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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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

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

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

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

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

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

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Am I On Track

Comments for Am I On Track

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: Friday, December 08, 2000

S1

M.,

Anne here. I don't have a lot of time right now, but your story really hit home with me. I am still married, still hoping that it will work out, but the feelings you had...it was like reading about myself! Mine is a neatnik, too, and "admonishes" me for not doing what I'm "supposed" to be doing. He doesn't yell & scream as much as he used too, but it's still no fun to be told that I don't know how to clean!

You seem to have come a long way, and that is very inspiring!

Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 10, 2000

S1

M,

Having read this, I realize I truly am on the path of healing myself. I could relate to so much of your experience, and Dr. Irene's comments and guidance also confirms for me, I am well along in my journey. Though I still wrestling with some of those old fears, I know it's time to face them. I just read your posting from Stop Verbal Abuse and I look forward to many discussions.

Debbie

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2000

S1

Congratulations on your new, improved life. Your daughters deserve to see Mom happy. You have saved them many years of heartache, modeling your relationship. I have clients like you, but some have allowed themselves to be intimidated out of court actions. This guy abuses you, tries to hurt the kids by saying filthy things about you, demands a fairly complex visitation schedule to be able to cheat his kids of his financial support, then up and runs across the country with another woman! Who needs such a person around. I'm getting mad at this skunk's behavior! You have moved way beyond anger, which as Dr. I says, is a place many get stuck. I'm very impressed with your insight and strength. You are a hero!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Good Morning Anne!

I've noticed that the 'clean house' issue is pretty common in abusive relationships. These days, I realize that the conflict isn't about the house. It's always 'something'. If you suddenly started to keep the house perfectly, there would be something else that you don't do well enough or handle correctly.

I'm glad to hear that the yelling and screaming have lessened too. Are you both in counseling? I didn't have the tools while in my marriage to deal with my feelings over his anger effectively. I didn't even realize that our relationship was an abusive one! All I knew to do (for myself) was to remove myself from the relationship.

Take care of yourself! M.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

Hi Debbie,

Yes, facing the fear is hard, hard, hard. It's great that you have come so far on your journey. You must have very healthy instincts. You've done so well! I look forward to talking more with you on End Verbal Abuse.

M.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2000

S1

<This guy abuses you, tries to hurt the kids by saying filthy things about you, demands a fairly complex visitation schedule to be able to cheat his kids of his financial support, then up and runs across the country with another woman! >

Wow!! He is Yukky! Thank you taking it down to the brass tacks like this. I was surprised to read it and then to realize that this is exactly how it was.

I can understand why so many of your clients back out. I was terrified of taking action. I'd given him that much power over me.

Thank you for the validation and for the compliment! M.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2000

S1

Hi M.,

No, we are not in counseling. I have been on my own a few times, but I don't think those doctors really got it. Finding this site was the first time I really became aware of the nature of our relationship. It's good to know that the Doc is not biased, that she will let both "victim" and "abuser" know when they are misbehaving. It's so easy to lose perspective!  Thanks Anne.

Love,

Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 15, 2000

S1

M.

If you are talking about verbal/emotional abuse more than physical abuse, I can identify. I am searching for answers, too.

My husband and I have been married for 27 years and for 25 of those years he has been a heavy drinker. Verbal/emotional abuse is so insidious that one doesn't fully realize what is happening. One marries for love and this alone makes it hard to get out. I have gone through the steps even to the point of hiring an attorney. My attorney suggested I tell my husband I had talked to him. I tried to time it the day before my husband was served. However, the papers were delayed. Because of this my husband was allowed to close our joint accounts and credit cards. He threatened me with a fight and his own attorney. I ran scared and wasn't receiving proper timely answers from the attorney so it has gone on a year until he was finally served the "order to show cause" papers. Now, that he had to go to a court hearing he wants to work things out. I guess I STILL keep hoping.

We can talk to each other but many times it's about menial things. Many times it ends in a verbal shouting match. I'm afraid of losing all that I have earned. We have been living on separate paychecks for over a year. It is really hard living in the same house together while going through this.

I don't know if it's approved of to include my e-mail address so I won't at this time. I could really use someone's help. I want to stay IF it will get better. I'm having a hard time leaving even though I feel like I've given more than I should with my life to this man.

I, too, found a man I could talk to online. It was then that I realized that I didn't need to stay stuck in this relationship, but here I still am afraid to move. I do the steps, but I can't seem to completely go through with the divorce. However, unlike you, mine did not stick around.

