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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!

Wake Up: Don't Make My Same Mistake

Wake Up: Don't Make My Same Mistake

December 29, 1999

I looked up this website because I had spent approximately 20 years living with a man who emotionally and verbally abused me.  I am writing this in the hope that others will get the help that I didn't.  

I fell in love with a man that I thought was my Everything.  I was young. At 25-years old I thought I had the world at my feet.  I now realize that there were signs I should have noticed.  However, 20 years ago women felt that if you were not being abused physically,  there was no abuse - just a personality problem, etc.  

I married a man who had broken a TV with his fist and who had pushed me down to the ground in a fight. I dismissed his behavior as "youth."  I think because he was outgoing and fun, I dismissed a lot. I thought this man was It; just what I had been searching for.  From the start my parents didn't like him.  I brushed their dislike aside as their just not knowing him. I wish I had paid more attention.  My parents put their feelings aside and went along with my wishes, helping me plan the wedding.  A few years after we were married I became pregnant.  Close to 30, I felt this was my only opportunity to start the family I so desired.  

Our kids were the real turning point in my abuse.  My spouse could not handle the stress of children - and starting abusing me and our kids.  It took 20 years of abuse and  becoming ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to make me finally leave.  After serious boughts of abuse, I became sick.  Numerous doctors  kept telling me that I was "fine," even though I felt far from "fine".  Finally a female doctor sat me down and asked me about my marriage. She told me that stress and anxiety were causing me to have this disease.  But I was in denial.  I was fearful of telling the doctor that I got really sick after each of his terrible yelling episodes. I didn't want to tell her I got sick after he bashed my dashboard and broke it...

I eventually became so ill, I had to take a leave of absence from work.  My relatives were concerned about me, yet I still told no one about the way my husband treated me.  I was ashamed and tried to keep it a secret.  The last straw was when he told my parents to go to hell. I entered into counseling without telling him. Soon I realized that I needed to leave for my children's sake, if not for my own.  My parents were great supports; they couldn't believe I wouldn't confide in them.  

It is now a couple years after I left. I am a much happier person - going to school, raising three teens, and loving life.   I feel as if I am just starting to live at 45.  I thank the Lord that I finally realized what was happening to my family.  

I want to educate everyone I can that emotional and verbal abuse is real. It is out there, and, if you take the time to recognize it, you can get help.  I wish I would have gotten help earlier.  I had to become very ill, lose 20 pounds, and become suicidal before I could face the problems in my marriage.  In part, my denial revolved around the fact that we were both professionals working for Fortune 500 companies.  It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking, "You are married to a professional making a lot of money, what is your problem?"

Years later I still want to cry when I think of things that happened in my marriage. I thank God that I left and am a survivor.  Educated professionals can abuse. Abuse is an equal opportunity employer.  

I was in denial for years.  Don't wait as long as I did.  Get help.   Helen

Dear Helen,

Thank you.  

My very best wishes and may God bless you and yours, Dr. Irene