Thursday, January 15, 2009

Myths about abuse by Lundy Bancroft

In complegalitarian the conversation has turned to spousal violence. It is a place where many commenters like to be anonymous, although maintaining a name of some kind. I support anonymity in this context and I am disappointed that real names have been introduced into published comments in this context, betraying the confidentiality of at least one commenter. Let me repeat, I support anonymity in this context and I would like to promote it.

For this reason and others, I am a conscientious objector to the complegalitarian blog. However, I feel the need to comment on this most recent post. First, the author, Marilyn asks some good questions.

One commenter responds,

    Yes, symptoms become causes in their own right, but the root causes are nonetheless other.

    A person’s personality type (here, OCEAN, the big five personality traits, is more helpful perhaps than Myers-Briggs: watch out for neuroticism and disagreeableness), upbringing, history of being abused by others, family of origin’s history of mental illness and personal history of mental illness, personal choices in terms of substance abuse, self-medication, and patterns of addiction - these things are the root causes of abuse.
Now, let me introduce you to Lundy Bancroft, who I believe is a recognized author in this area. In fact, I believe he is the best.

    The Myths about Abusers page 23 - 24

    1. He was abused as a child.
    2.His previous partner abused him.
    3.He abuses those he loves the most.
    4. He holds in his feelings too much.
    5. He has an aggressive personality.
    6. He loses control.
    7. He is too angry.
    8.He is mentally ill.
    9. He hates women.
    10. He is afraid of intimacy and abandonment.
    11. He has low-self-esteem.
    12.His boss mistreats him.
    13.He has poor skills in communication and conflict resolution.
    14. There are as many abusive women as abusive men.
    15.His abusiveness is as bad for him as for his partner.
    16.He is a victim of racism.
    17. He abuses alcohol or drugs.
Bancroft meticulously supports his claims that it is a myth that these things cause someone to become an abuser.

Thank you, Lundy Bancroft. I will blog soon about some of the causes of abuse.

Bancroft, Lundy. Why Does He Do That? I recommend this as the best book on the topic. It takes no position on any religious viewpoint. It is refreshingly devoid of that kind of comment. Every pastor should own this book.


Anonymous said...

Oh, this is great! I'm really looking forward to this, Suzanne.

Anonymous said...

Lundy Bancroft's book Why Does He Do That is the only one I recommend for understanding an abusive person. It is premiere in this area and he articulately lays out his case. I recently read another by someone else, hoping to recommned it to an abusive client I am working with because it was suppose to tell you how to stop being abusive, only to be disappointed. The author says many abusers abuse because they are Bi-Polar or have a personality disorder... NOT! I ended up not recommending it because no matter how good your "treatment' recommendations are, if you start with giving them an excuse, you'll never get true behavioral change... "you see, it's not my fault I explode once in a while, I'm Bi-Polar..." Enough already. I used to get that excuse from my ex after he went to a therapist and she incorrectly diagnosed him with Bi-Polar. He was not Bi-Polar, because he functioned quite well in all other arenas of his life, including work. Research has shown there are no more diagnosible disorders amoing abusive people as there are among the genral population, anbout 17%. So enough with giving them rationale. That is why I love Lundy's material. No bull, just straight talk...

Mara Reid said...

I just commented on Compegal about my spouse having Adult ADHD and it contributing to his bad behavior.

Although I agree with you that giving abusers an excuse is bad, ESPECIALLY when no brain disorder exists. Yet at the same time where brain orders DO exist, there are things to keep in mind like getting them treatment. If they are in denial and refuse treatment, then you must treat them as any abuser. You must remove yourself from the situation till they get help.
You never place yourself in harms way out of sympathy for their disorder any more than you would ride in a care with a driver who needs glasses but refuses to wear them.

Lin said...

Any recommedations for information on passive-agressive abusers?

Anonymous said...

Mara, you are right and I did not mean to imply that there are not cases where there is a true mental health issue. In those cases, treatment is essential. I was trying to make the point that it is not an excuse and the excuse is used to often, even by professionals who should know better and don't.

My apologies if I implied otherwise.

Lin, Bancroft's book is excellent even for the passive-aggressive type. In his book, he outlines different types of abusers and you will find it most helpful in understanding.

Lin said...

Thanks! I know some who have been under passive agressive abuse. It is hard to call these folks outright 'controlling' because it is better hidden. But the control element is there to those who are the recipient.

Anonymous said...

