A Tale of Two Men

30 Oct 2012

I want to share with you a story of two men – actually, two men who have shaped my world.

The first is the emotionally abusive ex-husband.  I don’t really need to describe an emotionally abusive partner to you, do  I?  You know already him.  All too well.  He’s someone who likes to exercise his power over you, for the thrill it gives him – making you feel bad is what makes him feel good.  He’s very good at intimidating people. He’s, also, someone who can nurse a grudge or years on end.

A few days ago, my wasband tried intimidating his way back into my life.   A situation arose that provided him with some leverage.  It was a scenario he must have been fantasizing about for quite a while – like years.  Something came up that, as he saw it, gave him power over me.   He rose to the occasion. He rose to his full 5ft 5inches (was my love ever blind, or what?!!)  and he went for it hell for leather.  Doubtless, in his own mind he had already plotted the scene in every tiny detail.  I’d have to crawl to him and appeal to his better nature, and he would tell me what a waste of space I was, and leave me dangling…

Never underestimate just how calculating and manipulative emotionally abusive men are.

What he couldn’t know – and hadn’t taken into his calculations – was that he wasn’t the only person who rose to the occasion.

So, too, did the second man in this story – my wonderful partner.  Now, my partner is someone who you may – or may not – be blessed enough to know, yet.  He is a gentle man, a loving, compassionate, unselfish man.

My partner, I often think, is far too decent and gentle a man ever to have any dealings with the wasband, whose venom carries a powerful charge, rather like a massive electric shock.

And yet in this situation my partner defeated the wasband’s machinations.

How did he do it?

By staying focused on what was best for me.  That focus meant he was able to identify the constructive course of action I needed to take.  My partner’s care and concern put me out of my ex-husband’s misery, long before I would have managed it.  He didn’t rescue me, or step in and solve the problem for me.  What he did was rather better: he put the tools for solving that problem within my reach.

And it was a triumph of love over spite.

Therein lies the learning, I believe.

Love will conquer fear, and venom, and spite, and all the negative emotions.

Provided we go about it mindfully.

My partner came  from a place of love.  He was, shall we say underwhelmed by the wasband’s unpleasantness.  But dwelling on toxicity is not part of my partner’s world.  His focus was on how he could help me to find my best way through a challenging situation.  And he was typically modest, and gracious, when his input produced the best possible result.  He didn’t claim any credit for it.  He was simply happy for me.

He didn’t get the white horse out of the stable and do 9,000 laps of honor on it, all the time trumpeting about what a wonderful man he is.  (Truly wonderful men don’t blow their own trumpets – they don’t even have a trumpet.)

Everything my lovely partner did came from a position of healthy love.

And we need to make a very clear distinction here.

You and I have both tried loving an emotional brute – a man who had trumpets attached to every orifice.

Loving an emotional brute doesn’t work.  We loved our oaf not for who and what he was, but for who we hoped he could be – and especially for the love we hoped he would give us one day.

That is not healthy love, at all.  That is co-dependency; a ”love” based on need.

Much as we may think we do, we do not truly love our emotional brute for who he is – that would be crazy.

More to the point, we do not love ourselves.

It is that lack of love for ourselves that creates the void in our lives.  And there’s nothing an emotional brute loves as much as filling a void.  As you already know – even if you weren’t consciously aware of it – his temper tantrums will expand to fill the void available.

My lovely, gentle partner could never outdo the wasband in a direct fight.  Nor should he ever have to.  But still the hate-fuelled bruiser was overcome by the power of love.  Notice, he wasn’t transformed, or won over.  He may still be on the list for a Personality Transplant, for all I know and care.  It’s never going to happen.  Even if, one day, he were to get that Personality Transplant, his body would doubtless reject it.



But what a beautiful gift he has given me – and I hope you, also.

Love wins.

I hope you will make it your business to learn to love yourself, and open yourself to the possibility of finding healthy love in the world.  I’d love to help you.



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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