Thursday Thought — His Attachment to Payback
Women who are in unhealthy relationships struggle with the question “Is my partner’s behavior normal?” You may wonder whether the problem is that you’re just too sensitive, or that your expectations are unrealistic. One way to get clear on the nature of your partner’s problem is to notice when he gets you back for doing something he doesn’t like. Payback is not normal in a couple. People in healthy relationships get upset with each other, of course, but they don’t get revenge.
Each time that he uses verbal abuse toward you, or the silent treatment, or intimidation, or emotional cruelty, ask yourself, “Is there something he is punishing me for?” You will find that the answer is usually yes. He’s getting you back for:
- A way you stood up to him
- A way you didn’t cater to him as if he were a master and you were his servant
- A way you tried to have your own life
- A way you didn’t live up to some absurd ideal he has
The attachment to payback toward his partner is one of the central reasons an abusive or controlling man has the problem that he does. The more you can recognize the times when he is getting you back for things, the easier it will be for you to avoid getting sucked into believing that something is wrong with you. His vengeful acts show that he is the one with the problem.
[Entry from Lundy Bancroft’s Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?* pp202-203]