Verbal Abuse Part 5

In part 4 I forgot to tell you the answer I came up with to the question;

"If I lost everything what would I still have?"

There are no right and wrong answers but mine was that I would still have to live with myself.

That is baseline isn't it? Seeing life from that perspective really helped me make some big changes. You see, no matter what anyone else thinks, if you can live peacefully with yourself you are doing OK.

In this article I want to deal with a couple more defensive behaviors that you may come up against, including 'the lights are on but nobody home' look or a person who is very needy and talking too much.

Do you know someone who sticks their nose in the air and gets a 'glazed eyed' look like they are not really present with you?

Well it is true that they are probably not present because this person has escaped into their own imagination. The trouble is that because their nose is stuck in the air it will often look like this person is very arrogant and aloof which is probably not really true. This more than any other defense is a person who is in fact very fearful. This person has experienced trauma in their life and may have experienced physical abuse or felt they were unwanted as a child.

This one is pretty easy to deal with, because instead of being self conscious or feeling offended it may help to actually get closer to this person and give them a pat on the back - or rub their back or give them a hug if this is appropriate. You could also take their hand or do something reassuring that shows they are physically safe with you. You may find it useful to help prevent them going into defense around you if you give them this type of physical contact whenever you greet them and say goodbye.

Now the person who talks too much and is also perhaps needy and draining is slightly tougher to deal with, but not impossible.

The key is to realize that this person is scared of abandonment and may feel that you are secretly judging them.

As unpleasant as it can be to be around someone in this type of defense (who may also drink or smoke too much) and as much as it may make you feel like pulling away (and in fact judging them) the trick (as when dealing with most other defenses) is to do the opposite.

The reason for this is that our defenses unfortunately attract exactly what it is we fear. So the person with their nose in the air who is afraid of violence makes people think they are arrogant and want to punch them and the talker afraid of abandonment makes people want to abandon them!

This however, obviously only continues the bad pattern of defensive behavior while making it even more ingrained.

So with the talker, be clear that you will stick around for awhile but also be clear and honest about what you want to have happen and that you need from them. You can say "I am not going anywhere but lets go and look at the stars for a few minutes - I want to see you relax. Then after you help them to relax you may have more luck getting them listen to you. Another good thing to do is feed this person and make sure they are warm. You see when people are in this type of defense they feel like a baby who has been left alone too long and it is some inner memory of this that is feeding their fear.

Calming down a baby that is overwrought or upset is not always easy and so, as I say, this can be a tough one, but walking away or competing to get a word in will probably make the situation worse in the long run.

You cannot feed and keep this adult baby warm forever, but by helping them to calm down and by giving some direct reassurance and speaking your mind, rather then scaring them that you are silently judging them, you will slowly over time build trust with this person and they will in time learn to be more relaxed around you.

If you fall into this type of defense yourself you cannot demand that anyone else do this for you. Instead you may find it helpful to make yourself a nutritious snack (even if you don't feel like it) and make sure you are warm. You can also take yourself outside to spend some time in nature and 'fill your self' with some beautiful sights and sounds. Listening to the sounds around you and observing the landscape while also feeling the sun or breeze on your skin and perhaps also taking in the smells is a very good way to relieve anxiety.

It takes time and thought to help our loved ones feel safe when they are in defense but it is time and effort that will be well invested in the long run as their trust in you begins to grow.

Hang in there!

Kim Cooper

Verbal Abuse - Part 6


  1. Thank you and a million more times thank you. Myself and a friend have this talking too much thing happening and it has really puzzled me, both to see myself doing it and seeing her doing it. This absolutely explains it.
    We have been sharing about our Mothers who suffered from Munchhousens (and also Munchhousens by proxy). While it has been good to share with someone who understands, quite obviously we are both feeling like "babies" whose wounds need soothing. What a wonderful revelation about how to help each other or ourselves.

    Thanks again.

  2. Hi, thanks for this. I find getting out on my allotment very soothing - and if I feel stressed in the mean time thinking about it really helps. I have tried putting my hand on my husbands back and holding his hand in a reassuring way when we greet over the last couple of days (as he is aloof) and if feels like a really good thing to do. He's reacting quite well to it, early days but we'll see how it goes as I find it hard to feel close to him.

