Warning: Abuse can be a very serious and very sensitive issue for many women… If you are already in an abusive situation, the perspective of this article may not always serve you, so please take caution in how you interpret this article.
If you are in an abusive situation, then for your sake do everything you can to get out of there if you can. You are too important to be continually subjected to abuse, whether that’s physical, emotional, or sexual.
You can review safety tips and guidelines for addressing an abusive situation, including getting help and support, understanding the warning signs of emotional, physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, at the following websites.
With that warning out of the way, let’s take a look at this different perspective on why male partners abuse women.
(Because I believe if you want to really fix a problem, you have to understand what this problem really means for all parties involved.)
Abuse is defined as: ‘use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose, misuse.’ ‘To treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.’
But the truth is, women abuse men just as much as men abuse women. Perhaps not as much physical abuse as mental and emotional abuse. We as a society don’t tend to focus on mental and emotional abuse simply because the bruises and scars of emotional abuse are not as obvious and easy to notice.
Not to mention abuse is just as prevalent in same sex relationships.
I recently received an email from a lady who had been physically and emotionally abused by her girlfriend for over 10 years. She had gotten herself into a place where she had no perception or concept of what a healthy relationship really is. She had even asked me whether getting slapped by her partner on a daily basis or getting kicked out of her own home was normal or not.
Needless to say, I told her to get out of there.
(Perhaps I will talk about what constitutes a healthy relationship in a future article…)
If you are being abused as an adult, but you can’t seem to leave…
As adults, if we are abused by a man once, it may come as a shock.
But if this happens over and over as in a chronic cycle of abuse, we are not only making a choice to stay in that relationship but also we are choosing to reinforce the pattern of abuse.
In other words, we are “helping” the abuser by being in the role of an easy abusee or victim.
I know that kind of sounds bad… and I’m not pointing the finger at you. I’m only saying this because I’ve being through hell and back and I don’t want you to suffer the same.
I know you too can break the cycle of abuse and create the space in your life to invite healthy and nurturing relationships to enter.
How does a woman get herself in that situation to start with?
One of the biggest reasons I think women get themselves in chronically abusive situations is because she had not being honest and truthful to her emotions.
When we don’t attune ourselves to the real emotional and physical pain that lives inside of us and we simply block it out – then we run the risk of choosing abuse and be willingly abused. We can’t stand up for ourselves if we aren’t able to feel ourselves. We can’t communicate our pain if we don’t let pain surface and be felt.
This is true of both physical pain and emotional pain.
If a man abuses us, and we are repeatedly not attuned and responsive to how his words and actions make us feel – then we are doing ourselves a dangerous disservice; we are choosing abuse and we are choosing the safety of the abusive pattern that we are in.
Any more than once, or twice, and if we stay – then we have a bad emotional comfort pattern that favours staying in abusive situations. (The longer we stay, the worse the pattern becomes.)
Should we just simply blame the abusive man?
In this society, we typically just blame the man who has been abusive. Fair enough, it’s never OK to abuse another and of course he should stop. We all need to look after the women and the children of this world.
But simply by shaming and blaming the abuser, this never reduced the incidence of abuse overall. In fact, it may actually make the situation worse for many.
Blaming and shaming never works long term. But it does make people more resentful and create separation in the world.
Not to mention that the woman, (the abusee) will probably continue her pattern of attracting abuse into her life, whether in the form of a new partner or at the work place etc.
But she never asked to be abused…
A couple wakes up together in bed at 7am. It’s another work day.
They’ve been together for the last 5 years. Things aren’t great, but they’re not bad enough to do anything about it.
The woman gets up out of bed, yawns and stretches.
The man sits up and says to the woman: “have you exercised this morning? what’s that on your face? You need to clean your face, it’s dirty. You smell, wash yourself!”
He’s a little harsh don’t you think?
The woman never asked to be verbally abused like this… but instead of speaking up about it, she rolls her eyes and stays quiet.
She holds her emotions in. She doesn’t want to upset the status quo.
She doesn’t want to “upset” him.
Yet her very behaviour is perpetuating the pattern and cycle of abuse. (This couple had been doing this for the past 5 years.)
Her lack of energy bouncing back at him makes him want to push forward harder.
She betrayed herself by not standing up for herself.
And no, this wasn’t the first time this verbal abuse has occurred.
What if she was truthful to her feelings?
