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365 Responses to “550 Reader Comments on Dr Carver’s ‘Loser’ Article”

  1. avatar image

    Hi Morris
    I have just read your comment about going for the divorce.Your friends are right you need to go for it. Of course you are fearful. I’m sure you are emotionally ready. You are afraid of her reaction, of the uncertainty. Taking that step and the first few weeks are the hardest, but it will get better. You are doing the right thing and you have got friends to support you. My solicitor said to me recently that my ex is so controlling that I must always be in the driving seat. Whatever you decide do not give in to her, do not feel sorry for her. It has been six months for me now and I am gradually less concerned about thinking about him and more about getting on with my life. Unfortunately I have been refused decree Nici on the divorce because my ex won’t say what he wants as regards our child, apart from saying he doesn’t agree with my access arrangements. He has only seen his baby once in 6 months because he is never happy with the access arrangements I make. He refused to see the baby at Christmas saying that he would wait until I am prepared to be more compassionate. He then took two big bags of presents for the baby round to my solicitor’s offices. I will not give in to him. When you decide on divorce be aware of how she might behave. My ex trashed my garden, stole from me, messed up the house, bad mouthed me to my friends, made my parents and my life hell with calls, texts and letters,threatening to kill himself etc all the time claiming that I am ill and I need his help!! I have ignored it all and maintained no contact and he has finally stopped. I believe he now has a new victim. Take it one day at a time knowing that you are doing the right thing, but you just need to be strong and take that first step….Good Luck!!

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    Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for your comments; the more of these that I get, the better I feel about myself. I just re-read my comment below and it is a bit of a ramble; it makes me feel better to talk and write about it. I hope that there are some things here that you will find helpful.

    I was starting to feel some pressure; several members of my support group are starting to lose patience with me, they cannot understand why I am taking so long to file the divorce papers. My wife is returning from her trip this Friday; she was in the hospital there, her mother also needed to go to the hospital, she helped out some relatives there. You know who foot the bill.

    After reading your letters, it struck me how similar our situations were. I too, was married before, did get much therapy and thought that I had my “issue” licked. Now, 3 years later, I am in disaster #2. My present psychologist said that my new wife saw me coming and selected me for my “special” qualities. Your ex and the previous probably saw certain “qualities” in you also. Pathetic was that my present wife told me that she does get “sick” from time to time and asked me what of it. I told her that my previous wife also got sick from time to time but after a while; she was sick more often than healthy and took it out on me. I told my present wife that as long as she doesn’t take things out on me when she is ill, things will be OK. I realize that we all get a bit cranky when we are not feeling well; still, this is not the same as going into blind rages, screaming, slamming doors and the lot.

    All of us on this site seem to be nurturing yet, for one reason or another, get attracted to “damsels” or in your case, “knights” in distress. I remember when I was 1st going out with my present wife; like you it was quick, within 2 months, we were looking for a condo in my city, together, for the two of us and her son. In my case, I have no children; an attribute that my present wife said she found very appealing. In my situation, like yours, my wife was very together at the onset; we corresponded for 6 months and her letters were spectacular! Like you, the personality changed shortly after the marriage.

    I spoke to my wife last night; she said that she discharged herself from the hospital, she said that her concern was the “money”. What I can’t understand is that since we did get traveler’s insurance, why the concern? My wife was angry that I didn’t call her before; she has had similar migraines before but recovered. She was also angry because she didn’t get the $500 I wired her (on top of $5000 spending money for her personal expenses, she is staying with family and probably another 2-4K in “gifts”). She didn’t seem to want to talk with me so I gave her over to her son; another method for me feeling guilty. I had to call my wife back again; this time she was “nice” in that I was paying her more attention and that I did send the $500.

    I wish that there were face to face support groups with people like us in my city; my mind says that I am a sucker yet my heart keeps saying that she is helpless and that they will have nowhere to go. My 1st marriage was similar but no kids; my then wife started getting sickly shortly after the engagement and then worse into the marriage. She went from helpless to nasty in a matter of months. It started out as endometriosis and then after a year, my fault for causing her “stress”. My divorce was expensive to say the least.

