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Old 03-08-05, 12:31 AM
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How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

http://samvak.tripod.com/abuse7.html

I mailed this around pretty heavily today. I thought it was great.

===============

Is there anything you can do to avoid abusers and narcissists to start with? Are there any warning signs, any identifying marks, rules of thumb to shield you from the harrowing and traumatic experience of an abusive relationship?

Imagine a first or second date. You can already tell if he is a would-be abuser. Here's how:

Perhaps the first telltale sign is the abuser's alloplastic defenses – his tendency to blame every mistake of his, every failure, or mishap on others, or on the world at large. Be tuned: does he assume personal responsibility? Does he admit his faults and miscalculations? Or does he keep blaming you, the cab driver, the waiter, the weather, the government, or fortune for his predicament?

Is he hypersensitive, picks up fights, feels constantly slighted, injured, and insulted? Does he rant incessantly? Does he treat animals and children impatiently or cruelly and does he express negative and aggressive emotions towards the weak, the poor, the needy, the sentimental, and the disabled? Does he confess to having a history of battering or violent offenses or behavior? Is his language vile and infused with expletives, threats, and hostility?

Next thing: is he too eager? Does he push you to marry him having dated you only twice? Is he planning on having children on your first date? Does he immediately cast you in the role of the love of his life? Is he pressing you for exclusivity, instant intimacy, almost rapes you and acts jealous when you as much as cast a glance at another male? Does he inform you that, once you get hitched, you should abandon your studies or resign your job (forgo your personal autonomy)?

Does he respect your boundaries and privacy? Does he ignore your wishes (for instance, by choosing from the menu or selecting a movie without as much as consulting you)? Does he disrespect your boundaries and treats you as an object or an instrument of gratification (materializes on your doorstep unexpectedly or calls you often prior to your date)? Does he go through your personal belongings while waiting for you to get ready?

Does he control the situation and you compulsively? Does he insist to ride in his car, holds on to the car keys, the money, the theater tickets, and even your bag? Does he disapprove if you are away for too long (for instance when you go to the powder room)? Does he interrogate you when you return ("have you seen anyone interesting") – or make lewd "jokes" and remarks? Does he hint that, in future, you would need his permission to do things – even as innocuous as meeting a friend or visiting with your family?

Does he act in a patronizing and condescending manner and criticizes you often? Does he emphasize your minutest faults (devalues you) even as he exaggerates your talents, traits, and skills (idealizes you)? Is he wildly unrealistic in his expectations from you, from himself, from the budding relationship, and from life in general?

Does he tell you constantly that you "make him feel" good? Don't be impressed. Next thing, he may tell you that you "make" him feel bad, or that you make him feel violent, or that you "provoke" him. "Look what you made me do!" is an abuser's ubiquitous catchphrase.

Does he find sadistic sex exciting? Does he have fantasies of rape or pedophilia? Is he too forceful with you in and out of the sexual intercourse? Does he like hurting you physically or finds it amusing? Does he abuse you verbally – does he curse you, demeans you, calls you ugly or inappropriately diminutive names, or persistently criticizes you? Does he then switch to being saccharine and "loving", apologizes profusely and buys you gifts?

If you have answered "yes" to any of the above – stay away! He is an abuser.

Then there is the abuser's body language. It comprises an unequivocal series of subtle – but discernible – warning signs. Pay attention to the way your date comports himself – and save yourself a lot of trouble!

This is the subject of the next article.


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Old 03-08-05, 02:30 AM
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Itschaotic,

You are one of my favorite people here and your posts are always intelligent and interesting. You have done every woman here a great favor by the above link and info. It should be required reading for every young woman and some older ones too. It should be a STICKY!

Regards,
Coral
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Old 03-08-05, 10:28 AM
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Wow that was interesting to read ....


Thank you Ian
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I've been dating since I was fifteen! I'm exhausted. Where is he?

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Old 03-08-05, 02:48 PM
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Thank-you Coral. I'm humbled by your comments. I have had cause to have a deep respect often for your contributions here. It has been you and people like you that have helped build a confidence in myself that I've never felt as strongly as I do in your company.

I trust you to be frank and critical as I learn my way with the power of authority.
Ian.
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Old 03-09-05, 08:15 PM
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That is some pretty pointed stuff, Ian. I don't know anything about the author, but he's really aggressive in this piece. I really like the way there's no doubt we’re talking about guys here, too.

