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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!

MyStory: Listen to Their Stories

My Story:  Your ALT-Text here Listen to Their Stories of the Past!

October 10, 1005
I am in complete awe and am so thankful for your site!!  My story is short, and will be so because of all the wonderful stories, incredible insight and support shared. I feel I owe a world of thanks to all those who have diverted what could have been absolute catastrophe in my life.  I've only known him a few, but very intense months.
Isolation in these relationships seem to be the common culprit.Yes! His first outrage was when he found out that I had shared a piece of (his) personal past with my mother. I had felt badly and at that time thought that I was wrong to violate the trust he had given me. I was sure that he felt strongly about me and this was just our problem that we needed to work through. In time, everything would be all right....I just needed to regain his trust.  Are they all like that at first? A big wake-up call or rather the hook today was a responder's words, "The dynamic you describe is not special or unique.  It is instead the worst kind of common."
My "relationship" of a few months would eerily read much like all the others who posted. I went through the Cinderella phase.  How intoxicating!! ... and had just entered the second stage where I began to see more and more of his outbursts of anger, inability to have rational communication when I wanted to address things he did that hurt me, unjustified justifications.....lies with cover-ups to make me second guess myself and leave me feeling that I may be the one actually at fault for questioning.....IGNORING the gut feelings, guilt, then eventually burying all this as my baggage.  Your column has given me a much needed chance to sit back and catch my breath. Actually, as I'm sitting here thinking of some of the absurd excuses and manipulations I believed, I'm rather embarrassed. It's a subtle thing, isn't it?  I think we so want to believe so much in the initial fairy tale.  We have such a primal need to be loved, wanted and needed. But I can see now there's a toxic imbalance.
I'd like to make a suggestion to others which has given me great clarity, closure right now.  Listen to their stories of  past relationships. Now that I think about it, he actually sugar-coated them....they were mostly not his fault....and the areas where he admitted guilt were cleverly (perhaps even he wants to believe them??) veneered in false humble admissions that were obviously produced to make him appear more wonderful.  The undisputed fact was they all ended stormily. His last long term girlfriend ended their relationship because he had a hard time returning phone calls...."she was too suspicious".  He shared that he was unfaithful in his marriage of 10 years  (by the way, he had never "shared that with anyone" ....boy do I feel stupid)....due to long absences where his ex-wife would be away on business and he had started drinking. In fact, now that I think of it, he blamed a great deal on his alcoholism....but even though he hasn't touched a drink for six years, he still exhibits traits that he said he had left behind.....such as a hard time dealing with empathy... hmmm.  I'm so glad I found your site! Time to move on. Thank God, no scars here, just a wiser woman.  Don't need this. Thanks so much to you all!!

Dear Cindy, Good for you! You certainly don't need this. Good luck to you and thank you for writing. Dr. Irene

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