Like other forms of domestic violence ( incest, molest) verbal, physical, emotional, economic, psychological. sexual, spiritual violence is SECRETIVE and progressive. Usually ( he can go “public”) only the partner of the abuser hears it or knows about it. His tactics can be covert or overt. It is insidious, defies articulation, difficult to explain or ask help from others. He can be so funny, glib and charming when others are present. In the beginning he may have been that way with us, but once there is a “commitment” (ours- he has no problem being married to two women at the same time) he becomes a completely different person. He is still funny, glib, helpful, charming to others, but to us he is hateful, hate-filled – constantly & progressively more-critical-vile-punishing-manipulative -angry—-toxic———controlling-sullen-irritable-unpredictable-undermining——-silent—-uncommunicative -disrespectful – humorless -explosive-hostile-sarcastic – unable or unwilling to express his feelings-jealous-quick with comebacks-o r put-downs-demanding -argumentative-he blames us for every thing-no matter what we do it is never right or good enough-no matter what we say or how we say it, he will take an opposite view, deny, diminish, twist ,or negate what we have to say. He negates, denies, diminishes us, our existence and our experience. He will deny the abuse, (acting as if nothing has happened) and he will do it again (even if he apologizes) and it always gets worse. He gives others his undivided attention, using them as wedges (come betweens) to exclude, devalue and /or diminish us and to prevent intimacy or communication. He will tell them that we are delusional, “crazy”, mentally ill, menopausal, “out of control”, got what we wanted, menstrual, premenstrual, a man hater, a man basher, controlling, he was in a black out, he is” new “ in sobriety, he has a lot of “time” in sobriety, he’s on a spiritual path, he prays the rosary, he prays on his knees, he sings in the choir, he can’t understand what the problem is, and/or that he is the one being abused. He will encourage other men (especially his “friends”- they feed off us and each other-), the family, the group, our peers to (knowingly or unknowingly) abuse or torment us , while he is always innocent, sometimes he will even feign “concern” for us.. He loves to put on the “con” the situation will never be resolved—it always gets worse. ever increasing negativity and brutality. The more we tell him, the more we try to communicate, the more he will withhold—he is entertained by our attention, distress and pain—he will strut about basking in the power that he feels. The more we accomplish thinking he will be happy for us , the more he trivializes and diminishes our efforts. His criticism of us and those that are close to us becomes progressively more cruel and brutal. The more we let go and depend on others for companionship, he becomes still more angry, miserable and hostile. He is never satisfied no matter what we do or don’t do..and heaven forbid we should react to his cruelty and mistreatment…He sees us as the enemy, or a threat who must be controlled. His words & actions are his weapons. To himself he is who he “thinks” he is –an ideal image he takes himself to be. He doesn’t have to deal with his anger, fear, self loathing. When these do surface their source to him is us, his partner (projection)Through this projection he will blame us for all the abuse that we suffer. In order to maintain this ideal image he has of himself he will be compelled to increasing self aggrandizement and a correspondingly greater disparagement of us. He is terrified of being abandoned (and has no desire to overcome it.) He will start something over nothing so he can rage, make a mess and leave slamming the door and/or screech off in his vehicle or roar off on his bicycle. He will control & manage all physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, financial, spiritual abandonments-if we do leave him, threaten to leave, tell him no -he will punish us (and our children). He orchestrates all abandonments.