Why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work

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by Annie Kaszina on April 19, 2016

Why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work is the very last thing that the partner of an emotional abuser thinks about.  Instead, that partner will spend a LOT of time thinking about what they can do to make it work.

Whoever said that emotionally abused women aren’t optimistic? 

When you stop to think about it, they show the most extraordinary optimism.  Unfortunately, it’s woefully displaced.

If only they would make a slight shift in their thinking from believing they can still make the relationship work to believing they can still have a life of their own (sans Mr Nasty) things would rapidly start to improve.

In fairness, most victims of an emotionally abusive partner find it hard to accept that their emotionally abusive relationship can never work because it flies in the face of both what they believe, and what popular culture tells them, like:

  • All you need is love
  • Love conquers all
  • Love makes the world go round
  • Love hurts

And so on, and so forth.

My dear old dad had a saying of his own:

“When you get married, Love flies out the window! 

He was right, bless him.  But, more importantly, he was also wrong.

He was right insofar as, if you marry an emotional abuser, Love will soon fly out of the window, returning only occasionally to leave a nasty mess in its wake. He was wrong inasmuch as the Love that flies out of the window once it’s tied you into the relationship very probably wasn’t Love in the first place.

Emotional abuse does a nice job of masquerading as Love.

Which brings us to 5 powerful reasons why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work.

Reason #1 Why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work 

For an emotionally abusive partner it wasn’t about Love in the first place: it was about purchasing unlimited access to your life.  He asked himself not what he could do for you, but what you could do for him.  Services he expected likely include:

  • Cheerleader
  • Cook
  • Cleaner
  • Lover
  • Child-bearer and child-rearer
  • Bank
  • Scapegoat

And more besides.

Reason #2 Why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work 

He never committed to making it work.  Now, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t subjected you to The Pseudo-Heroic Rant:

“I don’ t know what else to do. I’ve done everything I possibly could to make this relationship work.  But you throw it all back in my face. 

Being able to come out with a good – even plausible –  Psuedo-Heroic rant is proof of nothing other than the fact that the man can RANT. (And he is a frightful pseud!!)

An emotionally abusive partner knows that he who rants with the most conviction wins. He has conviction.  In spades.

You may make the assumption that conviction has to grow out of honesty.

He sees it differently: for an emotionally abusive man, conviction grows out of expediency.  What is important to him matters rather more than a quaint consideration like objective truth, or – even worse – your truth.

But putting his rant(s) to one side, his day-to-day actions are not calculated to make the relationship work.  Quite the reverse.

Reason #3 Why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work 

He doesn’t value the relationship.  Blindingly obvious though this may be, it can take a lot of believing.

Still, it doesn’t take a lot of explaining:

People don’t trash what they value.  

He regularly trashes the relationship, through his words and his deeds.

Reason #4 Why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work

He doesn’t value his partner.  

Think of it this way: suppose you have a dog or cat. If you withhold sustenance, or affection from that creature – you could not justify it by saying:

“Well, if that creature hadn’t done X, Y, or Z, it wouldn’t have made me behave like that.”

Cruelty is cruelty.  Neglect is neglect.

You can’t blame your pet for your behavior.  Put another way, you can’t shift responsibility for your behavior onto that creature’s perceived shortcomings.

Yet that is exactly what an emotionally abusive partner does with you.

Sure, you’re not a pet.

Theoretically, you’re way higher up the food chain than a pet is.  But try telling Mr Nasty that.  Try telling yourself…

What’s not good enough for a pet is definitely NOT good enough for you.

Reason #5 Why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work  

He’s a horrible person. 

Yes, I know you could try the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow explanation: 

There was a little girl,

            Who had a little curl,

Right in the middle of her forehead.

            When she was good,

            She was very good indeed,

But when she was bad she was horrid. 

The wretched man is NOT a little girl – or a little boy for that matter.  He’s perfectly old enough to be responsible for his own behavior.

A lot of the time that behavior SUCKS.  Still, he doesn’t have a problem with that.  In fact, he feels perfectly justified.

That makes him a horrible person in my book.

The ‘Marriage Math’ for a successful relationship is 5 positive exchanges for 1 negative one.  An emotionally abusive partner turns the equation on his head:

5 negative exchanges (minimum) for 1 positive one.

Conclusive proof why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work.

If you know someone who is struggling to see why an emotionally abusive relationship can never work, there is no point in arguing the toss with them, or trying to get them to see the situation through your eyes.  They won’t listen.  Instead, please share this information via social media so that all those people who need to see it, can read it for themselves and have the opportunity of seeing the situation in a new light.

Warm wishes for your healing and happiness,

Annie Kaszina

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