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#31 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 01:22 PM
 
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LOL, I suppose it doesn't come across very well in a post. He owns his bad behavior 100%. However, like any other partnering situation, I can contribute to the situation when I have bad behavior. I'm not talking about walking on eggshells, which I suppose is what you were thinking of, I definitely do not do that. If I don't like something he does or the way he talks to me, I tell him so. I'm talking about him learning to communicate to me without jumping to conclusions, getting angry, or being critical, and me learning to accept when I am wrong, not making excuses, and being better at saying sorry when I mess up.

It is not true that if a person has a temper or bad communication habits that they are automatically an abuser. Sirringleaf's dh may be an abuser, but also may not. She has to make that judgement. I suppose one of the key elements, besides the control thing, is whether he is willing to change. She definitely should NOT be putting up with being criticized all the time like that. In our case, my dh was sunk deep in depression and an undiagnosed medical condition for a few years so I was pretty unhappy with our relationship during that time. Since his diagnosis and some lifestyle changes, he has been making changes, and I am more than happy to make (good) changes in myself that support his efforts.

BTW, I think it would be more appropriate to the tone of this forum if you would ask clarifying questions rather than jumping to conclusions and throwing around words like "misogynist".
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#32 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 01:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao
I am learning how to not trigger him
this, I'm sure, is what upset May May so much. It sounds just like what any battered woman would say. "I am learning how to not make him hit me" - like it's her fault he is abusive. And that is placing the blame of his behavior on you, instead of him owning his own actions (or words), and it is a huge warning sign of an abusive situation.

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He owns his bad behavior 100%. However, like any other partnering situation, I can contribute to the situation when I have bad behavior.
this makes absolutely no sense. Is it his fault? Or are you taking some of the blame? You are only responsible for your own actions. No matter what. Whatever he does or says to you is his responsibility, no matter what you've done or said to him. No matter how angry he feels, it is never right to mistreat another person.

Now maybe you don't realize how hurtful your words are to those of us who have escaped from abusive relationships, how what you are saying are the same things we said, trying to convince ourselves and everyone else that we weren't being abused. Maybe your situation is not as abusive as you make it sound. We know all too well the way pretending there is no problem only makes the problem worse, and that's exactly what it sounds like you are doing. In the words you use to describe your own situation, we see things that correlate with our own experiences.
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#33 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 02:17 PM
 
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I'm sorry my words were hurtful, they were not intended that way. I in no way meant to say that any woman who has escaped from abuse wasn't really being abused, or that she somehow "deserved" it.

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this makes absolutely no sense. Is it his fault? Or are you taking some of the blame? You are only responsible for your own actions. No matter what. Whatever he does or says to you is his responsibility, no matter what you've done or said to him. No matter how angry he feels, it is never right to mistreat another person.
I agree!

What I'm talking about is, say you had a husband who was a recovering alcoholic. He is 100% responsible for not taking a drink. Technically, you should be able to sit in front of him and drink yourself into a stupor and he shouldn't take a drink with you. But that would be pretty unsupportive to do that, right?

Let me make it clear that I am talking here about MY situation, not Stirringleaf's. I am in no way saying that her husband's critical behavior is acceptable or that she is to blame for it. The point I was trying to make is that (my opinion only) there is a different between immature, jerky behavior and abusive behavior. The former can be worked with, the latter needs to be escaped from.
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#34 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 02:42 PM
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I found Thao's comments to also be applicable to my situation and I agree with her that stirringleaf needs to decide whether her own situation is abusive or her husband is just sometimes childish/not rational/not helpful.

I also wanted to point out that she said that her own behavior (thao's) can contribute to "the situation" not to his behavior. I did not take that to mean that she excuses his behavior. I think it meant just what she said. I do understand, though, stafl and may may's point that this language might be hurtful to those who have been in abusive relationships. but, i do find that i can say hurtful things to my dh in response to perceived criticisms by him and that my adding hurt to the situation is not helpful. i think that is what thao meant.

for those of us not in abusive relationships, it is sometimes helpful to look at our part in some of the interactions we have.

anyway, i kind of felt like thao was called a misogynist and i didn't think it was fair or true so i just wanted to say i understood what she was trying to say and thought it was helpful.

stirringleaf, i hope your situation is not an abusive one and that you and dh find your way to better communication. it is a constant struggle for dh and me to improve our relationship. it is so easy for each of us to play the martyr and sometimes it feels so good to blame the other for something annoying or troublesome (like a glass bottle breaking on the bathroom floor or, from my own experience, for not letting the dogs go out in the morning so they have accidents on the floor during the day ).
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#35 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 03:02 PM
 
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What stafl said.



Also, when someone speaks of *triggering* another person. . . .


