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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 Purrrfect Husband

Comments:  Purrrfect Husband

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

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

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B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 15, 2007

S1

WOW!! I am a new comer to this site. Not long before Christmas I stupidly overdosed as a result of not recognizing the crazy making behaviour of my recent ex. I can relate to your story Cindy. Reading many of the stories posted is giving me a sense of validation. Although my partner portrayed perfection to the world and belittled me behind closed doors, others are and have been going through the same thing. Recognising this fact has helped me to put things into perspective and to know that I am not "the insane one" as I have been told I am repeatedly. Dr Irene is SO right Cindy. The wishful thinking of you, myself and many others like us must be recognised as exactly that.... WISHFUL THINKING. We can NOT change them. They see NOTHING wrong with what they do, so why think they would stop behaving that way. I wish you well. xox

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 15, 2007

S1

Hello Cindy, So glad you wrote and got everything down on paper and out of your head! Yeah!!! First step to moving forward is what I say : ) I can relate to your experiences with your husband. I have also been in your shoes regarding your childhood experiences that are still lurking in your mind today. I had to learn to step up to the plate when "my boundaries" were pounced on. I have found that "calling" my husband on his behavior, has helped him become more aware, strengthened his and my growth and helped our marriage. It does not happen overnite. It is not easy either but gets easier as you do it. Another thing that happens with this new person, you will help that little fearful child grow strong and learn to expect R-E-S-P-E-C-T from others. Being aware and implementing your boundaries will help you and your husband grow in your marriage and respect for each other as individuals. Good Luck and we'll be seeing you in the catbox! Take Care, Lorraine aka Lambchop

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 15, 2007

S1

Hi Cindy I can totally understand where you are coming from. I have been married for 10 years to a guy who " has great qualities and has come a long way as a person. And has a very long way to go. Yet he's so difficult to get along with sometimes. He seems to cycle. He's said atrociously mean things to me over the years, and then can't remember saying them." For the longest time I would feel like something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I would get frustrated trying to explain my side. I would want to scream when he would berate me for doing something and then he would do the same thing another time. One of the big things he did was that he would not call me by my name. If he wanted something, he would just start speaking without actually saying my name to get my attention first. Even if I was upstairs and he was downstairs, he would just BELLOW up the stairs whatever he wanted. I called him on it plenty of times, but he minimized it and said I was nitpicking. I thought if I brought it to his attention, he will change it his behavior. NOT correct.

Things would get “good” for a while. He would change his behavior when he was being on his “best behavior,” but as soon as I let my guard down and began to have hopes and expectations about things, he would start the silent treatment again. The verbal abuse was obvious, so I called him on it and told him I wouldn’t stand for it anymore. When I stood my ground, he stopped, but that didn’t change our relationship. This is because the more subtle forms of abuse continued to go on. I couldn’t do anything about it because I didn’t realize what it was. Don’t get me wrong, I recognized some of the behaviors – as I am sure you probably do – but I didn’t realize they were connected and why he was doing them. I just thought they were all different and that he was a poor communicator.

Then I found this site and started reading books. As Dr. Irene said, I CAN’T TELL YOU THE POWER OF VALIDATION. The Ah-ha moment when you say “I was right all along. I knew I wasn’t crazy,” is so empowering. It will set you free – free to move on. Even if you don’t leave, you will be able to recognize his behaviors and deal with them in a way that will restore your self respect. I have my own therapist now because I wanted to find out why I allowed this to happen and to continue for so long. I have always considered myself to be a strong person who wouldn’t allow herself to be abused. And I thought I was doing a great job standing up for myself when I put an end to the verbal abuse, but there is so much more abuse that is not so obvious. I recommend you find someone to help you find out about yourself. Do it with the thought of getting yourself stronger for you, not so that you can fix him. You will never be able to do that. Only he can do that. When you start recognizing the subtle controlling behaviors, you will probably notice some of them in the other people you encounter in your life. Suddenly you will be standing up for yourself in ways you never thought you would. It won’t be easy, and changing him is a futile task, but changing you will make you strong. Good luck and more power to you. - R P.S. Here is an amusing tidbit - Now I don’t answer my H when he doesn’t call my name first to get my attention. He will actually walk all the way up the stairs, find the room I am in and talk into the room –still without saying my name. I used to find it amusing that he made such an effort not to say it and I would answer him. But I stopped answering him even then. Now he first makes it a point to say “Oh, here we go, I am not saying your name." Then he will say my name followed by his request. That is when he gets his reply.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2007

