Do you wonder why you put up with a continually
angry partner, family member or friend? People
who give too much, too soon and too easily often
have neurotic needs that keep them in unhealthy
relationships. Anger, the love addictions and
codependency often go together to keep people
in destructive situations. Anger kills romance
and intimacy. It destroys the trust between
two people and fuels betrayal until the good
feelings of love disappear.
Love addictions come out of a neediness to be
loved, which started when the young child was
not loved and cared for in safe and supportive
ways. Perhaps the baby was not wanted and picked
up this message from the parents. Perhaps the
child was criticized and scolded leaving her
with a feeling of being flawed. Maybe she felt
that she could never meet her parent's unrealistic
expectations. Or decided that she was unworthy
when she was rejected and abandoned by those
she loved. All of these possibilities create
insecurity and low self esteem in the child.
The person caught in addictive behavior goes
through life trying to feel good but never making
it. She seeks closeness and connection to try
to make up for early feelings of loneliness
and abandonment. And she invariably chooses
partners who have anger and addiction issues
of their own.
Anne Wison Schaef, in her book, Escape From
Intimacy, Untangling the 'Love' Addictions:
Sex Romance, Relationships, discusses the
role of "love" addictions that underlie much
of the pain of unhealthy relationships. Underneath
the love addictions is the belief of personal
unworthiness, which results in choosing a partner
who is fearful of connection and intimacy. Sex,
romance and relationship addicts are those individuals
who lack their own sense of spirituality and
seek their identity in other people. Their addictive
behavior allows them to avoid personal responsibility
for their behavior and escape intimacy.
Ask yourself why you need to love a person who
creates pain for you. Ask why you care more
for him than you do about your own happiness.
Why is your caring so misguided? You know you
can't change your partner. But you can become
stronger, set some limits and insist on more
appropriate behavior from him. Find the weakness
in that prevents you from doing this. Real love
is not about continued pain. It is about creating
a partnership which each person cares and nurtures
the other person.
Codependency is caring too much for another
person who has dysfunctional behavior at the
expense of one's own self. Caring too much and
enabling the other person keeps people in destructive
relationships. Co-dependent people try to get
validation from others and are willing to give
themselves away to get it, as opposed to those
who can know their own self-worth and seek what
they need within themselves. Outward seeking
results in a psychological dependency on the
other person due to deep feelings of being unworthy
and undeserving of a better relationship.
According to the consensus of experts in the
field at the First National Conference on Codependency:
"Codependency is a pattern of painful dependence
on compulsive behaviors and on approval from
others in an attempt to find safety, self-worth
and identity." Physical dependency is a stage
to be outgrown as are emotional and psychological
dependency. Here are some of the characteristics
of co-dependent behavior, which are learned
An overly sensitive nature being concerned for
the needs of the other person.
Overemphasis on being responsible for others
and not looking at the irresponsibility of one's
High levels of guilt and beliefs that they are
at fault for anything that goes wrong
Enmeshment in a relationship with a chemically
dependent or disordered personality or another
co-dependent or power addicted person.
Fear of abandonment from that partner resulting
in ignoring important issues, giving in and
Pervasive lack of self-esteem resulting from
inner beliefs of worthlessness.
Acceptance of the sick, martyr, or victim role.
Need for seeking gratification and validation
from others but not from one's own self.
Shutting down of emotions and feelings resulting
in emotional numbness.
Need to control others through passive aggressive
behavior and manipulation.
Behind the intense caring for another person
can be a hidden need for power and control gone
awry. This is the same power drive that underlies
all addictions. You give up your own personal
power when you pursue any addiction of choice,
be it alcohol, drugs, sex, a person, activity
or relationship. In codependency, the power
drive manifests itself as the need to control
the behavior of another person. It takes the
form of rescuing, worrying or obsessing over
the other person. Mental energy is used to try
to control the other person thus ignoring personal
responsibility for one's own problems. "I get
to feel good because I take care of others."
is distorted thinking. If this describes you,
see my book, The Doormat
Here are some skills typically taught by assertiveness
classes to break into co-dependent behavior:
To stand up and speak assertively when threatened.
