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Comments:  Is This Abusive?

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

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 1998-2006. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

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Friday, January 06, 2006
11:12 PM

Dear Merri ~ Many of the statements you made reflect my 16 year relationship w/ my ex-husband. I never did anything right in his eyes. Nothing was ever good enough. This in particular jumped out at me in your story ~ " Sometimes he gets mad if I leave too many lights on or a cupboard door open. He could get upset over anything, really. So, you can never feel safe." This is definitely emotional and verbal abuse and I hope for the sake of your family, things will change. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is a horrible way to live. It caused depression and stomach problems for me when I was still w/ my ex-husband. I highly recommend reading Ditch That Jerk as well as posting at the Catbox. *hugs* sunflowerintx

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Saturday, January 07, 2006
05:40 AM

Merri, I understand what it feels like to be in your shoes. I wore them too long and it was only just the last few days that my husbands behavior finally went beyond. After six plus months of counseling for myself and about six weeks for him, I realized how horrible it really was. He only intensified. Thankfully I have gone to the no contact phase and am soooo grateful. It is hell to have your life partner mess with you, it is shocking and unbelievable how they are not, (nor have they ever) been in the same respectful state of mind as you are I. The best advice ever given to me was to get myself healthy and not even worry about him. Although, he did go to counseling, when he thought he would loose me for real, but after an initial honeymoon phase of his goodness, he couldn't keep it up. Sadly for him he said and felt, "I am thinking so much about you that I am loosing all sense of respect for myself". Yet, his behavior had never changed, it only went from anger and belittling and blame to sadness, intense conversations, and much much blame. From what I read, yes, you are clearly in an abusive relationship. He may never become physical but, that does not matter, he will chip away at your health and well being through emotional traumatizing you. Please get yourself to a healthy state of mind where you will eventually clearly see how inappropriate his behavior is. Then you can save yourself and your children too. Good luck! Jennifer

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Saturday, January 07, 2006
06:38 AM

Merri, You may be interested to look under the victim pages-link up top- next at that page, under the link on the middle right sight of "Anne's red flags". Wow, my situation held about 98% of those red flags, there were a lot. I just was not ever able to see them as clearly as I can now. Now that you are here hopefully the fog of confusion is leaving you too. It is not easy, it is not simple but, I wish you the very, very best for a quick recovery. Jennifer

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Saturday, January 07, 2006
01:28 PM

Merri, You are not alone. You deserve to be treated better. You deserve to be loved and nurtured. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. These are all the positive affirmations I learned in therapy at the women's center that I turned to for help. My advice to you is keep reading books on verbal abuse. Knowledge is power. I have never met you but from your letter you sound like a loving, caring, and intelligent human being who deserves to be happy. You are in control of your life remember that! Jenn

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Saturday, January 07, 2006
08:16 PM

Merri, It sure doesn't sound like you are being given any credit for all the good things you accomplish and any slight oversight (or you just didn't anticipate or read minds correctly!) is jumped on to a degree beyond the imagined infraction. It gave me reminders of my first husband (and I'd never heard of any abuse besides being hit! and I'd had that with my father...) and how I was playing super-wife and super-mom to two children with medical problems - and always wondering when I was going to "goof up" again. I never did peg what was "wrong" - just knew it wasn't working for me. I just got worn out in all ways - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - and made up my mind I didn't want to spend the rest of my living that way. My husband wasn't "awful" and I had a lot of guilt over that decision - just knew it was necessary for my own SELF-ish reasons. Ah, hindsight... Well, hope you find more of what you need here to determine what choices you will make in your life. Whatever you decide, my best wishes are with you. HandyGram

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Sunday, January 08, 2006
09:52 PM

Hi, I have been married for 36 years... What do I do.  (Deleted. This is Merri's board.)

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006
01:23 PM

Merri, It is tough realizing our partners are abusive in emotional or verbal ways. Since we try to accomodate their hurts or pain, we have a hard time understanding why they don't understand ours. It took me almost 23 years to finally find a definition for what I was going through- but since I also grew up in a similar situation I thought it was normal and something was wrong with me. Not that I don't have issues - I do - codependency is a big one and Dr. Irene is correct in saying if we had chosen a partner more like us we'd more likely feel validated today. Your husband's definitions of you (subtle and overt) aren't true. You sound intelligent, compassionate and loveable. I tried over the years to let my husband know clearly know how I was feeling - he didn't want to "do counseling" until I was at the breaking point and our divorce will be final in about 6 months. We'd go through the cycle of good times which he'd usually sabatoge by accusing me out of the blue of rejecting him (usually over something little - I looked out the window at the "wrong" time or didn't know the name of a song on the radio)to silent treatment where he'd be silent for a few days hiding out in his office then he'd come to me and ask me why I wasn't talking to him. Please keep reading and learning. I read so much that I learned my husband is very passive-aggressive as a way to control his environment, he has abandonment issues with being adopted that he doesn't want to deal with, and if I stand up and set boundaries of respectful behavior he will become verbally abusive to try to get me to drop the boundary. I learned I like to keep the peace and control my environment by rescuing everyone except myself. Life is more peaceful now that I'm taking care of me, though there are roller coaster days since I'm still "in" and we have a house to finish remodeling and sell. He's paranoid and still passes all the blame to me but I'm able to detach from ownership of such an absured frame of mind and realize that he needs to take ownership of his patterns of behavior.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
11:23 AM

Hi everyone this is Merri, Dr. Irene your advice is what I really needed to hear. Thank you. Thank you! Thank you to all who have responded and have shown support. Yes! Thank you guys! I feel so much better understanding the situation of my marriage. I also feel, with more knowledge and insight, I can better communicate my feelings and fears with my husband. Although I still have feelings of being "too scared" to tell him things (I don't know why it's so "scary", it seems silly Your fears are not silly. Your fears are a valid reaction to how your husband has treated you. While you may certainly learn new skills to handle him better, which would increase your sense of mastery and lower your fear, please do not invalidate your feelings.) I am actively trying to become better at communicating my feelings to my husband.

I went to a marriage counselor this past summer. My husband did not go. He felt a counselor would not be helpful and says he already knows what the counselor will say... Right! Hehehe. Translation: "Don't challenge my control."  .My husband also says, "What can you say to a counselor that you can not say to me?" I decided to go to the counselor myself Good!,  and at the end of the session the counselor and I had come to the conclusion that I should stand up to my husband more.

I did not return to this counselor again until this past week. I basically told the counselor what I had posted here and more. He had stated that we had a strange relationship, and suggest I talk to my husband about coming to counseling with me (my husband still does not feel therapy will benefit us.) I find this web site to be more helpful and am thinking about trying to find a different therapist. Doesn't hurt to interview a few therapists. Try to look for one who understands abuse because while you need to learn to stand up to him, the bulk of the work will be around him. My husband and I did talk about what is bothering me this past weekend. This has been a big step for me to explain that I feel his actions can be abusive and mean. Good for you! He made a list of what he heard me say...

1. He needs to be more direct when asking what he wants. He's correct. (He felt I should know certain things that he felt was common sense, and I didn't.) Like getting the teacher a gift. Wrong. Let's not forget that there was an oversight here. Why does that somehow become your job to fix? He is free to communicate too.

2. He is calculating. He remembers exactly what people have given or not given in the past. I don't.   He bases gift exchanging on this premise and I don't. Good for you; what a waste of energy keeping score is (even implicitly) instead of giving gifts according to your values.

3. He can not joke with me. He finds some things funny that I don't. I feel like we made progress, because he is willing to listen and work on our relationship. You did make progress. At the same time, I don't feel we have gotten to the root of the problem. Either I have a hard time making myself clear or he has a hard time really hearing what I am saying. Any insight/advice, I am grateful for. Merri

While it is wonderful that your husband is willing to listen, it is unlikely that you will be able to handle him just yet. Point #1 is a typical example of what happens. While he is correct that you need to open your mouth more, it somehow gets overlooked that he can take responsibility for things he feels are correct ("common sense"). This  is where it gets slippery and a trained ear will be helpful. In other words, he won't see what he's doing that doesn't serve the marriage, and it is unlikely that you will either. I have talked about this tendency as what happens when the more overt abuse/control stuff stops, but then takes on a subtler form - not because he is a bad guy, but because he honestly doesn't see it - and because you don't know any better yet. But this is certainly a good start.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
01:02 PM

Merri, I just read the beginning of your recent post. I really feel for you. I am also surprised that you would feel that you need to change the way you say things so that your husband can better understand you. Don't be surprised. It really is OK to become better at being assertive. The reason I say this is because, with abusers, there is not a single way that you can say anything to them. Yes. Very true, but we are talking about two separate issues. One is becoming a better communicator, which will enhance self-esteem and personal power. The other issue is what the guy does with it. They are experts at crazymaking and invalidating you and making you doubt yourself. Part of the way an abuser will mess with your head is to make you THINK that it is YOU who cannot communicate. While I understand your point and do not disagree, I will not make the mistake some in this field make by putting the whole thing on the abuser. Both people need to make changes. In some cases two people making changes will work. In other cases, when the abuser is just too rigid, too sick, etc., of course it won't. Nothing will, and that is where your statement is true. But keep in mind, not all abusive marriages are the same, and we don't know where on the spectrum Merri's falls. It is not a black and white issue. Merri, trust your gut. Yes! Trust your gut and become the best that you can be. You will be asking your husband to do same.

Trust your counselor, if an experienced, educated and well trained and caring counselor thinks that your marriage is an odd relationship, why not consider that as a viable statement. If your husband has already refused to go to counseling in the past...what do you hope to accomplish by having him go now? You be surprised. Saving a marriage with kids is worth the benefit of the doubt.

I would like to suggest that you trust your own judgment and fully utilize your counseling sessions to work 100% on you and only you because you are 100% important. If he even ever agrees to go, well, that would have to be between you and your counselor. This is am fully 100% in agreement with; he may want to join you in counseling later - or once you have a better idea of what is OK and what is not, you may insist he join you later - or else! Jennifer B

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
01:31 PM

Merri, I just read some more. Merri, why on earth would you want to get another counselor? Is it because he/she suggested you try and stand up for yourself? This is one way to find out what happens in your relationship when you do stand up for yourself. In my case it did make my marriage last six more months than I had hoped it to but, I clearly see that the problem was more than me just needing to set boundaries and speak up for myself. Good for you for giving the marriage the benefit of the doubt. This way, when you left, you were clear. I mean, a person in a healthy relationship should not have to re-establish boundaries every single day and have to spend gobs and gobs of energy defending those too! YES! That is certainly no way to live. Good luck, if at the very least I hope that you talk with this counselor to let them know that you are considering another counselor. I mean, are you going to counselor shop until you find the one who tells you what you want to hear, because that is not what counseling is about, right? Best wishes for healing and recovery. I think Merri considered looking for another counselor who had a better grasp on abusive relationships. Jennifer B

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
01:34 AM

I think that she should shut her mouth and accept her husband for the loving supportive man that he is. He has to put up with her games and nonsense and still support her; while she lays around the house like a queen expecting him to do everything. He should not have to ask her to close the cabinet door or have the dinner ready. If she is home and the dinner is not ready, she should expect him to get it from somewhere else. There are plenty of women out there who are more than willing to do their job right the first time. Her husband is a good man and should be treated with more respect. When he decides to replace her and the divorce is getting expensive she will lose out. He is a doctor and can afford a really good lawyer. She better expect to lose her children, that comfortable home and everything that she has become accustomed to. He will find someone else and she will feel bitter and alone. Spend less time complaining about your husband and more time being a good wife. Yeah! What great advice! As long as he keeps your vaccinations up to date and puts clean straw in the barn for you, go for it!

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
06:11 AM

Hello Anonymous, Your post cracked me up, thank you, I needed the laugh! Some of these words are deja vu..."he shouldn't have to put up with..." HA! Yes, that is exactly how they perceive it and how they try to spin it back to us, those darn controlling manipulators! Back to the OP, again, why would you want to find another counselor when the one you have has offered you a tangible way to clearly see that what YOU are doing is only accommodating an abuser? Once you stop accommodating him, you will see just how twisted he is. As long as you keep trying to jump through his hoops and give him the regular old responses, (which he both needs and detests, just as he does you) he will keep blaming you. Once you change of course, he will still keep blaming you but, at least you may see things differently. Best wishes, this is painful, we all know just how much so, here. Jennifer B

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
10:50 AM

Dear Merri, You are not alone. I have the same thing in my marriage and I think it is to the breaking point. He just doesn't see it. It has been going on so long that the only thing to do is change yourself, they certainly are not going to. At least yours has a job, mine hasn't worked for 2 yrs going on 3 and does what he sees fit, while verbally abusing me, the little things that you just can't seem to figure out if it is real or not. When your kids get older as mine are teenagers now, he will start on them. Very subtle, almost undetectable until it starts to affect your spirit. Be strong and be YOU! Carol

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
12:48 PM

Hi Jennifer B this is Merri, just wanted to let you know that I want to find another counselor because he describes the relationship as "strange" and not abusive. When I had told him about the book by Patricia Evans he just brushed it off and said.. well, it's an interesting concept. Exactly. I want a therapist with experience in abuse. The therapist who does not understand abuse will view the marriage as a level playing field. It is not, and that is a fundamental difference in this type of work. He or she is likely to get "taken in" by the subtle "logic" the abusive person presents because it sounds plausible on the surface and because they are not on the lookout for it.  Our arguments are not over, for example, what kind of car to buy, but over what I don't do right (or something like that). If, for example, I would really prefer another car I don't say, because if he isn't mad or irritated then it's a good day. Well, anyway maybe the counselor I've seen would be helpful. I just thought it wouldn't hurt to try someone else. It would not, especially since it doesn't sound as though you have a tight relationship with this person.Thank you jenniferb and everyone else for you input, it really does help. Merri

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
02:03 PM

Merri, I'm glad you are looking for a counselor with abuse experience - this will help you so much. Don't give up on this. My H wouldn't go to counseling either with the same kind of arguments (they sort of sound logical don't they). Yes! In actuality he want to isolate himself and me. He didn't want anyone else agreeing with me that something wasn't quite right with the relationship. He didn't want to be "WRONG". So as I was admitting my issues and working on them and changing them - he was still there insisting I accept him "as he is". Right. This is a typical scenario. In abuse counseling, I may do some of that early on to engage the abusive person (which is good stuff the victim needs to get anyway). But then, the fun begins. He's still in that same mindset. You ask why you are "scared" to talk to him. I think it's because you recognize his body language - subtle but very definite, that body language that says "oh, no here she comes again with her stupid requests". Right. That's why you don't invalidate yourself. Mine claimed too to be open and willing to listen to my concerns. Nice words but his actions did not back them up. Right. His actions said the opposite - I was bringing up concerns to purposely reject him. He'd find ways to prove how unintelligent I was (23 years of asking me if I knew who the artist singing the song was on the radio - if I didn't he'd insist I must know). It's emotional abuse Merri -and that is what makes us hesitate to go to them with legitimate concerns - we already know how they are going to react and it won't be to validate our feelings or support us. Yes, it is emotional abuse, but it is a two-way street. Merri needs some skills to feel better about herself and to increase her mastery, while paying attention to her feelings inside. This is empowerment and is about recognizing with confidence what he is trying to pull instead of the powerlessness that ensues when it is only about the abuser. The danger with the mindset that it is only about the abuser is the risk of becoming one of those victims stuck in anger. I've written a lot about that throughout the Victim Pages.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
04:03 PM

