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Emotional abuse

  1. Nov 3, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I caught a bit on the Today Show that discussed the issue of emotional abuse. Anytime I see something like this it almost always focuses on women who are abused by men. But in my family there was plenty of abuse and it all came from the women - and it still does. Without meaning to start a war between the sexes, I think abusive women are often tolerated or ignored, and abusive men are villified. Quite simply, men are expected to put up with it. My solution has been to mostly cut the ties with my family. I won't put up with another generation of abusive women.
     
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  3. Nov 3, 2005 #2

    ahrkron

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    Another problem with abusive women is that a strong, firm response from a man can be miscaracterized as abuse in the opposite way.
     
  4. Nov 3, 2005 #3
    I agree, and can be said about many things, such as physical abuse. My mother emotionally (and, in the past, physically) abuses my father and you're right - he is expected to put up with it. A lot of this is men's fault, though. It is men who largely expect men to put up with such things. But, yes, you only ever hear about men doing this and that to women, while more common fluctuations in domestic equilibrium go unnoticed. I think the effect is worsed by the impetus given by feminism to each and every story of evil, dasterdly men doing evil, dasterdly things, while there is no equivilent male-centric philosophy putting similar stories into focus to give things perspective.

    But then what do you expect? Women buy magazines that are basically true-life soap operas in words. Men buy magazines that have pictures of boobs and fast cars in them. We do ourselves no favours.
     
  5. Nov 3, 2005 #4

    Q_Goest

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    Yes - and police, counselors and others seem to maintain this mindset too. At least that's been my experience. I had to leave my wife in order to correct a situation like this that lasted years.

    I wonder if the problem isn't more than simply men are expected to put up with it, or they are more capable of handling abuse. There seems to be a natural instinct in men to support families in an unselfish way - to the point that some type of positive experience is obtained from working through harsh situations. Take working outdoors in all kinds of weather for example. Men are much more tolerant of doing things like this than women. Getting cold and wet is not just tolerated, it is in some ways a positive experience for a man. I don't think most women will understand that, but I think men can relate. The military for example, plays on this instinct when coming up with advertisements. They might show some man going through a grueling situation which tests his ability to cope. Men instinctively find that exciting, especially when younger and the hormones really kicking in. Fighting your way to the top of a mountain through fields of deep mud seems to click on something in a man's mind. That tolerance and even glad acceptance of abuse seems to be inherent to a man's psyche. Unfortunately, it does nothing to improve a marriage.
     
  6. Nov 3, 2005 #5

    matthyaouw

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    I'm often hearing how terrible us men apparently are in terms of how we treat women... Ironically, it's normally from a woman who has treated a man similarly badly in the past. It just seems to be acceptable nowadays to condemn a whole gender every time there is a problem with one of them. Its strange how if someone came out with an "All [insert ethnic group here] are jerks" comment because of a problem with one member of the group, there'd be the devil to pay, but make such a statement about a gender, and no one thinks anything of it. This behaviour isn't directed only at men- I've heard similar statements in regards to women. It's prejudice, plain and simple.
     
  7. Nov 3, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    It's another manifestation of sexism. It's hard to shake the stereotype that women are weak and men are strong, so if a man is abused by a woman, it is assumed he must be weak or allows it to happen, or just not believed, because no woman could be strong enough to abuse a man. And when it turns to physical abuse, if the man fights back at all, the cops and justice system seems to preferentially believe the woman when she claims he started it, no matter how unjust that is.

    From what I've seen though (anectdotally), I really think women are more often emotionally abusive than men. Men get physical, but women play the emotional games...not always of course, I'm just talking frequencies here. I've seen first-hand so many cases of women hen-pecking men, checking up on them, calling them wherever they are, screaming and yelling and telling them they're worthless over the smallest mistakes.

    On the subject of abuse, there's a billboard near me that has me truly baffled. It shows the inside of a pickup with an empty gun rack, and the words say, "Abuse a woman, lose your guns." I do a double-take every time I see it. Why not "Abuse anyone, lose your freedom?" Or, "Abuse a woman, get charged with assault and battery just the same as if you abused a man," or...well...it just leaves me deeply disturbed and wondering, is that the strongest the law here gets in cases of domestic abuse - they take your guns away, no jail time? Or is that the mindset of the abusive men here, that their guns are more important than their freedom, so that's the message you need to use? One of these days, if I have a moment to stop there, I'm going to write down the 800 number on the sign and call to ask, because it really leaves me that puzzled.
     
