Susceptibility to Domestic Abuse

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SSWaspie
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02 Mar 2014, 12:44 pm

Anyone else find that when they do fall in love it's usually with someone that abuses them emotionally, mentally, physically or financially?



cathylynn
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02 Mar 2014, 2:21 pm

I used to. then a friend gave me the book " women who love too much." I took its advice, along with getting counseling from the local free domestic abuse counseling service. they told me what to look for. one of the main things is not to commit to anyone you've known for less than six months. also, don't overlook the small negatives in the beginning. they are warning signs of worse things to come.



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02 Mar 2014, 2:33 pm

I did, but I believe I have learned from my mistakes

my first serious relationship was very abusive, I have had a better one since


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02 Mar 2014, 3:12 pm

SSWaspie wrote:
Anyone else find that when they do fall in love it's usually with someone that abuses them emotionally, mentally, physically or financially?
All the time, Im afraid of falling in love again because of it I get anxiety attacks when Im with a woman and she wants to be more than friends my flashbacks start to trigger at times.


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02 Mar 2014, 3:28 pm

I'm not a woman, but I'm very close to someone who has been in this kind of situation before. I and some of her friends got together and pledged that NEVER AGAIN would this kind of thing happen to her.

@cathylynn: I'm familiar with that book you mentioned. EXCELLENT suggestion!! !

Like I said, I'm not a woman, so I'm hardly in a position to say I can relate to this the same way you've experienced it. So I'll keep my thoughts on this very brief, and my apologies in advance if this isn't applicable or is offensive…

It seems to me that women who end up in abusive relationships develop a bizarre sort of addiction to it. I don't know if it's some kind of endorphin/dopamine rush or what, but there is definitely some kind of either depressive or stimulative effect when engaged in some form of mental or physical assault. I don't for one second believe that women CONSCIOUSLY want to be mentally abused or beaten, but I think there is some underlying craving for it that gives you SOME predisposition towards getting into those kinds of situations.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it's a fact that there are certain women who just seem to jump from one truly awful relationship to the next, and if I'm wrong about it being addictive, then the only other thing I can think of is that women who end up in strings of abusive relationships find certain (non-violent) qualities attractive that mostly violent men tend to possess more so than other types of men. So the trick would be take every feature you find attractive about men and cross those off your list. That will narrow your dating pool to a smaller number of guys who will likely NOT abuse you, although what you're going to miss out on are things you found attractive about guys in the first place.

But on the other hand, there are certain attractive qualities of addictive drugs, too, that induce people to experiment with them. It's never a problem until you're locked into a self-destructive cycle inherent to the drug you're taking, and in order to change, you have to make up your mind that you no longer wish to have the benefits those drugs initially provided.

I know this is a sensitive topic, so I'll stay out of the discussion if I seem to be out of line. Whatever the problem/solution is, do know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.



GivePeaceAChance
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02 Mar 2014, 3:46 pm

AngelRho wrote:
I'm not a woman,

It seems to me that women who end up in abusive relationships develop a bizarre sort of addiction to it.
edited...

Maybe I'm wrong, but it's a fact that there are certain women who just seem to jump from one truly awful relationship to the next, and if I'm wrong about it being addictive, then the only other thing I can think of is that women who end up in strings of abusive relationships find certain (non-violent) qualities attractive that mostly violent men tend to possess more so than other types of men. So the trick would be take every feature you find attractive about men and cross those off your list. That will narrow your dating pool to a smaller number of guys who will likely NOT abuse you, although what you're going to miss out on are things you found attractive about guys in the first place.


Seriously the problem is being programmed from birth by family & society to please people and having a self worth which has been destroyed by whatever we have lived through. NOT that it causes pleasure in any way, and many stay because leaving results in the death of those who attempt it.


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02 Mar 2014, 4:20 pm

AngelRho wrote:
I'm not a woman, but I'm very close to someone who has been in this kind of situation before. I and some of her friends got together and pledged that NEVER AGAIN would this kind of thing happen to her.

@cathylynn: I'm familiar with that book you mentioned. EXCELLENT suggestion!! !

