The worst thing for a woman who is in a relationship with an abusive man is the fact that she may not even realize that she is in an abusive relationship, unless someone keeps reminding her that she is. That, unfortunately, is the tragedy behind such relationships.
Dominating or controlling men can be perfect charmers, and that itself acts as a perfect foil for their abusive tendencies. Women who are dating or are married to such men will vouch for their sensitive and caring nature, and are mostly in denial about their partners being controlling.
But there comes a time when each woman experiences the feeling of being stifled. It starts with a little jealousy. It moves on to interference. And before you know it, the man takes over your life like he owns it. It is therefore necessary to spot some warning signals early on in the relationship in order to make your escape before things get too complicated.
Spot the Signs Early
As mentioned before, such men tend to be natural charmers. Women usually find themselves besotted in the initial stages of the relationship. In the event of the slightest doubt, watch out for the following signals –
» He expects to be your number one priority/ the center of your universe/ the only reason you’re living for.
» He wants to monitor your every activity and interaction, and expects you to report to him. He slowly ensures that your ties with your family members and friends are snapped.
» While he continues to intrude in your everyday decisions, he resents any kind of interference on your part.
» He makes sure that he shifts the blame of any fight on to you. Controlling men display the “I-am-always-right” attitude all the time.
» He tends to exercise his control over the finances. Often he does not let his wife/girlfriend work. If she does, he tries to get hold of her money, thus making her dependent on him.
» His insecurities lead him to become very suspicious. You are often asked to provide lengthy explanations for each of your actions.
» His suspicious nature soon gives way to physical violence. Women are battered because they do not act in a manner that these men deem fit.
» Such men do not miss any opportunity to insult, deride, and demotivate the woman in their life.
Dealing with Domination
It takes a lot of courage and resolve for a woman to get out of this vicious circle. Additionally, it requires a phenomenal amount of shrewd planning as well. Such women need to reach out to their friends, family, or even government agencies that help them get their life back on track.
Women who find themselves trapped in an abusive relationship firstly need to make a strong resolve to get out of the rut. They need to steel themselves against any pleas of desperation that their partner makes, as falling for his charm will only get them back to square one.
You could try talking to him about what troubles you in the relationship. However, people who are used to holding the controls don’t usually let go of it as easily, and you can expect a decent amount of hostile denials. Whatever the outcome, don’t let that weaken your resolve to set things right.
Relationship counseling is available to help you both cope with the issues you’re dealing with. However, involving a controlling man into a therapy is easier said than done. Since they believe they are perfect, it is hard to convince them to deal with the reality of your relation. Nevertheless, it is an option worth giving a try.
Being financially independent will help you a lot, if you can find out ways to be self-employed or can find yourself a job. It is a basic step in the right direction. It is necessary to keep in touch with someone you can confide in – it could be a parent, a friend, a neighbor, or even a co-worker. As much as your partner tries to keep you away from your friends, you need to have someone who will look out for you, in case you are physically and/or emotionally threatened.
What Makes the Woman Stay?
The most intriguing question then, is that why do women slug it out in stifling relationships like these? What makes them stick around with a man who completely trashes their self-esteem? The answer, as expected, is not as easy.
It’s hard to say why women continue the drudgery, that is, their life with a man who so obviously doesn’t care for them. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that a controlling man has his fiendish torture disguised in ample amounts of apparent love. For instance, he keeps his woman from getting a job so that she stays dependent on him. Further, he makes her feel like she is the princess, and he, the provider. Soon enough though, the woman realizes that it’s all a ploy to keep her trapped in marriage/relationship that is based on inequality. Since he has already sapped her confidence, the woman continues to believe that she is incapable of starting her life afresh, independently.
Many times, it is hard for the woman to distinguish genuine concern from acute manipulation that these controlling men display. Very soon, the woman firmly believes that this is what she deserves, and all the abuse is the result of her naivety, rather than the man’s dominating nature.
Such men skillfully manage to alienate the woman from her family and friends, so that her dependence on him keeps growing.
Things complicate further if there are children involved. It has been observed that young boys often go on to imitate the actions of the controlling parent and become abusers themselves. Even otherwise, it can be safely said that the children who witness abusive relationships from close quarters do suffer from its consequences in their adult life.
A good relationship builds its foundation on equality and harmony. It starts to crumble at the first signs of imbalance. To be satisfied, you need to feel that your partner regards you with respect and openness. Any relationship that keeps holding you from happiness is simply not worth the trouble. For the scores of women who find themselves in such a hapless situation, all you need to do is seek out help and get yourself the life you truly deserve.