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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!

Guilt & My Abusive, Addicted Ex-Husband

Guilt & My Abusive, Addicted Ex-Husband

Dear Dr. Irene,

Thank you for your helpful website.  I was married to a drug addict for almost 6 years.  He was abusive in every way.  Physical abuse was just starting when I finally was able to decide to leave.  He has been to rehab about 6 times.  Three of these times were after we separated in September 1998.  I believe he is still using now but not like when we were together.  We were divorced in March of this year.  We have three children, ages 6, 5 and 3.  He has court ordered visitation with the children which must be supervised.

I don't want to go into all the details of the abuse but it was horrible.  I feel that I am starting to get my life back together now but I'm stuck.  I still feel sorry for him sometimes.  I sometimes wish that I could hate him because it would be easier.  He has a child by a previous marriage and was put in jail a few months ago for not paying child support.  He now has a job and the support is automatically deducted from his wages.  The support for our children is also being deducted from his wages. I received the first child support check from him last Sat. He is trying to make me feel sorry for him and give him $100/month back. 

He was ordered to pay 332/month for our 3 children. He says that he has hardly any money left after the support for the 4 children is taken out.  He tells me that I'm being selfish because I make twice as much as he does.  He lives with his mother and has no bills. I didn't give him any money back from the child support but I do feel guilty.  And I honestly don't know whether I should or not, is that crazy or what?


Dear Patty,

If the Courts don't think you are being "selfish," why do you? He's playing on your sympathy - manipulating you. Stop it for two excellent reasons: 1. Your kids certainly deserve their father's financial support! (And much more actually...) and 2. If you give in to him, you enable him to continue mis-behaving. Who knows, maybe he'll have to skimp on drugs.

Check out this email and see how this lady dealt with her irrational guilt. You can apply the same techniques - your guilt is also irrational!

Also, do yourself a favor. Find an ALANON or NARANON meeting, two excellent, free,  world-wide 12-Step support programs.

Good luck, Dr. Irene