Have you ever experienced yourself giving into something you know that you do not want in order for you to turn off the ache of the emotional stirring triggered to get you there? If your partner is practiced in emotional abuse, I trust the answer is yes.
This partner (male or female) relies heavily on the use of your own inner suffering to yield his/her desired outcome. So let’s say he/she wants you to go to an event that you do not want to attend. You know it is not practical for you to travel to this event, nor do you have the physical wherewithal to participate.
But as you probably know your experience and preference are immaterial to your partner, as their agenda is singularly focused to get you to do one thing: comply with their wishes.
FOG Vehicle as Converter
The FOG is the vehicle that drives you there. It is an acronym representing the emotional composite of Fear, Obligation and/or Guilt (coined by Susan Forward and Donna Frazier).
Many things are typically said to trigger fear, obligation and guilt. It could be statements like this:
- “If you don’t do this with me, I will get someone else to be my partner for the night.” Sounds like: “If you don’t do this sexual act ‘for’ me, I will find someone else who will…”
- “If you don’t accompany me, it suggests to me that you are not a good wife, because ‘good’ wives do X.”
- “If you don’t go with me, it proves to me that you really don’t love me, you don’t care about me…”
- “If you don’t come with me, I will not succeed and it will be all your fault.”
The ways in which the FOG gets stirred are as varied as the people stirring up the emotional ingredients. The stirring continues until it generates a compliant outcome.
Often times, you will see that the thing sought is minuscule relative to the weight of the FOG. You sit in the blanket of experience…sifting through your fear, your sense of obligation and, of course, your guilt.
The tipping point is when you reach that place in which the pain of the FOG is so severe that you will do most anything—including what your partner is seeking—just to turn the darn FOG off. You get the picture?
If you are entangled in an intimate relationship in which you spend time swimming in fear, obligation and/or guilt as you process your partner’s requests/demands…pause as you could be engaged in emotional exploitation.
You could be on the receiving end of someone using your own inner suffering to manipulate your choices. The long and the short of this life is this… You are chronically running from your own fear, obligation and guilt.
- You are doing things out of fear to prevent something else from happening.
- You are doing things because you “have to” because your involvement signs you up irrespective of your wishes.
- You are doing things out of a moral compass that have no relevance to the act itself.
Once you can get out from under the FOG, you will enjoy the freedom and liberty of making choices expressing your authentic self. For information on breaking the cycle of intimate partner emotional abuse, visit https://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/spousal_abuse_tx.php
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people worldwide recognize, end and heal while in and from domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention