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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 Choices: Reclaiming My Life

Comments for Choices: Reclaiming My Life

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 1998-2001. 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: Tuesday, April 24, 2001

S1

Diana,

Your story is inspirational. You have shown that CHOICE is everything and you truly do get what you choose. All that I am owed comes to be by choice - what will I choose. Definitely has been in effect in your life.

I am on my own journey and trying to get rid of my people pleasing and learning to take care of thy self. I still have fears of calling people on how I want to be treated and not accepting guilt. BUT with Dr Irene, the catbox and my own therapist I am getting there.

It helps to see that in the face of adversity life does go on.

I would just like to say well done, you have shown how to come up from rock bottom and truly climb the mountain of your journey.

Take care and Good luck with the rest of your life journey. Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2001

S1

Dear (((Diana)),

Your story could be mine except my husband has chosen alcohol as his "girlfriend". Your story about your journey and the quotes you provide here are really inspirational.

After finding this site back in August, I spent the first few months identifying the abuse and its cause but along the way, the idea of loving and improving mySelf started to take hold. And from that real recovery from codependency can begin.

Despite my changes, the verbal abuse continues and is now aimed at our children because my husband can't bait and draw me into his sick world any longer. So now, it is crystal clear that it is time for us to separate. Your letter provides a sample road map in a gentle, loving way. Thank you for sharing your story. And God bless you. Honey

 

Diana and Dr. Irene,

I can't believe that every time I need help, inspiration, support, a kick in the pants, whatever, I come to this site and find exactly what I need for that particular time. God is great!

Your story, except that his mistress is anger, is very like mine. I told him to leave last December, filed for divorce later in the month, and now we're in a holding pattern, mid-way through the divorce proceedings. We're waiting on either him or his atty, who are dragging their feet on giving us the financial records to get this thing over with. He still doesn't get it, and thinks I'll change my mind. He's acting nice...for now, but I know it won't last.

I was feeling unsure yet again - this is sooo big. After over 20 years and 7 children, this is kinda scary right now...I'm the only one to deal with the kids, tho he wasn't that involved anyway. I'm the one who has to fix the stuff around the house that he promised to, but never did. I'm the one to pay all the bills, including the property taxes, even though he insists he still should have his name on the deed, but won't pay the taxes, insurance, or maintenance on the house. It's a little overwhelming.

But, I know we're better off. There is peace here now, most of the time. The kids are OK. I'm OK. In fact, people keep remarking how good I look - more of a light in my eyes, less strain, more "human" even!

Your lists are so good. Right to the point, and what I keep having to remind myself of. I know that I did everything I could to save our marriage, but he has his ways of getting those little doubts wormed into my heart, especially when he's being "wonder Dad" on his weekend. I need to put those lists up where I see them every day!!!

Thank you for reminding me of how right this was to do!

Love and Peace, Laure

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2001

S1

Dear Diana, my name is Jane, I recently posted an interactive e-mail here Hi Jane! , it was in March. It is great to hear your 'pearls of wisdom'. It must have been so painful to be married for 23 years to this person. I know why you stayed. There are a lot of memories and good times and he was probably the most loving person at times and you were comfortable with him. You have obviously become so much more happy and self aware. That is reassuring to those of us who may be getting on the right track; but things are still transitional and kind of 'raw'. This site is VERY important to a lot of us that are struggling with divorce/separation or coping with an abusive partner. Dr. Irene we appreciate you so much! There are a couple of things you wrote which are so tantamount to self awareness! Such as listening to your gut! I could have done that and should have done that! Also a person has to be conscious about their boundaries- Oprah recently had a good show about setting boundaries and not letting people insidiously cross that line! It happened with my marriage! The other thing I did was make excuses for his behaviors and verbal abuse/anger which lead me to doubt myself. Making excuses for another's rage and anger is crazy! I finally after 1 and a half months am seeing what I was tolerating and minimizing and hoping for change or betterment. A resounding YES to people that are there to support you. You sound like you have a great family, you are lucky! some of us don't have that. I have supportive sisters, one of them even posted a note to this site to support me once she knew I had been here visiting Dr. Irene's. I am really learning the value of feeling the support of the women friends I know. It's funny in a way.....they are coming out of the woodwork now that they know I'm separated and going thru some difficult times. Some of these women were just acquaintances I knew from work , and they ask "how are you doing? would you like to go out and see a movie? "etc... I hope that one day when I am as emotionally together as you are and able to be like you are that I will meet someone who needs help and support and know what to do when the chips are down. Thanks Diane, Bright Blessings, Jane 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2001

S1

It does me so much good to read stories like these, where the person has "come out the other side". I'm hanging on that ledge now and my fingers are getting numb-pretty soon I'll have to just let go and see where I land. I imagine it will be a wonderful place for me and my animals to live! No more hours of stony silences, ugly looks, judgments & criticisms, feeling unwelcome in my own house, etc.

