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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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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

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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...

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Comments for Way Beyond Codependency

Way Beyond Codependency

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: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

She already left you!!!! Vut she still wants to control you. do you likke this? If you don't like it get out and get on with it. Become a strong person on your own before anymore relationships.. and try to help your daughters also.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

Hi Dr. Irene and Dean,

Dr. Irene I read your website daily, and appreciate your wisdom, but your referral to Dean at the end of his letter as being "stupid" bothered me. I admire all your work and readings here on the website, but I don't believe in calling or labeling anyone as "stupid" or any other "name". I agree with you. But A. I got his attention and B. His actions sure are dumb!

Good luck Dean, I don't feel I'm in any position or have enough experience to give you advice, but I wish you well. : )

Sincerely, Christine

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2000

S1

Dear Dean:

I am sure you probably are thinking how you got in this mess? You seem to want to be loved and accepted by this woman at any cost. She has already cost you your relationship with your children, your dignity, your self esteem, your PEACE... Since you are not living with her I do not understand why you keep allowing her to rip your heart out. She is being as abusive and as blunt as she can be. Do not fall for her I love you and I miss you. It is shallow. Putting her aside.. how can YOU love a woman who can be so cruel to your own children? I know you love them and you should send her packing for the abuse of them alone. Do not feel responsible because you brought her here to a country. She is doing a fine job taking care of herself and her needs. She obviously puts herself first and does not care what happens to you or your children. Why should you feel in any shape or form, obligated to her? You say you miss her. Why? She does nothing but abuse you. What could you possibly miss? And yet after all this you are telling her to go and get a boyfriend. You are still discounting yourself and wanted everything for her!!! Please, please I beg you. Worry about you for a while. Get use to the idea that she only wants you when she wants you. Start to make a new life for yourself. Spend time with your daughters who deserve your love. Go out with friends. Go to counseling. Take a vacation. Go play singles volleyball. In other words, get this selfish woman out of your life once and for all and start to make yourself happy. She has got you so sucked into this craziness that you are not thinking logically and are setting for soooooo much less than you deserve. I very rarely tell people that they should move on in a relationship unless I really feel that it is almost the final straw but I think this is your only sane option. If you want to salvage anything left in yourself.. you need to get miles away from this woman and never think of her again. Go tell your daughters that you apologize for allowing her to treat them like this and you will never allow this again. I think they need to hear this because I have a feeling they are hurting too. I am not trying to be mean to you but I do think that this relationship is dangerous for you as well as your children.. the ones that truly love you. Once you get out of this chaos and heal and perhaps find someone who is worthy of your devoted love...you are going to look back on this and think...was I nuts for putting up with this? Please.. you are a good person who deserves so much more and I truly hope you get it! Take care and start today!!! You will be so much happier. Let her go back to Sweden.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, March 05, 2000

S1

Please, please, please, run as fast as you can. My son is in a similar situation, the difference being his wife hates us (his parents), and his sister. Thankfully, he has no children. He feels responsible since he is married and is always bothered by her previous suicide attempts. He also keeps hoping lightning will strike and she will see the light and change. It is not going to happen. As a parent, although it hurts to be in my position as it is, I can see what he is doing and how he is thinking, however wrong it is. I have said all I can say and now it is just "let go and let God". HOWEVER, your daughters are not in that position. They only see their father is throwing them under the bus for some twit who doesn't, care about them OR their father. They will feel rejected, if they already don't. A father is such an important part of a daughters' life. You are the framework for so many things. Don't do this to your children.. they did nothing to deserve this. If this woman cared the least bit about you, she would NEVER treat your children like this. THINK OF YOUR CHILDREN.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000

S1

Dean, seeing how you were 45 when you got married, I get from the tone of your letter that this girl from Sweden might be maybe 1/2 your age. Could that be the real problem? Your ego ran away with itself? If that's the case, then you really just need to focus on what really matters in life. Are several romps in the hay with a sweet young thing worth the terrible way you are treating your daughters? Especially the 12 year old. You do realize that her behavior doesn't really affect your daughters the way your behavior does. You are responsible for bringing up your children to be wonderful, stable, happy adults. It sounds like this is more of a priority issue than a co-dependency issue.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2000

