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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

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

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

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

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Emotionally Unavailable

Comments for Emotionally Unavailable

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

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 1998-2001. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

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Friday July 13, 2001

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Sunday July 15, 2001

Dear JR,

Wow! I recognize a lot of what was going on in my marriage in your story. Unfortunately, it is too late, spouse found someone else and moved out. I am not unhappy about this. We saw marriage counselors, we tried separate counseling, but were so good at hiding ourselves (both of us) that we never got to the core of the problem. When he left, he was trying cognitive behavior therapy for narcissistic personality disorder, but quit to pursue it his own way because the therapist "obviously did not know what she was doing." (his opinion). Dr. Irene's comment about the sulky son hit so close to home I DO have an 18 year-old at home who cannot deal with his anger, and I believe is emotionally abusive to his girlfriend. We started counseling last week - first both of us because he was apprehensive and suspicious, too soon to know if this counselor is the right one, but I don't intend to give up. I think have a great chance, JR, - once you can recognize the dance, you can change it - and I believe in practice, practice, practice knowing yourself and owning your own "stuff". Good Luck :)! Yser

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Sunday July 15, 2001

Dear JR,

Wow! I recognize a lot of what was going on in my marriage in your story. Unfortunately, it is too late, spouse found someone else and moved out. I am not unhappy about this. We saw marriage counselors, we tried separate counseling, but were so good at hiding ourselves (both of us) that we never got to the core of the problem. When he left, he was trying cognitive behavior therapy for narcissistic personality disorder, but quit to pursue it his own way because the therapist "obviously did not know what she was doing." (his opinion). Dr. Irene's comment about the sulky son hit so close to home I DO have an 18 year-old at home who cannot deal with his anger, and I believe is emotionally abusive to his girlfriend. We started counseling last week - first both of us because he was apprehensive and suspicious, too soon to know if this counselor is the right one, but I don't intend to give up. I think have a great chance, JR, - once you can recognize the dance, you can change it - and I believe in practice, practice, practice knowing yourself and owning your own "stuff". Good Luck :)! Yser