Like I said, I'm not a woman, so I'm hardly in a position to say I can relate to this the same way you've experienced it. So I'll keep my thoughts on this very brief, and my apologies in advance if this isn't applicable or is offensive…

It seems to me that women who end up in abusive relationships develop a bizarre sort of addiction to it. I don't know if it's some kind of endorphin/dopamine rush or what, but there is definitely some kind of either depressive or stimulative effect when engaged in some form of mental or physical assault. I don't for one second believe that women CONSCIOUSLY want to be mentally abused or beaten, but I think there is some underlying craving for it that gives you SOME predisposition towards getting into those kinds of situations.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it's a fact that there are certain women who just seem to jump from one truly awful relationship to the next, and if I'm wrong about it being addictive, then the only other thing I can think of is that women who end up in strings of abusive relationships find certain (non-violent) qualities attractive that mostly violent men tend to possess more so than other types of men. So the trick would be take every feature you find attractive about men and cross those off your list. That will narrow your dating pool to a smaller number of guys who will likely NOT abuse you, although what you're going to miss out on are things you found attractive about guys in the first place.


Yeah, no, women don't go looking for abuse. What many women do is look for what's familiar. Nobody's a horrible abusive person all the time, and if the men a woman's used to have good qualities that often lie alongside particular awful ones, it can be easy to say, "Yay, good comfortable qualities" and not notice the bad ones are there *again* until she's living with him, married to him, has children with him, what have you. Often because he's hidden those bad qualities at the outset. Just one aspect of why it's a very bad thing to have children if you're an abusive person -- you're training them to look for abusive partners. It's why so many girls with alcoholic, abusive fathers wind up with alcoholic, abusive husbands.

The problem with doing what you suggest is that what a girl grows up with is going to feel like home, whether it's healthy or not. And telling someone, "Whatever you do, make sure that when you go out looking for a partner, you're not looking for the qualities that just feel right and comfortable to you," -- you know, that's not very helpful.

The distressing thing is the number of people who are happy to blame women for the outcome, decide they're masochists who enjoy abuse, figure they're stupid and deserve it for staying, etc.

Also, as pointed out above, many women stay with abusers because it's the best way they have of protecting their children. If you leave a man and can't prove, with official documentation, that he was chronically, damagingly abusive to the children, not just to you, the courts are going to give him unsupervised visitation, even partial custody. And you won't be able to protect them at all -- in fact, if you try to keep the kids away, you'll most likely lose whatever custody you have. There are children who wind up dead that way, and many more who are subjected to chronic emotional abuse.

There are also many men who will hunt down a women who leaves them. Unfortunately, the most socially acceptable way of protecting yourself from such a man is...with another man. And guess how nice those guys turn out to be.

I guess we could also talk about the women who have kids, leave an abusive man, and are then drowning financially. Guy shows up, offers to pay rent, offers to buy the kids something they need, and it starts all over again. The unfortunate fact is that there are many predatory men in the world, and unless a woman has good protection in the form of a caring family, a good husband, or a ton of money, these guys are going to find her. The women you see bouncing from bad guy to bad guy...I bet not many of them have strong, well-off, non-abusive, caring families.



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02 Mar 2014, 5:01 pm

I have to disagree with AngelRho, for many reasons further down my post. (Sorry it's a long one, but I had a few points to make. )

AngelRho wrote:
It seems to me that women who end up in abusive relationships develop a bizarre sort of addiction to it. I don't know if it's some kind of endorphin/dopamine rush or what, but there is definitely some kind of either depressive or stimulative effect when engaged in some form of mental or physical assault. I don't for one second believe that women CONSCIOUSLY want to be mentally abused or beaten, but I think there is some underlying craving for it that gives you SOME predisposition towards getting into those kinds of situations.


AngelRho, while there may exist a woman or women who get some kind of addictive rush from the abuse, in my humble opinion I believe you are in general way off-base in this speculation.

