Monday, September 5, 2011

Signs to Know When He Might Be Abusive

by Alvon Woods

Many women are interested in ways that they can predict whether they are about to become involved with someone who will be physically abusive. Below is a list of behaviors that are seen in people who batter their girlfriends, lovers, or wives; the last four signs are almost always seen only if the person is a physical batterer -- if the person has several of the other behaviors (say three or more), the batterer is battering emotionally and there is a strong potential for physical violence. The more signs the person has, the more likely the person is an emotional or physical batterer. In some cases, a batterer may have only a couple of behaviors that the woman can recognize, but they are very exaggerated (e.g., extreme jealousy over ridiculous things). Initially, the batterer will try to explain the emotionally abusive behavior (described below) as signs of love and concern, and a woman may be flattered at first; as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe and serve to dominate the woman.

1. JEALOUSY: At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will assert that his jealousy is a sign of love. Jealousy has nothing to do with love, it is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. The abuser will question the woman about who she talks to, accuse her of flirting, or be jealous of the time she spends with her family, friends, or children. As the jealousy progresses, the abuser may call the woman frequently at home/work during the day or drop by unexpectedly. The abuser may refuse to let the woman work for fear she will meet someone else, or even perform strange behaviors such as checking the woman`s car mileage or asking friends to watch her.

2. CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR: At first, the batterer will say that this behavior is necessary because the batterer is concerned for the woman`s safety, her need to use her time well, or her need to make good decisions. The batterer will be angry if the woman is "late" coming back from the store or an appointment; the batterer will question her closely about where she went, who she talked to, etc. As this behavior progresses, the batterer may not let the woman make personal decisions about the house, her clothing, going to church, etc. The batterer may keep all the money or even make the woman ask permission to leave the house, leave the room, use the phone, etc.

3. QUICK INVOLVEMENT: Many battered women dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. The abuser comes on like a whirlwind claiming "love at first sight," and will tell the woman flattering things such as, "You`re the only person I could ever talk to," or, "I`ve never felt loved like this by anyone." The abuser needs someone desperately and will pressure the woman to commit to the abuser.

4. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: The abuser is very dependent on the woman for all his needs; the abuser expects the woman to be the perfect lover, mother, wife, and/or friend. The abuser will say things like, "If you love me, I’m all you need/you`re all I need." The woman is supposed to take care of everything for the abuser emotionally and in the home.

5. ISOLATION: The abuser tries to cut off the woman from all resources. If the woman has other men friends (and she`s heterosexual) she`s a "*bleep*"; if she has other female friends (and she`s heterosexual) she`s a lesbian; if the woman is close to family, she is "tied to the apron strings." The abuser accuses people who are the woman`s support of "causing trouble." The abuser may want to live in the country without a phone, not let the woman use the car, or try to keep the woman from working or going to school.

6. BLAME: The abuser blames others for his problems. If the abuser is chronically unemployed, he complains of "others doing me wrong," or of people who are "out to get me." The abuser may make mistakes and then blame the woman for upsetting him and keeping him from concentrating on his job. The abuser will tell the woman she is at fault for almost anything that goes wrong.

7. BLAMING OTHERS FOR HIS FEELINGS: The abuser will blame others for his feelings. He will tell the woman, "You make me mad," "You`re hurting me by not doing what I ask," "I can`t help being angry," etc. The abuser makes the decision about what he thinks and feels, but he will use feelings to manipulate the woman. Harder to catch are the abuser`s claims that "you make me happy" or "you control how I feel."

8. HYPERSENSITIVITY: The abuser is easily insulted or claims feelings are "hurt" when the abuser is really feeling mad, or the abuser takes the slightest setbacks as personal attacks. The abuser will rant and rave about the injustice of things that have happened -- things that are really just part of living, like being asked to work overtime, getting a traffic ticket, being asked to help with chores, etc.

9. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN: This characteristic is shown in an abuser who punishes animals brutally or who is insensitive to their pain and suffering; the abuser may expect children to capable of doing things far beyond their ability and punish them when they do not "behave" (e.g., whipping a two-year-old for wetting their diaper), or the abuser may tease children or younger brothers or sisters until they cry. The abuser may also not want children to eat at the table or may expect them to keep in their room all evening when the abuser is home. **60% of men who beat their partners also beat their children.**

10. "PLAYFUL" USE OF FORCE DURING SEX: This characteristic is expressed in an abuser who may like to throw the woman and hold her down during sex, or he may want to act out fantasies where the woman is helpless. The abuser may let the woman know that the idea of rape excites him. He may show little concern about whether the woman wants to have sex and use sulking or anger to manipulate the woman in to compliance. The abuser may start having sex with the woman while she is sleeping, or demand sex when she is ill or tired. THIS BEHAVIOR IS RAPE!

11. MENTAL ABUSE: In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, this characteristic is demonstrated by the abuser by degrading the woman, cursing her, running down any of her compliments, etc. The abuser will tell the woman she`s stupid and unable to function without him. Mental abuse may also involve waking the woman up to verbally abuse her or not letting her go to sleep.

12. RIGID SEX ROLES: The abuser expects the woman to serve all his needs. He does this by demanding the woman stay home, obey him in all things -- even things that are illegal/criminal in nature. The abuser may see the woman (and possibly all women) as inferior to him (or all men). The abuser may also see the woman (or all women) as more stupid than men and unable to be "whole" without a relationship.