S1

I don't think it's over with Dean yet. He's truly a great example of a codependent - he is dependent on his wife saying words he wants to hear and on her not abandoning him, instead of depending on his own opinion. Even very bright people can be codependent since it relates to a person's sense of self as being unlovable rather than to any degree of intelligence. You can tell yourself all day long that you are worthy and deserving of better treatment, but until your heart believes it, watch out!! In my humble opinion, Dean needs intensive self-esteem counseling. Anyway, love your column....Barbara

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2000

S1

I'm glad to see stories written here by men. I am beginning to suspect that our society believes in the "man=perpetrator, woman=victim" thing because men tend toward silence. Thanks Dean for breaking the spell. And frankly, that woman sounds like she has the emotional maturity of a two year old. Who the h*** does she think she is, expecting you to cut your- self off from your children? I mean, OK, maybe you've been stupid, but she is REALLY stupid. Blood is thicker than water, lady. She needs a serious reality check. And don't go thinking she's going to find happiness elsewhere. First of all, I don't see why on earth you want her to be happy. She is a miserable person, and it is obvious she is that miserable because of who she is. I mean really, she must alienate a hundred people a day. She sounds so completely awful, I'm sure she can't even keep friends. She's probably a very unhappy lady, and if you ask me she deserves it. Now you quit thinking so badly of yourself. There is nothing more unattractive than a man who has no idea of his own self worth. Why Don't you do some things that make YOU feel happy, and proud of yourself? Do you admire sky divers? Go sky diving! Do you admire good golfers, take lessons! You can do whatever you want, you know. You really can. And have lots of glorious fun with those kids. Blow off women. Until you like yourself and believe in yourself, your luck won't change. But then again, as my mother says, "Advice, even from the wise to the wise, is a dangerous thing." Go with your gut, is really the only advice I should give you. Good luck.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 09, 2000

S1

Hi Dr. Irene,

Is it possible to communicate directly to Dean? My Email address is coco356@hotmail.com I would appreciate it very much if you could give me his Email address. Thanks a lot.

Cora                  If Dean wants, he will reply to you himself. I don't give out addresses. Sorry! Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, March 09, 2000

S1

Try to remember that love is doing, not saying. I think you feel sorry for your wife in some way but she means to hurt you and your children. Don't think she is capable of love. Anyone is capable of sex and it often feels like love, but it isn't. As you already know. Are you under her "spell"? I think it will get worse the longer you stay in this relationship. The threat of suicide is a mean one. A man did this to me for years. I thought it would be my fault if he died. I left him years later and by that time I was ready to kill him myself!

 B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2000

S1

Dean, GET OUT AND DON'T LOOK BACK. SAVE YOURSELF AND YOUR DAUGHTERS. Ask her to write you a letter on what LOVE means to her. If you ever get such a letter... is it what it means to you??!!! And you are not stupid, just brainwashed and traumatized. GET HELP AND STOP COMMUNICATING WITH HER.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, March 13, 2000

S1

Dear Dr Irene, I am a 38 year old codependent, My mother and father are both alcoholics. I have been in and out of relationships wanting love but they have seemed to last only 2 years. My question is to you: basically what I have been hearing is my constant need to control like that driver that sits in the passenger side... How do you identify with it if the partners in your life remain passive and don't let me know.. How do I see the signs? What can I do do stop? Thank you, Rigsley

 Start with the codependent section.

