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Confused About Abuse vs Co-Dependency
February 5, 2004
3:21 pm
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penny4
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Boy, I went through a few different emotions reading this.
I noticed that LCV said you have been together with this guy for 3.5 years and in another message said 9 years so I am guessing that you were together for 6 and 1/2 years before you got married? Has he always been like this?
I have to really agree with Ginger on the narcissism idea. But I do agree with the others also.
Some people feel that they have to stick it out and fix it by being the best they can. It is caused by the abuse though. You start to feel that it is your own fault, your the bad one, you can't be loved the way you are and so on.
My sister's husband use to beat her, he did that on their wedding night, she had to go stay at a friends. THey had both been drinking and doing drugs. He didn't remember doing anything to her but all he had to do was look at her. He is an alcoholic, he doesn't do drugs very often anymore and when he does it isn't at home. He doesn't beat her at all anymore but the abuse is still there. He is always drunk. He tells her she is fat and all kinds of awful stuff. She goes through her stages....when she is sick of it then she will call someone in the family and complain and talk about leaving but as soon as we agree she will say things like "Then I wont have any money", "I would have to leave my house and things behind", "The bible says that leaving is selfish", "He is a good person and deserves to be loved"....it gets really old after awhile. I do believe that my brother-in-law is a good person, deep inside somewhere. They can't have kids but I trust him with my kids. He has always been good to them. Believe me, I don't put my kids in poor surroundings, they are my world. THis guy has had a bad life and I know that alot of what he does is a cry for help but he is never accepting of help. My sister is a very narcissistic person among other things. I believe that the best thing for my brother-in-law is for my sister to leave him. She likes him staying the way he is because then she doesn't have to change either. Even if she left, he maybe wouldn't change but he, for a fact, wont change as long as she is there.
So LCV maybe you should think of it that way, maybe he would have a chance to get better if you did leave. Not that you are the problem but maybe he loves you and is very sick and if you were gone maybe then he would hit bottom and actually get better!
I have seen too much of these things and it is sad to think that you are looking for others to give you permission to leave. This could be a self esteem issue but you should do what is best for you with or with out someone else to back it up.
As for your husband being nice after you went to the meeting, he is probably scared so he has to try and hold on. If you fall for it, time will pass and he will again go back to his old ways. If you leave and he decides to get better on his own and in the future tries to repair your relationship with him....then maybe it was meant to be but for now, I agree with the rest....just get out of there. Don't stay till you feel ok about leaving, you can leave and make your self ok later!

February 5, 2004
3:38 pm
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Molly
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GL, what you wrote is true, and published in the previously posted information regarding narcissists.
LCV hard core, I will own. Funny I can laugh at my self today, and surprised that I wrote about the almost final episode, mind you that was after about hmmmm 10 different marital counselors, some group therapy, his anger management course, a years seperation, and the failure of a two year reconcilliation effort. We played some games after I left for a month or two, always with more inflicted emotional pain and confusion. The verbal abuse is worse than the physical, you just don't really see the changes in your self for a long while, then you are in the pits of depression, and don't care any more. yea yea yea, toss your fit, and ok, pass the salad ? I saw the signs and ignored from the very beginning, went back to school to try to make sense of it, and still thought this too shall pass, and it didn't. It takes a long time to heal from this stuff, there really is a PTSD effect that goes along with it, and perhaps part of the problem from the get go. All that worried Dad and all else have posted to you is truth, and I certainly wouldn't share what you get at your meetings, or what your plans are.
It is their needyness, their dependency, their insecurity, their fear that motivates them to react the way they do, and no telling how desperate he may be. There is no doubt that he loves you, but I call it evil love. You just have to figure out what your worth, what you want your life to look like, and feel like, and if you think it will ever get any easier tomorrow to leave than it is today.

