Friday, October 19, 2018

Domestic Abuse Misconception #19

Domestic Abuse Misconception #19: The best thing to do is to give the abusers a list of changes the you need to see and when you see those changes, he won't abuse any more. Oh, it only it were that easy! The truth is that an abuser will use even a checklist as a means to power and control. 

I think this is one of the ones that goes against conventional wisdom because we all assume that an abuser is just like us. He's not. He can jump through any hoop you give him if he wants to because the abuse is not out of his control. He can ace any checklist you dish out. But then he can use it against you. 

The minute you give him a checklist you are locking yourself in. Abusers are great actors and they can play the part to get what they want and what they want is you back where they had you and where they think you belong. As the attached article says:
If he is counting on you to explain to him what he needs to change, then in his mind, he doesn’t need to change anything.  And your willingness to offer him a checklist is accepted as a promise that you are willing to reconcile with him as soon as those line items are checked off.
Any abuser who claims to truly want to move away from abuse and toward healing with want to make changes and he will know what changes need to happen because the abuse is intentional. He's a big boy. He can figure this out. He can get help. If he really wants to change he WILL get help and he will make the changes because HE wants to, not because you gave him a list. 

(Note: In all of my posts I use "he" for abuser and "she" for victim for simplicity and because, in the majority of cases, the abuser is male. But it can be the opposite with a female abuser. Dynamics of abuse can also happen in same sex relationships.)

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