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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

Posts for Leaving Is No Panacea

Posts for Leaving Is No Panacea

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  Copyright© 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: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

Oh man, I cried when I read your story. I always thought that if I just had the guts to leave things would be better. I admire you and wish you all the best.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

Reread what Dr Irene has told you at least 1,000,000,000 times and then reread it again. Your self worth and your children's is now in your hands. The man is not worth it. He broke the marriage vows first when he did not honor you, when he didn't cherish you. Even the Catholic Bible says "a good woman is worth more than rubies", "husband should cherish their wives" Eve was made from Adams rib not his foot to be walked on . Stay strong and get help.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

PLEASE SEE AN ATTORNEY AT ONCE !!! YOU HAVE RIGHTS... NOT ONLY FOR THE MONEY BUT FOR THE CHILDREN.... HE MAY HAVE AN ATTORNEY ADVISING HIM WHAT TO DO TO GET CUSTODY OF THE CHILDREN.. PRAY AND ASK THE LORD TO GUIDE YOU AND GIVE YOU STRENGTH .. GOOD LUCK... BC

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

One of the simple yet effective affirmations to keep on track during these transition phases could be called the check off list. When in a marriage it is easy to ride the wave or the tension and go up and down with few really solid road signs. When it is over, you can prepare a check list to graph your progress. Progress? Yes. A list might include: changed my address; opened my own account; went out with friends two weekends in a row; got an attorney; arranged next two months of appointments with counselor for myself. All these and many more can be charted so that in those times when the pressure hits, you can look in the rear view mirror and see just how far you have come and how many real steps you have taken to self affirm that you can succeed in spite of bumps in the road. A partner can put a lot of pot holes in our path but we can choose to drive around them as you seem to be doing. Continued slow and steady journey to you. Don't be afraid to pull over and celebrate with a picnic occasionally!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

Just wanted to add a few things. I also was married in the church and it is very hard for me to leave because I made a vow to God. I have come to terms that not only would it be better to live alone but it is my obligation as a mother to protect the children he has given me. And that means somewhere else where they do not have to have a knot in there stomach. Even if you think they do not see...they do. Secondly, it is ironic because my entire family and especially my mom begged me not to marry my husband. They saw him coming while I was googly eyed in love. (yuk!) Even though after 15 years they have witnessed his verbal and controlling abuse of me.. do you know what happened? When I hit rock bottom and said no more he panicked and set up a meeting with my mom. By the end of the visit he had convinced her that he was trying, that he was sorry, that I was no angel etc. My mom called me up and said..."I think he is trying." I told her congratulation!!! She had found out in one hours time how manipulative he is and how he has manipulated me for years. I told her to go ahead and fall for it because in a few more hours he will be a different man with an abusive temper. She saw it and could not believe just how ill he was and how easily she was fooled by him. Naturally deep down inside I thought maybe I overreacted. Now my family thought that I was to blame or maybe it was not that bad. Then I said to myself...I am not a stupid woman. No one knows what goes on in my house and I am the only one who can judge what is right and wrong. I knew that at that moment I was O.K. because for years I needed my family to be on "my side". Now I see that I KNOW THE TRUTH. It doesn't matter what they think. I know and God knows. Luckily they came to their senses and I am happy because it helps to have a supportive family. A supportive group is just as good. You have done the right thing. Please do not let people tell you that you do not know what you are feeling....you know! Your heart tells you what the truth is. Please get into a group so that other woman can help you keep your thinking straight. When you can compare stories and they all sound so familiar. Then you know you aren't going crazy. Incidentally my husband did the same thing with the checkbook and I am telling you just so you know...that is controlling and abusive. Keep up the good work. I wish you the best!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 05, 2000

S1

Ok, none of us can follow instructions! I see other people hit the "Submit" before writing the message!

It's really hard to break the patterns of codependency and takes TIME, but it can be done. I always thought I had to put up with it because I was married in a church, marriage is supposed to be forever, etc. However, maybe your marriage wasn't what God intended in the first place.