February 5, 2004
5:01 pm
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LCV
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Gosh the emotions in my heart and in my head are swirling.....I will leave, very soon. I KNOW it, my plan is forming.....but sometimes that feeling of doubt and "scariness" creeps in and holds me back just a little. What I have done is told the people around me about my plan, I need to hold myself accountable for this plan of action.
All of you are helping me so very much, really more than you could know....I have learned so much information in the last couple of weeks. The counselor last night also told me to not share the info from our group sessions. I just shared very basic info with my husband and he didn't question me too hard about it.
Thank you again for sharing and caring about each other. Isn't it funny how we don't know each other, yet we share something so personal? Thank you for being there for me.....I truly have needed the knowledge....

February 5, 2004
10:17 pm
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Molly
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So, glad that you are getting it, I so wish that all the information,and access to information was around hmmmm almost two decades ago? Yes, some very personal connections are made here, we are raw sometimes,but most of us are with good intentions.
Change is always scarey... I can't tell you the number of times, I was confused as to the fantasies of freedom, or was it fear of doing the wrong thing. You are going to do a roller coaster ride for a while. Only you know what is best for you, so they say.... Sometimes in reflection, makes me go hmmmm your thought process gets distorted when living in fear and confusion. Make a plan, keep it to your self, you know how to protect your self, you have been doing it for a while,be smart...or smarter.... than him. It really does get some what worse after you leave, won't kid you about that, he will definately persue you, you will have mixed emotions, he will swoon you, he will promise you the sun, moon, and stars, it will all be different... but it won't... sorry... not rocket science. I would also watch your emails, my guy read mine, not to make you paranoid, but depending on how needy and yada yada he is, he may try to figure out what is up with you, and check your posts. Save cash, and exercise is what I tell all my clients, and friends, and if your catholic, when you want to go out, or to a meeting you can go to church. Get religious, he will mock you, but he can't argue, or with the gym... Dont' loose sight of the fact that this is war, war for your self.

February 6, 2004
11:46 am
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LCV
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Thanks Molly....

I have another question, this one is very personal, but here goes....

We had an arguement this morning about sex. We have not had sex for 9 days now. I have decided that I will not do anything concerning him that I do not feel like doing just to please him. Sex for him is his way of feeling secure in my love for him. Well, I just can't do it now. He asked me this morning if I "miss it" and I answered "no". He is very upset and says I should say "I am sorry". I cannot be sorry for how I feel. I cannot make it better for him right now. He says that he should go out and "get laid" by someone else until I am ready again. Gosh I wish he would...she can have him!!!!

February 6, 2004
4:46 pm
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Molly
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Women are very sensitive, our drive is connected to our emotions, anger will kill it... duh.... His threat of going elsewhere, is pure manipulation.... you can figure the how and why of that can't you ? I will spell it out, if need be... Love is 110/110% communication, understanding, respect.... A real partner would say, hmmm what is up, what can I do, I love you, you are worth waiting for....
If you were pregnant, and not missing it and not in the mood, if you were sick, really stressed and tired ? Hell just an offer to rub your feet, or cook dinner, or ..... well maybe this is one more clue from the horses mouth....
Don't get angry, accept, this is who he is, and you got in his path, now make your moves to get out of his way, and perhaps find happiness.

February 6, 2004
5:52 pm
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LCV
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EXACTLY!!! Funny, he has said this to me before and it did hurt...but now I just feel nothing.....I will find happiness, because it is inside me already just waiting to be unleashed!!!!! The manipulator can go terrorize someone else.....Well hopefully not..I hope he gets help and finds it in himself to treat the next woman with respect....

February 7, 2004
12:34 pm
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LCV
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Last night we had a real heart to heart and he said a few things that made me really think. He agreed that he needs to go to the psych for an evaluation for medication, he will be starting anger management classes and will continue seeing our therapist. He understood about the sex and told me that he did not want me to pretend just for his sake. He agreed that he has been a "spoiled brat" a "baby" and that he has "screwed up our marriage". He asked me to stick by him as long as he stays in counseling. He said that if he stops going that he would support me in packing my bags and leaving him. Should I believe this? He seems to hurt and sincere in wanting to help himself......I am feeling confused today....

