|I'll try to keep this brief. Before all, however, I love your site. Certainly, I will
think of others as well. I intend to print it out for my ex. I've sent it
to my abusive, ex-boss anonymously, since he's extremely vindictive.
I hope it helps. Thanks.
Speaking of which, you seem to deal with verbal abuse almost entirely in the context of intimate relationships. However, many of these same people create havoc at work as well (sometimes, because their spouses keep them in line at home, so they have to take it out somewhere....) These people are very good at manipulating people, and so, often rise within organizations (my observation). And they LOVE to take out their anger on employees, who are relatively powerless. It is far more pervasive than sexual abuse, although related. I'd love to see you deal with this directly.
I agree with
your observations. I don't deal with workplace abuse for a couple of
reasons: I prefer to focus in areas I am most interested in since this site is
my hobby & play time! Its also the topic I get the most requests
about. Perhaps I am most interested in couples
and families because I see couples and families - all the time. I've
yet to have an employee bring in an abusive boss! I work best in the context
of a relationship, where I know the players - even if I'm doing
Good point; your psychologist is correct. He or she is referring to "engulfment." I implicitly clump engulfment with neglect and abuse since the caretaker is oblivious to the needs of the child and is responding to the child based on their own needs. The child is imposed upon and used. My oversight in articulating the phenomena is primarily a function of my lack of emphasis in childhood events, though I may add it now that you point it out.
is more than enough material in present-day repetitions of
past stuff. Excursions into the past are more for the client's benefit
than for their contribution to recovery: to make the present-day
repetitions "make sense;" to help them understand how they
learned their present cognitive-affective-behavioral patterns (as opposed
to being born somehow deficient); to increase their interest in their
treatment; to help them get in touch with often denied anger at the
caretaker, etc. Articulating the events of infancy and childhood much
beyond this point is not useful in terms of the results-oriented work I
do. The past more properly belongs to the psychodynamically oriented
clinician, an orientation I am trained in yet reject in terms of how
treatment is conducted. But, you can't beat their detailed
descriptions of the phenomenology and acquisition of
psychopathology. (There is an informal theoretical war going on in the
pseudo-science of psychology!)
surprised by your question: almost the entire site is about earlier, more
subtle abuse and escalation: verbal, emotional, control, withholding,
etc. My intent is to help people spot it early, well
before it gets physical! Also, I don't focus on physical abuse because
there is much material elsewhere.
Yes. First the victim's advice: Get out and don't look back if you can - and hopefully your abuser will get very motivated for recovery. For younger victims with no children: Get out and don't look back. Run as fast as you can.
For the abuser: highly motivated abusers can and do recover. This is my clinical experience. I am not talking about "in remission" or "in recovery". I am talking recovered as in philosophical and personality change. Most won't make it for a number of reasons, degree of sociopathy among them. The victim partner who won't put up with it can increase the abuser's motivation for recovery as well.
First, you seem to belittle the possibility that a victim could truly LOVE her (his) abuser. Yes, they have the ability to make you feel wonderful. But, speaking for myself, my ex and I seemed to really 'click' on many levels -- whether it came to making breakfast together, tastes, values, etc.
Have you noticed that I repeatedly define the word "love" throughout the site? The distinction between love and infatuation is one example. Love is about friendship - partnership. Your best friend and interdependent partner. The person who cares about your feelings more than anything, except as much as you care about theirs. Having like values and enjoying time together is wonderful; these may well be necessary prerequisites to an interdependent partnership.
The problem (symptom) was his impulsiveness. The more I understand what drives his behavior, I find it doesn't really change what I love about him, but it explains his bad behavior.
Exactly my point. His impulsivity and bad behavior prevent him from being a loving, unselfish, emotionally giving interdependent partner. You love him; yet, he cannot love you as selflessly as you love him. The caring is one-sided if he behaves impulsively and badly.
I feel as if I know him (and myself) much more, and I hate his abusiveness, but it hasn't really diminished the love I felt for him. My walls are up high, however.
Another example of how the word "love" is used to mean so many different kinds of affection. You seem to love him as a child you wish would grow up into a partner. You seem to love the potential inside of him - which he has not realized. Partnership is about trust. How can you love someone you cannot trust?
We are in the final stage of divorce - he only needs to sign the paper, but pleads with me to give him some hope that we can work it out. Tell him you want him to get serious about recovery. I think he understands how awful his behavior has been and what constitutes 'foul play.' On my side, my self esteem is pretty good. Good. I've had a brief and very positive transitional relationship and got out with the first signs of abusiveness. Good. It's too early for you to be dating. Too emotionally confusing, though your need to increase your sense of being attractive is understandable. I don't mind being single. I've met lots of men and considered many, more on a theoretical level, and several have made it clear they'd like to spend more time with me. I'm not interested right now. I'm not lonely - although I crave the real intimacy we shared in the marriage.
I should mention we have 2 little kids that keep me very busy (and aware). En fin, here's the question: Before I cut the chord completely, is it really better that I assume he will not be able to gain control of his acting out? I have no crystal ball. The costs to our children will be high (he will move out of the area), and I can't help but grieve the positive elements of our marriage. Of course. But the risks of EVER trusting him again are extremely high. What do you think? I guess I will proceed with the divorce.
I have a hard time knowing whether it's codependency or love. Your love is clearly of a codependent nature: you give; he takes, emotionally that is. And if, with the degree of recovery I've made, it's just codependency, I don't know how I could ever trust my own feelings and judgment in a future relationship.
You can and
you will. When you are good and ready. You are what I call
"relationship-ready". From what you convey, you know how to
give and give. You need to find a man who knows how to give and give -
and not abuse. (You could however use a few lessons on taking.) Its a
crying shame that your husband is not hell-bent on recovery. At the very
least, recovery is his responsibility to his children, let alone to
you, to himself and to his Maker. Did you ever ask yourself why he has
taken it upon himself to leave the area - and his children - should
you divorce? Is any reason really good enough?
I'd like to read the replies!