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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Do I Have an Abusive Boyfriend? 3 Ways to Tell





"Girls like bad boys." This is a very popular phrase, and in some cases it is true. Bad boys are not boring, they're not nerdy, they're not shy, and they have an I-don't-care attitude. Sometimes they're mysterious-with an aura of charm and relaxed body language that is attractive to the opposite sex. 
Oddly enough, abusers are hardly ever bad boys-they want you to like them, so they share their feelings with you because they want you involved with their emotions. If you're involved with their feelings then you'll try to figure them out-try to learn what makes them tick.
If your boyfriend slaps you, punches you with his fist, chokes you, shakes you, rough handles you, shoves you, or causes you physical pain in any way, the answer to the question is easy: Yes, he is an abuser. There's no need to read any further.
Unfortunately, abusive men do not show their hands early on. Not their 'physical' hands. But there are ways to discern whether or not the tendency to abuse lurks beneath their exterior. The following are three indications that your boyfriend may be an abuser hiding in lover-boy clothing:
1. He is self-centered, narcissistic, and egotistical. All of these terms are synonymous, but I will endeavor to elaborate on their meanings. Self-centered is self-explanatory-self is the center of attention. Narcissistic means having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself. (Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration). Egotistical means excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself. Now, think about your boyfriend and the last conversations you had with him. Were they mostly about him? Did you get the feeling that he wasn't listening to you or your opinions because he continually brought the subject back around to him and how he thinks? In his book "Why Does He Do That," Lindy Bancroft states "Self-centeredness is a personality characteristic that his highly resistant to change, as it has deep roots in either profound entitlement (in abusers) or to severe early emotional injuries (in non-abusers), or both (in narcissistic abusers)."
2. He seems to get serious about the relationship immediately. Most of the time you find that men avoid commitments. They don't want to settle down, or they haven't found the right one yet. When the subject of marriage or going steady comes up, they want to change the subject-avoid the issue altogether. If your boyfriend is already talking about the future, wanting to spend the rest of his life with you it could be because he wants to 'own you'. How many abused women have said that their abusers told them "If I can't have you, no one will." If you try to slow things down and he objects this may be a signal that danger is ahead.
3. His anger frightens you. Anger is a normal emotion. We all get angry sometimes. But when someone's anger is intimidating there's something wrong. Examples of anger that is intimidating are getting close to the object of your anger, pointing a finger in the face, pushing, blocking movement, or restraint. The excuse that someone who exhibits the above behavior usually gives is "I just want you to listen to me!" If your boyfriend kicks doors or punches holes in the wall; if he throws things-sometimes hitting you, sometimes not; he speeds or attempts to wreck a vehicle when he's angry; he causes you to cower or to flinch when he's angry; or he makes veiled threats like " You wouldn't like me when I'm angry-these are danger signals.
Abusive men don't want to let the cat out of the bag too soon. They want to spend time with you, get you involved, make you believe that no one loves you like they do; in short they want to possess you. Are you a possession? If not, pay attention to the signals that he gives. All of the ways that an abuser behaves lead to the one thing that he wants more than anything: control. Take control of your own life and resist abuse. Once abuse happens, it is only the beginning. Once abusers have control they usually refuse to relinquish it. In other words, if he ever hits you, he will hit you again.

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