S1

Cindy--best wishes in keeping yourself and your kids together while you lay down the law with your abusive controlling h. And by that I mean that as you get more validation about the fact that his anger and rage is solely his problem, and you start really giving yourself the pats-on-the-back that you deserve for being a great mom, Well--it sounds like you have taken-off on this journey, and as that happens, if your h doesn't like that (he won't), and doesn't understand, (he won't), that something has changed and that pretty soon he will be left all alone with his problem with no one to take the blame... Well--if and when that happens it is confusing and hard for them. There are predictable outcomes and one of them is escalation and/or changing of tactics. One thing that I did was keep a calendar of "episodes" of outbursts. I shared it with my h-and it made him angry of course. If I had kept that private-I think I would have shared it with myself a lot sooner. (I am now separated) Another thing that I had some success with was tape-recording an awesomely violent yelling & screaming session. I thought that that "worked". It certainly had an effect, and at least he turned the volume-down. It went from wall-shaking to...well, more quiet torture. I recently had some validation from a friend who stbx-had long-complained-to about how I "don't believe in discipline" "Won't allow him to discipline" (of my children.-I believe in discipline--but I have a different definition than stbx, all he could come-up with was "punishment", I figured that this world is tough-enough and that they would learn about consequences sooner or later and they did). My friend said "I hafta give you credit--that "no discipline" idea seems to have not messed-up your kids. (they are all great kids on their way to growing-up). I didn't need to hear that--because I already knew it, but every little bit of validation does help someone who has been beaten-down emotionally. So--there are techniques, but like Dr. Irene said, don't try this at home unless you have professional help!

 B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2007

S1

Dear Cindy, Oh my goodness what you are experiencing is so like what I have been through. All the little criticisms that undermine your self esteem and belief in yourself. Sounds like a blamer, controller, withholder and underminer all rolled up in one abusive guy. Who elected him Ruler of the Universe? not you. Totally you need to get into counseling both of you before he completely engulfs everyone. Marriage counseling with a person who understands Verbal/emotional abuse. They never get better on their own. They have no clue that they are not God. Do it before he becomes so darn successful he will just move on and buy himself another host to react off of. Trust me on this.  

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 20, 2007

S1

Hi Dr. Irene, Cindy here.

About hubby’s coach: his coach does know about this issue, and has counseled him/me/us several times on his attitude toward his family. He has said that hubby is a “control monster” and has noticed that my hubby has acted out with much more anger than the situation or offense warrants. The coach has also said that although he is very good at what he does (and coach is good), he is not a therapist, and has suggested that we see one. Excellent!

Although I haven’t broached the subject recently, (because as you noted I avoid issues that typically end in conflict), hubby has been resistant to seeing a therapist in the past. I, however, am not resistant. I’m going to do this, at least for myself. Good.

Regarding your statement that I should be doing things to my standards rather than his: what if my standards are unacceptable to him, as they so often seem to be? They probably will be unacceptable to him. That's not your problem. Should I defend my own standards? Nothing to defend. You won't win trying to argue with him. Trying to get these things across to him usually results in endless verbal wrangling, at which I never succeed. Exactly. This is weird and difficult. He tends to be much more verbally aggressive and astute than I am…much quicker with the words, the comebacks, and seems to have “all the answers”. The conversations often take unexpected twists and turns which shock me or throw me off balance, and he ends up ranting over a litany of my shortcomings instead of just one issue. This is exactly why you defend nothing. This is why you need a therapist, hopefully a cognitive-behaviorist to teach you the cognitive and verbal skills you don't have. Mostly, this is a state of mind. Your standards are your standards, plain and simple. He doesn't have to like them or approve of them, and there is no arguing this point. A good book to read to give you an idea of what I'm talking about: The Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse: Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster and Regaining Control of Your Life by Albert Ellis et al.