What do you think would have happened if she didn’t ignore her emotions? What if she was attuned to how the verbal abuse was making her feel?
What if she broke down crying? What do you think would have happened? Perhaps the guy would see her vulnerability and see if she’s ok. Or perhaps he couldn’t care less and she would finally have enough pain to get out of that abusive relationship.
What if she snapped back at him in anger?
Either way, it would momentarily break the pattern of abuse. Either it would force them to mend the pain, or have enough pain to break up and move on.
Becoming attuned to ourselves is your gift to yourself.
Very few of us feel and acknowledge our own power to attune ourselves to how a man’s EVERY word, EVERY action makes us feel.
IF we were to become attuned to all of our feelings, to the inevitable pain or pleasure that a partner’s actions made us feel… then we’d already have left, or done something to sever the pattern of abuse. We wouldn’t just “hang around” to keep the status quo.
We are strong when we also attune ourselves to men and are responsive to men’s words and actions.
We are strong when we teach them how to treat us through true attunement in relationship and true responsiveness in relationship.
More on attunement and what weakness and strength is here: http://www.thefemininewoman.com/2014/08/makes-woman-weak-strong-vulnerable/
That problem isn’t necessarily just the obviously abusive partner – it is us who are staying with the obviously abusive partner too.
Because by choosing to be the abusee over and over again, we choose our pattern of staying with the abusive person, and in turn we are facilitating the abuse. We are practically “abusing ourselves” by staying.
What is the strong position to take that would NOT facilitate abuse?
In every situation there is always a strong position you can take that will result in the best outcome for everyone.
This position isn’t always intuitive, and certainly isn’t always easy. Rather, it requires you to be courageous enough to stand up for yourself.
What if you paused, and let the feelings sink into your body? And perhaps allow the feelings to travel from your throat, to your heart to your feet… and really feel the hurt on every level possible.
What if you expressed these emotions, from the knots in your belly, to the tears that are buried deep under our masks and shells?
What if this path of feeling pain and opening to pain is the path to ultimate freedom and joy?
But too many of us attempt to push down our emotions, use logic to make the abuser think better of themselves. (Essentially, the woman’s self esteem is lies in HIS hands and she is basically asking for his approval… which again sets up further abuse.)
(The longer we haven’t let our bodies and hearts be vulnerable in human relationship, the more numb we are to a man’s true intentions) find out more on how to be strong, feminine and vulnerable here.
Well, if you expressed your pain and hurt and stayed with it, (not in retaliation as anger, but just hurt), then one of two things will happen.
1) Either the man will respond with more abuse, for which you’d know without a shadow of a doubt that he doesn’t care about you, and that your job is to respect yourself and leave.
2) The more likely outcome would be that the man will react to your vulnerability. He would soften in response to your vulnerability and become more caring in that moment.
Does he have good intent?
It’s very interesting to understand sometimes why men lash out and abuse in the first place.
Sometimes as women, we don’t really get to see his real intent behind the abuse. (Of course, every relationship is different, and I’m certainly not defending anyone who is abusive in your life.)
And men might not do this consciously as such but sometime when men ‘lose it’, despite seeming relatively calm and non abusive in the past, is because he wanted to feel the woman’s trust, respect, devotion and vulnerability towards him.
Sometimes, to a man, reacting in a verbally abusive way or in an emotionally abusive way was the only way he knows how to try to feel her as HIS woman.
To exert his dominance, to create that polarity (although a bad way to do it), to metaphorically penetrate the woman’s emotional walls.
Of course, there are so many better ways for any man to create polarity, and break through a woman’s walls.
Studies show that low mate value men more likely to abuse
In a study done on men’s mate retention strategies, they found that there was a high likelihood of low mate value men using verbal insults as a high risk (as in, high risk of losing their woman) mate retention strategy.
High mate value men (or men who see themselves as high mate value) just don’t use that strategy. They don’t need to. (They have other value and resources.)
You see, ancestral men had the problem of trying to keep women sexually faithful. Otherwise they risked humiliation in taking care of another man’s child.
Verbal, emotional and physical abuse was one effective but high risk way of trying to keep a woman sexually faithful because it brings her self esteem down.
WHAT has this got to do with men wanting to make women more vulnerable?
Well, women are vulnerable when they deal with men, but they are vulnerable in low value ways, or in strong ways that make her a total goddess.