I wish it were as simple as this makes it sound. Doesn't it seem likely that there are plenty of abusers out there that don't exhibit any of these signs at first? We sure see it; the guys that aren't exhibiting these outward signs are the ones that are the biggest danger, in our opinion.

Then there's the Other Problem, the one that would often short circuit the whole identification process he outlines: it depends on the female's perception of the male's characteristics and behavior.

We all have built in mechanisms designed to warp that perception, exactly so we don't notice these things. The guys that exhibit gross behavioral artifacts like this are usually not very good at activating these mechanisms, and they tend to be correspondingly bumbling at the rest of it, too.

Which is why I said the ones you don't notice are more dangerous. As far as we know, there's no sure way to tell the abusers by their stripes. You can only trust your perception of something other than these characteristics.

That's why Kay and I developed our 'line of your life' analogy. Looking at how both of your paths met and where they look like they're going avoids looking in places where a primitive mechanism could warp our perception.

How many of us have known someone in a relationship that was so obviously going to be bad for them, yet they couldn't see it at all? Or someone that repeatedly winds up with men that are unquestionably wrong for them?

That's the problem we think needs addressing, a way for that woman to 'see' that she doesn't see it correctly, while it's happening.

Articles like this sure open the debate, though, don't they?
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Old 03-13-05, 07:07 AM
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That is some pretty pointed stuff, Ian. I don't know anything about the author, but he's really aggressive in this piece.
The "author" is a very well known narcissist, and someone who's words I would be very leary of. I believe it would take more than one or two dates to know this much about a person, and Vankin [the author] is smart enough to know this.

I am not saying there are no good points here, there are, but to make it a forum focal post is a narcissits dream. Vankin would love it!

-Viktoria
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Old 03-13-05, 07:23 AM
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Thanks Ian for the article. It was an eye opener since I havent dated much since William. I was just starting a new situation so this article will be of help...cause I had no idea of the signs thank Ian.
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Old 03-13-05, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itschaotic
Thank-you Coral. I'm humbled by your comments. I have had cause to have a deep respect often for your contributions here. It has been you and people like you that have helped build a confidence in myself that I've never felt as strongly as I do in your company.

I trust you to be frank and critical as I learn my way with the power of authority.
Ian.
Oh we will, you can surely trust us on this, especially with the "power" bit
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Old 03-20-05, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walsterus
I think you have make some extremely grandiose but sweeping generalisations based on your own negative experiences of the opposite sex. These experiences should not be regarded as generic and I find the content of your posting to be both predudice and inaccurate!
Hi walsterus,

You raise some interesting points but Ian did not write the article posted. He merely provided it for our information. We can either accept or reject the information provide.

Quote:
The symptoms which you have suggested prove an abuser are symptoms of which virtually ever person in society exibit at some point in time and anyone can have a bad day/week/month.
I think the article provides some emphasis (some might believe hyperbole) to get our attention, however the words:


(Quoting the article)
Quote:
"Does he find sadistic sex exciting? Does he have fantasies of rape or pedophilia? Is he too forceful with you in and out of the sexual intercourse? Does he like hurting you physically or finds it amusing? "




. . .surely do not apply to everyone. If this is someone's idea of fun, even if only on a bad day, this is someone I do not want to be around. I believe most wise people would not want to become involved with such a person either. If someone should display this behavior on a first date -- although why anyone would be having sex with a near stranger on a first date I cannot imagine -- I would run.

Quote:
In short, you can not predict a persons good or bad intentions/personality/behavior from one date or 2 dates.
If someone behaves very aggressively on a first date, when it would be to his advantage to be on his best behavior, how on earth is he going to behave on subsequent dates. Some of this advice is just good sense. The clearest indicator of future behavior is past behavior in most instances.


Quote:
Perhaps you have met some abusers who have exibited some or all of the symptoms you have highlighted for us, however, you should not assume that these traits are indicative of an abuser. Making such predictions is discrimanatory and wholly wrong.
I agree with much of what was posted. I have many women friends who have met up with physical abusers. Even married them. Most of them saw such red flags early on but chose to ignore them. Now Stabile raises the interesting point that many abusers are clever enough not to display these traits early on, but for those that do, isn't it good to heed early warning?

I am puzzled about your use of the word "discriminatory."

1. I cannot see how mere predictions can be discriminatory. Discrimination usually takes place against persons and not against hypothetical future behavior.

