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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!

Is There Help...

Is There Help For Me Out There?

From: Jack
To: <>
Sent: Monday, July 12, 1999 8:57 PM
Subject: 1st time here

Angry Person Support -

Hi.  This is my first posting, and as I've yet to receive any postings from others, I'm wondering if in fact the feelings of being alone in this situation is reality. I have searched not only online, but also for Psychotherapist that work with abusers and have not found anyone that appears to relate. Everywhere I look I find support groups and counseling for the abused party (and agree that this is is a much needed service), but find no one that wants to deal with the abuser. 10 weeks ago, my wife told me to get help, and though we physically occupy the same house we are "separated".
Jack, you are not alone. Angry people are just less likely to vent than are victim people. They are also poorer communicators in general than are victim people - so there is less correspondence. You are right about not being enough resources. More are needed. 

We have been married for almost 27 years, and I have been told that I have been verbally abusive for the whole marriage. Do you agree with her? I have listened to what she has to say and agreed to seek counseling.  My abuse is not as clearly defined as the many cases one can gather information on.   I do not physically abuse, and am not the typical in-her-face nasty name-calling, self-esteem attacking menace so vividly described in the books and web sites on the subject of verbal abuse.  Believe it or not, your abuse may not be the most pronounced, but it is the most common in my experience. The physical and menacing abuser are more on the extreme end of the continuum and of course demand the most attention. I can see where I have, through constant manipulation, and NEVER being wrong, crippled the person that I love most.  What did you do to her? Not to mention the damage done to our 3 children and their chances of being able to maintain healthy relationships. It is good that you see this. It doesn't matter if anyone else sees this, just that you do. The manipulation, in part, is the concern that others appreciate that you now know.

I realize I need help, and can't find it! I have been visiting a therapist for 4 weeks now,
Great! and today he arranged for my wife to visit with him.  To say the least it did not go well.  She does not agree with his view point on verbal abuse, and he does not agree with hers. What are each other's points of view?

Whether or not others see it as abuse,
It is abuse. I have harmed this woman terribly, and am committed to improving myself as a person.  Good. What made you wake up? I've read Patricia Evans book "Verbally Abusive Relationship", as listed as a "must read" on Dr. Irene's site, and can understand why my wife sees this as her salvation. No brownie points for you, but the only reason you were able to abuse your wife is because she permitted it. For whatever reason. Now, she got smart...and must be angry as all heck. But where does anyone talk about repairing the relationship? Not in the Evans book; that is not the focus. You can find some of that stuff on this site...

How do we handle the guilt, the angry attitude from the persons we've abused, and the feelings of utter despair?
Ask for some Prozac...seriously! You need an MD evaluation, but you would probably benefit from some kind of chemical assistance. How do I stop the pity party when I have to exist with the damage I've done to a beautiful person? Primarily by changing the way you do business. That's the best  way. As you feel better about the way you conduct yourself, your self-respect will increase. The chemicals can help give you the strength to change the behaviors you need to revise and help your ability to tolerate frustration. If you haven't already, you will eventually realize that it makes lots of sense to behave in ways you don't feel like behaving. Tip: When in doubt, do nothing. Later, think about it and / or check it out with your shrink. When you are completely cool, figure out what you need to do.
If I apologize I'm manipulating...
Don't. Just recognize when you are doing it. If you can spot it, you can stop it. Is there help for me out there? Yes. 

Dear Jack,

Few therapists understand the angry person. I don't really know why - because verbal abuse is so prevalent.

My advice to you is to read all the material on my site for abusers - this includes my stuff as well as all of the books that are listed. Evans was a hard one to start with...she is particularly focused on the experience of the abused person, but it is stuff you need to know. Next read Codependence: Dance of the Wounded Souls. Great book... Read it slowly. Keep a log of what's going on with you. Discuss it with your therapist. (As soon as I get time, I plan to write about the codependency issues of the angry person. Codependency is typically )

Develop self-discipline skills. For too long its been "your way," even though it hasn't felt that way to you. If you wife leaves, so be it. There is nothing you can do. Find yourself. (That is also the best way to get her back.)

Meet your needs. Learn how to assert yourself and ask for what is available to you. It's nobody's job to give "it" to you. Learn to take what is given and to accept that you cannot get all that you want.

Be patient. It takes time.

Be honest, even if you don't like what you see. You will find many, many things you've done "wrong." Don't go nuts; don't waste your time kicking yourself or getting depressed. Use that energy instead to concentrate on learning the skills you need to fix the stuff you do that doesn't work.

Get to know who you are. There is a wonderful person inside. An imperfect being who messes up and doesn't get defensive. He takes responsibility (not blame, not fault, just responsibility) for his behavior.

Good luck. -Dr. Irene