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

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Loving Home

Comments:  Loving Home

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 1998-2004. 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

Up

Submit
Friday, January 16, 2004

Hi Hope, You should give yourself a lot of credit for trying to change. Your mother sounds a lot like mine. I had a brother, too, but he always (literally) ran away when he (or we) got in trouble and I got the brunt of the punishment, as well as having to pander to her while she rehearsed her victim act so it would be ready when my father got home. :( I was expected to jump through hoops trying to "fix" things with her, but I don't remember ever having any hope of doing so. Usually she just yelled at me for it. And yelled at me if I didn't try. I, too, find it hard not to just fall into acting like her. I mean, it is easy not to do the extreme things, but in subtle ways I see her attitudes and actions creeping into my life. I remember vividly the day when my first child was six months old, I was breastfeeding and working full time, and exhausted like never before, and my husband got everything out and made lunch for himself, and as I was coming down the stairs from feeding our son, and I could see him putting all of the stuff away, I was furious! The words that came out of my mouth shocked me. I sounded just like my mother. Self-pitying, martyred, and so incredibly angry! And something I would never in my wildest imagination ever have thought I would say out loud. My husband was upset, and I don't blame him. I was upset, too! I think that one of the biggest problems for me, though, is that in this case, he should have made me a sandwich too. It isn't all that difficult, but with the fine household I grew up in, I never saw anyone being treated with respect or love, so I only know how to demand things, and to be angry. Which means that he had been doing little things like that for weeks and I had been getting more and more angry, but not letting him know. That's what I mean when I say I am controlling - I have to demand things that I should be getting because I allow myself to be ignored and taken for granted. I don't (or didn't at the time) seem to understand the middle ground. Maybe it is similar for you. It sounds like you have a lot to deal with without also having to deal with all of the baggage from your mother as well. It is so good that you are taking action! And give yourself a break, three kids in seven years is a lot of work!!!! I wish you the best and hope that you find your home happier and more loving in the near future! Not sure about this, but maybe hubby is angry too. Not making you a sandwich may be his way of showing you he's upset, so maybe you're both acting out a bit. Time for you two to talk, I think. Good for you for recognizing the areas you need to work on!

 

Submit
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Hi Dr. Irene, It's me Hope. Hi Hope! Thank you for your words they are really helping. I've been soaking them in. I have been monitoring my thoughts and actions. Good! I have been doing OK.. I'm trying not to "beat myself up." GOOD! You are human and we humans all make silly errors (things that don't work) all the time. We just want to notice what didn't work so we can make it better. We do not want to berate ourselves for being Human! What you said about self love is so true...I've never understood that it is a necessary thing in order to express love. God has been giving me scripture to go with my issues. Matthew 22:36-39 talks about loving God first then loving your neighbor as THYSELF.... So I'm starting to understand it is the foundation of love. I'm reading the book Loving What Is.

Basically it has shown me that when I look at others, it is a reflection of how I see myself or feel about myself. Yes. Amazing. It sure is! I'm still having some anger issues. You're allowed. I find it helps to tell myself, "It's not the end of the world." Good!. It's not the end of the world. What I get angry over is usually petty stuff. Almost like an excuse to let out my bottled up anger. That tells me that there is stuff that you are really angry around. Maybe not the small stuff, but some other stuff perhaps. Pay attention. Be mindful and you are likely to eventually come to see what is angering you so. By the way, recognizing what you are angry about is good and empowering! Anger is an emotion, and that emotion is a signal that something is wrong. Your angry emotion is trying to tell you that you need to look at something and figure out how to handle it. Notice that I make a distinction between the feeling of anger and angry behavior. You can feel awfully angry - but you don't have to act angrily. The best course of action is to let the hot emotion cool down and then to sit and think: What is bugging me? What can I do about it? If you want, I'll be happy to recommend some books on anger. Just let me know.