    My 2nd wife is actually worse than the 1st. At least my ex didn’t spend and spend. My new wife is now telling me that a doctor in her homeland told her that her headaches and mood swings are related to “hormonal” issues. I have read and been told by women not to fall for this; my brain says that PMS is regular and about once a month, not every few days or weeks. Also, one lawyer I consulted, a lady, said that she had terrible PMS but she realized the issue and got some medication for it. My wife says that her temper tantrums are a “ladies” thing and that this is “normal” and “I” have to learn to deal with it. Similar to my 1st marriage and I am still a sucker; both wives are great actresses, the latest would win Oscars.

    I am having trouble sleeping in anticipation of her “return”.

    Now to your issue:

    I have to commend you in being so brave in getting out of the marriage as quickly as you did. It appears that you were married perhaps a year; without the child, you may have been out much earlier on. One of my “impatient” friends said that she was willing to stay in her marriage forever “for the kids”. I never have said it, but I couldn’t understand why she stayed knowing that the husband was totally unfaithful; she keeps telling me that there are no children of my own so the decision should be much easier.

    It must have been rough for you at the onset of the divorce that is going through with it. Albeit your ex is giving you “issues” now; be aware that this “harassment” and erratic behavior can work in your favor! I can wholly understand your concern about your new baby and what kind of “father” your ex would be during visitation periods. You are a strong lady, still, the difficulty is that you cannot simply sever the ties with your ex considering the child. One piece of advice comes from my impatient lady friend. She said that after the husband dumped her, took most of the money and left her with 3 kids to raise, she had problems letting go! She said that in her mind, she more or less came to the conclusion that her husband was not this man giving her issues but “another” man that has possessed the body!

    The person harassing you is not the same man that you fell in love with, not the man that you thought he was. This is a completely different person that does not belong in your thoughts or your life. This thinking helped my friend.

    In the case of my 1st wife, I initiated the divorce after we were separated for 6 months. I was living 2000 miles away in another city with a great job. My 1st wife was unemployed, before I accepted this offer, I was making minimum wage not working in my profession. The aggravation that I had with my 1st divorce was more with my incompetent lawyer; still, I got off easy. I never heard from my 1st wife after I filed the papers and I was now living at the other end of North America.

    Part of my present fear is that this will not be the clean and easy break that my initial marriage was. In some ways I dread what my wife will do after I file the papers. My lawyer and others said that the type of harassment you are going through would ultimately benefit me in the long run. Restraining orders, letters of harassment, taped calls etc do not look good in court when visitation and support arrangements are discussed.

    Debbie, thanks again for the comment! You are very brave and did what you had to do with a newborn no less! Situations like yours will hopefully strengthen my resolve.

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    Hi Morris
    Thank you for your response. yes, in some ways our situations are similar. My second husband is by far worse than my last. I could read my first husband like a book. He was like living with a teenager. Wanting to be out all the time, drinking and messing around. However, he did apologise to me and this has made it easier for me to move on and actually maintain a friendship for the sake of our two boys. You are right, that these people see qualities in us, but we also have to realise that there is something that we see in them that attracts us. You have mentioned sickness and your desire to rescue. Also there is a strong element of guilt involved that these people tap in to. I have had it suggested to me that I should think about the issue of guilt and perhaps be less quick to blame myself for everything, and to take responsibility for my own life and not the other person’s. It is not your responsibility that she, or her family are ill. In fact how do you know that they are really ill over there. This could just be a ploy to get more of your money.
    Your friend is right. It is best to think of these people as how they really are and not that distant memory of that short lived lovely person. I have started writing a notebook of all the nasty things that my ex did. This runs into pages! And if I find myself weakening I dip into it!You could start doing something along those lines now, making sure you date incidents so that you have got evidence if you need it (but don’t keep it at home!)
    Also although you say I am strong, I was lucky to have the support of my family, in particular my mum and sister. In fact my mum came and got me and the baby and took us away from the house. As i didn’t have a car and was too far away, I couldn’t be tempted to go back to him.It is also surprising how strong you can be when you want to protect your children. I met a lady who was prepared to take a battering herself but when her ex started on her children she left and didn’t go back. My ex was increasingly picking on my boys and our dog as well as on me.
    I also think it is hard for men in your situation, because people tend to only see domestic abuse as happening to women and tend to be more sympathetic to women. There is also probably more support for women.
    I have gone back to work now, and this is keeping me sane as I have less time to think about it all!
    Keep strong Morris.