Thank you for listening. D

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000

S1

Good Morning Anne,

M. here. I went through 4 counselors before finding the right one for me. I like Dr. I's directness too. I'd rather not have to fish for the meaning.. just give it to me straight.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000

S1

Hi D,

There was some physical abuse at the beginning of my marriage but that soon stopped. My ex was a drinker too. He'd hide his empty cans and bottles in the garage and drop one or two in the garbage inside the house. I guess to try to make it appear that he was drinking less than he did.

How do you manage to still live with him while a divorce is pending? There have got to be some very stressful times in that situation. Any conversation my ex and I have seems to degenerate very quickly too. I try to stick to written communication when it's necessary to communicate with him. Is there any way you can live somewhere else for a while? I think it would be very difficult to gain perspective while still living with your husband and having to deal with him everyday. Reality is a funny thing.. much of it is perception and he has some effect on your perception.

As far as hoping things will change, I do know one thing for sure. If you don't change and/or he doesn't change, then NOTHING is going to change.

There are several Email Support Lists that are linked to from the main page. You may want to try subscribing to some of those. There are a lot of very nice people who are going through similar situations. I don't think it would be a good idea to put your email addy on here. I'll look for you on the lists.. I read on YeouchhhI'm also happy to hook up any two people who wish to have each other's address. If you want your address sent to someone, email me. Usually both people have to request an exchange since I am not likely to have the "other" person's address.  
 

Best Wishes M.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000

S1

Dear M.

Thank you for responding to my comments. I have sent my e-mail address to Dr. Irene should you feel you would like to correspond with me.

Yes, it isn't easy living in the same house together while going through this, but my husband claims he wants to work things out. Funny, this seems to come when he feels he is truly losing me. I do want to believe him, after all I have 27 yrs. invested in this marriage. However, although I want it to work I don't know that things will change in the big part. He has made a few minor changes, although I assume big for him, but it doesn't seem to be enough when I still get the outbursts. I'm not innocent. I have learned to standup for myself (although I still feel defeated - he doesn't listen [get it]. I got tired of taking the yelling. I had spoiled him for 20 yrs. I was a stay-at-home mom. I told him right from the start that I didn't like housekeeping and he seemed to be all right with it. His stepmother and my sister-in-law are compulsive neatniks and I asked him once if he wanted me to be like them. He said, "No". But, his underlying current seems to hint otherwise. Many times he doesn't say things he just does it passive/aggressively. I realized after 20 yrs. that he wouldn't give up drinking, especially if his "going crazy" because of alcohol didn't convince him to stop. When we moved into this new house (12 yrs. ago) I truly wanted to keep the house neater. I asked him if he wouldn't eat at the table, which he would still be able to see the t.v. from the kitchen (it was in the lower level family room). His reply, "It's MY house. I will do what I want." I knew then I had lost the battle.

My problems started one month after we were married. He got so drunk at our best man's wedding that he left without me. When I came home we got into a shouting match and he pushed me out of the way. My response was to try to save the marriage. I tried to separate from him (no intention of divorce at that time), but he convinced me that it would lead to divorce (which I didn't want) so I stayed and have been kicking myself ever since. When I try to get him to understand why I am so angry and want a divorce; he says that I hold a grudge, that was 20 yrs. ago, and that was the past let's not dwell on it. Not everything has been bad in our marriage. But, it is sometimes hard for me to focus on the good times.

My husband didn't try to hide his drinking. He wouldn't call after work and that usually meant he stopped at the bar. Many times he would come home and drink in the garage.

I cannot afford to pay for two places. I've asked a friend if she would take me in as a roommate and no response. I've asked my dad who lives only 35 min. away (we have always been a close family) and there is no offer there as well. I don't get that! I kick myself for not keeping the "move out" order on him. His threats worked!

I believe he is wanting me to change (suddenly he has issues, too). I know that if I don't change the way he wants me to that NOTHING will change around this house, and I refuse to do that. He owes me after all these years of NOT being here emotionally. I know that is the wrong attitude, but that is how I honestly feel. So, why can't I just walk away.

Thank you, D.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

Hi M,

WELL DONE!!

