DO YOU REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE?
WHAT IS A CONTROLLING PARTNER?
A partner whose behaviors are designed to control the other, is a controlling partner. The intent of his behaviors is control. The abusive partner twists reality in a very manipulative way and uses fear, humiliation, and verbal and/or physical violence to achieve control. Whether the victim is berated and belittled or more subtly controlled through constant “guidance” and “teaching”, the result is the same. This is abuse. Controlling partners believe they are entitled to exert power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship.
Their coercive behaviors are more than isolated incidents, they are on-going abuse.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE WITH AN ABUSER?
Do you recognize some of these traits in your partner?
- Constant criticism
- Unpredictable mood change, anger
- Threats of violence, verbal abuse
- Denying or ignoring your needs, opinions
- Making all the decisions including the way you dress
- Controlling money, your time, where you go
- Physical intimidation, use of force during an argument
- Sexual humiliation, “playful” use of force in sex
- Jealousy, accusations
- Humiliating you in front of others
- Constantly threatening to leave you, being cold and distant (silent treatment)
- Breaking or striking objects, stomping out
- Driving recklessly
- Using his financial edge as part of his courtship
Do you find yourself...
- apologizing for things you have not done?
- nervous or frightened of being late?
- over-powered by your partner’s presence?
- afraid of speaking freely because it will upset your partner?
- afraid of loosing the custody of your children?
Maybe you feel...
- that you are “walking on eggshells”?
- ashamed, deserving of the abuse ?
- distrustful of your feelings, personal values, perceptions?
- that you are lacking self-confidence, self-worth?
- dominated, confused, afraid?
- that your sense of options disappeared?
- that people in your environment will reject you if you break the silence?
- that he had the upper hand from the beginning?
- impressed by his self confidence, charisma?
Do you find yourself minimizing the abusive behavior?
- “He doesn’t mean to hurt me, he just loses control”
- “He has a very stressful job”
- “He is intelligent, people love him”
- “He scared me a few times but he never hurts the children; he is a good father"
- “He can be sweet and gentle”
Do you think?
- that you are the only one in your social environment to experience domestic abuse?
- that being a smart person he could not get randomly angry; it had to be your fault?
- that you are the only one who can help your partner?
How many times did you hope your partner would change if only you were more attentive. However, you cannot change your partner no matter how willing you are. Yet you do have choices.
THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!