Why Does He Do That: 10 Types of Abusers, Part 2

Talk of abuse

Talk of abuse

3. The Water Torturer 

  • proof that anger doesn’t cause abuse
  • assaults psychologically, without raising his voice
  • uses a variety of aggressive conversational tactics such as sarcasm and derision
  • twists things that his partner says and makes her seem absurd
  • gets to his partner through low-level emotional assaults, possibly along with “minor” assaults such as pushing
  • when his partner finally cracks and yells he will tell her that she is the one with a problem since she is yelling and in distress
  • believes there is nothing wrong with his behaviour
  • outside viewers may see the woman as the problem as the man’s psychological assaults are not always noticeable
  • pay-back oriented by hides it well
  • “You are crazy and I can easily convince people of that. As long as I’m calm you can’t say anything I do is abusive. I know how to get under your skin.”

4. The Drill Sargent

  • controlling to the extreme
  • criticizes his partner, controls and interferes with her life
  • ruins her relationships with friends and family because he wants her only with him
  • invades her privacy (ie: listening in on phone calls or read emails)
  • fanatically jealous
  • verbally assaults his partner with accusations (ie: that she is cheating on him)
  • he cares about possessing his partner
  • most likely physically violent
  • difficult to get away from this type of abuser as the consequences of standing up for yourself can be dangerous
  • “I need to control everything you do. You shouldn’t have anyone or anything else in your life, only me. I’m always going to be watching you so you can’t become a better person and leave. I love you more than anyone in the world, and you disgust me.”

 5. Mr. Sensitive

  • appears loving, supportive, insightful and aware, he is the man that women dream of having
  • uses psychobabble
  • you seem to hurt his feelings constantly and he expects your full attention when he is upset
  • no matter how much you apologize it’s never enough
  • when your feelings are hurt he brushes over them, telling you to get over it (something you could never say to him)
  • he blames you for the unhappiness in his life
  • only you see his mean side
  • can potentially turn violent and will blame his or your emotional “issues”
  • “I am a sensitive man therefore I cannot be abusive. I can control you using my knowledge of psychology and tell you your faults. I can get inside your head. My feelings are the most important. You should be grateful I’m not like those other guys.”

I have had bits of each of these types of abusers in my life. My Water Torturer mimicked my voice so often it is now a major trigger that guarantees I will fly into a rage if someone does it. My Drill Sargent told me who I could and couldn’t talk to, tried to control what I wore, read my journal, text messages and went onto my instant messenger and yelled at a male friend. He constantly thought I was cheating on him and called me a slut frequently. He would break up with me before I went into an exam which made completely that exam difficult. When I would be studying for exams he would get mad at me and tell me I was neglecting him. He even told my Dad once that he was worried I was going to be smarter then him. I am assuming that the smarter I became the less likely he would be able to control me hence his attempts to sabotage my schooling. My Mr. Sensitive had all the girls falling for him. I experienced a trauma while with him and every time I tried to cry about it he would begin to cry and say, “What about how I feel?” and I would focus on making sure he was ok. It was never about me, always about him.

Source: Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft- Chapter 4 pg 162-175

Part 1: The Demand Man and Mr. Right




10 thoughts on “Why Does He Do That: 10 Types of Abusers, Part 2

  1. Like you, I’ve had a little of all of these in my life except perhaps the Dr. Sargent (that one would so instantly put me off I don’t think he’d get too close, but never say never). I’m in a very fragile place in my life right now (in all aspects) and think The Water Torturer best describes the person I most count on — which is a problem. I’m between a rock and a hard place. I notice that these listings don’t include things like sociopath or malignant narcissist but just seem to indicate “regular guys acting like abusive jerks”. I’m bipolar II, mainly with severe depression, and I often wonder if that doesn’t act like a magnet to sociopaths and narcissists.

    • The author of the book has a separate section for abusers with mental health/substance use issues. He makes it very that many men who abuse have no mental health or addiction driving or contributing to their abuse despite what they may tell their partners.

  2. boy, this is a trigger conversation! makes me thankful i am not married to my ex any more, but also hurt all over again. this fits him to a T! I still watch my back 15 years later; he is a scary human.

    this say who he is in a nutshell:

    “I need to control everything you do. You shouldn’t have anyone or anything else in your life, only me. I’m always going to be watching you so you can’t become a better person and leave. I love you more than anyone in the world, and you disgust me.”

  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. My theory is that those of us who are not neurotypical don’t actually *attract* substantially more of the [lets-just-call-them] creeps (of both genders), but that we tend to empathize out of our own differences, so don’t recognize what’s up with them to be able to get rid of them quite as quickly. They use our empathy as their homing signal — the subtler ones charm their way in.

    We’re fortunate when their behavior is overtly threatening relatively early. Most of us are healthy enough not to engage there. Unfortunately, some of us have been what I call “shame damaged” early in life, and still haven’t sorted out what’s NOT loving and NOT okay. (that doesn’t mean they have to live with their mistakes, however!)

    No hard science to back it up, but I’ve seen it in my own life and that of my clients too many times not to consider it. WE tend to be, essentially, guileless — so we find it difficult to believe that others intend harm (and attempts to control the life of another is harming them).

    The best advice I was ever given was “engage slowly, disengage quickly.” I’m not sure even now that I won’t continue to get that backwards ::grin:: I tend to engage far too quickly and stay too long attempting to understand so I can impact the dynamic positively – so I’m going it “alone” for now, even though I think many of life’s goodies come in partnership.

    Won’t chance it until the rest of my life re-stabilizes. (TONS of crazy stuff in 2014 – not directly relationship related, but sort-of a domino problem from an ex-fiance – I blogged about all but ex, so won’t repeat here). Friends ONLY, for now.

    I’m finding these descriptions fascinating – especially like the lack of traditional labeling. Thanks for sharing.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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