When you think of domestic violence or abuse, we often think of women. Most find it hard to believe a woman could have that power over a man but it occurs more often than you know. Most men will not admit it goes on at home but it does.
According to the CDC, one in four men are victims of domestic violence in their life time. Domestic abuse isn’t just violence however. It often includes psychological and sexual abuse and it occurs in both heterosexual relationships as well as homosexual ones.
Psychological abuse often goes unreported and is dismissed by the victim. According to Psychology Today:
Emotional abuse may be hard to recognize because it can be subtle, and because abusers often blame their victims. They may act like they have no idea why you are upset. Additionally, you may have been treated this way in past relationships, so it’s familiar to you and harder to recognize. Over time, the abuser will chip away at your self-esteem, causing you to feel guilty, doubt yourself, and distrust your perceptions.
The Personality of an Abuser
Abusers typically want to control and dominate. They use verbal abuse to accomplish this. They are self-centered, impatient, unreasonable, insensitive, unforgiving, and they lack empathy and are often jealous, suspicious, and withholding. To maintain control, some abusers “take hostages,” meaning that they may try to isolate you from your friends and family. Their moods can shift from fun-loving and romantic to sullen and angry. Some punish with anger, others with silence – or both. It’s usually “their way or the highway.”
Emotional abuse, distinct from physical violence (including shoving, cornering, breaking and throwing things, etc.), is speech and/or behavior that’s derogating, controlling, punishing, or manipulative. Withholding love, communication, support, or money are indirect methods of control and maintaining power. Passive-aggressivebehavior is covert hostility. The passive-aggressor is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Many follow a cycle of abuse. Finding yourself in this repeated cycle is often hard to break. See chart below for example:
Please, whether you are a man or a woman caught in an endless cyle of abuse, get help today. Call 1-800- 799-SAFE Help is available 24 hours a day. You do not deserve to be abused. You are valuable.