Abusive Behavior Part 2
By Wayne L. Misner
12. Do you physically force or emotionally coerce your partner to have sex?
The breakdown of the 98.43% who answered:
Male Female
Abuser Abused Abuser Abused

Yes 14.37% 2.99% 0.72% 3.58%
No 32.93% 49.70% 4.30% 91.40%
1.57% did not answer this question.
See Sexual Abuse below (1).

13. When the other person acts independent, do you sometimes call them names like "feminazi",
"fag", "pig", "women's libber", etc?
The breakdown of the 98.14% who answered:
Male Female
Abuser Abused Abuser Abused

Yes 15.66% 4.22% 1.08% 3.35%
No 31.93% 48.19% 3.95% 91.62%
1.86% did not answer this question.
See Emotional Abuse below (1).

14. Do you try to intimidate or control the other person by: (choose as many as apply)
The breakdown of the 49.51% who answered:
Male Female
Abuser Abused Abuser Abused
Punching walls 7.20% 0.58% 0.77% 2.83%
Throwing things 10.09% 1.15% 1.67% 8.35%
Yelling% total 19.31% 6.92% 3.60% 26.22%
Dirty looks 14.99% 5.19% 3.21% 22.11%
Hurting animals 2.59% 0.58% 0.00% 1.16%
Pushing 8.36% 0.86% 0.90% 3.60%
Shoving 6.63% 0.58% 1.16% 3.47%
Hitting partner 3.75% 0.00% 1.16% 4.11%
Hitting kids 1.73% 0.58% 0.00% 0.13%
Other 6.34% 2.59% 1.67% 13.88%

50.49% did not answer this question. Multiple answers were requested.
(1) Types of Abuses:
Abuse may be Physical: Any act or behavior that inflicts or is intended to inflict bodily harm. Examples are: pulling hair, slapping, shoving, punching, pushing, stabbing, choking, spitting, shooting, kicking, forcing isolation.
Abuse may be Psychological: Examples are: words or dirty looks used to frighten, scare or bully the other person. Also, hitting the kids, attempting to control a person's activities, throwing things, threatening suicide, hurting animals, yelling, punching walls, or terrorizing a person.
Abuse may be Emotional: Destroy a person's sense of self-worth. They make you feel bad about yourself which undermines your self-esteem. Examples are: cursing and/or calling you names, ridiculing your beliefs, race or religion, constant put downs, insults directed at family/friends, attempts to humiliate in public/private.
Abuse may be Sexual: Any sexual activity forced on a person without their consent. Examples are: forcing unwanted sexual acts, unwanted and uncomfortable touching, forcing someone to have sex with others.
Abuse may be Financial Abuse: Total control over the household income. Examples are: controlling how you spend money or where you work, spending family savings, forcing you to turn over your pay.
Abuse is a general term for the misuse of a person or thing. How appropriate to describe it as a misuse of a thing! Because that is exactly what the abuser does. They treat people as “things”!
The abuser often uses some of all the above, and from one extreme to another. Abuse does not go away on its own. In fact, over time the abuse becomes full fledge domestic violence that usually escalates, becoming more frequent and severe. (Even in some cases to homicide).

15. Have you tried to control your abusive behavior by seeking out: (choose as many as apply)
The breakdown of the 50.78% who answered:

Male Female
Abuser Abused Abuser Abused
Counseling 15.64% 16.11% 2.25% 28.35%
Anger management training 5.21% 3.79% 0.56% 2.92%
A psychologist 6.64% 7.11% 0.90% 14.17%
A physician / psychiatrist 6.16% 2.84% 0.79% 8.10%
Religion 10.90% 7.58% 1.80% 14.96%
AA, NA, self-help groups, etc. 1.90% 1.90% 0.56% 7.42%
Books & tapes 8.53% 5.69% 1.24% 15.97%

49.22% did not answer this question. Multiple answers were requested.

Abuser and abused: The above percentages are for the abusers and abused that are or have gone for help. Counseling, anger management groups, psychologist, etc. offer the abusers and abused the ability to face the problem (their demon). The most important step in your life is the first step to get help. For those that are being abused going to some from of counseling with or without your abuser will be the solution to your abuse. Either it helps you put an end to it or gives you the tools to get away from it. For the abuser facing the fact that you are ruining your life and those lives that surround you could be your salvation. You will never be happy with anyone (including yourself), if you don’t end this path you are on to total destruction. Don’t for one second think that abuse is ever justified for any reason what-so-ever.
There is hope; you have acknowledged that with the first step you took to go for help. Finally, if you don’t want to lose those you love, this could be your last chance and most likely only chance. Going to counseling, anger management groups, psychologists, etc. is a way of showing your loved ones you are serious and how much you value both them and yourself. You must take positive steps if you are going to beat this major crisis in your life, especially if there is any chance at all to keep those who you love, staying and working it out with you
Stop the cycle of violence and abuse in your life. It’s very possible that you feel worthless, guilty and ashamed. Now you can fix it. Remember you are not helpless. Take your life in your hands and become the movie director in the next block buster love story ever written! Learn to love yourself. Learn to love others. Learn to love!
Abuser: The abusers who answered that they are not going to any type of counseling, anger management groups, psychologist, etc. are 30.38% men and 14.29% women. My Question = What’s wrong with this picture?

You may have a fear:
• that you are not lovable.
• of failure.
• of betrayal.
• of not being in control.
• of not knowing.
• of rejection.
• that if they find out who you are, they really will not want you (or love you).
• of abandonment.

Each reason can be different: from childhood occurrences to adulthood occurrences; from real reasons to just sub-conscious fears. The sense of failure makes you angry with yourself. You take the rage and anger out on those who are around you--most of the time on those who love you and, believe it or not, those that you love the most. The behavior borders and sometimes enters a state of depression. When asked why you have reacted the way you have, most answer they don’t know or give an answer that does not warrant the behavior acted out.
Leo Madow, M.D. in his book Anger NY: Macmillan Publishing Co. (1972) stated, “There are two major reasons for quick open expressions of anger. The first is that the individual has accumulated so much anger that only a little more is needed to set him off. This is seen in the person who overreacts to a situation by becoming more angry than is warranted. Such a person has had many dissatisfactions in his life and is walking around with a high concentration of stored-up anger.
The second reason is that the quick-to-anger person has found that anger works and is conditioned to continue its use. If a youngster finds that by having a temper tantrum he gets what he wants, he is encouraged to have another the next time he is denied something. If the next one is equally successful, he will begin to develop a pattern of behavior.”

Understanding the cycle theory with Abusers: In my book Men Don’t Listen (8) (www.MenDontListen.com) I wrote the following about the cycle theory: They’re usually in an 'abuse cycle' although they may not know it. The cycle theory, consisting of some form of tension building stage, then the explosion stage, then the honeymoon stage, is just one of many theories around today. It does seem that when anyone holds in all of their emotions and tries to control them, the tension definitely builds. Observing the release of these suppressed emotions seems to verify that the anger release is not in direct proportion to the event that precipitated the explosion.
The honeymoon stage is not difficult to understand. The individual who exploded feels like a complete ass. So, to make up for this inappropriate behavior, buys flowers, takes her to dinner (if the man) and swears it will never happen again. (In some cases where it has happened again and again, they now beg for forgiveness.)
I believe a pressure-cooker that has the release valve clogged up, will have the same tension building stage and explosion stage to follow. The solution to the pressure cooker problem is the exact same solution for you or your loved one. Release the tension slowly as it builds up. Very simple, but very difficult for someone, who has this belief system that if you show emotions, they are not strong or they will become vulnerable. These feelings are hidden so well and buried so deep that they cannot feel at all. They are almost a robot. Some people have broken out of this trance through some form of trauma. It might have been a heart attack, a life-threatening event (car accident, plane accident, near drowning, work-related accident), or losing something or someone important. This could be their spouse, kids, or significant other because they could not open up to allow someone in, losing a loved one through death, or because they were abusive and the angry explosions may have driven people away. That big wall they are hiding behind not only allows no one in, but also becomes a prison cell. They cannot get out. (A life sentence! What a price to pay for being afraid of feeling and opening up to others.)
Matthews Mckay and Patrick Fanning wrote Self –Esteem Oakland, CA: New Harbinger (1987) I quote a paragraph, “One of the most basic human problems is the unwillingness to face certain kinds of pain. This is quite understandable. But in the end, the defense proves more painful than the original feelings you ran away from. Addiction takes its toll. The short-term pain relief creates destructive patterns that undermine your relationships and your self-esteem. The alcoholic feels better after a drink. But production falls off at work, he loses energy for his kids, and his wife grows tired of watching him pass out. It’s the same with self-attacks. You feel better while your acute sense of badness is paradoxically obscured by a witch-hunt for your flaws. Over time, however, you are further destroying your self-worth. And when you fail to be more perfect, when the worm does not become a butterfly, it seems to prove all the negative things you always believed about yourself.”

My experience while working at Carrier Rehabilitation Hospital in Belle Mead, New Jersey was helpful in understanding addiction. Alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. were admitted on a daily basis. Many were abusers but a smaller portion was not. What I found was the addiction was in many cases a way to dull the pain of lifetime problems. Only after a detoxification period of time could their problems be discussed, worked on and, if the patient had the intestinal fortitude, be cured.