Merri, Now I get you, please continue to seek out a counselor who does indeed recognize what you are going through. When I first went to a counselor through my school, she immediately suggest I read Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them . I felt so validated. Yet, through a glitch, I ended up going to another counselor the next time, for an intake interview post my assessment test. Even though my assessment test was normal in all areas yet, lacking in social support, this next counselor had me diagnosed as BPD! I merely told him that I didn't think I wanted to continue seeing him. Yet, he did sink into my mind and make me wonder if it WAS me who was wrong and like a fool I RE-GAVE my then cheating boyfriend a second chance! Yeowch. Well, since then I have found a good counselor. When my soon-to-be-ex finally did call her to set up a visit, she refused. It was not only six months too late but, he only did it after threatening to drive out to campus and to beat me up. Hmph. Strangely, he too always grilled me on who was the artist of the song on the radio. Put on the spot, I couldn't' remember. I also remember that I told him how a former abusive boyfriend used to always step on my toes, (intentionally) and then refused to get off of them while playing dumb, it hurt. Oddly, the very next week, this guy tries it! I yelled at him what I thought. Okay, back to you, good luck, keep looking, keep reading and remember that you are not alone! Jennifer B Not an easy road, is it... Glad it turned out OK for you Jennifer.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
04:49 PM

Merri, I'm glad you are looking for a counselor with abuse experience - this will help you so much. Don't give up on this. My H wouldn't go to counseling either with the same kind of arguments (they sort of sound logical don't they). In actuality he want to isolate himself and me. He didn't want anyone else agreeing with me that something wasn't quite right with the relationship. He didn't want to be "WRONG". So as I was admitting my issues and working on them and changing them - he was still there insisting I accept him "as he is". He's still in that same mindset. You ask why you are "scared" to talk to him. I think it's because you recognize his body language - subtle but very definite, that body language that says "oh, no here she comes again with her stupid requests". Mine claimed too to be open and willing to listen to my concerns. Nice words but his actions did not back them up. His actions said the opposite - I was bringing up concerns to purposely reject him. He'd find ways to prove how unintelligent I was (23 years of asking me if I knew who the artist singing the song was on the radio - if I didn't he'd insist I must know). It's emotional abuse Merri -and that is what makes us hesitate to go to them with legitimate concerns - we already know how they are going to react and it won't be to validate our feelings or support us. Emotional abuse is a great way to get one to doubt themselves. :(

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
07:14 PM

This guy sounds like the jack%^$ caught on tape verbally abusing his girlfriend (wife?) on http://www.youarenotcrazy.com/ (you can listen!) He is clearly verbally abusive, and we all know that can/will turn violent.  

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Friday, January 13, 2006
02:16 AM

I feel that the guys response is on the spot. He has revealed that there are times when the man is right and the woman that he is with just wants to irritate him. Once they are married and she had pumped out a few offspring, she can act whatever way she wants. She has him under her control. So that cool, fun woman that he married turns into a lazy, fat waste of space that just wants to watch TV and smell the children urinating on themselves. Then he has to come home, clean the house, wash the children while she stuffs her face in denial that things need to be done. Then she leaves stating that just because he complains she is being abused. She realizes that by ignoring him, not responding to his questions and doing things that irritate him she can push him past the breaking point that he will do something and then he snaps. She can call the police, have him arrested and then take everything that he has worked hard for for free. She has ruined his life all because she wants to be selfish.

But a counselor who's boyfriend takes care all of his needs has all the answers right. Now we have a situation where the counselor goes home to a clean home, his boyfriend has walked the dog, cleaned the house and has pleasant fun conversation to discuss, has a wonderful life. He really does not care to hear how your husband is mean to you. If he could be frank with you he would pass you a membership to Curves, a prescription of psych meds and a good lesson on attempting to be a good partner. But you do not want to hear that. Please tell me how my husband who bought me this brand new Lexus, fur coat and $ 500,000 house is sooooooo mean. Shame on him. He is the worst man to grace the planet. But, when you are asleep, you have to expect him to call his younger, prettier and in shape girlfriend. She is probably doing her job RIGHT; while you are asleep at 10:00 P.M. If it is that hard my suggestion is to go back home to your parents house, give your husband custody of the children and return to being a full fledge child, like you so desire. And women wonder why men cheat. Come on !!!

You are very angry and are describing a very bad relationship and I'm sorry if this has been your experience.

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Friday, January 13, 2006
12:08 PM

Hi Dr.Irene, I believe I'm in a abusive situation...Any advice would be great, Thank you, KC Sorry KC. This is Merri's board.

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Friday, January 13, 2006
12:30 PM

Merri, I am so sorry. You could have been me some months ago. I too have a doctor husband and have posted many many times here. Go to the Seeming Impossibility Interactive Board. Anyway, my husband did pretty much exactly the same things as yours, complaining about everything. We have been married now for 3 and 1/2 long years, which seem more like 350 years. We have two toddlers. I work from home because I always felt he resented my "taking from him." I had to carry my own weight. That wasn't enough for him obviously, as he makes five times as much as I do, and has a HUGE ego. I don't know what it is about the doctor thing, but some male doctors I believe are enabled in their "I am God" role by others, such as nurses, patients, etc, etc. In any event, I could do no right. Too many lights were always on when he came home. Why was the house too warm? Why did I spend $10/week on fresh flowers? I am handling a full time job, two toddlers, the bills, the yard, the schools, the nanny including taxes and insurance, groceries, cooking, yada yada. My experience is that with people like my husband (and your husband I'm afraid sounds similar) take a mile when you give them an inch. It is never enough. There is a hole inside of their being that can never be filled. You can do more and more and more and he will still be resentful, I believe. How was his family of origin? What is his mother like? What about the relationship between him mom and dad? In my case, his mom was a complete doormat to the father, being cheated on continuously, physically assaulted, humiliated verbally, robbed of her money, etc, yet she in my view took it all out of her kids by controlling them to the max. You sound like you are still trying to figure this out. I was at your stage about a year ago. I do not wish to assume your situation is similar to mine, but it does seem to have a lot of commonalities. Since I made the decision to leave my soon to be ex, I no longer feel bad, guilty for doing things for myself, etc etc. If he complains, it's like the wind is blowing outside, and I just wait until he's done, with a uh huh, and move on. Your situation seems like the beginning of abuse that will get worse and worse over time. My advice to you: keep your eyes and ears open, explore your feelings in each situation, weigh the benefits of hoping for a good marriage against the disadvantages of staying in an abusive one, and take care of you, for now. Your realizations will come when it's time. All the best to you. Janha. You sound more at peace Jahna. I'm very happy for you!

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Friday, January 13, 2006
01:32 PM

KC, Have you called the police yet? Order of Protection and removal from the house immediately. For your safety I am not mincing words. Was your post a joke? Are you really *asking* if this is abuse? Jennifer B Police and the courts need to be involved pronto!!

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Friday, January 13, 2006
03:43 PM

This is Merri Just wanted to say that since our discussion (my husband and I) last weekend, he has been very nice. He has not made any mean gestures, no silent treatments, no yelling, no blaming and even listening to some of my suggestions. I don't know if it's from what we discussed, or he's just being nice. Like Dr. Irene suggested, I've never brought up the way I really feel. I think I made a start but, I also feel I need to do more. The typical pattern is his behavior improves - with a very, very gradual return to baseline. So, keep your eyes wide open, and yes, work on letting him know how you feel. Watch in particular if he's shifting responsibility to you. One of the best ways to figure this out is to turn the tables and reverse roles. How would you have acted in his shoes?

Right now things are going well and I have a hard time talking about our relationship when things are going nicely. This is why I plan to continue to see a counselor. Excellent! I'm going to give this marriage more time, more work and stand up for myself. If the abuse continues after I made a real good attempt to make my feelings clear, I will probably leave. Sounds like a plan. I haven't reached that point yet. Jhana, Hi! I remember reading your post and thinking we had a lot of similarities. It sounds as if your are getting your life back. Good to hear, good luck with it all. KC, your situation sounds dangerous!!! Like jenniferb I strongly suggest getting the police involved for safety. If you want to know the "whys" of his behavior and your behavior from a doctor, counselor or whoever, do it safely. From what you posted, your husband sounds dangerous.

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Friday, January 13, 2006
05:36 PM

Dear Merri Yes, he is abusive and at some level you are aware, that's why you are reading about it and asking Dr. Irene. There are many marriages like it. My father behaved like your husband. My mother was abusive, also. Abuse is passed on from one generation to another unless someone with real guts breaks it. Ironically cousins of mine in less well-off circumstances were forced to get it. They sort counseling and are ahead of me. They thought our family was ok, except they knew my Dad was violent and were all afraid of him. I suggest counseling for yourself. I had 3 tries at marriage guidance. After a short time my ex husband would stop going as He thought he was fine - I was the one who needed to "be fixed" in his opinion. I have stayed on with my counselor. I have divorced and feel HAPPY for the first time in my life. Sadly I think my ex will never get it. He may have Aspergers or such. It isn't easy as I am on a low income and have more lessons to learn. I read a lot about psychology and have started posting on this website. I have many supportive friends. Best of luck standing up to this bully. I pray he will wake up and change. By the way, don't stay for the kids. It is like living in a war zone for them. Look out for yourself and the rest will fall into place. Two things made me wake up 1.Seeing my parents in their 80's with my father barely able to breathe with emphysema, but finding enough breath to still abuse me and each other when I visited them! My ex husband said NOTHING in my defense or after to me privately, to condemn the abuse. My mother left the room( as she had done in my childhood while he belted us). I thought this is me and my husband. While I have 2 legs that work I must walk away. 2.Being abused by my husband and my 3 grownup children while at my daughters home! My daughter had replaced me as mother! I had to act or die in the attempt! My parents sent me $2,000 for Christmas so I went and bought a car. Find NORMAL friends who can't believe we live like this. I have a group of squash friends who made a list of things I needed to take when I left the house, then came and helped me pack. A young lady from church also helped me pack. The local minister gave me support and a place to store my goods! My children agree we should never have stayed together - just had them and left the next day. Its all coming good. My parents were angry at first but when I tell them I am happy and doing fine they are happy too!! Good luck. Life is too short too suffer!!!

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Saturday, January 14, 2006
04:03 AM

I agree with all of you that she should leave. I believe that this would not be the best option for the children; but for her husband. He NEEDS a break from you. Go, please. The only reason why he is acting nice to you is that he is afraid that you will rob him of all that he has worked for. The man needs space so that he can decide if he wants to waste the rest of his life in this dead relationship, or replace you and move onto a happier life with a woman less likely to play games. If you love him pack now and split. But that is not what you want. You want to lead a miserable existence so that he can suffer. That is wrong. This man is a good provider, a wonderful husband and good father. He wants to maintain that existence; but when he had to deal with a lazy woman wanting only to weigh down his life, he will act out. If you do not believe me try this experiment. Corner your cat and dog and see how they will turn on you. It is basic common sense. I know that you have to have some of it. Please stop abusing your husband with this nonsense and let him be free. If abusive wives like you were less selfish and allowed their husbands to live, there would be no domestic violence cases. I believe that beneath that cold, hard exterior lies a woman wanting to be medicated and returned to a life of happiness. You want to be happy so LEAVE. At least think of the kids, please.

I disagree about leaving so quickly. I also understand that most of you have been there done that, and have been through a lot more than Merri and you want to spare her the heartache. But every now and then things do work out, and you are unlikely to hear about it here. There are children involved and Merri has just begun confronting the issue. My recommendation to you Merri is to go to counseling, get stronger and take it from there. If you can get him to listen, great. If you can't, well... Take it from there.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006
07:22 AM

Hi Merri, I am married to a physician also. He is verbally and emotionally abusive. We have five children together and have been married for twenty years. Be careful. I have lived the roller coaster ride. I am financially dependent on him and have made the choice to stay and try to deal with this insane man. His moods change in an instant. If he has a frustrating day at work I catch hell for it. Remember, they are used to being put on a pedestal by everyone at work. Then they come home and real life hits them in the face. Everything in your post is a picture of my life. I have been in therapy for three years and, THANK GOD, I am now pretty healthy. I will always fight codependency. I keep my books at hand and go back to them frequently. The stronger you get the more your husband loses power over you and situations tend to escalate--especially when you throw the ball back in their court and force them to take responsibility for their actions. Stay in Therapy--even if he won't go. Mine only went for a couple of weeks. When my therapist nailed him for what he is--he quit. If you don't feel comfortable with your therapist or if he or she doesn't validate what is happening at home--don't hesitate to seek out another. I went to two before I found one that helped me. Be careful confronting him. He is an expert at manipulation and he will truely make you think you are crazy. Oh, and there will be a next time that all this will happen again. You may thing everything is back to normal but it will only take an instant and you will be in it again. Don't ever think, "he gets it" and he won't abuse again. Until he deals with himself---nothing will change. All you can do is get strong for you. Protect your children so they don't repeat the pattern as they grow older. I have four daughters who I have to constantly be aware might fall into the same type of relationship and a son who I have to watch for modeling after his father. Sorry for being long winded here. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.----Mary

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Sunday, January 15, 2006
12:26 PM

Oh my gosh, Merri- does your relationship sound familiar! Especially with all of the demands with the holiday season foisted upon us there is just so much more for us to "screw up" to make them mad. My holiday break was a nonstop flow of things I did not do, or did not do right, or even embarrassing him at a party (so I can really relate to your words!) You are definately in an abusive relationship! No question about it and I would highly recommend the book by Albert Ellis that she recommends The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life - it is a life saver! Lori YES! Get this book!

Good luck to you Merri. God bless you and your family. Dr. Irene, January 15, 2006.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
04:39 PM

Merri: "The next few days we didn't really talk to each other. We just spoke what was necessary. He just grunted or shrugged his shoulders when I spoke, never looking at me. I was afraid to say too much. I'm trying to avoid conflict and more brutal words." Merri! At this point in your post, I KNEW that the next issue was going to be about SEX. I was right. You went on to write the following: "After four or five days of near silence, he started to rub my back while lying in bed one night. We end up having sex. Was he feeling badly about the way he treated me, or did he just want to have sex?" Abuse is SO cyclical that I could easily predict that *him wanting sex* was going to be the next turn of events. He got sex from you and all was right in his little world while you were still smarting from the last round. This is SO typical in abusive relationships. An abusive man uses sex as his way to convince himself that all he's done to his victim is water under the bridge. Had you refused him sex because you were still upset, all hell would've broken loose. It's what abusers DO. Their sense of *entitlement* supercedes all else. Doc: "There is no real conflict here: we're not talking about a values clash. This is the little stuff." The Doc is RIGHT. He's causing conflict where there would BE NONE in a healthy relationship. Yes, your husband is abusive. VERY much so. Join us in the Catbox forum. You've come to the right place. Tallulah

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
01:06 AM

If he were so abusive why is she staying. Maybe because she is not done abusing him. Many abusive women attempt to portray themselves as victims so as to hide the fact that they are truly keeping their husbands down. This is unfortunately supported by the fact that the legal system always assumes that the man is wrong. Women are allowed to treat their husbands like trash as long as the man is too afraid to report these crimes. This is an obviuos case of an abusive wife. All that he is doing is protecting himself. He is probably afraid that she will strike out and beat him. So he builds a wall of defense to avoid this obviuos chain of events. When he is requesting sex from her, he is only attempting to make things seem normal. He is not using it in a negative way; because if he did he would instead refuse to make love to her. He really doesn't need to copulate with her for his sake. I find it deplorable that this woman is being given advice that helps perpetuate her violent behaviour against her husband. But I do understand that the High School level advice that she is being given has an affect. I would love to know where the good Doc received her licenses. I am sure that mail order Junior College was busted up a long time ago for fraud. Seek real advice from a source with crediatials that you can check. Your marriage and sanity are noting to play with. Good Luck and please stop hurting your husband. I am sure that he still loves you.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
11:36 AM

To the above person, are you by any chance Merri's husband?

