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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

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12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

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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

Why We Won't Leave

Why We Won't Leave

Dear Dr. Irene,

I have read a lot and heard a lot about women needing to become independent and confident in themselves so that they do not have to stay with an abuser. Well, let me give you some insight from my perspective, victim of an abuser, as to why we won't leave.

Some of us may not have the education nor the skills required to obtain a good paying job.  Yes, we can improve ourselves by obtaining college degrees or computer skills, but what if you're tied down with children who need you at home or what if you are alone and you don't have family or friends who can take care of your children while you go to class?  Your husband might be able to watch the kids while you go to class, but only when he is not fighting with you.  Unfortunately, during those non-abusive times, he will often sweet talk you into staying with him by saying things like "I like to spend time with you in the evenings", making it very difficult to leave him. Those woman who are in this roller-coaster relationship know what I am talking about.

Most abusers do not like to hear that you are going to take a self improvement class of any sort.  Those that say "That's a great idea honey" are lying because deep down inside they want you to be dependant on them. Most of us have had our confidence destroyed by either the abuser or, realistically speaking, the cost of living outside of our hellish dwellings. Trying to make ends meet on your own when you have children, is one of the toughest things in life if you are a woman.

So what's the solution?  Leave your abuser and endure a diminished standard of living until you get your feet back on the ground, if ever you do?  What about all the dreams?  What about all the "I'm sorry's"?  What about all the promises?  What about the fact that some of us still love our abusers?  It's hard not to look back because as long as we have kids with him, we will continue to have some contact.

I have already been in a situation where I decided to "take control" of my life and leave an unhappy marriage.  Those were the darkest moments of my life.  I stepped down from a very prestigious upper class  life and stepped into a life of poverty, darkness and loneliness.  I then remarried a man whom I thought was my knight in shining amour but turned out to be my worst nightmare.  I am now 40 years old with two kids, one who is 17 years old (previous marriage) and another who is 4 years old (current marriage).  What would you say to someone like me, who's been there already?  I tried to make it on my own but failed.

I am so fearful of the consequences that I refuse to leave my current abuser.  I do not have family in this country nor do I have friends that I can talk to.  I still love my current husband but I also hate him due to the abuse.  I spend a lot of nights in the guest room alone.  I don't see myself having a better life by leaving, though, due to my previous experience.  I am planning to attend a support group "Victims of Emotional Abuse" in my area but I have already been told by the counselor that I need to "take control of my life".  I realize that in some cases the victim is able to do that but due to my prior failures, I don't feel like I can and maybe deep down inside I don't want to try.

So what's the solution Dr. Irene?

Dear Lady,

There are no solutions, certainly no easy ones. Life is not fair. Life is a series of choices. We do with our life as we see fit. Our life is ours to script.

This site is not about criticizing you for choosing to stay where you are. This site is about offering education and support for those who choose to learn more, who choose to get out, or for whatever reason, choose not to. 

The overwhelming message, I hope, is: You run your life.

Warmest regards,  -Dr. Irene