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Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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Am I heading for DISASTER. I am a 47 year old male, currently

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Am I heading for DISASTER. I am a 47 year old male, currently in a relationship with a stunningly attractive girl, who is 28 years old. We have been dating for the past 6 years now. Before I met her, I was married for 17 years and have a son who is 22 years old from this marriage. At first I could not believe that she could genuinely be in love with me, but as time passed our feelings grew stronger, to a point where we are now engaged to be married in a few months time. My problem is that she is very insecure and jealous. She has temper tantrums in public and causes me great embarrasement and humiliation. It does not matter whether we are in a restaurant or in a sports pub. In every instance of this happening, a female stranger was involved,who either walked past us, sat across from us, or just entered the environment we are in. In all instances as well, there was alcohol involved. She would start off an argument and in most cases it would end up in violence. I take nothing away from her and I know that I am at fault at times as well. She would apologise and say she would never raise her hands against me again. She blames the alcohol for her actions and even placed a restriction on herself, to only have 2 glasses of wine and never drink spirits when we go out. We have broken up 4 times already because of this violence. But I do love her and somehow we find a way to get back together again. With the last fight we had, she had used her stilletto high heels against me which left me with scars on my back and 6 stitches to my face. She had punched me in the face and broke my teeth, when my hands were at my sides, with me not wanting to engage her. I have a temper of my own and the few people who I confided in, were all amazed at the restraint I had under these circumstances. She had attacked me from behind in a fit of rage and punching me behind the head as I tried to walk away. Even though I have forgiven her and these things happened in the past, I understand that we are to leave these things there and move on, I still feel anger inside me for what she has done, especially when I look into the mirror and see all the scars. I had gone for councelling to deal with this issue and she has as well. We both come from violent and abusive backgrounds, so I try to understand why she did what she did. I did not inform her family of these fights, nor mine to give us a chance to resolve it, as far as the family is concerned I am the guilty party. I gave her a full year to make sure that this problem had been resolved, and then I proposed. A month later and also in public, the same thing happened again. We were in a packed restuarant and she 'lost it' again. Lots of people around and she took off the engagement ring and slammed it down on the table and said she is tired of this sh*t and stormed out. She did this at home as well for a second time when we had an argument, she took her rings off and threw them on the floor. I ask her, "Do you not know how long it took me to put these rings on your finger and for what they represent to me'. She cries and promises me that she would never do that again. Just recently she had another tantrum in a mall packed with people, in this instance, I got a handbag in the face. I did not want it to develop into something more physical than that, so I walked 26 km to get home that night. I know how dangerous that was, maybe I was hoping for a mugger so that I could vent my frustration and anger on him. (she drove my car home. She called me repeatedly to find out if I was safe. But she was the last person I wanted to see then, so I walked)
Here's my problem now, I find myself becoming less and less tolerant of her behaviour and snap at her when it's not required. I see her trying everything to keep us on track now and to keep us together. Of the times when we broke up it felt like I was dying and it was really really difficult to live without her. I know she is a very giving and kind person and she would share her last with me. She gets along very well with my son and does her best to care for him. When we have an arguement now, I react straightaway with aggression and I see the hurt in her eyes when this happens. I was willing to have more children as this was important for her. Now I am not so sure anymore. When we look at the guest list, I hear warning bells and not wedding bells. We have been together for a long time and survived the worst of times. This should be making us stronger for the future ahead. My heart is heavy and I know I love her. What now ! The rings are bought, the family has given their blessings and the wedding date is set. Your advice will be appreciated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

This woman, your fiancee, is in desperate need of help. She has the symptoms of a rare disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which usually occurs in men more than women, but does occur in women as well. Some clinicians claim that is exists as a symptom of other disorders, but it is still accepted by the "bible" of mental health diagnosis as a separate category.

The family doesn't understand. You have their blessings, but deep within your heart you hear the warning bells. Heed them, brother. End this relationship. If you do not, you will live to regret it.
This is just background, but I wanted you to have this knowledge for your reference. IED episodes generally begin suddenly ("hair-trigger temper") and often end suddenly. The individual often expresses regret their destructive behaviour.

Some of these individuals are extremely sensitive to alcohol. The condition in which a person has a marked loss of behavioral control after just a drink or two used to be called pathological intoxication, and though it is no longer an "official" designation, the concept still has clinical relevance.

There may be other problems including Antisocial Personality, Borderline Personality Disorder, Conduct Disorder, or the manic phase of bipolar disorder.

Recent findings suggest that IED may result from abnormalities in the areas of the brain that regulate behavioral arousal and inhibition.PET scans are useful in determining this.

