Tuesday

Visiting The Emotionally Abusive Partner's Family - Why Bother?

It is about an image of perfection--appearing like all is well when it really isn't.  I get it.  I did it. You smile.  His relatives ask, "How's things?  You look good.  Glad to see you!  You both look so good together!"  If only they knew.  I saw this happen more than enough times in my life with different men (sigh).

They don't have a clue what you went through the night before or weeks prior.  Their beloved son or daughter acting like a complete fool!  Screaming, hurling insults, acting threatening...you contemplated on calling the police.  "What has gotten into this crazy S.O.B.!" you think.  Your emotionally abusive partner may have thought the same about you too.

Difficult people will tempt you to do some things that you thought you would never do.  They are hateful at times and harmful to themselves and others.  Sometimes it is a mental disturbance that drives them mad and other times its them feeling powerless.  Abusive men and women thrive on power and when they feel they have none, that is when they go on attack.  If they feel like they are being controlled, they will also launch a verbal war.  "You don't tell me what to do...Who do you think you are?  You are lucky you are still alive today!  You miserable little..."  You know how mean-spirited they can be.  You know how you are too.

Yet, at a family function, all is calm right?  You might detect a little of the beast showing up if you should say or do something that a partner feels is offensive.  You will hear about it after the show.  Parents and grandparents don't want to hear anything negative.  It is the holiday season and everyone is supposed to behave themselves. Put on the illusion that you have the best relationship ever even if you know differently.  But why?  Why spend your hard-earned money to act?  Why behave like you are in love when you really are not?  Why allow fear of a partner to make you go somewhere that you really don't want to be?

Until you are weary of the act, you will continue to put on the grand performance year after year.  Each holiday season will challenge you to hold back tears, put away fears (at least temporarily) and behave yourself.  It doesn't matter that your emotional abuser cursed at you like you were a stranger on the street.  Threw something at you like he or she never wanted to see you again in life.  The family mustn't know.  Chances are they already suspect you aren't happy, but they choose to ignore your sad eyes and what your child or children may have already confided in them about your turbulent relationship.  On with the show, shall we?

Nicholl McGuire

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