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Comments to The Controlling Caregiver

Comments to The Controlling Caregiver

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  CopyrightŠ 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: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

S1

Who's been talking to my controlling caregiver? The description in blue fit mine to a tee and yes, he is always giving my things away to other people - "you don't use it so why shouldn't I give it away". He has turned our house into a boarding house with his adult children living there for free along with an overseas visitor. I had no say in the matter, although I pay all the utilities, and he also wants me to take care of all the groceries and feed them. It's only my house when it's dirty and needs attention or we are out of something that we all use, (of course, I'm the only one that can do this) and my goodness, I'm the only one that knows how to clean the bathroom, otherwise it's his house and I have no say in what goes on in it.

I'm always made out to be the bad guy, enemy or whatever and of course, he is "terrific" or they think the world of me." (usually referring to what his women friends think of him). He has even told me that no one likes me.

I can't wait to read more about this type of individual. Perhaps some hints on how to deal with them as well would be helpful.

Thanks ls  Good searching ls! You found this page while it was under construction - 10 days prior to finally getting finished! Good thing I didn't say anything incriminating! Dr. Irene

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2000

S1

I wasn't sure if this is the right place to ask, but are there controlling victims who fall under this behavior, too? Oh yes! Some of the awfulest controlling caregivers are the newly empowered  victims of abuse in early recovery. Sometimes, these people get stuck in this self-righteous mode... But that's another article.

I am concerned about a friend of mine, we both feel she is being abused, but her attitude is, "All he has to do is what I say and he will get better because I have read so much on abusers that I know what he needs to do. I point it out to him all the time, and I get so mad that he just doesn't get it!"

Well, as a codependent myself, I want to be supportive without butting in, but I don't see how her behavior differs too much from his on some levels. They both think they know what is best for the other, they both want to fix the other, they both insist that they are the only right one, and both become angry because their expectations are not met. Is there any solution to this? Thanks.  None that you can implement. This is an example my position: People abused in childhood can go both ways... Scary stuff. Live and let live.

 B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

I am a care-taker/controller! Wow, that is hard to swallow, but I see it in myself very clearly. Great! What I want to know is how to stop the behavior? Pay attention to yourself and don't act out. I think the answer is to love and to give without expecting anything in return. That is a big part of it. My dilemma is that I am married to a man who uses alcohol. I believe he is an alcoholic. So I wonder if my behavior stems from wishing and desiring a connection with someone who can't. How could it not? I need to feel safe in this world, I know. 

I wish I had more self-confidence and self-wholeness not to NEED someone to fill me up. How can I feel safe when I can't count on my mate? By counting on yourself... Also, I have 2 children, and it is hard not to control their behavior. What do I do with all this anger? I get really mad when my husband or my children don't do what I ask/demand. I learned this technique from my family. My mother is a controller. I know she did the best she could with the knowledge she had at the time. I would like to be more healthy. It is hard to get there when you live with an alcoholic. I guess I am constantly focused on him instead of me. Wishing he would treat me a certain way. Thanks, Trying to Let Go 

Constantly remind yourself of the consequences associated with control: rebellious, resentful, and passive aggressive children and partners. Is it really worth it? Pay attention to you. Don't act out. Give others choices. By the way, Assertive Discipline for Children would be an excellent book re: your kids. , Codependent No More  will help you disengage from controlling your husband. Good luck to you...

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Dear Confused Victim, You sound very much like my husband. From his point of view, I am "controlling"-maybe that is true. I worked very hard at trying to control myself, described by him as too sensitive, not sensitive enough, too easy, too hard-very confusing. In areas I once felt sure of myself, more and more doubt was instilled. Being conscientious and too responsible and wanting to do things "right", I'd bend to try and conform to his expectations so much that I felt like a pretzel. It no longer seemed okay just to be myself. He'd also set rules for our boys, but be the first one to break them (e.g. no rough housing). Our boys grew up with mixed messages. They were also afraid to say things to dad "because he might get mad", so I also became the mediator, the messenger, the peacekeeper, dad's protector/justifier (because of his family background of abuse and neglect), the encourager, the supporter. I tried too hard to be "perfect", to keep everyone happy. I put my own needs and desires aside to make my family number one. to to fit his mold. But I always somehow missed the "mark". 

When I did do something for myself, or made a mistake, it was later thrown in my face during arguments - another stab, another "gotcha". As our boys grew older, having observed dad's models of behavior, seeing me back down more and more, they pushed my limits in the same way too. Mainly guilt trips because they knew mom was easy. Often arguing "Dad does it" or "Doesn't do it that way." Because I don't believe in double standards or that kids should be seen and not heard, not be entitled to opinions, "second class citizen's as one son said, I had a hard time justifying and sometimes supporting dad. 

When a "healthy" caretaker gives, it is with the intent of mutuality-wanting to bring love, joy and nurturing to others unconditionally. The "reward" is in seeing the other person happy. In our situation, he initially made me feel very loved, but was also moody, insecure about himself, unable to ever apologize, and his tremendous anger (yelling over me, holes in walls) became very intimidating. I often cried "uncle" just to stop the confrontation. It was scary for me to see such displays of anger. Then he'd be loving-he'd gotten his way, showed me how he was right all along. In a way, I "controlled" by learning to manage the situation. Walking on eggshells so as not to inadvertently set things off. Trying to anticipate needs to avoid being criticized for not giving enough, knocking myself out to try and be his image of a good wife and mother. I was "put in charge" of keeping things running as smoothly as possible>Taking care of everyone but myself-and I really have only myself to blame for allowing things to get in that unbalanced a relationship. It seemed the more I did, the less he did. I felt more used than loved. I did become more and more angry and resentful, but "stuffed" the feelings often because they weren't natural or acceptable ways for me to feel. And I was told many times "I don't care how you feel." (obviously) or when I'd explain/defend my actions or words-"That's not why you did it or said it" (amazing he'd know my thoughts and feelings better than me-more like he just couldn't relate to anything/anyone not just like him. He'd say "You're not my mother" yet that's what I began to feel like, but didn't want to be. Upset feelings were not shared nor empathized with. Only blame leveled. I tried fighting back his way, but felt horrible later and would apologize. I'd do something stupid out of hurt and anger, trying to retaliate, but then later back down or apologize in shame of my behavior. That only gave him more ammunition. He said how he "always supported me" - not really! Only when what I did was approved of by him. It was a no-win situation, Captain Kirk! The aggression fostered feelings of aggression, the lack of empathy or attempts to understand me, led to distance, reducing feelings of intimacy such that "lovemaking" felt more like an obligation rather than a tender exchange-passion was extinguished. My philosophy is that people are like glasses filling others and needing to be filled in return. My glass gradually and nearly emptied. I held on desperately to the little that remained. At that point I was considered "not uncaring enough" about his needs. Sorry, but I couldn't give up my soul, I couldn't go on feeling like a possession, an object. 

So, "confused victim" were you happy to take and take? Did you need so much more than you could give in return. Sounds like you viewed this giving as another "competition", "keeping score" and because you weren't about "to lose" or let her be "one up" in your mind, she naturally was "wrong" again. How did you show appreciation? What did you give back to fill her again? Was there ever the true give-and-take that is the basis for friendship-your partner should be your best friend. Do you treat your "friends" the same way? Sunshine (nickname I chose because I love the sun and warmth, always try to keep a positive sunny outlook and never stay down for too long).

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene:

What an insight. I just left a relationship with a controller/caregiver. When I met him he did everything no one ever did for me before. He used to get down and tie my shoes. I didn't ask; he just saw one day my shoe was untied and did it. Wow! I thought how wonderful for someone to care so much. I had no idea that the other side of that caring was abuse like I had never known.

I wanted a relationship with him because I thought he would love me like that and build a life with me. I thought he would allow me to love him in return and when I tried no matter what I did it was wrong.

He was a caregiver and as he told me, I do what I want to do. He was telling the truth. He gave me what he wanted to give. If he gave it, ok. But if I wanted something else, all hell broke loose and the battle was on to keep it from me. He never really offered anything to me and constantly controlled every resource he could have shared.

It was so strange how he would tell me I didn't ask. So I would ask and then he would tell me I did it wrong and then I would say what behavior would feel right to you. He would say I can't tell you I'm not safe. Then if he would listen to my request he would plea ignorance and state he didn't know what on earth I wanted. Sorry Charlie, I saw him do this one at work. He would "act" like he didn't understand an assignment and eventually his boss would give it to someone else. He was devastated when he was fired on the spot after 14 years of service. I really don't believe he made the connection between his behavior toward work assignments and getting fired.

Let me take a leap here. I really don't believe he makes the connection between how he treats me and how I respond. He constantly tells me how hurt he is while negating my input about his behavior 100%. He can't get out of his own long long enough to see your point of view.

It is just my opinion, it seemed like he took great pride in making me want and making it my fault for wanting. He told me so many times I can't count if only I would ________ , then he would give me exactly what I wanted. Sounds as realistic as, "If I only lost 10 pounds / had a nose job / etc., I'd be happy..." 

Is this what makes the abuse cycle? Adult caregiver makes an effort and the child gets upset and gets abusive? Kind of. The kid doesn't get what he/she thinks he/she should have. Watch out!

After a while I couldn't enjoy the good because it felt like a worm with a hook. I felt like this is just a set-up so he can get on my good side. For over two years he would hurt me and then be wonderful, until I became warm and open to him then it would happen again.

It is hard for me to believe no one can make you feel angry. I accept the guilty part but angry I'm not sure. He did so much crap to me, I feel angry. Is this what your talking about? Your anger is a healthy signal that something is wrong. What is most important is what you do (or don't do) with that anger. How you behave. I do know how to stop feeling angry. Stay away from him. It is tuff because  miss the wonderful part of him, but I couldn't stand one more day with the abuser part of him. Sad, isn't it...

I was just thinking today that he might be a multiple personality. Actually a dual personality. One kind, generous, funny, loving and good the other selfish, hateful, vengeful, angry, sadistic and would cut your heart out and watch it beat in his hand. This is the God's truth, if you yelled and cried because your heart had just been removed and was missing, he would say can't you shut up all that wailing your making me miserable with your behavior. Then if he would be wonderful for a few days and I would paddle down that river in Egypt (De Nile) and say something about our future together he would say I can't marry you "YOU HAVE BEHAVIORS I CAN'T MANAGE"! Yea, like I cry when I'm hurt and I am afraid of someone who would hurt me. These to him were "reasons not to marry me". Wow! This is the adult and the kid... Very split off pieces... Not that far off from a multiple, but not as far gone.

It was so painful to look at him and listen to him after a while because when he was good. He was very, very good, and when he was bad he was horrid. I began to associate him with pain and suffering. The good caregiving didn't fix the memory of how he would torture me.

A few of his behaviors were consistently negative. He never had any empathy or compassion for anyone. If it happened to him, he would sulk and pout and be sad and drag around like a lost little boy. I should clarify: if he did something to someone else he would pout, be sad and drag around because the other person hurt him by being hurt. It's wild, isn't it? If it happened to anyone else it was their fault. He would only admit he was wrong after I made an issue of it, and then he would scream in my face: I'm wrong; are you happy now!!! He would tear me down for a behavior he hated for me to do. Guess what? He would be doing the very behavior he was telling me was unacceptable. "Projection" is the psych term for that. Cast-off parts of himself he does not recognize... I would say to him, "Isn't that exactly what your doing right now?" He would loose it then. He never admitted he did anything. Finally, you are seeing things clearly.

I agree the victim doesn't have to bite, and for me that meant being away from him. No matter how hard I tried he could figure a new way to abuse me that he hadn't done before. He could do things that I would react to, even thought I didn't want to react. Yes. You are not alone; this is a typical complaint.  

I will give myself credit. I learned to stop and say enough. :) I learned his words had no meaning. Example: He would look at me and say, "I wish I could talk to you." Then, I would work really hard at listening to him while he launched the next abuse attack. I spent 2 years being screamed to the floor almost every day because I was trying to listen to him. I wanted him to know even though he had been hurt, I loved him enough to listen. Yeah, he verbally beat me down - and guess what happened when I got tired of crying and begging him to stop? When I got off the floor and said, "Maybe it is time for a few changes from you." He would ignore my every word and get his stuff and promptly walk out the door. Every time! Now you're catching on.

I do need to thank him. Before him I didn't know how to stop myself from talking, and after the severity of his abuse and trying to please him, I learned to shut up and be quiet. I wasn't always able to keep a secret, and after living with my partner, the secret service guy, I can. Yes, I can tell you, but then I will have to kill you. I can keep anything from anyone. I don't, but I can. He also taught me being alone, which I am terrified of, is better than being with him and being terrified of his next abuse. Last but not least, he taught me to never and I do mean never, allow anyone to talk to me like a dog: yell, cuss, scream, hit, diminish, blame, withhold, obit, disregard me, or anything else abusers do. If someone wants a piece of me, I get out of Dodge fast. You are one wonderful lady who grew and become more whole as a result of your time in hell...

What is sad: I love him and maybe I always will. I wake up and miss him and I miss him all day long and when I go to sleep at night I miss him again. Hold on Faith. The more distance you have from him, the better you will feel. At some point, you will count your lucky stars you got out.

I had hoped somehow he would look at your site and see something that would change his mind. He is just a poor victim and I am the abuser. He doesn't see what he does to others. All he sees is what they do to him and if they are responding to his abuse he thinks it is not anything to do with his behavior. 

His denial is so thick you couldn't cut it with a chain saw. He told me the other day that he could be close and loving with someone safe. Yes. With the fictional perfect mother-woman.

Maybe you could give some hints on how to respond to this adult/ child person. You responded very well. You gave every benefit of the doubt, and beyond. You can't do anything about his broken pieces. Only he can.

I have tried everything. I believed when I met him that everyone was a lock and if you could find the right key you could open them. Nope, I was dead wrong. Some people are a lock left in the rain and snow so long that is rusted and stuck even if you find the key the lock doesn't work anymore. He is the only one who can turn that lock...

Sincerely, Faith 

Why not take me up on my offer Faith?

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

To me, these types are what I refer to as "Pirates". The analogy that I visualize is this: You're the captain of your sailboat in the sea of life. Your sailing along minding your own business, when another sailboat pulls along side of you in a friendly manner. You think great.....company on my journey of life...and invite the other captain on board as a guest. You are enjoying yourself and are being the best host you know how. The problem is, this person whom you think is a guest, isn't. This other captain climbed aboard your ship with a hidden agenda. That agenda being is to become the captain of your ship...and reduce you to a hand deck. Nice analogy!

The next thing you know, your guest is now rearranging your sails and refuses to let you have the wheel. Tells you what a lousy sailor you are and takes over your ship. You watch in horror as your guest throws your belongings overboard. The next thing you know is, you have declared mutiny on your guest....and throw him overboard. 

While getting your ship back into ship shape...you realize...what an idiot your guest was...and what nerve they had. You also think, how could they not realize, that you can't sail two ships at once. If they were so busy sailing your ship... who was sailing theirs?

The moral of the story is......these "Pirates" can't live their own lives...they live vicariously through living others lives. I find them selfish...yet very amusing. We each get only life to live at a time....this sense of entitlement to live more than one life at a time is just so needy and greedy.

I will admit that when I do run into this type ....I think to myself...uh..okay I got your number....laugh to myself...actually LMAO..and think oh no you don't...... drop dead.....I'm the captain of my own ship...no matter what you say or do. Then I chuckle to myself again and wonder if they are the nosy neighbor that others talk about and make fun of.

