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snugglermi<P>I'm so glad you got to go shopping with your Mom and sister and have such a good time! Keep it up whenever you can, ok?<P>Here are some samples of information I found on how to determine if you are in an abusive relationship. (I have paraphrased some of this for brevity.) Your partner doesn't have to do all of these things to be abusive.<P>Emotional abuse is difficult to recognize and perhaps even harder to end. But as you become aware of what emotional abuse is, you will also begin to recognize if it is occurring in your life. Once you are aware that it is happening, you will want to begin to take the steps to end the abuse. Ending the abuse means planning to leave the abuser, making a plan and depending upon family and friends for emotional support. <A HREF="http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/domestic_violence/24234" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/domestic_violence/24234</A> <BR> <BR>You can tell it’s emotional abuse when you start feeling bad about yourself and you're afraid to say or do anything because it could be the wrong thing. There's also a sense of being kept off balance. Some call emotional abuse “in-your-soul abuse” because the harm inflicted isn't outwardly apparent, like bruises or broken bones. The damage goes much deeper. <BR><A HREF="http://ww1.onhealth.com/conditions/in-depth/item/item%2C51117_1_1.asp" TARGET=_blank>http://ww1.onhealth.com/conditions/in-depth/item/item%2C51117_1_1.asp</A><BR> <BR>People can be in an abusive relationship witout realizing it. Many people assume that if they're not being physically abused by their partner, then they're not being abused. This isn't necessarily true. You may be in a relationship which is draining something from you -- you might not have recognized that your partner has eroded your self-esteem and happiness. An abusive partner will railroad discussions, so that you don't have time to think about what's right and what's wrong in their behavior. Take a moment to consider these questions. Your partner might have behaved as though these things were okay, even though it's obvious that they are not okay: <P>Do you feel that you can't discuss with your partner what is bothering you? <BR>Does your partner frequently criticize you, humiliate you, or undermine your self-esteem? <BR>Does your partner ridicule you for expressing yourself? <BR>Does your partner try to isolate you from friends, family or groups? <BR>Does your partner limit your access to work or material resources? <BR>Has your partner ever stolen from you or run up debts for you to handle? <BR>Does your relationship swing back and forth between a lot of emotional distance and being very close? <BR>Do you sometimes feel trapped in the relationship? <BR>Has your partner ever thrown away or destroyed things that belonged to you? <BR>Are you afraid of your partner? <P>Other forms of emotional abuse: <BR> 1. constant rejection <BR> 2. terrorizing <BR> 3. belittling the person <BR> 4. shaming, humiliating, disrespecting the person <BR> 5. name calling <BR> 6. lack of love and affection <BR> 7. screaming or yelling <BR> 8. refusal to provide basic nurturing (for a child) or encouragement (for an adult) <BR> 9. refusal to get help for psychological problems <BR>10. scape-goating - blaming the other person for the problem(s) <BR>11. failure to provide for the partner's physical needs. <A HREF="http://www.lilaclane.com/relationships/emotional-abuse/male-victim-abuse.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.lilaclane.com/relationships/emotional-abuse/male-victim-abuse.html</A> <P>Emotional abuse, sometimes referred to as mental injury or psychological abuse, is the most "hidden" form of abuse. It remains to be the most difficult to identify because there are no real specific physical symptoms like bruises, or scars. <A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/~ERammel2/defining_emotional.html" TARGET=_blank>http://members.tripod.com/~ERammel2/defining_emotional.html</A> <P>Defining emotional abuse is not easy. It may be defined as a controlling or abusive act that leaves an emotional scar on the ictim. One cannot talk about physical abuse without talking about emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is far more insidious, lingering, and therefore more harmful than physical abuse. <P>Emotional abuse is any behavior that is used to control and mistreat another person. This includes verbal comments, degrading a person and his family, destroying his/her personal belongings, and hurting their loved ones, including pets. An abuser may also do something to harm his/her social and legal status. In abuse, harmony. such as keeping the peace at all costs, takes precedence over individual concerns, and the victim's endurance is regarded as a high virtue. <A HREF="http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/reflections1.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/reflections1.html</A> <P>You may be becoming or already are a victim of abuse if you: <BR> 1. Feel like you have to "walk on egg shells" to keep your spouse from getting angry and are intimidated by his temper. <BR> 2. Feel you can't live without him. <BR> 3. Stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because he doesn't like them. <BR> 4. Are afraid to tell him your worries and feelings about the relationship. <BR> 5. Are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt his feelings; and have the urge to "rescue" him when he is troubled. <BR> 6. Feel that you are the only one who can help him and that you should try to "reform" him. <BR> 7. Find yourself apologizing to yourself or others for your partner's behavior when you are treated badly. <BR> 8. Stop expressing opinions if he doesn't agree with them. <BR> 9. Stay because you feel he will not survive economically if you leave. <BR>10. Believe that his jealousy is a sign of love. <BR>11. Have been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you by him when he was jealous or angry. <BR>12. Believe the critical things he says to make you feel bad about yourself. <BR>13. Believe that there is something wrong with you if you don't enjoy the sexual things he makes you do. <BR>14. Believe in the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do -- that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him. <BR>15. Have been abused as a child or seen your mother abused. <A HREF="http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/abuse_signs.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/abuse_signs.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by computergal (edited December 17, 2000).]

