How to escape an abusive relationship, doing nothing

grey rockCan you escape an abusive relationship by playing dead?

From lots of articles and books that fill my shelves and cover my desk, this is the most original approach to releasing an abusive relationship. Alex Myles, explains why and how she had to become a “gray rock” to escape an abusive relationship with a narcissistic partner. Hers is a new approach, which doesn’t include long sessions with a therapist or empty confrontations with the narcissistic partner…is almost doing nothing!

This is her “how to became a grey rock” strategy, after discovering that her emotions were the source of his energy. How? he needed her admiration, her adoration and constant support, to feel on top of his ego.

What is the basic grey rock strategy?  Hear Alex: “So, I gently and delicately weaned my abuser from my emotions…”

Because I became fully aware of how my behavior was keeping the relationship flourishing in toxicity and I watched in amazement at how it gradually died out as soon as I altered how I responded. So, I made the decision to dim my light so I would fade and discreetly blend into the background. No interesting comments he would destroy with his logic, no witty observations he later would appropriate as his own thoughts…almost nothing coming from the deep thinking department.

I became bland, boring, uninteresting and most of all emotionless. I stopped reacting to everything. The drama that was being played out on the stage in front of me no longer led me to flinch or applaud. To explain it in just a few words, I stopped providing my hungry-for-my-emotions abuser with his much-needed feed. Communication was kept at a minimum and I refrained from attending any social events that I could excuse myself from.

As I changed, so too did the person I was in the relationship with. He eventually became bored with his plaything. I was no longer the prey for the predatory lion. As I played “pretend dead” on the inside, my abuser no longer found me nourishing, attractive and exciting. I became worthless in his eyes and no longer sparked something within him. Doing this behavior, the ego of my abuser was ignored, not stroked, and he was deprived of his usual ego nurturing. 

While I continued displaying my boring personality, I needed less energy to put up with his behaviors, and could take better care of my own needs…He began looking around and soon he found someone else who was much more exciting and interesting than me, so he began detaching himself from our relationship. I have pity for the other person, but now that he is gone and the pressure is off from my shoulders, I can focus on having my exciting life back.”

Thanks to Alex Myles and her article!

  1. Vickie, 18 July, 2016

    I’m doing that it’s not working he seem to in joy it .he think he got the upper hand what to do now

  2. admin, 18 July, 2016

    Vickie,
    I don’t know for how long you have been doing this….it has to be for such long time, that he really believe you to be a boring, flat, uninteresting, non-exciting female.If he begins mocking you, making fun of you as a bore, that is success! Be encouraged if he talk bad things about you…the tactic is working! First he will feel smug and victorious, but later, he will get bored because you are no fun to defeat. Keep being boring!

  3. Dana Harris, 24 July, 2016

    I too began to play dead after everything else I tried backfired on me. It was mostly out of self preservation due to his outbursts and punishing behavior; which eventually took a toll on me physically. I had 4 small children at home and I couldn’t afford to land in the hospital for stress and a another break down. Once I played dead, my husband reacted differently than your significant other. He got worse. Thankfully by that time I was numb to his tactics. He eventually got scared. When I finally went to my pastor to ask for help in telling the kids I was leaving he knew he had to look at his own behavior. That was my husband’s wake up call. It’s been 2 years since then and boy have I learned a lot. He explained that he truly, deep down thought that everything was my fault. He thought he could do no wrong and because I was (in his eyes) committing all the mistakes and failures in our relationship, he was warranted in trying to “help” me change my ways. We spent 10 years with a marriage counselor and 1 1/2 years (him) with a cognitive behavioral therapist with no improvement – not one bit. It took me shutting down to really get it to sink for him. I will offer my take on this particular tactic: It gets worse before it gets better. My spouse thought he needed to hold out and stick to his guns to get me to see how awful of a wife I was even though he now admits it was him that was the awful spouse. We as victims are actually stronger than they are hence why we don’t feel compelled to treat our significant others the way they have treated us. Inside they’ve never grown past the damage their caretaker inflicted on them growing up. I want to also point out that my method is in no way meant to be taken as professional advice – especially those in physically abusive relationships. I am simply sharing my story and what worked for me. By sharing our own personal stories, I believe we offer solidarity and strength to others in the same situation.

Copyright © Passive Aggressive Husband