Perhaps I'm a little quirky with how I view this type...but I find them very funny, because their behavior is so absurd to me. But then again, a sense of humor can be a good thing when dealing with annoying people.

Very nice! And good for you! How do you identify these people? That's been the topic of lots of questions lately. Any sage observations "Captain Lady"?

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

I used to think of myself as a loving and giving person - three years with someone who gives on his own agenda, screams when I don't notice, refuses to give what is asked for or to accept any gifts in return - have turned my heart hard and empty. Holidays? you can be sure he will ruin them with his anxiety over preparations, call me "disorganized" and criticize everything I buy or chose to give. Birthdays? Either I will ask for something and be damned sure NOT to get it or I will get a grand gesture and not behave the way he wants and be on the other side of a verbal tirade, wondering what I did for days. God knows I am not allowed to give to him or celebrate him in any way. He would return whatever to the store or tell me he didn't need it or put it in the closet and never use it or leave it in the box on the dining room table for months where I would have to look at it I found myself wondering what I did wrong- why he didn't love me. I assume that now you know that it is himself he did not love...

When I want a hug I damn well better be able to settle for an oil change or folded laundry. If he does ANYTHING he logs it in his memory bank, and it is fodder for years. When I ask for anything, a nice word, a trip to the movies, I will hear "But I did ..." - yeah, three years ago!

Don't get me wrong - I don't want much. I didn't ask him to throw his life at me and blame me for not appreciating his sacrifice. Many times I have asked him to let me do things - I was capable before I met him, I think (although I am no longer so sure), begged him to STOP fixing things and to just BE WITH ME. He never could. He was always making lists for me but I was never on the list. And if I dared say anything I was beat down verbally so badly sometimes I don't know which way is up. I think you know which way is up now.

It took so much insight for whomever to see the combination of controlling caregiver in themselves or their partner - thank you for pointing this out to me. I believe I can see the source of my abuse now. :)  Thanks, but the idea for this piece came from the writer of the original email.

I have noticed that we are not able to plan ANYTHING together- shopping trip, vacation, a savings account- any insight on this? Is it related to the controlling abuser or is it a trait of all abusers? Thanks. Most abusers, because they will not / cannot be a partner, make it very difficult to work together on anything! 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 19, 2000

S1

Some behavior, however oppressive, is so endemic and widespread that we almost have to call it "normal." Is this disease curable? Even if we don't live in an abusive home, we all know one of these Controlling Caregivers. That is so true... I often toy with the idea of abuse as "normal." It's so prevalent, I think we - people - are typically broken, disconnected from our inner selves, and often clueless about meeting the tasks we need to master in order to fulfill our very individual human potential...

We may not match his standard of caregiving, but we can pay a terrible price for it. Yes. But, so does the abuser.

He is exquisitely tuned in to what we think of him, looking for "needs" and "problems" we have and using them to manipulate us, to push his "solutions" on us whether we like it or not. He's fixed so many of our problems, that we might wonder how we ever did without so much of his "help." Only some of his victims realize why it is they feel so angry or depressed in spite of it all, why their lives are still "never quite right," and often worse - which only gives the Controlling Caregiver more excuses to interfere.  

He in turn wants to know every detail of our lives, who we are, what we're doing and why--and what we might be doing "wrong." He always knows what's "best" for us. He fusses over whether we're "eating properly" and "looking after ourselves" the way he wants us to. Sometimes when we don't, he contrives ways of punishing us for it, although it's none of his business.

He pushes his care on us while demanding that we pay for it. And yes, he will give someone else the shirt off our back, calling it "his" as he does so. What's worse, we can't leave him, because he stalks us wherever we go.

Our job is to set clear, firm limits on what is acceptable from him. Yet even when we've done just that, he finds ways to "reinterpret" those limits, trespassing further over our boundaries on the pretense that "we didn't really mean what we said earlier." Sometimes we get angry at this and compel him to back off for a while. Yet always he returns, looking for still more ways to control us.

The only excuse I can find for such a person is that he may not be fully capable of taking responsibility for himself. When Controlling Caregiver behavior is endemic and widespread, too many people, far from setting limits, encourage him to act the way he does. Yes. I think there is a real problem with the way our society thinks and how we teach our children to become cut off from their inherent inner wisdom.

He may be our big brother, though often we see him in female form, which we call some name like "Nanny." But he knows who he is, and that he's really our Uncle. That's right, Sam, I'm talking about *you*!  

- Gordon   

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Hi Dr. Irene,

I'm glad you liked my analogy of the controlling caretaker. That's a good question, how do you spot them. I will do my best to explain it. But I find it somewhat difficult to do...as it's like a recipe you have in your head...that doesnt't use exact measurements...but instead uses pintches of this an that.

You won't spot them instantly. But you can within a few weeks. It's no one particular thing they do but a combination of them and to what to degree. I've met this type mostly in the business world....and I have dated this type also...but they never lasted long with me.

I will explain what goes through my mind...I think this is the best way to explain it.

First it's a feeling I get. They seem to eager to help you and please you. Their help and advise is not sought after by you....instead it's served to you on a silver platter. Then I think to myself...hmm...wonder how much they are charging me for this...I envision....this incredibly expensive invisible bill they are writing up.

They act superior to you...they are know it alls....they are critics. They don't exchanged ideas with you....they give you orders. They are extrememly opinionated.

When I observe their interaction with others, I notice......they are not relaxed.... they are always watching others to the point of spying on them and ease dropping on their conversations. I call them the noisy buttinski.

I can feel the vibes they give off. It feels like uptight....negative..smothering. They ask tons of questions and second guess every single stinking thing you say or do.

I feel like they are not trying to connect with you.....but merge and meld with you... sort of like the a sci-fi movie...the body invaders..hehe. They want to conquer you... not team up and join forces with you. Independance...is a dirty word to them. And they do not respect boundaries. Their goal is to make you so dependant on them so they can make you subserviant to them. They are very possesive....as well as insecure and very jealous/envious.

To me....I see a very insecure terrified person...scurring around desperate for a conquest. The energy they expend sticking their nose in and minding everyone elses business..I find incredible..and can't believe they don't end up dropping dead of exhaustion.

They keep their distance if they know you got their number. They do not tangle with certain personality types. Of course there are excepts to that rule.

This is how I handle them. I tell them...I am only going to say this to you once..... I am the type of person who has strict boundaries... I take great offense when they are are crossed. I view whatever has invaded my boundaries as mine...and I will do with them as I damn well please and without mercy. I will warn you only once to immediately get out and back off. If you ignore that warning you will regret it. If you continue to ignore the warnings....I won't warn you anymore.....I'll just attack with increasing ammunition till you either withdraw for good or get anniliated. I cannot and will not have you messing with my ship.

I hope this answers you question.

The lady captain.

 

 

 

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Lady Captain,

You say independence is a dirty word to controlling caregivers- I agree with you as long as your not talking about their independence. I feel that they think they need their independence in order to be able to do everything, including thinking of the best way for everyone else to do things.

I have noticed that my guy wants to help me in every little way to the point that I do not have to make decisions. However I best not ask him to do anything specific for me or be anywhere at a specific time that interferes with his independence. It's his way or no way. He is free to tell me how he will help and do everything. I am free (as far as he is concerned) to take his advice or let him do it his way.

He gets to be independent, without any need for my input or advice. I get to depend on him for everything. He will do IT ALL with a flourish, just don't ask to help or suggest a better way. He believes the best decisions come right out of his little head (yes, he has even told me this) with no input or outside help. He refuses to depend on anyone. He expects that he should be able to do everything and heaven forbid if I don't notice everything he has done- I will hear about it.

Next time I will keep my antennae up. Men of action are great to have around so long as you don't ever want to do anything on your own.

Thanks,

Donna

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Hi. I recently ended a relationship with just such a controller. He gave me so much of what I never asked for, like coming over with his tools and fixing my house. He made me tapes of his favorite music, brought me flowers, but later complained that I bought a bad house and that I didn't appreciate the flowers and he could have spent the money for his children's college tuition. He gave with one hand and took with the other. When I gave him gifts, he wanted me to return them. I bought him some new sweatclothes to sleep in because he only had rags, and he said he would donate them to charity. He had a huge issue with money, and comdemned anyone who spent money on "toys" such as CD players, VCR's or even microwave ovens. He disapproved of my "farming out" work on my house, and acted like a burdened beast, as if he had to do all the work, when I had the money to have the work done professionally and never expected him to do anything!

You spoke of the agenda. This man always had an agenda, whether it was sexual or about where we would go or what we would do. Even after over a year of dating, he could never just come over and relax at my house, where I lived alone, just do laundry and rent a movie or watch TV. We always had to go somewhere, work on a house project, etc. When he was at my house he was either making love, asleep, eating, washing dishes or in the bathroom. There was never any relaxed, non-sexual down time. He had to go home to do that. I tried so hard to please him, thinking of food he liked to eat, being totally available sexually, listening as he ranted on and on about people with money who think that throwing money at a problem solves everything. He was very jealous and suspicious of other men hitting on me, but he was unable to make a commitment. I didn't need him to live with me, but I wanted the easy intimacy of just getting together in a relaxed, impromtu fashion to make dinner and hang out. Whenever he tried to please me by spending more time together, I would always pay for his concession by some form of verbal abuse. He was incredibly complimentary, and very seductive. I was told that I was the best woman that had come along in the eighteen years since his divorce, he would have had babies with me, I was the love of his life, etc., yet for eight months I never saw him on Friday nights unless there was a party he wanted me to go to with him. Otherwise he insisted on doing his laundry at the laundramat, had chores on Saturday and I didn't see him until Saturday night into Sunday. The words just didn't match the actions. When he agreed that I could come over after he finished the laundry on Friday nights, the first time we tried this he came out in a rage about people of my religion and how they had cheated the poor people in his neighborhood when he was a kid.

He had several major rages during the on and off year and a half of dating him, and many other times when he would rant about specific people who he felt had hurt him. More and more, I became the target of his rage. This man has been around Twelve Step rooms for many years but hasn't ever worked a program. He knew enough to call me a love addict/codenpendent, needy person, drama queen, etc. He would rage, then gradually apologize and want to be very close again. Over and over I took him back. I continued to work on myself in my own program and little by little I started to insist that he enter therapy both individually and with me in order to work on the wounds in his childhood that caused him to get triggered so easily. He didn't want to do that. It was easier to label me an addict, a Type A personality, too demanding, too sensitive, etc. After a bout with his dysfunctional mother, he ranted on the phone about how women weren't worth it, it was too much trouble to have "one of them" around. After over a year, it cut me to the bone to be put in a category like that. I told him the next day, after a sleepless night, how hurt I was, and his response was basically to forget the relationship.

He called a few more times and we rehashed the problems, and twice I slipped and was sexually intimate with him. Each time I saw him he promised to go to the therapist, and then reneged. Finally, he just said that he didn't want to be in a relationship with me, but that he as very attracted to me and it was a hard decision. He started to explain how close a decision it was. I finally had had enough. Instead of doing my dance and trying to convince him to change his mind, I cut him off and told him to leave me the ^%$# alone.

This man was verbally abusive, passive aggressive, and I was always off balance with him. It really hurts to know how hard I tried to be close, and I thought we were for so long, but his periodic episodes of abuse could leave me in a state of shock, confusion and shame. I felt like there was always something that I did or said that set him off. I think my real crime was being human, and being a woman. I'm resisting the urge to "run into" him and try to set it right, because there is no winning with this man. Help!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2000

S1

Dear Lady Captain:

You wrote:

 

"This is how I handle them. I tell them...I am only going to say this to you once..... I am the type of person who has strict boundaries... I take great offense when they are are crossed. I view whatever has invaded my boundaries as mine...and I will do with them as I damn well please and without mercy. I will warn you only once to immediately get out and back off. If you ignore that warning you will regret it. If you continue to ignore the warnings....I won't warn you anymore.....I'll just attack with increasing ammunition till you either withdraw for good or get anniliated. I cannot and will not have you messing with my ship.

I hope this answers you question.

The lady captain."

I find your words inspiring!!! Isn't it great not to have to apologize for ourselves anymore? You've just reminded me that's it's all about me!!!!! Thanx!!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

The controlling caregiver is not the least bit interested in your needing and wanting these things:

1) Respect

2) mutality

3) resiprocity

4) automony

They are dictators...and they have chosen you to be one of their lowly loyal subjects. Unlucky you.

If you ever hear yourself thinking or saying often...hey...what are you.. my mother? This is a red flag...this person is a pirate.

 

In order to be able to maintain stict boundaries you need to understand yourself very well. But even then there will be times (few and far between) that you accidentally or intentionally cross someone elses boundaries.

When someone crosses your boundaries...and you bring it immediately to their attention......they should stop on the spot...back out and apologize. That is how I handle it...if I accidentally over step my bounds. I also have the person explain to me how they knew I was in their boundaries...and think about what made me behave that way. None of us are perfect....but it's always a good idea to really learn from ones mistakes.....especially when it comes to boundaries. And since I have such strict boundaries....I am very concious of others boundaries.

You need to consult and consider the other person in decision's with them present. Each states their needs and wants...then you figure out a way to meet them. This lets you have sooth sailing.

I don't really have a good understanding of all the psychological labels and terms. I look at it in more simple terms. To me, codepedency is one who tolerates BS..... and an abuser is a BS artist. If someone gives you BS...it's their doing.....not yours. Just as if you tolerate it...it's your doing, not theirs. So put your foot down... it's a GOOD thing. And if some man is going to leave you because you put your foot down....well then you are better off. Why? Because it's easy to treat people like crap...and those that do .......they are dime a dozen.....you don't have to go out of your way at all to get treated like that.

Don't focus on what the guy gets if he's nice to you......and how to get him to be nice to you. The trick is to focus on what he gets if he's not nice to you. Actions speak louder than words....watch his actions......for they speak the truth.

The captain lady

 

 

 

 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

Captain Lady-

You are my hero. Preach! Preach! (Not being sarcastic, folks, just really impressed :)).

I must confess, I am not sure who we are talking to here, but let me say this----

We all can change!!!! We can grow stronger! And we all have to change first, for our abusers to have even a hope of changing!!! As we change, we have to be alert for THE ABUSER IN ALL OF US (Well, this is true in my case, so I'm extrapolating!)

Well, whoever's on the receiving end of this advice, good luck!!! It's a long, tough road, but you take it one day at a time. No matter how many accusations are thrown your way, just keep telling yourself, "I'm OK" again, and again, and again......in fact never stop doing this. You have the courage of a lion in you, I know it! The lion is waiting to roar!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

This sounds great and I understand it all, but I don't quite understand how I could practice these techniques with the person still in my life. And yet I love this person and want him in my life.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

I can't tell you how to change your partner, because I don't believe you can change people. I am of the belief that you have three options if you do not like they way you are treated. You chose to either: 1) put your foot down, 2) suck it up, 3) leave.

I also believe that the crux of the problem with these bad relationships is due to low self esteem.

When I was out there in the dating game, I made sure I took inventory of the condition the other captains ship was in. Those that pulled along side me, who's ships had tears in the sails, unpolished woodwork and too many barnacles on the hule, were not allowed to tether their ropes to my ship. I just waved and sailed on.

Sometimes a ship looked great on the outside, but once you were below deck, you found they were lacking in provisions and it was messy. I then untethered my ship and sailed off. I did notice that those captains gave back handed compliments to how nice my ship was kept. Refering to my ship as high maintenance. This when is when I thought to myself...ya right...you're just jealous....get lost.

