Types of Abusers: The Water Torturer

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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?

Types of Abusers: "Mr. (Always) Right"

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The ‘Mr. Right’ abuser:

 

  • Considers himself to be the ultimate authority on everything.
  • Always speaks with absolute certainty
  • Brushes your thoughts or opinions aside, finding little to no value in what you have to say
  • Sees things as if he is the teacher and you are the student. His goal is to empty your mind and to fill it with his brilliance.
  • Is often condescending when talking with you

When dating a Mr. Right, you feel stupid and like you can’t say anything right. You wish you could explain what you are thinking, but nothing ever comes out right when you try to explain it to him. You  feel confused, unsure of what to think, or unable to make a decision. You feel like he twists around everything that you say, takes it completely out of context, or makes it sound absurd. You feel like you are never really heard, and never taken seriously.

  • Takes on the Voice of Truth as a way of controlling conversations, something abuse counselors call ‘defining reality,’  making what he has to say sound like the only correct answer or outlook.
  • Makes partner doubt their own mental abilities, opinions or intuitions, leaving them feeling like they are dumb or stupid. This way, he can control you better.
  • Takes on the position of the expert even in regards to your life, how you should live it, and what you should do or believe. This includes who you should be friends with, what you should wear, how you should spend your time, how long you should spend studying, what kind of relationship to have with your parents…etc.
  • Is especially knowledgeable of your faults and is constantly telling you what you are doing wrong or what you need to do in order to ‘be a better person/girlfriend,’ as if tearing you down is the only way to make you better.
  • May humiliate you–especially in front of other people–in oder to establish his dominance, intellectual superiority, and to prove that what you think or the way that you are, is flawed and wrong.

When you refuse to give in to Mr. Right’s opinions or suggestions, he is quick to resort to insults, name calling, or imitating you as way of mocking what you think or believe. His actions will escalate until he feels that he has brought you down as low as possible. For example, he might ruin dinner plans you have prepared, leave a party without you, spread nasty rumors about you to other people or talk badly about you behind your back. He might abuse you sexually, even when you tell him NO, because he believes that you really want to have sex and he can’t take you seriously. He might convince you that he has talked to all of your friends, and that no one really likes you and they all think that you are stupid but that they talk to you only because they feel bad for you. He may even escalate to the point of throwing things, pushing or hitting you, or threatening you. 

* This information is an adaptation from

Types of Abusers: The Demand Man

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The ‘Demand Man’ abuser:
  • is highly entitled
  • expects his partner’s life to revolve around the practice of meeting his needs.
  • can get angry if his demands are not met, and will blame partner/other people if anything gets in the way of his needs.
  • becomes enraged if he isn’t catered to or if he is inconvenienced in any way (even if minor)
As his girlfriend, you feel like you can’t do anything right; nothing you do is good enough; and that it is impossible to make him happy. You feel like you are constantly being criticized and that you always ‘should have done things better.’

Specific characteristics of this type of abuser include:
  1. Little sense of give and take: The balance between what he wants from you and what he gives back is completely skewed. His demands, from everything to sexual attention to emotional support, far surpass his supply of these behavior. For example: he expects you to drop everything when he is upset about something, but whenever you are upset, he is too busy to talk to you, or makes fun of you for being dramatic;  he expects you to do his homework, cook for him or clean up after him, but gets mad if you ask him to help you with something small; he expects you to perform sexual acts on him whenever he wants, but never pays attention to your needs.
  2. Exaggerates or overvalues his own contributions. Although he is constantly taking, and rarely giving, he makes it seem as if it is the other way around; he keeps track of every nice things he does for you (even those that are generally expected in a healthy relationship) and he makes you feel like you are the one that is in debt to him. For example: he buys you a gift for your birthday, and seven months later, he is still talking about how much he spent on it and uses it to prove how lucky you are to have him; he constantly talks about how much he gives up for you and sacrifices for you, and yet you are the one who has no friends anymore, while he goes out all the time.
  3. He punishes you when he doesn’t get what he thinks he deserves. If you don’t do something he thinks you should have, he will punish you for letting him down in any number of ways. For example: He’s upset and wants you to come over, but you have a soccer game and can’t skip it. You come over after the game and he refuses to talk to you, telling you that he can never count on you and that you always abandon him.
  4. He is nice only when he feels like it. The times that he is generous,  sweet to you, or supportive, it is because he is proving to you or to others how wonderful he is, and how loving. His behavior is not about you, it is about him. For example: He screams at you and shoves you against a wall for talking to one of your male friends. Later, he buys you flowers, makes you your favorite dinner, or fawns over how wonderful you are when you are in front of your parents.
  5. He gets angry if your needs conflict with his needs. He is a master at playing the role of the victim. He accuses you of being ‘self-centered’ or ‘only caring about yourself.’ He plays up this reversal of reality in front of other people, working hard to make sure other people know how selfish and ungrateful you are, or how much you are hurting him despite all that he does for you. For example: He wants to have sex, but you want to wait. At school, he sulks, telling other people who you don’t love him as much as he loves you, and confiding in one of your girl friends who he claims said she wishes that she had a boyfriend like him who treated her well and loved her so much.



** This information is an adaptation from