When the abuser is pulling out all stops to show that he is right and you/others are wrong, his language sometimes becomes a little weird. I have observed this kind of poor English in the language of many men who abuse their wives. (However, some abusive men are so well educated and verbally skilled that they can […]
Call me a penny pincher if you must but I’ve always been a person that doesn’t like wasting money on something I want or need to buy. I’m the sort of person that likes to investigate the options available with the hope that I can purchase an item for much less elsewhere.
This Christmas my shopping was minimal due to my peanut budget and life change, I held back on buying an item for my nine year old as I wasn’t satisfied with the cost. Waiting and sweating it out saved me some money which was exactly what I was hoping for. I happened to walk into the store on an unexpected ‘one day sale’. My patience paid off as I managed to buy my sons main Christmas present for less.
How much of what we see in shops is overpriced?
Assuming for a moment that I lived with more than a peanut budget, I don’t think it would change how I feel about wasting money. For me it is a matter of principle, I just can’t bring myself to pay more than I should. I know full well it won’t be long until a particular item I looked at buying will eventually be marked down. When I can buy something that has been marked down a sense of satisfaction leaves me feeling content as it results in saving some money. My bank account isn’t emptied nor do I need to sit at home regretting my decision.
In reality clothes are clothes, shoes are shoes, toys are toys and so on…. The differences between the cost of clothes for instance is determined by where you are looking to buy them. Designer clothes are going to cost you more than the clothes you buy from a department store. Most people are satisfied that designer wear will cost them more. They are willing to spend on the quality of the material and its design as it’s not merely an item that has been stitched together only to last for a few weeks. That being said I’ve never bought designer wear! I can see the sense in spending more on quality I’ve just never had the money to do that.
Where am I going with this you might be wondering?
As I was thinking about the idea for this blog I thought about how much I have paid in my relationships over the years. By relationships I refer to any type of one, whether it is a marriage, girlfriend/boyfriend, friend, sibling, parents or associates.
In terms of relationships I’ve always found it more difficult to recognise how much I am willing to pay. There is always a cost in terms of your time, energy and other resources we all have access to. Relationships require an investment from you. It isn’t about money but rather a giving of yourself to someone. Depending on the type of relationship determines how much you give or invest into the other person.
Often times though it doesn’t matter how much we invest into someone the other person may not be as invested into us. It could be a friendship in which the other person is only thinking about what they can get from you.
It reminds me of a time years ago when I lived in Sydney. I had a friend that used to ring me pretty much every day. She often called me and spoke for hours. I had young children and plenty of chores to do throughout the day yet somehow I was willing to give hours of my time to this person. I thought I was doing the right thing? However over time I began realising that she was only focused on herself and draining me in the process. I got to a point in which I had nothing left for my own children. I was oblivious to the fact that she was constantly taking from me everything that I had. She wasn’t satisfied with her life and found it hard to make the necessary changes for things to change! Her life was going around in circles and while I had good intentions I was also going around in circles with her. I needed to jump off that ride!
I was exhausted on every level; emotionally, mentally and physically…..
There is nothing wrong with being there for a friend however you need to consider at what cost? Sometimes people only want to hear what they want to hear!
In a marriage relationship you are invested completely. All of who you are is shared with another person. For a marriage to be successful both partners need to invest completely. It isn’t enough for one partner to invest emotionally when the other may be holding back. Eventually the one giving emotionally will start feeling empty.
We often hear people say that you need to keep yourself happy. Yes that is true however if you are in a relationship with someone and your significant other is not providing anything back the relationship will lose connection and intimacy. For a relationship to work it requires both partners to take the time by investing into each other. Putting in zero investment equals zero return!
Money is important and we should take measures to manage it as best we can but what about the other resources such as; our emotions, heart, physical and mental state.
Do we continue investing into a relationship until we are so empty that we can’t even take care of ourselves anymore?
I do believe in loyalty and commitment in a relationship. I’m also aware that in many circumstances and in different seasons you will often find yourself investing more into a relationship than perhaps you are getting back and vice versa. However there comes a time when you need to take a good look at things if you are falling apart and unraveling into a nervous wreck. ….
Not every relationship needs to fall apart.
Some do and some don’t.
Mine did unfortunately!
I can however live with myself knowing that I did everything possible for far too long in trying to make something work that was never going to move beyond certain foundational issues. These issues were damaging and unhealthy. The amount of times that I personally experienced high levels of anxiety and stress due to the relationship should have been enough to wake me up. I was so determined to “do the right thing” that I overlooked areas I should not have ignored. It got so bad towards the end that I had what I believe to be a nervous breakdown the night before exiting the marriage. I had well and truly reached the limits of what I could take. There was nothing left in me, I was completely empty. My heart had closed off and I was aware that there was absolutely nothing that I could do to repair the damage that had been done. The price that I had already paid up until that point was enormous.
