Sarah finally felt it forcibly when her husband said he wouldn’t talk about her complaints; she didn’t deserve an opinion and she certainly didn’t get to vote on his behavior. Then he walked out of the room whistling. He’d said and done things like this before, but she’d never felt his contempt so clearly and strongly before.
Bullies, narcissists treat you with contempt.
Of course, toxic parents, abusive adult children, fake friends and co-workers also treat people with contempt.
She allowed herself to see that he chose to get stuck in normal, early-child development.
Most babies are born selfish and demanding. They demand food and changed at 2 in the morning whether we like it or not. As we grow, we learn to take other people’s feelings and wishes into account. Usually, we learn because there are consequences if we don’t.
Sarah’s husband thought he didn’t need to take her into account. He was right. Years of getting what he wanted had only increased his contempt for her, not his love and caring for her. He didn’t even try to bribe her by promising to change but then not doing anything. He could get what he wanted by ignoring her, making her submit, manipulating her or guilt-tripping her. The worse he got, the more she tried to save him.
He usually said, “You’re not perfect so you have to accept me as I am. So shut up!”
Sarah knew she wasn’t perfect so, in the past, she’d talked herself into accepting and submitting. But now she felt different. She realized when she lost her temper, he’d provoked her. But he was always angry and took his rage out on her. She was the dog he kicked. Now she decided her 10% failings did not equal his 90%. It was not the same.
Something snapped within her.
She was done trying to help him see how cruel he was; how he was throwing their marriage away. After years of constant criticism, negativity, scorn, bullying and abuse, she gave up trying to save him from himself. He’d never listened to her; never cared about what she wanted. In his eyes, she was good only for the money she gave him and how good he felt when he beat her, physically, mentally and emotionally.
When I’d said he treated her like a slave or servant, she hadn’t felt the impact. But his contempt had broken her desire to put herself on harm’s way anymore. She’d pray for him but she wouldn’t save, rescue or enable him anymore.
Maybe if she tried harder one more time, he’d understand and change.
This thought had kept Sarah attached and playing his game. She’d always talked herself out of leaving by thinking, “Since I don’t know the future, maybe one more loving attempt will save him. Maybe if I loved him more?” But no more. Now she decided her task in life was not to save him. She was done trying because she didn’t want to endure the pain any longer. She decided that was more than enough reason for her. She wouldn’t waste the rest of her life on him. She’d take her pearls elsewhere. She’d save herself. He was on his own.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.