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, May 04, 2000

S1

HI Dean, I really do hope you are out of this situation,I don't think she would ever change. My ex married a woman just like that,she'd kick him out of the house and tell him he could come back but the children(mine and my ex's) were not allowed over,he went back,she kicked him out again just before christmas and would not allow him to bring the christmas presents he had bought for the kids... she monitored his phone calls with the children and my kids would say they could tell he was differnet when she was around..maybe he dreaded their calls too..she called my kids retarded and on and on-----to make every thing very short,its the kids who hurt so much through this,my kids felt he was choosing a woman over his own children,now he is back in their lives but my daughter will not get close to him as she feels very betrayed and does not trust him.The others are happy to have him back in their lives but the trust has been terribly damaged.(Of course my ex had his own set of problems to even do this to his children) I know it must be hard but please please put your children first,I've had to watch my children cry many tears over this and I will bet your daughters have too

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2000

S1

Dr. Irene I appreciate your comments and respect your opinions, but,as a therapist myself,I feel that you are innapropriate at time. I cannot find a reason to ever justify a client's actions as "stupid" as you did in Dean's situtation. I am also a recovering co-dependent myself and understand his feelins. It is wonderful that he as learned about his problem and is trying to better himself. I think he may need a word of encouragement, but I do not feel that having his actions generalized as "stupid" is very helpful. Thank you for your time.

Tanya

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 08, 2000

S1

recovery from codependency is a blast. been doing it now for over 14 1/2 years and it's a fascinating journey. In '86, was so fragmented and going through dynamics. Today, i wouldn't change a thing about my past or my life. sharonamafoo

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2001

S1

Dear Dr. Irene, I am a into almost 50 years of my life and I am a female with a 17 year old son with Autism/Mental Retardation and I have raised him alone. Our issues are many, right now he is in a therapeutic foster group home to receive help in controlling himself and learning life skills. I am so co-joined with him because I feel true guilt over his condition. I am a good Mom, (I believe); however I went to counseling this afternoon, and will go back to court to relinquish my Parental Custody of my son so that he can receive all the services that are available. Dr. Irene, I can no longer manage my son, I work full-time and I truly want whats best for him. Here I am alone in my home and I'm being told to get on with life, "let him go so that he can grow." I've been in weekly counseling since he left (4) months ago and I am truly codependent because of many things. I do not really like myself, and seeks the approval of anyone interested, including my son, who does not have the capacity to make sound decisions. I want to be able to remove myself physically and mentally and receive help so that I can get well emotionally myself, I'm praying that he will stay in the system until at least age 21. Where do I start or begin? I am a college graduate and I have many, many ideas in my head, but my being and myself does not seem to matter; I get a true high on helping others, being needed by others, and I'm just sick of the way I am. My Mom constantly tells me that I was not a good Mother to my son, I don't want to be a victim, but self-pity is where I am presently. Thanks for listening.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