I sailed for many years alone, finding some other nice ships along the way, but none that impressed me. Till one day, this other ship approached. Hmmmm I said to myself....this ship looks as good as mine. I'd really like to go aboard and check it out, so I did. Once aboard I was very happy to see he had it stocked with all the same provisions I had. It was neat and clean, but it was plain. Then I saw his charts, they were immaculate and extremely well done. I was very impressed.

So I invited him aboard my ship. When he went below, he thought it was the shiniest, cleanest and best decorated he'd ever seen. He was very impressed. He looked at my charts, and thought...good...but nothing special...he did them better than I did.

So I asked him to teach me how to make such nice charts. He did and was very nice about it. He inturn asked me to show him how to make his cabin shiny and attractive. So I did. I will never be able to do the charts as fabulously as he does them, but I can do them better now than I did before. He can now make his cabin shiny and nice, he can't do it as well as me, but better than he did it before.

We now sail through life together. I won't say it's perfect, cause it's not. But we are better off together than we are alone. I have my moments when I say... MEN!!!!..and complain to my girlfriends. But he is a person of quality.....he can't help it that the Y chromosome makes him an idiot at times. And so the battle of the sexes rages on. I sometimes wonder.....poor Eve, she had no girlfriends to commiserate with. Hmmm...perhaps that's why she made Adam eat the apple.

The moral of the story is....work on your own ship....and don't accept less. They will never treat your ship better than they treat their own. What you see is what you get. I'm not a pessimist nor an optimist....I'm a realist. I believe that water seeks it's own level.

Learn how to develop a healthy amount of self esteem. This will protect you from getting treated like crap. I'm not qualified to teach you how to do this...but Dr. Irene is. I can only tell you what worked and works for me.

I kept and keep my ship nice because I wanted to and because I wanted to attract and keep another nice ship.

The lady captain

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 22, 2000

S1

What do you suggest when you take a step forward and you've been knocked down two? The time it takes me to get a grip and get back on track, I feel at times I'm not going to make it. What can a person do to take their mind off that down time?Sometimes it's a day or two other times it's been weeks. When it was weeks I felt great because I finally got off the eggshells I 've been walking on for 3 years now. To be totally honest I feel like I'm whining. And I'm tired of whining. I want to take control of my life and live happily ever after. I'm exhausted. I have 2 children to tend to, if I wanted 3 I would have had another. I want him to get off my case and go bother someone else when he get's whatever he has on his chest off than he can come home. I'm a good mom, a good friend, a good neighbor and if he don't like who I am how the heck can he love me? Were does he get off judging me and every move I make? Maybe he didn't eat right or enough(he's diabetic)maybe he forgot to take a pill(he's on prescription medicine for head injury)(which he abuses)I'm done with the excuses. I can't be responsible for someone who can't be responsible for themselves. I'm not going to be his scapegoat any longer. Okay now what? i don't want to fall into another similar situation I'm on my second one now. I want to be strong, I want to hold my head high. I just don't know how I'm going to do it

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Dear Sunshine,

I would like to say in assisting in the understanding of my situation that am not happy constantly taking and taking even though it is not a not one way street. I did not need more than I could return, in fact I not only needed a lot less than I received but I could not use all of it at times. A competitive situation has evolved over the years because I have often been criticized by her for not measuring up to what she does or what she thinks others do and for not doing even more. Believe me, she keeps score and has a very vivid memory to match. I have given back all that I can but as the saying goes, one can not fill a bottomless pit. The more she does the higher her expectations get. Her extreme care giving, as seen in some examples above, does not always stop with our immediate household. It has extended to close relatives at times that did not need it ether to the point of burning her out and resulting in anger taken out at me. There was a give and take in our relationship in the beginning but as the years passed a viscous cycle developed where the anger and control grows to the point of creating real barriers to mutual give and take. I have tried to prevail anyway. I can not begin to remember all the times I have done something for her that I have hated to be doing because of recent verbal bashings and humiliations but I did because I though that later on it would be appreciated. These periods of verbal abuses have very often occurred at holidays and events like birthdays where she knows I would be doing something for her. Over the years I have lost my best friend. I can not be completely candid with my ideas and feelings without having them harshly judged or quickly dismissed. She is the controller who always knows best. As far as friends go, I don’t have any friends I can call my own. They must always be friends of both of us that she approves of. They are treated nicely as friends but that is as far as it goes. She gets much more consideration than any friend from me.

This is not a simple situation of care taking and appreciation. There are other problems in our relationship consisting of compulsive control and verbal abuse from anger.

I am not perfect by any measure but who is? There are always times we could act or say something better but I have not caused this to happen and have done the best I could overall.

You have a great nickname and an equally fine outlook on life.

Sincerly,

Confused Victim

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

S1

Interesting. I fit in here somewhere but I can't put my finger on it. I am the one with some insecurity and therefore want to feel like I have somewhat of a handle on things..I (some control). However, my husband is the overreaching caregiver who will do do do what he thinks you should want but the one think he won't do is understand it when you didn't want him to do that at all. And most aggravating when you tell him what you want him to do that's definitely what he won't do no matter if you tell him it's the most important thing to you. Sorry for the vagueness but I am really in a mental and emotional bind and have been for so long I just don't know which end is up.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

S1

Ladies, men, I just want to say something here, but very gently, as no one is asking for my advice. It seems that you all have had enough thrown in your faces. Can I very gently suggest, that, after we learn the labels thoroughly, about controller/caregiver, as well as abuser/victim, we start to peek behind the labels, and look for our confused selves there? I've been reading this page, and to be honest I see so much confusion, people wondering "what" they are, are they controllers, victims, what are they?

I am wondering, are you doing this because you want to, or because you feel you have to? I think it's ok not to label yourself at all. Someone may demand that you identify yourself. Sometimes you may even demand of yourself, a label. But I don't think you need to have one.

I may be way off base here, so for whatever this was worth.......

Dan

PS Sunshine I felt truly blessed reading your post. Your metaphor of filling each others cups was beautiful. May I suggest, though, that you keep a special cup aside for just you :):)

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

Hi Lady Captain here. My intent and purpose of my posts were to show you that good things can and do happen to you when you refuse to tolerate anothers BS. I won't lie to you and says it's easy in the short run, but I have found it's worth it in the long run.

My concern is that some of you put up with BS from your significant others because you are afraid to be alone and lonely. I've had my share of lonely saturday nights, but I refused to date a jerk rather than sit home and look at the four walls. I mean why bother eating fattening food you don't even like and are not enjoying.....I refer to it as empty calories. And the thought of all those sit ups that were now due...made me sick.

It's okay to be picky. It's okay to be alone on saturday night..I never grew a third eye from doing that....I swear.

This is what my mother told me. If he's not nice to you, doesn't care about your feelings and disrepects you.....dump his ass. Of course she's talking about the dating game here. Because once you marry them......they either stay the same or get worse.....they never get better. Don't waste your time with a jerk....when you could be spending it looking for Mr. Right. She also told me to join a club.... something you like to do...this is the best hunting grounds. I always used to picture myself hauling traps behind me when she used to preach this to me. Whenever I acted out these visions of mine....she'd laugh and call me a brat with a wicked sense of humor.

Mother was right....and to be fair...I gave credit where credit was due. She's still gloating about it to this day. She loves to tell me ...."see see...mother was right... aren't you glad you listened to me". Well, she did do an excellent job at picking out my dad.....however....I wish she'd would put a sock in it already. See, we all have our crosses to bare...ugh.

I hope I have imparted some knowledge here that will enable you all to find the happiness you deserve. Happy sailing to your new destination......the ocean of self esteem.

The Lady Captain

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

Captain Lady, you are right about victims putting up with BS from significant others because they are afraid of being alone. I know plenty of people like that, and some are men, not just women. You are right, until we learn to be comfortable ALONE, and get it in our gut that it's OKAY to be alone, we'll stay in bad relationships. I would rather be alone than in a bad relationship. Sis

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000

S1

This site always surprises me! Little did I know that me, a victim of a verbally abusive relationship in the past, would turn out to be controlling. I am one of those recovering victims who tries to control everything. I felt a lot of support when I finally realized what had happened to me, but was shocked when I realized that I had control issues...

I posted to the Message Board not too long ago about a guy I had started seeing. I was on the lookout for manipulative behaviors, potential abuse, etc. I asked for some advice about my new guy and boy did I get it! I was told to run from this guy and to get rid of him fast. I cried - I was angry that I had let myself get into another abusive situation...or had I? My best friend intervened after I had forwarded an email to her that he had sent me and she told me I should reconsider my anger (Because I got very angry at him for not responding to me the way "I" thought he should). This is when I realized that I was trying to control EVERYTHING. Granted my new guy is not perfect, but I realized that I was squeezing the life out of our inital spark of attraction. He of course became very turned off to me even after I apologized. I ended up dicussing with him how he felt and once I acknowledged what I had done and stating that I knew I could not fix it, he tranformed, as if lifted from a heavy burden (because it is isn't it?!). I had no idea that I had any control issues until now. I thought that because I was a victim of verbal and emotional abuse, I could do no wrong. I don't mean to diminish the advice I was given by obviously concerned posters, but I realized that I had some work to do and running from this guy wasn't going to solve my issues.

I am still dating this guy and I have tried to relax more and let things develop at their own pace. I promised my new guy that I would be less hard on him and stop picking him apart looking for flaws (because no matter how hard he tried to convince me, I was sure he was out to get me). I don't know where this relationship will go, but then again, who does? Hopefully I can learn to be less controlling so I can enjoy my life and an intimate relationship.

Thanks Dr. Irene for this wonderful site! Disillusionment, though negative in some people's eyes can really help people (like myself) grow into more loving human beings.

Robin A

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 26, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene, This description of Controlling/Caregiver is exactly what I have experienced and left 7 months ago. I haven't read or heard anything as clear as this, even through years of therapy, just hearing about his irrationality and codependence. I couldn't even recognize for a long time, that it was verbal abuse. Seven months ago I left, the third time and last, but he is now harrassing me through the court system. He is obsessed with suing me on every false charge he can think of. Also he made a false charge by saying I slapped him and I was arrested and put in jail overnight. He has had third parties sue me, people I never even met. I wish I knew how to get the legal system to make him stop. Or to just see what he is doing, stalking through the court system. Mary Carter

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2000

S1

Dan- Just logged on again after a few days of seein if I'd get response to my comments. Kept reading and rereading my own posting-wondering if I was sounding too much like a martyr. Realizing there was a time when I was in a "pity-pot." It was of my own making, I could've stopped it by putting my foot down, saying "no", but that's always been a hard one for me, especially with people I care about or needed to feel "approved" by. I always had a hard time filling "my own cup" first. In retrospect, more carefully observing my own parents, my mom has always been a huge caretaker and martyr, while my dad was very controlling and laid lots of guilt trips. I grew up hearing complaints about my dad yet observing mom always putting herself last. Dad "loved me very much" (per mom), but I sensed it was only when I agree with him, was the perfect daughter. A simple look of disaproval made me feel shame or guilt for disagreeing, going against their wishes or incurring "disappointment." My "self-esteem" developed by always trying to be "responsible", "giving", "patient", "a good girl". As an only-child, I was often "triangulated", accused of "being on your mother's side" or "not understanding what your father has put me through." And "family" took care of eachother, more specfically "others first", otherwise I was called "selfish" . As I grew into "an adult", I was told "you'll always be my little girl"(mom)when I reminded her I was old enough to make my own choices or given looks of disapproval, head shakes, by dad, if I or others acted in ways he didn't like. Well, I learned my role well, gave myself over to my husband who was very insecure, needed unconditional acceptance, brought out my total "empathetic", "rescuer" "non-judgmental" "unselfish" nature by blaming the world for his woes. Yet he was terrified of feeing "controlled"-I had never felt like a "controller", never felt the need to compete, wanted to soothe. This poor "child-victim"-I thought my unconditional love and support would save him. The along come both my parents and his (!!!) who stirred resentments in me by criticing my husband-not to him, but to me! So I fluctuate between anger towards him and the "need to protect" him. I got stuck in the middle all the time-even between dad and children, trying to soothe, make excuses, protect all except myself. I was such a "caregiver" I feel pathetic to myself now-I respected others wishesabove my own, I thought I was being strong, but was really being weak. When exhausted, I'd sometimes lash back, could be verbally abusive, lost my patience (GOD FORBID!!!) When this happened, I wasn't living up to the "perfect" person I was taught I should be. Hence, as I have always been too quick to take blame, I spotted my "imperfections", how I might have "abused" or "controlled" but was also "victimized." You see, I didn't want to "unfairly" (and I try so hard to be fair) put all the blame on my husband. It can all become very confusing. No, I wasn't always the perfect wife, mother-but I do admit to it, can sincerely apologize. And I have become more "controlling" in terms of "self-control", "setting boundaries", not giving into feelings of "guilt" about doing something "selfish" or more accurately, self-preserving. And I am having trouble "letting go" of my husband. I still try to get him to look at himself, the "broken pieces" he "needs" (controlling caregiver?) to address rather than blame me. I'm still trying to "fix" him by offering resources, and I'm angry he won't listen to me, because his actions (e.g-divorce)are affecting me. So I pass on my "legacy" of instilling "guilt", thinking I have found the answers (rescuer) and he should listen to me for once (I'm a teacher by profession). So, are we not all victims, abusers, controllers, caretakers just coming from different life perspectives? I wish I knew the answer, I keep looking for them- always looked to as the "problem-solver"-a hard identity to give up. Unable to "control" my environment", those I love and NEED in my life leaves me feeling "powerless" at this time, feeling "out of control." It's very painful-being alone, lonely, not really having a strong "identity" after 22 years of having tried to mold myself to ft someone else's image of "perfection". My integrity is returning, my boundaries are firming-but I'm grieving at the loss of my dreams, the illusions clung to. How I wish it could all be "perfect." Sunshine (on a cloudy day)

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2000

S1

Ouch this is eavy (for me)

Please bear with me, english is my second lanquage, I am one of those french guys...

Iknow this is not a divorce/separation site, but...

We were married 13 years (now separated and on course for divorce)

She was abused by her father at the age of 7, and comes from a dysfonctional familly caused by alcoholism of the father.

She had multiple depressions and burnouts, she consulted psychologists and did a therapy for survivors of abuse. She worked hard on herself for awhile, but never got rid of the things that hant her.

We were happy, good education, good jobs, nice home etc. (No kids)

I lost my mother in june 99 (last parent), and I was not there emotianaly for my wife until she left me for this man...

She saw him for the first time back in march 99 for a Reiki course. September she had another depression and consulted him as a psychotherapist (one of the another things he does in life). He told her in a 1 hours cession to confront her father, She did and started to fall in love with this man. She is 35, her is 57, her father is 62. (I am 35). She left me march 8, and refused al my offers to try to save our marriage.

Anyway..

I am glad I found your site (someone suggested it on another site..WillingSpirits.

Co-dependant care taker that is me to a T. I always loved her very much, but never really received back her love. I took care of her, I was the caretaker and very co-dependant. We did almost everything her way, we saw who she wanted to see and when she wanted, she went places she wanted, I let her do things she wanted to do. It always as been about her, not me or us. She wanted a dog, we got a dog despite my concerns, she wanted a huge deck for the pool, we got a huge deck for the pool. This was her beahavior all the time, I always had to be there for her, always had to think ahead for her, it's always been about her. She could never accept responsabilty for her actions, she never accepted people the way they are.