If he says sarcastically, “I really don’t know what it is you do all day” I actually get tongue-tied. I ask myself what did I do all day, even though I was busy and never sat down? I know. This is a very, very common problem. Whatever it was, it won’t be acceptable, I can assure you. I will be accused of making excuses for my screw ups. That's why you don't answer his ridiculous question. Walking away or simply saying something like, "I'm not going there." is a better reply. But now, you won't know how to handle what comes next.

Even if I don’t defend myself and I go mute, which happens quite a lot, I still appear guilty, so to speak. That's the problem. You bring the guilt with you - you are guilty in your own mind! That's what you have to learn to stop buying into. If you really felt justified in not answering a ridiculous question, you wouldn't. I know that you don't know how to do this yet.

He just goes on and on and on sometimes. I hear about “disengaging” a lot, but haven’t translated what that would practically mean in terms of my situation beyond just walking away, or if it even applies here. It does apply because you care too much about your husband's reaction.

You said there may be some truth to my hubby’s comment that I set my life up to have conflict with him. Could you explain this a little more? Sure. So, DO I set my life up to provoke him? Of course not! I must have masochistic, self-hating tendencies if this is true… No way! It's simply that it's all you know. You don't know how not to care about what he thinks and wants. You don't know how to stop being so intimidated by his presence. It's all you both know! So, I did agree with him superficially, but not in the blaming way he meant it.

You said, “Ridiculous, isn't it! It's not your job to meet his needs, or to make his preferences/standards your own.” Whoa, Doc. Explain this a little more fully--are you saying we don’t have a responsibility to meet each other’s needs? Right. You have a responsibility to meet your needs and he has a responsibility to meet his. Nobody in the world can meet another person's needs. Nobody!

And people can have differences in preferences and standards, I get that—but what is our obligation as a married couple to come to a mutual agreement on standards for how the home functions, or in finances for married couples, or how the kids are raised? Usually, hopefully, we marry someone whose values we share. We expand by learning from each other too. Has he taken on any of your "standards?"

Let's say cooking dinner, for example, is your job, it is up to you what to make and how to make it. Suppose he likes grilled chicken. You want to please him so you make grilled chicken, but not with him standing over you dictating exactly how it should be done, and how many grains of salt are to be applied over each square inch.

He could say, “I’d really appreciate it if you ___________(fill in the blank here.)” And then there’s a very good chance that I would do whatever it was according to my interpretation of what was said. Right. Your interpretation of it. No problem. And when that happens he often says, “I insist that you do this (and do it this certain way), because of such and such a reason.“  You can listen here and see what you think. (It’s often very logical. Of course, but so what?) But there is almost always the twist of the knife in there… That's the deal-breaker; where I would  certainly draw the line. "If that's exactly how you want it done, then by all means, do it yourself." ”you didn’t do it exactly my way, therefore you are not meeting my needs/the needs of this family.” Nope. Now he's dictating and controlling. He has no right to do that. It is up to you to disallow this. It is not your job to do things to another person's standards, but to your own.

You are NOT a good wife; you’re inadequate, stupid, dumb, and ineffective. That's verbal abuse, and is unacceptable. Think of the young child who has a temper tantrum when s/he doesn't get his way. Babies act this way; not mature grown men! I’ve heard from him that I must be “special needs”, even though I have a well-above average I.Q. Verbal abuse. I’ve heard it all. I’ve made my share of mistakes, that’s for sure…. I’ve screwed up plenty of times. That's right. You're human. So has he, obviously. But even though I have plenty of cause to, I never would have thought to rant at him for all the crap that’s happened and tell him he has been a bad husband and father. Because you don't engage in verbally abusive behavior. Good for you! Perhaps one day you will tell him in a calm and understanding voice that his behavior is verbally abusive and controlling.

You are right; my part is fearing to stand up to him…that is how this dance continues. Right. However, when I’ve stood up to him or argue back it only seems to escalate the conflict between us. Yes. You don't know how to do this now. You don't have the skills to disengage or fight back. To make things worse, you unwittingly bring your guilt with you everywhere.

