|Think Abusers Wear Highly Identifiable Masks?|
The incidents of dating violence and violence against online daters has risen measurably. It's important to know what to look for to avoid being a victim.
An abusive manipulator comes on initially as all charm, compliments, and gifts. Most women will regard this grooming behavior as proof he isn’t controlling or abusive. In fact, he’ll consistently tell the woman everything he does is out of love. This is also the favorite line of the abusive woman. She may even go so far as to tell the man he’s the one with the issue or needs counseling. Of course, if you’re involved with an abusive woman, she’s not nearly as generous with the gifts as the man is. If at any time you wonder if your date or mate is an abusive, then you already know the truth. If your friends mention it, it must be bad because most manipulators try to look good in public. It helps bolster their lie about how well they treat you. Avoid this type at all costs.
If three or more apply, then you’re in danger of abuse or already in an abusive relationship.
· He or she wants an immediate relationship after meeting once.
· Irrational jealousy
· Controlling. Needs to know where you go, who you met, how much money you spent, wants to see the receipts.
· Unrealistic expectations. This refers to you meeting his or her every need in the relationship while looking fabulous.
· The abuser sees him/her/self as the victim. He or she never takes responsibility for personal actions.
· Hypersensitive, which results in taking everything personal
· Critical of you.
· Use religion or culture to control ex: Women must be submissive to their husbands.
· Tells you what to wear, even buys you clothes with the expectation you’ll wear them.
· Subtly criticizes your friends & family. Invents events or illness to try to prevent you from seeing them.
· Resents any hobbies or outside activities you might have. Finds ways to curtail them.
· The two of you never do anything you want to do. Your favorite restaurants, activities, etc. fall by the wayside. You might even make plans to do something you want, but it is cancelled due to illness, work, or some other convenient excuse.
· Mood swings that appear to have no perceivable trigger. With this person, you’ll constantly be walking on eggshells.
· He or she is cruel to animals. Doesn’t understand the concept of pets. If a pet is around, they could be keeping a dog for hunting purposes or a cat for mice control.
· He or she makes violent threats such as threatening to punch someone who cut him off in traffic.
· Guilt trips when you decide to do something you want to do.
· Humiliating or embarrassing you on purpose.
· The two of you go out with his/her friends, then excludes or ignores you.
· Refuses to talk to you, nor answer your calls or texts, to punish you
· Withholds affection. This can run from refusing to hold your hand to being locked out of the bedroom.
· Uses the I love you, but…. statements that tack on a criticism or a desired behavior.
· Makes everything your fault
· Threatens suicide if you leave.
· Constantly calling or texting when you’re apart. This isn’t love, it’s checking up on you.
· Flirts with other people in front of you. Laughs it off if you call him or her on it.
· Uses sarcasm, eye rolling, and belittling terms
· Knows your insecurities and makes mean jokes about them.
· Uses control statements. Example: If you don’t go with me to Hooters, then I won’t go to the Spring Fashion Preview. He never makes it to the fashion preview.
· Uses money to control behavior. In the beginning, it can be not having money to do activities you want to do to finally controlling both your finances to prevent your needed departure.
· The abusive partner may also threaten your pet or child to insure desired behavior.
· Plays mind games. Insist events never happened making the victimized partner question his or her sanity.
· Intimidates with guns, knives, or other weapons. This can be as subtle as showing or loading the gun.
· The person forces sexual acts you don’t want.
· Slaps, grabs, punches, pinches, and then blows it off by calling it teasing.
· Destroys your property or forces you to dispose of a beloved item.
· He wants you to have sex with him all the time. When you’re not there, you must send sexy pictures or provocative texts. This is more about ownership and control as opposed to passion. Reasonable people know you have a life outside of them.
· Disappears for days without any explanation or a weak excuse such as: I had stuff to work on.
In the end, it is all about control, not love. If you feel like you’re doing things you don’t want to do, Stop. Don’t give your controlling mate a chance to reform because he won’t. Many a person has been sucked in by the I’ll change story, followed by two weeks of good behavior. Make an extraction plan. If you’re not living together, it’s easier to get out.
1. Change your phone number, email, etc.
2. Defriend him or her on social media, but go silent for about a month. This person is canny enough to friend your friends to cyber stalk you.
3. Be unavailable. This might involve not being at home, or not answering your door.
4. Make a list of the abusive behaviors and incidents to remind you why you left when you feel lonely.
5. Do something you’ve wanted to do, but denied yourself.
If you’re living with someone, it will be harder because they’ll be hyper aware of everything you do, but it’s do-able. If you work, call domestic abuse hotline from work or a public place. Get together your license, social security card, and other personal identification for a quick exit.
If you’re ambivalent about leaving an abusive partner, look at these stats. Men suffer abuse too. One out of seven men are in an abusive relationship. The figure jumps to two out five when the man is involved in a homosexual relationship. Abuse isn’t just a female or hetero thing.
I’ve been in abusive relationships and have been alone too. Alone is so much better. It allows you to gain the wisdom and distance to recognize a good, functional relationship.