Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Do you think that you're in an abusive relationship?

Are you not sure? Then here are some descriptions to help you decide for yourself.

First of all, it's important to understand that abusers typically think that they're so unique that they don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else. Nevertheless, abusers have a lot in common with one another and share a great many thinking patterns and behaviors with each other. These may include:

Excuse Making: Instead of accepting responsibility for their actions, the abuser tries to justify their behavior with excuses.

Blaming: The abuser shifts responsibility for their actions to others. This allows the abuser to be angry at the other person for "causing" the behavior.

Redefining: The abuser redefines the situation so that the problem lies not with the abuser but with others.

Success Fantasies: The abuser believes that they'd be rich, famous, or extremely successful if others weren't holding him back.

Lying: The abuser manipulates by lying to control information. The abuser may also use lying to keep other people, including the victim, off-balance psychologically.

Assuming: Abusive people often assume they know what others are thinking or feeling.

Above The Rules: Abusers generally believe that they're better than other people and so they don't have to follow the same rules that ordinary people do.

Making Fools Of Others: The abuser combines tactics such as lying, upsetting the other person just to watch her reactions, and provoking a fight between or among others just to manipulate others. The abuser may also try to charm the person he wants to manipulate, pretending a great deal of interest in and concern for that person in order to get on her good side.

Fragmentation: The abuser usually keeps the abusive behavior physically and psychologically separate from the rest of his life (only beating up people in his home and attending church where he looks gooe).

Minimizing: The abuser ducks responsibility for abusive actions by trying to make them seem less important than they really are.

Vagueness: Thinking and speaking vaguely lets the abuser avoid responsibility.

Anger: Abusive people aren't actually angrier than other people, they simply deliberately use their anger to control situations and people.

Power Plays: The abuser uses various tactics to overcome resistance to his bullying (ie walking out of the room when the victim is talking, or out-shouting).

Playing Victim: Occasionally the abuser will pretend to be helpless or will act persecuted in order to manipulate others into helping him.

Drama And Excitement: Abusive people have trouble experiencing close, satisfying relationships and so they substitute drama and excitement for closeness. This is because they find it exciting to watch others become angry, get into fights, or fall into a general uproar. They'll use a combination of tactics described earlier to set up and exciting situation.

Closed Channel: The abusive person doesn't really share their personal details and real feelings. They are also not open to new information about himself since he believes that he's right in all situations.

Ownership: The abuser typically is very possessive and believes that anything that is wanted should be owned, and once he owns it that he can do whatever he wants with it.

Self-Glorification: The abuser usually thinks of himself as strong, superior, independent, self-sufficient, and very virile. When anyone says or does anything that doesn't fit this glorified self-image, the abuser takes it as an insult.

Poor Anger Management: Individuals who have experienced a violent and abusive childhood are more likely to grow up and become domestic abusers because he sees violence as the primary method for settling differences and doesn't know any alternate ways to channel his anger.

Inability To Express Feelings With Words: This type of person is rarely capable of true intimacy and may even feel very threatened by the prospect of being open and vulnerable.

Emotional Dependence: Abusive individuals are usually very emotionally dependent on their spouse which causes them to have an inner rage. In order to compensate for this anger, the abuser acts in controlling ways to exert power and to deny their own weakness. One major symptom is strong jealousy and possessive actions, normally sexual in nature. The abuser will spend a great deal of time monitoring their spouses activities and will lack supportive relationships. Oftentimes when the victim leaves the home, the abuser will make extraordinary attempts to persuade them to return.

Low Self-Esteem resulting in jealousy, depression and sensitivity to criticism.

Rigid Application Of Traditional Sex Attitudes: Abusive husbands often expect their wife to over fulfill all of the household and mothering chores and to be very submissive and subservient.

Alcohol And Drug Dependency: 67% of abusers frequently use alcohol and/or drugs in order to avoid responsibility for their actions.

Social Isolation: Those who isolate themselves from family, friends and people in the community don't have the resources to cope with the stress.

Protected From Consequences: A spouse will oftentimes protect the abuser from consequences when in reality the best thing to do is allow the abuser to learn that actions have consequences.

Pride Combined With Power: Pride + Power = Genuinely volatile results. This is because pride makes us think that we're right, and power gives us the ability to cram our vision of rightness down everyone else's throat. Combined, it is easy to reach the brink of demonic.

=^..^= Reverend Brenda Hoffman
Independent Executive
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"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." - Les Brown (American Songwriter, 1912-2001)

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