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Confused About Abuse vs Co-Dependency
February 2, 2004
5:09 pm
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LCV
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I have been verbally abused MANY times, but I am confused about being physically abused. My husband has bruised my arms by grabbing too hard, he has bit my ear (not drawing blood), he has slammed my arm in the car door while I was standing there, he has grabbed my face very hard, and has pushed and shoved me a few times. I know that this is not normal, but do you think that it will escalate or is there hope for this to lessen rather than get worse? We have started marriage counseling and it has only been less than 2 weeks since the last incident, but he is REALLY trying to make a difference. Should I stay and hope it works out or should I run as fast as I can to the divorce court?

February 2, 2004
5:11 pm
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chloeysmomma
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run as fast as u can there wont be a next time he might even do worse next time no woman deserves any kind of abuse

February 2, 2004
5:14 pm
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LCV
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Chloeysmomma,

Has anything like this hapeened to you? Is that why you say run?

February 2, 2004
5:39 pm
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gingerleigh
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Is your husband getting some counseling on his own? Marriage counseling is a great start, but if he is physically controlling you in this manner, his issues are his own, rather than the relationship's. Are you seeing improvement? What does the counselor say about the prognosis for him learning new behaviors and ways to deal with his anger?

February 2, 2004
5:45 pm
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Anonymous
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If he is abusive now, he will get worse, if he can stick with the counseling, maybe, but you do not deserve having anyone touching you in a harmful or hurtful way like that. Do you have children together?

February 2, 2004
5:48 pm
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LCV
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We have only been to the therapist 4 times. 3 times together and 1 time on our own. She suggested that I go to a group dealing with domestic abuse when I met with her alone, but we have not really talked about that topic in our sessions together. It has only been about 12 days since his last outburst, but in the last 12 days he has tried to really keep tabs on his anger. I am just waiting for the "next time". I feel bad that I am not more positive about his REALLY changing his behavior, but I feel like his patttern will just keep repeating itself

February 2, 2004
5:51 pm
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LCV
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We have no children (we would have to have invitro-fert if we wanted children) and have only been married 3.5 years. That is why I wonder if I should just get out now and salvage what I can from my life and move on. Is that weak of me?

February 2, 2004
6:06 pm
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Anonymous
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Here is the thing, I work with domestic violence victims, and let me tell you, it is rare for them to change, what you are experiencing right now is the honeymoon phase, where they try to change to keep you, to keep you from leaving. The thing is, is that he will only change to suit him, to know that you won't leave, because if he was truly sorry he wouldn't have hit you after the first time, in fact he wouldnt have even hit you the first time. It's hard to think along those terms, I have been in a similar situation, but the truth of the matter is, you have to realize what you are willing to put up with and what you aren't.

February 2, 2004
6:20 pm
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Molly
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You need to ask your self, if you read this post from a friend, or your daughter, what advice would you give. Would you really advise some one to bring a child into this situation ? Would you trust that he would not act out on the child in the same mannor ? Do you really think that its ok to grab some one so hard that they get bruised? Would you ever slam some ones arm in a car door ?
Sounds like he could use some anger management, and you both could use some communication skills. What is up with your self worth, to continue to participate in this ?
abuse physical, and verbal does escalate, we teach people how to treat us, its a cycle, the honey moon period is great, but gets shorter and shorter, while the victim falls into depression, making a much better target. You have to even ask your self why you are asking if you should stay or go, don't ya think ? Its a sign of the confusion that happens in DV. I don't hold much of an opinion of marriage counseling, its to much he said, she said, with out getting to the real issues.
I would cut my losses and run to court... yes I have been there..
Its personality, and that doesn't really change, bet his mom was abused by dad, or perhaps drugs and alcohol are involved. Its not rocket science. Save your self, living alone is better than living in fear any ole day.

February 2, 2004
6:41 pm
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LCV
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Thanks for the words. I KNOW what you say is true in my heart, but it just helps me to hear it from others at this point. This helps me get educated and stronger each day. I have been to a PEP (Personal Empowerment Program) class, but it stressed keeping the family together and I think I am really looking for the support to leave.....

February 2, 2004
6:53 pm
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Zinnie
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Run as fast as you can and as quickly as you can. Do you want to live the rest of your life walking on eggshells wondering when his next outburst is going to be?

Also, you say you have only been verbally abused - no, you have been physically abused as well.

Z.

February 2, 2004
9:42 pm
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chloeysmomma
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lcv yes it has

February 3, 2004
11:34 am
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LCV
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Chloey,

Did it start out as verbal and grow slowly into physical? I am confused about how long this process should take.....If after one occurance do I leave? or is there a pattern that he can change...What do you think? We have been together for 9 years and he has never "hit" me, but there has been other physical damage as stated in my first statement.....

February 3, 2004
11:44 am
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Anonymous
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LCV -

How can you think its not physical abuse, slamming your arm in a door, and things like that are physical abuse. He in essence could be charged with domestic violence for that if in a court of law.

February 3, 2004
11:49 am
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LCV
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Aces-
I KNOW it is physical abuse, it is just hard because it is not the classic "hitting", so for some reason it is harder for me to understand. Since you do know the law (from your job?), and seem to understand some of the psychology of it, after 9 years and never being "hit", do you think he will? I actually REALLY do want out of the marriage...I am just gaining some courage here from this site. I think I am just waiting for that last outburst from him to validate my feelings...Crazy isn't it?

February 3, 2004
12:02 pm
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Wanttobewell
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LCV,,,No it isn't crazy!!!

You just stated you actually really wanted out of the marriage. You don't have children with this man,,so go already!!!!

Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse because it emotionally damages you. What you have experienced IS physical abuse. You don't want to wait around to see if he actually draws his fist back, do you? I wouldn't wait on the "official hit." How do you think his counseling is going? Whose idea was it to go? Did you threaten to leave him if he didn't go? Many questions, but if you really did want to stay and work it out, you should insist on individual counseling as well as marriage counseling. From what I've read and the info. and insight I've gotten from this site as well as reading,etc., it seems that these guys have a really hard time changing, that is, if they ever do!!!
Keep us posted,,,we care!!!! W.

February 3, 2004
12:08 pm
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LCV - I know exactly what you are feeling, I am in a similar situation with a man who is verbally abusive, and I am waiting for the day he hits me so I have an "excuse" to leave, but even then I think that part of me wants it in some way because then I know he will feel bad, and things will be good for awhile after that, the thing is though is that we are in a sick cycle that will never end, you look at healthy relationships, those are the ones where you don't want the outburst, to get the honeymoon phase. Trust me I know exactly where you are at, I have a great book if you ever get a change to go to Barnes and Noble its called Why does he do that, Inside the minds of angry and controlling minds, this book blew me away with how accurate it portrays these men. and I can guarantee your husband is a profile in this book

February 3, 2004
12:31 pm
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LCV
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Thanks W. and Aces...

You guys make alot of sense!!
Aces, what exactly is the Honeymoon phase and how long does it usually last?
W. he said he wanted to go to counseling because he knew I was on my last straw with him. I told him I wanted out and he said that he thought maybe he REALLY did have a problem and that maybe he needed some medication to help with his anger. For the past 2 weeks....after slamming my arm, he saw the huge bruise and broke down crying. He has been on his BEST behaviour since then....Is this just part of the cycle?

February 3, 2004
12:43 pm
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Anonymous
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His best behavior since, is the honeymoon phase, its the phase we like to call it that because that is when they are nice, they will change, they will do anything to make you stay, and you think, wow they will change they are trying, and then when that phase is over its back to the tension builing, the walking on egg shells, then the mounting of the tension, until one day, it will be another outburst, and you will get hurt, and then back to the honeymoon phase, where it starts all over again, like a sick cycle that will never end. Trust me it will never end, and yes I agree counseling can help some, but like us they have to want to be helped and not just doing it so that you won't leave them.

February 3, 2004
1:02 pm
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LCV
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Aces-

Thanks for the info...it helps. It goes back to what you said in the beginning...we have to decide what we are willing to put up with....

February 3, 2004
1:11 pm
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Anonymous
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yeah you do, and only you can decide that just like only I can decide it, we can hear it from people, and it gives us a little more strenght each time to hear how terrible they are that what they do to you is wrong, but it isnt until you realize it yourself, and believe it, that you will do anything about it. We are here for you though.

February 3, 2004
2:03 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Your husband is a batterer. Some batterers can get better, if they are really committed to changing. An abusive relationship is driven by the personality of the abuser. That personality is characterized by a high sense of ENTITLEMENT, MANIPULATION and DISRESPECT.

The primary intervention is to confront the abuser’s sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, and willingness to physically and emotionally punish those who refuse to automatically comply with their demands.

Couples counseling is CONTRAINDICATED for abusive relationships. It is well known that couples counseling tends to makes things worse. And my experience confirms it. Trust me.

In an abusive relationship THE issue is abuse. Attempting to work with anger management, dynamics of the relationship with the victim, or any issue other than abuse will only confuse and confound the underlying and fundamental issue.

YOUR main problem is not you are co-dependent. Your problem is that you have an abusive partner. Your husband’s “problem” has nothing to do with you or with your relationship. His problem is that he is an abuser. It is as simple as that. HE has chosen to be abusive and HE has the power and responsibility to choose otherwise.

The physical violence, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Physical violence is always preceded by and accompanied by other forms of abuse. Even if he doesn’t injure you further, or only inflicts “minor” injuries, the crazymaking, the manipulation, the disrespect, the mind F**K will wear you down, and will negatively impact your mental health. It may also cause physical problems for you.

The abuse WILL escalate unless steps are taken. And then it might escalate anyway. Your husband needs batterer treatment, not counseling, not yet.

Learn about verbal and emotional abuse, as well as battering. Prepare a safety plan. Try to fix the relationship if you must. But be prepared to run.

February 3, 2004
2:50 pm
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LCV
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Worried Dad

You sound as if you know a thing or two about this....I don't really want to fix the relationship, I am just looking for the "ok" to leave. Of course now that he is on his best behaviour and "really trying" I feel like the B_ _ _ ch if I leave now. The couples therapy does discourage me a bit though, because after we leave we both have our lists of things to mend that week, and I just want the therapist to tell me to get out...not how to fix it. So, he is being good and I am just getting more distanced in my heart. I am learning alot now and I feel myself getting stronger each day. Knowledge IS power as they say. The therapist did tell me to get some info and maybe that was her way of steering me out of this relationship without blatantly telling me to go....

February 3, 2004
2:55 pm
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LCV- I have a great book on batterers, the mind set, Worried Dad is right, it is all about power and control, the calling names to degrade you to make you lose self esteem so that in the end you won't be able to leave, when they realize you are serious about leaving, you need to be more cautious the most dangerous times for a women is when she is leaving. Please be careful, and make a safety plan, you need to make a safety plan, and tell people about it. You must take steps, for you don't know how he will react, that is why they are classified as unpredictible. When they feel they have lost control, that is when you have to be most cautious.

February 3, 2004
3:03 pm
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LCV
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Yes, I have heard that the next 2 - 6 months after you leave could be the most dangerous. I have started taking steps towards a safe retreat from my house. Aces, what is the book you refer to? I wrote down a book title that you mentioned called "Why does he do that-the minds of angry and controlling minds" Is that the one?

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