As we fall deeper and deeper into an emotionally abusive relationship, repetition of certain aspects of our behavior takes over and we find ourselves stuck with an emotional abuser for years to come.
The funny thing is that if you look closely at any emotional abuse victim, there will be a common trait of behavior which enables their abuser to continue behaving in the manner in which they do.
I have had a look at some characteristics of an emotional abuser in a previous post; now we need to look at what enabling behavior we as victims of emotional abuse display on a regular basis.
Here are 5 mistakes all victims of emotional abuse make that you may be able to identify with…
You love them, so forgive them
The first time that your partner behaves in a way that is unacceptable to you, you need to call them out on it. Don’t ever “turn the other cheek”.
You may feel that you should forgive them for their little indiscretion, but if boundaries are not set, they will look at you allowing this to go on as confirmation that what they are doing is acceptable to you.
Stop making excuses for your partner if they treat you in this way.
Trying over and over again
The first time that you suspect emotional abuse, or abuse of any kind for that matter, get out of your relationship.
If your partner continually displays the same abusive behavior, it is time to accept that this is who they are and there is nothing that you will ever do that will ever change their behavior.
Pack up and leave; don’t wait for the “I’m sorry, it will never happen again” nonsense to start.
If you’ve had this conversation twice, it’s already once too many…
They go, or you do!
Feeling a sense of responsibility toward them and their behavior
This is possibly the worst thing that you can do mentally to yourself; claiming responsibility for their behavior and the consequences of that behavior.
I have discussed this in a post on codependency, but it bears repetition…
Never, and I mean never, feel that you are going to be able to change who your abuser is.
They will abuse you and many after you once you have walked out the door; it is who they are.
The longer you accept responsibility for their actions, the more decisions you are going to make that will be entirely out of character.
Never seeing the worst in your partner
There is one thing that we always need to remember; when you meet someone and start going out, everyone is on their best behavior.
This is why it is imperative to not rush into anything too quickly.
Go out for a few month’s if need be; an abuser does not have the patience to hang around and wait for you to succumb to their whiles forever.
They have needs that must be satisfied, and they are not going to wait around forever to get this done.
Emotional abusers target victims; they don’t get into relationships. They are all too willing to put on a show if it is going to get them what they want in the long run; you as a source of supply to whatever they may need.
My partner did exactly that; told me only the good parts of her past, and forgot to mention all of the baggage that she brought into the relationship.
By the time the truth came out, we were almost a year into the relationship and I was busy being molded into the play-thing that she was looking for.
Minimizing their behavior
Don’t ever allow yourself to justify your abuser’s behavior; there is nothing that can condone this type of behavior.
No hard day at work, no drugs or booze doing the talking…
Remember that no-one can treat you badly until you start allowing them to do so.
My biggest problem was always believing that I could change how my partner was behaving; I know now that type of thinking is just plain stupid.
I have learned that if I am happy, then all other things will fall into place.
I am single at the moment, but that is a much happier place to be than in an abusive relationship.