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Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Success: Proud of Husband

Comments for Success: I'm Proud of My Husband

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

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

Katie, Please tell us how you did it!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

Thank you, Dr. Irene for your encouraging words! In an answer to your question, although my mother-in-law goes over and above now attention wise and affectionately, relatives have told me when my husband was growing up, she never showed them any attention, affection or concern for their feelings and opinions. She spent all her days trying to make their father happy. She went so far as to walk out of the room when he verbally abused them, and told me herself, that it was no sense getting him mad at everybody. She told them simply to laugh at him! (I know... sick) Survival. Now she tries to be the perfect mother and grandmother. My children see a lot of her tricks, they are very smart for their age... I guess they see a similarity in my husband's behavior. I have always interceded for them or explained that daddy's behavior is unacceptable. I guess I thought I did the best thing at the time. You did OK. I still paid it's toll. 

Now that I have told my husband my feelings towards his mother he says, "Why do you let her bother you. You know she acts like a baby sometimes". I think between me and you, he likes whatever attention she gives him, even negative, considering she ignored him when he needed her in the past. I tried everything through the years to make things right. Crying, fighting back, ignoring, all of which you know does not work and makes it worse sometimes. Finally, with this site and encouragement from my family, I got a drive in me that I never saw for years and said, "I can change this if I decide to." So I told him flat out. Things have been wrong for a long time. Me and the kids put up with it for a way too long. It is dysfunctional. We won't do it any longer. I have threatened before by leaving but this time it is different. I taught him about boundaries, showed him articles like "family of origin" and "the abuser," and let him read them by himself so he could see why he was doing the things he was doing. He agreed that he was not happy. 

Plan "A": Things must change. When I tell you that you have crossed my boundaries you must respect this. You will not fight, attack, argue etc. They are my boundaries and I can choose what I will accept and what I will not. I will also be setting boundaries for the children since they can not for themselves. When I give you a signal (so the kids didn't get caught up between him and I disagreeing) then stop what you are doing and come out of the room so we can discuss it. This is what I will need to stay here. If you can't do this, then this is your choice. I have already made plans to stay with my brothers, who will gladly take me and the kids. So basically it is your choice what you want to do". It was a struggle, I can't say it happened over night but this time he knew I would leave. He knew I would not give it one inch. He did slip up, and I expected this, after all, he was once a victim too. 

Every time though, (with my help) he stopped what he was doing, reconsidered his position and realized his reaction was wrong. I think the hardest thing for me in the beginning was not to react when he attacked me with things that I knew deep in my heart were not true and it was just his distorted thinking. That is tough because I am sensitive and I don't want to hear negative things. Once I didn't react and just said, "Stop right there", he couldn't go any further. If he did, he knew I could and would leave. Your ability and willingness to leave certainly balanced the power in your marriage! Good stuff! 

We are still working on things; he has very selfish ways still. It is hard for him to realize that the world does not spin just for him. This will come in time now that he is not attacking and acting irrational. Also, he is receptive to try and make things better. I think deep down inside he truly was unhappy and didn't know how to help himself. Correct. But the key for my situation was that he recognized my strength, knew I meant it this time - and also knew he had the power to have me and the kids stay or leave by his behavior. I know I can never go back to showing codependent behavior. This is not to say I can not care about him or take his feeling into consideration, it just means that I have changed my codependent ways and realized that we both have to have equal balance in the relationship. Well, that is pretty much my condensed version. I am happy to say that things can change and if it ever goes back to the way it was, I know I have enough confidence in myself to want better and leave.. something I found very hard to do before. So either way me and my children have a chance for a better future. Wow! To sum it up: You changed, you took your power; balanced the power - and put him in a position where he had to choose between changing himself (which he really wanted to do, despite himself) and losing his family. Victims: you listening? This is the formula for success...  Thank you Katie. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

Katie, I am so happy for you and so happy to see that your family stayed together. I can't even imagine the work it was for you but good for you!! This does give me hope, I am only seeing that my husband is emotionally abusive and maybe I am to him sometimes too... Your story makes me want to work hard and run out and buy some boundary books ( I have never set boundaries and have no idea how to start).  I have no advice for you on your mother in law-sorry--just wanted to let you know your story is very encouraging to me.

