The Big Idea
My definition of abuse.
A pattern of narcissistic, disrespectful, and harmful behavior exhibited by one person in an intimate relationship.
a pattern: I'm talking about a dirtball who abuses you on a regular basis. You have cried, begged, demanded, gone quiet. Nothing has worked. He could care less about you and your feelings. He shows no signs of stopping the abuse. That's because he's not going to stop.
narcissistic: your abuser is a spectacularly selfish individual. Everything he thinks, feels, and does focuses on protecting and pleasing himself. He does not love you. He is incapable of loving anyone but himself. It is always and forever about him.
disrespectful: He has no conscience. He feels no guilt or shame when he hurts you. He has no empathy. When he says or does something that deeply hurts you, he won't allow you to vent your pain on him. He'll say: "I said I was sorry. Let it go." He focuses on your lack of "forgiveness", not his damaging behavior that caused the problem. Nothing is ever his fault.
an intimate relationship: Abuse does the greatest damage in a romantic relationship. When you love someone and consider him(or her)to be the most important person in your life, he can hurt you as no one else can.
Because you desperately want your relationship to work, you try and try to make it work. You are the only one trying. He's okay with you trying. He thinks you should keep trying because it's all your fault anyway.
The abuser shows a very different face to the world outside your home. Your church leaders, your church friends, your family and friends, and your neighbors all think he's the greatest guy in the world. When you're ready to begin telling others the truth about him, many won't believe you. They'll think you're a liar, or crazy, or both. They'll believe him and his lies and the image he has projected.
When you leave him, you'll lose the popularity contest. But you will win back your life.
These blogs are based on my new book: Enough is Enough, How to Leave an Abusive Relationship.
Next week, I will zero in on the various types of harmful behavior exhibited by an abuser.