This is not good for the kids to see. Of course not, but is it good for the kids to see their mom intimidated and bullied around? That’s been very destructive for them. That's very destructive for them; teaches them to be victims or bullies. Is this what you want your children to learn about love and marriage? That one person orders and the other complies?

We have made commitments not to do this in front of children anymore. Good. You can argue behind closed doors. You said, “He is immature - and I have to wonder what his reaction would be if you took him up on one of these threats.” (to leave) Recently, we were having a heated discussion about how I wasn’t training the kids properly in housework, etc. He said something like, “I should take over their training, but I’m warning you, look out when I do” (a threat that it would not be pleasant, which he has done before.) Rather than rushing in to protect the kids from unpleasantness with father (which I have typically done in the past) I said, “that’s a good idea. I haven’t been very good at that. Perhaps you should take that part over, and then you could train them the way you would like.” Heh! He then said, “You are not going to evade your responsibilities that easily!” Now you're getting it. :) This is crazy-making. Exactly. I want to tear my hair out. Of course you do! This is a crazy way to live!

Thanks for the resources. I just picked up the Bancroft book at the library, and it looks promising. I’m going to be reading around here for awhile. I need to know practical steps to take when I’m faced with this man who starts in on me or the kids with this verbal knifing. Often times there is no reasoning that doesn’t get dismissed as excuse-making on my part. Pay attention: you'll see he's the one with the excuses. As I said before, he believes that he must “hold me accountable” to do what needs to be done with the kids and the house and our marriage so that we can have the life and the business success that he desires. No. He needs to set you free (and you need to set yourself free) to choose and perform your duties in ways that please you and move in the direction of your growth. 

Hubby’s coach is the one who has coined the accountability phrases to explain the process of holding a person responsible for making the types of changes that they say they want in their lives. Why not make him accountable for his abuse and control?

Perhaps you could talk to the coach to find the right phrases to use to hold him accountable while you learn some of this stuff and get into treatment. (Because right now, he is using you to vent his frustrations on - by evolving and perfecting silly little nuances - "standards" - in the tasks he dictates.)

For example: "It is your job to be a supportive and loving husband who understands that the family is best served by letting me run my life my way. It is your job to micromanage yourself, your verbal abuse, your thoughts and feelings; not your wife and kids. It is your job to deal with the thoughts and feelings that come up for you when you find yourself instead wanting to control me."

You see Cindy, you and hubby have no boundaries. He walks right into your personal space, and you let him!

I think that in my marriage this basic common sense tool has been turned against me in our marriage. Yes! Do I want changes in my life? Yes, I guess I do. I would really like some clarity of thought to examine what I’m facing and the options I have given my circumstances. Good! You are on your way to attaining that. :) Thanks much for your time and insight!  My pleasure. Wishing you and yours the very best, Dr. Irene. 1/21/07

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 21, 2007

S1

Cindy here--I want to sincerely thank all those who posted in response to my post here. It's great to finally get it off my chest and not have it be such a secret anymore...although I have yet to weather telling people who I interact with on a regular basis about this. It's nice to have people who really understand my difficult situation and who don't tell me to just "suck it up". I would like to respond to you all (instead of one blanket post), but am having trouble accessing your responses without posting first. I've also spent quite a bit of time this a.m. lurking around the Catbox and reading people's threads...that is a wonderful resource! I look forward to seeing some of you there!

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 22, 2007

S1

Cindy - you asked the question- don't we have a responsibility to meet each others needs? You are not obligated to do anything for him and he is not obligated to do anything for you. What you do for each other should be out of your desire to do for that person. You identify a need, they make a request, and you decide if you want to fulfill that request. Does he feel obligated to fulfill your needs? It seems not. Unless it's mutual, it shouldn't be happening. It shouldn't be a one way street. A good response to someone who is giving order is Thanks for your input, I'll consider what you are saying. That's it. If he says, no you will do what I say, repeat again, thanks for your input I'll consider what you are saying, keep repeating it until he realizes that you are open to his suggestion, but not to being controlled. If he doesn't like the way something is being done, offer him the option of doing it himself. If he says- you are shirking your responsibilities- say - I don't own these responsibilities. These are tasks that can me accomplished by anyone. However, if you don't think you are capable of performing them, I'll take that into consideration. 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 22, 2007