  3. Hi, I'm finding the affection and collecting difficult esspecially getting eye contact, although it seems to help I still can't look him in the eye.
    My sister called the police 6 months ago, he then was arrested for domestic violence and I had a restraining order put on him. He now is allowed to see our two children and we have been in counceling for a while but that doesn't really help. Ive decided to go to counceling seperately and so is he. He says he loves me and wants to reconcile but he doesn't want to live together. He feels he is entitled to have sex with me but I feel sad when we do. I don't really think he is sincere, and just wants to control my life still while living like a swingin single.

    I've read alot of your ebooks and I agree with the methods, just feeling very discouraged as I want my family together and intact but I dont want to waste my life if he is only wanting play games. How much time should I give this to see if there is any progress.He is doing all of the classic acting out like a teenager behaviour. Flirting, porn,blaming,ect.

  4. Hi Anonymus May 8th,

    I am sorry to hear you are having such a struggle. I was very lucky in Australia that I could get an AVO while Steve was still allowed to live with us. No contact orders seem to do far more harm than good in my experience as they disrupt the connection.

    If you let him come back perhaps you can set a time frame for what amount of time you are going to give him and what progress you expect? It will be tough and you will need to be very strong to bring him around but as I found with Steve it is possible.

    Watching the super nanny helped me a lot - I think what happens with these children is very similar to what happens with adults when their family starts setting boundaries with them. It is an exhausting process but then you do see how much happier everyone is at the end.

    Kim Cooper

  5. Thanks Kim,
    I love super nanny! Yes I'll need to stick to my guns and keep those boundaries firm. I decided that being physically involved right now is hurting me and confuseing him. I told him that I couldn't have sex with him casually and that it would be easier to feel trustful if he was home.
    He told me that he won't move back home. He expects me to have sex and doesn't want anything else because If I won't have sex whenever he wants now then he insists that means I'll do the same when he moves in. Further more he can't stand to be around me and the kids and can't imagine spending his life with us. So I borrowed your line, "well I'm sorry that you feel that way, I hope things will get better." He paused for a moment and didn't know what to say to that.He said not very nice things and tried to place blame so I just said I do care about you, perhaps we can talk when you are not so upset. He said I gotta go bye!I was cool said OK Bye. And that was that. so now I guess I keep my cool and allow him some time to think about what was said.
    I just hope I handled that right.I still see him when he picks up and drops the kids off. He told me he doesnt want to be involved with me otherwise, unless there is sex involved.
    He is convinced that I'm trying to use sex as leverage.But I just can't have him calling me at 10:00 at night to swing by and treat me like a convenience store. It reduces my respect for myself as a human being.I hope I'm right about this. I just don't see it improveing an attachment as he becomes increaseingly disrespectful when I do give into his overatures.

  6. Theresa,

    You are doing the right thing - you hang in there!

    Kim Cooper

  7. Thanks Kim,
    Wow! My husband was supposed to come pick up the kids so I could go to my Alanon meeting. Instead he asked if he could sit in on the meeting if I didn't mind. I said OK as long as the kids are agreeable. He was curious about what my end of things were since he goes to AA. He enjoyed the meeting and felt he got something out of it. I told him I was glad he came. The next day he called me and apologised for the things he said that he was frustrated about how bad our finances are and that even though the house and kids trigger his drinking that he understands that that stuff is supposed to get better. That it wasnt mine and the kids fault that he is like that. He wanted to know if I was going to the gym. I told him yeah maybe Ill bump into him there. He kinda followed me around the gym and was flirtatious and a little abnoxious. I was kindly and polite but I didnt stop what I was doing. It was kind of sad cause he was desperate and I didn't want to make him feel bad. He left before I finished my workout and called me later that evening. He said his landlord was trying to kick him out and they had an arguement. He was shook up and asked if he could come and spend the night with me just to sleep next to me. I know he was just testing the new boundary and we would end up doing the "wild thing" again so I told him it wasn't a good idea and he should get some rest. Besides if the kids and the house trigger his wanting to drink it might be better to wait till he is further along in his sobriety before comeing into our house again. He turned on me like a bulldog at that point and told me that he wanted me to be the one person that he could turn to and if I wasnt available than he will eventually have to move on.He then abruptly told me I'm have to go now bye! But it was the pause that he gave me at the end that I realized he was waiting for a reaction he didnt hang up he wanted to see if I bought into the guilt trip and without missing a beat I responded with a very simple and polite "well ok,bye." Didnt show fear although I was pooping my pants