I got a scripture for that too...Psalm 37:1-8 talks about "not to fret thyself" and to cease from anger, forsake wrath.... Yes. Do not fret thyself and give thyself high blood pressure in the process. Not worth it! I know it applies to me. Thank God. I'm also reading The Other Side of Love" Handling anger in a Godly way. I'm starting to understand the purpose of anger and how to process it. While I'm not familiar with this book, looking at the description at Amazon, it sounds purrrrfect for you!  Slowly but surely.

I wanted to ask you if you had any suggestions on how to not be such a "people pleaser." I'm always jumping through hoops...even when I'm inconvenienced. I find it really hard to say, "No," even when I am overwhelmed. Any suggestions? You are looking for titles under the "assertion" or "assertiveness training" category. I'm sure there are many excellent books to help you here. Learning to say "No" is a problem many people have. The good news is that its a problem that is pretty easily remedied. Some suggestions I like:

bullet Don't Say Yes When You Want to Say No by Jean Baer and Herbert Fensterheim
bullet When I say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith
bullet No' Is a Complete Sentence   by Megan Leboutillier
bullet The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships by Randy J. Paterson.

When I was a child saying "No" was "asking for it." Ouchhh! 

I also wanted to thank whomever sent the note about their mom similar to mine (thank you for the well wishes). It's nice to know I'm not alone. No way! You are with LOTS of company!

My sister ran away, and I was always trying to cover up. Somehow it was always my fault. I'm the ultimate blame taker. Kids in dysfunctional families take on roles that work for them - based on the needs of the family and the disposition of the child. Recognizing that this was your role is excellent. You don't need to take on any role any more if you don't want it. (Parenthetically, if you're still taking on the Sponge role in some situations, why wouldn't you be angry?)

 I also have a tendency to "hide," or not want to be noticed: to be ignored...or even asking for what I need. Is that like beating myself up? I don't think so. Sounds more like you don't like to make waves because it's safer to stay in the background. You just don't like conflict and confrontation. It probably elicits anxiety in you, and you don't know how to handle it. But on the other hand I don't have any problem manipulating to get what I need, instead of just asking. What's that all about? Could be simply how you've learned to get stuff when you were a kid. Maybe simply asking didn't work or was a big hassle. But, I'm not sure. You need to give me more information;  a specific example would be best. Any suggestions Dr. Irene? I thank you Dr. Irene for you wisdom and my God Bless you abundantly for the great work you are doing for hurting people. -HOPE   Thank you so much, but you give me too much credit. God Bless YOU abundantly - because you are helping yourSelf! And that's what it's all about! See ya next week! Dr. Irene 1/22/04.

Submit
Friday, January 23, 2004

Dear Irene, In 1999 I found your sight after leaving a cruel, abusive mate. I was only with this man for 16 months but felt I had lost my sanity and dignity. It was through your site that I regained my sanity. I am extremely grateful to you and those on your site. I remarried on July 7, 2001 and have a loving, supportive, compassionate, best friend in Richard. We LOVE happy endings here! Yippeee!

Submit
Friday, January 23, 2004

Hi Hope, Wow, your letter struck a cord with me. I found an article on another website and wasn't sure if it was ok to copy without permission: "The Jesus who Didn't Please Others". Here's the link: http://www.nacronline.com/dox/library/please.shtml Hope it's ok to post here, Dr. Irene. If not, please accept my apologies. It's always fine to post constructive links. Thanks.

Submit
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Hi Dr. Irene, It's Hope again. Hi Hope again....Well I wanted to ask you what I can do to improve the relationship with my spouse.... I realize since I come from a verbally abusive background that the way I act (or have behaved in the past) has been destructive to our relationship. I can't take all the blame here though because I believe it takes two to tango. You bet. Yesterday he let me know he is taking a management class and that he won't be around for the next five Saturdays. I was so angry!!  I did my best not to react, but we got into a argument. Sounds like you're taking his weekend work personally. I feel like he finds anything and everything else to do besides spend time with our family. Maybe. Maybe not, or something in-between. He says he told me about the class 5 months ago and that they put a freeze on the class until now. I feel like he does stuff just to make me angry in a subtle way, like saying he told me something, and now I shouldn't be surprised that he will be gone, because he told me five months ago. Did he tell you five  months ago?

