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Family Therapy with Your Abuser — WTF?

domesticviolenceIf you ever thought the Reconciliation Industrial Complex has gone too far, get a load of this — “Domestic abuse victims to join abusers in family therapy.” According to an article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper:

Harrow council in north-west London, which has funded the scheme to the tune of £200,000, hopes that by providing specialist counselling sessions for couples who are violent towards each other future incidents can be reduced. The council, which has just begun counselling sessions with the first couple participating in the scheme, believes it can tackle domestic violence by bringing couples together in a “supportive environment” to discuss its impact.

Traditional models of tackling domestic violence usually focus on the abuser and not the whole family. The Harrow experiment is based on a US model. Social workers from Harrow will undertake direct work with the children of families involved to assess the impact of the violence.

The programme will be run by psychotherapists and counsellors from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships who will work with the families to find the triggers for the abuse. Susanna Abse, the centre’s chief executive, said: “We are really delighted to be delivering, in partnership with Harrow council, such a new and innovative way of helping with the major challenges faced when interpersonal violence occurs between couples.”

Oh here’s a “supportive environment” idea for abusers — jail time.

Seriously, Susanna Abse, you think violence is an insight problem? We need trained specialists and 200,000 quid to explain the “impact” of slamming someone’s head into a door?

Oh my goodness! I’m sure Brutus had no idea he was being hurtful. “SHUT UP YOU FUCKING CUNT!” He should’ve used his indoor voice and his nice words. He has to learn other, healthier ways to get you to keep your filthy piehole shut.

Why if it weren’t for the help of these nice counselors, I’m sure Brutus would have no concept of proper civility!

What’s next? Coloring books for abusers? Puppet shows? Maybe we need to dumb this shit down for them further. Assign them all interpreters for their empathy disability.

Was her skirt too short? Did she get uppity with you? Susanna Abse your Council-Appointed Fuckwit Translator is here to help!

Brutus takes a swing. His victim ducks. “No Brutus! Use your words! What’s triggering you, sweetheart?”

[Grunt… spit….] “Bitch!” Brutus points at offending skirt.

“That’s good,” the Council-Appointed Fuckwit Translator coos. “It’s important to vent our feelings.

Really, chumps, this is beyond satire. This is an actual program!

Councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick, whose responsibilities include adult safeguarding and preventing domestic violence, said the council was hopeful the scheme would help it to address the issue head on. “If the abusers understand the impact their behaviour has on their family, we hope they can change. We are delighted we are the first place to tackle the causes of domestic abuse.”

She added that the initiative would coincide with a campaign encouraging victims of domestic violence to come forward: “Victims are sometimes too scared to come forward and report it, or don’t know how to.”

Yes, the problem is abusers just don’t understand that they’re abusive! And really, if you’re the victim of domestic abuse, don’t you think it’s your responsibility to clear things up for them? Sure, Brutus might be a bit dim and likely to reoffend without constant civility reminders, but won’t you take that chance to save the guy who knocked out your teeth? I think you should, chumps.

Have a heart-to-fist heart! Tell him more about your feelings! Just don’t dress like a slut, okay? 🙂

See, you’re part of the problem — you don’t know HOW to come forward. Dialing telephones is so complicated since they became screens. I stare at mine for hours. 9-1-1? Or is it 2? What’s the square root? OMG it’s difficult.

Don’t you want to sit on a down-stuffed sofa and dialogue with Brutus? Share your vulnerabilities with him? What you need is a Supportive Environment!

Ten thousand miles away from him.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • You really have to wonder about the intelligence of the people running this program. It’s sad to think that there will be victims who will take part in this staying stuck with an abuser. This program minimizes the abuse.

  • “Polly Nichols, Elizabeth Stride, Annie Chapman, and the rest of you–your being out late at night trying to earn a few pennies for a doss house MADE Jack the RIpper disembowel you. You brought it on yourself, just a weeeeee bit, dontcha think? Couldn’t you have thought of a better way to earn a few pennies? Those long flowing skirts just set him off….work on erasing his triggers, eh?”

    • I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to sit in a room with Jack the Ripper. It must be because you don’t know *how* to.

      • Simple, we ask Brutus to list what “you’re” doing to trigger Brutus into a rage and smashing your face into the floor. Avoid those annoying habits of yours which trigger Brutus and everyone will live happily ever after.

        • From what I understand, abusers blame the victims just as much as cheaters do. “She MADE me angry. If she wouldn’t have made me angry, I wouldn’t have had to hit her.” I once read an article by a police officer encouraging domestic violence victims to get away from their abuser and it stated that no matter what the abuser says, this abuse is NOT your fault. Sadly, abusers are unlikely to change when they honestly believe someone else MADE them do something. Why would they have to change? They think everyone else is the problem, not them.

          • No one MAKES anyone do anything, there is always a choice. Its puerile and violent MORONS who think otherwise, and think may be too strong of a word…

  • Love that “encouraging victims to come forward”. Yeah, that’s a good plan.

  • The need to understand the hurt they cause??? No the problem is not the lack of understanding, the problem is that they do not care.

    • Yes. And let’s take it step further. This is exactly the same approach most therapists have to infidelity. It’s a “couple” dynamic (not a jerk dynamic). We have to find the “triggers” that compel them to cheat (hit). See, this person didn’t know that those actions were abusive or would have an impact. (It’s an insight problem! Not a character problem!)

      This is just RIC in another contest. Only we see the absurdity (or some do) because it’s about physical violence.

      • Thank you for being one of the few people who gets it, CL!!! I spent five years and six figures on the sofa with my abuser (cheater/sex addict) trying to “understand his triggers” and “not shame” him for his insane behaviors that risked my life. After my final straw (finding another escort site on his phone) and kicking him out for good, he came back home to pack his office. When I took his laptop out of the car to have it looked at, he threw me head first into a cement pot and broke my nose in two places. His counselor had the nerve to tell other men in his practice that, “his wife must have really instigated this, because he’s a great guy”.

        What I want the courts to understand is that cheating is abuse. We should not have to be in a courtroom, let alone on a counseling sofa, with our abuser. Cheating narcissists DO NOT CARE about the pain, damage and destruction they leave behind!!!! No amount of therapy will help them care or understand. The program discussed in this post is a waste of money and clearly lacks any understanding of the character disorders of abusers, whether they be physical abusers or cheaters.

        • I was there too, Walls. 22 years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child, my stbx choked me and threw me into a wall in a fit of anger. I was too dumb and scared to leave him at the time, but did insist that he go to counseling. His therapist requested some couples sessions, and told me at one of them that he saw me as a person with “alot of power in the relationship.” He used the analogy of a chair: that stbx might be the one sitting on me, but I could choose to just “collapse” and end the argument, leaving him nothing to sit on. In other words, a mental health professional advised me to meekly submit to my abuser in hopes that deference would stop the abuse. It was not until I earned my own degree in social work that I really grasped how sick that was.

          • Just WOW. You can choose to “collapse” to end the argument? How about Mr. Abuser chooses not to slam you into a wall?

            Oh right. *You’re* the one with the power…

            • I received similar advice by a therapist. Was told not to rock the boat or nag so not to bring on angry outbursts…. The thing of it was, however, I wasn’t confrontational to begin with.

      • Cheater and I went to a therapist after I found receipts for porn when X was working in Reno. Therapist asked to talk to us separately, I had no problem with that. I went in told him the story, X went in and was in there for at least a half an hour. Then we both went in together, we sat down and X started rubbing my back and holding my hand, which was way out of character for him since he was never affectionate, therapist asked X something and X went into how beautiful I am and how much he loves me.. it was totally out of character for him, The therapist tells me X loves me, I’m thinking okay, what about the porn. then as we were leaving the therapist tells me I’ve got a good husband and I need to stop drinking. He gave me a lecture on drinking without letting me defend myself or even asking me any questions. Therapist and X talked baseball and we were to call and schedule another appt. X and I got into the car X laughed, and said there won’t be a next appt. he doesn’t need to go back. Then turns around, looks at me and says no one in their right mind would want to F me.., He charmed the therapist into believing I was the problem in one session. I don’t know if this is relevant but reading this triggered the memory. Narcissism and Sociopathic behavior is more widespread than most people realize, the ugly side of them is usually hidden from the public and behind closed doors, therapists and Judges need to be better educated and become aware of these monsters.