Love Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

Dearest M. I read your entire conversation here. I cant emphasize with you how much of it hits to the core of me. I have been there. I am there. I dwell in that realm with you. My divorce is finally final. After so so long of being terrified of so much, I finally am starting to feel that the road isn't as bumpy or rocky as I know it once was. You sound amazingly well adjusted considering what you have been through. And even though so much of what we went through is parallel and people say the same to me, its always harder to believe it about yourself. (Just like I sometimes find it hard to believe about myself) I have to comment on that one line you stated.

"Oh, I did finally realize why I was crying all the time.. what I was afraid to face. B. wanted to hurt me. The man that I wanted to love and care for me.. to comfort me, couldn't. Because he needed/wanted to hurt me. That realization struck me to my very center! ." You put this in very good words. Its so true too.

Hang in there. You are doing WONDERFULLY! Kudos to you dear!

~J

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene,

Thanks for the useful site! I've been here everyday recently. Do you have a section for verbally abused men? Yes Nick. I'd love to make it bigger too. Look at the Abused Guy Page. 

Thanks -- Nick

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

S1

Thank you, Theressa and ~J.

~J, Congratulations to you! It sounds like you are doing very well.

 

Maria

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

S1

Hi Nick,

I think that the advice on this site isn't gender specific. BUT while some men write, it seems that most of the people writing in are women. You may want to do a search for 'Judge G'. He has several articles here. Also "Tex." Search page is here. Or, look at the Contents page.

Take Care, Maria Thanks Maria.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000

S1

Hello M., Doc & everyone,

I haven't been here much lately- had a lot going on. Things seemed to be getting better, but I think I was mistaken. So far, I have been careful to not reveal too much about myself on the boards (I have posted on some of the other boards as well). My posts are usually short and pretty general- I guess I'm afraid that he or someone we know will see and be able to identify me. I know, paranoia will destroy ya and all that, but I just can't shake the creepy feeling. He hates the thought of me talking to anyone about us - he is very concerned with what people think. For example, last year I hurt my back & had to take time off from work. He was pretty cold toward me the entire time I was down and at one point said something like, "I hope people aren't thinking I'm beating you up." Which, of course, he wasn't and, as far as I know, no one has ever thought that. Our fights have only gotten physical twice. That's two times too many. Once, we were arguing and I was sitting on the bed. For a few minutes, every time I would try to get up he would push me back down. Light pushes, but pushes nonetheless. Next time, maybe two years ago, I lost it and started slapping him- he had pushed me too far I suppose. We had both been drinking & things just got out of hand. He grabbed me and pushed me up against the door in order to stop me. I was wrong to slap him, but something inside me snapped and, for once, I truly lost control. Things had been so bad, and I had no clue that there were many people out there experiencing the same thing, and that it had a name. Things were definitely worse when alcohol was involved. He was a bartender, and would often stay late with the guys and drink many shots & beers. That was when things were particularly ugly. I used to dread hearing his car in the driveway. He has pretty much quit drinking, and so have I, so things are less volatile.

It's easy, now that things are "milder" between us, to think that all the pain was in my head. But I am still caught off guard by his periodic displays of hostility toward me, usually just when I am beginning to feel "comfortable", and to feel that it may be alright to be myself. Work on not bouncing off his moods. He will continue to have them; his moods have nothing to do with you.

Twice this past year we have decided to split up, but have not. The first time I felt the first stirrings of relief at the thought of getting out, but could not do it. The second time he came up to me the next day and said, "I'm sorry. I want to work this out, don't you?" At this point I did not care as much how things turned out, so I said I did, but that there were things BOTH of us needed to work on. Even though I knew that his idea of "working it out" is me doing what he wants, and doing it his way. His issues got addressed, mine did not. Looking back, I can see that almost every fight we have ever had has centered around his needs and wants. If it doesn't involve him, he isn't interested.

I am just venting at this point. Compared to some of the abuse stories I have read, this seems pretty tame. Like I'm jumping up & down over a paper cut in a room full of intensive care patients! It makes me feel guilty and more than a little self-indulgent.

Well, paper cut or no, thanks for listening!

Happy Holidays,  You too!

Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000

S1

Hi Anne,

It's not paranoia when someone really is trying to hurt you. It's justified caution. I wonder if we all think our spouses are/were not as abusive others are? Maybe it's how we justify staying in a situation even when we know things aren't as they should be? Just like my thinking that I should be happy because he did laundry and cleaned the house.. some men won't do that... big whoop...

