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 No Power

Comments for No Power 

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

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

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000

S1

Dear V.

You said "It is to the point now that he calls one of my children "fat". She is a little overweight but has a learning disability." V, it does not matter how overweight she may be or who may have a learning disability. The bottom line is, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR.

You also said, "I try so hard to always put myself in other people's shoes and treat people the way I would like to be treated. However, when my husband begins to "beat me down verbally" I have begun to do it back to him." So the situation is taking its toll, and you are losing a piece of yourself. You know you are empathetic to the pain of others, yet your own pain causes you to lash out in defense. Do you see what is happening to you?

"At what point do I need to leave?" Now. Yesterday. Last week. I guarantee you that your children have been damaged from his behavior. No child can be called "fat" by a parent without suffering damage. And the damage done to you is clear. You are losing your sense of self. Any damage done to you trickles down to damage your children. So they are being damaged directly from his behavior, and then being damaged again by indirect means, because of what you are suffering.

This situation will not change unless YOU change it, V., and you cannot change it by staying in the situation. That is a hard reality to accept, but any other reality is simply one of denial.

Protect yourself. Protect your kids. Remove yourself now.

-Cybervoice

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

Hi V,

I have the greatest compassion for you. In a difficult situation you get advice from all sides. Sometimes its so confussing, this one says one thing, another says another, what on earth should you do. WELL you should take one day at a time. AND most important of all you should get an abuse counsellor.

Why? because you need help being directed into healthier patterns, also you need someone to report back to and get feedback from.

I was terrified of leaving, but one man GORDON is his name he is famous on this site now. ONE of Dr Irene's favourite guys I think!! He helped me make stepping stones/building bricks. He taught me to make a plan. Where I might go and live if I ever had to leave? How I would finance myself? [This might involved getting an education or some work experience], What supported I'd have? [family, friends, counsellor], Gordon also helped me to recognise what was happening to me, what role I played. THIS IS important admitting your own role. THE final straw is this, if you sit your husband down and say that your marriage depends on you both going to counselling he might finally go, only if your sincere though. IF he refuses you go alone!

SOME here may thing what I am going to say next is NUTS but I don't care, IT isn't in my opinion. DON'T listen to those saying HIT THE ROAD JACK AND DON'T LOOK BACK, cuz we all need steps in our growth, big leaps without plans are disasterous. BELIEVE ME I tried to leave without a plan and I felt so insecure. PLANS help you gain confidence. YOU wouldn't go to china without a map would you? SO don't start a big journey of growth without a map.

Most of all realize you are not a bad person and nor is your husband, you are just two very badly hurt children. (WE ALL ARE HERE!!) So you two hurt children need an adult therapist to guide you to the correct paths, it is sometimes hard to keep going but it isn't as hard as staying STUCK, promise!!

All my peace with you V. WELL DONE for allowing yourself to be aware. THERESSA

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

A few years back I realized that I had become just as abusive as my H, something inside of me snapped and I made efforts to change my behavior towards him. The problem for me was that I had become that way towards alot of people, even ones I did not know. I guess my hopes were that if I changed he would see that and change his ways as well. Needless to say that is not reality and he still insists that I continued to abuse him these last 3 yrs. I know in my heart that I did not and I have since left him and I realize that he will always blams others rather than taking his own responsibility in his abuse. Good luck Nuts

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

S1

Dear V, Your story probably sounds the most similar to mine. I understand perfectly the feeling of not knowing when to throw in the towel and start again. Relationships like this can take a long time to work through. I know this first hand because I am still "going through" it. We have gone through all the housecleaning stuff(and mine is the same way about germs, believe it or not). I think Dr Irene is right about removing yourself because that is the only way we have made any progress at all. Luckily, my husband has never called me names(my first husband did enough of that in the short time we were married), but he has a way of detaching himself, acting superior, very coldly and then somehow blaming it on someone else(most of the time me). Also, there has been some of the physical(he says it was accidental-I accepted this at first but now know that ANY physical abuse is not acceptable), which is what finally made me "wake-up". He wants to come home, but I have been very reluctant. The things that I can say that have honestly helped me are journaling("incidents" can begin to run together after so many), reading everything I can get my hands on(God Bless Dr.Irene!!), counseling sessions have allowed us a nuetral outlet and believing in myself and my feelings(not allowing ANYONE to discount them). Sorry my reply has gone on so long, but your story just hit so close to home that I felt I had to. I hope you have a very peaceful holiday season! I know that is what I am seeking! Good luck and God Bless! S

