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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

An abusive relationship is a relationship in which a person is victim to the use or threat of being physically or psychologically abused. Here you can ask questions about abusive relationships such as how to spot it, and how to get yourself or others help.

13,489 Questions

How can you recognize a narcissist?

(Note: Narcissistic Personality Disorder is something that can only be identified by a mental health professional who has examined the person in question. Other than that, "narcissist" is a word meaning "loves oneself excessively" and is susceptible to varying interpretations.)

1:

A Narcissist is someone who takes their self-esteem from the way others view them. Their personality will therefore center around how he or she is viewed.

Narcissism looks like this... Your partner treats you and perhaps your children very different in private than in public. In public he may ignore you giving all of his attention to others, or pretend to be the perfect husband or father, while in private he may be sarcastic, haughty and insulting. He may put people down behind their back. He may have a very inflated sense of entitlement and ego, thinking he deserves things that he hasn't worked for or earned and he may manipulate situations for attention, acting a bit too good to be true. This can fool people and so few of them will believe how he talks to his family in private (I say 'he', because I write from our experience, but there are plenty of abusive women with narcissism). He may also show little or no regard for your well being or your feelings.

2:

Unfortunately that's not all...

He may lie about you or paint a bad picture of you to gain sympathy from others and to justify his own bad behaviour. You probably have no idea of all of the lies he is telling you and the bad things he may be saying about you to others ...

If he makes fights when you try and talk about money he may be hiding credit cards or money transactions from you and his narcissism will cause him to pretend these fights are your fault.

Many narcissists are obsessed by the fantasy of an ideal relationship that is 'perfect' (and therefore fantasy!) and are skilled liars. So if the above symptoms of narcissism describe your partner, you should also be aware that he may habitually have secret crushes on other women, be having affairs, using pornography habitually, and/or conducting 'cyber' affairs (while lying that he is single) all without you having any knowledge of this. If you notice that your partners mind is often somewhere else, and they show narcissistic tendencies, this could be the reason. This obsession with his own inner fantasy life is part of what makes him unavailable, impatient and cross with you. It is a major symptom of the disorder.

Not all people with narcissism are physically abusive, but it is also a significant indicator that you will wind up being part of a domestic violent marriage. The physical abuse is not always perpetrated by the narcissist either. It is normal to become very angry with someone who manipulates you and puts you down. It is normal after years of this treatment, (especially if you discover that they have been lying to and cheating on you) to even want to kill them or wish them dead, so getting the right help and support is very important, and can be very hard to find.

There are very few people who understand narcissism or believe there is any cure, and those who say to 'leave and have no contact' are giving you very dangerous advice. If you want to leave, please get advice first on how to do it safely.

Trying to diagnose someone with a disorder is not a really a good idea when there are many who will then say that you must divorce them and have no contact and that there is no cure.

If your partner displays this behaviour it is not important to figure out the correct diagnosis, what you need to do is take steps to protect yourself and save your marriage before it is too late.

My husband was diagnosed NPD and yet still he got better and we have a great marriage now. We help partners of narcissists save their marriages too.

3:

WRONG. The correct answer is - you can not recognize a narcissist. At least not a smart, experienced narcissist. It is a matter of survival for them to not let anyone know there true nature. (See note at top of page)

What should you do if you have been abused?

I prefer you to contact the child abuse center or police or a trusted adult or even your neighbors or friends. You can use this language call the police secretly when you are gone out to buy something as most people send abused children to buy stuff don't buy something and use that coin in a telephone and go home and say that they were out of the product.

Sign that they will abuse u soon :

1] They will yell at you

2] call your name in a bad way like a mistake, brat and etc

3] Ignore you

4] Pretend that they treat you nicely in front of others

5] Always be busy with your siblings or step-siblings and not take care of you

If you want more help in this case then feel free to comment on this question and ask me. be safe

How do abusive men treat submissive wives?

The domination and control by either partner in a relationship, whether abusive or not, is contrary to the personal rights of an individual. Where this relationship meets the needs of one or both, it is often enabled or tolerated. But it can lead to psychological trauma and violent situations. (see the opinions below)

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OPINION : SUBMISSION VOLUNTARY OR INVOLUNTARY?

Some folks say it's "not a bad thing" to be submissive. YES, there are MANY women who do like submissive roles, either consciously or subconsciously, but that doesn't mean they are happy.

In abusive relationships, the abused often has been under abusive conditions for so long that his or her mind has twisted the story until he or she believes that he or she is at FAULT for the abuse, and that the abuser has the right to abuse him or her. This is not good because the abused person is being hurt not only by the abuser, but also by his or own mind. This twisting of reality does not mean anything about the abused person's intelligence; rather, it is the mind's search for a reason for the pain (inner or outer) he or she feels.

The situation can be very dangerous for the abused person because it may lead to damage directly imposed by the abuser, or indirectly by causing suicide or other self-inflicted damage.

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OPINION - ARE MEN ALWAYS THE ABUSERS

BOTH of these characters are stereotypes, and stereotyping people is also wrong. Because pretty much only the stereotype man is abusive. And pretty much only the stereotype woman is submissive. And pretty much only the stereotype woman will suffer and take all the abuse. In real life, there are also dominant/abusive/controlling women.

Although the solution is often stated as, "If you are in an abusive relationship, get away. It is the only solution."

However, this is sometimes an oversimplification, because the interpersonal relationship between any two people is complex, and cannot be classified as simply right or wrong, abuser and abused. It may require a dispassionate, trained counselor to recommend a course of action that will be beneficial for either partner in a marriage or relationship.

How do you get an abuser to recognize the abuse for what it is?

Abusers rarely change, and they can never be forced to change. An abuser will only recognize that they have a problem when they are ready. Trying to force this change will only succeed in making the abuser angry, and possibly even delay the process. Realizing that you are an abuser is very humbling, and so this is a step which has to be taken by the abuser, though support always helps too.

Some personal experiences;

  • I think the bottom line is recognizing that no one method will work for everyone. Every individual is who they are because of their own traits, upbringing, experiences, etc. I've been on both sides of the coin. My mother was typical of many of the things I've read here - I could do no right, wasn't allowed to have an opinion, never afforded space or privacy, silent treatment, verbal and physical assaults were her "right" because of how I "behaved," and then of course the denial that she did any of it after. I took those behaviors with me into my relationships. I abused a man through manipulation and control for 7 years until he finally had enough and left me. Did I know I was doing it? Yes and no. There were many times after my rages would finally settle that I would sit and think, "This is not a healthy reaction - what is wrong with me?" - and I would feel guilty (as I should have) - but as quickly as that thought came, I went to work convincing myself that he deserved it because of this or that, and that I was justified in my explosions because of this or that. We are masters at convincing ourselves of our own lies. And because he stayed, it reinforced my belief that what I was doing was normal and okay. It is very hard to recognize - for me, I was insecure, had gone through that abuse as a child/teen/adult from my mother, so it was my "normality." Any attempt to tell me I was the unhealthy one was all it took to ignite my defense mechanisms. For a lot of us who have abused/do abuse, our anger is near impenetrable. In my case, I didn't recognize it because of the hurt I caused him - I only recognized it is because the last year of our relationship, the tables turned and he treated me exactly as I had treated him. I don't blame him at all- after taking my abuse for so long - I can't believe it didn't happen sooner. But the point is, it took a long, sustained period of being on the other end for me to realize it - and then to be left on top of it, and be left with an upside down world wondering what the heck just happened. I still went through the initial phase of blaming him for everything - but in the end, he had left, and all I had were my own demons to face. I am fortunate that I decided to because not everyone does. Someone mentioned earlier that it is very humbling to recognize that you are an abuser - I would call it debilitating - to have spent so long having convinced yourself you were the victim, just to finally know within yourself YOU were the abuser. I was deeply ashamed and regretful that I had caused someone else so much suffering - and in my case, it was easy to want to change after I realized I was "that" person. However, the behaviors are deeply rooted and I agree with the sentiment here that those take time and proactive practice. Some people will want to and will succeed, others will find it to be "too much work." But it is possible. It has been well over a year for me and I barely recognize myself today from the angry, depressed person I was. Life is a lot more enjoyable. For the first time I find myself genuinely interested in others' feelings and while it is not yet second nature, I find my prior habit of lashing out in anger has been replaced with wanting to understand what the other person is thinking/feeling, and talk about it with empathy and concern and without the blame game. Whether you stay with your abuser or not, only you can decide, because no two relationships work the same way- different things keep us in our relationships. I can honestly say I don't think I would have recognized it if I hadn't been left, but that isn't the case for everyone. You've just got to trust your instincts and really listen to your inner voice - it is there to protect you.
  • Abusers rarely change, and they can never be forced to change. An abuser will only recognize that they have a problem, when they are ready. Trying to force this change will only succeed in making the abuser angry, and possibly even delaying the process. Realizing that you are an abuser is very humbling, and so this is a step which has to be taken by the abuser, but support always helps too.
  • After finally coming to my senses. I dumped him. I finally saw the light. I saw that no matter what I did, the abuse would ALWAYS return. There is no hope for these people really. They may go to counseling but they are master manipulators and just use that as an avenue to further con and lie. They will promise change, act sweet, realize what they had, BUT these are all for the sake of appearances. They just want to draw you back in their web and wear you down. The best thing you can do is not worry what's good for him. Take charge of your life and happiness. I finally got to the point where I said enough is enough. I also think the only way to clear your mind and let go is no contact. After many of his calls I finally told him go away!!!!!
  • Abusers regularly deny the abuse ever took place - or rationalize their abusive behaviors. Denial is an integral part of the abuser's ability to "look at himself/herself in the mirror".

They will often use sentences like the following, to try and lay the guilt on you:

"What I did to you was not abuse - it was common and accepted behavior (at the time, or in the context of the prevailing culture or in accordance with social norms), it was not meant as abuse"

  • Always remember, the only person you have any control over is yourself, and the only person you can ever change is yourself. Abusers basically hate themselves and must justify their behavior in order to make any sense of their lives -- so, they will either deny, justify, or apologize for their behavior in order to gain the control they desperately need (abuse is ultimately ALL about control). But the behavior will never change unless they hit a bottom, and the only way anyone will ever hit a bottom is by suffering the consequences of their behavior. In short, you must leave them -- otherwise you will simply continue to enable the behavior, and change will never come about.
  • The best thing to do is to find someone you can trust, tell them about the abuse, and get help getting away! Some abusers can be very dangerous! If I didn't get away from my ex-husband when I did, I know he would have eventually killed me. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER try to do what he/she does to you to show them they are wrong. That is dangerous and pointless and will only make them angrier. Just get away. You cannot change an abuser! Abusive people have a problem in their personality and it would take years of counseling for them to ever even maybe change. It's not worth risking your life. JUST GET AWAY!
  • Separate from each other. seek independent counseling. acknowledge that since separating there are no more incidents.
  • I am 8 yrs into this now, abused just last night. I sit here alone in his house, with those overwhelming feelings of sadness, frustration, and loss. I was looking on the internet for self help stuff when i found these answers. I don't know where to turn. I come from a cold upbringing, a childhood parent of two, divorced by 20, and met my ultimate abuser yet. I feel like i am a magnet, as i get older, the relationships get hard, more violent,more verbal abuse. Everyone tells me i am gorgeous, don't even look like i have ever had kids, shoulda been a model yadi yadi, but what does that matter, i have such a hard time smiling. I see it getting worse. he tells me he hates me, calls me a c**t, and how proud he is that he didn't choke me for real. I know the best thing is to leave, and i am dependant on him, he has turned me into this weak, crying girl, with no more self confidence. I tell myself i am strong, but its not true. so what is this girl to do? Everyone's right. all of these answers. if you can get out do it. run as fast as you can. don't look back. don't regret leaving. love doesn't hurt people, love heals people. i hope one day i find some healing in this world.
  • Believe what he says and does. Leaving is a very tough thing to do, but when you look back in a couple of years, it will seem easy, compared to where you are now. So, if confidence is lacking, "act as if" you have it. Make a plan: [without his knowing!] Get advice and follow it without saying "but...". One small step after another and you will be in your new, safe life. You will find what you need, and none of it is what you have now.
  • I don't think you can. I started mirroring her behaviour and all I got was comments as to how screwed up I was! Tell them goodbye and hang up. It's such a waste of time.
  • Some of the answers here are the reasons abusers do not seek help. The way I recognized it was after talking with my wife for a very long time (fight) I researched what an abuser was. If the put my name in the beginning of the description then it would have sounded like my life story. The point is is that the abuser has to be willing to accept it. They have to have an open mind and only then want to seek help after they have accepted it. It is so much easier being nice and respectful. It takes a lot less energy.
  • When the abuser no longer gains the CONTROL they so desperately need because you have become tougher, they will escalate their method. It creeps up slowly and you are convinced you are to blame. You have been very isolated from friends by this time and believe what he says. I wised up because I took a communication class at college for my work. We were on the topic of abuse and she said she had been there and a book that helped her realize it was called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans That book opened my eyes. I thought abuse was being beaten bloody, not just grabbed by the arm and thrown down and threatened to be killed. I thought (really) that if I just did such and such better, he wouldn't get so mad at me. They will not change. He promised and said he was sorry, went to counseling (court ordered) and I believe he actually tried hard, but it is "hard-wired". He was taught that as a young boy from his upbringing. When we tell boys to stop crying and be a man, we are telling them that to have feelings or emotion is wrong. They try to get control and can only ride over those feeling to gain control by expressing anger. Any time their feeling side comes up, they are trained since boys to override that with anger to gain the control over the feelings. Most often their dad was abusive to the mom or very harsh and abusive with the children as well. Abusive people are rigid, secretive, harsh and have difficulty showing feelings. The weight of the world lifted off me when I got him out---but it was the most terrifying time of my life. I left town for 2 weeks---until his anger subsided. I had a restraining order. He was the type to get over his anger quickly, fortunately. The only thing to do is make plans to get out.
  • An Abuser will NEVER recognize his or her abuse. This is one of the main defining elements of an abuser. Let me add that there are people who have trouble controlling their anger ONCE IN A WHILE and are able to eventually recognize this and correct their behavior in time - BUT THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT BY DEFINITION ABUSERS. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS PERSON AND AN ABUSER IS THAT THE ABUSER CANNOT OR WILL NOT CONTROL THEIR BEHAVIOR - AND- MOST IMPORTANTLY - AN ABUSER ENGAGES IN THESE HIGH LEVELS OF LACK OF SELF CONTROL REGULARLY - NOT ONCE OR TWICE.

By definition, an abuser does not recognize their behavior as being abusive. When challenged on this they engage in the following behaviors:

- DENIAL The abuser denies the abuse. They may say that the incident never occurred, that you are blowing things out of proportion, that you do not see the incident as it really occurred. They may even accuse you of being too mentally ill to recognize reality. They might say that you are in a "different world". Sometimes, as ammunition in this denial process, the abuser will bring up third parties who believe that he is the best thing since sliced bread to prove his point. The truth is that it is the ABUSER who is in another world. All attempts at being him or her back to this one are fruitless - they have created this world for themselves because without it - they are nothing - and they will not give it up for anything.

-FINGER-POINTING An abuser always shifts blame for his or her actions and behaviors to the victim of their abuse. This goes along with this little world they have created in which everyone else in the world is wrong - but themselves. Therefore, they make themselves believe that their behavior is completely justified - "if you have not set me off in the first place..." "If you would have just kept your mouth shut..." If you confront an abuser about his or her behavior you will always be the sole reason for that behavior.

- MANIPULATION In the beginnings of abuse - there are times that the abuser will manipulate his or her target with phony sorrow, empty promises of change, and even a period of affection, attention, gifts, and other tangible offerings. This is called the "Honeymoon Phase" in the cycle of abuse and it is the abuser's attempts to re-gain trust and control. But once that has been regained - at the first opportunity of vulnerability - the abuser attacks - bringing the cycle back to where it was before.

No one can change someone else's behavior because we all have a free will. IT WOULD BE EASIER TO MAKE A BLIND MAN SEE THAN IT IS THE MAKE AN ABUSER TO RECOGNIZE AND CHANGE THEIR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR.

  • Oftentimes, an abuser is so far gone that they cannot ever accept the idea that they mistreat. And oftentimes, an abuser knows she/he is being hurtful and cruel. Especially if they are an adult, they should know better.

If you are a child or teen, and someone from your family abuses you, tell someone outside the family, like a teacher or friend, and if you can, a police officer. Try the police nonemergency number, which gets you in contact with the police station.

Most times, DO NOT expect the abuser to change. If you are married to the person, move out ASAP, with the help of domestic violence groups such as RAINN. You deserve respect and love everyday.

  • Leaving the abuser is a start. I was an abuser up until 4 weeks ago. In a fight [verbal]as they had been for years my wife crying looked me straight in the eye's said why do you do this, I said I do not know....She than with tears in her eye's said You make me feel like I'm in trouble. Those words made me drop to my knees instantly,she had never said that. I had feelings and memories of all our fights racing through my head. For the first time in my life I understood what was happening. I never felt worse in my life.It was a different feeling than I had ever had. over the next couple weeks I saw every bad relationship and I saw how I had abused every woman everyone.Today I live with those pictures in my head and have a new hart,I have been feeling emence feelings,feelings never felt before.I understood what I had been doing for 39 years. I could only say to myself what the hell was I thinking. before I had done any research I told my wife that I could see that I was in denial and for some reason I cant explain why I ever thought that behavior was ok. To me now everything I had done to every woman I was with was just terrible. I can not believe that I could have done this for so long and never see how abusive it was.We are divorced but I have helped with the moving out money child support and for the first time in my life I understand that it is my fault and my actions that have caused all the upset to our family. I know that this was an act of god and this was meant to be.I am recovering alcoholic 6 years, bipolar and ADD. She had made it through the drinking than unmedicated bipolar and ADD WOW what a woman. I can only be grateful today she said those words and left for if she hadn't I may never have understood and been able to turn my life around and work towards being more normal or at least not an abuser. It has only been 4 weeks but I have never had more sorrow for the woman I have abused. I have made amends to an ex-wife before this one and on ex girlfriend that I could find as well as my wife's friends and family.I have never felt better about seeing things the same as everyone else did..[abusive] I guess there is always hope that we [abusers] can come out of denial and get help and change for real. My hole life has been changed and everyday is new and bright,I enjoy having more energy and time for nice things. Being abusive was a hard and time consuming job.
  • It takes years for an abuser to amend behavior after recognizing the behavior, because it is so pervasive in life patterns. They need to relearn how to handle the frustrations, etc. in relationships. And this is not a 4 week journey. See the comment under MANIPULATION and DENIAL.
  • The "leave the abuser" seems to be the way to go. My sister has filed for divorce to get out of her situation (psych abuse). However, under current law in our state, neither party has to move out until the divorce is settled, so he is not going anywhere. She would move out in a minute, but has two young children that she obviously won't leave. The kids, btw, are also experiencing incredible levels of mental abuse. Finalizing the divorce is a long way off due to his tactics, and the abuse continues and escalates for all of them. Any experience/suggestions to share besides introducing his face to my fist?
  • It is easier to move out of state before a divorce, since it is your right to take your children where you wish. As I found, once I had the divorce, there was a 100 mile limitation. She should consider that she cannot afford the house and move on to something she can afford with her income. The kids need to be moved ASAP and get counseling so this "abusive flu" does not flow to the next generation. She can rent and separate her affairs(there are post office boxes, codes to put onto utilities, etc.) and that should eliminate a lot of his control tactics and give her and the kids a safe place to live now--size doesn't matter. I made the plan and succeeded 10 years ago--I rented a storage unit and began moving my personal stuff there while he was at work and he never noticed. Leave the man and the house. Life is short
  • Abusers rarely if ever take responsibility for the way that they treat others, instead project it on to the victims of the abuse, it is all about, control and manipulation. they say they are sorry, then you may think they have insight, however the pattern continues, and will continue to do so, even after you leave them , they will move on to another person, until they too see their true colours and hopefully move on too. abusers never change. unfortunately it is a pattern that they follow and will continue to repeat.
  • My experience is---never.....I was married to an abuser (verbal and some physical) for.....THIRTY-ONE years; finally got a divorce. Abusers have something called a Personality Disorder; it is an all-pervasive...part of their character, rarely, if ever....can they change. I divorced him and then let him live in the house afterwards, because he made some changes.....Abuse IS ALWAYS A CHOICE. He has been with me for 3 years, now (I don't like to jump into anything, LOL), and I am working on myself, to tell him to leave. Because I got a divorce, my church family of 31 years voted me out of membership, with my name up on a big screen followed by the words: Conduct Unbecoming a Child of God....that is another story; the result: www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com...I had never heard of spiritual abuse until it happened to me. I fought the system for 18 months, to try and stop the pastor (of disaster, LOL) from "counseling" any more women, because 2 of them wanted to commit suicide. Waited 2 years and wrote the pastor, requesting reimbursement for what I had to spend in therapy because of spiritual abuse....I've also been published: (amazing, since I am a layperson) www.psychiatricjournal.com...entitled; The Transcendent Child on overcoming Verbal and Spiritual Abuse...by Alice Carleton......I invite you to read both sites, and love to hear whatever you have to say. I wish I had found the book 25 years ago---that saved my sanity (more or less) ..I believe this book should be required reading for everyone on the planet: The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans...I am also writing a paper about verbal abuse, in that it is the last, best-kept secret in the Universe...Hugs and Love to you all!
  • Hello,I'm not sure if my b/f of 5 years is abusive or not. I have ran from my mother's unmentionable actions for 21 years. In a disagreement with my b/f he will refer to me as "Pam" my mother, knowing how much it hurts me. He has hit me once, where I needed stitches on my forehead, he head bunted me. He did apologize and never hit me again. Up till that point he had pushed, shoved, or held on extremely tightly to my wrist or waist. Now he will throw things, slam doors, hit his car, his pillows, etc. He loses his temper extremely quick. I wouldn't have even raised my voice, and he will have already lost his temper and started to hit things. I feel like he always belittles me, name calls, and does these things knowing it will heat up a argument more than what the argument is at, and to be hurtful. I have tried mirroring his actions, and he calls me "physco" when I do that. So I stopped. I've tried not helping him out of money situation he put himself in. I've called the police. He always denies what he is doing as abusive, and says he never has except the one time he hit me, which he did apologize for. As far as the hitting other things, he in my opinion justifies it by saying you did this. You know how easy I get mad, and you keep pushing me till I get to this point, I shouldn't have to... la la la. I feel like no matter what I do, he should NEVER reach that point. But the longer this relationship gets, the more I do not want to leave him, and the more I think I can change him, although I do it see everything getting worse. I don't know why. I don't want to leave him, I do want to help him, but I don't know what else to do? I've also mentioned to him, getting some help, if its a program, or what ever it takes, and he says I will when I have the money, or I'm broke right now and you know we can't afford that, or something along those lines.
  • The question is not how the question is when? When will an abuser be able to fully become aware of the abuse? The only option I can advise is counseling. I have heard that this may not work, then I would suggest that the abused individual find a home for battered persons far away. When the abuser comes to term with his/her problem, then it is possible to have further contact with that person.
  • I'm a 22 year old women who is currently going through a violent relationship. After knowing the guy 1 year as a friend he confessed he liked me, so together we made a decision to give it a go, day by day i noticed small backstabbing comments he used to make to me, i tried to take no notice and ignore it, but now it has gotten to a point where i am scared to say anything as he will edit my words, correct me all the time, pick on me for how i dress, talk, say things and sarcastically says " hello Happy" as if he is trying to make me unhappy, this will occur a few times a day. Then he will sit there and stare at me and say "whats your problem" - it isn't me with the problem i just don't no what to say or how to because whatever i do or say is wrong. Its got to the point now where i am scared to say or do anything as he will say some comment to me and shout at me that much i end up in tears, he then takes no notice of me and tells me to flake off, i really cannot take anymore abuse from him and i want to leave him but in scared as he has already told me to leave, but then said if i go hell make me pay for it and i will regret it.