I would say that my situation has been very passive-agressive. It is very confusing when it's like that...a constant state of being manipulated. If the passive-agressive person is smart, they can get away with it for a looong time before you'll ever know what hit you. I feel like I'm coming out of a world where I walked through fog forever. Just saying, Lin, that I know a little bit about what you are talking's very difficult, because it is hidden so well, but it's no less destructive than the other kinds of abuse.

Anonymous said...

In many ways, it is more destructive because you never feel like you are "in your right mind" so to speak.

and because it is so subtle, it is hard to put a label on it. It is not an out right punch, that you can label. Instead, it is like a slow drowning.... you just don't know you ar ebeing held under because you can still make out images...

Anonymous said...

My husband is/was passive-aggressive. That's not a brain disorder; it's a dysfunctional coping style. Now he's coping much better. There are still things that I ask him to do that he says will do and then he doesn't do them, but they're now minor things that can reasonably be explained by mere forgetfulness. Of course, if he forgets (or, maybe "forgets") repeatedly I will call him on that because there is no way I'm going back into that hell hole.

I don't really want to recall much of the bad old days because remembering brings back the awful feelings but I will say this: he was an accomplished grudge-holder; he constantly expected to be ripped off and seemed to think one of my jobs was to prevent that; he often acted as though I was an enemy, or at least in some sort of competition with him; everybody else thought he was a wonderful, kind, caring sort of fellow.

After several years I began to suspect that he treated me badly because he didn't like himself much. I had sort of disappeared as a separate person and turned into an appendage of his. Therefore, I could only presume that, being part of him, he didn't like me much either.

Around that time I did a personal counselling course run by a Christian organisation in which one learns to counsel by counselling other class members. It was painful but it was also, eventually, wonderful. I recommended to my husband that he do the course too because it would be very useful in his work. He did the course but resisted being the one who gets counselled. Week after week I'd ask him if he'd been in the chair yet but he always said he hadn't. At the end he had to sit in the chair because he was the only one left who hadn't sat there and you can't be a wonderful sort of a person whom everyone admires while also being that sort of holdout.

That episode in the chair brought to light two important episodes in his life that had shaped his adult personality; one where his parents had forced him, personally, to abandon his beloved pet dog in a national park and, more significantly, one where he had abandoned a friend because the friend had become an embarrassment to him even though the friend had done nothing worse than not be smart enough for the A class. My husband realised he was not just a victim of others' cruelty but was also someone who could be (and had been) cruel to someone who didn't deserve it. That is, he recognised that he, too, could be unrighteous.

That was the beginning of the creation of a healthy relationship between us. It was more than 15 years ago and I would say that the working out of the remaining difficulties between us took about 10 of those 15 years with the problem episodes occurring with ever decreasing frequency. Adjustments take time even when both partners in a marriage are trying hard to be a better spouse and to be a faithful follower of Christ. If one doesn't care the other won't be able, alone, to dig the marriage out of the ditch. But we two are very happy with each other now.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

thanks for sharing. I won't offer any advice as I haven't any handy.

Anonymous said...

If the book by lundy Bancroft is reviewed with an open mind, it becomes quite apparent that he believes that women are rarely abusers. In fact he has stated this publicly. He has good points in his book, but it is hardly scientific. It is to some degree, a racket. He attracts a very specific audience. It is gender biased to say the least. He purposefully ignores the fact that women do not fall far behind men in the domestic violence problem. As he once said in a meeting "90% of women that are arrested for DV are actually victims, and the other 10% are provoked". anyone with even remote intelligence would know that this is a mathematical and statistical impossibility. There is no justification for violence against anyone, regardless of gender.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I whole heartedly agree with you. All violence is wrong. I wonder if more female violence falls within the relationships of mutual violence. I don't know.

We do know that men commit more crimes on average of all kinds. Many say that men are more prone to react physically and women to react verbally.

In my acqaintance many women have been violently assaulted and/or raped. Men are more likely to complain that women have taken them for a lot of money. This is just my experience.

IMO neither wives nor husbands should be subordinated. There is no justification for the subordination of women regardless of the statistics.

Bancroft has helped a lot of women who are in really tough situations. I appreciated what he had to say.

Anonymous said...

Its easy to align ourselves with our gender. Its also easy to make judgements based on our experiences, however individual experiences are not reliable to judge anything scientifically. Its ironic to me that most women and feminists speak of equality, yet the want to be treated as "women". Equality is not gender based.
That being said,"domestic violence" is the issue. Its about violence, not gender. Just because a man can withstand some things better because of their physical strength, does not justify violence in any way. We should all be defenders of all people regardless Of gender. Lets not pick favorites. I think lundy Bancroft discriminates against men. Its not what feminists want to hear, and he makes money off of it. He manipulates the statistics. Its sad and so many buy into it. It perpetuates violence indirectly, because I does not hold up women to be responsible for their actions as well.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

The fact is that some women live for much of their life with violence. Frequent, weekly beating, slapped around, sworn at, controlled, isolated from family and friends, having to recount every phone call to their husband, every dollar spent, refused permission to see a family counselor.