It's understandable that things we do and say will trigger emotion in another person, especially if that person is very close to us. What is a MYTH is the concept of 'triggering' reaction in a person. Behavior is a choice. No one 'triggers' anyone to behave a certain way.
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#36 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
I just feel so angry hearing women giving misogynistic advice to other women. I just can't sit here in silence. . . . . no way.
I did not call her a misogynist. I referred to her advice, her language, as misogynistic.

Often, women will be blinded by the pervasive brainwashing which results from misogyny. That brainwashing is often responsible for women taking responsibility for far more of their relationship's troubles than is righteous. It also becomes contagious, in the form of women giving other women 'advice' that is colored by misogyny, therefore perpetuating the abuse through secondary reinforcement.
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#37 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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I agree about triggering emotions, not reactions.

I agree with your point about women sometimes supporting abuse in other situations. But the key word in your post is "often". Not "always". I do feel like you jumped to conclusions from my post.
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#38 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 04:18 PM
 
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The definition of emotional abuse is not abstract speculation. It is finite:



The way to differentiate between abuse that is caused by ignorance and abuse that is caused by misogyny is this:

The ignorant person can learn new ways behaving; they can change. They are open to learning new ways of behaving once they learn what abuse IS and, once learned, they incorporate the new ways into their self expression.

The misogynist, on the other hand, will deny any responsibility for their own behavior. They're very clever at twisting accountability around to the victim. The mark of differentiation, though, lies in their intention: the intent to control.

Now, that said. . . . 'the intent to control' is usually deeply buried underneath all of the abuser’s rhetoric. They've often even fooled themselves, and are unconscious of the beliefs that motivate their behavior (at least, most of the time. Sometimes, however, abusers are truly psychopathic in their thinking, which is more rare, statistically speaking).



ETA: This is why dv resources give checklists for signs and symptoms
of abuse/ what to watch for. Because it is very difficult to decipher the efforts of an intelligent abuser; they're very convincing. Therefore, this is a perfect example of where to apply the concept of actions speak louder than words: No matter what he says about his feelings/behavior, watch his actions for the answer.



~~
It sure sounds to me like stirringleaf has done enough communicating and processing with her husband. What that means to me, is that he’s had enough opportunities to “see the light.” If he were abusing her out of ignorance, then he would have already changed his ways. The fact that he still behaves this way tells me that it is not ignorance that motivates his behavior, but rather, the fact that he is unwilling to give up his male privilege.


~~
I’m sorry, Thao, that you were hurt by what felt to you like I was jumping to conclusions. However, I know just how dangerous misguided advice can be to women in abusive situations; it is far from benign. And, waaaaaay more often than not, women are misguided (this is statistical fact, not my own opinion). The bottom line is that it’s important to be assertive in these situations, to stand up for the truth. Because it’s tempting for the woman involved to latch onto advice such as yours; she wants any excuse she can find to pity her partner and to take responsibility for the problems in her relationship. As long as she’s able to rationalize his behavior, and as long as she’s able to claim responsibility for somehow causing it, then she can still live in the fantasy that she will be able to *save* their relationship and that one day her partner will *realize the truth.* Therefore, she submits to the abuse until her self esteem is worn down to the bone and her children have grown and carried the legacy of abuse into yet another family.

Better to be safe than sorry, in my book.
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#39 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
The way to differentiate between abuse that is caused by ignorance and abuse that is caused by misogyny is this:

The ignorant person can learn new ways behaving; they can change. They are open to learning new ways of behaving once they learn what abuse IS and, once learned, they incorporate the new ways into their self expression.

The misogynist, on the other hand, will deny any responsibility for their own behavior. They're very clever at twisting accountability around to the victim. The mark of differentiation, though, lies in their intention: the intent to control.
This is very clear and I think very helpful to Stirringleaf, May May! It's what I was trying to say with my post, albeit poorly
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#40 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by May May
The misogynist, on the other hand, will deny any responsibility for their own behavior. They're very clever at twisting accountability around to the victim. The mark of differentiation, though, lies in their intention: the intent to control.
If you don't mind my asking, why do you attribute this kind of behaviour to misogyny? My ex was like this...but it applied to everyone, male or female. Nothing was ever his fault. I was his first choice of scapegoat, because I was the one with whom he was most intimately involved. But, if he needed to put the blame on someone else (for example, if the behaviour just could not be linked to me, no matter how tenuously), he'd gladly do so. His dad, his male friends, his coworkers, his boss...all were responsible for his bad behaviour in a pinch. How is this kind of abusive behaviour misogynistic?

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#41 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 06:20 PM
 
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Well, I have several different answers to your question:

1) The main point I was trying to make in relation to misogynistic abuse is that the definition of it lies in the intention behind the behavior. *Intention* is the factor that differentiates between mysoginistic abuse and abuse that stems from ignorance and/or mental illness.


