Sanctuary for the Abused

Sunday, June 17, 2018

10 Reasons Abusers Don't Change

Ten Reasons to Stay the Same

From "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft.

To answer the question "Why Does He Do That?" we have to examine the foundation on which abusive behaviors are based. On the first level are the abuser's attitudes, beliefs and habits-- the thinking that drives his behavior day in and day out, which we have been looking at. On the second level is the learning process by which some boys develop into abusive men or, in other words, where abusive values come from, which is the topic of ch 13.

There is also a third level, which is rarely mentioned in discussions of abuse but which is actually one of the most important dynamics: the benefits that an abuser gets that make his behavior desirable to him. In what ways is abusiveness rewarding? How does this destructive pattern get reinforced?

Consider the following scenario: Mom, Dad, and their children are having dinner on a Wed night. Dad is snappy and irritable, criticizing everybody during the meal, spreading his tension around like electricity. When he finishes eating, he leaves the table abruptly and heads out of the room. His 10 yr old daughter says, "Dad, where are you going? Wed is your night to wash dishes." Upon hearing these words, Dad bursts into flames, screaming, "You upstart little shit, don't you dare try to tell me what to do! You'll be wearing a dish on your face!" He grabs a plate off the table, makes like he is going to throw it at her, and then turns away and smashes it on the floor. He knocks a chair over with his hand and storms out of the room. Mom and the children are left trembling; the daughter bursts into tears. Dad reappears in the doorway and yells that she'd better shut up, so she chokes off her tears, which causes her to shake even more violently. Without touching a soul, Dad has sent painful shock waves through the entire family.

We move ahead now to the following Wed. Dinner passes fairly normally, without the previous week's tension, but Dad still strolls out of the kitchen when he finishes eating. Does a family member remind him that it's his turn to wash the dishes? Of course not. It will be many, many months before anyone makes that mistake again. They quietly attend to the cleanup, or they squabble among themselves about who should do it, taking out their frustrations over Dad's unfairness and volatility on each other. Dad's scary behavior has created a context in which he won't have to do the dishes anytime he doesn't feel like it, and no one will dare take him to task for it.

Any incident of abusive behavior brings the abuser benefits just as this one did. Over time, the man grows attached to his ballooning collection of comforts and privileges. Here are some of the reasons why he may appear so determined not to stop bullying:

1. The intrinsic satisfaction of power and control
The abusive man gains power through his coercive and intimidating behaviors -- a sensation that can create a potent, thrilling rush. The wielder of power feels important and effective and finds a momentary relief from life's normal distresses. It isn't the woman's pain that appeals to him; most abusers are not sadists. In fact, he has to go to some lengths to shield himself from his own natural tendenty to empathize with her. The feeling that he rules is where the pleasure lies.

Yet the heady rush of power is the bare beginning of what the abuser gains through his mistreatment of his partner. If the rewards stopped here, I would find it much easier than I do to prevail upon my clients to change.

2. Getting his way, especially when it matters to him most
A romantic partnership involves a never-ending series of negotiations between 2 people's differing needs, desires, and preferences. Many of the differences that have to be worked out are matters of tremendous importance to the emotional life of each partner, such as:

-- Are we spending Christmas with my relatives, whom I enjoy, or with your relatives who get on my nerves and don't seem to like me?

-- Are we eating dinner tonight at my favorite restaurant, or at a place that I'm tired of and where the children seem to get wound up and irritating?

-- Am I going to have to go alone to my office party, which makes me feel terrible, or are you going to come with me even though you would rather spend the evening doing almost anything else on earth?

It is important not to underestimate theimpact of these kinds of day-to-day decisions. Your happiness in a relationship depends greatly on your ability to get your needs heard and taken seriously. If these decisions are taken over by an abusive or controlling partner, you experiences disappointment after disappointment, the constant sacrificing of your needs. He, on the other hand, enjoys the luxury of a relationship where he rarely has to compromise, gets to the things he enjoys, and skips the rest. He shows off his generosity when the stakes are low, so that friends will see what a swell guy he is.

The abuser ends up with the benefits of being in an intimate relationship without the sacrifices that normally come with the territory. That's a pretty privileged lifestyle.

3. Someone to take his problems out on
Have you ever suffered a sharp disappointment or a painful loss and found yourself looking for someone to blame? Have you, for example, ever been nasty to a store clerk when you were really upset about your job? Most people have an impulse to dump bad feelings on some undeserving person, as a way to relieve-- temporarily-- sadness or frustration. Certain days you may know that you just have to keep an eye on yourself so as not to bite someone's head off.

The abusive man doesn't bother to keep an eye on himself, however. In fact, he considers himself entitled to use his partner as a kind of human garbage dump where he can litter the ordinary pains and frustrations that life brings us. She is always an available target, she is easy to blame-- since no partner is perfect-- and she can't prevent him from dumping because he will get even worse if she tries. His excuse when he jettisons his distresses onto her is that life is unusually painful-- an unacceptable rationalization even if it were true, which it generally isn't.

4. Free labor from her; leisure and freedom for him
No abusive man does his share of the work in a relationship. He may take advantage of his partner's hard work keeping the house, preparing the meals, caring for the children, and managing the myriad details of life. Or, if he is one of the few abusers who carries his weight in these areas, then he exploits her emotionally instead, sucking her dry of attention, nurturing, and support, and returning only a trickle.

All this uncompensated labor from her means leisure for him. During the house he spends talking about himself he is relieved of the work of listening. The long weekend days when she cares for the children are his opportunity to watch sports, go rock climbing, or write his novel. My clients don't make the connection that someone takes care of the work; they think of it as just mysteriously getting done and refer to women as "lazy." Yet on a deeper level the abuser seems to realize how hard his partner works, because he fights like hell not to have to share that burden. He is accustomed to his luxury and often talks exaggeratedly about his exhaustion to excuse staying on his read end.

Studies have shown that a majority of women feel that their male partners don't contribute fairly to household responsibilities. However, a woman whose partner is not abusive at least has the option to put her foot down about her workload and insist that the man pick up the slack. With an abusive man, however, if you put your foot down he either ignores you or makes you pay.

The abuser comes and goes as he pleases, meets or ignores his responsibilities at his whim, and skips anything he finds too unpleasant. In fact, some abusers are rarely home at all, using the house only as a base for periodic refueling.

5. Being the center of attention, with priority given to his needs
When a woman's partner chronically mistreats her, what fills up her thoughts? Him, of course. She ponders how to soothe him so that he won't explode, how to improve herself in his eyes, how she might delicately raise a touchy issue with him. Little space remains for her to think about her own life, which suits the abuser; he wants her to be thinking about him. The abuser reaps cooperation and catering to his physical, emotional and sexual needs. And if the couple has children, the entire famly strives to enhance his good moods and fix his bad ones, in the hope that he won't start tearing pieces out of anyone. Consistently at the center of attention and getting his own way, the abuser can ensure that his emotional needs get met on his terms-- a luxury he is loath to part with.

6. Financial control
Money is a leading cause of tension in modern relationships, at least in families with children. Financial choices have huge quality of life implications, including: Who get to make the purchases that matter most to him or her; what kind sof preparations are made for the future, including retirement; what types of leisure activities and travel are engaged in; who gets to work; who gets to not work if he or she doesn't want to; and how the children's needs are met. To have your voice in these decisions taken away is a monumental denial of your rights and has long-term implications. On the lfip side, the abuser who dominates these kinds of decisionsextorts important benefits for himself, whether the family is low income or wealthy. One of the most common tactics I hear about, for example, is that the abuser manages to finagle dealings so that his name is on his partner's belongings-- such as her house or her car-- along with, or instead of, her name. In fact, I have had clients whose abuse was almost entirely economically based and who managed to take many thousands of dollars away from their partners, either openly or thorugh playing financial tricks.

An abuser's history of economic exploitation tends to put him in a much better financial position that his partner if the relationship splits up. This imbalanace makes it harder for her to leave him, especially is she has to find a way to support her children. He may also threaten to use his economic advantage to hire a lawyer and pursue custody, on of the single most terrifying prospects that can face an abused woman.

