10 Most Damaging Questions Women Ask About An Emotionally Abusive Partner

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by Annie Kaszina on May 16, 2017

Back in the day, when I was with an emotionally abusive partner, I knew that something was very wrong.  Needless to say, I assumed that the main thing that was wrong had to be me.  That didn’t work too well for me – although it worked beautifully for him.

A Narcissist and/or emotional abuser will always make you responsible for their behaviour, as in,

“You cannot possibly expect me to take responsibility for behaving vilely towards you, because you fell short of the perfection I demanded of you. Was that such a lot to ask, already??!”

A Narcissist and/or emotional abuser needs to make you believe that you have wronged them.  It distracts attention from the many, many ways in which they have wronged you. Quite deliberately.

It also stops you from realizing how you have wronged yourself.

Not deliberately, of course.  Why would you?

However, you wrong yourself when you ask the WRONG questions about the relationship.  Below you will find the 10 Killer Questions guaranteed to make you feel far, far worse than you could ever deserve to feel.

  1. “How can he treat me that way?” He’s an emotionally abusive man, remember? That’s exactly how he is going to treat you. He’s a piranha. Not a lapdog.
  1. “Doesn’t he care…?”He cares a LOT about the way he feels you treat him. He doesn’t have any qualms about the way he treats you. He plays the game by his rules and, according to his rules, he can do whatever he wants. You don’t’ have to like it. However, you are meant to tolerate it.
  1. “Why does he behave like that?”He behaves like that because it works for him. His behavior means you don’t get what you want. But he  That’s what matters to him.
  2. “Will he ever change?/Can he change?” Bad question.  Ask yourself, instead, “Why should he change?” when egativity, fights, and emotional estrangement are all grist to his (very busy) mill.
  1. “How can he get away with it?”You get to decide whether you think he is a Narcissist, sociopath, psychopath, or whatever. He merely sees himself as a superior form of life. One thing’s for sure, he doesn’t have a conscience where you are concerned. He doesn’t see that treating you badly is his problem. After all, if you hadn’t breathed at the wrong time, it would never have happened. Allegedly.
  1. “Will the next woman make him happy– and prove that the relationship disaster was all my fault?” Doubtless she will have a damned good try – and, likely, fail.  But who cares, anyway? That is irrelevant. He was a pig to you. Not all of the time, perhaps. But enough of the time to hurt, humiliate, and diminish you, hugely. He’ll probably want you to know that it’s all Love’s Young Dream with your replacement.  Wish her well! She has not got “your life”. She has won herself your tormentor. Let’s hope her expectations are very, very low.
  1. “Why does Everyone believe him?”Maybe we understand different things by Everyone. For me, everyone means a vast array of different people, each with their own brain, thoughts, opinions, and experiences. When you say: “Everyone”, are you picturing people in what was once your shared circle who are temperamentally more aligned with him than they are with you? Besides, were they ever really good friends to you, anyway?
  1. “Why won’t he listen?”He has an addiction to the sound of his own voice. If he’s not the one doing the talking what’s being said is probably not important – to him! He has no interest in validating you.
  1. Why does he have to wait until I’ve finally left him before he finally realizes how much he loves me?”Think back. Mr Nasty has always had an ability to pull the occasional – corny – protestation of love out of the bag. But things have just got serious: if he can’t have you, he’ll have to find himself another social secretary, cook, housekeeper, emotional punch bag etc. etc. That will cost him time, and trouble. Not to mention the financial implications of ending the relationship. A Narcissist and/or emotional abuser can talk about love, they can even spell it but they can’t give At best they may be able to barter it to get what they want. But only short term.
  2. “Could I have done more/better..?”Bad question. A much more useful question is: “How much less could I have done?” You gave him everything you could. And Mr Terminally Self-Obsessed still told you that you were selfish. Without wishing to, you colluded with his story that the sun shone out of his backside, and The World   revolved around him. That story about the Sun was an out-and-out lie. You have the proof. No matter how many times you laundered his trousers, I’m betting you never once saw a burn mark on them where the sun’s rays should have been. He oversold himself, massively. You undersold yourself. Massively. You did way too much for someone massively undeserving. End of…

Nothing good will ever come out of asking yourself the wrong questions. If you have not yet found great answers for them, then that, already, should tell you all that you need to know. Instead, start asking yourself a much, much better question,
“How do I stop underselling yourself, so I can create a happy, fulfilling life for myself?”

If you don’t have an answer, but are willing to work on your recovery, then we need to talk.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

janet jarvis December 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

Wow, that’s powerful. You could have been talking about me and my ex . Thankfully 7 months ago I had the courage and eventually after 10 years I left. Best thing I ever did, I now have a life, a wonderful man and my whole future to look forward too. Annie thank you so much, your words helped me through it all.

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sarah m. December 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

ditto the wow! every question screamed my name. with the answer. thank you annie. I so appreciate the strength I have gained from your words.

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Frogs Tale December 2, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Very well said and great advice — wish I had known all this before I left him so I knew what I would have to deal with when I did finally get the courage to leave.

This abuse doesn’t stop after you leave either, it ramps up, especially if you have children together. I hope more young women learn about abuse before the get into relationships too deep. The internet can have problems, but being able to learn about abuse doing a quick google search will surely help our young women to avoid what many of us did because we had no knowledge.Keep up the good work.

