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

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

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4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Feeling Sooo Guilty

Comments for Feeling Sooo Guilty

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

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

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

Here is my response to June's EMAIL. (please feel free to edit/shorten/correct). Thanks

Reading June's E-mail was like holding a mirror up to my own relationship! I could easily have written it with "minor" changes. It made me glad to have found your site, and thankful to all those who share their most intimate and painful experiences (victims and abusers alike). I would like to re-iterate what you told June about listening to herself because I believe it to be so important, and something that most of us (especially victims) don't do enough. It applies to many things in life, not just abusive situations. Yes! 

Please, listen to your heart and your body. They speak to you about what truly is good or bad for you. (not what other people tell you is good or bad for you). God wired us this way for a reason. Yes! Sometimes I also think He gave women a little bit more in the way of "intuition", if you may, and instead of fully appreciating that gift, we make the mistake of listening to all of the guilt and blame around us. This only serves to block out our inner voice and confuse us when we are in a vulnerable state. It is not June's job to nurture, take care of, or be responsible for her husband right now. He needs serious individual therapy - and he needs to show her and his children that he has made concrete steps in getting the help he needs; whether he is married to her or not. Right.

June was listening to her own body when she said that she felt more peaceful without him around. She should follow that path, no matter how lonely or scary it might seem --- or no matter how many times her husband tells her that she will fail, financially, emotionally or socially. She may stumble at first, but SHE is the strong one -- not him (and he knows it). It might mean that she cannot listen to her family right now, if they are not supporting her decision. They have not walked in her shoes. Remember, few if any people have probably born witness to the abuse her husband has given her over the years. To the outside world, he's probably a "nice" guy. All I can say is that reading (especially Patricia Evan's books) and your website has helped me validate what I was going through, and let me know that I am certainly not alone. 

There are many many people in long-term abusive relationships (mine is over 21 years). Guess what finally motivated me to give my husband the ultimatum to get into therapy or I was divorcing him? My daughter. I had to ask myself what kind of role model I was being for her? The pain you suffer at the hands of your abuser will be nothing compared to the pain and real guilt you will feel if your son grows up to abuse women or you have to stand by and be a witness to your daughter's abusive marriage one day. I choose to take responsibility right now for my life and the direction I will set for myself and my daughter. 

If Dad is successful with his therapy and can truly recognize and change his ways -- then great, maybe we will have a future after all. I'm rooting for him! If he can't, at least I will be out of this abusive relationship, moving toward a healthier life for me and my daughter. Either way, we win. I applaud June for making this brave step. She should print out Dr. Irene's Email response and read it often. It will give her the strength that she can move toward a healthier, more peaceful life. Good Luck! DEBI Thanks Debi.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

I am confused. I thought giving ultimatums was a no-no, that it is controlling to tell a person they had better do this or you will do that. Is it a matter of how it is said? If a person says, "I am not going to stay in this relationship if you don't get help." Is that setting a boundary or giving an ultimatum since there is an implied threat that you will leave if that person does not do what you feel is best for the both of you? It is an ultimatum, but it is not a no-no when the only possible way to maintain your sanity and capture the integrity of the relationship is to issue the ultimatum. It is survival.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

The ultimatum/boundary line IS confusing. I think the main difference between and ultimatum and a boundary is what the person is trying to accomplish by stating them. If a person says "Get help or I leave" in the mindset of trying to get the person to get help (controlling!) and expects them to change, it is an ultimatum. If a person says "Get help or I leave" with the mindset that "I have to do what's best for me and I cannot stay in this relationship unless he gets help" that is a boundary. A boundary is stating what you can and cannot live with, and then sticking to it. That's my perspective, anyway. "The Dance of Anger: Changing Patterns in Intimate Relationships" by Dr. Harriet Lerner really helped me out with these personal responsibility/boundary issues. -SatokoGirl

Dear SatokoGirl. Thank you for putting it better than I could. Dr. Irene.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

I am in the same situation in my life, although we are still living under the same roof still. I am constantly reminding myself that I am doing this for me. I went through counseling and EMDR and it was amazing how I got past the guilt and responsibility issues, I also realized I have the personality of an Adult child of an Alcoholic. I am currently on anti-depressants and just trying to take it one day at a time. My husband is also in counseling and he has made some incredible changes as well.