We never do anything together. Never? He never Never, ever? makes time for me, and I am so tired of it. Maybe it is more accurate to say that you guys don't do stuff together as much as you would like to. It's unlikely that you never do anything together. It's important to watch the way you phrase things because it's not true that you never do anything together, and he's likely to feel like you don't count the stuff you do do together. Plus, you'll make yourself more upset than you need to be. Why not just frame your thoughts in a more positive way: "I'd like for us to do  more things together."

Another example: this morning I asked him something and instead of answering me he says, "Are you asking me a question?" Just say, "Yes, I am." like if I'm speaking another language or something. Giggle! A very popular book assumes that men and women do speak entirely different languages! I feel like he acts dumb on purpose in order to confuse me so he doesn't have to talk to me or answer any of my questions in a honest fashion. It's possible that is what's going on; on the other hand, he really may not understand you. And so he won't have to give up any money. Huh? He believes he should be able to do what he wants with his time and not be accountable to me in any way. His and my view of what marriage is suppose to be is like night and day. I feel like he never puts us first, and that having a family to him is like a big chore. Perhaps that is how he feels. Is he just trying to get me to leave first or what? I don't know. I know I'm speculating, but I just feel so heart broken.  This is just not the way it should be. Any insight will help. I wish I could give you more, but I just don't have enough information. It sounds as though you're trying to chase him down and he doesn't want to be caught, which, by the way, is a very common marital pattern. It also sounds as though both of you are pretty angry and defensive towards each other, and that neither of you are not treating the other person too well. You may each be so defensive, the other person can't possibly understand what is really being said beneath the noise, and you are probably both making inaccurate assumptions about the other. When communication is so whacked, marital counseling may help. Sometimes a couple needs a little help to break out of patterns that just don't work. Please consider counseling!

Thanks Dr. Irene. You're welcome. 

Just a thought: What if you were to show hubby your board? How do you think he would react?

See you next week. Dr. Irene 1/29/04.

P.S. Thank you to whoever sent the link about not pleasing...It cleared up some things that I shouldn't take care of others at my own expense. (i.e. your no good if your burnt out) I've learned a lot here and I thank God for showing me the truth!

Hi Hope. It's Dr. Irene back on 2/5, but I don't see you here! I'll check in next week to see if you have any more comments.

Submit
Friday, February 06, 2004

I can relate to many of the comments on verbal abuse. Sometimes the victim, sometimes the perpetuator of verbal violence. If you grow up in a home where that is the norm, it is impossible not to be affected by it. My parents were alcoholics. It was becoming a mother that made me want to be the very best person I could be. Someone has to stop the cycle of emotional poverty. It is a process that is always "in the works." Today I view my therapy as something I give myself, as my legacy to my family's future. My children will not have to struggle with the self doubt of a person constantly in turmoil. Free from the mountain of self doubt, perhaps my kids will be able to spend their lives fulfilling their own dreams. Instead of spending years to free themselves form the emotional pain of being victimized by verbal violence in their formative years. That is my Hope. A Journey Mate

