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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

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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!

Getting Physical?

Getting Physical?

From: From: Tonya

Sent: Sent: Saturday, May 08, 1999 10:20 AM

Dear Dr. Irene,

I have been married for almost 5 years and I knew my husband was a controlling person when we married.  Since our marriage, he has gotten worse and his anger gets out of control.  He will take things I say and twist them around telling me what I really meant and get very angry.  He even has a hard time controlling his anger if he has to stop for a red light.  Last night we had a terrible fight when he came home from work and said one of his friends needed wrapping paper for a gift for his wife.  I made a comment about how I would never ask a friend to supply me with wrapping paper for a gift, I would just go buy some.  He became so angry and told me that my friends and family impose on him all the time and that I was being a bitch.  When I had made my remarks, I didn't think I was "bitching" I only stated it as matter of fact in a very calm tone.  He wouldn't let up on me and when I went to the refrigerator to get a glass of ice tea I told him he had a severe anger problem.  He then slapped the full glass out of my hand, sending the liquid all over me and the kitchen.  I calmly walked away and changed my clothes and went into the other room.  He then continued to badger me.  Later on he apologized for doing that but I am afraid this will only escalate into something bigger.  We are not fighting right now but I find myself withdrawing from him.  If I act upset, he will get angry again with me for not letting this go.  I don't know what to do.  I feel like such a fool for marrying him.  I think I still love him, I think he loves me too.  This is my second marriage and I don't want to fail again, I am 43 years old and I'm afraid.  Please advise, thank you.


Dear Tonya,

Be careful. Your situation appears to be escalating into something physical. Slapping a glass out of your hand is a step closer to slapping you. Once the physical abuse boundary has been broached, the relationship has entered a new and more lethal stage.

You are handling this well; you are not reacting. But, you can't win. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Get yourself some professional help - immediately. Call your local battered women's shelter for a referral.

You need to tip the balance of power in your marriage. Start by getting the support you will need to do what you have to do to stop the abuse.

My very best wishes to you,

Dr. Irene