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    Hi Debbie and all,

    Thanks for the continued support. My wife has returned from her trip. As all of you already can surmise, the 1st few days were great but then things got back to the cycle of abuse.

    It was like a full circle for me. One of the 1st memorable instances was on our honeymoon; my wife forgot her runners and was ejected from the gym on the cruise ship. She also accused me of “ogling” the women in the gym and forbade me to go there. This past Sunday, my wife came with me for a workout in the gym we share in our condo complex. There were a few ladies there practising a dance routine. After about 20 minutes, my wife left in a hough; she then called me 4 times in the next 20 minutes, she did the usual, was searching on the computer for something incriminating. When I got back from the workout, at first she didn’t acknowledge the women but then started in on me. At one point, she brought up the trip at which point I reminded her who paid for it. This was foolish and she went ballistic. What was different about this altercation was more or less a racial slur about my religion.

    You did mention record keeping. What I did start to do starting last June, was E-mail my support group members the “latest” adventures of my marriage! I have more than 6 months of E-mails detailing the time (of course) and the instances should this go to court. Like you, I also review this from time to time in order to get a reality check.

    I also have a therapist that gives me a boost of reality every time I see her. She sees me getting caught up in the cycle and adapting. Her concern is that I am waiting for something “special” to happen; she feels that it will be economic or something my wife will come up with to hurt me in court. I do know that the courts can be twisted when it comes to genders. My therapist told me story of a family she was helping out; the daughters were concerned for the welfare of the father. Apparently, the mother was bi-polar and stabbed the father. In court the mother got off (great lawyer), the lawyer said that the father was being abusive and pushed the mother over the edge.

    I hope to have the courage to do what I have to do in the next few weeks or months.

    One thing to mention; I am sure that all of you have this in common. My wife can see the change in me; I am more assertive and don’t back down anymore. It seems trivial but a year ago I would have been afraid to go back to my condo gym! A year ago I was giving in on everything financially. My wife sees the change and remarks how the therapist is damaging the marriage and changing me for the worse! To summarize:

    As I get healthier, my wife gets sicker and angrier; this leads to more flare-ups. My wife is mentioning divorce more and more (that I should tell her and end it if I am so unhappy). I have to be careful over the next few weeks to months.

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    Hi Dr. Carver,

    It’s almost one year since my ex-loser and I split up for the last time (Valentines Day 2007) and for months afterwards, you were there on several occasions to listen, advise, help me pick up the pieces and put my life back together, and more importantly, keep it together with your words of advice. Now, a year later, I’ve regained my self esteem, confidence, happiness, outlook and am enjoying life with a wonderful man in my life who adores me and I, him.

    Breaking the cycle with the loser after 5 years of roller coaster hell was the best thing that ever happened to me!

    Best wishes to YOU and ALL in 2008 for a wonderful year! We deserve it! : )

  6. avatar image

    I just ended a 6 month manipulative relationship with “ex-Loser” 6 days ago when it should have ended a month ago during the 1st “breakup panic.” It was my first serious relationship at 24 years old. I wish I had read this article before getting involved with this man because 10 features from “the list” were exactly how I was treated. My ex suffered from childhood trauma with abandonment and physical abuse from his biological father, so unfortunately being manipulative and in control is all he knows how to be for his defense mechanism, I don’t think he’ll ever break from this cycle. My ex ironically is studying Psychology and his goal is to be a Clinical Psychologist, God help his future patients….

    After 3 months in the relationship, the red flags were there and my own friends and family warned me, even the friend who introduced us warned me that he realized something wasn’t right about him. But, I still refused to believe it even though I was now apprehensive as he had me under his power and I kept thinking “but it’s just too early in the relationship, things will get better….” My own twin sister said to my mother “where did Joanna go?” as I seemed so withdrawn. My mother said it was as if I became a zombie once involved with this man but I had the blinders on…. What finally brought me to overpower my ex was when he pulled a knife to my neck even if a “joke.” That was unacceptable and for the first time in the relationhip, feared for my safety and this occured only 10 days ago…. I tried shrugging it off, but it disturbed me too much and I thought if he could do this, he’d be capable of killing…..