Dear Stupid: I am so sorry to have to call you that. I am the daughter of a codependent. My mom is with a self centered man who calls her stupid and tells her to shut up ALL the time. He is moody and when he witholds attention or goes into a rage, she has to buy him fancy gifts to keep him from leaving. He tells her over and over no one would want her at her age so my mom basically "keeps" him. She is 75 and he is 58. Her life is absolute hell. She has a reality check once in awhile and calls me and complains about him like she did yesterday. So I said, "So WHY did you buy him a computer.. to reward him??? She says, "You don't know what it is like to be 75 and alone. He is a one man cult. He got her to sell her home so he could day trade with her money and to separate her from friends family and support systems. He brainwashes her all the time telling her he will be there to change her diapers when she is really old. How romantic. He says your daughter and son will never be there for you like I will be. He screens all calls and listens in on every one of them. He just hangs up the phone on the grandkids and me if I don't suck up to him. He opens all her mail and she doesn't care. He tells her that her kids and grandchildren are all waiting for her to die. He stole her car once when she broke up with him.. her video camera another time. Once he said he would sue her if she threw him out for all the "work" that he did that he would say he didn't get paid for. He is a con man who lived with an older lady before my mom who is a property owner also. She had MS. He used to call her long distance on my mom's phone when he first moved in with her. Somehow the MS lady put him in her will. I am torn between not communicating with mom at all because I want to call her stupid over and over. Truth is Irene, the person who is with this type of man has a distorted sense of reality to begin with. Therapy is the only hope. Because my mom has a brother in an institution, she will never get therapy. She can't tolerate the idea that she might be mentally ill. Like a cult member she is brainwashed. Mr Stupid, like my mom, you are in love with the fantasy version of your relationship. Apologies to Irene: is not so simple to just walk away. This relationship is an addiction. Read up on codependency. You need to explore why you think so little of yourself to put up with someone who doesn't give you basic respect. Also, codependents in a relationship of this type need the roller coaster highs and lows of this type of relationship. The codependent deep down feels he is not good enough to deserve simple respect. You will not demand it.. you will instead become more submissive, more giving, just to stop the rage. The narcissist gives and witholds attention.. and you Mr Stupid are addicted to the high of the good times. Without therapy you will be attracted to the same kind of woman. These people aren't capable of loving anyone but themselves and the more you jump through hoops, the more she disrespects you. She demands what she could never give. She in turn is addicted to the high self esteem she feels when she can treat you like dirt. A submissive person like yourself wll leave her and find someone else who treats you this way unless you get therapy. If you can't get therapy, learn to stand up to her. For every insult you receive, your self esteem goes down one notch if you can't stand up for yourself. Over a period of years, your problem will get worse.. trust me on this. Read books on codependency... educate yourself. I was a codependent once.. I was with a pimp. I got help and thousands of dollars later I am now married to a man who treats me wonderful. I have been there.. that is why I know my mom isn't going to listen to me, and you aren't going to listen to this. You will have to get to a point where you yourself decide your life isn't working and trust that help is out there and true happiness is out there as well. If you think you are happy, listen to yourself. Would you wish this kind of person on your daughter or son as adults. Of course not. You just know that when she ignores you, you don't feel whole and you are tortured. Your head says all your friends and Irene are right, but you need to pacify this emptiness that you feel when you don't have her. Please know that real love is much better. You need help.. go and get it. It will seem stupid at first, and I didn't believe in it either, but because my husband paid, I was forced to go before he would marry me. I saw myself change, but I didn't feel the process. All the talking seemed stupid.. I was VERY resistant. But now, when I see one of these people coming.. oooh boy do I know what they are about. I was fortunate to get therapy early in life before reaching 75. This is a horrible way to spend your last years. The good news is you are reaching out. Your self esteem is very low.. despite all your success. What happened in your life? Find out. Did your mom treat you the way this woman does? You need to dig in your past to find out what happened. I know what happened to me. Years of prostitution will bring you to a pimp fast. Who else will listen when you complain at night that your vagina is sore? I was lonely and the man I supported got me through some lonely times. I could have worked other jobs, but money is addicting and the good life in NYC is difficult to afford on minimum wage. I wasn't about to marry someone for money. I wanted to be independent. But each time I had to put up with another man degrading me, the less I had confidence in myself. I am now an master's educated nurse and I am a completely different person. Trust me, happiness is out there for you. Give therapy a chance and those empty feelings you have when she is not around will go away. Good Luck Lisa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