Contrary to what the optimist at the end seems to think, most of these guys do not change. Ever. When they are being nice you tend to forget the rotten way they treated you and hope they will be better. And they will, for a little while, then the cycle repeats itself. Always. Always. Always.

One of the tools for helping you to remember why you got out in the first place is to write down the actual incidents when they occur, then put them in a drawer and when you are tempted to kid yourself about him changing, read them over. It works and it helps.

I just found this site. Looks like a good one. I just told my husband today that I was filing for divorce and he got so sweet and remorseful and told me how hard he's trying to be different that I almost forgot that two weeks ago he was screaming that I'm a piece of s___ in front of my daughter. Keep strong and get counseling. It's an anchor that will help you.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 05, 2000

S1

This lady needs to take control of her life. She's allowed her behavior and her responses to be dictated by her emotions all along, especially the guilt she was doubtless taught to feel as a child, instead of acting to take control. Look at how she didn't take what her husband did offer to her, out of her own guilt. All right, she had a hard time getting him to give her a joint bank account, but she did succeed eventually. She had that much power. When he did that, she didn't have the nerve to write a check on it! I'll bet she was sitting there thinking "I ought to be so grateful that he did this for me; I can't possibly impose on him any more by actually using any of the money!" Then she built up resentment about that, and blamed him for it. I don't' suppose he looked after her feelings at all well, but I'll bet she expected him to look after all of them, including her own guilt, which it's her responsibility to dump. She didn't just want a joint checking account. She wanted her husband to say "Go ahead, write a check on it! Write a dozen! You don't need to feel guilty about it. I'll forgive you." But it was her job to forgive herself. He can't do that for her.

She allowed herself to feel withered and controlled by a mere contemptuous look, because she needs to build up her own self esteem, when she could have said "I don't like it when you look at me that way, I feel humiliated," and asked him why he was so angry at her. They might have talked.

Maybe her husband shouldn't have shuffled the money around to buy her earrings, but if she got on his back about that and ignored the intent behind the gift, I'll bet he felt hurt, because in his mind he was doing something nice for her. They could have sorted this out as a couple.

And all this guilt as a method of control is something she's learned and probably expected her husband to respond to as well. I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to manage her husband by negative complaining instead of making firm and positive proposals with reasoning (including emotional reasoning) behind them. She expected him to feel guilty about her complaints, and act on them. But he didn't! If she feels manipulated through guilt but acts on it anyway, she's being weak. He probably feels guilt is "manipulative" as well, but for that reason he refuses to act on it. He just finds it irritating and infuriating.

That's why he feels contemptuous of her at times, regrettable as that is. She married this man for a reason, because he looked strong and competent and could "look after" her in practical ways. As far as that goes, it's natural enough. But it doesn't mean she could just let go and lean on him for everything. He sees that as "weak," and he's contemptuous of weakness. He saw her as "weak" for running to that shelter as well, instead of negotiating a separate residence that he could well afford. He needs a strong woman. He admires strength.

This is the whole irony of the "cycle of abuse": that whether or not one partner sees his or her own behavior as "abusive," often the other partner's response, whether it's retaliation, or passive aggression, or even just "caving in," is unintentionally what makes the first partner angrier and leads to more (and later worse) abuse.

What if he wasn't meeting her needs in spite of all her efforts, and she'd stood up to him decisively a year ago, or three years ago, and said "Look, Joe, I'm not happy with the way things are, and if you won't go to counseling with me and help to sort things out, I'm going to leave." What would he have done? We know very well what he would have done, because he's done it now by himself: offered to participate in counseling. But once again, this lady didn't take what he did offer. Why not? Because she didn't take control and act early enough, that's why. Once again, I'm afraid she let her feelings control her instead. Rather than dropping the guilt and acting, she sat around until enough disappointment, resentment, and anger had built up to outweigh the guilt and "force" her to leave. By that time, she was too angry to "feel like" going to counseling with him. That happens a lot of the time. Now she's got a load of anger to drop as well as guilt before she can be not only strong, but in control.