To say No', state boundaries and where you
draw your line.
To leave when boundaries are not respected.
To shield against the negative energy of name-calling
To break into dissociative states of fear and
To use techniques of self-soothing when upset.
To identify and name feelings and use the I
formula' when appropriate
To speak feelings appropriately when threatened
but refrain when it's not safe.
To deal with others who discount feelings and
do not want to listen.
To express anger in safe and productive ways
to increase self esteem.
To use anger constructively to bring changes
in an unjust situation (MAD--Make A Difference
with your anger)
Hooked On Saving the Relationship
People with relationship addictions are stayers.
They put up with anger and inappropriate behavior
of those they care about. They have the mindset
of "My relationship, right or wrong, no matter
what." They are needy and define themselves
in terms of their status within a relationship.
They have an intense need to take care of the
relationship just as they have the co-dependent
need to take care of the other person. They
tend to hang in, hold on and weather the storms
and conflicts. The conflictual nature of the
relationship can provide them with the adrenalin
that they need to feel alive. With their need
to invest their energy outside of themselves,
they do all that they can to keep the relationship
intact even though it brings them much personal
pain. They live in romantic illusion and irrational
thinking. The personal values, interests and
identity of the individual are given up in the
process of obsessing over the relationship.
Relationship addictions represent a relinquishment
of individual autonomy to love another human
being no matter what the cost. Loving without
setting limits and boundaries in a loss of personal
boundaries. Fluid boundaries develop between
the self and others making the individual vulnerable
to depression, anxiety and estrangement as she
loses her sense of personal identity.
Boundaries become blurred in symbiotic relationships
where one partner merges with the other. In
symbiotic relationships, another person is used
to try to gain a sense of meaning in life. "I
feel powerful only if I am part of a couple"
is the misbelief that feeds relationship addiction.
If the relationship breaks up, they start all
over again by finding a new relationship or
live out life suffering the pangs of unrequited
Control of the other person through jealously
and manipulation to protect the relationship
is a hidden agenda for the relationship addict.
Acceptance and attention by the other person
becomes an obsession. They define themselves
in terms of how the relationship is going. Yet
when the relationship is defined by constant
anger, it withers. Anger, when expressed destructively,
Here are some of the characteristics of people
caught in relationship addictions:
Narrowing of personal interests to focus intensely
on the relationship.
Trying to change and control the partner to
meet one's own need of being secure in the relationship.
Emphasizing "working on the relationship" as
a life style instead of living life.
Excessively reading self-help and how to books
and attending workshops on relationships rather
than directly dealing with their personal immaturity.
Manufacturing a constant crisis to gain the
attention of the partner.
Remaining committed to saying in the relationship
despite its destructive nature.
Having a high level of suffering and becoming
a master of martyrdom.
Compromising and sacrificing of personal interests,
ethics and values.
Attaching yourself to your partner in dependent
way and seeking to make the partner dependent.
Having another relationship waiting in the wings
while the present one is deteriorating or hanging
on to the past relationship and being unable
to move on with daily life.
Trauma bonds, according to Patrick Carnes, psychologist
and authority in sexual addiction, are those
ties that keep people attracted to people that
hurt them. Trauma bonds cause people to obsess
about the other's problem and do not look at
how unhealthy their own life is.
Carnes says you may be caught in a betrayal
You stay in dangerous relationships, attract
friends or a partner who use you or hurt you.
You have to keep secrets or cover up your partner's
anger, abuse or addictions
You feel that you have to make your partner
understand how you are and he or she does not
care about your feelings.
If people who are truly your friends are worried
about your situation but you are not, you are
Your partner expects you to isolate from others,
meet every demand, read his or her mind and
always give him or her what is expected.
The two of you have destructive fights where
behavior deteriorates to hurting each other
with words or actions instead of trying to solve
You are supporting someone who is financially
You have given up your sense of self to meet
the needs of someone who is selfish and uses
You long for someone from a past relationship
that was unhealthy for you.
