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Old 09-07-2011, 02:58 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

Right--but not all abusers suffer from BPD. Some are just that... abusers.

And with that said, can you list the 9 traits of BPD? I am curious since you're always talking about them.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:02 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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Originally Posted by Hilary Henderson View Post
Marriage counseling can be quite harmful in these cases.
Hilary, I agree with everything in your post. Although BPD may explain a person's abusive behavior, it certainly does not excuse it. BPDers should be held fully accountable for their own actions. Otherwise, they have no chance of being forced to confront their issues and learning how to control them. I especially agree with your warning about MC. IME, it can be harmful for the reason you give. More likely, however, it will simply be useless when the partner is a BPDer because his problems go far beyond a lack of communication skills. Until the underlying issues are dealt with, MC may result in the BPDer only becoming better skilled at controlling his spouse.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:17 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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Can you list the 9 traits of BPD? I am curious since you're always talking about them.
Jellybeans, the nine traits specified by the current diagnostic manual (DSM-IV) are shown at Borderline Personality Disorder. The proposed language for the new diagnostic manual (DSM5, to be released in May 2013) is shown at http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision...on.aspx?rid=17.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:26 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

Thanks for link.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:44 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

Gads....I fit all 9. The only thing I don't have a problem with is being alone. Then again, I was diagnosed BPD years ago.

To the OP....I was horribly emotionally/verbally and on rare occasions physically abusive to my SO. I hit rock bottom last year and finally sought help. Abusers CAN change. I wish you the best.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:55 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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3littleangelsmom, I hear that you don't trust him, love him, or respect him, and you want out. The only thing REALLY keeping you there is guilt & obligation. You want to know that you did everything you could.

I understand this; I felt the same way. Guilt and obligation kept me in a similar relationship for 13 years.

Here is what I had to realize in order to give myself permission to leave.

What have you already done to save your marriage? What have you already given? How much of your heart, soul, and tears have you given this man already?

What about him? How much has he given? How hard has he tried - really? Have his efforts matched yours? Has his emotional investment been equal to yours? Or has he only paid lip service (and a coupla weeks of minimal effort at a time) to making it work?

If he hasn't been trying as hard as you have, why should you continue to work SO hard - even beyond the point of breakdown - to save something that evidently isn't REALLY that important to HIM?

Why does he get "every opportunity" to keep hurting you? He's had 15 years. How about if you got "every opportunity" to start over and be happy? How would that be for a change?

You're not obligated to give anymore. You get to walk away. You're not a bad person if you say, "I have had enough."

You're not a bad person if you protect and defend yourself from further harm. Which is exactly what you'd be doing if you left - protecting and defending yourself from further harm.

It's like he's holding your hand to a hot stove, just because he feels like it. You get to pull your hand away and stop being burned, and never subject yourself to this person again. Allowing him to continue to hurt you is not necessary to prove that you love him or that you're a good person or that you're strong or have character. Continuing to suffer proves nothing except your willingness to suffer. And you don't have to suffer anymore.

I was afraid that my ex was just sick in some way. How could I ethically leave someone for being sick? If he had been paralyzed in a car accident, I couldn't leave. Right? If he had cancer when we got married and we didn't find out until later, I couldn't leave. Right?

The thing is, abuse is almost always a CHOICE on the part of the abuser. It's almost never a sickness. It's a choice. He's doing this to you so that he can get what he wants. He feels entitled to hurt you, so that he can control you, or get something he wants, or just lash out and relieve some stress and make himself feel better for a while.

It's extremely difficult for someone to stop feeling and acting entitled. They have to learn to feel conscience and empathy and discover that they aren't the center of the universe after all. It's tough, thankless work and most people will not do it. They might start, they might try for a while, but they'll revert to their old ways, because it's just too difficult and painful to start feeling empathy and stop getting what you want all the time.

What if he does have BPD? Then here's the thing. If he IS "sick" - that is, if he does have a diagnosable personality disorder or other mental illness - then he still has to go in for therapy and stick with it for a long time in order to get well. Until he does this, he's not safe for you. It would be like your senile elderly mother who lives with you has started punching and kicking you. You can't take care of her anymore - it's not safe. You have to get her into some other kind of help and back off until it's safe to interact again.

If your husband is willing to go into therapy (alone, for himself) and consider taking medication if necessary, then you have the OPTION of staying (and by "stay," I mean separate from him so that you can protect yourself until the therapy and drugs have really had a profound effect, but hold off on divorce). But most people with a PD do not ever go into therapy or take medication, or don't stick with it. It is too painful and difficult and threatening.

But, as I said, even if he did go into treatment, that only gives you the OPTION of staying. You still don't have to!

Marriages end every day JUST because one person no longer loves, respects, and trusts the other. On those grounds ALONE, you get to leave! You don't have to stay with someone you don't love, respect, or trust!

Marriage counseling can be quite harmful in these cases. Sometimes the marriage counselor does not see the abuse. They will then treat both of you as if you were both to blame for the problems. This will make him feel MORE entitled and make you feel truly awful, and it's more likely that you'll stay for far longer than you should.

