Thursday, November 8, 2012

AVOIDING PEOPLE WHEN YOU GO BACK TO HIM



                Today I am going to describe a pattern that sometimes plays out with when a woman is struggling with a partner who doesn’t treat her right. If it sounds familiar, you’ll find it helpful to recognize it and not let it happen again. And if you haven’t lived this one, you can think ahead about how to make sure you never do.
 
                It goes like this: First, you find yourself mired in one of those periods when he is just being rotten to you day after day, and you feel like you just can’t take it anymore. You rant to some of your closest people about what a jerk he is, and they are right behind you on it. You say you’re done with him, and they cheer you on to give him the boot, helping you to plan how you’ll do it. You’re all a team.
  
              But over a period of days or weeks you are feeling less and less sure. The thought of ending your relationship starts to feel overwhelming, and the loss seems too great. He senses that you are leaning toward the door – or you tell him outright – and he improves his behavior some and promises to make bigger changes. The upshot is that you are going to give it another try.
  
              Now comes the tricky part. You’ve been bonding with loved ones about how awful he is, so how do you explain to them that you’re staying?
  
              And something else starts to happen, which is that the crisis of your relationship almost coming apart makes you and your partner feel closer. He’s being sweet, and you’re feeling a little resentful towards people around you for being so negative about him. You tell yourself that they don’t really understand him, or you for that matter; in fact, you feel like he’s the only person who really gets you.
  
              So now you and he have become a secret society, a special team together against that hostile, non-comprehending world out there. You have a deep connection with each other that they just can’t grasp.
  
              In short, you have two reasons to keep them all away; you are a little ashamed in front of them, but at the same time you are feeling that you and your partner are a little bit above them.
  
              But what is really happening is that you are growing more traumatized and more isolated. Your partner is drawing you into a traumatic bond, and leading you away from your support system. Your secret society is not a healthy place to be. It’s an illusion, and a destructive one.
  
               Your people love you. Don’t cut them out. Whatever you decide about how to handle your relationship, keep reaching back toward the hands that are reaching out to you.


“I can’t ever let my partner come between me and my people. I have to see this for what it is.”

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I am currently reading both books you authored, "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and, "Why Does He Do That?". Today was the day I first read about the Traumatic Bond, found on pg. 200 of your book. Unfortunately, I can relate to this theory, and now I understand why it is even more difficult for me to quit the relationship with my partner, because of power imbalance and intermittency of abuse. I also found the article "Emotional Attachments in Abusive Relationship: A Test of Traumatic Bonding Theory" written by Donald G. Dutton and Susan Painter (1993) very helpful. Knowledge is power. Now I just need help with overcoming this... Thank you again.

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  2. Wow. Once again you have stated the complexities perfectly. This scenario happened to me time and again until I almost lost the precious relationships of the ones who really loved me. Even now, as I have left the abuse for the last time and my divorce will be final soon, my relationships are not what they were before all this oppression began. I am praying they will mend wholly, but friends and family had lost respect for me after watching me go back to my husband over and over. From their perspective it was a "no brainer" as to what I should do. I understand that finally, but pretty much exhausted their trust in the process of figuring it out for myself.

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  3. What you say is so true !!! I have went back a million times and each time I feel shame to the point where I stop calling my friends and family because they ask bout him and I dont want to lie to them..its bad enough I went back. It has taken a long time to realize no matter how many times I went back it would just happen over and over again. I am now 90% emotionally free and have blocked him outa my life...it is gettin easier each day and I think less ans less about him...I went to bed last nite with a smile on my face and a sense of freedom, peace and content. Thank you so much for what you are doing for women in your writings and teachings.

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  4. Been there/done that WAY too many times. Not again. I loved him so much, and desperately wanted to keep our marriage together - for religious reasons, and for our childrens' sake. After 14 years of marriage, and his 2 devastating affairs, I finally had enough. I realized marriage really HAD to involve TWO people who wanted things to work out. Divorce was final a few months ago. I'm more healthy emotionally than I've been in 5-10 years, Praise God! The peace that I now feel is such a new concept. Finally able to concentrate on my relationship with God and being the best mom I can be!

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    1. You've hit on a huge problem: the issue of divorce within the church, especially when the marriage covenant is broken by infidelity and/or DV. So glad you've found your way out. All the best to you. :)

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  5. I've lost a lot of friends this way. The last time this happened, though, some of the friends I involved had no judgements for me, when I decided I couldn't leave. They did take the step back I needed them to for my safety, but I know they are there, which is really important.