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Thank you for the information. I will take my time and read through it very carefully. Things have went from bad to worse, and I can not explain it right now, because H. is mad at me for being on line. I am limited time here. I want to be able to read this in privacy and in comfort. My Mother has the children because my son told his grandmother (my mother) that my H. abused him. I know this is untrue, why do I know? Because my H. loves his children so much, and I have observed them without H. knowing. My son lied and even told lies to my mother about me abusing him, after my son was told he could not spend the night with grandma. But he lied his way into it, so here I sit, dealing with an angry husband, and a defiant child. Lord, help me, I really don't think it could get any worse. Gn

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While growing up with an abusive step father, my brother would tell people that he was being abused by him and everyone including my mother said that he would never do that. Manupulative, evil, abusive men know when they are being watched and act accordingly. I honestly don't understand why you are still there with him or rather why you haven't kicked him out on his *ss. Loving someone is one thing but when is the last time he did anything to deserve that love, sex does NOT count. He's dragging you down, breaking your spirit and you are letting him. You are a beautiful person, inside and out!!!! Don't you believe that you deserve happiness?!?!? I don't think that you can sit there and tell me that God wants us to live in misery and pain. I am praying for you and your children.

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I know my h. has not abused the children, I know this with all my heart. I believe that my son was lying to get what he wanted, to stay with my mother so he could get out of being grounded for not haveing his homework done. I was really disappointed that he went so much extreme. I know this relationship is not stable. I have my first counceling with Dr. Harley tomorrow. i am anxious as well a scared. I am not prepared for a third person's advice. I will be open and honest, but will I be able to portray an honest picture of my marriage without being biase and unfair to my H.? Any advice? gn