And this lady needs to be strong, whatever she does with her life. That's the sad irony. Goodness knows whether her husband really is a jerk, or whether the two of them just needed to learn how to interact with one another better. But if she's going to get a divorce and go out and deal with life as a single mother, and all the bitterness and wrangles over parenting and money (she's going to wrangle over money no matter whether she's married or divorced), and having to cope with yet another boy who's lost his father, she needs to be strong to deal with all that. That same strength might have saved her marriage instead.

But I don't say it's impossible, or too late. Her husband is willing. And you can get those old feelings back. It's up to this lady to deal with her emotions instead of letting them run her. I wish her good luck whatever she does.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 05, 2000

S1

Damn, no HTML. Oh well, sorry for the <i> and </i> and everything. No problem. I changed the <i>s to italics. Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000

S1

The "Dr. Irene" suggestions are "right on," but they're not easy to follow on a day-to-day basis. To make the resolve and stick to it requires on-going support. I used both group support (Al-Anon) and private therapy, along with a group of intelligent and supportive friends. To paraphrase the message in the meeting rooms: "The solution is simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy." Go for it!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000

S1

You are an inspiration. Hold onto your heart for dear life. That's what it seems to take. We're building up the self-esteem muscle. No matter what's around the bend, there's never any going back to what was. Awareness is an exceptional view. Good luck, and buy yourself some flowers. You deserve it.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000

S1

Your letter touched me more than any other that I have read so far on this site-------which have been many. The reason is because I understand that feeling of being trapped so well, because of ingrained religious beliefs. I think that these are perhaps the hardest to break away from, in order to believe in something opposite, which is that you do deserve to be happy. I am not a professional, and don't feel I can give you advice, but I can say that you are not alone. I also believe with all my heart that you are doing the right thing by leaving your husband. It is terrible that the people who should love and support you the most are more interested in "how this would look" (to the church perhaps) than in the way you are being treated. I feel for you, and I wish you all the love, luck, motivation, happiness, and strength that God can grant so you can reach your goal(s). With love I write this, Karen

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000

S1

I want to thank the people who wrote in their suggestions. It is nice to have support. It is hard to make recommendations when you don't know the whole story. It's impossible to tell the whole story.

I try to read the posts with an open mind. This is hard for me. I'm so self doubting anyway.

No one knows what it is like to walk in someone else's shoes. You can tell them a hundred stories and they still won't understand. I'm coming to a point where I understand that others don't understand. It's easy to say "you didn't communicate with him adequately" when you weren't the one trying to communicate.

God knows. Every time I think of trying to go back to him and I ask God for guidance something else happens with him. We have another ugly encounter.

I will say that I have learned a lot from this experience. The biggest lesson that I have learned is that I have no room to judge others. I have judged others. I've thought that I was better than others. I thought I would never do that. Never say never. I've lacked grace in my own life. I've withheld grace from others. Now I need grace. I need love in the middle of doing something that I never thought that I would do. I never thought that I would get a divorce. I believed that marriage was for a lifetime. I spent six years working so hard to make it work. Only God knows how hard I worked.

I am in counseling. I read a lot of books. Mostly I'm trying to look for God's actions in my life. I'm trying to learn how to enjoy God's gift to me and that is life.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000