More usually, some of the reasons a woman may remain in, or repeat serially, a relationship with an abusive partner or partners are such things as:

-- Economic dependence; she either can't afford to move out on her own or would come into problems in doing so, of a practical or financial nature. Sad that that can still be the case in this day and age, but sometimes it still can be.

-- Oxytocin is a powerful bonding chemical.... When someone has ever been deeply in love, and in fact even abusive relationships usually start out nicely enough and that's when the falling in love initiates itself, that love-bonding can unfortunately last long after other factors would make it clear logically that this is not a good person to be with any longer. It seems irrational but it does often happen that a person finds it very hard to let go of all the initial good feelings their abuser used to engender in them. It's all because of oxytocin literally keeping on flooding the brain and body and making her believe she stills loves the person too much to leave them, even when bad things start happening.

-- Children. If she has a family with that person, there is some economic dependence as well as the fear that breaking up the family is worse than staying with an abusive husband/dad. Sadly, my eldest sister stayed in an abusive marriage for exactly this reason, for 19 years, until she finally divorced the jerk. But not before her kids had witnessed hellish violence. Sometimes it really is better to be a non-traditional family rather than stick together for appearances sake but put your kids through hell.

-- Fear. Someone already mentioned the fact that some men threaten death or maiming if the woman tries to leave them. This is a reality. Not all abusive partners do, but some do, and clearly the women in these cases stay because they believe the threat can and will be carried out if they try to get away. One time my sister's violent husband came after her when she had taken the children and run away to my family's house -- he threatened my dad with a knife before barging into our house and creating an almost hostage like situation.

-- "The good times are still great." Similar to and connected with the oxytocin bonding mentioned above, some women justify remaining with the abusive partner because "it doesn't happen that often..." and between times everything is wonderful again. Of course this is dubious but when a woman feels that's a good reason to stay, unfortunately she will stay. She doesn't LIKE the bad times, but she puts up with him for the good times.

-- Fear of change. This may be one people on the spectrum can relate to. Sometimes stepping out into an unknown and uncertain future is more fearful than staying with "The devil you know," to coin an old saying.

-- Believing in "unconditional love." another one my sister bandied about until she came to her senses.

-- The "first time" is forgiven. Every woman whose man attacks her emotionally or physically the first time, dismisses it as "It won't happen again -- I provoked it..." or some such. And every man who does it for the first time says the same "It won't happen again, I just lost control." Then it does happen again, and a pattern sets up. There are a lot of people out there calling each time a fluke, and giving each other another chance.

I really don't believe most abused woman, be it emotional or physical abuse, stat or get drawn again to the same type of person for the reason you speculate. It's much more usually for the above reasons I've listed.

About being in serial abusive relationships -- that too is more to with other factors. Sometimes the red flags aren't always obvious when people first get to know each other. Some men show clear signals that they might be abusive -- those aren't difficult to avoid getting involved with.

But a lot of men do not actually behave in ways that wave a big sign over their head saying "I'm going to wind up hitting you one day." Some women DO believe they are making a good choice "this time" -- and still things go south. Maybe even in different ways for different reason with each partner.

The important thing is to learn the more subtle red flags, and also IF abuse begins, to nip it in the bud, get out immediately, etc, before it becomes a pattern, before the woman has invested her whole life with the person, before there are kids, before love-bonding makes you crazy thinking this is STILL the only man for you "underneath it all".

-- Low self esteem and fear that nobody else would love them. Some women have low self esteem and once they have a man who initially shows love and devotion (and possessiveness), they think it's their only chance of being so intensely "loved", and they ignore the unhealthiness out of desperation for feeling the intense focus of that person's version of love.

In none of these case does the woman enjoy the abusive times, or feel addicted to THOSE episodes. It's the other stuff, the calm between the storms, the bonding feeling they original had toward the person, and the security of at least staying in a "known" and familiar situation that they are addicted to, if anything.

Quote:
then the only other thing I can think of is that women who end up in strings of abusive relationships find certain (non-violent) qualities attractive that mostly violent men tend to possess more so than other types of men. So the trick would be take every feature you find attractive about men and cross those off your list. That will narrow your dating pool to a smaller number of guys who will likely NOT abuse you, although what you're going to miss out on are things you found attractive about guys in the first place.


