May 27, 2004
Hello TD. My X had your problem but when I left he never thought he did anything wrong so we divorced and even though we still loved each other I am now at peace. Your insight is very good. Please listen to Dr. Irene. She is right about giving her emotional support. This is something I never got from him even though he could be very nice some times. I always had to walk on eggshells so I would not upset him so it is good your wife tells you she is angry. I could not tell him my anger because he would get more angry. And he could never be there for me all the way through. If I talked to him about something I was upset over and he was there for me, if something I said upset him he had to turn the conversation around and we had to talk about his problem. My problem was abandoned and that is exactly how I felt in my marriage... Abandoned.
May 27, 2004
TD Sometimes we hear a story just when we need it.... Your story really hit me. My H. and I have been apart for over 6 months. He left in nov. 2003, for the third time. Not because I was abusive, but he could not cope with things being ok. (he says now.' Like you he has an enormous amount of fear from an abusive and very unstable childhood. After he left, he felt very guilty, almost died because he though himself so unworthy (no suicide, just not taking care of himself). We had very little contact as I was very angry at him for doing this to me once more. WE decided to divorce as he felt he did not want to stand in my way and then at least he would have fu$%ed up everything he could. Then no contact. he tried, I refused to answer. Then 2 weeks ago his mom died and it spiraled him further into a process of recognizing what he had done, to her, to me. He had fortunately made up with her, but he is very aware of all the abuse he put her thru. She and I were very closer friends and I had to go to the funeral, even if it meant seeing him. I was very wary, but we fell into each others arms, shared grief does that. the miracle happened when he seemed to open up and apologize, when he said he had push me away all the time as he had been so scared f loosing me. Lots more. he asked me could we talk, that he knew he had no right whatsoever to ask me... I was not sure. In the end I said ok. We did talk a little on Sunday and he said he knew apologizing could not make up for what he had done. That he remembered how happy his mom was when she married his stepfather and how they, as children hope they would finally have a real dead (his own was very abusive) and how the step. left time and time again. Said It hurt so much and now I did the same to you.. Anyway,. he seems to be where you are, taking meds, made an appointment with a T. and aware of his feelings. Recognizing that he was the one that made himself unhappy, not me, not our house, not his mom. Recognizing that his anger stemmed from fear. Telling me he had said an done such hurtful things, but that he would not be running anymore. That he loved me and did not know if I could still love him, but he loved me anyway and how important that was for him and that he needed to tell me. He was very respectful and very supportive of my anger. I do not know where this will lead. I am not sure at this stage whether I have the courage to try again. I am wary, but a lot has happened and it seems he finally hit rock bottom, like you did and knows he will have t start doing things for himself if he wants things to change. I do hope you will find th strength to go on on this road and that things will work out for you and your wife. Bu know, even if it does not, recognizing what you do know, is such an important step forward and it will be for her as well. Even if she decides she will not try it any more with you. Hugs
May 27, 2004
TD, I read your story and it is painfully familiar. I am divorced after only a year, for many of the same reasons your wife has now found necessary in making the decisions she has been forced to make. I begged my husband not to yell at me, cuss at me, and break things in our home. His response, "you are the reason I act this way." It was like this before we got married, however I loved him and I thought I could love enough for both of us. Even now, we had attempted reconciliation but he continues to live in the past of what I have done to him and how I hurt him not taking responsibility for his actions. It is good to hear that you have acknowledged and are in the process of taking responsibility for your actions. Time will tell. Please understand, it took a lot of courage for your wife to stand up to you and tell you how she feels. Her trust in you has been violated and you two have a long road ahead. I wish you both the best, and I want you to know from a person who has endured an abusive husband...once someone takes everything away from you and puts you down far enough to where you cannot see any hope; it is hard to trust anything said. Someone once told me that just because someone does not love you the way you want, does not mean they do not love you with all that they have. Those words are at times the only thing that gets me through my situation. My heart goes out to your wife, and...to you.
May 29, 2004
Dear TD, I have recently, as a woman, been through a very similar experience, with my soulmate who I believed has potential...but sorrowfully, this soulmate is in severe denial. You, however, have come upon a great path in affirming your self honesty as a motion to heal. My prayer and appreciation for healing will be in my thoughts. I wish you wellness in your journey to reconnect with your wife. Sincerely, JAA
June 01, 2004
I once made a deal with my un-employed wife that she would get to pick an area of the house that she would clean and then I would pick an area that I would clean. My area was clean the same day we made the agreement but hers remained dirty for days. I found out that during those few days she was chatting on AOL about how to divorce me and make me pay for a housekeeper. When I found this out and I asked her what was so bad about our relationship she said, "You try to control me too much". In some cases there is no hope to save a marriage and I understand now that, in those cases, the divorce should come before the abuse.
