Let me tell you a real story, the sort of story that is sadly all too familiar to me. (I have withheld names to ensure people’s privacy.)
‘In my early twenties, I experienced a relationship in which my partner hit and punched me. I loved him, and I questioned whether it was my fault, so I didn’t leave the first time it happened. However, I eventually realized the assaults would continue if I didn’t “do as I was told”. I knew I couldn’t allow it to continue, so I made plans to move out, change jobs and start again. It was hard, but I was lucky to have supportive friends and family, and no children, making it much easier than it could have been.
Scroll forward thirty years to a new relationship. This guy understood me. He was caring, he made me laugh, we liked the same things, he brought me gifts, etc. He swept me off my feet with dinners, drinks, days out and attention. Never before in my life had I been with anyone who had been so attentive.
For a short time, it was perfect. But then it changed. He complained about everything I did. He called me names, swore, and shouted at me. He belittled me in public, alienated me from my friends and curtailed my access to money. He infiltrated my personal emails, texted me with abuse 24/7, manipulated me to do things I didn’t want to do, and so much more.’
Why did she stay?
You’re probably wondering why she put up with this? Well, in between these bouts of ‘hell’ he would ‘love bomb’ her. In other words, he would talk her round and come up with what seemed like plausible excuses for his behaviours. He’d be loving, kind and apologetic, and act like the man she’d fallen in love with. She said it was like being on a rollercoaster – there were fantastic highs coupled with unimaginable lows.
Eventually, after six years and much soul-searching, she found the strength to end the relationship. The break-up is a whole other story. However, despite everything she’d endured, she said, ‘I know he upsets me. I hate how he treats me, but it’s okay because he doesn’t hit me!’
Later she learned that she had been emotionally and psychologically abused. She was shocked, embarrassed and ashamed. She couldn’t believe that as a 52-year-old adult, a business owner and a mum of three children, she hadn’t realized or known this was a form of domestic abuse.
After six years of recovery and healing, she is now in a better place.
I sincerely hope none of this story resonates with you. However, if it does and you’d like to talk, please reach out to me for a free 20-minute discovery call to see how I can help you.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call.
Silence isn’t always golden. Ask for a friend: 0333 772 1802.