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!

About My Abusive Lady-Partner

About My Abusive Wife

January 15, 2000

Dear Dr. Irene,

For about 10 years I have been in a very difficult relationship, and after a long talk with friends about a year ago, I realized that it was not OK. I read verbal abuse books etc.

Unfortunately, the Evans book has very broad definitions of abuse, and is dogmatic in that it is a gender-oriented book, though it claims not to be. Yes. I found the Susan Forward books better. Her Materials are excellent (Men Who Hate Women & The Women Who Love Them, Obsessive Love: When Passion Holds You Prisoner (out of print as of this writing), and Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy & Reclaiming Your Life). I agree. These are excellent books. According to one if you score more than 10/24 your partner is a misogynist, I scored 20/24, answering honestly. She displays all the behaviors as described by "the Judge".
I am interested in an opinion on how it compares with other relationships and at what point others would get out. Some people just say, "All relationships are difficult," and don't understand.

Why are you looking for an opinion? It sounds as though you already know...

Her behavior is infantile as well as verbally abusive. Things that happened include:
bulletBeing locked in her car for hours at a
time (She'll just be shopping 5 minutes).
bulletBeing stranded somewhere, Her getting into arguments with strangers..
bulletBeing pulling the phone off me and telling the other person off or hanging up.
bulletHer getting into arguments with strangers.
bulletBeing rung at (before we lived
bulletRevealing what I have said in confidence, to others. etc. etc. The list goes on and on.
I get attacked in a variety of ways, direct and indirect. Many times I can deflect them with assertiveness, breathing deeply, humor etc, but not always. When she attacks viciously, sometimes for hours or days on end, I feel sick in the stomach or have headaches for days. If it point this out, I might cop another attack. "How dare you say you have a headache because of me" in a highly strained voice.
For much of the time my partner is pleasant and normal, or even sweet. I then feel that perhaps the bad times were just a bad dream. Also, I used to presume from ignorance that abusive partners were always abusive. It would be much simpler that way, wouldn't it!
I also get a lot of criticism and putdowns in the name of humor. I get all that "too sensitive, can't take a joke, don't get my dry sense of humor, you exaggerate etc". More rarely, I cop some humorless nasty stuff. Tell her: "Yes, I am too sensitive. Respect my sensitivity."
She is highly volatile and can be set off by the smallest thing or nothing at all. As well as temper tantrums, she has many times gone into strange controlling states: I am ordered to do something which is often unacceptable, ridiculous, or extremely nasty.  
Her: Ring your boss, it might have been him.
Me: Its highly unlikely.
Her: Ring, or I'll tell him what a nasty person you are.

Tell her to go ahead and tell him.

Or, "Go and tell that woman off for having her dog unleashed." Or "Ring up so and so and tell him off".
I've never seen anyone else behave like this. She claims she is very logical and right and doesn't seem to hear me. Its very unpleasant.
Yes it is. You might tell her to tell them herself, if she wishes. 
We have a young daughter. I am concerned about the impact on her if I left, and also the reaction of my partner (who might go off the deep end). I want to ease out as smoothly as possible.

Decisions concerning children are never easy. Take a look at this essay. Don't worry about her going off the deep end. It might be a blessing if she does. Think of how much easier it would be for you to take your child with you!

Take a look at Tex's story. Make sure you read all 3 parts of The Great Satan - especially the last!

My very best regards, Dr. Irene