Why are abusers so patient in order to prey on their victim?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Lane 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #828283 Reply


    I just got out of an abusive relationship that ended when the lockdown was eased. I’m getting a divorce. When we were dating, he was so charming and a great listener. I mean for 2 years, I never knew he was abusive. I mean, personally, if it was the other way round, I can’t act 2 years to be fake to someone and hide who I truly am to prey on my victim (if I was an abuser). What you see is what you get with me, but with abusers, how is it that they’re able to hide their true colours and play the great manipulator. How is it that I only found out when I moved in with him?

    I’m just trying to get into the head of abusers, how they think and how they behave. Personally, you’ll know when I’m fake and if I manipulate you, I get caught but with abusers, they’re very good at hiding their true identity.

    #828291 Reply


    I have never been abused but i worked with women who were. You are making one logical assumption that from what i know is not correct. You assume every abuser is an abuser all the time and hides it until he acts on it suddenly. But thats not true. It builds up and gets worse over time. That doesnt mean there are no red flags early on. Im sure most people who turn out to be abusive have control and impulse control issues.
    Im not sure getting in a general abusers head Will work for you. What perspective are you hoping to gain? There are pretty good documentaries that show both perspectives so look them up. And be grateful you got out. Its not your fault is the most maybe only important lesson for you

    #828305 Reply


    I disagree with Newbie. Abusers are abusers all the time and they are master manipulators. To the original poster, I was abused for 20 years. The guy had multiple women, so you probably weren’t the only one for those 2 years. They don’t change they only get worse
    Once they know they have you they feel comfortable letting their guard down. There are many books and Facebook survivors groups I encourage you to join.

    #828385 Reply


    What Newbie said rings true to me. I have broken up with an abuser this year that certainly didn’t seem like an abuser in the beginning. But I did notice some odd anger at about 4 mos and impulse control issues being a part of his personality. Since I won’t see him anymore, I get these odd control texts saying, “But I want to see you!”… Really?! No way in H—. They think they can get their way. Don’t let them and best to stay far away from them. I understand you wanting to understand them. Part of that is your hurt. But it does no good to understand them, even if you could. They DO NOT CHANGE.

    #828402 Reply


    Hi guys,

    Yes I think I’m hurt so much and trying to understand why he would abuse me. Anyway it doesn’t matter now.come to think of it, I didn’t notice his abuse in the first 2 years of dating cos I was too blind to see it. I made excuses for him I guess and it got worse when I moved in with him.

    #828490 Reply


    I’ve never been in an abusive relationship but I worked with a someone who was very verbally abusive to staff with her vile outbursts and nasty rages. Before then I always just regarded her as a rather sneaky, incisive, if not a tad neurotic individual-someone I would basically never trust, but she managed to ‘hide’ this darker side!

    However, her abusive side only became apparent (although I believe it was always there) when some senior line-managers left the institution and new ones hadn’t yet been appointed. Basically, she would never have dreamed of behaving like that before, but now felt she could get away with it! When staff absenteeism increased, management were alerted to the fact she was the most probable cause, although she did everything in her power to cover it up!

    #828496 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I have been in an abusive relationship. I agree with Newbie in the sense that my abuser was definitely on his best behavior in the beginning. There were red flags early on that I ignored or was too young and naive to recognize. Issues with control and emotional manipulation, before the physical and verbal abuse started. Like you OP, I made excuses for him. He love bombed me hard. But he did not start to get seriously abusive until we’d been dating for awhile & moved in together. Abusers are very sophisticated manipulators, they know how to moderate and control their behavior enough to get you “hooked”. As they ramp up the abuse and manipulation, it becomes easier to see, but by then you are seriously attached (deeply emotionally involved, living together, etc). And in retrospect you wonder how you even got involved with this person in the first place. But at the beginning they were not like that.

    So I agree that abusers don’t “hold it in” and suddenly decide to become abusive after an extended period of dating. They are always abusers. But they fine tune the abuse at the beginning to make sure you don’t see it. If they were abusive a**holes from the first date onward, they’d never get women to fall for them.

    Anyway I’m sorry that you’re going through this, OP. I hope you have support.

    #828604 Reply


    Hi everyone,

    It’s a life learned lesson for me, now, the next time I know what to look for and avoid early warning signs.

