She was on standby for the immense amount of agony a relationship can bring.Lynn felt the fear in her chest just waiting for things to become scary and destructive.An emotionally abusive man controls his partner by manipulating her fear of harm, isolation, and deprivation; he threatens or implies that he might hurt her, leave her, or keep her apart from the things she loves.An emotionally abusive woman controls her partner by manipulating his dread of failure as a provider, protector, lover, or parent: "I could have married a man who made more money, I had more orgasms with my last boyfriend, you're not a real man, and you don't know the first thing about raising kids." This difference in vulnerability to fear and shame is why the gender symmetry present in emotionally abusive behaviors vanishes in emotionally abusive relationships.Below are some of the reasons why victims/survivors may choose to stay or return to an abusive relationship. Don't Overlook This: The abuser is the person the victim/survivor .This makes leaving the abuser especially difficult where violent episodes are followed by periods of affection and positive attention.
Gender Distinctions In more than 20 years of working with abusive relationships, I have noticed a consistent gender distinction in the kind of abuse perpetrated.
The abuser may be the father/mother of the victim's/survivor's children.
The victim/survivor may want to end the violence, but also preserve the family relationship. Domestic violence is the cause of half of the homelessness in America's women and children. Many abusers are remorseful after abusing the victim/survivor.
Victims/survivors may also blame themselves for the violence as they are repeatedly told it is their fault by their abuser to the point that they become convinced of it and believes that it's their responsibility to "fix" it. When the abuser acknowledges the error of his/her ways, when s/he breaks down and cries and concedes the need for dramatic change, hope is often renewed for the victim/survivor. Many victims/survivors of domestic violence do not have a support system. For example, the abuser may prohibit the victim/survivor from using the phone, may humiliate him/her at family gatherings, may insist on transporting him/her to and from work, or may censor his/her mail, email, texting and cellphone records.
Abusers are often highly possessive and excessively jealous.
The thing is that Lynn left her abuser over a year ago and he is nowhere around.