Abusive husband or a Boss in a family?
Emotional abuse is quite common and we often hear complaints from women that their husbands are tyrants and abusers. Living with an abusive husband is not a fairy tale, not even to mention the fact that it can be simply dangerous.
Abusive husband – who is he?
Abusive husband is a tyrant, a man with a thirst for power over other people. He is concerned with the question, “Who’s the Boss?” He hates even the slightest disobedience. When he feels that someone or something gets out of his control, it endangers his sense of omnipotence, so he tries to suppress the will of those who are subservient to him, at any cost. Even if they are just expressing their opinions, he takes it as a personal attack on his power.
More than anything, the abusive husband is afraid of losing newfound power, so he is busy all the time trying to not to let someone escape his control. He is imagining that his throne is in danger – and he defends his position, even if objectively nothing is threaten. That is why he insists on his decisions, even unreasonable ones, and is almost incapable of agreement with another’s opinion – for him to agree with somebody would mean to obey, that is to give power to another. And as you can guess, this is rather out of question.
Abusive husband will make sure that his wife depends on him as much as possible, which is achieved very simply – he forbids her to work and insists on more children. In the beginning of the relationship, while he is not yet convinced that the victim in his hands, this may look like he is noble saying that “his woman should not work.” Abusive husband is not only against work for his wife, but also against her communication with friends and family, against school and hobbies – everything that contests his undivided possession of her thoughts and feelings. For him, external dependency is insufficient – he wants to own a person completely.
In all its glory abusive husband manifests himself when the victim becomes helpless and dependent objectively – during pregnancy or after childbirth. Then he starts to not only dominate in every possible way – psychologically, economically and physically, but also to humiliate and insult the victim. Before that, he often unconsciously hide his intentions to lure her into his trap. There are a lot of signs that can be used to recognize a well-disguised tyrant, but it is much better to understand the essence of the phenomena.
Abusive husband always has a neurotic desire for power.
From the point of view of psychology, his authoritativeness is a neurosis, “an obsessive desire for power.” This desire to suppress, subdue and humiliate others is hidden deep in his subconscious mind and it rules his life and all his actions. Of course, he will never agree that he is addicted to power and acts ugly, but he always finds excuses and explanations of his behavior – he rationalizes them. An example of such rationalization: he may subscribe to point of view of “patriarchal traditions” of any kind, and read books like “Woman. Tutorial for men.”
Neurotic divides all people on “strong” and “weak” – admiring the first and despising the second. Himself, he also despises weakness, but in fact he is trying to compensate for his weakness and lack of confidence (because in reality he is weak coward) with a neurotic desire for power. Because neurotic is haunted by deep subconscious feeling of worthlessness that is stealthily gnawing him all the time, he needs to constantly receive confirmation of his strength and power. So, he is not proving others that they are weak — he is constantly proving himself that he is strong.
This is the essence of the internal conflict of the abusive husband – the weakness and self-contempt, which is compensated by dominance over others. This fact is hidden deeply within his subconscious mind and is covered so well, in fear of exposure. Because, should he see his weakness, his world would collapse. Naturally, he considers himself to be “a leader, strong and courageous” – and he is very proud of it. Pride, as we know, always grows in place of the absent self-esteem.
For this reason, average abusive husband has very sensitive feelings, he can not withstand not only jokes on himself, but in general any doubt that he was right, any doubt in his unquestionable competence, sharp mind, strength, agility, and so on. He is the best and he is always right – period! For this reason any objection for him is so painful and he reacts violently to any disagreement with his opinion. He may even get annoyed if something goes wrong, not as he had planned – because he wanted to control not only people, but also events, and in general the whole universe.
By the way, sick neurotic that are striving for power, are often addicted to various esoteric teachings, become adepts of the mystery cults and totalitarian sects. Secret Knowledge promise them power over the world and the fate, and cults – over human beings after reaching a certain degree of initiation, and in both cases – a sense of true superiority. Women tyrants often choose this way, as the safest one. Yes, an obsessive desire for power is not only for sick men, some women are plagued with this too.
For the neurotic that any abusive husband is, it is very important to excel, and that’s why he is always jealous when he is compared with others. He always seeks (and finds) grounds to despise others. People in general for such person exist only as objects for self-assertion, and therefore any relationship is seen only in the light of dominance. And not only the relationship – his whole life is filled with desperate attempts to assert himself, because his actions often seem illogical.
