You Don’t Want To Be In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship But…

12 Aug 2014

What is it that makes a bright, attractive woman stay in a relationship – a bad relationship – with an emotionally abusive man?  What gets in the way, and stops her from moving on, so she can recover from emotional abuse?

In the end, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

twofacedmansmall Sure, emotionally abusive partners fall into two distinct categories: the ones who most people dislike (with good reason) and the Arch-manipulators, the Mr Wonderful clones, who have mastered the art of being two-faced, presenting a super-charming face to the world which is largely, believed.

It’s harder if you end up tethered to one of those emotionally abusive husbands who have a genius for marketing themselves really well – to an unsuspecting world.  You might as well take on board the notion that most communities tend to be either naive or self-reinforcing. What this means, either way, is that they are likely to be well disposed to individuals who support their beliefs and/or make them feel good.

Here in the UK, Jimmy Savile is a case in point. DJ, television presenter, ‘national treasure’ and knight of the realm, he was – also – a vile individual who preyed on the vulnerable children  who were the target of his ‘charitable work’!! Over the years, there were plenty of rumors, and even people who tried to speak out, but they weren’t enough to dent the public persona of St Jimmy.

What that meant is that millions of well-meaning people got it wildly wrong, and many vulnerable children suffered.

There’s an obvious parallel there with what happens in an emotionally abusive relationship: as well as obvious differences.

Whether you’re living with a publicly acknowledged Mr Nasty, or a Community ‘Treasure’ the fact is, your emotionally abusive partner leaves you feeling dreadful about yourself, most of the time.

Mr Nasty Treasure – for the sake of convenience we can safely combine the two types – goes out of his way to make you despise yourself.

And it works.

So, that’s Mr Nasty Treasure. But we need to come back to you: you got into a relationship with this jerk, and you’re struggling to leave that relationship behind?

There is always a gulf a mile wide between who an emotionally abused woman thinks she is, and who she really is. Not to mention how she is perceived by the half-way sane people around her.  (Unfortunately, not all people around an emotionally abused woman are half-way sane.)

Women talk about the financial and family reasons for staying.  They exist, and they’re not insignificant.

Still, in the end it always comes back to you.

If you’re questioning this, or hissing rude words at me – which is exactly how I would have responded once upon a time – then take a look at Dora’s story.

Dora’s life changed when she started to believe she was worth more than the sorry existence she was living.

Contrary to popular belief, that didn’t require her to labor long and hard in the coal-mine of Change, doing the back-breaking work of digging the heavy soil in the hope of one day finding a teeny tiny seam of self-belief.

It’s not like that.

Or, at least, it doesn’t have to be.

If you believe you have to dig deep to find your self-worth then you’ll probably do an awful lot of digging – most likely, fairly random digging. Chances are, if you do , you probably won’t end up with much more than muscle spasm and a bad back.

That’s all about looking in the wrong place for the thing that you most need.   It doesn’t work.

What to do instead?

Learn the simple things that will teach you to see what’s great about yourself. (And, yes, I mean YOU. You may have an issue with believing what’s great about you. I don’t. I know it’s all there just waiting for you to recognise it.)

The more you learn to accept what’s great about yourself the easier it becomes to look at Mr Nasty Treasure and say:

“What!!!” (Or “WTF! – if you prefer.”)

I'mthroughsmallThat’s when you look at him and say: “You know, I’m through with having your misery – and my misery – in my life. I now have the tools to live a misery-free life, and that is what I am going to do. And you know what? I don’t even have to worry about what happens to you, because this I know: you will survive. I wouldn’t expect you to thrive emotionally because, no matter what you say, you’ll always be the same miserable so-and-so I tried to transform.  So, good luck to you. You have my blessing to be just as revolting as you choose to be. But not on my watch any more.Auf Wiedersehn, man-child!”

Even if you have children together and the wretched man still has to be in your life, you can successfully eject him from your emotionally world, and have a great life.

You just need to learn the simple steps to putting yourself at the heart of your own world, and cherishing your happiness.

It’s that simple. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be telling you a lot more about how you canstand at the heart of your own world. No matter how difficult things are for you right now.


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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