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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!

I Know What I Need To Do

I Know What I Need To Do...

January 27, 2000

I'm not really asking for advice - I wrote a 12-page letter to you, but ended up finding that after reading Evan's two books (The Verbally Abusive Relationship and Survivors of Verbal Abuse Speak Out) and reading your site, I KNOW what I need to do. (LEAVE.) I just wanted to pass along some things that have been helpful to me.

I just happened to see Oprah yesterday, about self-defense. She told a story about a woman who was approached by a strange man offering to carry her groceries. She said "No," but the man reached for them anyway. Oprah quoted Gavin De Becker (I think that's the right name),  the author of "The Gift of Fear," who said, "Whenever someone doesn't hear your "No," he or she is TRYING TO CONTROL YOU!" YES YES YES! This is an excellent book! I added it to the book shelf. Oprah said she's been using that in her life, with everyone - not just strangers. Wow! That's simple and clear. If I had just heard that a year or so ago...

Also, I should have been listening to my body, which has been telling me how bad things have been all along, even though intellectually I was letting all my "Oh, poor guy" caretaker stuff take over and make excuses for his behavior. There is a book, "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" by Christiane Northrup, M.D. (gynecologist) that explains the ways the mind and body work together. I didn't really buy into the "chakra" stuff - until I read her book and realized that a lot of my past and present physical problems correlate with what is going on emotionally in my life at the time. You might want to look at it and add it to your reading list if you think it would be helpful. I've ordered it. Thanks.

Thank you for your site. It and the 2nd Evans book have really saved me from a tailspin into depression. The OVERT abuse had stopped, so I thought there wasn't any - and was feeling awful - when the Evans book appeared in front of me on the bargain table of my local bookstore. I thought, "Well, what's going on now isn't verbal abuse, but.." and picked it up. That changed my life. 

A day or so later, I typed "verbal abuse" into a search engine and found your site. You've made so much clear to me. The first Evans book is very much poor victim, and terrible abuser wearing the black hat. I, too had felt that maybe I was the abusive one - until I read your profiles of abusers and victims.

Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.    Nanette

Dear Nanette,

Thank you for taking the time to write. It feels good to know I'm helping.

I'm also glad to hear you know what you have to do. But, not because I am pleased that your marriage may fail. Rather, because the paradox of abuse is that all too often, it is unlikely to get better unless the victim has had it - and is ready to walk out or has already walked out. That's when the abuser is motivated to fix him or herself the most!  

Readers, feel free to send in happy endings. People in pain are much more inclined to write in. And those with success stories, under less pressure and no longer in need of help, have no need to write. Please remember us if your marriage begins to work!

I wish you and yours the very, very best Nanette. -Dr. Irene