13. "JECKYLL AND HYDE": Many women are confused by their abuser`s sudden changes in mood -- women will describe that one minute the abuser is nice and the next minute he explodes, or one minute is happy and then the next sad. This does not indicate some special "mental problem" or that he is "crazy." Explosiveness and mood swings are typical of abusers who beat their partners, and these behaviors are related to other characteristics, such as hypersensitivity.

14. **PAST BATTERING: The abuser may say he ha*bleep* others in the past, but that those individuals made him do it. The woman may hear from the abuser`s relatives or ex-spouses/ex-lovers that he is physically abusive. A batterer will beat any woman he is with; situational circumstances do not make an abusive personality.

15. **THREATS OF VIOLENCE: This would indicate any threat of physical force meant to control the woman: "I`ll slap your mouth off," "I`ll kill you, or I`ll break your neck." Most people do not threaten their partners, but a batterer will try to excuse this behavior by saying, "Everybody talks like that."

16. **BREAKING OR STRIKING OBJECTS: This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking loved possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize the woman into submission. The abuser may beat on tables with his fists, strike walls, or throw objects around or near the woman. Again, this is unusual behavior; only very immature people beat on objects in the presence of others in order to threaten them.

17. **ANY FORCE DURING AN ARGUMENT: This may involve a batterer holding the woman down, physically restraining her from leaving the room, or any pushing or shoving. The abuser may hold the woman against the wall and say, "You`re going to listen to me."


Anonymous said...

Any woman/Man who continues on with any person that displays any of these negative behaviors need their head examined! LOL!

I guess certain people (men especially) know exactly what type of woman they can control in this manner. Unfortunately, so many foolish women fall for this type, and feel that they "love" them.

Chantilly PatiƱo said...

This is such an excellent article! Very well said!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely true & very explainable well written!

OpenFist247 said...

Can we get one for men who want to know if SHE is abusive?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I found myself the victim of emotional abuse in my last relationship. The scary thing is, he was very controlling, yes even threatened to beat me down, and isolated me from my friends and family. And I by far am not a timid woman. I never thought I'd be entrapped like that. I have been a Police Officer for over a decade. Just goes to show you, this can happen to anyone. Be blessed my sisters and stay strong.

Anonymous said...

I agree, very well written and explained. These same behaviors can be applied to women that are abusive too.

Anonymous said...

Please understand that ANYONE can be abused emotionally or mentally. Usually the abuser is manipulative and when dealing with a sting minded person as the abused the abuser needs to break her or him down first THEN the abuse takes place. Trust me I know, I consider myself a strong person that was manipulated into trusting my abuser. Yes I was vulnerable considering my past.
Don't stereotype the abused. PLEASE don't. and remember abuse may not happen everyday it can be in spurts.
But please believe anyone that confides in you that they are being abused. Because the abuser has isolated her to feeling alone and if the person she trusts to tell turns their back she or he may stay in silence and that is deadly.

Berry said...

It's no laughing matter, sometimes u r well into the relationship and so brainwashed that you don't know what's happening. Combined with a not so perfect childhood and past relationships you can become disillusioned by the beatings then the I love you's. Then the children are involved and she may not have anywhere to go. All of this plays a role until you see that your children may watch you suffer for the rest of your life and possibly watch you die. Should we have our heads examined or should the change what women accept from men as their behavior. So many women even my mother told me that's what men do and he would stop, even people in my church. I am still recovering mentally and emotionally from four years of abuse and don't think I will ever view people the same. I even have physical pains and a constant fear that he will try to come after me soon, its a very difficult thing to deal with. Recognize the signs in the beginning and avoid all the pain and suffering. Young women, if you are not married do not waist your time on these abusive young men, even name calling is abusive. Don't look back, God always makes a way and he will not leave you lonely.

dreadmon said...

men can find these same traits in women who are control freaks and some are physically abusive to their spouses or men friends. I had a women who showed all of these traits, but it is very seldom mentioned that women can be the abuser.

Anonymous said...

This is like a memo from my first marriage to an abusive man. Every detail is accurate to him not working to controlling everything thing I did, cruel to our child, its always other peoples fault about anything, and breaking my stuff, not letting me go to sleep til he has his way, watching me at work, controlling money he doesn't make. I left the day he put a gun to my head and threatend to kill me in front of our child. Sick man and hasn't changed cuz he's abusing his new wife and child. Get out and live free! Faith will guide you thru..

Anonymous said...

Omg..I always thought they were just mentally ill or crazy. Thank you for explaining the hypersensitivity/ jekyl and hyde theory. Now it makes more sense and I understand the mood swing of my last boyfriend. I knew I had to leave him and I did very quickly, 5weeks and I was on a flight and it really should not have taken that long because I saw the sign after the second week and turned my head to it because I wanted to as momma always said...give things a chance. But sometimes giving stupid a chance can get you 6ft under or close to it. Obey the warning signs, just like traffic signs...they are put in place by God or whomever you believe in for a reason. Thank you for this article. I'm through taking chances with my life with these unstable partners. I'm done. A pet is far more trusting these days. Hmph.

Anonymous said...


Has anyone experienced a person giving you the silent treatment?... This man walked away a couple of times without warning... I said something he did not like and he was out for 8 or 9 months... He told me his former girlfriend never talked back... He would not answer phone calls or anything... Strange..very strange person...Sports freak...I thought he might be gay??????

Anonymous said...

wow! this is a very good article it should be posted various pulblic areas. I have also seen women in this type of relationship, most feel that this is what it's suppose to be like, some even believe that if a woman doesn't have a man and or "spouse" is because "they" have standards in relationships which they would not tolerate such as this type of treatment from companion. Abusive women always seem to try to justify with "thats why you don't have a man" smh!