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Thursday, January 19, 2006
11:21 AM

Merri, Fast forward your life twenty years from now and see if you like this picture: 1) You eventually quit your job because "we don't need your income; we need you at home taking care of things". This will further isolate you and make you financially dependent on him. If you do decide to "stay in this marrige for the sake of the children", when they graduate from high school, you will have no money and no friends to help you out of the marriage. Also, he is not legally obligated to support the children after age 18. If you wait until then to divorce, can you put them through college on your own? 2) Your childen will either become increasingly angry and prone to unreasonable outbursts (his behavior) or withdrawn and depressed (your behavior). You will ache deeply for the pain they are in and wonder if you should have divorced early in the marriage. Wouldn't being "poor" and mentally healthy have been better than "well-off" and living on eggshells? 3) He will be oblivious to your pain both mentally and physically. If you become ill and need him to "be there for you" on even the most basic of levels, he will be out of the picture. You will have to handle any illness/hospitalizations on your own because you have no close friends anymore. 4) He will be really quite happy. You will have spent your life catering to his every whim to prevent the next outburst. You will have spent your life trying to "get it right". His ego will have been fed and yours will have been beaten bloody. I'm not you and I'm not married to your husband, but I could have written your letters twenty years ago. Sign me--In this marriage for 26 years.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006
11:24 AM

Merri, Fast forward your life twenty years from now and see if you like this picture: 1) You eventually quit your job because "we don't need your income; we need you at home taking care of things". This will further isolate you and make you financially dependent on him. If you do decide to "stay in this marrige for the sake of the children", when they graduate from high school, you will have no money and no friends to help you out of the marriage. Also, he is not legally obligated to support the children after age 18. If you wait until then to divorce, can you put them through college on your own? 2) Your childen will either become increasingly angry and prone to unreasonable outbursts (his behavior) or withdrawn and depressed (your behavior). You will ache deeply for the pain they are in and wonder if you should have divorced early in the marriage. Wouldn't being "poor" and mentally healthy have been better than "well-off" and living on eggshells? 3) He will be oblivious to your pain both mentally and physically. If you become ill and need him to "be there for you" on even the most basic of levels, he will be out of the picture. You will have to handle any illness/hospitalizations on your own because you have no close friends anymore. 4) He will be really quite happy. You will have spent your life catering to his every whim to prevent the next outburst. You will have spent your life trying to "get it right". His ego will have been fed and yours will have been beaten bloody. I'm not you and I'm not married to your husband, but I could have written your letters twenty years ago. Sign me--In this marriage for 26 years.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006
11:30 AM

Merri, Fast forward your life twenty years from now and see if you like this picture: 1) You eventually quit your job because "we don't need your income; we need you at home taking care of things". This will further isolate you and make you financially dependent on him. If you do decide to "stay in this marrige for the sake of the children", when they graduate from high school, you will have no money and no friends to help you out of the marriage. Also, he is not legally obligated to support the children after age 18. If you wait until then to divorce, can you put them through college on your own? 2) Your childen will either become increasingly angry and prone to unreasonable outbursts (his behavior) or withdrawn and depressed (your behavior). You will ache deeply for the pain they are in and wonder if you should have divorced early in the marriage. Wouldn't being "poor" and mentally healthy have been better than "well-off" and living on eggshells? 3) He will be oblivious to your pain both mentally and physically. If you become ill and need him to "be there for you" on even the most basic of levels, he will be out of the picture. You will have to handle any illness/hospitalizations on your own because you have no close friends anymore. 4) He will be really quite happy. You will have spent your life catering to his every whim to prevent the next outburst. You will have spent your life trying to "get it right". His ego will have been fed and yours will have been beaten bloody. I'm not you and I'm not married to your husband, but I could have written your letters twenty years ago. Sign me--In this marriage for 26 years.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006
12:50 PM

Hi Merri, This is exactly how my husband acted in the begining of our relationship. We are still married and he will not accept that he is abusive. Eventually I will leave him for good. I've been learning lots here and I've read alot of the recommended books. Knowledge is power. One thing to really know that is very important: As I learned more I reacted less with the crying and defending myself (boundary setting which you will learn about on your journey)and I got stronger and my confidence started coming back and I quit tip toeing around. My husband is a business man and I never thought he could physically abuse me but he couldn't handle the fact that he wasn't getting the reaction from me that he was used to so it really through him off balance and he spun out of control because he couldn't control (if that makes sense). I've learned that most abusers will do anything at times to regain control so be very careful on your journey. Sincerely, Petie

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Friday, January 20, 2006
09:46 AM

I have been in a verbally abusive relationship for the last 16 years. My husband, for the first 12 years of our marriage, would tell me how fat I was, that no one else would want me and that I was lazy. That was just part of it. He also wanted to wife swap. We have argued over this for a long time. I don't want to do this and he does. He doesn't feel anything is wrong with this behavior. I do. This is not something you ask your partner to do. When I would tell him I didn't want to do these things he would get mad at me for days until I would give in. I can now say that I have sought counciling, I'm divorced and for the first time in 16 years I feel like a person not someone elses play thing.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006
09:13 AM

Merri, I was in a very covert abusive relationship. I see your day to day experiences and mine were parallel to that. My ex made me play his games, I was told, whether I wanted to or not. I couldnt see this abuse. He never hit me, he was a good provider, etc. But, his anger was there a lot longer than before he met me. I was just the current target for the anger. The most intimate partner usually is. The greatest gift he gave me was divorce cause he wasnt willing to work on our marriage or himself. So,when he asked, I gave it to him. Through counseling, and I was in a lot of pain. Unbelievable pain. Through counseling, I learned the affects this relationship had on our children. My spouse was just as covertly manipulating them as he was me. I did not see that either. But I did see the disconnect. While other dads were involved with their kids at school, home and going and doing things, mine would tell me that they werent old enough, or they didnt have common interest,or some other type of excuse. He actually left to go on a fishing trip one time and right before he left he grabbed me by the neck and asked me what kind of a mother I was that I would make my kids go spend the night with their grandmother while he was gone. THAT WAS MY DEFINING MOMENT. I was going to take a day to catch up on some housework without anyone in the house. They loved their grandma, and still have a great relationship with her. That was my sign that I was never going to be validated, loved, treated with respect. Through the last 4 years of divorce I have watched my children unravel their own covert abuse from him. My daughter was 16, she has already experienced 4 abusive type relationships. A lot for a young girl. She uses the same abuse counselor I do and he has done wonders for her. My son, always dressed really rigid, etc. Now he is free to express himself in his own right. It has been a marvelous experience to see all 3 of us re-create ourselves. My ex, he is still bumbling along, with no change. So I can clearly see the damage that was created. My counselor calls it poison in the water. It was there all along but you couldnt see it. Scary. I think one of the signs is that we have all become healthier, more expressive, the family room that was never used, became the most expressive, loving family room ever. If your husband is not willing or cant see how his behavior is affecting the family, then divorce or separation should be considered. I was so committed to my marriage, I thought if I would work harder, smarter, etc, he would appreciate the life we had. But his negative spirit wasted alot of our great possibilities in life. I am a believer with Dr. Irene, we should do everything to try and salvage the marriage, but only if both adults do their part, get good results, and the kids get some intervention too. They have to be broke from alot of the rigidness that is created in abusive relationships. They deserve to have good counseling, too. Everyone is fractured. Usually the abuser just stays fractured. But everyone else gets the gift of life and a freedom they never had under the abusers wings. I am in a beautiful relationship with a very wonderful man. I never thought I would experience the freedom a good relationship has. My kids are adults now, but they absolutely can appreciate his goodness. He actually knows more about things in my life and my families life cause he takes an interest. When I am with him, I feel secure, free, loved, fed, nurtured, and those are very good signs. Consistently. That is the kind of mate you want and your kids deserve to have a good male model that reflects a more healty, secure surrounding. This is such a difficult "dis-ease". Dr. Irene has done the most amazing work, putting this site together. Her site alone with a good abuse counselor, will help you reach your decision. It does take some time. I love each and every one of you who are trying to unravel this crazy making thing. I pray you all get good results and find the best life waiting for you.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006
09:50 PM

I only hope Merri does confront him with all this information, just print this letter out Merri and show it to him, he will refuse to read it, but leave it laying around where he will see it. He will be nosy and have to pick it up to read "the crap" you wrote about him. I had so many of these things happen to me. My x left us, just walked out of the marriage. But he was the one behaving like your husband is. My x had a girlfriend. I did not know for quite some time after he left that this was the case. He was quite mean to me, always blaming everything on me. I think now he was looking for reasons to leave....because I was so nasty "all we did was fight"....but it was over any little thing, and I could never figure out what to say that was "right". No matter what I said was the wrong thing and would set him off. Please confront him, and maybe you will have a chance and not loose your marriage, but be able to heal it. I hope so. Lynnette

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Sunday, January 22, 2006
06:23 PM

Hello, I have been married for 15 years, he was not like this for awhile, here about 5 years or so, he has been really bad. When he gets mad ever other word to me is F**K. It is one thing to talk to me like that, but he if not worse with my kids, I have 6 kids and I am afraid what it is doing to them. I am afraid that when I decide to go, he will start alot of trouble, and do bad things to the kids. Any advise?

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
06:11 AM

Hi Dr Irene, Sometimes I feel like my boyfriend manipulates me. I'm not sure though and that is why I'm writing to you, in order to get some advice. Sometimes when my boyfriend doesn't get his way for example when I told him I had to visit friends some one set of friends on Monday and another friend on Tuesday, he calls me at my friend's house on Tuesday and then messages me that: "its good to see friends, but these holidays are all we have together so don't get carried away will you?" Another instance before that I had invited him and my parents to lunch at a restaurant, my parents left first, but I took an extra ten minutes to get ready becausue my boyfriend and I got back a little late from the beach. So we arrived a little bit later like 10 or 15 minutes later, my parents didn't mind at all, but he had a sourgrapes face on, he was sulking and not very chatty all throughout the lunch.Beofre that episode he got mad when I said I ight be able to see him on my mum's birthday if it finished early and he sent me so many messages to ask me if it had finished yet and he was angry when I said I couldn't go over his place but he was most welcome to come over , yet he didn't come. He often sulks if he doen's get his own way and I 'm worried about this, I give in to this too easily sometimes, what can I do about this?

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
01:31 PM

Dr. Irene, This will have to be short because I am on my way to work. I have been married for eight years, we have three children and I/we have filed for divorce three times. We are now together and after reading your website, I have no doubt that he is verbally abusive. Right now he is being good, but I like what you say about just looking at our history...My husband has been sober for 1 1/2 years and the verbal abuse has continued still. I thought that when he quit drinking that it would stop. I asked him if he thought that he couldn't control it and he didn't think that he could. So, I'm now at the point I guess of enabling him by thinking that he's bipolar and that's the reason why he says such horrible things. Less than a month ago he was mad at me and told me that I wanted to be a man and should go get a sex change. He says if we ever got divorced that the courts would give him the kids because I'm not responsible, and if I ever threaten to leave he holds the kids hostage. I usually get angry with his comments and try to talk to him just to get insulted and bereated more. He tells me that I am abusive to him by telling him that he is abusive. I don't want to leave because I'm starting to feel like this is minor and not that big of a deal. I know that someday I will blow up. How long can I take this for? What do you suggest?

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Thursday, January 26, 2006
12:11 AM

As a verbal emotional abuser, the scales fell off of my eyes a few years ago, I loved my wife dearly even before I knew what I had done. I had no idea how I was hurting, controlling and manipulating her the way I was. I credit this to being very self centered, critical and proud. I thought I was this wonderful Christian husband, father, and provider. I was not. "Nothing is wrong with me, it's everybody else." It was very easy for me to blame those closest to me. I was deceiving myself to put it mildly. My self esteem was doodoo, so I would build myself up by coming home and dumping all over my wife and kids. This would make me feel better and if I'm feeling better then everyone in the home should be feeling like me. If I was upset, why shouldn't everyone else be upset. Etc, Etc. It was very easy for me to judge(the Bible says we are not suppose to) and criticize my family because it was my feeling that they had to put up with me and my crap because they were MY family. I had treated them like they were my property instead of precious people the Lord had given to me to protect and cherish. Your husband most likely loves you more than you know. But this is what true love is. It is patient and kind. It does not keep records of wrongs. It is not rude, proud or self seeking. It is not easily angered. It does not delight in sin. It always hopes,trusts, protects, perservers. It never fails. Your husband does not realize this, yet.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006
12:46 AM

...one more thing. I will most likely be stomped to death by you women, but for the sake of Merri's husband. Remember "for better or for worse." And this is for Merri's husband. Dude! If you are reading this wake up! I'm sticking my neck out for you!

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Friday, January 27, 2006
08:07 AM

Hello, I was reading through some of the stories and felt compelled to ask for some advice. I have 3 children 9,7, and 3. I am 28 years old and have had a long relationship with their dad (7 years), he refuses to marry me because I haven't proven myself. I have given up all of my friends (there are a couple I talk to secretly), and he wants me to cut all of my family off. I cannot do that request, but until then he says I do not handle my family values as they should. He is very verbally abusive. Hardly calls me names but demeans me every other way. My family doesn't say much anymore but I know they want me to leave him. I took the step of kicking him out of the home but he is still around quite abit. I thought if I had my own home and accts that somehow it would be easier to emotionally let him go. He wants to come back home so I can prove to him that I am a good woman. Here's the key....I love my children (They are recognizing that he does not talk to me like a person, more like hitler) and it breaks my heart. I need to break free of him but how? Recently I had surgery for Cancer of the cervix and uterous I had to have a hystorectomy and he was great till I came home. He started in on me as soon as the staples were out, countless verbal attacks in a fashion that seems like he wants me to lash out so it can be my fault. This is not ok. Help me please...why do I hang on? He doesn't even pay his child support!!! I am financially on my own is the point so....why do I hang on thinking he loves me, or things will change?

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Saturday, January 28, 2006
10:27 AM

This is Merri's board but I will answer the question cause we all need to know the answer. First, we hang on cause we want the abuser to make things right. He cant. But we are giving, loving people who should be treated with respect and loved back. So, we keep thinking that we will get from them what we should rightfully get. But it wont happen. Then, we keep thinking that if we stay just another episode, then he/she will finally come around. But that wont happen either. It is magical/wishful thinking that keeps us in these relationships. It is never going to happen. Then we stay forever cause we think we cant make it without them. When in fact, we are already doing everything anyway, to get them out of our life actually makes life easier on all of us, kids included cause we arent having to focus so much on the big elephant in the room who takes up so much of our time and space. We can survive, it is just hard to realize that we can survive without them. We are addicted to this person like a cigarette. It is horrible how we cling on to them for our very survival, when in fact we are killing ourselves by hanging on. It is a very sad relationship and most of the time it will never restore itself to the great relationship you can have with someone who does have the ability to be responsible, loving, caring and nurturing. It takes a long time to get out of denial. You have to have a professional counselor who deals with abuse to help you get there. It took me six months to get the light bulb to go off. I am sorry that any of you are having to go through this, but you will do yourself a big favor by learning the traits, working with an abuse counselor, and moving forward with your children. If he/she steps up, then great, but you must move forward anyway without him/her. Your kids will be better off when they see you moving toward a healthier relating. Remember, you are addicted to this person. You have to quit, just like the smoker. Very hard to do. Love ya!

