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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!

My First Mistake

My First Mistake...

December 19, 1999

I ran away from home when I was 15 to be with the man I thought I loved and who I thought would never do me wrong. That was my first mistake...

It was a couple of weeks after that he started calling me names, saying I was just like his ex-wife, whom he told me all about. It hurt a lot because I had grown up in a family were I knew that this wasn't right, but I felt that I was trapped and couldn't do anything about it.

His next trick was when he told me that he and his 2 other friends had taken some pills and were committing suicide. He let me believe that in the morning, he would be dead and let me stress and cry all night.

From then it just escalated. We moved in with his mom for awhile and he even was rude to her. One night he even went crazy on her and she moved out of her own apartment to get away. We found out that I was pregnant, and even then he didn't stop. When he said that he was "stressed" he blew up at me. Screaming at me that he wished I would have a miscarriage, that he was going to go get a girl that he frequently visited to come beat me up so that I would have a miscarriage. This went on for the next 9 months of my pregnancy and I never said a mean thing back to him.  After each episode he'd come begging for me to forgive him, that he didn't mean all those things, and that it was because he was "stressed". At the hospital where I was about to have a baby, he pulled the same trick again, calling me names, making me cry and ruining the days that were supposed to be happy.

I had a baby boy and somehow he turned out to be a happy little baby. When the baby was about 6 months old, he started getting crazy on me. While I was holding the baby, he picked up a broom and said that he was going to beat the **** out of me, and then suddenly snapped and was apologizing. 

To bring it up to the present, he had a job that was giving him the hours that he needed so he went looking for another one. He was planning on going to a temporary service that day to get money that he had missed that day. He fell asleep later in the afternoon, which was when he had planned to call the office - so I woke him up. He went all crazy because I woke him up and started to break my glass objects, saying that he paid for them so they are his to break.  he broke a glass water ball right in front of our son who was in reach of getting hit or stepping on the glass. He broke everything that I had that was breakable, and then asked me to forgive him...

I decided that this was enough. I wasn't going to deal with it anymore, and I didn't want my son growing up seeing that and repeating it. I've only been gone 2 days and he's calling me asking me to come back saying that he's going to change. What should I do? I don't want to keep our son away from him but I'm not sure he is going to change.  Kathy 

Dear Kathy,

He wants to change, but it is not so easy. The only chance he has at changing is for you to stay away and demand that he get in treatment and get it together - before you two get back together. Go very, very slowly. Meanwhile, take a look at yourself. What is going on with you that you would consider staying with a man who has hurt you so? Get some treatment yourself! As long as you think it is somehow OK to put up with threats and violence, at this point, you no longer  hurt just yourself. You also hurt your child - by continuing the cycle of abuse into the next generation. Teach your child self-respect instead - by loving and respecting yourself  first and foremost.   Do this. You are so young; don't waste your life being anybody's victim. Good luck.  Dr. Irene