How can you tell if you are in an emotionally abuse marriage?
Actually, for the longest time, you don’t. You don’t spot that crazy-maker because you can’t. Before you ever work around to the possibility of the relationship being abusive, you have to work through all the other possibilities.
Explanations That Don’t Explain Crazy-Making
You look for explanations in places that offer no adequate explanation like,
- Your partner’s past.
- Your partner’s situation.
- Your partner’s mental health.
- Your partner’s addictions.
- Your behaviour.
- Your shortcomings.
You tell yourself that there has to be a reason why being with such a potentially wonderfully guy feels so awful.
You’re right, of course.
There is an explanation. Just not necessarily the kind of explanation that you had in mind.
The reality is that you have – unwittingly – saddled yourself with a Crazy-Maker.
Obviously, that was never your intention. Nor is it the way that he sold himself to you. An emotionally abusive partner normally projects himself as a special being that anyone in their right mind would feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have. (Although, if he believes in his own projection, that just proves he must be a tad deranged.)
The Odd Behaviors Of A Crazy-Maker
Once he has you hooked you into the relationship, things start to get weird. He exhibits any number of odd behaviors.
- He starts levelling idiotic accusations at you.
- He picks fights over the strangest things.
- He has temper tantrums and/or sulks.
- He finds ways of spoiling what should be enjoyable occasions.
- He stops taking an interest in you.
- He treats you like his worst enemy.
- He makes life – and especially your life – a misery.
- He finds fault with anything and everything you do and say.
- He becomes a specialist at pinning blame on you for the most random reasons. If he is an absentee father, he may tell you that you will destroy the children.
- He comes out with a load of things that sound incredible. However you believe them because you want to believe that he is telling the truth.
Overall, he constantly challenges, and undermines, your notions of reality. He acts like the Agent of Anger and Hatred in your home, yet he sets himself up as the Voice of Wisdom and Reason. He acts like the husband from hell. But he labels you the wife (and mother) from hell.
A Crazy-Maker is someone who has a genius for mixed messages. He understands enough to know that you will always choose to believe that the – allegedly – more “loving” messages are the true ones.
You end up asking yourself,
“Why can he treat me like that?”
It would not be a bad question, if only you would focus your answer on his responsibilities rather than yours.
He treats you that way because he is a Crazy-Maker. He quite deliberately drives you crazy because that is what works for him.
What signs will help you to spot a crazy-maker?
Signs To Help You Spot A Crazy-Maker
All of the odd behaviors above. Plus,
- He constantly undermines your sense of reality.
- He makes mountains out of molehills and mole hills out of mountains.
- He is more unpredictable than the weather in Texas.
- You cannot make sense of him no matter how hard you try.
- He specializes in giving mixed messages.
- He tells you how unhappy you make him but then, if you decide to leave, he suddenly decides he loves you and can’t bear to live without you.
For as long as you assume that he must be a reasonable person, none of this can possibly make any sense.
However, it all starts to make sense once you see that he is a skilled Crazy-Maker who uses the relationship to feed his own needs for power and control.
“Why would I want to stay with a Crazy-Maker?”
Once you see your emotionally abusive partner for the Crazy-Maker that they really are, then everything becomes clear. Instead of asking yourself, “How could I leave this man who – still – has so much potential?”, you ask, “Why would I want to stay with a Crazy-Maker whose purpose is to make me lose my mind?”
In your ideal world, Crazy-Makers would not exist.
But for as long as you live with him, you live in his Crazy-Maker’s world – where loving partners, happiness and intimacy do not exist.
If you stay in a Crazy-Maker’s world, you will go crazy. That is an abuser’s goal for you. But why would you stay in a Crazy-Maker’s world once you can see it for what it is?
If you feel that your relationship is driving you crazy, you probably are right. It is. However, that is because you are trying to stay sane around a Crazy-Maker. His craziness is not your responsibility.
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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