I love sharing my stories with you because they are real life examples of what most of us go through in some way or another. This week, I am telling you about a woman I spoke with that went through an emotionally abusive relationship AND is a strong, powerful woman. She has given me permission to share this with you, in hopes that it is a starting point for you to come to the same realization that she did.
Samantha came to me saying that she wanted to find happiness in her life, however she felt like her insecurities were preventing her from finding love. I asked her what her past relationships were like, starting with the most significant one.
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Samantha had been engaged several years ago and chose to break it off 4 months before the wedding. Somehow I could sense some apprehension when she started the story, and was curious where that was coming from.
I asked her what happened. She explained that she had been dating Eric for 7 years but she finally decided to break it off with him because it was an abusive relationship. On the outside, no one would have ever seen this. She explained that about a year into their relationship, he began to verbally call her names (aka emotional abuse). She hated it, knew it was wrong and was extremely hurt, but convinced herself that it was a result of his stress at work and that she should be there to support him.
Now what I want you to get is that Samantha is strong and intelligent, BUT our actions are run by our emotions not our logic, and most of this comes from our subconscious.
She explained that she felt so ashamed because she NEVER imagined herself to be in a position like this. Samantha knew what he was doing was absolutely wrong. She continued to explain that she wasn’t ever abused as a child and has a great relationship with her parents. She couldn’t make sense of WHY she had let this happen to her and she couldn’t wrap her head around what possessed her to stay in that relationship for so long.
I intuitively asked her to explain how she felt about her parents’ relationship. Amazing, loving, and sacrificial were a few of the words she used. The key here was that she felt that they had to sacrifice and that is what has allowed them to have a lasting relationship in her eyes.
THAT WAS IT. I had made the connection. The reason Samantha had allowed herself to be in that relationship for so many years, trying over and over to make it work, is because she placed her parents’ relationship on a pedestal. She felt that their love has been so strong because they had to SACRIFICE. Because she admired that so much, she placed pressure on herself to do the same while something inside of her was telling her to LEAVE.
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Samantha was blown away. She has heard me speak about looking towards your parents’ relationship before, but thought that it didn’t apply to her because they have a great relationship. Now she was able to see that the root of her staying in an unhealthy relationship came from her view of her parents’ relationship.
Despite what she’d been through, Samantha still desires to find love. She explained that she wants to have children and hopes to be married, but at the same time, her fears from her past relationship make her feel as though she doesn’t know if she want to be in a relationship.