Thanks for posting this link, and thank you for caring about the secondary survivors who come here asking the "same old questions".
Abuse in all its forms is insidious, always trying to pass itself off as something okay, or at least not THAT bad. When we want to believe the best of people, when we want people to love us, sometimes we jump at any chance to make what they are doing "not that bad."
I don't think if I would have characterized my relationship as abusive, ever. Certainly I considered some of it as unacceptable to me, but not because it was abuse, just because it wasn't what I was after. My boyfriend's disclosure gave me a new context for some of what I'd previously thought of as unacceptable, it gave me a deeper understanding that lead to acceptance, not acceptance of the behavior but the ability to accept him and our relationship as a work in progress.
If my relationship had shown some of these signs of abuse, would I have been able to recontextualize all of that after his disclosure? I can't say, I'd like to think that it would have depended on his willingness to change and move away from abusive behavior.
But I also think that I was desperately unhappy for a long time, and something in me accepted THAT and put up with it in a way that I would not today. So I have experienced something both like and unlike what Kolisha describes here:
We may not be able to have our needs fulfilled all the time or even a majority of the time. Healthy, healing people become more & more able to take that in stride & fend for themselves when their partner is "unavailable" due to the ups & downs of the recovery process.
While I am better equpped to deal with and understand why my boyfriend did/does, and why it had/has little to do with me, I think I am more honest and expressive about my needs, and less willing to take hurtful actions "in stride," than I used to be. It's not about the intent of the behavior or the cause of the behavior so much as it is about accountability and respect-- I didn't know how to value or ask for those things before, now I can and I do.