I realize lots of things about us, and about her, she let her inner child take control of her life and our marriage. The one time I truly needed her (to confort me with my lost), she was not really there. And since I was not ther for her for awhile she concluded that I had abondond her and our marriage, this "child" reacted by running from the problem. She leaves for an older man, she wants to marry him and have his children, she does not talk much to her familly now, she as stop her part of the payment for the mortgage. It seems to me she is running away from things that were once her life and things she loved dearly. I truly think that her inner child as taken full control now of her life and is putting her on a path of destruction.

Anyway, true all this I am finding out that I am co-dependant, I am learning about me, I am learning what went wrong in our realationship, I am finding in myself a new man, one that does not need to be validated by anyone to be happy in life, I am seing a spychologist and working hard on myself.

Thanks.

Pierre the french guy.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 29, 2000

S1

Hi my name is Liz. I was brousing and came across this sight, very interesting. I've been in a relationship off and on for 4 yrs. there is codepency and abuse. We tried counseling I have gone to codepency meetings and some anger management workshops. All of these programs have helped and made me aware of all sorts of issues w/me and my partner. I've done some family of origin work, and some healing for myself. I grew up witnessing my mother being abused verbally, emotionally and physically. My brother and I were abused in all areas as well. So the inevitable I picked abusive relationships where I was abused and I am an abuser. It has been a constant battle for me to become a healthy person and partner. I am a controlling caretaker, have been the victom and the perpitrator. I relate to some of the symptoms of a controlling caretaker, however I am someone who will admit to my partner I am abusive I was wrong, there is no excuse. This is not a question but maybe a statement. What about the many people out there who are in both roles of being abused and abusing in a codependent relationship and admit there wrongs and try to make amends and try to seek counseling to change there unhealthy behavior but their partner doesn't acknowledge this and continues the never ending cycle of dysfunction and says "I want to make this work and doesn't show by action, but by words" So does this mean because I'm a controlling caretaker, what they do is never good enough and never will be..or it's just time to get out, becouse it's just not a 50/50 effort. I know if your not happy and you've tried to make it work the best you can, people say it's time to let go and get out. It is difficult when each partner switches roles from victum to perpitrator, it just seems like a never ending battle with that combination. I recently decided to get out because I feel like I'm treading water and not getting anywhere with this person. There are too many triggers for both of us. Our codependency has masked our true love, it is sad and painful but a part of healing and taking care of me. I don't want to be an abusive person or abused anymore

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Date: Monday, May 29, 2000

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Date: Friday, June 02, 2000

S1

I have found you cannot set limits with verbal abusers. They go bonkers. Their need is to be the "authority" on everything, so they cannot allow you to have limits--they did not set them. Pat Harris-Pascale, MA

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Date: Sunday, June 04, 2000

S1

Wow, this sounds familiar. The perfect spouse who makes me look like dirt even though I am a pretty good person. And about the pity parties, what sort of childhood experiances cause this constant need (it seems) to be felt sorry for?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 04, 2000

S1

I work with some one who is self - Narcistic. Please explore this kind of behavior.

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Date: Tuesday, June 06, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene...As a child I was sexually and emotionally abused. I moved to be with my mother when 10 and lived with alcoholism until leaving home. It was a walk through hell. I thought when I married and left home it was behind me. What I discovered was that it drove decisions throughout adult life. Now that I am married to someone who has turned out to be a verbal abuser, I have found that this taps into those early years of CNS damage which has effected a type of hypervigilence in the nervous system. He will aggitate on and on until he sees there is ANS arousal, and only then will he back off. Nothing stopped him--I have tried every method. Many of his verbal outburts bordered on sadistic. I attribute his military training to offering him methods to throw the other person off balance--and no matter how much logic and wisdom I used to counter, he knew a better method the next time. When I confronted him with this, he denied and acted disgusted. In the past couple of years since moving to the southwest where I have been validated by others he has subsided in this behavior somewhat. I attribute this not only to the validation, but to an increasing improvement in health as I move out of his influence. What I do believe, however, is that if I ever get sick again, he will once again bully me. As I am over 60 now, I find this a chilling throught.

I am currently beginning to build a financial account to offer some stability--even though his behavior has improved dramatically. I cannot foresee it reaching a level of security that would offer relief from worry; on the other hand if I can achieve enough income to survive with basic needs, I feel this is better than risking another bout of ill health while with him. Leaving him without familial support at this age is a dreadful thought. On the other hand, I feel I must do something.

He refuses a separation, refuses to give alimoney (we have been married for 12 years, together for 15). And he knows that I am tied to him with medical insurance (military) so he thinks I cannot make that move. Once when I stated no amount of money was worth staying, he backed off. Yet even my neighbor sees him treat me with disdain and then turn around and smooze her with charm--all in the same interval. Clearly he has been using his financial support as a club over my head to keep me in the relationship, and to keep abusing me in whatever ways he can.

I understand his control methods, I am building new strengths, and like some others who post, I have appreciation for the new skills built while dealing with this situation. As I begin to build secure areas for myself, I feel less reactive to his bouts of abuse.

This is a second marriage. When I left the first I felt a failure. With this one I feel freer and more aware of who I am. Strenght came from the validation finally offered--yet neither from family nor long-term friends who would have given me much if they had just responded to my comments when I began to talk to them about the devil behind closed doors. Many of them witnessed his behavior--and still said what a wonderful man he was, etc.--pointing to the false image he projected and his accomplishments. I felt as I did when a child and no one believed or validated me. At this location everyone says what they witness--it has been a blessing to me that is powerful, offering strength and conviction. I have had trouble forgiving family and friends on the Coast for withholding this important support.

Everything right now is in the quiet stage--like the calm before a storm. I only know one thing--I would like to live my final years in peace with laughter and fun, making contributions to others as I am able. Right now I am building strengh and hopefully a little better financial position, clearing bills and fixing health problems. I do not have family to rely on. I recall a motto on my high-school auditorium wall--I will study and get ready and perhaps some day my chance will come. And so it is for me. As long as I have a reprive I can build. However, leaving is not that simple--no matter how right one thinks they are, there are psychological matters to address that have to do with living alone at my age. And so I admit I am fearful about the future that is out of my view.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 16, 2000

S1

My MOm is just like this, it is a very dificult and unhappy way to grow up. As a child, i never developed any kind of personality and now i feel self pity because i have wanted my mother to die for most of my life and even now,i always wish she would die so she would finally be gone and no longer a part of me. No one in my family talks to her, she is so so difficult and always very sharp tongue and critical. She always told me when i was young that she wished i was dead and that she hated me so so much. It was a very wierd way to grow up and i had so much shame becuase everyone in the neighborhood thought i had the strangest mom and no one wanted to be around me....it was quite awful...quite awful.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 29, 2000

S1

This article could have been written about a person I met about 2 months ago. We started dating and the very first week we made plans to get together and he didn't show or call. When I expressed my feelings about this incident I was told that I was right and that I didn't deserve to be treated that way. Unfortunately, after that it was the only way. About a week ago we were discussing this problem. All I was asking for was a call if he was running late. He said he refused to be told what to do. I didn't see how making plans and agreeing on a time to get together was telling him what to do. The discussion got more heated than necessary and has resulted in the decision that a relationship would never work between us. He had become quite angry with me for disagreeing with him and I was angry and frustrated at trying to make myself understood. I haven't been blind to things that have been said prior to that and I suddenly realized I felt oddly familiar with the situation. My brother and ex-husband behave in a similar manner and I knew a guy a few years ago (who had a drinking problem as well) who behaved this way. They had all at one time told me to shut-up and quit nagging them. I always felt I was attempting to communicate and had no intentions of starting anything. When I was on line I thought I would look up some information about people with controlling personalities. I found what I was looking for as well as information about myself. I am codependant. Almost every characteristic listed about a codependant is about me. I thought I would be helping this person by getting information and trying to present it to him that could help him see how he was behaving. Now I know why I wanted to do this and have no plans of following through. I can only hope for him that he realizes what he is doing to himself and others and do something about his problem. I feel relieved that I have identified mine and can start changing today!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 02, 2000

S1

I am adding an extreme anti-social verbally abusive to this "picture of a controller" and coming up with zero ideas for a calming the huperactive/proclivity for the culprit! I wonder what are some of the best choices for self defense against the extreme kind of verbal abuse? Also what line is drawn when such assaulting statements are made out-of-the-blue at odd moments and directly after "being sooo kind" for 5 minutes to the next(even after lovemaking?)

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Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2000

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, Amen! Everything you wrote has hit the nail on the head. I am in the process of working on empowering myself. I've been visiting your site every day and reading everything I can. Thank you for this site and for all the people that have posted here. Everyone I know thinks I am a strong independent woman. Only a few know that I have set myself up as a victim of verbal abuse. I'm too embarrassed to let anyone know. I have been in this relationship for 8 years. (Way too long). I know being a victim and saver goes back to my childhood. I was always trying to save and be loved by my abusive mother. I am so grateful that I have people to learn from and share with now. Your site! I want to learn to love myself enough so I won't let myself be involved in an abusive relationship ever again.And get out of this one! Thank you, Nicole

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Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2000

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Date: Friday, September 22, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene,

I would like to thank you, as I see many have also, for this site and just like many victims/abusers came to this by chance. I have been reading and replying on the message board for a few weeks now. It is comforting, and yet sad at the same time, that there are so many victims out there. For this means that there is just as many abusers.

So many stories sound too familiar it is almost errie. I sometime wonder if my boyfriend has clones or living other lives. Obliviously I am not the only one. I read this observation several times and you couldn't have nailed it closer if you tried. I would like to add to your observation if I may. I find that not only do I not respond in the "proper" manner when recieving ANYTHING from my abusive partner, but it is expected to always, and I do mean always, to return my gratitude. His idea of gratitude it usually matters of the heart. He truly expects that I owe him either love, passion and even sexual favors. I have quite often felt that I was being treated as if I were a whore, only she (or he) is probably getting paid much differently than I. For instance, I needed $20 to pay for a weekly womens group I attend. As I was walking out the door I asked (not demanded) for money - I was running late. He paused and then looked at me and replied "So what are you going to give to me?" I know this may not sound like a big deal, I have a lifetime of examples to share if you like. Sex has turned into a barter. I often give in just so the badgering and abuse will stop. My point is that in his eyes I am never gratefull enough, nor do I respond properly (his way - which varies) and half the time admittedly expects and deserves something, anything, in return. He thinks that I am "ate up" because I get true enjoyment from giving to others and helping people out. How in the world, knowing that I can not fix him, do I lead the water to the horse so he'll take a drink. I'm rambling. Bet that never happens here!! I am getting closer and closer to actually telling my story now that I've gained some trust in some of the readers and worked up the courage. I would be grateful for any advise. I came to the abusers site instead of the victims for this purpose. If a person has never been an abuser, how can they know how THEY feel. I am not in any way, shape or form giving justification for my abuser. Since I have decided to admit the problem instead of ingoring it I have found that things are getting worse. He doesn't like it when I stand my ground - and that's what I am doing. I know it will be a long road traveled, but I need to know that I have done all I could. I wouldn't want anyone to turn their back on me if there were a problem (perhaps their awareness is cloudy) and any one person is capable of learning. It took a long time to master his trade, what's to say that he can be re-trained. I just don't know how to approach this effectively (I remind him constantly) and help me, not make him, see what an ugly, disrepectful little man he is. Is there any abusers that might be able to offer a poor and frustrated woman advise. I really don't want to leave, and I don't want to not love him anymore. I have a big and compassionate heart; however, I am finding that instead of my positive qualities affecting him (these has always been strong ones) his negativity is seeping into me. It must be a nightmare always seeing the worst and finding the negative in life. What can I as the victim do or say to not lead, but steer him in a more positive and healthy direction? Thanks all for letting me vent. I will post my story soon and hope that I recieve the advice and support as many others have appreciated.

jenn

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, October 12, 2000

S1

Hello. Thank you. Dr. Irene and everyone. This site has opened my eyes to my codependency/"victim" status, coupled with a need to control my "abuser." I was shamed at how SOME of my behaviors were abusive. I would say I was 15 percent abusive, 85 percent abused. I'm still trying to figure it all out, even though I left my boyfriend/father of my kid one month ago. As part of my own therapy, I wrote the following few (actually several) paragraphs on my take on what my abuser thought. It was very therapeutic to write and I thought I would share it. I got the idea to do it from someone else's post -- so thank you!

I should avoid emotional closeness, because it leaves me vulnerable and open to hurt. I will adopt an attitude of aloofness and indifference to keep my partner from getting a piece of me. Besides, if I let my partner get into my head, I will be under her rule and will be smothered. I will lose myself. To prevent this, I will subconsciously and consciously distance myself from my partner to keep her from overtaking me, while giving her fleeting moments of tenderness to keep her near me.

Here's how I'll go about it.

I will put off her requests for closeness, for talks and for time alone together. I will interrupt her and dismiss her opinions. I will show little interest when she wants to share an insight or a story from her day, and I will not share mine. When she hears me share something with someone else and asks "Why didn't you tell me that?" I will say "I didn't think you'd be interested" or "I forgot." I will scoff at her interests as well as her choices and habits. Also, I will make sure I don't miss a chance to point out - with a tone of superiority and "rightness"-- how opposite or different her choices and habits are from mine. This helps prove that any attempts at "working" on our relationship will likely fail, since we are so different and thereby gives me more reason to distance myself.

I will spend my time at home on house projects, watching TV, reading magazines or playing with the kids - anything and everything to leave no time for us to have a private moment. I will stay up each night later than her to avoid any closeness when we go to bed, then tell her she needs too much sleep. If I want to have sex, I will wake her from her sleep and began touching her, knowing she'll respond because I've minimized affection and she's craving any intimacy I'll offer. When I am not at home avoiding her, I will pursue activities outside the home and not include her of "forget" to tell her about my activities until the day of the event, thereby leaving little possibility that she can attend with me.

To keep her within arm's reach, I will occasionally throw out a "we should do X…" I may even really mean to do something with her, but I won't ever make it a priority so that other "things" I have to do will also come first.. I will leave my schedule open to attend whatever event I want, or go out with friends, but I will raise a fuss when she does the same. After all, she always checks with me before she does anything, so if she doesn't check, she must be punishing me, and I will call her on it.

If she asks that we have a "talk," I will put on my game face of mild irritation at her demand that I share. I will let her run the talk, not offering much input and not validating her opinions. If she pushes ANY buttons or requests any changes in my behavior, I will unleash my rage and feel it is my entitlement to cut her, criticize, accuse her of "riding" me and then leave the room or the house, so that she can't continue "talking" to me. Her "talking" is just a cover to get a chance to bitch at me anyway. When she sets up a session with a counselor, I will go so that no one can place blame on me for not going. Then I will tell the counselor that the reasons we have problems is because we are "very different people so we can't communicate with each other."

Once in a while, I will throw her a crumb and share a thought or a hug with her. Or, at the spur of the moment, I will decide -- without asking her first -- to take her out to dinner so that she can't say to her friends or my family "He NEVER spends time alone with me." I will subvert any attempts from her to talk about us spending more time together during these rare occasions when I do spend a night with her.

I will show disgust at her lack of confidence and insecurities. Then I will bring up her tender spots (insecurities) whenever it helps me gain the upper hand or control in an uncomfortable situation. That way, the focus of whatever comes up is shifted away from me and on to her unreasonable insecurities.

When she reacts to any of this with anger or other high emotions (yelling, getting hysterical, crying, bawling, or walks around joyless and bitter), I will offer very little comfort, concern, reassurance or attention. After all, she is trying to punish me with all her hysterical and depressing emotions, and I don't need the hassle.

