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Dealing with an Abusive Spouse - Knowing the Pattern

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 184

Domestic violence, defined generally as abuse among two individuals who in a biological or social relationship, is widespread. Most of it derives from men towards the women they have a marital or live-in relationship with, so this article will deal specifically with those instances. I know there are other types of abuses--towards aged parents or relatives, towards children and siblings. Please refer to my other articles on this subject which, like a cancer, is often undiagnosed and spreads violently.

Here are the various known stages of domestic violence-you will not find this in any text book, although books and study material are helpful in recognizing signs of domestic abuse. This is developed after studying behavioral patterns of abusers and studying how such violence develops over time. I will explain each stage so you can be aware of its symptoms.

Verbal abuse-one-on-one

Verbal abuse in a group

Physical abuse (usually one-on-one, unless in a "power-setting")

Intermittent affinity syndrome

"Specific relevance" syndrome


As you can see, these are unusual labels, but they are almost exactly how an abuser treats his subject, be it wife or girlfriend.. So let us define and symptomize it. Now, people are different and so are the abusers, so the stages may not follow each other in the orderly fashion I have laid out; however, left unchecked an abuser's behavior will, at some time, cover most if not all of the above traits.

Before I explain the behavioral definitions, I should sound a note of warning about another quality of an abuser that is often neglected. Abusers are very cunning, and learn from mistakes of others and their own So they "smart up" so to speak. I will give one instance. In many cases, a physical abuser will hurt his subject in areas that are not for public viewing--ribs, chest, just below navel etc. He is counting on the fact that the areas attacked will not be viewed publicly and therefore no suspicions raised. Another example--an abuser will often cite the reason that got him "irritated", and the subject is usually to blame. This is putting the guilt trip on the abused. So watch out for these and other unique, cunning ways.

There is another attribute. Most abusers I have known or read about are cowards at heart. Therefore, it usually takes the wife to make one strong reaction, usually with a physical object, to perhaps stem at least the physical if not the verbal abuse.

Now for the behavioral pattern definitions.

Verbal abuse, one-on-one: this is a trait where the abuser insults, ridicules the subject, be it his wife or partner. The topic of ridicule often is something the abused holds dear to herself. It may be her faith, her habit of cleanliness, her non-alcoholic lifestyle, her frugality etc. This is an abuser's way of showing that the cherished view or value is kind of worthless in real world.

Verbal abuse, in a group: the abuser chooses to insult or ridicule his wife or partner when in a group. Strangely, the abuse increases in intensity when there are complete strangers---again his way of showing to a complete stranger the "dark" side of his wife.

Physical abuse: as the name suggests, this involves a physical attack, either using hands or another object. However, many times, unlike the name suggests, there may not actually be a physical attack, but merely a threat of one. Some traits are--coming very close suddenly, blocking the person, turning suddenly towards the person. While most of the time this physical attack is without witnesses but in instances where it has witnesses, it is usually to strengthen the abuser's confidence and his power play. So the witness may be their own child.

Intermittent Affinity syndrome: ever hear of "Stockholm syndrome"? This particular behavior trait is responsible for it. Stockholm syndrome is simply the name given to a situation where the abused either falls in love with or defends her abuser. An abuser will space his abuse and fill the intermittent space with show of love and affection. There is a deeper psychological reason for it--remember I said most abusers are cunning? If you have been abused, verbally or physically, you come to expect more of the same; when the abuser shows you love and tenderness, you tend to forget the bouts of abuse. Add to that the abuser's practice of blaming you for his turning violent or verbally abusive--and now you have a perfect scenario for the abused to actually begin loving her abuser.

Specific Relevance syndrome: one form of deep abuse is where the abuser only occasionally references the abused for one or two of her qualities. So the abuser may say, "Honey, you really need to dress better; isn't enough you are a half-way decent cook". This, if repeated, is a form of verbal abuse.

Discard: this is the ultimate insult added to the injury. In this trait, the abuser rejects any relevance of the abused person's existence or contribution, in other words, she is "worthless" as a human being. This type of behavior further empowers the abuser when he switches to the Intermittent Affinity syndrome in being regarded as more "acceptable" by his subject.

So my suggestion, if you or someone you know are the abused, study the behavioral patterns of the abuser carefully and document these. Each of these, with evidence, can be support mechanism for a way out of the abuse, whether it is legal, social or financial.

Source: EzineArticles
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Verbal Abuse


Intermittent Affinity Syndrome


Abusive Spouse


Blaming The Abused


Physical Attack

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