town and is running out of options - it's a medium city and everyone knows everyone. His dating options are limited to the stupid and the ugly right now. Giggle... Or should I say - potential victims that aren't strong enough to say no. He has maintained his composure with me every time I've talked to him for the last few days. It makes me almost as angry as when he was being a jerk. I am hoping for the best, and for his behavior to change and for him to return when I'm ready NOT to wanna kill him anymore... It'll be a little while. Thanks!  Good start lady!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 17, 2000

S1

I recently broke up with a very abusive man. It wasn't so much any physical abuse but it was mainly psychological. I found out by accident that he had been secretly carrying on an affair behind my back for several months. I should have smelled the coffee some time ago. The verbal put-downs. He didn't want me to wear make-up, my breasts were too large, I was too heavy, I didn't keep the apartment clean, etc. etc. etc. He told me that I didn't meet his needs and that's why he needed someone else. YUK! 

Anyway, I got a very good therapist through my job's Employee Assistance Program, and was able to work through a lot of muck. I am also an incest survivor and the adult child of an alcoholic, so my people pleasing tendencies and codependency were way over my head. It slowly dawned on me that no matter what I did for this person, it would never be enough. Yes! He would always find reasons to belittle me and hurt me. I cried for eight weeks straight while I was in therapy. But I emerged with a new awareness. These type of people are not worth my emotional, mental or spiritual energy. Yippeee! It takes an awful lot of energy to live with this type of abuse. 

Luckily for me though, I didn't live with this man. Another thing I would like to say about dealing with an abusive person is that they will try everything in the world to pull you back in to the realm of control once they feel you pulling away. But don't fall for it. It has nothing to do with love at this point, it is about maintaining the control over you and your life. My suggestion to anyone who is getting out of an abusive situation is to stick to your guns, so to speak. I know it will be painful, because of the time you spent together, but this person is no longer the person your fell in love with, this person is now your abuser. Sincerely yours, Paula   Good for you Paula!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2000

S1

Hey Jacqueline, Sounds like you are making progress with yourself. You are standing your ground, and that says a lot for you. I only wish that I could stand firm on the boundaries that I have repeatedly tried to set. They just keep getting shoved to the side. Oh well, that is my problem but I feel like it is his problem too, because he isn't respecting them. I think that you are making excellent progress with yourself, and like Dr. Irene said, he has to make the progress with himself. That seems to be my problem, I want to make my husbands progress for him so that we can return to the 'better days'. Unlike your husband, mine has agreed to counseling, for both anger and marriage. However, I feel that it this change, or willingness is just an act, so if he agrees, stick to your guns and marinating that you need acts, not empty promises. Keep up the good work on yourself, Dustie

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2000

S1

Jacqueline again, Dr. Irene, I wanted to let you know I wasn't talking about intervening, I was saying that IF SHE calls ME I'm glad I can save her some heartache. I hear you. I would feel good about myself for playing those tapes if SHE contacted ME because in retrospect I would have had less crap to deal with if someone had warned me that way. I wouldn't even contact her. She has nothing to do with it. But hoping that she would call me is a different story... And my rage works out better in fantasy, I'm far too goofy to do anything in real life. Fantasy is OK! Helps us work this stuff through! It makes me feel vented and clean to just picture the revenge. He told me (along with someone else I know, who backed this story up) that the girl he was hanging out with (I have a lot of friends in town; if I ask they tell me.) once or twice, is a therapist who works with battered and abused kids. I can't believe that a person involved and knowledgeable would get involved with him - it just blew my mind. Wow! 

And no, he wasn't seeing her for advice or therapy. It would be unethical if he was. He took her to one party and dinner once too. He went home with her one night. From the background I've heard about her, she's fresh out of college and just got her job. She told him (his words, which are probably bull-) that he wasn't abusive; that it was only because he was with me! She's a smart lady... Maybe in time, she'll have the lessons she needs to help her clients, thanks to you know who. 

I didn't answer the phone when he called last night again. Today he called and repeated, repeated, the same stuff... I am curious to see what he does when he gets back from his trip. I have no intention of letting him talk his way into me again, Good! but his actions are going to be interesting to say the least Let us know! - I am getting ready for a major career step that has me very excited and preoccupied. Yippeee! It's eating up all my time so I am not so lonely. I feel better every day- not great yet, but better. Thanks again everyone. Time - the best medicine... Good luck Jacqueline.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 23, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene. My ex has been totally neutral to me on the phone the last few days. I am having trouble maintaining my distance from him, he keeps letting me know that he loves me, but in every conversation he somehow makes me feel like I should be asking HIM to come back...which I don't. But that feeling is still an undertone and I'm trying to avoid it. He is manipulating you. Look here: Nasty People  ; In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People  ; Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You 

He has told me that his new "friend" gave him professional advice and he knows he doesn't need to get any help. She and one of her friends counseled him and it turns out (surprise, surprise) that I am abusive and I have problems trusting! I am completely amazed at his gall. He even had the nerve to tell me he wished I could meet her and that I would like her, that she's SOOO nice. This guy is such an absolute bastard. But he will tell me that he loves me and wishes there was some way to work it out, that he dreams about me (guilty conscience, I think) and all kinds of dreamy lala land stuff. Actions speak louder than words...