Please protect and defend yourself and choose the life you really want to have. You don't have to suffer anymore.

Good luck and feel free to message me privately. I am a life coach who specializes in relationships.
Thank you so much for you words! I have told him I am leaving. He is still texting and emailing me daily.... "i am sorry" I can change, I see my issues now... give us time."
I am TIRED!
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:14 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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Thank you so much for you words! I have told him I am leaving. He is still texting and emailing me daily.... "i am sorry" I can change, I see my issues now... give us time."
I am TIRED!
Woo-hoo! Good for you, telling him you're leaving!!!!

Unfortunately, he probably won't leave you alone for a long time. Unless you're very lucky and he goes away quietly, actually escaping an abuser is an endurance game. You just have to outlast him. Eventually he will move on to a new target. Though he may still try you again periodically as the years go by, to see if you've softened. So, it's a long-term endurance game. I wish it were otherwise.

Here are a few suggestions for winning the endurance game:

Read all of his messages as actually meaning, "I'll SAY just about anything to get you to stay, because words are CHEAP and they usually work like a charm. Minimum effort, maximum payoff. Is it working yet?"

He will try to make you feel guilty. Making you feel guilty and telling you that it's all your fault has probably worked very well for him in the past. I suggest writing up a list, and putting it in your journal or somewhere private, of all of the reasons you have to leave him. "He screamed at me constantly," "He told me I was stupid and worthless," "I always felt like I was walking on eggshells," "I had lost all respect for him," "I felt like I was going insane," etc., etc. My own list had over 100 reasons to leave. Refer to that list whenever the second thoughts kick in. (I also did a list of reasons to stay... that list had maybe 8 things on it, and none of them very compelling. That was useful for perspective, too.)

Also, whenever I had second thoughts and self-doubt, I'd tell myself, "You CAN call him if you want. Right NOW, you can call him and tell him you want him back. Do you want to do that?" I'd ask myself straight out and honestly. And every time, I'd realize, "NO WAY do I want to go back." And the thoughts would pass.

If you have a close friend or family member who "never liked" your husband or is definitely going to be on your side, make an agreement that you can call him/her anytime you feel tempted to go back. I had someone like this in my court and it was soooo helpful to get that "sanity check" whenever I was veering off into "how can I do this to him?" territory.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:31 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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Originally Posted by 3littleangelsmom View Post
Thank you so much for you words! I have told him I am leaving. He is still texting and emailing me daily.... "i am sorry" I can change, I see my issues now... give us time."
I am TIRED!
Good for you. The ONLY way he CAN change is if you leave him and give him a REASON to.

Promise us you will NOT let him back into your life until he has gone at least 6 months of weekly therapy. If not longer. It will take that long before he will ever get deep enough to 'get it' and want to change, let alone do the hard work to really change.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

I have an emotional and verbally abusive husband. He has been to counselling numerous times.

He won't change, because he doesn't think that there is anything wrong.

He doesn't think that there was anything wrong with calling his daughter a f'ing retard in front of my entire family. He doesn't think there was anything wrong with scratching the side of my brand new vehicle with the handle of the lawn mower - after all "I" parked it too close to the edge of the driveway.

I want out, but can't financially afford to go.

Will he change - never. Will my feelings for him change - never. ever.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:16 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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I know. But you are always posting about BPD anytime someone mentions the word "abuse." Nearly every time.
I noticed that too. The thing that is worrying is that it could be dangerous to the poster who is being abused as she/he could use this as a excuse for the behavior. Understanding why someone abuses does NOTHING to stop it. However to educate yourself as to why you tolerate it is a win/win and can help break the cycle.

In the end, it doesn't matter why someone is doing the abusing, personality disorder or not, it's still ABUSE and the victim needs to get OUT.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:21 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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I have an emotional and verbally abusive husband. He has been to counselling numerous times.

He won't change, because he doesn't think that there is anything wrong.

He doesn't think that there was anything wrong with calling his daughter a f'ing retard in front of my entire family. He doesn't think there was anything wrong with scratching the side of my brand new vehicle with the handle of the lawn mower - after all "I" parked it too close to the edge of the driveway.

I want out, but can't financially afford to go.

Will he change - never. Will my feelings for him change - never. ever.
Ever called a hotline katc? Ever confided in a family member or a friend?

Do you work? Do you have children?

