What Emotionally Abusive Men Are Not

07 Oct 2014

Questionmarkmedium“Do emotionally abusive men get better when they are older?  Will he get better as he ages now that I’m gone?” was one interesting query I received this week.

I’m afraid I couldn’t help myself.  My knee-jerk response was:

“He’s not a cheese, and he’s not a fine wine.  He’s not even a fruit cake – that is a proper fruit-laden Christmas-type cake.  He’s really not.  Not even if he tries to convince you that he is a metaphorical ‘fruit cake’  in the UK sense, meaning a tad crazy; one sandwich short of a picnic, a few French fries short of a happy meal, and so on…!”

But back to the original question:

Q: Do emotionally abusive men get better when they are older? 

A: Yes, they do; they get progressively better at giving their long-serving partner a hard time – because of all the time they’ve spent honing their Nasty skills.  However that’s the only thing they do get better at.

Are they likely to morph into nice men sooner or later?

It’s on the outer limits of the possible.  In exactly the same way that it’s possible to win millions of dollars by investing a single dollar: some lucky person does that most weeks, on the lottery…  And tens of millions don’t, instead squandering dollar, after dollar, after dollar.

Emotionally abusive men aren’t into personal improvement.  Why would they need to improve themselves anyway, when the fault lies with the people around them – chiefly you? 

An emotionally abusive partner knows how deeply attached you are to the fantasy of his transformation: he knows it is what you most desire. And what you most fear.

Suppose you give up on him and then that transformation happens?

It would be like investing every cent you could get hold of on his personality transplant.  Only for someone else to reap the benefits.  How unfair would that be?

rapunzelsmallI want you to think about the true story of Rapunzel for a moment.  Rapunzel was a gal with beautiful, extra-long hair.  Not hair extensions.  That hair was all her own.  Her parents – who were more than a little dim – decided to pop her to a tower; not so much for her safety as to showcase her extraordinary mane.  In their addled brains they truly believed that the beauty of her long locks would be enough to:

a)      Drive men, in general, to distraction

b)      Irresistibly not just attract the quality man she desired, but lead him to climb towards for her

Being as dim as they were, they didn’t actually lock her away; or teach her about The Ways of the World.

Now, Rapunzel was a dutiful daughter – she wanted to win her parents’ approval, and she also believed what she’d been told about sitting pretty to make a man not just fall deeply in love but, more importantly, become worthy of her .

So, there she sat by her window, waiting.   She waited, and waited.  The longer the wait went on, the more she told herself she was being unreasonably picky: if it had a white horse – or any kind of horse – and it (the man rather than the horse) made the right noises, it would surely fit the bill.

The longer she waited, the less able she felt to just get up and walk out of that open door, back into the world.  She’d already invested so much in actively waiting.  How could she bear to throw all that effort, all that enforced inactivity, away? 

You see, she’d already settled – even before a faux Prince came along and she settled in reality.

When he finally fetched up at her door, you should have heard Mr Faux Prince’s sales pitch to her:

“I’m gonna rescue you, Rapunzel, you lucky girl, you.  You have no idea, really, NO IDEA how lucky you are to have me.  But I will teach you.  Are you prepared to be very, very grateful?  For a very, very long time?”

Romantic, or what?!!

Rapunzel, poor lass, still believed in the power of her beautiful locks, and her devoted temperament to transform Mr Faux Prince into The Genuine Article.

It didn’t happen, of course.

The thing that makes it so difficult for women to leave an emotionally abusive partner is this: emotionally abused women believe wholeheartedly in the possibility of their partner’s transformation; but not in their own.

Until you believe you are worthy of your own effort, love, and investment, nothing will change.  Nothing can change.

Most of my client work with emotionally abused women is simply teaching them to see who they really are, and own the hidden strengths and talents they ALL have.  Once they can do this –  normally they can get a handle on this in months – Mr Faux Prince, with his faux potential, loses his (faux) appeal.

You’re only ever prepared to settle for second best when you feel second best.

How about you change that second best belief instead, and leaveyour emotionally abusive partner to his second best lifestyle?



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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