        • Your X wins the “Rumblekitty Kick to the Throat” award. So very glad he is your X.

          • Oh, there’s this one too. My ShiTBoX actually did take this test, over a year ago. Came back he was a psychopath. I thought he was joking, so got him to take the test again. Still a psychopath. But being a spackler, I still dismissed the result. Silly little test.


            • I’m so sorry, brit, my STBX pulled the exact same trick on me during MC, turning the discussion into, “Why does OK have so many trust issues and feel the need to self-medicate when her loving husband is so committed to their marriage and has never, ever, cross-his-heart-and-hope-to-die, cheated on her?” I actually have two other chump friends IRL whose Xs used unfounded accusations of drinking or other substance abuse to either derail MC and/or during a custody dispute.

              A word of warning to any newbies who might be reading: personality-disordered cheaters will stop at NOTHING to malign your character at any point where they deem it to be in their own self-interests.

              • It’s like a game plan to make us chumps look unhinged. The Fucktard would spend every Tuesday night while we were in MC (at 7 a.m. Wednesday mornings) accusing me of atrocities and picking whatever fights he could generate. In the morning, he spoke calmly during the session about how he had to walk on eggshells because I was volatile and irrational. And he only wanted the best for me, but I had this ridiculous belief that he was a liar and a cheat.

                PS It didn’t work as well as he would have liked, but he gave an Oscar Worthy performance.

            • The problem with that test is a true psychopath would fill it out opposite of the truth. I scored a 27, I’m not sure how anyone can seriously use that test for a study when it’s purely self report.

              • I don’t think either test is particularly scientific, just an insight.

                You’re right, though, for a natural manipulator it would be too easy to fake. I think my cheater took his before his affair, so didn’t try to fake it.

        • Hey Brit, had a very similar experience at 2 of the therapists we went to over the years. One I spoke of a few weeks ago was one I had gone to for 6 months once a week. I took him (ex) in once, and that was all it took for him to win her over, and in fact, I would call it flirting that she did with him right in front of me! I felt so betrayed by her. A half a year of $35.00 copays. Nice! More mindfuckery to add to your confusion when your mind is already so twisted!
          The other was a man who didn’t think verbal abuse was a problem. It was 2 against 1.
          When the guy therapist took his side and I didn’t want to return, my ex said, “See, if they like me, you want no part of it!” Then used it as an excuse to not pursue further any MC. Wish I would have left then.

        • 10 yrs before D’day X confessed that he had been spending all available time while at work in adult sex shops indulging in porn. At the time I asked had he been physical with another woman which he denied. It didn’t dawn on me until after D’day that where he was going was a well known gay zone. I was so naive.
          Being the upright Christian that he was, actual therapy was off the table, coming clean to our pastor and getting prayer was the path chosen. After confessing his porn addiction to our pastor and promising to never do it again. I stated that I saw it as equal to adultery. End result I was told I was too black and white that I needed to let it go, he had confessed and it was now all in the past. To bring it up again would not be conducive to a loving Christian marriage.
          X often encouraged me to go to therapy to overcome my “FOO” issues that were a constant problem in our life. Which I did because I was always edgy, depressed, emotionally drained etc. So I would go in the hope of fixing me, in the hope of fixing the distance in our marriage. After D’day I realised that the source of how I felt was X not my supposed FOO issues. X has since used my being in therapy to claim that he was the victim of an unbalanced spouse. I learnt the hard way. I hope others find CL and liberation in our stories before facing our journeys.

        • There is a great article in The New York Times about divorcing a narcissist. It’s an interview of an author who wrote a book on the subject. The 700 plus comments accompanying it are spot on. Disengaging from a narcissist is a difficult and often dangerous journey.

        • I’m not sure if clinical narcissism and clinical sociopathy are that common, but being a major asshole seems to be unfortunately common. I think some people are just extremely manipulative and cruel without having any mental illness to blame for their shitty behavior.

      • Yes, just dangle me in front of my abuser like a carrot until we can identify those nasty little triggers that set him off. Then together we’ll talk some sense into him so he can finally “understand” the negative impact his abuse has on the family…

        • Honestly, all the stories on here make me want to eliminate every last one of these abusive motherfuckers from the human race. People taking advantage and abusing others really really pisses me off.

      • I sent the link to your article today to my psychologist. He was appalled at the premise of the whole thing.

        What I love about Dr. S (other than his constant reassurance that I’m *not* the crazy one), is that he has some far left political leanings, and has no shame in posting them on Facebook in our deep red, Deep South state. (Jindal came from us. I’m sorry).

        He also hunts Big Foot. Like for real. He posts videos and his research notes on his findings on Facebook. Things like going into the woods and finding the coloring book he left colored in when he got back the next day and stuff like that.

        So, I think just like with finding a mate, you have to find a therapist whose crazy matches your crazy. Most everyone laughs at me when I talk about Dr. S and his whimsy, and they wonder where I found him, but he has been amazing for me. He helped me find my inner mighty. And, when I gave him my extra copy of Chump Lady’s book, he started recommending it to other patients to help them work through infidelity.

  • Been there, done that and for too many wasted years.

    My abusive X was emotionally and physically abusive towards my oldest son, I tried therapy while we were in Germany, The X was even put in a hospital to learn to deal with his anger. I wanted to kick him out, his therapist said I needed to let him back in the house so he could show he was getting better.

    A couple of months after returning home, he decided he didn’t need the follow-up therapy and things started falling apart again, especially when my son became a teenager. My son’s senior year was the worst. I did kick him out after he choke my son for “smiling at him funny” only to have him return one day, he walked in the door and said he wasn’t leaving again, and had reworked the bank account to start hiding money from me.

    Things came to a head one day when the X had a melt down on the way to church and attacked my son in the car, while he has driving me and my youngest sitting there too. I went to church to seek help. (I called an abuse hotline first but they seemed bored with me and I just hung up) The minister sent us to a new counselor (we were in counseling our entire horrible marriage).

    When I started to describe the fight in front of the new counselor, my X stood up and started yelling at me. The counselor asked the X to leave the room. The counselor then looked at me, told me I was married to an abusive man and to take my kids and leave. I was very depressed at the time and felt like I was about to have a mental break down, but it was a relief to hear someone tell me what I already knew, the X was abusive to all of us. Well, the X freaked out, ran back to the church and got a new counselor for us, one that promised me he could fix things. The new way of fixing things was for us to continue to walk on eggshells, avoid things that made the X upset, etc.

    To make this long story short, after I bent over backwards to keep the X happy for the next four years, the oldest grew up and moved out, things were going quite well, and then the abuse started again, towards me. Come to find out he was cheating on me. Went back to church MC who still did not help me get away from this horrible marriage, but luckily he had a stroke (he’s okay now) and I went back to the counselor that originally told me to leave, this is four years later, and over a decade after the X received treatment in Germany. I wasted twenty years married to this guy, most of it I was trying to gather the strength to leave without help from anyone.

    Counseling doesn’t help; praying doesn’t help- the only thing that helps is to love yourself enough to not stand for the abuse anymore. No one will help you but yourself and it is hard and scary, but so worth it to get your life back.

    • ChumpedToTheMax.