June 02, 2004
I have to say I admire you for embarking on this path of what's going to be challenging emotional growth. I only wish my husband would have come to some of the realizations you are coming to, before it was too late. I am divorcing from my husband of almost 10 years. He was very verbally and emotionally abusive, in addition to being emotionally unavailable. I lived with a shell of a man who shared nothing of himself. He was very out of tune with the damage his rage and anger caused the relationship. I felt like a non-person to him. The whole relationship robbed me of my soul, which I am now starting to get back. He still is in denial, and I don't expect he'll ever "get it." Whether you and your wife reconcile or not, I hope you continue on the path to discovering yourself and making the change to being a non-abusive person.
June 03, 2004
Well, because I've been on the receiving end of abuse, I've heard very similar thing from my STBX. I don't buy it not after only a couple of months. He still needs to control and probably this is his newest tactic. I'm sure because there was a book there that his wife gave him just enough information on abuse and he is now using his new found knowledge to take his control to the next level.
June 03, 2004
TD, I commend you for the work you are doing. I have been separated from my husband for almost two years. I separated because I felt that I didn't have any other choice, although I still loved him. After the separation I was angry with him for the things he had done. He was trying to work on himself but had a difficult time focusing on anything other than getting back together with me. This just pushed me farther away. If anyone had asked me at 6 months of separation if I thought I would ever be able to trust him again, I would have said NO. Amazingly, though, over time I have seen my husband's efforts, I have witnessed his changes. It took me over a year to get there, but I can now say that I respect my husband again, I trust him again, and I love him with my whole heart. He is not abusive any more. I just wanted to tell you this so that you realize it's not necessarily going to be a few months before your wife can trust you again. It could be as long as me, or even longer. Patience is what you need if you want to save your marriage. Let her take as long as she needs in order to heal. Whatever you do, DON'T PUSH HER - you will only push her away. You're off to a great start, keep it up and your efforts will pay off no matter what happens.
June 03, 2004
Dr. Irene, First thanks to you and everyone else that posted comments. They are very helpful. Let me start with an update. Over the last week things have gone up and down with us. There were some very good times together and some very bad. When she asks, I've tried to share my feelings in an appropriate way and there was even a couple of more small miracles from her. I am feeling a lot of pain right now and dealing with my depression. I don't feel that I have hit rock bottom yet, and that is a scary thought. I am going to therapy twice a week, and have started my meds. The meds will help big time. Depression is not in your head. It is a physical disorder. Some people develop migraines under stress, some suffer an increase in blood pressure; you tend towards depression. I'm glad you are treating it in addition to your therapy.
Also a clarification: She hasn't actually shown me her anger. We both know it is there and I think she is afraid that in my vulnerable state I can't handle it. If you've been blue, it would be too difficult for you. I however, would see it as a major miracle. I know that patience is the key, but that is very hard for me right now. I try not to pressure her, but things don't always work out that way. The ambiguity is really hard for me, even though I understand. I want to work toward something. I want us to be able to try. I can see her leaving as a gift. Otherwise I would not have been forced to deal with the abuse and the pain in my life. Without that I would not be able to change.
And though it is painful and very hard work, I now have a chance to break the cycle and be happy with myself and in a relationship. I see what she did as very strong and very brave. And I can thank her for it. I do not want her to give up on me and our marriage. At some point I want to be able for us to work together on me earning her forgiveness and trust. I also want to love her and be vulnerable and exposed—something I was not able to do before. But all I really want is time.
However, I understand that this is not about me. It is about her. Your pain, your experience is very much about you. Her experience is about her. The damage I caused our relationship and the pain I caused her is overwhelming. I want to be there for her. But she will not let me in right now. That's OK. She won't talk about any of this with me. She isn't able to show me any emotion about it. I would like to be able to put her concerns ahead of mine. But I do tell her how I feel when she wants to know. Good. And she is hesitant to let me in on what she wants or how she feels.
I want to be emotionally supportive, but I do not know how. Does anyone have some specific advice? I have been listening to what she has to say and trying to respond without making it about me. You have already taken my advice. Hear her, ask questions, don't think you know the answer better than she does. Emotional support is about being empathic with the other person. Just listen and try to understand the other person's feelings. Let it be OK with you if the other person does not want to talk. You don't want the other person to feel upset that you are upset that s/he doesn't want to talk.
