Emotional abuse of a misogynist

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  When we begin the love relationship it offers the promise of “happily ever after”. We feel excited, safe, strong, and beautiful and ready for what we only intellectually accept will be the challenges of the relationship. We expect that the challenges will come from the outside and that together and united we will overcome whatever life demands of us.

All not true. Most often the challenges will come from each other and from the bond that will often feel more like a chain.

Love offers us opportunities to grow and develop. We are challenged to remain committed when all we crave is liberation. We will be forced to face the differences between dependency and love. Dependency breeds fear and fear breeds resentment and resentment is love’s enemy. It is a formula that is worth learning. Dependence breeds fear, fear breeds resentment and resentment is love’s enemy. Love on the other hand heals. It makes us stronger. We grow and change and stay when we don’t want to and answer patiently when we feel like screaming. Love faces challenges with grace and fortitude. Dependency faces challenges with anger and disbelief. The offer of safety from a real like has been betrayed.

Both the misogynist and the co-dependent have issues with dependency.

The misogynist offers his own type of challenge. He cannot trust love and so he must control whoever he loves to the extent that she cannot leave and to do so he must diminish her. Slowly and corrosively and most often without intent he will corrode her confidence, her support network, her access to financial independence, and finally her love for him. He will create dependency because he cannot believe she will stay unless she is dependent. He will break her to keep her and then often he loses respect for her once he has.

Ultimately he will prove himself right – love will not endure.

The woman who fails to understand co-dependency, will continue to respond to his problems by doubling her efforts to prove both that she is worthy and that love is worthy. She is completely dependent on being needed and ultimately broken. She wants the very dependency that he hates so much.  They are in a dance of dependency and fear and resentment and ultimately hatred for each other.

Neither the co-dependent nor the misogynist understands the difference between love and dependency. Couples often feel comfortable with their dependency on each other and dispute that love and dependency are not the same thing. However they fail to recognize that we may have a healthy dependency on each other’s roles. Women depend on their husbands as primary breadwinners and men on their wives to bring up children and nurture the family’s emotional needs. This is a functional dependency that is often healthy and provides opportunities for mutual respect and recognition. The nuclear family is small and unstable and works most efficiently when both parties do their job well and can depend on each other to perform effectively and reliably most of the time.

The co-dependent depends on the misogynist to be overly jealous and demanding. She depends on the drama to prove that love is real and she has something to work for. He depends on her to keep working and to need to stay even though he is excessively controlling, dismissive and disrespectful. He wants her to prove that love with survive anything – and it won’t. She needs to try and will fail

Dependency breeds fear, fear breeds resentment and resentment is love’s enemy. Help yourself and learn the formula – it will help more than the scientific table you learnt when you knew nothing of love and life.

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I was married to not one abuser, not two, but three. I fled from South Africa and from an extremely violent and traumatic marriage to a very well-known Johannesburg personality and resolved to learn a lesson and be more careful next time. In America I met a man who, on the surface, was everything that my second husband was not. Until I owned her own contribution to the dance of abuse I was destined to repeat the pattern. My story exists as proof of this. I am driven to help abused women as I know all too well what it feels like to be misunderstood and ashamed of my inability to let go of a relationship that was killing me. “It’s like wanting to hug a shark – why on earth would anyone do that?” I understand because I have been there, emerged damaged and broken from there and then – heaven forbid – went back! I know what it feels like to yearn for the love of a man who pulled out your hair, spat in your face and tried to choke you. I know what it feels like to tell people you are back there and watch their faces and see them thinking, “then you deserve what you get!” By telling my story, I hope to lift the veil of shame off abuse and encourage women to do the same. Un-silencing the voice is where true healing begins.

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Posted in abusive relationship, divorce, domestic abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse, verbal abuse

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