You Don’t Have to Set Yourself on Fire
One of the biggest reasons your abuser chose you as their ‘target partner‘, is because they perceived you to be a kind, generous, and selfless person. But, unlike a “normal” person, they weren’t looking for these qualities because they also have them, and want a partner who will appreciate and share them.
A serial abuser is looking for these qualities in a target so that they can later exploit them, when they’re doing things they know they shouldn’t. They don’t want to have to make an effort to “fix things” with a take-no-crap, kind of person, as that would be too much trouble. No, they want someone more easy going and empathic, so that after they’ve neglected, lied to, or cheated on them, they won’t have to put in much effort to make things better.
In other words, they are using some of your most beautiful qualities against you. And one of the best ways to stop this from happening to you again, is to better understand how they prepped and targeted you in the first place.
Once an abuser has charmed their way into your heart and mind, they start to push the boundaries, just to see how much you’ll put up with from them. They will doing things like… forget to call or text when promised, stand you up or canceled plans last minute, or maybe they’ll even demonstrate some “less-than” acceptable behavior at a social gathering that they know is important to you/- all to see just how far you’ll let them push you.
If you stay calm, cool and amiable, and don’t put up too much of a fuss, they’ll know they’ve hit the jackpot, and will move into the next stage, which is to start ‘future talking’ you, to keep you on the hook after any future indiscretions. However, if you create solid boundaries right off the bat, and stick to them, the abuser will soon get bored, and look for another target… that is, if they don’t already have a stable of them.
So the next time an abuser tries to convince you about how much you need to sacrifice so that they will be okay, do yourself a favor – no matter how hard it may seem in the moment – and walk away.