I have tried to show her love, respect, and acceptance. I am so scared right now. I am afraid that I have to be perfect and that is a lot of pressure. Your fear that you need to be perfect is just that: YOUR fear. I am afraid that if I screw up or say the wrong thing the consequences will be disastrous. There are times when I feel like giving up, though I don't even know what that would mean. You sound depressed TD, and the depression is coloring your thoughts... When you feel hopeless and overwhelmed, it is likely you are depressed. At those times, know those feelings will pass. Other times I can see that there is hope. Those are the times you are not depressed. Right now, however, I don't see much hope. I think it is too late. I feel that though she will always love me, she has given up on me as a husband. But maybe she will change her mind. Regardless, I will continue to work on myself. Yes. Work on yourSelf, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. You won't be sorry. There is so much there for me to do that I am overwhelmed right now. But there I can see hope. Thanks again to everyone for the help. --TD
June 04, 2004
Dear TD ------And she is hesitant to let me in on what she wants or how she feels. I want to be emotionally supportive, but I do not know how. Does anyone have some specific advice? -------- This I can understand so well, though it amazes me I do it. I always wanted him to share, to be open. Now he is, but I can't trust him with my feelings. I don't what would be necessary to for me to open up again. I mean I do want to talk, as part of me is still hoping we can make it together. But I just feel so reluctant. i almost do not want to allow myself to hope, as my hopes have been dashed so many times. I think what I would need to see is a consistent effort on his part (and I am not sure he will be able to do it), especially when I am not nice to him, not available all the time to him (as I used to be). You said you tell her how you feel when she asks and that she does ask. I also ask C. how he feels and is he ok. But at the same time I get angry somehow that it is all about him again. Yet, I am doing that to myself in not telling him how I feel, even though he does ask. Maybe, I do not feel he is really asking me, he is really interested, for my sake. I am not sure about this, but maybe it would help if you could show her you really care about what she feels, not for your sake, but for hers. Don't pressure any help on her, cause that always made me feels he needed to help me to not feel so guilty. And then it was all about him again. She may need to know she can handle life alone and does not want your help. I also have a question, do you feel in anyway, your wife is a far better person then you are? C. still has this feeling deep down, and it does not allow for me to make mistakes: I needed to be perfect. More then anything I need to feel I can make mistakes and he will still love me. I worked so hard in the past to be what I thought he wanted me to be and from your postings I get your wife did the same. I think when you did that for so long, you just want to be able to be yourself for once. Hope this made sense. Wishing you well, AJ Thanks AJ.
June 04, 2004
TD, you sound so much like my husband shortly after we separated. Because of this, I am going to tell you what my husband could have done to help me get over my pain a lot quicker, and would have saved us both a lot of heartache during our separation (I'm the one who took over a year to regain my trust of my h). Here are the main points, with quotes from you: "I want to work toward something. I want us to be able to try." Working towards something is a valid desire, it will keep you motivated. What exactly is it you want to work towards, though? You say immediately after this that you want "us" to be able to try. Right now you are separated, and for a reason. One step at a time. You say you want to work towards becoming a healthier, non-abusive person. That in itself is number one. Trying to work on your relationship is a distant second to this. In fact, relationship issues are pretty much impossible to work on without addressing the abuse issues FIRST, and SEPARATELY, without the agenda of getting back together. Can you do this? If not, I would give you very little chance of saving your marriage. "At some point I want to be able for us to work together on me earning her forgiveness and trust." This might not seem like it makes sense to you right now, but you can't "work together" to regain her trust and earn forgiveness. You must work on this alone. Work on you, work on understanding why you did what you did and how to prevent doing those things in the future. As she sees you doing this FOR YOUR BETTERMENT ALONE, her trust will gradually return. Talking with her about what you've learned will help, but don't talk about it in the context of your future together, because she will (understandably) think you're just doing whatever you can to win her back. "I am so scared right now. I am afraid that I have to be perfect and that is a lot of pressure. I am afraid that if I screw up or say the wrong thing the consequences will be disastrous." Fear is understandable, because obviously your marriage is hanging by a thread. The problem with this, though, is that the fear you have could very easily cut that last thread. The only way to progress is by coming to acceptance, truly knowing that you are working on becoming a healthier person in order to be happier in your life, and what is meant to be, will be. No one is perfect. I seriously doubt your wife wants you to be perfect, it's a standard you're putting upon yourself. Be human and vulnerable. If you mess up, apologize and talk to her about it and learn how to not do it again. No one can reasonably ask for more. "I don't see much hope. I think it is too late. I feel that though she will always love me, she has given up on me as a husband." Do you truly believe it's too late? If so, maybe it's time to move on. Does she say she still loves you? If so, it's not too late. If she still loves you, what she wants is to be able to continue love you and not fear you will abuse her any more. The only way to get to that point is by giving her all of the space she needs, all of the time she needs, and to work on yourself. You've been separated for a very short time. Could you wait two years to get back together? It might take that long. Think carefully about what you really want. Once you know what it is that you really want, the patience to keep working towards that goal will come. Aileen
June 04, 2004
Thanks to you all for your great words. Here's another update, since the last time I wrote was during a pretty down time. Yes! Clinically depressed, I think! First let me say that I'm working on myself, my depression, and the reasons that led me to choose to be abusive (the choice was still 100% my responsibility). This is my commitment no matter what. My commitment to myself and my gift to my future, my relationships, and the future of my children if/when I have any. It is a separate issue from our relationship and chances of reconciliation. Not pressuring, acceptance, and patience. These have all been great things for me to hear. You heard Aileen's good advice! I am striving every day to do this more and more. What I really want is time, and that is the gift my wife has given me. I accept that. I accept that it might end in divorce. And I will be patient. Yes, I do have hope. My wife still loves me and tells me all the time. She also just told me that I don't have to be perfect, that I can make mistakes—and she has proved it by letting me make some. So I still have hope and I will not pressure her to affirm that. I will keep that hope until she tells me not to—whether that is months or years. Yes I can wait years, she certainly has. And she can make mistakes also. I will listen to what she has to say, how she feels, and what she wants without turning it into something about me. OK! This is a HUGE part of getting it! Even if she's complaining about you, all you need do is put yourself in her shoes to see what she's talking about, so you can understand how she feels. (Later you can decide whether or not you want to implement any changes based on what she said.) I will support and comfort her however she lets me. I will let it be about her, because it has been about me for so long.