      Family counseling with the disordered just like mediation with them is useless.
      However, I believe there are therapists out there who can help us individually.
      I think we as chumps must go in there and use the first session to bluntly state OUR purpose. The first statement out of my mouth to my therapist was, “I want to know how to stop loving my husband who repeatedly abused me”. He knew from the get go I had Stockholm Syndrome, as did my lawyer when I cried during our consultation.
      The abused are shamed into silence by their ABUSERS. In my mind chumps need to find the right therapist. Going it alone kept me stuck and my therapist pointed out the patterns of the narcissistic relationship. He recommended using a blog and I found CL. X did abuse my children also through manipulation. As I’ve stated previously there are so many layers to their distruction. It’s been 18 months of therapy and I’m now dealing with hiw this impacted my adult children and granddaughter. It took me 41 years to gather the strength with the right support.

      • donna, i agree that the right personal therapist can do wonders. joint counseling is a waste and hurts more than helps. my counselor that encouraged me to leave was a godsend, if fact, the day i stopped praying for god to save my marriage and prayed instead that His will be done is the day the counselor told me to leave. but, it was me that did the work, i had to make that call to the lawyer, i had to make the decision to save myself, my counselor encouraged me, but he made me do the work…which is how it should be, i was the one that needed to make the move and develop the strength. i am the one that is mighty. glad you got the support and found the strength!

    • It’s a thing, in prisons and stuff. Because lots of really bad folks didn’t get appropriate upbringing, their ability to handle stuff stalls at the age where they stopped being guided- like… Toddler/school age. So some therapists use really low level crafts and colouring/childhood activities to tap into that level and try to help them develop coping skills that they should have learned much earlier. I have a friend who works in a prison and oversees these activities, and she is very… Affected by this. “Oh yeh… Paul came in and said he was feeling pretty murder-y so I asked him to skip the activity and spend the day in his room alone, he said ok, and that’s a big step for him” …. She says all this shit in a sing song teacher birds help her get dressed in the morning kind of voice and its pretty weird. But… There apparently has been some success with this idea apparently, that said- it has nothing to do with the victims. Totally not their scene, they don’t need to be there for someone to develop strategies/boundaries/normal skills needed to be a person.

      • Have you ever noticed how low the bar gets set for cheaters, abusers and anyone in general who can’t “play nice” with others? Yay, we’re so happy that the cheater stopped banging prostitutes, that we are going to give him or her a free pass on everything else a responsible adult/spouse/parent should be doing. Or, hey it’s so great that Brutus stopped hitting his wife, that we’re going to pretend we don’t hear him when he calls his wife a no good for nothing bitch. Yet, those of us who don’t cheat, or hit or murder or whatever are expected to step up our game to be worthy of those who cheat on or abuse us.

  • WTF indeed!!!!!
    How exactly will this encourage victims to come forward?
    Because once you’re strong enough to make that call you’re probably thinking safe house and no contact not sitting in the same room with your abuser chatting about how you made them mad.
    Oh, hell no!

  • So much harm has been done in the name of “therapy.” This is absolutely unethical in every possible way. Nobody should have to sit in “therapy” with the very people who traumatized them. This is why couples therapy is a ridiculous notion for any kind of abusive situation including infidelity. In our quest to understand our loved ones we will look for any advice, and unfortunately we are lead down the path of absurd notions that love is “unconditional”, that abusers are “mentally ill” and that those who betray their loved ones are “in a fog.” Such nonsense. These people absolutely know that what they are doing is wrong. They do it anyway. It’s called evil. It’s called abuse.

    In therapy you need support, encouragement and yes gentle guidance on the course of action that promotes your best mental health and well-being. You are not responsible for getting your abuser to understand that he hurt you, trust that they know this and did it anyway. You are only responsible for yourself and starting the long process toward healing and healthy relationships.

    As for the abuser? Well trained therapists will understand that their prognosis is guarded at best. Likely they will continue to deny, compartmentalize and justify their abusive tactics. The best outcome for most abusers is to minimize the damage they inflict on the rest of society. The best outcome for you is to get away from them as far as possible.

    • I work in a public school. When we have kids who don’t get along, we sit them down and help them mediate their disagreement. But when the issue is bullying — one child intentionally and repeatedly targeting another student who has less physical or social power — our policy is to NEVER force the child being bullied to confront or have to meet with their attacker.

      If forced confrontation is not OK for children in a relatively low-risk social situation, it most certainly is not OK for anyone trapped in an intimate relationship!

      • Jesus. I wish this happened when I was being bullied as a child. Instead, they forced me to face my three attackers and the three attackers gaslit the teachers to the point where they were like “They are model students, you are not. BTW, we think you have anger management issues – you need to see someone about that”

    • Yes, they’re the “first place” to understand the “causes” of domestic violence! A special honor conferred upon them and apparently everyone else is Doing It All Wrong.

      • Replace “understand” with “confused” and “first place” with “another” and the article makes total sense.

    • Me TOO!! “delighted”…..

      How delightful that they are ‘delighted’. May every day she be ‘delighted’ that she has such a delightful job.

  • Abusers understand the impact of their actions, which is why they act the way they do. It usually starts out subtly. A disapproving look or comment. When that fails to be effective, it accelerates and moves into full on verbal and/or emotional abuse. They usually save the physical stuff for later.

    At its root, it is all about coercion. All about power. All about enforcing their will on others because they feel entitled to do so. Requiring a victim to sit in the same room with his or her abuser is nuts. And however well meaning, any therapist who encourages that is assisting the abuser. A big Hell No! to that.

  • He might be too conservative for some of you but British psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple worked in prisons and found that after all their excuses(bad childhoods, drugs etc) they committed crimes BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO!!!

  • And it never occurs to these experts that the reason an abuser abuses is because they fully understand the impact on the family and enjoy that impact? That they will say and do all of the right things in a therapeutic environment to get their victims to keep smoking the hopium pipe?


  • I took my 12 and 15 year old sons to a counselor in November. She felt they were doing very well but said the only way she could help was to help rebuild the relationship with their dad. My 15 year old wanted to give it a try but only if I would be there as well. So we basically did two family counseling sessions. I’m glad I did it. It gave me a safe place to confront my stbx and tell him what an evil ass he is. I think he was shocked at my new ability to see through his manipulation, blame shifting and intimidation. I enjoyed seeing him squirm and it gave my kids a chance to see their dad’s real personality. He is definitely an emotional abuser. My 12 year old was done after the first session with him, my 15 year old wanted to go back. My 15 year old was done after the second session and said “I don’t think dad is even capable of telling the truth.” Now I’ve had very little contact with my stbx for a year and half and had a year of excellent counseling so I was strong enough to do this. I do think this gave me some closure and even further clarity on just how truly disorder this man is and how lucky I am to get away from him. If someone is just getting out of an abusive relationship, I don’t recommend this because it will just make things worse.

    • I can’t even decide if I’m so happy that your kids grasp how disordered he is so that they learn to protect themselves, or if I’m sad that it kind of shatters their innocence a bit. I am however very happy you had a chance to do this. And that they got to see strong momma in action. Mighty!

      • Thank you creativerational! I’m torn between the two also. I think the truth does set you free so it is best that they really understand his disorder but it sucks so much that their dad is like this. I came from a sweet naive family and was easily duped by this man. My boys will be much wiser in choosing the people in their lives. They are with him all this week and it is the first time they have stayed the night with him in over a year and a half. They seem to be holding their own. So proud of them.

  • I would like to see a recorded section, maybe a few abusers will jump on the therapist and hit her/him … like we do not have enough!

    • Yes, FicoChump, and if that were the case the police would be called and the Abuser would be thrown in jail. Do you think that therapist would want to sit down and discuss what triggered the Abuser to slam his face repeated into the floor once he was released from jail?? Not a fucking chance! Yet therapists, the courts, sometimes the police, even family and friends expect the victim to try to understand. Such bullshit. It goes way back to the belief that a spouse is another spouse’s property. As if a stranger assaulting another stranger is WORSE than a husband/wife assaulting their partner???

