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Last year I started dating an alcoholic who was emotionally abusive. No flaw was too insignificant to mention, and every positive quality was put through the shredder. He would say terrible things about me to my face, behind my back, and to others right in front of me. Basically, I let him destroy me. I'm still coming to terms with my reasons for staying, but there's no denying the fact that I DID stay. I think that's why I blame myself for this horrible pain that I continue to feel.

Within days of each other, two important events happened: he quit drinking and I conceived our child. (I found out about a month later, so there's no real connection.) He fell off the wagon a few times and can still be an insufferable @sshole, but he is a MUCH better person than he used to be. It's been 10 months since the last time he had a beer, and about 1.5 years since he generally quit drinking. It seems like I've had to fight tooth and nail for every improvement in his behavior and our relationship, but yes, things have improved. Somewhat to my annoyance, he thinks that I should just forgive and forget all of the other crap that happened. I've been trying so hard to make this relationship work, for his sake and for our daughter's sake, and I'm sooo tired of feeling this anger toward him. Most of all, I'm tired of being angry at myself ... but maybe I need to forgive him before I can forgive myself.

Sometimes I wish that I could just wave a magic wand and forget everything that happened, but I can't. I can't forget, and I can't forgive. It seemed like every time I forgave him, he would just turn around and hurt me again. I'm afraid to take that chance again, but I can't continue like this. I used to love thinking about the future, and now it seems like I'm paralyzed because I hate the idea of a future with him. I enjoy having a man to lavish with attention and affection, but I can't do it when it feels insincere. I can't seem to do much of anything anymore because I'm so stuck in this emotional turmoil. I want out of it, but I don't know how. Do any of you other INFJs have suggestions? I think I saw that INFJs aren't very good with forgiveness, but maybe someone knows the trick? Or anything that could help? I would greatly appreciate any guidance.
 

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Sometimes, you can't. My mother was selfish. She scared away my friends and kept me inside. Some days she'd drag me around the house by my hair.

But she was always so loving. Always more nurturing than my father (whom I only saw on weekends).

But that didn't stop her from getting into heavy drugs. And after a lot of growing up and watching her ignore my efforts to help her, I had to turn my back on her.

Sometimes, you need to turn your back. It sucks, but it's always worse before it gets better.

Do you really want to raise a child around a man like him?
 

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If you can't forgive, and the damage is already done, you should leave him-you already know this, but are probably holding out hope for something? If you are unhappy, and stay that way, it will just get worse. I know it's hard-I was in the same type of relationship, and she left ME....It was very weird.
 

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Sometimes, you can't. My mother was selfish. She scared away my friends and kept me inside. Some days she'd drag me around the house by my hair.

But she was always so loving. Always more nurturing than my father (whom I only saw on weekends).

But that didn't stop her from getting into heavy drugs. And after a lot of growing up and watching her ignore my efforts to help her, I had to turn my back on her.

Sometimes, you need to turn your back. It sucks, but it's always worse before it gets better.

Do you really want to raise a child around a man like him?
I am so sorry about your mother. I think that it's worse when they alternate between abusive and loving. The latter gives you hope and keeps you coming back for more, only to have your heart broken when they turn on you again. Of course, that's merely my opinion. I just regret that you had to experience so much pain.

If he were still drinking, then no, I absolutely would not raise my child with him. I love her way too much, and he knows what he'll lose if he starts again. ... But if he stays sober, then the path is not so clear. I think that he's a very unhealthy ISFP with the potential to be a pretty great guy. I think that was my problem from the start: I knew there was a good heart buried under all that pain and hate, but I underestimated the personal cost of digging it out. I guess I'm hoping that was the "worse before it gets better" part.

If you can't forgive, and the damage is already done, you should leave him-you already know this, but are probably holding out hope for something? If you are unhappy, and stay that way, it will just get worse. I know it's hard-I was in the same type of relationship, and she left ME....It was very weird.
You're right. I think that I'm holding out hope for a miracle, like maybe he'll say just the right thing to make the pain go away. I know that it's irrational, but I feel like I have to keep the family together. He's way too screwed up on his own, and I literally don't know if he'd survive the break-up.

May I ask for more information on your relationship with your ex? Why exactly did she leave?
 

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I witnessed somewhat of a similar story. They met at a party and started dating, she was 25 he was 33. She eventually got pregnant from him so they decided to finally marry, I think they were dating for 1.5 years at this point. He had a number of addictions including drinking, smorking, and playing computer games. He had something alongside of narcissistic personality disorder and passive aggressive personality disorder running. It seems like for every good thing he does to another person he later makes them pay for it. It is like he cannot let go and just let himself love other people, he always has to compete and hurt them instead. He also hasn't held a job for a while so he sat home with their kid while she worked. They fought tooth and nail and after 3 years she gave him the divorce papers, took the kid, rented a room in an apartment and moved out of his house.

