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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

Thank You

Thank You...

Dear Dr. Irene,

I'd like to thank you for saving my life.  Literally saving my life.  I was in an abusive marriage for 10 years.  She was mentally/verbally/emotionally abusive.  I dealt with it because she had been sexually abused by her stepfather for a long period of years and I thought that it was part of the recovery process....silly, naive me.

I came to your page one night a couple months after the first time I consulted an attorney.  After reading the symptoms of an abuser, I was trying to figure out where you'd been hiding in our home.  It was frightening to see it listed out like that, and to realize that I was being abused....by someone who had been abused.

That was when I began to wake up.  I realized that she wasn't healing, she was having fun.  I realized that I had been enabling her all those years...taking responsibility for her actions and inactions, for things she didn't want to do, and bearing the brunt of her anger when I didn't toe the line that she was drawing.  She would get angry at everything I did, real and imagined...there were times when I thought I was going crazy, when I thought that I had lost touch with reality, there were times when I even considered suicide...although never seriously...things were never that desperate.

On the day before my 36th birthday, I went to balance the checkbook and found that she and her sister had gone through $1400 in two weeks.  Also discovered she was running multiple checkbooks, was hiding purchases so I wouldn't get upset (although I had learned that getting upset just got me in trouble....she would just get angrier and turn it back on me).  Anyways, I confronted her about this and we went through the same old routine, the same old threats from her - I wish I could die, I wish I could disappear, I wish you would disappear, I wish everyone would leave me alone, I wish everyone would go away - and then the kicker - "if you don't like the way we are living, you can leave."

So a month and a half later, I packed up my daughter and got us out of there. The divorce was final on February 18, 2000.  I've read , Codependent No More but I need to read it again a little bit deeper....and probably again after that.  I've also joined a church and that is filling up a great gap in my life.  I've had some issues with her still manipulating me, even after the divorce, but I'm on the Men's mail group (Men_D), and I've confessed to them and they're being a great help.

Thank you again for letting me know that I wasn't crazy, that what was happening was real.  I tried getting us both into counseling, but she wanted nothing to do with it.  I've forgiven her the pain that she caused, I'm working hard on forgiving myself for what happened as well.  But I survived, and I expect to do nothing from this point but get better.

Wow! I don't know what else to say... You've taken your power! I think its particularly super that you are a guy - and that you took your kid. Wow! Thanks for writing. 

God bless you and yours,  Dr. Irene

Ps. After You've gone through , Codependent No More for the 4th time, read Pia Mellody's Facing Codependence.