Other Blogs I Recommend
www.manipulative-people.com Dr. George Simon, friend of the blog, is a psychologist with over 25 years of experience with personality and character disorders. He’s the author of “In Sheep’s Clothing” and “Character Disturbance.” His blog has terrific articles on manipulation tactics and what makes manipulators tick.
Outofthefog.net This is one-stop shopping for everything personality disordered. Great forum, especially for those in “unchosen” relationships (like family members), and check out the 100-traits of disordered people.
Sisterhood of Support A safe and completely private online support group for wives and partners of “sex addicts.” For women only. Nominal subscription fee.
WomensLaw.org Plain-language legal information for victims of abuse. This place has every divorce law for every U.S. state explained and an online legal service clinic for victims of domestic violence, staffed by law students. Cannot say enough good things about the work these people do.
The Happy Hausfrau Porch (Facebook group) Single parenting? Frustrated navigating divorce? This is a great group of people slogging the same slog and doing it with humor and compassion.
Our Path Formerly known as Straight Spouse Network. Support for those dealing with infidelity and their partner’s closeted sexual identity all at once.
Divorce Minister — Run by DM, an evangelical Christian, he challenges the religious community’s victim-blaming and reconciliation-only narratives around infidelity and divorce.
In the U.S., if you feel like you cannot afford a divorce, are economically vulnerable, or in a domestic abuse situation, check out your state bar association for a list of low-bono and pro-bono family law attorneys. Your state bar can also direct you to law schools that have legal aid clinics near you.
Womenslaw.org has a list of divorce laws by state. It also covers everything from housing, custody, parental kidnapping (taking the child out of state without your permission), to restraining orders.
Jane Does Well — this nonprofit in the Boston-area — but expanding nationwide — is a free membership support group for women going through divorce. It has a calendar of in-person events, Ask the Experts interviews, luncheons, yoga meetups, single mom support, and does state-level advocacy for family law reform.
Baggage Reclaim Started by a woman who used to be an OW and wised up. All about boundaries with players and other good stuff.
Captain Awkward Because dating is awkward as hell.
Compiled and with commentary by CN member Hell of a Chump, arm yourself with academic studies that infidelity is abuse.
The Secret Sexual Basement. Anne Blythe and Omar Minwalla.
“When a man chooses to have a “secret sexual basement”, he is abusing his partner. Period. Dr. Omar Minwalla, licensed psychologist and clinical sexologist from the Institute of Sexual Health, joins Anne on the free BTR podcast to take a deep dive into why sexual betrayal is a domestic abuse issue.”
The work of Dr. Donald Dutton. A tenured Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia Department of Psychology, received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1970 and spent many years studying domestic batterers and spouse-killers in prison settings. He has published over 125 peer reviewed journal articles and 11 books, including the Domestic Assault of Women, The Batterer and The Abusive Personality.
Although Dr. Dutton has focused primarily on violent offenders, his research includes case studies of sub-violent abusers which highlight the emotional and psychological components of intimate coercive control and suggest a spectrum of abusive and controlling behavior in which violence represents a polar extreme. And though Dr. Dutton focuses primarily on male intimate abusers and the cultural inequality that often drives abuse, the author does not discount the existence of female offenders. Many of the tactics and psychological mechanisms Dr. Dutton ascribes to intimate abusers can be applied to both genders.
Also, although Dr. Dutton limits discussions of infidelity to some abusers’ paranoid and internally-driven fears of abandonment or tendency to demonize victims, the author’s dissection of abusers’ coercive motives and tactics may still chillingly apply to many of the abusive, controlling, deceptive and agency-robbing behaviors surrounding adultery. In fact, the overlaps between “cheater” tactics and psychology and Dutton’s presentation of batterer tactics psychology may confirm suspicions that both reside on the same continuum.
