To follow on to my previous article about why women don’t leave abusive relationships, we need to put some light in to why men abuse women. Please remember that not only women are abused, men are also victims but my forum is more on empowering women and this particular topic has by far a larger percentage of the abused being women.
How to identify an abuser
Plenty women fail to recognize and acknowledge that their abuser has a problem, in most instances women believe they are the problem because what’s attacked the most during the abuse is self-esteem. How can you tell a man is abusive just by looking at him, the answer is you can’t. Physical appearance is not really the issue. Men that are abusive are very clever, smart, and extremely charming. Most of these men have a personality that draws people in because of their level of charm. This is part of their art to deceive and manipulate. This is why often times when a victim does report an assault she is not easily believed. Most abusers are seen as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” because of the stark contrast in their public and private selves.
Some traits or behaviours that can be warning signals:
- Jealousy(questioning her constantly about whereabouts, and jealous of time she spends away from him).
- Controlling behavior (victim not allowed to get a job, leave the house or bathe without his permission)
- Isolation (Makes partner move away from family and friends so that she depends on him solely for support.)
- Forces her to have sex against her will (issues like sex when she is asleep)
- Holds very rigid gender roles (Believes that her job is just to cater to him, he is the “king of the castle.”)
The psychological issues behind these men
- Antisocial Personality Disorder – Antisocial personality disorder is a mental condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. Cause of this disorder can be child abuse. People with an antisocial or alcoholic parent are at increased risk. Far more men than women are affected. The condition is common among people who are in prison. Setting fires and animal cruelty during childhood are often seen in the development of antisocial personality.
- Borderline Personality Disorder – (BPD) is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behaviour, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days.(a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships by alternating between extreme idealizations and devaluation.)
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism. A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. You may be generally unhappy and disappointed when you’re not given the special favours or admiration you believe you deserve.
Narcissistic personality disorder may be linked to: Mismatches in parent-child relationships with either excessive pampering or excessive criticism and genetics or psychobiology — the connection between the brain and behaviour and thinking
Broken homes can cause a lot of emotions for children who then grow up into men who abuse women. Boys who watch their fathers beat up their mothers, carry this behaviour in them, thinking this is normal. Not all children who grow up in such circumstances turn out wrong, many use this experience to empower themselves into not being like their fathers and strive to be better men
Some social norms also come into play. It also starts with you women. Mothers, when your daughters come to you reporting that they are being abused and you say confidently “be strong my child, that’s how it is in marriages, keep on being strong”. We are now telling men it’s ok to abuse us because that’s the cycle of life??
What women need to know:
Expose their insecurities – Particularly the narcissists. Not in a provocative way that will trigger abuse but make him aware that you know about his insecurities. It’s important to remember all of their acts are a result of how negatively they feel about themselves, although they might not understand that on a conscious level.
You are not to blame – If you’ve been entrenched in an abusive relationship for a while, it can be crazy-making. You start to feel like something must be wrong with you since this other person treats you so poorly. Begin to acknowledge to yourself that it is NOT you. This is the first step toward rebuilding your self-esteem.
Seek support – Talk to trusted friends and family or a counselor about what you are going through. Get away from the abusive person as often as possible, and spend time with those who love and support you. This support system will help you feel less alone and isolated while you still contend with the abuser
Put your own needs first – Stop worrying about pleasing or protecting the abuser. Take care of yourself and your needs, and let the other person worry about themselves — even when they pout or try to manipulate you and control your behavior. Take care of yourself first
Have a safety plan – Prepare a safety plan is developing a practical, personalized plan to stay safe while in an abusive relationship, when leaving an abuser or after the relationship is over. Even if your partner has never been physically violent, verbal and emotional abuse can quickly escalate to physical abuse. Your plan should include identifying safe areas of your home and planning an escape route. You should keep a phone with you at all times and know who you can call for help. Create a code word or signal so trusted friends and neighbors know if you need emergency assistance.
Just remember, it is not your fault that he is the way he is. Also remember that you are a gift, a treasure and in your brokenness, someone else is waiting to love you better.