Abusive relationships where the abuser is a transparently horrible monster don’t tend to last long, because it becomes obvious to the victim very quickly that they need to head for the door. The ones that last are the ones where the abuser is an adept manipulator, who is able to elicit sympathy and attachment in the victim while constructing a prison of mental narratives in their head.
The hardest of these to escape from is the “nice guy” abuser, the kind of abuser whose manipulations revolve around framing themselves as good and virtuous while squeezing the psychological noose on the victim tighter and tighter. These are difficult to escape because by design they are hard to recognize as abusive while you’re in them, even while you’re being drained of life, liberty and happiness to the abuser’s benefit.
To escape from a nice guy abuser, it helps to actively push for things that they can’t say no to without blowing their cover. If he presents himself as a woke and sexually liberated feminist, for example, you can begin disrupting the web of nice guy narratives by saying you’d like to stop having sex with him, or that you want financial independence. Anything they desperately want to control but can’t say “no” to without the nice face mask slipping off. Their desperate attempts to manipulate you back into the position you were in previously will expose them, and make it much easier to find your way to the door through the fog of manipulation.
The powerful do not care if you have an abortion. They do not care how many bullets your gun can hold, they do not care if two guys get married or what gender pronouns you use, and they do not care if everyone is a racist or if no one is. They care about maintaining and expanding their ability to exert control over other people. If they can use prejudice or the threat of revoking rights to advance those agendas then they will certainly use them, but beyond that, they do not care.
For this reason, many who see the abusive nature of the oligarchic empire have come to look upon these issues a bit disdainfully, seeing social justice issues as a power-serving distraction from the actual issues they don’t want us pushing for like dismantling the war machine, ending plutocracy and making sure everyone has what they need.
And the nice guy abusers are falling all over themselves to manipulate them back into their cage. But once a manipulator is exposed as such, manipulation becomes much more difficult, and clarity becomes much easier.
Things are only going to keep getting stranger.
Our species is unpatterning at a rapidly accelerating rate, and the people whose job it is to manipulate us back to sleep have been failing to do so with greater and greater frequency. Don’t waste emotional energy on the hope that things will eventually go back to normal, because they won’t.
The good news is that what we think of as “normal” is actually as crazy and self-destructive as a species can possibly be, and life is awkwardly, sloppily stumbling toward true sanity.
Stumbling for the door.