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"New Mamas of Spirtual Awakening in Our Marriages" roll call - Page 8

post #141 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinx

I think at the beginning of a relationship we attract and desire a person who is on our same level emotionally (whether it is initially visible or not). Then in many relationships one partner, for whatever reasons, begins to flow a different direction - changes in ways that the other partner cannot relate to. The two further diverge, and unless they can find another common meeting place, the relationship becomes (or seems) irreconcilable. Maybe we are meant to flow on? Maybe marriage is not the final word for some of us?

this is true in my case and I feel so ready to flow on
post #142 of 236
Allgirls & May May~ You both figured me out pretty quick ! I am a gemini so you would think I would be great at communicating. But, I am also very sensitive and emotional. I am going to work on *how* I am communicating much more and make sure my intention is coming from a place of love, I know I could respond much better and communicate much better if I put the intention there.
post #143 of 236
MayMay- thank you for sharing your painful and powerful story. Your loss is symbolic of all the losses of beautiful and powerful women in our lives.

This topic sure has gotten tough, hasn't it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May

I'm curious, Maureen, what is it that you've seen as ineffective in domestic violence work?
Quote:
Btw, the woman you describe in the abusive couple you're working with sounds to me like a borderline personality.
See this is the hard part... her abuse is just like the abuse most men do. She is controling and mean when she doesn't get her way. Nothing borderline about her. That would perhaps be easier or at least make more sense. She doesn't have feelings of emptiness or self hate or fear of abandonment. She says she is a spoiled brat. For me the difficulty is that this case challenges my personal sexism. Had he come in alone and told me this story I likely would have doubted his victimization- looked for his part in the cycle. I never would do this with a woman. (Actually I did have a client whose abuse I doubted because her story was very inconsistent and she turned out to be borderline and was greatly exaggerating her situation and not being honest about her own behavior but that is another story.) But in the first case, I expect so much more from him than I would a woman in being able to put a stop to her abuse or set limits or perhaps to walk away. Instead, they are pregnant again. He somehow convinced that giving into her about another child might help their marriage. I had so hoped he would hold out until she got her behavior under control.

Domestic violence is complicated because people are complicated. There are abusive men, their are abusive women. Their are men who are misogynists, who hate their wives, who enjoy power through their abuse. Their are men who are abusive out of frustration and poor impulse control. And when women are murdered... it is almost always at the hands of her partner.

Honestly, most people fight pretty nasty when they are mad. We say awfull things, we bring up the past, we threaten, we withhold sex, we lie, we get defensive, we blame and attack. I see so many people struggling to create some new form of marriage, something not like the marriage of their parents. But we get pulled into the old stuff.

I think we need to help differentiate the dangerous relationships that women need to get out of at any cost and the "normal" relationship struggles which can be addressed in therapy and can be repaired. And I don't think the difference is hitting or not. Hitting is always wrong but it is not always a symptom of a highly destructive, misogynistic relationship. And not hitting is no badge of honor. I know of a man who shot and killed himself and his wife and had never laid a hand on her. And as in the story MayMay shared, a woman destroyed to the point of suicide is a murder in its own way.

If people ended all relationships where there is abuse of some kind, verbal-emotional-physical-sexual... I doubt any marriage would make it. But I believe in marriage. I believe that people want to create healthier options for their partnerships. I don't think divorce makes very many people happy at least in the long run. I wish we could help people pick better... do the research and make sure they don't marry or have kids with someone that is never going to be committed to them and their families.

Ultimately as I am just rambling on and on... I wish it was easier to tell people that their relationship is wrong and they should get out or right and they should hang in their. So many people give up too easily, not knowing how to improve their marriage and take responsibility for their own happiness and so many people hang on for so long when they are destroying themselves and their children.
post #144 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
I wish it was easier to tell people that their relationship is wrong and they should get out or right and they should hang in their. So many people give up too easily, not knowing how to improve their marriage and take responsibility for their own happiness and so many people hang on for so long when they are destroying themselves and their children.


Yes! this is the problem....I suppose part of life is taking these risks, hoping you get it right in the end.
post #145 of 236
OMG - the "gaslighting" thing!! I have felt that way for years...it's a real thing, then? Oh jeeze. What a mess.

I am in deep. My marriage is ending - 12 years, two beautiful children ages 8 and 5. He's filed for divorce and custody. My life is in shambles and it will take every single ounce of strength I have to come out of this. I totally understand.

I won't spend a lot of time here - seeing as it's about marriage enlightenment...cuz' I really don't have much of that. But please keep me and those beautiful children in your thoughts and prayers.

And keep writing. This is important, important work.
post #146 of 236
Loved.......I'm so sorry you are going through this. I think you should write in here whenever you need to. Keep us posted.


