Dear Dr. Irene:
I have visited your site almost daily since April of last year. The
advice you give on this site has helped me to leave my abuser. We
were legally separated on June 14 of last year. As you mention so
often in your advice, leaving sometimes makes the abuser wake up and
realize that he is not treating his spouse right. I had hoped that
this would happen to my husband, that he would come to realize that he
treated his stepdaughter and his wife in a very abusive way (verbally,
emotionally and physically).
Instead, my husband moved out and
straight into the arms of his ex-fiancée. He did not even try to
understand why I filed for the separation. All he could see was that
he was wronged by me, that I deserted him for the sake of my then
16-year-old daughter. In his mind, it was ok to have a girlfriend
because I forced him leave his home. He apparently
had an out all set up. It is not all that unusual for an abusive person to
keep one or more "possibilities" on a back burner - just in
I tried to reconcile with him in
November only to confirm that he had not changed. He still had not
understood why I filed for the separation and he also continued to call
his girlfriend even though we were trying to reconcile (he had to keep
this option open in case we did not work out). Exactly.
He will go where he does not have to be alone. Last week he told me
that he would "love me into loving him". This lasted two
days. It stopped when I refused to go away with him for the weekend.
Instead he went off with his girlfriend.
It has been seven months since the
separation and I am hurting more than ever. Why are
you wasting your time missing a person who regards you - and any other
woman in his path as well - as no more than an object to keep him company?
I know you know he is not OK, but, have you really thought about this?
Seems like you need to hear the words and promises, and put less weight on
the follow-through! It does not seem fair that this abuser can just
go on and not hurt at all over what he did to his family. It hurts
to know that I was never really loved. Be hurt. Be
angry. You got duped (he's good at it). But, count your lucky stars you
got rid of him sooner rather than later. I was just a person to
fulfill his needs. It hurts to know that he did not care enough
about his two-year old son to try and make this marriage work. Stop! You are reacting as though he is an individual who
knows about loving another. He does not know how to do this.
He did not even try to understand
my reasons for separating. He does not care. Too
selfish. Too needy. I know that time will heal this pain eventually
but I don't know how much longer I can take it. Instead of feeling
better, I feel worse every day. What are you
telling yourself? "Poor me? He never loved me...this was the second
time around...nobody will ever love me...what's wrong with me..." I
promise, there is some sort of yukky - and totally irrational - thinking
like this going on. If you stopped and really examined what was going on
in the back of your head, then objectively examined the validity
of those silly thoughts each and every time your bad thinking
habits -yes, habits - crept in, your heart would eventually sing the same
tune as your head. And you will feel much better...
is probably closer to these thoughts: "I am a caretaker and am
insecure. I wanted to believe him, so I did. He is real good at fooling
women. This man is incapable of adult love. Now I hate to throw out
a marriage, especially since we have a child. But, my kids don't deserve
to have this kind of person in the house. Plus, I have the rest of my life
ahead of me. I deserve someone who can love me the way I love them. That
is the relationship I want to model to my kids. So, I will work on my insecurities,
since there is no reason to be insecure (another irrational thought!).
That's what got me into trouble in the first place."
Please recommend some books I can
read to make me feel better. I also hope that you will take the
suggestion of one of the ladies who e-mailed you and establish a support
group for those that have left the abusive relationship. Done. Join "What's
Next!" here and give it a little while for people to find out and
I need to communicate with someone
who is in the same boat I am in. Thank you so much for this wonderful
site. You have helped me and so many being done to us in the
relationship. Keep it up.
Thank you Olivia.
Good luck to you; you are better off without him. In time, you will know
that. It is just harder if there has been a warm body on a back
burner...all our human buttons get pushed.
You need to
find your center. You don't "need" him - or anyone else - to
feel whole. Read some of the codependency stuff. Some good picks from the book shelf:
Facing Codependence : What It Is, Where It Comes From, How
It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody.
Miller's excellent book, Addictive Relationships : Reclaiming Your Boundaries.
Hang in there.
Wishing you a speedy recovery. Dr. Irene
February 7, 2000
Dear Dr. Irene,
Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer me. I will definitely
follow your advice. I am starting to really see that I don't need to
be ashamed when in fact I didn't do anything wrong. I have just
started reciting positive affirmations to myself about my self and this in
only the beginning!!! Thanks again for your help. I cannot
tell you what it means to me.