  8. Great stuff Theresa - you just hold really firm now. Doesn't self respect feel great (-:

  9. Yes it does Kim,
    I got a weird text this morning at 3 am. My husband wanted to come over and discuss finances. I told him it was a strange time and I was worried with the building tention that he might blow up. He said no its not like that, Im comeing over. I was worried and texted a friend what was going on as a precaution. Well when he got here he began to confess that he was living in LaLa land cause he wanted to keep me on the line, couldn't imagine losing me altogether how sad he was that he knew things were not going to work because he wanted a different life than he knew I did. I told him that I was relieved that he was being honest and thanked him. He cried a little and then we discussed finances, He didnt like that I wanted to keep the house over most anything else but I reminded him that he could be in alot of trouble with that since it is a term of his protective order. I saw him get rigid for a bit but he didnt want to really be angry with me he seemed more angry with himself. I put my hand on his back and gave him a gentle rub, I said its going to be alright. That this was a very stressful situation, and he said "yeah and I know I brought it about." I gave him a banana to eat and sat down.He told me he was going to move on eventually but that he did care about me and intended to take responsibility for the house and make sure we were able live there. He waffled about how he could change his mind about us, how beautiful I was and what a good wife I had always been but knew he could never make me happy with the way he was living his life. He said he loved me but knew he has been hurting me for along time, he asked me if I thought we could ever be together in some sort of way, I said that I loved him and would always be his friend and that I was relieved at his honesty. That it took some pain away to be told the truth. He anguished at the thought of me moving on and how he had thought about what that would be like,seeing me with someone else. The kids having a different dad. I was quiet. when he finished talking I told him that any decision that I made would always put the kids first and that I would be sure they felt little impact as possible. we hugged twice before he left,he turned to me and said I'm very confused. He looked like a six year old. I told him to get some rest and I would see him tommorrow. Ten minutes later in the middle of this letter he called me again to rehash the I care about u still conversation and wanted to have goodbye sex, I told him it would hurt us both and be very confuseing. He was more excepting this time and said ok I'll see you soon. I said bye honey. And the closing was alot less angry than other times that I turned down his advances. I don't know whats going to happen but I do know he is a bit more honest and understands that he no longer can jerk around my emotions.

  10. You are doing so great Theresa! He is so confused now because no one has probably ever been so firm and grounded and respectful of themselves with him before.

    He IS like a child and if you still have any hope for the two of you now would be a great time to throw him a small challenge. Think of what it is he really needs to do to get his own act together and chunk it down into bite sized very doable pieces. Like you might say "If you want you can come over and help me clean up the kids room" or maybe he needs work on his social skills and you could challenge him to join some kind of a club with you?

    You will know what the gap is and what he is avoiding being responsible about and if you can make it even like a bit of a dare he may see what you are up to and like it.

    The fact is he is SO lost now that you do have a chance to become a guiding force in his life (if you take it slowly and choose the challenges well).

    For Steve and I it was about him learning MYoB and starting to get our financial mess sorted out and becoming someone who could be with us without needing to dominate us.

    So maybe you want him back or maybe you don't and that is up to you but if you do or you are still undecided now would be a great time to be saying stuff like ...

    "Sex doesn't prove anything what would really impress me is if you ......., (you choose the challenge)

    Men love this kind of stuff - they are wired for it and if you get it right he will keep coming back for more.

    Kim Cooper

  11. Brilliant! Kim,
    I guess I have given up on the idea of a challenge cause I'm so intimidated by his demeanor. I guess I could ask him to help me paint over all of the markings the kids have put on the walls. Although I think he most likely will decline, does that mean I messed up or just not act too phased by a rejecting response.

    As far as MYOB goes , gosh yes he always wants to play the hero to any skanky damsel in distress, not because she is appealing or attractive by any means but just because she makes him feel superior. He rushed a girl having a seizure due to withdrawl from meth at one of his AA meetings only to find out a few days later that she didnt even remember him and was back out on the street days later doing meth.

    I m not sure what kind of club he would want to join and as far as gap work of course finances are really bad. He has been in denial a long time that he has been robbing Peter to pay Paul. We are talking and trying to work out finances. My concern is losing the house I've raised my child in for 11 years and making sure both my kids are going to be secure. I am looking for work at the moment and let him know I would like to contribute as much as I can finacially. So far he hasnt moved to seperate legally.