2. Even if it were directed at people, what is wrong with discriminating against abusers? Abusers are not a protected class of people. U.S. law forbids discrimination based upon such things as race, sex, religion or creed, disability. Abuse is not a disability. Physical abuse is a criminal act and justly deserves punishment and the law justly provides it to protect victims and maintain justice and order. For instance, if someone is sent to prison for abuse, is that discrimination? Of course not! That is justice.


Quote:
Regards,
Paul
non abuser
Interesting signature. Would you care to explain it? No one in this thread accused any specific person of being an abuser.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:26 PM
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I found it interesting personally and to be honest anyone that suggested marriage on a first or second date you should run from just as a general policy to dating..

i have unfortunately found that abusive relationships do not always experience physical but emotional issues.. its the "its your fault your not supportive if you happen to question anything i do " type and the " oh you want space then you must be seeing someone else or plan to see someone else" type that drive me crazy because my "take care of others before myself " part of my personality comes into the first and my "oh, so you think id do that fine ill show you im extremely faithful" personality comes to the second
if any of you understand that lol
anyway i think the article has alot of good warning signs, but like everything else in the world nothing is black and white and unfortunately there is always someone that will not follow the general rule..
some abusers are not easy to see until you realize too late it is occurring on the other hand i thought the article was a good informative piece on things to be aware of and maybe look at closely if you plan on having a long term relationship with someone showing these behaviors
but then again thats just my opinion
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Old 03-20-05, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOX911
i have unfortunately found that abusive relationships do not always experience physical but emotional issues.. its the "its your fault your not supportive if you happen to question anything i do " type and the " oh you want space then you must be seeing someone else or plan to see someone else" type that drive me crazy because my "take care of others before myself " part of my personality comes into the first and my "oh, so you think id do that fine ill show you im extremely faithful" personality comes to the second
Great comments SOX911! I did understand.

Unfortunately women in particular have been conditioned to believe they must always put others first, although I am sure that many men have fallen into that particular trap as well.

It seems that some people think that the people who have been traditionally designated the caretakers of children must also be taking care of men. I confess I thought that in my twenties because as the older sister of three brothers that had always been my role. By the time I was in my thirties, I was seriously questioning that role and by the time I was in my forties I decided that all grown ups should take care of themselves. Needless to say, I learned my lessons the hard way.

Let's face it, someone who would suggest marriage on the first date is at best incautious. I once read that the most lasting marriages take place between people who have known each other at least about two years before marriage. Someone who was in a big hurry -- for anything -- would cause me to back away. I would worry about

The fast fade . . . we are all familiar with that one.
That he was in a hurry so I wouldn't see his faults.
That the level of neediness was skyhigh.
That he would try to contol me.
The performance in bed would be equally rushed.

I wasn't so aware that a big rush was a signal for a possible abuser until my daughter, Suzanna, met a guy in a big rush.

In 2002, she met this guy at a club after a breakup with a long term boyfriend, and this guy was a good-looking musician who played just her sort of music. My daughter is a pretty girl and she is very used to guys fawning over her, but this one -- let's call him Lonnie -- was way over the top. He adored her. She was gorgeous. How soon could he see her again. He had this powerful feeling about her. Maybe she was The ONE!

At the time my daughter was a bit of a fool for musicians. She was quite willing to overlook the fact that they were often unemployed. After her third date with Lonnie, he showed up at her door with his luggage. He couldn't live without her! Suzanna explained to him that she wasn't ready for a sexual relationship with him. He was oh-cool-with-that. He just wanted to be near her.

My daughter is a trusting soul. She let him move in. He was cute so one thing led to another and the very seductive Lonnie was soon sharing her bed, her meals, and she was sharing his dreams. He was indeed talented. Sounded just like Trent Resnor. (I told her the world already had a Trent Resnor.) Before ya know the Lonnie with eyelashes "at least a half inch long" was also sharing her financial resources. She bought him a CD burner. She helped market his band. She loaned him money. He did not sign the lease.

Time goes by. He alternately praises her to the sky and criticizes her unmercifully. Her head motion looks like she is watching a tennis match. He flirts with other women. He is jealous of every man who looks at her. He cuts off her relationships with others. He builds a friendship with the woman next door, who I will call Sexy Lexy.