    TO THE PERSON ABOVE ME, A FEMALE OF 22 YEARS OLD:

  • RUN! I'm 22 and you just described last year of my life ....a few weeks ago, I decided to leave him. Woke him up and told him about it ....He then run after me, and broke my wrist....You don't EVER want know how it feels when someone is manually breaking your wrist....I can't thank GOD enough for it not being my neck .... Please , Listen to what I say, LEAVE , and never return his calls ever again

  • First - if you are abused, regardless of your gender or orientation - see someone who specializes in domestic violence. Every town has at least one agency dedicated to domestic violence. Leaving is a very dangerous situation. You need someone to help you put together a safety plan.

As for the abuser - let's look at it this way. If the abuser punched a stranger in the face, what would happen to the abuser? Assault charges correct?

Why should anything be different if you're in an intimate relationship. Domestic Violence is a crime and should be treated as such. Those who abuse CHOOSE to abuse. They are well aware of what they are doing. Abusers are good at manipulating, playing the victim and blaming their behavior on you, their childhood or their general life. None of it is true.

They should be dealt with by the police & the prison system like any other criminal. They can have all the therapeutic interventions in the world, but the rates are very high for abusers to "fall back" on old behaviors. Take no excuse for their behavior. It's wrong, it's against the law & they are somewhere near the bottom of the pile when it comes to criminals.

  • I know from experience there is no way to get them to get out of denial. But I feel so hopeless looking over all these comments that say, "Just leave him!" In other ways, my boyfriend is nice at times...but then he just turns into this raging wife-beater once he gets "sent over the edge." It's usually when I confront him with a problem, and he doesn't know how to respond. I feel so hopeless. I've even told him he needs help, but he denies it. In other ways he is so wonderful...I just wish he would get help. I love him.
  • "Several men expressed their limited ability to verbally engage and debate with their partners," wrote lead researcher J. Williams Oliver. "These men felt overwhelmed by their partner's verbal skills." As a result, these men turned to violence "as the only recourse available to get control of the situation.'"
  • I totally disagree with the mirroring method. I treat my partner the way I want to be treated. I lead by example. We are all teachers here. Has this stopped his emotional abuse? Not yet, but I believe there is HOPE for anyone who has the willingness to change. I have seen some improvement, because I call him on his behavior and tell him it is not OK for him to control, manipulate, or criticize me or whatever behavior he is displaying. This is very important to do early in a relationship because you are setting precedence for how the relationship will be in the future. I set boundaries and live in my reality and not his. I tell him of my personal wants and needs as well as my wants and needs from our relationship. At first he was not OK with me taking care of myself, because he thought it was his job to take care/fix me and to make me happy and it has taken sometime for him to adjust to getting nailed on his behavior, but oh well! I see improvement, yeah! Let them know it is not OK to be treated badly, no matter how hard it is. It gets easier the more you do it.
  • The majority of abusers fully recognize they are abusive. The problem is they don't care or else they would value you as a human being worthy of being treated with dignity. Abusers abuse because it makes them feel better and your feelings are not a part of the equation. Eventually all deeds bear fruit, abusers do in fact get pay back in the end. So leave them to wallow in their own madness and free your self to enjoy your life and live fully.
  • well what i have found helpful is recording the person on video tape or on cassette tape and when it gets bad let the person hear or watch them selves.then explain why you did it. because you love them so much and care for them but you don't like what they do and you wanted them to see it first hand.etc.......
  • The real question is why would you want an abuser? They know exactly what they are doing and most of their maneuvers are well thought out plans to destroy you. It is thrilling for them. They love the power. They don't care about you in any way.
  • Getting an abuser to recognize he/she is abusive depends on what is really behind the abuse. Some people may be primarily immature.

However, IF the abuser's real problem is a personality order, such as "anti-social personality disorder" (ASPD) then you're on a hiding to nothing. Such people cannot "own" their actions and project such things on to those around them. For example, if they are aggressive and violent, they usually claim that *they* are peaceful and that *those around them* are violent. Everything gets turned upside down and inside out. If you are unwise enough to try to teach them a lesson, they will at best claim you are persecuting them. Get out of the relationship! Personality disorders are incurable. Often what "powers" such people is rage. Never have dealings with people who are just downright evil.

  • "You" can never get the abuser to recognize the abuse for what it is - ony the abuser can do that. All you can do if you are being abused is to help yourself by finding a support system and by making sure that you and your children (if any) are in a safe situation.
  • Below are some quotes from above that hold true and make a lot of sense....

Some of the answers here are the reasons abusers do not seek help. The way I recognized it was after talking with my wife for a very long time (fight) I researched what an abuser was. The point is is that the abuser has to be willing to accept it. They have to have an open mind and only then want to seek help after they have accepted it. It is so much easier being nice and respectful. It takes a lot less energy.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS PERSON AND AN ABUSER IS THAT THE ABUSER CANNOT OR WILL NOT CONTROL THEIR BEHAVIOR - AND- MOST IMPORTANTLY - AN ABUSER ENGAGES IN THESE HIGH LEVELS OF LACK OF SELF CONTROL REGULARLY.

But the behavior will never change unless they hit a bottom, and the only way anyone will ever hit a bottom is by suffering the consequences of their behavior.

  • I see that the bottom line in a lot of the reading I have been doing is that if an abuser or someone who has failed to act properly is shown their wrong ways, they can change. It takes a strong person to confront someone they believe is an abuser, and you must give respect and credit to that person. Whether you are an abuser or someone who got angry to easily, if you are mature enough and willing to see your faults YOU CAN CHANGE! I would venture to say that those, whose first reaction is to run away, may be over-analyzing things. Again, this is just an idea I have gathered from the reading and by no means degrading what someone feels. And by running away, they may have lost an opportunity for something better by not confronting it. Now, if someone is hitting you, then by all means get out, there is no reason to stay at that point, and in fact you should report it to the authorities. Now, if someone is possibly abusing you by words or deeds, the mere fact of approaching them and letting them know may be all it takes. You may have to tell them more than once...but once that person has hit rock bottom (like mentioned above) the world will crash around them and they have no choice but to change or continue to live alone. If the "suffering of consequences" is strong enough, then the change is greater. Let's put it this way...if you start up a stove and touch it, it will start to feel hot, then a few seconds later you touch it again, it's getting hotter so you take your hand away quicker...but once that stove goes red hot and you still touch it because earlier it was not that bad, what happens? Your hand sticks to it, you get 2nd/3rd degree burns and have to see a doctor! Now are you going to do that again? Anyone with a lick of sense would not even think about it. You suffered serious consequences and saw what happened. I know that some will say that this is not the same and you are right, what person with any common sense would do that? Well, it happens, I am sure we all know some child who has done this and learned the lesson the hard way. But did we abandon that child? No, we talked to them and explained that it was wrong and if they continue, the same thing will happen again. Well, sometimes we, as adults, are those children. And we need that special person to put it in perspective to us, and once we see it for what it is, we do the changing so we don't "burn" again. Again, this is a personal view and not meant to debase anyone's opinion.

So, yes, you can get an abuser to recognize their way and change. It happens...that is why people seek counseling, read, and self-analyze. They see what they have caused and make the effort to change for the good. Just like posted above..."It is so much easier being nice and respectful. It takes a lot less energy.� If the changes take place then you benefit because you are now getting what you deserve, the respect and dignity you are owed by the person you once felt something good about.

DUMP THEM AND NEVER LOOK BACK, NO ONE CAN CHANGE THAT MUCH!!!

- I don't agree with some these answers. There are instances where someone can change their abusive ways. It takes time and therapy, and if the abuser recognizes and resolves the issues they have within themselves, all is not lost. Will they regain the love and trust of their mate/spouse? That all depends on the other person. Some people can never get over the abuse. Some people can forgive and put the past behind them as long the abuser keeps up with the therapy and continues to show progress. Most verbal abuse can be based from a few things: abuse the abuser took as a child or even witnessed their parents doing so; low self-esteem; mental illness, etc... These things can be rectified by counseling and understanding by the abuser that they aren't thinking right. I'm not saying all abusers will change; some won't and you should get away from that person if the patterns continue. But anything can happen. Recognition and counseling is just the first step.

~I've been in a relationship or should I say an emotional rollercoaster for a couple months now with a guy who gradually demonstrated his abusive side. When I first met this guy he was all about showering me with compliments, flowers, gifts and favors...And this felt so good cuz I was just getting out of another controlling relationship. I saw no signs of abuse really toward me until about our second month of dating when he became enraged during an argument and started pushing me and squeezing me. Things escalated, police were called and he left with his things. I was actually admitted to the hospital because the next morning my neck felt as though I had suffered whiplash from the pushing and my dr admitted me to the hospital for xrays/Mri and a neck brace. Guess what I did? within 24 hrs I allowed this person who spent about 3 hours pushing me and calling me the worst names imaginable back into my life...Why? "Because I love him"...How lame is that? Since then I have found out that this person has a criminal past, has gotten me into legal trouble by affiliation, lies to me..constantly, sneaks my credit cards, takes money, borrows my car, takes steroids that turn him raging lunatic, just barely got a job after 3 months of being laid off, lives off me, does minimal things around the house, and continues this cycle where he gets mad becomes enraged, says awful hurtful things to me and about my mother and sister, threatens my life when I tell him he has to leave, threatens to kill my childrens father, oh, and I wouldn't want to leave it out how if the argument happens in a vehicle how scary that becomes... He does all this to me, leaves the house and then the phone calls and text messages begins with the "I am sorry's and then I love you's and please baby, please's" He even begs to see me and then becomes emotional with tears and the whole baby I am sorry I need you in my life and I need help with my anger and blah, blah, blah... And then stupid me....I believe him and then its good for the moment and then I start to see the fractures and the little tell tale signs that he's starting up again and then I brace myself for it. And I cant tell you why I hang on...I feel like an empty shell of who I used to be...I spend more time concerned about this relationship then living life, being a good mother to my kids, my job, my family, my friends and my well being. I walk through stores and I see other couples shopping and talking and normal and that's what I want... i just want to live a peaceful happy life because its our right to have and here I am messing around with this atomic bomb...and for what? I don't need him, I am attractive, I have a good job, I own a house and I have my own cars, so its not a monetary thing...Maybe its something inherit in us women where we want to fix them, You know be the one responsible for making these guys into better people, Sort of like mothering maybe...Its sort of a Co-Dependency I think. Here I am on what must be chance #15 and I promise, God willing and I have prayed about this, I will muster up the strength to put this man on the road and let him be somebody else's problem... All the morning coffee's, the I love you's, your the best thing that's ever happened to me and so on's and so forth's will not do it anymore, Life is to short for us to be doing this girls,(or guys) our lives or worth more than this...Its all just wasted time...and we have to move on and start experiencing how it feels to smile again.

I am 29 years old and I have endured living with my b/f for three and a half years. At first, he was very nice and loving to me and my family and I guess this is how it starts. Someone referred to it as the honeymoon phase and that term is exactly what it means, "a phase" because it soon ends. At first we would have petty arguments and he would say hurtful things about my family because he knows that really hurts me. Then it came to the point of constant name calling..names too degrading to repeat that would sink me into the deepest part of hurtfulness. He often beat me even when I was pregnant, he would even spit in my face (and this was worse that the beatings) because it made me feel like the lowest worthless person that he wanted me to feel like. He would threaten to kill me, bash my head on the wall and cut up all my clothes. I was so lost and confused with ZERO self esteem. After I had the baby he would call me a fat b***h in public and people would stare and I would cry but I never answered him even though I worked long tiring hours, took care of him and a baby, did all the housework, and did I mention I had to give him all my money. he never gave me anything really, maybe once a perfume but I did not care about that. He started hitting me in front of our daughter and she was less than two years old but understood it all and screamed in fear and I was too afraid to leave because he said he would kill me or my mother and kidnap the baby and I would never see her again and this is what I feared the most. AT ALL TIMES HE BLAMED ME and said I caused the fight or I pushed him to the edge. I kept it all from everyone . I would go to work like a zombie in space not knowing what will come next. The thing is I came from a good family and I dated guys before him but no one ever abused me verbally, physically or mentally and I did not know what to do because all my family lived in a different country. He loved to choke me whenever I had the courage to answer him or tell him he needed help. He said the cops and the court would never believe me because he knew the system more than I did. He loved to smash things and go in a rage. I later found out about his marijuana addiction that he hid from me..now I know where all my hard earned money went. I could not take it anymore and attempted suicide many times but could not go through with it because of the love for my daughter. I mustered the courage to tell my mom and she came and helped me get him out. He later started spreading nasty rumors about me that I was a wh*re and he left me because he found out. Now he is fighting me for our daughter. I left him about a year ago and he is still always around because he visits with our daughter but I wish I never had to see him. I have learnt that you need to open up to someone..do not keep what is happening to yourself. Even if you think he will kill you or you are too afraid..TELL SOMEONE who you trust and yes this is criminal action and should be treated as such. Do not stay for the kids sake because they will end up more screwed up individuals later in life. As women (or some men) we really love with all our hearts and we always want to find a way to make the abuser better, we try and try and get so exhausted and they keep getting worse and stronger and more evil and more in control. When I cried in pain..guess what HE LAUGHED AT ME! If you are reading this and you are in a similar relationship with verbal and physical abuse, please be strong and know you are a good person and deserve better. The people rarely change maybe with years of therapy and divine intervention but they have to want to and guess what THEY DON'T WANT TO..WHY? Because they live in denial and will never admit that they have a problem. don't waste time..choose to live a happy better life because one day you wake up and you are all banged up and ten years of your life (if you are still alive) has gone down the drain. Do not try to change these evil people. Do not hold onto false hopes and dreams because they fill your head with "I'm sorry" or "I love you's" or : I did not mean it"..it's all lies..Get out now!

Answer:

Jesus people wrote a lot here! You can't always get abusers to acknowledge or even recognize their abusive ways. They are probably already denying it on some level, and they can continue to deny it or justify it. You can't make them see it. Sorry :(

Answer: Asking that question positions you to be eating right out of his hand. YOU are abusing yourself by keeping that person in your life. YOU need to see it for what it is. Him getting you hooked into his psychological landscape asking those questions is HOW abusers keep people as muses and scapegoats. Cut an abuser out of your life. See it for what it is. Love yourself.

I have found that recognising the severity of the abuse my parents caused me and the emotional ramifications of this is helping me come out of denial and realise that i was was abused and i am an abuser. Right now i am fearful that my siblings are the same, but i need to believe in change.

Hey...I am "improving" not sure how to actually answer. THIS POST helped me SO MUCH! ...I love the last paragraph saying don't get hooked into his psychological landscape and be their scapegoats! This is exactly what they do...we become in a way their doormats and they walk all over us. I am NO LONGER one. DO not believe them...it is NOT your fault..it is THEIR FAULT. Run away please!

You don't, probably. It's too painful for them. Seems like they'll see it when they're ready.

How do you keep yourself from taking back an abusive partner?

You need to remember and write down the reasons you left so that you can come back to reality. Abusive partners can seem like the most charming, best friend when they are trying to entice you back into their web. During your first time away, spend your time doing things you enjoy and being safe. I had a therapist during the time I was leaving and for awhile after, which really helped. Your friends and family just don't have the boundaries to really help keep you safe. Also, move to another location and do not provide the abuser with the address. Put blocks on your phone, email and facebook.

Get support from a loved one. Abusers try to alienate you so that you must rely on them. Open your eyes and prevent the situation from happening again by staying close to people you trust and being weary of possible abusers. Never be away from family and friends. Lastly but most importantly develop a relationship with god and learn to value yourself

LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND REALIZE YOU DESERVE BETTER

Think of your child all grown up... would it be ok with you for him/her to be in the situation you are in? If not, you need to find any way you can to end it completely and safely. No matter what kind of abusive situation or unhealthy relationship the most dammage is done by repeating your choices and patterns.

  • Try imagining yourself an enabler and you are enabling the abuser. That should make you see how wrong your part is in the relationship.
  • Try to keep a journal right after you were abused! Then when you are thinking about getting back together read it!
  • It's almost the second day since I have been without my boyfriend. I am pretty sure he is abusive and it is extremely hard not to take him back. We have been together a little under a year, but he surely has me. Our biggest fight happened on Saturday. I have seven bruises from him. I am trying just to occupy myself so I don't think about him. I haven't changed my number yet, but I might have to to keep him away. He is very good at reeling me back in. I am going to try my hardest and actually listen to my friends this time. That's my biggest piece of advice is to listen to your friends. They know more than you. They will see what you don't. I always thought he would change for me, for him, for us, but now I realize that he never will change until he admits he has a problem. He always says he'll get help, but never does. He always says that he is going to be better, but doesn't. That's what I realized about this type is that they are all talk. They know what you want to hear to get you back. He even sent roses to my work, showed up at my work with flowers and a teddy bear and money for the cell that he destroyed of mine by throwing it on the floor. I should have realized that destroying my property is wrong, no matter what. I know that I have a long road ahead of me until I am completely healed from him (emotionally and physically), but I also know that I deserve better.
  • I volunteer for an Abused Women's Center and all women of any age or race can go to the Center and seek help. It is not a matter of just simply 'listening to your friends' but each abuser has a different MO. Some will curse you out if you leave and move on, while others stalk and threaten you (also family and friends) and sometimes the ending to the relationship can end up being a disaster (generally to the victim.) This is very serious so don't think you are just going to be able to walk away without some sort of repercussions and that's all the more reason you should have a plan to stay with a trusted friend or relative and have them go along with you to the Abused Women's Center and they will counsel you and protect you. These are reasons you should seek this help: #1 Abusive partners don't generally give up on their victim because they are into controlling and will 'tell you' when and if you can leave. Beatings can occur and sometimes they are brutal beatings. You need the help of a counselor to help you through this process. #2 If your abuser is stalking you the Abused Women's Center will provide you with a legal counselor that will protect your rights and hopefully put this abuser behind bars for awhile (although not long enough as far as I am concerned.) #3#4 A high percentage of victims of abuse go back to their abusers because they have been brain-washed and end up with low self esteem and a feeling that they aren't good enough to make it out in the world. The abuser has done their job well. The victim also feels that no other man would want to bother with them (again the abusers tactics to control.) So, the victim goes back to their abuser and the abuse generally becomes even more brutal. The death rate from abusing women has gone up in leaps and bounds. This is where counseling comes in so you realize it wasn't your fault for falling in love with an abuser. Abusers can be very charming and you don't always see the warning signs at first and eventually are blind-sided by your abuser. Counseling will teach you to watch for those signs and be more careful whom you choose to date or to live with or even marry. Abusive behavior is not love and don't even think it is. When someone loves you they treat you with respect, loyalty and share with you. Abusers are well aware of what they are and they will generally pick on shy or innocent victims. Abusers will show all signs of loving the person and in some cases can even give many gifts to them and show them a good time out on the town. They are foxy and will ever so gently begin to alienate you from your friends and eventually your own family. Abusers like to isolate their victims so they have more control. Once you live with an abuser (married or not) they have you right where they want you. Then you have lost control of your independence. You are a victim and have done nothing wrong to deserve any abusive behavior. Abusers have no back bone and while great at beating up women (of any age) they fear a one-on-one with another man. The Abused Women's Center will also take you to a 'Safe House' where you are well hidden and your abuser can't find you. You will be expected to do your share of chores there as well as take their counseling programs. Once legalities are out of the way then you can either go back to school or they will help you find work and a place to live.
  • I know it may not seem simple and it isn't. As long as you realize you are worth more and deserve better than to get treated like an emotional and physical punching bag and get angry about it and you will free yourself. If you don't get angry about your right to be treated like a human being, you will be stuck in that horrible yo-yo relationship forever. Make a decision.
  • I am truly proud of you for getting out and trying to stay away from him because not many women can do it. If you go back to him after all he put you through, then something disastrous could happen to you and you may not be so lucky the next time he physically abuses you.
  • Women of any age who are in an abusive relationships are not stupid! They are warriors! Unless someone has been in an abusive relationship they simply don't understand what can happen to the victim and why that victim may choose to go back to their abuser. One must study abusive relationships in order to realize that their abuser is a master at his/her art of hiding their true inner abusive ego. They actually manipulate and brain-wash their victims as well as beat them into submission (fear factor.) Should the victim decide to leave they are thrust out in a cold hard world of reality and even though they may be blessed with family and friends backing them the victim feels they are not truly wanted and in some cases the victim feels embarrassed and a lesser human being because they lived with the abuse for as long as they did. If family and friends really want to help then they should study the mind of an abuser on the Internet. It is important that some people realize that the victim may have well been threatened by her abuser that if she leaves he will hunt her down and sadly this is often true and the end result can be devastating and can even lead to murder because in the mind of the abuser his victim is his property! The abuser will often threaten harm to her family or friends and if there are children involved the abuser will use this link to keep his victim close by telling her that she is a poor mother and he will get sole custody or, in some cases he will kill the children. When an abuser makes a threat the victim and anyone associated with her should take this to heart because the abuser will often follow through with the threat. Laws are slowly being changed to protect abused women. Abusers should get a jail term and the victim should be able to live a peaceful life and work and enjoy their private life without fear her abuser will catch up to her.
  • Realize that you're better than they will ever be, and you do not deserve anything like that. I was in one myself and honestly the only thing you can do is be strong and keep telling yourself that you are strong enough to be without them. I'd rather be alone than be abused every day.
  • You should never ever take an abuser back into your life. When they realize that you were capable of leaving you they will treat you even worse. Think about all that pain and suffering you went through. Why would anyone want to go back with that person. You are better than that. Either way they were wrong to have ever been abusive. You know you deserve better and they don't deserve you at all. I hope in a way i managed to help.
  • If you are intent upon suicide, take the abuser back. They will eventually, after bringing as much pain as possible upon you, kill you.
  • If you want to LIVE, don't ever look back. Move to another town/state/country if you have to, change your name, do whatever it takes to get away. There are battered spouse identity change programs at every hospital.
  • Find a support network, people to help remind you why you left in the first place.
  • I was in an abusive relationship for over five years. Until the end of that time, I didn't even realize how abusive my ex was. I thought I deserved it, his harsh words and the pain, but after I left, I still felt miserable. There were many days I thought of going back to him, but I had support from old friends who I had cut off contact with because of my ex. When they heard I was leaving him, they helped by not just listening to me, but pointing out to me all the bad stuff that they had seen him to do me, over the years. They gave me some of their confidence until I could find my own.
  • Always remember you deserve better. Your heart will tell you what you want, but your mind will tell you what you need. Never ignore your mind.

