I recently read a great article on Firstwifesworld.com, on how to handle a verbally, emotionally abusive ex-husband written by a member of First Wife’s World. There were also some very good comments made on this article.
One of the hardest things for women (or men) who have been emotionally or verbally abusive is to move on and stop letting the ex continue to push their buttons, or bait them into continuing to respond in the same old way.
The member wrote the following on how she now deals with her ex: “He knows all your buttons to push, so learn to react in a way that is completely different from how you have always reacted.
Here is an example (based on my real experience):
- Him: ”I should call the attorney and tell him that you’re……….”
- Me – Old response: “That isn’t true! You know it isn’t true! You’re just trying to cause trouble!”
- Me- New response: First a long pause of silence, and then, said very calmly and quietly: “If you think that is what you should do, then you should do it.”
This last part is the most difficult for us victims of abuse to understand because we think we’re caving in or letting “them” win. Quite the contrary. They honestly don’t have a clue what to do when you don’t react in the same adversarial way they behave, because being adversarial is the only way they know how to deal with people.”
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