Ever wonder how you got in a relationship that sucks your soul out of you, but yet you feel helpless to leave? An abusive woman on the search for a new mate chose you. Never think you chose her because you didn’t. Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD, a psychologist and owner of the Shrink for Men site believes that abusive women use the same techniques as those who recruit people into cults.
Most women do not physically attack men, although I will admit to knowing a few who do which may show my hillbilly roots. Abusive women employ mental games to twist reality the same as those who brainwash people into cults. Whom do abusive women and cult recruiters want? A kind, trusting, eager to please man who is smart and talented is the preferred target. This person gets something down off the high shelf in the grocery for the little old lady. Qualities such as generosity and being self-reflective are good too. The desire to not hurt or offend, avoiding all conflict will be the coffin nail that seals a man into an abusive relationship.
When does the future abuser appear on the radar screen? They may have been in your vicinity for a long time. That’s why they know you’ll be easy. It also creates a false sense of trust. They may have witnessed you suffering through a number of abusive relationships. You may accidentally include code words on your dating profile. If you’ve stated you don’t like game players, cheaters, or liars, you’ve just told the trolling female you’ve been played successfully a number of times. They swear to play you better than your previous girlfriends. They show up when you’re vulnerable. It could be a recent break up, a death in the family or death of a pet, a job loss or even a new job. Anytime you exhibit weakness, they show up. Cults find great success with kids going off to college or new arrivals in town. First, it starts with the love bombing.
Cult members canvas colleges, loiter near bus or train stations to spot the clueless individuals. They really do give assistance from carrying the target’s bags to introducing them to more cult members. They invite the target to lunch, to the movies, and to meet more of their cult friends. This relationship goes on for weeks. This is the love bombing time. The cult members create a need for their company. To be successful, they have to cut off all other influences or contacts. Keep the target busy every night with cult members. They discourage contact with others with subtle or disingenuous comments, hinting that those other folks at campus might be harmful.
The abusive woman uses the same technique. She plays to the man’s ego telling him she has to be near him all the time. Anxious for companionship and a self-esteem boost he accepts her constant attention without question. She is only checking out his perimeters to see what needs to be tightened. While she’s assuring him he’s the one for him, she’s also prying into his life. What group of people does he interact with that might discourage their relationship? His family, friends, or co-workers, or is there a troublesome ex that she needs to shield him from? During this honeymoon period she plants the seeds. Why do you need to hang out with the guys when it makes me so sad and lonely? Not only is the man vulnerable, he’s also in a lust-dazed stupor. Even though he’s only known her weeks, she begins to question his children’s visits as a sign he doesn’t love her. What she really wants to put a stop to is anything that takes the focus off her. She subtly criticizes his family and co-workers, negating their credibility. Suddenly, the man finds himself isolated from everyone else in his world. Even when he is at work, she calls, emails, or consistently texts exercising her control over him. If he thought for a moment to think outside of her box, she recalls him with ties of obligation, guilt, or even fear.
This woman plays her man expertly. Whenever he dares to question the nature of their relationship, she dissolves into tears, claims God or fate brought them together, threatens to leave while giving a dire scenario that has her begging for bread in the street, then threatens him with he’ll never get a woman as good as her because he’s a loser. She managed to change the subject, while delving into his dependency issues, his gullibility, and his search for a higher purpose. Maybe he is supposed to support this woman and her children, at the expense of his own life and livelihood. That would make him a regular saint. The woman has now accomplished four of six steps of brain washing.
Some men might argue that the new girlfriend or wife had moments when she’s nice, surprising him with gifts, dinner, or sex. Of course, she does. Abusive husbands do the same thing, as do cults when they see the member began to doubt or start to pull away. This system of awards and punishments changes over time to be much less reward and much more punishment. Often the abusive wife never delivers on the reward. She only offers the promise of it, which seems to work.
The last step of brainwashing is a verbal mind game worthy of Joseph Goebbels, a henchman in the Nazi Regime. He based the whole Fascist message on repeating lies long enough that people began to believe it was the truth. The abusive wife will say how mean you are. She’ll tell you how much she does for you. Eventually you begin to believe it. When she says something, that’s it. You’re not allowed to dispute it. Eventually a non-confrontational man gives in. A confrontational man would help the woman out of the house the first time he suspected something awry. That’s why she never wanted one of those.
You might be living in a fog. Do you spend time with anyone else besides the woman or her friends, or relatives? Keep in mind they are all in her cult. Going to church doesn’t count either; often she’ll use religion to get you to jump through her hoops. Do you ever do anything you want to do? Does she ask what your dreams are and how she can make them happen? Do you see any of your old friends with or without her? Do you pursue hobbies you like on your own? If you answer no to any of these questions, it’s a real possibility you’re in a fog. If you answer no to all of them, get out fast. Make sure to check out Dr.Tara’s site where you’ll find men going through the same struggles you are.