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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!

Arrested Development

Arrested Development


Dear Dr. Irene,

"Arrested Development". I know you can't hear or see my reaction to your site, it was very strong, tears and all that stuff! I am the victim. 8 years of it! Being spit at, furniture thrown at me, file foul and obscene language, verbal abuse (both oral and written), Hatred-Hatred-Hatred, Suicide threats, Blame, and then unbelievable emotional plea for forgiveness and acceptance! All this takes place in front of the kids!!! (except the plea for forgiveness). After the last physical assault, I saw a lawyer, he immediately directed me to the domestic relations court and they promptly issued a CPO and removed my wife from the house! 5 years of protection. The abuse did not stop of course, she took every opportunity to orally assault me (ambush) when we had to discuss visitation (I'm the custodial parent, she has minimal visitation rights). Abracadabra, she is "cured," she found a lover who understands her and meets her needs (sexual). I need, I need, I need to understand what is wrong with her? Some friends, PhD's and counselors said she fits exactly into something described as "Arrested Development," a 7 year old child (emotionally) in an adult body. Would you please help me!! I want to learn about this. If it would be of help to you or anyone else I would gladly share my story (it's not a very nice one, not as violent of some I've heard about, but it was insidious (my wife is intellectually gifted) and sure has been hell for years).

Dear Formerly Abused Guy,

I am glad your siege came to an end and you can finally start making sense of what happened. "Arrested development" is a term psychodynamically-oriented clinicians often use to describe one of the personality disorders as defined in the DSM-IV1. Your wife is probably a borderline personality disorder, though I cannot make an on-line diagnosis.

Please send in your story. I would be happy to print it. (See his story here.)

My very best wishes,  Dr. Irene

1The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). American Psychiatric Association, 1994.