S1

Also - if he insults you or calls you names let him know that you not respond to insults, that it is counter to the marriage contract to love, honor, and cherish. If he has something positive to say you are all ears, otherwise he can talk to someone else.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 22, 2007

S1

Dear Cindy: This sounds very similar to my H. Over the years, through counseling, I have been able to work on myself to stand up to his verbal and emotional abuse. I have learnt how to disengage and go about my day, regardless of his mood/behaviour. I am sorry you are having to go through this. Your husband sounds like he is throwing tantrums when things do not go the way he thinks they should. Dr. Irene is correct. No one is responsible for making anyone angry. How we behave and respond are only within our own control. You are NOT responsible for anyone's behaviour but your own. I found Patricia Evans' "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" a very good book to read in addition to the above listed books. It listed almost all of my H's tactics. Visit the Catbox, read, listen, learn. I learned so much through counseling. Best of luck and you don't have to be intimidated by your H's threats! Limey 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2007

S1

Hi Cindy, You have defined the problem quite accurately. With my husband also it was almost never that he was "wrong" about the issue or even WHAT he said, it was HOW he said it. His hostility and contempt just poured out of him over the most trivial issues. And the issues could be extremely minor; he would blow up "over nothing" and be explosive verbally and cruel and cutting. After enduring years and years of this, to make a long story short, I finally had to put my foot down and had him move out. He then FINALLY became motivated to change and has done a lot of work on himself by attending a program for abusive men. The solution is not for you to try and try to "do it his way". It sounds like you have your hands very very full. And *you* are NOT responsible for his verbal abuse of the kids or you! Verbal abusers live in an upside down world. They are the ones abusing and yet invariably they seem to think that their victims are somehow to blame! He evidently does not see you as a separate whole person with different standards and ideas from his own. He is "trespassing" into your territory and it is not OK. Then he is blaming you for his bad behavior! One of the things I would always think about is if he were in public would he behave like this? Most of these people only act this way at home or out of earshot of outsiders. To the outside world they often have a "nice guy" persona going. He probably would be ashamed to have anyone else hear how he tongue lashes his family privately. My husband was a mellow laid back nice guy to everyone else except to his own family. Good luck. For me I had to just go on strike finally in a non violent way and just stop the relationship totally. Then he finally woke up and smelled the coffee. He now thanks me for it if you can believe that. Because he says he was in complete denial. Good luck. I wish I had more answers for you. Betty 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, January 29, 2007

S1

Hi Cindy, I know what you are going through. I have lived with this treatment for 15 years. I have a 13 year old daughter. Take Dr. Irene's advice and get a counselor for yourself. I am seeing a counselor and I refer to her as my "advisor". She has helped me understand what my husband is all about and to sort things out and help me understand that it isn't me. I don't know what I would do without her. At one point I felt like I was going crazy because there was so much stuff with him that I kept wondering...WHY?? I have one daughter who is an absolute god sent, angel. She's sweet, does well at school, plays one year round sport. She gets judged amd critisized (most of the time he does it through me of course)about friends, school, sports, chores, etc. It has not been easy. I feel like I am always coaching her on "what he meant". I have been told many times that I'm raising her yea, we'll see what she turns out like!!!! I am on a daily emotional roller coaster. We went through two years of counselling together where he manipulated and lied about incidents to the point where I was in tears from frustration and would not go back. I lost the lovelist person in my life this year unexpectedly. My mom. I never thought a person (my husband) could be so self centered and unsupportive. I don't mean to go on. I was angry when I read how your husband treats you and your children. Don't ever live in fear of him. I've did that and began having anxiety attacks. When I started seeing my counselor I started feeling better knowing that it is something in him not me. I actually began feeling sorry for him and told him he needed help. That nobody deserves to be beaten down verbally and emotionally. Good luck

