“You just know”

03 Apr 2012

13,000 miles from home, I was sitting at a kitchen table talking relationships with Karina, a new friend, when she said something that stopped me in my tracks:

“You just know.

The conversation had turned to Sue, friend of hers, who’d settled for a “friendship with benefits”, and had a child by her “friend” – and room-mate (UK flat-mate).  Now Sue was obsessing about where she stood with him, and if she could make the relationship work as an intimate, exclusive relationship.  In other words, she was having a stab at alchemy, doing her darnedest to turn a base man into gold.

As you, and I, have proved quite conclusively in our own relationships, turning base men into gold simply doesn’t work.

Karina pondered aloud: “Why do women do it?”

It’s my belief you do it for as long as you believe a good relationship is like a bad relationship, just with the worst bits removed.  You tell yourself that, if he just stopped doing the things you find most painful, the relationship would be good enough.  A bit like living on a diet of McDonalds would be “good enough”… If you didn’t know what good, nutritious food tasted like, and if you were able to overlook the health implications.  

That’s when Karina said:  “When you’re in a good relationship, you don’t agonize about whether your partner cares about you, or how much he cares about you.  You don’t obsess about where the relationship is going, and whether it is sustainable, or not.  You don’t have to discuss it with other people, you just know you’re loved and valued. You just know.” 

It really is that simple.

You know how facebook offers you the relationship status choice: “It’s complicated”?  Complicated, as a general principle, means ‘bad’, ‘messy’, and ‘dysfunctional’.  Complicated generally means someone is cheerfully dumping their old baggage on the relationship.  It means they’re not committing to the relationship.  It means they’re trashing their partner – and the relationship.

I’m not saying you have to be problem-free to have a relationship – if that were the case, there would be many, many more singletons than there are now.  But treating your relationship as a dumpster – and you and I surely know partners who do exactly that – is a clear indication the relationship is headed nowhere good.

When “it’s complicated” – and when is it not complicated with an abusive man? – you “just don’t know”.  Or, at least, that’s what you tell yourself.  You just don’t know so many things.  You don’t know:

  • Whether you can make it work
  • Whether he loves you
  • Whether he’ll turn back into the man you thought you signed up for
  • Whether he’s telling the truth with his threats – and his promises
  • Whether you can get through the day – or the next 5 minutes – without him turning nasty…
  • Whether you should blame yourself for his behaviour
  • Whether you’ll live to regret it if you walk away

When you’re in a relationship with an abusive man, you spend your time wading neck deep through anxiety and uncertainty.  You don’t know who this person is that you’ve made the centre of your world. 

You don’t even know whether you can live without him, and whether there is life after him.

The agony of all the things you “just don’t know” doesn’t cease of its own accord.  It won’t just fade away one day, whether you leave, or stay; not even if you simply agonize, for the longest time, about the best thing to do.

If you’re tired of being worn down by the not knowing and the uncertainty, you need to act now to change it.  In just 4 short weeks from today, you can be free of the paralyzing uncertainty, you’ll know where you want to go with your life, and you’ll have the tools and the confidence to move forward, and create your own happiness.  All you need to do, is take action NOW.


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.

Leave a comment

The 5 Simple Steps to Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

Over the next 5 days, I'll send you some lessons and tips that I've found have really helped women to heal from narcissistic abuse.  Starting with the basics.

Connect with me on Instagram

Want daily reassurance and inspiration? Sign up to my Instagram account. @dr_anniephd