The problem for me is I am not in love with him anymore. Sometimes I find my anger at him becomes so intense; why did he wait to make these changes until there was nothing left inside of me for him. He also has mentioned marriage counseling and my answer at this time is NO. I want to live on my own to see if there are any feelings left inside of me to even work with. We are both being very open about who gets what and the most important thing is our child. For the first time in her life she has a father who is not verbally abusive. 

Oh I wanted to share one more thing, more than half of my family has taken his side and does not understand why I cannot just give him one more chance. It is very scary to make these changes and I applaud your strength. nuts Follow your instincts lady. They are your guide.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

June, I have not been in my marriage as long as you, but I have lived a similar situation. I left my husband the first time for 2 weeks, the second time for 3 months and the 3rd time for>>>> ever! Its not fair to say forever, but I heard all the same stuff I hear from so many women and abusers! My husband got saved and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, he went to see a psychiatrist for his issues (anger etc), he went to AA for his alcohol abuse, and so on and so on. 

Well, all the work ended when he got me back in that house. Suddenly he went to church less, his psychiatrist decided he was cured, and AA is for people who can not control themselves, and he can! So once again I had to leave. My spirit is broken, but I will grow from this experience. Take care June and be strong for yourself I will pray for you! Sandra That's the point gang: YOU have to change. It is not a matter of insisting on respect initially. It is a matter of never letting your guard down; insisting on respect at all times - because it is the most natural thing in the world for you to do so. You can never let up. But, when you really change, you won't - and it won't be so much work. (Or, you realize you don't want a partner that you can't let loose with...)

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

My wife had an unhappy childhood where her father was an alcoholic. She became codependent on every one who had a problem and especially within the extended family, regardless of cost, regardless of impact on others in the family, she was going to be the people pleaser. She cant understand how I can not be a part of all the problems of others in the family and says I am just a "things" person (Trains are my hobby Oh! Us too! Look here!) who doesn't care about the emotional part of life. I have suggested counseling several times and she refuses because the one time we went nothing came of it, which is correct. The counselor never brought the issues to closure or gave us recommendations. She wont go to another counselor though there are many in our area. I am her last priority and my feelings are not in the equation when she wants to go off hundreds of miles to see a relative who is having trouble with her mom or some other kind of issue.

My issue is this: How does the spouse of a codependent person cope with the codependency? There must be techniques which save a marriage when one is codependent and the other is just a vehicle and a bankroll for the codependency. Sparky

If you find yourself hurting in  your marriage, you have to ask yourself why you are putting up with being hurt. First, communicate clearly with your partner. She has to understand how you feel. See where it goes from there. She may just not get it. If she still doesn't get it, you need to respect the resentment you have at being "just a vehicle and a bankroll." Get counseling for yourself if she won't go.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Yes, that makes sense about the boundaries/ultimatums. I guess this is why one should be prepared when they "threaten" to leave to actually go through with it. I guess the reason I was perplexed is because I have seen victims say, "Get help or I am leaving," with the intent of scaring the abuser into getting therapy, and then the victim stays anyway, no matter what the abuser does. That's why I get mixed up and wonder, "What do you really mean when you say that?" I always thought a boundary was when you told a person, "I will not tolerate that behavior. Don't talk to me that way." Without the "or else" aspect. Say what you mean and mean what you say. No idle threats allowed.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

Dear June:

I know where you're coming from. I was married for 28 1/2 years before I finally got divorced. I too have adult children. I also have grandchildren. I am the only person in my family that is divorced so let me tell, I know guilt.

I was at the verge of suicide a few years ago. I decided to live for me. I went to school, got a good job, and took control of my life. You can too. It wasn't easy, but I never lost sight of what was important to me, and that became me. I still get weak. I still feel guilty, but now I ask myself, am I breaking the law or intentionally hurting anyone? If my answer is, "yes you're hurting your ex!" Then I ask myself, "Who would be hurt if I made another choice?" If the answer is me then I ask myself, "Who is more important to me?"

