Self-esteem is low. We blame ourselves and work harder to fulfill the demands of the abuser. Sexual advances, crumbs of compassion, or just the lack of abuse may be seen as signals of love or optimism that the relationship would heal. As our belief in ourselves dwindles, our love and idealization of the abuser endures.
The more we try to win him/her over, the more we convince ourselves that the abuser is right about us. We start to feel like crap and keep doing things to make sure we don't disappoint him/her. This cycle can continue for years until something breaks it open up. Then we have a chance at a new beginning.
Abuse can happen in many forms - physical, emotional, verbal, sexual - and can take many shapes - punching, kicking, beating with objects, causing accidents, locking up or withholding money or other resources. Abusers gain power by controlling their victims' lives: who they talk to, what jobs they have, where they live, etc. They use this control to make sure their wishes are carried out even when the victim refuses them. For example, an abuser might threaten to kill himself if the victim leaves, then do everything he can to keep her from leaving.
An abuser also uses his power over you to your own detriment. He may refuse to help you when you need it, withhold affection, or humiliate you in front of others.
Fear and Shame Your abuser instills dread in a variety of ways. It was a combination of physical terror and the worry that I couldn't live without him. Abusers will make their partners feel worthless and incapable of surviving on their own. They may say terrible things about you or do things that hurt you intentionally, knowing that you'll never leave them.
Physical fear plays a role in keeping someone captive. An abuser can be very intimidating and have gone as far as to threaten you if you try to leave. If you're afraid of what might happen to you if you run away, then it's not easy breaking free.
Shame is another huge factor in why it's so hard to break up with an abuser. When you're with an abuser, you become used to being spoken down to, having your needs ignored, and feeling like there's no way out. You start to believe that you deserve this treatment and that there's something wrong with you for even thinking about leaving.
It takes courage to walk away from an abuser. However, the more pain they cause you, the more reason you have to get out safely. If you know you'll never feel safe again, then it's time to take action.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone.
Abused offenders have poor self-esteem or self concept, feeling they are worthless and unlovable. They are frequently envious and distrustful of the victim. Inconsiderate of strangers, such as a restaurant waiter or grocery store clerk, an abuser may show up at their work intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Abusers often feel intense rage that they seek to release by hurting others. They may claim that they had no choice because they were afraid the victim would leave them.
An abuser may try to hide their behavior by being overly aggressive, getting into fights regularly, and using abusive language toward those around them. Abusers may even threaten to hurt themselves or others if their wishes are not met.
Psychologists use several terms to describe people who abuse others: abusiveness, aggression, antisocial behavior, violence.
How does one become an abuser? An abuser is usually born, not made. Parents who abuse alcohol or drugs with their child are providing them with an example they can learn from. Children who see their parents fight often grow up to be abusers themselves. If your parent has been diagnosed with mental illness, it's possible they will continue to act out behaviors that lead to violence or abuse.
Being an abuser doesn't go away even when you stop hitting someone over the head with a baseball bat.
Occasionally, the abuser may grant the victim's requests in order to create motivation for complying with his every demand. When the abuser makes excessive demands on his victim, this occurs. He may anticipate his spouse rejecting everything in her life in order to attend to his wants. This is a form of control used by abusive men.
Abuse also includes giving in to avoid conflict. If your partner is angry about something you did or didn't do, give him or her what they want until they stop being angry. This shows that even if you don't agree with their decisions, you will still try to make them happy. Avoiding conflict is another way for an abuser to maintain control over his partner.
The abuser may also fulfill the victim's requests as a form of punishment. If your partner has told you that if you disobey them once, they will never let you do it again, then they are trying to punish you. Punishment can be anything from not letting you see your friends, to physical violence. An abuser may use any threat to get what he wants from his partner. She believes he would actually go through with it so she gives in.
Finally, abusers may fulfill the victim's requests as a way to manipulate them into doing things without asking them first.
They believe they are attracted to or love their abuser, and they may even believe they have a particular connection to the abuser because it taps into sentiments of closeness related with the abuse that were imprinted very early on in their lives. They may also feel a sense of duty toward their abuser because of some sort of commitment they took upon themselves.
People who love their abusers think they can change them and make them better. Sometimes, they even believe that they need such an abuser to make up for any deficiencies they have as people. Sometimes, people love their abusers because they feel inadequate without this person's help and support. People love their abusers because they see some good in them despite all evidence to the contrary. People love their abusers because they want to protect them in some way even though their abusers could not care less about them.
Abusers often use their position of power and authority over their lovers to manipulate them into staying loyal to them. They may take advantage of their lover's feelings for them by making them feel like there is no one else out there for them. An abuser will often deny having any problems at all with being able to talk about their issues with someone else instead of their partner.
Sometimes, people fall in love with their abusers because they want to be loved and wanted by someone.