Abusive Relationships

It all seems hunky-dory in the beginning.  However, it’s only when they have delved deeper into the relationship with their abusive boyfriend/husband, do women realize that all is not well in paradise.  The sad truth about such relationships is that it is not so easy to read abusive men signs.  If this had been the case, there wouldn’t have been as many instances of women suffering in abusive relationships, as are reported every year.  In fact, in the United States itself, there are as many as 4 million women who are abused by their partners, each year.

The problem of abusive relationships has two dimensions.  Firstly, abusive men traits are not evident in the beginning.  Secondly, in many cases, women are swept off their feet by statements like “You are the only one for me”, made by men with an abusive streak.  This confession is done with such conviction that the sun might rise from the west, but a woman in love with an abusive man can’t disbelieve him.  However, it’s very important for every woman to be able to identify abusive men signs, so that they are able to handle the situation wisely, in case they find themselves involved with such men.

Why are Some Men Abusive?

In most cases, abusive men are victims of abuse themselves.  It could have been physical, sexual or emotional abuse.  Those who have been abused directly or have seen violence in the home (for example, the mother being abused), it leaves a deep impact on their psychology. Such a sharp divide of power and ‘say’ in the family, often gives, such men, an impression that abuse against women is justified.  Much of the reason, for this thinking comes from a strong, unquestioned belief in absolute male authority.

Signs of Abusive Men

The following are some of the tell-all abusive men signs.
Jealousy and Possessiveness: An abusive man will be overly possessive about his partner to the extent that he would fail to understand the relationship of his wife/girlfriend with her family or friends.  He thinks that his partner is his property and refuses to recognize her as an individual.  He may try to isolate his partner and be suspicious about her meeting her male friends or relatives.

Controlling Behavior: This is one of the most deceptive abusive men signs, as it is always cleverly hidden under the guard of ‘concern’ for you.  An abusive man would want to control your finances, your job choices and even, the decisions regarding which friend you want to go out with.  Be careful of such attitude.  Initially, it may appear disarming, however, over time this very ‘caring’ attitude would become stifling.

Unrealistic Expectations:  An abusive man would expect his partner to be the perfect wife, mother or girlfriend.  He would expect her to provide for every need of his – financial, emotional or spiritual, and if, she fails in any of her ‘duties’ as he sees them, he would criticize her insensitively.

Superiority:  An abusive man is always right.  That’s what he thinks of himself.  He would use this logic to justify any acts of violence that he commits.  He would say “You made me angry, that’s why I hit you.”

Stereotyped Gender Roles:  An abusive man would never see his partner as his equal. For him, she is always stupid and inferior.  Hence, she should obey him and carry out all his orders, however illogical, inhuman or even, criminal they may be.

The Blame Game: Did he lose his job?  Did he abuse you of late?  He would always find a reason for the negative situations in his life. However, the catch is that he himself would never be the cause.  He always blames others for his failure or abusive behavior, to the extent that he would hold you responsible for him reacting violently.

Erratic Mood Swings:  Almost all women, who are victims of abuse by their partners, say that other than the episodes of abuse, their boyfriends or husbands are loving and gentle.  In fact, they are apologetic and caring after the abuse has occurred.

Refuses to Seek Help:  An abusive man has an unfailing belief that he is always right. Then, why should he seek help?  He would never admit to his mistakes.  Instead, he would put the blame upon his partner or his children.

Other Abusive Signs to Look For

History of violence towards his ex-partners
Disrespect towards women, even his mother and sister
Cruelty towards children and animals
Moves fast in his relationship

Dealing with an abusive man is very difficult.  Despite this fact, abusive men and divorce do not occur together very commonly.  It is because most women think that they can change their partner.  In case you are one of such women, think twice.  He may cry and beg for you to return and promise to treat you right, but do not be taken in by his pleas. The only possible hope for change in an abuser is long-term treatment.   Many women get into relationships that are abusive in nature, because the men they’re with only brought forth their true colors as time elapsed.  Hidden in the beginning, men can switch from charming to lethal in a matter of seconds.  The other concern is that if he abuses you, he will eventually abuse your children as well.

Why Women Convince Themselves to Stay Put in Abusive Relationships

Women need to understand that if they ever spot the signs of an abusive relationship; like being spoken disrespectfully to, being clobbered constantly, excessive alcohol or drug abuse that fuel negative emotions from him or bouts of depression and anxiety that seem to rest like a heavy cloud over his head – then woman, it is time to pack up your things and leave.

Some reasons are:

In the Hope that He Will Change

Security and Companionship

Financial Support

Emotional Attachment

Threatened

Women who place themselves in an abusive relationship should understand how he is not the kind of person that is worth giving up one’s entire life for, and dignity.  If you are afraid of doing the right thing, look for help in any way that you can, be it a psychiatrist, friend, family member or someone who can take control of the situation.  Find it in you to leave while you still can.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be defined as any behavior that affects the psychology of an individual by overpowering him/her.  It involves verbal, as well as non-verbal abuse that eventually undermines the self-respect and independence of the sufferer.  Though emotional abuse can occur to anybody, it is more common among those who have least power in the society, for example, children and women.  An individual under prolonged abuse loses his/her self-confidence, self-concept, self-motivation, and self-worth.

