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the confusion is overwhelming
October 17, 2006
5:46 pm
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lovingmom
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Let me start this by saying I know my situation is not nearly as bad as a lot we've read about here lately. I think that may be where some of my confusion is coming from. My situation is mainly verbal abuse (only physical once a long time ago, a push here and a shove there now and again). I keep wondering about all of those involved in seriously abusive relationships and my heart aches for them, and at the same time I wonder if I have any right to complain about my situation. Shouldn't I just be happy that I don't get beat up? Shouldn't I just count my blessings and keep my mouth shut? I don't know any more.

I'm reading the Verbally Abusive Relationship right now and it is really opening my eyes to so much. I'm also still seeing my counselor and she's a great help.

I keep complaining (to myself) that I don't know me any more because of how much has been taken from me with the hurtful words, accusations, and "jokes" that have gone on for so long. Even after I gave my husband the letter (posted under the thread "tried talking, didn't work"), once he got over the "hurt" of it, things are right back to where they were with the exception that I'm walking away more when he tries to assault me verbally, manipulate me, or just be mean.

I guess I just needed to vent a little bit. I don't even know if I had much of a point to make other than to say how confused I feel. I know I've gotten great advice, thoughts, etc. from everyone already on this, just every once in a while I start to doubt myself again and wonder what it's all going to amount to once I reach the point of knowing -me- again. Thanks for "listening".

October 17, 2006
6:00 pm
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StronginHim77
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One of the things I read in a book about handling verbal abuse is that we should simply yell, "Quit it!" or "Stop it!" and walk away whenever it begins.

Shock them.

Holler and walk. Give it a shot. You have the right NOT to be verbally abused. It is as destructive to the soul and physical beatings are to the body.

October 17, 2006
6:00 pm
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StronginHim77
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One of the things I read in a book about handling verbal abuse is that we should simply yell, "Quit it!" or "Stop it!" and walk away whenever it begins.

Shock them.

Holler and walk. Give it a shot. You have the right NOT to be verbally abused. It is as destructive to the soul and physical beatings are to the body.

October 17, 2006
6:11 pm
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doubleloss
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hi lovingmom
i think verbal abuse is just as damaging as physical. I understand what you say about counting your blessings and shuttin up, particularly when so many other people are living in horror movies. but no abuse is ok, no abuse is right and nobody likes to be treated badly, so keep going to your therapy, reading books and growing more and more assertive. don't leave any "opening" for your husband to abuse you. i like strong's finding or just saying "quit it" and walk away.

is your husband going to therapy? would he?

October 17, 2006
6:23 pm
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lovingmom
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StronginHim - You're right. That's the best. It's just nonsense when it happens and I'm learning more and more every day that it's best to just accept it that way and walk away. Throwing in the "quit it" or "stop it" is smart.

doubleloss - Thanks. He isn't in therapy, he won't even consider it, and laughs about it when I try to get him to take it seriously. Usually comments sarcasticly about my counseling too. I'll try to explain how he makes me feel in a certain situation and he'll say something like "tell me, oh wise one, tell me what I'm doing wrong now". He doesn't see any problem, just thinks I'm unhappy for my own reasons and isn't too concerned with what those reasons are either.

October 17, 2006
6:31 pm
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needtoheal
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I am not sure if this is the same book but the author Patricia Evans wrote two books that I found on verbal abuse:
1) The Verbally Abusive Relationship
How to recognize it and how to respond

2) Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out on relationship and recovery

Here is some info from the first book:

BASIC RIGHTS IN A RELATIONSHIP

Besides understanding the various categories of verbal abuse and recognizing the abuser's reality, it is useful to understand the basic rights of relationship which are violated by verbal abuse:

The right to goodwill from the other.

The right to emotional support.

The right to be heard by the other and to be responded with courtesy.

The right to have your own view, even if your mate has a different view.

The right to have your feelings and experiences acknowleged as real.

THe right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you find offensive.

The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.

The right to live free from accusation and blame/

The right to love free from criticism and judgement.

The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.

THe right to encouragement.

The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.

THe right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.

The right to be called by no name that devalues you.

The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered...

When you set limits, you set boundaries. Your boundaries help protect your integrity as an individual. They help define you. All verbal abuse violates your boundaries in some way.