Maybe you should start a new thread so you can get specific support just for yourself.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:32 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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I want out, but can't financially afford to go.
What are you doing to change that?
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:16 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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The thing that is worrying is that it could be dangerous to the poster who is being abused as she/he could use this as a excuse for the behavior.
As I said, "Although BPD may explain a person's abusive behavior, it certainly does not excuse it." I am confident that AngelsMom is sufficiently intelligent to understand this simple concept. What I find "worrisome" is the notion that acquiring knowledge -- in particular, trying to better understand the dynamics of a 17 year relationship -- is dangerous.
Quote:
Understanding why someone abuses does NOTHING to stop it.
Nobody here has claimed that it would. There is nothing that AngelsMom can do to control or fix her H. The objective -- for all the posters on this thread -- is to help her STAY AWAY from him, not change him.
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However to educate yourself as to why you tolerate it is a win/win and can help break the cycle.
As I explained above, most folks who have been living with abuse for many years are strongly codependent. Yet, because codependents are convinced they are "only trying to help the sick loved one," they usually are unable to see how dysfunctional their behavior is until they first understand that it is impossible for them to fix or help their spouses. Certainly, this was the case with me. And I have seen it to be the case with hundreds of others trapped in a toxic, abusive relationship. Hence, understanding the relationship dynamic frees them from the guilt and shame that are preventing them from leaving. In this case, the OP has already left and she fears her guilt will cause her to accept the H back.
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In the end, it doesn't matter why someone is doing the abusing, personality disorder or not, it's still ABUSE and the victim needs to get OUT.
You have already stated this several times and everybody in the thread has repeatedly agreed. Indeed, the OP agreed in her very first post. She said she had already left her H because of the behavior she ALREADY KNEW was abusive. The problem, then, is that she was afraid her overpowering guilt might lead her to accept him back. She therefore is asking us to help her with that guilt.

Granted, telling an OP "Your H's abusive behavior is abusive" twenty times can be very helpful to those OPs coming here for simple validation of what they have already decided to do. For those who have been tolerating abuse for 17 years, however, they are usually seeking knowledge -- not just a pat on the back. The beauty of this forum is that many members with diverse experiences and backgrounds can offer a variety of suggestions. The OP then has the opportunity to pick and choose what seems to work best for her at this point in her life.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:36 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do emotional/verbal abusers change?

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As I said, "Although BPD may explain a person's abusive behavior, it certainly does not excuse it." I am confident that AngelsMom is sufficiently intelligent to understand this simple concept. What I find "worrisome" is the notion that acquiring knowledge -- in particular, trying to better understand the dynamics of a 17 year relationship -- is dangerous.Nobody here has claimed that it would. There is nothing that AngelsMom can do to control or fix her H. The objective -- for all the posters on this thread -- is to help her STAY AWAY from him, not change him. As I explained above, most folks who have been living with abuse for many years are strongly codependent. Yet, because codependents are convinced they are "only trying to help the sick loved one," they usually are unable to see how dysfunctional their behavior is until they first understand that it is impossible for them to fix or help their spouses. Certainly, this was the case with me. And I have seen it to be the case with hundreds of others trapped in a toxic, abusive relationship. Hence, understanding the relationship dynamic frees them from the guilt and shame that are preventing them from leaving. In this case, the OP has already left and she fears her guilt will cause her to accept the H back.You have already stated this several times and everybody in the thread has repeatedly agreed. Indeed, the OP agreed in her very first post. She said she had already left her H because of the behavior she ALREADY KNEW was abusive. The problem, then, is that she was afraid her overpowering guilt might lead her to accept him back. She therefore is asking us to help her with that guilt.

Granted, telling an OP "Your H's abusive behavior is abusive" twenty times can be very helpful to those OPs coming here for simple validation of what they have already decided to do. For those who have been tolerating abuse for 17 years, however, they are usually seeking knowledge -- not just a pat on the back. The beauty of this forum is that many members with diverse experiences and backgrounds can offer a variety of suggestions. The OP then has the opportunity to pick and choose what seems to work best for her at this point in her life.


Granted you made some good points about codependency, etc. but gouging at me in a long post is not helpful to me, however the info might be helpful to the op.

And I didn't say it 20 times.

I stand by my post.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:23 AM   #45 (permalink)
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For those who have been tolerating abuse for 17 years, however, they are usually seeking knowledge -- not just a pat on the back. The beauty of this forum is that many members with diverse experiences and backgrounds can offer a variety of suggestions. The OP then has the opportunity to pick and choose what seems to work best for her at this point in her life.
Shout out Uptown. After 10+ years of our abusive marriage my wife managed to escalate her abuse to its zenith by filing and having me served with divorce papers. I went on vacation the next day with the kids for a week and when I returned I made a reasonable counteroffer and told her she could go. A couple hours later she wants to make up. What is going on here? She never really wanted to leave in the first place, she just wanted to use the family law system to beat me with a bigger stick to get her way over something she had almost completely forgotten what it was. Pretty sick. So do I just throw her out? No way. I proceed to treat her far nicer than anyone would deserve. She agrees to go to counseling and we went yesterday where we both agreed to treat each other respectfully. She is giving it a shot, even if it has only been one day. Last night she committed to pray with me on a daily basis and we would read God's word together for 10 or 15 minutes. Are we out of the woods? No. Do we have a light and a compass? Yes. I'm optimistic and my heart is full of joy. Everyone hope for the best. I certainly believe abusive people can change and we have one day and counting
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