GOD never intended for us to intentionally suffer at someone else's hands. Every living thing deserves respect and love. If you're not getting it from someone then give it to yourself. This is what worked for me. I began to care for me, then I began to respect myself, then I began to love me, then I demanded respect from others. It was at that point that I got what I deserved. Yeah!

Best of luck. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Dianne

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 05, 2000

S1

June, He won't change and you know it. But that's not your responsibility. You're doing the right thing. YOU GO GIRL! Life's too short. You owe it to yourself to be happy! Congratulations on your courage! There's a classic short story written by Kate Chopin called "The Story of an Hour". Every woman should read it! Incyndiary@aol.com

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

June, you have merely dipped your big toe into the well of strength available to you. Hang in there; tap that well to create a healthy and emotionally safe environment FOR YOURSELF. Be an example of self-care so your children can see you and be proud of you! I have a very similar situation, only my children are just 8 & 12. I am more guilty about having taken 12 years to finally stand up their father's temper. Now he lives away from us. He also plays on the children's sympathies, and on the sympathy of his family. When I lie in bed at night thinking about that man and all his "suffering", I chant a mantra that an old Frenchwoman told me. It works on two levels. "bless him, bless him, bless him..." He needs a blessing; he's the one who can't even help himself like you can. The twist is to know what "blesser" is in French; "to wound". Sweet dreams!!! :)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Sparky,

It's always easy to see other people's faults and ignore our own issues. Unfortunately we all have a load of them and I have found that focusing on myself instead of someone else is very helpful. Always. You are the only one you have any control over.

S

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Dear June! Good for you! Hurray! You finally realized you are worth something. Dr. Irene is right. If you still care for you ex, copy her words (she gives you a little speech there to tell him what he has to do if he really wants you back), give it to him as a letter, tell him to think about that and to talk to you only to let you know he's doing progress in therapy. 

I tell my partner: Yes, I made mistakes, I am not a balanced person, but I AM WORKING ON IMPROVING. Can you say that for yourself? Also, I read that your kids support you. This is the best sign! They are much more important than your parents. But have you ever told your parents that your husband abused you and that he does not love you? Do they know that they support his attempt to make you again just his slave, because he needs someone to kick? :) Maybe you never shared any of this with them? Protecting the abuser is all too common... But beware: if they are the kind that will not listen to you or believe you anyway - all you have to tell them is: You don't really know what he did to me, but it was either separation or my suicide. Then say you don't want to talk about it because it pains you so much. Then shut up and refuse to be dragged to any conversation about your ex. They are your parents. They should either support you or shut up. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Love your kids. Tell the vicious people in your head that they have no longer any control over you. YIPPEEEE!!!! Good advice!

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Regarding the poster who posted in response to my boundary/ultimatum thing: You're right that a boundary doesn't have to (and probably shouldn't) include the "or else" aspect. However if you set a boundary, you must have a plan in mind of what you're going to do if/when your boundary is violated. Yes. You can say "don't talk to me that way!" Many times and an abuser will keep doing it. Of course, leaving isn't the only way to enforce a boundary. It can be leaving the room or ending the conversation. For some big issues though, it is honest to say "If you don't get help, I cannot stay in this relationship." Again, intent has a lot to do with it. If a person is trying to control the abuser into getting help (and I'm learning that not all control is angry abuser control -  victims are controlling too, even if our controlling is well-intentioned right!) it's not a real boundary. A boundary is about controlling yourself, and not putting up with behavior that makes you feel lousy. -SatokoGirl More kudos for you SGirl!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 07, 2000