S1

Hi....just read your story. The best advice I have, is to get the book VERBAL ABUSE by Patricia Evans (and her sequel, VERBAL ABUSE: Survivors Speak Out on Recovery). I consider these books to be my second Bible...it took me 25 yrs to figure out what was happening to me (verbal abuse), and thank God and Patricia Evans, here it was in black and white!!! If you go to counseling, make sure he/she is trained in verbal abuse; I know, I learned from experience, wasting a lot of time and money with counselors who didn't name the problem! If you wish, please e-mail me at <carleton@oakland.edu> and I'll be glad to talk anytime. I have been in a 30 year (yes, that's right) abusive situation. Filed for divorce last year and withdrew it (long story); am trying now to get the courage back to do it. Please contact me if you wish. I'd love to talk. Take care. P.S. The only guilt there is is his; HE is the abuser. I know, you have to fight so many conflicting emotions. God Bless You. With "Sisterly" concern, Alice

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2000

S1

Dear Lady,

You don't say which state you live in, but I would be willing to bet that a lawyer can straighten out who owes what to whom! Do whatever is necessary to get what is rightfully yours. Unfortunately, the Church cannot help you get that, so you will have to use the law.

Your husband is (to me) a man who abuses you financially to maintain his control over you. This is NOT OK. Whether he *recognizes* your contribution to the household and the marriage, you HAVE made contributions, and the law is interested in equity. How absurd that he would use your son's money to buy you a gift! He owes you that money, too!

Insisting on couples therapy is abusive. He will NEVER get the message that HE has a problem. He will try to keep all the focus on "your lack of cooperation." Minimizing the extent of his abuse is also abusive! And your friends and family are being abusive by saying that the sexual problems are your fault! (I went through all of this, too.) Please read Dr. Irene's site until you know it by heart! And this site has some interesting things, even if you don't live in Washington State. http://www.eastside.net/edvp/gettinghelp.htm

At the risk of angering your priest, you may be interested in hearing something other than "Submit!" The Bible has a LOT to say about marriage that we don't hear from the clergy. "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend is super! http://www.drirene.com/book_shelf.htm

Please get some therapy from abuse experts. I can't possibly tell you what great things that has done for me! And if a therapist suggests anti-depressants, please consider that, too. They don't make your problems go away, they just get you into a space where you can deal with them.

Hugs, and I hope for a beginning of peace for you.

Sarah

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2000

S1

Hello. I just wanted to tell you my story. My mother was emotionally and verbally abused by my father for years and years. Her depression was clinical, severe. It made her unable to be a mother to me and my brother. She didn't leave my father, and I can't tell you how very much I wish she had. I just this week I left my abuser, a man I had been engaged to. I came SO CLOSE to repeating history. If my mother had been stronger, a role model for me as someone who says, "You can't say that to me. I deserve more for my life." I might have had the skills to leave my fiancée sooner. I might have avoided a relationship with him from the beginning. What I'm saying is you are being a role model for your kids. You are standing up for yourself, and because of that, they might learn to stand up for themselves. Believe me, the separation hurts them, but its MUCH BETTER than growing up in a Cold War Zone. You are in a tough spot right now, and I too feel the guilt of leaving my abuser. But you know what? The guilt only comes when I look at the situation through HIS EYES. When I see things through my eyes, I feel happy, free, released, hopeful, and I have my self respect back. Look at things through your eyes. YOURS, not your family's, your friends', your ex's, your kid's. YOUR EYES. They are the only pair you really have. Only YOU know what you have suffered through. You made the right decision. Absolutely the right decision. And it will get easier. I guarantee it.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2000

S1

I guess I would just like to say that leaving any relationship, good, bad or indifferent has it's losses. One of the things you are feeling here is grief. You have just lost the hopes and dreams that you had for your marriage and that hurts a lot. I hope you are still going to therapy as I think it is so much easier to go through our day to day stuff when we can run it all past a therapist once a week or so. It is hard for families to deal with change unless it is a family that puts the happiness of the person ahead of the family as a whole.

You're doing good. Just hang in, keep writing here and in a journal if you do the journal thing. It has been used by people as a therapeutic tool for hundreds of years, so maybe you could give it a try, if you are not already writing in one.