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

S1

Only you can decide at what point you NEED to leave. At what point do you WANT to leave? In a quiet moment, ask yourself, in ten years, what do I see myself doing, ideally? be very specific- "I want to wake up in a house in the country and ride my horses, then drink tea and write a novel". Or "I want to travel to exotic places". What is your ideal dream? Then, plan how how you will get to your dream. "I need money to buy a stable. I need education to get money, so I'll picture myself in college. The community college! I can take classes while keeping my part time job, switch to night shift for extra pay and time...." PLAN, plan plan your escape. There is security in planning. And escape in the planning. When the time is ready for you (Money wise, weather wise, education-wise, resource-wise) then Act on your plans!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

S1

I think I might be in a similar situation and I'd like an answer as well. At first when the abuse started I would not say anything. I'd just let it roll off my back. But now I fight back, sometimes it gets ugly. I've been choked pushed and called many horrible names. He's punched holes in my walls and slammed doors. Just about every door in my house is broken and I had to pack away many of sentimental knick knacks just so he would not break them. I've only been married a year and I'm afraid. I don't know what to do. I am turning into a rotten person, and playing tit for tat just like him. Ia m 30 years old too old for this crap. He is 23. I don't know what to do. We talk about marriage counseling but we never set appointments to go and I don't know why. Can someone lead me in the right direction here? Please. I take personal emails too. My email addy is Dezziree@hotmail.com.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000

S1

I have exactly that same problem right now too. Difference is, I'm not married to him and my kids are from my previous marriage. I'm riding this out til I get out of school in 2 months and I'm gone. No one has to live in that situation. You deserve so much better than that. I suggest you make some arrangements and get out of there. I know that's what I'm going to do. And yes, It really effects the kids more than you will ever know.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 24, 2000

S1

V- When I read your post, it made me cry because I could have written it myself-nearly word for word. Our family also walks on eggshells when my husband is home. He can be two different people in a matter of minutes. He'll be happy one minute and then explosive the next. Our son almost 6, gets very nervous when his father gets this way. When I try talking about it with my husband, he just gets angrier and always turns things around so that I am the one at fault. It is my fault if he has a bad day at work, even though I am not there. He is like Hitler at dinner- sit on your butt, put your feet under the table and eat over your plate!!! And then threatening to take the chair away and make him stand if he doesn't sit perfectly still and eat like an angel. I feel so sad for my children. I do believe in discipline but not fear. My husband once said he was afraid of his step-father, and that it's called respect. I don't know how I could have married someone like this, as my father is the most thoughtful gentle person I know. He would give the shirt off his back to help a stranger. Once people get to know my husband, they don't like him and I find that I avoid introducing him to any new friends I make. He is a very angry man. I am just the opposite. I am a happy friendly person. My husband used to tell me I am fake because I am friendly. He doesn't do that anymore. When he is home I feel so opposite of friendly. I feel sad and often wonder if living with someone like this can make a person suffer from depression. I weigh the odds of leaving vs staying but we have two little kids and I feel they deserve a family life. Most of the time things are okay but his anger is getting in the way more and more. I am sorry this is so long. WKK

