As a survivor of emotional abuse, you have had your fill of toxic relationships. But how do you know what needs to be different in all of your future relationships? The 10 secrets of good relationships for an emotional abuser survivor will give you priceless pointers to what works – and what doesn’t. As you read through them, you will see how to create a great relationship right from the get go – as well as what went wrong from Day 1 to create the toxic relationship that you NEVER want to repeat.
Secret #1 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor – What you sweep under the carpet will, one day, destroy the carpet.
It’s very easy, at the start of a relationship, to overlook the things that don’t sit well with you. Maybe you think the two of you will be able to ‘thrash them out’ together, at a later date. Maybe you think that love, like a bath of acid, will simply dissolve those gritty little problems (and all those gritty, not-so-little problems, also). Unfortunately, that is wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is the highway to unhappiness.
Secret #2 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor – ‘Chemistry’ can be BAD for your health.
As a general rule, ‘Chemistry’ gets a suspiciously good press. In reality, ‘Chemistry’, often serves to describe the powerful attraction that occurs when you meet another person whose teeth fit your wounds. In that case, ‘Chemistry’ describes the powerful attraction and connection you feel for someone who offers you the opportunity to replay a childhood psycho-drama.
Of course, you will not be aware that that is the true source of the powerful attraction you feel. However, given time, you will surely find yourself clamoring for their love and attention in the same – thankless – way that you once clamored for a parent’s attention or love.
Secret #3 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor – First impressions are last impressions.
I hate to be the one to have to tell you this, but what I am about to say is valuable knowledge. The conscious mind is a tad bamboozlable. That means that you, too, can be duped by appearances. Your conscience mind is a sucker for nice manners, good dress sense, and physical attractiveness. Your intuition is not.
What your intuition tells you in a split second, your rational mind may well labor for months – or even years – to make sense of. When intuition whispers: “Bad news alert! Back off NOW!” it is way ahead of the game. You can ignore it. However you do so at your peril. You can expect to go through any number of painful months, or years, until your rational brain gets up to speed.
Secret #4 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor – What you believe is what you receive.
Most partners will only ever treat you as well as you truly expect and believe you deserve to be treated. The crucial words here are “expect” and “believe” – not “hope”, or “desire”. If, at bottom, you don’t really believe you deserve the best, it’s highly unlikely that you will get it. When it comes to relationships, most people are inherently lazy. They are not prepared to invest any more in the relationship than they need to.
Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who is emotionally lazy – and stingy?
Secret #5 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor –Unless you are careful, you don’t just get a partner, you get a ton of family baggage, and dirty washing, thrown in.
You may fall in love with one individual, but you can easily get saddled with their unresolved family baggage. So, you might like to avoid prospective partners who are “complicated”, or have more baggage than Mariah Carey famously travels with.
Someone who likes their own parents is a plus. If they do not, and especially if they highly critical of their parents and want little or nothing to do with them, chances are that they are still emotionally enmeshed in their own parent-child drama. This does NOT bode well. A partner laden with family baggage is likely to end up,
- Treating you like their emotional pack-horse.
- Extending their family resentments to you, too.
Secret #6 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor – Notice how prospective partners treat people they don’t like.
Do not take as an accurate indication of just how nice your partner is, how nice he is to you at the start of the relationship. Initially, he has to build “brand loyalty”. In order to do that, he had to be on his best behaviour – around you, anyway. So, you will gather much more important information from the way that he treats, and talks about, people he doesn’t feel obliged to please. Anger, resentment, and criticism – or contempt – of other people do not bode well. The day will surely come when he no longer feels the need to impress you. At that point, you lose your Exception Status and become ‘other people’.
Secret #7 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor – Love means both partners being able to say they are sorry… in a way that makes the other feel genuinely valued.
Genuine love presupposes genuine regret at upsetting a loved one. A partner who can’t, or won’t, apologize for causing distress is disregarding your feelings in a way that should set alarm bells ringing. A partner who makes the right noises but keeps on doing whatever he was doing in the first place, is simply stringing you along. Over the life of the relationship, his disregard for your feelings will cause you lot of unnecessary pain and frustration.
Secret #8 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor – Assumptions are deceptive.
Assumptions are no substitute for information. They will make an ass of you. It is all too easy to make assumptions in line with your hopes, or fears. The best way to know another person is to be really curious about them, right from the start. That does not mean subjecting them to an interrogation (tempting as that might be). You cannot expect to get all the answers to all the questions you have (or need to have) about them in a day, a week, or even a month. Rather, you need to keep asking yourself, “What else might this mean?” If you don’t like the answers, you have a clear sign that this person WILL make you unhappy further down the line.
Secret #9 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor No relationship can thrive without effective communication, physical affection, mutual care and support, and selflessness.
When you are an abusive relationship, you soon find yourself settling for crumbs of affection – at best. What is the point of a relationship that puts you on a long-term starvation diet? By the time you recognise that you are just fading away, things are very bad indeed. If you had wanted to starve emotionally, you would have had no need to go into the relationship in the first place. The Zero Love and Affection diet is inhuman – just like its creator, Mr Nasty.
Secret #10 Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor Appreciation is the most powerful form of positive communication.
Human beings thrive on genuine appreciation. The reason why it is so hard to thrive in an emotionally abusive relationship is that all you ever get is destructive communication. That may well feel horribly familiar. Still, never underestimate just how harmful it is.
In the past, you have likely not received a great deal of support, and positive communication. You may well struggle with positive ‘feedback’. Even if you show some skill in giving it to others, just the thought of accepting it for yourself could be enough to send you into a tail-spin. That will need to change.
In fact, if there is one thing that will transform your life, it is communicating positively with yourself. New clients always tell me that is the very bottom of their list of priorities.
Unfortunately, the destructive relationship with self is, if you like, the cork in the bottle of transformation. As we remove that cork, everything that they thought could never change, changes beyond all measure. Whether or not you want another intimate relationship, you owe it yourself to master the 10 Secrets Of Good Relationships For An Emotional Abuse Survivor, so you can finally enjoy lasting peace of mind.
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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