Stormy

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

Katie - I am so happy to hear that things have changed for someone. I am just now finding my own "power" and confidence and realizing that I have to change as well as my husband. I realize something from your posts - you did a great job in forgiving and moving on with a positive attitude. I am caught up in the anger of what I have had to put up with and the effects of it all on my personality and the person who I am now. Congratulations on doing things right! Good observation! You can put anger behind you and get on with life too...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

Now, the toughest thing of all- Forgive this poor woman! Accept that she's nuts, but that she's related to you and your kids. Take her words and actions with a grain of salt, and limit your contact with her. Even if she understands that she doesn't have any power over you, she must feel compelled to act the way she does. Kind of like a kleptomaniac. Forgive! Yes. Excellent advice. 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

I truly do forgive her but the problem that I have is say my husband was an alcoholic and was on the verge of losing his family. Here she comes waving a beer under his nose. This is how I feel. Why would she protect him as if he could do no wrong and my shortcomings even just normal things that I do differently from her, are to blame for his rages in the past? I have accepted why she has done this. Dr. Irene's explanation makes sense to me. Currently she is aware that he has an anger problem which he is working on so hard to fix. She knows he was on the verge of losing his family over it yet this very weekend she left a message on the machine and we did not get it. She called him up chewing him out on how she called and no one had the decency to call her back and she is sick and tired of being treated this way blah blah. Now if she knows the importance of this man controlling his temper, why on earth would she call just this weekend with the intention of making him upset. Wouldn't a mother who wants her son to be happy, be trying extra hard not to get him excited or cause him to lose his temper? 

To me it is just a malicious act and she is selfish for doing something so vindictive. This is what I just don't understand and it happens quite often. Yes, I have broken ties with her, but she is his mother and must have some sort of contact. He is not strong enough yet to see how serious her manipulation is, so it continues. And her hold on him is what, I think, is making you see red. That she has control over him where - you don't! It just seems like the one person who should be rooting him on is actually the only one who is holding him back from recovery and provoking him to the very thing that could cause him to lose everything he has. Yes, I forgive, but I wish she would just see the damage she is doing. She won't. She has since remarried a man whom she is very happy with so why can't she let her son try for the same happiness? That's all. Because she can't or she won't. So stop butting your head against a wall. You have disengaged physically. Now begin to disengage emotionally. Don't give her so much power!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 04, 2000

S1

Katie, I am proud of you taking control of the situation and making these positive changes. My question to you is I am interested in what the time frame was for how long it took from when you found the site to when it seemed like your relationship was turned around and reached stable ground? I know it is an ongoing process. For me it took 6 months of living apart which seemed to last forever. There was also a previous separation of 2 months with counseling and anger management, all this in a 3 year marriage, but it was during this past 6 months (with counseling too) that I found this site and began to see the real dynamics, problem ( his verbal and emotional abuse), and found out what I could do to change my responses, set boundaries, not react, etc. I don't know if we are out of the woods yet but my perspective has changed for good. Thank you Dr. Irene from the deepest part of my heart, for this site has been my support group and opened my eyes so I can see. :)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 04, 2000

S1

I did have a separation years ago, but when I returned, it did not take long for the situation to go back to exactly the same reasons why I left. I did not know my part of the deal, and just expected him to act right! I found this site about 6 months ago when I was at my lowest and knew something had to give. When I first started learning, I was a fish out of water trying to establish boundaries - and quickly jumping back to my old ways. This mixed signal made us both nuts and did not amount to anything because it held no water, and I am a firm believer that with abusive men the way victims act must be constant. If they know you will allow it.. they will try it! Yes! And you will get tested over and over too. My wonderful, codependent mother said to me just today that if I love him and do things for him etc., I will win his love over. I told her that I married an abusive character and this was what got me in trouble! If he was codependent like my dad, I would have had a whole different story. 