And this HIGH value vulnerable way is the way I’m vouching for. More or high value vulnerability in our free masterclass: http://shenwademedia.com/optin/commitment-masterclass-register/
What are the ways women are vulnerable to men?
Women are vulnerable when they respect and devote themselves to a man.
We are vulnerable when we are attuned to how he makes us feel, as well – but this is a goddess’s vulnerability – she owns herself, and isn’t afraid to lose ‘something’ in a relationship.
We are vulnerable (but weak) when we WANT something out of being with a man, eg: we go in to the relationship for what we can ‘get’ out of being with him – and the relationship never began based on love and care.
But when men abuse to try and make a woman vulnerable – essentially they are trying to possess a woman OR they are trying to make her open to him.
Men try to make women open to them?
Some men indeed unconsciously abuse to try and make a woman more vulnerable and attuned to them – and this attunement would hopefully invigorate the relationship and make it a relationship where the two partners were actually relating to each other and caring for each other – not just a relationship based on what’s comfortable; and based on repetitive patterns of comfort, however that shows up.
Women are more vulnerable to abuse when they go in to a relationship to ‘get’ something
A lady once said to me; ‘why would women want to understand men? That shit doesn’t work – because women are going in to a relationship to fill their need for love and self esteem anyway – so why would they care about understanding men?’
Well, as it turns out…that’s very dangerous.
More dangerous than most of us can predict.
When we are needy of something – we are automatically putting ourselves in a weak position – we are at the mercy of their bad or good response.
We can only HOPE for a good response and take it if it comes.
If we are delivered a bad response – well, it doesn’t change the fact that we went in to the interaction to get a man’s love and approval – and unless we change THAT – then we will stay in the cycle of abuse – just as the lady in the scenario above did.
HOW to never get involved in an abusive relationship again?
Here are the only steps you’ll need to NEVER go deeper and deeper in an abusive pattern with a man:
1) Relinquish your thoughts and attune yourself to him. Your thoughts belong to you already. Instead, stay present with him, feel in your body – not THINK – but feel in your body – which is a well of reliable source power – how he makes you feel.
2) Respond authentic to your feelings, while holding his gaze or presence. Demand nothing less than his full devoted presence, especially when he is hurting you and you can feel it. Scream the hurt in his face if you need to.
3) If you demand a man’s full presence with your wide open, attuned and vulnerable response – and you do it consistently, and you feel his energy shrink away from you – not wanting to take care of you – by then you should be able to get up and leave in some way, because you would have allowed yourself to feel the pain or hurt – or whatever it is that his responses made you feel.
Feeling and being attuned to pain and pleasure is our answer
Feeling and being attuned to pain and pleasure is our answer.
Give the gift of your presence, and open your body and heart to the infinite source of awareness that is in there.
Your thoughts still serve you – but they can be a very weak source to rely on.
Logic doesn’t inspire a man to take responsibility for committing to you and caring for you.
Your emotional vulnerability does – or does not – and thereby helps you eliminate the lesser men.
I shouldn’t be responsible for his actions!
Shouldn’t I just be responsible for my own actions in relationships? I shouldn’t be responsible for his actions!
I’m not here to tell you what you should do. I’m not here to tell you how much responsibility you should take on.
But let me ask you this…
If you didn’t wash yourself for a whole month, would that perhaps affect your relationship and those closest to you?
Of course it would!
We all affect each other whether we like it or not. And in our intimate relationship, it’s stupid to think that we’re only and solely responsible for ourselves and our own happiness.
If we are that careless about our lover’s needs and happiness, then we probably shouldn’t be in that relationship in the first place.
I hate that people think it’s only men’s responsibility to stop abuse.
This is insulting to the goddess that we are inside.
Just as it’s not only women’s responsibility to stop her abusing a man in a relationship. (the reality is, just as many women abuse men in our society as men abuse women, perhaps not as much physical abuse. But don’t words cut deeper than fists?)
The truth is, all of us are responsible.
You are not a victim. You have all the power within you to shape your life for the better or for the worse. It’s a hard and painful path to choose to take responsibility – but it releases you from suffering, and from being that victim.
It’s time for all of us to take on a greater responsibility for not just ourselves but those around us. And only then will we get to experience a fulfillment and joy that comes from caring for something greater than ourselves.
Why wouldn’t you want that?
P. S. To learn more about gifting men with your authentic vulnerability and how that attracts a man who devotes himself to you, we go in to depth about that in our Commitment Masterclass.