I wish I knew how to answer besides hitting the "improve answer" button. That just seems like I am improving on someone elses answer and that is ot what I am trying to do. I am just trying to answer. Anyhow, after an entire life of battering, beginning in childhood (my father raped my mother and my mother was full of outrage and took it out on me all my childhood) I have been single and alone for more than five years. This was the best thing I ever could have done for myself even though at first I did not want to be alone and couldn't imagine not being "in love". But this time alone has given me so much insight into myself and abusers. Now there is not one abuser in my life of any kind, not even an abusive family memeber. If my so called "family" can't be decent to me they can hit the road just as much as any stranger. I can now spot abusers by their actions and attitudes and even the tone of their voice. I can spot an abuser who laughs inappropriately when there is nothing funny, or purses his lips in amusement when there is nothing to be amused about. I've been stalked as a single woman, sexually harrassed, preached at, solicited for prostitution, have known men who thought they could "buy" me and then own me. No one owns me, I am as free as can be, free to be myself. The hardest part has been financial but I'm okay with a simple safe and sane life. My advice, get your own place, one that you can afford, and you'll be greatful that every night when you come home from work you dont' dread going home to an abuser, and every morning when you wake up he isn't there to hate you. If you pay your own way you are essentially an equal (although you always were) and you can speak your mind and be yourself and if they don't like it, that's ok because they aren't paying your bills. And if they don't like what you say or do, however harmless, innocent or just human, all you have to do is walk away and you don't have to argue with anyone about your right to grow and develope and learn and make mistakes and do good things and just be yourself and a human being. I'd love to have love in my life. But since all I've ever had is hatred, contempt, hypocrisy, disrespect, double standards, domination, treachery, betrayal and the absolute denial of my needs and even my existence (yes! denial of my existence, a verbal denial), well I'd rather be alone. None of that stuff has anything to do with love, it is someone who is extremely bent out of shape because he can't accept the fact that he doesn't make all the decisions. Decisions are to be shared and you make choices and decisions too, and hopefully you have decided to choose the good.

____________________________________________________________________

Love yourself. If you love yourself, you're not going to let anybody physically abuse you or even emotionally. Plus, I'm pretty sure you're gonna find someone better. Some who will really love you. I know it's overly used, but it's true love doesn't have to hurt.

Your family, in particular your mother, will be the best one to help you stay away from an abusive relationship. Therapy will work but without strong love you will not stick. Talk with your family and they will give you the strenght to say enough is enough. Always remember that only a mother's love cured your bad days through childhood. Build a bridge of trust with your mother, father, siblings and you'll prevail. No man is worthed to make you lose your self-respect and the respect from your family.

What psychological tests discover an abuser?

== == == == Abuse doesn't have to be "discovered" - just observed. It is a behavior pattern, not a mental health diagnosis. It is clear that each abuser requires individual psychotherapy, tailored to his specific needs - on top of the usual group therapy and marital (or couple) therapy. At the very least, every offender should be required to undergo the following tests to provide a complete picture of his personality and the roots of his unbridled aggression. In the court-mandated evaluation phase, you should insist to first find out whether your abuser suffers from mental health disorders. These may well be the - sometimes treatable - roots of his abusive conduct. A qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from a personality disorder only following lengthy tests and personal interviews. The predictive power of these tests - often based on literature and scales of traits constructed by scholars - has been hotly disputed. Still, they are far preferable to subjective impressions of the diagnostician which are often amenable to manipulation. By far the most authoritative and widely used instrument is the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) - a potent test for personality disorders and attendant anxiety and depression. The third edition was formulated in 1996 by Theodore Millon and Roger Davis and includes 175 items. As many abusers show narcissistic traits, it is advisable to universally administer to them the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) as well. Many abusers have a borderline (primitive) organization of personality. It is, therefore, diagnostically helpful to subject them to the Borderline Personality Organization Scale (BPO). Designed in 1985, it sorts the responses of respondents into 30 relevant scales. It indicates the existence of identity diffusion, primitive defenses, and deficient reality testing. To these one may add the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-IV, the Coolidge Axis II Inventory, the Personality Assessment Inventory (1992), the excellent, literature-based, Dimensional assessment of Personality Pathology, and the comprehensive Schedule of Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality and Wisconsin Personality Disorders Inventory. Having established whether your abuser suffers from a personality impairment, it is mandatory to understand the way he functions in relationships, copes with intimacy, and responds with abuse to triggers. The Relationship Styles Questionnaire (RSQ) (1994) contains 30 self-reported items and identifies distinct attachment styles (secure, fearful, preoccupied, and dismissing). The Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) (1979) is a standardized scale of the frequency and intensity of conflict resolution tactics - especially abusive stratagems - used by members of a dyad (couple). The Multidimensional Anger Inventory (MAI) (1986) assesses the frequency of angry responses, their duration, magnitude, mode of expression, hostile outlook, and anger-provoking triggers. Yet, even a complete battery of tests, administered by experienced professionals sometimes fails to identify abusers and their personality disorders. Offenders are uncanny in their ability to deceive their evaluators. Seeing this question one thing springs to my mind. There is only one test for an abuser, and it's very simple. Does he have a victim? What I found really helpful was taking personality disorder tests online and answering the questions twice -- once for how I would answer, and, during a second go-through, answering as I knew my abuser acts. pls.tell me how to take on online tests.I am from India and am in real need of help.Thank you "What psychological tests discover an abuser?" Unfortuantely, we live in a time whereas not only should HIV test be taken before marriage or sexual contact but psychological examines as well. People will lie and hide crucial aspects of their history and exactly the reason so many women end up with abusive men that first appeared to be prince charming until they get you behind closed doors. I'll never forget these "You never know how someone truly is until they get you." Best Wishes...

What does an emotional abuser get out of the abuse?

Emotional AbuseAbuse is almost entirely about control. It is often a primitive and immature reaction to life circumstances in which the abuser (usually in his childhood) was rendered helpless. It is about re-exerting one's identity, re-establishing predictability, mastering the environment - human and physical. The bulk of abusive behaviours can be traced to this panicky reaction to the remote potential for loss of control. Many abusers are hypochondriacs (and difficult patients)because they are afraid to lose control over their body, its looks and its proper functioning. They are obsessive-compulsive in an effort to subdue their physical habitat and render it foreseeable. They stalk people and harass them as a means of "being in touch" - another form of control. To the abuser, nothing exists outside himself. Meaningful others are extensions, internal, assimilated, objects - not external ones. Thus, losing control over a significant other - is equivalent to losing control of a limb, or of one's brain. It is terrifying. Independent or disobedient people evoke in the abuser the realization that something is wrong with his worldview, that he is not the centre of the world or its cause and that he cannot control what, to him, are internal representations. To the abuser, losing control means going insane. Because other people are mere elements in the abuser's mind - being unable to manipulate them literally means losing it (his mind). Imagine, if you suddenly were to find out that you cannot manipulate your memories or control your thoughts ... Nightmarish! In his frantic efforts to maintain control or re-assert it, the abuser resorts to a myriad of fiendishly inventive stratagems and mechanisms.

Here is more information:

  • Well I came here to look for answers for myself. I am a man and feel as if i am being abused and it hurt me to read all there was on this subject. Everything read He, Him, Himself. Why is it always asummed that the one doing the abusing is a man. I am a man that is hurting right now and I can't find anything that puts the right shoe on my foot. Everything points to the man being the abuser. Why is this, why can't I find any help as the one being abused. Help.
  • I am in the same situation as you are. What I do is just mentally replace HE with SHE.
  • The emotional abuser gets "control" of your entire being. Without it they are "out of control". My step-son is in such a marriage. Beverly Engel must have known his wife - she had too - how else could she have written the book on the abuse she dishes out. I beg him to call the abuse hotline. He's so unhappy. He just wishes she would change - which we know won't happen. It's the saddest thing to see happen to someone you love so much. Being an abused male is not uncommon - it's just not talked about because men are suppose to be "macho". Speak up men! Speak out! My step-son talks to us often about his home life. But he needs someone other than us to talk too. I wish each and every one of you success in your relationships. We ALL deserve happiness.
  • First and foremost they gain CONTROL control over your whole being. The moment this is taken away, by you leaving for instance they alter, say they want to change, that they are sorry to give them a second chance that they realise it was their fault. trust your instincts LEAVE , for they are just FILLING YOU WITH WORDS IN ORDER TO GAIN BACK THE CONTROL. abusers don't change they continue the cycle.
  • If you notice in most of my posts regarding abuse I put "spouse" or he or she. I do work for a Women's Abuse Center in Canada and there are groups for men. I teach the abused women there when I speak with them that men often are abused as well. They are surprised to say the least. Mind you, the percentage is higher for women who are abused because there is simply more of us. The reason men slip through the cracks of being the ones abused is the fact that life has lead both sexes to believe men are the dominant of the two. Places like the Women's Center are re-educating people regarding men being abused and we are working on helping them as well. Most men are brought up by their parents that they should never strike or push a women and most men follow this rule to the letter. They can often go with a girlfriend or marry a woman that is verbally, physically abusive or even both. Many people feel that men can protect themselves from a woman's abuse, but not true! If a woman hits a man (and I've seen plenty of that) with an object, in most cases the man will take the abuse. Where does he go to get help? What would his buddies think of such a thing? The male is often left feeling frustrated and alone because he feels that no one will ever understand why he can't fight back. The point of it all is, if you did fight back you would become abusive yourself. Phone your Mental Health and tell them what is going on. They will lead you to groups that can help you deal with the problem. Just as I often say to women facing abuse from a man, get on that phone and get some help to get away from this person. If children are involved in your relationships it's extremely important that until your abusive wife gets help you take the children along with you because if you don't the already frustrated and angry wife will take it out on the kids and you can bet your money on that one. I don't know if the men on this board are aware of the fact that if your spouse hits you in any way you can actually phone the police and have her arrested! Yes, you heard me right. I've seen it over and over. For the first offence the woman is held for 24 hours in jail. If her spouse has been badly abused (hit with a hard object, has broken bones, bruises, welts, etc.) the male victim can persue this and take her to court. Just wanted you to know that some of us on this board do realize that men can be abused both verbally and physically.
  • You bring up a good point. I don't think that everyone here "assumes" that men are all abusers or that men, in general, are bad. In forums such as this one, I would tend to think that more women than men write and share their experiences. This is true in real life as well. Also, battered women rarely speak up about their experiences until they get out of the bad situation. It's even rare for a battered woman to open up and talk about her experience(s) on an anonymous chat board. Typically, men are more likely to keep emotions inside (not a sterotype, but rather a fact). When it comes to opening up about something as personal and emotionally/physically painful as abuse, I would think that even the incredibly small number of women who decide to talk about it still outnumber the number of men willing to talk about it. Hence all the "he's" and "hims" on this board. NO ONE deserves abuse. Male OR female. Physical, verbal or emotional. NO ONE has the right to abuse you. NO ONE has the right to lay a hand on you out of anger or without your consent. And NO ONE has the right to make you feel bad about yourself, less than human or less than what God originally intended. My advice (for what it's worth) is for you to replace the "hims" and "he's" with "hers" and "she's" (when reading about abuse, victimization and recovery) to work through your situation and succeed in healing (notice the word "succeed"). See the posts as being written from the perspective of the writer, which will (as I said above) be a female victim talking about a male abuser and not an across the board opinion of abuse or of all men.If you read some of these posts, you will know that you are definitely among friends here. And do you realize, by writing what you wrote here, that you may have helped or will help another abused man in healing and recovery?
  • Men are definitely not the only ones dishing out abuse. This is a human affliction, not a gender affliction. But men probably struggle with coming to realization that they are being controlled or manipulated. It does in fact happen. I know. I fell deeply in love with my current wife, immediately. None of us are perfect and we all will have moments of bad behavior I am sure. But abuse is just at least a knotch above and seems to be insidiously pathological. My wife is a Pentecostal Christian and invited me to come to a meeting at a local home. Away we went. The host claimed to be a "prophet" who was hosting a "faith healer". I watched and attended the whole meeting. On the way home my girlfriend who is now my wife asked me what I thought. I said something to the effect of "That was interesting and I don't think I swallowed one bit of that performance. Especially the part where after being faith healed for a chronic sore back the individual procalaimed that they thought it felt a *little* better" She proceeded to tear an absolute strip off of me, lecturing me on Christianity and morality in general. I was aghast to say the least and a little indignant that I did not get my intellectual discussion with my girlfriend. The danger sign in all of this that looking back tells me is that it was all my fault and was left that way, primarily out of her asserting a moral perjorative.
  • I don't know what they get out of abuse. But my husband was so nasty that he could not take my independence. He could not take it that I was thinking and challenging him. I am still in the process of getting out of the battering. Only God can help me get out of it completely.
  • One poster mentioned it was just not men and women that were abused and that is so true. Children, the elderly and even pets can be abused. Having studied abuse and helping abused individuals, I find that abusers usually come from an abusive environment themselves. It has nothing to do with whether they are highly educated or if they have a low education; race, poor/rich has nothing to do with it. Abusive people somewhere along the line feel they can't express what they really feel so they harbor these feelings until they go off like a bomb (and all do.) A person may have grown up in a family with no abuse, but somewhere in their childhood their peers (sometimes bullies) or even in the workforce, the individual feels picked on, duped and left out of society as a whole. They often end up with the lack of confidence, feel they should be better that they are and basically feel like a failure. Believe it or not for a high percentage of abusive individuals they hate themselves for what they do, but they are like a runaway locomotive and can't seem to stop. Thus, they live in a bubble and control those around them and that involved their spouse, children and even the family pet! It is more likely that abusive women will go for counseling then abusive men. Another poster brought up the fact that some abused women are more open about speaking of their abuse either during or after, while men are more apt to hold this secret within them not knowing where to turn for help and that is true. Men feel if they go to a psychologist, report their wife to the police, etc., they will be "found out" and considered weak or a fool. Not true! Each case is very individual and can vary. I have a friend whose son is married to a very abusive partner. One night in bed he was woken by a shock from a blow to the nose. As he staggered into the onsuite bathroom to see what had hit him (it was his wife and she was drunk) she came up behind him with a golf club and nailed him behind the knees. He hit the floor like a rock. As soon as he could gather his composure he headed for the phone and called the police. His wife was taken away in handcuffs and her husband let her cool her heels over night in jail. When she got home he told her that if she ever hit him again he would press charges and take her to court and that would be the end of their marriage. He offered to back her if she wanted psychological counseling, but she refused. She stopped the physical abuse, but she is now into emotional abuse and practices it often. For those men out there that take physical or emotional abuse you have the right to seek legal counsel and get away from this abusive relationship, just like a woman has a right. Abuse applies to EVERYONE on this board be it a woman, man, child, the elderly or even someone mistreating their pet.

How can you convince a friend that his girlfriend is abusive?

Your friend is going to see what they want to see; so all you can do is try to convince him the best you can. If he doesn't see what you see then you will just have to let him come around to it on his own.

What should you do if you are remarried but still in love with your ex?

This actually happened to me... I left my wife for another woman, divorced one and married the other.

Now the problems started because I was still very much in love with my ex, and the steamy 3 year affair I had with my new wife wasn't as steamy anymore. The sex was still real good (better than with my ex), however, my heart was not as involved as my man parts were and it was killing me to see my ex, even when she wasn't there to physically see. I actually left my New wife after less than 1 year married to her, and was fortunate enough to be able to get back with my ex. Now I am home where I have always belonged. And after the last 7 years that we have been remarried to my original wife, I finally have her trust back. There's no place like home in the heart.

And you have to ask yourself... why are they an ex? Are they your True love? Will it really work? Are they still available? If all checks out what are you wasting time for? Go get them back and don't look back. Life is short get what's yours.

The grass really isn't greener on the other side, lust is sometimes a nasty foe to LOVE.

Another view

I also felt this before, then I was thinking, why marry someone that you don't really love? Because before, when we were still together, he just hurt me. I finally got tired of it so we broke up. But still, there is that feeling that you're missing him so I tried to look for someone who would help me forget him. Then there came a time that he asked to be with you again. But of course, you're afraid that he might hurt you again. So I chose the one that I have now.

Two years ago we met again and I just found out that he was still waiting for me, I was really overwhelmed and that happy feeling came back again, but it was too late. I was already pregnant. He was really hurt because he thought that I still loved him and was also waiting for him. Actually he was correct, no one can make me feel the feeling that he brings out in me, even if I just saw him.

So, before making a move, think about it first. Because it's really hard

when it's too late and you can't get back what had been yours before.

Another view

You need to choose. Marriage is about committing yourself. Not about being with someone you love but at the same time thinking about someone else. It's a bond and a commitment. You can't do that to someone if you don't know how it would feel if someone had that happening to you. It wouldn't be nice to be married to someone you love but they don't love you as much or are thinking about someone else. You need to choose. Either that or break it off and stay single for a bit. Maybe flirt around a while and you might seem to figure out if she/he was really the one or if you need to move on and find a better person in your life.

There are more fish out there in the sea than you think. You just got to find the right one.

Another view

Hope for the best or divorce, to figure things out instead of hurting the ones you love.

Another View

Everybody had feelings for all their relationships. Even if its a set up, eventually they will fall for each other. You got to interfere with your spirits. Get a paper and pen. Say what you dislike about each one of them. Ask your self who will be best for your life, kids and who is better in being a husband or more as a father. Love is all a trick, you have to be careful and put your love instincts behind your thoughts.

Do women stay in abusive relationships because of a fear of being alone?

  • Women stay in abusive relationships for a variety of reasons, it is never that simple. They may believe that they can work through issues with their partner and the abuse will diminish. It is never easy to leave someone when the heart is entangled, just because there is abuse doesn't mean there is not love. There may be a fear of being 'alone', but it is not usually just that that keeps them. Victims of abuse often suffer from high levels of insecurity and low self-confidence which makes it easy for them to be convinced by the abuser that they are at fault for their abusive behaviour. So, often the woman may feel that if she changes her behaviour then the abuse will stop. It can become a cycle that becomes more and more abusive over time and leaves the woman feeling so hopeless that she begins to accept her partners abusive behaviour.
  • Yes, and it also depends on the culture of the woman. In some culture women are not "allowed" or afraid to leave, it could be so that they don't bring shame to their family...a lot of times they stay for "the kids" not realizing that they do more harm to their children when they stay in an abusive relationship. Abusers also chose women that have issues, like insecurity thus making it easier for them to control the victim. Also, in this day in age, the victim is no longer just a woman, it can be a man, in the gay/lesbian community, transgender community. Rich or poor, educated or not, violence exists and I think the cycle can be broken if the children can be taken out of the violent situation in time so that their generation has a chance to make better choices and live different lives.

What should you do if your boyfriend is very controlling?

Flat out leave the guy. Tell him no and that you know he won't change. If you stay strong, he will know you mean it.

Keep in mind, even if he does know you mean it, just leave and don't stay. Controlling relationships can quickly become abusive, and then it might be too late. The sooner you leave, the better.

A note from Mythology0000:

Another thing you should try to do is work it out. Be nice, give him a chance. If he's still not cooperating, then do what Mooper64 said.

Why does someone become abusive?

To make themselves feel powerful... to let you know whose boss. Men are like that.

The cultural and social context of abuse is described here:

Many abusers are narcissists. The psychodynamics of narcissism - formation and manifestations - are described here:

A�Primer on Narcissism

I am trying to recover from being an emotional abuser. I have read Beverly Engle's book the emotional abusive relationship and she states that all abusers and most victims have been abused in someway as a child. I know this is true for me. Both my parents were alcoholics, my dad died when i was a baby and my mother would go 3 0r 4 months at a time not being sober. I was on my own basically from a very young age. I did my own laundry, fed my self and got myself off to school. I tried to make everything look normal. I kind of shut down emotionaly. I too became an alcohloic, but stopped drinking with AA over 14 years ago. I thought I was fixed or all better. I had some anger issues as a kid towards my mother.