Dear Stupid: I am so sorry to have to call you that. I am the daughter of a codependent. My mom is with a self centered man who calls her stupid and tells her to shut up ALL the time. He is moody and when he witholds attention or goes into a rage, she has to buy him fancy gifts to keep him from leaving. He tells her over and over no one would want her at her age so my mom basically "keeps" him. She is 75 and he is 58. Her life is absolute hell. She has a reality check once in awhile and calls me and complains about him like she did yesterday. So I said, "So WHY did you buy him a computer.. to reward him??? She says, "You don't know what it is like to be 75 and alone. He is a one man cult. He got her to sell her home so he could day trade with her money and to separate her from friends family and support systems. He brainwashes her all the time telling her he will be there to change her diapers when she is really old. How romantic. He says your daughter and son will never be there for you like I will be. He screens all calls and listens in on every one of them. He just hangs up the phone on the grandkids and me if I don't suck up to him. He opens all her mail and she doesn't care. He tells her that her kids and grandchildren are all waiting for her to die. He stole her car once when she broke up with him.. her video camera another time. Once he said he would sue her if she threw him out for all the "work" that he did that he would say he didn't get paid for. He is a con man who lived with an older lady before my mom who is a property owner also. She had MS. He used to call her long distance on my mom's phone when he first moved in with her. Somehow the MS lady put him in her will. I am torn between not communicating with mom at all because I want to call her stupid over and over. Truth is Irene, the person who is with this type of man has a distorted sense of reality to begin with. Therapy is the only hope. Because my mom has a brother in an institution, she will never get therapy. She can't tolerate the idea that she might be mentally ill. Like a cult member she is brainwashed. Mr Stupid, like my mom, you are in love with the fantasy version of your relationship. Apologies to Irene: is not so simple to just walk away. This relationship is an addiction. Read up on codependency. You need to explore why you think so little of yourself to put up with someone who doesn't give you basic respect. Also, codependents in a relationship of this type need the roller coaster highs and lows of this type of relationship. The codependent deep down feels he is not good enough to deserve simple respect. You will not demand it.. you will instead become more submissive, more giving, just to stop the rage. The narcissist gives and witholds attention.. and you Mr Stupid are addicted to the high of the good times. Without therapy you will be attracted to the same kind of woman. These people aren't capable of loving anyone but themselves and the more you jump through hoops, the more she disrespects you. She demands what she could never give. She in turn is addicted to the high self esteem she feels when she can treat you like dirt. A submissive person like yourself wll leave her and find someone else who treats you this way unless you get therapy. If you can't get therapy, learn to stand up to her. For every insult you receive, your self esteem goes down one notch if you can't stand up for yourself. Over a period of years, your problem will get worse.. trust me on this. Read books on codependency... educate yourself. I was a codependent once.. I was with a pimp. I got help and thousands of dollars later I am now married to a man who treats me wonderful. I have been there.. that is why I know my mom isn't going to listen to me, and you aren't going to listen to this. You will have to get to a point where you yourself decide your life isn't working and trust that help is out there and true happiness is out there as well. If you think you are happy, listen to yourself. Would you wish this kind of person on your daughter or son as adults. Of course not. You just know that when she ignores you, you don't feel whole and you are tortured. Your head says all your friends and Irene are right, but you need to pacify this emptiness that you feel when you don't have her. Please know that real love is much better. You need help.. go and get it. It will seem stupid at first, and I didn't believe in it either, but because my husband paid, I was forced to go before he would marry me. I saw myself change, but I didn't feel the process. All the talking seemed stupid.. I was VERY resistant. But now, when I see one of these people coming.. oooh boy do I know what they are about. I was fortunate to get therapy early in life before reaching 75. This is a horrible way to spend your last years. The good news is you are reaching out. Your self esteem is very low.. despite all your success. What happened in your life? Find out. Did your mom treat you the way this woman does? You need to dig in your past to find out what happened. I know what happened to me. Years of prostitution will bring you to a pimp fast. Who else will listen when you complain at night that your vagina is sore? I was lonely and the man I supported got me through some lonely times. I could have worked other jobs, but money is addicting and the good life in NYC is difficult to afford on minimum wage. I wasn't about to marry someone for money. I wanted to be independent. But each time I had to put up with another man degrading me, the less I had confidence in myself. I am now an master's educated nurse and I am a completely different person. Trust me, happiness is out there for you. Give therapy a chance and those empty feelings you have when she is not around will go away. Good Luck Lisa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

