February 13, 2000
Dear Dr. Irene:
Your web site is very informative and is an inspiration for victims of
verbal and mental abuse. I hope abuser types find it
I recently am having a very heated
affair with a victim. The control of the abuser is so strong that it is
near impossible for the victim to leave her abuser. She is going for help
to try to break out of this 20-year relationship. It seems almost
impossible for her to leave. The abuse has been excessive - so excessive
that he conforms to three quarters of the list of warning
signs that you have on your site
He has tremendous issues that he
refuses to get help for. As a matter of fact, he told her to get help
because he is not going to change and she should. He is like a pimp and
she is his whore. She works six days a week and gives him her pay check. She
cooks every night when she gets home, does the wash, cleans, shops for
food, and at the end of the week she has little or no money of her own. She
has to ask for money and then she gets questioned about where she spent
He on the other hand constantly is
on the computer in private rooms and has private conversations with 15 and
16 year olds (he is in his 50s). He goes for massages every week, yet
starves her sexually (our relationship takes care of that problem). She
constantly has to walk on egg shells, and is afraid to say anything that
might get him mad.
Now why is she having so much
trouble leaving him? She says she is not in love with him and she swears
that she is in love with me, and believe me, she is - by the way she acts
and the love that we have. It is extraordinary. What is the problem here?
Please help me.
I don't know what
the problem is. Have you asked her what she thinks the problem is?
Would she tell you, or would she be afraid to hurt your feelings too?
Certainly part of
the problem is familiarity. If this life is all this woman has known for
the past 2 decades, she knows the ropes, so to speak. She knows what to
expect and she has made adjustments to ease the pain. You are probably one
joyful adjustment, though I am not necessarily suggesting that is all you
are. More possibilities:
What can you do for
you? Well... This situation cannot feel very good for you. She bends over
backward for him, but won't budge for you - and you are the good guy! Why
compromise yourself this way? You may want to consider becoming
friends with her as opposed to remaining lovers!
Removing sex is
likely to clear lots of things up for both of you. Certainly, your
self-esteem will benefit since you will no longer be waiting in the wings.
Also, never forget that the foundation of a good marriage is a strong
friendship. Sex is just wonderfully yummy icing on the cake, but sex
is not love. Unfortunately, sex also obscures problem areas and
incompatibilities. Where would the love you share fit in a sexually
Think about it...
Good luck to both
of you, Dr. Irene