At the same time she is told she has caused all the violence she has experienced because of her own inability to be totally obedient and submissive in all her actions.

If she murmers against this she is told she is going to hell, she is a bitch and a whore, she deserves to be taught a lesson.

Women like this need some kind of help. A book like Bancroft's can save their life.

Abused men need a book like this as well.

Men need a book to tell them that if they are fucked and beaten and sworn at and told they are going to hell for not being minutely and meticulously obedient in all things, they should get out. I am all for that.

I would never want a man to suffer a life like that any more than a woman should.

I am for no fault divorce which benefits both men and women.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Seriously, whatever the issues are for men, I think they need permission to leave a marriage that is unhappy for them.

I do, however, think that it is very problematic to divorce when the kids are young and I don't have any answers for how to go about doing this properly, but I do support men maintaining their relationship with their children.

Anonymous said...

Your post brings to light the very point that I am making. There is bilateral domestic violence between men and women. But why choose women as the pinnacle of victimization? Just as certain diseases present differently in genders, so does domestic violence. The way women abuse isn't the same all the time as the way men abuse. Why champion the cause of just women? why disriminate against gender? its no different than any other type of discrimination. I encourage you to look up Borderline Personality Disorder, which is rampant in our society. It is most common in women, these women are highly prone to manipulation and lying, they are highly prone to violence. It is the most common personality disorder diagnosed in family court, just based upon this diagnosis alone, there are THOUSANDS of men abused everyday. They are just not reporting it. Again, I reiterate, lets take a stand for domestice violence against ALL perpetrators. Lundy Bancroft once remarked that men are always the abusers, and that when women hit men, its because they are "provoked"...Does this make sense to anyone? there is no justification to hit ANYONE! provoked or not! Lundy Bancroft is a feminist, and he is running a lucrative racket, and he is actually causing more damage to the problem of domestic violence problem, because he is propagating the fact that women can't be abusers!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

This is problematic because in some sense this book can help a women in a situation of unilateral violence enormously.

For example, it is one of the first books that I have read that claims that abused women do not bring it violence on themselves because of their personality. I know women who have experienced violence but are very different in personality, and some now have top leadership jobs. This seems to me to be extremely important - don't blame the victim.

Second, he labels entitlement as an important and necessary corelate of violence. Clearly women can feel entitled also. But the teaching of male headship is clearly a teaching of entitlement. To be a women who experiences violence within a framework of male headship and blame the victim mentality makes it extremely difficult to ever get free from violence.

These are two key issues for women. Some theologians

1 blame women for being "rebellious"

2. Claim that women will go to hell if they do not submit to male headship (ie the entitlement of the male to have his own way)

So these are two main issues which concern me. Bancroft addresses these. The book was helpful.

I would agree that the same two issues are important for men. Don't blame the victim and don't claim that women are entitled to control men.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

In rereading your comment I think perhaps you have lumpled lying and manipulation in with violence. I agree that it is a from of violence. However, Bancroft's book is really about the victims of physical violence who are overpowered. This would apply mostly to women.

Being a victim of lies is also extremely disturbing and not to be dismissed, but it seems to require a different book. For myself, I know just as many women as men who are victims of lies.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if this book was not so sexist. I have an abusive wife. She does not beat me physically she just chooses to do it emotionally. She insisted that I was the cause of all the problems in our marriage. On her insistence I went to the councilor of her choice. The councilor informed me that contrary to what my wife had told me I am not stupid. I am not a terrible person. Me wanting her to stop being friends with some one determined to destroy our marriage was not wrong. Me not wanting her to be friends with an X boyfriend who was all of a sudden available again was not wrong. Turns out I am an OK guy and not a terrible monster. The book should be titled why do THEY do that and written from a gender neutral position to really be fair. Just my two cents. Flame me if you like but I still know that I am a good person. How many of you can say that and really mean it?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I completely agree that wives can be abusive and neither sex has the corner on ill treatment of the other.

However, I still believe that this book addresses a serious problem. Some women are violently abused and brainwashed to stay with their violent partner because of a rhetoric of male entitlement. Most abused women do not escape from living their entire life as a victim of violence. So this book addresses a real and very serious problem.