The Batterer is among Dr. Dutton’s more accessibly-written works but is still presented in the objective and detached tone of a clinician and researcher. The lack of immediate and passionate appeal for victim advocacy and lack of moralistic condemnation of abusers might at first seem off-putting for survivors. For instance, as a clinician who has treated domestic abusers, Dr. Dutton includes narratives and first person perspectives of convicted batterers in the book, descriptions of abusers’ typically traumatic upbringings, “emotional suffering” and pathological (if concealed) dependence on their own victims — all of which could be mistaken as bids for social and legal amnesty. Yet these sometimes vulnerable-seeming profiles coupled with the author’s documentation of abusers’ high statistical recidivism (even with treatment), selective memories for their own damaging conduct, ornately deceptive/self-deceiving mental processes and alacrity for dredging social and cultural “approval” for their misdeeds are persuasive reminders that dangerous individuals may appear misleadingly sympathetic even as they destroy the lives of others. Furthermore, Dutton includes arguments for stiffer legal consequences and rejects the “genetic mental illness” excuse for intimate assault, therefore also discounting “magic bullet cures.”
In the final analysis, The Batterer illustrates that understanding the psychological workings and tactics of domestic offenders is not only not synonymous with condoning, it’s the key to recognizing, predicting and offsetting further risks to victims, stopping the generational mill by which traumatized children may eventually transition into intimately abusive adults and understanding how victims can become progressively paralyzed within abusive relationships. In the latter sense, The Batterer is quietly corrective of certain traditional clinical and social assumptions regarding victims of intimate abuse. Firstly, Dutton’s focus on abusers’ tactics, tendency to create “protection racket” dynamics and the relentless, complex, intense and intensely-driven nature of many abusers’ campaigns for control as well as their deceptive skill in evading consequences and reversing blame go a long way towards explaining how many victims find themselves thoroughly entrapped and without adequate resources or support. And by simply aiming the clinical lens at abuser psychology rather than that of victims, the overall onus of responsibility for intimate abuse is automatically placed on abusers and social, clinical and legal response.
“Neutralization” is the ornate system of rationalization theoretically used by a range of chronic offenders– from college exam cheats to serial killers — to reduce the stigma of their ill deeds, snuff residual guilt and shift blame and condemnation to victims or anyone who might judge them for their crimes. Researchers argue that the process of neutralization works both retroactively– to reduce guilt and stigma over past deeds; and proactively– to pave the way for future crimes by way of helping the offender to “feel” innocent in order to appear innocent, all the better to lure in future victims and evade detection and consequences. The theory of neutralization presents the phenomenon of sociopathy or empathy impairment as a potentially acquired/learned behavior and identifiable thought disorder. Click “download” for a free read of the academic paper.
Despite the best efforts of infidelity apologists to cast disapproval of infidelity as an outdated relic of puritanical values, according to Gallup polls, American approval for infidelity keeps plummeting independently of religious mores.
“Mate poaching strategies are differentially associated with pathological T personality traits and risk-taking in men and women,” Virginia E. Mitchell, Justin K. Mogilski, Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Lisa L.M. Welling
Post-Traumatic Therapy and the Victims of Violence, a collection of essays and research assembled by Frank M. Ochberg — a professor of psychiatry, pioneering researcher in the treatment of PTSD and one of the founders of modern psychotraumatology who originated the concept of “captor bonding/Stockholm syndrome”– is widely considered one of the bibles of post-traumatic stress treatment.
The chapter on domestic abuse co-authored by Drs. Evan Stark and Anne Flitcraft — forensic psychologists and veteran advocates and researchers in their own rights — is also one of the most in-depth critiques of traditional victim-blaming or “split blame” therapeutic approaches.
If you want to know why many therapists and others in the helping professions are inept or even damaging in treating interpersonal trauma survivors, this chapter studiously lays bare and corrects the most pernicious faulty theories and therapeutic assumptions. As a whole the book can act as a guide in seeking or providing empowering resources and support.
To come soon with Amazon store. Check back!