S1

Dear June, I am pretty much exactly where you are now in the process of moving on from a 25 year verbally abusive relationship. My children are only 8 and 10 and my guilt was further enhanced by my husband sitting them down (after I told him it was really over between us) and saying, "Your mother is divorcing me and breaking up our family!" What a sensitive guy, huh? I went to two marital therapists with him and the first one recognized that the issues of verbal abuse needed to be addressed. My husband didn't want to hear that, of course and so he found another one to go to and this is what she said after listening to "his side of the story": "You are angry, critical and judgmental, and for you to make this marriage work, you must learn to temper your thoughts and try not to analyze your wife so much...." But to me she said:" I would guess that you are probably hypersensitive to anything he says and for you to make this marriage work, you will have to learn to "tune it out, or turn it off". I thought to myself "I've turned it off for years" (by withdrawing), but by this time I wanted out and I wasn't willing to see any more marital counselors - just my own wonderful individual therapist, thank you. (My sister said "You don't want it turned off - you want to UNPLUG this!")  You are finally listening to YOU!

My husband says that he wasn't aware that he was abusive, he didn't know these things were happening, and that it isn't fair that I let a 25 year marriage break up without a "chance." Life is not fair. Maybe so, but whenever I feel guilty I think "Did he cherish me (no), did he value me during our marriage (no), did he respect the person I was (no), and should I feel guilty for wanting at LEAST that out of a partner? (NO!!!!) You bet. 

Even worse, when I asked to clarify his views, I asked "Now, let me see if I understand the situation. Even though I'm not in love with you any more and have no desire to be intimate and am not going to sleep in bed with you or share my feelings with you ,you still think we should stay together?" "YES" ,he said." It is most important that we keep our family together no matter what. You loved me once, you can learn to love me again" To this I say " No thank you. I'll take the scary unknown life ahead over living a sham of a "family life together." Also, at this point, it would be easier to fall in love with a stranger than to ever trust him again after being treated this way for all these years Good luck to you June and hang in there, there's a better world out there, I just know it. "Cat Lady" Sometimes there is too much water under the bridge. Other times the abuser's demonstration of patience and other good stuff will turn the victim around. Time will tell. Good luck to you both.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000

S1

Dear June, I have been married 31 years to a man who sounds much like your partner. We are not in the process of divorce. I have tolerated 31 years of control, verbal and emotional abuse and so have our 3 children-ages 26,23 & 14. They all dislike their father for all the pain he has caused all of us. They are very supportive of me & the 14 year old moving out. They have told me through the years, "Mom, we are all growing up and Dad isn't." "Why do you stay?" and "You don't have to live under a sentence." Their support has helped me leave an intolerable marriage. I sense his family is unhappy that I have "blown the whistle" on his very bad behavior. I really love his family a great deal. But they have not lived with him for 31 years as I have. I have told my family that if I would suddenly die tomorrow I would thank my lucky stars that I had had 4+ months on peace in my life. (It makes me cry with relief as I type this.) My mother at age 91 summed it up so well when she said, "life is too short for all of that." I wish you the best in your new future. I know you can make it and it is definitely worth it. --A Survivor in the Midwest-- You are on track lady...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000

S1

June,

Please keep on recovering, don't go back to get burnt again.

You have started to live your life. WELL DONE :)

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2000

S1

WOW...June I am in the EXACT place seeing and hearing the EXACT things from my husband . EVERYTHING but the age of our children is the same. I sure needed to see this tonight because I too suffer guilt...esp. when my mother says things like "Miracles happen" and he's trying so hard...etc. 

One thing also, HE changed the locks, took all the money out of our account and took my car and hid it in the middle of the night, but he insists that I have forced him to do these things and I am paying the consequences of not "working" with him on things....UNBELIEVABLE!!!  I'm glad you don't believe these garbage interpretations! 

