Friday, November 7, 2008

Nov/ Chapter 2: Abusive men

I decided to make this post after a friend of mine came to me about giving advice to a friend of hers that has been dating an abusive boyfriend.

The guy was friends with the girl for 6 months prior to them starting the relationship. Everything was good, then 3 months into the relationship they got into an arguement and he hit her. From then on it got worse and the guy would often blame his own behavior on her provoking him. Then she started blaming herself.

The guy then cheated with on her with numerous different women and told her about it, and put the blame on her for dating guys whilst they were still friends!

Abusive men are much more common than people realize. In America alone 4 million women experience serious assult from a male partner each year, yeah, that's each year. It's a very common problem and after writing this blog I've heard numerous stories of girls that have been abused in the past. I would guess close to 10% of girls have been in relationships with abusive guys.

People are often confused as to why any woman would put up with abuse and why they don't just walk away. But abusive relationships never start that way, in the beginning the guy always acts very sweet. If guys are abusive at the start then the girl would obviously dump the guy for someone better.

There are two types of abuse, emotional and physical. An abusive man is often skilled in pushing the blame, to make the girl think she isn't good enough or that everything is her fault. That's why many girls hang on to abusive guys, because they think they've done something wrong that's made the sweet guy turn abusive. When in fact the guy had a problem to begin with and was just hiding his real personality during the courtship phase of the relationship.

After abusing the girl, whether physically or psychologically with control games such as jealousy and blame (in my friend's friend's case the guy accused her of seeing other guys prior to them hooking up), the abusive guy will always tell the girl he loves her and will change so that the girl won't leave. He may even cry, and act desperate. In fact most abusive men are survivors of abuse themselves, and have pretty low self esteem as well as distorted perception of relationships that are extremely unhealthy.

When the girl takes the guy back, he starts to gain control, and the more times the girl takes the guy back, the more control he will gain. This is usually because the girl will get more and more confused and her self esteem is lowered. The apologies will often also be accompanied with empty promises of change that keeps the girl "hooked" in the relationship for the hope of change in the guy.

Basically, the girl starts thinking she's the one that's wrong, and desperately hopes that the guy's going to change back to the sweet guy she first met.

Here's the key point.......... Abusive men cannot change without long term therapy. They will not change or start treating a girl well. The only option a girl has if she really cares for the guy is to force him to get professional help, which he will resist because most abusive guys don't realize they have a problem.

If a girl leaves the guy he will start to cry and beg for forgiveness, but she can't go back till he's completed long term therapy successfully. When a girl leave an abusive guy be prepared for his behavior to get even more erratic and the abuse to get worse. If the girl goes back because he's begging for forgiveness, the cycle is only going to get worse.

Signs that a guy is abusive.

1. He's jealous and possessive - views his woman as his property instead of an unique individual. Becomes jealous of the girl spending time with family, friends and co-workers. Starts asking where the girl's been in an accusatory manner. Accuses the girl of cheating, or flirting with other men without cause.

2. Control - He's overly demanding of the girl's time and must be the center of her attention. Becomes angry if she's showing signs of independence and strength. Starts to control the activities the girl can partake in,

3. Superiority - He's always right, has to win or be in charge. He always justifies his actions so he can be right by blaming the girl or others, so it's rarely his own fault. A verbally abusive man will talk down to or call the girl names to make himself feel better. His goal is to make the girl feel weak so he can be powerful. Even the guy's not aware he's doing this because he's actually insecure and power makes him feel better about himself.

4. Manipulative. Tells the girl she's crazy or stupid so the blames on her. Tries to make the girl feel it's her fault he's abusive.

5. Mood swings - His mood switches from aggressive and abusive to apologetic and loving after the abuse has occured.

6. Actions don't match words - says sorry and promises not to be abusive again if the girl tries to leave him. Will beg for forgiveness if the girl tries to leave.

7. Disrespects women - Shows no respet for women, even family memebers. Or he sees women as just sex objects rather than unique individuals.

If you read this and your boyfriend has one of more of the above traits then he probably needs professional help. If your friend is dating a problematic guy then consider telling them to read this post and getting help for their boyfriend, and if he doesn't seek help, leave the guy and never going back.

Remember, most abusive guys are very normal in everyday life, could even be popular socially or successful at work. It's only in the security of a relationship where he can't be judged in public that he goes nuts.



citrix said...

this article is amazing and describes my friend's bf completely. i just sent it to her. thank you so much! have you ever been an abusive man? or been close to one? just curious, not judging. cos you know them inside out. =)

Carlton Bradshaw said...

Well since I started this blog I've had a lot of people tell me about their problems, and abusive guys are way more common than people would imagine.

A lot of problems such as abuse and abusive men are well researched topics, just that most people aren't aware there's a problem. They think their BF is just more problematic than the average person.

In reality a long term relationship with an abusive person is hardly fun, and even dangerous to the woman if the guy gets physical.

I'm not abusive, haha, I've never hit a woman. Prefer to take my aggression out on a rugby pitch or a boxing bag. However, two of my friends hooked up about a year ago and that's when I found out the guy was very emotionally abusive and psychologically manipulative.