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2007

S1

Dear Cindy - It sounds like your husband and mine were separated at birth. It felt like you live in my house. This type of life is exhausting. My husband also has many good qualities but goes through phases where he is next to impossible to be around. I watch him really try to not be so irritable, but he just can't seem to get it. Dr. Irene - Thank you. I appreciate a story involving someone who is clearly verbally and emotionally abusive, but who doesn't cross the line into physical and substance abuse. Most accounts I read on web sites make me feel like a whimp because the guy is such a freak job. My husband has never hit me, never been unemployed, and doesn't do all the crazy stuff. At the same time, his irritability is relentless. It's like dripping water on a rock that slowly wears it away. One issue I have never seen addressed is how do you teach your kids that this isn't normal and they aren't at fault, yet not undermine him as a parent? My kids often come up to me and whisper "Dad's on the warpath again." I sometimes see my son react in ways that look like his dad and my daughter tries to smooth things over in all areas of her life. My father was an alcoholic so it is easier as a child to realize he's a warped scum and move on. I went through Children of Alcoholics counseling and managed not to marry an alcoholic, but so much of that dynamic is there. Divorce is not really an option at the present time because he has informed me that he would go for 50/50 custody. We separated once and I quickly realized taht without me to dump on, he is even worse with the kids, but he never crosses the line into anything that he can be held accountable for. In addition, he did eventually go to counseling and he got a lot better for a couple of years. Sometimes I wish he would lose it and hit me. Cindy -- Good luck. For me the things that keep me going are counseling, antidepressents/antianxiety medication and lots of prayer. Take care. Deb

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 02, 2007

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 03, 2007

S1

He holds me responsible for whenever he goes off on me or the kids. How convenient for him. He behaves badly and can then blame you for his behaviour. Everyone feels anger, not much we can do about it, one of our spectrum of emotions. However, we all have the choice of how we act that anger out. Your H chooses to rage and humiliate. It's his choice, not yours. Truth is, and this can seem discouraging but it's a fact, nothing you do one way or the other will affect his choices. He may choose to behave better if you do something he wants, but how long does that last? The next time he wants to indulge himself and throw a tantrum, he'll do it and blame you, one way or t'other. He also says that this affects his commitment to me and our intimacy as a couple. Oh ya, that old excuse. Or actually, this is more of a threat. "Don't bug me about my behaviours or you won't get sex/I won't love you". He's threatened to leave several times over the last 6 months You used the right words here - this is a 'threat' and probably the biggest button he has with you given you have seven children. Well never fear my dear, it would be a financial disaster for him to leave, he'd have to pay support and spousal and that would cripple him. He's in a much better situation now and I'm sure he knows it. Abandonment is one of the most common threats I've seen among men like this - probably because it works so well - how terrifying is it to think of being abandoned with children? Women have children and depend on men to guard and provide. He seems to cycle. He's said atrociously mean things to me over the years, and then can't remember saying them. What is this that I'm dealing with? You're dealing with the 'cycle of abuse' - type that into google and you'll get an eyeful! That's how I woke up, 5 years ago. I thought it might be bi-polar disorder, or some other mental illness and then I realized, he could control it. If the phone rings while he's in the middle of an uncontrollable rage, how easy it is for him to talk to the person on the phone, tell stories, even laugh! Or if someone comes to the door. Or ask yourself, does he behave this way in front of people other than you and the kids? By the way, he CAN remember everything thing he said. He pretends not to. He rewrites history to fit his own agenda and how he wants himself to look. You could get it on tape, even, and he would refuse to listen. One time I had proof of something on paper and my X refused to look at it. Truth is not a player in this relationship. Lots of good advice here on the Catbox Peace to you and your kids Already Free

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 08, 2007

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, February 09, 2007

S1

Wow, Cindy, if you hadn't said you'd been married for 23 years, I'd have thought you might be speaking about my "ex"! What you've described is uncannily similar to my experiences. I know it's not an easy situation. If the new boundaries you set put a strain on your marriage, don't back down. Hold true to yourself, and things will ultimately work out for the best. Good luck, and God bless! -- Tanya

