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Topic : 11/20 Spouses at War

Number of Replies: 76
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Created on : Friday, November 14, 2008, 03:18:56 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
From the outside they appear to be a perfect couple – successful, affluent and respected in the community. But behind closed doors, Jake and Donna’s knock-down, drag-out fights are driving them to the brink of divorce. Donna says that Jake’s abusive temper ranges from terrible verbal insults, to threatening to push her over a second-story railing, to waving a gun around! Though his apologies come with elaborate gifts, Donna says she just wants the abuse to end. Meanwhile, Jake says Donna is controlling, in the marriage for the money and cold to their adopted 7-year-old daughters.  What does the rest of the family think? You may be surprised by what Jake’s stepdaughter has to say. See how this couple’s constant power struggle is crippling their 20-year marriage. Can they cease their battle for control and rebuild their union,or will they both walk away losers? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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November 21, 2008, 10:51 am CST

11/20 Spouses at War

This show was me and my husband to a tee.  My husband changed jobs 10 years ago this month.  After the first year on the job he really changed.  He went from working with all women to working with men and women who cheated on their spouses constantly.  It was at that time when he started being verbally and emotionally abusive.  After counseling and many days and nights of crying, I started standing up for myself.   That created different problems but after a while, he finally got the hint that I wasn't going to allow him to treat me that way.  Then he found and read my journal.  He didn't say anything for a while but when he did, he accused me of making him look like a "really bad husband."  It didn't matter that what I had written in my journal was how he made me feel from all his abuse.  All that mattered to him was that I made him look like the bad guy.   Now when we argue, his famous last line is that I'm competing with him for control.  My response is that I'm not competing with him, I'm just standing up for myself. 

 

I have spent many days asking myself why my husband always starts a fight.  Then I watched this show and thought, OMG,  that's my husband.   He is so worried that I'm going to cheat on him because everyone he works with cheats on their spouses; and he's so worried that I might leave him because of what he read in my journal.  So in order for him to find out if I'll ever do either of those things, he picks a fight to see if I'll call it quits or not.   During the last  nine years, every time we fought, (and there were some really ugly fights), I was always the one who patched things up to keep the marriage together.  When our children were younger, I told him that I would do anything and everything to keep our marriage together.  I have learned a lot since then and believe me, I will never say that again. 

 

After nine years of verbal and emotional abuse, I've had about as much as I ccn take.  My husband has  finally worn me out.  I'm almost to the point of telling him that if he doesn't back off, it's over.  Nine years is a long time.  I can't take much more. 

 
November 21, 2008, 11:16 am CST

I dunno, a gun waver? a spendaholic?

this was one of those "every white trash scenario you can come up with" shows....ridiculous name calling and money spending.  I never got a good feel for either one of them.

 

6  years is a LONG time to wait for final adoption, almost cruel to everyone involved, therapy should have been part of that situation from the start. 

 

there is just nothing nice to say about a gun waver, no excuse for that, and a gun waver is going to accidentally shoot someone someday (see Phil Specter).....There was an incident in Atlanta years ago where a 17yr old boy and his father shot each other dead.  Now the mother kept saying about the father that "he had never hit me before", yet the 17 yr old son KNEW he needed to enter that room with a gun.  Why?  I would bet because his father was a stupid gun waver, prob tortured his mother like that for years....so sad. 

Love, Luanne

 

 
November 21, 2008, 12:51 pm CST

I'm curious?

Quote From: shmigelz

Shows like this make my blood boil. I CHOOSE work 110 hours/week. I have too much self pride...

So Donna has been divorced 2 times before, and now as she is JOBLESS the 3rd marriage around, why is GODS ***** name does he pay for 'domestic support?" What in the hell does this Donna do? Dude kick her out now, get divorced, shes got nothing to offer, does nothing, that will wake her up quick. Its ok she will move back into her parents home....

Wow shes PATHETIC! yes you DONNA!
Do you believe that all wives should hold down a job at all times? Gee, if you do I'm sure glad that I'm not married to you. My husband has never once expected me to work. When I have brought up looking for a job in the past he would always say to me "do what makes you happy". I never had pressure one way or another and I always had his respect. We also never had any children. Now of course I am unable to work and receive a SSD check every month that contributes to the household, not that it matters. The funny part in this whole thing is the fact that we are very happily married and my husband isn't walking around with a huge chip on his shoulder like you are. It almost sounds as if you hate women. I wonder what someone has done to you in the past to have made you such an angry person?
 