I always thought/hoped that my husband would be open to reading some of this material, and as a result I have not been very detailed in my posts (I feared he would be upset if he knew I had written about him). There were just some things that had "our situation" stamped all over them, like the fact that his mother has been living with us for the past year and 1/2.

Diana, thank you for sharing your story. Those of us who are still stuck need to know that there can be happiness after the turmoil!

Bless you,

Anne  Keep searching Anne...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 03, 2001

S1

5/3/01 Dianna, After reading many of your stories, I felt compelled to take a close look at myself. Excellent! Although I don't feel that I am as sick as your ex husband, it made me realize that I am guilty of the same type of abuse. I don't know why I say the things I do to my wife, but I always regret saying them almost as soon as they have left my lips. You have made me realize that although they are just words, they can hurt as much as a punch in the face. (Sometimes more.) Thank you for helping to be a better, more loving person. I love you big sister. Burd. Burd, get The Anger Control Workbook: It will help you seal your lips!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2001

S1

Dr. IRENE, I'VE BEEN MARRIED TO THE SAME MAN FOR 21YRS, AND HAVE PUT MY KIDS AND MYSELF THRU MORE THAN I CAN FORGIVE MYSELF FOR, WHY DID I STAY IN THIS MARRIAGE SO LONG, THE NAMES HE CALLED ME, THE OTHER WOMEN, THE LIES, THE PUTDOWNS, NOTHING I EVER DID WAS RIGHT, HE ALWAYS VALUED HIS FRIENDS THE MOST, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON TO HIM WAS HIMSELF, HE HAS TAKEN THE SPUNK OUR OF MY STEP, I CRY ALL THE TIME, A LOT I JUST STARE INTO SPACE, HOW COULD DO THIS TO ME IN THE NAME OF LOVE, LOVE IS NOT SUPPOSE TO HEART, MY SOUL IS GONE, MY TRUST, THE GUILT FOR TAKING HIM BACK SO MANY TIMES, THE LOOKS ON THE KIDS FACES WHEN I DID, ILL NEVER FORGET, HE ALWAYS WENT WITH MY OR I THOUGHT MY FRIENDS, ITS AWFUL TO LOOSE YOUR HUSBAND, WHEN YOU FINALLY SAY ENOUGH, BUT THEN TO FIND OUT YOU ALSO HAVE BEEN USED BY SUCH A PERSON THAT CLAIMS TO BE SUCH A GO0D FRIEND, WHY, I WILL NEVER FIGURE OUT, IT HURTS SO BAD I CANT THINK, I CANT SLEEP, I FEEL LIKE IM LOSING TOUCH WITH ME, I LOST ME SOMEWHERE, AND I DON'T BELIEVE I WILL EVER FIND ME EVER AGAIN, 2 OF MY CHILDREN ARE GROWN NOW, AND FORGIVE ME, BUT I STILL HAVE MY 12 YR OLD SON, HE IS SO SAD, I LOVE MY SON SO, BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIND A SMILE FOR EITHER ONE OF US, IM LOST, MY HEART IS GONE, MY DREAMS ARE NO MORE FOR LOVE, I WASTED 21 YRS AND I CAN NEVER GET THEM BACK. HOW DO I GET THRU THIS, HOW DO I GET MY SON TO SMILE AGAIN, HE SAYS HE HATES HIS DAD, THE DAD WHO NEVER HAD NO TIME FOR HIS SON OR ME, BUT PLENTY OF TIME FOR HIM AND OTHER WOMEN, WHY ? I AM A GOOD WOMAN, A GOOD MOTHER, I'VE NEVER CHEATED, NOW IM SCARED ILL NEVER LOVE, I JUST AM NOT INTERESTED AT ALL IN LOVE, I DON'T EVEN BELIEVE THAT REAL LOVE IS OUT THERE, IM NOT LOOKING EITHER, I STAY HOME, I CANT EVEN WATCH TV, IM LOST, PLEASE HELP ME !! THEOCEANBLUES@AOL.COM  This is not the place for this. Look here please.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 09, 2001