    Of course I still love my husband and would like to work things out, I'm sensing his ambivilence to a commitment right now though and I think its because he has someone in mind. Obviously as usual someone who does not hold a candle to me but our attachment has been compromised and that does not help. In every case in the past his flirtations are with pathetic and desperate souls that become cumbersome as soon as he grows tired of they're needyness. And when they realize he cannot fulfill any of they're demands they disappear. So i must employ magic scissors for now .
    OK so I am going to try "Sex doesnt prove anything....... That scares me but I cant keep giving him the same line about how its hurting me and confuseing him cause by now he has probably thought of a manipulative response to that reasoning. And I'm going to have to sleep on it before I come up with a challenge.

    Thanks Kim I'll keep you posted.

  12. I would like to read more about the part you wrote in this blog regarding what you are or fear you attract to you. so what you fear appears!
    That is so true. So self soothing and self esteem and inner child work may assist with tha or please give some ideas for changing those things!
    I like that you explain things fairly simply

  13. Hey Theresa,

    You can do it! Just stay as cool and calm as you have been and you will do fine.

    A challenge is usually best left hanging anyway - don't expect a response - just leave it hanging.

    I wonder what the one skill would be that he could learn that would make him more employable or feel better about himself? From what you have said that perhaps may be a better place to start than cleaning.

    So yes use the magic scissors for now and stay focused on your own life and goals and know that if he gets nasty from here you can always choose to end the conversation.

    Kim Cooper

  14. Hi Kim,
    I'm finding myself able to control my anger and fear,while it does garner respect it certainly has all the N's scratching they're heads.Wondering why the manipulations seem to have lost they're effect. My husband is somber and puzzled by my refusal to act out with him, or rush to rescue him from his self destructive threats. He packed an overnight bag and set it out so I could see it. I have somewhere I gotta go he said, wanting to make sure I understood that he may be spending the night away from his place. I actually had to smile a bit since he has his own place why does he need to put on such a show, he could have a girl overnight anytime he wants to. Now dont get me wrong, I dont doubt he isnt involved and of course that is not right with me, but he needs to see me walk away with dignity and know that he is losing, no fit or arguement will improve this situation. My message is "well if thats what you want, I'm not going to stop breathing Ive got a great life to get on with." I would love it if my husband wanted to do better but he is still trying to twist the knife and while it is excruciating I am becomeing wiser and saner because of the blessed information you are shareing Kim, My marraige may not survive this turmoil but I certainly have become a kinder happier person because I no longer blame myself or my husband I just continue moving my life forward and love my children and get stronger everyday no matter what he decides to do. Sure my heart is breaking but it is no longer hostage. I am free to feel joy and spend time with those that love me without being consumed by the N.

  15. Yes Kim,
    You are right, working on a new skill would be helpful, he is employed however I believe he is disolusioned with his job as a stockbroker it has been a rough 6 years. He makes decent income just spends irresponsibly. Tries to hide assets from me but turns up with money like say he needs a new car, then lets a credit card bill go delinquent and wants to morgage the house!
    Perhaps money management skills, he is quite resistant to being on a budget although he imposes a very strict one on me. I dont know how to approach that in a way that would not sound offensive to him or trigger his anger.He likley would tell me that he is on it and figureing it out, but that means he is shifting around assets to get some money without revealing how much he really has. this is a problem because his type of work gives him to much power to manipulate, I feel he is makeing money scarce to make me think he has less income than he really does, he likes me to have to ask for money. That is why I'm working hard to get more employment for myself. At least I can have control of income I make.
    The truth is Kim if it does come out in the end that he has become involved with someone in a sexual way I cannot imagine trusting him again. He told me he would like to just go out get completely destroyed and crawl back to my door hopeing I can forgive him and take him back. this is a repeated scenareo he keeps feeding me. He conciuosly wants to go play out his porn fantasies with whoever will oblige and then he wants to know that he can always come back. This seems to me to perpetuate a cycle only he has upped the anti this time to actually exploiting women in the flesh.
    There was a time when I thought I would rather die than face that my beloved partner would betray me in such a way but I know that I'm worth so much more than that. Thanks for helping me discover that Kim. XOXO

  16. You are doing great Theresa!

    I read an article once about stock brokers being into S&M in a big way because of the guilt a lot of them carry for making so much money doing something that is not productive. The writer ran a sociology study called 'slaves are us' which concluded they were going to the S&M parlors to be punished and dominated more than they were going there for sex. They found this out because when they set up an agency where these guys could offer themselves as slaves (no sex and they didn't have to pay but they had to do unpaid work) they could not meet the demand (or find enough women who could be the mean slave masters the guys wanted). I remember distinctly it was the stockbrokers who they said showed up the most from their ads.

