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.

10,110 Questions
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

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...

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

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.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Dating

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.

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Mental Health
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Philosophy and Philosophers

What is psychopathic deviate?

Someone who refuses to deviate from chosen path.

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Relationships
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

What is the name of the sexiest tribe in Kenya?

kikuyu

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Alcoholism
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Obesity and Metabolism Disorders
Bulimia

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).

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
School Subjects

How a person acquires moral and ethical values?

Different ways. The fastest and most efficient way is through their parents.

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Child Safety
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species

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

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Marriage

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.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Self-Esteem
Emotions

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.

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Relationships
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

How do you cope with an emotionally abusive brother?

I do by telling myself that people like that do not like themselves at all, and then I think about how much I like myself and will keep liking myself no matter how rude he is to me. You can also seek other family members or friends advice, they may be able to act as mediators between you and your brother.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

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.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

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.
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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

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.
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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

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.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

How do you tell someone that your partner is abusive and not be afraid?

Find a local place that takes women in who have abusive partners. Do it without warning or otherwise alerting him. Do not use your cell phone (or any other resource he can track, like a home computer/private email) to contact them. Your safe place will offer you counseling and other help for your situation. Your safety, and that of your children, is more important than anything else. If he is at all violent, being with a family member, endangers them, too. Generally, people like this abuse others in secret and depend on keeping it that way. Also, others prefer not to become involved or take sides, so friends can be a dead end. My outside "team" got me away safely and if you follow their advice, you will be able to escape, too.

I think you just did. Now tell someone your close to or your family. If your with someone abusive you need to get away. I firmly believe NO ONE has the right to treat anyone else badly. They hate themselves and need to project it onto everyone else.

I believe you will have more reason to be afraid if you don't tell someone else.

The more people who are aware of your situation the better, as when you decide that you can take no more, you will always have people who understand and will give you shelter and or support.

Do not be ashamed to speak up. It is not your fault that your partner is abusive. Put the shame on him by letting others know!

The abuser mistreats only his closest - spouse, children, or (much more rarely) colleagues, friends, and neighbours. To the rest of the world, he appears to be a composed, rational, and functioning person. Abusers are very adept at casting a veil of secrecy - often with the active aid of their victims - over their dysfunction and misbehavior.

Read about the abuser's tactics and concealment and manipulation here: Telling Them Apart Facilitating Narcissism This is why the abuser's offending behavior comes as a shock even to his closest, nearest, and dearest.

In the October 2003 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Christina Nicolaidis of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, studied 30 women between the ages of 17 and 54, all survivors of attempted homicide by their intimate partners.

Half of them (14) confessed to have been "completely surprised" by the attack. They did not realize how violent their partner can be and the extent of risk they were continuously exposed to. Yet, all of them were the victims of previous episodes of abuse, including the physical sort. They could easily have predicted that an attempt to end the relationship would result in an attack on body and property.

"If I had talked to some of these women before the attack, I would have counseled them about the domestic violence, but I would not have necessarily felt that their lives were in danger," Nicolaidis told Reuters - "Now I am more careful to warn any woman who has experienced intimate partner violence about the risk to her life, especially around the time that the relationship is ending".

Secrecy is a major weapon in the abuser's arsenal. Many batterers maintain a double life and keep it a well-guarded secret. Others show one face - benign, even altruistic - to an admiring world and another - ominous and aggressive - at home. All abusers insist on keeping the abuse confidential, safe from prying eyes and ears.

The victims collaborate in this cruel game through cognitive dissonance and traumatic bonding. They rationalize the abuser's behavior, attributing it to incompatibility, mental health problems, temporary setbacks or circumstances, a bad relationship, or substance abuse. Many victims feel guilty. They have been convinced by the offender that they are to blame for his misconduct ("you see what you made me do!", "you constantly provoke me!").

Others re-label the abuse and attribute it to the batterer's character idiosyncrasies. It is explained away as the sad outcome of a unique upbringing, childhood abuse, or passing events. Abusive incidents are recast as rarities, an abnormality, few and far between, not as bad as they appear to be, understandable outbursts, justified temper tantrums, childish manifestations, a tolerable price to pay for an otherwise wonderful relationship.

When is a woman's life at risk?

Nicolaidis Reuters: "Classic risk factors for an attempted homicide by an intimate partner include escalating episodes or severity of violence, threats with or use of weapons, alcohol or drug use, and violence toward children."

Yet, this list leaves out ambient abuse - the stealth, subtle, underground currents of maltreatment that sometimes go unnoticed even by the victims themselves. Until it is too late.

This little realization just happpened this week...!

My abuser is constantly doing things for all 'his' friends. I feel that they only see what he wants them to see.

A couple of times when I desperately needed someone to talk to, I tried to talk to one of the women (that I felt close to) but was more or less cut off from discussing anything negative about him. He's always helping them.

Brand new to this page, so please overlook protocol errors... I'm 1 month out of a mind-bending 4yr "relationship" with a highly intelligent stealth abuser. One of the biggest reality disconnects I felt much of the time was observing how incredibly kind, funny, self-effacing, charming, "would do anything for you"and flirtatious he was with EVERYONE but me (of course, true to form, he was that way with me in the beginning (ie:buying out the Pharmacy when I had the flu, little surprise delights). Shortly after we became sexually intimate his Jekyll and Hyde personalities emerged.

His underlings at work (all highly educated and respectable folk) would go to the ends of the earth for him. He has exactly one close friend (and his wife) who think he is God. They even made him trustee of their affairs, should something happen to them. I've watched him make total strangers eat out of his hand in a minute or less, and he's completely charmed his housekeeper and her young daughter.

It seems NO ONE but me knows what this stealth abuser is really about, except perhaps his ex girlfriends (who he never gave me a scrap of information about-RED FLAG!!) Even my therapist was fooled by this guy (I found out after I was in therapy with her that her husband knew my ex and thought he was wonderful), which needless to say, screwed up my therapy --I had to walk away. These characters scrutinize everything for opportunity, size people up from minute one, and are already 2-3 moves ahead of you at the get-go.

Other traits: his doo-doo didn't stink (told me so, straight faced, several times), manipulative, lying, arbitrary, capricious, silent treatment, called me "Missy", would change plans we "suposedly" made together on a dime without explanation. Would cut a trip short (even long distance ones) if he felt the least bit threatened, would stonewall/ red herring me if I asked him a direct question.

Not long ago I discovered I had been "stealth abused" by both my parents (mother continuously sick/needy, father present--but absent) growing up; being a kid with no other experience to compare to, all these years I believed my childhood was pretty normal. Enotionally, it was far from. In view of what I've learned about myself, I'm now not surprised to I find myself where I am (I'm getting help).

Very true. This is called "abuse by proxy". It has two aspects:

I. Abuse is often condoned by the abuser's social milieu - friends, family, colleagues. It is part of the dominant, patriarchal, misogynistic culture in which the abuser grows and to which he conforms.

II. Abusers operate through others, using them as proxies.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

Should you confront your abuser?

NO. Never confront an abuser especially one who has demonstrated a violent history.

Never argue with her or disagree. Agree with him until he calms down. The only safe way out is to calm her down. Eventually no matter how enraged she is, she will run out of steam. Once he is either asleep or out of the house LEAVE. GET OUT. Do not try to reason with her because......

Abusers are predators, attuned to the subtlest emotional cues of their prey. Never show your abuser that you are afraid or that you are less than resolute. The willingness to negotiate is perceived as a weakness by bullies. Violent offenders are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail or emotional extortion - once you start compromising, you won't see the end of it.

The abuser creates a "shared psychosis" (follies-a-deux) with his victim, an overwhelming feeling of "the two of us against the whole world". Don't buy into it. Feel free to threaten her (with legal measures), to disengage if things get rough- or to involve law enforcement officers, friends, neighbours, and colleagues.

Here are a few counterintuitive guidelines:

The abused feel ashamed, somehow responsible, guilty, and blameworthy for their maltreatment. The abuser is adept at instilling these erroneous notions in his victims ("look what you made me do!"). So, above all, do not keep your abuse a secret. Secrecy is the abuser's weapon. Share your story with friends, colleagues, neighbors, social workers, the police, the media, your minister, and anyone else who will listen.