Lisa
x
post #147 of 236
Thread Starter 
Loved~~

I'm so sorry you are going thru this, you will all be in my thoughts and prayers

dont stop posting, you need support thru this...I was thinking of starting a divorce/separation support thread (?) as I am about to see a lawyer and get ready to leave my marriage.

blessings~~
post #148 of 236
Mystic-mama


sending you lots of strength and good stuff.

xxx
post #149 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
Their are men who are abusive out of frustration and poor impulse control.
Not according to Lundy Bancroft:



Quote:
Once you grasp the nature of entitlement, the following concept about the abusive man becomes clear:

HE ISN'T ABUSIVE BECAUSE HE IS ANGRY; HE'S ANGRY BECAUSE HE IS ABUSIVE.


The abuser's unfair and unrealistic expectations ensure that his partner can never follow all of his rules or meet all of his demands. The result is that he is frequently angry or enraged.
post #150 of 236
I really appreciate that you can have this tough conversation, about things you feel so passionately about, and allow me to challenge and disagree. I think you show an amazing understanding of the dynamics of personality disorders and will certainly consider the narcisistic label. That's one I have personal experience with as well and may fit although sadly it wouldn't be good news for her, as I would if she is unable to really understand her husband's experience of her abuse, it is highly unlikely that she will change.

One thing to think about is that you are almost defending her abusiveness as coming from her abusive history and then saying that their is no excuse for abusiveness from men. Or do you think hitting is different than emotional abuse?

Do you think that all parent's that lose their temper and hit their kids are abusive? I don't. I think that all hitting is abusive behavior, but not all people who hit are abusive people. And believe me, lots of women hit their husbands but few husbands are truely abused spouses. Just a few things to think about.

As to misogyny, can you tell me how you figured out that your husband didn't just hate you, he hated you for your womanhood? I think that would be really hard to tell in therapy. I am very good at identifying abuse and manipulation, years of domestic abuse work does help that. And I don't supppose in marital work it would really matter if he hated her or hated all women- she needs out. But in theory, this fascinates me.

Thanks for a wonderful discussion.

Maureen
post #151 of 236
OK I had just to ask this...I had a really weird thought today.

" I wish he would hit me so I could just leave."

He never has, he's been aggressive and pushed, but never hit. I just thought it was a strange thing to want. It's like I need a really big excuse to leave, because things are ok right now, it feels weird.

Anyone else ever thought anything like this? Or have I finally lost my marbles?
post #152 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlpetitte
Allgirls & May May~ You both figured me out pretty quick ! I am a gemini so you would think I would be great at communicating. But, I am also very sensitive and emotional. I am going to work on *how* I am communicating much more and make sure my intention is coming from a place of love, I know I could respond much better and communicate much better if I put the intention there.

I have a daughter who is a gemini...she is 11...gemini the twin...you gotta get those two sides of you working together...that's the trick!
post #153 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by loved
OMG - the "gaslighting" thing!! I have felt that way for years...it's a real thing, then? Oh jeeze. What a mess.

I am in deep. My marriage is ending - 12 years, two beautiful children ages 8 and 5. He's filed for divorce and custody. My life is in shambles and it will take every single ounce of strength I have to come out of this. I totally understand.

I won't spend a lot of time here - seeing as it's about marriage enlightenment...cuz' I really don't have much of that. But please keep me and those beautiful children in your thoughts and prayers.

And keep writing. This is important, important work.
I have been there it is so difficult and so worth it...you will end up better off in the end...fight for your children...you are the one who can do the most for them as a parent.

and you need to stay here...you will still have to deal with this person(though it is rather freeing to know you can hang up the phone if they get abusive)..most of what I learn here I use to deal with my ex husband...my new husband is a wonderful man.

I remember looking around my teeny little apartment about a month after I moved in...my 2 girls asleep, sitting alone...and looking around and feeling "peace" for the first time in years. That's when I knew it was worth it.

Mystic Mama...get a lawyer...that was my biggest mistake...I waited too long and had a bigger fight than I needed to have..
post #154 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa72
OK I had just to ask this...I had a really weird thought today.

" I wish he would hit me so I could just leave."

He never has, he's been aggressive and pushed, but never hit. I just thought it was a strange thing to want. It's like I need a really big excuse to leave, because things are ok right now, it feels weird.

Anyone else ever thought anything like this? Or have I finally lost my marbles?

I read this book about long term (over 40 year) marriages and the author said that the secret was that women often fantasize about their husband dying. That is the ultimate win. You get to keep the house, the money, the kids.. you don't have to "fail" at marriage and everyone feels bad for you. And that is even true in great and powerful marriages. It is just a fantasy.