At the same time I will honestly express my feelings and be vulnerable yes! about what I am going through, otherwise I run the risk of separating from my feelings again—something we’ve talked about and she also believes. Excellent! She told me yesterday that I seem to be more like who I was when we first met—more deliberate and intentional with who I want to be and more true to my values and what I believe. You are not selling out as much to your moods; you are being true to Self despite your mood. Excellent! It would have been hard for her to say something that touched me more. It made me feel like I'm on the right track. And I want to continue. I'm jumping into a dark place inside of myself. Yes, I am scared. But I am also ready to let it wash over me so that I can move on from there. And so you will... Thanks again to everyone for your posts—all of you. One last thing, the book I Don't Want To Talk About It by Terrance Real has been really helpful for me to understanding male depression. Maybe it can help others in my situation, or help their spouses. Thank you for the book recommendation. With love--TD
Dear TD, You are doing great! You are learning about patience and acceptance, two things the abusive person has no room for. You are learning to accept yourSelf; if you don't accept the Self, you cannot accept anybody else. So accept the fact that you are human, and therefore by definition, imperfect. And you - and every other human you know - will always be imperfect and make silly as well as not-so-silly mistakes.
Next Lesson: Human beings are gifted with free will. What is right for you may not be right for another individual. Conversely, what is right for your wife may not be right for you - and may in fact not even be comprehensible to you! And it is OK that it's not! You need not agree, but do learn to accept. Encourage the people you love to pursue that which is right for them. That's how we grow and become all that we can be. As you come to know and love yourSelf, your insecurities will lessen and you will find it easier and easier not to fear your loved one's growth.
May God bless you TD, and my sincere thanks to all of you who wrote. Dr. Irene June 4, 2004.
June 08, 2004
This is just the type of letter I want to receive from my husband. By the end of the letter I was crying. I thought there was no hope for men who batter their wives, but evidently there is. Thank you for starting the change. I think I am going to print this off and mail it to my husband. We are seperated and have started the divorce process buthave that little bit of hope that if he would try to change we could make it
June 11, 2004
I wasn't going to but I have to respond. I left an abusive relationship and everything that you have written is exactly what my ex (if I can call him that because I haven't had a break from him since I decided to break it off) has been saying. He is in counselling. He is sorry. He listens to me..(or at least pretends to) I am where your wife is. I am very angry. I was abused not just by him but by his 3 kids who are grown men also. He gave them as much control of me as he had. I handed out all my money to this family and I cleaned and cooked and presented myself as everything they wanted in order to be the teamplayer my ex was looking for. I was kicked out of the family home with police escort when I decided no more of my money was going into that household unless the 20 year old son got off the computer and started paying rent. I got choked and I got humiliated and he gave his son my car to drive and left me and his infant son with nothing. He gave his oldest son all of our money and allowed him to come over and abuse not just me but an entire household and even now I cry when I think of all the horror he put me through and when I bucked him he would abuse me in all horrible manners. Anyway I am getting of track but the fact of the matter is he was always sorry. He was always getting counselling and he is always promising the same thing. He won't do it again. He has finally learned..blah blah blah. He like you totally understands my feelings. I wonder if you really do understand or if like my ex? are just pretending, biding your time til you get your way. I don't know our whole story but if your wife is starting to express anger trust me it is just the tip of the iceberg. I am angry. I am angry at my ex I am angry at his selfish adult children but mostly I am angry at myself for being so stupid for allowing people I really don't know to destroy my life and the life of my 2 year old son. I am angry at myself for pushing aside my 18 and 19 year old sons so I could prove that I was part of his family and I am mad as hell that he allowed it so that his kids could have more and believe me not just my physical contributions were massive but my financial ones were great too. I am mad that I believed that he was capable of change. His kids run his life and he tried to run mine (into the ground) I now realize that there is no future and have said and done everything possible short of another restraining order to show him I have been duped enough. Yet he still acts that we are in a relationship and he I know when he says he is listening to me he isn't. How do I know because when I tell him I need time or I don't have any trust or belief in him he still calls me a "dumb stupid bitch"..but always comes back telling me he is sorry. He still hits me or kicks me and tells me in the same conversation after the incident that he is learning so much about himself and that if only I came back things will be better. I have also become the abuser because I am so frustrated with trying to explain that I don't believe anything he says and when he pushes and pushed me I say horrible things to him and call him names to remind him why I don't want to be around him. He just doesn't leave. He has all the right ideas but they are as phoney as his promises were and I just wonder how you are going to react when you don't get your way...I could write a book on my anger it is deep and it is very real and I do hope for your sake and for the sake of your wife and her right to heal that you are sincere.