Don't make excuses for him or her. Don't try to understand her. Do not empathize with him - he, surely, does not empathize with you. She has no mercy on you - you, in return, do not harbor misplaced pity for him. Never give her a second chance. React with your full arsenal to the first transgression. Teach him a lesson he is unlikely to forget. Make her go elsewhere for his sadistic pursuits or to offload his frustrations.

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 her as she treats you. Involve others. Bring it into the open. Nothing like sunshine to disinfest abuse.

There are a few techniques which work wonders with abusers. Some psychologists recommend to treat repeat offenders as one would toddlers. The abuser is, indeed, an immature brat - though a dangerous one, endowed as he is with the privileges and capabilities of an adult. Sometimes ignoring his temper tantrums until it is over is a wise policy. But not very often - and, definitely not as a rule.

Read these articles for tips and advice:

AnswerIt depends on the situation, the degree of your relationship (wife, daughter, sister, etc.), and whether confronting him or her would jeopardize your safety.

I did confronted my abusive father. I didn't have the nerve to do it in person, but I wrote him a letter that was 4 pages long and told him everything I ever wanted to tell him. And you know what? It feels great! I am freed from the responsibility of having to pretend, of feeling responsible for his happiness and/or unhappiness, and the burden that I carried is gone.

AnswerI say YES. My father crossed the line when I was 15 and again when I was 19. My 2 sisters knew of the 1st incident but we never really talked about it and never told anyone else. I never told my mother;I was afraid she wouldn't believe me or that I (it wasn't me but my father)would cause my parents to divorce. I'm now 48 and have never told a single soul..I was ashamed and didn't want anyone to know what a creep my father was. I've been going to counselling to learn to let go of the anger and move on with some sort of relationship since my parents are now 71. Unfortunately, one of my sisters, without my knowledge or consent, last week told my 71 year old mother. She accused me of being on drugs (I'm not) and has disowned me. So now instead of dealing with the abuse issue with a professional and in private, I'm dealing with absolute rage at my sister as well as suddenly being without my mother and father. My mother's reaction is exactly why I didn't tell her 33 years ago. AnswerIf you think confrontation will "fix" the abuser, get a clue and give it up. Confrontation, however, can be a declaration of independence for the abused. Abuse continues as long as the object of that abuse is convenient and reasonably risk-free for exposure of the abuser. A child is at risk if he decides to confront his adult abuser alone. That child should find the courage to tell an adult who is willing to get involved by believing the abuse is real and factual. An abuser will gauge the ability and strength of the confronter. How that abuser responds to confrontation depends on the opportunity available to him by strength and ability. The same is true of a woman confronting a physically abusive man...or one capable of physical abuse where it has not been present before confrontation. Confronters are always at risk and should never doubt the reaction of a predator who has been backed into a corner. He will try to escape by any method he perceives is available...even by accelerating the abuse to remove the accuser. When the abused one is no longer at risk by virtue of numbers or strength, it is healthy for the abused to confront the abuser... healthy for the abused one... to give back a sense of personal power which will have been damaged by his powerlessness to avoid the abuse...or his guilt for feeling as if, perhaps, he deserved to be abused for some unknown reason. Confrontation throws the light of day on whatever deterrent there was for the abused one to have defended himself against the attack in whatever form it assumed. AnswerI am 22 years old yet I can definetly relate with Debbie. I was also abused by my father but at a very young age. My abuse carried on for several years, until I was old enough to realise what was really going on and put a stop it. I never told a single soul, but this resulted in me developing an eating disorder (bulemia) and therefore being a "wild" teenager and even adult. I justify my crazy actions, like drugs, casual sex, drinking and driving with the whole factor of being abused. When my parents would try to discipline me I would laugh in their face. My mother never understood where my lack of respect and resentment came from, until one nite (when I was 19) coming home at 4 am completely entoxicated the truth all came out. This caused my whole family to disintegrate. My mother kicked my father out, my two brothers moved away. My father became very depressed, he even attempted suicide. My mother was lonely since it was only the 3 of us left in the country (My brothers went to different country). I continued to live with my mother and felt sorry for her and even for my father, so, I found it in my heart to forgive my father and let him come back to live with us. It has now been 3 years since this happened and things are pretty much back to normal. My mom forgave my Dad, they are presently happily married. To them it is as if it never happened. The sad part is Im screwed up for life, or until I get some intense counselling. Because of my abuse as a child, I have already been in an abusive relationship with a man that was verbal and physical. I got out of that one last December 2003. Now I am currently in a relationship, which by me reading your information on this website, have realised is a narsassistic abuse relationship. Constant put downs and humiliation followed my passion and love followed by demeaning comments. So, for me this is a vicious cycle. I hope one day, I can get past all this and are able to live my life with someone that loves me and appreciates me as much as I do them. Answeri told my abuser why i left him viA a text message while he was begging me back. i told him it was his need to CONTROL me, THE FEELING OF WORTHLESSNESS, the NEVER BEING ABLE TO DO OR SAY ANYTHING RIGHT, THE CONSTANT VERBAL ABUSE, ARGUEMENTS OVER NOTHING, THE PHYSICAL ABUSE BASICALLY THE WAY HE TREATED ME THAT MADE ME LEAVE. HE SAID HE WAS SORRY THAT IT WAS ALL HIS FAULT. THEN MET A GIRL ON THE INTERNET GOT ENGAGED IN 3 WEEKS TO HER. SHE CALLED ME TO SEE WHAT HE WAS LIKE WITH ME. SHES LEFT HIM. SO I GUESS CONFRONTING THEM IS ALL WELL AND GOOD YET. DOES IT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THEM I WOULD SAY NOT! Answer"Should you confront your abuser?"

Absolutely!

AnswerLook, I have a friend who wasn't doing very well lately so i asked him if everythging was ok and he told me everything was, but i could see something in his eyes that wasn't right. It took me 2 weeks to get to the root of the problem. Apparently, his step-father was abusing him and i was the first person he told me about it. The mere fact that he could confide in me was very touching, so I had to find a way to help him out. I am in the proccess of working things out right now. Just a message to victim's of abuse: Do not under any circumstances let your abuser break you down whether its emotional, mental, or physical pain. People will respect the fact that you have the will to tell someone or do something about it yourself, and if anyone thinks otherwise, then they are not really your friends. AnswerI personally wouldn't. I learned from that mistake. I guess it really depends how bad the abuse is though. I was in a horrible relationship with this guy who was very abusive. When I confronted him it was the worst thing I could have done. He was furious & had hurt me worse then ever before. It was so bad that when I tried to leave he locked me in the bath room for a few days. Point is, just be careful, sometimes the best thing is to just plot the best way to leave & get away from the abuser & never turn back.
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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

Can you provoke abuse?

Though it does not provide the abuser with a reason, justification, excuse, or anything else except in their own minds, it is possible to provoke abusive behavior in some situations. For example, if a couple is having an argument, the person who is being abused might know they should stop arguing before their abuser's buttons are pushed, but continues arguing knowing that it will result in abuse. This is not saying that abuse is acceptable or that abuse is the fault of the victim, it is just answering the question. More often than not, though, the person being abused does absolutely nothing; the abuser just "goes off" and the abuse is done. No matter what the victim does, abuse is never the fault of anyone other than the abuser.

Here are more answers:

  • You can provoke anger, irritation, love, liking, admiration, respect, sadness, sympathy, etc...., but abuse is action (or inaction) that hurts another. even if you are actually provoking anger (for instance), there are healthy ways of expressing that and working through it which are not abusive.
  • Can you provoke abuse? I lived with abuse for 25 years.Can you provoke abuse?Yes not and I repeat not intentionally.When a person is provoking an abuse person it may be just a simple gesture or answer to him.This can escalate the abuse.It doesn't take much to provoke the abuser because they have a distorted personality.But intentionally provoking no.

