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November 29, 2010

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Annie

Well said, KS. I couldn't have put it better myself.:-)

AM

KS - do not blame the trauma. Trauma does not cause abuse. Choices cause abuse. You are aware of how far you are willing to abuse her. You are not physically abusive, so that is not in your value system, at this time. Look not at your past alone, but in your current choices. How do you justify treating someone else with abuse? What justifications do you say as you cross that moment to speak abusively? Are you willing to be in therapy with an abuse specialist? Are you willing to try a 12 step program, of any sort, since they are generally about abusing something? Are you really willing to change, or do you still expect her to fulfill all your needs? Do you truly have her best interests at heart, or your own? And can you tell the differnce?

KS

At last... it makes sense it's 'not personal'! Thank you!

JustAMan

I feel this article describes me almost perfectly. I am a man who expects a woman to carry my load for me. I am not physically abusive, but I think I am emotionally. How can I get help? I have a great woman who just wants to make me happy and I am afraid I will scare her away at the same time that I pray she gets away if I am unable to become a better man? You tell women to leave, great. What about a man like me who wants a shot at happiness and a family and is willing to work hard to be a good husband and father but is suffering from PTSD from being abused as a child and other emotional traumas?

CT

This is so true. I worked out years ago that my abusive ex-husband hated women. This despite the fact that in some ways (not just sexual) he appears to like and admire some. The interesting thing is however, that despite the fact that he is an intelligent man, I really don't believe he has worked this out for himself.

Sue

Annie, my ex would probably ask the same questions as Rabbi. He was always scared of losing his family and once he lost it, was desperate to re-gain it. People told me he would give an arm or a leg to have us back because he loved his family so much.

He claims to have really tried to change, but all he has changed is his outward behavior. He will never physically hurt us again and maybe he won't lose his temper at a drop of a hat. But he doesn't respect our requests, like our need to have space, to heal, to be apart from him, etc. He still thinks that he knows more than us and that we have somehow inferior thinking processes and need to be told what is right and wrong.

I can't work him out, since I believe he is sincere in saying he wants to change. But I think he has manipulated himself and lied to himself so much he actually cannot see the truth. And that's where the problem is - he believes his own lies.

Annie Kaszina

Hi Rabbi,

You ask a good question. Let me ask you a couple in return?

Why do you want to 'get her back into your life'? What about your 2 year old daughter - how much do you want her back in your life?

And,another question: supposing that you really want things to be different this time, is it even about 'getting them back into your life'?

Perhaps it's not about what they can do for your life, but what you can do for theirs.

You are right to be concerned about repeating past destructive behaviours.

For things to change, you have to change the way you think about your wife, and daughter. When you are able to show her, consistently, over a period of months, or longer, that her feelings, and her personal space matter to you, then she might be prepared to reconsider.

But, for as long as you want her back because she fills an uncomfortable void in your life, the chances are you will be tempted to ride rough-shod over her again.

So, please, ask yourself: what are you prepared to commit to doing to make your wife happy? How will you modify your behaviour and demands?

And what difference do you think that will make to the quality of the relationship the three of you could have as a family?

Account Deleted

Dear Annie,

My wife walked out of the marriage, with our 2 year old daughter, saying
1.I'm a control freak
2.she has no space to breath
3.I'm blind to her feelings

6 months now, been through lot of revelations about myself with help of my counsellor. I really wan't to get her back into my life, but I'm worried I would repeat the cycle of above three points at some point of time. How do I save my family from this dangerous course and regain our relationship?

Thanks.

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