An emotionally abusive man won’t do this

20 Oct 2013

When you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, it’s almost impossible to think clearly. After your emotionally abusive partner has launched a few of his surprise attacks on you, it’s as if you don’t have the space to think clearly. Most of your energy goes into worrying how you can make the relationship work, and how best to tiptoe across eggshells. You’re always wondering what he will find fault with next.

Fault-finding is, of course, his specialist subject. An emotionally abusive husband can – and will – find fault with you for anything, and everything. Some of my emotionally abusive husband’s favorite targets for an abusive outburst included:

  • dinner not on the table at exactly the right time
  • toddler in evidence
  • child requiring attention
  • socks not paired
  • my having contact with my friends
  • my trying to get on with my own professional life
  • the dog –just because
  • my failure to see his temper tantrums as an aphrodisiac
  • mistakes I made – if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, you’ll know that your abusive partner does not extend the right of fallibility to you. He can make mistakes – he’s busy, he’s human, he’s-a-man-for-Chrissakes; but you can’t.

An emotionally abusive relationship is one in which there are two different sets of rules: incredibly harsh rules for you, the emotionally abused woman, and incredibly lax ones for him, the Alpha Abuser.

Yesterday, I was reminded – once again – of my own fallibility. So, too, was my lovely partner.

There’s been a lot going on in my life of late, and I missed something that I should have picked up on.  I made a mistake that I’d have preferred not to make. 

In an emotionally abusive relationship you know what happens next:

  1. Mr Nasty abuses you roundly for being SO stupid
  2. He tells you that since you got yourself into that mess, he’s not going to help you get out of it
  3. He adds that to the list of crimes that he will throw at you for as long as the relationship staggers on.
  4. He ups his own demands on you, just to make things more difficult

That’s not how a caring partner – that is, a partner worthy of the name – behaves.

My lovely partner instantly reacted – by springing into support mode. He expressed concern at… the situation, and then set to thinking how we could remedy it. He didn’t read me the Statute of Limitations: “you can’t expect me to help you…” He wouldn’t dream of behaving that way.

The net result is that it’s been no big deal to find a solution that will probably work. And then we’ve gone on to deal with whatever comes up next.

My lovely partner doesn’t do drama. He’s not looking for ways to feel bad, and make me feel bad.

He believes that Life is for living – and enjoying.

He likes to feel good. And he likes me to feel good. In fact, he’s committed to doing what he can to make me feel good.

That’s something an emotionally abusive man will never do, will he?

If an emotionally abusive husband has the option of doing something that will make you feel better, or not doing it, he won’t do it, will he? Not unless he has a SERIOUS need for brownie points, And if he does have a strategic need to do it, he’ll do it and demand so much gratitude, so often, that you’ll end up wishing he never had…)

But if Mr Nasty has the option of doing something that will make you feel bad, how often do you think he’ll put on his Noble Hat, and say;

“No, I‘m not doing that. That wouldn’t be fair or kind to her. She deserves better than that.”

He wouldn’t, would he?

An abusive man believes that his interests are best served by programming you to feel as unhappy as possible. That’s why leaving an emotionally abusive relationship is a good start, but it’s not enough. You’ll still need to stop thinking like an emotionally abused woman.   You’ll still need to take his programming out of your psyche.


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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