  • I believe that you first have to understand the cycle of voilence. It comes in the form something like this.. Woman is married, her husband hits her, calls her names, tells her really ugly things, belittles her, abuses her in every way possible. Then tells her he loves her. She is craving that love, she knew before things were "Bad" in the beginning she doesn't understand why he does this, she just knows that she wants to love him, and him to love her. Pretty soon whether you are conscious of it or not provoking him to do the things you know might lead to the anger... because you know you just want to hear the love. Or hear the nice things after he blows up. It's part of the cycle of voilence. Its always painful, even if you aren't aware your doing it. Subconsciously we do things sometimes we would stop if we even knew we were aware of the behavior. The cycle of voilence is ugly... for everyone involved... kids especially. They are the TRUE victims.
  • Honey don't you for one second blame yourself. Anything can provoke an abuser. That is what the abuser wants you to think. Then he is not to blame in his mind. And he tries to make you feel like you did something to get this beating. If you have a dog and that dog is lying quietly napping and you start kicking the crap out of it until it is nearly dead who's fault is it yours or the dogs? If you are being abused it is the abusers fault every day of the week. Get out even if you have to go to a womens shelter. I am a survivor of abuse and I can tell you you may have to do things you don't want to but in the end your life is better without the abuser. You may have to live with relatives and expose this ugly story. Be strong and remember God loves you and if you ask he will help. Get out. I look back now and I can't believe I let myself get into that position but it happens. Time will be your friend if you get out.
  • I believe you can provoke abuse. With abuse. I watch it constantly. She pursues him. She puts him down constantly. Tells him he is stupid, and mean. tell him he's a bad father. Follows him from room to room like his counselor told him to do. Traps him in a corner and screams in his face. Tells him that doing what he is supposed to be doing is because he is afraid. Makes him at fault for everything. Then he hits her. What he does is abuse. But what she does is also abuse. Just not physical. I watch her get beat up, and I see her tear him to nothing. Literally. At the end of the fights, after he hits her, he ends up apologizing for all the things that were not his fault. They are both mentally ill. And both are abusers, and victims. You sure can. If you know what buttons to push, why do you push them?
  • It can certainly be provoked especially with someone that you know has abusive tenedencies, anger managment problems or is short fused. HOWEVER...it is NEVER the provokers' fault for someone else to commit abuse. Everyone has control over themselves.
  • OMG! I agree with the last answer and want to add to this. As a counselor and a woman who was abused by two husbands for 10 years and 5 years (I walked right back into it ) even though I had taken 4 years of counseling and knew all the signs! I want to warn you those of you who are BLAMING yourself or blaming others for PROVOKING an ABUSERS WRATH. OMG BACK OFF and SHAME ON YOU!!!!!
  • ANY man or abuser who will Lash out in anger and hit, strike, punch , poke, scratch, throw something, no matter WHAT caused the anger , is not a man. A person who does this over and over has a problem. AND if the woman is indeed hitting the man FIRST and he is hitting her back then she also is an abuser. But Im talking here about a woman like me who sat and took abuse year after year after year and never ONE SINGLE TIME did i lash out back or retaliate or hit or poke or throw or even scream. I simply put my hands over my eyes and head and took it til he calmed down and I find in counseling other women that the MAJORITY do the same. YES you have a lot that DO hit her man, that DO lash out and scream and provoke but there are the majority that are simply the punching bag to his pent up frustrations of his work day and if she want to unwind ,....too bad.
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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

What causes a person to remain in an abusive relationship?

It takes two to tango and an equal number to sustain a long-term abusive relationship. The abuser and the abused form a bond, a dynamic, and a dependence. Expressions such as "follies a deux" and the "Stockholm Syndrome" capture facets two of a myriad of this dense macabre. It often ends fatally. It is always an excruciatingly painful affair.

Abuse is closely correlated with alcoholism, drug consumption, intimate-partner homicide, teen pregnancy, infant and child mortality, spontaneous abortion, reckless behaviors, suicide, and the onset of mental health disorders. It doesn't help that society refuses to openly and frankly tackle this pernicious phenomenon and the guilt and shame associated with it.

The situation is not always bad; it has good and bad times and it is that slippery slope that keeps people from doing what they know they must. A habit of second guessing rather than choosing a path with confidence is difficult to overcome. It is not just leaving-it is providing a safe place for yourself and children, getting a job, managing the legalities all at the same time - and it is daunting for a good period of time after you have left.

People overwhelmingly women remain in an abusive household for a variety of reasons: economic, parental (to protect the children), and psychological. But the objective obstacles facing the battered spouse cannot be overstated.

The abuser treats his spouse as an object, an extension of himself, devoid of a separate existence and denuded of distinct needs. Thus, typically, the couple's assets are on his name from real estate to medical insurance policies. The victim has no family or friends because her abusive partner or husband frowns on her initial independence and regards it as a threat. By intimidating, cajoling, charming, and making false promises, the abuser isolates his prey from the rest of society and, thus, makes her dependence on him total. She is often also denied the option to study and acquire marketable skills or augment them.

Abandoning the abusive spouse frequently leads to a prolonged period of destitution and peregrination. Custody is usually denied to parents without a permanent address, a job, income security, and, therefore, stability. Thus, the victim stands to lose not only her mate and nest but also her off-spring. There is the added menace of violent retribution by the abuser or his proxies coupled with emphatic contrition on his part and a protracted and irresistible "charm offensive".

Gradually, she is convinced to put up with her spouse's cruelty in order to avoid this harrowing predicament.

But there is more to an abusive dyad than mere pecuniary convenience. The abuser stealthily but unfailingly exploits the vulnerabilities in the psychological makeup of his victim. 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 (autoplastic 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.

The abuser may be functional or dysfunctional, a pillar of society, or a peripatetic con-artist, rich or poor, young or old. There is no universally-applicable profile of the "typical abuser". Yet, abusive behavior often indicates serious underlying psychopathologies. Absent empathy, the abuser perceives the abused spouse only dimly and partly, as one would an inanimate source of frustration. The abuser, in his mind, interacts only with himself and with "introjects" representations of outside objects, such as his victims. The abused person is emotionally fragile, starving for affection, security, and affirmation. If the abused person lacks a strong social support system, the abusive relationship, sick as it is, provides some relief from being alone. Some abused partners avoid being alone at all costs, until they hit rock bottom and cannot live with the abuse any longer. Because in most cases the abused does not realize they are being abuse in the beginning the abuser will use blame shifting. Once the abuser has given you so many reasons that things went wrong because of something that you did or didn't do, or behaviors, or attitudes that he or she says that you should work on "yourself" you begin to feel as if the abuse takes place because you have made mistakes. Some people like myself tend to be fixers and want to find a solution to all the problems that have been presented thinking that the problem really is you. I hear that a lot -YOU YOU YOU don't care about me, YOU lie, YOU made me do what I did because you....You, and so on and so on. Don't take the blame anymore, don't confuse being an adult and making healthy adult decisions to work through things with taking someones abusive crap. I FEEL LIKE SUCH AN IDIOT! How I stayed with my ex for as long as I did is a mystery. The signs came a long time ago, but I thought it was ok. Then came the first incident of physical abuse and I swore that was it and I was going to leave. But then he sweet talked me and told me it would never happen again, and that he would get help. So I believed him because I loved him and I thought what he was saying was completely true. I guess I wanted to believe that the mean guy I saw in him wasn't really him.

But he never got the help, and after another month he started verbally abusing me, lying to me, started using drugs. Again, you'd think I would have bolted! Well I tried, but again he came to me that he'd get help, it would get better, he loved me. And I stayed! I FEEL LIKE SUCH AN IDIOT. Things were great for a little while, but then again, another incident when I was left with bruises all over my body. I left the house and got a hotel room to stay that night. I swore that was it, i left. But again, he came to me begging and again I went back. Each time I completely believed that this time, THIS TIME he really would get help and THIS TIME it would work. That never happened.