Being around violence can cause symptoms similar
to PTSD in partners and children. Emotional
angry outbursts can create confusion, helplessness,
insomnia, anxiety, and stomachaches and other
physical symptoms in those who are present.
If you stay in an abusive relationship, you
or the children WILL be affected mentally and
What you may have viewed as love may be obsessional,
addictive behavior. Psychological pain is the
result of trying to ignore and deny the process
of growth and not coming to grips with the underlying
unresolved childhood issues. Depression and
anxiety can indicate that you are stuck in belief
systems and a lifestyle that is not right for
you. If you have blocked and repressed your
true self, then you will experience pain. Blocked
love and identity loss always turns to suffering.
In blocking the love to yourself, you must block
the healthy type of love with others.
If It Hurts
All the Time, It Ain't Love
Codependency is a form of trauma bonding. You
give your self away for the relationship and
do not object to the partner's acting out of
anger inappropriately or addictive behaviors.
The problem of the other person's harmful anger
then becomes your problem. You live your life
putting up with his bad behavior
Your worry, your pity, your concern for this
person keeps you from looking at your own behavior
and choices. How you react to the angry person's
behavior causes your pain. You allow his misbehavior
because you do not know what to do except hurt'
for him. And of course you justify it because,
he is a good person' the rest of the time.
Or because you luv' him.
As Tina Turner asks, What does love got to
do with it?' If you are in pain over your relationship
a lot of the time, it ain't love! Not if you
feel sorry for him. Not if you feel achy, overwhelmed
and agitated when you think of him. These heady
feelings are just emotional arousal. They are
just a habit, fear, addiction, dependency or
codependency or a combination of all of these!
But they are not love.
Here is one of the best descriptions of love
from the Bible: Love is patient. Love is kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant
or rude. Love does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful; it does not
rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all thing, endures all thing. Love never
ends.' First Corinthians 13:14
The reality is that you choose to stay in a
relationship with an angry person who acts out
with inappropriate verbal and/or physical behavior.
You set the bar of standards for inappropriate
behavior too low. You are desperate about his
problem while he gets off free by avoiding responsibility
for his misbehavior. He goes too far with his
anger or drinking, drugging, womanizing, whatever.
Then there is a honeymoon' period where he
is charming, giving, regretful, crying, courting
you or whatever he does to hook you back in
to feeling sorry for him. This is the abused
Jump from One Person to Another
Watch out, because you too can become an abuser.
Anger is contagious and is passed from one person
to another. Resentment builds up when you are
subjected to someone's anger. You may start
to fight back. Across time, people who are abused
can become angry and start to act in aggressive
ways. Living with an aggressor, they take on
the energies and behaviors of aggression.
People who have been abused may act out the
abuse in their next relationship. Children who
live with parents who are angry often act the
anger out on others. The victim' can become
the aggressor' in other relationships. Abuse
and aggression are learned behaviors that then
are acted out on the weaker members of the family.
Thus the cycle of anger is perpetuated in families.
This issue is discussed in my book, How to Let
Go of Your Mad Baggage listed on the Angries
Out web site.
Anger and Addictions Destroy Relationships and
the People in Them
How do you know when your anger-laden relationship
is no longer workable? A relationship is not
salvageable if you have done everything possible
to make it work to no avail. It is impossible
to improve a relationship when one partner is
invested in keeping things they way they are.
A relationship is self destructive if one partner
has severe problems of anger and addictions
that are not addressed: alcoholism, drug abuse,
gambling, adultery and chronic verbal or physical
abuse. It is unworkable when the one partner
has done all that he or she can do to preserve
the alliance in terms of getting personal growth
therapy, self-help groups or couple counseling,
and the other person refuses to admit that there
is a problem. It is unworkable when one partner
is emotionally on one's own and feels stuck
in ongoing depression, misery and physical illness.
It cannot work when communication breaks down
completely resulting in pain on one of both
When a relationship has soured to the point
of no return, then it can be considered unworkable.
