Raised as an only child in a family with marital strife, I grew up not only sheltered, but with a poor model of interactions between husbands and wives, and ultimately, between men and women. My father showered love upon me, and in fact, treated me more as a woman on a pedestal in a romantic relationship than as his child. At the same time, he treated my mother poorly. Although there was no sexual abuse at his hands, his behavior left me stymied and unable to find a meaningful romantic relationship in my adult life until I was almost 35. Along the way, I found myself in a number of unhealthy and even abusive relationships that confused me further. Romantic abuse is easy to judge from the outside -- until you are in such a relationship yourself. Looking back, I am lucky that I landed on my feet -- albeit a decade after my peers.