Angry and Controlling Men

I am reading a very insightful book titled, “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. On page 21, Lundy writes: “In one important way, an abusive man works like a magician. His tricks largely rely on getting you to look off in the wrong direction, distracting your attention so that you won’t notice where the real action is. He draws you into focusing on the turbulent world of his feelings to keep your eyes turned away from the true cause of his abusiveness, which lies in how he thinks. He leads you into a convoluted maze, making your relationship with him a labyrinth of twists and turns.

He wants you to puzzle over him, to try to figure him out, as though he were a wonderful but broken machine for which you need only to find and fix the malfunctioning parts to bring it roaring to its full potential. His desire, though he may not admit it even to himself, is that you wrack your brain in this way so that you won’t notice the patterns and logic of his behavior, the consciousness behind the craziness.

To further divert your gaze, he may work to shape your views of his past partners to keep you from talking to them directly and to prepare you to disbelieve them should you happen to hear what they say. If you could follow the thread of his conduct over a series of relationships, you would find out that his behavior isn’t as erratic as it looks; in fact, it follows a fairly consistent pattern from woman to woman, except for brief relationships or ones that he isn’t that serious about.

Above all, the abusive man wants to avoid having you zero in on his abusiveness itself. So he tries to fill your head up with excuses and distortions and keep you weighed down with self-doubt and self-blame. And, unfortunately, much of the society tends to follow unsuspectingly along behind him, helping him to close your eyes, and his own, to his problem.


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