When things are better it is easy to forget the really bad times. I think that I learned to block out some of it too. Guess I had to do that to make it or put up with it for as long as I did. Self-preservation.

I really don't think that your situation is a paper cut compared to other's situations. It's certainly no less painful sounding than mine was.

AND even if it was (which it's not!)???? Paper cuts still hurt like hell. Yeah! Ouchhh!

Take Care of you, Maria

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 23, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene,

I know you read these messages. Please re-read my posts to M. I am having a hard time getting off the fence. Is my husband truly a verbal/emotional abuser? Does HE have a right to be angry, too? Although this is just a sampling of what has happened during our marriage, I need someone who can objectively look at my situation and steer me in the right direction.  Dear D, read this for the various support options.

Thank your for all that you do. I wish I had the time and energy to do all that is asked...

D.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2000

S1

This couldn't have come at a better time! I am facing the same 2 issues - a new relationship and court battles.

I am really having to face my fears of coming face-to-face in court with my ex-bf (I am suing him for the $15,00. he owes me). When the fear grips me I get shaky and feel weak. He has so much viscous anger and is so abusive he will try anything to hurt me in this process.

I am doing my best to work everyday and building up my strength so he can not intimidate me. I feel intimidated, but I am moving forward as if I'm not. I tell myself I know I can handle whatever happens, he can no longer hurt me and I know I have God's love and strength to protect me.

I started dating a very wonderful man 2 1/2 months ago. For the first time I am taking it slowing, being totally honest with myself and him, and not comparing him or our friendship to my past experiences. This is the first healthy relationship with a man I have ever had and it feels great.

Thank you for such a timely and inspiring message, Suzanne

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2000

S1

Hello M.... As I was reading this....I could not help but think...."THIS is MY Story!". I had reached the point, with my ex....that I too was crying all the time...angry and not understanding or knowing why. In addition to the verbal abuse.. early in our marriage, he had also stepped outside the marriage, to affairs. Some with my friends, other with ??? women I did not know. I had reached the point of finally knowing.. I could not continue like this. I too, had 'discovered' someone on line, but had not met or talked with him in person or on the phone. All I knew was that the online fellow was soothing....and showing me...that I was an important, special person. I did get divorced, have not met the online person. I have known him for over a year, and and finally realizing that I am repeating the same mistakes with this second fellow. I have put up with, ignored, excused....behaviors and attitudes that I should not have. Today, before even finding this site, I have emailed him....to say that it is not going to work, I will not tolerate being ignored, being far down on his list of priorities. I am better than that. He cannot make me feel inferior, but by accepting such behavior from him, I am accepting less than the best...less than I deserve. No...I want a partner who respects me, loves me, and doesn't deliberately hurt me. It is time to walk away from this man...and take that lesson of learning with me. Good luck to you, and others...who are finally awakening to the possibilities.....of THEMSELVES!! It took getting out of a 28 year marriage, to begin my journey...and I look forward...to new adventures.....and becoming stronger, healthier, and happier with myself. And...if I find a partner...who does not take that away from me....I will have found a treasure beyond words!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, December 29, 2000

S1

Hi all,

Sorry it took me so long to post.

Thanks, Maria. You are right- at the worst of times during my marriage, it felt more like being run over by a train than a paper cut!

It's funny how all this can seem so simple at times, yet sssoooo complicated at others. It's easy to get turned around, and to get bogged down with terminology or details or who did what and what they meant when they did it!

Anyway, I hope you all have a fabulous New Year's Eve!

Love,

Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 07, 2001

S1

Dear M,

In August, I left a four year relationship in which I was verbally abused. I fell in love with and began dating an old friend who was exquisitely kind to me and we broke up on New Year's Eve. To my astonishment, I became suicidally depressed about losing him and about all the other deprivation and fear I had gone through. I went to the hospital and am seeing a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a pastor. I am also talking to lots of caring friends and trying to keep busy. Do you have any other advice?

Thanks,

J

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 14, 2001

S1

Hi J,

Sorry that it took so long for me to check here. I lost my way back!

I think that you are doing everything that you should do. It all takes time. Sometimes, when we go from one relationship to another, we don't take the time to mourn.

Do whatever it takes to get to know you. I've found that I don't even know what kind of furniture I like. I'm so used to taking someone else's opinion into account that I've lost mine!

I'm glad that you have such a strong support system. You must be a very special person to have so many that care for you.