2) It is true that all misogynistic abusers will manipulate and avoid accountability, but it is not true that all people who manipulate and avoid accountability are misogynistic abusers.


3) Misogyny is very pervasive and all-consuming; it is everywhere. It lives equally in men and women; it is just expressed and manifested differently.


Because of the pervasiveness factor, misogyny can be doubled-up in a personality that also holds other imbalances.

For example: A person can be misogynistic and also have Narcissistic and/or Borderline personality disorder. I have spent many years studying psychology, and just recently began studying domestic violence and the history and role of patriarchy in humanity.

Frequently, people with Narcissitic and/or Borderline personality disorder behave abusively as a result of their Narcissistic and/or Borderline perspectives. Even more complex is the personality with combination-disorder.
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#42 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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How are YOU, stirringleaf?


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#43 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi. i left town for a couple days. sort of spontaneously. i went to stay with a friend of mine. ( with DS)

i just read all the conversation that took place while i was gone. i appreciate the discussion. i am still on the fence as to whether this is ignorance or abuse. the discussion about where the line may be is helpful to me.

how am i? well, all said and done.....kind of crappy. but holding together like any other time. i'm functional. i havent seen DH since sunday, but he will be home from work soon.

i am pretty sure he is basically ignorant of himself---i think his behavior is kind of abusive but his desire to control me is on a very subconcious level. i understand about mysogeny, control, abuse, etc, because unfortuantly, i have been in abusive relationships before, and my own father is a serious manipulative abusive person. ok and my mom too. when i met my DH i thought he was different. and he really is in so many ways, the best thing that has ever happened to me. but i think i was not evolved enough 6 years ago to TRULY choose a healthy relationship. as i have grown, so has dh but he seems to be stuck at this point. i used to be just as critical as he is now. the more i learn new ways to talk ( mainly for DS's sake have i focused so hard on these changes) the more i notice DH stuck in this old pattern.

so i think i just have to let go of trying to "show him the light" now. i am leaving the ball in his court. if he can make even a baby step toward serious change, i will have some hope. i will also get a chance to practice my own ability to *not* get sucked into fights. but i really do believe that on a rational level, my husband does not wish to be an a**hole. he really doesnt. i think it is so painful for him to admit that he is being one that he is protecting himself with denial. that doesnt mean i am going to waste my energy trying to do that work for him. i just want to point that out cuz i think its important to note.


here is the thing. if i give up on him, and leave him, that isnt going to help DS much. yeah, he wont see me getting treated that way, and yeah he wont see us fight, but we usually save most of the arguing stuff for after bedtime anyways. and then there is just the issue that DH will still talk to DS that way, and i dont want that. it seems lke i have alot more leverage to get DH to go to councilling from WITHIN a marriage than from outside it. so i feel a huge responsibility for DS . its not that i stay cuz " i cant take care of myself" its that i want to give DS a chance to not have messed up head trips in his life.

and no its not daily, and sometimes DH is much more patient and creativly positive with DS than i am. but its this underlying thing, this belief that DH has about me , that hurts my feelings at best, and OUTRAGES me at worst.

when we had our long talk on saturday night he basically expressed his belief that i should be responsible for most of the household things and that if he were in my shoes the house would be cleaner, our son would be better dressed ( sometimes i let him wear his "pajamas" all day, like if he loves the jammy shirt so much, etc) and all of our errands would be flawlessly taken care of. he thinks my life is so much more carefree than his, therefore i should shoulder most of the household responsibility. whenever i call him on how absurd that is, he backpedals and says he never said that ( when he literally just has said it) . its maddening.

i have told him that instead of coming down on me when things are not how he would like them, he should assume i am having a hard time getting it all done, rather than assume i am lazy and irresponsible. and even that ---- i feel i have a right to be lazy and irresponsible sometimes, especially when i am stressed out!

because i am not a lazy person. here are all the things i do:

take care of my son
take care of my share of housework, etc
cook about 90% of our meals ( and until a few mos ago it was 100%)
go to school in the fall and spring, 9 credits
i just got a part time job , 24 hours a week in three 8 hour shifts
i started a non profit book and zine making orginization
i am starting my own very small press label( with long term goals to make it a real small press)
i go to the local peoples market every saturday from 7:30 am to 1 pm to peddle zines and books.

