Beliefnet
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When you are in a destructive relationship, you are often bewildered because none of it makes sense. Most have no content to properly identify and understand what, exactly is happening. (FYI, It is normal to become more combative when you are continuously trying to be heard.) Destructive people come in many disguises and learning how to identify them and their B.S. is the first step towards freedom. Rarely, do these type of people fit neatly into one category and there very well may be overlapping into many categories of behavior.. Let’s take a glance one more time before we move on…

The Control Freak- feel trapped?, chances are.. you are with a control freak. If he wants to be in the know about everything, is super intense, and isolates you from family, friends and resources, you are with a controlling person.

The Corrector- This is a person who is always amending your opinions to fit his own. He doesn’t care about your needs or wants at all. He wants you to like what he likes, period.

TheAbuser- They think they are superior to women in all ways.. Berating, threatening, chastising are part of their arsenal. The rule is plain and simple… do what he wants, when he wants and nobody gets punished

The charmer-This trait is usually what draws you in, in the beginning.. They are engaging, funny, clever, and at first may even appear to be polite. However, this is all a facade- He is in the business of image management and you will be one of few who sees him for who he really is in time. He will charm his way into any situation to gain the advantage as well as control. Be aware of very charming suitors

The passive aggressive- They negotiate and renegotiate everything! They treat you like you are a business partner instead of in a loving relationship. Contradicting happens most often with the passive- aggressive person. They may even appear to have a split personality of innocence, generosity to an ulterior motive with underlining hostility.

The Pillar of the Community- The news is full of these types according to Beth Wilson- “pillars of the community”. Something usually will give after years of disguising themselves and the community is stunned. “Oh, he was such a nice guy.” “He has done so much for our community.” He has all the accolades and appears credible but possess some of the same traits as listed above. The hard part for a women involved is that these men typically have money, power, and prestige. This makes them look very good from the outside which means they are even more dangerous. These behaviors  are often  subtle forms of mind games, emotional terrorism, and dismissing as tools of control that go completely unnoticed  by others who are too busy admiring the new car, new house, art collection etc. according to Dr. Susan Weitzman. Let’s take a look at an excerpt from her book Not to People Like Us- Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages

The man of means has more resources to protect his rights, his privacy, and his “castle.” Expansive living quarters are not merely luxurious; they also make for an insulated existence, affording more privacy for engaging in physical and emotional tyranny. And on the rare occasion when the wife involves the police or other outside authorities, the upscale husband can retain skilled legal representation to defend his actions with little to no retribution or fanfare.

Women are faced with more shame, more isolation, and little resources to take care of her and her family if she decides to get out.

The Narcissist- 75% of narcissist are men even though women can be self- absorbed too. Narcissist do not care about your needs, wants, or dreams. Everything and I mean everything must go back to them and what they want. They have no room to accommodate others even though they think they do. They will throw you a crumb and make the biggest deal of all that they do for you, while you are starving for a loving relationship.

The Predator- This one is so scary but here goes.. They can range from callow and calculating to full blown sociopaths. ruthless, coldhearted, deceptive, narcissistic  and devoid of genuine empathy and compassion. Imagine someone with no conscience, no feelings of guilt, no remorse, no concern for the well- being of the one they are supposed to love and care for.

Typically the above can also come with other traits like addiction because they are looking for outlets to sustain such destructive behavior which leads to more destructive behavior. It’s a crazy, crazy cycle and shame is the real driver. One in four women are victimized by emotional abuse.

You now have enough information about their behavior and traits so let’s start discussing how to get your sanity back and move out and on with your one precious life if you are experiencing one or more of these behaviors.

1. Find someone you trust that you can confide in about what is really going on inside your marriage/relationship. Start keeping a journal of specifics so that your family or friends can really see the pattern. If you are able, seek counseling- I recommend a christian counselor if possible.

2. Start devising an escape plan with your support system- If you do not have a support system, then call your local shelter and see how they can assist you. It’s completely confidential and shelters are better equipped than they use to be.

3. Try and find a job if you do not currently have one. Men who control really do not want you to have any resources so see if you can find other’s who can assist you in getting some stable income coming in. Job boards are a waste of time so use any and all connections you have. If not, find a local recruiter. This take time.

4. If married, children, seek legal advice. Our legal system is very broken so without resources it will be hard to find someone to represent you but there are attorneys that will advocate for women pro-bono.

5. Pray for God’s guidance, protection and provision. Prayer is more powerful that any one us know and I believe with my entire being, when we turn to God, he will bring people and resource into your life that were not there before. Ask God to heal your heart and mind while giving you strength. Often times energy levels have been zapped from the roller coaster of abuse. God will strengthen you, I am sure of it.

6. Start to visualize your new life. Visualizing does help to bringing things to fruition. Start to dream again.

7. Be gentle with your self. You have been through hell. It’s ok that you don’t know exactly what to do or where to go. In time, you will know. Take breaks. Start to create outlets for yourself that will reduce your stress levels.

Sanity means taking care of yourself. Here are some resources to help you break the cycle and have real freedom.

The Women’s Comfort Book- Jennifer Louden

Christian Healing Ministries, Jacksonville, Florida can assist you in finding a healing ministry in your area. This is a crucial part of your healing.

EMDR- Type of therapy that assist in trauma- webemdr.com

Women’s Way of Knowing- The Development of Self, Voice and Mind book

Leavingabuse.com

womenagainstabuse.org- free legal advocacy  

womenslaw.org – national resource

womensaid.org- support forum

healthyplace.com- support forum

thesheepfold.org

Remember you are worth loving even if you have lost sight of that. There is nothing that our God cannot do and that includes helping and healing you.

Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go- Joshua 1:9

xo

 

 

 

 

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