I finally have ended it for good, I haven't had contact with him for 2 days since the s#@$ hit the fan. I'm so angry at myself for staying in this abusive relationship for so long. I never thought I would endanger myself, or be the "stupid girl" that I'd see in movies. But i did, and it was because I was in love, and was hoping that he could be the sweet guy he was some of the times, ALL OF THE TIME. But that can't happen when there's a monster deep down. I should have left when the monster first appeared. I feel like such an idiot that i didn't. I'm glad I'm finally out. I don't have to be scared anymore.

Thanks for letting me vent. This is a question I used to ask myself a lot. As a strong feminist I couldn't understand why someone would stay in a relationship that was abusive. Then I ended up in an abusive relationship, and saw how difficult it was to disentangle myself from it. Some things to think about:

1) Abuse often starts gradually and then gets worse over time (like gradually increasing heat until it hits the boiling point, it's sometimes difficult to see what's happening until you're far along in the process).

2) Abusive people will often separate you from your friends and family, removing your traditional sources of support. After you've had to blow off friends and family, or been embarrassed in front of them many times, because of the behavior of your partner, it's sometimes difficult to reach back for help.

3) Abusers will often operate on the mindset that everything is your fault. Delivery Pizza is burnt? Your fault. Weather bad? Your fault. When you're used to shouldering the blame for every small thing that happens in life, the abuse becomes your fault as well. He'll tell you it's your fault, of course, and at some point you start believing. This may also be a characteristic that you entered the relationship with - an over willingness to accept blame; couple this with a need to shift blame for everything and you have a very bad combination.

4) Abusers can threaten dire consequences (either to themselves or to you) if you leave. In my case, my abuser was fiscally dependent on me. If I left, he would have nowhere to go, and no money to live on. He used this to make me feel very guilty. If I left he would have nothing, he would harm himself, etc. His lack of financial independence was, of course, my fault.

5) Living with abuse over a period of time sucks away your energy and self esteem. All of your resources go towards avoiding the next big blow up, trying to protect what little peace you have in the home. Your sense of self worth is continually taken away by your treatment at home and you believe that you deserve no better than what you have.

6) It's humiliating to admit that you are living in an abusive situation. It's humiliating to even admit this to yourself. Being abused is equated with being weak and unable to defend oneself in our society. There is a general idea that people who are in abusive situations somehow deserve to be there, as they are not strong enough to have extricated themselves. Denial of what is going on can be very strong. I was with my ex for 6 years. I should have left him when he went to jail, but I didn't...after he got out of jail, everything was fine. About a year later, we got our own place is the time the abuse started. I ended up getting pregnant and that didn't seem to stop him.. He literally pushed me on the ground and kicked me�luckily, my son was fine... I was stupid and I thought I was in love I thought it was my fault and I was getting beat... So, I stayed. Eventually, it got worse....around my son's 1st birthday, I ended up leaving him. He flipped out he kidnapped my son for 3 days. And I was away from him for about 3 months until his sister called me up and said he tried to kill himself, I was stupid again and took him back. Everything was fine for about a month and I thought "Well, maybe he changed"...I was wrong. It all started again. The first time it started was because I didn't come to him when he called me. He ended up punching me in my side and breaking my ribs and he bruised my kidney. I kicked him out of the house. He begged me to come back and of course I did. The last time he hit me it was in my face and he broke my nose. I finally went to the cops and made a report, but didn't press charges. A domestic violence lady called me and talked me into putting an order of protection against him and make where he only sees our son every other weekend. I know I was stupid but once abuse starts, you need to get out it just gets worse and he's lying when he says he loves you he can't love you if beats you. Sometimes, there is no choice or at least it feels that way. I am currently in an emotionally and mentally abusive marriage. We've been together for 12 years and married for 10 of those. Back before we had kids, I threatened and actually did leave several times. I was a fool, I always thought he really would change, and was to stupid to realize that he never once admitted that he really did have a problem. Now, we have 5 kids, 3 of which are triplets, and I feel trapped. I hate the way he treats me, always yelling and screaming and calling names, he acts like he's my father rather than my husband most of the time. When I see other couples, I long for that kind of relationship, where both parties respect each other. The only time he's nice is when he wants sex and even there, he is disrespectful. He pouts if I turn him down and accuses me of cheating and he pushes oral sex on me when he knows I am uncomfortable with it. Yet, if I don't comply, he throws a tantrum so it's easier just to lay there and let him do whatever. I started taking classes for nursing last semester and if I pass, my interview will be done and working in about 2.5 years...some days seem to feel like ages away, though. I even told him that once I am through with school and am working and making good money, his choice will be to shape up or ship out! However, that only causes yet another argument. At the moment, I stay because I don't feel like I have a choice, and there's no way I'd leave my kids with him so he can make them just like him, but without having a job, I have no way to support myself plus 5 kids. Or, I would do it in a heartbeat. The worst part is that some of his behaviors have rubbed off on me...I say things to him now that I would never have said 12 years ago, because I wasn't raised that way, but when someones' constantly telling you what an idiot you are, it doesn't take long to fall into the pattern of throwing it right back at them. Even worse is that I see it in my kids especially my oldest son, who is 8. I feel so helpless that I can't get them out of this situation. Hello, all. I can't believe I am on this page. Let me explain. I'm a 27 year old male. I haven't been in many relationships in my life, only 2 and they combined to span something like 13 months. I basically was waiting for the right person to come along. 2 months ago I met this older woman who is 35. She seemed very interested in me and I gave her my number. We talked for hours one night. What she told me was she was not quite finalized in her divorce from her husband. She told me that she was married for 19 years and she had 2 kids ages 17 and 18. Her husband was physically abusive and she wanted to leave so many times but she didn't because of the kids and the fact that her father was a preacher and he told her if she got a divorce she was going to hell.

I listened to this and I evaluated every word she said. She explained that she had been separated from him for 3 years and she had since dated another guy. This second guy ended up being verbally and emotionally abusive to her as well and didn't want her kids around. She ended up leaving him and moving back with her parents. Now this is when I met her.

The more I talked off and on with her the more I thought this woman was a sweetheart and it was drawing me in. I knew from what she was saying that she hadn't ever been in a real relationship. I thought that I could show her everything that she hadn't been able to enjoy in life. I wanted to step up as a man and make this woman happy and treat her like she deserved to be treated.

Everything seemed fine, she finalized her divorce and we were "dating" although not quite physically involved yet. One day she received a call from her ex-boyfriend. She told me that he left her a message (because she didn't answer the phone) that stated something like "What are you on a hot f****** date!?". She told me she was going to "take care of this problem". I was a bit weary of the situation and she was hinting that she was going to go talk with him. Deep down inside I knew this was bad for her to do. She was giving him an opportunity to snake his way back into her life. She went and talked with him. She didn't call me that night or the next night like she normally did. I knew something was up. Now, from my perspective, I didn't want to get hurt, but I had developed feelings for this woman. I spoke with her on the phone and basically she said she needed time to figure things out. I knew this was bad. She was so gung-ho about talking to me and planning things with me and now she totally stopped and didn't know what she wanted. I talked with her for 3 hours about this situation one night.

She said she was confused. She liked me and she told me I would be everything she could ever ask for in a partner, but she still had feelings for this other guy. She said she didn't think it would be fair to be with me when she had feelings for him still. I was devastated. I explained to her that everyone has those feelings after somethings ends and you just need to take a step forward and grab my hand and stand with me for a while and you'll soon realize that what you had before was nothing compared to what I could offer. This guy was treating her like a yo-yo. He would throw her away when he didn't want her around, and because she kept that emotional string tied to him, he could always pull her back up from the dirt when he wanted to. It had worked for him before and it was going to work again. I thought to myself that I need to do everything I can do to help this woman out of this cycle. I never ever felt so emotional over something like this. I am usually a passive person and I will let things that I can't control fall as they may. I want to save this woman from all of this but I am not sure how. That's how I ended up here. I was researching this subject to get a better understanding of what was going on with her emotionally. To be honest I couldn't quite understand why she would even think about going back when she had something that was about to turn into something she had always wanted. A man to love her and treat her the way she wanted to be treated, as a best friend and a lover.

