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Divorce Checklists: Recognizing Spousal Abuse:
(Provided by: The Divorce Source Staff)
Sometimes women find themselves involved with men who abuse them - a group that includes batterers, acquaintances, marital rapists and verbal abusers. Women who have the misfortune of marrying one of these men often need help to escape a hellish situation. Very often an abusive man convinces his victim that she "has it coming." Very often his victims have no place to go. Here's a list of the characteristics of the abusive man, as complied by Sandy Meadow of the Women's Center of Old Dominion University:

Unemployed or underemployment: the unemployed or underemployed man harbors anger, particularly when his educational and occupational attainment is less than the woman's.
Emotional dependency: he has unrecognized or misunderstood dependence on woman for constant reassurance and gratification.
High Investment in marriage: he wants to preserve the marriage at all costs, but quickly replaces lost partner.
Boundaries: he violates personal space by getting too close; frequent touches, pinches, grabs.
Quick involvement: he claims love at first sight; pressures for quick commitment or living together in less than six months.
Controlling behavior: he seeks to control where partner goes, what she does, with whom and for how long; protective to the point of domineering.
Jealousy: he is easily angered by partner's affectionate relationships with other people, particularly family and friends.
Abusive family or origin: he was often abused as a child or witnessed spouse abuse as a child.
Low self-esteem: he protects a fragile sense of self by acting tough and macho; damages self-esteem of partner to build up himself.
Alcohol/drug Abuse: he frequently abuses alcohol and drugs and encourages the same in partner.
Difficulty expressing emotions: he is unable to express emotions and displaces job anger on spouse.
Blames others for his feelings or problems: he holds the spouse responsible for emotions he claims he cannot control.
Hypersensitivity: he has quick temper.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: he often seems like a different person in front of other people.
Unrealistic expectations: he remains very dependent on spouse to meet all his physical and emotional needs.
Rigid gender roles: he expects woman to stay home and be his servant.
Rigid religious rules: he justifies rigid sex roles by strict reading on religious writings.
Disrespect for women in general: he ridicules and insults women, sees women as stupid and inferior to men, tells sexist jokes.
Emotional abuse: he inflicts all manner of name-calling, belittlement, manipulation, and humiliations.
Isolation: he tries to restrict personal freedom from attending school or work, cuts of spouse from family and friends.
Reliance on pornography: he often relies on sexual paraphernalia for arousal.
Sexual abuse: he forces sex on a partner when she says she makes it clear she's not receptive at the moment.
Cruelty to animals or children: he bullies, abuses or mistreats animals or children (or other people weaker than he), threatens pets and animals loved by the partner.
Past violence: he rationalizes past abuse of other woman by saying "they made me do it."
Fascination with weapons: he plays with guns and knifes.
Threats of violence: he uses the threat or possibility of violence against partner to get his way.
Breaking or striking objects: he breaks or destroys objects held in affection by the spouse.
Any force during an argument: he resorts to violence to win argument often followed by honeymoon period of genuine remorse for his behavior.
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