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RLiebowitz
RLiebowitz, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 50
Experience:  work with couples and families in private practice
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Think am addicted to an abusive relationship. Been on and off

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Think am addicted to an abusive relationship. Been on and off with y fella for 9 years, we were engaged once. Recent holiday to an amazing venue to sort things out once and for all after 4 months apart- he was in Afghanistan. First few days of hols all I got told was to shut the f**k up, recently had hair cut asked if he liked it and got told.... Don't push for compliments I'll give you compliment if I feel it's appropriate. He has a habit of ignoring me completely if I ask what he thinks is a stupid question. Am usually confident so why stuck? He an be very charming but may a man has warned me against him and my friends don't like him. Know he had awful parents and not good home life but!!!! How do I break away...he's happy in the situation ?

RLiebowitz :

hello!

RLiebowitz :

As a Licensed Professional Counselor in NY and NJ, I'd be happy to help you

RLiebowitz :

I wish I knew your age - I think that would make answering your question a bit easier; however, I think the advice would pretty much be the same. First off - I want to commend you for identifying that you're "addicted to an abusive relationship." Recognizing that your relationship is abusive isn't the easiest thing to do, so the fact that you're already there is more than half the battle. Moving forward, I advise clients to sit down (we often do it together), fold a piece of paper in half, and write down what their definition of LOVE is in one column. In the other column, write down words to describe your current relationship. This can be a big eye-opener.

RLiebowitz :

Now, we can absolutely take into account his family upbringing AND the fact that he just came back from a very hostile and dangerous environment. Was he verbally abusive before leaving for Afghanistan?

RLiebowitz :

Does he have a substance abuse problem?

RLiebowitz :

Let me know those answers before we proceed :-)

Customer: I am 45 he's 47
Customer: he has never had a substance abuse problem
Customer: He is in the navy so luckily was at bastion for his tour, not right in the thick of things. He has always been rather off hand in the way he speaks to me hence the on and off relationship for 9 years, he can be quite controlling with other people too... I always hope his positive aspects will come through more and that time apart will give him time to reflect.
Customer: I have to say I was warned against him 9 years ago but decided to see for myself, but sadly cannot take him out with my friends as they don't like him and those he's not yet met I worry he will offend yet he can be behave like charm itself with his friends!! The problem is I try to leave him but miss him. As I forget the rotten stuff until we're back together and a few weeks later he starts again. I recognise he had a useless mother...he is one of 4 boys..... They have all disowned their mother and she them and until they did they each called her Pam and not mum.... He went to an all boys school and then joined the navy !!!! Probably deep seated lack of respect for women and their worth, Ii need to know how to break the cycle of his behaviour I think or me feeling I need him in. My life :(
RLiebowitz :

well look - you aren't kids

RLiebowitz :

this man has been functioning this way for 47 years

RLiebowitz :

9 years to your knowledge

RLiebowitz :

so if you want to continue trying to change him, then you might want to suggest to him you go to couple's counseling

RLiebowitz :

unfortunately the stressors and mental health complications of military personnel are too often unseen/untreated

RLiebowitz :

If you're looking for a direction, if I was a gambling woman, I'd say moving on is your best bet

RLiebowitz :

If you're looking for guidance on how to make the relationship work, you need to keep in mind that a relationship is 50/50 whether you like it or not

RLiebowitz :

you cant be responsible for 90 or 100%

RLiebowitz :

There is a book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie

RLiebowitz :

I'm pretty sure it also comes on tape. I think that's a book you could really benefit from.

RLiebowitz :

You've devoted 9 years of your life to this situation, so leaving him is not going to happen overnight. But it's going to take some work and self-restraint on your part. I think the part you need to realize is that when you "miss" him - you're missing the him you wish he was, not the him that actually is there.

RLiebowitz :

I understand that when "it's good it's good," but you can't live life waiting for blue moons

RLiebowitz :

So are you looking for the strength to leave or tools to remain?