So she said she needed time and space to figure out if she wanted to go back with this guy or be with me. I told her that was alright, and I expressed all of my concerns to her, and I explained everything I felt for her (I have never stepped up and done this with anyone in the past) and I told her I would give her all the time she needed but I also told her that I didn't think there was any way I could win in this situation. I told her I wasn't going to call her anymore, and if she wanted to talk to me she could call me anytime. She said she would call but I haven't heard from her in a few days. I've exhausted myself trying to convince her not to go back to something that she knew the outcome was going to be. I honestly care for this woman and I don't want her to keep getting hurt. When she told me about everything that she had been through in her life between the 2 abusive relationships I wanted to cry. She had been raped, beaten, choked, verbally abused, etc, etc. She started to list all of these things that would be a reason why I wouldn't want to be with her, she had no money, bad credit, lived with her parents, was emotionally unstable and suicidal. She was trying to make it easy for me to let her go so it wouldn't be as hard for her to choose between me or him. She knows I'm the right one, but it is easier for her not to cut her ties with him and just go back. She said she had been so depressed, obsessed with this guy wanting her back. I tried to the best of my ability to convince her that this was a mistake to go back but I think I have failed. She can't see it with her eyes because she believes that it will be different the next time or he will somehow change. I explained that I have seen this countless times where some abusive guy will get 3,4,5, 20 chances with a girl. The girl just will keep coming back thinking it will be different or better this time. It never is. I also explained that there were honest, sincere, caring guys like me out there who often never get a chance at all. It is a severe injustice, but I don't know where the fault lies. I have expressed all my feelings and concerns to her and I have left it up to her to decide what to do. I know what is going to happen but there seems to be nothing I can do to help her. I know if I could keep her away from him that I could restore this woman's confidence in life and show her what real love and devotion is. She is putting herself on course for a self-imposed train wreck if she chooses to go back to him. I know I can't make her choice for her. But I don't want her to keep getting hurt. I know if she chooses to go back, I will have to walk away because I care too much for her to see her have everything crash again and go further down the spiral. It would hurt me to see that.

I have a very different perspective on this whole subject from this experience and from what I have researched. It tears me up to think about all of these women who go through this. I just would like to say to some of you that not all men are this way. I have given every ounce of devotion and love to the people I have been with in the past. Unfortunately for me, this was taken for granted, but I know when the right one comes along it will all ring clear and become an asset that makes someone happy for a long time. Wow... this site is amazing. I've seen my story here a hundred times. I have been married for two years and have recently come to the conclusion that my husband is an alcoholic and abusive. It started within a few months of marriage, when he got really angry (while drunk) for no rational reason. He knocked over furniture. He threw things at me, called me names, pulled my hair, and tried to choke me. This happened a few times during the next year, although he never actually hurt me physically, other than coughing while he was choking me. I mean he never hit me or left bruises or other marks. We were getting ready to move and I kept thinking things would be better after we moved. They were for a few months, but then he did the same thing again (names, pulling hair, choking me). He went out of town for a couple weeks and I realized that I was able to drive home from work and not worry about what I would find when I got there. He is retired, so he can starting drinking whenever he wants to. I found this site a couple weeks ago and decided to take action. I tried to talk to him about it, but he really had nothing to say other than that he loves me and he doesn't want to hurt me. But when he's drunk, it's another story altogether. I realized that the things I talked about when he was sober would come back to haunt me when he was drinking and after he had time to dwell on it for a couple days. We talked about the abuse again and he admitted choking me a couple years ago, but basically denied everything else and even told me I was fabricating it all. He says he gets mad because I argue too much. I have seen a counselor at the shelter and was convinced I needed to file for divorce. I started working on a plan. I have a place to go if I need to leave and a bag in my car with essentials. I have a separate bank account and my own credit cards. I am a strong willed woman with a military background, a graduate degree, and an excellent career. I have always said if anyone ever hurt me, I would be gone before daybreak... yet here I am... thinking about all the good times we have had and wondering if we will ever have them back again. I change from angry and strong to hurt and weak on a daily basis. I can't believe I didn't see this coming... he proposed to me 6 weeks after we started dating, but there were no other warning signs. He has a comment for everything I say, implying I am stupid or inferior in some other way. If I make a mistake, I get crucified... but if he makes a mistake, it's no big deal... "it can happen to anyone". He drinks every evening and I walk around on eggshells, never knowing when he will explode into another rage. I have purchased a couple books on abuse and alcoholism, and hope to get some insight from them and build some inner strength. I'm sure I have to divorce him. I don't really believe he wants to change, and therefore he won't. I love him but I have trouble believing he really loves me... how can you do such things to someone you love? Sometimes people stay because of threats to their family that they believe the abuser will carry out.

I too have seen my story here in bits and pieces. I have thought I was alone. I left my abusive husband after 15 years and 2 kids I sat for months after calling myself the some of the names he called me - idiot, stupid, dummy asking over and over why did I stay? Why didn't I call the police? I was married and had 2 kids before I was 25, my ex-husband first hit me when I was pregnant with my first and I was devastated I was 20 years old I had no family and no money I was not even allowed to drive a car. After each time he would apologize profusely and tell me if I would just not make him so mad he would not have to hit me. He would also say that no one would believe me that he hit me and he denies it even though I have pictures of the bruises. Each time I forgave him and would try not to misbehave so he would not "have" to hit me but it was always something. He would tell me that if I left he would kill me and cut me up in pieces and he would hurt my mother. My parents were not allowed in the house I was not allowed to have friends in the house or go anywhere with friends and if I did I was a "wh*re" he told my kids that I was a drug addict and an alcoholic when I rarely drink and never took drugs in my life. I finally had enough when he yanked me down a flight of steps by my hair and slammed my head into a wood desk and when I went to run he grabbed my arms so hard he broke all the blood vessels where he grabbed. To top it off when I was getting ready to leave he threw me down by kneeing me in the back bruising my backside flipped me over and bit me and choked me then threw a chair on top of me - my kids saw this I needed out it was leave or die. Now, in the divorce, he is trying to take my kids. I am fighting, and it has cost me everything money my job and all the "professionals" say that my ex "presents himself well" and as I read this page, I see many abusers do WHY don't the courts see this? On top of all of it, I am the one being persecuted the most because if I was abused, why did I stay? That's what they keep asking me - I was even told that if I stayed - I deserved it. To be a victim of abuse is devastating I still have nightmares that he will hurt me. I have to talk to him because the courts make me and no one wants to acknowledge his abuse. My whole world was torn apart I left with nothing and I left everything behind that I spent a lifetime working for (except my kids) and all I can say months and months later is THANK GOD I did - there is no material possession that replaces the happiness I am learning to get out of life even though he still has to be part of it I am learning to cope and I strongly suggest if you leave an abusive relationship seek therapy from a therapist trained in dealing with battered women - they need that training I did and I am healing and I am find myself for the first time in 15 years - Happy. Even with all the difficulties in starting over it is so worth it. If someone is calling you names, putting you down, isolating you from your network, hitting you and in any way, is unwelcome physically, acts aggressive towards you, threatens you in any way - Don't think about what comes after - RUN - RUN HARD AND FAST ASK FOR HELP - call a domestic hotline. Things tend to fall into place somehow, but don't stay in misery! Get out, and find happiness.

I've been there, so I have experience in this matter. Most people remain in an abusive relationship because they don't think they can do any better and convince themselves that they love this person and that things will improve. The individual needs to come to the realization that they can do better and they are better off not being in a relationship of this nature.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

How many years does it take to move on after an abusive relationship?