June 15, 2004
TD, I am in a similar situation as you are. I have recently realized that I have abused my wife for years. The main difference is that I am just now beginning to see what I have done (my wife and 4 children left about ten weeks ago). Your letter has helped me to see through some of the fog that has been clouding my perspective of what happened. When she left I was going through the worst bout of depression I have ever experienced and I was resisting treatment. Thankfully a caring aunt held my hand and told me it was OK to go and talk to my medical doctor. I know this site is about verbal abuse but it seems to me that many of the symptoms of abusers are similar to symptoms of male depression. At any rate I am going to print your story and read it everyday. It helps me to know that I am not alone and it helps to bring clarity to what I must do - rebuild myself first and put my emotions and needs on hold when I see her. Thank you and God Bless You! DT
June 17, 2004
TD, I have a question I would like to ask you, and would appreciate any thoughts on it. I am married to a verbal abusive husband, I can't take it any more, I have been told that I am clinically depressed, and should see a psychiatrist to get on meds, while nothing is really been said to my husband in therapy about the verbal abuse. Our therapist tells me I really, really, need to get on meds for my depression. When I ask why isn't she talking to him about the verbal abuse or suggesting for him to read the Patricia Evans book, (as she did to me)or should I do as the books suggest and start saying STop, and bring it to his attention each and every time, she says she doesn't want him to fire her, and cause him to run out of therapy, and just puts her hands up as if she doesn't know if I say anything what might happen. She needs to take a different approach with him, and get around to it later. But in the meantime, she says I just need to worry about getting some meds for my depression. Each day due to reading the book I see more and more just how his words are used in every way to abuse, and it is so hard to not say anything. He makes me more depressed. She has seen how he is, only tells him he is a salesman, and he steamrolls me, and when we have a disagreement he brings in all the heavy artillery. After over 17 years of being berated, belittled, cursed out, called every name in the book, have no family or friends around to talk to, because he somehow don't even ask me how, but I find myself alone, and I cringe when he speaks to my kids in his ugly angry way. I started hanging up on him, walking away, and telling him that is his opinion of me, that is not who I am, for a couple of years now, and the relationship has just gotten worse, we hardly ever talk to each other unless necessary. Anyway, I am rambling, and I didn't mean too. My question, I really think if he does like you and reads that book, would he see us in the conversations among the abuser and the partner, in every example given of verbal abuse in the book, should I ask him to read it is what goes through my head, would you have read it, if your wife would have asked you to, before she left? See cause I am stuck here, he got mad and left for one night a couple a weeks ago, and when I sat my kids down and told them, that this can't continue, it tore them up, and they just kept telling me that us getting a divorce would ruin their lives, they didn't want it. When he came back and the yelling started again the next day, and he was threatening to leave again, my son stepped between us and asked us to go to counseling and see if that would help, so he promised my son we would. They are now teenagers, and I thought for their sake I have been doing the right thing in trying to keep this marriage together, but I see some hurt, withdrawal and depression in two of my children, but the other two are getting like him, abusive and ugly to each other and towards me, countering mostly. And my husband, he don't even see anything wrong with his way of talking to us, I am the crazy one, the nut, the controlling one, he even gets the kids to believe I am controlling, I just love to argue. He really believes this. He is being nice right now, buying things looking like the good guy to my kids, while I am in my shocked, and hurt state. I am afraid to ask him to read the book, I think he will just belittle me and make fun of it, but I don't know. I don't want to start another fight. Maybe seeing the words that others have written about in there, in black and white, could he then possibly see how the things he says, and the way he treats me and the kids lately, is wrong. I would appreciate your thoughts, do ya think you would have read it, if your wife would have suggested it to you or even begged you too, to save your relationship? CC
June 17, 2004
CC, I'll start with what you asked: Whether I would have read the book if my wife asked. No! And I know that because she did ask. The problem is that even if I would have read it I wouldn't have seen myself in it, not until the very end. When my wife threatened to leave and said that our relationship was on the line, I began to see things more clearly, but I still didn't read the book until after she actually left. For that one week inbetween the threat and the leaving, it is hard to say if I would have seen myself in the book or not. I wish I could say yes, but it is still probably a no. I now see my wife's leaving as a gift. Without it my life would be the same as it was before--filled with depression, not feeling, isolation, anger, and a whole lot more. Now I feel like myself again, like I am on the right track and dealing with things. I feel closer to God and even in a certain way closer to my wife, even though we