I was chatting with two survivor friends this morning, and I mentioned that what we (usually) get right after abusive relationships is actually taking the time to process and learn and heal. Conversely, the ones who did the damage simply “move on” like nothing happened, and blast through to the next victim they can damage without attempting reflection or personal growth.
One of these friends said, “I remember being in therapy after my separation/divorce and practically screaming in rage about how he was able to move on, and about how he just kept going from person to person, leaving all this damage in his wake. And my therapist very calmly said, ‘Isn’t it sad the lengths people like this have to go through to hide from themselves?'”
Read that a second time if you need to…
What this “moving on” is about is that your abuser is incapable of sitting with reality, accountability, failure, or any sense of imperfection they might actually be responsible for. Their ego simply will not tolerate any such consideration.
What’s more, and because of this ego, your abuser doesn’t know how to be single. They will never try to be single.
When your abuser replaces you — whether it’s before you’re out the door, immediately after you left, or after they discarded you — it’s not because they found someone they truly care about, or someone they will invest in or treat better.
No, they have merely found new supply, maybe an infatuation, and replaced you with their latest victim.
They want you to believe they now have someone worthy of love from them, that they’re happy and kind and loving and romantic and perfectly partnered. But that’s just more false narrative. Please don’t fall for it.
If they truly cared about having another relationship, they’d reflect like you’re doing, figure out what went wrong, and find some accountability for the role they played in what happened with you. Maybe do a little self-work and correction.
But I repeat, they aren’t capable of this. Because they didn’t do anything wrong, after all. And they are perfect and lovable. And they have no problem finding another partner who will fall and fawn at their feet. Blah blah blah.
They seek instant gratification, plain and simple. It’s all smoke and mirrors to hurt you any way they still can, and also to satisfy all those shallow, unhealthy needs they have themselves. There’s a deep void. They must fill it superficially. Get it?
Don’t for a moment let yourself think they’ve changed to become the person you always wanted them to be. It just isn’t possible.