February 7, 2004
1:12 pm
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Worried_Dad
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LCV,

Let's see, the guy assaulted you about three weeks ago and you haven't felt like having sex for nine days? What is wrong with this picture? Of course you don't want to be sexual with this guy. He has a lot of nerve.

And his comment about your participating in a DV group not being helpful is typical. Threatening to have an affair is also typical Batterer behavior.

Look, his issue is his abusiveness. Period. He doesn't need psychotherapy. He doesn't need anger management classes. He needs batterer treatment. After six months to a year of that treatment, he will be ready for psychotherapy. Until then, protect yourself.

He is now offering false contrition to get you to stay. He is manipulating you.

I believe that you want to divorce his battering ass. If it has gotten to the stage where you don't want sex with him,. then you are not going to be able to keep up a pretense of affection for long. It was probably not wise to let him know that you are studying and getting support for domestic violence. Now you have some time pressure. I would separate immediately and then see what happens. Just my two cents.

He still has not addressed his abusiveness. He is still in denial. His shrink is colluding with that denial.

February 7, 2004
1:12 pm
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Molly
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I am sure that he is sincere in his words.........as sincere as he can be, wanting peace, wanting love, wanting what he is clinging to, thus willing to fight for it, and often on instinct how to protect him self.... thus the confusion... only you know what you are willing to wait for, work for, hope for, live with. You want to work it, well, save your money, exercise, draw very deep and strong lines of protection around you self, and hold on for the ride ? I did it for over 16 years, and there have been other posts of longer periods of time, who really knows what tomorrow brings, just remember that it takes more than love. It takes communication, acceptance, mutual goals, it takes trust, it takes forgiveness, respect, kindness, ugh hello, lets put trust in there again. You will figure it out when you figure it out. No slack, tough lines... you will not degrade me, you will not physically abuse me, you will not yada yada yada, and maybe you will effect change for a little while, and then need to reinforce again. Make sure your heart and brain are together on this.

February 8, 2004
4:23 am
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Zinnie
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Hold up, he assualted you three weeks ago, but you have been intimate only ten days ago? What in the world is he expecting? For you to say "sure honey, beat the hell out of me and then I'll be more than happy to lay down beside you?"

His remark of "going out to get laid" - wow, that shows such committment on his part to really change and work it out.

Leave his sorry butt... let him wallow in his own misery - that he managed to make.

You need to keep yourself safe, and you deserve better than this.

Zinnie

February 9, 2004
12:21 pm
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LCV
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Thanks WD, Molly and Zinnie-

I came in to work this weekend to post. I was feeling so confused after our talk on Friday night, I needed some insight...

In my mind I still want to leave him, my heart and mind are together on this....but of course it's easier to leave when he is being "bad". When he offers this understanding it makes it harder on me to make the "right" decision. One good thing is, I feel he will unsderstand it when I go. I didn't just want to walk out one day and have him wondering why? Of course everyone else understands...but he wouldn't. Now I think he will...for some reason that just helps my peice of mind.
My DV class, says that anger management probably won't help him either because he for one didn't suggest it first, and two it is probably a personality problem which is a while different thing.....I am learning.....

February 9, 2004
8:39 pm
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Wanttobewell
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Hi LCV, I've been reading through the thread. It sounds like you're making some good progress.

I do agree with the others, though. It does sound as though he is trying to manipulate you into staying. It seems these types don't like to lose their verbal and/or physical "punching bags."

They're not the most secure people you know. If they were well-adjusted and healthy, they wouldn't act the way they do. They get scared when they realize that their "possession" is getting ready to say goodbye!!! They promise all sorts of things, but I wouldn't count on him following through with whatever it is he thinks he needs.

In my opinion, as soon as he has you back where he wants you, he won't be able to help but revert back to the old pattern of behavior. After all, he isn't used to treating you with respect, consideration, and the love you deserve and desire.

