The Abusive Woman

© 1997 By Nancy Davis, Ph.D.

  • Are very good at fooling people initially.
  • Attract men into the relationship in the same way abusive and sadistic men attract women by being very nice in the courtship phase, and building up his self-esteem. This type of woman often picks a very nice and nurturing man who likes to take care of people, i.e., police officers, ministers, and is a problem solver. She also picks a man who does not like confrontation or anger, perhaps because he was emotionally abused as a child or was taught that anger is wrong. In the beginning of the relationship, she rarely shows anger, seems to love sex, and lets him be in control. They show glimpses of their true personality, but the man says to himself, “That’s not the real her”. Once she feels that she has his love, she begins to switch from positive to negative, putting down her husband and degrading him, being displeased with him and blaming him for every wrong she images she has suffered. He keeps trying to “solve the problem” by changing and doing what she wants. What he does not realize, because he is a problem-solver, is that she doesn’t want the problem solved. She keeps changing what she wants to keep him off balance. “Before we were married, she was so wonderful. Mary always brought me meals at work with sweet little notes in them. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The day we got married was the last day she ever cooked a thing for me.”
  • Lack boundaries into what is appropriate behavior. Appropriate behavior does not apply to them. May call a therapist, teacher or husband’s boss with her opinions, believing her opinion is superior to anyone else’s. Interrupts conversations.
  • Constantly bring up problems, but answer "Yes, but" when given solutions to these problems. They are not looking for solutions, they like to complain and draw attention to themselves.
  • Nothing is ever her fault. She may initially seem like a victim to others who do not know her well, in that she blames others. However, after getting to know her, it is apparent that she refuses to take responsibility for problems in her life.
  • Possess an incredible memory for details, especially how others have wronged them. Rarely forget a mistake that others make and constantly bring these mistakes up, even years later. Use her memory of mistakes to degrade others in her life.
  • Rarely compliments anyone; rather, she spends a great deal of time telling others how they have disappointed her.
  • Lies and believes her own lies. Her downfall is often her belief that her opinion and perceptions are the "correct" ones and that everyone else will see things "her" way. Often tell completely different lies about the same incident to two people that she should have known might talk to each other. Has problems predicting the responses of others to her behavior. When others get furious with her has limited understanding of her role in creating this rage.
  • Is emotionally about three years old and generally can be predicted to act this age. This means she is extremely narcissistic and self-centered and generally lacks empathy for the feelings of others.
  • Believes she is perfect and others aren't but should be.
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