I have chosen to remain away from the house and live with friends with my 3 children since he locked us out. NOW he wants us back, tells people I refuse to "work" with him on reconciliation and all the things you wrote. It is SO GOOD to hear from another going thru the SAME thing! Stick to your guns... We are not the crazy ones...We deserve a healthy and happy home. My two teens are enjoying friends over and laugh and are happier and so am I even though the financial future is scary. Its worth it. Its been 6 weeks and I am still waiting for a court date for some financial help from him.... Take Care Gina  Expose his junk to the world Gina; otherwise, he will continue getting support for his twisted behavior.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2000

S1

June, Thank you for sharing your letter. I have not yet gotten to the stage where I am mad at my husband.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2000

S1

June, I envy your courage. You go girl. Stay on track.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2000

S1

Don't back down now. You've come wayyyyy too far. I was reading this & wishing I was as far as you were. I'm in an abusive relationship that I wish I had the courage to leave. I read this site whenever things get bad & admire all those who have had the courage to actually make a break. I'm hoping someday I will. I've been married for 18 years & still put up with his crap only because I'm too much of a coward & weakling to make a fresh start. Stay true to yourself. You only have 1 go around in this world, don't let someone else ruin it. You're worth too much for that. So are you...

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 14, 2000

S1

Dr Irene, and Jane I applaud the both of you; the story I have just read is my life for 25 years and I still don't have the courage or the strength to leave or even to address the issue with my husband. But my heart and my head tell me the same thing that Jane tells herself: this is what has to be done to save myself and what is left of my life. 

I encourage you Jane to continue in what you must do for you , you have already given so much of yourself it is now time for you to take something back. For the first time in your life you must be selfish for you. Thank you Dr Irene for you web page I am confident it will help guide me in my decisions also. Everyone's life is different. Everyone's options are different. We are doing OK if we are making the sanest decisions we can for ourselves. Sometimes, we need to make compromises for however long we must.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 14, 2000

S1

June, Your letter hit home, depression, yes, ten years ago or so. HE told me I was in depression but it took me ten more years to figure out why. In between running a business, raising three children, caring for and watching both my parent's die, I finally found a counselor who told me what was going on with the old boy I have been married to for 29 years. Abuse? Was that the word for the crazymaking, the subtle covert and overt words and feelings I kept getting and not understanding all the while? Yes it is and I am still in it. 

You see I have another problem that I need to deal with too. It is my parent's family business that I need to sell to one of my adult children or someone that will keep the company it needs to be. If I move out and divorce this person then the business will no longer exist. Also, he has 51% thanks to a lawyer friend and 4 others at a huge table 20 years ago telling me my husband will probably be running the business and 50/50 isn't the way it should be for business purposes. Yada, yada, yada. So the abuse has elevated because I know I am the stronger of the two of us and he knows I have caught on to his routine. I have told him that he is very abusive but he thinks he's not because he hasn't hit me. It's called "denial."

He's broken a dashboard to his car with his fist and thrown a plate full of food across the kitchen but that isn't abuse. NOOOOO!!! Get real. Who gave these people the license to act and react the way they do? Who told them it was all right to do such things. Yell for no reason except to hear themselves or watch people react to it. Do they think they are on stage acting to get attention? What makes these people the way they are? His parents, now that I think about it, are very abusive to each other. Her to him at home and he to her when they are out. What's wrong with this picture? Is there a lawyer willing to give me any other advise out there about what to do with my business? Another Midwesterner Nobody said it would be easy... Hang in there.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2000

S1

It sounds as though your husband has lost the ability to manipulate you through your committment to your marriage and now he has decided to try another tactic. GUILT! I don't think you should feel guilty at all. My Mom (I think she is pretty wise) has always told me that I am responsible for my own happiness and that if I am unhappy with a situation I have to change it myself. You have taken back control of your life and I say "congratulations"! If being selfish means that you are thinking for yourself and taking a stand against verbal and emotional abuse then so be it. Chin up and cheer up...things can only get better from here :o)

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 21, 2000

S1

Hi June, I've written to some of the good doctor's other "patients" before. I am so grateful that you wrote to Dr. Irene (and grateful, Doctor, that you answered it and posted it). It served to answer so many of my questions and also justify the feelings I had. I so often would see women taking years of abuse but still saying "but I still love him." But like you, I feel nothing for this man. You, the Cat Woman, and I are all alike here! I am planning to file for divorce next month; I told him I wanted a divorce in May and he asked for a chance to change, so I figured I'd give it the summer; unfortunately nothing has changed for me, and I do not love this person despite our doing many fun family things together; a busy schedule does not make up for an empty heart. My main problem had been the guilt over separating the kids from their dad (they love each other a lot, even though I do 90% of the child care).

