Send a Response to Mike:


Dear Mike,
It is now over 12 months since you put you query to MV. I hope that, now, things have settled down for you.

I hope that you have been able to place around yourself an emotional barrier that says "No matter what good qualities that someone else has, I will not place myself in a position to be hurt by that person, and I will not feed off their need for support by bartering with my own self-esteem."

You do your wife absolutely no favour to allow her violent alters to act out against you. It adds to the problem.

I like what others here have said about the 12 step programs like Co-Dependants anonymous which deals exactly with the kind of relationship which you describe - in which one partner's growth is hampered by the inability of the other to grow.



Hi Mike,

Your wife's problems are hers.........Your problems are yours. What I am trying to say is your problem in your email is what to do about her abuse..

There is nothing anyone can do about anyone else's behavior.. The only thing you can do is to change yourself. Sounds simple, but it isn't. And, when a person truly loves another, they will allow that person to fall on their feet if necessary to allowing the abuse of any kind from her, you in turn are enabling her,stopping her growth as she has no reason to change.

Also,what is it in your past that has opened the door to your willingness and possible need to bring an abusive relationship into your life? Programs out there such as Codependency groups and/or ALANON, or any 12 step program you can find where you live to learn that YOU are important .

Get to the bookstore and browse through the self help section, Melodie Beatty's 12 Step books, or even a book called I HATE YOU< Don't Leave Me, might give you some insight to yourself......Work on you, your worth it, and your wife, she has her choices to make. She also might gain strength if she sees you love yourself and she too could love herself. The best of luck to you.

a friend


Dear Mike,

Under no circumstances should violence ever be allowed in a relationship. Your wife's violent alter(s) should have this rule strictly enforced. She needs a safety contract written by her with all parts involved and consequences for acting out. The alter(s) needs a safer way of communicating anger and be grounded in the reality that you are not her perpetrator. Also, the alcohol abuse needs to be addressed. The alcohol abuse is only complicating the problem and not solving anything. A 12-Step AA meeting may help.

Protect yourself and lay ground rules for her behavior in your relationship. Do not allow yourself to be her punching bag for all those who hurt her in the past. I don't know exactly what is motivating this behavior, but it needs to come to a stop.

You are a kind person that deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. So don't under any circumstances allow yourself to be abused as well. This type of behavior stands in the way of the healing process. Take care and I wish you all well.




My heart goes out to you. No one deserves to be hit. Your wife may be dissociative, nonetheless violence is violence. And while there are psychological reasons at the root of her behaviors that may be very helpful and necessary to discover and process, there is no excuse for violence.

Whether the violence is physical, emotional, verbal or otherwise, the person abusing must want to stop, accept responsibility, and begin the long journey of recovery- of which working on violent behaviors is perhaps only a part.

I am very worried when I hear that your wife threatened to kill you. That can be frightening for anyone. She may have rage that is being misdirected at you, which is not at all uncommon. This is something that needs to be addressed immediately so that neither of you is hurt any further.

As for alcohol- if she is unwilling to stop her alcoholism, it is unlikely that she will recover. It is very difficult to do deep and authentic psychological and life work while continually drinking, for a variety of reasons. Any therapist worth his or her salt will also recognize this, as perhaps her last one did in attempting to set a boundary around the work together. However, alcoholism can sometimes be recovered from over some time, so this would be something to follow through with as you are doing.

If you choose to stay and attempt to help your wife and your marriage, please keep yourself safe. Seek therapy for yourself. A therapist may be able to help you set boundaries to protect yourself in safe ways, specific to your situation. No one, multiple or otherwise, can become healthier without a real will to do so. Therapy, as you probably know, takes a lot of perseverance and dedication. Keep in mind that you matter, too. It's okay to leave to protect yourself from being abused. You have options. You know your situation, and yourself best.

Simply know that our thoughts are with you, whatever you decide, and that you are supported in this very difficult experience. You are a brave person to seek help. I really hope this works out for you. Many with dissociative disorders have recovered from many different experiences and behaviors, so recovery is very much possible. It all depends on her willingness to do whatever it takes to get there.



Hi Mike,

I was married to one of those in the early 80's and I loved the lady very much, but she was physically abusive. I may have antagonized her, but she did the punching kicking, grabbing my hair if I shifted the wrong gear. We lasted 4 years. At the time I was in my second year of University and my studying kept me away from her most of the time. What is happening and I am not a therapist, is that she is reacting in the only way she knows how to certain "stressful" events. She is trying to copy her childhood. You cannot change this person. She has to willingly go to therapy and work through her issues; you may have some issues too, as you are attracted to her. Objectively, you are in an unhealthy relationship and need to take a look at how little you think of yourself to put up with this aberrant behavior. This is a toughie, as like a child, we want to believe in the best parts and not the bad parts but you should seek a counselor ( not web based) to assist you and this person - if she's willing to be assisted; if not, you will ultimately resent her abuse and the relationship as it is, will die.

T. P.C. (Write to MV if you are interested in further support on this topic.)



There comes a time when you need to think of you....your wife needs to buckle down and quit running from what ever or whomever...she has a lot of hard work a head of she has to do with a good therapist. She needs to be tested to see if she has dissociation disorder...some diagnoses are similar to. It is important to get your wife hooked up with the right therapist...medication may be helpful. Sometimes though Mike, no matter how hard you try, you can not help the other person. That person has to make up their mind(s) to let help in! Only then can they begin their long journey to a better life. Quality of like for your wife does not sound like a priority. She may have to hit bottom first. Be supportive, but don't make honest, even if it hurts. After the pain, be supportive. Also, you need support yourself...find it...the road is tough, but well worth the trip! Good luck and God Bless!




Bless your heart for wanting to be with one of us. We can try mortal man's soul.

First I'd like to say that no matter how much you love anyone and understand their condition, the first person you need to keep safe is you. I know for myself,being a dissociative personality, that we can lash out and endanger someone.

Finding a new therapist isn't the answer sometimes. I was able to stop drinking in AA and other 12 step programs. I have know many who couldn't and needed a rehab program. They also have a lot of programs and places for dissociative people to go to for the help they need for both. Many Voices here has a resource section that you will find a few on.

Being dissociative can explain the behavior but that doesn't make it proper for her to do what she has done. I would suggest Alanon for you and a good Co-dependency group, which is another great 12 step program. I had to learn the hard way that I had to help myself before I could help a loved one. Both programs will give you the support you will need in this relationship. I wish you good luck and keep asking questions. We are all out here and willing to share our Hope, Experience and Strength with you.

Lady J