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Is my partner potentially abusive??????????

 
 
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 06:49 pm
Nobody is immune from being abused.

The sad things is....many victims do not have a clue, what signs to look for, until it is too late. Abuse is simply not a male problem. Or a poor mans problem. It's not a drug users problem. There is no such thing as being demographically immune from abuse.

Who abuses? Big people/little people do. White/black people do. Male/female......Rich/poor.....Police do. Criminals do. Therapists do. Republicans do. Democrats do. Christians do. Non-believers do. In essence, you could say that abuse is an equal opportunity problem.

Many women/men are interested in ways 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 are potentially abusive. If the person has several of the behaviors ...(say three or more) there is a strong potential for physical violence ....the more signs the person has, the more likely the person is a batterer. In some cases..... a batterer may have only a couple of behaviors that you can recognize, but they are exaggerated (e.g., extreme jealousy over ridiculous things).


1. JEALOUSY
At the time of a relationship.... an abuser might say that jealousy is a sign of love. Jealousy has nothing to do with love, it's a sign of possessiveness and lack of trust. He/she might question their partner about whom they spend time with....such as family or friends. As the jealousy progresses, they may call you frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly.

2. QUICK INVOLVEMENT
Many battered people dated knew their abuser for less than six months before they were married..... engaged... or living together. Everything seems like a whirlwind.

3. CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR
At first, the batterer will say this behavior is because they are concerned for the your safety. They can become very angry if you are "late" coming home. An abuser might question you closely about where you went.... and whom you talked to. As this behavior gets worse....you may even feel like you have to ask permission to leave the house.

4. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Abusive people will expect their partner to meet all of their needs. Such as expecting you to be the perfect mate, lover, and friend. They might say things like, "If you love me, I'm all you need.....you're all I need." You are exptected to take care of everything for him/her emotionally and physically. A potential abuser really doesn't want to "share" you with anyone.

Which brings me to number 5.

5. ISOLATION
A potential abuser might try to cut you off from all resources. If you are a female and you have male friends...he might call you a "whore." If you have female friends....he might call you a lesbian.... if you are close to family, you are "tied to the apron strings." The abuser might accuse people who are supportive of you....of "causing trouble."

6. BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS
Do you often take the blame for things that go wrong in your partners life? Even things you have no control over....or are not involved in. Such as things that might go on at your partners work place? Does your partner blame you for the mistakes he makes. Perhaps by telling you that you made him lose his concentration?

7. BLAMES OTHERS FOR FEELINGS
When your partner is angry..it is because of something you said or done. Therefore.......they tell you that they can't help it. If your partner is sad...you aren't doing enough to make them happy. Every emotion that your partner has.....they make you responsible for.

8. HYPERSENSITIVITY
An abuser is easily insulted. They take the slightest setbacks in life, as personal attacks. They might "rant and rave" about the injustice of things that happen. Things that are really just a part of life, like being asked to work overtime, getting a traffic ticket, being told a behavior is annoying, being asked to help with chores.

9. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN
This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain or suffering. They may expect children to be able to do things beyond their ability .....(whips a two year old for wetting a diaper) An abuser might expect the children to stay in their in rooom, when he/she is home. Or they will tease children until they cry.

10. USE OF FORCE DURING SEX
This kind of person may like to throw the woman down and hold her down during sex. They may want to act out fantasies during sex where their partner is helpless. The idea of rape is exciting. They may show little concern about whether the partner wants to have sex and use sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance. A male abuser may start having sex with the woman while she is sleeping, or demand sex when she is ill.

11. VERBAL ABUSE
In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, this can be seen when the abuser degrades the partner. Cursing them... calling them names and running down their accomplishments. The abuser will tell their partner they are stupid and unable to function without him/her. This may involve waking you up to verbally abuse you or not letting you sleep.

12. RIGID SEX ROLES
The abuser expects their victim to serve them. The abuser will see women as inferior to men, responsible for menial tasks, stupid, and unable to be a whole person without a relationship.

13. DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Many victims are confused by their abuser's "sudden" changes in mood. One minute they are nice.........the next minute they are exploding. Explosiveness and moodiness are typical of people who beat their partners, and these behaviors are related to other characteristics such as hypersensitivity.

15. BREAKING OR STRIKING OBJECTS
This behavior is mostly used to terrorize the victim into submission. The user may beat on tables with his/her fists, throw objects around or near the victim. This is very nasty behavior..... not only is this sign of extreme emotional immaturity, but there's great danger when someone thinks they have the "right" to frighten their partner.


_________________________

Love is not supposed to hurt. Love is not supposed to be about control.

Love should bring "color" into your life. It should make you want to get up in the morning. Love should make you smile. And even on it's darkest days......love should make you feel safe, and warm.

If it doesn't.....then something is wrong.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,424 • Replies: 29
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 06:53 pm
Excellent post as usual, Brooke ;-)
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 06:55 pm
Interesting post. Some of the points make total sense to me. Some, particularly the first and last points, don't. I've had too many golf partners break clubs/throw clubs/stomp on clubs to consider that any indication of potential relationship violence.

Certainly good things to be aware of/watch out for, but not necessarily things to limit a life with.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 06:58 pm
Very length professional experience has taught me to watch jealousy like a hawk - it is a common feeling - but occurring very fast, or used to begin isolating someone - major red light.


The abuse of objects thing depends, I think, on context.

A golf partner abusing clubs is very different from a fist slammed on a table, or a hole in a wall at home.

I would strongly agree with what Brooke has posted - adding that these things can be very subtle at first. Some tension when your friends come round - staying home cos the partner feels vulnerable if you go out - if this leads to it becoming easier to not see people.........all in context, of course - if your best friend is a leech who bleeds you dry, he might be right to protest! But - as patterns, they can be hard to see - and before you know it - you are in hell.

The sex thing - I would just add that mutual enjoyment of such fantasies is one thing - a menu of only such, or where one partner is, or becomes, reluctant and is not listened to immediately.....trouble.
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 07:00 pm
Re: Is my partner potentially abusive??????????
justa_babbling_brooke wrote:
15. BREAKING OR STRIKING OBJECTS
This behavior is mostly used to terrorize the victim into submission. The user may beat on tables with his/her fists, throw objects around or near the victim. This is very nasty behavior..... not only is this sign of extreme emotional immaturity, but there's great danger when someone thinks they have the "right" to frighten their partner.


Hmmm....I wonder why that's in bold? Interesting...
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 07:05 pm
Dlowan wrote:
A golf partner abusing clubs is very different from a fist slammed on a table, or a hole in a wall at home.


I was going to say the same thing, dlowan. I abuse my clubs all the time but have never abused a woman.

(unless you count the time I dragged Gertrude behind a horse through the desert, but that's different -- it's a game we both like to play)
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 07:07 pm
hey Kicky - oc started a new thread responding to your questions. Seems like she'd like a dialogue with ya.
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superjuly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 07:21 pm
Pheeeew!!

Brooke, I was certainly worried about it/you for a sec.
I'm glad you're just the motivational speaker in this case.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 07:22 pm
I really, really agree with ehBeth. Something I've seen in friends who work in lots of these kinds of fields is that those who are experienced in their field see hallmarks of that particular pathology everywhere. If every abuser you see has jealousy issues (to take just one example), it stands to reason that every man who has jealousy issues is a potential abuser.

It stands to reason, but it's not necessarily true.

I have had quite good relationships with people who fulfilled at least 50% of those conditions. I can think of one where 11 of the 15 conditions here were met. We broke up for mundane reasons, no abuse. This was a years-long relationship that I learned a lot from.

Which is to say, I think it's quite likely that an abuser would meet some or all of the criteria, I don't question that at all. But I also worry about someone who is in a normal if imperfect relationship reading this and thinking that, since the abuse will inevitably happen, the relationship should be ended.