I actually also wondered if this guy would survive the break-up and was somewhat worried for him but seems like self-preservation instincts run strong in any one of us, even the @sshole alcoholic gaming addicts without a job learn and make it out somehow.
 

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One needs to forgive theirself before they can forgive others.

Counseling...for you, or maybe you and him...if he is willing. Just a thought.
 

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I witnessed somewhat of a similar story. They met at a party and started dating, she was 25 he was 33. She eventually got pregnant from him so they decided to finally marry, I think they were dating for 1.5 years at this point. He had a number of addictions including drinking, smorking, and playing computer games. He had something alongside of narcissistic personality disorder and passive aggressive personality disorder running. It seems like for every good thing he does to another person he later makes them pay for it. It is like he cannot let go and just let himself love other people, he always has to compete and hurt them instead. He also hasn't held a job for a while so he sat home with their kid while she worked. They fought tooth and nail and after 3 years she gave him the divorce papers, took the kid, rented a room in an apartment and moved out of his house.

I actually also wondered if this guy would survive the break-up and was somewhat worried for him but seems like self-preservation instincts run strong in any one of us, even the @sshole alcoholic gaming addicts without a job learn and make it out somehow.
This isn't your personal story under the guise of the "my friend" routine is it? :wink:
 

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This isn't your personal story under the guise of the "my friend" routine is it? :wink:
oh no, i have the opposite problem of being too picky rather than not picky enough :tongue:
it is just another tidbit of information my Ni-Fe has gathered and stored, i have lots more of these where this one has come from hehehe

I've been trying so hard to make this relationship work, for his sake and for our daughter's sake, and I'm sooo tired of feeling this anger toward him. Most of all, I'm tired of being angry at myself ... but maybe I need to forgive him before I can forgive myself.
To add something a bit more useful I would have to say that forgiveness would probably have to find its foundation in the child. I mean usually if somebody hurts you that badly, you try to cross that person out of your life and never associate with them again. However having a child from them complicates things immensely because at this point you become tied to this person for life. Even if people get divorced in most cases because of the kids they will still have to see each other. Quite a lot of people realize this and stay together because of the kids, and they see that without overstepping their egos and forgiving they cannot have a future.

There is also relationship counseling if this is an option. It does sound like you need someone to talk to about your anger that is rooted in your relationship.
 

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Is it good now, or just better?
My INFJ bf experienced the trifecta of child abuse. He now feels guilty about the idea of cutting off his parents because they have "improved" - his example being they actually waited to start dinner when he was fifteen minutes late, once. He doesn't even find this ironic. :dry:

In reading about abuse, I have come across the idea that forgiveness isn't always the healthiest idea - indeed it can impede healing if you haven't dealt with the anger and pain first. As much as forgiveness can feel like what healing is supposed to be, anger can be healthy; expressing it can be healthy. And if he just wants it forgotten, it doesn't seem that he has clearly confronted the reality of his actions. Acting like a jerk, 'reforming' and then blaming the other person for not being forgiving right away is emotionally abusive too. You cannot feel guilty for feeling the pain his actions caused. You don't have to forgive or forget until you are ready. Of course anger is tiring - but it is also an important signal to indicate when wrong is done. Eliminating the reasons for anger is more lasting. Besides, emotional abuse can easily lead one to discredit, dismiss, or manipulate one's own emotions into others' ideas of what is acceptable or healthy - be careful that's not what is happening here. And best of luck.
 

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The problem is that he expects it to magically be all sunshine and rainbows now that he's decided to clean up his act but it just doesn't work that way.
He did damage and you need time to be angry before you can even think about forgiving him.
I know it's hard because you have a child but my opinion is that (at the very least) you need some time away from each other. Him so he can reflect on the damage he's done and how to rectify it so he doesn't repeat his behavior in the future and you so can finally let out that anger and hurt and start to heal.
You will never be able to forgive him until you have healed from the trauma properly.
You also should seek out some kind of support if not therapy then maybe a support group or even a minister (if you are religious) or something like that.
 

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You forgive them by... looking for positive traits?

I always easily forgive people myself. I rarely if even hold a grudge against someone, especially those close to me like my father.

