The 7 Mistakes All Emotionally Abused Women Make

01 Feb 2010

Abused women blame themselves for a lot of things.  That is the inevitable consequence of
domestic violence.  In this article we
shall focus on just one aspect of domestic violence; that is mental, emotional
abuse. Usually, the things that women who have suffered domestic violence  blame themselves for fall into one of two
categories: the things that are not their fault, and the things that are not
important in the great scheme of things. 

Things that are not their fault include: 

  • Making a mess of individual situations.  Their partners’ outburst are always, somehow,
    their fault.
  • Spoiling the relationship. 
    (In reality they are the ones who try to hold it together.)
  • Being stupid.  (They
    aren’t – although they will honour the unfortunate choice to love a man who is
    not worthy of them.)
  • Being too old, or too young.  (They are the age they are. 
    It takes a special kind of idiot to turn around one day and say to
    someone of 21, or 41, or 71, that they are suddenly unacceptable
  • Being ugly.  (Living
    a life of ugliness is enough to make anyone feel ugly; but the ugliness lies in
    the eyes of the abusive man, not his partner.)
  • Not being good enough. 
    (Good enough for whom, for Heaven’s sake?  And how did that happen? 
    Did the abusive man make a mistake in selecting his woman in the
    first place?  Or does he operate a
    sliding scale?)
  • Being failures as women. 
    (It’s what they are told.  What
    it means is that they are not the perfect cross between a slave and a
    supermodel.  Not that their partner
    is a dead ringer for George Clooney! 
    But that doesn’t count.)

Things that are not important include: 

  • Their weight.  (It is
    perfectly possible to be overweight, underweight or the perfect weight and be
    loved.  Just not by an abusive man,
    because they make an art form of finding fault with everything about you.)
  • Their past mistakes. (They are in the past, after
    all.  Fortunately, abusive men know they
    will never be judged on their pas mistakes.)
  • Their education.
  • Their family – inasmuch as an abusive woman is not
    responsible for her family. 

The mistakes that abused women make have nothing to do with
the alleged crimes for which their partners reproach them. These mistakes are
errors of judgement that abused women make unconsciously, which cause them
enormous suffering. 

The 7 mistakes 

  • Turning a blind eye to his first
    unacceptable temper tantrums.  You say
    that you do that because you love him. 
    He interprets your acceptance as collusion.  In his eyes, you have given him clear proof that you area
  • Trying over and over again to
    make the relationship work.  When an
    abusive partner has told you, either in words or actions, 3, or 4, or 5 times,
    that he does not value you or the relationship, you have to believe it.  He is offering you his mission
    statement.  Time to head for the hills.
  • Making excuses for him.  Why would feel obliged to improve his
    behaviour when you are willing to excuse him? 
    Your excuses give him carte blanche to carry on behaving as badly, or
    worse, than he has done in the past.
  • Feeling responsible for him.  The time comes when you say; “I’ve had
    enough.  It’s over.”  He’s foreseen that day, and he’s ready.  He turns on the crocodile tears.  He tells you that he can’t live without
    you.  It’s taken this for him to discover
    how much he loves you.  From now on, he
    will be a good boy.  But he does need
    you to help him.  You agree, and he’s
    back on track.  Once again, he has got
    you to carry him.  Will he change?  No.
  • Minimizing.  He behaves like a heel, and you know it.  But you tell yourself: “He had a difficult
    childhood.”  “He’s had a hard time at
    work – or being out of work.”  “It’s
    just the drink talking.”  Bad behaviour
    is still bad behaviour.  He has no right
    to dump on you – until you let him.
  • Covering up.  Your relationship is ghastly.  But you don’t want the world to know.  So you put on a brave face.  That’s collusion.  Once again, you are giving him permission to behave as badly as
    he wants.  Because it will all stay
    behind closed doors.  In fact, while you
    are playing Loyal Little Woman, he can be out spreading poison about you.  If you change your tune, who do you think
    will be believed?
  • Believing in fairy tales.  Of course, you don’t consciously believe in
    fairy tales: you are a grown woman not a little girl, after all.  But, unconsciously, you’re still stuck
    acting out Beauty and the Beast.  I
    don’t know whether you met the Handsome Prince, or the Beast, first off.  I do know who you are living with.  Every last petal has dropped off that rose,
    the only time the crockery and cutlery dance is when he gets angry, and the
    Beast is still a Beast.  That’s all he
    will ever be.  Time to get real.  And, if some other naïve woman, wants to
    play Beauty and the Beast with him, good luck to her.  Reality is not like fairy tales. 
    One key difference to bear in mind: in the real world, when you first
    get together with someone, they are on their best behaviour, they wear their
    most attractive mask.  With abusers it
    is all one way from there: downhill. 
    The behaviour degenerates, the mask drops, the result is a whole load of
    misery for you.  Period.

 The real mistakes that women make in abusive relationships
have nothing to do with faults or inadequacies.  They are all about being too willing to carry on believing the
best of someone who is trying very hard to show you just what a jerk he

Abusive men don’t give you too many gifts.  Showing you just how unpleasant and callous
they can be is the best gift you can have in a lousy situation.  Accept it graciously, before your abusive
partner keeps slamming it into your face. 
And move on.  

One thing they never tell you in fairy stories is that the
beautiful maiden doesn’t actually need a man to be happy.  She just thinks she does.  But when she learns to be truly happy by herself,
and for herself, she will attract a much better class of man than a

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Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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