I am pleased that I now have answers to accusations that I know will come, such as "You are breaking up our family." (my answer will be, "NO, you did this with your behavior; if I stay with you I will be sick, stressed and probalby go crazy. The kids need a healthy happy mom, and that's what they're going to get-and you are not in this picture." When he says, "You don't know what this will do to the kids; it will destroy them;" I will say "No, if we all stay together in a sham family life, we will all be destroyed; the kids will not know how to act or be honest in any situation given a sham family life role model." He is a child of divorce and his parents were very selfish and ignorant; he says that he remembers his mother on the phone with his father on Saturday mornings, screaming at the father to come and pick up him and his brother because it's his father's weekend to have them; he says that really hurt. Hey, I'm sure it did. So I reckon it is his job to be a model of single fatherhood. I know he can do it. When he says, "You can see that I am trying to change," I will say "Great, you should change for your own sake as well as for your future relationships. But don't change for my sake because I really don't care...it's over with us." When he says, "Let's go to joint counselling," I will say, "NO, I am past that now. You refused to go all the other times I asked, and even when I said we should get joint counselling or get a divorce and you agreed, you changed your mind the next day; so counseling is no longer an option for us. It's over."

Thanks for letting me vent. Again thanks, June, you have really helped me. You too, Doc! Honey

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2000

S1

Hi June, listen to Dr, Irene. Iwas in your place 2 yrs. ago. After 25 yrs of abuse ,marraige counseling and MY recovery, we were seeing a team of abuse counselors. We seperated for five months, which was not long enough,we had a family business which made the seperation a total joke. He was confronted about money which was a major issue in our marraige, and decided he wasn't going back to "those counselors". I allowed him to emotionally manipulate me,and we went to another therapist who worked with abusive men he told me that he felt my husband could be rehabilitated, so we saw him for eight mos.until once again, money became an issue,and we stopped going to him. So, we were already taking our 15 yr. old daughter as a child at risk ( our children were so affected)to see a therapist who works with families and addiction.She had a handle on my husband from day one. She was very familiar with the dynamics of abuse and controlling dynamics. Without weekly sessions for over a yr now, our marraige would be over.She has told my husband he needs individual therapy, and medication to control his anger. I am in a much healthier place today so healthy that I am ready to say ENOUGH ALREADY! If he does not heed her recomendations, I know, that I cannot stay in this marraige. Being disrepected, ignored, controlled, and feeling powerless nearly destroyed me. I want to heal, forgive, and move on with my life. Iknow in my heart that I can only focus on what is important to my well being, emotianally,physically, and spiritually. Thanks for letting me share. Pat F.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2000

S1

Hi June, listen to Dr, Irene. Iwas in your place 2 yrs. ago. After 25 yrs of abuse ,marraige counseling and MY recovery, we were seeing a team of abuse counselors. We seperated for five months, which was not long enough,we had a family business which made the seperation a total joke. He was confronted about money which was a major issue in our marraige, and decided he wasn't going back to "those counselors". I allowed him to emotionally manipulate me,and we went to another therapist who worked with abusive men he told me that he felt my husband could be rehabilitated, so we saw him for eight mos.until once again, money became an issue,and we stopped going to him. So, we were already taking our 15 yr. old daughter as a child at risk ( our children were so affected)to see a therapist who works with families and addiction.She had a handle on my husband from day one. She was very familiar with the dynamics of abuse and controlling dynamics. Without weekly sessions for over a yr now, our marraige would be over.She has told my husband he needs individual therapy, and medication to control his anger. I am in a much healthier place today so healthy that I am ready to say ENOUGH ALREADY! If he does not heed her recomendations, I know, that I cannot stay in this marraige. Being disrepected, ignored, controlled, and feeling powerless nearly destroyed me. I want to heal, forgive, and move on with my life. Iknow in my heart that I can only focus on what is important to my well being, emotianally,physically, and spiritually. Thanks for letting me share. Pat F.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2000

S1

June,

I'm in there with you! I find it amazing that so many people out there have been experiencing abuse! I felt so awful, like if I were better, smarter, kinder, stronger, etc. I would make the situation better. Now I realize there's nothing *I* can do/be/or give to change him; he has to decide to change himself.

