On this blog, I talk quite a bit about leaving Jerkface. What I don’t usually talk about is that I “left” him many times only to return to him, essentially volunteering for more of his crap, before truly leaving him. I even “left” for a month somewhere in the middle of our marriage and his biggest concern was that it was near the holidays and how he was he supposed to explain me not being there with his family at Christmas?
So why did I go back? Why do any of us go back? We aren’t wired to abuse others so we have an almost impossible time understanding the motivations of abusers. We can’t believe someone we love and who claims to love us would really not care that they’re hurting us.
When a Jerkface has lost control of you (e.g., when you leave), s/he is all about getting that control back. That means Jerkfaces will say or do pretty much anything to get you back in their clutches – including pretending to understand your pain, promising never to hurt you again, even volunteering to go to therapy.
What kind of a person has to promise (multiple times) not to treat you like garbage?
And there you are – exhausted little you with dark circles under your eyes, missing the sad little love crumbs Jerkface sometimes throws your way to keep you hanging on through all the crap they deal out – FINALLY hearing the words you’ve longed to hear. They gently brush your hair behind your ear, look into your eyes, and beg you, please baby, come home.
And you do, right? I did. Over and over. I went back. And it WAS better. For a month, maybe. A week or two at times. Sometimes he could barely be nice to me for a couple of days – especially at the end. Why? Because he didn’t really love me. He loved controlling me, feeling superior to me, taking from me. He enjoyed watching me tiptoe around his cold, unpredictable anger, trying to charm him with kind words, a spotless house, gourmet breakfasts. What a joke. As if my pancakes – delicious as they are – could transform a Jerkface into a loving partner.
Jerkfaces LIE. They will say and do anything to get you back in their control.
The point isn’t so much what specific lies they tell you but that whatever they say to get you back is a lie. Do they mean their lies? Maybe some do. At the time. But does it matter? What matters is that they never keep their promises. What matters is how they behave, how they treat you, how you feel and who you are in that relationship. Are you physically and emotionally safe? Do you trust them with your life, your thoughts, your secrets? Are you able to truly be yourself without any fear?
When Jerkface is throwing you those pretty promises, you need to know that s/he does NOT truly empathize with you and is definitely NOT ready to be an equal partner. So when you’re feeling lonely in your un-airconditioned apartment, or that dirty spare room in your friends’ house, or the shelter, and you’re missing the beautiful home you shared with Jerkface, tempted to go back to because this time it will be different, remember: it won’t. Jerkface is lying to you.
Summary: I know it’s hard to believe Jerkface is actively lying, but think about what happens after Jerkface gets what they want (control over you). Do the changes last? Are you living happily ever after yet?