It is easy to win a tyrant — all you need is just to flatter his sense of self-importance, to express your admiration, and obey him. It makes him happy! His dream is to always have a source of self-affirmation at hand, and he will encourage such behavior, performing small humble request from the victim. He can even praise her weakness and humility. However, when he decides that the victim is already in his possession, and is not going anywhere, praise be replaced with demands.
Home tyrants keep relationships with others at bay. This does not necessarily mean rude physical threats. Neurotic is always a brilliant manipulator, and he always find weaknesses in his partner. He builds relationships in such a way, that the victim is afraid all the time — afraid of his anger, displeasure, bad mood, or whatever…
In addition to fear, submission of victim is protected by her sense of guilt – and abusive husband does not forget to carefully nurture it in the victim together with understating of her self-esteem. She is charged with more debt, and constantly admonished for her careless execution. “Educate” and “punish” are two most favorite activities of a tyrant. This also applies to children, and to his wife. With no less pleasure he engages in dogs training.
Tyrants invented a method of “carrot and stick”. A man who respects himself and others, would never act in a similar way. Reasonable people can always agree, but they not agree with a tyrant in the sacrifice, and this deprives him of the pleasure of power – so he chooses the way of rewards and punishments, feeling almost like a god, an instrument of fate etc. To those who it stronger than him, or who is an authority, he cringes, secretly hates them and is looking for mistakes.
How is it that people become neurotic, let’s leave to their psychoanalyst. It is sufficient to know that the desire for power is a serious disease. Abusive husband himself is not the master – neurosis is actually his master and he is just a slave. By itself, this disease will not go away or disappear, and over the years it will only progress and become worse. The only way to cure it is if the man himself admits that he is ill and seek a therapist or go deep introspection with proper self-help techniques. But the problem is that such people are not inclined to work on themselves, go to introspection, and try to do anything to change…
Relationship of a victim with a tyrant.
It is impossible to build any normal partnerships with neurotic. The only thing that you can do is to join him in his game as the victim. In the classic version the victim is a patient with the same neurosis, only manifested in another form. Sometimes tyrant easily becomes a victim. And in the course of the game, players happy to change roles, as in well-known principle of Karpman triangle: persecutor – rescuer – the victim.
This is particularly illustrated by the relationship with the children. Wife (the victim) is always playing the role of the rescuer for her children, getting them involved in the game – so they become neurotic themselves, not only because of the example of parents, but also learning a role in practice. Children learn a virtue of obedience, and their whole life is a subject to strict control. Naturally, she calls it a “concern” for their good and proud that she is a responsible mother.
Remember that abusive husband always rationalizes his actions by hiding from himself and others his real motives and justifying with his concern for the welfare of others, and even “higher laws”. He “humbly” bears “the burden of power”, because it is his “mission” or “calling”, “sacred duty.” Submissive wife become the most rigid and strict mother and savage mother in-law. The victim, like a tyrant, does not miss a chance to humiliate the one who is weaker or dependent on him because of the circumstances.
Typically, neurotics are attracted to each other and form quite stable couples. “Birds of a feather flock together”… These relations may be completely irrational – in spite of the difference of interests and even the system of values, they just can not live without each other. This painful attraction is perceived by them as a kind of irresistible external force, which they interpret as love or passion. In contrast to the banal love for years, this kind of relationship can last much longer, for decades causing a tyrant and a victim to “torment” each other.
Despite the lack of real human understanding, they sort of understand each other very well – they anticipate feelings and actions of their partner in the game (as patients with the same illness often understand each other), causing a false sense of unity and harmony. The game in this triangle, especially in moments of role reversal, is accompanied by a storm of emotions – that gives them a sense of “living a true life.”
Abusive husband can not be satisfied with a normal life without this sick game, so periods of absence of relations and games they perceive as “not living life and not existence,” and he will do everything he can find a new partner. This is like a drug addiction and, in fact, it is – no wonder neurosis is called “addiction.” Even to talk about the tyrant without victim is difficult as about victim without a tyrant. All the existence of an abusive husband is only within the game of power and subordination.
Tyrants are very weak, infantile and vulnerable people, despite all the external “toughness.” You can watch a movie called “The Dictator”, it is a great comedy, and it shows their true nature.