After failing with inconstancy and having the all or nothing attitude in every thought, word and deed, it wasn't long after I set limits with him that he really took me seriously and I saw a 70% change. We had a few shaky events, but I always held my cool and did not go back to my old ways. Eventually within just weeks they diminished down to next to nothing. :) To this day I am sure that he will be in a mood one day and start, but now I know not to entertain him with a fight he wants or believe his unrealistic jabs and basically nip it in the bud. :) :) He has been consistently responding for about 4 months now - and to me that is a miracle. The change is distinguishable, as it is not his manipulative change which only lasted for a few days at most. Keep up the good work! My husband was a hard nut to chew, so I do believe that many victims can do this if they just say, "Enough!" Deep down inside they are more insecure then the victim. It is just a change in balance. You got it lady! Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 08, 2000

S1

Katie: Your story encourages me--thanks! After 10 years of marriage, several years in therapy, and much time spent reading about verbal abuse and boundaries, I am just now beginning to set some boundaries that I KNOW I will enforce. Some of the hardest to enforce are those I set for myself: it is SO HARD not to cross the line into hysteria when he pushes and bullies, and manipulates. If I cry or yell, I'm right where he wants me. It's difficult to stay calm and focused when someone you love is verbally spewing all over you. I know I should walk away, and I do sometimes, but it's in my nature to stand and fight. I think my husband realizes that some changes have taken place, and he is not sure that he likes all of them--he is no longer in total control of this marriage! Sometimes I see changes in his behavior,but they aren't consistent, and he is not looking beyond himself for guidance on how to change. I'm sure he tests me at times! As for your mother-in-law, I suppose she can only deal with what is familiar. (It sounds odd, but the thought of having a different (healthier) relationship with my husband scares me a little. I don't know how to relate to him except as an unpredictable, abusive , controlling man).Also,if her son changes, perhaps her husband could have too, and having to face that probably hurts a lot. I agree that limited contact with her is best. Have only those in your life who will encourage and help you! All the best!

Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

S1

Hi Becky, Thanks for writing. You know I once was like you where I would not be able to let the cutting remarks roll off. He would very angrily attack the things most important to me and that would cut like a knife. It took me a long time to not jump back because it is so natural..you hurt me and I HAVE to hurt you. Then one day I just got so tired. Tired of fighting and tired of wasting my breath! It didn't matter what I said because it was never heard. I could try to explain or try to hurt him back and he didn't hear it. He was too busy telling me off. That's when it became easier for me not to react. Once I didn't I realized that no matter what he said, even if it hit me below the belt, it stopped right there because I made it stop right there. The trickiest ones were when we were trapped on a car ride. Then I couldn't leave if I needed to. That's when I told him that if we were going to go somewhere as a family and this is the way it was going to turn out then I would not go anymore. The key I can't stress enough is being consistant so that they know you mean it when you will not go in the car with them again. I think deep down inside they want to be with the family and want to work..I guess they just want it to work on their terms. My husband has since found out through time that he is happier and likes that there is no tension and he is glad that tough love from me has benefited him even though at first he was opposed and struggling for control. I am so sorry that I did not do this years ago. And the funny part is, is that it has not been that long since things have changed and already I look back and say "I can't beleive I lived like that!" It doesn't even seem like it was MY life. In such a short time I am stronger then I have ever been and it goes to all areas of my life. I have changed even with friends, family and even strangers for the better and I feel great about myself and in full control. I wish you the best! You can do this!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 11, 2000

S1

Katie,

I just found this web site and read your letter. How was your husband able to turn his actions around by how you reacted? I just left my husband and signed a lease on an apartment, however he says that he wants me back (which I understand is common) and he'll go to counseling and make changes - but how can I trust this? Any suggestions? Dawn

