Negativity day after day can be horrific. It brings down even the most positive person if the diet of disapproval and destructive attitude and behavior lingers long enough. When you add in the mix of spontaneous negativity, the opposite of warmth and kindness, it creates a unique confusion which is hard to get a handle on. It seems the abuser feels all his behaviors are nothing more than reactions from the victim’s behavior or attitude toward *him, and any bad behavior is the fault of the victim.
This tone is carried further when the abuser feels that any difference of opinion is a direct affront to his taste. It can be as simple as the way curtains are hung to where dishes are placed in the cupboard. It could be from the color of a car to where flowers are planted in the garden or along side the house. This puts enormous stress on the victim as *she continually tries to appease whatever upsets her mate in fear of crossing an imaginary line which is never defined and subject to change at a moment’s notice.
While imaginary lines are not defined, gender roles are often clearly outlined. Men are the breadwinners and the “king of his castle” and the women are expected to serve, remain home and be obedient in all areas regardless of her views on the matter.
The world which the victim lives is often very perplexing. While the abuser may exhibit harsh, nasty and even violent behavior in private, it isn’t always so. As quickly as the abuser can demonstrate an explosive, volatile reaction; he can also be loving, caring, kind and thoughtful. What mangles the feelings of the victim even more is the explosive behaviors displayed in private is almost never seen in public. The victim’s emotions dance on the curves of a roller coaster with the Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde setting from which there is no escape.
The abuser can be, and often is, a respected, responsible member of the community, well liked, personable, and reliable. For a person on the outside looking in, the pair have the perfect marriage. All friends and neighbors see is a loving, doting wife who waits on *her spouse in a dutiful manner to a husband who projects nothing but love for his wife.
Abuse in any form can cause a marriage to become disconnected even when they wear a cover of perfection. The victim is afraid to share *her misery for fear of rejection by her peers since she sees herself as a failure. She has poor self-esteem and feels she has little or no value. The victim covers *his behaviors, because the last thing he wants, is others to know he is capable of such vicious, brutal behavior.
If your world mirrors this kind of behavior, I urge you to find a way to escape this horrific cycle of abuse. It won’t be easy and you will likely need a support group. For more information search “abusers signs and symptoms.”
**Note the asterisk (*) inserted within the text indicates that either gender, male or female can be