Sunday July 15, 2001

I have lived with a man of this "nature" for 22 years, only in the last six or so have I been able to "put a name" to it or hope to understand it or begin to see things for what they have become. In reality he is more than likely a narcisstic and a misogynist. A man who really hates women, and it began with his MOMMY. He is using you to replay his mommy/love/hate problems, to act out his deep seated fears of women. Control and confusion/revenge for something his MOMMY did or didn't do or her treatment of him as a child. The first step is emotional withdrawl from you, that sets the painful game in motion, for "the rules say" you cannot knowingly hurt someone you profess to love, so he must distance. He will not fully abdicate until you are "groomed" for YOUR chosen role. Do not be fooled. Do not EXCUSE. Do not ignore the first sign. He will, in his quest to conqueor MOMMY fears,rewrite you into the losing role, drain you of all you have to give, all love, all compassion, all understanding, all patience, all feminity, sexuality, all of you, and he feels NO obligation to put anything back and will NEVER be sorry for the damage. You are being created, solely so you can be erased later. He will use you plain and simple. Get out. Get him help. Get yourself help. NOW, do not delay as I promise you it only gets worse. Naturally this "problem" was not at all there in the beginning or our relationship. It gradually developed as he abdicated more and more of himself AWAY from our promised committments, served only self, and I in my efforts to be a good wife and mom and "maintain" the marriage slowly found I was the marriage. He just "visited" from time to time, only enough to "muddle" everything, including me and my trust in him. He reverted totally to a child. IN EVERY WAY. Even down to "no sexual feelings" because after all it is "dirty" to have sex with your MOM. NOTHING but earning the check is HIS responsibility. NOTHING BUT. Then he passively/aggressively tried to "overtake" what he childishly and willfully gave up. But only fleetingly when he felt the need to control, feel blameless, or have power or hurt MOMMY. Having only 1/4 of a mate is an impossible thing to deal with. There are no "silent partners" in a marriage, or shouldn't be. The minute I began to out of need to ask, or "push" for him to be more help, more involved, more here, more responsible, more of a person, sexually "fair", the real heat turned up. His professional career, military travels and overtime work hid the REAL reasons, and what was happening, and his fears, his "problems" and the DAMAGE for quite some time. I am now the "more abusive" in that my anger, resentment, and total shut down to his tactics, in other words my "assertion of self" have gone into overdrive as 22 years of this treatment has stripped me of everything good, compassionate and fair, I am now the "mean unrelenting, withholding, MOMMY, he set me up to be, too much of me was expected and taken while NOTHING was put back, I am truly running on empty, and he still wants MORE, I "do it all" not by choice but by his abdication, only to be critized for doing that and now he is claiming innocence as I "took over" so I am guilty. If he "acts" reformed, be warned until he gets theraphy and understands this and what is motivating him, it is just that an ACT. Until he "grows up" it is no win for you or the relationship. He doesn't consciously realize his emotional, physical and other abdications of the marriage pact, left me no choices. Learning what it is, has been a very slow and painful process for me. I simply have NO self esteem, will not get it back in the marriage, due to his "problems" that go undiagnoised and untreated. I have four children, someone has to "think about these things". He mimic's emotion or involvemen.3.14 (Unix) PHP/4.0.4 FrontPage/4.0.4.3 vti_ignorekeyboard:IR|0 vti_navbuttonuplabel:SR|Up CompanyWebmaster:SW|WebDoctor@MedComRes.com vti_structfrom_localhost\\c\:\\documents and settings\\irene matiatos\\my documents irene\\drirene/c\:/documents and settings/irene matiatos/my documents irene/drirene:TR|14 Jul 2001 22:30:38 -0000 vti_textindexood:IR|1 vti_timecreated:TR|14 Jul 2001 17:54:24 -0000 vti_extenderversion:SR|4.0.2.4222 vti_navbuttonprevlabel:SR|This Way vti_borderdefault:SR|tlb GeneratedBy:SW|FrontPage Corporate Presence Web Wizard Schedule Expense\\ Report Competition Competition Waiting Goals/Objectives In\\ Process Expense\\ Report Goals/Objectives Miscellaneous Competition Goals/Objectives Ideas Schedule VIP Miscellaneous Business VIP Competition In\\ Process In\\ Process Expense\\ Report Expense\\ Report In\\ Process Goals/Objectives Planning Schedule Business Waiting Miscellaneous Planning Expense\\ Report Competition VIP Travel Travel Goals/Objectives Business Business Business Ideas Ideas In\\ Process VIP Miscellaneous Schedule Planning Schedule Business Expense\\ Report In\\ Process Competition Goals/Objectives Ideas Schedule VIP Expense\\ Report VIP Waiting Ideas Schedule Ideas Ideas Planning Competition Business In\\ Process In\\ Process Miscellaneous Planning VIP Waiting Expense\\ Report Schedule Schedule Miscellaneous Ideas Travel Miscellaneous Travel Competition Expense\\ Report Planning VIP Schedule In\\ Process Competition Ideas Competition Goals/Objectives Planning Expense\\ Report Travel Waiting Schedule Ideas Planning Travel Goals/Objectives Competition Competition Miscellaneous Travel Travel Miscellaneous Planning Competition Planning VIP Schedule Miscellaneous Business Goals/Objectives Travel Planning Business Ideas VIP Waiting Travel In\\ Process Waiting Miscellaneous Expense\\ Report Goals/Objectives Goals/Objectives Competition VIP VIP Waiting Planning Goals/Objectives VIP In\\ Process Schedule Competition Business Expense\\ Repo