Now... I don't think you are losing your marbles but I don't think that your plan has much integrity. I don't think getting hit is a get out of jail free card. If you want out... guess what? You need to do the right thing, even if it is the hardest thing in the world to do.

Good luck.
post #155 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls

One thing to think about is that you are almost defending her abusiveness as coming from her abusive history and then saying that their is no excuse for abusiveness from men.

Definately not 'defending' anyone. In fact, if I were friends with these people, I'd encourage the man to develop his own support system, because I know just how difficult dealing with personality disorders can be.

I pointed out my theory about the woman's behavior not to 'defend' her, but to point out that there can be different causes, different roots, to abusive behavior. Nothing 'excuses' abusive behavior, but there are vastly different responses necessary, from a professional standpoint such as yours, when diagnosing and responding to abusive situations.


I will repeat something (from a pp I made):

All misogynists are abusive, but not all abusive behaviors are misogynistic.




Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
Do you think that all parent's that lose their temper and hit their kids are abusive? I don't. I think that all hitting is abusive behavior, but not all people who hit are abusive people. And believe me, lots of women hit their husbands but few husbands are truely abused spouses. Just a few things to think about.

ITA with this paragraph, but I want to add something important:

The women who hit their spouses. .

I would strongly suggest that you look carefully into this behavior before judging the situation. Often times, the woman is responding to chronic, pervasive manipulative efforts and abusive behavior, mind games, etc. on behalf of the man. No, it does not 'excuse' her hitting him. What it does do, though, is reinforce the label of 'hysteria' and 'overreacting' that is often put on women in abusive situations who are reacting in a predictable way that any healthy, normal person may do under the same circumstances.

I would like to recommend that you study the truth about modern psychology's foundation in Oedipal theory. If you do some digging, it is possible to uncover available proof that the Oedipus complex is really a cover up that Freud devised when he buckled under heavy pressure from his colleagues due to their loyalty to their patients with their 'excellent reputations.' The truth reveals quite a patriarchal rationale behind the background and foundation of modern psychology.



~
I do not believe that *hate* is a part of anyone's 'normal' marital disputes. I would take it at face value. JMO.

And yes, there are subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) cues to a man's misogynistic views. But keep in mind that, in 2005, the majority of misogynists deliberately hide their views and behaviors steadfastly because they know it is no longer socially acceptable to wear these attitudes blatantly on their sleaves. This IS progress, but it makes it even harder to detect the patterns, unfortunately.




Maureen,

to Lisa you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
I read this book about long term (over 40 year) marriages and the author said that the secret was that women often fantasize about their husband dying. That is the ultimate win. You get to keep the house, the money, the kids.. you don't have to "fail" at marriage and everyone feels bad for you. And that is even true in great and powerful marriages. It is just a fantasy.

Now... I don't think you are losing your marbles but I don't think that your plan has much integrity. I don't think getting hit is a get out of jail free card. If you want out... guess what? You need to do the right thing, even if it is the hardest thing in the world to do.

Good luck.


And I am willing to bet that any woman in this day and age who has lived through 40 years of marriage and is here to tell about it has been struggling personally, deeply with the effects of patriarchy throughout her life (if she's not in complete denial of it, as many elder women are, imo).

Think about it: we come from thick, pervasive patriarchal roots. Things, *NOW* are 'better than they've ever been,' thanks to progress and evolution, but there's still a long, long way to go.

These women have these 'fantasies' because, in their generation, divorce was *unacceptable* so they trodded on, miserably oppressed for 40 years, using 'fantasies' as a means of survival to avoid literally losing their freaking minds. It's the same survival method slaves used in days gone by, as well as POWs. And these are the women who are conscious of it all; the rest are in denial, which is a classic symptom of trauma survival and identifying with the abuser as a means of survival; to use a psychological term, it is 'disassociation.'

My grandmother was one of these women, in regards to her marriage. An immigrant who was faithfully and dutifully married to my grotesquely abusive grandfather for 66 years, she knew no other way to live but like the way you describe; 'concocting secret fantasies.' On her death bed, she could not wait to die in order to escape the misery she had endured for the majority of her life. If that isn't victimhood personified, I don't know what is.


Also, I'd like to say that your theory about "the ultimate win" is outright dangerous, being that you counsel couples professionally. Please, please do not say that to women in my shoes or Lisa's shoes. That theory is actually the battle cry of the abuser. It is the classic, textbook scenario in abusive marriages that spans well beyond the realm of speculative acquaintances and into the arenas of judges, psychologists, custodial evaluators, police, family, friends, etc. . and it is exactly the thing you're accusing the woman of, here.