Dear Stupid: I am so sorry to have to call you that. I am the daughter of a codependent. My mom is with a self centered man who calls her stupid and tells her to shut up ALL the time. He is moody and when he witholds attention or goes into a rage, she has to buy him fancy gifts to keep him from leaving. He tells her over and over no one would want her at her age so my mom basically "keeps" him. She is 75 and he is 58. Her life is absolute hell. She has a reality check once in awhile and calls me and complains about him like she did yesterday. So I said, "So WHY did you buy him a computer.. to reward him??? She says, "You don't know what it is like to be 75 and alone. He is a one man cult. He got her to sell her home so he could day trade with her money and to separate her from friends family and support systems. He brainwashes her all the time telling her he will be there to change her diapers when she is really old. How romantic. He says your daughter and son will never be there for you like I will be. He screens all calls and listens in on every one of them. He just hangs up the phone on the grandkids and me if I don't suck up to him. He opens all her mail and she doesn't care. He tells her that her kids and grandchildren are all waiting for her to die. He stole her car once when she broke up with him.. her video camera another time. Once he said he would sue her if she threw him out for all the "work" that he did that he would say he didn't get paid for. He is a con man who lived with an older lady before my mom who is a property owner also. She had MS. He used to call her long distance on my mom's phone when he first moved in with her. Somehow the MS lady put him in her will. I am torn between not communicating with mom at all because I want to call her stupid over and over. Truth is Irene, the person who is with this type of man has a distorted sense of reality to begin with. Therapy is the only hope. Because my mom has a brother in an institution, she will never get therapy. She can't tolerate the idea that she might be mentally ill. Like a cult member she is brainwashed. Mr Stupid, like my mom, you are in love with the fantasy version of your relationship. Apologies to Irene: is not so simple to just walk away. This relationship is an addiction. Read up on codependency. You need to explore why you think so little of yourself to put up with someone who doesn't give you basic respect. Also, codependents in a relationship of this type need the roller coaster highs and lows of this type of relationship. The codependent deep down feels he is not good enough to deserve simple respect. You will not demand it.. you will instead become more submissive, more giving, just to stop the rage. The narcissist gives and witholds attention.. and you Mr Stupid are addicted to the high of the good times. Without therapy you will be attracted to the same kind of woman. These people aren't capable of loving anyone but themselves and the more you jump through hoops, the more she disrespects you. She demands what she could never give. She in turn is addicted to the high self esteem she feels when she can treat you like dirt. A submissive person like yourself wll leave her and find someone else who treats you this way unless you get therapy. If you can't get therapy, learn to stand up to her. For every insult you receive, your self esteem goes down one notch if you can't stand up for yourself. Over a period of years, your problem will get worse.. trust me on this. Read books on codependency... educate yourself. I was a codependent once.. I was with a pimp. I got help and thousands of dollars later I am now married to a man who treats me wonderful. I have been there.. that is why I know my mom isn't going to listen to me, and you aren't going to listen to this. You will have to get to a point where you yourself decide your life isn't working and trust that help is out there and true happiness is out there as well. If you think you are happy, listen to yourself. Would you wish this kind of person on your daughter or son as adults. Of course not. You just know that when she ignores you, you don't feel whole and you are tortured. Your head says all your friends and Irene are right, but you need to pacify this emptiness that you feel when you don't have her. Please know that real love is much better. You need help.. go and get it. It will seem stupid at first, and I didn't believe in it either, but because my husband paid, I was forced to go before he would marry me. I saw myself change, but I didn't feel the process. All the talking seemed stupid.. I was VERY resistant. But now, when I see one of these people coming.. oooh boy do I know what they are about. I was fortunate to get therapy early in life before reaching 75. This is a horrible way to spend your last years. The good news is you are reaching out. Your self esteem is very low.. despite all your success. What happened in your life? Find out. Did your mom treat you the way this woman does? You need to dig in your past to find out what happened. I know what happened to me. Years of prostitution will bring you to a pimp fast. Who else will listen when you complain at night that your vagina is sore? I was lonely and the man I supported got me through some lonely times. I could have worked other jobs, but money is addicting and the good life in NYC is difficult to afford on minimum wage. I wasn't about to marry someone for money. I wanted to be independent. But each time I had to put up with another man degrading me, the less I had confidence in myself. I am now an master's educated nurse and I am a completely different person. Trust me, happiness is out there for you. Give therapy a chance and those empty feelings you have when she is not around will go away. Good Luck Lisa