      This is just another attempt to dilute our standards, morals, and principles to suit the ever declining standards of society. In this type of “therapy” the victim is essentially used as bait, to trigger a response. It’s nothing more than Ceasar Milan trying to bait a dog into misbehaving so he can correct that behavior. These idiots think they can become “The Douche Whisperer”.

  • If abuser wants to change, and needs some sort of impact statement to keep it raw and keep them reminded why they need to not hit people etc, bully for them. But the fact that their plan involves working on the family dynamic just sounds like a hell of a lot of room to blame shift… ‘Well, if Jerry stops asking you to pick your clothes up and help
    with the kids, will you stop hitting him Jennifer? Great well… That sounds splendid. Hear that jerry? Just behave and do it all and no more hitting” what the hell.

  • I only have two words when dealing with an abuser, especially one that has taken it physical in any way. GET OUT. Do not look back. These people do not change. They only escalate.

  • Teaching a violent person interpersonal skills has a catchy ring to it though. The abuser will ficus on “I” while the victim is forced to think there is a “we” in the equation. Yes, Donna you were focused on fixing him and that was heroic on your part. What could she have done differently MASTERBAITER?

    Putting a victim of domestic violence in the position of accepting responsibility for abuse further victimizes the person who who needs to get away from the abuser. This is sickening.

  • “The programme will be run by psychotherapists and counsellors … who will work with the families to find the triggers for the abuse.”

    SMH … there are no words.

    How was I to know that having my toenails painted purple (my favorite color) instead of red would set him off? Or buying red grapes when I should have bought green; white eggs when I should have bought brown? Who knew??!!

    • You can’t know, because the rules change at their whim. Suddenly red nail polish will be wrong, green grapes were never the ones he liked an white eggs are superior to brown. Gotcha again!

      • My ex literally complained if I cut his sandwich lengthwise instead of on the diagonal…

        • Mine complained that I broke the pasta into thirds rather than halves. You can’t make this shit up.

          • I was thinking that very thought, Tempest. It is just too fucking mind-boggling!!! I asked him if the cut affected the taste… His reply was, “No, but my mother always cut my sandwiches on the diagonal.” I apparently was married to a 12 year old boy.

            • they do change the game and rules to fit their temper tantrums, mine compared me not folding his underwear to the pain he caused by cheating on me, they can always find a reason why something is not their fault why “i pushed his buttons” not matter how ridiculous, it all makes sense to their crazy brains

            • I would what the fuck did you get those for you know I like the other kind! And when I got the other kind what the fuck did you get those for! And the famous why do you get me the same kinds of ice cream you know I like fucking variety! Apparently the whore is a fucking mind reader to perfection and I’m a flawed asshole. I was wonderful best wife ever til I wasn’t. Disordered asshole!

              • Wow. I think this sums up disorder nicely. “Why did you get divorced” “I’m flawed, I didn’t buy the right ice cream” “huh?” “Yes. I thought it was pretty lame too but i was so terrible at ice cream picking that it’s totally legit that he stuck his P in her V, yknow? All my fault”. Ducking priceless.

          • I couldn’t load the dishwasher correctly.

            Hey, how’s wetting the bed, putting a pillow between your legs to sleep and the cord running across the bed for the heating pad working for you and the slunT, oh yeah pump up your crooked dick and fuck me bebe. Hahaha! Guess we all have our issues.slunt won the pencil dick and he’s her dishwasher. Soulless mates.

          • Totally believe it. Mine would accuse me of trying to kill him if I cooked beef. Or almost cry if I didn’t prepackaged his lunch the night before.
            I pegged him as a paranoid 8 year old.

            • Mine didn’t allow meat of any kind in the house. Then he’d come back from his business trips and rifle through the garbage looking for evidence that I’d broken that rule. I’m sure the relationship was over when he found the carcass of the turkey the cats and I enjoyed while he was gone. Nah, that’s just why I left it there.

        • Mine freaked out for months about how well/poorly I had wrung out the sponge at the kitchen sink, or how much I had packed down the recycling.

          And believe me, I explained very carefully, in a non-shaming way, how this kind of negativity affected me, the kids, and even him. But it didn’t change a thing – because he didn’t care. It was too big a pleasure to put me down and sulk, and have us all walking on eggshells.

          And my absolute fave; he yelled at me for putting too much milk in our toddler’s sippy cup, while I was getting the toddler ready to stay with a neighbour, because I was IN LABOUR and had to get to the hospital.

          I was such an idiot. Should have left him years before I did.

          • An easy fix would be for him to properly wring out the kitchen sponge when anyone was done at the sink, to handle the recycling himself, and to pour the sippy cup milk for the toddler while you were in labor. Not to critique your efforts. I have a rule now: Whoever wants something done in a precise way can do it themselves. Otherwise, they can chill out and enjoy not doing it.

            • The problem was, Survivor, that I assumed he was a fairly reasonable person who loved me and our kids, and treated him accordingly.

              As the years went by, I started figuring things out, then setting more boundaries and using strategies like ‘you don’t like how I do it? Feel free to do it yourself’.

              But of course he SO resented the boundary setting. And after DDay#2, I realized I simply didn’t want to live with someone whose behaviour I had to ‘manage’. I want to have only reasonable, caring people in my life.

          • They’re all the same. Oh my god they are all the same. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

            • You should laugh, Finally! And loudly. That washcloth on the sink didn’t make him a bad man. That dinner he never said he didn’t like before wasn’t what made him a bad man. What made him a bad man was that he Was A Bad Man. Like the rest of us, you probably whitewashed the badness and looked hard for the goodness, for years, and got little or nothing in return.

              Time to jettison that image of what you thought you had. No one is home there. Lots of hugs to you. Kick some mighty butt, my friend.

  • This “treatment” rationale seems the norm for this age. All of this under the guise of well-meaning problem- solving instead of calling out the users and abusers for what they are: evil. Chumps, we are just too “rigid” in our thinking. Whether you are talking about DV, Infidelity, communist dictatorships, oppressive theocracies…we can bring these people around. We can finesse out of these flawed abusers a compassionate understanding of their victims with their promise to make nice in the future. Let’s be inclusive. Disregard that machete, or the continued fleeing of boat people, or that missile aimed toward our homeland, or that crazed husband who “communicates” only with his fists, or that pile of dead or physically and emotionally maimed wives, mothers, and children at the hands of their abusers….

  • Speechless! Just another useless waste of money. How about giving that money to an agency that helps them escape the abuse and start a new life!

  • ChumpedtotheMax; You are so right that we can only help ourselves. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men couldn’t put Humpster the Dumpster Diver together again. Grab a free horse and bolt from the shattered mess!
    All abuse is entitlement in my view. You know why we don’t do it? Because we don’t feel we have the right to abuse another, pure & simple.

  • When I uncovered the extent of his porn addiction, XH identified as a sex addict and went to a few SLA meetings. When his anger outbursts ended in throwing things at me he went (briefly) to anger management therapy. When I found out about his visits to prostitutes he started seeing a (female) sex therapist. He went for a while- apparently she liked him. Then he stopped because he’d started drinking again. Which meant angry became violent and abusive. There were a few calls to the Police. They always separate the parties, and treat each equally. I think we know this here at CN as the phoney law of equivalence. I know he charmed the ( young ) officers. Yeah, just a domestic…. I had to call them after I’d thrown him out. I’d stupidly let him in and then he refused to leave demanding to take a piece of furniture because he’d bought it (with my money). Under the guise of false reconciliation he arranged couples therapy but of course I found out he was with OW so I told him not to bother. He didn’t. I ( at last!) got some insight and a divorce.

    Not all cheaters are physically abusive but you can see by this sorry tale, that some are and are very disordered and manipulative. Even if they do ‘submit’ to therapy they shapeshift their way out of trouble. You can also see that had I cut my losses at the porn addiction stage, I would have saved myself a lot of pain/money/time. Oh and becoming a domestic violence statistic- a woman who stays with a violent man when she should leave. And leave is the only advice I would give.