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
02:41 PM

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006
06:18 PM

My boyfriend recently started therapy to work on some issues that he thought were affecting our relatioship. Although I respect his willingness to look at his issues, it comes as a little to late for me to remain in a relationship with him. I have been promised over and over for the past three years that he was sorry for the behavior, and that he would change. I realize that expecting someone to change and continueing to take them back has not been healthy for me. My self esteem is crushed. Recently all of the things that he has said to me over the years came back to me. I felt overwhelmed and that it was time to move on. Perhaps this comes at a time when he is serious but I must consider my own needs and that I don't trust him. I sent him an email explaining that I wanted to remain relationship free for a time and explore why I have remained in unhealthy relationships, that I would be attending support groups. He called me that night after a therapy session with his counselor to tell me that his therapist needed more data. He didn't feel that what he had said to me was that abusive. He also said that I was a push/pull person. I think that any abuse that minimizes a person is data enough I also feel that diagnosing me shouldn't be his therapists job. It is true that I have broken off our relationship several times. I would refuse to see him for a couple of months. I was careful not to call him during this time. He would send me flowers, emails, text messages, call my friends, tape love songs on cd's, and call me. Lately he came to my house, unannounced and knocked on all of the doors and rang my cell and home phone for twenty minutes until I opened the door. I met him on the porch and asked him to leave, he did. I don't see how this is me pushing/pulling. I do see that I continue to reenter into this relationship after much coersion. This is my problem and what I want to work on. Now though, I feel defective somehow, like I have intimacy issues to add to the list. I worked with a therapist for two years, she ended our sessions two years ago stating that there was nothing wrong with my intuition but that I needed to listen to it. She suggested that I go back to college which I have done. I have earned one degree and am working on an MA and writing a book. I have been sad all day thinking that there is something wrong with me, please advise.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006
06:20 PM

My boyfriend recently started therapy to work on some issues that he thought were affecting our relatioship. Although I respect his willingness to look at his issues, it comes as a little to late for me to remain in a relationship with him. I have been promised over and over for the past three years that he was sorry for the behavior, and that he would change. I realize that expecting someone to change and continueing to take them back has not been healthy for me. My self esteem is crushed. Recently all of the things that he has said to me over the years came back to me. I felt overwhelmed and that it was time to move on. Perhaps this comes at a time when he is serious but I must consider my own needs and that I don't trust him. I sent him an email explaining that I wanted to remain relationship free for a time and explore why I have remained in unhealthy relationships, that I would be attending support groups. He called me that night after a therapy session with his counselor to tell me that his therapist needed more data. He didn't feel that what he had said to me was that abusive. He also said that I was a push/pull person. I think that any abuse that minimizes a person is data enough I also feel that diagnosing me shouldn't be his therapists job. It is true that I have broken off our relationship several times. I would refuse to see him for a couple of months. I was careful not to call him during this time. He would send me flowers, emails, text messages, call my friends, tape love songs on cd's, and call me. Lately he came to my house, unannounced and knocked on all of the doors and rang my cell and home phone for twenty minutes until I opened the door. I met him on the porch and asked him to leave, he did. I don't see how this is me pushing/pulling. I do see that I continue to reenter into this relationship after much coersion. This is my problem and what I want to work on. Now though, I feel defective somehow, like I have intimacy issues to add to the list. I worked with a therapist for two years, she ended our sessions two years ago stating that there was nothing wrong with my intuition but that I needed to listen to it. She suggested that I go back to college which I have done. I have earned one degree and am working on an MA and writing a book. I have been sad all day thinking that there is something wrong with me, please advise.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006
06:20 PM

My boyfriend recently started therapy to work on some issues that he thought were affecting our relatioship. Although I respect his willingness to look at his issues, it comes as a little to late for me to remain in a relationship with him. I have been promised over and over for the past three years that he was sorry for the behavior, and that he would change. I realize that expecting someone to change and continueing to take them back has not been healthy for me. My self esteem is crushed. Recently all of the things that he has said to me over the years came back to me. I felt overwhelmed and that it was time to move on. Perhaps this comes at a time when he is serious but I must consider my own needs and that I don't trust him. I sent him an email explaining that I wanted to remain relationship free for a time and explore why I have remained in unhealthy relationships, that I would be attending support groups. He called me that night after a therapy session with his counselor to tell me that his therapist needed more data. He didn't feel that what he had said to me was that abusive. He also said that I was a push/pull person. I think that any abuse that minimizes a person is data enough I also feel that diagnosing me shouldn't be his therapists job. It is true that I have broken off our relationship several times. I would refuse to see him for a couple of months. I was careful not to call him during this time. He would send me flowers, emails, text messages, call my friends, tape love songs on cd's, and call me. Lately he came to my house, unannounced and knocked on all of the doors and rang my cell and home phone for twenty minutes until I opened the door. I met him on the porch and asked him to leave, he did. I don't see how this is me pushing/pulling. I do see that I continue to reenter into this relationship after much coersion. This is my problem and what I want to work on. Now though, I feel defective somehow, like I have intimacy issues to add to the list. I worked with a therapist for two years, she ended our sessions two years ago stating that there was nothing wrong with my intuition but that I needed to listen to it. She suggested that I go back to college which I have done. I have earned one degree and am working on an MA and writing a book. I have been sad all day thinking that there is something wrong with me, please advise.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006
08:04 AM

Merri, This man is everything my abusive x is. Please do not be confused about what is going on here. You are being abused. You are not crazy, over sensitive, picky or judgemental, or insensitive. Please take care of yourself by seeing a professional who deals with abuse - by yourself. Please start making an exit plan from your relationship (even if you NEVER use it) Just have it ready, with real answers to REAL questions. Where will you live? what kind of settlement would you need in alimony and child support? Is your car relaiable? Would you have to move and if you did, why not check out the local market to see what you might be able to afford... Can you find a job easily? Is your resume up to date? Would it be a good idea to start something part time or investigate a home business in case this does end in divorce? I am not saying you act on any of this immediately, just take action to protect your well being and your life, see that you do have options and choices that have NOTHING to do with living as the victim of an abuser who is only going to get worse. The thing I think a lot of us regret is allowing the abuser to make us dependant on him, so that it was IMPOSSIBLE to leave. He may resist your efforts to get independent, so do it on the sly if you have to, TAKE your independence back. If you never leave - fine - but you have to know for YOURSELF that you can walk at any given moment if you want to or have to. If you can't for practyical reasons, it means he is controlling your life - that is your litmus test. READ READ READ about this stuff and join the catbox. You are being abused. You are not crazy and you are not alone.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006
08:25 PM

Merri, It is time for you to leave now. That is my advice. You could replace the name Julie. The only difference is I have been married 16 years. The blame has extended to my fault for his affair because I made him feel inadequate. I am happy to say, every day I do not talk to him is heaven on earth. Go. Now. Don't make 40 zillion excuses to your children for "Daddy" yelling at them. I will be in counseling for years - as will my oldest (15) who has exhibited problems related to hearing the abuse and being abused herself. My son is not going to get by unscathed either. Go. Now. Julie

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
03:48 PM

To the person who posted before Steve, Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you are in a good place. From the sounds of it the abuse wasnt so covert! Being controlled like that must have been a horrible existance for so many years. Im reading a useful book called "The emotionall abusive relationship - Beverly Engel" I dont know if you have read it, it gives some great methods of dealing with the abuse and knowing which way to go with it. No one can tell you what is right for you. Your decision to stay away and be on your own is yours. From the sounds of it your doing great. All the best with you and the great journey. Alan

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
04:03 PM

Im sorry. I posted on the wrong collumn. Alan

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006
09:20 PM

Merri, and others. Have you read living with the Passive Agressive Man??? It is quite an eye opener. A counselor kept encountering women who were very bright and accomplished, but when it came to these passive agressive men, they were just a mess. No boundaries, just servants to these men. Check it out. It is about abuse, but you will see it in a different way. Read it and let me know what you think.


Saturday, February 11, 2006
04:30 PM

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
12:33 PM

Merri, I started visiting Dr. Irene's site and reading all I could about verbal abuse in 2004, it took my H pulling a gun on me for me to admit our marriage was abusive and what I had allowed him to do to me. By 2004 we had been together for over ten years (married for 6) in which he had been emotionally and at times physically abusive, I met him when I was very young and he used several verbal, controlling tactics to get me to stay(i.e., threatening suicide, kidnapping my children, harming me or my family, etc). I also have two young children that he has never physically harmed but at times I know that he did go to far verbally, yelling at them and at times calling them names, not curse words, but degrading none the less. Of course, I tried to defend them, insisting that he stop the behavior. He would tell me that it didn't effect them, they still loved him and felt safe with him and to butt out, it wasn't any of my business. To which I retreated in an effort not to escalate anything. Six months after his rage incident involving the gun we finally started attending a church regularly, he became involved with the men's groups and activities at the church and things seemed a little easier. He began admitting that I too deserve respect in our marriage, and that he had been verbally abusive (he had previously been of the opinion that abuse only happened if he repeatedly hit me and left marks). Shortly thereafter, he agreed to counseling with our Pastor, who was definitely a God send for me. My H of course, had intimidated me into never talking about his rage and abuse so I had been holding all of it in for quite some time by then. About three months after we started the counseling, my mother died suddenly (she was in her early 50s). A day or two after her funeral I was at her home with my siblings going through estate matters, he was selfish enough to tell me he felt neglected and needed my attention and affection, this was about 4 or 5 days after her death. A couple months later he was yelling at me in front of my family and when I went to walk away he grabbed me by the back of the neck. After that we started professional marital counseling. He had heard from our Pastor and our therapist that he was wrong, none of it was my fault, I didn't make him rage and no matter what I did it never justified his anger and the things he said or did to me or our children. We were seeing the therapist together, but I have most recently started seeing her on my own because it seemed that she was a referee in our arguments mostly when we attended together and I feel more is accomplished and understood when I see her myself. My H has cooked dinner almost every night for the last 4 years, he helps me clean, does laundry and transports our children from daycare and school. We both work full time and I also do my part he just doesn't force me to do it all anymore. All this said, I thought we had been making progress, no major rage in over 2 years, no abuse in over a year, not arguing every day, we were learning to communicate better, he tried to stop the name calling and apologized when he messed up, told me his desire to change, be a better husband and father and continued with his involvement in church. However, he continued with his need for affection, attention, and desire from me, which of course is hard for me to give because of past disappointments and hurts, I still don't have an emotional connection with him. Unfortunately, without consistent good treatment that occurs more often or consistently than his "slip ups", it's impossible to trust and therefore impossible to connect. Last weekend we went to a church event and I noticed after we walked in that he had hickies on his neck I didn't give him, after a night out on Fri., which he did't get home from until around 5:00 a.m. I didn't cause a fuss at the event, he first tried to say a male friend caused them by grabbing his neck while horsing around, then admitted to me after we were home that a girl had "quickly" sucked his neck but he didn't know she left marks and swore to me that he immediately told her he was married and she backed off. I have a tendency to trust him and believe his story about what happened (I did not close my eyes to it, I did some "investigating" of my own and went over and over it with him), of course there are more details than this but if I type all of it you'll be reading forever. Then on Sun. morning he allowed several inconsiquential things to blow up and didn't attend church with me Sunday and threatened to leave me, like it was my fault. Then after the service called to tell me he was sorry for his reactions (yelling) that morning and for what happened on Fri. night, he didn't deserve me, it was all his fault, etc. (all the right stuff) Mon. he called me at work to tell me that he's afraid we'll wind up divorcing if I don't show him the desire and affection he needs from me, of course I had given him somewhat of a "cold shoulder" for two days. After two days of complete confusion and an inability to stop crying I made an appointment with my therapist. She called his actions over the weekend and the last year really "crazy making". She recommended that I ask him to leave our house until he finishes an anger management course and brings me a certificate of compeletion. She told me that I'm giving him permission to continue with his behavior by not doing anything and I know she's right. All of this combined has finally made me realize, I'm not his mother and I shouldn't have to remind him to do the right thing (whether it's staying involved with church, attending anger management, speaking to our children in the right tone, etc.) and that HE has to decide to make the commitment to me, our children and family unit to do the right thing. His leaving will be hurtful to everyone involved (especially my children) but he has to prove to me that he is commited to this and I know I can never trust that he can control himself if he does not learn how to properly channel his anger and actively seek help. The bottom line I feel is, we all need security, trust, honesty, respect and safety in a marriage. Without these things there is no foundation for a marriage to stand on. For years I let the abuse slide by because it wasn't constant there were some good times and I thought he would "out grow it". Over time I thought he would acknowledge my tolerance and respect me for it and stop his behaviors, and know that I must love him deeply to have stayed. I was very wrong. I obviously do not advocate divorce or even separation; however, we are each responsible for our own actions and reactions, if I continue to allow him to slide by, he will never stop. I hope this helps or gives you some more insight. I still do have hope for my marriage, but I realize it will take work and can not be done by me or my H ourselves, it will take God and professional help. K

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Monday, February 20, 2006
06:07 PM

I want to know if you life with someone. who put you and your daughter down is this abuse. calling a 16 months old a ranold.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006
06:36 AM

Find a way tos top it now! Don't wait 40 years and live a miserable and unfulfilled existence. It won't get better unless you learn to set your limits now and if he refuses counselling tell him you'll leave. Believe me you'll be a lot better off.

