Where I list the top 15 red flags to be aware of when you first start dating someone…
My post earlier this week on the 10 Different Types of Abusive Men (Why is My Boyfriend So Mean? Part 1) was quite popular. So I thought another useful post would be to explain what are the ‘red flags’ or early warning signs that we can watch out for as women (or men) to be aware of early on?
Many of us in unhealthy relationships have wondered early on is my boyfriend abusive?
This is Part 3 of my series on abusive men. Here are the top 10 myths about abusive men..
This list is from Lundy Bancroft’s book: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.
Top 10 Myths of Abusive Men:
1. He was abused as a child OR his previous partner hurt him.
Neither a bad childhood nor an ex causes a man to become an abuser. Although the former can contribute to making a man who is already abusive even more dangerous. However, a non-abusive man doesn’t use his past as an excuse to mistreat you. And starting to feel sorry for your partner for his abuse can be a trap, to make you feel guilty for standing up to his abuse and to play on your compassion to avoid dealing with his problem.
This is Part 2 of a series on abusive relationships.
Part 1: Why is My Boyfriend Mean to Me?
Part 2: Am I in an Abusive Relationship
Couple days ago I wrote about the 10 different styles of abusive personalities. Here I want to talk about the 5 common themes that run through most all abusive personalities. Again this is from research from Lundy Bancroft’s amazing book, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.
Abuse can include many things, including disrespect, controlling behavior, jealousy or just being mean. Where I list the 10 different types of abusive men..
I have had various types of interactions with abusive men in my life. Starting with my first dad and then various exes throughout the years— some more angry or abusive than others. I’ve learned along the way that abusive relationships—personality disorders, having a lack of conscience, extreme jealousy, bad tempers— whatever you may call it, is really much more common than people like to talk about. It’s understandably not a common topic of conversation. It’s not very pleasant. As well as the stigma and shame attached to being in a relationship with an abusive person. Which is unfair— why are we to blame for loving a person who shows their abusive side to us after we fall for them?
Sometimes when we fight I just want to tear my hair out I’m so mad. Scratch that–most of the time. Even though, I guess you’d say we’ve improved since the beginning, there’s just something about a man yelling at me, impatient, and arrogantly thinking he’s right that drives me berserk and literally sends smoke out of my ears.
Every time he gets mad I’m forced to stop and consider if this relationship is different from my last serious one. Is he simply mad sometimes, but overall is still a good choice for me? Is this the normal pattern of all healthy relationships–the natural ups and downs of every couple, no matter what a great match they are? Or should I worry that this may be a similar pattern as my last abusive boyfriend where I was on the worst roller coaster ride of my life for 11 months where he went from being a smooth-talking, passionate lover to a cheating, aggressive, liar in under a minute and back? Which one is it? Can I tell the difference? Can I finally trust myself to be able to differentiate? Or am I as naive and ignorant as before and haven’t learned anything?
For four long years after the abuse I couldn’t sustain any relationships longer than a month. If they showed any temper, any kind of sexism or momentary lapse of disrespect I was done. After the breakup I tried and realized I couldn’t enjoy having sex. He had manipulated my emotions around sex and used my body to betray me so that I couldn’t trust my own body anymore. It was confusing, humiliating, and the worst of all was that I blamed myself.
Which is what I’m still doing now. I realized recently in one of my peer counseling sessions that I still blame myself for my mom’s abuse by my first dad. I didn’t realize after all this time that I still blame myself for not having been able to protect my mom. Of course, there was no way I could have done anything to protect my mom. I was between 0-5 years old. As adults, I think we often forget how we thought as kids and young people. We often put huge burdens on ourselves to make our parents feel better, to effectually parent our parents.
So if I can someday forgive the little Shiuan from 30 years ago then I will be much gentler with myself in the present day. Now, to do it. Gently.