How Emotional Abuse Steals Your Future

23 Feb 2016


Emotional abuse steals your future

Emotional abuse steals your future. Guaranteed.  So why is that not something most emotionally abused women think about?  Rather, they think, a lot, about the fantasy future they have been robbed of.  Mostly to the point of obsession.

When your partner has morphed into Mr Nasty from’ Prince Charming’  – or other member of  the Prince Charming tribe like ‘Prince Halfway Charming’ or Prince Better-Than-A-Poke-In-The-Eye-With-A-Burnt-Stick – it’s only normal to mourn the future you thought  lay ahead of you.

Not that that future was ever really on offer.

That man was – at best – a talker, rather than a doer, when it came to creating a beautiful life together.

However, most women are suckers for a good game of Fantasy Futures* – and any emotional abuser worthy of the title knows that.

Emotionally abused women don’t give up on their desired Fantasy Future easily.  They are suckers for the Happily Ever After, and the hand-in-hand walk into The Sunset.

It’s hugely important to them because, somewhere along the line they’ve absorbed the belief, that they only ever get one chance at happiness, and their Mr Nasty is It.

So, what do they do once things get bad?

They go back and:

  1. Try to rewrite the past (“It was all so good. If I hadn’t … then perhaps we could still be happy today…”)
  2. Try to resuscitate the past. Rather like the lottery, you can spend the rest of your life playing at this one without ever hitting the jackpot.  Or even coming close. (Although, on the downside, the lottery is only ever going to be a brief distraction from life.  It’s not going to become your life.)

Emotional abuse steals your future because it blinds you to the reality – which is actually very much simpler than you think.

Mr Nasty teaches you that your life with him – and your future- is all about jumping through a never-ending succession of hoops. The prize, if you were to get to the end of the hoops, would be him. 


But that’s never going to happen for two reasons:

  • There will never be an end to the hoops: that man is a hoop-maker and a hoop-placer.
  • He doesn’t really exist.

The hologram

The man you’ve been busy jumping through all those hoops for, is a hologram. He’s not real.  Whereas the man you are hoping will fade away is real.

Not a pretty thought, but, hopefully,  a helpful, therapeutic one.  Because you were never crazy, stupid, spineless, or any of the other nonsense you told yourself.

That said, there is something really important that we need to address – because, chances are, you’re not looking at it any more than I did when I was Mr Nasty and Fantasy Futures obsessed:

Your focus on your preferred Fantasy Future is, actually depriving you of a future.  It’s that old “If I can’t have you” thing.  It made a great pop song, back in the day, and IMHO, the Bee Gees should have been prosecuted for penning such a dismal lyric.

Don’t believe me?

Just take a look at the first verse:

“Don’t know why/ I’m surviving every lonely day/ when there’s got to be/ no chance for me…” and then on through other clichés of misery, until you reach the chorus: “If I can’t have you…”

Hand on heart, can you honestly say that you haven’t expressed the same sentiments about your emotional abuser – even if you used a slightly different form of words?

That is how emotional abuse steals your future: by making your future depend on someone whose job description is to hurt, humiliate, and reject you.  (Honestly, when he signed the Abusive Man Pledge back on Planet Zog – where they churn out emotional abusers – that was what it said.*)

What NOT to forget

Emotional abuse steals your future by blinding you to two simple facts:

  • You have a future
  • It is always, ALWAYS in your power to create a worthwhile future.

You’re never going to have that worthwhile future while you are playing Fantasy Futures with Mr Nasty – because you’re not thinking in terms of your future; only the joint future which he alone can provide – allegedly.

In an emotionally abusive relationship many bad things happen to you.  Here are some that are key:

  • You lose sight of who you are.
  • You come to believe that you will never be able to run your own life successfully.
  • You imagine that your gifts and talents have long since departed never to return.
  • You imagine everyone else will be as negative about you as Mr Nasty – and you –
  • You tell yourself it’s too late – for anything apart from the awful life you currently have.

Emotional Abuse steals your future because you don’t even realise what has happened’; which is that you have given up on yourself. My clients always experience massive transformation in every area of their lives.  Why? Because they stop giving up on themselves and, instead, start investing some of the belief and commitment they had poured into Mr Nasty into themselves.  That’s all it takes to make a world of difference to their present – and the future they can look forward to.  Please like and share this if you have ever known someone who lost sight of the fact that they had a future through being subjected to emotional abuse.

*Sure, the existence of the Pledge cannot be independently verified.  However, the fact is all emotionally abusive partners DO – deliberately – use hurt, humiliation and rejection to control you and render you powerless.)


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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