Einstein & Insanity
Do you feel stuck? Have you reached a point where you feel change is necessary? Albert Einstein was famous for many things, and the above saying is one of them. Doing the same thing again and again, typically will produce the same results.
When you’re in a verbally abusive relationship, that “same thing” is behavior modification. You feel that if you change something about yourself, then the abuse will stop. But it doesn’t feel like the same thing, because you’re constantly trying new things. “Maybe if I arrive early, she won’t be angry.” “If the house is spotless, he’ll be in a good mood.” “If don’t talk on the phone when he’s home, he won’t yell at me.” “I’ll stop coaching little league - she’ll be happy if I have more time at home.”
Now, legitimately, in relationships there needs to be compromise. So please don’t assume I’m advocating that behavior modification in and of itself is bad. It’s not. BUT when you’re in a verbally abusive relationship, you modify so many of your behaviors that you can render yourself unrecognizable. You’re so hell bent on changing yourself, that you’ve failed to recognize that it’s not working.
Why doesn’t it work? Because verbal abuse is never about the thing that the abuser is ranting about. They are ranting, because they are in pain, and want to transfer that pain to you. So they will do or say whatever is necessary to get you upset. Once you’re upset - mission accomplished. So today you spent too much on groceries, tomorrow you bought the cheap brand of laundry detergent, next day you were gone too long at the store. You cannot successfully modify your behavior to stop the abuse, because it’s never been about what you’re doing.
So what SHOULD you change? Number One is your perception that you are the problem. You are not. You are in a relationship with a damaged individual who wants you to think that you are the problem. But it’s not true. You are partnered with someone who has problems.
When you know what you are in the midst of, then you have the basis to develop sound change that will be effective.
If this post resonates with you, please reblog it. And together we can stop verbal abuse.