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Sunday July 15, 2001

Yes, this sounds a lot like my husband of 25 years, I was madly in love with him, I adored him, I made him my god, and was here only to please him. Then when he began withholding, I became obcessed with him, and completely lost myself. I am now in therapy and al-anon, and am starting to understand, but terrified about what I may have to do--that is to leave him and start my own life again. He is becomming more and more narcisstic, or maybe I am just more aware of it, I can think of things from our early marriage that were so cruel and thoughtless, but I thought that was just how men behaved. Now I know that I have no relationship, I am just housekeeper, caretaker of the children, shopper, manager, and planner. I do it all. Oh, and he refuses to get a job, he says he will not be stuck into a 9-5, he will be gone for several months at a time on so called "business". Why do I put up with it? I think that my children need their father, I have a very difficult child that I am afraid to parent alone, and I guess I have abandonment issues. He only does 5-10% of the parenting, but isn't that better than none? Karyn

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Monday July 16, 2001

Hi Jr,

I am most interested in the bit Dr Irene says about you. Your anger!! It is not our hearts that are broken and need fixing. It is our heads. The thoughts and expectations we have, that need working on. If we think someone has no reason to behave a certain way we will feel angry, as our thoughts about things produce our emotions, thus, our expectations.

Also sometimes we misinterpret what others say. For example my partner said "Men today are more casual and if someone came along and he was single he'd probably be more so to. Until he found someone he clicked with, though he'd not do this whilst he was attached in a relationship with someone. Whereas years ago this was not the done thing."

Well how did I interpret that? I interpreted it as he doesn't really care about me, I am just someone to sleep with, it means nothing really.

What did he mean? He meant what he said, that he saw no harm in fulfilling our needs for s*x as long as the other person is also aware of what our expectations are and theirs are the same.

Such as they realise we don't want a long term relationship, we both just want our needs met.

** So be careful how you interpret things. As Dr Irene says to you, we usually just think the other person is acting out being rebellious. Maybe it isn't the case, maybe they just don't know how to do this any different, or know a better way to deal with this.

I think lots of us victims are also deceitful (we bend truths to avoid anger and pain, we people please, we hide things)

We are passive-aggressive. I don't agree your the victim, he is the abuser I think you are both insecure and victims.

I also think he probably feels controlled, as I would if you held all of the purse strings. Maybe he is not so good with finances but maybe also YOU need to offer him the opportunity to sit down and be allowed to make choices on how you both spend the money.

You said you wish he would. Does he know you'd be open to hearing his suggestions, even if you didn't agree with them?

What I do suspect because I've done this myself JR, is that you have your view of how things should be and that is comfortable for you. Though please also acknowledge that your partner also has a view of how things should be and how things would be comfortable for him.

Take care Theressa

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Tuesday July 17, 2001

I don't believe that a parent who is only a parent 10% of the time is better than none (from the point of view of the other parent). Yes, the kids get to see him, but eventually, they too, will discover an emotionally unavailable dad. The extra work you do to compensate for his not sharing leaves a lot of resentment, and is exhausting.

I left at the beginning of the year. He has minimal involvement still because he gets supervised visitation. However, he is a more fun daddy now, because he isn't around all the time.

I am less frustrated because I no longer have unfullfilled expectations. I know if there's housework, it's mine to do. No resentment. Life is SO MUCH more peaceful, the extra work is worth it. I will never even think for a second of going back with him.

Yes, single parenting is hard. But, you are single parenting now. With barriers. I can now be an emotionally fully available mom because I'm not all caught up in the theatrics of a relationship with a crazy person. It's just me and them.

Hang in there, I send you peace.

Rocky

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Tuesday July 17, 2001

JR,

My husband is also passive aggressive, mysogynist, and narcissistic. Thank you for sharing your story. What has happened is psychological abuse and just as damaging as physical abuse. The effects on my body have been high lipids, high cholestrol, serious depression, migraines, ulcers, chronic indigestion and anxiety from internalizing my anger and fustration. I was over eating to comfort myself, and repressed the feelings. It has taken such a toll that my doctor recommended that I remove myself from situation. He stated that with this much stress on my body that I could develop high blood pressure and coronary disease.