here is what my husband does:
works full time
takes care of ds when i am at work
does his share of housework
plays soccer twice a week
helps me with my website

when i left for this trip i was nervous about driving cuz it had been a while since i had driven the highways. he wanted to come with me to help drive, which is nice and all, but i said i just wanted to feel like i could do it myself. he was actually VERY understanding of this, and said as much. so i dont think its all one dimensional. its complex, like everything. this is long so i am posting it. but just thought i would let you all know where i am at. some of you might know me IRL and i feel bad for giving this view of my husband. especially since it is so borderline right now on what is going on. please know that my own doubts and fears could play a part in my perspective on the big picture. for instance, as of this moment i dont know if DH went and got any books or set up any appts or anything. he may have.
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#44 of 61 Old 07-05-2005, 08:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stirringleaf
i am pretty sure he is basically ignorant of himself---i think his behavior is kind of abusive but his desire to control me is on a very subconcious level. i understand about mysogeny, control, abuse, etc, because unfortuantly, i have been in abusive relationships before, and my own father is a serious manipulative abusive person. ok and my mom too. when i met my DH i thought he was different. and he really is in so many ways, the best thing that has ever happened to me. but i think i was not evolved enough 6 years ago to TRULY choose a healthy relationship. as i have grown, so has dh but he seems to be stuck at this point. i used to be just as critical as he is now. the more i learn new ways to talk ( mainly for DS's sake have i focused so hard on these changes) the more i notice DH stuck in this old pattern.
Stirringleaf, I have to warn you: most abusive misogynists' desire for control is on a subconscious level. They are not usually malicious; that would make them psychotic. Also, what you said about how you've learned over the years and changed your ways. . . those are the words of someone who behaves abusively out of ignorance. The fact that your husband is still behaving this way, even though you've told him how you feel and what you need, is an indicator that he *won't* change.

Quote:
when we had our long talk on saturday night he basically expressed his belief that i should be responsible for most of the household things and that if he were in my shoes the house would be cleaner, our son would be better dressed ( sometimes i let him wear his "pajamas" all day, like if he loves the jammy shirt so much, etc) and all of our errands would be flawlessly taken care of. he thinks my life is so much more carefree than his, therefore i should shoulder most of the household responsibility. whenever i call him on how absurd that is, he backpedals and says he never said that ( when he literally just has said it) . its maddening.

This is CLASSIC crazy-making behavior that misogynists use!


I have to go.
Will check in soon.


Hang in there, mama.
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#45 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 12:17 AM
 
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Stirringleaf, I have some questions for you. Does he have an underlying sense of fairness about life in general? I mean, when he is backed into a wall with the reality that he is treating you in a way that he would not accept you to treat him, does he acknowledge it?

Does he sometimes acknowledge his bad behavior without being backed into a corner -- like, after one of your talks, does he improve or apologize without being asked if he criticizes you? Or is it just the same old same old with no apparent effort at change?

Is he more critical now than he was when he married you? Is there any chance that there are depression/physical issues that are making him feel lousy and take it out on you? (these are not excuses, mind you, but if a trip to the doctor might improve things then it is worth checking out).

You don't have to answer these in the thread, I just thought they might be helpful as you think about what the chances are that his behavior will ever change.

Oh - and one of the things that has been very helpful in my situation is something I think you mentioned, not getting drawn into the argument but definitely letting him know how his actions make me feel. When he says something that hurts my feelings I strive to tell him in a calm, assertive manner using lots of "I felt ____ when you ____" statements or "how would you feel if I ______ and you responded with ____?". Because he does have this basic sense of fairness, we can usually talk it out nicely. Since I've been doing that, he has become much more aware of things he does that hurts my feelings and avoids them or if he thinks he might have said something too brusquely he will apologize without me asking. Also, since some of these interactions happen in front of our daughter, it shows her that mommy does not accept daddy to treat her in certain ways, and daddy says he's sorry when he messes up.
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#46 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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essentially my dh is in a holding pattern. when he got home from work he asked me if i wanted to go to the park. since i know him all too well, i asked which park, and he admitted he didnt want to go play with me and ds at the park, just wanted us to watch him play soccer. i was gone for 2 days and 2 nights and he didnt even want to offer me a break from ds. BEFORE he mentioned soccer...er....i mean "spendign time together at the park".....i told him that i had a bunch of work to do and wanted to leave the house alone. so he already knew i wanted to take off alone before he asked that.

but i did go out and do my little errnds, and he didnt go play soccer. but found out that DH put ds to bed at SEVEN pm. i guess he could just have been tired from work , but man its just hard for me not to feel like he doesnt really wnt to be a dad or a husband right now.


i asked him if he did any thinking about what we talked about and if he got any books. he hasnt. he tried to lie until i asked him the title of the book, but he "couldnt remember" and then the book he "looked through for a while" turned into a "page of a book" and then turned into " i know what those communication books are going to say anyways, i mean i know i need to work on it and how people are suposed to act..."






thanks for giving me this space. i might quit using it though since how i already mentioned ppl we know might be reading it and i am not sure i am comfortable wth that, except maybe one member who i teasingly accused of "lurking" thats OK if she is reading, but there might be others and i just think privacy might be good till i get my head together.

so thanks again
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#47 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 01:15 PM
 
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for you, mama.