    As a PS despite Harrow’s crazy, dangerous initiative, here in the UK we are making some legal progress on domestic abuse –

  • I wonder how many copies of Lundy Bancroft’s ‘Why Does He Do That’? could be bought for £200,000 and a deal with Amazon? A far more useful way for the good folks of Harrow to get value for their council tax.

    • BTW – Domestic Abuse Refuges are being closed down at an alarming rate due to funding cuts. ‘Relate’ too – woefully underfunded and reliant on donations. Me smells a load of jobsworths at Harrow.

    • Or how many abuser-frontal lobotomies could be covered for that 200,000 pounds? The abuser-lobotomy group could serve as a comparison group to the therapy-abusers.

      • Tempest

        Oh thank You – make me laugh so deeply and right into the New Year…..
        Best to everyone

      • I wish every time a cheater cheated male-one inch off the penis. Female-one inch shorter vajayjay and a size smaller boobs. That would be so nice!

        • Haha! Kar Marie
          Maybe it was karma after all that left him with that itty bitty short stick

      • I don’t know Tempest. After a lobotomy, could they identify the correct way to break pasta?

        • Lol. I just buy the pasta that doesn’t need to be broken. (like penne or rotini or shells). When I try to eat regular spaghetti, I make a mess and it takes me forever to eat. Buying a different kind of pasta would be a simple solution to the breaking pasta problem. Then again, he’d probably would have found something else to complain about.

    • Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That?’ opened my eyes and saved my life!!! I’m sure I’m not alone in saying ‘I could have written that book!’

      Happy New Year!!

  • Tonight/early tomorrow marks an ‘anniversary’ of my being held hostage/pounded on while inside my car with resulting facial lacerations and bruises by the jackass XBF. If we were to sit in one of these so called therapy sessions, do we think he’d acknowledge the reason for his assault of me?

    Would he say he was ‘triggered’ because he kept pressing me as to why I was so quiet and I finally told him? Would he say he was ‘triggered’ because I told him that I was done with his cheating, lying, alcoholism, his using me and everything that I possessed ways?

    I know he wouldn’t. All that would result would be me feeling assaulted all over again.

    Happy New Years, y’all.

    • He would blame you for provoking him, we know that. The only thing that happens when an abuser goes to therapy is they learn to be better abusers. sorry about what happened to you, hope you have a better year in 2016. Jedi Hugs!

  • Let’s face it the victim can’t speak their truth because there will be hell to pay when they get home. Such quackery.

    • So true, Donna. I know of a couple who was court-ordered into therapy because of his abuse of the wife. They had an honest therapy session, and then he slammed her head into the windshield for telling marital secrets when they got back out to the car.

  • Yeah, I bet when the first psychotherapist gets the crap beaten out of him or her, along with the abused spouse, well maybe they will sing a different tune. I just hope no one has to lose their life for that insane program to tank.

    Cheater ex vilified me for refusing to go to counselling with him for “closure”. This was after he told me he was thinking of killing me and my children. Then there was that little inconvenient order for protection. I just kept thinking all he would have to do is show up with a gun. What precisely was the counselor going to do then, try to hold hands with us and sing Kumbya?

    Not only NO, but OH, HELL NO. I may be a lot of things, but stupid is certainly not one of them.

    • The therapist will never be hurt, that’s the problem. Abusers do that shit in private and act like nice people, even sad sacks to everyone else.

        • The only ABUSERS who will go along with this will be the most cunning. When we think of how easily they con the outside world naturally they will play the victim and the true victims will be further damaged. Going in with the assumption it is a family problem further disintegrates hope for the victim.

      • After all the narcissistic injury cheater ex had on board Dat, I fully believe he would killed the therapist to get to me if he had to. I also believe his chicken shit therapist would have run like the wind rather than stand up for me. Either way, I would have wound up dead. Cheater ex wouldn’t have cared about image at that point, just revenge. He probably would have killed himself soon after.

  • Recently alerted to this article by a dear friend and the name Tavistock was familiar. Domestic Abuse Victims to Join abusers in family therapy. As Sarah Green in the article says Domestic abuse is about bullying and control, not misunderstanding. It is a CHOICE. And making the “assumption in such couple counseling approaches tends to be that BOTH parties must be at fault and they simply need to learn better behaviors.” Reminds me of couples ‘therapy’ A La Gottman ‘speak’ and lingo.

    So I went back to a book of essays on my shelf from Tavistock. For fun here’s a passage p 69

    “He slid into aspects of a merged attachment in which his wife no longer became separate but became, as it were, a twin part of him, expressing for him those dissatisfactions, albeit in another domain, that were his own. When he felt helpless around her difficulties in receiving, he withdrew into ruminating about his own longing and with her a common phenomenon that occurs between COUPLES emerged: he would access her rages for his own purposes, to reflect on his own unmet (and somewhat Oedipally conflicted) ambitions. The energy in her rages galvanized him in an area he had not easily been able to feel directly on his own behalf. He “Borrowed” the energy of her affect to propel his personal struggle…

    Really…. I marvel at the words….

    Each day now I regard every discipline and theoretical, historical book on my shelves – when this fog lifts – I witness a underlying framework of BULLSHIT in cultural academia and media etc The intellectual hubris and dishonesty underpinning theory. And all the “Lofty” professionals across disciplines who never reckon with our stark reality.

    People like Charlie Sheen enjoy infecting unaware sexual partners with HIV
    Bill Cosby recently criminally charged for 2004 sexual assault

    Choice, power and control

    • I’ve read stuff like this before and my eyes would start to glaze over. I felt like I wasn’t intellectual enough to understand the nuances and jargon. Now I see it for what a lot of it is….word salad and pompous!! Nonsensical and downright stupid! I love ideas that can be expressed in a direct, simple way. I mean, if it’s THAT good, one should be able to communicate it to anyone. Not just other academia or whatever!

      • Same here. If you’re glazing people’s eyes over with your word salad bullshit, you obviously don’t have much to say or are hiding something. Just spit it out in a way that makes sense to people.

    • He’s “channelling” her rage?

      Hey, if it’s all subterranean then no one can call Tavistock out on it. It’s INVISIBLE. He’s no different that some religious wacko who says he speaks for God.

      Tavistock has a Theory and he Knows what She Really Feels.

      How convenient that it gives the abuser an excuse to rage at her.

    • Interestingly, this is very much what happened to me. He would manipulate and withhold and stonewall until after years and years I finally raged. I know now that that was his intention because anger is an emotion he does not express, and he would knowingly mistreat me so that I would express the anger he felt (at what, I still don’t know). I agree with the assessment that blaming this dynamic on the couple is wrong. He knew what he was doing; I did not understand his agenda or his tactics, and always ended up apologizing. (It was also part of his agenda to make me feel small and out of line.)

      • ^^^^THIS^^^^^
        This was my life. Only thing is now we are divorced his anger is coming to the surface when he engages with me and others are seeing it, while I’m calm because I am not living under it.

  • I haven’t read all the comments yet, but did anyone else see the reference to “triggers” as a “blame the victim” excuse? No personal responsibility – if you’ve done something wrong, it must be someone else’s fault! Unreal.

    • Agree. In other words if you known their triggers just fucking hide in the corner and walk in egg shells.

  • I was constantly triggering my ex by doing things like existing, or saying words, or putting socks on his cold feet in the middle of an affair-related panic attack. What I really needed was a therapist to tell me how to stop existing so that I would stop triggering his abuse. I think it would have really improved things if I had turned into an inanimate object and ceased to have thoughts or desires.

    • Free Vixen, LOL!!!

      I think you’re right. If only we would just play our proper subordinate role in THEIR life. We’re so selfish!