7. Ensuring that his career, education or other goals are prioritized
Closely interwoven with financial control is the question of whose personal goals receive priority. If the abuser needs to be out several evening studying for a certificate that will improve his job advancement potential, he's going to do it. If a career opportunity for him involves moving to a new state, he is likely to ignore the impact of his decision on his partner. Her own goals may also advance at times, but only as long as they don't interfere with his.

8. Public status of partner and/or father without the sacrifices
With his strong people-pleasing skills and his lively energy when under the public gaze, the abusive man is often thought of as an unusually fun and loving partner and a sweet, committed dad. He soaks up the smiles and appreciation he receives from relatives, neighbots, and people in the street who are unaware of his behavior in private.

9. The approval of his friends and relatives
An abuser often chooses friends who are supportive of abusive attitudes. On top of that, he may come from an abusive fmaily; in fact, his father or stepfather may have been his key role model for how to treat female partners. If these are his social surroundings, he gets strokes for knowing how to control his partner, for "putting her in her place" from time to time, and for ridiculing her complaints about him. His friends and relatives may even bond with him on the basis of his view of women in general as being irrational, vindictive, or avaricious. For this man to renounce abuse, he would have to give up his cheerleading squad as well.

10. Double standards
An abusive man subtly or overtly imposes a system in which he is exempt from the rules and standards that he applies to you. He may allow himself to have occaisonal affairs, "because men have their needs," but if you so much as gaze at another man, you're a "whore". He may scream in arguments, but if you raise your voice, you're "hysterical". He may pick up one of your children by the ear, but if you grab your son and put him in timeout for punching you in the leg, you're a "child abuser". He can leave his schedule open and flexible while you have to account for your time. He can point out your faults, while setting himself above criticism, so that he doesn't have to deal with your complaints or be confronted with the effects of his selfish and destructive actions. The abusive man has the privilege of living by a special set of criteria that were designed just for him.

Glance back quickly over this impressive collection of privileges. Is it any wonder that abusive men are reluctant to change? The benefits of abuse are a major social secret, rarely mentioned anywhere. Why? Largely because abusers are specialists in distracting our attention. They don't want anyone to notice how well this system is working for them (and usually don't even want to admit it to themselves). If we caught on, we would stop feeling sorry for them and instead start holding them accountable for their actions. As long as we see abusers as victims, or as out-of-control monsters, they will continue getting away with ruining lives. If we want abusers to change, we will have to require them to give up the luxury of exploitation.

When you are left feeling hurt or confused after a confrontation with your controlling partner, ask yourself: What was he trying to get out of what he just did? What is the ultimate benefit to him? Thinking through these questions can help you clear your head and identify his tactics.

Certainly the abusive man also loses a great deal through his abusiveness. He loses the potential for genuine intimacy in his relationship, for example, and his capacity for compassion and empathy. But these are often not things that he values, so he may not feel their absence. And even if he would like greater intimacy, that wish is outweighed by his attachment to the benefits of abuse.

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shared by Barbara at 12:07 AM



You hit the nail right on the head Barbara!

Wher is their incentive to change? Its to their advantage NOT to in their eyes!

Then they get ticked off over the distance....sigh!

12:58 PM  

There are some abusive women anonymous. But there are many men who treat women this way. Everything that has to do with them comes first!

6:33 PM  

I am a girl who is totally tired of a abusive guy who has been ruining her state of peace since a year.

I don't have words to express my feelings.

1) I am being stalked
2) My laptops and mobiles are all hacked
3)The guys checks my personal stuff after I leave.

I guess he thinks that all this is justified since he is under the false impression that I like him, but honestly my reply is that I have lost all respect for him just because of the abusive behavior.

I don't know how to stop him, perhaps better than committing suicide , taking a legal action is better thing

9:03 AM  

Barbara this is my life for 38 years and still is. I had a Narcissistic Mother now husband and possible 29 year old daughter. I am more than worn out.This is all very sad but true!

1:23 PM  

this was my existence for 12 long, miserable years, married to a sadist who called me names, was constantly picking away at me for everything imaginable. He was very verbally abusive all the time, and YES ! every neighbor was convinced he was "mr wonderful" sheeesh ! what a deceiver he was. Well, I had the opportunity to "boogaloo" in June of 1997, and I ran for my life, without looking back !! Praise the Lord !!

6:50 PM  

I lived a true nightmare with my husband over the last 6 years.
Sad reality is he is just an abuser, nothing but an abuser and never will be anything other than an abuser. So sad for him. And his next victim.
But one day I will heal enough to find peace, happiness and love.

5:19 AM  

Great article. Again, I never hear about this stuff in psychology class. Never hear of it ANYWHERE!

Remember, rarely is anything so clearcut and obvious in real life, unless your eyes have been opened to it and you allow yourself to see the truth. That psychopathic behavior is the norm and we perpetuate it by trying to include the victims in the working out of problems or including them in the guilt. Mri's checking for psychopathy could so easily help the victims.

Another form of psychopathic control is a form of "munchausen by proxy." This doesn't have to be a parent doing this to a child but a spouse doing this to a spouse or an adult child doing it to their elderly parent. I have seen this. Again, there is certain terminology used in counseling, church and medical disabilities and "lovingly" taking your spouse to the doctor, and knowing all the meds he/she is on, the interworkings of their illnesses etc, is a great place for a psychopath to display themselves. How they look so long-suffering and benevolent. And the illness may not be caused by them but they want to be there to get all the credit. Please PLEASE lets help the helpable.

2:41 PM  

I am in recovery after a 20 year marriage to an abuser. It grew over time, and got worse. It culominated with him pointing a loaded pistol at my dogs twice to frighten me, and then finally held a load pistol to my ribs. He is gone now, and I am trying to heal. I was granted a restraining order. He was ordered by the court to attend a certified batter intervention program. I do not know if the program helped him, and it is too late for us anyway. His treatment over the years left me with little feeling of intamacy for him, and drained me emotionally. It is a long road back, but I will find joy in my life again. I am re-connecting with people and activities that I had all but given up. I am taking care of myself and my dogs. I am strong, and will heal. Your reasons why an abuser will not change make perfect sense. On their own, there is no motivation to change.

8:55 PM  

I find it disappointing that the author has directed this squarely at men. I know, you've got to pick your target market and speak to it, and there are far more abusive men than women, but I'm living in an abusive relationship with my wife, not physically but emotionally.

6:43 PM  

I have an abusive 33 year old son who starts yelling at me for anything, mainly when he stays at my house while coming to visit his friends. I don't even invite him, but he shows up and then starts yelling that the house is messy or cluttered, or that I said something to annoy him. No, he wasn't abused as a child, more like spoiled as an only child, and used to getting his way by having fits. He always turns it around like it's my fault afterward. We're currently not speaking. Very sad to devote your life to a monster.

6:56 AM  

An excellent article which is so true for men, too! I am married to a most amazing man, who was victim to ALL of the above abuse from his wife for over 25 years! It almost broke him to leave, and in the end he left because he saw his children becoming the same monster his wife was, and realised he should've left a long, long time ago. It's never too late to start over. WALK AWAY. Abuse is not normal, and although victims find it hard to stop trying to find ways to justify every abusive action when it happens, that is the ONLY way to find peace, and find the door. Abusers do not change. Ever.

2:16 AM  

Check! Check! Check! Everything listed in the article has touch my life or is now running and ruining my heart, both emotionally and physically. Not too long ago I was taken to the hospital because I almost collapsed in the grocery store. I literally thot I was going to die, it was similiar to having a stroke. I kept a level head enuf to pray and I prayed for my children and my husband. I thot if now's the time I felt unafraid to die and very good about my efforts with my kids and my husband. The biggest remorse that hit me was how I didn't take care of myself. That was my biggest sadness. Anyway my husband eventually came to the hospital to pick me up. On the way home he was screaming at me calling me names, all after I'd been strapped to heart monitors, tests galore. He took me home and I needed help. He refused to help me. Instead he left. He left me overnite with no car, by myself, alone. I dont get it. I just don't get it. I spent the nite alone in my house after near death in the hospital because my husband couldn't stand being around me. He came home the next morning and in his sing song manner said hey hows it going, want some coffee? I still can not get my head around how a human being lacks the empathy to care for another, especially someone you promised to love and care for in sickness and health. What I can say is this, even tho we are affected everyday by the points mentioned in the article, there is in each person struggling with abuse courage and bravery and a place where we are untouched by the abusive partners behavior. When faced with the idea literally I was having a stroke and could die I felt Strong in my Capacity to handle hard things and felt a peace and an ease facing my own mortality. Im still with this person and he still bullies me and I feel sad and disappointed often. Im not free of this struggle at all. Why? I dont know. I just don't know.

