Abusive Relationships: Are You Afraid of Someone You Love?

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Years ago I was in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship – but I didn’t realize it. 
I made excuses for his behavior. I made excuses for my behavior. I thought he had a quick temper, that he was a little jealous, a little controlling, egotistical, selfish, etc., etc. but I just thought, well, that’s just how he is. 

Why would I be with someone like that, you ask? I thought no relationship is perfect. That we could “work it out”. That I could tolerate it.

 

EIGHT FUCKING YEARS PASSED LIKE THIS.


There were signs of infidelity all throughout. Never was anything PROVEN but all the signs were there. There was manipulation ~ mental manipulation and emotional manipulation. He was a master at it. A funny, charming, fast-talking SWINDLER and EVERYONE he did business with ended up thinking the same thing. All his business relationships ended sour. 

At first I thought it was their faults. He painted me a picture that these guys weren’t smart enough to understand the great deals he was giving them (maybe he really believed this too.) His plans and deals were always so convoluted and confusing – I didn’t understand many of them. He made it seem that whoever didn’t understand such logic was just plain stupid (The Emperors New Clothes!)  ~ These deals were made to be confusing and manipulative! He always did business with people who were a little less educated than he was (not that he was very educated either), but many of these people were immigrants who didn’t speak the language and wanted to trust someone. He always acted like he had one up on them, like he knew how the “system” worked and would walk them through it. Fast talker. 

Meantime at home, his best worker (me) was told my dreams and goals were “a waste of time and money”. Any ideas that I had about doing a project or doing something for my career development were quickly squashed. I needed to HELP HIM. He was the money maker. Of course, I also worked full-time and all my money went to pay the mortgage and bills while he “worked on building his business”. Never did I see any profit out of that business. I left the marriage before that ever happened. Oh wait, it still hasn’t happened! Ha!

After years of talking me out of projects and saying my dreams were a waste of time, after years of telling me “What are you thinking? Are you crazy? Sometimes I don’t think you’re right in the head.” I began to believe it. 

I questioned all my choices and all my actions. I was afraid to make a move without his approval because if I “made the wrong decision” there would be hell to pay and “How stupid could I be?” 

I was falling apart. 

I went to see a therapist. I told her about my life and how my marriage “needed work”. My self-esteem was at an all-time low. I felt sad and depressed all the time. I kept thinking, “What is wrong with me? Could I have a medical condition of depression?”

After several visits and me pretty much repeating the same story in different words, the therapist said to me,

 

“Honey, you are being mentally and emotionally abused.”


“What? Who, me? Nah!” I said.  

“YES, YOU ARE.” she said. “Here. Read this book.” And she handed me a book called “The Emotionally Abusive Relationship” by Beverly Engel

At first I thought, “Nah. That’s not me. I can handle this. That’s just his personality.” 
I was very in love with the jerk and very forgiving with a very forgiving eye for all the fucked up shit he did and the “clues” I found. 

I went home and began reading the book. 

I WAS SHOCKED.

 

It was verbatim all the shit he would pull on me. It was how he would use his words and twist mine to mix me up. How he would lie then make himself the victim. How it was always “my fault”. How I always “started all the problems”. How I could “never be happy”.

It was also how I PLAYED into it all. How I ENABLED him to treat me like this. I was in there too. My actions were written in black and white. I was ENABLING HIM to continue to treat me this way. 

WHOA! I felt like NEO in the MATRIX when he realizes he can stop bullets

I saw clearly through the jerk’s game. I recognized when he was manipulating me. I recognized when he was lying or triggering my insecurities to mix me up. I was now AWARE of the manipulation.

 

I SAW RIGHT THROUGH HIS GAME. 

I COULD STOP HIS BULLETS. 

After these realizations, and seeing and changing my behaviors as well, it was just a short time later that we separated and eventually divorced.

Divorce is HARD. But it doesn’t kill you. You get through it and you survive AND THRIVE.

My only regret is not having done it SOONER!!

Life is too short and too precious to waste with some asshole. 

A couple of years later I met A MOST WONDERFUL MAN. He treats me like a QUEEN (and I wouldn’t accept anything less these days).  I am happier than I’ve EVER BEEN in my LIFE. We are married and we are about to have our first baby at age 40! 

I haven’t felt DEPRESSED in years. I know now I don’t suffer from depression (as an illness) – I was depressed all the time because I was miserable with that man but I just didn’t realize it. I thought that was how life was! 

No, my friends. Life is BEAUTIFUL!! Life is GRAND!! It’s SO MUCH FUN!! I’ve never been happier and doing things that I love – all my projects and career dreams are being done, in my own way and I’m enjoying every minute of it. 

Take my advice, don’t waste another second of your life with a man who doesn’t cherish, respect and love you. You deserve to be loved. If you feel something is not right, if you don’t feel happy even though “you try” – RE-EVALUATE if you are in the right place with the right person (or people) – because this could apply to your JOB too! Don’t waste your life in a job that doesn’t make you happy. Make moves – explore – consider your options. Change is scary, but the other side has a big rainbow waiting to shower you with happiness. 

It’s the TRUTH. I’m living PROOF!!!

Please SHARE THIS with someone you love and care for!


CHECKLIST FOR HOW TO TELL IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE MIGHT BE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

The following checklist is taken from FAMILY SHELTER SERVICE HOTLINE (630) 469-5650

Check out:  THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC HOTLINE WEBSITE for information and help near you.

GET EDUCATED ON THE FACTS TO PROTECT YOURSELF! 

1 in 3 women will be abused by someone they love within their lifetime.

Did you know that an abusive relationship can affect your health?

Women with a history of domestic violence report 60% higher rates of all health problems than do women with no history of abuse.

Is your partner…

  •  controlling of you?
  • isolating you from people/activities?
  •  blaming you for his/her problems
  • critical, demanding, harassing, etc.? 
  • making all the important decisions? 
  •  humiliating you?
  •  overly jealous?
  • threatening or using violence? 
  • expecting you to “do as your told”? 
  •  unrealistic with his/her expectations of you?
  •  unable to handle frustration?
  • destructive when angry? 
  •  making you feel like you are crazy?
  •  abusive to children, past partners?
  •  cruel to animals?
 
 

If you answered yes to any of these questions or know someone who would, 
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HANDLE YOUR SITUATION ALONE!

You can talk to your health care provider OR you can contact

THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE WEBSITE

Help is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in over 170 languages.

Services are free, confidential and anonymous and available regardless of immigration status.

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