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
• We admitted we were powerless over alcohol —
• That our lives had become unmanageable.
• Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
• Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
• Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
• Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
• Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
• Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
• Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
• Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
• Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
• Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
• Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
• Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on NA unity.
• For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.
• The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.
• Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or NA as a whole.
• Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.
• An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
• Every NA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
• Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
• NA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
• Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the NA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
• Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
• Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The Twelve Steps of Domestic Violence Anonymous (VA) (Wayne L. Misner wrote these)
• We believe that we have abused and hurt those we love.
• That we will “Let Go” if those we hurt, no longer want us.
• That we will go to counseling, anger management, psychologists and etc. for support.
• That we recognize the cycle of anger and we are capable of breaking the cycle.
• That we will not return to the methods used in our past.
• We will listen to those who are talking and accept their anger at us.
• We will respect all boundaries in regards to talking with you or contacting you.
• We will listen to your opinion and respect it, even when disagreeing with you
• We pledge that if you live with us or not, you and children if any, will always be safe with us.
• That we will stop being jealous of your friends and contacts
• We seek forgiveness and will make amends for our past behavior.
• No conflict will escalate out of control for we will leave and not drive, but will walk around the block.
Abused: I’m sorry. You don’t (or didn’t) deserve to be abused. At the beginning you probably envisioned a relationship where you both were confidant enough that you would consistently work toward strengthening and lifting each other up. Both of you on the same team--facing any and all problems together--having your life partner also be your best friend. We dream of a partner who will be our soul mate. Don’t give up! Some people spend a lifetime looking for love. Some people find love, don’t realize it and let it die (or kill it). Some will find love that will last a lifetime.
Remember to report the abuse to people who can help you and others. Call 911 or in many communities they have shelters available for victims of domestic abuse, check the local yellow pages. If you want to talk to someone because you have just hurt someone, or you think you are about to hurt someone, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Abusive lifestyles An abusive life style is similar to a bad infection. If you let it continue long enough, the infection will spread throughout your body. You can have it cleaned and treated if you have not waited too long. The quicker you face the problem and handle it, the better chance of success and you may avoid severe consequences later. An abusive situation should be handled the same as an infection, by treating it, getting it out of your system or if it has gone too far, amputation is recommend. It’s time to let it go.
16. Did your partner leave?
The breakdown of the 94.80% who answered:
Male Female
Abuser Abused Abuser Abused
Yes, once or several times and came back 22.84% 31.48% 2.61% 61.12%
Yes, and never came back 6.79% 5.56% 0.25% 2.98%
I left 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.12%
They didn't leave 17.90% 15.43% 2.36% 30.56%
5.20% did not answer this question.
My Question = I left 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.12%

Only 1 abused woman checked that she left. Why? No one else left. However, if anyone is thinking of taking that step read this first: WARNING: Abusers try to control their victim's lives. When abusers feel a loss of control - like when victims try to leave them - the abuse often gets worse. Take special care when you leave. Keep being careful even after you have left. (See Personalized Safety Plan at the end of this article (2).)

17. Did you succeed in stopping the abuse and getting your partner back?
The breakdown of the 81.18% who answered:

Male Total Female Total
Abuser Abused Abuser Abused
I stopped the abuse, but lost the partner 6.99% 9.09% 0.73% 16.06%
I stopped the abuse, and kept the partner 4.90% 3.50% 8.39% 1.17% 6.42% 7.59%
I did not stop the abuse, and lost the partner 12.59% 16.78% 0.29% 22.48%
I did not stop the abuse, and kept the partner 25.87% 20.28% 46.15% 3.65% 49.20% 52.85%
18.82% did not answer this question.
For the abuser: (From the above answers I separated the abusers) My Question = I stopped the abuse, but lost the partner 6.99% men and .73% women. How do you know that you stopped the abuse? Are you in a new relationship and you don’t abuse that person? How have you tested yourself? Did losing the partner help you (wake up?) understand what you were doing was wrong and gave you the incentive to get help?
Did counseling help? Are you sure you are cured? If not you may be on the road of repeating the abuse all over again.
For the abused: One of the abused victims wrote to me, “Figure out why you got yourself into this mess in the first place? How does your past play into where you are today? What was it that led you to make decisions toward being unhealthy? What are the red flags? And what can you do to STOP yourself next time. If you don't work on complete recovery, you will repeat old patterns”.

Continue to Part 3

Author's Bio: 


Wayne L. Misner is owner of Healthcare CIO, a consultant company in New Jersey. He has been in the healthcare field for forty years. In addition, he became the Vice President of Programs and Education for a NJ chapter of Parents Without Partners, where he moderated men and women’s groups across the state. For ten years, he had the opportunity to facilitate many groups of men and women who were struggling with not being able to listen. (The basis of his book – Men Don’t Listen, as well as many articles printed all over the world.) While at the Rehabilitation Hospital he also was a facilitator of the women’s group for both inpatients and outpatients.
Over all these years he has installed systems in Jersey Shore Medical Center (Meridian Health System), St. Elizabeth Hospital (Trinitas), and Morristown Medical Center (Atlantic Health System). In addition, he has directed the Information Systems Centers at Carrier Rehabilitation Hospital and Shore Memorial Hospital. As Vice President of the Princeton based NJ Hospital Association, Mr. Misner represented all the hospital members directing, “The Hospital Information System.”

He is the father of two sons and one daughter.


Disabled Korean Veteran with Bronze Service Star
New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal
Follmer Bronze Award
Reeves Silver Award
Muncie Gold Award
HFMA Medal of Honor Award