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Saturday, June 26, 2004

Comments

Amelia

I was clicking around to find information about abuse and this blog came up in my seach for kindred spirits. You're so right about the "poor me" attitude of victims of abuse, but I also think that any other attempt at gaining attention is flat-out reviled and scoffed at by their partners and their circles. Abusers respond violently when confronted, but when their victims act pathetic, they feel powerful and calm down. In short, many victims of abuse have learned the only tactic that gets a positive response is "poor me". Abusers lack empathy for their victims.

My favorite website about abuse is "You Are Not Crazy" (dot com). It, too, uses Patricia Evans book as a resource but it's also got an abuse quiz that includes an abusive episode caught on tape. I thought I'd share.
Best to you -- Amelia.

April

For any man who finally recognized their behavior and changed it: what made you recognize your behavior? how did you begin to change it?

Doug

Hello,

I have read a lot about verbal abuse. Most of the sites I have visited talk about men who are verbally abusive. Well it does not always work that way. I am a man and have been in a verbally abusive and sometimes rarely physically abusive relationship for 20 years. I did not notice this at first. At first I thought I was just dealing with a wife who had mood swings.

Maybe I was just in denial. Anyway she calls me names, puts me down, tells my children I am worthless, and has pretty much kicked me out of the bed room. At first I did not sleep in the bedroom as an accommodation to her because I snore and I thought that it would help. Well now she routinely tells me to leave the room when I come home after work just to relax and watch a little TV. She now is coming into the room and asks me to leave the room and I should not go into the room.

I am 49 years old and have never been talked to by any other adult the way she talks to me. When she is in the process of calling me names and being verbally abusive, I remind her that she is calling me names and her behavior is alienating and stressful. As she exhibits this behavior and I inform her as she is doing it, she denies that she is doing it.

My sister who is a therapist tells me she has Border Line Personality disorder. After reviewing the info for BPD, I have come to the conclusion that she does fit the profile.

It is not easy, but I am doing the best I can. It is very hard not to get mad or try and escalate the confrontations.

Just wanted you to know this abuse is not restricted to men who are verbally abusive. I appreciate your site, and my best wishes to those of you out there going through this situation. Knowing others are dealing with it makes me feel like I am not alone anymore.

Best wishes.

ADAM

edited to capitalize sentences and paragraph breaks
I was just informed that I have been verbally abusive to my wife. I already knew that. I wasn't always this way. After eight years together i had run out of patience. I know that it didn't make it right. No one has to tell me that. I had all the responcebility in our relationship. I didn't want it that way it just happened.

When we first met I liked not haveing to worry about all of her business. Then one day just before we were married she made a costly mistake with her college carrer. It screwed up our plans and pushed them back 2 years. It made things hard but I stuck it out.

I also have never been able to get her to help me around the house with the little things. I like having a clean house. I don't walk around with white gloves but I don't like dirty dishs and dirty laundry under the bed and clutter on every table. At first I was very diplomatic about this. I would sit down and ask her to help out. I would tell her that she was my partner and i needed her. We were married in 2001 after three years of dating.

We worked through the 2 years of hell with getting her certified so she could get a job but shortly after getting married we learned that she was pregnant. I also learned that she had been forgeting to take her birth control like it was prescribed. She had been pregnant for 2 months and she never knew. The baby was lost shortly after. We were not trying to get pregnant because we had concerns about her being able to carry a child to term to begin with plus we were not ready. Its why we were trying to be careful.

It was at this time that things began to get some what raw. My job is very stressful but it paid the bills. I continued with the cleaning and manageing of the money and house. She finally got her job and I thought that things would improve and they did for a little while. But it has been like a roller coaster. Some times she would just be right on target and two weeks later she was off the charts. That when i started being what is considered verbally abusive.

I would threaten to leave. Pitch a fit stuff like that. Yep that right I became a pos according to most. I never would leave or cheat or any thing just bitch about it. Real smart I thought it would make her wake up and get envolved with things.

I had asked a billion times i would try little things to get input and help. And from time to time she would help. We built a house in 05. I contracted it my self. At this point the stress of working through and pulling teeth had earned me a degree in high blood pressure and anxiety. Paxil and benicar were given to me for that.

I have always told my wife I loved her and I, do not forget the special days. But all this time i have been in charge of grocerys, bills, checking ,savings her personal health and well being. I even found myself trying to get her to go out and find interest. Take up a hobby. Sex is much the same. I always try to make sure she is pleased are satisfied. She is very pretty. But if she could she would let her self walk around like the living dead. It was not uncommon for me to tell her to go spend 1000.00 Bucks and go get some new outfits.

She has never had to cook more that 4 times a week dinner only. Just somthing simple so we don't have to be in the kitchen until 10:00 at night cleaning up. I know lets make a menue for the month and stick to it. Day in day out for since nov of 98 i have been here working with her.

Then one day my anger reached a boiling point that she had never seen. I would always beg her just to help out around the house and with the little things so i could manage the big stuff are keep us on track for the future. I really remember a time when I wanted kids but know I am tired.

