Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Behind Abusive Mentality (Part 3): Realities of Abuse #1-5

Excerpts taken from Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft.
REALITY #1: He is controlling.
Consider how challenging it is to negotiate or compromise with a man who operates on the following tenets (whether or not he ever says them aloud):
1. “An argument should only last as long as my patience does. Once I’ve had enough, the discussion is over and it’s time for you to shut up.”
2. “If the issue we’re struggling over is important to me, I should get what I want. If you don’t back off, you’re wronging me.”
3. “I know what is best for you and for our relationship. If you continue disagreeing with me after I’ve made it clear which path is the right one, you’re acting stupid.”
4. “If my control and authority seem to be slipping, I have the right to take steps to reestablish the rule of my will, including abuse if necessary.”
With him, the foregoing statements aren’t feelings; they are closely held convictions that he uses to guide his actions. 
THE ABUSIVE MAN CLAIMS that his control is in his partner’s best interest. Unfortunately, an abuser can sometimes succeed at convincing people that his partner is so irrational and out of control, that her judgment is so poor, that she has to be saved from herself. A large part of his abusiveness comes in the form of punishments used to retaliate against you for resisting his control.
REALITY #2: He feels entitled. 
Freedom from accountability means that the abusive man considers himself above criticism. If his partner attempts to raise her grievances, she is “nagging” or “provoking” him. He believes he should be permitted to ignore the damage his behavior is causing, and he may become retaliatory if anyone tries to get him to look at it. 
And he will keep feeling that you are controlling him, because he doesn’t believe that you should set any limits on his conduct or insist that he meet his responsibilities. 
When your anger does jump out of you—as will happen to any abused woman from time to time—he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. If you have space to feel and express your rage, you will be better able to hold on to your identity and to resist his suffocation of you. He tries to take your anger away in order to snuff out your capacity to resist his will.
REALITY #3: He twists things into their opposites.
The abuser’s highly entitled perceptual system causes him to mentally reverse aggression and self-defense. The lens of entitlement the abuser holds over his eye stands everything on its head, like the reflection in a spoon. 
REALITY #4: He disrespects his partner and considers himself superior to her. 
He often has difficulty conceiving of her as a human being. This tendency in abusers is known as objectification or depersonalization. By depersonalizing his partner, the abuser protects himself from the natural human emotions of guilt and empathy, so that he can sleep at night with a clear conscience. He distances himself so far from her humanity that her feelings no longer count, or simply cease to exist.
Objectification is a critical reason why an abuser tends to get worse over time. Abuse and respect are diametric opposites: You do not respect someone whom you abuse, and you do not abuse someone whom you respect.
REALITY #5: He confuses love and abuse.
Genuine love means respecting the humanity of the other person, wanting what is best for him or her, and supporting the other person’s self-esteem and independence. This kind of love is incompatible with abuse and coercion.

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