It can be so confusing because the abuse isn’t constant.Most partners aren’t abusive all the time, so it makes sense to think they could go back to being that “kind and loving” person and stay there.Constantly wondering which behaviors are the “real” person is absolutely normal and valid, no matter how hurtful a partner has been or for how long.
Being treated in new ways can be a really great thing, but it also means not knowing what to expect or how to respond to new behavior.
Abusive and controlling partners will slowly start to choose unhealthy and then abusive behaviors.
With all of these layers, it’s understandable that someone would focus on the good and ignore the bad.
However, no one should ever have to experience hurtful or abusive behavior for any reason.
In most of these relationships, though, when a partner acts nice, it’s really just that: an act.
Thinking about their behavior in this way can be helpful by allowing you the space to prioritize your safety and well-being.With this tactic, an abuser actively tries to make their victim question reality or if what they believe is actually true.If you’re constantly questioning your reality or your partner’s behavior, one helpful thing to do is to keep a journal (if it’s safe for you to do so, and you’re able to keep it in a place your abusive partner does not have access to).It can be incredibly hard to trust your instincts if you think you’re the only person worried that something isn’t right, or like you’re the one causing the abuse.An additional complication is the fact that gaslighting is one of the most common and effective abuse tactics.“He’s really a great guy, though.” “I know this isn’t okay, but she’s made me feel so special, and I just love her so much.” “They were so loving and sweet, and the good times are the best I’ve ever had.” We often hear statements like this from people who contact us.