When He Uses Your Faults Against You

You have probably already heard from an associate, friend, or resource that emotional abuse is about control. However, there are more factors at play than mere control, and realizing this is essential to healing emotional abuse and preserving your sense of self-worth.

When your partner attacks you, you may find that he will stoop to batter you with things you have shared with him in the past – doubts about yourself, vulnerabilities, and shortcomings. Though these intimate things may be true of you or your personality, perceived or real faults are a trait of every human being, and have no valid presence in fights. Be mindful that in emotional abuse, they are simply used as poisoned darts; items he throws mindlessly because they are in reach.

Why, then, does he throw these smoke bombs out to cloud the issues?

Consider the way you feel after a fight. Did he destroy your happiness for something you were feeling good about before? More often than not, we find that an abuser will target the things that are best about you so that he doesn’t feel threatened or one-upped. It’s almost like an upside-down compliment – the aspects he tries to make you feel bad about might be your best qualities!

Essentially that means that emotional abuse is actually an attempt to hide the abuser’s own vulnerabilities, the things he feels you could overcome him with.

Battering, whether it is emotional abuse, verbal abuse or physical abuse, exists to create or maintain an unequal distribution of power in the relationship.  The important concept to recognize is that when an abuser feels he’s losing his grip (if it seems like you’re taking his power), the violence will escalate. In other words, the gravity of the emotional assault is directly proportional to the attacker’s vulnerability.

Thus, the act of emotional abuse is not merely about control, although that is how it seems to manifest. The real cause, the thing that control expresses, is a deep-set and debilitating sense of vulnerability.

Keep this in mind next time, and pay close attention to what he seems to react to. They may be your most powerful tools for stopping the abuse!

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