Types of Abusers: The Water Torturer

The Water Torturer Abuser:

•Proves that anger doesn’t cause abuse, this type of abuser can assault his partner without ever even raising his voice.
•He tends to stay cool and collected during arguments as a weapon to push his partner over the edge.
•Uses tools like sarcasm, mockery, even resorting to laughing at her or what she says or making cruel, cutting remarks
•Relentless in his quiet derision and meanness 

When dating a “Water Torturer,” you tend to do one of two things: either you become frustrated to the point of furiousness, or you begin to feel completely stupid and inferior. You might end up doing things like screaming and yelling because you become so frustrated, storming out of the room, or sinking into silence, leading your partner to make it seem like you are the abusive or crazy one. He might say things to you like “You’re the one screaming and yelling, I’m just talking calmly: you’re the one that is abusive to me. You are impossible to talk to. I didn’t even raise my voice, and look at you!”

This type of abuse can be incredibly damaging and can do serious harm to your personal mentality. You feel like you are going crazy or that you are enraged but have no idea really why. You have a hard time reaching out to other people because you don’t even know how to explain what is going on. He seems to know exactly how to get under your skin, and he can even make other people take his side in believing that you are the crazy one and that he just somehow puts up with you.

•Leads other people to believe that they are nice and even-tempered, and you are the one that is crazy, unpredictable and has a bad temper.
•Can be incredibly cruel, all the while maintaining a calm mentality. He plays up the idea that as long as he is calm, nothing he does or says can be seen as abusive.
•Knows exactly how to get under your skin.
•Leads you to believe that you fly off the handle or overreact to things that aren’t really that bad.

It can take years to figure out what is happening, if you are a victim of this type of abuse, and if you finally leave him,  you may experience intense periods of delayed rage as you realize just how abusive  and destructive he was.

** This information is an adaptation from Lundy Bancroft’sWhy Does He Do That?


  1. What are some creative writing games to use for junior high students?

  2. Thirty years of marriage to this man nearly destroyed me. Over four years later, I am finally starting to see reality. My self-esteem was shattered in spite of being raised in a loving home. My self confidence was decimated in spite of recently being tested for IQ and finding that I test to be extremely intelligent. There is no way that I could have seen this coming. My faith is my strength and has carried my through to this point. My relationship with my grown daughter is sprouting into one like I had with my mother. My relationship with my son is still extremely strained. I no longer tolerate my children talking over me, rolling eyes, etc. I simply say that I love them; however, I have to leave as I no longer allow people to treat me this way. The clear boundaries delivered calmly and with love seems to be having good results.

    • Hey Deb, I wish there was a way to be in touch with you. I’m just learning this stuff after being married to water torturer 21 years. My kids’ perception of me as a result have been tainted and we’re strained. We separated from husband a year ago because of finding out of immoral acting out. But things have been stressful because of the aftermath and my frailty….I could use support from someone who’s been through it. Thank you.

    • Hi Mary, just wanted to share with you that i have been living in a relationship with a water torturer for over 30 years and know every trick in the book. My reasons for staying are my poor health and financial and the vague hope he will change. You say you have left now, how are you coping with the aftermath of living with someone like this? I know from experience how they make you feel like you are the crazy one. Take care x

  3. I am/was dealing with a water torturer. I found the book Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft, and it has helped pull me along through this abuse.. I dated a guy 9 years older than me, and we had a son..The second I got pregnant he changed. dragged me to casino’s till 3 in the morning blaming me for ruining the experience for him, made me cook for him, clean up after him, etc. I was his personal caregiver, he didn’t even want to take me to the hospital while I was having contractions because his sleep was more important while I was up 4 nights in a row. They manipulate, mirror it back onto you, twist reality beyond belief, if you tell them you know what they are doing my guy ended up becoming physically abusive. This man has got me in serious trouble, I was misdiagnosed with Borderline Personality because I had a breakdown after he gave his mother all the power to take my son whenever and where ever she wanted, I was not aloud to bring my son to see my grandma who died. He then weeks after gave our son to his mother to leave 3 hours away for 2 days to a wedding so he could sleep and smoke more weed,I refused to go through this so I told him I was calling C A S, and that scared him so he put me in jail.. the police didn’t ask me anything and took me.. I was scared and crying they didn’t even arrest me but I went to jail for two days.. I missed my son’s 4th month of growing up, and my abuser tried with-holding all my possesions, sucked all my money away, and gave me a wrongfully accused criminal record Im trying to sort out for the past 7 months now. He has everyone convinced, but NOW! I am taking steps to explain the abuse, going to womans shelters, seeking new proffessionals who see where I am coming from!. You need to be strong, and be a survivor! It is the most painful stuff.


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