We have not always fought. Sometimes we would do okay. I would not let the little things get to me and she would do enough that I could just be content with out the fight. But some days when your just tired and have been at work all day and you come in and the house is a mess and she has been home all day are in the road doing nothing well I just went kaboom.

Not to mention that the times I got mad it would have been nice to get a reaction instead of a blank or confused stare. There were times I wanted her just to reach out and punch me in the nose. Well she didn't puch me but she finally went off.

I pulled up a chair and listened with much intent. You see sence April she had been really out of touch. Walking around the house like she had been sentenced to death. She had recently done some modeling and seemed to like it. I thought it was great but she had not really been purseing it very hard. I had also learned that she was on myspace and had meet some old school friends. I had had a bad feeling about that. I was never jealous of my wife i didn't spy on her the to of us do not go out on the town with out each other and we don't put out self in those positions. But for the past three months she had been scatter brained to a fault.

Well she told me that she felt disconected form every thing. She couldn't feel anything. She was tired of me yelling at her and she could understand are just couldn't keep up with things. I sat quietly and listened and then i asked her if our relationship was over. She said that she didn't know. I have worked so hard to get to this point in my life and i have always thought that just under the surface there was hope that I told her I didn't want things to end i just wanted her help. I wanted to be mr. Romantic no hitler or the bulldog of the house.

I have always said this to her this wasn't the first time that I had told how much i needed her help and that she was part of the team in my book. The next day I came home early to tell her that for her birthday I was going to take her on vacation that we needed to get away and reconnect. Well it seemed that she had other plans her good myspace friend had invited her to her wedding out of state and she was going. I said okay.

I didn't like considering I wanted to work on our problems plus I had no clue who these peole are anyway. She had not seen this girl sence high school. All I knew is this girl and her brother were good friends of the family. Later that night i asked her to tell me more. I learned about the brother. His name was Jeremy recently divorced and she had been myspaceing with him as much as the sister. Infact they don't myspace any more they just call and email. Isn't that just great.

I gently expressed that this caused me some concern. I told her that I was worried about this because for the past three months she had been so distant. The words emotional affair kept flashing in my head. I am not perfect. I have said things that I should not have and I am truly sorry but in my own defence because no one else will I really did this on my own and never wanted it that way. I didn't want to micro manage my wife I hate it.

So I also called a conselor and made an appointment. I told about the problems and what i had done but I also told him that my wife had her part also. Before the first appointment I went through a range of emotions. Sad mad stupid you name it. At her and at me. I thought about the good times because there were some I thought about the things that happened to make us stronger and there were some lots. I thought about the bad. I thought about the kind of guy I had been before I ran out of understanding. I hate myself now.

So then came the first appointment and as we sat in the room I looked at the book shelf and there were a whole bunch of book about verbal abuse. It began to come clear that no matter how hard i had tried to be a good man through all this childish crap my being verbally abusive was going to over shadow it. Sad part is my job can be deadly i just wanted my wife to know how to take care of herself if somthing ever happened. I got into this wanting to be a good father and a husband. As I sat there I thought why didn't I just leave why did I stay and turn into Ivan the red neck looser.

Well i can ansewer that. I wanted to leave right after I built the house. God that was stressful. But I couldn't I have a don't run away complex. I want to I dream about but I can't. I have seen people run away for a long time. We left the first meeting each with a verbally abusive relationship book. I'm the one that called I knew this was coming. I deserve the scarlet letter A on my chest. Its what i get for not just walking away.

Tonight Mr. Marriage counselor is going to pick my brain about why I have been verbally abusive. My wife is still going to the wedding. I am still cleaning house doing laundry taking care of the dogs and money and vehicles and working my job. Oh yes and am also helping her with her sleeping problem.

From this i would like to say somthing to any soul out there. If you have a partner that just want be a partner ask three times nice. Then run. Run away as fast as you can lest you become a verbal abusive pos like me. Cause I can promise you this. Nothing they do justifies you looseing your temper and blowing up and telling them to get there head out of there ass and help. For those of you who would like to know the things that came out of my mouth here are a few....Have you lost your damn mind.......Jesus didn't see you coming....I hate you.....Please wake the @#$^ up and help me.....Did you do this on purpose......Do I have to leave is that what it would take..... Your an @##$$%%%.......If you were retarded i would clap for you but your not and this !@#% Has got to stop..... One of these days I am going to die because of this mark my words.......Oh my god you are !@#$$Ing crazy.....This !@#$ Is unreal. These are just a few. Some of you who don't think that i am sorry think agine. You have no idea how sorry i am

Liz Ditz

Adam, thank you for your heartfelt comment.

I am not a therapist, just a blogger who writes a lot about learning disabilities, among other things. As I read through your account of your wife's behavior, I kept thinking "sounds like this lady may have some issues with attention" (attention deficit disorder, inattentive type).