You're basically taking the bait of abusive men everywhere if you believe in this concept.



**LISA**

I cannot stress with enough intensity that what you're feeling is NORMAL for women going through what you've described with your husband. The reason is because mind games are particularly insidious; you can't quite put your finger on what's happening, and generally there is just this overwhelming feeling that your judgement is clouded, or even that you're going crazy. Add to that the very real fact that your husband is, in fact, not a monster, he is indeed human and probably does good things, too. It confuses you. It makes you doubt your perceptions.

So when you mix all that together in your mind, combined with outside sources being unaware of your trials or, worse, in denial of it, and it comes out feeling like you don't have any *proof* to substantiate the fact that he is abusing you. So you wish for him to hit you so that you can say to yourself, "That is my proof."


It's totally, totally logical and justified to feel that way, Lisa.






Maureen, I'd like you to read this excerpt on ~

The Myth of Neutrality

by Lundy Bancroft


Quote:
It is not possible to be truly balanced in one's views of an abuser and an abused woman. As Dr. Judith Herman explains eloquently in her masterwork Trauma and Recovery, "neutrality" actually serves the interests of the perpetrator much more than those of the victim and so is not neutral. Although an abuser prefers to have you wholeheartedly on his side, he will settle contentedly for your decision to take a middle stance. To him, that means you see the couple's problems as partly her fault and partly his fault, which means it isn't abuse.

In reality, to remain neutral is to collude with the abusive man, whether or not that is your goal. If you are aware of chronic or severe mistreatment and do not speak out against it, your silence communicates implicitly that you see nothing unacceptable taking place. Abusers interpret silence as approval, or at least as forgiveness. To abused women, meanwhile, the silence means that no one will help -- just what her partner wants her to believe. Anyone who chooses to quietly look the other way therefore unwittingly becomes the abuser's ally.

Breaking the silence does not necessarily mean criticizing or confronting the abuser regarding his behavior. It certainly doesn't mean going to him with anything you have learned from her, because the abuser will retaliate against her for talking about his behavior to other people. It does mean telling the abused woman privately that you don't like the way he is treating her and that she doesn't deserve it, no matter what she has done. And if you see or hear violence or threats, it means calling the police.

He goes on to talk about how society goes on to adopt the abuser's perspective; how people give 'accidental support' to the abuser. For example:

Quote:
The person who says to the abused woman: "You should show him some compassion even if he has done bad things. Don't forget that he's a human being too."

I have almost never worked with an abused woman who overlooked her partner's humanity. The problem is the reverse: He forgets her humanity. Acknowledging his abusiveness and speaking forcefully and honestly about how he has hurt her is indispensable to her recovery. It is the abuser's perspective that she is being mean to him by speaking bluntly about the damage he has done. To suggest to her that his need for compassion should come before her right to live free from abuse is consistent with the abuser's outlook. I have repeatedly seen the tendency among friends and acquaintances of an abused woman to feel that it is their responsibility to make sure that she realizes what a good person he really is inside -- in other words, to stay focused on his needs rather than on her own, which is a mistake. People who wish to help an abused woman should instead be telling her what a good person she is.
post #156 of 236
MayMay, MsMoMpls,


Thank you for the wise words.


MsMopls, I know there is no integrity to that thought and yes I have read about the husband dying fantasy, been there too. Of course I do not want to be hit by him, I just wondered what brought me to that kind of thinking.
You are absolutely right, I (along with many other women) just have to have the guts to do the right thing. Thank you.


MayMay you answered my question.

The Lundy Bancroft quote made a lot of sense too


"Although an abuser prefers to have you wholeheartedly on his side, he will settle contentedly for your decision to take a middle stance. To him, that means you see the couple's problems as partly her fault and partly his fault, which means it isn't abuse."

He will say anything to make sure he is "on top" When I stop talking about it he assumes all is well and I should be happy, not thoughtful or sad.

I'm pretty sure he would be delighted with a Stepford Wife.

It is ALL so subtle, I spend part of the time wondering if I am ungrateful or over sensitve.

Thanks ladies
post #157 of 236
Oh holy cow - what an amazing conversation!

It makes me feel almost alive again.
post #158 of 236
post #159 of 236
Also, misogyny is belief-system oriented, it's not psychology/emotional.


I think I am with a misogynist!!!

What can I do???

I have finally started to notice that his beliefs about being a mom and a woman are off. He has a very sexist view of SAHM's, motherhood, and being a man in a household.

My councilor said that he may not be aware of his "beliefs" since his words do not match his behaviors.

I just feel right now. I really would like to see my marriage work.......it feels so off though.
post #160 of 236
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