Why Indifference Rocks

03 Dec 2012

How do you feel about indifference?

Is it a feeling that has much of a place in your life?  Do you think it might deserve a bigger place than it currently has?  Especially where your emotionally abusive husband is concerned.

Nobody teaches you to prize indifference. 

We women are meant to live in a touchy-feely world, where indifference is unnatural.  But then we women are all meant to be young, attractive, slim, and turn a loving perma-smile on everyone in our orbit.

Reality is a tad different to the fantasy.  And we’re all obliged to live in the real, 3 dimensional world. 

In reality, indifference has its place.

The reason your emotionally abusive partner, or ex-partner, can push your buttons so effectively is because you feel you have to have strong feelings where he is concerned.  You have to love him.  Which means you have to feel his rejections keenly.  And you have to feel hurt and humiliated by him. 

Mr Nasty does a lot of horrible things to you – and, maybe, the occasional nice one – so that you will have strong feelings about him.  Those strong feelings mean that you are stuck in his force field. 

We both know your emotionally abusive (ex)partner can do charm – it may be icky charm, but it’s still charm.  We know he can do gob-smackingly nasty. 

We also know he’s a manipulative … soul.  Sure, you may deny it to yourself.  Like most emotionally abused women, you can make excuses for him, and tell yourself he knows not what he does, but it’s not true.  He knows exactly what he does: “Calculating” is his  middle name.   At some level, you’ve known for a long time that he knows what he does.  You just struggle to believe it.

I’m guessing indifference really frightens you. 

An emotional abuser puts you through a LOT of rejection.  And he’ll tell you he doesn’t feel anything for you anymore. 

That’s not rejection.  That’s deliberate nastiness. 

When my abusive ex-husband was having one of those moments, he used to say – actually shriek – all those things at me.  Then  he’d go off and slam a door behind him…

And then he’d come back – often 5 minutes later – for an action replay.  He could do that several times in a row.  (He had no sense of the ridiculous, bless him.)  It was always a rehashing of the ‘same old-same old’.

Was that indifference?

Of course it wasn’t.  It was infantile, attention-seeking, bad behaviour. 

Your (ex-)partner’s  infantile, attention-seeking, bad behaviour is not a reflection on you.  It’s a reflection on him.  He’s a nasty little boy behaving exactly like a nasty little boy. 

There is no way that you love that. 

An emotionally abusive man spends a lot of time, in his intimate relationships, acting like a nasty little playground bully. That says a lot about him.

What does it say about you?

At worst, it says that you don’t have a magic wand.  You can’t transform people.  You are NOT…

the Personality Transplant Fairy.

So sorry to have to tell you that:-( 

Since you’re not the Personality Transplant Fairy, it’s not your job to make him lovable.  Nor is it your job to make him love you.

Your job is to create a happy, meaningful life for yourself – as well as for your children, if you have children.

And here’s the curious thing: while you’ve been obsessively focusing on him, and telling yourself you can’t be indifferent to him, you’ve been indifferent to your life. 

Which means you can ‘do’ indifference. 

Now, you just have to focus that indifference on the right object. 

When you do that he’ll survive.

And you’ll thrive. 


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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