If your father dealt with his frustrations by writing lists and working logically then chances are his children will too. On the other hand, show a child that frustrations and anger can be dealt with through violence instead and they will adopt violence as their main coping mechanism. Abusive men were often abused themselves, or watched as their fathers were violent and nasty to their mothers. Often these men know no other way of coping with the trials of life, but that does not mean to say they are innocent.
It is up to every abusive man to take responsibility for his actions as soon as he realizes that what he’s doing is wrong. A child may know no better but every adult knows that being abusive is unfair and if they don’t set about getting help and changing then it becomes their own problem. Unfortunately this ‘I can’t help it’ stance is one of the excuses that an abusive man will use, after an abusive episode towards his wife or partner. There are others, too, such as ‘I promise I won’t do it again’ and ‘I will get help’. Many strong women manage to break up with their abusive man, but his promises that he has changed lure her back. After a few weeks or even months he is back to being abusive again, but keeping her close because there is a nice man under all that nastiness and violence, who pops up every now and again.
Many people who have never known an abusive man or a woman who has been abused by her partner think that abused women are ‘weak’ and ‘stupid’, yet the opposite is true. Emotional or physical abuse never occurs at the start of the relationship or the woman would never be interested. Instead, abusive men are incredibly manipulative, letting their girlfriends fall in love with them before lashing out or saying hurtful things. He might be giving subtle, but very hurtful insults when nobody is around, cutting at her self esteem until she believes she is even lucky to have him as ‘nobody else would put up with her’. He might play guilt trips on her or make her feel like she abandons him when she goes to see family or friends. An abusive man will often want his partner to be with him at all times and if she isn’t then he’ll have to know where she is and what she’s doing. This is insecurity at its most blatant and the unfortunate thing is that abusive men cause both he and his partner to have a complete lack of confidence to do anything about the situation.
Often the hardest part about recognizing an abusive man as abusive is admitting that this is, in fact, what he is. Nobody wants to tell themselves that the man they love is violent or abusive. If you think you are in a relationship with an abusive man, or someone you know is then it’s important to recognize the signs and take action straight away. Know and be prepared for what he will say to carry on the cycle of abuse.