only see each other for 2 hours a week or so, the conversations we have in those 2 hours are more communicating than we've done in a long time. I can't say about your situation because you have children and that makes a huge difference. I would also say that separting doesn't mean divorce. I truly believe that the only chance my wife and I had for a long, happy, and healthy relationship was for her to leave. I don't know if it will work out that way, but in the long run we will both be happier and better people (together or apart). Definately the medication has helped me so much. Maybe it can help you also. I would also suggest reading some other books. On Dr. Irene's <A HREF="http://drirene.com/book_shelf.htm">Bookshelf</A> there are additional ones about abuse (I found <A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471212970/drirensgetwithth/">The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing</A> by Beverly Engle a little more practical than the Evans book which mostly helps identify the behavior). There are also some books in the "Marital & Relationship" section that might help you. I've been reading everything I can and it has really helped. Mostly what I want to say is that no one deserves that pain that either one of us is feeling (the abused or the abuser). I wish that my parents would have dealt with their problems instead of handing them down to me. One of my main motivations and goals is to stop the generational pattern of abuse with me so that my children can have a fresh start and a better chance. I don't want them to have to deal with the same pain me or my wife are dealing with. I hope that you (and your husband if he is willing) can find a way to help save your children from this. This is also about them. I'm not saying that you should leave (that is 100% your decision). But whatever you do, if it is hard to do for yourself, think of doing it for them--even if they don't want it or don't understand it (of course you can try to explain it). My last little bit would be to work on yourself, deal with your depression and your pain and lonliness. This will help so much and I think it will also help you see what to do. If you choose to stay, you don't have to take the abuse. Both the Evans book and Engle book have ideas about how to start doing that. Also, it may be helpful to look for some support at your loval women's shelter, they should be able to tell you about women's support groups or other resources they have available to help you with your situation and also to help you making your decisions. Good luck and God bless you. --TD
June 18, 2004
Hi, TD Thanks for your honest response. Somehow, I knew you were going to say that you would not have read the book. I am pretty sure that is exactly the answer I would get as well. I appreciate your suggestions on the other books. I also found it very interesting to hear what you were feeling before you and your wife seperated. I am not sure if my husband feels isolated, but he does isolate himself from the family. He works very long hours and is home only to sleep. He doesn't have to work long hours, we own our own business, he just chooses to be there all the time. I know he feels anger. But as far as depression, my therapist assured me he is in no way depressed. I try doing some of the things that the books suggest to stop the abuse, but I am not sure how well it is working. Like today, he put me down in a form of a joke, and I told him I don't find that funny, I find it insulting, and he just said fine, I will make sure I never joke with you again. I could tell he was angry about it. It bothers me. But I think maybe it has to be brought to his attention, and hopefully if he thinks about it, he can understand. He can dish out the jokes but can't take them, the kids have tried it with him, and he has said if someone isn't laughing than it is not a joke. I hope I got him to think about this today, but I don't know. Time will tell. He pretty much sulked and each time he tried to say something to be funny, he would follow it with oh, I forgot I can't joke with you anymore. I am not going to let it get me down though, I am just going to keep reading, and getting more ideas from the second book on survivors, and hope for the best. I need to go get the ones you recommended as well. Neither one of us is getting any younger, and I know I don't want the rest of my life to be like my past any longer. I must say after reading about your experience and all of the post, I just couldn't help but ask you what I did. I have never posted on anything before on the internet, and debated whether or not to do it this time. But I guess I was hoping for a different answer from you to get the courage to ask him to read it and to try and talk to him about or relationship. But I am afraid of just getting in an argument again. Patience is what I need I guess, to see if therapy helps us. But I know it is so expensive for us, and we can't keep spending this kind of money on it, I wish I knew what I could do to fix things between us. I know there will come a point when he says that enough, we are spending too much, and then when he gets mad, it will be all my fault we spent all this money. Oh well, enough about me, I am glad to read about your progress. It gives me hope, anyway. cc
June 22, 2004
I'm very interested in this subject..and I am curious as to why..The title couldn't be changed from "Blaming the Victim" to "Blaming the Target". ..Being a victim suggests that the object(person) of abuse in some way has no power over their situation or reaction to it.In Bullying, objects of abuse (are called targets )..rather then "victims". dose'nt being a victim also suggest that the absued will have to relive this abuse..am I wrong?