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 12, 2007

S1

I would add something to what Dr. Irene said. In Dr. Irene's chicken example, I agree (in principle) that he doesn't have the right to micromanage you and dictate exactly how to make the chicken, raise the children, etc. He is being abusive and controlling. Meanwhile, however, he does really, truly believe he has to right to dictate "standards" for you. As long as he believes that, he is going to act out of that sense of privilege, honestly believing that he DOES know what's right, he IS superior, you OUGHT to do things his way, and he WILL continue to micromanage your chicken cooking and everything else. The question is, what is his incentive to change? Does he have one? I agree that you should stand up for yourself, but pay attention to what happens. If he continues to order you around, and you have to stand up for yourself repeatedly, all the time, instead of naturally being honored as a valuable person whose needs, actions, and ideas are important -- think about if that's really how you want to live, being challenged, having to come up with an effective response. Yes, standing up for yourself is more effective and self-affirming than arguing or defending. But wouldn't it be better to be truly respected? Keep your eye on that prize and be realistic, as you proceed, about whether it is going to happen. Without him being absolutely committed to changing his attitude, it won't.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, February 17, 2007

S1

I too can not seem to do much right, and am constantly "starting fights" because I am always differing from him. He says that if I piss him off it is no longer his issue but mine. I feel for your pain because I wander around the house most days frantically trying to pick up as to not piss him off. I don't bring up emotional concerns about how he treats me or I am criticizing him (just like his abusive father did to him his whole life). I guess I am writing you because our husbands sound a lot a like. I have also tried separation in order to show him I didn't want to be treated this way anymore. One was court ordered because I called the police when I felt afraid for my safety. That got us into counseling. My warning is when he "begins to change" it becomes leverage for how you should be changing too. Boundaries become always questionably grey and overtly crossed when you don't hold up your end of the bargin (by conforming to his expections upon which would be a reasonable compramise for all that he has done for you and your family). Excuses are made for him to return to the same old person, one after another usually having to do with how you make him feel or something you did. This is where I am at. Balancing school full time, a three year old and a one and a half year old, and an emotional rollercoaster of intense love and comitment and of emotional betrayl and loss of hope. I still love him and you may too. You will probably wish as I do that you could find the magic answer of what you could do to stop making him so angry, or to find some hope to make your marriage last. Sorry I couldn't give you more hope or the magic answer, but I hope it helped. Amanda

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, February 19, 2007

S1

im with the good dr., let him leav.i bet he wont,then who would he controll?he has his own little world there in his home, he is the god and as far as i can tellhe makes all the rules,calls all the shots.and expects you and the children to follow along.to follow the rules he sets,without question,don not have your own thoughts,ideas,or anything els.please dnot let the 13 years that you have been married or the amount of money you have or can make in the future stop you from makeing a change somehow.it will not change on its own.it will get progressivly worse!!!! believe me i know!! been there done that...and still fighting for my own ground.but i think my own ground will be a divorce, some men just wont change,for whatever reason they dont,cant or wont change.be ready to accept whatever the outcome is. you realy will be a better person inside when you are not being controlled by someone els.your a beautiful,capeable,powerful woman, be who you are. stop letting these men in your life tell you that your nothing without them! you are somethin, your everything!!! go for it !!!! dana :)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, February 22, 2007

S1

This seems like more directed towards hating men. Some women have these characteristics as well. I think that both sides of the stories should be heard first before any real assesments can be made. A Husband

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007

S1

Cindy- I have been reading items in this site off and on for several years, and have never joined or posted, so this is my first! I can SO relate to the entire description that you posted regarding your husband, his qualities, and the way he makes you responsible for everything in your household. Mine was out of work for 2 years, stayed home and played golf while i worked full time, and somehow I,too, was responsible for anything that happened with the children that was not "up to par". Pick up some o the books she suggests, as well as Patricia Evans book "Verbal Abuse". It saved my life and finally put a name on the crazinesss that I was experiencing in my life. I cannot recommend it enough! After 12 years of trying to make it work, I am now finally on my out. I filed for divorce last April and it will become final this April. But not before having to live in the house with him this entire year trying to sell our house! I wish you the best of luck. Start to gather some resources, and counseling as well, so that those blue comments from Dr. Irene become internalized for you. In peace- Peace2come