M.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 14, 2001

S1

J,

I thought of one more thing. Be sure that you aren't keeping yourself too busy. While having help from friends and professionals is a good thing, remember that you need to have some time with yourself too.

M.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 01, 2001

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 14, 2001

S1

WOW your story brought huge tears to my eyes. It was like reading my own story, but i have a 16yr old form another marriage, and our 4 year old. J(my husband) has been moved out for 1 month. i just cant believe how much your story sounds like mine. sometimes when he is mad at me, i still feel like i have to find out why he is mad, and try to make him happy with me again. one day he tells me how much he loves me and he knows he needs help with his verbal abuse (very bad abuse), then next day he is telling me for no reason, to get the F out for his house. its sometimes like he has split personality. Anyway, we are going through a divorce. Sometimes i miss him so much i want to drive to is house and hugs him. Dumb i know, How can i love someone that is mean to me. Well since you are a few steps ahead of me in this, is there any advice you can give to help me be strong :) thank you so much S.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 01, 2001

S1

Hi S,

I replied to you earlier but it seems to have disappeared (or my mind is going!). Oh well, I'll try again. It sounds like you are managing just fine. There is no shortcut around the pain into recovery. Just know that what you are feeling is normal for us and as long as you understand that you shouldn't act on those feelings. That's what helped us get into these messes to begin with! Just because he is all over the place (abusive then wonderful) doesn't mean that you have to react to any of it. Easy to say, I know. It's not your job to make him feel better. Let Atlas hold up the world and go have some fun.

Take care of yourself

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 01, 2001

S1

Hi S,

I replied to you earlier but it seems to have disappeared (or my mind is going!). Oh well, I'll try again. It sounds like you are managing just fine. There is no shortcut around the pain into recovery. Just know that what you are feeling is normal for us and as long as you understand that you shouldn't act on those feelings. That's what helped us get into these messes to begin with! Just because he is all over the place (abusive then wonderful) doesn't mean that you have to react to any of it. Easy to say, I know. It's not your job to make him feel better. Let Atlas hold up the world and go have some fun.

Take care of yourself

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2001

S1

Way to go Girl, sharing your story is giving me hope to do what my body is saying LEAVE, & so much more. I hope you'll continue to share about your progress.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2001

S1

congratulation to M on a turning poiont in her life. what a wonderful story full of courage and awareness, l had a similar experience in my marriage, he was unfaithful, and it is difficult to accept that the love you gave to the family was not reciprocated by him and it is hard to face the fact that he does not love you, it is better to move out of the comfort zone and move on. Good luck cheers Loris

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 06, 2001

S1

Dear M, I too am going through the terrible process of healing after a long term realionship breakdown. I was married, very unhappily for 25 years until I picked up the courage to move out and on. The only thing is that I realized now, 5 years later, that I hadn't moved on as my ex and I had been seeing each other for these last 5 years and in the back of my mind I felt that we might be able to work it out and get back together and make it work this time although it had not worked for 25 years. Stupid things us humans can be sometimes. My ex has just recently stared a new relationship and this has kicked me into dealing with my emotions. I have been on anti-depressants for many years, and I am sure most of the cause was my relationship with my ex. I feel devestated at the moment but am reading a very good book which will hopefully heal me. It explains that women after a breakup are scared to feel anger at the ex and the situation that they are in. It maintains that without feeling this anger (a feeling that women try to avoid) we will never fully heal after an unsuccessful relationship. It also says that men usually feel anger first after a breakup and never move on from that which it appears has happened to B with his stupid moves in the court, and until he moves on he will never heal either. I will let you know how it goes with me but I must admit that feeling angry is proving difficult for me although I have had a few temper tantrums (on my own) which seems to have already helped me a bit. J

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 08, 2001

S1

Wow, it's great to come here and see that people are getting something from my experience. It helps me to know that I'm not alone in this too. Things are going very well for me. I'm still seeing D. and we plan to marry but not this year! <G> We still live far from one another. My children like him. It's taken a while before they could trust that he wasn't hiding an angry monster inside but I suppose that's normal. Child Support has been enforced through an Agreed Order. It got ugly but in the end he settled outside of court. It felt great to take control and refuse to be intimidated or dominated. As you know, my ex remarried. He was charged with battery against a household member early this year. He has been ordered to attend Anger Management Counseling. I wish them (he and his wife) luck. Of course, the children are not aware of this and B. doesn't know that I know about it either. That's all I've got! Be well. M.