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Significant others similarity to abuser

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I have not thought of this until recently. My spouse is not an abuser in the true sense of the word but I married him because of his stability and appearance of having his life together. Great guy But. His personality and emotional interactions are too familiar.

Withdrawn. Not social. Never know his true feelings which keep me feeling off kilter. Used to be alcoholic like abuser. He has been dry 40 years but is of the behavior of a dry alcoholic. When triggered he makes 1 sentence barbs then leaves any conversation where he has to engage in getting to the bottom of issues. Consequently, I withdraw and live in my head.Best assessment. He lives life but does not deal with it. Withdrawal has been the type of personality of every man in my life. This triggers me and I look like the needy one. Which I guess I am. Ugh!
 
ditto here, hulda. with my 20/20 hindsight glasses, i think i was already sliding into denial of those similarities before the wedding in 1980. as my 43rd anniversary approaches, i am somewhere between denial, acceptance and forgiveness of those same similarities. i often remind myself not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. yes, those similarities have been rolled through a few dung piles, but there are aspects worth nurturing.

don't accuse me of experting, but i solidly believe all living creatures are needy ones. i've yet to work with a mental health pro who didn't preach the value of self-care. when i find myself feeling dirty from those similarities between the love of my life and the perpetrators of my childhood trauma, i bathe the trauma residuals more thoroughly than i bathe the love of my life. he can tend his own self-care better than i can.

but that is me and i am far from certain any of that made sense. just saying. . .

gentle support while you sort you own, hulda.
 
Regardless of what their abuser is like, I know a whooooooole lotta abuse victims who prefer exactly this personality type in a romantic partner.

- Being with someone who is aloof means that they’re the ones to be doing the chasing, rather than being chased.
- Being with someone who doesn’t push their feelings onto them, means they’re not overwhelmed by other people’s emotions, when they often have difficulty managing their own.
- Being with someone one-line-barbs-and-leaves (instead of rounding on them & blasting them with emotions & arguments; in a totally healthy way, not an abusive way; both just being 2 different yet healthy confrontation styles) when things get heated? Combines those first two things above, where it’s their choice IF they want to chase the person down, and IF they’re feeling secure enough to manage someone else’s emotions on top of their own.

^^^ Those are just a few interlocking reasons why, in the LISTS of “What makes someone super sexy to you?”, friends/colleagues/etc. and I have kicked around, over the years.

And, don’t get me wrong, a lotta people without abuse histories also adore/prefer that flavor of being in control.

Although it’s water-is-wet obvious why people with aggressive/dominant abusers would prefer to be in the drivers seat, in healthy relationships? It’s got to be exceptionally difficult for you, if your abuser was also the aloof type. Whether you share reasons with my friends who date, or have totally different motives.
 
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I have not thought of this until recently. My spouse is not an abuser in the true sense of the word but I married him because of his stability and appearance of having his life together. Great guy But. His personality and emotional interactions are too familiar.

Withdrawn. Not social. Never know his true feelings which keep me feeling off kilter. Used to be alcoholic like abuser. He has been dry 40 years but is of the behavior of a dry alcoholic. When triggered he makes 1 sentence barbs then leaves any conversation where he has to engage in getting to the bottom of issues. Consequently, I withdraw and live in my head.Best assessment. He lives life but does not deal with it. Withdrawal has been the type of personality of every man in my life. This triggers me and I look like the needy one. Which I guess I am. Ugh!
Oh my I blew it. He has been on life support 2X in 10 years. Just listened to a podcast from Vanderbilt University on ICU trauma. Changes in personality and cognition. They are on the cutting edge of ICU studies and a doctor they interviewed was on life support for an extended time 5 years ago and still has trauma reactions. This explains so much of what is going on with my husband. Lots of fear, lots of control issues caused by the fear. He has myasthenia gravis and when he is in crisis his life is out of his control .His affects swallowing and lungs stop working. I should have done more research but took it personally. One more type of trauma on the radar!
 
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