Manipulative patterns of abusers
My ex is a genius. A bonafide real life MENSA level genius. I was awed by his intellect. However, anything he didn’t want to fool with was mysterious to him. He couldn’t get some electronic device to work and he’d roar about it and order me to make it do what he wanted. The last time he actually hit me was when his computer was making a weird noise in the middle of the night and I couldn’t make it stop while feeding a baby and being berated.
He regularly told me how stupid I was and how worthless I was; he constantly reminded me that my input was idiotic and I should just let him do the thinking. But at the same time I was somehow capable, in his mind, of diagnosing puzzling noises and frustrating tech issues when he couldn’t be bothered with them. I was often bewildered by this ploy.
Reading maps or following directions had the same effect. Suddenly he was helpless. “Where is the _____?” he’d bellow. And I’d tell him I was looking for the sign. How did he anywhere before I was in his life to help him read the signs? Seems like a red flag now.
And if he’s asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, first he asks half a dozen questions about why it needs to be done, why someone else can’t do it, have alternatives been tried (as if I haven’t done all I can think of to avoid asking him for anything) and why didn’t those alternatives work. Finally he’ll ask what it is that he needs to do — as if it’s new info. The idea is that we’re supposed to get so worn down by the questions that we give up and leave them alone.
I hadn’t put this all together until now. I’ll bet he does this with his present intimate partner too. He wants what he wants and he pesters until he gets. Now he knows better than to coerce with violence and threats. Plus he’s reinvented himself as a reformed abuser. He is working overtime to show her only the best and prove that he’s a better person now. Of course she thinks she loves him. She’s never seen the real him. What’s not to love? But his manipulative nature has to be oozing through.
He’s surely pressuring her for sex when she’s already running late and he’s pretending that he doesn’t know what time it is or that there’s plenty of time for ___. He must be asking her to do “little (sexual) things” in public and assuring her that no one is looking.
I realize now that he really likes making people choose between healthy priorities and placating him. He starts this subtly at first, maybe with a text or two when he knows you’re busy and you’ve told him that you need to sleep and you have ____ important events coming up. Just a text with an important question or a last word on a discussion you thought was done, but something that seems to demand an answer; something that keeps you focused on HIM instead of what you told him needs to be done. Now I see that he relishes watching people bend to him.
A friend’s abuser did this with her sexual boundaries. He would violate them and act like he didn’t understand. It’s a typical predator tactic. One ploy molesters use when they get caught is to claim that they were just ____ and they can see now that it might be inappropriate and they’ve learned their lesson blah blah blah. Generally that’s when they get caught wandering the house naked in the presence of young kids or touching where they shouldn’t but through clothes and right in front of everyone so it adds to their “I’m too stupid to really be a bad person” facade.
What are some manipulative patterns you’ve noticed in your abuser?
This post was inspired by a comment I left on Playing Stupid…