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 12, 2000

S1

Dear Dawn: Welcome! The first time I left my husband he wooed me back with therapy and hopes that things would be better. When I came back I was still weak in my thinking because I still thought like a codependant person. When we went to counceling he went thinking I would come back and the therapist would tell me what I was doing wrong so that he wouldn't have to get mad anymore. When he found out this was not going to happen he left counceling and things went quickly back to the abusive way it was. When I say that I changed it means like before..say that he came home and got mad that dinner was not ready and the house was not tidy. He would scream and half hour later it would be how I am lazy, disorganized, if I cared about him I would do what makes him happy etc. My codependant side would try to explain myself with "my side" of why I couldn't do these things, or crying or sometimes even yelling back. All which showed I also did not have control of myself or strength in my own actions. My reaction to him screamed out "You control me, you think for me, you are affecting me etc. This lets him continue because I am allowing him to continue. Now, I tell him "I was not able to get dinner ready. You can either wait for it or call out for pick-up". If he tries to continue then I state "Stop..I just told you that I was not able to and you have 2 choices. If you continue about this I am going out to eat with me and the kids". And he knows now that I have the strength to do it. In other words I am just stating what I want and the consequence if it is not granted. The other way I acted before just gave him an invitation to continue. You can do this any time and any way. Like on Easter we go to my mothers house and his with equal time. She has not been very nice to me so why should I cut short the time with people who are good to me. I told him that I wanted to go to my mothers for dinner and we would stay the most part of the day and go to his mothers for desert. He got excited at first and I told him that she has been mean to me and I am not comfortable there. I am willing to stop by for desert but he could take 2 cars and go at anytime to her house that he wished. I never before had the courage to state what I wanted. I always did things that made him happy and he knew even when I was unhappy he could manipulate me and I would surrender because my self esteem was gone. Over time he sees my stength and sees that I now state what I want or am willing to accept and he realizes that I am confident in myself. He gets the idea that I am not placing myself last anymore to please him and making myself unhappy. Sure I still do things for him and to make him happy as a wife would do for someone they love. But I never accept mistreatment or disrespect. I no longer do things that make me uncomfortable. I never extend myself or my energies trying to please him. I do what I can and he has to accept it. I follow up with consequences if he goes past my boundaries that I have set. I never explain why I do things..he must accept what I do or want. That is the difference from a person who went to great lengths even getting physically sick trying to be the person he wanted me to be. I gave up myself and the funny part is, is that it was never enough. He always found something wrong with everything I did. Now, he has found respect for me that he has not had in a long, long time and he can't do enough for me. He is more then considerate and compliments me constantly. He fed off my weakness and now he is feeding positively off my strength. That is how a person's changing can change another person's treatment of them. I wish I knew this a long time ago. You took a very big and important step. You now have his attention and he knows you mean business. That is a big thing because most of the time they think that you will never go through with it. If you go back, make sure you change the things that allowed him to mistreat you or even with counceling they will go right back to the same pattern. Good luck to you and let me know how you make out!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 12, 2000

