Monday

Messing with Your Mind: Your Partner's Little Game of Revenge

When a person who has witnessed his or her own parents abuse one another as well as others, they learn a thing or two about how to control people.  You may be in a relationship with someone who likes to nit-pick, talk about you to others, and find these little, as well as big, ways to pay you back when he or she doesn't like what you are doing in the relationship.

You aren't crazy to think that the man or woman you are living with has it in for you.  You feel a sinking feeling in your stomach when he or she comes around.  You feel like if you should  say something about your partner's actions or in-actions in the relationship or do something wrong, he or she will try to get even and make you feel as if you are the problem or crazy one.  Don't underestimate these people who have grew up with abusers--they are sensitive types always seeing what is wrong with everyone else, but themselves.

For example, let's say your mate is miserable about one issue or another.  Rather than just talk about it, like any normal person, he chooses to remain quiet about it.  You attempt to get him to talk about it by simply talking about yourself and the kind of challenges you have at times--all the while hoping he will open up.  Before long, you are the subject matter, being critiqued for this wrong or that one; instead of what is truly bothering him.  He chooses not to share his personal issues so as not to appear weak, and give you, so to speak, a stick to crack his head despite him taking information you have shared and cracking your head with it. 

Now what should have been simply a conversation between two individuals, ends up being a war!  You walk away from this confusing exchange feeling as if you need to watch your back.  You aren't crazy for feeling this way.  This is one of many ways controlling people try to maintain control.  They hide what makes them weak, attack what is strong, and when that doesn't work, they look for other opportunities because they "don't like how you make me feel."  If you are one for telling the truth about the things that negatively affect you to a controlling partner, he or she isn't going to want to hear the truth and will treat you rudely because of it.  They reason, "There is nothing wrong with me, it's her...it's him!" So now out comes the silent treatment, anger outbursts, and other negative behaviors to make you feel like you are crazy. 

It doesn't matter if you approached him or her with a smile on your face asking, "What's wrong?"  It doesn't matter if you bought this person gifts, when he or she has made up in his or her mind that you are unlikable for today, tomorrow, next week or a lifetime, all this person will see is your faults!

Since the last argument it may have seemed like things between you and your mate have died down, that is until you hear he or she has been sharing details about your relationship to others.  Then you notice your mate isn't being as helpful around the house as he or she once was. 

Your mate may have been offended because you said the wrong thing to her or him the other day; therefore, this person feels like he or she should pay you back by not doing what you ask.  Like a teen, your mate rebels.  You might feel like you are once again going crazy, seeing too much into things, that's what he or she wants you to believe.  Remember, this person wants you to believe you are the problem.

While you are noticing distance and the lack of appreciation with your mate, he or she may be nit-picking about whatever you do, because your mate thinks he or she has a right to comment whether he or she is knowledgeable enough or not about an issue.  Maybe this person doesn't like the way you manage the household, the children, or the finances.  Before the last argument, your mate may have seemed to be okay with everything.  But remember, this is what controlling people do, find faults then use them to make themselves look like the so-called "good" man or "good" woman.

Once again controlling people, abusive partners, and just people who are losing a few marbles due to the aging process, are going to do and say things to make you feel like you are going crazy.  When this happens, you can keep fighting through their accusations and confronting their lies while overall revealing hard-truths about them, or you can take the easy way out, and just create distance or end relationships with these type of people.  Why drive yourself crazy in a relationship like this? 

When you know you are doing the best you can, then by all means keep doing it, but also consider this, with all the stress, you may not be the best person to be around; therefore, it just gives this controlling person one more thing to criticize you about.

Nicholl McGuire
Author of Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate and When Mothers Cry

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God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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