He Fooled My Heart — ​But He Couldn’t Fool My Gut

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How My Toxic Relationship Ruined My Self-Esteem
Heartbreak, Love

A woman who mistrusts her intuition turns control of her life over to another.

One evening at dinner, he zinged me with a snide remark about my weight and the fact that I was a size 8. He jeered, "Ya know, the problem with fat people is they never leave anything on their plate. When you finish eating, I don't even have to wash your plate."

I told his comment hurt my feelings. He retorted, "Geez, You said you wanted to lose weight. I was trying to help you. I'll just leave you alone from now on."

He made me feel guilty, but in my gut I knew it was his attempt to throw me off track.​ 


I grew up with a weak sense of self. I doubted my self-worth and I doubted my ability to understand people or a difficult situation.

Growing up I heard statements like, "You shouldn’t feel that way. You’re over-reacting" and "You’re being too sensitive, Nancy."

While these statements seemed harmless and insignificant, it was put-down phrases like these which told me my feelings were incorrect and taught me to doubt, deny and stuff my feelings.

As an adult I was naive, gullible and trusting. I evaluated men (and everyone) with my impressionable, impulsive emotions.

I repeatedly made bad relationship choices and I got my heart broken frequently.

I didn’t trust my judgments about men.


When I dated a guy, I struggled to figure him out. I whined to my girlfriend, "Do you think he likes me?", "What should I say or do next?", "Do you think he’ll call me again?", "Why did he stop calling me?", and of course, "What did I do wrong?"

When I was in a relationship with a man, I was afraid of saying or doing the wrong things.


I was afraid to ask for the things I wanted and needed in a relationship for fear of a man’s rejection. I was scared to stand up to a man’s criticisms, deceit and hurtful behavior because I might falsely accuse him and he erupt in anger and leave me.

I was accustomed to the accusing, disparaging, befuddling statements that a man would hurl at me during an argument.


My boyfriend would growl, "That’s not what I said" or "You heard that wrong" or "I don’t remember saying that" or "Lighten up, will ya? I was just kidding."

When those digs failed to squelch my spirit, he’d use his well-honed jab, "You’re over-reacting" — code for: "What’s wrong with you?"

I wondered if I really was as crazy as he thought I was? Was I being overly sensitive to his seemingly spiteful, wounding remarks? Could I have misheard or misinterpreted what felt like a hard slap in the face? Am I the one who is destroying our relationship?

And then I began to ask myself: If I misunderstood what he said, or if he didn’t say what I heard him say: Why then did I hurt so bad inside?

Am I that much out of touch with reality?


Somewhere just below my consciousness, my small intuitive voice pleaded to be heard. She murmured: you know the truth. You suspect he’s lying. You sense he is shifting the blame to conceal his own bad behavior.

But I loved him and I didn’t want to give him up so I shut my eyes to the truth. I denied and suppressed my hurt feelings. I rejected my intrinsic need for self-preservation. I tuned out my spiritual knowing voice and I stayed in a relationship that promised to break my heart.

My Woman Within’s blood boiled. She screamed: NO! You’re not wrong! You did NOT misconstrue what he said. You are NOT over-reacting to his manipulative, disparaging comments. You DID interpret his demeaning remarks correctly. This scumbag may fool your heart — but he can’t fool my gut!

A woman who mistrusts her intuition turns control of her life over to another.


Don’t let a man, or anyone talk you out of your feelings. When a boyfriend or husband tries to put you down, remember this — a man’s discounting, dismissive, blaming statements are designed to make YOU doubt your ability to reason and understand a dysfunctional relationship.

When I stopped listening to the self-serving, manipulating statements of others, and I looked inward for my answers: I found wisdom. I began to see people as they were, not as I imagined or hoped they would be. I was no longer victim to a man’s charm, deceiving words and empty promises.

Are you struggling to understand a hurtful relationship? Learn how to stand up to a man’s controlling behavior in Nancy Nichols’s newly released self-help book God, Please Fix Me! A message of self-esteem, relationship understanding and personal healing for women.

This article was originally published at www.knowitallnancy.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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