S1

Dear Dawn: Welcome! The first time I left my husband he wooed me back with therapy and hopes that things would be better. When I came back I was still weak in my thinking because I still thought like a codependant person. When we went to counceling he went thinking I would come back and the therapist would tell me what I was doing wrong so that he wouldn't have to get mad anymore. When he found out this was not going to happen he left counceling and things went quickly back to the abusive way it was. When I say that I changed it means like before..say that he came home and got mad that dinner was not ready and the house was not tidy. He would scream and half hour later it would be how I am lazy, disorganized, if I cared about him I would do what makes him happy etc. My codependant side would try to explain myself with "my side" of why I couldn't do these things, or crying or sometimes even yelling back. All which showed I also did not have control of myself or strength in my own actions. My reaction to him screamed out "You control me, you think for me, you are affecting me etc. This lets him continue because I am allowing him to continue. Now, I tell him "I was not able to get dinner ready. You can either wait for it or call out for pick-up". If he tries to continue then I state "Stop..I just told you that I was not able to and you have 2 choices. If you continue about this I am going out to eat with me and the kids". And he knows now that I have the strength to do it. In other words I am just stating what I want and the consequence if it is not granted. The other way I acted before just gave him an invitation to continue. You can do this any time and any way. Like on Easter we go to my mothers house and his with equal time. She has not been very nice to me so why should I cut short the time with people who are good to me. I told him that I wanted to go to my mothers for dinner and we would stay the most part of the day and go to his mothers for desert. He got excited at first and I told him that she has been mean to me and I am not comfortable there. I am willing to stop by for desert but he could take 2 cars and go at anytime to her house that he wished. I never before had the courage to state what I wanted. I always did things that made him happy and he knew even when I was unhappy he could manipulate me and I would surrender because my self esteem was gone. Over time he sees my stength and sees that I now state what I want or am willing to accept and he realizes that I am confident in myself. He gets the idea that I am not placing myself last anymore to please him and making myself unhappy. Sure I still do things for him and to make him happy as a wife would do for someone they love. But I never accept mistreatment or disrespect. I no longer do things that make me uncomfortable. I never extend myself or my energies trying to please him. I do what I can and he has to accept it. I follow up with consequences if he goes past my boundaries that I have set. I never explain why I do things..he must accept what I do or want. That is the difference from a person who went to great lengths even getting physically sick trying to be the person he wanted me to be. I gave up myself and the funny part is, is that it was never enough. He always found something wrong with everything I did. Now, he has found respect for me that he has not had in a long, long time and he can't do enough for me. He is more then considerate and compliments me constantly. He fed off my weakness and now he is feeding positively off my strength. That is how a person's changing can change another person's treatment of them. I wish I knew this a long time ago. You took a very big and important step. You now have his attention and he knows you mean business. That is a big thing because most of the time they think that you will never go through with it. If you go back, make sure you change the things that allowed him to mistreat you or even with counceling they will go right back to the same pattern. Good luck to you and let me know how you make out!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2000

S1

Katie, I, too, found my story over and over on this wonderful site. I have a tentative success story, too. Our husbands could be twins, except for the mother-in-law thing. My husband's mother passed away before I met him. Anyway, over the last few years, I realized that I was in an abusive relationship, got angry, threatened to leave,etc, but it wasn't until a few rages ago, and then finding this site, that I finally got fed up and figured out what to do about it. We are in counselling now, and it has taken several weeks, and me saying very firmly and repeatedly that I AM DONE! for him to get it. I told him that he had two choices 1) get to the point that he would acknowledge his anger and abusive behaviours, then do something about it or 2) we could no longer live together. That's it. I will not go back to the way things were, no matter how uncomfortable and angry he gets. I had said this a few times before, but this time, I got past my fears and made plans, and he finally realized that I mean business. I am not afraid to be alone (with 7 kids!). He could see the growth and change in me and really got scared. Now things are going well, he's making an effort to be nice, and so am I. I'm beginning to let go of the anger. However, I told him this evening that he's on probation and we've progressed to the point where I could say this seriously, but also half-jokingly, and I could see in his face that he understood. Just a week ago, I wouldn't have given you two cents for this 20-year marriage. We've both made mistakes, and there is still a lot to work out in counselling, but I think we're at least heading in the same direction. My problem now is that my trust in his word and how he will treat me and the children is almost completely gone. I suppose that will come in time, if he continues to choose to be trustworthy. But no matter what, even if he chooses to go back to his old abusive ways, I, and the children, will be OK because I will not take this any more. There IS hope, ladies! We can be strong and healthy! Thank you, thank you, Dr. Irene!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2000

