Emotional Drama Is Not Love But Abuser’s Smoke & Mirrors

Emotional drama in the early stages of a relationship is not normal when your partner insists on being the center of your world 24/7. This is a ploy.Emotional drama is not love during an abuser’s initial attachment period to you. Emotional drama allows the abuser to use smoke and mirrors to disguise his or  her true intent of placing you under a false-love spell. The abuser seems to say, “Look at me! Look only at me! I am so in love with you it’s making me crazy. I can’t bear to be away from you!”

The piece of many of us that feels alone and vulnerable screams to our good sense, “Oh My God! Will you loosen up for a change? This person sees the beauty in you. He wants to be with you. He can’t live without you!” How flattering is that? For those reasons and hormonal ones, it is easy to mistake an abusive person’s strong emotional attachment toward you as caring lovingly and deeply for you.

Possessiveness and jealousy are but a stone’s throw away from “I can’t bear to be away from you!” Initially, during the dating period (which is full of hormonal changes), your mind easily overlooks the craziness of the abuser’s false-love spell and may make you, the victim, feel safe and loved. And when the abuser’s possessiveness and jealousy show their dangerous, vindictive sides, it s easy to think, When he gets to truly know me, those feelings will go away! I’d never hurt him and I am definitely no cheater!”

Those feelings never go away for the abuser.

You see, the abuser uses you to extend his or her control over their world – the unreal, controllable world that resides only in their mind. Rational people know that many of the events in the world are beyond our control. However, in the abuser’s fear of losing control of himself, he refuses to believe shit happens and prefers to believe someone caused this to happen to me.

False Love Spell Entraps You in Emotional Drama

Abusers use a false-love spell, but we now know the formula abusers use. It is documented by scientists to explain how people fall in love. Granted, the subjects in the study were probably deemed emotionally healthy. But what happens when a predator uses the same formula to entrap you?

Abusers mimic you imperceptibly unless they want you to notice a similarity, they get to know you, they seemingly fall in love with you and then they begin abusing you. The process looks eerily similar to this portion of an article from YourAmazingBrain.org:

How to Fall in Love

  • Find a complete stranger.
  • Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
  • Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.

An abuser’s “Look ONLY at ME!” stage mimics the staring deeply into your eyes. The revealing intimate details of your life stage occurs when the abuser is completely involved in learning about you (and empathizing with you and/or claiming to have had many of the same things happen to him or his mother, sister, etc.). The love at first sight? Well, imagine a seasoned predator looking for prey they know from experience they can manipulate and you’ve got the complete stranger qualification all wrapped up.


What Happens When the False Love Spell Works

But for some reason, the falling in love part takes on a different meaning for abusers. I can’t say whether or not the abuser ever loves you, but they certainly know how to make you love them, and that s where the trouble begins.

When an abusive person grabs hold of your love, that person can brainwash your loving mind and use you as a puppet to help control his world by thinking and acting exactly as the abuser thinks you should act. The abuser defines how you should act by imagining him or herself as whatever role you’ve taken on. For example, if you are an abuser’s boyfriend, the abuser expects you to act as she thinks she would act in your place. If she thinks she would wear red underwear on Wednesdays (if she were you) and you don’t, then her threatened world-view causes her to abuse you.

That example seems trite and silly. However, as abuse victims know, abusers lash out at the smallest things and the reason for their tantrum is not always known.

Despite This Information, Abusers are No Smarter Than You or Me

Abuse may follow the formula of love but it stops short at feeling the love, commitment, and beauty that love provides in healthy relationships. Abusers are conscious or subconscious manipulators, period. But before you start thinking that a whole subsection of society figured out a complex scientific experiment before the rest of us, consider car insurance companies.

For ages, car insurance rates have been substantially higher for males aged 25 and under. The group takes more chances, gets into more accidents. That fact means that they’re a greater risk to insure so it costs more to insure them. It’s a money thing.

However, that fact about car insurance company rates was in place way before scientists showed that the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain controlling impulse control, does not fully develop until about the age of 25.

Car insurance companies are not in the business of brain research any more than abusers are in the business of love research. Some things people simply learn by observation. Your abuser observed you and many other relationships before he or she successfully baited you into being their puppet.

Discovering Abuse Can Take Time

Your body’s initial love hormones settle down eventually. However, the memory of that intoxicating love can cause you to stick by your partner’s side, to wait it out. You’re sure the abuse is a fluke (if you notice it as abuse). Meanwhile, the abuser’s nasty comments and behaviors kick in full force. You’re partly in disbelief but mostly angry and hurt.

