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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!

My Abusive Husband

My Abusive Husband

"The time is always right to do what is right."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

March 18, 2001

Dear Dr Irene, I wrote to you a while back about my verbally abusive husband; I hope you remember..... Yes. I gave him the opportunity to seek counseling and get anger management and he essentially refused. He said, "It's the same old issues over and over. If we can't resolve it on our own, what makes you think the counselor will do it for us." So, I told him that since I will not tolerate verbal abuse in any form ever again & need to take care of my own emotional well-being, I am moving out. I did - on March 1st, I moved into my own place. Wow!

It's a really nice place & I feel O.K. However, I am really sad about the whole situation, I am hurt and frustrated & kind of angry myself now. I believe if one makes a marriage commitment, then he honors that and should be willing to do whatever it takes to make things work out. I feel like if he loved me he would do that! I am not asking him to jump off of the Eiffel Tower, just go and get counseling and look into his past and try to understand the rage and anger from being abused by his father as a child!!! Your hubby's ego may be bigger than anything else... Including you!

Well, here I sit , 18 days later. He has made no motion to speak to me or call me or interact with me other than being barely civil with me at work (we work together). I had thought that my leaving would give him a dose of being alone and would be the catalyst needed for him to want to make a change in his life - and be a wake-up call! You don't leave because you want hubby to wake up! You leave because you are fed up fed up fed up! 

I tried to call him about 2 or 3 times. Why? He of course acts angry and says "Well, YOU moved out - so this was YOUR idea - don't cry to me now! He's right!  Stop calling! 

You left to give him a wake up call, which is the wrong reason to leave. Still, you left; you made the big move. Don't diminish the power of your action by calling him!  " I told him he is so cold - doesn't he have any feelings at all? He just says "Yeah, right - you have me all figured out & know exactly what I'm feeling..."  I'm sure he's not happy you left. Dr Irene, is this normal for a person like my husband to just disappear from my life? The vast majority of husbands go nuts when their wife leaves. Some go nuts immediately, some go nuts after an initial period of anger. They however won't go nuts at all if their wife is calling and is wondering why she is not missed! It is also possible that you are married to one of those few men who are so angry, so rigid, that they just tough it out. Their way or no way. If this was your husband, you've just saved yourself tons of grief. 

What is the likely thing going on? Am I to expect that since he is so cold and seemingly detached that this is an indicator that he doesn't want to get help? First of all, this is not a good place for you to be. You are more concerned about him and what he's doing than about you. But, go ahead and assume he doesn't want help - a safe assumption - since he refuses to get any. Nevertheless, don't give him so much room in your head. What about you? I am concerned for his daughter who lives with him. She has not called me and he has not. Not your place. She is his kid; there is nothing you can do. What about you?  The best thing you can do now for yourself (as well as him, believe it or not) is to start planning your new life.

You want your husband to get help. Of course, who wouldn't? But  you don't understand that no matter how much you may want it, how right you may be, it is up to him to sing a different tune. You certainly do not help him reach that place when you call asking him why he won't get help,  does he miss you, etc! Doing so not only diminishes your own power, but it also increases his! Now he can really be mad at you!

I've moved out. and now I'm struggling with some mixed feelings, I don't understand why he is so cold to me and I cannot talk to him. I don't understand why you are upset that he is cold to you. Well, actually, I do, but you are in the wrong place. You are longing for something that is not. Wake up and smell the coffee Jane. Your husband is abusive. No matter what you do, you cannot make him be otherwise. This is reality. Accept it.  My plan of getting him to 'wake up' and possibly take action and become aware of the loss has 'back-fired' on me. Really? Would you rather go back? I'm sure if you apologize enough, he'll let you back. I don't know what's going on with him, and he seems to blame me for his anger just as before. Only now - he is mad at me for moving out and we are forced to sell the house. (He can't afford it alone.)

Anyway- I'm stuck, very sad-depressed and I should be happy I've left the situation.  Jane Well, despite having left for the wrong reasons, you are now out. The misgivings you are having, by the way, are pretty normal. As bad as it was, it had it's good moments. And, he was a warm body. 

Before you get lost in what wonderful things you left, take the time to jot down all the rotten things that have gone on in the last few years of your married life. I hope you're not having misgivings out of depression. (Maybe you want to look into an SSRI?) Use your head; don't make an emotional decision. This is the only shot at life you get this time around. Ask yourself how you want to live it. 

You can't change his life. You can change yours. 

My best to all,  Dr. Irene

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