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Do abusers know they are abusing?


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I came out a four year relationship at the end of last year with an emotionally abusive man. He was 34 and me 23.


When we eventually split up after a very up and down, push and pull relationship it was like he could just completely drop me with no feelings at all. He met someone else instantly and the more i spoke to him the more horrible he was to me. I know the fact he was abusive means he cant have loved me anyways but some of the things he said were horrific. How can he be so happy in new relationship already?


What I want to know however is do abusers know they are being abusive? Or is it just what they deem to be the normal way to treat people?


This guy would put me down, disclude me from anything he went to where his friends and family would be i.e weddings etc. not listen to my opinion, tell me everything i did was wrong even if it wasnt, get angry easily, hid my house keys so i didnt manage to leave house in time to get on same train as him and his friends, would lie to me, belittle me and left me miserable.


When I first started going out with him he told me his ex was a nut who went to counseling and then now iv split up with him hes calling me the same. I am angry at myself because when I first got with him a few months in he said 'your nothing without me' and 'are you obsessed with me yet?' I questioned him at time but he brushed it off as a joke and i presumed he was joking considering it was so crazy. Once when I was on his laptop doing uni work i started typing into google and 'how to manipulate and control someone' came up in his searched for items. Again I did question him but he said he had never looked it up and it was soon forgotten.


This guy has quite alot of friends although he is not very sociable and quite quiet. Noone else would be able to see him like this which annoys me further as everyone including his new gf must think hes fine.


Why do people abuse others? I know he had alot of problems as a child but seriously why do these people do what they are doing, play these ridiculous games? Do they really get something out of completely draining a persons identity?

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They are insecure and unhappy within themselves. The only way they can feel good about themself is to tear their partner down. He will very soon be doing same thing to his new gf. These kind of people have major psychological problems and no ability to self-reflect. They are very very damaged individuals but don't see themselves in that way.

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he's a psycho - and I mean it - they are capable of (and actually prefer) of starting a new relationship immediately and "throwing" a previous partner out of their life completely... I am so sorry that happened to you You need to take care of yourself and heal: they do know they abuse on some level, but they don't have full control of when and how they fall into that type of behavior. Their inner "protection" from love-abuse wounds in the past kick in and they see you as a problem and an enemy so they hurt you without remorse. Again, I am sorry that happened That happened to me too before - I know how agonizing that can be. Be gently with yourself and nurture your own heart and ability to love. Best! NA

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Not all abusers know they are abusive. My ex started treating me the way his parents and siblings treated eachother. He did not see it as abuse. He saw it as normal behavior. Sometimes he would step back and realized that he got angry for something stupid, but that was mostly in front of friends or mostly when he wanted something (we were on our way to something he wanted to do and I wasn't going to go because of what just happened). But he only saw himself as occasionally losing his temper. And he usually justified that he wouldn't have gotten that way if I had listened. To the day he left me, all he ever said was "i know i got mad, but...." When he used to read things about abuse, he never saw himself in it, and always told me I was the abuser to him.



"""This guy has quite alot of friends although he is not very sociable and quite quiet. Noone else would be able to see him like this which annoys me further as everyone including his new gf must think hes fine.""


To aquaintances and people who are kept at arm's length, the abuser usually is seen as a great guy/gal. But to people that are very closest, its a different story. My ex had a lot of people he socialized with - he was the guy with 1,000 friends but very few were really close friends. And people who disagreed or thought he wasn't that great he said were psycho, probably were women who had been abused and have male issues or thought were strange ones.

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I can't believe I still miss this guy! Its crazy How can i love him after all this? Why am I jealous of his new relationship? I am dreaming about him at nights, I wake up with butterflies in my tummy and think of him, its like I am always anxious.

In the past month he has contacted me and said things like hes finding it really difficult without me, asked to meet up, when i posted him a jumper of his i had he emailed to say 'thanks honey, it smells of you too he still calls me pet names and contacted me early one morning to say he couldnt sleep as he was thinking and worrying about me. What does this mean? He then went cold again days later because his new relationship was back on !

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It's natural that after 4 years it is going to take some time to readjust to being 'yourself'. He controlled/influenced your emotions during your relationship, he will continue to do this from afar for as long as you allow him to.


He really is bad news. Don't waste time and energy trying to understand him, it's time to focus on yourself and your future. Stop contacting him, block contact from him, only then will you begin to move on from this nightmare.

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deedee, Don't feel bad about it. I have been in your shoes too, and i was so embarrassed that I stayed with the guy. I felt so embarrassed to be around my friends and family, they always thought i was a strong woman, and then this guy entered my life.


You feel foolish for being so naive. But that is just it, (if you were like me) you were naive because you likely have never experienced abuse before, didn't know the warning signs and likely ignored the gut feelings you felt because you thought you were being silly to question his feelings for you. I did a lot of rationalizing his behavior, looking back I am not proud, but it was a learning experience for me. I know the signs of abuse now. I know to trust my gut and not make excuses. I will never fall for it again, and you likely won't either. Chalk it up to experience. A lot of smart, strong, women get caught up with guys like this, I think because they just are ignorant of the signs or inexperienced with relationships.

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Yeh I think once I am over him I will be able to notice the signs of abuse and never fall for this again. But in mean time I just can't get him and his new girlfriend out my head, sad i know but shes soo pretty and older with own flat etc i can't help but feel like rubbish

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The difficulty in letting go of abusive relationships is that they're not constantly abusive. Very often they are good with people (and therefore manipulative) and you get to see a glimpse of something amazing. You hope this will come back. You've experienced it so you believe that the abuse is just a phase. Abuse also trickles down in the family, it's more likely to happen if the individual grew up in such home.


From my experience no they don't know they are abusive but they know something is wrong. I doubt he's happy in the new relationship and you haven't lost anything big trust me. Soon this one will go down the drain too. They just don't know what else to do.


My ex wasn't abusive as such but deluded as to his behaviour. Because he has ADHD there were elements of this unsettling feeling of not knowing where I stood many times. The unpredictability and the chaos that comes with someone with this condition was similar to being with an addict in a way. He was unaware of that and to him it wasn't too bad because that's all he knew (like your abusive ex).

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Wow, welcome to the club, i guess i am another one of you, dont know whether i should be happy or sad to find a whole gang here....deedee, at least you are out of it already, i am reaching 4 years with mine and still have hard time leaving him...the truth is, he is not an extreme case (or at least thats what i told myself)...on his good days, he is very caring and sweet, on his bad day, he would look at me in disdain even when i asked him a simple question like "what's playing on the TV now?" In the past few years, my emotion was yo-yoing all the time, right now, i am sinking more and more into the oblivious...i am just so sad that i dont know how to get out of it....

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