I asked him to leave after he punched a hole in a wall in our house. (almost a year ago) At the time I said "I'm not going to be the next thing you hit." I had no idea at the time how closely physical abuse could follow verbal abuse. It's kinda scary when I think about it.

We were together for 5 years, married for 4, and we have two lovely children. My son (2) doesn't even remember his father living in the house, my daughter (4) does, but SHE actually helps. When he gets/got mad, she would speak up to him and say things like "Daddy, don't talk to my Mommy that way." or "Daddy, you're being mean." (she calls it like she sees it)

Now he says things like, "we could reconcile" blah blah, but I don't think he'll ever really take responsibility for his behaviors. I sincerely believe that he will never change (no matter what he says). I WILL NOT subject my children to a hostile environment again. Being alone is tough, but not as tough as being abused. I was wildly in love with him at one time-I really believed life could be great, or at least ok. But now, any love I felt has been extinguished like the light of a candle going out. I don't even WANT to talk about a future with him. We're legally separated, and I want to make it final in Sept. He's mad about that too. Geez, at least he's now living in another town.

It sure feels good to share. For so long I had no idea what was happening and I felt sssooo responsible; consequently, I didn't talk to anyone. How do you ask your Mom/friend, etc "What do I do to get him to stop yelling, name calling, guilting me?"

Now I just try to take everyday as it comes and try to make a happy, calm, home for my children. (It's wonderful to NOT have someone stroll into the house and suddenly start yelling about something, or "attacking" one of us for something we had no idea about...)

Hang tough! d

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 31, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 01, 2000

S1

Dear June, Wow.....I just read your letter and I could have written it. I don't think that the emotional abuse is as bad as yours, yet almost two years ago I attempted suicide and have been in therapy for almost 10 years......I too have been married for 26 years....that is a lot of time and water under the bridge..... I have a good job but I know that I will still have difficulty making it on my own..... Your letter has given me added strength and I am copying it to refer to again and again....I am planning on moving out after the holidays...... don't want to ruin them for the family.....You my dear are an inspiration to me and just what I needed to hear this morning. Perhaps you will see a letter from me someday on this page. Nancy

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 28, 2000

S1

Hi. I have been looking for stories of other people who are going through this as well in the hopes of finding out how to handle my situation too. After reading what June is going through I can applaud her for going through with the seperation even this far and should continue to go that way because she will NOT be happy by going back with him and if she feels guilty by not going back - I have only one thing to say: You need not feel guilty for doing what's best for your happiness and sanity and not to mention freedom. You've made it clear you are more happy now that he is no longer living with you and your children seem to be doing better as well. That says it all! You'd be hurting yourself and your children by allowing someone to control your happiness and even your life. No one deserves to be treated the way he treats you! The guilt will quickly fade once you realize that people like him WANT you to feel guilty and they know it's the only way of holding on to you and making you stay with him. If he loved you like he SHOULD, he would tell you EVERY day that he loves you! Don't ever forget that! If the next time you want to get serious about someone - make sure they tell you AND show you they love you OFTEN! :) If you don't feel totally happy then you know it's not going to get better! Good Luck June and I know you'll be glad you stuck with your present path - and you'll see how you shouldn't even need to feel guilty for your feelings!

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 28, 2001

S1

All I can say is God help you June and all the rest of us who seem to be in such similar situations. Honestly I thought i was the only one, recently my cousin visited from overseas after a 12 year leave and she was soooooooo shocked to see my husband and I had seperated her comment was "Tammy I'm just so disappointed you 2 have seperated, everyone in the family thought you both were the perfect picture of the perfect family.How disappointing she kept repeating as if I did something wrong. however after 7yrs of seperation. I still live in turmoil and verbal abuse and guilt trips from him.