  8. Nov 3, 2005 #7

    Astronuc

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    I would caution on generalizations and realize each persons situation is unique.

    From my experience, people who abuse others have themselves been abused psychologically and/or physically/sexually - and that sometimes goes more than one generation.

    Part of the dating/courtship process is to learn about the other person and the other person experience, particular in regard to the family. Ideally one avoids marrying someone who is abusive. However, we see the unfortunate statistic in the US (and perhaps elsewhere) that approximately 50+% of marriages fail.

    My wife's parents had a bad relationship and my wife's first husband was phyically and emotionally abusive to her - which I learned before we got married, and I knew I was going to have to deal with it. In contrast, my parents were two very caring people, but I did have issues with my mother. My wife and I have had to deal with some of baggage we both carried over from our respective histories.
     
  9. Nov 3, 2005 #8

    Pengwuino

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    I remember seeing a study a loooooooooong time ago where a very large % of men who admitted to being abused by their wives never reported it or even felt like they should report it. They felt that either the police wouldn't believe them or that they were suppose to just accept it.

    I guess if a psychologist looked at the statistics without this knowledge, they would certainly think the problem mainly involves abused women.
     
  10. Nov 3, 2005 #9
    The thing with abuse, is that it starts small, with little things. And over time, you begin to feel like you deserve it. The abuser makes you feel the problem is you.
    If you made it this far, its really hard to get out. Your pretty much mind washed that your suited for no one.
    Its the same for both men and woman, but woman tend to band together, for support groups. But up untill the 1960's, woman were expected to just tuff it out too.
    Men don't create support networks, and its not because they can't. Many men help out in womans networks. So its not like they don't know how its done.
    {excluding our fantastic PF men} Men have a harder time talking about being mentally abused, not because of what woman would think of them, but of what there own gender would think of them. So men as a gender, need to step up to the plate, and say enoughs, enough.
    There are so many support groups in place already. The one I know of here is called My Bothers and Sisters Place. It offers help to any gender, but I have never seen a man go there seeking help.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  11. Nov 3, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

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    One of the main problems in my mind you call it "stepping up to the plate" while men see it as "lowering yourself to...". It's just so stigmatic that its rare for any man to seek these support groups.
     
  12. Nov 3, 2005 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    As for the sexism, this is often evident in popular humor. I have heard many, many very abusive jokes about men that, were they about women instead of men would be considered highly offensive. On the more subtle side, if one considers the message from commercials, only very recently does it seem that men grew capable of doing housework. For years one would swear that men are just too stupid to clean a toilet.
     
  13. Nov 3, 2005 #12
    So men can build rockets to the moon, but can't build a network of support. He can build a super highway, yet can't cross them to seek help. Thats really sad.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  14. Nov 3, 2005 #13

    Pengwuino

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    So only males are capable of constructing things?
     
  15. Nov 3, 2005 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    So you are blaming men for abusive women? Hypatia, I like you and I don't want this to get personal, but this sounds much like the rhetoric that I've heard about abused women in years past.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  16. Nov 3, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

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    I think she is trying to say (contrary to the joke i made if anyone thought i was being serious) is that men are capable of doing some incredible things but are seemingly incapable of going and getting help for when women actually abuse them. The problem here for hypatia is that what's true for the whole isn't necessarily true for the few. Just because a few rocket scientists can go to hte moon doesn't mean any random male can find help for being abused.
     
  17. Nov 3, 2005 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    In many cases I think the solution found is to go home each night and down a six-pack or two.
     
  18. Nov 3, 2005 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    If I missed something then never mind. I'm extremely tired right now :redface:
     
  19. Nov 3, 2005 #18
    It makes sense that women would be the emotional abusers more often, that's the only way they can hurt someone if they want to (not many women get violent, it just isn't effective). I also wonder what the reasons are for women being emotionally abusive - are they just mean people, have they been abused, are they angry at their spouses? And are their spouses often abusive too? Or is it mostly just the women who are abusing their spouses?
     
  20. Nov 3, 2005 #19

    Moonbear

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    I wonder how often marriages or domestic situations occur where both partners are abusive to each other? Or is it considered something other than abuse if they both go at it?
     
  21. Nov 3, 2005 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    I once tried to intervene in a domestic violence situation, and while I was trying to pin him, she came after me! I said the heck with this and got out of it. :yuck:
     
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