Just as we can be in fog about what we’re living with, just as we can be desensitized to enduring abusive behaviors,  it stands to reason that a person could be equally dull and blind to their behaviors, and disconnected from their true motives.

There’s no way to know in any particular moment or situation what exactly is in another person’s heart or thoughts (although there are times they seem to make it perfectly clear).

There is one point of accountability that I now consider.

A person may not know why (truly) he’s driven to diminish, obstruct, or control another, but in the moment of speaking, behaving, or withholding, a choice is being made.  Being unconsciously disconnected from the subterranean fuel that drives the choice doesn’t exonerate the conscious acting out of it.  In other words, it’s not as though the words or behaviors were said or done during a blackout.  There is no clinical temporary amnesia to fall back on.

Furthermore, the results and impact of abuse are usually there in plain sight:

A partner who goes quiet or begins to desperately argue with confused tears and pleading.

A partner who is depressed, discouraged, exhausted, sad and hurting.

This is the point where reasons or excuses must fall away. 

Aware or not of the true why and even at times disconnected from the actual doing and acting out, this is the irrefutable place of reckoning: If someone LOVES, what does it mean to them when their beloved is in pain?

The first response should be empathic and compassionate sorrow,  followed by a desire to address the pain in a way that heals it, and protects the beloved from being wounded in such a way again.

If I communicate…

I’m hurt.

and he responds

That makes me angry. Your hurt is the problem and it’s your fault.

then where is love?


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7 Responses to Accountability

  1. mel220 says:

    Once again you’ve captured some of the thoughts and feelings I had during my 8 1/2 year marriage to an abusive PA husband. I love your posts.


  2. chosetobehappy says:

    I have argued this point many times with my pah. Mine is aware of his behaviour, knows that I am hurt and continues to “choose” to hurt me. After going back to therapy many times, he still makes this “choice”, everytime I point this out to him, his reply is “I know, I’m sorry, I love you”. Perhaps it’s true, but in my mind real love does not include the “choice” to hurt the person you claim to love. Unconditional love is just that, unconditional. The person who loves unconditionally will feel compassion for your pain, will be horified that they have offended or hurt you, will apologize profusely and try to make it up to you, will offer to comfort you, will offer their help. They will NOT turn around and blame you, they will NOT see your tears and be emotionless, they will NOT continue to hurt you.
    When mine says he loves me, I unfortunately don’t totally believe him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bronze says:

    Mine would tell me it was my ‘choice’ to be hurt. As if, I could magically change my mind about his abusive behaviour and see it in a positive light, the way he wanted me to. His mother managed it with his father and I guess, he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t deliberately delude myself, the way she did. Once, in a rare moment of honesty after 15 years he said – “I can’t say I’m sorry, because I know I’m going to do it again’. He also told me he couldn’t treat me the same way as he treated everybody else because ‘he lived with me’. In my mind you should treat the people closest to you the best. He was passive aggressive daily and raging weekly. It’s hell living a life feeling hated by the one person you want to love you. And the circular, go nowhere conversations made life so much harder. He has someone else to torture now with his twisted logic. After twenty years of it – I was ready for a mental institution and my leaving was a matter of survival.


  4. I remember one time talking with my therapist and she aksed, who pays attention to you when you cry? I told her, no one, meaning specifically, my husband. But I really thought about her question and the next time I had an appointment with her, I asked if someone was supposed to pay attention to me when I cried. She said, yes. She said someone should hold me, should tell me, it’s going to be okay, should try to be encouraging. I guess I’ve just gotten used to be alone in my misery and him just not really caring. “If someone LOVES, what does it mean to them when their beloved is in pain.”


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