Relationship Advice During No Contact: “He cursed me out. Am I a battered woman?”

Relationship Advice Battered Women

We get all sorts of questions asking the same question, “How to make him miss you.” But among the saddest questions are those questions from readers that are in hurtful relationships. By hurtful I mean, abusive. Domestic violence and partner abuse are no laughing matter. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that every twenty minutes it happens in America, and that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are impacted by this painful situation.

The biggest question for those that have a loved one stuck in this trap, and even from society watching it unfold, is, “Why would anybody stay with such a person?” The answer is multi-pronged and in its entirety beyond the scope of this message. But one of the reasons is a lack of self-esteem. Some women just can’t get out, because they feel like this is what they deserve. But another, even worse answer is, many women do not even know they are abused, or a battered women. We recently had one reader ask us this question.

The statistics on emotional abuse or emotional battery are much more difficult to pin down, because women typically do not report this.  And we are often dealing with a system stacked against victims. If the police do not see bruises, there is literally nothing they can do. But if you are trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship, there is something that YOU can do. And wondering how to make him miss you is the least of your problems. But we are going to tackle this head on today. Marcy writes us this story that illustrates some of the symptoms of emotional abuse. Here’s what she said.

I feel stupid for even wanting him back.  He Cursed me out, called me names, sent me pictures of another mans genitals 40 times.  All in the same day he dumped me I guess.  2 weeks later he said, “we’ll we’ve all called each other names before.”  I kept Texting over and over & now I need to try something new.  Sad thing were both 51 years old.  He even threatened to Steal My Car.

I’ve known him since I was 12.  On and off for 37 years.  More off than on.

Am I a Battered Woman?, Marcy

We’ve covered this before in the Not So Subtle Signs You are in an Abusive Relationship.  Now, before I get into what I think about this situation to give Marcy her answer, let’s take a look at what the data DOES say about emotional abuse. It’s clinically called psychological abuse.  Our friends at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) have alarming statistics on this problem. And the reason for that is the same reason I stated above – people don’t report it, because being mean without causing physical harm is *mostly* not a crime. So, sadly, it happens more often than physical domestic violence.

The NCADV says 48.4 percent of women and 48.8 percent of men have experienced psychological abuse in their relationships at some point in their life. That’s almost half!

Psychological abuse is noted by the following:

  • Humiliating the victim
  • Controlling what they can or cannot do
  • Keeping secrets, withholding information
  • Deliberately doing something that makes them feel embarrassed or diminished
  • Isolating them – no friends or family for you!
  • Demeaning them publicly or privately
  • Undermining their confidence or self-worth
  • Convincing them they are crazy – also known as gaslighting.

This “gaslighting” phenomenon can be difficult to understand.

Let’s say you lost something. But you lost it because he put it away somewhere, knowing you would be looking for it. When you look for it, he lights into you for being so lazy and irresponsible. Then all of a sudden he finds it for you, amplifying how lazy and irresponsible you are because you not only lost something, but HE had to be the one to save the day.

The term “gaslight” comes from the 1944 movie with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman where he kept her isolated inside the house, and slowly tried to convince her she was crazy. The gaslights would come on in the house when she thought he wasn’t home, and she thought she was losing her mind. Meanwhile, Prince Charming is upstairs the whole time in a secret room off their mansion turning them on and off.

Do you feel like this might be happening to you? You might be getting gaslit my friend. Now, looking at that list, and Marcy’s letter, what do YOU think I am going to say about whether or not she’s a battered woman?

Frankly, I’m not a therapist or law enforcement officer and there are some things beyond my scope here. However, the first question I have for Marcy is, why do you want this man back?

Let’s go through YOUR list of symptoms:

  • He makes you feel demeaned when he curses you out. You already “feel stupid.”
  • He intentionally embarrasses you with not one, not two, but 40 obscene pictures of another man! Little red flag there!
  • Same day he dumps you
  • “He even threatened to steal my car.” He’s taking away your escape plan. This is not someone with your safety as a top priority of his. And p.s., the next time he issues this threat, call the police.
  • 2 weeks later, when this prize has not been picked up by another unsuspecting pure-hearted woman he tries to get back with you – “we’ve all been nasty, right? Let’s move forward.” This is gaslighting. Translation: “Let’s just pretend I wasn’t a total donkey and move forward.”

Dear Marcy, sweetheart, you are not stupid!!  He’s known you long enough that he knows how to push your buttons.  There’s obviously been some good or you won’t even be asking me whether or not you are a battered woman as you would have already moved on.

Things brings us to the other reason women stay: It’s safe. Finding love is just so darn difficult. Am I right? Otherwise you all wouldn’t be here wondering how to make him miss you.  Many women would rather take a few minutes of good over one year, than try and try again.

But you are worth so much more than a few minutes of good, demeaning names, and more. Is it really going to take a stolen car to realize this guy is not valuing you?

For many women, it is. Marcy, I think you know the answer to your question.  I can tell you that based on the limited information, I do suspect you are an emotionally battered woman. But as far as helping you get your boyfriend back, my advice is, it may be time to make him miss you. Permanently.

Have a look at one of my articles on relationship advice for women that can’t recognize the signs of abuse.  There’s someone out there for you that will never curse you out, demean you, send you naked pictures of someone else, or gaslight you. None of that behavior falls in the range of healthy. But there are many that are willing to be in a healthy relationship with you. Love your Self enough to go looking for them. And let us know how you are doing!