In my opinion, many people confuse telling people about what they did to contribute to their own problems with who they are. When I was married to an abusive man, I didn’t realize it, and all my efforts poured into stopping the abuse, that I labeled, “an anger problem.” It took me 7 years to realize my husband was abusive.

My character is made up of the little choices I make everyday, and when I take stock of all the choices, and lump them into categories, I can see clearly who I am. Part of why I didn’t let myself see my situation for so long because I was afraid to look at my own behaviors.

To Heal The Abuse, You Must Stop The Abuse

Being willing to look at my own behaviors helped me come back to reality. Being married to an abusive man, who used p*rnography and often used gaslighting to avoid accountability. I had a hard time separating out reality. Was I really as awful as my husband described? Was it really wrong to ask questions and share my opinions? Was it really wrong to ask him to stop swearing? No. It’s not I surmised. And so I would again go about trying to let him know that he was wrong, that his behaviors were unacceptable, and that he needed to change.

I discovered that because of my fear and started attempting to create safety in my home by convincing an abusive man to stop the abuse. It didn’t work. I also realized I had engaged in a few abusive behaviors that kept me from being able to fully get the help I needed because I was ashamed of myself.

I Tried To Manage My Husband’s Mood To Stop The Abuse

Thinking my husband had a self-esteem problem, I went about trying to fix his problems. I can see now how non-sensical. I wanted my husband to be comfortable and confident, so I pestered him about his shoes and clothes. I have a lot of remorse about this. At the time, I would tell myself that all women do this. Or I would justify it by my intention, which was to “help” him. But even when he had what I thought was comfortable, more up to date clothes, it didn’t stop the abuse.

I am so sorry about that. It must have felt sad from his perspective. I really loved my husband and when I think about the way my desperation for safety affected him. When we were together, I tried many times to apologize and repair. But he refused my apologies. My attempts to repair generally led to more gaslighting and accusations, rather than connection.

I have not yet been able to make amends with my husband, and my therapist and sponsor say it will be a gift from God when it happens. So in the meantime, my way to make living amends to send him goodwill. I pray for him that he will have the same things I want for myself. Peace, safety and security.

Sometimes The Women Are Ashamed Of Their Own Behavior, So They Are Embarrassed To Get Help To Stop The Abuse

In most cases of abuse, women have been told that their behavior is unacceptable by their abuser. Sometimes women have participated in abusive or unhealthy behavior themselves, and the embarrassment keeps them from getting help.

Participating in a 12 Step Program and taking the courageous steps to look at your own behavior is a step in the right direction. Most abused women find out that although they have made several mistakes, many of their guilty feelings are caused BY THE ABUSE, not by their own actions. The first step is to understand what abusers say to their victims to be able to separate guilt about your own behavior from the false-guilt the abuse causes you to feel.

I’ve realized that yes, I made mistakes. And also that I my ex-husband was a seriously abusive person, who manipulated my perception of myself. In order to get back in touch with reality, being willing to tell the truth about myself was a key step toward my healing.

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