    Another deciding factor was he kept pushing for us to live together in our own place as he said “your family is too much of a negative influence wanting us to end this relationship when we’re happy, you need to get out of that house” and I believed this was true and wanted to move out anyway to be closer to my work. He told me what his committment in the lease would be such as drive me to work, split grocery and laundry costs, pay me $200 in rent per month since that’s all he could “afford” and I compromised the idea since he is a student (meanwhile was currently affording $400/mo to his current landlord), etc. However, I wasn’t dumb enough to not have a written agreement of my own and when I emailed the draft to him stating all the things he “said” he’d do, he flipped and responded with “Don’t call me for a few days, I need some time to cool off.” I caught him off guard and broke that chain of control. Not the reponse you’re supposed to give your girlfriend who you “love” and I knew at that moment I was done with him.

    To top it off, I recently found out he said to his housemate “I’m putting my notice in as I will be living for almost free off Joanna.” He had his “ideal living situation” all planned out to mooch off me and I’m sure be a tenant at will where he could leave at any time, leaving me in the dust. There was no such apartment for us even picked out yet either but he was already determined to get everything for what I’m worth.

    He tried taking advantage of my caring and giving nature, especially since I’m a successful nurse and scammed me out of $1000 while he spent nothing on me. Dates were no longer existant and if I wanted to see him it was always me going to his apt and we’d have sex or I’d watch him play his computer games, we never went out like we did early on in the “honey-moon” phase and since I made more than him, he made me feel obligated to pay for everything if we did go out “since he was a poor student with no parents to pay for school like I had.” Yet works full time making 30K/yr and receiving money from the Army and other sources, buying new clothes for himself… just refused to spend it on his “girlfriend.” Eventually he envisioned me to support him finacially for everything, but I put an end to it before it got any worse.

    I’m an educated college graduate with a bachelor’s degree and still was fooled by a manipulator and could have lost everything I’ve worked so hard for. Goes to show it can happen to any individual. I learned a very important lesson, even if hurtful and it could have cost my life if this unhealthy relatonship advanced further. I hope people like him will reform their behavior and change, but the damage has been done and it’s behvior he only knows. What will stop him is jail or death and already I know he’s on to the next victim. But I’m grateful it’s no longer me…. There is hope to overcome manipulative relationships and I wish I were educated about healthy relationships early on. These resources weren’t readily available when I was in middle school/high school. The key is early detection and now I know what kind of relationship NOT to be in, that’s one thing at least ex-Loser taught me.

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    Hey Joanna — you made the right decision: to reclaim your comfort and safety and sanity from someone who took comfort in disadvantaging you and chipping away at all you’ve built. You made the right decision.

    I’m hearing the defiance in your post and I’m liking it, lol! Please keep it! You’ll need it to ward off the second-guessing that might come through him, and he’ll probably accuse you of being mean and unforgiving for seeing the world in the right colors and not with green Oz glasses — but you know what went down and I encourage you not to forget.

    Maybe you could write it down now, while you still remember, so down the road when he comes back to you to change history or if time softens the blow you’ll still have an objective record of what happened. You do sound level-headed from here, and I can’t see a level-headed person going back into that situation unless he/she forgets what the situation was truly like. Don’t demonize him, but don’t send him to heaven either; he preyed on you and you don’t deserve that.

    But also, don’t kick yourself for having given him an opportunity that he chose to squander. You did what normal people do. He didn’t do what normal people do. That’s all. :-)

    You and I and the others in the group — we now know what this looks like. And we don’t have to go there again.


  8. avatar image

    Hi Mack and everyone who read my post,

    Thanks for your support and understanding. There is no way in hell I’ll ever go back to my ex-Loser “Manipulator Mark.” He’s still trying to contact me, being very clever about it and knows to be subtle with texts and phone calls, and is strangely calm about it. So far he’s done one phone call attempt per day since Tues Feb 26th and won’t leave a message. When he realizes I “can’t” answer, he texts a simple question asking me “Busy?” as if he wants me to talk to him again like nothing ever happened and thinking everything will be ok. It’s exactly what he wants me to think but he won’t control me any longer. I have been ignoring him since I broke it off and he’ll eventually give up on trying to contact me when he meets a new woman to use and feed off of. It may be 2 more weeks of this or 2 months but just have to move on.

