“All I ever wanted was to be loved…”

22 May 2012

As the mother of three young children, Nuala is struggling to come to terms with walking away from an emotionally abusive husband.  She’s strong, she’s bright, she’s unusually clear about the reality of the situation – maybe because she’s a coach – and, like every other woman in her situation, she’s frightened.

She’s frightened about her life without him.  She’d become very frightened of life with him.  And, like so many women in her situation, she’s terrified of making the same mistake again.  Not that she’s looking.  But the human brain – or, at least, the female brain – does what it does.  We look back at unhappiness, and wonder whether we can ever be happy in the future.

Most women’s inner map of happiness has a loving partner on it somewhere.  That’s only normal.

Ideally, there is a LOT of healing, and personal discovery to be done before you try to turn that dream into reality.

As a bright, thoughtful – and, yes, loving – woman, Nuala couldn’t get her head around how It had happened to her.

(Nobody ever tells you, do they, that being bright, thoughtful, and loving simply isn’t enough to keep emotionally abusive men at bay?  Do NOT ever imagine that your good qualities are the garlic that keeps emotional vampires (aka abusers) at bay.  In reality, your intelligence, and thoughtfulness don’t come into the equation, and your loving heart is seen solely as a source of fresh blood…)

“All I ever wanted” Nuala said sadly, “was to be loved.”

It sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn’t it?

And the truth is, “All I ever wanted was to be loved” is right up there with “I just want to be happy…” as two of the innocent sounding little phrases that lead us into the most danger.

How so? 

Well, firstly because they are so impossibly woolly – or imprecise, if you prefer.

I’m at least as good at abstractions as the next woman – and Heaven knows, I’ve paid a big, fat price for that over the years – but, as anyone I’ve ever worked with will tell you, those phrases always bring out my Inner Interrogator.  I always ask what, precisely, women mean by these two little phrases.  And do you know what?  They don’t really know.

They can tell you what they don’t want.  They can tell you that in a fair amount of detail.

But as for what they do want, they’ll know if it comes along and bites them on their nether ends.  Allegedly.

Frankly, I doubt it.  If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how can you know when you see it?  And suppose it were to bite you on your backside.  Unless it kept its teeth firmly clamped on said part of your body for quite a while, it could be long gone by the time you finally got the message.  Sorry to tell you this, but its jaws could go into spasm long before that happens.

Isn’t it time you were through with leaving the best things in life to chance, and luck?

Just like you, Nuala set the bar way too low. 

In life what we get is NOT what we deserve, but what we’re prepared to settle for.

Don’t believe me?  Then look at your own life and see if it makes sense.

Nuala set the bar for a partner way too low.  So did you.  Nuala was prepared to settle for a very poor imitation of love.  So did you.

Isn’t it time to raise that bar?


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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