When my daughter comes to visit me for Christmas (without Lonnie), this girl who was vibrant and confident, if overdressed, suddenly exhibits very uncharacteristic insecurity. But of course she just adores Lonnie and everything is divine if only her hips weren't two inches to big and her bust two inches to small and her hair suddenly impossible and her sex appeal fading. This was pretty puzzling, especially since at a place we went to eat the kitchen staff thought she was a movie star and when she said that she wasn't, they asked for autograph anyway. Such an ugly girl, who turns head everywhere she goes. Clearly something was wrong. I suspected Lonnie. I cautioned her that his behavior and financial desperation indicated he might steal from her. In six months, he hadn't bothered to look for a job.

Fast forward to March 2003. She calls me and informs me that Lonnie will be moving out. It seems Sexy Lexy has informed my daughter that she and Lonnie have been lovers and that Sexy Lexy is breaking up with him because he is impossible and she just wanted Suzanna to know what a jerk he was. Lonnie did not have chance to plead his case. Suzanna helped him pack.

Later, when she checked her cash stash she found that all $500 she had been saving for a new computer was missing.

Expensive lesson.

She later learned that, though he had never struck her, he had physically abused two of his past girlfriends.

Suzanna may make other mistakes but she won't make that one again.

You are right SOX to point out that verbal abuse is also abuse.
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Old 03-22-05, 12:16 AM
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OH that poor girl.. yeah havent been there in that situation exactly but my heart goes out to her.. i wonder and men dont take this personally im not a male basher i know some absolutely awesome guys.. my dad included but this is about jerkyboys... not the awesome end of the male species.. why do jerkyboys who are in the wrong want to put it on you.. the manipulation if you are not too close to the situation is almost amusing to witness.. sigh.. i know women arent the only ones that have this stuff happen to them but that story broke my heart.. sometimes i think emotional abuse is almost worse.. it changes your spirit.. not that i condone any type of abuse but there is nothing worse to me than attempting to break another human beings spirit and attempting to destroy their most prized possession.. themself
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Old 03-22-05, 12:38 AM
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Well SOX, she certainly changed her outlook on men. She made sure the next guy she connected with wouldn't need to steal from her. The one she has now really brings in the money, but he is a workaholic. Seems like the lessons we learn sometime cause us to go to the other extreme.

At least he treats her well when he is home.

The world is full of wounded people, isn't it? (I certainly don't exclude myself.) It is a puzzle why people get together -- all optimistic -- and then proceed to hurt each other. Sometimes there are bullies and victims, and sometime people just go at each other. So sad.
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Old 03-22-05, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOX911
OH that poor girl.. yeah havent been there in that situation exactly but my heart goes out to her.. i wonder and men dont take this personally im not a male basher i know some absolutely awesome guys.. my dad included but this is about jerkyboys... not the awesome end of the male species.. why do jerkyboys who are in the wrong want to put it on you.. the manipulation if you are not too close to the situation is almost amusing to witness.. sigh.. i know women arent the only ones that have this stuff happen to them but that story broke my heart.. sometimes i think emotional abuse is almost worse.. it changes your spirit.. not that i condone any type of abuse but there is nothing worse to me than attempting to break another human beings spirit and attempting to destroy their most prized possession.. themself
Emotional abuse is murder of the soul.
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Old 03-22-05, 01:47 AM
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Another observation I would like to ADD, if no one minds.

I my past experiences, I would say that sometimes, a woman may unknowningly attract an abuser. (Verbal or physical) I say this because when I was younger, a single mother, my self-esteem was non-existant! The men I found were mind sucking, non-working cruel arrogant and narcissistic men. After one plus years with a physical abuser, and a couple of years with verbal abusers, I finally realized that I was better then that. I had a lot to offer someone, and I deserved to be loved as much as I love.

I was able to turn it around, and make my way through a couple decent, but boring relationships, (went the other way to the extreme) until I happened upon my current husband. The first night we spent 7 hours talking. I knew that he was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. A year and a half later, we were married.

It was a long road of self-discovery! But well worth the trip. I learned many invaluable lessons. People may not be who they seem. Take your time, get to know someone. And most important, trust my instincts! (I ignored my instincts during the abusive stages of my life)

And Coral, I am so sorry to hear of your daughter Suzanna's plight. Sometimes the verbal and controlling behavior can be so much more destructive due to it being so subtle that the recipient does not know what is happening until they have totally lost themselves. Kudos to her for getting out. Some dont, they would continue to make excuses for and forgive until it is too late.
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