I guess I think that there also needs to be books that address the problems men have with abusive wives. I accept that completely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I am a domestic violence advocate, and have had important training to recognize 'dominant aggressor' without consideration of gender. Statistically women are more often classified as 'victims' in law enforce generated reports. There are many reasons this happens and few statistics in this area exist outside of law enforcement. Men have more barriers and a stigma to fight off before they can get help, but help is out there without any gender bias. I have heard Bancroft speak multiple times and do not agree that he is gender biased, in fact, he is always very careful to state the 'disclaimer' outright (page xii which also references chapter 5). I have provided thousands of hours training on this topic area and it is difficult to always use 'they' rather than he or she. 'They' will lose content. The fact still is that women are statically more often the victims of abuse than men (even though statistics arrive through a skewed source). I give a gender 'disclaimer' any time I present, and use real examples of men who have been abused. Simply stated, this 'grass roots' movement began in the 70s as a result of WOMEN that were battered and tormented BECAUSE is was considered ok to do so. Since the 70s there has been a lot of gender 'neutrality' introduced in our society and socialization. As domestic violence tends to be generational, I would suggest that women have aligned themselves with a traditionally 'mens' attitude of power and entitlement rather than 'equality' as you mention. The pendulum swings, but it does not give women any more right be abusers as it does men. I agree, and actually consider myself to be outspoken in this field for the incidence that occur where women abuse men. That does not negate, however, that women began this movement in response to injuries to women. I would definitely agree that many in this field harbor the 'feminist' approach, but do not agree that Lundy Bancroft is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, my ex-husband cried that I said he was a bad person and that I blamed him for everything. When he cheated, it was my fault b/c I "always tried to make him feel bad". I was not even able to comment on his abusive and extremly selfish behavior for fear of making him feel bad. He told people that I abused him, when in fact, he beat me sensless several times per week. Lundy Bancroft has a good point. It is that men are never physically intimidated by women. Sure there are mean, selfish women, cheaters, and gold-diggers, but that's not what he's talking about.

Anonymous said...

I think the comments from the anonymous males speak for themselves. Was it really too much for a group of women to be allowed a conversation about their experiences? Weighing in with objections about our opinions and Lundy's imagined biases is exactly the kind of behaviour my emotionally abusive husband uses when he doesn;t like me standing up for myself. The issue of women abusing men is not what was being discussed here so why did you think it was your right or duty to bring it up and 'school' us? Could it possibly be because you are a male who does not like to read this kind of thing about many members of your gender? Sounds to me like a men's group got wind of this discussion and decided to sabotage it. How very uncontrolling of you!

Anonymous said...

My experience has been that abusive men who have been caught out or fear that they will be (which I suppose is most of them) try to incrementally shift the blame to the woman. Any tiny bit of wrong-doing he can get assigned to her is a wedge in a crack that he will continue to drive until everyone believes it is entirely her fault, and the process is incessant: he starts from whatever level of culpability is currently assigned to him and tries to shift as large an increment of it as he thinks he can get away with onto her, and while he may pause to re-group, he will never, ever stop.

The abusive men I have seen who do not do this are completely confident they are in the right and that everyone else agrees with them. They don't feel a need to resort to wedging open a crack, they simple blame everything on the woman an are done with it.

Anonymous said...

I have been in an abusive marriage for 10 years, that actually began about 6 months after we started dating, a little bit more than a year before we actually married. However, it took me half of this time, after going through the increasing "Dr. Jeckle - Mr. Hyde scenario" to decide this was not a normal relationship, that I was crumbling from the inside out and needed to get a handle on what I was dealing with. In the process, I have read every book I have come across on the subject of abusive partnerships. Until discovering these books, I hadn't known this type of treatment was actually abuse. Upon reading the very first
one, tears spilled without reserve as I whispered to myself, " oh my, they are telling my story!" Lundy Bancroft's "Why
Does He Do That" is one of the books I have read, more than once, with the same response. He has, without a
doubt, done his research well, because otherwise, he could never have explained, with such accuracy and heartfelt
insight, the world of the victims and their pain and
confusion. This is why so many are gratefully sharing his
work with any who will listen. It is not a "racket", but a
precious treasure to those needing his expertise. Anyone
who says the contrary, has obviously not experienced what
others of us have. In his book, videos, and blogs, I have
yet to receive the impression he is feminist, or man-hater,
or is trying to rally women together as such. His real heart,
rather, seems to be that of a true care-giver, as one would
expect a doctor or nurse to be. Clearly, his primary
concern is for the safety of anyone being abused, which
per capita is usually women or children. This is one of the
reasons I appreciate his work. With the exception of my
abusive husband, I have never been in a relationship with
an abusive male. My grandfathers, father, uncles, friends,
teachers, brothers-in-law, co-workers, pastors etc. have
never to my knowledge been abusive to me or my family. I
revere these men highly, and even after living with an
abuser, I am not suddenly suspicious of all men or biased
against them. I am however, incredibly empathetic and
supportive of anyone who is a victim of such treatment, with or without a physical battering element, and will dedicate myself to educating and assisting them in any way
I am able for the rest of my life.