The time it takes to heal and move on from an abusive relations depends on the person and other factors. Here are some personal experiences and advice:

  • I was in an abusive relationship/marriage for over 10 years. I think it depends on the person, the type(s) of abuse, and the length of the relationship.It takes time to unlearn our learned responses, to realize that not all men are abusive, and it takes time to get our sense of self-worth and self-esteem back. Although I'm in a healthy relationship now, I'm still dealing with the repercussions of the abusive one.It helps to have people to talk to. A therapist, a best friend, or just people who understand how you feel. I don't think there is a set length of time. But at some point we have to try to move on and live life again, the best we can.
  • Go easy on yourself. The healing process can and does last years. An abusive relationship is traumatizing.
  • I was in an abusive relationship. I loved the woman but her rages were frequent, and both cruel and ugly. I determined she had BPD (not bipolar, borderline personality disorder). I considered her rages to be a mental disorder and despite separating from her I would go back to spending time with her, and be hurt more. Almost 3 years passed and I was still grieving the loss and licking my wounds. I'd already read a spate of books like Peter McWilliams "How to Survive the Loss of a Love" and other books on how to deal with an abusive companion--how to set boundaries, etc. So I found a therapist and worked mightily for 3 months and I finally recovered. I really guided my own therapy. The key to success for me was unexpected: self esteem work. The path I took is very similar to that what Phil McGraw directs readers to take in his popular book "Self Matters." The pain one suffers may be proportional to the love one had. If you're still having severe bouts of emotional anguish after three years, still hurting deeply from a sense of betrayal, and still in pain from certain cruel actions, then maybe there are some issues within yourself that merit attention. A strange thing happened to me from all the research I did. As I came to understand her better, as well as myself, and as I resolved some self esteem issues, I found that I loved her even more, while at the same time I was no longer hurt by her. And could protect myself. Now my three sons as well as my friends are puzzled that I can love both my ex-wife and psycho-bit**, the drama queen supreme, as much as I do. I was able to care for drama queen in the last six months of her life when no one else would. Learn to develop a greater internal locus of control. You can stop shedding so many tears over a past abusive relationship, but you must take responsibility for affecting the change yourself. You might start with Phil McGraw's book. But commit to working it 110%. Good luck! (I'm giving you a virtual hug here.) --Jim
  • After being in a very abusive relationship for 6 years, I have decided it will take me 6 years to completely heal without entering into a new relationship with a lot of emotional baggage. Sure, if the right guy came along then I wouldn't run away, but I figure I have given up 6 years of my life to my ex-husband so now it is time to focus exclusively on me and my children, SO, in the past 3 years, I have graduated from college, played with the kids and made new friends, all without fear and unhappiness. I think that is where many woman make mistakes(I used to be one)that women are so afraid to be alone that they enter into an abusive relationship before they are even ready to date. It's up to us, the survivors, to educate and end the cycle of abuse for ourselves, our children and victims everywhere! I HAVE FINALLY FOUND ME!
  • I suppose it depends on the person, but experts say it can take at least 7 years. I would have to agree. After my first abusive relationship, i couldn't bear to be alone, so quickly got into another one, then another one and so on. We have to give ourselves a long time to heal. We cant always see the wood for the trees when we have been abused. Good luck!
  • I'm 21 years old and i have been out of the relationship for about a year now. i thought that when i finally got out that it meant that i was strong enough and that i was going to be okay. i was wrong. i am still dealing with the affects of what happened and i cant maintain a relationship today. Every time Ii meet a new guy i scare him away due to me needing to be validated and yearning for his attention constantly. i didn't realize that until recently that i have issues with in myself that i need to take care of. I didn't realize how far my ex had broken me down. I'm going to be put on some anti-depressants and anxiety medication. when i went to my therapist he asked me that if my ex said that he was "all better" and "got help" would i take him back? I looked at him with tear filled eyes and said yes. It was at that moment i realized that i needed more help then i thought.i am scared at what im going to have to face but in the end what am i going to lose? i can only get stronger from this. Hopefully i will learn and be able to have a real relationship one day.
  • Moving on is a process that we must work at everyday for the rest of our lives. Change comes with time and awareness. I've personally been in weekly therapy for the past 2 years. Coming our of shock and denial is enough to through anyone off there feet for a period of overwhelming face to face with a real night mare.It takes courage and support and a lot of work to understand what we need to be aware of before we can change our survival habits.I am recovering from a 24 year narcissism partner abuse.I raised 2 children who are now healthy adults. I saved my kids and I saved myself. Had not left I would not be answering this question today.We can't predict the future nor have a date for moving on. We can only live life one day at a time and learn to trust ourselves and set our boundaries.If we can only try to live our lives to the best of our satisfaction and risk the chance of being loved for who we are. Time, awareness and patience with ourselves while we make little steps to rediscovering who we are. Finding a good therapist who is willing to accompany us through the stages of healing over and over as we finally reach a point of integration and continue to help us for as long as we need it.Remember if we take medication it only does 20% of the work. The other 80% is what we work at everyday with the help of our therapist. We can't change the past but we can change ourselves to the best of who we are no more no less. I hope this answer will be helpful to anyone still suffering the aftermath of abuse and I wish everyone the courage to FEEL.Connecting with nature is a great way of connecting with ourselves and something greater than who we are. God Bless Jocelyne
  • It is has been nearly three years for me. No justice Just further lies & abuse. I decided yesterday that i will seek professional counseling to help me overcome my deep feelings of justifiable rage and anger. I have too much to lose in my life and future and realize if I don't get help to get myself back not so much to forgive these people but to recover myself I may lose all of my dreams.
  • 14 years have passed and I am up tonight because I am haunted by that man. It is only from the will of God that I am alive today and my children are OK. I have three big dogs, moved to a new state and I am going to put up video cameras as soon as I get the money. As for me healing I know I can�t do it myself and do not have the money to seek help. So the hell I will relive for the rest of my days.
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Parenting and Children
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

How do you know if you are really being verbally and mentally abused?

Does the person say things that makes you feel bad and low? Does this person call you names and/or tell you that your no good for anything?

Are you ever left in a room crying after your partner has said something so hurtful that you can't help but feel like less than nothing and burst into tears and worst off all they said the same thing to you yesterday and maybe even the day before?

If there is a yes to anyone of these questions or you've been though similar events then you are in a mentally, verbally, and emotionally abusive relationship and you should GET OUT NOW!!!

If its a parent rather than a partner TELL SOMEONE!!! In either case do whatever you have to in order to assure your safety and that of others (Children, Brothers and Sisters etc) and get away from the abuser.

...

Verbal and Mental abuse like physical abuse is consistent. Is it ongoing? Does what he/she says or does to you affect even after they're gone? Have you felt less than yourself? Like your self value is undetermined now, or you feel your not worth anything because you think what's said about you is justified? For example are you beginning to believe any of what the abuser does or says to you is okay because you deserved it? Does what he/she say or do to you not only affect you but affect people around you? Like your mentality has been so impacted by the possible abuse that your actions because of, begin to affect people around you?

If you said yes to any of THESE questions no doubt are you being abused, nevertheless seeking professional opinions on the subject should not be completely out ruled. This is a public site, accessible to anybody, and I'll be straight with you that I am not a licensed doctor. In short, all the apples in the world couldn't completely keep the doctor away, it just helps you feel better.

Also, if you are just starting out in a relationship with someone who might be an abuser but also they are unaware of the fact they could be one, don't entirely rule their opinion out. Honesty is the best policy and if you feel like you want a good stable relationship with this person, include them in any actions you take for the relationship. If this person wants to be a part of the building process of your relationship then they are certainly worth the effort. If not, it doesn't mean that they aren't but that maybe you should consider other options, that or if your feelings for them are extremely strong, by all means don't give up, but be sure to keep tabs on their temper. Abusers always have tempers, that or too much pride.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

Can therapy help an abuser?

Statistically, the odds of an abuser changing are low. However, there are key indicators you can watch for in a person who is taking an honest interest in changing their abusive behavior:
1) They acknolwedge that they are abusive, and that it is their responsibility, and not the fault of anyone else that they are they way they are.
2) They admit that they WANT to change and that they know the process of change is very difficult
3) They undergo a violence/abuse assessment, delivered by a professional who focuses on these things. The abuser is willing and wanting to follow the recommendations of the assessment.
4) They voluntarily enter programs specifically oriented around addressing abusive and/or violent behaviors. These group programs generally are extensive, and may run from a minimum of 16 weeks to 52 weeks in length. Jointly, they should also attend individual counseling that is specific to the challenges they have in addressing their behavior and emotional challenges.
5) The process for change is hard, and can be long. How long depends on the individual, their readiness for change, and ability to integrate the change.
6) The individual will tend to this change in an ongoing process which may be lifelong.