S1

This is the story of my life. I wrote several months ago, I'm the one that was 16 when I married the 21 year old. And he verbally abused me for years and I always made excuses for him and would hide behind spending money all the time. But about a year ago I found this sight and started realizing that what was happening to me for so many years is that I was being verbally abused. I have read the books by Patricia Evans book 1; book 2, and that also opened my eyes and with the help of a wonderful counselor here. I have filed for divorce as of April 20, 2001, I moved out Easter weekend (not good on him) but I had to do it then or I would probably still be there. My kids two girls 14 and 8, are so happy that I have taken them away from such negativity, and I am a happier person. At times I do feel sorry for him, but for the most part, I don't. But I wanted everyone to know that I have finally taken that step and my family and friends are so proud of me that I FINALLY got the "balls" to leave. To everyone out there this is not easy by any means, but it is the best thing for anyone to do is to leave and get out of that negative relationship. Thanks for this wonderful sight. Michelle Yippeee! And thanks to you for keeping us posted!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2001

S1

Hi, Diana, Glad to see how well you recovered from the bad times. We WILL have the good times. So much I can relate to on the way I am trying to organise my life and thoughts now. Keep on caring for the Self. love, jay

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2001

S1

Diana,

I am struggling with the decision to leave a 27 year marriage. I started 2 years ago and he was served papers last year. I still; however, because of his threat in getting an attorney and fighting me for the house (and I'm sure more) am still stuck. I have had so many people tell me I deserve better (and I believe I do deserve better treatment), but can't seem to make that final step. Part is due I believe, because my attorney doesn't seem to be informing me completely enough AND I'm beginning to think he's not really working for MY best interests.

How were you able to break free? I would love to be able to e-mail you for support. If you agree to e-mailing me, let Dr. Irene know so that she can exchange addresses for us. Hope to hear from you.

Dee

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2001

S1

How can you change your life within the relationship?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 21, 2001

S1

I am on the precipice. About 5 years ago, at the dinner table, there erupted this huge argument over my son getting my husband a spoon instead of a fork when he clearly asked for a spoon. My son was only 9 at the time. It got out of control so quickly and I tried to defend my son because my husband was wrong and that escalated the situation even further. I couldn't deal with, the irrationality, so in the middle of dinner I left the house. No money, no gas in my car but I just had to get away. I went to a local book store and lo and behold, I picked up The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans and as I skimmed through it, I saw myself in every page. I stayed out about two hours that night and when I went back to the house I felt like I was in the twilight zone. There on the floor was my husband and my two kids playing Monopoly, like one big happy family. I was so upset and had cried for most of the two hours. The next day I went back to the bookstore to buy the book. That was five years ago. Well, here it is, slapping me in the face. What I recognized five years ago but chose to ignore can no longer be ignored. I am in a verbally abusive relationship. I am also at the point of fearing that it could quite possibly escalate to physical abuse. Two weeks ago, I picked up the book again and finally came out of denial. I realize that the dream of him changing is simply that. Two years ago we separated for a few months until he landed in the hospital with emergency surgery. He had no where to go to recuperate so I took him back. He enrolled in an anger management workshop, one on one, and it helped a little. His explosions were very few and far between. They had been daily for awhile. I thought he was changing. But he has not. His abuse is subtle at times and sometimes it is overt. He reacts differently day to day to the same situations. I am in a place of wanting to take my life back and I know I gave my power away to him thinking I could trust him with it. I can't. He's a controller and I enabled him to remain so. What I find so very sad is that there is probably mental problems I am dealing with here and not just behavioural and I know I am not qualified to help him. I have developed some chronic illnesses and I know it is because of the situation I endured for so long. But what scares me most is that if I don't leave this toxic situation I will not be around to make that choice. I have two children and feel so responsible for their well being. I feel they will be pained either way. If I stay or If I leave. I have no job at the moment but am in the process of researching some kind of home business as financially I have to be able to take care of my kids. My husband does not give me a penny. He does the food shopping and pays his share of the bills and my share goes unpaid; the phone, the electric, and a home equity loan until they get to the point where they are going to be cut off and somehow the money manages to appear. I took it upon myself to help him when I agreed to pay for these bills but now he says it's my responsibility and wants no part of them. I don't want to leave my house. I don't want to have to upset my children's lives anymore than necessary. I am growing stronger every day as I do not take his attacks personally and know that soon this will all be behind me. How did you deal with your children's emotions through all of this? That is my greatest concern at the moment. I know their lives will change forever once this break occurs but I'm not sure if for the better. I would hate to see my son become sullen and angry as he is such a special soul. He loves his father but is confused by him. And my daughter, the one I thought would be the rock was destroyed the last time we separated. They are now 14 and 12, crucial ages. I feel stuck but know separation must occur. Hang in there...

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2002

S1

thanks! I am helping my sister get out of her abusive relationship (she filed for divorce the 1st of June and has her 1st court date the 18th) - the information here has helped her so much on not getting sucked in to his emotional manipulation to try to keep her there. If it wasn't for this site and the examples you all share, she may very well not have the courage to go through with it. Thanks for your strength!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2002

S1

It has given me a glimpse of hope. Thank you!