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Dear gn,<P>I haven't been around here much and was away for short spells due to various reasons.<P>My first marriage was to an abused orphan who was abusive and WS as well. He succeeded in making me so unsure of myself that I thought I was unworthy of being loved by anyone. He would put me down in front of everyone. He was always handled with 'kids' glove' because all knew he had this horrible and sad background. Yes, he manipulated everyone to sympathise with him, and I was the biggest sucker of all due to my nature.<P>He had mood swings and would either lavish gifts and attention on me one moment and in the next, he would say something to make me feel unworthy. I didn't know that I was being abused until he became WS and lied that he was not. I had the evidence of someone's undergarments in his suitcase on a return trip. He accused me that I planted the stuff there to frame him and immediately threw the stuff away. He was so good at accusing that I actually begin to have doubts as to what I saw and began making excuses for him about how I think the undergarments could have gotten into his suitcase. I totally obsolved him of his 'guilt'. I even began to ponder whether I did subconsciously or otherwise plant the 'evidence' in his suitcase. What saved me was my taste in underwear - I never had those and would never have picked those type of uninspiring garments.<P>Eventually, I decided to stop any relationships and he pleaded with me to stay on as a trophy wife. He wanted a family to call home without the responsibilities, etc..<P>I worked several jobs and was also modelling. I stayed in the blanc marriage as I believed I should not hurt this man anymore than he had in his entire life. I was willing to sacrifice my life that he may have some semblance of order and happiness. I became very successful at my work but back home, my life was a sham. His friends all thought I was having As and were all keeping tabs on me. He would write me horrid notes and accuse me of all sorts of things such as lesbianism and orgies or whatever that he can conjure up.<P>My friends and family couldn't take the abuse anymore and finally I told him I had to divorce him. I remember he cried, knelt down and asked for forgiveness for his selfishness. It was a rather bitter divorce but one day I received a note from him wishing me all the best in life and asking me to not ever change because I was a good person, that I was kind and I was the best thing that happened in his life.<P>However, I have some doubts that he ever changed because I had read a letter he received from a young girl, barely out of her teens, when I was packing up to leave the house. She wrote that she would do everything and give up her life so that she can make him happy and wipe away his past hurts, even though she would never be as good as his first wife.<P>I believe that my self esteem was shattered by the first abusive WS unknowingly. I went on to marry a man who was besotted with me but he was not my equal - he is now my WS.<P>I feel very sad that you have to live like this and think yourself unworthy; I was a fashion model and at the height of my looks, I felt so ugly because some man chose to imprison my soul for his own insecurities.<P>I know you would need a lot of help and support to see the light because much damage has been done. It has already filtered down to your son. I would encourage you to seek God's help in this and to pray that He make you whole again. Regardless of whatever physical problems you have, your soul is beautiful and you are a very capable, intelligent and energetic person. <P>Please take care of yourself. <P>God loves you<BR>May God shine upon your life<BR>from weep

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Sorry, double-posted and had a difficult time getting through for several hours.<P>Just want to add that he was sometimes abusive physically as well and I feared him. But the constant verbal and mental abuse eroded all confidence in myself as a stable and good person. Don't let another person imprison your real self, please.<P><p>[This message has been edited by weep (edited December 22, 2000).]

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I had my first appointment with Dr. Harley, and it felt wonderful to talk to someone who would be objective. Unfortunately our time was cut short, and I will call again real soon so we can set a plan to begin to repair my marriage. Tonite was hard, as a bank told me I won a christmas dinner, and the two ladies were dropping it off, and my H. said they were rude to him. I didn't see, I apologized, but he left, and then came back to yell at me about being difficult and dishonest, then he yelled at the kids for being excited about Christmas. He is yelling now for me to control these kids. I need to go and settle them down--gn

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Dear Computergal: I read your entire post and was amazed at how many questions I answered yes to. They were some ify questions I was unsure if I could just place a yes or no answer for. I was hoping that I wasn't being objective enough. I am hoping to be able to make a plan soon with Dr. Harley. It felt good to talk to someone who has my goal in mind, "Saving my marriage" I will keep learning about emotional abuse, and I will keep posting. Thank you all for your support--gn

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quote. Originally posted by snugglermi:<BR>I know my h. has not abused the children, I know this with all my heart.<P>Actually if your son has witnessed your husband verbally abusing you, this is abuse of your son as well. A child who views another family member being abused is as damaged or even more damaged than if he was being directly abused himself. <P>My younger sister was pampered and indulged in our family of origin, but she was emtionally damaged even more than I was by witnessing our parents' abuse of me, the family scapegoat -- so much so that she could hardly function much of her adult life.

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