Anonymous said...

Really?? "Me wanting her to stop being friends with some one determined to destroy our marriage was not wrong. Me not wanting her to be friends with an X boyfriend who was all of a sudden available again was not wrong. " You're commenting on how YOU CONTROL your wife's friendships to demonstrate that SHE is abusive? Maybe you should read Bancroft's book and think about things from your wife's perspective...

Xiang said...

1. The Bancroft book really is a gold mine. And the kicker is that so-called "father's rights" groups think he's The Devil, which to me is a sterling recommendation. Bancroft's work is one of the tools I used to research the content of this site -- -- which has a ton of neat stuff that domestic violence survivors can use to get help, get out, stay safe and stay strong. Feel free to steal my stuff!

Xiang said...

2. The comments above, from the anonymous male, about Bancroft are absurd. Bancroft is not prejudiced against men. He is prejudiced against abusers, as any sensible person would be. And he is breathtakingly honest: although he makes his living trying to counsel abusers, he admits that very often the abusers just don't change. Likewise, although he is part of the society of professionals who try to study and forecast abuse, he admits openly that no professionla study or test or early-warning system, can work as well as a woman's intuition, that little voice in her head that says "wow, it's time to get out of here." And it is totally true that the abusers are overwhelmingly men: over a million men beat their women every year, which is a crime, and almost none will go to jail.

Anonymous said...

I read the book, & it has become my new bible. Nearly everything he speaks about in those pages applies to my situation - & explains a lot. I wish I had read the book before I took the kids & ran from my ex, I wouldn't have been royally F*d in the divorce. He hit me with all he had, & CONTINUES to this day - using the court. Even after the kids turn 18 he will continue - I know it. Daily, I struggle to be there for my kids who are used as tools to zing me. I struggle to pay child support & struggle to find money for the shoes, socks, and coats that my ex can't seem to stay on top of, even with child support. Recently, I found myself on the other side of the mountain, and heading down. I'm remarried & have a newborn. My older daughter is 14 - she can go to court & speak for herself & her brother. I'm nearly finished with the degree I so wanted to complete - things are slowly going my way. I think the book was tremendously helpful in terms of just being able to cope.

Anonymous said...

I am male, 55. I am an engineer. I have been "typed" as an "abuser" by my now ex-wife. In conversations with my now ex-wife, I asked to read her copy of "Why Does He Do That?" because she seemed to draw strength from it.

I will not get into the details of my marriage or any personal information. I am posting to offer a different perspective.

As someone trained and deeply experienced what might be called "reasoning", I find this book deeply flawed. A careful review will show that every unseemly, crass, out-of-place, rude behavior demonstrated by a male partner is identified as "abuse" which is then extrapolated to mean the male partner is an "abuser".

To make matters worse, the "abuser" is given no latitude for any manner of defense for his actions. In fact, by making the foregoing comment is, conveniently, the sure sign of an "abuser". Making a comment about the comment I just made....also the mark of an "abuser".

In this book, Bancroft moves the reader from self-doubt and confusion to a "smoke and mirrors" world where every offense may be "rightfully" construed as "abuse".

Bancroft, in short, foments a kind of paranoia wherein each exchange of thought between partners is looked upon with suspicion and skepticism. I do not believe a fully "savable" marriage would survive this book if held in any esteem by the female reader.

Anonymous said...

Now...for my own balance. I can see how genuinely abused women must be strongly encouraged to action. I "get" that there are abusive, controlling, manipulative male partners. I know that domestic violence exists and is likely bigger than any of us realize. I understand that too often, female partners are "trapped" into these circumstances by emotion, by religious beliefs, by false dedication to marriage & children, by financial issues, etc. and must be therefore be "motivated" toward a safe, bright, happy future. This book, perhaps, serves a purpose for those females.

Other "lay person" observations:

1. Each partner in a relationship may commit an offense that is abusive...without being an abuser. We all make mistakes. Bancroft makes no allowance for this.

