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

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toxic relationship
Love, Self

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 him that 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 this toxic relationship and his comment was his attempt to throw me off track.​ 

RELATED: 15 Make-Or-Break Ways Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Relationship

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, got my heart broken frequently, and wasn't sure how to improve self-esteem.

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 would erupt in anger and leave me.

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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 was 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 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's shifting the blame to conceal his own bad behavior.

But I loved him even though we had a toxic relationship, 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 blood boiled. The woman inside me 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 your 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.

RELATED: 11 Reasons You Keep Falling For Toxic Relationships And Manipulative Men

Nancy Nichols is a best-selling self-help, dating and relationship author, empowerment speaker, notorious “Know-It-All Nancy” blogger, and TV and radio talk show personality. Learn more on her website.

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