My husband has been shifting the blame onto me for years. I was confused and bewildered most of my marriage. I assumed it was my fault. He would misbehave. I kept trying to communicate my concerns that he blamed me no matter what. It was never his goal to understand but to control me. I was expected to never be upset and never to question him. No matter what he did I was to be totally giving and loving. He idealized me then when I did not meet his expectations he felt betrayed. Anything that I did that he did not like was viewed as a sign of deficiency. Then he would have contempt for me, and "punish" me. It was absolutely maddening.

I just read a book called "Men Who Hate Women & The Women Who Love Them" by Susan Forward/Joan Torres. It offered me some clarity. It explains my husband's behavior to be caused from his childhood abuse and contempt for his mother not protecting him from the abuse. He resented the fact that she was not strong enough to protect him. My husband treats me like I am suppose to make up for it. If I show any sign of what he considers to be weakness then he is digusted and contemptuous. I am left feeling in shock and hurt. He is so detached from his Self that he has no idea that these feelings I have are normal. I would withdraw to feel safe. We went in circles not knowing how to cope.

The book explains why we have developed our codependency towards these type of men. It has great recommendations on how to change your thought process and connect to your feelings then preparing for change. The best advice given is to disengage and work on changing your behavior in which is feeding the cycle to continue.

Please note that I am not crazy about the title of this book or labeling "men who hate women". It does explain that they fear intimacy and abandonment. I believe they are unconscious of this. I have started listening to how my husband relates and talks about women in general. He has contempt and obectifies them. If they appear to be strong then he avoids them. Now I realize why me getting healthy was such a threat to my husband. It explains in the book that the shoe could be on eithor foot the man or the women as the abuser/victim. The women could have the same feelings towards their mother's or father's that did not protect them. Therefore, you search out for a partner that will make up for it.

Now that you realize that this behavior is passive aggressive then you can learn to just disengage and not take it personal. It stops working. He will then have to learn a more direct way of communicating and working out conflicts.

I can tell you that after changing my perspective and how I communicate with my husband. I do not feel so powerless any longer.

Good luck to you!

LisaMM

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Tuesday July 17, 2001

I wanted to add that what strikes me as odd is that I am doing the correct thing by removing my children from an unsafe environment and protecting them. You would think he would be supportive or relieved that I am strong enough to go get us all help and support to change this toxic behavior. He refuses to acknowledge that I am doing what my mother and his mother should have done to protect us.

LisaMM

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Wednesday July 18, 2001

After 19 years of being married to a verbally abusive mate, in the last 9 months or so, I have become emotionally distant. My h. never hit me, but would rage at me, wouldn't help with the kids when I was sick and so on. After a blow up between us, when I finally told him I was unhappy, he let me know that was my problem and at that point, my love for him died. Now I am feeling tremendous guilt because he has apparently figured out my lack of feelings and NOW he is doing the things I wanted him to do for years. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter to me anymore. But I feel so much guilt because I am emotionally "checked out" of the marriage. I have to make myself speak to him.

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Thursday July 19, 2001

To the very last post, Do not beat yourself up, this is very common. It took 14 yrs for my stbx to destroy my love and of course now he is the father I always wanted for my child, but remind yourself he threw away the love you had for him, you did not take it away. Check out the suggested reading list, some excellent insight. Best wishes, Nuts

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Saturday July 21, 2001

JR, I RECENTLY PURCHASED A BOOK THAT YOU MIGHT FIND HELPFUL. IT IS TITLED EMOTIONAL UNAVAILABILITY BY BRYAN C. COLLINS.

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Sunday July 22, 2001

I think the key is your reference to a strict budget. Your letter doesn't read like a true victim. Just because he doesn't agree with your idea of strict budget doesn't make him an abuser. I think you both need some counseling to learn how to compromise.

M.

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Tuesday July 24, 2001

I have been lurking around this wonderful site for a while now, reading the articles and the posts. I was absolutely blown away by the July 15, 2001 post from "I have lived with a man of his 'nature'for 22 years" (no name at end of post). Your astute analysis of what it’s like being married to a Narcissist was astounding. Do we have the same husband?

I have long suspected that my husband is a Narcissist and a misogynist. He hates women because they inadvertently expose his inadequacies. In order to minimize the damage to his precious ego, he finds it necessary to exercise control over the woman/women who create this emotional exposure. He must diminish and devalue them... lest they be right about his inadequacies. He will then make her the inadequate one. He would argue with me in 5 syllable words! You're right, the hatred for women starts with "Mommy." His mother was an extremely angry, controlling woman who suffered from full-blown hypochondriasis most of her life. The tyranny of the weak and the helpless routine. I suspect that she also suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and was probably a Borderline too. This was my husband’s role model for what women were about. Nice, huh? My husband and I have been married 20 years… 2nd marriage, no children this time around. I dated Dr. Jeckyll, but married Mr. Hyde. Little by little, he “abdicated” himself away too... until he was no longer emotionally present in the marriage anymore. While I was dating him, his quiet and mysterious demeanor had fascinated me. Later I realized that it was simply an inability and unwillingness to communicate! (Except in "Abuser-Speak.")

I thought I was the only woman who was married to a man who withheld sex. I was so dumb, I didn't know men like that existed, so I never saw the signs. Everything seemed fine while we were dating; he waited until we were married to start withholding sex. He would only have sex with me when I “behaved” the way he wanted me to. He would tell me I had to “earn” sex. I used to beg for our twice-a-month sex for the first 6 years of our marriage. Then he started telling me, "If you want sex, get it elsewhere. I'm sick of servicing you." I was emotionally demolished by his remarks and rejection. At the time, I didn't realize how abusive those remarks were -- I just thought I had done something wrong. I blamed myself. After 18 months of celibacy, I had an affair - not just for the sex, but for the companionship too. I was so lonely. A Narcissist can really starve you for human touch and affection and not even seem to notice their partner's pain. My husband was so punitive, so emotionally and physically closed down. This man was the exact opposite. He enjoyed sex and he wasn’t threatened by women – he actually liked them. The affair was an on-again, off-again thing for several years. We were friends as well as lovers. My husband found out about the affair 2 years after it ended and now, 4 years later, he is still raging about it. Crazymaking, huh? You were right on target about the "Mommy" thing. Mine put me in a position of being the “Mother” and then complained that I was being a critical parent. I always knew I was taking the heat for his rage toward "Mommy" and what she had done to him, but I never applied it to his lack of sexuality. Hmmmm… interesting. Definitely makes sense.

In my case, the verbal abuse just recently escalated into physical abuse. He doesn’t know it yet, but the Marshall is serving him with a Restraining Order tomorrow. I have also sought counseling and joined a support group for battered women. Now at age 54, unemployed, and with NO money in the bank (he emptied all the bank accounts) I find myself having to start all over again. Scary stuff when your self-esteem has been destroyed and you feel like a worthless failure, and even though I have excellent job skills, I feel like no one in their right mind would ever hire me. In addition, even though I know it’s irrational, I feel a tremendous amount of guilt. Paradoxically, I feel guilty because my marriage failed, and guilty because I didn’t leave sooner. After living with a Narcissist for 20 years, I don’t even need my husband to set up the lose/lose situations for me anymore. I can do it to myself now.

BTW… Dr. Irene, thank you so much for this wonderful site and your incredible wisdom. I have learned so much. Education = Empowerment. Thank you, thank you.

Leah

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Tuesday July 24, 2001

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Wednesday August 01, 2001

JR sounds angry, as the Doc said. I completely agree she needs to work on her "stuff" and quit focusing so anxiously on her partner. She might want to give some thought to what she is getting (or got) out of her relationship with a narcissitic, unavailable partner. I was in a relationship like that. After much anguish, and much wasted energy trying to change him, I finally figured out what my payoffs had been and why they no longer felt rewarding. I, too, kept myself aloof, in my own way. I did it by "giving in." I did it by pleasing and manipulating and hiding my true self. I didn't share my thoughts & feelings & fears. I spent all my time trying to manage him and please him. I didn't have a clue who I was and what I really wanted from a relationship. More to the point, his "defects" made me think I had no choice and, by focusing on him, I never got around to taking care of me. He'd get upset if I told him anything negative. I used that as an excuse for not being honest, for covering up my own anger and resentment. I could ACT warm and loving and kind and good without actually sharing myself or taking any emotional risks. But what I was really doing was stuffing my anger and becoming more and more alienated and hostile and lonely. We both played a part in it. I controlled him (or tried to) with my "goodness," just as he controlled me (or I chose to let him control me) with his crankiness and meanness. We were a perfect match for each other until one of us (me) quit liking the game. Then, of course, all hell broke loose. But it came out good. He hasn't changed, but I am much happier now. Amy