6:15 PM  

Women can be incredibly abusive and controlling, too. One day, society will have a better grasp of the issues. I would encourage that you are not alone. If you call a hotline and the person gives you a hard time, keeping calling until you get the support you need. All the resources for women to survive and recover from abuse apply to you as well. Please take care of yourself, walk in the truth not the lies, and know that you are worthy of respect and love.

12:19 PM  

I am an abuser... I fight against these a lot of these tendencies daily. Most of the time successfully but sometimes I lose control and snap! All of this info is for the abused. Where's the best place to start for the abuser. All material here says that I will never change. Less than 2% do. My family should run away... if they will not should I do them the favor to leave them? Sincerely, I love them and want the best for them. Leaving seems cowardly but my actions when I'm angry are cowardly.

7:18 AM  

My husband, doesn't control me like I know a lot of men can do. What he does is sit and do nothing. We collectively have 5 young children together and his theme is "if it's not my mess, I am not cleaning it". I cook as soon as I get home, clear off the table, put food on the table, he gets his food and starts eating while I dish out all the little kids food and cut it to size and start feeding the 1 yr old baby who sits right next to him. He finishes dinner rinses his plate and puts it in the sink and goes back to watching t.v. Kids get done with dinner and get them ready for bed. He usually goes to bed about this time. I tuck the kids in and do prayers. Then I start cleaning up dinner. So this is pretty much how our household runs with everything. Unless it has to do directly with him, we don't exist. UNTIL...he gets mad at HIS oldest and starts slapping him around to the point of bruises. He beats on the dogs has even taken a pellet gun to them. This only happens maybe once or twice a year with His kid and more often with the dogs. He has never touched me and has never done anything to My kids, except leave them out when he is playing with His Golden Child. We had it out not to long ago, and I heard the "i'm Sorry' and "I'll never do it again" "I don't want to lose you". He took it upon himself to clean our absolutely trashed house and cook me a really well planned and thought out meal (he has never done any of this stuff in the 3 years I have been with him) Can he really change? Is he just doing the "Honeymoon Phase"? I don't know whether or not to trust him... Ideas...Thoughts?

4:07 PM  

To those upset this is about men, it was written BY a man who works with abusive men. This is not a book written by women bashing men. It is written by a man which gives it all the more credibility. As the authir states, women have their form of verbal abuse too but rarely is a man terrorized and on fear of a woman. MANY women live in fear of men. The abuse isn't comparable whatsoever.

12:31 AM  

Living in fear is not an option but its most that abused vitlvrims live in. I am one of them. Its hard because I love him n we have daughters. However he has another child from. Cheating this is very devasting I am the blame for it all. I know I can do good on my own I was fine before I met him but leaving is hard. Pray every day for change.the man I love has these traits. What to do now...

3:02 PM  

This feels like it was written personally for me. He is currently incarcerated for domestic violence. His family takes up for him & after reading this I now understand why. He was the child spoiled to getting his way, hes now the Dr.Jekyll & Mr. Hyde husband that everyone adores & I am the quiet, long suffering wife whom his friends & family blame no thanks to him. I cant thank the author enough for opening my eyes up to what is really going on in his head, and I kid you not...everything written, every bulletin, fit my husband. Time to move on...

6:13 AM  

This article feels like a page out of my life with Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde..loving husband one minute, hated villain the next..his mood swings were outrageous, and I tried to convince myself that because he married me & loved me so intensely, that I could handle his lows..the cycle of love/blame/abandonment has been an ongoing event throughout our relationship..I realize with sadness that I can't continue living like this or I will never find my true happiness for me and my daughters. His family and friends see me through his eyes and I am to blame for everything, including his recent incarceration for hitting me. It takes a strong woman to not hit a man back, & an even stronger women to realize he will never change & move on no matter how painful. This cant be love when his family & friends look the other way when he has affairs, when he abuses me, while I am left alone, sad & taking care of our family. I'm tired of being blamed for his mistakes. Time to goooooooo.

6:25 AM  

this was my life for 15 years. my abusive husbsnd blamed me for his behavior. for many years i thought i was crazy, a psychopath, bipolar. i blamed myself for my failed marriage. i left him many times. last time i did not go back. he went on the internet and married a woman in less than three months. they seem very happy together, adding to my belief that it was me. it wasnt until my 17 year old son left his dad and refused to have anything to do with him that i realized it wasnt me. when i left, he abused my son. the unfortunate thing is that he has alienated my 15 year old daughter from me and my family. he has doted on her since birth, often putting her in charge because she had such a crazy incompetent mother

9:24 PM  

Your comment people will say is brave. It is
Your ahead of the game because you know there's issues to deal with
My ex didn't and doesn't
He's got my baby
Destroyed family
Has everything but everyone sides with him
If I can't get courts to return baby full time as opposed to shared with him getting majority I will have to run
He refuses to see that he did any wrong tat included at taking me when I held our baby and my older child but courts said I may date another abuser n gave him more custody
He breached restraining order three times since split
Stalks me
Won't cooperate over baby
I will have to run
I hope you succeed in addressing your problems but you accept you have them
That's the start
Don't give up

12:39 PM  

I am in an abusive relationship. I'm 26 and he's 24. It's been an emotional nightmare for me. He keeps telling me he'll change but he's done everything to push me away and still abuse me. I really wanted to believe him.

I just ended things with him but it's so hard to stay strong and stay broken up. I'm so broken apart and I feel so shameful that a part of me wants him to call and apologize.

It's true about the sneaky part. No one would ever think he's abusive. Very quiet, shy, "nice."

9:04 PM it please...(men ending verbal abusive and control)...thnx for writing...i try to believe it was my husband writing...dream on...

1:36 AM  

Yeah exactly the same with me. Every time we fight or he screams at me over nothing I feel like I need to apologize. Its absolutely ridiculous.

7:06 PM  

I was married for 20 years to the guy that is described in this article. we've been divorced for 13 years now and I'm still struggling to become a person that I like that I'm proud of.I don't have any self confidence. I'm always telling people I don't remember so I don't have to get into an argument with anybody because I know I'll lose. That's what he taught me. I did everything in our marriage I did the yard for the house work raise the kids did the shopping he did nothing.I'm having a hard time finding a relationship that I can trust that's not going to do the same thing. My mom always said my picker is broken.

12:52 PM  

I have been on a toxic relationship for the last seven years. He abuse me verbally, physically and emotionally. He does all of that in front of our kids and tire of him i just want to move on and never looked back. He has no respect for woman or for me.

1:53 PM i love it...i was confused why we start catering them feeding it is about them and lost ourselves....

i was a bit confused as i am going through self blaming...but i am near t believe its not my fault:)...
but one thing was killing me why we cater them during that abusive cycle....
you expressed it so nicely and simply....such a relief...knowing nothing is our fault

2:55 PM  

What if the abuser is a son, and I want to do everything in my power to help him?

7:07 PM  

I am in an abusive relationship. It's hard to say that but reading this article has made me realize that every point made perfectly describes him. He had beaten me up when I was six months pregnant. We got together pretty quickly and all of a sudden were having a baby. He to blames me for all his behaviour. My mom had walked in on him standing over me beating me and had called the cops. I was petrified and denied that he had hit me. I did not want the father of my child to go to jail. I also was constantly telling the cop to please tell him I didn't call the police and my mother had. Which made me realize how I truly am scared of him. I keep going back to him, I don't know what to do. I feel like an idiot at times. I know the answer.. to leave him and protect my baby. He is not abusive towards our baby. But I don't trust that he won't ever be based on his outbursts. I know the answer but why can't I get there. I feel so lost and depressed, I've been drinking alcohol more than usual to self medicate. He is using the fact I drink to tell me I'm a terrible mom. I don't no what to do.. anyone please?

