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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 We Both Messed Up

Comments for We Both Messed Up
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: Tuesday, February 15, 2000

S1

Lori,

You are very lucky that your husband could hear what you were saying and had enough guts to look at his own behavior, just as you looked at yours. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way-when I began taking responsibility for my behavior i.e. allowing the his abuse, and started insisting on being treated with respect my ex couldn't get away fast enough! Our divorce was finalized 3.5 mos after I started taking responsibility for my own behavior.

I think the four months of marital counseling we had helped me see what was going on and my role in our problems. Even though our marriage didn't succeed, I don't feel the counseling was wasted, I've learned a great deal and am definitely a healthier person than I was when I married him 2.5 yrs ago.

I wish you both happiness.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2000

S1

Thank you so much for this. I just wrote to Dr. I after reading just a few things and this is what I needed to hear. I am in a two way street and I can't even label my partner as the abuser and me as the victim - we both play both parts sometimes. I don't think the roles define us so much as mutual co-dependency, and mutual verbal abuse. I look forward to learning more here. Leigh

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2000

S1

I am with you 100%, I have myself only just started the journey. I can strongly recommend the "Emotionally abused woman" by Patricia Evans. She doesn't tell you to divorce or separate, she doesn't even tell you to stay. She tells you the solutions and the things you need to do to stay, go or whatever you decide. (There is no such Evans book. I think you mean Beverly Engel's  The Emotionally Abused Woman. Dr. Irene)

Assertive skills: "I won't listen to you speak to me that way." Boundaries: Hearing when you feel uneasy about something or resent something, this is your warning someone is stepping over your boundaries.

Feelings/Emotions: Start to listen to your emotion, in the morning ask self and other time of the day: How am I feeling? What emotion am I feeling? How does my body feel? (Tense could be anger) What caused it, or who trigged me to feel angry?

Taking care of yourself, Self love:

Picture yourself as two people, having a relationship with yourself means caring enough about yourself not to let others put you down, push you around, judge you negatively, invalidate you or demand more of you than your are willing to fulfill without feeling drained and used. You protect yourself and defend yourself as if you were your own loving mate and that includes protecting yourself against others who would make you feel unimportant. In other words, treat yourself with at least as much respect and consideration as you treat other people, and when push comes to shove, take your own side!!!!!!

LORI the mountain is hard to climb but God is carrying you, have faith. Say: "I believe in you."

God Bless T.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 18, 2000

S1

Dear DR. Irene,

I've been waiting along time to tell someone my on going story.

Ill start with me at 10. My mother finally got the courage up to leave my horrible, drunk, abusive, awful father. they were married when she was 15. I was born when she was 16, my sister when she was 18. By the time I was 10 she was so full of shame and guilt about how we were raised , at least that's what I think, that she left us. I know that sounds cruel but I really believe she thought it was best. My father moved us, again, to a small town and I began taking my mothers place. My mom was married several times and was in and out of our lives for years. On the way she picked up a nasty drug problem. This is when I began to search for what I was lacking at home. I had sex for the first time at 12. After that it seem to never stop. I was following right behind my mom and didn't even know. I went to live with my grandmother at 13. I didn't get the attention there I needed. So I met a 17 year old boy. I thought I was in love. He cared more about me then anyone Id ever known. He loved me so much that he needed to know what I was doing, who I was with ,why I was there, and even what I was wearing. I thought that my life finally had meaning. So at 15 I moved in with him. Now that I look back I know that he abused me from the start. First it was " you look like a whore in that" or " Im the person that loves you " As time progressed he began to get violent. He would smack me , choke me ,push me ,bite me. But what could I do? Im 17 I have no job no family (except his) no education and no friends. I finally got a job that I could walk to. I saved my money and moved with another girl my age. I thought once again I free. But it wasn't long before I was with another man, DJ. We were perfect for about a year. I was growing as a person. I've been attractive all my adult life , now I was feeling attractive. In the mean time my drug addicted, sick mom was homeless in Washington. Now Im 20 and Im pregnant. DJ and I were very happy. We both had a good job we loved each other and were ready. That's when I realized he was just like all the other men in my life, controlling and abusive. Our first daughter made things hard but I've always said my kids will have 2 loving parents. Now Im 23 and we have 2 girls. This relationship is awful for me. I cant even go to work. He tells me he cant handle the girls. He's afraid he might snap and hurt one of them. Im so trapped. I still don't have the means to support the girls in the way we are use to. I feel guilty about wanting to take the kids and run. That's what my mom would do but how do I get out? He says hell never leave us and if I go I can explain to the kids why they don't have a father. I want my girls to have a strong sense of family. My mom passed away last may of Hep. C. I feel like Im starting to take her place and keeping the cycle going. Can you please give me a little advice? Trapped

