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- Advice & Tips for Men in Relationships
How do you block out the mean-spirited, degrading comments by someone you love?
the paradox of abusive love
It seems such a dichotomy that someone can be abusive through mean comments or even teasing. In other words, the one you love, and who loves you is showing that love by putting you down. Incongrous isn't it? Hardly the stuff of love. It is certain that those who have not experienced love, will never be able to define it.
Some persons will put up with the most outrageous behavior of loved ones, simply because there is love between them. but is that love? Is there really love between them? A better question might be, do you like yourself? Do you feel like you don't deserve to be put down by anyone, let alone the person who supposedly loves you? If you have put up with it for awhile and the partner continues, despite your protests, what are you getting out of the relationship? Is it recreating an earlier time for you when the abuse seemed familiar to you, and though you never figured it out, it is visiting you again?
Oddly enough, it seems that human beings are comfortable with what they know and what they are used to, even though it may be annoying and even threatening, it is difficult to change patterns we have grown accustomed to.
Notice, I haven't mentioned the abuser. that is because if youi ask someone to change and they don't do so, in spite of the discomfort it is causing, that person is making a statement clear as a cloudless day. " I hear you but you aren't as important as my desire to continue taunting you, therefore, the problem is not me, I am the important one and I choose to taunt you."
Children have a tendency to think globally when interacting with others. Hear me, tend to me, put up with me, love me. The world revolves around me. And we do allow for this. But at some point, at home, at school or on the playground other childrens wants conflict with the child's desires and he/she learn to negotiate with others successfully. But the child does learn and adjusts accordingly. The world may be still his/hers, but with acceptable, competing interests. In time, they appreciate that others are unique and share the same competing world. It's all right.
A small group of children, however, find this concept totally in conflict with their own perception of how the world works-or how the world should work. These kids take alot of energy to deal with,from adults and children alike. It seems they demand all the attention, defy the rules and question them at every turn, manipulate the other kids, and adults if necessary, in order to get their own wants met. They constantly push the boundries and woe be to anyone who stands in their way.
What has this got to do with unwanted abuse? If this person abuses you it is probable that others have not escaped their special attention. Is it love when someone acts childlike and taunts you above your objections? It tells you that this person has picked up on something about you that tells them you will put up with outrageous behavior. It tells me that this is a manipulative person who cares little for your feelings. Taking advantage of you is a game that may offer relief from boredom. Whatever it is, it certainly does not speak of love, of caring for another, or holding another in high regard. It may be a sign of mere childishness or something more.
We cannnot change others. Others may seek to change, often when it is too late and the injured party is convinced it is just another manipulation. Chances are, that is exactly what it is. For some, unfortunately, life will be completed according to the same familiar script. It goes something like this:
" I don't understand it. I have all this love to give and I still can't find anyone." The truth is, many have come under the spell of those seeking the childhood days when love came unconditionally from family, especially mom and dad. They seek a love that is directed entirely towards them, as if what they do in life or their special looks grant them special status. " I am special. Treat me so and we will get along fine." Because of your love for me, I can treat you any way I want with impunity."
There are, of course, variations to these themes.These" special" people are usually not ameniable to counseling, preferring to dominate the therapist, and when they get bored, move on to the next counselor, relationship, or latest feel-good technique. They may be seen in dating sites on the internet. Some go for years and never find a favorable suitor. Often they will have had several hundred responses to their profile and use automatic responses to avoid actually communicating with someone.
Meanwhile, it is important that you not stay a part of the abusive pattern. Friends are very helpful when you need someone who will listen and not judge or tell you what to do. A pastor, priest, or classes are good. They teach normal ways of relating with others without manipulation or exploitation. It is good to have observers see exactly what is happening. It is important that you make changes, as it is for everyone to grow and change, but it is up to you to decide what those changes are. You are lovable because you are human. Treat yourself well and expect acceptable behavior from everyone you have frequent contact with. Would you put up with abuse from a perfect stranger? Of course not.