2. There ARE dynamics within every relationship wherein one partner knowingly or unknowingly provokes the other partner to anger. Bancroft makes no allowance for this. Worse, Bancroft intentionally absolves the female partner entirely.

3. Every relationship involves considerable "negotiation". One could argue that every "negotiation" is an intent by one partner to "control and/or manipulate" the other. Taking this view into an otherwise fundamentally healthy relationship will ultimately destroy it.

4. If you are genuinely abused, why would you even ask "Why Does He Do That?". How would knowing more about the "abusive mind" of your partner help? I honestly question Bancroft's motive in this. His book could have been a pamphlet entitled "Knowing When You Must Leave". I think it could be done in a dozen pages. Something like THAT could be distributed at laundrymats, grocery stores, bus stops, etc. i.e. made available to at-risk women in places where they might benefit without provoking her abuser.

Anonymous said...

5. Having a crisis of confidence, chronic low self-esteem, depression, disappointment, difficult children, financial pressures...all of these things and more contribute to heightened sensitivity to legitimate criticism. In Bancroft's view, the very statement above is heresy and posting it confirms my place as abuser. Baloney.

In engineering we always strive to ensure we're literally "solving the right problem". Either individual in a relationship may have a specific challenge that is effecting the dynamics of the relationship. Any attempt to "fix" the relationship will fail unless the underlying individual problems are addressed. Bancroft makes absolutely no allowance for this at all. How many marriages has he influenced to ruination by this ham-handed effort in pop-psychology. I can name one: mine...and the misery has well more than doubled.

My "lay advice": Be sure you're solving the right problem. If you're being physically or emotionally abused, bug out. Even if YOU have an underlying problem, there's no fixing it in an abusive environment. If you're unhappy but there is respect in your relationship...consider trying to solve your problems with the help of your partner.

Well....I've clearly overstayed my welcome. I expect no end of rebuttal. You may expect me to remain silent. I am not going to add to your unhappiness by getting into an argument. I'm certain you already have enough of those.

Anonymous said...

 For a professional field that values degrees and certifications. Lundy Bancroft has No degree, no certifications, no license, and no research cited in most of his books. Just saying!  His writings are trash and do harm to many innocent men. He is a fraud!

Anonymous said...

Replying to the 55 year old engineer, I read your post, open to your criticism, however, the book is not your problem. Read the book one more time, and instead of looking to prove how Lundy ruined your marriage, look for clues on how you caused your marriage to fail. Not having done that makes your post sound like a noisy gong at best.

Anonymous said...

Lundy Bancroft is the leader of his own poersonal pagan cult:

Christians should not be yoked with him.

Anonymous said...

I admit i havent read why does he do this to me page for page because i couldnt stomach it. The thing about dime store psycholigists like lundy bancroft is for evry book written like why does he do this to me i can find an equivalent book like why does she do this to me. The sad fact is there is an entire industry out there that is more than willing to profit voa their book sales from garbage like this, and if they cant find genuine victime they will manufacture them. Whats ore they dont really care if they are enabling a victim like behaviour whne there may not relly even be a victim. I think the most disturbing thing about this bookmwas the premise that no matter what course of action a man make take in a maritial argument, he inevitably is an abuser. If he loses his temper And shouts at her hes an abuser. If he walks away from an argument so he wont lose his temper he is also an abuser. Not surprising to see lundy has authored several books in this field as dime store psychologists can churn them out like stepen king novels, lundy is a psychobabble factory to be sure. The thing most of hese generic self help books promote is that one couple in a marriage needs to put themselves first, but anybody who has been married any length of time can tell you that marriage is a partnership that involves compromise and you cant always be first. I have to wonder if this dolt has ever even been married. I do envy his ability to make money from the garbage he writes, but his contenis irresponsible, amateur, and inaccurate. His book belongs in the tabloid section of the supermarket

Anonymous said...

I am desperately trying to recover from what an abusive woman has done to me. We are married, but separated I'm never going back to her, its just that I can't afford to pay for a divorce right now. My new therapist was a blessing because she started reading out of this book the section about the water torturer and it totally described her in almost every way (except that she wouldn't wear a smug face when she did this, she acted like she wasn't doing anything wrong).

