Real men do NOT hit women. That goes without saying. But if real men don’t hit women, what kinds of men do use physical violence against women.
The following categories are not mutually exclusive. Men who hit women alternate between the categories, depending on expediency, how much they regress at any given moment.
1) Playground bullies – It’s hard, when someone you care about is intimidating you physically and mentally, to make sense of exactly what is going on. The playground bully is someone who intimidates women into submissive behavior. He may not be the leader of a real gang but, inside his own head, he has a ‘virtual’ gang comprising, “Everybody” – who is always on his side, and “Nobody” – who is never on yours.
2) Temper tantrum throwing toddlers – Clearly, the younger, more impressionable brother of Mr Playground Bully. Any time you do something this little boy doesn’t like, he’ll punish you by throwing a hissy fit. You might not have his dinner on the table at exactly the right time. You might have – horror of horrors – the peas touching the potatoes, or the gravy might be next to the chicken instead of on top of it. For these, and other similarly heinous crimes, your toddler-partner will feel justified in lashing out his arms and legs, screaming, sulking, and generally mortifying you.
3) Mr Wonderful – Outside the home, he is charming, and credible. He may be a pillar of the community. People may think you are lucky to have him. (Especially as he is very good at letting slip, artfully, that you have your problems.) But once he comes through the door, the mask slips. Of course, it’s all your fault. It would have to be. Such a wonderful man as Mr Wonderful would never beat you black and blue unless you drove him to it.
4) The Crazy-maker –This man completely undermines your sense of reality. He ascribes a meaning you would never have imagined to anything and everything you do – or don’t do. And then he punishes you for it. Perhaps you smiled at another’ man. Or maybe The Crazy-maker didn’t like your tone of voice, or ‘the look on your face’, or anything at all. He then sets beating the bad behaviour out of you. The Crazy-Maker’s world is a bewildering place in which you can never find your footing.
5) The Calculating Bastard – Violent men will always find an excuse for what they’ve done: it was your fault, or the “red mist”, they were drunk, had a difficult childhood, or a tormented relationship history or, perhaps, stresses at work – or redundancy – drove them to it. If they feel they have to, they’ll apologise profusely, swear it will never happen again… and then do the same thing, but worse, a few weeks or months further down the line. Some are careful to hit where they will leave no bruises. Others spin you a yarn to ensure you don’t leave them, or press charges against them. Some use carefully calculated threats to stop you reacting. Others, quite deliberately, decide how much violence they will inflict on you. The Calculating Bastard thinks carefully about exactly what he needs to do to terrify you into submitting to his wishes.
6) The Sexual Dictator – This guy has sex; he doesn’t ‘make love’. He sets the rules about when, and if, sex takes place. The general principle is this: sex is used, or withheld, to reinforce his hold over you. This is why he demands sex at the least appropriate times – such as after he has beaten you up; and why sex, and its aftermath, are rarely pleasant for you.
7) The Control Freak – He loves to control everything about you: who you see – if anyone – what you can do, where you go, what you spend, even what you think. He uses violence and terror as the tools for keeping you in a prison for fear.
8) The Hanging Judge – Your life is lived in his Court Room. He judges every single aspect of your life, and always finds you wanting. None of your many crimes escape his notice. He condemns you as a woman, a mother, a lover, a partner, a human being, a friend, a worker, a pet owner – you name it, the way you do it is a crime against his humanity. As he sees it, you are hardly worthy to breathe the air in his Court Room… Yet he keeps you in there, and he keeps meting out punishment to you. He even keeps punishing you for the same crimes, over and over again. There is no such thing as double jeopardy, where you are concerned..
How do you sum up all the differences between violent, abusive men and real men?
One way is to focus on the common thread between all these behaviours.
Violent, abusive men never, ever hold themselves accountable for their behaviour… for more than about 5 minutes. One thing they never ask themselves is this:
“What does it say about me that I treat my partner this way?” Their ill treatment of you is always your fault.
To understand what is going on in their heads, when it comes to you, think Little Johnny, aged 3, who trips up over a step and grazes his knee. Little Johnny isn’t pleased, so he turns to teddy, who he was clutching in his hot little hand, screams: “It’s all your fault! You made me fall over!” and starts bashing teddy’s head against the step. They feel no need to treat you as a human being, or show any regard for your feelings or wellbeing.
If you listen to a violent, abusive man, he’ll tell you – in all seriousness – that the only thing that stops him being the great guy he really is, is you.
Real men don’t make an art form out of blame, shame and eternal punishment. Ever.
Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.
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