I wish you a lot of luck. I can promise you that when you come out the other side of all this you will be a stronger, and much different person. This is good. You will see men like your present husband coming a mile away and run real fast the other way immediately. <g>

Susan

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2000

S1

Your story sounds so familiar to me...so much like my own story. I started divorce proceedings eight months ago. I have remained in my house with my children because my ex- husband threatened my life when he realized I was serious about leaving him, and I was able to get a restraining order. Life has been difficult . He treats my eleven year old daughter, on her visitations now, the same way he treated me, with manipulations, condescension, and no regard for her needs. Our local Women's Crisis Services has been giving my children and I wonderful counseling sessions and support. We have hope for our future, and I daily remind myself that my daughter will learn a different path than I followed. One that will afford her a healthier future. I am learning to recognize abusive behavior so that I won't fall into my same patterns in future relationships. I have lost some heretofore close "friends" who haven't been able to accept the changes I have made for myself. My conservative church has supported my husband believing that I am in "sin" for divorcing him. I have found a new and loving church home. These wonderful people help me in so many ways. I want to encourage you on in your new life. Seek the places and people that will support you and let go of the ones that keep you down. You, and I will make a better lives for ourselves and our children. Sometimes out of nowhere it seems I will become overwhelmed by all the changes of this past year and by the obsessive drive of my ex-husband to continue to try to hurt me or control me. But each time I get through the sadness. And then I am proud of myself and all that I am doing to create a better life.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

S1

Please consider joining Co-Dependence Anonymous (CODA). It could be a valuable source of support for you. It has been for me.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

S1

I couldn't agree more with Dr. Irene's comments. I am in the process of divorcing a verbally abusive husband, and your examples are very similar to mine. I too feel the need for help. Not all family are supportive, and people who have not experienced it cannot imagine what hell it is. I also feel the need for support. I think that we have been through one version of hell and we need to give ourselves time and seek out help to overcome it. You are not alone.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

S1

I posted a message to you before I read the postings. I urge you to completely discount the two postings judging you and discounting your experience. You know what your experience is. Trust yourself, not these people who truly have not idea of what you have endured. I tried for 30 years to solve my problem. I prayed, read every book on verbal self defense, got therapy, begged him to go to therapy. He only agreed to go after I had said I could no longer live with him. We went to one session and he refused to continue. What I am trying to say is that I wasted years and years on loving someone who was abusive to me. I do not believe that these people change. They may learn to mask their anger, or express it more covertly. But the distrust you have will never be erased, nor should it be. We can have sympathy for them, we can encourage them to get help, but we don't have to continue to be the target of their anger. We certainly don't have to stay married to them. It is not our fault. If the blows were physical, would it be our fault? There really are evil people in the world who derive relief for their pain by hurting others. Do not let the postings which question your experience deter you. In a book written by Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D., she says, "The only reason cattle can be confined by an ordinary barbed wire fence is that they have no idea they can jump over it. If they ever do, by bizarre chance, jump a fence even once, they are liberated cattle thereafter. No ordinary fence will ever hold them again. People are precisely the same way about the barriers that verbal abusers set up to hold them back. The only reason such barriers work is that people have no idea they can get past them. A person who does get past, even once, is no longer a prisoner of verbal abuse in the same way. And such barriers will never hold that person back in the same way or to the same degree again." You and I and many others have pushed through. We will not let anyone who has not experienced verbal abuse hold us back.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

S1

I'm sure it must be difficult to trust what you feel about your situation, particularly when your friends and family seem to agree with your husband's point of view. I was up against the same odds, with my family and friends only having seen the charismatic sides of my husband. They seemed to take his side when I first leaked out what I perceived to be going in. Fortunately for me, there were a few incidents where he was abusive to me in front of my family, so that it did not go unnoticed or disbelieved for long. What I learned was that it is important that you learn to trust your own perception and instincts, and to treat abusive behavior for what it is and not to feed into it any longer. The more you try to justify yourself to this person in the face of their blaming you for everything, the frustrated and exhausted you will become. On top of all the insults I was receiving on a daily basis, I was also blamed for eventually taking off and going to a women's shelter when I finally got so afraid of him. Even if you do leave him for good and are concerned about your children coming from a broken marriage, it is much less harmful to them if they don't have to watch you afraid or abused. I felt guilty too for leaving, but now that I have left and have had a few months away to think about how dysfunctional our relationship was, I realize that I was lucky to trust my gut feelings and have been working on raising my deflated self-esteem. I hope you can too.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