It is very painful for me trying to read this book, I guess because of all of the child abuse I suffered where I was made to feel that the male is always the bad one (and I was the male so I was bad). And now I'm just trying to put the pieces back together and often just feeling like they fall right out of me again. I realize that men tend to be abusive more often than woman, but to treat it like a male-only condition is a cruelty in and of its self -- it really hurts. She managed to convince TWO therapists that what she was doing that hurt me was not intentional, but it was! It was all about keeping me dominated and disabled (been on disability for 7 years now). I'm supposed to be getting better so I can get back to work, not disintegrating and become ever more dysfunctional and dependent. I was so angry 3 years ago and ready to say "fuck this, it's over" but my therapists told me that I was transferring my past child abusers onto her and she wasn't doing this on purpose.. In the end, she was and I betrayed my own knowledge and wisdom to concede and stay with her and "keep trying" even though she was never honest.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that it DOES happen to men. It may be less of the time, but it's just as much of a crime to discount those of us who suffer from misandrist abuse, especially when so insidious and cruel. I was already trying to come back from sever PTSD and I managed to hook up with somebody who was loving and supporting.... up until I went into a difficult and vulnerable place as part of my recovery path and then she turned into a monster and shattered me into pieces. They kept telling me that I was transferring and that she wasn't planning this out and doing it on purpose, but she was. And I failed myself by abandoning my inner wisdom for their advice. I'm thankful that in the end our couples therapist was FINALLY able to catch on and confront her on her patterns. Of course, she played the tricks, did the smoke screen,etc. But it's far to late to try again, I have nothing left for myself, let alone something to give to somebody so mean.

Daniel said...

I hope you will forgive me for challenging your statement/quote 'that no professionla study or test or early-warning system, can work as well as a woman's intuition, that little voice in her head that says "wow, it's time to get out of here."'

It doesn't have a damn thing to do with rather we are male or female, gay or straight, transgender or otherwise. It's about *anyone* listening to their quiet inner voice. I only wish that I was able to do better at it three and a half years ago before most of the damage was done. I guess that feeling unbelieved and having people view me like I was insane was such a huge trigger for me, and she knew that. We had so many mutual friends and I can't talk to them because it's too painful when they try to suggest that she didn't mean to hurt me -- it's just too triggering and puts me into a complete panic attack that takes days to recover from.

Anonymous said...

A man who's been typed as an abuser finds a book on abusers to be deeply flawed? Lol, wow! What are the odds of that? Sorry, 55 year old male engineer, but your points are completely untrue. You've twisted Lundy's words to pretend he claims that any man who makes a mistake is an abuser. Not true. If you're going to lie about the contents of a book, at least have the intelligence to not lie about a book we've all read for ourselves. The rest of your points are also untrue, but I don't have the time to go through them one by one. I should just point out though, that the opinions of an abuser on the subject of abuse is worthless. Listening to the justifications and opinions on men who are abusers is what gets women killed. Therefore, it has no value other than as a warning sign that says 'Avoid this guy.'

Unknown said...

@ Kate Johnson

Regarding "Lundy Bancroft's book Why Does He Do That is the only one I recommend..." another good thing about not perpetuating the myth that mental illnesses and other forms of neurodivergence (including autism) are a cause of abuse is that, not only does it let abusers get off scot-free, it is also ableist and can add extra stigma to a population that is already stigmatized. As with neurotypicals, it seems that neurodivergent people, or parents of such people, with hateful attitudes towards people either are excused for their actions or they turn discussions that should be about abusive behavior towards the subject of lack of mental health help. For instance, there are autistic men who say they want a cure for autism so that they can have a relationship, even though neurotypicality does not guarantee one and thus their real problem is male entitlement. Also, too many parents justify their murder of their (severely) autistic (and other disabled) people by talking about how hard it is to take care of their disabled child and that there are not enough services. They sometimes do this after actively refusing the services they publicly lament the lack of! This sounds a lot like the entitled behavior of abuser that Bancroft describes, right down to society's endorsement of their behavior and the light sentences they get. If Bancroft is reading this, he might want to take these similarities into consideration. In fact, if you look at the way "autism moms" behave, you'll notice a lot of underlying similarities between their behavior and those of other kinds of abusers (starting with a large focus on their own difficulties rather than those of the child). Also, service staff for disabled people (particularly for developmental disability departments, which provide services to autistic people), whom include myriad therapists and special ed teachers, exhibit their own version of these abusive patterns that is endorsed by the systems they work under, and Why Does He Do That mentions behaviors that are relevant to those patterns as well.
If you have a kid, particularly a daughter or any kid with "special needs", give them his book when they are around puberty or the early teenage years. Developmentally disabled people in particular often end up in abusive "friendships" and/or abusive domestic relationships, some of which may only be perceived as romantic by the abuser, and, particularly in the case of developmentally disabled people, the abuser may be a minor abusing an adult who is exceptionally vulnerable. Legal advice wold not work in the latter case, but it is good to know the patterns anyway. Having the tools to recognize basic abusive patterns can be immensely helpful early in life, and, if the person is developmentally disabled and capable of understanding the material (such as in the case of "high-functioning" autism), this book may help to counter the ways in which the training they receive may actually undermine their ability to read these warning signs. Note that autistic people may be socially awkward, but that does not mean that they are particularly impaired when it comes to detecting intuitive feelings of abuse (I wasn't). I would add for my fellow autistics that if their discomfort about of a person is not accounted for by their usual shyness around people they barely know or sensory reasons (i.e. voice, face shape, scary hairdos like beards, or weird clothing), or it happens when they are drawn to the person and do not flee them, then regular intuition about something being wrong, rather than autistic social discomfort, likely accounts for their bad feelings (and yes, autistics do have an idea of what their own normal level of social discomfort is, and are able to account for sensory reasons in private even if they feel like a baby for doing so).