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Friday, February 24, 2006
01:24 PM

I HAVE BEEN IN A TWO YEAR RELATIONSHIP WHERE THE FELLA I'M SEEING YELLS AT HIS KIDS TO DO ALL THE HOUSEWORK AND IS ESPECIALLY HARD ON THE OLDEST CHILD(17)WHO DEFIES HIM A BIT. HE YELLS AT ME AND SAYS I AM SELFISH AND COLD AND CANT MAKE A DECISION ABOUT STARTING A FUTURE W/HIM. I WON'T MOVE IN, BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE THE WAY HE TREATS ME SOMETMES. ABOUT EVERY OTHER WEEK, HE BLOWS UP AND BLAMES IT ON ME SAYING THAT IF I WOULD MOVE ON W/MY LIFE WITH HIM, HE WOULDN'T HAVE THESE ANGRY OUTBURTS. HE TOLD ME TO LEAVE THE OTHER DAY AND AS I GOT UP, HE PUSHED ME HARD TO THE GROUND BRUISING MY KNEE. HE APOLOGIZED BLAMING IT ON PENT UP FRUSTRATION AND DRINKING TOO MUCH. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

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Friday, February 24, 2006
05:56 PM

You need to leave. You cannot stay with a person who treats you like that. Just leave. Your life cant be any worse than it is right now, living with an abuser. Even if you have to get a job, live alone, whatever, you must do. People who are abused must get out. I dont know why we think we have to stay. What are you going to lose?? You will lose alot of things you never should have had, anyway; low self esteem, poor self image, bruised emotions, etc. Get out. If he truly gives a care about you, he will step up, clean up his act and you will tell by his actions that he wants to love you the right way. Just get your big ole boot on and leave him at the curb. Some of us have a hard time seeing these abusers for what they really are. I was abused for years and just kept staying and staying. You are waiting for him to care about you, love you, affirm for you, acknowledge you. It isnt going to happen. If you dont leave, you are just asking for more abuse. Sometimes getting the upper hand in the relationship is all it takes to straighten the abuser out. Not likely. Love yourself enough to live alone if you have to. One day, the right person will cherish and love you appropriately. Tough Love! ME

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Saturday, February 25, 2006
10:31 PM

Hello, I am in an emotional abusive relationship. The really horrible embarrising thing is that I am the abuser. I feel so ashamed saying it. How do I get myself out of this cycle. I am loosing my husband and I have a 5 year old from another marriage. I hate myself for being like this. Stephanie

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Saturday, February 25, 2006
10:31 PM

Hello, I am in an emotional abusive relationship. The really horrible embarrising thing is that I am the abuser. I feel so ashamed saying it. How do I get myself out of this cycle. I am loosing my husband and I have a 5 year old from another marriage. I hate myself for being like this. Stephanie

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Sunday, February 26, 2006
04:48 PM

This is for Stephanie. Read the interactive posts from the interactive board on 12/29 titled "There goes the wife". It's from an abuser. You may find more help there.

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Monday, February 27, 2006
02:53 PM

Hello, It seems lately I have been spending my days looking on the sites to see if there is such a thing as "emotional abuse." There is.... I have been married for only 8 months and it's sad to say, but I was planning my divorce before planning the wedding. I have 2 small children. Age 2 and 3. I have no family where I live, no friends and my husbands creates situations where it is impossible for me to win. I have never had my kids in daycare, I have went to school recieved a degree, been at my job 3 years (I work weekends and nights) am a devoted mother, and yet nothing I do is ever enough. My husband asks me to do something, it gets done. He wants me to cook something, it gets done. Anything he asks of me, it always gets done. Yet the whole marriage is on my shoulders and whatever goes wrong in his life is always my problem. I am always aksed where I was, to show recipts for every penny I spend, why I'm so stupid..and so on. My husband does not drink, does not do drugs and can put on the charm and turn it up when he wants to. Sometimes I wish he would hit me so I can leave and make it easier. Then I would have a reason to get full custody of my kids. I live in a state where my husband has his whole family, all of his friends...he says that his family is now my family and his friends are now my friends. I don't need "my own friends" and I don't need to talk to my mother. My mother lives in Florida. I long to get out of this marriage and move down and be near her. I get threatened if I ever leave he'll take the kids and get me beat up. He controls every aspect of my life. If he doesn't wish to watch the children and come home from work I can't go to work, thus losing my job. Every day its a new threat and I am physically and emotionally drained. He curses too much and my little ones are statring to pick up on awful words. When I was going to college he always told me "any retard can go to that school." He always call me a "waste of space", "useless", a stupid bitch" and so on. I feel so alone and trapped. As if you could put metal bars around me and throw away the key. His mother even threatens me about leaving the state. I do not wish for anything. Only my freedom and my children. I would take the shirt on my back and my kids right now if it meant my freedom. The other day he came home right before I had to go in to work and said "i'm really in the mood for something with chocolate in it." So I went out to the store 10 min before I had to be in work and went over to the icecream section. I stood there for about a good 5-6 minutes, thinking...which one...which one... I had a choice between chocolate, vanilla, chicolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate vanilla swirl. I stood there thinking about the icecream not for the best flavor and taste, but which one would make it so I don't get him upset at me once again. I failed. I ran the chocolate chip ice cream home set it on the table and was out the door being 15 min late to work. Any other person would report to work right away, and any normal husband wouldn't make or allow his wife to be late for work. No thank-you no good-bye. An hour goes by, I'm at work and my cell phone starts vibrating. I excuse my self and pick up the phone in dread. (I dread his calls) No hello, instead its " what the f**k were you thinking you retard, i hate this f***ing ice cream..loser" and hangs up the phone. I tried and failed. I live my life for this man and every decision I make revolves around him. I am no longer human, and I start feeling I am useless and a failure. I want out because I am so tired of being abused this way. Every day its something new. I have to constatly lie to him about how much money I spend on groceries to avoid him screaming at me. When he goes on the computer and checks out the bank statements, I just want to jump off my balcony. I am so scared. His family and him or whackos and constaly think the world is out to get them and hate life in general. If I use debit instaed of credit at a store, or go to a ATM where theres a 1.50 surcharge I get reemed out til next week. Over a dollar and fifty cents. I want to be able to make my own decisions and raise my kids in a peaceful setting. I don't want my kids to be subjected to his screaming and put downs. I feel all I am doing is condoning his behavior and my children see that and will do the same. Thats where I have to draw the line. For my children. I opened my own bank account and am trying to save. I want to leave state and be with my mother, father and sister in Florida but fear he will supenea me back with the kids. I want to do things right and the hardest thing having to do is keep the peace and gain more strength then ever when being shoved into the ground over and over. He always says I play the victim and wa wa wa.(crying) and to get over it. Theres no changing him and hes promised counseling before and makes up excuses saying the counselor is on vacation for a month, and then when a month has past and I bring it up again, he said that he lied in a joking manner. Everythings a joke to him and I'm tired of living with a little boy. Plese help!

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Monday, February 27, 2006
02:56 PM

Hello, It seems lately I have been spending my days looking on the sites to see if there is such a thing as "emotional abuse." There is.... I have been married for only 8 months and it's sad to say, but I was planning my divorce before planning the wedding. I have 2 small children. Age 2 and 3. I have no family where I live, no friends and my husbands creates situations where it is impossible for me to win. I have never had my kids in daycare, I have went to school recieved a degree, been at my job 3 years (I work weekends and nights) am a devoted mother, and yet nothing I do is ever enough. My husband asks me to do something, it gets done. He wants me to cook something, it gets done. Anything he asks of me, it always gets done. Yet the whole marriage is on my shoulders and whatever goes wrong in his life is always my problem. I am always aksed where I was, to show recipts for every penny I spend, why I'm so stupid..and so on. My husband does not drink, does not do drugs and can put on the charm and turn it up when he wants to. Sometimes I wish he would hit me so I can leave and make it easier. Then I would have a reason to get full custody of my kids. I live in a state where my husband has his whole family, all of his friends...he says that his family is now my family and his friends are now my friends. I don't need "my own friends" and I don't need to talk to my mother. My mother lives in Florida. I long to get out of this marriage and move down and be near her. I get threatened if I ever leave he'll take the kids and get me beat up. He controls every aspect of my life. If he doesn't wish to watch the children and come home from work I can't go to work, thus losing my job. Every day its a new threat and I am physically and emotionally drained. He curses too much and my little ones are statring to pick up on awful words. When I was going to college he always told me "any retard can go to that school." He always call me a "waste of space", "useless", a stupid bitch" and so on. I feel so alone and trapped. As if you could put metal bars around me and throw away the key. His mother even threatens me about leaving the state. I do not wish for anything. Only my freedom and my children. I would take the shirt on my back and my kids right now if it meant my freedom. The other day he came home right before I had to go in to work and said "i'm really in the mood for something with chocolate in it." So I went out to the store 10 min before I had to be in work and went over to the icecream section. I stood there for about a good 5-6 minutes, thinking...which one...which one... I had a choice between chocolate, vanilla, chicolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate vanilla swirl. I stood there thinking about the icecream not for the best flavor and taste, but which one would make it so I don't get him upset at me once again. I failed. I ran the chocolate chip ice cream home set it on the table and was out the door being 15 min late to work. Any other person would report to work right away, and any normal husband wouldn't make or allow his wife to be late for work. No thank-you no good-bye. An hour goes by, I'm at work and my cell phone starts vibrating. I excuse my self and pick up the phone in dread. (I dread his calls) No hello, instead its " what the f**k were you thinking you retard, i hate this f***ing ice cream..loser" and hangs up the phone. I tried and failed. I live my life for this man and every decision I make revolves around him. I am no longer human, and I start feeling I am useless and a failure. I want out because I am so tired of being abused this way. Every day its something new. I have to constatly lie to him about how much money I spend on groceries to avoid him screaming at me. When he goes on the computer and checks out the bank statements, I just want to jump off my balcony. I am so scared. His family and him or whackos and constaly think the world is out to get them and hate life in general. If I use debit instaed of credit at a store, or go to a ATM where theres a 1.50 surcharge I get reemed out til next week. Over a dollar and fifty cents. I want to be able to make my own decisions and raise my kids in a peaceful setting. I don't want my kids to be subjected to his screaming and put downs. I feel all I am doing is condoning his behavior and my children see that and will do the same. Thats where I have to draw the line. For my children. I opened my own bank account and am trying to save. I want to leave state and be with my mother, father and sister in Florida but fear he will supenea me back with the kids. I want to do things right and the hardest thing having to do is keep the peace and gain more strength then ever when being shoved into the ground over and over. He always says I play the victim and wa wa wa.(crying) and to get over it. Theres no changing him and hes promised counseling before and makes up excuses saying the counselor is on vacation for a month, and then when a month has past and I bring it up again, he said that he lied in a joking manner. Everythings a joke to him and I'm tired of living with a little boy. Plese help!

Submit
Monday, February 27, 2006
02:56 PM

Hello, It seems lately I have been spending my days looking on the sites to see if there is such a thing as "emotional abuse." There is.... I have been married for only 8 months and it's sad to say, but I was planning my divorce before planning the wedding. I have 2 small children. Age 2 and 3. I have no family where I live, no friends and my husbands creates situations where it is impossible for me to win. I have never had my kids in daycare, I have went to school recieved a degree, been at my job 3 years (I work weekends and nights) am a devoted mother, and yet nothing I do is ever enough. My husband asks me to do something, it gets done. He wants me to cook something, it gets done. Anything he asks of me, it always gets done. Yet the whole marriage is on my shoulders and whatever goes wrong in his life is always my problem. I am always aksed where I was, to show recipts for every penny I spend, why I'm so stupid..and so on. My husband does not drink, does not do drugs and can put on the charm and turn it up when he wants to. Sometimes I wish he would hit me so I can leave and make it easier. Then I would have a reason to get full custody of my kids. I live in a state where my husband has his whole family, all of his friends...he says that his family is now my family and his friends are now my friends. I don't need "my own friends" and I don't need to talk to my mother. My mother lives in Florida. I long to get out of this marriage and move down and be near her. I get threatened if I ever leave he'll take the kids and get me beat up. He controls every aspect of my life. If he doesn't wish to watch the children and come home from work I can't go to work, thus losing my job. Every day its a new threat and I am physically and emotionally drained. He curses too much and my little ones are statring to pick up on awful words. When I was going to college he always told me "any retard can go to that school." He always call me a "waste of space", "useless", a stupid bitch" and so on. I feel so alone and trapped. As if you could put metal bars around me and throw away the key. His mother even threatens me about leaving the state. I do not wish for anything. Only my freedom and my children. I would take the shirt on my back and my kids right now if it meant my freedom. The other day he came home right before I had to go in to work and said "i'm really in the mood for something with chocolate in it." So I went out to the store 10 min before I had to be in work and went over to the icecream section. I stood there for about a good 5-6 minutes, thinking...which one...which one... I had a choice between chocolate, vanilla, chicolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate vanilla swirl. I stood there thinking about the icecream not for the best flavor and taste, but which one would make it so I don't get him upset at me once again. I failed. I ran the chocolate chip ice cream home set it on the table and was out the door being 15 min late to work. Any other person would report to work right away, and any normal husband wouldn't make or allow his wife to be late for work. No thank-you no good-bye. An hour goes by, I'm at work and my cell phone starts vibrating. I excuse my self and pick up the phone in dread. (I dread his calls) No hello, instead its " what the f**k were you thinking you retard, i hate this f***ing ice cream..loser" and hangs up the phone. I tried and failed. I live my life for this man and every decision I make revolves around him. I am no longer human, and I start feeling I am useless and a failure. I want out because I am so tired of being abused this way. Every day its something new. I have to constatly lie to him about how much money I spend on groceries to avoid him screaming at me. When he goes on the computer and checks out the bank statements, I just want to jump off my balcony. I am so scared. His family and him or whackos and constaly think the world is out to get them and hate life in general. If I use debit instaed of credit at a store, or go to a ATM where theres a 1.50 surcharge I get reemed out til next week. Over a dollar and fifty cents. I want to be able to make my own decisions and raise my kids in a peaceful setting. I don't want my kids to be subjected to his screaming and put downs. I feel all I am doing is condoning his behavior and my children see that and will do the same. Thats where I have to draw the line. For my children. I opened my own bank account and am trying to save. I want to leave state and be with my mother, father and sister in Florida but fear he will supenea me back with the kids. I want to do things right and the hardest thing having to do is keep the peace and gain more strength then ever when being shoved into the ground over and over. He always says I play the victim and wa wa wa.(crying) and to get over it. Theres no changing him and hes promised counseling before and makes up excuses saying the counselor is on vacation for a month, and then when a month has past and I bring it up again, he said that he lied in a joking manner. Everythings a joke to him and I'm tired of living with a little boy. Plese help!