12:21 AM  

I see the MRA members are here to detract from a serious issue at hand and to say that women are evil too.

Very sad state of affairs that men use an oppressed women's site to come and oppress women.

Yes, women are abusers. But the ratio is about 9-1.

12:25 PM  

I don't know what to do.
I am the mom of a 32 year old son, who is in an abusive relationship and he is physically and mentally abused daily. She demeans him, has broken every dish in the house by throwin at him, because he didnt come quick enoiugh when she asked him too...she actually broke her hand while beating him in his head. Of course, she told everyone that she broke it in a car wreck. Everyone know better. Her, or their friends feel sorry for him. They have tried to talk him into leaving, but he will not leave. They have a baby. He will not leave the baby, and she will most def. hold that over his head.
I, as his mom, would like to beat the snot out of her and show her how it feels to be on the other end of the abuse. i don't understand her. He works 2 jobs, takes care of the cooking, cleaning and the baby. ...and I'm not just saying that, I've heard it from everyone else. I don not think that i could live close to them because I would hurt her. I don't want to feel this way, but I feel for my son. He feels trapped. If it were her being abused..she would report it and he would go to jail. He is so kind-hearted. he would do anything for anyone. He is totally embarrased when she acts like this in front of friends. What to do?????

1:47 PM  

20 years, kids conditioned to believe I was crazy....eventually just gave up, quit housekeeping, still worked full time, and at family business. Then he intentionally stole from government agency, which caused loss of family business for very immoral gains. He left us in small town to deal with fall out. One of the kids blamed me for years, while I frantically tried to hold marriage together, not knowing he had already established new family (woman and her child(ren) 2500 miles away). Still believes he can steal from us, while he has her that he should be abusing. Almost cost me my life, the brainwashing was overwhelming. He makes 5 times what I do, even with the fraction he has to pay me....yet steals from us on his whim. He was not raised this way, and when I hear our kids say they're glad he's gone, it breaks my heart. Still cleaning up after him, and his family feels they can now jump on his bandwagon to continue his sick work. They do not accept the truth, I look forward to the day when they wake up. Wish there was some way to erase his memory, and the triggers caused by the years of abuse. And I wish I could take the pain of our kids away. Staggering.

9:30 AM  

I will be honest.i have been abusive. I am working on changing that.i have always regretted everything within minutes. I WANT to change and I will. I am doing everything in my power. Any advice is appreciated. I realize it will take me a long time to change my complete way of thinking and treating others. I am fully committed to fixing my problem.

11:09 PM  

I have been in an abusive relationship for almost a year now. I am the only one who works, I pay for absolutely every single expense while he sits on his butt, refuses to contribute towards any aspect of our relationship. He lies, cheats, hurts me every way he can. He broke my cheek bone on my face from punching me in the face. I didn't have the heart to send him to jail so his mother called the cops and made a report, but his charges were dismissed at arraignment and he got off scott free. He choked me while I was pregnant with his child because i asked him to please give me my cell phone back that i bought and pay for. I collapsed to the floor after it happened. His mom ran to me asking why I was on the ground crying, he laughed with his response and said she's crying because I choked her, I don't care and he left with his ex girlfriend who we waiting outside. I got an abortion the next week. I couldn't bring a child into this world with a man like that. He threatens to kill me, my dog, my father all the time. I tried to leave last week, he wouldn't let me take my own truck, (he has title in his name to control me) I left on foot with just the clothes on my back and he drove after me. Almost hit me with my own truck twice. He parked my truck sideways in the middle of a very busy street and tried to beg me please don't leave, saying he would lie and have me thrown in jail. Finally a stranger stopped, opened his door and told me to get in, that hell drive me to safety. I got in the car with the man and he drove away before my fiance could catch us. I had him drop me off at a gas station and stayed the night with a girlfriend, but came crawling back the next day. I don't know what to do, the lease to our home is in my name, but he refuses to leave because he has no where to go. I think I need a restraining order...

7:40 AM  

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories of survival, the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical stages of being involved in/previous abusive relationships. You are all very brave and you've provided someone with the hope and strengths of moving away from this toxic love. Be well all.

12:34 AM  

My husband beat me up when I was 3mo. by repeatedly kicking me in the stomach causing a miscarriage of one twin. I was blamed, surviving son is now 6mo after birth I've stayed with him through alot, we're high school sweethearts going on 30. He was never this way as a teenager, not the anger or the rage, or the physical and verbal assaults. Idk what happened but I just knew it was me and I caused this, his family and all our friends would never believe he's such an awful man in the privacy of our house. I started feeling as though my sanity was in question, and started drinking daily to ease the pain. I was slowly losing myself, the last time he abused me he broke bones in my face, one of which caused a disfigurement. Yep, it was no longer a secret, he had never crossed the"line" (above neck) before and my face was so shattered it became apparent I had been abused. I was so disgusted that I allowed him to do this continuously without consequence and now I am forever scarred. My children cried and were so traumatized by my injuries and the fact that the man they knew as dad could do this with no remorse. It's definitely been an uphill battle but once I got rid of the vermin of him in our lives we are all much more at peace. I stopped drinking realizing that the troubles I tried to get away from were caused by the exact same thing I was letting disturb my life. Him. Be strong friend, know you are not alone! you're love for yourself and child can conquer these thoughts of depression and loneliness and to seek safety. Please understand the value of your life and your self worth. You are able to get through this.

1:07 AM  

Thanks. But how do u get a loved one out of this!

2:56 AM  

For those pointing out that he seems to only be talking about male abusers, the author actually talks about that in the book. He's using generalizing terms because most abusers are men and most victims are women, but he acknowledges that it can go the other way around, and several times he addresses gay and lesbian relationships too.

3:48 PM  

I've been in a relationship with someone I considered my true love. When we first met, it felt like we had already known each other for years . He was everything I was looking for in a man; Complimented me, cooked for me, was amazing in bed (caring about me and not himself (or so it seemed)(but by caring about me he was actually looking for approval from me about his skills to boost his ego) intelligent, and just made me feel like I was loved: like in the way he held me, was thoughtful with purchasing gifts, the way he talked to me sometimes was just sweet. But occasionally when things didn't go his way or if I questioned him about something he'd slap me, scream at me, call me a worthless piece of s&*t, retard, bitch, c&*t, push me, and occasionally kick me. Then he'd say I made him do it. He'd get furious at the thought that he wasn't the number one person in my life. Then we'd go back to being loving and affectionate. I gave up my education to help support us when he got laid off. I had to have a job I hated, while he was on a mission to find a job that he loved. He'd abuse our animals to the point where I'd cry and had to look away because the last time I tried to interfere I got hit and screamed at. It's hard to tell if the feeling I have in my chest for him is love or anxiety. I know I love him and always will, but it seems like I won't find someone better. Noone is as intelligent as him and has all the same good attributes. It's sad how we make excuses for their behavior and how good they are at manipulating us to feel like they truly love us but then don't treat us like equals. If only there was a way of inducing amnesia and starting over. I'd like the last decade back please and for my standards not to be tainted with someone that's so right in so many ways but also so so wrong.

3:55 AM  

I am currently going through a separation from my husband of 13 years. His abuse was controlling my life. Everything has to be his way. His career came first. his education came first. Every aspect of our life together was what he wanted. Recently, my husband slammed me on the ground and put his forearm on my throat. Three weeks later he slammed me against a car and choked me until my 17 yo had to knock him out. I have since moved out and back home to GA from NY. He promises he is getting help and that he will change. I do not see that he is changing at all as he is still drinking(this is when the abuse is at its worst) I really would like to know why am I so angry with him all the time. Why am I hanging on? Other than financially I mean.

1:30 PM  

This is so true. I've been married for 5 years and have had the courage and support to walk out. Reading this has made realise that whenever I feel like going back, I should remove that thought out of my head.