Many many reasons,i would imagine. I was born in 1939,two weeks after my father shipped out to go overseas.The man that came back was a drunken rageaholic.There were many out and out fisticuffs in our family.The only way my older sister and I survived,was to gang up on my Father.I left home at the age of 13.My sister choose to stay and finish school.Luckily I was a good waitress,and looked quite mature for my age.I survived on tips and very low wages.Never went back home until i learned my Father was dying from lung cancer. Then I went ahead and married another alcoholic,as abusive as my Father ever was. Happy ending though.I left him and discovered I don't need a man in my life.Today I am safe and secure in the knowledge I can survive on my own.I have good friends,loving family,and feel I have put all my demons to bed.But I also had to look deep to understand why I would ever stay in an abusive relationship.Good luck to all of you in an abusive relationship.I wouldn't dare to presume to have an answer.I just know what has worked for me. Marge

I was abused by my partner, the only resaon that i can come up with for the way that he treated me was the dreadful abuse that my ex partner received from his mother as a child, this not being an excuse as many abusers don't go on to abuse. yet it may be one of the reasons for his lack of control , his anger and need to control others, and perhaps put women though what his mother had put him through. who knows!

People like power well most. My ex was very controlling over me but deep inside i found that it was insecurity enough insecurity to give you the power to mentally emotionally and physically abuse the one that loves you.

Do abusers hit themselves?

Yes, some can. These people are actually in great mental anguish and I've seen men put their fist through a window or bang their head on a wall. Some have hit walls with their fists so hard they have broken bones in their hand. Women who abuse are great throwers of objects; will cut themselves (superficial cuts) or even go so far as to cut their long hair in chunks. They will hit, slap, and bite if given half the chance, not to mention kick like a mule. Until these abusers get help (they usually will deny they need help) then it's best people stay away from them. Marcy

Can an argument provoke abuse?

An argument is a discussion which needs to take place, and sometimes it is not an easy topic. If one party escalates it there is some reason they don't want to deal with the issue and are stonewalling. The person bringing up the topic is not to blame for the abusive response. There can be an agreement between two people to talk about the topic at some mutually agreeable time, and that may work better if one party is on the defensive.

If can, but it still doesn't make the abuse OK. Abuse is never OK, not matter what "caused" it.

The answer would have to be no, since the abuser is responsible for their actions...not the one being abused. To say an argument provoke the abuse is so the abuser can blame someone else for their actions...the abuser never takes responsibility for their own actions. If an argument provoke an abuse attack then rest assure the abuser will say....You started the argument.

Imagine a child in the playground being verbally teased by a group of children. Imagine the child being spat on and verbally abused until the child looses sight of reality. There is a good chance the child will turn in and cry or respond by loosing its temper and hit anything and anyone doing the abusing. Who is the abuser the verbal abusers or the child which lashed out?

the example that has been quoted -of the abused child lashing out.Well, all i will say is that there has to be a marked difference between a grown-up and a child.Secondly,in the instance mentioned its the question of protecting one's self-respect,but if the argument is between 2 lovers or husband-wife then i do not feel that it would be of that extreme nature.And if the abuser's self -esteem and tolerance level is so low that he/she cannot hold his/her own in the argument like a mature adult???.Do i need to add anyhting further?

"Can an argument provoke abuse?"

No. However it will reveal if you are in fact dealing with an abuser and if you are wise you'll take the cues and get out.

Best Wishes...

How can a victim stop the cycle of abuse?

I think victims can stop the cycle of abuse by removing themselves from the situation and not adding fuel to the fire in any way. Unless the abuser goes to counseling and gets behavior modification, long term change is unlikely. Short term, abuse will reappear on its usual cycle. This is not to say that the victim is at fault; but rather that it is safer to remove oneself from the vicious cycle and move on. The list below, which I copied from another answer, seems appropriate.

Remove Yourself from his "World"

a) Relocate to a place he does not know about; get a PO Box and put a privacy code on it.

b) Do NOT contravene the decisions of the system. Work from the inside to change judgments, evaluations, or rulings - but NEVER rebel against them or ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and your interests. [comment: have mixed feelings about working with the system; definitely do not ignore any decisions you are obligated to meet, or do not seek the final decision]

c) With the exception of the minimum mandated by the courts - decline any and all gratuitous contact with the abuser.

d) Do not respond to his pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening email messages.

e) Return all gifts he sends you. ["Return to Sender"]

f) Refuse him entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom. [Change locks if you have not moved]

g) Do not talk to him on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his voice while making clear to him, in a single, polite but firm, sentence, that you are determined not to talk to him. [Keep recordings of any messages he leaves, especially threats]

h) Do not answer his letters, emails, etc.

i) Do not visit him on special occasions, or in emergencies.

j) Do not respond to questions, requests, or pleas forwarded to you through third parties.

k) Disconnect from third parties whom you know are contacting you at his behest.

l) Do not discuss him with your children.

m) Do not gossip about him.

n) Do not ask him for anything, even if you are in dire need. [Do not provide him anything or return anything to him]

o) When you are forced to meet him, do not discuss your personal affairs - or his.

p) Relegate any inevitable contact with him - when and where possible - to professionals: your lawyer, or your accountant.

How to cope with your abuser? Sometimes it looks hopeless. Abusers are ruthless, immoral, sadistic, calculated, cunning, persuasive, deceitful - in short, they appear to be invincible. They easily sway the system in their favor. Here is a list of escalating countermeasures. They represent the distilled experience of thousands of victims of abuse. They may help you cope with abuse and overcome it. Not included are legal or medical steps. Consult an attorney, an accountant, a therapist, or a psychiatrist, where appropriate.

First, you must decide:

Do you want to stay with him - or terminate the relationship?

1. I want to Stay with Him

FIVE DON'T DO'S - How to Avoid the Wrath of the Narcissist

  • Never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him;
  • Never offer him any intimacy;
  • Look awed by whatever attribute matters to him (for instance: by his professional achievements or by his good looks, or by his success with women and so on);
  • Never remind him of life out there and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity;
  • Do not make any comment, which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence.

The TEN DO'S - How to Make your Narcissist Dependent on You If you INSIST on Staying with Him.

  • Listen attentively to everything the narcissist says and agree with it all. Don't believe a word of it but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual.
  • Personally offer something absolutely unique to the narcissist which they cannot obtain anywhere else. Also be prepared to line up future sources of primary Narcissistic Supply for your narcissist because you will not be IT for very long, if at all. If you take over the procuring function for the narcissist, they become that much more dependent on you.
  • Be endlessly patient and go way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic supply flowing liberally, and keeping the peace.

    Be endlessly giving. This one may not be attractive to you, but it is a take it or leave it proposition.

  • Be absolutely emotionally and financially independent of the narcissist. Take what you need: the excitement and engulfment and refuse to get upset or hurt when the narcissist does or says something dumb, rude, or insensitive.
  • Yelling back works really well but should be reserved for special occasions when you fear your narcissist may be on the verge of leaving you; the silent treatment is better as an ordinary response, but it must be carried out without any emotional content, more with the air of boredom and "I'll talk to you later, when I am good and ready, and when you are behaving in a more reasonable fashion". Treat your narcissist as you would a child.
  • If your narcissist is cerebral and not interested in having much sex - then give yourself ample permission to have "hidden" sex with other people. Your cerebral narcissist will not be indifferent to infidelity so discretion and secrecy is of paramount importance.
  • If your narcissist is somatic and you don't mind, join in on group sex encounters but make sure that you choose properly for your narcissist. If you do mind - leave him. Somatic narcissists are sex addicts and incurably unfaithful.
  • If you are a "fixer", then focus on fixing situations, preferably before they become "situations". Don't for one moment delude yourself that you can fix the narcissist - it simply will not happen. If there is any fixing that can be done, it is to help your narcissist become aware of their condition, with no negative implications or accusations in the process at all. It is like living with a physically handicapped person and being able to discuss, calmly, unemotionally, what the limitations and benefits of the handicap are and how the two of you can work with these factors, rather than trying to change them.
  • Finally, and most important of all: Know Yourself.

    What are you getting from the relationship? Are you actually a masochist? A codependent? Why is this relationship attractive and interesting?

    Define for yourself what good and beneficial things you believe you are receiving in this relationship.

  • Define the things that you find harmful to you. Develop strategies to minimize the harm to yourself. Don't expect that you will cognitively be able to reason with the narcissist to change who they are. You may have some limited success in getting your narcissist to tone down on the really harmful behaviors that affect you - but this can only be accomplished in a very trusting, frank and open relationship.

(1a) Insist on Your Boundaries - Resist Abuse

Refuse to accept abusive behavior. Demand reasonably predictable and rational actions and reactions. Insist on respect for your boundaries, predilections, preferences, and priorities.

Demand a just and proportional treatment. Reject or ignore unjust and capricious behavior.

If you are up to the inevitable confrontation, react in kind. Let him taste some of his own medicine.

Never show your abuser that you are afraid of him. Do not negotiate with bullies. They are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail.

If things get rough- disengage, involve law enforcement officers, friends and colleagues, or threaten him (legally).

Do not keep your abuse a secret. Secrecy is the abuser's weapon.

Never give him a second chance. React with your full arsenal to the first transgression.

Be guarded. Don't be too forthcoming in a first or casual meeting. Gather intelligence.

Be yourself. Don't misrepresent your wishes, boundaries, preferences, priorities, and red lines.

Do not behave inconsistently. Do not go back on your word. Be firm and resolute.

Stay away from such quagmires. Scrutinize every offer and suggestion, no matter how innocuous.

Prepare backup plans. Keep others informed of your whereabouts and appraised of your situation.

Be vigilant and doubting. Do not be gullible and suggestible. Better safe than sorry.

Often the abuser's proxies are unaware of their role. Expose him. Inform them. Demonstrate to them how they are being abused, misused, and plain used by the abuser.

Trap your abuser. Treat him as he treats you. Involve others. Bring it into the open. Nothing like sunshine to disinfect abuse.

(1b) Mirror His Behavior

Mirror the narcissist�s actions and repeat his words. If, for instance, he is having a rage attack, rage back. If he threatens, threaten back and credibly try to use the same language and content. If he leaves the house, leave it as well, disappear on him. If he is suspicious, act suspicious. Be critical, denigrating, humiliating, go down to his level.

(1c) Frighten Him

Identify the vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the narcissist and strike repeated, escalating blows at them.

If a narcissist has a secret or something he wishes to conceal, use your knowledge of it to threaten him. Drop cryptic hints that there are mysterious witnesses to the events and recently revealed evidence. Do it cleverly, noncommittally, gradually, in an escalating manner.

Let his imagination do the rest. You don't have to do much except utter a vague reference, make an ominous allusion, delineate a possible turn of events.

Needless to add that all these activities have to be pursued legally, preferably through the good services of law offices and in broad daylight. If done in the wrong way, they might constitute extortion or blackmail, harassment and a host of other criminal offences.

(1d) Lure Him

Offer him continued Narcissistic Supply. You can make a narcissist do anything by offering, withholding, or threatening to withhold Narcissistic Supply (adulation, admiration, attention, sex, awe, subservience, etc.).

(1e) Play on his Fear of Abandonment

If nothing else works, explicitly threaten to abandon him.

You can condition the threat ("If you don't do something or if you do it, I will desert you").

The narcissists perceives the following as threats of abandonment, even if they are not meant as such:

Confrontation, fundamental disagreement, and protracted criticism When completely ignored When you insist on respect for your boundaries, needs, emotions, choices, preferences When you retaliate (for instance, shout back at him).

II. I can't Take It Any Longer - I Have Decided to Leave Him

(IIa) Fight Him in Court

Here are a few of the things the narcissist finds devastating, especially in a court of law, for instance during a deposition:

Any statement or fact, which seems to contradict his inflated perception of his grandiose self. Any criticism, disagreement, exposure of fake achievements, belittling of "talents and skills" which the narcissist fantasizes that he possesses, any hint that he is subordinated, subjugated, controlled, owned or dependent upon a third party. Any description of the narcissist as average and common, indistinguishable from many others. Any hint that the narcissist is weak, needy, dependent, deficient, slow, not intelligent, naive, gullible, susceptible, not in the know, manipulated, a victim.

The narcissist is likely to react with rage to all these and, in an effort to re-establish his fantastic grandiosity, he is likely to expose facts and stratagems he had no conscious intention of exposing.

The narcissist reacts with narcissistic rage, hatred, aggression, or violence to an infringement of what he perceives to be his entitlement. Any insinuation, hint, intimation, or direct declaration that the narcissist is not special at all, that he is average, common, not even sufficiently idiosyncratic to warrant a fleeting interest will inflame the narcissist.

Tell the narcissist that he does not deserve the best treatment, that his needs are not everyone's priority, that he is boring, that his needs can be catered to by an average practitioner (medical doctor, accountant, lawyer, psychiatrist), that he and his motives are transparent and can be easily gauged, that he will do what he is told, that his temper tantrums will not be tolerated, that no special concessions will be made to accommodate his inflated sense of self, that he is subject to court procedures, etc. - and the narcissist will lose control.

Contradict, expose, humiliate, and berate the narcissist ("You are not as intelligent as you think you are", "Who is really behind all this? It takes sophistication which you don't seem to have", "So, you have no formal education", "you are (mistake his age, make him much older) ... sorry, you are ... old", "What did you do in your life? Did you study? Do you have a degree? Did you ever establish or run a business? Would you define yourself as a success?", "Would your children share your view that you are a good father?", "You were last seen with a Ms. ... who is (suppressed grin) a cleaning lady (in demeaning disbelief)".

Be equipped with absolutely unequivocal, first rate, thoroughly authenticated and vouched for information.

(IIb) If You Have Common Children

I described in "The Guilt of the Abused - Pathologizing the Victim" how the system is biased and titled against the victim. Regrettably, mental health professionals and practitioners - marital and couple therapists, counselors - are conditioned, by years of indoctrinating and dogmatic education, to respond favorably to specific verbal cues.

The paradigm is that abuse is rarely one-sided - in other words, that it is invariably "triggered" either by the victim or by the mental health problems of the abuser. Another common lie is that all mental health problems can be successfully treated one-way (talk therapy) or another (medication).

This shifts the responsibility from the offender to his prey. The abused must have done something to bring about their own maltreatment - or simply were emotionally "unavailable" to help the abuser with his problems. Healing is guaranteed if only the victim were willing to participate in a treatment plan and communicate with the abuser. So goes the orthodoxy.

Refusal to do so - in other words, refusal to risk further abuse - is harshly judged by the therapist. The victim is labeled uncooperative, resistant, or even abusive!

The key is, therefore, feigned acquiescence and collaboration with the therapist's scheme, acceptance of his/her interpretation of the events, and the use of key phrases such as: "I wish to communicate/work with (the abuser)", "trauma", "relationship", "healing process", "inner child", "the good of the children", "the importance of fathering", "significant other" and other psycho-babble. Learn the jargon, use it intelligently and you are bound to win the therapist's sympathy.

Above all - do not be assertive, or aggressive and do not overtly criticize the therapist or disagree with him/her.

I make the therapist sound like yet another potential abuser - because in many cases, he/she becomes one as they inadvertently collude with the abuser, invalidate the abuse experiences, and pathologize the victim.

(IIc) Refuse All Contact

Be sure to maintain as much contact with your abuser as the courts, counsellors, mediators, guardians, or law enforcement officials mandate.

Do NOT contravene the decisions of the system. Work from the inside to change judgments, evaluations, or rulings - but NEVER rebel against them or ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and your interests.

But with the exception of the minimum mandated by the courts - decline any and all gratuitous contact with the narcissist.

Do not respond to his pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening e-mail messages.

Return all gifts he sends you.

Refuse him entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom.

Do not talk to him on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his voice while making clear to him, in a single, polite but firm, sentence, that you are determined not to talk to him.

Do not answer his letters.

Do not visit him on special occasions, or in emergencies.

Do not respond to questions, requests, or pleas forwarded to you through third parties.

Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at his behest.

Do not discuss him with your children.

Do not gossip about him.

Do not ask him for anything, even if you are in dire need.

When you are forced to meet him, do not discuss your personal affairs - or his.

Relegate any inevitable contact with him - when and where possible - to professionals: your lawyer, or your accountant.

Firstly, this is not hopeless, the cycle of abuse CAN be broken, but on the other hand it doesn't work out very often.

Only times I ever knew this kind of stuff to get a happy ending began by the victim leaving, with the kids, pets, family car, whatever, until the abuser had shown SUSTAINED PROOF that they were getting outside help (3 months seems to work).

Rule one: There are good reasons why the law says you can't be a lover and a therapist ... so don't try.

While I am on the subject, if you feel you are in any way to blame, try to find outside help yourself. If you get the right kind you'll either identify fix whatever is your responsibility, or learn how to see that pretty much none of it is. (You know you need help with this cutting stuff anyway, so what's to lose?).

Rule Two: Only way a relationship is ever going to work is between two equals.

There is no real difference between:

a) You as victim, spouse as abuser. b) You as Judge, spouse as penitent.

They are just psychological and emotional mirror images.

It's just as unhealthy and dysfunctional for you to manipulate and control him as it is for him to manipulate and control you.

If you do that, you flip the cycle of abuse over...but you don't come close to stopping it.

Abuse is about CONTROL...controllers (this is going to be hard to believe, but it's true) relate almost as easily to BEING controlled as they do to controlling...the only way to break that up is to get them AWAY from control and into healthier situations, same goes for the victim.

Healthy people in healthy relationships do not maneuver each other, they rather accept and try to understand each other and grow as much honesty and intimacy between them as they possibly can.

The only way to truly break the cycle of abuse in the long term is if both parties determine to set course for being healthy people in a healthy relationship.

If you can't get that deal, it's time to walk.

Personally, in your situation I would also insist on a "no firearms, no ammo" deal until he can learn to use them responsibly. I'm sure his "gun to head" scenarios are mind games, but a loaded gun is a dangerous toy ... this could end in several kinds of tragedy he never intended.

I am involved with a covert abuser who is an expert in lying, withholding, neglecting, crazy-making behavior, shifting blame, pretending to be the victim, etc... After many confrontations, she switched the visible part of the abuse to entirely covert abuse. I now feel that the best way to protect myself is by rebuilding myself WITHOUT LETTING HER KNOW ABOUT IT, ie by: 1/ collecting a lot of information on abuse (especially covert abuse) 2/ Observing the situation without confronting her or letting her know that I am aware of what she is doing 3/ Avoiding contact while rebuilding my self-esteem and regaining trust in my perception of reality, with the help of family and friends (I told her I was depressed and needed to be alone and played numb on the phone a lot) 4/ I think she is gradually losing interest in me, since I act like I'm psychologically down, dead almost, and she is now turning to other "preys". Even though I feel a little cowardly, it is the only way I have found to get away. I feel that by encouraging victims to confront their abusers, you are underestimating the power of some abusers who can be extremely manipulative. Confronting them will just lead to more abuse and the victim will just lose even more strength in the process.

Hey! Abuse is horrible. It scars you for life, but there is a way out it takes time. I have been a victim of abuse so i can relate but the cycle will only continue if you let it. You have to be the one to put a stop to it! If you are being abused by a spouse or loves one it is the hardest cycle to end. You love the person but if they are abusing you mentally or phys they really don't love you. You relate to the abuse and sometimes feel the need for it because that's is the way that that person has expressed "love" You have to be strong get away and surround yourself with only good positive people who are then non abusive. Sorry that this is happened to you :(

The cycle of abuse can be stopped abruptly in the blink of an eye or it will stop over time.

Sometimes people don't have time and something should be done. There is no one worth enough to constantly receive abuse from them. No one should go through that and no one deserves that. Emotional, physical or otherwise.

I'll tell you how the cycle of abuse I was in stopped.

I was smacked around and punched on a regular basis, but I loved him so I stayed. I was young and very very naive. I finally stood up to him and told him to leave. He gave me the " I love you but I'm not in love with you, I care about you but I don't want to be with you, I'll take care of you and give you money but I won't live with you" just so he could feel the power like he made the decision to leave. Those were the best 2 weeks of my life. I was relaxed and was free to breath. He came back after 2 weeks, broke into my apartment and beat me up beyond recognition because he said I was cheating on him. He said if I wasn't going to be with him then no one else would be with me either. That night he ran and I called 911. The police found him and arrested him and put him in jail, unfortunately for the law he could only be kept for 3 months and was released. While he was in jail, I built up my case and moved out of state. When he was released he didn't contact me which really shocked me because of his possessive behavior. The turning point came about when he was placed in jail again for 5 more months for violation of probation and he wrote me letters crying begging for me to come back. Saying how he was sorry and wanted to make it up to me. I went for a year not sleeping at night only a few hours during the day, going out and constantly looking over my shoulder and drinking to forget about everything that happened. The point that I realized I was strong was when I returned to the state he lives in to finalize my divorce and I went to the jail to confront him and he cried like a baby. He cried like a baby, like I had done all those times when he hit me for no reason and I did the same thing to him that he did to me: I showed absolutely no emotion. After my visit to him he sent me letter after letter doing the same thing he always did, trying to make me feel bad. He said how much I hurt him by not consoling him. I never responded and finally realized what I had told him, that we were over. Now I am happily in a relationship with a wonderful person who lets me be me.