Her anger and emotional reactions provide "good reasons" to keep distancing myself from such an intentionally hurtful person. I will make sure I tell my friends and family that her only moods are depressed, hysterical, joyless and bitter, and nothing I do is ever enough for her. That way I can make an ironclad case that proves to everyone, including myself, that is her fault when she leaves me. -DJ

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000

S1

Ok, I'm with you so far. Any tips on finding that "hurt child inside" and figuring out what the hurt was?

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Date: Friday, November 10, 2000

S1

My husband acts like child when things don't go is way. He gets angry if he tells you do something and you don't do right then. Yesterday he was involved in and accident No one was hurt, but I know it was scary. He was in a Tractor Trailer and a car spun out in front of him and he had no choice but to hit her. He was okay and everyone in the accident wasn't hurt. Anyway when he got thru he called me and told me that he would be at the lot to come pick him up. I was 15 minutes late picking him up and he cussed me out for I tried not to say anything Cause I knew he was so upset, But he said terrible things to me, Told me everytime He needed me I wasn't there. This happens all the time, everytime something happens to him everyone suppose to drop everything. I can be working on our books and stuff and if he needs me I have to stop whatever I'm doing and do it. You can't say I'll do it when I'm thru with this, or he'll make you feel so bad. I know I should get out but, I have 2 children and I'm afraid I can't support them on my own.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000

S1

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000

S1

I've only been married for a little over a year but have known something is very wrong with my marriage for quite a while. My husband has "changed". He has gone from the wonderful, perfect man for me - saying and doing all the right things, making me feel so special- to a man who makes condescending and hurtfull comments to me. Sometimes in front of others. He's recently done it in front of his parents, and my mother. Last year he was condescending to me in front of a co-worker who said to me the next day at work that it hurt her very much to see someone she cares about being spoken to like that. It's so embarrasing. I've tried to talk to him but I feel like I need to read off of a script in order to say something without being snapped at or blamed. I've been snapped at for things as little as filling the cats water dish too high and leaving the outside light off when he wasn't home yet. Sometimes when I call his name he'll snap at me just for calling him because he's busy watching a tv show or playing a computer game. I have to walk on eggshells. He always has to be right. He seems to want to even control what I do; ie- I was reading a newsletter the other day and he repeatedly told me to read the middle section of the letter and seemed to become slightly annoyed when I continued to read the front of the letter. I told him he didn't have to keep telling me to read the middle section, I would get to it when I was done reading what I wanted on the front. He understood that but so many other times a simple encounter like that one ends up with him not speaking to me. Recently I asked him why he was so condescending to me and he said because I made him have to be. When I asked why, he stated it was because when he had asked a simple question and I gave an incorrect answer.

I'm very aware of this problem and now. I spoke with his mom about it to see if he was like this before we got married or if it was something I may have actually caused. She said his father is like that and he got that behaviour from him. She said I shouldn't put up with it the way she did. She said she didn't handle it right. She's been married over 30 years now. Thank you for your web site. It gave me some comfort to read about other people's stories. I most appreciated the checklist to see if you are in a verbally abusive relationship. There is no physical abuse but I was able to say "yes" to almost every one of your questions. I really don't know what to do about this horrible problem because I love my husband, but I just turned 30. I'm still young and don't want to waste my life fighting for respect. I can't even have children with this person because I'm afraid as they grow up they'll treat me the way he does. I don't think I could stand having my own children treat my so disrespecfully. My husband doesn't think he has a problem. He says I've lost my sense of humor and can't take a joke anymore. I don't know what to do.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 18, 2000

S1

I have been re-reading the posts. My husband fits the controlling caregiver to a 't'. The caregiver part is good. The controlling is bad. So the dilemma is great. This type of person makes you feel guilty if you respond to his caregiving in a manner he is not expecting. And the guilt is overwhelming at times because it feels as if he is trying so hard yet I feel manipulated and controlled by the care and the 'love' (??) that he tries to bestow on me. It diminishes me as a person because I feel like maybe I am the one with the problem if I cannot be 'happy' with this perfect man. He bowled me over in our dating days. I really did believe that he was all I could ever ask for. The problem came when I did ask for anything. If it was not on his pre-planned agenda, then I couldn't possibly want it. After all- he knows what's best for him, for me, for our family. And all the while, I had this nagging doubt. Did he really love me? or does he love the validation he gets from doing things FOR me. I cannot ask him to do something. He doesn't do it, but if I make him think it was his idea all along, he will come on like gangbusters. So I don't really think I have a partner, but a caretaker. So I guess in the end, the caretaker part is not all that good either! - Jean

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 07, 2001

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Date: Sunday, January 07, 2001

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Date: Friday, January 19, 2001

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Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2001

S1

This situation of overgiving--and not being satisfied in return is going on between my husband and his "best friend". This (male) friend gives my husband very expensive gifts for Christmas and his birthday, has taken him (and paid for it all) on vacations (just the two of them)to Puerto Rico and the like. This friend will come and stay with us for a week or more at a time, completely unannounced, and expects for this to be okay, since he does so much for "us". My husband won't talk to him about how manipulative he is because he feels he owes this friend something. The more I have learned about this friendship (started about 6 years before I met my husband), the more I realize this guy never was his friend. He was in love with my husband, who didn't reciprocate the feeling, and to win over his "friendship", he began doing really, truly outrageous things for him that I wouldn't do without asking (like sending out college applications for my husband,without asking or being asked. There are many, many more things happening here--including that this man really doesn't like me. He says terrible things about me to my husband, like that I am a bad mother and "white trash", which is uncalled for and completely out of nowhere. Should I insist that something be done here, maybe even talk to the friend myself? What would you do?

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

S1

Sunshine, you must've been married to my husband. I can't believe how similar our stories are. We are going through the process of divorce after I reached the point of feeling like a doormat. But he is throwing the accusations of being a "controlling whore" back at me. My question is this...where does the "do unto others as you'd like them to do unto you" end and the controlling caretaker begin? I truly enjoyed having him do things for me -- and made sure I expressed my gratitude. I always thought that he didn't have good role models, as he had trouble being romantic, thoughtful and tended toward the self-centered. Only recently did he admit that doing those "little things" (and some big ones) felt like begging to him.

I have been guilty of trying to "fix things/people." I like things to run smoothly (house clean, bills paid, rent in on time) and I was the one to attend to these things. I helped my husband achieve his current professional status, and was happy to do it, thinking he would do the same for me (when my time came he complained that I was too busy/preoccupied/depressed with my own work) though did offer support. I went through our marriage assuming that he was one to look at the big picture, while I attended to details (which he abhores). Only recently did I start to hear that I was controlling, frustrating him to the point of anger, manipulative and untrustworthy. Either I'm completely delusional or I'm none of these things. In fact, I thought we were doing fine.

Any response would be appreciated. I do still love him (feel badly for 'hurting' him, want to fix that too). I am on my own and working on my own issues of fear of being alone. And I'm doing ok.

Lilly

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 19, 2001

S1

I really would still be with my VA, my "caregiver" who would throw anything he did for me in my face, to which I would try to pay him back literally with money whatever it was he had done for me, if I had not started stuttering about a week and a 1/2 ago while defending myself once again over the phone at midnight. I yammered like and idiot, (which he made fun of one minute and called me psychotic the next) and still argued until he fell asleep on the phone, trying to regain some semblence of dignity and control (over me, the situation, or him...who knows?) I stuttered the next time I talked to tell him this was obviously not a healthy relationship, to which he replied "Well, I am glad you have finally found an excuse to end this relationship" An excuse??? At that point I did stoop down to his level and called him a messed up ____, to which he says is the reason we are not together now...etc, etc, etc. I will not bore you with further detail as they are classic in nature. And the sad and yes, stupid thing is this. Had I not stuttered, I would have still been with him, the first part states "that is why you thought you met the perfect person" EXACTLY. Glad I stuttered like that. Defense mechnism I guess, and it only happens around him. Although, when trying to get my things back I contacted him over the weekend, he chose to ignore me until I was at work, called me there and got me so upset that I stuttered the rest of the day...think of how I had to try to explain that scenerio! Ah, well, I trust God to lead me to healthier and happier things. I still (unfortunately) have the faint hope he will realize his "disease" and truly change and come charging back in my life, (a yr from now) a changed and better man. I guess I cling to this hope only because I am a former abuser who changed, and thought I could help him change as well.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2001

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 04, 2001

S1

I have never e'ed before so I am unaware if this is the right place to ask questions, but I have one I want to submit, directly related to this topic.

I am self-employed as an interior designer. I walked into a restaurant last Christmas and got hired to design a new function room they were putting on. The manager ( a female who closely resembles the controller/caregiver description above) has been undermining me at different points since then.

Recently,she made an accusation that aside from being untrue, really annoyed me and I told the owner. He said,"Karen thinks she's my mother, don't worry about her." Since then, however, there have been design changes clearly related to her pressure on him.My going to him obviously irked her and kicked up her "unloved issues" from childhood.

I have done a lot of work on myself and realize people get caught up in unfortunate situations, however, I am sick of this person's interference in my work. I am looking for a strategy to counteract her impact. Ideally, win/win is the ultimate outcome, yet sometimes impossible.

So, how do I protect my interest in this job and deal with this typical gatekeeper ( whom I suspect has either a personal romantic interest or a desperate need to be needed as she throws herself on the line for him all the time-- tells everyone she has been so busy she hasn't eaten in 3 days, etc.)???

Known background: They are both married to other people. Him: on the 3rd marriage; her: ? .

He either doesn't know she manipulates him and sees only his need to "keep people happy", or, manipulates her by letting her think she controls him or some twist of the two???

Can you recommend something?

Thank you

Veronica

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 04, 2001

S1

I have never e'ed before so I am unaware if this is the right place to ask questions, but I have one I want to submit, directly related to this topic.

I am self-employed as an interior designer. I walked into a restaurant last Christmas and got hired to design a new function room they were putting on. The manager ( a female who closely resembles the controller/caregiver description above) has been undermining me at different points since then.

Recently,she made an accusation that aside from being untrue, really annoyed me and I told the owner. He said,"Karen thinks she's my mother, don't worry about her." Since then, however, there have been design changes clearly related to her pressure on him.My going to him obviously irked her and kicked up her "unloved issues" from childhood.

I have done a lot of work on myself and realize people get caught up in unfortunate situations, however, I am sick of this person's interference in my work. I am looking for a strategy to counteract her impact. Ideally, win/win is the ultimate outcome, yet sometimes impossible.

So, how do I protect my interest in this job and deal with this typical gatekeeper ( whom I suspect has either a personal romantic interest or a desperate need to be needed as she throws herself on the line for him all the time-- tells everyone she has been so busy she hasn't eaten in 3 days, etc.)???

Known background: They are both married to other people. Him: on the 3rd marriage; her: ? .

He either doesn't know she manipulates him and sees only his need to "keep people happy", or, manipulates her by letting her think she controls him or some twist of the two???

Can you recommend something?

Thank you

Veronica

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 09, 2001

S1

The "kid self" you mentioned is interesting. I'm not sure I understand it entirely, but living with my husband seems like being perennially locked out of a car by a normal two-year-old.

The child is physically capable of saving the day --if he would be willing to follow instructions and poke the keys through the vent or pull up on the lock. However,he is programmed at that point in his development to automatically take an opposing position and letting him know what you need is the kiss of death. You'll never get it. If he finds out that you want the keys,he'll cheerfully insert them deep into the air conditioning vent.

The child sees this as a very good joke. You see it as descending to the next lower level of hell. (I read elsewhere on this website "If your partner does not think a joke is funny, it is not. this sort of sent chills down my spine.)

Then, if/when you are finally forced to leave the child to go get help, not only do you have to leave him unattended for God knows what to happen to him, but you know he will freak out because you are gone.

A young child is going to have to mature a little bit before he can comprehend that being abandoned (in this case only briefly) was the consequence of his own actions.

Even if this analogy is close, it still doesn't tell you what to do about a 47-year-old who has locked himself in the car with your keys....except walk away and let him scream.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2001

S1

I am the controlling partner and it's scary to see how perfectly this describes me. My question is how do I break this cycle? I have always been controlling, but since my husband and I have had a baby, it's gotten so much worse. I can and have to do it all. People offer to take our daughter, including my husband and it's always no. I feel like I have to do it all and then get resentful that I'm doing it all. My husband tells me I treat him like a child and he's right. I hate this part of me. I want to change. Help? Control Freak

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 19, 2001

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 06, 2002

S1

This is the most confusing crap I have ever read. Forget the gift giving. Focus on everyday life. I was going to copy this for my husband to read until I read it. I do believe he would ask, " what gift did you give me? Please day to day situations is what we are concerned about.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 01, 2002

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 03, 2002

S1

I read so much of my own situation here, it's almost scary. It give me a certain validation that I've been looking for, that I'm not crazy. But then I think, whether or not I send this to my husband, he's going to totally discount it as me "finding anything by a so called expert to support your beliefs and make me look bad". I am so twisted about my marriage and what to do, but reading all of this is helping me realize I need to be strong and not listen to his distortions.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 05, 2002

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2002

S1

I do recognize my husband here. He is loving and giving but seems to go overboard. I can see now I favor both his mother and older sister. I am older than he is. His mother has emotional problems and I believe she was emotionally and possibly phyically abusive. His sister was the step in care giver when mom was out of sorts. He gives and gives even when it is not expected or needed. But then it is like "I gave and gave now you owe me, do what I say! I know what is best!" Now I no longer want anything, because there is to high of a price. I am very indepentent, (always have been) this drives him crazy and makes him insecure, bringing angry abusive behavior. I am a grown up I love his attention but I don't want a dad or a boss. We were together 2 years while I was in college for the second time. I have 2 kids, we were doing fine before he came into my life. I think he believes he rescued me. Now he wants to reconstruct my family and our ways to suit him. (We are fine) We don't need fixing. I gave in at first trying to make peace. (when it seemed a reasonable compromise) I held my ground when it came to my girls. They have a father who is very active in their lives. ( D hates this) I believe they are happy emotionally healthy young people. I am not romantically interested in my x husband but we are friends, family of sorts (devorced 7 years). We parent together, I have resect for him , thats all. But it drives D crazy. I do not feel I have ever acted inappropriatly. D has also has said that I love my children more than him. That is like comparing apples and oranges the love is not the same. I have enough love to go around. D just never has enough to satisfy him. No amount of attention is enough. He never feels my love. I began to resent his constant testing. He was verbally abusive at times but mostly agressive and controlling. When he came home usually late(he works for himself) the girls would leave the room. Sarah stopped bringing home friends. Sondra is deaf, D seems to focus on her, to help. He is too controling and this drives her nuts. He also intimidates her. I would step in. He of course resents this. He means well but D's help is not always wanted. He wants a real family,(???) I told him we are a real family but we are established already. We can compromise but we don't need overhauling. We can not have any children together. I had my tubes tied. He wanted me to join his religion. I am a Christian also, but his church was very different, they don't celebrate any holidays. I feel it is too controling. I respected his veiws but didn't agree with their perspective. (he was not an active member when we married) His parents are very active in their religion. He says if I won't join there is no reason for him to be active in it. (???) I felt he resented the time I spent studing. As graduation day approched he became more distant. I also became fed up with his behavior. He started working late not even comming home. Sleeping on the couch. Surprize D had an affair with a woman from Handuras who spoke no english and no job skills. She is a waitress. Her mother and father died. She worked part time for a short while with D as a helper doing ceramic tile. He gave her a cell phone, payed bail for some traffic tickets etc. Took care of her and rescued her. She has no family and wanted him to give her a baby. She wanted him to marry her so she could stay in the US. He confessed this all to me. If it had not been so painful I would be funny. I felt like I was living a tacky soap opera. At first I was releived he would leave. He would obsess over someone else. For some reason I suddenly needed him.(???) Remembered all the good times and his charming ways. I never loved anyone the way I loved D. (I never loved his evil twin) For some reason I felt it was my fault. I could make it right. We could get counciling. I begged him to stay... he left. After a few weeks I realised how much better things were, the kids were happy. I was depressed and lonely but OK. I knew this would pass. I would be fine. But you guessed it, here he comes again wanting to make things right. We have been going around and around for over a year now. I have a good job, happy kids and a sad crazy love life. I anyone had told me 3 years ago all this would happen I would have laughed. ( I feel like a nut)I am not only angry with him but mostly at myself. I am trying to work it through. I know eventually it will get better. I try to lead with my head. I don't want to be heartless but I have to provide a sane stable home for my children. I can't do that in a disfuntional relationship that makes me crazy.