I would like to repost your blog. Thank

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Annie December 3, 2013 at 2:37 am

Thank you:-) You’re very welcome to repost. Please just include my name and a link back to this website.

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winter December 4, 2013 at 7:58 am

Wow, This is spot on. Geez.

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Kate December 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm

How come some women can move on so quickly? I can go long spells, feel I’m moving on, and then go back under the charm offensive after even up to a year of no contact. These spells are getting fewer and now only last a few meetings, but it’s annoying to see how much time this has all taken up.

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Caroline jocelyn December 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

I feel like whole world has fallen apart. I was 20, he was 33. I was too young to set the boundries. We have a 16yr old who has been unaffected by this, I’ve tried to keep normal since the break up. It was my decision because his behaviour towards me was vile, in particular these past two years. He blames me for everything. Doesn’t think twice about trampling over my feelings. When trying to explain to him, how unhappy I was ith the way he was treating me, the response was I did it to my self, or I started it… He would twist and turn my words. These past three months he was so aggressive towards me, because he knew how unhappy I was. He’s also an alcoholic and money is his god! If I ever cried, he would be more awful to me. I am very lucky, i have a fantastic family and best friend. But….. After 17 years, I’m scared, I ave recently begged him to come back, but he refused, even telling my mother he can’t live with me anymore… Makes me feel totally worthless. Yes I have my faults, but I would never speak or treat someone as bad as he has. He takes no responsibility whatsoever, all I did was love him. I was besotted by him, so charming. I know I have to remain strong, I have moved house, I am finanicially independent. I have everything, he has nothing and I still feel sorry for him! Why is that? I’m trying to take one day at a time but feel so overwhelmed with grief and I’m trying so hard not to play the victim. I’m outgoing and a rather jolly person, but at times when I go out, especially if I bump into a mutual acquaintance I end up a nervous wreck. I just want to feel better and not love him anymore… I’m dreading Xmas. First one on my own for 18 years.

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Annie December 23, 2013 at 8:45 am

Caroline

I understand that you are feeling desperately unhappy, but you will survive.

You’re financially independent which is great. It means that you are one of the fortunate ones who can get the help they need to make speed up your healing.

Don’t spend your time thinking how awful this Christmas is. Think, instead, of how different things will be this time next year.

Warm wishes for your healing and happiness,

Annie

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Catherine December 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I’m in the midst of a horribly emotionally abusive relationship and I am loosing the ability to care if I make the effort to leave. I am scared and I need help. The shelters are full because of the time of year, so I have nowhere to go. Tho one phone rep told me I can always go to the hospital if I claim suicidal thoughts. I will be placed. I do not have adequate insurance so I may not be placed somewhere safe, just placed. Can someone give me a leg up, I need it. Today, he is smoking in the house (which our roommate does but is gone so I have been glad for the relief from cig smoke)….he knows this and has decided to smoke in the house because he is mad at me. My right lung aches from the second hand smoke and I feel like crying, am crying! I turned the thermostat down from 78 degrees he sets it at to 72 degrees last night, so he hates me He told me he froze at 72 degrees and if I don’t like it I can sleep outside. I left him beginning of Nov then again Dec. but believed his promises both time and he is upset with me saying I went to party with friends. I have no friends, he has seen to that. And I go to the motel and try to get into the shelter…to no avail. Please right me….Cathy

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Annie December 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

Cathy,

You need to leave, that’s clear. But you don’t need to leave today.

In fact, in the long run, it really won’t matter whether you leave today, or a month from now.

Hold on to the thought that you are leaving, and take the time to find a shelter that will take you. Then, stay away. Don’t fall for his promises again.

Warm wishes for your ehaling and happiness,

Annie

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Tiphanie Jamison May 16, 2017 at 11:58 am

Another gem. Thank you!

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Annie Kaszina May 17, 2017 at 1:02 am

Thank you, Tiphanie.

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Claire May 17, 2017 at 12:54 am

This was my life for 14 years and since leaving him over three years ago it has taken it up until now for me to feel strong enough to know it wasn’t my fault. I did fight verbally back sometimes as I was exasperated at his behaviour and his heavy drinking and how it was also effecting our two gorgeous boys! I have to say he was like this with passive aggressiveness most of the time, but he could be lovely and this is why I kept giving him chances to change. My boys asked me for three years to leave him and now couldn’t be happier, but I have to ask is it natural for him to turn on me horrendously when I found someone else …while the divorce was going through and accusing me of an affair …and this is why we split up!! …not his behaviour!! I was the reason he drank apparently ….he said I was the abuser and I manipulated the kids against him….!? It has been a horrible time. Any comments would be great.

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Annie Kaszina May 17, 2017 at 1:05 am

Claire,

It is perfectly normal for a an like that to turn on you when you found someone else. In fact, it would have been downright odd if he had not.

It is the job description of people who behave horribly to behave horribly.

An abuser will always offload responsibility for the abuse onto his victim. It is such an easy thing to do. Half the time, they will get a way with it.

Enjoy your happiness now, and accept that he is his own punishment.

Warm wishes for your healing and happiness.

Annie

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