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 30, 2000

S1

hi yes Im in a relationship like yours and what has help me is al-anon it helps you look at your self. what I ask my self is why have I aloud some one to talk to me that why? And your children will grow up with someone like that, and I know I dont want that,

so I needed to work on myself. good luck Ill say a pray for you s

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 30, 2000

S1

hi yes Im in a relationship like yours and what has help me is al-anon it helps you look at your self. what I ask my self is why have I aloud some one to talk to me that why? And your children will grow up with someone like that, and I know I dont want that,

so I needed to work on myself. good luck Ill say a pray for you s

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 01, 2001

S1

I know exactly how you feel!!! That is my husband of 7 long torturing years in a nutshell!! He does the same thing, telling me how i can't keep the house clean, yells all the time b/c he can't find his things and tells me and the kids we live like pigs!!! And yes, I have found myself AND THE KIDS being just like him and it breaks my heart. My 3 yr old son said to me today "Mommy, Daddy said if he sees me touch his things, he will break my fingers, he is mean, hugh?" It made me feel about an inch tall!!! Even though you should get out now, nobody can make the decision for you. Everyone has a breaking point, and I am there. I am in the process of getting an apartment and leaving him and filing for divorce. It is a hard thing to do but YOU have to reach the leaving point. I have known for years that i should leave, but couldn't do it. I told myself i stayed for the kids. But they will be better off w/ out him, with him, they will BECOME him. Good luck and I hope you reach the leaving point soon...it sounds like you are already there... Cheryl WILLIAMSTeeka@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, January 05, 2001

S1

What motivated me to change was my wife telling me that she and the kids were leaving if I didn't stop being verbally abusive to them. I woke up and started doing everything I could to change. I'm still working on me but we're a happy family almost 18 months later. You could try telling him that but you HAVE to be prepared to do it if he doesn't admit he has a problem. Idle threats aren't good for anything.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 07, 2001

S1

If you don't stop the abuse of your children now... you will definately regret it later.. especially when they get into their teens... and then even as young adults.. If we don't protect them, defend them and intervene.. then results for them can be depression, despair, suicide, homocide, promiscuity pregnancy, addiction, repitition of the abuse etc etc...I would give him notice. I would say Privately NOT in earshot or hearing range of the kids..." Calling people names, such as bitch, stupid, ignorant, or fat or anything else negative is verbal & emotional abuse. It is every bit as damaging as physical abuse. Being nice some of the time doesn't excuse abusive behavior at other times. and I will no longer tolerate abusive behavior toward our children or myself. We will no longer walk on eggshells afraid of your anger or of displeasing you somehow anymore. Your anger and abusive behavior is your problem and should not be put on us. Get counselling for in now and get help because if it continues I will have no choice but to protect myself and and the children from your anger and abuse by leaving.

Serve him notice and then stick to it because if you don't protect the kids from this environment the a few years down the road you will be in counselling, police departments or perhaps a morgue. take action now before it gets to that point..

from one who's been there.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 16, 2001

S1

It sounds like my EXACT same story, my husband acts the same way about cleaning etc, everything has to be in it's place and he calls my daughter fat....

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2001

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 10, 2002

S1

I just finished a writing in my journal and your story could mirror my situation. Now my husband isn't working and isn't looking for work.(9 months) He is drunk everyday. He is living off his severence and Mom. His mother is downsizing into a smaller condo and he is spending every penny of the proceeds. (He is an only child so I had to marry the Mother also). I have a son who is in first grade and sees us fighting all the time. My husband promised not to fight in front of Gabe, but he is a controlling person who has to argue and have his way about everything. He tells me I'm a horrible mother in front of my son. My son takes up for me and then my husband says "see what you are doing to him, making him hate me". I see my son picking up all of his horrible problems.

He makes all the decisions then just tells me about them. I feel like I'm just the maid, although he is a clean freak also, he has a conpulsive disorder that makes him want to clean and vacuum constantly. He also doesn't allow toys upstairs, and won't buy furniture because Gabe will ruin it. (Gabe is six and not a baby) He races me to the laundry, makes the bed everymorning, dusts, uses about 2 rolls of papertowls a day because he windexes the countertops every minute, fixes the fringes on all the carpets hourly, he won't let me cook, he cooks everything, because I'm too messy and he cooks better. He thinks the kitchen is his castle and washes the floors constantly, etc. etc. (then screams at us if we touch anything or come near it) Somepeople think it's great to have a husband so clean, not when he is crazy about it. He needs to see a doctor!! Yet other places in the house could go without cleaning for years and he wouldn't say anything about them.

