2. “If you are aware of chronic or severe mistreatment and do not speak out against it, your silence communicates implicitly that you see nothing unacceptable taking place. Abusers interpret silence as approval, or at least as forgiveness. To abused women, meanwhile, the silence means that no one will help – just what her partner wants her to believe. Anyone who chooses to quietly look the other way therefore unwittingly becomes the abuser’s ally.”
4. “This “gentle man” style of abuser tends to be highly self-centered and demanding of emotional catering. He may not be the man who has a fit because dinner is late but rather erupts because of some way his partner failed to sacrifice her own needs or interests to keep him content. He plays up how fragile he is to divert attention from the swath of destruction he leaves behind him.”
11. “Imagine the privileges an abusive man may acquire: getting his own way most of the time, having his partner bend over backward to keep him happy so he won’t explode, getting to behave as he pleases, and then on top of it all, he gets praise for what a good person he is, and everyone is trying to help him feel better about himself!”
13. “Abuse counselors say of the abusive client: “When he looks at himself in the morning and sees his dirty face, he sets about washing the mirror.” In other words, he becomes upset and accusatory when his partner exhibits the predictable effects of chronic mistreatment, and then he adds insult to injury by ridiculing her for feeling hurt by him. He even uses her emotional injuries as excuses to mistreat her further.”
16. “It is important to note that research has shown that men who have abusive mothers do not tend to develop especially negative attitudes toward females, but men who have abusive fathers do; the disrespect that abusive men show their female partners and their daughters is often absorbed by their sons.”
18. “Resistance never disappears; it waits in the shadows, sometimes for many years, and then eventually sprouts again. You may have gone through dark times when you felt, “I just can’t fight this anymore, I give up,” yet you rebound after a while to try again to recover your rights. And one day you will succeed.”
19. “Besides knowing all about the world, Mr. Right is also an expert on your life and how you should live it. He has the answers to your conflicts at work, how you should spend your time, and how you should raise your children. He is especially knowledgeable about your faults, and he likes to inventory what is wrong with you, as if tearing you down were the way to improve you.”
21. “Disrespect also can take the form of idealizing you and putting you on a pedestal as a perfect woman or goddess, perhaps treating you like a piece of fine china. The man who worships you in this way is not seeing you; he is seeing his fantasy, and when you fail to live up to that image he may turn nasty. So there may not be much difference between the man who talks down to you and the one who elevates you; both are displaying a failure to respect you as a real human being and bode ill.”
22. “An abusive man who is adept in the language of feelings can make his partner feel crazy by turning each argument into a therapy session in which he puts her reactions under a microscope and assigns himself the role of “helping” her. He may, for example, “explain” to her the emotional issues she needs to work through, or analyze her reasons for “mistakenly” believing that he is mistreating her.”
26. “Sometimes the more educated an abuser, the more knots he knows how to tie in a woman’s brain, the better he is at getting her to blame herself, and the slicker is his ability to persuade other people that she is crazy. The more socially powerful an abuser, the more powerful his abuse can be – and the more difficult it can be to escape.”
36. “When an abusive man feels the powerful stirring inside that other people call love, he is probably largely feeling: The desire to have you devote your life to keeping him happy with no outside interference The desire to have sexual access The desire to impress others by having you be his partner The desire to possess and control you.”
40. “Outside of my professional life, I have known many couples over the years who had passion and electricity between them and who treated each other well. But unfortunately there is wide acceptance in our society of the unhealthy notion that passion and aggression are interwoven and that cruel verbal exchanges and bomblike explosions are the price you pay for a relationship that is exciting, deep, and sexy. Popular romantic movies and soap operas sometimes reinforce this image.”
42. “For many abusive men, pornography has shaped their sexuality since they were teenagers or even younger. It has helped to form their view of what women are like and what they ought to be. When a graduate of what I call “The Pornography School of Sexuality” discovers, for example, that his partner does not find a slap in the face arousing, he thinks that’s evidence of something sexually wrong with her.”
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