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Thursday August 02, 2001

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Thursday August 02, 2001

IS THERE A SHORT CUT TO DUMPING ANGER FROM ABUSE/ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR DIRECTED AT THE VICTIM ?........I HAVE FOR YEARS BEEN MARRIED TO AN ABUSER...COVERT FOR THE MOST PART... MIRRORING IDENTICAL ABUSIVE BEHAVIORS FROM MY FAMILY...I WANT TO GET OVER THE ANGER THAT I NOW DIRECT BACK TO ALL OF THEM...INSTEAD OF DENIAL ON MY PART, I NOW RECOGNIZE THEIR ABUSE DIRECTED ...BUT, I FIND MY SELF SO ANGRY I SHOUT AND CUSS THEM......AND THEREFORE ENDED HATING MY SELF...HELP. AND THANKS W.S.

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Wednesday August 15, 2001

Dear W.S, You need to look at your thoughts firstly. What you think about what happened? Then you need to try to forgive those who didn't have any better skills. Then you need to learn assertive skills to set boundaries and limits so no one mistreats you again. One good way to work alone is to get a blank journal and write in it. Write your thoughts and then pretend you are a stranger and write back to yourself how you'd rationally tell them to handle it.

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Wednesday August 15, 2001

Dear W.S, You need to look at your thoughts firstly. What you think about what happened? Then you need to try to forgive those who didn't have any better skills. Then you need to learn assertive skills to set boundaries and limits so no one mistreats you again. One good way to work alone is to get a blank journal and write in it. Write your thoughts and then pretend you are a stranger and write back to yourself how you'd rationally tell them to handle it.

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Monday August 20, 2001

OH boy! I could be reading about me...about how my own husband is,. I have come a long way from the angry stage now though I have my moments believe me. This passive aggresive stuff really HURTS. But I can agree with the Doc inthe light of experience; the only way through this is to sort out your own anger, disengage and see what happens. It is probably true to say that if you are going to stay married to a man likenthis you need to be sure you have a really strong support network and no expectations he will be available emotionally at all..that way if he is better you feel ok if not you just got what was expected. Don't join in the drama or the dance and watch yourself get stronger! love jay

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Sunday August 26, 2001

Is it only men who have this problem? I have a wife of thirty years who fits this profile way too well.

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Saturday September 01, 2001

Yes. She might want to do a search about "Asperger's syndrome." Might be some answers there.

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Friday September 28, 2001

JR, Address your own needs and resolve them in a way which moves you forward. Work on making yourself feel better about your anger- its origins, shared/unshared with the other person, how to think about the situation from different views- then, move on in terms of bettering yourself. He will or won't follow, but you will have made yourself feel alot better and will have grown positively from the process. Good luck! Penny

