Today, our culture still reflects the devastating effects of the power imbalance in sexual harassment, sexual assault, psychological abuse, and domestic violence. Coercive tactics embedded in male behavior are not unique but are shared by many men who seek to have power over women.
Psychological abuse (coercive tactics) seriously endangers women (and men), yet it is the aspect of domestic violence that remains the most elusive. Physical abuse and threats are legally defined as criminal and labeled “domestic violence.” When physical violence and threats are not present, the conclusion, although false, can be that no abuse is taking place. Clearly, physical violence gets our attention. However, you need to know psychological abuse is more pervasive and damaging.
Important research reveals that psychological abuse may affect women’s overall psychological well being to the same extent as physical abuse, and may actually be predictive of physical violence.
Whether an intimate partner uses physical abuse or psychological abuse, his mission is the same. He is out to gain power and control in the relationship. As our society becomes more educated and intolerant of physical abuse, controlling partners can use psychological abuse and claim, “I’ve never hit her.” And “I’m not abusive.” Dominating you is a controlling partner’s driving interest, and he can accomplish that without physical violence. Unlike some European countries, psychological abuse is not illegal in the US so women can only rely on themselves for protection.
Women with controlling partners may sense—but can’t “see”—how their boyfriends or spouses hurt them. Why? Controlling partners use psychological abuse relentlessly, yet that’s not how women experience it. For them, it’s insidious, difficult to recognize, and hard to predict. Controlling partners don’t “appear” abusive all the time. Sometimes, they can be kind and even loving. They mix subtle abuse with moments of caring. This confuses women and reinforces their hope for a lasting, loving relationship.
How do you find out if you are with a controlling partner?
Do you feel intimidated or uneasy—scared of doing or saying the wrong thing because of how your significant other might react? If so, you may have a controlling partner, one who uses coercive persuasion or other forms of constraint to maintain power over you. Psychological abuse can be devastating and having a controlling partner can make you feel crazy. But you’re not crazy, and you’re not to blame!
Look at how you feel?
If your partner hits you, you an actually feel the abuse. The pain in your head or back or stomach tells you where you’ve been hurt. But suffering from psychological abuse harms how you feel about yourself and causes, “hidden injuries.” These injuries are debilitating and make it more difficult to function in every day life. You become even more vulnerable to being over powered and controlled by your partner. Most women with controlling partners report negative changes within themselves, but never attribute them to their relationship or partner’s behavior.
- Do you feel like you’re in a fog, confused, and not functioning at your best?
- Do you feel responsible and blame yourself for the problems with your partner and relationship?
- Are you more tense or uneasy when your partner is around?
- Are you careful about what you say or do around your partner because of how he might react and what he might say?
Women have reported the following losses:
- Decisiveness to confusion, fog
- Confidence to self-doubt, shame, low self-esteem
- Peace of mind to apprehension, anxiety
- Sense of well being to emotional exhaustion, self-blame, depression
- Strength to incompetence and despair
Fortunately, you can heal, reconnect with yourself, and take back your life.
You don’t deserve to be abused…there are ways to get help.
What readers say about Women with Controlling Partners: Taking Back Your Life from a Manipulative or Abusive Partner
“An eye-opening exploration….As a survivor of domestic abuse, I found this book true to my experience. It validated my pain, exposed the tactics of my controlling partner, and showed the way toward reclaiming my self-respect and autonomy. I recommend this book to anyone who has experienced domestic abuse, and to all those who care for them.”
—Pamela, survivor of domestic abuse
Wonderful educational book by expert in the field. This is a well written book for clinician or for a person who is dealing with such a situation themselves. Can be an adjunct to psychotherapy.
This book will save many women’s lives.
This book is not just for women in abusive relationships. This book is for all women. Every single woman should read this book. It is absolutely necessary to fully understand something that you can’t see once trapped in it…..Allow Carol Lambert to lead the way. She does an excellent job efficiently communicating her life’s work and expertise in helping women successfully get out of controlling relationships. She demonstrates an amazing understanding and through her book she has scripted an efficient path to follow. I highly recommend following her guidelines for journaling. This is a journey you may be very scared to take but have faith that once you get to the other side, it will be so worth the risk. Nothing compares to getting yourself and your life back.
Learn more about the book and read more reviews: Women with Controlling Partners…