12:46 PM  

Sorry my grammar isn't great . But I lived with a man for 18 years who was a phycopath I do believe . What worries me the most hearing all your stories is the children . I have 2 girls and 1 boy and it has changed who they were supposed to be. I wish I would have left when they were babies . Guess I was young and niaive :( It has infected my whole life being with this man so long , and my children's life's
I never new anything about mental illness at that time . I always new there was something wrong with him. My heart and love go out to each and everyone of you . God Bless

2:18 PM  

I have the biggest problem with #3. My abuser gets drunk, screams, and dumps all of his problems on me. He uses me as a verbal punching bag. I'm exhausted. I can't keep up with this much longer.

He does the housework so that I can write professionally, but right now, the problem is that he chatters all day long about the same stuff over and over, and when I try to write I can't concentrate. So I wind up having to write far into the night in order to make money and the result is that I'm getting exhausted. He gets into drunken rages and screams about how I do nothing to help around the house (which isn't true) and can fly into a rage about anything. So I walk on eggshells all the time.

I'm starting to finally have some success as a writer and this is absolutely essential for us as we are very poor.

Right now, he's mad because I asked for a little quiet while I'm writing, and I get told "I am going to talk whenever I want" and it evolves into an argument. So then I wind up writing until 6:00 a.m. so that I have the quiet I need. I wish I could talk to someone.

1:55 AM  

I grew up with an abusive grandparent, so I guess I didn't think being treated badly was abnormal. I got religious, felt I had to get married then. Had a baby with him, by the time our son was born I had been battered three times- but I was under the spell of "young, dumb, In looove and religious".I stayed for almost 25 years.
I couldn't pick a decent man if I tried, they always turn out to be abusive, even when they seem really boring and nice at first.I make it a point to pick nice men. Maybe I make them abusive somehow?
I don't date anymore because of this phenomenon- now I have a dog and talk to my mom a lot instead.
I suffer a lot for what happened, replaying it every day in my mind. PTSD super bad- cant even seem to get a normal life together. Time is helping and I know I will be ok- but not sure if I can ever be 100%.

2:02 PM  

Can you tell me what symptoms he had I am also dealing with a man that I think he is that

9:39 AM  

First you need a safe place to go, try to gather your important papers when you leave. Only leave when he isn't around. Try to record him or video record any threats take pictures or any abuse on your body. But very careful in doing this. You need to leave or you will end up in a grave. You need to take the courage I beilve in you and pray now for you to get out reach out to god in prayer. If its the house or the car don't worry seek a lawyer. Your life is much worth than a material thing you owe to your baby in heaven

11:09 AM  

This article was scarily accurate. I wish the whole world can read it. I wonder if these men know that they are abusers. Sad, my husbands a medical doctor....but blames me for the abuse.

5:38 PM  

I don't know what to do anymore my boyfriend keeps insulting me he lies to me every day he said that he will kill my familiy and he tells me that everyday sometimes he punches me and he eavem broke my arm he cant stop talking that he is the best that he will kill my family and friends he talk like he knows everything about fight and how he always fight and doing that stuff he stealing me and when i want to report him he lost his mind he punch me in my chest and kick me he say that nobody even police cant do nothing he knows a lot of them .... I dont know what to do i give him money i say thats ok when he screams that i'm weak i do anything for him he destroy me i cry every single night .... why i love him so much ? i want to be like it was when we meet ... but when i want to leave him he said that he is going to killl himself and then call my friends and his family and told everybody that he is going to kill hisself and that I am guilty that he is going to die and then send people on me and my family that they would kill us.... I am despirate

7:18 AM  

Thats so true and respect to u for pointing it out x

1:49 PM  

I just came across this website it is dead on what I'm going through I am trying to beat my man at his own game and it's not working I am exhausted and I find myself asking God to change me so that this will stop. I've never done a hot line but I need to talk to someone and can't afford a therapist. I don't want to bring my family or friends into it. Please help me

11:57 PM  

I have been in an abusive relationship for 10 years now. I just realized a few months ago that my boyfriend (yes, for 10 years...I know, how stupid am I) is a narcissist and an abuser. I want to leave but I don't have anywhere to go. I also live in a small town and I don't want to leave because he is going to tell everyone that I'm crazy, he tells complete lies about me like he pays all my bills (not true) and generally makes me out to be horrible and everyone believes him because he seems like "such a good guy". I've gotten to the point where I am so depressed...I have horrible social anxiety because my self esteem is so low whereas, I used to be a social butterfly. I just don't know what to do. His immaturity (he's 46) and blaming his actions on me disgust me. His physical abuse is getting closer together and increasingly worse the past couple of years to the point I'm having people notice bruises and I'm like oh my god, I've turned into the abused woman who makes excuses for where all the bruises come from. I'm tired of it! He's a truck driver and gone for days at a time and sometimes I just wish he would get in an accident and die so I don't ever have to deal with his abuse again! I know that is a horrible thing to say but I feel like he's ruined me forever.

10:30 AM  

do abusers EVER stop permantently?

12:09 PM  

I am also experiencing the same kind of relationship now. I feel my husband is over possessive but he always want me to ask him before taking any kind of decisions. i am also educated equivalant to him or even better, but his commands making me dependent on him day by day. Initially I thought he is caring and thinking for my improovement but after the day I was beaten by him, I found its a misuse of my love and moral values.

I don't know how make him correct or realize him what he is doing. I also don't want to marry with another person. I always stick to my promises and comittments, therefore he is missusing that promise of being together whole life.

I never hide his abusements from my relatives and friends, so is a good person in front of his friends nad relatives. he don't want to make relations with my parental relatives and my friends.

I want to work on that and want to fight against domastic violence because of his violent and selfish nature.

3:30 PM  

Woow this article speaks volumes and describes my husband to some extent, though I speculate that the longer I stay the more these descriptions will become true.

I been married for a year almost to a man I thought loved me above all, but his true colours are starting to show. Immediately after we got married, the verbal abuse started and his views about women became apparent. He believes women have to be 'put in their place' and the meaner they are treated, the kinder they become. He is in prison now and I have decided that I need to get out of this relationship before I become like some of these wonderful women here who have endured years, even decades, of abuse.

I have barred my number, so he can't call me from prison. I need a divorce

10:13 AM  

Of course it is not recognized that women are abusive. In or societies men will be looked at as weak, a pansy, if they go forth and ask for a restraining order. What he can't handle his woman? I really think more men are going to have to go forth to the courts and shelters and complain what is happening.

5:00 AM  

I'm not totally sure whether I'm being verbally abused. Any insights would be appeciated. He yells and screams on a regular frequently daily basis. I've tried reasoning w him about how life will be better for both of us if this stops. I've tried loving him out of this. I've given him so many chances over and over w promise after promise that he will get better and stop. I've learned words are pretty much meaningless from him in terms of changing his behavior treating me respectfully and discontinuing the anger and yelling. I've told him so recently. He says different things as being the reasons for why he does this. I'm a terrible terrible person and you just have to suffer suffer suffer becAuse your with me. He admits fault but it doesn't get us anywhere. He's used reasons like I feel emasculated in the work force that's why I do this. He also says I don't know why. I can stop. I can't stop. I'm going to seek therapy for my problems but has yet to have actually done that. It's been bad for a year to year and four months. He says things and then totally denies that these things were ever said. Things I'm absolutely sure he said. If he doesn't do that he says I just misunderstand him. But so far misunderstanding thAt he means exactly the opposite from what he said. He treats me a lot of the time like I'm his very worst enemy. I've asked him what's going on what am I doing wrong. What could I do differently to make you happier? He has no answer. I think i would be gone by now if it weren't for being disabled and finanicially not really independent. This is definately very emotionally abnormal for a relationship.. I've been in relationships basically since 21. The other years of this relationship were very good emotionally. He's literally black and white. He was my best companion lover. Now I'm not sure what's happening. I've tried lots of things to fix things. I don't think he really tries things. One very scary thing he does is drive completely crazy really trying to get us In a wrek when he's driving the car and I'm out on the road w hm. It's terrifying. Nothing I can quickly say or not say can really get him under control. His behavior w me has made me more depressed over the last four months. Very. I feel like my life is h@ll on earth sometimes. A lot of times and there is just no way out or improving it. I don't know if he knows how to say the right things when we try to talk sometimes or if he really does have another prerogative that he is even aware of. I do wonder if its unconscious . He's said he's had a change of personality and I just have to basically live with it. My parents try to force me back into this relationship no matter how much I want out. My father said people are really only abusive in movies. He has some other messed up ideas. We've been engaged for about three years. Total relationship somewhere a little over or around 6 years. There are significant life stressors on me and him. But I don't wAnt to be treated like this or worse the rest of my life.