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Monday October 29, 2001

All I can say is "Oh my God" - I finally have an answer to what I have been living with for 32 YEARS!!!!!!!!! I was so busy trying to win his love and wanted to be the one who 'warmed him up' I've been through 32 years of emotional hell and abuse. The mother thing is AMAZING - his mother is an absolute MONSTER - no emotional feelings are 'real' or 'acceptable' - when her husband died after 52 years of marriage - she got attention at the funeral and then continued on her merry way saying "No need carrying on about it - I'M SENSIBLE all these women who grieve and carry on are ridiculous - just get on with life I say"!! I was attracted to my husband because he was 'different' - aloof and 'interesting' - a quality about him that made me think he badly needed love and nurturing (how right was that) - having come from an emotionally abusive background myself I was in need of love and nurturing and I had this 'thing' that we would be perfect for each other and be able to understand each other - heal each other in some way (that was a very strong feeling in me all along) - what unfolded was total emotional abuse - game plays, denial, acts of (hidden) aggression - pay backs for some imagined hurt - YEARS after the event. He is in sales and has used every 'sales' manipulation on me and when I 'woke up' to being 'had' and am upset by it he ridiculed me for not realising it was FOR MY OWN GOOD!! To TEACH me not to be so trusting and guilable. Then, somehow at a different time he would be deeply hurt that I didn't ever trust him!! I was even the victim of both his and his mother's emotional abuse. I had a sick baby and had been neatly isolated from everyone and everything - we lived in a remote place with no transport etc. I needed his help and support to get medical help and THEY told me it was obvious I was over reacting, as I did to everything, and to basically leave my husband alone to get on with his career, as after all, I should be grateful he was such a hard working, wonderful husband (guilt, guilt, guilt, doubt in self, doubt in self) - My child continued to be sick and I developed depression - I was then TOLD "there is no such thing as depression - it is a character weakness"!! I could go on and on. His 'hard work' at this time was staying out until all hours of the night and coming home drunk and this was because he needed to "live his career - for OUR benefit and that there was more to a career than 9-5" - our child was EVENTUALLY diagnosed with piloric vomiting - 6 MONTHS after it could have been addressed. I basically got 'healthy' a few years ago and turned off him emotionally and was 'managing' him while I happily got on with my life and balancing all that needed doing to take care of family and myself. It was the happiest I have ever been. Result ........ He brought home a woman he worked with and with whom he was having an affair (telling her I'd been the reason his career had never taken off as I was always 'sick' whenever he started to get ahead) - This woman was brought into my home and proceeded to join him in trying to 'help' me get ahead in life as she had done rather than continually pretend to be depressed and ill!! I kicked him out and began to grieve and get councelling and after a few weeks he decided to come back to me as he had "woken up" - He realised just how important to him I was and that he had gotten it all wrong. Went to councelling once and bottom line - told the councellor it was in the past and he never wanted to mention it again he just wanted to get on with OUR life and be happy at last. In the guise of giving ME a wonderful life - he has totally taken over every aspect of me, my life, my mind and my emotions. I began to WAKE UP a few week ago and now I know - I finally know - the pain is unbelievable - but the truth is also unbelievable - at last I can begin to get free.