I know it sounds weak to say this and I hate it, but I am also a victim of the cycle of abuse not only by him but by a court appointed psychologist also. I knew then, that I was in a no win situation. So the cycle continues on. Darn it, and I never expected, nor wanted any part of this thing called spousal abuse, yet here I sit. I have tried to educate myself on the subject, as much as I can. Thinking that if I understood it a little better I might find a way out without further hurt. I've learned many things regarding the nature of abuse, cycle of abuse, types of abuse and abusers, and some of the whys. Yet I'm still scared to death. After many years of consistently working I became disabled. My disability pension helps me to survive for which I am very grateful. But the main thing that I treasure are my two precious children. Ages 11 and 8. I had them, named them, and paid for them, and they are health insured by me, through my former employer. So is he insured under my policies, as a matter of fact. I have always been the main contributor financially in this relationship, the main nurturer to our children, basically head of household, and/so I feel compelled by meeting the needs of my children, otherwise we would do without a lot, and because I cannot afford to further my plight in this situation, thus compensating not only what is left of me, but also my children's welfare. I cannot, and will not for their sake. For they mean more to me, than anything life has ever offered. I call them the gifts that only God can give. My abuser works, as well but what he makes is a secret. It is the same old tired story, and I am his focus for anger. Fortunately for me, after one terrible day two years ago he'd called the police on me again after trying two other times to try to get back at me for the one time he was arrested for domestic violence. They almost arrested both of us, since I had sprayed him with pepper spray to keep him off of me. He said, the children were present when I did it, and they were not. Finally my mother came by and told the police the things (that only she knows) about his abusiveness. So finally they released me and when he verbally agreed to leave and work out of town, then he was released. He comes home on weekends (every weekend). Gives the house and me the white glove treatment and if it doesn't suit him it can be hell to pay. Verbally sometimes physically, slanderously, and threatens me with calling social services. Now my children are well cared for and I'm sure their teachers if confronted would agree but there are sometimes a few dirty dishes and laundry to be done. I cannot always keep up to his demands. I am just physically and sometimes emotionally unable. But there are no roaches, or garbage There is always food and too many clothes for the children, there is just sometimes and not always neglected chores. I could not bare the emotional threat and strain of him somehow causing me any more added problems by bringing in a Social services visit to our home. He threatens to take the children from me, and get rid of me. He'll put me in a home, and find him someone else who can do it all. These words are a nicer way of putting it. According to him ,He has an excellent attorney, I'm disabled but he will see to it that I lose that, I had better never touch any alcohol, since I have had problems with it in my distant past, he says he could convince any of them I'm insane, inept, and a drunk. Reminding me of the time, after he was arrested for domestic violence the court appointed psychologist believed him. And it is true. I went in that psychologists office intent to tell my side of it for once. I was warned by my so-called spouse before hand that that shrink says, You're the one that has the problem! Surely enough, that psychologist was already convinced before I arrived. I had not said, but one or two things before he interrupted me and pointed his pencil accusingly at me and said, You are the one with the problem! While I watched my abuser grin at me. That was the most defenseless and scared I've ever been. I still am. My being on a physical disability (also for panic disorder) seems to him a way to do it. My fear is not so much for myself but for my children, whom I would give my life. How can I break this terrible cycle I'm in, without jeopardizing losing my children? Yet by their hearing and seeing him abuse me cannot be good for them either. There must be a way. I am sick of the hurt and craziness of this whole thing. I do not want revenge just a way out. Why shouldn't I keep my babies? I give them everything and neglect myself, so their needs can be met, and I don't mind. Their everything to me, and as far as I'm concerned their all I've got. He's such a good con. I'm convinced the devil himself resides in him. He had some concocted idea in his head tonight (he's asleep now) that I might be seeing someone else and he'll kill me for it. Pulled back his fist called me everything that could be set to the tongue and demanded I speak, speak, speak! NOW! etc. It is awful living this way.

I know it's hard. I feel your pain. My husband just recently pulled his fist back at me and I immediately moved out into my own place. Please look in the yellow pages and go to a shelter with your kids and let the local authorities know of his actions. Something has to be done about his behaviour. Buy some protection if possible. My husband threatened to get a restraining order against me because, at one point and time we were going to couples counseling and got into an argument. He actually wen t and got the papers to try and scare me. This is when I knew it was time to leave. Please be safe. I hope things get better for you. God Bless

i DONT KNOW IF YOU CAN ACTUALLY STOP THE CYLE AS THE ABUSER FIRST HAS TO REALISE THAT THEY ARE ABUSIVE, WHICH MANY UNFORTUNATELY ARE UNABLE TO SEE. i KNOW THAT AN EX GIRLFRIEND OF MY EX PARTNER CALLED ME AFTER HE HAD SAID CALL HER IF YOU THINK I WAS THAT BAD SHE CALLED HIS BLUFF. AND WE DISCUSSED ISSUES THAT WERE GOING ON . THE ABUSE THAT HAPPENED TO ME ALSO HAPPENED TO HER, WHICH REAFFIRMED TO ME THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST SERIAL ABUSERS. THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN STOP THE ABUSE IS TO GET OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP AND SHOW THE PERSON THAT THE WAY THAT THEY ARE TREATING YOU ISN'T ACCEPTABLE. MAYBE AT SOME POINT THE PENNY WILL DROP. YET YOU WILL BE SAFE AND MOVING ON WITH YOUR LIFE WITHOUT THE WEIGHT THAT THE ABUSER IS PUTTING YOU UNDER.

It is impossible to stop the cycle of abuse when you are living with a narcissistic psychopath. It will stop only when you decide to leave . Abusers are incapable of functioning in a loving relationship; and will use violence - be it verbal or physical, as a means to control you and every move you make. The charismatic charlatan you fell in love with, was but a figment of your imagination; and his. The person you thought you knew, never even existed .He has no conscience. Something red flows through his veins; but it most certainly is not the blood of life. He will look for new ways to humiliate you and smother your last ounce of happiness. He is always looking for ways to degrade your image , because it pumps him up. The mere fact that he has a decent, good-looking wife to push around , is all that matters to him. He was never your "other-half". Never your "partner". He never will be. His self-hatred will be used against you in ways you never imagined possible; or at least, in ways you never fathomed the man of your dreams could be, toward you. This person you are determined to remain with-will stop at nothing to destroy you ; to destroy your happiness and even your freedom. He needs an audience ; so, while you are suffering in silence and humiliation - he is falsely portraying you- in any way he can- to anyone who will listen , because he craves attention. The more sympathy he can muster; the more attention. Are you content to feed his "martyrdom" ; never knowing what acts he will perpetrate against you ?The vows he took in matrimony, to love you above all things, was, and is a farce. On your best day you will never meet the standards you think he needs .Why would you stay with someone who capitalizes on your insecurities, even to the point of deliberately using lies against you? If you don't know it by now ; you never will know that this man is your worst enemy. For him, you were his "ounce of normal". The life you thought you had with him, never existed. He charmed you with false acts of love and kindness, only to ensnare you. It was impossible for him to hide his true nature , once you saw him in action on a daily basis .Your decency and good looks were used merely ,by him ,to feed on; sort of as his ticket to humanity .To prove to the world that he is just like everyone else. You can sit there all day and say that you live only for your kids. But what kind of life is it for you or them? The cycle of abuse will end when you leave him. If that is impossible today, then it is up to you to come up with a plan. Take some classes in order to ensure a successful future , not only for yourself ,but for your kids. Above all, do not confide in your husband ;unless you want him to sabotage any chance you have , for happiness .You have freedom over your own mind. You can choose to go forward , if you really want to. I have a feeling that your "disabilities" improve, once you are able to move on. Make that call today. You don't have to continue to be his victim -unless you want to.

Basically. LEAVE THE RELATIONSHIP hard as it may seem. It is the only answer. for the abuser will continue to abuse . and will no doubt continue to do so with the next partner that they have. which has happened in my case. however, the girl was brave enough to phone me and ask what my ex was like with me. glad to say she left him too. abusers don't change. move on to a happier and healthier relationship. YES it is possible.

There are no "dos" and "don'ts" in a abusive relationship. You can't believe all of the stuff about the narcissist in the answer above. Not only that, but not all abusers are narcissists and you don't have to have "dependent personality disorder" or be a masochist. Labeling people won't do anything but enable them to continue the way they are. The person who is abusing is just that, a person who is abusive. He/she does it because he/she chooses to, not because his/her "parents were mean" or he/she "grew up in a bad place". We are adults and we choose how we act and respond to our environment. If a person has so little regard for you that they would hit you, that is who they are. You can't change people, especially if you enable them by giving them everything they want. If you are in an abusive relationship, call you local shelter or crisis hotline. Get in touch with family or friends. Try to find a way out. If you must stay where you are for financial reasons, find a safe place to save money for yourself and get out ASAP. Call the authorities. Let people know what's going on. Don't lie or make excuses for your bruises. Some people will be mean to you and act like it's your fault. Just be strong and know that they are obviously ignorant on the subject of domestic violence. Eventually you will find someone to listen. You should not be ashamed because it's not your fault. Whatever you do, DON'T lose track of who YOU are. If you have children, think about what they're seeing. Be strong and believe that no matter what, you are beautiful and you do deserve better. I know what you're going through, I was there for three years. And now, not only am I a survivor, but I am helping two friends in similar situations. One is a few days from getting her own place and getting out for good. The other just started her journey to freedom tonight. That's why I'm here, to look for advice to give her. If you can't find anyone to listen, feel free to e-mail me. cs1275@txstate.edu. I'll be glad to give you a shoulder to lean on.

"How can a victim stop the cycle of abuse?" WOW! I've really been hit with revelations this morning. The cycle of abuse stops when you and I take back our power.

Today I realized that I am still very angry and justifiably so. In fact I am considering seeking professional counseling to help me overcome my anger which has been an open sore that my violators continued to pick at to keep me sore and wounded. I realized this morning that I never really properly healed from my abusive experiences by very sick people who run several versions of a destructive theology that has ruined thousands of lives over the course of 7 decades and left most involved in varying degrees of insanity.

They never wanted for me to heal. I don't care about what my violators feel anymore. I'm fed up with being nice and concerned. I wish all of them a painful hell.

I decided that I have been blessed in more ways than one greatly in the coming new year and don't want to carry any garbage from my past along with me into my new life. This morning I chose freedom. This morning I decided to take my life back. This morning I decided that I finished with religion and really have been for over 2 years now.

I have been in an abusive relationship for a couple years now. I lost all of my friends, hobbies, and respect. I have to dress a certain way, eat a certain way, talk a certain way, and in the process i lost myself. The house must always be clean, and i am scared out of my mind. I do truly love him with every fiber in my body, but how can he love me? I am constantly called names, screamed at, and made fun of by him. He wants me to move out with him as soon as i can (I am not 18 yet) but i am scared and now he doesn't want to be together any more. I need some ones help. He won't let me talk to anyone like a counselor or anything, and nobody knows anything that happens with us. I have to hold everything in and hide things from my family what can i do

The victim is not the one that needs to stop the cycle of abuse. The victim needs to get out and away from the abuser and the abuser needs help. Look in your local phone book there is a number to call for abuse (hot line). In your local paper and such there will be numbers for advocate groups that can help. The police can also help and get the abuser away from the victim. The victim should not wait to seek help, the longer this goes on the more damage to be done, physically and mentally. Run don't walk to get help. It is out there.

Remove yourself from the situation. If necessary, get a restraining order.

I volunteer for an Abused Women's Center and that's your ONLY way of getting away from this piece of dirt! Make a plan. When your abuser is at work phone from a friend's house or a pay phone (not your home phone or cell phone) and make an appointment (at your convenience ... when you can get away) to see a counselor at the Abused Women's Center. A little at a time start packing simple personal things and have it ready to go. Hide your suit case or put your clothing and personal effects in a bag where your abuser can't find it. Once you enter an Abused Women's Center they are well aware of what you have been through and there is a big box of Kleenex always available on the counselors desk. They are kind (some have been abused themselves) and will help you through the red tape. You will be put into a "safe house or transition house" and your abuser or anyone else WILL NOT know where you are. While there they will expect you to do chores, attend programs to teach you the tools so you will not go back to your abuser or get involved in another abusive relationship. There is legal counsel to help you, and they will also try to help you get a job and get back on your feet.

- I do not agree with some of the answers on this page, in one answer it says to mirror the abusers rage and to rage back, but the abuser is usually ten steps ahead of the victim, he/ or she will only use that against him/her. Imagine raging back at the abuser and then the abuser calling him/herself the victim, the best and only way is to stay calm stay clear act not react, get away from the situation completely eliminate contact via, phone, web, in person, get counseling and have documented proof that you are actively seeking help to live a peaceful life....and then live a peaceful life and be the best demonstration you can possibly be of peace on Earth.

How can you spot an abuser while dating?

Note when he gets angry does he bunch his fists up? Does he get angry quickly? And most important of all if he ever hits you, even if its just a slap or anything GET OUT.

If he has been in a long relationship before and he mentions that his significant other just up and left one day without warning, that is a real red flag.

I was married to one for 22 years. When we were dating, I never really knew what he thought, but it was infatuation on my part and I was young. Also, he would go away for a time and then come back, expecting all to be the same. In marriage, it was neglect, lots of anger and an unwillingness to be open with me about feelings and disregard for my needs. After divorce, I met another one, some years later. It was basic "crazymaking," just always feeling off kilter, like I couldn't consistently do anything right. We were always breaking up, and getting back together. Finally, after I was in trouble one morning after church for not introducing him to someone I knew before speaking with them, I broke up with him. Then, I took out my trusty book by Patricia Evans--The Verbally Abusive Relationship, and saw the list. Next! Another guy I met was initially charming, but then was too familiar too quickly and I became uncomfortable. Of course, the last date we went to a festival and went dutch. He disappeared for an hour or more while we were there--he probably went to eat without me is what I think. He also joked about the long walk home.

My advice, is, if you determine the new guy is likely to be an abuser (especially if it has happened to you before), is to move slowly and get experience in many different situations with him. If you decide to break it off, do yourself a favor. Block him from any means of contact (email, phone, mail) and stick to it. They can be very charming and convincing and you can be very guilty, contrite or adaptable enough to give them one more chance.

Finally, you do not have to wait until you have the strength to leave. You just have to do it, by acting "as if" you have the strength, and do it. Funny thing is, once you do it, you have the strength. House, belongings, etc. eventually get sorted out and so don't stay connected to stuff. It is always people first (Suze Orman).

I wish I would have read this in the beginning. The biggest sign is the pressure to get married when you first start dating. Does he talk about marriage a lot within the first few months? Is he excessively jealous? Does he accuss you of being dishonest about your whereabouts? Has he lost his temper and blamed it on you? And then do you fall for it and promise to work on it? Is he overly affectionate to you and charming when others are around and then snap at you as soon as you leave the company?

Perhaps the first telltale sign is the abuser's alloplastic defenses -- his tendency to blame every mistake of his, every failure, or mishap on others, or on the world at large. Be tuned: does he assume personal responsibility? Does he admit his faults and miscalculations? Or does he keep blaming you, the cab driver, the waiter, the weather, the government, or fortune for his predicament?

Is he hypersensitive, picks fights, feels constantly slighted, injured, and insulted? Does he rant incessantly? Does he treat animals and children impatiently or cruelly and does he express negative and aggressive emotions towards the weak, the poor, the needy, the sentimental, and the disabled? Does he confess to having a history of battering or violent offenses or behavior? Is his language vile and infused with expletives, threats, and hostility?

Next thing: is he too eager? Does he push you to marry him having dated you only twice? Is he planning on having children on your first date? Does he immediately cast you in the role of the love of his life? Is he pressing you for exclusivity, instant intimacy, almost rapes you and acts jealous when you as much as cast a glance at another male? Does he inform you that, once you get hitched, you should abandon your studies or resign your job (forgo your personal autonomy)?

Does he respect your boundaries and privacy? Does he ignore your wishes (for instance, by choosing from the menu or selecting a movie without as much as consulting you)? Does he disrespect your boundaries and treats you as an object or an instrument of gratification (materializes on your doorstep unexpectedly or calls you often prior to your date)? Does he go through your personal belongings while waiting for you to get ready?

Does he control the situation and you compulsively? Does he insist to ride in his car, holds on to the car keys, the money, the theater tickets, and even your bag? Does he disapprove if you are away for too long (for instance when you go to the powder room)? Does he interrogate you when you return ("have you seen anyone interesting") -- or make lewd "jokes" and remarks? Does he hint that, in future, you would need his permission to do things -- even as innocuous as meeting a friend or visiting with your family?

Does he act in a patronizing and condescending manner and criticizes you often? Does he emphasize your minutest faults (devalues you) even as he exaggerates your talents, traits, and skills (idealizes you)? Is he wildly unrealistic in his expectations from you, from himself, from the budding relationship, and from life in general?

Does he tell you constantly that you "make him feel" good? Don't be impressed. Next thing, he may tell you that you "make" him feel bad, or that you make him feel violent, or that you "provoke" him. "Look what you made me do!" is an abuser's ubiquitous catchphrase.

Does he find sadistic sex exciting? Does he have fantasies of rape or pedophilia? Is he too forceful with you in and out of the sexual intercourse? Does he like hurting you physically or finds it amusing? Does he abuse you verbally -- does he curse you, demeans you, calls you ugly or inappropriately diminutive names, or persistently criticizes you? Does he then switch to being saccharine and "loving", apologizes profusely and buys you gifts?

If you have answered "yes" to any of the above -- stay away! He is an abuser.

Then there is the abuser's body language. It comprises an unequivocal series of subtle -- but discernible -- warning signs. Pay attention to the way your date comports himself -- and save yourself a lot of trouble!

Leave!! Run like the wind!! Protect your kids and get your life back.

Love,

I did not learn my lesson, although it was right in front of me. Nine years ago I met my fiance/boyfriend(whatever we are now)when he was a leasing agent at the apartments I moved into after my divorce (yes another abuser, whom I share joint custody of my two children) We started dating, and the sex was great, he was romantic, concerned, and called me every moment of the day..flattering at the time. I remember now though, he did seem very phoney and extremely arrogent. During the second month, we went to a nightclub which we had been to before.. both of us loved to dance. I am a dance instructor/choreographer and really enjoyed just getting to dance crazy! So I did. He grabbed me by the arm, escorted me to the bar and told me "you can't dance like that here, there's too many people" I was a very independant, strong person at the time, and told him jokingly to lighten up and have fun and that if he didn't want to dance with me, then I would dance by myself, which I did. I'll never forget the glare..or what happened next after he downed I don't know how many drinks. We left the club, and I told him I should drive, it was my car. He grabbed the keys out of my hand, opened the door and placed me forcefully in the seat, I was shocked, scared and mad at myself for not fighting back. I blew it off on the way home, we didn't live that far. He stopped at a fast food place and asked me for money!!!(Another red flag) When we pulled into the parking lot he stopped the car, leaned over like he was going to kiss me, and whispered, "What's the big deal about having a degree in dance?" (I had told him I wanted to go back for my MFA as well) "I don't need a degree for someone to tell me I can dance. Thats stupid" Normally I would have argued but I calmly got out of the car stunned, and walked up to his apartment. We sat down to eat on the floor of his crappy place, and told me not to get ketchup on the carpet! The NERVE! I owned a new 4bdrm home in the Foothills, and have two kids! So, I let him have it...and was called a f*****g b***h. He went to bed and passed out, I left and should have never seen him again, but I did and it's only gotten worse. He still drinks alot, criticizes me constantly, calls me names and makes comments to hurt my feelings. I feel like a shell inside. I just ignore him now and spend more time with my kids even though we still live together. I stopped dancing/teaching a year ago, it was my love, but he told me it was my fault for being unrealistic. Don't make the same mistake, trust your gut, remember the little things they say at the beginning that make you feel bad, question yourself or who you are. I remember who I was and it makes me sad. Take care...

In my opinion, the most important thing to look out for is to observe how he treats his mother. This is an indication of his feelings toward women in general. Also, observe his father's behavior, because that's really who you're marrying, whether you believe it or not. And, third, observe his parents' marriage, if they are still married. Just being aware of his family dynamics is eye opening if you can look at them in a detached manner. I wish I had.

Has he ever threatened, demeaned, or insulted you in front of others? Has he ever regularly pressured you into actions or activities you do not wish to do? Does he constantly have to know your whereabouts, or peppers you with questions about your activities when he is not present? Someone like this wants a girlfriend to dominate, not to love. If you're already concerned about his behavior, I'd just advise you to stop dating him.

In my case, I didn't notice any obvious signs that he would be an abuser while we were dating. He was very nice and sweet, never made any threats or used hostile language. And certainly I would have never guessed from knowing his parents or his relationship with them. I would have suspected something if I had known more about his relationship with his previous wife, but at the time all I knew about it was from his point of view, which was very misleading. But reading the first answer, I can see that the signs were there, but I just never knew what they meant. He always blamed others for all his problems, and seldom admitted making a mistake. He sometimes felt insulted or wrongly treated by others when I thought it shouldn't be taken personally. Also, he was very eager. He talked about marriage almost from the start.

I've noticed they tend to "invade" your life very quickly. Out of nowhere, they appear....Some are more subtle than others, some make you feel like the most interesting fascinating person in the world right away (the ugly part comes after)... This is just an observation I've made in my life. Also, a really bad sign is when you start losing your friends, seeing them less often.

he will sweep you of your feet, he will make you belive that no one will ever love you like he does. All the while your gut feeling will be screamimg at you. This is wrong. This is wrong. Listen to your gut..... for it won't take long for him to steal your soul and convince you that every friend you have and have ever made every relative, your parents, your job, you as a person are low, wrong, vile and honoured to know him, He is just too good all of the time and everyone else at fault Your world will become smaller less friends less family less happiness less laughter and convince you all the same you are lucky to have him. People will start to oviod you if he doesn't cut you off first as you are not the person you used to be. No one knows you any more solem, dull no spark and a shodow of your former self. You will dream of the person you used to be. Sadness will overwhelm you. You are engulfed in darkness

Oh my gosh, I am experiencing the end of an abusive realtionship as we speak and I am reading these answers. Actually, I'm not at all surprised because I saw this coming from the beginning. Its funny how you can be an intelligent person, yet put up with something you know is wrong. I'm done. I have had enough. All the examples are there. He came into my life quickly. Asked me to marry him almost right after, moved in, took over. I never married him because I saw it getting worse. I just thought that maybe he would realize but that's my problem. They never do. Some do. Most don't. He is verbally abusive. Things that are simple and should not be taken personally he gets angry over. He is not honest or truthful about many things but questions me about who was I talking to, where did I go, etc. Its exasperating. I am very vocal and expressed such right back. Many fights. Thank you for putting things in black and white. I knew but it always helps to have reassurance.

The signs were there, i guess at the time i was so charmed by him the i didnt see them the verbal abuse, the put downs the feeling of worthlessness, the blaming on me rather than on his behaviour and manner. basically "IF IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT IT ISNT. " trust your instincts you are raely wrong/ if you do spot it, or as soon as you do LEAVE the cycle will continue

OMG! All of these answers are SO VERY TRUE! I JUST got out of an 7-month relationship with a Narcissistic Borderline Personality Disorder! FREAKED me out so many X's I had to question my OWN sanity!

My sons & brother hated him immediately for the way he talked about women in general, when I wasn't around, KNOWING he would do same with me. (he did!)They also worried that I would next be physically abused. WHICH IS WORSE??? I TOLD him it would have been EASIER had he HIT me than to listen to him humiliate & berate me for the minutest infractions he considered offensive (only to HIM!)

Filthy, arrogant, obnoxious and ENDLESSLY BLAMING everyone but never taking responsiblity. SO glad I DIDN'T STAY! ALSO, grandiose about his 'male anatomy' telling EVERYONE HOW big it is (only fat, trust me) AND NEVER intimate! Always making sex something of a rape! Always centered on HIM, never giving, EVER!