This is a bit more accurate, yes. There may indeed be less negative traits that are the draw but yet often go hand in hand with the flipside negatives.



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02 Mar 2014, 5:11 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:

-- Economic dependence; she either can't afford to move out on her own or would come into problems in doing so, of a practical or financial nature. Sad that that can still be the case in this day and age, but sometimes it still can be.

-- Oxytocin is a powerful bonding chemical.... When someone has ever been deeply in love, and in fact even abusive relationships usually start out nicely enough and that's when the falling in love initiates itself, that love-bonding can unfortunately last long after other factors would make it clear logically that this is not a good person to be with any longer. It seems irrational but it does often happen that a person finds it very hard to let go of all the initial good feelings their abuser used to engender in them. It's all because of oxytocin literally keeping on flooding the brain and body and making her believe she stills loves the person too much to leave them, even when bad things start happening.

-- Children. If she has a family with that person, there is some economic dependence as well as the fear that breaking up the family is worse than staying with an abusive husband/dad. Sadly, my eldest sister stayed in an abusive marriage for exactly this reason, for 19 years, until she finally divorced the jerk. But not before her kids had witnessed hellish violence. Sometimes it really is better to be a non-traditional family rather than stick together for appearances sake but put your kids through hell.

-- Fear. Someone already mentioned the fact that some men threaten death or maiming if the woman tries to leave them. This is a reality. Not all abusive partners do, but some do, and clearly the women in these cases stay because they believe the threat can and will be carried out if they try to get away. One time my sister's violent husband came after her when she had taken the children and run away to my family's house -- he threatened my dad with a knife before barging into our house and creating an almost hostage like situation.

-- "The good times are still great." Similar to and connected with the oxytocin bonding mentioned above, some women justify remaining with the abusive partner because "it doesn't happen that often..." and between times everything is wonderful again. Of course this is dubious but when a woman feels that's a good reason to stay, unfortunately she will stay. She doesn't LIKE the bad times, but she puts up with him for the good times.

-- Fear of change. This may be one people on the spectrum can relate to. Sometimes stepping out into an unknown and uncertain future is more fearful than staying with "The devil you know," to coin an old saying.

-- Believing in "unconditional love." another one my sister bandied about until she came to her senses.

-- The "first time" is forgiven. Every woman whose man attacks her emotionally or physically the first time, dismisses it as "It won't happen again -- I provoked it..." or some such. And every man who does it for the first time says the same "It won't happen again, I just lost control." Then it does happen again, and a pattern sets up. There are a lot of people out there calling each time a fluke, and giving each other another chance.


and again we see a member of the patriarchy blaming the victim


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02 Mar 2014, 5:50 pm

Me, a "member of the patriarchy"? I'M A WOMAN.

And I'm trying to explain to a MAN how and why HE is way off base in his assumption because, yes, he doesn't know.

And the fact that you see my comments as "blaming the victim" says way more about you than it does about my post, because that's not what I'm doing AT ALL.

My sister was a victim and we all tried to help her stop being one. We were on her side.

And later on I WAS A VICTIM.

Some of the things I post is BECAUSE I'VE BEEN THERE TOO.

I'm the LAST person who "blames the victim" because I f***ing WAS ONE!! ! Thank you very much!!

I'm a woman who got myself out of TWO abusive relationships, CAUSING MY OWN HOMELESSNESS IN ONCE CASE. From which I'm STILL getting my life back together. But I did it. I got out. I've been where these women have been and I have got to the light at the end of the tunnel.

YOu have NO IDEA what it took do do so, the strength I had to find in my life, you jerk.

So take your patronising, insulting CRAP and SHOVE IT.

I KNOW WHEREOF I SPEAK -- THE HARD WAY. SO f**k OFF.

.



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02 Mar 2014, 6:01 pm

I don't think its intentional - but I'm going to guess AS predisposes one to ignoring the warnings. And when one should get out the AS fear of change and sense of (misplaced) loyalty kicks in...