As Anne Wilson Schaef says, "Dead relationships
can be that--dead relationships." It is dead
if you feel that your spirit is dead when you
are with your partner. It may be past the point
of no return if you cannot be yourself when
you are with your partner.
People who care about others do not leave important
relationships easily. They tend to hang on to
them long past the time when they should have
moved on to something healthier. If you have
truly done everything that you could do to stay
in the relationship but nothing changed and
you continue to be unhappy, then you might decide
to a healthier life. Learning about yourself,
so that you can succeed in an intimate relationship,
is a challenging task. Look long and hard at
your romantic illusions.
to Determine the Quality of Your Relationship
Recently the psychological research is examining
couples to better understand how people function.
Robert Sternberg who is a psychologist and researcher
on the concept of love has developed a list
of questions to help determine the quality of
a present or past relationship. Here are some
ideas from his research plus others in the field.
Ask yourself these questions to determine the
qualities of your thoughts about the relationship.
Answer the questions honestly from both your
point and your partner's point of view. Be realistic
as you describe how you think your partner feels.
This assignment can be an eye opener!
Write a few sentences on each question. Write
out the answers and ask your partner (if he
is willing) to do the same. If he refuses, write
the answer from his point of view and try to
capture his way of thinking. Sharing these questions
and answers can be an avenue of opening up lines
How is the stress and anger in the relationship
affecting your physical and emotional health?
How does the anger affect the children or other
How much time do you spend recovering from your
partner's anger? What are the abusive behaviors
that you and your partner engage in? Does the
relationship give you what you need in terms
of emotional support? Do you get sufficient
rewards from your partner? What is the cost/benefit
ratio of your relationship?
Is your partner unable or unwilling to give
you the support and love that you deserve? If
so, is it because he does not have the resources
to give or that you have not been able to ask
for what you want?
Are you being reinforced once in a while? Do
short periods of calm and contrite behavior
on your partner's part carry more weight in
keeping you in the relationship?
Is the pattern of giving and receiving within
the relationship equitable for both partners?
If not, what can you realistically do to change
Do you and your partner have the same values?
Are there serious value conflicts that are unresolvable?
Do you justify staying in the relationship because
of your past investment in it and amount of
time that you have given to it? Do you stay
out of habit or guilt rather than because you
Is your commitment to staying based on how things
used to be or how things are now? Is it based
on how things are or how you wish they would
be? How long have you been hoping things will
Do you and your partner have the same type of
friends? Do the differing values of each other's
friends pull and tug at the relationship?
Have the two of you been through bad times before
and resolved your problems? Or were the problems
just swept under the rug to continue?
When you think of the future together, is it
more trials and tribulations or can you see
yourselves pulling through this bad period?
Is there sufficient trust between you so that
the relationship can survive? Is the anger due
to past betrayal between you so strong that
you cannot forgive each other?
Do you still respect each other? Do you still
like each other? Liking your partner is an important
part of love.
Is the relationship alive? Does it have positive
energy or is it dead? Does helping save the
relationship exist in your mind only?
Are there obsessive qualities to your loving
your partner? If those obsessive thoughts would
disappear, would the caring still be there for
you? Does obsession substitute for love?
Do you love the other person as she is or are
you still trying to change him? How many times
a day do you think about changing him? How much
of your attachment is unresolved codependency?
Are you looking to the other person to give
you salvation in the relationship? Are you expecting
him to give you what you cannot give yourself?
Does the relationship represent your feeling
good about yourself?
How do you cope with the stresses of the relationship?
What patterns of excusing, avoiding, blaming,
distracting, ignoring or problem solving do
you and your partner have?
What amount of intimacy does each of you need?
What is your style of loving? Does it mesh with
How much do you care about your partner's needs
and what happens to him? How much does he care
about your needs? Is the caring equitable?
What addictive behaviors do you and your partner
engage in? How do you act differently under
the control of alcohol or drugs?
How much are each of you committed to the growth
and maturity of the other person? Does the attachment
to your partner stifle your own growth? Do you
foster dependence or do you encourage independence
and individuality for each other?
