How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board

The CatBox Archives

 

(Archives)

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

Long Distance Lover

Long Distance Lover

 
To: <deardrirene@drirene.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 1999 
Subject: E-Mail Advice

My boyfriend and I have been dating for over a year. We have spent 7 of those months in a long distance relationship. He moved from home to another state for a great job. I am planning to move mainly to be with him but also because I wanted to transfer schools regardless. I have always considered myself a strong woman and many  of the people in my life so too. I have never taken crap from anyone. Five months into our relationship Stephen started to become verbally abusive. I knew this was wrong but I did not know that his behavior towards me was that of a typical verbal abuser. He has a lot of anger and loses his temper often. He and I get into awful fights. I believe I might verbally abuse him back. He has called me names from whore to bitch. When I don't answer my phone at > night he thinks it's because I must be out cheating on him. I have endured  months of his behavior because I believed it was simply due to long distance stress. I still think a lot of it will go away when I move. After reading about verbal abuse on this  web site I realize now he fits the perfect profile of a verbal abuser and I think I fit a few traits of the abused. I love him very much and I know he loves me. We want to get married one day. I don't want to quit on him. I want to help him get better. I want us to get through this. He has sought therapy before and told me that he was "going to make me look bad to the therapist." I told him before I would leave him if he didn't get help. Is there anything else I can do?
Candi

Dear Candi,

I am glad you achieved some understanding of the dynamics of your relationship. Assuming you are on target, that puts you in a position to do something about it. It would be a good idea to have your position corroborated by a professional.

First, don't ever compromise yourself by being abusive back. Unfortunately, this is common response, but it is not helpful for various reasons. Not only do you diminish your self-respect, you draw attention away from him, and also give him excuses to point fingers - at you!

Second, don't take it. You haven't taken junk before; why take it now? Notice how his abuse and control took 5 months to develop? Over time it is likely to get worse. Do not allow abuse and control and leave if he refuses to stop or own that he has an issue. He may not  take you seriously until you show him that you take yourself seriously. You are the only one who has the power to take care of yourself. 

Good luck,

Dr. Irene