I remember reading once that if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out. On the other hand, if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and very gradually, turn up the heat the frog will not notice and will just stay there and boil to death.
The theory is that a frog will just continually try to acclimatize to the heat. Because it is only a gradual temperature increase, it will not perceive the danger and just allow itself to be cooked death.
I am not here to say that this is factual but I cannot think of a greater metaphor to what happened to me.
When I first met him, he was the sweetest and most sincere (or so he seemed) man you could ever imagine. All my friends loved him. I of course was on my guard. I never trusted men.
I spent my entire 20’s in short-term relationships. Sometimes, I think that is what my allure was to men. I enjoyed life and saw no reason to pursue anything serious. From my own personal experiences, I never saw marriage and family in a positive light. I felt women never flourished in marriage. I chose to pursue other things in life, like travel, and that I did. However, after a while that got boring too. So somewhere, after I turned 30, I finally got serious. My first serious relationship was a disaster, but after a year of that dysfunction, I had enough sense to pack up and leave.
So when I met him, I was on my guard and boy did I test him. I was demanding and aloof and still he pursued me. The details of our meeting are too complex to go into now. I just want to state, I was not pursuing him. Eventually my barriers were broken down and we got engaged and then married. We lived together in those blissful days of a new relationship.
He always talked about me in such an admiring way. He put me on a pedestal and even my friends joked that he treated me like a goddess. Never in my life, had I been treated so well. He was too good to be true (!).
As our marriage progressed, and I got pregnant, things slowly changed and his attentiveness started to disappear. I kept thinking that I could fix this and I took responsibility for my faults. As the years passed and our son grew, the attentiveness eventually morphed into neglect and emotional abuse.
For whatever reason, I thought it was important to keep the family together. So everyday I just struggled to maintain harmony in our family. That simple feat consumed me so much for so many years that I evolved into a broken spirit. I was boiling to my death. I did not have enough sense or will to jump out of that boiling pot of water.
I never realized how much I missed his tone of admiration for me. That realization came to me when I finally heard him talking that way again. It dug up memories that I had buried so long ago. Only this time he was not using my name, he was using hers.
I knew then in my heart what was going on. But you have to understand that in spite of what I knew in my heart, I was deceived and played to an unconscionable degree by him. It was not until irrefutable proof was literally put before me, I got perfect clarity.
That clarity awoke my spirit and gave me the sense to jump out of that boiling pot of water, stand up, and fight. I got an attorney.
Since then, it has been a long and arduous struggle. At least I did not die in that pot of water and I am alive now to fight another day.