Feel free to PM me if you're needing private support. I'm here.
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#48 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 01:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
3) Misogyny is very pervasive and all-consuming; it is everywhere. It lives equally in men and women; it is just expressed and manifested differently.
I can't totally argue with that. But, in my experience, man-hating behaviour is just as widespread. I only mention this because I've read a lot on this forum about emotional abuse of women by men, but the opposite never seems to be mentioned. The single most emotionally abusive person I've ever known (even including my ex) is a woman. The fact that anybody would treat their spouse the way she treats hers is absolutely disgusting to me...and I've seen this before. But, this forum (and other places) doesn't even seem to acknowledge that women also abuse men. I find it kind of strange.

Quote:
For example: A person can be misogynistic and also have Narcissistic and/or Borderline personality disorder. It sounds like your ex might be a Borderline. I have intimate experience with a man of this type as well (also my ex and the father of my dd). But, of course, I am just speculating as I don't know your ex and I'm not a professional.
I've read up on borderline personality disorder, and my ex may have it. My mom is inclined to suspect he's an actual sociopath, and that wouldn't surprise me, either. He's an extremely screwed up individual and suffers from all sorts of addictive behaviour, as well. I strongly suspect he'll be dead within another five years, in which case a diagnosis becomes somewhat moot...except for poor ds.



stirringleaf: I'm sorry for hijacking your thread. I'll get off this stuff, and let it go back to discussion of your dh. I wish you all the best in deciding what to do, but it truly does not sound as though he's at all interested in working out his problems. In fact, from your posts, (meaning I don't have all the facts, of course), it sounds as though he's not even admitting he has a problem - he's just giving it lip service in an attempt to keep you placated - not good.

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#49 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 02:27 PM
 
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Storm Bride - I want to respond to your post. I think it is relevant to yours and stirringleaf's questions, as well as to the discussion regarding definitions and causes of abuse.


Re: the woman you're mentioning as having been the worst abuser you've ever seen. .


This is an excerpt from my previous post. It's about defining the boundaries of misogynistic abuse vs. other types of abusive personalities:


Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
The definition of emotional abuse is not abstract speculation. It is finite:



The way to differentiate between abuse that is caused by ignorance and abuse that is caused by misogyny is this:

The ignorant person can learn new ways behaving; they can change. They are open to learning new ways of behaving once they learn what abuse IS and, once learned, they incorporate the new ways into their self expression.

The misogynist, on the other hand, will deny any responsibility for their own behavior. They're very clever at twisting accountability around to the victim. The mark of differentiation, though, lies in their intention: the intent to control.

Now, that said. . . . 'the intent to control' is usually deeply buried underneath all of the abuser’s rhetoric. They've often even fooled themselves, and are unconscious of the beliefs that motivate their behavior (at least, most of the time. Sometimes, however, abusers are truly psychopathic in their thinking, which is more rare, statistically speaking).



ETA: This is why dv resources give checklists for signs and symptoms
of abuse/ what to watch for. Because it is very difficult to decipher the efforts of an intelligent abuser; they're very convincing. Therefore, this is a perfect example of where to apply the concept of actions speak louder than words: No matter what he says about his feelings/behavior, watch his actions for the answer.


I want to add that there are other types of abusive personalities besides 'ignorant' and 'misogynistic.' As I've said in pps, abusive behavior is a classic symptom of ALL of the personality disorders. It CAN also be a symptom of bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

So, the point I am making is this:


ALL MISOGYNISTS ARE ABUSERS

but. . .

NOT ALL ABUSERS ARE MISOGYNISTS



Abuse is a highly complex issue that manifests in many different ways and comes from many different sources. However, the definitive parameters of abusive behavior are not abstract - they are clearly defined, and they all boil down to various forms of disrespect and mistreatment.

Women can be abusive if they are ignorant, narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, bipolar, etc. They CAN even be abusive in misogynistic ways. However, statistics reveal that the overwhelming majority of abusers are, BY FAR, MALE.

This is fact, not opinion.

And this is the fact that a lot of the feminist perspectives come from on this board, imo. Not only is it way more common for men to be abusive of women than vice versa, but women who are *mothers* are much, much more vulnerable to the dangers inherent in ANY abusive relationship due to:

- their increased dependence on external support of various forms
- their lesser ability to be flexible in any given situation if they are to rightfully meet the needs of their children
- the involvment of the effects of the abuse on their children; both directly and indirectly
- ETA: the (obvious) effect that abuse diminishes a woman's ability to mother her children; it poisons her


And, well, since this is a board for mothers, who are also women. . . it just makes sense that this would be regarded as a 'safe place' for women to take a stand against abuse from men. That fact, though, doesn't translate into "all abusers are men."
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#50 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 03:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by May May
However, statistics reveal that the overwhelming majority of abusers are, BY FAR, MALE.

