Mything as a Strategy of an Abusive Ex to Lure You Back
You cried for weeks, months, even years for the pain that your abusive ex caused you. You have finally made that decision to leave the abusive relationship and move on. You have taken on the challenge to become the best version of yourself but suddenly you find yourself mulling over the gestures he is currently sending you: killer signs that make you feel you want to try again. These are accompanied by thoughts that maybe this time your ex will change, and for the nth time around, the relationship will make you feel loved.
Remember that an abusive ex is never apologetic. Instead, he uses mything to weave a series of lies and distorted truths to make you see things from his perspective. Mything, as a series of stories created to explain meanings of certain social phenomena or events, can also encompass the way an ex constructs a rhetoric to craftily manipulate you into believing that you are better off with him. Mything confuses you between what is perceived as real and what is real. Often, what is real is blurred because there is this tendency to fantasize—probably, due to disbelief about a painful event repeated over and over again which can have a numbing effect. Truth is also blurred if there is a strong belief that things will change. Worse though is the acceptance that there is no way out, no hope, no choice. Consequentially, one settles with what is familiar.
Take heed of the signs of mything:
- Highlighting the “beautiful memories” through repetition. The ex tends to emphasize the beauty of your relationship by repeatedly highlighting the beautiful memories while sweeping the bad ones under the rug. Despite those “beautiful memories” together only happening once or twice in a span of almost two decades of relationship, he repeats the often.
The ex will remind you that when you were together, you shared a great love by saying, “nung tayo,” “nung sa atin,” and the like which become starting points of past stories that when you were together, you were loved and cared for. The ex then gives you a litany of how you were so happy together but will leave out stories of how you were hurt, battered, and bruised during your relationship.
Through repetitively highlighting the “beautiful memories” you had, (which is probably three to five times, out of almost two decades of relationship), you tend to forget the horrifying events in the relationship and the scars that bear the stories of your relationship.
- Eluding the real issues in the relationship. When confronted, the ex will avoid your questions on substantive issues on the
relationship. For example, when asked what happened to your life savings, the ex will say money should not be an issue in your relationship because he left you broke while he is now living a luxurious life. When asked why he hurt you, the ex will evade this by saying, “I have plans for us…,” then will give you a litany of the so-called beautiful memories you had together.
And of course, as a smart person, you will really want to know why he hurt you. The ex might explain that during your relationship, he just needed to “correct” your behavior resistant to his relationship rules. Remember, in a relationship, you should never be punished when in disagreement with your partner. This is your right as a thinking being.
- Gifting. Mything is not limited to words but can also be seen through grand gestures and giving of tokens. An ex who is very interested in winning you back will give you gifts or remind you of so-called “tokens of love.” The ex might remind you about his sacrifices to buy this and that for you, the hard work he put into making sure that your relationship did well.
Remember that in a relationship, you deserve all of these and more. Do not be blinded by your ex’s so-called “sacrifices,” “hard work” and “tokens of love” because you are worth all of these. Do not be contented by only a fraction of love.
- Promises. The ex will lead you to believe that you worked against him in the past which he may point out as the cause of the break-up. So, to woo you back, the ex will give you promises of unity and togetherness to make you believe that he is bent on making the relationship work. Your ex probably mentioned all these promises of unity and togetherness when you were together but melted into thin air.
Your ex may also promise to treat you better and that his family and friends will be kind to you. He is saying this because you were not treated well in the past. People do not change… they reveal themselves in the duration of the relationship.
I want to remind you why your abusive ex is an ex. You left the relationship because he caused you so much pain. Pilipinas, wag ka naman makipag balikan sa isang abusadong ex. For almost two decades of their family’s rule in the Philippines, they gave us a lifetime’s worth of scars. Let those scars that are tattooed on your body, mind and soul be a reminder of the economic deprivation, curtailing of rights, and other abuses you experienced in almost two decades of relationship with him and his family. Be reminded of the horrifying past when many were tortured and killed… those times when many Filipino families could not even afford to buy rice, but they ate so well… those days when we were all silenced… those years when conscience was not at the forefront of public service.
I think, to move on and to become better, we start by fully divorcing ourselves from the constructed narrative of the past. We know the stories of our ex and the horrifying relationship we had. Pilipinas, on May 9, 2022, we will be making a historically defining choice. Do not partake of these myths, instead, learn to move on and re-define your future by making a choice that will renew your body, mind and soul. To what measure can we say that we will be better off without our abusive ex? I may not exactly be an expert in relationships and politics, but I know that getting back with an abusive ex is not healthy.
The views and opinions expressed in the __Corner do not necessarily reflect the collective stand of the academic staff or the official position of UP Baguio