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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!

The Perfect Man

The Perfect Man?

April 7, 2000
Dr. Irene,
My name is Cara, I've been separated from my husband now for two years, and I have a three year old son. I'm 21 years old and a receptionist. I met this man October of 1999, and we are in love with each other. He has helped me and my son in so many ways. I mean he treats him as if he where his own and helps me with so many of my responsibilities. I don't know if age has to do with everything No. but, he is thirty three years old and will be thirty-four this year. He is with me all the time and I don't have to worry about him being unfaithful. We can work together on some problems and communicate very well.

The only problem is that I don't understand him sometimes, he wants me to have a better life, and I sure don't see anything wrong with that but, his way doing it is dropping all my friends, and even my best friend! He thinks they're a bad influence on me. Only because they want to take me out once in a while, not an every weekend thing. On the other hand I'm an independent woman, I have my son, my job, my car, and a roof over our heads. And I don't know if it's wrong of me to think he's trying to control my life. It's wrong of you not to trust your instincts.

Well, here goes the first incident... Before he left to work one morning, (my day off) while I was sleeping he disabled my car by taking out one of the wires, so I was stuck at home.  Oh boy...

My cousin who happens to be my best friend felt bad for me and decided to come over and visit. Her boyfriend dropped her off and we talked awhile. We decided to walk to the local grocery store and bought some liquor to drink. We arrived back to the house and talked more. And it started to get late and I paged him 'cause I hadn't heard from him. He didn't call back. So we decided to page him from my cousin's cell phone, a number he didn't know, and he called back right away. So I got on the phone and asked the reason... all he was worried about was where I was at. He didn't know I was at home since he called the cell number.

Well it sure didn't take him long to get back home. I left my cousin in the living room and I followed him to the bedroom and as soon as I closed the door he grabbed me by the arms so hard and threw me on top of the bed and pinned me down, demanding where I was. Then he saw the drink I had and threw it in my face. This is physical abuse. Later, after he calmed down and my cousin went home, he apologized for his actions and promised not to grab me like that again. His excuse was my cousin being a bad influence shouldn't be with me. NO! He is the bad influence!

The same weekend he left for the studio, and I was at home and my son was at his grandma's. I was ordered to stay at home while he was out. And you put up with this? After five long hours of waiting, I decided to leave. I met up with my cousin and we hung out for the next six hours. He paged me all day and all night and I never called him back. When I decided to finally come home he was there waiting for me. He acted like nothing happened, and when I went to go use the washroom, he came up from behind me and shoved me against the wall. He ripped off my shirt and accused me of sleeping with another man. He saw my pager at my waist ripped it off and threw it in the toilet. He grabbed my mouth and squeezed it so hard I started to bleed from the inside of my mouth, he still had me pinned against the wall, then against the tub, then picked me up and threw me against the wall and grabbed me by my neck and started to squeeze some more. This is physical abuse. I was so scared I didn't know what to do. I never saw him coming and it all happened so fast. I demanded him to leave and wouldn't. He kept insisting that I needed him. Yeah, like you need a hole in the head.

After he calmed down I explained to him that I didn't do anything wrong but hang out at my cousin's house. Then all he could say to me was she was bad for me and our relationship. I really don't remember what he said to me that night but now I have no friends, no phone, no pager, and a car to drive to work and back. He still waits for me to get out of work in his car and then follows me home. Then we go on threw the day and night together. Everything is alright for him to come and go as he pleases, 'cause to him he isn't doing anything wrong. Which I know because when he leaves, he goes to his mom's and then calls me when he gets there. And he only goes when I'm at my mom's home. Oh boy... This level of control belongs to the domain of the batterer

I honestly don't know what to think, is he bad? Is he good? All he says is he wants to see me happy? Yet at the end of our conversations he seems to make sense, and I feel like the selfish one... And sometimes I feel he's not being fair at all? Can you offer me some advise?

Dear Cara,

Your email is one of the letters I open up and read... and find myself astonished just a few sentences into the text. "Everything is perfect, but one little item..." such letters start. At this point, I am thinking, "but if everything is so perfect, why would this person take the time to write me a letter?" Then I get to the punch line, which is some albeit milder variation of, "But, he killed me." 

I think you should run, not walk, away from this person, who is out to own you and control each breath you take. You are involved with a dangerous person and have already crossed the physical abuse line. GET OUT NOW!  But, I'll let the readers handle this one. I'm sure their input, coming from experience, will be much more pertinent than mine. Immediately get yourself a copy of Patricia Evan's The Verbally Abusive Relationship. 

I want to read the posts.