To say it hurts to be betrayed is an immense understatement, but to express the anguish that’s experienced when an intimate partner deceives you—not once, or twice, but repeatedly through domestic abuse—is impossible to describe. The cycle of both major and minor betrayals show just how much narcissistic partners care—about themselves.
It can be extremely difficult to admit the truth when there’s abuse within an intimate relationship. It’s easier to accept his excuses—that you’re to blame, the two of you merely have a communication problem that can be worked out, or you’re being oversensitive and blowing things out of proportion. (In fact, abuse victims tend to do the opposite—they usually minimize their experiences.) If his voice keeps replaying in your head, and his narrative is believed, then it’s easier to maintain hope that things can change. After all, if it’s your fault that your relationship is so tumultuous and torturous, then it’s within your power to fix it.
But it’s not. In an abusive relationship, the power dynamic is skewed against you—until you come to that startling and shattering moment when you realize your power has been slipping away and you need to take it back. If you don’t, you feel as if you’ll crumble away into nothingness, like a desolate pillar of salt.
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I'm Jenny duBay, a domestic abuse survivor and now advocate. My degree is in Christian theology with a concentration on spiritual direction, and my vocational emphasis is on helping those who have suffered from domestic abuse to heal and reclaim their true selves.