Worried dad is right. If you don't want to have sex, it won't be very much longer until you'll be ready to go or have him go. At least that's been my experience in my life.

Take care of yourself. I don't believe he's really going to do anything about himself. He just doesn't want you to go. W.

February 9, 2004
10:40 pm
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Zinnie
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LCV,

Don't get upset when you read this. But, I am telling you the truth... I would never lie to you - he will NOT understand when you leave.

It will make him angry and you can expect the abuse to escalate. Do not leave until you have a plan to be safe, money that he does not know about and things in place.

Don't become complacent. They wait for this.

Zinnie

February 10, 2004
11:33 am
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LCV
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Zinnie,

Wishful thinking, huh?
Yeah, I have been nicer the last couple of days (since our talk on Friday), and he seems to be settling back into "normal" behavior patterns. There are weird little quirky things that he has started up again. Nothing horrible, but I feel him getting more comfortable.....This morning I feel like I hate him. I know that is a horrible word, but that is just how I feel this morning.....

February 10, 2004
11:36 am
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Zinnie
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Sweetie,

You feel the way you feel for a very real reason.

Do you have a "plan" even just in case he starts getting aggressive?

Be safe.

Z.

February 10, 2004
12:01 pm
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LCV
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I went through all of our house papers this weekend. I ordered our credit reports and have taken his name off accounts that I can at this time without him noticing. I have taken away all papers that have my SS# on them.....I have been slowly trying to organize things so that when I leave I know where everything is. I am becoming more secure in this decision to leave...I'm slow..but I think I'm steady..so that's good. I read the post from Lisa. It really hits home. It was sad to read your post after hers as well. It seems her progress is growing, but it must be hard to see her struggle so....

February 11, 2004
11:46 am
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LCV
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Today is Wednesday and I am excited because it is my DV counseling day. I always feel stronger after I listen to people talk about DV for 2 hours. Last night he was REALLY nice again. He pushed the "sex" issue about 4 different times though, but I held up and he DID NOT prevail!!!! He got fed up at one point and said if things don't get better soon between us he would have to leave the marriage. He doesn't understand why I am still emotoinally unavailable to him.
He goes to see the therapist tonight too, that is good. He said that after this weekend I have to make up my mind about staying together...he is anxious and scared inside...I can empathize with him, I'm sure it is hard on his heart...but for once I am taking care of me FIRST!!!

February 12, 2004
3:35 pm
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LCV
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So, today is Thursday and my husband called me this morning at work to tell me he is going crazy and all of this is too stressful and that he thinks we should get a divorce...duh!!!! I told him that this is a pretty heavy subject and that I would rather talk about it at home. He said that that is one of my probelms...I put everything in front of our marriage. The fact that I see friends or my mom, or WORK just shows that he is not number one!!! I thanked him for his advice and did not rise to the bait.
His last problem with me is this...it's embarrassing, but here goes.....he is accusing me of constantly "pleasuring myself" in front of him no less!!!! I AM NOT and I have explained it to him about 3 different times. I told him next time he thinks that is what I am doing he has the go ahead to rip the blanket off of me and "catch me in the act". Needless to say..this has not happened. Last night he accused me again..as we were watching TV AND my hands were in plain sight where he can see them. This is CRAZY!!! Anyway, I asked him this morning if he understands why it hurts me that he keeps accusing me after I have told him the truth, even last night when he was plainly WRONG. He still could not apologise and had a reason to continue to blame me....
Anyway...he said divorce himself, this is my chance...I do not want to chicken out......

February 12, 2004
4:09 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Pleasuring yourself--that's a good one. This guy should go "pleasure" himself.

Remember, when "divorce" becomes a real really real issue he may get violent. Memorize this number: 9-1-1.

Have escape plans. Have witnesses.

Go girl!

February 12, 2004
4:44 pm
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LCV
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Thank you W.D. for listening and responding....

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