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007

S1

Cindy- I have been reading items in this site off and on for several years, and have never joined or posted, so this is my first! I can SO relate to the entire description that you posted regarding your husband, his qualities, and the way he makes you responsible for everything in your household. Mine was out of work for 2 years, stayed home and played golf while i worked full time, and somehow I,too, was responsible for anything that happened with the children that was not "up to par". Pick up some o the books she suggests, as well as Patricia Evans book "Verbal Abuse". It saved my life and finally put a name on the crazinesss that I was experiencing in my life. I cannot recommend it enough! After 12 years of trying to make it work, I am now finally on my out. I filed for divorce last April and it will become final this April. But not before having to live in the house with him this entire year trying to sell our house! I wish you the best of luck. Start to gather some resources, and counseling as well, so that those blue comments from Dr. Irene become internalized for you. In peace- Peace2come

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007

S1

Cindy- I have been reading items in this site off and on for several years, and have never joined or posted, so this is my first! I can SO relate to the entire description that you posted regarding your husband, his qualities, and the way he makes you responsible for everything in your household. Mine was out of work for 2 years, stayed home and played golf while i worked full time, and somehow I,too, was responsible for anything that happened with the children that was not "up to par". Pick up some o the books she suggests, as well as Patricia Evans book "Verbal Abuse". It saved my life and finally put a name on the crazinesss that I was experiencing in my life. I cannot recommend it enough! After 12 years of trying to make it work, I am now finally on my out. I filed for divorce last April and it will become final this April. But not before having to live in the house with him this entire year trying to sell our house! I wish you the best of luck. Start to gather some resources, and counseling as well, so that those blue comments from Dr. Irene become internalized for you. In peace- Peace2come

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007

S1

Cindy- I have been reading items in this site off and on for several years, and have never joined or posted, so this is my first! I can SO relate to the entire description that you posted regarding your husband, his qualities, and the way he makes you responsible for everything in your household. Mine was out of work for 2 years, stayed home and played golf while i worked full time, and somehow I,too, was responsible for anything that happened with the children that was not "up to par". Pick up some o the books she suggests, as well as Patricia Evans book "Verbal Abuse". It saved my life and finally put a name on the crazinesss that I was experiencing in my life. I cannot recommend it enough! After 12 years of trying to make it work, I am now finally on my out. I filed for divorce last April and it will become final this April. But not before having to live in the house with him this entire year trying to sell our house! I wish you the best of luck. Start to gather some resources, and counseling as well, so that those blue comments from Dr. Irene become internalized for you. In peace- Peace2come

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007

S1

Cindy- I have been reading items in this site off and on for several years, and have never joined or posted, so this is my first! I can SO relate to the entire description that you posted regarding your husband, his qualities, and the way he makes you responsible for everything in your household. Mine was out of work for 2 years, stayed home and played golf while i worked full time, and somehow I,too, was responsible for anything that happened with the children that was not "up to par". Pick up some o the books she suggests, as well as Patricia Evans book "Verbal Abuse". It saved my life and finally put a name on the crazinesss that I was experiencing in my life. I cannot recommend it enough! After 12 years of trying to make it work, I am now finally on my out. I filed for divorce last April and it will become final this April. But not before having to live in the house with him this entire year trying to sell our house! I wish you the best of luck. Start to gather some resources, and counseling as well, so that those blue comments from Dr. Irene become internalized for you. In peace- Peace2come

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007

S1

Cindy - I too have been living with a controlling abusive husband for almost 20 years and can sympathize with what you are going through...this is my second marriage and my first husband was the most kind, caring loving man you could ever meet..he was my soul mate and we had 2 lovely sons together..well, it was like that for 16 years and then his moods changed and he became agressive, obsessive, jealous rages (all in his head) and I left him - it turned out the reason for his mood change was the onset of Altzeimhers which just didn't enter my head. He died in an old peoples home at the age of 50 so I still have great guilt over this..anway what I am living with now is 100 times worse but I've discovered rather than walk on egg shells trying to keep him happy and him not being anyway, I'm trying to distance myself from him and do a little more to make myself happy. Take care - Jude