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  6. I have read ur book fully probally 100 times. I still dont leave. i dont have children with him and he seems to be the demand man with a little drill sgt. what i get the most confused about is....im a alcholic, and was long before i met him. so i know this is a valid complaint from him. it also says in your book that he will use that as a excuse to hit me. and that does seem to be the case. and after we have a upset and he hits me its of course always my fault. we had not had anything happen in a long time and did recently. and it was during a binge i had. i really dont want to leave but i just cant wrap my mind around that i can get drunk and keep my hands to myself. but i will do stupid crap like drive cuz i want to leave the house. i really feel alot of my drinking has to do with self numbing. i know i always drank but had slowed down so much before we met. i just dont know. so fricken confused. just cant stop crying atm and i dont want to drink, this one is very hard. i know people with behavioral disorders tend to find eachother. what about when its valid that its both of you. i break things. dont trust him. monitor him. he overtalks me, invalidates what i say with blame and hits. i dont think hes ever cheated. but he has abandoned me several times claiming drinking is the issue. i guess its my last go at this. im praying to god to help me not drink, boy is that hard rite now.....im soooo pissed. hehe so idk anything anyone wants to throw out...but you know how they say u have to watch what you write online..blah blah. he doesnt care and he will willingly go over informataion from should i stay or should i go....but everything is me when we read it..lol. Hell im starting to wonder if it is me. power of abuse is sooo powerful. i dont have a low self esteem, im outgoing, i dont feel fun anymore though. used to. not anymore. my point though is he seems willing. tells me he loves me daily. doesnt run around or anything like that. its more about when i dont do something for him he feels entitled to. i asked him to help me with the dogs cuz they were starting to have accidents in the house. well then here came the tantrumn and within a couple hrs he had decked me. fucker:P but hell i use his email for these posts and he doesnt care and at times i find him reading things about impulse control. huh? i just dont know up from down rite now and once again i know some women act one way...others the other way. i get straight livid. hes asleep rite now and all i can think is i want to walk in there and nail him. two wrongs wont make a rite though and i would get my ass kicked. sometimes i just think its worth it

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  7. I think you just describe me in a whole. When my fiance first cheated on me and kept walking around the house smiling and calling talking to her in front my face, I left. For six months he kept apologizing promising not to do it again, that I was the most important thing, that he had a moment of weakness and she was just a fling. I believed him and after six months of saying NO NO NO, I finally said yes and came back home. He started doing it again 3 months after I came back or before that I'm not sure. He would use the neighbor as an excuse to go meet his secret flings. He would use our neighbor address when these women say they want to come spend some time with him, then he would pretend to go hang with the neighbor. This is why the neighbor cannot get my respect because he has a girlfriend and he doesn't do that to her or treat her that way, yet he encourages my fiance to do it to me. My fiance got locked up because he got up out of our hot bed to go have sex with another woman. He didn't even have the courtesy to call me to tell me what happen, instead he called her to bail him and she refused to. He called a couple of his "flings" to bail him they too refuse to. His friend who went with him knowing he went to cheat on me, came back and told me he's in jail and asked me to bail him. I bailed him and he's going to lie to me and tell me he parked up on the side of the road for awhile just to chill when the cop came up behind him. Even though I knew the truth I decided not to make the situation any worse than it is. I invite his friends into my house respect them like they are family and they had the nerve to take him to cheat on me with a different girl every night for two weeks. Then they got the nerve to tell me when I decided I had enough, that it is my fault, I don't do enough for him. I cook, clean, wash, baby this man, he works nights now I get up out my sleep to cook and take him lunch every night. I help him finish his GED, I paid for his GED. Every christmas, every birthday I NEVER received anything from him, but I always set up something romantic when these special days come around, for him. I found out that he has been giving other females his money just so he can get into bed with them and then when we can't make the rent he tells his mother I'm spending all his money and she believes him. I keep saying I'm going to leave and I pack my things and then he would start crying he's sorry it won't happen again, he's going to change, he's going to start putting me first, we're going to do more together and when I change my mind about leaving he goes back to treating my like a swiffer treats dust. I have been listening to Rori Raye and I have been secretly going to counseling. He thinks everything is cool with us but it's not I have been secretly trying to find a place, I went to section 8, I went to look at low income houses and he has no idea, so because he doesn't know what I am doing he starts lying to his friends now telling them I am now the one cheating and sneaking around on him because everyday he realize the number on the speedometer. I just take the blame instead of fighting because I have no fight left in me. I always say what's done in the dark will come to light and sooner or later these other women and his friends and family who do care will realize that he's the one with the issue and that he needs help. I don't expect them to apologize to me I just want them to know just who he really is.

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  8. I remember in one of his books Lundy explains how the abuser's tactics and manipulation and oppression worsen with each episode of the spouse's leaving and returning. I have found this to be true and with this final exodus from my marriage to an abuser, it has reoccured once more. He pulled out more stops and more weapons in order to cause pain to me and my family on even a deeper more thorough level than ever. If I were to go back another time, I could only blame myself for setting up the next even more heightened attack. Please take this advice and be the one to stop the game once and for all in order to save yourselves and your families and in order to begin your essential time of rest, healing and restoration. You alone can make the choice to leave and get on with a healthier life choice. Know there are many who applaud you and cheer you on!

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  9. For those of you seeking help on the Biblical approach to divorce, please
    read "Divorce God's Will?" by Stephen Gala . He explains thoroughly what I had also discovered when I began to study the Bible for myself concerning divorce.