Responding appropriately enforces your limits and reestablishes or confirms your boundaries.

"Stop it!" is appropriate.. and it also lets him know that his behavior is unacceptable to you.

If you are often too stunned, caught too much off guard, too shocked, or in too much pain or confusion to respond to verbal abuse even with a "Stop it," you may be in an extremely toxic and unhealthy relationship. Do get support!!!

October 17, 2006
6:53 pm
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lovingmom
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needtoheal - Yes, it's the first one you listed. I'm really learning a lot even though I'm only a few chapters into it. Thanks for posting these things. I haven't gotten to that part yet, but hearing that helps me remember - yes, I do have rights!!

I'm so glad I'm not blind to it all any more, but it's going to take everything I have to get through all of this. I feel like my thoughts and reasoning have been totally stripped away sometimes. I get so frustrated with myself. Thanks for the support.

October 17, 2006
7:01 pm
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needtoheal
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I just got away from a verbal abuser.. It is posted on the thread "2Alone ... please read this.."

This man also stripped me from who I was too.. I know the feeling...

I can pat myself on the back, however, because I did not let my children get too close to him at all...

I just wanted to help....

October 17, 2006
7:10 pm
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taj64
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I believe that verbal or emotional abuse is very destructive and can be even more so than physical abuse. To feel that is not as bad as other's is denying or pacifying it as real to you. Are you not important and special person? Don't you deserved to be loved for who you are and what you can be if you were not always told what you are not or what you cannot do? You deserve way better than a man who belittles you, make you feel less than you are, and the sad part is that you believe it and blame yourself. Your husband might calm down after being "awaken", but like you said it doesn't take long for it to go back to the way it was, the honeymoon never stays for long. Abusive people rarely change and even if they do, it is usually not enough. The sad thing is that the kids learn this and see it is ok because they learn that that is the way dad is. They will think it is ok into adulthood and could end up even becoming their father. I hope you find the strength to leave this unlovable man who doesn't care enough to want to change or do the change.

October 17, 2006
7:21 pm
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lovingmom
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needtoheal - I have read your thread throughout the last few days actually and was really touched by a lot of what you've gone through and how you're handling it. Thanks for sharing. It really helps to know this is all real and really happening - even though I would rather not imagine anyone going through it.

taj64 - Thanks for your words of encouragement. Yes, I am special and important and yes, I do deserve to be loved, truly loved for who I am not for how much I do or for how easily I can be controlled. I have seriously considered getting out. I just have to find that inner strength that I know is there so that if and when I do decide I'm not staying around I'll be able to stand my ground and not be pulled back in by the lies and manipulation. I want my kids to have better than this and do better than this and I know the only way to do that is to lead by example and show them how to treat others and how to be treated fairly in a relationship.

Sharing our kids is another thing that is going to be hard if I do ever leave. It won't be easy to share them with him. He'll keep on being hurtful, but through them and that's not fair to them. He already tells our 4-year-old daughter that I don't love him any more. It's hard to explain to a 4-year-old why daddy would say something like that.

October 17, 2006
7:30 pm
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taj64
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Yes it is easy for others to say get out, but it really is a tough decision. I have been there myself. I kept hanging in there and hanging in there, wanting that family but in reality I was miserable and not really happy with my husband even if he had straightened out what the "one" problem was when in reality it was a lot of problems, not just the one. Sometimes you really do grow out of love and sometimes it is not enough reason to stay. You deserve to be happy in this life, cause you get this one shot here on earth. It is waste to stay with a man who treats you like dirt. When your kids get older (and wiser), they will want you happy and they will see it if you truly are. You deserve a loving man, treats you with respects, supports you, loves you. Strength is always there, just takes getting over the fear. I know you have a ways to go, everyone has their time table. But don't rule it out that you have to be stuck in it. Just have faith that this is not the way it will always be. Things change in life, but it requires hard work, and strength.

October 17, 2006
7:30 pm
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sleepless in uk
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LL I understand exactly where you are coming from .

I wish I had made the move when my children were young before this unhealthy marriage had a chance to affect them as it has.

