You Wouldn’t Catch An Emotionally Abusive Partner Doing This!

06 May 2014

I was speaking with a lovely lady in Australia about emotionally abusive partners, when she said: “Annie I love it when you write about how a good partner behaves. I wish you’d write more about it.”

One reason I often don’t is this: my lovely partner is as modest as he is delightful. He actually feels uncomfortable when I feed back to him how much I value the things he does. He regards it as “natural” and “normal” to behave in a generous, supportive way. But sometimes I’m afraid I’ll just go ahead and honor him publicly, anyway.

This is one of those times.

You’d never catch an emotionally abusive husband doing what my lovely partner did this week-end.

Basil K is a small, black and white Shih Tzu with a magnificent tail almost as long as he is.



Yesterday, it was a very sad tail – not to mention a health hazard – as Basil had suffered with a fulminating stomach bug that was bad enough for the vet to debate putting him on a drip.

By yesterday evening, having downed a lot of medicine – and even more homemade chicken soup – Basil was weak, but on the mend, and eager to return to his principal duty as a Bed Dog.

Before that could happen the magnificent tail needed -if not fumigating – at least a jolly good wash.

Patiently and gently, my partner and I worked to thoroughly launder the magnificent tail without causing the little dog any distress. We did it calmly, quietly, and tenderly, working efficiently as a unit.

Can you imagine an emotionally abusive man doing that?

When I look back at my own emotionally abusive husband, I certainly can’t. There would have been either fury or, at the very least, supreme, theatrical disgust. There would, also, have been a need to take charge of the operation, order the troops – moi – around, and find the standard of back-up grossly inadequate.

In other words, it would have been the perfect opportunity for a show of superiority, frustration with and contempt for the lesser orders – moi – and, ultimately, righteous anger.

Also, in the interests of getting the job done right, poor little Basil would have been roughly handled, and caused considerable distress.

In the event, Basil wasn’t remotely troubled by the whole experience.

You should know that, until he met me, my lovely partner lived a dog-free life. I made it clear to him, right from the start, that I run a “Love-me-love-my-dog” program. He took – very gracefully – to cohabiting first with a formidable canine guru, Sharon Shih Tzu and then, after Sharon’s sad demise, with Basil Kaszina, canine Bad Boy extraordinaire. Basil K was the slowest dog on the planet to house-train. He also had one or two prima donna ways.

My lovely partner did not just tolerate him, he adopted him.

Now, this is a very small and decidedly unglossy anecdote that I’m sharing with you, and there’s a reason for that:

Relationships stand or fall on the small things. Sure, an emotionally abusive partner will make a Big Thing out of anything, but that’s only because EVERYTHING has to go his way – unless he graciously concedes you the occasional half-holiday.

When you first meet him, an emotionally abusive man may make a reasonable showing on the ‘set pieces’, because he knows he has to. But he’s not too interested in the small things.

If anything, they irritate the hell out of him. Why should he have to open doors for you, on a regular basis, when there’s nobody watching, and nothing to gain? Why should he have to… be graceful about cleaning up a little dog’s tail – especially if he can argue that he never wanted a bl**dy dog, in the first place?

For me, it’s the everyday behavior that gives you the true measure of the man. My partner was incredibly nice, and gentle, about cleaning up Basil’s tail, because that is who he is. He’s always incredibly nice and easy-going. Having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at the funny side of the incident together – which we did – certainly helps, too.

Yes, I did say, “sense of humor” – which is another area in which Mr Nasty is severely challenged. While he may find his own jokes incredibly funny, any humor he shows is likely to be a mirror of his dark side.

Gentle, nice, socially graceful, supportive, tender and considerate are just some of the words you probably wouldn’t use to describe Mr Nasty.

My lovely partner and I worked through drama of together, quietly and peacefully. That’s quite different from Mr Nasty’s modus operandi.

You’d never catch Mr Nasty turning a drama into an occasion for expressing unselfish care and support.

Postscript:  Basil K is now back in the pink and campaigning for every dog to be fed chicken soup daily.

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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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