Thursday, October 4, 2012

Myths I Told Myself

I told myself myths to try to make sense out of my confusing marriage. I didn't recognize the role of myth-telling in supporting my denial.

I told myself:
  • My spouse really does love me
  • I must have heard him incorrectly
  • I must be misunderstanding him
  • Since we love each other, everything will work out
  • He tells me the truth about myself
  • He tells me the truth about himself
  • He doesn't mean what he just said
  • He would never do that thing he just threatened
  • He just needs lots of my love to shore up his insecurity
  • My love and God's love will change him
  • He didn't mean to hurt me
  • He won't do this ever again
  • His tears mean that things are going to change for the better
  • His tears mean that he really does care and wants to do better
  • When things don't add up, it's because I'm stupid
  • When he is in a better job environment, he will start be less angry
  • If I would be more perfect, he wouldn't need to be angry with me
  • If I forgive him, he will have the courage to stop exploding
  • He just has an anger issue
  • Good wives hang in their no matter how miserable a marriage is
  • I just need to focus on his good qualities
  • He's trying to do better
  • It can't be abuse
It was abuse. His love wasn't healthy. And all my wishful thinking made no difference at all. Facing the truth is what changed my life for the better. When I stepped out of denial, I was able to make new choices and free myself and my children from the abuser.

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Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft