Thursday Thought — When His Put-Downs Sound True
Some of the hardest put-downs to deal with are the ones that seem to have aspects of truth to them. Maybe he’s snarling at you that you can’t handle money, and it’s true that your finances really are in a mess. Maybe he’s calling you fat, and in reality you have put on some pounds. Maybe he’s saying that everyone thinks you’re a psycho, and the truth is that some important friends have indeed turned against you.
Does this mean that he’s trying to help you face up to things? Are you wrong then to feel bad about the ways you are being verbally torn apart?
The truth is that even when he seems to be right, he’s still wrong. Why?
- Because he’s exaggerating your difficulties in order to hurt you.
- Because he’s telling you that everything that is difficult in your life is your fault, and that it shows what a weak person you are underneath. And that’s false.
- Because he’s ignoring how profoundly his mistreatment of you has contributed to these problems, or even created them entirely. When you live with a chronically insulting and undermining partner, your self-esteem suffers, your friendships suffer, your concentration suffers. He’s certainly not helping — he’s making everything worse.
- Because people’s difficulties don’t — and shouldn’t — define who they are.
A man who chronically mistreats you is a terrible source of information about who you are. His vision is too distorted, too self-centered, and too self-serving to have any useful clarity, especially when the subject is you. In short, it is impossible for a man to see a woman clearly while he is controlling her, abusing her, or cheating on her.
[Entry from Lundy Bancroft’s book, Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?* (affiliate link) pp139-40]