  1. 1: ALWAYS remember THIS ONE, girls! (repeat) How a man TREATS HIS OWN MOTHER is a window into his soul! (this one regularly called his mother THE 'C' WORD!!!)

Friends, thanks for being here. It's only been a week & I've COMPLETELY CUT HIM OFF...never again will I take responsibility for his abuse NOR apologize!

WHEW! S

Yes, there are men who don't yell at their mate. Ever. The abusive cycle includes sweet times and times when things are not going so well. It keeps you confused and you think that if you just wait, it will get better. So, it does, over and over. This is not the one on one relationship that you deserve. He does treat his mother badly--there should not be a regular make up issue. If you leave, be sure to take some time on your own, so you can be confident and happy when you meet the good mate you deserve. It is a lot less lonely to be alone than with an abusive mate.

All this scares me so much that after every answer, I felt I had to close down the page. I don't know whether my relationship is abusive or not. All I know is that he gets angry about everything, and then he apologizes so profusely afterwords, that it always seems to me that he ought to be forgiven. But, is it true that there are women who don't have to deal with a boyfriend who yells at them ever? I've never seen a relationship where people don't have problems of the man being aggressive and demanding of a woman. I'm sure that makes it more difficult for me to spot abuse. But, that mother rule applies, in that while he isn't necessarily abusive to his mother, his mother and father fight a lot, and he himself treats his mother impolitely, from my point of view. Then, with her, just as with me, he thinks the world is wonderful just because they made up. It's hard for me to think of possibly letting go of him, because I think I'll never find a man who is so expressive with his love when he does express it, and I love him so much, too. It is possible to love someone who is abusive to you, but is it not healthy. And I'm not happy more than half the week with him because of all the arguments. I think I need to look up what a healthy relationship is like. If anyone here can give some examples of what a non-abusive relationship is like, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

I have had the same experiences....My husband can be as sweet as honey, and one second later he's screaming, cussing, name calling, etc. He repeatedly wakes me in the middle of the night because he thinks we "need to cuddle" wants to talk, pick a fight, etc. Will become upset over the position in which I sleep. Will perpetually criticize everything I do including what I choose to cook for dinner, clothes I wear, how I clean. But the funniest part of it all is...he will refuse to say what he wants for dinner, purposly makes messes in the house and buys me outfits hen later finds unacceptable. I feel like I'm in a no win situation. What's my part in all of this??? I allowed it. I let him talk me into quitting my job before we were married. Tried to reason with him as he degraded and berated me, waited until he started making me uncomfortable with his sexual demands to draw bouderies, never corrected him when he called me excessively, accepted his initial lies, and overall...ignired my own god given instinc. Now I'm in for the hawl and have no more joy or energy to even remain sane within it....don't be like me.....If he is all over you from day ne and showing up at your work every day....if he has a history of substance or domestic abuse or has ever been arrested for such incidents or has ever had a restraining order against him...run! He will try to blame everyone else..but he is the problem..don't you be a part of it!

Indicators of a Healthy Relationship

You feel at ease with your partner.

You don�t always feel you have to be at your best when you are together.

Your partner is open with you about his/her life.

You feel cared for and appreciated.

There is a good level of trust and honesty.

You feel your partner sees and accepts you

I WAS SITTING AT MY PC AND I WAS TRYING TO FIND SOME ANSWERS ON THE SIGNS OF AN ABUSIVE MAN AND THIS WEB SITE CAME UP AND I AM SITTING HERE JUST BLOWN AWAY I JUST WENT THREW A DIVO

I dated an abusive guy so I definitely know the signs.

Signs of an abusive person:

-They get jealous easily. This can include getting jealous about you hanging out with your friends, being with your family, talking to other people (especially men) and paying attention to anyone other than them.

-They try to control you. It can start with little things, like telling you what to wear, and escalate to telling you who you can and cannot talk to.

-They guilt you into doing things you don't want to do. "If you loved me, you'd stop talking to your friend."

-They move way too fast. This means telling you they love you in a couple of weeks, and talking about marriage within one or two months.

-They put you down. "You look like a slut in that outfit." "You're a terrible person."

-When you try to get space from them (ie I need the night to myself), they make you feel guilty for not spending every minute with them.

-If you try to break it off with them, they don't leave you alone and refuse to accept it.

One abuser of so many women I once knew was a man who seemed to "worship the goddess" (as equal to the "god" in him)...but this is not my point. He was a real "ladies man", more so than most, especially his friends. All his friends wondered how he could bed so many women. All his friends wanted him to mentor them, teah them how to get laid as often as he did. And this was the abusers real game. He wasn't really much interested in women or their well-being, as he claimed. He was really using them to impress his friends, brag to his friends about what a stud he was. It was juvenile locker room talk and he was in his fifties. His name is Flash. Each women thought she had finally got this man as her own, but these women were fooled and could not see what was happening right in front of their faces. And I didn't see it either until many years later when a different guy tried to "court" me in public in front of his group of friends. Then I realized, he too, thought he was the "leader of the pack". He goes by the name "Mad Dog" in El Dorado County, CA. I think abusers often start out the abuse in public. They put women on the spot and make it hard to say no, force women into akward positions and converstations for the sake of being polite in a polite society.

What causes someone to become an abuser?

Statistics show that intimate partner abuse, including domestic violence, has declined by one half in the last decade in the United States. Jay Silverman and Gail Williamson demonstrated in "Social Ecology and Entitlements Involved in Battering by Heterosexual College Males" (published in Violence and Victims, Volume 12, Number 2 (Spring 1997) that abuse is best predicted by two factors: the belief that mistreatment is justified and the succor of peers.

These two facts elucidate the cultural and social roots of abusive behavior. Abuse is bound to be found in patriarchal, narcissistic, or misogynistic collectives. Many societies exhibit cross sections of these three traits. Thus, most patriarchal groups are also misogynistic, either overtly and ideologically so - or covertly and in denial.

Paradoxically, women's lib initially makes things worse. The first period of social dislocation - when gender roles are redefined - often witnesses a male backlash in the form of last ditch patriarchy and last resort violence, trying to restore the "ancien regime". But as awareness and acceptance of women's equal rights grow, abuse is frowned upon and, consequently, declines.

Alas, four fifths of humanity are far from this utopian state of things. Even in the most prosperous, well-educated, and egalitarian societies of the West there are sizable pockets of ill-treatment that cut across all demographic and social-economic categories.

Women are physically weaker and, despite recent strides, economically deprived or restricted. This makes them ideal victims - dependent, helpless, devalued. Even in the most advanced societies, women are still expected to serve their husbands, maintain the family, surrender their autonomy, and abrogate their choices and preferences if incompatible with the ostensible breadwinner's.

Women are also widely feared. The more primitive, poorer, or less educated the community - the more women are decried as evil temptresses, whores, witches, possessors of mysterious powers, defilers, contaminants, inferior, corporeal (as opposed to spiritual), subversive, disruptive, dangerous, cunning, or lying.

Violence is considered by members of such collectives a legitimate means of communicating wishes, enforcing discipline, coercing into action, punishing, and gaining the approval of kin, kith, and peers. To the abuser, the family is an instrument of gratification - economic, narcissistic, and sexual. It is a mere extension of the offender's inner world, and, thus, devoid of autonomy and independent views, opinions, preferences, needs, choices, emotions, fears, and hopes.

The abuser feels that he is entirely within his rights to impose his species of order in his own impregnable "castle". The other members of the household are objects. He reacts with violent rage to any proof or reminder to the contrary. Moreover, his view of the family is embedded in many legal systems, supported by norms and conventions, and reflected in social arrangements.

But abusive behavior is frequently the outcome of objective societal and cultural factors.

Abuse and violence are "intergenerationally transmitted". Children who grow up in dysfunctional and violent families - and believe that the aggression was justified - are vastly more likely to become abusive parents and spouses.

Social stresses and anomy and their psychological manifestations foster intimate partner violence and child abuse. War or civil strife, unemployment, social isolation, single parenthood, prolonged or chronic sickness, unsustainably large family, poverty, persistent hunger, marital discord, a new baby, a dying parent, an invalid to be cared for, death of one's nearest and dearest, incarceration, infidelity, substance abuse - have all proven to be contributing factors.

AnswerI can only answer from experience. I found the reason that I am now self labled as an abuser is because of my past. I had no control as a child and as an adult I joined the military where I had even less control. Now being out of the military I am married with two kids and I want to control everything. That is not the way to go. This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. Trying to heal and change almost everything you know is very difficult but it should not ever be the responsiblity of others. They did not make you who you are. Everyone has a choice of how they want to act. AnswerIn more simple words. The only way to be able to behave like an abuser is having not enough respect for another being. A lack of respect can be caused by many factors. Most often it is learned behaviour. Like children who are spoiled rotten. Spoiling a child is not learning a child to have respect for others. Answer"What causes someone to become an abuser?"

I agree. Learned behaviour and reinforced environments supporting abuse.

Best wishes...

Answer

Although, I agree with many of the statements made in the answer it is flawed due to not taking into account that both sexes batter, in both heterosexual and homosexual relations. I will freely admit that majority is male (batterer) and female (survivor).

How do you avoid being abused?

Get out the relationship fast! if you are experiencing the aggressive side to someone and it makes you uncomfortable, leave him/her. You do not deserve it, do not put it off otherwise it will only become worse.stand strong. say im gone call the police and if they say why you got to call the police babe u beat the heck out of them and if they say let me call him for you you run like hell

How do you start over after an abusive relationship?

First thing to do is to Start. There is plenty of help out there and people who will help you see it through. Follow the advice, step by step, and don't rethink every decision. I found my way out and you can, too! A year or two out of the situation you will find yourself afloat and content.

You don't need to figure it all out ahead of time, just keep moving forward. You cannot fix the past, but you sure can affect your future.

The best book I found: The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans.

I can relate to all of this as I read everyone's story of abuse and not being treated well.

Let's just say to make this short and sweet - the first day that my so called love of my life laid a hand on me physically by punching me in the stomach not long after our son was born from a c-section, I knew that it was going to be downhill if I did not get out of this horrible situation.

After almost a year of feeling sorry for myself, putting myself down, thinking what did I do to deserve this etc, I woke up and started to do all the great things that are mentioned below.

I went to counseling and found out that I was codependent due to my childhood.

I found out that in order to live the life I want - I have to KNOW I DESERVE THE LIFE I WANT AND GET MY SELF ESTEEM UP AND CONFIDENCE BACK FOR MYSELF AND MY SON.

I started to find my spiritual side and found God. I find time for myself by working out and eating healthy. I spend quality time with my son. I work full time and have always had my head on straight with my career. I am building a future so I truly can rely on myself. I am going back to school to get a third degree to secure my future for myself and my son. I can tell you what helped me when I went through the rough patches as I know there will many upon the healing process for all of you STRONG WOMEN out there. One thing I can emphasize here is that if you dig deep enough - you will find that you are STRONG and can do anything you put your heart and soul into. You just have to have the courage and confidence to believe that you can change all of this but it really is up to you to do so. Some great books to read as you go through your journey of change/love of self:

Ditch That Jerk - Dealing with Men Who Control and Hurt Women. (I know - funny title but really is sincere with what the author has to say) Pamela Jayne, MA

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men - Lundy Bancroft

In summary - I want to tell you STRONG WOMEN out there and yes - you are all STRONG WOMEN no matter what your situation - that you can make your lives a better, more confident and safe,happy place for YOU and YOUR CHILDREN.

God bless and hope you find peace in my suggestions! You can do it! :)

In the aftermath of abuse, finding a job is the least of your problem. The first - and most crucial - task is emotional healing.

How do you start over? How do you leave, take care of yourself and your kids? How do you abandon a life and a world you know well?

It is not easy. But you will die emotionally or be physically abused if you stay. Your children are not blind, and they are in as much pain as you are. You all need to be safe, and to experience new ways of solving problems and relating to others. Chances are that they are already showing signs of the trauma of your relationship.

So you have choice, and it is up to you to find a safe place. There is an awful lot of description of abuse, of how and why a narcissist works--but not so much on how to deal with it, how to get out and beyond.

One of the interesting things about an abuser is that he sees only his version, his world. If he is self-involved, and not watching you closely, you can get smart, and make plans to leave safely.

Make your life start to count. Find a social agency, a half-way house, talk to a divorce lawyer, get yourself informed. Find out what your legal rights are. Is there money or a chequing account in case you need to take some to survive for a while? Snoop around his life. Is he having an affair, or has he had one? Has he done anything that is a secret? Tax evasion?

Get the evidence. Put all your documents and those of your kids in one place. Get yourself your own credit card and start paying it off so you have some credit. Start your own bank account if you don't have one.

And just keep smiling and crying and doing what you have to, while working hard to make the transition as safe and successful as possible. If you are being physically abused, you do not have much time. If you can, document hospital or doctor visits, and just leave.

How do you start over? You just do.The most important thing is taking care of yourself. And if you have children, getting them out of a bad place.

The hardest thing I had to do was to stop blaming my husband, and look at how I contributed to the disease of the relationship. Why did I allow myself to be so humiliated? Why did I believe him when I knew he was lying? Why was I so in need of his approval and love when he treated me so badly? Why did I not deserve kindness and comfort?

That was the moment when I really started to 'start over'. My kids have seen me move from utter despair to the work in progress which I am now. We share a very different life now--and no one is in pain, we solve problems or at least find understanding, and I have found that there are doors opening that I never knew were there.

It is easy to blame your husband. All that does is make you his victim again. And it is easy to feel it is all your fault, because you have been told that for a long time. In a while you will be able to stand back and see who you were, what you want to change so it never happens again. A good therapist can really help here. And your kids will need someone to talk to as well.

I grieved. I thought the world was at an end. I was hysterical and depressed. I pleaded with him to come back. I was terrified of the world, embarassed, humiliated. It has been a long journey to disconnect the painful parts of myself which allowed me to be part of such a sad dance.

Take yourself off to a bookstore or the library for a day. Read things. Everything. The junky stuff, the psychiatric tomes, anything. Find something that makes sense to you.

Begin by making a little list of small things you can do for yourself which give you pleasure. Everyone tells you to do that. It takes time to actually do it like you mean it. Get your hair done, a massage. Take lots of baths. Get a friend to make you a list of funny movies to watch. Sit down and watch television with your kids.

Call your friends, tell them the truth. Ask for help. It is out there. And stay away from your abuser. Do not contact him, phone him or see him. YOu need time and space to figure things out. If you need to be in touch--use email. It allows you to communicate on your terms, and you can always rewrite and edit your messages.

I know this all sounds like things out of a self-help book--all I am trying to say is that there is no one way to start over except by leaving, really leaving it all behind, by taking responsibilty for yourself and your kids into your own hands and just making life work. You already know how hard it can hurt. Could it be any harder if it was just up to you?

The advice from anonymous was absolutely correct. Email is an excellent way to talk, but realize one thing that when you express your true feelings, he will lash out through email also. But that you can totally control and NOT read if it's too painful. You have a bit of control there. You have to tell them when they try to call that email is better for you and right now, that's all you can give.

I have just left an abuser (every man I have dated, married, etc has been this way). I am now hitting 37 and I still can't figure out why I keep picking them. There is some logic that I found which might explain some of why- it's as if I am trying to re-do my past and fix what went wrong with my dad and I's relationship. He was very abusive to my mom and very neglectful to us kids.

To give you a bit of history, I've been abused mentally and physically by men, my boys have been abused in every form possible- including sexual. One year we moved 13 times, just to get away from a particular abuser who was a stalker. I've stayed at three shelters, lived with many friends and now I find myself living with friends again.

I found out that I was grieving something that never really existed- this so called perfect life that I thought would last forever. Just like the books read, he is going to therapy NOW, trying to send me cards daily NOW- but he has not changed. He says he's sorry over and over, but it doesn't change the past.

I tried to express my anger and fear in a confident way, I got one of the most defensive emails I have ever read back from him. My stuff is still in the house, so I smoothed over things in an email back- only just until I get my stuff. Then he can go pound salt for all I care. This is the man that I thought was my soul mate, so kind and everything in the beginning until one day I started to realize he wasn't any better than the rest. He abused boys who have been through the most traumatic abuse ever and thought he was justified in doing it.

The thing that blows my mind is that I have been through 4 years of therapy and still I find one in the crowd that is abusive. Today I am totally numb to my feelings for him. I read as much books on the subject I can get my hands on, I talk to friends when I am lonely, I still cry and feel scared, but it's so much different than when I was there. I'm scared of starting over again. But, I remember two bad incidents for every one good incident there was. My kids have been troopers throughout. They know that I will love and protect them with all I have.

Don't worry about too much except for staying sane and being safe. Get help through the system, get counciling, read books and don't date for a long time. Don't think that you 'might' find a Mr. Perfect out there- it's true that they are out there, but they are looking for a confident put- together woman, not one who just came out of an abusive relationship. This might be hurtful words, but I've been down that path too many times to count thinking that I needed to find my soul mate.

The bad ones prey on us victims because at first they claim to think it's totally wrong to hit, yadda yadda yadda. It's as if we put out a signal to the bad ones and they find us no matter what because we get used to some form of abuse and think it's better than what we had before that.

Remember these words: A real man will love you unconditionally for all your faults and all that you are. He might even think that your faults are cute.

I have yet to find a real man who loves me that way and loves my boys unconditionally, but then again I am not totally put together. I am committed to me and my boys for now.

It ia always difficult leaving an abusive partner as they will always seem to manipulate and control you into thinking that they are truly sorry or that they are prpared to change. In my experience this is not so and have found out he treated people after me the same. ALways ensure you are safe. inform the police of the incidents that occur, telephone calls, stalking events emails txt messages. threats towards you, get dates and times. build a profile on this person. I say person as it isn't just men that abuse! Remember that you deserve better, love and respect is not the way an abusive partner treats you. be strong move on and enjoy your life as it should be. seek counselling, help others in the same situation. it has helped me . Possitive things come from negative situations a stronger and more reliant you. take care.

The only way an abusive man will stay away is to have absolutley no contact with him. Remember you don't owe him anything. Get your number changed, take different routes to work and stay away from him. Try having coffee with new men that will treat you kind, but avoid a relationship until your over him. Try new things and meeting new people. Take care of your appearance, pamper yourself. Most of all, realise that its over and move on. Life is too short and the world has too many men, too waste on heartache. Set your expectations high, if you don't, noone will. Good luck.

After ending yet another abusive relationship I am so fed up with myself. Okay I got divorced, it went through in Novemeber. Then I meet this even worse man who plays all sorts of headtrips going from extreme affection one day to totally ignoring me the next and telling me he feels nothing for me and that hes ending it cause he is using me then he goes to all sweet again. I finally got so sick of it I told him right off I mean I lowered myself to his level but I eneded it and finally got a backbone...anyhow...now I am in avoidance cause Im not sure if he will contact me after I called him all those names and I just want it to end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just started this new job with alot of men around and im pleased..............i guess i don't understand why that man played with my emotions.........time to let go.........................I also am confused cause I was way too good for him and he never realised that...he told me he wasnt "ready" to say nice things (compliments) to me.

I am 25 years old with two children. My husband is not a big time hitter. He just plays mind games. It is like he looks at woman as an object for sex and slavery. He made me feel crazy and mean. He would never satisfy my emotional needs... like communication, friendship etc... he would always make sure and take care of himself and everything he wanted but when it came to me he did not have a soft place for me. He is loving if we have sex... when we don't he rarely spoke to me. He always picked the movies, he always manipulated his way into getting what he wanted. In short, he is a taker and I am a giver and it was just all screwy. I know he is bad for me. I think I keep hoping it will be better or think about the positive things... there are some. I think he enjoys seeing me in pain and he wants me to gravel over him. I simply don't want to do it.

He knows all the buttons to push and all the things to do to make me feel worthless. The more worthless I feel the more I want him to approve of me and love me. The more I want him to approve of me the more he kicks me down and hurts me... Finally I get strong and am assertive and walk away... then he comes back and seems sweet and like he is honest and cares for me... Once I care for him it is a weekness, then he treats me disrespectfully again and then I want him to care for me and again goes the cycle. I think this is one form or cycle of mental and verbal abuse. NOTE to this author: You are absolutely right that it is abuse--just doesn't show on the outside. And, the cycle is very typical--keeps you guessing, huh? Take your kids and run for the future. Your kids will pick up this "disease" and your leaving is the best way to avoid that. Get help and advice...and take it forward.

Start over? He/she abused you... you can't start over. Just distance yourself, and have good will in your heart for them (if you can).

The first and most important thing is to end all contact. I mean to have absolutley no contact with the person. Any form of communication on their part will be to entice, manipulate, control and degrade you into coming back. These types are cruel. Once an abuser sees you getting stronger they will resort to all sorts of tactics to regain control. DONT FALL FOR IT! The first while will be an emotional rollarcaoster. Its best to really nuture yourself. If you can afford it buy some new clothes or even a thrift shop outfit. Do a facial, haircut. Take care of yourself. Go for walks, cry, listen to music. Do writing in a journal. Surround yourself with positive. Write down the facts of your situation as well as your feelings. He will never change, he will never treat me well. In time the pain lessens and you move on.

I can really relate to the personal humiliation as an emotionally abused and physically abused person in a relationship that has lasted to long. First you have to move from victim to victor! This takes you to love yourself and surrounding yourself with positive people who are supportive of you as a person. Don't be quite it happend you can not blame yourself but embrace yourself, read articles about signs of abuse (both emotional/physical) so that you can see the actions of the abuser for what they are and separate your heart from your mind so that you can see the truth! Its always been there. Secondly cut off all contact with the person. This can be difficult but it protects you from the manipulative ways of the abuser who will play on your "heart strings" to attempt to control you again. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Reconnect with friends you may have isolated yourself from and tell your story the more you get it out of you the better you will feel this can be in a journal or through art. Like all others that have commented, he will never change no matter how much you have or would have given. Time will heal your wounds move from victim to victor!!!!

There's a lot of good advice here. Yes, cut off all contact if possible. Sever all emotional ties, and then cauterize them in fire or ice. The book the Verbally Abusive Relationship, I'd highly recommend that one too. I'd recommend reading it a couple times in a row. Cognitive therapy, to train your mind and emotion patterns away. If you have a social deficit, I found How to Win Friends and Influence people very beneficial to learning social skills, charm, etc, and to gain confidence. Religion, I utilize both the Christian faith and practice Buddhist mindfulness. I found group therapy for DV very soothing.