Other clinicians believe that IED is often resulting from harsh punishments inflicted by the parents. The child grows up believing that others are out to get her and that violence is the best way to restore damaged self-esteem. She may also have observed one or both parents, older siblings, or other relatives acting out in explosively violent ways. In short, people who develop IED have learned, usually in their family of origin, to believe that certain acts or attitudes on the part of other people "justify" aggressive attacks on them.

With that information established, let us get to your question, are you heading for disaster?

Absolutely. I know this woman without her huge deficits, is a prize in your mind. She is stunningly attractive, young, and is like a dream come true on one level. She is like the sumptuous meal that is set before you. Your favorite foods, delicacies that you love, skillfully prepared and artfully presented. You want to eat this meal - savour eat - even devour it - but the drawback is that it is poisoned. Your senses tell you to go ahead and eat the meal. The aroma overwhelms you. It is a joy to behold. The table is set with the finest linens, and exquisite dinner ware. Your friends envy you this meal. It is hard to resist. What must you do?

This woman cannot help herself. She can possibly get help, but it will not be an easy road. She may not even want to get help.

If you continue your relationship, especially if you get married, you will live a life of pain and misery with her. She might permanently injure you or blind you, or you may wind up hurting her and spending years in prison.

The family doesn't know the situation, and they won't have to live with her. You will. You must end this relationship. Let the family think what they will. Return the rings or put them in a drawer, but don't put one on her finger, and don't put a noose around your neck.

I wish you the best. I am sorry for your your loss, but its time to cut the losses now. This woman will be your eternal curse if you marry her. Get out now.

If my advice has helped you, or at least given you pause, please accept my answer.

Best to you. Have courage and strength, and watch your back.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.

Hi there, many thanks for trusting me with your question and I am sorry I didnt get there very soon. I am on a short break at the moment and havent been online.


 


Therapists hve alternate views on situations and often, there is more than one way to gain a positive result. The reason I have disagreed on this occasion is that I believe that there is a way that you can support each other through this. It sounds to me like your partner is bringing the anger and violence form her past into the current time and the violence you are experiencing from her is triggered by you, but not created by you. It is possible for her (and you separately if you feel it is necessary) to have EMDR eye movement desensititsation and reprocessing therapy, which enables a person to re-visit the past and let the emotions go, so that they do not keep appearing in the present. Please understand that I am not advocating a violent relationship, as it is NEVER acceptable for this to happen. But I feel you must love her lots to have put up with as much as you have, and you are probably a good support for this girl. I suggest that you help her to find a therapist near to you (see www.emdria.com) and support her through this, if you really want to be with her. life could be very different for you when this has gone away. The beliefs about herself are held within her subconscious mind and are triggered when you fall out, leading her to throw all of her past emotions and anger at you, with very little control, but also with very little intention. This is whay I think this is worth taking forward. I am sorry you now have two paths to consider, but you asked for a way forward and now you have a choice. With very best wishes, Sarah

Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
Sarah and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Hi there, thanks for accepting, I am sorry that I did not see before i replied that you have already suggested REM therapy to this lady in your life. I do agree with the first expert who replied when he says that your relationship cannot continue in a positive way without help for you both, as it is too destructive and harmful. This can NEVER be acceptable and you have suffered enough already. It might be worth considering giving your lady an ultimatum, as hard as this may be -if she loves you enough to seek therapy and a happy life and truly shows a willingness to change, then you could have a future together. Without this, your future would potentially be one of unfulfilled promises and hurt, both physically and mentally. It is true that your lady is abusive, but if we all immediately say 'goodbye' to everyone who is hurting us and needs help, then these people will never get better. I have seen people turn around thiner lives from this deeper than this, but it takes alot of hard work and willingness to see the worst bits about ourself. Your partner should not be ashamed of her past, as a child is NEVER responsible for their upbringing, but she is responsible for her behaviour now and it is in her interests to take this forward with someone by her side who loves her than alone. But you cannot let her think that you will choose to be with her at any cost, you have your pride and your dignity, so look after yourself and don't be afraid to put yourself first if you need to. Don't feel you have to pay again, I just wanted to add this. Make the decision for yourself, in your own time. You have to live with your decision and no-one cam make it for you, no therapist, no expert, no family member. Well done for seeking help, Best Wishes, Sarah
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your feedback, you need to see what colour smartie your fiancée intends to be and then you can go from there ... If she turns from what she promises to be, you need to think about getting out of the box and eating M & M's instead. All the Best, Sarah
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Have a look at Transactional Analysis, which explores the adult, parent and child mode that exists within us all, regardless of age or experience. It is great if we can interact in our adult mode, and then usually the other person will be in adult mode too. However, if one person or situation triggers the other person into child mode, then they will act as a child and show the behaviours they are us to displaying as a child. If the other person the takes the parent role, they become disciplinary and tell off the child, to which the child kicks off even more. The best way out is for the person who has flipped into parent mode to consciously move back to adult mode if they can and say something along the lines of 'i cannot interact with you when you are this state, I will interact with you when you have become more appropriate' and MOVE AWAY from the situation. The person in the child mode should then, if they can, calm down and return to adult mode. This can work the opposite way too. I wonder if this is what is happening with you and your girlfriend. It is very common. Have a read of it on the Internet if you're interested. Best Wishes, Sarah
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Sarah, thank you for taking the time to assist me in this delimma. I have always believed that one should never compromise your principles for your needs. I guess I am guilty of not taking the advice that I give out. Be assured that when she raises her hands against me, it takes away much more than my dignity and self-respect. It hurts my soul to know that she could do these things to me. I know as a fact, that if the shoe was on the other foot and I did that to her, she would have had me arrested for assault with all the hell and fury and her family behind her. This is the same woman who I would run a bubble bath for and cook a meal for when she's late ( like 3 times a week ), do laundry and dishes, or help her with the housework. And yet when I am ironing a shirt for myself she would walk right past me and not offer to do it for me. She lives in my house and has ripped doors off my cupboards in a fit of rage. How many times has she told me "F*ck you" to my face, that she's young and can get any man she wants. I cannot even watch fashion tv on my own tv in my own house and then she gets a fanny wobble. Jeez, looking back at all these things now, it seems like I'm a masochist who enjoys pain. It's been all about her and nothing for me. All her previous boyfriends cheated on her and now I have to pay the price for their mistakes and for her violent upbringing. I don't know why I always take her back. All I ever wanted was to have peace of mind and live a normal happy life, with someone who cares for me and for that person, I would give the world to. Why could she not see this. I am once again in this same position after 7 years of dating her and this time a few months away from a wedding date. Do I give her one more chance ... again, or is it time to clean house.
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Hi there, thanks for your info. Obviously this situation is NOT satisfactory and cannot continue as it is. My advice would be a follows;

Forget for a while that you have wedding plans made, as these can be canceled, even though I know that would probably cause hurt and disappointment and other responses from all around. However, you do NOT have to marry someone when you have such doubts. People have decided to not marry when the bride-to-be is at the alter, so at least your decision would save this lady that embarrassment.

This lady knows which side her bread is buttered, even though she treats you appallingly, you continue to treat her like a princess (nothing wrong with that if it is appreciated, lucky lady). However, she is unlikely to make any changes if her behaviours does not make you walk away. What I think she needs to understand (just my opinion) is that this relationship is NOT going to continue in the way that it has, either you are both working together in therapy towards a better future whilst you support each other, OR you walk away. There is no middle ground where you continue to keep her well looked after whilst she abuses you. This is why even though I have said it is your decision, you cannot make it without her input, as she needs to be pulling her weight in terms of wanting to change and showing that she is willing to take this forward. You need to see results, and she needs to understand this. Otherwise you don't have a positive, functioning relationship, let alone the grounds for a happy marriage.

Let me add something else, you don't owe this lady your time, or your commitment. If you want to walk away, you have all the reasons in the world to do so. You can walk away knowing you have done all that you can and that you have no more to give. The advice you were given by the other expert was also sound advice, you have bee pushed by this lady so far that you were willing to commit violence on someone else. It is not a satisfactory situation. But have you ever stood your ground and told her that it is no long acceptable, that you are no long standing for it, that you would love to be with her if she is willing to change. Maybe she is pushing to see how much you will take. When you stand solid, she may realise that the responsibility for her to change lies with her and no-one else. Maybe she thinks you can do this for her, but you can't and she has to know this.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that you deserve all that you have described, a loving wife who appreciates you and gives back whey give to her. This is not what you have at the moment. Does she want to take that role? Or not? If you have the strength to ask her and see what she says, let her know that you need immediate action, ie she finds a therapist and begins strait away. If you have not the strength to ask her again, then cut your losses. If she says no way, or she says yes, but makes no effort, then her answer is clear. Does that help? Only she can control her behaviour, does she really want to? Best Wishes, Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
Sarah and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
May I ask what your decision was? You have absolutely no obligation to answer if you don't wish to, I am simply curious. I wish you a very happy and healthy life, whichever path you have taken. Payment and bonus were much appreciated, many thanks. XXXXX

Edited by Sarah on 8/31/2010 at 7:09 AM EST

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