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Topic : 08/21 Anatomy of Abuse

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Created on : Friday, May 11, 2007, 02:29:26 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 05/16/07) What would you do if your spouse belittled you and threatened your life? For women who have ever endured verbal, physical or emotional abuse in a relationship, Dr. Phil helps break the silence. Amy says her husband, Lee, is volatile and dangerous. She says he has choked and kicked her, and even held a knife to her throat! Lee’s mother, Sandy, says Amy and Lee argue constantly, but they’ve never been physical. How does she react when Dr. Phil plays a tape of Lee confessing his abusive ways? Then, Amy’s parents, Cynthia and Stan, fear for their daughter’s life and don’t think she’s providing a safe environment for her kids. Amy says she loves her husband and wants her folks to butt out. What does Dr. Phil think? And, Lee joins the show via satellite because he’s on probation for a domestic violence charge, and cannot leave the state. He admits to having anger issues but says he’s working to control them. Can Lee change his violent ways? Is it possible to rebound from being with an abuser? Tell us what you think.

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May 13, 2007, 5:56 pm CDT

05/16 Anatomy of Abuse

Quote From: ceildh1

Good for you, you deserve to be happy as do your children.

If he wants to blame you and your friends, well there's nothing you can do to stop it, all you can do is do everything you can to keep you and them safe, and happy.

I really hope you stick to it and DON'T take him back, you do not deserve that treatment neither do your children.

Good Luck to you

Good for you!  Leaving is the hardest part - he will be charming, he may blame you, but you are worth something to others as well as those precious children.  Turn a deaf ear to his empty words and go to a shelter or a church to get the help that you need.  There is alot of help for the victims of abuse - they will help you get on your feet, help keep you safe and help you start over.  STAY STRONG!  You deserve it
May 13, 2007, 6:14 pm CDT


The brain is involved in everything we do. How we think, how we feel, how we act, and how well we get along with other people is related to the moment-by-moment functioning of the brain. When the brain works right, people tend to work right. When the brain is troubled, people tend to struggle being their best selves.  Some of my favorite books that provide a great introduction and insight into personality types most capable of repeated infidelity are:



Why is it Always About You?  The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss OR Emotional Blackmail:  When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You by Susan Forward


Malignant Self Love:  Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin MAYBE The Professional Bachelor Dating Guide - How to Exploit Her Inner Psycho by Dr Brett Tate


Get Me Out of Here:  My Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder by Rachel Reiland OR The Angry Heart by Joseph Santoro and Ronald Cohen


Emotional Unavailability:  Recognizing It, Understanding It and Avoiding Its Trap by Bryn Collins OR Healing Anxiety and Depression (7 types of anxiety and depression) by Daniel G. Amen and Lisa Routh


How to Journal for Therapy:



Though harder to spot, emotional abuse is easier to deny.  But just as physical and sexual abuse have signposts to mark their presence, emotional abuse, being a systematic attack on one's sense of self, has common traits.  Just as physical and sexual abuse come in degrees of severity, emotional abuse runs the gamut of intensity and damage.



Hope it helps!



May 13, 2007, 6:30 pm CDT

abusive spouses

How much do you value your life? If my husband treated me in that manner I would call the police, my Mom, my sisters anyone else I could think of and get the man OUT!  You are worth so much more than that. There is NO WAY I would stand for abuse of any kind.


I know you think you love this man. Believe me, you don't know what love is if this is your idea of it. Do not stay another minute! There is no reason to! You are a wonderful human being with every right to expect respect and love. A man who abuses you is not in love with you, he is in love with power. You do not love him, you are afraid of him! Love is not made in FEAR! Get out NOW! You are worth EVERYTHING! You do not need to keep someone who does not respect that.


Please do not bend! You need to protect and respect yourself.

May 13, 2007, 6:37 pm CDT

05/16 Anatomy of Abuse

Quote From: tangerines

Lots of people seem to think only women and children are abused my their male spouse.  However, there are lots of other spouse type and family abuse. 

 I lived with a gay lover who abused me.  This lasted for over 10 years.

 Once I got the courage to run away and never go back, I was able to learn love myself for the good person I'am and always was. NO ONE will ever abuse emotionally, verbally, or physically again.  I will not stand for it,  not even for one second.

You are so strong and so right! NO ONE has the right to abuse you or your children! I am so proud of you for coming to this conclusion! NO ONE has the right to abuse ANYONE else! I am so happy to see that you escaped this horrible relationship and became who you really are. GOOD JOB!
May 13, 2007, 6:46 pm CDT

Hi Dr.Phil

Dr.Phil, I was a victim of abuse for seven years. And to be honest with you I'm still going through it.I  try to have a relationship and it seems everytime the past comes up and bites me in the butt. I still have nightmares .I stay depressed because I'm lonely.I'm just scared to get into a relationship, but then again I want to be in one because I'm lonely.Dr.Phil can you help me? And I believe abusers never change especially if you have kids with the abuser. Because then they want to hold the kids over you when you want to move on their like no thats my kid and you cant do this or that so they still in away have control but some people dont see that.But about your show coming up I hope you can help that lady also..