Submit
Monday, February 27, 2006
02:56 PM

Hello, It seems lately I have been spending my days looking on the sites to see if there is such a thing as "emotional abuse." There is.... I have been married for only 8 months and it's sad to say, but I was planning my divorce before planning the wedding. I have 2 small children. Age 2 and 3. I have no family where I live, no friends and my husbands creates situations where it is impossible for me to win. I have never had my kids in daycare, I have went to school recieved a degree, been at my job 3 years (I work weekends and nights) am a devoted mother, and yet nothing I do is ever enough. My husband asks me to do something, it gets done. He wants me to cook something, it gets done. Anything he asks of me, it always gets done. Yet the whole marriage is on my shoulders and whatever goes wrong in his life is always my problem. I am always aksed where I was, to show recipts for every penny I spend, why I'm so stupid..and so on. My husband does not drink, does not do drugs and can put on the charm and turn it up when he wants to. Sometimes I wish he would hit me so I can leave and make it easier. Then I would have a reason to get full custody of my kids. I live in a state where my husband has his whole family, all of his friends...he says that his family is now my family and his friends are now my friends. I don't need "my own friends" and I don't need to talk to my mother. My mother lives in Florida. I long to get out of this marriage and move down and be near her. I get threatened if I ever leave he'll take the kids and get me beat up. He controls every aspect of my life. If he doesn't wish to watch the children and come home from work I can't go to work, thus losing my job. Every day its a new threat and I am physically and emotionally drained. He curses too much and my little ones are statring to pick up on awful words. When I was going to college he always told me "any retard can go to that school." He always call me a "waste of space", "useless", a stupid bitch" and so on. I feel so alone and trapped. As if you could put metal bars around me and throw away the key. His mother even threatens me about leaving the state. I do not wish for anything. Only my freedom and my children. I would take the shirt on my back and my kids right now if it meant my freedom. The other day he came home right before I had to go in to work and said "i'm really in the mood for something with chocolate in it." So I went out to the store 10 min before I had to be in work and went over to the icecream section. I stood there for about a good 5-6 minutes, thinking...which one...which one... I had a choice between chocolate, vanilla, chicolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate vanilla swirl. I stood there thinking about the icecream not for the best flavor and taste, but which one would make it so I don't get him upset at me once again. I failed. I ran the chocolate chip ice cream home set it on the table and was out the door being 15 min late to work. Any other person would report to work right away, and any normal husband wouldn't make or allow his wife to be late for work. No thank-you no good-bye. An hour goes by, I'm at work and my cell phone starts vibrating. I excuse my self and pick up the phone in dread. (I dread his calls) No hello, instead its " what the f**k were you thinking you retard, i hate this f***ing ice cream..loser" and hangs up the phone. I tried and failed. I live my life for this man and every decision I make revolves around him. I am no longer human, and I start feeling I am useless and a failure. I want out because I am so tired of being abused this way. Every day its something new. I have to constatly lie to him about how much money I spend on groceries to avoid him screaming at me. When he goes on the computer and checks out the bank statements, I just want to jump off my balcony. I am so scared. His family and him or whackos and constaly think the world is out to get them and hate life in general. If I use debit instaed of credit at a store, or go to a ATM where theres a 1.50 surcharge I get reemed out til next week. Over a dollar and fifty cents. I want to be able to make my own decisions and raise my kids in a peaceful setting. I don't want my kids to be subjected to his screaming and put downs. I feel all I am doing is condoning his behavior and my children see that and will do the same. Thats where I have to draw the line. For my children. I opened my own bank account and am trying to save. I want to leave state and be with my mother, father and sister in Florida but fear he will supenea me back with the kids. I want to do things right and the hardest thing having to do is keep the peace and gain more strength then ever when being shoved into the ground over and over. He always says I play the victim and wa wa wa.(crying) and to get over it. Theres no changing him and hes promised counseling before and makes up excuses saying the counselor is on vacation for a month, and then when a month has past and I bring it up again, he said that he lied in a joking manner. Everythings a joke to him and I'm tired of living with a little boy. Plese help!

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Monday, February 27, 2006
02:56 PM

Hello, It seems lately I have been spending my days looking on the sites to see if there is such a thing as "emotional abuse." There is.... I have been married for only 8 months and it's sad to say, but I was planning my divorce before planning the wedding. I have 2 small children. Age 2 and 3. I have no family where I live, no friends and my husbands creates situations where it is impossible for me to win. I have never had my kids in daycare, I have went to school recieved a degree, been at my job 3 years (I work weekends and nights) am a devoted mother, and yet nothing I do is ever enough. My husband asks me to do something, it gets done. He wants me to cook something, it gets done. Anything he asks of me, it always gets done. Yet the whole marriage is on my shoulders and whatever goes wrong in his life is always my problem. I am always aksed where I was, to show recipts for every penny I spend, why I'm so stupid..and so on. My husband does not drink, does not do drugs and can put on the charm and turn it up when he wants to. Sometimes I wish he would hit me so I can leave and make it easier. Then I would have a reason to get full custody of my kids. I live in a state where my husband has his whole family, all of his friends...he says that his family is now my family and his friends are now my friends. I don't need "my own friends" and I don't need to talk to my mother. My mother lives in Florida. I long to get out of this marriage and move down and be near her. I get threatened if I ever leave he'll take the kids and get me beat up. He controls every aspect of my life. If he doesn't wish to watch the children and come home from work I can't go to work, thus losing my job. Every day its a new threat and I am physically and emotionally drained. He curses too much and my little ones are statring to pick up on awful words. When I was going to college he always told me "any retard can go to that school." He always call me a "waste of space", "useless", a stupid bitch" and so on. I feel so alone and trapped. As if you could put metal bars around me and throw away the key. His mother even threatens me about leaving the state. I do not wish for anything. Only my freedom and my children. I would take the shirt on my back and my kids right now if it meant my freedom. The other day he came home right before I had to go in to work and said "i'm really in the mood for something with chocolate in it." So I went out to the store 10 min before I had to be in work and went over to the icecream section. I stood there for about a good 5-6 minutes, thinking...which one...which one... I had a choice between chocolate, vanilla, chicolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate vanilla swirl. I stood there thinking about the icecream not for the best flavor and taste, but which one would make it so I don't get him upset at me once again. I failed. I ran the chocolate chip ice cream home set it on the table and was out the door being 15 min late to work. Any other person would report to work right away, and any normal husband wouldn't make or allow his wife to be late for work. No thank-you no good-bye. An hour goes by, I'm at work and my cell phone starts vibrating. I excuse my self and pick up the phone in dread. (I dread his calls) No hello, instead its " what the f**k were you thinking you retard, i hate this f***ing ice cream..loser" and hangs up the phone. I tried and failed. I live my life for this man and every decision I make revolves around him. I am no longer human, and I start feeling I am useless and a failure. I want out because I am so tired of being abused this way. Every day its something new. I have to constatly lie to him about how much money I spend on groceries to avoid him screaming at me. When he goes on the computer and checks out the bank statements, I just want to jump off my balcony. I am so scared. His family and him or whackos and constaly think the world is out to get them and hate life in general. If I use debit instaed of credit at a store, or go to a ATM where theres a 1.50 surcharge I get reemed out til next week. Over a dollar and fifty cents. I want to be able to make my own decisions and raise my kids in a peaceful setting. I don't want my kids to be subjected to his screaming and put downs. I feel all I am doing is condoning his behavior and my children see that and will do the same. Thats where I have to draw the line. For my children. I opened my own bank account and am trying to save. I want to leave state and be with my mother, father and sister in Florida but fear he will supenea me back with the kids. I want to do things right and the hardest thing having to do is keep the peace and gain more strength then ever when being shoved into the ground over and over. He always says I play the victim and wa wa wa.(crying) and to get over it. Theres no changing him and hes promised counseling before and makes up excuses saying the counselor is on vacation for a month, and then when a month has past and I bring it up again, he said that he lied in a joking manner. Everythings a joke to him and I'm tired of living with a little boy. Plese help!

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Monday, February 27, 2006
02:56 PM

Hello, It seems lately I have been spending my days looking on the sites to see if there is such a thing as "emotional abuse." There is.... I have been married for only 8 months and it's sad to say, but I was planning my divorce before planning the wedding. I have 2 small children. Age 2 and 3. I have no family where I live, no friends and my husbands creates situations where it is impossible for me to win. I have never had my kids in daycare, I have went to school recieved a degree, been at my job 3 years (I work weekends and nights) am a devoted mother, and yet nothing I do is ever enough. My husband asks me to do something, it gets done. He wants me to cook something, it gets done. Anything he asks of me, it always gets done. Yet the whole marriage is on my shoulders and whatever goes wrong in his life is always my problem. I am always aksed where I was, to show recipts for every penny I spend, why I'm so stupid..and so on. My husband does not drink, does not do drugs and can put on the charm and turn it up when he wants to. Sometimes I wish he would hit me so I can leave and make it easier. Then I would have a reason to get full custody of my kids. I live in a state where my husband has his whole family, all of his friends...he says that his family is now my family and his friends are now my friends. I don't need "my own friends" and I don't need to talk to my mother. My mother lives in Florida. I long to get out of this marriage and move down and be near her. I get threatened if I ever leave he'll take the kids and get me beat up. He controls every aspect of my life. If he doesn't wish to watch the children and come home from work I can't go to work, thus losing my job. Every day its a new threat and I am physically and emotionally drained. He curses too much and my little ones are statring to pick up on awful words. When I was going to college he always told me "any retard can go to that school." He always call me a "waste of space", "useless", a stupid bitch" and so on. I feel so alone and trapped. As if you could put metal bars around me and throw away the key. His mother even threatens me about leaving the state. I do not wish for anything. Only my freedom and my children. I would take the shirt on my back and my kids right now if it meant my freedom. The other day he came home right before I had to go in to work and said "i'm really in the mood for something with chocolate in it." So I went out to the store 10 min before I had to be in work and went over to the icecream section. I stood there for about a good 5-6 minutes, thinking...which one...which one... I had a choice between chocolate, vanilla, chicolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate vanilla swirl. I stood there thinking about the icecream not for the best flavor and taste, but which one would make it so I don't get him upset at me once again. I failed. I ran the chocolate chip ice cream home set it on the table and was out the door being 15 min late to work. Any other person would report to work right away, and any normal husband wouldn't make or allow his wife to be late for work. No thank-you no good-bye. An hour goes by, I'm at work and my cell phone starts vibrating. I excuse my self and pick up the phone in dread. (I dread his calls) No hello, instead its " what the f**k were you thinking you retard, i hate this f***ing ice cream..loser" and hangs up the phone. I tried and failed. I live my life for this man and every decision I make revolves around him. I am no longer human, and I start feeling I am useless and a failure. I want out because I am so tired of being abused this way. Every day its something new. I have to constatly lie to him about how much money I spend on groceries to avoid him screaming at me. When he goes on the computer and checks out the bank statements, I just want to jump off my balcony. I am so scared. His family and him or whackos and constaly think the world is out to get them and hate life in general. If I use debit instaed of credit at a store, or go to a ATM where theres a 1.50 surcharge I get reemed out til next week. Over a dollar and fifty cents. I want to be able to make my own decisions and raise my kids in a peaceful setting. I don't want my kids to be subjected to his screaming and put downs. I feel all I am doing is condoning his behavior and my children see that and will do the same. Thats where I have to draw the line. For my children. I opened my own bank account and am trying to save. I want to leave state and be with my mother, father and sister in Florida but fear he will supenea me back with the kids. I want to do things right and the hardest thing having to do is keep the peace and gain more strength then ever when being shoved into the ground over and over. He always says I play the victim and wa wa wa.(crying) and to get over it. Theres no changing him and hes promised counseling before and makes up excuses saying the counselor is on vacation for a month, and then when a month has past and I bring it up again, he said that he lied in a joking manner. Everythings a joke to him and I'm tired of living with a little boy. Plese help!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
11:42 AM

Wow, the last post is incredible! I can't beleive anyone would treat their spouse that poorly. This is definitely a bad situation, maybe you could seek help from a local church that deals with this sort of thing, or a shelter. You need some people on your side and you probably need to get out.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
01:09 PM

This sounds like my relationship early in the relationship. My husband thought that I was to blame for everything that went wrong, and that I could not do things well enough. Later I started looking at his beliefs, and it looked to me like his mom getting divorced and remarried 5 times and also neglecting her housework left such a permanent impression on him that he was sure no women could stay loyal or keep a house clean enough despite 15 years of marraige where I kept the house spotless and even avoided talking to neighbors and other parents at football and hockey games lest he question my loyalty. I have been thinking about it more and when he went to anger management he was started on some anti-psychotics because I had remained loyal for so long and he still held the view I would snap any day and run off with a lover, leaving him with the house and children. When I did finally declare the marriage was over (because he never got over the belief I would some day leave him, and deserved to be punished for this daily), and he was out of the house, he latched onto the belief that I would take him back any day because I could not do anything on my own. Needless to say I did not take him back, and have been divorced 5 years, but he still holds the belief I somehow "want him" because he is the father of my three children, and now he punishes me (when he can get a hold of me) for wanting to ruin his new marriage. He also punishes his new wife with this - telling her I would take him back any time so she better toe the line. I told her that is not so but he is so convincing that she has started to be abusive to me also. I give their marriage another 2-3 years before it falls apart - It is showing signs of wear and tear already, and they have only been together 18 months. He is off his medication and out of therapy so I suppose things will deteriorate even more because for some reason he always assumes he can do whatever he wants, say as many hurtful things as he can, and no one is ever supposed to hold this against him. In my view, mental illness and abuse go hand in hand.

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Monday, March 06, 2006
02:49 AM

well, I don't even know where to start. First instance is after being married a yr. my husband got upset at me shortly after being married/ no kids yet. Whipped a wallet at my head and put a hole in the wall. Second instance was when my oldest was in an infant seat again, another arguement he drove erradically and was calling me all kinds of nasty names in the car. I was scared we would crash. I remember saying to him don't you ever call me a name like that again in front of my kids. We moved out of state close to his family. I was real depressed. Didnt' have many friends and felt isolated. This time his rages turned to breaking my things, lets' see a vaacuum thrown down the steps, broke my dining room table to pieces and also whipped around my ironing board all seperate instances with a temper along with screamin and yelling. We went to a water park and we were in an elevator he of course always has to worry about his public image. Some people went to get on and he felt there wasn't enough room so he pushed me in the corner and said move over. I said out loud don't push me like that. He was pissed. We proceeded to the game room and he called me fuckin bitch in public in front of my 3 children. Then I left to go back to the hotel room and cried. He came back started to yell at me some more in front of the kids then sat them down apologized to me and them and said it was wrong adn don't call your mom that ever. Then I could mention how I went with some friends to summer fest had to pay hell for that had a horrible time that weekend. He didn't want me to go felt it was a threat to our marriage even though I was going with my best friend and her married aunt. He felt I should've used my time off to spend on a family vacation not a vacation to myself. When he felt threatened that I was leaving him after some marital counseling he made comments like "There's a beer drinkin man for you" pointing out a harley guy on a bike. He said to me, "Your gonna be selfish and ruin this family" He's also recently when I told him I went to menards he said to me "what did you go there for". One time I remember argueing at the supper table over something dumb. My older son did something wrong but not bad, using his fingers I think to eat. My husband grabbed his face hard screamed at him, made him cry and looked at me and said "are you happy now?". Now that I"m threatening him to change or I'll leave he says that he doesn't know what to say to me, pretty much ignores me and said to me today as he's walking out the house "nice talkin to you today". Even though I slept most of the day cause I worked a 12 hour shift. I feel I dont' really love him anymore. He's the typical abuser with the nice looks. He would bend over backwards for any stranger he's so kind but treats me like crap. After reading Bancroft's book my eyes are opened even more. He said to me the other day "You act like I"m some kind of monster". I'm so hurt, confused, lonely and scared I don't even know what to do anymore.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006
02:16 PM

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006
09:08 PM

Hello Merri, You indicate to me to be a very thoughtful woman and I appreciate your courage to post your concerns. After 5 years of marriage with my husband, I can relate to several of your feelings. I sometimes feel as if I lead two lives. At work, I feel I communicate effectively with folks at all levels. I like helping others and have accomplished many goals. At home, I've been called stupid too many times to count. He's made many comments about my weight. I know I would feel more confident to be less than a size 14, but it's hurtful to hear it from your husband. He is highly critical of my contributions to daily routines (the clothes need to be out of the dryer within a certain time to prevent wrinkles...). I pay the monthly bills, but according to him, we're not saving enough. When he's had a bad day or a stressful event occurs, then he often uses a very harsh tone of voice. The most frustrating part is the inability for me to discuss important matters with him. I feel I have no input into our budget, future, family... (we do not have children). He can immediately lose his temper and then it escalates. I'm not proud of the several occasions that I have also responded to him by raising my voice, crying excessively, and practically begging him to talk with me. It then usually ends with him breaking some item in our home. Recently, he threw a cup of lukewarm coffee in my face and I was bruised from a ceramic plate that hit me in the side. It's ludicrous, because I go the next day and will work with a group of teachers or administrators and they never know that not even 24 hrs prior I was being told how ignorant I am. I guess I am to stay in this marriage. I almost feel that I don't make a difference. I know on some level he's hurting as well because of some past issues. I've asked to go to counseling together, but he refuses. I think he would be relieved if I made the first move to iniate a divorce. I'm so tired. What do I do? Hanging by a Thread

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
10:13 AM

I am wondering too, if I have been verbally abused. When my husband and I disagree, or I say something that he doesn't like, he raises his voice louder and much more forceful, the kids see this as arguing, and when I told him to lower his voice, he gets more angry defending himself by saying he is not speaking loud and that is the way it is. When the disagreement starts and he gets really mad, he has at least 10 times in the last 2 years has pushed his face right into my face, nose to nose, screaming swearing, wagging and pointing his finger at me, telling me things, like go take a good look in mirror, get your head fixed, I'm leaving you will never change, your negative, you are not fit to be around my kids, you say that I am no good all the time, you say I can't do anything right. The tone of this voice is large, hissing and very bullying. He says I freak out first on him. Sometimes this happens so fast, I am left unbalanced. Often I have pushed him away from me to get him out of my space, and have also namecalled and yelled back......what is this?????? pat+

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
04:17 PM

Ok wow you have just answered so many questions for me. Your relationship with your husband sounds exactly like mine. I wish I had some advice for you but I feel exactly like you do and I hope that we are both in the right place to get the answers and advice that we need. I hope you are doing well!