Speaking from personal experience, during a vulnerable time of very poor health, hospitalizations, and heavily medicated for a condition eventually resolved by surgery, fell into my first and only abusive relationship, with what turned out to be a psychotic sociopath, malignant narcissist. These things happen, read Job a lot. Ended up in a confidential dv shelter, he would imprison, suffocate, strangle, rape, etc ... and verbal abuse of course. The PTSD eventually resolved.

I hugely recommend plans. Day, week, month, year, 5 year, 10 year plans. Take the time to make these plans, even if it takes a half day, heck a couple days. List what you need. Education, health, career, money, social skills, divorce, whatever, and make a plan with time frame how to get what you need. Need to re-establish job history by working minimum wage jobs a couple years? Put it in there. Need to get major surgery? Put it in there.

Whatever you need to do, figure out a way, and make a plan. I can't over-recommend careful planning and thinking ahead. It is just as important in the post abusive relationship phase. Allow yourself the time to recognize issues and make plans to remedy issues.

I can't give the answer to being able to be emotionally intimate again. Been 4 years free for me, much much happier now. Some days I'm just surprised how nice life is. Got my kids I love to death, they the lodestone. Everybody else I'm nice and friendly to, but ... except for toughies and war vets who been there done that too, it still hard to get close to people. Aside that, I've been able to plan and accomplish to get all the other ducks lined up in a row.

Does an emotionally abusive person feel a need to find closure at the end of a relationship?

If you are looking for closure from the abuser, it cannot be expected. Better to resolve to forgive the behavior and move on with your life. I am not saying to forget the behavior and go back, but you can forgive and not let the bitterness of the injustice touch your new life. Life is short--it is much better to do self enriching things than to remain in the past.

I took a Divorce Recovery class run by the Catholic Church, which was a weekend. There were several small and large group activities that gave me peace. An important part of emotional abuse is the abuser's refusal to grant his victims closure. Abusers are forever - or at least until they find new victims or are scared off by the police/courts.

Speaking from my present situation (the abused), my abuser cannot accept the fact that we are no longer a couple and that I am no longer living with him. I have recently sought couple counseling so I could reach some kind of closure for myself as well as for him. Yes, an emotionally abusive individual absolutely needs within his/her mind to come to some sort of closure. This is because, abuse is a form of power and the cycle of power is disrupted if they are cut off from those they abuse. This is because there dominance cannot be asserted when there is no one around. I think they certainly want closure, but may be unable to attain it, in many cases (it would mean looking in the mirror). My abuser became a stalker, and he stalks me still, after many years since I ended the relationship with divorce. I am coming out of an abusive relationship - emotional, verbal, sexual to the degree of forcing my boundaries - but the ex-boyfriend of three years is the first to say "but I never hit you"...true, but the above, plus pushing, biting and physically blocking me from leaving the situation are just as bad.

I have realized that my feelings in the relationship were eroded away as he became more and more erratic in the last year, so closure for me was finally making the demand that he leave my house, and telling all my family and close friends what was happening. I am done with the relationship and want to get on with my life. And that apparent emotional withdrawal from the ex has made him even more erratic; he cannot understand at all why I ended things, but he is now making comments such as "I knew from the beginning it wouldn't work out", "I'm a college graduate and you're not" (as an excuse why he is a better person than me and therefore shouldn't be with me).

However, the ex calls and wants to have a conversation to gain "closure"...he truly was blindsided by the fact that I ended the relationship, and even if we did have a conversation would never accept any of the reasons that I present for doing so. So I know that his idea of closure will only be to reassure himself that I'm insane and he is lucky to be rid of me. At this point, I don't care what he thinks of me, and certainly don't feel the need to put myself at risk by meeting him. For anyone that has left an abusive relationship, please consider very carefully any decisions to help the abuser gain "closure"...for them it is all about control, and agreeing to any of their "needs" only puts a person under their control again in their minds.

God Bless all of you out there dealing with an abusive relationship... I don't think abusers want closure. If they were to give you closure that would imply they are "giving you permission" to get on with your life. They want to be tied to their victims and if all they have left in terms of power is to not grant you closure then they will deny that. My abusive ex wont grant me closure and i think he wants the door open. He doesn't want to hear or see me be logical. He doesn't want to give me that. I am confused. Every time I have tried to get closure he ignores me....then in a couple days comes back. This time I want closure and its over for good. But now hes ignoring me. I will have to accept that i wont get a nice conversation and wish you well type thing, he will try again to come back so i will have to accept that the closure i obtain is within me to know i am moving on.... I think my abuser had a need for closure, but he just made up his own reality for himself. What I mean is nothing ever was his fault from the beginning, so when I ended it -he just made himself believe he ended it because I was abusive, etc. I just ended my abusive relationship a few days ago, and since then my abuser has called my house over 20 times. He has also gotten friends and family to call. He doesn't want closure, he just wants to get me back so he can continue the abuse. He is completely baffled as to why I left and refuses to believe that he was emotionally abuse. He thinks his behavior is "okay" because this is how he was brought up. I assured him that just because he was brought up that way doesn't mean he can't change his behavior, so then he said that I made him this way. Typical. I'm fighting off his frequent calls and messages as best as I can until he returns to school (from suspension) on Wednesday. Then I guess I'll alert the school counselor that he will be harassing me upon arrival.

I'd just like to say that anyone who is currently in an abusive relationship, get out of it. First detach yourself from him as best you can (put away things he gave you, etc, so you can't find them for comfort); this will make it easier to leave. You may think it is impossible to leave, but just try to get out as soon as you can. You'll be better off. They never realize the error of their ways. I think it is presumptuous to say"they never change their ways" We will if we care and are humble enough. I changed and am attempting to be available for her to see my change . It might take a year, maybe 3 yrs, but i love her and respect her for the courage and strength it took to leave. Today I am a better man because of her. Well then that's good, and you're rare. Most men don't ever recognize their behavior as abuse, and therefore do not seek help. "Does an emotionally abusive person feel a need to find closure at the end of a relationship?"

It is about control and demented mentality "if I cannot have you no one will."

In giving the benefit of the doubt which was mistake number one. I sought closure and discovered the abuser used this to maintain contact with me.

Now, I don't want his or their apology or anything from him. I want for him and his religious world to leave me the hell alone. It is disgraceful how I have been mistreated and had to even ask for an apology in the first place over the course of 3 years with no avail. So, now the abuser(s) have no purpose for staying in contact with me and I want for them to stop stalking me because they have nothing I want not even their apology.

I will never understand how deranged some men become over a woman they can never have. It is frightening to be the object of someone's obsession.

How can you love someone and want to be with someone under these circumstances?

Best Wishes.. The closure my abuser needed was to tell anyone and everyone that I was mentally ill, making most people I knew doubt me or look at me oddly, not let their kids play with mine anymore, etc. It has been 3 years and we share a child, so we will always be "together". His closure was the way he discarded me as anything of value after I left him. Not the mother of his child, not the woman he spent 6 years with, nothing. I was looked upon as useless trash (more so than when I was with him). I thank GOD for every day I have that I don't have to live with that man, his brand of abuse was so poisoning. I am glad I am free. "I don't think abusers want closure. If they were to give you closure that would imply they are "giving you permission" to get on with your life." Exactly!

Abusers instinctively sense that their victims often yearn for peace, for freedom, for closure - and refuse to give it. The worst of them envy and hate their victims for having the ability to use such things. (Many sociopaths get bored easily and are hooked on the stimulation that they derive from bullying others). As my intensely abusive ex once said with a horrible glint of glee in a strangely perceptive moment, "It's a *power* thingy". Abusers are not looking for closure at all, but regaining control over their victim. Abusers like complete control in their bubble of life. They often feel they are better than the victim they are with and push that in their face, but the reality of it is they don't feel they are who they should be as far as gaining status in society and that is part of their rage. They are not as self confident as they would have others believe. Some come from an abusive background while some are hungry for success and will climb over, squash or back-stab anyone that gets in their way. Abusers come in all forms ... executives, lawyers, doctors and other professions right down to the blue collar worker. All races can be abusive. An abuser can be shaped at anytime in their life from school, working and it's usually due to the feelings of rejection or being pushed too hard to achieve too much.

Abusers are actually spineless and they know it and that's why they pick on a victim that could be shy, loving and a pleaser. Not bad qualities at all, but it's an easy mark for an abuser.

ANSWER

There are some very insightful comments posted here. So i won't repeat what has been said already. I will approach this from a different angle. Whether or not an abuser finds closure is irrelevant. I have no interest in the abuser's needs nor do most people who read this. The only closure possible would be for the abuser to make true and sincere amends to his/her victims. Of course whether the abuse survivors accept it or not is up to them. In the end, it really doesn't matter what the abuser needs are.

What do you do if you are being abused by your son?

There are no easy answers and each situation is different. Here are some suggestions:

  • I know that if you have other children it really does affect their mind set. He may have even gotten this habit from his father. If you do have other children, call social services immediately because not only you are being hurt you should think about what is best for him and the rest of your family. and you should do it fast before he goes too far, you never know if or when he may crack and maybe seriously hurt you or a loved one.
  • If he does not have a fatherly figure in his live then get someone who is a family friend to talk to him through his problems and what it is he needs or what makes him so angry. If he's just bullying you for no reason try taking away some rewards - maybe his allowance or something. If all else fails try counseling and then hopefully it will get through to him what he is doing is wrong. If you have any other children that are being affected by his actions maybe social services are best . This action has to stop with you son now before something drastic happens to one or both of you.
  • If you give him conditions, or ultimatums, those only serve as warnings and when he abuses you again, you have to act. So, don't do that. Set up an exit strategy and get moving on it as soon as possible. Immediately remove yourself from his reach. Change the locks. Close your bank account if he has access to it and set up another at another bank that he cannot get to. Obtain a post office box so you have control of your mail. You gave your son life, love and a start in life and that is all you owe him. Unfortunately, sometimes our plans for enjoying these people we raised just don't pan out and you have to let them go. If you find that the son can manipulate you into anything despite your best intentions, set up expectations that he has to provide the need for money, housing, food in writing and that you will provide as you wish...or not. Make sure he has made some movement on his own to solve the problem--don't solve it for him. When you don't provide these things, he will definitely find someone else to provide it for him and when he runs out of friends, he will hopefully do it himself.
  • You should immediately stop your "unconditional love". If for masochistic reasons you still wish to engage this young person, my advice to you would be to condition your love. Sign a contract with him: you want my adoration, admiration, approval, warmth, you want my home and money available to you as an insurance policy? If you do these are my conditions and if he says that he doesn't want to have anything to do with you anymore count your blessings and let go.
  • Although these days people are more open minded than they used to be, it can be hard to face seeking assistance with filial abuse. Too often the assumption is made that as you are the mother it must be your fault, either for spoiling or abusing him, and this is far from always the case. There can be many other reasons, and all abusers are only too keen to pin the blame on their victims. You need to seek proper help, you need to go to a shelter, or a professional and explain what the situation is, in detail, and seek their advice. After that, I suspect you are going to have to place yourself outside your son's reach at least for a while, maybe for ever.
  • This was my position for years. For others in a similar situation: you are doubtless carrying a huge burden of guilt, constantly turning over in your mind "where did I go wrong?" Often, this is not really the issue. You, like me, probably made a similar number of mistakes to the average parent. But your narcissistic (NPD) son has decided that you are to blame for all that he perceives as unsatisfactory in his life. You have become a scapegoat. You need to get to the point of accepting that your son doesn't like you and possibly never will. Often, distance is the only solution.
  • Don't blame yourself for your son's abusive actions (I am assuming he is either an teenager). I am also assuming the abuse is physical. Tell him that you will no longer tolerate his abuse. The next time your son physically abuses you, have someone call the police or call them yourself. Make the police arrest him for assault and family violence. You may want to notify the police that you want a restraining order against your son that prohibits him from coming near you and your residence. If he is still a juvenile, when he is brought up on the charges, inform the judge and the prosecutor that you don't want him to receive a lenient sentence, make him serve jail time and try to see that he is mandated to go to mental counseling. Does this sound cruel? Maybe, to some people, but you sound like you love your son, despite what he has done to you. If he abuses you, he has the potential to abuse girlfriends, wives, or children, if he has any. His actions need to be prevented.
  • Unconditional love is important no matter how difficult it is and if this parent puts these conditions on love, respect, etc., then that will create emotional problems for him now and later and create a rift between parent and son. However, it is fine to put conditions on privileges such as going out with friends or playing video games. Negative labeling is inappropriate, too, and causes emotional problems instead of remedying anything. Don't increase his frustration. (I know that it may even be tempting to do so at this point!) If he is between the ages of nine and 14, then this is typical, but still inappropriate. It is a phase that you need to be firm with him through. Unfortunately kids do that kind of stuff these days, especially if these kids have divorced parents. If he threatens you with a knife or something similar, then get him sent to juvenile hall. Maybe you could bring up the possibility anyway, since most kids that age are afraid to get into trouble with the law. Maybe he'll reform when he sees that as a real possibility. A lot of kids do as much as they think they can get away with. If he is an older teenager, then he has serious problems with something and you either need to get him counseling or send him to boot camp or to some male figure who will put him in his place. Maybe you can do both the counseling and one of the others. If he is 18 or older, then you may just have to kick him out.
  • He needs to grow up and the only way he is going to achieve that is if he learns how to stand on his own two feet. My ex abusive partner did this to his mother (28 years old!) So she is used to being the source of abuse from her ex husband, his older brother (left when he was 30 after an argument and trashed her house and then turned around and said it was all her fault) and now him. She is now too afraid to live by herself, as she is a shell. She no longer has an identity! When he lived with me I expected him to act like an adult and he did, when we went to live with her to save for a house he turned into a spoiled little boy (the older one moved out a week before we moved in). He started to abuse me in front of her (he had never done anything like that before) and she once turned to me and said, 'I think some women deserve to be hit!' She created arguments between us. I got out fast. The scars are still healing and I wonder if I will ever be able to trust again as I was with this person for years until I saw his true nature. Don't indulge him and don't become addicted to abuse. Yes you are a mother a child is a gift, we help them to become healthy adults, if he pushes your boundaries then show him the door and let him find his own feet so he can become an adult. If he is still a teenager get some counseling. You are not doing anyone any favors by putting up with it, and you shouldn't. Be strong and don't let the bastards drag you down.
  • Perhaps a son learns to abuse his mother after witnessing the same abuse by the father to the mother. After several years of witnessing this the son begins to behave in the same way. Does he want to "parallel" himself with the father to win the approval of the father? I have three sons and only the first "copies" his father's behavior. If the father stopped the abuse then maybe the son would also stop. Short of divorce I no longer see a way "out" for the mother.
  • When you finally understand that your phenomenal offspring has become a privileged, entitled character who lacks appreciation or satisfaction of his demanding actions; recognize you as you have contributed to his concept of himself. Cut him off! Stop contributing with love, but with firm commitment. Let him experience the world fully for himself without your attitude creating a world that adores him, entitles him, etc. Mother birds leave their babes in the nest without food, in order for the baby to realize it's time for him to begin his own life without her contribution. It's the swiftest and hardest method for a mother to use, but it is necessary in an attempt to put that son outside a world created for him. What he does with his freedom is his choice, but at least, you are not prolonging the inevitable agony. Let him go to experience his own creativity while you're still around to offer suggestions and counseling he may be more likely to hear and appreciate.
  • You should make your son understand very firmly that you are not going to tolerate the problems he is creating. Firmness and assertiveness is the key here. Being emotional (angry or sad) is not going to be of much use with the narcissists. If you become emotional then it means that you are still in his clutch. You should try to totally ignore his tantrums and not to take his behaviour personally because whatever he is doing, he is doing it out of personality disorder. Though it is very difficult to achieve this mindset but it is not impossible. You will definitely do your duty towards your son but that does not mean that you will have to stand all the nuisance he is making. Finally you must stop blaming yourself because you are only the victim of circumstances and you should seek professional help.
  • When you are being abused by your adult son you keep him out of the house. Distance all contact with him. Remember how many times you over-looked what you thought was just his "eccentric nature". Once he became an adult he realized that any contract he made with his mother is not worth the paper it was written on. Besides, he is way too wonderful and superior to abide by the rules of a mere mortal. When, and only when you have proof that his life is again under control, you might try to see him in a public place; preferably in another town where you cannot be too badly humiliated by his violent temper tantrums. When heredity plays a part in the narcissistic psychopathic behavior of your son, above all, never be alone with your son and your husband at the same time. One will not protect you from the other. If you need rescuing from your son, your husband will never protect you. Rather than risk the wrath directed at himself he will join your son in tormenting you and he will enjoy it. Whether or not your son enjoys tormenting you is not the point. He will continue to do so as this is the only way he has ever managed to secure approval from his father. Though it is rare for your husband to abuse you in front of a witness he will do so in this case- if this is the only father and son activity they have ever enthusiastically shared.
  • Perhaps your love for your son is hurting him, no matter what your intentions. It's time for that bird to fly, mom.
  • As a mother of three children. One adult child, two teenagers still living at home. I can't comprehend or imagine what it would be like to be abused and afraid of my children. I have so much compassion for this mother. I have never experienced this situation, but the first thing I would do is call the police on this child. If anyone else laid a hand on me I would call the police. Why not call on the child? Before the police got there, my child would definitely know what abuse was. Where is the father? My husband would make the child understand that you don't lay a hand on your mother. Juvenile is a wonderful learning experience for wayward teenager.
  • When Teenagers Threaten A Parent He Probably Means What He Threatens: Generally the sons of today are bigger than their own fathers and certainly too much for a mother to handle alone. Obviously you can't deal with this alone and his threats may just come true as you are well aware of. You don't know if he's been doing drugs or alcohol or both. The next time he gets angry and verbally or physically abusive run next door and phone the police. Tell the police officers you are charging him with assault. The police take family violence very seriously. Have them take him away in handcuffs (they will anyway.) Press charges against him and hopefully a judge will see fit as to what treatment he will get from there. It's time to walk away from your son as you no longer have control of him and he has no control over himself. You have a responsibility not just to yourself, but any siblings or anyone else living in the house to have your out of control son arrested and charged. I know that it breaks a mother's heart to see her child (no matter what age) act in this manner. There are questions as to 'where did I go wrong' to 'but, I'm his mother and I should see him through to the bitter end.' You are not to blame as your son is old enough to know right from wrong. He chose the roads to go down and you had nothing to do with it. There are simply no excuses for him. If you don't have him arrested you put yourself and anyone else in that house at great risk. Don't ever underestimate a threat or physical abuse. Many teens do exactly as they threaten. It's time to stop being an enabler and get some help for your son.
  • I took mine to Family Court with the support of his school counselor. I had him put in a public school for special needs kids. He had ADHD and ODD and was very verbally abusive and threatining. It took him two years to earn his way back to mainstrem school and he knew the next stop was Juvie Camp. Lots of regimentation and Forestry service work. This woke him up to the fact that this Mamma don't play. He's 28 now and doesn't hold a grudge. He knew he would have ended up a drop-out , Juvenile Delinquent, or felon. I told him before I did this that it was my job to see him graduated with no criminal record. Job done and he's on his own 10 years now and all with no ADHD meds. Just counseling and consistent discipline from his Mother.

How can you stop your husband's abuse?

First of all, if your being abused, get away from the man that's doing that to you. No one should ever get beat or threatened. Usually, men abuse women because they want something you won't give them, such as sex or money. If that's the case, don't give in. When your alone, call The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, 1-866-331-9474. They're open 24/7. And whatever you do, don't confront your abuser. Get away from them immediately. Get a divorce and move out of the state if you have to. Don't let him treat you that way, don't let him make you scared because that's exactly what he wants: to make you scared enough so you give in to whatever he wants. Get help, call the police.

What is the honeymoon phase of an abusive relationship?

  • Idealization - followed by devaluation - is one of the hallmarks of abuse.

    unpredictable, ever-shifting behavior is abusive and is intended, among other functions, to foster dependence on the abuser's whims and moods.

