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Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

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!

Thank You For Caring For Us

Thank you for caring for us!!!!!!!

Sent: Thursday, November 04, 1999  
Subject: Thank you for caring for us!!!!!!!

Dear Dr. Irene:

The following has been copied from my posting to your message board:

Hello everyone:

After 11 months and 3 weeks of an infernal marriage, it has been a great relief to find this site.  What I have found here has not changed my circumstances.  It has changed the way I look at my problems.

One thing is for sure (to me, at least!).  Being in an abusive relationship causes me to be confused, to rise doubts in my mind as to my own values, to doubt my own sanity.  One counselor told me that it is 'crazy making behavior'.  I think she was right! 100% right!

I am not the only one in the world suffering a miserable life that could otherwise be so happy!!! What remains to be found, is a solution that can save the marriage.  But to save a marriage, both partners have to work together.  The abuser, like the alcoholic, cannot admit to his/her faults.  The abuser thinks it is all the other person's fault. Yes.

My wife, in some of her rare lucid moments, has told me that she behaves that way because she is a SURVIVOR.  Yes, she had a highly disturbed childhood. She lived with relatives most of the time, because her parents did not get along.  Her mother, the family tells me,  is a schitzo.  Her sister is reported to be one too.   I am not sure that is the correct diagnosis.  People who can get along with most others fall in a different category. But my wife's survival instincts are being used in the wrong way.  She does not have to protect herself from me, because I love her, and I will protect her.  I am not against her, she is otherwise a very wonderful human being. Yes. That's what makes this problem so sad.

It is learned behavior, and a distorted view of the situation in the marriage, I think. Me too. Learned behavior and biology.  It is insecurity feelings coming out. Yes! Big time insecurity. I think the abuser does not consider him/herself worthy of the marriage, and wants to self-destroy. After all, why should this work, when nothing else in her life did? Astute, insightful observation. Want to help me answer email?

I am old enough (60) to have learned a few things in life.  One is that emotions can accumulate if not give a proper outlet. In this type of relationship, feelings pile up until they cannot be contained.  How can the abused express feelings, if he/she is constantly interrupted?  To me, that is what causes fights.  When two people can talk about their problems, there is no fight.  When one cannot, eventually he/she tries to be heard at any cost, and raises the voice.  Then the other part does, and it can become violence. Interesting viewpoint. I can agree.

This site has given me the opportunity to express my feelings.  I do not think I am totally right about everything I say or feel,  but at least is a way for me to let out what has accumulated inside of me. Good! Did you join the abused guys email support list, Men-D?

My emotional life is at an all time low, because my hope that this marriage will work is almost gone.  I can only salvage one half of it, and that is ME.  Thank you, Dr. Irene, for caring so much!  Your kindness and advice have saved many from a trip to the mental ward.  May our Creator bless you! Thanks again, Victor
Dear Victor,
Thank you for caring for me... (blush)...and for taking the time to write.
Warmest regards and may God Bless you and yours, Dr. Irene



Sent: Thursday, November 11, 1999 4:41 PM
Subject: Thanks

 Dr. Irene,

I just wanted to let you know your site helped me very much in that it educated me about my own verbal abuse issues.  It also started me on the path toward learning more about this issue and how it has affected me and those closest to me. 

By way of background, I had been seriously verbally abusing my wife for more than a year and she had had enough.  We came to the brink of separation only sixty days ago.  We now seem to be stabilized and back on track.  Both of us are in therapy and also in joint counseling, which I think has helped.

I made some radical environmental changes for me which have helped. Education and recognition of the problem were very important to helping me adjust my mental framework as well.  That is where your site was very helpful.  I believe I read almost 80% of the content of the site and purchased 7 books from Amazon based on your recommendations.  Keep up the good work.

I came from a family of four sons and my parents loved us but have their own intimacy issues.  The topics covered in your site are not ones I was exposed to at all growing up.  My father, who is generally a loving person, was mildly abusive to my mother, who is my dominant female role model.  I just took it to the next level, which was wrong.  At some point, I will tell my father I feel uncomfortable with how he talks about or to my mother on occasion.

I truly believe that most sons/young men are not taught proper coping skills and anger management skills in our society.  Just the awareness that "anger" and "getting mad" are really nonspecific terms.  Men need to understand other feelings such as frustration, hurt, fear, are all real emotions that do not need to lead to "anger responses" such as yelling, stomping around or getting physical/fighting.  Unfortunately, all we are exposed to is very physical responses to not getting ones way and this exposure can be harmful to ones
personal growth.

Things are much better between me and my wife as we now have clearer boundaries.  I have three children and a loving wife and I know I can do more to be the best father and husband I can be.  I have a new expression:  "Have I done ALL that I can to do to get this right".  When I answer myself, I always find comfort in the challenge of self-improvement.

Thanks again.  I'll be back for a visit on occasion.  Teddy

Dear Teddy,
Thank you for the wonderful feedback. I am glad my site was able to assist you in your recovery.
My very best wishes to you and your family. -Dr. Irene