Warning signs

Do you wonder: “Is he doing this to me on purpose? And if he is knowingly being cruel, neglectful and controlling, then I find that too hard to take, that he would be so calculated in his nastiness to me. I’ve not done anything to create that.” Do you wish: “I’d rather he did not know what [...]

Most women who come to me for counselling are often confused and exasperated by their male partner’s flip flopping between ‘good guy’ and ‘bad guy’. Pauline said her husband Chris, “would be so lovely and charming to other people and so shit horrible to me.” Peter, a man who’d attended a stopping violence programme told [...]

Many women who are trying to make sense of why their male partner abuses and controls them ask me if I think he does it on purpose. Women find it extremely difficult to come to terms with the idea that he might do it on purpose. It’s not pleasant to consider that the partner you [...]

Judy, whose heart was breaking witnessing her daughter living with an abusive man, made a comment about her daughter under my post Warning Signs that your Male Partner is Controlling you: “We hardly ever get to see her …. It’s all a lot of small things — calling her names, abusive to the max, being [...]

This is the fifteenth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel — Domestic Slavery. Amongst heterosexual couples, many people believe the man should be the breadwinner (although being the sole breadwinner is really only possible for wealthy families). Alongside this, many people believe the woman should stay at [...]

This is the sixth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Emotional unkindness & violation of trust. Emotional unkindness entails DOING something unkind and the ABSENCE of, or FAILURE to do something kind. Emotional unkindness is a failure to provide for emotional needs such as encouragement, understanding, [...]

This is the fifth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Over-protection and ‘caring’. Many men who psychologically abuse and control their female partners do not define their behaviour as cruel or abusive. This is partly because their behaviours make perfect sense when viewed from their belief [...]

This is the fourth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Isolation. Isolation is a pivotal tactic that controlling partners use in order to weaken their victims, prevent them from hearing others’ perspectives, and to bring them into line with his own beliefs and requirements. Often possessiveness [...]

I wrote a blog post Warning Signs of Coercive Control by Your Partner for the Home & Family Counselling organisation's Blog to give women some pointers about warning signs of coercive control by a male partner. Clues to warning signs that you're in a relationship that is highly likely to continue to get worse - [...]

This is the third of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Inappropriate Restrictions. In our lives we are all restricted in a host of different ways. Laws, social and cultural etiquette, physical and mental ability, the hours we work, and our need to take time out to [...]

This is the second of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Mind Games.   Mind Games are deliberate attempts to psychologically manipulate someone. They are covert, coercive, manipulative intentions masked by innocent sounding communication. Mind Game language is designed to confuse and keep the victim from guessing [...]

This is the first of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics mentioned in my power and control wheel - One-Sided Power Games. Research with men and women reveals that men who engage in one-sided power games show more concern about gaining something for themselves than showing concern for what they are actually doing to [...]

One of the most common problems for women experiencing psychological abuse, is that they do not realise what is occurring in the early stages and are often not able to put it in context of their normal lives. When psychological abuse begins it will often creep in over time; a subtle edge of voice tone, [...]

In the family violence scenario threats of suicide are manipulative and can lead to killing others. Threats of suicide by a man with a history of psychologically controlling his partner can be an indicator that he could seriously harm or murder family members, often before killing himself. Such threats make it vital for wider family and [...]

Perhaps you got into the relationship quickly, maybe had sex much sooner than you wanted. Maybe you didn’t develop a friendship before suddenly spending most of your time with him and hardly, if ever, seeing your friends or family any more. Your life may have narrowed so that you’re no longer pursuing your own interests [...]

Women who have male partners who psychologically abuse, restrict, control, manipulate and rob women of their sense of self, need a safety plan whether their partner ever lays a finger on them or not. Many controlling men stalk, threaten and harass women who leave. Other controlling men use physical violence, or threaten to kill, or [...]

Today I uploaded an extensive list of power and control tactics as used by those men who abuse and control their intimate female partner. (I've updated the list as at 1 October 2014 to include cyberbullying and other forms of abuse using technology). The following list of tactics of power and control summarises the list that [...]