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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!

Elizabeth's Update

Elizabeth's Update

Please read Elizabeth's original email first!

Sent: Friday, December 03, 1999 10:33 AM
Subject: Just checking in.

Dear Dr. Irene,

Thanks once again for having this site available for so many of us to view and to give us hope.  I wanted to let you know that I finally filed a protective order against my husband. 

I initially started with filing involuntary commitment papers on him.  I thought that if the social worker could see the harm that my husband was doing to himself, that my husband could get the help that he needed.  I did this almost immediately after I received your reply but I procrastinated on actually signing the papers until a few weeks later. The final push came when my husband got very verbally abusive towards my eldest daughter.  That very next day, I went and signed the papers for the commitment and the judge signed them without any hesitation.  

The problem was that the social worker wouldn't be able to interview my husband for at least two days.  I couldn't wait.  So I went back to the court house and filed a protective order (for me).  It was turned down because the abuse had been over a year ago.  So I then filed one on behalf of my daughter. That one was signed.  He was served within the hour.  We had our hearing two weeks ago.  The protective order stands with the modification that my attorney made which is that there is no statute of a time limit for physical abuse so they changed the protective order for me not my daughter.  

I made a stipulation of when he could have any contact with me: only when we were in counseling, if he chose to go to counseling.  Of course he said "yes".  I finally got a schedule from my husband on when our appointments are.  Apparently my husband has had nothing but good to say about this counselor (a male).  I was leery at first but after only one couples session and one individual session with the counselors' co-worker (a female), I felt good about how they were going to "treat" us, especially me.  

My husband and I were to have another couples session just yesterday, but as soon as I arrived to the appointment, my husband gave the counselor a note and apologized for having to leave.  The counselor read the note while in session with me.  He said that the note had not said why my husband couldn't stay but that he (my husband) was sure that I had enough to say to take up the time of our session.  The counselor said that during my husband's individual session the day before, that my husband made a comment that I was becoming a "women's libber".  Was this because I had seen a "woman" therapist? The counselor pointed out a few "traits" that he had picked up on about my husband.  He told me that he thought my husband was a "borderline personality" and this would be the only second male case that he had ever encountered in his career. (I find that disorder much more prevalent in women, but I've seen many male borderlines!) That this personality disorder usually is a female disorder.  The counselor got a book on disorders and started reading symptoms out loud to me.  Not only does my husband fit into this "borderline" disorder, he fits into the "histrionic" and also the "narcissistic" too.  This counselor thinks that my husband will not change because he won't acknowledge any of these traits of his disorders.  

He also told me to be careful because my husband may start to think that I've manipulated the counselor into taking my side of things.  This counselor said to not be disappointed if I have to give up on this relationship, but if that ever happens to definitely keep the protective order in force.  He wants to keep on going with the sessions to see if any of this will help out my husband at all.  I will continue with the sessions but I will not let myself believe my husband has changed just because my husband says he has or even if the counselor says so.  I need to see it and I need to see it continue for a long period of time before I will believe anything he says again.  

Just yesterday I was feeling panicked about our relationship, wondering how things will turn out.  After finding out that the problems my husband has actually have names to them, I for some reason feel relieved.  The only stress that I may feel now is the stress that I may have to pack up the kids and move again because he knows where we live.

Thank you so much Dr. Irene.  You are a Godsend.  Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Good for you. You took your power and put sanity into your life. Sounds to me as though you are in good hands with this counselor. Also sounds as though you have a good plan.

I'm sorry it looks as though your marriage won't work out. Your husband appears to be a very sick man. At least he will no longer harm you and your children.

Thank you for updating us on what happened.

My very best wishes,    -Dr. Irene

(Ps. Ask your counselors if they would like to be listed in the Abuse Therapist Directory)

Read what Dr. Irene has to say about Borderline Personality Disorder and Criteria for Diagnosis.