Anonymous said...

I must say after actually thinking I was "CRAZY" I found Lundy's book and have begun to see the realization of things. My husband is all of these and more he may not "hurt" me physically or more so doesn't ever leave a mark but everything else is right on with his personality. I should of took note on the way he treats his mother, and how he has really no relationship with his children nor does he care that they don't really bother with him he actually believes that its because of their mother.. he still has so much anger and hatred for this women who has been out of his life for so long and maybe the fact that he was married twice and said both cheated that's why they left, I certainly will openly speak to the next women in his life and let her know I wish I would of had knowledge of this before I relocated lost all my friends and family now I am stuck in the house no car and no friends the only contact I have is with my computer, but that is moderated also, so I clean the history every day and with my phone I erase any numbers that I call or call me, because when he is home my phone is to placed so he can have view. no one calls me and the sad thing is I went for help but since I have no physical marks I cannot get help...I guess either I will somehow get our or end up physically beat down because emotionally and mentally I am and thanks to this book I have understanding and have gained some ability to gain strength...Please don't let your ex's new hit not know. I surely will try to let her know and that's all we can do but that is help and the first step

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy in a relationship where I consider my wife abusive. It is not intentional cruelty. It is just how her personality works. Entitlement drives everything. I don't exist. It is exhausting and at times severely traumatizing. But it has never been physical. I don't know the statistics, but I'm willing to accept men express their aggressions physically because biologically that works for them. But I don't know how you would even collect statistics on gaslighting, incessant belittlement, devaluation, engulfment, etc. As far as I a aware, nobody's even looking at these statistically. And they are abuse. Even by Bancroft's standard. I know this because I'm reading his book, Should I Stay or Should I Go. All I need to do to make the book helpful in my personal situation is reverse the gender labels. But that is a problem I have with Bancroft. He does appear to target an exclusively female audience, so reading his book I feel somewhat like I've stumbled into a females-only private club, run by a guy. I feel as though the author would think I didn't belong there, but the knowledge he has acquired could help me, so I stay and learn, even if I'm feeling out of place. I don't think getting help like this should have gender boundaries. So yes, I do have a problem with how he wrote the book. But I'm still learning and benefiting from it. But I also understand the issues some other posters here have expressed. It can be incredibly frustrating to figure out what sort of errors are permitted during normal human relational learning, and what is so persistent and harmful that it crosses the line into abuse. I haven't read anything by anyone so far that has a satisfying, universally applicable way to do that. So it becomes an art form. The person experiencing the unpleasant behavior has to ultimately use their own best judgment. The physical abuse is easy to categorize. That's why it's so popular to track and condemn, and rightly so. But psychological, emotional, spiritual abuse is real, and finding where 'normal' ends and 'abuse' begins can be challenging, and is inherently much harder to track. More work needs to be done here. There are too many suffering people, without regard to gender, to ignore.

Survivor of domestic violence said...

His book is obviously going to not be well received by abusers. Abusers don’t like to be called out and held accountable. Comments from abusers who find fault in his books are very obvious to me. Even though he has no certification he gets the abuse hundred percent. I have been in abusive relationship for years and he describe my situation to the tea. So he knows what he’s talking about. I have a read many books about this topic and his book is aligned with them. This book is easy to read and easy to understand and really tells you how abusers think and operate. It’s actually very dangerous to see if users coming here and trying to discredit this book because it shows that’s really they don’t want to look at their faults at all. They try to just blame somebody and if they cannot blame the woman that they abused, now they’re going to go and try to blame somebody who wrote a book about it. I am glad this book reached many women and open their eyes to the miss treatment. Nobody deserves to be abused. If somebody has a problem with the message and not willing to improve their actions then the book on the proves it was right about them

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something an abusive man would say.