I appreciate the difficultly in coming to terms with a partner not being as invested into a relationship with you as much as you might want them to be. Consider how much you are willing to pay in order to keep trying. If the cost sends you bankrupt with no hope of recovery it’s time to pay attention to what is going on. The longer you ignore the issues the more damage occurs.
Perhaps when issues are sorted earlier rather than later there is more hope in restoration?
Again that depends if both parties are willing and wanting to have a great relationship. In my case I went above and beyond for many years with no success.
The results speak for themselves today!
It isn’t hard to accept that quality items are going to cost more financially as much as quality relationships are built on both partners investing everything of themselves.
The question is whether the relationship is one of quality? Is it a genuine and healthy relationship? Or a strained unhealthy damaging relationship?
Thinking too much about the past isn’t always so helpful in terms of the future especially when you’re hoping to move beyond certain issues that have held you back for far too long. We can get so caught up like a fish stuck in a net and make life harder for ourselves. Imagine being a fish for a moment………. fish never know when or where a large net is going to silently pick them up against their will and take them from their environment. Ironically that is what happened to me this year! I was suddenly put into a position in which I had no choice but to leave my marriage of 27 years and move states all within a matter of hours. Had I been compliant perhaps I could have stayed however being in a marriage only to be compliant was no longer appealing.
It’s natural at this time of the year to start reflecting back!
With good intention we set goals for the New Year however we cannot guarantee what the future holds as much as we cannot change what has taken place in the past year of which we are on the verge of leaving behind us.
It’s useful to reflect back and consider what we do or do not want in our future. We may decide to do things a little differently to how we would have done them previously.
Albert Einstein in his simple yet powerful quote says:
Insanity = doing the same thing
over and over again
and expecting different results!
In reflecting back on this past year with breath in my lungs and hope in my heart, I consider what I do OR do not want for myself in the New Year. I can use this past year as a guidebook to keep me from losing myself and ending up in situations that I don’t belong in.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in this past year is that my self-worth and value does not need to be compromised. I don’t need to lower my standards and accept any sort of treatment. The fact is that not everyone on planet earth is going to treat you right. As I reflect back it concerns me that I allowed myself to be treated so badly for so long.
What was I thinking?
The trouble was when I was younger I had little value in myself. This meant that I didn’t need a net to come out of nowhere and take me away. I was the fish that swam into the net having no resistance thereby reflecting my low self-worth. As much as I dreamed of being treated with respect, love and honesty I continued gravitating towards harsh treatment.
The less you value yourself the more opportunity there is to be in relationships with people that do not value you either. It feels comfortable, you feel like a fish in your own man made environment.
The circumstances that took place of the night that saw me walk out of my marriage were not ideal in any marriage breakup story. It was rushed and painful not only for myself but for all of my children. There are certain parts of that night that my 9 year old will always remember along with my adult children. While I wish that the night of the breakup were a lot less intense my hope is that in time the kid’s hearts will heal along with mine and we will all be able to move forward into the future. Even with all the scars my hope is that everyone will find their place in this world and have clarity about what they do or do not want in their relationships.
No one deserves to be in a relationship that is damaging. In my previous blog I introduced the topic of ‘emotional abuse’. Emotional abuse is quite silent. It generally happens in such a way that you are not even aware of what is exactly going on. The relationship keeps you full of questions only to provide the same answer each time which tells you, you’re the fault! This results in continually having to attempt fixing the problem as you are led to believe you are the problem. When you are trapped in this type of relationship the other party leaves you with no rights to question their behaviour. No matter how many times I had tried to get to the bottom of the real issue my words, feelings and thoughts were always twisted around to be turned into knots that couldn’t be untangled.
Emotional abuse creates a controlling relationship. The person doing the abusing has power over your emotions. They create situations or conversations that set your emotions into a spiral. When your emotions are all over the place you are easily manipulated into whatever it is that the abuser has in mind for their own purposes. It is always about them! They are not in the relationship because they love you; they are in the relationship as they have power to abuse you.
To others the abuser can seem like the most Christian citizen that walked planet earth. The person being abused knows what they are really like. The abused watches on and lives a life filled with contradiction and heartache. Nothing about their life makes sense. Constantly questioning why life feels abnormal and insecure. The worst part about the whole scenario is that no matter how hard you may try to be the best wife that walked planet earth it will not change your relationship with an emotional abuser.
For Christian women in particular this can be extremely difficult. The amount of times over the years that I had tried to get counsel or advice from other women in church left me more confused. Unless someone has ever been in an emotional abusive marriage they will not understand the way it works.
You need to talk to someone that does understand and a professional counselor in this case is very important.
In a normal healthy marriage advice on how to be the good Christian wife can be helpful. However in an emotionally abusive marriage the advice can leave you stuck in that damaging marriage for years.
In the New Year my hope is to continue healing from all of the damage caused while being in the unhealthy relationship. This means to continue going to counseling and allowing myself all the time necessary for recovery.
Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real.
Happy New Year…. ♥
Have you ever watched a movie and a scene plays out in which the phrase “you might want to sit down for this one” grabs your attention? It’s one of those typical scenes I have been fortunate enough to avoid so far in my life up until this week. This week highlights for me the first experience of sitting down hesitantly in my lounge room with two of my most favourite people as they struggle to come to terms with how they are going to tell me some news which would put me in shock for the next few days. With shock has been incredible anger that I can’t put into words. So much anger that I felt bad at the amount of swear words that have actually left my mouth and occupied my mind. The news hurt severely and still hurts.
On the previous night call it what you will I had an inkling that something was going to be told to me the next day. So on the way to taking my son to school and on my way back home I prepared myself with my most favourite Hillsong music blasting flat out in my car. My stomach was churning slightly with my heart doing random beats out of whack. While I was somewhat prepared the news landed heavy on my heart. In some ways the news should not have been such a surprise as I suspected something of this nature to be going on. In fact I suspected it long before I had to leave Brisbane and come to Canberra.
How often do we put aside suspicions and inklings only to talk our way out of them as we don’t really want to believe the truth?
Tuesday this week I heard the truth. The truth hurt more than I can imagine. If it hasn’t been enough to deal with the grief of a 27 year marriage breakdown this news took me into a place of anger and betrayal. They say anger is normal in these types of situations and I believe that. No matter how normal it may be to feel such anger it is not pleasant. It is consuming for a little while. In my case it has been two full days and nights. I can feel it slowing moving away which is a welcome feeling. It more likely will return here and there such as the feelings of sadness over all the lost hopes and dreams two young people once held.
This could have been one of those moments in which I might have made my way into the bedroom, drawn the curtains and stayed in bed under my blankets for a week. I didn’t do that!!! As tempting as it was I decided to get up the next morning for the sake of my son to get him to school.
When I stop for a moment and look back to the past four months I’m amazed how this person (me) has even gotten this far? Had these events taken place as close as two years ago I’m not all that sure I would have handled it. Through the years I have grown and developed my own sense of value. As a young person I didn’t own it. As I have mentioned in many of my earlier blogs I struggled with low self-esteem and self-hatred. There was nothing that I liked about myself.
Having had such issues drove me into the arms of another broken person. Despite the fact that the marriage is well and truly over I can take courage of the changes that have happened deep inside of me. The shy young girl who hated herself grew up and let go of the hurts that kept her stuck in a prison. These issues got me into hurtful situations. I had no confidence to speak my own mind. It was as though someone had sealed my mouth shut. To speak my mind created anxiety and fear. Fear of rejection.
If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone who is looking to marry please make sure that you are not so badly broken that you settle for someone who may cause you emotional harm. It is crucial that you know your own true value and worth. As not every relationship issue is a normal one. Some relationship issues are psychologically or emotionally damaging. If you are in a relationship and question yourself on a regular basis I would seek some help and advice for that. It is not normal to constantly question yourself or your relationship. If you find yourself being blamed all too often again I would say check that. If you feel as though you are sitting on a roller coaster in your relationship take that as another warning sign. Let me describe the roller coaster a little better. This relationship roller coaster has moments of incredible highs. It’s as though you are led to believe the most incredible things are going to take place, incredible such as amazing financial success. That once this financial success takes place life will be amazing, your marriage will be amazing!!! However the reality is that the highs of the roller coaster shifts downward and you are faced with financial failure. Finances are just one example it could be something else or multiple areas which are keeping you believing that this relationship is worth staying in. In other words you hold onto a false sense of hope.
You may begin seeing contradictions yet you’ve been led to believe for such a long time that something amazing is going to happen which convinces you to continue sitting on the roller coaster. Just a little while longer and things will change you repeat to yourself. Just a little while longer and everything will be more stable. Just a little while longer and I may be happy like others seem to be. Just a little while longer and I may be valued and cared for. Just a little while longer I might be good enough to be heard.
If you find yourself constantly having to comply to keep the peace something isn’t right. A relationship which is healthy works from a foundation of respect, trust and honesty to say the least. It is not supposed to be one of control. That one partner has the power to hold you captive so much that your own voice is stopped. Your voice or your thoughts should be important. You should be able to approach your significant other with confidence not anxiety. If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety in a relationship seek good advice.
No one deserves to be in a relationship to be broken down and damaged. Sometimes it can take years to recognise particularly if you struggle to know your own worth and value. When we de-value ourselves we can enable people close to us to continue behaving in hurtful ways. Once we recognise our worth and value we have the ability to keep healthy boundaries with others ensuring healthy interactions.
The longer you sweep things under the carpet so to speak the more damage is done. Find a trusted person to talk to if you struggle with something beyond a normal relationship issue. Trust your instincts. Be aware of what your body and emotions are telling you. It’s easy to ignore the obvious as denial is often a comfortable option rather than facing something painful.
Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real…..