Some of the hardest put-downs to deal with are the ones that seem to have aspects of truth to them. Maybe he’s snarling at you that you can’t handle money, and the truth is that your finances really are in a mess. Maybe he’s calling you fat, and in reality you have indeed put on some pounds. Maybe he’s saying that everyone thinks you’re a psycho, and the truth is that some important friends actually have turned against you.
Does this mean that he’s trying to help you to face some things that you need to face? Does this mean you are wrong to feel bad about the ways you are being verbally torn apart?
The truth is that even when he seems to be right, he’s still wrong. And he's definitely not trying to help, though he may tell you he is. Here are reasons not to take his statements to heart:
1) Because he’s exaggerating your difficulties in order to hurt you, even if there are partial truths in his words.
2) Because he’s telling you that everything that is difficult in your life is your own fault, and that it shows what a weak person you are underneath. And that’s completely false.
3) Because he’s ignoring how profoundly his mistreatment of you has contributed to these problems, or even created them entirely. When you live with a chronically insulting and undermining partner, your self-esteem suffers, your friendships suffer, your concentration suffers. He’s certainly not helping – he’s making everything worse.
4) Because people’s difficulties don’t – and shouldn’t – define who they are.
A man who chronically mistreats you is a terrible source of information about who you are. His vision is too distorted, too self-centered, and too self-serving to have any useful clarity, especially when the subject is you.
To put it concisely: It is impossible for a man to see a woman clearly while he is controlling her, abusing her, or cheating on her
A meditation for today: “I will listen carefully to my own inner voices, and to people who love me and treat me well. His harangues need to go in one ear and out the other.”