I'm coming from the flip side - male AS with an abusive NT wife. And I've gotta say - getting diagnosed sure didn't help me in this scenario - because she was handed a roadmap to how to get to me even more effectively.

That said -AS didn't get me into that relationship - I did that all by myself. What it did do was to get me hanging on when I should have been running away... I can fix this, a little counselling, this is her mad - not her typical behavior etc etc etc. Those were my thoughts - that was my misplaced loyalty, that was my sense of duty, that was my focus on a problem.

AS doesn't make you do these things - its the person behind the AS that does.



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02 Mar 2014, 7:04 pm

SSWaspie wrote:
Anyone else find that when they do fall in love it's usually with someone that abuses them emotionally, mentally, physically or financially?

This thread may be doomed to agitate people because I think with autism there's the added isolation and for me, anyway, it is really hard recognizing someone might say one thing, mean another, might intentionally lie in order to play with me because that's what they want to do.

Rape, violence, and threats in intimate relationships are about power. I would turn your premise over and say that abusive people may more likely be drawn to people who are vulnerable based on difficulty getting support, communicating, and recognizing manipulative and dangerous behavior. I think this is a major reason so many of us at Wrong Planet have been hurt so many times. Not because we want it. We are desperate, many of us, to avoid being hurt again. We look as hard as we can for danger, but may not recognize it when it is there, and sometimes it is very hard to get anyone to care enough to help us if they even believe we are for real---because our response seems different. And then we doubt ourselves more because we are doubted.



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02 Mar 2014, 7:16 pm

Waterfalls wrote:
Rape, violence, and threats in intimate relationships are about power. I would turn your premise over and say that abusive people may more likely be drawn to people who are vulnerable based on difficulty getting support, communicating, and recognizing manipulative and dangerous behavior. I think this is a major reason so many of us at Wrong Planet have been hurt so many times. Not because we want it. We are desperate, many of us, to avoid being hurt again. We look as hard as we can for danger, but may not recognize it when it is there, and sometimes it is very hard to get anyone to care enough to help us if they even believe we are for real---because our response seems different. And then we doubt ourselves more because we are doubted.


this exactly - misreading signs is a major symptom we have


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03 Mar 2014, 1:02 am

In some ways I seem or seemed like the type that would get abused but also the type that would abuse too. I have two exes & latter on in our relationships I started feeling like I was getting used for emotional support & wasn't really listened to. Looking back I think the relationships became one sided. I was pretty clingy & needy partly due to anxiety & OCD that's better now thanx to meds. I became kind of controlling because of it & had some Aspie meltdowns with em. They had their problems too & I've been more attracted to women with problems because I could relate to them better & really want to be emotionally supportive of my partner. I grew some from the experiences thou & I'm in my 3rd relationship now & things are going pretty good & we're both supportive of each other.


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03 Mar 2014, 1:35 am

SSWaspie wrote:
Anyone else find that when they do fall in love it's usually with someone that abuses them emotionally, mentally, physically or financially?


How were / are relationships with your parents, out of interest? Apologies for being forward, I have noticed that a child's male and female role models tend to inform their choices in partners as adults.

For example, I seem to be attracted to violent women with severe mental health issues.

At least I got on well with my Old Man, eh? :lol:



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03 Mar 2014, 5:25 am

I had some problems with this in my twenties--it's not destiny or anything, but it can be hard to escape the pattern if you grew up with it, as I did, and were economically dependent (the one I'm thinking of the guy stole of disposed of all my IDs after I moved in with him, so that I didn't have any way to sign for another place or leave). I also felt obliged to try and make the relationship work (and blamed myself for what was happening.)

I'm a little better at judgment now, at a considerable cost. I am wary of anyone who wants to get near me. I obsessively plan escape routes. It takes a long time to get to know me, and I demand to know someone for a long time before we cohabitate.

It's okay to put all the brakes on. It's okay to go very slow. And it's okay to GTFO if someone makes you nervous. Sometimes, those 'abusive relationship' checklists are really handy for putting a reason to why you feel uncomfortable/tell you what to look for.


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