November 21, 2008, 5:10 pm CST

11/20 Spouses at War

Quote From: efffy_

I do not remember my parents ever raising their voices in anger either. I was taught that no one hears you when you are yelling, and that you have no right to scare your children. I adore my husband, and I would rather cut off an arm then hurt him. Well, that is kinda gross but you get the idea. I bite my tongue, go for a walk, mash the living bejeebies outta the potatoes, until I am calm enough to deal with him like he is the man I love. I don't think it's ever good to yell or rage.
I don't remember my parents yelling either but I just knew there was tension going on. I just felt it. I was kind of scared by the tension. Geez, I was young too. And now my mother is 94 and she's telling me things that my father did. OMG, I just new something wasn't right. I loved and still love my father to this day but she stayed together only because she took the Catholic vows and wouldn't break it for nothing.... no matter what. Not a good life. And I don't know weather to thank you Dr. Phil for bringing this topic up, or not.  It makes me think way deep down in there. Maybe that's the way I am today with my hubby for 24 yrs.
 
November 21, 2008, 5:19 pm CST

11/20 Spouses at War

Quote From: confused110

This show was me and my husband to a tee.  My husband changed jobs 10 years ago this month.  After the first year on the job he really changed.  He went from working with all women to working with men and women who cheated on their spouses constantly.  It was at that time when he started being verbally and emotionally abusive.  After counseling and many days and nights of crying, I started standing up for myself.   That created different problems but after a while, he finally got the hint that I wasn't going to allow him to treat me that way.  Then he found and read my journal.  He didn't say anything for a while but when he did, he accused me of making him look like a "really bad husband."  It didn't matter that what I had written in my journal was how he made me feel from all his abuse.  All that mattered to him was that I made him look like the bad guy.   Now when we argue, his famous last line is that I'm competing with him for control.  My response is that I'm not competing with him, I'm just standing up for myself. 

 

I have spent many days asking myself why my husband always starts a fight.  Then I watched this show and thought, OMG,  that's my husband.   He is so worried that I'm going to cheat on him because everyone he works with cheats on their spouses; and he's so worried that I might leave him because of what he read in my journal.  So in order for him to find out if I'll ever do either of those things, he picks a fight to see if I'll call it quits or not.   During the last  nine years, every time we fought, (and there were some really ugly fights), I was always the one who patched things up to keep the marriage together.  When our children were younger, I told him that I would do anything and everything to keep our marriage together.  I have learned a lot since then and believe me, I will never say that again. 

 

After nine years of verbal and emotional abuse, I've had about as much as I ccn take.  My husband has  finally worn me out.  I'm almost to the point of telling him that if he doesn't back off, it's over.  Nine years is a long time.  I can't take much more. 

   My father was very controlling and hot tempered. He knew what he wanted from life and was a go-getter. My mother was the quiet mouse who was afraid to say anything. She was "stuck" due to her lack of money making potential and so my mother, siblings and I suffered his verbal, emotional, and at times physical abuse. They are still married until this day.

    My first husband was the exact opposite. He was passive to a fault and could not make a decision. He was a good man, but I felt so alone in that relationship. There was no intellectual or emotionally connecting conversation. We never once called each other an unkind name when fighting, nor did we bring up sins of the past. If we disagreed and fought, we put it down when it was done and moved on. Like everything else, he didn't know what to do about our lack of emotional intimacy (nor did I) and after 17 years of marriage and having more than the average number of children we divorced.

   My second husband was a lot more like my father. He had direction and purpose, was strong and believed in himself. He was also creative and was intellectually superior to anyone I had ever met before.

We began our relationship and it seemed as if I finally was going to live with someone who could appreciate and compliment me, and someone who I could respect on many levels.

    It wasn't long before our issues started showing and acting against each other's well being. I became incredibly insecure, anxious and jealous, and he became controlling, angry, and violent. Anything I said became a threat to his "integrity" rather than an exhbit of my lack of self worth. This resulted in numerous occasions of him choking me to the point of my almost passing out and being unable to swallow without pain. He would scream at me like a drill sergeant and threatened to have me committed if I called for help.

His behavior never occurred in the presence of others. From the outside he was seen as a "great guy.' I also was seen as capable, competent and intelligent. ....Behind closed doors.....

   He finally left after telling me that if he didn't he would be in jail. I cried on and off for about three or four weeks, sometimes as if it were like projectile vomiting. The odd thing was that even though one of my biggest fears had been abandonment, in between crying spells I began to feel peace and relief and happiness. I started to reclaim my self.

   I think that even though two people can love each other, they might not necessarily be good for each other. They can expose each other's monsters through the reflection in each other's eyes. I have no doubt in my mind that if he put his hands on me the night he left, my husband would have killed me.

 
November 21, 2008, 5:26 pm CST

11/20 Spouses at War

Quote From: jasonsgreencat

I am not saying that she is not in the wrong too. I AM saying that NOTHING, not that she doesn't work, not that she has a house keeper, not that she shops, NOTHING excuses being threatened with your life and being called a c***.