Unfortunately, this is the prime time to end the relationship. Memories of sweet love only count for so much. The falling in love stage is relatively brief…but the abuser’s control and manipulation will last a lifetime if you let it.

Cut your losses as soon as possible. Although it may not feel like it during the break-up, remember that you get to experience the beautiful feeling of falling in love all over again in the future with the wisdom to pick up on abusive behaviors more quickly than before.

More about falling in love:

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  1. Are abusers aware of what they are doing, or are some unaware? It just isn’t clear to me that my husband was/is aware of what he is doing, but your article suggests it is planned.

    • Much of it is planned. Some may be unaware, but to do that much damage to another person and claim ignorance is like when my ex-husband physically assaulted me and then claimed to have “blacked out.” I say, that if someone is that ignorant to the effects of his or her behavior, then they’re unhealthy to be around. Period.

  2. Great information.

    • Kate Barker says:

      I need to thank you for this. Exactly what I have experienced. I want to add a couple things that I lived through. My husband had what looked like a child’s tantrum, right before he got violent. When he sensed a loss of control, or if I chose to ignore his advice( Such as choosing to drive a different route to the store than he wanted), the setting up of the tantrum began. Dialogue from him like this: ” I have no control, why do you control everything?” In the beginning, he caused me to think it was mistreatment of him to make a decision on my own. This was gradually chipping away at me. Then came the bigger stuff. Getting angry if I was too exhausted to get the house clean, and he had to help out. I have Systemic Lupus, and during flares I have to rest. The breaking of dishes, slamming of doors would wake me. Then I would pull myself out of bed to find out what was going on. He would ignore my questions of what was wrong, but glower at me. I would ask how I could help. He would pretend like he could not hear me. When I would tell him I had to lay down, he would say, ” Yeah, go ahead, I am a slave that goes to work, and gets no time to rest”. If I took the bait, and went ahead to do all of the task, thinking that it would de-escalate the anger, he told me I was trying to make him feel lazy. If I told him that I had to lay down, and apologized for being sick, he would say that I was trying to make him look like a jerk. There was no rest for me. I could not go back to bed. He would get louder, and try to engage me in a fight. If I made the mistake of telling him that he was scaring me, he acted like I was imagining everything, calling me a “Psycho bitch”,then calling my parents, and trying to tell them I was out of control. Luckily my Dad had witnessed his tantrums before, and knew the game right away. I tried not to engage. I told him I would not talk until he could calm down, stop calling me names, and screaming at me. He made the mistake of treating me like this in front of a friend of ours. Our friend was staying with us, and after hearing Dan scream at me in the bedroom, he knocked on the door, and told him to stop. After Dan tried to twist the story, our friend told him it was a bunch of untruth, and that he could hear everything. Dan later accused me of trying to make him lose friends. As a victim of someone like this, you become the scapegoat for every bad feeling they have, and anything that goes wrong in their life. If you try to tell them what their behavior is doing to you, they twist the whole thing around, to make you think you did something to cause it, even inventing new stories that are untrue, to further confuse you( Gaslighting). Eventually the verbal abuse became physical. He broke my shoulder by kicking me across our living room. After the incident, he minimized it, saying it was an accident. He told that same friend that I had been the aggressor. He tried to spread lies to my family, but by then they had seen enough. If you are ever questioning whether they do this purposely, I promise you that it is absolutely a method they use to keep control. It is no accident that they push the right buttons. I tried to believe that it was something he couldn’t help, but I learned the hard way. There are resources out there, and if they wanted to change, they would seek help. If they loved you, they would not harm you. Please know that no matter what you do, it will drag you to despair if you stay. Life is not meant to be lived in fear of someone like this. Life can be beautiful,, but not with someone who is determined to break you down. Abuse is a choice. They have every bit of the power, until you get away. Thank you again for this post, and to those reading this, know that it is absolutely deliberate. Find a way to a safe place, and cut the ties. They will damage you, emotionally, and physically. Trust your instincts. If you are questioning whether you are in an abusive situation, there is a reason.

      • thank you so much for this kate especially this bit – Please know that no matter what you do, it will drag you to despair if you stay and If you are questioning whether you are in an abusive situation, there is a reason.

        i relate to a lot of the stuff you wrote above and the bits about someone saying i ahve n control why do you control everything and not being able to figure it out. reading all this has really helped me so thank you

  3. This is pretty close to what I am dealing with. Emotional drama with smoke and mirrors, and I get emotionally beat up, and feel like my heart is gone for days a week. All just to happen again sometime soon, month or months. Sometime.

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