S1

Hi...Guilt will cripple you, give it up! In your case you have done nothing wrong but save yourself from a life of misery. Even when someone has done something to be guilty for, that's fine, you can still move on. You are not alone. I wrestle with my guilt almost daily. But I can put it aside and move on by telling myself that any mistake I have made can be fixed. I can make amends for any wrong I might have caused. So I force myself not to dwell on it, because now I know that much of it is unfounded. Perhaps instead of thinking about the mistakes you might have been conditioned to believe you have made you could try concentrating on the things you know are good about your character. Maybe even make a list. I also found that it helped me to allow myself to be angry. Yes angry, you are allowed you know? It is perfectly alright for you to be angry with your husband, your family and your friends for their attitude towards your situation. It is also perfectly alright for you to tell them so if that makes you feel better too. I allow myself to get angry now at people and situations that hurt me. I deserve and I am entitled to these feelings. If I'm feeling them then that means I own them, they are mine and valid. Tell yourself that next time someone tries to control your emotions and tell you that what you are feeling is wrong. Own your feelings, they belong to you! And good luck.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 10, 2000

S1

I agree with the good Doctor's coments! One thing I'd like to add is that you are in fact doing your children an immeasurable service by leaving a verbally abusive spouse. They have no doubt been on the wrong end of his controlling temper. If you stay with him and continue to try to make things okay, you will be sending the message to your kids that your husband's behavior is OK, that you consider your feelings unworthy of attention.

Most likely, they are also painfully aware of their father's inability to consider the feelings of others. They are probably feeling very hurt and confused by this. By moving out and refusing to put up with this, you are giving them the wonderful message that their pain and confusion are VERY REAL and worthy of attention and care. Just as YOUR feelings are. They will be the better for it! You will short-circuit that path to either victim or abuser roles that they have been absorbing by living with you and your husband. Good luck!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2000

S1

Good for you for leaving. It is hard to know what to do next, when your husband has been the center of your life.

Take baby steps and move forward, that is what I am also trying to do. I have been separated from my beloved abuser for 3 months. We were only married for 1 awful year. I know that if I get busy and take baby steps, that one day it will not hurt anymore. One day, one step at a time.

Hang in there and good luck.

Bless you

Lori

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 12, 2000

S1

Well get a lawyer and clean his clock!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 12, 2000

S1

Hi,

WOW! Are our families related? I too was married to a man much like yours, except the money issue. My husband never hit me, but when he would get angry he would not talk to me or be an 'iceberg' for hours. It was horrible.

When he would get mad and break things or swear or whatever he would tell me it was not his problem.

When I left him, I was told it was my fault. He had repented (My family is part of a very strict Christian denomination). I was told I did not have enought sex with him, leading him to be frustrated and angry by MY parents.

My family is barely talking to me, they think he is right. It has been very difficult for me because I come from a very close family. I am leaning on friends (who my family have NOTHING nice to say about, gee that is a surprise?)

The counseling thing is also the same. I owe it to God and Everyone to go to counseling with him.

I developed anorexia in the 9 months prior to me leaving. That is the reason I finally left (my husband and parents had told me I could not leave because he was not physically abusive -needed conjoing counseling instead -- and I believed them) my medical doctor told me I'd get myself really sick if I did not do something to start eating.

I was almost ready to go to counseling when I discovered my husband had lied to me about contact with my parents (he was supposed to not have it).

So I am feeling guilty, but also very little reason to go.