Customer: The tools to leave as the impact on staying. What is shows my son.....behaviour towards women validated... Losing the respect of my daughter and her fiancé as they have unfortunately witnessed some of the ways he has spoken to me dissect fully and don't approve, the act that the greater number of people see how he destroys me and know when he's in touch with me without me saying by my behaviour and I think that long term I don't want to isolate myself. Staying may be easier if I learn to put up and shut up but I'm not sure long term what that would do for my mental health????
Customer: Should say disrespectfully !!!!
Customer: I understand some stressors my job, the riduculous thing is I have undergone basic counselling training for my job, I'm a nurse working in chemotherapy and cancer care half my hours, the other half I'm an a and e nurse!!!! Which is why I'm having difficulty in dealing with my inability to be strong with/about him.
RLiebowitz :

So I think you've just answered a lot of your own question - and you're right. The definition you're forming for your children for the word "love" is off.

RLiebowitz :

And I think you know what this would do to your mental health long term bc you've already seen how it's impacted your mental health over the past 9 years

RLiebowitz :

your relationship has taken a toll on your self-esteem

RLiebowitz :

perhaps you have concerns about whether or not you can move on or will find someone else?

Customer: I think you've probably hit the nail on the head, low self esteem has probably made me dependent on him.....? Being 45 I also think yep, I'm too old no-one will ever look at me
RLiebowitz :

hey!

RLiebowitz :

45 is the new 30.

Customer: lol I do hope so :)
RLiebowitz :

You need to start to nurture yourself and take of yourself with the energy you've been putting into this man

RLiebowitz :

go out, buy a nice new outfit, primp your hair, and get OUT

RLiebowitz :

there is a lid for EVERY pot!

Customer: do all those things but like say think have to work harder on head:-/ even moved house to remove myself from him!!!! Then I let him back in due to this blooming weakness!
RLiebowitz :

honey!

RLiebowitz :

how are you going to get over him with him 5 feet away?

RLiebowitz :

are you financially dependent on him?

Customer: No never have been, divorced my children's dad 18 years ago, never had joint finances etc with this guy, always my house I bought myself but he stayed at times. It's me my mortgage and loans :)
RLiebowitz :

you sound FABULOUS.

Customer: this morning tho I did book to go see my boy in the states(my son is 24 and moved to Atlanta 2 years ago to work) and to get to know his dad..may be a huge new outlook????
RLiebowitz :

HELLO!

RLiebowitz :

THANK YOU!

RLiebowitz :

the best way to get over someone is to get under someone! ;-)

Customer: thank you :)
RLiebowitz :

you need to play the field

RLiebowitz :

be treated like the lady that you are

RLiebowitz :

and be reminded that you are a beautiful, worthy, self-sufficient woman

RLiebowitz :

what is more sex in a woman than self-sufficience?

RLiebowitz :

I'm going to give you an exercise that greatly helped me.

Customer: ok
RLiebowitz :

I keep it in my wallet and still refer to it, but much less frequently than in the beginning

RLiebowitz :

I want you to write down 10 things about yourself that you absolutely LOVE.

RLiebowitz :

not "I'm a descent singer" or "I have a pretty good smile."

RLiebowitz :

"I have beautiful eyes," "I am a wonderful baker," etc

RLiebowitz :

solid FACTS

Customer: ok
RLiebowitz :

and when that little voice starts talking about age, and capability

RLiebowitz :

I want you to recall that list

RLiebowitz :

I also keep the song lyrics to Whitney Houston "I'm every woman" in my wallet ;-)

Customer: brilliant I do .ike that ' I am woman' song and do blast that out now and agin....maybe do it more and louder!!!!:)
RLiebowitz :

YEP!

RLiebowitz :

blast that in the shower

RLiebowitz :

I'm about to step out - it's 4th of July over here, which is a big holiday! :-)

RLiebowitz :

Have I thoroughly answered your question?

Customer: oops sorry....enjoy....actually both y kids there at mo as daughter visiting dad for week:) go and enjoy and thank you very much..... I can tell you know exactly where I'm coming from. I will re read your advice and keep reminding myself
Customer: many thanks and enjoy your day :D julie x
Customer: Yes :)
RLiebowitz :

wonderful! I will check in with you over the next few days to see how you're feeling. Should you want to speak with me specifically in the future, feel free to put my name in the subject of your post so that the community knows you're looking for me. Please keep in mind that I do not receive credit for our conversation if you do not rate me.

Thank you very much - I will speak to you soon - go enjoy your free time!!!

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