I told him I wanted a healthy relationship in reality, not in some dream world. He was silent. He continually reassures me that he is NOT seeing anyone else, I like this but doubt it. I think he is slowly getting it-that I don't want him in my life unless he gets help and makes some changes, that I won't pursue him (even though it's really hard not to, we have been very close over the years and even my artwork is suffering because of our separation) and that I expect him to not only pursue me but change himself also. My gallery work is going well but my day-to-day creative process is so messed up right now, I can't seem to flow how I used to and without the artistic input he gives, I am floundering a little. He and I had a very deep connection on that level, so I'm sure he's going through the same thing. (Well, I'm not sure but I can guess.) 

I hate this neutrality almost as much as his anger. It's the same distancing/cold shoulder he gave me when we were together. I have been waiting so long for this man to show his feelings and show concern for mine, and I wonder if it will ever happen. I am trying to get on with my own growth regardless of him but I am in a lot of pain right now. I have felt for the last two days the same way I felt when he'd tell me to shut up when I cried. I'm getting there but this whole thing is so hard. And I have no way of understanding it. Ack. Til there's more news. The more you learn about emotional blackmail and manipulation, the more you will understand...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2000

S1

you need to get on with your life no matter if he's in it or not girlfriend

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 27, 2000

S1

I AM getting on with it. It's hard to "get on with your life" only two weeks after being completely degraded and attacked for five years. This stuff takes time! I'm used to someone telling me what to think, feel, and do. It's hard to relearn those skills. And I'm not your girlfriend, that's kind of rude even if it is just slang. There, I said how I felt. Jacqueline.  Oh! I like this! Even though I thought the poster was trying to support you, good for you for opening your mouth if you were not OK with it.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 30, 2000

S1

Take care of yourself. And try to get away!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 01, 2000

S1

Jacqueline:

This is hard stuff, I know I am there now with the divorce in process with my husband. Little steps forward, take it day by day. You will get through the fog and things will clear with time. Though I do cry probably every day, I know that I mourn the loss of my dreams that I had with this man, and I honor those feelings. I am angry with him, but I also know he chose his path and when I set my boundaries and took back my power, he could not deal with it and came very close to physical abuse. Ouch! But, good for you that you recognize a big part of what you mourn are lost dreams...not lost reality. I understand what you said about telling his current flame about the cr** that has happened, should she contact you. I have been in contact with my h's ex fiancee and wow, history repeats himself. The fact he has moved on to someone else is painful, I know that so well. My h has moved into the swinging arena again (told me that part of his life was over, have gotten emails from responses has sent (YUKYUKYUK)). Know that you are taking care of you, and you deserve better. I remind myself, that which does not kill us, makes us stronger and I have learned so much about myself through this pain, I hope that you will to.

K

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 26, 2000

S1

Okay, big update.

H is in counseling. Has still been critical but has been APOLOGIZING! almost immediately. Expresses supprtiveness to me about what I want to do (work from home). Has helped me with money and practical things. Said (in front of friend) "I know I have a lot to prove to you. I'm gonna do it." Also stated that he was uninterested in other women (we'll see...I'm maintaining a healthy neutrality, I'm trying to...) I went away from town for a week and man oh man whatta switch. He HAS got a lot to prove. Getting counseling seems to be helping him-he is working on his negativity and his restlessness, remembering all kinds of childhood stuff, some of which he has shared with me...his stepdad pulled him out of everything good he ever liked or did well at. He seems to know that his behavior has been self-destructive. (He says, "self-sabotage.") I have been concentratinng on working out, getting my stuff together to move, and doing my art. Second part of update- He's wearing his wedding ring, telling his friends we are working it out, seems glad to be in counseling even to them, and has been at home alone every night for the last near-week. (One night I'm not sure about, but-it's a start.) I'm doing my own thing and watching him try. I have stopped taking my anger out on him-or at least when I notice I walk away and do something else. He has been angry at times but hasn't yelled at me or manipulated me...I haven't FELT it. I feel pretty good. I hope that he makes sincere and lasting changes. I am hoping that he doesn't decide to quit when yet another nice girl walks in. I got a letter from the woman in the original post who'd called my husband sweetheart...She said that she and he had no kind of romance going on-he was too bad-tempered for her and she was too fat for him! But that she was brought up in a very close family and calls her friends those things, and that he'd listened to her when she was going through a bad time, and she apologized if it made me uncomfortable. She offered to write to me and gave me her email address. She sent me a photo of her with her husband to be (they'll get married in the winter) and told me she hoped I was doing well and that she thought my H loved me a lot and just had no idea how to be good about it, that it was obvious he needed some help. I was extremely reassured, to say the least, and I intend to keep her (new and distant) friendship by writing back to her again. Thank you everyone, I sent another update to Dr. Irene but since the last time it got lost I wrote this too just to be sure. Wish me luck!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 03, 2000