Most commonly, emotional abuse is associated with abusive relationship and child abuse.  It always precedes or accompanies a physical abuse in domestic violence.  Very often, it is observed that a person who is abused in a relationship can be an abuser to another person.  This way, the person blames his feelings and/or problems on others.  Emotional abuse or maltreatment in children can affect their development in terms of cognitive, social, and psychological behavior. Indeed, the effects of child abuse are detrimental and long-lasting.

Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Abuse

Some common types are neglecting/rejecting, isolating, abusive expectations (demands, criticism), ignoring, denying (refuse to listen or understand the feelings), constant chaos, exploiting, aggression (blaming, commanding, threatening), emotional blackmail (threatening), dominating, verbal assaults (sarcasm, berating), invalidation, and unpredictable behavior (mood changes, emotional outbursts).  These cases are overlooked or neglected, assuming that they as quite normal.  But, unlike physical abuse, the effects of emotional abuse on mental health are long-term and they are difficult to get over with time.

It is not unusual that the abuser displays his/her abusive characters in order to humiliate the sufferer, when they are in the company of others.

Listed below are some of the emotional abuse signs and symptoms:
Feeling of depression
Withdrawal from social interaction
Isolation from friends and family
Low self-esteem
Fearfulness
Increased anxiety
Guilty feeling
Feeling of shame
Mood changes
Nervous feeling
Not trusting others
Frequent blaming on others
Self-blaming
Pessimistic behavior
Substance or drug abuse
Extreme dependence on others
Avoiding eye-contact
Telling lies
Aggressive behavior
Emotional instability
Suicidal attempts
Effects of Emotional Abuse

The ultimate outcome of emotional abuse is that the sufferer gets scared to be left alone.  In majority of the cases, the recipients of emotional abuse believe that no one else like/want to be with them, except the abuser.  Hence, they continue to stay in the abusive situations.  The sufferer feels ashamed and keeps secret about the emotional abuse.  But, this only makes the situation worse and the abuse continues.

Controlling People

To have everything ‘your way’, is pleasing to every human being.  Also, thinking that you are right in every situation, is normal.  But, understanding that you are right only from your perspective and not considering the fact that other people have their own perspective, and that too can be correct, is a different thing altogether.

There are 3 kinds of people:

the ones who do not bother or interfere with anyone else (there are very few of them),
the ones who are bothered about their close ones (especially), so they try advising them about how things should be, only out of concern, and
the ones who are bothered with mostly everyone.
People belonging to the second type, however, come to terms with disagreement very easily, giving their loved ones the freedom to make their own decisions.   But the third type always thinks they know best and want everyone to follow what they say.  They do not come to terms with any sort of disagreement, and express anger and frustration if anything does not go the way they wanted it to.

Symptoms:

Relationships with controlling people get a little tough to deal with.  They always want everything to be, how they think of it to be as.  They pick on very petty issues and blow them out of proportion.  This is only because they can’t handle a situation that has not turned out to be how they wanted it to be.

Control freaks tend to have a lot of ego.  They pick fights over anything they dislike.

Few reasons to why you may be termed as a control freak are;

If you are very dominating, and want every small thing to be done as per your thinking.
If you try to control the behavior of everyone.
If you want everyone to listen only to what you say.
If you want everything to be perfect, and you know best so everyone has to abide by your opinion.
If you think all the decisions should be taken only by you.
If you think people should live their lives according to your whims and fancies.
If you keep interfering with other people, and try to correct and direct them in everything they do.
If you don’t trust anyone else performing any of your tasks because you are scared that if at all they fumble, you will have to pay for it.  Hence, you do it yourself.
If anything that doesn’t level up with your expectations disturbs you, leaving you with major disappointment, anger and frustration.
If you know people are afraid of your anger if they do not meet your expectations, and you use their weakness to your advantage.
In severe cases, control freaks can go to the extent of physically hurting someone, in the frustration of things not going their way.  They start to feel very helpless if they have no control over a situation, and may begin to throw things around or destroy them.

Controlling Ways:

There are many ways in which a control freak can try to control you.  If anything you do is out of their rulebook, they will try to change it.  To begin with, they would try to put across what they want, very clearly.  If it doesn’t work, they would try other ways of hinting at the same.  They may dominate you and act bossy.  They would try to tell you what they want and justify why they want it, in the best possible way.  They would try to change your mind on what you are doing and tell you why you should not be doing it (if it is not according to them).  They also try to control how you feel.  Finally, if nothing works, they may try to emotionally blackmail you with tears, by portraying themselves as the victim. In extreme cases, they may physically abuse you and force you to do what they want you to do.  Remember, be your own person and don’t let someone else control your life.

 

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