Abuse is one word that makes many of us cringe or possibly walk out of our skin. It is a word that is thrown around these days, as many people try to avoid at all costs, the possibility of ending up with an abusive partner. I have read many posts, articles or stories if you wish to call them that about people who got married without knowing their partners were in the least bit abusive. Of course, such revelations often get comments like “There must have been signs you ignored”, or “You probably went ahead thinking you could pray it out of him or her”, and I used to be on these train of comments hammering at possible signs the poster ignored. However, I recently came to the realization that it is possible not to see the signs because some people keep their abusive character in the closet, especially when things are rosy. So how you do know a person is a closet abuser? Look out for these signs:
- They crave control: This would be good if what they crave is self-control. Closet abusers crave control of other people. It’s a different case to desire leadership; the desire to constantly control other people, especially their partners, makes closet abusers rather dangerous people to end up with if you are not the type that’s totally subservient. Their desire for control may not become obvious at first as they tend to simply come across as people with strong personalities and a certain self-assurance that makes them exude sham confidence. But once you rock the boat by reducing your subservience by 5%, the monster in them starts to creep out. Advice: Rock the control boat every now and then to ensure your partner is not simply out to control you.
- They detest your progress: But they hide it so well, you probably won’t notice! Closet abusers get worried when you get too close to their position on the food chain, or stand a chance of surpassing them. Of course they don’t come out and simply say “I’m unhappy that your career is moving along so well”, or “I wouldn’t like your business to do as well as mine”. No! Instead they come up with excuses as to why you shouldn’t be so progressive. “We can’t hire someone to clean the house simply because you want to attend an entrepreneurial conference”, “You can’t expect me to drive the kids to soccer practice on Saturday simply because you want to meet with Trump’s assistant, you know I go shopping with Susan on Saturdays”….the excuses pile up, silly as they may seem, and before you know it, you start to feel guilty for aspiring for something so high. Advice: share your aspirations with your partner from time to time, and look out for reactions that are intended to make you feel guilty rather than motivate you.
- When things are low, they cave: Closet abusers often show their true colours when things aren’t really working out for them the way they want. Lord help you if your life happens to be going better than theirs at that point in time! They will sulk when you’re off to yet another progressive meeting, they will remind you of things you ought to have done, but didn’t because you were in a rush and of course, they will blame their misfortunes on you either by claiming you bring negative energy into their lives, or you are robbing them spiritually of their good fortune. Yeah, it’s weird I know but believe me it does happen. Advice: Watch your partner’s character carefully when things aren’t going the way they should. People believe you know a person when he or she has everything. That’s true, but I also believe you learn a lot about people when they have nothing.
- They attack your strong opinions: Closet abusers, as the term suggests have something to hide, and chances are you do not know what kind of monster is hiding in their closet. The fact that you may have strong opinions about certain ‘monsters’ they might be hiding can set them off! It might be something totally unrelated to them, but as far as they are concerned, you are referring to them. Why? They believe you can see their little secret. Advice: Air your opinions, although with as much diplomacy as you an muster. Watch out for attacks on your opinions, or discussions that tend to go awry because they think you are ‘too strong’.
Closet abusers are very insecure people, who are able to hide their insecurities behind fancy cars, fancy clothes, and other plastic things that makes them appear to be someone they’re not. Be watchful, and pay rapt attention. Any other tips you think are important? Do share! XOXO