I am hanging in there, Rissa

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 18, 2002

S1

I get confused reading this. Maybe this lies ahead somewhere.

Is it all about how much you want to tolerate in the other person? If you can be both cotroller and victim, is it ok to say no? I feel guilty each time I read something that is like what I have done to any of my past partners. But what about the essential decision of deciding whether or not a person's controlling qualities, or even their victim qualities, are acceptable for you to live with? Isn't it perfectly fine to say, even if I have been part controller in the situation, that there is verbal abuse that I will not tolerate, don't see him ever giving up, and therefore I want to leave the relationship entirely?

I am confused

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 17, 2002

S1

I have been searching the web for a year since I got my computer trying to find some type of criteria to describe my husband. He is controlling and tries to make everything right. He has made so many bad decisions and would never listen to me, because he knew better. When the usual misjudgement was made and we had to suffer for his decision, of course, it was always someone elses fault. I am constantly blamed for not putting the dishes into the dishwasher properly to being too permissive with my daughter. The controlling caregiver is exactly the way he is. This man is no picnic to live with. I have a strong will and constitution. I think he deliberately tries to dring down and has pushed to the braking point. I used to argue - now I agree and move on. This has ruined our sex life. He has accepted (more or less) my lack of sexual interest. Apparently he will not change and because of his short sighted controlling personality our lives will never be whole again. We tried councelling once and the therapist told him he didn't have to come back. He intimidated her immediately upon entering the room, therefore, I new there was no changing him. I will probably leave him one day. My daughter is getting married and after she leaves I don't expect to stick around. He made her life misserable (stepfather). She is a good girl and marrying a fine young man who listens to her and talks with her. Now I know it isn't me, you have answered a lot of questions and this is something that can not be changed after 15 years of marriage.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 17, 2002

S1

I have been searching the web for a year since I got my computer trying to find some type of criteria to describe my husband. He is controlling and tries to make everything right. He has made so many bad decisions and would never listen to me, because he knew better. When the usual misjudgement was made and we had to suffer for his decision, of course, it was always someone elses fault. I am constantly blamed for not putting the dishes into the dishwasher properly to being too permissive with my daughter. The controlling caregiver is exactly the way he is. This man is no picnic to live with. I have a strong will and constitution. I think he deliberately tries to dring down and has pushed to the braking point. I used to argue - now I agree and move on. This has ruined our sex life. He has accepted (more or less) my lack of sexual interest. Apparently he will not change and because of his short sighted controlling personality our lives will never be whole again. We tried councelling once and the therapist told him he didn't have to come back. He intimidated her immediately upon entering the room, therefore, I new there was no changing him. I will probably leave him one day. My daughter is getting married and after she leaves I don't expect to stick around. He made her life misserable (stepfather). She is a good girl and marrying a fine young man who listens to her and talks with her. Now I know it isn't me, you have answered a lot of questions and this is something that can not be changed after 15 years of marriage.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 17, 2002

S1

I have been searching the web for a year since I got my computer trying to find some type of criteria to describe my husband. He is controlling and tries to make everything right. He has made so many bad decisions and would never listen to me, because he knew better. When the usual misjudgement was made and we had to suffer for his decision, of course, it was always someone elses fault. I am constantly blamed for not putting the dishes into the dishwasher properly to being too permissive with my daughter. The controlling caregiver is exactly the way he is. This man is no picnic to live with. I have a strong will and constitution. I think he deliberately tries to dring down and has pushed to the braking point. I used to argue - now I agree and move on. This has ruined our sex life. He has accepted (more or less) my lack of sexual interest. Apparently he will not change and because of his short sighted controlling personality our lives will never be whole again. We tried councelling once and the therapist told him he didn't have to come back. He intimidated her immediately upon entering the room, therefore, I new there was no changing him. I will probably leave him one day. My daughter is getting married and after she leaves I don't expect to stick around. He made her life misserable (stepfather). She is a good girl and marrying a fine young man who listens to her and talks with her. Now I know it isn't me, you have answered a lot of questions and this is something that can not be changed after 15 years of marriage.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 03, 2002

S1

That's interesting, though I don't think I'll ever forgive my stepdad for calling me a mother****** and a ****sucker. One day he'll get what he deserves though, I pray to god he does.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 03, 2002

S1

That's interesting, though I don't think I'll ever forgive my stepdad for calling me a mother****** and a ****sucker. One day he'll get what he deserves though, I pray to god he does.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

S1

My controller (husband of 4 months), blames alot of his "rages" on a head trauma that occured years ago. He was diagnosed with Frontal Lobe Syndrome. He was also a wicked alcoholic, been "dry" for 9 years. What are your view on this syndrome? I have been accused of all the same things that I have discovered in this site today; making eye contact with strangers can bring on unwarranted actions from them, then the added that I have a problem with MY eyes, when things go bad, who is it I am interested in? It goes on and on.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, It truly saddens and sickens me to read all this. The controlling caregiver fits my ex boyfriend to a "T". He would flip if I would do or suprise him with anything. Although he would not think twice about doing for me. His anger and behavior towards me ended with him screaming for me to leave his life. I did I knew I could no longer support him in his pain, he would not accept my love and support. When he was angry there was nothing I could say or do that was right. And I recieved much blame for very irrational things. To give you some history, he lost his mother suddenly in Dec. of 2000. He is 31 and lost his father at a very young age, about 5. The youngest of four. He slowly, emotionally broke down from there. It is a wonder we even had a relationship. In the end he left me and a good job. To my knowledge he is still not working anywhere. He will probably never contact me again. With his tearful last message he said he takes full responsiblity. I tried shortly thereafter to write him a letter about everything. I even had a mutual friend review it to make sure I came across non-threatening and loving. The letter was never opened and returned stamped 'refuse'. This has all been very painful for me. If he would have sought help I think we still would be together. I think he may have even loved me and didn't know what to do with it. He is a good man, but has deep anger and I know I could do nothing to help him. It was very hard to see him in such personal pain yet he rejected any love and support I had to offer. Broken heart and confused.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2002

S1

Thank you. I wish I had read this 10 years ago.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, September 03, 2002

S1

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This site is so illuminating! Yesterday, I broke my engagement with a man who is definitely a controlling caretaker. I feel lonely today, and a little frightened of the future, but I want to learn all I can about why I spent the last year with someone like this. (By the way, I am sure this is a controlling trait, and I am not sure how to handle it, but he is refusing to acknowledge the fact that he needs to move out - I actually asked him to move out last month in hopes that we could work out our "issues" in separate places, but he didn't - I finally got fed up and broke the engagement; he is now completely ignoring me. Its hell right now, but I know, through research, that the laws in my state will protect me). Re: caretaking controlling - he wooed me over by attending to my every need in the beginning - foot massages, cooking dinners, etc., but quickly he moved into demanding that I quit smoking (something I did until recently when I began to gain courage about leaving him). He told me that if we were to get engaged I would have to get rid of my cat (due to bacteria (?)), and because he went to sleep at 9 pm every night, I should too because of my "stressful" lifestyle. I did all these things, telling myself he was only looking over my best interests. But after we got engaged and he moved in, things definitely got worse. He rarely if ever wanted to socialize with my friends (he seems to have few of his own), and we began to fight often, mostly leaving me dumbfounded as to the reasons for it. (Once we got into a four day fight, which resulted in his not speaking to me for 3 1/2 days, because I asked him why he found a particular article in the paper interesting). But I dutifully attempted to ask him to "communicate" about things, and he shut down more and more. I got pregnant in March, and decided that I could ignore his mood swings; besides, I was thinking that my own hormonal mood swings might be causing some of the problems. During this period, his caretaking reached new heights (breakfast in bed, massages every night, plus genuine sweet happiness about having a child). When I miscarried in May, I began to reevaluate, but it has taken me until now (September) to work up the courage to break it off. (Much of my hesitation is telling family, friends, etc...we were supposed to get married next week). I am currently seeing someone for anxiety, and treating myself pretty well, under the circumstances. But I remain baffled by his behavior, and while I have no interest in getting back together, it is wonderful to read that my experience has been shared by others who are recovering from it. I am beginning to understand how I got swept into the past year, and it is comforting, somehow, to know that his behavior has an explanation. Thanks again.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, September 06, 2002

S1

Thank you for this page. I am definitely a controlling caregiver and verbally abusive. Everything you said is true. I am trying to work on this and I have marked this site in my favorites folder for reference. I do exactly these things. I looked after an alcoholic, I demand unconditional love, loyalty, honesty, etc... and if I don't get it I feel so hurt I get depressed and isolate and walk way from friendships over one lie. I expect more from my spouse, and this is why my relationships don't work. I also have bi-polar disorder which makes the disappointment unbearable and I feel like the whole world let me down and there is not one decent person out there and I feel like killing myself. I know this is crazy. I know I need help. I am going to work on it.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, September 26, 2002

S1

my boyfriend, with good intentions, hounds me everytime i smoke a cigarrete, drink coffee, dress too sexy, eat junkfood when i'm hungry, when i don't get excercise, etc. i am not "aloud" to drink socially anymore because HE gets violent when HE drinks. I feel like i am living with my father. I love him so much and i know he loves me and he wants what he thinks is best for me. I am very independant and he is veruy controling. How can this ever work? there has to be a way. I want to have children with him but i am afraid he will be too overpwering over them (like my father)I know what is good for me and i know that i don't always choose to do this but this is me. any advice i can print for him to read? i want to drink again! i want to have fun. its not fun anymore. hopw can i get him to back off without breaking up with him. he says he can't be with someone who drinks. its not fair.mcrowley@newenglandtech.com

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, October 18, 2002

S1

This site is sadly so one-sided it loses all efficacy or perhaps true that the sad conclusion is that all relationships are doomed to fail because males and females are ultimately incompatible. I don't know ultimately where all ths analysis leads to as the 'solutions', which is what we all should be after, seem few and threadbare and tacked on to reams and reams of heavy-handed analysis. No prizes for guessing this site is largely written and read by women! Well, wake up ladies, males are 50% of any straight relationship and it's no good all the thinking and doing coming from one side only, like it or not. The number of posts here complaining about "him" seem to be the vast majority if not the whole. My conclusion reading all this is that all relationships are doomed to fail if women analyse everything to this degree. Even when a man is all loving and caring, the woman feels threatened/trapped/insecure etc so she pulls away and is congratulated for doing so even though she still says she desperately loves him and misses him all the time. So we men are supposed to back off and not show too much love or attention? This goes against all we were ever taught about loving one another. The more we distance ourselves, the farther the shore gets and if two partners are living separate lives, there's no relationship anymore. That's the logic of backing off so much. Call me old-fashioned but don't loving couples spend quality time with each other or avoid each other totally? This is a moment when males like myself cannot understand females. let me personlaise this. I visited this website when I saw my wife had and I am desperate to understand what is going on in her life right now. I have been in a steady relationship for 5 years, married for 2. I was totally committed, faithful and in love with my wonderful wife. I also strived to give her as much freedom as possible to do what she wanted to do in life career-wise, with friends and in her free-time, and vice-versa, she gave me the same freedom and respect, sure that at the heart of our relationship there was mutual respect, space and of course commitment and love. We have had 5 wonderful years by anyone's standards. Suddenly this Autumn, she returned from a month-long period away at work (I visited her for a week of it) a changed person. From the moment I met her at the station, she was suddenly cold and unresponsive to me like never before. We have not only had no sex since but she doesn't want to hug or kiss me anymore and has been arranging her social life without me, leaving me alone at weekends, even going out with friends instead of meeting me as planned and not telling me, leaving me sitting in bars like a lemon waiting for her to turn up. Her phone now rings off the hook and she shuts the door when it does. I don't think she is cheating on me though that would conveniently explain the behaviour. Next she tells me she's not sure she wants to stay married to me, stops wearing her wedding ring and takes the photo of us down at her work-desk. For five years I thought we understood each other perfectly and then suddenly bang! I feel blind, stupid, confused and unloved. How do you think all these testimonies of women being encouraged to leave their husbands makes me feel? Reading this website you would think women are always right and this is all MY fault! Well when are women wrong then? I repeat every relationship needs two wheels to run and this site is so heavily biased towards one wheel, the bike will topple over. The conclusion is just depressing: Mars and Venus cannot cohabit once they start analysing their differences so much they cannot logically justify mutual love. You know, once in a while it might be an idea to do the male thing and believe in love despite the obvious illogicalities of it. Of course you should speak out, and if necessary get out if a partner starts seriously damaging your life and I would never ever justify a truly abusive realtionship but at times you seem to clearly imply a loving devoted husband is "an abuser". For God's sake! This in-depth analysis just leads to justifying every relationship breaking up because no male and female are 100% compatible. Wake up, there is no such thing as the perfect man or perfect woman. You have to compromise and be self-sacrificing to a certain extent in any relationship. Love is illogical. If you want a 100% rational existance, marry a computer. The misery and betrayal of trust caused by one partner unilaterally ending a thing of beauty, in my case worked hard at for five happy and mutually respecting years, is not justified by the 'didn't you know that?' realisation that women and men have essential differences which cannot be reconciled but can and should be tolerated, discussed and worked at, but above all HURDLED, because good relationships are worth fighting for. This site has too much neurotic going around in circles and not enough reality and admittance of the hurt caused when a loving person is dumped for intangible reasons. Good luck to all fellow strivers at happiness but don't give up unless you and your partner really cannot change and try, try, try before throwing in the towel. Human relationships are never easy, are leaps of faith but I'm not ashamed to say true love is worth fighting for! Don't lamely give up and be a quitter when you can sort things out. Be positive and believe!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

S1

Not sure if my comments are worth submitting. I just became aware of the term Verbal Abusers this week. I have seen lots of therapist in my life time. My history not the point here. I have been labled a verbal abuser by my wife, whom I love more than life itself. She threatens to leave, and I wouldn't blame her for doing so. Good News; I at least have a glimmer of hope knowing what my problem has been, and what I need to be aware of, if there is to be a future with my present wife. Thankyou so much DR. Irene for the Treasure Chest of answers you have led me and my wife to. God Bless you Patrick

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 05, 2002

S1

I am writting a letter to my abusive, contolling mother. This website has helped me alot. Thanks! Laura

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2002

S1

This is so hard - especially when you love them (or think you do). If your eyes are open you KNOW they were/are hurt/hurting. Some time in life we have to think of our own feelings. nm