5:33 PM  

I just left my husband of 25 years and came back after a week and a half. I did not realize I was being abused because he never hit me. He abused me emotionally, verbally and mentally, he manipulated me and has narcissistic traits as well as depression. I sought counseling and they told me to look for signs of change. That night, he and I met up and he showed all the signs that he will and wants to change. He took full responsibility and quit blaming everybody else for the way he treated me. When he cried, I knew he meant it, you just don't make this up. Unfortunately, he shared with me the extent of his abuse as a child for the first time in 25 years. He shared things that I just felt bad for the little boy lost. My humanity could not let him stay the night alone, so I went back. I laid down the law and gave him a checklist of deal breakers. I notified him that anything that was broken is a cause for divorce and that even after it all, there was no guarantee I will stay.
Right now I'm feeling confused, I feel that if I had stayed gone, it's was the wrong thing to do and now that I'm back, it was the wrong thing to do and I did not give myself time to fully think. I think this is going to drive me crazy. I know he wants to change, but how do I know that years from now, he'll go back to his old self? How do I know his addictions won't come back?
Then I'll have wasted a few more years of my life for nothing.
He also denies that his secretary was his mistress, He'll never admit it. I asked that he fire her and he said he will, to give him 2 weeks. How will I know they've truly kept away from each other. I work and he's self employed, so I can't be around him all the time. she also has many phone numbers, he could be calling a unknown number and I'd have no idea that he doesn't talk to her.
I'm so confused and I don't know what to do. I just wish I knew what God wants me to do.

2:35 PM  

Thirty-three years after leaving my abusive husband, I still run into women who say how wonderful he is to women. He fights for women's rights ( he was doing that when he was abusing me, because I wanted my rights ), comforts women who have been abused ( he did that while he was abusing me ), and convinced others that I was a b*tch for leaving him.

He did change, after I divorced him, because it was no longer a benefit to him. However, I continued to see the potentially abusive aspect of his personality in my dealings with him since we had a child together.

9:52 PM  

He will say anything to get you back under his thumb. Now he's making you feel that he is the victim, not you. Abusers are masters of manipulation.

9:55 PM  

Pray and ask him ....what is his purpose for you.

2:31 PM  

God can help you. I wish I had turned to him when I was going through abuse. I eventually did and my life is so different now. I left him, befriended him, felt guilty and sad for three years but never went back. Now he is hurting someone else and attempted to push me over the edge with who he has chosen. I can stand back now and look what God has done for me over those three years and thank him for his strength. I have a broken jaw, but that's nothing compared to what he did to me emotionally. I can honestly say I have great strength inside, and that it is not my strength. When people say how good I look, how happy, how young what can I say? 15 years of abuse washed away. I feel the strength of character but not the pain anymore. My way of dealing with it wasn't great until I turned to God. I was weak and depressed and had put all my heart and mind into this man. God understands and will direct your path. Your story will be different to mine, I don't know what God will do in your life but I pray for you xxx

7:36 AM  

I left an abusive relationships while 7 months pregnant. Went through mental, emotional, verbal abuse, mind games, manipulation, etc. Never talked to him again (was scared that will go back). Did all of this for the sake of my child. Very hard to leave, especially when you are in love. Run! Run as fast as you can. Run without a notice and never look back (I left while he was at work). If you do - you will go back and forth and hurt yourself. Still recovering. He tried so hard to get me back. Empty promises. DO NOT BUY THOSE. Love is an action word. My self-esteem is broken, my heart is in pain but I am getting better every day. If you have kids take them out of abusive hell or they will grow up just like that and run, please run as fast as you can.

9:51 PM  

My Husband is abusive when drunk he trys to control me but denies it , he keeps saying i am crazy , I know he father was a big drinker and abusive to his mother and them mostly the mother , I feel its time to let go but he has changed in a way he is panicking now and promising change, I am so confused of what to do he denies its him and says its alcohol related and he ll drink less ,we have 4 children and I have an 18 yr old daughter that used to love him but now they do not get on at all she was only 3 when we married , iv been called every bad name imaginable iv been threatened with no way to get to work and no money for the kids he is telling me I need help but I know its him please give me some advice Im totally drained looking for answers

5:32 AM  

Very insightful article. I dated an abuser and almost got married to him. The symptoms of his emotional abuse was gratually becoming apparent, but I didn't understand why he would behave this way. I took time to understand him and the root cause for this behaviour. He was abused by his father and lived in terror. After his fathers death, he has taken the role of the abuser instead of the victim.
I was constantly stressed with his behaviour and abrupt fights over smallest topic I kept wondering what is his gain. Why would he destroy the peace over minuscule matters. I tried reasoning with him, offered him help and also volunteered to come with him to get help. He never seemed to be interested in that. And I didn't understand why.
This article, speaks about the benefits and it makes perfect sense. I have seen him getting away with some of these benefits mentioned. That just confirms why he would want to change or get help of a known problem. The only solution is for women to stop enabling such behaviours and allowing him such benefits at our cost.

1:04 PM  

Great place to vent and express without repercussion. Here is some insight to ponder. Humans man or woman will always be subjected to some form of verbal, mental, emotional abuse. Physical abuse can be prevented and avoided by walking away or getting out of the way and taking a stance against it. Referring to verbal, mental, and emotional abuse it can be deflected and avoided as well if you can learn to identify it. What one has to be aware of is the onset of the abuse, which begins by antagonizing the person. Once one gets the hang of identifying what antagonizing a person is and how they do it, you are on your way to not being a victim of further abuse. One you identify it you will learn to respond to it and then minimizing or eliminating contact with people who are antagonists. You will find yourself much happier and prosperous and higher functioning people will be presented to you in life. The best book I have read about how to identify an antagonist verses a protagonist is "The Antagonist Against the Church". It is based on a minister in a church who was the victim of a parishioner who was an antagonist. This book states it has to be identified and the only way to stop this behavior is to behave like a mature mutually respectful adult in the presence of them and outside of them. This is done by setting healthy boundaries, not engage in gossip, mockery, humorous sabotages, etc. Do not let an antagonist, bully, seduce, or manipulate anyone or anything in a couple, group, family, organization, work place, or government. They are very difficult to identify, because they instigate chaos, confusion and mayhem behind the curtains. In adolescent, these potentially abusive adults are easy to recognize because they are more transparent, but as adults, they have learned more tricks about deception and setting up individuals to sabotage. In adults look for congruent behavior and the morale behind closed doors of those they supervisor or an authority over or the group they are a member of and the people they surround them selves. Are they as prosperous as themselves? Are the people getting along and helping one another? Is everybody included in activities? Are the people cheered on or our they laughed at when attempting to accomplish a task? There is an antagonist in your midst where ever there is poverty, isolation, illness, low moral, discrimination and ignorance. Whether it be in a couple, family, work place, club, corporation or government. Where there is antagonism, you have a potential physical abuser. For each physical abuse that takes place and allowed you have perpetuated the cycle of abuse. In closing, first identify the antagonist in your midst and no the difference, do not be deceived by charm, illness, beauty, riches, or be intimidated by a bully or sucked into a gossip ring slandering another individual behind her/his back. Secondly, establish healthy boundaries and take responsibility for yourself and develop mutually respectful relationships with people who have the capacity to do this. This is by trial and error. It takes three visits with a person and you can determine what their intentions are towards you. If they do not meet your intentions, move on politely and with respect. Moreover, identify antagonists in the school system. This will curb the plethora of abusive adults proliferating in this world. Teach manners, principles, and the ten commandments in the school system and home. The best book to assist in this method is "Ten Habits of Highly effective people" and the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. Both of these books live and guide by principles, manners, and the ten commandments. Live by "principals" not values. Crooks have values. Being on time is a value. Know the difference and take a stance. If you have a spiritual relationship with GOD and have faith that you will prevail against all odds, you will! You can pray in your sleep. That is how you end violence and the onslaught of abuse against mankind!