It's not necessarily that cut-and-dried.
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kickycan
 
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Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 07:25 pm
Thanks for the heads-up ehBeth.
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 07:26 pm
Glad to do it, lollipopMan.
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SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 08:07 pm
I just wanted to comment on a two of the above characteristics.

Jealousy is only a bad sign if it's unwarranted. The fact is, many people are justified in not trusting their companion, and if in fact their companion IS cheating on them, then it is only natural to be jealous that they are spending their time and affection with someone else. The danger is the things they do while they're jealous (as listed in other points) or if the jealousy is unwarranted or excessive.

I think I fit into some of those categories, like the easily offended one for example, so in my defense I'd like to amend that it's okay to have just a few of these traits as long as you're still a nice guy. Smile
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SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 08:12 pm
Looking back, that had been said already.
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JustBrooke
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 08:26 pm
Jealousy is a big problem with abusers. Therefore in educating people about what to look for, it must be included. If the jealousy is "warranted"....than the other person knows they have done something to cause it.

At the same time, I think most people know when jealousy becomes sick. When you have to account for your every move, or you are accused of sleeping with every person you talk to, simply because you are talking to them... etc. And again.....these signs in and of themselves do not constitute abuse. Several of these signs combined.......are a red flag.

As far as beating on tables, walls, etc.....or taking a baseball bat to a tree, are NOT normal behavior. Many times someone that abuses....will exibit this sort of behavior PRIOR to hitting his victim.

Even if a person has several of these signs that does not mean he will ever abuse you. BUT it dang sure means the POTENTIAL is there. Whether he/she does it or not.

It's never easy to post signs of potential abusers because you will always have someone on the defense. That's ok though. Smile
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 08:33 pm
Hmmm. I would never defend an actual abuser, and in fact have helped people get restraining orders and go to court against abusers. Abuse exists and is awful. Absolutely no argument there.

But at the same time, there is a range of non-abusive, (and also imperfect) behavior that still is normal. I don't know if it is possible to make a list that would encompass both aspects -- what to look for, and what to not worry about TOO much. The 11/15 criteria within a relationship that I considered a good one overall (and you probably know I'm no pushover), makes me a bit concerned about how predictive this list really is. So I add a little postscript, in case, with an eye to future readers.

I completely agree with the idea of educating oneself ahead of time.
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SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 08:33 pm
I agree it should be listed, I just wanted to share some thoughts on it.
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JustBrooke
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 08:50 pm
SCoates wrote:
I agree it should be listed, I just wanted to share some thoughts on it.


Not a problem. Smile

Soz.......it's pretty hard to describe "normal" sometimes. But I understand what you are trying to say.

The list that I posted on here is not MY made up list. It is the same list we use at the shelter to educate. The reason each and every thing is on there......is because every single woman that walks in the door and sits down and talks with us....has dealt with at least 3 or more of them. To varying degrees. It's not just Hancock, County of Ohio. It's nationwide.

If I had been educated before I met my abuser......my life most likely could have been changed. But, I truely thought his actions were "normal." I just figured his jealousy was worse than most people. I thought his not wanting me to go places with friends, or talk to other men....was a thorn in the relationship, but nothing more. The first time I saw him, in anger, put his fist through a wall.......just meant he had a temper.

I didn't know that the combination could be so deadly......until death, he did cause.
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 10:04 pm
Hey, Brooke, I know I'm probably your least favorite person on A2K right about now, but I just wanted to let you know that I did not mean to offend you with my earlier comments. I apologize if I did. My posts on the other thread were really just about not immediately condemning the guy as an abuser on the basis of that one trait alone. It just felt to me like that's what was happening on that thread. I hope you can understand that.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 10:13 pm
(((( Brooklyn )))) you're such an angel! Always looking out for the other guy.

Soz and others who are making sure no one thinks this a slide rule for measuring monsters (nothing wrong with that), you might want to check out this thread. I think it was locked when Brooklyn opened this one and it contains more specific details and, IMO, easier questions to answer and one little girl who could probably benefit from more specific advice.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2005 10:17 pm
I'd read that thread before I posted here, O'Bill.

In fact, it's what caused me to post here.
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