I allowed myself to be abused ritually in a relationship for 12 years. I call it my "abused martyr" stage. I was the "rescuer" in everything and for everybody, that is except for me. My spiritual evolution remained in this stage for a painfully long time. Leaving it was emancipatinng and disasterous but allowed me to discover joy once I let go of my safe haven.
You see, "abused martyr" was an incredble emotional relief from "abomination" My spirit soared with joy and pride with the transition from lonely and worthless to superhero who saved a crack addict from perishing. As a physician I "healed" everyone by sacrificing my life. My service was compensation for a personal sense of inadequacy. I was young and had the vitality to maintain such a chimerical construct.
Slowly I became aware of a sense of entitlement to joy without sacrifice. Internally these two spiritual stages conflicted creating rage within. The only resolution was to separate. Fortunate he sabotaged a trip to San Francisco with disappearing on a week long crack binge which was the smack in the teeth needed to activate my sense of entitlement and move his belongings out and find him an apartment.
I found the ability to be comfortable with myself and....surprise! I had more love encounters than I can remember. My life today is filled with love and beautiful people.
below are two links, one is a spiritual evolution that I went through. The other is a short story of a similar transformation.