Are you and your partner capable of the personal
changes it will take to make the relationship
Do you and your partner have a plan to carry
out the necessary changes? Are you and your
partner committed to do the hard work to save
Are you willing to get some outside help and
stop denying that the relationship will get
better on its own?
How do you feel writing about these issues?
Which question caused you the greatest insight,
pain or anger?
And one more question. Why are you reading this
If you find yourself stumbling on these questions
but choose to stay in the relationship, it back
to business as usual. Unless YOU or your partner
drastically changes, the anger level of your
partner will probably not change.
to Leave a Chronically Unhealthy Relationship
How do you know when to leave a situation that
is continually unhappy for you? For some, there
is a sudden decision after a specific incident
that has been demoralizing. Others need many
small decisions points going back and forth
for some time before they make up their mind
that things are unbearable. As alcoholics need
to reach a bottom before deciding to change
their drinking habits, people with relationship
addiction need to hit bottom emotionally. Some
people need to make the decision to leave time
and time again after each attempt to resolve
the problems in the relationships fails. Sometimes
it takes many years to reach this decision.
Caring people typically stay too long in unhappy
relationships due to their high levels of guilt.
Some people have an excess of guilt and shame
that keeps them from moving on. Guilt rules
their life. They stay and take abuse to keep
themselves from feeling bad. They can also have
an erroneous belief that they cannot hurt the
other person's feelings. This skewed way of
thinking blocks their common senseit can be
so strong that they allow damage to be done
to children and themselves because they don't
want to hurt someone else. When someone you
love is actively hurting others, let them know.
It won't hurt them to have their feelings hurt
and they may actually learn to become a better
If you are caught in an unhealthy relationship
due to your high levels of guilt read Emotional
Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use
Fear, Obligation and Guilt by Susan Forward,
How Good Do We Have to Be? and New Understandings
of Guilt and Forgiveness by Harold Kushman.
Harville Hendrix in his book, Getting the Love
you Want: A Guide for Couples, urges married
people to stay together to work out their issues.
This approach to marriage counseling believes
that your partner is the right person to help
you heal your childhood wounds. With this approach,
many marriages can be saved. However, Hendrix
says there are three reasons to leave a relationship:
The Three As. There are severe abuse, severe
adultery and severe addictions. These three
extreme conditions rarely change. Only you can
decide what emotional baggage you are willing
to live with.
Before you make the decision to leave, invest
in couples counseling. Counseling can help you
learn the necessary skills of how to do a better
job of living in relationship. Even if the relationship
does not survive, you can learn how you contributed
to the partnership getting out of balance.
Exiting from the pain of an unproductive relationship
comes down to a matter of two choices: to leave
or to stay differently. You can change whom
you are with or you can change the beliefs that
keep you caught in an unhealthy situation, thus
changing the relationship. When you change your
beliefs to healthier one such as those in an
open system, you can stay within the relationship
and make things better. Get the book, The Verbally
Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It, How
to Respond to It by Patricia Evans and learn
about stopping the cycle of abuse!
If you choose to stay, then you will need to
learn a new set of skills to balance out that
inequality of power. You will need to learn
to move past the passivity in which you have
been caught. As the sage said, "In this enormous
room of your life, there must be an exit from
pain. Your responsibility must be to pass through
that door." Read my companion article on the
Angries Out web site called When You Live with
an Angry Partner.
You Stay Stuck: Psychological Reversals
Sometimes others outside yourself can see what
your problems are in your relationship and you
can't. When you continue doing the same thing,
which results in more unhappiness and pain for
yourself, you are in denial. You may have a
Psychological Reversals are pervasive mental
blocks that prevent you from making changes
that are in your best interests. They are areas
of yourself where you cannot change and do not
understand what is happening to you. They are
the dogmatic self-limiting beliefs, which keep
you stuck, even when you want to act differently.