 B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 18, 2000

S1

This really hits the button on codependency and how it relates to abusive behavior. Very beneficial to read! Keep up the good work Irene. Jan

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 28, 2000

S1

Sometimes admitting your part in it just doesn't work: I think the term "co-dependent" applies to me. When my husband left me I wrote him all kinds of notes saying what I saw my role in all this was and how willing i was to "share" responsibility and work together to make the relationship more healthy (I thought we still interacted like the high school sweethearts we'd been and could use some growing up, more mature approaches to problems, a bit of counseling to improve communications, expressing each others needs, re-discovering each other). To no avail. To him it was even more proof that we weren't "meant to be" or "compatible". Basically I shot myself in the foot. See, I couldn't win whether I took partial blame or blamed him and even if I'd taken all the blame I'm not sure he would've come back. Lucky for me that didn't happen though because when we were together he let me take all the blame, go to counseling alone, seek medical help for depression. Imagine if I'd convinced him not to divorce me! t.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 02, 2000

S1

Wow! The actions you mentioned in this letter were exactly what I was experiencing I just couldn't think of the word. As soon as I reach the level he wanted me at the finish line would move a little up and it seemed that I never made it there.

thanks this letter did help! Angela

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 02, 2000

S1

Wow! The actions you mentioned in this letter were exactly what I was experiencing I just couldn't think of the word. As soon as I reach the level he wanted me at the finish line would move a little up and it seemed that I never made it there.

thanks this letter did help! Angela

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 03, 2000

S1

Very helpful in what I am going through right now!! I am excited to get involved in this site. Thanks Lori...Sheila

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000

S1

Hi, Lori.......I have a few comments. No #, I would urge you to get the book(s) VERBAL ABUSE by Patricia Evans and VERBAL ABUSE: SURVIORS SPEAK OUT by Patricia Evans. These saved my sanity Another wonderful book is: WHEN LOVE GOES WRONG: What To Do When You can't do anything Right by Susan Schlecter and Ann Jones. The other issue I have is that I TOTALLY reject the co-dependent label on anyone who is abused. The book: When Love Goes Wrong explains that. I totally agree. To me, co-dependency is like helping an alcoholic drink, buying them alcohol, etc. When you are abused, especially verbally, it is literal brainwashing, I mean I didn't even know what was happening to me for 25 years! Most women in this situation do not; if they DID, millions of women would LEAVE, would they not.........To add a label such as co-dependency adds more pain to someone ALREADY IN PAIN...something else to deal with, blaming the victim, as it were. We shouldn't be blamed for staying; there are as many reasons women do, as there are women. NOTHING I did or said made any difference; if a person wants to abuse (control), they WILL; no one can stop them....Thanks for listening, and I hope you will get the books. Please e-mail me, if you wish.....My address is: carleton@oakland.edu

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

S1

"Co-dependency is otherwise known as mother control" What does this mean? Please elaborate or direct me to where I can find out more about this in terms of both the abuser and the victim. Thank you very much.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2001

S1

I thank God for your site, as it helped me so much in realizing, just this week, how abusive my girlfriend has been. Please write more about The Cycle of covert abuse,and let men know how they can receive and where they can go for help, support, or to assist the cause of female violence towards men. - Michael