How Domestic Abusers Distort Obligations and Fairness in Relationships
'I had to follow a thousand rules but he could do anything he wanted'
This blog is about freedom and control, and how abusers strategically ‘take liberties’ in relationships.
I wanted to share more about this topic, because it has been occupying my thoughts a lot over the past few days, since I wrote about the advantages that abusers get from their abuse.
It’s a week since I published that post, Domestically Violent Men Describe the Benefits of Abusing Women and Children: This is how abusers describe the advantages they get, in their own words
The post received a great response. Thank you!
But it also prompted me to think more deeply about the different layers of responsibility that exist in relationships.
What does it mean to honour the responsibilities that exist in a relationship?
And what happens when that unwritten code has been broken by an abuser?
I’m writing to share what I think in three specific areas:
What is reasonable and unreasonable in relationships. I’m thinking here about obligations, duties, fairness, boundaries and freedom.
Why the public gets so confused about this.
How abusers take advantage of this confusion to paint themselves as reasonable and to paint their victims as unreasonable/crazy/abusive.
Last week we saw two of the ways that abusive men described benefiting from abuse. These were “The ability to live life self-centeredly, discarding the woman’s and children’s needs” and “The ability to decide everything in the abusive ‘relationship’, i.e. on whose terms the abusive ‘relationship’ works”.
If you look at last week’s blog, these are Point 7 and Point 8.
Using two new tools, I now want to provide a higher level of insight on this issue.
Below you will find my Healthy vs. Abusive Relationships Flag and also my Relationship Reasonableness Test. I have developed these resources for the first time in this blog. Let’s see how they help understand today’s theme: How domestic abusers distort understandings of obligations and fairness in relationships.