They usually are in the subconscious mind and
you are not aware of them. They are what you
cannot see about yourself in continuing unhealthy
behaviors and relationships. They are hidden
way excuses and ingenious reasons for staying
as is! Often they are programmed into the child
who was naive and open to condemning judgments
of others who learned to feel worthless and
Ask yourself, What is my excuse for not changing?
What part of me is afraid of change? What is
the underlying fear that keeps me from changing
this situation that hurts others and myself?
Why have I given in repeatedly to someone else's
The following list gives the most common reasons
people stay stuck. These are the Psychological
Reversals that prevent you from making the necessary
changes for you to be happy in life. Down deep
somewhere inside of you, not rocking the boat
is serving you in some perverse way.
Be honest now. There are reasons why you do
not make changes. Your objections to change
have to do your deepest fears. Check the self-limiting
beliefs that prevent the release of your long-term
problem. Then do the tapping and eye roll procedure
listed below on each objection that you have
for not being able to change.
Readiness and Willingness
____ I am NOT READY to eliminate this problem
____ I DO NOT DESERVE to get over this problem
____ I AM UNWILLING to get over this problem
____ I CANNOT GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION to get
over this problem
____ I MAY TRY AND STILL NOT GET OVER this problem
____ I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LET GO of this problem
____ I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS RIGHT to let
go of my problem
____ I will have to STOP DENYING THAT MY PROBLEM
is not important
____ I will LOSE SOMEONE OR SOMETHING IMPORTANT
If I get over this problem
____ I will have to BECOME MORE ASSERTIVE AND
____ I will have to HURT OTHER PEOPLE'S FEELINGS
____ I will have to be ASSERTIVE AND CONFRONT
____ I will have to GIVE UP MY IMAGE OF BEING
THE GOOD GUY OR GOOD GAL
____ I will have to STOP CARING MORE ABOUT OTHER
PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS THAN MY OWN
____ I will have to start TAKING BETTER CARE
____ I will have to STOP BEATING MYSELF UP AND
FOCUS ON THE SOLUTIONS
____ I CAN'T MEET MY OWN NEEDS AND OTHERS at
the same time
____ I will have to GIVE UP MY BELIEF THAT I
AM NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT THE ONE I LOVE
____ I may have to BREAK MY CODEPENDENT UNHEALTHY,
ATTACHMENTS WITH LOVED ONES
____ I may have to GIVE UP UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
____ I may have to GIVE UP POSITIVE ILLUSIONS
____ I may be HARMED IF I CONFRONT MY PARTNER
____ I may have to LIVE ALONE IF I CONRONT MY
____ I will have TO ADMIT WHAT I HAVE BEEN DENYING
MY UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
____ I will no longer BE ABLE TO FOOL MYSELF
ABOUT MY PARTNER'S ACTIONS
____ I will have to STOP USING MY CONCERN ABOUT
MY PARNTER AND FACE MY REAL ISSUES
Collar Bone Breathing Technique
This technique helps break into lockages of
the breath that may have happened when you were
frightened. The deep breathing technique puts
a strong vibration in your body and helps you
forgive yourself for settling for less.
Address each harmful belief that has kept you
stuck and do this technique to release any blockages
in your breath around this issue. Put the fist
of your right hand on your right collarbone.
Make a fist with your left hand. Use the knuckles
on your left hand to tap on the back of your
right hand about 1 inch below the web between
the little and fourth finger. Your left hand
taps on your right hand, and your right hand
taps on your collarbone simultaneously. Change
hands and go to the other side of your collarbone
when they feel tired in the first position.
Don't worry about whether you are doing this
technique right or not. Just do it to the best
of your ability, and maybe something will shift
in you. Do not use this technique if you have
wrist injuries or carpel tunnel syndrome.
Repeat to yourself: I deeply and profoundly
love, forgive and accept myself, even though
a part of me believes____. (Say the Psychological
Reversal objection identified above.)
I choose to stop my self-judgment and limiting
belief. I can correct this error and learn from
it. I deeply and profoundly love, forgive and
accept myself, even though.... (Say the Psychological
Reversal objection from above.)
1.) Take a long, slow deep breath in and hold.