June 26, 2004
Ted, I don't know wether you still read these comments, but's it's the only place I can think of where I can get you a message. I read your post in the Doc's answers boad and I just felt so sad. Here you are, strating of so willing to do somethgin about the abuse and the moment your wife is really asking you for something SHE needs, all you can think of are your own needs. If you want to make any chance at all, help her get her own app. and see if you can take it from there. If you are heading for a divorce, things will be much worse. For some reason you guys seem to be unable to really iudnerstand to hurt you caused. It may take a long time for trust to grow again and each and every time sonething like this happens, it is put on the shelf again. And fuurther away then it was to begin with. ause, you konw, when you have have someone really gets it and that hope once again twrted, it is even worse then it was. You feel like: even when he gets it, there seems to be no way he really can act on it. I remembember nly too well teh feeling of dissapointment in those cases. There may come a time when she feels it is simply not worth here while to eve try anymore. I don't know what to say to make you understand. ui don't even know WHY I want you to uderstand SO much. But please, if you are honest in your wish to never abuse again, try to graps one of the elemental thigns of love is acceptance. She needs her space, for what ever reasons and you can either help her and have a chance to win her back or not help her and loose her forever and yourself in the process. Your choice. Wishing you well, and just hoping you will know what to choose
June 29, 2004
Ted, something very strange happened, either to me or the board. I wrote the post above, because I read a the doc answers post about your wife wanting her own appartment and asking you to pay for it and you getting angry over it and telling her you had your own needs as well. That post is gone. Either I am totally nuts and made the post Iw as reacting to up, or your letter has changed, which seems equally strange. Anyway, my above post is now totally not relating to what you wrote in that section. So forget it.
July 04, 2004
Hi everyone and especially you,TD. "I got it" this seems to be the catch phrase for all of us who abuse our wifes. The words you don't get it have been ringing in my ears for two years. You see I am the man in the relationship posted June 11th. I am now 43, father of 4 boys ages ranging from 25 to 2. The 2 year old from my relationship with the woman who posted June 11th. As much as I realize accepting responsability for my actions is crucial to the recovery of our relationship, there isn't enough space on this page or time in my life to apologize to each one of them. But I will say that everything she has typed is in one way or another absolutely true and she has only just scratched the surface. It doesn't seem to matter how I try to justify myself and my actions, I have been wrong and for that I am sorry. I met this lady at my high school reunion in 1998 after being divorced for 6 years. However I've know her for many years and been attracted to her since junior high had no idea she too had an attraction to me. We did cross paths one day back in 1988 or so and apparently she had been looking for me for many years, never with quite enough courage to approach me. I know now that this lady had planned our reunion meeting by checking the attendance list for my name prior to purchasing her own ticket. I'm giving you this back ground info not to make her sound like a stalker but to show how God in his infinate wisdom has brought my savour into my life. You see I'm the fifth child of a family of of six. This family that I'm embarassed to call mine has been the most disfunctional, I am the survivor of alcoholic father and at times mother, I have been kicked in the face, slapped, punched in the face, lifted from the ground by my hair all before the age of 11. I have been sexual abused for years by a sibling, dragged into my parents infidelities. Witnessed the goings on of this sick relationship, seen my mother pulled out of a mans home by her hair naked, followed my father around with my mother and forced to make the decision as to whom I would live with all before the age of 10. I was drinking, attending drug parties and having sex for money before age 11. I buried the sexual abuse so deep that it didn't manifest until I was 27 years old, I suffer from nightmares still today, I have feeling of self mutilation. I've never heard the words I love you from my parents until I was 30 and lying in a hospital bed after a car accident. I have tried to starve myself, carbon monoxide poisoning, several years of hard drinking and hanging myself. You talk about loneliness, believe me when I tell you I know loneliness. I learned that I have to control everything, I am an enabler to my children and a dependent to this wonderful woman. Today and for the past 2 years I've been attending a mens group called Changing Ways and seeing a counselor as well. This has been the hardest journey some ups and lots of downs. I am very grateful that this woman is still in my life and will still speak to me because the lord knows I don't deserve it. She is a remarkable woman and taught me alot. I just couldn't get it into my head that while I was begging for her to help me that I was punishing her for helping. I just couldn't see it, I guess what I'm saying is that I wanted everything to be fixed and instead of listening I wanted it fixed my way. Makes me laugh now because my way was never going to work. It's very clear to me that my enabling was doing nothing more than creating more dependence (my kids) and destroying my relationship. I always tell her that I love her and she would say "what do you love about me" I could never really have a definative answer. But in writing to you I think I just did, she didn't take the crap, she fought for what is right even though she lost almost everything. I respect her more and more each day, she has taught