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Defining Abuse

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cayc posted 12/24/2013 20:35 PM

I often see threads, and have started a few of my own, questioning if what is occurring is physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

This site has some really good references, including a graphic of a power and control "wheel". The caveat: it's written as if only men abuse and only women are victims. But if you ignore the gendered pronouns, I still think it's an excellent reference to help us all recognize if we are being victims of any type of abuse.

KJac posted 12/24/2013 21:59 PM

O.M.G. I have experienced nearly everything on that wheel from my STBX.

Thank you so much for sharing this link. It seems I have a lot of work/healing I need in the new year.

Wow. Just wow.

IrishLass518 posted 12/24/2013 22:08 PM

Wow. I think he's still trying to abuse me through the kids.

lemony.2008 posted 12/24/2013 23:11 PM

I didn't know minimizing, denying and blaming is abuse, but it certainly feels like it, especially over time.

Thanks for the info, cayc!

Edie posted 12/26/2013 02:48 AM


ProbableIceCream posted 12/26/2013 10:12 AM

Threatening to leave someone is abuse? I guess maybe if the threat is intended to be used as a weapon and there is no intention of carrying it out.

I believe that saying 'hey, this isn't working, we need to fix X or we need to split' is not necessarily abuse, and filing for divorce, whether it's abuse or not, is.. well.. no real way around that, eh?

Ascendant posted 12/26/2013 14:34 PM

The only issue I'd take with that article is that it could be just as easily co-opted by foggy waywards still in the midst of an affair, or even post-DDAY, if they were still London-level foggy.

Almost all of them, with the exception of ''using intimidation'' (as defined in the graphic) are probably things that a BS who senses something is wrong(but who doesn't quite know that they are a BS yet) would probably say or do.

"I don't want you hanging out with that person." - Using Isolation

"If you continue with this behavior, I will leave." - Using coercion and/or threats

See what I mean? It seems to me that for some of these, there is a grey area in-between firm boundaries and abuse via attempted control. I experienced this myself in MC. I made it clear that while I don't dictate who my wife hangs out with since she's an adult, in no way would I allow my son to be brought around one of her friends who knew about the affair. I was told that it seemed like I was trying to control my wife and her friend.There are some clear black-and-white issues in that wheel, but some of that stuff seems to be contextual.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 2:36 PM, December 26th, 2013 (Thursday)]

JustAShadow posted 12/26/2013 15:05 PM

I agree with FP. The list is good and *is* true but each action doesn't indicate abuse on its own.

Examples: My WH has used a similar list to say that I have emotionally abused him because...

* I give him an 'allowance' (it doesn't matter that *I* have the same amount of allowance and he has been asked multiple times over multiple years for input on what the number should be only to get 'I don't know/care' responses. It's not an 'allowance' as in restriction-to-him-alone but an 'allowance' as in a method of budgeting and giving us each spend-it-on-whatever-you-want funds).

* I don't want him talking to or meeting with his AP (Other than DURING his time with his two APs I have never EVER restricted his whereabouts / friends / actions or even checked up on him or gotten jealous. But during his affairs and for awhile after, I do check up.)

That kind of stuff.

So, IMO, the actions in and of themselves don't constitute abuse but throw in some context (and other factors I'm sure) and yeah they can definitely be indicators of abuse.

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