I often see people asking “I’ll never understand how a person can say they love you and still abuse you. Why do they do that?”
It’s horrifying to be in that situation and you deserve better. But not from them. From you.
The reason anyone can abuse you in the first place is 1 of 2 things:
- You don’t respect yourself enough to remove you from bad situations and people.
- You grew up with abusive people and don’t actually understand what abuse is. You think the abusive behaviour is normal.
It can also be both of course. Often we have not learned self-respect, self-love and sound boundaries if we grew up in a family with some dysfunctional patterns.
Sometimes we have been so used to abusive behaviour from close ones, that our standard is VERY low. Like “love is when he doesn’t hit me” or “love is when she doesn’t call me names or yell at me” or “a good day is when I am not feeling shitty”.
These very low standards can be changed of course, but we need to see that they are there first – and being with narcissistic people we are gaslighted to think that we can’t trust ourselves.
The first question you can ask yourself is “Is love just a word or does it have to be actions as well?” – just because someone says they love you, doesn’t mean that they do. Their actions have to follow the statement and they have to treat you lovingly ALL the time to make the statement about love true.
This is one of the issues I had myself – I didn’t see the abuse. I thought all men were assholes or weak and didn’t understand that my worldview was askew. I thought love was NOT being treated bad. But that is not the same as being treated lovingly. There is a huge difference – and that’s one of the first pieces of the puzzle we need to put together to stop the abuse.
Click on a book cover to get more tools to handle the narcissist in your life:
The narcissistic husband or father forces you to give up yourself, to make room for only him in your life. He will belittle you, ridicule you and scare you.
The narcissistic wife or mother manipulates you. Nothing is ever good enough for her. She will blame you for everything bad in her life.