My father is clinically diagnosed with the bipolar disease, so naturally his temperament can be out of hand at times. He has emotionally abused my entire family before, but I still love him. I love him because he is my father, and I know he loves me. For all the anger he has ever shown me, he has also shown me a lot of love (even if it is hidden under a 'detached' exterior... but as INFJ I imagine I am rather good at reading people and I know appearances are not always what they seem). My father also has a lot of positive traits such as compassion, integrity, and a sense of humor.

So, I forgive him for all his wrongs because I know he is not entirely bad. Though, I also probably do because I know at times when I am moody I will lash out against the ones I am closest to and I can only pray they forgive me for it. We are not always model citizens.

I don't know if this guy ever does anything good for you, but if he does you can focus on those traits.
Though, I am not exactly preaching forgiveness in this scenario. Sometimes, people cannot be forgiven for all their wrongs. Only people who are truly good at heart can be forgiven.

That's how I approach the world as an INFJ.
 

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Last year I started dating an alcoholic who was emotionally abusive. No flaw was too insignificant to mention, and every positive quality was put through the shredder. He would say terrible things about me to my face, behind my back, and to others right in front of me. Basically, I let him destroy me. I'm still coming to terms with my reasons for staying, but there's no denying the fact that I DID stay. I think that's why I blame myself for this horrible pain that I continue to feel.

Within days of each other, two important events happened: he quit drinking and I conceived our child. (I found out about a month later, so there's no real connection.) He fell off the wagon a few times and can still be an insufferable @sshole, but he is a MUCH better person than he used to be. It's been 10 months since the last time he had a beer, and about 1.5 years since he generally quit drinking. It seems like I've had to fight tooth and nail for every improvement in his behavior and our relationship, but yes, things have improved. Somewhat to my annoyance, he thinks that I should just forgive and forget all of the other crap that happened. I've been trying so hard to make this relationship work, for his sake and for our daughter's sake, and I'm sooo tired of feeling this anger toward him. Most of all, I'm tired of being angry at myself ... but maybe I need to forgive him before I can forgive myself.

Sometimes I wish that I could just wave a magic wand and forget everything that happened, but I can't. I can't forget, and I can't forgive. It seemed like every time I forgave him, he would just turn around and hurt me again. I'm afraid to take that chance again, but I can't continue like this. I used to love thinking about the future, and now it seems like I'm paralyzed because I hate the idea of a future with him. I enjoy having a man to lavish with attention and affection, but I can't do it when it feels insincere. I can't seem to do much of anything anymore because I'm so stuck in this emotional turmoil. I want out of it, but I don't know how. Do any of you other INFJs have suggestions? I think I saw that INFJs aren't very good with forgiveness, but maybe someone knows the trick? Or anything that could help? I would greatly appreciate any guidance.

Miss Frozen Fire.....

This is from my personal experience and from many others that I have seen and gone through. Countless times. So please do not think I am criticizing you or your husband.

Most individuals... will not change old behaviors until they have a strong desire or need to change. And usually people decide to change when it is too late. Especially if you are dealing with an alcoholic. That is what you stated. Most alcoholics from my own personal experiences, are self centered and cannot fully understand the damage that they have caused. Maybe they do, but do not do a great job when it comes to actions.

If this individual continously show the type of behavior in which you have described.... Being abusive in the relationship, on and off, lashing out on you, on and off, empty promises, on and off, then quite honestly, it is not going to work out. The reason being, he is not willing to change. Change takes commitment and being mindful of practice. Example, if I knew how much this is hurting you and it is affecting us as a husband and wife, and for our child.... And how detrimental it is to our well being, then I need to change and be aware of this, and do something about it. Once I am aware, I need to be mindful and continously practice changing my behavior until it becomes a positive habit. Once it becomes a positive habit, I no longer have to be mindful of it because it has become a habit of mine. Not easy to do, but not impossible. Does that make sense?

If this person cannot see how harmful he has become and justifies himself by blaming others for his calamity, then there really isn't much you can do for him. More than likely, you will suffer and your child will suffer if you stay in the relationship, especially with an individual that is unwilling to change. Just because the alcoholic or addict stopped drinking or using, does not mean that the behavior has changed. In my own personal experience, we do not change until we lose everything or hit our bottom. But that does not have to be that way if the person is willing to change and have an open mind.

If you notice that the individual continues on and off of this type of behavior, such as... blaming others, being verbally abusive, self centered, selfish, acting like an immature king baby syndrome, and unwilling to change.... Then move on. Because you will more than likely go down with him. It is just a matter of time.

If for some reason this did not help.... Then disregard my opinion and seek the help that you need.


Sincerely,
Johnny
 
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