Cutting The Ties Of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

by Annie on June 21, 2010

I’ve worked with many abused women who want to be
free of their emotionally abusive partner, or ex-partner, and yet can’t quite let go.  

From a logical standpoint it makes no sense at all.  But why should it? 

One abused woman’s words sum up the problem perfectly: 

“What is that part of me
that endlessly holds out the hope that he has grown and won’t be a jerk?”

Now, she is not even with
her abusive partner any more, nor has she been for quite a while.  Yet the hope persists.

Or, perhaps, more correctly,
it is the habit; the habit of still seeing this abusive man as somehow playing
a central role in her life.  

Why does this happen?   

Or, perhaps, more correctly,
it is the habit; the habit of still seeing this abusive man as somehow playing
a central role in her life. 

There are lots of possible
answers.  It could have to do with not
really holding the centre of her own world for herself.  Or it could have to do with still according
him a power and authority that he never deserved.  

In the end, the only
important thing is that, for whatever reason, women who cannot quite let go are
still enmeshed.  And, because they are
still enmeshed, they still look to their abusive partner to free them. 

If he will stop calling, or
doing whatever it is he does to remind her that his hooks still bite into her
flesh, then she will be free.

But that is exactly what he
is unlikely to do.

For as long as he can still
have his bit of fun tugging on those hooks, he will continue to do so.  It goes with the territory.

When my divorce from my
abusive husband finally came through, I wanted closure.  (Prior to that point, I had done at least
my fair share of mentally asking him how could he?)  But I had a strong sense that I needed to
sever the line of communication – on my side at least.

I sent him a carefully
crafted letter telling him that the connection between us was completely at an

Being really quite astute,
as most abusive men are, he sensed that I meant it.  Over the years, he has engaged in a little low level provocation
and he has bided his time waiting, and plotting the day when he would…  I’m not even sure what: get his revenge,
strike me hard, or whatever.  As he said
to one of our very few mutual friends: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Please understand that I am
not suggesting that he has spent all his time plotting my comeuppance; I’m sure
he hasn’t.  But it has been a nice idea
for him to play with – he doesn’t have a problem with the notion that revenge
is a dish best served cold – and the time finally came when he could twist the

What does all this mean in
practical terms?

It means that he has been
instrumental in creating a rift with someone that I love – it also means that
that person has their own share of responsibility also; as do I.

So where am I going with

When this rift started I
made a conscious decision that I was not going to be drawn back into any of the
old stuff, including Poor Me Syndrome. 
We can ascribe whatever meaning we choose to what happens to us. I chose
to believe that there was a gift in the situation, I simply had to find it.

I had a vision of my
ex-husband standing with the end of a cord in his hand, jerking it very hard,
because he believed that the other end was tied firmly round my throat. 

I don’t have to tell you
that the other end was once tied round my throat, in the same way
that it may well have been tied around yours.

No way was I going to pick
up ‘my’ end of that cord. 

That would have been

You cannot just pick up
‘your’ end of that cord, and hope it will stay inert in your hand.  It will coil itself around your throat, or
whichever part of your anatomy it was ever attached to – or may still be
attached to. 

You have only to touch that
cord for it to develop a life of its own – a life that is intent on squeezing
the life out of you.

As I write this, I am aware
just how dramatic it sounds.  But is it
far fetched, or is it accurate? 

And if you feel it is
accurate, then isn’t it time you cut the cord in your own life, once and for

Ah but, how to do it? 

CLICK HERE to discover how.

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