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
04:22 PM

Ok wow you have just answered so many questions for me. Your relationship with your husband sounds exactly like mine. I wish I had some advice for you but I feel exactly like you do and I hope that we are both in the right place to get the answers and advice that we need. I hope you are doing well!

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
04:22 PM

Ok wow you have just answered so many questions for me. Your relationship with your husband sounds exactly like mine. I wish I had some advice for you but I feel exactly like you do and I hope that we are both in the right place to get the answers and advice that we need. I hope you are doing well!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006
09:07 PM

Dear Merrie, Yes, yes, yes. And it wasn't until we were divorced that I realized that he was a codependent, abuser. I hated divorcing him but I had said everything one person can say to another about changing his ways. The mistake I made was that I never talked to anyone because he told me not to (threats). I wanted my marriage to work and regret that it didn't. But what do you do when they think everything is always your fault? I couldn't win. He set it up that way. He has been through many realtionships since me and is currently living with someone who is permanently "separated" from her husband so they can't marry. My advice...talk to someone. N

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Thursday, March 16, 2006
01:11 PM

I wanted to tell the group that is still with us here that the hard work on myself has been worth it. My wife came back last week! We are taking one day at a time and going really slow. I have never been more "awake" and conscious of every step that I make. My wife is also expressing her own responsibility and this is healing for us as well. I want to thank everyone for their wonderful support and toughness through the last 3 months. It has been the hardest 84 days of my life - but also starting to see them as the most important and rewarding. I feel like I have grown so much in such a short time. I feel like I can start to see myself as an honorable person and build up my integrity again. Thank you to Dr Irene and this community, I could not have gotten this far without you. I hope my learning will touch others who have been/are in our situation. It is tough to face but proving its worth a little bit each day. Sincerely, Alan

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Friday, March 17, 2006
12:23 AM

Hi, I feel very trapped in my marriageof 13 years. My husband comes and goes whenever he pleases.He leaves at 7 am and comes home at 10,11,12pm and blames it on his job as an attorney. During the time he's at work,he can be reached on a regular phone. He says because I don't work, which I do raising two daughters,he needs to work alot to keep up with their activities, my spending,and our expensive home. Honestly, I am not a spendthrift. I spend all of my time carpooling,going over homework etc. On weekends, my husband verbally abuses me in front of the girls; he calls me a leach, and many other things. He criticizes my feelings,and perspectives on just about all issues. I am afraid to get a divorce because my kids love him, he loves them, and after 12 years of being a stay at home mom,I don't feel motivated to return to my profession and earn alot less than being married. I haven't had sex with him in seven months because I feel emotionally violated. He takes other peoples words over mine,and my daughters. Ie In his opinions, regardless of any issue, the other person is right and I or my kids are wrong. All things I express that differ from him debated Lawyer style. He thinks we have a good marriage. He goes to Church every Sunday, volunteers, and everyone who knows him thinks he's a wonderful person,except my family. Where do I begin? Jamie

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Friday, March 17, 2006
04:36 PM

I think im in a similar situation after reading your story everyone tells me but i never believe my partner treats me like im here at his beck and call i cant put a botlle top on properly, hang the wet washing properly,wash up properly ive had 2ominutes being told how to do it properly, i work full time spend my days of cleaning our Tar stained floors, due to my parners job he never takes me out because he says we dont get on or have sex, while he has his mates round and gets me to make them tea and sit upstairs nothing i do it good enough and i hate his broken promises...

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Monday, March 20, 2006
11:52 AM

May 6 I will be married 28 years to a verbally abuse man. My 17 year old daughter has been asking me why I stay with him. She saw before me what he is. It took me to finally wake up 1 day, call a counselor and after a half hour of talk, she told me he is verbally abusive. Upon bringing it up to him - much later, because as described above, I've grown accustomed to years of not saying what I should because I'm afraid of what I will hear or not wanting to fight in front of the kids. My 21 year old son has written his father a letter noting that his mother will leave you because she is tired of all of this. 3 months have gone by and although the name calling has dwindled, there are still episodes. He blames me for being an awful person and how can I treat him so poorly. Among many, many episodes. This abuse has escalated, in my opinion, more recently for these reasons: In a bad accident with a friend who is now paralyzed. My son and he involved in rollover. Last Oct. he found a friend who had killed himself. His mother died in Feb this year. I have mentioned that the Lord is trying to tell him something. After all these years I have prayed and prayed to the Lord to make me a better person. After Oct. he blamed me for not being supportive enough. When I asked what that meant, because I attended the funeral, hugged him, talked to him. Christmas Eve he accused me of not being supportive enough with the first accident. I spent hours upon hours, going to visit friend, helping out at his home. My answer finally to the support question was - you need to ask what you can do. Wow. There is a huge hole where my love used to be for this man. I now know he's abusive. It's hard to leave. I have a home that I love, but my feelings about it surround my life with him. It's hard to go home at night. We hardly talk. This is not a marriage. Here again I will make excuses - My son will be in Boston Marathon in April. Sort of biding my time until that is over and daughter graduates high school in June. I'm thinking of them again as I have for years. But feel I need to wait because I just think he will be harder still to get along with with divorce talk. My daughter said will I not afraid to be alone? Well, being alone is a much happier prospect than living this way.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006
11:00 AM

Advice? I was married fo 31 years to an abuser (verbal and physical). None of us can make the decision for what someone else can/should do......but shining the light of truth and reality on the situation.......can help somone make the right decision. NO ONE should live with abuse. hugs, Ally (My story was published: www.psychiatricjournal.com, entitled: The Transcendent Child on Overcoming Verbal and Spiritual Abuse) www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com (the result of being voted out of a 31-year church membership, because I got a divorce)...my name was put up on a large screen, followed by the words: CONDUCT UNBECOMING A CHILD OF GOD. Feel free to e-mail me: wacalice@aol.com I counsel abused women (no degree, but a total of 42 years experience and extensive research)...

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
06:37 AM

Dear Dr.Irene, My problem is rather complicated but I shall endeavour to keep it as brief and yet comprehensive. I have now been married for 3 years. My husband was a a rather childish, immature and irresponsible man who probably did not understand the meaning of marriage when we got married. I was under the stupid asumption that things would change once we got married. He and his family especially mother and sister ruined the first few days of our marriage by contantly being present and crtitcsinf and egging on my husband to emotionally abuse me. I want to clarify that he has never hit me but has treated me like a servant for a long time. He is extremely close and attached to his family and refuses to bond with me emotionally and mentally. Our sex was always strained and forced. He has been abusive mentally and called me impotent and fat though my weight and height are in proportion. He has also called my family with names. He is agressive, irritable and pampered by his family. He has been verbally abusive several times and is sarcastic, rude and arrogant. He provides for everything. But is that what a marriage is about??? I wrote to him several times (he stays away from home for 6 months on work) hoping that he would understand and atleast try to work things out, but he usually ignores my mails and never replies. When he is back he wants to laze around and enjoy. I feel like I am just someone who is there without a reason a purpose or meaning. He has never taken this marriage seriously and I dont think he ever will. Its always about his job, family etc. He is a good provider which is a given because he prevented me from studying further and progressing professionally or otherwise do anything except tag along and be a submissive women. I had my pressures and difficulties for having accepted this marriage. I dont like the person I have become with him, bitter, sad and extremely unhappy. I am only 27 and feel like enjoying life like others. My husband has had physical relations with prostitutes in the past. He says that there is nothing going on now. I dont know if thats true since he is away for long preiods of time in a different country. I do not have a single pleasant memory of my husband and this place is not my home. I have been seriously thinking of getting a divorce. I am scared of the consequences. But I want to live my life. Pls help me to help myself. Any advise will be most appreciated. I very seriously need help to resurrect my life. My family will not support the decision, I have spoken to them. Hence I would be pretty much on my own. Kindly include the message and your thoughts. regards Anne

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Thursday, March 30, 2006
08:31 PM

Merri, You and I sound like the same person. It is so hard! I take everything he says too personally and think I have to defend myself, but then I realize that I shouldn't have to and get angry. I've tried to leave my husband twice in the past month and now my arm is bruised and my dresser is broken to bits. And as I'm reading this he's sitting there watching TV like nothing ever happened, but the other night he was a sobby mess, beating himself up over what he did and how bad he feels. Is anything fixed? No. Is he going to? I don't know...maybe I'll have him read this page. And of course I'm still here because he says he needs help and says he's sorry, and that he's trying to get better, blah blah blah. Well, so better time than to talk about it than now...he won't hear a word I say when he's lost control. (He's definitely a pit bull, not a cobra.) Anyway, Merri, you need to not put up with this...you are just letting him think it's ok to treat you like this. Good luck and take care, L

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Friday, March 31, 2006
06:01 PM

My 'partner' is 6 years younger than me. I am the 'breadwinner' so as to speak, he works part time in an unskilled job. I did pay all the bills and expenses as I earn a lot more than him. but because of the problems we have been having, I insisted he paid half the rent from last November, not because I needed the money, I thought it would make him move out I also feel that he only targeted me for a free existance. He moved in uninvited almost immediately after we started seeing each other. and filled the place with junk both inside and out. He won't remove all this rubbish and the neighbours have commented on it. He just ignores me when I ask him to do something about it. Anyway we are just incompatable, he is a slob around the house to the point of being a health hazard.so after a lot of arguments we split up. We got back together three months later, but after a couple of weeks I was told by a woman that he had been having unprotected sex with her and that she has herpes. I asked him to get tested and he refused, he told me that even if he did get tested he wouldn't tell me the results. We argue a lot and he smashes things, throws things at the wall and me., the other week he smashed a fruit bowl a colleague had given me, I told him he had to replace it and he refused saying it hadn't cost me anything. He refuses to leave, although I ask/tell him to frequently. We have been in seperate bedrooms for 8 months. His verbal abuse is getting worse, he called me an old dryed up hag tonight and I don't know why because he's called me a lot worse, but it's really upset me. He has told me not to talk about my grown up children or family to him as he is not interested in them, yet we have his daughter here during the holidays and I don't mind having her at all. What do I do, I want him to go and he won't leave. I know I'm still attractive but it's like these personal attacks are taking my confidence away. I can't leave the house because the lease is in joint names as he cant afford the rent I would still be liable.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
08:15 PM

My dad is constintly yelling at me and my mom. he has called her retarded and stupid (meaning it) and he has told me that i have no friends. he says really mean things to me, to the point that they make me cry a lot. he always makes fun of me to make me feel worse about myself. he has moods and his bad mood is really bad. is this verbal abuse?

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
08:18 PM

My dad is constintly yelling at me and my mom. he has called her retarded and stupid (meaning it) and he has told me that i have no friends. he says really mean things to me, to the point that they make me cry a lot. he always makes fun of me to make me feel worse about myself. he has moods and his bad mood is really bad. is this verbal abuse?

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006
04:30 PM

April 12/06 Hello Merri, Hope things are going better for you now. Your story sounded so much like my life that I had to write to you and tell you of my experience. My husband and I were married for 19 years, we were both 21 when we got married. Before we were married we had dated for about 3 years and in those 3 years the signs or verbal and emotional abuse were already there. None of my friends liked him, and eventually I ended up losing contact with all my friends, he alienated my from most people. There were so many instances like yours over our long marriage that its hard to recall any one incident. I just remember feeling an incredible sense of frustration and hopelessness because he never owned up to anything and turned everything around to make it my fault. The toughest part of living with him was the fact that we had 2 children together and he would undermine my parenting with the kids. I would ask one of the kids to do something and many times he would tell them they did not have to do it. We have been seperated for 2 years now and have a divorce in progress. My oldest child is going to be 18 in one week, and I am having so much trouble with verbal abuse from her towards me that I feel like I got out of one abusive relationship and now am in another one which is becoming all too familiar. I can see in my daughter so many of my ex-husbands characteristics, and many old patterns are starting that it scares me. My only advise to you is that if you are going to stay with this make sure he gets help, and you need to get help too. You need to do this not only for yourself but mostly for your children, they will only repeat those awful patterns if you don't. Well I have started seeing a counsellor she is helping me develope strategies to deal with my daughters anger and verbal abuse, and she is helping me set boundaries for myself as well.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006
07:11 AM

Oh my God!!! Merri is me!. It's as though I was writing her letter! My only problem, and boy is it my problem, is that I'm going to be married to this guy for 26 years in June. I've been doing this for 20 of these years. It all started when he was diagnosed with panic disorder. We learned from going through that that his drinking was "self-medication" and that many with panic do this. That was 10 years ago and the six year prior, (leading up to the "Breakdown") was sheer hell. His abuse and control really kicked in then, but we learned that panic patients suffer with control issues because internally they are in chaos. But hey! NO excuse for the abuse, for me it's been a horrible, HORRIBLE roller coaster ride. Now this past fall, during a routine medical visit to monitor his blood sugar and triglyceride problems, the doc tells him that drinking effects both values and he agrees that he should stop drinking. So - the self-medication stops. Now he's perfect in every sense. BUT - his controlling, verbal abuse has GROWN. He calls me the 'C' word everytime I do something wrong. The company I worked for went out of business in March and while I"m trying to find a job, I feel like just taking my time, partly to prove to myself that I'm strong enough to RESIST his wish for me to work. Oh God, I could go on and on. I want to go on and on but I get a pain in my heart. THere's so much more ON TOP of what Merri described so, so well. The name-calling, and constantly making me feel inept and useless. God I've been doing this for 25 years!!!!! I do not want to do it anymore. Every website I go to says counseling and gives advice on how to make it better. I don't even give a crap anymore. We've been to counseling, twice over the years. I always thought it was me, I know it's not, but now there's so much time invested, two grown boys, a house - I want out of here SO badly. Ok - I'm crying, I'm going to go. Please any suggestions will be greatly, greatly appreciated. You know all I want is someone to say, "Girlfriend, get the hell out now, you've suffered enought." and then tell me how to do it!!!! Denise

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Thursday, April 13, 2006
07:19 AM