I love your show and I want to say Thanks for being you!


Robin Ann

May 13, 2007, 6:55 pm CDT

That was my point

Quote From: sorrows

Sometimes you can't- laws , no money etc,

Sometimes it is Betrayal/Trauma/Stockholm Bond (syndrome

Sometimes it's all you know- so you do what you know -

Sometimes you lose custody if you leave -


Only a few are prepared to lose everything -just in the hopes of staying alive-and thus showing by actions that horrendous abuse is - unacceptable.


To refute all the folks who scream "Get out, get out!", as if it is so simple, only a moron would stay and take it. There are a lot of external realities and internal thought processes that weigh into the decision to stay or go.


Again, we will see more once the show airs. It should be quite informative.

May 13, 2007, 7:02 pm CDT

5/16 Anatomy of Abuse

This mother needs to get out of this relationship before her children and/or her ends up DEAD.


I have been there and ESCAPED WITH MY LIFE AND THE LOSS OF MY CHILDREN. Today, in my mid 50's I am a very angry person who prefers being by myself than around anyone. Although it does get lonely without companionship, I prefer it because this world is SO FULL OF HATE and the desire to hurt one another. I need to go, even after many years I still can not deal with the pain.


God bless you and do get away from this relationship, before it destroys you.

May 13, 2007, 8:05 pm CDT

Abuse.Leave immidiatly

 I would not stay marry ,for any physical abuse ,and verbal abuse leaves scars in the soul,i will leave him immediately ,treatment is not going to help him .Specially if i have children ,i would not expose my kids to any kind of abuse , because kids mimic behavior from their parents .
May 13, 2007, 9:11 pm CDT

Anatomy of Abuse

I have watched several people that I love deal with the anatomy of abuse in their relationships.  It is never acceptable and breaks my heart.  The subtle insinuations which twist a person's concept of self, self-worth, and place in humanity can be especially destructive.  It affects not only one's day to day capacity for success, peace, and fulfillment, but it twists future interactions, reactions, development, and concepts.


I have watched my son writhe in inward pain under the constant barrage of verbal garbage from an adult "role model."  This person, while no longer a part of his circle of influence, instilled deep doubt of self-worth, ability, potentional, and the right to seek peace and happiness.  Through theraputic help, he is slowly overcoming this abusive tirad and is beginning to believe in himself again.


My neice is presently going through abuse at the hands of her spouse.  For three years he has blamed every misfortune, every wrong decision, every poor choice he has made on her.  She failed him--she caused him--she didn't support him--she is always at fault, but SHE IS NOT.  Through the support of people who love her, a spiritual advisor, the Dr. Phil Show, Oprah, and the Oprah and Friends XM Radio programs, she has come to realize that SHE IS NOT the problem and that life does not have to be lived this way.


Presently, she has filed for divorce.  She refuses to accept responsibiity for his failures, listen to his abuse, allow him into her space, and avoid responsibility for himself.  His efforts to reduce her to his level are finally losing their power over her and she is rising up from the ashes of his volcanic life.


Has she "arrived" yet?  No, but she is walking the path to recovery.  Whenever she stumbles, one of those of us who love her will be there to help her up again.


Dr. Phil, the cycle of violence and abuse is stopping here.  Thank you for helping her to see others who are overcoming.  It gives her the courage to overcome also.

May 13, 2007, 11:54 pm CDT

They will never change

Quote From: mgrlady

No he will not change.  She and the kids may very well end up dead.


Abusers don't/won't change their ways the MAJORITY of the time.

I have been told by pastors to pray and God will change them. Tomorrow the Pastor is praying at the funeral for the wife and children he shot !!!!  She needs to pray for God to give HER strength to get herself and her children out of the situation she is in - he will never change.  I have been told they mellow with the years.  No..... they learn how to sceem and manipulate EVERYONE - even psychologysts over the years to perfect their GAME.  Yes there is life after being with an abuser - however she needs to never have contact with him ever again and the children need to never have contact with him ever again - they need to normalize and get away from the mind games, emotional and psychologycal games he inflicts on them ........ causing doubt and confusion in their minds despite what they know in their gut to be true.  She knows in her gut she needs to take her kids and leave - she is more afraid of him than anything you can say or do to her Doc. Phil.
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