    Just on Sunday morning Feb 24th he was the one telling me that I’m the “crazy one” and causing him “extreme distress” when I said it was over and he said “never call, email or text me again or I will call the police for harassment. Leave me alone!” The true psychotic behaviors are now revealed. It was too much for him since the break up wasn’t his idea and he lost that feeling of control, his security blanket. It was only 6 months, would have been one thing if we were involved for several years, married with children. That’s when it would be worth saving and getting professional help. But I’d never put my safety in jeopardy to help him and it’s not my place to do so, he’ll never admitt that he has unhealthy behaviors because it’s all he knows and at his age of 22 I think he’s past the point to be a candidate to get help because it’s too late for him.

    My parents, especially my mother are having such a difficult time understanding how I was so “gulliable” and taken over by him when he was so unattractive (to them but I didn’t see him like that) and I hope she reads this article and it will make sense to her. I know they’ve felt hurt and disapointed because they’ve sacrificed so much for me to be the successful individual I am today, then to see how I could have almost lost everything I’ve worked so hard for due to this “bullshit artist” and psycho who does have a personality disorder. My parents found out how much money I really lost to him as he robbed me of it through his manipulation making me feel like I had to buy him this and that to help him out. I told them “You won’t understand because you weren’t involved in the abuse. I saw what I wanted to see and his behavior distorded the real picture that you saw.”

    I know I’ll be ok and got out at the right time before it got any worse. The money I lost is just a small price. At least I’m safe, alive and can share my story. Needless to stay my trust in men will take some time to build up again but I’m young at 24 and have plenty of time to meet a man who will treat me as I deserve to be treated. In no rush and just happy to enjoy my life with friends, family and my new career as a Registered Nurse. Bye Bye “Manipulator Mark”

  9. avatar image


    After beating myself up for over a year now and countless episodes of abuse, I have finally decided to end the marriage.

    I am as prepared as can be; my therapist has been a mountain of help. I have seen a lawyer and the papers are finalized. I have a furnished apartment that will be ready on the 11th; this is my “flight” day.

    It is all so surreal; I talk to my wife like nothing is happening. The same day that I got the apartment, I started to feel remorse; my wife was not feeling too well and I was “Mr. Mom” the night before. Then a few hours later, my wife called about a High School reunion site that I joined. She threatened to come into work and look on my computer if I didn’t drop everything and come home! She also demanded hard copies and access to one of my bank accounts. A few hours later, she was “sweet” again.

    In a few days, I will have about a 3 hour window; my wife works part time and her son will be at school. I will pack as many of my personal effects as possible.

    One gentleman that went through something similar told me that my “freedom” has started; making the decision is the 1st major step. He says that once I move, I will again appreciate life and have a safe, quiet and relaxing place to go home to.

    Wish me luck; I will continue to let all of you know how the divorce is going. I hope to continue to give men and women that are in abusive relationships continuing advise; it helped me make the decision and will help me heal.

  10. avatar image

    Joanna- you have done really well to get out of that relationship when you did. Don’t give in. I’m surprised you haven’t had threats of suicide yet, or perhaps more likely in your situation threats to kill you because he can’t live without you!! I’m sure in the meantime he is already on a determined hunt for the next victim, as my ex was and is.
    Morris- I’m so glad to here that you are going to make that bid for freedom. Keep on going out of that relationship and don’t look back as Dr Carver once said to me!! Your friend is right you will start to feel better straight away, although the road ahead may be difficult at times as it has been for me. Keep on collecting that evidence in case you need it.
    My divorce is nearly through. Dr Carver was right, my ex hasn’t asked to see our baby since Christmas. Although this is sad for my baby, in the long run I’m sure it will be better for both of us. Reading between the lines of his latest internet dating profile (which my friend found and its full of lies) he doesn’t want to be saddled with another ex-wife and baby when he is putting himself across and Mr Perfect!
    Any way, I hope all goes well for all of you.

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