Have you ever thought, “if I could just say the ‘right’ thing to my partner, then he would finally ‘get it’, understand and change?” Have you ever wondered if somehow you could make your relationship better if you just had the right combination of words… or tone of voice… or proper explanation?
Abusive men often leave their partners feeling this way. It is part of the “crazy making” behaviour of abuse.
Women work so hard to explain and defend themselves. They put a lot of energy into trying to find the exact right words so they will be heard and understood. The hope being that their partners would stop being hurtful to them.
But here is the painful reality. An abusive man is not listening to you to try to understand you better, he is listening to you to gather more ammunition against you to hurt you.
I remember the first time this was explained to me when I was living with my then abusive husband. A light bulb went on for me. I finally understood what a waste it was to try so hard to “get my words right”. It did not matter what I said because he had no interest in understanding me or respecting me. Here is an example of this, if I told him that a certain word was extremely hurtful to me and I really wished he would not use it, he would then file that word away in his brain saying, “oh, this is a good way to get her”. It is difficult for non-abusive / relationship oriented people to really believe that someone would think this way but they do. This is because abusive men are focused on controlling their partner – not on understanding them. Words are weapons for abusive men and tools for manipulation.
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