Question: Dear Luise: what is the best way to help my son? He is 35, an actor, and has just separated from his wife. He is an easy going person and she is a very abusive person……..extremely abusive. From moment to moment she put him down, degraded him and told him that he was of no value. We all understand why…..control over a very handsome/successful man? Well, he was married for 5 years and is really mentally beaten up since he did not believe in divorce he stayed until the very end. I just try to be supportive and bring some laughter into his life and tell him that he is not alone. What else can i do? I have also suggested that when he feels like it that he shoud go to counciling to be sure that he does not repeat this pattern again. He tells me that while they dated she was wonderful but weeks after the marriage she changed into a different person? How can he spot that personality trait again or is it impossible? I have heard other men say the same words. K.
Answer: Dear K.: He can’t spot that personality trait again. People who act one way prior to marriage and then switch to being someone else after marriage are very careful not to give themselves away until the knot is tied. It happened in my family and I know the horror you are referring to.
Sometimes we know who we are getting and sometimes we don’t. We always think we do and all I can add is that perhaps we need promise to love ourselves forever and act promptly in our own best interest if we are deceived. Some stay to the very end and it is 50 years. If a belief system demands that a life be forfeited, I simply don’t understand it. He deserves so much better and only he can give it to himself. Blessings, Luise