S1

I AM A VERY JEALOUS PERSON AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW CAN I HOLD DOWN MY JEALOUSY. IT SEEMS THAT I CANT CONTROL IT. I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND SO MUCH WE'VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 2 1/2 YEARS. I GET MADD AND JEALOUS OF EVERYTHING. SUCH AS WHEN HES WATCHIN T.V AND A GIRL COMES OUT WIT A BIKINI AND HES LOOKIN AT HER WHEN I HAVE THE SAME BODY AND IM PRETTY BUT I FEEL THAT HE ADMIRES OTHER PEOPLE. AND IT HURTS ME TO SEE HIM LOOKIN AT OTHER GIRLS ESPECIALLY WHEN I KNOW I HAVE THE BODY AND LOOKS TO FIT THAT. HELP ME PLEASE IM SO INSECURE HOW DO I GET OVER MYSELF? AND STOP BEIN JEALOUS

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 03, 2000

S1

I AM A VERY JEALOUS PERSON AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW CAN I HOLD DOWN MY JEALOUSY. IT SEEMS THAT I CANT CONTROL IT. I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND SO MUCH WE'VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 2 1/2 YEARS. I GET MADD AND JEALOUS OF EVERYTHING. SUCH AS WHEN HES WATCHIN T.V AND A GIRL COMES OUT WIT A BIKINI AND HES LOOKIN AT HER WHEN I HAVE THE SAME BODY AND IM PRETTY BUT I FEEL THAT HE ADMIRES OTHER PEOPLE. AND IT HURTS ME TO SEE HIM LOOKIN AT OTHER GIRLS ESPECIALLY WHEN I KNOW I HAVE THE BODY AND LOOKS TO FIT THAT. HELP ME PLEASE IM SO INSECURE HOW DO I GET OVER MYSELF? AND STOP BEIN JEALOUS

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 03, 2000

S1

I AM A VERY JEALOUS PERSON AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW CAN I HOLD DOWN MY JEALOUSY. IT SEEMS THAT I CANT CONTROL IT. I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND SO MUCH WE'VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 2 1/2 YEARS. I GET MADD AND JEALOUS OF EVERYTHING. SUCH AS WHEN HES WATCHIN T.V AND A GIRL COMES OUT WIT A BIKINI AND HES LOOKIN AT HER WHEN I HAVE THE SAME BODY AND IM PRETTY BUT I FEEL THAT HE ADMIRES OTHER PEOPLE. AND IT HURTS ME TO SEE HIM LOOKIN AT OTHER GIRLS ESPECIALLY WHEN I KNOW I HAVE THE BODY AND LOOKS TO FIT THAT. HELP ME PLEASE IM SO INSECURE HOW DO I GET OVER MYSELF? AND STOP BEIN JEALOUS

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, October 03, 2000

S1

I AM A VERY JEALOUS PERSON AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW CAN I HOLD DOWN MY JEALOUSY. IT SEEMS THAT I CANT CONTROL IT. I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND SO MUCH WE'VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 2 1/2 YEARS. I GET MADD AND JEALOUS OF EVERYTHING. SUCH AS WHEN HES WATCHIN T.V AND A GIRL COMES OUT WIT A BIKINI AND HES LOOKIN AT HER WHEN I HAVE THE SAME BODY AND IM PRETTY BUT I FEEL THAT HE ADMIRES OTHER PEOPLE. AND IT HURTS ME TO SEE HIM LOOKIN AT OTHER GIRLS ESPECIALLY WHEN I KNOW I HAVE THE BODY AND LOOKS TO FIT THAT. HELP ME PLEASE IM SO INSECURE HOW DO I GET OVER MYSELF? AND STOP BEIN JEALOUS

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 19, 2001

S1

dd

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2002

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 03, 2003

S1

Jacueline, I found this website looking for self help on the net. I read your story and want to give you some advise. I am currently in a similiar situation with my husband. My husband has anger problems. He blames me when he loses his temper. He blames me for everything. We have been married for 10 years and I knew when I married him he had a anger problem. But I did not know that it could get to the level it is now. I am trying to figure out how I can now get out of the marriage because he has taken his anger a step further. In the past 5 years he has hit me on several different occasions. Yes I would have left a long time ago but I have 2 small children with this man. Ages 8 and 4. I am stuck in my situation right now because I don't have the money to leave yet. I want to tell you the anger only gets worse. You cannot fix this person. Please get out before it gets too late. I thought about leaving him before we had children but he said all the right things to keep me around. I was a fool. Now I need to leave before my 8 year old daughter thinks its ok to have someone mistreat you everyday and she will be in the same type of relationship if I don't do something quick. I have been through 10 years of abuse starting with verbal and now I'm ready to leave this marriage. I cannot let this man's anger ruin my children's lives and ruin anymore time from me. I am 35 yrs old now cannot waste anymore of my life. I will keep you updated.