I have woken up. I lived it. I left it.

 

OK, thank you for the reply. I agree. There's no way that anyone should have a gun flailing around their head and be called the c word by any means. I care about the c word, but not as much as the gun. I WOULD MAKE HIM GET RID OF THE GUN... What's he doin' with a gun anyway in the house with 7 children?? I'd be scared to death. But she should have stopped her behaviors like shopping and running the bank account to nada a long time ago.

 

 But, it has gone way past that point. In the end, I agree that he should never have done that and I'd be out of there in a heartbeat.

No matter what happened, if he did that, I'd run like the hills...

 
November 21, 2008, 5:43 pm CST

11/20 Spouses at War

Quote From: sme1954

....ya need a different g/f, dude....she deserves to be who she is...if YOU don't like WHO she is...tell me, how can you LOVE her???...love is acceptance, dude...if you cannot accept her as a whole unique beautiful woman then I don't believe you love her...you're just trying to hard...

Is it possible that some people really can't love completely due to their own issues? In other words, if he found someone more secure would he be at some level threatened by that as well? Or would he just end up "caring" for her very much, but never reach the depth of what we consider "true love" (i.e. being accepted and accepting his partner as a "whole unique beautiful woman"--flaws included?) Would emotional distance in the relationship make it less volitile and more sustainable, or would that cause the partners to seek fullfillment outside of the marriage? I suppose lots of people distance themselves to protect themselves. Many of these people  would probably tend to fill their days with work, hobbies, or affairs....

If this is the case, other than convenience, comfort and familiarity what is the point of marriage?

 
November 21, 2008, 6:18 pm CST

11/20 Spouses at War

Quote From: kittty56

I don't remember my parents yelling either but I just knew there was tension going on. I just felt it. I was kind of scared by the tension. Geez, I was young too. And now my mother is 94 and she's telling me things that my father did. OMG, I just new something wasn't right. I loved and still love my father to this day but she stayed together only because she took the Catholic vows and wouldn't break it for nothing.... no matter what. Not a good life. And I don't know weather to thank you Dr. Phil for bringing this topic up, or not.  It makes me think way deep down in there. Maybe that's the way I am today with my hubby for 24 yrs.
People used to stay together no matter how miserable they were. I had a happy childhood. Whatever arguments or problems my parents had they were very careful to keep us oblivious. My mother was raised in a happy home with parents that loved each other. My father suffered the loss of both parents in the war, but was raised by loving grandparents. My parents are now retired and still love each other. I've been very lucky.
 
November 21, 2008, 6:51 pm CST

Isn't waving a gun at your spouse a deal-breaker?

Sounds like both Donna and Jake need ongoing work.

 

Donna's need to control is a direct outcome of the abuse she suffered as a child. She probably overspends to compensate for the hurt she feels inside. This doesn't excuse any bad behaviour towards her husband, but he needs to be aware of that. They should live separately for a year while working on their issues. She is suffering from abuse, and she can't get better while he is present.

 

Spousal abuse is one of those things that, in order to really understand it, you need to have gone  through it yourself ("walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me"). Verbal abuse is as serious as physical, since it's soul-destroying and leaves no tell-tale bruises. It's not easy to just leave-- and leaving without having a plan (or money-- if the credit cards are in his name, he could put a stop on them and leave her out in the cold) is very scary and potentially dangerous. If you've been beaten down with words over and over again, you can be left with a mind that is working at half-capacity. Like suffering from deep depression (which I think she is in), you can't see your way out of the darkness. Only after you've left, are doing well on your own, and the clouds have parted can you see how bad the situation was ("hindsight is 20/20").

 

I thought the daughter's comments were interesting, but since she probably doesn't see half of what goes on, I don't know how reliable a witness she is. Not only that, but children often have a tendency to take sides,  especially teenage daughters putting down their mothers.

 

Bless them both. I sure hope they get the help they deserve, for their own sakes as well as for their family.

 

 

 
November 22, 2008, 7:43 am CST

11/20 Spouses at War

Quote From: efffy_

People used to stay together no matter how miserable they were. I had a happy childhood. Whatever arguments or problems my parents had they were very careful to keep us oblivious. My mother was raised in a happy home with parents that loved each other. My father suffered the loss of both parents in the war, but was raised by loving grandparents. My parents are now retired and still love each other. I've been very lucky.
 Hi effy... You are very lucky. I also had a good childhood, never wanted for anything. I just felt that there was some type of turmoil going on. They were both very loving to me and my brother but I could feel like something was going on with them, even though they never expressed it in front of us. I shouldn't say never, sometimes they did.
 
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