It doesn't excuse your behavior, but may account for your wife's. You might bring it up this evening with the counselor.

Here is some reliable informations:

http://www.help4adhd.org/faq.cfm?fid=4&tid=62

I'm an adult; doesn't AD/HD only affect children?

No. Although it is most often diagnosed in children, AD/HD is a lifespan disorder that affects individuals at all ages. Although there are limited data on the prevalence of AD/HD in adults, it is currently believed that the condition is found in 2-4% of the adult population.

For more information on this topic, see the What We Know sheet, Diagnosis of AD/HD in Adults.


http://www.help4adhd.org/about/what/WWK8

Inattention Symptoms

In the DSM-IV, the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, there is a list of nine symptoms of "nattention" problems.2 Almost everybody has some difficulty with some of these sometimes. Persons who qualify for a diagnosis of AD/HD have at least six of these nine symptoms and suffer significant impairment as a result. This means that daily functioning in two or more of the following areas is significantly disrupted: school, work, family or social interaction.

* Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
* Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
* Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
* Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
* Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
* Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
* Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
* Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
* Is often forgetful in daily activities

Because the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria were originally designed for children, the following questions have been developed from those criteria by the World Health Organization3 to ask adults about whether they suffer from AD/HD inattention symptoms:

1. Do you often make careless mistakes when you have to work on a boring and difficult project?

2. Do you often have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring or repetitive work?

3. Do you often have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you, even when they are speaking to you directly?

4. Do you often have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?

5. Do you often have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?

6. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, do you often avoid or delay getting started?

7. Do you often misplace or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?

8. Are you often distracted by activity or noise around you?

9. Do you often have problems remembering appointments or obligations?

Individuals who have significant chronic impairment from six or more of these symptoms are likely to have AD/HD if they also meet certain other criteria for diagnosis that are specified in the DSM-IV.

Karma

I really enjoyed looking at this post and the comments. I found it really helpful. I just left a verbally abusive relationship and am struggling to not cave in and go back. I wish that he could've changed, that he would change, but I guess that he doesn't want to change, so I have no other choice than to leave him.

John

Whoohoo.. there we go again: If the man in your relationship remains abusive, it is not only not your fault, it is not even your responsibility... Now, I really would appreciate it if the focus would be on 'the abuser' and not on 'the man' because believe me, women can be just as abusive as men. So please stop this stereotypical writing behaviour and open yourself up to the possibility that abusive happens from both sides and that it's not ALWAYS the male who is the abuser. (BTW, Always, Never, Black, White etc, is called black and white thinking, and indicates a serious mental issue). Thank you and have a great day.


Sarah

Yes verbal abuse can definitely come from the woman.
But 90% of abusers are men. So that is why you see this
often. It is not white behavior just facts.
Even when it is the woman that is the abuser, often the fear and
Intimidation factor is not there , so the men do not often live
In fear, as a women does. Again this is not always the case.

Candlegloe

I have M.S. and I think my husband is angry about the illness. If I can't do something I am to the pint of asking if this will blow up in my face as I hae been told that I contribute nothing to the marriage, yet I walk fine, but I do have chronic pain and here are times I can't participate but try.Others would have a hard time believing what is said to me at times. I do too.Whe I try to express my feelings my husband yells "there you go again." For example, I baked cookies and said "look. I think those are the prettiest cookies I've done." He didn't bother to look. I just bought him a can of cashews and he took them then said I didn't tell him about them. I tried to tell his he would go into twilight sleep with his colonoscopy and need a ride home. I was right but he would not admit it even though I was called and asked to come and get him. the last was that I was useless to the marriage, yet I do the cleaning and getting ready for company.I ma doing a geneology study on lost families and he thinks its lost time-a waste. I feel my focus is on him and that he never genuinely focuses on me. I finally got angry enough that I told him they cycles are over. Sex is a big one. I never give enough.I think I am a good and loving person and he is fortunate to have me. I was a therapist and I was in therapy for parental abuse.I am going back to therapy and i gave him a note saying if he wanted to go he could arrange it for himself. I am that fed up right now. I am not useless. We were divorced years ago then he wanted me back. Right now he feels heavy around my neck. I have wondered if there is someone else. He is gone all of the time and I am here as I write. Tanks for hearing me out. I refuse to get depressed but I don't sleep so maybe I am depressed. I get blue then pick myself up.

Earthangel

Hi, it sounds like a difficult time for both you and your husband. I am sorry the MS has disrupted your life. I have empathy for you and I can imagine that your husband's comments on your worth, value, and contributions are difficult to process. It sounds to me like your husband is fearful and that he is expressing his vulnerability through anger. I suggest you turn inward. Look at your own feelings in regard to your worth, value, and contributions. Perhaps your doing the best that you can and need to honor yourself for that or you may find that deep inside yourself you want to gently push yourself to do just a bit more, but still within the limitations of MS. It is extremely difficult and frustrating to have a disorder that fluctuates in symptomatology like MS.

Take care, I trust in your ability to move through life even with its challenges.

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