Top 5 Lies That Bound Me to “Love”
Certain fantasies bonded me to my verbally abusive husband like super glue. My heart and mind alternated between "hoping" and "knowing" the dreams were true. I repeated them to myself and other people like mantras, almost as if saying it made it so. The fantasies were created early on and their existence prohibited me from hearing the truth. Here are the top five lies that bound me in "love".
1. He didn't mean it.
"You're a f---ing whore, Kellie!" he said. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt THAT wasn't true. He said this often at first, and I knew he couldn't "mean" it. I made excuses for him (speaking out of passion and anger, not realizing how much those words hurt, etc.). My acceptance that he was "very rude" when he was angry transferred to accepting other types of insults. In the beginning, I was rubber; after the first months, I was glue. After I accepted his insults as how he really felt about me, I charged myself to prove him wrong.
2. I can show him how to be kind and he will want to be sweeter to me.
I tried to persuade him that I wasn't a whore, that I possessed common sense, that I was capable of making decisions for myself. I wanted him to know that I loved him unconditionally and that "this" was a bump in the road, not a lifelong uphill climb. I did what he asked: I did all the housework and worked full-time, then got pregnant and quit work; I cooked his meals, cleaned his house, looked pretty when he took me out and stayed largely silent in front of his friends. I had sex with him whenever he wanted it (even if I didn't), didn't complain about his constant nights out (during which he'd remove his ring and play wing-man to his friends), and learned his mama's recipes so he wouldn't have to eat Yankee food.
During all of that, my only request was that he respect me and be kind to me in word and deed. He wasn't.
3. It won't happen again.
His angry outbursts, irrational to me, increased. Each time, I'd think "that wasn't as bad as last time." I was wrong. It was worse than last time - I was becoming desensitized to it. Numb. I kept thinking it wasn't as bad as last time right up to the minute he held my face inches above the red-hot stove burner in a rage over where I'd changed my clothes. Next day, seeing my bags packed, he was so sweet and willing to talk it out that I really truly believed, "It won't happen again." Bull.
4. When he's not drinking, there is no problem.
Initially, I blamed alcohol for his abusive anger and general preoccupation with thoughts of how I wasn't what I should be. I thought that if he could stop drinking, we'd be all right. Miracle of miracles, he stopped drinking! For eight years, he was the soberest angry person you'd ever know. In the beginning of his extended dry spell, there were changes in him that I liked. It seemed he wasn't as angry as often and he didn't resort to his nastiest tactics. I was allowed to shop for 6 hours without probing questions, able to develop interests in wood refinishing and, felt our marriage was secure enough to withstand his nasty comments while I went back to school.
5. Once I conquer my deficiencies, this whole mess will disappear.
My belief that he was all better led me to form a simultaneous faulty belief that he was also right. If he were saying the same types of things to me sober as he said drunk, then maybe he had a point. Maybe, without the alcohol to blame for our marital strife, my own deficiencies were the root cause of our pain. In hindsight, I know that I was chasing my tail trying to fix things that were not wrong with me. I explored his beliefs of what was wrong with me (hated men, was unreliable, cried too much to ever be happy, ...).
It would have been much more helpful if I'd decided on my own what was wrong with me (perhaps co-dependent, traumatized, depressed because of my situation not just my genes, ...). After all, in the end, tackling those issues helped me the most.
Jo, K. (2011, April 3). Top 5 Lies That Bound Me to “Love”, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2011/04/top-5-lies-that-bound-me-to-love
Author: Kellie Jo Holly
Kelly, this is one of my favorite posts of yours! I wish I could find the right time or way to share it with friends who have not yet escaped their situations as I did.
Thank you for writing this very comprehensive piece. When it is all happening it is so hard to think clearly. Hindsight is twenty- twenty! Why do we always think it is our fault, that if we could have only been more this or that, we could have changed the abusive person. Your last sentence is the really important one, that tells us all what to take a look at and the only things we can be responsible for.
Check out a site 'mothers custody conference' in NY. See that the whole country is still in denial and crisis when women try to leave safely or with their children from abusive men. See lundybancroft.com who has impt books for all to read. Everyone needs to be concerned about the abusers harm to victims and society. It's Insane to blame victims but many people and systems do so...Stay safe and away from him for good. Let's revise marriage and inform folks about the disasterous waters of divorce and custody..Major overhaul needed. Also, alcohol needs serious monitoring too, the less used the better. Check out shamanic healing sources on the web and The Reconnection type work, good luck Healing!
I am sorry to hear that your husband was so abusive, unsupportive, not able to understand and also an alcoholic. My mom started beting us at age 5 and we were picking her up off the floor by age 12. I was not clear about your first paragraph, did you have an affair? Or was your husband delusional? I hope you are able to be in a healthy, loving, positive realtionship.
God Bless You,
I did not have an affair at the time I'm speaking of in this blog; my husband was constantly telling me I was a whore. In fact, according to him, all military women were whores. Geesh - sure wish he'd shared that belief with me BEFORE I married him. Coulda saved me a lot of grief.
Much later, I did have an affair that lasted two months.