Appearance is everything – how to hurt your partner while looking innocent

by Rod Smith

Rod Smith, MSMFT

Please forgive my cynical tone, but I have seen three couples in the past few days who have perfected the art of hurting each other while remaining “perfectly innocent.” Here’s how to do it:

Bargain with sex. Use it as a reward for getting what you want. This will go a long way to grind down your partner’s confidence. If you are really good at this, you will feel somewhat like a puppeteer who is able to get whatever he or she wants out of a puppet. Over time, if your partner is sufficiently complaint (something you want to ensure!) you will always get your way in all areas of your life and being a loving partner will hold little challenge for you but to remain ahead of the game.

Be very passive. Withhold your opinions, insights and contribution from your partner in matters that hold little interest for you, yet be very vocal when things don’t turn out as you expect. Sit back. Leave all the important decisions (that do not really interest you) to your partner. Avoid getting fully involved yet leave room for blame. This is quite an art, but once perfected, it will serve you well.

5 Comments to “Appearance is everything – how to hurt your partner while looking innocent”

  1. Rod,
    If a relationship, where emotional abuse like you are describing occurs regularly and has recently moved to physical abuse, is there any hope of saving it? And how would you begin?

  2. This describes my husband. I have tried to copy this behaviour, in order to survive, but people who know how to do this have other tricks up their sleeves that will blow your mind. You do not want to try to play their game with them. They can and will eat you for breakfast.

    >>>>>Be very passive. Withhold your opinions, insights and contribution from your partner in matters that hold little interest for you, yet be very vocal when things don’t turn out as you expect. Sit back. Leave all the important decisions (that do not really interest you) to your partner. Avoid getting fully involved yet leave room for blame. This is quite an art, but once perfected, it will serve you well.

  3. heavenandheck Says: If a relationship, where emotional abuse like you are describing occurs regularly and has recently moved to physical abuse, is there any hope of saving it? And how would you begin?

    heavenandheck, In my opinion, and I’ve been there too, when the abuse becomes physical, there is no turning back for the abuser. Get out, but be careful, and cautious. Sometimes when the abuser realizes he is losing his victim, the violence escalates. Put some clothes, keys, money, important papers, etc in a safe place, and start making plans to escape. Just be very discreet. Then when you can, get out and stay out. You may need to get a restraining order if he knows where you work, or finds out where you live. You need to have every incident documented. Call the police and insist on a police report. If there are marks, have them photographed, or viewed by the police, a friend or doctor. This way if you have children, you can protect them if need be.

  4. @Harmonious- While your advice is good, it is difficult to leave as it is, much more so if you have children. First, even if your spouse has been abusive to you, the courts will still give the abusive parent visitation if they have not harmed the child. Unfortunately, the abuser has to physically harm the child and it has to be documented by the police before the courts (in my state) will require supervised visitation or before they will revoke visitation. I know this from experience.

    I am in an abusive relationship. Mostly emotional abuse, but sometimes physical, too. While he doesn’t hit, he holds me down in a way that hurts my arms or wrists, etc. and tickles and leaves bruises from tickling too hard. He finds it funny to tickle me until I urinate on myself, knowing I have incontinence problems from a recent surgery.

    If you were to ask him, he would say that I am the abuser. I admit to losing my temper, but it’s because he needles me to my breaking point. I took anger management classes and learned to walk away, but he follows me and I can’t leave the house without my son…at which time, he will withhold my son from me.

    I honestly don’t know what to do because I left him once and he made my life HELL. He had me jailed, I lost my son (who was 8 months old and breastfeeding at the time), then he kept sending inappropriate emails to my work account and I wound up losing my job over his constant harassment.

    BTW- I found this webpage because I walked up on him reading it. What does THAT tell you?

  5. My husband doesn’t do anything for me anymore. I can’t stand the way he looks or anything. The only reason I married him was because I believed a child needed a father and I was pregnant. Over time, we have had three kids. Yes: I should have stayed on birth control. I didn’t. I was stupid but staying with him for the kids. What do I do to keep me happy while keeping the kids happy although I hate him and everything he has become? He’s lazy, fat, stupid. Should I go on?

    (Grammar edited so the response could be read by any reasonably competent reader)

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