Hard to tell when people are like that till in a relationship with them. But tell tell signs will emerge just a couple of months into the relationship, so really, it's up to the girl to make a choice.

The important thing your friend has to realise is her BF has a problem and will not change without professional help.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that. I want to tell you that my break up happened earlier this year and to this day, when ever I bump into the ex-bf or even see one of his friends, I would panic and feel scared and all the feelings and memories that I tried so hard to suppress would come right back to me.

I want to urge your friend to seek professional help right away. I have seen counsellor about it because I realised it wasn't a topic that all your friends will be able to deal with. In fact, some friends made me feel worse by down playing the significance of the event. Not to say that the counsellor cures everything - but she did make some interesting points.

To this day, I am still not cured. I have not been able to date anyone properly since and I have actually become more and more irritable since the event. I feel so shameful about the whole event - probably because everyone sees me as an independent girl and I couldn't believe I let that happen to myself.

ps. I kept photos of the bruises and the xray of my fracture finger - just in case one day, I need to screw him to the ground. Yes - can u feel my anger still?

Anonymous said...


not to steal your blog space or anything, but I found this after my break up. I read it once in a while to remind myself:

You all probably know all these already - but once in a while, we all need reminding. For my dear friends who I truly care about - take your time and remind yourself of the way you should be treated. No matter how much you love someone - you should love yourself more.

If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away.
If he doesn't want you, nothing can make him stay.
Stop making excuses for a man and his behaviour.
Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.
Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that's not meant to be.
Slower is better.
Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.
If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no, you can't "be friends".
A friend wouldn't mistreat a friend.
Don't settle.
If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is
Don't stay because you think "it will get better"
You'll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are
not better.
The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
Always have your own set of friends separate from his.
Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you.
If something bothers you, speak up.
You cannot change a man's behavior.*
Change comes from within.
Don't EVER make him feel he is more important than you are...
Even if he has more education or in a better job.
Never let a man define who you are.
If he cheated with you, he'll cheat on you.
A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.
All men are NOT dogs.
You should not be the one doing all the bending...
Compromise is two way street.
You need time to heal between relationships...
There is nothing cute about baggage...
Deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship
You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you....
A relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals...
Look for someone complimentary...not supplementary.
Dating is fun...even if he doesn't turn out to be Mr. Right.
Never co-sign for a man.
Don't fully commit to a man who doesn't give you everything that you need.
Scared of being alone is what makes a lot of women stay in relationshipsthat are abusive or hurtful:

You're the best thing that could ever happen to anyone and if a man
mistreats you, he'll miss out on a good thing.
If he was attracted to you in the 1st place, just know that he's not
the only one.
They're all watching you, so you have a lot of choices.
Make the right one. Ladies take care of your own hearts....
(excerpt from Oprah)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this, it just saved my life. I dumped him yesterday rigth after I read this! I have been dating this abusive man for 2 monts and I always knew that he is kinda self-centered n insecure but never thought his behavior would hv anything to do with abusiveness. He would say all the bad things/call me stupid just to degrade me n my frds so that I dun hang out with others anymore. He would manipulate me in such a "nice" way, such as "I think u r a bit overweight (ok I m 120 pounds and 5'6''!!), u have all these beautiful features and if u r not obessed u will be the most beautiful woman in the world!" (n u know women r typically very sensitive abt this)B cuz of the "sweet and nice" way he puts it so even when i knew he is putting me down just to be in control, I still kinda accpeted it. He would get mad for something really minor, such as when I said I like X restaurant better than Z, he would got so mad just b cuz he doesn't agree with me. We never could discuss anything - b cuz he is always right - u can't even tell him that u kinda like this movie b cuz he would judge u by saying "yes..ppl with lower IQ prefer a movie like this b cuz it's easy to understand!" What????!!! I was lucky that I had this really strong mind, so I never question myself for being not good enough and I always knew that it's his way to be in control of me! However, given I totally knew his motives, I went back 3 times to him whenever he apologized - b cuz he would cry and beg for forgiveness. And as a woman you would be silly enough to thk to yourself "ok maybe he can change for me!" Abusive man is so good at making u feel special by comparing u to all the Ex girlfrds of his, mine would tell me that he never attempted to change for any1 but me! I was still kinda debating and persuading myself that he is just spoiled and self centered until I read this blog - I hv to admit that he is abusive. Though he never hit me, I know he will someday b cuz he knows I m too strong to be manipulated - whenever he can't win an argument he would act very very mad and yelled out soooo loud so I would shut up.

I really wanna thank my frd for sending me this to wake me u. Just want to tell all the women ,who are still seeing some1 abusive, to please leave him asap! To be honest, tho he never succeeded in making me believe I m not good enough, the fact that you feel mistreated/arguing a lot DO affect your mood! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, it shouldn't take some1 abusive to let you know he is not right for u, if u r always unhappy and that none of your frds/fmaily is supportive abt your relationship, sth must be wrong!

We r all good enough to be treated nicely!

Carlton Bradshaw said...

Wow, if he treated you that way I'm glad you dumped him. Too many girls keep giving their guys chances because they think the guy can change.

Btw, 120 lb, 5"6 is very good proportions =).

Website counter