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    1. NO, Susan, just NO. Please let other people decide their best strategy to get out of the relationship without muddying the waters with things like this. As I recall from having it shoved down my throat, The bible pretty much roundly condemns divorce. I'm sure you were well aware of that when you posted this, so tell me--how is this going to help someone who's already feeling horribly guilty and conflicted about doing something that will, literally, save their life? Do you have ANY idea how many women suffer needlessly because their particular brand of Christianity reinforces oppression in the form of 'Man is the head of the house, and women is in SUBJECTION to him'? I was one of them, I should know.

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    2. Stephen Gala is a preacher who supports people to get divorced if the marriage is not healthy for them. His message is that God cares more about you than about your marriage. I think this message can be profoundly helpful for Christian women who are struggling with feeling that God won't approve of them divorcing. I don't think he is saying that a woman should remain subservient in a relationship -- in fact, he seems to be saying the opposite, that she should leave her marriage if the marriage is harming her.

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  10. When I notice everything is harder and I'm feeling more and more lost it's usually a good sign that I'm not connecting with other people outside of my home enough. I need those reality checks. I need people who are kind to me without wanting anything from me. I need to spend time with people with whom I'm not constantly on my guard. It's so easy to forget that when my husband and I are in a honeymoon period. Especially since I struggle with chronic fatigue, it's so easy to become isolated if I let myself. Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

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  11. Its hard to bond with people who do not understand the dynamics of abuse, and it unfortunately works into the abusers tactics of isolating his victom. Since abusers are so manipulatve, and they can easily coeherce people into judging you or making you feel like you are the problem, isolation is a very neat tool abusers use to shup you up, without the victom even knowing what is going on, people statt treating you different or they say stupid things that make you want to retreat to silence.

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  12. The church, as far as mans church goes does not have any understanding of abuse, not do they want to hear about it. They will side with the abuser, their counseling will aid and abed the abuser into entrapping you for longer than is neccissary. They do not understand, they as a whole doctrinally give unsound, unsolicited, un educated, dangerous advice to women... and they put women and children at risk continually. Seeking counsel within the church is a death sentence, they will support and cater to the abusers "Feelings" which are NOT the problem, in fact its quite the opposite, his lack of EMPATHY is and will remain the problem, the abuser will seek refuge in a church environment and get it. An abused women and her children will only find judgement and be made to feel like they are the problem

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  13. I want to mention I left my abusive spouse, he was a monster, physically violent, horrible manipulation, sever financial abuse, never cared how it affected the kids or I. I left and went into hiding after a two year court battle, I left with sole custody of our children, he did everything he could to make sure I got no money from our divorce, he knew I could not wait around through court oredered unsupervised visitations, he knew I would NOT put my children at risk after years of living with his threats and stalking, which was all documented...the judge assigned mutal blame no matter what, called him a liar, admitted that he stalked us relentrlessly but STILL did not connect the dots to that being a safety issue for my children. We fled to avoid visitaion, two weeks unsupervised!!!!! I feard I would never see my kids again after that, years he threaten to kill me, them then himself....but the judge wouldnt listen to my concerns for them. So we fled, he got divorced in my absence, got all our assets (which was his goal) and of course found a different attorney, different judge and they awarded him custody of both my kids in my absence, so now I have no money for myself or kids, He stole sole custody from me, and left us homeless AGAIN. The good news is we are stll safe, but now that he has all this money, and time, and motive to hunt us down....life as along as he lives, remains the same for us...now he can legally stalk us!!!

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  14. Dear anonymous and others, Oops! I guess I should have explained the book I mentioned above... It is FOR the victims of abuse and supports and encourages them to leave the relationship or marriage once and for all. It is against the incorrect teaching the church at large propogates regarding divorce and seeks to educate pastors and ministers as to the errors of this belief. Hopefully this clears up the misunderstanding.

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  15. there is always that endless hope inside me that if he just hits bottom, if the losses are too high for him to continue treating me this way, that he will for once work on treating me right and coming clean with all the things he has done....is there no hope?

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    1. I have found this quotation to be helpful when I've faced a very similar dilemma. 'The greatest sins are to get in the way of someone else's growth and to get in the way of my own growth.' When I survive another instance of abuse and remain 'hopeful' that this will be the breaking point and he will finally see the error of his ways, perhaps I am preventing my own growth. When I risk more abuse because I 'hope' that he will make the changes he needs to make because he realizes he did a horrible thing to someone who loves him, maybe I can be a catalyst for change by allowing him to come to his own conclusion to change. I realize that a gift of love can be presented to someone I love even if I am not present when it is received. I also have to know that simply wondering these questions about someone in my life who hurts me (repeatedly) is not healthy and sane for me. I want to be in relationship with people who do not cause me to have to ask these types of questions about their behaviors to me. Best of luck to you.

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  16. I can relate...I was supported and had back up from "friends" to leave and one of them totally betrayed me and went with the ex or they are staging it to look like that...Double betrayal...devastated.

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  17. OMG it's bizarre that I do this but didn't see what I was really doing ...

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