This is fact, not opinion.
I tend to be very cynical about statistics. People who don't know the woman I'm talking about, and some who know her superficially would believe everything she says about her spouse, and claim that he's abusive. He's not. But, in any statistics that included the pair of them, she'd be portrayed as an abused spouse, while he'd be portrayed as an abuser.

I've personally met about as many women who are abusive towards their spouses and/or children as I have men. But, the men don't talk to their friends about it - some of them don't even seem to recognize the behaviour. Much like many women, they make excuses for their wife, or blame their own behaviour for the way they're being treated.

I'll freely admit that I've known only two men who were physically abused - but emotional abuse seems to run across the board. The women I know who are abusive to their partners seem to feel that they're fully justified. Man bashing is the favourite sport of many of them, and they'd scream bloody blue murder if they overheard men talking about women in the same way.

I'm not even remotely feminist, because I've found most feminists I've met want me to follow their agenda with respect to my own life...much the way they claim men behave. But, the only man who's ever tried to make me fit into a "this is what women are about" pigeonhole was my ex (to some extent - that wasn't precisely his style).

I'm rambling - I guess my point is that I'm not sold on the statistics. I've seen too many people who don't behave anything like the way their "case histories" would suggest.


All that said, I certainly see your point about this forum being a place where women can take their own stand against abuse from men. I just wish abuse of men was also taken more seriously as a social problem.

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#51 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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I hear you, Storm Bride, and I respect your right to your opinion.
I've also heard this stuff before.
What can I say, but





I respectfully disagree.



It may seem redundant to those of you who are educated in this area, but, the truth is that your story needs to be told over and over and over. That's how others will be enlightened. I'd love to talk more about the history of oppressive acts toward women and our evolution out of those roles.
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#52 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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have you guys read The Yellow Wallpaper ?



anyways i am just chiming back in to say i agree about women being ( SOMETIMES) the critical nagging one. i used to do that alot to my DH . i would get mad at him for not vaccuming they way i did ! : that was early in my marriage. i soon realised that i was stressing myself out trying to control him though, and i loved him so much i wanted to give him more space to just BE. i am still learning to watch my tongue sometimes. i can be negative and overly worried about things that i would be better off not worrying about. but i have to say that i am on blame watch, and feel so strongly about protecting my son from the kind of life i had that i know i have changed. but on the same token, i wonder sometimes if i am so scarred from my own childnood that i am interpreting DH through those goggles----that another person would not consider his attitude hurtful. KWIM? but these days its like i just cant even dwell on that anymore. he has heard me tell him its hurting me many many many times. he is upset that i am "giving him an ultimadum" and that i am "putting our entire relationship on his shoulders" right now. i told him, no. im not putting the relationship on your shoulders, i am telling you to shouldner responsibility for your own behavior.

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#53 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh and i just want to add that my own mother did this stuff. i dont dispute the role of male priveledge in our lives, but i have experinced emotional abuse from a woman first hand. somehow , even with the best of intentions i chose a spouse that apparently has a similar problem as my mother. it freaks me out cuz i tried really hard , i really did, to make a healthy choice. but see, thats also why i sometimes done trust my judgement. like if Dh gets irritated about me being on the phone---is he being controlling or am i just feeling controlled or victimised because my mom was insane about the phone with me?
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#54 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stirringleaf
i used to do that alot to my DH . i would get mad at him for not vaccuming they way i did ! : that was early in my marriage. i soon realised that i was stressing myself out trying to control him though, and i loved him so much i wanted to give him more space to just BE. i am still learning to watch my tongue sometimes. i can be negative and overly worried about things that i would be better off not worrying about.
Again. . . .

This is yet another example of what sets you apart from your husband. You are recognizing, accountable for, and changing your own behavior BECAUSE YOU ARE *CHOOSING* TO. He, too, is CAPABLE of choosing to change to. He, too, should be expected to be compassionate and responsive to his wife's feelings and needs!


Quote:
Originally Posted by stirringleaf
but on the same token, i wonder sometimes if i am so scarred from my own childnood that i am interpreting DH through those goggles----that another person would not consider his attitude hurtful. KWIM?
This is a perfect example of how we, as women, are led to believe that our perceptions are wrong, and to doubt and minimize our feelings. While it's a fact that you suffered abuse in your childhood, and it's also true that your childhood experience impacts your perceptions and reactions as an adult, it is NOT TRUE that your childhood experiences invalidate your perceptions as an adult. In fact, it is precisely because you already 'know' abuse that you're now an EXPERT at identifying it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by stirringleaf
he has heard me tell him its hurting me many many many times. he is upset that i am "giving him an ultimadum" and that i am "putting our entire relationship on his shoulders" right now. i told him, no. im not putting the relationship on your shoulders, i am telling you to shouldner responsibility for your own behavior.
This is intellingent, rational thinking. And also a very reasonable offer, considering how patient you've been since you have already told him over and over again how you're feeling and he still has not accepted responsibility. You have every right to expect him to shoulder responsibility for his own behavior, and to expect him do it soon.