Anyway, my point of all this is YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Good luck and God Bless.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 13, 2000

S1

Hi. In your story I see myself 10 months ago, after leaving my verbally and physically abusive husband of 20 years. Even with the wonderful support of my family (and HIS - they've seen him in action), and a couple of great counselors, the guilt that I felt was immobilizing. I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, and I grieved over the loss of my dreams. Of course he still tries to manipulate me, and he leaves me nasty messages, and he has even manipulated my 14-year-old son into believing I am the only one responsible for the breakup (he still doesn't realize it takes two to screw up a marriage). My son lives with him and has little or no contact with me now, which is how he has chosen to "punish" me.But a few weeks back I read a book called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" bu Patricia Evans, and everything he had been doing to me became crystal clear. It was like a light went on. I then went web-surfing to find more info and found this site - it has lots of great info - read it all until it sinks in!!! The guilt I felt before is falling away in huge chunks, and it's WONDERFUL! Learn as much as you can about what was happening to you - knowledge is power! Best of luck to you!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2000

S1

I have lived with a very abusive man for 25 years. It is best the kids see you stand tall and say "NO MORE"! hANG IN - YOU ARE BRAVE AND YOU DESERVE BETTER.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2000

S1

I have lived with a very abusive man for 25 years. It is best the kids see you stand tall and say "NO MORE"! hANG IN - YOU ARE BRAVE AND YOU DESERVE BETTER.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 20, 2000

S1

Help...I am in a similar situation. The difference is that I am the one that is working and putting the food on the table. He is a stay at home dad 'ex-chef'. I still work my 8 hours, come home, pick up the house, cook dinner, do laundry, etc. I ask him to help me take care of the baby while I am cooking dinner and all I get is the response, 'Women raise 5 to 6 kids on their own and you can't even raise 1.'

He is a heavy drinker...I wish he would just go away.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 26, 2000

S1

Pray - in the Bible it says that if you are abused you should leave your spouse!! God does not sanction abuse!! "The wife is to submit to her husband", the next line is "Husbands submit to your wives!" Check it out!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

I can certainly empathize with your situation. Approximately 3 months ago, my partner of 4 1/2 years and I broke up.I (finally) saw her insincerity in committing to a long term relationship and her ambivalence regarding other aspects of her life as well. There were co-dependency issues all over the place on both sides. I do miss her terribly and would like to work toward re-estblishing a friendship (possibly more in the future) yet I'm not sure if she is ready for that or if she really wants a friendship. During my most difficult times, I have found the book "In the Meantime" by Iylana Vansant to be especially helpful.I am also involved in counseling. for assistance in dealing with "family of origin" issues.Hang in there - things will get better.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

I can certainly empathize with your situation. Approximately 3 months ago, my partner of 4 1/2 years and I broke up.I (finally) saw her insincerity in committing to a long term relationship and her ambivalence regarding other aspects of her life as well. There were co-dependency issues all over the place on both sides. I do miss her terribly and would like to work toward re-estblishing a friendship (possibly more in the future) yet I'm not sure if she is ready for that or if she really wants a friendship. During my most difficult times, I have found the book "In the Meantime" by Iylana Vansant to be especially helpful.I am also involved in counseling. for assistance in dealing with "family of origin" issues.Hang in there - things will get better.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

I can certainly empathize with your situation. Approximately 3 months ago, my partner of 4 1/2 years and I broke up.I (finally) saw her insincerity in committing to a long term relationship and her ambivalence regarding other aspects of her life as well. There were co-dependency issues all over the place on both sides. I do miss her terribly and would like to work toward re-estblishing a friendship (possibly more in the future) yet I'm not sure if she is ready for that or if she really wants a friendship. During my most difficult times, I have found the book "In the Meantime" by Iylana Vansant to be especially helpful.I am also involved in counseling. for assistance in dealing with "family of origin" issues.Hang in there - things will get better.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2000

