Shelly’s husband was crystal clear but she’d never faced the truth before. He said, “You took my name so you took on my goals.” She fooled herself into thinking that meant they’d talk and come to some joint agreement about what to do with their time, energy and money; they help each other be happy.
In bullying, narcissistic relationships, you’re “the help.”
After two children and years of control, demands, manipulation, emotional blackmail, demeaning, public put-downs, guilt-trips, bullying and mental, emotional and sometimes sexual and physical abuse, Shelly finally understood he was saying exactly what he meant. She was his hands whenever he wanted to use her to do anything he wanted. She was on-call 24/7.
He never cared about providing money for the family so, in his mind, money was her job unless it interfered with errands he wanted her to do at any moment. She could do whatever she wanted as long as he approved and she’d drop everything in an instant to do what he wanted at the moment. Therefore, she could spend no money he might have a use for and have no interests that came before him.
The problem was not his lack of intelligence, understanding or emotional sensitivity.
Whenever she brought up his promises, he denied them or said she’d misunderstood. When he read what she’d made him write as promises, he said he didn’t care what she thought. The words hadn’t gone over his head; he just didn’t care about what she thought or wanted. Finally he explained it patiently; her wishes, desires, wants, needs didn’t matter. The only things that mattered were his goals.
After seeing the movie, “The Help,” he told her servitude was what she’d signed up for. And he had no intention of changing. If she wasn’t happy, she was wrong and bad, and it was her problem to make herself happy.
In return for a life-time of obedient and submissive service, she’d get into heaven as a good girl and dutiful wife.
Otherwise, she was doomed and he could treat her anyway he wanted. And he told their children to use her also, as long as what they wanted didn’t interfere with his use of her.
What could Shelly do?
She’d tried for years to please him so he’d be happy and start doing things that pleased her. “After all, that’s what a marriage is supposed to be, isn’t it?” He said she was all wrong. Her job was to serve him; she was too dumb, selfish, angry and ugly to survive without him. If she left him, she’d never make it on her own. She’d be alone forever.
Then he showed, once again, how sensitive to her he really was. He listed all the things she feared he’d do and promised her, if she resisted or if she left him, he’d do them and worse. He’d ruin her reputation with her family and his. He’d get everyone in town to scorn and punish her. He make her life hell. He’d lie if he had to.
Shelly faced her worst fears.
Everyone would think she was a bad person. She’d be alone forever. She’d never get into heaven.
After tremendous agony and second-guessing of her thoughts and feelings, she finally decided rather than be a slave forever, she’d live her own life according to her own standards.
She did and life became wonderful. But that’s another story.
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.