  • You know why domestic violence goes unreported in America? Because no one believes the victim. “I’ve know him all my life – he wouldn’t do that.” Well, yes, he did. When the front door closed, when it was just me and the children, yes, indeed, he abused us. I know we are an educated, upper middle-class, white, suburban, church-going, mini-van-driving family but the truth is, he abused me and our three children. It’s ugly and painful and humiliating to admit but it’s the truth.

    When I finally filed for divorce after 27 years, the fallout went to guns. I took pictures with my cell phone because I KNEW no one would believe me. And they didn’t. His family and our circle of friends stood by him. They told me, “Well, he explained all that.”

    My best friend turned out to be the legal system. The judge believed my evidence and slapped XH with a Protective Order. I got the kids and the house. XH got a court-ordered psych eval, mandatory batterer’s intervention program and enrollment in therapy for anger management.

    Before he left, he sat on our couch and promised to do whatever he could to make the next 30 years of my life as miserable as possible, a goal that he continues to work on with unmitigated zeal. I could no more go to couples counseling with him then I could sit in a room with a rabid dog.

    I would love to go to individual counseling but don’t have the money. The women’s shelter offered me free counseling but only from 8am-5pm; you know, when I’m working. My best and only therapy has been coming to CL and reading all the wonderful posts from CN. I don’t think I’ll ever get to Meh but I love to read about the chumps who do!

    • What a bastard. I’m glad you’re safe and I’m glad the court sided with you.

      You know what safe, sane people do? They don’t vow to make the next 30 years of your life miserable. They don’t gather a garrison of weaponry. How can anyone find this creep normal?

    • Eve, please forgive yourself – it is not humiliating, it’s human – the cycle of abuse starts slowly and builds up such that it’s very hard to realize where you are until it goes way over the brink. I lived this too, no kids but I know what you mean about no one believing you. I am VERY glad the legal system helped you. In my case they hurt me, the cops I called believed him when he told them I attacked him, the judge put me on probation giving him more power over me. It took a lot to get a protective order when he pulled a gun later. Abusers are not all simple brainless batterers, they are manipulative and many are very smart. Jedi Hugs!

      • Been there, Dat, but in the end I was believed. The Fucktard made a citizens arrest after I called 911 on him. I spent the night in jail while he laughed and showed up in the morning to announce that he figured I’d learned my lesson. I had. I had a police escort when I left him that day, and an appointment with an attorney. Sadly, I tried again with him six months later, but that ended well for me and badly for him. Fooled me once and all that. Most people don’t understand that the disordered will use the legal system just like everyone else.

      • At Eve. My husband’s family believed me (after so much proof it is ridiculous, although it isn’t physical abuse). But their son would never behave like this. So Here is a list of things you’re doing wrong that have made him this way. It just hurts so bad.

    • Eve buy a gun and learn how to use it. That is my plan if my son moves. Protective orders? I’m sorry, the asshole and his whore are sick and broke into my house and car. Yet he was never violent physically. Still, I will protect myself and grandaughter as I live in a rural area. I was sleeping and someonewas trying to break in. At best police arrive within minutes. And I will call 911 and protect myself if needed.

    • I’m not surprised that his friends and family stood by him. Sometimes, people stick their heads up their butts rather than deal with the truth about their relative or friend. I am very glad you got that protective order. I would do whatever it takes to protect myself. Whether that involves self defense lessons, a gun or having a baseball bat nearby. I personally have a gun, pepper spray and an alarm system simply because I live alone. (My ex was not violent)

  • I am so grateful for this blog and everyone on it. Without it I would not have gotten my head around things so quickly or been so aware of the minfuckery.
    Went to the bank yesterday and transferred funds into a closed account. I felt so dirty. I hate lying and sneaking around and I hate that he’s driven me to the point where I have to do it, I hate who he almost turned me into.
    Fuckwit is off on his sexcation now. Wanted to talk before leaving about how he understands how hurt I am, he sees me removing some personal things from the house and hiding my car keys and wants to know how I can’t trust him!!! Because lying and cheating mean you aren’t trustworthy….. Fucker started going on about the “nice” things he’s done for me recently, things he’s fixed because of course he really is a better class of cheater.

    Started to ask me what my plans are, as he doesn’t know what will happen when over there and he really deserves to be treated with respect. I guess that’s the respect I didn’t get from him all these years. I think he’s suddenly realized I now have 10 days with him out of the country to get my ducks in a row and dig through everything. He’s been showing signs of paranoia which I’ll need to watch.

    And then lied again about reasons for the trip – trickle truth, it’s a bitch. I trickled stuff I know right back at him. Then lost my cool a little and told him he is a lying bastard and can go fuck himself. My lawyer wouldn’t approve but it just came out.

    • Your lawyer doesn’t need to know about it. That’s a minute of their time you’re paying for, you can focus on the business. Telling your soon to be ex to fuck off is part of the back of the chump mullet- the lawyer and lining up ducks is the business short do in the front…. The fuck off… it’s in the long wild fun hair in the back saved for girlfriends, chump nation, wine and therapy.

    • Jedi Hugs Finally Awake! You are doing well. I had the same problem when I was getting away from Saddam because I consider lies of omission as bad as any other. AND Saddam started accusing me of lying all the time, the weird thing was that the accusations were wrong, the things he *thought* I was lying about I was telling the truth about. Mindfuckers actually mindfuck themselves pretty well if you let them. PS: don’t worry about the outburst, you needed to say it.

      • My advantage is that he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. He’s a tricky bastard – taught me everything I know about being sneaky.

        In order to cover his tracks a little he’s had to let his family know he’ll be in the county (he was scared I’d tell them). Now he’ll have to spend time with his parents, who he hates. He’ll also be wondering what I might be up to. At the very least it will make it a lot harder for him to have a good time.

  • “Contrary to popular myth, abusers do not suffer from anger management problems. They manage their anger just find… whenever there are witnesses.” This was my XH. He managed his anger just fine until we were alone. I mean alone. I told him once that how he treated me, would determine how our daughter would allow herself to be treated. There was a look of horror in his eyes. He said that would never happen again. He didn’t want his daughter to grow up and let any man treat her the way he treated me. Stupid me, thought that yay he gets it. Fuck NO! He just made sure that we were totally alone before the abuse began. So I didn’t have any witnesses at all. If we did fight, for many years, I took the bait so fights always looked equal. It took me years not to take the bait, but there was a price to pay when we were alone. It wasn’t that the topic was one that engendered a fight because we disagreed… it was simply any topic, anything… it was time in his sweet mean cycle for abuse. The counselers were no fucking good at all. They are to too chickenshit to say, well that sucks, you shouldn’t do that, for fear they will lose the cash or they won’t be able to get shitforbrains back into session. Either way, nothing I said to them about his behavior even registered with them. I told them that he tried to kill me because I brought the wrong key… they just shrugged it off. Bugger with knobs on the whole lot of them.

    • That is the crux, no witnesses and they always charm the ones that could help so well. :(. Jedi Hugs x 1000 RingMyOwnBell

    • Mine used to be able to control himself.We live on an island and all family and mutual friends who could or would say anything are out of state. I realized the second time, the abuse would start as soon as the airplane with our friends or family took off.
      Now, after three years of me speaking and trying to get authorities to see, it’s getting harder for him to hide. Authorities are finally noticing. The only thing is that even though we have been separated for three years and divorced for one, I can feel that he is angrier and feeling more wreckless. I wish that the authorities would recognize it faster. My DV counselor noted it when we were in court.

    • I agree. I had a pastor who mentioned once that people claim they cannot control their anger. Then, in the middle of an angry disagreement, the phone will ring. The same person, who could not control their anger a second ago, can suddenly stop it to answer the phone in a pleasant manner. Yeah, people can control their anger when they want to,

  • The problem with society these days is that people poo-poo around abuse or find a convenient way to blame the victim. The reason people don’t call arseholes out on their shit, is because they are afraid of being raged at. Little do they know that if, collectively, EVERYONE sane called these abusers out on their shit, these abusers wouldn’t be able to pull the rage card except in solitude. You can blame the entitlement age for that.