The process for changing abusive tendencies is intense, very difficult (because it is rooted in learned behaviors that likely spanned significant portions of their childhood), and due to the extraordinarily low level of community support due to the morally reprehensible nature of this behavior, the individual will find the path to rehabilitation difficult to maintain despite their initial best interests and convictions.
If the individual is willingly able to endure this path to change, they can and will change.

Answer2: Therapy can help an abuser ONLY if the abuser is wants to and is willing to make the needed changes. A therapist could talk to an abuser all day long, but being willing to change must come from inside the person. Reading God's word the Bible and prayer to make the needed changes will go a long way to help the person. Please read Hebrews 4:12.

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Narcissism
Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

What triggers 'spontaneous healing' of a narcissist?

Not sure about "spontaneous" healing, but this seems to be one of the very few articles on NPD out there with valuable information.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4087/is_200301/ai_n9197353/pg_1

AnswerThere are gradations and shades of narcissism. The difference between two narcissists can be great. The existence of grandiosity and empathy or lack thereof are not minor variations. They are serious predictors of future dynamics. The prognosis is much better if they do exist.

There are cases of spontaneous healing and of "short-term NPD" [see Gunderson's and Ronningstam's work, 1996].

The prognosis for a classical NPD case (grandiosity, lack of empathy and all) is decidedly not good as far as long-term, lasting, and complete healing.

The narcissist is chronically depressed and anhedonic (finds no pleasure in life). Unable to love and in the long run (as a result) unloved - the narcissist is ever in the pursuit of excitement and drama intended to alleviate his all-pervasive boredom and melancholy.

The grandiose fantasies of the narcissist inevitably and invariably clash with his drab, routine, and mundane reality. We call this constant dissonance the "grandiosity gap". Sometimes the gap is so yawning that even the narcissist - however dimly - recognizes its existence. Still, this insight into his real situation fails to alter his behaviour. The narcissist knows that his grandiose fantasies are incommensurate with his accomplishments, knowledge, status, actual wealth (or lack thereof), physical constitution, or sex appeal - yet, he keeps behaving as though this were untrue.

His permanent existence in fantasyland - intended to shield him from his self-destructive urges - paradoxically only enhances them. This state of things makes him feel sad, enraged at his helplessness in the face of his disorder, and at the discrepancy between his delusions of grandeur and reality. It is the engine of his growing disappointment and disillusionment, his anhedonia and impotence, his degeneration and ultimate ugly decadence. The narcissist ages disgracefully, ungraciously. He is not a becoming sight as his defenses crumble and harsh reality intrudes: the reality of his self-imposed mediocrity and waste of life. His psyche is permeated by these flickers of sanity, these reminders of his downhill path. The more fiercely he combats these invaders of realistic appraisal - the more ubiquitous they become. Infiltrated by the Trojan Horses of his intelligence and consciousness - the narcissistic defenses are bound to be overwhelmed. When they are - either spontaneous healing or a breakdown follow.

AnswerA lie. In other words, people with NPD don't experience actual "spontaneous healing", but they very often claim to have been healed spontaneously. This claim, of course, is just another narcissistic ploy.
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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Criminal Law
Oakland

How common is domestic violence?

From an entry I wrote for the Open Site encyclopedia:

Family Violence The marked reduction in domestic violence in the last decade -- and the fact that different societies and cultures have widely disparate rates of intimate partner abuse -- give the lie to the assumption that abusive conduct is the inevitable outcome of mental illness. Though the offenders' mental problems do play their part -- it would seem that cultural, social, and even historical factors are the determinants of spousal abuse and domestic violence.

The United States The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reported 691,710 nonfatal violent victimizations committed by current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends of the victims during 2001. About 588,490, or 85% of intimate partner violence incidents, involved women. One of every five crimes against women was of this nature -- compared to only 3% of crimes committed against men.

Intimate partner violence against women declined by half between 1993 (1.1 million nonfatal cases) and 2001 (588,490) -- from 9.8 to 5 per thousand women. Intimate partner violence against men also declined from 162,870 (1993) to 103,220 (2001) -- from 1.6 to 0.9 per 1000 males. Overall, the incidence of such crimes dropped from 5.8 to 3.0 per thousand.

Still, 1247 women and 440 men were murdered by an intimate partner in the United States in 2000. The comparative figures in 1976 were 1357 men and 1600 women. It declined to around 1300 in 1993. So, while the number overall intimate partner crimes directed at women declined sharply - the number of fatal incidents remained stable since 1993.

And the figures mask a difficult cumulative picture:

One in four to one in three women have been assaulted or raped at a given point in her lifetime (Commonwealth Fund survey, 1998).

The Mental Health Journal says:

"The precise incidence of domestic violence in America is difficult to determine for several reasons: it often goes unreported, even on surveys; there is no nationwide organization that gathers information from local police departments about the number of substantiated reports and calls; and there is disagreement about what should be included in the definition of domestic violence."

Using a different methodology (counting separately multiple incidents perpetrated on the same woman), a report titled "Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey", compiled by Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes for the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and published in 1998, concluded that there were 5.9 million physical assaults against 1.5 million targets in the USA annually.

According to the Washington State Domestic Violence Fatality Review Project, and Neil Websdale, Understanding Domestic Homicide, Northeastern University Press, 1999 -- half of these crimes were committed against women in the process of separation or divorce. In Florida the figure is even higher (60%).

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%. Michael R. Rand in "Violence-related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments", published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 1997 puts the number at 37%. 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 one half of all American homes at least once a year.

One half of wife-batterers also regularly assault and abuse their children, according to M. Straus, R. Gelles, and C. Smith, "Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families, 1990 and U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, A Nation's Shame: Fatal child abuse and neglect in the United States: Fifth report, Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, 1995

"Black females experienced domestic violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. Black males experienced domestic violence at a rate about 62% higher than that of white males and about 22 times the rate of men of other races." -- Rennison, M. and W. Welchans. Intimate Partner Violence. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. May 2000, NCJ 178247, Revised 7/14/00

The young, the poor, minorities, divorced, separated, and singles were most likely to experience domestic violence and abuse.

The National Institute of Justice and the Center for Disease Control estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are the victims of domestic violence each year. According to this NIJ/CDC survey, 37% of the domestic violence is against men. 100% of the federal domestic violence funding under the Violence Against Women Act is to be used for domestic violence against women. 100% of the federal domestic violence research funds disbursed to several federal agencies is devoted to domestic.

Domestic violence by women against men is not serious.......According to the NIJ/CDC National Violence Against Women survey, 10.8% of the women but only 4.1% of the men used a knife on the victim. 21.6% of the male victims were threatened with a knife, while only 12.7% of the women were so threatened. 43.2% of the male victims were hit with a hard object capable of causing serious injury, while this was true of only 22.6% of the female victims. When all serious forms of domestic assault were added together, as many assaulted men as women were seriously assaulted

All or almost all domestic violence by women is in self-defense.......A survey 0f 1,000 women, perhaps the largest survey of its kind, found that 20% had initiated violence. The most common reasons for women initiating domestic violence were: "My partner wasn't sensitive to my needs," (46%), "I wished to gain my partner's attention," (44%) and "My partner was not listening to me" (43%). "My partner was being verbally abusive to me" (38%) was a distant fourth.

Domestic violence does not affect many people.....A woman is beaten every 15 seconds. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the united States - more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Battering is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and other forms of abuse. The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, isolation, etc. to coerce and to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but it remains as a hidden (and constant) terrorizing factor. Whether done by a man or woman.

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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Marriage

Are you a victim of abuse if your husband treats you like a child and is silent and sulky when angry?

It is a mild form of abuse, but still abuse. You should not be afraid to talk to him. You should talk to a counselor or get the courage to talk to him and see if he will try to change, with your help. He might not know he is doing these things and that they bother you. You have to tell him for him to really know. He may need to talk to someone also. Possibly the both of you together and separate may be a good idea.

