“Who Matters To You?”

02 Sep 2014

“Who matters to you?” is one question I rarely ask emotionally abused women; and there’s a reason why I don’t.   That reason is simple: I don’t need to. Any emotionally abused woman I speak with will tell me very, very  quickly.

In fact, there’s just one thing they might tell me before they get round to telling me who matters to them. That one thing is, of course, what matters to them.   What matters to them, as we both know, is their emotionally abusive relationship.

That’s the thing that consumes most of their emotional energy and attention.  You’d think they might focus on emotional abuse recovery, but that comes very much further down the line. Iit’s quite weird -when you stop to think about it. If they have children, those children are hugely important to them.  Still, the thing they obsess about is the most damaging and destructive part of their life: their relationship with Mr Nasty.

The amount of love, energy, and attention Mr Nasty garners is in inverse proportion to the amount of love, energy and attention he feeds into the relationship.

That’s weird when you stop to think about it.

Sure, most of the time you don’t.

mandownwellsmallMost of time is spent wondering which pot-hole Prince Charming disappeared down, and sending out the search parties…

Why should someone so… unappealing have such a hold over you?

If you want to listen to The Judgemental of the World – I, personally, don’t, but I know a lot of women do – it’s because you’re a ‘Mr Nasty Addict’.

The great thing about The Judgemental is this: they’re not even trying to help you, they’re just using you as an excuse to grab their loud-speaker  and hold forth.   (Boring, or what?!!)

The real reason why Mr Nasty has such a hold over you is because you handed over possession of your self-worth to him.

(Find out more about the reasons why you did this here:  Top Ten Reasons Why You Love   An Emotionally Abusive Man.)

There was a dialogue between you and your emotionally abusive partner  – not one that took place out loud, right enough.  But it still happened, and it went like this:

Him: Do you know, I’m a pretty amazing person, and I’m prepared to tell you you’re pretty good, too.  Provided you let me make your world my world. In return for having dominion over you, and your world, you get to have as much of me as I’m prepared to offer at any given time, you lucky person you. There are a few conditions, and there is a ton of small print. But I know for a fact that you won’t bother to read it because I’ve sold the offer to you really well. Right?

You: Okay. So, you’re saying you’ll  tell me I’m pretty good. I kinda like that. Not too many people have done that for me before – or, at least, not so that it’s sunk in.  And if I hand over my small, fragile self-worth to you,  you’ll nurture it, and grow it, provided I take you for the centre of my

Him: Sure thing, darling. Whatever.

You: Yes!  I’ve found my one and only. He’s promised to love me, and make me happy for ever. On his terms. That’s brilliant. Because he’s brilliant, so his terms are bound to be brilliant. With a love like ours, who needs to read the small print?


So, you duly vow to love, honor and make the centre of your world Mr Whatever.

Do you see who doesn’t matter to you in all of this?

Oh, I’m sure you can find all sorts of explanations about why you don’t matter, and why it’s better that way, but here’s the thing: it’s really NOT.

Letting an emotionally abusive husband colonise your emotional world is not better. It’s not better than being without him – truly.  It’s not better than the proverbial poke in the eye with a burnt stick.  It’s not even better than spending the rest of your life man-free.

scoutshonoursmallScout’s Honour.

The clue is in the word “man-free”.

Getting over an emotionally abusive man doesn’t have to be difficult. But you do have to make the decision to matter to yourself. Someone has to be at the heart of your life. You’ve tried putting Mr Nasty there, and ended up with a pile of toxic waste. You can put your children at the heart of your world – which is right where they should be – but it’s not their job to completely fill that space. They  have their own lives to lead and enjoy.

That leaves you: the person you get up with in the morning, spend your time with throughout the day, and go to bed with every night. Given the amount of time you spend closeted with that person, it really is time you developed a harmonious, loving relationship with her.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?


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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