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

S1

Dear Stupid: I am so sorry to have to call you that. I am the daughter of a codependent. My mom is with a self centered man who calls her stupid and tells her to shut up ALL the time. He is moody and when he witholds attention or goes into a rage, she has to buy him fancy gifts to keep him from leaving. He tells her over and over no one would want her at her age so my mom basically "keeps" him. She is 75 and he is 58. Her life is absolute hell. She has a reality check once in awhile and calls me and complains about him like she did yesterday. So I said, "So WHY did you buy him a computer.. to reward him??? She says, "You don't know what it is like to be 75 and alone. He is a one man cult. He got her to sell her home so he could day trade with her money and to separate her from friends family and support systems. He brainwashes her all the time telling her he will be there to change her diapers when she is really old. How romantic. He says your daughter and son will never be there for you like I will be. He screens all calls and listens in on every one of them. He just hangs up the phone on the grandkids and me if I don't suck up to him. He opens all her mail and she doesn't care. He tells her that her kids and grandchildren are all waiting for her to die. He stole her car once when she broke up with him.. her video camera another time. Once he said he would sue her if she threw him out for all the "work" that he did that he would say he didn't get paid for. He is a con man who lived with an older lady before my mom who is a property owner also. She had MS. He used to call her long distance on my mom's phone when he first moved in with her. Somehow the MS lady put him in her will. I am torn between not communicating with mom at all because I want to call her stupid over and over. Truth is Irene, the person who is with this type of man has a distorted sense of reality to begin with. Therapy is the only hope. Because my mom has a brother in an institution, she will never get therapy. She can't tolerate the idea that she might be mentally ill. Like a cult member she is brainwashed. Mr Stupid, like my mom, you are in love with the fantasy version of your relationship. Apologies to Irene: is not so simple to just walk away. This relationship is an addiction. Read up on codependency. You need to explore why you think so little of yourself to put up with someone who doesn't give you basic respect. Also, codependents in a relationship of this type need the roller coaster highs and lows of this type of relationship. The codependent deep down feels he is not good enough to deserve simple respect. You will not demand it.. you will instead become more submissive, more giving, just to stop the rage. The narcissist gives and witholds attention.. and you Mr Stupid are addicted to the high of the good times. Without therapy you will be attracted to the same kind of woman. These people aren't capable of loving anyone but themselves and the more you jump through hoops, the more she disrespects you. She demands what she could never give. She in turn is addicted to the high self esteem she feels when she can treat you like dirt. A submissive person like yourself wll leave her and find someone else who treats you this way unless you get therapy. If you can't get therapy, learn to stand up to her. For every insult you receive, your self esteem goes down one notch if you can't stand up for yourself. Over a period of years, your problem will get worse.. trust me on this. Read books on codependency... educate yourself. I was a codependent once.. I was with a pimp. I got help and thousands of dollars later I am now married to a man who treats me wonderful. I have been there.. that is why I know my mom isn't going to listen to me, and you aren't going to listen to this. You will have to get to a point where you yourself decide your life isn't working and trust that help is out there and true happiness is out there as well. If you think you are happy, listen to yourself. Would you wish this kind of person on your daughter or son as adults. Of course not. You just know that when she ignores you, you don't feel whole and you are tortured. Your head says all your friends and Irene are right, but you need to pacify this emptiness that you feel when you don't have her. Please know that real love is much better. You need help.. go and get it. It will seem stupid at first, and I didn't believe in it either, but because my husband paid, I was forced to go before he would marry me. I saw myself change, but I didn't feel the process. All the talking seemed stupid.. I was VERY resistant. But now, when I see one of these people coming.. oooh boy do I know what they are about. I was fortunate to get therapy early in life before reaching 75. This is a horrible way to spend your last years. The good news is you are reaching out. Your self esteem is very low.. despite all your success. What happened in your life? Find out. Did your mom treat you the way this woman does? You need to dig in your past to find out what happened. I know what happened to me. Years of prostitution will bring you to a pimp fast. Who else will listen when you complain at night that your vagina is sore? I was lonely and the man I supported got me through some lonely times. I could have worked other jobs, but money is addicting and the good life in NYC is difficult to afford on minimum wage. I wasn't about to marry someone for money. I wanted to be independent. But each time I had to put up with another man degrading me, the less I had confidence in myself. I am now an master's educated nurse and I am a completely different person. Trust me, happiness is out there for you. Give therapy a chance and those empty feelings you have when she is not around will go away. Good Luck Lisa