    I am not sure what this means (if anything) but he certainly seems to have a big load of guilt and shame to deal with. Maybe one day you could ask him what kind of men he really respects?

    Whatever happens I don't think you will ever regret learning to become very firm with him and to not be frightened of his anger anymore. Make sure you protect yourself sure but I think it is great you are getting stronger and my guess is no matter what you decide you want to do he will end up liking you learning to be tough a lot!

    Kim Cooper

  17. Hi Kim,
    Very interesting about the S&M, and chilling. He does have guilt/shame and in the job its frequent to have your clients turn on you when the market takes a dive.

    I suppose I can slip in the question about what kind of men he respects one of these days when he gets into putting certain people down, that would give me an opportunity to avoid hearing how so and so is a loser and shift the conversation.

    He is calling daily, asking how I'm doing, trying to seem worried, but just wants to get in bed, I told him that sex didnt impress me,[like u said] but that I would be more impressed if he... [I paused cause I hadn't thought of a challenge.].. took a parenting class. which kinda was out of left feild I know but you know Kim the message came across that our family was of great importance and his quest to seduce me was getting old and tired and downright ignorant without even having to criticise or risk creating an arguement. He said well I can take a parenting class whatever but I still think sex is important. I said it is important to me to, and that it meant something special, and I will only have it with someone who it means the same to them. This told him I wasnt playing games and that I was aware of his game. I was painting the walls in the house and he was standing there with his hands on his hips watching me be too busy too give him my full attention, "Well I guess I'll leave then." He does this abrupt "Bye." Because he wants me to feel abandoned and clingy,it used to work. And isnt it really a reflection of how he feels, abandoned. I do feel sorry for him cause he is so unhappy.

    You are right about not having regrets, I used to think I was messing our marraige up if I didn't placate my husband, now I know I'm not, in fact I'm standing up for my marraige and for my husbands better side, he already is showing more respect and is understanding that he has lost credibility with me because of the game playing. He is looking at himself and can't blame me anymore. I can tell he is really considering that perhaps his set of rules are not working for him, that being honest might be a possibility. He is getting bad advice from his mother and a false friend, when that advice does't reap the rewards that he wants he may not be so interested in they're advice. Regardless if he takes the easy way out and decides he would rather find a codependent relationship and run it into the ground and play that cycle again and again I know that I did the right thing and he will always have regard for me. Thats better than him being with us and having him thinking we are the problem all the time. Like you said you don't just get rid of an N, especially when you have children together, they are always in your life so you do need to know how to handle yourself with them. Thanks Kim for helping so many people understand this and get they're lives back.

  18. Hey Kim,
    I have been listening to your radio broadcasts. So much great material. Even though things are bleak with my situation I find it comforting to listen to you and Steve discuss all the relevant topics.

    Lately my husband has backed off the stalker mode alot. Without all the pressure I have discovered a true sense of sadness and its not a bad thing. He just dropped off the face of the earth for the past few days. Last I heard he was evicted from his room for rent. So I imagine he is moving out, he hinted that he found someone to move in with but didnt reveal where and I knew better than to press that, all things are revealed in time. The kids have visitation on Friday and I'm actually nervous because My 11 year olds daughter [who has aspects of Asperger's hmm imagine that] seems sad and depressed when she leaves off of seeing him. She says he ignores her now. Each time I see him he looks more and more strange, not just stressed but twitchy and agitated as if he is high, can't maintain eye contact, he has brought up drugs on a few occasions and that he should try cocaine or pot or heroine. I'm not paranoid just actually pretty concerned as he has access to these drugs he says cause drug dealers hover around AA meetings.

    The last time I spoke to him on monday he told me that he knew he had caused all the problems he was having in his life and acknowledged for the first time that he did have to look at the background of abuse from his father who abandoned him. He told me he was still holding off on having sex with random people cause that didn,t seem like the best idea, but also phrased it like a salesmen,"Its going, going, oh to late sold." He said he didn't want to close the door but felt angry that I wouldnt continue haveing sex with him, which sounded like blameing to me again. I told him that I cared about him very much and didn't like to see him hurting, He told me my love had conditions on it and he thought that was unfair, he was starting to sound agitated so I told him I didnt want to get into an arguement and he said goodbye.

