Why do women fall for such men in the first place? Why do they stay in relationships that turn out to be debilitating and destructive? Why don’t they just walk away?
Initially, there is no reason to walk out. He is expressive and attractive, a take-charge kind of man. But slowly, his need for control (respect, he calls it) takes a verbally abusive form. Afterwards, he apologizes, and the attacks are followed by flowers and expressions of tender love. Surely things can’t be so bad if he apologizes so profusely? Perhaps there isn’t even any ‘abuse’ going on?
But then he lashes out again, out of the blue. He now says that his uncontrollable anger is her fault, his outbursts are triggered by her behavior. Gradually, a woman may come to feel that she doesn’t deserve any better—a message that is hammered home by her partner. If you question her failure to take action and leave, her feelings of shame and failure may be reinforced.
Instead, listen openly to her story.