Also, he has never once admitted that he did something wrong or that he lied. He denys and denys until he dies!!! Now he has my son doing it. I have been working on Gabriel on this problem and it's a big one. My husband wants to be the only parent, and everything I say is wrong. So he argues with me about how to handle problems and how to raise my son. He is very jeolous of me and my relationship with my son. If Gabe is close to me, he calls him a :momma's boy" or "sissy". This really upsets me!!

I could go on for days with stories and problems.

I have been married for 8 years now and it's been hell since the start. We never had a good time or got along after the marriage. It's always been this way. I've always been able to handle it because he went to work, but now he is breathing down my back every minute. He says "we have to do this today", "today we are going here" he could go by himself, but he wants me to tag along so he can whine and complain to someone. I want to work but that is another whole story.

I just don't have anywhere to go. I'm in the basement and he keeps coming down here asking what I'm doing and when will I come up. He does this constantly, to find out what I'm doing and who I'm calling. He checks the caller-ID constantly, and then questions me about who they are if he doesn't recognize them. He doesn't trust me enough to share a bank account with. Although he has never hit me, the abuse I take is so tremendous, it's killing me and my selfestem. I don't love him anymore. How could I when he is contantly hurting my feelings, arguing, fighting. I can't just forget all the things he has done to me. (Although he wishes I would, sometimes I do, so I write it down)then when he says "what did I do to you? I can show him a list!!

I have no friends and he hates my family. He thinks I should hate my family also and contantly points out what siblings get more money, affection, help, etc. and that he wouldn't stand for it.

I know I should pack up and go, but I start preparing and he begs me not to and says he will change. I really don't want to go. I just want him to change. I would hate to see my son grow up without a father like me. See what happened, I married my father!

If he keeps drinking as much as he is now, and getting worse than he already is, then I don't have much of an alternative. I've been through this before and it's just hard to make that firt jump into the cold water, so to speak.

I wanted to respond with words of wisdom, but I needed to vent and saw so many similiarities that I wonder how many women have marriages like this. You at least love your husband and I bet he loves you. Some men are just couch potatoes and maybe you got one. But believe me, what he says to the children or how he treats them will have an affect on them.

My husband makes fun of my decorating and my intelligence all the time. In front of people everytime! Most of the time, people feel sorry for me and don't like him. He doesn't have but one friend, who is his drinking buddy, another woman hater, who calls all women "cunts" or "c's" and thinks it's funny. I beleive he and my husband sit around and women bash their wives and who else they can think of. It's really their problem, but I don't want to live with it. My husband is above arrogant! He is past the snob point. He thinks he is the smartest and everyone else is an ass.

Well, I know what I have to do! It's just I'm afraid and I want to start work.

Signed,

Miserable Marriage!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2002

S1

The point when you need to leave has already passed, you need to leave now! Your situation sounds very familiar to me. At first, when my boyfriend (who I have two children with)would just put me down, like always calling me fat right after I had the baby or stupid because he knows that I try really hard in school. Now, he constantly belittles me. I find myself doing the same thing in return and my 5 year old daughter asks me things like "why does Daddy be so mean to you." I just left him after 10 years of this, and I am so happy I don't know where to begin. The point that I knew I had to leave was the point when he started to call my 5 year old daughter names like "stupid" or "useless". I knew it was time to leave. She didn't deserve that, and I neither do I. Your family doesn't deserve it either. Thanks for sharing, it helps to hear it from someone else. Sarah

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 09, 2003

S1

IF HE IS THE TYPE TO BEATING YO VERBALLY, AND CALLING YOUR DAUGHTER NAMES. SUCH AS FAT OR WHAT EVER ELSE HE SAYS TO YOU AND YOUR CHILD, I BELIEVE IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO BREAK THE KNOT AND LEAVE HIM, BECAUSE HE CAN BECOME A PHYSICAL ABUSER TOWARDS YOU AND YOR CHILDREN. IT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAVE HIM ALONE. AN WHEN HE REALISE THAT YOU ARE NOT TAKING HIS SHIT NO MORE AND STRAIGHTENS UP, THEN YOU CAN CONSIDER GOING BACK. BUT FOR THE TIME BEING YOU NEED TO MOVE ON WITH YOUR FAMILY.