    In the past few weeks he isnt wearing his wedding band and took the picture of our kids off of his keychain, I feel a dark cloud of doom closing in. I really believe this is my darkest hour and I will need to be strong as this storm will pass. I know that I have done all I can Kim, I so appreciate that you have taken the time to respond to my comments, thanks for your support. All the insights you have offered are spot on and have helped me maintain my dignity and self respect.

    It's hard to imagine this sadness getting better right now but I will keep learning and getting wiser, I'll read over the material all again, it seems to make more and more sense each time I do. With deepest gatitude, Theresa

    P.S. Kim were there ever times when you looked into Steves eyes and didn't see him there anymore. Not the cliche' "he has changed" but that the person that used to live in there is gone or perhaps so diminished by the ego that there is nothing left?

  19. Hi Theresa,

    You hang in there - you are learning now that it is not about being able to trust him but instead being able to trust yourself. You are doing great and becoming your own best friend.

    To answer your question - yes I did see Steve like that sometimes - it was when he was working at the bar and would come home after drinking too much and walking home through the bad part of town with his eyes hanging out of his head gawking at younger women.
    I know because for some reason I was with him once in that part of town and saw it. It was like he was sick and dying back then.

    When Steve was at that point I rescued him - but you have to make up your own mind. I said I am not going to leave you and I will stand by you but if you don't allow me to put security on your computer I am going to have to speak to ----- (one of the last people in the world he still had fooled) about what is happening to you because I am worried about you. I said it is time you come and be at home with us now - you need to leave that job and I will support you but you are not going to be the boss anymore here. You need to learn to just be quiet and be with us without having to throw your weight around. I also said it would be OK and I would make it OK with the kids and not embarrass him - but that I would take care of him and help him through this but he needed to show me he was taking steps towards learning to be a solid father and husband. I told him I new he wasn't going to be able to do that overnight and I didn't expect it and that I would stand by him and support him, but the aggression and the porn and the job at the bar had to go.

    He was meek as a lamb after that for a long time and things started to improve. We had another set back after about 6 months and that was devastating to me but we got through it. That is another story but for now Theresa you need to decide what you want and if you are strong enough to take him in for awhile more as a child than an adult while he rebuilds his life into something more honest.

    How great is it knowing you can trust yourself - you have come a long way and you will get through this dark storm I know it.

    Kim Cooper

  20. Thank you Kim,
    As always your words are so healing, what you said about making up my mind came just in time.
    Yesterday my husband sat down and confessed that he was involved with another woman. He tried to tell me that it was up to me wether he slept with her or not. That we weren't at the point of no return. I felt strangely relieved. It made it easy for me to tell him I wasnt interested in persueing a relationship with him and good luck. I hope she likes kids. which was not nice but Kim I made up my mind. He said that she had 4 kids. I smiled at him and said wow have a ball. My life is getting better and yours is getting more and more complicated. I am a bit mad at myself for opening my mouth Kim but nobody is perfect. I told him to let the elders in the congregation I go to know so that I can move on with my life. That I liked being married and I didnt intend to be single for long. That it would be very interesting to know what its like to be married to someone that can be nice to me. I know these are not the right things to say Kim if I wanted him back, but I have tried to imagine being with him again and I don't see it. I also know that its not what to say if I want to get away from him for good either. So yes it was a slip. I know this because he called me 4 times after he picked up the kids and wanted to argue about who is the one responsible for ending the relationship.
    Sadly noone he gets involved with will ever measure up to the perfect zombie wife that I became when I was with him. Kim I just want to be with someone who is not like this. I don't want a hero or to be rescued. I just want a husband that is capable of loving and being loved. I know there are nice men out there. And my husband as much as i wish he wanted to get better just doesnt. He is not good for me or his kids. I'm scared when they are with him.

    I need to rescue myself from him, he is waving this affair under my face while telling me he doesnt want to come home and that I can still "fix this." That this is all my fault because I'm not even trying. I told him I tried for 13 years. Kim he went back and forth 5 or six times. This is done! He would say But only if you want. I just dont even have any attraction to you at all, then Im so angry that you dont seem to care. You should take off your wedding ring because there really is no point in wearing it,then I hope you know I dont want to upset you we arnt at the point of no return. He wants me to be his wife and be quiet and let him fool around. And since I won't he's trying to make me feel like I failed our marraige. No I have to let him go. For me, for my kids, he doesnt want to change anything. He's violent, on steroids, won't give up the porn, doesnt enjoy his kids, has a woman on the side. Yes I feel sorry but he still thinks hes happy this way. I wanted to be the person he could have a repairative relationship with but I cant reach him.