Oh mama!


Your questions would be excellently answered by dv counsellors. Please, please go to them; they are completely objective, and freely available to you.
If only to get information - you can do with the information whatever you wish. Just be informed.
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#55 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stirringleaf
like if Dh gets irritated about me being on the phone---is he being controlling or am i just feeling controlled or victimised because my mom was insane about the phone with me?
welll, that totally depends on how he reacts. He's totally free to feel however he may feel about it. What is not ok is if his actions put you down, belittle you, or give you no other option but to do what he wants you to do. Let him be irritated and angry, that's not your problem. But DON'T let him guilt trip you or otherwise manipulate you into doing something you don't really want to do.


...no.... that doesn't work either. I do things I don't want to do all the time. Stuff like washing dishes and cooking dinner. But when I don't do those things, my DH doesn't freak out on me, he doesn't call me names, or start trying to manipulate me by acting all pitiful and helpless, he'll do them himself (yeah, maybe with some grumbles, but he'll do it). My ex, however, screamed at me the day I found out my father was dying when I didn't feel like cooking dinner. He would have starved to death before fixing dinner for himself when he thought I should do it (never mind that I was the one working 50 hours a week while he stayed home playing video games and drinking himself into a stupor). He would threaten me with physical violence (to myself, or when that didn't work, to himself). He put me down, made fun of me, until I had no self-respect, no self-esteem, and I thought we *needed* each other. Abuse isn't easy to describe, but the effects of it are usually pretty obvious.
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#56 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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:

And the effects are universal, no matter what the personal behavior patterns, degrees of intensity, etc. of the abuser.

Doubting yourself?
Minimizing your judgement and rights?
Feeling guilty?
Low self esteem?
Stuffing anger that is growing bigger and bigger?
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#57 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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I respectfully disagree.


The stuff you're talking about is what brainwashed ME, too, before I woke up and saw how misogyny colored my own perception and behavior.
What does misogyny have to do with it? My perceptions are coloured by my experiences. Of course they are - what else is experience for?

I was sexually abused as a small child (about ages 2 to 6) by a brain-damaged man (I mean physical brain damage). His wife explained that it wasn't his fault, bought me off with candy, told me to lie to my parents (or I wouldn't be allowed to visit anymore), etc., etc., etc. The man who was molesting me did none of these things, as he didn't see that he was doing anything wrong. His brain hemmoraghe caused his view of sex to become really...twisted. His wife made it very clear to all four of us (me, my sister & my cousins) that we were to blame for all of it...dirty little girls, in fact. She messed us up far more than he could have ever done, as he wasn't physically capable of hurting us in physical fashion (ie. no penetration or anything like that). She chose to exacerbate the abuse and emotionally abused us herself.

I've watched another woman (the one I mentioned before) abuse, browbeat and insult her husband for what he does for a living...and for not "getting over" his mother's death when his wife and kids needed him. At that time, he hadn't missed a day of work other than the funeral, and his mom had only been dead for a month! She calls him a stupid f***ing idiot because he doesn't do something exactly the way she wants it done and is furious when he just gives up trying to do something that only ends in his being insulted. She's blamed her oldest son for her toddler's behaviour...after sitting outside smoking for hours and leaving the oldest to babysit his brother. The oldest was 6. She yells at her husband and kids constantly and demeans them all the time...they're all "stupid" and "lazy". I've heard her call her oldset the "worst kid in the world" and say "it's just my luck that I got stuck with a kid like him". She treats her husband the same way - and he puts up with it, because he's used to it...his mom and his ex-wife treated him the same way and he thinks he deserves it.

This woman's three sons are quite likely, imo, to grow up to be abusive - emotionally, if nothing else - towards their loved ones. If they are, it has nothing to do with a patriarchal bias, and a lot to do with the fact that their mother treats them like garbage. They can't do anything right - they're responsible for her unhappines, etc., etc., etc. But, once they grow up, they're going to fit into the "male oppressor" model.


It's not women who believe they deserve to be treated like crap - it's people who have been victimized. It's not men who victimize - it's people who are emotionally screwed up. I don't see how turning it into a gender issue helps anybody.

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#58 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 08:56 PM
 
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Storm Bride, both men and women can be misogynists. It's not at all rare for women to hurt other women. Look at female genital mutilation--it's the mothers doing this to their daughters. We even have another thread here about mothers telling daughters they must have sex with their husbands, regardless of their own desires. Or check out the Independent Women's Forum, who's most recent article bemoans the 'ugliness' of flight attendants whilst yearning for the good ol' days when stewardesses had to be sexually attractive and available to passengers.