  • I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship 2 years ago. The honeymoon phase was the first 3 months of the relationship. He put me on a pedestal and had me convinced that he was the most amazing guy and that I was so incredibly lucky to have him... until he blitzed me with his jealousy and possessive behavior. He was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Scary. It's 2 years later and I'm still trying to recover emotionally!
  • ITS THE TIME WHEN EVERYTHING IS HOW IT SHOULD BE A TIME WHEN YOU REALLY BELIEVE THE OTHER PERSON HAS CHANGED FOR GOOD A TIME WHEN YOU CAN RELAX AND FEEL NORMAL A TIME WHEN YOU CAN DREAM AGAIN..
  • For me, it's the calm before the storm. The man I was with could be so giving, so gentle, so loving. He has the game down good. He would clean up the kitchen, wash the clothes, and be waiting patiently for me to come home. The sex was amazing couldn't get enough of me. But, eventually, within a few days, he would begin to withdraw from the alcohol and get edgy, angry and nasty. He would slam doors, yell at the top of his lungs and lose his temper. He would go out and drink for a few days, and disappear. When he would return, he knew that he would need to "win me back", so the wonderful two days of loving, and gentleness would be there.
  • well i think i am in a abusive relationship right now... n i am still with him coz im scared of being alone. well i think the honeymoon phase is when the guy is all nice n talks like a baby just for one thing n that is to satisfy his sexual desires. I think i love this guy but he is such an idiot. anyways yeah..hope i leave him soon. love k
  • The honeymoon phase is the worse. I have been in a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship for 17 years. I agree, it is the calm before the storms. I know when my husband is being really nice, that my days are numbered. Anything will set off the abusive behavior, from not cooking the right meal to taking a shower to long. I don't even enjoy the honeymoon period anymore. I use to because I got a reprieve of sorts. Now I just know the pattern of my abuser.
  • ANY abuse is a deal breaker for a relationship. The cycle of abuse and "honeymoon" will continue and the longer you are there, the less easy it is to recover from each abusive period. In a normal relationship, happiness and sadness are less extreme than what you have. You may not love your partner as much all the time, but it gets deeper. With all the abusive interruptions, it is hard for the relationship to grow. He has to change on his own, and do it himself. Right now, the apologies are so manipulative, to keep you there. Please listen to the ones who really love you...accept their help.
  • I have only been in my relationship for 2 months, im 18 n i know its not a healthy relationship because of things that has happened, its NOT abusive i don't think, but my mum thinks so but i suppose that's a mothers instinct 2 just look after me, now this is the thing that no 1 understands but me, i do annoy him 2 the limit, i really do. he poured hot water on me from the kettel but i started it by throwing bleach on him, so i guess im the abuser, he's dragged me around but that's not that bad i don't think. then i split up with him n forgave him, he apoligized loads and feels ashamed of wat he did but i love him lots n feel this will work, and i believe the honeymoon phase is just 4 people being fake so i believe were being real with each other. Now i just want every1 2 no that he is depressed and takes tablets n he is self concous, he is 19 but we do have brilliant times 2getha and its great with him.i really don't think he will hurt me again coz he does know he's wrong. sometimes i think i shouldn't b with him but most the time i just want him here holding me like he usually does, he makes me so happy but sometimes sad, but isn't that every relationship? help me, wat should i do, im not gonna leave him unless he hurts me again 4 a fact but how do i get my mum and every1 else around 2 understand me? and can an abuser change? because i keep gettin told no, but i believe they can, so can they?
  • Its when the man puts on his best act to get you back under his control. He is just using another more passive form to gain control. My ex husband read me very easily and he knew how to charm me and make me feel sorry for him. This is a time that is usually short lived and full of promises, romance and hope. The truth is it doesnt last. They soon get edgy, angry, slamming stuff around, blaming, name calling, hitting, lies, taking off, spending all the money. All the heartache returns. The good thing is the next time if you feel that about a person you will know what the signs are and wont stick around. Also during the honeymoon stage, my ex would still check up on me and follow me but i didnt know until later, so nothing had changed at all. What has finally got him to leave me alone is he has warrants out for his arrest and he knows i will call the police, also he doesnt want to pay child support. The calls are annoying, but I am glad i don't live in such a dark world, of fear and misery anymore.
  • My boyfriend is an abuser and every time i feel strong and finally have the guts to leave him he starts to be nice to me. That makes me feel bad for even thinking of leaving him and i end up not doing it. I've been trying to leave him now for 3 years and did for about a month and then went back with him but under one condition, and that was if he changed his abusive ways. He did for About 6 months and I thought this time it's really happening. Until little by little he started to take my time away from my friends by using excuses to come see me. Then he started to dislike certain shirts i would buy. Then he would come up with an excuse to meet me at whatever place i would be at. At first I didn't notice because I thought he really changed, but it just got worse now i don't even speak to any of my freind not even my best friend "because he dissaproves of her behavior". I can't go a day without seeing him or he'll get really pissed off, or start to cry. When he gets mad he calls me bad names and accuses me off sleeping with other men. I can't even go out by myself or not even with my own mother or he will get really mad and meet me where i am at and start to argue with me. I can't even where a slightly low cut shirt because he thinks im trying to get male attention. He met a virgin and accuses me of being easy when it took us almost a year to be intimate. I know i should leave him but my self esteem is to low, I feel as if no other man will think im beautiful enough, and that they can't take care of me like my boyfriend has. He also calls me like 10 times a day.
  • If you are in an abusive relationship, get out as soon as you can, stay out, take time with family or friends, allow yourself to heal and NEVER believe that this is all you deserve. Take care of yourself.

How does a victim of abuse avoid being victimized by the justice system?

1) Know the laws of your state and hire an attorney who regularly represents victims of abuse.

2) Gather as much evidence as possible. Document the abuse by keeping a daily journal of every incident of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. Take photos of bruises or cuts or go to the emergency room or a mental health clinic immediately following the abuse so you have medical records that will support your claim. Tell as many people as possible. The more witnesses you have, the better your case.

3) Remember that in a Court of law, the Judge can only consider the evidence that is submitted (the list of exhibits and testimony of witnesses). If you do not submit documentation of the abuse, it will be your word against his. DON'T let that happen.

3) File for protection from abuse (PFA) and use your evidence at the hearing. Many states will require the abuser to stay away from you, and if they violate that order you can call the police and have him arrested.

4) If you are married, get a divorce but make sure you file for exclusive possession of the marital residence. Cite the incidents of abuse and use your evidence to back your claim. If your home was purchased during the marriage, it is marital property and therefore half of it belongs to you, whether you name is on the deed or not. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to leave the marital residence, make sure you file for spousal support...it is your right. And don't sign a post nuptial agreement without having your own attorney review and explain it to you in detail.

5) When you appear in Court, make sure you appear calm and level-headed. Excessive emotional outbursts will not win your case.

It is telling that precious few psychology and psychopathology textbooks dedicate an entire chapter to abuse and violence. Even the most egregious manifestations � such as child sexual abuse � merit a fleeting mention, usually as a sub-chapter in a larger section dedicated to paedophilia's or personality disorder

Abusive behavior did not make it into the diagnostic criteria of mental health disorders, nor were its psycho dynamic, cultural and social roots explored in depth. As a result of this deficient education and lacking awareness, most law enforcement officers, judges, counselors, guardians, and mediators are worryingly ignorant about the phenomenon.

Only 4% of hospital emergency room admissions of women in the United States are attributed by staff to domestic violence. The true figure, according to the FBI, is more like 50%. One in three murdered women was done in by her spouse, current or former.

The US Department of Justice pegs the number of spouses (mostly women) threatened with a deadly weapon at almost 2 million annually. Domestic violence erupts in a mind-boggling half of all American homes at least once a year. Nor are these isolated, "out of the blue", incidents.

Mistreatment and violence are part of an enduring pattern of maladaptive behavior within the relationship and are sometimes coupled with substance abuse. Abusers are possessive, pathologically jealous, dependent, and, often, narcissistic. Invariably, both the abuser and his victim seek to conceal the abusive episodes and their aftermath from family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues.

This dismal state of things is an abuser's and stalker's paradise. This is especially true with psychological (verbal and emotional) abuse which leaves no visible marks and renders the victim incapable of coherence.

Still, there is no "typical" offender. Maltreatment crosses racial, cultural, social, and economic lines. This is because, until very recently, abuse has constituted normative, socially-acceptable, and, sometimes, condoned, behavior. For the bulk of human history, women and children were considered no better than property.

Indeed, well into the 18th century, they still made it into lists of assets and liabilities of the household. Early legislation in America � fashioned after European law, both Anglo-Saxon and Continental � permitted wife battering for the purpose of behavior modification. The circumference of the stick used, specified the statute, should not exceed that of the husband's thumb.

Inevitably, many victims blame themselves for the dismal state of affairs. The abused party may have low self-esteem, a fluctuating sense of self-worth, primitive defense mechanisms, phobias, mental health problems, a disability, a history of failure, or a tendency to blame herself, or to feel inadequate (auto plastic neurosis).

She may have come from an abusive family or environment � which conditioned her to expect abuse as inevitable and "normal". In extreme and rare cases � the victim is a masochist, possessed of an urge to seek ill-treatment and pain. Gradually, the victims convert these unhealthy emotions and their learned helplessness in the face of persistent "gas lighting" into psychosomatic symptoms, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, or, in extremist, suicidal ideation and gestures.

(continued)

From the Narcissistic Personality Disorders list � excerpt from my book "Toxic Relationships - Abuse and its Aftermath" (forthcoming, 2004):

"Therapists, marriage counselors, mediators, court-appointed guardians, police officers, and judges are human. Some of them are social reactionaries, others are narcissists, and a few are themselves spouse abusers. Many things work against the victim facing the justice system and the psychological profession.

Start with denial. Abuse is such a horrid phenomenon that society and its delegates often choose to ignore it or to convert it into a more benign manifestation, typically by pathologizing the situation or the victim � rather than the perpetrator.

A man's home is still his castle and the authorities are loath to intrude.

Most abusers are men and most victims are women. Even the most advanced communities in the world are largely patriarchal. Misogynistic gender stereotypes, superstitions, and prejudices are strong.

Therapists are not immune to these ubiquitous and age-old influences and biases.

They are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulative's of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. The therapist rarely has a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the abused are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.

Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties � it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey's acts of self-defense, assertiveness, or insistence on her rights are interpreted as aggression, liability, or a mental health problem.

The profession's propensity to pathologize extends to the wrongdoers as well. Alas, few therapists are equipped to do proper clinical work, including diagnosis.

Abusers are thought by practitioners of psychology to be emotionally disturbed, the twisted outcomes of a history of familial violence and childhood traumas. They are typically diagnosed as suffering from a personality disorder, an inordinately low self-esteem, or co dependence coupled with an all-devouring fear of abandonment. Consummate abusers use the right vocabulary and feign the appropriate "emotions" and affect and, thus, sway the evaluator's judgment.

But while the victim's "pathology" works against her � especially in custody battles � the culprit's "illness" works for him, as a mitigating circumstance, especially in criminal proceedings.

In his seminal essay, "Understanding the Batterer in Visitation and Custody Disputes", Lundy Bancroft sums up the asymmetry in favor of the offender:

"Batterers ... adopt the role of a hurt, sensitive man who doesn't understand how things got so bad and just wants to work it all out 'for the good of the children.' He may cry ... and use language that demonstrates considerable insight into his own feelings. He is likely to be skilled at explaining how other people have turned the victim against him, and how she is denying him access to the children as a form of revenge ... He commonly accuses her of having mental health problems, and may state that her family and friends agree with him ... that she is hysterical and that she is promiscuous. The abuser tends to be comfortable lying, having years of practice, and so can sound believable when making baseless statements. The abuser benefits ... when professionals believe that they can "just tell" who is lying and who is telling the truth, and so fail to adequately investigate.

Because of the effects of trauma, the victim of battering will often seem hostile, disjointed, and agitated, while the abuser appears friendly, articulate, and calm. Evaluators are thus tempted to conclude that the victim is the source of the problems in the relationship."

There is little the victim can do to "educate" the therapist or "prove" to him who is the guilty party. Mental health professionals are as ego-centered as the next person. They are emotionally invested in opinions they form or in their interpretation of the abusive relationship. They perceive every disagreement as a challenge to their authority and are likely to pathologize such behavior, labeling it "resistance" (or worse).

In the process of mediation, marital therapy, or evaluation, counselors frequently propose various techniques to ameliorate the abuse or bring it under control. Woe betides the party that dares object or turn these "recommendations" down. Thus, an abuse victim who declines to have any further contact with her batterer � is bound to be chastised by her therapist for obstinately refusing to constructively communicate with her violent spouse.

Better to play ball and adopt the sleek mannerisms of your abuser. Sadly, sometimes the only way to convince your therapist that it is not all in your head and that you are a victim � is by being insincere and by staging a well-calibrated performance, replete with the correct vocabulary. Therapists have Pavlovian reactions to certain phrases and theories and to certain "presenting signs and symptoms" (behaviors during the first few sessions). Learn these � and use them to your advantage. It is your only chance."

Firstly, although the justice system doesn't always get it right, because it is run by human people, who can make mistakes, there doesn't seem to be a serious problem with victims of domestic abuse being victimised by the justice system.

I would hate anyone to be discouraged from exercising their rights to protection by any false impression that they are most likely to be revictimized.

That is something a lot of abusers deliberately cultivate, the impression that however bad it is with them it will be WORSE elsewhere, and a fear of "the system". That's why a lot of victims stay.

If you think this is happening to you first consider a couple of possibilities:

a) "The courts, police, evaluators, guardian ad lit em" - it is their job to treat both parties as equals, if they show partiality that CAN be used against the victim. Of course, in practice treating both parties in abuse as equals does effectively mean that the abuser is getting more apparent credit than he is due, and the victim is getting less.

b) You ever watch "Judge Judy"? I have, and if I had a dollar for every time I have seen her listen patiently and sympathetically to the most ridiculous stories, while abruptly telling the other party to be quiet...and then rule AGAINST those she was sympathising with...apparent sympathy can be a tactic, even in the courtroom, to draw an abuser out and get them to show their hand. The more sympathy you pile on a liar the more they relax and the more likely they are to make mistakes. Most people within the justice system are not fools.

I doubt if most people can keep up an act good enough to fool professionals ... trying and failing could make things MUCH worse.

You get caught out in too many lies and synthetic reactions and people start to wonder what kind of truth you are hiding.

Imagine, if you realise everything about somebody is phony, you aren't going to jump to the conclusion that she is totally innocent.

If you really feel you are being victimised try to find other professionals who will advocate. Start with the refuges.

My experience is that the system supports the abuser 9 times out of 10. The best help I ever read is by Lundy Bancroft:

http://www.lundybancroft.com/pages/articles_sub/CUSTODY.htm

Great tips and advice by an experienced person. He says:

"This article is drawn largely from the author's ten years of experience working as a counselor and supervisor in programs for abusive men, involving contact with some 1500 abusers, and hundreds of their victims, over that period."

If he says that the system is strongly biased against the victim - you better believe him!

Anne

PS from his website:

"Lundy is currently part of a human rights research project that is documenting and publicizing the institutional mistreatment of abused women and their children through custody and visitation litigation after they have left the abuser. The Battered Mothers Testimony Project is based at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College -- more information about the project is available at the Women's Rights Network website. The Battered Mothers Testimony Project will be releasing its human rights report in October 2002 during Domestic Violence Awareness Month."

Lundy Bancroft claims that there is re-victimisation of victims within the system, which needs revision. This is certainly true and a very different thing to claiming the system is biased against the victim.

Examined in depth, the two problems would largely be mutually exclusive.

I feel very strongly about this kind of scaremongering, it serves only to enhance and reinforce the learned helplessness already instilled into victims by their tormentors and further erodes what little capacity for trust remains to them.

The fact remains that the majority of victims will be treated FAR BETTER by every aspect of the system than they would be by their abusers.

In addition, if any victim were capable of the sophisticated duplicity required to fool professionals it is extremely unlikely that they would have become victims in the first place.

The very first thing a victim trying to escape needs is a way to find SOMEONE to trust...

The second thing they need is somebody to REALISE their truth...

Paranoia about "the system" and presentation of deceit and duplicity as "their only chance", is not only ill-informed, but should it be taken to heart (and the desperate can be very easily lead) likely to lead any real victim against their best interests to the point of serious damage.

I also read Bancroft and he is the best. He clearly states that the system is biased against the victim, cannot and should not be trusted and should be manipulated in favor of the victim to the best of the victim's ability.

Some quotes from Bancroft's essay:

"A batterer who does file for custody will frequently win, as he has numerous advantages over his partner in custody litigation. These include, 1) his typical ability to afford better representation (often while simultaneously insisting that he has no money with which to pay child support), 2) his marked advantage over his victim in psychological testing, since she is the one who has been traumatized by the abuse, 3) his ability to manipulate custody evaluators to be sympathetic to him, and 4) his ability to manipulate and intimidate the children regarding their statements to the custody evaluator. There is also evidence that gender bias in family courts works to the barterer's advantage. (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Gender Bias Study) Even if the batterer does not win custody, his attempt can be among the most intimidating acts possible from the victim's perspective, and can lead to financial ruin for her and her children."

"An abuser focuses on being charming and persuasive during a custody dispute, with an effect that can be highly misleading to Guardians ad Lit em, court mediators, judges, police officers, therapists, family members, and friends. He can be skilled at discussing his hurt feelings and at characterizing the relationship as mutually destructive. He will often admit to some milder acts of violence, such as shoving or throwing things, in order to increase his own credibility and create the impression that the victim is exaggerating. He may discuss errors he has made in the past and emphasize the efforts he is making to change, in order to make his partner seem vindictive and unwilling to let go of the past."

"Mediators and GAL's tend to have a bias in favor of communication, believing that the more the two parents speak to each other, the better things will go for the children. In domestic violence cases the truth is often the opposite, as the abuser uses communication to intimidate or psychologically abuse, and to keep pressuring the victim for a reunion. Victims who refuse to have any contact with their abusers may be doing the best thing both for themselves and for their children, but the evaluator may then characterize her as being the one who won't let go of the past or who can't focus on what is good for the children. This superficial analysis works to the batterers advantage.'

"Because of the effects of trauma, the victim of battering will often seem hostile, disjointed, and agitated, while the abuser appears friendly, articulate, and calm. Evaluators are thus tempted to conclude that the victim is the source of the problems in the relationship."

And on and on.

What could be clearer than this:

"Lundy is currently part of a human rights research project that is documenting and publicizing the institutional mistreatment of abused women and their children through custody and visitation litigation after they have left the abuser. "

INSTITUTIONAL MISTREATMENT.

(sigh)

I should know. I have been victimized and pathologized by the system, exactly as Bancroft and Vaknin describe. I don't know who damaged me more - my ex or the courts.

Sue

I must agree with Anonymous that the system - even a flawed system, as Bancroft observes - is MUCH preferable to the abuser. Even if the alternative is a biased system of courts, etc. - the victim should aspire to leave the abuser and rely on the community and its institutions.

Sue, Bancroft never said that the solution is to manipulate the system. I did, based on correspondence with thousands of abused women.

I disagree with Bancroft in other respects, too:

http://www.suite101.com/discussion.cfm/18046/93699

I think the people within the system, the attorneys, guardians, etc, need to read some of Lundy's material. When i read his book, Angry and controlling men, why do they do it?" It was like he had interviewed me for the book. I couldn't believe the obvious patterns of the abusers. I also felt like I constantly had to "defend " myself to the system. The things that he would do, were so crazy, so irrational, that I think it was difficult for people to believe what he had done was true. I fought for him to attend anger management classes, and even when it was ordered by the court, it was not enforced. The system not only failed me, but of a much greater concern, my three children. Who now, three years later, are still having to deal with his threatening "looks" and be ever watchful for his bad moods. I am going to forward this article to the attorney, and the guardian at l.. involved, in hopes that maybe it will help the next person who comes in their door, with this same problem.

The educational website custodyprepformom provides some concrete steps and tips for abused women to navigate the family court system.

Your last paragraph, Dr. Vaknin suggests learning phraseology that therapists, etc. want to hear. I would love to see a more detailed follow-up to that suggestion.

It's impossible not to be victimised. The Justice system is full of people just waiting to step into the shoes of the abuser you just left or need protecting from. The justice system just sees another battered, neurotic woman. Take what you can and try to let the rest go or you'll end up totally insane. We cannot beat the abuser and we cannot beat the system. They're all part of the same machine!!!!

I'd like to try and give another perspective, hoping I am trying to answer and not "debate", as one in the midst of this type of situation. I watched (sort of embarrassed to admit)one of those many court shows once, Divorce Court or something, I'm not sure which one. And an overweight, overwrought, overemotional woman was going on and on about the things her husband had done. She came across and was treated like a hysterical, whining, crybaby. Her ex, or soon to be, came across cool, calm, rational, reasonable, long-suffering, guy. Sometimes I see men on these types of shows be totally open about their attitudes towards women, but the smart ones don't. He played his part to the hilt. This women was ridiculed by the judge, I don't remember the exact situation, just the general impression I came away with.

And the thing is, I knew better. My first reaction to her was just the same as the judge's. But this woman could have been me, it was my story.

Is this leading me to think it is better that I should stay? To give up? No. Is it leading me to think that for me to leave, and not risk losing my children, that I need to get myself together, regroup, and figure out how to do this correctly, so that the facts can come out, not for me to minipulate or act, but to learn how to come across to be seen as the competent person, so that the truth can be heard, not hidden by what is erroneously perceived? Yes. Infact, I was starting to feel like giving up, that maybe I'm wrong, or who cares, if no one was believing me anyway? But knowing that this does happen, that it isn't a result of me being wrong, deserving it after all, that I really am incompetent, and instead that it is a lack of education, assuming and presuming, and simple, but unfortunate human nature that largely contributes, gives me hope that maybe I can be heard, if I approach it in a different, though honest, way.

Though beyond that, I still am looking for answers myself. I'd love to understand the "phraseology" as well. I always felt when acting like I had any actual knowlege in this or any other related area which I was going to a councelor about, it always became somehow very uncomfortable, as if I was challenging them, or something, but so frustrating when they'd give me advice that I knew was wrong for my situation, based on trying it myself for year, by reading that it was wrong, and then by trying it again anyway, so I wouldn't look like I was being "difficult", or not claiming responsibility or something.

Simple...stay out of court they are not set up to believe or help an abuse victim. If your abuser is driving you crazy the court would want you to take a mental exam and your kids could be taken due to your mental state all of this while the abuser get away Scott free.

Beware of the *Snakes in SuitsAs a student of psychopathology and a writer on the subject, I would like to add this observation: That many abusers are learned abusers due to background but many, too, are sociopaths of the "white collar" variety. This designation is somewhat misleading as many may be blue collar workers or in the military. However, the correct designation of such sociopaths/psychopaths is "subclinical". The subclinical sociopath/psychopath has never been clinically evaluated nor been in the forensic population (never been jailed).

A few are borderline personalities or bipolar. These people are sick (as in unwell) but the psychopath is morally sick and knows right from wrong but cares not whit for the truth being a pathological liar. Ultimately, power overaa others is his goal especially of his wife who, being a woman, barely seems human to him. All psychopaths are mysogonistic in the extreme yet dependent upon his woman/women. These people are monsters because they are fakes as well as flakes. Their children are their property and the woman had better not stand in their way when it comes to custody disputes.

Read all about them in Robert Hare's book WITHOUT CONSCIENCE: THE TROUBLED WORLD OF THE PSYCHOPATHS...Also he has another book coming out*

Foundation for Healing Trauma**

  • formerly the Foundation for the Study of Psychopathy
ABUSED WOMEN'S CENTERS WORK!!!I volunteer for a Canadian Abused Women's Center and not only are the victims of abuse protected (along with their children) but there is legal counsel for them from the Center and 9 out of every abusive boyfriend or husband is found guilty with NO custody rights with the children (and only 4% may get custody rights but supervised.)

Most police officers, hospitals are there to help, but often the victim of abuse is sceptical of their help and who could blame her. Without a charge against the abuser there is no case! In British Columbia, Canada many of us women have fought this with all our might and it was worth the fight because now the police have a right to arrest the abuser if the complaint is made. There is zero tolerance levels against any sort of abuse by a spouse, criminal, gay bashing, etc. in British Columbia.