How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board Archives

The CatBox Archives

Stories Archives


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!

I am Confused

I am Confused...

March 12, 2000

Dear Dr. Irene,

I am in such a state of confusion, maybe you can help me think things through...
I have been married for 15 years and have two boys ages 10 and 13.  I have known for years that I was not emotionally available to my husband but didn't know why.  I was just not there for him...I tortured myself about it, what was wrong with ME? 
We went to counseling in December of 1999. I told her how my husband is very self sacrificing, and perhaps I took advantage of that.  Then I explained how he occasionally gets drunk, physically restrains me and screams in my face explaining what a bad person I am and how I never "let HIM" do what "HE" wants to do.  Suddenly it all clicked for me.  I was not responsible for his actions!  (She immediately told him he needed to go to AA and after we left the session he said he would not consider it.) You were angry over how he treated you, especially when drinking, but you were in denial...
He had three drinking incidents in December and I quit going to counseling, it was all too much for me to deal with.  Good. You've had it with the drinking. Your anger is now closer to the surface. He now says he will quit drinking if I want him to, but it seems too late.  I can't tear down the walls I have built around myself. You can tear down the walls, but you are so angry, you may not want to - at least right now - while he is behaving poorly. Why not test the waters? Agree to go back into counseling with him if and only if he stops drinking immediately and stops being abusive immediately. One drinking episode and you are history. Or something like that.
How do I know if it is over???  Right now you don't. Should I try to keep this together for my kids' sake? Give the marriage a shot for your kids' sake. One day, you may be glad you did.  Am I a victim of abuse (I am questioning that now)? Your husband can certainly act abusively at times. Pay attention to the stuff you don't like. He probably has more abusive behaviors than you realize just yet. Read The Verbally Abusive Relationship. As you identify abuse, you need to insist that he clean up his act. Only then do you have a chance to reclaim good feelings towards your husband and your marriage. You can't give the marriage a shot as long as his mis-behavior continues to make you angry. He is otherwise a "nice guy".   Divorce is a dirty word in my can I even consider it?
Maybe I am just being selfish,  I should be thinking of the future, and my kids. You are being self-caring!  At their age, these boys need their Dad.  You can certainly see what a "fog" I am in.  I need some objective advice.  Can you help? Hope this helped.
Thanks for listening, Bonnie Good luck. Dr. Irene