This is how it happened for me. I felt SO weighed down and depressed by the intensely verbally and emotionally abusive relationship I was in, I knew I had to save MYSELF, and saving MYSELF meant that relationship absolutely could not continue as is. I told him this.
Because “our relationship was developing destructive patterns”, he suggested counseling. He suggested this AFTER HE blew up in a fit of anger and walked out on me over the prior weekend. This happened because he had once AGAIN denigrated and humiliated me in public. This time, in a restaurant/bar – and I called him on it this time.
“Destructive Patterns? Well, NO KIDDING, Sherlock.
Our relationship had been “developing destructive patterns” for 3+ YEARS. It’s called ABUSE, and HE was the abuser. And that was THE problem. He led me to believe (naive me) that he wanted to go to counseling for both of us. For the relationship. However, the FIRST day there, he made it very obvious that he thought we were in counseling just to fix ME. How did he make that obvious? He told the counselor on Day #1 that “in HIS opinion, 90% of the problems in our relationship are caused by HER and HER issues.” (ie: me).
Now, that could be true in only one sense. MY issue was HIM and his verbal and emotional abuse. It was starting to make me sick and affecting other areas of my life and I would not have that. That was THE issue in that relationship and had been for quite some time. That means the issue – was HIM – and HIS behavior.
I was NOT the one who had a penchant for loudly humiliating my partner in public places. I was NOT the one who had a hissy fit and stomped out in anger that prior weekend because someone else said humiliating your partner in public is NOT acceptable behavior. HE yelled at me in a restaurant. At least he didn’t call me a “bitch” over dinner this time, like he did before. HE got angry when I told him that is not acceptable behavior. Then, HE stomped out.
I had to learn about verbal/emotional abuse, to name it, put my finger on it and be able to define it before I fully recognized what I was putting up with ie: what THE PROBLEM was. Then I knew I had to GET OUT and save myself from this hideously abusive person. NO WONDER I felt so bad!
And at that point, that was all that mattered to me, and I told him that – his behavior had to change or we had to end it because I could not / would not tolerate it any longer. THEN he wanted counseling. But only to fix ME.
Projection duJour there.
3+ years of crazymaking and abuse. Do abusers ever grow up emotionally? I don’t think so. Intellectually, they can be very mature. Emotionally – usually not.
_ _ _ _ _THE MORAL OF THE STORY_ _ _ _ _
“When you stop trying to save the relationship and start working on saving yourself instead, you will be in a better place to decide if the relationship is worth saving.”
_ _ _ _ _
(in my case, it was absolutely NOT)