“My emotionally abusive partner loves me, really…”

by Annie Kaszina on February 10, 2015

“My emotionally abusive partner loves me really…” is something emotionally abused women often say.  They don’t like being in the dark place that emotional abuse takes them to and, in the best of all possible worlds, they would like to recover from emotional abuse but it’s not that easy for them.  If he loves them really shouldn’t they just stick around against the day when his love outweighs his dark side.

50 Shades of Grey opens this week and isn’t that a jolly little fairy tale? Innocent young beauty falls for rich, handsome, hurt charmer with a very, very dark side.  She plumbs those depths with him.  Love prevails and – given time and a whole lot of hurt and humiliation for her – she brings him up to the light. Love – and vanilla – triumph.

Hand on heart, I have to say I haven’t read it – Life’s too short.  That’s what I get from reading reviews and previews.  Christian Grey loved Anastasia really.  Right from the start. He just needed a quaint mixture of humouring, indulging, and feistiness to save his soul.

(Apologies to any 50 Shades fan, if I have unfairly criticized their beloved fiction.)

3d Vikiana graphicsmallMy latest book, “Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband?” launches the same day as the film “50 Shades of Grey”.  But without all the razzamatazz.  Still, there’s been a fair bit of interest from the media.  One question I’ve been asked a lot is this: “How do you know if you’re in a relationship with a creep, jerk, or player?” You see, my subtitle is: “How to Avoid the Jerks, Creeps, and Players”.

The answer is simple: if you’re in a relationship with a jerk, creep, player, abuser, or any other kind of undesirable, you’re going to feel profoundly unhappy a lot of the time.

What’s worse is that you’re unhappy because your very own Mr Dark is perfectly happy for you to be unhappy.

What that’s got to do with loving you – and you can choose whether you want to stress the ‘loving’ or the ‘you’ – I really don’t know.

People who love you don’t want to hurt you.  People who want to hurt you don’t love you – but they do love to yank the chain of codependency.

You’d better believe them if they say they need you: they sure as hell do.  What’s the point of yanking the chain of co-dependency if there is nobody at the end of it. What would be the point of Christian Grey buying all that stuff from DIY shops without some obliging female to ‘wear’ it? It’s not as if he’s planning on – personally – refurbing his luxury residence, is it?

If someone is okay with you being unhappy around them, they do NOT love you really.

Theoretically, I could stop here.  I’ve made my point.

However…

Here’s something I received this week from someone who’s being reading my newsletters – for years:

“My gut told me tonight something was off kilter . .. I prayed and prayed because I felt confused (doubting my intuition) and feeling lost  . . . but after I prayed, I remembered this newsletter!

I had a connection that was all confusion and I couldn’t put my finger on it – I’ve read so much about abusers but this newsletter of yours (How to Spot An Emotional Abuser http://recoverfromemotionalabuse.com/2015/01/not-spot-emotional-abuser/ ) showed me plain as day he was absolutely the Super Alpha Abuser.  That brought me so much validation!  It confirmed what I knew all along – in spite of all the favor and special attention, I was never going to meet his expectations… but oh, the things he said . . . no one could make sense of it.”

This lady has been seeing and hearing the message for years and wanting to recover from emotional abuse, before she finally saw the light.  She couldn’t argue with that one little story of the guy who publicly gave the ‘object of his attention’ a ‘playful’ slap around the head.

I’ll leave you with a non-story – you’ll see why it’s a non-story in a moment.

Last year was a very tough one for me.  My mother, with whom I had a conflicted relationship, inched slowly into dementia and death.  The care home she was in was far from good but I had no power to change things. The relationship with my siblings broken down, once and for all, over my refusal to sit back and shut up at her appalling treatment in the home. My partner supported me every inch along the way through those dark months.

So, what didn’t you hear?

What’s the story that isn’t there?

It’s the emotional abuser’s story.  My lovely partner simply supported me.  No fights, no scenes, no demands, and no recriminations.

You’d expect an emotional abuser to trumpet his anger and unhappiness with the situation – because he wouldn’t be centre stage, would he? He’d be raging about how hard it was for him.  There’d be bitter fights, endless recriminations.  He’d tell you, time and time again, about what he couldn’t do – and what he expected from you under the circumstances.

He might throw in the old “I love you, but…” routine.  But you know he’d add to the load, not lighten it. That’s what happens with someone who loves you really: they weigh you down and then say: “I love you really.  But I can’t be doing with you being bent over with troubles.”

He who loves you really will cause you a whole host of misery.

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