Breathe deeply from your belly. Release slowly
and blow it out your mouth. Push out any emotion
or stuck breath that you feel.
2.) Take a half breath in and hold. Take another
half breath in and hold. Let half the breath
out through your mouth and hold. Let the rest
of the breath out and release.
3.) Take small, rapid, flutter breaths in as
you breath in up, up, up, up as if you are singing
up a musical scale. Then blow the small breaths
out your mouth as you go down a musical scale.
Repeat the small breathing up and then down,
while you think of your unhealthy way of coping.
Forgive yourself for having the belief and tell
yourself you did the best that you could.
You may have to work this exercise many times
to get to the bottom of your limiting beliefs.
What do you have to lose except your time? To
quote Tina Turner again, I'm looking for my
own protection. I'm heading in a new direction.'
a New Direction
Change is always hard even when it is crucial.
If you find necessary change hard, read Who
Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. Once
you have shattered the unwholesome beliefs that
you have adopted about yourself, practice new
skills of assertive behavior. Knowing is only
part of your transformation. Your task will
be to go and do what you know. Assertiveness
needs practice just like any new skill of learning.
Change is prompted by people who want it and
decide to make it happen. You need some support
to make positive change in your life. Find friends
who will support your through your transition.
New friends who come into your life when you
are ready to make change are called transition
people.' They may or may not become a permanent
part of your life, but they are there to provide
some cheerleading for you when you need it the
Whether you leave or stay in your relationship,
your responsibility is to take care of your
own negative feelings. Raise your bar of being
treated with respect. Insist that you be treated
fairly. You can't change your partner. But you
can get a better life for yourself. Stop blurring
the boundaries between you and your loved one.
Do more positive things for yourself. Use the
tools of transformation such as education, meditation,
psychotherapy, support groups and assertiveness
training. Find out your interests and follow
them. Discover who you areyour strengths, creativity
and source of wisdom.
As my teenage daughter told me when I started
to change after living with an unhappy, angry
man, Go for it! Mom. Go for it!' I wish the
same for you as you grow and change to make
your life a happy one. Go for it!'
Carnes, Patrick. Contrary
to Love, Understanding Sexual Addiction.
Minneapolis, MN. Compcare, l989.
Carnes, Patrick. Trauma Bonds. See his
web site at http://sagetimes.com
Elgin, Suzette. You Can't Say that to Me:
Stopping the Pain of Verbal Abuse.
Engel, Beverly. Encouragements for the Emotionally
Engel, Beverly. The Emotionally Abused Woman:
Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming
Evans, Patricia. Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak
Out on Relationships and Recovery.
Evans, Patricia. The Verbally Abusive Relationship:
How to Recognize It and How to Respond to It.
Forward, Susan. Emotional Blackmail: When
the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation
Grad-Powers, Marcia and Ellis, Albert. The
Secret of Overcoming Verbal Abuse.
Hassen, Steven. Combating Mind Control. Rochester,
VT: Oak Street Press, l988.
Jampolsky, Gerald. Goodbye to Guilt.
Bantam Press, 1985.
Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese?
Ketterman, Grace. Healing the Hidden Wound.
Ketterman, Grace. Verbal Abuse: Escape from
Intimacy: Untangling the Love' Addictions:
Sex, Romance, Relationships, 1989.
Miller, Mary Susan. No Visible Wounds: Identifying
Nonphysical Abuse of Women by their Men.
Namka, Lynne. The Doormat Syndrome, Authors
Namka, Lynne. The Mad Family Gets Their Mads
Out, Talk Trust and Feel Press, 1997.
Kushman, Harold. How Good Do We Have to Be
New Understandings of Guilt and Forgiveness.
Wilson Schaef, Anne. Escape From Intimacy:
Untangling the "Love" Addictions: Sex, Romance,
Relationships. San Francisco, CA: Harper
& Row, l989.
Women and Verbal Abuse Bookstore http://www.cyberparent.com/abuse/femalemental.htm
Dr. Irene's Verbal Abuse Advice Site http://www.drirene.com/abuserpages.htm