6. The Cover-Up
Once the target/victim has advised the support system of how WONDERFUL the abuser is, it is very difficult to admit that they may have made an error. Everyone wants their support system to think that everything is going well in their lives...and the constant insinuation that any problems that DO EXIST are the fault of the target/victim, makes it even harder to be real with people and verbalize your concerns. For these reasons, and many others, the target/victim often continues to reign perfection in the relationship and the abuser, long after cracks begin to appear. This may be particularly true if the beginning of the relationship including the abuser walking out on, or leaving, a marriage or long term partner. It seems OK that another relationship was "destroyed" when the new relationship was "in the stars" or "meant to be", but admitting that this may not be the case leaves the victim/target open to criticism (from others and by self) regarding the way the relationship started out. Since so MANY of these relationships begin when a prior victim is "discarded", the feelings of guilt associated with this can keep a victim professing perfection in the abuser for an extended time.
7. Brainwashing Complete
After a period of continued manipulation, the victim is now well aware of the faults of the abuser. The victim, however, is usually NOT AWARE of the true mental illness of the abuser, or of the fact that the abuser is UNABLE and UNWILLING to ever change. The victim is full of self-doubt and is convinced that the good things in the relationship still outweigh the bad. The victim has started to question their own sanity and reality and has fully begun to adopt the reality as given by the abuser.
The victim has now come to the conclusion that "it is the abusers way or the highway". They are aware that the relationship is more important to them than to the abuser and, often, the victim simply decides to take a back seat and allow the abuser to steer the relationship and daily life decisions. Often, the abuser determines how all money is spent, even if they are not bringing in much money. Daily decisions, big and small, are made by the abuser. While this frustrates and angers the victim, the only other option is the loss of the relationship and that is not tolerable.