S1

I can certainly empathize with your situation. Approximately 3 months ago, my partner of 4 1/2 years and I broke up.I (finally) saw her insincerity in committing to a long term relationship and her ambivalence regarding other aspects of her life as well. There were co-dependency issues all over the place on both sides. I do miss her terribly and would like to work toward re-estblishing a friendship (possibly more in the future) yet I'm not sure if she is ready for that or if she really wants a friendship. During my most difficult times, I have found the book "In the Meantime" by Iylana Vansant to be especially helpful.I am also involved in counseling. for assistance in dealing with "family of origin" issues.Hang in there - things will get better.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, October 07, 2000

S1

Hi,

God bless you for having the nerve to leave an abusive situation. Please know that God has an abundant life waitiing for you.

I was in an emotionally abusive marriage for 26 years. My husband and I both pastored the same church for 10 of those years. So you know the struggle I had with religious issues.

But something in my spirit kept bringing me to a place of surrender, until finally one day I sat down at my computer and wrote this message to the Lord. "Father, I have been holding on to this marriage until my knuckles are white, but today I let go..." that was 11/20/98 and on 11/21/98 I was living in my own furnshied apartment in the country with a pond and a burning bush, all just like I had envisioned it before I left my husband. God is GOOD!! I forgot to say that when I left, I had NO MONEY. My husband handled all the finances and I had to ask for everything. Even when I told him I was leaving, I had to humbly ask for money to do it. HA HA Of course he got great pleasure in saying NO!!

But since my first apartment, I have moved into a lovely 2 br townhouse. I still drive my Cadillac Seville, which my husband is still trying to take from me. I took him to court and now he pays me a monthly income which is taken directly from his paycheck. (He could kill me!) I also have a part time job. I have gotten 3 credit cards in my own name. During my marital struggles, the church that my husband and I once pastored together called me back to pastor alone!! I pastored there for almost 3 years and they were a constant strength and blessing to me. I have since resigned to be free to tell my story to other hurting women who may not frequent the church building.

As of this writing, I am preparing to go to my step son's wedding where my husband (we've been separated 2 yrs, but are not divorced; have not even filed yet) and his new "woman" will be in attendance. I thank God that I have done the emotional work needed so that I am able to face him and the whole world with my head held high.

Keep moving forward....the waves of grief, guilt, loneliness, sexual deprivation,etc, will come; just embrace the feelings-- look at them real good, learn from them and then keep on pushin!!!

I feel so at one with you. For the longest I thought I was crazy for wanting better than what I had.

Please contact me at: lhargrav@stargate.net to let me know how you are doing.

Love,

Linda

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 08, 2001

S1

Hi,

I guess sometimes life is hard because we all want to be loved. Sometimes we try to get that love from other sources. Like addictions, or by people pleasing.

You do right to raise your standards, instead of lowering them to put with abuse.

Remember all people and circumstances are attracted to us because we have things inside us to fix.

We fix these hurts by feeling them and then accepting them. Then setting boundaries so others can't hurt us again.

YOU win by making the best life possible.

GOOD LUCK. I hope one day your husband wakes up, though that may be when he is sat all alone and feels the real hurt.

Take care of you and your children, and smile cuz you've lots to be thank ful for. YOURSELF firstly and your children.

"Its all about you".

Take care Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 20, 2002

S1

Dear Stranger,

While reading your e-mail I was thinking that you have to be talking about my husband. Except that I never had the courage to leave him. He left me. For reasons like slamming the car door too hard. He treated me so badly and I spend my evenings crying over him and wishing that he would not get a divorce after all. You should be proud of yourself for leaving.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 02, 2003

S1

hello i read your story and you sound like a realy strong lady.Dont upset yourself for thing that you didnt do and by being a good wife one thing you need to do is be strong for you kids and show them you are there and how much you love them.Good luck in your life and be strong and love yourself dont ever leave yourself last and always smile life is hard everyone gose through hard times. GOODLUCK!!!!!!!