me so much about myself and about real love. My writing to you here is not my excuse for my behaviour but rather some insight into my journey. I realize that my story is not unique and that I'm not alone anymore. We live in a sick world and it feels good to finally remove the shackles that have bound me in pain for so long. To all the women out there being abused its time to stop taking it and to G.P. thanks for having me arrested, thanks for your part in putting a new beginning in my life. Thanks for loving me enough to say enough is enough. I'd like to leave you with some words from Mary Oliver and Nelson Mandela. The Journey One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advise though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. "Mend my life!" each voice cried. But you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its still fingers and at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do determined to save the only life you could save. By: Mary Oliver Light Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of Soul. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of the Soul that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we liberate ourselves from our fears, Our presence automatically liberate others. By: Nelson Mandela
July 05, 2004
TD--I am glad you have come around to see the situation between you and your wife as it is, rather than as you "WILL" it to be. My ex-husband never did. I hope that things work out for you and your wife. Having been abused by the man that I so totally loved has completely ruined my ability to trust anyone anymore. I hope that's not true for your wife. Never EVER go back to being abusive. You will lose in the end. Kudos to you for working with your issues and I hope it all works out. I'd like to believe that miracles are still possible. Janna
July 09, 2004
Hi! I'm brand new to this site. Just found it tonight! Thanks for "being here!" Hope I'm writing in the right section. Enjoyed reading all of the letters and responses. Great that so many people have shared openly. Lots of courage here! Thanks! I feel at the end of my rope tonight and I don't really know where to turn. My husband and I have read all of the verbally abusive books together thru the years and I thought it was making a difference. But, all of the "stuff" always comes back eventually and I'm getting so tired of it. Guess everyone feels this way eventually. We tried counselors in the past but no one really seemed to understand the problems. We live in a small town area and don't have many counselors around here. Hard to know what to do, or where to go. Anyway, thanks for being "here" tonight. I'll check back tomorrow. Signed "Too Long," as in "Stuck around for too many years!" Thanks again!
July 16, 2004
When I read this I thought this was my life. Words where so painfully true. I feel all of the grief you have expressed not for myself but for my actions and the pain that I have placed on my wife of 6 years. I too have woken up to the fact that I am an abuser, but I dont want to be and I am not going to be. I am taking the steps to get better. Thank you TD for your strength to do what did. mw
August 04, 2004
Dear TD, Congratulations for having the strength to confront these issues head-on. And, for allowing those of us on the other side of this problem to get get some insight. I can only hope that my husband will work as hard as you have to deprogram himself. Several months ago I stumbled upon Patricia Evans' book The Verbally Abusive Relationship. I was so lost in my fog, I couldn't think straight and was unable to recognize that I was in an abusive relationship. My husband's tactics were were so covert, I was usually left feeling that I'd done or said something wrong. I felt like I was going crazy because I tried so hard to do and say everything just right, but somehow it was always wrong. I felt as if I walked on eggshells, constantly nervous, never knowing when the next shoe would drop and my husband would begin his angry torments. And he always blamed me. I felt I'd lost myself. I was a shell of a person. It would send me into deep depression. Everytime I'd pull myself up again and begin feeling as if life could be good, something would set him off and the cycle would begin again... I was so thankful to have my eyes opened by the book that I called Patricia Evans to thank her for virtually saving my life. I had a session with Ms. Evans and my husband scheduled a session with her. It has been several months, and my husband has not done the homework Ms Evans gave him (simply sitting down with me and asking me questions about my thoughts, dreams, etc.) Tonight I read Patricia Evans' Controlling People and I know why my husband didn't do his homework. He would be forced to see me as a person with thoughts and feeling of my own! Things go along okay, until the next blow-up. This is no way to live. And, I worry about the effect it is having on our kids. Anyhow, last night my husband absolutely lost it, because I was on the phone when he thought I shouldn't be. He was screaming, throwing things and cursing loudly in the next room while my brother confided in me his concerns about his health, a very disturbing and serious conversation. I tried my best to give the conversation my undivided attention, which seemed to increase the anger and hostility in my husband. After years of being humiliated by his actions when I dare to be on the phone when he is home or on the computer in the evening, I finally put my foot down. I'm not sure where to begin. I only know that I cannot and will not allow myself to be treated this way ANYMORE! Thank you, Dr. Irene for this opportunity to share with and learn form others. I only wish I'd found your website long ago. DH
November 09, 2005
You are fortunate that you at least have communication. My own situation is hopeless for resolution between us, I can only work on myself. I heard a lot in Dr Irene's suggestion to put yourself aside for her. Something I was completely unable to do. I wish all the strength to you.