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Monday October 29, 2001

All I can say is "Oh my God" - I finally have an answer to what I have been living with for 32 YEARS!!!!!!!!! I was so busy trying to win his love and wanted to be the one who 'warmed him up' I've been through 32 years of emotional hell and abuse. The mother thing is AMAZING - his mother is an absolute MONSTER - no emotional feelings are 'real' or 'acceptable' - when her husband died after 52 years of marriage - she got attention at the funeral and then continued on her merry way saying "No need carrying on about it - I'M SENSIBLE all these women who grieve and carry on are ridiculous - just get on with life I say"!! I was attracted to my husband because he was 'different' - aloof and 'interesting' - a quality about him that made me think he badly needed love and nurturing (how right was that) - having come from an emotionally abusive background myself I was in need of love and nurturing and I had this 'thing' that we would be perfect for each other and be able to understand each other - heal each other in some way (that was a very strong feeling in me all along) - what unfolded was total emotional abuse - game plays, denial, acts of (hidden) aggression - pay backs for some imagined hurt - YEARS after the event. He is in sales and has used every 'sales' manipulation on me and when I 'woke up' to being 'had' and am upset by it he ridiculed me for not realising it was FOR MY OWN GOOD!! To TEACH me not to be so trusting and guilable. Then, somehow at a different time he would be deeply hurt that I didn't ever trust him!! I was even the victim of both his and his mother's emotional abuse. I had a sick baby and had been neatly isolated from everyone and everything - we lived in a remote place with no transport etc. I needed his help and support to get medical help and THEY told me it was obvious I was over reacting, as I did to everything, and to basically leave my husband alone to get on with his career, as after all, I should be grateful he was such a hard working, wonderful husband (guilt, guilt, guilt, doubt in self, doubt in self) - My child continued to be sick and I developed depression - I was then TOLD "there is no such thing as depression - it is a character weakness"!! I could go on and on. His 'hard work' at this time was staying out until all hours of the night and coming home drunk and this was because he needed to "live his career - for OUR benefit and that there was more to a career than 9-5" - our child was EVENTUALLY diagnosed with piloric vomiting - 6 MONTHS after it could have been addressed. I basically got 'healthy' a few years ago and turned off him emotionally and was 'managing' him while I happily got on with my life and balancing all that needed doing to take care of family and myself. It was the happiest I have ever been. Result ........ He brought home a woman he worked with and with whom he was having an affair (telling her I'd been the reason his career had never taken off as I was always 'sick' whenever he started to get ahead) - This woman was brought into my home and proceeded to join him in trying to 'help' me get ahead in life as she had done rather than continually pretend to be depressed and ill!! I kicked him out and began to grieve and get councelling and after a few weeks he decided to come back to me as he had "woken up" - He realised just how important to him I was and that he had gotten it all wrong. Went to councelling once and bottom line - told the councellor it was in the past and he never wanted to mention it again he just wanted to get on with OUR life and be happy at last. In the guise of giving ME a wonderful life - he has totally taken over every aspect of me, my life, my mind and my emotions. I began to WAKE UP a few week ago and now I know - I finally know - the pain is unbelievable - but the truth is also unbelievable - at last I can begin to get free.

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Saturday March 30, 2002

Let's be clear about this: JR is not the one with the problem. She's angry, yes, but considering the circumstances, who wouldn't be? I think it is just as unhealthy for her to hide her anger as it is for her husband to act irrationally. He needds counseling, not JR.

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Thursday February 06, 2003

Ray is a seemingly kind and sensative 49 year old male. I live with him in a vacant relationship. He is completely emotionally unavailable on virtually every level imaginable. I can accept being a 'roommate', I've had several in my lifetime, and I have always enjoyed a friendship with those people. Ray is so damaged that he can't even attempt a simple friendship. I focus on my life, not his, and make no move toward any form of relationship with him - He has become a person with whom I split the bills and who I sometimes do not see for days. I stay out of financial necessity but I plan to leave within 3 months. We avoid eachother - him because of his emotional issues - Me because I don't want to invest any effort on a lost couse. I am not attracted to him and there really is no reason for his behavior. He does have an explosive temper, however, and I wonder if I should leave without notice or should I risk giving him notice and suffer the possible consequences?

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Tuesday February 25, 2003

JR- I found this site via a search engine and boy am I happy I found it. Many of the comments that were posted about your letter really hit home. I'm truly surprised at how long we females are willing to live in an emotionally vacant life. I met my husband when I was fourteen. He treated me just as I was used to being treated, without love and concern for who I was. I found myself being the one that had to impress him all of the time. Kinda like a dog doing tricks for that special treat. I felt special just because he wanted to spend time with me and he loved the attention. As I grew older, I began to ask for more from him. It was always met with great resistance. I felt to blame since I was the one asking for some sort of sign that I was important to him. I felt if I kept up the theatrics he'd one day show me how much he loved me. Well, time went by, had a child at nineteen. I suggested we get married so we did at city hall. The deed was quick and uneventful. He went to work that night and came home only to fall asleep, while I lay weeping next to him. Three more children and a total of eighteen years of marriage and I still lay next to him, weeping. He is an excellent father, he always has time for the children. He's always "there" for them, so I know he's capable of showing emotions, just not with me. I will stay in the marriage until the children are all grown, and then I will be alone. But haven't I been alone all along? Thank you again for all of your post's it was nice to see that there are others out there that are in the same boat that I'm in. Melissa

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Sunday June 01, 2003

I can relate to this. I threw my abuser out of my home and I can relax now;