S1

Thank you for writing..so glad to hear it!!!! Yes, that is the attitude I am talking about and until you get to that point they see the weakness and the holes in your words. Good for you. I have 5 children and I know the feeling like where would I go. Well, isn't anywhere better then being abused? Keep doing what you are doing and keep the attitude that you have because he needs for you to actually be strong and put your foot down for you and the kids. A few months ago if I mentioned anything about his anger he would go balistic. Now, we are at the point that when he does something all I have to do is look at him and he says.."I know..I know...I am in your boundaries". And it is great to joke about it but be serious at the same time. Isn't it great the way you feel so strong now? I can't beleive I wasted all those years allowing this stuff to go on in my house. I know I can't think about the past but I think about all bad that has affected my children that didn't have to be their if I only I had known what to do back then. If only I knew all I had to do was stand up to him, not fight back, not back down, demand to be treated with respect. I really think that he is happy that I put my foot down. I hope you and those kiddies have a great future and happy family life. Having a big family is great and there is so much love in it..there is no room for a big bully. Glad you got to the point you did otherwise you would have done this tango for 20 more years! Like an alcoholic hitting rock bottom. I didn't make a change until I was AT MY BREAKING POINT!!! Keep us posted I will be wondering how he is responding in the future. It is in your hands and if he goes back...you are now strong enough to send him packing!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2000

S1

Katie: I am separated from my emotionally/verbally abusive husband. My husband learned this from his own father. My mother in law defends her son (she still calls him Johnny like he's five years old). After I left my husband and had a one-to-one with MIL, she told me that it was like I was telling her story. However, she still is very upset with me for leaving her son. You can't control what others do, you can only work on yourself. Believe me, it's hard to understand why I'm the bad guy because I left for my own sanity. But that's for her to work on, not you. I realize how incredibly frustrating it is but know you're doing the right thing! I'll say a prayer for you. Hang in there.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2000

S1

Hi Katie and Dr. Irene,

I just learned about this site via a friend, and I am so happy to have found it. I only wish I had found it a bit earlier. I am married to a man that seems to have a narcissistic, controlling and abusive behavior. He can be very charming, as long as everything goes his way, but if it doesn't, he is quick to blame me for "creating" this problem because of the bad father/daughter relationship I grew up with. What he likes to do to let me know that no one is going to control him is to just come home several hours late from work with no phone call to say he will be working late. He is also has a cell phone, but won't answer it when I call after he is 1-2 hours late and not home yet. He walks in 3-4 hours later than usual and just says "I had to work" or "I had a business dinner", or "I had to interview someone after work". I have asked him repeatedly and nicely to please let me know if he will be late, as #1, he likes me to prepare dinner, and I shouldn't have to if he's not coming home or is eating out. #2, I tell him that it isn't that he can't do what he wants or needs to do, but that if I know he won't be home, then I can use "my time" to my advantage accordingly - that is is for "me" that I want to know, so I am not just sitting around with this cold dinner wondering when he will be home. I ask him to please give me a quick call saying "I have to work late and should be home about 8PM" that's all. He says I am trying to control him. This was not true, however, the more this happens, the more suspicious I am getting as to why all the secrecy??? I think if he is on the up and up and telling the truth, then why wouldn't he want me to know what his plans are?

Before we were married, he pulled this a few times and I left him for 2 months and told him I would no longer tolerate this behavior. He begged me to come back and promised he would call. We got married a few months later, and within one month of the wedding, he did it again. He knew I was upset with him. A month later, he did it again, and again, and again. Each time I would ask him why he did not just call. He would tell me he was too busy and didn't think about it. (Meaning to me, "you're not important enough to me to call you", which is what I think he wants me to feel.) He does other things as well to discount my feelings, ie. no compliments, says I require too much attention. Yes, I require "some", but certainly not what I would call "too much". To him "any" attention is too much. I have asked him to send me a card once in awhile to surprise me or bring me home "a" flower. He won't and says he doesn't have the money (for one card, one flower, once in awhile??)

After 3 or 4 times of no calls that he was working late, I left him again. I had also been informed that he was having a questionable realtionship with some woman in his office for years. (We have been together 7+ years.) So with all of that, I decided to just go. He tried to get me to come back via emails and letters and phonecalls. I told him I was filing for a divorce. It had been 2 months, and until he got the letter from the lawyer, he didn't believe I was serious. I was weakening at this point, as I think the thought of the finality of divorce was scaring me as well. So I went back.....again. He promised again to call if he had plans. So far to date, he has been calling me almost daily after work to let me know his plans, and has not been home late once yet. He seems to be trying to compliment, etc. and tries to open the lines of communication. He answer his cell phone, and I have one as well now, which seems to help, and he is "in touch". I am happy. That is all I wanted. To be treated with respect, by receiving a phone call.

