Why Does He Do That: 10 Types of Abusers, Part 1

Talk of abuse

Talk of abuse

I guess I should make the statement now that reading Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That” (WDHDT) is not about hating men. It is about acknowledging that men abuse their female partners at a dramatically high rate with damaging and sometimes fatal consequences to the woman and their children. The book is about helping women understand their experience to better help themselves, their family and the man in their life that is abusing them. Women can abuse their male partners but that is not what I will be looking at as that is not my experience. WDHDT acknowledges that many men are extremely loving and supportive of their female partners. The book also mentions that the information in the book can apply to same-sex partners as partner abuse is not a heterosexual problem. I am not out to demonize or exclude when I write these posts. Men who abuse can stop abusing. I just want to explain my understanding, share what I have learned and hopefully you all take away from it something positive to help you or someone you know.

“The qualities that make up an abusive man are like the ingredients in a recipe: the basics are always present, but the relative amounts vary greatly.” -Why Does He Do That, pg. 88

When I read this chapter my heart sunk a little. Lundy Bancroft, who has worked with abusive men for other 15 years, has identified and labeled 10 types of abusers. I’m horrified that there are that many different ways to abuse your partner. While each type has it’s own motives, tactics and appearances, many men who abuse their female partners draw on a variety of these types.

I guess I should make the statement now that reading Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That” (WDHDT) is not about hating men. It is about acknowledging that men abuse their female partners at a dramatically high rate with damaging and sometimes fatal consequences to the woman and their children. The book is about helping women understand their experience to better help themselves, their family and the man in their life that is abusing them. WDHDT acknowledges that many men are extremely loving and supportive of their female partners. The book also mentions that the information in the book can apply to same-sex partners as partner abuse is not a heterosexual problem. I am not out to demonize or exclude when I write these posts. I just want to explain my understanding, share what I have learned and hopefully you all take away from it something positive to help you or someone you know.

If you have been in an abusive relationship try and see where your partner fits in all of this. When I see traits of my past partners I will share a moment that illustrates the type.

1. The Demand Man

  • highly entitled

    The Demand Man is very entitled and expects all his needs met even if he won’t meet yours.

  • becomes enraged if his needs are not met by his partner
  • his female partner feels she is never good enough and that it is impossible to make him happy
  • he has little sense of give and take, constantly feels that you owe him
  • he exaggerates and overvalues his contributions (remember that one time he was nice a few years ago?)
  • he punishes his female partner for letting him down (not getting what he feels he deserves)
  • he is generous and supportive when he feels like it
  • he is furious if you needs conflict with his
  • can be less controlling then other abuses so long as his demands are being met
  • twists things around when told about not meeting his responsibilities and your needs so it becomes about how you are failing to meet your responsibilities and his needs
  • “It’s your job to take care of me. If I’m unhappy it’s your fault. You should be grateful for what I chose to give. I am above criticism. You’re lucky to have me.”

2. Mr. Right

  • sees himself as the ultimate authority on EVERYTHING
  • doesn’t listen to your opinion, finds little value in your thoughts or insights
  • he is the teacher and you are the student
  • turns arguments into a battle of Right and Wrong/ Intelligence and Stupidity

    Mr. Right is always right and if he is not then watch out!

  • ridicules and discredits your perspective so he doesn’t have to deal with it
  • overtime he causes you to doubt your own judgement and intelligence (this is what he wants)
  • he is most knowledgeable about your faults, telling you frequently how you can fix yourself
  • if his partner will not listen to him he may resort to insults, mockery or is physical assault
  • his control is based in telling his partner how to think
  • sanitizes bullying by saying “I have strong opinions” or “I like debating ideas”
  • “I know better than you do, even about what’s good for you. Your opinions are worth listening to or taken seriously. Disagreeing with me shows how unintelligent you are. Our relationship would be better if you would just accept that I’m right. Disagreeing with me is how you mistreat me. If i put you down long enough, one day you’ll see.”

I have been in relationships many “Mr. Rights”. Many moments come to mind that I really couldn’t pick just one. Probably the worst for this type of abuser is when you are noticeably correct. The arrogance turns to embarrassment (leading to blaming you) or the fact you were correct is completely ignored. One partner tried telling me there was no train station in the town he lived in. I told him there was because I had used the train station but he was adamant there was not. A week or so later we drove by his town’s train station and he said to me, “See Kristen, there is a train station.” He had somehow flipped it in his mind that I had thought there was not when I had in fact been trying to tell him there was a train station. 

 

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12 thoughts on “Why Does He Do That: 10 Types of Abusers, Part 1

  1. most of my male and female relationships are the demanding kind of men and women. i say woman because my mom is who i married (figuratively speaking). i think i need to open that book again! glad you are getting a lot out it too! it really is something to keep on the shelf and look at from time to time.
    a person close to me dated this fella who was a domestic violence counselor in a prison, he said, “they almost never change, it is rare if they do. they only get worse because they feel entitlement”. the book touches on this subject very well.
    be well,
    D

    • Entitlement is the strongest running message in this book I’m noticing and it does perfectly describe the motivations.

      My impression from the author is that some serious mind rebooting is needed before a person can change this.

      • I don’t recall the details of the book. it’s been a number of years since reading it. do the authors say there is hope for these people? “serious mind rebooting” would work if the person has a conscience; if a person doesn’t see a problem with what they are saying, doing, and thinking, if it is always someone else’s fault, if they feel you deserve what happens to you because you are too dumb and need to have a lesson, then there is no rebooting that’s going to happen. maybe i am wrong, our experience has shone that people like that will never change, it is a game to be played till it is mastered. they are good at what they do and each time they have a new ‘victim’ they get better and more skilled at what they do hurting many along the way.
        sorry i am such a cynic. i really do not think perps will change. lock them up and toss out the key and let the pot heads free from prison, put the real criminals in jail!

      • Majority of the time abuse occurs because of their values, attitudes and beliefs about women. These are learned behaviours but ones that can be extremely ingrained. if you can change how the abuser thinks abut women and relationships with women then they can change. By the time you’re an adult though change in thoughts like that can be difficult. It’s hard to change when you feel entitled lol and the relationship is basically working for you.

  2. Pingback: Why Does He Do That: 10 Types of Abusers, Part 2 | Pride in Madness

  3. Pingback: Why Does He Do That?: 10 Types of Abusers, Part 3 | Pride in Madness

  4. Pingback: Why Does He Do That?: 10 Types of Abusers, Part 4 | Pride in Madness

  5. Wow I need to read this book. I was in a relationship with a “Mr. Right” for twelve years. I finally got up the courage to leave and moved to a different state. I found support all around me and examples of men in my community who treat women right. I am going to get this book. Thank you for giving me the closure I need to move on.

    • hi jennifer, this book was a life line for me and many friends and acquaintances. it is a book to have on your shelf and read it when things are going wrong in a relationship, no matter who it is! i have used it for bosses, men, women, friends, mom, siblings, and i had to deeply look within to see if i was doing anything and i WAS! i had some changing to do too! love this book! glad you like it too! it makes a great gift for any friend who has relationship issues (don’t we all?).

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