How NOT To Recover From An Abusive Relationship – Top 10 Tips

21 Feb 2012

  1. Keep telling yourself why you needed the relationship to work.  You went into the relationship wanting and needing certain things.  Your abusive partner failed to deliver these on a regular, predictable, consistent basis.  And yet you’re still holding onto the hope that he could deliver… one day..  If you used UPS, and they only delivered, say, 20-30% of the time, would you keep on using them?   Or would you say: “That’s not good enough?”
  2. Tell yourself he’s the only person who can meet your needs.  How can you know if this is really true?  Have you done a survey of all the men in your county – if not your country – between the ages of 29 and 89?  Or is it a more – or less – educated guess on your part?
  3. Keep focusing on trying to rewrite the past.  If you were to try to get through your day walking backwards everywhere, you’d probably chalk up a fair few knocks and disasters.  And yet, that is exactly what you are doing emotionally.
  4. Stay in contact with him… “just in case”.  Just in case what?  In case his personality transplant finally happens.  In case he has a change of heart, or sees the light?  Instead of explaining – again, at length – why that’s not going to happen, let me ask you something: why do you think he stays in contact with you?  Could it be because he knows there is still some “use value” in you, and he doesn’t intend to miss out on it?
  5. Worry about his feelings.  How do you even know what his feelings are?  Okay, I get it.  You tell yourself that, at bottom, his feelings are like your feelings.  So, he’s bound to be hurting and thinking about you, and wishing he could go back in time.  It’s really touching to think of the two of you worrying about his feelings… and disregarding yours.  At least that’s one thing you have in common.
  6. Give him another chanceGive him another chance to do what, specifically?  Do you lay down conditions and say: “You can only have X amount of access to me, and only provided these conditions are met?”  Or do you lay yourself down as the Welcome Mat all over again?
  7. Sacrifice your life, your plans, and your happiness for him… Life is not the L’Oreal advert.  And he is not worth it.  If you’re not sure what he is worth in terms of your life, here’s a very simple yardstick: as a result of the time you’ve spent with him, what’s better in your life?  And what’s worse?
  8. Magnify “the good times”.  Having a good relationship is all about sharing good feelings, and relating in a caring way, 24-7.  These days, I wouldn’t keep a dog who was loving and playful some of the time, and spent the rest of the time snarling and waiting to bite my hand off; let alone a prtner. Nor should you.  You know what they say about “once bitten…”?
  9. Minimize his gruesomeness.  Sure, you’ve had some good times together – even he likes to enjoy good feelings with a partner occasionally.  It’s another reminder to him about how lucky you are to have him.  But what about the things you really don’t like about him?  Like the lies, and the callousness, the distasteful Internet habits, the volatility and the leering at other women, and all the things he does that cut you to the core.  You know these things matter to you.
  10. Listen to him.  Unless he is threatening you – in which case you need to contact the police – why on earth would you want to listen to him?  Chances are he will be intoning hymns from the Abuser’s Hymn Sheet.  International favorites include:
    • “I see the error of my ways”
    • “I want no woman in my life but thee”
    • “I need you to save me”
    • “I’m doing great without you”
    • “You’re making the biggest mistake of your life” and
    • “I am a quality woman magnet – and you’re a waste of space” (sung to the tune of Lili Marlene)

Only listen carefully and you’ll hear that his rendition is more than a little mechanical, and out of tune.  Even if you’re tone deaf, there’s nothing whatsoever to be gained by listening to him drone through his repertoire one more time.

Your life begins again when you finally understand: he’s not the most important thing in it, only the most self-important.  Not an attractive characteristic 🙂




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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