    Problem is though – you cannot reason with a brick wall, so why the fuck are people trying to reason with an abuser? Theres no justification for abuse. None at all.

    That being said though, with any potential therapists you are vetting – you need only ask one question: “In an abuse situation – are you the type who calls abusers out for the shitheads they are, or are you the type who assigns blame to both parties?” If they are the latter, they get thrown out.

    • Should also add in there – that theres no justification for abuse. Those chickenshit ‘reasons’ for abuse – the person can very easily leave the situation or use their fucking brain instead of their adrenal glands to solve the ‘problem’ in their eyes.
      For fucks sake….

      • I think a lot of entitled bullies get so used to having everyone else back down and comply with their demands that not doing so seems outrageous in their eyes. It doesn’t help when everyone around them is so fearstricken that they will call YOU out if you disturb the equilibrium. Why are YOU causing problems?

        • Thats pretty much it, in a nutshell. The mindset needs to shift to ‘Hey, this guy is abusive, he needs to pull his fucking head in – HE is the one with the problem.’ But saying that would be like speaking Greenlandic to most.

          • Yup. But the last time I saw that dynamic it was my stepchild. Here for a visit. But had no problem assaulting me and telling me that our house was really Her Dad’s House Where She Could Do Whatever She Wanted. Nope. It’s Our House Where We Can Do Whatever We Want. You can do that at Your House. You are 25 years old and live 3000 miles away.

            Understand, I’ve known this kid over half her life and now that her Mom lost her last husband to divorce, she is trying to get her Dad back with her Mom, so attacking me, even physically, seems okay to her. It didn’t work, but wow.

  • These fuckwits just piss me off. Trigger = Provoke in the cultural lexicon around the world. And who supposedly does it most often? Women. And who suffers for it? Women. And who actually does it most often? Men. And who gets satisfaction from it? Men. Fuck a bunch of triggers, it’s all about power and control. Will his rage keep you under control? Congratulations, he won’t hit you. But watch out when you walk out the door, loss of control escalates his need to exert control, that’s when the danger is greatest. It is estimated that of all women who were the victims of homicide globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members (47%), compared to less than six per cent of men killed in the same year – See more at:

    • Yup. That is a scary, scary time. A time to be safe, not on a couch enraging an abuser by telling him or her that you’ve suffered enough and won’t play anymore.

    • I’d check out the manwoman myth series of videos re the above tripe. They are on YouTube and very well done. Nice big section on domestic violence and the incidence of women being the prrpetrators.

  • What’s next for these new age therapists?
    Healing circles where incest survivors get to discuss with their abusers what triggered the horrendous acts perpetrated on them.
    Or let’s have parents of maimed and murdered children get to have pow wows with their surviving kids to discuss how the children screwed up and caused Mommy or Daddy to beat them.
    Enough already. Cross a boundary and don’t ever ever expect to talk with or have any contact with somebody you broke a major trust barrier with. Doesn’t matter if it was cheating, beating, stealing, rape, lying etc. you are done and over for the person you harmed.
    Your victim/survivor deserves to continue life without your polluting presence in it. You can better yourself, work on your issues but do not expect or even hope for your victim to ever participate in this ill-conceived poppycock therapy for the abuser. Nobody who has been harmed deserves to be further disrespected and abused by the fuzzy headed therapists and their infinitely stupid feel good hypotheses of treatment.

    • After I read this CL post, the first thing that came to mind was Parents United, an organization that works to counsel incest victims and parent perpetrators with the goal of keeping the offender out of jail and the family intact (surely re-victimizing and harming the child even further, as a result).

      I knew of a counselor who worked with offending fathers with this organization and it is very clear the counselor had never been sexually abused himself and drank the lame kool-aid that this could even be a good idea! Here’s a January 2006 Los Angeles Times article about the organization and the psychologist/director’s rationale .. an infuriating read: (Not sure if the link will show .. not posted one before on this site.)

  • What a crazy way to end the year. Had I not seen this article, I don’t know that I would have believed this type of nutty dynamic actually exists when it comes to defining an abuser and domestic violence. An abuser knows full well what he or she is doing and the acts are all about control. This is simply another tactic to minimize and disrespect the feelings of someone who is or has been abused. Therapists need to place the blame where it belongs and NOT on the victim. Even worse, they feel proud of this ludicrous article.

  • Would it be an idea to share our thoughts and this page with Harrow Council? They are on Twitter, would it be an idea to share this page with them? Or should we all email them?

    If this ‘initiative’ is going to cause people harm, is it not worth sharing our experiences? Not only that, but it’s £200k of public money that could be put toward supporting victims of domestic violence.

  • Got to head off to see my longtime neighbor perform. He’s the dude who played drums for Van Morrison on Moondance, and most everyone else over the years. You might just know some of his work.

    But first, much love to all of CN. And to Tracy our CL, who protects sanity and rejects horseshit, kicks it to the curb, and lets the trash truck drive right over it. That is some good happy paving.

    Happy New Year to All of You! May 2016 offer you up many wonders you never imagined possible!

  • You can no more train an abuser NOT to abuse as you can train a pedophile NOT to be turned on by children. Therapists believe in miracles, they believe they can affect change. Thing is, the disordered rarely change, these people rarely recognize the harm they have done; the truth is very few disordered people succeed in changing . IMHO, Circumstances will have them repeating those same crappy unhealthy hurtful behaviors over and over again. My marriage was this. How many of us addressed problems over and over only to have their spouse continue down that path of evil? My ex was not wired to have a healthy relationship (I suspect his behavior will be the same with others), over the years his actions (and secrets) just grew bigger until finally he could no longer hide the truth of who he was. A sneaky, selfish, disengaged, immoral, crappily wired Cheater.

    • “My ex was not wired to have a healthy relationship (I suspect his behavior will be the same with others), over the years his actions (and secrets) just grew bigger until finally he could no longer hide the truth of who he was. A sneaky, selfish, disengaged, immoral, crappily wired Cheater.”

      Sadly, this is what I and so many of us faced. It is exactly what happened with my ex. He was never the man he pretended to be and we all thought he was.

      They are what they are: selfish, empathy-deprived, loveless, disordered, chronically bored and self-absorbed. And they (and the abuse) only get worse over time, not better.

  • VERY weird I would read this tonight. 30 years ago I had a very bad incident happen to me on New Years Eve night. It took nine years before a New Years Eve came again that I could somewhat enjoy. I did think about it today and the only reason I am ok about it now is the offending party is living far, far away and the last I heard, in jail.

    If you’ve been in an abisive situation, no matter what degree or with who (whom?) ?? You are well aware that PTSD episodes can happen at anytime and sometimes with the most unlikely trigger.

    There are two really bad abusers in my life and I can’t imagine being in the same room with them for any length of time without having a major freak-out leaving one of us probably dead.

    I don’t like the bitch who works the checkout at my grocery store so I move to another line to avoid her. Abused people who escape the cycle want very low confrontations and enjoy non-disruptive, easy situations.

    I do think that abusers would get-off on the power of you being in the same room with them as there would be no reason to be unless the abused were seeking help. if the abuser needed forgiveness, redemption, a change in there ways, they do not need their abused to facilitatle. Starting a diet and then going to The Cheesecake Factory is counterproductive. Nothing but a power trip for the abuser. When they do these terrifying meetings, they should wire these people to measure pain/please, anxiety, blood pressure…….SMH. Very awful.

    I can’t think of any situation would be anything but scary, demeaning, and torturous to the abused.

    • UGH!!! After 10 months, they never thought of the affair at all! What kind of unicorn shit is this?