3:31 PM  

Yes it sounds like you are with an abuser. When he tells you he didn't say things he said or that you misunderstand him he is gaslighting you, trying to make you doubt your own sanity and perception of reality so you will learn to rely on his and he can control how you think and feel and respond to his behavior. My ex did it all the time he also told me I never listen and put me on the spot to quote him and even if I read his text msg word for word he would say I was wrong or misinterpreted him cuz I am so negative. He also drove crazy with me in my car. Eventually the physical abuse escalated from pushing and holding me down to strangling me in front of his family member then taunting me for being scared he was going to kill me, laughing saying "I'm going to kill you" to upset me more. Trust me, it's not going to get better. He's even telling you that himself when he says you just have to deal with it. Be safe and take care of you, love.

8:26 PM  

You are so strong and brave. I wish I could cut him off like you did yours and I don't even have a child by him, almost but he abandoned me when I told him I was pregnant ignoring me for weeks then came back to convince me it was the best thing for "us" to get an abortion and get "our" stuff together before we had a baby (I had my stuff together, he didn't and two years later still doesn't). I fell for it and stayed with him. He went from supportive to yelling at me any time I mentioned the baby and how sad I was and how much I regret the abortion. I've finally left him now after escalating physical abuse but I can't quite cut him off still and I don't know why.

8:35 PM  

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3:16 AM  

I can't speak for everyone but i will change i just lost my girlfriend of 2 year's fiance of the last 4 months because I was mentally abusive and looking back at everything i feel horrible about it i don't think we will get back together i do love her and miss her I'm in counseling right now i know i can change i have changed my life before with God's help and will again and i pray if we do ever get back together i will be a different man but i don't want it to happen unless i have changed

9:48 AM  

I'm almost 21 in a relationship of 2 yrs (my first relationship) with another woman of the same age.

Our relationship started off great but quickly took a decline due to our upbringings, i believe. She lost her gpa and abusive father at a young age within 1 month of each other and never dealt with those issues until recently. and i came from a dysfunctional household as well but only saw my step dad hit my mother once, then she left him. there was other abuse taking place during my childhood, but i did not realize it was wrong at the time bc it was not directed towards me.

Although this is my first relationship, my partner had been abused in a relationship prior. when i made her angry for the first time, she hit me. i didn't leave because frankly it didn't hurt and i thought it was justified.

however after a while, it escalated into me now fighting back and we're physically fighting each other. here is where i need help: she recently saw a therapist and she stopped being violent all together, but i recently got upset over a bunch of dumb shit to be completely honest, bc i have trust trust issues from her cheating on me (before i go on, i cheated too, so i am not a victim) but my insecurities led to literally beating the crap out of her bc she ripped my jacket trying to hold me. i went into a mode where i thought i was in defense mode, but afterwards, i realized that it wasn't a mutual fight (which is still wrong) and that i was the only one in the wrong. now i am an abuser. she didn't fight back and i realized that i was more in the wrong and i didn't meet her halfway in seeking help.

I begged her to stay with me after the fight because she's my first love and i couldn't imagine never seeing her again, but after thinking and crying about it, i tried to break it off because i know that we're supposed to be partners and not punching bags, but after i told her, she yelled at me and asked if i "felt like i was doing her a favor". she showed up at my house unannounced and told me that she still wanted to be with me and if i left her after that, she would feel worthless... so now i'm totally lost and guilty. she called me from her job, and said she plans on coming over soon and i feel guilty for letting her bc i know she didn't deserve it. but i know that the weak one in an abusive relationship is the abuser. i am just being weak bc i answer her calls and leave the door open for her.

i have since that set up anger management classes to go to bc the way i deal with my anger is a problem obviously, but also i feel like this is my second shot.

basically, i'm wondering if it's possible to change? whether you say it is or not, i'm going to try.

but i also want to know what to do. coming from someone that been abused, what would you want your abuser to do? i've since stopped talking to her aside from when she talks to me bc i feel as though i can manipulate her bc i cry and apologize everytime i see her. i tell her she deserves better because she does but i'm scared she pities me so she stays. or maybe she doesn't see her own worth.

coming from a victim, should i try to let her down easy again? or should i be mean to her to get her to leave and hope she has a good support system to help her. is it ok to take advantage of this second chance since i am now seeking professional help as well? or should i push her away and continue to seek it by myself. i don't want to scare her into being with me or force her to just bc i am in love with her. but it's hard bc she's not trying to leave and she says she knows she wants to be with me on the sole condition that i change the way i react when angry.

i'm scared that her history of abuse has desensitized her more than mine has for me. i'm completely lost. please help, if you have any advice or personal experience as an abuser or a victim of abuse, i will gladly read anything sent to me.

10:34 AM  

I disagree i believe if people want to change they will I've changed a lot of stuff about me and i will change my emotionally abusive behavior

10:05 AM  

Hello ........for all intents and purposes I'm a male that gets put in similar corners by narcissistic sociopath types of varyihg degrees ...I joke I have a defective picker. least I did until one particularly persistent female began to literally start strip mining my ego self esteem and create a non stop circus of emotional terror that was "me" ......invisible to anyone else and any word or observation was redefined as " his rage issue" or some equally asinine manipulation. I realized this was leading to an ugly place where I could bank on being put in a bad spot ( who believes a 290 lb Alpha asskicker Marine ....I put myself into voluntary evaluation and had to secretly enlist the help of some professionals sincerest advice regarding the invasions of your email texts etc....ANYTIME you vent remember to keep it 100% congruent with verifiable events in your day. ...they (he or she ) WILL turn any and everything into an essay on you to avoid the spotlight on them . I lost my business my entire circle of specialized coworkers I worked years to be among and to this day feel the effects of not knowing what all was done to whom with my being the one held accountable for "bringing her around " which I feel is valid considering they were within rights to protect their own space . ..

1:03 AM  

Ironically, my emotional abuse, and some line combat style physical abuse, was at the hands of a Marine. I sure wish I had found a nice man like you instead of him but apparently I have a problem picking the good ones too. Much support to you and men who have experienced this as well. Of course ladies I feel you since we are put in this position. We are not nuts this all really happened exactly as stated in this article. Hey Marine you will get it all back again when you've cleared the decks.

9:38 PM  

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9:43 PM  

If you are looking for blogs like this chances are you're NOT crazy or the cause and YES probably being abused. Even if he or she never puts hands on you he or she can be abusing you. I'm the father of a now 20 yr old daughter who since the (unbelievable) age of of 15 was being abused by her boyfriend. Until a year 1/2 ago when she pulled in the driveway, car and her looking like she had been in an accident I had no idea because he never left any marks and she never slipped up and mentioned anything. After staying on the phone with a deputy to keep myself from BRUTELY murdering him and his family so I could be there for my own started the process and she like so many of you here blamed herself, made excuses etc etc. It was a LONG 1 1/2 yr battle but he is now serving a 5 yr prison sentence with lifetime NO CONTACT and she is in weekly therapy. PLEASE listen to your heart you don't deserve ANY abuse under any circumstances. I've been married to my wonderful wife 25yrs and together 30 and NEVER or would NEVER do anything to intentionally hurt her or make her feel bad. IT'S NOT NORMAL, THEY AREN'T NORMAL YOU ARE. SO RUN as fast as you can before you or your children end up in a grave.