Yes! Would your best friend do that to your Pastor? Something is seriously wrong with him and whatever he's blaming it on is no excuse for his bad behavior. When he was a young did he get his fanny smacked for that kind of childish behavior? Unfortunately, you are the one suffering for the parent's lack of training, disciplining, and guidance. I bet he has got away with this most of his life. Now you know the truth. Time to speak frankly and calmly to him and let him know that you are not going to be treated this way anymore and the buck stops here. You are not a doormat. The Lord created you like nobody else and you deserve respect.

This type of treatment from your spouse, who is supposed to be your partner (your equal), is very abusive. The silent treatment is his/her attempt at controlling when the problem/issue will be discussed. Do not tolerate this behavior. You are an adult and should be treated as such. But keep in mind, this type of behavior from your spouse indicates the he/she is not equipped with an adult mind so you will most likely end up talking to him/her like you would a child. If he/she is treating you like a child, he does not consider you an equal partner. Healthy relationships develop among equal partners. Address this behavior with your spouse immediately!

As odd as it sounds, here is my remedy to counter the silent treatment, which for me worked. My ex husband constantly ignored me by withholding love, attention, time together and any form of communication. It was horrible. At first I was very sad and hurt but eventually I realised I had to take action. I found out later as well that he is a crystal meth addict. I began to meet new people who treated me well. Every time he ignored me I would tell myself "oh well, I'm just one step closer as he made it easier) to meeting a decent man. Eventually I lost all interest, did not care at all, and divorced him. I am now only friend to people who show reciprocal affection and goodness. I do not settle. He now begs to talk. I guess they realise what they had when the rug is pulled out from under. Good luck.

I was in a relationship with a man that would always choose to be silent when he was in a bad mood. At first I always wondered what did I do wrong. I blamed myself for him being depressed. I would try so hard to get him out of it but all that happened was I ended up absorbing his negative energy and would end up being depressed myself. I finally realized that it is his problem and I have all that I can. I am able to move on emotionally. It was a hard lesson to learn but I feel much more stronger. It is his loss that he couldn't overcome his lack of communication.

Whenever I am happy and in a good mood, my boyfriend will be quiet and not talk to me or give me short replies if any. Then when I m hurt and just stop talking and get quiet he then tries to talk and be happy. He does this all the time. After he sees that he hurt my feelings and made me sad, he will start talking to me. He withholds affection a lot. He uses sex to hurt me. He wont show interest in me unless he wants it. He is so mean. He will reject me, but then he will tell me other times I am so beautiful. He doesn't call me names unless it's during a fight. He doesn't tell me I am worthless. 2 weeks after our daughter was born, he broke up with me cause he didn't want to be with a white girl, he is black. Then a week later, he was sorry and I took him back. Ever since then, I have been insecure about myself. He has cheated, he has done it all to me. However, he has never hit me and says he never will. When he gets mad he screams and yells so loud and it scares me so bad I just cry. He has grabbed me by my throat, pushed me and slammed me on the couch etc. Is it possible he wont hit me if he has done those things or will he eventually? I read many of the abusers are very jealous and control everything. He is the opposite. He acts as if he doesn't care about anything, where I go who I hang out with, guys or not, even if I say that guys cute or something he doesn't care. He is just like blah. I have asked why he doesn't care about anything I do and he says he is just different then other guys he is laid back and easy going. Is that possible or does he act like that to hurt me? Cause he knows it hurts me when he is so nonchalant. When I have had enough I try to leave him. He flips out, he talks about his life is over or he threatens me. He says he will always be around. When I try to discuss my feelings, he wont talk much. He drives me crazy. He says I am too sensitive, which might be true, so I am just confused and don't know if he is mean or if I am crazy.

You are NOT crazy, and he IS mean...and probably crazy too. When I was much younger, I was in a relationship with a man who did similar things. I was not physically abused, but I did experience emotional abuse. Please trust me when I tell you that none of his behaviors will change and they will only get worse. He is mentally ill, in my opinion. The physical abuse will never go away. Please remember that you have a child to think of first. Do not subject children to this insane behavior. Don't let a child see a man lay his hands on you in ANY form other than tenderness. You are helping to raise the next generation of abusers if you do. I understand that you care for him. Sometimes we mistake neediness and low self-esteem for love and affection. Ask yourself.... are you afraid to stand alone? Do you honestly feel that you deserve to be treated in this manner? (No one does) Do you want the very best for yourself and your child? It will be very, very difficult but if you leave him now you will absolutely find a better life. Trust yourself and make plans to go this very minute. Contact your family for help. Contact an abuse treatment center or women's shelter. Save money or sell things if you must. However, you must not tell him of your plans...ever. He must come home and find you gone. Don't put yourself in the situation where he can talk you out of it or worse. Men in these situations will sometimes hurt or even kill the women they feel are "possessions". It happens every day in this country and around the world. Most of these women never believed this man they loved could ever shoot, stab, or burn them until it happens. Your child needs you to be strong and the best person you can be. He is innocent. Give him the life you both deserve. P.S. I found a man who is loving 9 years ago when I chose to love myself.

He does this to convey the message, "You are not worthy of my time, affection etc." It is a way to abuse you, as he knows you will wonder what you did so wrong to actually have a person ignore you. By ignoring someone, they send the message that you matter so little that they cant even be bothered to talk with you. I was in a marriage like that and as odd as it sounds I felt like a ghost. Now looking back I can see why, because I felt devalued like an object that had no importance, nothing important to say or do...this is the motive of these abusers...to make you feel non existent.

My husband and I just had a fight (again). It never even occurred to me that this was abusive. Even though I feel terribly abused. I feel afraid and alone and I wonder whom this man is that I married. We've been married 15 yrs and he's always been this way but has gotten worse as time has gone by. When I try to talk to him he literally says that he could care less what I have to say, he says a lot of things like that to me, he calls me a stupid B---ch and much worse. My 7 yr old son is chronically ill and I shamefully must say that I stay with him because I am so afraid of standing on my own. I feel sad and hopeless and desperate. I commend the women that are able to be strong enough to take a stand and move on. I know that to most I sound pathetic, maybe I am.

You don't sound pathetic. You sound confused, hurt, and bewildered as to how to help yourself. Many abused partners don't want the relationship to end, but want the abuse to stop. However, one usually doesn't stop without the other. Look into counseling, hotline, and support group services in the phone book or Internet phone book for abused partners (domestic violence services). Abuse takes many forms: verbal, psychological and emotional, financial, medical, physical sexual etc. The folks that work in domestic violence are aware of that, are well trained and knowledgeable. They should be able to give you resources where you can find validation, support, and help if you to navigate yourself out of the relationship safely - if necessary. You are not alone. You sound like millions of other partners who have found themselves in similar situations within their relationship(s). God Bless You, you are strong enough, and there is hope.

My wife and I got in to a fight earlier today. I usually get frustrated and end up giving the silent treatment for about an hour or two until I can calm down. At that point, we talk about it and make up. Am I in the same category as these other men? Am I being abusive? I just want to have some time to myself so that I can cool off and think rationally. I can't beat my wife, I can't yell at her, I can't give the silent treatment.... how should I handle it? I have never or would never think of abusing her physically or verbally, but what can I do?

The silent treatment is a sign of a person who feels the need to be in control and that is a way of putting themselves in a position of power. From my experience of the abusive relationship I just came out of, that form of abuse is just one of the many ways a secretly insecure person attempts to keep another person under their control and have themselves in a position of power. Someone who behaves in that way is also likely to be abusive in other ways. Using physical force to control someone also is abuse, this includes intimidation, pushing, grabbing... etc, etc. With my partner, the physical abuse started early, but if it began with extreme violence, I would have never stayed. I was with him for a year before he used more severe forms of lashing out at me. It started with things like him picking me up and physically restraining me, ripping the bed sheets off me, or the passive-aggressive 'silent treatment'. Be careful, if your man starts to treat you like this it can only get worse.

The "silent treatment" is a notorious form of abuse.

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