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, December 26, 2002

S1

How does a teenage daughter put limits on a parents controlling/abusive behaviour? It is one thing for an adult to set boundaries on another adult, but a child who is in the house with a parent has a totally different dilemma.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, December 30, 2002

S1

I find this web site and comments very refreshing. The feelings expressed on this board via "comments" exposes the hurt that abusers and codependents share. I now realize that I am a codependent-however; I also now am listening to all comments, barbs, jabs, and cute type stuff that my partner employs and are directed at me and I have become very angry. In reading some of the excerpts I wondered if a mirror was being held in front of me. I'm not certain how I will proceed but I do know being a punching bag for someone else's insecurities is not acceptable. The frightening element in this situation is that I do not know where my resolve or attitude is coming from- it is a little frightening (after 17 yrs. of verbal abuse) how did this come about?-Unlike the other folks I read about I am not interested in his possible "comming about"- I just want the insults, jabs, cutesy remarks, jokes, and all other barbs to cease. I do not wish you to think that it is totally one-sided- I have learned to give as much as I receive and that is not something I wish to cultivate or continue. At any rate I thank you for your posting and most of all the "Cats"-the cat is in my company logo as well.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2003

S1

I have read these dissertaions with some interest and appreciate that a general approach is necessary to connect with the most people possible, However, not unlike astrological generalizations, the applications mentioned seem to fit a great many situations that may not warrant as much introspection as one would think.. My soon to be ex-wife utilized many of these so called "findings" (or theories) while desparaging my reputation these past twelve months. The countless emotive therapists she visited greatly bolstered her new found opinions and at different points I understood how her reasonings were reached. However, in being deemed a "controlling, verbally abusive" person, what I came to sadly realize is that when I was not "controlling" the situation, the situation became so rife with unnecessary problems that, had I not taken charge, the wheels would come off and been certainly much more disasterous. Rationalization? Nope. Just plain old necessary common sense. Sorry, Sometimes partners just get so lazy they just hate the thought of maintenance. Obviously, the legions of psychotherapists that are now the size of a small army would never use this justification when the "victim" is befallen with tears at the mere idea of their "controlling" parner. Instead, they wring their hands and moan about the insensitivity of the controller and how he dare expect mutual cooperation in maintaining lifestyle. What became apparant to me - the non-victim - was the increasing dependency (co-dependent?) attitude of the victim. While the victim shrieks about being controlled, when the control is removed they seemingly become hapless and ineffectual. When the "controller" comes to the "rescue" (often times with no other choice) and brings back normal order, the "victim" is placated for the moment, only to fall back into the dependency of the "controller." It is interesting that these "victims" feel so defeated emotionally by the so called controller when in reality they are unable to muster the energy or intelligence to perform even the most commonly accepted tasks of modern life. Whether or not the controller has instilled this irresponsible nature could prove a case study in itself. But from my recent experience, I found myself being "accused" of maintaining a normal lifestyle for my family while my partner took it up herself to foster grievances based on the premises of the verbal abuse and controlling partner dialogues this site discusses. Yet, being left to her own devices, the situations of habitabilty would become so out of control that any person seeking even the smallest modicum of decent lifestyle would feel compelled to take "control" over the situation. Now that my wife has separated and "liberated" herself from this abuse, she has demonstrated a remarkable inability to perform the very duties the controller was placed in charge of during the relationship. Her defense of this inability to cope (i.e. keep a reasonably tidy home, pay bills on time, make responsible financial decisions etc.) is now blamed on the controller because the controller never allowed her this privilage during the relationship. It was at this point that I realized the bulk of analysis such as discussed above is a lot of hog wash and a continued crutch to the number of women who consider themselves "victims" simply because they refused to ever take charge of anything and need an excuse for their inability to do so. Obviously, therapists such as the one who hosts this site covers this ground with the justifications the "controller - verbal abuser" uses to maintain his innocence: "he isn't aware of his problem, he seems rational on the outside but on the inside seethes with anger, his life is a fascade etc.) But what all of these points fail to illustrate is the symptomatic application is never discussed. The rational is "the victimizer was abused as a child, bad genes etc." while the victim is trapped in an emotionally devastating arrangement that has become intolerable. What it boils down to is that both partners bear equal responsibility in maintaining a relationship. When a marriage is concerned, it isn't as simple as walking away when disagreements occur. Therefore, when one partner gets lazy and the other partner is forced into picking up the slack, this isn't "controlling' but"maintaining." When one partner finally gives up all semblance of helping the balance and the other party is put in the position of carrying all the water, the outcry of "controlling" is raised and the justifications for this behavior are in place. And from what I have read in both this essay and the verbal abuse essay, I can readily see that the slant toward females has been so finely honed that it is almost senseless to defend against it. All in all, the self help book market has benefited greatly from these rationals and, incredibly, the percentages of success stories seem markedly low. The reason being is that it doesn't approach any problem solving but more problem causing. The rationals are so vague (the verbal abuser doesn't even know he has a problem and probably can't be helped...) that it 1) makes the "victim " feel more helpless and 2) makes the "victim" more apt to rely on this endless parade of "self help" and not address the problems at hand. Until these "therapists" quit catagorizing and start utilizing common sense approaches to their "victims", the divorce rate in the United States will continue to sky rocket. In conclusion, there are unquestionably scores of victimized people in relationships that benefit from introspective analysis. However, the new vogue of labeling partners as bi-polar, verbal abusers, controllers etc. at some point must be tempered with a more symptomatic approach. Unfortunately, as I learned, when therapists do this, the "victims" simply run to a more sympathatic sole who will slide the tissue box over and call for a twenty session recommendation. At the end of the day, the "victim" loses her partner and spends an inordinate time reading the same old tripe these self help promoters keep dishing out , all in order to aid themselves in justifying not apppreciating their ex-partners efforts and thanking the good Lord they have escaped from their co-dependency hell. The final analysis? Acceptance and communication. And get a grip you cry babies..

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2003

S1

thank you for these words... thank you for your website - God bless you

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 25, 2003

S1

What recourse does the victim have after setting clear, firm limits on acceptable behavior several times and still the other person does not respect the limits set, by either ignoring them completely or by displaying anger or by telling you how crazy you are?

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, January 26, 2003

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, This site is absolutely wonderful. It has helped me tremendously. My husband is the same as what Faith's letter decribed so well. I never would have dreamed there was a controlling/caretaker. I have heard for 35 years that he can do nothing to please me. He does what he thinks I want, no matter what I ask for. If I do tell him what I would like, he tells me I am never satisfied, I have to control everything! He tells me I never appreciate anything, nothing he does is good enough. I have reached the end of my rope. I moved out 10 months ago, I still love him, I miss him 24-7, but I know until he can admit and recognize what he is doing that we have no future. I am having a real hard time with the fear of the future. Thank you, Kathy

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 02, 2003

S1

To my horror, I think I fall into this category - controlling caregiver. I'm not like this all the time, just in times of stress. Unfortunately, the last year or so has been extremely stressful. I can remember relationships going back to my twenties where I exhibited varying levels of this behavior. There is a trend and a pattern that I need and want to stop repeating. It's far too painful and it's entirely unsuccessful. The thought of the pain that I've inflicted on people I care about - that's unbearable. I want to do something about it. I also recognize that I cannot do something about this alone.... I think reading the materials presented on this site are a great first step. I will go and buy the books and tapes I can find on anger management and self control skills. I don't think that will be enough. I think I need help figuring out why I respond this way.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 16, 2003

S1

I prayed yesterday morning for God to reveal something...anything to me to help me understand what me and my children are going through This site came up, and the first page that I saw was the one that identified traits of an abusive, controlling relationship. All but maybe three of the long list applied to us. My husband is a professional, christian, giving, wonderful, very well loved person. When I met him, I was a single mom of three. (Two boys, now 16 and 18, and my daughter-12) Everyone, including me and the kids said he was our knight in shining armour, And in most aspects he has been. 90% of our past 9 years have been "Leave It to Beaver" like. To anyone who knows us, even very close friends and family, we are the perfect blended family. He has provided wonderfully for us. He has been a great Dad and husband. But then there are the "episodes". He is very tedious in his expectations about money, house cleaning, and discipline. For the most part his constant rules and nag-nag-naging about even the most insignigicant things (like a wet towel left on the floor, the kid's messy rooms, or a left out glass on a table) were worth dealing with because he "takes such good care of us." In our first 3-4 years of marriage he would accuse me of cheating on him. It would come out of the blue and crush me. It happened over the most bizzare things. Once he drilled me and interigated me because he said my shoes were'nt in the same place when we got up that morning.(He said I must have snuck out in the middle of the night.) Another time it was that I was 20 minutes late meeting him (I had our 4 year old daughter with me, but he was sure I'd been with a man)...another time it was because I had a tube of "vagasil", and that meant to him that I was having an affair. In each one of these circumstances (and this is only a few), it would escalate to me crying, begging and pleading with him to hirer someone to follwow me to prove that I wasn't having an affair, or let me take a lie detector test to prove my innocence. If I got angry he would say my denials proved I had something to hide. I don't really know when or why, but that scenario gradually changed. Money became the next topic of rage, then as the boys got into their teens, it would involve them. To recount these episodes to you would I'm sure be things you've heard over and over. He would find something small to obsess over, The house was still messy, my oldest son's car payment was late, my daughter put a nail in the ceiling to hang something, the birds were out of their cages, on and on, and then become angrier and angrier until he was yelling about it. When we would try to defend ourselves and each other he would scream, call us names, curse at us, tell us to leave, say we didn't appreciate him, on and on. The more we'd try to reason, or explain ourselves, the more he'd "go off". In 10 minutes, he could erase all the good feelings we had prior to the blow. I always tried to help the kids understand that he felt pressures, that their was resentment that the bio dad wan't helping out, on and on. I'd coach, "Come on kids...you know he can't really mean those horrible things. Let's be really careful to try and do all the things that he asks us to do, and show him how much we love and appreciate him." Several days later he'd call me asking for forgiveness. "I'm so sorry Momma, I don't want to fight, can't we put it behind us?" I'd ask him to please try not and let his anger build up like that anymore, to please, please pray for God to help us be understanding of each other's needs. I'd always agree to his bargaining (I'll try to do this or that better if you'll try not to blow up when there's a disagreement.) And, I'd always add... if we do mess up, we're only human, PLEASE don't equate that with our love or appreciation for you. Then here's the most frustrating part... it might not happen again for 6 to 18 months. Every time, I would be so happy and thankful that he had gotten past it. Over the past 9 years I've been to three different counselors to try and figure out what I could do to make it better. He actually went with me a few times. My sister paid for the last counseling on condition that he would go with me. We went maybe six times and barely scratched the surace. She told me thaat my husband had obbsesive compulsive disorder and control problems. He never went back and this was never explored. After reading so much of this site, I realize now what a codependent victim I've been and that I'm teaching my children to be the same. In our family, if we don't abide by all his rules, were unappreciative of all he's done for us. He has been the "bread winner". He pays all the bills, medicals, etc. Every child support check I've recieved from my first marriagd, I've signed and given to him to help support us. Things that he hasn't valued as neccessary items, (like music lessons, hair cuts, make up, my middle son's braces, gymnastics, personal items for myself, my middle son's private schooling, educational materials for homeschooling, pet food)...I've had to pay for with the little money I make from my art. I don't mind paying for these things in the least. I want to contribute, and am happy he's o.k. with me using my money in these ways, and not having to pay the household bills. What I do mind is that he acts like we have been financial leeches, and that he truly feels like he's done something fabulous in supporting us. Of course we appreciate that he's put shelter over our heads, clothed us, and paid for our doctor visits. But isn't that what husbands and dads do? It seems to me like he (and saddly his family) think he's done this great act of charity in taking care of us. If you detect that I've reached my limit, your'e right. He recently blew up at my oldest son. It escalated in him saying he was "done with him, not to ever expect another damn thing from him". This was just a few weeks prior to our son leaving for the marines. My husband justified this because our son was so disrespecful and argumentative to him. This happened on a Monday, and we had a graduation/send off party already planned for my son that Thur. evening. My husband refused to speak to either one of us, wouldn't give our son a graduation/leaving home gift, and didn't tell him goodbye when he left. There is no way I can express to you the devistation to our son, his brother, little sister and myself. Our son is a great kid. He doesn't drink, smoke, or break our rules. He's worked from the time he turned 16, bought his own car, earned scholarship money for his high GPA and SAT scores... and is joining the marines. Without a doubt he argued with his dad that day, and I'm sure he had a disrespectful tone. But it doesn't justify that my husband got in his face and yelled at him that he was "mister perfect, what a joke, just leave now, you've gotten everything you'll ever get from me...I'm done with you, etc." I know now I can't be a victim any longer. I am abusing my children by teaching them that trying to appease this behavior is normal, or something we should continue to try and do. I am praying for a miracle. I believe God can touch his heart and help him see that he's wrong. His family support him in all his feelings. I have a feeling his mother was an emotional abuser. I know she's controlling. Please send me some advice. Do you feel like there's hope for our situation. I don't want another divorce, but I won't continue in this. How can I show him this site, when he won't even have a conversation with me. We've asked him to leave for a while, but he refuses, saying it's his house. We are all walking on egg shells and it is oppressive. Please help. Tricia

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 17, 2003

S1

Dr. Irene: This is very interesting and informative. I read things like this and I am honest enough to admit that I possess the characteristics of a controlling person for the very reasons stated here and elsewhere. Before I go on, I should give a few brief background facts: my husband is disabled and cannot work; I work full time to support us; with his disability supplementing our income we just break even with little to spare. This puts me in position of controller/provider/caregiver that you speak of. My husband is very insistent, and vocal, that I am a controlling person and that I am not the victim here, he is; that I do things to provoke him and that he hates me; he says things that hurt and belittle me and at times has been very verbally abusive. It gets to me BIG time because I have never spoken to him as he speaks to me. But it's because of what he says and how he treats me, along with the desire to improve my marriage and relationship with this man I love so much, that I started looking into this subject in the first place, to help me change myself. Yet the more I learn about it the more I realize that he is a controller also and for quite some time I have been on the receiving end of the same awful treatment, and I recognize the same characteristics in my husband. What about a situation where both partners are controllers? Can it be that we both have developed these things as response to the controlling ways of the other or, more specifically, that he has developed these things in direct response to the years of his being on the receiving end of me? After all, wouldn't anyone who has been the victim work to get control back after being controlled for so long, to protect himself? It's an awful rollercoaster, going back and forth from one of us to the other, and at the same time it's a Catch-22, especially since my husband doesn't see his own controlling behaviour (or at least doesn't admit it to me). Is that possible or is my seeing these things just another characteristic of the controlling person? I cannot help but consider this as the patterns of behaviour, for BOTH of us, are so exact to the descriptions here and elsewhere that it's amazing. Every aspect/characteristic of the classic controller and the classic victim can be found in both of us, at alternating times. Both of us are both controllers and victims. So it goes back and forth from situations where he is the victim, getting hurt, and I am the controller; to me being the victim, getting hurt, and he the controller. It's as if where once we brought out the best in each other, now we bring out the worst in each other. We end up hurting each other, then he pushes me away to be by himself while treating me like dirt when we interact and I go off crying to lick my wounds while still trying to surrender the inappropriate controlling ways I’ve had since I was little. It’s awful! Worse yet, is that he has started looking to other women to bring him what he needs but hasn't been getting within our marriage because I don’t do it right (like he does) or care enough (like he does) or I do things that provoke him and get him angry. He’s not getting what he needs so he’s started looking elsewhere (and, of course, away from me he really is the best kind of man there is so there are lots of women out there just itching to get their chance at him; some actively working to break us up) and at the same time doesn’t like himself when he’s around me so he’s looking for someone to make him feel good. I try very hard but it’s never good enough and the effect of my efforts never last very long. What can I do here? I want to change this situation to a healthier, happier one and I'm working to do my part by addressing my own controlling behaviour but feel like I'm swimming upstream (and getting very tired) because it seems like nothing is changing. It seems sometimes like a hopeless situation yet I cannot give up hope. I love this man with all my heart and soul and I cannot bear the thought that we might not be able to heal what's wrong with us. We brought out the best in each other once; if I could just understand why we can't seem to get back to a place where we bring out the best in each other again, maybe I could do something more. I want us off the roller coaster and back on solid, sane ground, like it was when we first met and married. Help please! Confused and Tired of Crying