3:02 PM  

All the above was my life with my now deceased spouse. The constant name calling, the lack of compassion the laziness the family instigator the liar the manipulator and the adulterer. I went to domestic violence classes 6 yrs ago and I learned to set my boundaries. All that honeymoon phases and "I'll never do it again" promises I learned to ignore and not give in. I was cordial, took care of the home because I had to live there and pay the bills always on time. He lived like a slob but I realized that was his hangup not mine. He got more depressed because all the tactics that used to work to reel me in just no longer worked on me. I recognized the same patterns and The last day of our marriage he planned to shoot both him and myself. He wind up shooting himself because i did not come home within the hour like he wanted me to. According to the detectives had I gave in to his threats I prob wouldn't be writing. Hes gone now and I am the most positive, happy understanding person to date. You see I lived in darkness so long I truly appreciate the light. Grateful people aren't bitter: bitter people like my spouse are never grateful. No matter what you do for him. He suffered dearly before life support was pulled. I was with him for 43 years. His pictures are destroyed his ashes in some dark corner. That chapter of my life is over. I AM TRULY FREE!!! And I give all the praise and glory to God thru his Son Jesus for setting me free and ridding me of this monster... Peace be to all who are still in or financially unable to leave. Trust in Jesus to see you thru. Hang on to his every word in the Bible and in my situation which was an excruciating 6 years I took my vows my commitment my covenant of marriage seriously and when the Lord says, "Vengeance is Mine"..well trust him fully. My husband was unrecognizable in that coffin. He truly paid the price for his abusive ways. I have forgiven him and has asked him to forgive me before he went into a coma. My life is wonderful beyond measure with my children and grand kids. I know longer speak to his family for they all contribute to the abuse in some way! Good riddence to bad family rubbish. My cup runneth over in happiness and finances and life. Life is Beautiful everyday I am granted another day to enjoy our Creator's beauty all around me. May you find you strength thru Christ and hold on to his promises and lean on the Lord. He will set you free.

11:25 PM  

Yeah I can agree with most of this. Everything depends on the mood of the abuser ..will it be another bad day..depending on his or her mood. Of course the double standards set for themselves. In my own expierance it was my Dads partner so was a woman. She had extreme intimadation and emotional abuse tactics and fisty too..
Then could act like the sweetist person in front of other people.. and of course denies what she did completely and acts Hard done by. Very good at it also

5:01 PM  

I just left my boyfriend of 4 years in the beginning he was wonderful, but he had controlling ways. I was the cute 16 year old that every guy wanted to be with and he was the handsome 17 year old jock that all the girls wanted. We were both victims of abuse his father hurt him and his mother, he also has mental issues (schizophrenia, bi polar disorder, and depression). Later in life his father did get help and stop hurting them, but I don't think he's completely over it. It has been alot of pain in our relationship it started with the abortion I got pregnant 2 months after us being together, we wanted to keep it but his mother insisted I get an abortion! Eventually she convinced her soon to get the abortion and they persuaded me to get it. It was a hard year after that. What went from red flags and noticing little things of abuse turn into verbal and physical abuse. He would yell at me and call me name, and he would push me and start putting his hands in my face. He started controlling what a wore and who I talked too. I was a terrifying ordeal, but something changed in him it was when I got pregnant with my two year old daughter,while I was pregnant he never laid a hand on me he was loving and caring he wanted to be a better man he was taking his medication, going to therapy, and working for his dad. Fast forward to almost 9 months ago I found out he was talking to another girl on fb,we relocated to a new state, he was drinking every night because he was at a new job he hated, we were living with his grandma, and he was off his medication. We were fighting a good 5 to 6 times a month, it got physical 3 times out of that but he promised to do right by us, then we moved into our own place we're happy and he proposed I was so happy and but the incidents lessen but the abuse escalated. It was terrible I was always a stupid b*tch for always forgetting things one day I talked back to him when he was upset and he slapped me right across my face. I had busted lips, bruises on my arms, legs, and back. It took the last beating for me to finally wake up and see what he really is. My daughter watch her father hurt me she was an innocent bystander to this craziness as we were as children. My mother didn't leave my father til I was 13 years old after he stomped the crap out of me, his mother didn't leave but his dad changed for the better. It took me to leave and taking my child to a safer place for my boyfriend to get back on track and make changes for himself and our daughter. Time will tell if he really can change, deep down in my heart I know he's a good person. He's always been, but substance abuse and being off his medication of clouded his better judgement. It will take time to mend our broken relationship, but as of now I'm worries about finding myself, taking care of my two year old, and getting on my feet.

7:05 AM  

I understand what you're going through, I'm a victim of abuse from my childhood and my current relationship as well. You news to keep doing what you are doing. She's reaching out to you because that's how a victim of abuse copes. It's for that feeling of want and you feel like you need that person to love you. You both need to change, but you have to stop feeling sorry for her and tell her you're getting your life together and if it's meant to be then it will be, but you have to be strong and cut ties with her so you can be a better man for her. She's deserves a great boyfriend but you also deserve a great girlfriend, but make sure you don't tell her anything that might hurt her because she's in a fragile state of mind right now, she's used to the pain of abuse and she needs someone in her corner, maybe her mother or a therapist, but someone who she can trust and confined in. You get the help you need and let her do the same. God bless her and you. I hope you have a bright future with the one you love

7:36 AM  

Im in this type of relationahip from last 3 years..i hv 2 year old daughter and again pregnant..he say he beat me coz i mentally abuse him...i need help without getting authorities involve like any shelter or police jus wan to make sure he is abuser not that i mentally abuse him thats why he beats me

9:42 PM  

This is the best advice.

7:03 PM  

You said a mouth full on that 10.Double Standards... And he was cheating on me... But I better not say anything and he go in rages if a man looked my way...What I think these men haven't grown up, their just 10 year old boys in adult bodies and still throwing temper tantrums....

7:23 PM  

I got one This site because my Daughter is in a abusive relationship. She is only 19 and he is 18. They both still live at home but she can not stay here at night. She comes home to bath, do laundry, and eat now and then. If she does stay sleep at home he accuses her of leaving with someone else after he droppes her off. He has bit her and left a scar, head butted her and thrown her down stairs. I don't know what to do anymore. I told her he's never going to change and it's only gotten worse. Why can't she see it. I'm scared for her and don't know how to help. Please someone help me I'm desperate.

12:32 AM  

That bastard isn't going to change. He has a scapegoat child and a scapegoat wife. Read up on narcissistic personality disorder. Then get your kids and your poor pets away from him. Find a way to get his children away from him. Please help them. Don't focus on how he makes you feel right now- focus on the fact that he is physically abusive to children and pets.

Please get the fuck out.

5:12 AM  

It simply took me time away No one (even I dont) enjoys the head trip of trying to get back the magical person they showed you for what seems like 5 minutes out of 24 hours I recall having a VERY painful tooth extraction (I wouldnt doubt if it was related to his abuse) and him patting me on the head as if I was a virtual stranger Stop trying to figure out someone who lacks what separates humans from animals Yes we can call it "sad" for them Where is the "sadness" for you? I ll tell you when they are sad.... Its when they get caught!

8:01 PM  

Oh my god, leave his heartless ass! You deserve so much better!! Don’t let him convince you otherwise!!!!

1:23 AM  

I think it is NOT cowardly to leave if you can’t change. Do the right thing: move out, and give your family the space to heal. See them only in public on their terms while you are in therapy and getting treatment. Also, go to the library and read all the books and articles you can about domestic abuse. Educate yourself!! Knowledge is power!!!

1:25 AM  

Leave him!! Do it for your daughters!!! Do you want them to end up in abusive relationships too?????

1:27 AM  

You will get stronger and stronger and stronger and more and more confident to the point that you’re so damn strong, confident, and proud that you don’t even recognize yourself!! And you know what? A broken picker can be fixed! Therapy and building a support system for yourself will help you a lot! The best part of your life is just now beginning 😊

1:32 AM  

Yes, leave him! He doesn’t deserve you! You can find someone better or screw it, be alone! You know what they say: a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. It’s true, girl. Break the cycle. You and your kids will be so much happier- it will literally add years to all of your lives. I’m excited for you to leave this guy!!!

1:34 AM  

You said “I know the answer but why can’t I get there?” Girl, don’t be hard on yourself bc there are probably a lot of reasons. You’re scared of this guy— because he’s done some really scary stuff!! And it’s hard to walk away from ANY relationship, regardless of the circumstances. And guess what? When you leave him, you will stop drinking. He’s the whole reason you’re drinking in the first place. Leave him. Do it. Be strong! Leave him!!! Get as many people as you can to support you and please work with a DV advocate to create a safety plan!!! I believe in you!! You can totally do it, and the sooner you leave the better!! Do it for your baby!!

1:41 AM  

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