      • Having encountered a Tavistock trained couple therapist who said about affairs: ‘It comes out of the marriage,’ failing to qualify ‘it’ and instead describing some kind of invisible conjoined miasma, I’d say whatever shit it is they’re definitely smoking it.

      • Interesting how in the photo they’re aren’t even looking at each other. I wonder if that’s the best shot they could get for their success story!.

    • After 10 months, the affair didn’t seem important to the therapists. After 10 months, the affair may not have been important to the cheater. I don’t believe that the affair ceased affecting the betrayed wife after 10 months.

  • Apparently the teams of psychologists and counsellors at the Tavistock Centre got bored with watching torture porn movies and needed to up the game by figuring out a way to view live-action domestic abuse. Maybe the British government can get some help for these misunderstood, sadistic academic nutters.

    • No it’s not, but frankly, I’d rather put some guy in there who beats his wife and kids before I’d put a pothead or a schizophrenic. (Our jails are full of the latter, and not so much the former.)

      • To be honest, I’ve known people who are schizophrenics who are actually very kind. My former father-in-law was a schizophrenic and he was a super nice guy. When he decided to go off his medication, he became paranoid and visited friends and family unannounced several times a day to avoid being alone. (He was divorced multiple times because of his mental illness and lived alone). All the unexpected visits were a little annoying and it was very sad to see him hurting, but he was not a cheater or physically abusive. Fortunately, at some point, he decided to go back on medication.

  • I believe that CL has written before about the UK marriage counselor Andrew Marshall, who was trained by the govt counseling service, “Relate.” He of the “how to welcome your spouse with open arms after infidelity, which was probably largely your fault” books. I’ve become convinced that the UK has institutionalized the idea of keeping couples together because it fears that they will end up on benefits if they don’t. And they think the country can’t afford it, so they encourage you to spackle.

  • This all sounds very progressive. We need to show compassion for the abuser and quit acting like a victim. Brutus is a victim too. Just look at his poor bruised knuckles. Your jawbone really hurt him! Did ya think of that? Shame on you, thinking only of yourself and your silly wired jaw. Personally, I think all “Brutuses” need their faces and crimes posted on billboards across the country. There should be a section in the phone book for them too under Cowards and Pussies.

  • Pot heads , schizophrenics, pedophiles, cheating ass wipe cops… The problem isnt the problem … Its how we look at the problem. Cop beats his wife and continues to threaten her … Well he is suffering from work related stress and depersonlization. Not that he is a power hungry disorder fuck.
    We have so many rationals and excuses for shitty behavior. Schizophrenic chops his family up into pieces with and axe… Well he is untreated. Maybe… But still dangerous. Just like the cop. Difference is the intent and rational thought. Where does the line get drawn? What is the flip switch? How crazy is crazy? I remember Ed Norton in Primal Fear.
    I think if I persued litigation against my ex he would easily flip it to Military PTSD and/or work related stress. He would sit in a few counseling sessions and not serve one day for the beating I took and the repeated threats to my life. And truth is so many of my friends and family felt badly for him that he resorted to violence… I heard everything from ‘ Does he have a brain tumor… To… His work has finally got to him’ Pity for the POS.
    And because I ‘ held it together’ it must not have been that bad!!
    I think there is an incentive to keep people out of jail these days… Programs popping up everywhere to rehab bad behavior. The government cant afford the up keep of the penal system. They are eager to find alternate to keep people out of prison and keep them contributing to society. And in the model above make the victim the responsible to babysit and placate the offender. Afterall if they are in a program together then the victim is just as responsible to society. Fucking sick.

  • The creators of this program to help couples comprised of an abuser and a victim seemed to have missed the concepts of logic and empirical research in designing a program. (Didn’t any of their undergraduate or graduate school professors ever tell them? Didn’t the creators read their books on the scientific method? Or did they just choose to disregard what their professors told them and the authors of their scientific methods books clearly communicate to them? ) The creators and proponents of the program described above seem to adhere to the mindset, ‘Let’s just try it [this approach]. Nothing else is working, and you never know–this one might work!’ (I’ve observed this mindset often in the field of education and pseudo-counseling.) Unfortunately, I’ll bet that some people will use hard-earned money on such garbage instead of using the money for logic- and empirical research-based treatment programs.

    As someone who was not only cheated upon but also abused by her spouse, I refuse to put myself into therapy with my STBX ever again. It’s sad that some of my relatives, who have heard me describe my life with my STBX and seen evidence supporting my claims, are pushing me to reconcile with him, my abuser.

  • In the 1980’s I married my first husband. He was very abusive. One instance I was eating at a restaurant my girlfriend worked at. It was lunch hour and packed. My husband came in and started an argument. He started hitting me in the face. Throwing punches. I put up my arms to block. He hit me so hard in the forearms it knocked my arms out of the sockets. My arms were hanging below my knees. He grabbed me and threw me in the truck. He drove around for hours while I begged him to bring me to the hospital. He kept grabbing my arms and yanking on them. I finally talked him into bringing me to the hospital. He threatened me in the parking lot. Told me not to tell or he would kill me.

    I got into the ER room with him close on my tail. They brought me to a separate rm for X-rays. I told the X-ray Tech that my husband had done this. To help me get away from him. The tech told the nurses. They knocked me out to set my arms back in. I woke up on a bed with my husband right next to me. They had done nothing. Never called the police. Nothing. I was released to my husband’s care. Both arms taped to my chest for the next 2 wks time.

    I was married to this monster for 11 yrs. The last 4 we were separated. Thank God I never had children with this man. He had many affairs. He beat his affair partners also. I can not see sitting across from this man and helping him with his issues. He should of been duck taped to a tree out in the woods and left for bear bait.

    • Im so sorry you went through this! Your monster should have candy shoved up his a$$, and be strung up in a tree as a human pinata. No blindfolds.

      • I like your bear bait idea. He should be coated with honey first…to sweeten his disposition. Im sure it will be very therapeutic for him.

    • Yooper01–I’m sorry,not only that the abuse happened to you, but that the system failed you, too.

      • Yooper01, how horrible, your injuries, and they did NOTHING! Unbelieveable. Unfuckingbelievable. You are mighty, you survived.

    • Wow! I can’t believe no one at the hospital helped! When I sprained my ankle, because I am a klutz, a nurse said to me “We’re screening for domestic violence. Do you feel safe at home?” Now, this was not my ex’s fault. He wasn’t even around when I twisted my ankle, but the medical staff at the emergency room asked just in case.

  • In case of infidelity it is the chump who is more likely to get violent. Read stories all the time. Killed estranged wife, then himself… Google Melanie McGuire thou. That cheater was something huh? Why not Divorce the chump. She needed to shoot him, cut him up, put pieces in 3 different suitcases, and drop these in Chesapeake Bay. The woman had 2 kids with the man.

    • Bullshit Chumpman, anecdote does not equal science. I do not believe the chump is more likely to be violent. Cheating is part of an abusers lexicon, far more likely the cheater will become violent IMO. That’s based on statistics and the fact cheating is so prevalent in abuse cases.

      • That lady was a cheater, not a chump. The male partner is more likely to become violent, and a chumped male partner probably more so than the cheater. A lot of murder-suicides happen by chumped dudes.

  • You are correct that we can not make people change. The change comes from within. I think cheaters and abusers are mentally unbalanced and they refuse to address the problem. They are fine with the fact that they cheat and abuse. So, the choice they make is a failure to address the “Why” (what caused the behavior) they only address the behavior when there is fallout. It is possible to correct some of these problems, however, the likely hood of a positive outcome is probably rare.

  • This is surreal. The problem is fucked up thought patterns, filters and perceptions and a huge sense of ENTITLEMENT. I am actually scared for the women and children? Who go into this program. This is merely a pseudo ‘civil’ ring for the abuser to continue to blameshift and gaslight and outright lie, all the while getting a certified ‘counselor’ on his side! OMFG

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