LETTING GO OF OUR ILLUSIONS
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6.3 LETTING GO OF OUR ILLUSIONS

We all have illusions about the people in our lives. After we fall in love, we often carry that initial view or feeling for many years, long after the person's behavior has changed. Since abusers are masters at manipulation they often convince us that our illusions are real and we are easy to convince since that is what we want to believe.

So, for example, my 1st wife, kept convincing me that she was sweet, loving and quiet when in fact she was systematically undermining my sense of my self by devaluing most things that I believed in, that I had hopes for and that I was working on. If I caught her in a lie, she smiled sweetly and said she was just kidding -- and I usually believed her!

It is very hard, but we have to put a bit of distance, a bit of space between those we love and ourselves. This is hard because love is not about distance, it is about intimacy. Yet if we are too close, we will have trouble distinguishing our needs from their needs or our love for them from their manipulation of us. We must establish some distance. They will not be happy about this as it will reduce the amount of control they have over us. Yet in a really healthy relationship, couples should give each other space so that they can have something to give each other. This space will keep a relationship fresh and interesting.


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