I believed they deserved to have a mum and dad together but now I know they deserved so much better than that. I have not been the role model I would have wished. My daughter told me just this evening I had been too passive and it hurt me very much. MOstly because she is right.

take care

October 17, 2006
7:34 pm
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lovingmom
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taj64 - Thanks again. You are so right. The strength is there, just have to find it and keep it.

sleepless - Hi again. I always thought mom and dad togheter were better for the kids than mom and dad apart, but the more I learn and the more I see what is really going on, the more I realize that they are not gaining anything positive from us being together. It's just tearing me up inside that they have to suffer too.

October 17, 2006
7:42 pm
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taj64
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I used to think that same thing when I was married, that it was better but when you get out of a bad situation and you get happier and in control of your own life, the kids know it, feel it and they do adjust. Better than we think they can.

Hang in there Loving mom. I think you are doing well. Time will tell for you and decision, no matter which way it will go, will become clearer. But to stay in the same, that is all you will ever get, is the same. Just focus on loving yourself and don't give up on yourself.

October 17, 2006
7:42 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Sorry I meant LM not LL

October 17, 2006
7:51 pm
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lovingmom
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Thanks so much!! I already feel better than I did when I started this thread. All of the support is so valuable to me.

That's ok sleepless, I know what you meant. There's a lot of names to keep up with.

October 17, 2006
8:33 pm
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needtoheal
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lovingmom---
thanks...
it is very difficult to handle...
but there is a way out...
there were red flags from the beginning... but i did not see them clearly.. i guess that is because my self esteem was already low to begin with when i met this man.. i was already separated from my ex-h and very vulnerable...
My ex-h has a passive-aggressive personality... And I do have to still see him.. but I only talk to him when I really have to when it concerns the children.. I am glad that I got out of that relationship because he still uses his passive-aggressive style with the kids.. Unfortunately I have to watch them be disappointed.. They will figure it out on their own..

As far as the now ex-bf, I don't have to remain in contact with him and I do not owe him anything because we do not have children together...

I think that it is great that you have reached out to this website..
Keep reading those books...
Remember that a verbal abuser and a very angry man will put all the blame on you... He used to tell me that I am the reason that he gets so mad... I often told him that it is NOT my fault that he cannot control his anger or his impulse to say the things that he would say to me...."You are pathetic.. You are nothing but a nag... You are a F---ing C--t!!"

Then last week or so when we were on the phone he said that I am a "F---ing Pain in the A--!" And I told him that he was verbally abusing me... Then he said that I am a ragger... rag, rag, rag all the time and then compared me to his mother who he also verbally abuses. Called her a F---ing C--t to her face in front of me one time.. I wonder how many other times he called her names like this...

Thanks and if you need me, just reach out because I have experienced this type of behavior from a man for 4 years now... 4 years too many!!!

need2heal
I talked to him yesterday briefly.. Interestingly enough he told me that what I need is to find a "PERFECT MAN"...

October 18, 2006
9:19 am
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lovingmom
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needtoheal - How funny because actually the comment of finding the "PERFECT MAN" is used on me ALL of the time. He always says, "Sorry I can't be as wonderful as ______" (usually naming my dad who he dislikes very much, or one of brothers-in-law) or "You just need to dump me and go find the perfect guy somewhere" (little does he know I just might take him up on that some day). He thinks my whole family is against him, when in reality they know very little about his abusive ways (only my sisters know bits and pieces). I think he just uses the excuse of my family being against him to push them further away from both of us. SOOOO frustrating. Thanks again for sharing.

October 18, 2006
10:04 am
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readyforachange
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(((lovingmom))) I read your posts, and it makes me remember so many times when I felt the same way you do. I was married to a verbally abusive man for 17 years. He was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and was a functional alcoholic. We have two kids (now 16 and 12), and have been divorced for 18 months. My ex was physically abusive a handful of times in 17 years, but those are not the situations that did the most damage. It was the emotional and verbal abuse that hurt the most. The name-calling, the silent treatment, the threats. Telling my kids I was having an affair, removing my pictures from the house, not allowing me to sleep in our bed. It will take me a long time to heal from that.

The thing that I had to think long and hard about was the effect it was having on my children. My daughter started to show codependent traits...blaming herself when her dad blew up at her for no reason, walking on eggshells, not standing up for herself when her friends pressured her. I knew I had to let her know that it was not okay to allow someone to treat you this way.