Oh my God!!! Merri is me!. It's as though I was writing her letter! My only problem, and boy is it my problem, is that I'm going to be married to this guy for 26 years in June. I've been doing this for 20 of these years. It all started when he was diagnosed with panic disorder. We learned from going through that that his drinking was "self-medication" and that many with panic do this. That was 10 years ago and the six year prior, (leading up to the "Breakdown") was sheer hell. His abuse and control really kicked in then, but we learned that panic patients suffer with control issues because internally they are in chaos. But hey! NO excuse for the abuse, for me it's been a horrible, HORRIBLE roller coaster ride. Now this past fall, during a routine medical visit to monitor his blood sugar and triglyceride problems, the doc tells him that drinking effects both values and he agrees that he should stop drinking. So - the self-medication stops. Now he's perfect in every sense. BUT - his controlling, verbal abuse has GROWN. He calls me the 'C' word everytime I do something wrong. The company I worked for went out of business in March and while I"m trying to find a job, I feel like just taking my time, partly to prove to myself that I'm strong enough to RESIST his wish for me to work. Oh God, I could go on and on. I want to go on and on but I get a pain in my heart. THere's so much more ON TOP of what Merri described so, so well. The name-calling, and constantly making me feel inept and useless. God I've been doing this for 25 years!!!!! I do not want to do it anymore. Every website I go to says counseling and gives advice on how to make it better. I don't even give a crap anymore. We've been to counseling, twice over the years. I always thought it was me, I know it's not, but now there's so much time invested, two grown boys, a house - I want out of here SO badly. Ok - I'm crying, I'm going to go. Please any suggestions will be greatly, greatly appreciated. You know all I want is someone to say, "Girlfriend, get the hell out now, you've suffered enought." and then tell me how to do it!!!! Denise

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006
02:21 AM

Oh my god I feel as if I am reading my own diary! I am contemplating leaving an extremely similar situation. My man is not a doctor but he makes good money and uses it to control things - we fight constantly because he thinks i should wake up at 5 am to clean the house only because he goes to work at that hour. He tells me when i can sleep shower and use the bathroom and he uses our baby as an iexcuse for it most of the time. I will submit an entry explaining my situation in the morning i am exhausted from crying and wallowing in misery all day - this site makes me feel good to read the stories of relief and excape into freedom - it fills me with hoe - i even emailed my mother (who is not really helpful but will do the minimum and i am going to ask her if i can store my belongings at her house while i am in a shelter...I am going to pray for myself and my children tonight...........

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006
01:27 PM

i know what it feels like i was in a relationship with my ex husband for 9yrs(married 6)he started with emotional and verbal(calling me names,cutting me down in front of people,ect...)it escalated to finacial and mental abuse after we moved in together and our son was born,he started controlling everthing i did,who i hung out with and eventually conned me to move 100 miles away from my family to isolate me from them i wasn't allowed to talk to them unless he was there to listen and see them if he wasn't there,he cheated on me with 12 different women that i know of(including my sister in law)i'm not saying you husband is cheating,eventually after we moved he got physical(after 8 yrs being together so it didn't become physical until 8 yrs of being with him)he choked me 3 times(once infont of my daughter) and grabed my face so hard my eye ws brused and kicked me twice,i always thought abuse was just physical and blamed myself when he would cut me down or degrade me i was happy when he would leave for a cople days it was like peace to me, and i just relized not long ago there was sexual abuse too,the best thing i could of done was get rid of him for myself and my children,now i am with a very good and loving man and wouldn't have it any other way,i will say it will escilate eventually into worse,it does not stop unless you stop it yourself and it does not matter what he does for a living just because he went to college and is a doctor doesn't mean you have to be the perfect wife to make him look good,remember no one is perfect including him,so even if he doesn't hit you it is still abuse and it hurts more sometimes that a punch defently when it comes from someone you love,stand your ground no matter what tell him how you feel and if he doesn't listen he realy doesn't care for you like you think get out you deserve better!!! in michigan kami

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Thursday, April 20, 2006
07:49 PM

Wow. Merri's plight is like reading an excerpt from my own marriage. After nearly 10 years (something like 9 years, 11 months and 9 days) I decided that the best thing for me and especially for my daughter was for me to leave the relationship so that I could discover if I could be happy because I was absolutely NOT happy. My husband begged and pleaded and then got angry (he still is) and displayed all kinds of issues. I lost 80lbs the first year I was away from him. Someone said, "it's all the stress of the separation and divorce". I remember thinking "what stress?? Every day is wonderful". That's the truth. I allowed my husband to belittle me. He would question even the legitimacy of my education and my degree. When we were married and he'd try this game, I would get insulted and I would be hurt because he had seen the work I had put into getting my degree. Now, he still tries that tack. I have learned to tell him that he owns his opinions and is welcome to think whatever he wants. THAT makes him so mad that all he can do is sputter. I no longer worry about what will happen when he comes home nor do I feel inadequate for anything I do. Everyday is wonderful and it is nice to be able to live knowing that I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself in a positive, healthy, loving way. I am dating now, after being out of the marriage for 2 years. The man I am seeing doesn't make me wonder what his game is when he makes some accusational statement... because the accusational statement doesn't happen. He tells me how consistently good I am to him and that I am good company for him and that he enjoys just being together. We don't have to go out to fancy places, but sometimes we do that because it's fun, not because it is expected. We aren't in a hurry, something my former husband was (he wanted the marriage, a child and a house with a white picket fence NOW because then he could prove to his parents that he was 'doing okay in life'). I don't have to worry about saying "no" to this man. Nor is he afraid to say that to me. It is the most easy-going relationship Ithink I have ever been in. We have no plans for marriage. We are taking it one day at a time and that's important. It may not be time to leave the relationship and your husband may well come around. If he doesn't, though, don't assume you are only valuable because you are with him. You are priceless and precious because you are YOU. You are also loved unconditionally by those kids of yours. Stand up for yourself and stop being afraid to be yourself. My husband and I tried counselling twice. The first time was sporadic and difficult. The second time, on our very first visit with the new counselor, when we walked in the door, my husband walked to the far end of the couch and plopped down like he was going to watch football on TV. He turned to the counselor and said, "she has issues from her childhood that need to be dealt with. Fix her. She's what's wrong with the marriage." I won't even go into all that I was feeling. The counselor would assign us homework and he wouldn't do it, saying that he didn't want to burden ME with HIS issues. It takes two to Tango and it takes two fight and it takes two who want to solve the problem. If one person is mentally and emotionally not there, the dance won't work. Try the counselling. Do what you need to do, but most of all, value YOURSELF!!!! It's NOT selfish, it's survival! RJ

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Thursday, April 20, 2006
08:00 PM

Wow. Merri's plight is like reading an excerpt from my own marriage. After nearly 10 years (something like 9 years, 11 months and 9 days) I decided that the best thing for me and especially for my daughter, was for me to leave the relationship so that I could discover if I could be happy because I was absolutely NOT happy. My husband begged and pleaded and then got angry (he still is) and displayed all kinds of issues. I gained 40lbs in the months immediately following the wedding. I gained another 60lbs over the course of the next 10 years. I lost 80lbs the first year I was away from him. Someone said, "it's all the stress of the separation and divorce". I remember thinking "what stress?? Every day is wonderful". That's the truth. I allowed my husband to belittle me. He would question even the legitimacy of my education and my degree. When we were married and he'd try this game, I would get insulted and I would be hurt because he had seen the work I had put into getting my degree. Now, he still tries that tack. I have learned to tell him that he owns his opinions and is welcome to think whatever he wants. THAT makes him so mad that all he can do is sputter. It doesn't phase me at all, though. I no longer worry about what will happen when he comes home nor do I feel inadequate for anything I do. Everyday is wonderful and it is nice to be able to live knowing that I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself in a positive, healthy, loving way. I am dating now, after being out of the marriage for 2 years. The man I am seeing doesn't make me wonder what his game is when he makes some accusational statement... because the accusational statement doesn't happen. He tells me how consistently good I am to him and that I am good company for him and that he enjoys just being together. We don't have to go out to fancy places, but sometimes we do that because it's fun, not because it is expected. We aren't in a hurry, something my former husband was (he wanted the marriage, a child and a house with a white picket fence NOW because then he could prove to his parents that he was 'doing okay in life'). I don't have to worry about saying "no" to this man. Nor is he afraid to say that to me. It is the most easy-going relationship Ithink I have ever been in. We have no plans for marriage. We are taking it one day at a time and that's important. It may not be time to leave the relationship and your husband may well come around. If he doesn't, though, don't assume you are only valuable because you are with him. You are priceless and precious because you are YOU. You are also loved unconditionally by those kids of yours. Stand up for yourself and stop being afraid to be yourself. My husband and I tried counselling twice. The first time was sporadic and difficult. The second time, on our very first visit with the new counselor, when we walked in the door, my husband walked to the far end of the couch and plopped down like he was going to watch football on TV. He turned to the counselor and said, "she has issues from her childhood that need to be dealt with. Fix her. She's what's wrong with the marriage." I won't even go into how that made me feelall that I. The counselor would assign us homework and he wouldn't do it, saying that he didn't want to burden ME with HIS issues. It takes two to Tango and it takes two fight and it takes two who want to solve the problem and it takes a partnership working together, keeping focussed on the bigger goal. If one person is mentally and emotionally not there, the dance won't work. Try the counselling. Do what you need to do, but most of all, value YOURSELF!!!! It's NOT selfish, it's survival! RJ

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Saturday, April 22, 2006
12:12 PM

I have really appreciated reading the comments and situations posted. I am in a second marriage, in which the relationship with my spouse and his behaviour has changed considerably. There are never discussions anymore about our hopes and dreams. If I am not interested "in doing things...going on holidays, going biking, going to the gym...doing active things, he gets quite angry and makes some very condescending comments. I am known as a very energetic, positive, creative individual and work two demanding jobs that I enjoy. After conversations with my spouse, I am often second guessing myself, feel unattractive, lonely and definitely unappreciated. I have gained weight, lost my enthusiasm for doing things that I used to enjoy and just generally feel less alive. I do not look forward to conversations with him. I always get this anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach because I know that the conversation won't be good. Somehow it always comes back to me..."I don't think right, I am imagine things, I am not a positive person.." It is never ending. He feels that he is doing everything that he needs to as a spouse and that just have to get my act together and get my thinking straight. I always leave a conversation feeling uncertain, unhappy, doubtful... By the way, when we were dating he was the picture of gentlemanly behaviour and treated me like royalty. There were subtle changes as soon as we were married. Around others in public, he is quiet and demure....the consummate gentleman. When drinking, he often overindulges when we are out, not to the point of bein obnoxious but to the point that he can't drive and certainly in these situations his behaviour changes. This situation is destroying me from the inside out. I need some tools to deal with these conversations in a way that doesn't engage his passive aggressive behaviour.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006
12:18 PM

I have really appreciated reading the comments and situations posted. I am in a second marriage, in which the relationship with my spouse and his behaviour has changed considerably. There are never discussions anymore about our hopes and dreams. If I am not interested "in doing things...going on holidays, going biking, going to the gym...doing active things, he gets quite angry and makes some very condescending comments. I am known as a very energetic, positive, creative individual and work two demanding jobs that I enjoy. After conversations with my spouse, I am often second guessing myself, feel unattractive, lonely and definitely unappreciated. I have gained weight, lost my enthusiasm for doing things that I used to enjoy and just generally feel less alive. I do not look forward to conversations with him. I always get this anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach because I know that the conversation won't be good. Somehow it always comes back to me..."I don't think right, I am imagine things, I am not a positive person.." It is never ending. He feels that he is doing everything that he needs to as a spouse and that just have to get my act together and get my thinking straight. I always leave a conversation feeling uncertain, unhappy, doubtful... By the way, when we were dating he was the picture of gentlemanly behaviour and treated me like royalty. There were subtle changes as soon as we were married. Around others in public, he is quiet and demure....the consummate gentleman. When drinking, he often overindulges when we are out, not to the point of bein obnoxious but to the point that he can't drive and certainly in these situations his behaviour changes. This situation is destroying me from the inside out. I need some tools to deal with these conversations in a way that doesn't engage his passive aggressive behaviour.  

 

Thursday, May 18, 2006
07:15 AM

Merri----Try really hard to get this worked out---making him understand what and why he is doing this...get couple counselling--they usually don't want to go, it's not them that's causing the problem. I've been in a relationship like this for 39 years--the more I stand my ground (more in the last 5 years) the worse it gets. Should have done it a LOT sooner. Give it a good, concentrated try and then GET OUT if it doesn't work out. Lonely Linda

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Thursday, May 18, 2006
10:53 AM

I have known for some time now that I was involved with a verbally abusive man, but I suppose I never wanted to admit that I could allow myself to just suffer through it for so long. I come from a family of therapists so for the longest time I tried to figure out why he acted out and how I could somehow fix it. For example, he would call me names or say "Do this b--, it's your job", and I would force my anger aside, saying it was because he witnessed his mother being severely abused by her many husbands in the same way. Upon my discovery of this site, however,I was forced to really take a look at his behavior and my own. Much of what women describe here happens to me every day, several times over. I've experienced physical symptoms as a result, and I'm just so tired of feeling like his personal punching bag. I'm actually really angry about it, I just have nowhere to put that anger so it often festers inside. I do have one question about his behavior which I can't seem to find the answer to..it concerns "flirting" as a type of abuse? My husband is always talking about other women (on the tv, magazines, walking down the street, etc), looking at other women, comparing me to other women, or openly flirting in front of me. He knows it upsets me, but that seems to be the appeal. Is this a form of verbal abuse? Why does he do it? Thanks, ESLIE

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Monday, May 22, 2006
05:47 PM

Wow...my husband and yours must have taken classes together. My experience with him (we only made it 11 months, by the way), was that no matter how much I told him his behaviors/attitudes/cruel behavior affected me, he just minimized everything. Then would throw in the kicker..."see this is why I don't want to be around you". His past relationship was with a very mentally distrubed woman and to this day I don't know what came first the chicken or the egg?! For both of them. And I know his behaviors have worked for him in the past, but was not working for me. Oh, and if you think doctor's are "above" others, try being married to a PILOT...very disturbing 

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Sunday, June 11, 2006
05:29 AM

My partner has very abusive tendencies towards me as he and his family suffered abuse for many years. He is agressive and seems to have narcissistic tendencies. We have two young children who are anxious and depressed from seeing him getting angry and me getting sad. We were together about 9 months when I decided to split up with him as I was too upset in the relationship and he seemed to hate me. A few days later I came onto a friend of mine. I regretted it. A few days later my partner said he wanted to be with me and change and sort things out because he loved me and knew he had been horrible to me. I took him back, stupidly. But didn't tell him about me and my friend until two months later. I don't think he ever really changed, just masked it until he could control me by telling me everything was my fault again. So now we have been together in total for nearly a year and a half, and he constantly abuses me psychologically. I feel self-worth, and aknowledge my mistakes, but he doesn't- and he tries to make me feel bad about myself by basically treating me as a bad person. I am not.! He feels he has been cheated, even though he decieved me too by looking at porn with women who look completely opposite to me, and it was his hurtful ways that lead me to thinking elsewhere. Even though I really didn't enjoy the experience with my friend. He has no trust, and is angry towards me constantly. It's getting too much and the kids are being affected. I've tried self esteem groups, assertiveness things, lots of research on the internet, and we're doing couple councilling- but behind closed doors he treats me as if I were a peice of junk.