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 28, 2003

S1

I am married to a controlling caregiver. He was, just as you said, wonderful, loving and considerate when I met him. But over the 5 years we have been married, he has become controlling and verbally abusive. He wants my daughter, his stepdaughter, to dance to his tune and jump when he says jump. Naturally, she rebels against this rigid, authoritarianism and comes to me. I, of course defend her, then all hell breaks loose. He yells, screams, curses at the top of his lungs (which is a problem also because we live in an apartment complex so everyone hears him rant). I am at the point that I want him to get out. He does not have job right now and his parents just got him a job out of town, and God help me, I cant wait until he leaves. I am starting to hate him.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 15, 2003

S1

I am one of these adult-kid people. I didn't realize it until I read this article. It has opened up my eyes BIG TIME. I MUST talk to my therapist about this....Thanks for the information.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 25, 2003

S1

I dated a man who was very controlling. Everything had to be a certain way, and planned and each plan had to be carried through. He never allowed any mistakes. hing had to be exactly how he wanted it. He would play head games with me, and punish me for anything I did that he didn't like. He was also an alcoholic and he became verbally abusive when he was inebriated and always in front of other people. When he felt like he was losing control he would say abusive things to me and then make it seem like it was a joke. He even went as far as to make an ethnic slur. He denies that he is an alcoholic, but he is. A hopeless one. I am no longer with this man. It didn't take me very long to recognize the signs.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 25, 2003

S1

I dated a man who was very controlling. Everything had to be a certain way, and planned and each plan had to be carried through. He never allowed any mistakes. Everything had to be exactly how he wanted it. He would play head games with me, and punish me for anything I did that he didn't like. He was also an alcoholic and he became verbally abusive when he was inebriated and always in front of other people. When he felt like he was losing control he would say abusive things to me and then make it seem like it was a joke. He even went as far as to make an ethnic slur. He denies that he is an alcoholic, but he is. A hopeless one. I am no longer with this man. It didn't take me very long to recognize the signs.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 03, 2003

S1

I am currently separated from my husband. We have been married for 6 months, and we were together for 3 years. I am so thankful for this website. It really opened my eyes to what I was living with. I was in a nightmare the entire time. I never could understand why it was always a perpetual argument. Why he was always angry. I am so glad that I know now that it was not me, it was him. I did not have a shred of dignity left when I finally decided to leave him. I can not beleive what a monster he really is, and the sad thing is that he does not know it. I feel so guilty about leaving him. Is this feeling normal?

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 03, 2003

S1

I am currently separated from my husband. We have been married for 6 months, and we were together for 3 years. I am so thankful for this website. It really opened my eyes to what I was living with. I was in a nightmare the entire time. I never could understand why it was always a perpetual argument. Why he was always angry. I am so glad that I know now that it was not me, it was him. I did not have a shred of dignity left when I finally decided to leave him. I can not beleive what a monster he really is, and the sad thing is that he does not know it. I feel so guilty about leaving him. Is this feeling normal?

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, May 03, 2003

S1

I am currently separated from my husband. We have been married for 6 months, and we were together for 3 years. I am so thankful for this website. It really opened my eyes to what I was living with. I was in a nightmare the entire time. I never could understand why it was always a perpetual argument. Why he was always angry. I am so glad that I know now that it was not me, it was him. I did not have a shred of dignity left when I finally decided to leave him. I can not beleive what a monster he really is, and the sad thing is that he does not know it. I feel so guilty about leaving him. Is this feeling normal?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 05, 2003

S1

my husband is a sweet man but at time it's hard to understand him when there is double standers in the same household. for example he can joke around with (female) of my co-workers and talk on the phone to them if they call but if it's one of his freinds it is very bad for mw to talk to them or joke around. i don't understand why it's like this anyways i guess it's my problem...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 05, 2003

S1

my husband is a sweet man but at time it's hard to understand him when there is double standers in the same household. for example he can joke around with (female) of my co-workers and talk on the phone to them if they call but if it's one of his freinds it is very bad for mw to talk to them or joke around. i don't understand why it's like this anyways i guess it's my problem...

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 23, 2003

S1

Wow, I Don't know even were to start. This site has really explaned alot to me. My mother is a serious controlling caregiver. I've known she has had problems for years, and it was not untill I went to seek psych. help as a teenager that I realized that: A: Im a good person B: I can't always be wrong. C: My mother has serious control issues I'm 28 years old, and basicly moved out of my parents home when I was 18. I am the youngest of seven children. There is a 16 years between me and the oldest, 7 between me and the closest in age (opps baby). So growing up most of my siblings had moved out by the time I was 12. So I only had a mental break from my mother when she was trying to fix someone else in the family. I won't go into great detail of my mothers tools of mental destruction which she has subjected us to over the years. My biggest concern is my anger towards her. Im generally a really laid back person but every time I'm around her I have to be very blunt and mean to her so she will back off. In fact I think I have the least patients for her of all my siblings, she still has controll over half of them in one sense or another. I think the biggest thing that pisses me off is the fact that I have to be so mean to her to get her out of my affairs. She still tries anyway. She will call me, and try to pry into my life. When she's tried to rule me a few times and knows she is not getting any where. She calls my wife when I'm not home and tries the same junk with her. My wife is not very impressed by my mother (my mother made a seen at her bridel shower, telling my wife that she dosn't know how to take care of me,and we shouldn't even get married. She had only talked to my wife 2 times for 5 minutes before that occasion). The sad part of the whole situation is that I have a buetiful little girl (and another baby on the way!) and my dad never gets to spend anytime with her. I don't want to be around my mother, and I espcialy don't want my children around her after the destruction she has done to my siblings and now my nephews and nieces (I have 14 of them). It pains me so deeply not to spend time with my dad. He always worked 2nd shift while I was growing up, so we spent little time together but what time we did was great. He has always respected me and has always given me sound advice. I would like for him to spend time with me and my family, but mom has him on a leash too. Thats why he has stayed with her for 45 years (well the kids too). She treats him like crap, although most of the time he just ignores her antics. I made the mistake once of telling him how I felt about mom, and why I only show up at family functions every couple of years. He said he understood, but then he sold me out and told my mom. She put her own warpped twist on the whole thing. After all I am an evil child whose "soul needs saving". When I heard backlash from my dad selling me out I was really upset with him. But then I thought about the situation and realized that I probebly should have expected that to happen. I have also noticed that several of my siblings have also been turning into her. They treat me like I just fell of the turnip cart and when I politly tell them thanks for their unwanted advice but I think I will do things my way or as The Lady Captian put it "sail my own ship" they get very angry with me because I'm so stupid for not doing something the way thier infinite wisdom dictates. These people don't even know me. They were out of the house before I was a teen. With the exception of my sister who is the closest in age to me (we are realy close) I don't spend much time with the rest of the family. It just upsets me because I have notion of what more functional families are like. Don't get me wrong some of my other sisters are really cool to but they chose partners that have some of the same traits as my mother (interesting huh?) so I don't really tolerate them either. I feel like such a jerk for excluding most of my family from my life, but I don't know how else to deal with the situation. I love them but I am happiest not being around them. One of my brothers is also really cool but he is smart and moved 200 miles away, so Im not super close to him either because of the distance. I feel sad becuase I don't know if I can ever be close to my family, but I have my own family now, and Im going to try my hardest to keep history from repeating itself(learned behavior ect.ect.ect.) I now know were all my inscurities come from I'm just happy I woke up a little in my early 20's before I married a narccistice girl I fell deeply in love with. That lasted two years and wedding plans before reality smacked my face. Wew was that a train wreck,and a whole other chapter. I swear I could write a book. For the most part I keep all my feelings about my mother,siblings,insecurities, tucked behind a concreate wall. I am too buisy with my own little family, work, and bettering me education to even think about it but I still hear the chains rattling on the other side. And once in a while I will get a phone call from someone who wants to pull some punches. Then some stuff starts to creep over that wall and it consumes me, makes me angry for a day or two before I can tuck it away. This is going to sound wierd, but I Hate feeling angry. It takes too much of my energy. Also it makes me still feel like I'm being controlled because certian people cuase such a fierce reaction inside of me and I haven'tr found a way to control those feelings my self. I don't know if I want to on the other hand becuase untill I find another way of dealing with controllers anger seems to be my only psych. defense. I think I wrote all of this to see If anyone has any Ideas on how to deal with my mother and family. I just am wondering if I keep pushing all the garbage behind the wall, that the wall may fall on me. I know most of the other posts have had to deal with significanat others. Are there others out there with controlling mothers and family members? Mad Hatter

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 02, 2003

S1

I JUST RECENTLY DISCOVERED,SHOULD I SAY REALIZED THAT I WAS EMOTIONALLY ABUSED FOR 15 YEARS. AS I READ ALL THESE PSYCH. PROFILES AND ALL THE VALUABLE INFO IN THIS SITE, THE FILM OF ALL THESE YEARS IS PLAYING AND I WONDER HOW BLIND AND DUMB I'VE BEEN. I CAN WRITE A BOOK AND IT WILL BE A BEST SELLER!! HOWEVER, I WILL LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR ALL THIS WEALTH OF INFO. I FEEL EMPOWERED TO GET OUT OF THIS MARRIAGE THAT DISTROYED WHO I WAS AND TURNED ME INTO A EMOTIONAL ZOMBIE. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 05, 2003

S1

Finish the last sentence

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, June 08, 2003

S1

This fits my husband to a "T". He is the most thoughtful, caring person, but my daughter, 14, and myself will never live up to his strict standards. So much so, that we have both just completely given up trying. I own and operate my own very successful bakery with just my daughter and myself doing all of the work. My wonderful husband comes in on the weekends to clean the kitchen for us from top to bottom. You think, what is this woman complaining about, right? Then wham, we both get the verbal abuse right between the eyes. He thinks my daughter and I constantly ridicule and laugh at him, which we don't. We are trying to play around with him, the way we do with each other. If I am telling him a story, he is constantly interupting me telling me that I am not making sense, not being clear, etc. until I finally get to the point that I forget the point that I was trying to make. We get told we are not loading the dishwasher, but when we load the dishwasher it is done incorrectly. When I suggest to purchase something, we can't afford it, but when he wants to make a purchase, there is no problem, and he extremely goes overboard, buying at least two of that item, i.e, digital cameras!!! He continuously tells me that I have really put on weight, still I am only 15 pounds more than when we were married 26 years ago, and he is over 150 pounds over his "wedding weight". He thinks it's funny to ridicule and humiliate me in front of people, including our children, and out of respect for their father, they don't want to tell him about it, as to not hurt his feelings. When I try to tell him how he is hurting me, he tells me I have a serious problem, and need to seek help. He's right, but HE IS THE PROBLEM!!! He is the eternal victim, stating that no one helps him around the house, no one respects him, I have turned his children away from him, it's my fault that it rained, the car broke down, etc. I get so sick about it, but still, I read these other horrible stories about what these poor women are going through and I feel like I should just "shut up and take it". This has been going on for all 26 years of our marriage. Relatives would never believe it because he is always in a very good mood around them. Neighbors on the other hand, have seen the other side...they have heard him yelling at me, telling me what a terrible wife I am, that no one else would ever put up with me, etc. For years I did everything around the house, cut the grass, did the painting and repair work, everything. Nothing was ever done to his satisfaction, so I just simply stopped doing everything. Except for taking care of my daughter, our laundry, and my seperate bedroom, and keeping the house generally straightened up. I was glad to read to set firm limits on what behavior is acceptable. I just need to further figure out how to diffuse him. If he can't push my buttons,I will be removing the fun!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 20, 2003

S1

"The controlling person you love needs to feel a little safer in the world, so they can stop working so hard at controlling it. Hear that controlling person?" Yep I hear it. So lets say there's a controlling person who knows she has control "issues" and wants to change. Dr. Irene, where do I start?

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

The Controller has a well thought out strategy its not just chance or the physical events of life, but everything is used for a chance to manipulate. Having fits of temper. Usually they will have a fit when they see you too happy too carefree, interacting harmoniously with others. They seek any well justified excuse to start. Sometimes the abuser is periodical in this behaviour, sailing along happily for certain limited periods then wham an explosion. they are never happier than in controlling, even if it means that those around them are suffering. Wives, children etc. This manipulative behaver seeks out its victims, seeks the traits in the perfect victim. so they usually seek out nice kind unsure generous people. Anyone as surly as themselves would be also as combative. Thats why they are unusually quiet when out of their stream

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Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2003

S1

I'd really like to hear more about this.

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Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

S1

my husband sounds so like this. His moods change every few days from one extreme to the other. He is not violent really , more emotionally and verbally abusive. He always fells sorry for himself and complains how tired he is. He never cares how tired i feel and puts me down as if i have done nothing all day. Thank you for theis website it helps to know your not alone.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

S1

my husband sounds so like this. His moods change every few days from one extreme to the other. He is not violent really , more emotionally and verbally abusive. He always fells sorry for himself and complains how tired he is. He never cares how tired i feel and puts me down as if i have done nothing all day. Thank you for theis website it helps to know your not alone.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

S1

my husband sounds so like this. His moods change every few days from one extreme to the other. He is not violent really , more emotionally and verbally abusive. He always fells sorry for himself and complains how tired he is. He never cares how tired i feel and puts me down as if i have done nothing all day. Thank you for theis website it helps to know your not alone.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

S1

my husband sounds so like this. His moods change every few days from one extreme to the other. He is not violent really , more emotionally and verbally abusive. He always fells sorry for himself and complains how tired he is. He never cares how tired i feel and puts me down as if i have done nothing all day. Thank you for theis website it helps to know your not alone.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2003

S1

my husband sounds so like this. His moods change every few days from one extreme to the other. He is not violent really , more emotionally and verbally abusive. He always fells sorry for himself and complains how tired he is. He never cares how tired i feel and puts me down as if i have done nothing all day. Thank you for theis website it helps to know your not alone.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 24, 2003

S1

are controlling caregivers do they have mixed emotions about love and how to love someone? i just got out of a 3 year relationship which i loved him but he didnt no how to love me because he came from a very dysfunctional family, i am so crused and dont know how iam going to get over this man, i never loved anyone so mcuh he treated me good but then treated me bad, he felt like he has to make me happy his mom, and a lady friend who has been in our relationshio for 3 years . his mom didnt want us to get marrried and he is suchj a mommy's boy. This man has made my life a living hell, he used me to build himself up and then he made my life a living hell and now i am starting my lofe all over from rock bottom. I know that i did everything right in the relationship, but he sure has made me feel that i was the blame and i am so depressed and now that i am back in my home town my whole life is overwhelming because of so many things. Signed DEb. email drritchie129@Yahoo.com