Unlike many of you, I am not facing abuser everyday at this point. There is still some time before he returns from deployment. However, I am mentally rehearsing possible scenarios, over and over again. I am educating myself on abuse of all sorts because knowing who I’m up against in this battle for my very soul is crucial.
He is a master of deception.
- His friends think he is infallible, his superiors think they’re lucky to have him. Both go to any length to protect him. Anyone who doesn’t agree that he is a superior specimen is degraded, ignored or cut from his circle of friends with calculated cruelty; not only are thay not a friend to him, but they’re no longer a friend of his friends.
- He knows how to keep his cool and argues in public like a gentleman, if he argues at all. There are only a few of us lucky souls who see the other side, the real side, of him.
- He refers to me as the Sergeant Major to his friends, maintaining the image that I am the one who calls the shots. He acts as if he must somehow do everything I ask or suffer the consequence.
- He seems to deceive himself as well as he deceives his friends in some cases. He says that he respects me, but then acts out oppositely. He says that he loves me, but then sets out to destroy my joy and peace. He points to the fact that he said he respected and loved me while ignoring my examples of how he behaves differently.
- He is “fine”. He doesn’t need counselling, he doesn’t have anger issues, he is not manipulating the people around him. It’s the rest of us who have problems accepting him for who he is.
- He has no integrity between word and deed (although insists honesty between him and me is imperative…fact is, I must be honest so he knows where my weaknesses are and he must lie so I can’t comprehend or predict what he does or says).
He manipulates everyone.
- He rehearses his conversations in advance so he can figure out how to best manipulate the other person into doing what he wants. (I know, because he’s told me he does this when he needs something from his boss/friend.)
- He studies my weaknesses so he knows when it is the best time to strike and how to best approach me (nicely, angrily, whatever – it’s all about getting his way).
- He gives backward compliments to throw me off balance when I am making too much sense in the case against what he wants.
- He talks badly about his friends behind their backs UNLESS he feels he needs their “connections” for self-gain.
- He actively plans how best to handle me, talk to me, make love to me,…always ready with a reason I should feel sorry for him, submit to him, “love” him like a woman should love her husband…
- He is deceptive about his needs, desires, motives and emotions in case he finds it necessary to behave contrary to what he’s said.
- He is able to bring out the qualities I want to see in him at will. I am unsure of whether he is Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. He wants me to believe he IS the man I desperately WANT to see.
He is narcissistic.
- He is prejudiced against anyone unlike himself. Race, sex, … we’re all “you people” because we’re not like him and therefore aren’t exceptional or worthy.
- He gets mad at me when I don’t do what he expects me to do as a “good” wife/mother.
- His opinion matters most, no matter what the subject.
- He never fails; it is the people around him who fail.
- He is entitled to everything: a “good” wife by his definition, “good” sons by his definition, unwavering support, promotions, his beer, his truck, his house, his job, his desires. There can be no dissension.
- He is arrogant about his talents and embarrassed by his family.
- Any empathy he exhibits is designed to create the illusion of caring.
Horrible, terrible things to say about the man I married, I know. Not one of those things is an exaggeration. Knowing that he MAY BE evil to the core is balanced by my HOPE that he is not.
When he comes home, I will be paying close attention to his actions and very little attention to his words. I will set my boundaries verbally and observe to see his reaction. He is about to undergo a test: when I act authentically and insist his abuse ends, will he respect me or attempt to thwart me?
Actions will speak louder than words.