Now that we are divorced, she is supposed to spend every other weekend and 4 weeks in the summer with her dad. He has, on numerous occasions, told her not to bother coming over to his house again after she has upset him in some way. Asking if she can spend time with friends on his weekend is his favorite offense...he'll ignore her for weeks. He and my son have little if any contact, and it is always on my son's terms.

Is this the way I wanted my life to be? No way. Is it healthy for my kids? No way. But is it better than it was when they were witnessing his verbal abuse of me and living with his emotional abuse of them day in and day out....YES!

I can't tell you what is right...it took me over 8 years, lots of counseling and support groups, and lots of prayer to come to the decision to file for divorce. It was not an easy decision. Sometimes, I wonder if I did the right thing. Most times, I know I did. But it is not a decision you should make without a lot of thought.

I just want you to know that your abuse is REAL, and you have as much right to ask for support as anyone else. (((lovingmom))))

October 18, 2006
10:13 am
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lovingmom
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readyforachange - I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear these things from you. I can't believe how close our situations are (were). (I have a older boy, younger girl also.) Thank you for validating what I'm going through. I just know that somewhere down the line I'm going to have to make that decision, to stay or go. I think it would really hurt our kids, but what they are going through now is hurting them too. You were such a good mom to be able to see that and take them out of that unhealthy situation. I feel like a total failure for letting it go on this long and not even considering how it could be affecting them. My 4-year-old always asks my husband, "Are you mad at me?" That should not even be a concern for her. My husband thinks it's cute (of course). Anyway, thanks for your words of experience and wisdom. You were so kind to respond.

October 18, 2006
4:40 pm
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2alone
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I suffered in a marriage similar to yours.... and my thought was always that I could take it - or maybe even deserved some of it. Then I saw it spread onto my beautiful daughters. I know they don't need that or deserve it. I also realized that what they saw between their father and I would be their model for a future relationship. I wouldn't wish being verbally/emotionally abused on anyone and I certainly didn't want my children thinking it was normal. I chose to divorce him - after I demanded counseling and tried everything I could think of to make it stop. I took some of his power away - and let me tell you that he's made it very horrible during the divorce process. He still knows what buttons to push - but fortunately now I don't have to listen to him 24/7. I can walk away. I can refuse to take his phone calls when he gets abusive. This is what I chose...it may be what you need or maybe not. You're the only one who can make that decision. Remember - you deserve to be happy too.

October 18, 2006
6:00 pm
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lovingmom
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Thanks 2alone. My kids are my reason for wanting to make it better. I know I have to do it for me first and foremost, but they deserve better, much better. Your thoughts are helpful and I appreciate your time and understanding.

October 18, 2006
7:46 pm
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sleepless in uk
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2Alone; lovingmo;ready et al

your posts are very inspiring

I am getting a lot from reading your stories

thank you all

October 19, 2006
9:30 am
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lovingmom
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I saw my counselor yesterday and she was great, as usual. I always get a clearer picture of everything after I talk to her and feel so much better each time we meet. She suggested that I go to an Al-Anon meeting and even gave me the date and time of one that comes highly recommended by some of her clients. I'm really looking forward to going, but not looking forward to telling my husband that I'm going. He's going to call it a waste of time (he doesn't think his drinking is a problem, of course). It'll end up in an argument for sure, but I feel such a strong NEED to go. Has anyone had good or bad experiences with Al-Anon? What should I expect?

October 19, 2006
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lovingmom
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Just more venting here, just helps to get it out instead of letting it eat away my insides....Yesterday before my appointment with my counselor my husband asked me "How long is your therapy going to last?" I started to answer with "My appointment is at 4:30.." and before I could finish he started saying, "No, no, no. A year, two years, five years, how long?" I said, "There is no time line, so I have no idea". He came back with, "I was just wondering when you are going to be happy again." I just said, "I don't know; haven't you heard anything I've said to you?" His answer was, "Maybe never." I just let it go, didn't try to argue my side, the fact that the letter gave him every answer he wanted and if he would just face the fact that he has some part in my "unhappiness" maybe we could get somewhere with this. I honestly don't think he'll ever get it.

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