Submit
Friday, February 06, 2004

Hi, my name is Marissa, im only 17 years old, but at heart, i feel like i'm 70. I feel like ive been so used and torn that i feel so weak inside, and i no longer have a young heart. I'm going to share my story with you, basically i'll summarize it, because its very long. It started 2 years ago, i met someone who seemed like the perfect guy for me, he was exactly what i was looking for. He was intelligent, compassionate, fun, mysterious, loving and committed. I instantly fell in love with him because of his mind and his theories. He had a way with words that he would just hypnotize me everytime he talked. We became really close friends for about a year, but during the whole time, we both knew that we had feelings for eachother. After a year, we were talking one night over the phone and out of nowhere he came out and told me that he loved me. I answered quickly that i loved him too and our relationship proceeded from there. At the beginning, when we first started dating, he was great, he would write me little poems and treat me like his queen. But that was only the beginning. Only a few weeks after we started dating, he told me that since we've gotten so close, he needs to lay down a few rules.. this was my first sign of his abusive ways. He made a list of 10 rules that he wanted me to follow. They seemed dumb at that point and i told him id follow them because i never thought that they'd ever come up. I was wrong.. really wrong. For a year, there was yelling, untrusting, arguing, loving, breaking up... that just went around in a cycle. He eventually pulled me away from my friends.. not letting me talk to anyone else besides him, not even at school. He wouldn't let me get a job, or even tell my parents about him. when i asked him if i could tell my mom that i had a boyfriend.. he threatened to leave me. He would constantly make fun of the way i dressed, but in-between, reassuring me that i'm pretty. He would talk about my body like it was a toy, making comments that sickened me in my stomach. But i never dared leave him, because when he wasn't being abusive, he was so loving, and i loved him for who he really was inside. Basically, this kept on going for a year. And now, at this point, we are at maybe our worst stage ever. I broke up with him again last night, i don't know how long its going to last... but i want it to last forever this time. i dont want to take him back next time he calls me. Please, i need help.. how do i find the courage to say no to him?? Every time that i try to tell him that i want to break up.. he just ignores my thoughts and starts talking all sweet.. saying things like.. "i love you, stop worrying" and then moving in close to kiss me.. I'm scared that he's going to call me and that im going to fall into his trap again. Help, please =/

Submit
Monday, February 09, 2004

Hi Dr. Irene, It's me hope....:) Well I just wanted to give you an update....I've asked God for peace...because my anger just seemed to be an everyday reality, (part of this had to do with unforgiveness) even though I was quite aware of it. It seemed to be looming in my spirit. He has given me peace on the inside. :) I am thankful to him and for leading me to this website. On my last posting I was struggling on what my role is with my relationship with my husband....I just wasn't sure what it was suppose to look like...you know since the abnormal relationship was the "norm" for me. I read the book "the proper care and feeding of husbands" So I've learned It's not all about me...talk about the wrong perspective! Yes! This has helped me to recognize the God given role I'm supposed to live in my marriage. So I'm happy to say I understand where I came from, but that I can put an end to what doesn't really need to be existent in my life, and that my emotions don't have to be destructive but constructive. I really feel like the best is yet to come. With God all things are possible. For the hurting person out there....There is hope for you! Thanks Dr. Irene!...-HOPE Thank you Hope. May God bless you and yours. Doc 2/12/04

Submit
Friday, February 13, 2004

My former sister-in-law is an abuser. She has withheld my brother's children from him for years, moving and leaving no forwarding address. Our home state has withdrawn her child support as a result until she cooperates with the courts. She has posted on web pages and discussion boards that he "raped" her daily and abused the children likening him to Osama bin Laden. She calls us, his family, Satan's henchmen. She has written my employer and told them that I abuse children (I am a teacher). The list goes on. Meanwhile she cries about her vicitmization! We only want a relationship-like we had-with the children. They used to love to see us, but she felt threatened. She has attacked us on every front while we have sought our help through the court system. The list of sanctions against her is growing. Yet, my brother still has not seen his children in about 7 years due to her lunacy. This site of yours is SO relevant.

Submit
Monday, February 16, 2004

my hubby is 38 and iam 25 been married for almost 3 yrs everything is good except he trets me like a child why does he do this and he knows i dont like it one bit and i fear that iam codependant because he treats me like a child the more he does this the more i dislike my own dad why can u help me to understand thanks misty