    #828754 Reply


    Unfortunately its hard to detect as many develop a pathology when they are young or its developed via addictions, e.g., alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn, etc.

    My ex husband developed his through alcoholism later in life. I agree with Newbie in that not all are abusers but they can become abusers through internal genetics, brain injuries/imbalance, etc. or outside influences such as upbringing, past relationships, addictions. My ex was a really great husband and father for the first 8 years of our marriage but for, his occasional weekend binge drinking (a couple times a month) slowly started to bleed into the week when his military rank and job responsibility continued to increase. This is when “the shift” in his thinking started to occur and worsened overtime beginning around the age of 36. His drinking literally changed him to the point I no longer recognized the individual he once was and then slowly, overtime, evolved into a emotionally abusive lying narcissist.

    He was NEVER physically abusive but he was able to employ mental abuse by continually keeping me “off balance” such as I was “the best wife” (the hook) where he would tell me how sexy I was, the house looked great, I was a good mom…then the next I was horrible, I was getting fat, the house was a mess (even though it wasn’t)….just so he could be left alone to drink…until I was the best wife again! It was one of many patterns that he learned how to develop to keep me “hooked” for the next 12+ years.

    I was able to hold it together until I finally reached the point I wanted to put the car in the garage and turn the engine on. My neighbor’s mom, who was visiting, saved my life when she called me “a co-dependent” after hearing our conversation as I had never heard that word before. When I looked it up, it was like the clouds had departed, the sun came out and I could finally SEE what had happened to me! It can happen to anyone, even strong, independent and confident women like myself, so don’t beat yourself up over it nor stay in the victim role as it keeps you from moving onward and upward.

    Just be thankful you got out early!! I wouldn’t try to understand their thinking as you will only get a headache by hitting your head against a wall because you simply cannot nor will not understand how they think, or do what they do because you’re not capable of thinking or doing things that way. Its like trying to understand why someone goes into a deep depression when you’ve never experienced depression to put it into context. The best thing to do is to look at all the “red flags” and make many mental notes when you are ready or start dating again so you will at least be better armed in the event you meet those types. For instance, I watched how much a guy drank; how truthful he was (less than 98% of the time I walked, depending on what the 2% was); and other characteristics because I wasn’t going to fall down that rabbit hole ever again!

    My mantra was and still is “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” You will become stronger, more resilient and a better man screener because of this experience. :o)

    #828785 Reply


    Hi Lane,

    You’re not talking about the same guy are you? Cos he started his abuse through alcohol too. I didn’t see it coming until I moved in with him, he would drink but I didn’t think it was a problem but then it became worse until he told me he was an alcoholic.

    #828790 Reply


    This is not an uncommon scenario so i doubt its a double. The one odd thing about your ex was saying he is an alcoholic. I have known people being fairly open about it but never heard someone who is not willing to change saying he is an alcoholic. I guess in your case it was used as an excuse. I think im retrospect you will find many red flags in the early stages as you didnt mention he was an alcoholic. Im willing to bet my false teeth that he also showed narcissistic treats early on, as well as the controlling behaviour. I dont have false teeth lol, it just sounded funny. I do agree with lane and others and myself though that focussing on what makes an abuser is a waste of time. Going back to see what flags you missed is not a waste since it will help you become stronger and also less gullible. Take care in healing. Surround yourself with lots of love.

    #828805 Reply


    Haha Georgia. Nope not the same guy as my ex never remarried, nor admitted to being an alcoholic. The only thing he admitted to when I told him I was leaving him was being a binge drinker. For over 10 years he drank until he passed out almost every single night but refused to admit he was an alcoholic or he had a problem with it.

    They look through an entirely different lens than us non-alcoholics do which is why its so frustrating and difficult for us to separate the guy we once knew pre-alcoholism from the guy they become once they succumb to it. It took mine about two years to go from binge drinking to alcoholism, as its a very slow and insidious disease that not only creeps up and gets them hooked but alters their brain chemistry to the point they will do anything to spend time with their mistress (alcohol) and start pushing you away.

    Alcoholics can be cured only through 100% sobriety for life. I’ve met those who have but its a very tough lifetime journey as they think about drinking every single day even when they’ve been sober for 30+ years. Its a horrible addiction that I would never wish on anyone but also never ever be with one again. Trust me, its good you got out early and before you had any kids together as that makes it even harder to leave.

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