    I am young and beautiful,I'm an outstanding mother with strong moral values, I'm an excellent cook,[I keep an organic kitchen garden.] and I keep a fine house. I work in a well paid profession[when I was allowed to work.]And have many long term healthy relationships with wonderful loving people. And my kids are everything to me. I will continue to educate myself and work on my codependency issues, I highly recommend the information you dispense and live by it. It will keep me from getting with someone thats not good for me and my girls. I just know I'm better off not pursueing things with him, I need to get on with my life and stop expecting outcomes. Ugh he just called to apologize for yesterday, god have mercy Kim Im so tired of apologies. They have lost theyre meaning.

    Thank you for your kind words.. you deserve so much respect for what you have accomplished. I feel as if you are holding my hand like a true friend and you have generously given your strength to me even though I'm a stranger. I cant thank you enough Kim. Warmly,

  21. Hi Theresa,

    I am so glad to hear you so confident and clear about what you want. I believe we heal our codependence faster by managing these tough times than healing them on our own. You learn about relationship in relationship.

    It is NOT your fault what has happened and you have every right to be mad. The truth is however that if you attack his ego in parting it will only continue the battle as you are now seeing.

    I think you need to talk to the elders in your congregation and not leave that to him. I also think that when you are calm enough to choose c. (in my new post) it will be better for you because there is less for him to fight and the truth is exposed. He IS immature and in ways that you cannot be expected to manage.

    I hope my latest post did not sound too harsh - you are actually much stronger than most people who come to this site and I believe that you are not looking to be rescued. You are an inspiration Theresa and you are handling this much better than you probably even realize - I know your husband knows that he is losing the best thing he every had and he is scared too - good stuff for calling his bluff.

    Kim Cooper

  22. Hi anon May 14th,

    Great suggestion I will think about doing a blog post on that soon.

    Kim Cooper

  23. Hi kim,
    I did call his bluff, he called at 3 am once again last night having a panic attack and crying hysterically. He said he made up the girlfriend story to see what i would do. I don't know if I believe that but he swears that he wants to come home and can't live the way he is anymore or he was going to die.I told him he was living an unsustainable life and I would help him but he had to want to get better I gave conditions of coming home the same way you told Steve in your previous post and low and behold he agreed to everything. I'm not holding my breathe but I did let him come over. I got in bed with the baby and he climbed in our bed. He wanted me to come and hold him, I really wasnt sure if that was a good idea so asked him if we were going to live together as a married couple cause I wasnt just fooling around. He said we were and started apologiseing for all the games but I didnt want to hear apologies. I told him get some rest. He told me he didnt have control over anything and he was scared. I do believe that. He tried to get more intimate than I wanted to a few times and I told him to slow down and finally he gave up.He got up this morning and said he was going to the gym. So I thought I would send an update. My gosh you are so right about everything.

    So I went From C to A I think. If he actually does follow through and come home I have got alot of work to do, I didnt expect this but thank god I have the right information. I'm really nervous about him being back in the house actually, it has been peaceful. I think I'm in a good place Kim cause It was over for me and I was really going to be OK. So it makes it alot easier to say NO and mean it. I am just amazed at how you know what comes next in these situations its uncanny! Like you knew what he was going to do. Please say a prayer for my family today. Thanks much love,

  24. This conversation has been moved to the post titled Dear Theresa ...


  25. I am definitely married to "The Needy Talker" and you have described him perfectly. I am going to put your suggestions into play and let you know how it goes with me. My kids are grown adults now and I can concentrate on us as a couple. Thank you for showing me the way to save my marriage. I have always know something was wrong, but just could not figure it out myself. You have helped me put these things in perspective and I can see the truth in what you are saying in these articles. I have done some of these things myself and he is noticing changes in me which is confusing him. He is older now and not as mean as he was when the kids were young. I started researching NPD after his mother died and he shared that he was physically and mentally abused by his father as a child which his sister confirmed to me. I then realized that was part of his problem relating to us and raising boys with a mean demeanor. I never knew and so I shared this information with my adult boys so they may have an understanding that their father was a sick man. We all live together right now which has made us closer as a family and my sons respect me. I have always been their solid parent and the voice of reason in every situation. Thank you both for finding out about this and sharing your knowledge with the rest of the world.


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