Misogyny is so ingrained in our cultures that many women don't even know it's there. But why else are women paid less than men, on average, for doing the same job? Why does a woman's sexual history come into question when she's raped? Why do many abused women feel that they should take steps to not encourage their abuser to hurt them? Why are women expected to strive towards unrealistic beauty standards to the detriment of their health, further education, etc.? Why do women only hold 16% of political positions in America? Why are women expected to give up their careers to care for their family when men aren't? Etc.

One important thing that I think many people do not realise is that misogyny hurts men too. Patriarchal gender roles tell us men are supposed to be physically strong, emotionally distant, only interested in sex, stupid, ignorant, stubborn, immature, etc. Those who try to break free from that mold are insulted, have their sexuality challenged and so on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
It's not women who believe they deserve to be treated like crap - it's people who have been victimized. It's not men who victimize - it's people who are emotionally screwed up.
It's true that anyone can be a victim or victimiser, but women are more likely to believe they don't deserve respect and men are more likely to believe they have a right to hurt someone. To what degree is not a certainty but studies have proven time and again that the disparity is significant. Society tells us that women are inferior to men in so many ways that it's hard for anyone, male or female, to believe otherwise.

I'm starting to ramble, but I hope everyone knows that feminism does not claim women are superior or men are horrible. Feminism is simply a "belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes."
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#59 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 10:27 PM
 
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I haven't met too many feminists with that kind of viewpoint...in fact, most of the self-proclaimed feminists I've met appear to be misogynists themselves.

What's the opposite of misogyny, anyway? I've seen all the behaviours you're talking about aimed towards men...by women and by other men, but nobody labels it. The patriarchal society is just as anti-man as anti-woman, imo. But, calling the anti-man part of it misogyny is stretching things a lot.

Quite honestly, as much as I dislike the way a lot of women have treated me, I find the way men treat each other to be every bit as appalling. What interests me is why the mistreatment of women (by men or by other women) is labelled "misogyny" and condemned as a social evil, while the mistreatment of men (again by other men or by women) is dismissed as "less socially pervasive".

As to your questions:

Since feminism became a real social force, men are trying to hold to an unreal physical ideal as well...women were valued for their looks, and men for their money/power. As that's changed, so have the dynamics...a guy I used to work with was getting pectoral implants when I left, so he'd get more attention from the ladies.

I have no career, and absolutely no interest in one. To me, the whole "feminist" focus on careers is bizarre. Women rejected a patriarchal society, while simultaneously half killing themselves to reach the "top" of the patriarchal ladder. So, I can't answer that, except to say that I don't expect anybody to make career or childrearing decisions on any criteria except what suits their family. I had to work full-time with ds, because my ex didn't have a steady job. So, I totally appreciate that my dh is willing to give up his desire to stay home, so that I can be a full-time SAHM. We'll probably change that as time goes on, because he'd much rather be at home with his kids than at work.

Why do abused women feel that they should take steps to encourage their abuser not to hurt them? I don't know - I usually just felt like kicking my ex in the butt, to be honest. Why do some abused men feel the same way?

Would a man's sexual history come into play if he were raped? We don't really know, because most men would never come out in public with it. I don't see that as misogyny...I see it as a huge misunderstanding. From many, many conversations with male friends, relatives, etc., I think there's a factor there that's overlooked. Normal men with a healthy sex drive who wouldn't ever rape a woman find it very hard to bring themselves to believe that many men would (and do). I've seen it with domestic violence, too. Men who wouldn't hurt their wives will convince themselves that wife-beaters are really pushed beyond their endurance, because they can't even imagine what circumstances would cause them to behave that way. So, they convince themselves that the woman did something horrible by way of bringing it on herself. (This is entirely my own theory, however.)

The pay equity thing will take a lot of time. I suspect it began because employers will pay as little as they can get away with, and working women were perceived as having less need of the money...they weren't supporting a family (not always valid, of course)...it was "pin money".

As to the political stuff...I don't know. But, you couldn't pay me enough to get into politics. Maybe women in general just aren't as interested. I don't know any women who have any real need for power...and that certainly seems to be a large part of what drives politicians at the upper levels.


I keep coming back to this thread, and I don't know why...except that I really don't like seeing complicated stuff like this all come back to gender issues. Abuse is soooo much more than that.

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#60 of 61 Old 07-06-2005, 11:25 PM
 
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Stirringleaf - I read the Yellow Wallpaper - and sadly, totally get it. It's frightening the oppression and the grief. Not a place I ever thought I'd go when I first married - feminist, bright 23 year old who knew what she wanted to a caring, seemingly healthy man.

ANd I have to say stormbrid, I am a feminist and I love my son.
And I love men.
And the vast majority of feminists I know are not man-haters. Even the lesbians I know... harumph!

I am taking all this in on this thread. It's what I need to hear and what I need to learn back into my bones. I lost something very, very important due to my marriage and am fighting my way out.
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