So, now I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. He has never been able to do this for very long before and I have only been back 2 weeks. I thought it was worth another shot as it is our marriage, not just a relationship anymore, and I took my vows seriously and don't want to just give up if there is any hope.

My question would be, what do I do if, or should I say, when, this happens again? How should I react? In the past I would be upset when he came in, and I would yell at him, or say "don't even talk to me" and go in another room. I think he believes that I would pack up and leave if he does it again. He said I was very strong to stay away like I did. Any suggestions?

Thank you, Sunny

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 21, 2000

S1

Dear Katie, This is what I was looking for. don't want to leave and I want to work this out as I believe he is a good person who needs help. Amazingly, he has forgiven his father (now dead), but his mother. Wow! We've been in therapy unsuccessfully and he called again (different one) today. My fear is that he'll get comfortable and quit again. I hit rock bottom and said "No more" and meant it so now he's back to seeing if he can get me back. We've been here a few times. What I'm trying to say is your letter helped me because I need a success story. I love happy endings. Work on this every day of your lives. It will be worth it. As for the mother-in-law....We moved job related and she has never forgiven me for taking him away from her. This lady lies, cheats, steals and all of the seven deadly sins plus. That's her problem until it affects our life. I finally had to issue an ultimatum. She is NOT welcome in my house until some isses are resolved. Period. She countered this with threats. We got through that ok. Now she doesn't call or talk to either of us. Her choice, but life has been sweetened by her absence. I don't suggest it has to be this drastic, but if so, as long as you two are the team.....need I say more. Thank you again for the success story. Keep up the good work. I feel so happy that you and he are working this out, because I feel if you do, you will both achieve an intimacy that will make all the hard work worthwhile. LL

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 16, 2001

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B1: Submit
Date: Friday, November 15, 2002

S1

Please ask Katie to contribute "steps" or other methods to help her husband change (I know she can't make him change), but did she tolerate no abuse, tell him specifically every time he did it and why it bothered her? Was it this rational? Please help!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 25, 2002

S1

In reading this I see my MIL and what has happened to my marriage. She even picked out the woman that my husband left with, and invited her to my home last Christmas, so that I would cook and entertain her, then she paid for "business" trips so that they would get together. She has bad mouthed me for years, and I let it slide to keep the peace in the family. My husband swore to me that he would not repeat what his father did to him and his family, but is following EXACTLY what his dad did. His mother is in complete denial, and his brother and sister are so mixed up too. One is a drug addict and one can't have a normal relationship with anyone, she's sleeping with a married man and that seems to be OK with the family. I wish I had known that I was abused for so long, and could have gotten help, before he ran out on our family and started living with "an older, shorter, fatter, uglier person with more money. What it wrong with some women that have to sleep with anothers husband and destroy a family just to have someone in their bed. The other woman has quite a track record of taking married men, why does my MIL think that she is better for him than I am? They are all involved with a Multi-Level Marketing business, that is just like a cult when you get involved at a higher level. So many things that involved my MIL and her family have come back onto mine I just hope that he gets better and sees the light at the end of the tunnel, just like the man mentioned here, but I don't really think it will happen. I have sent him Patricia's book as well as some of the information on this site such as NPD as well as information on Andropause. I just hope he reads it and sees what he has done to his own family for so long, and his mother will stay out of his life long enough for him to get the help he needs. My kids have had no contact with my H and his mother since he ran out. His mom sent me an e-mail two days after he left saying, "Jeffrey has made a declaration to you as to were he is in his life, do yourself a favour, get over it." Sorry this is so long, I have so much more to say, but it will have to wait until I can confront my H when he is able to hear what he needs too. Barb

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2003

S1